August 16, 2011

Random Anime Picture #66: Working On It

I'm getting annoyed with myself.  While I've turned out some okay stuff recently here at The Pond, more often than not I find that I'm more whining about work than writing about something interesting.  So, yes, I'm annoyed with myself.

Not annoyed enough to be able to stop whining, but annoyed.  So instead of moaning, kvetching and complaining (and I totally expected FireFoxy to give me the red squiggly line under "kvetching", but it didn't), instead I'm going to give you something to look at.  Here you go:

-High School Of The Dead, ep08

And really, that's all you need to know about HSotD... which I really liked.  One of these days, I'll get around to giving the show a full review... maybe an episodic one?... but until then, you'll have to be content with a lack of content.  Or something.

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August 11, 2011

Random Anime Picture #65: Ptui!


Work is the story of my life right now.  Pulled an 11-hour day on Wednesday, and rewarded myself by coming in only 20 minutes early today!  Woo!  Sunday is my last day off until August 27th, meaning I'll get one day off between August 8th and August 27th.  Double-yay!

Well, at least The Librarian came over tonight.  Lots of banter, no anime, which is fine too.  She's got the annual Anime Club Overnight + Pockypalooza event starting Friday evening, so she borrowed a few DVDs from me: the first four discs of Cardcaptor Sakura and Summer Wars.  Time for the kids to see what good anime is really like.  Oh, and there's Keroro Gunso, too... I gather Funimation donated the show to The Librarian's library.  Very cool of them, that.  Don't envy her, though... 13 or 14 hours of being cooped up with teenagers?  Yeesh.

Enough babbling.

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August 05, 2011

Random Anime Picture #64: A Pleasant, Happy Show

In an attempt to distract myself from the ongoing saga of the Duck U Bookstore, I decided to watch something lighthearted, something innocuous, cheerful and fluffy.  Something like, oh I dunno...

-Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance
No, I'm not sure what I was thinking either, other than "I haven't watched this yet."  Unlike the first of the new movies, which was a faithful (but shortened) retelling of the first six episodes of the classic series, this second film strays far afield from the original source material.  It introduces a new Eva pilot, for example...

Standard RomCom "meet cute" #37: The Parachute Mishap
...then forgets about her for 45 minutes, brings her back in for a couple of moments, then misplaces her for an hour, but that's neither here nor there.  The movie also changes the personalities of the three main pilots.  Shinji is less whiny, Asuka is even more antisocial, and Rei... well, she actually has a personality.

The fight scenes are stunningly animated and amazing to watch.  They're also quite violent and brutal.  Blood, or what passes for blood in Evas and Angels, is spilled in copious amounts... and yes, the "wave of blood swamping the panel truck" scene is in here.

This is one of the tamer screencaps I could have used.
It appears that the Evas are "built" using Monty Python Black Knight Technology, as any wound suffered by the huge biomecha immediately begins spraying blood like a fire truck sprays water.  For example, there's one scene where an Eva is eaten by an Angel, the whole thing taken in one bite that severs the Eva just above the knees.  The leg stumps immediately begin spraying blood to the height of a 20-story building, and doesn't stop.  I don't know if Gainax meant that to be funny or not, but it made me laugh.

"It's merely a flesh wound!"
While there are some moments of intentional levity in Eva 2.22, on the whole it's a grim, dark, depressing film... pretty much like the original series, truth be told.  However, it's also much more tightly written, more engrossing, and less off-putting than the TV show.  I much prefer this "rebooted Eva" over the original, to be blunt.  We'll have to wait for the last two movies to see if they continue to be stronger than the series, of course... but if they are, well, Hideaki Anno will have made up for the horrible mess he made of episodes 25 & 26 of the TV show.

Oh, and Asuka gets her own version of the "toothpick scene."

Pen-Pen's gots the moves.

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July 14, 2011

Random Anime Picture #63: Toasty

Things are a little hectic at the Duck U Bookstore these days.  We're a month away from the start of the new school year, there's very nearly three tons of books being delivered to the store over the next few days, we're starting to see the first ducklings coming in to buy said books... and there is no store manager.  She got promoted to a bigger store that was 10 minutes from home (instead of the hour-long drive each way she did to work at the Duck U Bookstore), and her last day was this past Tuesday.  That leaves yours truly in charge...

...of a trained part-timer who has limited availability and two brand-new temps who are still learning how to use the cash register.  Eep.  A new manager is expected to be selected by the first week of August, but even in the best of cases it's going to be somewhat hectic around here for a while.  It's only been two days, but I'm already roughly a day and a half behind on the manager stuff... or at least, that's the way I feel.  Oh, and there's a registration day for incoming students on Saturday, it's going to be 95 degrees outside for the next week, and every single road and most of the parking lots at Duck U have been scraped to the foundations in preparation for resurfacing next week.  And my knee is making unpleasant sounds and hurts something fierce.

-Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, Ep02

I'd like to hide in a futon too.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:32 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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June 01, 2011

Random Anime Picture #62: The Last Refuge For The Lazy Wonderduck

-El Cazador de la Bruja, ep12

Just because I felt like putting up a random anime picture... its been a while, and heck, it's not like El Cazador got enough attention.  Quite a good show, from the team that brought us both NOIR and the hideous Madlax.  Yep, it's the third of the BeeTrain "girls with guns" trilogy, and the only one with a sense of humor.  It's not as polished as NOIR, but few shows are.  Well worth a watch or two.

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April 06, 2011

Random Anime Picture #61: Not Looking Good

It isn't every day an anime tells you what it thinks about itself in the first minute of the first episode...

-Sengoku Otome Momoiro Paradox, Ep01

I'd love to tell you what's going on in SOMP, but I came to the first eyecatch and realized I expected the show to be ending at that point.  When 12 minutes feels like 24, that is not a good sign.  There's a movement afoot to make this show the next RRG!-esque Bad Anime Reviews.  I don't think I can take that right now... let me have some time to regrow the dead brain cells, huh?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:55 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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January 07, 2011

Random Anime Picture #60: Gosh!

-The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie

I have a secret to reveal.

I love it when an author, or a tv show, or an anime, gives substantial time to a series' secondary characters.  I'd much rather read about Wedge Antilles, normal guy (though an extremely talented pilot), than Luke Skywalker (Jedi God).  After who-knows-how-many pages/hours/whatever we've spent learning about Our Heroes, there are times when I really like to find out more about the Second Spearcarrier On The Left... which is one of the (many) reasons I really like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.  I think that's why I prefer the second and third series in the Nanohaverse over the original: in many ways, the namesake of the show isn't the focus of the show.  Instead, the wolkenritter (in A's) and Riot Force 6 (in StrikerS) become the primary characters. 

And then I read the book, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya... and nearly wept with happiness.  No lunatic Haruhi and a story based around Nagato?  Sign me all the way up for that, please and thank you very much.  I think the book is the best of the four light novels translated and released here to date, but your mileage may vary.  Then I found out about the movie... and that Kyoto Animation was doing it, and I began to hope for the best, but prepared for the worst.  Because to put it simply, KyoAni's recent shows have been pretty 'meh' in the artwork department. 

I need not have worried.  KyoAni has returned to their pre-K-On!ification days, and the whole thing looks gorgeous as a result.  If you liked KyoAni's style from before they started to get cartoony, back when they were doing Kanon '06, the first Clannad, and the original Haruhi series, it's worth watching for that alone.

And, hey, Yuki shows actual emotion in the movie... which can't be bad, right?

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December 08, 2010

(Completely) Random Anime Picture #59

-Strike Witches 1st Series, ep04

As I'm currently working on a series of posts, tentatively titled "Wonderduck's Favorite Anime Series Of All Time," and can't be bothered to come up with something clever today, here's a picture of Gertrud Barkhorn from a series that isn't on the list, Strike Witches the first season, which is a perfectly acceptable show, but doesn't make it onto the short list of my favorite anime series of all time, and thus I end this run-on sentence.

By "(Completely) Random," I mean it.  I used a totally impartial random number generator in Virginia to give me the number of a folder I have sitting on my external hard drive, then chose an episode by waving the mouse over the episodes contained therein with my eyes closed.  Then I chose a spot in the episode, also at random, and voila!  A Barkhorn appears.  Enjoy!

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November 16, 2010

Random Anime Picture(s) #58: Continue? (Y/N)

-Amagami SS, ep16
She's welcoming you with open arms, how sweet!


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September 28, 2010

Random Anime Picture #57: Suddenly, A Sanya Appears!

-Strike Witches 2 ep12

The new series was really quite good, but it could have used more Sanya V Litvyak for my tastes.  As a lark, I went back and watched the original OVA, which I called "the greatest seven minutes of anime ever", and I discovered something...

-Strike Witches OVA's amazing what you can do with a budget.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:13 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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September 15, 2010

Random Anime Picture #56: D'AAAAWWWWWWWWWWW!

-High School of the Dead, ep11

Who's a cute widdle warrior?  Alice is, Alice is a cute widdle warrior!  Yes she is!  Yes she is! 

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:15 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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July 06, 2010

Random Anime Picture #55

-Sora no Woto, ep 7.5

A wagon-mounted gatling squirtgun created by a genius armament designer being pushed by a nun with the ammo supply carried by a trumpet player, all three of whom are drunk.  Sure, I can see that.

Actually, this DVD-only episode was really, really funny and well worth watching if you're a fan of the show.  Heck, maybe if you aren't a fan, too.  Heck, just for the facial distortions that Noël displays when she reveals her secret weapon:

Gotta love it when a person takes pride in their work...

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April 21, 2010

Random Anime Picture #54: Crossover

-Sketchbook ~full color'S~ ep13

As if having President Aria show up as a bowling alley mascot wasn't enough, Akari makes an appearance too!  Okay, sure, it's actually after the credits roll on the last episode of Sketchbook, but there she is.

There is a little bit of backstory here, of course.  Both Sketchbook and the ARIA franchise were animated by Hal Film Maker, and ARIA the Origination was their next show to air.  In fact, I seem to remember reading somewhere that they even ran in the same timeslot.

I really enjoyed Sketchbook, at least until Kate the Canadian otaku shows up.  At that point, my skin began to crawl a little bit, but not enough to truly dampen my enthusiasm for the show.  My recent rewatch of the series just confirmed that opinion, both of the show and of Kate.

If you liked ARIA or Hidamari Sketch, you'll feel right at home with Sketchbook.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:35 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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March 23, 2010

Random Anime Picture #53: Aria Bowling

For a lark, I decided to watch the first episode of Sketchbook ~full color's~ this evening.  I'd forgotten just how much I enjoyed the whole laid-back pace of the show... and then this came across my monitor:

-Sketchbook ~full color's~, Ep01
I nearly fell out of my chair, I was laughing so hard.  I completely forgot that was in there!

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March 22, 2010

Until It Is Here, Here Is Something Else

I've begun work on the writeup for the final episode of Ga-Rei Zero.  While you're waiting, please enjoy this picture.

-Hatsukoi Limited ED

Unfortunately, she never actually wears that outfit in the show...

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March 01, 2010

Random Anime Picture #52: God Emperor of Academy City?

-Railgun Ep19

Who knew they had sandtrout in the Railgun/Index world?

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January 21, 2010

Random Anime Picture #51: Obsession To Detail

-The Cockpit OVA, ep02

If there's one thing military-based anime do well, it's concentrating on the appearance of the hardware being used.  Case in point, the picture above.  That's a Mitsubishi G4M, perhaps better known by its Allied reporting code of "Betty." 

Unfortunately, Bettys were known by their crews as the "Type One Lighter," or "Cigars".  That's what happens when you put big, non-self-sealing fuel tanks in a lightly-built airplane with no armor... and then put it in the path of the Big Blue Blanket.

You may also notice that it's carrying a Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka... which is the whole point of this episode from The Cockpit.  Considering that most of the Ohkas that were carried aloft never made it to a target, and the Bettys almost invariably were shot down, the above picture seems particularly detailed.  Episode 02 also the only of the three episodes I like.  Eventually, I'll get around to a writeup like I promised back in November.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 06:25 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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November 29, 2009

Oh, Why Not?

I'm about halfway through the full rewrite of the dive bomber post.  I decided earlier this evening that I pretty much had to scrap the original version, save for the introduction: that, I kept.

So, tomorrow.  While you're waiting, another in the 'lazy blogger's best friend' series... this one behind a NSFW tag, though:


Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:57 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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November 28, 2009

By Popular Demand

Since it appears that people actually want to read my thoughts on the dive bomber as a weapons platform, I'll rewrite it on Sunday with an aim of getting it posted that night. (UPDATE: No, it'll be on Monday... I think.)

 And for once, it won't be limited to the Pacific theatre, either... though that's where the majority of the dive bombing action took place.

In fact, it's rather surprising how little dive bombing was used in Europe (other than by Germany and to a lesser extent, Italy), but we'll cover that in the post.

While you're waiting, also by demand, here's another cute girl.

-Hatsukoi Limited, BD ED

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:45 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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November 27, 2009

Well, THAT'S Two Hours Shot To Hell

I just spent two hours on a post.  A post that I thought was clever.  It wasn't.  It fails.  Miserably.  On so many different levels.  It's a treatise on how the dive bomber was an evolutionary dead-end, yet a war-winning one.  I'll be darned if I can figure out how to make it something more than "Huh huh huh me luv Dauntless durrrrrr" however.  I've saved it, so it may see the light of day sometime after a major rewrite and much sacrificing of farm animals to dark gods, but for the moment, yeeeesh!

So, instead, here's a cute girl.

-Hatsukoi Limited, ep10

See?  Everybody wins.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:03 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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