BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 17 – That Twitchy Feeling

Week 17 – That Twitchy Feeling

Last week, I streamed the first part of “BHS Plays Tales of Symphonia” on my YouTube channel. It was a special, double-length episode to make up for canceling the DDLC playthrough. The day after the stream, the video was hit with two copyright flags by YouTube’s wonderful automated system, meaning that it can no longer be monetized. The first flag I could understand; it took issue with the J-Pop song in the game’s opening movie. The second flag, though, was the one that really drove me up the wall. The system chose to flag 33 seconds of random footage from the start of the game for “visual content”, for no reason I can comprehend. Apparently everything else was fine save for the opening movie, but it was my last straw. The content ID system is bad enough when it’s flagging things correctly, but making arbitrary restrictions based on random parts of 15-year-old games… well, it’s so stupid and unfair that I resolved then and there to do all future live streaming on Twitch. Therefore, will be the new home of “BHS Plays Tales of Symphonia” and other LPs. The archives for these streams will still go up on YouTube afterward, so don’t worry about missing anything. I’ve also decided to put my streams of Overwatch and Fortnite on a regular schedule so as to attract more viewers, so “Overwatch OverWednesday” will be every Wednesday night at 7 PM EST, and “Fortnite Friday” will be on Fridays at 7 PM EST. Sunday Streams will still be on Sundays at the same time.

Anyway. My big accomplishment last week was finally finishing Chapter 34 of Shattered Skies. As I’ve mentioned to several of you, I’ve had the scene with Homura’s light-speed pebble sniper shot in mind for over a month now. It went over so well that I’m almost disappointed that barely anyone has mentioned what happened to the other characters over the course of the chapter… I mean, yeah, I knew the pebble was golden, but guys… you’re overlooking some very important setups for future chapters, just so you know. XD Anyway, there’s two more chapters I have planned as denouement for the “rescue arc”, and then the next phase of the story can begin. It’s kind of a relief to be nearly done with this arc after a year and change, to be honest. Not that I didn’t have a blast writing and planning it all out, of course, but there’s so much more to come… including the Big Things happening in said next two chapters that will change the status quo going forward. :D

I may have to hold off on getting the next Silent InvenTOYry off the ground due to a shipping delay, so it looks like I may not get Episode 07 out this month after all. I may decide to shift gears for the remainder of the month and get out the first chapter of Twilight’s Dreaming instead. We’ll see what happens.


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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 16: All Hail Hugtto

Week 16: All Hail Hugtto

So hey, I finally got the second part of Viluy’s Database finished! Hooray, hooray, me! And I made significant progress on the next chapter of Shattered Skies as well. The week coming up is going to be crazy, but I’m making an effort to get Chapter 34 finished and posted within the next few days.

How about those last two Hugtto episodes, eh? As I said on Tumblr, barring any disastrous derailments in the show’s second half (as happened with poor Happiness Charge), I think we may have another strong contender for Best Precure Series alongside Heartcatch and Go! Princess. I mean, the show consistently impresses me in nearly every respect; it’s already got my favorite pink Cure since Blossom in Hana/Cure Yell, which is a hell of an achievement in and of itself.

On somewhat of a whim, I decided to check out this “Fortnite” thing that’s tearing things up in streaming circles. You can see the results on my YouTube channel, if you’re so inclined. I’m not anything approaching good at it yet, but I did manage to place eleventh out of 100 in Solo mode on Saturday morning, so that’s something.

Sorry for another short entry, but I’m running low on energy after a long day. I think I may call it an early night, in fact.


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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 15 – Madness Season Begins

Week 15: Madness Season Begins

First things first, I’d like subscribers to my YouTube channel to watch the video below, please:

Now that I’ve said what needed to be said, we can get down to standard business.

The “Madness Season” of the title refers to the fact that I’ll be keeping up with Cardcaptor Sakura: The Clear Card Arc, Darling in the FRANXX, Hugtto Precure, Boku no Hero Academia Season 3, Attack on Titan Season 4, Cutie Honey Universe, probably Magical Girl Boy / Magical Girl Ore (which seems solid so far), and Netflix’s A.I.C.O. -Incarnation- over the next twelve weeks or so… and that’s not counting any outliers I may pick up along the way, and the new Steven Universe episodes dropping this month. This is the most jam-packed season in recent memory, and most of those on that list are must-watches. Oof.

If my updates seem to drop to a slower crawl than usual, that’s the reason.


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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 14 – How’d Ya Like That Apple?

Week 14: How’d Ya Like That Apple?

I’m happy to report that Apple Fools Day was a rousing success. There were no technical hiccups with the stream or the recording software and everyone had a blast. For those of you who missed it, the full recording of the stream is up on and will remain there indefinitely, and once I find a viable hosting platform for it, the file will go up for free download. Please note: the video file on Picarto has about twenty minutes of a standby screen ahead of the actual beginning of the stream. (I was running a Weird Al playlist while I performed my final sound checks. When you hit “Dare to be Stupid”, that marks the point where you should stop fast-forwarding.)

So now that that event is behind me, I find myself back on my regular projects. Working on writing in the lead-up to the stream was a lost cause, due to nervous excitement. With some time to cool down, hopefully I can concentrate on stuff. I think the next step should probably be finishing Viluy’s Database Part II, as that’s been on hold for the longest (er, if you don’t count the Book II Appendix, of course. Bad BHS. Bad.) The new Silent InvenTOYry needs some more new equipment before I can start filming, so that can wait. Book IV of Tasakeru is tremendously important to the series as a whole and I’ll be making significant changes to it, so I think I may take my time to plan it out a bit more. That leaves Shattered Skies Chapter 34, which is another major event… that one also needs to be handled carefully as there are a ton of characters to juggle. Perhaps I should make an outline.

The upcoming anime season is absolutely packed with stuff I want to see, including the new seasons of Boku no Hero Academia and Attack on Titan, Cutey Honey Universe, the second cours of Cardcaptor Sakura: The Clear Card Arc, and Darling in the FRANXX, and of course more of Hugtto Precure. All that plus any other new surprises that may pop up. There’s two magical girl series airing this season, one a parody (Magical Girl Boy/Ore) and one a Madoka-clone (Magical Girl Site). Unless I hear enough good things to change my mind, I think I’ll be passing on both of those; of the two, Magical Girl Boy would probably be my preference, because Site looks to me like yet another series that apes Madoka’s darkness and ignores its heart. Sigh. At least the Hugtto Cures and Honey will be there so I can get my fix.


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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 13 – Apple and Discord

Week 13 – Apple and Discord

For once, the Tech Gods have been merciful. On Thursday, I entered BHS Crisis Freakout Mode™ when my desktop’s operating system went bananas. With my usual tech support (VDrake) temporarily unavailable, I had no choice but to bring my PC in to a local repair shop. Hours later, I was told my that hard drive was failing and I needed a new one.That would have put a serious crimp in my plans for the next week or so, particularly my Apple Fools Day stream… so it was a stroke of good luck that when I called the repair place today, they told me they were able to fix the old drive without problems. I’m back on my desktop with all of my files and settings intact, and all is normal, knock on wood.

So! After a few days of uncertainty, I can thankfully say that the APPLE FOOLS DAY live stream will proceed as planned, this Sunday at 7 PM EST on ! The promo video is below:

This is the special reward I promised all my followers and subscribers for helping me push my YouTube channel over 1000 subs in time. The event will be a live MSTing of a singularly bizarre, spectacularly insane work of fiction, one of my all time favorites. It’s running on Picarto and not YouTube due to said work still being under copyright by a major company, and thus liable to get yanked from YT despite Fair Use laws… but with Picarto, I should be safe. Please note: despite what it says in the promo video (which was prepared well in advance), you will NOT need a Picarto account to comment on the stream. Those who want to sign up are welcome to, of course, but it’s not required. If you want an alternative way to get in on the action, you can sign up for my brand new Discord server, Blazing Harbl Server: A Discord chat window will be overlayed on the stream, so if you’d rather comment there, feel free. And if for some reason you can’t make it on time, don’t fret! I’ll be making the entire stream available for free download as soon as I can find a reliable hosting site for the video file.

Now, for reasons explained above, I wasn’t able to get much work done on other stuff this past week… but once Apple Fools Day is all taken care of, I’ll have much more time to devote to other pursuits. Thanks for your patience.


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BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 12 – Bonus Content

Week 12 – Bonus Content

Because I am a crazy person, last week I decided on a whim to do another full episode of Silent InvenTOYry for next month. I immediately set to work ordering and organizing props and essential stuff for said episode, a few of which arrived this morning. For those of you asking why I’d do this (aside from be being, as stated, a crazy person)… well, I’m making some substantial tech upgrades to benefit both SI and my YouTube streaming, so I figured I need another big episode to help pay for those. Besides, otherwise there wouldn’t be another full episode until late July, so this one can serve as a buffer until then. That’s also why I decided to go ahead and post the introduction to Tasakeru‘s Second Volume as my update for this month. It’s short, I know, and I apologize for that, but I hope my Patrons will still consider it substantial.

Speaking of Patrons, huge thanks to Rich, who became Patron #4 this past week! Every little bit helps, and your contribution will ensure that the content keeps coming.

I don’t really have that much else to add this week, other than this:

That’s right, APPLE FOOLS DAY is now less than two weeks away. This is your reminder that to participate in the chat on the night of the event, you must sign up for a FREE Picarto account. Due to potential legal issues, this stream will NOT be on YouTube, it will air ONLY on at the designated time.

But what is APPLE FOOLS DAY, you ask? Well, many details will be forthcoming along with a teaser trailer next week, but I’ll let slip a bit more: the event will be a live MSTing of sorts, a MSTing of something so baffling and bizarre that it should come as no surprise that everyone involved in making it, and I mean everyone, was out of their minds on heavy drugs… something so absurd that April 1st is really the only appropriate day to celebrate its incomparable insanity.

Keep watching…


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Second Volume: Night and Day – Introduction




Somewhere far away, on another Earth, devoid of humankind…

There was once an island country without a name, alone in the vast ocean, isolated by storms and deadly currents. Its inhabitants knew nothing of any land or people outside of their own, so to them, their island was simply “the world”.

In the place of humankind, the animals grew and changed, becoming like man… and yet not like man. Faint echoes of human cultures and ideas unknowingly bled across reality from our Earth to theirs, shaping the growth of the island’s civilization.

There were eight of them, eight intelligent species that called themselves “sentients”… eight species sharing a world that became too small for their differing ways of life.

It was a world of ancient gods, of long-remembered wars and the heroes that fought them. It was a world of magic and science, logic and emotion, faith and proof clashing against one another.

It was a world where the only way to enforce order and stability was to keep the many different cultures separate… and to exile any people deemed too dangerous to coexist with the rest of sentientkind.

Unknown to the world, the very exiles they shunned and feared had a part in saving civilization itself. They should have quietly faded from history… but their story refused to be forgotten. They live on as legends, whispers in the wind.

These are those legends, the tales of the Outcasts of TASAKERU



Zero was a ronin… The son of an old samurai family, raised by his father to continue the tradition. Upon coming of age at thirteen years old, Zero was enrolled in the Gakuen, the training school of the Samurai Daigundan. Tragedy struck when Zero and his squad of trainee footsoldiers were ambushed by Demon Fangs, members of a fanatical and murderous Death God cult. Nine of Zero’s squad were butchered, and all the rest were gravely injured… but Zero alone emerged without a scratch. Unable to bear the guilt, he stole the family sword and ran away. Branded a coward, a deserter, and a ronin, Zero was exiled to Tasakeru. Nine years after, his only remaining ties to his family were his sword and his beloved little sister, Naole…

    During Stalker the Soulsnatcher’s attack on Aedis Centralis, the most sacred ground of the mighty Silver Order, Naole was abducted by the mad brute, who intended to use her blood in a perverse ceremony. Zero pursued Stalker back to Tasakeru and fought him in a brutal duel, in which he eventually emerged the victor. However, even fatally wounded, Stalker would not divulge Naole’s location, or if she was even still alive. Disgusted, Zero made to leave him where he lay, condemning Stalker to a slow and agonizing death… but after a moment of consideration, he instead beheaded the wolf with his sword. Victorious but empty, Zero began his search for his sister anew, slowly losing hope of ever seeing her again…


    Faun was a thief… A former street urchin who once stole only to survive, and then stole for pleasure once she discovered her natural talent for it. Possessed of great beauty, quick wits, and a silver tongue, Faun presented herself as a wild, fun-loving thrill-seeker… but her flippant and freewheeling nature hid a deeper inner pain…

Faun was willing to betray and steal from Hanami, her closest friend, for a chance at unimaginable riches; the consequences of her greed led to the rise of a mysterious magical stone tower in Tasakeru, its exterior overgrown with black roses. Though she feigned indifference, the experience hurt her more than she could recognize. Mere weeks later, an encounter with the brute who would become Stalker shook Faun to her core and caused her mask to slip further… When the monster returned to Tasakeru and attempted to assault Hanami in her own home, Faun was driven to a berserk rage and went after Stalker by herself. The Soulsnatcher’s attack awakened feelings within her that she could neither explain nor articulate…


Rowan was a scholar, with the body of a warrior and the soul of a poet. Born of the only species with an ironclad code that forbid wielding weapons or causing harm to other sentients, Rowan chose to break both laws, and was exiled as a result… but many suspected that he did not walk this path without regrets. Within his mighty breast beat a heart in conflict, for how would he reconcile the ideal of his people’s pacifism with the need to protect them from danger…?


Naole was an acolyte… An apprentice Healer for the Silver Order, and Zero’s younger sister. Fierce and proud, Naole was determined to make a life for herself and find independence, despite the difficulties presented by her chronic anemia. Her thin blood was a cause of great concern to Zero, who often ran afoul of the law to look after her, but Naole refused to be pitied…

After being abducted by Stalker and taken to the Black Rose Tower, she awakened in time to see the first phase of his demented plan: using blood samples stolen from every sentient species, Stalker intended to create an army, a new breed of monsters like himself that would avenge the death of his “Mother”. Contrary to his expectations, the ritual produced a single mute hybrid, intelligent and sentient but lacking any predatory instinct or knowledge of the outside world. Together with this hybrid, dubbed “Legion”, she escaped into Tasakeru’s uncharted wilderness. There they would have likely died, had it not been for an encounter with a seer named Aria, who claimed the two would be of great importance to her future…


Drake was a recluse… a resident of Tasakeru for longer than anyone could remember. All that he desired was to be left alone with his regrets, but an old shadow rose within him on the night that he met the brute who would become Stalker, the Soulsnatcher. His attempt to make amends for his mistakes led to a fleeting glimpse of a time long past. Some old memories, once unearthed, refuse to stay buried…


Hanami was a mage… A quiet, timid soul, her background and even her last name were a mystery when she stumbled upon the Outcasts of Tasakeru after leaving behind everything she had ever known. Hanami carried the Mage Flower, an enchanted blossom able to instantly grow almost any type of plant life. Magic was strictly forbidden by her kind, which was presumably the reason for her exile, but Hanami withdrew from any discussion of her past. In fact, she only revealed her abilities to the other Outcasts in order to save her life and theirs…

Once free to use her powers as she wished, Hanami proved to be an exceptional talent, and an essential means of survival for all who lived in Tasakeru. And yet, the events that culminated in the Soulsnatcher’s attempted assault planted seeds of doubt within her, and made her mistrustful of her powers… and of herself…


And none of the Outcasts had any inkling that the great cycle would soon begin, and bring with it still greater changes…


Night and Day, the second volume of Tasakeru, now begins.




BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 11 – Now What?

Week 11 – Now What?

That question up there is rhetorical, of course. Even with so many major projects finished, I still have more than enough to do to keep me occupied. Still, after so much activity over the past few weeks, I have this persistent feeling of irrational guilt, like I should be doing more. At every opportunity, I’m telling this feeling to kindly f**k off, but it’s a sneaky bastard, prone to popping up when I least expect it.

I decided, somewhat on a whim, to write a new introduction to Tasakeru’s 2nd Volume. It’s always been the plan to split the series up into eight Volumes of three-book story arcs, so I feel that the start of the 2nd is a good place for a brief recap. I haven’t started on Book IV proper yet, but ideas are swirling around as to how best to approach the rewrite. It needs to have the proper gravitas, you know.

The newest thing on my project list is my LP of Doki Doki Literature Club, which will be streaming every Sunday at 7 EST (except the Sunday of April 1st, for Apple Fools Day, natch.) Those of you who tuned in may have had a mild shock, as I was actually appearing and speaking on camera for it. Part of this is practice for the Apple Fools Day stream, in which I’ll be doing the same thing. To be brutally honest, I’m not too fond of my speaking voice, especially when it’s being recorded… but I’m working on it. You can catch the first part of the stream below. Please pardon my bonehead mistake… for the first ten minutes or so I didn’t realize my mic was turned off.

So, I hear that the Star Vs fandom is apparently involved in shipping drama instead of focusing on events of the humongous wham episode that just aired on Saturday. Sigh. I wish I could say I was surprised… but fandom is fandom, and who gets shipped with who is, as ever, SRS BUSNESS. I’ll just be over here, making my snarky little jokes and trying to stay out of trouble.


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BHS Belated Blogress Report: 2018, Week 10 – The Week of Productivity

Week 10 – The Week of Productivity

Yes, I’m aware of the irony of that title, considering that this Blogress Report is a day late.

But yeah, somehow I got a ton of stuff done this past week, so maybe a late Blogress Report isn’t such a big deal. Soulsnatcher is finally finished, for one thing! That’s three books down, and twenty-one to go. There’s a new Shattered Skies chapter out too, with some big developments. I also set a new record completion time for Silent InvenTOYry, with 90% of Semi-Short Episode 3 filmed, edited, and posted within 10 hours. The link is below, natch.

And this weekend I also finished my playthrough of Sailor Moon: Another Story 2, which means that now it’s time to choose the next game in my streaming queue. Again, details below:

Now that my schedule is more or less clear for the month (the Tasakeru Book II Appendix and Viluy’s Database aside), I’m going to relish the rare opportunity to relax a bit. Make no mistake, I’ll still be producing content, including my streams, the Precure Library project, and my newly-launched weekly Star Vs. the Forces of Evil commentary on Tumblr, but I’m planning on easing back on the throttle. Perhaps now that there aren’t so many big projects on my plate at once, I can take some time to enjoy the little ones. Sounds like a plan, eh?


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Chapter 9

Phantoms of the past

Awakening in the chill

Beginning and end


“It has been over four hundred years since the tales of the Outcasts began to spread throughout the world. Whether they existed or not, or how much—if at all—they influenced the momentous events of those times four centuries past… those are beside the point. Though they would be long since departed from the mortal coil, the Outcasts live on.

“We who compile and study their tales have heard all the classic stories over and over again, told in a thousand different ways: the battle in the underground spider cavern, during which Hanami revealed her powers as a mage to save her new friends. Faun Muranaka’s discovery of Seker, the Last Titan, and his raising of the Black Rose Tower… and the massive explosion at that same tower roughly a month later, which they say was visible from all across the world. The rampage of the Soulsnatcher. The notorious “Infernal Sheep Incident”. The night of the Shroud. The journey to the north to seek out the yuki-majin. Their struggles against the Silver Order, the Demon Fangs, the Shadowhand, Epsilon, and countless other foes and challenges both mundane and supernatural… we know them all. It is, after all, our calling.

“With as many stories as there are, and the surprising degree of consistency in their telling, it is possible to establish a rudimentary timeline of the Outcasts’ history, starting with Hanami’s arrival in Tasakeru, commonly dated mid-autumn of Year 1349. If one were to consult this theoretical timeline, one might wonder: when exactly did the Outcasts cease to be a band of inconsequential exiles and begin to be an undeniable influence on the world at large?

“Some would argue that they made their first definitive mark on history with the explosion at the tower. Others would claim it was the tower’s raising, itself a momentous event. Still others put the true beginning much further back, on that terrible grey dawn when Hanami first discovered that she was far from an ordinary squirrel doe.

“As for myself, I would place the tipping point squarely on the famous duel in the rain between Reimaru “Zero” Takaishi and the Soulsnatcher, long considered one of the most popular pieces of Outcast lore. Moreso than the raising of the tower or its explosion, and moreso than the day that changed Hanami’s life, that duel had lasting consequences that no one, least of all the Outcasts, could have foreseen. Its outcome arguably set the stage for everything that was yet to come.

“I sometimes wonder: had Takaishi known what was at stake on that rainy morning so long ago, would he have chosen to act differently? Would that choice even have mattered, in the end…?”

[An excerpt from The Outcasts in Fact and Folklore, by Hill Jakes]


Two pairs of eyes watched the pattering of rain on leaves from their makeshift shelter beneath the heavy boughs. One pair, hazel and cautious, belonged to a squirrel doe who was now reconsidering the escape plan that had seemed so brilliant hours ago. The forest of Tasakeru was immense; even her brother had never come close to exploring all of it after living here nine years.

The second pair, almond-shaped and colored bright yellow, belonged to a sentient the likes of which the world had never seen. He watched the droplets pelt the leaves with rapt fascination, delighting in the rhythmic sound they made when they fell. Every few minutes, while his companion mulled next to him, he tried to reproduce that sound with motions of his lips: pop, pop, pop. He was improving as he practiced, but it was not yet accurate enough for him.

Naole barely heard him; she was too focused on the sinking realization that she had made a terrible mistake. Sure, Naole, she thought bitterly. Run out into the rain in an uncharted forest five times the size of Unify with a newborn hybrid to look after. No food, no water, no supplies, no shelter, and a bloodthirsty monster running around that wants revenge on our whole family! Blessed Lady Terra, what have I gotten us into…? Guilt stewed and churned deep in her belly. If she were in this situation by herself, perhaps it would not matter so much. But Legion was here with her, and she was his sole guide to a world he did not understand yet. How to explain to the poor thing that they were lost, with very little hope of ever being found?

A fresh wave of unease crested over her as she recalled phrases from Zero’s many scrolls to her over the years: all of us are hungry… running out of food… not enough to eat out here, you know how it is… It was only in the last two months, after the flower mage Hanami’s arrival, that those kinds of phrases stopped appearing. With her help, Tasakeru was more livable, but still a strange, ancient, inhospitable place. Without her help, it was practically a hostile entity of its own, never mind what things might be living in it. Oh Gods, she thought as the lead weight that seemed caught in her stomach plunged lower. What does Legion eat? Wolves have to eat meat, and he’s part wolf… is there enough game out here for him to live on? If there is, will I have to teach him to— Now she felt a queasy green swirl of nausea. Squirrels only ate meat when they had to, and  it was almost always leaner meat, mostly poultry and fish. Even if there were wild fowl or pigboars out here, the thought of having to show Legion how to properly slaughter and prepare one for cooking…

“Legion,” she said aloud, trying to banish the hideous mental image of her new hybrid friend tearing into a fresh corpse, blood caking his snout. “Legion, I’m sorry. I think I might have made a—”

Legion wore a look of intense concentration and deadly seriousness, his brows furrowed and his long ears turned back at an angle. With great care, he pursed his lips together, then blew and made a circle with them: Pop! Pop! Pop!

Forget starving to death; Naole suspected she was in far more danger of dying of arrest from laughter. She laughed until her eyes were all but gummed shut from tears, until encroaching lightheadedness and shortness of breath told her that she had best stop or she would faint. “You…” she gasped. “Y-you need to s-stop making me laugh b-before I… Legion?”

The hybrid’s long ears stood straight as flagpoles. His fur bristled all down his spine. The tight, nervous light in his eyes drained the last of her merriment away. He did not know the gesture yet, but Naole half-expected him to put a warning finger to his lips and shush her.


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