Friday, June 22, 2012

Wheel... Of... Dystopia!!!

So, i got to thinking about all the different big technology companies that control the various aspects of our lives and i wonder, what kind of a world would we be in if they took complete control? NOTE: i am critical and will be making fun of various companies. Those with strong company loyalty or cannot take a joke please dont read. also this is ment to be fun, dont over-analyze to death about all the details i got wrong.

Microsoft: closest dystopian future: Fahrenheit 741

Microsoft likes to keep you in the dark. they want to bury information quick and are quick to get rid of information they dont want you to know. I'll admit, im starting with this one because its the weakest comparison i can make.

Google: Closest dystopian future: Brave new world

So Google is kind of the gracious overlord kind of dystopia. Ya, they want to control you and want to keep all of your information on file to further control you, but to be honest we asked for it. Its easy to criticize google but we cant give up their gmail, android phones, navigation tools, and search engine.  All that remains is the little nagging feeling something isnt right, that things can and should be much better. But then we take a hit of that sweet soma, i mean youtube videos, and just for a moment our troubles disappear. Everyone from the workers at google to the users all feel a kind of artifical happiness only happy because we know of nothing better. They control us and kill us by giving us exactly what we want.

Apple: Closest dystopian future: 1984

Apple has their cult mentality. people easily buy into their products and when we are told their new 'IWhatever' has 'blah blah blah' people jump to praise its ingenuity, forgetting every other company has had that in their devices much earlier and much better (their new navigation tool, and the camera on the ipad come to mind). But the true power is that the make their buyers believe it. All the data and proof in the world cannot shake them. they hear from their overlords their life is great and they don't question it, when in truth they sit high while nothing is affordable. Short of rat cage brainwashing, they are a perfect big brother.

Linux: Closest dystopian future: Matrix

Yup even my fellow computer geeks aren't getting off easy. So you've broken free. You see the truth and past all the lies fed to you. You are boundless, you are unrestrained, you... are making life much much harder on yourself. When i talk about the dystopia of the matrix, im not talking about the fake world used to hold the people, im taking about the "real" world outside. The dark dusty sun-blocked barren wasteland where the same liquid used to degrease engines is also a drink. Linux users love to go on and on about how customizable are fast their machine is for a bottom basement price, except everything you do on a linux just becomes so much harder and takes so much more time and effort. And to be honest, for what? Ya, nobody controls you and you are free, but you look out to the dusty dark cloud and you see everyone else living blissfully unaware and actually relatively happy and you need to wonder, who is really living in the dystopia? Was it all worth the toruble?

So who am i going for? its obvious one of these will rule the world and if they continue to do as they are now, im throwing in my chips now. I'll clutch my android phone to check my Gmail and then relax with an episode of dragonballz abridged on youtube.
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Amagami SS S2 - Tsukasa and Rihoko Arcs

Well the second season is here and because i loved the first series, i've decided to follow this one too. What different here is that they arent following the game anymore, the first season already covered everything in the games. The second important point is... they are already all couples (except for Rihoko) so its quite a challenge to keep the story going. How do they hold up? Lets find out.

Tsukasa Arc

Working backwards here they start with Tsukasa's arc. Very abridged summary, Tsukasa is running for school president and has selected Junichi to be her vice president. Whats in their way is a new girl with quite powerful connections due to her father and is catching up in the polls. to make things worse, she also selects Junichi as her VP to get under Tsukasa's skin, and even kisses him in front of her. Tsukasa gets a bit rattled, but does pull through and with encouragement from Junichi makes a emotional speech and wins the election.

Rihoko's arc

Continuing from last season, Junichi is now with the tea club and the older sempai's have left. Junichi's parents are away so he hasn't been eating properly. Rihoko decides to come over and cook for him, but along the way is hit on by a guy from their school with Junichi catching it all. Whats important here is that for the first time we hear her admit she has feelings for Junichi, but he was out of earshot and didnt hear, only getting the wrong idea due to the other guy being around rihoko. he comes over. After dinner and some fireworks (no they didnt bang, they were literally playing with fireworks) they admit they like each other and the implication is they are now together.


The Tsukasa arc was entertaining, but with only 2 episodes per girl, we dont really get much development. thats not necessarily a bad thing though as there really isn't much to develop. Like i said they already finished the story so its hard to come up with more stories for these characters. They went for the "jealousy angle" for the first arc. It works pretty well and its still unclear weather the new girl is actually interested in Junichi or if shes trying to get at Tsukasa. (She did seem more upset that Junichi is still with Tsukasa proclaiming she would make him hers so im guessing the former) the problem is if they try to use this for the other arcs as well. the story will get boring really fast.

The Rihoko arc is pretty average. It finished off the her story and officially made the two a couple. However, this should have happened last season. It didnt really feel like an extra set of episodes like the others and it did made it feel more connected to the main story, but it left Rihoko fans feeling like they are being shorted a set of extra episodes. The actually episode and writing are average at best. It left absolutely no impact on me and infact i had to rewatch the last couple of minutes to remember what even happened. I guess its because i knew they were going to wrap up the arc so there wasnt much surprise as to what direction the story was heading.
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Friday, February 10, 2012

Guilty Crown half season review (cour 1)

So im going to try something new. In an attempt to save time during a busy school year i'll review shows in cours and see if it works. How this is going to go down is i will give an overview of the story in the summary section, without too much detail. the reactions part will be told as if i expect you to have seen the show.

Japan is struck with a horrible virus in the near future and the population is devastated. Foreign aid has came and saved japan, but it has also taken over complete control of the government. The story focuses on a young meek indecisive boy named Shu. Shu is living the average boring life when he sees a young girl running from the antibodies, the foreign army that has taken over control in the name of protecting the country. They claim she is infected and must be exterminated and track her down. Shu stricken with fear does nothing to stop them. He regrets the decision and goes to save the girl, names Iori, and accidentally receives the void gene which lets him draw out the true nature of one's heart manifested in a physical form. The series looks as his journey into a resistance force that Iori is part of to take back control of japan. Shu at the beginning doesn't seem to trust the resistance force at all. There sly and cunning leader Gai seems perfect, even able to gain the affections of Iori and Ayase, another resistance member. However, when his own classmate and friend betrays him, as well as witnessing the antibodies atrocities first hand, combined with a glimpse of a very human Gai makes him decide to stay. However him main motivation is to protecting Iori at all cost.

Guilty crown is a pretty decent action show. its got enough mystery and entreage to keep you hooked between episodes. Its trying to feel like the spiritual successor to Code Geass. In particular Gai feels very reminiscent of Lelouch. Hes a manipulative bastard who always seems to have 5 plans waiting in case one fails. What i think make Gai's character stronger is the fact that he wasnt the one to gain the powers. Instead he relies entirely on Shu to fulfill his plans, and relying on Shu for anything is a baaad idea.
Shu is a wishy-washy kid who is way in over his head. He doesnt completely trust the resistance and if not for Iori would have abandoned them long ago. Most people have a huge problem with Shu being such a weakling for a main character, however that actually works for me. He feels like a normal person who is thrown into the chaos. Unlike Lelouch who jumps at the call or Light who can kill people on a whim, he feels more true and believable. We all have those moments where we want to be the hero and save the girl. to be the guy everyone relies on, but most of the time, we just cant, both physically and mentally. the rest of the cast is strong so having one weak character to bring in believably doesnt hurt the show.
Iori is the standard Rei clone. emotionless. Thats pretty much her entire stick. Unlike Kanade from angel beats, she doesnt really have the cuteness to carry the character so she ends up feeling pretty bland. theres stilll time for her to develop, but for now...
 The last character worth mentioning is Ayase. She is a wheelchair bound pilot which in a sense is her own method of being truly free to move. She resolves to do things on her own and refuses unnecessary help. She also has the biggest crush ever on Gai. At first, i though her character was just the token disabled character. There only to build sympathy. However she carries the Tsundere character well and turns out to be pretty interesting. Shes really laying on the flirting pretty hard on Shu, but i highly doubt shes going to end up with anyone other than Gai.
On the villans side we have very generic vaguely evil foreign forces trying to take over japan. Theres nothing really special about them but nothing really boring either. What does surprise me is the amount graphic oppression they show on screen. instead of a pile of dead bodies we are told were prisoners, we actually see a scared innocent man get shot in the head, right in front of us. That carries a certain power that i think a lot of shows dont use.
The story is paced very fast. I dont think a single episode was left without any action. The main complaint people have about guilty crown is the fact that everything seems to come out of nowhere. Random plot holes are created and filled without much explanation, and at times without much thought. I do agree this is probably the weakest point of guilty crown, but it goes back to the show trying to be more than it is. we saw that with code geass where they opened the world, but had no way to close the story without it turning into a huge tangled mess. Guilty crown on the other hand tries to cover all of them as soon as they can. The result is that it isnt all stuffed into the end creating a mess, but it also makes us go "are you serious" once or twice an episode.

Overall, guilty crown is enjoyable enough, and given the weak season we've had, id give it a watch (however given that this review is late and this current season is AWESOME, i dont know how much i would still recommend this show). Things look to be shaking up in a big way so we'll see what the second half has to offer.
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check this out

Hey guys, so my friend needs a bit of help. Hes started his own site and is making small comics or stories each day. Since hes taking the whole interwebs stuff much more seriously than i am with my random nitpicking of anime, check it out if you got a spare moment Read more!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

End of Year Reviw 2012

So that time has come again, and again it was a light year for me. Ive taken a look at divine's year end review, and i havent watched a single show that he had awarded. So what that means is this years awards are going to be pretty bad, and i felt overall the shows ive watched this season havent wowed me. That being said, its not like there isnt anything to like. There were still plenty of good shows this year especially near the end. With that, these are my awards for 2012

Best Comedy: Infinite Stratos
Honerable mentions (HM): phi brain, Rio rainbow gate
This one is kinda a throwaway because i havent really seen anything i would consider a comedy this season. With infinite Stratos being the closest, it takes the award

Romance: Hanasaku Iroha
Again, this comes down to i havent seen very many romances this season. However unlike the comedy section, i still thought HanaIro was a decent show all around. The major problem it has is pacing and keeping the audience interested in the show. I wanted to see where the plot was going, but it just didnt move fast enough to keep me thinking about the show to come back and watch it. Overall, still decent and the subversion on the standard cliches this show throws is pretty cool

Action: Guilty Crown
HM: Fate Zero
So i've hyped up Fate Zero, why didnt it win. Well the major problem with Fate Zero is pacing. When its good, its damn good. one of the top shows ive ever watched. However when its slow, its painful. And i dont mean just the action parts. When the three kings sat around and drank, that was super tense. When Loli rin ran around... that was boring (sorry rin fans). Guilty Crown doesnt have that. Its never really outstanding, but its solid throughout. Also Fate is going to win a bunch more so im tossing Guilty crown a bit of a bone here.

Soundtrack: Fate Zero
If we go by instrumentals and insert music, guilty crown would win, however the OP and ED for guilty crown are somewhat weak. Fate on the other hand had an OP and ED that i knew from the first moment was going to be in my Ipod. the songs are great and the sounds really give it an epic, yet dignified tone that really matches the story. The OP is addictive and fast paced. The ED shows nice insight into the lives of the servants and shows what they were when they could be themselves. Phi brain had a decent OP but not on the same level

Fanservice: Infinite Stratos
HM: Rio Rainbow Gate
Again, a win based on being the only decent show in the category i saw.

Best Visual:Fate Zero
HM: Guilty Crown
Like i said before, when Fate is good, its damn good. that fight episode with Berserker is still ringing in my head. the characters look great, the scenes look great and the fights look absolutely stunning. Words cannot do it justice. Just go back and watch episode 4-5 for some of the best fight choreography ever made for anime.

Best Male: Rider (Fate Zero)

Rider is just a fun character all around. hes loud, hes obnoxious, hes full of himself, yet the way he goes about it all with such a grandiose fashion, you cant help but root for him. Hes like... take any role Norio Wakamoto has played and you cant help but love his hammyness. thats rider in a nutshell and by god is he great.

Best Female: Nanoha (Phi Brain)
HM: Inori (Guilty Crown), Saber (Fate Zero)
typically the female lead of an action show is there only to be rescued. While Nanoha sometimes falls into that trap, shes also been helpful and the main reason they group stays alive just as often. Her photographic memory really comes in handy when certain clues and such need to recalled or were destroyed. Aside from that, her goofyness and hatred of the "puzzle freaks" is funny enough. also: NONOHA SWEETS

Best Mecha: Infinite Stratos
HM: Guilty Crown
with all the awards you'd thing infinite stratos is a great show and a competitor for best of the year. nope, it just filled in a lot of niche anime types i didnt get around to. with gundam age being well... for kids and not a real gundam show. this one takes another free win.

Best Villain: Rook (Phi Brain)
Rook is the villain all other villains should be. He hits Kaito on an emotional level. taking him to places he cant handle and forcing him to walk through the worst moments of his life. He can do what no one else can do and that's hit him where it really hurts. At the same time, the show and the challenges is about the puzzles. He has refuses to use underhanded and unfair methods like, just killing him off, and instead is confident enough that he can beat him straight up without tricks, and god damn is he really good at that. The fools puzzle while using physical strain to induce mental strain, while not exactly fair is still possible. That earns him major respect in my books.

Special Biggest asshole Award: Zoken Matou (Fate Zero)
What this bastard does to sakura is unforgivable. there is no way to describe what an asshole this guy is. Ive never wanted to puch out an old man as much as i do now. Being able to generate that kind of emotion from the viewers earns fate zero writers this special award.

Worst Character: Kouichi Tanemura (Iroha)
Ko-chan reminds me of the classic Disney prince. they are perfect and yet cant seem to do anything. their only purpose is to motivate the female leads. And ive felt this way about him since the second time he was ever shown on screen. However he also shares the biggest weakness of Disney princes. hes bland. Hes two dimensional. he doesnt have any character or emotion or anything to keep me interested. as a side character in the role he was given, he fulfills it, but other than that, hes completely forgettable.

Best show: Fate Zero
HM: Guilty Crown

All i need to say about this show has been said. The show when it is good is amazing. Through the entire first half one out of seven servants has died. just by the numbers that means we should be seeing a whole lot more action in the second half and that's where this show really shines. If it can pick up the pace, i wouldn't be surprised if it won again next year.
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Sunday, January 1, 2012


So a quick update on some things i probably already mentioned.

First of all, officially i will be holding off on the end of year review until such time as i can catch up in the episodes that have aired for 2011. i will not be taking into account the episodes of 2012. Because im not waiting for the series to finish, the delay wont be huge. this is mainly due to my download cap so i cant finish the episodes until i get more bandwidth. I will not be able to finish off kami-sama or Hanasaku Iroha, but i have enough of a grasp on them to talk as if finished. i do intend to finish off kami-sama at least, Iroha on the other hand didnt keep me interested enough and will likely not be finished, but im not saying no for now.

i will be catching up in Guilty crown and will start doing two part specials. I will blog after episode 11 and one at the end. this will allow me to give insight on these shows without needing to write a full review for every episode.

Lets see how much time Skyward Sword will take out of my day (along with major projects, exams and the like). Also, i am still waiting on proper recording software as well as a good mic before i do the deus ex lets play. Read more!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fate/Zero 11-13

Because of the holidays i've havent had the time to post 11-12. i didnt realize i missed the post until i started watching 13. Since there is little point in writing what i know, im just going to add it to this review. This might also be a fitting end as i think the series will take a hiatus and resume next year.

episode 11 summary:
The aftermath of the fight with caster has left the Einzbern castle in ruins. The quiet is soon disturbed by Rider carrying a barrel of wine. At first Saber assumes he is here to fight, but Rider assures him that we only wishes to talk over drinks. Rider asks to have a talk about what it means to be a king over the wine and they go to the courtyard to begin drinking. They are soon joined by archer, who is a king as well and was invited by Rider, and he rejects the wine Rider could find in town. He instead retrieves wine from the gate of Babylon, His personal stash. during their talk, Rider reveals his wish from the grail is to be able to live again, and to enjoy the journey and excitement of conquering. Interestingly, Archer has no specific wish from the grail and only seems to want to retrieve what he sees as his. In his time, he believes he owns all the worlds treasures, those he knows and doesn't know about. Therefore he sees anything that could be of value as something he already owns. Saber tells them about her goal to undo her selection as king of Britain and so a more suitable ruler can be found. Both archer and rider are disgusted by her views as both a leader and a king. Rider is in the mindset that you must take pride in your actions. that rise and even fall are both eventual. To wish to undo that would be insulting to those who stood and supported you throughout. They both view kingship as a privilege and something to be enjoyed and coveted, unlike Saber who views kingship as a duty and a burden. Rider truly hits home when he tells saber that she saved her subjects, but never lead and ruled them. This hits saber as she had heard rumors during her life that she was an unapproachable king. Their meeting is interrupted by Assassins. Rider uses his noble phantasm, which revives all his former followers, each a heroic spirit and the thousands of soldiers rush the 12 assassins and easily finish them.

Episode 12 summary:
A rather short and uneventful episode. Kiritsugu is once again worried about what kind of man Kirei is. Meanwhile Archer is just giving a total mind rape to Kirei and undermining everything he has been believing to now. Its pretty obvious by this point archer is pulling all the strings, and setting up the events of Fate/Stay Night, and not Kirei. Meanwhile Iri and saber move into a new building, and we find out that Iri is losing her strength.

Episode 13 summary:
We start with Waver and Rider heading into town after Waver sees Rider's dream. He at first tries to find out more about Rider, and starts to show his insecurity as he feels Rider is strong enough to win the war on his own, and he isn't contributing anything towards that.
Meanwhile Caster and Ryuunosuke return to find their base in shambles. We learn Caster doesn't believe in god's power as his blasphemies have always gone unpunished, and it was only humans looking for personal gain in his death that finally got to him. Ryuunosuke on the other hand believes god does exist, but is as sick and twisted as they are and enjoys pain and misery. Together they decide to continue on with their "show". Caster summons his biggest monster in the river, and Rider, Lancer and Saber make a pact to stop him. the plan is for Rider and saber to open the monster where lancer can strike it with his spear and finish him before he reaches the shore where he can feed off the people and will remain indefinitely. Interestingly we find out that Saber has the blessing of the lady of the lake and therefore can walk on water. Rider and Saber rush the monster and that ends the season.


there wasnt much in episode 12, so i'll go through that first. We know Iri is getting weaker, maybe because of her being a vessel for the grail and having a servant die weakens her. We also just see what a manipulative bastard Archer is, just playing with Kirei and setting up the betrayal that will take place at the end of this season.

Episode 11:
We finally get a lot of insight into Rider and Archer and Saber regarding their views. Rider and Archer hold what i would call to be the older view of a king. Someone who rules and has supreme power. a position to be coveted, one where everyone respects you if not fears you. Saber holds a much more, modern-ish view of kingship. She feels it as a duty to protect her people and to lead them. To serve as if a position of government. only if such a king succeed do they get praised. Its funny how we see both types in literature, and neither is better or worse that the other and either can be portrayed as a good king. The former when evil, is a tyrant. one who hold complete control and only seeks his own self enjoyment. When good, they are seen as the supreme authority. they have the power to make or break people's lives and dreams, but are fair and just. The second view when evil, is usually a manipulative king. One who puts on an act to keep his power. a weaker type of king who can be overthrown at any time. When good, its the typical king Arthur, a ordinary man powered and in return protects their people. We also see Archer's unique interpretation of the grail as he feels he owns the world and all the treasure it contains. Therefore anything of value, weather he has seen it or not, is his.

Episode 13:
We get to see that Waver is actually quite insecure about his position and ability compared to both rider, and other masters. He views himself as a burden and that Rider will be successful with or without him. This means his whole goal of proving his worth is meaningless if Rider is the one doing all the work, as well that Rider shouldnt have to put up with him. We see the twisted mind of Ryuunosuke and Caster, but they arent very interesting characters. Now that he's whipped out his biggest monster, i expect him to fall in the first or second episode of the next season.

Overall for Fate/Zero season 1:

This was a hell of a ride they took us on. The story was great, the action was great, and the art was great, the characters were great. This is what Fate Stay Night should have been if everyone wasnt a whiny idiot.

But is it perfect? no. The beginning of this year was busy for me and i just hit a string of interesting show ideas that panned out to be much more boring than i expected. So the beginning of Fate Zero really made it look like a diamond in the rough. A perfect show without flaws. However as the show went on, it really started to feel dragged. And i don't mean that every episode is bad or that the show overall is bad, but its far from perfect. Without the action scenes or the very well done exposition scenes, i really didn't feel for some of these characters or care to see what happens to them. For instance, ya it was nice to see Kirei get mind raped by Archer, but the episode wasn't memorable compared to the courtyard drinking episode. Both were simply talking exposition, but one felt well done and the other a forgettable bore. Another instance is the Rin episode. while i don't hate her, I'm not a big fan of her and to see her running around at 6 years old didn't make me a fan. It felt like it was either a waste of time for padding, or pandering to the Rin fans, or some mix of both that simply didn't work out.

Overall this was a good show. It gets a little help riding a year of mediocre releases, but its still overall going to be at the top of a few of my lists.
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