On Saturday I received an order from CDJapan – the Edelweiss CD/DVD performed by 17-year-old singer Asaka. “Edelweiss” is the ED song for Centaur no Nayami. I’ve already added the song to several playlists and have updated one of the music CDs in Ava. The B-song is “Unfulfilled Butterfly,” which isn’t a bad song, but I’m not interested in adding it to any playlists.
The case included a small booklet with photos and lyrics to the two songs on the CD. Because the CD included both the Japanese and English versions of “Edelweiss,” both sets of lyrics are included.
The DVD (region 2) had the “Edelweiss” music video and a 10-minute short on the making of the video. The video was rather low budget, low tech – and it had the quirkyness of those sorts of productions. Both videos were fun to watch, though.
Once in a while I get a surprise treat on these orders. I did not pre-order this CD, and when I ordered, CDJapan said the First Press bonus – one of five different photos – was no longer available. But my case included a first press photo. Cool!
The full song has been posted to YouTube: Centaur no Nayami Ending Full - “Edelweiss”
Tsurezure Children, Episode 12 (Season Finale)
Here are the shows from this season that I watched last week…
Tenshi no 3P! (Angel’s 3Piece): Episode 11
Another awful episode… but I guess I’ll see this through to the finish line. At least there might be (cutesy) songs next week.
Yōkai Apāto no Yūga na Nichijō (Elegant Yokai Apartment Life): Episode 12
Another poorly paced episode. Lots of talking separated by crude action. The ending to the arc was just meh. Akine capturing all the demons without notifying Yūshi in advance was simply dumb and random. Miura’s second attack in the Art Room didn’t make any sense because Tashiro should have been the target, not Yūshi. This entire arc was a muddled mess, and I’ll be happy when this series is over.
Isekai Shokudō (Restaurant to Another World): Episode 12 (Season Finale)
This was a pleasant and interesting episode, with Artorius trying to prevent Alexander from meeting with his granddaughter, Adelheid, although they later crossed paths anyway. And it was nice seeing other characters we’ve known from previous stories. The surprise was finding out that Tenshu (“Master”) is the grandson of one of the four Legendary Warriors. This series has been so episodic that it’s no wonder there was anything special done to mark the end of a season.
New Game!!: Episode 11
Much better than last week! Drama involving Tsubame and Nene was a reasonable story with good resolution and signs of improved bonding. Umiko has become a more appealing character this season, also. I suspect the drama around Kou is overblown (more misunderstandings, I’m guessing).
Tsurezure Children: Episode 12 (Season Finale)
The soccer tournament at sports day was unexpected and funny. Then the last half of the episode focused on two couples – Kana x Chiaki and Chizuru x Takurō. Both couples went through scenes that made my heart ache… but I was so delighted when there were dramatic turnarounds at the end. Tears of joy! This was a superb ending note for the first season of an ongoing series. I really, really want a season 2!
Mahoujin Guru Guru: Episode 12
For some reason the story seemed more focused and interesting this week. Plus there was a grand reunion of characters. I liked this episode.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Episode 25
The new arc begins… field trip to Kirigakure. We all know that this is trouble – but what else can you do to make drama in “peacetime?” This episode was mostly setup for the upcoming conflict.
Yōkoso Jitsuryoku Shijō Shugi no Kyōshitsu e (Classroom of the Elite): Episode 11
I’m glad the story didn’t get bogged down in last week’s conflict and instead introduced additional problems. And at the end we were granted a piece of the puzzle, but I can’t tell who is behind that. Class A? Looks like it’s time for Kiyotaka to save the day.
Gamers!: Episode 11
Well… I thought our two couples might have a chance to get things back on track at the RPG amusement park… but then Konoha messed everything up by forcing Chiaki into the mix. What a mess. (My favorite comment at Crunchyroll: “freaking Konoha... I wish Orochimaru could have destroyed you when he had the chance…”) The animation went off-model a few times also. The problem with the series is that the ratio of wins to misunderstandings is low, and the forever cycle of misunderstandings is starting to get tiring. It appears that the season will end next week with stuff still up in the air – because the light novels are all about perpetuating misunderstandings. I’m losing enthusiasm.
Konbini Kareshi (Convenience Store Boy Friends): Episode 12
Another horribly paced and directed episode… dragging out the Mashima-Mishiki story… not helped much by Mishiki being unconscious though most of the episode. (And, hey, if someone is unconsicous in a hospital bed for days or weeks – and then wakes up – shouldn’t the first thing you do is get a doctor or nurse?) The only really surprising thing was the twist with the twin sister… but that just means there’s more to untangle once Mishiki is back on her feet. This series has ended up being terrible. One more week (month, storywise), and we can put this snail out of its misery.
Boku no Hero Academia: Episode 37
The final battle in the final exams… and given that it invoved three of the most powerful characters at the school, the spectacular explosiveness of the battle was not surprising. The trick to the battle was whether or not Katsuki and Izuku could work together. This battle was a captivating end to the final exams.
Centaur no Nayami (a.k.a. A Centaur’s Life): Episode 12 (Season Finale)
No creepy government oversight this week… just two normal (for this show, anyway) high school stories – an RPG story and an arm-wrestling contest. Both stories were amusing, playing on the character traits of the students. The writers didn’t even try to give this episode the feel of a season ending. That’s probably reasonable given that this is an ongoing slice-of-life series with no overall story.
Knight’s & Magic: Episode 13 (Season Finale)
Appropriately, the Big Battle took place in the season finale. Our team won, of course, and the action was as over-the-top as was expected. In the best of fanfic tradition, the Ikaruka was able to best the overpowered Vyver. I liked that Kid was able to be the one to save the Queen Eleonore – stationed only as a plot device, I think. Not surprisingly, the major villains all survived to fight another day, as the Light Novel series is still in progress. Looks like the foundation is set for Kid x Eleonore and Ernesti x Addy. I’m good with that. Overall… a ludicrous series that was fun.
Centaur no Nayami, Episode 12 (Season Finale)
Hina Logi – from Luck and Logic
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge, Episode 4
Finally! January 30, 2018. Sentai Filmworks is finally going to release Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge (Tanaka-kun is Always Listless) on home video. The price difference between the Standard Blu-ray release ($52.49) and the Premium Blu-ray release ($97.49) I think is excessive, given the listless extras that Sentai is providing. (Sentai is not very good at premium boxes.) Even though I love the series, I’ll probably just get the standard release.
By the time the series is available on home video, 19 months will have elapsed since the end of the season. Feels longer.
You have been saying terrible things about people with "pre-existing" conditions for all of 2017, comparing us to cars, saying that we should pay more for our healthcare, even though most "pre-existing" conditions are not caused by anything a person does or by bad choices they make. In fact, since pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition," you are actively punishing people for having families--which seems to run counter to the agenda the Republican Party has been pushing for years The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, which callously strips all protections from people like me (and which makes it entirely possible that a premature baby will hit his or her lifetime cap before leaving the hospital for the first time), makes it clear that in fact you have no idea of what it's like not to be able to afford healthcare, or to have a chronic, incurable condition, and that you don't even have enough imagination to be able to empathize with the people whose lives you are destroying.
Moreover, given that there is astonishing unity among healthcare professionals, patients' interest groups, and major insurers (plus all fifty Medicaid administrators and a current count of eighteen governors), it is quite clear that you aren't doing this because it's a good idea. You don't care whether it will be good or bad for your constituents. All you care about--and more than one of your Republican colleagues have admitted as much--is repealing "Obamacare." You're doing this because you made a campaign promise, and you're too blindly self-centered to see that this is a promise that would be better honored in the breach than in the observance. You and your colleagues are behaving childishly, destroying something only because you hate the person who built it. The ACA is not failing, as you keep claiming it is, Senator. It is suffering mightily from obstructionism and deliberate sabotage from you and your colleagues, and, yes, it does need reform. But your proposal isn't reform. It's wanton demolition of legislation that is working, legislation that is succeeding in making the lives of Americans better, demolition which you are pushing without the slightest consideration of its effects on the people you claim you serve.
I'm not writing this letter because I expect you will change your mind--or, frankly, even read it. I'm writing this letter because I'm angry and scared and unbelievably frustrated with your deliberately cruel and blindly stupid determination to do something that no one in this country wants. You won't change your mind, but you can't say you didn't know there was opposition.
P.S. I'd still really like to see you denounce white supremacism, Senator. Because right now, I unwillingly believe you don't think there's anything wrong with it.
Dear Ms. DeVos:
I am appalled at your decision to roll back the protections given to sexual assault survivors by Title IX. I'm not surprised, because it's perfectly in line with the other cruel, short-sighted, and bigoted decisions you've made since being appointed Secretary of Education, but I honestly wonder (and I wonder this about a number of Trump appointees, so you needn't think you're alone) how you live with yourself. How do you justify, even if only to yourself, the damage you're doing? Do you believe the lies you tell?
I'm not going to quote statistics, because I'm sure they've been shown to you. I'm not going to try to change your mind with personal stories. I am going to ask, futilely, that you stop and truly think about the young women whose college careers, already catastrophically imperiled by the sexual assault they have survived, may be destroyed because of the policies you're implementing. And I'm going to ask how on earth you think this destruction is part of your mandate as Secretary of Education?
Everyone's civil rights need to be respected. I believe this strongly enough to belong to the ACLU. But victims' rights are historically ignored, trampled on, and outright broken, especially in cases of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator is white and male. I also strongly believe that the purpose of government should be to ensure that privilege is not used to skew justice. It was already crushingly difficult for sexual assault survivors to report their assailants. You have made it that much harder, and that much more likely that they will simply remain silent. I cannot help thinking that that silence is your goal, and that, Ms. DeVos, is truly shameful.
Hulu has episodes from 3 seasons of A Crime to Remember, which is an Investigation Discovery show. In my ongoing love/hate relationship with true crime media, ID stands out for their high production values and for about as unexploitative an attitude as you can have. (I wonder, perhaps unworthily, if part of what makes ACtR seem thoughtful rather than vulture-like is that the executive producer and a bunch of the writers & directors are women.) I have also been very fond of Homicide Hunter, partly because the show does not try to sugarcoat Lt. Joe Kenda at all. He's very good at his job, and he is a ruthless avenging angel, but he is not a nice man. I kind of adore him. (I'm pretty sure he'd hate me, but that's okay.)
But ACtR. All the episodes are period pieces. (I joked to my therapist that they must have come up with the idea because they wanted everyone to be able to smoke on camera.) I'm not super fond of the gimmick, in which every episode has a narrator who is a minor fictional character in the real crime being portrayed, but most of the time it works okay. (It works extremely well--give credit where it's due--in "The 28th Floor" (2.4).) The actors--"character" actors all--are excellent, and most of the time they even get the accents matched up to the region. (There are exceptions.) And the producers have interview clips with true crime writers who have written about the cases; with people who investigated the cases (when those people are still alive); with Mary Ellen O'Toole and other experts in various fields; with friends and family of murderers and victims alike. They frequently featured Michelle MacNamara before her death in April 2016--pretty obviously because she was very good at conveying information clearly but without sounding scripted. And, again, because they seem to look for women. They also have gotten Catherine Pelonero more than once. (I actually haven't been able to bring myself to watch the episode about Kitty Genovese, but Pelonero does a great job in the other episodes I have watched her in.)
My true, serious beef with ACtR is its insistent trope of the loss of American innocence. Almost every case is framed as something that destroyed a piece of American innocence, and this is infuriating to me for several reasons:
1. America has never been innocent.
2. The idea of the Golden Age, the before time just out of reach in which everything was perfect, is a very, very old fallacy. (The Romans were all over it.) I think it is pernicious, because it validates reactionary attempts to return to "the good old days," which are "good" (in 20th century America) only if you are white, middle-class or above, and it helps if you're male. ACtR does deal with racism, sexism, and classism, but it doesn't seem to recognize the contradictory position it puts itself in thereby.
3. Casting these crimes as destroyers of American innocence erases crimes that went before. I can give one very specific example: "Baby Come Home" (2.8) about the 1953 kidnapping and murder of Bobby Greenlease, who was murdered before his kidnappers ever tried to extort ransom from his parents. Now I am not at all denying that what happened to Bobby Greenlease is vile and horrible and an expression of the worst part of human nature, but claiming that Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Heady somehow invented kidnapping children for ransom--or even just the worst and most cruel of bad faith negotiations after the child was already dead--erases what happened to, for one example, Charles Lindbergh, Jr. Or, for another example, Charley Ross. If there was any innocence to be lost in this particular genre of crime, it was lost in 1874, 79 years before Bobby Greenlease's death.
So, yeah. That's the one thing that I really think they get wrong. Otherwise, they do a lovely job, and they have taught me about murders I'd never heard of but I think should not be forgotten: the terrible deaths of Judge Curtis Chillingworth and his wife Marjorie in West Palm Beach in 1955; Charles Whitman's sniper assault on the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Texas in 1966 (which I knew about, but knew kind of wrongly); the bizarre murder of Betty Williams in Odessa, Texas, in 1961; the murder of Veronica Gedeon in New York in 1937, and how the case was largely solved by the editors of the true crime magazines she was a cover model for; the murder of Roseann Quinn in New York in 1973, which was the inspiration for Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and I deeply appreciate the way ACtR questions the LfMG myth and suggests that Theresa Dunn is a cruel travesty of the real Roseann Quinn and the reality of her death. If you are interested in criminology or American history (because nothing tells you more about a culture than its cause celebre murders), I commend this series to your attention.
Fay: a goth cheerleader
me: a goth cheer squad
[various comments about school mascot possibilities]
fay: the Raccoon City Revenants
Me: Edgar Allan Poe HS Ravens
We also noted that Gothic Lolita fashions would actually work with cheer stuff because of the short skirts.
Hmmm... maybe twirling parasols instead of pompoms?
Going to Target yesterday was about all I could manage, decided to have conveyor belt sushi for dinner, and then got the trash together once I got home.
Its nice outside today, not sure what I want to do yet.
Its also officially Autumn...
The general theme for this month has been stages of life, and we close that out with rites of passage. Next week, because the Patreon passed one of its funding goals a while ago, will be a fifth (bonus) essay, on the more theory-side aspects of worldbuilding!
Comment over there.
Finally figured out where I bought the socks I gave to my Godson, his wife wants her own pair, or he needs his own pair cuz she took his.
Got a couple more things out of the Van, and read some more.
Now, I should be clear, I've had a number of success stories. My pen pal in Netherlands who loves "F.R.I.E.N.D.S." has a lesbian daughter, so coming out to her was a no-brainer. Both of my Australians could care less. Another one of my German pen friends is clearly a LITTLE prickly about it, but my sense is she's kind of prickly about a LOT of things. :-)
But, here's a new piece in the puzzle of "What is up with the conservative streak in pen friends?"
A couple of entries ago, I explained FBs (Friend Books). Several days ago a random person in Maryland who found my name on a FB, sent me a pile of them. Most of them were half-way full and this Maryland correspondent had included her name in all of them, like you do. However. One of them was from that someone I shall call "Cass," who started one for herself. She had a long entry on her front cover about the various things she was interested in and things she'd be willing to swap, all very typical stuff. Then she adds, "I am bi, open-minded pen pals only, please."
No one had added their name.
Not one soul.
Not even the person who sent it to me, who had put her name in literally every other FB.
Despite a plea from Cass that the FB be "passed quickly."
I know I live in the era of Trump, when people boldly and proudly wear their bigotry on their sleeves. Yet, pen palling, by its nature, seemed to me to be the sort of hobby that would naturally attract people who were interested in other people. It's a hobby that requires you to talk to strangers. The entire POINT of pen friends is to reach out, sometimes across international borders, with a hand out in friendship.
Of course I wrote to Cass. I sent her a picture of my family, a short introductory note that suggested that we could be pals, and sent her a pile of FBs to "swap," hoping that somewhere in all of them, she would find someone else who would write back. I added my name to the FB that she started and sent it on to a friend who I know is open-minded, even though she isn't part of the pen palling community.
But, I don't entirely understand it. I mean, yes, pen palling is an old-fashioned kind of hobby. I guess maybe that 'old-fashionedness' lends itself to certain stereotype of a stay-at-home mom, who is lonely... but I still don't see how that lends itself to "eew, gay!" Also what are these people worried about? That we're going to write long letters detailing our sex lives? No, I'm just as boring a pen pal as anyone else. I talk about my failed garden projects and my cats. Do you suppose other pen pals are worried about being hit on? Even though I explain I am MARRIED with kids.
It's weird and baffling, and it makes me sad.