I’m a bitter dude who likes complaining but, honestly, it’s hard to justify the existence of such shows. The second season of the anime about the strongest man on Earth (sometimes I think that there are way too many “the strongest men”) is one huge filler and could’ve been fit into a single 20 minutes episode without losing anything meaningful. There’s a copy of the Heroes’ Association founded by the monsters. There’s a guy who was calls himself a monster and whose only desire is to kill all the heroes. And if you eat something called “a monster cell” your physical abilities will improve significantly. That’s about it. 240 minutes of this anime can be very unequally split into 20 minutes spent on this very dramatic and unpredictable plot, 10 minutes when we can enjoy various Saitama jokes and 210 minutes showing countless heroes and monsters fighting each other.
It’s very easy to blame the change of the production studio (the first season was made by Madhouse, J.C. Stuff is responsible for the second one) but, frankly, a lot of shows go downhill after a decent start, because, you know, a successful product has to last as long as possible, whether it’s a manga or an anime. Whereas it’s okay by itself, the way shounen shows typically work drives me nuts. MHA is a perfect example — the first season is introducing the characters and building up the relationships between them and the second one is about a damn 12-episodes long tournament. It’s even kind of funny, but One Punch Man also has a tournament.
I dropped MHA somewhere in the middle of the tournament and now it seems that One Punch Man will go in the same direction after a couple of episodes of the third season.
Despite being a maho-shounen anime under the hood, which uses a familiar formula “we get rid of one bad guy per episode”, Sarazanmai is one of the most unique TV shows I’ve seen recently. First off, the characters don’t transform into a more handsome version of themselves, they don’t transform into a cute representative of the opposite gender (hello, Maho Shoujo Ore). They become kappas. And by “get rid” we imply that they need to obtain a shirokodama. And when we’re saying “shirokodama” it means that we’re doomed to enjoy something related to butts. All right! There we go, Sergei approves. But why should the characters stop on just resolving every problem using someone’s anus? They should sing! Fight otters! Make selfies! Maybe even kill people sometimes.
Sarazanmai is a weird mix of absurd things that works perfectly. Yeah, the first episode was odd and it was a part of its charm but later on you realize how consistent it actually is. Consistent doesn’t equal “boring” here by the way. Nerima Daikon Brothers was a perfect example of such a show and I swear I wouldn’t be able to forgive a person who said that it was boring.
Kappas, cucumbers (of course), evil Otters and Asakusa on the background. 11 episodes. From the guys who worked on Utena, Sailor Moon and various Shaft anime. And another proof that studios can come up with something more intriguing than another season of My Hero Academia and or dudes finding themselves in another world =)
If your job is taking over your life and it seems that there’s no escape and the situation will never change for the better — there’s still a hope. A hope that one day a cute 800-years old kitsune-demigod will show up in your apartment and begin pampering you, doing everything (almost everything) your heart desires.
A cozy and fluffy anime about a guy whose miserable life is slowly becoming not so miserable, thanks to the presence of Senko-san in it. Maybe the idea of the anime is that you need to find a way to enjoy every day even when it seems that it’s impossible? Get some sleep on your only weekend, have a good meal and maybe even a drink in the evening and go outside at least once in a while. Yeah, that’s much easier to say than do, when you don’t have a Senko-san around and have to cook yourself and stroll around the neighborhood alone — but everything starts with a first step, right, hehe? (yeah, we all know that the real idea is that all hopes are a huge lie and they will be mercilessly shattered but I wanted to sweeten the pill).
Not only had we never been up north in Muskoka area but we also had never traveled by Greyhound buses, so it was going to be something new and exciting =)
First off, a word about Greyhound (and about Ontario Northland). It’s not bad and we got to Gravenhurst without any problems. But! On the way back the bus broke and we stuck on 401 for 2.5 hours. Of course, everything can happen and buses are not magical devices that work for years without accidents but, frankly, it could’ve been much faster if the replacement had been sent from Toronto or Mississauga and not from London as they arranged it.
Anyway. Gravenhurst turned out to be a cute tiny town on two lakes, Gull lake and Muskoka lake. Our motel was on Gull lake and the view from the balcony was not bad =)
In the evening the lake looks pretty cool too
Because there’s a lot of water — these assholes are all around too. They are absolutely shameless and if you want to pretentiously have a lunch in a park — 6 or 7 of them will be dominating and demanding their fair share until someone (a hint — it’s going to be you) gets tired and gives up.
This lake was also super nice for swimming. And again, the view plays a big role (I honestly don’t remember if I’d ever swum in a lake before).
Muskoka lake is on the other side of the town and we went there once but it was super hot, so we just sat there for a bit looking at how people were riding their boats.
It’s also possible to go on a tour on one of these beauties (?), but we were too late and chose to go to the local brewery instead.
Here in Ontario I found two beers which I consider my favorites, and one of them is “The Lone Pine”. And when we decided that we’d visit Gravenhurst I had no idea that it’s brewed there! And there’s a pub where you can drink this amazing refreshing IPA but from a keg! Maybe it wasn’t the best part of our chibi-vacation but it was definitely a nice touch.
This show is one of those I usually have nothing to say about. It’s not terrible, it looks okay, it’s just… boring. I can’t remember a single new or relatively new idea Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin offered, can’t recall any moment when I’d say “oh, that was pretty good!”… really, it’s an ideal 5/10 show — because they didn’t do anything wrong either.
We have yokai (here they are called Anothers), have a reincarnation of Abe no Seimei, the only person in the world who can understand them and we have a city department responsible for interactions with Anothers. While everyone is saying that Anothers are incomprehensible and should not be treated as your fellow human, 21st century Seimei steps in in order to build at least some more or less friendly relationships between the Japanese and various gods, demigods, monsters — you name it. All stories are independent, so give up immediately if you have a hope that eventually there will be something even remotely resembling a plot.
A good question, actually, is why we watched it. And I don’t have an answer =) Maybe because it was on Crunchyroll? Or because I hadn’t tried anything like that for a while and was curious? Anyway, we’re done with it and it’s time to move on and finish tons of others spring season anime.
Tennocon 2019 is finished and this year I was nervous for a reason — we’re showing off a new Warframe renderer =) Luckily, everything went rather smoothly.
The full demo is here and, so… what’s new from the technical perspective?
This is a clustered/tiled deferred renderer, we added cached shadowmaps, cascaded shadows from the sun, a new reflections system with parallax-corrected cubemaps, new capsule shadows (ala The Last Of Us) for indirect shadowing. Performance-wise it’s not optimal but we’ll be working on it =)
Everything can be found here but just a couple more videos =)
And now it’s time to get some rest and we’re going to Gravenhurst for a couple of days, to enjoy the beauty of Muskoka lake and the freshness of Sawdust City Brewery’s beers =)
The Jets lost 3 of their defensemen this off-season. Whereas Trouba’s departure was inevitable it’s kind of sad that Myers and Chiarot also chose other teams. I guess Winnipeg isn’t the best place to live after all =) (although, I hope that I’ll visit it one day). The silver lining is that now they have enough money to sign Laine and Connor and, oh boy, I do hope that Laine won’t get a crazy long contract. He’s a good player but no one can predict what’s going to happen.