12 Days of Something III: Moments of Anime

spacebros42a1. Space Brothers moon accident (Episodes 40-43)

In January when I was still watching Space Brothers, there was an event I knew was going to happen from watching the live action movie last year. Hibito did end up crashing the lunar rover into a massive crevasse. What happened with the next few episodes was the series at its very best. The dumb light moments were gone for that span and it was replaced with a drama where the threat felt real. Hibito did get out of that situation, barely, but the scars would last. The conclusion of that arc later took a hit in my mind when I found out the inspiration for the astronaut figure left on the moon. After that, the old Space Brothers returned and I could no longer enjoy it in the same way.

haganai20h2. Sena and Kodaka talk over coffee (Episode 7 – Haganai Next)

Sometimes the best insight into characters can come at the most surprising times. When the Neighbors Club took a shopping trip there were the usual antics that come with a harem comedy. In the middle of this was a conversation at a coffee shop between Sena and Kodaka where we learn more about the latter than all previous episodes prior. It’s brief, but we learn that he has a massive inferiority complex. He doesn’t feel that he deserves to be loved by anyone and at that point it’s obvious that he is willfully ignoring the feelings of the girls around him. This conversation really marked the transition of the series from one about girls falling in love with Kodaka to a show about helping him find his confidence.

Older Maid Sister is in fine form3. Older Maid Sister’s Speech (Episode 9 Maoyuu Maou Yuusha)

While this show disappointingly ended with Hero subjected to Female Knight and Demon King shoving their chests into his face, there were moments of genuine quality in Maoyuu. Having taken Crimson Scholar’s place in being subjected to public execution, Older Maid Sister gave a speech that wasn’t so much a call for her own safety as much as a call to destroy the existing order that was drawn from her own experience of being taken in by Demon King. Even as she is being beaten her will shines through and she will not have her spirit crushed.

htms01b4. A Demon Lord and His Minion Land in a Rough New World (Episode 1 – Hataraku Maou-sama!)

The spring season opened with a 2nd show involving a demon king only this time they ended up in modern Japan. There wasn’t much glossing over what happened on Maou and Ashiya’s arrival though. Here were two foreigners who did not speak the language trying to figure out a way to make some money and find a place to live. Their social support network consists of just the two of them and their mysterious landlord Miki. A long struggle to survive in low-wage hell looked set to begin.

yuyu07a5. Pikachurin (Yuyushiki Episode 7)

Yuyushiki is at it’s heart a show about 3 cute girls doing cute things as friends. Their club activities fittingly involve looking things up on the internet revolving around a theme of the day they come up with on their own. The moment I think that best summed this up took place in the 7th episode. When talking about Yuzuko’s unusual eye color she ended up coming across a Wikipedia article for the protein that sends information from the eyes to the brain. Yes, Pikachurin. In this show of many tangents, a discussion that begins with cat’s eyes concludes with speculation on the gender of the children a scientist has. That’s Yuyushiki research in a nutshell right there.

muromi11b6. The Quest for Happiness in the New Economy (Namiuchigiwa Muromi-san Episode 11)

It’s not much of a stretch to say that Muromi-san isn’t exactly heavy in social commentary. What little there is is run through the character of Otohime the former business owner under the sea who has to work in a fishing shop. The episode is about much more than that though. There’s the convenience store worker who had dreams of his own, but with his girlfriend now pregnant those dreams may be permanently on hold. Otohime herself is looking to stand on her own terms after she lost her business, but it doesn’t look like that is happening. Her frequent fights with Muromi always seemed to be about how Otohime had fallen, but this episode revealed that they were really a frustration with how things change. Life can’t simply go back to how it was before the economy tanked. The episode ends fittingly with an all-night drinking session outside of the convenience store talking about business in an unstable economy.

c3bu04b7. Yura’s Imagination Comes to Life (Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu Episode 4)

C3-bu ended up turning into a sort of gunsoft version of Rambo when the protagonist Yura was questioning why gunsoft didn’t love her as much as she loved it. Early on in a quest to improve her skills the club goes to a temple and sets Yura a goal of being able to shoot a single 5-yen coin from across an archery range. After failing for the day and having left her gun at the temple, Yura returns and enters one of her vivid delusions. The next day she returns and imagines herself in the middle of an ancient battle and fires a shot through an incoming arrow. Did it really happen? Was Rento also sucked into Yura’s imagination? Or did she simply shoot into the hole of the 5-yen coin?

hsdxds207b8. Akeno Makes Her Move (High School DxD New Episode 7)

Having saved his friends from Kokabiel in the last episode through force of will, Issei and the rest of the Occult Research Club embarked on a more pedestrian mission; cleaning the school’s pool. The feelings of those around him had swung fully in his direction. When even Yuuto is confessing his feelings for him, you knew Issei was in the form of his life. So when he had to have more of his dragon energy sucked out of him by Akeno, the audience was in for a show.

kinmosa12f9. The Kinmoza Musical (Episode 12)

Having wrapped up the series proper, Kiniro Mosaic started a take on chuunibyou and ended up turning it into a short musical number. Going completely off-script in the adaptation happened to yield the best of this series. The musical number relied on being interested in these characters and their idiosyncrasies, but the case could be made that the musical number could stand on its own. I’d be interested to see if anyone who did not watch any of Kinmoza would understand the musical bit.

noukome01b10. Noucome‘s History of the World Through Choices (Episode 1)

For a high-concept harem comedy about a character who is forced into making ridiculous choices, the opening scene is one of the most ambitious narratives of the year. They try to tell history as a series of choices made by people who would go on to be famous for those decisions. Unfortunately, it’s hardly a successful story as it drags on for far too long and it is followed up by Furano, Ouka and Kanade being involved in dirty jokes. Failed ambition is better than not even trying.

wa207a11. A School Festival Concert (White Album 2 Episode 7)

There were hints of this in the opening episode that the relationship between Setsuna, Kazusa and Haruki would hit its peak. The concert’s three songs sum up the series perfectly. The first was the song that brought them together, the second was a dialogue between Kazusa and Setsuna about romantic conflict and the third was about love lost. The performance captures everything that made this series the surprise of 2013.

oc12a12. Outbreak Company takes on ‘Cool Japan’ (Episodes 11 and 12)

Outbreak Company was one of the better shows this year with its attempts to portray a divided society and in the final episodes the attention turned to the Japanese government and the place of otaku in society. Imports of anime and manga were restricted early on in the 11th episode. It became clear that this was the dark side of trying to spread culture. Matoba revealed that it was all a plot to have the people learn Japanese and to become more interested in anime and manga than developing their own culture. When Shinichi learns of this he and Minori become expendable because they do live on their own. Ultimately, he uses the ties that he has forged in his new land to get protection after he tells Petrarca they should make their own anime, manga and light novels. That was a potentially dangerous thing to do.

12 Days of Something III: My Favorite Anime is Toronto Politics

For ideal reading experience please play the embedded Soundcloud clip:

Rob Ford.

Think about that for a minute. There are just so many things that can be said about the mayor of Toronto in title only. I will just let this list of stories do the narrative work for me.

Rob Ford: While we were watching the circus

Is Rob Ford just too honest?

Mayor Rob Ford says he knows what Toronto wants: a casino

The Best of Toronto’s Insane, Terrible Mayor Rob Ford: an Introduction for Americans

Weary Toronto likely to shrug off latest Rob Ford escapade

Snow emergency? Mayor Rob Ford says call him – at home!

Mayor Rob Ford: Working hard or hardly working?

Rob Ford won’t be prosecuted for alleged election violations

Mayor Rob Ford still asking lobbyists to donate to his football foundation

Sarah Thomson: I thought Mayor Rob Ford was on cocaine

Support for Mayor Rob Ford steady despite Ass-gate

Rob Ford: ‘Intoxicated’ Toronto mayor asked to leave military ball

Three councillors now claim Rob Ford has a drinking problem as Toronto mayor is encouraged to seek treatment

Rob Ford hires his high school football coach

Here’s Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Walking Face-First Into a TV News Camera

Mayor Rob Ford offers to ‘explain how politics works’ to Toronto women over coffee

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he coached latests shooting victim: He was ‘one heck of a football player’

Toronto artist-turned-councillor plans his next masterpiece – a portrait of Rob Ford

Rob Ford In A Maple Leafs Jersey Posing With The Hamburglar?

For Sale: A Video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smoking Crack Cocaine

Rob Ford crack scandal: Fears Ford’s aide sought video spark police probe

Rob Ford. Unstoppable?

Etobicoke family find themselves at heart of Rob Ford photo mystery

Police learned of alleged Rob Ford crack video during year-long gang probe

Why Mayor Rob Ford’s gravy train has hit a dead end

Meet Neil, better known as Slurpy, the Rob Ford lookalike at centre of scrapped plot to film fake crack video

Torontonians celebrate all things Rob Ford at massive barbecue

City of Toronto deeper in debt under Mayor Rob Ford

Gawker Rob Ford ‘Crackstarter’ cash going to four Ontario groups

Rob Ford Shares Parenting Advice For Royal Couple

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford remains shadowed by crack video scandal

Rob Ford urged to seek help after videos capture Toronto mayor partying after ‘a couple of beers’

Why Rob Ford shouldn’t clean up his act

Mayor Rob Ford bests Hulk Hogan in arm-wrestling bout (or so it appears)

‘I smoked a lot’ of pot, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says, but he won’t say when

Rob Ford offered 14 chances to comment on crack story, Toronto Star tells press council

Possible Rob Ford connection sought in sealed police warrants

Rob Ford portrait unveiling thrills mom – and the mayor

Mayor Rob Ford’s popularity climbs to nearly half in latest poll

Rob Ford’s friend offered pot for missing phone, report says

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford defends robocalls, says more to come

As Rob Ford calls for firing of ‘sleeping’ worker, web unearths photo of mayor allegedly asleep at City Hall

Rob Ford’s billion-dollar boast not worth a dime

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admits to smoking crack

Rob Ford caught on video in violent rant

Rob Ford Denies “Eating Pussy” During Live, Televised Press Conference

Rob Ford police investigation: ‘Domestic assault’ call at Ford home sidetracked police sting

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford takes in NFL game – and steals singer’s seat?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to join D.C. sports radio show

Sadly, Rob Ford epitomizes what Canada has become

Rob Ford vs. Justin Bieber: Who is Canada’s greater embarrassment?

I literally took one headline per week in constructing all of that above. There was no shortage of headlines to pick from most weeks. I even had to leave all the stuff about his being stripped of powers by the city council because of the other stuff he was doing at that time. Anyway, I have to give a special thanks to this post to Tim whose Twitter bio was the inspiration for the title of this post. He also does great work in making the politics of North America’s 5th-largest city as funny as they are.

12 Days of Something III: Maou-Economics

maoyuu05bThis was a strange year for the fact that there were three series with a very strange common element. Yes, judging by the title of this post, they all have to do with demon kings venturing over to a different world and having to deal with the economic consequences of their actions. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Hataraku Maou-sama and Yuushibu deal with this concept in different ways even as they are filled with light-hearted moments throughout. For the purpose of this post, I’ve decided to evaluate them on how deeply they get into the realm of economics.

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12 Days of Something III: Basking in Glorious Failure

At the beginning of the fall, players everywhere prepare for the epic contest that is Fantasy Football. In the quest to choose the best players to build a title contender, there are many hours spent researching who will succeed and who will fail with late round draft picks. That’s generally what happens with fantasy football leagues. But, what would happen if you made things different and rewarded failure?

You basically get a draft like you do on the right here. Brandon Weeden first overall didn’t quite pan out as planned, with him suffering injuries and being replaced by Jason Campbell.

The actual fun part of participating in this league had to do with the scoring. 25 points for interceptions run back for touchdowns will do that. Cheering for interceptions to be run back against your own team does have a downside though. It’s much easier when your own team sucks than if they are competitive.

Also, it goes without saying that it actually turned into a mutual love fest on the weekly calls admiring the bad quarterbacking throughout the league. When Matt Schaub was on his historic run of interceptions returned for touchdowns, it was like the Chicago Bulls run of NBA titles.

Blaine Gabbert started only 3 games this season and averaged over 50 points a start. This would make him the Wilt Chamberlain of the Bad Football League. However, no one would be able to stop the rookie bad quarterbacking sensation Geno Smith. The Jets quarterback leads the league in interceptions and is the joint leader in interceptions run back for a touchdown.

Those weekly calls are really the big reason I participate in ventures like this. They provide a seemingly endless source of fun on my Sundays. It doesn’t matter if we discuss the state of our respective fantasy football teams or the latest anime that we have watched (This is a group of anime fans after all) or how Linda from Golden Time is the worst human ever if she really existed.

While basking in the glorious failure of well compensated athletes paid to throws an oblong leather object can be fun. I can safely say that it’s really about the community involved in doing so. Mainly, I need to do more stuff like this in the future.

12 Days of Something III: A Year in Classy Manga

Minamoto-kun Monogatari, still as great as ever.

Minamoto-kun Monogatari, still as great as ever.

I probably don’t talk about the manga I read as much as I should on this blog. I do read much more than the average person on MyAnimeList.That would be 63 different manga at the time of this post being written. Almost all of them seem to fall into the realm of unlicensable, borderline eromanga . That said, I do believe there is some quality in that list that I’m going to use this post to highlight.

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12 Days of Something III: The Future of Failure is Now

These are gigantic viewer counts from my perspective.

These are gigantic viewer counts from my perspective.

With the advent of the next generation consoles complete, it is now possible to more easily stream gameplay and commentary to audiences on sites like Twitch or Ustream. I bring this up because it’s very much relevant to the history of this blog and my social presence on the internet in general. Mainly, it’s impossible popularity to be attained when the potential pool grows beyond a certain size.

Earlier this year, I had tried briefly to stream some gameplay of a game I owned on Steam on the Twitch channel that I had set up. No viewers at the time and that didn’t really matter because who really wants to see me fail at Surgeon Simulator 2013? Fast forward to last month and with it now being easy to use to both view and stream on a new console. The end result. No viewers and my being left wondering what the hell the point of the new technology is.

The way I see it is that it will be much more common. I’m not alone in thinking that.

There is an inherent advantage that those who have built up an audience have. They have the networks to publicize their work playing games and even to get paid money to do that. I don’t see anime blogging ever getting to that point since the audience simply isn’t there to enable that, but the fact of the matter is that those who are able to first leverage technology get the full benefits from it. It’s completely just that it is that way. So best of luck to those trying to pull in an audience streaming on your PS4 or XBox One in the near future. Try to keep it small and social. It’s better that way.

12 Days of Something III: Randomized Anime Sampling

I had this idea before when I went through all of the dropped anime I had to find whether I would watch the next episode and actually like it. This post shall imbibe some of the holiday spirits and expand on that even further by including even those shows that I dropped. Streaming anime makes ideas like this possible, whether that is a good thing for one’s health and sanity will be found out below. The following is my day of randomized anime sampling.

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12 Days of Something III: The Definitive List of Best Girls, 2013 Edition

dal04b

This isn’t a post intended to raise debate. The answers have already been settled. These are the best, acceptable and worst girls from harem anime this year, objectively.

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12 Days of Something III: What FAL Says About Me as a Person

fal_header

In the last couple of spring and fall seasons, Fantasy Anime League has taken place on MAL. While some people out there take this deadly seriously or devote entire pages of coverage to how they are doing in that particular edition, I haven’t much talked about my own entries into the competition. That’s because I enter each time without any sort of clue what the hell I’m doing.

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12 Days of Something III: The Year in Bad Drops

This is generally how I look when I drop things

During the course of a normal year watching anime, I drop a lot of shows. It ends up being about 9 out of every 20 from my reckoning. That said, I make many, many mistakes in the eyes of my readers, followers on twitter, or people who even think of the name Emperor J. That includes those who have lived in mountain monasteries their entire lives and have no concept of blogging in their minds. So to further their confirmation bias of my taste, I present to you the list of my worst drops as rated by MAL and other comments throughout the year.

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12 Days of Something III: …and Special Guest, Wooser

wooser06a

When Wooser aired last year, I pretty much dropped it immediately and dismissed it as poorly executed perverted comedy on the basis of just a single episode. It wasn’t until recently that I went back and marathoned the series in a single hour. Honestly, though I can’t say that I revisited solely on the basis of curiosity or because some random number generator told me I should. Actually it was more moments like this:

senyuu01bThat’s right, the first episode of Senyuu featured Wooser playing with a hula-hoop as one of the prospective heroes. Alright, so the perverted mascot character makes a special appearance in another short anime that was hinted at in the final episode of his own show. That alone wouldn’t be enough for me to be interested. No, he would have to make a guest appearance in a post-apocalyptic show to really do so.

monochrome04aAnd here’s Wooser making his grand appearance in Miss Monochrome. So in this scene he was locked out of the mascot character festival as the Nendroid version of Miss Monochrome took center stage. While that’s awful luck for everyone involved; Wooser losing popularity as Miss Monochrome only became popular as a Nendroid rather than an idol, that wouldn’t be enough for me would it.

monochrome09aWell what do you know, Miss Monochrome is a post-apocalyptic anime. At least it’s more realistic than Coppelion. So I went ahead and gave Wooser another chance. It was pretty good for the short format if woefully inconsistent. The 2nd season begins airing in January.

12 Days of Something III: That Time I Ruined the Gibraltarian Economy

Another edition of the game that destroys marriages and students.

Another edition of the game that destroys marriages and students.

In May of this year, Gibraltar became the 54th member of UEFA after over a decade of Spanish protest. I don’t intend to get into the politics of Gibraltarian sovereignty, treaties signed over 300 years ago, European law regarding its border with Spain or the domestic politics involved in the current standoff. No, instead this is about Football Manager and the costs of cheating at a game that is a series of spreadsheets.

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12 Days of Something II: 12 Moments of Anime

So this 12 Days thing is running near a close, so I thought I would actually do something most people do with this sort of topic, actually write about 12 moments in anime that occurred this year. I know, really original, right? So I’ll try to avoid some stuff I’ve gone on-and-on about over the course of this series of posts and limit myself to one thing per month. Can I pull it off? Find out below.

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12 Days of Something II: Complaining About the Realism in Fiction

A selection from one of the classier manga I read regularly

A selection from one of the classier manga I read regularly

One of the things I’ve never really covered in this the space of this blog is that I do read manga. Actually a ton of it to a level that is not healthy. What do I do with this time I’m reading it? I pretty much spend it complaining about the realism in fiction. Continue reading

12 Days of Something II: I’m Rubbish at Anything Anime Music

When there was an opening/ending music quizzes going around Twitter the other day, I had one of those terrible revelations that made me think that I wasn’t a true fan of the stuff I blog about regularly. So after weighing in with something like 8% out of a little over 100 entries, I thought it would make good post material to talk about this subject. Continue reading

12 Days of Something II: 5 Anime for the Apocalypse

I know we all can't be as excited about the end of the world as she is.

I know we all can’t be as excited about the end of the world as she is.

As you know, the end of the world is approaching. For some of you out there, that may involve getting in the last few episodes of your favorite shows just as another hidden planet or comet crashes into Earth. Having made the tragic mistake of paying actual money to watch 2012 when it came out, I don’t want you to make the same mistake as I did in choosing the right shows to watch today. Instead, these should provide just enough for you to get by in case you survive.

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12 Days of Something II: When “I Have No Taste” Became A Thing

The exposition by this character in this scene insulted my intelligence enough to drop it

The exposition by this character in this scene insulted my intelligence enough to drop it

I’ve mentioned before in this space repeatedly how I always seem to miss out on the shows that people are watching. Either my taste is so different from the norm or I’m desperately unlucky. So just to keep you all entertained, I present the following list of shows that I dropped or didn’t feel the need to watch and some of the things that have been said on why I should have watched them.

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12 Days of Something II: It’s More Fun When You Have to Travel a Bit

That weekend in Baltimore, there were a lot of people in crazy costumes. And there were some cosplayers too.

Going into this year, I believe the number of people from the anime blogosphere stood at a mere two. Even going into April I wasn’t really expecting to add to that number even as recently as early June. Then some unexpected stuff happened and I found myself attending an anime convention on the east coast. And just before then, I had scheduled my first trip abroad. Because I was determined that the dreams that were crushed as part of getting that passport meant that it would go unused, it would mean I wasted a bunch of money. But enough about the past, this is about 2012.
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12 Days of Something II: A Tale of Two Halves

This is legitimately terribad, and I thought it was better than Hyouka.

This is legitimately terribad, and I thought it was better than Hyouka.

Jormungand, Sengoku Collection, Lupin the 3rd: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna, Natsuiro Kiseki, Nazo no Kanojo X, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan, Sakamichi no Apollon, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, Upotte!!, Space Brothers, Queen’s Blade Rebellion…I know that’s technically a list rather than a real sentence, but that is the list of shows that began in the spring season and would have been in the top five episodes I watched each week. There’s probably a very noticeable series that did not make that list if you kept track of when I started doing those weekly recaps again. That would be Hyouka if you were paying attention.

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12 Days of Something II: I Timed This So Badly

Shockingly, Nisemonogatari doesn't make the list.

Shockingly, Nisemonogatari doesn’t make the list.

What you are reading here is the beginning of this blog’s 500th post. I worked it out so amazingly well that it falls dead in the middle of another bunch of posts and so it will be buried for weeks on end. So in that spirit, I’ve decided to do a list of my top anime. The humiliation won’t last all that long because of when this is scheduled thankfully.

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12 Days of Something II: Effort is Both Underrated and Overrated, or to put it Another Way, It Is Properly Rated

Look away now if you want to retain your sanity at what is about to follow

Look away now if you want to retain your sanity at what is about to follow

April was a rough month for me. It almost always is. It wasn’t that there was anything going particularly wrong with this blog, rather it was about my mental state at the time. But this post isn’t really about that, it is one particular man. A man who tries very hard at his job, and when he doesn’t get results, he’s called things like a flop, a rich man’s desperate project, past his best, etc. However, for a brief moment in late April, he caused some to literally orgasm in joy as a result of his being lazy. Oh yes, following last year’s completely ignored post on Stoke City, I now present to you Effort’s Fernando Torres.

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12 Days of Something II: Pointless Debate #31 – The Interrogation Post

This is not relevant to anything in this post.

This is not relevant to anything in this post.

There was this post game thing that was going around back in August. I answered a few of the questions, but I never actually got around to publishing it. Basically is was some questions proposed by someone followed by my own proposed questions to go on to the next person, but as the time is long since passed, that last part never happened. Unlike someone who wants to see Ryan Giggs answer the unsolvable question below some District 9 fanart, I tried the best that I could to legitimately answer these questions..

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12 Days of Something II: Unfortunate Cross-Promotion

Corporate synergy is at the heart of this romantic drama.

Corporate synergy is at the heart of this romantic drama.

Early in the year Ano Natsu de Matteru was generally getting good reviews from within the groups of people I follow on blogs and on Twitter. The thing that shouldn’t be forgotten from this whole experience is how closely tied in the plot was to a movie promotion.
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12 Days “Pregame SKET Dance”

What I expected to talk about before this particular game

This is part of a series of shorter posts recapping some of the more whimsical aspects of 2011, and not necessarily having to do with any of the main topics covered by this blog. Plus, the NBA season kicks off today.

Back when the NBA playoffs were reaching their climax, the pregame conversations were a little interesting. Usually this would be banter about how we all wanted the Heat to fail gloriously, competitive imbalance in the NBA, Toronto’s destruction of talent and since we were all bloggers to some extent what we had watched during the week.

What I actually got.

As this was prior to my dropping SKET Dance because it probably wouldn’t finish until 2022, I was still somewhat up to speed on it prior to game 4 of the NBA Finals. That was when Kuro decided to feed the audio from the episode which had the Kansai version of Kimi ni Todoke into the Skype chat. I can’t remember much of what happened after that, whether we were talking about the episode or not. Maybe because it seemed to come out of nowhere I was at a complete loss of words.

An ugly game then followed, with Dallas ultimately prevailing when Action Dirk willed his team to victory at the end. Can shonen comedy propel people thousands of miles away to great things?