Friday, 19 September 2014

A Short Rant On The Past Few Weeks in "Gaming"

By this you have most probably heard of some sort of scandal involving gaming "journalists" in some form, either you've heard about ethics, or read one of the multitude or articles out there denouncing "Gamers" as hateful scum, mostly on online publications aimed at said gamers.

This rant isn't about how some highschool-esque clique of developers and writers are going about bullying people with different opinions, or how some internet trolls are harrasing developers or writers. Nor is it about some conspiracy theories floating around on the internet. Nor is it about which "feminist" a polygon writer believes in. Though his way of praising his feminist of choice and what she has apparently done for the industry reminds me much of how the ANC claimed to improve South African internet.

No what it's about is that we as a gamers, when reading game reviews expect to find out a certain few things like: How does the game look? Is the audio good or bad? Does the game run well or is it full of bugs? How is the story of the game? Does it offer anything unique or cool? Is it worth the asking price? Instead for the past few years all we get is articles on how a game is making the writer feel, and in some cases why they find the game oppressing their sensitivities.

But this was just a short rant, I wrote more for myself to vent than for anyone else. Take it however you like. I'm just tired of day in and day out reading and hearing about most of this bullshit that people are spreading as "must read material for all gamers" expecially when it's written by people who hate gamers.

Anyhow time for more Diablo 3

Anime Spotlight : Worst Anime from Summer 2014

So it turns out my picks of the best anime for the summer 2014 anime season were mostly spot on. Those being Barakamon, Aldnoah.Zero, Gekkan Shoujo-Nozaki kun and Hanayamate. I decided instead of reposting the same blog post. I'd rather just go ahead and share which shows were the absolute worst of the Summer 2014 anime season.


Synopsis : The daughter of a glass artisan family, Fukami Touko, spends relaxed days at a cafe called Kazemichi at a friend's house. On the summer vacation of her third year in high school in front of Touko appeared a transfer student boy Okikura Kakeru. He spoke out to her, that he can hear the voices of the future. If someone knew in advance what their future would look like, what would they wish for? While feeling never before felt tremors in herself, Touko realises that she has started getting a sense in her heart which she can't leave alone...
Genre : love polygon, romance
Thoughts : P.A Works is known for their greats like Hanasoka Iroha and Seirei no Moribito and Tari Tari to name a few. So everyone expected Glasslip to also be good. But much like Red Data Girl, also by P.A Works, it is a huge flop. Glasslip has an over abundance of still frames and lazy animation, overly forced drama, no real plot cohesion, a magical element thrown in just for the sake of it, unfitting music and characters with about as much depth as a kiddy pool. Do yourself a favour and avoid this anime.

Momo Kyun Sword

Synopsis : Momoko is a beautiful young sword fighter who was born inside a peach (momo in Japanese). She lives with her constant companions - the dog god Inugami, the monkey god Sarugami, and the pheasant god Kijigami - in a peaceful paradise. However, a demon army led by devil king invades the paradise and steals the precious treasure that protects Momoko's land. To retrieve the treasure and save the people, Momoko embarks on a great adventure with her three companions.
Genre : action, boing, demons, fantasy, large breasts, novel, swordplay
Thoughts : Momo Kyun Sword is kind of a parody on the Momotaro lore. Just with an overabundance of fanservice, a completely unnoteworthy plot and nothing that really gives people a watch it. Don't get me wrong I love fanservice, but sometimes even that can't save a horrible show. If you want action filled fanservice rather watch Sekirei.

Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance

Synopsis : Only a pure girl may enter into a spirit contract. At Areishia Spirit Academy, the daughters of nobility are assembled to take elite classes and become spirit elementalists. A boy named Kamito happened to be peeping on a student named Claire while she was taking a bath, and he accidentally makes a contract with a spirit instead of Claire. Now, Kamito has become something once thought impossible in this world — a male spirit elementalist.
Genre : action, comedy, fantasy, harem, novel, romance
Thoughts : Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance is what you get when you take Infinite Stratos and combined it with Zero no Tsukaima, and then make the main girl even worse. Claire ruins the show completely. Every other girl in the show is better than her. It does feel like the writer wanted to see just how terrible they can make the whole flatchested tsundere girl trope be.

How did you feel about the anime from the Summer 2014 shows. Which titles did you Love and which couldn't you Stomach? Let me know in the comment section below. Always great hearing the thoughts of others!

Echo of the Wilds \\ First Impression Fridays \\ #ReefTV

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Anime Spotlight : Top Anime from Yesteryear : 2008

Time to look at the Anime from the year 2008 on my trip back in time. Always so hard to choose which titles I thought was best of a year. And 2008 is no different.

Nijuu-Mensou no Musume

Synopsis : One night the Phantom Thief (the Gentleman Thief with Twenty Faces) steals a little girl. Her name is Chizuko. Until then, she had been a lonely girl. But that night, she embarks on a great adventure. Experiencing freedom for the very first time, surrounded by friends, finding a place where she can be herself, Chizuko starts changing gradually. A string of bizarre events start happening, centering around the tremendous mystery called the Legacy of the Phantom Thief and involving people with pathetic motives. Chizuko has to move on nevertheless... no matter how chequered her life will be.
Genre :action, adventure, coming of age, detective, manga, seinen
Thoughts : Daughter of Twenty Faces was one hell of an anime. Bones did a great job of animating this fantastic story. I love shows with truly strong female protagonists and Chizuko is up there with the best of them. Daughter of Twenty Faces is one of those shows that always leaves you in suspense, as you wonder what will happen to Chizuko next. A must watch for any Anime fan.

Macross Frontier

Synopsis : Macross F sets out in the year 2059 A.D. The "F" is short for "Frontier", which is also the name of the migration fleet this story is about.
We join the fleet's journey when the concert of the famous pop-idol Sheryl Nome, is just around the corner. Sheryl is visiting Frontier from Macross Galaxy (another colonisation fleet), on her tour around the galaxy.
Just like with the Macross Seven migration fleet, the main ship is a huge city-dome. This is the home of the majority of the fleet's population, on the scale of 10 million people. It is a place where they can live life, just as they would back on Earth.
However peace is soon broken when strange alien creatures attack the fleet, just when Sheryl's concert is well underway.

What could it be that have drawn them to this fleet? Is Sheryl the only one on board with a talent for singing? What secrets will we learn about the past? And what cool new Valkyries will be revealed for this show?

Follow the series to find out all that, along with music and dogfights, that will take the Macross universe to a new high.
Genre : action, alien, humanoid alien, idol, love polygon, mecha, military, music, piloted robot, romance, sci-fi, seinen, space travel
Thoughts : Macross Frontier, the latest in the long running Macross franchise is a combination of Amazing music by Yoko Kanno, visuals that are pure eye-candy, top notch animation from Satelight and a story which brings something new to the Macross universe while still giving homage to its roots. Like huge battles in Space? Romance? Idols? Backdoor Conspiracies that threaten entire colonies? Macross Frontier is for you.

Aria the Origination

Synopsis : Aqua and Aria take place in the twenty-fourth century, on the planet Aqua (formerly Mars), which has been terraformed into a habitable planet covered in oceans and seas.

The series is the story of Akari, an apprentice gondolier with Aria Company, one of the three most popular gondola companies in the city. She is training to become a full-time gondolier, or undine, as they are called in Neo-Venezia.
Genre : comedy, daily life, manga, seinen, slapstick
Thoughts : Those that know me, know I see the Aria as one of the best anime franchises of all time. With Origination being the best series of the lot. Origination is the final season of the Aria franchise, bringing everything to a close. But with even better animation than the previous seasons and a lot more emotional episodes. Aria is one the few shows that fills your heart with joy.

Ookami to Koushinryou

Synopsis : Kraft Lawrence (Spice) is a travelling medieval merchant, who finds a 600-year-old pagan harvest deity named Holo (Wolf) in his wagon one night. She begins travelling with him, and her wisdom helps increase his profits. But her true nature draws unwanted attention from the church...
Genre : adventure, fantasy, goddess, juujin, novel, seinen
Thoughts : Spice and Wolf the anime was a great adaptation of the price winning novel. It did a fantastic job of transporting the viewer to a magical world of adventure and deities. With great characters like Horo and Lawrence, amazing visuals and a attention keeping storyline. And some possible romance ;) Spice and Wolf is well worth seeing. Heck even watching the smart trading and the logic behind them unfold is well worth it.

Strike Witches

Synopsis : It was the year 1939 when the Neuroi appeared. Nobody knows where they came from or what their ultimate agenda is, but the fact remains that their attacks drove people out of their towns and cities.

In order to take arms against them, humanity develops a new anti-Neuroi weapon called the Striker Unit. Using the power of magic to fight against the monsters, this new device enhances and amplifies the power of female magic-wielders. To use this device, young witches from all over the world have been brought together to form an elite task force unit called the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, commonly known as the Strike Witches.
Genre : action, ecchi, gunfights, juujin, lolicon, mecha, pantsu, power suit, sci-fi, seinen, shoujo ai
Thoughts : What do you get when you take Gonzo animation, cute girls with animal ears, guns, propeller pants, an all star cast of seiyuu and aliens attacking the earth? Strike Witches. Yes it's perverted, yes they have no pants, yes it's a bit silly at times but damn is it worth watching.

At this time you are probably shouting to me through your screen, "BUT YOU FORGOT X SHOW!" which is possibly true. Everyone has different tastes and thoughts and I would love to hear yours. So post away in the comment section and let me know what you think of the shows I've listed. And what were your favourites of 2008.

Also Noteworthy Mentions from 2008 were Allison and Lillia, Itzura no Kiss, Codes Geass R2, Library Wars, Birdy the Mighty Decode, Kemeko Deluxe, Nodame Cantabile Paris Chapter, Skip Beat, Ga-Rei Zero.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Anime Spotlight : Top Anime from Yesteryear : 2009

2009 was a great year for anime filled with a ton of great shows. Join me as I take a trip down memory lane by sharing what shows I thought were the best of that year. Keeping in mind that this is a personal list. I would love to hear what anime from 2009 you enjoyed and how you feel about my list.

Cross Game

Synopsis : Cross Game is the story of Kitamura Kou and the four Tsukishima sisters, Ichiyou, Wakaba, Aoba, and Momiji. The Tsukushima family runs a batting center with an attached coffee shop, and Kou's father runs a neighbouring sporting good store. Wakaba and Kou were born on the same day in the same hospital, and have been close friends since childhood — close enough that Wakaba treats Kou as her boyfriend, even though nothing is officially declared. Aoba, who is one year younger than Wakaba and Kou, doesn't like how Kou is taking her sister away from her and claims she hates him.
Genre : Baseball, Clubs, Daily Life, High School, Manga, School Life, Shounen, Sports
PV : (AMV as no trailer could be found)
Thoughts : Cross Game is up there with some of my all time favourite animes. A great romance told with sports elements. A Full review from me on Cross Game can be found here :


Synopsis : Miyanaga Saki is a high school freshman who does not like mahjong. Ever since she was a child, she would lose her New Year's gift money during her family's mahjong game. If she won, her parents would be upset, and if she lost, well, she lost. As a result, she has learned to play in such a way that her score always remains plus/minus zero: Not good enough to win, but not bad enough to lose. When we meet her, she is being dragged to her school's mahjong club by an old friend. How will a girl who hates mahjong, yet has become adept at the game as a result of her upbringing, cope in this environment?
Genre : Clubs, Comedy, High School, Manga, School Life, Seinen, Sports
Thoughts : Saki is a fine example of how Anime can make almost anything look interesting, in this case mahjong. Saki features probably the largest collection of seiyuu I've seen in a show, great animation. Well placed music and lovable characters. And even some strong yuri undertones :D

Higashi no Eden

Synopsis : On November 22, 2010 ten missiles strike Japan. However, this unprecedented terrorist act, later to be called "Careless Monday", does not result in any apparent victims, and is soon forgotten. Then, three months later... Morimi Saki, a young woman currently in the United States of America on her graduation trip, gets into trouble in front of the White House in Washington DC, and only the unexpected intervention of a fellow countryman saves her. However, this man, who introduces himself as Takizawa Akira, is a complete mystery. He appears to have lost his memory and he is stark naked, except for the gun he holds in one hand, and a mobile phone in the other. A phone that is charged with 8,200,000,000 yen in digital cash.
Genre : Conspiracy, Josei, Romance
Thoughts : One can really see that the people involved with Anime Greats like Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex and Seirei no Moribito were involved in this show. Top notch audio and video production added to great characters and a really well thought out plot. Makes for quite the ride.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Synopsis : At the start of summer vacation Mirai, a middle school freshman girl, travels to Tokyo's artificial Odaiba Island to visit a robot exhibition with her brother Yuuki. A magnitude 8.0 earthquake emanates from an ocean trench, the famed Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge crumble and fall, and the landscape of Tokyo changes in an instant. Luckily the two children meet Mari, a motorcycle delivery woman, on Odaiba, who helps Mirai and Yuuki head back to their Setagaya home in western Tokyo.
Genre : Coming of Age, Daily Life, Seinen, Tragedy
Thoughts : Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 did a fantastic job of sharing what people would go through after a big natural disaster. A lot of work was done to make sure that the show would have a realistic image of what kind of damage an earthquake could cause. I would highly suggest this show to anyone looking for a really fantastic coming of age tale. Just make sure to keep some tissues on hand as it has some hectic emotional parts.

A Certain Scientific Railgun

Synopsis : Academy City is the home to circa 2.3 million citizens, about 80% of whom are students working to develop psychic powers and advanced technology. Students are ranked according to levels corresponding to their psychic powers: those without any are ranked at Level 0, and those with some manner of powers progress from Level 1, the weakest, to Level 5, the strongest. Only seven students in the whole city are ranked Level 5, and these seven are ranked among themselves as well.

Electro-master Misaka Mikoto is a headstrong Level 5 esper, ranked third in the city. Her perverted and passionate roommate, Shirai Kuroko, is a Level 4 Teleporter and a member of law enforcement and public safety corps Judgment. Uiharu Kazari is Kuroko's shy Level 1 partner at Judgment and a specialist at hacking and information gathering. Saten Ruiko is Kazari's mischievous friend who has a habit of flipping the latter's skirt to find out what color of underwear she is currently wearing, much to her chagrin, and a Level 0.

Those four friends would normally be simply carrying on with their daily lives like always, but some sources of disturbance to their routines have surfaced. Recently, several strange urban legends have surfaced in Academy City: a mysterious woman who will simply strip in the middle of the city, seemingly oblivious to everyone around her; a boy of unknown powers who can easily negate any force and deflect any attacks, no matter the form they take; a way to artificially increase one's psychic level, quickly making many students into much stronger espers than they were before, and which might work even for those ranked Level 0...

Almost as if these legends themselves weren't strange enough on their own, something even stranger takes place: while there may be some exaggerations in how they are told, they are, one by one, all confirmed to be, in essence, true. And since people often tend to become drunk with power, the case of artificial powering-ups has some quite disturbing ramifications: increased powers in the hands of reckless people is quickly leading to more and more severe crimes...
Genre : Action, Comedy, Conspiracy, Dystopia, Fantasy, Manga, Sci-Fi, Seinen, Super Power
Thoughts : A Spin-off from A Certain Magical Index, Just focusing more on the best girl Misaka. I really enjoyed Railgun a lot. The anime has a good mix of comedic elements, epic fights and a good plot. Yes it also has a character that wants nothing less than some shoujo ai...

Some notable mentions from 2009 include but are not limited to : K-on!; Natsu no Arashi!; Taishou Yakyuu Musume and Yume-iro Patissiere.

That was my list of favourites from the 2009 Anime Season. What was yours?