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24 March 2015: Scott D. Crain, cortana, 1968 - 2015

2015-03-20-20:22< cortana> This is Scott's mother, Janet Crain.
2015-03-20-20:22< cortana> Scott passed away in his sleep Thursday, March 19, 2015 in Xenia, Ohio. Scott was born December 8, 1968 in Xenia, OH.
2015-03-20-20:22< cortana> Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 6:00 PM at the McColaugh Funeral Home Inc. 826 N. Detroit St. Xenia, Ohio 45385. Family will receive friends 5:00 PM until the time of service Tuesday at the funeral home. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.mccolaughfuneralhome.com.
2015-03-20-20:22< cortana> More information can be found here:
2015-03-20-20:22< cortana> http://www.mccolaughfuneralhome.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1546070

I must have known Scott D. Crain (strictly by his Internet moniker cortana) for close to 15 years. Although I never met the man personally nor even spoke with him privately, his death comes far too suddenly and much too soon. I only knew Scott as cortana and he only knew me as Evirus, partly due to my now anachronistic insistance at divorcing my Internet persona from the rest of my life, and partly due to my paranoid suspicion that the Internet harbors mostly miscreants and misanthropes. cortana was neither of these. He was, without a doubt, one of the genuinely good people who brought decency and civility to our anti-social fringe of the dark web's acretion disc. (Including the IRC channel directly responsible for spawning 4chan, for crying out loud.) I can't do justice to the loss his passing brings, but I hope this small memorial will at least help someone who stumbles across it years from now (perhaps searching for c0rtana or cortana from #raspberryheaven and #marimite) appreciate that the myriad people who Scott knew globally from all walks of life uniformly thought fondly of him and valued his friendship. Scott, you will be missed.


16 March 2015: Idols need boats, idols need boats, idols idols idols idols idols idols idols need boats

Oodoyo
Ayako Boat needs more lines.

I enjoy both Kantai Collection and The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, and I still look forward to the new episodes each week, but neither show is particularly successful at getting me invested in the characters. This is surely because both shows are adaptations of already successful games and are intended to cater to established fans. However, this means cramming both shows with simply too many characters that never get developed. They end up existing simply as catchphrase-spouting bits of scenery.

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10 March 2015: Aldnoah.Zero in four words

Slaine and Asseylum. P.S. Spoilers.
SLAINE. DONE. FUCKED. UP.


3 March 2015: Maria the Virgin Witch is pretty good even if it is a show about virgins and witches

Maria
Maria's orbs are huge.

Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch) is quite different from what I was expecting. It's turning out to be semi-serious fare with actual stories and sub-plots about different factions involved in Maria's little war instead of a lurid fan service comedy. (Maria does seem to spend a lot of time on screen being very blonde, very aerodynamic, and mostly nude, though.) Thankfully, her hatred of war and entirely emotional approach to it, though idealistic and childish, manages to not annoy the shit out of me like the other occasions when obtuse anime pacifists carry on about some sort of nonsense or other. Oh, hi, Cagalli. I didn't see you standing there.

Joseph
Somehow not a potato.

The witch part of Maria the Virgin Witch is interesting enough, I suppose, except that none of them appear to be evil. I guess from the point of view of the show's religious leaders, many of the witches are bad—oh, so bad—but from a modern anime viewer's perspective, I have to say they're pretty good. Especially the Noto Mamiko witch. The virgin part hasn't gotten annoying yet either. Where it goes from here will depend on how it handles its "Stop Using Sex as a Weapon" plot. Like My-Otome, nearly 10 years ago before it, characters in Maria the Virgin Witch have figured out that you can rape away an uppity girl's magic powers. (P.S. Spoilers.) I get the feeling Junketsu no Maria won't simply shrug this off the way My-Otome did, but I hope it also doesn't suddenly turn into a morality play about the Otaku Virtues.


26 February 2015: Aldnoah.Zero postpones Slaine's looming catastrophe by another episode

Asseylum and Eddelrittuo
I guess it could just be gas.

The standard Aldnoah.Zero caveat about megas spoilers applies again. The following addresses concerns and questions through the first 19 episodes and once more engages in considerable speculation.

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20 February 2015: War is all Hell, even on a healing anime such as Aldnoah.Zero

Slaine
Slaine's pistol in episode 13 looks the same as
the one Asseylum waves around in the first OP.

Guess what's about to hit the fan on Aldnoah.Zero. Go on, guess. The rest of this entry contains substantial spoilers for both seasons of Aldnoah.Zero and quite a bit of speculation as well. If you're not prepared, avert your eyes, etc.

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17 February 2015: The Changing of the Cures was the highlight of my visit to Buckingham Palace

Window
Sure, Window, go ahead and sit this one out. Cure Lovely has got this.

After more than 10 years of Pretty Cure, it's sort of amazing how quickly its one-year seasons pass now. It seems as if it wasn't that long ago when Window was busy making a name for herself as the new Worst Cure Ever. She turned out all right, though, and of that I am glad. A girl can go a long way once she starts distinguishing herself by punching people in the face. As a series, Happiness ChargePrecure! distinguished itself in three major ways: (1) Its filler episodes were actually pretty good, which is fortunate because its high marks didn't hit all that high. (2) It reminded viewers that Pretty Cure as a franchise is decidedly in favor of heterosexual schoolgirl crushes on older boys, no matter what manner of lesbian dreams some of its male viewers might have. (3) There were shit-tons of scrub Cures from all around the world—enough that I fell into despair when I thought about trying to keep my Cure Rankings list updated.

Cure Flora, Aroma, and Pafu
Relax, kid, you'll get used to it.

Following the HappinessCharge Precure! conclusion (which was fairly lackluster in my view), Go! Princess Precure sprang into action, ushering a level-up in CG integration. Thus far, I have a fairly positive view of the new series, partly because of the gokigenyouing, partly because of the ballet, and mostly because it seems to be more about beating ass than cultivating feelings. I know I'm supposed to be opposed to the CG integration as a matter of principle, but so far it's been a net gain. None of the characters seem to stand out all that much for me, but that's the sort of minor complaint they can cure by devoting a few episodes to kicking deadbeats in the neck. If they keep up their early episode aggression, these erstwhile princesses and I will get along just fine.


10 February 2015: A tail of two catgirls

Kanako
A catgirl doing cat things.

If you know anything about anime, then you're at least aware catgirls are a common fetish, and may even be familiar with the various controversies surrounding them. Are they furries? What if their paws and tails are real? Should they also have human ears in addition to their cat ears? This entry casually compares the catgirls in Isuca and The iDOLMASTER Cinderella Girls as an excuse to introduce these Winter 2015 shows and to revisit some of my grievances regarding catgirls.

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