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This entry is part 43 of 43 in the series Nanoha GamerS

Just a teaser image.

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Fate Testarossa.

Friend: What did you think about the Nanoha movie?

Me: It's always interesting to see how a series can be compressed and distilled into a movie.

Friend: Don't bluff, you're watching it for the naked loli transformation scenes, right?

Me: Actually, I'm watching it for the loli in the commentary track asking the shota what he thought about the naked loli transformation scenes.

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Ika Musume strikes a cool pose.

Possibly as a follow-up from the previous post, a common tendency for those characters not usually seen as the brightest bioluminescent organisms in the ocean is to have them be some kind of unexpected genius in some field.

I think it's part of the explanation given occasionally on the difference between the Intelligence and the Wisdom stats: here, Ika Musume displays high Intelligence, but her usual behaviour and lack of insight means low Wisdom.

Considering how quickly she's said to learn various abilities like speaking the language of those around her, and utilizing their technology (albeit to play video games), this obviously gives her a great many skill points too.

… I miss my gaming group.

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Yuki and Ryoko.

I watched The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya at Anime Festival Asia X.

It was awesome.

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CD Single image.

I've been listening to what may be safely called the Long Version of the opening theme of The World God Only Knows. At over eight minutes, it is Long indeed.

Apparently it is divided into five lyrical "chapters", each with its distinctive style, and what is heard in the opening animation is from chapter two, and even then cut short. Hearing the whole thing at once brings to mind strange baroque imageries, musical tapestries underlaid by harpsichord and rock guitar. Reactions I have seen have likened it to something liturgical, which may or may not be fitting. I can only imagine what keyword spam will arrive in the comments this time.

Parts of it remind me naggingly of some of Queen's works, although I cannot quite name the tune beyond knowing that it is somewhere in my collection. (Before anyone suggests, no, it is not particularly bohemian as such.) Is it a good tune? I'm not entirely sure. It seems to hit the right internal buttons, but I am as yet unsure if they are the same buttons hit by, say, a Michael Bay movie: impressive and enjoyable, but not particularly deep. My knowledge of musical theory does not extend so far.

In other news, I'll be heading down to Anime Festival Asia X tomorrow. I'm still not entirely sure what I will be doing there.

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Having caught up on what I've forgotten, I have remembered why Haruna is my favourite character of this show. She's sweet and kind and adorable and for some reason I find myself rooting for her over Lala, even though Lala is supposed to be the primary female character.

Which does mean that I am rooting for Haruna to end up with Rito, despite Rito's generically clumsy nature as a harem comedy male protagonist. It's clear that Haruna does not mind, and perhaps indeed finds it endearing, but truth be told I'd also root for her to end up with Oshizu or something if the plot demands it, as long as Haruna is happy. That, and only that, is the primary criteria for this instance of To Love-Ru shipping.

In this case, Haruna's happiness trumps Lala's happiness, perhaps because Haruna doesn't seem to place a very high priority on her own happiness, thus requiring the fans to take up the slack. It's an interesting puzzle to contemplate: I don't feel as bad when I think about Haruna getting Rito and Lala losing out (assuming Rito doesn't go the harem route), whereas contemplating Haruna sad, regardless of who else Rito ends up with, is a terrible feeling. (Yes, I'm easily-influenced.)

There isn't even the question of whether Rito is Good Enough for Haruna. Haruna certainly thinks so, and apparently what Haruna says is good enough for me. Further examination of the matter starts to feel like I'm thinking too deeply into the whole business, and I may as well start working out the physical specs and ramifications of Lala's inventions rather than point out whether Rito's faults outweigh his good points in the overall success of Operation Make Haruna Happy.

And yet, I might be overthinking it anyway, since I'm actively rooting for a character in a harem comedy that does not have any form of resolution to date. Watching events conspire to prevent Rito and Haruna from getting together more than they have is… frustrating. There is the strange urge to reach into the screen and lock the two of them together in a room for however long it takes for either one to confess (or for teenage hormones to dictate the action, whichever comes first); Mikado-sensei can provide the facilities, and I'll even give them privacy. Just get together, dammit.

Of such feelings are fanfics born.

On a tangent, the nature of the series makes it understandably difficult to look for pictures of a remotely worksafe nature.

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Eyecatch.

Either the Hidamari girls are more stacked than they look, or those uniforms are padded.

I can never figure out how to blog about episodes like these, because every time I try, I end up rooting around the fridge for a snack. Obviously I need to learn how to deal with such temptation, although like all temptations, I'm not sure I want to.

Nazuna's indecision in ordering is familiar to me, though; when I go out to eat, I kind of want to try everything on the menu, but I'm not sure whether I want to take the risk of trying something new. And so I end up getting what I always get. The safe option. Next time, I decide, I'll try to be more adventurous… but by that time, I forget what I had intended, and the cycle repeats.

I like the drinks bar concept, though. I tend to want to hydrate myself far more than anyone else at the table, for some reason. Which is why I never order anything other than plain (ice) water, unless it's free-flow.

Also, spotted in the Nutbladder sub:

Reference.

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Her name is Yami, or something?

I'm well aware of the fact that To-Love-Ru is essentially a fanservice show, with little more excuse than to show cute girls in various states of undress. This is pretty much why I'm watching it in the first place, albeit only partly so: I am far more interested in the costumes, so my attraction to this sort of anime is more about cute girls in various states of dress.

Except I watched a bit of the first episode and realized that I might be getting a little too saturated with data: it has been so long since the first season that I have no idea who most of these people are.

Which is an odd complaint for a show like this: one can summarize the general plotline of an episode in a few brief sentences. The girls lose their clothes in some way. The male lead gets a good eyeful, nosebleeds. The male lead gets beaten up. Repeat, while adding in a few bits of Wacky Alien Hijinks.

But I doubt people watch this show for the plot, as much as for the characters, or at least the girls. And when I can't remember most of the female characters, not for want of trying, I begin to appreciate the little recaps some anime do at the beginning of every new season.

I can kind of remember the main female lead, the pink-haired alien girl with the very interesting outfit I kind of want to know how to design. I can remember the male lead's little sister. I can remember the Normal Girl the male lead has a crush on, and I admit she looks just as cute as I remember. I can remember some alien guy who turns into a girl or something, and I can also remember how the show (and the manga) tended to keep him in girl form for the fanservice.

Most of all I remember the blonde girl who keeps reminding me of Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, and who is apparently also some sort of intergalactic assassin, although in Fate's case this only started after she grew up, and they don't call it that in the Nanoha-verse anyway. But names, names, all elude me, and with it comes a desire to refresh my memory by watching the first season again.

Not that I have any objections per se, but I kind of have to work on a blog post, and the last time I went on a memory-refresher binge I lost track of three days. The irony is immediately obvious.

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Don't try this at home.

There's something about this series which fails to catch on for me, and yet I keep watching, because I have the nagging suspicion that it is entirely my fault.

I'm probably comparing it unfairly to Keroro Gunsou, which is hilarious and heartwarming and does the whole Strange Animals From Somewhere Else Invading Earth Incompetently thing quite well. Keroro alone would turn annoying very quickly, but the anime wastes no time in introducing plenty of other characters to share the spotlight with. It probably doesn't hurt that the artstyle is cute (which, to be fair, Ika Musume also does well) and Chiwa Saitou has a major role.

And Keroro Gunsou doesn't just deal with slapstick comedy, but also the little things: friendship, nostalgia, the simple joys of life. All seen through the viewpoint of literal aliens, letting us experience the things we take for granted through eyes that have never seen it before.

Ika Musume feels like… something missing, I suppose. It dials the comedy up, but I keep expecting an incredibly biased narrator to start pointing out the obvious or crack some deliberately lame joke or something. Having the titular character mess up her invasion plans yet again is amusing for the first few times, but after that I get antsy: why am I not being amused? Or rather, why am I not being sufficiently amused, when it seems to share several traits with Keroro Gunsou? I am missing something; I should watch further to see what this is.

I want to say that Ika Musume might get better if the cast expands, but I'm not sure if this is what it wants to do. Maybe it's going in a completely different direction that my unfair comparisons are leading me away from.

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Minette tries puppy-dog eyes.

Working through my backlog from the past season. It is strangely liberating to watch the deadlines for posting on this blog whiz by with nary a fare-thee-well.

I find that I'm far more likely to be favourably inclined towards an anime if it has little bits and sequences of cutesy art. These are usually signs of some sort of comedy happening, with the flailing arms and the blankly-panicking eyes and the snarking from the sidelines.

Shukufuku no Campanella is not going to be a contender for intellectual comedy, nevertheless, but at least it's fun. I admit this is a nebulous term defying easy description, but I can watch this show for the antics of the Tortilla sisters, or the bright and happy world Minette seems to live in, or the running gag of Chelsea's sense of direction (or lack thereof), or the various romantic misunderstandings Carina has over Leicester.

It's a good show to relax to. The artstyle is clean and bright and cute, and the characters are easy on the eyes. The setting is fascinating enough, with potential for exploration and elaboration, particularly with the various inventions Leicester produces which mimic modern-day devices, although I think a hedge clipper with a beam cannon might be a little further in the future than our present technology would allow.

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