Semantic Nonsense: Neko, Neko, burning bright

Neko Atsume atsume

I make rare trips to GameStop and admit to it even more rarely. But it just so happens to actually be a pretty decent way to offload amiibo you never should have bought in the first place.

And while I was in the midst of winning the war to liberate long-occupied shelf space, I saw something so incredibly effective at inspiring an impulse buy, I nearly snatched defeat from the jowls of victory. It was Shadow, holding a ball of yarn.

If you’re not familiar, Neko Atsume is a smartphone game (for both iOS and Android) in which you set out cat food and a dizzying array of cat toys in order to attract as many different cats as possible, who look incredibly adorable in their low-frame animations.

Now a major motion picture.

While I managed to avoid immediately burning through my money (and shelf space), it awoke an even more dangerous curiosity. Given that Neko Atsume has a line of plushies, what else might exist? T-shirts? Coloring books? Flamethrowers?

While there’s no breakfast cereal (yet), the Neko Atsume merchandising empire has quietly produced bedsheets, Christmas ornaments, backpacks, piggy kitty banks… the list goes on.

I guess that’s how the game makes money, considering its microtransactions are surprisingly pointless.

Pepsi Fire

You’ll wish I was still doing these on video; I made some interesting faces while working on this one.

I was perhaps the world’s only Pepsi Blue fan, so I’m exactly the sort of person who would give these drink-makers more leeway than they deserve. Naturally, I dove right into their latest experiment, the failure of Red, White & Dew a distant memory.

But the fact is, cola and cinnamon really don’t mix. I mean, they REALLY don’t mix. And to disguise that fact, they made sure a supermajority of the soda was cinnamon. To say it burned would give it too much credit, but you knew exactly what was there.

These are not two great tastes that are great together, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Revisiting MST3K: The Return

My old take after watching a couple episodes of the new MST3K was a bit overly harsh in some ways and to light in others. Allow me a moment to amend the record after finishing the entire season.

Felicia Day and Jonah Ray did eventually find their footing as the episodes went on. So that’s a plus. But there’s a weird minus that I wasn’t fully aware of until I watched more episodes.

The show has a off-message, obsessive need to account for everything. MST3K adheres to the pacing of the original series by throwing in eyecatches where the commercial breaks would have been in the televised version. However, they use them to explain what everything is and how it all works.

It’s kind of an awkward rejection of the refrain, “If you wonder how he eats and sleeps and other science facts, just repeat to yourself: It’s just a show, I should really just relax.” The show really nails it home with the new countdown hallway, with each number revealing exactly how Jonah eats, sleeps and science facts by showing a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, bedroom, and other life-sustaining points of interest… during that exact line in the theme song.

It continues during the action, too. At the beginning of each movie, Gypsy is shown delivering a box from which any and all props used by Servo and Crow come from. She returns near each movie’s end to retrieve the prop box.

Not to mention the fact that each episode’s cold open ends with an agonizing in-universe explanation for the opening credits. Really? I just don’t get it guys. My one-word review of “Forced” certainly stands.

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