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Seto Kaiba

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About Seto Kaiba

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    Anime (duh), Antique Firearms, Cryptography, Mechanical Design

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  1. ... well, that's a thing that happened. Ulysses: Jeanne d'Arc and the Alchemist Knight's second episode is mostly no improvement on the first. It gets good for a few minutes near the end. Between all the fanservice-y shots of La Hire (oh the sentences I'd never thought I'd write) and Jeanne being an obnoxious twit, I'm not sure I want to keep following this series... but I'll give it a couple more episodes to see if it turns into something decent. It's pretty clearly headed for les yay territory, what with La Hire practically drooling over both Astaroth and Jeanne.
  2. Caught the second episode of Gyakuten Saiban's second (third) season yesterday. They're following the game VERY closely... a little too closely, IMO, given that Yusuke Amasugi's voice is rapidly becoming THE MOST ANNOYING SOUND thanks to him ending almost every sentence with an upward inflection and shouting in his incredibly whiny voice. (Seeing him from behind, which the game sprites never did, makes his head look distressingly like a penis thanks to his stupid haircut. I'm going to choose to interpret that to mean the artists are hinting that he's a massive dickhead, because he totally was in the game.) Today it'll be the second episode of Ulysses: Jeanne d'Arc and the Alchemist Knight.
  3. The first party isn't totally missing from that sequence... you can see what's left of at least one or two of its members, though it's pretty clear they're counting on the audience having read the light novel or manga there since broadcast standards won't let them show such graphic material. To be fair, at least one bystander also wagered he was an atypically large goblin himself. There was a LOT of wild mass guessing going on there in-series.
  4. Seto Kaiba

    The Newbie and Short Questions thread

    Oh, granted... though I imagine rather a lot of people would have been happier if he hadn't taken an enormous chunk of the defense industry with him by screwing up adoption of the AIF-9, VF-19, and VF-22 and forcing the military to start over on 4th Gen VF development. No such animal... all emigrant fleets seen or mentioned thus far have been launched and governed under the auspices of the New UN Government. The New UN Government was understandably concerned about letting full spec versions of its new excessively high-spec 4th Generation VFs out into the wild for three main reasons: A fair amount of the fighting the New UN Forces were doing in that period was civil wars. As the New UN Government's sphere of influence grew, the logistical difficulties of governing an area as vast as it technically encompassed gave rise to movements seeking greater autonomy for the colonies, secessionists, and armed conflicts between colonies. With the federal NUNS periodically having to intervene and restore order, the last thing the brass wanted was to get there and have to fight a numerically superior force at technological parity with them. To be effective, they needed an edge. The discord in the colonies also frequently gave rise to armed anti-government and terrorist groups that were increasingly able to obtain military hardware via covert supporters or even outright theft. Restrictions on export variants made any fighters that fell into hostile hands somewhat less capable, and restrictions on the number that could be produced made it a little easier to spot when one went "missing". Some anti-government groups were able to develop their own advanced weapons based on stolen New UN Forces hardware with impressive results. Sequestering the most advanced technology to prevent its theft was also a way to maintain the New UN Forces' edge over those enemies. The New UN Government was arguably pretty much dead-on correct about the possibility of their own troops supplying arms and tech to anti-government groups... Macross Chronicle implies even Max may have been involved in covertly supporting the colonial autonomy movement. Even after the whole autonomy movement came to a head and won out over the Earth-supremacists in what recent books are calling the Second Unification War, there are still plenty of civil wars and so on in the New UN Government's territory. Kaname Buccaneer comes from a planet that is quite literally semi-perpetually at war with itself due to a strong Earth-supremacist movement there. "NUNS" is the New UN Spacy, the New UN Government's Space Army. Alas, no. Only a few specific examples where monkey models were prominently called out as such like the VF-19P and VF-19EF. Its engines were derated to increase its cruising range in space, limiters were imposed on some of its avionics, the modular ordnance bay in the legs was removed and replaced by a fixed pair of micro-missile launchers, and the target acquisition rate of its missile launchers was derated. It's theoretically possible, but it would be quite an undertaking and would likely require the support of the corporations who developed the hardware and software in the first place. Companies that've got a vested interest in staying on the right side of the law. There may be some pieces of tech that they simply can't replicate, either because they don't have its original spec or because they simply lack the technical know-how... like how the VF-24 is supposedly head and shoulders above the 5th Generation VFs based on its heavily redacted blueprints. The ending of Macross Frontier shows their Mainland module is still intact... the civilian population of cyborgs are all basically mind-controlled slaves of the galaxy executives though. General Galaxy itself doesn't seem to have been implicated in the Galaxy fleet's conspiracy, since the fleet was a semi-independent subsidiary. Shin and Sara pulled a Hikaru and Misa. They're gone, and we'll likely never hear from them again. I think she was more steamed off that it was her Valkyrie he destroyed... not for its historical value, but that it was hers. He basically trashed her classic car. Nope. Gamlin's discontent was understandable enough. Visual cues in Macross 7 point to Milia's VF-1J being a Block 4... a true 1st Generation VF without the refinements that were introduced from Block 5 and later. The lowest performance fighter that Gamlin trained on was the VF-11C, fully two generations newer than the VF-1J-4 with much better performance and controls based on the refinements which were made in later VF-1 blocks. I expect you'd hear similar carping if you asked a F/A-18 pilot to go fly an old F-104. Promotional art for the Macross II OVA has a number of things which were not properly documented as they weren't actually used in the OVA itself. The few sources to depict the VF-2SS with a gunpod without its Super Armed Pack have always shown it with it mounted ventrally without any need for extra parts. That forearm piece looks for all the world like the back half of the VF-2JA's heavy railgun. The other two members of Sagittarius Platoon have their names given only as "Jun" and "Maruyama". Maruyama is the one with the Sheryl Nome paintjob on his VF-171EX, and even got a DX Chogokin because of it.
  5. We do... but not the entire thing. We get to see him both as a youth and an adult, but the way he's drawn the upper half of his face is perpetually in shadow even if all of his head is in the frame. We get to see him without his helmet for the first time near the end of the first light novel volume, when someone asks to see his face as repayment for a favor (spoilers, so I won't say any more than that) and he obliges. The manga also adapts a section of the light novel before that where he goes around town without his armor while it's in the shop and nobody in town recognizes him because he never takes it off normally. We also get a number of flashbacks to him as a kid before he became an adventurer. No, Goblin Slayer is most definitely a man. Cow Girl1, who is introduced in the second episode, was basically his girl-next-door childhood love interest... 1. She takes care of cows on the farm. She is not a beastman. The name is almost certainly also a none-too-polite reference to her great big... tracts of land... which the light novel goes well out of its way to talk about and show you, and the manga is even more blatant about.
  6. Just finished episode two of Goblin Slayer, and on a lighter note the series seems to have opted to avoid the gory and exploitative bit that appeared in the light novel and manga with the all-female party of adventurers who met their end in the elven fortress overrun by goblins. Some good characterization for Goblin Slayer himself, and a few more staple characters introduced. Definitely a lighter episode than the first one... and we bloody well needed that.
  7. Considering what their leader's like, they may well be Vader cultists... Which makes you wonder how they'll take Kylo Ren's sudden change of heart vis a vis finishing what Vader started.
  8. Seto Kaiba

    The Newbie and Short Questions thread

    Pretty much, yeah... Isamu had to foot the bill for the project, which wiped out his savings. There are easier ways to jump in front of a firing squad, but none quite so stylish as what he did. By all accounts, all emigrant fleet forces have been working with monkey models since the introduction of 4th Generation VFs... and possibly earlier. One of the unintended/unexpected consequences of Isamu stealing the YF-19 No.2 prototype and using it to break through Earth's orbital defenses was that it caused the New UN Government to seriously reconsider its policies on exporting the latest weapons technology to the emigrant fleets and colonies. There had been a sharp uptick in anti-government activity in the latter half of the 2030s, which Millard alluded to in the briefing where Isamu was introduced to the YF-19 and YF-21. With tensions on the rise over whether the New UN Government should be a strong central government or devolve more authority to the individual member fleets/worlds, the New UN Government was understandably a little bit leery about the prospect of providing advanced weapons that were able to penetrate Earth's own defenses to the colonies where they could potentially end up in the hands of the anti-government factions and be used against the federal New UN Forces. The solution the New UN Government hit on was to retain the full spec versions of new weapons for the federal forces and sell reduced capability versions to colony worlds and to emigrant fleets. That way, if the federal New UN Forces had to step in and knock heads together to restore order or put down a fight between colonies they would always have an edge. Other restrictions that were applied were mandated limits on the performance of locally-produced parts and limits on the numbers of certain VFs that could be produced in any one fleet or colonial defense force. This also gave rise to local specifications of various fighters. Various fleets would take the export variant specification they'd licensed and would make tweaks, adjustments, and an array of customizations to make it better suit their needs. For instance, the Macross Frontier fleet made an improved derivative of the VF-19E monkey model spec that included an EX-Gear cockpit and other refinements and designated it VF-19EF Caliburn. General Galaxy's subsidiary/sponsored fleet Macross Galaxy had its own enhanced VF-19C designated VF-19C/MG21 Excalibur. (Normally, the originating fleet for the custom spec is appended after the variant letter or block number with a forward slash and the fleet's identification code.) The VF-19s and VF-22s in Macross 7 were almost certainly monkey models, though the VF-19P used by the Zola Patrol is the only one for which the reductions in performance are explicitly identified. There are tons of local variations of the VF-171 Nightmare Plus, so it's likely that it is technically a monkey model in that the Earth/Federal NUNS's ones likely benefit enormously from Earth's superior technology. Sort of? After the New UN Government and New UN Forces put the kibosh on large-scale adoption of the VF-19 Excalibur due to tightened arms export restrictions and problems with controllability that were discovered during model conversion training by the Earth NUNS, the New UN Forces submitted a new RFP for a replacement with the same advanced features but less over-the-top performance that could reasonably replace the VF-11 Thunderbolt. General Galaxy started with the proven VF-17 Nightmare design and tried to economize it for mass production while incorporating the advances in tech that were made for the 4th Generation VFs. They simplified the transformation, eliminated a few little-used options like the forearm beam guns, reworked its aerodynamics for better all-regime performance, and retooled it for better airframe versatility. The initial (Block I) VF-171 was not quite as good as the VF-17D or -S, but by the Block II version seen in Macross Frontier and Macross Delta, the VF-171's performance exceeded the original VF-17's thanks to improved active stealth and avionics. The VF-171 is noted to be incredibly versatile, able to easily be used for almost any role with minimal conversion work. The surviving ones, yeah. The Robotech II: the Sentinels novelization is generally regarded as being Star Wars Holiday Special levels of bad. "Jack McKinney" (Luceno and Daley) wrote all those books like off-brand Star Wars mockbusters, but it got especially bad when they adapted Sentinels. Nothing, AFAIK. Sharon Apple was destroyed by Isamu's final attack on the SDF-1 Macross, we see her "brain" explode when Isamu destroys the main computer. The New UN Government was understandably more than slightly put out by what Sharon did, and legislated her music off the shelves until all responsive subroutines were removed and banned self-aware virtuoids altogether. Sharon's music did make it back onto the shelves a while later with the responsive elements removed, but the damage was done and a fickle public had moved on. It'd take a LOT of work... some of the limiters are in software, some are hardware, some are simply local manufacturers not being able to produce parts at that full military spec. Dr. Neumann and Shinsei Industry improved the performance of the VF-19EF Caliburn they customized for Isamu mainly through selective downgrades... reconfiguring the airframe for the VF-19A's less stable aerodynamic profile, downgrading the integrated airframe management AI to the initial build used on the YF-19 No.3 prototype and in so doing taking out most of the stability and safety improvements, etc. Most of the fiddly stuff meant to make the VF-19 safer for average pilots was taken out so Isamu could leverage that insane lack of stability that caused the military to back down from adopting the VF-19 in the first place. I'm not getting nearly the number of boos and hisses I expected for such a dreadful joke.
  9. Seto Kaiba

    The Newbie and Short Questions thread

    That, I think, was the idea... Isamu may have saved Earth from Sharon Apple, but he still caused a crapload of damage and broke a ton of regulations along the way. In the final analysis, he... Stole a next-generation prototype fighter from the New Edwards Test Flight Center Stole a fold booster from the New Edwards Test Flight Center Caused significant damage to the Shinsei Industry Project Super Nova hangar at New Edwards when he blew up the hangar doors Racked up quite a bill in terms of the munitions expended in the Eden NUNS's attempt to intercept him and the munitions he himself stole Destroyed several orbital weapons platforms in the Earth Defense Network Caused significant damage to a number of buildings on Earth Caused significant damage to the flying bridge of the SDF-1 Macross Caused an enormous scandal and panic when the YF-19 was demonstrated to be independently capable of penetrating the most secure NUNS defense net in the galaxy, that prompted the New UN Government to issue severe arms export restrictions on 4th Generation VFs (angering Shinsei and General Galaxy) Indirectly caused the total loss of the Sharon Apple system and AIF-X-9 Ghost prototype Indirectly caused the total loss of the YF-21 No.2 prototype and its pilot, Specialist Guld Goa Bowman Needless to say, the New UN Forces brass were NOT happy with Mr. Dyson... but were hard-pressed to punish him overtly for it since Col. Millard Johnson took responsibility for the entire incident and he had "saved the day". Chaining him to a desk under the auspices of a promotion was a way to punish him in a way that would make him sit up and take notice while dressing it up as a reward for a job well done. Arguably, yes... The New UN Government has arms export restrictions on the weapons that can be sold to, or locally built under license by, the emigrant fleets and colony planets. As a result, some of their versions of New UN Forces hardware are what are called "Monkey Models": export variants with inferior capabilities. The first example explicitly acknowledged as such is the VF-19P from Macross Dynamite 7, but the term has been used more commonly since Macross the Ride, which introduced the Macross Frontier fleet's VF-19 monkey model VF-19EF Caliburn. Yeah. The Protodeviln are energy beings inhabiting a line of prototype sentient biological superweapons... like autonomous early versions of the Birdhuman from Macross Zero. (The Evil-series bioweapons that were possessed were partially modeled on Zentradi.) They don't normally possess living beings... the seven energy beings who became the Protodeviln were accidentally drawn into the Evil-series bodies during a power test on a new form of dimensional energy conversion biotechnological reactor intended to power the Evil-series. They were, essentially victims of the Protoculture's weapons programs. Not that we know? They went for the energy that was most similar to their normal food... the mental/emotional energy (spiritia) in the minds of living beings. Ironically, Macross 7 showed that they actually learned a fair bit from their original panicky attempt to keep themselves alive by rampaging across the galaxy. Gepernich's goal was sustainable spiritia farming so they wouldn't need to attack huge swaths of the galaxy. Don't. Seriously. Macross the Ride, elsewise known as "Macross R", is a light novel that was serialized in twelve issues of Dengeki Hobby magazine in 2011. The magazine also featured custom model kits for the various VFs in the story. For all practical intents and purposes, Macross the Ride is a prequel-slash-side story to Macross Frontier. It's set in the Macross Frontier fleet a year before the events of the series (in 2058), and the plot revolves around two things: a VF air racing league called Vanquish that is a very popular sport throughout the New UN Government's sphere of influence, and an attempt by a remnant of the Earth-supremacist group Latence (the baddies in Macross VF-X2) called FASCES to hijack one of the venues. None of which I am aware. I would presume that, in typical Japanese fashion, he resigned from his post. That's what Jan said. The VF-19E was an intermediate variant between the VF-19C and VF-19F... the record is sketchy on whether the VF-19E was a VF-19 1st Mass Production-type like the VF-19A or 2nd Mass Production-type like the VF-19F and VF-19S. The only Macross title to directly feature a VF-19E is Macross 30, which showed it as a 1st Mass Production-type, though the -EF in the Macross the Ride light novel appears to be a 2nd Mass Production-type. The VF-19EF Caliburn was a customized, locally-built derivative of the VF-19E the Macross Frontier fleet built in limited quantities for its local special forces and SMS. It restored the canards and expanded the main wing, but had a number of built-in limiters on its performance. A popular theory is that Dr. Neumann has a bit of a stress disorder because of Isamu. I dunno. Probably sharing his emotions with the Vajra Queen and all. Or maybe... he likes big bugs and he cannot lie? (I'll show myself out.)
  10. Seto Kaiba

    The Newbie and Short Questions thread

    The energy beings that became known as the Protodeviln are from fold space... shooting off nukes at random into fold space is not likely to achieve any meaningful results, and they're basically harmless in their own realm anyway. The only reason they had to become predatory when they were trapped in the Evil-series bio-weapons was because the abundant energy they feed on in fold space doesn't exist in normal space. Let's never speak of this again... those novels are SO ABHORRENTLY BAD that even most Robotech fans refuse to defend them, and Harmony Gold publicly admits they're garbage. Imagine how bad something Robotech-branded would have to be for Harmony Gold to admit it was a terrible mistake... There is an artbook that has a picture of him greeting Sheryl upon returning... I'll see if I can find it for you. If Macross Delta is any indication, it's the usual mishmash of both... but between Macross the Ride and Macross Delta it seems to favor the TV series version over the movie. Berger Stone's historical presentation on "music as a weapon" shows the TV version's ending of the Vajra conflict but also shows Alto's YF-29. AFAIK, no data is available that would indicate what Sheryl, Ranka, and Alto were doing after the events of Macross Frontier, except in not-official-setting works like Variable Fighter Master File. Millard takes the blame for Isamu's little stunt in Macross Plus's climax, and Isamu is "rewarded" with a career trajectory towards a desk job in the New UN Forces because the brass can't openly punish him for saving the day even though he stole the YF-19-2 and intended to commit what amounted to a terrorist act out of sheer pigheaded stupidity. c.2057 he was a reservist who was summoned in to the New Edwards Test Flight Center to participate in the evaluation of the federal New UN Forces' latest prototype, the YF-24 Evolution. After the federal New UN Forces decided to adopt the YF-24 as its next main fighter (VF-24), Isamu seems to have taken his retirement at the rank of Major and joined Strategic Military Services to escape his impending consignment to a full-time desk job. The info is a brief blurb in Macross Chronicle focused not on him, but on the YF-24 program itself. The Mechanic Sheet for his fighter in Sayonara no Tsubasa, the VF-19EF/A "Isamu Special", indicates that he tried to illegally buy a VF-19 for his own personal use and was foiled by Dr. Jan Neumann of Shinsei Industry, who instead fobbed him off with a modded VF-19EF Caliburn (Macross Frontier's VF-19E monkey model specification) under the pretense of it being a service life extension test program in order to keep Isamu from doing anything stupid/illegal.
  11. You say he did it for no reason, but you gave the reason... to be more intimidating. Palpatine did the exact same thing in Empire Strikes Back, appearing as a giant hologram to Darth Vader. You have to admit they both kind of needed the help. Palpatine was an old man in a hooded robe whose face looked like a scrotum. Snoke was a deformed cripple who wore a gold glitter bathrobe everywhere. Neither was particularly intimidating in the flesh without knowing first-hand how powerful they were.
  12. Well spotted. A +1 from me to you.
  13. So... I decided to give Ulysses: Jeanne d'Arc and the Alchemist Knight a go over lunch today. The original light novel is by the same author (Mikage Kasuga) who did The Ambition of Oda Nobuna, so it being full of gender-flipped historical domain characters was practically a given. This time it's in the Hundred Years War instead of the Sengoku Period. All in all, it didn't really leave much of an impression. The first episode was so scattered that it didn't really tell a coherent story.
  14. Seto Kaiba

    The Newbie and Short Questions thread

    That, and so the audience is forced to let go of the original trio... neatly preventing other writers from dragging them back over and over again like the old Star Wars EU did to the original trilogy cast and doing what Robotech continues to do to its Macross holdover characters. Kawamori has always maintained that Hikaru, Misa, and Minmay sailed off into the proverbial sunset and their story is over. This postcard is him drawing a double underline and six exclamation marks on the word "over".
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