JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 1

The First Test: Can three young girls stop an implacable enemy with powers beyond human ken?

“It is rare that one can see in a little boy the promise of a man, but one can almost always see in a little girl the threat of a woman.” —Alexandre Dumas

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO

CHAPTER 1: THE FIRST TEST

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, reclined upon her throne. Leaning an alabaster cheek on the palm of one hand while she slid the carefully manicured fingers of the other along the generous curve of her hip, she ran a forked tongue across her blood-red lips. Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 1”

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Starts Tomorrow!

“If you have a taste for cartoon satire, magical girls, and bloody violence, then you may find this story is for you.” —Starbat

jake_and_the_dynamo_finished_by_starbat-da08stb
Cover by Starbat

In the near future, most of the universe has decided that humanity needs to die. Decimated by alien invasions, primordial monsters, demons from hell, and abominations from beyond space and time, mankind’s last remnants have gathered together under the protection of the benevolent Moon Princess … but what was supposed to be a last refuge is instead a perpetual war zone.

Fortunately, the forces of goodness have given us a small advantage—by granting random superpowers to emotionally volatile young girls.

In the midst of these upheavals, fourteen-year-old Jake Blatowski just wants to live a normal life, but fate will instead place him in the path of the city’s most electrifying protectress, Magical Girl Pretty Dynamo. Worse yet, the monsters’ formerly random attacks have begun to exhibit a pattern: they’re all aimed at him!

Now all that stands between Jake Blatowski and certain death at the hands of ravenous monsters is an eleven-year-old girl.

And that’s just too bad for the monsters.

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO

4 · 25 · 2016

Not Sure Where, but Beautiful

… and maybe creepy.  This is a life-size statue of Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion from Sailor Moon, somewhere in Kawasaki, courtesy of @tiffako.

First version I’ve seen where it looks like maybe, maybe, Tuxedo Mask has finally learned how to wear white tie correctly.

Addendum: Tiffa informs me it’s a whole Sailor Moon exhibit in Roppongi Hills (so not actually in Kawasaki if I’ve got the geography right; that’s apparently a mistake in the geotag). I’d love to see that myself, but I’m nowhere near Japan.

Meet Your Magical Girls! JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Bio 4: Tuneless Ramona

CODENAME: Magical Girl Tuneless Ramona
ALTER EGO: Ramona Kawasaki
FAMILIAR: None
CURRENT AGE: 12
THREAT LEVEL COMPETENCY: ∞
MAGITECH: Musical

“With the power of incredible songs that would make me a world-famous pop diva if only someone would recognize my talent!”

There are only two things that can frighten a citizen of mankind’s final city. One is a monster attack. The second is Magical Girl Tuneless Ramona.

Ramona Kawasaki is an unusual magical girl: she has no familiar and no contract. One night, she went out with her friends and sang karaoke. Her singing was so horrific, she spontaneously generated a powerful field of negative musical energy that transformed her into Tuneless Ramona.  She has never transformed back. Continue reading “Meet Your Magical Girls! JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Bio 4: Tuneless Ramona”

Art Saturday

Title unknown by タンネ.

I’m behind on reviews, but I’m busy today putting polish on the twelve existing chapters of Jake and the Dynamo before starting in on the thirteenth, and I also need to finish up that essay on The Powerpuff Girls and read Herman Hesse’s Demian before I dive into my attempt to discuss Revolutionary Girl Utena. So I’m busy. Have you some artwork I stole.

Design Your Own Called Attack

You know those stupid birthday games? This is one of those stupid birthday games, courtesy of Utah’s Anime Banzai. I remember Anime Banzai from years back. Good times.

How come mine is boring?
How come mine is boring?

I get “Glistening Mirage Wave,” which is surprisingly intelligible, if rather mundane. What do you get?

I’m rather fond of magical girls’ called attacks. The sheer audacity of creating a move for your character by flipping open an English dictionary and grabbing random nouns and adjectives delights me. Unfortunately, a lot of creators have never bothered to think about exactly what these attacks do or how they work, so we in the audience are often stuck watching the characters throw sparkly lights at each other while wondering what the heck is going on.  Of course, there are other titles that have addressed this issue or simply dodged it.

 

Meet Your Magical Girls! JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Bio 3: Rifle Maiden

CODENAME: Magical Girl Rifle Maiden
ALTER EGO: Unknown
FAMILIAR: Bossy the Holstein
CURRENT AGE: 15
THREAT LEVEL COMPETENCY: 6.4
MAGITECH: Gunnery

“Magical Girl Rifle Maiden atcher service.”

Not much is known about Rifle Maiden. Armed with a rifle and a pair of revolvers, she can fire explosive bolts or stun blasts, and apparently never runs out of ammunition.  However, her energy consumption is quite high, as she has difficulty sustaining power in prolonged combat without a steady supply of juice boxes.

Rifle Maiden is most effective when she teams up with other girls; fortunately, a sunny and straightforward personality enables her to befriend her fellow magical girls easily. In recent days, many have observed her working closely with Voodoo Queen Natasha. Continue reading “Meet Your Magical Girls! JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Bio 3: Rifle Maiden”

Alicia Joy on the Folkloric Roots of Magical Girls

I stumbled across this article, “Witchcraft in Japan: The Roots of Magical Girls” by Alicia Joy the other day. I make no particular comment on its accuracy, but I find it interesting because it attempts to find roots for the magical girl genre within Japanese folklore regarding witchcraft.

A typical essay on the origin of the magical girl genre will typically link it to the American television series Bewitched, which directly inspired both Sally the Witch and Himitsu No Akkochan, which are typically considered the first two magical girl series.

Joy attempts to find some parallels between a few of the genre’s common tropes and elements of Japanese folklore. Since witchcraft is more-or-less universal in folklore, this isn’t particularly difficult. Still, with the broomsticks and pointy hats that often show up amongst magical girls of the “cute witch” variety,” bowdlerized Western folklore is clearly a strong influence.

The genre evolved from that mostly via infusions of tropes from science fiction and superheroes. The girls’ familiars these days are often space aliens, and it’s typical for magical girl series to explain its phlebotinum via appeal to science fiction concepts such as nanoprobes, though little if any real science will be evident.

Meet Your Magical Girls! JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Bio 2: Grease Pencil Marionette

CODENAME: Magical Girl Grease Pencil Marionette
ALTER EGO: N/A
FAMILIAR: Takumi the hologram
CURRENT AGE: 16 (simulated)
THREAT LEVEL COMPETENCY: 5.1
MAGITECH: Artistic

“A girl robot infused with hopes and dreams and the power of imagination!”

Magical Girl Grease Pencil Marionette is a fully functional magical girl simulation system. She is the creation of a genius scientist who dreamt of a day when an army of robots might protect the city from monsters and thus leave its young girls to live their lives in peace. Alas, he died upon activating her, so she is the first, and most likely the last, of her kind.

Whereas most magical girls must only serve until their eighteenth birthdays, Marionette does not age. She has fought for the city for over two hundred years now. Before the Ascension, she was even a personal friend and confidant of the Moon Princess, who often referred to her as “my pet.”

Although the magical girls are officially under the command of the High Priestess, Grease Pencil Marionette, as the oldest active magical girl, has become their de facto field commander. She is almost solely responsible for the communication network that makes the girls so effective at repelling the constant threats to humanity’s continued existence. She encourages the girls to support one another, and she practices what she preaches: rumor has it that she has recently formed a close bond with Magical Girl Card Collector Kasumi, and their relationship has been the subject of much speculation in the press.

But Marionette does not relate so well to girls who step out of line: in recent days, she has butted heads with the mysterious Magical Girl Pretty Dynamo, who has garnered a reputation (and much popularity) as a maverick who plays by her own rules.

Marionette’s magic is the power of imagination. Anything she can imagine, she can draw, and anything she draws with her magical grease pencil becomes real. She often uses her power to create for herself weapons or vehicles, though she cannot create anything that fires projectiles, as such projectiles inevitably revert to mere grease. However, her pencil is unbreakable and can punch through any substance, since she can simply imagine what it touches becoming fragile.

Because of her lack of ranged weapons, Marionette is most effective as a melee fighter. Do not let her modest competency rating of 5.1 fool you: threat assessments are for individual monsters only, but Marionette has effectively battled multiple enemies simultaneously.

Not only is she extremely deadly at close range, but Marionette also has significantly greater stamina than an ordinary magical girl. Equipped with a fusion reactor in her chest, she can operate for long periods on only a little water and does not, like other girls, require juice boxes to replenish her magical energy.

As a simulated magical girl, Marionette has no true contract. Instead, she has a simulated familiar, Takumi, an independent AI program. Takumi is sub-sapient, but contains a complete set of Marionette’s ethics algorithms and data on previous engagements, so he is able to advise her both morally and tactically.

In order to give her the ability to use magic like a real girl, Marionette’s creator had to program her with desires and dreams she can never fulfill. Marionette would like most of all to settle down and dedicate her life to her art, but duty constantly calls her back to the fray. However, the Moon Princess told her that there was a slight chance—very slight—that if she served faithfully throughout her long and weary existence, Grease Pencil Marionette might one day acquire that which she desires most of all: a human soul.