Ace Anime Reviews Rwednesday #7: Be Sure To Wash Your Hands

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

A: How’s it going cats and queers! Welcome to Ace Anime Reviews Rwednesdays. I’m your host for this week, Ace Barret King, Founder and Chief Editor of AceAnimeReviews.com. I use him – he/him pronouns, and when I was watching back the recording from last week, I noticed Zack wants to wash his hands! So we gotta go over here so he can do that. Even though he’s got bandages on them, and you’re not supposed to get those wet. Anyway, today I am joined by…

(Definitely Paying Attention Crickets)

C: Oh, I’m Charlie! They/him. And I’m the middlest reviewer on the site.

NH: You’re the Travis of the group.

C: Yes.

NH: I’m sorry, I’ll stop making McElboy references.

C: No, you won’t.

NH: So rude…

A: Yeah. You need to introduce yourself, Haley.

NH: Oh! I’m Noah, aka Haley, they/them. I’m the youngest of our trio and the newest reviewer on the site. (to Pokémon) Why can’t I- Oh. Gotta use the directional pads to move. (Not Awkward Silence) Gettin’ off to a great start. So! What was our most recent article about?

A: I haven’t even gotten to that yet! AceAnimeReviews.com, you may be absolutely flabbergasted to hear, is a review site specializing in, get this, anime! Although we also cover whatever the hell else we feel like. Our most recent article is by yours truly, and it is called ADAM, Ainosuke, or Someone In Between: Analyzing A Dio-Ass Motherfucker, and it is an analysis of That Dio-Ass Motherfucker™ from Sk8 the Infinity.

NH: Who had some great moments this week.

C: Oh, yeah.

A: Oh, yeah, we’ll get into that later. And before we do, let me bring up Patreon. Let’s see… This is our Patreon, patreon.com/m/AceAnimeReviews. We have three tiers and zero patrons, but as you can see, I am actually remembering to put stuff on here now! I have, we have a whole one thing, just this recording from last week. 

NH: (crosstalk) Amazing.

A: But our tiers our… If I can find them…

NH: Mm-hm.

C: They should just be on the side, shouldn’t they?

A: They are not for me. Probably because I am the boss of the page. Somebody who can see the tiers, bring them up and tell me what they say. Wait…

NH: I think I know them by heart, if you want me to give it a shot.

C: (crosstalk) Go ahead.

A: Oh, wait! No! I found ‘em! 

NH: Oh! Ok.

A: Ok! First tier! Early access and voting power – read reviews a week early excluding premiers and other first impressions, and vote on any polls that we put up. Second tier is at five dollars a month, and you get access to the Ace Anime Reviews Discord channel, where you can chat with us and other patrons about whatever the heck we want-mostly anime, probably. And then the third tier is ten dollars a month, and it puts you in an automatic drawing – monthly drawing to join us on one of our – one of these oh so professional and well organized chats. Yeah. So, that’s that. Alright, and you know. Ok, So let’s get started. Wonder Egg Priority was a recap episode today, so we don’t have to talk about the specific episode, which is awesome. But there’s something that I – 

NH: (crosstalk) That’s good, ‘cause I didn’t watch it.

A: Oh, good. There is one thing I wanted to talk about, because I was reading somebody talking about it. And I wanna – I just wanna read what they said. I have, I took a screencap. 

NH: Uh oh.

A: They said: “Momoe, for example. She’s a tall and stocky girl, who’s introduced deceiving her egg girl that she is a boy. She uses masculine pronouns, lies about her given name, and dresses masculine because she doesn’t feel that feminine clothes suit her body type.” Ok, that last thing, fine. But, she didn’t on purposely deceive her egg girl that she was a boy, she told her that her name was Momo, and then- which is a girl’s name- and then the egg was like ‘Momotaro?’ So, like, 

NH: (crosstalk) And then Momo-

A: the egg made her assumptions, and Momo didn’t correct her, because she’s hella anxious and insecure. 

NH: Yeah.

C: Mm-hm.

A: So talking about a possibly trans character deceiving people about their gender is, uh, a little bit –

NH: (crosstalk) Fuck you?

A: I don’t think that’s what that person was getting at, I think that they just probably phrased things badly, but… yeah.

C: And, also, in the middle of a life and death situation is maybe not the best time to worry about correcting someone over your perceived gender. 

A: Yeah… Maybe not.

NH: Especially not since, 

A: (crosstalk) ‘Cause the – the –

NH: clearly this girl assumed she was a boy, and it probably would have made things awkward to correct her, 

A: (crosstalk) Yeah.

NH: which would not have helped any of them.

A: No.

C: Yeah. 

NH: (crosstalk) Especially not Momo.

C: Especially since she’s never gonna fuckin’ see her again.

A: ‘Cause as we can – ‘Cause Momo basically acts like a therapist to, to her eggs, 

C: (crosstalk) Yeah.

NH: (crosstalk) Yeah.

A: so she’s gotta, like, she tries to keep it about them. Not so much about her. 

NH: Charlie, can you kindly turn your mic down a bit, ‘cause you’re, like, deafening me.

C: Sure, sorry.

NH: It’s alright, it’s not your fault.

A: (crosstalk) Yeah, I just wanted to address that real quick, ‘cause –

C: (crosstalk) Is that better?

A: Ye-

NH: A little…? Sorry, you just wanted to bring that up real quick?

A: Yeah, I just wanted to address that real quick. Before we move on to –

NH: (crosstalk) Yeah. Fuck you.

A: to Cells at Work: Black. So, Charlie, last week you said that it seemed off to you, right?

C: Yeah… A little.

A: I’ve been thinking about that, and I think I have a theory as to why.

C: Why?

A: It’s because it is simultaneously trying to be an edutainment show about bodily functions and an anti-capitalist parable.

C: Mm-hm.

A: So it can be a little… It might come off as a bit unbalanced, like the two things don’t contradict each other; they way they do it does kind of work. But it’s a bit like trying to jug – juggle a bay – a basketball with a bowling ball.

C: Yeah.

A: You know, there’s a similar shape and feel to them, but one is a lot heavier. 

NH: Yeah.

C: Yeah… I think it’s just the tone, they get a little mixed sometimes.

A: Yeah, it’s because it’s trying to be a dark comedy, but sometimes, they don’t play it… In this week’s episode they killed off an important recurring character! 

C: (In definitely seen the episode) Yeah…

A: And they just kinda did it without any… like, I like the way they did it, I thought that – like, when I saw the episode was called “Loss”, I thought that they were going to kill off the pink-cheeked kohai.

C: Mm-hm.

A: But, uh, they didn’t! It was the boyfriend, which I was surprised by. I didn’t expect them to actually do that.

NH: What?

A: Yeah. They killed off –

NH: (crosstalk) Did I miss an episode?

A: Last week’s episode? From Thursday?

NH: The one – the most recent one that I watched was the kidney stone episode.

A: Oh, yeah. You did miss an episode. I think you might have missed a couple episodes.

NH: No, but I just watched them last night!

A: You might have missed a couple episodes. Were you watchin’ em on Funimation or Crunchyroll? ‘Cause I think F-

NH: Crunchyroll.

A: Oh, yeah, ‘cause I think Funima- I mean Crunchyroll is actually behind a couple, a couple weeks.

NH: (with dawning realization of how far behind they are) No!

A: Yep.

NH: That – that’s not great. Oh, fuck me!

A: Yep. But, yeah, the most recent episode was dealing with ulcers, and the boyfriend fell through an ulcer into stomach acid and died immediat – yeah. 

NH: (crosstalk) Holy shi-

A: And so it ended with the red blood cell grieving in his bed.

NH: Holy shit.

A: And not wanting to go to work. Which! If you wanna – I have a section here called ‘Spinning Down the Rabbit Hole’ – where is the blood cell’s apartment? ‘Cause the ordinary cells that live in apartments are tissue cells. But red blood cells don’t form tissues. So where’s – ?

C: (crosstalk) In the heart?

A: That might make sense.

C: Or the liver. Heart or liver?

A: Probably the heart, ‘cause they go to the liver to detox after they get drunk.

NH: (crosstalk) Oh, I’m – 

C: Yeah.

NH: I’m four episodes behind.

A: Oh, dear, you’re gonna have to play catch-up!

NH: Fuck!

A: Yep.

NH: It’s fine…

A: Yeah.

NH: At least I know what I’m doing tonight after Star Wars.

A: I guess so.

C: Same. 

A: So- 

NH: (crosstalk) I mean, I guess that explains why I was so confused last week when we talked about it, too.

A: Yeah. Also, when you were talkin’ about the white blood cells and their big ol’ booboos, 

NH: (crosstalk) Oh, yeah.

A: I will give them this for the big ol’ – big titties, is that they frame them neutrally. Like, when they’re in frame, you see their faces. You don’t only see their boobies.

C: Yeah.

NH: That’s true. My concern is more with the – it’s a nitpick, but I hate it when the characters with big boobs, regardless of how those boobs are done, don’t wear bras.

A: Yeah.

NH: Like, you have to wear a bra.

A: Well, maybe, maybe their bras are just transparent.

NH: No, you can tell from the way they’re shaped that they’re not wearing bras. I mean, a few of them might be. Like, those little – 

A: (crosstalk) Oh, no, boobs that big’ll sag regardless of what kind of support they’ve got. 

NH: That’s true.

A: Yeah.

NH: Invisible bras do not sound particularly useful, though.

A: No.

NH: Ok, well, I’m just going to set this off to the side to deal with later.

A: Yeah. Alrighty, should we talk about Heaven’s Design Team?

C: Yes. Turtles!

A: (crosstalk) Oh, Heaven’s – This – 

NH: They didn’t eat Jupiter!

A: Jupiter is offic- I was right last week when I said that Jupiter was the best, and this week proves it ‘cause he made turtles!

NH: (crosstalk) Uh, no. Jupiter – 

C: Yep! Lots of turtles, not just one!

A: Yep.

NH: Jupiter and Mercury have both been cut from the running for best character for giving me Hypnosis Mic flash backs. 

A: Oh, Mercury is really bad at rapping. He’s got no flow whatsoever.

NH: (crosstalk) They’re both –

C: (crosstalk) Both of them are!

A: Yeah, they’re both bad, but Mercury’s worse. And I didn’t know that ribs moved the lungs, I thought that they moved by muscles. So, I learned – I actually learned something from this educational TV show.

C: (crosstalk) Yeah. The ribs are attached to the muscles and they move them. 

NH: Yeah. They should have eaten Jupiter at the end though.

A: Oh, I just – Oh, also, the Heaven’s Design Team anime, or somebody, they made a, an Animal Crossing island. I’m going to bring up the Dream Code for it right now, so anybody watching this can go visit it. It’s apparently very cute. I haven’t visited it yet, but I have – here are the images – it is cute as hell, 

C: (crosstalk) I believe it.

A: they got references to the show. There’s an area where there’s just panda dolls everywhere. 

NH: Aw~

A: And – this is very slowly loading. 

NH: As these things typically do. It was a good episode. I could have done without the seal inflating its nostril, to be honest.

A: Oh, I’m sure they all could have. (to site) Where’s the – the design? The code?

C: That was cool!

A: (crosstalk) It was. Oh, here it is! The dream address is right here. [transcriber’s note: DA-2943-4856-4983]

NH: No! It was until they explained what it was.

C: It’s just a membrane! Everybody got membranes!

NH: But to inflate it like that!

A: Yeah, I know, wasn’t it gross? Didn’t you love it?

C: Oh, yah.

NH: No!

A: Hold on, I’m, uh…

NH: I did love Venus’s whole thing, I will say.

A: Yeah, I kinda want her and – I’m gonna keep this  – I’m gonna keep the Dream Code for their island up here so that anybody watchin’ this can go and visit it. But, um, oh, I want her and Neptune to date now, because that was – they’re cute.

C: Mm-hm. 

NH: They are.

C: I think everybody wants to date Neptune now.

A: Oh, yeah, that – Neptune should just – it should just turn into a harem anime now with Neptune as the Protag-kun. 

NH: I think Saturn’s married.

C: (crosstalk) It could be argued that it already is.

A: Yeah, it could be. Anything else we wanna talk about?

NH: (to Pokémon) Just die! Just die!

A: Anything else about Heaven’s Design Team?

NH: Um, let’s see… No. It was very cute. That’s what we say every week.

C: There were more frogs.

NH: There were more frogs. 

A: (crosstalk) Yes, there were – Well, new frogs are always welcome.

C: There was somethin’ that I thought of, and then I forgot what it was. It was in the latter half of the episode?

A: With the mating?

NH: Which part? I thought they were gonna do peacocks.

A: Yeah, so did I.

NH: (crosstalk) They didn’t.

A: I’m glad we finally got to see why Venus was wearin’ that shirt – wearin’ the Takarazuka outfit in the ending.

NH: Yeah.

A: And, um, anyway. Shall we move on to Sk8 the Infinity?

NH: Oh boy! That was some –

A: Oh, I have a note here – I have a note here that says ‘What the fuck ADAMaunts?

NH: (crosstalk) Yeah, that was pretty –

A: The fucking twist of the season is that The Dio-Ass Motherfucker™ has fucked up ideas about love. I never would have guessed!

C: Mm-hm.

NH: (crosstalk) Yeah – uh, yeah, that was some great – I have, uh, I had a note somewhere here that just said ‘Big yikes, ADAM.’ Fuckin’ – 

A: Oh, yeah! His aunts fucked him up.

NH: Oh, yeah, let’s tell this middle schooler –

A: (crosstalk) His aunts fucked him up, man.

C: Tell the middle schooler he’ll love him soon.

A: Oh, yeah.

NH: (crosstalk) Once you bud – once you blossom, I will be in love with you! As he is in love with all of his skating partners, because that’s not creepy grooming behavior at all!

A: It’s ‘cause, for him it’s not. ‘Cause remember how his aunts were doing – like, they were rapping his knuckles and saying that that’s love or –

C: Yeah, that’s another thing. Please stop fucking blaming child abuse on people’s shitty behavior!

NH: Babe. Babe, turn yourself down, please.

A: Yeah… 

C: That’s just – stop it, anime! Stop it!

A: It – I mean, it makes sense. There’s – it’s called the cycle of abuse for a reason.

C: Yeah, but it’s still fucking annoying. 

A: I mean, it explains – just ‘cause something explains something, doesn’t mean it justifies it. Like, I don’t think they’re trying to say ‘oh, his behaviors okay because he was abused,’ they’re saying ‘his behavior is like this because he was abused.’ It’s not the same as saying that it’s okay. 

C: Yeah, but if they try to fucking redeem him, I’m going to sue.

A: (crosstalk) Oh, Zack is so happy! They’re not trying to redeem him, at least not yet. 

NH: They’re not going to. I’m glad – 

A: (crosstalk) Like, if he’s going to – if he’s – if he’s gonna be redeemed, he’s going to earn it. 

NH: If he’s going to be redeemed, it will be in prison. Or through death.

A: Yeah.

NH: And even then –

A: Or, most likely it’s going to be by something happening to his friend, or his secretary, and then he’s going to feel reall- super guilty about it. 

NH: As he should

A: Yeah.

NH: because it would be his fault.

A: Yeah. It absolutely would. Although, his – Tadashi’s mole keeps changing size. Did you notice that?

NH: Maybe he has a twin.

C: (crosstalk) Maybe he draws it on.

A: Sometimes it’s just like a little, like a pixel, and sometimes it’s slightly bigger than a pixel. 

NH: Maybe he has an identical twin and they’re doing the Prestige-type bullshit that Christian Bale’s character was doing? Remember when he had his twin brother cut off some of his fingers so they’d continue to be identical and be able to switch places?

A: I sure don’t! I’ve never seen that movie.

C: Yeah, don’t.

NH: Oh, it was great! Was it The Prestige? It was one of those movies.

A: Also, I have a note here about who the fuck is Harry, but I guess it doesn’t matter, ‘cause he lost right away. 

NH: Yeah.

C: Yeah. He was just a throw away ‘hey this guy’s ok.’

NH: (crosstalk) Yep.

C: But he lost!

A: (crosstalk) Oh, also JOE is cool. JOE is super cool, and Langa’s super gay.

C: Yep.

NH: Oh yeah.

C: Oh, yah.

NH: Fuckin’… 

A: But does he – Does Langa have poutine with every meal?

NH: Maybe. 

C: Canadians!

A: Yeah. Like, do they even know any other food that people eat in Canada, or do they just see poutine and are like ‘whelp, I guess he’s just gonna eat nothin’ but poutine.’

NH: Well, it could also be –

C: (crosstalk) Well, they can’t get Tim Horton’s!

NH: It could also be a comfort thing at this stage, 

A: Yeah.

NH: ‘cause he did just have several major life changes. And he has been upset.

A: Yeah.

NH: And the only time we see him at meals is when he is clearly having trouble.

A: Yeah. Like, his mom’s probably still tryin’ to do a thing. But also, eating poutine as a side with Japanese food just seems a bit odd.

C: Mm-hm.

NH: Eh. 

C: Well, we can’t forget he’s Canadian.

NH: I forget he’s Canadian all the time. 

C: Mm-hm.

A: Langa’s a weird name.

NH: He’s a weird dude.

A: Yeah.

NH: Fuck, man.

A: But I think ADAM is just messed- He’s screwed. He’s screwed in the head.

NH: Didn’t –

A: He needs some therapy.

NH: He needs therapy. He needs, oh god what’s it called? – Not prison.

A: A swift kick in the ass?

NH: Uh, yeah! A nice swift kick in the dick!

A: Yeah.

NH: I mean, he’s all dick, so that could be anywhere, but.

A: Yeah. He needs a kick in the ass.

NH: Fuck, man.

A: Yeah, he’s – his brain is full of worms, because he was raised by incredibly toxic people. So he has incredibly toxic ideas about things.

NH: (crosstalk) Yeah. That’s one reason.

A: Like I said, it’s not a justification, but it sure does make sense.

C: Yup.

NH: I mean…

A: What? 

NH: No, it’s nothing. It’s oversharing hours, let’s skip it.

A: Alright. Shall we move on to Horimiya?

NH: It was cute. Hold on, I have a note here! Sengoku, blushing furiously, ‘I am not embarrassed!’

A: Oh, wait, I have a note here! ‘New idiot just dropped.’

NH: (laughs) I hope he stays forever!

A: I know, I loved him.

NH: I hope he stays and keeps misidentifying everyone.

A: Oh, yeah. He’s great.

NH: Yep. It was great. I liked Miyamura stepping on Hori’s head to level up, that was cute. 

A: Yeah. Oh, I haven’t mentioned this before, but I freaking love love love that Hori is not Miyamura’s first friend. Because that is just a recipe for toxicity.

NH: Oh, yeah.

A: Like, it’s cute in a romance story, but in real life, it is not good. No. ‘Cause it just makes you codependent and not great.

NH: Yeah. (to Pokémon) Good job, Flynn, you kicked that poor bird’s ass. Being three times its level.

A: You got anything else to say about Horimiya?

NH: It’s cute. I can’t wait for them to have an actual conversation about how uncomfortable Hori’s masochism streak makes her boyfriend.

A: And with his – with her dad. Let’s not forget that.

NH: I wish the dad wasn’t a part of it, but…

A: I think it’s great that the dad – I think it’s great that he has a trusted adult that he can talk to about his sex life.

NH: I wish it wasn’t his girlfriend’s father!

A: Yeah. That’d be nice, but, you know… Better’n nobody.

NH: Yeah. That’s true, it is better than nobody.

A: Yeah. 

NH: Horimiya was good and cute as always.

A: Of course. It was. Any other anim- I feel like we’re missing – maybe it’s just ‘cause we didn’t have a Wonder Egg Priority episode to talk about. 

NH: (crosstalk) Let’s see: Horimiya, Cells at Work, Sk8, Wonder Egg, I think that’s all of them. Hold on, let me double check.

C: Mm-hm.

A: That is all of them. 

NH: Wow, the discussion was really short today.

A: Yep. Well, I do wanna talk – 

C: (crosstalk) Well, not much happened.

A: Wanna talk a bit about – Ok, so Promised Neverland. Season Two skipped a whole bunch o’ shit that was in the manga. And apparently there’s a whole controversy about it, so as somebody who read the manga, I feel like I should give my two cents. First of all, [my note] says, the first ten seconds of the OP is some of the most effective horror imagery I’ve ever seen in an anime. Aside from that, it’s fine. Losing the Goldie Pond arc isn’t great, but I don’t remember it having much of an impact on the overall narrative, aside from it introducing new characters. I’m curious about the lack of references to Mr Unpronounceable and the New Promise, but overall, I’m withholding judgement until it’s done. So, yeah. That’s my two cents on the changes to Promised Neverland

NH: That makes sense.

A: And like any adaptation, when people start crying about ‘Oh, they changed stuff! They changed stuff!’ The original still exists. You can still read it. A Shonen Jump subscription is two dollars a month. So, you know. Just read the original if you don’t like the adaptational choices.

C: Mm.

A: And the last thing is, in Osomatsu-san, they cast Nyaa as the prince to Totoko’s Cinderella, they have lost plausible deniability, they are gay.

NH: Nice.

[NH and C laugh]

A: Yep. They don’t get to make excuses: them girls be fuckin’.

C: Mm-hm.

A: Yeah. So. Anybody have anything else to talk about from this week’s anime? 

C: They didn’t update the spider, and I’m sad.

A: Oh. No, not yet. They – I’m not sure where the spider’s goin’, but I’m interested. I did – I did read some spoilers, so I do know some stuff about what’s goin’ on with the spider. 

C: Mm-hm.

A: But it was nothing earth shattering, and I was not surprised. So.

C: Yeah.

A: You know. Let’s see. Where’s my itinerary? There it is. Let’s see what’s on next? Ah, yes, the random topic for this week. What do I want to talk about? Let’s talk about fictional sibling relationships! Specifically, which one is a sufficiental- a fictional sibling relationship that you think feels like an actual sibling relationship that you can recognize?

NH: Reki and his sister.

A: Yeah.

C: Yeah.

A: Yeah, I thi-

NH: (crosstalk) They had a really cute time today – in the latest episode.

A: Yep. Like ‘you’re always uncool.’

NH: ‘You’re a little cool when you’re skating.’ That was sweet.

A: Yeah. ‘But just a little.’

C: Mm-hm.

NH laughs.

A: I think, um, I think the anime that nails fictional sibling relationships the best is Osomatsu-san. ‘Cause, especially adult siblings who are still living together and are – there is a lot of them, like, you know, our family,

C: (crosstalk) Mm-hm.

A:  where there’s adult siblings, and there is a lot of us. 

C: Yeah.

A: In that, there is a hell of a lot of resentment, they fight a lot. But ultimately, they got each other’s back. 

NH: Yeah.

A: And, like, some of them get along better than others, some barely talk to each other, some would happily kill each other. 

NH: (crosstalk) I would happily kill any of you.

A: And others are, like, best friends. But, yeah.

C: Yes, we know.

A: Yeah. So, yeah. Even though it’s a comedy, and a lot of the times, things are exaggerated for the sake of, you know, being a comedy, it really does a good job of showing what it’s like to be in a family with that many people who are near your own age.

C: Yes, it makes it blatantly obvious that at least one of the writers and/or producers is in a family with that many children.

A: Yeah, maybe.

NH: Yeah.

A: Yeah. Is there anything else? Are we done? Is it time for best and worst of the week?

NH: I think so.

A: Alright, let’s talk about best –

C: (crosstalk) Yeah.

NH: (crosstalk) I think it might be.

A: Alright, um. Wait, who got the bad one last – Haley. Haley, what is the best… where is the best place you’ve visited this week? Either in a game or in real life. Where’s a place you went to where you thought, ‘huh, this is – this is nice’?

NH: Oh. Persephone’s farm in Hades.

A: Oh. I’ve still not played that game.

NH: Finally made it.

C: (crosstalk) You finally got there? 

NH: What the fuck? Yes, I got there! And it was beautiful, and Persephone was there. 

C: Mm-hm.

NH: That’s really all there was to it. And then it was sad, because we had to go back, and do the whole thing again, and again.

C: Yeah.

A: Yeah.

NH: I’ve still never beaten Hades with anything except the Twin Fists of Malphon. [transcriber’s note: update — Noah has now beaten Hades with Coronacht as well. Take that, past Noah.]

C: (crosstalk) How sad.

A: I’m gonna pretend that makes sense- that those are words that carry meaning for me.

NH: It’s a pair of gauntlets.

C: Uh, yeah.

A: Ok. I’ll take your word for it.

C: (crosstalk) They’ve managed to beat him to death, but nothing else.

A: Yeah.

NH: (crosstalk) You beat the shit – Yes. I beat him to death with my bear fists. And then I beat him to death with the Aspect of Demeter’s fists. And then I saw my mother! And that was it, that was the best place I visited this week. 

A: Hm.

NH: (crosstalk) Yeah, I have a very sad life.

A: Charlie? 

C: Hm?

A: Charlie, where’s the worst place you visited this week? What’s a place you went to and you thought ‘this sucks.’

C: The grocery store.

A: Yeah. Grocery store sucks.

C: I had to do a run for things we missed.

A: Yeah. I went to the grocery store yesterday and somebody was making some kind of political argument that I didn’t hear, but since it was Arizona, I’m sure it was incredibly stupid. Also, that person didn’t have a mask on.

C: Yeah. Half the fuckin’ people I saw had their masks below their nose.

NH: Fuckin’, did you hear – sorry go ahead.

A: Oh, half the people – Half the people at the grocery store I went to had no mask at all. 

NH: Fuck, man.

A: Yeah.

C: What the fuck.

A: That’s Arizona for you.

NH: Did you hear that Abbot rescinded – did you hear that Abbot rescinded Texas’s mask mandate?

A: I don’t know who that is.

C: Of course he fucking did.

NH: Fuckin’ –

A: Oh, yes. I did. I did hear that.

NH: (crosstalk) Why do these people- 

A: It’s only a few months until the vaccine will be readily available, and they’ve already decided ‘oh, it’s over!’ It’s like ‘not quite!’

NH: (crosstalk) And we’ve still got hundreds of people dying every week. Like, fuckin’, capitalists understand that if people die, nobody will be around to extort, right?

A: They do not. They don’t care.

C: Nope. They don’t care. Fuck the poor.

A: (crosstalk) They just want to make as much money as they can before everybody’s dead.

C: Mm-hm. And they’re not gettin’ money from poor people anyway, so 

A: (crosstalk) Yeah.

C: Who gives a shit?

A: Yeah. But, you know. Yep. The world is gonna end. But, yeah…

NH: Well, our country’s going to end, I’m sure parts of the world will be just fine. Because the actually –

A: (crosstalk) Yeah, Finland seems to be doing ok. And, uh, and New Zealand is fine. Anyway, so Haley, you’ve got the next article coming up, what’s it gonna be about? 

NH: (sighs) Tentatively, it’s going to be an exploration of the themes of Mass Effect, through the menu – well, not necessarily the themes, but – an exploration of Mass Effect through the menu music used throughout the series, that will ultimately end in me defending Mass Effect: Andromeda, because it’s my favorite game, and you should all be ashamed that it – you didn’t like it. Um, that’s a joke, mostly.

A: I have never played a Mass Effect game.

[C gasps in mock offense]

NH: Well! That’s fine. Don’t, don’t play a Mass Effect game. At least, if you do, don’t get involved with the fandom. 

A: (crosstalk) I won’t.

NH: Don’t get involved with any Bioware fandom.

A: Yeah, I don’t.

NH: Yeah, but if that doesn’t pan out, which it might not – I’m having a lot of trouble with it – it’s gonna be what I’m going to call a meditation on trauma and it’s going to be a brief look at Reki, and ADAM, and Langa, and how they all need therapy for different reasons, and how not getting therapy has fucked them over.

A: Yeah.

C: At least Reki has an idea of how to move on, now. 

NH: (crosstalk) Yeah, Reki’s – 

C: ‘Cause, you know, he had that little ‘oh, support!’ epiphany.

NH: Yeah, I mean, he’s still got problems. But, Reki’s really lucky that JOE and CHERRY, and eventually MIYA from the look of it, are going to be around to kick his ass. ‘Cause he’s gonna need it sometimes.

A: Yep.

C: Mm-hm.

NH: What am I doing? Oh, I’m killing this Shinx.

C: (gasps) No!

NH: What?

C: Shinx is good!

NH: Well, unfortunately, I do not need a Shinx. I’ve already caught a Pokémon on this route.

A: Yeah.

NH: Oh. Do I have – I think I have a Shinx? I do! I have Judith. Is Judith my onl – I have a Shinx, don’t worry. I’m not killing all of them.

C: Yeah.

NH: One will be spared my wrath.

A: I guess. Alright –

NH: (crosstalk) I think I’m going to manage to get the music one done. Even if I have to fucking kick my own ass.

A: Well, good luck with that. 

NH: Thank you.

A: Mm-hm. Alright.

NH: Maybe eating would help me write better.

A: Maybe. Probably. Well, good luck with that.

C: Mm-hm.

A: Try eating something sweet: sugar helps your brain. 

NH: I had sweet this morning. You know, it certainly doesn’t help that I had all sense of music beaten out of me.

[C giggles maniacally]

NH: Like, just a little bit of warning would have been appreciated, Charlie! Just a little!

A: What happened?

C: Never!

NH: I didn’t need a full –

C: (crosstalk) Venus’s song was nice!

NH: You know, Venus is not the problem!

[C continues to giggle maniacally]

C: The rap broke their brain!

NH: It was bad enough on its own, but I came out of it having flashbacks to Hypnosis Mic. Which was just not a good time, at all! I watched two episodes of that show before it finally broke me. If you said anything, Ace, I didn’t hear it.

A: I didn’t say anything. I only watched one episode of Hypnosis Mic because one of the characters was impossibly annoying, and I could not stand to watch another episode.

NH: Oh, they’re all impossibly annoying. Like –

A: Yeah, but especially that one, the one, the little pink thing.

editor’s note: this little pink thing

A: I can’t stand characters of that sort, because they just – there’s nothing to ‘em.

NH: I don’t remember which one you’re talking about. The only part of Hypnosis Mic I remember, besides the feeling of absolute disenchantment with the world, and also possibly brain damage, is that seen where that under – was he an undercover cop? Whatever he was, got his cigarette lit by his boyfriend directly from the tip of his cigarette, while both of them were in their mouths. 

A: Oh, that’s, that’s gay.

NH: Yeah! Like, that’s all I remember of the series. It wasn’t great.

A: No. It wasn’t trying to be great, it was trying to be silly. By all accounts –

NH: (crosstalk) It was trying to be an anim- What’d you say?

A: Am I supposed to –

NH: Charlie, what’d you say?

A: (crosstalk) I don’t know what I’m looking –

C: Nothin’.

NH: Uh, where are you, Ace? 

A: I’m in – Oh, I’m dealing with water temperature- okay. I figured it out.

NH: Oh, ok. Are you sad yet that I’m further than you?

A: Uh, no.

NH: Darnit. At least I never –

A: I mean, I only play once a week, so.

NH: That’s true. And I’m gonna go –

A: (crosstalk) I mean, I did get the Switch version, because I found out that it existed while I was looking for an image of the character designs for the transcript

NH: Yeah.

A: And I’ve been playing that in my own time, but I’m currently farther than I was – than I am there. So, you know. ‘Cause I’m trying to finish [Final Fantasy XIV] Stormblood before Endwalker comes out, and I’m still 

NH: (crosstalk) Excuse me. Yeah.

A: Well, we should plug stuff. What do you wanna plug?

NH: What do I want to plug? Uh, fuck, man, I don’t know. Oh! Watch Sk8 the Infinity. If you aren’t.

A: That doesn’t count.

C: That doesn’t count! 

NH: That absolutely counts.

C: Anime we are actively reviewing does not count for a plug! It’s considered already plugged.

NH: Okay…

A: Yeah, ‘cause if we’re still talking about it, we obviously don’t like it. I mean, we obviously do like it!

[C laughs]

NH: I don’t know, we still talk about some anime still that make me want to die. We just talked about Hypnosis Mic, and God knows none of us liked that. 

A: No! I would’ve liked it if they hadn’t had that pink thing

editor’s note: it is a bad and awful pink thing

NH: I would’ve liked if the music had not – well, I wouldn’t have liked it but I would have tolerated it – if the music hadn’t given me a fucking concussion every time it started. 

A: Yeah.

NH: I think Japanese rap is just not for me. ‘Cause it’s based off of something called a ‘multimedia musical project.’ Where they had like, people listening –

A: (crosstalk) Yeah, a lot of idol shows are like that.

NH: It’s so weird.

C: Mm-hm. 

NH: I think Wave!!! is part of one of those, too, but I’m not sure, I might be misremembering. Which I did end up dropping (dog barks) Son of a bitch!

C: I’ll be right back.

A: Ok…

C: Zuko is barking.

NH: Yes, we hear him.

A: Then, I’ll plug something. I just read a manga called Mama Akuma, which was cute.

NH: Mama Akuma?

A: It’s about a ten year old girl who summons a demon to be her new mom. Because she doesn’t have a mom, and she wants someone to be home when she gets home from work. I mean, from school.

NH: Hmmm.

A: It’s cute, you should check it out.

NH: That does sound cute.

C: Ok, sorry about that! Oh, shit, I’m dying.

NH: Um.

A: Plug something!

C: Oh, Leverage! Watch Leverage, it’s good, and it’s getting a reboot!

A: Okay.

NH: Only some of the original show runners are signing on. 

C: Three of ‘em.

NH: Oh, that’s good. That’s better than nothing.

C: Yep. One of ‘em’s the executive producer, and two are consulting producers. So. 

NH: Hm. I still don’t have anything to plug, other than The Untamed. Let’s see… Angels of Death! Can I plug Angels of Death? Play Angels of Death.

A: You absolutely can!

NH: (crosstalk) Yeah, play Angels of Death. I got it – 

A: So, yes you can. I bought it. Yeah, I paid for it. 

NH: (crosstalk) I got it for free. I got it for free. 

C: Good for you.

NH: Yeah, and you know what, it’s worth that price at least. It would even be worth ten dollars, if I had – if I’d had ten dollars to spend on it. But it’s a lot of fun! But if you do play it, don’t do what I do and voice every character, and then give one of them main characters a very raspy, shouty voice, ‘cause you’ll kill yourself. 

A: I mean, well, in the anime, he has a very shouty voice. 

NH: Yes, I know. But I was not – I wanted hi-

A: But raspy does make sense considering he’s burnt. 

NH: Yeah, plus he shouts all the time. See, the thing is I wanted him and Rachel to have very diff- to have different voices. And then everyone else has the same voice in different emotional tones. 

A: Oh, look at this grown ass serial killer being intimidated by a little girl. 

NH: (snorts) That’s cute. 

A: He’s like ‘I swear to God!’ He’s backing up, ‘Yes, okay, fine!’

NH: He’s – I love Zack. As a character. 

A: He’s my favorite fictional character. I don’t know if you noticed.

NH: Yes, I had noticed. And I can understand why, he’s a lot of fun. And also so much trauma.

A: (crosstalk) He’s gotta, he’s stuff you can dive into, you can talk about him from any angle. 

NH: Yeah. And you’re going to, aren’t you Ace?

A: Oh, no

NH: (crosstalk) Hold on, did I ever send that prompt?

A: I’m not equipped to deal with that subject, but yeah he’s

NH: (crosstalk) To deal with which subject?

A: The possible racism thing that I mentioned.

NH: (crosstalk) Oh.

A: The how him having black hair indicates that he’s –

NH: (crosstalk) Yeah.

A: ‘Cause you know how in anime and Japanese video games and stuff, Americans are usually blonde or ginger?

NH: Yeah.

A: But, yeah – but he has black hair, which implies that he’s probably a Person of Color, and yet all the victims we see – everybody we see him kill is white. And his biggest issues, his biggest, I guess you could call, the things that set him off are being dehumanized or feeling like he’s being exploited. 

NH: Yeah.

A: And there’s definitely something there you could get into, but I’m not going to be the one to get into it, because I am not equipped to deal with that kind of chat – kind of thing. So, I’m just going to bring it up. But, uh, yeah.

[Editor’s Note: If you would like to tackle this topic, feel free to send us a pitch at https://ace-reviews.tumblr.com/submit!]

C: Ok, did Ace plug anything yet?

NH: Yeah. An anime, Mama Akuma. A manga, I mean, sorry. 

A: Yeah, I got a manga, yeah, Mama Akuma. It’s a cute anime about a little girl who summons a demon to be her mom. 

C: Cool.

A: Also, this demon, by the way, is a dude. 

C: Of course.

A: ‘Cause the dad says to, um, that if anybody asks to tell them that he’s his little brother. So.

NH: Hm.

A: You haven’t plugged anything yet – Wait, no, I think everybody’s plugged something.

[NH and C agree]

A: So, I think everybody can start promoting – everybody promote your stuff. 

NH: Alright, let’s get Fen’s out of the way!

A: (crosstalk) Where can people find you?

NH: Let me get Fen’s out of the way real quick. twitch.tv/druidquest. At the moment, she is streaming on Tuesdays, whenever she wakes up to dinner time. So that’s usually a few hours on Tuesdays. I don’t know if she has VOD set up, so I can’t link you to any past streams, but twitch.tv/druidquest. I am at twitch.tv/arcticknoah, who is messaging me? I don’t have time for that. I stream Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday. Wednesday and Sunday, I stream from ten to two, whenever I happen to stop. Saturday is from six to ten. Thursday and Friday, Thursday I’m going to start at eight, and then I go through midnight on Friday for Late Night LOTRO. And I think that’s all of them.

A: Ok. Oh, um, this weekend, by the way, just advance warning, I’m probably, we’re probably only going to do Late Night LOTRO for an hour. ‘Cause I’m going back to streaming it, and I want to see if I can upload an hour long video to YouTube in less than 24 hours. 

[Editor’s Note from the future: I can! Huzzah!]

NH: Good fuckin’ luck. 

A: Yeah, so.

NH: Whenever I upload anything to YouTube, I have to just – I mean, I usually do several at a time, and schedule them over three days, but I have to set up my laptop to do it overnight. This week, I forgot that I have to leave my laptop on, and so I put it to sleep, so on Tuesday morning there were videos that were supposed to be posted that did not get posted on time. It’s very sad.

A: (inaudible crosstalk) 

NH: That’s another thing! Any of my past streams that you want to see that have been deleted from Twitch, they are up at my YouTube channel, youtube.com, it’s Noah Haley, it’s got a little 

A: (crosstalk) Shit! I don’t know where I am!

NH: A little icon of Erik. What are you? Where are you – what are you trying to do? Hold on.

A: I’m running away from Eddie in a maze. Oh! I’m dead. 

NH: Oh. Good luck. Fuck, man that –

A: (crosstalk) Oh, hey, I’m almost out!

NH: That was a nightmare and a half. 

C: Ok. Is it my turn or Ace’s turn?

NH: Yes.

C: Yes to which?

NH: You! Go! Ace is distracted.

C: Ok. Twitch, I stream Wednesdays and Sundays, eleven to whenever, @ecpaulstein. I’m also on Tumblr @magiclikeacharlie, all one word, or ecwritingprompts, all one word as well. So, come and check me out, please. Ace’s turn!

A: Alright, I’ve got – I’m here on Twitch, twitch.tv/rhlotr. This is the only scheduled stream. Though I also stream Final Fantasy XIV with Charlie on Tuesday nights, and I will be streaming Old Republic with Haley on Wednesday nights, so that’ll be tonight. And then we have Late Night LOTRO on Thursdays, which this week will only be an hour, but usually it’s however – usually it’s about six hours or so. If I can stay awake that long.

C: Mm-hm.

A: And, um, I may or may not be streaming with Fen on Monday mornings, we’ll see how that goes. It’s basically up to whether or not she feels like doing it.

NH: (crosstalk) What time are you -?

A: And I’m on Tumblr – what? Go for it.

NH: What time do you usually start streaming on Monday mornings? I’ll make sure she’s awake for it.

A: I’ve never – Well, there was no time. We – the one time we did a thing together, it was at 11. So.

NH: Okay.

A: Okay. But, you know, that’s fine. I’ll just only plug my Twitch. And that’s it! And I will get – try to not get killed by Eddie again next week.

NH: Okay.

A: So, that’s it for this week!

C: Mm-hm.

A: Y’all have a good d- y’all have a good’un.

NH: Stay safe!

C: Thanks for joining us!

A: Take care! Wear your fucking mask, and wear it fucking properly. 

NH: And stay six feet away from us.

C: (crosstalk) Yes! Cover your nose and mouth!

A: Yup. See you in a few hours for Star Wars. Bye!

NH: Bye~

C: Bye~

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