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Dated 15 September 2011: Revisiting Idolmaster Baseball

Ami and Mami
Ami's hair is probably shorter due to a bad breakup.

With nearly a full cour of The IDOLM@STER TV completed, I've decided to revise my iM@S baseball lineup. The most important change is Yukiho is no longer a narcoleptic like she was in Xenoglossia, but rather a cringing, terrified girl. If you think I'm starting someone like that on the mound, you're crazy. Yukiho rides the pine and possibly pinch runs. Cowards can run fast.

Kotori
No pressure, Kotori.

Thankfully, we now have Kotori on the roster. Kotori is my new pitcher, and hopefully she and Ritsuko work together well enough to form an effective battery. I also hereby reaffirm my decision to name Miki as the relief pitcher. She's made a habit of coming to the rescue in the current series, so I'm confident she can put out fires and pull the 765PROs out of trouble if Kotori gets into a jam.

Hibiki and Takane
Hibiki and Takane join the team.

I also reaffirm my decision to place Mami and Ami in the middle infield. I'm pleased they are no longer shrimpy kids. Although they aren't exactly freakish giants, they are a lot taller than I expected. I'm staying with Mami at shortstop and Ami at second base because I'm hoping Mami's side-tail will stabilize her head as she pivots while throwing to second or first. [Update1.] I've also decided that Mami > Ami because she has better hair and because she sort of holds underdog status now that Ami's popularity is ascendant as part of Ryuuguu Komachi.

Yayoi
Sit your ass down, Yayoi. You're dead weight.

The inclusion of Hibiki and Takane also means I no longer have to start Yayoi in right. Iori moves from left field to right field, and Hibiki takes left field while batting in Yayoi's old spot in the lineup. Takane goes into the bullpen as a relief pitcher. She'll mostly be in the set-up role with Miki as the closer, although all three will start if games are frequent enough to require a rotation.

Producer
Producer also does not look like Tommy Lasorda.

The IDOLM@STER TV has been mostly positive with regard to refining the iM@S baseball team, but there is one downside: We now know Producer looks nothing at all like Earl Weaver. No one is more disappointed than I.


[Note 1: Now that I think about it, a long sidetail on her left could easily get in Mami's field of vision as she pivots, but hopefully it won't matter under a baseball cap. If it turns out to be a problem, I may need to go with the dangerous hair-down Mami or swap her and Ami's fielding positions.]

Dated 4 May 2010: I bought Baccano! because of Durarara!! (exclamation point)

Miria and Isaac
Even the genki fall into despair sometimes.

Baccano! ran for an unconventional 16 episodes. Through the equivalent number of Durarara!! episodes, I give Baccano! the clear edge with the deciding factor being its superior characters. (As both shows have large ensemble casts, I'll address relatively few of them herein.)

Firo and Ennis
Besides, Baccano! has much snappier dressers than Durarara!!

This is not to say the characters in Durarara!! are lousy, just that I don't care about any of them. I do enjoy the crazy antics of stalker girl extraordinaire Mika (seriously, she's Cocoa Puffs), but that's about it. I thought I'd like Celty more, but as I mentioned earlier, I don't like how she's so easily flustered. She's also not very smart, but I guess that's not a nice thing to say about a girl who does not have any brains.

Takashi and Anri
Takashi tries to sweet talk Anri.

Okay, I do actively dislike Mikado, Masaomi, and Anri. Even Mikado's big moment suffered from two huge Angel Beats!-level flaws that pretty much sapped any coolness out of the triumph. He's lucky it worked out, I guess. Actually, Anri is a special case. Through 15 episodes, Anri's biggest problem was a complete lack of charisma (unless you measure charisma in cup sizes). I was left hoping she'd give in to her predatory teacher's obvious efforts at grooming her for sex. Really, what did she have to lose? But after episode 16 you have to be curious what else she has hidden under her clothes. Anri's school must get its uniforms from the same company as Iriya's. [P.S. Spoilers.]

Claire and Chane
These two have the dirtiest pillow talk.

Baccano! is superior to Durarara!! because it has Isaac and TOP FUEL GENKI Miria. [Yes, more spoilers, I know.] Despite Miria's horrifying voice, every scene those two are in is pure gold. Baccano! also has Chane doing wonders as a girl who doesn't talk. Durarara!! also has a girl who doesn't talk, but it's just not the same. Chane far surpasses Celty even if Chane probably spends most of her free time honing her knife fighting abilities instead of chatting idling on a computer. If she's going to spend so much time screwing off on her computer, Celty should at least check eBay once in a while for her head. Make a token effort, sweetie.