Tuesday, December 25, 2012


It's winter break time, so Kathryn and I can properly marathon anime in decent company! We recently barreled through Shiki, this horror anime from 2010 that various Things have been yelling at us to watch for a while now, so here is a nice dual post.

Shiki is the best horror series I've seen in a long a time, and easily the best vampire anything I've ever seen, ever. As a general principle, I really really detest vampire stuff, considering what our Modern Generation tends to do with them, etc etc. No, not only the Twilight bullshit; I think my loathing began somewhere with the Interview with a Vampire series? I don't really care at all about vampires and their vampire society bullshit and in general it just pisses me off. But I liked Bram Stoker's original novel well enough, and the really old traditional horror/superstition stuff is pretty nice. Shiki is more like that kind of stuff-- weird shit going on, mysterious deaths unexplained by conventional reasoning, things that go bump in the night, increasing body counts, and so on.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Alice finishes Penguindrum

(Kathryn wouldn't let me read her last post until I finished anyway, so it's probably mostly her fault)

Ok, so I've already seen Utena, so it's not like I wasn't expecting total mindfuckery and weird shit and symbolism and what-the-fuck-is-going-on. Not that I'm fully clear on all of that too. That's ok, really; it is what makes this show so special. I will leave to others to fixate on and overanalyze over and drive themselves crazy with. But there's a few things I am still stuck on. Namely:


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Post-Mawaru Penguindrum: a.k.a. My Brain Hurts, Help

You must play this while reading this post.  It is a requirement.  Carry on.

Stuck in your head FOREVER
So I just finished Mawaru Penguindrum a few days ago and....phew.  That was sure...something.  I'm not certain that my brain has quite managed to process it yet.  For the record, I am more comfortable with rants than proper reviews, so...bear with me.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Scanlation editorials and unexpected fury

My turn for a little rant thing. So I've been reading last week's One Piece (691), blah blah blah, ridiculous shounen fights, wacky hijinks, etc. Business as usual, end of chapter, nothing left to see, right?

Hold up, there's still the scanlator's remarks and credits. Wait, wait, what is this sexist bullshit???

Seriously? Seriously? Wow, way to be a sexist prick. "Oh, look at me and my manly awesome interests that totally teach me such valuable lessons in life; you stupid girls with your pop music that is as shallow and effeminate as you are would never be able to grasp its greatness which is why I am so much better than you."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Nerdrage Problems: Kathryn Style

And now it is time to showcase my special nerdrage problems, in a segment I like to call "I took way too many anatomy classes in college and this is what I have to show for it."

Zetsuen no Tempest (spoilers) is a show about this girl who dies and her brother who is creepily way too attached to her and his friend who was secretly dating that other dude's sister and some sort of apocalyptic death tree and a guy that dresses like Inspector Gadget with a trident and a mage on an island whose breast to waist to hip ratio is a little disturbing and who may or may not be dead already.  And Shakespeare quotes.  Yeah.  So what we have in episodes 7-9 is, for all intents and purposes, Hakaze Kusaribe's skeleton, which we examine while the characters are talking to her from some sort of inter-dimensional wooden voodoo doll.

Hakaze Kusaribe's magical size-changing breasts, meet inter-dimensional wooden voodoo doll.
This episode, while being dreadfully boring, gave me a chance to concentrate more on the actual skeleton.  Part of the story hinges on the fact that this is definitely Hakaze Kusaribe's skeleton.  Now, it is fairly easy to determine the sex of a skeleton given the right information, i.e. landmarks on the pelvis and skull, so in my obsessiveness, I started screencapping pictures of the skeleton in order to do just that.

So, determination of the sex of a skeleton from the pelvis alone involves:
1) width of the greater sciatic notch
2) subpubic concavity (basically how wide/narrow the angle at the front of the pelvis is, underneath the pubic symphysis)
3) ventral arc
4) pelvic inlet (how large or small the hole through the pelvis is - i.e. baby head size or no)
5) size/shape of sacrum (shorter and blunter in females, you know, so it doesn't get in the way of the baby's head)

Kinda like this, but drawn better and less exaggerated 
The detail on the skeleton in Zetsuen no Tempest is very inconsistent.  The ribs are drawn very well, and surprisingly, the correct number are present (12 total, with 11 and 12 as "floating ribs" not attached to the sternum).  From a distance the appendicular skeleton (limbs) appear to be well drawn.  But in the skull and the pelvis, the only two areas that are consistently reliable in sexing a skeleton, the detail is severely lacking!  Coincidence?  ...Yeah, probably.


Look at this gloriously detailed (male) pelvis!  WHY CAN'T YOU DRAW IT LIKE THAT
However, it does appear from the screencap that the subpubic concavity is fairly wide, an indicator of a female skeleton.  Off to a good start!  
Wish all you want, those sacral foramina won't just draw themselves...
From here we seem to have a decent view of the greater sciatic notch, which is very wide (notably female). and the ventral arc, which also appears female.  Most of the landmarks indicate that the sex of the pelvis is female, except for the unusually long sacrum, which narrows the pelvic inlet considerably.  It would be difficult for a baby's head to get out of that hole without breaking her coccyx, let me tell you.  All in all, though, even with the lack of detail, the pelvis does appear to be on the female side of the spectrum.  Bravo, anime.  You have validated my nerdiness.

HOWEVER.  The skull is just dreadful.  Beyond dreadful.  There aren't the proper words to describe how dreadful that skull looks.  The skeletal landmarks are all wrong and/or completely missing (WHERE IS THE MASTOID PROCESS).  It would look so much better with a little more detail!  ALSO.  Why does everyone draw skulls with completely black holes for eye sockets and the nasal aperture?!  They are not black sockets!  In fact, the orbit is backed almost entirely by the sphenoid bone, save for the passage for the optic nerve!  And the nasal aperture almost always has a line of bone down the center (vomer) and sinuses can clearly be seen on either side!  No more black pits!

Yes this is a replica but it is a DAMN GOOD REPLICA
And then this happened.  Close up of the hand, what?  What even is this? What are those distal phalanges!  It looks like a doll's hand!   UNACCEPTABLE.


Really.  I can't.  
But in the end, everyone knows the absolute best way to tell the sex of a skeleton... from the boobs!


The next one will be an actual review.  I promise.  Maybe.  We'll see.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nerdrage problems

You know you have nerdrage problems when, more than the occasional WTF plot, more than the increasingly boob-exposing outfits, more than generic shonen dullness, this is the single most irritating thing about One Piece.

Seriously, what is that even supposed to mean??????

Monday, December 3, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Perils of Reading Forums: Shinsekai Yori

Why do I keep reading anime forum posts, when I know full well that they will only make me angry?

Case in point: MAL posts on Episode 8 of Shinsekai Yori.

Yes, yes, I am aware that Episode 8 aired two weeks ago, but when I checked the forums two weeks ago this post did not exist, so I am retroactively going into rage mode.

I have been following Shinksekai Yori weekly since it started airing in September, and it has definitely kept me interested enough to keep watching.  The soundtrack features the second movement of Dvořák's New World Symphony (which also showed up in Mawaru Penguindrum, one of the seven other shows I am simultaneously watching, thus breaking my brain), and good music is always a selling point for me.  The art style is interesting, if a bit inconsistent at times, and the plot is bizarre enough that I want to know what happens next.  But this is all beside the point.  Episode 8 of Shinksekai Yori in particular featured numerous same-sex couples, and both a yaoi and yuri scene - that were not even remotely explicit, unless you are dreadfully offended by kissing.  (Cue the inevitable jokes about Shinsekai Yaoi / Shinsekai Yuri, hurr hurr)

And the thing about it is, even for people who haven't read the novel or manga, this has been evident since early in the show when they went into detail about their "bonobo-like" society.  This should not have come as a surprise if you have been paying any attention at all.

I have a bad habit of visiting the MAL forums after I watch episodes of shows.   I noticed today that someone had made a post entitled "How many of you dropp(ed) the anime after finishing episode 8?"  I should have known better.  I should have stayed away.  But no.  I had to sate my curiosity, and I ventured into what I knew would be rage inducing territory.

Here are some of the lovely responses found in the MAL forums:

Hey dude, your homophobia is showing. 

The homo?  Really?  
Clearly these are forum posts from the cream of humanity.  The most frustrating thing about all of this is the absurd hypocrisy of it all.  So you like the yuri, but the yaoi is disgusting?  It's only okay if the yuri cancels it out?  Bad news, fuckfaces, they're all "homo".   But I'm glad that you feel the need to justify your masculinity through your ignorance on a public forum.   You know what?   Here you go.  You can watch this gif over and over and over again until the inevitable gay-pocalypse when society collapses and everyone catches homosexuality and FUCK YOU.

That said, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.  Even if those opinions make them fucking assholes.

Of course, I am well aware of the futility of arguing with the Hive-mind of Internet Morons that hide behind their laptops and troll forums.  But that in no way precludes me from calling them out on their dickery.  To those people: you can all go fuck yourselves with something hard and sandpapery.  Good day to you!

There.  Now that I am done ranting, have a nice special Madoka Magica crossover wtf picture.

But where is Kyubey?!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A wild anime blog appears!

Angst and Pocky is inevitably going to be some sort of anime/manga blog monstrosity.  We watch a lot of anime (well, Kathryn does; Alice goes in more for manga-reading binges) but since both of us are cursed with a tragic lack of decent anime-watching buddies, we decided we ought to properly collate our various reviews/rants/commentary/what-have-yous that we toss at each other into some more organized format.

Alice occasionally likes going on and on about pointless un-fun things like misogyny and representation and character development and stuff like that in what she watches and reads. Also cats! She is a manga reading fiend, mostly because she has no life and likes to procrastinate. She didn't watch much anime until last year, when Kathryn prodded her into not being too lazy to sit in front of a screen to watch colorful shit for hours at a time. Yes, that is in fact an accurate representation of her degree of laziness.

Kathryn initially just really wanted a place to disgorge her particularly vitriolic invectives about SAO, a show that Alice is extremely happy to completely pass up. She actually keeps up more with "current" shows, so she will easily be the more relevant of the two of us. She also occasionally partakes in watching Live Action Things, Sometimes Even Those Of Western Origin (Horror of Unspeakable Horrors).

As for the title of the blog:  Kathryn decided on the name Angst and Pocky because, apparently, that is what she remembers most out of watching both seasons of Vampire Knight a few weeks ago.  More accurately, angst, Pocky, and surprise incest, but that would probably not make for a very good blog title.

If you are curious, here are links to our various MAL things:
Kathryn: Anime
Alice: Anime Manga

Let the rants commence!