September 23, 2010

"Explosions and Cool Vehicles!"

So I'm sitting around, doing this and that, when I get a message from a friend of mine.  Here's the pertinent portion of it:

Did I ever tell you that my friends and I watched the first episode of Popotan the other day on Netflix? Um, extremely bizarre and a little disturbing. That was months ago. Lately we find ourselves still talking about it. It was only one episode. We may have to watch more. Is this how the addiction starts? If that's the case we'd prefer anime with more explosions and cool vehicles. Got any suggestions for a bunch of anime noobs?

Now as you know, my tastes don't exactly run towards "explosions and cool vehicles."  I'm much more of a slice-of-life kinda guy, and there sure ain't any 'splody bits in Kanon '06.  So I turn to you, my loyal readers.  Give me your favoriteist splody anime... and it's gotta be available on DVD, so no fansubs.  We've got a chance to create a couple of new otaku here, so let's get them started on the right foot!

Here's a picture of a cute girl as a thank you:

Oh, and no Evangelion.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:34 PM | Comments (21) | Add Comment
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September 21, 2010

Question for the Pond Readers

Anybody seen Tokyo Tosho recently?

Picture unrelated; I just wanted to post a Kanon '06 shot.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:31 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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September 19, 2010

The Ships of Strike Witches ep11

In this episode, the Powers That Be have decided that it's time to go on full attack with (mostly) conventional forces against the Neuroi Hive that's sitting over Romagna.  The 501st will be reduced to escorting the naval vessels involved.  Well, we all know that won't last for long, but let's take a look at the ship list the show provides us with, because it's a doozy!

The first thing that leaped out at me was that it appears that I got my aircraft carriers wrong.  Allegedly.  The Chitose and Chiyoda would have been lousy choices to escort the Yamato halfway around the world.  They were poor carriers, unsurprising since they were actually converted seaplane tenders.  They weren't particularly fast, nor were they long-legged.  Meh, so I'm wrong, because that's what's up there on the screen.

Of course, there's also the Amagi.  A member of the Unryu class, which was based off the Hiryu, in real life the Amagi's career was pretty much limited to the Inland Sea before it was sunk in harbor at Kure Naval Base by USN planes.  It capsized to port, with its starboard-side island nearly parallel to the water.  So how exactly did the producers of Strike Witches miss this:

Yeah, the island is on the port side.  Whoopsie.  I'd write it off to alternate-universe, yadda yadda, but they've been so good about how the ships looked up until now. 

Ignore the flying battleship, the Amagi's island is on the bloody wrong side!  Whoopsie.

There's another big mistake in the order-of-battle in the first picture.  The Amagi's plane guard destroyer is the Hatsuzuki, which in real life was sunk at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  That's fine and all, but please note that the Hatsuzuki is also shown as being off the Yamato's starboard bow.  Whoopsie again.  The Imperial Japanese Navy built some fantastic destroyers in WWII, but none of them were good enough to be two places at once.

The USS Nicholas (DD-449) was commissioned on June 4th, 1942, and had a busy war.  She was decommissioned in 1970.  The USS La Vallette (DD-448) was put in service August 12th, 1942.  She took an aerial torpedo off Guadalcanal, then suffered crippling damage from a mine in February 1945.  She was retired shortly after the end of the war.  She stayed in the reserve fleet until 1974, when she was sold to Peru as spare parts.  I'm guessing the "USS HEY" to starboard of the Chiyoda, is the Heywood L Edwards (DD-663), named after the captain of the USS Reuben James, the first US ship sunk in WWII.  The Edwards was commissioned January 1944 and was transferred to the Japanese Naval Self-Defense Force in 1959 as the Ariake.

The doesn't appear to be a destroyer named the Federico Nani in the Regia Marina during WWII, though there was a submarine called the Nani.  I can find no information regarding who Mr Nani was, other than a brief note that he commanded a fleet in defense of Venice against the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.  It'd make sense that a ship would be named for him, but I'll be darned if I can find one.

I'll ignore most of the battleships.  They're easy to identify for the most part, and easy to find information on.  I will mention one, though.  In the lower-right, there's a "HMS HO" listed, and I thought that the producers had made another mistake.  After all, the HMS Hood was a battlecruiser, not a battleship.  Turns out that the last of the King George V-class was the HMS Howe, which was also the last British battleship built that served in WWII (the Vanguard was completed after the war ended).  In fact, four of the five KGV's are in the order-of-battle, and are in line in the order they were completed (only the namesake isn't listed). 

I still don't think that those were the Chitose and Chiyoda, though.

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September 07, 2010

Rocket Girls Ep12: A Wrapup

Over three years ago, in the midst of one of my occasional bouts of blog-self-loathing, I mentioned that I had some thoughts about the final episode of the show Rocket Girls.  Shortly thereafter, I forgot that I even mentioned it and away it went into the depths of the internet.  Flash-forward to last week, when Pete Z won the fourth installment of the "Name This Mystery Ship" contest... which brings with it the winner's choice of a blog post.  His selection was for me to write up those thoughts on Rocket Girls ep12. 

To be honest, I had no idea what he was talking about.  I found the post where I mentioned it the first time, and that jogged no memories.  I had no idea what I was referring to!  Still, a promise is a promise, so it was off to the show to watch ep12 again, see what sprang to mind. 

By the end of it, I knew exactly what I meant. 

If you remember, JAXA's manned two-seat capsule, the Mangosteen, had made rendezvous with NASA's space shuttle Atlantis in an attempt to rescue a space probe destined for Pluto.  The problem was that the probe had reached an orbit too high for either the shuttle or the capsule to reach individually.  After an amazing kludge, however, the shuttle gave Mangosteen enough of a boost so it could reach the probe, fix it, and send it on it's way.  While unlikely, I could roll with that; it made for good story after all.

However, all is not well.  Due to a data-entry mixup (ain't that always the way?), it turns out that the Mangosteen won't be able to return to Earth without burning up during re-entry.  Some quick thinking on the part of both NASA and JAXA gives our heroines, hot pilot Yukari and mission specialist Akane, one chance: a skip re-entry.  This involves the capsule rebounding off the atmosphere a couple of times so as to slow down enough to come through okay.  Okay, I can buy that... it's been done before.  But there's a snag: there's a whole slew of numbers (Coordinates?  Drag coefficients?  Shoe sizes?) that are needed so's the capsule can perform the maneuvers correctly.  One tiny mixup and poof, they're burned to a crisp... and the crew of the Mangosteen traded away their pens to the NASA astronauts.  No problem!  Akane is a super-geeeeenius and can memorize any long sequence of numbers you care to throw at her.  Okay, I can buy that, too. 

Re-entry begins.  The G-forces build.  Akane, frail little flower that she is, passes out leaving hot pilot Yukari to just wing it.  Soon enough, the stresses build enough to drop Yukari as well.

And this is where I began to get really angry at Rocket Girls.

more...

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