Is Cutie Honey Universe Good, or a Bust?

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Anyone keeping abreast of the latest news in anime will probably be aware that there is a new Cutie Honey series airing, and it definitely opens with a well-rounded pair of episodes that are significantly more interesting than one might expect from something so self-evidently lurid and lewd.

[HorribleSubs] Cutie Honey Universe - 01 [480p].mkv_snapshot_00.30_[2018.04.09_22.19.51]

It’s a big, in-your-face kind of series with everything on display from the start, which I feel does a fine job of modernising the original concept without quite being so trashy as some of the OVA versions. Of course, this assessment is based only on the show’s opening episodes, amply front-loaded as they are with action and also exposition to provide a firm backstory for the hero.

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There’s no shortage of foreshadowing, suggesting at least there is the intention of telling some kind of deeper story, and I think the decision to hold off on the exposition and origin story until the second episode works.

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Take Me Back to the 1980s

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You could fairly argue City Hunter (1987) and Cat’s Eye (1983) are opposite sides, narratively, of the same coin; one is about a glamorous playboy private eye recovering missing objects and saving beautiful women from peril, the other is about three beautiful women stealing gems and objets d’art. They are tonally and stylistically similar, to an extent, occupying what can be called the imaginary 1980s that is a preoccupation of a lot of pop culture and which is being revived in the modern popularisation of retrowave, synth and vaporwave aesthetics. Obviously, being products of the start and end of the 1980s, they are a more honest and authentic depiction of the idealism that pervades this kind of pop culture than later evocations of it which filter their perception through nostalgia for these original works.

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Wargame Playtest AAR – Foreign Stars

The Forces

A-Force:

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M1AX Isaac Main Battle Tank
– Medium Vehicle, Heavy Cannon, Machine Gun, Grenade Launcher

2x VIRTU Rifle Section (8 Troopers)
– Assault Rifles

2x AT2 Anti-Tank Team
– Medium Missile Launchers

B-Force:

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VIRTU A9 Frame
– Large Melee Weapon, Small Laser Cannon

VIRTU A7 Frame
– Large Melee Weapon, Heavy MMG

2x VIRTU Rifle Section (8 Troopers)
– Assault Rifles

2x AT2 Anti-Tank Team
– Medium Missile Launchers

2x MG92 Machine Gun Team
– MMGs

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Full Thrust Project Continuum Battle Report – Scouting Mission at Itomori Star Zone

Fleet Lists

EFS Taskforce Itomori:

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Artemis-class Cruiser EFS Adamant

Tsukuyomi-class Cruisers EFS Repulse, Revenge and Resolute

Nephthys-class Destroyers EFS Jupiter and Juno

Chandra-class Frigates EFS Crisis, Critic and Castle

AISN Forward Group 3185:

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Meridiel-class Cruisers AISN Fiora Froleya and Caldis Varden

Chiithan-class Destroyer AISN Dethan

Irivel-class Frigates AISN Mabaris, Cavaris, Theliris and Levitris

The Scenario

March 2146, three months into the Astoran invasion of human space. While the Itomori system is a relatively lightly populated one and would seem to be a reasonable buffer between the advancing Astorans and vital EFS infrastructure, its numerous gas giants are strategically significant mining operations. A reinforced cruiser group, led by Commodore Tachibana, had been sent by the Earth Fleet to defend Itomori – and had been waiting several days to see action.

Tachibana’s fleet encountered what was presumed to be an Astoran patrol on the 23rd March; a small flotilla of Irivel frigates was detected by long-range sensors on the cruiser Adamant, and the decision was made to advance into the magnetic clouds on the system’s edge to investigate. There, Tachibana encountered – apparently with the element of surprise – a small Astoran task force. Battle was joined…

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If You Think Initial D’s CGI is too High Quality, You Might Like F-Zero Falcon Densetsu

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In the grand scheme of things, F-Zero Falcon Densetsu is everything that can be conceptually wrong with an action anime – it is a needless dump of lore in adapting a game that really doesn’t need any (a racing game), it is a sports-action series that shamelessly finds excuses to make the action revolve around sports, and it is often quite ugly because of the sheer amount of flat-textured and obtrusive CGI that it relies on for action scenes. It is wholly forgettable and probably mostly forgotten (save for the existence of a Gameboy Advance game that uses its story), and yet I find myself wanting to recommend it.

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Short Story – “On Ice”

In writing a continuation of Night / Morning I decided to change the perspective and tense slightly; I wanted to keep my idea of trying to write something about the senses, about how it feels to feel alive, and indeed the discomfort of the setting, but to expand it slightly in scope. It has moved from one person in one room, in a way; it is now about someone trying to turn their current situation over in their mind.

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She… Doesn’t Hate It! (Kakegurui)

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Comparing Kakegurui to Kaiji is completely pointless. Which is why I am going to very briefly explain exactly why the two series are not comparable, and then move on to discussing what is enjoyable about Kakegurui. They are both series about gambling, for sure, and both rely on underdogs using smart tricks to try and beat villains at their own rigged games. There’s the same conflation of decadence, inhumanity, and violence – and Kakegurui adds sex. So much sex. Violence is sexy. Gambling is violent. Look at the sexy people risking their lives and fortunes in these glamorous death-games. And right there in two things we reach the reason why comparing the series is fruitless; Kaiji is unsexy, and Kaiji loses. A lot.

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Short Story – Gardes

I have been reconsidering what can be done with lost-world and ancient civilisation narratives. And I realised that an imagined setting I was working on, of a magical school in an ultimately colonial age, could stand to be shaken up a little.

Thus I wrote this, about an emissary of a lost civilisation making his existence known to the world. It is a direct sequel to Lunch at the Real…

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