Ace Anime Review Rwednesdays #6: Playing Ketchup

ace anime reviews presents: the naptime hour

Audio Transcript: Ace Anime Reviews Rwednesday
24 February 2021
Ace (A), Charlie (C), Noah Haley (NH)

C: Hi!  And welcome to Ace Anime Reviews, where we talk about anime, and video games, and whatever else we’re into this week! I’m Charlie, they/him, and I’ll be hosting this week, and this is our Founder…

A: I’m Ace Barret King, I use he/him pronouns, and we didn’t record last week because I was asleep, and we’re not going to record very animatedly this week because we all would like to be asleep.

NH: Right. That includes me! I’m Noah. They/them. Fuck, man, today’s been hard, hasn’t it. 

C: Mm-hm.

A: It’s hard.

NH: Yeah. So. Charlie-

C: (crosstalk) Hello, Eisenheim. 

NH: Hello, Eisenheim.

C: Eisenheim has come to play.

NH: That’s a shame.

C: So! A quick rundown of our site: Ace Anime Reviews is a site on wordpress, where we post about anime, and video games, and webtoons, and whatever else we’re interested in. Our most recent article was written by me, wasn’t it?

NH: Mm-hm. Hades.

C: Yes. It was in- a half-hearted defense of Hades

NH: The character.

C: The character, in Hades, the game. 

NH: (crosstalk) I mean-

C: Because while he is a terrible, terrible father, he’s not as bad as some fathers.

NH: He’s not all that bad for an Olympic father, really. 

C: Yeah… He’s certainly better than Zeus. 

NH: That’s a low bar to clear!

C: Yeah.

A: Yeah, very- very few – it’s very difficult to be a worse father than Zeus. 

C: Yeah.

NH: I mean, I suppose their father managed it.

C: And, you know, with as many children as Zeus has, you’d think he’d’ve got the hang of it by now.

A: Nah, he probably just collects them like Pokemon, like our mother does.

C: (laughs in bitter childhood memories) It’s true.

NH: Got a full team now.

C: Yeah. 

NH: Unfortu-

C: OK, um… You were saying?

A: What?

NH: Who? Me?

C: Haley was saying something while I quickly pull up our Patreon so I could read the tiers.

NH: Oh, I was gonna prompt you to talk about the most recent review. Ace, what’s your next review gonna be about? That’s due on Friday, isn’t it?

C: Mm-hm.

A: It was going to be about King’s Game, but then I decided I wanted to write something about That Dio-Ass Motherfucker™ before Sk8 the Infinity stops airing, and next month I’m writing something about Natsume’s Harvest Moon games, and why it’s a bad company, it doesn’t deserve your money, and the games that it makes are bad. So it’s gonna have to be this week- yeah, this week it’s gonna be something about the Dio-Ass Motherfucker™.

NH: Oh, I see, you’re gonna scoop me. 

A: And King’s Game will wait for next time, when I don’t have anything timely in mind, or in need of something fluffy to cover for somebody not doing- doing theirs.

C: That’s fair. 

NH: I don’t actually know if Fen’s gonna do theirs next time.

C: We could always ask.

NH: I mean, I told her when it was expected, and she never responded. 

A: Yeah.

C: That’s not surprising. Ok, we also have a Patreon, as we’ve mentioned. There’s only, what, three tiers right now? 

A: Yeah, there’s just three.

NH: Yeah.

C: Yeah, and it’s the standard higher one gets everything from the lower one, so I’ll just do a quick run down. First tier is Early Access and Voting Power, that’s one dollar a month, where you get early access to our reviews that aren’t First Impressions or premieres. And you get to vote on the monthly light novel review by Fen, if she’s still doing them, and any other polls we put up. Second tier is access to our Discord, where you can come and chat to us and each other about video games, and anime, and all that. And then third-

A: (crosstalk) (amused) This guy’s parents named him Watkin.

NH: What?

A: They named- his parents named him Watkin.

C: That’s a wonderful name. And our final tier is entry into a monthly sweepstakes where you can actually join us on our chats, and, you know, disagree with everything we say. 

NH: That’s fine.

C: Or, you know, yeah. And that’s it for Patreon, I do believe. 

NH: Normally, this would also be right around where we shout out new patrons. That’s why we’re reading our tiers, so we have new patrons to shout out. 

C: Yes, please. Please support us. Two of us have no job, and the other is currently working two.

A: But only gets paid for one, which is why I need-

C: (crosstalk) Yeah.

NH: Yeah. Oh, I have to fill in- finish my college shit. Don’t go to college.

A: No, college is for nerds.

C: Yeah. Ok, what anime would you like to start talking about today?

A: Before we actually start talking about anime, the Anime Awards were last week.

NH: Oh yeah? What won?

C: Were they?
A: On Crunchyroll, and anime of the year was Jujutsu Kaisen, which was absolute bullshit, because Akudama Drive came out last year, and it was a cyberpunk heist spectacle about how all cops are bastards that managed to stick the landing. And it should have won. But-

NH: (crosstalk) Akudama Drive? That sounds familiar.

A: (crosstalk) Anime Awards are, yeah, Anime Awards are voted on by the peop- the masses, and the masses are dumb.

C: Mm-hm.

A: And voted for Jujutsu Kaisen. Which is good, it’s a good anime, I like it. But Akudama Drive is better, and it’s more fitting for 2020.

C: Yeah.

A: So, yeah, that’s what I wanted to say about that. And, also, before we actually start talking about specific episodes, the director of Wonder Egg Priority posted on Twitter a couple weeks ago about when the mannequins were saying their sexist bullshit about, about why boys and girls commit suicide. Neiru was going to 

NH and C: (crosstalk): Mm-hm.

A: call them out on it. She was going to say something along the lines of ‘when it comes to their brains, boys and girls are the same.’ But the director decided to cut the line because they felt that her disagreement with their statement was clear from her body language and tone. 

C: Well, that’s fair.

NH: Whose disagreement was clear?

A: Neiru’s. 

NH: No, it wasn’t clear. I mean, maybe to someone who reads body language, it was clear, but, like. I didn’t get that. I just got general annoyance at their existence because they kept talking when they were trying to have an important conversation. 

A: Yeah. But, yeah, that was- Also, Momoe’s, so Momoe’s thing, about whether she’s trans, or gay, or not, I think they’re going to intentionally keep it clear – I mean keep it vague, so that queer people can have, so she can speak to any number of queer identities and experiences. 

C: That’s fair.

A: That being said, I did see somebody saying that she’s, that she’s definitely a lesbian. But I don’t believe that? 

NH: Neither do-

C: Not-

A: She might be. Or she might be bi. But if she is she hasn’t accepted it. Because this person’s theory is that she just doesn’t like being seen as ‘the guy’ in a lesbian relationship, but she also was not happy when her friend who treats her like a girl wanted their relationship to become romantic. So either she’s in the closet, or she’s not gay. 

C: Yeah…

NH: Or she’s ace.

A: Yeah. Well, asexual would be ‘not gay.’ 

C: Yeah.

NH: Yeah.

C: She was very clearly uncomfortable last time she got a love letter from a girl. 

A: (inaudible)

NH: Yeah, she’s very clearly not into any of this romantic/sexual bullshit. 

A: Yeah. So she’s either asexual, or she’s in the closet. 

NH: Or both. 

A: Or both. Or she’s straight, but, you know. 

NH: Karol out here murdering his family. 

A: I think I’m lost. Ok, but, specifically, should we talk about last week’s episodes? I guess we can talk about it. So last week, the egg in the OP cracked. Well, it might’ve been like that before, but I don’t

NH: (crosstalk) It always does that. 

A: And Rika just casually dropped some dark shit – well, we’ll talk about that more when we get to this week’s episode. So the whole thing with Sawaki, and them thinking that Ai has a crush on Sawaki.

C: (crosstalk) Mm-hm.

A: She obviously doesn’t. Like, Neiru saying that her liking him is Occam’s Razor, but Occam’s Razor is that she doesn’t like the idea of her mom dating her teacher, because her mom dating her teacher is weird and inappropriate. 

C: Yeah…

NH: Mm-hm.

C: And, I guess all the denial could be read as ‘oh, she protests too much,’ but I didn’t get that. She obviously doesn’t like him like that. 

A: She thinks that Sawaki might’ve have something to do with her friend’s suicide; why would she like him? She doesn’t trust him! That’s very obvious every time he, like, even is mentioned. 

NH: Yeah.

A: But, yeah. And then this week, first of all, I have a note that says ‘FitFat,’ because I thought that was cute. But also that whole, the sentiment that you cannot criticize your mom is really dumb, and toxic, and I’d really like that to die. Just because somebody has a child doesn’t make them infallible.

NH: (crosstalk) I don’t think she was- I don’t think Momo’s point was-

A: That was what Momoe was saying, Momoe was trying to tell Rika not to talk shit about her mom, but – Momoe was not comfortable with Rika not being happy with her mom, was the thing.

NH: (crosstalk) I think it was more the extent she took it to.

A: Like, we’re obviously not supposed to agree with Momoe. Or at least, I don’t think we were supposed to agree with Momoe on that, because her mother is-

NH: Oh, definitely not.

A: Definitely needs some criticism.  But, yeah. Where am I supposed to go? 

NH: To the nearest walkthrough. 

A: No! I will not! I refuse to go to a walkthrough! I’ll click on everything until something happens. 

NH: Oh, brief divergence! Diverting from current anime for a minute. I did start watching the Angels of Death anime. I’ve gotten through to the end of Eddie’s floor. But, uh – Was it Eddie’s floor? Was it Eddie or Cathy who was first?

A: Eddie is the gravedigger and Cathy’s the warden, and Eddie came first.

NH: I got through to the end of Cathy’s floor then. And, that show’s weird as hell!

A: I know! Isn’t it great? I love it. 

NH: Yeah, I mean. There’s a lot of people who need very intensive therapy.

A: Yeah, but the therapist that we see is a gaslighting possible pedophile, so 

NH: (crosstalk, to Pokemon) No, no, no, no, Judith, no! Yeah, it’s great, makes me feel real cool.

A: And then the other therapist that we see at the end is really bad at her job, so, like… 

NH: Yeah.

A: But that’s more than we usually get. Usually anime pretends that therapy doesn’t exist, but this one, it’s just that the therapists we see are shitty!

NH: Yeah, it’s just implying that therapy does more harm than good.

A: Well, no. Not really, it’s just that bad therapy does a lot of harm. 

NH: If it doesn’t go out of its way to show good therapy, what are we supposed to compare it to?

A: Yeah, well, because if they show good therapy, then that would take away the fun.

C: They might be getting to that.

A: Well, no, it’s not. But, um. Because that would take away the fun. That’s not the fun- the fun is not seeing these people, like, it would, yes, Rachel, they all need therapy, and it would be better for them to get therapy, but that wouldn’t be fun. You know?

NH: It’s supposed to be fun? 

A: ‘Cause the game, it’s-

NH: Am I supposed to be having fun? 

A: Well, yeah, it’s a silly show.

NH: I think I’m consuming it wrong.

A: Well, yeah. ‘Cause it’s, it’s, you need to watch it as a [dark] comedy. If you watch it as a [dark] comedy-

NH: You need to watch it-? Ah, yes, let’s watch this, these little flashbacks here about a child being forced to bury one of his foster siblings in a grave in the backyard. That’ll be funny.

A: He probably ate the foster sibling. Like, we saw him eating chunks of something, and I think those chunks of something might’ve been foster sibling. 

NH: That’s not-! The, uh, no, that’s not funnier!

(Ace laughs.)

NH: That doesn’t make it funnier, it makes my reactions funnier for you guys!

A: Well, just remember that there was an arc that was a parody of an otome game, where instead of figuring out who she wanted to date, she had to figure out which of these guys she wanted to kill her. That’s pretty funny.

C: (deeply concerned) Hmmmm. 

NH: I mean, I’ll take your word for it, that’s not- they didn’t adapt that way into the show, it’s just more of the creepy bullshit. (to Pokemon) I would like to level up.

A: I think that, I think that’s kind of a problem. I think the change in art style actually kinda does it a disservice. Like, having a nicer art style. Like, the more stylized one that it has – sorry – the characters in the game look great. They look super- they just ooze with personality.

A: And they look good in the anime, too, but they lose a bit…

NH: Well, I think it’s more the change of medium than the art style, like. There’s a certain amount of engagement that is required to beat an adventure game.

A: Yeah, there’s that, too.

NH: That isn’t as interesting when your protagonist is figuring everything out so quickly on their own. I don’t wanna watch-

A: (crosstalk) Yeah, I mean… Well, one of your protagonists is; the other protagonist can’t figure out shit, ‘cause he’s dumb. 

NH: He’s a dumb boy, but you know what? 

A: His strategy is smash it, and if he can’t smash it, ask Ray. 

NH: Hey, I relate to that, honestly.

A: Yeah.

NH: That’s why I- what are you?

A: I think in a lot of fan stuff, where they do give them a sequel, they do have a tendency to, like, or even, like, not, they tend to refer to Zack as Ray’s ‘mummy onii-chan’, but let’s be real. In their actual dynamic, Rachel is the big, is the big sibling looking after Zack. Because Zack cannot take- cannot function on his own. Barely.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Noah & I ended up talking more about this later over on discord, which I’m including here for your reading pleasure:


A: But, yeah. Are we done talking about, I guess we’re done talking about Wonder Egg Priority.

NH: Oh, sorry, I got distracted. 

A: Yeah. Did we wanna say anything else about the eggs? Those, the little mascots are cute. Rika has the best one ‘cause it’s a turtle. 

(NH and C agree.)

A: Also, she is still a badass. 

(NH and C agree.)

NH: Yeah. I am sympathetic to Rika. I don’t like it. I resent being made to feel sympathy for her through this particular method, but. 

A: Yeah. We have a special kinship with people who, who don’t, with shitty moms. 

(NH and C agree.)

A: Though, as far as shitty moms go, her mom is not that bad. She does try. Seems like it’s mostly just resentment over her not keeping her promise to tell her about her dad. 

NH: I mean, her reaction to her child’s birthday was to just hand her money and say ‘go buy yourself a gift.’

A: But she also got her a cake. Like, normally, like, normally you’d think that if – Like, normally in fiction, if your mom is a drunk, she doesn’t even remember your birthday. 

NH: That’s true. (to Pokemon) Don’t use that, that shinx is going to be immune to that. 

A: Yeah. And, let’s see, anything else?

NH: Oh! [I will say this episode did disprove my theory] from the other week.

A: ‘Oh’ what?

NH: Where your, the eggs that hatch have to be ready to stand up and help them save them? Because the cult suicide-

A: Yeah, that definitely didn’t happen this time. 

NH: Oh, no. 

A: The, she was still all in. 

NH: Oh, yeah. Which was kind of the whole point of her egg, because if she hadn’t been all in, we wouldn’t have had an episode quite like the one we got. Which was a good episode!

A: I like that one, the girl last week, the one who could see ghosts. 

NH: Oh, that was so good!

A: Yeah! That her thing was less the ghosts itself, and more nobody believing her. 

NH: Yeah.

A: That was cool. 

NH: That was very sweet.

A: I guess I’m just gonna wander around because I don’t know where to go or what to do!

NH: Just look up a guide!

A: I don’t want to! I figured this out before, I will figure it out again!

NH: Did you figure it out before, or did someone guide you through it?

A: I figured it out! I –

C: (crosstalk) Our brother is smart!

A: I also was not distracted by trying to talk about anime at the same time. 

NH: Speaking of anime, Horimiya.

A: Horimiya! Oh, I think, I think Hori’s dad and I might actually be the same person. ‘Cause, let’s see…

NH: Explain!

A: Well! I also tell people not to fall in when they announce their bathroom breaks. I cannot [recognize] anyone who deviates even a little from their usual appearance, and, let’s be real, if I had a teenage daughter with a boyfriend, I would troll him exactly the same way Kyousuke trolls Miyamura. 

NH: That’s fair. 

C: Yeah… You are a troll.

NH: But you’re much more handsome.

C: Yes.

NH: And funnier.

A: Also, I have a comment here that’s ‘Mommy, what was yours and dad’s first kiss like?’ ‘He STOLE my CANDY!’

(NH and C laugh.)

A: This week the teenagers engaged in sexual activity. So, you know.

NH: Yeah, we got that.

C: Fantastic.

A: Yep. Fun times. And also, I don’t think –

NH: (crosstalk) And she left a bite mark on him. 

A: Also, I don’t think Sengoku has ears.

NH: Hm?

A: Sengoku has no ears. That’s my theory. Is that he doesn’t have ears. We know Sakura has ears because they hold up her glasses. But Sengoku has no ears. 

NH: This is truly…

C: I’m going to pretend I understand what you’re talking about, mm-hm. 

A: He’s the student council president.

NH: The student council president that Hori used to bully. 

A: Yeah. He’s got no ears. Also…

NH: (crosstalk) He could just have very flat ears.

A: I like the, I like the gay stalker. She and Miyamura look a lot alike. 

NH: I didn’t like the gay stalker.

A: Which makes a lot of sense she’s kinda, a little bit, wanting him to be her brother, but, yeah. 

NH: Yeah? I didn’t care for-

A: I like his new haircut.

NH: I didn’t care for the queer stalker, but I did enjoy how Hori dealt with it, where it didn’t actually bother her all that much.

A: No.

NH: (to Pokemon) Don’t kill… Ok, you’re fine.

A: Anything else to say about Horimiya

C: I don’t watch it.

NH: Yeah, it’s good. And I look forward to the awkward sex talks that are in their future.

A: Yeah. Alright, should we talk about Cells at Work: Black, did you get caught up on Cells at Work: Black

C: Yeah.

NH: I’ve seen the two most recent episodes. That’s all.

A: It’s a good show.

NH: And then I googled the TV Tropes page for context.

C: It is! It’s a good show. It’s a little, a little…

A: Little what?

NH: I have a question! 

C: I don’t know… Off.

A: Yes?

NH: Why do all the female characters have enormous breasts and no bras?

A: Because it’s a seinen series.

NH: I don’t know what that means. 

A: It’s a series for adults. For grown men.

C: Fan service.

NH: Oh. 

A: The author for it, or the artist, is the same guy who wrote My Balls!

NH: I don’t know what that is.

A: Which is one of the series that I recommend- that you could’ve recommended as a sex comedy, ‘cause it’s funny. 

NH: Oh, instead of the, the rape show

A: Yeah, instead of the rape show.

NH: I did ask, oh god I don’t remember, it was either Fen or Charlie, for some recommendations, and they had nothing.

A: Yeah. But- 

NH: It was very sad. Judith grew to level six!

C: Great!

A: Let’s see… Oh, but Corpse Boulder is a great name for a band.

NH: Mm.

C: It is. It is a great name for a band.

A: Yeah. And also, I thought it was funny that the bitchy senpai tried to commit a hate crime and then got squished by the corpse boulder. 

(C cackles.)

A: Oh, and then, after watching the episode about the deep vein thrombosis, did you find yourself wiggling your legs around a lot? Like, I don’t want one of those!

C: (who hasn’t actually seen that episode yet) No?

A: I did. I developed some brief – my restless leg syndrome came back.

(C groans in sympathy.)

A: It managed to go away for a little while, since I keep getting Charley Horses since I don’t drink enough water, or get enough potassium, but it came back. And then, also, the red blood cell, and him wanting the body to breed – like, I know that he is a cell, and therefore he doesn’t have to deal with screaming infants, but I can tell you that when you are dying of overwork and stress related issues, the last thing you need is a screaming infant. 

C: Mm-hm.

A: So him, him, his sperm count going down is a good thing. But, oh, I’m glad that Red Blood Cell’s fiance is there to remind him to take it easy, and their marriage will be a good one, if the body doesn’t die. 

C: Yeah.

A: But, I think the best thing, the best ending we can expect for that series is for the body to die, but for him to be an organ donor, and an organ with our, with the cast that we have followed to end up in the body from the regular Cells at Work. So that they don’t die, and get to be in a body that is actually healthy.

NH: I mean, they would still be dead at this point, realistically, I don’t think cells actually live that long. 

A: Well, no, but they also- 

NH: Or is that just a skin thing?

A: That’s part of the conceit of the series. ‘Cause, like, in the regular Cells at Work, they had one about [scabs], and both the red blood cell and the white blood cell were in a [scab]

, and realistically, that would be the end of them. They would be dead. But they were fine in the next episode, so. Sometimes they do play fast and loose with reality. Also, cells, I don’t know if you knew this, don’t look like people. 

NH: You know…

C: (crosstalk) No shit?

NH: I could, I could deal with that little bit of break from reality. That was fine. I do wish that the female characters would wear bras. 

A: Yeah. 

NH: I don’t think that’s asking for too much.

A: Well, they’re, they’re cells. They don’t have boobs, because they’re cells.

NH: Their anthropomorphised versions do have boobs, and they need proper support, or their backs are going to kill them. They will have all the same problems that their body- well, not all the same problems.

A: Well, then you’re starting to get into the overthinking it of, like, if the cells have blood, then do each of them, are each of them full of little blood cell peoples?

NH: (crosstalk) I just don’t appreciate horny character design, ok! I just don’t like it! 

A: (crosstalk) Why does a blood cell need corrective lenses? 

C: (crosstalk) That’s going to be a joy to transcribe, thank you both.

A: (crosstalk) How do red blood cell get horny? 

NH: (crosstalk) We don’t- I don’t care…

A: And so on.

NH: I just wanna watch a show where there’s no horny character design involved. Just once.

A: Well, then, watch shows for children.

NH: Wave!!!’s ok. 

A: Watch PreCure.

NH: I have to catch up on Wave!!! actually. Before I make that call.

A: Or we could watch Heaven’s Design Team! Which is next.

C: Yeah!

NH: That is a good show.

A: Yep. They made a xenomorph, and God is a coward for not approving it. Though it’s hilarious that they ate it. 

NH: That’s one way of phrasing it.

A: Oh, I’m giving up on getting anywhere in this, we’ll try and figure it out next week.

NH: Play Pokémon!

A: I don’t have any Pokemons on my computer. Let’s see. I guess I’m bringing up Duel Links!

NH: I know where you can find some for free.

A: What happened?

NH: I am sending you something to Google, that I can’t say on here because I don’t want to risk it being taken down.

A: Ok, so Heaven’s Design Team.

C: Mm-hm.

A: The OP. I haven’t mentioned this before, but every episode, the OP is stuck in my head for at least three or four days afterwards.

C: That’s just a sign of a good show.

A: Yeah.

NH: (to Pokémon) Hang on, I can actually do one better. It was cute. I will admit, I don’t remember much of it. My memory today is stuck in Anxiety Hell, which is unfortunate. So I don’t have much to…

A: (crosstalk) Let’s see what we have. Last week… Mars has weather powers. Oh, comedies are always funniest when characters can just fucking die whenever, and it’s no big deal. I love that.

NH: Yeah. Oh, that’s true.

C: Mm-hm.

A: Oh, the change in the names, I find, does not actually make them easier to remember. Maybe it’s ‘cause I understand just too much Japanese, but they’re saying one thing and showing another, and it makes it difficult for me to remember either. Just makes it more confusing. The only other ones I remember are Pluto and Venus. And Mars.

NH: The subtitles also misidentified someone last week.

A: Oh.

NH: They called, I think it was Jupiter, they called Mr Eat-Everything ‘Neptune.’ It was Jupiter or Mercury that they referred to as Neptune.

A: (crosstalk) Ah. He’s the guy who likes cows, right? The guy who likes cute things?

NH: Neptune is the otter man.

A: Yes, him.

C: Yeah.

A: Oh, and I like- I did mention, I liked the-

NH: (crosstalk) Neptune’s the sweetheart.

A: I like that the presumably cis man who likes cute things is distinct from the trans woman.

NH: Yeah, it is very sweet.

A: Like, there’s no real overlap between the two. I do appreciate that.

NH: Except for the fact that they’re both the most fantastic character.

C: Mm-hm.

A: Yes, that they’re – well, no, the guy who eats everything is the best character, because he died and then was fine. Also they made a sharknado!

NH: No… Yes! Oh, I loved that movie, too. I appreciated that episode.

A: Yes. He’s the funniest character, and that makes him the best character, because it’s a comedy.

NH: I mean, I’ll take your word for it. I find everyone’s dynamic is the funniest part – fuck, my back is killing me. 

A: I’m sorry.

C: I’m sorry.

NH: I’m about to steal Charlie’s – are you sorry? 

C: I just-

NH: If you were really sorry, Charlie, you would let me have the chair.

C: Not on stream, please.

A: Yeah.

C: I like that she made all the fuckin’ sharks based on power tools. Or just tools.

A: Yeah that was funny.

C: Uh huh.

A: That was fun.

C: Also the tarsier.

A: I managed – I thought they were makin’ a lemur, but I was not too far off, I don’t think.

C: No, they’re related.

A: Yeah. They’re both primates, at least.

C: Mm-hm.

A: I did call the second alien becoming an owl, though.

C: Yeah. That was fuckin’ freaky, though.

A: Also, ok, so here’s a fun story. Apparently some drunk people in Kentucky thought they were attacked by a goblin, and it’s some big occult story that everybody’s curious about. It’s like ‘Oooh, the goblin, the goblin!’ And the most likely explanation is that it was an owl.

C: That’s the most likely explanation for most things. Including Mothman.

A: Yeah. Oh, yes, Mothman is definitely an owl. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Mothman is an owl.

C: Mm-hm.

A: Let’s see.

NH: No, Mothman’s my boyfriend, and I love him.

A: Mm-hm. It’s nice of God to get to say something other than ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ 

(NH and C laugh)

A: He’s like, ‘you’re right, that was creepy!’

NH: ‘Fix it!’

A: ‘Do something about it!’

NH: Fuck, man.

A: Though we know that God is a Tumblr user from Episode 1 when he said that new frogs are always accepted.

C: Mm-hm.

A: Nobody likes frogs like Tumblr users.

NH: Carianne likes frogs.

C: Yeah. Frogs are cool.

A: Yep.

NH: I’ll take your word for it. Virgil! (moves away from the mic) My love! My darling girl! Sweetest (inaudible).

C: What did you do?

NH: She’s trying to climb up to the top bunk (inaudible)

C: I can’t hear any of that.

A: They took off. Let’s talk about Sk8 the Infinity before they get back.

C: Yeah.

NH: I did not take off. She tried to climb up to your bunk by using the sleeping bag, and so I backed up and told her to use the window instead.

C: That’s fair.

A: Do you have anything else to say about Heaven’s Design Team?

NH: Nothing new.

A: I thought the snake-eating squirrel was-

C: The kid having the crush on the tarsier was cute.

A: (crosstalk) I said, I thought the snake-eating squirrel was going to become a mongoose, I didn’t know they had a snake-eating squirrel. That’s the only other note I had.

C: They have snakes eating everything.

NH: I was so excited. I thought ‘oh, it’s going to be a mongoose!”

A:Yeah, but it wasn’t.

NH: “It’s gonna be a Taako!’ And then it wasn’t. I was heartbroken.

A: It was an animal I’d never heard of. So that was pretty cool.

C: Mm-hm.

A: Even though I live in California.

NH: I guess. But I was so close to making a proper TAZ reference this week, and then they went for a squirrel instead.

A: Maybe next time.

C: Yeah. Well that’s two fuckin’ California native species then.

A: Just wait, Noah, eventually we’ll cover, we’ll talk about an isekai, and then you can make all of the Fantasy Costco references you want. 

NH: (singing) Fantasy Costco, where all your dreams come true!

A: Yep, that’s the one.

NH: I need to catch up on TAZ. 

(A and C agree)

NH: I think I left off halfway through Amnesty. And that’s because I got distracted by the Magnus Archives. Which is also coming to an end and I need to catch up to. That’s not what we’re talking about! Ok, so we’re done talking about Heaven’s Design Team. We talked about Wonder Egg, we talked about Horimiya, what else is there?

C: There’s Sk8.

A: Sk8 boys, SK8. Last week was the f- ok, so, I started making – so, in Fight Club, there’s a running gag where the narrator will say that he is – will quote an old Reader’s Digest thing. In the book, it is ‘I am John’s…’ whatever. And in the movie, it is ‘I am Jack’s…’ whatever. I combined those into ‘I am Jock’s growing inferiority complex.’ 

(NH and C laugh.)

NH: Fuck, man.

C: Fuck.

A: Poor Reki, man. Reki’s angst-

C: (crosstalk) He needs some therapy real bad.

A: Reki is angsting. Though, real quick, when Langa said he thought that Reki was making, building a deck, I thought that they were talking about Yu-Gi-Oh! for half a second before I remembered that a deck is a skateboard. 

C: That would’ve been nice, though.

A: Also, somebody referring to Reki as a ‘lowlife,’ that seems like a translation error. I think ‘punk’ would’ve been better. Because ‘lowlife’ implies that he’s a criminal.

NH: Yeah.

C: I mean, I know he looks kinda rough on first glance, but he’s not. He’s a good boy.

NH: He’s such a puppy.

A: So technically, everybody hanging out at S is a criminal, because they’re trespassing.

NH: Yeah, I mean that’s the whole reason the police showed up.

A: Yeah. So if he’s a lowlife, so are you. Oh, and then last week, Reki got a case of the Not Gays.

C: Did he?

NH: The not – are you talking about that girl that they tried to get him to hit on?

A: (crosstalk) He suddenly started very acti- very, very, yes, hitting on girls. That’s the case of the Not Gays.

NH: That lasted all of two minutes.

A: So did Joe, but you can do that as part of his and Cherry Blossoms continuing marital strife/mind games. 

NH: Can’t they just go to counseling like normal people?

C: No.

A: No, because Japan is not big on therapy. 

NH: (crosstalk) Nowhere is big on therapy.

A: And the Catboy is tricksy, wicked, and false, but that was hilarious.

NH: And this week they broke up. Not Cherry and Joe, Reki and Langa.

A: Nah. They’ll never break up.

C: They’re taking a very brief break from each other.

A: They got into an argument. You can argue and not break up. So I was surprised to find that Langa is Catholic, but he might not be, he might just be crossing himself as a joke. ‘Cause that is a thing that Westerners do.

C: Yeah…

NH: Yeah.

C: I mean, his dad could’ve been Catholic, you don’t know.

A: Yeah.

C: Not likely, though.

NH: Yeah.

C: Also.

A: Hm?

C: I am going to feed ADAM his own tongue if he does not stop fucking talking.

NH: Fuck, man, I made a half-hearted joke on Twitter about how this show would be infinitely better if ADAM just mysteriously disappeared.

A: But he’s the antagonist.

C: They can find another one! 

NH: (crosstalk) They don’t need-!

A: (crosstalk) I like ADAM. I think he’s fun!

C: They don’t need an antagonist, the antagonist is the challenge of the sport!

A: He is a blast!

NH: (crosstalk) You think he’s fun?

A: He is a blast.

NH: Is he?

A: Yes.

NH: I think this is a matter of people having vastly different tastes in characters.

A: (crosstalk) He’s a heel. He’s just a – he’s like a wrestling heel.

NH: No, he’s a genuinely awful person! 

C: I mean, I think they want him to be just like a wrestling heel, but he’s really not.

NH: (crosstalk) The problem is that with wrestling heels, it’s more or less completely an act for entertainment purposes, and ADAM is just genuinely a horrible fucking person.

C: At all times.

A: (crosstalk) I think, well so are a lot of wrestling heels, but the type of awful person that he is, I think is different from the type of awful person that he pretends to be. Therefore he is a wrestling heel. 

NH: (crosstalk) That doesn’t-

A: And the type of awful person he’s pretending to be is fun, the type of awful person that he is is less fun.

NH: Is it fun?

A: Well, yeah. The whole minotaur- Matador of Love shit thing is a blast! It’s hilarious! I love him, he’s so animated!

NH: We’re gonna have to agree to disagree on that one.

A: Yeah, I guess so.

NH: Like, you can be animated, and over the top, and kind of a dick, and not go out of your way to traumatize and hospitalize people. That’s something that can be done.

A: Sure, I –

NH: (crosstalk) And it would be just as fun.

A: I think the thing is just that, you just have a harder time than I do of separating fiction from reality. Which is fine! I’m not critiquing you for that. But since it’s a cartoon, I don’t care. Is the thing. It’s like, it’s a cartoon! It’s fine. It’s like wrestling. 

NH: It’s not like wrestling. (to Pokémon) Where are we going? Over here. Like, he just had a major falling out with his best friend, because his best friend is horrifically traumatized after being hospitalized by this dick. 

A: I think that would’ve happened anyway.

C: (crosstalk) He wasn’t hospitalized.

A: The falling out was- Yeah, he wasn’t hospitalized.

NH: He did go to the hospital!

A: Yeah, but he wasn’t hospitalized. 

C: Yeah.

NH: That’s-

A: He sprained his wrist. But, the falling out was less due to him being injured. I think he’s using that as an excuse. He’s feeling bad because Langa’s getting so much better than him so quickly. It’s more to do with the inferiority complex than anything else.

NH: I mean, it’s infinitely more complicated than that. It’s a combination of being afraid of being left behind, being afraid of the man who went out of his way to make that entire race terrifying for him, and just kind of feeling bad because he’s not as good at what he loves as he thought he should be. 

C: Also, his friend is about to willingly and enthusiastically face the man who so deeply terrified him, and isn’t taking his fears seriously.

A: It’s not that he’s not taking his fears seriously, 

NH: (crosstalk) It’s also that he implied that Reki isn’t a real-

A: he’s just like ‘you’re afraid of him and I’m not’ is the thing.

NH: He implied that Reki isn’t a real skater because he was scared. 

A: No, he didn’t.

C: No, he didn’t.

NH: Yes he did! He said ‘as a real skater, you understand how exciting it is to race against someone this good.’ And Reki was like ‘No! I wasn’t excited! I’m scared!’

A: I think that he just misunderstood what – they don’t actually know each other that well, they’ve only known each other for a few months. 

C: Yeah. I think that’s more of a ‘they’re still getting to know each other’s boundaries and shit’, and they’re bumping up against things.

A: Yeah. There’s also the fact that Reki- 

NH: (crosstalk) Ok, well, regardless of how long you’ve known each other -!

A: (crosstalk) Reki has not-! This is the first time that Reki has even let it out to Langa that he’s scared. So-

C: Yeah.

NH: (crosstalk) No, it’s not! It’s the first time he’s outright stated it, but it’s not the first time!

A: (crosstalk) Yeah, it is. (inaudible) picked him up if he- 

NH: (crosstalk) Go ahead, sorry.

A: Well, we can pick it up because we’re the audience, Langa’s not looking at him from the same vantage point that we are. There’s also the fact that- and also let’s not forget the fact that Langa is a kid. He’s just not as, you know, clued into that sort of thing as you might think. ‘Cause he – I mean there’s also – and there’s the cultural differences that he might not pick it – so, it’s – it makes sense that Langa would not pick up on some subtleties about Reki’s behavior that the audience would.

C: Yeah, especially since he’s not watching him 24/7, and he doesn’t know him that well yet.

A: Yeah, like, he’s not privy to Reki’s internal monologue the way the audience is.

C: I mean, I know Reki wears everything on his face, but that does to an extent require knowledge of him.

A: He actually doesn’t, he, like, he play- what’s the thing? He actually hides a lot. Like, he seems, he’s very expressive and outgoing, but he’s like the blonde haired girl in Horimiya, where he acts a lot happier than he is a lot of the time. He uses as, like, a shield.

C: Yeah.

A: Yeah.

C: So that’s Sk8. Are we done talking about Sk8?

A: I guess we’re done talking about Sk8. I don’t know what happened to Noah.

NH: I got distracted by my emotional support stuffed animal.

A: Ok.

NH: Yeah. So the problem with Reki is that this whole thing just hits too close to home. 

A: I guess.

NH: Like for this, for me, this and Wonder Egg often end up hitting too close to home to view it objectively. So we can keep talking about it, but we’ll just end up screaming over each other. 

A: Yeah.

NH: Well, I’ll end up screaming.

C: And then I’ll end up beating you to death, because I’ll have to transcribe this shit!

A: Yeah.

NH: Just make Fen do it! Let’s just have the transcript – 

C: (crosstalk) She will not.

NH: Why not?

C: I don’t know, you’d have to ask her.

NH: What-? I will. We have to have a long chat about stuff. That can take place off stream.

C: Yeah.

A: Alright, are we done talking about Sk8 the Infinity

NH: Yes, we’re done talking about Sk8 the Infinity.

A: Alright, well there were two, two new Shonen Jump manga that happened in the weeks since the last, yeah. First one is Witch Watch, which is great, and I love it, ‘cause it’s cute and it’s funny. Also the author’s last series had an intersex character, so there’s a nonzero chance of queer representation. Like, how good it is is eh, ‘cause the intersex character in Ass – Asta? Astra? [transcriber’s note: Astra: Lost in Space] Whatever it’s called, the one with the space! The one in space. They were – he was fine. I wasn’t super fond of him deciding to present more feminine at the end, just mostly because it seemed to, like, some heteronormative stuff, since he’s implied to have a thing for a male, another character who is a guy. Which it might’ve wanted to make it seem less gay, so. But, you know. It was fine. And – But Witch Watch is cute. It’s about a witch who picks a – (to Duel Links) Will you stop asking me if I lost my nerve? God, you’re annoying! Ok.

NH: Who are you talking to?

A: The other player! They keep- ‘Cause in this game, you can click on ‘em and make ‘em say stuff, and they keep clicking on Yami Yugi and making him say ‘Lost your nerve?’ And it’s annoying as hell.

C: Yeah.

A: Ok. And the other new one is a baseball manga, and it sure is a baseball manga. And if you’ve read a baseball manga, then you can get a good idea of what this baseball manga is like. The only thing of note is that the tiny, passive, big eye boy is a catcher, and the assertive partner is a pitcher. And they are doing that shit on purpose. 

C: Yes. Absolutely.

NH: Of course they are.

A: Yeah. ‘Cause you know the terms Uke and Seme? 

NH: Yes.

C: Mm-hm.

A: They mean catcher and –

NH: (crosstalk) Yes, we know what a pitcher and a catcher are.

A: So, just so you know. It’s a gay, gay, gay thing. Well, not a gay thing. A wannabe gay – We’re not gonna argue –

NH: (crosstalk) It’s a yaoi thing.

A: Yeah, it’s a Boy’s Love thing. But, yeah. Oh, and I did drop Otherside Picnic and Jobless, because I was playing catch up this week and didn’t wanna watch those two. So they’re done.

NH: Yeah.

C: That’s fair.

NH: I dropped Otherside Picnic too.

A: Yeah. And Kumo

NH: (crosstalk) I also think I’m going to end up dropping Wave!!! At least until the series is over and it has a dub out. 

A: Yeah.

NH: Hello, Karol, let’s switch you out.

A: (crosstalk) Oh, and in Kemono Jihen, I was very angry with Kabane, because he forgot his promise to Kon, even though she is a very good girl. 

C: (crosstalk) How dare!

A: He promised to meet up with her after dinner, and he forgot! And the koi that he caught for them to share – I’m sorry, that she caught for them to share rotted!

NH: (crosstalk) In one night?

A: Because she wanted to eat them with him, but he forgot her for days!

NH: Oh! Oh, that’s bad!

A: Yes. Kabane was a bad boy! And, then – 

NH: (crosstalk) Hi, Dromeda. 

A: Ok, the last thing I want to talk about: so there’s a comic I read in Pocket Comics. It’s by the same author as Re:Life, I don’t know if either of you has ever seen that, probably not. 

C: Nope.

A: Called Blue Hearts. And this last first big arc with one of the characters ended, and I don’t like the way it ended. ‘Cause, the character in question is Seto, and she’s kind of like a gal. Do you know what a gal is? 

C: Yeah, the tan with the lots of make up?

NH: No.

A: Well, she’s not tan, but yeah, the fashion conscious ones.

C: Yeah.

A: And the whole thing with her is that she, she likes to date guys, and she dates a lot of different guys, and that’s fine. I mean, it does play into a lot of stereotypes, but, whatever. 

C: Mm-hm.

A: Like, she’s a kid, she can do whatever the fuck she wants. But, one of her boyfriends got irritated, and so started arranging for her to be gang raped.

NH: What?

C: What the fuck?

A: On a daily basis. Over and over. Which, as soon as that happened, I was like ‘um, excuse me?’ But I kept going with it, and then it ended, and she said that it was her fault that they were gang raping her. And none of her so called friends were like ‘uh, no it wasn’t. It was their fault. They’re the ones who did it!’ 

C: Yeah.

NH: No shit.

A: So, lemme just put it out there that it was not her fault that she was gang raped, because she’s not the one who gang raped herself! She’s sixteen!

NH: (crosstalk) I’m just gonna… Oh my god… 

A: If she doesn’t want to be in a serious monogamous relationship with somebody at sixteen, she doesn’t have to be in a serious monogamous relationship at sixteen, because she’s sixteen! 

C: Mm-hm.

A: And her friends suck for not, for letting her blame herself. Also, apparently, her mom is a prostitute, and I’m not so cool – and I don’t like that either. 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For clarification’s sake, my dislike of her mother being a sex worker has nothing to do with me being anti-sex work (I’m not). The problem is the way it’s talked about by the characters and treated by the narrative feeds into the general slut-shamy vibe of the arc as a whole. Also, I didn’t bring it up, but the climax of the arc involved Seto attempting suicide and then saying ‘lol j/k i just wanted attention’ which is. Sigh.]

A: There’s just a whole lot of gross such- gross stuff in that arc that was just real bad, and it’s-

NH: What is this show?

A: It’s not a show, it’s a comic.

NH: (crosstalk) Or webcomic, sorry.

A: It’s a comic, yeah. Like, I’m probably not- 

NH: What’s it called?

A: It’s called Blue Hearts. And this show is about the worst four students at a school being tutored by the best student at the school. It is a comedy. Where the first arc is about a girl being repeatedly gang raped. And then blaming herself for it.

NH: (crosstalk) Hey, hey, if you guys want to make a comedy, don’t include rape!

A: Yeah! 

NH: Like, if you guys want to make a comedy, and you include rape, it’s not a comedy anymore!

A: No.

NH: That kind of necessitates a change in tone and focus.

A: Like, they didn’t play it for laughs, but they didn’t handle it very well. It was like, you know what, this is not your lane. Please stay in your lane.

NH: So it made the SVU mistake, not the Peter Grill mistake.

A: Yeah. They weren’t playing it for laughs, but it was not the sort of thing – 

NH: (crosstalk) But they were also trying to –

A: They were trying to be serious about it, but they were bad about how they were serious about it.

NH: They were trying to deal with a topic they had no idea how to handle properly.

A: Yeah, and they managed to handle in probably one of the worst ways they could have handled it. 

NH: Yeah. That’s great when that happens. Love that for them.

A: Anybody have anything else they want to talk about 

C: I rewatched Bofuri this week. 

A: Oh. I ended up – that’s one of the ones I ended up dropping. ‘Cause it was cute, but it wasn’t cute enough to hold my attention. 

C: Yeah, they have an english dub for it. And only one season, and I am heartbroken that there’s only one fuckin’ season.

A: I’m going to go into here and…

C: ‘Cause it’s cute! And fun. And I would absolutely be that fucking player.

A: (crosstalk) Well, it was – Yeah. I’m going to go ahead and just let this run on auto-pilot, because I’m barely paying any attention.

NH: Yeah, that’s probably for the best.

A: Yeah, but, uh, yeah… So, what’s next on the itinerary, Host?

C: Next up on the itinerary…! Where’d it go? 

NH: Best/worst?

C: Yes! So! Haley, worst song you’ve heard this week?

NH: Ooo, the worst song I’ve heard this week?

C: Yes.

NH: Oh, man, that would be the opening credits for Law and Order: SVU. That opening song. Like, don’t get me wrong, it’s fine, but it’s also a nothing song to go with their nothing show. 

A: Yeah. Isn’t SVU… I remember, in SVU, there was a thing, there was guy, I don’t know, the criminal in one of them, who was saying ‘I have relationships with women, I have sex with men!’ and somebody was like ‘Well, you’re gay!’ And I was like, no, he’s bi. Or at most, he’s a heteromantic homosexual, that’s not gay.

NH: Yeah, SVU is…

A: If he’s romantically interested in women, then he’s not gay.

NH: Again, SVU’s big mistake is when they try to handle something they clearly have no idea how to handle.

A: Yeah.

NH: Like in the most recent episode I watched, which was from like mid-season two, I’ve been watching it on Hulu, they had an eyewitness to a rape, who tried to kill the rapist, who’s schizophrenic, and they tried to have this underline – this throughline beside the main plot – this b-plot, I guess, where they were trying to talk about noncompliance and the right to refuse your medication, except they ended that episode with the schizophrenic witness killing himself, because he had to take his medication. 

A: Ah.

NH: And they framed it as that being the result of the medication, and not as a result of the system that first essentially forced that medication on him, and then did not give him any of the proper support that should go along with medication.

A: Yeah.

NH: And they do this a lot. Like, there was an episode halfway through season one that I will never forget, and Charlie and Carianne have heard me talking about it a lot since I watched it, where a woman was being extorted for sexual favors by a judge to keep her – the man who tried to murder her in prison. And because she killed the judge when he refused to keep the man who tried to murder her in prison, after having just extorted her for a recent blow job, they decided that she should burn in hell, essentially, because she killed the judge who made a habit of sexually extorting women, vulnerable women for sexual favors. 

A: Hmmm.

NH: It doesn’t know what it wants to say.

A: I think it does, it’s just not very smart. 

NH: No, it’s not. Now, admittedly, I’m only in season two, maybe it gets better. I know it doesn’t, I have seen later seasons. I watched the show all the time with our mother. But, maybe it does get better.

A: Well, maybe it gets – maybe it occasionally doesn’t miss the mark.

NH: I mean it was – Law and Order: SVU 

A: (crosstalk) It’s a cop show.

NH: It is. It’s very much copaganda. But it was at its best when it was trying to make the cops look like they have a life outside of their work, which they mostly focused on Stabler. But now, Stabler’s having marital issues, presumably, because his family doesn’t show up as much in season two as they showed up in season one, and it’s kind of exhausting.

A: Yeah. 

NH: They only bring up –

C: (crosstalk) That’s fair.

NH: Yeah, it’s like, the show’s bad, but it’s even worse than bad when it tries to say anything. Which is a weird statement to make about a show that deals exclusively in sexual crimes. 

A: Yeah, it’s like, Law and Order, you are for middle aged dads, please don’t try to have a point. 

NH: Yeah, like. It’s such a bad show.

A: Yeah.

NH: Fuck, man. Ok, so that was the worst song that I’ve heard this week.

C: Ace, what’s the best song you’ve heard this week?

A: Good question? I don’t know. Trying to think. I’m still thinking. I’m still thinking. Please ask me a different question.

NH: (crosstalk) Best Pokémon.)  

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Pyukumuku


C: Ok…

A: I can’t remember songs after they stop playing, or if there’s other music playing.

C: That’s fair. What is the best…? What’s the best snack you’ve had this week?

A: Oh. Jalapeño Kettle chips. Did we do a general discussion about stuff? Or is that after best and worst of the week?

C: I think we kinda absorbed that into the fuckin’ anime. 

A: Oh.

C: But if you wanna talk about general discussion, let’s talk about general discussion.

A: Well, that’s up to you, did you come up with a topic?

C: Oh, I did, but then I wrote an article about it. So what is, how about, what’s a game that you played when you were a kid, but you couldn’t really get into it, but now that you’re an adult, you really enjoy it?

A: I wasn’t allowed to play video games when I was a kid, because Mommy thought that video games made you evil.

C: Same.

NH: Never stopped us, me.

A: I didn’t play video games until I was in high school and was stealing money from her purse.

C: Ok, so when you were in high school, what was a game that you played and didn’t really like, and then revisited recently.

A: None, I don’t have time to revisit games.

NH: That’s fine. Let’s see… I don’t have any games like that. I don’t remember any games I didn’t like that I played when I was a kid. 

C: How about any piece of media? 

A: Something that I didn’t, that aged better, that I didn’t like at first and then grew on me?

C: Yeah.

A: Mushrooms!

C: Mushrooms.

NH: What?

A: When I was a kid I hated mushrooms, and then one day when we were at the grandparents I ate a salad that had mushrooms in it, and I was like “Well, hot damn! These are pretty good.” So there you go.

NH: I don’t think mushrooms are a piece of media.

A: Nope, but they’re something that I liked better as an adult than I did as a kid.

C: Technicalities.

NH: Let’s see… It’s not something that I didn’t like as a child, but – oh god, I do appreciate the Fallout franchise more than I did when I was younger.

C: Yeah?

NH: Yeah, like sometimes you just need – like, the most recent ones by Bethesda – sometimes you just need a game that you can sit down and shoot a bunch of slavers in, y’know what I mean?

A&C: Yeah.

NH: (to Pokémon) I need to switch Yuri around, because he’s level 10. Oh! Tales of Symphonia is a game like that for me. I didn’t revisit it recently, I revisited it a few years ago, but I, we used to have a GameCube when I was like, twelve or thirteen years old, and I never finished it, because it annoyed me

C: (crosstalk) We had a GameCube?

NH: and then I grew up – Yeah, we still have it, somewhere, we don’t [have] the power cords.

A: Oh.

C: Hmmmm.

NH: Yeah, we had that in our house on… I think we had it in the house on Pheasant, but we definitely had it in the house at Peacock, because we used – that’s where I played Tales of Symphonia for the first time. Which I remember, specifically, because I remember freaking out one day because I got pool water on it after I went swimming.

A: Huh.

NH: I wanted to play Pokémon Coliseum!

A:Well, fair enough.

NH: Yeah.

A: How about you? You’re the one who brought up this topic, what’s something you didn’t like when you were a kid that you like now? Charlie?

C: Uhm… well, most foods. But, fuckin’… let me think. ‘Cause there were so many things I didn’t like as a kid, that I – fuckin’ – uh, onions, on burgers.

A: Onions are good when you don’t have the actual texture of them in your mouth.

C: Yeah. But, media-wise…

A: Media, yeah, media’s a good question. Let me – I can’t even think of anything I didn’t like as a kid. I liked everything when I was a kid, I had no taste.

NH: Oh! I know something that grew on me that I actually didn’t like as a kid that I like now, and that’s, uh, piracy?

A: Oh, yes, piracy is good.

NH: I’m a huge fan of downloading things for free off the internet.

A: Oh, yeah. Crime in general, really

NH: Especially abandonware?

A: I’ve always been fond, always been a general fan of thievery.

NH: Well, I was a child. Then I grew up, and I understood it better, and I thought, “Y’know what? No, this is actually kinda lit. Let’s keep doing it forever.” So lesson for you, EA, keep making the Sims unavailable, and people are just gonna learn that stealing is great

A: No, EA is a garbage company that doesn’t deserve your money, anyway.

NH: That’s true.

A: But, uh

NH: But most things are like that.

A: Don’t spend your money on EA. Don’t give EA your money, don’t give Natsume your money, don’t give JK Rowling your money, don’t give Warner Bros your money, don’t give Zack Snyder your money. Give your money to me. Support us on Patreon.

NH: – AceAnimeReviews or AceReviews?

A: AceAnimeReviews.

NH: Yep. Capital-A, capital-A, capital-R.

A: Yep.

NH: That’s not the patreon that I just pulled up to double check, that’s the website – yes, that’s it, yes, I got that right. Go away, Firefox, I don’t want to look at my orientation anymore. I don’t want to go to college, I’ve changed my mind.

A: Yeah…

NH: It keeps saying things – I’ve supposed to be watching videos and listening to people talk and it’s just so stressful! It’s not – I –

(A&C agree, commiseratively)

NH: They ask me for my preferred name, and then their fucking automated system doesn’t even have a bit of code that tells them to use the preferred name instead of the other name.

A: (crosstalk) Oh, yeah, my sch- Oh! Oh! You wanna hear a fun story about that, is uh, I was uh. I took a, well I signed up for a geology course, and I was talking to my professor because I was having trouble with the books. And I ask her to please call me Ace, and she responded by aggressively – by not only – well, because she called me by my deadname, said “Please call me Ace,” and she responds by calling me “Miss Mylastname.” So I was like, y’know what? Fuck you! And I dropped the class.

NH: Fuck off!

A: Yeah!

NH: And like… it’s not like I ‘m not used – well, I guess not, it’s been a couple years since I had to care about the outside world using any of my names, but like. It’s so annoying.

A: When I first started my job people kept referring to me by my dead name, and I kept telling people, don’t call me – don’t call me that, Do Not Call Me That, and they would keep doing it, because they thought it was funny. They thought I was kidding. Y’know, y’know I don’t get mad, when I am annoyed, I do frame it as a joke. Fortunately, eventually it just petered out, they just stopped, and I didn’t even have to threaten to go to HR about it. But, yeah.

NH: I don’t get it. Like, how hard it is to just do as we ask?

A: Well, it’s ‘cause –

NH: I’m sorry none of my legal documents have my actual name on them, it’ll cost me 740$ to get it changed legally!

A: Yeah. Like, people – it’s like, “well, your name is a gift from your parents!” Well, anything else that’s given to me as a gift, I’m allowed to throw away. Why is my name supposed to be any different?

NH: My parents stopped getting me gifts other than clothes, because I just regifted them.

A: I don’t like my parents, my parents suck. I mean, my dad is fine in small doses, but.

NH: Is he?

A: Well, in like small doses.

C: Very small doses.

NH: He wasn’t even in the house for five minutes before we almost got in an argument about whether Covid is or is not a hoax. It’s not a hoax, for the record. Wear your fucking masks!

A: (crosstalk) No, it’s not. He was bringing up stuff about it being engineered or not, it’s like, who said anything about it being engineered or not?

NH: It doesn’t matter! Why does it matter if it’s engineered or not? People are still dying from it, we still don’t have a vaccine that’s widely available.

A: I mean, I live in a red-red, super red neighborhood, so I hear that shit all the time. Pretty much just, smile and nod, “Yeah, okay whatever dude, you do you and I’ll just ignore you.” But, uh.

NH: Fuck man, I try to give Dad the benefit of the doubt, but it’s real hard when even his parents will at least use one of my actual names, and he still insists on deadnaming me and misgendering me. Like, I’ve come out to him. And he doesn’t give a shit.

A: And him and the Covid thing is especially hilarious because he lived in South Korea until recently and that was one of the only countries that handled it properly!

C: It’s because it was one of the only countries that handled it properly.

A: Yeah.

C: Uhm.

NH: Anyway, the big takeaway from this is that parents suck, wear your fucking masks, and stay six feet away from everyone.

C:  Mm-hm. Okay, so –

A: Republicanism is a death cult.

NH: Oh, and if you live in America, and our government doesn’t have the vaccine widely available in, say, a year, you are morally obligated to burn the entire system to the ground and start over.

C: (quickly cutting off potentially treasonous discussion) Okay! How ‘bout let’s promote the next article!

NH: Alright. It’s Ace.

A: Yeah, the next article’s gonna be about That Dio-Ass Motherfucker™.

NH: (crosstalk) Fuck ‘im.

A: I think my working title is “Ainosuke or ADAM or Something In-Between.” 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s actually ADAM, Ainosuke, or Someone In Between: Analyzing A Dio-Ass Motherfucker]

A: It’s like, like, ‘cause which of them is a character, and which is who he actually is, and is it a little bit of both, is basically the – yeah.

C: Anything you’d like to recommend this week?

A: I would like to recommend Akudama Drive. It is better than Jujutsu Kaisen, and should have won Anime of the Year.

NH: I haven’t seen either of them [transcriber’s note: an easily-disproved lie]. Sounds good, though.

A: You should watch Akudama Drive, it has a dub. Well, so does Jujutsu Kaisen, but Akudama Drive is shorter, and better!

NH: I still haven’t finished rewatching Angel Beats. I got distracted by, uh, having to edit, and then ultimately not editing my Peter Grill review.

A: Hey, you’re, uh, you have to write something next week.

NH: Yeah, I know. I’m going to do a comparative – comparative analysis? A compare/contrast between the first Mass Effect trilogy’s theme song, and the Mass Effect: Andromeda theme song.

A: Oh, have fun with that.

NH: A layman’s musical analysis of Mass Effect. Because Mass Effect: Andromeda is the better of the two. Mass Effect: Andromeda is the best Mass Effect game, and it’s theme song is a pretty good summary of why. So I’m gonna do a little analysis and defense of my favorite Mass Effect game.

C: Okay.

A: Have fun with that!

NH: Yeah, it’s gonna be great. We’re gonna actually have to tag it as Mass Effect, and I guarantee you it’s either gonna be completely ignored or we’re gonna get a bunch of dudebros in the Ace Anime Tumblr inbox, explaining how we’re wrong and I should kill myself because of it.

A: Oh, nah. ‘Cause first of all since it’s, we, the only thing we put on there is links to the site, they’ll just put comments on the actual article itself, and then I won’t approve any of them, if they’re asking you to kill yourself. So, y’know.  Because I do moderate all comments before they go through.

NH: That’s nice. To be fair, it has been long enough that maybe no one cares anymore, but I was listening to the Mass Effect: Andromeda theme recently and I started to get all teary eyed over it, so that’s what I’m gonna do for my next article. 

C: Nice.

NH: ‘Cause you know what? Angel Beats is good, in parts, and there’s a very important essay that I can pull out of it about trauma and grief and all that shit, but it’s also very heavy, and y’know what? I just wanna cry over videogames.

C: That’s fair. Anything you wanna recommend?

NH: Anything I want to recommend. Other than The Untamed.

A: Yeah, other than The Untamed.

C: Yes, other than The Untamed.

A: You’ve hit your lifetime maximum of recommending The Untamed. Now you don’t get to recommend it until it gets another season, or another adaptation.

NH: It’s never gonna get another season.  Ah, the – donghua, oh, god, I’m pretty sure I’m getting the terms wrong, the animated series is probably gonna get another season at some point this year. Let’s see, what would I recommend other than The Untamed

C: Mm-hm.

NH: Uhm. I would recommend that you download and play all the Rune Factory games that are easily available, so that’s the first three Rune Factory games, ‘cause Rune Factory 4 isn’t easily available on the internet yet.

A: (crosstalk) Well –

NH: Play Rune Factory, it’s a good game.

A (the purist): I, I don’t – they ruined – they broke the farming in Rune Factory 3 though, they didn’t need to do that, I didn’t like when they changed it, it was perfect up until then.

NH (the casual): Was it?

A: They, they, they tried to fix what wasn’t broken. Yeah! It didn’t need to be anymore complicated than it was. Then they tried to do something, and now you can’t even make rune factories anymore. Also I frickin’, I just – I’ve never liked that 1seed/bag thing, especially when each individual seed is 5000gold. Like, the only – the only games where 1seed/bag works is Animal Parade and Innocent Life, and that’s only because each of the seeds is like 10gold.

NH: That’s what they do in Rune Factory 4, too, and plus each seed gives you multiple yields of that crop.

A: No, no not necessarily.

NH: They do fix it for Rune Factory 4.

A: A little bit, but it’s still, it was still better before.

NH: Unless it’s like, out of season – unless it’s out of season and also, uh, the opposite of the Bumper Crop, in the Harvest Report, it’ll give you at least two, per seed.

A: Yeah, that’s still bad. I still liked it better before. Because before, you got NINE seeds, nine crops out of one bag of seeds. And nine, you’ll be surprised to learn, is greater than two.

NH: Sure, I mean it still balances out, cost-wise, it’s just that Rune Factory 4 has been redesigned so that it feels a lot better to farm than Rune Factorys 1, 2, and 3. Maybe I’ll play those games at some point in the future. I like them.

A: Yeah I have strong feelings about farming games, it’s, it’s, Harvest Moon is – I guess it’s not Harvest Moon, Bokujō Monogatari is my favorite video game series, so.

NH: I believe the Japanese title translates to something like Ranch Story or something like that.

A: Yeah, it’s Ranch Story, but that name had already been taken, which is why Natsume called it Harvest Moon.

NH: So just use the current – just call it Story of Seasons, everyone will know which series you’re talking about.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: No, they won’t. For more information on why, check out my anti-Natsume rant on March 26, 2021!]

A: That’s why I call it Bokujō – well, yeah, but when I’m referring to the older Harvest Moon games as well, like the old ones, before it got changed

NH: I still refer to those as Story of Seasons.

A: Yeah. But, uh, yeah. I just call them BokuMono, just makes it easier.

NH: You can get all of those older Harvest Moon games on that site I redirected you to, and find emulators for them, too.

A: Yeah, I’m probably gonna do that. I’ve been wanting to play through the first year of each of them. And also Natsume does not get my money, so emulation is fine.

NH: I mean, you can’t buy any of the older ones through them, anyway.

A: Sure you can. 

NH: They’re essentially abandonware.

A: No, I think you can.

NH: Essentially – they are abandonware.

A: Like, um, you can, well you can get them some places.

NH: You can get them on Ebay, and sites like that, but you can’t get them through the developer anymore.

A: Nope. Well, the developer sucks, so. Well, Natsume is not the developer, they are the localizer, which is one of the things I’m going to get into next month.

NH: (crosstalk) You know – you can’t get them through the developer in Japan, either, because they’re for systems that are long since abandoned.

A: (crosstalk) Well, no, they have some –

NH: You can only get them online, they’re not getting money off of them regardless.

A: They have a few of them on Virtual Console.

NH: Sounds fake. I mean, it doesn’t sound fake, but it also doesn’t sound worth it.

A: Anyway, uh, Charlie. What do you want to recommend?

C: Uhm, Hades. The soundtrack, specifically. It just, it’s awesome.

A: Yeah, I was listening to that.

C: Mmhm.

A: It’s good. (to game) Why can’t I…?

C: Uhm, there’s …

NH: There is one other thing – I’m gonna wait until we get to plugging people’s shit for that, actually. Nevermind.

C: There, there, there’s one song that I really like. It’s the one Eurydice sings, when you reach her.

NH: (crosstalk) Oh, I know what you’re talking about.

A: I don’t feel like playing anymore, I’m just gonna turn the game off and we can look at my background while we talk.

C: Yeah, it’s…

A: I’m tired, I don’t want to play a game anymore.

C: Yeah, that’s fair. Anyway, they’re all good songs and you should listen to the soundtrack. Okay, plug your shit!

A: (crosstalk) We can look at my OBS bars, going into eternity.

NH: Fen’s not here, I’m gonna plug her twitch! She just recently started streaming, like, yesterday., I don’t know what her schedule’s gonna be, probably Monday and Tuesday, since for the moment she’s using my setup and those are the days she has off, so., keep an eye on it, see what she’s up to next!

A: Yep.

NH: My twitch! Uh,, yes I changed my name, because I wanted people to stop calling me Arctick., I stream Wednesday and Sunday starting usually at ten o’clock. I got a late start today because I had to do some paperwork. Saturday afternoons, I’m going to start trying starting next week to try streaming a bit at night Monday – not Monday, Thursday and Fri – I mean I do stream on Thursday/Friday night, you know what I mean! Stream a couple more days a week, after Carianne gets off work.

C: Okay, Ace’s turn!

NH: (crosstalk) Oh, and I –

A: Oh, go for it. Continue, continue!

C: And uhm?

NH: I’ve also got my youtube channel up, I’m uploading deleted VODs from my Twitch archive up there, at Noah Haley. I’ve got a link to it in my Twitch social links. Go ahead, Ace.

A: Okay. Yeah, I’m here on this Twitch channel, Uh, this is the only stream that I have scheduled, I did have others scheduled but now it’s more like, this is the scheduled one and on weekdays, Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday nights when I have time and energy then I’ll stream for a bit. And then I have tumblr, which is also rhlotr.

NH: Uhm, Charlie, that song is called “Good Riddance.”

C: Yes, thank you, that one! Listen to that one, that one’s my favorite. Especially the Eurydice only version.

A: And then, this sleeping cat is my cat from Final Fantasy XIV.

A: And speaking of Final Fantasy XIV, my youtube! Uhm, I have MMO Let’s Plays that I do. Late Night Lotro is no longer streamed, but I still record an hour a week with Noah, and then I put that on my youtube at Ace Barret King. And then I have a Let’s Play of Final Fantasy XIV with Charlie that is basically our characters from LotRO transplanted into Eorzea. And I also started one with Fen, which will be up on Friday, probably, maybe? I don’t know, we’ll find out! If you’re watching this on youtube, the recording of this on youtube, then it’s probably already up and you already know what it is but I’m not going to spoil it. I’m just going to tell you that it’s a baby game for babies, and I didn’t want to play it, I wanted to play Dragon Quest X, but she insisted!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Disregard all that aobut MMO Let’s Plays. Due to technical difficulties all gameplay content from me will be on Twitch for the foreseeable future.]

NH: Can you still play Dragon Quest X?

A: You can play it on Switch! For free, you just have to make yourself a Nintendo account and set your region to Japan, and then you can find it on the Nintendo e-shop, just put in the number X

NH: I’ll be right back!

A: the letter X, and it’ll be the first thing that pops up. You can play a free trial. It is in Japanese, but Google Translate has this handy function where if you take a picture of the text it’ll translate it for you. So. There you go. There’s a bonus plug! Play Dragon Quest X on Switch for free. You can also play it on PC. It is no longer region locked. But it is still not translated, and they need to release that game in English already, goddammit! Alright, Charlie, you’re last.

C:Okay, uhm. So, Twitch, I’m on ecpaulstein, definitely streaming Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Any other day is up in the air. I’m also on tumblr at magiclikeacharlie, where I just reblog whatever, and there’s also tumblr at ecwritingprompts, where you can look at my half-assed writing prompts and maybe get inspired.

A: Maybe.

C: Okay, uhm, I believe you’ve already done your upcoming streaming schedule.

A: I have.

C: So that’s all from us!

A: Yep. I guess that’s all! Hold up, I’m gonna show a picture, real quick, where did it go. Oh, I deleted it.

NH: For the record, if you have to switch the region on your Switch to Japan you’re still technically, the game is still technically region-locked.

A: Only on the Switch, it’s not region-locked on PC. So you don’t need a VPN to play it anymore.

NH: Is it free on the PC?

A: Uh, there’s a free trial, yes. 

NH: I ran all the way downstairs to grab the Switch. 

A: After that you have to buy Crysta through Square Enix to keep paying for it, or get a credit card, a Japanese credit card, which I don’t know how you would even do that, so you just have to buy Crysta to pay your subscription.

NH: Kay, I’m just gonna stick to the switch version then. 

A: I mean, you’re gonna have to…

NH: I know, take a picture, put it in Google Translate. That’s fine, I’m adaptable.

A: So we can close on this wonderful image of a couple of manqo’tes with this haircut and this coat, which I have decided to dub “Fuckboi Chic.”

A: Have a good day! Bye~

C: Bye!

One thought on “Ace Anime Review Rwednesdays #6: Playing Ketchup

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