Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
karmaburn.com karmaburn.com

Dated 1 September 2020: Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha (The Misfit of Demon King Academy) is okay

Anos and Sasha
If you keep making eye contact like that, she's gonna do the thing.

I started watching Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha (The Misfit of Demon King Academy) because I like the way its character designer draws eyes. True story. (This is also why I watched Toji no Miko (Katana Maidens. But I digress.) As it turns out, the Maou Academy anime has stayed reasonably entertaining through its first nine episodes, and about in line with what I hoped for after the first two episodes.

Eleanor
It took nine episodes to introduces this twin-braided character from the promo art.

One key to its success is having enough lore to keep the viewer guessing as to what's happened in the world during the two thousands years Anos was busy staying dead. Or rather, enough lore to make it interesting, but not so much lore that it becomes oppressingly sonorous. (Fate/stay night, I am looking in your direction.) I don't think anyone is going into Maou-kun Goes to Maou-kun School expecting the best thing ever, but anyone in the mood for casually lopsided fights and a fair amount of tsundere yammering has come to the right place.

Momoka
I don't know why they censored this. She's wearing panties.

Since I first introduced Maou Gakuin together with Dokyuu Hentai HxEros (SUPER HXEROS), I guess I should also include that I dropped HXEROS after five episodes. It is what it is, but there were other things I preferred to spend my time on instead.

Dated 7 April 2020: I finally finished Dimension W

Dimension W manga volume 16 cover
The glow-in-the dark covers are a nice touch.

The Dimension W anime ran for 12 episodes during the Winter 2016 anime season. I liked it a lot more than I was expecting—specifically, good enough that I started buying the manga. It took four years, but I have the final (16th) volume now. This took a bit longer than I would have liked, but the manga itself was still ongoing when the anime ended. (The manga completed in June 2019.) Ideally, there would be less time between when an anime ends and when its source material wraps up. I, for one, would much rather watch original anime or adaptations of properties that have already concluded, but those types of shows do seem to be in the minority. At least four years no longer seems like an extraordinary amount of time to wait after an anime stops airing before finding out how the series ends. I'm not sure if that's necessarily a good thing, though. I have to admit it's a little troubling to notice how fast years seem to whip by now.

Dated 12 November 2018: I've started watching the most popular anime in the world: Goblin Slayer!

Elf and Priestess
This is the highlight of Goblin Slayer! thus far.

I watched the first episode of Goblin Slayer! when it first aired, found it to be a straightforward adaptation of the manga (it was toned down a bit, honestly), and decided not to watch more. After all, I had only read about a volume or so of the manga before losing interest. (I've never read any of the original light novel.) Somewhat predictably, that episode's content generated a lot of discussion on the Information Superhighway about Goblin Slayer! and its relative merits (or lack thereof). The reactions I saw on the Twitter, at least, were almost uniformly negative.

(more…)

Dated 17 August 2016: Masou Gakuen HxH is not the second coming of Seikon no Qwaser

Hayuru
Masou Gakuen HxH leads off the first episode with the Japanese girl in a cold open.

Although trashy fan service shows aren't exactly rare, the full-on, uncensored, blatantly gratuitous ones aren't particularly common either. In recent memory, there was Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid (which I haven't seen yet), and the ever-popular High School DxD series (which is relatively tame as far as these sorts of things go). This season, we have Masou Gakuen HxH (Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia) which is sort of like IS: Infinite Stratos except that in Masou Gakuen, Potato-kun's purpose is to recharge the girls' fighting ability through the power of arousal rather than just standing around wondering why they're all angry with him.

(more…)

Dated 25 September 2015: Problems with an Evangelion release? It's deja vu all over again

Title card reading おかえりなさい
Tadaima.

I caught the news on The Twitter that there are problems with the Neon Genesis Evangelion Blu-ray box and the DVD box. Here is the Starchild notice and details for a disc exchange. Thankfully, I consider this a non-issue. I imported the Blu-ray set, and if the only problem is one incorrect eyecatch, I'm good with it. The DVD error doesn't seem too bad, either. At least it's not bad enough to hazard an out-of-country disc exchange if you ask me. I'm guessing anyone in that situation who would have cared probably imported the Blu-ray set instead of the DVD one anyway.

Lilith and Rei
This is about where the layer change occurs on the 2002 DVD.

However, this incident does remind me of the botched Region 1 DVD release of The End of Evangelion 13 years ago. I was somewhat annoyed at the time, but the incident did at least provide me with my greatest moment as an Evangelion fan. I had purchased my defective DVD at a local Best Buy electronics establishment, and the store was good enough to allow me to exchange the disc for a new one. However, there was no way to know ahead of time whether or not my replacement disc would also suffer the same problems. Best Buy's Customer Service department (located at the very front of the enormous store) agreed to test the replacement DVD to see if the video would freeze at the layer change. Sure enough, it did, and we had to repeat the process at least once before I got a working disc. What this means is a busy Best Buy prominently displayed a levitating nude blue-haired anime girl on the overhead display televisions at the front of its store over and over again for reasons important to me, but likely entirely perplexing to the rest of the customers.

Dated 12 November 2014: Magic Kaito 1412 and Detective Conan

Kaito
This heist might be a little too easy.

Because the manga dates back to 1987, Magic Kaito actually predates Detective Conan, although its kohei quickly overshadowed it. Kaito occasionally makes guest appearances on Detective Conan, and, in fact, got 12 excellent Magic Kaito specials of his own spread amongst the Detective Conan broadcasts between 2010 to 2012. These re-tell the origin of Kaito Kid and probably tested the waters for a standalone series. The new television series which began autumn 2014 retreads a lot of familiar ground, but includes a few cast and story changes (and different character designs compared to the Detective Conan appearances). It airs in the half-hour family slot immediately preceding the weekly broadcast of Detective Conan

(more…)

Dated 12 December 2012: The fourth monitor

Yuuko
The original plan was six monitors. Now it seems excessive.

There's a space because that's where I mounted the center speaker.

There's a Chihaya because I didn't have another suitable image of Yuuko handy, at least not in 1920x1200.

[Update 2: I hid the previous three-monitor setup so well I forgot about it.]

[Update 3: All four monitors are 24" 1920x1200 IPS panels. One Dell U2410 (good monitor, but I hate the control buttons so much), one HP ZR24w (which won't do 1:1 1080, by the way), and two Dell U2412.]

[Update 4: Minor adjustment.]

Ayanami desk

Dated 26 July 2012: Velvet Kiss volume one acquired

Velvet Kiss and Sailor V
Behold! my Velvet Kiss and Codename: Sailor V purchases.
Not sure I understand why Velvet Kiss is shrink-wrapped
to protect the innocent while Codename: Sailor V is not.

I received my copy of Velvet Kiss from Amazon.com. I gave this title one of my rare recommendations back in February before the series ended. Members of the scanlation team contributed to the official licensed copy, and the result is a more professional, polished product that reads more naturally and gives the reader a better initial understanding of the dynamics among all the characters' interactions. Technically, this is porn, but really Velvet Kiss should be viewed as as merely (?) an unconventional romance that just happens to include nudity and sex acts at least once per chapter. I suppose that description might make it a difficult sell with more subdued readers, but Velvet Kiss is really well done and I'd like to see it succeed in the English-language market.

Aa! Megami-sama, Velvet Kiss, and Lovely Complex
Oh My Goddess!, Velvet Kiss, and Lovely Complex size comparisons.

One additional note: As you can see from the pictures above, Digital Manga publishes Velvet Kiss in the same large format used by (for example) Bunny Drop. This is satisfyingly larger than the more common size still used for most American releases, to include the Sailor Moon re-release and Kimi ni Todoke, which in turn is already larger than the typical Japanese manga tankoubon.