About Jon

Jon is a Japanese culture enthusiast, professional pervert and roleplaying fanatic who appreciates flexible gender identities. He enjoys science fiction, Gunpla, classical music and Red Stripe.

Bakacast – Brought to You by Morning Rescue

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Yo! I know Dustin usually does these things, but I decided to try my hand at editing the podcast this week just for the experience. Naturally, given my predilection towards batsh*t insanity, I did something totally silly and nerdy with the sound design. If you can guess the anime I’m parodying, you win 100 Baka Points.

This week, we start of by discussing Jake Adelstein’s recent fight with National Geographic over their Gangland Tokyo documentary. You should really go read his blog post on the subject, which paints a disturbing picture of NatGeo’s flippant attitude towards journalistic integrity. After that we plow straight through our regular reviewing regime. Dusty even gets a chance to share his thoughts on my favorite guilty pleasure show of the season, Suite PreCure! Finally, we answer a couple of in-depth e-mail questions about our ratings scale and the upcoming live-action Akira adaptation, before finishing off with the usual onslaught of silly Twitter questions.

  • 3:10 – Jake Adelstein vs NatGeo
  • 12:19 – Madoka Magica #9
  • 20:24 – Gosick #9
  • 28:27 – Level E #9
  • 34:40 – Fractale #7
  • 40:47 – MORNING RESCUE!
  • 41:14 – Wandering Son #7
  • 48:55 – Star Driver #22
  • 53:54 – Suite PreCure #5 (with special commentary by Dustin)
  • 1:01:30 – Macross Frontier #13 & #14
  • 1:11:00 – Listener Questions (Here is the 10-point scale John Crichton submitted.)

If you would like to submit listener questions for a future episode, you can email them to bakacast[at]projectharuhi.net, @reply them to Project Haruhi’s Twitter account using the hashtag #bakacast, or leave them in the comments below.

Heavenly Legs – Which Grade of Zettai Ryouiki Is Best?

 

Natsuru displaying Grade B zettai ryouiki.

As every otaku knows, the true pinnacle of anime fashion (and Japan’s most popular fetish) is that heavenly bit of flesh between the top of a girl’s kneesocks and the bottom of her skirt… the absolute territory, better known as zettai ryouiki. Now, the power of SCIENCE tells us that the ultimate ratio of length of skirt : zettai ryouiki : length of socks above knee is 4:1:2.5 ±25%. However, I say TO HELL WITH SCIENCE! Zettai ryouiki is all about passion, not mere mathematics. The very notion that certain “grades” of kneesock length are superior strikes me as far too absolutist. Each grade has its own strengths, its own appeal!

The question I pose to you, dear readers, is which grade of zettai ryouiki do you find the most appealing? Do you agree with the conventional wisdom that Grade A is the true “golden ratio,” or do you prefer a more exposed leg? Using the chart I’ve provided, cast your vote in the poll below. Don’t hesitate to leave your opinion in the comments below as well. This is one of the most pressing issues facing otakudom today, so now is your chance to let your voice be heard!

Click to expand.

Which grade of Zettai Ryouiki do you prefer?

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For Better or Worse? Two New K-ON! Manga Announced

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the upcoming issue of Manga Time Kirara will announce two new K-ON! spinoff manga, both of which will premiere next month. As far as we know, these two manga share the K-ON! title, but cover different subject matter . The first, which begins on April 9th in Manga Time Kirara, will focus on the continuing adventures of Ritsu, Mio, Yui and Mugi as they go to college. The second, which begins on April 28th in sister magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat, will follow the light music club at Sakuragaoka Girls’ High School, now manned by Azusa, Ui and Jun.

And thus, the inevitable slow decline of the K-ON! franchise begins. They won’t stop milking this cow until its dry, utterly dehydrated and comatose.

I’ve seen it happen dozens (if not hundreds) of times before. At first, K-ON! was a fun but vapid slice-of-life series, an enjoyable diversion that kept us amused with short skirts and pop music. Sadly, as the manga stretched on and the anime plowed through its second season, creative bankruptcy began to set in. The jokes got stale. The plots became repetitious. Even the much-vaunted music lost its luster. K-ON! was winding down, and everybody knew it.

More after the break.

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2010 Anime Oscars: Jon’s Picks

 

All winners get a free golden statue of Natsuru in a maid outfit.

Well, the 83rd Oscars are over, and once again Japanese animation has been totally overlooked by the Academy. I’ve decided to remedy this by holding my very own totally legitimate Japanese Animation Academy Awards. These Anime Oscars will cover all the shows and OVAs that finished airing in 2010, as well as any films that were released on DVD (and therefore fansubbed) during that year.

Now, keep in mind that these are my personal choices… I’m sure the other writers for this site will have their own picks to share. And if you put together your own list of Anime Oscar winners on your blog, please let us know in the comments! We’d love to read it.

More below the break!

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First Impressions – Suite PreCure

Tee-hee sparkle sparkle!

Sometimes, you just need to think like a teenage girl.

I’ve been meaning to start watching PreCure after Sailor Moon introduced me to the wonders of magical girls last year. Like its predecessor, PreCure is one of those shows that everybody has heard of but nobody has seen. In Japan, it’s a hugely popular merchandising juggernaut aimed at little girls, much like My Little Pony in the United States. Perhaps because of its target audience, it has never received much attention in the Western otaku community. Regardless, with a new PreCure show just starting up, I figured it was the perfect time to see what this franchise is all about. This review covers the first two episodes.

From the very first scene, Suite PreCure dives headfirst a Power Rangers style black-and-white moral morass. Mephisto, the evil ruler of the musically themed Minor Land, is trying to steal the notes of the Melody of Happiness in order to transform it into a Melody of Sorrow. When the queen of Major Land scatters the notes all around Earth, Mephisto sends his transforming cat/girl minion Siren to retrieve them. However, Major Land’s adorable mascot Hummy manages to thwart Siren by transforming two girls, Hibiki and Kanade, into Cure Melody and Cure Rhythm. Thus begins the musical battle against the forces of sadness!

More after the break.

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Weekly Anime Review: You Got Trolled [SPOILERS]

Behold, the latest edition of Weekly Anime Review! Surprisingly, we’re actually managing to keep on a somewhat consistent schedule this time around. Now all we have to do is apply a bit of elbow grease, and you should have a new WAR post pop up in your RSS feed every Thursday evening! Hooray!

Since I reviewed two episodes of Madoka last week, there’s no recap for this week’s episode. Fear not, however, as it will return in the future. Any other show that’s absent has probably been dropped. For more detailed information on which shows we dropped and which we never bothered writing about in the first place (i.e. Rio Rainbow Gate), check out the last couple of episodes of Bakacast.

Spoilers lurk beyond the break, so tread carefully. And don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comment section!

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It’s Never Too Early to Talk About Spring Anime!

Even though the winter anime season has just begun, the intertubes are already ablaze with anticipation for the upcoming spring season, fueled largely by the charts released by The Cart Driver and Cowboy Bimbop. Since anticipation makes the heart grow fonder, I’ve decided to speculate on which shows will catch my fancy this spring. Of course, since all I have to go on is a thumbnail and plot summary, everything I say here is little more than an educated guess… so don’t take it TOO seriously. I’m sure I’ll be adding and dropping shows to this list once I see the actual trailers.

My picks are below the break. Tell me yours in the comment section!

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Second Hokago no Pleiades Trailer Released

The second trailer for the new Gainax-Subaru magical girl astronomy anime has been posted on YouTube.

I have to say, this trailer has a bit more substance than the previous “OMG CUTE GIRLS” version. I had originally written Hokago off a a cynical, moe-pandering corporate tie-in, but this trailer has lit a small spark of hope that this will be something worth watching. Gainax, I’m counting on you!

Weekly Anime Review: Magical Girl Trap [SPOILERS]

The second week of the winter 2010 anime season has concluded, and Weekly Anime Review has been resurrected! We’re still hashing out which shows we’ll be watching, but for the time being the strongest contenders are Level E, Madoka Magica, Fractale and Star Driver. Both Dream Eater Merry and Gosick are on thin ice… if they don’t show substantial improvement by episode three, they’ll be dropped. For our more in-depth coverage of each anime’s premiere episode, please check out the First Impressions posts under the Weekly Anime Review tag.

Legend has it that spoilers lurk beyond the break, so tread lightly. If ye be brave enough, leave us a comment with your own thoughts on these anime. We really do enjoy your feedback!

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