It took a while, but at long last the ability to use VLC media player with skins has been discovered (because “VLC media player (skins)” in the Start Menu was clearly not an easy thing for anyone to find). Fortunately, with a single click on this newly discovered function, the media player can be transformed from the prehistoric interface that everyone flames into something new and streamlined that actually resembles a media player.
Aria: Gondola Battles
Many thanks to Necromancer for adapting this picture.
Ever wanted something different from the sweet and gentle world of Aria? Perhaps you’re just spoiling for a fight and don’t care about the details. Whatever the case, the new game “Aria: Gondola Battles” is for you. Three mafia companies- Aria, Himeya and Orange Planet- are vying for control of Neo Venezia, and they’ll do anything to get it. From sabotage and ambush to outright brawls, no measure is too extreme if it sinks your rivals!
Aria Company: The smallest organisation, Aria has a long way to go if it wants to control Neo Venezia, but with flabby feline President Aria at its helm, it has the potential to go far. His sinister ‘punyu’ has sent many a wrongdoer to the bottom of the canal.
Himeya: A middle-sized organisation, Himeya’s drive and motivation are second to none. Their methods may be harsh, but their effectiveness cannot be denied.
Orange Planet: The largest organisation, Orange Planet may have a lot of territory at the beginning of the game, but they’ll have to work hard if they want to hang on to it. Their story mode begins with a search for a successor to their recently deceased President.
Jigoku Shoujo: the plot to send viewers to hell
At first, it seemed like an absorbing series- the tale of people driven into such desperate circumstances that they had no choice but to accept eternal damnation in exchange for sending their tormenters to hell. On second thought, however, perhaps it wasn’t that good; after all, every episode followed the exactly same pattern, and how many times could you be entertained by near-identical stories of revenge before it all became rather tedious?
Despite this, however, Jigoku Shoujo somehow earned itself a second season, and it was only then that the truth behind the series was revealed. Jigoku had never been intended to entertain anyone; instead, its hidden purpose was to send the viewers themselves to hell. By creating something so utterly dull and monotonous, the director’s hope was the viewers would literally die of boredom. Fortunately, I was able to escape this fate by dropping the series after episode 14, but to anyone still watching it, I must give this warning- your next episode could be your last.
Short parody: Bartender Episode 2
A random female customer enters the bar.
Bartender: Hello, I’m the main character, although I don’t even seem to have a name.
Woman: You must be the legendary bartender with the Glass of God. Please listen to my life story whilst some annoying piano music plays.
Bartender: Of course, for I am so legendary that my bar is always empty.
Woman: It all began many years ago, when I accidentally broke a bottle of drink that could have reconciled my father and grandfather. Thanks to that one act, our family was ever divided, and now my father is dead.
Bartender: And I should care because…? Sorry, I mean please let me help you in any way that I can.
Woman: If only I could identify the drink that I smashed, I know everything would be fine.
Bartender: Okay, let’s play my favourite game- Drink Charades! You give me vague clues about the drink, and I will use these prompt cards, er, I mean my amazing deductive skills to work out what it is!
Woman: Well, it’s alcoholic, and it comes in a bottle…
Bartender: Yes, I know exactly the one you mean- and I have a bottle of it just here! You may as well have it for free since I’m not trying to run a business or anything.
Woman: Thank you! My family is saved…even though it’s all fairly pointless now that my father is dead.
The woman takes the drink to her grandfather.
Woman: Grandfather, this is the drink that could have saved our family!
Grandfather sips it.
Grandfather: Yes, I understand now- everything I believed throughout my entire life was wrong, and now I shall mend my ways!
The Bartender fixed it for this unhappy family- can he fix it for you?
One Piece: The HARD GAY competition
Zoro and Sanji start arguing over who has the more impressive manhood.
When your opponent won’t be convinced by words, all you can do is show him proof.
‘Lizard’ is the new code name for wang.
As far as Luffy is concerned, either will do.
Each man judges their own prowess by different criteria.
Some things just cannot be verified without actual HARD GAY.
In the end, an independent adjudicator is called in to settle the matter.
Bonus round: remember last week’s crossover?
Further evidence of the One Piece-Mushishi crossover is seen.
“Damn you!” of the Week: No series will ever beat Romance of the Three Kingdoms when it comes to characters uttering “Damn you!”, but that won’t stop them from trying. This week, Gundam Seed enters into the ring as a contender, backed by Destiny, which was not so much about characters saying “Damn you!” as provoking the audience to say “Damn you, Sunrise, why did you make this series?”.
Most needed plushie of the week: As a minor collector of the world’s most huggable plushies, it seems to me that there are many anime pets and mascots who need to be released in this form. Not so much an award as a wish list, the selection of candidates includes life-sized Baron (Noein), Moo-chan (Tactics), President Aria (I’ve seen a photo of his plushie but it doesn’t appear to be available anywhere), The Admiral (Stratos 4) and some alternate cat Mikotos (the existing one is good, but a fatter and more accurate one would be even better).
Magatama honourable mention: Although it appeared too late to run for Magatama of the Week, the briefly glimpsed Magatama towards the end of Shrine of the Morning Mist deserves a mention.
More like this, please- rediscovering old favourites: Although I have not started rewatching it, I recently began some fanart of Haruka and Kantarou from Tactics, which has reawakened my love for the series along with the search for its successor. To that end, Shounen Onmyouji shall be resumed, but other suggestions are welcome.
OST Spotlight: Berserk
At its best, Susumu Hirasawa’s distinctive electronic themes are compulsive listening, and for the most part, the Berserk OST is able to achieve this level. The simple yet energetic themes capture a mix of action, mystery and emotion, combining seemingly discordant elements into a strong whole. The Engrish lyrics for the OP and ED do leave a lot to be desired, however.
Notable tracks: Behelit, Forces, Tell Me Why
Worthiness: Whilst it isn’t quite as consistent as Hirasawa’s work on Paranoia Agent, it is required listening for any fans of his work.
In Your Reflection
This week we have a four-way head-to-head between two teams of female mercenaries- the Burst Angel girls and the BGC 2040 heroines.
Priss + Jo: The taciturn lead type, both are front line fighters who are disinclined to talk about themselves much. Both have secrets in their past, although where Jo doesn’t remember hers, Priss merely keeps quiet about it.
Linna + Meg: Least experienced secondary characters who seem to share some HARD YURI undertones with the lead. Unlike Meg, however, Linna is actually useful.
Sylia + Sei: Both fall into the older woman and head of the group category, masterminding the plans of the team whilst keeping their cards close to their chest. Both are usually content to remain in the ‘mobile pit’, although Sylia has been known to go out if necessary.
Nene + Amy: The youthful and annoying computer hackers, both necessary to the plot but neither very good in actual battle.
Amusing Search Terms
t: holding firmly to its position in the chart. If -his con-inues, I shall have –o remove all ins-ances of -he le—er ‘-‘ from my blog.
you toube: again…
your toube: your toube, your roules.
Time of Rave Master(2006): I have no idea what you’re trying to establish, but you won’t find it here.
love of tomomasa for akane: he doesn’t love her, for he is HARD GAY for Takamichi.
romance in .hack roots: only in the HARD GAY version, I’m afraid.
haru glory sprites]: none here, I’m afraid.
naka frie ball: I wish I had a clue what this was, although I expect it wouldn’t enrich my life to know.
good manga: I recommend Aria, Bokurano, Kare Kano, Mushishi etc.
fai.d flowright shrine: I just Googled this, and I’m on the first page…
Busou Renkin doujin: you write about one doujin, and suddenly all sorts of searches are linking to you.
a-three doujinshi: see above comment.