Steadily Working …

In addition to some other important things I had to do today, I’m spending my time on Jake and the Dynamo, so you’ll have to put up with more Cardcaptor Sakura fan art until I can get you a proper post.

This one, featuring Sakura along with her familiar and her scary psycho stalker, is Christmas-themed. We’re still not too far out from Christmas, are we?

And no, seriously, Tomoyo is one scary chick. Somebody out there, please tell me I’m not the only one she freaks out. I mean, just look at her eyes.

Anyway, I’m not sure where this image originates, as it’s on most every free wallpaper/rootkit site on the internet, without attribution, of course.

Sequel to ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ Is Coming … Prepare Yourselves

Featured image: “Cardcaptor Sakura Fanart” by Daikazoku63

Cardcaptor Sakura is one of the biggest titles in the magical girl genre. It was the first foray into mahou shoujo manga by the unbelievably prolific four-woman team Clamp, which produced it from 1996 to 2000. Its anime adaptation, which began airing in 1998, is one of the few TV cartoons that can hold up in terms of technical quality more than a decade after its run. The anime adds a great deal to the story; some of it is padding, but a lot of it is real improvement. A sliced, diced, and dubbed version was released in English under the title of Cardcaptors.

For reasons I’ll explain in a post I was working on for today but didn’t get finished, I don’t care much for Cardcaptor Sakura. Nonetheless, I must announce that after all this time, Clamp is adding a third arc to the story, the “Clear Card Arc,” currently underway. The first collected volume appeared in Japan last month. I don’t believe any English translation has appeared as of yet.

An anime adaptation is slated to begin in January of 2018. Plan is to bring back director Morio Asaka and round up much of the original voice cast. The Cardcaptor Sakura anime had very good production values, so bringing back the old-timers rather than getting fresh blood seems to be a good move. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The original story featured its heroine in fourth and fifth grade, gradually powering up as she collects the “Clow Cards,” each of which contains a magic spell. The sequel now has her in middle school.

While many fans are excited, I’m scared. What is Clamp going to do to that poor girl now? She barely escaped all those perverts last time. I’m especially worried about Tomoyo, her obsessive best friend who at first seems to be an innocent little ten-year-old girl until Clamp casually drops the bombshell that she’s a monomaniacal lesbian stalker with a costume fetish and a penchant for voyeurism. Is this going to be the story arc where she hides a camera in Sakura’s bathroom or something?

Curse This Schedule

Tomorrow I may have time to write the post I’ve been meaning to get to, but in the last few remaining minutes of my evening today, I’m going to work on Jake and the Dynamo. I’m still sorting out my new schedule, so posting will be more spotty even than my usual for now.

The image above is a mascot character I rescued (?) from a site called Kimiko Anime, a review blog that was apparently quite active for a while, but is now presumably defunct as it has not been updated since 2010. Shame to let that magical girl mascot go to waste, though.

I take no responsibility for other people’s content, but be aware that Kimiko Anime, if you choose to visit, has a note up top that it may not be suitable for minors.

Art

Featured image: “Magical Librarian” by Sangrde.

I have an essay I really want to get to for the blog, but tonight, I have to work on important non-blog things, so enjoy some magical girl reading time with your magical girl librarian instead.

Speaking of which, don’t forget we have a new chapter of Jake and the Dynamo available for your reading pleasure.

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 23

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO

CHAPTER 23: THE BEACH EPISODE OF DARKNESS

FIRST
PREVIOUS
NEXT

 

On the desolate slope of a craggy mountain where no snow fell and no flowers grew, a high castle of black basalt stood resilient against the biting, howling wind. Deep in the castle’s bowels, the Dark Queen, mistress of all that is base and wicked, sat upon her throne of black obsidian, tapped the six-inch stiletto heel of one of her onyx-encrusted pumps against her footstool, and read the newspaper.

For several minutes, she read in regal silence. Then, at last, she slowly and with great dignity lowered the paper to her lap.

“Darn it!” she shouted. “I can’t take it anymore! Somebody bring me a lamp! A lamp with one of those full-spectrum daylight bulbs! And cute cartoon characters on the lampshade! And make sure it’s an incandescent or an LED bulb, too, not that other kind! I don’t need mercury poisoning to go with the bad eyes!” Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 23”

J&tD Update

Featured image: “magical girl yellow” by SY-97Satellites

I just wrote the last word of the rough draft of chapter 23 of Jake and the Dynamo. It really didn’t want to “go” for a while until I figured out which scenes were missing. It also ended up being forty-four pages long, which makes this beach episode the longest chapter of the novel so far.

I’ll see how soon I can get it out. Probably this week.

‘Sailor Moon R: The Movie’ Update

I have successfully purchased my theater ticket for the first American theatrical release of a Sailor Moon film, which runs under the impressive title of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie: The Promise of the Rose: Really Long Name for a Cartoon: It Just Keep Going: Holy Friggin’ Cow: How Many Colons Is That?

Okay, I’m kidding. I think they’re just calling it Sailor Moon R: The Movie for this release, but “The Promise of the Rose” was slapped onto the American release the first time around. This theatrical presentation will also include the first-ever American showing of the short film Make Up! Sailor Soldier, which according to Infogalactic is basically a recap episode for anyone who might be seeing the movie without having watched any of the TV series first.

Except instead of “soldier,” I think the official translation is “guardian” now, which I kind of hate. Admittedly, “sailor soldier” sounds dumb in English, but still.

And while we’re on the subject, it is ironic that, according to Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.,* sailors view soldiers with contempt and even use “soldier” as an insult meaning “lazy good-for-nothing.” To mimic the sailors’ slangy speech, Dana renders the word soldier as “soger.” According to him, the captain of a sailing vessel might even punish an especially lazy crewman by making him march up and down on the deck, holding a marlin spike as if it were a rifle. Such a humiliation is sufficient to break some men.

… And that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about. Anyway, speaking of laziness, it’s kind of an epic journey to the theater from where I am, but barring some unforeseen contingency, I should be able to make it. I will put in every effort to do so, as I wouldn’t want to be seen as lazy like a soldier. Or sailor. Or sailor soldier. Or whatever.

It will no doubt be a great thrill at last to see a magical girl in the theater … and for that matter, to hear the new dub for the first time.  I’ve been watching Sailor Moon in the Japanese with subtitles. I don’t really like to indulge in the perpetual play-fighting of otaku over sub vs. dub (if anyone really cares that much, let him take the time to learn Japanese), but switching from one to the other will no doubt be jarring.

I’m really looking forward to this. It is supposed to be the best of the Sailor Moon movies.

*And no, Dana Volt is not named after Richard Henry Dana.

Jake and the Dynamo Fan Art #2

Featured image: “Sukeban Tsubasa vs. the Demoniac” by Roffles Lowell.

CODENAME: Magical Girl Sukeban Tsubasa
ALTER EGO: Unknown
FAMILIAR: Kobe the tanuki.
CURRENT AGE: 15
THREAT LEVEL COMPETENCY: 2.4
MAGITECH: Gadgetry

When a spacefaring alien decided to upgrade to the latest model of mecha power suit, he gave his old model to a teenage human girl because he knew he could write it off as a tax-deductible donation. Thus, Magical Girl Sukeban Tsubasa was born.

Tsubasa’s identity is unknown. She has been seen primarily in New Beijing, though her name suggests Japanese origin. Her bizarre accent, however, is unidentified. As a brand new magical girl, Tsubasa recently made waves when she single-handedly and in a single evening cleared New Beijing of both zombies and robot dinosaurs from space. Although her threat level competency is modest, a formidable arsenal suggests that it is likely to rise rapidly.

Tsubasa’s power suit may not look like much, but it uses truncated superstrings to store a vast array of weaponry inside a pocket dimension, which Tsubasa can access through her bracelets. To assist her, the suit comes with a self-aware instruction manual that by sheer coincidence resembles a Japanese raccoon dog.

The full range of her weapons is unknown. However, it has been confirmed that the suit has a built-in antigrav unit that allows her to fly and hover. Astonishingly, she recently used a nanoprobe cannon to perform an exorcism, an ability not typically observed in magical girls who receive their powers from extraterrestrial rather than spiritual sources.

According to her own statement, she has, quote, “more guns dan a Navarrone rummage sale.” Experts are still debating what this means.

Although she has only been a magical girl for a few days, Tsubasa already has an avid fan following, primarily because of the way she boasts of scandalous behavior. Dubbed the “bad girl of magical girls,” Tsubasa claims to engage regularly in what she calls “bad stuff,” including such un-magical-girl-like behavior as smoking, drinking, vandalism, and hanging out with boys. She has not yet been observed in male company, but insists that she has several boyfriends.

Her most shocking act to date is challenging Magical Girl Pretty Dynamo to single combat. Pretty Dynamo is currently the highest-rated magical girl in Urbanopolis, with a threat competency rating of 9.0. However, critics and magical girl experts point out that Dynamo’s arsenal of electrical weapons is highly specialized. This makes her ideal for taking down large kaiju (and thus achieving a high rating), but can hinder her when facing other threats. Tsubasa has already demonstrated that she is considerably more versatile.

Tsubasa’s fans have petitioned the Threat Assessment Board to raise Tsubasa’s rating to 9.1 if she successfully overcomes Dynamo in a match. However, some experts warn that adjusting a girl’s rating when she fights other magical girls could set a dangerous precedent, as it might encourage more intra-sororal battles in the magical girl community and thereby focus the girls’ attention on competing for ratings rather than their true task, which is defeating the monsters bent on mankind’s destruction.

Art … and a Test

Featured image: “Magical Girl Melodie” by Rice-Lily.

According to the artist’s description under the image, Melodie uses stuffed toys as weapons. That’s an interesting idea, though she’d probably have to do it without that copyrighted image of Hello Kitty.

Also, the artist links to one of those silly online quiz things. This one tells you what kind of magical girl you are, so of course I had to take it.

Accordingly, I learned that my magical girl hair color is cream, my outfit is salaryman-themed, and my weapon is sarcasm.

I guess I wouldn’t make a very good magical girl.

Cinemassacre Has Blown My Mind

Featured Image: “Board James!” by WakkaCiccone.

Ever since some busybody feminists went after James Rolfe, the creator of the Cinemassacre YouTube channel, because he refused to review the new Ghostbusters movie, I’ve been enjoying (and sometimes cringing at) his Angry Video Game Nerd videos, in which he reviews bad games from old gaming consoles, usually with a lot of rage and vulgarity.

From there I discovered his Board James series, in which he similarly reviews old board games. Over time, the Board James videos become less concerned with actually reviewing the games and more concerned with their own story arc. Rolfe finished the series in 2015 with what was allegedly a review of the game Nightmare, but which quickly turned into an Inception-like head trip with some really creative special effects for a video filmed in a basement (video is NSFW):

I was mostly enjoying Board James (except the Mister Bucket episode; I could have done without that), but I sometimes wished the series would focus more on actually reviewing the good and bad points of the various games rather than on the antics of its characters, but just today I stumbled upon a post-series video in which Rolfe, who’s apparently much calmer and more polite in real life than are his screen personas, explains the “mythology” of the Board James universe and also points out symbolism and hints from the video series that I never would have picked up on, ever.

He kind of blew my mind. I’m posting the video here, but I should warn that it’s a spoiler for the series:

In a parallel universe, Rolfe is probably a moderately successful B-movie actor-director. He’s too cute and goofy to be genuinely scary, but he’s got quite a range of facial expressions that enable him to really chew the scenery as he gradually transforms his series of gaming reviews into a serial slasher horror movie.