Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

Dated 31 January 2012: I built a kotatsu

Behold, the bespoke kotatsu, in all its glory.

Okay, I didn't really build a kotatsu. I bolted an electric wall-mountable low-wattage ceramic heater to the underside of a cheap square coffee table.

My first encounter with a kotatsu was almost 10 years ago, while watching Love Hina. There's an early scene during which Keitaro is forced to hide underneath one for some contrived reason. At the time, I couldn't understand why he was complaining about the heat. Reading the manga (incidentally, offered online for free by its author, Ken Akamatsu) clarified things a bit. 14 volumes of Love Hina gave me a better understanding as to the functions and features of this weirdo heated table thing. Still, I couldn't understand why Keitaro wasn't bending Naru over the kotatsu at every opportunity, but that question is not germane at this time.

Love Hina
Naru's kotatsu is big enough for two. Three, if you're perverts.

There are probably a few changes I would incorporate were I to construct Ghetto Kotatsu 2.0, pending further testing. It doesn't help at all that the temperature in Southern California was regularly in the 80s this January (think high 20s, if you use Celcius).

Dated 30 December 2005: Itsudatte My Santa

This is a little late, but people looking for Christmas-themed anime to watch over the holidays had plenty of good choices. This year, I went with the Love Hina Christmas special, the Ai Yori Aoshi: Miyuki special, and two episodes of the new Ken Akamatsu OAV, Itsudatte My Santa (Always My Santa).

Santa and Mai
I can't criticize Ken Akamatsu's dedication to hijinks and antenna hair.

Okay, Itsudatte My Santa was FULLY AWESOME. I've heard it described as Love Hina Turbo. Strictly speaking, that moniker is only accurate with regards to the TURBO part and the Ken Akamatsu aspects. And TURBO it is, for Itsudatte My Santa is relentless. That is some seriously high-speed anime right there. I still can't decide if it was good, or if it was just so bad that it was good, but whatever it was, it was FULLY AWESOME, yo.

Mai and Santa
And boobs.

I also find it amusing that each successive anime Christmas special that gets released becomes more and more blasphemous. If you thought America has perverted the celebration of the birth of the Christ, you may want to investigate just how close the Japanese version is to approaching the old Simpsons joke with the gay kitsch store owner and his Santa robot.

Mai and Santa
It takes a fair amount of determination and genius to work a beach episode into a Christmas special.

Just to get you up to speed, anime-Santa is pretty much never a jolly old fat man, but instead is nearly always a comely teenage girl with zero-G boobs.