New PC + speedgames (Whimsical Weekend #8)

PC

I never really made this evident in any of my recent Vouiv-review posts, but I recently built a new PC! I spent roughly $1600 on all the relevant components, and it’s been working very well ever since I got the Windows 10 Home product key and Ethernet cable.

20170129_184232

This is my current setup. It may not be the most complex setup in the universe, but it gives me just what I need. As you may or may not be able to tell, in front of my bed, just near the window, I have a swivel chair facing a single table with the tower off to the right (which unfortunately hides the insides from view) and keyboard and mouse + mousepad in front of a dual-monitor setup on top. Because the monitors are of different sizes and odd angles (the 25″ one being HP brand and the 22″ one being Sceptre brand), I had to use Heroscape tiles (from my childhood) to adjust the heights and angles to my liking.

Also, since it’s a new PC with a resolution differing from that of the MacBook Pro that I would otherwise normally use, I decided that I would use a different wallpaper as well.

It’s from the same series as my laptop and phone wallpapers (that being Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo), and this particular image is from volume 11 of the light novel.

Another funky thing about the dual monitor setup that I have is that not only are the monitors of different sizes and odd angles, but they also produced different sorts of output in their initial state. Thus, I had to tinker with the settings of the 22″ monitor in order to make the outputs as similar as they can be. Even so, I’ve noticed that it’s easier to see darker colors on the 25″ monitor (a fact that I first came to realize while playing around with Phoenotopia Awakening Demo v0.06b), although the 22″ monitor actually has a speaker (whereas the other monitor does not).

How great it is to have a dual monitor setup with Windows regardless; it allows me to multitask better than I ever have before. For example, I can have a Twitch stream up on the 25″ monitor, some other form of web browsing (which sometimes involves writing, such as this post to this current instant of typing) on the left side of the 22″ monitor, and email and/or some other utility on the other side of the 22″ monitor. (Sometimes, I even have Notepad in the bottom-right corner with the rightmost Chrome window in the top-right.)

Speedgames

Also thanks to the new PC, I find it easier to toy around with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) for better quality footage of the PC games that I usually speedrun (where I would otherwise have to use the MacBook Pro). I currently don’t have reliable sources for external audio or keyboard overlay with the PC like I do with the MacBook Pro, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. I mean, just look at this sample footage in the form of a demonstration of most of the first Prince Tower segment of Phoenotopia 100%:

The splits are just there on the side to show that I can use LiveSplit (while I would normally use Llanfair on Mac) to show all 35 splits at once. (I probably could have done something similar if not the same with Llanfair before, but I couldn’t be bothered to figure out that sort of thing.)

With that in mind, I might actually go back and improve my times in Phoenotopia (and maybe branch out to that one “Most Dangerous Arsenal” category that I mentioned in an earlier post, or maybe even the glitchless subcategory) with the new PC, and I’m heavily considering post-commentating the any% run so that I have a helpful video resource for that category (in a similar vein to the tutorial series that I made for 100%). However, the critical issue in that department is that I would have to get used to the mechanical keyboard. As it stands currently, I have a harder time performing brief inputs (notably short-hopping) with the mechanical keyboard than I have ever had with the MacBook Pro keyboard, so…yeah.

Phoenotopia Awakening Demo v0.06b

But hey, the original Phoenotopia wasn’t the first thing that I considered running on the new PC. As a matter of fact, not too long after I built the PC, demo version 0.06b of the upcoming remake (Phoenotopia Awakening) was released, and the first thing that I resolved to do was write a guide on the demo. The guide is totally completed (at least as far as I’m concerned) and can be viewed here, but…well, the developer’s most recent blog post says that download links for this particular build of the demo will be closed.

Regardless, while the game was fresh in my mind, of course I was the one to submit it on speedrun.com, and that even led me to submit a series entry for Phoenotopia. On the demo v0.06b leaderboard, I established three separate categories: any%, All Collectibles, and All Pearlstones. (I decided to make the third one a miscellaneous category because it’s less sensible of an objective than any% or All Collectibles (similarly to how All Moonstones is a miscellaneous category of the original Phoenotopia).)

By the way, All Collectibles constitutes the following (as far as I know):

  • 7 Anuri Pearlstones (should be left with 1 after unlocking all 6 frog seals)
  • 2 Heart Gems
  • 2 Moonstones (specifically from the breakable tomb and the Giant Slime)
  • 2 Antique Bracelets
  • Energy Gem
  • Slingshot
  • Crank Lamp
  • Bombs

My PBs in the three categories are 4:29, 10:27, and 6:58, respectively. My any% PB was initially 4:59, but a competitor with a 4:56 led me to rethink the route and improve my time.

Here be videos:

Rock Bottom

I don’t think I ever mentioned Rock Bottom in any of my blog posts, but that’s another game that I submitted to speedrun.com. To be honest, though, I didn’t continue beyond 7:45.97 for a long time, and it was back in early November 2016, before I had even bought the parts for the new PC, that I had established that time. Meanwhile, SRCom user CreepinAtMyDoor was out shredding my time to bits, even accidentally discovering a skip in level 14 that saves more than a minute, and ended up with a time of 6:22.1 before the end of that November. I felt at the time that WR was beyond recovery, but then, about a week ago, I had suddenly regained the inspiration to take it back. One day I got 6:35.43, the next day I got 6:30.67, and then finally I was able to take back the WR with 6:17.87 (after a 6:25 run that I opted against uploading).

This game is difficult as crud to optimize, so I am very happy with this time, even though I got spiked in level 12 (and at a very unconventional point too). Man, my heart was racing by the end of that run. Imagine what my reaction would have been if the recording had external audio. (The skip is at 4:15 in the video, by the way. If you miss the hard floor and hit the spongy surface, the run is pretty much over.)

Chompy

Another speedgame in my repertoire, although I haven’t run it since the time I submitted it to speedrun.com. My current record is 5:09.73, which notably includes two deaths in the 21-30 segment and a botched entry into level 11. So, even though I felt at the time that it was a solid run, there is still room for improvement, so I might actually try to get better.

Diamond Hollow II

This one is more of an up-in-the-air case. I don’t own the speedrun.com leaderboard of this game, and the owner of the leaderboard has been inactive for over a year (and it doesn’t help that said owner has no links to social accounts in his/her profile page). Currently there are four established categories:

  • Story Mode – Any% (all seven levels of Story Mode, anything goes)
  • Story Mode – New Save (all seven levels of Story Mode starting from fresh data)
    • The leaderboard owner also imposed a rule against “glitches,” but I honestly believe that the rule is arbitrarily imposed, especially considering the category name does not in any way imply the exclusion of glitches. Besides, I haven’t encountered anything resembling a “glitch” in the game, and I tried asking about it in the forum 9 months ago but still haven’t received a response.
  • Boss Rush – Normal
  • Boss Rush – Heroic

About two weeks ago, I submitted runs for Story Mode Any% and Boss Rush Normal, which can be viewed below:

I specified both real and in-game times because it was ambiguous which to go with, and I used real time as the submission time for the leaderboard because there was only one field.

I might do Story Mode New Save in the near future, but that seems like it would be difficult if not impossible to route out. (I’m thinking it will help to know all the Red Diamond locations, though.) Plus I would have to delete save data, and I’m reluctant to do so considering how long it took me to get a 100% completed file.

As for Boss Rush Heroic…no. No. Never. Forget speedrunning that category; I can’t even beat it casually!

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Feraligatr (Poké Monday 1/16/17)

rng-feraligatr

Type: Water

Base Stats:

  • 85 HP
  • 105 Attack
  • 100 Defense
  • 79 Special Attack
  • 83 Special Defense
  • 78 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Torrent Feraligatr, when at 1/3 max HP or less, have 50% stronger Water-type attacks.
  • Sheer Force Feraligatr have 30% stronger moves with secondary effects, but said secondary effects have zero chance of occurring. In addition, such moves no longer trigger item or Ability effects that activate after attacking (such as Life Orb recoil, Red Card’s switch-forcing effect, and Emergency Exit). (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Aqua Jet, Crunch, Earthquake, Ice Punch (Egg move), Rock Slide, Superpower, Waterfall

Notable status moves: Agility, Dragon Dance (Egg move), Swords Dance

Notable Z-moves:

  • Hydro Vortex (Water) – Converts one use of Waterfall into a base 160 physical Water-type attack (or Aqua Tail into base 175).
  • Subzero Slammer (Ice) – Converts one use of Ice Punch into a base 140 physical Ice-type attack.
  • Supersonic Skystrike (Flying) – Converts one use of Aerial Ace into a base 120 physical Flying-type attack.
  • Tectonic Rage (Ground) – Converts one use of Earthquake into a base 180 physical Ground-type attack.

Overview

Interior Krookodile Feraligatr
Bank will be updated sooner or later

When? I don’t freaking know. All sources say January 2017, but with nary an exact day/time provided. Why does this matter? Well, currently, Feraligatr cannot be obtained with its hidden ability in the seventh generation, which is a shame because its hidden ability is essentially the reason for using it in the first place. Moreover, even without its hidden ability, Feraligatr can only be obtained currently by evolving a Totodile obtained through Island Scan, making it rather exclusive in terms of accessibility.

But hey, at least the situation is not as bleak as the fifth generation, wherein there was absolutely no way to obtain Sheer Force Feraligatr; nor the sixth generation, wherein it was unobtainable until 2015 (to put that into perspective, X&Y were released in 2013, and ΩRΑS were released in 2014). Rather, it’s all up to the imminent Pokémon Bank update to provide the luxury thereof. (Speaking of which, I hope it comes with another free trial, because I don’t want to have to pay to be able to transfer all of my 6th-gen Pokémon to Alola.)

Bank talk aside, Feraligatr is one of the three fully evolved Johto starters, which each have well rounded stats with two particularly high stats. In this case, the high stats are Attack and Defense, making Feraligatr strong physically and respectably bulky (especially on the physical side). Moreover, Water is and has always been a great type offensively and defensively (well, notwithstanding the fact that Water attacks prior to the fourth generation are all Special), defensively being weak to two types and resistant to four types, and offensively being super-effective against and resisted by three types each. Abilities like Water Absorb, Dry Skin, and Storm Drain have somewhat reduced the offensive viability of Water-types, but the latter still remain a prominent force in the metagame as a whole. So, even in the absence of Sheer Force, physical Water STAB coming off of base 105 Attack is no joke. Couple that with access to Swords Dance and Dragon Dance, the latter of which somewhat compensates for the fact that Speed is its lowest base stat at a mediocre 78. With Sheer Force, it gets even better; with the triumvirate of base 104 (before STAB) Waterfall, base 97 Ice Punch, and base 104 Crunch, it can run recoil-free Life Orb while only being completely resisted by Water/Fairy, Water/Dark, and Water/Fighting types.

(As a side note, what’s with the name? Why is it still “Feraligatr” and not “Feralligator”, even though the Pokémon name character limit was extended to 12 in the sixth generation? It makes a guy like me wonder…)

Sets

1: Pre-Bank

Feraligatr @ Icium Z
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 24 HP / 252 Atk / 232 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Dragon Dance
– Waterfall
– Ice Punch
– Aqua Jet

This is Feraligatr’s best bet without Sheer Force. To make the best use of Torrent, it is advised to run dual STAB in Waterfall and Aqua Jet. Speaking of making use, Dragon Dance is always a helpful tool for Feraligatr, patching up its mediocre Speed and strengthening its decent Attack. Ice Punch is used for coverage; although it leaves this particular set walled by Water-types, it takes care of the other two types that resist Water (i.e., Grass and Dragon) and is therefore arguably the best solitary coverage option for its Water STAB.

As for other aspects of the set, Icium Z is used to significantly strengthen one use of its relatively low BP coverage. As an example of how this can come in handy, Tapu Bulu without Defense investment get OHKO’d by +1 Subzero Slammer. Speaking of Tapu Bulu, the EVs and Nature serve primarily to stay ahead of Tapu Bulu (Choice Scarf at +1, other variants at +0) while maximizing Attack and adding a little bulk with the leftover EVs. (The Speed investment also lets it cut past base 135 after a Dragon Dance.)

2: Post-Bank

Feraligatr @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Dragon Dance
– Waterfall
– Ice Punch
– Crunch

If Sheer Force were legal, this is what set Feraligatr would run. As mentioned before, the Ability in question powers up its coverage triumvirate of WaterfallIce Punch, and Crunch while also negating the recoil (and only the recoil) of Life OrbDragon Dance is the usual thing, but now the set is fully invested in Speed.

Why? Well, the availability of Sheer Force Feraligatr would imply that Pokémon Bank has been updated, right? If that were the case, that would also imply the availability of Heatran. Heatran are capable of putting Choice Scarf to good use, and the primary reason to run maximum (or at least 248) Speed on Feraligatr in the post-Bank era is to prevent it from being revenge KO’d at +1 by Choice Scarf Heatran. In a choice between 248 Speed and max Speed, it’s generally better to run max to ensure that it doesn’t lag behind other Feraligatr.

Other Options

Earthquake is another variety of coverage option to run alongside Waterfall and Ice Punch. Although this grants Feraligatr coverage only resisted by Water/Bug and Rotom-Wash, as well as the strongest possible option against Toxapex, the issue is that Earthquake is not boosted by Sheer Force and therefore induces recoil if used with Life Orb (Bulldoze is a thing, but the loss in power is not nearly worth negating Life Orb recoil), not to mention using it as a solitary coverage move with its Water STAB leaves it walled by Grass-types and a wide variety of Flying-types. Frustration/Return can be used as alternative solitary coverage on the pre-Bank set, hitting most Water-types for more damage than its other coverage options, but it does less damage to what Ice Punch hits super-effectively and is only 12 BP stronger than not-very-effective Torrent-boosted Waterfall (plus, Breakneck Blitz with Return and Normalium Z is only 160 BP, which is nothing compared to how Subzero Slammer compares to Ice Punch). Aqua Tail is an alternative STAB for the Torrent set (not the Sheer Force set, because Aqua Tail is weaker than Sheer Force Waterfall and is prone to Life Orb recoil) for 10 more BP at the expense of 10% accuracy and the 30% flinch rate…perhaps not the best trade-off. Superpower is Feraligatr’s strongest option for Ferrothorn (and Water/Dark types), but it is not boosted by Sheer Force and lowers Feraligatr’s Attack and Defense after use.

In terms of non-attacking options, Swords Dance can be used to break down sturdy walls, although it would have to give up Dragon Dance or a coverage option to put such a move to use.

As a gimmick, you can try running a special set with Ice BeamFocus Blast, and a choice of Water STAB between Scald and Hydro Pump (the latter being slightly stronger but less accurate), along with Agility for pure Speed boosting (because it does not have a special Dragon Dance counterpart). You get arguably worse coverage, however, being walled by Water/Poison, Water/Psychic, and Water/Bug alongside Water/Fairy. It would be better if Feraligatr’s base Special Attack was higher than 78, but eh…

Problems and Partners

Problems

Bulky Water-types, particularly those with extra Fairy typing (i.e., Primarina and Tapu Fini), can take hits from Feraligatr and do as they please. The Fairies can hit Feraligatr’s weaker defensive stat with their Fairy STAB (or Energy Ball in the case of Primarina), while Toxapex can set up Toxic Spikes and/or induce poison.

Pyukumuku is another notable option in the bulky water department, particularly because it has awesome natural bulk and, given its access to Unaware, can completely ignore Attack boosts. Couple that with Toxic, Counter, and Recover, and you’ve got yourself the most capable Pokémon of instigating a war of attrition against the gator.

Bulky Grass-types, particularly those neutral to Ice Punch, can also take hits and retaliate with super-effective Grass STAB. Mega Venusaur is particularly effective, attacking the weaker stat and being weak to none of Feraligatr’s possible coverage options barring Supersonic Skystrike, and Ferrothorn is capable of residual damage alongside the usual damage it deals (thanks to Iron Barbs and/or Rocky Helmet).

Turtonator is also a viable defensive option, boasting respectable 60/135 physical bulk; neutrality to all coverage options barring Earthquake and Rock Slide; access to Will-O-Wisp; and possibly even a surprise Bloom Doom. Mega Charizard X works in a similar vein; it may be slightly less physically bulky, but its overall potential is much better.

If Feraligatr is at +1, only these two Pokémon are capable of revenge KOing with super-effective STAB without requiring a Choice Scarf. (Because Electrode has a paltry base 80 Special Attack, however, it might need something to boost its offensive prowess (or just a bit of prior damage).)


Assuming Feraligatr hasn’t set up, however, it has much more to worry about.

Sturdy Electric-types (there are no Sturdy Grass-types) can also be considered situational checks to Feraligatr (although Magnezone generally prefers to run Magnet Pull), “situational” meaning “in a perfect world without hazards or prior damage.”

Partners

Speaking of hazards, any sort of sweeper can definitely appreciate hazard support. Feraligatr in particular would prefer the sorts of hazard setters that are special attackers and/or can take care of problematic Water- and/or Grass-types.

Dual screen support is also appreciated by sweepers, Feraligatr being no exception. Shown above are just a few examples of potential users. (For dual screens, Latios > Latias because of Memento.)

Or, you know, you could leave the opponent guessing which variety of support will be involved. (Paralysis support is also much appreciated.)

While already mentioned as a problem, Mega Venusaur can also be seen as a partner because of its ability to deal with Water-, Grass-, and Electric-types alike; its natural bulk; and its status as a special attacker.

Heck, Grass-types in general are usable allies for the gator.

If Turtonator and/or Mega Charizard X are problematic, try this.

2016 anime retrospective (Whimsical Weekend #7)

Nowi Wins Happy new year! Farewell 2016, hello 2017!

Well, that’s what I would say, but when it comes to the new year, I can’t help but to reflect upon the old year. After all, reviews are more fitting for past happenings than for future happenings, right?

2016 has been a whimsical year as a whole—what with a dead gorilla becoming an Internet sensation, the crowning of a new 602 champion (Vallu111), and Donald Trump becoming president (just to name a few things)—and the anime aired throughout the year is arguably proof of that. This post will cover the anime that I have watched this year, as well as that which I didn’t watch before but might consider watching in the near future (excluding sequels, as usual). Along with giving a brief synopsis of each anime, I will mention some pros and cons thereof. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Winter

Musaigen no Phantom World

The Phantom World is a place where, simply put, illusion becomes reality. Workable premise for a fantasy story, right? It’s the sort of anime that alludes to real-life brain teasers while remaining faithful to the popular genre of fantasy. The trivia-dropping Haruhiko Ichijou, his fairy companion Ruru, the tomboyish but busty Mai Kawakami, the cute glutton Reina Izumi, the antisocial music lover Koito Minase, and the bear-loving child Kurumi Kumamakura band together to fight off rogue illusions that interfere with their daily lives and those of others.

+: Interesting concept
+: Likable characters (particularly Koito)
-: Not too stellar as a whole
-: Kurumi’s voice is annoying

Dagashi Kashi

Kokonotsu Shikada is an aspiring manga artist whose family runs a sweets shop in the countryside. Things are difficult for him because Hotaru Shidare, the representative of a sweets manufacturing company, wants to bring Kokonotsu’s father into her company, which would mean that Kokonotsu would have to run the shop all on his own. Kokonotsu, more interested in manga than the shop in question, is in adamant opposition of the idea, but circumstances threaten to change his mind. Oh, and his childhood friends, Tou and Saya Endou, get involved from time to time.

+: Odd but somehow mesmerizing art style
+: Comedic
+: Involves trivia centered around sweets
-: The way they sexualize Hotaru is…eh

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo

Shut-in Kazuma Satou dies a laughable death and is invited by the “goddess” Aqua to an RPG-like world to which he is allowed to take any one thing…and he chooses Aqua. So, this fledgeling shut-in and demoted goddess are stuck in the world to make a living and get stronger in hopes of defeating the demon king. On the way, they meet the explosion-obsessed chuunibyou arch wizard Megumin and the masochistic blonde crusader known as Darkness, and a stalwart(?) party of four is formed.

Say, the second season of this anime is airing really soon!

+: Parallel world fantasy
+: Comedic (more so than Dagashi Kashi, I would argue)
-: Art style
-: Outfits of the quest giver (Luna) and Aqua…what’s up with that exposure?

Spring

Uchuu Patrol Luluco

Each episode is only 7 minutes in length, and the content is so wacky that a simple description wouldn’t do justice for it. I’ll try, though: Luluco is a girl who just wants to live a normal life, but she becomes part of some space patrol and…um…becomes able to transform into a gun to fight baddies. Also, there’s light romance involved.

+: Short and sweet
+: So wacky it’s funny
+: Midori’s voice
-: So wacky it’s confusing

Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari!

Based on the Ace Attorney video game series (a.k.a. “Gyakuten Saiban”) centered around the budding lawyer Phoenix Wright (Naruhodo Ryuuichi) and his life journey to serve justice where it is needed…but of course, not without assistance from the Fey (Ayasato) sisters.

+: Nice refresher/storyteller for those not overly familiar with the series (like me)
-: The art style is a little…uncanny

Boku no Hero Academia

80% of the population is born with “quirks,” a pet term for super powers. Izuku Midoriya is part of the other 20%, but his obsession with heroes leads him to enroll into UA, a prestigious university for only the best of the best heroes. Although he is looked down upon (particularly by Bakugo) for such high aspirations, he has a fortunate encounter with All Might (a famous hero and his idol), who is secretly deteriorating and in need of a successor. As a result, Izuku trains hard to prove his worth as such a successor, and he eventually earns a fragment of All Might’s power. However, one other issue arises: being able to harness the power while not placing too much strain on his child-like body.

Say, this anime is also getting a second season soon, although not as soon as that of KonoSuba.

+: So many interesting super powers
+: Action-packed
+: Tsuyu Asui: such a cute little character!

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

Another story about a shut-in who dies and is taken to a parallel world, except this story is more morbid. This shut-in, Subaru Natsuki, falls in love with Emilia, a denizen of the parallel world, and darn near literally puts himself through hell primarily for her sake. He looks useless on the outside, and this much is reiterated throughout the first few episodes, but his curse—which not only revives him after death, but also makes it so that mentioning the curse causes some sort of witch to make direct contact with him—allows him to gain the upper hand in most situations.

Re:Zero is perhaps the most controversial anime of the year; some people (like me) loved it for what it was, while others disliked its jaded ending. Some people were bitter about episode 18 when Rem confessed her love to Subaru, who responded with “I love Emilia.” Although I can agree that Rem is superior to Emilia, I have to say that I am indifferent towards that moment because it’s plain as day that Subaru has always been after Emilia and no one else. Regardless, I prefer other characters of the series, namely Crusch and Felt.

+: So many amazing voices (particularly Beatrice (voiced by Satomi Arai!), Felt, Roswaal, Puck, and the Pearlbaton kids)
+: Such craziness going on, especially in the middle stages of the anime
+: Even if some would argue that it didn’t end well (and, moreover, ended contrary to light novel canon (or so I have heard)), at least it ended conclusively

Summer

New Game!

Cute girls work together in a game development company, particularly newcomer Aoba Suzukaze, energetic and busty Hajime Shinoda, self-conscious Yun Iijima, and taciturn Hifumi Takimoto. Aoba, the main character, becomes a character designer under the guidance of Kou Yagami, a name that she just so happens to recognize right off the bat…

+: As someone obsessed with games and the idea of game development, this anime is a great fit for me
+: Likable characters (particularly Hifumi and Umiko)
-: Nene Sakura has an annoying voice

Kimi no Na wa.

Through some phenomenon, small town girl Mitsuha Miyamizu and city boy Taki Tachibana (tried to find the words to say and somewhat accidentally ended up with a Journey reference) are affected with a condition that causes them to swap bodies every other day. As a result, they become a part of each other’s daily life without meeting each other, but then a compilation arises with the possibility of Mitsuha’s entire town being wiped out. The two hope that someday, somehow they will unite, no matter how much fate tempts to separate them (physically and psychologically).

This anime has been #1 on MyAnimeList for a while now, but I didn’t really get into it until my brother suggested that we watch it together. It’s great, though, trust me.

+: It’s a feature length film, therefore shorter and easier to get into than a regular series
+: Not all superheroes wear capes
+: So much mystery and craziness
+: A few comedic moments here and there
+: Has a sort of…romantic vibe, I guess?

Fall

Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume

Agari Kamiya has always been the top member of the table tennis club at her middle school…that is, until Koyori Tsumujikaze comes out of left field and knocks her off her high horse (but, y’know, in a way that warms her up). Before long, it seems more like the two share the top spot instead of competing for it. They are not the only ones to be focused on, however; four other capable players—including the temporarily retired captain who had just recovered from an injury—are with them in their competitions against other schools to rise to the top.

This is another series that didn’t interest me immediately; although I had watched Ping Pong the Animation (also introduced to me by my brother, who also piqued my interest in the sport as a whole) and enjoyed it, I was skeptical about the loli version. However, when my brother talked about it one day, I thought that I would give it a try in due time. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but I have to say that I prefer Ping Pong the Animation.

+: Hokuto Itsumo and Kiruka Ushirode are particularly likable characters
+: Kururi Futamaru is voiced by Shiori Izawa
+: A few comedic moments (most of which poke fun at Mune Oomune)
-: Doki-doki (freaking Koyori)

Keijo!!!!!!!!

Keijo is a gambling sport wherein competitors are placed on a buoyant platform on water (known as a “Land”) and attempt to push each other off using only their butts and breasts. The competitors have their reasons for competing in such a crude sport, and that of Nozomi Kaminashi is…well, money. She had the opportunity to take up gymnastics, but she figured Keijo would be more profitable with its cash prizes. As a result of her interest in the sport, she ends up befriending Sayaka Miyata, Kazane Aoba, and Non Toyoguchi. The quartet, in spite of their initially low position, manage to quickly rise to the upper class with their own unique talents.

+: Perhaps it’s the sports aspect of the show that had me the most interested…
+: Likable characters (particularly Kazane, even though she always seems to lose by a hair)
+: Diverse body builds, not just slim figures (exhibit A: Nagisa Ujibe)
+: Rockin’ opening theme
o: It’s centered around the most sexualizing idea of a sport that can be shown on non-X-rated media
o: So many nonsensical moments
-: Also some not-so-likable characters, particularly Mio Kusakai
-: Plenty of manga canon was omitted in order to fit the pacing (particularly the untold dangers of the sport)
-: Is that enough exclamation marks for that title?

(I actually added some neutral points here because they are simultaneously notable and both positive and negative.)

Up for hindsight consideration

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (winter)

I tried to watch an episode of this, but I got bored halfway through. That’s a pretty lame excuse to avoid getting into a series, though. It’s supposed to be an MMO virtual reality series like Log Horizon, so I might give it a second chance.

Mob Psycho 100 (summer)

Similarly to the previous, I only watched one episode of this (granted it was the whole episode, but that’s not much different). It’s by the creator of One Punch Man, which is probably the main source of the hype behind it, but two main points deterred me from it: the art style, and Arataka Reigen. Art style as a whole usually isn’t enough to turn me off (and I usually judge that from the cover, in spite of the age-old saying to not judge a book by its cover), but I didn’t really like Reigen’s personality, and that’s the main thing that prevented me from going beyond the first episode. Apparently, though, he is the most popular character of the series, so I was thinking perhaps I shouldn’t judge based on my preliminary thoughts on him, and instead…y’know, watch more than one episode.

Stella no Mahou (fall)

I don’t know why I never bothered with this. I mean, I had already watched New Game, and why should this series deserve any different treatment? I mean, I didn’t even try to watch it; I just avoided it entirely. What was I thinking, assuming that I wouldn’t be interested in two series with the same sort of premise? I mean, it’s not like it’s exactly the same, because I’ve heard based on the synopsis that the company in this series is a doujin company, which should make me all the more interested. (As a side note, the cover art is reminiscent of Love Lab.)

 

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)