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Dated 5 September 2015: I bought the Evangelion Blu-ray box set

Evangelion Blu-ray box set box
Box in box.

Surprising no one, I'm sure, I imported the recently released Neon Genesis Evangelion Blu-ray box from Japan. This was pretty much a guaranteed buy from me on general principle even though I'm arguably more on the casual end of the fandom these days. Hell, I don't even know if it's technically still called Shin Seiki Evangelion. I seem to remember some rumor that Gainax or Khara or whatever entity owns the property was adopting the English title officially. (There's probably a wiki article getting to the truth of this on EvaGeeks.) Anyway, with the U.S. dollar so strong against the Japanese yen, this was actually quite affordable. I also got it from Amazon.co.jp in only three days which basically left me slack-jawed in amazement. It even shipped via DHL, like all the crap Asuka sent to Misato's apartment and then never used. What a world.

Evangelion Blu-ray box set
It does say "Neon Genesis" right there, you know.

As far as the unboxing itself, there are surely better examples on NicoVideo and YouTube with far better production values and narration than I'm willing to put forth. Here are some shots of my set, which presumably looks the same as all the other ones, unless I missed out on some sort of crazy cross-promotional pack-in I should be gnashing my teeth in dismay about:

Evangelion Blu-ray box set book
A book and stuff.

Evangelion Blu-ray box set discs
Discs fanned out.

Project Eva title card
The discs play just fine on an American Blu-ray player.

Evangelion title card
No subtitles, of course. Well, there are Japanese subtitles for the hearing-impaired.

Shinji and Misato
And, of course, the best ass shot of all time.

Anyway, it's totally worth it if you're an Eva fan. It's a far cry from the horrid quality many of us suffered through when we became fans in the first place.

Dated 3 July 2015: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid sure had a lot less plot than I was expecting

Nanoha and Raising Heart
Raising Heart gets to be in the show, but Bardiche didn't have a single line.

As long as they keep making more Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha anime I'll keep watching them, providing the shows are not complete shite. I'll even keep watching even if Nanoha and Fate aren't in the show anymore, even if it barely qualifies as mahou shoujo anymore, and even if it stops being lyrical. Once a franchise I'm following gets enough momentum, I'll pretty much keep watching new installments. Well, providing the anime continues to hit above the Cosprayers Line, that is.

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Dated 20 April 2014: Winter 2014 Season Summary

Hachiken
Hachiken's actually about to have his mom's home cooking for the first time in ages.

I feel as if I watched too many shows last season. However, there also isn't anything that I regret not dropping. Does that mean the winter 2014 season was particularly good or does it mean I'm not making very good use of my spare time? Maybe it's both. There were quite a few good shows, or at least okay shows with lots of good moments.

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Dated 14 April 2013: Winter 2013 season wrapup

Caesar, Oryou, Saemonza, and Erwin
The best team in the best show.

I'm undecided as to whether or not the final two episodes of GIRLS und PANZER qualify as part of the winter 2013 season. They were delayed from the autumn 2012 season and should probably belong there with the rest of the series, but then again they did actually air late in winter 2013. There are only 40-some minutes of new material, but that's more than Teekyuu, so it arguably has as much right to be here as the various two-minute shows. Whatever the case, these two final episodes of GIRLS und PANZER were far and away superior to any of the other shows from winter 2013.

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Dated 10 March 2013: Big non-finish, here we come

Himawari and Wakaba
It's clenched buttocks all the way down.

I have no idea how Vividred Operation will wrap itself up in its remaining three or four episodes. Seeing as how it's still introducing and developing the relationships among the characters, it will either feel really rushed or we'll be blessed with a second cour of clenching butts in tiny short shorts. It's possible my expectations are a little too high for this show, now that I think about it. Either way, this is still far and away the best show of the season, even if Princess Kraehe never performs any ballet.

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Dated 13 February 2013: Notes taken with a voice recorder

Rei
To be honest, Rei is taking this relatively well.

With apologies to ani-nouto for stealing its shtick, let's give this a try.

Makoto
I'm going to start calling her Cure Sam Spade and hope it catches on.

In re Dokidoki! Precure episode two:

  • What are you doing? She'll be fine. I'm pretty sure Cure Sam Spade could survive a fall from orbit.
  • Cure White Lie.
  • I'm pretty sure introducing gold and spreading it around a closed mercantilist economy with no external trading partners will only produce inflation. And apparently it also kills swallows.

Rei
Vividred Operation should just frame an entire episode
with the POV centered between Rei's thighs.

In re Vividred Operation episode five:

  • When this baby gets to 200%, you're going to see some serious shit.
  • Why didn't you take her to a hospital?
  • I'm pretty sure Akane is just using this as an excuse to continue stripping her naked.
  • Rei's life doesn't suck enough. It should be more like...Kotoura's life. Well, like Kotoura's life before it got better.
  • I'm also pretty sure that bird is Lieutenant Hayase. [P.S. Spoilers.]

Masuzu and Eita
Does that mean they're not pretending to be boyfriend and girlfriend anymore?

In re Oreshura episode six:

  • Oreshura, adding a new girl is almost never a good idea.
  • This must be the episode where they couldn't spend any money.
  • This girl kinda sucks.
  • Fight the power.
  • This is a pretty lackluster episode.
  • Chiwa still sucks.
  • I'm going to be really disappointed if there isn't more bullying this episode.
  • This girl actually sucks more than Chiwa.
  • It's kinda comical how little effort the bodyguard has to expend to keep Eita away.
  • Does this mean that everyone is now aware of Eita's chuuni past? I'm not exactly clear as to how that all played out, and I'm not familiar with the corresponding sequence of the original light novel.

Dated 26 January 2013: Vividred Operation is three for three

Akane and Momo
I'm surprised there wasn't a Momo POV shot immediately after this.

Vividred Operation is not exactly a high-brow show, but it is consistently entertaining and there have been no occasions to complain about its production quality or execution. I'm also very pleased with its pacing through the first three episodes. Some people felt Vividred rushed Wakaba's introduction and integration in episode three, but while I would agree in the context of a 26-episode series, I don't think there's any time to waste during what will almost certainly be a 12- or 13-episode run. Hopefully, Himawari's introduction in episode four will be similarly quick.

Rei
Where did her bow go?

After these introductions, Vividred can get down to business devoting the remaining eight episodes to unfucking Rei's shit, and befriending the Bejesus out of her. Or maybe Rei ends up killing them all. It won't happen, but I'd be okay with that. Rei is going to be the lynchpin behind the success or failure of Vividred. If you can suffer another not-necessarily-apropos comparison with Strike Witches, the Alone appear to be as unengaging and faceless as the Neuroi. I'm sorry, but you can't try to build action scenes around bland opponents that nobody cares about.

Rei
I re-watched this to confirm it was a sunrise, not a sunset.

Using cardboard bad guys didn't work in Strike Witches, it certainly didn't work during the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS training arcs, and it won't work in Vividred with the Alone if Rei doesn't instill some life into the fights. It's possible to have have emotionless enemies that the audience finds engaging (see, for example, the first two Terminator movies), but they'll at least need to be menacing or unique in some way.

Stonehenge
I promise this is the last time I will make this joke.

As long as Rei ensures there will be an antagonist we care about in future episodes of Vividred, then the show will basically have everything. You want fighting? It's got fighting. You want flying girls hitting things with giant hammers? It's got that too. Standing-in-circles magic and fancy transformations? Yes. Bridge operators swiveling around to holler SITREPs to the commander? Well, yeah. Befriending enemies? Count on it. A talking weasel/otter/ferret/probably-not-a-mink thing? Of course. Butts? It's got butts. Fresh fruit? Holy shit, it's got fresh fruit. And how. (Tomato is a fruit, okay.)

Dated 9 December 2012: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Medaka Box Abnormal are basically the same show

Zeppeli
JoJo and Zeppeli share a tender moment.

Okay, I don't really believe that JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Medaka Box Abnormal are basically the same show, but there are some similarities that you can't ignore. Principally, both shows are essentially about increasingly implausible battles between overpowered fighters with superhuman abilities. I guess technically the fighters only start out as superhuman or special in Medaka Box Abnormal, whereas in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure these abilities are triggered by external influences or inspired by having sufficient willpower or emotional commitment. Also mountain training and stuff. Whatever. Does this make Medaka Box Abnormal sort of chuunibyou because its characters are supposed to be special? Look, don't even start. And let's not even consider whether people can be considered special or abnormal if everyone else around them has absurd abilities too.

Naze and Maguro
Naze and Maguro share a tender moment.

Does that mean people who like JoJo's Bizarre Adventure will like Medaka Box Abnormal also? Not necessarily. Perhaps if their enjoyment comes from the one-upmanship as new abilities manifest during heroic moments of crisis, but Medaka Box lacks burly men and nearly all its ass-shots are of girls. Personally, I suspect some JoJo fans are motivated more by efforts to distance themselves from the despicable moé-tuned crowd while convincing themselves that watching anime can still be cool even if it does come STRAIGHT FROM JAPAN. But apart from its origins in the historically significant and influential JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga, I'm not sure I can claim the anime is particularly noteworthy when viewed strictly in and of itself. Then again, I'm an odious newbie anime fan who knew nothing of JoJo prior to the anime, and moreover, I consider Medaka to be Toyosaki Aki's best role to date. What do I know?