Blog Archive

Friday, August 26, 2016

After Rio, Before Legion:

After Rio but before Legion, I got some important projects done -->

Maria-sama ga Miteru Season 4 blu-ray rewatched, and thus all of Maria-sama watched thrice.
Tamayura Graduation Photo rewatched, and thus all of Tamayura rewatched.
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, all the blu-ray available, rewatched.

My Anime Rankings permapost has been adjusted for all the new shows that aired this summer, as well as other changes I made just because.  The rankings are now more accurate than ever before, which is always the case after they've been newly revised.

I read the third and final translated Naruto Epilogue novel, Sakura's Story, which the anime still has no plans to adapt, so this is the only way to get the info.

The anime I say everyone should watch I've watched twice, and the light novels I say everyone should read I've read (except for Baccano which still isn't out past volume 10 or Fafnir which I'm working on).  I've done my part, now it's up to the world~

What the Alt Right Stands For:

The alt right believes, correctly, that various stereotypes about groups of people are true, based on the weight of the evidence, found across history and through endless studies and lived experiences in the present day.  There is no debating the alt right because 100% of the evidence backs them up, and 0% refutes them, so all liberals can do is point and sputter at how awful the truth is when spoken out loud.

Namely, these true stereotypes that virtually all alt right believers agree upon are these:

LGBTQers are disturbed, Blacks are stupid, Muslims are violent, Hispanics are mediocre, Jews are duplicitous, and women are fickle.

That's it.  That's all we ever wanted to say.  That's our grave and unforgivable sin.

However, whether we speak the truth out loud or not, it still has power over the world, because reality is real, no matter what liberals silence or censor.  You can't censor reality.  So either we confront these truths honestly and forge a maximum utility path with these truths in mind, or we walk blindly through a thicket and snag ourselves on every single truth we didn't see coming as our social policy lurches mindlessly from one crisis to the next.  Eventually we'll try to ignore truths so pressing and so vital to human life that we'll end up going extinct, at which point all that niceness won't avail anyone.  The alt right suggests we correct our course before our extinction instead of bragging that we were nice all the way to the grave like liberals want the rest of us to do alongside them.

When liberals cease simply calling for mass suicide via the ignoring of basic truths about reality, and start imposing it through the force of law (or the threat of economic deprivation or social death) instead, we call it white genocide, because now they are actively cramming our doom down our throats and we are too powerless to stop them.  If they would just leave us alone they could have all the nutty beliefs they wished, but since they will not allow us to live in accordance to the truth, nor will they allow us to secede from their demented nations that are intent on living contrary to the truth, all we can feebly do is protest our genocide to anyone fair minded enough to listen.  We're too powerless to run away, fight back, or do anything.  All we can do is protest our fate on the internet, but apparently even that makes 'us' the 'trolls' and liberals the victims.  Boys can't even design and play their own video games, buying and selling them freely solely between each other, without women and minorities crying out that they're somehow being oppressed and this practice must be forthwith put to a stop.  Liberals cry out in pain as they persecute and prosecute us out of every last nook and cranny of society.  For the alt right, 1984 already happened long ago.  We're already living the future, which is just a boot stamping on our human faces, forever.

All we ever did was dare to notice the obvious reality that's apparent to anyone and has been for millennia.  The alt right is simply those who can still see, those who can still see the Emperor's Clothes for what they are, and still dare to say he's not wearing any clothes to any who might be willing to listen.  Let us go our own way, and you'd never have to listen to us again.

Monday, August 22, 2016

After Bleach, Akame ga Kill!:

Akame ga Kill! is ending in the next volume.  The prequel series is close to ending as well.  It'll probably be all wrapped up sometime in 2017, given its monthly schedule.

Akame ga Kill, combined with its prequel, is my 7th favorite manga of all time, ahead of One Piece, Bleach and Dragon Ball.  It's ahead of virtually everything and everyone.  This is because killing is treated as an acceptable method to pursue the good, and dying is treated as an unavoidable fate for those who take up the sword.  These twin truths, which are obvious to anyone in the real world, are always avoided by other taleweavers like vampires confronted with garlic.

In Naruto and the like, infinite methods are used to avoid death no matter how heavy the fighting is.  There's always time travel, resurrection spells, dragon ball wishes, or in One Piece's case just ridiculous levels of vitality that allow you to survive any hit no matter how hard it might be.  Even when Gajeel is sent to Hades he's back out again in a few chapters, in perfect health and rarin' to go again.  In Akame ga Kill your main characters aren't safe and if they get into a tough pinch they die, because that's reality and that's life and that's war.  Not everything goes your way, and everyone in this job quickly grows aware of this fact up close and personally.

In addition, in Naruto, One Piece and the like, no one they fight is ever killed, no matter how dastardly they are.  They can do horrendous damage over a colossal time scale, and at most they're sent to prison.  Worse, they're regularly broken out of prison and left to wreak havoc again, or you could easily imagine a scenario in which such a result would occur, so the heroes don't even do what is necessary to prevent further damage from the same people they've been fighting so hard against.

In Akame ga Kill, if someone is a bad guy, the answer is to kill him.  As swiftly and mercilessly as possible, any way you can, whether cheaply or fairly, through force or fraud, just get the job done.  Once all the bad guys are killed the good guys can take over, take power, and create a utopia.  There's no threat of the bad guys coming back because they're dead.  'Talk no jutsu' is not the preferred method of fighting.  Akame has no qualms even killing her own little sister so long as she stands in the way of victory.  Bad people are treated badly, and thus karma prevails.  Good people aren't idiots who create their own problems by sparing dangerous threats that will pop up in the future because they were too weak-willed to do what was necessary.  They always do what's necessary, so when they're in trouble it's never their fault, it's just because the enemy is that strong.

For a story based on such simple, obvious truths, it's amazing that there is literally no other story like it ever composed by man.  A story that glorifies assassins who target their own government for takedown, who succeed in their revolution by simply killing everyone who runs said government and leaving it defenseless to a revolutionary forces takeover, and who willingly and actually go to their deaths in order to achieve this noble mission, never once regretting any of their decisions, is something that's happened a million times in reality but only once in the story telling world.  Akame ga Kill! is unique because it's an unvarnished depiction of the Truth of this world.  The only way to fight oppression is to kill your oppressors.  The only way to become strong enough to kill is to be willing to die.  Everything else is fairy tales and sugar plum rainbows and unicorn delusions.  If you start any argument with "I'm against violence, but. . ." you aren't a serious person and no one should take you seriously.  If you aren't Akame ga Kill!, you're not a serious manga and no one should read you.

Akame ga Kill! is ending in the right way.  It's at the final battle and no mysteries remain except the outcome, will the good guys or the bad guys win?  Everything has been wrapped up into a little bow and there's nothing left to say.  This is how a story should end, with everyone satisfied.  The story wasn't dragged out beyond what was necessary, but it also wasn't too short to tell a complex and immersive plot with deep characters we can truly relate to.  This manga will end up being around 21 volumes or so, which is pretty epic when you think about it, but not so much that there are hundreds of characters to keep track of, and not so repetitive that whole new villains are imported in to fight after the previous batch is finally defeated, and you end up on a treadmill like with Bleach, Naruto, Fairy Tail, Inuyasha or One Piece.  A lot of authors, like George R.R. Martin, could learn a lot from the brevity and simplicity shown in this series.  You don't have to keep adding in more and more crap to keep a story interesting.  All you have to do is make us care about what happens and then bring everything together in a thunderclap.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Jojo's is Unbearable:

The latest episode of Jojo's was so bad I couldn't even watch it all the way through.  It was so disgusting, so full of unlikable people doing unlikable things, that it's obvious that it has simply crossed a line and is now full on just abusing its audience.

Jojo's isn't even a good series anymore.  It isn't worthy of any credit at all.

Meanwhile, Neymar won the gold medal for Brazil's soccer team in dramatic fashion.  A fairy tale ending to a perfectly run Olympics.  All that's left now is the closing ceremony.  All the doomsdayers have been proven wrong, and the people who tried to badmouth it were all caught lying.  What a beautiful smackdown to all the haters in the world.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Jojo's is Sub-par:

The first two seasons of Jojo's were genuinely interesting.  I thought they were doing something new and fresh with a lot of different choices.  The third season of Jojo's was a lot more frustrating, but at least it provided closure on the whole Dio storyline, which was a worthwhile objective.  The 4th season never had any reason to exist, and its mere existence is enough to bring all of Jojo's down with it.

Is the 4th season watchable?  Sure.  But only at the level of bearable.  It's not must-see entertainment.  In fact, if I weren't stubbornly invested in the show from the previous seasons, I would've dropped it long ago.  This season is so bad that it drags the entire franchise below par, to the point that none of it is worth endorsing anymore.  I rewatched seasons 1 and 2 as promised, but I dreaded the very concept of rewatching seasons 3 or 4, nor did I have any wish to read ahead in the manga, even though every other manga I have ranked I've read or watched the entire adaption of already.  Even as I had Jojo's ranked, I never treated it like all my other ranked series.  Instead of eagerly seeking out Jojo's content, I avoided it like the plague and dreaded having to deal with it some time in the future.  This isn't a must see anime or must read manga.  This is a 'even bark starts to get tasty if you go without entertainment long enough' anime and manga.

I also dropped the Tales of 'x' from my manga rankings because it didn't fit my rules of having to be originally a manga and not an adaption of some other source.

Meanwhile, Mist has finally translated volume 10 of baccano, but it's still pointless until volumes 10-21 are downloadable in English, something that used to be available but now has been cracked down on thanks to the ever so helpful yen press licensing.

Meanwhile, Saki promises a major announcement next month.  Shinohayu the anime?  A third season of Saki?  A Saki Biyori anime?  A live action movie, like Bleach?  A pachinko machine?  The series is cancelled?  Your guess is as good as mine.  But at least there's a chance something on my wishlist will be fulfilled.

Yesterday was a slow day at the Olympics, but thankfully soccer is back for the next two days to spice things up again.

The latest episode of Naruto was fantastic.  Reminds me all over again why it's #1.

Kono Bijutsubu will only ever be good.  The art is amazing, and the girls are cute and likable, but everything is too over the top and shallow/repetitive to make for a truly high class romantic comedy.  Still, good is a rare accomplishment in and of itself.  Heck, that puts it right up there with Jojo's.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bleach's Unanswered Questions:

Is Kira really a dead zombie or does he retain his personality and for all intents and purposes is still alive?

What was the eventual result of Kira's fight with all the flamingos?

Why was Ukitake retained as a captain, and why did Byakuya defer to Ukitake's interference when Yoruichi was allowed to run away with Ichigo, if he was incapable of ever producing results in any fight throughout the series?  He never went Bankai, and then he dies without anyone even hurting him for seemingly no reason?  Why was this level of incompetence rewarded with a title equivalent to the likes of Kenpachi and Byakuya?

What happened to the royal guard?

How were those two zombie captains revived when Gremmy clearly said he had killed them?

Wasn't Iba supposed to accompany that dog captain and get revenge?  Why then did he never show up?  And why on Earth would a guy who never showed up to any fight in the whole series be promoted to captain class afterwards?

What is Hisagi Shuhei's bankai, in the end?

What is Ichigo's new bankai, in the end?  Does he still even have one?

Why didn't Ichigo's and Ishida's dads help in the fight against Ywach?

Why did that captain warn Ichigo's friends that he might not be able to return to Earth when Ichigo seemingly returned without any issue despite his massive powerup?

Why didn't Ywach use the bankai he stole?

Why, if Ywach can see the future, did he allow an arrow to hit him from behind as though he couldn't see it coming?

Why did Ywach absorb Gerard's and Haschwalth's powers, and then not even use them for himself, crippling his own side for no reason?

What is Shinji Hirako's bankai and how come he never used it?

What is Love Aikawa's bankai and how come he never used it?

What the hell happened to Mashiro Kuna such that she wasn't even there for the last battle?

If Ywach can see the future, why did he give the power of antithesis to Ishida, which even Haschwalth said would be a threat to Ywach?  In addition, why on Earth did he name Ishida his heir, when he knew Ishida would betray him?

What exactly was the soul king?  If the soul king was necessary for the world to exist, why was it fine after Ywach died?  Why did Aizen have such a huge grudge against a soul king which seemingly existed as nothing but an artificial pillar holding up the sky?

Where is Aizen now and in what state?  If he's back in prison why did he willingly submit to that fate after he'd finally gotten free again?

What happened to Tier Harribel?  The last we saw of her she was still imprisoned by the Quincies.  Was she liberated at some future point?

What about the remaining sternritters?

Is there a new soul king guarded by a new royal guard now?

Why didn't Tessai Tsukabishi help in the last battle?  What about Urara and Jinta?

How exactly did Byakuya and Kenpachi beat Yammy anyway?

Who is Iba's lieutenant?  Does Iba have a bankai or have standards been lowered?  (7th division)

Who is Lisa's lieutenant?  Does Lisa have a bankai or have standards been lowered?  (8th division)

Who is Rukia's lieutenant?  (13th division)

When, how and why did Ichigo reciprocate Orihime's feelings?

When, how and why did Rukia reciprocate Renji's feelings?

What did Kazui do to Ywach's power at the end, how did he do it?

Isane's a captain, so does she have a bankai or have standards been lowered?  (4th division)

Where's Kon?

What were the results of Ganju's special training?  He didn't seem any different in the little screen time he had.

Does Ichigo even care about his Shiba relatives or is he just going to ignore that link he has with soul society?

Does Yoruichi have a bankai?  If she does, what is it?

Where is Urahara Kisuke now?

If Aizen has one, what is his bankai, and why hasn't he used it yet?

Is this still all part of Aizen's plan?

Why didn't all the surviving good guys help out Ichigo against Ywach in the final fight?  Why was it just Ichigo, Renji and Aizen in the end?  There were a plethora of characters who hadn't been hurt much yet and and hadn't gone all out yet, and they just abandoned the fate of the world to Ichigo with a whoop-de-doo-da?

Why would Ichigo work as a doctor in a clinic when Inoue can heal anyone from any level of injury with magic?  What's the point of Ichigo working?  Or does he just leave it all to Inoue and loaf around the house all day?

Was the manga really canceled right before it would have reached its natural conclusion by a malicious, evil group of editors at Shonen Jump?  Or did the author just get sick of tying up loose ends and decided to spontaneously end it with a deus ex machina silver arrow?  Is there some third reason why the ending was so rushed?

If the editors did cancel it against Tite's will, why, when it was still one of the best selling manga in the world and has a huge following which would be extremely angered at Jump's betrayal of their desire to see the proper conclusion of a story they've been following for 15 years?

Why didn't Bleach get the cover and an all color chapter after being the mainstay of Shonen Jump for 15 years?  Why isn't it shown as much respect as Naruto was?

Why was the 'exciting announcement' a live action movie, which no one wanted, instead of the anime adaption of the last arc, which is what everyone wanted?

Was Byakuya really supposed to survive that initial sternritter raid or did the editors simply insist he be spared against Kubo's wishes?

More or less, all of Naruto's questions were answered and the epilogue novels and manga, if not the original manga, explained everything satisfactorily.  Bleach, on the other hand, has to have set a record for the number of unresolved issues the story ended with.  This is a worse ending than Kenichi's, which is saying a lot.

However, I do like one aspect to the ending.  Ichigo properly got with Orihime, something she deserved so much after all the love and care she's shown him.  That right there is worth a billion bonus points.  I don't really care about Renji and Rukia getting together, I never thought they had any chemistry, but at least their daughter is both gorgeous and awesome, so I guess it wasn't a bad idea after all.  Just as I was rooting for Hinata and Naruto, my wishes were granted and made canon by the author with Ichigo + Orihime.  Also, Orihime never went out of character in order to please all of Kubo's critics.  He stuck to his guns and she stayed herself to the very end, the girl I loved from start to finish.  Thank you so much for that.

It's obvious we're never getting the ending of Bleach in animated form.  Which is a shame, because the anime could have been used as an opportunity by Kubo to rewrite the ending to whatever he really wanted it to be, and all the plot holes could have been filled in as a result.  If those two steps had been taken, it could've been the greatest anime of all time.  As it stands, though, I'm content with it staying more or less where it is in my rankings.  Bleach is what it is.  It never got the respect it deserved, but it's still better than virtually anything else out there.  Hopefully Fairy Tail won't share the same fate as Bleach.

I've rewatched and reread Bleach many times, and I'll probably do so many more times into the future.  It's one of the best stories ever told, and a rushed ending can't change that.  The numerous engaging characters you can invest in across the story rivals or even exceeds Naruto's.  The world building was great.  I never felt like a situation was unrealistic or unbelievable, the plot, setting, and characterization all worked together to form an immersive whole.

The people criticizing Bleach don't know what they're talking about, just like the critics of SAO, they don't even try to understand what's going on so of course they can't figure out why it makes sense when what happens does happen.  They also keep lumping things together when they only share vague similarities and are actually original and innovative ideas.  Every time they question the author's judgment and say things should have gone a different way, that's simply because they don't properly understand the characters in the story and Kubo does, which is why things always go the way they do and not the way fans want them to go.

If Bleach had had the time to answer its remaining unsolved issues, it would've been perfect.  It may have been the best story ever told.  I never turned my back on Bleach as a fan and I never will.  I love this series wholeheartedly, and I loved the final two chapters wholeheartedly.  Even if Kubo someday regrets writing the series and apologizes for it, I'll still be its champion.  People who pretended to like Bleach in the beginning and then made lame excuses for why they stopped liking it in the future are the sort of people who cheat on their wives and get divorced.  They're just a bunch of faithless traitors whose opinions aren't even worth regarding.  If all the trolling by bitter fans eventually convinced Kubo to quit or the editors to can him, I'll never forgive them for spoiling this story I loved.  They destroyed something beautiful and great, one of the most popular manga and anime of all time, and for what?  Just because they enjoy tearing down things they themselves were never capable of producing in the first place?  Just because they feel entitled to their fanfic version of events playing out and the author should be their slave?  There's no excuse for their behavior.

They're as bad as Ryan Lochte, who tore down his host Brazil and the Rio Olympics, by saying scurrilous lies about a fictitious armed robbery when he, in fact, was the criminal and he's caught on a surveillance tape vandalizing the gas station that security guards intervened to stop.  Ryan Lochte and his teammates are all scum, and worse, they got me piling on to Rio because they tricked me into believing the exact opposite of how the events really played out.  As someone who had defended the hosting of the Olympics in Rio all this time, I was pretty sad to see something like that happen to one of our most decorated athletes.  I was ready to declare Rio a failure and everything I said in the past a mistake.  To learn that I was simply lied to flat out by this honorless disgrace and Rio had done nothing wrong to begin with, is like if I had piled on to the innocent girl in Much Ado About Nothing and driven her to suicide.  What a bitter thing this asshole made me do, and now I have to share in his bad behavior of having dissed Rio without cause right alongside him, because his slanders had me convinced.  Just give him and all three of the other swimmers the death penalty and be done with it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sanne Wevers Revolutionizes Gymnastics:

By winning gold on the balance beam using old school mounts, dismounts, and spins, Sanne Wevers personally saved the sport of gymnastics from becoming 'men's strength contests light,' returning it to its roots of feminine grace and appeal.

Sanne Wevers won balance beam despite Laurie Hernandez doing more flips and a crazy dismount, which opens the sport back to all the people who maybe can't do all those flips because their bodies are not built like Mark IV Panther Tanks, but do have their own brand of gymnastics beauty they still want to express on the world stage.

I haven't seen a beam routine like Sanne Wevers' in my entire life.  In the 70's and 80's, they never did so many spins so well, and by the 90's and 00's no one was doing them at all.  The modern synthesis of ancient moves done at a dizzying level of difficulty (one was even invented by her and is thus called the 'Wevers') can hopefully take gymnastics into a whole new direction on other apparatuses as well.  The floor mat, for instance, could more authentically dance to the music, or the vault could focus on doing simple things well instead of falling on your face trying the impossible.  Shannon Miller's 1992 vault still stands out after all these years.

Wevers had an even more difficult routine planned, which if she had somehow landed would have been even more beautiful, but it was scrapped after her main competition, Simone Biles, put her hands on the beam and thus required little to beat anymore.  I'm glad it was scrapped, because this way it was performed perfectly from start to finish, but boy do I wish that someday she'll perfectly execute the more difficult routine as well, just so the world can see what old school gymnastics is truly capable of.

I thought Kocian's uneven bars routine was better than Mustafina's, but it's probably better for the sport if the USA doesn't win gold in every gymnastics competition, thus driving all the other countries to just give up in disgust.  If a competitor from a different country is even arguably better than the American, I suspect she'll win, because there has to be some incentive to keep competing against the USA looking towards the future.

Overall the P&G championship had more good gymnasts and better routines than the Olympics, but Wevers wasn't at the P&G championship so the Olympics was still worthwhile.  It's important to keep cultivating unorthodox talents like hers that the USA training program would never develop in that direction to widen the scope and appeal of the sport.

Meanwhile, Sweden is ruining the sport of soccer by sitting back on defense and beating obviously better teams by forcing draws and then penalty kicks, which they keep winning through some infernal luck.  Without even attempting to win the games legitimately, they make it impossible for any sort of flow or flair to occur on the field, treating the game like some sort of immobile World War I trench battlefield.

What's the use in getting gold with tactics like these?  It will just drive away the viewers and end the entertainment value of the sport, which is the entire purpose of sport, for both the players and the fans.  There are tons of sports where unsporting tactics are technically legal but never done -- like walking batters in baseball or going for extra touchdowns when you've already clearly won the football game -- and only Sweden appears to have not gotten the memo on this rule.  In soccer, both teams are supposed to go on offense and try to score a goal, leaving only a few defenders on their side of the field while in possession of the ball.  This leaves enough space on the field for attackers to find open lanes and get quality shots on goal.  If your team simply aims for 0-0 and penalty kicks from the very start, it's virtually impossible for anyone to score, thus obliterating the entire sport from existence.  Penalty Kicks is not soccer.  Soccer is goals scored in the run of play.  Sweden's new sport of 120 minutes of waiting followed by penalty kicks is an abomination.

Sweden can get away with it because it's just one team using this tactic, free riding on the fun matches other teams provided playing fair between each other.  But how would they feel if every team acted like they did?  What if no one even advanced the ball for 120 minutes every game, and everyone just lazed around on the field napping until the penalty kicks phase arrived?  Do you think the sport of women's soccer would be in the Olympics then?  From a Kantian point of view, Sweden is immoral, even though what they are doing in the short term and from a narrow perspective is getting them to unprecedented heights of success.  I hope Germany can somehow beat them in the finals, but I doubt they can.  10 people on defense all game long just isn't possible to beat, no matter how good you might be.  Even if Germany beats them on penalty kicks after Sweden forces another 0-0 overtime draw won't be satisfying in the least, since it obviously could have gone on a coin flip to Sweden instead.  If we reach penalty kicks a third time in a row, consider women's soccer as a sport dead.  Everyone will, per force, have to switch to this new winning tactic, and then every game will be as dull as Sweden's are.  Once that happens, no one will give a flip about it ever again.

Meanwhile, the last episode of Durara was finally subbed, so be sure to check that out.