Crunchyroll Dropping Free Simulcasts, Sentai to Withdraw 60 Anime From Platform (pay attention to headline)

According to Bounding Into Comics, anime streaming platform Crunchyroll is set to end their free simulcast program, which presented anime at no charge with commercial interruptions. Not only that, they’re pointing out that Sentai Filmworks is withdrawing 60 anime from the platform.

Because both stories are being presented in the same headline, it may appear that the two are connected. Which they are, by virtue of the fact that both stories involve Crunchyroll.

From the story as presented, one might even get the idea that Crunchyroll would be done with simulcasts, altogether. But in typical journalist fashion, the clarification comes a couple paragraphs in:

“For the Spring 2022 season and future seasonal releases, Crunchyroll will update our offering on simulcast titles by subscription tier. To view new and continuing simulcasts, a premium monthly or annual subscription will be required.”

So, Crunchyroll is still doing simulcasts, as a paid service. I get that Crunchyroll is not viewed in a favorable light, but does the headline have to be worded in a way that allows the reader to make the worst assumptions? Journalists know that many people just read the headlines as they browse, so they word their headlines in a manner that cultivates the assumptions of those browsing, while burying the real story a couple paragraphs down, knowing that it’s usually the first paragraph that’s sampled when the page is indexed by search engines.

I usually like Bounding Into Comics, but I’m disappointed with how they handled this. Tsk, tsk.

Having said that, I recognize that the anime community has legitimate grievances with Crunchyroll, largest of which being that they have a bad habit of using the platform to express their own political biases, which is especially inappropriate considering that what’s localized is Japanese content, which came from a culture that doesn’t have the same California-metro culture that embodies the bulk of misguided activism. Then there’s the fact that they’ve thrown a huge chunk of their budget behind High Guardian Spice.

It’s my opinion that translations should be handled in-house, by the original producers, as they (along with the author) would have the best idea which cultural elements are most significant to the work. And for that matter, they’d likely also realize that consumers of Japanese animation are not babies, and would therefore be able to comprehend that something originating from Japan might have Japanese cultural elements. It’s also my opinion that the producers should be the main distributors, not some middle-men such as Crunchyroll.

While localizers may be loathe to admit it, they’re still in competition with pirates. Even as far back as the mid-2000s, teams of free localizers could produce a subtitled version of an anime episode within days or perhaps even hours of its broadcast on Japanese television. While professional localizers may claim that they’re producing a higher-quality product months (or even years) after the original broadcast, the fact is, for the typical anime fan, even a cheap-o pirated sub will do.

Considering this, it’s easy to see that, as is the case with simulpub with manga, simulcasts are the best that anime publishers can do when in competition with pirates. Even then, it’s still not enough to sway those willing to wait a couple days if it means getting the product for free.

Thus, it becomes a practical course of action for publishers to appeal to those willing to financially support them by ensuring that they don’t have to wait for it. Otherwise, fans might find it more appealing to wait for their peers to translate anime and manga if it means it becomes easier to fill up their tanks.

What’s more, that popular anime can flit from one streaming platform to another might make it hard to follow anime with a license that changes hands from one streaming service to another. If you follow a great many anime, you might face the expensive decision of subscribing to multiple streaming services at a time.

Of course, many of us might remember a time when anime was a far more expensive hobby. Remember when an anime movie on VHS could set a person back as much as $50?

Crunchyroll just lost a lot of content, and they just became less appealing as a budget option.

Warning: Producers Are Workplace Prey

There’s something that’s been on my mind for a while, and I think this can serve as a warning to those in their twenties who have the idea of spending the next 40 years of their life working for some other man.

A long while ago, I started working a new job. It seemed like typical work, but before too long into it, my supervisor started suggesting certain procedures. You probably already know that a “suggestion” from a supervisor usually comes down to “do as you’re told, or there’s gonna be trouble”, but there’s something more to that particular instance: the procedures that he was suggesting did nothing to make my job more productive, they actually did just the opposite.

It didn’t take long to figure out that for the supervisor it was a matter of pride, or that the person I was replacing didn’t put up with the guy’s shenanigans (my co-workers told me as much).

Because we’ve grown up watching a lot of television, we’ve had it drilled into our impressionable little heads that it’s the hard workers who are the winners, and that if we keep at it, management will eventually take notice, and we’ll achieve that sweet payoff. Of course, as we grow more cynical over the course of our exposure to the real world, we eventually realize that our collective work ethics are being harvested to make other people rich.

In the workplace wilderness, those who actually produce value are prey animals. Their natural predators are those who produce bloat.

Bloat predators usually don’t do much of anything. But when they smell blood, then they’re off to get a piece of the action. This happens when there’s a problem somewhere.

Those who produce value can usually get by without the help of a bloat predator. Often, solving a problem is as simple as making an adjustment to a value or two in a process. However, the bloat predator is out to justify his existence, so he’ll continue to hack away at the issue long after the matter has been solved to the satisfaction of the rest of production. A problem solved by simple adjustments can be expanded into extensive record-keeping, periodic procedures, purchases of new gadgets (that aren’t guaranteed to work), redundant measurements, and on and on.

While the productive prey can attempt to confront a bloat predator, the matter usually won’t go well for the productive, as the typical bloat predator would just label them as problematic, and end up having their way because they tend to be more connected (they know which nuggets to blow).

Over the course of my work life, I’ve encountered bloat. There’s not much that one can do about it. When it gets excessive, it might be time to start looking around, as the company you’re working for might soon be going nipples-up. If you’ve got a side-hustle, it might not be a bad idea to put more energy into that, even if just for mental health. But if you can somehow manage to become self-employed, that might be ideal. In that case, you can decide for yourself how much bloat would interfere with productivity (ideally, it wouldn’t).

But in most workplaces, unproductive people who produce bloat are a fact of life. And for those who produce value, they are a vexation.

TWAT News: Dumb Criminal Accidentally Busts Himself For Drug Crime

He said that he purchased drugs, and I believe him. He also said that he’s an experienced drug user, and I believe that, too. I also believe that Thomas Eugene Colucci is a dumb criminal, and he’s probably getting around to figuring that out.

The same man was taken into police custody after calling 911, expressing doubts that the two bags of methamphetamine that he had purchased from a man in a night club was legitimate. He claimed that, as an experienced drug user, he knew the sensation of meth, and suspected that he was instead sold bath salts.

Afterwards, the doubting Thomas took his two bags of meth to be tested by police, who then confirmed that the bags tested positive for meth. Then, in a move that most of us probably could have called, the police took him into custody for possession of methamphetamine, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

His bond was set at $7000. Which is pretty low, considering that if he was dumb enough to accidentally turn himself in, there may be a significant risk of failure to appear because he got lost on the way to his own trial.

Colucci’s motive for bringing the matter to the attention of police was in the hopes that the drug dealer would be detained, reasoning that getting a dealer of counterfeit drugs off the streets would make the world a safer place. However, because Colucci failed to provide information that led to the dealer, the only one who ended up getting arrested was Colucci himself.

Bravo, Colucci! That was exquisite! You actually busted yourself for possession, and That Was Actually The News.

Jussie Smollett Sentenced to 150 Days of Jail For Hate Crime Hoax

Jussie Smollett, the failed actor who attempted a hate crime hoax to bolster his career and attempt to defame Trump supporters, has just been sentenced to five months of jail.

Did he get off way too easy? Definitely. Was the leniency a product of his celebrity status? It’s likely. Yet, it’s great to know that we live in a world where backbiters have a chance of tasting a portion of what they deserve.

Apparently, the system was pissed at something different from what the rest of us were. While we were upset at a deliberate attempt to paint a huge portion of the electorate in a defamatory light, all while attempting to benefit from the attention, what got the system riled up was the resources spent in pursuit of a frivolous and false accusation. He was ordered to pay over $120,000 in restitution to the city of Chicago, and a $25,000 fine.

It seems the moral of the story is, if you want the legal system to give a care about defamation, you have to demonstrate that it matters to their bottom line. Sure, it’s a shitty moral, but at least a lying piece of work is getting locked up.

I suspect that he’s not going to the real thing, but to celebrity jail, where he gets to while away his time in relative comfort, with substantial amenities, and near-limitless entertainment, all while his basic needs are met. So, perhaps his real punishment in the long-term would be the hit to his own reputation.

That aside, most people are not celebrities. So, this story is still a valid warning to false accusers everywhere. Some famous guy didn’t get away with it, so they might not get away with it, either.

The Metaverse Has a Catgirl Police Force

As quick as I may be to pick on the Metaverse, I can admit when they have something great. Such as their community of unofficial catgirl police.

Yes, they do have such a community. And no, they don’t police the Metaverse in any official capacity. They’re called the Loli Police Department (LPD for short), and they’re a community that roleplays as police officers in VRChat.

The LPD acts out scenarios for fun, often for their own amusement, but sometimes to the bewilderment of onlookers. And because they’re trying to do it right, these catgirls are in the anime style.

It may be a little nitpicky to point out, but a more fitting name might be Nekomusume Police Department. The word “Nekomusume” means “catgirl” in Japanese, though one can also suggest the word “Nekomimi”, meaning “cat ear”. Under their current appellation, one might get the wrong idea of what the group is about.

When I first saw this group, it brought to mind a similar concept conceived years prior by anime artist Kanzaki Hiro:

It may be true that the Metaverse is a sad digital substitution for the real world, but for certain subcultures, the LPD might be a welcome sign that creative visions such as that of Kanzaki Hiro are coming progressively closer to reality.

Now for the part of the post where we “go there”. I know that for a lot of people, police women are considered attractive, and for others, catgirls are attractive, so there’s a lot of potential for wide appeal. For those with highly-specific strike zones, the LPD might end up being a selling point for VRChat and the Metaverse.

Why stop with a team of catgirl police when there is so much more potential for digital public servants with animal ears? Is a team of bunnygirl nurses far behind? Or how about rats that sell insurance?

The Female Protagonist From Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Has Been Revealed, and I Have Thoughts

The female protagonist for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has just been revealed. It might be that the official art for her was revealed alongside the reveal trailer, and it flew under my radar. But however it happened, the official art for the girl is in the picture above, shown next to the boy.

My initial criticism of the boy was that he was boring and unexpressive. While I admit that the girl is cuter (which is to be expected), she suffers from much the same problems as the boy. It doesn’t help that she is wearing pretty-much the exact same outfit.

To show why this is so unusual, here is a collection of official art for the protagonists for previous games (up to X and Y):

These characters look far more interesting, and the sight of them kinda makes me want to play some of their respective games. Which is one of the reasons why you should get the protagonists right. These characters are much more colorful and expressive, and are the kind of protagonists that players would want to serve as avatars for a Pokémon experience. And because they were among the selections for previous games, they did a lot to cultivate expectations for subsequent player characters (after all, check out how many of them wear red or white headwear).

It’s because Game Freak has plenty of experience designing male and female protagonists and their fashion options that I would have expected them to be aware that males and females tend to dress way differently. As anyone who doesn’t live in a fairyland has come to peace with, there are obvious physiological and psychological differences between males and females, and they tend to have drastically different fashion choices. Anytime anyone attempts to dress them in similar outfits, the attempt comes off as an advancement of an unwelcome agenda.

It seems I’m not the only one weirded out by the new protagonists, as artist Profitshame drew up a side-by-side comparison of these protagonists with the ones from Pokémon Sword and Shield:

I have my own theory about why the boy dresses like the girl, and it’s not just because the girl shops for him when he plays Magic: The Gathering with his buddies. I think it’s just easier to design one character instead of two.

If Scarlet and Violet are going to be like recent Pokémon games, they’ll include lots of customization options so that at least their outfits wont be so tacky. And personally, I’d prefer playing as a character that doesn’t look like the chess club punches them in the hallways.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: My Opinion Based On the Reveal Trailer

It’s been a few hours since the reveal of the upcoming installments of the Pokémon series, Scarlet and Violet. I think that’s enough time to allow what I’ve seen to congeal in my mind, and develop a non-hot-take opinion.

For one thing, it’s obvious that expansive areas with gorgeous scenery is going to be the way forward for the Pokémon franchise. Things tended towards that direction since Sword and Shield, and Legends: Arceus took it much further. While Legends has a very Breath of the Wild look to it, I’m interested in whether Game Freak will take that style of play and give it a voice more it’s own.

It seems like open-world adventures is going to be the direction that more games go in, which Skyrim did a lot to pioneer, and Breath of the Wild did a lot to popularize. I’ve been wanting to see Pokémon games like this since the Gold and Silver days, as I’ve considered the follow-route-to-destination formula to be a tad on-the-rails, and not really living up to the potential of a grand adventure in the great outdoors that a Pokémon journey can easily be imagined to be.

I’m also noticing that Pokémon games are now showing more realistic architecture in its settings, and I know I’m not the only person who appreciates this. I remember a time when Pokémon games largely just featured a bunch of large boxes, many of them without doors, and what of them that had doors usually just had them facing one direction. I also remember a time when Pokémon had no dynamic camera, and this was often the case even though the hardware running the games was capable of this. Link could run around Hyrule with a dynamic camera in Ocarina of Time in 1998, and playing Pokémon Colosseum on GameCube, I wondered whether Game Freak would get around to making a Pokémon game with a dynamic camera.

I’m liking that Pokémon are shown wandering about like they do in Legends: Arceus. But that also comes with a concern: Are the upcoming Pokémon games going to have much about them that differentiates them from Pokémon Legends? I beat the main story and post-game in Pokémon Legends, and I’m kind-of concerned that Scarlet and Violet might just provide more of the same experience. While that’s to be expected from a new game in nearly any series (not just Pokémon), Pokémon Legends is still new, and Scarlet and Violet come out later in the same year! Considering that Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were released a few months ago, I can understand if some of the die-hards would like to take a break for a little while.

But as for the Pokémon, I’m noticing that the only new Pokémon that were shown were the starters. I know that Pokémon games are getting to be challenging to make in such a way that they include all (or even most) of the many characters that have been developed up to this point. So, I’m wondering whether Game Freak is deciding to keep the number of new Pokémon low, and focus more on developing other areas of the game, and choosing from among the many designs from earlier games.

As for the starters:

At first, I thought they looked goofy. But since then, they’ve grown on me. But among the three, I still haven’t decided which is my favorite. Knowing as little as I do about them, I’d probably go with the duck, then the cat second. If I knew what their evolved forms look like before playing, that might play a factor in my decision.

Now for the player character:

Sorry, but he just looks boring. I do like the bucket hat, which is very practical for one who plans to spend a lot of time in the sun. But a shirt and tie? That makes him look more like he’s ready to spend 8 hours in the office. That blank, unemotive expression doesn’t help much, either. This is one character that would benefit from some customization options. Is the girl character going to have more personality?

So far, from what I’ve seen, I’m actually not terribly excited. There’s likely going to be a lot more to show in the months to come, and hopefully, that will do a lot more to stoke interest from gamers who are probably still busy with Game Freak’s most recent offering.

Pros:

  • Expansive wild areas, showing that Game Freak is serious about implementing these in their games,
  • The familiar Pokémon are a welcome sight,
  • The new region is simply beautiful, and reminds me of a Mediterranean setting. Perhaps Greece, Italy, or Spain?

Cons:

  • The starters look kinda silly, but they’re not off-putting,
  • The dullest-looking main character I’ve ever seen.

What I’d like to see:

  • More human characters, particularly a more interesting main character,
  • The return of game mechanics that players liked, such as Mega Evolutions. Even Z-moves would be welcome,
  • More details about the adventure, such as important locations, characters, and opponents.

Because Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are being developed in-house by Game Freak, the team who made Pokémon Legends: Arceus, it’s likely that these upcoming games are going to have a whole lot of heart. I’m looking forward to seeing more in the months ahead.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Versions Just Announced, Coming Late 2022

A Pokémon Direct has just concluded, and with it comes the announcement of two upcoming Pokémon games, named Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet.

Here is the reveal trailer:

In the announcement, a detective investigates an apartment, then sees the trailer for the upcoming games.

We see some details of the new region, and get a first glimpse:

Like Pokémon Legends: Arceus, this new region seems to favor expansive explorable areas:

It also shows Pokémon wandering about, also like Legends:

There a town plaza, which seems very European. Perhaps the setting for this one is inspired by Greece or Italy.

The main character seems to get an oceanfront home, this time:

We were also shown the player character. There likely will also be a girl, as is the case in most Pokémon games.

We also get a brief glimpse of part of the region map:

Afterwards, we return to the detective. Perhaps the apartment is filled with clues as to the setting of the upcoming games, such as this food that’s sitting out:

Then, we see what is likely the new starters for these games:

According to the official reveal page, the cat is named Sprigatito, the croc is named Fuecoco, and the duck is called Quaxly. I like the cat and the duck, but the croc reminds me of Bubble Bobble.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are coming later this year to Nintendo Switch. What do you think?

Project Veritas Catches FDA Exec On Hidden Camera Admitting That Annual Covid Shots to Be a “Recurring Fountain of Revenue”

Let’s hear it for actual journalism! As reported by Daily Mail, an undercover reporter for Project Veritas has caught FDA executive Christopher Cole on hidden camera admitting to plans for annual shots for Covid-19, saying that they’d be a “recurring fountain of revenue”, and that president Biden himself has financial incentives for pushing the vaccine.

What makes this matter particularly amusing is that the reporter disguised herself as a romantic interest, going on a date with Christopher Cole, wherein he admitted to the scheme.

It’s because of this, it’s possible that his confession actually isn’t true. It’s possible that he’s just another douchebag out to get his rooster warmed, and like many such people, he was willing to bullshit to make himself look more connected and influential than he actually is.

However, if true, this is yet another indication of a merger between corporation and state, where wealth is continually extracted from the population in the form of mandated and continual purchases of products and services, or in the cases where the products and services appear free, they are subsidized with taxpayer money, which is another form of wealth extraction.

Remember that when the Affordable Care Act was concocted, the intention was to mandate many millions of people to get health insurance. While insurance can be a great thing, the insurance industry has long since become yet another way to legally steal. If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know that getting an insurance company to honor a claim that is explicitly covered under their policy is far more stressful than the accident itself.

Christopher Cole apparently didn’t like that his confession was obtained undercover, saying “You videotaped me talking with someone on a date – didn’t tell me anything, didn’t say it was being videotaped,”

Apparently, Christopher Cole thinks it would be more fair if his role in the merger of corporation and state were to remain under wraps, so that he may continue abusing his position in a regulatory agency to extract wealth using pharmaceutical companies that the very same agency is supposed to be regulating, while at the same time accepting kickbacks from those same pharmaceutical companies.

Either that, or he was bullshitting a woman in an effort to get his dick wet. In either case, it’s bad optics. But from what I’ve seen from the video below, he seems totally serious:

If Biden is somehow involved, the whole scheme is likely to turn to shit, anyway.

Malthusians: Destroying Humanity For Profit

Original image source: wallup.net (edited by me)

A common position of the Malthusian is that overpopulation is resulting in an overconsumption of resources, which may result in humanity endangering itself. Professing this motivation, the Malthusian feels justified in making actions that prohibit procreation among human beings, in an effort to keep human numbers in check. To this end, they encourage people to live single.

However, it’s easy to see that people living single actually consume more resources than if a male-female couple were to share the same dwelling space.

This should be simple to comprehend when you look at the resources consumed by couples, as opposed to what they’d consume if they were to live independently.

In terms of dwelling space, two people living single would require more space overall, as they would live in different homes, each with different sinks, refrigerators, air conditioners, and bathroom facilities. On the other hand, a couple would share all these facilities. Couples would easily use up half as much living space.

Next, let’s consider utilities. In the summer time, when people are uncomfortably hot, two people living single would air condition two different living spaces, whereas a cohabiting man and woman would only need to air condition one living space. Thus, the consumption of electricity would easily be halved when couples live together, and the electrical grid would be far less stressed.

Then, there’s winter time, when people get uncomfortably cold. A person with a one-bedroom flat in the northeast United States can easily spend as much as $200 a month keeping their place warm in the winter. However, a couple wouldn’t face the same hardship, as they’d share the utility expense, and their situation would be better still for the warmth the couple would provide one another.

When it comes to transportation, matters are less clear. I’ve seen couples that manage by sharing one automobile, but this isn’t always desirable for every situation. However, when people live by themselves, they each require their own transportation, which in many cases means many single people needing their own cars. This gets more significant as the result is the consumption of more fossil fuels, as well as ethanol, which is largely derived from corn. This is more significant as concerns agriculture and landmass when you consider that most corn grown in the United States is not for consumption as food, but for conversion to fuel.

As one considers all this, it’s plain to see who makes a killing off of Malthusianism: Real estate interests, utility companies, and oil barons.

If more people are living independently of other human beings, that means more people spending more on products and services than if they were to share these things with other human beings. Real estate companies profit when more people are buying homes and apartments for themselves than if they were to cohabit. Utility companies maximize the number of spending customers when each potential customer is spending for themselves, rather than sharing the benefit with another person. Oil barons profit huge when demand is increased, and this happens when more people are fueling more cars, rather than sharing cars with partners.

From this, we see that the product of Malthusianism is reduced living space, resources being depleted, and the environment being destroyed. Which is, of course, the exact opposite of what many of their own sincere believers may have wanted. But for the ones that really benefit from the ideology, it means dying rich while fucking over the entire world for successive generations.

All while pretending that the opposite is happening.