Your Coffee Is Murder

Friggin’ hilarious.

I’ll often go looking up something to fact-check what I’m writing and stumble across bizarre things like this.  This is a pastiche of scenes from coffee ads ca. 1950s-1960s.

Of course, the comments on YouTube are all about “sexism” or whatever, but my experience of ads from that era is that they were a lot harsher and more aggressive all-around than ads of today.  In the 1960s, advertisers were unafraid to tell you that your breath stinks, or that you’ll never get a date if you’re bald, or that you can’t make coffee worth a damn.

Whether the shift in the tone of advertising is due to refinement in advertisers’ technique, or due to people today being pussies who can’t handle criticism, I leave to the reader’s speculation.

The History of Magical Girl Anime, Part 8

The copyright Nazis aren’t allowing us access to several of SourcererZZ’s videos on the history of the magical girl genre, so the next one I can embed is episode 8, which covers the years 1998 to 1999

He here discusses some very well-known and influential series, starting with Cardcaptor Sakura, which is possibly the most overrated magical girl franchise of all time (I’m sorry, but it’s true) by the inexplicably popular CLAMP. I was geeking out about magical girls with somebody a month or so back, and he described Cardcaptor Sakura as the story of “an adorable, innocent little girl completely surrounded by perverts.” I can’t think of a more accurate description. But I’ll rant on that at another time.

SourcererZZ also discusses the cute witch mega-franchise Ojamojo Doremi, which is known to cause cavities. Then he goes on to describe Phantom Thief Jeanne, the original manga version of which recently saw a re-release. The anime version of that one was bowdlerized from the manga.

He goes on to discuss Jubei-chan: Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch, one of the most bizarre series I’ve ever seen. Although it’s inexpressibly weird, it has an excellent story involving ancient grudges and samurai battles, but it sacrifices much-needed character development on the altar of cheap boob jokes.

History of Magical Girl Anime, Part 5

Unfortunately, part 4 of SourcererZZ‘s thorough history of magical girl anime is not available in my country because of a copyright claim, so we have to skip ahead to part 5, where he starts with 1993’s superhero parody Moldiver. He continues from there through 1995. These are the years immediately after the appearance of Sailor Moon, when the genre enjoyed a surge in popularity.

I particularly enjoyed his discussion of Magic Knight Rayearth, an RPG-inspired adventure with a twist, which is the only story by CLAMP (that team of manga-ka that is both so prolific and so overrated) that I like.

Unfortunately, his sound quality is going down the tubes. SourcererZZ has always been hard to understand, but now he’s got a bad mike to go with the broken English.  His description of Moldiver is more-or-less indecipherable, but he becomes intelligible shortly after that.  In spite of the shortcomings (and, alas, the missing episodes), this is the most thorough overview of the genre I’ve ever come across.  His research, and his insane ability to find clips from obscure cartoons from the days of laserdiscs and VHS, is quite impressive.

History of Magical Girl Anime, Part 3

I continue to be impressed by SourcererZZ’s video series covering the history of magical girl anime. His presentation is professional and knowledgeable if perhaps dry.

Here he covers the bulk of the Studio Pierrot era, when the genre was still mostly tame, but could sometimes get a little sleazy.

Unfortunately, at this point in the video series, a version with accurate subtitles is apparently unavailable, and SourcererZZ’s English continues to be, at times, difficult to understand. On the plus side, if you turn on the closed captioning, it is, as always with YouTube videos, hilarious.

Why does YouTube even have automatic closed captioning when it always turns out like this?

The Fantasy Epic Reinterpreted as Eighties Rock

Somebody drew my attention to this the other day, and … well, it’s just too good not to post. For a certain definition of good.

There is a plot buried somewhere under all the rapid takes. I can’t for the life of me tell you what it is, but I saw a chainmail bikini, and that’s good enough for me. Who doesn’t love chainmail bikinis?

I mean besides the SFWA, which fires people for chainmail bikinis.

I’ve never before heard of this Chris Dane Owens, but with his huge eyes and his bleached blond hair, he looks like a hero out of a shoujo manga. Apparently, there may be a film based on his music video at some point. Let us hope it’s coherent.

For some reason, I’m reminded of this:

History of Magical Girl Anime, Part 2

This is the second installment of the visual history of magical girl anime from SourcererZZ.  So far I’m quite impressed by this series.

Only one of the series that he discusses in this installment is readily available.  The long-lost and decidedly obscure English dub of the 1982 series Minky Momo showed up mysteriously and without explanation on Amazon Video last year. Unfortunately, it’s packaged as a series of movies, each containing four or five episodes, which Amazon is selling for the exorbitant price of $14.95 a piece. The movies don’t appear to contain the entirety of the series. There are thirteen such movies, so at the current price, that comes out to a whopping $194.35.

It’s a good series, but it’s not that good.

History of Magical Girl Anime, Part 1

I recently found this series of videos on the history of mahou shoujo anime by SourcererZZ.  Somehow, he’s managed to dredge up clips from early shows, including some that are quite hard to find.  He seems to know his subject very well.  Depending on what he gets into, some of his later videos might be NSFW, but this first one is a pretty good overview of the evolution of the genre from its origins with Sally the Witch to the early 1970s with Cutie Honey (that last getting a little racy toward the end of the video).

He’s a little hard to understand and rather quiet, but if you turn on the closed captions, he’s added accurate subtitles.

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.

Microsoft’s Magical Girls

 

I learned something new today while browsing the web. I didn’t know that turning out magical girl mascots was a regular thing for Microsoft.

I do however remember that back in 2013 there was a little buzz over the video featuring a personified Internet Explorer:

If this personified Explorer was more realistic, her transformation sequence would take fifteen minutes to load, and she’d crash unexpectedly right in the middle, only to find herself standing in the street, completely naked. Heck, even Microsoft has now given up on Explorer: they’ve replaced it with something called Edge. I bet nobody actually uses that one, either.