Well, we’ll be the judge of that, won’t we?
Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Ep. 1
— Ichiro is our main character, and it looks like he has to work overtime to try and get a game out in time. Maybe multiple games. I guess that’s what a death march is. This is the first time I’ve heard of the term, though.
— Our hero looks bored even in the OP. He’s like a bargain bin Kirito.
— This office seems poorly-lit. I know it’s for the people sleeping on the ground, but still, it doesn’t seem safe to me. Plus, they’re packed in there like sardines.
— Why would you go to some random programmer to discuss the game’s difficulty? In response, Ichiro starts coming up with gameplay ideas on the fly. Wouldn’t this sort of thing be hashed out in a meeting between the product managers? In any case, Tubby then goes, “I’ll leave the implementation to you…” Maybe mobile game development is just that different, but I doubt it.
— Afterwards, we get some random scene where Ichiro almost helps a lost girl crying for her parent, but before he can find a policeman to assist the child, the mother shows up. He then comments on the mother’s attractiveness. What does this even add to the story?
— “I guess I should test it out.” You mean to tell me you haven’t already written out an extensive test plan? Tsk tsk.
— Some coworker randomly mentions that he hasn’t been home in three days. Is that even legal?
— Oh hey, even other characters refer to that guy as Tubby!
— Ichiro is told to get a girlfriend, but his career pretty much precludes a social life. Well, that’s why we’ve build this custom fantasy world full of haremettes for you, buddy!
— No wonder everyone in anime wants to stay perpetually young if this is their idea of adult life. Also, this is why I’ve always been told to stay away from game development. Long, ridiculous hours and low pay appear to be the norm in that industry. Meanwhile, my colleagues and I can casually stroll into the office at 10am, and our managers won’t even care. Why? Because they haven’t even shown up either! We’re doing okay for ourselves.
— Our hero then adds that he hasn’t bathed in three days. Don’t be that coworker, guys.
— You don’t just shout bugs across the room, do you? Isn’t there supposed to be a team that triages these bugs, then the PMs decide which ones are worked on next? What is this clown show QA process?
— Then again, an item duplication bug would pretty much be a priority zero.
— The animation really sucks, you guys. This guy’s face just looks like a bunch of components (eyes, nose, and mouth) slapped onto a flat, fleshy triangle.
— I like how details about these bugs are sent through “Messenger.” Normally, you’d have some sort of project tracking software. Jira is the one I’m used to. Tickets are created for each bug with reproduction steps, pain points, blah blah blah. Someone will then assign a priority level to these tickets, then during sprint planning or whatever you want to call it, managers will decide which tickets to work on, which tickets can wait till later, and which tickets will just be ignored entirely. At least, that’s what I’m used to. Again, I’ve never worked for a company that churns out shitty mobile games, so maybe their practices are wildly different.
— We’re already eight minutes into the episode, and our hero is still stuck in his mundane world. C’mon, get on with your pathetic escapism already.
— Late stage capitalism at work.
— So our hero goes to bed only to wake up and find himself in a new world. I thought he was going to boot up some buggy game and get sucked into his computer or something. This is even lazier than I imagined.
— Ahhhh, of course. He can’t be an adult! Adults don’t get harems! Adults don’t go on adventures! Adults don’t have fun!
— Forget the name Ichiro. That was his corporate slave name! He is now… Satoo. But we’ll call him Bargain Bin Kirito for funsies.
— For some odd reason, a stampede of lizardmen races to Bargain Bin Kirito’s location and take aim with their bow. So what does he do? He uses one of the newly implemented abilities and meteors begin to rain from the sky. This looks like ass, my dude.
— Nevertheless, all the death and destruction sends his character level rocketing into the sky. Okay, first off, these lizardmen are only around level 50. Why does killing a bunch of level 50 mobs level you up this much? Secondly, why even start new players out at level 1 if they can just use three abilities and instantly shoot up the charts? You can say that this is all a bug — or a poorly implemented feature — but then that makes Bargain Bin Kirito look even worse since he wrote it into the game.
— Bargain Bin Kirito ends up passing out. When he finally comes to, he spots one sole remaining lizardman trudging towards him. Our brave hero thinks to himself, “I’ve lost now.” Uh, did you not just level up to the hundreds? One thing for sure, The One True Kirito was never short on courage. Bargain Bin Kirito, on the other hand…
— Don’t worry, Bargain Bin Kirito still kicks the lizardman’s ass easily. He wouldn’t be a Kirito derivative if he didn’t.
— Dude, what’s even the point of magically transporting yourself into an MMO if you’re just going to start out with max stats?
— This really looks like ass. I’m enjoying this new world’s rich color palette of brown on brown.
— Oh my God, I’m literally watching this guy scroll through his inventory one-by-one. He eventually pulls out a water pouch in order to quench his thirst. Is this the most boring “stuck in an MMO” anime yet? All those scenes in the real world were actually somewhat interesting since we got to see the overworked programmers in action. Now that the fantasy MMO nonsense has begun in earnest, my interest has plummeted through the ground. Our main character can’t even be overpowered in clever ways. Since he’s a programmer, why not give him the ability to re-code the game on the fly or something? Instead, he just becomes super strong and has an inventory full of gold and loot. How unimaginative.
— Did he ever fix that item duplication bug? Maybe he could use it to his advantage… as if he wasn’t already overpowered enough.
— Naturally, Bargain Bin Kirito can’t help but dress himself in black. Like Father, like Son.
— Eventually, our hero makes his way to the nearest settlement. Even better, every single person there is super weak compared to him. Even the enemy mob attacking them is no match for him. Oh boy.
— Bargain Bin Kirito watches as a bunch of lowbies try to fend off a wyvern to no avail. One of his future haremettes go flying into the sky as a result, so he leaps into action and this looks so bad.
— And with that, the episode is over. This is amazingly terrible. I’m almost stunned.
Marchen Madchen Ep. 1
A clumsy and painfully shy bookworm has probably never gotten over her mother’s death. She tends to retreat to the world of fantasies in order to cope with her social anxiety. So what do we do? Lulz, let’s have her run around naked with nothing but a book to cover her. There’s not much else to say here. One fortuitous day, Hazuki stumbles upon a magical book which gains her access to a land full of mages. Hot, cute mages, by the way. Even the older ones. And in this new world, Hazuki will unlock her own magical potential… with tons of fanservice along the way. But please, try to watch this show for the plot. In any case, if you’ve ever wanted a lewd version of Little Witch Academia, your wish has probably come true. At its best, however, Little Witch Academia was legitimately funny. Somehow, I doubt Marchen Madchen will measure up.
Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san Ep. 2
My opinion of this show hasn’t changed since last week’s episode. It’s not as informative as I had hoped it to be. I want to learn about all the different styles and preparations of ramen. Instead, what I get is a bunch of gimmicky, specialty ramen. Stuff like natto kimchi cream cheese ramen. Pineapple ramen. Ice cream ramen. I don’t doubt that these quirky ramen concoctions exist. They certainly do! But if you’re going to bring them up, then tell me what they taste like. Describe them to me. Paint me a picture and make me hungry! But instead, the show seems content to pay a bunch of voice actors to slurp and moan into the mic.
We spend the rest of the episode getting to know Misa and Jun, but who really cares about them? Misa is your classic tsundere who can’t get a boyfriend because she’s too intimidatingly popular. Sure. As for Jun, she’s the brains of the group, but she gave up on ramen because her classmates made fun of her glasses fogging up. Yeeeeeeah, that’s really lame and boring. I think the next time I blog about this show, I’ll just use it as an excuse to visit some ramen shops in San Francisco.
Mensho Tokyo was last ramen shop that I visited, and the San Francisco location specializes in tori paitan, a chicken-based broth. As you can probably tell from the photo above, it’s amazingly creamy and filling. There’s even a frothy consistency to the broth here. It almost reminded me of cream of mushroom soup. Of course, you get all the usual toppings with each order, but my favorite had to be the kale and burdock. When the broth is that rich, you need the bitterness from the leafy greens to cut through the fat. I have nothing to negative to say about the pork and duck chashu, but they can definitely get lost beneath the soup.
Side note: the photo above was taken by my friend. Being the gluttonous bastard that I am, I dug into mine without even thinking of snapping a picture.