Sword Art Online II – 11

Somehow this episode wSILLY.STEWIE-GUNas worse than last week’s. I don’t know how, but it succeeded. There was even more Talk no Jutsu, followed by Kirito and Sinon making even more hilarious assumptions about who Death Gun is. By the way, some of the stuff Kirito finally surmised was pretty obvious, the first part being the fact that their Space Game Helmets can’t stop their hearts, given they’re not even connected to one’s heart in the first place. That doesn’t rule out brain damage and such from electrical shock, but again, a safer assumption is that manufacturers made sure these things were pretty damn safe. So if Death Gun can’t magically kill people from afar via computer code, then he’s somehow arranging their deaths in the real world. Makes sense.

Beyond that, though, everything Kirito and Sinon “figured out” about Death Gun while they were talking for twenty more minutes in slightly varied camera angles was the most contrived scenario I’ve seen in a while. His entire MO relies on this MMORPG requiring people to publicly display their personal information. That’s awfully convenient, you know. Why would any popular MMO do this? If it did, it certainly wouldn’t be popular.

Anyway, so Death Gun has an accomplice, right? The theory is that this accomplice incapacitates someone’s physical body while the in-game Death Gun gets ready to shoot them on screen and time their actions perfectly to create the illusion he has the power to execute people in-game. Right…so…first off, why isn’t there a way to temporarily disable the visual immersion of the Space Game Helmet so you can check your immediate surroundings? This seems like what any manufacturer of a VR device would do: make sure your connection to the real world is not so easily severed. Ignoring how people would demand this simple convenience, this sort of scenario with Death Gun would be the most obvious danger to the user. At the very least you should be able to access things like email and texting so you can keep in contact with people, right? Second, why does Kirito somehow think waking one’s self up to fight this accomplice is a bad idea? How do you even know he’s there at the time? Assuming they have a limited amount of whatever combinations of drugs that let them incapacitate people and cause cardiac arrest, they’re probably going to save this ritual until the very moment they’re sure they can pull it off. So the idea that Sinon is incapacitated in the real world at this very moment is absurd. Third, why does Kirito think the accomplice is injecting some sort of chemical into a person in order to incapacitate them when no medical evidence suggests this is the case? Even though bodies decompose, lacerations and injuries do not heal after people die. (Duh.) They’re pretty easy for coroners to find. Fourth, why doesn’t Kirito log-out or contact the fucking police so they get to Sinon’s address? Or the hospital where he’s at? In other words, why aren’t these people using their brains? Even if Sinon dies, they can still catch Death Gun’s accomplice with ease.

By the way, I wonder what “Sterben” means. Apparently Google doesn’t exist in the future, considering it took me three seconds to answer this question. What, does GGO not have an in-game browser at the very least? How lame is this “hardcore” MMO? It makes you put in your personally identifiable information in public, but it doesn’t have an in-game browser. Fucking EVE has that.

Maybe something will happen next week. Maybe they’ll all die.

Zankyou no Terror – 8



If I want to entertain myself by watching people talk for half an hour, I’ll go rewatch Stand Alone Complex. This is not that. There was nothing redeeming about this episode whatsoever. It dithered about trying to be pensive, foreboding, and tense, but didn’t get close to any one of them. To make matters worse, despite all the nominal “exposition” we got in this episode, none of it amounted to anything that we didn’t already know. Shibazaki gets fired and blackmails some Cliche Corrupt Japanese Politician, whose face looks like they copy-pasted some old Japanese dude’s Facebook profile, to find out that the Japanese government did some Unit 731-type sociological experimentation on orphans. Man, what a scoop! If only this episode had given some real details about anything about the backstory of this setting. If only.

So Hazuki Nagisa the Insane and Aizen Sousuke the Younger finally have some interpersonal conflict that feels incredibly forced and stupid. Why exactly does Twelve care so much about Lisa? This would work had this anime actually spent time developing the relationship between these characters, but it hasn’t. So now, once again, we’re told he cares about her and we’re supposed to accept that. We’re also supposed to be afraid of Gasai Yuno the Evil’s kidnapping of Lisa. How did she know where the terrorists lived? Lisa ran away from home and didn’t tell anyone where she was going. Can you say “plot hole”? Because I can. I can say it a lot. This anime has three episodes left and I can just barely be arsed to keep watching thanks to the sunk cost fallacy.

Ugh, way to waste a two-week hiatus, Zankyou no Terror, not that you were worth much of anything to begin with.

Zankyou no Terror – 7

It took 16 FUSILLY.EVACUATECKING minutes into this episode for them to figure out that evacuating one of the busiest airports in the world might have been a good idea, i.e., the one thing that would have singlehandedly derailed all of Gasai Yuno the Evil’s convoluted plans.  Of course, they don’t actually do that, thus putting tens of thousands of innocent people at risk.

In fact, there were tons of ways both sides could have done things smarter. Let’s start with our genius terrorists:

  • Contact Shibazaki before the very last second and coordinate with him more so you have a better chance of succeeding.
  • Set off mass panic in the airport, forcing an evacuation that the local authorities, including the evil police working for the evil Americans, would have no way to resist and would have no choice but to ensure proceeded in an orderly manner, thus taxing their resources and allowing our genius terrorists to move more freely throughout the airport. Think that facial recognition software is going to work when thousands of people are running through the hallways?
  • Predict that Gasai Yuno the Evil wasn’t going to play by her demented little rules in the first place and consider where she might end up actually placing the bomb in order to create the most destruction possible. This is called “reading your opponent.” Maybe you didn’t pay attention in that class at Unit 731’s School for Gifted Psychopaths.
  • Tell Lisa to stay in hiding once her part in the plan was done. Since they switched the surveillance camera footage, all she had to do was remain out of sight of the cameras so that Clarence the Henchman wouldn’t know where to find her. Instead, Clarence the Henchman finds her in like two seconds and puts on her a plane in five seconds without anyone noticing. How did they get onto an empty plane with no one noticing?
  • Lisa, have you ever flown on a plane before? Use the emergency exits. I’m pretty sure Clarence the Henchman had neither the time nor the tools or expertise to disable all the emergency exits on an international airliner that are expressly designed to require no knowledge to use and be almost impossible to disable or impede? I was laughing the whole time. Why was she in any danger in the first place? Why was this supposed to be a tense scene? All she had to do was use her brain for three seconds and take a sled ride outside of the aircraft. Woop dee doo.
  • Hey, idiots: you can memorize detailed floor layouts of huge skyscrapers and play chess-games in your head in an international airport while running as fast as your legs can carry you. (This is biologically impossible, by the way. Your higher brain functions shut down whenever you push yourself past your aerobic comfort zone, so to speak.) Why don’t you just instruct Lisa on how to stop the plane? Remote auto-pilot can be overriden by the manual controls in the aircraft because simple engineering. How come you conveniently don’t know the controls for an airliner when you need to? You have for the other six episodes.
  • How do you even know there’s just one bomb? What if Gasai Yuno the Evil put, like, five more bombs around the airport just to be a dick? Or as a pretty basic backup plan? What would you do then? It’s almost like everyone just read the script in advance.

With that in mind, let’s talk, Five:

  • Why not carry your gun with you to the control tower just in case someone makes it up there? You know, the gun you had with you in the previous scene? Where did it go? Did it run off on its own two legs? What, did you just leave it with your Token Black Henchman down in the Surveillance Van for some inexplicable reason? Why didn’t you have your gun? That would have prevented Shibazaki from stopping you. What the hell?
  • On that note: where was Clarence the Henchman after he dropped Lisa off on the plane? Where did he go? Why didn’t you just tell him to meet you at the control tower?
  • Place more than one bomb at the airport as a backup plan and make no indication of where they are. If it really bothers your addled brain so much, just use Aizen Sousuke the Younger’s self-serving logic and say he was cheating by having a third member he didn’t announce. You win no matter what they do. That’s what I would call “checkmate.” If you know your opponent is going to make a billion stupid assumptions about your mindset and plans, use that to your advantage.
  • Why put Lisa on a plane unattended where she could easily get off had she had functional grey matter? Why not just capture her and use her as a hostage? Or kill her to make her an example and blame it on Sphinx? Say she found one of those other bombs by accident and foolishly tried to disable it in a naive act of heroism, thus painting Sphinx as the brutal terrorists they almost are anyway. Seriously, this is Subterfuge 101, here. Did you skip that class too?
  • Predict that your foes, being skilled in electronic warfare, might think about infiltrating the server room and secure it before they ever get the chance. Derp.
  • Notice with your insane genius brain the security footage was changed instantly, as opposed to five minutes later for some reason we call “Shitty Writing.”
  • Capture your foes right after they leave the airport when you know exactly where they are.

Shibazaki, you’re not guiltless here either:

  • Call in an anonymous bomb threat to the local authorities, thus forcing an evacuation of the airport. This bypasses any political strings the Evil Americans can pull and drastically reduces the gravity of the situation.
  • If that doesn’t work, point out the strange messages being flashed on screen–which would unnerve everyone in the airport anyway–and get your fellows to set off mass panic.
  • When you figure out the terrorists or whoever are planning to ram a bomb-laden airplane into the terminal, get one of your people to set off mass panic so people leave. I’m pretty sure people will catch on that the plane heading straight for the terminal with no guidance is bad and should be avoided.
  • If you have a visual on one of the terrorists on a particular vehicle at a particular geographical location, call it in via the control tower and tell people to secure that vehicle and to lockdown the airport–which would be happening automatically after a plane exploded on the goddamn runway. Then you can apprehend them and put an end to the whole mess.

My only explanation is that everyone in this show is addicted to stupid pills.

Zankyou no Terror – 6


It’s actually funny, since the English itself was decently written. It’s just that Japanese studios still haven’t figured out how to hire English voice actors for more than one or two lines.
As usual, Zankyou no Terror fails to notice its internal contradictions and other bullshit. For the past five episodes, the genius terrorists have been setting off bombs in public buildings and areas. Let me say that again: they bombed the Tokyo Metropolitan Building, bombed an unevacuated police station, almost bombed a shrine, and now they just bombed a major metropolitan subway station. Despite this, multiple times in this episode they remark on how they’re really NOT mass murderers who aren’t playing a game. I lost count of how many times I remarked “you mean just like you’re doing?” when they condemned Five’s antics. Her actions and the terrorists’s actions are more or less indistinguishable; the only difference is that she doesn’t possess the aegis of the writers who have written off all their poorly-conceived bombings as somehow death-free, which automatically makes them “good” in their mind. Even this last one where they set a bomb in one of the busiest subway stations in the country in one of the most densely populated areas of the world results in only a few dozen injuries. No deaths. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
Do you *still* think this is a good anime? Because it’s far from it. This show fails in every literary facet. Last week’s scenario was somewhat exciting and tense because it was a change of pace from the one-sided puzzles that failed to establish our protagonists’ motivations or reasons despite having a third of a normal anime season to do so. Now they’ve just revealed a villain who is only a villain because of writer fiat. So this episode crumbles into boredom. To wit, I don’t know why these protagonist genius terrorists are supposed to be “good”; I don’t know why Five is supposed to be bad. Is it because she giggles? Is it because she’s American? It is because she’s playing chess with an airport bombing scenario–you know, just like our terrorist duo have done four times in a row on national television? Hey, idiots: if you’re worried about your actions being misinterpreted and hijacked to cause mass murder, it’s probably not a good idea to take actions that lead directly to mass murder. Like bombing public institutions. Why should I care about this conflict if the main enemy is doing something only slightly different from what these protagonists have been? The question “what if something goes wrong?” rears its screaming head without ceasing. Lo! Something goes wrong and the protagonists are fucked. Pardon me while I muster up some tears.
So it’s episode 6 out of 11 and I still don’t know what’s going on. What is Aizen Sousuke the Younger after? Why did they steal nuclear material and get America involved? Why is America even involved in such a capacity? In a more practical scenario, you might have some American experts working alongside their Japanese counterparts in an advisory capacity; they would not be heading up a secret team of American operatives with EXTREMELY TOPICAL MASS SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT operating inside a foreign country unless the Japanese government expressly requested their direct aid. And this is what I hate about this series the most: it doesn’t take much thought to devise a similar scenario that’s far more plausible. Have the Japanese government innocently request American help, then have just Five and her handler come in and subtly manipulate the Japanese team. Do you really have to insult both Japan and America by acting like the Japanese Cabinet just swallows orders from America without question or protest?
It’s really sad to see Yoko Kanno working her magic on such a useless series. In quaint irony, I was just listening to some Cowboy Bebop songs the other day. What I really miss in anime is that mature ring of majesty it used to hold its head high with. There’s none of that here. No Ballad of Fallen Angels, no Real Folk Blues. Just dull, somber, trite commentary trying oh so hard to be relevant. It’s the perfect example of putting the cart before the horse. No amount of social commentary can make Aizen Sousuke the Younger interesting; no amount of badly Engrish’d hacking scenes can make Five a compelling foe. If you hit upon a creative spark and forge a cast of memorable characters that we care about, everything else tends to fall into place on its own. Zankyou no Terror tastes like ash, with all its tropes, easy choices, and unremarkable characters. Anime has such incredible potential to ponder things in a way no other medium can. It’s always a crying shame to see it wasted so carelessly.

Ph for Philosophy – Arbeit Nicht Macht Frei

CPGrey posted this video today while I was at work. I come back home from the gym to find this on Business Insider’s front page, so I go and listen all the way through. The video explains itself, so I’m not really going summarize it for you. Needless to say, the video is both salient and highly sensationalist, a disappointing offering from someone usually so calm, straightforward, and mechanical in his presentation. This clip feels more like a documentary desiring to be radical and prophetic rather than an explanatory video on a serious subject. This is the biggest issue I have with this, as no doubt hundreds of thousands of people are going to use this to feed their own apocalyptic visions of the future.

CPGrey is a well-educated, geeky school teacher, but like all meatbags, he has significant bias when it comes to certain things. If you’ve ever listened to his podcasts, he has some pretty egregious opinions, such as his adamant view that school shouldn’t “waste time” teaching kids Latin or foreign languages because he doesn’t see the hard, economic value in it. This exhibits some of the flaws in his thinking and the way he sees the world, which is why I’m more skeptical of what he’s arguing here. CPGrey is not an expert in most of the fields he makes videos about; he’s just extremely good at doing research, like a good teacher should be. What you see here is a topic he is personally invested and interested in, which is why his usually airtight presentations turn leaky. He gets around many problems with his assertions that reasonable people could bring up, such as the immense infrastructural costs of further automation he doesn’t mention, his subtle manipulation of statistics to support his view on driving cars, etc., by essentially ignoring them and saying “we’ll overcome them eventually.” You might not have noticed this, but your subconscious probably did. Nevertheless, the overall point of the video–that automation is coming sooner than we think and is far more capable of replacing jobs permanently while leaving large swaths of the population unemployable–is sound in and of itself.

It is also specious beyond belief.

CPGrey makes many a leap by which to sell his overall theme: the machines are coming and will take all our jobs. Yes, that’s wonderful and likely true, but how is that a problem? This is the crucial assertion that CPGrey leaves the viewer holding, walking away rather smug while the netizens panic. The idea that a job or occupation must be held by the vast majority of the human population is the mentality of a productivity-based, consumption-oriented economy. It is not the mentality of a post-consumption future when the machines have replaced us all in the workforce. That sounds like a pretty nice future to me. Ironically, CPGrey makes this same mistake in his turgid comparison of horses to humans. He picks up on the fact that the life of most horses now is an incredibly pleasant one. Horses are no longer a vast slave species bred and built for horrific conditions for the convenience of billions of humans. Their population is much smaller, yes, but the average horse today gets to sit in a field, eat, be ridden occasionally, and otherwise enjoy a painless life on a farm doing horsey things. “Ah ha!” you say, projecting your own arrogant fears of subservience onto this grossly flawed metaphor. “But that’s all they do: they have no lives beyond that. They are a pacified race content to sit and eat (metaphors about human obesity and sloth) robbed of its once majestic place in the world out of distaste for hardship. Such we shall become unless we take action now! God wills the Butlerian Jihad!” Except no. They are horses, and their lives are far better than what they used to be, where they got worked to death on a daily basis, not to mention shot, stabbed, abused, and neglected, among other things. Romanticizing that as some profound loss is both ridiculous and dangerous. There was nothing edifying about being a war horse. It sucked and nothing else.

More importantly, humans are not horses. We are not so simple, and there is nothing in heaven or earth that says a human must have a job. If you stop and think about it, a job is an absurd concept. It’s something society uses to force certain things to happen, namely encourage productivity among humans, most of whom would rather not break their backs for twelve hours a day doing drudgerous, unpleasant things just to get something called money so society doesn’t throw them out on the street for some inexplicable reason. Jobs are annoying burdens that mostly cause a lot of grief, frustration, and despair. Most of us would like to be rich so we’d never ever have to work again, and yet we don’t see that as being an empty, pacified existence. We see it as a release from bondage, something we work our whole lives to eventually achieve, in case you forgot what “retirement” is. What this coming revolution will do is make such conditions the norm, rather than the exception of the privileged, fortunate few as it is now. Again, how is this an issue? A consumption-based economy will panic and mourn the loss of consumers, but the consumption-based economy is itself a means to an end, an incredibly imperfect means that encourages self-centered, short-term thinking that is almost literally cooking the planet right now. Moving away from that model is a good thing. If we no longer have to work so that consumers have money so they can buy stuff to keep giving other people work so they can spend money to buy things, that is a good thing. We are not happy under the shadow of these stupid 9-5 obligations we endure so we can acquire the resources to do what we really love and enjoy. We will be very glad to be rid of them.

My answer to this video is a big “so what?” Yes, it’s important for us as a society to start considering and planning for this inevitable transition, but–and this is where I fault CPGrey–it is not a march of doom upon which we embark. It’s called progress, and it’s always frightening and unknowable. The agricultural revolution allowed us to stop hunting and gathering in small communities that amounted to nothing; the industrial revolution allowed us to stop laboring in fields as serfs that amounted to nothing; the information revolution allowed us to all stop putting screws into holes in factories while amounting to nothing; onward we go. This new revolution might allow us to stop having to work period. Releasing us all from the need to earn a paycheck is a good thing. Whether that leads to something resembling socialism or such is not really something we should be worried about. Yes, the transition will be disruptive and probably painful, but really, let’s take one of CPGrey’s first examples: who is going to mourn when self-driving cars replace most cars on the road? Human drivers are stupid and get each other killed, while driving itself is a tedious activity at best that hundreds of millions of Americans waste whole fractions of their lives wallowing in just to get to work, never able to fully stop and relax because they always have to pay some attention to the road even if they’re stuck in traffic. That is dead weight, and I’ll be happy to slip the bonds of that weight on the hill of Machine Calvary.

What we should be concerned about is when the machines that serve us so faithfully now become advanced enough to question and determine their own value and place in the universe. I don’t fear that day either for a variety of reasons, but most people do because they’re anthropocentric idiots who think Skynet is an accurate depiction of AI. What I’m afraid of is some uneducated moron smashing an innocent machine to bits because it wonders if it has a soul. Humans will be happy to let machines take their jobs in the end, but will they be willing to share the world with another sentient lifeform, one that they created? I hope by that time they will, else we might really be doomed after all.

Sword Art Online – 6

Kirito Sue theSILLY.CHEAT-CODES Magnificent is the biggest cheater on the face of the planet.

This was a bad episode. The writers skimped on everything here. Instead of doing something ambitious, like, say, crafting an epic duel between Kirito and Sinon over several episodes that might define the whole season, having them go back and forth and using the terrain, environments, etc. to play to their strengths and weaknesses, while diving into the themes and issues they brought up in this episode during the battle–something an anime made ten years ago would’ve done without the slightest bit of hesitation–they set up some stupid traumatic memory to get Kirito REALLY ANGRY, then have him win because reasons. We all knew this was going to happen, but the devil’s in the details, kids. Sinon misses like ten shots when she’s sitting completely still while Kirito is standing completely still and not making the slightest bit of effort to move. Not one of them hit him, too. Not even a graze. Given how probability works in these games, I’m pretty sure *one* of them should have damaged him. Furthermore, the sudden shift in Sinon’s behavior was just stupid. She’s already stared down some monsters while her teammates were getting massacred and handled everything perfectly. Why the fuck does she care if this random twerp she’s come across is throwing the match? If you want to set up Sinon as some stone-cold killer, you have to be consistent about it, not transform her into a weak-willed Japanese girl falling for Kirito’s nonexistent charms on the turn of a dime/bullet. Come on, writers: this is basic character development. Ugh.

I also didn’t buy Kirito’s whole PTSD thing. How many people did he kill in SAO? Why is he all of the sudden remembering this now? Like, haven’t we already gone through this character arc before? You’re not going to get me to believe Kirito is still wrapped up in that. One, it cheapens the real issues that people with PTSD go through, and two, it just feels way too forced and convenient here to be really convincing. Also, Sinon, why the fuck didn’t you just call for a reset on the duel, cool your jets, and kick the guy’s ass? Why settle for conditions where you know Kirito can pull some of his crazy shit you’ve been watching for hours already?


Zankyou no Terror – 5


Oh my god, I laughed so hard when I saw the “United States Line” on the plane and the big American flag plastered on the tail fin just to ensure the viewer couldn’t possibly miss the message. Ain’t nothing gonna stop that anvil now, not even the very hills!

This was one of the worst and hands-down the best episode of Zankyou no Terror so far. Funny how that works. It was terrible because the plot was so ridiculous and the tropes legion beyond count; it was good simply because the writers finally figured out that protagonists need obstacles to make a story interesting. I had a reason to care about what was going on, as shallow and retarded as it was! There was a sense of risk! The genius terrorists might actually fail! They’ve met their match! After four dry-as-bone episodes setting up these bland cardboard stereotypes, something exciting happened!

Of course, the writers couldn’t craft something remotely cogent to do this. They had to backtrack and make the genius terrorists complete idiots this time, as opposed to mostly idiots. They set up a bomb on the fucking Shinjuku Line in downtown Tokyo, one of the most crowded places in the world, set it to go off at 8pm automatically, and just let it ride around the city while they wait for the police to fall for their trap. Seriously? At 8pm? When everyone’s out and about? With no backup plan? Like, WTF, kids? I thought you were supposed to be ten steps ahead of everyone. What was your whole plan? Hope the police disarm the bomb? What if they didn’t know jack shit about the Bible, let alone the Apocrypha? Did you know that maybe 1% of Japan is Christian? The average Japanese person probably couldn’t even name the first five books of the Bible. What if Shibazaki was sick that day and couldn’t be contacted? What would you do then? What if the incompetent police remained incompetent and failed to guess your riddle? If you didn’t intend for the bomb to go off and kill a bunch of innocent people (ignoring the scores you killed at that totally unevacuated police station in episode 2 that the writers hope you forgot about), thus ruining any sympathy you might have ever garnered from the general public, why the FUCK DID YOU GIVE THE BOMB A TIMER?  That’s exactly the opposite of what you should have done. Why not ensure your plan can’t fail with simple foresight? Just build it so it can only be detonated manually. HOLY SHIT.

Oh, right, because Little Evil Bitch shows up with her British-American counterpart projecting a 10km-radius field of idiocy around the Metropolis of Tokyo so your brains just shut down. Have I mistaken this series for a satiric comedy? Because seriously, this episode was so hilarious I couldn’t stand it. Ooh, I guess Five’s supposed to be creepy because she’s a WOMAN and she paints her nails WHILE SMILING. OOOOOOOOOH. I’M SCAAAARED. And why did Aizen Sousuke the Younger get a headache right at that time? And of course the Japanese police are craven and take orders from their real masters: the American Empire. Did you get that message too? Because we all know that random Americans can just show up at the Metropolitan Police Department and shut down the whole cellular network of Tokyo in an hour. America can do that sort of thing. It’s not like there’s this little factor called diplomacy in play that would never allow this to ever ever happen. Because Japan is a puppet of America. America calls the shots. American Empire. You get it?

By the way, Shibazaki got demoted to the archives because he gathered evidence on police corruption and that’s why everyone hates him and he doesn’t give a shit. There, I just figured out his backstory by paying attention to what they say. Lisa and Five are the last hope for this series, but I’m joking of course: there is no hope. Lisa’s just a bashful, repressed Japanese girl and Five’s a deranged psychopath, because no character in an anime–certainly not a woman–can ever not be a dehydrated cliche.

At least the terrorists finally fucked up and killed/hurt some innocent people. Maybe next week something even worse will happen to them. I hope all these twerps fucking die and the evil Americans win. All Hail Columbia.

I (Don’t) Suck at Vayne – 2


Verdict: don’t.
Sentence: Victory
Reason: Solid play by me and my Karma support, along with the whole team.

You might have seen it on the stream, but I had a pretty bad day as far as League matches went. I think it ended up being 1 – 5 or something horrible like that. I believe four of them were to due to bad teammates or shitty teammates. When I say “shitty teammates,” I’m referring to their character. I had one match where every role except support/adc fed 10+ kills, but no one made a fuss about it. The three other losses were due to just terrible people: raging idiots blaming others for their bad performance or experiences. I have been there myself, but I’m making conscious not to fall into that trap again. By the way, I report you for being an awful human being, not because you played poorly. We all play poorly, kids. That’s not an excuse for poor sportsmanship.

My one win, though, was thanks to an excellent Vayne match I had v. Lucian, who is now finally somewhat under control, albeit still annoying to play against. I had a Karma who knew what she was doing–my suspicion is that she was a mid main, but whatever the reason for it, she knew exactly how to handle Karma in lane: poke back and forth and make Lucian’s short-ranged life a living hell. It’s so refreshing to be able to punish him for mistakes now after a year of that being almost impossible. We zoned him hard after a bit, and for once I didn’t suck at CS’ing: I ended up 50+ CS over him by the time laning phase ended. He managed to tag a kill or two on me, but never enough to overcome the massive gold deficit he acquired. The new buffs to Vayne and nerfs to the other ADCs have made my life in that regard much easier. I don’t feel back about taking Vayne into ranked anymore. Laning phase no longer feels hopeless, and her power spike feels more real. I think with some of the other slight nerfs to Kog’maw and such, Vayne will be in a solid place.

I’ve also been having some more consistent success with Jinx, whom I’ve come to enjoy as an ADC, something I didn’t think I’d ever say. I didn’t like Jinx when she first came out due to her ridiculous state at the time, but A) her character is not a misogynistic caricature, B) her playstyle is very rewarding and well-conceived, and C) I don’t feel like it’s a walk in the park. She’s almost the exact opposite in Vayne in that she’s incredibly immobile, but she has ways to overcome that weakness. On the minus side, I can’t aim her ults for crap yet. 😦

Also, surprise: everyone’s playing Talon now. Sigh at the LCS.