atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#505: Drivel and Blather

I'm nearing the end of He Is My Master, and it's moderately entertaining stuff. If I had bought it (particularly at first-release prices) I would have been upset--it's not that good--but it's amusing. If it's ever released here I would wait for a low-dollar thinpak release.

I notice that I never did talk about Yumetsukai after my last mention of it, which was some months ago. The ending of the series was no better than the series itself was. I was completely unimpressed with it and would not buy it even if it were commercially released here. It's just not worth the money.

Now I see that Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny has been licensed for some time. I'm not sure when I downloaded the fansubs, but at least that explains why I only have through episode seven. Anyway, that's another series I just can't care about and won't buy. I'd like to see the last five episodes but it's not going to ruin my life if I can't, and I sure as shootin' ain't gonna pay for the (dubious) privilege. Kan'u is hot and all, but not that hot.

Soon I will be watching the only extant episode of Hand Maid Mai, a spinoff of the well-known Hand Maid May series. The company which was producing Hand Maid Mai apparently went bankrupt while the series was in production. If I understand the situation correctly, the animating is finished, and the films just need post-production work, but there is no money for that, so they float in limbo. The first episode was released, hence the fansub, but the other two or three weren't.

* * *

Back when I still lived in Iowa, when my then-girlfriend and I were sharing an apartment, occasionally she would buy Bottlecaps, this pressed-sugar-lozenge candy. They're shaped like bottle caps, hence the name, and they come in a variety of flavors. She would buy a big box and eat only the root beer-flavored ones. Having been a big fan of them when I was a kid, I would eat the other ones.

At work the other night I saw them and just had to have some, so I bought a box. And I shouldn't have: I suffer from chronic hypoglycemia, and these things are pure sugar, which drives my pancreas into overdrive and makes the hypoglycemia worse. So now they sit in a Ziploc bag next to my keyboard, and they are calling out to my soul.

They're not in the Ziploc bag to "preserve freshness". They're in a Ziploc bag to keep ants out.

I've talked about the ant issue before, but something new has happened.

Last year sometime, in a typical 12-pack of Vault, I got a can which was partially filled. I keep intending to send it to the bottler (why do they call them bottlers when 70% of their business these days is in cans?) and maybe get some free soda out of them. (One can hope.) I set the can on my bookshelf, in a place that ensures I'll keep forgetting about it, because otherwise it's in the way. (I expect to get around to it eventually.)

Then it got hot.

We hit the upper 90s for several days in a row. My air conditioner was on but since we had the bushes out front pruned, my room gets more sunlight now--it got a bit warm in here. And that was when I learned that the can had not been partly filled at the factory; no: it had a pinhole leak.

It got warm in here; Vault syrup leaked from the can, made a puddle on the shelf, and drooled down the back of my TV. I don't know when it happened, because the first time I noticed it was when I was trying to get a book off that shelf. It was there for some time. I cleaned up as much as I could, but the TV weighs like 300 pounds (35" CRT; I'm not exaggerating) and I couldn't get all the way down behind it.

Anyway: the high fructose corn syrupy goodness attracted ants. I hadn't even considered that possibility for some inane reason (well, being sicker than a dog didn't help. I expect that the can erupted when I was in the Philippines, since my AC was off then) and so the first sign that I had an ant problem happened when I was trying to relax in my rocking chair, and had to kill four ants in about a 15-minute period because they were crawling on me and I was trying to relax. (Normally I just brush them off. But they really annoyed me, so they died. Sorry.)

I figure that once the ants have gotten all the Vault syrup they'll go away. But there are still a few scouts here and there, which I kill whenever I see one. And so I've done my best to remove access to everything that the ants could possibly use as food.

I'm still going to find a way to spray behind the TV, though.

* * *

I saw an ad on-line which told me that the Comic Party thinpak set is available at Best Buy. I'm going to have to check that out.

I've also had a hankering to watch The Mission for quite a while, ever since it came out on DVD, in fact. But I was unemployed when it came out on DVD, and by the time I had disposable income again it was gone from most stores. So I've been meaning to head over to the mall and go to Suncoast Video; but so far I haven't managed that.

My ex-GF--the one I shared the apartment with--was going to buy it (because of "guy with sword" on the cover) until I told her the movie wasn't a swashbuckler. (I mentioned this before. She'd buy any anime series or--apparently--any video that had a guy with a sword on the cover.) If I would have kept my mouth shut then, I'd have the DVD now, because she would have been annoyed that it wasn't a hack-and-slash fest, and I probably would have gotten to keep it. (Ah, honesty is it's own reward, anyway, and I like to be honest. So F it.)

The Mission is about Jesuit missionaries in South America; Robert De Niro plays a Conquistador who kills a man and tries to redeem himself. In the end all is for naught and the cause of saving the natives (both from slavery and Perdition) is lost. But it's a beautifully shot movie and both the writing and acting are superb. I last saw it in the 1980s and thought it was good then; I should be able to better appreciate it now.

Of course, if I were really motivated to see the movie there are all kinds of places I could just order the stupid thing, on-line, and probably pay less than I would at a store to boot. Oh well.

* * *

Lucky Star looks like another slice-of-life series. I was thinking about that this morning; how Hidamari Sketch tried--and failed--to shake up the slice-of-life genre with out-of-order episodes and all the ART!!! they put in it.

I thought, y'know, slice-of-life has some pretty strict requirements on it. If you want to "shake it up" you had better be as good as you think you are, because otherwise you'll get something like Hidamari Sketch. But there are always people who think, "I can make it work!" Just like communism.

Then I thought, yeah, but communism is one of those things that simply will not work regardless of starting conditions. Making a slice-of-life series similar to Hidamari Sketch, with all the ART!!! and the out-of-order episodes and such, the right people could make that work. But none of them were working on Hidamari Sketch.

Annoyance #45 with that series is episode 10. It's a sort-of "onsen" episode, except the girls go to a bathhouse rather than an onsen. It's just made for fan service; and in fact they gave us fan service.

It was the most half-assed, BS, ART!!!-ed up fanservice I ever saw.

If you're going to do fan service, don't give us super deformed fan service. Okay? If you don't want to give us fan service, it's fine; but don't pull that bait-and-switch crap where you show someone start to get up from the tub and then switch to SD or chibi mode for the fan servicey part. It's really irritating, especially since SD/chibi art is primarily used for humor: if you want to show something cartoony happening, you can go SD or chibi to accentuate it.

Azumanga Daioh never had an onsen or bathhouse episode and it got along just fine without fan service. (Some might argue the pool sequences were fan servicey, though.) Hidamari Sketch could have done well, too, without this kind of episode. But if your aim is to show the girls in everyday situations, and one of them is a bathhouse/onsen episode, then for Christ's sake, don't ART!!! it up with a bunch of useless crap, particularly when your audience is largely composed of male otaku.

I'm starting to lose my patience with Floral Magician Mary Bell. Today's episode was about the dog, Ribbon, falling in love with a poodle named Julia. The one amusing moment was when Mary Bell got angry at Ribbon: "Julia is a girl!" She told the dog; and then the other two kids told her, "But Ribbon is a boy!"

I don't blame Mary Bell; I really don't. Ribbon has this bright red bow tied to his head. How the hell was Mary supposed to know? Ribbon is a transvestite!

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