Don’t Be Such a Prick: King of Thorns Impressions

July 13, 2012 § 3 Comments

I’ve seen Inception, Memento, and several mind fucking movies… One would think they would be used to it by now, right? Sadly, if that were true, I would not be able to enjoy a very deep movie I had just recently finished. Now, I usually don’t like writing about animated films, especially when they are based off an anime. Unlimited Bladeworks was one such movie that, I as a fan, was disappointed in. The plot was just crammed into an hour and a half film, and although the production value was quite well made, it failed to keep me attached to the characters; my friend, Santiago, loved the movie for the action, however, he did not play the games and I had to substitute for the information left out or whatever he skipped. Don’t get me wrong, I love animated films… however, I want it to be right and true. I want it to hold my attention with the characters struggles, love them for their flaws, and make my cry when a Bro dies. When I mean bro, I mean the manly man who helps the protagonists (and may actually be the protagonist). Take Kamina, Rider from Fate/Zero, and Marco-san from Ibara no Ou (King of Thorns, which I had just completed today.

The main background of the story (which you learn in the first 5 minutes), is that there is an airborn virus called MEDUSA, contaminating the humans and eventually turning them to stone. There is no cure, and the casualties are rising day by day, and politicians and governments are struggling to maintain a stable government. During this confusion, one company called Venus Gate, has announced a new project called Cold Sleep, with the purpose of freezing the patient in a stable sleep in which the virus is halted (though not gone). The claim is, for the 160 people selected, they will be selected with the hopes of one day getting treatment in the future. Not so bad when hell is breaking loose globally? Almost convenient, right? That is what the United States government thought as well.

The main protagonist is Kasumi Ishiki, a teenage girl who is selected for the Cold Sleep project, though she is far from pleased. Her twin, Shizuku, is also a carrier of MEDUSA, and despite Kasumi’s protest to convince her sister to go in her place, Shizuku stays firm and makes her sister go. Kasumi is shy and quiet where as her sister is bold and loud, and the two depict the perfect yin and yang. Taking her sisters advice, she enters Cold Sleep with the other patients, and hopes to meet her in the distant future.

She is so cute with/without her glasses!

Things, however, go wrong, as they always do. Kasumi and the other patients awaken from their state of hibernation, and exit out of their pods into a world of monstrous creatures and thick vines enveloping the pod chamber. Yes, shit has gone down, but no one knows what year it is, or what happened during their sleep. The chaos that ensues is simply… a marvelous display of human nature, so dead on that it makes me cringe and feel proud (animation, you know us so well <3). As for what happens… you’ll have to watch the movie. Yes, that is right, I will not spoil anything. This movie is that good! However, I warn you here and now, that things aren’t what they seem.

Now, lets get on with the characters. Along with Kasumi, there is a red headed little boy with an in depth knowledge of video games, a blonde with issues, a black police officer (he cool), an Italian politician (DIE!!!), a blonde skinny man, and the manliest man in the entire movie, Marco Owen (BRO). The movie revolves around Kasumi’s view, made apparent by the reoccurring flashbacks, however, the people around her truly make her shine. I found Owen’s role to be crazy and awesome, making me flail with worry when he is fighting the monsters and fending off angry tentacled creatures with his shirt, shotgun, and brawn… if that isn’t bro enough, his attitude is cocky and rude man with intimidating tattoos around his body, but deep down, he is an honorable guy who protects his group as fiercely as a lion.

So manly, he should be in an Old Spice commercial

The struggle throughout this movie is well directed. It’s characters are strong, the stories tension builds up, which drove me crazy during certain scenes, and the art is simply a plus. The music fits in with the “End of the World” perception. The story, and how well it is directed, shines the brightest in this movie. If I had a list of the top ten Japanese animated films to watch before you die, this would be in that list. I believe that this is a movie that everyone (of age) can enjoy.

Well, with that said, I hope that everyone enjoyed this short, non spoilerific, impression of the movie. Spoiling anything, aside from what I said, would do no justice to Ibara no Ou; though, in my opinion, even if you spoil the entire story, the events are so surreal and realistic that it would still be enjoyable. Until next time, stay healthy, safe, and be wary the thorny tentacled vines.

It’s All Fun and Games Until Shit Gets Serious: Sword Art Online First Impression

July 9, 2012 § 3 Comments

The concept of an online game is quite clean and simple thanks to the WoW express. For those who do not know what an MMORPG is, its an acronym for “Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game,” such examples are World of Warcraft, Terra, and Runescape (which popped my first MMO cherry). These games, although all similar in play style (with slight changes in mechanics), are all enjoyable because of the people you meet online.

The appeal for these games is that you, the player, are off on an ambiguous adventure to become the very best that no one ever… ahem. Well, along the way, you quest, get better gear, and quest some more and get even more better gear. If that is all what the game is about, then why play? The best thing about online games is that you meet new people along your journey as an adventurer, and through these online interactions, the game becomes much more enjoyable; the hard dungeon boss you had a hard time going solo, would become significantly easier if you fight in a group and form tactics. These people make the game much more enjoyable, interactive, and push you farther than you would on your own. People might disagree, but this is a truth for me: why play a game, if you can’t enjoy it, right?

What got me into MMO’s was .hack//sign. I yearned for a game like .hack, and I wanted to be in that same world that Tsukasa struggled in, that Kite struggled in the actual PS2 game. I wanted to have an interactive game with real time combat like that… sadly, such a game does not exist. However, it was a start that inspired me to jump on Runescape in Junior High. For two years, I made good friends, had fun, and started a wealthy fishing company for non member players and made much gold… However, I grew out of the game since my friends all quit. Dark Souls, although it isn’t a fully multiplayer online game, it does have a similar concept to MMO’s such as incorporating cooperation, pvp, and boss battles. I love playing Dark Souls simply because its fun to PVP someone in this area, and help another person beat Smough and Ornstein in another. The game has many quirks, and these players either thank you for the help, or indict you for being a prick. Even when you PVP, the online community is mostly just and fair, and like a duel, you take a respective bow and face your opponent with skill and luck on your side. If it wasn’t for these things, I would have quit DS after I got the second ending in the game. Everyone loves to play online game (take the WoW community). There are millions of players just in World of Warcraft, all having fun or initiating in jolly cooperation. Terra, a recent game, has gotten a large spike in popularity with its innovative gameplay and setting. There is a demand for these games, and people want it.

Now… imagine World of Warcraft’s large community, all playing at the same time… Lot of people right? Now imagine that the players cannot log out of the game, and because you are logged into a neural interface, you yourself cannot manually remove the helmet. Scary right? Now, to continue this, the creator of the game has claimed that he made this game for this specific purpose: to force players to survive this twisted game at the cost of their own lives, and to escape, the final boss must be defeated. Should you die in the game, your real body shall also die. Should someone manually disconnect you from the game, you shall die. Terrifying! Since the concept of leveling is important in these games, lets have the entire games resources be limited… Yeah, I would shit myself too… This is the concept of the anime/manga, Sword Art Online.

What got me to watch the first episode of Sword Art was due to my friend Chaz. While hanging out with my friend, Adam, just hanging out in his place, his roomate, Chaz, walked into the room and asked if we watched the new animes. Replying that we haven’t, Chaz left the room and came back with a flash drive and demanded we watch Sword Art, claiming that, “If you like .Hack, you will get a boner over this.” Sure enough, he was right. Adam and I sat down to watch the first episode, and just jizzed when we saw the protagonist, Kirito, put on a helmet like device and log into the game. So much like .hack, however, we kept our eyes wary. Unlike .hack, Sword Art has no mage classes and such. The magic was the use of the weapon (confirmed are swords). The only thing that is truly similar is that it required a head mount display to play.

**Spoiler Alert: Minor** Continue at your own risk

As Kirito starts the game, he meets a new player who requests to help him get the hang of the game. Nothing serious, just getting the basics down. Despite also being a level 1, Kirito has been playing since the beta test and knows the enough of the game mechanics to survive the game. Using his knowledge, he teaches his new pupil the ropes, ain’t that nice of him 😀 After a bit of an ass whooping from boars, the duo come across the first issue: logging out. The Log out button is gone, and both Kirito and friend think it’s just a bug in the game that will be fixed immediately; soon after, they are warped into a main city, along with a large amount of players confused of the situation.

Gather Around Kiddies

The GM, in such a dark and sinister tone, pretty much says “Y’all gonna be stuck in here. Anyone who leaves will die. Anyone whose HP hits zero will die.” Thinking this is a joke, the players just try to brush things off and deny this. The GM identifies himself as the lead developer of Sword Art, creating the game and the head crab… Helmets that they are wearing (pardon the Half Life Reference). The helmet uses microwaves to read the players brain waves, and that same feature can cook the player should he die in game or be disconnected from the outside. To show he isn’t joking, he displays various news broadcasts around him, along with a list of those who have been cooked recently. Like the cattle they are, the players just look in awe

Kirito, who has read the user manual and experienced the game, knows that the GM is telling the truth. The GM reveals the entire twist to this game. The game must be completed in order to be freed from their confinement in Sword Art. The final boss, at top the 100th floor of this dungeon tower (or something), must be defeated. However, the games resources are limited, meaning the monsters will not respawn when killed, and even weapons and gear will be a fight for power, giving a whole new meaning to dog vs dog.

Knowing that the resources will be limited, Kirito decided to head to the next city, knowing that he would have a better chance to get more experience points if he farmed another place rather than stay. His smart decision leads him to leave his current city, and ending the first episode. Kirito will have many difficulties in the future, so I look forward to more.

RUN KIRITO, RUN!!!

If it isn’t obvious now, I have found a new passion. Sword Art Online is a promising anime for the summer season, with a great concept, amazing art style, and dark plot to keep me cringing in agony and excitement. The music score is done by none other than my favorite composer, Yuki Kajiura, and the opening is done by LiSA. Two of my favorite artists in one anime. It just gives me more reason to watch and love.

Now, for the discussion. I don’t mind if you comment on here, however, here is food for thought. I assume, that since the resources will be limited, that there will be an insane amount of PVP, despite that players are killing other people (in real life). So… what would you decide? Maintain your morals and risk hindering yourself, or would you try to survive by any means possible? It’s quite a hard concept to really imagine, I mean, you aren’t just killing an avatar, your killing the person as well. That would make me second guess myself, and I would try to play the game as just and fair as possible. Maybe I will kill only if I had no choice, for survivals sake.

Well, with that said, I hope you enjoyed my impression on this. I hope this got you thinking, and I also hope that this anime becomes really popular to continue on. So long, farewell, and make sure to gain as much Exp. as possible!

The Great Christmas Eve Romance: Amagami SS Part 2- Tanamichi Kaoru <3

December 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ah Christmas Eve is upon us and there is no greater way to get into the holiday spirit than to watch Amagami SS, and even though I have probably rewatched the entire thing more than three times, I still am envious of the protagonist ;n; I mean Tachibana Junichi has more game than me (on the bright side I’ve held a longer relationship than my younger brother ^^ Win). With the recent events that have been coming and going I have sat down and reminisced the idea of a 2d waifu ._. For those who don’t know what a waifu is it is basically you, the player/viewer, take a fancy to a female from any anime or video game and claim her mentally as your own. We all have had that happen to us at least once and don’t you fool yourselves! Think back on it and you will realize that you too have fangasmed over a fictional 2d character!!! Well anyways, I reviewed back and have dwindled them down to my top three… My third being Alice from Kami Sama no Memo-Chou, second being Tanamichi Kaoru from Amagami SS (yes she is second ;n;) and my grand top being Yuki Nagato from the Disappearance of Yuki Nagato series (yes she has her own spin off) and if you need a sample than have a sample of YUKI NAGATO’S MOENESS!!!! (If you are reading this PaoPao don’t kill me ;n;)

Ahem… Anyways this talk of Waifus has gotten me excited, but I have once again gone off topic… This post is about my second top waifu (not an easy achievement to earn among the thousands) whose tomboyish character and tsundere like exploits have captured my heart! YES to celebrate the Eve of Christmas I give you TANAMICH KAORU!!!

Ahem. Okay not the greatest picture of her but if I ruined her charming looks it would overlook the reason why I love her as my waifu. In the series there are surely more gorgeous and charming girls than her such as Morishima Haruka and even Nakata Sae (if you’re into boobs and super shy girls) and well… both really did make me cheer on Junichi; despite this I rewatched the series a second time and made my decision that Kaoru is the ideal for me, earning points in her carefree nature, her tomboy like attitude, her tsundere anger that she lashes out at Junichi… so far I sound like a Masochist .-. anyways, this girl has stolen my heart and has inspired me both in my own writing to make strong female characters and also affected my daily life to be more positive and take charge.

**Note: 7.8 Spoiler Tsunami heading your way**

Now the story starts out relatively the same in which Junichi has been duped by the girl he asked out (still sad ;n;) and after waiting a long time for her Junichi gives up and heads out of the park for the shortest walk of shame I have ever seen as he walks towards his bike at the bottom of the stairs. His walk comes to a close when Kaoru comes out of nowhere, cheerful about the holiday season but immediately picks up on Junichi’s melancholic mood and acts by sitting on the bike seat and requesting Junichi to give her a lift to a cake shop. Confused and irritated Junichi attempts to refuse her but falls for Kaoru’s evil charm when she mentions that she and her mother cannot finish the cake they ordered and offers it to him as a reward :3 Sooo would have worked on me too. His troubles forgotten, Junichi pedals his might with his bad friend behind and thus… starts the arc.

Kaoru's Charm

One year later, the duo are once again reunited inside their class with our loveable hero Tachibana sleeping. To state the obvious Junichi and Kaoru’s relationship is one built up on gags and sarcasm, a perfect comedy duo that simply make me laugh. Taking the opportunity to mess with Junichi, Kaoru slyly leans in and nibbles his right ear and forced him to wake up in fright and fights back verbally by calling her unfeminine… big mistake? I don’t think so :3 While no girl likes being called such a thing Kaoru does not take his sass and swipes a fist towards him! Tachibana barely dodges it but falls from his chair to much of his luck getting a perfect view from under her skirt (Panty shot count 1). I fucking laughed at this point as Tachibana described the view with such a stunned face knowing he would be murdered in the next few moments. Kaoru eventually picks up on what happens and in a furious fit jabs Tachibana on the plexus and knocks him out! D: poor Junichi san… hope it was worth it </3

PANTSU!!!

If that wasn’t good enough then it gets better! Tachibana wakes up in the infirmary after the heavy blow with Kaoru right beside him. Putting on a feeling that he couldn’t remember what happened, Kaoru lies and says that he had hurt his head and stomach and she, like the good friend she is, helped him to the infirmary in which he replies “LIAR! YOU’RE THE ONE WHO HIT ME!” :3 such a good duo… but the highlight of this is that Kaoru tells Junichi to meet her at the back of the school garden after school for something very important… Ahem… being an anime veteran it certainly is obvious that Junichi is going to misinterpret it… and I was right. Junichi flips out and constantly keeps his mind focused on what would happen, thinking up of random scenarios of confession, sexy confession, and getting suplexed for seeing her panties earlier that day @_@ which will it be? Neither thats what! Junichi was just called over to help Kaoru’s friend with a confession of her own… but still this event helps with the story and the imagery Tachibana cooks up is gold.

If only I could be confessed by a girl in such a manner... ;n;

As amazing as it begins things don’t always stay happy and go getting. There are many many many moments like this throughout the arc but I would like to keep my point on the things that simply made me like her arc… and sadly I really liked her uniform for the restaurant she worked in. D: you would agree too and so does Tachibana! When they get out after school Tachibana walks with Kaoru before she goes leaves and during their conversation she messes around with Tachibana by inviting him to the family restaurant to try the Seasonal Specials Like Crab Gratin and such and at first I was mad that Tachibana refused… but like a real man he was curious and he meets her up as a customer. Being low on cash he buys coffee and cannot help himself from eyeing the uniforms D: My gosh… she looked so freaking hot!!!

Pink Uniform+white apron+black kneesocks=Delicious

Well aside from my tastes in maid outfits Kaoru is surprisingly cute when she’s bashful, especially when she starts believing she has a thing for our hero. @_@ my particularly favorite part of the entire arc would have to be the accidental kiss and Tachibana’s daring payback (Guy Seriously has Game!) Kaoru meets up with Tachibana on the school roof and asks him how she feels their current friendship is bad or something in which Junichi thinks is a joke and questions her reason for such a question… Now comes the fun part where Kaoru explains their relationship to be a pastel like color in which, to Tachibana, comes back to the panty shot! Well moving along, the two rough house a bit and somewhere along the line the two accidentally kiss leaving Tachibana a bit confused and also irritated that she stole his first kiss. Using this as an excuse he calls her out to the library and vows to get back for that stolen kiss. Accepting the terms, Kaoru shows up with a trick up her sleeve and offers her belly to compensate for earlier ._. yes that is right, her belly… in which Tachibana kisses and gets roused up and nearly causes a scene at school! HE’S GOT GAME!!!

Tachibana SERIOUSLY has Game!!!

After locking lips and messing around things get serious as Kaoru witnesses her mother out with another guy. Angry, confused, and hurt she does not return home or attends school the next day. Worried for her sake, Tachibana is forced to forget his previous kiss fiasco at the library and like a hero goes out to look for her. Looking at all the places he would assume she would be and getting a bit of flashbacks in between, Tachibana arrives at her work and waits for her to get a break before confronting her to go back home. After talking it out and calming Kaoru to call her mom, Tachibana acts cool and tells her that he wants to help her anytime he liked; this causes Kaoru to briefly confess that she want him by her side to which Tachibana does not percieve to understand until he goes home. Thinking the possibility over and over in his head he comes to the realization himself that he likes Kaoru as more than a friend. Thinking on this too long, he burns up taking a bath after staying too long in the hot water… poor fool

Something tells me he's happy down south as well :3

So… the climax arrives. Junichi gathers the courage to ask Kaoru her plans for Christmas Eve, hoping she would have nothing clear. However, two steps ahead, Kaoru not only has something planned she planned her date with Junichi thinking he would be too chicken to do it himself :3 such a take charge girl ❤ Heading out early, Junichi wait for Kaoru at their appointed place, but after waiting a while the sudden fear that Kaoru would not show up hits him and he would have a repeat of the previous year again. Luckily Kaoru arrives a bit late and head off to explore around before heading to their main destination, the Port Tower. For those who don’t know, Tachibana is afraid of heights and this tower is tall and after a minor panic attack the duo spend their time looking out into the city and before they leave Kaoru at long last expresses her feelings for our hero and the two lock lips… Tachibana seriously has game ❤

No joke... Just awwww ❤

Leaving the tower Kaoru misses her last bus home and Junichi offers her his place (parents gone too ;3). Heading quietly to his room, Kaoru messes around with Tachibana, dodge a bullet with his young sister checking in on him, and the two lay on the same bed a bit nervous at the situation. In an attempt to ease the tension Kaoru mounts Tachibana playfully and teases to do more before… she passes out ._. a letdown? maybe. Cute? Hell yeah!

Kaoru is such a tease

And with that the story ends. The main reasons I like Kaoru is her personality herself. Strong and bold, carefree and funny, the kind of person who is somewhat shy to express herself at first but when it comes down to it is very take charge! Such a woman indeed earns the place of second on my waifu list and thus is an honor! How long she will reign there is a mystery itself… but rest assured that in the Amagami SS world Kaoru is always number one out of the other girls… Next up on the list we have Nakata Sae for Amagami SS Part 3! Look forward to that!… Kinda reminds me of a hamster stuffing her cheeks in this image :3 Until next time Merry Chrismahanakwanza and a Happy New Years!

I would also like to say that tomorrow, December 25th, is Arcueid’s Birthday! Those who are unfamiliar with Tsukihime or Melty Blood I would like to say GO AND CHECK EM OUT AND PLAY IT ALL DAY TOMORROW!!! RAWR!!! DO IT FOR ARCUEID!!!

Mind Fucking Till The End- Steins Gate Rant/Praise

December 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

As a fan of scifi drama’s it goes without saying that I like lasers and space ships. I was a big fan of star wars to the point I bought a replica light saber that is probably worth well more than one hundred (a good price seeing I bought it for 20). I loved watching Firefly and even loved Trigun for its uniquely space western tale and whimsical cast of characters and story, Dead Space for its unique monsters in a cramped mining ship with no way out, Halo with its spartans, and lastly Warhammer 40k with its insane universe of space marines and Gothic architecture and belief that it seemed like a mix of metal meets space fantasy. In short I am in love with science fiction stories to the point that I would like to even pilot a space craft and be simply bad ass. Of course space travel is dangerous business but the realm of science fiction is always closer than most people realize that it seems possible to even pilot mechs in space like that in Gundam. Now as for science fiction of course we neglect something that each and every one of us used to believe at some point in our lives; time travelling. If I had the power to travel time I’d have changed things in my past to simply not happen… or become a god >.> Today such a series takes time travelling and turns it into a mind fucking experience with so many twists and turns that it seems there is no hope at all for a happy end. Today I bring you… Steins Gate.

**Warning: Spoilers Ahead**

**Warning: Bullshitting Ahead**

To make this as short as possible, Steins Gate began as a japanese visual novel for the xbox 360 (which I currently am still playing), published and copyrighted by 5.pb (known for their game Chaos Head) and Nitroplus. I remember news almost 3 years ago that a new game was being worked on, and around 2009 a teaser site followed. Seeing as I could not understand japanese so well back then I lost interest shortly after and simply focused on… Dragon Age and other titles (busy busy year). A year after Steins Gate was released and an anime adaptation followed (as well as a manga that I never read) and the first episode did catch my appeal… however… Megavideo cockblocked me as I ran out of time; Impatient as ever I just turned away 5 minutes into the episode and focused on games and anime (blame Megavideo). Just when I had all but forgotten about it my friend Chaz gave me most of the episodes and I sat down to watch it in 360 quality. Frustrated by the quality that I had trouble reading the text I vented my frustration by finding my own copy and torrenting the entire series in the highest quality my laptop can run… best decision in my life. I would also like to say that this is an abridged version of my review so please… please… put up with my bad jokes :3

Steins Gate’s story is purely science fiction gold, set in real life Akihabara the story revolves around Okabe Rintarou (or Hououin Kyouma as he calls himself), an ever eccentric twenty year old college student who believes himself to be a mad scientist (in name) and that a group called the Organization is after him. His loyal companion and childhood friend Mayuri, naively hangs around him in his “Laboratory” (apartment) with his second lab member Itaru “Daru” Hashida (a fluffy computer hacker). Together the three spend their days making futuristic gadgets and at the first episode Okabe talks to the viewers… or at least it seems that way. While he rants on the screen and introduces his lab members and tells his goal of global domination and chaos… shortly after it turns out that Okabe is talking to a camera to a lame video game called “Alpaca Man”. I’ll say now that DeIz kinda messed me up with one of the characters ranting to me and as scripted as it is I can’t help but feel it had truth to it >.>

Mad Scientist "So KEWL!"

Well shortly in the episode we are introduced to several of my favorite characters Rukako and Makise Kurisu (Kuristina :D) both who have my heart. Rukako (Ruka Urushibara) is a strikingly great character with such delicate charms that can simply be put as “Moe” and her voice was simply shy and naive that I can’t help but feel so entranced by her character alone. Such a gorgeous character indeed stirred me up as Okabe repeatedly teased her and Mayuri kept going on about having “him” try on cosplay outfits… Thats when my bubble was popped and I focused more on the text in disbelief, wondering if that was just a type-o error… NAY! I prayed it was a type-o error! And even as Rukako explained that he was a guy and didn’t want to try on such outfits I still held on that it was a girl!… then Okabe, the final nail in my coffin, rapid fired in his mind that he was a guy to snap him out from “naughty thoughts”… in short I had stepped on a land mine called “A Trap”. Fuck!!! I swear one of these days I am making a trap meter and counting down all the traps I have walked in on >.> but anyways Rukako, as gorgeous as he is… is indeed a guy as told by Okabe ;n;

IT'S A TRAP!!!

Traps aside the silver lining to this was being introduced to our heroine, Makise Kurisu, a gifted prodigy who comes to America for undisclosed reasons. Though not as favorite as Rukako (why does he have to be a guy ;n;) Makise Kurisu comes at a close second. Despite her talent as a scientist and her charming beauty, Makise Kurisu… is a nerd! Yes that is right, a fellow nerd like me :3 She understands memes, enjoys otaku related things, and is a pervert at heart (despite how she hides it). Clearly a tsundere, Okabe and Makise don’t get along at first but eventually warm up and work together at the lab. Hell when I heard her make a “Yo Dawg” joke I simply cried from laughter and disbelief, but there it was, memes on an anime… Magical.

Two Mad Scientists. One Love :3

I could go on and on about the characters alone but sadly I must continue. Steins Gate’s plot revolves around Okabe’s love for time machines. At the beginning of the episode he meets Kurisu for a brief moment before he goes inside to listen to a lecture on time machines; frustrated in anger that this guys theory was stolen from someone on the internet and shortly after leaving he comes across Kurisu again… in a pool of blood. In disbelief, he heads outside and texts Daru what happened and accidently alters time. Confused, he heads elsewhere only to find out that Makise Kurisu is alive o.O

Makise Kurisu Za Zombie!

In disbelief at his encounter, Okabe goes home and finds out that his recent project, the Phone Microwave, is a time machine! Yes that is right, a microwave fitted to turn on when he calls the phone attached to it, can send text messages (D-Mails) back in time! Makise Kurisu, who is also in disbelief, works together with Okabe to deduce how this is possible; to do this they hack into SERN’s database and learn of their efforts to build a working time machine. Finding conviction to go through with their plan, Okabe and the other lab members begin testing their own time machine by sending messages back in time, altering the present (one such being my favored wish). Many things in Akihabara change, a welcome change was Rukako’s sudden transformation from a guy to a girl! Rukako sends a message back to his mom (via numbers to a pager), and oddly affects his birth to be a girl! Of course the present has altered and no one has memory of this except for Okabe, who still thinks Rukako to be a guy. When the others tell him he’s wrong Okabe gropes Rukako and… finds no penis 😀

;n; He's a real girl!!!!

After much testing and altering the past, Okabe’s and Kurisu develop a way to time leap… and with it comes misfortune as Mayuri dies from a group called the Rounders, dogs of SERN. In disbelief, Okabe repeatedly time leaps back only to have Mayuri die in various ways with no change in the result. Okabe cannot save her yet his conviction keeps him going, his hope still burning to find a way to save her. Almost going mad Kurisu notices a change in character and deduces he has time leaped, confronting him to learn his reasons; after learning of Mayuri’s misfortune, Kurisu helps him by trying to find a way to solve his dilemma. This is when Suzuha, a strange girl who hangs around with them, reveals her true self to be the self proclaimed time traveller from the internet and tells him to return to the beta world line (a world that might be possible to save Mayuri). Confronted with a huge problem, the only way to return to the beta world line from the alpha world line they are currently in; but due to the butterfly effect they are forced to undo the effects of each D-Mail sent, a task that is not easy for Okabe as he still has to face Mayuri’s impending demise each time he leaps back. After undoing most of the D-Mails, Okabe comes to the realization that in order to get to the beta world line, the world line in which he witnessed Makise Kurisu die, is to undo the D-Mail he sent by mistake.

The Tipping Point

Finding no heart to be able to do this, he struggles to even dare do such a thing as he himself has gotten attached to Kurisu, the one person who has been trying to help him save Mayuri… in short he fell in love with her 😀 and this I approve. Sadly the loving moment is stained by the overwhelming situation that he has to have Kurisu die in order to save Mayuri. Kurisu once again confronts him and asks what is stopping him and learns of her impending demise on the Beta World line. Wracked in bitter remorse, Kurisu willingly accepts her demise and consoles Okabe to go through with it; angered by this Okabe confesses his love for her and the two embrace and lock lips :3 yes!

Brings a tear to my eyes ;n;

Not even love can stop fate, however… and Okabe goes through with the plan and returns to the Beta world line… and I was sad as I watched the credits, thinking that this was it… the final episode or atleast I thought. Near the end Okabe gets a call from Suzuha, declaring that she needs his help to stop world war 3 o.O I got mind fucked. So Okabe comes to the appointed place and he learns that in order to save the future from such a disaster he must save Kurisu from death. Going  back he attempts to save her and fails in doing so, returning back in pain… Suzuha then reveals the real plan, designed by his future self. That in order to save Kurisu and to stop world war 3, he must first have the plans for the time machine destroyed… and to fool his past self that Kurisu is dead. Finding courage once again he follows through with this plan and runs across a temporary flaw in his plan when his tool to fake Kurisu’s blood… is dry. Finding no other option, he uses himself to shield Kurisu from the knife, frightens the villain, and stuns Kurisu before he opens the wound deep and bleeds all over her… When he returns to the present he is then put ion the hospital, but he is relieved that the plan went without a hitch. I thought that he would never see Kurisu but because of Kurisu’s memory influenced by other world line versions of her causes her to meet with him, giving a satisfying ending to such a great series.

Okabe+Kurisu= Finally Together ;n;

Even though I had just spoiled most of the plot in Steins Gate (and I apologize) it does not mean that one cannot enjoy this series. My words alone don’t make this series great and I cannot begin to explain how real each character is and the emotion that is displayed. The story is one thing, but watching these characters react to the pain, love, and drama is what makes this series gold and I highly recommend everyone to watch this. This is a series that must be watched and I ask you to support the official release so we can have more anime’s and games like this! Before you go however… I give you this!!!!

You are so a "Tsundere"

Caught in a Great Romance!!!- Amagami SS Part 1- Morishima Haruka

October 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

There is nothing more exciting to me than a good romance series. Be it on television, anime, books, if i can’t like the characters or enjoy a good pairing then something is indeed lacking. For instance “Kara No Kyoukai” Shiki x Kokuto, Fate Stay Night Saber x Shiro, and many more are good examples of a series that not only succeed in entertaining me with just action, each character likes each other in a unique way. Of course the romance isn’t the main point for those series being based mostly on action and mystery but the example is nonetheless understandable;if I can’t like the characters themselves I will most likely dislike it. Ecchi or Harem series in my opinion isn’t even considered romance at all and it strictly pisses me off that it tries the same formula over and over where every girl is head over heels for an oblivious moron who can’t tell he’s being hit on. In short I feel the emotion is forced because of it and I cannot enjoy it. My first and second requirement for a good series is simply this. 1- I must love the characters in an untainted and forced environment and 2- the drama has to be realistic despite the setting of fantasy or scifi (I need to relate to it). Today however I take the time to finish this romance rant by talking about a series that has… fulfilled my requirement and is downright enjoyable. Today I bring Amagami SS to the table!

**Warning: Spoilers Ahead**

**Warning: Only Part 1**

Click for Opening D: So Cute

Amagami SS, originally a Japanese Dating Sim for the PS2 in 2009 received a welcoming anime adaptation in July 2010 with its unique (semi slow) pervertive and helpful protagonist and its lovely cast of female heroines, the anime keeps the same appeal as the game and does not deviate from it. Its not like any other romance series where one girl gets the guy and the rest are simply unloved but rather it does a job on showing each character route and represents them as a separate universe. In short each arc is a different universe where our hero gets close and falls for a different girl. The story is simply rich as the time mostly always takes place a few weeks before Christmas Eve (AKA Their School’s Founders Day) and those who do not celebrate this holiday I still recommend this show for simply the character development in each arc.

Our Hero Tachibana

At the beginning of the first episode (and a few other arcs) we watch our protagonist, Tachibana Junichi, head to an appointed spot for his date after having confessed to his senior. Junichi’s emotion is overjoyed and excited that the winter cold seems nothing to him… though that smile wanes slowly as he waits and waits for her only to realize she would never show up. The emotion and the gleam disappearing for him simply made my heart ache as I too had gone through a similar experience that I instantly relate to the character (requirement 2 fulfilled in 5 min). The story itself takes place two years after that event and Tachibana is still emotionally depressed that he has grown melancholic every time Christmas eve is around the corner. The series isn’t simply a struggle for Tachibana to win over a girl but also one to regain what he lost two years ago, a troublesome but not impossible challenge. That doesn’t mean that Tachibana isn’t a mopey protagonist, in fact he is just another healthy young man (wink wink). His friend Masayoshi Umehara is perhaps a great side character for his energetic and comedy routines with Tachibana (mainly on pornography). Watching the first episode and being introduced to Umehara was perhaps a welcomed joke that made me laugh. Umehara approaches Tachibana on his way to school in his random and hyper character and Tachibana pretends not to know him… that is until Umehara mentions he brought the magazine he wanted in which Tachibana instantly switches to recognizing him surprised simply because of the magazine. Their relationship is simply one that I can relate since every one has that one hyper friend that you mess around and joke with.

My Bro!

The first arc revolves around Morishima Haruka, the most popular girl in the entire school for her charismatic personality and looks. Being so popular it goes without saying that she should have a boyfriend… or at least it should be since she’s the ideal hot girl! She’s freaking single and has a heart break streak for turning down every guy in school the previous year (no joke). So anyways, Tachibana notices her and finds her attractive but of course still mopey he makes no move and thinks he has no chance… until his friends make him buy lunch and helps out a freshman get her food, making him noticed by Morishima Senpai (just went Weebo). On his way to the classroom Tachibana drops the bag full of school bread quickly begins to collect it…  and in doing so Morishima picks up a bread and lovingly comments on how much he eats (with no ill intent). Dropping bread+picking up= Popular girls attention.

My What Appetite You Have~

My first opinion about Haruka was magical. Haruka plays around with Tachibana for a bit before she heads off to her own thing. And simply put I thought she was an angel XP cheesy but it works. Of course that is not the only encounter. Haruka shows up in the library with a pile of cute dog books that our hero gracefully helps her carry (chivalry is still alive). Of course what did bring me down was that in the first episode Tachibana confesses to her and she turns him down (NOOOO!). Second opinion… How could you!… Of course with courage he asks her out again in another episode and she willingly accepts seeing his determination.

Having won Haruka over, Tachibana himself isn’t out of the woods yet despite being over his own insecurity. Haruka herself has her own quirks, mainly being overactive and hyper. It worries Haruka to the point that she calls her friend Hibiki for advice on… a “puppy” :D. Of course after talking it out Hibiki (keen as ever to pick up it was about a boy) gives her advice to be just herself and Haruka returns to her joyful self!

On Cloud Nine

Tachibana and Haruka get extremely close… to the point where they run off during lunch and go to kiss… o.o Yes kiss… or at least I thought it would be mouth to mouth. When they arrive to a hideout, Haruka decides to tease him by not allowing Tachibana to kiss her on the mouth and to kiss elsewhere. Of course this is to tease him yet Tachibana decides to take it seriously and take up her challenge… and like a daring man he decides to kiss her behind her knee! o.o

This Guy Is A Genius

Haruka simply does anything she wants to do like try out a school swimsuit, glomp Tachibana and act like a spoiled kitten, or pretends she’s tied down to a chair and is spoon fed ramen by the kidnaper (Tachibana) in the school cafeteria. Of course she questions if she’s too much for our hero but finds comfort that he does not mind her playful teasing… in fact he loves it ^^

I Got You Nya!~

Eventually… we reach our climax… Christmas Eve (told ya its on Christmas!). Tachibana and Morishima make plans to hang out a bit and have dinner with her family because of her grandparents visiting (red flag goes up at this point). Tachibana is excited to meet Morishima’s parents and in doing so… forgets the time and runs late! The poor fool runs like a mad man to their appointed destination and literally is steaming when he gets there. Finding this troublesome, Haruka takes him to the hotel their parents… yes I said that right, a hotel! Knowing that Tachibana was in no shape to meet her parents in this state she takes him to the pool and the two spend an entire two hours messing around under the pretense of “washing him up!”

Tachibana... You Lucky Bastard...

After their random swimming ordeal, Morishima san takes them to their room in which she reveals… that her parents canceled their hotel get together! What the FUUUUUU!!! Morishima and Tachibana alone in a hotel room suite gives a man many many dirty thoughts on where this might be going (once again this series is a romance… but it takes a mature feel to it). It goes without saying that I’m already anxious to find out how this 4 episode arc will end. What makes me even more anxious is when Haruka goes take a shower and tells Tachibana not to peep… Every guy watching this instantly know the instinctive urge to do what they are not told and this is no exception for our hero. Tachibana waits in the living room fighting his primal instinct and manages to keep it in his pants until Haruka comes out… yet something is wrong… She’s disappointed at Tachibana. Dwah?

Why Didn't You Look

Our heroine is disappointed at our hero for not checking her out! At this point I pause and rewind about 2x in simple confusion at what Tachibana did wrong, forgetting about her insecurity. Remembering soon after, it becomes obvious that Morishima Haruka is afraid that she isn’t appealing to our hero and that he’d leave. Of course this is a bit far-fetched for me, I remember that Tachibana has not expressed how much he likes her since he confessed to her (FEWL D<)!!! Clicking play I continue on and watch Haruka cry for the first time… and like a good man Tachibana consoles her and once again spoils her by telling her how much she’s in love with her, dispelling her panic attack. D,: like a true bro!

I Love You

Of course thats all that you get. There is no adult content in this series… but there is a lot of implied suggestion in it. This is where the route ends… or at least thats what I thought. Ten years later Haruka and her best friend Hibiki talk about their lives while flipping through their photo album and reminisce about their youth. It is implied here that Tachibana and Haruka have tied the knot!!!

Just Married

It isn’t a Morishima Haruka finish without a last gag for the viewers. So Tachibana bursts in with his Detective ID and threatening to put Haruka under arrest! Instinctively Haruka gets up and tells Hibiki to make a run for it… in which she declines and thus becomes the killjoy of their short roleplay. My favorite quote that Haruka says after Hibiki’s comment on Japans Safety is “He might not be able to keep Japan safe, but he promised he’ll keep me safe”

"He might not keep Japan Safe but he promised to keep me safe"~

Final thoughts… the Haruka route is simply my first true romantic series I have set foot on. Of course each character arc is around 3-5 episodes long (varying on the girl) the amount of depth in it is simply superb. I enjoyed and still enjoy watching this series. It never gets old and thats rare for me. As for Haruka I will admit that she is not my “top” favorite character in the series. However this isn’t a bad thing, many people like Haruka and she got her own figurine (which my friend David proudly owns). So my thoughts… I love Amagami SS… but I must talk more about the remaining 6 girls (yes this includes the secret character arc) in other parts to be more in depth. I hope you enjoyed this entry and I will post more in the following weeks…

**Next Week is Kaoru’s Arc!**

God’s Memo Pad (NOT DEATH NOTE!)

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

I will say that I am not a really big fan of mysteries. If they don’t capture me on the first episode I will most likely overlook it and never return to it unless someone puts me up to it. Recently however I have made an exception for one reason. The saving grace for any mystery series to make me continue on is a cute loli… and this is a tale of that such myster XD

God's Notebook

A really cute Loli

To start I would like to say that I did not willingly watch this because I wanted to. My friend Luis kept nagging me to watch it because I would “Like it” and I continually ignored it until… he said the magic 4 words… “It has a Loli”. I immediately searched for it and confirmed that it indeed had a loli and thus watched it. Though knowing it was a mystery I did not have much hope that I would enjoy it. “It has a Loli but I might not watch it if its not good.” I told my friend… and boy did I eat my words.

Okay aside from my super fangasm, the series is really great. It’s a mystery series that involves various cases each with their own gravity and drama. From suicide, missing person, and drugs, Alice the NEET Detective can solve it with her gang of hoodlums… er I mean helpers. Kami Sama no Memo Chou was originally a light novel series written by Hikaru Sugii with illustrations by Mel Kishida. The light novel was published  January 2007 and ended September 2011. Shortly after a manga adaptation followed and the anime aired July 2011. To make this entry clear a NEET is an acronym for the government classification for people currently “Not in Education, Employment or Training” and I hope this makes this entry clear to understand.

The story is revolved mainly around Narumi Fujishima, a 16 year old high school student who thinks of his life as a pixel, unimportant and meaningless. This all changes when he comes across a girl jumping off a hotel balcony and lands on a pile of trash. Giving the girl a helping hand he is put in a hold by a young guy with a rifle under the suspicion that he is a suspect until two of his associates (a former boxer and a gigolo) notify their otaku friend that the suspect got away. Narumi heads off to school and meets Ayaka Shinozaki, a fellow classmate and the only member of the gardening committee; after a small spat between the two Narumi joins the gardening committee. After school Ayaka leads Narumi to the ramen shop… and what waits him there are the same three guys from earlier that day!

Narumi

What You Talking About...

If chance encounters aren’t your thing then please bear with it a bit longer… Anyhow not only are the three NEETS (well 2… Guntaku is actually in college), the three all work for a very very angry boss. So if they are NEETS then why are they working? The answer is that they work as information gatherers for a shut-in 12 year old looking loli with severe insomniac problems! This so called Alice calls herself a NEET Detective, a speaker for the deceased by solving mysteries their crimes left unsolved with her high intellect; to make it even cuter her diet is comprised of ramen and Dokupo (Dr. Pepper). Again my loli complex kicked in but anyways Alice is super Meta; she has about so many computers overclocking, teddy bears and stuffed animals all around her bed and she’s in her pajamas all day unless she goes out (rarely), there is nothing about Alice that I don’t dislike. She is simply too awesome and cute.

TOO META!!!

The first episode is around 40 min long and it left me in awe. The first mystery revolves around the missing disappearance of a girl and the only lead Alice has is the girls best friend and boyfriend (who are also searching for her). While hunting for clues, Narumi confronts the suspect (named Miku) and questions the suspect and finds out more about the missing girl. Miku’s attachment to her friend was because she was simply a perfect role model and the only clue she has is the girls phone. Soon after learning this Alice makes her move and stops Miku from searching and questions her about the phone which reveals that Miku’s so call Idol worked as a prostitute and her phone held the evidence. Deducing Miku’s story to fill in the gap she reveals that the missing girls boyfriend has been buying a large amount of ice every single day since her disappearance. The crime is solved and the police find her body in a bath tub of ice with her wrists slashed, revealing she ended her life while the boyfriend preserved her body to keep her wish of “Stopping Time Here”.

At this point I am amazed that one episode had captivated me to keep going. The characters each are unique and different and Narumi’s relationship with Alice is one that is too cute to ignore (crack pairing). Of Course their relationship is that of a trainer and a monkey (Narumi being the monkey and insulted by Alice), yet the two share moments that simply make me smile, cry, or just laugh out loud. Narumi and Alice both win my heart as two great characters that should be together. Its really a heartwarming experience just watching these two interact.

You're My Bitch

My Bitch

Of course many of the characters each are great. Tetsu is friendly and always makes friends but he always owes money to people, Shiso is enthusiastic when it comes to spy gadgets and survival games, and Hiro is simply… a womanizer… no no Womanizer is too much, he simply has sex with women and befriends them ^^ He’s a manwhore! Of course my favorite character (That is not Naru or Alice) is Yondaime, the leader of an all NEET Yakuza group. Despite his tough behavior and superhuman strength he is perhaps one of the softest characters in this series mainly because he fixes all of Alice’s stuffed animals (in secret of course, he still has to be tough!). Yondaime and Narumi become close because of Alice and eventually the two form a bond of brotherhood complete with a ritual. If there is a strong point in this show I would have to say it would be the characters that simply make the story that much realistic.

You're My Bro

The thing I find most depressing rather than infuriating is that its short… only 12 episodes long. More characters are introduced and each make such an impact on the story. One being a vagabond named Renji who was once a friend of Yondaime who returns with a vengeance for allowing the death of his crush. Before these events pass Narumi and this guy become friends and eventually do the same brotherhood ritual (and hinting that he had done this with a former friend). Despite fucking shit up for the gang he learns the truth of his crush and reconciles with his friend. What I would wish is that there be more episodes with familiar faces returning and more mysteries to solve but sadly this won’t happen. I do however say that the final few episodes get super intense as Ayaka gets involved and is put in the hospital and leaves our poor Narumi confused and guilty. The series ends perfectly and this truly makes up for being only 12 episodes long.

Ayaka Coma

My final thoughts… I was forced to watch this series by one of my friends… kept watching for the loli, but ended up leaving with a rich story. This show is simply a must watch for any mystery/lolicon out there. The characters all are great, the mysteries are full of suspense and drama, and the art style is simply awesome. I highly recommend this as a must watch for 2011. Well that should be enough… Before I go I leave you with my most cherished treasure… Goodnight!

DOKUPO!?

DOKUPO!?

Reach out to the Truth! Persona 4 Animation

October 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

It seemed just yesterday that I heard about Persona 4 from my friend David. Of course since I never had a PS2 I never had a chance to play most of the games mentioned by David (being poor sucks). So when David told me about how great Persona 4 was I simply just pushed it out of my mind seeing as I had no way of playing it. Looking back, if my dad had bought me a PS2 instead of an xbox I’d probably be more of a Sony fangirl rather than a Microsoft fan; my taste in games would perhaps have been more rpg’s and whatnot rather than the shooters i’ve so grown accustomed to; but even if I was left out in the game chats with my own friends I don’t regret starting out with an XBox at all. Of course I acknowledge that Persona 4 is a great game, but I knew I would never be able to play it anytime soon. Almost seven years later I at long last set foot in the Persona genre not from a game but because an anime had of the story had arrived.

.0″ width=”490″ height=”696″ />Starting out the first episode I muster the strength to finish the first 5 min seeing as it seemed rather boring. Igor is creepy as fuck and his assistant is a gorgeous babe (an unusual adult feminine figure to the cast of teenage kids). The intro was rather creepy as Igor kept talking to “you” the viewer, about a fate that will soon come to pass. “Fate and Destiny” in my vocabulary are overused words in the Otaku life, found in everything anime and game related so I wasn’t much impressed. The thing that caught my interest was perhaps the greatest thing Persona has to offer along with the story… it’s music.

We are introduced to Yu Narukami, the protagonist of our story, who because of his parents job, is forced to move in with his uncle in Inaba and attend school there. Yu is for a better word… Neutral. He’s a character that has no personality at the beginning and this is probably because he has moved to a new home. When he attends his first day of school he introduces himself to the class (aside from the fugly ranting ogre that is their teacher), he makes friends with Chie Satonaka (a very cute and athletic tomboy like girl), Yosuke Hanamura (the clumsy and carefree guy), and Yukiko Amagi (the refined and cute class idol). Each of these characters each give off a variety of personalities that more than make up for Yu’s lacking emotion. Honestly if I have a complaint at this point, it is probably the main character himself (Why so emo D<). So far my favorite character is Chie (I have a fetish for tomboys .-.).

Of course this series is far from a slice of life. In Inaba there have been a series of unexplained murders and these strange murders revolve around the story and characters alike. There is also the Midnight Channel, a paranormal occurrence where the television turns on and shown on the screen is “your true love”. So far I’ve only seen episode 1 so its safe to say that I am still a noob to this series. I bet my friend David will be reading this and be raging about how I neglected to mention a few things later tonight.

When the trio (Chie, Yosuke, and Yu) fall inside a tv, they enter a strange universe oppressed by thick fog and soon after tongue monsters that simply want to nibble on our teenage heroes. During the climax, when the danger becomes so great, Yu instinctively summons a strange avatar figure called a Persona. Simply put I was mind fucked just watching the fighting; as a veteran of Shounen anime/manga this was the first time that I simply was in awe watching a summon that perhaps was equal to that of Final Fantasy (never played it either). After defeating the monsters the anime ends and I simply demanded more. I may not have played the game but I now know what the rage of Persona is all about.

Simply put the anime is well drawn, the characters are each unique, and the story is simply a mix of haunting and comedy perfectly combined. My expectations for this series is now high and I hope to see more intensity from the show each episode. This is Edwin Vega here to say “Everyday young life, Junes”

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