SOA 6, Space Bros 20, Polar Bear 20

Sword Art Online 6 brings an effective end to the murder mystery, with a few flaws that come with the situation. (Spoilers ahead)

I don’t know if you could call this an actual mystery. We’re playing in an imagined world here, with its own rules. MMPORG veterans might have some advantage, but no one reading this has actually been in this game, so it can come up with reasons why something happened that would not occur to us. To paraphrase Asimov talking about the problems with mysteries in SF: “Don’t forget, Watson, that some items in cities can lose durability, like homemade sandwiches.” True, we were given the durability angle before Kirito makes his deductions, but only by a minute or two. “Remember, Watson, what happens what happens to a married player’s inventory when they die?” Good lord, Holmes! I had no idea!

Quibbling over the technical aspects of the mystery is fine, but it was still fun to watch. The actions of everyone involved made sense, from Yoriko to Kain, even Schmidt’s is understandable. And it was fun watching the whole thing unravel. The only bit I didn’t care for was Grimlock’s own motivation. I can certainly understand why he would have been upset when Griselda changed. Driven to murder, knowing the consequences of the act in the real world? Not so much. I suppose you can argue that Grimlock had a hidden side as well, but I don’t see how you could keep such a foul side hidden away like that, especially to your wife, who in this case seemed to love him no matter what world they lived in. And his breakdown at the end felt a bit superficial though they covered it well by stopping the conversation and having his friends lead him away. … And … are they ever going to explain that appearance near the end? Another thing in this world we have to figure out! Still, a good episode even if they’ve gotten no farther in the bigger story.

Such a to-do over Rock-Paper-Scissors

Yep, Space Brothers 20 has them still in the pod, but this episode is different. It’s the last day. Everyone is cooperating, reminiscing about the past two weeks, and how much fun they were. Well, it’s only natural to want to remember the good things about an event, and it was nice to have everyone on the same page for a change, but all through the flashbacks we get moments of doubt from everyone not only about their worthiness but how the hell can the decide on two, anyway? And once again, Mutta comes across the fairest and most humane way. Although using rock-paper-scissors may cancel out those who excel on the stats page, it also means those with possible handicaps have an equal chance. After all, everyone there has decided that they all have the right qualities, to decide by luck is a gesture of respect. Furuya has the best response to Mutta’s suggestion; it leads to near-tears and a confession of his own self-worth, the most telling and humanizing moment about this character we’ve had yet, and one of the best moments of the series. Meanwhile, Pod B will probably use a “tangible metric,” and in light of what Pod A decides to do, seems cruel and unfair. And who wins the rock-paper-scissors game? You think the show’s going to let this chance for a cliffhanger pass by, are you?

Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie.

Quite a good episode of Polar Bear’s Cafe this week. It was so educational! In the first half we learned that there are 18 varieties of penguin, including Gentoo, which makes me wish every Linux distro had a distinct penguin name. But then I suppose we’d be getting arguments about which is the emperor. Debian? Red hat? Fedora? Ubuntu? Back to the episode: it’s rather nice that all the penguin genuses (genii? Oh, who cares?) get along so well, apart of course from the king penguin’s grudge against the emperors. And you can’t blame the guy. And again Polar Bear is a hit with the ladies. Polar Bear and Mutta are the front-runners for male character of the year in my book. The second half can’t live up to the first, but we learn that coffee beans, at least the ones used in the cafe, are picked by red squirrels and roasted by a tree kangaroo. Good to know.

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