KagatoTEG's blog

5:04 PM on 07.21.2011

My First Impressions With Penguin Drum

I've been a little late in starting this season, so I had heard a little about Mawaru Penguindrum. Though I still wasn't prepared for the reality I watched.

I had heard it was directed and co-written by Kunihiko Ikuhara, who was responsible for Utena, especially the Anime. Utena is perhaps one of my most loved Animes. It was something of an Oddball Anime, with special “even more oddball” episodes within it. From what I have seen so far, the series certainly going to be a little strange.

It may be because I am looking for them, but I do recognise elements that remind me of Utena. But comparing the two is something I believe will prove meaningless in the end. Similar to Utena, there seems to be an underlining theme of Fate in the series, and so far both episodes have begun with a short scene with a character talking about how they feel about the idea of fate. When a character announces that they have come from “The Destination Of Your Fate.”, it reminded me of “Absolute Destiny Apocalypse” in Utena. I have the suspicion the series will be exploring “unusual relationships”, much like Utena did somewhat. Kunihiko Ikuhara still seems to like having his characters pull things out of the chests of other characters, though it doesn't look like a sword this time. Also one character shown in the opening credits certainly seems to be something of a dead ringer for Utena herself, such that I wonder if this is Utena after Utena. I doubt that, but we'll have to wait and see. However the series, from the first two episodes at least, feels like it will have a more whimsical nature, and a slower pace perhaps? Or maybe the series will not settle into a formula like Utena? I have a feeling the series will have its own “duels”, but we haven't seen anything yet. In terms of oddity, it looks somewhere between a normal episode of Utena and a Nanami episode. I apologise for those of you who have not seen Utena, but to those of you who have, this scale will most likely make immediate sense.

The story follows a family of two brothers, Kamba and Shoma, and a sister, Himari. Parents are seen in photos, but are mysteriously absent. A happy family, but one shadowed by worry, for the sister has a terminal disease, one we see her quickly fall to in the first episode. While the brothers try to come to terms with their grief, they are surprised when Himari sits bolt upright in her deathbed, now wearing a strange penguin hat like the one her brother was buying for her when she collapsed, shouting...

She then proclaims that she has come from “The Destination Of” their “Fate”, speaks in third person about extending her life, and sounds like she is about to tell the confused siblings the price for this miracle when the hat slips off and she returns to normal, strangely entirely cured.

Their family life is restored to normal. That is until three unusual penguins turn up at their home, which apparently only they can see. These adorable mascot characters are used amusingly by both the director, and the characters within the series. However nothing in life is free it seems, and the presence of the Penguin hat makes a demand of the brothers, in return for her extending Himari's life. Bring her the Penguin Drum.

So far we have little idea as to what this artefact is, or even if the character the Hat's presence sends them after actually Has the drum at all, since she added a whimsical “probably” to the end of her mission briefing. Nor do we even have a clue as to the method that the brothers will need to use to obtain it, provided the presence is correct. However I do believe I'll be sticking around to find out.

The character designs look stunning, such that I can't wait to meet them, and the animation style fits the series well, though doesn't seem to have any real unique flair. The series has a nice shoujo feel to the art. The Opening and Closings are stunning, as is what looks to be a recycled sequence to be used in probably most episodes, for when the Hat possesses Himari. The fact it was accompanied by a song tricked me into thinking the episode was over as I found myself thinking “Hmmm, that was short...”. The music for these three reused animations is like delicious icing on the cake, and unite flawlessly with the imagery.

The voice work also works well to really bring the colourful characters to life. For example Himari's voice actress seems to be pretty new but falls perfectly into her role as the brother's much cherished, and rather playful, younger sister, as well as her possessed by the hat. Also, it is downright adorable every time she shouts...

...whatever this actually means?

The series is full of strange and wonderful imagery and metaphors, which may or may not be of importance. Who knows, apart from Kunihiko Ikuhara possibly, and we're unlikely to get any straight answers from him, ever. There appears to be a strange obsession with train related imagery Several scenes have taken place on trains even. It is more strange when used as a scene transition though. And we have not even touched on how bizarre the three penguin mascot characters are, but at least they have something to do with penguins, unlike the giant mecha teddy bears that seem to only have purpose as the holding cell for the brothers, and the steps for Possessed Himari. The whole sequence when Himari transforms generally doesn't make a lot of sense yet. My previous statement on the strangeness of the series is probably a contender for the understatement of the year.

I'll have my eye on this series, that's for sure.

One more attempt at psychoanalysing Kunihiko. In Utena, the reused sequence involved her walking up spiral steps, until late in the series. As she walked up the steps, a couple small extra pieces would be added to her outfit. In during the reused sequence in Penguin Drum, Penguin Hat Himari walks down some steps. Every few steps, she strikes a pose, and a element of her originally very elaborate costume vanishes. There is something very odd going on in this man's head.

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4:10 PM on 07.21.2011

Memories from Childhood: Sherlock Hound.

It's strange. Before I even knew what Anime was, I was still deeply entangled with it. Two of my most cherished cartoons from childhood were actually of Japanese origin, something I did not find out about until a far bit after I learnt what Anime actually was. Of course, they weren't the only cartoons I watched that turned out to be of Japanese Origin, but these two were among my favourites.

The first of these wasn't very subtle about its Japanese Origin, it was more that at the time I didn't really know about Japanese Animation as a concept. I am talking about a series that was called in the West, “Samurai Pizza Cats”, and bears talking about another time.

The second, that comes to mind at least, is much more subtle about its origins. Mainly because it uses some decidedly non-Japanese source material. This series was inspired by what are perhaps the most famous works of a certain English Author. That Author is Arthur Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame. Ladies and gentlemen, today I wish to speak to you about...

The Japanese name for the series can be translated to “Famous Detective Sherlock Holmes”. Imagine, if Sherlock Holmes was still the cultured mystery solving gentleman we all know and love, but more adventurous and athletic, without losing any of the charm we imagine him to have. Imagine Moriarty is not only a criminal genius, but an amazing inventor, crafting diabolical machines such as a flying machine made to look like a pterodactyl and an amphibious steamboat/car with mechanical arms, who is more often made to look rather bumbling due to his own overconfident arrogance. Imagine a fun show clearly aimed at kids, but inventive and clever enough to bring a smile to an adult's face too. Imagine that Mrs Hudson, the house keeper, is practically a badass who drives fast, is an excellent shot with a handgun, but still remains a refined and dignified lady. Now imagine everyone in the series is an anthropomorphic dog.

Truth be told, it doesn't look too much like your average Anime does it? However, you'd probably get a feeling of familiarity from watching the series all the same. Where could this feeling come from? Well imagine one more thing.

Imagine that the some of the founding work for this series, and the first 6 of the 26 episodes made, was done by Hayao Miyazaki.

I'll give you a moment to pick your jaw off the ground before I explain.

Miyazaki, is a name that I'd sure you all know. If not, they you probably have a poor memory. But you will know the name “Studio Ghibli”. That Miyazaki. Sherlock Hound isn't a Studio Ghibli production, indeed it was actually Miyazaki's last TV series before Studio Ghibli was formed. He only worked on a fifth, but I believe having some of his magic as a cornerstone of the series helped an awful lot. Unfortunately part way into production, it was suspended due to problems with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate. By the time these problems had been sorted out, Miyazaki had already made Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and was well on his way to co-founding the Studio Ghibli we all know and love. One of the other cornerstones is a perhaps less familiar Kyosuke Mikuriya, responsible for Ulysses 31, who directed the rest of this series.

Now before I explore more about why this series is so magical, I would like to go into how I came into contact with this series. Much like the rest of my early connection with Anime, it was built upon strange coincidences. My understanding is this. My sister, or perhaps my mother on her behalf, was a member of a video-order club, one of those mail order magazines where you can get good deals, but need to order a certain amount to stay in.

Apparently we received a video or few of this series by mistake. For whatever reason, we were allowed to keep them. I think we may have brought more of the videos, I'm not sure, all I know is that we had a few of the volumes, but not the complete series. And that I loved it. I would often rewatch this magical series as a child. Again and again I would find myself coming back to this series.

Time went past, and I grew up. I went on to fall in love with Anime. Watching a certain Lupin the Third movie, I was suddenly struck by how familiar it felt. Especially a scene where Lupin was swimming up a waterfall, the charming exaggerated theatrical way his limbs moved in a classical swimming pose, as he did the impossible. At the time I thought I must have been thinking of Inspector Gadget, since Inspector Zenigata reminded me a little of that series' titular character. At the time I didn't even realise this was a work of Miyazaki as well, indeed The Castle of Cagliostro was his First feature length Anime.

Fast forward again, and bored, I decide to watch an old video tape. I select Sherlock Hound. The episode I watch has a scene where Inspector Lestrade, attempting to catch up with Moriarty, and to stop falling, starts trying to literately swim through the air. Despite this being impossible, he succeeds for a couple seconds, before physics overules him and he falls back down into the water. If you haven't figured it out, he uses the exact same “Charming exaggerated theatrical” swimming motions that Lupin used. One revelation and a bit of googling, I discover that, indeed, there is a connection, a Miyazaki connection.

If you watch a Miyazaki episode of the series, you will probably be able to tell. They will each bring to mind at least one of his later works in some shape or form. Each is a Miniature Miyazaki Masterpiece! For example, take what is perhaps my favourite episode, and one of the most memorable...

The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle is truly a wonderful display of Miyazaki. It is a beautiful display of all we love of Miyazaki. His love of strong female leads and his excellent portrayal of them. In this episode the homeless orphan Polly proves to be crafty, fearless and very endearing. Miyazaki's attention to detail, in the flow of environment, animation, events, characters and actions make this episode stand out brilliantly. Also present is his almost trademark fascination with flight, and steampunk. That flying machine of Moriarty's I mentioned above will remind you of the one you'll have seen Nausicaä. Do yourself a favour, and make sure to find some way of watching this episode. I'd almost go as far to say this is Miyazaki at his finest. You could even call it a real Gem of an episode.

While the episodes that Miyazaki directed are simply magical and some of his best work, he can't be given the full credit for the entire series obviously. The other episodes still retain the same charm, and have their own clever tricks within them. So either his influence stayed the whole series, or working on this series had a profound effect on him and also his later work. Or perhaps it was a two way process of inspiration? Also resonsible for the series' designs was Marco Pagot. No, not the pig from Porco Rosso, he was the series' character designer and writer. Though to name a hero after someone, even if the character no longer uses the name, must be a show of a great deal of respect.

The series has a wonderful wealth of characters to enjoy, action sequences to marvel at in every episode. Every episode also has something of a bit more cerebral treat, as often Moriarty's schemes are actually pretty clever and interesting, and Hound's methods for foiling them often even more so. Seeing these puzzles explained is one of the joys that is more particular to this series. They may not be the most advanced and complex plots, since this is a children's series after all, but it is still brings to mind a similar feeling to watching an episode of CSI, or reading DeathNote, or manga within a manga: PCP from Bakuman. Clearly any child brought up on this series will grow into an Oxford University Student! Alright, so that's pushing it, but this is truly a great series for all ages, just like any of Miyazaki's film.

Also the animation is excellent when you consider that this series is as old as me. And the DVDs I watched had the picture looking pretty damn clear too. The characters are wonderfully designed, detailed, and animated, as are their environments, and the machines that fill their world. It is very easy on the eyes. As I said, the style isn't what you might usually expect from Japan, especially when compared to what it exports these days. There is often a lack of shading, though it is used rather stunningly for effect when added and often the series gives a feeling of depth by use of detail instead. Best of all though, is the complete lack of conspicuous CGI that you can find in almost every series these days-Now there's a development I don't tend to miss too much when watching a vintage series.

The Music, which is as fondly remembered as many of the scenes in the series, was composed by Kentaro Haneda, who also composed music for Macross. His music would mostly have a fun, whimsical feel to it, but could give a more urgent atmosphere or faster pace when needed. It perfectly matched the series.

Since I've reached adulthood, I've owned the series twice on DVD. Once as a bootleg, where unfortunately the DVD quality was worse than the Subtitle quality. They did, interestingly enough, include the Japanese audio, where I learned that the opening music was supposed to have words...


And what beautiful words they are too.

This Japanese audio is unfortunately missing on my other version of the DVDs, Manga's Release, though the actual quality is much more reliable. Also I think I read once that the series was intended for an Italian audience, and was originally dubbed in English, as a halfway point in translation, though this may be mumbled up memories. The dub seems to fit well, at least to me. But that might be old unreliable nostalgia. Same way the voice work in the original Transformers cartoon is actually pretty silly, but fans wouldn't have it any other way. Sherlock Hound doesn't have the most professional or natural voice acting, but in a series where all the characters are based on dogs, it probably pays not to be too serious.

So if my long article on the series didn't make it clear, I recommend this series. I don't think I could recommend it enough, so go forth and watch. For nostalgia. As an enjoyable all age series. As some of Miyazaki's best work. For a good old laugh.

And for this Space Invaders reference. It even has a Space Invaders sound effect. This is in one of the Miyazaki episodes, “The Little Client”.

For those of you in the UK, the DVD can be brought at various online stores. I brought at Zavvi during their insane sale, though it looks that HMV is currently cheapest, fitting, since it was originally an exclusive for them.

For those of you in the US, then you can catch the dubbed episodes on Crunchy Roll.

For the curious among you, the episodes that Miyazaki directed were:
"The Little Client"
"The Blue Carbuncle"
"Treasure Under the Sea"
"Where Did the Sovereigns Go?"
"The Abduction of Mrs. Hudson"
"The White Cliffs of Dover"

These are the Japanese names, the English names vary slightly.

Well until next time, Kagato TEG/ ChessboardMan Signing Off!

Or should that be, Blasting off?


6:49 AM on 07.10.2011

Squid Girl Vs Cthulhu-Part 1 (and other works)

Greetings chaps, it's been a while. I originally started writing Squid Girl Vs Cthulhu after the TV series ended, end of last year. I stopped for a long time, then returned to writing it recently. Each episode is split into three parts, and each part is pretty long, so I'm going to just post the disclaimer and first part here, and link to the rest. Not sure when I'll get round to the next episode, kinda have to write Glorio Fanfic now.

Tumblr links will be included for more convient reading. If anyone has a better suggestion to post this kind of thing, then I'm open to suggestions.

Stick around afterwards for links to a couple other things of possible interest.
Without further ado,
Squid Girl Vs Cthulhu-Episode 1

Greetings and hello, welcome to my.. library.

Who am I? Oh that is not of any real importance, but since you humans, I mean, we humans find it unnatural for things to go around with no names, you may call me...

...Chessboard Man.

I am a Story Teller, and Information broker. Are my stories pure works of fiction, or maybe I'm mixing some truth in? You do not know, and I may not answer truthfully even if I did answer you, so it is not worth your time to ask, I assure you.

Now occasionally character to whom I do not own the copyrights will appear in my tales, or information. I do not claim to own these characters, such as Squid Girl and friends in this tale. I do not mean any harm by using them in this work of possibly fiction, and wish merely to entertain, so whoever owns the actual copyrights, please do not take legal action.

Now, shall we start?

Today's story, “Squid Girl Vs Cthulhu, Episode One: Tentacles Over Innsmouth/Squid's A Trip!/ There's something Fishy about these Squidnappers!

Let us begin the first part, “Tentacles Over Innsmouth”....

Our story starts in Japan near the seaside, with a rather unique family packing up shop ready to go on holiday. However, this is not where I will begin narrating the story from. Instead let me take us to a street in a much more dreary seaside town, this time in America.

This eerie town had shadows cast over it by both dark clouds, from which flowed ceaseless rain, and something much much more sinister. But we will get to that, much much Later. The building in this town were all old, from within the first half of the last century, some even older. It had not seen much change at all in recent years, perhaps decades, and surprisingly the buildings in worst repair were the most recent, now completely abandoned and in utter disrepair. Why they had been abandoned, you may wish to ask? Well for now all I will say is that the inhabitants of this town are none too friendly towards new blood, or anyone from outside. And for most part, outsiders were easy to single out, as the locals were even easier to spot.

They had either a bulky or bloat appearance, a hunched shuffle, and faces I'm not even sure their mother's could love. It is little wonder they wrapped their bodies in large dusty old raincoats, and their heads in old fedora hats, protecting themselves from the rain, and each other from having to look at them. They also exhibited a strange habit of itching themselves, and a strange accent you will soon become acquainted with.

But first I would like to draw your attention to the outsider currently within their midst, who just happens to have a strange speech pattern of their own. She; for this stranger to the town was decidedly female, and even includes this detail in their name; was what she deemed to be, “cleverly disguised”. It is a good thing she wasn't well known in this place, as anyone who knew who would instantly recognise her. But it wasn't so much her appearance, but more her attitude and the way she spoke to herself in her unique fashion.

“Stupid kidnappers, De Gaso! Don't know who they're dealing with, de gaso!”

She then stopped in her tracks, and started shaking.

“Chizuru will kill me if she finds out that I let Eiko get taken by strange men, de gaso!”

The poor... girl would probably have stood in place, shaking, for quite some time, if one of the locals had been looking where it was going and had walked around her. As it was, however, they were not looking, and did not walk around her, but right into the back of her, knocking her forward into a puddle. The local, a large man in a brown coat, was surprised at first, and then indignant.

“Look 'Here Ya Going, Stran-Ja!”

“I ink You should have been looking! You walked Right Inkto me!”

The Local was a little perplexed at this. He roughly understood what the girl was saying, but, well, there was something a little fishy about how she had said it. However the gist of it has been, this little shrimp had spoken back to him. And he didn't like that.

“'Eh Don't think I like Ya tone, Out-Si-Dah!”

He glared at the girl, bending down to have a close look at them.

“And I don't like your face, nor your accent, nor your coat, nor-”

This wasn't right, usually the first line should have scared off most people. However the glare and close stare never failed before. However this... child was completely unfazed. Indeed she was continuing to recite a longer and longer list, counting on her fingers. The man noticed that she would soon run out of fingers the way she was going, but she didn't look like she was about to slow down. She was about to divulge her tenth dislike.

“-nor your tendency to blame others for your mistakes, nor-”

At this moment, there was a strange movement under the girl's coat, but the man didn't notice this, as something else grabbed his interest instead. Three men, also non-local to this area, but clearly still Americans, had come up behind the girl, and covering her mouth to shut her up, addressed the local citizen.

“We're sorry about that! You know how kids are these days! No Respect for elders!”

“Get off me, you Idiot Trio!”

“See? Come along Squi-er-Sally, We found a hotel to stay in!”

They practically carried her away, leaving the man who had bumped into the girl standing there rather surprised and confused.

Another man, also clearly from this town, walked up beside him, and watched with him, as the strange group entered what was about the only hotel in the whole town. The only one still open anyway.

“Strange Group of Strangers, eay?”

“Ay. I think we shoulds definitely gives 'em a visit tohnigt...”

Inside their room in the hotel, the three men at on the beds, while the girl paced back and forth. They were also not out of their, for lack of a better word, disguises.

Before the men had worn brown large coats, and hats, but now they had taken these off to reveal their more nature attire. Which included white lab coats. That's correct, dear reader, they had been wearing two coats. Despite this rather daft practice, these three were perhaps three of the brightest minds on the Earth. Out of the humans. They studied at MIT, and have the mental capacity to discover and invent many great things for humanity. However, they were only concerned with one thing. Finding Aliens. So humanity will lose out on these amazing breakthroughs. Their names were Harris, Clark and Martin, however due to their foolish dedication to their search for Aliens, they were often called the Idiot Trio.

The girl was something of a false start they had had. They had thought she might be an Alien. Even when they realised their mistake, they decided to convince her that she was their long searched for visitor from another world. You can actually see why they thought she wasn't of this world, as while I call her a girl, she wasn't human. She looked like a normal girl probably in her early teens or approaching them, but with strange fashion sense, and blue long tentacles for hair. She wore a white dress with blue trimmings, and a white hat shaped like the head of a squid. She was, according to herself, indeed a squid, and thus far no one had been able to come up with a better explanation. Especially since she seemed to exhibit several strange powers that were similar to the abilities of a squid. Thus it was that she was known as... Squid Girl. She had originally come to the surface to invade it as retribution for the polluting of the sea, her home. However she wasn't much of an invader at all, making more friends with the humans she was meant to be subjugating, than progress in this conquest.

Squid Girl continued to pace the room, her tentacles waving about. Suddenly she turned to Clark, pointing both her finger and several of her tentacles at him.

“Are you sure we're in the right place, De Gaso?”

“Er, yes, Martin swears he heard one of them say Innsmouth, and well, I'm fairly sure this is the only Innmouth in there is. You're lucky we knew where it was.”

Harris nodded.

“Yes, we heard about it when we came to Arkham's Miskatonic University to attend a special seminar they had!”

“Was it on Aliens, De Gaso?”

“Well, yes, it entitled, 'Aliens from Outer Space and Time', and looked at how Aliens could come to Earth not only from another planet, but from another time!”

“Oh yes, and how they might even have a physical form at all! Or perhaps a life-form made out of color!”

“That Mister Nya-”


Squid Girl brought them rudely out of their reminiscing and back to the topic on hand.

“So, yes, anyway, while we were in that city, we heard heard Innmouth a lot. Even as far as MIT some of the rumours about the place are common gossip. It has a very shady reputation.”

“You could even say there's a giant shadow over the place.”

“Ooo, I like that, I think I'll use it some time!”

Squid Girl glared. Harris continued.

“Ahem, well, anyway, basically we heard a lot of bad things, like people who went there didn't often come back. Also that there were rumours that pirates there were responsible for kidnappings in the local area. Nothing proven though.”

“Only because officials the government sent in never came back!”

“Also unproven. Though that local you were talking to, Squid Girl, seemed to look a bit like the kidnappers, if you ask me, so I'd say we are definitely in the right place.”

Squid Girl shouted angrily at the three.

“Then why haven't you found anything then De Gaso! I thought you said you had an ink-ling of a way of finding her once we were here De Gaso!”

“Yes, we do, but, well, we've thought about that, and I think...”

Squid Girl turned to Martin, and leaned close.

“Yes? You think, De Gaso?”

“I think, it might be that, well, that we, how should I-”

There was the very sudden noise of someone barging into the door, which was on a latch. The room went silent. It wasn't just a knock on the room, it had been someone pushing on the door with half strength, not expecting it to be locked. A couple more attempts were made with more strength. A harsh voice shouted something on the other side of the door.

“Rit's Loched! Wry Is Rit Loched?!”

Something else was said, but more quietly so it could not be heard.

“Wry Did Ya Put Dem In Ah Rooom Rith A Ratch?!”

The other voice answered.

“Oh...Thren Whatcha Meant Da Do?”

The other voice gave a suggestion. This was replied to with mumbling. Finally, there was a knock at the door.

Clark approached the door, and shouted through it.

“Who is it?”

“Rooom Seh-vice!”

“Er, did you try to barge in without knocking?”

There was mumbling, then finally.

“Yeah. Whatcha about it?”

“Er, shouldn't you always knock and wait to be let me.”

“Now Risten 'Ere, Ya Ruddy Out-Si-Dah, Dis Is MY Ho-”

There was more mumbling outside the room.

“We Rike ta suh-prise ourh guests, ah rittle brit of dat Speh-shoul Seh-vice!”

Clark turned back to the rest of the room.

“Martin, I thought you said you didn't order room service in the end?”

“I tried...”

“Well whatever you did, something has arrived. I'll open the door, take whatever they got, and close the door again, without letting them in. Just in case, Squid Girl, put your coat on again.”

“I said I tried, but I didn't even get through because, well, let me show you...”
Martin grabbed the phone and lifted it up. Doing so showed that the phone cable was, well a little shorter than it should have been.

“I don't think it is supposed to be like that...”

“Actually, I wonder if it Is supposed to be like that. This is pretty worryin-”

There was a loud noise, like a gunshot blasting through wood and plaster. By the top of the door, a chunk of the wall, which was mostly made of wood and plaster, flew into the room. Another, fortunately unsuccessful, barging attempt was made on the door. The quieter voice seemed to comment on the lack of success, if what the loud voice said was anything to go on.

“Oh, I'd Rike Ta See Ya Do Bet-Tah!”

Inside the room, the idiot trio were feverishly working on an escape plan. Martin grabbed a chair and threw it through the window. It bounced off and hit him. Harris grabbed the chair and tried again. He succeeded, but then realised that the drop was too far, and that there was no window ledge outside. He loudly shared his findings to the rest of the room.

“We'll be pancakes from this height! I think there's a window ledge for the room below us though!”

Squid Girl looked at one of the beds, then lifted it up and moved it against the door with her tentacles.

Another gunshot sounded, this time successfully removing the latch. However the barging attempts were again unsuccessful, due to the new blockade. The men outside seemed to finally lose their temper entirely, and fired several gun shots at the door, to beginning the task of destroying it entirely.

Squid Girl smashed a hole in the floor where the bed had been.

“Down here, De Gaso!”

“Good Thinking, Squid Girl! There should be a Bed down there!”

And with that, Clark jumped down. Harris edged to the hole and looked down, first confirming that there was a bed before jumping. Squid Girl lowered herself a bit more carefully, aided by her tentacles. Even doing this made the floor creak more than sounded healthy. Harris addressed Squid Girl.

“I don't think this floor is that stable, so I think you should lower Martin down careful-”


This cry of course heralded the fact that Martin had already jumped. Squid Girl had hardly time to get out of the way, let alone try to grab him with her tentacles. As it was, one tentacle got caught under Martin as he landed on the bed. The floor creaked immensely, but seemed to hold. Harris was about to carefully get off the bed, when Clark did something stupid. He tempted fate.

“Well I was worried for a second, but the floor seems to be ho-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLL-”

Obviously the “-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLL-” part had been unintentional. It was a side effect of the floor giving way and the bed falling to the next floor, which it hit, and then fall through. Which was pretty worrying as that had been the ground floor. They landed in a basement, the bed completely collapsed, leaving the idiot trio and Squid Girl in a tangled mess on the dusty floor in the dark. High above them the hotel's owners seemed to have made it through the door and blockade finally. Their reaction to the escape route.

“What The Dagon Have They Done To My Floor?! BY HYDRA! HOW MANY FLOORS DID THEY-?!”

What was especially impressive was that our heroes heard this, all the way from the basement, and scrambled to their feet.

“He sounds mad, de gaso, almost Chizuru mad... de gaso...”

“I think we should hurry to the exit on the ground floor and escape, er, anyone find a light switch?”

“Ho ho ho, are you forgetting who you're with, de gaso?”

And with that, Squid Girl displayed another of her powers. She glowed brightly, illuminating the room. Considering the room was filled with what appeared to be body parts in jars, human body parts in jars even. The idiot trio huddled together, for protection, though I'm not sure how exactly that worked, or why they needed protection from the embalmed body parts. The one who put them in there was more likely to be an actual threat. And currently they were gazing down a big hole above them.

“Get a hold of yourselves, de gaso!”

“Er, right, I think there's an exit over there...”

They made slowly out of the basement. As soon as they were away from the jars, the idiot trio broke into a run, and made outside quickly, overtaking Squid Girl. The ran through the front door and into bright headlights. A Police wagon had driven to the hotel. Clark began to approach them, waving his arms.

“Ah, you've got to help us, the owners of this place are trying to ki-”

A shot rang past Clark's head, hitting the hotel's sign.

“Ya Daft Id-E-It! Ya Cnt shooot Strah-ate ta saive ya rife!”

The Idiot Trio spun around 180 degrees, and ran back into the building. They met Squid Girl coming in the opposite direction, and grabbed her.

“Oi! De Gaso! Where Are You Going?”

“Even the Police here are firing on us!”

As though on cue, more shots blasted through the hotel's door. This quite clearly painted the threat clearly for Squid Girl who turned and this time, she overtook the idiot trio was they ran up stairs. However, when they reached the first landing, the hotel owners barred the way further up. However, rather than firing on Squid Girl, they looked at her in surprise.

“Lord Ct-”

Squid Girl didn't know what they were going to say or do, but she wasted no time in interrupting them using another of her abilities, the ability to squirt Squid Ink, stunning both locals. She then ran into the corridor for that floor, the Idiot Trio close behind her.

“What do we do, de Gaso?”

Clark ran ahead with an idea.

“I think I noticed that the street got narrow further down in this direction, so perhaps we can jump over from one of these rooms! Let's try this one!”

Squid Girl smashed through the door with her tentacles, and they looked in. Sure enough, the road was narrower here. It would be a difficult jump to the roof on the other side, but they had Squid Girl on their side.

“Squid Girl! Make a Bridge to the Other Side with your Tentacles!”

“WHAAAT?! You've Got to Be Squidding Me!”

“Well none of us are particularly athletic, so there's no hope of us making the jump, so your tentacles are our best bet!”

“De Gasooo...” Mumbled Squid Girl as she implemented the plan. The Idiot Trio rushed across, and Squid Girl began to pull herself across also. As she did so, the Hotel Owners finally reached the room, and the Police, down in the road, had also reached the scene. The Police fired a couple shots, poorly aimed fortunately. However the hotel owner ran to the window that had been smashed open, and began to shout at the Police. Squid Girl and gang did not wait around to find out what they were shouting about, and simply ran as fast as they could, along the roof tops.

Eventually once they were sure they were no longer being chased, they dropped down to the street, and hid in the shadows to discuss their next move. This first included discussing how they had got into this situation in the first place, so this is where I choose to go back and explain things from the start...

Part Two: Squids' A Trip!

Part Three: There's Something Fishy About These Squidnappers!

I'm also writing another work of Fiction, The Choir Girl and the Oni. You may find it interesting:

The Choir Girl and The Oni-An Introduction

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Also I would also just like to say I have a few Twitter accounts for you to follow me on.

@ChessboardMan is my main one. This is the... True me.
The others are silly RP Accounts.

@GendoWRONG is Gendo Ikari, but very very wrong. Inspired by one of the fanfics read in a reading session with Aquagaze.

@CouchPotatoKira is Light Yagami if he was overweight. And an Idiot. But he's definitely not kira. Nope. he even has a #Imdefinitelynotkira hashtag.

@WriterOfFate is Drosselmeyer from Princess Tutu. Whatever he writes comes true. So as he looks upon the RPing taking place he wonders "How wasted was I last night?"...   read

6:41 PM on 05.15.2011

When life gives you RRODs, Make Custom Faceplates...

I'm Kagato TEG, also known as Shadow Mask Prime, and also ChessboardMan (on twitter).
You may remember me from such articles as Last Sunday's Star Driver Duel in Comic Form... , Is the Panty and Stocking ending one big trolling? , and my personal favourite, Kagato TEG Blogs Rio - Rainbow Gate!: AKA- MAKE IT END!!!!! ...

It's been a while. I slowed down posting when it grew too cold in my flat to sit around writing, and then my PC died after I took it to a PC repair place to have the Fan replaced, and they killed the Mother Board.

But now I have a new PC, I am once again ready to start writing, and hopefully also reading the articles I've been missing.

However not everything electronic is fixed in my flat yet...

A couple months ago... my 360 started displaying a full red circle. I haven't even bothered having it sent back yet, as I'm not sure it will be free... this time. Yep, this is the second RROD I've seen... And I thought it was three quarters of a circle, not a full one, but nevermind. Between this and the PSN thing, I've not been a happy Gamer!

I really do wish there was a simple, cheap, and easy solution to my problem...


Heh... alright, I admit it, half the reason I've done nothing to sort out this 360 issue at all, is because I wanted to make this faceplate. And I needed my PC to print it off.

Hopefully you'll start to see me around more soon, until then follow me on Twitter and, well...
I think Kyubey still wants a couple words with you all...


10:11 AM on 02.18.2011





I'm not entirely sure yet. Though last week's episode seemed to confirm my thoughts, and will be referred to during this article. So if you are not up to date, then turn back now!

No One Replaces Horatio!

Horatio:"So Gentlemen, we have something of a mystery here today."

Victorique:"Isn't that always the case?"

Horatio:"Yes, but.... Actually, I have no response to that, other than, let's just do our Job."

*Horatio puts on shades*

L:"... Did you put shades on top of your other shades?"

Horatio:" So basically Madoka Magica features a Mysterious Transfer Student who came out of no where, but seems to know stuff. She tried to kill a weird Fox-Squirrel-dog-Lizard thing, so we're going to find out who exactly she is..."

L:”... And how exactly is that our job?”

Horatio:”We find out who the Criminals are, right? And well, she's attempted murder, so that makes her a Criminal.”

Victorique:“Your logic is as Astounding as it is Baffling. What evidence do we have to go on so far?”

Horatio:“Six, no wait, Seven episodes, with the last still being translated, and a load of fan-art, though that just tends to suggest our perp has a romantic interest in Madoka.”

L:“... So how much of this evidence have you amassed so far?”

Horatio:“Just less than 3 gigabytes worth. Why are you lot sniggering? And where is Battler?

Victorique: “Well I told him we were looking at a case related to a Magical Girl Anime, and he started ranting on about how magic doesn't exist, and got even worse when I mentioned there were also witches.”

Horatio:“So he stormed out?”

Victorique:“No, I got fed up listening to his stupidity, went upstairs and dropped some books on him. He's unconscious over there.”

Horatio:“… Anyway, I'll tell you what we know. Hopefully before She gets here...”

*Suddenly the door bursts open and Haruhi enters*

Haruhi:”I smell a Mystery!”

L:“Too Late.”

Horatio:“Urg, I'll just plough into the details as we have them then. The name we have for our perp is Akemi Homura, and as I said, she just transferred into Madoka's school. Once there, she seemed to be very familiar with things, even nothing that Madoka was the class's Health Rep, and used this as an excuse to get her alone, even though she clearly already knew the way to the nurse's room.”

L:“She seems to know a lot this girl. Like she had been there once already?”

Horatio:“True, in fact, she even seems to know about stuff that is going to happen in the future, including movements of the witches, and Mami's death! She did try to warn Mami that the Witch was different that time.”

L:“For those of you have not seen the series yet, then you should have listened to the spoiler warning.”

Horatio:“She is, quite obviously, a Magical girl. Her Magical power seemed to be Teleportation.”


Horatio:“...What is it, Haruhi?”

Victorique:“I actually think it isn't so much Instantaneous Travel, but more she's stopping time, in at least short bursts.”

Haruhi:"Hhmm! Hhmm!"

Horatio:“... Hhhmmm, interesting. Anyway, we know her goal seems to be to stop Madoka becoming a Magical Girl. Not sure why, but it has been suggested that if Madoka was a Magical girl, she would be as powerful as Homura, creating the theory that she just doesn't want the competition. Anyway, it was because of this goal of her's that she originally tried to kill Kyubey.”

Haruhi:“Wait a second, if Kyubey is the one who makes Mahou Shoujos, doesn't he know who she is?”

Horatio:“Well there seems to be an issue with that. Kyubey himself said the following, that she made a contract with him, but didn't make a contract with him.”

Haruhi:“Time Paradox!”

Horatio:“I beg your pardon?”

Haruhi:“Obviously Homura made a contract with Kyubey to rewind time!”

Horatio:“Interesting idea, but the Prologue scene suggests more than Madoka made such a wish.”

Victorique:“So shouldn't she be the Mahou Shoujo?”

Horatio:“Indeed, but she isn't. Maybe she will just become a Mahou Shoujo when it reaches the time of her wish again?”

Haruhi:“Sounds a little off, kinda like wishing for more wishes. Also, why is Kyubey so eager for her to make a contract, if technically, she already has?”

Victorique:“Why is he so eager about that in the first place?”

Horatio:“That is another mystery. We'll deal with it later if we need to. But there is something to this 'Homura is a time traveller' idea, since Kyubey has mentioned how the powers of a Mahou Shoujo are related to their Wish. Yet the evidence seems to point to that being Madoka's wish. Her actions towards Madoka mostly appear cold, but she always seems to be ultimately protecting her.”

Haruhi:“And then there's the fact that she's got a Massive Girl Crush on Madoka.”

Horatio:“That's just the fandom, Haruhi.”

Haruhi:“Isn't, it is even in the opening sequence.”

Horatio:“... Come again?”

Haruhi:“The transformation sequence.”

L:“No that's Madoka being kissed by an older version of herself. She'd got different colour hair to Homura and such.”

Haruhi:“Hair, can be Dyed!”

L:“You're just trying to make this fit your own fantasies!”

Victorique:“Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.”

Horatio:“Oh god, what is it now, Victorique. Are you going to use your Edgeworth Power of Logic now?”

Victorique:“I have collected enough pieces of Chaos to reconstruct the truth now. Listen carefully.”

Haruhi:”Homura is Madoka after her timeloop wish.”

Victorique:“... Wait, what?”

Haruhi:“I'm not entirely certain, but that never stopped me before. Homura definitely seems to be a time traveller, but Madoka seems to have been the one most likely to make the wish. Homura works hard to protect Madoka, And her friends, best shown in the last episode, where she raced after her friend's soul. Also note how she already knew a fact that Kyubey doesn't often talk about, since it always gets a negative reaction, and how Madoka was present for such an explanation! Also, why Homura clearly doesn't want to kill Sayaka, she was intending to make Something bad happen to her to bring her out of harms way it seems like. Following the advice that Madoka's mother gave. The reason we do not think they look alike is that Madoka is still happy and naïve, relatively, while Homura is disillusioned and hardened. “

Horatio:“That... almost works...”

L:“But No, No, Homura and Madoka don't look alike enough. And other reasons...”

Haruhi:“Then how about this. Homura is a remote body created to fulfil Madoka's wish to have a second chance...”

Horatio:“Good lord.”

Haruhi:“...And when we get to the point that Madoka makes the timeloop wish, Homura, or rather, Madoka will move back into her original body.”

Horatio:“… Oh great, now I think you just ruined the ending somehow, several weeks in advance. Victorique, what was your idea?”

Victorique:“It was of no importance, and while there are some holes in Haruhi's theories, it is possible we are just missing pieces of the chaos. I say we investigate further into Haruhi's idea.”

Battler:“Urgh, my head...”

Horatio:“Ah, Battler, you're joining us now? We've already got the basis for our theory. Our perp is the main character, on a time loop, in a different robot-zombie body.”

Battler:“... That's stupid, especially since I'm sure you're going to tell me that she's time travelling by magic.”


Battler:“Well it could be worse. Someone could have suggested that she was Dr Who after making a contract with Kyubey for some reason. That would be really stupid. It would be unbelievably stupid. Sure believing in Magic and Witches is stupid enough, but such an idea would be a whole other level of stupid?”

L:“Say, where has Victorique gone?”

Battler:“Don't know, she was standing right there when I began talking about how stupid a Dr Who theory would b-ACK!”

*Battler collapses under a pile of books.*

Horatio:“... Victorique, can you come back down and get back to working on the case with L, if you are quite finished? Haruhi, you go investigate some scenes with Battler when he wakes up. Yes, I know you hate him. Meanwhile I'm going to have a word with Mister Delicious.”

L:“You mean Ooishi?”

Horatio:“Yes. Yes, I do. And for the record, Victorique, that was a silly theory, it was a good thing Haruhi interrupted you.”

*Horatio exits the room to speak with Ooishi, narrowly avoiding being hit by several books.*

Ooishi:“So, what do you have so far.”

Horatio:“Currently working forming something of a theory that Homura is not just a time traveller with a connection to Madoka, but actually is Madoka.”


Horatio:“Basically, while there are still some holes in it and we don't know for certain yet, but it does seem likely that Homura might be Madoka in a timeloop, using a new Mahou Shoujo body provided by whatever her wish was, or rather, will be. ”

Ooishi:“Hhhhhmmm, interesting. But since Madoka hasn't done this yet, we can't exactly call her in for questioning. But one more thing that mostly bothers me...”

Horatio:“Tell me.”

(Hope you all enjoyed it, NOW FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!)
(Also now added template, go knock yourselves out)   read

5:34 PM on 01.29.2011

Last Sunday's Star Driver Duel in Comic Form...

Done one article intended to spread word of something of more serious interest, and now here's an article intended to amuse....


Click for Full Size version.

And thank you, Aquagaze, for being a great source for quick references Star Driver terms/facts...   read

3:26 PM on 01.29.2011

Have you read Sailor Nothing...?

Good day chaps and girls, I would like to make an recommendation of a rather old original fanfic I think you should all give a read.

But first of all an explanation of why I'm making this recommendation now, so long after it was written, and so long after I originally read it. What Triggered my new interest in spreading word of it?

Why one of the most interesting Animes of this season of course... Something that seems to be taking the Magical Girl Genre, and ripping it inside out, in a gory fashion, I have even heard someone describe Madoka Magica as the Evangelion of Mahou Shoujo, and it certainly doesn't seem too far off. It seems to be taking the Magical Girl genre and de-constructing it in a dark fashion rarely seen before.

The Main character, while she is practically the usual cheery moeblob on the outside, inside she seems to have some serious self esteem issues. The way the “witches” hurt people, by influencing them to commit suicide, is done in a wonderfully chilling way. Even the Magical Animal, an almost generic looking Lizard Squirrel Dog thing, somehow manages to give me the creeps.

Many of the elements have begun to remind me of something else, something I read a long time ago, and that now I feel the need to recommend to all of you.

Sailor Nothing by Stefan Gagne.

It seems it was written a decade ago, and was two things. A Savage deconstruction of the Magical Girl Genre. An Experiment in writing. The writer not only takes a very dark look how the Magical Girl Genre could be, as many of us are finding out with Madoka Magica, but also each chapter is written in different ways. One chapter is a series of Diary extracts from different characters, another almost a form of sprite comic. Most of the rest of the chapters are presented more normally, with a couple visual tricks here and there (like different fonts, and the background colour changing), and several literary tricks throughout.

As a deconstruction, it is very effective and powerful. It explores many mature themes and ideas.
To say, lots of bad things happen during the course of this story, would probably be probably an understatement. That the Writer gives their work a 18 Certificate should give you an impression of how dark things can get without giving you spoilers.

The Story takes “appearances” from Sailor Moon, but there is no actual connection. Sailor Nothing is an Original Piece of writing that only leans on Sailor Moon to make itself easier to understand. The Magical girls call themselves Sailor ___; their Magical Girl Uniforms are based on Sailor fuku; the heroines are all school girl age; the Main character has a talking cat that grants others Magical Powers; there is a character is the spitting image, though in appearance alone, of Tuxedo Mask; The bad guys are led by generals with a flair for cloaks, long hair and bishounen good looks, while led by a Dark Queen. It directly uses several elements we're already fully familiar with (though in this age, maybe not everyone is familiar with the original Sailor Moon as when this was originally written) so we can easily understand and accept them and concentrate on the actual story itself.

This is the Story of Himei, who is a Magical Girl. She has been a magical girl for a long time now, and is now completely disillusioned with the whole thing, now mentally and physically very tired. She fights monsters who do not look like monsters, but normal people. These monsters, Yamiko, are made from the dark desires of the human being whose appearance they assume. Himei has been fighting them, almost completely alone, for a long time now, and has learnt that things are not like in the shows on TV. She doesn't magically arrive in time to save everyone from harm. The Monster doesn't always disappear in a cloud of sparkles. After failing to use the attack that would vaporise the monster again, her mentor appears and “fires” her. Which makes her happier than she's been a in long time, believing herself to be free of the nightmare. However when during the next day she senses the creation of another Yamiko, she soon realises her hell is far from over, and that she will have to continue to fight until the Yamiko are no more, or until she dies.

Things go further and further downhill for poor Himei, and those around her, from then on.

I remember enjoying it. It wasn't perfect. Sometimes it feels a little over Americanised, especially grating since it is set in Japan. Though does a better job of capturing the Japanese setting than is usual for Fanfiction from the West. Some may find some of the experiments in writing a little strange. But the overall package was an interesting story, and an good look at how dark the Magical Girl Genre could get, that currently, Madoka Magica is giving me deja vu of.

It is best read on the web, and is online Here.

I'm not going to say any more myself, as it would be quite easily to give spoilers. So go there, give it a read...
And do not look it up on a certain site built only to suck time into a vortex of no return, give spoilers, and quote They Might Be Giants songs...   read

7:26 PM on 01.07.2011

Kagato TEG Blogs Rio - Rainbow Gate!: AKA- MAKE IT END!!!!!

Hi, I'm the Ecchi Critic, I watch it, so you don't have to!

Enough Internet references, today I'm here to talk to you about.... Rio -Rainbow Gate!, exclaimation mark theirs, not mine.

I decided to watch Rio for various reasons. Firstly, the proper start to Season 1, Yay! Sure we have the Lovecraft thing, but.. that was a flash cartoon, a poorly animated flash cartoon..... which is automatically awesome due to referencing Lovecraft, but anyway.

Also... I am something of a.... you know... e.... I'm not going to say it, and there's no way you can force me to...

ALRIGHT! ALIGHT! I ADMIT IT! I'M! I'm... I'm an Ecchi fan. I like Big... you knows... I like Catfights... I love the Simple 2000 games, even Pink Pong... Riho Futaba is Mai Waifu... I Play Dead Or Alive for the "physics engine"!!!!! I Even Made The Homepage Image for Yuki Takeuchi Fan's Serve Waste of Time!

There, Happy?

Rio is quite clearly an Ecchi series. Based on some... Pachinko game from Tecmo...

No unfortunately not the best Pachinko Game ever...


I'm beginning to worry, that we'll never seen an Anime of it, sigh...

Though the Rio games I image are similar to that game, though probably not quite to the same level of, you know...

Quite how you base an Anime on a Pachinko game is anyone's guess, but since they're had animes on baking bread and children's cards games, they'll no doubt find Some way of doing it...

Another reason why I watched is that the trailer gave me a bit of a Agent Aika Vibe, mixed with a slight vibe of the Devil May Cry Anime, the latter based entirely on the presence of some weird spoilt little girl that the main character probably has to protect or something.

So I thought, eh, why not? It's not like it is going to be so bad it will make me more insane than the protagonist at the end of a Lovecraft story, right?

People who follow me on Twitter may know the answer to that one...

So let me begin by... rewatching the episode so I can do this blog in real time and get images... WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?!!?!

So our episode starts with a girl in bed, seductive music playing, door bell ringing.. I think I missed the doorbell the first time round. Indeed, when I heard the high pitched voices of girls talking, I thought the ferret was one of those Magic Talking ones, trying to wake up their lazy owner.

Anyway, the Ferret, while obviously not the one talking, is still intelligent enough to try and wake up their sleepy mistress, by... pulling her covers off and revealing her Ass to us...

...... Eh, this is really to be expected...

Scene then jumps to some form of limo or something, with an old AWESOME man, and a little girl talking.

The Old man is the most Awesome character in the anime, I mean, Dude, he has a top hat and monocle. BOTH!

Unfortunately later on in the episode they both seem to disappear... maybe the poor chap misplaced them, due to poor memory?

The Awesome Man seems to enjoy gambling, and is taking who I assume is his granddaughter with him. Her Name is Mint and she likes to talk to her Teddy...

Now we have a Montage of the Casino City, and already I think I see Rio pastered everywhere. Name and image.

And then the Old man lets the girl just run off on her own. Without ANY kind of minder.


....... Wait, isn't that utterly stupid? Dude, you just lost Several Awesome Points!

Then Another MONTAGE! Of the girl enjoying the sights and sounds of the place...

...Completely unattended...

Apparently there's much to do here, but I can't help but share her feelings during this bit and pretty much the first half of the episode in general:

I mean, who can blame her? What the hell is some of this stuff? What is this anyway? A Boat pretending to crash into the shore? Why Is This An Attraction? Why Are People Cheering this?

And then the Girl just randomly passes a couple stalkers. Or Spies, I don't know. Well alright, I know exactly who they are, and you probably do too, but it is just utterly random for them to be there it feels.

But anyway, the fact she's being stalked only amusing the little girl for a second, before she starts treating the stalkers, like everything else here, with disdain.

However her attention is quickly perked by even the briefest of glimpses, or merest of mentions of Rio.
It's like she has a Rio-Dar... but why would anyone be that acutely attuned to singling out a Busty Casino Dealer like Rio?



Now we actually see Rio for the first time since staring at her butt during the opening bed scene. I swear she walks like Agent Aika. It seems the girl is not the only one who gets excited at seeing Rio, even if it takes them a full minute to recognise her... Ummm, what?


The Girl Realises how utterly dull this episode is, but finds her attention perked again when a zombie horde notices Rio, and decides to gang b- Only kidding, no just a horde of rabid fans/gamblers/this is stuuupid, all crowding around to get a glimpse of the girl who is supposed to give people good luck apparently. For some reason, Mint decides this is interesting, and also decides to get a look. Though really, what on Earth could be interesting about Rio? Name two things. Two bouncy things...

er... anyway...

Cue Mint trying to get a look too, trying to edge around mostly busty girls, or ram girls with nice butts. She utterly fails at her prime directive, leading the viewer to scream "JUST GET THIS OVER WITH ALREADY!!!!" Or that may have been just me. But I doubt it.

The Masses continue to go completely Loco for Rio...

And already it is pretty obvious what went wrong with this anime. This is an Anime based on a Franchise. Hence, it exists to promote that franchise. I.E, this series exists to Sell Rio. So Rio is played up to a idiotic degree. Everyone is Crazy about the SUPER SPECIAL AWESOME RIO! WE GET IT! RIO IS GREAT! AGHHHH!!!

In the Confusion of the Masses, Mint is Crushed and Killed, bring the series to a wonderful premature end. I wish.

Instead, Mint loses track of where Rio has gone, DRAWING THIS EPISODE OUT LONGER, and giving the story a chance to introduce another character. And oh yeah, to fit in an Old Lady gag, since they're so HILARIO!

Er, I hate to say this, but if you can say this, then, well, your career must be down the toilet miss, she's a Frigging Casino Dealer for Cthulhu's Sake!


Oh Dear Lord, this is so stupid... well at least this new character is pleasing on the eyes...

Then that ass-revealing non-magical ferret appears again, who, while not being able to talk, understand English! Purple Haired Pamela Anderson tells the Ferret, named Chip (Like a Casino Chip, LOL GEDIT!!!) to take the Little girl to its Master, NO NOT THE MASTER!!!

As the Ferret and girl runs off, it looks like the Girl has attracted ANOTHER Stalker! The Villain of the Week! Oh NOES!!!!


We now have another Montage of Ferret following to further draw out this episode, and then a montage of Casino stuff, including chest view of, *SPOILERS* Rio *END SPOILERS*.
Also the Bunny in Red is HOT!

It should be noted that if you want to get some of the better fanservice of the episode, and not actually watch the episode, then from 5:30 onwards for a couple mins you get some of the goods.

This Also includes Someone shouting real loudly about getting 00 in Roulette. Which, according a trusted source on twitter, means The House Wins, i.e. you lose.

Now this kinda makes sense. I mean, have you seen the Dealers at this place? They're basically the representative of the house, right? So if you lose enough that they get so happy they start jumping up and down, then, well my friend, we're ALL WINNERS!

Rio also takes the time to demonstrate why she must be quite bad for the Casino, what with her Luck dispensing power. I mean, really surely that's bad for business? You Want people to Spend More than They Win!

Anyway, people continue to go complete Gaga over Rio...

You and EVERYONE else did, Numb-nuts, it was 1 Second Ago! She's Still Here Even! She's Kinda Hard To Miss! GAAAHHH!!!!!

Anyway, eventually the route the ferret takes forces Mint to get on her hands and knees, and crawl along the floor, surprising the lesbian stalkers that were stalking her earlier (SURPISE!!! THEY WERE CASINO DEALERS!!! LOL!!!!)

And FINALLY, along with Mint, and Chip, we have reached our destination, Rio...

Who is all very nice and chummy with Mint, rather than asking the sensible question of "WHAT THE HELL IS A LITTLE GIRL DOING ON THE GAMBLING FLOOR?!?! WHERE IS SECURITY?!?!? WHERE IS THIS CHILD'S PARENTS?!!?!?"

In the Next Scene is is revealed that Awesome Man is in fact Super Man got really old. Or rather, that his name is Mr Clark. And he is meeting with the Casino's owner, Howard, who is a fat, ugly, cigar-chain-smoking pervert.

It is Also revealed that the directing of this episode is a complete mess, and that Mint is here.... Confusingly placed Time Jump is confusing.

Apparently Mr Clark and Howard get along really really well. Not sure WHY as who people are isn't really explained in this series, or at least, this episode.

And then Rio walks into the room, in a Maid Uniform. This isn't because the Animators are perverts though, it's because Howard is a pervert. We are then treated to a 6 second long upskirt shot, followed by a second one in case you missed the first, because the animators are perverts.

I has my suspicions that Howard is symbolic of the Animators, or Tecmo. This is probably true, but probably not intentional.

It should be noted that I think there Is an actual reason behind the costume... more on that later...

During the Second Upskirt view, Mint recognises Rio...


Anyway, Super Man decides he's going to gamble a bit now, and Rio, showing some common sense, decides to escort Mint to her room. This probably only occurred to her because it is dark. Mint is VERY HAPPY about it.

Good thing too, as Now Villain of the Week decides to make his attack on the girl, backed by a four men strong army of super generic goons, each with their own style of hair!

But Don't Worry, as Rio suddenly Channels Agent Aika and kicks all their behinds in an instant. Judging by the way she bounces, I think the DOA girls must have given her lessons when she appeared in DOAE Paradise...

If you want to see the best bit of the episode, skip to 9 minutes in.
However when they run off, just stop watching, else you will see...

Some Seriously Spooky Off Eyes!!!!

I can't tell what exactly is off, but they do not look right... Urggghhhh... I think it is that the pupils are too large, so it looks like her eyes are entirely black except for a purple iris... so Wrong looking...

Anyway, for more fanservice, skip to 9:30 to watch Rio getting dressed.

And if you think I am wrong about Mint "liking girls", then look no further than this scene, as we're not the only ones watching Rio getting dressed. Mint CLOSELY watches, sizing her up, and calculating her various statistics, such as "the three sizes"...


And Why is Rio getting changed in front of her anyway? I thought she was taking Mint to HER room, as in Mint's, not Her Room, as in Rio's?

Anyway, they start to discuss why the Evil men were after... Mint's Bear, as that is what they were after. Mint has no idea why.
Do you, dear reader, know why?
Then Tweet me your answer...
That's right, place your bets! And no cheating by taking part if you've already gone through the pain of watching this episode.

After some more fanservice of Rio via an Advertisement screen, Mint points out that Rio is an idiot who lets her idiotic Boss walk all over her and is moronic for letting him force her into perverted costumes all the time. Alright, she isn't so blunt, but that's just because she's in love with Rio's body and doesn't want to hurt her feelings.

I think the costumes are "supposed" to be a reference to the games she's from, since in them, you win nice images of her in costumes and such.
... Wait a sec. This is an Anime about a series of Pachinko Games... WHY HAVEN'T I SEEN A PACHINKO MACHINE YET!?!? Even the guy whose token she picked up earlier was playing on a Fruit Slots Machine...


From 10:45 we are entertained by Rio's bouncing breasts for the next few seconds... Ooohhh Yeeeeaaaahhhh...


Wait, yes it is...

But Rio can't have that, so she starts to work her magic or something...

And now we come to a scene that causes some heated tweets from me when I saw it.

Some Doofus has decided to use the outcome of a gamble to decide whether or not to propose to his girl or not. We can tell this all, because he looks very uncertain, and is carrying a Ring Box.

Now remember kids, if you're this unsure then, no, you probably shouldn't propose, you should wait for the right time, or even, the right person.

Even if part of the reason you haven't propose before was money, you still shouldn't let a game of roulette decide for you. Earn that money, or get some help from your parents...

But of course, this anime wants to make Gambling look "Romantic"...

Her Eyes creep me out here...

But UNCERTAIN MAN is UNCERTAIN! Rio Notices this and she does a load of stuff to bless the ball or something, for the guy, as a couple bunnies narrate what she is doing to Mint, and thus, us, and then gives him Bad advice, I mean, Romantic advice, telling him to look at the table and imagine his love, and his feelings will guide him to the winning number.
The Man puts his chips (not the ferret) on 23.

Then as the Ball is coming to a stop, a girl, obviously his girlfriend, comes along to reveal this information...

Now see here. My birthday is on the 3rd of the 3rd, but even I don't go round thinking,


Anyway, the man's decision is made:

Her response is the kind of response that would make me consider withdrawing my proposal...


Seriously, if you're proposed to, this kind of response seems kinda... shallow.

"Hey Honey, Let's go on A Date!"

"Hhhmm, but what about the Money?"

"Know what, I'll take your sister out instead."

Especially since she's ecstatic the next moment when Rio pushes his winnings to him.
Though her Answer is still an "Okay" according to Crunchy Roll's subs.

Though in her defence, the Damned Idiot NEVER presents his Ring to her.


Also note, from the point the girlfriend arrives, maybe before, the man standing directly behind the guy DOES NOT MOVE AT ALL! And everyone else stops moving after a fashion too. It's HILARIO!

But after this happy scene is over, OH NOES! The Villain of the Week is Back, and this time.. HE BROUGHT DRAMATIC MUSIC WITH HIM! WATCH OUT RIO! HE MEANS BUSINESS!!!!

Also now we can see him in light, we can see tha-OH GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS WITH HIS EYES!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!

Mr ScaryEyes presents Rio is a proposal of his own, that they settle things with a game.

Since, you know, she kicked his men's arses last time, and also since I'm fairly sure trying to steal a teddy from a little girl is illegal so they could just call the cops. Wait...

Anyway, the guy calls himself The Queen Killer...
.... And says yet more dodgy stuff...

Anyway, that busty actress, Rosa, steps in to suggest Rio helps Mint out again, so Rio calls the cops, NO, BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE SMART!!!!

No, Rio will play the game in place of Mint, who is too young to gamble anyway.

So Rio tells him that if he loses, he has to tell them why he wants the Teddy, then get the F*** off the island.

Scary Eyes Queen Killer points out this is two conditions, she she needs to give something else as well as the Bear, if he wins.

Mint, wanting to gain something at least in the off chance she loses, suggests that Rio has to strip naked.

Everyone Else, other than Rio Agrees!


In fact, her Boss orders a film crew to come to catch the moment, and really really REALLY hopes she loses.

Anyway, they set up this game on a Stage, and EVERYONE gathers round to watch two people play an Adult's Card game.

... Sound familiar?

... So Anyway, Rio turns up in a Wedding Dress.



.... Yeah, I think at this point I was tweeting that this episode was over 100% more stupid than the P&S ending, and I thought that made Snooki look ... like a Middle School student...

That... is an Excellent Question, Mint...

And my Favourite Bunny answers. It is a Ritual.

... Wut?


The Wedding dress sets off Queen Killer Mac Scary Eyes, as, oops, his wife left his five minutes before his Wedding...
Technically, she wasn't your wife then, she was still your fiance. And considering the way you're acting, I'm not surprised she left you...

And No Wonder You've had no luck with women. That's not called luck, its called the other sex having some common sense.

Anyway, he continues to rant, creeping Rio slightly...
And then he says...

Seriously, is it even legal? He's just threatened to .... GAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!! THIS IS MAKING SNOOKI LOOK LIKE A UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADUATE!

Anyway, they play some weird game of Poker.

And oh, Stupid Mac Scary Eyes dumps his pretty awesome hand almost entirely apart from one queen, because the reason he calls himself The Queen Killer, BECAUSE IN CARDS, THE QUEENS ALWAYS COME STRAIGHT TO HIM!

And then... clearly the Animation Studio decided to do drugs, to give up a trippy representation of luck and statistics or something... I have no idea really.

... Wait, is that supposed to represent the Joker? Still..
jkdsajkuhafbhgjsgbbgjklss jlrgbjlgsljlirgwilr!

So while Rio has a Good Trip, Queen Killer has a Bad Trip through some kind of maze of cards as he looks for his queens, ripping his way through any card that stands in his way...

Obviously, he gets no good cards at all. He has no real hand at all. Rio wins... using the weakest hand in the game, a single pair of twos....

Of course he thinks he's found his queens at first, shouting his victory, only to realise, he sucks.

So anyway, we now find out why he wants the Teddy.

Is it because he hide a micro chip on it?
Is it because he hide drugs on it?
Is it because the Teddy is a Bomb?

Find out at 20:00!
Oh, this is kinda a unique reason....


And he isn't even right about his Reason, MOAR STUPIDITY THIS IS HILARIO LOLOLOLOL!!!!!

Rio comforts him by... Smothering him with her breasts... lucky bar-steward.
He, and Mint, both think this is awesome.

Then as Rio is going off, Mint chases after her, asking her to be her "big sister", and then "accidentally" rips her dress, revealing Dat Ass!

And then her Boss orders the film crew to start filming.


And Chip yawns, finding this foolishness boring.

And then we have an Ending animation is cute addictive music, and fanservice.

.... I'm going to have to do this next week as well, aren't I?

Shoot me now...

Rio -Rainbow gate! Can be watched on Crunchy Roll. Or you can load up the page on Crunchy Roll and skip around to the best bits...   read

1:53 PM on 12.12.2010

How am I meant to see it? -Fairy Tail Anime

Right so, after the announcement of the Fairy Tail OAD, I'd thought I'd finally get round to seeing what this anime is actually like.

Only, Crunchy Roll only has episodes up for 30 days before they take them down, meaning... they only have 54 to 57...

"I'll just have to find the official release DVDs then..." I thought to myself... only... there doesn't appear to be any....

Either there are no DVDs, or they are completely barred from being available to the UK.

So I ask... how am I meant to see this anime? Do I just grab the mangas instead, and read my way to the current point or something? I kinda fancy watching the anime, but... there appears to be no way of doing this. It doesn't even seem to be licensed. So what is the damned idea? Am I meant to Bittorrent it or something?

Can someone please explain how this is supposed to work, as I fancy watching the series.

Is there any other series that is done like this? From what I've seen, every other series Crunchy Roll does is complete.

And why is it done like this? I mean, I would understand if there were DVDs I could buy instead, but since there are not, as far as I can tell, there appears to be no method of getting started on this series, other than via the manga.

Or am I missing something obvious?   read

9:56 PM on 10.31.2010

Happy Halloween Part 3- Persona Rock Star Pumpkins

On this Great Journey of life, some find many different callings... Sometimes that calling is to.... butcher Pumpkins....

The Horrorific Slaughter continues....

The first of this set was inspired by an image I found here at Japanator recently...

Can you guess who it is?

He didn't turn out awesome, I have to admit, I should have probably zoomed in on his face, and just done that, as small details on a Pumpkin don't work that well...

It is, of course, Igor from the Persona Series, welcoming you all to the Velvet Room.

My other Pumpkin of the Night worked much better, but still not as well as Alucard worked out...

However, I managed to do something nice with the lighting...

Black Rock Shooter's titular character herself. Complete with Blue Flame eye. Couldn't get the Blue Flame to fill it all, it is Cortana's Light Up base providing the Blue, and it isn't that powerful, but still, I like how she turned out...

Click the images for the large versions... also click text links for spin round images of the BRS one...

Well that is probably going to be it for this year.... Or will it be? No doubt Tescos will put any remaining Pumpkins on a big sale.... No, I must resist.... until next year that is....

.... I'm not even sure what else I would carve anyway...

Next Year though.... I want to do Shounen Bat....

Until Next I have something cool to say.... I'll leave you with one last word....


Good Night all...   read

8:02 AM on 10.30.2010

Happy Halloween Part 2- I am the Pumpkin King, PUNNNK!

My last post featured my Pumpkin Lantern creations of last year.

This year, I've made three more so far.

But first, the Pumpkin King demands Sacrifice of The Mind!

Solve my Pumpkin Puzzle to progress!

25 Picarats

A Gamer has a Pumpkin which he decides to carve into a Pumpkin Lantern based on a Popular Video Game Character. However for some reason they seemed to have missed out a detail. Can you identify the missing detail?

(Click image to see Large version)

||- Pipe.


A True Gentlemen Never Smokes In The Presence Of A Child.

23 Picarats

||-Top Hat


Another Mystery Solved!

(Click to see Large version)

As you can see, I started off this year with more simple designs....

And then I jumped headlong at a more complex design of a Kickass Vampire...


(Click for large version, click Here for a slightly brighter version where I used a longer exposure...)

See the Oxford Anime Soc are showing good old Hellsing this year.... Ah Helllsing... I remember showing it as a Random in my first year there, then later that year they showed the whole thing because it had such a positive reaction...

Funny story from last night. Before we showed Hellsing, my Pumpkin here as set as the desktop on the laptop we're using. As Hellsing began to play, something seemed to be wrong, and the Laptop's owner jumped up, and started to do something with the Laptop, while Hellsing's Opening continued to play on the Projector screen. For half a second suddenly, the Screen decided to show... the Desktop, revealing my Pumpkin in all its glory (before it was shown in breaks, so lights were on, and the Projector image wasn't very clear). It wasn't timed perfectly, but the very fact that an Alucard Pumpkin Lantern had flashed up during the Opening Animation was enough to set most of us laughiing...

I'm still unsure if I'll still do more this year. That may require me to go out and buy more, and I don't know if there are any still around. I'll either amend them to the end of this, or make a new topic, depending on the number and level of Awesome....

Until then....

Pumpkin King!   read

8:02 AM on 10.29.2010

Happy Halloween Part One- Pumpkins of the Past

I see you're reading this Topic...

I do not know why, but I find Pumkins to be an Interesting Medium. I seem to remember always enjoying a mess around with Pumpkins, but last year... I went.... a little step further....

I did several Double Sided pumpkins, including the Pumpkin Light above.
Another rather obvious simple offering was Gurren Lagann's Skull Emblem, since the Anime Soc were showing that last year

A more complex offering was based on a Game I was working on at that time last year. I still had a job at Rebellion at the time...
My AVP Pumpkin

Such A Pumkin requires Photos from several angles...
SEVERAL angles....
Even more angles....
Including the Back Angle to show off my Writing...
My writing which is also too large to fit in a single image...

Perhaps the best Pumpkin I did last year was Gendo Ikari. Basically on a forum, I believe I posted the ones I had already done. Someone replied with the following.
... or something to that effect.
With reasoning like that I had no choice but to comply.
This was the result...

With different text...
Again without any silly caption...
And with the lights on for those of you who are too scared by Gendo in the dark...

I have yet to start my Pumkin carving for this year, but I expect to carve a couple tomorrow. I'll post those even closer to the Actual Night....   read

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