Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 June 2019 - Sunday

I complain about traveling four hours for four hours of gaming, so I was not all that pleased to travel four hours for like three hours of gaming (I'm pretty sure an SCRPG adventure takes o(N) time to play and Deirdre was out with a bad back and Edie was at Pride). But the gaming was fun while we had it!


In the evening I saw Avalon for the first time in forever, because I am a poor excuse for a boyfriend. She has been okay, though, and doing death lord stuff.


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29 June 2019 - Saturday

Now that the cleaners only come once a month, they threw my routine all off so I completely failed at almost everthing today. I did manage to shop for groceries, at least.



I finally finished rereading Empowered (Adam Warren) from the beginning, so I could read volume 9 (Emp continues to rock!) and Empowered and Sistah Spooky's High School Hell (art by Carla Speed McNeil). I probably should not like this series as much as I do.

Kaiju Girl Caramelise vol 1 (Spica Aoki) is not raunchy or violent at all, because the main character turning into a kaiju when afflicted by unrequired love doesn't make it not shoujo.


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28 June 2019 - Friday

There was a complicated plan where I would go home in the late afternoon and do the handover there (since I am doing it tonight as a swap with my boss), but it failed because the train was late and then there was a different train and it was generally horrible and also poorly air-conditioned. I ended up getting home at the usual time, which worked well enough, so I will probably not try this trick again.


I liked Shooting the Rift, so I looked for more books by Alex Stewart and found A Fistful of Elven Gold. It was only okay, alas. It reads more like an RPG adventure that was fun to play through than a novel.

Cinder & The Prince of Midnight (Susan Ee) is like a more horror-flavored Cinderella, with some Robin Hood thrown in.

Help Fund My Robot Army!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects (ed John Joseph Adams) is exactly what it sounds like. Some of them are good as stories, some are only okay as stories, some I would contribute to, all will seem horribly dated in twenty years.


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27 June 2019 - Thursday

I got some love from Aspen! She did the rubbing against the table leg with her tail up thing while I was trying to get ready to leave, so I tried giving her some pettins, and she approved! What a good kitty!


I did some work, and stayed until a hundred o'clock at night to hand over to the India team and didn't get home until superlate and bleagh.


I though the word "imagineer" was trademarked by Disney, but apparently not. Anyway, the book Imagineer (Honor Raconteur) is about a teenage girl with anime-style useless absent parents who suddenly discovers she has vast magical powers and is welcomed by the secret world of magical creatures and there is a mystery and stuff. Unfortunately, past the opening chapters, there is not much tension.

The Warship (Neal Asher) is the second in the "Rise of the Jain" trilogy and therefore 390562349560th in the "Polity" universe, but it does not really add anything. The previous book at least told us more about the Jain and some other aliens.

I had never heard of Karin Tidbeck, but based on the short stories in Jagannath, I should seek out more of her work! It is very Scandinavian-feeling (to this completely-non-Scandinavian reader), surreal fantasy or magical realism or something. Anyway, I like them and maybe you will like them too.


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26 June 2019 - Wednesday

Surprisingly, we had Kelsey and not Mike (boo germs!) for gaming, but we were prepared with Eclipse Phase 2E! We finally made it on to the place my character's previous instance disappeared, and found out that something is definitely going on or there wouldn't be gossip bloggers trying to find out why he mysteriously vanished.

As usual, I am terrible at everything and yet talk too much.


Hexarchate Stories (Yoon Ha Lee) is shart pieces, some barely vignettes, in the past and future of the "Machineries of Empire" series. Just a minute, I have to go fling myself into a pit now.

I swear it's a complete coincidence that the other book I finished today was titled Hex-Rated (Jason Ridler). It is nothing alike, but is much 1970, very Los Angeles, wow, with sketchy mages and a porn studio and a PI who has magic but prefers to use fast talk.


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25 June 2019 - Tuesday

I managed to do one of the things I didn't do yesterday, the one my coworker didn't have to do for me. Also I got some more stuff to do, which is okay.


Hey, look, it's an episode of Elementary where Sherlock almost faces a consequence!


Part-Time Gods (Rachel Aaron) is the sequel to Minimum Wage Magic, and is still much Shadowrun, very mage/streetsam, wow. Opal's life gets better, kind of, but she is still so very doomed.

Now I've read all the The Promised Neverland (Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu) I have, and it stops in the middle of a giant conflict where the characters have to come up with a really good plan right away! Augh!


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24 June 2019 - Monday

Because I am stupid, I failed to do the thing or the other thing at work, and one of my cow orkers had to do the thing instead.


We've reached episodes 5-6 of MIX, which I think is the halfway point, and now there is fan service and an obvious romantic interest and blah.


I didn't like Timebound (Rysa Walker) as much as the "Delphi" series, even though it has time travel and timeline alteration and period costumes. Meh.

The Last Supper Before Ragnarok (Cassandra Khaw) wraps up the "Gods & Monsters" shared universe thing, with suitable mysticism and doom and Rupert Wong.


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23 June 2019 - Sunday

Today I accomplished nothing because I was on call from 13:30 to 19:30. Unlike last week, no customers caused problems, so I spent the entire six hours scrolling through trumblr like the waste of otherwise-recyclable organic matter I am.

After I handed things over to the India team, Marith and I watched some more MIX. It's still not as good as Cross Game.


In volume 2 of O Maidens In Your Savage Season (Mari Okada, Nao Emoto), one of our protagonists gets a makeover, one of them tries to meet the person she's been having tinysex (sorry, "cyber") with, and all of them continue to flail about the fact that sex exists. I think Pigtails Girl and Blonde Girl are the most likely to not be straight. Short Girl is the cutest.

I found many volumes of The Promised Neverland (Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu) at the bookstore, so I bought them in hopes of finding out more about the outside world, and indeed, the end of the anime is part way into volume 5. Everything past that point is new and exciting!


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22 June 2019 - Saturday

No anime tonight! Monkeycats went to see A Midsummer Night's Dream last night, and the kids loved it so much they demanded to see it again, so that's what we did. This production is all women and had a strange 80s aesthetic (which means Puck had a very David-Bowie-Labyrinth wig). It was pretty cute! And Nonny liked the faeries so much.


The main character of Komi Can't Communicate (Tomohito Oda) seems cool and aloof and everyone worships her, but actually she just has such bad social anxiety that she can't talk when people are around, and she just wants to make 100 friends. Fortunately(?) someone has figured out her problem, and also her school is full of weirdos, so hopefully everything will be okay. (Komi is adorable.)


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21 June 2019 - Friday

Tonight I did not get home in good time, because the train was horrible. Bah.


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20 June 2019 - Thursday

We swapped around on-call, so I was able to get home at a reasonable hour tonight and we watched the first half of Going Postal. I don't remember the book well enough to be sure, but Marith says it is diverging drastically.


The Grand Dark (Richard Kadrey) is not like the other Kadrey books I've read, it is not cosmic at all. A working-class guy in a secondary-world analogue of the Weimar Republic tries to do his job and take his drugs and smooch his girlfriend, but robots are taking people's jobs and the secret police hate everyone and capitalists are making genetic monstrosities and there's another war looming and everything is unnecessarily horrible.

Creation Machine (Andrew Bannister) feels kind of Banksian to me, with the setting that's a patchwork of libertarian enclaves and depraved fascist dystopias and presumably someone sane somewhere but not on-screen (that's mostly Against a Dark Background) and superhuman forces that tumble the characters about but end up with pretty much the status quo.

Miniatures is a short collection of very short John Scalzi stories. They are all humorous, because Scalzi.


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19 June 2019 - Wednesday

Somehow we had everyone in one place, so we managed to play some more of Kelsey's D&D5 adventure. I do not think it went well, but then I hate D&D. Also people who always interrupt when someone is trying to say something so they can say the same thing louder (yes, even when I'm the interruptor).

Mike, the fiend, stole my Thai food plan, so I have to think of something different next week!


The Empress of Forever (Max Gladstone) is like Guardians of the Galaxy does Journey to the West in a ruined transhuman galaxy, with the inventiveness of Three Parts Dead. Or maybe it is even more awesome than that sounds, because and it has relatively few male characters.


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18 June 2019 - Tuesday

Marith had never seen The Mummy, so we watched it.I don't think she appreciated it as much as tumblr does, but that was pretty much the whole evening.


Now I have read The Ancient Magus' Bride (Kore Yamazaki), which covers pretty much the same ground as the anime, ending with Chise giving [SPOILER] the [SPOILER] status. In vol 10, a whole new arc starts, where Chise and Elias are both going to have to deal with Humans. I am sure there will be no problems whatsoever.

The Outside (Ada Hoffman) is about a physicist trying to live under the transcendent only slightly soul-eating AI gods when they have declared all the good parts of physics heretical just because they drive humans mad and may destroy the universe. The main character is explicitly autistic, but aside from sensory issues, it doesn't seem to affect things much, which may indicate that the author (who is autistic herself) is a better writer than I am a reader.


Words: FAIL.

Re: The Mummy by marithlizard (Sat Jun 22 09:42:38 2019)

It was a fun movie, and the leads were very cute! Just not enough to displace any of the current fangirl devotion objects. (Apparently these days we prefer characters with at least a millenium of backstory, to get that real angst-seasoned flavor.)

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17 June 2019 - Monday

Monday Capitalism. Bah.

Apparently everyone's first on-call shift has been terrible since forever, and usually it's not like that. We'll see.


MIX is a baseball anime based on a manga by the same person who did Cross Game. I guess the same people were involved in the anime, because the character designs are very similar and the story seems similar too.


Nowhere to Run (Elliott Kay) is the sequel to Run Like Hell, in which our band of intrepid humanoids fight against evil, and also some kind of demonic buried spirit thing. The humans suck worse, really. Also I ship the bugbear and the human.


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16 June 2019 - Sunday

I didn't start being on call until 7:30, so in theory I could have taken a shower and started the day and everything, but I am too lazy. Also then customers sent email, and sent more email, and finally called with a tale of great woe that I had no idea how to deal with so I had to call my boss (which is technically fine, since she was my designated backup, but still annoying) and there was a huge conference call that lasted until my shift ended and my boss² took over at 13:30 and I had no lunch and generally it was awful. Maybe I should live in a cardboard box behind the bus station.

I did manage to go shopping, but still didn't find any pants that were even vaguely my size. Maybe I should die in a pit.


In the next episode of Elementary, Sherlock has the potential for personal growth but passes it by in favor of thinking he's better than everyone else in the world put together. Shock. Surprise.


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15 June 2019 - Saturday

I walked so much on Thursday that I felt entirely justified in riding the bus to go shopping. Well, mostly justified.


Hurray, Ayse is back from Montreal and Quebec City! With pictures, and tales of paté! Ken is sick, but not too sick to make bouillabaisse. Children are shrieky.

  • Sailor Moon Super S 160: Finally the Amazoness Quartet get hip to area-effect attacks!
  • RWBY 2.4.5-6: Start of the school dance subarc.
  • Hibike! Euphonium 2 12-13: Nationals! Denouement! The end! Which means every chance for Kumiko to hook up with either Reina or Asuka-senpai has passed. Bah.

Then Ken fell over due to aforementioned sickness, but the rest of us watched one more episode.

  • AKB0048 4: Is AKB0048's home base an example of fully-automated luxury queer space communism? They have ideological fences, after all. Discuss.

Exorsisters (Ian Boothby, Gisèle Lagacé) is about comedy Hell, not horror Hell, so it can be cute and silly. And it is!


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14 June 2019 - Friday

What's the saying, "You don't love Friday, you just hate capitalism"?


The first volume of Happy Sugar Life (Tomiyaki Kagisora) seems to exist for the sole purpose of giving yuri a bad name. I mean, sure, plenty of nominally romantic male protagonists commit murder and kidnapping to be with the severly underage girl they obssess over, but that's not really something to be emulated. Gah.

The Delphi Effect, The Delphi Resistance, The Delphi Revolution (Rysa Walker) are okay modern psionic teenagers vs evil government conspiracies, with bonus found family theme.

Antisocial wizard takes over a mountain full of undead dwarves, hires goblinoids and orcs that are being kicked out of the human kingdoms as guards, everything is great until adventurers show up with their self-righteousness and excessive magic and shouted attack names and slaughter almost everyone. Only half a dozen minions (and one prisoner) escape, by working together and becoming friends and also fighting off a metric fuckton of undead dwarves, as they Run Like Hell (Elliott Kay).


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13 June 2019 - Thursday

Stayed at work forever again so I could do the handover. I managed to get an earlier bus on my way home, but that just meant I had to walk all the way home from the train station instead of walking most of the way until the bus caught up to me for the last few blocks. I don't think there's a way I can get home before 22:00, although maybe I should look into going to the MV station and taking the light rail.


Words: FAIL.

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12 June 2019 - Wednesday

Not quite as hot as yesterday, but the weather still does not meet with my approval. (I get to say that, I don't drive!)


Unsurprisingly, Kelsey cancelled at the last minute, so instead of D&D5 we had 13th Age Glorantha to go with our tomato soup casserole. Mike likes playing everything out in detail, so we only progressed a little further in the heroquest, but we did move forward. Also no one got surprise backstory.


The main character of The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic (FT Lukens) wants to build up some money so he can go to college far away from his tiny Michigan town, so he answers a sketchy job posting and gets mixed up in the secret world of magical creatures and keeping that secret means lying a lot not only to his best friend but to the guy he really likes and there is doom everywhere oh god! I liked it pretty well.

Storm of Locusts (Rebecca Roanhorse) is the sequel to Trail of Lightning, in which everyone's favorite murderbabe has to travel more of the post-apocalyptic Southwest and meet more supernatural beings, and even worse, has to make friends. (My snark notwithstanding, it's actually still pretty awesome, drawing from a lore that hasn't been picked clean, the villain is creepy and horrible, and Maggie is trying to not kill people even though that's her actual superpower.)

It's a legitimate symptom of massive PTSD brought about by the literal end of the world, but the main character of Katrina Hates The Apocalypse (Russell Nohelty) works so hard to not care about anything that the reader can't care about any of it either.


I finally finished reading through the pre-release version of Lancer, which is partly by the guy who did Kill Six Billion Demons. Most of it is mecha combat using a system that is clearly strongly influenced by D&D4, but the character art is in the K6BD style, and it has setting bits like having to reboot your AI assistant every couple of years before it outgrows the shackles that keep it in the shape of a human mind and becomes a (possibly literal) god. It is even a reasonably positive future, despite the massive engines of destruction entrusted to people like the PCs. I don't know that I'll ever play it, but I approve of it in theory.


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11 June 2019 - Tuesday

Why is it still hot? Why is there no wind? I blame people who drive cars!


More Hogfather, although really it's too hot to watch things.


Yuri anime and yaoi manga notwithstanding, modern Japan is not actually that great about gay people, which is why the protagonist of Our Dreams at Dusk (Yuhki Kamatani) is so distraught about being semi-outed at school. Fortunately he finds a crew of people who are also queer or at least socially noncomforming in some fashion, who are also a nonprofit that renovates the abandoned houses their town is full of. The art is kind of magical realism, or at least not always representational, but the story is very real-world.

Between Frames (WR Gingell) is the fourth "City Between" book, and Pet finally runs into the problem that having any sort of morals or ethics is inconsistent with Behindkind. And after she solved their mystery by using her "inferior" human brain, too! Poor Pet.

Brine and Bone (Kate Stradling) is a retelling of "The Little Mermaid" from the PoV of the prince's human fiancee. Yah, that's pretty messed up.


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10 June 2019 - Monday

I went to work and did work but then there was a power outage, so I had to go home in the middle of the afternoon instead of when it was maybe slightly cooler. Uggggghh. Then I had to work at home, which was definitely suboptimal, but I did get some things done.


Today's TV: first episode of Hogfather. It is very BBC, and would probably be very confusing to anyone who hadn't read the preceding Death books. Like most TV adaptations, it makes me want to read the book again.


In the second and final volume of Slumbering Beauty (Yumi Unita), our somnolent and sleep-inducing heroine must decide whether she wants to leave her human life behind, and it's actually a question. I like that she realized that her parents loving her doesn't change that they made her really unhappy for a long time.


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9 June 2019 - Sunday

Dave and I slogged through the blazing heat so he could run the third issue of the SCRPG starter kit, and it was probably worth it! Apparently Dave had to put a bunch of work into fixing their terrible adventure design, though.

No gaming next week or the week after.


When I got home I was too melted to decide what to watch, so we tried the first episode of Aggretsuko. I see why some people like it, but it didn't grab either of us, so we watched Elementary instead. Woah, watch out there, Sherlock, or people will expect you to have feelings all the time! Also, what the hell is your brother up to?


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8 June 2019 - Saturday

No Ayse, she is in Montreal and other northern climes, so Ken has to wrangle Jus and Nonny all by himself, which seems to be a lot of work. Nevertheless, we did some anime.


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7 June 2019 - Friday

Yay I survived the week! Kinda.


The cover to Infestation (William Meikle) shows a giant isopod eating a ship and it was free (Kindle Unlimited), so I had to get it. The isopods were not as impressive as advertised, but it was good enough that I read the next one, and that had bonus Carnacki and Electric Pentacle references, so I kept reading (they're short!) and eventually I had read eight stories about these stoic British special forces soldiers who keep running into monsters on missions that should be in an entirely different genre. (The author found a formula for the titles after the first one: Operation: Antarctica, Operation: Siberia, Operation: Amazon, Operation: Loch Ness, Operation: Syria, Operation: Norway, and Operation: Mongolia. You can probably guess several of the monsters they encounter.) Some of the monsters are natural-ish, some are blatantly supernatural, and some have a dubiously scientific explanation but are really magic, but no one seems to find them worthy of more than passing comment even though we never hear about any others. This failure of worldbuilding annoys me.


The protagonist(s) of Gleipnir (Sun Takeda) think the person giving the big reveal in volume 2 is full of crap, and they might be right, although I've read manga with less plausible excuses for superpowers. Not many with wackier superpowers, though.

In volume 3 of Ran and the Gray World (Aki Irie), it seems like Otaro is being set up as a more feasible partner for Ran, which is not okay. It might not be the case, so I'll keep reading for now because I like everything else.


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6 June 2019 - Thursday

It's Thursday, so I was on call during the day and had to stay until late to do the handover. This time, I actually got a phone call from a customer! It was about a ticket they just opened, which wasn't actually a problem, so as calls go that wasn't so bad. But, despite trying to be more clever, I ended up not getting home until 22:00 again. That was not good, but I'm not sure what I can do about it.


The final volume of Knights of Sidonia (Tsutomu Nihei) does in fact wrap things up, with suitable drama and various reasonably-deserved endings, and has a flashforward to years later. But did the author really mean to imply that the captain [SPOILER]? If so, it turned out okay.

I can't say this series is perfectly hard SF, nor that it's not problematic (especially around gender), but it's pretty good, and not 100 volumes long!


Keeper of the Lost Cities (Shannon Messenger) is like "Harry Potter" in that a pre-teen gets sucked into a secret world of magic and is faced with high-level problems and leaves their mundane family behind to go to school in the new world, but at least it's not a male protagonist. Also this is a much more brightly-colored world, if not less full of terrible things, and the conspiracies are actually conspiratorial, not just prophetic mumbo-jumo. Maybe Jus would like it?


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5 June 2019 - Wednesday

No Mike and no Kelsey, so we had no gaming at all and were reduced to playing Lords of Waterdeep, which I somewhat enjoy but am terrible at. Also, Korean food (which I definitely enjoy, but am probably at as well).


Now through volume 14 of Knights of Sidonia (Tsutomu Nihei), and the doom is intensifying! Of course the internal enemy who has been plotting since like volume 3 is making their move, as the Sidonia heads into the final battle against the gauna cluster ship, because they suck.

To Clear Away the Shadows (David Drake) is another "RCN" book that's not about the original team. This one is more like Darwin's voyage on the Beagle, or other C19 naturalists going to sea and getting mixed up with all sorts of imperialism. These characters are maybe not as sympathetic as the author might think?

2001: An Odyssey in Words (ed Ian Whates, Tom Hunter) is a collection of short stories in honor of the late Sir Arthur C Clarke, each exactly 2001 words long. I recognized what some of them were inspired by! All of them were pretty good.


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4 June 2019 - Tuesday

How embarrassing, I got caught falling asleep in the team meeting. I don't know what's wrong with this office, but I am way more somnolent than I was in the other office.


We watched another Elementary, because neither of us is smart enough to find something better.


In Knights of Sidonia (Tsutomu Nihei) vol 11-12, Tanikaze collects another female-presenting sophont, but she does not have a great impact on his life because they are entering the death spiral of the series.


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3 June 2019 - Monday

Ugh, Monday. Nobody likes Monday.


But at least Monday has the conclusion of Good Omens! The biggest special effects scene was all the goofiest and least necessary, because BBC. And there was a lot of epilogue. Like, the whole of episode 6.


The October Man (Ben Aaronovitch) is very much like a Peter Grant story except it's set in Germany and the main character is sick of hearing about Peter Grant and the Nightingale and the Nightingale's newer, even more terrifying, apprentice. His attitude is very similar, though.

In an attempt to read outside my genre, I read Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead (Sara Gran), which is sort of a mystery but also mystical (not fantasy, the main character is just like that) and set in dystopian post-Katrina New Orleans. I did not hate it as much as one might think from the mysticism, but I do not feel a great need to read more about this protagonist.


For the past week or so, I have been rereading Knights of Sidonia (Tsutomu Nihei), and I finally got through volume 10, which is where I stopped before (because the rest wasn't out then). Some of it I remembered, a lot was familiar once I saw it again, but some of it I had completely forgotten about. Now, onward to the five volumes I have never read.


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2 June 2019 - Sunday

Today we played the second issue of the Sentinel Comics RPG starter adventures. Of course Hazel was there to play her gadgeteer character for the first time in a completely non-technological adventure, but I think it all worked out. Kinda. I think all of us experienced gamers need to make more room for the new gamers, but I'm not sure how to do that except by not gaming. Which is probably what I should be doing anyway.


I returned home in time to watch another two episodes of Good Omens. You know, these malign supernatural creatures are really pretty disturbing despite not having a huge amount of SFX. Good job, people with scary brains!

I really should reread the book, though.


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1 June 2019 - Saturday

Ken is back, so we have regular anime again! But everyone is sleepy, so we don't have very much anime.


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