donderdag 30 november 2023

Zaregoto: The Kubikiri Cycle

 We made it, we are down to the last letter, the Z, of our alphabet challenge, and still have a month left to watch other stuff.

And the Z is for Zaregoto, the Kubikiri Cycle of which I read and enjoyed the first light novel.

Numbering 8 episodes, it does start different from the book, in a sort of interdimensional debate about the girls on the island and how humanity functions, as well as where genius begins and ends.

On Raven's Feather Island, a group of women has been gathered together with our hero, Kunagasi Tomo's assistant, in the Akagami residence.  As we learn the rooms and the inhabitants, like Akame, one of the 7 brightest geniusses in the world, we learn that the mistress of the house isn't allowed of the island anymore.  To that end, she offers invitations to the smartest out there for company during their stays, like great painters, master chefs and more.
He meets with the painter,  Kanami Ibuki, who wants to talk with him in order to be able to make a painting afterwards.  The island allowed to spend time as they like, except they all needed to eat supper together as the sole rule.  During dinner, some of the girls enter a discussion about being only mediocre instead of a genius.  While sitting in the salon with Maki, a psychic, an earthquake takes place shaking the house, as Kanami's assistant rings her, assuring she is okay.  But a day later, her decapitated body is found in the atelier.  

They are now faced with the investigation of the murder, with Akane not having an alibi.  But with a three meter wide paint river across the room due to the earthquake, things don't add up about the time of the murder.  And apparently, it wasn`t the first murder to ever happen on the island... Akane is locked up in a storeroom until the dtective Aikawa arrives in 6 days in the form of a famous detective.  But Tomo and Li-chan wonder, where did the head go?

As they continue searching for clues, Li-chan goes to talk with Akane.  This gives him fresh insights not only into himself, but into humans as a whole, as well as his feelings towards Tomo.  One of the maid's, Akari,  assaults him, being out of control for something happening again apparently.  A second decapitated corpse, Akame, is found in a sealed locker room.  After discussing the events at the table, they find Tomo's computers smashed up when they return to their room.  Li and Tomo do their onw investigating into the matters, even having Teruko, one of the maids, actually speaking to them.  

When talking to the genius cook yayoi, Il starts connecting the dots, now only needing to find the proof for his theories to be supported.  Li is attacked in a dark room by the assassin, only to be saved by the maid Teruko.  However, she is shot, but as Tomo enters the room, the light reveals it was Akame after all.  The corpse of Ibuki had been dug up and used to fake her own death, together with Ibuki's assistant and he deducted that Ilia is actually one of the maids.  But as the police wasn't called, they walked free.

Back on land, Li is taken along for a ride by Aikawa who traced him down.  She knows something bothers Li in how he made the case, and explains a lot of things, like Kanami actually not being able to paint at all despite being a famous artist.  But that Akame and Kanami had actually traded places, and Shinya didn`t work with Akame at all, but actually with Kanami.  To Akame, it seemed like a fun prank to see how long it would take the geniuses to notice, but to Kanami, there where other motives...

So this was a great adaption of the light novel, and don't expect an action packed series.  Instead, expect a series that resolves like a movie of Hercule Poirot, with a shocking ending...

woensdag 29 november 2023

HT-01B Magella Attack tank 1/400 resin scale

 The next models finished from the MechaTop samples I received, are two of the main battletanks of the Principality of Zeon: the Magella.

This tank, that can split of it's top as a plane if needed, was a serious force on the battlefield to be reckoned with.
But their biggest drawback was that their top couldn`t turn, so while the 175mm cannon has a high arc for visibility, the whole tank needed to turn to adjust it's aiming angles.  

The tanks have been painted in the traditional Zeon greens, like the Zaku's and such for example, with dark greys for the metallic parts like the front machine gun array.

Gamewise, they cost about as much as a Zaku I and other older models, so these are some great (and cool looking) bulking out units for your force.

And they will be in the next game I`m going to play, in an effort to try and grasp the rules some more.

zondag 26 november 2023

BrickMania Antwerp 2024: Lego convention report

 No, I am not returning to the Lego hobby!

But past sunday, during a rainy day, we decided on a spur of the moment to go to Brick Mania with the little guy for a nice afternoon out and marvel at some of the MOC's on display.

And even though it was already sunday afternoon when we went to this two day event, organised by BeLug in the Antwerp Expo, there was a lot of people present.

 Of course, trade stands where there a plenty, and we did find a good deal on a box of Duplo for the little man, so now he can build the christmas house to go under the tree.

There was also a succesfull Guinness World Record taking place, in the form of the most individual minifigs on display, and it shattered the old one by a few thousand.

Awesome popculture brickfigures where to be seen, Noshi was crazy about the Stitch mosaic.

A nice Castle display, Thorin was so intrested he even took a flyer along to read.

There where also a variety of Lego sculptures on display, both from avid builders as from professional builder Dirk Denoyelle.

This working factory with all it's moving parts definitly caught Thorin's attention.

A lovely Viking village.

I personally though this the most impressive build the great city of Babylon.


A big pirates display table was also present, including magnificent sailing ships.

Mosaics are always cool, and there was a huge one that could be build by the attendees, but also this lovely one made entirely out of minifigure heads.

The neighbouring city of Mechelen was also represented in some awesome builds.


Of course, no convention is complete without spaceships, either of the classic variety or being build using newer techniques.


How about some lovely childhood memories for us 80s kids? 


Though there where also builds of the more modern generation.


More medieval builds could be witnessed amongst the various tables of the venue. 

But of course, all those build where only possible thanks to the venerable Brick Seperator... and the amazing moc possibilities this little tool offers.

But there was so much more to see and enjoy, from the mainstage of Tomorrowland 2019 over fabuland all the way to Disney and trains.  A day at Brickmania is definitly worth your time, so if one is nearby, or any other Lego convention for that matter, hop in and let loose your inner child for some awe and wonder.

And so my first Brickmania after 7 years came to an end, onwards to a next edition with the little guy in 2024.

And here is even more eye-candy: