Noragami starts off very, very strongly, with a little wisdom and a lot of polish

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I hate to sound like an embittered loser who has had no luck with women, but every fiber of my manly heart cried out with recognition at the scene illustrated above.

Continue reading Noragami starts off very, very strongly, with a little wisdom and a lot of polish

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Cooking in Like Water for Chocolate, in anime, and in real life

A semi-famous blogger named Dalrock is still getting a lot of comments on his post about how refusing to cook makes you ugly:

http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/feminists-are-ugly

Feminists are ugly because they are miserly with love.

One of the effects of feminism is that men of my generation have had a much wider opportunity to cook. I can’t think of any men my age or younger who don’t know how to cook. Moreover, I can’t think of any men of my generation or younger who don’t enjoy cooking. This is in stark contrast to the women of the same generations, who (typically) view cooking as an indignity. The reason for the difference in attitude boils down to what cooking is all about. Cooking is an act of love, an act of service to others. It is an opportunity to care for others in a very fundamental way, to literally nourish them through the work of your own hands. This is precisely what troubles the modern woman so much about cooking (or cleaning, or changing diapers). Serving others in the mind of a feminist is an indignity, so cooking, cleaning, or any other act of service and love is the object of revulsion. … It has gone so far that large numbers of women are quite proud of the fact that they have never learned to cook or otherwise care for others. Their miserliness is a badge of honor.

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Continue reading Cooking in Like Water for Chocolate, in anime, and in real life

Technical aspects of cosplay; what I like and what I don’t

I don’t pretend to be an authority on art, but I can point out what I don’t like, and what I do.

Example 1 of 2:
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The pale skin and slender build make this model a good fit for this character. Where is her sword?

The model’s facial expression seems to convey a passionate intensity, but not really for bloody revenge by combat. (I am not blaming the model. Models get photographed thousands of times; they can’t exercise precise control over each facial expression.)

The basic costume design is excellent, but some enforcer of public prudery seems to have put semi-transparent clothing between the model and her costume. This ruins the effect. The hair might be a little overdone.

How to fix it: First, get her a sword.
If public costume displays require semi-transparent hotpants and halter tops, do the photo shoot in private with a proper version of the costume. The girl is pretty enough to be a model; there’s no reason why she has to do photo shoots at Comiket.

Continue reading Technical aspects of cosplay; what I like and what I don’t

What does your cosplay say about the character you portray?

I note (upon ripping off lots of Comiket cosplay images from San-Com) that most cosplays can readily be boiled down to a one-sentence summary.

Example:
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“I have large muscles and a sword sharp enough to turn my muscle power into destruction.”

Yes, I know the real cosplay sword is probably not a really sharp or useful blade. But the character is making that statement.

Note: Possible minor spoilers for Full Metal Alchemist.
Continue reading What does your cosplay say about the character you portray?

Nothing says “retro cyberpunk” like a few lines of Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

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Just feast your eyes on that.

That’s Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, also known as BASIC. It was pretty high tech in 1982.

But it showed up in New Dominion Tank Police, which was made in 1993, quite a long time after 1982. But 1993, computer people were endlessly gabbling about object-oriented stuff. I don’t understand why Masamune Shirow hadn’t heard about it.
Continue reading Nothing says “retro cyberpunk” like a few lines of Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

Shows I liked and disliked in 2013

I am mostly out of touch with the primordial cycle of the seasons, but anime shows come out in 4 separate seasons of 13 episodes each, so now that the Autumn 2013 season has ended, it is time to criticize anime writing.
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Yozakura Quartet: Hana No Uta

The original Yozakura Quartet anime was much more subdued; this made it more plausible, but less exciting. Hana no Uta is over-the-top, and for the most part that works out well, although it sometimes gets so whimsical that it snaps me out of my suspension-of-disbelief.

I was very impressed with this reboot. I enjoy each episode; I hope that the writer will manage to deliver a satisfactory plot that will prove to be worthy of all the individual episodes.

Beyond the Boundary/Kyoukai no Kanata
Continue reading Shows I liked and disliked in 2013

Over-used tropes: bounty hunters and episodic odysseys, as seen in El Cazador de la Bruja

When most people think “bounty hunter,” they might think of Faye Valentine:
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But in fact, it’s surprisingly easy to over-use the “bounty hunter” trope, because it imposes very few restrictions on the writers.

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Continue reading Over-used tropes: bounty hunters and episodic odysseys, as seen in El Cazador de la Bruja

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