Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nichijou 16 - Nobody messes with Mio-chan

Mio-chan is scary :D
Rage mode ON!

You don't mess with Mio-chan.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

International Saimoe League 2011 - Aquamarine

ヘ(^_^ヘ) O(≧∇≦)O (ノ^_^)ノ

The Aquamarine period has concluded and Misaka Mikoto won!!

Her victory came, to me, quite unexpected. The strongest character right now is Tachibana Kanade, no one can rival her. She won every match until now and all by quite a margin. So how was Misaka's victory possible?

Misaka is at the moment the second strongest character out there, as you can see from the graph for the final match of the Aquamarine period:

Number of votes for the seven contestants of the Aquamarine periods as a function of time.
As you can see Tachibana won the last showdown, as usual, but there is also the rank to consider. Each contestant has a rank and no two contestants can have the same rank at the same time. Basically Misaka had a higher rank because she happened to defeat stronger opponents than Tachibana. The rank enters as a multiplier and as Misaka fought harder matches she was finally rewarded by the Aquamarine jewel!

Tachibana won the Necklace Match, but Misaka had a higher ranking and won the jewel
This involves a randomness and a bit of luck and the system might be a little convoluted, but I think it is in the end fair. A character can only win one necklace and Tachibana is most definitely going to win the next one. If the last match was to decide the winner by votes majority alone, they would have just swapped :)

So congratulations to Misaka for her victory!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Madoka Magica - Finale

Best show this season and one of the best things I have ever watched. EVER.

The last two episodes have aired together and what is my reaction?
I think the ending was beautiful, amazing and masterfully executed, like the rest of the series.

I always thought the ending would see one between Madoka and Homura to make a final sacrifice to stop the loop, but for Madoka to actually make THAT wish!

This show has surprised me in many ways. Always keeping me on the edge, revealing small elements of a disturbing world once at a time.
And in the end it did not let me down. It is impressive how it managed to do so despite my expectations being so high. Despite having had the time to think over it and wait for it so eagerly.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is truly a masterpiece.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

International Saimoe League 2011: End of the preliminary phase!

The preliminary phase of ISML 2011 is complete. From 144 characters 50 have been selected after three elimination phases.

Here are the results of the last seeding phase that will determine how the regular season groups will be formed based on the rankings:
The only missing character is Shiina from Angle Beats who will be the 50th seed.

This is a photograph of the current balance of power. Here are my considerations:
  • Pool 1: Tachibana Kanade is the strongest character at the moment, by far. Group 1 has the characters with the best rankings from the previous seeding phasese and she still comes out with more than 1000 votes over Azunian!
  • Pool 2: Misaka dominates group 2 and Hellscythe confirms as a strong character. I don't know if she can keep up in the long term as Kore Zombie has already finished airing. Misaka could fare better if she gets a second season for Railgun (which I hope!).
  • Pool 3: Yuis dominate this group. Yui from Angel Beats made me cry like a little girl, still I am positively surprised to see her top this group! Yui from K-ON comes out second close to Kirino.
  • Pool 4: No big surpises here for me with Yurippe and Saber. I only wished Last Order would do better... I am happy that she made it into the regular season though :D
  • Pool 5: Bakemonogatari dominates the group with Hitagi and Nadeko.
  • Pool 6: C.C. is still quite popular and Index gets the second place.
  • Pool 7: Zero no Luise tops the last group and Seraphim comes out second. This group seems quite balanced.
There are some notable characters missing from the final 50:
  • Ika Musume: many thought she could do well. Too bad she was eliminated in the preliminaries, I was supporting her :(
  • Ritsu from K-ON which I placed second after Misaka in my guesses.
  • Rose from Dragon Crysis. I wasn't supporting her, but I thought she might have done fine.
  • Merry from Yumekui Merry.
The road to the heavenly tiara is still long and we will see which characters will better withstand the test of time!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Solution to Homura's Math Problem

In episode 10 of Madoka Magica Homura is presented with a math problem she can't solve. Poor Homura, she has been in bed for the last 6 months and as soon as she goes back to school she has to face this!

Let's help her!
Homura-chan, the next time you go back in time, please check this before going to school!

This is Homura's problem:

and this is the solution:

Immediately before her problem, we are briefely shown another problem on the electronic whiteboard:

Everytime she goes back in time something changes. We don't want her to learn the solution to the first problem just to be asked to solve this one! Homura-chan, here is the solution to this problem:

By the way, the technological level of the world they live in seems slightly superior to our own, but the same can be said for the problems they get in school considering they should be 14 years old!

In episode 9 we learned about entropy and the heat death of the universe and now we get these math problems. If the awesome story and shocking moments were not enough!
This anime never ceases to amaze me :D

By the way, can anyone help me with the translation of the left side of the whiteboard in this image?

I am tempted to try, but unfortunately my japanese level is not good enough yet and it will take me some time!

Pdf version of the solutions, if anyone is interested XD

Madoka Magica - 10 - Homura's story(ies)

Disclaimer: this post is made of spoilers.

Homura is in a time loop trying to save Madoka, her only friend, from becoming a puella magi.
It happens that this is not only her own wish, Madoka herself in one of Homura's many attempts asked to prevent her from making a contract with Kyubei.

The wish that started all

We all knew Homura was a time traveler and many already speculated she was in a time loop. After all, this would have gone well with her cold attitude. For her, this life is not the only one. She has made many attempts already and she doesn't care if something goes wrong. She can always restart if she doesn't like the outcome. She became cold after all her incredibly sad experiences... the fact she hasn't become a witch yet shows her determination.
She was close once, she was ready to give up and condemn the world to destruction, but Madoka saved her and gave her the strenght to continue, the will to not give up.

Homura will go on trying and trying until she finds a way out of the loop. Until she finds a way to save her only friend.

It also turns out Madoka's dream at the beginning of the series was Homura's last failed attempt, the one where Madoka defeated the Walpurgis Night with one hit and was on her way to become the incredibly strong witch who would destroy the world. It seems Madoka keeps some faint memory, at least she knew Homura's name.

One thing said by Kyubei makes me think that the world they live on might not be Earth, but only one of the many worlds used as power plants by the Incubators. He said even if this world is destroyed he didn't care since he collected energy already in excess of his quota. So they probably went the industrial way and increased the entropy-independent energy collection efficiency by planting humans in many worlds...

Above all this, and even if we were mostly expecting this development by now, I think the execution was awesome.

The way Homura trasformed from an extremely weak and shy girl to the powerful and cold puella magi she is now is told via her experiences. She saw her friend die so many times.
Her reaction in the last episode, all her behaviour until now makes sense. Including her hate for Kyubei.

She started out as an extremely weak puella magi. Her weapon? A golf bat :). She grew from a weak girl to this:

Her real strenght was her ability to stop time and she took advantage of it by preparing bombs. She expanded her arsenal after Sayaka's comment that her bombs were dangerous also for her allies. She razed armouries for guns (stopping time it's quite easy to loot everything). She improved to the point of being far above all the other puella magi, yet this is not enough to face the Walpurgis Night.

I was so worked up about Homura, but we also finally get to see Madoka as a puella magi! Her weapon is a bow and she is indeed strong.

Exagerated specula 1: Kyubei is using Homura to repeat Madoka's transformations and harvest infinite energy from her. I doubt it's true since Kyubei seemed to have no memories about the previous timelines, but we all know how manipulator he is. The possible "good" end is for them to break the loop and possibly save themselves.

Exagerated specula 2: Homura is the Walpurgis Night. She becomes a witch in the last timeline, the current one, after defeating herself. She sends herself to the past just before becoming a witch knowing that she would be defeated by herself and saving Madoka. This would be awesome, the ultimate sacrifice to break the time loop! The fact that her witch form existed in all timelines would be a consequence of her time abilities making her transcend time.
This is supported by the gears on the Walpurgis witch. The same gears that activate everytime she uses her power.

If they manage to keep up this level of awesomenes until the end for me this is going to be one of the best anime ever.

Ah, and the title should be "Puella Magi Homura Magica" :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ISML 2011 Preliminary Period, Phase 1, Day 5 - My Votes and Results!

For three of the first 8 groups there is one character leading alone. They are very strong and are probably going to win. For the other 5 groups things are far from decided!

These are my votes:
And these are the results:

  • (Group 1) Mio and Elsie first. Mio was indeed expected, but Elsie is the real exploit. She won in Arena 2 by a mere 8 votes over Asami! Merry is just behind with 10 points. In the next match Elsie will face Mio, so Merry and Elsie will most probably end up seconds together.
  • (Group 2) Misaka is leading the group by herself with Ritsu, Last Order and Ikaros seconds. Ikaros was defeated by Last Order in Arena 1, she helped her onee-sama in getting the first place!
  • (Group 3) Shinonono is still there with Shana, but next time the two will have to face each other and it will be hard for the haremette to defeat the flame haze! Saten wins in Arena 1 and grabs the second place. If all goes well she might keep it.
  • (Group 4) Azunian wins over france-tan in Arena 1 and this was expected. The surpising thing is that the margin is not so high. Azusa won with about 3000 votes of difference the previous matches, this time they were less than 1000. This is a testament of the strength of Charlotte! Nymph shows that the good results of the Sora no Otoshimono characters was not random. She is now second with france-tan. In the last match she will face Azunian though, so Charlotte will be second alone.
  • (Group 5) Hinagiku and Ika-Musume are leading the group and the last match will decide who will pass the preliminary phase! Judging by the quantity of the votes they get, Hinagiku has a definite advantage.
  • (Group 6) Apparently this group is balanced since there are three characters first at 12 points. The truth is that they still have to face each other and they will do so in the next match. The first three positions will be decided there! Ui and Lingyin are very close, while Taiga is definitely the favourite.
  • (Group 7) Yuki and Sora are leading the group. In the next match Yuki will probably take the lead and win the group.
  • (Group 8) Haruhi won this group when she defeated Yurippe in the last match. The second place is basically also decided, as Index has to face the leader of the SOS Dan in the last match. So Haruhi first, Yurippe second and Index third.
Next match will see the second half of the groups!