Friday, December 28, 2012

The Best of the Worst 2012

2012 was a year full of life-altering changes and satisfying victories—for the TSB team, in any case.  These personal triumphs will look great on our gravestones but reflect poorly on the blog. Still, we believe in quality over quantity, especially when it comes to justifying our frequent month-long hiatuses.

What say you dear reader, assuming there's any of you left? What content do you want to see from us in the new year? Throw us a comment and if it sticks we might humor you. Assuming our day jobs don't get in the way of what's truly important, that is.

Comiket 81: The High Cost of Fandom
Loli-con cosplay at Comiket 81.
Does joining the otaku club require you to sever ties with society and shun your parents? Comiket's ridiculous scheduling around national holidays leaves visitors with no other choice.

Making Sense of Dollers

Doller in a blue wig.
Hovering between abject horror and bewildered respect, our look into the misfit world of the Dollers may be the most even-handed piece ever written on the subject, if only because no one else can be bothered.

History of Akihabara Part 3.5: 2.5D
2.5D cosplay at Harajuku.
Authenticity has evacuated Akihabara and taken its mojo with it. The creative elements of the crumbled otaku Mecca have melded with the youth culture of Harajuku and Shibuya, resulting in a new lifestyle that melts together 3D reality with 2D idealism.

Robot Restaurant
Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku has bikini girls on mecha.
Robot. Restaurant. Kabuki-Cho. There's not much else to say, except that these are the finest photos of bikini girls riding mecha ever posted by us.

Screaming Mad George's Paranoiascape
Screaming Mad George's Paranoiascape
Our game of the year wasn't some greasy broshooter or minimalist art school ploy, but an unpolished PS1 gem rescued from the recycle bin. Crafted by "Screaming" Mad George, punk rock monster and master of drippy VFX prosthetics, Paranoiascape blindsides the "games as art" debate with the possibility of "games as recreational drugs."

Creepy Kids Songs Part 2: Kagome Kagome
Kagome Kagome Japanese nursery rhyme.
Traditional Japanese nursery rhymes are riddle boxes of cryptic lyrics where each stanza solved chips away another layer of the lies calcified over our eyes. Peer within, if you can handle the truth.

Wave Jack Series: Fighting Piracy With Pin-Up Girls 
Seiken Psychi Calibur from the Wave Jack Series with Poppins.
The Wave Jack series of games for the Famicom disk system is a case study in how not to run the media-mix sales model. Their deluxe packaging included soundtrack cassettes, comics, and strategy guides as pack-ins. A great way to deter bootlegs, but not enough to justify the deluxe price tag, even with smiling idols on the cover.

Just Say NO To Nukes with SKI

The doe-eyed darlings of SKI do their darnedest to swing right-leaning idol culture back towards a more moderate left with the help of Panta, role-model for the violent 70's student protest movement. They've already lambasted ex-prime minister Noda, nuclear power, and the TPP—I can't wait to see how they spin Abe's fiscal policy into a human rights violation.

Scummy Manga Reviews #7: Ressentiment
Kengo Hanazawa Ressentiment manga.
Written nearly 10 years ago, Ressentiment does for dating sims what Neuromancer did for the IT revolution—postulate a tomorrow that's familiar enough to be believable, yet so advanced as to be purely speculative. Unlike the retro-futurism of Golden Age sci-fi, much of its proposed technology has come into being, and not necessarily for the better.   


  1. Well, it definitely would be awesome if you could make more posts like the creepy Kagome Kagome post, imo.

    Or anything which gives some more insight in Japanese culture, especially anything strange/beautiful related. I love such stuff very much.

    The other posts are cool too, though.

  2. I would like to see a feature on elevator girls. Not in a "oh they are so kawaii" kinda way. More like, what's their deal? Why are they so idealized? Do they ever see weird shit?

    And laserdiscs. I like laserdiscs.

  3. More exposées on cool hangouts in Tokyo and some more Scummy Manga to make me tear my hair out over my lack of moonspeak fluency.

  4. While I do have a soft spot for the Scummy Manga series I must admit that one can never go wrong with any article on any subject to be found here.

    So a steady stream is the proper thing called for I believe.