Tomorrow …

I’m getting pinched by school projects as we’re coming to the end of the term, and I wasted too much of my Easter weekend writing that gargantuan post on Shugo Chara! instead of writing my reports.

Nonetheless … look for Chapter 26 (finally!) of Jake and the Dynamo tomorrow. I don’t think I better make a definite promise, but … look for it.

Notice it, senpai. Notice it.

Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from Magical Girls

I ran across this amusing meme while looking up stuff for some of my earlier posts over the weekend.

Back in the day, it used to be standard for Saturday morning cartoons to present some kind of heavy-handed life lesson, usually in a segment at the end where the characters would break the fourth wall and preach at the audience. On occasion, these segments could take on a life of their own, as anyone who has heard the phrase, “And knowing is half the battle,” can attest.

The DiC dub back the mid-90s added such a segment to the first two seasons of Sailor Moon, even after it had gone out of style, but the above image aptly explains why that was a bad idea. Sailor Moon is a wish-fulfillment fantasy, but Sailor Moon is not a role model. If you want the stuff Usagi has, acting like Usagi is the last thing you should do: for the most obvious example, you don’t get the Sailor Moon bod by following the Sailor Moon diet, but other examples could be multiplied.

The manga’s worse. There’s actually a chapter in there in which she’s on the phone, lying to her parents that she’s having a sleepover at Makoto’s apartment … when she’s actually sleeping with her boyfriend.

And this was a comic ostensibly aimed at twelve-year-old girls. I wouldn’t let my daughter read it. She might get ideas.

My Job Here Is Done

I noticed the traffic ticking up mysteriously last night and into today, so I said to myself, “You guys really like all that hard work I put in on the review of Sailor Moon S, eh?”

No, it actually turns out that there’s a Reddit called “AskWomen,” where someone posed the question, “What childhood crush did you have that you still cringe about today?” The answers are kind of hilarious, and include the following:

The link labeled “white tie” goes to my essay on Tuxedo Mask’s fashion faux pas. I see now that my labor in the name of men’s formalwear was not in vain.

It so happens I was thinking of writing a sequel on Haruka Tenou’s fashion faux pas. Maybe I’ll get on that.

IT DOES EXIST!

Pictured here is the Wenger 16999 Swiss Army Knife Giant, an actual product. Last time I checked, it was going for $3,999, but someone has now put one up for sale for $400, a steal.

I always carry a Swiss Army knife on my hip. I use it quite often, and I’ve been thinking about replacing my current one with a larger one with more features, especially since I’ve lost the toothpick and tweezers (I hate when that happens). If I didn’t have a still-intact toothpick and tweezers on my Swiss Army knife keychain, I probably would have replaced it already.

Right now, I’m thinking it would be great to have the Wenger 16999 on my hip, though I’d have to have a custom-made holster for it. Still, it’d be worth it just to haul it out when someone asks for a screwdriver.

Unfortunately, this is apparently a “display only” piece. According to the one Amazon review that isn’t a joke, some of the implements can’t even fold in all the way.

To find the serious reviews, though, you have to wade through dozens like this one:

Received this knife as a gift for my 18th birthday. Wish I’d have known what it was because as soon as I touched it, I grew a mustache and became a Navy Seal. Mom fainted and my dad laughed and handed me a beer. I was born a girl.

Minus 2 stars because my breasts were really nice.

Major Old-School Anime Titles Hit Blu-Ray

Format war can have a silver lining. As Blu-ray continues to replace DVDs, it seems some old anime series have come back to the market this year. I haven’t been keeping a super-close eye on this like a fanatic, so when I say “back to,” I might be speaking loosely in some cases, but still.

I only regret that, due to life circumstances, my current anime budget is zero. If it weren’t, I’d snatch these up. So, just to be clear, this is a list of stuff I want, not stuff I’m reviewing. I believe strongly in compensating artists for their work, so I don’t do bootlegs, and that has the unfortunate effect of putting a lot of gaps in my first-hand anime knowledge. I’m passing on the news of these titles because a few of these are works I tried to acquire legitimately in the past, but failed to do so. For that reason, their re-release is notable.

This is a handful of arbitrarily selected “want to see” titles based solely on my personal taste. (NOTE: You may need to turn off Adblock to see the images.)

Continue reading “Major Old-School Anime Titles Hit Blu-Ray”

Weaponizing [sic]

That’s sic, dude.

We’ve all seen “[sic],” and most of us have probably used it. This little word in brackets is, of course, a way to show that a quotation is presented as-is and that any typos, grammatical errors, or other problems are in the original, and are not the result of defective copying.

Out of curiosity, I looked the word up and discovered, to no surprise, that it’s Latin. It means “so” or “thus.”

In the age of the internet, sic occasionally gets used in a snarky fashion. I once read an entertaining essay in which a writer vehemently criticized another, quoted him frequently, and presented sic with every quotation as a passive-aggressive way of announcing that he considered the one he was quoting to be an idiot.

Urban Dictionary specifically points out this abuse of sic, quoting from Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots and Leaves, “Book reviewers in particular adore to use sic. It makes them feel terrific, because what it means is that they’ve spotted this apparent mistake, thank you, so there is no point in writing in.”

In informally published internet writing, such an abuse of sic can be amusing, but in more official sources, it is obnoxious. I was aghast when I typed “What does sic mean?” into Google and got the following from Google’s built-in dictionary thingy:

used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original, as in a story must hold a child’s interest and “enrich his [ sic ] life.”.

Whoever wrote this definition went out of his way to correct [sic] something that is not an error. “A story must hold a child’s interest and enrich his life” is a grammatically correct sentence. In English, the masculine pronoun is used when the sex of the antecedent is unknown.

This is one small example of the magical thinking that afflicts our age, the belief that one can change reality by manipulating words. Some effeminate, lisping, limp-wristed, low-T weenie actually felt the need, even when engaged in an activity as necessary, unassuming, and (usually) wholesome as writing the dictionary, to signal his virtue by screwing with the language. The wiener who wrote this went out of his way to find an example for this definition that he could politically correct instead of actually correct, and he thereby rendered the definition false.

And that’s just sic and wrong.

The Luck o’ the Irish

Featured image from Madoka Magica online game.

Our featured image is two years old, but, hey, finding St. Patrick’s Day-themed magical girl art is hard.

So, anyway, happy St. Patrick’s Day. I’m Catholic, and now is the season of Lent, which is an ancient practice of fasting for forty days prior to the celebration of Easter, which lasts for fifty days. This practice of fasting before feasts is a tradition of ours, as it makes the feasts grander. Continue reading “The Luck o’ the Irish”

Happy White Day

Art taken from the Anime Art Museum.

We can’t go full weeb unless we mention White Day. Japan has retooled the Christian holiday of St. Valentine’s Day into a day on which women give chocolate to men instead of the other way around. In 1978, Japan’s National Confectionary Industry Association created White Day as a day for men to reciprocate.

It is a tradition that you’re supposed to give three times as much on White Day as you got on Valentine’s Day. So be sure to do something nice for your magical girl today.

I might have a story about Jake giving candy to Dana … but I’m doing my taxes instead.

So, anyway, happy White Day. This holiday, I should note, is not only celebrated in Japan, but also in South Korea, though their tradition is different. Instead of having boys give girls candy, they lock students in a school and make them fight monsters and kill one another.

Jake and the Dynamo Coming Soon

Featured image: “Snowwhite and Hardgore Alice” by KaishaScire

I’m busy at the moment with an assignment I have to have completed tonight, but if I can get this wrapped up, I’ll make the final pass on chapter 24 of Jake and the Dynamo. Check back here tomorrow, as I hope to have it up.