Fanservice FTW Blog You can call it smochi if you wanna


The Taming of the Tsundere: Japan’s Fascination with Obstinate Women

I was asked in my Literary Criticism class to come up with a comparison of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew with some (read: ANY) form of pop culture. That was their first mistake. The following is copy from the 12 pages of references to anime bullshit Shakespeare could have always done without. I may or may not believe any of this, but hey, do what you gotta do.


Study Finds That “Big Brain Think Good”

A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois, the University of Pittsburgh, and MIT surprised several people when it found that brain size is proportional to video game performance.  The experiments consisted of people with relatively little gaming experience playing two games specially developed for the study.  One game had players concentrate on a single task (think Tetris), the other shifted their attention between multiple  jobs (think a strategy or simulator game).  Presumably these were non-competitive games, and results were compared via a scoring system.  If I'm reading the article right, the team found that they could predict the best player 25% of the time based on the size of their brain.


Movies FTW — The Machine Girl

Machine Girl Title Card
It's movies like this that give Kill Bill that distinct Kill Bill-esque look. So if you liked Kill Bill, thank Machine Girl.

When watching a movie, there comes a point where you feel as though you know already what to expect. You've seen the bottom of the rabbit hole, as it were. The gimmicks have already been played out, the plot has presented a predictable climax, and continuing to watch the movie seems a bit futile -- you've seen all there is to see from this movie.


WTF Is This: Twitter

"Do you Tweet?"

For some reason, Twitter has been in the news lately, and as such, I'm sure you've had someone ask you this at some point. You had to at least feel slightly embarrassed because all you could say was "well, not really," or -- even worse -- "why, yes, sir, I am indeed an avid and frequent Twitterer! Let's discuss our Tweets at length and share Tweeting stories!" If you have actually said anything remotely close to the latter answer, even so far as saying "yes, I am on Twitter," please kill yourself. People, don't get excited about Twitter. Nobody likes Twitter. Twitter is stupid. It is also completely and totally worthwhile: here's why.


Sengoku BASARA, or “The Western Market That Could Have Been”

This is the Great Nippon Spirit.

This is the Great Nippon Spirit.

Many of you anime fans who like to keep current with Japan's anime seasons have probably heard of -- or have been watching -- Sengoku Basara. The show just recently ended its first season, with a second season announced by Production I.G. Studios themselves. The entire cast of characters has a rabid Japanese fanbase, primarily female -- a strange paradox, given that the anime is very blatantly a shounen battle series. The original video game franchise has grown from the first game, Sengoku Basara, to a straight-up sequel, a Guilty Gear-esque 2D fighter developed by ArcSys and Sammy, a PSP brawler that quickly took first place in software sales on its release; and a third title in the works for 2010. The anime brought with it a number of incredible product placement opportunities, from cellphone straps and character novelties to a Pizza Hut endorsement, a special rice label deal, a half-dozen different character-specific flavors of energy drink, and, oh, a stage play. Outside of Japan, however, Sengoku Basara (known to the rest of the world as Devil Kings) has almost never been heard of. What happened?


Hybrids Are Quiet. Too Quiet.

Shh!  What was that?   ... the wind.

One of the oft-touted features of electric cars is their silent operation, which reduces noise pollution in large cities.  But Japan's MLIT has recently suggested that hybrids' lack of noise may pose a threat to blind pedestrians, as well as drivers who can't use a mirror.  A ministry panel has suggested that automakers such as Toyota incorporate noise-making devices into their hybrid lines.  This is bound to please car companies, who have, doubtless, been looking for a way to negate the efficiency gained from the electric motor.   The addition of a noise maker would also present an opportunity for automakers to sell custom sounds for hybrids, such as train and horse effects.  One wonders why the option isn't already available, potentially profitable as it is.

Japan Mulls Making Hybrid Cars Louder [New York Times]