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Strolling, Watching TV and Visiting Hungary

You've been watching lots of anime series from the past few years and there have been some real gems amongst them. Something to do while on vacation... err, working in Hungary.

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Tüfeles Chilen Stroll

The ski touring season was over and the hiking season had not yet started. In the interim, sleeping in on the weekend and being generally chill was the go. You opted for 5% more than sleeping until midday, and went for a stroll through the hills near Winterthur to Tüfels Chilen.

Tüfeles Chilen... thingy

From Sennhof-Kyburg station all hiking signs (excluding a "To the signs" sign) were marked with closed stickers, making you wonder if it was hunting season and you may be shot. The gunshot sounds only seemed to be coming from a shooting range so you just went ahead.

The Tüfels Chilen was a watercourse of cut stones covered in moss. The hike passed by but was otherwise unrelated. Post falls, the track meandered slowly through the hills behind Winterthur at your own leisurely pace. With such nice weather and view over the distant mountains it was worth getting out of bed.

Foreign Media of Late

月刊少女野崎くん (Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun)

About a comic artist and his inspiration for storytelling. Try as they may to act cliche, every single character is flawed in just the right way to make them likeable, unlike the protagonist who has the personality of a lead pencil. You can feel how much fun the writers had making this series.

デトロイト・メタル・シティ (DMC — Detroit Metal City)

Cut, styled and erupting with comedy — Detroito Metaru Shitii is shockingly obscure but full of accessible amusement. It tells the rise to fame of a death metal band, who's lead man just wants to sing happy folk songs and is scarred of his own fans. Every effort to stop rocking leads to the creation of another band legend. Bloody hilarious.

とらドラ! (Toradora!)

Nothing groundbreaking but a nicely told story about a boisterous girl who is too short to take seriously, and a guy everyone assumes is in the yakuza but actually has a cleaning compulsion. It uses all typical genre tropes, but imbues characters' personalities with real believable emotions which makes the story seem fresh. Two seasons long. Nice ending.

旦那が何を言っているわからない件 (I can't understand what my husband is saying)

Short form 5 minute episodes with as much content as any 30 minute show. It's actually about adults for a change, and actually deals with adult issues, albiet with extreme incredulity. Several episodes end with a notice reading: "and then they had lots of sex". Quite special.

やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている (My youth romantic comedy is wrong, as expected)

About a bloke who's said "screw you all" to the popular kids to become Japan's only man who says what he thinks, and meets a girl who does the same. For Japan, that's pretty big; the rest of the world is probably left scratching its collective head wonder why that is such a big deal. Still, it works, but the subtleties were probably lost on you.

冴えない彼女の育てかた (How to raise a boring girlfriend)

You are really not sure if this series exists to make fun of the romcom genre or tells an actual story. It manages to tread a fine line of believability while breaking the fourth wall, and finding ways to make said breaks mildly plausible. The fan service is epically overdone and borderline legal. Apparently insest is hot in Japan; thank goodness they meant it ironically.... right?

狼と香辛料 (Spice & Wolf)

A period story based around merchants and trading. There's also a wolf deity. You ended up reading all 17 books. This was the closest thing to mature plot line without a Disney ending you've seen lately. Not bad.

ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか (Is it wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon?)

The title was pretty cool, so you gave it a go. Light and silly entertainment about dungeon crawling RPGs from the perspective of a guy with whom, it seems, every girl in the town is in love. It's just nice.

食戟のソーマ (Food wars)

This series ties to recreate/copy the success of Yakitate Japan without any of the self-irony or clever humor — replacing it with random, jarring nudity and unrelated reaction scenes. It tries (and fails) to compensate by giving everyone big boobs. This series also has a very short title compared to everything else lately — a clear sign of low quality. Avoid.

甘城ブリリアントパーク (Amagi Brilliant Park)

About a once-famous bloke who is asked to save a run-down amusement park. The staff, who looked like cuddly costumed characters, are really aliens who spend screen time complaining about their ex wives. Bit silly. Not bad.

キルラキル (Kill la Kill)

Intense. Amusing. Brilliant. Imagine FLCL but for an entire 24 episode run. Alien cloths (literally cloths) have come to take over Earth... somehow. Completely convoluted, stunningly stylised. Watch.

Quick Trip Hungary

Have made so many things in the last seven years, you were bound to end up responsible for something along the way. Somehow someone got the impression you knew something about forged parts. Based on this, they sent you to Mátranovák in Hungary to talk about your feelings; a.k.a.: improve the manufacturing process without blaming anyone.

Spotted brake holder forging

The meeting's proceedings were surprisingly civil. Everyone talked about their troubles, cried and hugged it out. Sarcasm aside, it was nice to meet up with people who actually make things (Production) rather than just thinking about it (Engineering) or promising they will one day (Suppliers). It gave you time to work on the bolting policy — woo! Boring meetings make anything else seem like fun.

You grinning after work on Mt. Kékes

The normal hotel was booked out unfortunately, so you landed in another better one — Hotel Residence Ózon — on Hungary's highest (*snicker*) mountain. Kékes is 1014 meters high, and you can apparently ski there in winter. It may not be big, but it is covered in an uninterrupted forest of bright green Beech trees. Gazing out over it while enjoying a beer after a hard day's work (*more snickering*) was very relaxing. Haa.. (*takes sip of beer*) Life is good. Is that a ski-jump you see off in the distance?