Wednesday, 21 June 2017

MT Series Scan: Raildex S 2 & 2

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, so why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

Today we’re looking at A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Discs 2 & 3) with A Certain Magical Index (Disc 2). I’ve been watching this universe chronologically, because I can. Last time, I looked at Railgun S leading up to this point of the Sisters Arc, where both series overlap. Now we’re headed deep into it.

I’ve got clone sympathy, Accelerator is a megalomaniac, and Mugino/Meltdowner is, ehh, feeling like a distraction/warmup, really. Evil seems more united than good right now. Incidentally, I seem to call The Original “Mikoto” and her clones “Misaka”, for whatever reason. Onwards.

*Railgun S Disc 2*

10 Meltdowner


Stream of Consciousness:
-Ooh, Mikoto using the enemies tools? (Why blow up yourself what others can blow up for you?) OP. More mercenary scening. Heh, boardroom time. Yeah, knew that wouldn’t work. Haha, magnet bomb, clever. So many dolls?? Whoa! “Silicon Burn”, so she can magnify one strike to many with prisms, nice. Ohh, she’s bitter over being 4th, not 3rd. I didn’t clue in that it was a hierarchy. Deflection! So they can both do that. Down, but not out. These level 5s are big on property damage. OW.
-Can Mikoto escape? Maybe, but will be pursued. It's her turn for analysis, but Meltdowner can strategize too. HAhahaha, cell phone call now? This girl’s UltraWeird. Okay, Mugino needs to chill. (Why is there no Level 5 duelling ring?) OWW. Mikoto’s gambling on Frenda then. I don’t think Mugino’s dead. Heck yeah, she’s tough. Well, I’m glad that battle ended in this ep. Ooh, beating up scientist, so is Mugino going friend or foe? Uhh, foe.
-“S Processor” is the last place then, but they’ve already moved on. You’re going in NOW?! Level 5s is all crazy. Gone? Yeah, very unrealistic, but maybe take a break. Cue flashback to not being able to take a break. Except, no, optimism. And Saten flashback! Oh, theeeerrrre’s Toma. NEXT: Toma takes over?

Thoughts and Theories:
 Well, knowing that Accelerator and at least one Clone figure into “Index” (from that OP), I imagine “Meltdowner” and her “ITEM” group will be gone for a while, along with Shinobu. (If that’s not the case, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.) We’ll encounter Index next, and Mikoto will probably hit it off with her, because that would be bad luck for Toma. It will also be a pretty “light” episode after all this action, as Mikoto learns about his Imagine Breaker (directly or otherwise), and maybe Sorcery. We STILL won’t see much of the Railgun S cast (maybe Kuroko) until later in Ep 12, once Toma shuffles off to talk with Magnus or something. All at a guess.


11 The Vending Machine


Stream of Consciousness:
-Mikoto flashback to Season 1 (and something Toma likely doesn’t remember, this could be fun). Yup, memory was cleverly done in two continuities. Heh, that’s one way to bond. Oh nice, a scene of the other "Railgun" characters. Saten thinks... (Mikoto’s a clone?) Hahaha, no, has a boy. Just when Toma shows up, this could be more fun. Whoa, Uiharu, don’t think that. Kuroko, too much sugar. Way to transition her to Toma though.
-Mikoto, overkill. (Overkill, another level 5 trait?) Pffft, funny. Thank you for exposition, Mikoto. “What have I been doing”, heh Toma. Hi Kuroko, join the hijinks! Oh man. “Harmless monkey” heh, who is impressed by teleportation. Nice that Mikoto’s still okay with her roomie. Ohh, hello new clone. Who also narrates. They CAN track back to her too. Heh, also calling her Sissy. Aww, the truth comes crashing down. “A complex family”, sure Toma, or something.
-They’re up to 10020? Daaamn. You take on too much, Mikoto. Misaka also has cat memories, huh? Oh no. Now they’ll all know to leave her alone, oh sadness. Uhoh, Toma meets clone. Doctor Amai in the conspiracy? Is this “dividing up” a flashback or not? 183 facilities, oh daaamn. And as I thought, she’s been wiping out the weak ones. Senior Management must know, yes Mikoto. Fight the City?!
-Accelerator, you suck. I guess he’s always been on top. Tree Diagram Computer’s in on it? Good case for why bother, being the mightiest esper already. Decent counterargument, I guess. I doubt I’ll buy Accel being sympathetic. Mass clonage is against the law? Kuroko, your hair is weird. Oooh, Mikoto has to go public instead? THAT’S an interesting tack. From joking to serious, over the ED. So is she still Judgement? Awww, this is sad. She’ll have to go to Toma then? NEXT: Yeah, pretty much, goes to Toma. Plus big computer!

Thoughts and Theories:
 Mikoto can’t get her friends to help, awwww. I can’t believe I didn’t clue in to the Judgement issue. But it is in the Level 5 nature to break the law. Meaning that really didn’t go where I thought. Not even any Index yet.
 I suppose now Mikoto recruits Toma to get evidence of illegal clonage, but the Government closes in on them, and Accelerator can take on Toma without disrupting the experimenting, while Mikoto tries to free the Clone Net? Sheer speculation. We’ll build to that though, as it’s over 3 “Index” eps. I wonder how Sorcery fits in, or if it even does.

12 Tree Diagram


Stream of Consciousness:
-Aw, Mikoto’s Mom! Santa, heh. (“Mama” is my own issue.) Reality is indeed a problem. So this is a 24 hours thing? (Strap in.) OP. Wait, “Tree Diagram” is on Orihime I? (Didn’t Index blow that up or something?) Biribiri/“Zapper” name is back. “The machine sets the policy”. Can she take on a computer in orbit with her power? A clone’s back. HAHA, cat called “Zapper”. Misaka can’t explain simple things. Toma already has cat problems with Index, Misaka. Her defect? Oh, the magnetic field. What is it about cats? (The first clone had the cat in a tree, plus Toma has Sphinx.)
-10031 is showing signs of heartache? Ooooh. Not technically own voice, we hear differently in our heads. Ohh, Mikoto’s going into space. Or no, she needs to feed in false data, okay. (That won’t work.) She KNOWS it won’t work indefinitely, recalculations, clever. (I like when the anime anticipates me, “Railgun”s good at it.)
-Toma is the Kitty Whisperer or something. Call him “Dog”, haha, fun paradox. “Tokugawa Ieyasu” what? Bwahahaha, “Shroedinger”. The name “On Hold” isn’t terrible. OHHH. Clone met Index. OHHH, tie-in off screen. Toma, cat throwing’s a bit of a jerk move, but I don’t know what else would have worked.
-Accelerator is beating up bad guys but going too far. He can affect at a distance by touching the ground? Damn. Interesting point about the Misakas not complaining. So many clones are about at the same time? What do they sense in the Misaka Net? Oh, they both go, this is a double attack then.
-So, yeah Mikoto, it’s probably a trap. Or is it all automatic? Wow, yeah, dust on the console. What? It’s not processing requests?? Just making reports? The DISAPPEARANCE of the massive computer?! (So Index DID explode it!!) NEXT: Major clone fight, and Toma finds out.

Thoughts and Theories:
-Oh, oh, NICE, so it all ties back to “Index #6”. Toma freed Index, computer gone, and he doesn’t even remember. Scientists don’t get it, because magic. And there’s a massive conspiracy to hide it’s gone, which presumably will be busted open here because of a clone program “Tree” devised, which is going off the rails. (Of course, if Accel knows, he’ll just figure he can take Mikoto on, uhoh.) Nice interconnectedness. Damn, is this also why that scientist from “Railgun 1” was denied access?!

*looks stuff up* So Toma remembers Mikoto in “Railgun 13”, the swimsuit filler ep, meaning before the satellite’s off. But that’s after “Level Upper” has been around, so no, she was denied access to “Tree” because the government are just jerks. Fascinating world building though. I suppose it’s time to see Clone Misaka meet Index, as we begin our flip back and forth. I may stay with Index for a double episode to peek ahead this time, as Toma comes on board.

*Magical Index Disc 2*

10 Misaka Mikoto


Stream of Consciousness:
-Fun, it’s Accelerator, who we might “sympathize” with, until the clone backlash. Interesting that his power works at long range too. OP. (Hm, does Accel gain some Mikasa powers over time?) It’s Aug 20th? Wow, that is a time jump. Toma missed his first remedial classes. His last $20, old scene, new perspective!
-Mikoto’s more violent here initially, rather than admitting she once lost money too. Yes, shorts - oh no, Toma’s not going to use panties to identify the clones, is he?! Oh, wait, now their money talk, we just didn’t see the drinking bit in Railgun S, huh? So she was trying to get the money but got drinks instead.
-Airship talking about “Mizuho” discontinuing operations, a tie in? He thinks he beat her in *sports*, really? (Listen to her Level 5 talk, dude.) Girls manga reference? Kuroko talks “remedial lessons” as Mikoto’s nights out versus being with a boy. (So this is the pre-Saten continuity explanation.) Kuroko doesn’t take his hand while he sits, Toma stands. This explains a lot of the head-thinking in “Railgun”, the scene’s a lot shorter here. And Mikoto’s still taking CloneMisaka away, but there’s less anguish.
-Toma avoids stepping on the tennis ball, or no, bad luck. Now clone. Siiigh, striped panties. (Well, I called that. Weirdly I already adopted the name convention (Misaka/Mikoto) Toma does too.) She uses the goggles to be more like a level 5, huh? She’s definitely “off schedule” at this point. Stop looking at her panties. Okay, now a maid who has a brother, Tsuchimikado... Maika is a stepsister - what is a maid school?! Sooo random. Weird time to set up a new character. Oh, Index and Aisa. Didn’t expect the latter. Oh no, they’re alluding to a harem. Sphinx is back too. Mmm, savoury steamed cat.
-Mikasa brings logic to the insanity. Her electromagnetism helps, even low powered. And scene ends. (I wouldn’t say that was “meeting Index”, really.) Next day! (THE DAY.) Komoe and ESP cards in class - is he the only student? Oh no, his jerk friends too. Random Mikoto name drop! (Seriously Komoe, she can’t be the only one, why her name.) More airship plot: muscular dystrophy research centres closed in last two weeks. “Machine sets the policy” line again. She questions “Tree”’s existence outright here?
-Misaka goggles-off reference, though she is actually trying to feed the cat now? Seems no, but the cake IS out in this original version. Skips right to “Health Department” talk after a perspective cut, so one can presume the conversation was longer like in “Railgun S”. Talk of naming (with “Dog” and “Schrodinger”) now takes place in motion, not stopped. Talk of meeting Index now takes place stopped at store, not in motion. There’s definitely some revisionist history going on. Accelerator is there, she turns - there’s no other clone seen this time as he throws a clone (which is not her?) to the ground. NEXT: Learning about the killing of sisters, and Aisa goes to see Kuroko?

Thoughts and Theories:
 Yeah, all the heart has been bled out of this, in favour of entangling new characters (Misaka and MaikaMaid) to the existing (Index and Aisa). Honestly, I feel like “Railgun S” did a pretty good job with their “revisionist history” though, given what they had to work with (aka work around). Even so, it’s weird changing merely the timing of conversations, when they could have made it more seamless! (Like why not have them walking?)
 It now seems pretty apparent from this side that it’s TOMA who is going to approach MIKOTO, and not the other way around. (Mikoto really is bent on doing her lone wolf thing. Guess I could have guessed from "Railgun #12".) Not sure how Aisa fits in, I truly didn’t expect her to stick around. They would seem to have two episodes left in the arc to take down Accelerator and/or reveal the truth about Tree Diagram. Calling it now, no sorcery.

11 Sisters


Stream of Consciousness:
-Accelerator redirects everything, while questioning his own purpose. He reveals “vector transformation”, man, why tell them? (Is he wanting a challenge after 10,000 tries for her to figure it out? Why didn't they look it up?) It needs to touch his skin though. His default is reflect, nice. (Explains a lot.) He can reverse her own blood flow?! (So the "Railgun" version of the battle has one clone?) Toma investigates. Interesting camera angle. (So he’ll find Misaka dead, but then "she’ll" show up tomorrow?) Appropriate reaction - oh, he called ambulance, that makes it awkward. Unless cleanup was fast?
-They missed the shoe. It was fast. Cat radar? To new clone, who is cleaning up the old one. (So in “Railgun Revisions” it will be the same clone then.) Misaka now uses password, nice callback to earlier “Railgun”. New clone, same headspace. That’s creeeeepy having all of them. Serial number 10032, oh, so it IS her, no revisionist history for "Railgun" then (my bad).
-Toma’s getting a lot of information here for not having the password. He links it back to the original Mikoto, is she in on it, makes sense. Oh no, Komoe scene. And Aisa with a scary story why? Index with her food fetish. This scene isn’t funny. No one even wonders where Toma is? Even AISA’S tired of Index by now. How does that add anything?
-He goes to room 208, this late? (Wait, so he brings KUROKO on board?) They argue, but she likely wants to learn more through him, okay. (Why is Kuroko on Mikoto’s bed? Well, at least they’re lampshading it.) A hentai/“deviant”, oh boy. Pfffft, put your mouth on your chosen girl’s flute, really?? Interesting second hand kiss method. I didn’t realize/recall Kuroko was a year back! The head resident, heh heh. HAHA, her teleport doesn’t work on him, HAHAHA. But it’s dinner, so not breaking curfew yet.
-OH. OH, the paper Mikoto put there in that earlier episode about “Radio Noise”, OH sweet callback. Interesting that it now looks like she’s totally in on it, rather than totally trying to take them down. That’s clever. Propellers turning, electromagnetism, that also comes back (or rather, pitches forward) into a previous “Railgun” reference, nice, subtle. NEXT: Toma learns the truth of Mikoto’s crushing emotional weight. And an Index scene. Of course.

Thoughts and Theories:
 I was wrong again, kind of. He seeks Mikoto out, but doesn’t find her, she really is still doing her own investigation in parallel. I can’t even guess what that is in her episode now, since I can’t see them cramming Tree Diagram exposition into this “Index” arc. (I CAN guess that Toma will end up with a clone, because of how they’re setting up this harem thing. Sigh.)
 So a team-up against Accelerator won’t be coordinated in advance at all. This also seems to be an Index-free arc (mostly), which was a good plan, to focus on the Science and Espers. Guess we’ll look at Mikoto’s side now then. Oh wait, her ep is called “Accelerator”, so she’ll fight him alone first?

*Railgun S Disc 3*

13 Accelerator


Stream of Consciousness:
-Back to Clone 10031. THIS time, I know how she’ll die in advance. (Can “Railgun” keep old scenes interesting? The way "Index" kinda didn't?) OP. How “Tree” was brought down isn’t key, Mikoto, it’s true. This time “On Hold” kitty isn’t by the signpost. Toma sees a hole, not her shoe.
-Mikoto trips all the alarms. What’s her goal? Hm, how does Accelerator’s vector thing work by him stomping on the ground? That’s not skin. Oh, NOW her shoe; Toma left early (“revisionist history”) she's still alive. I guess the venue flashing back and forth is to keep the old “Index” stuff interesting, somehow? Toma even hears the gunfire, that’s not in the old script. Accel still questions his purpose though. Oh, there’s a camera now? (Will Mikoto see footage?) Oh, I get it, this is one of the 183 sites she’s messing up. Yeah, she sees the feed. Toma, you are early as heck in arriving. Mikoto you are broken as heck.
-Accel heads to the holodeck? Oh, no, it’s a flashback. He didn’t know she wasn’t a “perfect” clone. He didn’t plan to kill her, ohhh, that’s interesting. He didn’t even INTEND to. They’re BOTH likely numb to death now, that’s extra freaky. And that scientist calling the Misakas dolls doesn’t help!
-Toma’s ambulance scene now. Security cameras are now in on conspiracy, to show the scope. Hmm, MisakaClone came to him this time, he didn’t run and stumble on her with the kitty. Password again. Scene feels less creepy this time, more matter-of-fact (so "Index" had that going for it). Same questioning. I feel like we won’t get the full Kuroko dorms scene, just a mention of it.
-Mikoto can what? Offer her own death once, to speed the process along?? Boy, these "Railgun" eps really DO go slower than “Index”. (Ratio 2:1?) With this end, I might have thought he’d meet Mikoto by ringing her room. NEXT: The scene with Kuroko DOES occur, Mikoto goes to sacrifice herself, and Toma intervenes with an alternative.

Thoughts and Theories:
 I kind of want all the clones to gang up on Accel at once. Maybe they’ll do that later. (Also, don’t tell Kuroko to teach them all about love, that would end badly.) So, this episode was basically “let’s get Toma up to speed on events”, except he’s not the main character in “Railgun” so, uhhh, they added in Mikoto does stuff and Accelerator gets backstory. (I suppose we also learn his ability here.)
 I see I’ve been very consistently WRONG in all my predictions. Yet that's not upsetting me, I’m actually rather fascinated. This arc does stand out from the continuities in both series'. So “Index” only has one episode to solve this now, and even if there’s fallout in the arc after, for "Railgun" that must bring the Meltdowner woman and ITEM back in - plus the Misaki blonde from the very start. All I can think plot-wise is there’s a bluff based on “Tree” calculations, and Toma negotiating some cease fire, because hand?


***
That’s another six episodes. Incidentally, Railgun S Disc 3 which was just started here, I only got for my birthday this year (while Discs 1&2 were from the HMV Closing Down Clearout under a couple months prior)... so in retrospect, I suppose it’s good I didn’t watch “Index” earlier. I'm finding “Railgun” is the more emotionally powerful one. "Index" prefers mystery, which of course doesn't work for a rerun. It’s interesting to see the two perspectives.

Would you agree? Feel free to comment something. Meanwhile, let’s move on and see how this part of the plot wraps up.

Monday, 19 June 2017

MT Series Scan: Scientific Railgun S 1.5

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, so why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

Today we’re looking at A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Discs 1 & 2). I jumped over here from “Magical Index”, continuing in continuity to that universe. Deciding I was more invested in the female characters, and as such, wanted to see the story from their point of view before Toma’s. But we have a ways to go before “Index” catches up, as they're in a time skip. We're three episodes into "Railgun S", and I still feel like the Mikotos will meet soon.

*Railgun S Disc 1*

04 Sisters


Stream of Consciousness:
-Flashback. “I did know about it” but hey, the audience didn’t, so exposition. OP. Okay, yeah, something IS wrong. I don’t think she’s a fake Mikoto though. Oh my, no. Some California island trip? Oh no, a swimsuit ep? (I just feel it’s too early for filler.) Saten, the urban legend hunter. Rice cooker bargaining? Haru’ue fan service. A Saten clone, huh? Now a sad clone flashback? Oh, no, mental age issue, good point.
-Free time with a maid (the one from the Index OP?). And young kid character recall from the first “Railgun” series. Nao has some electrics. Ah yes, the Level Upper network. Misaka 9982 is in a Misaka Net? She has knowledge but no emotions. Meanwhile, is Misaka Present going to lose all her money here? No, also at the train station. Oh, there you go, collector’s fever. (Yessss I understand that.)
-She saw something? Or sensed? Her own power, hm. “Older Sister” parallel to these events, cute. And there we go. In the end, this ep was filler backstory. EXCEPT that dark bit at the real end GYYAAH. NEXT: Identity Crisis and evil whitehair guy.

Thoughts and Theories:
 What do you do with a clone who has no emotions? I wonder if the sensing goes both ways, and they can pick up on her. Plotwise, I feel like someone at the Project wanted this encounter to happen, like maybe with a personality the clone can get past Level 3 or whatever. Except that busts my theory that CloneMisaka is with Shinobu, and not part of the Radio Project any more. We’ll see.

05 Project Level 6 Shift


Stream of Consciousness:
-Meow? Wonderfully unexpected. Misaka9982 is a narrator. Oh, that’s a difference, panties. Kitty bonding! Password confirmation, huh? Revealing your plan to her seems an odd choice, Mikoto. (Haha, a plot to replace the original, that didn’t even occur to me, weird.) Random ice cream! That deflected the sisters thing. This narrating Misaka9982 is actually pretty funny. Pfffft ha haha, bad when your clone shoots you down. Aw, a present. Clone has... a cello?
-Back to the others. Oh, or not. Mikoto has a good memory for passwords! Security Rank A then. Ah, that guy. Shifting an esper to Level 6 with clones?? Not a cello, that’s a gun. Only one can reach Level 6? In 250 years? Weird battle simulation here. GYAH! He kills Misaka 128 times and elevates?! Oh no, no, no. Dude can even deflect bullets? 20,000 sisters?! Yeah, that’s crazy. Crazy. This level 5 guy is a JERK. I really don’t know if she’ll find that clone in time. Ooh, Clone does have a nice analysis. Wow. That's... hideous. Though arms in this world can be reattached, so legs too maybe? He’s tough. Oh my God, he just. Yeah, that's... that's... that’s a new ED. NEXT: He thinks she’s a copy, oh crud.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Oh crud, oh hell, oh hell no. Props, massive props, setting the clone up as a sympathetic character that way in a single episode. Like, you can actually off your main character multiple times now, but please don’t. I can’t even here. That got real, really fast. Poor Mya. I guess the only Level 5 who’d be willing to go along with this scheme is one who’s a bit psychopathic??
 So, Mikoto will lose this round, and all I can think is someone calls Level5Guy off, because he doesn’t care if she’s the original. But maybe she’ll get information about whatever his power is here. Then, tomorrow, I’m not sure, trying to free the rest of the clones? Before he kills again? Also, if this is experiment 9,000 or something (he's finally moving outside, for the challenge?) there must be more hidden records to dig up.

06 I... Can See All Of You


Stream of Consciousness:
-Yeah, that would freak me out too. Hey, you think she might be the Original? He’s just a megalomaniac then. Okay, soooo this guy has a boomerang power? Yeah, battling him would be a problem. OH, uh, there’s... a lot of Clones. Mikoto knows him then; Accelerator, who controls vectors. Oh, that’s cold, putting a price on herselves. Now the others are searching for Mikoto. That’s a hell of a nightmare. O.o
-Shinobu’s back. Ahhh, nice, a right and wrong argument, I like these. Except I think Accelerator’s one of the people with a screw loose. Previous Ep Title Drop! She was there for 8900 tests, and they all build the Network? Gyuh. So they remember dying?? I can see why emotions might be a problem. Aww, Mikoto hears her friends worry. I like how they’re all “what the heck?” in the diner except for Haru’ue who’s eating. Saten changes the subject, but is supportive. I like Saten. ^.^ 20+ facilities is a problem. NEXT: Search for clues?

Thoughts and Theories:
 So the pieces are in place. Well played, considering this is logically a holding pattern created by the fact that "Index" came first. In a sense, all that’s happened is death of a clone, and the desire to find out more. When will Mikoto bring her friends in on it? That may take a couple eps. They’ll need a victory of some sort within the upcoming Disc 2, I think. Not overall. But maybe the small victory throws off a timetable, forcing a plan of months to be compressed to days? Speculation.

*Railgun S Disc 2*

07 I... I Want To Be Of Help To You


Stream of Consciousness:
-Fire at the labs. Coordinated attack, yeah, it’s because they’re on the grid. Took out 70%? I think that’s an overestimation. Aw, poor Kuroko. These manju buns are becoming a plot point? Makes sense that arson would come up with Judgement, interesting about no help. Saten! That wasn’t nice! Three sevens superstition. Saten, that  skirt lift would’ve been funnier if you didn’t say anything. Destruction of data! Wind turbines point to electromagnetic interference, interesting. Aw, Mikoto nightmares again.
-Children subplot! With parallels! (That’s the way to do filler, yup. Build character.) Oh, Saten. Poor Uiharu’s a little put upon by Kuroko too, for her accuracy. Will they fake a card? No, four leaf clover superstition. Butterfly symbolism! Heh, pointing out that Kuroko can’t do it all herself either. Giving Mikoto the clover? No, just good wishes then. The music helps set the ‘thank you’. She’s narrowed it down? NEXT: They’re ready for Mikoto's next attack.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Some calm before the storm is nice, and the secondary characters really did need more screen time. (Oh, Saten-san. I should hate you but I can’t.) Mikoto seems to be tiring, and they’ll be ready for her now. I wonder how effective she’s really been at stalling the project though? Maybe some of the labs she’s taken out were slackers anyway, and she’s strengthening/consolidating them.

08 Item


Stream of Consciousness:
-Crazy doll girl and friend? Is Mikoto going to be framed?? They’re talking about swimsuits?! “Hazy request” exposition woman (Mugino?) is herself hazy. “ITEM” is a strike team of women, who will be going against Mikoto, ooookay. This got WEIRD. I mean, I guess it makes sense that the Level 6 project would outsource, but still. OP.
-Okay, so it’ll be one on one to start then. Er, collateral damage much? Well, evil inside stuffed animals does harken back to those pop cans from Season One. Yeah, pre-set fuses. Mikoto has magnetism! And ceramic deflection, handy. Bye bye stairs? Hmmm. Equally matched?
-Nubotana Shinobu’s still fishing. (Her preferred drink may be her downfall?) How stunning. How are all those under Blondie’s skirt?! Yeah, she’s overconfident. “Ignis” gas, means she’s desperate, but still cocky. Ooh, Blondie is sneaky too. Shinobu also has a plan. Ohh, you said a trigger phrase there, bad move, Mikoto Smash. A spark will reveal the deception? Yup. Now Mikoto’s gotta be bluffing at least a bit. Numb tongue problems, ooh. Now the rest of the mercenaries. NEXT: Shinobu sacrifice?

Thoughts and Theories:
 Decent filler is decent, but we haven’t been given any reason to care about these new mercenary people, so it feels a bit like a stalling tactic. (Maybe it’s just a letdown after that Accelerator guy.) Based on the OP, it seems likely that Kuroko will show up to help deal with this Mugino woman’s energy blasting power. Helping to even the odds, though I think Mugino’s the only one with an actual power. I feel like her friends won’t do a lot for that reason. I suppose Shinobu will help - maybe releasing clones and transmitting information? Before dying by tea? I don’t know. I should just watch.
From a French Wiki, but there's lots of good imagery
of the Level 5s out there. (Some are only in the manga?)

09 AIM Stalker


Stream of Consciousness:
-“S Processor” what? Flashback? Flashback within the flashback?? And we’re back. Well, Blondie/Frenda has friends. Vaporized! So Mugino has glowing energy? Spiderman reference! The collateral damage here is going to be intense. That’s not candy. (Level upper substitute?) Memorized AIM diffusion field? Ooh, that power overuse might have saved her. 4th ranked Level 5 Meltdowner?! So they ARE a parallel to Mikoto and Kurako. (Meaning okay, crazy eye brunette has powers.) Ohh, Shinbou’s giving the Clones a chance to fight back, hmmm. It IS a bit ridiculous as plans go. Oh no, here it is. One of Mugino’s team stayed behind, daaamn.
-It’s fun how Shinobu puts in English from time to time. Clones have shortened life spans? Good call on punching the USB. Nice that it’s too late. Or not? Data’s there for the future though, I hope? Nice moves, but UltraTalk Girl must have an ace. Ah, armour. Meltdowner now has strategy, that’s a problem. Deflected! Yes, she’s a level 5 too, I’m guessing you figured it. So, she cares for her companions, but they’re not sure of that? Because it’s a pride thing, of course. NEXT: FaceOff.

Thoughts and Theories:
 This battle is going longer than I anticipated. Toma might actually show up, as implied in the OP. I hope it ends within an episode though, Mikoto’s got to realize she needs her own allies too. (Could she get Mugino to destroy the stuff she wants destroyed here?) Meanwhile, the mercenaries are being more developed, so I guess I care a bit more there, though they have no history.
 I wonder how many of the seven “level 5s” we’ll see, this makes four. (Mikoto, Misaki, Accelerator, now Mugino.) As to Shinobu, I think she’s out, but what she did should play a role later. Maybe when Accelerator’s back in the picture. Or after the "Index" stuff?

***
And that’s another six episodes, which marks a good stopping point, since (apparently) Episode 10 of RailgunS and Episode 10 of Index start sharing plot elements. I'm glad I watched this way, so I'm not anticipating what's going to happen. Still quite invested in this. Toma’s memory loss is sure to glitch into the plot somehow, until then, Mikoto all the way. (Also, Saten. Gosh darn it, Saten, why do I want more of you?)

Is this anything like you remember from seeing it? Does this make you at all interested in seeing it? Is my formatting terrible? For now, I'll keep putting this out there, thanks for reading.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Not Teaching: Week 50

I still have that usual June sense of “wrapping things up”, but it’s less panic inducing and more a sense that I need to strike as much off the lists below as I can, so that I can use the summer to prepare for September. Granted, the feeling could come somewhat from knowing this is Week 50 of 52.

Of course, if I were wrapping up teaching now, there’s no way I would have gone to the “GRC Global RallyCross” in Ottawa. (Anne-Lise received tickets; a French guy won one of the events.) And the Ottawa “Fringe” plays would probably be out too. Saw “Who, Me” and talked to the performer, from Australia. Also saw “6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dick Darrow Investigation” (Anne-Lise was chosen for one), “Xave Ruth: Music+Comedy+Math” (pipe cleaner glasses), “Bless You, Bonaparte” (time travel), and “Quest Friends Forever” (improv).
Previous INDEX Next

But yeah, not teaching, so saw that stuff... and yet I’m actually feeling on track. For what, I’m not sure.

*
Item counts run Sunday (June 11) to Saturday (June 17).

Step Count: About 69,700. 28 stars.

Much Fringe walking. Tuesday would have been low, but I walked to the river after 4pm.

School Email Count: 67 New (1 sent)
Last day of classes is Monday, then exams. No A/C this week, no big surprise, no power, more surprising.



Writing/Art Related Items:
 -Wrote a temporal lemon, Off Target
 -Wrote “Epsilon Project” serial entry
 -Wrote ahead a bit in Math Comic
 -Watched 2 “Magical Index” + 12 “Railgun S” eps and blogged

Non-Writing Items:
 -Dinner with friends Monday
 -Cleaned AC filter and some lawn cutting
 -Updated NCF webpages, including linkback
 -Medical appointment Wednesday
 -Dentist Wednesday
 -Caved, got paperwork in for new Health Card
 -Made it to 5 Ottawa Fringe shows (including “Who, Me.”)
 -Went to GRC Global Rallycross Round 5 in Ottawa

POSSIBLE NEXT ITEMS:
 -Medical appointment Wednesday
 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

I’ve been pulled into “Wynonna Earp”. It might be Waverly.
Previous INDEX Next

Friday, 16 June 2017

MT Series Scan: Raildex S 2 & 1

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, so why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

Today we’re looking at A Certain Magical Index (Disc 2) and A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Disc 1). Last time I scanned, the first six episodes of “Index” seemed to be mainly setting up the world (which I knew something about from “A Certain Scientific Railgun” the original, not blogged) while establishing both Toma and Index. But now, he has no memory of her, and there are vampires? I dunno. Also, the reason for this being a “Raildex” Scan becomes obvious below.

*Magical Index Disc 2*

07 The Science Cult


Stream of Consciousness:
-Not a recap before the OP, it’s shrine girl. She what now? (Is a vampire?) So, two full weeks of memories gone, meaning studying would have been hopeless. Index is into abstinence? Or not. MacRonalls? Okaaay. Toma lost to his "friends" (no kidding, bad luck) so apparently has to talk to ShrineGirl, but why didn't they want to? Oh, NOW they like her. Heh, I like her charging for the picture though. Magician, but no magic name? Shady... teachers? Uh. Heh, even he doesn’t like his choice in friends.
-They’ll end up with Sphinx now. Index senses the flow of magic and the type? THAT’S interesting, yay for magic circles. I kind of like Magnus’ attitude now, but it must be confusing. A cram school religion? So ShrineGirl (from Zurich) will be their target. Haha, okay, it’s kind of funny that he takes magic in stride because he thinks he always did. That I can get behind. An alchemist is behind this? What was the point of Magnus' spinny sheets? I feel like circular reasoning is being used by this “Deep Blood” thing.
-Sigh, she has a cat. And lies about it. I guess it’s all his bad luck. Index, your rainbow animation isn’t working on me. Sigh, she’ll let the cat out I bet. Hahahaha, Magnus with a thing for Index. Okay. Other characters redeem Index. Paracelsus? Reality bending would be a problem, yup. No surprise, name is Aisa. Dead knight?! That’s a better note to go out on. NEXT: They fight some knights? Or are the knights on their side?

Thoughts and Theories:
 I’m glad the teacher, Komoe, won’t be back much. Index is kind of annoying in her own way, but at least she has the interesting magic sensing connection. The script is using Toma’s memory issue in an effective way too. Still, I feel like much of this may be “filler”, in that we’ve got individual arcs leading up to a some climactic thing near the end (that may pull in the characters we’ve seen along the way). Also, I’m not really invested in the “Deep Blood” user. Though I guess she killed some vampires in the past? Wait, if she’s being held in the school, why does she need train fare?

08 Ars Magna


Stream of Consciousness:
-Back to recap mode. Oh, the OP had Aisa with Sphinx, interesting. 13 Roman Orthodox Knights. Mmm, I kind of like the head/tails analogy (of science/magic?) within this barrier. Phoned Index, of course. And she’s eating all his food. (Not a fan.) Haha, Toma’s lacking a sense of tension. Interesting idea there, that she loves the him who had those two weeks with her.
-They all just noticed? Yeah, talking in unison is bad. Seraph... magic is keyed to religion, huh? I should have realized. A Gregorian Choir? 3333 monks? Cuts on her to achieve the spell? Roll with it. The glowing balls aren’t doing much. Now they’re doing even less. Oh, hi Aisa.
-Izzard in green, hey, he’s familiar from OP too. Index bathing, seriously? With a CAT? She’s going to make things worse, somehow. Latest model magic wand?? Okaaay. She attracts vampires when outside? Oh, so vampires are nice people in universe. I dare say that’s a nice twist. Aisa wanted science to fix her. Oh yeah, trust the Izzard guy. Toma makes sense again. Areolus Izzard has skills. I wonder if HE is a vampire then? Oh no, not another memory thing.
-Huh, so Index can track runes. Hey, Toma’s good at realizing things, but punching out your ally isn’t so good. They’re calling on Revelation? “Holy Hex”, I like that more as a swear phrase. Oh, so the knights aren’t attacking them, they’re simply jerks... while Izzard can rewind time? Probably more a building thing. NEXT: Fighting Izzard, and that looks like a bad wound.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Well, we’re deeper into this now. First, that memory loss power? Would be hella useful if you’re trying to keep magic from being well known. I wonder if only vampires can do it. Second, Index is a pain in the @$$. I hope “Index in peril” doesn’t become a running gag. I’m okay with the other main chars, and like that Magnus may have a thing for her. Third, I am not that religiously aware, so all that significance flies above my head - I wonder if it does make sense? (Like “3” is apparently significant, amongst all the book revelations. Pun not quite intended.) So what’s Izzard’s master plan? I guess he wants vampires to rule the world? I can sort of buy sticking your plan in a magic building in the middle of a science city to hide it. Seriously though, what was with Aisa’s train fare?

09 Deep Blood


Stream of Consciousness:
-“The reason being...” suspense, apparently. Time to call the vampires, huh? “You can’t save Index” ... because she was already saved? Oh, oh, he’s trying to make her a vampire, sure. But he didn’t know she’d come to the building, did he? And how does this guy not know the memory wipe date?! And that he's too late?! Yeah, just tell him. Uh, maybe don’t tell about the hand...? Index, apples are evil. Why does this guy keep stabbing himself? Toma biting his right hand works how? Izzard’s being set up as not redeemable. Yet now they’re trying "past redemption"?
-So Toma’s ability does work on himself? (Suffocation.) When it’s death, maybe? Haha, a car crush. I guess I finally understand the reality bending thing Izzard does now; that must have a huge price. Don’t just STAND there. Oh no, a monologue? Hey, Magnus now has a good question. GYAH! WTF on Magus? Gyah gyah hand gyah! Though I guess the ability is to make people perceive, and their perceptions create the reality, so Toma’s okay?
-They’re carefully not showing his right side. It’s all about belief then. Dragon, heh. Oh, don’t close-up on Index after that. Wait, so the arm WAS severed? Yet Magnus is fine without the hospital? Rules, please, rules for this magic. Izzard’s without memories too now?? Oh yeah, name drop on the Knights that never became a thing. Apples are evil. Aisa’s nice, Index you’re crazy, not in a cute way. NEXT: Mikoto’s arc, which I think relates to Railgun S.

Thoughts and Theories:
 That didn’t go where I thought. On the one hand, it’s good to be surprised by things like Izzard’s history with Index. On the other hand, the conclusion felt very unsatisfying. The cram students, the knights, the vampires? Never seen, barely dealt with in my mind. How does Aisa feel about what happened to Izzard? Dunno. What’s the upside-down Magic Director’s take? Dunno. Train fare? Nope. But hey, Index likes cats. Ugh.

To check on where we’re going, I looked up order of release dates. The “Raildex Series” is given as: Index 1, Railgun 1, Index 2, Index Movie, Railgun S. Yet a preference for Railgun (which had a bigger budget?) implies seeing some of Index first, then jumping over, because this upcoming arc has more heart in “Railgun S”? Hmmmm. Oh, there’s a YouTube video about the chronology. ... The Sisters Arc is Crazy, got it.

So do I want chronological release, or chronological within the show? Do I want the fast sequence in Index first, then seeing it more in depth with Railgun, or the other way around? Hm, perhaps a better question... do I want to try a viewing that it doesn’t seem like a lot of other people have done? Yes, yes I do.

*Railgun S Disc 1*

01 “Railgun”


Stream of Consciousness:
-Heh, starts by saying it’s an “Index” side story. Saten-san and the others! I’ve missed them. Oh you, Misaka Mikoto, one of seven level 5s. I’d forgotten about Haru’ue. And Miss Kongo. Ohh, another level 5? With breasts, and tampering power? She’s a bit of a jerk, but nice foreshadowing, Misaki. (Why is her name so similar?) Oh Saten, I forgot you did that to skirts. ^_^;
-It’s a big reunion. Pseudo-radical guy? I’m reminded that Uiharu can heat up food. Ahh, now guns. This will end badly for Haru’ue. Yup, that was revealed fast. Oh my, Mikoto can do that with her electrostatics? She’s spiderman. She can pin a helicopter too?! Ohh, the bad guys are in trouble. Oh SATEN, this is why I like you, even powerless. (Not because of the skirts.) Oh dear, those two high powered girls are crazy. But ADORBS. Well, that wasn’t so safe... unless you have a teleporter on hand, heh. I LOVE THIS SHOW. And it was just about a uniform. Haha, Toma, I like you more as a guest star. Oh, is this the OP as the ED? NEXT: Investigation Bear Hug.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Do I like this more because of the bevy of female main characters? Seriously, there were almost no guys there. Anyway, great recap of the first “Railgun” season characters with some new action. I’m so much more jazzed than I was with the church plots! I know that ep was essentially a stand-alone though.

02 Critical


Stream of Consciousness:
-I saw this ep at Anime North (2016). Oh wow, they set the flashback up in ep 1, sneaky. A black haired girl? It’s a good OP, musically, and I like the more individual character shots, rather than the montage pan of "Index". The girls are funny as long as they don’t go too fanservicy. Right, the passage scene. I remember this plot stuff not just from seeing the ep but reading that far in the manga too. Ah yes, Saten reincorporated, to hint at the Sister/Clone thing. And her rumour mill. Oh, Saten.
-Level 5 clone story, one wonders why Saten hadn't... I love when characters are psychic to my thoughts. Same black haired girl here maybe? Elite academy. “Critical” ability, with English words. She’s good at psychology, I wonder how much truth is in there. Yup, Mikoto the Original. Actual ED’s pretty good, still jazzy yet heartfelt. NEXT: Sneaking into a facility?

Thoughts and Theories:
 I’m glad I went this route; I remembered that single ep so well that any twists from Index would likely spoil me for what's coming. As I recall (from the manga?) the money cards were to get people to explore the hidden passages (though I don’t recall why). As to the clone/sister thing, there isn’t much to go on for theories yet.

03 Project Radio Noise


Stream of Consciousness:
-“Clones, doctor?” “Clones.” OP. Ah, exploration explanation, with more people looking, there’s less place for evil to hide. Well, that’s one way to escape. Ah, right, Mikoto can hack. Black hair is "Shinobu". Buying from LaMancha? Haru’ue, you got SKILLS! Aw, Saten. Three lookalikes for everyone, huh?
-Okay, Kuroko, that’s... weird. Stop that. I love that the guard’s watching Magical Kamani. Oops, noisy. Oops, someone ELSE is breaking in?? Oh, visitors. Clone visitors? This will get complicated. (Both Mikotos powered?) A “Radio Noise” file? I wonder why they picked her. Former tests? Or chemicals? Used “Testament” to install brain? (I feel like “Sisters” will be confusing given there’s religious “Sisters” too.) The supercomputer found that they weren’t Level 5s, oooh, nice twist (I wondered if they had powers). Well, there’s one clone, Mikoto. Oh, and said Clone is very analytical. When will they meet up? NEXT: Clone history, or new clone?

Thoughts and Theories:
 Well, the “Radio” project is still alive in some form, maybe with a different level 5? Unless they’re trying to boost the DNA for ones they already have. Though I think SisterMikoto (CloneMikoto?) may be working with that Shinobu girl instead, to help shut everything down. I’m pretty sure the Mikotos will meet soon enough, this show doesn’t tend to wait long on revelations (and they’re having tea in the ED). The other characters are in a bit of a holding pattern, but they’re still getting screen time, which is nice.

***
That's six episodes, equivalent to one disc. If I keep this up (back and forth as needed) it makes sense to stick with 6 episode posts. I'm definitely feeling it more with "Railgun". I'm not sure if it's the characters, or the more scientific (less churchy) setting, but I do want to see the story from this side first. Incidentally, I got through the first "Index" manga, and felt better about it in written form. I only bought the one though.

So, would you agree this is a good plan for the "To Aru" timeline craziness? Or with any of my opinions? Thanks for having a look, now heading towards Disc 2. Uh, again. It's... yeah.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

MT Series Scan: Magical Index 1

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. At the same time, I enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, to see if they’re similar to my own. So, why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

Today we’re looking at A Certain Magical Index (Disc 1). I forget how long I’ve been holding onto this. I’m pretty sure I was introduced to the universe at Anime North, and I have watched A Certain Scientific Railgun’s first season (two years ago), as well as purchasing some of the manga, curiously enough (I don’t buy manga that much).

Like Steins;Gate, I had watched at least the first episode of Index before. I don’t recall when. Likely it was Anime North. Let’s see how this unfolds. Feel free to offer thoughts on the format.


01 Academy City


Stream of Consciousness:
-Clever start of action with narration (how do writers do that?). I’d forgotten I liked the music of these shows, this OP is no exception. It's July 19th. That’s definitely Mikoto. Interesting way of showing their abilities here. Power outage in continuity? I need to look up the timelines. Index, I forgot you were weird. 103,000 volumes I guess makes your head weird. Sorcery society, okay. Supernatural abilities are science, not magic, that fun mix is why I like the universe. Fake magical girl, heh. Magic clothes, handy. Bizarre fan service. Right hand cancelling good luck? Ow. Ah yes, the tiny teacher, Komoe. Kamijo’s friends are kind of jerks. Ah, the sorcerer. The closing song’s a bit sappy. NEXT: Battle.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Hard luck protagonist with a damsel in distress and an esper love interest. It’s a decent start, setting the scene while prompting questions.


02 Innocentius


Stream of Consciousness:
-Into OP from recap. Good point about her nun’s habit not protecting. Ah, the grimoires again. Eidetic memory, okay. Need some ability in order to conjure magic? I feel like this guy is trying to save her, in a horrible way. Magnus is “Fortis 931”? Ah, magic names, interesting. Why killing Kamijo? Witness? Can’t hurt to try and cancel magic. So, he’s fire... and there’s four others, huh? Heat is bad. Title drop! Yeah, the fact Kamijo’s not omnidirectional is a problem. Runes definition, okay. Title drop of next ep! She’s artificial? Thaaat’s a lot of runes.
-He survives that drop?? Hell is kind of apt. Dramatic music! Hahaha, okay, didn’t see that paper thing coming. Well played. Kuroko’s back. Yeah, hospitals are a problem. Ahh, his power prevents him from casting magic? No, it’s an esper thing. A level Zero thing. Oho. The Teacher?? Really? Pfffft, she smokes too?! “John’s Pen” invoked, they have 15 min? Well, nice that Index explains. And there’s one leg pants girl. NEXT: Angels make portals? Huh.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Magnus’ actions bear scrutiny. If he just wanted to pick up Index, why all the runes? He must have expected resistance, and not from Kamijo, plus he said he didn’t wound Index in the first place. So I still feel like Kamijo’s adversaries aren’t the big bad, they simply don’t see Index as human and have no social skills. The worldbuilding continues to gradually occur. I didn’t realize tiny teacher had a larger role.




03 Necessarius


Stream of Consciousness:
-First scene away from male protagonist. July 20th. Internal teacher clock? Handy. Regeneration abilities? A miniature room? Interesting. Hah, yeah, death, no pressure. Singing is required? Bumping the table can’t be a good thing. A link, yeaaaah. You’re a teacher, get a grip. And don’t look, Komoe, it only causes problems. Penance is an issue? Younger sister hijinks, really? Teacher’s absentminded, or playing a trick, it’s real hard to tell.
-The magic world is toxic to this world? Hmm. Politics mixing with religion does cause problems. So Index is from England? And the Church of Necessary Evil? Huh. Warping of the world, interesting. I can get behind the premise. This interpersonal exchange is weird. Index bites again?? Aha, the sorcerers are talking. Protagonist defies categorization. To a bathhouse? (Please no silly nudity.) Oho, Index has no memory of England? Interesting, I’m sure that’s relevant. Index is a weird biter avatar. It’s Kanzaki, we’re sort of back to the end of ep 2 but with more info. NEXT: New Battle. Narration tries to make like she hurt Index, not buying it.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Ungh, I don’t like that the teacher is a loli who acts like a loli aside from (supposedly) smoking and drinking beer. The only mature thing she’s done was say she’d report, and she’s not even doing that. I do like that we cut away for the sorcerer perspective. Also, finding it a bit weird that this “warp the world” thing is all happening now, hopefully that gets explained. The idea of magic being a ‘necessary evil’ is neat though, and explains why people don’t know about it. Also, I looked up the date on a “Toaru Series Timeline”; this DOES synch up with the early eps of “Railgun”. (But this was first?)


04 Perfect Memory Ability


Stream of Consciousness:
-These runes seem pre-fabricated. So the magic name is a “death” thing. Hey, that’s destruction of property. Seven slashes - is she wind? Heh, they know his ability now. He is not that bright - strategy instead maybe? Ahh, okay, wires are clever. Heh, smacks him, I like her. Can’t they work together? He assumes they’re behind the memory loss, sigh. Decent argument though. She’s with Necessarius, aha, good, we’re getting somewhere. She DID cut Index?? Because he tore the shroud, okay.
-Index can’t forget, I can see that being a curse. But now she has forgotten, erased why? Related to the “curse”? So, maybe. 15% of brain use, well, interesting. Three days left to erasure’s awkward. Why maintain the misunderstanding, good question, Toma K’s got good thinking. Hm, diary didn’t work? Can kinda see both sides then. Let her know a better future’s coming, that’s clever. So Kanzaki never gave her magic name, interesting... nice that he lost too, makes them 1-1. Mikoto’s observant. He was out three days?! Yeah, that speeds up the timeline.
-KOMOE carried him? That’s unlikely. So Index is partly aware of her cold other self? Bad luck’s still active. And the sorcerers. Why do you THINK, Toma? Oh, that was a clever ploy on their part. NEXT: He’s gonna mess up the ritual.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Tough to say where this is going. I presume Index will keep memories at the expense of the grimoires, but I’m not sure what that will lead to. Toma becoming part of the society? Except he can’t do magic, not with the hand, so an honorary (or disgraced) member? Or perhaps the sorcery members were lied to all this time, so they team up.


05 Limit


Stream of Consciousness:
-Savings on the animation budget here. The sorcerers just left? Wait, what shackles? I feel like they keep manufacturing tension to end episodes, this phone call could have worked versus them arriving. Church is afraid she’ll turn on them, hm? Hah, use science to deal with magic, that’s nice. I like that Kanzaki accepts he’ll keep struggling. Yeah, places be closed. So he just hangs up? Sheeeesh. More manufactured drama. Misplaced optimism! Ooh, “Index librorum prohibitorum” on the cross talisman. Wait, won’t him just being in the room mess everything up?
-New deadline! Who’s Leo? Is Komoe really still at the baths? This “still human” thing makes me think the sorcerers don’t see themselves as human. Convenient Index awakening! He’ll get stronger, that’s a better speech. Convenient unconsciousness! Wait, is he going to ask to take part of the grimoires? No. Ok, I think questioning the math is a good plan.
-Blowing out the brain at 7 years old doesn’t quite fit, because percentages of percentages never hit one hundred, but good thought. Randomly saying 140 years of memories! Multiple memory types, semantic, procedural, episodic, yay the teacher is actually educating. But yeah, Index IS suffering, that’s interesting. So he’s going to “unrig” her? Interesting. Jupiter symbol? Huh, reverse calculating his hand power isn’t possible? St George Holy Sanctuary for destruction?? Church has failsafes. NEXT: More math connections, as a finite distance takes infinite time.

Thoughts and Theories:
 We’re apparently going with “sorcery members were lied to all this time”, the Church being the big bad. Next ep must fully set that up (in “Starlight” Breaker fashion, I notice). I’m guessing we get more backstory for one of them too, to fill out the episode. Maybe about him dealing with his hand power when young.




06 Imagine Breaker


Stream of Consciousness:
-OH. The reason she can’t use magic is because she was prevented, that DOES make this more interesting, huh? I wonder at this point is she at her weakest or her strongest? New spell, that’ll hurt. So the sorcerers help out, natch. Oh, wait, no, Fortis 931 isn’t a long term thinker, huh? (Why aren’t his runes in runny ink now? Learned a lesson?)
-Haha, his speech is “be main characters”. The prologue being on the long side, is this irony? “Salvare 000” would be her, nice. OH, THAT’S a satellite gone. “Dragon Breath”? Heh, he’s the highest difficulty rating. He finally made it. Zeroth? So she has a “Collar”. That worked faster than I thought. Oh, how very religious. Uh, those feathers maybe still a prob-- yeah, oooh. Oooh, ow.
-Interesting scene switch. She’s reading his mail, rude. Backstory! The English Puritan Church now says status quo? So they’ll fade into the background. (Not backstory!) That message will self destruct? (It’s magic!) Ohhh, HE’S the one with memory loss, that’s a very clever twist. No scientific explanation, huh? WOW, he’s lost a LOT. Aw, it was love. Toma, you’re still clueless.
-Uh, wait, what? A collar pun? WHAT? This isn’t funny. So he’s lost brain cells, but he’s cool? Weird name for his hand (title drop!). I agree, Index, that wasn’t funny. She does like biting, huh? Now it’s a reversal of the reversal, seriously? It’s in character, but I kinda want to bite him too, for the fake out. (Two weeks, huh? Mikoto’s whole arc must be finished.)
-Sooooo, an upside down machine guy with long hair is the Director-General. Oooo hohoho, supernatural balance, my Melissa character is laughing. Makes sense that a magic problem should use magic, I guess. Wait, vampires?! WHAT? Oh, hey, the Doctor’s in the closing credits. NEXT: A Science Cult, and that religious shinto girl from the OP, okee dokee.

Thoughts and Theories:
 So I guess Toma’s working for the Church after all? (Hey, they could tell him he signed a contract, he doesn’t remember.) A secret organization of magic users, who use runes. Not sure how I feel about this yet, since instead of exploring more on Index's backstory, we seem to be headed to vampires. Will the magic be fighting against science? Mikoto’s also been feeling very much in “standby” mode too. With her “Railgun” plot wrapped up, will her role expand, or is Index the true love interest?


***
That's the end of Disc 1. Unlike some people, I usually can't tell if I'll really get into something based on only a few episodes, it's usually a genre that pulls me in, with characters or plot keeping me there. So far I'm not blown away, but I'm still interested. Anyone else have thoughts? Feel free to let me know. Thanks for reading, on to Disc 2.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Not Teaching: Week 49

Crisis of faith this week, and I went emotionally numb for a while. “Time & Tied” officially ended after two years, with the last Commentary on Tues, so I decided to do an Autopsy post, which was a bit of a downer. But responses on WFG helped me realize why I feel it failed. On the other hand, I had 18 consecutive days of over 50 page views, starting from just before my post at Drew’s, which is unheard of. (Dropped back down yesterday.) Also I’ve ended up hooked into a comic community on Discord.
Previous INDEX Next

Part of me wonders if June is simply a month for depression, much like January. It could be a learned thing over time. Ah well. No yoga for the next month, I should do something about that maybe?

*
Item counts run Sunday (June 4) to Saturday (June 10).

Step Count: About 59,800. 26 stars.
Lots of random walking Tues and Wed. Actually now at 20 straight days of at least 7500 steps.

School Email Count: 65 New (0 sent)
Nothing seemed pressing there; I know it would be if I were teaching.



Writing/Art Related Items:
 -Wrote T&T autopsy post
 -Wrote “Epsilon Project” serial entry
 -Wrote, drew, inked and coloured strip for next Monday
 -Edited Anime North 2017 summary post, with links
 -Watched 8 “Magical Index” eps and blogged

Non-Writing Items:
 -Went to “Doors Open Ottawa” at the Aviation Museum
 -Medical appointment Wednesday
 -NAC Show on Friday

POSSIBLE NEXT ITEMS:
 -Medical appointment Wednesday
 -Dentist Wednesday too
 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

Fridays have become the day I write “Epsilon”, it takes about 6 hrs.
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Friday, 9 June 2017

AN 2017: Kuriboh Q&A

This is a recap posting of the LittleKuriboh (Martin Billany) Q&A at Anime North from Sunday at 1pm. (The rest of my time at the con I summarized here.) Martin started with an introduction of some of his fandom involvements and motivations.

In 2006, he made YuGiOh Abridged to be part of the YuGi fandom. Be aware that when you make fun of something people like, you get a bit of backlash. Surprisingly, the first episode was well received - by all 10 people who watched it. He then made ep 2 and 3 and onwards, and it snowballed out of his control. He never really tried to be “everyone watch my show, subscribe, like, fave”, and doesn’t really know how, but the fandom got behind it. Abridged is not the real show, even though on Amazon.ca, it's said that he (Martin B) was a director. (He asked someone to look to see if that’s still up; it is.)

Martin also did work on the Naruto Abridged fandom show, and he’s Nylocke (dragon man) in the animated series TOME (Terrain Of Magical Expertise). He likes Nylocke because he’s so over the top. It’s always the sort of character he’s dreamed of playing. Yugi’s his favourite from YuGiOh because he always does the right thing and is always there for his friends, Nylocke is a chance to play someone like that. Martin’s also done some voices in DBZ (Frieza).

He does a Vlog about depression, “We’re still here”, after a diagnosis two years ago. To help people realize that they weren’t alone. “You’re not the only person in that boat, you’re not the only person fighting.” And he has a series on wrestling, loving pro-wrestling as a method of storytelling. (Like Samurai Jack. No dialogue.) He’s loved it ever since he started watching it in the late 1990s. Like YuGiOh, he wanted to express something he’s passionate about and participate in a community - and make fun of it. He has a habit of making fun of things, it’s important to love everything that’s right about it AND that’s wrong about it.

Professional credits: In “Tales of Zestiria” as the Pope. Also role of a giant CGI purple bunny, which he auditioned for using a British version of Tristan’s voice. And he’s in the K-On Movie as “every British person”, as well as “Sushi Shop Manager” - one of his first official voice over roles. (Yes, in England, “Right Oh” is a thing.) Noted that in the original K-On movie the Japanese-English language difference doesn’t work for a dub, so they had Martin speak in cockney rhyming slang. The manager says “Thank you so very much” in the Japanese, they had recorded a take of that, but also what was used, “Ari Gato Gozai Mashita”.

Last thing to talk about, a big deal for him, was the latest Star Wars movies. If you listen to one of the other audio tracks “it’s me narrating the whole movie for the visually impaired”. Both the UK and US audio were going to be on the same track, so they wanted someone who had something of a British accent. He didn’t know, just that “this is a Disney property.” He figured Cartoon. They mentioned to him that Marvel movie is higher level security, then “We had to create a whole new level of security for this movie”. The Force Awakens was Level Zero Security. Funny enough, Martin had wanted to see the movie spoiler free, hadn’t watched trailers, didn’t even know that Han Solo was in it. “Part of me thought it’s the most amazing thing ever, part of me didn’t want the spoilers.” He was brought back to do Rogue One, hopefully there will be more.

At this point we got to questions. The first wasn’t technically a question, but audience member Joel’s girlfriend (missed her name) told Martin that Joel was a huge fan, who had based his life (look/clothes/jokes) on him, also having been diagnosed with depression. She just wanted to say thank you. Martin responded, “Joel, you’re not alone, you’ve got the strength to get through that. We love you.”

QUESTIONS (+ANSWERS)


Favourite movie or video game quote, and say it in favourite British voice? Martin noted Joey’s not his fave British character, but he’s a good one. He loved “Evil Dead 2” and “Mad Max: Fury Road”. He said ‘Jill Sandwich’, voiced as ‘Mokuba Sandwich’, and “Groovy, nyah.” The next comment was something related to the K-On movie (which the audience member had, and got signed). Martin said that in addition to the Sushi Shop manager, in one scene, he’s voicing a black man.

An audience member loved the Lady Gaga parodies, wondered what thoughts/experience LittleKuriboh had with music parodies, will he do more? Martin said it’s one of the favourite things he’s ever done, because “when I sing in the character voices I get really into it”. First was Eminem rap as Yugi called “Without YuGi”, which he feels doesn’t hold up super well, but he got to call out other abridgers. Of the Gaga ones, “Brooklyn Rage” was done first, he didn’t think it would be liked, “just a stupid Joey video”. He wrote it in the space of an evening, posted it after midnight.

It got half a million views in a couple days, and back then 500 k was huge. Thought “people are going to want me to do more”, but he didn’t want to force it. Wanted to do it when he had a good idea. Then when he did “Leather Pants”, he struggled with whether he wanted to, as it’s another Gaga song. And the video, he thought had to have them dancing, can’t be a regular abridged video, so he approached his friend to animate it. It got featured on the Front Page of YouTube, mind-blowing that it got there. “People tell me that got them into the Abridged Series and I just wonder... how?” He liked “Exodia”, being able to revisit ancient Egypt stuff. He’d love to do another, it’s finding the right one and finding the time to do it. Even though it seems like it would be a shorter effort, it does take time to mix and time to the music. For instance “Starships” by Minaj he considered as “Starchips”, in fact he wanted to do a whole musical “Duelist Kingdom”. (Audience person says do a Mix tape.) Maybe one day when he has the time.

Next a wrestling question, something about Bullet Club versus another Club. (Didn’t hear.) Martin said he was excited to see Taka wrestling in the jr stuff. He wants to see an umbrella fight between the two. Then someone asked about a YuGiOh battle between Nylocke and Frieza. Martin said that would be perfect, with a battle being a lot of standing around talking; he didn’t know what cards they’d use though. “Pot of Greed” was mentioned, but Martin said “nobody knows what that does.” He thinks if Frieza used any card it would be to call something back from the graveyard because that’s all that he does. (Er, spoilers.) While Nylocke would have dragons.

An audience member was very curious, why does Tristan sound like Bullwinkle the Moose? (She also thanked him for the depression videos.) There is a very specific reason. For the English dub of YuGiOh, they cast Tristan Taylor using Sam Riegel in the first six episodes or so. The character sounded very goofy, and was felt to be a strange take - so they very quickly retconned it and had Greg Abbey do Tristan. Martin thought, “What if his character is like the way he sounds” (kind of dumb), because that’s great for him as a writer. He can talk about the small, dumb details of the show that way. “I almost hate to say it, he’s my voice in the show.”

LittleKuriboh was asked, in all seriousness, how he felt about Roman Reigns retiring the Undertaker. Martin admitted that was one of the biggest events in the last ten years; in the entire time he’s watched wrestling, the Undertaker’s always been there. Nobody knew, there was no real lead up to it, but people knew on the payperview, when he was going to go last, that this would be it. “We were emotional”, it’s like the final episode of the Simpsons. Even if you think it’s gone past the point of it’s original quality, no one really wants to see it end. “So seeing him go was really painful. I cried.”

Regarding Roman Reigns being the one to do it, well, if he was told, he’s doing his job. Martin doesn’t think it was the best way to do it, because their feud was maybe all of four weeks, but the way he ultimately felt okay with it, was thinking of the Undertaker as being the guy to retire himself. He lost and got beaten so badly that he was like “that’s it, it’s time to end things”. It was his call.

An audience member watching since Middle School was wondering, the “Zorc and Pals”, what made LittleKuriboh decide to put Zorc in there? (He’s not until the last season, though was a favourite character.) Martin didn’t think he’d ever had this question. The reason for the early introduction is the Zorc character is so impressive. He wanted to build to the fact that Zorc was coming, use him more than the show did, for more than one episode. The reason Zorc ended up in Episode 9 was because the episode was really weak - the one where Bakura and YuGi duel, and the others are pawns in the game. He showed it to a couple people, via early access, and they said “this could be better”. So he wrote a scene where Bakura couldn’t wait to get his own spinoff “Zorc and Pals”. That was the only change, and they said “this was the best episode you’ve done”. So Martin was happy for that and Zorc’s arrival in the series.

CONTINUED QUESTIONS


If he could do a character for any series he hasn’t, who? Meowth from Pokemon. Also, if Martin could choose anything to abridge? Tenchi Muyo, because that’s what made him fall in love with anime. (Some voices were done.) In character design, who’s his favourite in the original YuGiOh? Martin really likes Kaiba, he just looks badass, and you kind of get who he is from all his different outfits. But he also really likes the school uniforms that they have, the blue and the pink (for Domino High). Also, Aigami in the new movie had a good design. As an aside, his wife (Marianne Miller, who was present by now) thinks Tristan’s really hot, and initially thought his hair was a cool hat. 

Martin was thanked for David Bowie music videos, which introduced the audience member to the music. (LittleKuriboh noted, “If I’ve done one thing”, this is the best.) Drop a song line? (Ninjas being trained by me...) Martin said here he loved the Naruto spoof, one of his favourites was the Spoof movie, never a dull moment there. He really wants to do the sequel.

Question about doing the “Star Wars” audio track - how does it work? All script, or can you describe? Martin said if it was him, “the whole audio track would be ‘oh my god, this is so cool’.” In truth, you don’t get to watch the movie, you watch it in little tiny pieces, there’s time codes. You narrate when there’s action or when a character is doing something before dialogue. You hit the space bar, you get three beeps, then you read from a script which is on two screens. One screen has description, the other has the movie, though the script appears under the movie when you hit space bar too. “Sometimes I’d get so excited that I had to tear my eyes away from the screen.” Martin was tearing up by the end of the Rogue One movie. He recommends watching last 10 minutes narrated, as it’s really beautifully written and captures the ending, but won’t say more to avoid spoilers.

Strangest convention/fan experience? “There’s a lot.” He doesn’t want to say the negative ones, never likes talking about any fans in a negative way, because sometimes it’s just a misunderstanding or can’t be helped. (Martin asks his wife. She reminds him some dude came up and asked to kiss him on the mouth.) Right, someone asked if they could pay to do that - he didn’t accept. (Marianne adds: Weirdest part was you looked to me for approval. I’m not against watching him make out with other men, but come on, for $20? No.)

Martin added that Irish are some of the most physical fans he’s ever met. A story that’s an anomaly is they (him and his wife) walked into the building and this crowd swarmed them, one person shoving Marianne into the wall before asking to get a photo. (“Can I check on my wife first?”) Most fans are cool and nice and supportive. “I’m a fan, at the end of the day, I am here because I’m a fan.” Martin added, “The only difference between me and anyone else is that I’m standing up here with a microphone.” No matter how weird things get, he’s happy to be here with you guys. One last anecdote, someone who said “It’s FannyCon, can you smack me on the fanny,” and he felt a definition was needed, as in Britain “fanny” doesn’t mean buttocks, it means something very different.

Who’s his favourite to voice to use? Martin likes voicing Marik. It’s not far off his regular voice, it’s just pitched up a bit and sillier. For Naruto, Sasuke takes absolutely no effort whatevaaaaaaaaaar. Favourite wrestling promo? He doesn’t know many off by heart. Loved Raven in ECW. “There’s so many good ones.” Anything with Chris Jericho. (He did a Chris Jericho as Marik. “Do you know what happens--“) Marianne adds, about that line, she once had a twenty minute pause when going to buy him ice cream. Also, kudos for Jericho for not only coming back but (something relating to roster), it’s a testament to that guy.

Someone asked about the YuGiOh movie, “The Dark Side of Dimensions”. Martin mentioned he felt Kaiba’s always been an exaggerated and over the top douchbag, and the reason he works in the Abridged series is Martin amps that up. So he feels he shouldn’t get any credit for portrayal in the “Dark Side” movie, that’s all the writers. There was a mention here of Miyazaki movies and the Nostalgia Critic. (“I’ll have my cricket bat.”)

An audience member points out LittleKuriboh is the first YouTube celebrity to be at an Anime North. Martin is surprised: Is that true? He thanks everyone for being so supportive. (At this point I couldn’t hear what was going on, but Martin was sorry an audience member had to go through something. Followed by a question.) Will there be another “Vampire: The Masquerade” video? There is another in the pipeline.

Time for one more question. Who he sees as the WWE smack down champion? He loves Shinuske, but it’s “not quite his time yet”. A.J. was said to have the potential now, Martin would love to see him carry that belt. Which is all we have time for (panel ended at 2pm). It was said, if you enjoyed the panel, send feedback! Afterwards, many were talking to LittleKuriboh outside. I saw him about a half hour later as I transitioned between rooms, and spoke briefly to him then. Guy’s a class act all the way.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment below with any thoughts. If you enjoyed this, I also recapped Reviewer Q&As at ConBravo last year, Time Travel panels at CanCon, and I personify mathematics in a comic.