Posted on 27 August 2015 with categories: Game Reviews

I don’t plan on doing this often but I thought it might be good to talk about this game as I put about forty hours into it and found it to be a highly flawed yet fascinating experiment.  Now myself qualify as a big fan of the final fantasy series, having played and completed Final fantasy’s 1 through 10, 12 and now 13. Seven was my very first introduction to the very concept of an RPG and Eight was the first one I ever finished. I have a lot of love for this series so I guess that’s why I can label this with confidence as the worst main Final Fantasy title. Of course going into it I knew this wasn’t going to be a stand out title. I heard many of the complaints about it, all of which are sadly true.

 

This game is liner, and I mean that in every sense of the word. The majority, if not all, of the game has you running down a straight hallway with little deviations and while your surroundings may change that straight line doesn’t change. People say that 30 hours in the game opens up but what this really means is that at the 30 hour mark you reach a area called the Archylte Steppe and it gives you a taste of what this game could have been. But it’s only one wide open plane, before long you are forced into the corridors again. It is true that final fantasy games in general are linear as you need to follow a path to reach the boss but in those cases at least the path had branches that lead to items and at any point you could just exit the area, climb on an airship and go somewhere else. 30 hours into FF13 you are offered a teleport system but this pertains to a single part of the game and it just allows you to go to other parts of a pretty linear path. In this regard its as though the game is putting in gameplay as an obligation and gives you only the bare minimum to achieve it. Here’s a path, kill everything on it and get to the next part of the story. When taking this into account, the actual gameplay of Final Fantasy XIII feels like padding.

 

So what about that story then? Surely if the focus was on the story it’s bound to be something special right? Well that’s what I figured. FF13 story has ambition, and I can respect that but it has massive problems. First off, voice acting has not done the series any favors and during this game I had a number of moments where I felt I would think more highly of this story if the lines were not being spoken. Final Fantasy titles have their share of dialogue that sounds good when read but when a voice is put to it can cause it to sound quite stupid. The story itself is needlessly complicated and yet very simple when you get past all the terminology. Humans live in a world called Cocoon which is fueled by Summons/eldions/Fal cie which is under a dictatorship by a pope like figure who has been forcing people to relocate to a survival of the fittest hellish nearby world called Pulse. Our heroes are cursed and given an unspecified mission by a Pulse summon when attempting to fight back against a relocation. If they don’t finish the mission within a unspecified time they turn into monsters. If they do finish the mission then they turn into crystal where they remain till given a new mission. The rest of our story us our heroes wandering about aimlessly trying to guess what their mission is till the big bad shows up and tells them. Though in a game with 13 chapters the villain doesn’t show up until the tenth. So our heroes don’t agree with the big bad, wander about on Pulse and then end up doing exactly what he wants anyway. But everything turns out alright because two characters pull a deus ex machina out of nowhere and save the day. Ladies and Gents, with that paragraph I saved you forty hours of your life. As you can tell by that, a lot of the game is our heroes going about without any direction on what they are supposed to be doing. Most of the time the characters end up committing to some arbitrary goal only to do a heel turn and do something else. One particular moment is when the party goes to Pulse do to the big bad saying so and for no real reason all decide to make their way to Vanile and Fangs hometown in some vague notion that something might happen. What actually does happen is they encounter the big bad again and decide to go back to cocoon basically making the whole Pulse section one big pointless Journey when they are already short on time.

 

Characters can make up for a lacking story and due to the haphazard nature of the plot I think that’s what was intended. However while some characters have potential, it’s not quite realized. Lightning is an absolute mess of a character. From my understanding and what I believe was intended, she is supposed to be a female version of Cloud from Final Fantasy 7. However Cloud had an arc as well as a character whereas I spent forty hours with Lightning and still don’t get what she’s about. At most I gathered that she’s incompetent, dangerously impulsive and suffers from massive mood swings. In one fmv scene she went from happy to aggressive to encouraging to hopeful and then tears all in the span of about three minutes. She decides to go on a one man assault on the enemy headquarters, convinces a boy to join her and along the way after one single sentence on Summons she does a complete heel turn and begins to try and convince the boy she already convinced otherwise that the attack is foolhardy. She is just a barrel of Mary sue whose actions are purely determined on what the plot needs at that point. Sazh is the best character of the game, being quite likable with a interesting arc involving his son. Some of the best parts of the game involve him and while his son is a bland Gary sue it does give him the most engaging drive in the game. There’s not much to say about Fang. She’s decent strong character who I say some might grow fond off. Only real downside is when the plot forces her into annoying situations such as one where she needs so sort of demotion emotional breakdown in order to gain a summon which involves her saying they should destroy Cocoon instead of saving it. A hissy fit that comes out of nowhere and is immediately forgotten once the summon is beaten. I like Snow, or more I like the idea behind his character. Snow is essentially what happens when you take plot armour away from a stereotypical hero. Snow talks lofty and embraces the risky nature of heroic gambles. However most of the time things which would go perfectly for a action hero, turn out disastrously for Snow. In the beginning he inspires people to take up arms and fight the oppressive army. As a result he gets them all killed, including a party members mother. However not a lot is done with it and he basically remains the same by games end. His relationship with Lightning’s sister is also rather off putting as she looks 14 when he looks mid twenties. Hope is a character who starts of the worst but slowly becomes more tolerable over time. His character arc is given quite a lot of attention but has the problem of concluding too early. He had an interesting chemistry with Snow as Snow mistakenly thought Hope looked up to him when in reality Hope was more interested in killing him for causing his mother’s death. Ultimately he learns to let things go and for the rest of the game becomes a tag along who only says a uplifting speech around the end. Vanile is a very hated character which I can understand as to why. She starts off so alien that I was under the impression that she wasn’t even human and had difficulty with human concepts. Seeing as her dialogue generally made no sense. As the story goes on her weirdness is hugely toned down and any gripes that remain would be about her rather annoying voice. As for minor characters, they don’t make much of an impact. Most of them are there to provide the mains with some sort of revelation or understanding and there are not many appearances from them in the entire game. One particular moment that comes to mind is when a character called Raines showed up as a boss. When he appeared everyone acted familiar with him but I couldn’t recall just who this guy was. I later remembered that he was a man who appeared in one cut-scene for a few minutes about twenty hours ago.

 

Let me be frank, the Paradigm system may be good for managing fast paced combat but the depth of its mechanics is lower than that of the first Final Fantasy. Here’s the basic rundown, you can assign different roles to each character such as Medic, commando, ravager, etc. Each of these roles is setting the CPU to a certain manner. In this case, Healing, Attack and magic attack. You cannot control your other party members, only the leader.  You can switch between six different variations like Commando, Ravager, Ravager or Commando, Sentinel, Medic. You cannot switch the Paradigm of a single character and if your character is set to one role they cannot use abilities from another one. Meaning you cannot have a mage alternate between attack magic and healing without changing the roles of the entire party. Same for you, if you are a Commando then you are stuck using physical attacks. This cuts down the number of strategies immensely but what makes matters worse is that you will barely be strategizing at all. Here are the two things you will be doing for the entirety of FFXIII. Switching Paradigms and pressing auto battle. True you can pick your own commands but it’s often pointless as auto battle picks the best ones already out of your limited move set. And you might occasionally make use of items and summons. But this is pretty much how the majority of fights go in FFXIII, Switch Paradigm, auto battle. The system has been simplified down to the level that they might as well just make the main character a CPU too. Another part of the system to mention would be staggering, where once you dealt enough attacks to a enemy it stuns them and allows you to attack it for a time with your damage dealt being increased the more punishment you dish out while its staggered. This basically makes the battles a rush to stagger your enemies as it is the only time you put out real damage. Due to this in FFXIII, speed is everything.

 

The the equipment and leveling is equally abysmal. You get two pieces of equipment, a weapon and a accessory. That’s it. No Armour, no shield. Nothing. Later on you can level up to equip two more accessories but unless you are trying to stave off a status effect the difference is negligible. There are also no defense stats. You can level up your weapons and accessories by using materials gathered from enemies which makes getting new ones pointless as they will always be weaker than what you currently have. Leveling is a pain as instead of getting exp and leveling up random stats automatically, you are given something called CP which you use to level up your character up a chain of upgrades to health, attack, magic or gain new skills. The path is strictly liner though and adds only a layer of tedium as every time you gain enough CP you need to go into the menu, and manually level up each of the six characters one at a time. There is different paths for each Paradigm role but you only unlock all the roles near the end of the game and it takes twice as much CP to level up a character in a role that wasn’t set for them and even then they with never learn the same amount of skills as someone who is set in that role. So what your characters are going to be has already been determined by the time you get the option to level them up differently. But the biggest problem is that regardless of how much your character’s stats go up, it never feels as though you have gotten stronger. I could be adding over a hundred points to strength and yet barely be doing much more damage than before. The music is just decent which for a final fantasy game is fairly disappointing. The battle theme is good and the main theme is alright though heavily overplayed throughout the game. For the most part the soundtrack isn’t that noticeable and there is a song played in the Pulse area of the game which is a tune similar to a elevator wait music. The game is admittedly graphical beautiful which is pretty impressive for a game six years old. In reflection FFXIII is a hard game to recommend. It has numerous problems and while it is a fascinating experiment, it misses more than it hits. There were times I enjoyed FFXIII, but for any moment of fun there was three moments of tedium. It wasn’t an easy game to finish and at times I had to force myself to play it. Still while I am glad I played it, I don’t recommend it. I am just hoping FFXIII-2 fixes a number of problems that were in this title.

Posted on 25 August 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

Some focus on Alex this time around as with the drug out of her system she remembered that she had a younger brother. A pretty startling revelation for her as forgot about him the whole time she was under Barry’s control. It was done well on just how much this shocked her but I must admit that Mangalobe’s animation is getting rather limited at points. There are some points with off art and still frames are increasing but it’s still respectable that they are sticking with such difficult character designs. These anti-Twilight people have me a little confused about just how powerful Twilights are. True it’s not exactly fair to compare the normal types to the likes of the top of the line like Nicholas but if a mid class Twilight can impersonate Shizuo pulling out road signs then you would think that they would be putting up more of a fight. Maybe if the Anti-Twilights were coming after them with guns that might be something but with Melee weapons? Seems a bit odd they can’t knock a few people out. However there is that issue with the rule that Twilights can’t harm normal people but they must have a Claus for self defense seeing as Nicolas and Worick can jump in.

I wonder if there will be a time when Japan realizes that boob jokes are just not funny anymore, if they ever have been. Plus having them being made about Alex, who recently just got out of forced prostitution…makes it a little awkward. But looks like Alex won’t be going back to prostitution to make a living after all with her performance as a Diva at club Bastard.(That’s the actual name of the club.) I pity the English dub voice actress who’s going to have to do that scene as they are generally the worst scenes to transition to English. Having to change the Japanese lyrics into something that works in English while also having a dub voice actress who can sing is a tall order. Add in lip syncing the lyrics and it becomes downright impossible. Still if they manage to pull it off I feel the scene would improve greatly as having her sing in Japanese when she isn’t japanese in a non Japanese setting doesn’t really fit. I understand that is something that cannot be helped but having it in English would make a whole lot more sense. Gangsta is currently getting a broadcast dub by Funimation so when they get to this episode I say godspeed to them. Though the big part of the scene was what seems to be her younger brother walking past the club and recognising his sisters singing. He looks to be a big part of next week’s episode.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

Itami continues to be a mystery as he is shown not only to be a ranger but also a member of special forces. Its not really confirmed whether he is a genius in hiding or a slacker who was tossed into high profile positions and got through it with minimum effort. The big part of this episode was the court case where a young female politician tried to put the army at fault for a number of other world civilians dying in a dragon attack. This is another design change that I find has made the character far too young as the politician I remember from the manga was a much older woman. I don’t know how the novel/LN did it but I feel that having her be a much more mature woman made more sense. Call me jaded but I don’t think a woman that young and good looking would be anywhere near politics. But admittedly I don’t know jack about politics.

However her dialogue where she attempts to make use of her age to demand respect is made all the stranger. In general I always felt that older woman would use their age to demand respect but woman in the 20 to 30 range don’t really like to draw attention to their age. Though when Rory was calling her little girl this could have be a weak attempt to try and gain some kind of moral superiority. Though it doesn’t really matter too much as this character’s sole purpose is to be an idiot while making Rory look good.So no surprise that the highlight of the episode was Rory shutting her up by telling her off on live TV. As well as letting the bomb drop that she is over 900 years old and Tuka is 165 years old. This is really the first time the otherworld has caught modern society off guard as the concept of someone being that old as well as someone becoming a literal God once they reach 1000 is unthinkable. Something tells me that this fact would bring up some problems with christianity that might lead to some misguided crusade to rid the world of the “fake” gods.

Otherwise there was just small things like Rory being terrified of the subway due to the God Hardy who is interested in taking Rory as their wife. Its also interesting to note that unless I am mistaken, Hardy is female. So Rory happens to have a lesbian earth god after her. This girl never ceases to amuse. The episode ends with a rather shocking reveal of Itami’s ex-wife. A main character with an ex-wife, I haven’t seen that since…um…ever actually. I am sure if I dig up some anime I haven’t seen in a while I might find a couple with characters with ex-wives but main characters who were married doesn’t happen very often. Mostly because they are too young to be. When Itami’s wife seems to be the kind of person he would meet, seeing as she’s a mangaka. And for a separated couple they sure are on good terms. Chances are these two didn’t get married normally.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

This episode has been a weaker episode than those so far. The opening has gone through a number of changes now that we have reached over the halfway point. Megumi’s part of the opening has been replaced by a shot of her grave, the colourful transition after showing the title is now a series of zombie hands, Miki’s friend is now shown walking alone amidst zombies and pictures that were happy shots of each of the characters are now showing them depressed and worried. The fact that Taromarou is now a single bright happy shot among shots of people who are not dead or missing makes me think that dog is not going to have a bright future. There wasn’t much to the episode itself as it was mainly about the gang sending out letters by balloon and one pigeon by the name of Arnault Hatonishiki II. Thought there was Yuki noticing a discrepancy in her memory regarding Megumi which shows she’s getting even closer to snapping out of it. Megumi or her subconscious took the act of consoling her and pushing her back into the delusion. But even she seems to see that this trick is coming to its end.

So there’s a lot of hope here and a fairly lighthearted optimism which can mean only one thing. Everything is about to go to hell. The night is always darkest before the dawn but in tragedy the light is always brightest before it burns out. The new ending is proof of that as we have the girls disappearing and being replaced with Yuki’s hat, a broken CD player, shovel, shredded teddy bear and a knife all of which is bloodstained. Along with the text on the chalkboard saying “We’ve Graduated!” Which likely means what you think it means. Something is going to break this all down and my mind is preoccupied with what is going to be the trigger. Yuki is the obvious choice as she’s already in a delicate state that could collapse at any moment but my money’s on Miki. Miki is the one most uncomfortable with the situation and could set off Yuki easily with how she is unwilling to go along. She has friction with Yuuri as she is generally the one to argue against her when the topic of the situation comes up. But most importantly, Miki has something which could set her off and cause her to go berserk. The friend that left her in the Mall is without doubt, most certainly dead. But Miki still believes she’s out there. If her friends corpse happens to walk up to the school and Miki sees it, there’s no telling what she could do.

Posted on 21 August 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

Now the past has been mostly revealed, Worick’s friendship with Nicholas has become a more complex thing. Worick seems to see him as a good friend yet resent him for going kill crazy and murdering his whole family. Though the murder of his father looked to be an order he himself made to Nicholas and regretted. Honestly I am having trouble understanding just what there relationship is. I can’t tell whether Worick hates or likes Nicholas and whether Nicholas killed Worick’s family because of an order or rather out of resentment for Worick buying Celebrer off his father and giving him reason to ditch Nicholas. The whole affair comes across as Worick making a deal with the devil what with Nicholas ripping out Worick’s eye as some sort of payment. I still don’t like the one sided nature of Woricks father as I really don’t know what could spur on this level of violence. The only real factor given in this anime for his hatred is that he knows that Worick is smarter than him and that makes him feel inferior, or at least from what I can gather. There are likely other factors but it isn’t really made clear.

So yet again we have a Twilight defying gravity like no tomorrow, if I didn’t know better I would say this show was trying to spite me. No matter what I say these guys are here to stay so all I can do is try to accept their presence. Which is getting more difficult as they now have Darker than black Contract prices such as the kid not aging past puberty and Nicholas being deaf. That’s just…never mind, its here to stay so if Twilights also happen to be able to shoot ki blasts my only option is to roll with it. It’s nice to see Alex become more assertive even when I am certain no one else other than Worick would have reacted to that wake up embrace quite as calmly. She’s a much better character now that the drug is out of her system though I do wonder if she really plans to continue being a prostitute. So we have two new twilights on the block who have been killing other twilights and collecting tags and they remind me of the vampire twins of black lagoon. It’s hard to get a read on them for how briefly they were shown but they come off so far as a rather generic villain.

Posted on 18 August 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

I understand that for an anime adaption some character designs need to be simplified in order for an easier time to keep them in proportion in animation. But while the characters who suffer in this episode because of this are indeed minor characters, its really a shame to see them become something unrecognisable. The two characters in question are Perisa the Catgirl and Delilah the warrior bunny. Now despite how the job is treated with no humor whatsoever, I am fully aware that the words warrior bunny is about as easy to take seriously as a shark tax accountant. It’s even harder to try to accept when the girls look as young as they do in the anime series. In the manga designs the girls had a level of maturity which really lent to their characters but from the looks of things they went with the Light novel designs which make them look far too young and Persia with pink hair just throws me off completely.

This episode goes to show that even with the best laid plans nothing will really go as expected. Because someone is bound to mess things up no matter how hard you try. In this case a blond Drill haired girl who first dragged Itami back to the city beaten and bloody without thinking and her assaulting him again when she went to his room on orders to sleep with him in order to get the JSDF to forget about the incident and was promptly unintentionally ignored when she entered his crowded room. The pain the princess felt when that came to light is one I am all too familiar with. You give someone one simple job and yet somehow they find a way to bugger it up. It’s quite amazing we humans can get anything done together at all.

The joy of the episode is seeing just how desperate the princess gets as the episode goes on. She the first of the major players if the empire to realize just what they are facing and there’s even a point where her composure momentarily breaks while misunderstanding Itami’s position in the army. By the time she makes it to the base to apologise for the incident, she’s like a scolded child. Next episode looks to have the otherworlders visit Japan which should at least give them a taste of information age culture.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Well the story continues on from the flashback, showing Miki first joining the club. Right off the bat the episode pushes to answer the question of Megumi’s existence. It’s a answer that was pretty obvious by this point as the foreshadowing was pretty heavy on this particular detail but this episode makes it crystal clear. Megumi is dead and has been dead right from the beginning, with her grave on the rooftop being shown in the background in episode one. The Megumi Yuki has been talking to is just another of her delusions and the ending goes as far as to show scenes where Yuki and Megumi were together and slowly faded her out to show what the scene really was. As I said this revelation is hardly shocking for anyone who was paying attention. But the execution remains immensely solid. The scene where Miki asks Yuki who Megumi was when she was supposed to be in the room was just great. The music getting distorted and fading with Yuki staring at her with those black eyes, it was just an excellent reveal scene. So much so that I wish it hadn’t been made so obvious that it wasn’t shocked by it. The little things were great too like Yuki “handing” Megumi a bottle of water and if you listen you can hear it hit the ground.

Another thing that was confirmed is that the girls really do rely on Yuki’s mental state to keep their spirits up. In some ways this is good as in a zombie apocalypse it’s not the zombies which are the most dangerous thing. It’s the people who mess things up. Yuki acts as a good meditator to prevent the other girls from doing anything too rash or stupid. But it’s a perilous balance as when Yuki goes down, they all go down. Yuki’s mental state is already a pretty fragile thing as shown here she could break down just from someone asking a honest question. Yuki herself seems pretty comfortable in her safe zone and even when Miki questioned her it honestly felt like she was trying to get Miki to play along rather than deny her. It’s possible that Yuki is slowly slipping out of her delusions and doesn’t really want to let go of them, so she attempts to continue the farce even when she is becoming aware of it. Really that is the best option as despite how it could be broken at any second, this may be one of the most functional survivors of a zombie Apocalypse that I have seen. Everyone gets along, there’s no petty fights over supplies, people are honestly trying to enjoy themselves and no liabilities to make a huge mistake that ends up screwing everyone over. Well for now at least, one thing that I think will come to a head later is Miki’s reluctance to play along with Yuki’s delusions. Even in the first episodes she still only half heartedly plays along to keep her happy. It’s clear that while Miki understands the situation, she’s not keen on keeping Yuki contained in her happy place. I think that if a really bad situation comes Miki may just force the truth on her out of frustration. This would really put her at odds with Yuuri, who by the looks of it, is the one most determined to keep things as they are.

Posted on 13 August 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

When taking into account the show so far, I find that the quiet character moment stand out far more than the over the top fight scenes with knife wielding psychos on rooftops. The dialogue between characters is much more engaging that two characters jumping around like Bleach Soul Reapers. In particular it great seeing Worick and Nicholas talk especially when Worick’s doing most of the talking while Nicholas is saying the bare minimum. It shows that Worick has been around him for such a long time that he can tell what he wants to say just from his face and movements. The back story about Worick teaching him to write as a kid and being kindred spirits in abusive environments is all really great stuff.

One flaw I found with this episode however was the use of the age old stock character for tragic back stories. The alcoholic abusive father. That’s even above the overbearing religious zealot parent in backstory tropes. A prime example of just how overused this is that before I watched this episode, I watched a DC animated feature called “Superman vs the Elite” (Which despite the title and some lacking animation, was quite a good animated movie) and when it came to a character’s tragic back story time what kind of father had he? Alcoholic abusive father. I certainly are not saying that people like that don’t exist in reality however in cases of entertainment it just seems like a writer taking the easy route instead of building a more morally complex abuser. Or at least something less cliche, like Nicholas’s father who got a twilight prostitute pregnant and decided to make use of the kids abilities as opposed to just getting rid of him. As well as the fact that his father killed his mother. It’s still fairly one dimensional but at least it isn’t a standard trope.

As it turns out Alex wasn’t kidnapped and the visitor turned out to be the doctor like I suspected. Thankfully mangalobe didn’t go to weird heights again as Alex’s hallucinations were in fact the result of withdrawal symptoms from the drug Barry was feeding her to keep her in line. After checking up I am fairly certain this drug was fictitious as well as while there are pimps who use drugs to keep girls in line there aren’t drugs like what was described here. Closest thing to it from what I can find would be a liquid called toluene. Still, made up or not I like how it affected Alex as she went back on the streets prostituting herself over fear of an imaginary Barry. It explains the sudden mental instability of Alex better than a quickly appearing trauma. I a hoping that now without the drugs influence she will become more active in the show as she does need a little more personality. I am hoping for more episodes like this in the future.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” is a fairly iconic piece of music in pop culture. So much so that after Apocalypse Now (1979) whenever there is a helicopter assault in any piece of media, it’s practically obligatory to play Ride of the Valkyries. Even just today when finishing Far Cry 3 and had a helicopter turret sequence near the end of the game, what was playing in the background? Ride of the Valkyries. Gate however went above and beyond just referencing Apocalypse Now with the song. The straight up quoted and referenced it throughout the sequence, some scenes of animation being recreations of the the films scene itself. It’s glorious to behold. Though Rory’s fan service moment before the battle was certainly on the gratuitous side, while it is true that I have no idea what the effect of dozens of human souls flowing through you is like, it being like an aphrodisiac isn’t the first thing to come to mind.

It is a matter that bothered me before but I am not fond of the princesses character design in the anime. In the Light novel and manga her design had a much more mature look, where as her anime design just looks far too young. Animation for Gate remains to be inconsistent as at times it can be quite fluid but can drop to levels of still frames. Admittedly it’s not easy to animate army battles but it would be good to remain consistent in animation as opposed to dropping between low and high. Though even at its best I have found A1s animation to be rather rough. In particular with Rory’s battle while good there were times the animation seemed off. The princess finally knows who she’s dealing with and it was rather amusing to see them shocked at them accepting what would be losers terms when by all rights they could have had her at their mercy. It’s a pity her soldiers are not quite as informed and may have made the greatest mistake of their lives by episodes end.

Posted on 10 August 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

As these episodes go on it really is something to wonder about the matter of Yuki being a hindrance or a help. I have said previously that she does push the group in the right direction but it is still a case where her mentality is dangerous. The group need to come up with excuses to keep her from nearly getting them killed but even then she is being rather loud in an area where zombies could rip them apart at any moment. But she also saved Miki and pushed them to take the risk to go to the mall to collect supplies. As the group tries to keep her in her delusions it also pushes them to take risks to ensure their survival. That said, there were moments that made me want her to get with the program and stop endangering the group. Despite the group’s efforts it does seem that Yuki’s dream world is slowly crumbling as in this episode she at least had some clarity to the situation. She clearly knew that Miki was in danger and seeing the zombies again did shake her so much to the point where she got a fever. It shows that eventually her dream is going to collapse and when it does it’s not going to be pretty. Would I be considered sadistic if I actually was looking forward to that moment that does happen? As a side note, I found an article noting a potential reason as to why Yuki’s uniform is a different colour from the others. If you invert the colours of Yuki’s uniform then it matches the same colour as the other heroines uniforms and likewise. It could be a really clever symbolism on Yuki’s flawed perception of reality.

Undoubtedly this is the moment the group was in the most danger, so they are lucky that these zombies happened to be be of the more classic slow moving variety rather than the running kind. Thus allowing our girls to shop for clothes and for Taromarou to form a bond with Yuki. These moments remain a double edged sword as they are light hearted fluff but undeniably strengthen the darker moments of the show. At points it’s even fairly enjoyable however still the mood is starting to clash a small bit. I think the girls trying out clothes with no worries is a little out of place considering that a zombie could be in ait  at any corner and the last thing you want is them catching you with your pants down. Or in this case, in a swimsuit. Good luck going to the beach in that girls, and was Yuuri’s boob bounce really necessary? Still the small things like Yuuri worried that Kurimi might not make it back from her solo food run or discovering a legion of zombies in a theater room. As well as the rather dark implication that the Theater room was barred from the outside to keep them in and maybe not all the people in the room were zombies at that point. Yuuri making use of the alarm to disorientate the zombies was a pretty clever play on her part as by all accounts Miki looked like she was doomed once pulled off the piano. I don’t know whether the next episode will continue to follow Miki first joining the group or go back to the point before the flashback but admittedly I would be interested in just how she reacts to it.

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous1198985
No, Im said if you dont like nisekoi dont read it
AidanAK47
@Anon, How do you know you don't like it if you don't read it?
Anonymous1196967
Don't like it don't read it.
AidanAK47
I went and read Double Arts. This really was a great manga with tons of potentail and truly didn't deserve the axe. It's so depressing that this was cut off so soon and the author went on to make the most generic Harem ever Nisekoi, and that got over 200 chapters.
Lenlo
All of the important dance scenes for Yuri were fantastic, its just some minor one off characters and some reused ones that were an issue, so no they are better than the CGI
Anonymous1190387
Is it worse than those CGI dance scenes in some anime?
AidanAK47
@Puran, It is pretty surprising how well that story turns out. I say IG might do the job even if there animation isn't the most consistent. The one thing I am worried about is those necks though. In the PV those things were ridiculously long.
Puran
Fair enough, recycling the animation was bad, agreed. But the animation itself was really good.
Lenlo
See, I found the repeated dances in Yuri one of the worse parts. Alot of it was recycled animation and certain characters were obviously rushed/not done. Some were amazing, cause they took their time, but others looked terrible.
Puran
I kinda wish Mappa was doing the anime though. Yuri on Ice had really nicely animated dances (and was more or less the only actually good quality of that show :P )
Puran
Reading the Ballroom e Youkoso manga has made me really excited about the Anime.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm particularly turned off by bully/bullying cliches these days. I've only read the first two volumes to see how awful she was but I ended up simply losing track of the series and stopped reading.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Mario: Actually that has changed, I had to pick a different day to see it given changes in schedule, I've booked it for NEXT Wednesday now. I've watched Akira about four times.
AidanAK47
Oh, Rising of the Shield Hero is getting an anime adaption. Hmmm...honestly after finishing the series and looking over it as a whole I am not sure I even want that. Plus seeing Bitch Animated...would fill me with rage.
SuperMario
I intend to re-watch Akira soon, probably this weekend. It has been almost 10 years since my first watch and now I don't remember much about that one. Thought it was intriguing and complex but not as acclaimed as people hyped it to be (I'll pick Ghost in the Shell anytime). Wonder how I'd feel now after re-watching it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I remember you mentioned that you were going to watch In this Corner of the World today right? How was the movie Kaiser?
Lenlo
Oh cool, food wars is getting a 3rd season
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ballroom youkoso appears to be leading the polls.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Fumiko is a female mangaka yes. Also I found bokura no hentai worth reading.
SuperMario
yep, I finished that manga too and I have conflicted feeling about it. Yuri(!) part and fanservice are to blatant but they have a purpose. This mangaka (not sure but I think she's a girl) has some unique voice.
AidanAK47
....well I skimmed that manga. And it was weird
SuperMario
By all appearances,Sakura is normal,albeit sheltered junior high school girl who enjoy talking about love and walking home from school together.However,they also happen to inhabit a strange and supernatural world populated by mysterious,gigantic beings and unusual plant and animal life.Amid their peaceful lives,Sakura becomes very interested in something only alluded to exist in old books: dicks
SuperMario
Here's a synopsis of other manga from the same author, I think you'll have a better idea of his theme -
Sakura no Sono
AidanAK47
Pretty much what Masky said. I am not really praising it. Anyway I plan to read one or two more chapters to see where it's going. But if it's going in the direction I think it's going then I am dropping this one fast.
Kaiser_Eoghan
There is of course the underlying concern that it will go a very ugly route with that development or it could become edgy/horribly minipulative, but for now it is as mario said, a hook.
SuperMario
Well. overall I don't dislike what I read there. It has good hook and I'm intrigued to know more what the hell will happen. Good set-up for me. I'm in
SuperMario
@Masky: it's fine Masky, since I will chec itk out any way and see it for myself ^^
Masky
So since you guys started being interested, I checked it out and uh.. Yeah, not reading. I think ye guys misunderstood Aidans warnings since that was just fucked up and not in the interesting way.
Lenlo
@Aidan: Berserk will never again go more than 3-4 months without a hiatus.
SuperMario
Hmmm, that manga Cutie Mutie sounds good to me. I might check it out later today
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But had you not alluded to that scene, I may have seen the cover of that manga and skipped over it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I had a feeling, sort of, sad, I am intrigued to read more.
AidanAK47
Hyping and warning are not the same thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well with Aidan hyping up the horrors of cutie mutie I may as well glance at it to see what he' on about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three manga with the name rec.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am familiar with the artist for cutie mutie, she did that manga about the three kids dealing with gender/orientation issues.
AidanAK47
Oh look Berserk is on Haitus again....
.....the sad thing is that it comes as expected now.
AidanAK47
For reference the two I read were Cutie Mutie and Rec. Be warned, the first one goes to a rather uncomfortable level.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Read two manga. One started lighthearted and then went to really dark territory. The other one looks like it's about a really dark subject but turned out to be something more lighthearted.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Alright. Tested it now so it such be fixed. Try again.
Masky
@Aidan: Huh? What you read that turned dark/didn't turn dark? .-.
SuperMario
"too many answers selected for question 1! only 3 answers allowed!"
SuperMario
@Aidan: I still have the same issues. Weird
AidanAK47
@Mario, Wasn't my intent. Try it now and you should be able to pick as many as you want.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm not allowed to vote more than 3 votes. Is it your intention Aidan?
AidanAK47
Well that was weird. I read something that looked innocent but turned out to be really dark. Then something that looked really dark only to become innocent.
Masky
Yeah, nothing that interests me I see :D Like my strongest reaction to season preview was "Someone made isekai with smartphone? Really? REALLY? Thats best idea you had"
Masky
Ah Knighs and Magic, found that manga. It was boring enough for me to forget its name. Also besides being boring, I kinda find MC unlikeable since their only personality is that they like mechas and were a programmer before renicarnating as short bishie kid
Masky
Woo, time to vote stuff
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that movie In this Corner just getting more and more acclaimed huh? Thou I think it'a a type of movie that if you have high expectation for it you will likely be disappointed. It works best as a sleeper hit
SuperMario
As for cute monster girls, most of the time I don't find them cute at all. I know I'm being racist, but...
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I'm guilty with that cute girls genre, as i enjoyed K-On tremedously for example. Or If I have more time I'd follow Hinako Note this season ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
They don't always adapt all that well or work as well outside of manga format, especially 4-komas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*three
Kaiser-Eoghan
The only two of any interest were hidamari sketch, azumanga daioh and yuru yuri and that was largely down to being in the mood for them a few years ago.
Lenlo
@Mario: Personally, I have 0 interest in this Monster girls doing cute things subgenre, just like I have very little interest in the cute girls doing cute things major genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As it turns out I DID read in this corner of the world. I'll also be seeing it next thursday.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: at this moment I'm very skeptical with the whole Monster girls doing cute girl subgenre, so I'm approachig Centaur with a caution. Of course, it all depends on how I feel after the first episode
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Happy End isn't as bleak aa his other works. But it's certainly Hanake's films, as it explores many of his favorite themes: the voyeurist of camera in his Benny's video, the detachment to the world and the underlying violence. Not his best thou but it's still very good
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I'd be up for watching jigoku shojo, its been a long time since I watched the original two seasons and this one won't be as long, so it won't get as repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I voted centaur no nanami on the poll, think Mario could cover it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How did did you get on with Happy end? I heard its like a mix of his best works. Is it as dark and depressing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have vague memories of in the corner of the worlds manga, unless I'm mixing it up with something else.
SuperMario
Some news, Lu Over the Wall won the best prize at this year's Annecy (the 1st anime won the award since 1995's Pom Poko), with In the Corner of the World took the Jury Prize. Quite a good showing for anime this year.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Hello.
SuperMario
Really, still no vote for Kakegurui?? I thought it would take the top poll for sure
SuperMario
That 18if, even the poster doesn't make much sense, but it looks dazzling ^^
Lenlo
go-go licensed products!
SuperMario
@Lenlo: and Madhouse is the studio behind that Marvel rip-off. Are they really going that low for profits?
Lenlo
Lookin forward to Kakeguri next season, but thats the only thing thats really caught my eye
Lenlo
Well, you have to watch Marvel next season right?
AidanAK47
And done. I swear these previews take a lot out of me.
AidanAK47
Almost done....almost done...
KT
Attack of Titan, ended ok. But man the production values had gone down.

Virgin Soul had a okish episde

Re:Creators continues to rock for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I liked the 70s version ending, it was mean spirited =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The original used its one room location quite well and dim lighting in parts, very closed in/claustrophobic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just finished the Beguiled and it was much better than I expected. Like, I didn't expect it to be that well shot. The guy was put in a passive role than active here, which help the theme imo. Also, the ending admitedly isn't for everyone but I liked it just fine
SuperMario
@Kaiser: using a black girl? The girls in this one are all white :(
AidanAK47
Sato in Re:Creators isn't doing himself any favors is he? Honestly the more I learn about him, the less likable he becomes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was a good film though, one of scarjos better moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As for Sofia, I'm only familiar with lost in translation, which I haven't seen since it originally came out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Everyone goes on about Francis' for the Godfather, the conversation is massively underated and apocalypse now is better, but it has to be the theatrical cut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I guess it was probably seen as progressive in its day by way of using the black girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Very very cynically 70s of course.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Actually just happened to finish it there, I felt it stood out for its somewhat successful gothic feel and aesthetic and Eastwood's performance which shows how well he can command the audiences attention even when he isn't shooting people. Kind of liked how it got slightly grisly later on. It makes a small effort in giving one line backstories .
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the original movie isn't that well-received. It's more like an exotica film where the main guy (Clint Eastwood) hooks up girls of all ages. This one I heard has a good spin on feminist angle. I'm sure is intrigued but Sofia Coppola's filmography has been mixed for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I doubt any one has ever heard of this....I know I didn't, I haven't read it either but I came across some weird old Blacksploitation manga, probably from the 90s, Blast knuckle or something...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Still remaking the beguiled might be good, we need more modern westerns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I suppose I can busy myself with the original 70s version of beguiled. At the moment I've been focusing on old Japanese films, they had such a good film industry, it makes it hurt so much more now knowing that all they do now is shit live action adaptations.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: gonna be a long day for me with the screenings of The Beguiled, Wind River, The Other Side of Hope and Happy End
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now I need to re-watch 08th ms team.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I watched 4 hours straight of Gundam the origin, hit me with a hard punch of nostalgia, actually seeing his backstory rather than hearing about it is a good thing, I enjoyed the action scenes, it was high-melodrama but well used and more Char is always a good thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I'll just put Kado on hold for now and see whats being said about future episodes of it, I'm too unsure of it being worth it or not at the moment.
Vonter
I want to comment on a humble indie game called Sakuna of Rice and Ruin. Is a simple hack and slash similar to Muramasa and Dust: Elysian Trail. The game has a scarf mechanic that is very fun to use to evade attacks and throwing stuff. It kind of reminded me of those Mickey games from the Snes and the visuals reminded me of Pocky and Rocky. Its a game to play on a sunday, simple, fun and relaxing.
Vonter
From the stuff I played Dragon Ball FigtherZ seems legit at capturing the speed of the battle and feel of the action.
Vonter
Back from E3. Nintendo is still my main jam. The Rabbids game seems better than I think anyone could imagine. Odyssey seems like a good time. Xenoblade and Metroid 2 remake look like hype.
KT
On Gundam OG, the new Origin Manga, and the movies based on it are very good. Recommended.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember reading the first chapter of that manga, but it was a long time ago and the updates were slow.
AidanAK47
A manga about Ballroom dancing? Yeah there's no way I am into this.
(Starts reading)
(Reads ten chapters)
Crap...I am into this.
Anonymous1166615
Feel I need to re-visit gundam again through 08th MS team, unicorn and Origin as I'd enjoyed the 70s series, its sequel and chars counterattack. Seed turned me off the franchise for ridiculously long and 00s movie and second season wern't as good as the first .
Anonymous1166615
Looks like I have another Yuasa work to look forward to, he's doing his own take off on Nagai's devilman , hopefully he can reign in Valvraves writer though.
Masky
*first manga in couple last weeks I've seen
Masky
Da fuq. Found manga called Kemono Jihen, but it somehow already has tv tropes page(I tend to check randomly whether works have tv tropes page to see how notable they are) O_o I mean this is first manga with 1-3 chapters that has that, so I guess author is really popular or something in some circles?
Lenlo
Huh. Guess they figured out rewriting a story for Re:Creators.
Masky
Ya know, even if i hadn't heard that Suka Suka is based on one of more tragic light novels, the death flags, all of the death flags :D
HelghastKillzone
I'm a patron of someone who is writing mass effect fanfiction at 2 million+ words. It combines games, writing and fan creativity. So there is that....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, while I listened to some Lovecraft audiobooked, I felt as if I was copping out by listening instead of reading.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A horror manga often works well episodically in a short story format.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Had a flick through Shibito, of what I read I liked how ridiculously camp and gleefully, proudfully nutso it was combined with the silliness of the violence. While not my favourite chapter, the one about the actress stood out for me because she was clearly a reference to Setsuko Hara, one of Japans most famous actresses lol
AidanAK47
I try out a number of things from time to time. Books, movies, music, comics and the like. But I always come back to anime.
AidanAK47
I have dabbled in quite a few mediums myself. My recent experiment is audiobooks which I am currently using to get through Moby Dick. And Jesus H Christ is this book padded to hell and back. It may be well written but it is an awful story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what this film venture has shown me is that while I've gotten much out of it, it shows just how STRONGER the connection I have to anime/manga is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And definately, I don't get the "people focus on only one media thing". One of the reasons I started branching out was because I felt "Fuck, I'm in my 30s and I've neglected a whole medium by being too focused on cartoons"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The sign you're at something too long is when the suspense of waiting for the next part to come out isn't there or when you find yourself not picking up on whats going on!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manga/visual novels/anime I've noticed especially now are much much easier to stay awake during when you're wrecked tired.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And to be honest, I've gotten busier and more tired lately, getting home on a weekday later after a new job, I'm not alert enough to watch art films, just started leaving them till the weekend.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I know exactly what you mean. That is one of the reason why I like to mix up what I watch: sometimes books, other time manga and even music to get me away from burning out from 1 medium
Kaiser-Eoghan
*eventually get back
Kaiser-Eoghan
The short of that is, I think a good scale back with ANY hobby is a good thing because it can feel special all over again when you get back on it more mainly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But now that after three years of mainly focusing on films moreso than anime/manga as much, because I'm now incredibly burnt out from watching films 4 times a day, I feel now I can watch ANY anime or read any manga and get that fresh feeling/some of that old passion back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Remember that feeling you got when you first really got into anime/manga and pretty much excitedly/panic watched EVERYTHING and almost everything felt great? I've been thinking how a few years back now, I sort of re-lived that feeling again...however for films.
AidanAK47
(Finished watching SukaSuka 10)
Awwww...that was a sweet episode end....
.....
.....They are all gonna die.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Kids off school pressumably in Japan with more time to watch stuff and more shows.
AidanAK47
God why is there so many anime during the summer season.
AidanAK47
Of course there are the really obvious recommendations of Grand Blue and Kaguya wants to be confessed to.
AidanAK47
I say the only other recommendations I got are Jagaaaaaan, Maou no Hisho, Ore wo Suki Nano wa Omae Dake ka yo and Yuuutsu-kun to Succubus-san. Though I still think Shibito no Koe o Kiku ga Yoi would be up your alley.
Kaiser-Eoghan
By all means keep posting random manga you've all come across, I will read them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I thought route end did a good job on the protagonist's feelings regarding his mothers death.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my interest in Route is largely due to it was the most lurid of the selection.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt route end holds the most interest of that selection of recommendations, although before reading it I thought it would be an episodic manga, similar to a series called death sweeper.
Lenlo
@K-Off, well I think both the manga got handed down to the assistant, and the anime got handed down as well. The original author/director for both arnt working on Boruto
K-Off
@Lenlo Probably, haven't checked. But the manga and anime are completely different so I don't know.
AidanAK47
The Streisand effect in full force.
SuperMario
*Now the media...
SuperMario
No the media storms over it and eventually want to check out this film. It has gain more publicity after this shameless incident
SuperMario
oh god, really? Chinese government tried their best to force Annecy (Animation film Fest) to remove a Chinese animated film name Have A Nice Day from screening there because of its "sensitive content"
AidanAK47
Still think Sawano needs to lay off the vocals. It can get really distracting in Re:Creators.
KT
oh my the RE:Creators OST is all I wanted.
Lenlo
Well, Boruto isnt being run by the original manga author is it? I thought he handed the series off after Naruto to his chief assistant.
K-Off
The contrast between wanting to do something different yet using the same character traits is just too jarring.
K-Off
Gave Boruto a shot, and while it isn't bad, it's so detached from the original series that it might as well have been unrelated. I appreciate that the plot is different, but the modern setting, and lack of any clear character motivations (for now) makes it such a chore to watch. If they were going for something different, why did they use the same character designs and archetypes?
SuperMario
Sorry guys for the delay of Eccentric Family post, just can't bring myself to finish the post. Not that many of you following the show but Yeah, I will plget it done later today. Also, hell yeah for Pluto. Urasawa is my God
SuperMario
@Aidan: I kinda imagine Isekai Shokudou would be like Time of Eve upon reading the synopsis. Like each week about some peculiar customers. Well, if they focus more on food, then... *heartbroken*
AidanAK47
Two Metroid Game announcements and an anime of Pluto.
Today was a good day.
Anonymous1161527
KT here:YES!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: One of his better works, despite reading it twice I've forgotten too much as its been too long since reading it, good though as when I watch the anime the manga won't be as fresh in my mind.
Total users: 37

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