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[1554] the parts needed

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[1554] the parts needed

Post by paarfi » Wed May 01, 2019 10:58 pm

Fred has posted the comic to his Patreon . He'll post it to the main site and elsewhere probably tomorrow.
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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by eomdal » Thu May 02, 2019 12:34 am

The more things change, the more they stay the same. When Megumi flubs with an obvious "They were here but they aren't here anymore!", Ping accepts and that's that. She's undergoing change before our eyes, yet still the sweet Ping that we hope never changes.
SD seems to no longer need the tinfoil hat that it had made from merciless hammering on Occam's Razor. This is a strange state of affairs. I do hope that it finds the need for it again someday.

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Olba » Thu May 02, 2019 6:11 am

Ashe getting headpats in the background is extra cute.

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by paarfi » Thu May 02, 2019 12:19 pm

Poor Ping-chan. These existential crises are hard enough for normal people. I can see how they would be worse for someone who was explicitly designed to love and lose.

Ping is more than her designer made her though, and she is able to be loved. Hopefully Junko and friends can help her see that.
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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by cidjen » Thu May 02, 2019 1:23 pm

Ooooh, shiny.

See how Ping's hair began transformation into puffy frazzles again. Her posture stopped being 'phat' too (around the collar)

And Junko, having another 'machines can be as dumb as we people' moment.

Thanks for the new page, Fred!

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Sackett » Thu May 02, 2019 2:09 pm

Ugh.

This comic is making me laugh uncontrollably and cry at the same time.

And not the happy tears either.

How can a comic make me sad and laugh at the same time?

It's a very strange feeling.

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Eraden » Thu May 02, 2019 3:46 pm

Someone PLEASE tell me what the HELL is it gonna take for Megumi to finally clue in. Even if I hadn't already known that Ping was an android from reading the previous strips in this comic, her dialogue in this particular strip practically SCREAMS "I'm a synthetic". Surely Megumi can't be THAT dense, can she?

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Sackett » Thu May 02, 2019 4:46 pm

I think there must be some kind of actual weirdness filter in Tokyo that prevents people from noticing how weird things are.

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by paarfi » Thu May 02, 2019 5:25 pm

Sackett wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 4:46 pm
I think there must be some kind of actual weirdness filter in Tokyo that prevents people from noticing how weird things are.
There clearly is in MegaTokyo. Junko need to see Ping crushing cars with a telephone pole to have her settings changed. I'm not sure a few odd remarks from Ping would necessarily have the same effect for Megumi.
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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by darrin » Thu May 02, 2019 5:45 pm

Yet more nightmare fuel for the existential fears burning away in my tiny human brain ever since the Old Man's appearance. I very much long for the day when someone will take the Old Man by the shoulders, shake him much less fondly than Junko does Ping here, and scream "WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE YOU BASTARD???" in his face.
Ping wrote:I'm supposed to stop being his love interest when he gets involved with a real girl
Not that I would want to see Ping fight with Kimiko of course, but... for it not even to be a possible choice, subject to your own decision-making, but a law that must be obeyed like gravity... Imagine if when faced with a rival for the attentions of the one you loved, instead of being able to fight for that love, or to choose not to fight based on your own moral (or other) reasoning, you instead found your body turning and walking away of its own accord, the rictus of a cheerful smile plastered on your face, while inside your mind you could only scream in helplessness while watching those actions carried out on your behalf.

Backing up from that (if that wasn't already bad enough :cry:)... is Piro really the one she would have chosen, if she had truly been able to make the choice herself? Or was it sufficient for her former "user" to abandon her, leaving a perfunctory note that mentions her only in passing, for her to latch on to the one who paid almost no attention to her (as opposed to the one who snarled incomprehensible English at her and otherwise completely ignored her)? She seems understandably irked when Piro is surprised at her confession of having feelings for him. I'm not sure when I first began to wonder if there wasn't buried somewhere beneath that resentment an even deeper resentment that those feelings in some sense weren't hers, weren't what she would have chosen if she had any say in the matter. But this subarc has cemented that wonder into absolute certainty for me.

Yes, I know, it's often said we don't choose who we fall in love with, but at some level we believe we can at least choose what to do about it (leave them alone if they're already in a relationship; or not leave them alone because you know you could treat them better than the one they're with now; or decide they're out of your league; or decide that they're out of your league but you're dang well gonna try anyway; etc. etc.). Ping certainly understands what "choice" is, they couldn't have made her intelligent enough to carry on normal conversation without teaching her the bulk of the things we take for granted. But it can be awfully hard to tell from the outside whether she's chosen to do something because she's "really" chosen it, or whether it's because the right potentials have crossed the right thresholds as Asimov would have put it.

Or like I asked a few threads back, is Ping the one choosing, or did the Old Man choose for her? I once said of her in a filk "heartstrings tuned with pliers", mainly because I liked the way it sounded and it rhymed. :roll: I never expected it to become one of the actually prophetic things I said out of all the dumb things I said on the old forums. :shock:
paarfi wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 12:19 pm
Ping is more than her designer made her though, and she is able to be loved. Hopefully Junko and friends can help her see that.
Totally agree with you there, paarfi. She may currently lack the "files" to perform certain aspects of (physical) love toward another, but the only interference in the opposite direction is her own (hopefully temporary :() belief that it's not possible. Plus of course as others have pointed out above, the thickness of Megumi and the vast majority of MegaTokyoans making them blissfully ignorant of her reality... she's indeed too much like a real girl to attract the notice she deserves for just being her.

I leave you with my favorite Futurama line, the one that got me weepy when I first saw it in 1999 (and still does twenty years later :lol:). Hopefully there is someone out there who has the same hope for a romantic connection that Fry did for a best bud. 8-)
Last edited by darrin on Thu May 02, 2019 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Invisigoth » Thu May 02, 2019 5:53 pm

Eraden wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 3:46 pm
Someone PLEASE tell me what the HELL is it gonna take for Megumi to finally clue in. Even if I hadn't already known that Ping was an android from reading the previous strips in this comic, her dialogue in this particular strip practically SCREAMS "I'm a synthetic". Surely Megumi can't be THAT dense, can she?
No one else in the room seemed to catch on when Megumi was floofing the phantom ears and tails hard either so guess that makes them all even.

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Eraden » Thu May 02, 2019 6:03 pm

With regards to Megumi's ears and tails, there might have been some issues with regards to the direction that the potential witnesses were facing. Although, I must admit Granny should have gotten a pretty damn good view of her tails in that one scene. Why she never commented, well, I guess we might never know.

As to Megumi's apparent lack of realization that Ping is an android, I find it difficult to believe that she is firmly camped in the vast majority of people in that city who remain blissfully unaware of the weird things going on around them. She is firmly entrenched in her family's affairs and kitsune are a fact of life for her. So too for Ashe and all it took was a few comments from our resident scientist to firmly place in Ashe's mind the realization that Ping is a synthetic. I am left with the conclusion that Megumi, as embedded as she is in the weird and wonderful of Mega Tokyo, is a just plain dunderhead.

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by darrin » Thu May 02, 2019 7:52 pm

Eraden wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:03 pm
I am left with the conclusion that Megumi, as embedded as she is in the weird and wonderful of Mega Tokyo, is a just plain dunderhead.
Do not underestimate the power of what Ray Kremer used to call the "Snuffleupagus effect" (which others of a more Douglas Adams bent called the SEP field), to describe how individual MT denizens see only a subset of the whole the readers see. (Up to a point... I didn't notice grandma head-patting Ashe at all for example until someone mentioned it in this thread.)

Compare when Kimiko was teleported out of an exploding cafe by Miho, and when questioned later about what she had seen spoke only of the fanboys and their attitudes toward her. I would say it's not so much that Kimiko (and by analogy Megumi) is a dunderhead; just that there's a big difference between what we think she ought to see (or hear etc) and what she remembers seeing. There was a lot written about it on the forums at the time, I guess now in retrospect we might say Stability has done a good job convincing even not-completely mundane folks like Kimiko and Megumi that whatever "weird and wonderful" things might be rumored to happen in the city around them, it is perfectly under control (thanks to the good fellows at the TPCD) and nothing at all to be worried about. The fanboys may be Kimiko's problem, but anything else happening at the cafe is quite simply Somebody Else's Problem. Similarly , while the girl in front of Megumi might be a bit flaky by Megumi's exacting standards :lol:, the particular details of said flakiness are undoubtedly Problems for Somebody Else to worry about.
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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Teddy-Werebear » Thu May 02, 2019 10:48 pm

Girl emotions are dumb...
(SHUT UP, TEDDY! This is why people think you are not empathetic.)
But I honestly think emotional responses like this are dumb and counter productive.
(But it sounds really bad and upsetting when you make remarks like this.)
Being honest is bad?
(Sometimes, Teddy... sometimes.)
Okay... now get back in your oubliette, feminine side!

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Rapierman » Thu May 02, 2019 11:59 pm

Teddy-Werebear wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 10:48 pm
Girl emotions are dumb...
(SHUT UP, TEDDY! This is why people think you are not empathetic.)
But I honestly think emotional responses like this are dumb and counter productive.
(But it sounds really bad and upsetting when you make remarks like this.)
Being honest is bad?
(Sometimes, Teddy... sometimes.)
Okay... now get back in your oubliette, feminine side!
Ladies and gentlemen, a cross between a psychopath and multiple personality disorder.


Anyway, that was an interesting turn of events. I'm guessing that Megumi thinks that Ping just went off the deep end.

(I believe I mentioned that nobody ever notices the obvious earblades.)
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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Small Pink Mouse » Fri May 03, 2019 2:30 am

Eraden wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:03 pm
As to Megumi's apparent lack of realization that Ping is an android, I find it difficult to believe that she is firmly camped in the vast majority of people in that city who remain blissfully unaware of the weird things going on around them. She is firmly entrenched in her family's affairs and kitsune are a fact of life for her. So too for Ashe and all it took was a few comments from our resident scientist to firmly place in Ashe's mind the realization that Ping is a synthetic. I am left with the conclusion that Megumi, as embedded as she is in the weird and wonderful of Mega Tokyo, is a just plain dunderhead.

Consider the possibility that this is a matter of perspective. Kitsune are normal to a kitsune. It's the high tech stuff, the esper stuff and so on that's weird and therefore worth being blind to or avoiding. It's not impossible that each and every portion of the paranormal side of Megatokyo is like this and as blind to the rest of it as any Mundane! Why not? The universe is a big place and you cannot know it all so you may as well focus on the part of it that shapes your life, no? :)

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by BetaCygnus » Fri May 03, 2019 2:42 am

Awwwww… Ping’s simple "Ok." in the last panel is just… cute as can be. =)
And no Piro/Kimiko disturbance yet. That’s cool — nice save there, too!

Thanks Fred, for this sweet page! =)

I was wondering about Ashe’s name, though. It might have been explained already, but… I was thinking along the lines of…

‘So, what are you going to name this little one?’
‘Well… it’s a she…’
‘Ashe? Ok. I… like that — I guess…’

=?
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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by DrunkenSailor » Fri May 03, 2019 3:17 am

People can be pretty weird. Just ordinary weird people. They can even be high on medication or illegal drugs. They can wear all kinds of cosplay stuff. They really can. Ping isn't bending any crowbars or throwing any buses here.

In real life outside the comic, I don't think there's anything she could just say or wear that would convince people she was really a robot until she started doing things impossible for humans. Including saying I'm a robot. That's just too unlikely to be true. It's way more likely if she said that that she was just crazy.

But this is MegaTokyo. They've all met Ninja's and FoxGirls (themselves) and probably see some of the stuff we wouldn't. They seem to know about Miho from Megumi. Ashe accepted the good doctors word that HE built Ping for Sony. Not being part of that world and only seeing a handful of examples of SEP field over time, it's hard for us to judge. But I'm on the side of reasonable people need a hit over the head obvious proof for such things to believe them. Or a solid unequivocal statement to even start to consider them. Yuki's room mate the dragon girl former minature zombie zilla would no more than raise eye balls until she did something amazing.

DS

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by BetaCygnus » Fri May 03, 2019 6:05 am

DrunkenSailor wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 3:17 am
In real life outside the comic, I don't think there's anything she could just say or wear that would convince people she was really a robot until she started doing things impossible for humans. Including saying I'm a robot. That's just too unlikely to be true. It's way more likely if she said that that she was just crazy.
True, DS. =)
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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Sackett » Fri May 03, 2019 11:19 am

Eraden wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:03 pm
With regards to Megumi's ears and tails, there might have been some issues with regards to the direction that the potential witnesses were facing. Although, I must admit Granny should have gotten a pretty damn good view of her tails in that one scene. Why she never commented, well, I guess we might never know.

As to Megumi's apparent lack of realization that Ping is an android, I find it difficult to believe that she is firmly camped in the vast majority of people in that city who remain blissfully unaware of the weird things going on around them. She is firmly entrenched in her family's affairs and kitsune are a fact of life for her. So too for Ashe and all it took was a few comments from our resident scientist to firmly place in Ashe's mind the realization that Ping is a synthetic. I am left with the conclusion that Megumi, as embedded as she is in the weird and wonderful of Mega Tokyo, is a just plain dunderhead.
Note however that Ashe only realized after the scientist explicitly stated Ping was artificial. Odd comments are not the same thing. So if Ping explicitly said "I'm a robot" people would realize, but until someone says that they won't.

I think it must operate similar to Sailor Moon's disguise magic. If someone explicitly tells you, or if you witness something that explicitly confirms it, then you realize. But until then everything weird that ought to tell you that something is off is just ignored.

Consider that Piro still hasn't figured out that Miho is living through multiple lives, dying, and the returning.

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by paarfi » Fri May 03, 2019 11:31 am

BetaCygnus wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 2:42 am
I was wondering about Ashe’s name, though.
I think it's cause she's a silver kitsune. See Fred's color drawing of her here: deviantArt.
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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Mamma Peach » Fri May 03, 2019 11:50 am

After getting "the talk" by grandma, Ping may realize that she's not just missing the psychological parts she needs but maybe some physical ones as well. (She is still rather confused about the differences and convergences of emotional love and physical love.)

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Old_Gray_One » Fri May 03, 2019 12:25 pm

Sackett wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 4:46 pm
I think there must be some kind of actual weirdness filter in Tokyo that prevents people from noticing how weird things are.
I think that there is just so much weirdness in Tokyo, that stuff like this seems relatively tame by comparison.

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by Eraden » Fri May 03, 2019 1:54 pm

I guess I am just wired differently than some of these characters, then. When I hear words like "I don't have any of the parts needed", red flags go off big time. As a scientist, I take statements like that seriously and then have to consider the possibilities ranging from "radical surgery" all the way to "synthetic construct". Usually Occam's razor prevents me from going for the more extreme options first, but at some point during the ensuing conversation, the possibility of that being the reality will arise. I WOULD actually make queries about those initial statements she made, if only to narrow down these possibilities and then acquire a better understanding of the situation so as to know how to approach further conversation in the least offending way possible (radical surgery, for example, might make certain topics of discussion problematic). Obviously, such initial queries would need to be handled....delicately, so as to try and avoid creating an offensive situation, but to know is almost always better than to not know, so that avoiding offending people later is more easily done. However, that might make me something of a pariah in Japanese society so I might be the proverbial "bull in the china shop".

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Re: [1554] the parts needed

Post by nexxo » Fri May 03, 2019 6:20 pm

I would say that Ping is verbalising how Junko feels about herself: that she is somehow deficient and not deserving of love. And this elicits Junko's empathic response.

BTW I think it is unlikely that Ping is missing physical (to borrow Pratchett's term) passionate parts. In one of the comics she is protesting that she is not a sex toy and that those parts only belong to her. So I would assume she is referring here to knowledge/skills, or some ephemeral personality attributes or qualities that she feels she is lacking, likely similar to what Junko feels she is lacking herself.

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