February 26, 2013

Vividred Operation Ep06

Okay, right, here we are, only a week late.  Not so bad, really... at least I'm still keeping up with the show.  Sure, it's not the perfect situation, which would involve the writeup being completed using only the mental power of my massive, pulsating brain, but it's close.  Oh, and codfish.  There would be some nice beer-battered cod with a tasty tartar sauce involved in a perfect situtation, too.  On Friday, after the business trip was officially over but while I was still in Chicago, I had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory with three managers who had their flights cancelled, and I can recommend their fish 'n' chips.  Which is not to be confused with fission chips, which tend to go bang when you dip them in tartar sauce.  They don't mention that in nuclear physics class.  Speaking of not mentioning things in Physics class...

...have these glasses from Gurren Lagann become an anime meme, or what?  After seeing the Red Headed Freak out the door as she heads to summer camp, lil' sister Momo and Gendo Plushyferret chat for a second about "beginning the operation," and out come the glasses.  What's really annoying is that I hated Gurren Lagann, yet it's hailed as a masterpiece of the mecha genre, if not anime as a whole.  I just don't get it.  Oh well, so it goes.

But that's a discussion for another day.  For now, there is Vividred Operation.  Which, I hasten to point out, is not considered a masterpiece of any genre.  Unless the genre is "butt shots of middleschoolers," in which case it's groundbreaking.  And deeply, deeply troubling.  You'll note, of course, that I'm still working on it, so maybe not so troubling as all that.

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February 12, 2013

Vividred Operation Ep05

For a second there, I thought about doing a Nutshelling for this episode, too, but I decided against it.  After all, it's the Dark Girl's introduction episode, maybe they'll tell us where to get that great scarf... and perhaps we'll learn her name, too?  Oh, wacky Wonderduck, wanting so much out of your anime.  Next you'll be asking for "plot" and "characterization", too.  Like that'll happen in Vividred Operation!  So, to quickly recap: Team Aquos has been finalized, they've defeated all the Alones that have been thrown against the Phlebotinum Engine, Akane's a redheaded freak of nature... or is she?  I am of the opinion that her superhuman skills are in fact because she's not entirely human, but part Alone.  No, I have nothing to base that on, other than her being stronger and faster than any normal person should be.  We'll find out eventually... or not.  Oh, and Gendo Plushyferret is the bad guy in all of this.  Ooh, plot twist!  Well, he is in my version of the show, and I think I've got a good track record of my alternate versions being much better than the originals, no?  But, speaking of this show right here, Ep05 has already begun!  Let's see what's going on in the City Island of Townsville Izu Oshima, shall we?

As is normal for a morning, the RHF is out delivering newspapers on her flying bicycle; as we catch up with her, she's riding along the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away, when suddenly... birds!

Well, bird.  Singular.  But there will be more, oh yes, many many more.  And early in the morning, they are very... very... hungry.  Somewhere offscreen, Alfred Hitchcock is rubbing his hands together eagerly. *ahem*  Excuse me.  Bird.  Flying near RHF.  Of course, this delights the RHF, who's probably more chipper about life than even Akari from ARIA.  But then, when you can convert to a magical girl with enough firepower to level very small countries, why shouldn't you be cheery?  And speaking of cheery...

Ohmygawd, it's Dark Girl... and she's smiling.  Yup, that seals it, she's my favorite character in this show, no matter what's going on.  She's currently being swarmed by seagulls, but that's nothing uncommon.  Anybody who's been to Seattle's waterfront and bought some french fries knows all about that.  Somewhere back at the Old Home Pond, there's a picture of me, standing outside Ivar's Acres of Clams Fish Bar ("Keep Clam!") with a french fry in my hand.  To my right, there's a gull swooping in to claim his nummy goodness from the side of the shot, while another gull is dive-bombing in from above and behind me.  And, having browsed Ivar's website, I've just discovered that you can order their clam chowder for home delivery... I think I might just have to do that, oh my heavens to betsy yes.  Many people claim that Boston clam chowder is the best, but I simply can not believe that, not after having Ivar's.  When I was out visiting friends in Seattle for a week, lo these many years ago when I had friends in Seattle, I literally had at least one bowl of Ivar's every single day... and felt bad that I couldn't have more.  When my departing flight was first delayed, then replaced after six hours on the ground (one of the friendly airline employees mentioned that an engine fell off the plane.  I assumed they were joking.), I was quite pleased... SeaTac had an Ivar's, after all!  Oh dear, I appear to have wandered off-topic once again. Let's get back to the story.  The RHF disturbs Dark Girl and her... I'm sorry, I can't not do this... her flock of seagulls, and...

...poof!  The flock of seagulls flies away, Dark Girl disappears from our view, leaving behind only one very confused RHF.  Oh, and an annoyed Wonderduck.  Really, if they wanted to rename this show Vivid Dark Girl Operations, I'd be fine with that.  If they had all the music done by '80s bands, I'd be really okay with that.  If some studio feels like doing this hypothetical series, I promise to do an episodic review.  If there's F1 cars and rubber ducks in it, I promise that the final episode's writeup would be the last thing ever posted here on The Pond.  Pinky swear.

Somewhere, a longtime reader of The Pond has just opened a kickstarter campaign to make that happen.  Hell, I'd kick in a fin or a sawbuck m'self, just because I could.  If you think about it, there's very little that would be cooler than to say "there was an anime made for the sole purpose of closing down my blog."  And by cooler, I mean "geekier".

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February 10, 2013

Vividred Operation Ep03 and Ep04, Nutshelled

Okay, so this project is succeeding about as well as Ben-To!, except now I'm falling behind on a currently-airing series.  Swell.  Ep05 aired a couple of days ago, and I still haven't done Ep03 yet... not the best plan for success ever, I'll admit.  Fortunately for me, if there were two episodes I could give short shrift to, it'd be these.  Simply put, for all intense porpoises, they're repeats of Ep02, just with new girls being added to Gendo Plushyferret's combat team.  I'm going to assume that you remember what happened in Ep01 and Ep02; if you don't, feel free to go back and re-read the writeups.  I think they're pretty clever, m'self, but then I would, wouldn't I?  So go ahead and catch up, why don'tcha?  I can wait... here's some music for you while you read.

You back?  You've got the basic idea in your head again?  Okay, good.  Let's get on with Nutshelling Ep03 and Ep04!


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February 08, 2013

A Surprising Manga

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm not really a manga sorta duck.  Pretty much everything I own/read is tied in some way to anime I've seen.  However, I decided to give myself a gift for surviving Spring book rush and bought some manga.  Two of them were, as mentioned, spinoffs from various anime, and were purchased more for completions' sake than any particular enjoyment of the series.  I'd been seeing another title show up in my "recommended for you" list, one I'd never heard of before.  I did some digging, and found that it had almost universal praise... which really doesn't mean anything, since most of the reviews I saw were written by people who had read scanalations and liked them.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any reviews from readers who had gone into the series blind... probably because most people aren't idiots like that.  I supposed I could have gone to one of those manga download sites, but I really don't like to do that for two reasons.  One, my monitor isn't tall enough for that; either everything is too small (fit to screen) or you have to scroll uncomfortably (full size).  Reason two is a little more serious: every single darn time I've ventured to a manga aggregator site, I've gotten multiple computer icks that have usually required a full nuking of the hard-drive and reinstall of Windows.  Every.  Single.  Time. 

Which pretty much leaves me no choice but to be one of Those Guys at Barneys and Ignobles, the ones who sit in the manga section, reading the newest volume of Naruto and blocking the walkway for the real customers, oh and leaving the entire section so completely disorganized that you couldn't find what you're looking for anyway.  Not that I'm bitter or anything.  Or go into a series cold, cross my fingers and hope for good luck.  In a medium that proves that Ted Sturgeon was an optimist, no less.  Well, it wasn't going to be terribly expensive, so I went ahead and ordered 'em up.

At this point, I'm going to point out that the manga in question has some mature themes and some flat-out NSFW imagery.  While most of my post is NOT going to be NSFW, the possibility exists that I may mention some stuff that won't be family friendly.  For those who might be offended by this, I leave you with this picture and wish you a pleasant period of time (as opposed to a "good evening" or "nice morning", because I don't know when you're reading this).

What type of flower is this, hmmmmmm?  Might there be some significance to my choice?
For everybody else, come on along in.

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