Today I finally broke away from re-watching I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs long enough to watch the final disk of NBT (and, incidentally, take a much-needed trip to the dentist, the second in three days).
NBT is a 12-episode series which was translated and distributed by ADVision. I got the first volume from ADV during their big blowout sale last year. I specifically bought the artbox version, because it included a pair of NBT panties.
Why on Earth, do you ask, did a DVD set include a pair of female undergarments? Particularly since it's an action-packed "girls with guns"-type of series? The type of series which is typically aimed at a male audience?
Stephen Den Beste, author of the anime blog Chizumatic came up with the perfect term to describe anything taken to extreme: it is said to be the five-bladed razor, an homage to the arms race among the manufacturers of disposable razors.
I can't seem to get at Chizumatic right now, so I can't find Steven's original post on the topic, but here is an acceptable substitute for his definition.
Anyway, NBT is the "five-bladed razor" of panty shot fan service. In fact Steven cites NBT as an example of the phenomenon. (Gravion is another; all the women in that series could potentially have personal flotation devices named after them.) Each episode of NBT has a simply amazing number of panty shots in it--as many as the director could reasonably cram in, and then some!--and it's so pervasive that even a pathetic fanboy like me just stops noticing them.
To ensure that I would not stop noticing the panty shots I made a point to count them, and I discovered that episode 10 is the "five-bladed razor" of NBT episodes because it includes no fewer than
panty shots. And I missed a few at that, and that didn't even include the ones in the opening credits.
I don't remember the figures for prior episodes, although one episode on disk two clocked in somewhere north of thirty. Episode nine came to around seventy-five. Having reached triple digits at episode ten, I lost interest in counting.
As for the plot, it's entertaining and interesting, although the actual ending of the story is rather non-specific. The writers didn't give enough information on what actually happened at the very end for me to figure out WTF was going on in the denouement; but it was obvious that Najica herself had lived through whatever it was that did happen.
My problem now is to figure out what to do with the panties. With the artbox filled up with all three volumes there is now no place for me to store them.
* * *
I had originally intended, this morning, to write an entry discussing the various ways in which the artists for I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs cheated when they did the character designs for male Hibiki and female Hibiki. I was going to grab some screencaps of a few pertinent cels and describe in detail what artistic techniques they used to make Hibiki-chan look like a woman, and Hibiki-kun look like a man...and why the differences are impossible without major surgery.
During the re-watch I have been noticing all sorts of little details--neck size, the way the nose is drawn, differing eyebrow thicknesses, and so on--which give away the whole game. If Hibiki-chan was drawn the same as Hibiki-kun, the whole story wouldn't work because it would be obvious that Hibiki-chan was a man in drag. (Much the way that it is usually obvious whenever any man dresses in drag.)
Unfortunately, the DVD player program I use has mysteriously had its decoder changed such that I can't do screencaps from it. I don't know what changed the decoder.
SO, I am going to have to haul the laptop out of storage and hook it up to the DVD player and use the old "Snappy" to do my screencaps, which annoys the pee out of me--but it can't be helped. Unfortunately this is going to delay that article a bit.
Which is a shame. I was looking forward to it. Oh well.