A bunch of words about stuff I watched during my break

So, last week I was off from university classes for “Reading Week,” which is like Spring Break except it’s in February. I don’t know what the point is really ’cause it’s not like anyone actually goes home and reads anything. But whatever. I took the time to watch some anime, and technically that sort of counts as reading because one of these series was subtitled, so I guess I win.

I meant to have this post done yesterday but once classes start I lose the motivation to do anything but sleep, so yeah.

Slayers Return, Great, Gorgeous, and OVAs

These were all Slayers as hell and I can’t really say much about them. They’re goofy fantasy and I kinda like fantasy.

Well there is one terrible joke I want to make.

Slayers Great? More like Slayers Just Kind of Okay.

Also, I don’t really like ADVs dubs for these. Cynthia Martinez, who plays Lina, seems to mumble sometimes and I couldn’t always understand what she was saying.

But yeah, Slayers.

.hack//Quantum

Really not much to say about this either. It’s formulaic .hack. Weird things are happening in the world and people are ending up in comas. It has a few nice throwbacks to older stuff, with the three main characters being based on the main characters of the first .hack game series, plus a character from GU who’s older now. If you aren’t sick of the .hack formula, it’s probably worth checking out. But it doesn’t do anything new, so if you know .hack and really aren’t interested in seeing it tread the same ground again, don’t bother.

I’d also like to mention that the people behind Quantum clearly don’t understand how video games work, or more likely are taking some liberties for the sake of storytelling. Personally, it just bugs me when things happen that couldn’t actually happen in an actual video game, like the cat dude having a magic stick that can slice a ship in half. I mean, I get that the stick is hacked, but hacking doesn’t just allow you to do whatever the hell you want in the game. The ship would still need to be coded so that it could be cut and fall away, and the people on it wouldn’t die unless, again, the game had fall damage in it. In order for most of the stuff to work, cat dude would need to be rewriting the basic code of the game, which shouldn’t be possible when he’s playing an MMO.

Though, from my experience, the people who direct cutscenes in the .hack games don’t really get how games work either.

Sekirei Pure Engagement

I reviewed the first season of Sekirei a while ago, and I’m pretty sure I hated it, but I didn’t really have as much of a negative reaction to this season, and I know why. One of the main things that drove me nuts was how pointless all of it felt. It was all set up with no payoff. Well, Pure Engagement is the payoff I guess. We see the consequences of certain things that occur in the first season, important events start unfolding, and people start dying. Not that any of it really matters since this season, once again, ends on a cliff hanger that makes it painfully obvious that the story isn’t quite over.

I also have to give the series credit for fully embracing how stupid it is. It recognizes that it is an entirely dumb series and endeavours to be as dumb as it can. The villain self-destructs is own tower with the protagonists inside, not because he wants to kill them, but because he was going to have it rebuilt anyway and he just thought it would be more fun to demolish it with them inside. He has a rocket ship built into the thing to launch him into orbit in case he ever needed to get away from the building quickly. Most villains just use helicopters for that sort of thing. Maybe I just don’t remember the first season that well, but it didn’t seem to go full blown crazy like this one does.

Also apparently I have a favourite Sekirei and apparently it’s Benitsubasa. I like her hair. And her not horrifyingly oversized breasts.

Queen’s Blade

I’m not entirely sure how or why Queen’s Blade has managed to become a thing. I mean, I get the concept. Half naked women with swords. I like those things. But I’m pretty sure the half naked women thing only works when you have attractive characters designs, which Queen’s Blade is lacking in. There are a few, but they’re kind of overshadowed by Cattleya and that nun chick, who are horrifying to look at really.

It also has some pretty poorly animated fight scenes. I mean, I wasn’t expecting them to be good, but still. This franchise just baffles me.

Gundam Wing

I liked this show a lot more when I was 10.

‘Cause yeah, it does not age well. At all.

I also watched some Hayate the Combat Butler and Dragon Ball Z Kai, but didn’t finish either so I’m not going to write about them. Well, I have no plans to write about Dragon Ball Z ever again save for a free-verse poem about how useless Yamucha is and a thrilling piece about about Bulma’s hotness relative to her hairstyle.

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Video Game Review: Touhou 13 The Ten Desires

How futile will this review be is the question of the day. I may as well review, since I want to make comparisons to Touhou 13 at a later date with other games.

A game as well known as this one will be the perfect game to use as a baseline, depending on how it reviews.

First off, let me say that I personally really enjoyed Touhou 13. Yes, I am going to be a little hard on it, which is why I am supplying the disclaimer. I pre-ordered Touhou 13 from J-List, and I even bought one of the Touhou shirts (the cool one with Marisa on it).

Touhou as a series has an overall high quality. The production team does a good job on every element. The gameplay is fun, the music is varied and interesting, no element really lags behind any of the others. The notable exception to that is the story, which, in every Touhou game, will see a fan made translation. Until then, however, the story may as well not be there for how understandable it is, being a different language and all. It should not be forgotten that Touhou as a series is primarily a bullet hell type of shoot ’em up (shmup.)

Before the fans who have played every game get rabid, I do realize that the development team is actually one person. Which, really, is quite motivating (and impressive.) A game of the quality of Touhou is entirely made by one man who always has an alcoholic beverage with him in every photo of him.

He also seems to be undernourished.

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Anime Review: MM!

“Issues are in store today”

There are twisted tales and twisted tales, but few are as twisted as poor Sado’s, who’s just realized that he actually likes being made miserable. Of course, knowing that only makes him more miserable, which in turn… well, you get the idea. Desperate to break the circle, Sado volunteers for a special club where he hopes he can work through his issues only to discover that the other members have equally… complex… issues to deal with.

For example, the hyper-aggressive club president Isurugi not only has a violent fear of cats, but also believes herself to be a god! Then there’s Yuno, who’s terrified of men; the Nurse, who forces other people to perform cosplay; and Hayama, Sado’s best friend and a compulsive cross-dresser, who’s also the girl that Sado is infatuated with.

Review:

What do you get when you take several characters that have stock issues (afraid of men, likes to be beaten, crossing dressing, etc) make it so over the top that it is ridiculous, and throw in some generic character design?  You get the series MM!  Now there is nothing wrong with characters having issues because we all have them, but you have do present these issues in a way that comes off as interesting and to an extent (though this hard with anime) have some originality to it.  With the case in MM! what we get an is over the top take with issues which is nothing wrong with that at all but it is done in a way with this series that it goes from funny a little bit to be annoying and frustrating by the end of the series.

Why does it get more annoying as it goes along?  It gets more annoying because we have seen all of them (well maybe not the loli genius who wants to make everyone perverts I do not think I have seen that done) before and we do not change much from the status quo within the series or the genre.  The only fresh take here is Taro’s masochistic tendencies, which are so over the top it is memorable and funny every time we see it come to life.  The show does a few parodies of several anime shows that are easy to get even if you are new to anime and are the funniest part of the series.

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Public Service Announcement

Hello everyone. Today, instead of any one of the several reviews I was planning on doing (Deus Machina Demonbane, Aselia the Eternal, Alice: Madness Returns, or any one of the number of really good or really bad animes I have seen recently) I instead decided to give something to all the people who play games.

I do not care if you play western games, JRPGs, or Japanese games that play like western games, or western games that play like Japanese games. This news is of importance to all of you.

Some of you may vaguely recall the decision a while ago by the U.S. Supreme Court where video games were ruled an art form. This means that the National Endowment for the Arts can sponsor specific games, as well as games are subject to the same ideas as art-they don’t have to conform to moral standards as much.

Now, such a decision was helped by the outspoken gaming community who wanted to defend their medium, and wanted their medium to be accepted. They wanted to see games straddled with less regulation so that they could grow as an artistic medium.

Now, if you live in the U.S. the first thing I suggest you do is register to vote. Then, you should go to the Video Game Voter’s website and join them to show your support for games as a medium.

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Funimation May 2012 Releases

Funimation’s releases for May 2012 are now up for pre-order on RightStuf. Uh… get the FMA:Brohood OVAs I guess. I don’t know anything about the other ones. Cat Planet Cuties had some nice boobs in it I guess? Maybe? I saw like three episodes of it.

May 15th

Cat Planet Cuties Complete Series DVD/Blu-ray Liminted Edition
D.Gray-man Season 2 Complete Set DVD (S.A.V.E.)
The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake DVD/Blu-ray (Live Action)

May 22nd

Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 1 DVD
Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 1 Blu-ray
Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 2 DVD
Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 2 Blu-ray
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OVA Collection DVD/Blu-ray

May 29th

Black Cat Complete Series DVD (S.A.V.E.)
Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 2 Complete Set DVD (Anime Classics)
Shiki Part 1 DVD/Blu-ray Limited Edition
Shiki Part 2 DVD/Blu-ray