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
AidanAK47
Well to those whom it might concern, expect my posts to be later than usual this week. Work is hell at the moment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say, this is probably a bit hypocritical, but while I enjoy dubs of anime I really really can't stand dubs of foreign films.
Lenlo
Simo Hayha would make a pretty crazy Archer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine a fate strange fake adaptation will materialize eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But everyone seems to want that Finnish sniper as a Fate servant .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still no Mao, still mad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I have lost track of the historical characters in the fate lineup.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, to expand on that point the following historical figures are now female: Nero Claudius, Leonardo da Vinci, Frankenstein's Monster, Xuanzang, Jing Ke, Quetzalcoatl, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Miyamoto Musashi, Okita Souji and many more to come.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I find it's an enjoyable watch though flawed. If you can get past some odd fanservice around the first ten episodes then I say it's worth watching.
Anonymous2133468
So i was thinking if i start watching, darling in the franxx, is worth it? or is just another 6/10 anime?
Lenlo
God damnit. Why Nasu. Just why.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, that ain't even Lewd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In all seriousness its ridiculous, the Japanese will make a cute/moe girl out of anything.
AidanAK47
....Should I also mention that Francis Drake is a big boobed pirate queen?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Posting lewd images on a respectable chatbox.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, But none of these characters are in the anime adaptions. Well besides Jack and Saber.
Lenlo
Aidan, all this conversation did was prove that my decision to only ever watch the Ufotable adaptions was the correct decision.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, you can blame Extella for the Attlia the Hun thing. I wasn't too fond of it myself. Also should mention Attila is female as well.
https://pm1.narvii.com/6414/528599445b739909c02993cfdbfc9f277d088cf2_hq.jpg
AidanAK47
Also Masky I will be the first to admit to the ridiculous aspects of the Fate Franchise but do take note that you are commenting on something you know literally nothing about. Which is the very definition of ignorance and is quite annoying. Fate/Zero nails the themes it's going for. So go watch Fate/Zero, come back and apologize.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Give it time. Genghis is getting in there eventually with Grand Order. We just had Anastasia and Salieri introduced after all. And it's not as if this story introduces Servants willy nilly, they need actual story purpose. Genghis Khan wouldn't have fit the Narrative that Fate/Zero was going for.
Lenlo
Wait Attila is an Alien and Edison is a Lion? God damnit Fate. Why are you doing this to me. I was already annoyed at your treatment of Musashi
Masky
(aliens existing in the show is good example of that missing on themes part xP)
Masky
*most successful conqueror
Masky
Honestly was just amused most conqueror of all time not being featured in the show :D But wait, whats this about aliens?
AidanAK47
Anyway the important thing to take into account is that in the Fate universe, King Arthur is a woman, Attila the Hun is an Alien, Thomas Edison is a lion and Jack the Ripper is a little girl in a dominatrix outfit. Any questions?
AidanAK47
And while you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes, it does leave you ignorant of how that show handles those ideas and themes.
AidanAK47
As for the Historical Alexander, he wasn't given the title of King of Couquerors. Fate/Zeros interpretation of him was. As generally accurate Fates interpretation of Servents history can be, they can make changes to suit the narrative.
AidanAK47
In that Regard Alexander was doing the conquest thing before Ghengus did. Ghengus likely has some other title. Hell he may only have the title because public consciousness was is more familiar with Alexander than Ghengus.
AidanAK47
Yeah, looking it up seems the King Title lost quite a lot of meaning in the Nasuverse. Though the King Title is rather flimsy. I mean Arthur is the King of Knights cause of the Knights of the round table. Gil is king of heroes because his tale was the first Heroic myth.
Lenlo
I think Alexander was just the first one they thought of, and they couldnt retroactively give it to someone else.

That said, Broskander deserves it <3
Masky
(And no, you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes of it.)
Masky
(just to note in case I need to note, I do tend to do at least cursory research when I make comments on stuff I don't watch)
Masky
That first part is semantics as Fate gives title "King" to historical figures who weren't kings already :D Also, you can make that argument about historical Alexander the Great? Since that seriously sounds like kind of weak reason.
AidanAK47
Also sees Rider as deserving of title of "King of Conquerors" because that which he strives to conquer most is not lands or material wealth, but the hearts of people, the toughest conquest that can be undertaken by anyone.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Ghengis Khan wasn't a king. He was a Khan.
Lenlo
Ghengis is always a Rider in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, Ghengis would be an appropriate beserker servant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: I know, it feels so wrong I'm still mad I can't summon Karl Marx or Stalin.
Masky
So wait, Fate series is about historical figures with super powers, but "King of Conquerors" title isn't given to Ghengis Khan? :D Seriously? Thats just so wrong
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't feel any point in finishing it, it feels like something that I'd just randomly drop , not because its a bad show, but because I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
I am actually going to drop blogging it.
AidanAK47
@Sash, indeed. I have been watching it but not blogging it for the last few episodes because it just hasn't givne me anything to say. I don't think it's a bad show but I have pointed out the flaws and strengths of it already so there is truly nothing more to say on it.
Sash
I think wotakoi is starting to feel repetitive..
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware Shana and Batman Ninja Harelequinn are both voiced by Rie kugimiya.
Lenlo
I did. It was... It was a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Did you end up watching Batman ninja by the way?
Lenlo
Music is great, yeah. When the music is on point, everything goes up. Everytime the sync the fight/punches to the music I just get hyped. Like the rotating shot with Aragaki or the first fight in episode 1.
Lenlo
Ill do my best to be clearer in the future on that front. Yeah, I dont mind twists like this. Makes the inevitable Mikio fight, narratively, even better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel the music does alot of the lifting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, so that was it.
Lenlo
Sorry if I never made that clear.
Lenlo
I would rather have fewer, amazing, fights than a lot of low-quality fights. This is a one cour show, the more meaning/impact they can give each fight the better.

Like Aragaki, narratively, was great. Loved it. Its just in animation/choreography that it falls flat.
Lenlo
Im disappointed with the animation of the fights. Narratively, I think they are quite good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*disappointed with the fights in past episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Pretty much what I said I thought of the episode. Although I was surprised how took the episodes ending, I expected you to see it as a slap in the face after being disappointed with the fights.
Lenlo
Also, @Kaiser, I thought Megalo Box did something unique this episode. I wasn't expecting Joe to *not* fight. And the Mikio/Yukiko proxy war is an interesting character motivation. Im betting Yukiko will get Joe a full citizenship, effectively getting her on his side.
Lenlo
I wish I was physically capable of watching Megalo Box without thinking of Hajime no Ippo. I really do. But everytime I watch it, it makes me want to watch Ippo again to.
Anonymous2120908
I watched some more of the Chimera family chinese anime. (Wasn't aware it was monthly released). And geez, I like the concept, the background art is very pretty and contrasts with settings that have become tired in other anime. Yet sadly the animation and script are WEAK. I haven't grasped the quality of what's expected of these types of production but I want to believe, they're trying.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not much in the way of action in megalobox this week, but I did like the focus on Yukkiko getting a small character moment and then the big moment at episodes end .
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's some lazy ass trolling buddy. Should have stopped before the hashtags.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even sort of looking forward to supposedly less respectable stuff like Goblin slayer and happy sugar life.
Vonter
Also E3 is almost here. And I can't wait. I think Nintendo will have a good show considering they're revealing the new Smash with a tournament. There's rumors of the new game by Retro Studios (Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong) and maybe they'll reveal something about how Pokemon will be on the Switch.
Vonter
Also there's always the chance of something new being discovered. Not everything needs expectations behind. Sometimes great things come out of nowhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So yes, there are some at least decent shows coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Muh Baki, Muh Bananna fish, muh made in abyss season 2, muh Vinland.
Anonymous2119906
The rest of this year looks like shit for anime and 2019 doesn't look great either #fuckmoe #makeanimegreatagain
Anonymous2119214
@Kaiser yeah it happened in half the amount of eps this time around for steins gate 0; which i expected considering there's a lot of ground to cover
Anonymous2119106
@Supermario Something like Fate or the LOTR films are a different case. I get where you're coming from about your preference, but I'm arguing that if a large story is going to be split into 3 films, it helps that the 3 films feel cleanly cut. Infinity war, even though we know there's a second part to the story, feels like it has that cohesive narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and end
Anonymous2119106
@Super Mario yea but the marvel movies are a different situation so i don't think the comparison is as appropriate. Marvel movies are "episodic" in nature rather than a continuous narrative. The films are largely isolated stories that are happening in a similar universe that only happen to "congeal" narratively because of a few overarching details shared between films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I remember when the original series suddenly shifted and got going and it was a really depressing episode.
Lenlo
Oh baby. The storm has finally come in Steins;Gate. Let the true suffering commence
SuperMario
@anon2118276: that's why I don't like LoTR trilogy. It's still a whole body chopped up in 3 parts, despite how clean the cut is. Whereas for me it works better if it was like a branch in a tree. The Marvel movies (despite my disinterest on those) are a good example of this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I did feel some of this weeks steins gate felt fillery, I do like see these characters interact and given the episodes conclusion, this episode acted as a calm before the storm.
Lenlo
Ill agree with you on King Kong. As for the Ralph Bakshi LotR, I have. I am still to this day impressed by the overlay of 2D art onto real/overexposed footage. It makes for shockingly fluid animation in places and has its own distinct style
Anonymous2118208
@Lenlo - Have you watched the old Ralph Bakshi adaptation of the first two books? It's uneven, but it's interesting comparing and contrasting certain decisions. As good as Peter Jackson is, I feel he makes very longwinded films, I like his version of King Kong a lot, but it is too long.
Anonymous2118276
@supermario i disagree; the point is that even though the LOTH films have cliffhanger endings, they still feel like fils. they have a defined first second and third act with well paced tension and release throughout them. They follow a storytelling macrostructure necessary for films to feel like cohesive narratives even if they are to end on a cliffhanger
Lenlo
I quite liked the individual LOTR movie just fyi
Vonter
Marvel surprisingly has kept their movies simple enough, that while you might miss details nowadays, you can tell what's happening.
Vonter
Another bad case is like with Assassin's Creed, which like Lost, just tried to tease a lot of things, then it grew tired of trying to piece them together and let the last games work more standalone, with little hints of a larger lore.
Vonter
Metroid does both, it has a standalone story and a hint to what a sequel might bring. Though that hint rarely matters by the time the new game is released.
Vonter
@SuperMario - Some videogames trilogies also do that. Gears of War and God of War had good standalone beginnings but by the second game they put cliffhanging endings. Kingdom Hearts does that and I expect 3 to also do it. Megaman Legends and Half Life had incomplete stories, which might be the worse case in regards to trying to make a continuous story.
SuperMario
It ruins the appetite
SuperMario
I actually think Lord of the Rings' trilogy is a bad example to follow. These films are meant to be viewed as a whole, so each film doesn't hold much as an individual story. I just can't digest films that have "to be continued" sign at the end. Imagine having a first course meal and then have to wait for few days for second course
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the current topic, I would be well for the production of a long running, ambitious ova series.
Anonymous2116425
then again, i don't take too much issue with these films feeling like movie-sized eps...the wait just sucks is all
Anonymous2116425
clearly the films need each other to tell the whole story, yet they can be taken for what they are in isolation as well
Anonymous2116425
I don't mind the trilogy trend at all; like Aidan said, when everything is said and done, all the films will be available to watch. I just think a stronger attempt should be made to make them feel like complete films. Something like the lord of the rings trilogy is a great example of how to do this
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am in full confidence that neither I nor Miura will survive to the end of berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course maybe they won't have a future , think about it that way, then they'd never see it, life has that weird way of being unpredictable like that =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
You can always rewatch them just before watching the one after.
AidanAK47
Of course not. But that's the thing. The wait is only a temporary problem. Anyone in the future will have all movies ready to view.
SuperMario
So it's best to wait for another 2 years to watch Heaven's Feel? Hell NOT
AidanAK47
When all the movies come out though you can basically barrel through it like a TV series.
SuperMario
Dangit, it's me Mario
Anonymous2115918
I still don't know if I like this trilogy trend. We've had a fair bun h of those in recent years (Berserk Golden Age, Madoka, even Kizumonogatari). I guess doing it that way, they'd make much more profits, and we have higher production values, but the wait is way too long and I don't think it works as movie-format
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of the very rare times where self-awareness works.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can be nice and say of course Ryan Reynolds+ violence, comic was funnier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But I'm sure if you think it over, the first deadpool was trapped in origin story mode, as an advantage, the sequel, is probably free of that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Deadpool 2 had John Wicks director, which at the least means something in terms of action direction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: There was a whole run of deadpool issues called Cable and deadpool, which I suppose that pairing together gets the best out of the character.
AidanAK47
Seen Deadpool 2 tonight and I have difficultly deciding if it's better or worse than Deadpool 1. Still it's quite fun and I enjoyed it.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I feel somewhat similar in regards to Franxx. When this series finishes I won't be singing high praises for it. Yet I do feel that it's worth watching.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Now I get ya. Yeah I understand that. I might even feel the same if I didn't already know the story from the VN.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The second film seems to be in cinema this year but we won't get it until it hits blu-ray.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: As I expected, I am disappointed that they have held back . And you might just be right about Castrollop/Caligula/Nero, when I originally attempted to watch the show years ago, that was the episode I stopped on.
KTravlos
Yang really is stealing the show this time. But I wanted the "Alcohol is mankind's oldest friend" rant. I need it.
KTravlos
my expectation is that they will take this to the Battle of Armistar, and then the films will cover the dual civil wars etc.
KTravlos
...CASTROP REBELLION! Why the hell sacrifice an episode to the most useless and bad part of the original! I hated that episode. Well let us see if they can give it a better twist this time around.
KTravlos
The Iserlohn arc at LGOGH:NT was ok. I liked how they presented the preparations. I like the new Murai face. The music was quite good. But they did tone the violence. I expected Walter to stab the imperial officer in the neck. They have toned down the violence a lot. And I missed Seeckts "Long live the Empire" death. That said it was not bad, and I think in general it was good adaption. But....
Anonymous2115268
for example, I think Darling in the franxx is pretty average, but that's not because i think it doesn't have cool shit in it or things that make it appealing; I just find that what the show tries to achieve is not that stupendous or worth lauding with praise. As a result, the flaws stick out that much more to me
Anonymous2115268
@Lenlo and that's pretty much how i felt. Everything is subject to criticism; hell i criticize my most favorite things in the world because i know they're not perfect. I evaluate art and media on whether what it achieves overshadows the flaws and to what degree. Which i think is the best way to approach criticism
Lenlo
I want to repeat though, Heavens Feel wasn't bad. I know some people take any criticism to mean I hated it, but I actually quite enjoyed it. I just think ill appreciate/enjoy it more once the other 2 movies are also out.
Lenlo
@Anon, you nailed it. I couldnt describe it, but what you said /feels/ right.

And Aidan, I loved Lindsay Ellis's videos on the whole Hobbit debacle. A shame, cause the original Lord of the Rings is a landmark in film for me.
Amagi
@Aidan: Do we know if the next HF movie will be finished this year?
Amagi
I love how and how often they say "Fujimi no Sugimoto" in Golden Kamuy. It's pretty hype for some reason, especially when it's said by his enemies.
Anonymous2114206
yea. heaven's feel is nothing like the situation with peter jackson's hobbit; this story needs this many movies and that large runtime. The thing with these heavens feel films that is probably bothering lenlo is that they feel like very long episodes and that particularly the first film felt like a giant prologue rather than a film with a beginning, middle, and end
AidanAK47
And just to make it clear, Heavens Feel needs at least three movies to cover the entire story. It's too big for one movie.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I ain't unhappy about it though. Sucks that I need to wait so long for each movie but there is higher production values as a result. Though in regards to the Hobbit I recommend watching Lindseys Eillis videos on it. As it not only talks about how it screwed the Hobbit but also how the movies screwed New Zealand.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I could never immerse myself in Tolkienistic world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Man, the hobbit, lord of the rings and that shit king kong film, he sold out so much , this was the man who gave me Heavenly creatures , Braindead and Feebles.
Lenlo
It is very beautiful indeed. And Aidan, that Hobbit metaphor made me weep for you. I hated what happened to the Hobbit
Anonymous2112805
other than that; HF is a very beautiful looking film; ufotable has improved with their digital compositions...holy crap
Anonymous2112805
heaven's feel seems to be embracing its more horrific elements. Aside from that, watching this film made me realize how much i prefer rin over the rest of the girls; kinda wish we got to spend a bit more time understanding Sakura's psyche in the film
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: This was part of some film fest thing, ended up missing big fish Begonia though, that Chinese animated thing =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: they'd invited him to introduce the flick.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Had this really unexpected run in, in my nearest arthouse cinema, seeing some film about the Soviet space program , I bump into this eastern European guy, assume he's an audience member, awkwardly say something in Russian to him, turns out he's the Russian federation ambassador to Ireland.
AidanAK47
It's sort of the hobbit situation where they chopped one book into three. Expect here we aren't getting extra fluff to pad things out. Well there are extra scenes but they are actually relevant.
Point is that in it's orignal form there are no stopping points here were you need to wait a year to continue. It was a straight story from start to finish.
AidanAK47
Well Fate is essentially the tutorial section that introduces most of the concepts and whatnot. But even then some of the things here are explained later in Heaven's Feel. Cause yeah, not only is the Fate/Stay Night VN not supposed to be split up into three seperate things, the routes aren't supposed to be split into movies either.
Lenlo
Im only familiar with the UBW route, cause Ufotable
Lenlo
I see.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, In a way there is. Heaven's Feel was originally meant to be experience after the Fate and UBW routes of the VN. That the thing Fate/Stay Night has struggled with. It's not meant to be split up into three like this. It's originally supposed to be three parts of a whole. Each route complementing another.
Nayrael
And so am I
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its like....sometimes I actually want to be able to like something I end up not liking, knowing I am the problem and not the show.
Anonymous2110797
Spoiler alaert: anime is trash
Lenlo
I can understand that. I cant stand Clannad, so everytime I ask for a decent romance and it gets recommended I die alittle inside.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While thats very true that not everyone agreeing does make things more interesting, at the same time theres some sense of feeling left out when not understanding the appeal of something extremely well loved.
Lenlo
Also @Maskey +1. If everyone agreed with each other, it would be boring. I love hearing what other people think on stuff.
Lenlo
Also, @Kaiser, give Ippo a try. It is one of the longest running and best sports anime/manga ever made. I sincerely believe this. That said, Megalo Box isnt bad. I still enjoy it. Ive just seen boxing done better.
Lenlo
It wasnt a bad movie. It just felt like it had a lot going on. Like Gil had a 30 sec clip, I don't really understand what the ribbon monster is but I suspect its the grail, and the new Assassin pulling an Alien, while cool, came out of left field. Like, once I just accepted it and moved on it was a fun movie. It just felt like there was a base of knowledge I needed but didnt have.
Masky
Eh, its okay to not like something that someone else likes. I disagree rather often with blog writers' opinions here but I still enjoy reading their opinions
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There was a another idolmaster show and it had mecha in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based on that I think I'm getting more out of it because I've only seen a few ippo episodes so I don't have much to go on to compare.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats the reason here Lenlo, comparatively to you, I have seen much less of ippo so, contrasting megalo box with it isn't something I can really do.
AidanAK47
But seriously, you can ask me on discord about anything you didn't quite get, provided it's not explained later.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, you are just a big dumb dumb that cannot understand art.
SuperMario
... more films coming soon
SuperMario
@Lenlo: maybe wanting more is a right feeling since there will be 2
Lenlo
So just finished Heavens Feel and I was... not as impressed as Aidan. As someone who is not a big TypeMoon fan, I had a lot of trouble keeping up with what was happening. It was pretty don't get me wrong. Thats Ufotable for you. But as a cohesive story it left me wanting
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Featured Posts

Megalo Box – 7 [The Road to Death]

Hello everyone, and welcome to the most surprising episode of Megalo Box yet. This week we have family drama, Joe’s declining health and a shocker of an ending. Lets jump in! So starting from the top, lets talk about this ending. I never thought Megalo Box would pull something like this, with its limited number […]

Hinamatsuri – 07 [Anzu Is a Greeter Now]

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