Sunday, July 27, 2014

So, you may have noticed the lack of a pony post today...

Sorry about that. Between procrastination (because it's "Daring Don't," who WOULDN'T procrastinate on that one?), low energy, and a bunch of shit hitting the fan, I just haven't been able to do it.

At this point, I'm not even going to try to put it up during the week. Let's just call a Mulligan on this one, and the "Daring Don't" article will go up next Sunday.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kill la Kill Liveblog Chat Thingy

How to participate in the liveblog chat:

Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting!

Option 2: Go to Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We'll be watching the episode and commenting there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Chatlog below the cut!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Still no Fiction Friday because books

Am I the only one who prefers the Earth Civil War arc of Babylon 5 to the Shadow War arc?

And Londo's story to either?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Favorite Novels

Since a while back I shared my favorite anime, and I just reorganized my bookshelves, I figured I would share my five favorite novels. Well, favorite this week, anyway; the number of novels I love is probably an order of magnitude higher than the number of anime I've seen, and so the category of "favorite" is ever-shifting. I am deliberately leaving out short story collections, novellas, short story collections disguised as novels by use of a framing device, and graphic novels; I may do other lists which allow those at some future date, but for now I'm sticking to clear-cut examples of prose novels. Also this is in no particular order; it's hard enough to narrow the list to seven, let alone rank them.
  • Foucalt's Pendulum, Umberto Eco: Everything you would expect a conspiracy thriller written by a Nobel Prize-winning author/world-renowned semiotician to be. Dense, convoluted, twisty, a glorious celebration of the twin facts that conspiracy theories are fundamentally silly and the mystical is fundamentally a conspiracy theory.
  • Desolation Road, Ian MacDonald: A bizarre, largely episodic history of a small town in the Martian desert, peopled by outcasts and oddities. By turns silly and profound, and sometimes both at once. But mostly it's just deeply, deeply weird.
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis: Time-travel comedy of manners farce. In which two separate comedies of manners, one in the late 21st century and the other in the late 19th, collide gloriously. Nothing deep here, just a very funny and fun book.
  • Night Watch, Terry Pratchett: It was a very hard choice between this and Hogfather, the climax of which helped solidify a lot of my own worldview, but I think ultimately this is the better book. It's a fascinating inversion of Les Miserables, and without the interminable boring asides that prevent that book from being on this list. Like Les Miserables, it is ultimately an exploration of what it means to be good in a fundamentally corrupt world; this has better jokes and a less ridiculously uber-competent hero, though.
  • My Name Is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok: If you've read one Potok book, you've read all of them. This is that one. The story of an artist torn between the calling of his craft and the strict rules of his insular religious community, between his own integrity and what his upbringing and everyone around him tells him is "right."
  • VALIS, Philip K. Dick: A bizarre, hallucinatory journey, another conspiracy thriller (odd that there are two on this list; I don't usually care for the genre) caught in a complete psychotic breakdown, a narrative collapse par excellence that, ultimately, can only be resolved by the reader's own choices and interpretation. This is either an absolute masterpiece or a complete train wreck, and after three readings over ten years I'm leaning towards saying it's both.
  • Magister Ludi (a.k.a. The Glass Bead Game), Herman Hesse: I cannot even begin to describe this book. It is a living book, a growing thing that keeps changing every time you go back to read it, that writhes and shifts even in your hands. A slippery thing. It's about a guy that's really good at this very complicated board game. It's about academia. It's about life in a prison that isn't really there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thoughts While Watching Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode Two

Aw, episode one was ad-free for whatever reason. This has ads.

Second year of middle school in Japan, that's roughly 13-14, yes? Same grade as Utena.

Um... an IQ of 300 is impossible. Like, literally impossible.

Um. Wow. Ami is uncomfortably hot in this art style. *reminds self she's 14*

What. the. fuck. Oh, commercial. The way the characters jumped out of the compact, I was a little confused for a moment.

When Beryl refers to "our great ruler," does she mean herself or..? (Don't answer that.)

Maybe the Dark Kingdom just isn't very creative with titles, since they have four kings overseen by a queen. Maybe every single rank of nobility is called either "King," or "Queen."

Seeing a small cat refer to "The Evil" is giving me Sluggy Freelance flashbacks.

Wait, is Sailor Moon not the princess? I'm confused.

I... what? Where is Luna?

Haha, the nerd girl is a Virgo. And by "ha ha" I mean "fuck you."

Crystal Seminar is a villain plot, I'm guessing.

Aw, Ami took her glasses off. She looked way better with them, as most people do.

Oh my god, does Usagi have a thing for Ami? I could get behind this.

Usagi: Horrible cheater at video games. Also, Ami's lucky she picked that game and not the one next to it, if she'd beaten the high score on that one she'd be recruited to pilot a starfighter against evil aliens.

Here at the Crystal Seminar, we like to prepare young people for their inevitable future of sitting quietly in cubicles, typing away at computers and having their life essence drained to feed a dark power.

Okay, so who is the dark-haired girl hanging with Usagi and Naru? Is she a plant?

Japanese print ads are so busy by Western design standards. Newspapers, too.

No seriously, who wears a tux just walking around the street?

I... what? How did Usagi activate the brainwashing without brainwashing?

Wait, the video game just had a power-up for Usagi in it? I'd complain that this is video game logic, but... video game.

Does Ami's pen have powers too?

I like to think Usagi just THREW Luna at evil teacher-lady.

I really do feel like this transformation sequence is a huge improvement on the old one, but at the same time, I don't want to see all of it every episode. I hope we eventually get a shortened version or it changes up or something.

Ugh, super-whining again. Seriously, WTF show.

Damn, only the second episode and already Sailor Moon's getting her ass kicked. But I guess that's necessary so the new scout can save the day.

Once again, I'd like to point out that Luna gives her recruits EVEN LESS information about what's going on and what they're getting into than Kyubey does.

Oh, interesting, Usagi is Justice and Ami is Intelligence.

Bah, stop upstaging everyone, Tuxedo Jackass. You're even worse than Angel.

Moon Tiara brutal murder count: 2/2.

Ami and Usagi want each other SO BAD you guys. They're all blushes and smiles and handholding, I flat-out refuse to not ship them.

This ad for Crunchyroll Devices is reminding me of the thing they keep showing at movie theaters from MPAA about how movies deserve to be watched on the big screen, not the little. It's an anti-piracy ad, but it makes me laugh because it works just as well as anti-paying for movie rentals, DVD purchases, and streaming services.

Ah, image of our next recruit. I have a feeling she is going to be one of the characters most different from the Abridged Series version.

This was rather spectacularly better than the first episode, but I'm not going to actually LIKE this show until they get rid of at least one of super-whining or Tuxedo Fedora swooping in to save the day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I just realized a major upside to the end of My Little Po-Mo

Namely, I can skip Rainbow Rocks if I want to, without feeling the least bit guilty about it.

This isn't to say that I necessarily will skip it, just that I can feel free to wait and see what other people think of it. If the divide of people who did and didn't like it is more or less the same as for Equestria Girls, then I skip it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Images I really wanted to use for yesterday's post and couldn't

Usually, I'm fine working within my self-imposed rules. One of those rules, which I've never had any problem with before, is that I include a screencap from the episode with a funny (or "funny," depending on how much you share my sense of humor) caption.

But yesterday's post left me really, really wishing I let myself use images other than screencaps to illustrate an episode, because then I could have used one of these two: