May 21, 2017

Random Anime Picture# 128: Ridiculous School Outfit

Even from a medium where over-the-top school uniforms are the norm, this has got to take the cake:

-Roku de Nashi Majutsu Kōshi to Akashic Records, Ep01

Seriously?  Come on, Japan... really?  The best and oldest magic academy in the most powerful country in the world, magically, and they dress their female students in that?  Forget about the practicality or lack thereof of a uniform like that, how in the world could the school expect the male students to concentrate?

Unlikely uniforms aside, there's not much new to this show.  Which doesn't mean it's not entertaining, because I'm enjoying it a lot.  It's just that we've seen it before.  It's a relatively pretty series when it gets the chance to be, but again, nothing earth-shattering.  It's one of those titles that will be forgotten shortly after the last episode airs.  It will serve its purpose, selling light novels, and that's all it'll be.  There's no shame in not being an awesome, awe-inspiring, game-changing series... most of them aren't.  Still, I like it.

I'm not sure why.  I'll have to keep watching to figure it out.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:39 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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March 05, 2017

Random Anime Picture# 127: Just For The Record


-Interviews With Monster Girls, Ep09

Still the best thing airing this season, and an early contender for Anime of the Year.  It has yet to put a single foot wrong, and I can't imagine how it would given where the story stands.  Just a marvelously fun series.

And when the character I expected to be the weakest of the bunch is the one that's quickly becoming the MVP?   That's just a bonus.  Really, you need to be watching this.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:41 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 11, 2017

Random Anime Picture# 126: Cheesecake Too!


-Hatsukoi Limited, ED
There are days when you plan and scheme and get everything you need to accomplish done.  And then there are days like today, where I got nothing done at all except sleep, and not even much of that.  The plan was to finish up the requested "Why A Duck?" post.  Instead, I did bupkis, and you get this post.

I mean, there are worse things that could have happened, I suppose.  It's just not what the plan was.  A lot of that going around, I think.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:57 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 01, 2017

Random Anime Picture #125: Cheesecake!


-Seiren, Ep02 ED
Why?  What, when did I start needing a reason to post cheesecake?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:51 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 22, 2016

Random Anime Picture #124: Reflections


-ARIA the Natural, Ep12
On the whole, today had to be listed in the "horrible" category.  But it's amazing how just one episode of ARIA is enough to take the edge off.  It didn't fix anything, it doesn't make things better... but it was enough to remind me that things aren't totally terrible.  And I guess that's enough, isn't it?

Akari Mizunashi, mad scientist.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:34 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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September 08, 2016

Random Anime Picture #123: Obsolete


-ReLife, Ep06
The year was 1994 and Our Hero was working at the Big Blue Electronics Retailer in the music department.  One day, the department head asked if I'd like to spend a day in Chicago with her at a training day.  Well, heck, why not?  I'll get paid for it after all, and probably get a lunch out of the deal to boot.  As we drove in the next day, I asked what the training was on.  "Sony is releasing something new that we're going to be carrying.  Some new music format."  Oh swell, another one.  I quickly changed my tune when the training started, for the format we were talking about was the MiniDisc.

I instantly fell in love with the beast.  Magneto-optical data storage, anywhere from 74 to 80 minutes of re-recordable digital-quality music?  Be still my beating heart!  The more I heard, the more I liked it, and I learned everything there was to know about them that day.  They were, to me, flawless.  Except for a few tiny little problems.  And by "tiny little", I mean "gargantuan monster".

The first was the price.  There were two player/recorders available, one home-based, the other portable, and both were ridiculously expensive.  I mean, when you could buy three or four CD players for the same cost as the home unit, you know there's a problem.  The second was the size.  The home unit was normal, well able to fit in a home stereo system, but the portable?  It was very heavy, to the point that most of the people that bought them just used them at home because... well, it wasn't going to threaten the walkman/discman for portability, y'know?  The final and quite possibly worst problem was available media.  Only a few record labels were supporting the format; when we received our first shipment of pre-recorded MDs, they took up maybe two feet of display space... and that was a sizable percentage of all the MDs ever released.  Meanwhile, CDs and cassettes took up dozens upon dozens of yards of space, with music of any sort you'd care to think of.  Audiophiles loved the thing, though.  We had one guy who bought just about every classical MD we carried, and more besides, for example.  Here's the thing: he was pretty much the only customer we had for the thing.  And at that, we were still one of the top-selling MD stores in the central region of the country.

Eventually we stopped carrying MiniDiscs.  Sadly, it wasn't until the new century that the format started to get attention... just in time for MP3 players and the new thing called the iPod to appear on the market.  Still, Sony kept supporting the thing until 2011, when they finally stopped selling it altogether.  It's still a brilliant piece of kit, though... I wish I had one.  Alas, while that training class did give away a few portable units, I didn't get one.  I still have the Sony messenger bag, though!  Yes, 22 years later, it found a new life... as a case for my laptop. 

Yes, if there was ever a piece of equipment that was just flat-out unlucky, it was the MiniDisc.  Sadly.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:07 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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August 18, 2016

Random Anime Picture #122: This Is Fine, Too.


-Re:Zero, Ep06

Why am I watching Re:Zero?  Sure, the plot is intriguing, the hero is actually coping with his predicament, what we know of the world is solid enough, and the surrounding characters range from "that's a thing" to "top knotch."

But let's face it: the twin maids Rem and Ram should be arrested for grand theft, for they've bloody well stolen the show for me, for reasons that should be obvious.  Does that make me shallow?  I can't claim to care.

Because, I mean, damn.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:14 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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August 11, 2016

Random Anime Picture #121: It's A Cat. No, Seriously.


-Amanchu, Ep03
I've come to the conclusion that, despite all the talent and skill she has at drawing everything else ever,  Kozue Amano simply cannot draw a cat to save her life.  Well, that's okay.  She gave us ARIA, so she gets a huge free pass in my book.

Really.  It's a cat.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:01 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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July 14, 2016

Random Anime Picture #120: Pbpbpbppbpbpbpbpbpbttttthhhhhhhhhh!


-ReLife, Ep06
Review inbound once I finish the series, but initial reaction is "I did not expect this to be that good."  Because I did not expect ReLife to be this good at all.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:36 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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July 12, 2016

Random Anime Picture #119: Dark Mistress Of The Kitchen


-Shokugeki no Soma, S2E02
The second season of everybody's favorite semi-orgasmic fighting anime based on Iron Chef is in full swing, and while the hat-tip to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure may not have been to everybody's tastes (like mine), it's hard to deny the appeal of Mirror Universe Megumi.  Seriously, I hate this art style:

Ew.
We saw Delinquent Megumi briefly in S1, though to be honest I don't remember the context, but I DO remember both laughing and being intrigued by this less-than-wholesome version of our favorite co-main character.  And by "intrigued," I mean "grr stampa-stampa!"

I repeat: grr stampa-stampa!
All of which is to say, yup, nothing has changed from last season.  If you watched the first season of SnS and liked it, you've got no reason to avoid this one.  However, if you didn't like SnS, there's probably something wrong with you and you should get that looked at by a doctor... but you'll continue to not like this season.  Though you'll dislike it half as much, since reportedly there's only going to be 12 episodes this time around.

But how could you dislike this?  You'd just be evil and cruel.  Remember: she even has a rubber duckie.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:45 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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May 22, 2016

Random Anime Picture #118: Quick, Henry, the Flit!


-Strike Witches: Victory Arrow, OVA#03
I don't know when or where I first heard of Flit.  I assume it was in The Calculus Affair, one of the best Tintin stories around.  I wouldn't have known what it was, y'know, but I would have instinctively accepted it and moved on.  "Spray Flit, bugs die."  The perfect example of this unswerving acceptance of anything Tintin said as true was in... um... The Red Sea Sharks, I think.  At one point, Tintin describes a fighter plane as a "Mosquito."  I just assumed that was a nickname for all fighter planes (I was very young when I learned to read using Tintin...).

As it turned out, Tintin was referring to a very particular aircraft, the DeHavilland Mosquito, but I didn't know that.  To this day, I still think of fighter planes as "mosquitoes", though only to myself. 

FLIT!  Right, right.  Back to that.  I didn't really know what Flit was, just that it killed bugs.  That sprayer ("a flit gun") though... that's iconic.  I wonder what Tintin would think of Strike Witches?   And suddenly I feel this desperate need for a crossover...

Posted by: Wonderduck at 03:00 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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May 13, 2016

Random Anime Picture #117: Skydiving


-ARIA the Avvenire OVA 2
Man, reentry when you're wearing a full-length dress has got to be an iron-clad beeyotch, that's all I've gotta say.

Akari's unfortunate experience with lithobraking had some serious consequences for Aqua.  Nuclear winter just can't compare to the horror that is Undine Winter.  Mars will never be the same... again.

Okay, yes, I'm joking.  It's ARIA, you think something bad happened?  There were three series, an OVA, multiple picture dramas, the manga, and of course the Avvenire, and I can't think of a single negative thing that occurred in any of them.  When the closest I can come is the retirement of Aria Company's original Black Gondola, you know it's a cheerful series.  Unless you count my picture of Grandma as a retired Kancolle shipgirl, that is.

Just go watch.  If you're a fan of ARIA, you've already seen it, of course, but watch it again.  It's worth it, if only for the effort the animators put into Akari's long plummet.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:17 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 25, 2016

Random Anime Picture #116: The End Of Cinderella Girls

I did not expect them to be eaten by mini-Godzilla.

-iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, Ep04

I am of the opinion that I'm missing something with this show, perhaps even more than with the original Idolmaster series.  Kinda like how Kantai Collection is filled with references that only make sense if you've played the game, I'm guessing that I'm only getting half the story here.  Maybe someone who's actually played it can pipe up... I think I remember seeing that The Man Called Author played it... and tell me if that's really the case. 

Maybe he can also explain why Anastasia isn't the main character in the show.

Because, ye gods and little fishies, she's certainly my most popular.  She's no Chihaya, of whom I even have a figma, but she ain't far behind.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:23 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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April 20, 2016

Random Anime Picture #115: Oh Dear


-Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls, Ep02

I've always had a weird thing with the iDOLM@STER franchise.  I don't dislike it, but I've never been particularly impressed by any of the shows I've seen... or any of the "idol builder"-based shows, really.  Then again I've also never played the games, but from what I've seen/read about them, I could see myself getting caught up in the whole rigamarole.

One thing I appreciate about the shows are the way they get the "backstage" parts right.  Performers, particularly first-timers, get the jitters while the tech crew goes about their jobs with a staid professionalism, unnoticed and only rarely appreciated.  Not that I'm bitter or anything about that detail.

Maybe it'll keep my interest.  Maybe not.  We'll see.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:30 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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March 25, 2016

Random Anime Picture #114: Bleeeeeeeeeh!


-Konosuba, Ep03

So over at Ubu's place, and might I say that it's mighty good to see him blogginatin' with some frequency again, he was talking about this oddball show called, and I quote, "Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!"

As that's quite the mouthful, some bright spark shortened it to "Konosuba" and we'll leave it at that.  Anyway, it's a sendup of the old "dead useless guy is brought back to life in another world to save it from The Evil" plot.  In this case, dead useless guy is still useless, and the harem party he forms around him are ridiculously powerful... and totally useless.

Like the paladin Crusader that's so clumsy that she literally cannot hit anything offensively.  She does, however make a great wall.  Good thing she's a masochist.  Or the wizard who is strong enough to cast the most powerful offensive spell, "Explosion."  Except when she does, it uses all of her power for the entire day... can't even stand up afterwards.  Oh, did I mention that it's the only spell she knows?  Terrible against a single enemy... not bad against hordes of flying cabbages, however.

Why would you think I'd joke about something like that?

Then there's the Goddess.  I mean that literally: she's an actual Goddess.  She's great at using holy water for healing purposes, and for being eaten by giant toads, but otherwise?  Dumb as a box of hair, and totally incompetent.

Then there's the lass up at the top of this post, Chris the Thief.  She actually appears to be useful.  We meet her at the beginning of Ep03, then the flying cabbages come and she disappears.  Totally gone, and nobody seems to notice or care. 

It's managed to keep my attention through three episodes... so there's that, I suppose.  It's not high art, but it's okay.

Yes, praising with faint damns, I know.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:00 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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March 13, 2016

Random Anime Picture #114: Forgotten, Or Outgrown?


-Love Hina, Ep01

So what happened to Love Hina, anyway?  It went from ridiculously popular to viewed with some vague distaste by a large segment of the community, on those rare occasions its mentioned at all.  Heck, it was even one of the first series available via digital fansub.

It's goofy, it's fun, it's got plenty of fanservice, but at its core its a romance between two people that are perfect for each other, but can't quite admit it to themselves yet.  While I think the manga is better than the anime, I enjoy them both.

So why the dislike for the series?  Is it the violence perpetrated upon the main character?  Do people think the animation hasn't aged well?  Or is it just too goofy anymore?  It's a classic series, though nobody will put it on any best-of-all-time lists.  It's a heckuva romp, though.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:04 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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March 05, 2016

Random Anime Picture #113: The Smile That Sank A Thousand Abyssals


-Kantai Collection, Ep12
Because everybody needs more Mutsu in their lives.

To be fair, however: if Mutsu hadn't've been there to keep my morale up during the Kancolle writeups...

...Kirishima would have done quite nicely.  Just sayin'.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:05 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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March 03, 2016

Random Anime Picture #112: SPAAAAAAAAAACE!


-Planetes Ep01
Because even in the future, astronauts wear diapers.  And top hats.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:43 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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February 13, 2016

Random Anime Picture #111: Perspective


-Shokugeki no Soma, Ep18
Attack of the giant booties!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:59 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 08, 2016

Random Anime Picture #110: Reluctance


-ARIA the Avvenire, Ep01
I'm finding myself reluctant to write the review of the first of three new ARIA episodes.  Not because I don't want to, but because of how much I love the series.  Watching this special episode, particularly after years of thinking I'd never get to spend more time with these characters, was an intensely personal experience.  Don't worry, I will do it, I'm just trying to figure out how to make it feel right without gushing.

If you're a fan of ARIA, you should have watched it by now.  If you've never seen the franchise, this is a good time to start watching.  If you're NOT a fan of ARIA... well... um...

I welcome all sorts of people to The Pond.  Some of my best friends don't like Azumanga Daioh, for example.  I'd like to think I'm open-minded enough that I could get along with someone who doesn't like calm, peaceful stories about female gondolieri on Mars. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:59 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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