I didn't expect to like this show. Girls on motorcycle-like things? With an evil dictator-level government dominating the world? Feh... I've seen it already, when it was called Bubblegum Crisis (or BGC2040 for that matter). It was good then, but RideBack ain't no BGC.
It might be better. It's hard to say after just two episodes, of course. Rin, our heroine, is less Priss and more Linna, which is a good thing... I didn't much like Priss in either version of BGC, to be frank.
Here's the kicker: Rin is the talented daughter of a prima ballerina, but she retires from ballet after tearing the ligaments in one of her ankles. Tah-dah, she discovers the world of RideBacks: half-motorcycle, half-mecha, that she can make DANCE. Literally. The screenshot above is as she finishes a pirouetting leap off the wall of the building behind her... at 70mph.
Yeah, the concept sounded lame to me, too. But I'll admit it: I like it more than Kurokami right now.
What I saw, mostly, looked interesting. The problem is that there's a lot of pretentious conspiracy-politics stuff that's shoved in amongst the nifty racing parts. I don't quite know what the series is trying to be. As an opening to a sports anime series, the mecha-motorcycle parts are pretty good. I'm also normally pretty good with conspiracy-political anime. I just don't want to switch in the middle of a series.
Posted by: Civilis at January 31, 2009 08:20 PM (MaBrD)
During training for the first manned Apollo mission, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee were strapped into their seats in capsule CM-012. The air in the capsule had been replaced by a 100% oxygen atmosphere, as was the standard procedure. Communications between the astronauts and the ground crew were interrupted briefly by the sound of a voltage transient. Ten seconds later...
"Hey!" "Fire!" "We've got a fire in the cockpit!" "Fire in the cockpit!" "We've got a bad fire! Let's get out! We're burning up! We're on fire! Get us out of here!"
Seventeen seconds after the first indication of fire from the crew, a scream of pain was cut short as the capsule ruptured from a massive pressure spike caused by the fire. After that, it took five minutes to open the capsule's hatch from the outside; nobody ever thought that the hatch would need to be opened in a hurry by the launch tower crew. The hatch was designed to swing inwards, and because of the overpressure caused by the fire, the astronauts were unable to pull it open.
The inside of the capsule was a charred ruin. The three astronauts had become the first Americans to die in a space vehicle on January 27, 1967.
The Sole Survivor.
On December 7th, 1941, the strongest navy in the world was undoubtably theNihon Kaigunof Japan. Foremost in this powerhouse were the fleet's 10 aircraft carriers. Carrying the best, most experienced pilots, flying the best fighter and torpedo bomber and a dive bomber that was very nearly the equal of the best, this striking force ran roughshod over the Pacific Ocean.
By the end of the war, however, all of the carriers in the fleet at the beginning had been sent to the bottom of the ocean by the "Big Blue Blanket" of the US Navy. All, that is, except for one... the Sole Survivor. Ironically, it was the smallest, slowest, oldest, least capable of Japan's flattops, the Hosho.
The Hosho was also the first ship ever built from the keel up as an aircraft carrier, commissioned on December 27th, 1922, 13 months before the HMS Hermes, the first ship designed as a CV, took to the water.
As the first carrier in the Japanese navy, it was influential in many ways, serving as a testbed for experimental methods that later became standard operational procedures for the fleet. Experience gained from the Hosho's construction and service influenced the conversion of the Kaga and Akagi, and led directly to the design of the Ryujo.
By the time of Pearl Harbor, however, the Hosho was only just barely able to operate with the rest of the fleet. She was too small and slow to be able to handle the modern Zero, Kate and Val planes, and was only just able to fly the A5M Claude off her deck in the best of situations (fresh headwinds with a relatively calm sea). As this combination was rare at best, and the Claude was obsolete as a whole and rapidly retired, this quickly left the Hosho without a fighter it could carry. During the Battle of Midway, where she gave the battleships of Yamamoto's Main Body a tiny organic air capability, the Hosho was carrying eight B4Y Jean torpedo bombers.
After Midway, the Japanese fleet was desperate for carrier decks. Despite this, the Hosho was removed from active duty as a combatant on June 20th, 1942. She was then used exclusively for landing exercises and carrier training in the Inland Sea of Japan. She very nearly escaped the war unharmed.
On March 19th, 1945, while operating near the battleship Yamato in the Inland Sea, the Hosho was attacked by seven planes. She suffered either a small bomb or a rocket hit that punched a few small holes in her flight deck, losing six crewmen in the process. The war revisited the Hosho on July 24th, 1945, when she was attacked in harbor on July 24th, 1945, and she reportedly took one hit for scant damage.
After the war ended, she was used as a troop carrier to bring Japanese soldiers home from Wotje and Jaluit. Struck from the list in 1946, she was finally broken up for scrap on May 1st, 1947.
Duck U. Anime Club Rides Again!
Well, who woulda thunk it? On February 1st, the two-years-dead Duck U. Anime Club is going to rise from the ashes and give it another go. The difference this time is that this one is almost exclusively student-driven, which is really exciting to me.
Last time around, I started the DUAC so I could have some people to watch anime with. I did the recruiting, the posters, the viewing-rights-obtaining from the anime companies (ADV good, Bandai very very bad), the scheduling, the room reservations, and act as Advisor to the club, and enough people showed up to make it worthwhile. The only thing I didn't do was decide where the budget was going to go... though I still had to sign off on every purchase (i.e., pizza and beverages for the club meetings). It was fun, but I wasn't particularly unhappy to see it fade away; it was a lot of effort for not a whole bunch of reward (though the plaque from the club proclaiming me to be 'the best advisor a club could have' was pretty nice).
This time, though, two students independently came to me about getting the band back together, and while I was happy that there was interest there, I wanted it to be clear that I would only be the advisor this time... everything else was up to them. Mainly this'll mean that I get to make the final call on shows watched: nothing offensive or explicit (no Elfen Lied, mores the pity, no hentai, no Hellsing Ultimate... and really no Dokuro-chan). Other than that, the success or failure of the club is in their hands. The fact that the two of them are freshman and sophmore gives me hope that it'll last for a while.
One clever idea they've already had is that the club will meet for about six hours on Saturday mornings. The original concept was to blow thru an entire series (or two) every week... which is possible, sure, but I know that I get 'show fatigue': an inability to watch more than five or six episodes at a time (and that's for my favorites, like ARIA, Kanon '06 or Azumanga Daioh... it's a lot less for others). I suggested they try three shows in 2-hour blocks instead. That way, people can come for part of a series and still not miss out if they have to leave... or they could come for a genre they're fond of (i.e., giant robots) and leave when it shifts to something they don't like (i.e., highschool romance), for example.
We'll see what happens, though I'm cautiously optimistic at this time. It seems the two students driving this have talked to quite a few people, so this might actually work. Keep your wingtips crossed!
Do you have any experience with anime clubs? If you have any suggestions, leave 'em in the comments!
Actually, no, I'm not considered faculty, but staff members can also be advisors, as long as their field of knowledge is appropriate to the club. The head of IT at Duck U., for example, is the advisor to the computer club.
And it's certain that I know more about anime than the U's faculty combined, so why NOT me? Duck U. is a small school; it's learned to take advantage of all of its institutional knowledge, no matter who it comes from.
I'm sure there are some Universities where this would be heresy.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 25, 2009 12:49 AM (sh9fy)
It's the new semester at Duck U., and that means one thing:
BOOK RUSH AT THE DUCK U. BOOKSTORE! PANIC!!! FLEE IN TERROR!!!AIEEEEEEEEEE!!!
As a result, I'm somewhat worn down. On Tuesday, the first day of rush, we had our second-busiest sales day ever... and it felt like it. In one day, we did a sizable percentage of the Bookstore's annual sales.
A reasonable representation of how I felt after close of business on Tuesday.
Fortunately, the worst of rush is pretty much over. One or two more days of being quite busy, and it'll slow down again.
Shortly thereafter, however, the store manager will go on maternity leave, as she is due to expel her parasite (currently named "Squishy") February 8th. So it may not really slow down at all for Wonderduck! Oog.
A reasonable representation of how I'm going to feel in late March.
That was awesome. How does one find something like that?
Posted by: arson55 at January 21, 2009 05:25 AM (i4N0z)
...oh, wow. That totally made my morning, thank you!
Posted by: GreyDuck at January 21, 2009 08:34 AM (o5Lvb)
Arson, it was a case of me being on youtube, throwing clips of ukeleilei music at Brickmuppet (because he loves it so), and following one link to another to another to... that.
Sometimes, you just get lucky.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 21, 2009 11:51 PM (sh9fy)
Done for a TV show, and there's more. This site has links to since-pulled Youtube copies of Jailhouse Rock and We Will Rock You. Searching for the show's name "é¡Œåã®ãªã„éŸ³æ¥½ä¼š" (Orchestra Without A Name) should find some of the things that they did over the years, subject to the usual copyright takedowns.
The same idea was attempted by The Buddha Lounge Ensemble, whose stuff is available on iTunes. It's more "electronic with some Japanese instruments", sadly.
Posted by: J Greely at January 30, 2009 11:25 AM (2XtN5)
F1 Pr0n: Williams FW31 + Renault R29!
Two rollouts today, both so low-key that pictures are really thin on the ground. How scarce? Williams posted renderings of their car on their website, that's how scarce! Well, let's take a look, shall we?
Okay, not a rendering, granted. It's also the only decent photo of the Williams FW31 available. As much as I like the color scheme, it won't stay that way for the season, alas. Now for a rendering...
Wow. Exciting, huh? I'll keep looking, maybe I can actually dig up a REAL photo or two.
I'm still trying to figure out what idiot got the idea that Keita was a computer programmer and he lost an arm that she replaced. Was no one actually watching the show when they came up with that?
Just goes to indicate that we can't really depend on pre-season reviews to determine whether a given season is going to sink, suck, or sail. So far, I'm not terribly disappointed like I expected, thanks largely to Kurokami and Druaga.
Unfortunatly, neither Yoichi nor Akikan is supplying my minimum weekly supply of fun and fanservice. I may be forced to queue up GSNK and watch Mayu in re-runs, so I can't claim this season is any good; it's just not quite the disaster we expected.
Still, I wonder if we can claim the anime bittorent market has collapsed and apply for federal bailout money?
Posted by: ubu at January 20, 2009 04:33 PM (i7ZAU)
I think, Ubu, that the whole arm thingy happened in the manga. Why they didn't carry it over to the anime, I dunno. Would seem to be quite the dramatic event, no?
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 20, 2009 07:51 PM (sh9fy)
F1 Pr0n: McLaren MP4-24!
I have to admit that I'm disappointed with McLaren's rollout today. Practically no glamour shots (which makes the job of presenting F1 Pr0n difficult), just a car on an angled podium. Still, it's the new edition of the Glare On Wheels, so here we go...
A more involved nosewing than that on the Toyota and Ferrari with a two-element flap system (the red parts). Only the upper unit can be adjusted however, as per the tech regs.
Coldcoldcoldcoldcoldcold I've lived in Duckford since 1976, and they say that back in 1978, it got this cold. Except the listed temp is at 8am... and it was -30 last night.
I've been colder; I did live in MN for two years whilst I attended grad school, and we had one night when it got down to -50 (and the police were on the radio stations saying "do not go outside, you will die."). But that's just quibbling: once it gets this cold, a few fewer degrees just doesn't make a difference; oh, your frozen corpsesickle might take a little bit longer to thaw out at -50, but that's about it.
Duck U. is closed today, due to the cold. I'd be happier if I didn't already have the day off (I'm working on Saturday), but jeez, it's chilly out there. Later this afternoon when the temps are above zero, I'm going to have to see if the Duckmobile will start. It did pretty well yesterday morning, and it was -15 then.
Did I mention? Coldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcold!
There is cold, and there is too cold. That is definitely too cold.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 16, 2009 11:30 AM (PiXy!)
No disagreement. It's up to -12 now at noon, but it feels warmer than that... big bright sun, it feels like it's a balmy 5 or 6 degrees above zero!
One of my roomies back in MN told me a story about a trip he took to Duluth, way up north in the state. His car had an electric oil heater on it, and one night he plugged it into one of those orange extension cords... y'know, the type you probably have in your garage somewhere?
Overnight, it got so cold that the extension cord froze. When he went to unplug his car, it broke apart in his hand. Rubber coating, copper wires, just shattered.
I don't know if I really believe it, but after some of the nights up there, it probably isn't impossible.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 16, 2009 12:29 PM (sh9fy)
Rubber freezes at -30 celcius. Looks like you could do it....
Posted by: ubu roi at January 16, 2009 09:29 PM (n1b8C)
I heard on the news that Chicago had closed ice skating rinks because it was too cold.
Don't know if this is the reason, but you can't skate on ice if it's too cold. The ice melts under the pressure of your skates, which is what lets you, uh, skate, but if it's too cold it doesn't melt and you just fall over.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 20, 2009 10:12 AM (PiXy!)
Of course, if you're me, you just fall over regardless.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 20, 2009 10:12 AM (PiXy!)
The F1 rollouts continued today with Toyota debuting their 2009 charger, the TF109, with a full multimedia blitz. If you're interested in seeing their faux-movie trailer, The 2009 Contender, just click HERE. There's some very well-done movies there, including a video of glamour shots that's actually well-worth watching if you like F1 Pr0n. Jarno Trulli's acting will amaze you...
According to the 2009 Technical Regulations, the KERS may be used at any time during the race, but the total energy use per lap "may not exceed 400kJ." The relevant Sporting Regulations entry only says that the KERS cannot gain power when the car is unmoving (i.e., in the pits).
Near as I can tell then, it can be charged and ready to go when the lights go out, as long as it charges on the track. Leastwise, the rules don't specifically prevent it, and even if the KERS was bone-dry when the car left the pits, it'd get two full laps (recon and formation) to charge before the race started.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 15, 2009 08:51 PM (sh9fy)
Be Seeing You.
Patrick McGoohan, best known as Number 6 in the legendary TV program The Prisoner, passed away today at the age of 80.
It's a bloody shame that the show isn't better known. It's very surreal, and would probably be quite popular these days. You can see a lot of its influence in programs like Lost and 24. There's a remake of The Prisoner coming from ITV, probably this year, but I can't imagine it'll be anywhere near as interesting... I'll be watching, though.
Ah, the mk1 Sprite... shame they had to spoil it when the mk2/MG midget came along.
Someone tried to make an updated version a few years ago (looked exactly the same, was a fibreglass copy of the bodywork on a kitcar chassis IIRC), sadly they went under very quickly.
Would rather have a A-H 3000 (mk3) myself though
Posted by: Andy Janes at January 14, 2009 01:02 PM (ipVhF)
Mal, the car that was sold at the B-J (not the one in the picture above) went for $21000. For a while there, it was the second-highest seller of the day, beaten only by the car that went before it, a 1957 BMW Isetta that went for $45000.
Mind you, the Isetta is a one-door, one-cylinder microcar...
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 14, 2009 07:56 PM (sh9fy)
It's rollout season for the F1 Circus, and as is usually the case, Ferrari is first out the gate. This year, however, it actually means something, as this is our first official look at the new aerodynamic rules on a car.
The way that front wing is placed, if anything goes wrong with it, it's going under the front tires. It seems more accident prone than the previous ones were, and the piece that's going under the tires is gonna be bigger. But yeah, it looks a lot cleaner, overall.
Seems they changed the front suspension quite a lot. And it looks to me like the wheelbase is wider. Is that just an optical illusion?
I think it's an optical illusion. I don't remember seeing any rules changes regarding the wheelbase or -width. It doesn't help that the comparison photos aren't to scale with the F60. The suspension for sure is different, but that may not be a rules change, it might just be Ferrari deciding to build in a different suspension style.
Regarding the wing going under the tires, yeah, probably so. Last year, though, it was the wing going under the forward fuselage and jacking the front wheels off the ground, so the result is the same. That first turn at Melbourne should be interesting...
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 12, 2009 11:48 PM (sh9fy)
The Amazing Sneaky Christmas Gift
To refresh everybody's memories, this past Thursday I took Momzerduck and The Librarian out to dinner. It was the first time they'd met, but they'd been exchanging e-mails for some months. It turned out that they had been secretly planning a joint Christmas gift for yours truly... and it was mindblowingly awesome.
Kurokami The Animation: First Episode Review.Kurokami (aka "Black God") has a curious history. Originally a manga, it was written by a Korean manhwa (Korea's version of manga) team specifically for the Japanese market. The authors, humorously, don't entirely know Japanese, a fact they make fun of in the omakes at the end of the books. The anime (produced by Sunrise), however, is the first ever to be broadcast simultaneously in Japan and America (on ImaginAsian TV, dubbed). So, what of the show?
The milk is expired.
This is our hero, Keita. He appears to be just a regular guy, a 17-year-old high-school student who lives alone. His mother was killed in a traffic accident when he was young, an incident which he witnessed. Seems she saw her doppleganger, and ran across the street to... I dunno. "Wow, you look just like me," seems like an odd way to greet a stranger, but that's just me. Anyway, while he lives alone, his 21-year old childhood friend, Akane, takes care of him, cooking and giving him money to live... an odd arrangement.
Onii-chan, why is my forehead so big?
The family next door seem to like Keita, inviting him over to dinner. Mei, the little girl, is disappointed when he turns them down.
He does have one little eccentricity, however. After school, he hops on his collapsable bike and rides down to the 'bad side' of town, a section of the city that seems to have suffered from some calamity (earthquake?) that's broken highways and submerged some of it, too. Well, it IS pretty when the streetlights come on...
Not a chance in Hades is it your type of show, Steven. Too many dead girls (one on-screen, one off, and then there's Keita's mom, which was also onscreen-ish)...
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 11, 2009 01:55 AM (sh9fy)
Looks pretty freaking sweet. I have to comment on the release scheme, though: it's definitely historic, but I doubt it will mean a lot to most stateside fans. iaTV is only available to cable subscribers in a few select markets, and for most of those I suspect it's locked away in a premium tier. If they're trying to steal a march on the fansubbers, this is just about the worst way of going about it; they've actually succeeded in nullifying one of the major reasons to wait for the R1 DVD release by airing it dubbed. I'd buy this from BOST or Crunchyroll in a heartbeat, but I couldn't get iaTV even if I were willing to pay for cable.
Posted by: Andrew F. at January 11, 2009 03:20 PM (uN3cC)
That show does look intriguing...and actually my kind of show.
Posted by: arson55 at January 11, 2009 05:07 PM (i4N0z)
I was thinking this was a lost season, but I hadn't tried this one. Maybe it's worth a shot.
Anything else good this winter? I was thinking of giving White Album a shot but I haven't seen any opinions yet good or bad.
Posted by: astro at January 11, 2009 07:20 PM (OFLem)
I'm way behind on the new shows, Astro. I took a real fast look at White Album, and the chins looked awfully pointy, but other than that I've got no opinion yet. Also no opinion on Asu no Yoichi or Maria+Holic. I DO have opinions on KissXSis (ugh) and Akikan (blech), though...
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 11, 2009 10:13 PM (sh9fy)
White Album is... different. One of those shows that I'd never guess to be a bishoujo game adaptation if I didn't know beforehand. Artsy, but in a restrained sort of way; the watercolor (?) effect shots are nice. After two episodes it's just interesting enough for me to keep watching, no more. Given the otherwise slim pickings this season, though, I'd say it's worth checking out.
Posted by: Andrew F. at January 12, 2009 07:59 PM (uN3cC)
Agree fully on Black God. It was brutal, an adjective I've used only for the vampire kids' arc in Second Barrage. (Although that one was horribly nihilistic as well, so it still has the edge.) It's obvious that Keita is still traumatized by his mother's death, and it's why he refuses to get close to anyone. Now in short order, he's had two people he knows as well as he knows anyone die -- one right in front of him.
The set-up was classic -- the rule of threes is in effect, so you know she's doomed the moment the light changes and she runs out... yet it's handled so violently it's still shocking when it happens.
I note that it has little or nothing to do with the description I read at Aroudoc's place, although the flashback sequence from the beginning makes me think there might be a time-skip of a couple years coming up. That's just crazy speculation though.
Posted by: ubu at January 13, 2009 01:41 PM (i7ZAU)