Anime Disappointment

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:35 pm
lovelyangel: (Haruhi NotImpressed)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Sora, Nozomi & Jun
Sora, Nozomi & Jun
Tenshi no 3P! Episode 10

I have to say that this anime season has not been a memorable one. When Monday rolls around there are three series waiting for me to watch (Tenshi no 3P!; Yōkai Apāto no Yūga na Nichijō; Isekai Shokudō), and I’m not excited about any of them. Those three shows lead the list of this season’s disappointments. I’d drop those shows, but we’re so close to the end of the season that I might as well finish them out.

Here are the anime series I’m currently watching that are disappointing:

Note: I thought Hina Logi – from Luck and Logic was disappointing also. It wasn’t a bad show, but I thought it was going to be something intriguing or amazing. The lightweight fluff didn’t meet my high expectations.

Here are the anime series that are disappointing because they’re available only on Amazon’s Anime Strike, which I’ve declined to pay for. Consequently, I can’t sample or watch them.
  • Made in Abyss
  • Princess Principal
  • Re:CREATORS
  • Rage of Bahamut
  • Vatican Miracle Examiner
  • Koi to Uso
  • Shōkoku no Altair

Anime Summer Week 11

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:21 pm
lovelyangel: Hina Satou from Tesagure! Bukatsumono 3 ED (Hina Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Pirari Academy Class 1-S
Pirari Academy Class 1-S
Hina Logi – From Luck and Logic, Episode 12 (Series Finale)

Here are the shows from this season that I watched last week…

Tenshi no 3P! (Angel’s 3Piece): Episode 10
Well… the show is getting worse… and it wasn’t that great to begin with. I didn’t expect Yuzuha and Koume (Kiriyume) to be added to what is degrading into harem competition. Much of the episode was effectively a “date” with Kyou and Yuzuha – which ticked everyone else off. So then a “date” with Sora… and… this is just terrible stuff.

Yōkai Apāto no Yūga na Nichijō (Elegant Yokai Apartment Life): Episode 11
Something of a slow episode. We didn’t learn a lot on top of what we already knew. Tashiro is kind of a pain – intentionally for plot, I guess. The episode dragged on until it reached another cliffhanger. The preview for next week seems a little more interesting, anyway.

Isekai Shokudō (Restaurant to Another World): Episode 11
I can’t say that the sirens’ story was very interesting or believable. Only the door’s connection with a previous story (Admiral Flugel) was valuable. I do like how the series has been working to do cross-connections between stories we’ve heard previously. The show did some spotlighting on Kuro, but Kuro isn’t an interesting or appealing character, so that time didn’t deliver much.

New Game!!: Episode 10
No real drama this week… not much happening with Aoba and her peers, either. The bulk of the episode was flat – no character development, no insights. Near the end, the writers threw a softball – everyone went home to cozy dinners with friends and family. The best part was the final vignette with Kou and Rin. Kou’s my favorite character in the series, and Kou x Rin is my favorite pairing – although there’s little sign that anything is actually going to happen between the two friends. I suppose their moment together made the episode worthwhile.

Tsurezure Children: Episode 11
Awww! I want to see Chizuru and Takurō together! The light is slowly turning on for Chizuru. Credit Ayaka for the assist! Then it seems like Kana and Chiaki are never going to get their act together. They are certainly ill-fated. Saki and Haruhiko need to get together, also – their vignette started sadly but then there’s a glimmer of hope. I loved Yuki’s contribution to the scene. I love Yuki! In the final story, Ryōko was trying really hard with exams. Masafumi sat on his hands, but the banter with Shinichi (the Dating Master) was fun. It’s the best Shinichi has looked all series.

Mahoujin Guru Guru: Episode 11
The usual antics. The episode was fine.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Episode 24
Seems like this episode could have been something instead of being a series of small vignettes that fell flat. The gathering of the five kages was overly flashy. Sakura unpacking was… whatever. The kages’ concern with the soft youth was kind of pointless. (Why don’t they have more competitions like the chunin exams?) Boruto remains a punk, and Sarada would do better to just ignore him. The battle between the two was… OK – but I expect better. Much of the what happens here is taken from manga chapter #700 – the series finale – but I wish they’d just done the chapter as it was.

Yōkoso Jitsuryoku Shijō Shugi no Kyōshitsu e (Classroom of the Elite): Episode 10
There’s been less conflict than I expected – and some finally appeared in the second half of the episode – manufactured by another class, I suspect. The current setup will surely lead to another misunderstand – and you know I hate misunderstandings. I dread what comes next, and my hope is that the mess will be short-lived. Who knows?

Gamers!: Episode 10
Back when this series started, I wouldn’t have guessed that most trouble would have been generated by Tasuku. But he’s the guy that leads everyone else to jump to conclusions. And there’s plenty of jumping going on. I’d love to have more of the (stupid) misunderstandings cleared up.

Konbini Kareshi (Convenience Store Boy Friends): Episode 11
Mishima has dragged his cold feet around so long that I don’t think he even deserves Mashiki – even if he finally confesses to her. After all, one episode is one month, and nothing has happened after 11 episodes. This entire series has been terrible. I’m rooting for Mishiki – and that’s about it.

Hina Logi – from Luck and Logic: Episode 12 (Series Finale)
Fluff until the end. A little bit of the expected conflict… and the goofy attempts to deflect the conflict… plus a bit of decent action in a battle challenge… and then the inevitable conclusion. Overall a reasonable ending to a lightweight show. Of the students and staff, there weren’t any that I didn’t like, so that’s a plus.

Boku no Hero Academia: Episode 36
The exam battles all were extremely entertaining. Highlights: Ochako blushing… Nezu-sensei laughing… Kōji speaking. I’m not sure what my reaction was to the student that I dislike – Mineta – actually winning. Ah, well… no matter. We’re finally ready to watch the final exam battle – Izuku & Katsuki vs All Might – starting next week.

Centaur no Nayami (a.k.a. A Centaur’s Life): Episode 10
Well, that was about as leisurely slice-of-life as you can get. The first story spent a lot of time with flower names. Shino is a quick learner and a patient teacher – very sharp and mature for a little kid. The second story was mostly about the Chi-chans – how they try to look after Sue… and their search for someone prettier than their oneesan. And, certainly, there’s no one prettier in this show than Manami (my fav!) Anyway, the episode was a whole bunch of small kids being cute. I’m good with that!

Knight’s & Magic: Episode 11
The fanfic continues. The big battle turns into a draw. I’d anticipated that the “running out of mana” scenario was going to be an out – and it happened twice. It’s all a setup for the finale (I hope).

Mitama Sisters
Mitama Sisters
Centaur no Nayami, Episode 11

Autumn is Here

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:43 pm
lovelyangel: (Kuroyukihime Poised)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Well… not officially… but autumn weather is here. The sky was blanketed with a solid weave of gray clouds – no sign of the sun – and sprinkles of rain. I love it.

Our special worship this morning was outdoors, and I broke out one of my favorite lightweight wool long-sleeve tops. Since the morning was below 60°F, I layered an additional Icebreaker wool vest. That was plenty to keep me warm as I performed photographer duties. Two cameras, two lenses, 450 photos. Lots of work ahead.

I didn’t stay for the potluck lunch. Instead, I headed north and stopped at Which Wich. I had a $3 credit that expired today – and plenty of dollars on the gift card that Jenni had given me.

Lunch at Which Wich
Lunch at Which Wich

After lunch, I drove home on surface streets. It was 64°F outside under the soft, colorless skies – perfect weather, actually. I rolled down the windows and enjoyed the fresh air all the way home. It felt good.

Related: Portland weather: Sunday's mild temps end 92-day warm streak, a new record

A Camera Thing

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:23 am
lovelyangel: (Haruhi Camera)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Test Photo
Test Photo

I was preparing my cameras, lenses, batteries, and memory cards for the event I’m photographing this morning. I remembered that D810/302 is getting close to the end of the number range for image filenames, and I wanted to see how many pictures remain before I need to reset the filename prefix. I absolutely must do this before Kumoricon, when things are so crazy I’m sure to blow right past the limit and forget to reset mid-convention.

I did test shots on each camera to see what the current filenames are. They are:

  • NFC_9500
  • NGA_2510

So there are nearly 500 photos remaining on D810/302. I’ve actually been using D810/306 as my walkabout camera, and if that remains the situation, it’s not likely I’ll shoot 500 images on 302 before KCon. I’ll probably have to swap cameras for a while.

This post mainly serves to remind me to keep an eye on the image counter on D810/302.

A Full Week

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:03 am
lovelyangel: (Homura Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Schedule craziness starts today. Besides a full workweek, my schedule for the next seven days includes:

SUNDAY
Special worship service for Frog Pond Church at the River Shelter at Wilsonville Memorial Park. I’ll be photographing the event.

TUESDAY
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro evening showing at Cedar Hills Crossing. Woo Hoo! (I held out for the Subtitled Showing, of course!)

WEDNESDAY
Evening farewell party for my co-worker friend “T”.

THURSDAY
Monthly dinner with my longtime friend Debbie.

FRIDAY
Afternoon appointment with my lawyer to review and sign papers.

SATURDAY
Early morning appointment with Bonnie, my hairdresser… followed by a daytrip with Jenni to the Corvallis Fall Festival. We’ve had this on the schedule for quite a while, and I can’t wait!

UPDATE: Posted schedule changes.

State of the Angel

Sep. 16th, 2017 07:48 pm
lovelyangel: (Haruhi Thoughtful)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Dishes
Dishes
Sinju Sushi Restaurant • Bridgeport Village • Tigard, Oregon
September 10, 2017

I’m a little weary, and I wish I had more time off from work. Many of my friends, former co-workers, and relatives are retired – and I’m a bit envious of them as my own plans don’t call for retirement for another seven years. I like my work a lot – I just wish I didn’t have to spend so much time at the office.

Work is going quite well, and although my workdays are long, the week does seem to fly by quickly. I love my job, my bosses, and my co-workers. I couldn’t ask for a better environment. I’m certain this is the best situation I’ve enjoyed in my 40-year career. I know to savor these blessings now, as things can change radically without notice. That’s simply the way the business world is nowadays. But I’d love to end my career on this sweet note.

*****

The weekend comes before I’m ready. Whether I’ve prepared or not, a long backlog of tasks carries over from the previous week.

This weekend is the fourth and final weekend in my less than heroic attempt to get the house in order before my fall schedule ramps up. The house had gotten to be quite a mess during the summer, and if I didn’t get things back in control, the fall was looking very bad.

The first two weekends were not very productive as the high temperatures hovered around 100°F, and the house did not cool down overnight. The house was stifling, and I sluggishly plodded through tasks. Last weekend the temperatures were around 80°F, and I did a little better. Every weekend was a small, incremental but important step in the right direction.

My big worry is the memory of the house falling apart horribly last fall when my schedule was overwhelming. This coming fall my schedule is similar. Basically my events and activities go non-stop starting mid-September and going through the end of January. While cleanup has been steadily progressing, I’m wondering if a state of tidyness is going to stick through the end of the year. I’ll try to keep on top of things this year – at least I’ll make an effort to be more mindful.

*****

I’ve been busy – too busy to take photographs. I used to be able to go on photowalks at random places, but my schedule has been too squeezed to do that. Right now, though, I’m thinking I need to stop any extracurricular photography. My mind isn’t in artspace much at the moment anyway. I’ve been learning that my event photography exacts a heavy time penalty, and it takes a couple of weeks to get my personal schedule back on track after an event. I’ve figured out I need to factor those weeks into every event on the calendar.

Friday I learned that a co-worker is also the co-founder of one of the bicycle companies I photographed at the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. Once I made the connection I sent him links to my photos of his bicycles. He actually remembered me from the shows. It’s a very small world. I made the connection as we were sharing our photo galleries in the Photography channel in one of our corporate Slack workspaces.

One of the studios that displayed art at the Portland Winter Light Festival asked me if they could use one of my photos of their work to include in their submission to the 2017 Oregon ASLA Design Awards. Sure. Glad to help.

*****

As usual, when my schedule gets stressed, I rely on anime to reset my brain each night after work. The current season’s broadcast schedule works out perfectly at roughly two episodes per evening. Monday still has the three worst shows of the season. The three shows on Tuesday are much better. Friday is down to no episodes except for the three minutes of Nobunaga no Shinobi. But I unwind in other ways on Fridays. (Monday’s shows are so meh that sometimes I’ll delay watching them, even as late as Friday.)

Anime music on my drive to and from work consistently puts me in a good mood. Ava’s CD player is acting balky at the moment. Usually it doesn’t do well in hot weather, but the CD player hasn’t gotten better with cooler, autumn temperatures. I don’t know if the player is having age problems, if the head needs another cleaning, or if the CDs are wearing out. I’ll be burning replacement CDs when I merge new songs into the commuting playlists later this month. I’ll learn more then.

*****

I still have a stagnant collection of unread books. I’ve shelved most of them, and now I’m keeping a list of the reading backlog instead of staring at a stack of books sitting on the floor in my bedroom. I avoid going to Powell’s Books except for mission shopping as I know I’m too vulnerable to impulse buying. I still spend plenty of money at Powell’s to feed my manga addiction. I’ll be paying another visit later this month to get copies of Skip Beat! Vol. 39 and Bloom Into You, Vol 3.

And maybe now it’s too easy to grow the backlog. I’ve stalled on The Color of Magic in my iBooks library. A week ago I added another ebook: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It’s a book that I don’t think I’ll miss having a physical copy of. On top of this, two weeks ago I received a digital version of the volume 1 omnibus from the Kimagure Orange Road Manga Kickstarter. That’s 550 unread pages of manga in my iBooks library.

I was reading about changes in the library card system for Washington County Cooperative Library Services, and September is Library Card Sign-up Month. I was temporarily motivated to go in and see if I could still use my very old library card – or if I needed a replacement. Then I realized that I haven’t checked out a book (or movie or whatever) in decades – and I probably won’t need a library card until I retire and have more time to read. I used to go to the library to read certain magazines and newspapers, but I don’t even have time to do that anymore. I guess the Internet has taken the place of that. Still, we have a Really Cool Library. I should stop in once in a while.

*****

Back to the original question. I’m doing fine. Super busy. A little bit tired. Sleeping barely enough (but sleeping in a couple hours extra on weekends). Somewhat overwhelmed by a daunting backlog of tasks, many past due. Treading water mostly – but making tiny bits of progress.

Next week my calendar is full – the start of fall/winter overload. I bring it on myself, though. And each activity is good – there’s just too much. When I don’t get enough personal downtime, I get grumpy, so I’ll have to watch out. In general, I take care of myself just enough. Sleep. Anime. Doing Nothing. Those all are things I need more of in times of stress. Stepping up time management is something I need to do, also.

With Luck, This Never Gets Made

Sep. 15th, 2017 06:27 pm
lovelyangel: (Mahoro Alarmed)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
I’m kinda thinking a Robotech Live Action Movie is a bad idea. Too many reasons to list.

And given the track record of most studios… what do you want to bet that the Japanese-Chinese Lynn Minmay is portrayed by a caucasian actress? (Ghost in the Shell, anyone?)

RyuZU!

Sep. 12th, 2017 07:02 pm
lovelyangel: (Mahoro Smile)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
PicTitle
RyuZU from Clockwork Planet
Kotobukiya 1/7 scale PVC figurine

I had expected on Monday to have to go to the post office to sign for this latest shipment from CDJapan, but it appears that Daniel was home and answered the door when the postal carrier attempted to deliver. So the parcel was waiting on the kitchen island when I got home from work yesterday. That saved me a trip and a day.

I ordered the figurine back in April, three weeks into the broadcast of the Clockwork Planet anime. The sculpture is based on the Cover Illustration for the first light novel in the series. Five months from order to delivery is unusually short for figurine orders. Figurines like these one has to order early, because they sell out. This RyuZU figurine is no longer available.

Kotobukiya as usual crafted a finely detailed figurine. RyuZU’s hair is less than impressive, but her outfit is stunning. I liked the anime series… I liked the character of RyuZU… and I’m pleased with this figurine. And remember that RyuZU was the Runner-up Name for My Next Laptop.





BlackPods

Sep. 12th, 2017 06:41 pm
lovelyangel: (Eve Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
BlackPods Unboxing
BlackPods Unboxing

We had thought that Apple might announce a New Version of its AirPods today. That didn’t happen, but there’s probably an update in the works that will be available soon. That’s fine. The current version still works perfectly well. I like mine a lot.

The only thing I don’t like is the color. The white AirPods look dorky to me, and I’m nothing if not vain. Several of the Apple News sites I follow were promoting BlackPods, and when The Loop ran a promo with $20 off, I jumped at the chance to get a set. I placed the order three weeks ago.

I like the smoothness of the AirPods case, so I ordered the gloss black BlackPods. My order was shipped first class mail and arrived Monday. They are very cool.

BlackPods
BlackPods

The BlackPods were soon fully charged, and I listened to one of my large anime playlists all Monday evening. I followed that by wearing them much of the day at work. I happened to be doing the kind of work that wouldn’t be slowed by music in my ears. The BlackPods were awesome.

No More White AirPods
No More White AirPods
iPhone 6 Photo

Dependent on the Cloud

Sep. 12th, 2017 05:37 am
lovelyangel: (Cooker WhatTha?)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Urk. Zenfolio has been down since about 6:30 pm last night (Monday). I have pictures to upload – and also blog posts being held up until the photo site is operational. I guess I’ll do catchup tonight after work.

Photo Event Planning, Updated

Sep. 10th, 2017 04:25 pm
lovelyangel: (Mamimi Camera 2)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
(Original Post, May 2017)

My schedule is constantly tight, and I have to plan my vacation time and photography time very carefully. For both, I lay out in advance the schedule for the entire calendar year. One thing I’ve been trying to figure out is how to avoid the horrible schedule mess I got into last year starting in October and ending in early February. Because I don’t have control over when certain events take place, my schedule is easily boxed in by those externalities.

What killed my schedule last year was the move of Kumoricon from its traditional Labor Day weekend spot to the weekend before Halloween. (This was forced by the move to the Oregon Convention Center, which has rules about convention scheduling.) This was compounded to Newcon being moved from mid-January to the end of December. The two biggest (quantitywise) photo events of the year were only two months apart.

This year, Kumoricon is one day earlier and Newcon is six days later – so there’s one extra week between the two. Also, the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show moved from October to August this year. That will help a bit with my October crunch. Still, October/November and January are going to be tough.

Now that I have two camera bodies, photographing certain events will be easier. My photo event planning calendar now looks like:

JANUARY
• Newcon (3 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G VR

FEBRUARY
• Portland Winter Light Festival (1 of 2 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G

JUNE
• Portland Pride Festival (2 of 2 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

JULY
• Oregon Country Fair (2 of 3 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E

• Beaverton Night Market #1 (1 day)
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

AUGUST
• Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show (3 of 3 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G
     • AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E

• Beaverton Night Market #2 (1 day)(skipped, conflict with OHBS)
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

• Solar Eclipse
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G

SEPTEMBER
• Frog Pond Worship Service at Wilsonville Memorial Park (1 day)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G

• Corvallis Fall Festival (1 of 2 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

OCTOBER
• OSU Women’s Volleyball
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E

• Kumoricon (3 days)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G VR

NOVEMBER
• Frog Pond Music Festival (1 day)
     • AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E
     • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G

Anime Summer Season Theme Songs

Sep. 10th, 2017 03:23 pm
lovelyangel: (Kagamin Miku 2)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Manami Mitama
Manami Mitama
Centaur no Nayami ED animation

It might be a lackluster anime season, but in spots there is good animation… and also there is good music.

A nice selection: 10 Rocking Anime Theme Songs from Summer 2017.

(Two of the 10 songs are already on their way here from CDJapan, on separate orders placed a week apart.)

Anime Summer Week 10

Sep. 10th, 2017 11:10 am
lovelyangel: Mashiro Shiina, Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo, Episode 6 (Mashiro Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Lion (Lionnes Yelistratova)
Perhaps you should just go with the flow, Lion
Lion (Lionnes Yelistratova)
Hina Logi – from Luck and Logic, Episode 11

Here are the shows from this season that I watched last week…

Tenshi no 3P! (Angel’s 3Piece): Episode 9
The entire story took a sharp left turn, negating earlier conflict and introducing another. Of course there was a very tidy resolution, pretty much by the book. Three song performances provided filler.

Yōkai Apāto no Yūga na Nichijō (Elegant Yokai Apartment Life): Episode 10
The school scenes were deathly dull. The conversations picked up a little back at the apartment house. Still, this was a sloooow-moving episode. Finally something happened at the very end, leaving only a cliffhanger. I’m not impressed. Better luck next week?

Isekai Shokudō (Restaurant to Another World): Episode 10
Well… they’re trying to make things different. Same two-story format. The first story about fairies & crepes was unusual in that the tiny fairies aren’t quite compatible with a regular human-sized restaurant. They made a wise choice in asking the half-elven Princess Victoria for guidance. The second story had the return of Fardania, the vegan wood elf. She remains on her journey to discover more culinary delights, so it was pretty easy for her to show up the older elf Christian. And, eww! Natto spaghetti!?!

New Game!!: Episode 9
Neither Momoji nor Tsubame are endearing themselves to me. Their half of the episode was offputting. The first half with Yun and Hajime was much better – a somewhat personal look into each of the characters.

Tsurezure Children: Episode 10
Tomomichi surprised me by actually being a good wingman, even if Takao seems too dense or too insecure to take any of the openings that Tomomichi provided. The Chiyo x Takao combo is pretty weak and sad at the moment. Ayaka and Takeru are at least trying. Takeru remains dense but earnest. I’m glad that Ayaka blurted out everything that bothered her. Now if only Takeru would get a clue. In the meantime Kana & Chiaki remain the comedy duo that can’t get their act together. Their accidental spying on Ayaka and Takeru was pretty funny, though. I sure didn’t expect the immediate follow up skit. And Chiaki was terrible. The entire thing made me sad. Good for Kana for throwing a punch and walking out. I really, really hope the two reconcile next week.

Chiaki Uchimura and Kana Iijima
Good for you, Kana!
Chiaki Uchimura and Kana Iijima
Tsurezure Children, Episode 10

Mahoujin Guru Guru: Episode 10
The usual antics. The episode was fine.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Episode 23
Something we rarely get to see… Sakura being bad-ass in battle. Nicely done, minna-san! The Boruto series never looked so good. It did not help that Sarada tried to interfere with Sasuke; that merely messed things up. Still, the Sasuke/Sakura Sharingan deceit combo was pretty cool. Sarada had a shining moment displaying the power she inherited from both of her parents. And a brief Kurama flare-up was nice also. Somehow handing an army of child clones to Kabuto seems like a terrible idea, though. Plus the way Sasuke left Sakura hanging… well… he’s still a jerk.

Yōkoso Jitsuryoku Shijō Shugi no Kyōshitsu e (Classroom of the Elite): Episode 9
I expected things to get ugly quickly, but it looks like we’re getting a gradual build-up. So this week wasn’t as bad as I had feared. I assume it’s just the writers trying to get us comfortable before the drama fireworks begin.

Gamers!: Episode 9
Both Chiaki and Tasuku screwed up big time, and now the tangle of misunderstandings is again growing wildly. I’m not crazy about this. Karen didn’t appear at all in this episode. The half-hour devoted to Chiaki did not put her in the best light. I remain solidly Team Karen. The series tried to throw me a bone by introducing a new ED song and animation. Not enough, people!

Konbini Kareshi (Convenience Store Boy Friends): Episode 10
This show really doesn’t do drama well. And there’s always lots of running. The episode miserably limped along and then suddenly things worked out in the end – albeit weakly and emotionally flat. Honda and Mishiki are back on track, and for once Honda called Mishiki by name – but just once – and it’s her last name. Most of the time it’s still inchō.

Hina Logi – from Luck and Logic: Episode 11
Oddly compressed calendar… this episode celebrated New Year’s Eve in the first part and Valentine’s Day in the second part. The first story was super slow (and Lion did a very bad thing taking Fujisaki-sensei’s crab delivery). If the story was meant to be Nina x Lion bonding, it was pretty weak – until the very end. And Lion’s naivete probably meant there’s no yuri connection. The second story was definitely faux-yuri as the overused love potion / Cupid’s arrow trope was laid on thick. Mostly an excuse for fan service, I guess. The saddest part is that Mizuki’s confession to Yuko was not taken seriously. All in all a non-eventful, high-fluff episode of little interest. The best part was the postscript with the two teachers.

Boku no Hero Academia: Episode 35
This episode delivered everything I was hoping for – super-interesting combinations of students and their efforts to develop suitable and compatible battle tactics. The battles were well thought out, and the action was entertaining. Lots of smiles to be had. Excellent episode – and there’s more to come!

Centaur no Nayami (a.k.a. A Centaur’s Life): Episode 9
I love how this series overlays serious issues on top of a benign slice-of-life story. This episode was also cool in that there were two stories that intersected, and we got to understand each story. While Suu-chan’s date was interesting, I preferred Manami’s story – the perfect student conducting research for her father’s sake. Manami’s apparent date with Omaki was a misunderstanding, but it’s nice to see that Manami has friends. We’ve only really seen her looking after her sisters and her father. The Chi-chans were adorable, as always. Their tag-team approach was funny.

Knight’s & Magic: Episode 10
Now we know the name of Ernesti’s evil counterpart – Oratio Gojass. He’s kind of a cardboard genius villain, though. But I suppose he’s a reasonable mirror of the Gary Stu that is Ernesti. I’m in this for the fun, though, and the rout of the Zaloudek forces and Prince Cristobal was certainly entertaining fanfic to watch. The reborn Kuschperchan nation is on a roll, so of course Gojass returns with an even bigger, badder supermachine. The Ikaruka has its work cut out for it.

Addy (Adeltrud Olter)
Addy (Adeltrud Olter)
Knight’s & Magic, Episode 11

Kickstarter

Sep. 9th, 2017 07:37 pm
lovelyangel: Homura from Homura Tamura v2 (Homura Musing)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Anything John Gruber mentions at Daring Fireball commands my attention. So on Thursday when he pointed to a Kickstarter project – Glow, the smart energy tracker for your home – I checked it out. Looked interesting, but I was in the middle of the work week, and I saved the link for followup over the weekend.

Today I watched the videos, checked my electric meter, and read the information about the project. I decided I’d be a backer, and I chose a reward level (Glow: Early Bird Limited Edition Walnut). When I signed up, Kickstarter sprung a popup that said, “You’ve backed 10 projects! Incredible.” That was followed by a pitch for a Kickstarter newsletter, which I declined.

Still, it hadn’t dawned on me the number of projects I’ve backed. When I went to my list of backed projects, it turned out that Glow was #11. I guess Kickstarter isn’t good at counting.

Of the 11 Projects I’ve Backed, only 6 were anime projects. I would have thought the percentage would be higher. But I’d forgotten I’d been a backer for things like Exploding Kittens and Elevation Dock.

All 11 projects I backed got funded. Six have delivered and five are still in flight – including two campaigns that haven’t closed yet. As of this moment, the Aria on Blu-ray campaign has 44 hours to go, and the Glow campaign has 5 days to go. Glow might hit 150% of goal, and Aria may hit close to 500% of goal. Good numbers for both.

I only back things I’m really interested in – and generally items of high quality and a strong development team. That might help explain the high batting average I have with Kickstarter projects. I’ve talked to some people who have backed only failures and have a dim view of Kickstarter. The contrast is a little bit startling. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.

So far, though, the program works for me.

Zero!

Sep. 9th, 2017 05:57 pm
lovelyangel: (Shun Angel)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
PicTitle
Zero from Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho
1/8 scale PVC figurine by Kotobukiya

I have never ordered a figurine without first watching the anime – until now. I’m very picky… er… selective about figurines for my collection. If I don’t think the figurine reflects the look and personality of the character, I’ll reject it. A notable case is the recent releases by Aniplex of Homura Akemi and Madoka Kaname from the Rebellion movie. A lot went into the design of those figures – but I don’t think they feel like Madoka and Homura in their movie personas. So I didn’t get those figurines. (I’ll confess I love how the two figures work Together.)

So… it’s really surprising that I decided to gamble and pre-order a figurine for a series I knew little about: Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho (Grimoire of Zero). I knew a summary of the story… and I had seen some of the illustrations of Zero for the light novels. Just based on that I decided I’d do the preorder. I liked the Photos of the Prototype. That was more than a year ago.

I think the figurine original release date was February. What I think happened is that the anime series schedule slipped one season, so the date for the figurine was pushed out also. The anime series was broadcast last season (spring season, April – June). Unfortunately, Amazon stole it away from Crunchyroll and simulcast on Anime Strike, which I don’t have a subscription for. So I didn’t get to watch the series. I did see screencaps, and I did read some Episode Summaries. The figurine was released in August, and then there was the usual three weeks to get from there to here.

Fortunately I was home today to sign for the delivery. UNfortunately, a second figurine was shipped by CDJapan one day later, and it didn’t catch up. I’ll expect that item to appear at my house on Monday or Tuesday, and I’ll have to make a special run to the post office to sign for it.

No matter. Unboxing was straightforward (except I forgot to take photos before I removed the figure from the box). No assembly was required; Zero was complete. She just sits on Yōhei’s head (a separate sculpture). Kotobukiya tends to be solid with details, and the sculpture has a good look. I’m glad I got it.




Saturday Morning

Sep. 9th, 2017 05:52 pm
lovelyangel: (Kyoko Pocky)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
After two straight weekends with 100°F temperatures, it’s a relief that we’re back to normal weather for September in Oregon. Highs are in the upper 70s this weekend. The Eagle Creek Fire is only 7% contained, though. At least the winds are blowing away from Portland, so we’re not steeped in smoke and ash – for now.

It’s a good day for working down my checklist at home. I did one thing that has been in the queue for 10 months – washing my Sailor Mars gloves, portions of which had gotten stained at Kumoricon. I haven’t decided if I’m wearing my outfit again this year, but at least the gloves are clean.

Gloves Laid Out to Dry
Gloves Laid Out to Dry

I should have remembered there was a parade in Beaverton this morning. I should also have remembered that whenever there is a parade, a major street near my house is closed, and all major roads through town get bogged down. Throw in a traffic accident, and my 10-minute drive to Uwajimaya turned into 25 minutes. Good thing I wasn’t in a hurry.

At Uwajimaya, fortune cookies were still not in stock. But they did restock the tamago boro that I like. And I got more hana arare. Then… surprise… expiration date sale of Trinity Almond Pocky. Two weeks ago I got boxes at 1/2 price. Today (9 days past the expiration date), the boxes were almost 90% off. 2 for 98¢. I got six more boxes. I could have gotten 12, but I haven’t finished the boxes I got two weeks ago. I seem to be consuming a box a week. I don’t need more carbs in my diet.

Treats from Uwajimaya
Treats from Uwajimaya

Aria Kickstarter Update #2

Sep. 6th, 2017 08:23 pm
lovelyangel: (Akari Ehh?!)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Four days left in the Aria Blu-ray Kickstarter Campaign… and we’ve blown through the final stretch goals – which means all of Aria will be ported to Blu-ray – all three seasons (Animation/Natural/Origination) plus Arietta and Avvenire! Yay!

Today they unlocked the new tiers, and I upgraded my pledge from Deluxe Prima – Double Plus to Deluxe Prima – Triple Plus.

Previously
Aria in HD!
Aria Kickstarter Update

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