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Dated 24 June 2019: Strike Witches 501 Butai Hasshin-shimasu! takes us behind the lines of the War on Pants

Mio
Sakamoto is more of a nutjob than I remember.

It's been more than 12 years since the first Strike Witches OVA. Since that time, we've gotten a proper television series, a sequel series, a spinoff series, a movie, more OVAs, and this season's Strike Witches 501 Butai Hasshin-shimasu! (Strike Witches: 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING Take Off!) comedy series with half-length episodes. Additionally, I understand there are more sequels and spinoffs in the works, so it seems we'll continue to wage the War on Pants for some time to come. The weakest aspect of the Strike Witches universe (now actually the World Witches universe) has always been the Neuroi—the boring, vaguely threatening opponents with no personalities that our stalwart witches must fight. Fortunately, Strike Witches 501 Butai Hasshin-shimasu! is entirely Neuroi-free, as the show is strictly about the 501st Joint Fighter Wing fucking around in garrison.

Barkhorn and Hartmann
Go on, Barkhorn, curse the bitch out.

Surprisingly, this setting worked quite favorably for Erica Hartmann and Miyafuji Yoshika as characters. I wasn't fans of either of them going in, but I like them both a lot better now. I'm glad Hartmann in particular got more to do than merely be a lazy slob. I wasn't expecting her to be the focus of so many of the show's best gags. In Miyafuji's case, I think being free of her Main Character baggage made her scenes a lot better. Miyafuji stopped being on my shitlist after the Strike Witches movie, but she's still better off in a supporting role.

Yoshika
This style probably takes less time to draw, I'd imagine.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the character design changes. I'm not a huge fan of this style. I can understand why they're different for this sort of show, but the effect isn't as successful as, say, the changes for Isekai Quartet. Also, I do wish Strike Witches 501 Butai Hasshin-shimasu! had brought back casual nudity, which used to be a staple of the franchise. Sure, these character designs are not quite as...aerodynamic as the normal ones, but I think it would have made for some amusing gags. Casual nudity has been missing from the World Witches universe for quite some time now, so bringing it back unexpectedly in this guise would have been quite the bombshell in the War on Pants.

Dated 3 May 2015: Fate/stay spoilers matter

Saber
At least they didn't make her bend over the entire time.

I'm looking forward more to the upcoming Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz! series than I am to each weekly installment of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works. This is not because I think the former is a much better series. (I was only moderately impressed with the last Prisma☆Illya installment.) On the contrary, ufotable's adaptation of Unlimited Blade Works has been excellent thus far, so I should like it more than I do. True, the Fate/stay franchise itself carries a lot of baggage, but the fact that this baggage exists isn't what's affecting my anticipation so much. It's because I already I know what happens for the most part.

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Dated 8 October 2013: What Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya have in common

Natsuno and Kazuhito
Wow. Natsuno is sure in a good mood tonight.

At first glance, Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya probably don't appear to have that much in common, but I can think of at least one thing. Okay, TWO things if you include the fact that I finished watching both of them at about the same time and thus went looking for an excuse to force both shows into a single blog entry, but really ONE thing that I wanted to discuss: PERVERSIONS. Oh, baby, let's get it on.

Maki
When they point the finger it means you're a rival.

So, Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō. Dog and Scissors. This show made no God damn sense. And I'm not talking about the part where a boy who loves books is murdered, gets his soul trapped in the body of a wiener dog with telepathy, and is adopted by his favorite author. That part I get. What I don't understand is what the deal is with his psycho kid sister and her MAGURO EATAH kitchen knife or the part with the singing maid or Maki the SHINING! idol rival author. And who was the broad in the wheelchair? Really, Dog & Scissors is terrible and somehow only managed to work in three jokes: (1) Natsuno Kirihime (Akiyama Shinobu) is insecure about her small breasts. (2) Natsuno frequently physically abuses Harumi Kazuhito (the dog) with a pair of scissors after he insults her. (3) Natsuno wants to have sex with the dog.

Natsuno
Always with the scissors.

Okay, not really really, but yeah, really. I mean, sort of really? There are a lot more bestiality jokes in Dog and Scissors than I was expecting, okay, even if most of them are just about tsundere bullshit. And while the show does end with a non-ending ending (which is probably why none of the things I mentioned earlier made any sense—they're probably explained in the light novels), it does sort of try to resolve the "romance" sub-plot at the, uh, climax. [SPOILERS] Natsuno gets drunk one night and takes the dog into bed with her, but ralphs all over him before she can force him into doing her human-style. Yes, Kazuhito narrowly avoids inter-species coitus from beyond the grave.

Illya and Ruby
I'm impressed Illya's anime bed isn't made of concrete.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya started late, ended early, but is coming back for more. I had relatively high expectations for Prisma Illya because I liked the manga chapters I sampled. I'm glad that it is returning for another season, because I felt the show only scratched the surface with regard to exploiting the subject matter or letting us know the characters.

Illya
Berserker-chan.

Most of us have probably formed some general impression of who Illyasviel von Einzbern is based on the Fate/stay night game, anime, and movie, as well from her appearances in Carnival Phantasm. Still, I think it is accurate to claim that viewers don't really know Ilya very well at all, since much of her personality comes from fairly stereotypical characterizations. Yeah, yeah, I was going to talk about how Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyō and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya are similar because of perversions. I'm getting to that.

Illya
Illya ruins her outfit.

As I was saying, even after Kaleid Liner, we still don't really know Ilya. Probably the main thing viewers will remember about Ilya is her fetish. As an aside, it was at this point in the entry that I struggled to find a way to use the word "cis" as a pejorative in the same sentence as the term "maid-sexual." I suppose it's not that strange of a fetish. I mean, for example, I bet being maid-sexual is a lot more mainstream than being obsessed with cake sex. It's just that Illya's encumbrance is particularly violent.

<&Nakar> To be fair raping maids is a Nasuverse tradition

I guess there's a third thing Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya have in common: Both shows could have looked better. Dog & Scissors was obviously low-budget and would have suffered quite a bit from this had the show not already been so low-tier. Prisma☆Illya had really jarring character designs, although I guess it's probably a good thing its mahou shoujo weren't blessed with superlovely character designs. Kaleido Ruby in particular probably would have been too dangerous. Besides, maid rape is easier to play off as a gag when everyone has knobby faces. (See also K-On!) I do want to point out Prisma☆Illya had rad fight scenes like three episodes in a row, though. Because of it, I'm looking forward to more from Silver Link, although I guess this means I might have to watch Strike the Blood now.

Dated 18 April 2008: Futakoi Alternative mugs are real

Futakoi Alternative mugs
Futakoi Alternative mugs.

As spotted on Koshimizu Ami's blog. So much nicer than my own Futakoi Alternative mugs.

[Edit: Pity Kadowaki Mai didn't cross-post the picture on her own blog.]

Dated 8 March 2008: Planet Dance

So, Wakusei keeps breaking. As far as I can tell, something in the chain doesn't like the character set of one of the feeds. Most of the time I can fix it by deleting the cache.

What I ought to be doing instead of blogging about it is adding something to my crontab to delete the cache preemptively, or find out if I can disable it all together. In fact, I should probably be doing that right now....

But I'm not, so random posts will continue to break Planet until I get around to fixing it. For now, we can all just blame these problems on Hirano Aya (even though it's really Kadowaki Mai's fault nearly every time).

Damn you, Hirano Aya! Why must you torment us!

Dated 2 November 2006: Seiyuu Blogs

So while trying to figure out why Planet was giving me so many errors every once in a while for no apparent reason, I ended up bifurcating the aggregator into the regular section, and one just for seiyuu blogs. For what it's worth, the errors seemed to have gone away for the time being.

Saeko Chiba
This is a picture of Saeko Chiba for no reason.

Speaking of seiyuu blogs, it wasn't that long ago when Tanaka Rie was pretty much the only voice actress with an online diary. (It was notable for having tiny thumbnails that linked to grainy, marginally larger, cameraphone pictures, leading many readers to lament that she needed both a better camera and a better webmaster.)

Now, seiyuu blogs are almost commonplace. Mai Kadowaki was one of the first with an RSS feed, but even syndication is becoming more prevalent. Well, more prevalent, but still not common. Yui Horie's blog recently gained an Atom feed, but we're still waiting for Chiba Saeko to add syndication to her pleasant corner of the Internet.

In related news, Aya Hirano's blog has an RSS feed, and she likes to update that sucker like four times a day, mostly with distorted wide-angle closeups of her mugging shamelessly.