Whoever Made This Video Needs to Watch More Older Stuff

I wrote my own list of top magical girl anime once, and it looked rather different. It’s unfortunate how quickly stuff goes out of print in both anime and manga. If you don’t get it when it’s out, it might be gone, and unless some streaming site archives it or it gets a re-release, you might not be able to find it at all. It can become more-or-less impossible to acquire, as in my fruitless quest to find a set of Creamy Mami, or prohibitively expensive, as in that opportunist on Amazon who wants seventy-five bucks for the final volume of Sugar Sugar Rune, which they tell me is the greatest of the “cute witch” magical girl stories, except I wouldn’t know because, well, seventy-five bucks? Seriously? My magical girls are precious to me, but so are my dead presidents.

I’m grateful for re-releases or longer running releases when they happen. All the furor over some bad decisions aside, I’m glad Viz picked up the original Sailor Moon to release the whole thing with subtitles, and I’m quite pleased with my collector’s set of Revolutionary Girl Utena, a series I have a love-hate relationship with. And I really like my DVD set of Princess Tutu, which in my humble opinion might be the greatest magical girl series ever made (yeah, yeah, Madoka, whatever).  It was also when Crunchyroll started archiving more older shows that I finally decided to pay them for a subscription.  Specifically, it was when they got a set of Cardcaptor Sakura, another series I have a love-hate relationship with.

By way of an update, I’ve been so busy getting Jake and the Dynamo going that I’m behind on other projects. I should have a review posted this week, at least. Jake and the Dynamo will have a new chapter every Monday for as long as I can sustain that pace, which will be at least three months.  Then I might change the schedule if necessary.

I’m also tweaking the look here.  This blog’s only a few weeks old, and it’s still running on the default theme.  For the time being, J&tD have their own spot in the sidebar, and the chapters will also be navigable.

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”