As a follow-up to my previous rant about DomeKano — we dropped it after episode 9. I read the rest of the plot on wiki and seems it was a perfectly valid, although bilated, decision. It’s a bad comedy, a terrible romance and, in general, a show that makes you regret some of your life choices. The choice to begin watching DomeKano particularly.

P.S. I can only imagine what’s happening in the head of Hina-sensei and why, all of a sudden, she fell in love with the main hero. And this love, if the article on wiki is not lying, is not just to forget her Shuu-san, it’s serious and going to last forever (or, at least, for a few months, which is an equivalent of eternity for the empty-headed characters of this anime).

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Bad Monkeys (a novel)

I remembered Matt Ruff’s wonderful “Sewer, Gas and Electric” recently, convinced one of my colleagues to read it and, riding that wave of success, decided to check out something else written by this guy.

Bad Monkeys is pretty awesome and a page-turner for 4/5 of its length. It’s well constructed, easy to read and — it has that detective or thriller vibe when you’re super curious what’s actually is going on. The secret organization fighting evil and using Natural Causes guns, does it actually exist? Even fantastic elements aside — should we believe the story Jane’s telling us? For every contradiction between her words and the evidence, whether it’s a text document or a video, she has a perfect explanation — that one of the departments of the Organization cleaned that up. And if her story is true — then yeah, that might have happened. If it’s true. Following the interrogation, looking at how she’s slowly being cornered, caught on discrepancies that can’t be explained by any external interference — I almost started praying to Takhisis, pleading to avoid the typical damn what-a-twist final, hoping that everything she said was a lie and Jane was half crazy.

Not only did we get a what-a-twist final (multiple twists actually) but the last part of the book is chaotic and much weaker than the rest of the story. Fighting scenes, Bad Jane, “I’m actually on your side but no I’m an enemy agent under cover”, rinse-repeat — it felt forced and unnecessary. I’d prefer that the story finished without any explanation, that readers would have to choose the side on their own. Because a great story was ruined by those 30-40 pages.

Children of Bodom — Hexed

Laiho and Co. released a really solid album! Who would’ve thought I’d say something like that. Maybe I’m getting older and their pop melodic riffs touch something deep inside or for whatever other reason but I listened to “Hexed” (hehe, “whatever other reason” when talking about something with such a title) 3 or 4 times yesterday and my body is ready for a couple more times. ArchEnemy, Children of Bodom, what’s the next step — In Flames?!

The music videos that came out before the release are so-so but could’ve been worse.


The Dosadi Experiment

Dune may be my favorite book ever. There are other novels which I also typically name the best of the best:the Hyperion saga, for instance, or not-so-well-known “Sewer, Gas and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy” but the Frank Herbert’s monumental story is in the league of its own. However, I’d never thought about reading any other of his books and, to be honest, I hadn’t even been sure that those other books exist. They do though and “The Dosadi Experiment” is one of them.

I have mixed feeling after finishing this Herbert’s novel. “The Dosadi Experiment” is well written and actually fantastical. Aliens in the book, for example, are indeed alien and not just cocroach-shaped humans who have a different way of breeding. Courtarena is quite a peculiar way of determining whether someone is guilty or innocent. And, of course, Dosadi itself. Arrakis was a desert planet. It was one of the Dune’s pillars — how would people live if they didn’t have enough water? The turtle the world of Dosadi is placed on is — what would happen if we had an extremely dangerous planet with millions humans and Gowachin living in a single city, who didn’t have enough resources and couldn’t leave the planet? Survival of the fittest at its best. A piquant details here is that this situation, all the conditions — everything was created artificially.

Honestly, all those ideas and concepts are fascinating. The first half of the novel, introducing not only the characters but what’s more important in Herbert’s books the world, finishes in no time and here comes the actual plot, you’re anticipating that the second part is going to be even better… But, unfortunately, there are too many ideas in “The Dosadi Experiments” and not enough time or desire to explain them. The story feels rushed and demonstrates a lot of scenes on the level of “he was smart because he has to be but I’m not going to prove that”. The book’s climax, the courtarena battle deciding Dosadi’s fate is the best example of maybe way too clever and over-complicated nature of the story. What’s going on, why are they doing this, what’s the meaning of that? Even having finished almost the entire novel I had tons of questions and even if there had been answers — the way the plot is built didn’t conjure up enough curiosity to look them up.

DomeKano is giving up eventually. Before the season started I read its synopsis and mentally added it to the the pile with a tag “garbage” on it. The first episode was pretty bad but not terrible, at least it wasn’t another Kuzu No Honkai, although I’ve always been surprised that something like telling your son that you’re getting married without realization that a teacher from his, goddammit, school is going to become a part of their family might be considered as a decent plot start; then things made turn for the better… but after Sensei broke up with her, ahem, partner — here we go again. The main character experiences ドキドキ seeing any woman around, kisses his “sister” when the door is wide open (what’s wrong with their family?! Neither of them seems to have grasped the concept of locked doors) and so on. Wiki says the number of volumes of the original manga is 21 and it’s still ongoing, so maybe it’s not a crazy idea to drop this anime after the 8th episode. Because, otherwise it looks like we’re going to get a harem with dozens of women and the main hero, who loves only one but doesn’t mind having sex with all others. Appalling.