In the last 7 days...
Tue, 10/06/15 "Overlord episode 11"
Tuesday, October 6. 2015 | Comments (2)
Episode eleven starts with Ainz sitting in his throne room remotely viewing the still not moving Shalltear. He's berating himself for allowing this situation to happen, which isn't helping his continuing doubts about his ability to be a real-life leader of a guild of super-beings. His self-chastisement is interrupted by a call from Narberal, who is manning their room at the inn in E-Rantel.
Narberal's communication skills come from a rare skill set that gives her bunny ears, tail, and outfit. Narberal only uses the ears.
Thanks to the iron-class ranger that was sent back to town, the adventurer's guild has investigated the area and knows about the presence of a high-level vampire. Vampires are normally a mythril-class challenge, but this vampire has clearly over-achieved a bit. So the master of the adventurer's guild has called all of the mythril-ranked adventurers in the area to discuss a strategy for dealing with the vampire. The other three mythril adventurers, all leaders of teams or guilds, start divvying up scouting duties, prompting Ainz to interrupt.
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Wednesday, September 30. 2015 | Comments (2)
Ok, this is the first full entry with the new editor. The old version of Serendipity had word-processor-type editors available, but I never liked the formatting. I always just wrote everything using html. So it may take a while to get this to look right.
Episodes 10 - 13 of Overlord adapt the third volume of the Overlord series, which isn't really fair. Episodes 1 - 4 adapted volume one, which was much shorter than volumes two and three. Episodes 5 - 9 adapted Volume two, which was shorter than volume three. So we get the same number of episodes as were dedicated to volume one, to adapt almost twice the material. So I'll fill in where I think it might be appropriate.
At the end of episode 9, Ainz finds Nfiria deep in the mausoleum, (regrettably) destroys the Crown of Wisdom, and then heals the boy of his Clementine-inflicted blindness. He then remembers that one of the battle maids had messaged him right as this whole mess was starting and asked him to contact Albedo ASAP. Now that he has the chance, Albedo's message is short and troubling: "Shalltear Bloodfallen has revolted against Nazarick."
On to episode 10.
In a posh restaurant somewhere in the Kingdom, a beautiful young woman is complaining about the food:
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Tuesday, September 29. 2015 | Comments (2)
Now running the newest version of Serendipity. The blog itself appears to be the same. The backend will take some time. The editor is now WYSIWYG, rather than raw code. Let me know if you run into oddities or problems.
UPDATE: The RSS/syndication thingy doesn't look right. But I don't use the feature...if someone who does can let me know what it's doing, I would appreciate it.
Friday, September 25. 2015 | Comments (2)
Previously, on Overlord:
I'm gonna cheat a bit. This episode actually wraps up the current storyline and starts the next one at the end, but I'll talk about all that next writeup. Cuz the battle is completely self-contained.
First, Nabe/Narberal. Khajit uses his charged Gem of Negative Energy to summon a bone dragon.
Narberal is clearly worried:
Continue reading "Overlord episode 09"
Monday, September 21. 2015 | Comments (0)
Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa episode nine is a story episode! Which is good, because I just watched episode twelve today and the producers are going to (probably) give us a made-up ending in episode thirteen. Basically leaving out half the manga. Hell, they never introduced three major characters, and haven't touched several minor characters who take part in the story. However, it's also possible, given how the build-up went in episode twelve, that a second series could be teased, or really just added on at any point no matter how they end this series. Hell, Kimi Ni Todoke ended the first series (done in two cours, btw) with the confession and hookup, and then added a second series where the main couple spend thirteen episodes building back up to another confession, but this time they mean it. So, grain of salt and all that jazz.
Asahi is regretting the lack of movement in getting closer to Youko Shiragami, so his best friend Oka (remember him?) suggests a trip to the pool.
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Tuesday, September 15. 2015 | Comments (2)
Ok, you remember how episode 7 ended right?
Clementine wastes no time. "Hi! I'm here to kidnap you! We want to use your special talent of being able to use any magical item! If you do that for us, we can use the 7th Tier spell, Undead Army, that no known human is capable of casting! We'll start an undead apocalypse!" As Ainz would say, the only people who tell you exactly what they're going to do are either lying, or so confident in their abilities that it doesn't matter if you know.
Peter, Dyne and Lukluther shield Ninya and Nfirea, but before the two can escape Khaji closes the door to the pharmacy.
Continue reading "Overlord episode 08"
Saturday, September 12. 2015 | Comments (2)
Overlord Episode Seven starts the next morning after Episode Six. So...
The next morning, Ninya apologizes to Momon for the insensitive comment he made to Momon the previous evening. In order to normalize their relationship again, Momon jumps in on a conversation about a legendary dragon that is supposed to live near E-Rantel, and asks Ninya to find out the name of the dragon. This not only helps Ains Ooal Gown make more correlations with Ygdrassil, it establishes some shared ground between Momon and Ninya. Everyone is glad things are back to normal, but the mood darkens as they approach Carne Village.
As the group nears the gate, things look even worse:
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Thursday, September 10. 2015 | Comments (2)
Ok, I'm gonna have to go backwards on this one. Normally when I write an episode up, I do the following: I watch it, grabbing every single screenshot that I think I might talk about. I then thin out the screen shots to find the best take from a scene and throw out some shots and scenes as I start editing my comments in my head. I then convert from high quality pngs to good quality jpgs and upload the files. As I write the commentary, I will frequently edit or re-arrange things as I go, usually resulting in throwing out any where from 1/4 to 1/2 of the images I uploaded.
However, occasionally, at some point in the pre-editing process, I'll realize that building the write-up with the current selection of screenshots is going to result in something closer to "description - picture. description - picture." And I don't want to do that. If I was going to do that, I might as well just link to somebody's summary and Sankaku Complex's screencaps. When I discover that I'm about to do an episode like that, I have to back up, head to the "New Entry" screen, and start extemporizing. At some point I'll glom onto an idea. After I get going, I can then start finding places to introduce images from the show. And that's what I have to do for episodes seven and eight.
Episode Seven of Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa introduces a new character, and Episode Eight takes a chapter from the manga about that character and stretches it out a bit into an overly-long gag. The episodes are supposed to develop some of the characters further, as well, but it doesn't really work out. Mainly because, as I mentioned early on, the anime production is combining multiple stories from throughout the manga into single stories. Some of those later stories work because they're call-backs to these early stories. When you combine the two, you just get a marginally funny joke episode that does nothing to further the plot. I literally have no screen caps from episode eight, because it's not worth it. Grumble.
Anyway, back to episode seven. Still reeling from constant harassment by Mikan and the newly-admitted Shiho, Asahi runs off into the depths of the school until he encounters Youko. Asahi's inner voice provides a summary of the story so far, and concludes by wondering how many people around the school might have hidden secrets. (I swear, this "hidden secrets" plot was largely gone by now in the manga.)
Asahi and Youko follow the pink-haired, horned girl through the school and outside onto the grounds. Asahi is supremely worried about the horns, but Youko is overcome by moe. She finally approaches the girl and asks if she can pet the girl's head, eliciting another round of reaction face from Asahi. As Asahi can't keep his emotions off of his face, the pink-haired girl deduces what his problem is...everyone always wants to know if she's really old enough for High School. Reaction face. Ah, also everyone asks how I stay so small when I eat all of these snacks! Reaction face.
Reaction face. "Oh, these aren't real!" the girl says, and pops one horn off her head. Reaction face. The girl wanders off, laughing.
At least until she runs into Koumoto-sensei, who proceeds to pick the pink girl up by her horns and and crudely threaten her.
The bottom line is that the pink-haired, horned girl is Akane Koumoto, a devil, and Akari Koumoto-sensei's great-great-grandmother. Akari-sensei doesn't really have any devil blood in her anymore, allegedly, but is able to keep Akane in line with violence and ruthlessness. And a lot of snacks. And thanks to the fact that Akane isn't actually all that bright.
Akane-chan is also, she proudly boasts, the principal of the school and admitted all of the vampires, werewolves and space aliens.
Youko and Akane get into a fight over whether Akane is playing or is really the principal. Akane starts shaking the school apart with demonic energy, until Akari-sensei threatens to deduct the repairs from Akane's paycheck. However, Youko seems able to push Akane's buttons, mainly because both of them have somewhat deluded self-images. Akane acts like a child in every way, but can't stand to not be taken seriously. Youko is oblivious and almost as bad at controlling her emotions as Asahi, but considers herself a "cool beauty", unfazed by life and desired by all. For the moment however, Youko has the one thing Akane craves above all else:
The episode ends with a rather unbelievable jump into another story, a sexiness contest. This is supposed to be an offshoot of the self-image debate, but is actually an unrelated storyline in the manga. Plus, since the production team joined it to the previous story, the personnel and setting have to be changed. Youko and Akane futilely compete to see who can make Asahi's nose bleed. After every round of failure, Shiho attempts the same challenge to make sure Asahi is "still working". And of course, it's a gusher every time. The episode ends with Akane blowing up the gym in demonic rage over losing.
Episode Eight is, once again, a mashup of two storylines. Asahi has to make up a home economics class because he was sick. Youko and Shiho have to make up the class because they failed it, and Aizawa has to make up the class for reasons I can't remember now. In the manga, this was the class they skipped when Aizawa was trying to teach Youko how to dodge sunlight. Their assignment is to make Japanese curry, but Aizawa brings the wrong recipe and makes a chocolate cake instead. In the manga (take a drink), Aizawa was a near-miraculous creator of chocolates, cakes and other desserts, but not so great at regular cooking. This episode was one of several that set up the second part of this episode, which actually occurred much later in the timeline. After it had been used to set up other storylines and jokes.
Anyway, Akane the snack junkie gets her horns on the chocolate cake, and threatens to destroy the world with a giant meteor unless Aizawa bakes her some chocolates. This sets up a bizarre plot where Akari-sensei has Shiho, Asahi, Youko, Aizawa and Mikan all bake sweets for Akane to try to get her to stop the meteor. The joke is that all of these people but Aizawa are incompetent at baking sweets, and Aizawa has a Tchaikovsky complex. As delicious as her sweets are, she always throws them away when she's done because she believes they are not good enough.
Ergo, Akari-sensei is able to exert her power over Akane via torture. And it actually works in the end; Mikan serves up some spiked cream puffs that knock Akane (and everyone else) out. The meteor veers off-course without Akane controlling it (???) and the world is saved.
There is one good joke in the episode. But it's the only one, so I'm not gonna spoil it.
I was really disappointed in episode eight, and the second half of episode seven. Even allowing that the anime is meant to be a bit compressed compared to the manga (take a drink), nothing after Akane's introduction and explanation needed to be included. All of the small bits of character development you get out of these sketches could have been gained via more plot-related episodes. On the other hand, some credit where it's due. I'm not thrilled with the voice of Youko or Asahi, and I'm not all that happy with how they changed the design (take a drink) of both Asahi and, to a lesser extent, Youko. Akari Koumoto-sensei and Akane are both drawn and voiced perfectly. It actually feels as if the budget for these episodes was greater than earlier episodes; which of course made it nicer to look at, but is also disturbing that the throw-away scenes are getting the most attention.
Oh, well. Episodes Nine and Ten get back to the actual story. I'm starting to wonder if there were two different directors involved.
Next up, Overlord Episode Seven!
Thursday, September 3. 2015 | Comments (3)
Episode Six is rather talky. I considered doing Six and Seven together, but while I was reviewing the episode I decided it had enough material to keep it separate. I may change my mind by the end of the write-up, though.
Lord Ainz Ooal Gown, a.k.a. Ainz-sama, a.k.a. Momonga, now travelling as the dark warrior Momon; and his minion Narberal Gamma the battle maid (now known as Nabe the battle mage) are travelling with the four-man adventuring team Swords of Darkness (Silver-ranked adventurers) and the pharmacist magician Nfirea Bareal. Momon has partnered with the Swords of Darkness to escort Nfirea on a herb-gathering mission, and to seek out out and slay nearby monsters for bounty rewards. Considering Nfirea is the grandson of Lizzy Bareal the legendary pharmacist, who coincidentally became aware of an extremely rare potion acquired from a certain dark warrior, Nfirea probably has ulterior motives in recruiting Momon and Nabe.
On the road, Lukrut the ranger continues to proposition Nabe:
As the adventurers approach the forest that lies between the city and Carne Village, Ninya the Magic Caster describes the guardian of the forest; a monster that keeps truly dangerous beings from using the forest as sanctuary. The "Wise King of the Forest" is a great silver beast with a long, armored tail that can use magic. Ainz makes a mental note that slaying or capturing such an animal would clearly raise his fame in the area.
Meanwhile, back in Nazarick, Demiurge is trying to find Albedo, and has tracked her to Ainz-sama's bedroom.
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Monday, August 31. 2015 | Comments (0)
Episodes Five and Six of Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa... accomplishes a few things. Easiest to overlook is that Aizawa, Shiragami and Kuromine are all established as close friends, set aside somewhat from whatever happens with all of the other characters. I had mentioned in the first episode writeup that even though there are harem elements to the story, the romance is essentially a love triangle; and there it is. Every other female is tangential; even Mikan, who has as strong a claim on Kuromine as the other two do.
In episode five, we finally get answers to why Youko Shiragami is the way she is...which is to say, what does being a vampire mean in this universe? First of all, she comes to school early and leaves late because her skin is really sensitive to the sun, but when the weather report says it's going to rain all day, she can finally come to school at the same time as everyone else:
She also didn't realize that UV rays penetrate clouds...as Aizawa points out, "I would think you would know that, considering you're a vampire." Aizawa decides to teach Shiragami how to use stealth and speed to hide in the shadows on the way to school. This works well until some street vendors get in the way:
Thankfully Shiragami is, as she finally explains, *half*-vampire. Her father is a vampire and her mother is a human. So garlic makes her eyes water uncontrollably and crosses make her really cranky. These challenges can be overcome. But the bridge across the river can't. Vampires get really queasy over moving water; and while the river isn't so bad...there aren't any shadows to hide in. Aizawa and Kuromine spitball ideas to help Shiragami: she could wear a spacesuit, or they could build her an external unit like Aizawa's, or wrap her in UV-resistant film. It's too bad there isn't a sunblock that works for vampires...
Continue reading "Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa (episodes 5 and 6...)"