Autumn 2015 Anime

But first some thoughts for the last season:

Sore ga Seiyuu: It was good, but I’m not sure how they lined up their use cases. It felt like if we enjoyed things like underground idols, it would be more fun. But I think that could be said in general, if we enjoyed everything like idol otaku enjoying underground idols… Where does fantasy end and reality begin? Where does consumption end and…non-consumption begin?

Overlord: My favorite of the season, but it felt like it didn’t have enough time to breath.

Charlotte: My other favorite of the season, but it could’ve used another cour.

Classroom Crisis: My guilty pleasure of the season, but this one definitely needed another cour.

So yeah, what the hell Japan. Two of them are even original.

I still enjoyed Ace of Diamond, I have not fallen behind, and it is the first 100+ episode show I’ve watched since a god-knows how long ago. It didn’t go the way of Space Brothers, so that’s something very positive to be said about that project.

Monmusu was great. Fanservice-harem anime will always be welcomed if they are executed like this.

Non Non Biyori is still excellent. I think it might even be better than the first season.

Rokka is terrible and you’re all terrible for liking it?

GATE was OK. Not that good to be honest but worth watching for some highlights.

Food Wars was lovely, and I hope more of it happens.

Still need to wrap up on Million Doll (2 eps behind lol), Working S3, Gatchaman, Ilya, and Shimoseka. I don’t know why I stalled on Ilya, probably because there is no drive for me; I don’t really get it on watching this particular gang of little girls, and Rin’s side is not much better thanks to all this exposure lately from UBW. (How do you top that last episode?) Shimoseka is a really weird watch for me in terms of how to position it as both comedy and entertainment, and as a serious work of narrative. The first half (where I stopped) seemed like a good stopping point, and I don’t know if it gets any better. I might brave on if I go on a trip. Working just makes me sleepy which is why I’m a few episodes behind, and Gatchaman, too.

Well, there’s more.

Tokugawa matsuri

Now, new stuff…

Osomatsu-san and One Punch Man are both shows that probably won’t sustain the vigor episode 1 has showed us, so I’m not saying much about those besides, go watch the first episode. I like them also as gateways to explore these cultural artifacts, so you can get that even at 1 episode.

I enjoyed both Asterisk Wars and Chivalry (of a Failed Knight or) whatever, but not enough to take them beyond 3 episodes. I think the latter is more interesting because it is more different and more self-conscious, but that’s jaded people talk. What I found problematic, heh, is the execution of the fanservice elements in Chivalry is weird? I don’t know, had a hard time putting a finger on it. Asterisk War feels more sterile and tepid, kind of like Mahouka minus the obvious setup.

The real action for me is in Lanmas. The show features Suwa Ayaka as a horse (and has speaking lines) whose name is Shirohime. I cannot pass this up. There are also other factors to make the show compelling so far, even if at core, it still surrounds a potato and a bunch of girls. Holding my breath on this one in case it degenerates into a duty watch rather than for enjoyment as well.

The best show overall this season has to be Utawarerumono False Faces. The rebirth of Underwater Ray Romano is so far delightfully self-aware and curiously curated to please. Can’t ask for much more.

The new Gundam is what old fogies liked. Why do people hate 8th MS Team? I guess we can find out soon. For the record I enjoyed all that stuff. I even enjoyed 00 and Wing. I like Gundam, I think.

I tried watching DD Fist of the North Star II, I don’t get it.

Comet Lucifer is the first show that reminded me of those Bones original IP in a long while. But I guess this also means I should say I haven’t caught Concrete Revolutio yet. Maybe tonight.

Heavy Object: How can you screw up this badly. Oh wait nevermind, Index-heritage. Sigh. The concept is interesting but only because it triggers my Mechwarrior internal logic.

More Yuruyuri is always good.

K – Hahaha that action sequence.

Thanks to this post now I can’t stop making boner jokes about that Bone Detective anime. Sakurako anime. Whatever. It wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure I am in the mood for something like this. Maybe.

F anime, the one about the Insider? It’s really hip but yet probably ultimately will piss me off in a Nisioisin-can’t-write-well sort of way. I’ll leave myself open to its interpretation of murders and mysteries, because the production is good and it is something very Noitamina-y.

The slightly hard-boiled anime with Ueshama as lead female? It isn’t entirely terrible but I think this is what I dislike about otaku-database-driven stories. I thought we’re well beyond this, so when it’s straight up served it bothers me too much.

I avoided mentioning the shorts mostly in this post but just want to end with Hackadoll. It’s great and the WUG fanclub is selling the OP/ED single LOL.

And we’re not even done yet.

PS. Sakurako is a woman who gets a boner on esoteric bones?

PPS. I forgot to mention but we’re doing a DereSute wiki too. Thanks Rop &co!

Starlight Stage Week 6: Event Breakdown?

The event is over. I ranked somewhere in the 80000s. I also did the following:

  • Spent total of 250 jewels to refill stamina
  • Played Atapon on Debut twice, Regular once, Pro about 6 times, and a lot on M@ster. I didn’t keep count.
  • I was only able to FC up to Pro, and I don’t think I even got beyond C in combo for M@ster.
  • On average I was able to get S rank on M@STER, but occasionally I would not, and the first 5 times I got B or A ranks.
  • I failed M@STER Atapon three times total, and that was it for failing this song. Once for lulz’ing first attempt, once because I used the wrong team, and once because I was experimenting.
  • I used 2x feature only once and never 4x’d.
  • I cleared Pro Atapon once while playing it with Android chromecast. It lags, but sure looks nice on the big screen?

In the crucible of an event, we learned a few things:

With the Nana SR cutoff at 100k rank, it’s not hard to get a Nana. I spent less time grinding this event than any LLSIF event. The longest I’ve played was maybe one full hour of it? Usually I just put in some time while commuting and at night after dinner, besides keeping the stamina down throughout the day. Key was just being vigilant at keeping the stamina low and timing when you’ll level, plus using Atapon to get bonus experience to further level.

The other key learn for me is how to build a high scoring setup. First of all you break down the point values to find which songs at what difficulty to play. Then you build your team to suit (or you can do this first then pick the song that matches your team). For Atapon I had the luxury of 2 cute SSRs, or rather, one of them is SSR Miku.

Most SSRs, as center, provide a boost to a specific ability (Vo/Da/Vi) by % for the same type of idol. It’s the same when you select another player as their idol assists your team. (Always select Rin/Miku/Anzu SSRs when Atapon’ing.) SSR Miku is notable because she greatly increases your team’s cute idols’ Da ability. It so happens that the Miho SR you get from playing the event normally is a SR with a high Da score. I suppose this is why both cards were readily available during the event (although one is from gasha). If you have other cute cards that has high Da, throw it in with Miku for a good time. Or even just normal level of Da.

As an aside, this is the real reason why it helps to match color in teams and songs. Playing Cu songs with Cu idols will give your idols a boost in ability, but it pales to what a SSR can do for the same type of idols.

The other big “secret” to a high score is having a full team of backup idols. This is kind of a strange mechanics but when you play a song, the game selects the 20(?) highest valued idols in your possession and you get a bonus based on it. In the most min-max case you will want to have 20 of each type (Cu/Co/Pa) besides the 5 idols in your team. Which is to say, I hope you didn’t star lesson your dupe SRs and SSRs (just yet). Instead, awaken them and train them to the level cap.

Other than that, the usual items apply: balance your team with health and scoring; and once you are good enough to aim for FC, balance your team between combo-based and ability-based scoring abilities depending on your play style and what R/SRs you have lying around. And obviously, don’t fail any song (especially at 4x) and combo as much as you can. It’s hard to do that when you grind so this is why it’s not always best to have the strongest scoring team if it means you might even fail once out of 50 or 100.

Basically, tweak your teams as you progress through the event.

At the same time, it’s okay to fail. I struggled with this briefly and realized if I put in the risk at M@ster the event would be way more fun to play. So I did, and tried and was able to conquer (somewhat) M@ster Atapon. Sure, it means I lost out on a max of 960 event points, than if I didn’t bother with M@ster but that wasn’t going to get me anywhere anyway in the larger scope of things. And that’s not even counting how many more points I “made” back (not enough actually) and how much time it saved overall (definitely).

This also means if all you can do is Pro, you can still rank just fine in Deresute. Back-of-napkin math suggests the loss in bonus point is like 80 event points per 5 Pro play or something ludicrous, versus 4 M@ster play. Maybe it adds up if you can’t do M@ster normal songs to farm up otomemori but that gap isn’t very large either, with each stamina adds just 3 more otomemori to ameliorate a base of 10-for-25. Well, it’s a notable gap but one that easily can be overcome by effort.

Big picture thoughts: Quality idol cards play a huge role. SR-only teams can be competitive but without at least one SSR card it will be hard to S rank the event song on M@STER; you basically have to almost FC them. The plus side is that Pro is competitive enough that free players can do just as well, except it might be more of a pain to do so. This is also very different from LLSIF…kind of.

This also means that you probably should do both rolling for SSRs and use jewels for stamina. Given the choice, roll to get a SSR if you don’t have one of the right color, and stamina if you do. I think I would have had a notably harder time in the Atapon event if I didn’t have 2 cute SSRs. If the next event is Nation Blue then maybe I will have to spend some more? The NewGene SSRs might prove useful in this case.

Faking It Until Making It: The Cinderella Girls Guide

Here are just some ideas for you to think about. Or get a laugh at. Or whatever. I personally think this is deep. 2deep4you deep.


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Anime Weekend Atlanta 2015: Wrap

Jotting some stuff down before I forget:

food vendor #2

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DereSute States, Week 3

First impression aside, here are some possibly useful links:

  1. UI translation screencaps. This page has some mistakes in the description text but the translations should be sufficient for people not familiar with the language.
  2. JP Wiki. Some guys started something similar but mostly use the game news?
  3. Level spreadsheet (via Starlight Stage reddit) but this is kind of not important
  4. Translated idol skills spreadsheet this is very important. Note “perfect lock” is a misnomer. DereSute, in other words, allows for full combo with even Nice notes, if certain skills proc on Nice.
  5. Charts and videos.

With the first event on the horizon (I like Ponkutsu Android!), here are some more macro observations and detailed observations.

A very newbie tip, but do the panel missions, they are very helpful. Took me a day or two but it unlocks some pretty easy songs.

Gasha envelope graphics. This can lie to you in that you can get a SSR out of a SR envelope, which lead to some confusion early on. But if you got a SSR envelope you know you scored.

You can pull SRs out of the Friend Point gasha. People often take this for granted but I’ve already seen it happen to 3 people I know.

Latency calibration is useful on Android, not so much on iOS unless you use bluetooth audio. In addition, device lag is a real problem for this game, along with battery and possible heat issues, so playing on 2D seems like a must. I haven’t tested with Apple TV or Android screen casting, but I ought to.

Turning off sound effects on hit is also a good move to reduce lag. I guess it will depend on your preference, but DereSute sounded very loud even with the slider all the way down to 1 or 2, so I just turned it off.

You probably already know this but you can adjust the scroll speed in the menu before starting a Live.

Turn on orientation lock in the features, this is a new functionality. On the same token flipping your phone is one way to hit the pause button if you are not locked.

Your PRP is solely based on the score you get in the song. Naturally, playing at a higher difficulty will score you more points and longer the combo gets you more points. Still, you could get a S on a song and still get more PRP if you get a better S (for example a FC versus not), is what I’m saying. Skills of your cards moderates the rest.

To that end, if you are not great at rhythm games, build a health team in order to unlock the higher difficulties or the MV mode. During a live, you do not regenerate health by default, so fielding at least one of these characters will go a long way to prevent failing a song. Check the translated list above. You can use not only characters that regen, but also “armor” characters that prevent health loss on proc or even the NewGene SSRs (if you have any) to rely on what LLSIF calls “fortify.”

Star Lessons: They are a waste. In the early goings when you are hurting to level up cards, forget Star Lesson on N cards and just feed your dupes instead. What is important to know is that card rarity dictates max Star Level. N=5, R=10, etc. Eventually you want a level 10 R. Keeping a level 5 N for now is nice but you only need 1 anyway. God knows what it will take to get 10+ of same SRs. I’m going to assume down the road, different SR of the same character can be Star Lessoned together.

It’s a minor detail, but when you get cards from Lives, they typically come with some levels already. So stick your lower level cards into the Lesson grinder to feed ones that are already at a higher level. Same applies to Star Lesson.

More minor details but important: Your max friend points is 10000, and you can only have max of 10 energy drinks per type. Any more goes to waste. Since most items in your mailbox expire in 2 weeks, it’s probably safe to say to feel free to use pots as needed (to bump into a new producer level or something). And as far as I can tell there are no reasons to hoard FPs.

My favorite pointless detail in DereSute is how affection/bond points are distributed intelligently so as few as possible are wasted. If you field a team with all but one idol at max, no matter where you put that idol all the affection points will go to that idol.

Different idols behave differently while interacting with the same item in The Room. There is a reason why I have like 6 lamps in my room.

Slide notes and hold notes are actually more forgiving than normal notes. However slide notes are weird in that you may have to move in an exaggerated way to get your phone to think you are sliding over certain notes. If you’ve seen the tweets on the last part of Legne then, yeah.

On migration: I actually created a new JP BNID to facilitate migrating my migration from Android to iOS (and then back to Android again). I can say for sure:

  1. You will lose all your Star Jewels, both free ones and paid ones
  2. You will not lose any Star Jewels in your present box, so don’t take them out if you are about to migrate! Actually you don’t seem to lose anything else, stamina or whatever. Just note that the present box items usually also have an expiry time.

In version 1.2, the ability to disassociate a DereSute account from BNID was created, which basically is super helpful and would solve my problem from a couple weeks ago. But what that mean is you can delete your re-rolls and associate your BNID to your “main” account to facilitate device transfers. Since I have not tried it I don’t know what happens to the account that you disassociated with.

FWIW playing Starlight Stage on an iPad was delightful, but really not optimal. My iPad is a Mini 2 and it didn’t even run the game very well. Worse than my Moto X 3rd gen. I guess if you are looking for new hardware to double down on DereSute, consider buying a iPhone 6S or a GS6 or something in that range. Ironically at the Google Play stage event for DereSute at TGS last weekend they rocked a pair of iPhone 6 for their score match games, and it ran quite nicely.

I don’t remember the formula that translate stamina used for a song to the number of experience points you get, but it’s about 3x and gets a little better at higher difficulties.

Still to be figured out is how exactly you can skill up. It happens on occasion when a lot of XP is gained for a card?

The highest ranked/leveled player on my friend’s list is over level 72 and is A rank, last checked. Since the first event begins in a couple days, this is a moot point, but, spending 50 jewels to restore stamina is a smart, long-game play, over rolling away for high draws. As it is with LLSIF, on that note. Just think, for 100-200 jewels you can get a level, assuming you have the time to grind it. That’s way worth it after your first so many SRs. At the same time there’s a really slow curve to max stamina growth that may not be worth as much as we’d think. Look at the spreadsheet I guess.

But outside of events, everyone should be focused on unlocking the character stories by awakening Ns, Rs, etc. There is 25 star jewels for each N and 50 jewels for each R, so that’s quite a few cards right there out of the initial 100 or so cards. At least a couple pulls if you are diligent (or save it for events, it’s more than enough). That said, doing one 10 pull as soon as possible is probably going to save you a lot of time and effort because being able to field Rs is way better than having just a couple Rs in a mostly N team.

At first I thought DereSute is harder than LLSIF. I think that’s wrong; it’s about as hard…for some people. What is hard in LLSIF is hitting the notes. What is hard in Deresute is hitting the notes on time. The funny thing is DereSute uses Shiny Festa’s hitbox, so it’s easy to get perfects. If you have good coordination, DereSute might actually be easier. If you don’t have rhythm, LLSIF will be the easier game. But, as aforementioned, neither game is that hard on a more absolute scale. I personally could use some guides, of the horizontal kind… I am having definitely a harder time in DereSute to FC than I did in LLSIF, on M@STER/Pro.

To end it on this one…when you do a 10 draw and drew 4 Mayu, or keep on getting Mayu over the course of a few days from FP and daily 60 draws… it’s an element of humor I suppose.