Pizza Margherita! Part 1 of 3

When killer vegetables attack, pizza bites back!

In honor of National Pizza Day, we present this three-part short story featuring the sauciest—and cheesiest!—magical girl in all of Urbanopolis: Space Princess Pizza Margherita! Enjoy this story I decided to write just now … and did!

This is an official prequel to Jake and the Dynamo!

Pizza Margherita!
A Tale from Urbanopolis

Part 1 of 3

READ PART 2 | READ PART 3

Midnight. In the midst of a sea of coldly twinkling stars, the full moon hung over Urbanopolis, and in the Sea of Serenity, the lights of the Eternal Kingdom were steady, clear, and unblinking. Down below, the citizens of man’s last city slumbered peacefully in their beds. It was a cool night, a clear night, a calm night. As the Urbanopolitans love to say, The Moon Princess is in her sailor suit, and all’s right with the world.

But hark! A crash of breaking glass! The lonely, frantic wail of an alarm! Once again, an evildoer has shattered the city’s peace—for there is no rest for the wicked.

In the lavish, velvet-carpeted lobby of the Unnatural History Museum, the night guards made their final stand. Armed only with nightsticks and conventional firearms, they stood no chance against the slavering, vicious horde that skittered through the smashed glass entryway. Foul, greenish beasts, their backs covered in rustling leaves and their insect-like limbs crackling with every twist and bend, poured in like a flood. The guards overturned tables and display cases to set up a barrier, but it did no good. The creatures swept them aside, heedless of the bullets from the guards’ pistols. They picked up screaming men who begged for their lives or called for their mothers, and threw them whole into their slavering maws. Deep in their gullets, the drowning, dying men dissolved in the monsters’ digestive vegetable juices. These monstrosities were neither animal nor mineral: they were the Salad Soldiers, carnivorous plants grown in the volcanic wilds of the Earth’s hollow core. In man’s last days, these fell creatures had ascended to the surface to claim their place as the planet’s new overlords. Continue reading “Pizza Margherita! Part 1 of 3”

Art?

Featured image: “Winx Club – Bloom” by Nesallienna.

Ah, Winx Club. Haven’t talked much about that one. Funny story: I decided to try that show out a couple of years back because I knew it had a big fandom, and I knew it was a magical girl show from outside Japan. Here in the States, Nickelodeon has slapped its name on this show, and I didn’t do my research before purchasing half a season of it, so I mistakenly believed I was getting a magical girl series from the same people who gave us stuff like Spongebob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer and Avatar: The Last Airbender. In other words, I assumed I was in good hands.

No. It’s actually an Italian cartoon and has the honor of being the first Italian cartoon to get syndicated in the U.S., which is more than I’ve accomplished today. It’s also proven quite popular in a wide array of other countries. I would have watched it in any case, but I wasn’t prepared for just how freaking awful it is. After I finally looked up some information, I was unsurprised to discover that the CIA uses Winx Club in lieu of waterboarding for “enhanced interrogation.”

Okay, I made that up. But still. I had to prop my eyeballs open like that guy in Clockwork Orange just to get myself through thirteen episodes. And it’s gone for seven seasons, totalling 182 episodes the last time someone counted and I paid attention. A hundred or more episodes of something like Sailor Moon or Saint Seiya doesn’t make me swallow, but Winx Club? I think watching the entire run of Winx Club is what they make you do in Purgatory.

It sounds like an okay idea, at least if you’re out to make money off kids: the premise is a cross between Harry PotterTinkerbell, and Sailor Moon. It’s about five teenage bimbos with magical fairy powers who fly with gossamer wings, fight evil witches, wear skanky outfits, go to magic school, zip around on dungeon-punkish spaceships and hovercraft, and have some peculiar obsession with ending words with the letter X. You could certainly do worse for a cartoon concept. The animation isn’t great, but it isn’t awful, and the bad CGI is excessive, but that was a fad at the time (2003) that it started its run. The production values are acceptable.

But, seriously, worst. writing. ever. I think Winx Club has the dubious honor of containing the most awkwardly constructed romantic subplots I’ve ever seen in anything professionally produced. At one point, the narrator announces that a couple of characters’ relationship is deepening and growing closer, and that was the first time I knew those characters even had a relationship at all.

And get this: the first time the heroine (Bloom) arrives from Earth on the magic planet, she immediately comments on how mundane it is. She’s not wrong: it basically looks like downtown in any generic Western city, except where the cars and motorbikes float. That’s a major lost opportunity in the environmental designs, but they actually have the main character point out that it’s boring. Brilliant idea, guys. I hope that’s the English translators getting a dig in and not something that’s really in the original Italian.

Anyway, my schedule is getting slightly less insane, so I intend to get back to regular posting around here. We’ve got more stuff to review and discuss, and of course, we’ve got more Jake and the Dynamo, which doesn’t contain the worst writing ever. I hope.

Art (and update)

Featured image: “Magical Ichu” by toi-chan.

My schedule might become slightly less insane in the future, so I hope to return to posting more regularly. I am slowly working on the next chapter of Jake and the Dynamo, but I don’t have spare time for much of anything else, so I haven’t had a chance to watch or read anything more for review.

I’d really like to get through the first half of Sailor Moon S or some of the mahou shoujo anime that came out this last season, but I just haven’t had the chance.

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

The Beach Episode of Darkness: Can Marionette win a battle of wills against the enemy within her own mind?

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”

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.

Jake and the Dynamo Fan Art

In this image by Roffles Lowell, Magical Girl Pretty Dynamo broods as she flies high over the city she is doomed to protect. She contemplates the implacable foes bent on humanity’s destruction. She contemplates what nefarious mastermind may be behind the latest wave of monster attacks. She contemplates how she’s pretty sure she saw Jake making eyes at Sword Seamstress, so she is really going to give him what-for when she gets home. Just see if she doesn’t. Jake is such a big jerk. Boys really suck. Totally.

Merry Christmas from deus ex magical girl

We have a new essay going up, but I didn’t get it finished today, so I’ll see if I can post it tomorrow on Christmas Eve instead. Christmas may not be as big a holiday in the magical girl calendar as, say, Halloween or Walpurgisnacht, but it’s still plenty important.

Merry Christmas to all, and for right now, to all a good night. I’ll see you tomorrow.