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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Kuromukuro blu-ray Available:

Kuromukuro is one of those shows that stubbornly refuses to release in 1080p blu-ray.  No matter how long you wait, no progress is made.

So the solution brought about today by Kotex is welcome.  Just combine his subtitles with the raws from ohys and at least we'll have a 720p blu-ray version of this long-neglected show.  Once I'm done rewatching www.Working, Kuromukuro can now come next.

I had to settle for a 720p blu-ray version of www.Working as well.  If a show isn't popular enough, it commonly happens.  It's not the end of the world, it still looks great, it's just not what you'd prefer for an archival copy which should always be at its very best.  (At least with blu-ray there's always less censorship).

Yasunori Mitsuda says Xenoblade Chronicles X 2 has a 120 song long soundtrack, and the music is modeled after Xenogears'.  That sounds pretty much like heaven.  December 1st can't come soon enough.

Netflix's Punisher comes out in just two more days, as does Fairy Tail's Dragon Cry movie.  November is heating up.

Another good piece of news related to Fairy Tail -- Blue Mistral's final manga volume is finally getting translated -- in July of 2018, for sale at  I can't resist the #1 manga of all time so this is a must-buy.

That leaves only the Raido Issen manga untranslated out of all the Fairy Tail corpus.

I don't like the Ruka arc in Hayate no Gotoku.  Nagi doesn't act like herself from start to finish.  It feels very artificial.  Why would someone suddenly lack confidence in their artistic skills when looking at an unfinished storyboard as opposed to the finished manga she reads every day?  Couldn't she have seen the gap in quality all along from the start with any manga volume she opened?  If none of that made her feel bad about her art, looking at a storyboard wouldn't make any difference either.

In addition, Nagi is under the misimpression that Hayate loves her and they're currently dating.  The reason he keeps things platonic, in her mind, is because he's a chivalrous gentleman who takes into account her young age.  However, the multiple times Hayate has promised to be with her forever, to protect her in the future, that he likes her, and so on, guarantee that when the time is ripe their romance will take on a more concrete form.  She wouldn't believe that Hayate could be taken away from her or lost just because he pays back his debt or quits as his butler, etc, etc.  First and foremost they're a couple.  And yet, strangely, she acts like this part of her character is just completely forgotten for the duration of the arc, like they aren't dating at all, and their only relationship is that of master and butler.

To make matters more of a plot hole, she returns to thinking they're a couple after this arc, so the change in attitude is a total whipsaw.

It should have been impossible for Nagi to be told that Hayate will marry Ruka without her challenging him with cheating.  "How can that be?  Aren't we already a couple?"  That's the first question the real Nagi would have given at this moment, but instead she just accepted it as natural and acceptable that he could agree to marry Ruka.

Meanwhile, Hayate couldn't possibly have agreed to marry Ruka, given all the promises he had made to Nagi in the previous arcs to be with her forever.  It makes no sense that he could be so callous towards Nagi.  It's not in his character to abandon and betray people like that, and all over a flippant promise Ruka extorted out of him just a few weeks ago.  Shouldn't he have told Ruka that marriage was unthinkable due to his prior obligations and oaths he'd already given?  If breaking his promise with Ruka was bad, then what about his promise to Nagi to be with her forever at Sakuya's birthday party?  Shouldn't that promise have taken priority?

Furthermore, Nagi is so terrible at drawing and writing manga, I find it hard to believe she could have completed something worthwhile that would gain 100 sales even in the forgiving atmosphere of a comiket.  The fact that the story is never revealed makes it all the more suspicious, as even the author doesn't seem to know how Nagi could have succeeded.

Even the very first stories by Ashirogi Muto are infinitely better than the nonsense Nagi produces (given that she's just a sheltered 13 year old rich girl, this isn't saying anything bad about her, it's just reality.)  But Ashirogi Muto had tons of trouble getting recognized or serialized and it took years of effort polishing their craft to make something presentable to the public.  Nagi had a lot further to go, so how did she manage to sell 100 copies of anything just months after the initial crap we saw her producing?

And why does Nagi want to be recognized by others on the basis of her own merit?  Why does she suddenly care about gaining high status from others?  All this time up until now, she's been an arrogant, full of self-confidence and self-esteem, 'go it her own way' woman who didn't care what other people thought and looked down on all of them.  Going to school, much less working, was considered losing out to society while staying at home and playing video games was winning.  Whence came her sudden desire for societal approval and the complete breakdown of her own self-confidence, requiring the validation of others to make up the gaping void in her heart?

Are we to believe her entire life up until now was just putting up a front and really she was desperately anxious for the praise of strangers?  But remember, in her mind, Hayate has already totally fallen for her for who she already is, so why does she need any more outward validation than that?  Hayate is a popular, hot guy who all the other girls want but he chose her over all of them, isn't that a social status dream come true for Nagi?  What more proof does she need of her own worth?  Yet again it's like Nagi's completely forgotten that Hayate loves her and in this world is still a needy young girl requiring affirmation from someone, anyone, anywhere, in any way.

As far as I can tell, the author grew to hate Nagi for who she was and decided to change her character into something he preferred, and he just rammed the change through despite none of it making any sense.  To make matters worse, I preferred the old Nagi to the new one!  You can say she was foolish and naive and whatever, but she loved herself and loved her life and loved and believed in Hayate, and thus was genuinely happy.  Was it all a delusion?  Maybe, but the happiness was real.  She was living out the dream life, the human ideal.  Now she has nothing.  She's just a crappy doujinshi maker, broke, Hayate's promised to marry another woman, she no longer takes satisfaction in any of her old hobbies and she no longer values anything about herself.  This is character development?  This is growth?

Also, Kayura was a terrible new character who served absolutely no point.  Her role could have just as easily been served by Chiharu who was already there.

Ruca's arc wasn't all bad, Hinagiku, Ayumu and Izumi were still great.  But we're talking something like 1/3 of the manga that does more to undermine the premise and quality of the story than buttress it.  No wonder the anime quit midway, and even resorted to writing up its own separate stories.  Anything to avoid the Ruka arc.

At least the final 100 chapters should get back to the original concept of the story and deliver a satisfying conclusion.  I recall the final arc being just fine, though I guess I won't know for sure until I re-read it as well.

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