Goddammit Saekano

From Crunchyroll:

In an exclusive interview with Web Newtype, Shun’ya Senga of Design Coco and Tomoaki Atogami of Aniplex hinted that more life-sized figures of the heroines of Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend- may be in the works.

During the interview, the two men discussed the creation process and the difficulties inherent in transforming a 2D character into a 3-dimensional sculpture, such as the challenge of accurately reproducing Megumi’s undergarments (which are never fully revealed in the TV show).

You’re really making it hard to be a fan of your show, Saekano. And I was looking forward to season 2. I still am, actually, but now I might not admit to it so openly.

The Near-Final Frontier

I’ve been playing Star Trek Timelines, the new mobile F2P game that’s only been out for a few days. I never play these types of games, but I’ve read about them and I’m aware of all the little psychological tricks it’s using to hook me in. But on the other hand, when I click on Worf he says “Today is a good day to die.” Plus, if I keep playing I’ll get to unlock Odo and Chakotay soon. How am I supposed to resist?

The premise is what you’d expect – some time-space hooey is afoot and Q has dragooned you, nameless Starfleet captain, into flying around fixing the problems when past, present, and alternate timelines collide.

The game’s only been out for a few days, though, so some of the kinks are apparently still being ironed out. For instance, I think the beginning is a bit too complicated to just jump into – Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is noticeably slicker (speaking of another mobile F2P game that I just got into over the holidays) – but zooming around in a Constitution-class starship scanning planets is fun enough by itself.

It’s curious that so far I’ve yet to find a characters from the Bakula Enterprise that’s been voiced, considering that characters from the other series have had voices. Not all of them (Yeoman Rand and Keiko are mute, for instance), but enough that I notice. Perhaps there’s something in the Enterprise actors’ contracts that puts a kibosh on video game adaptations? I do notice that the J.J. Abrams movie versions aren’t included, which I assume is because the game’s contract covers only the TV shows.

Anyway, I’m probably going to keep playing this grindy clickfest until I vomit. It’s Star Trek, how could I not?

Thank you, Clickhole

I don’t read Clickhole regularly, but I acknowledge that when this absurdist satire of clickbait articles is on point, it is on point. Sometimes I have trouble breathing from how much I’m laughing. My latest favourites:

Making A Difference: These Barely Legal Teens Got Together And Cleaned Up Their Local Park

Whether they were pigtailed petites with daddy issues, all-natural Latinas, or twink teen boys, every single one of them showed up bright and early to make a difference. No matter their background, these barely legal teens united to clean up over 100 pounds of waste and install a new plastic play structure, and Modesto residents took notice[.]

Think Bullying Is Okay? So Do I. Let’s Be Friends.

Remember: By doing nothing, you are personally contributing to a culture of bullying. You are complicit. And that’s exactly what I wanted to talk to you about, because I actually don’t really care about whether or not I’m part of the problem.

Quiz: Will You Make A Suitable Bride For Oscar Isaac?

This last one is a brilliantly bizarre fairy tale disguised as a Buzzfeed quiz. I don’t know who writes these things, but they’re goddamn geniuses.

A People’s History of Middle-Earth

I finished reading The Last Ringbearer. It’s a story completely unapproved of by the Tolkien estate which tells the story of the end and aftermath of the Lord of the Rings trilogy from the viewpoint of the orcs. It’s pretty much only available through non-standard channels in English, though I understand it’s sold openly as a published book in its original Russian.

I quite liked the opening when it was a revisionist retelling from the perspective of the losing side, leavened by long digressions into the history of Mordor and the ecology of the land, but in the middle it turned into a standard fantasy quest, which I wasn’t into. It’s clearly deliberate parallelism to the One Ring mission. After that it turned into a Cold War spy novel before ending kind of ploinkingly with almost the same climax as the original trilogy.

Reading the book was an interesting experience. I’m not sure it’s something I can recommend, particularly since I don’t know who I could even recommend it to – the story keeps switching genres and I don’t know if a typical fantasy reader would appreciate this literary legerdemain. That, and a Tolkien fan would probably be really ticked off at how the story of Lord of the Rings has been cruelly hacked apart and sewn back together as a cynical propaganda piece by the victorious West.

The book ends with an essay from the author defending his fanfiction – I do not use this term pejoratively, but it really is the best term for this work – and criticizing the fantasy genre’s demand for Manichean struggles between good and evil. This leads me to believe that he may not be widely read in the modern fantasy genre. There are numerous English fantasy works that put a gritty spin on fantasy, the most famous probably being A Song of Ice and Fire (a.k.a. Game of Thrones in its TV incarnation). Those works may not be as widely known in Russia, but it seems such an obvious idea to put a cynical spin on fantasy that I’m sure there are Russian writers who are doing the same thing already.

Anyway, that’s that. I read The Last Ringbearer. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t like it. I just thought it was kind of okay.

After the war

I saw that Force Awakens movie a while ago.  I don’t know if anyone has made this observation yet, but I thought Kylo Ren was basically the personification of the whole movie: he’s a reiteration of an original product that’s neurotically obsessed with whether he’s as good as the example he’s copied from.

He’s good enough, which is kind of my feeling on the movie as a whole. I thought it was decently entertaining, though it’s kind of interesting to see the Marvel blockbuster formula being used for something other than superheroes.