Sunday, 31 May 2015

A Silent Voice

I am conflicted.

I was informed that this was a very sad manga that deal with some pretty depressing subject matter... and while i did get sad or feel the characters pain.... i never cried.

and for me thats unusual.

I cry at the drop of a hat... if it even tangentially reminds me about something sad i'll cry... but i didn't... and i can't figure out why.

and that bugs me.

The story is about a girl who is deaf and the boy who bullied her when they were young coming together and trying to right the wrongs of the past... or at least replace those sad memories with happy ones.
It's a very well done, though a little short, story that deals with all sorts of subject matter... Death, disabilities, how horrible kids can be, how the past can't be changed, hope, friendship and even love.

I'm pretty sure i liked it... i finished it fairly quickly...
but i'm not sure if i didn't emotionally connect to it because it just never hooked me that way or mentally i wanted to distance myself from the subject matter to avoid certain feelings

Real talk for a moment.
My brother has sever Autism, he is classified as non-verbal (he can speak but he can't communicate) and will probably always need the family to support him, it's part of the reason i still live at home despite my age. On top of that he has has 2nd degree burns all over his face and hands.
People stare
People comment
People are cruel
they see something they can't understand and label it.
Now he doesn't care, he is as happy as can be 90% of the time. (everyone has bad days)
but i have been hearing it all my life.
I have seen people staring and muttering and crossing the street to get away from him.
I have had little kids come up to me and ask "why did you bring that thing here"
I have seen an entire family leave the area worried that they might somehow catch the autism.

People are cruel... until they get to know him
Then they see that he is this incredibly sweet and funny kid who is just a little different.They share stories of all the funny things he's done like Serenade someone or try to cheer them up in his own way.

This manga deals with similar themes... people are cruel until they try to understand... however trying to understand can be just as painful. Self loathing and blame bring nothing but awkwardness and heartache. everyone has their own shit they have to deal with.
Everyone has suffered Heartache or even trauma at some point in there life.
This manga doesn't shy away from it and considering the medium thats really impressive.

I still may not know why it didn't emotionally resonate with me enough to make me cry. It could have just been a bad headspace... it could have just been missing that spark.... but i think it should be read (or watched since apparently it's getting an anime adaptation in the near future)

but yeah... not a light read that's for sure. Really heavy subject matter that will probably tug at your heart strings.

you can see it all for yourself IF you are a premium member on crunchyroll
otherwise i do believe there is a physical version out in North America now.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim

This is the Steam/GoG version of the game... i beat the ps2 version about 3 years ago. *looks at the date stamp* wow... like... had i waited a few days it would be exactly 3 years.


I want to start this off with my Biases since it will affect my overall opinion.

1. I really like Ys.
Too much.
To date i have played/owned at least one version of every numerical ys game to come to north america
just for fun that means i own.
Ys 1 & 2 - DS and Steam
Ys 3 - Psp/steam/ super famicom 
Ys 4 - Vita
Ys 5 - still waiting for falcom to remake this one
Ys 6 - Played ps2, own and played GoG
Ys 7 - Psp
Ys Origin - Steam

not to mention i have imported Ys vs Sora no Kiseki, a brawler similar to games like powerstone or super smash brothers (it's actually not that similar but i can't think of any other way to describe it)

And i have two art books... one dedicated to Ys and one to Falcoms 25 year history.

I REALLY like Ys.

2. I knew i liked this game the least before i even bought it.

Why did i buy a game that literally made me throw my controller?
Part of me wanted to see if i was just bad at it and thats why i disliked it so much... or to see if it really is the weakest of the NA releases.

And to be fair, it's a little of both?
This game, despite playing on hard was pretty easy, it feels like i beat it in no time at all... like 8-10 hours tops. So yeah i was frustrated 3 years ago because I still hadn't played too many action RPGs. I would charge in and die a lot and thats not fun.
However despite being better this game had me saying "oh i remember this" constantly.
When i got to the limewater cave i nearly went "you know what? i already beat this game... i have nothing to prove"
But still i did want to beat it because... i bought it...I'm going to play everything i buy.
Well except that Ys 3 wanderers fron Ys Super Famicon cart.... but that is more that i dont have the means to play it and i'm not willing to break the tabs on my snes

Is it still the lowest on my list?
If we include Ys 1&2 on DS... then no.... that game is worse.
But i'm not counting it cause that was an issue of the programmers changing the system without thinking of how that affected the game.
The dash jump on the other hand is integral to Ys6 and not even Xseed could take it out despite it being the most frustrating move in any game i have played.

But is it still fun?
Yeah kinda....
It's not as good as the others.
The music is weaker (except a few songs near the end game) the hit boxes are stranger (read as it's damn near impossible to dodge anything that is even remotely near you)  Killing enemies is a pain cause 90% of them have only a few moves that can damage them (read as you'll be doing down stab a lot) and the bosses range from Boring to repetitive.
however that lightning spell is just too much fun (and way too strong but oh well)
But even though it's not as good as the others i'm not angry about having given it time

But wait... it really did feel short... and i don't remember replaying the bit that had me throwing my controller.
Does the ps2 version have an extra thing with the wings of alma that forces you to use the dash jump?
YEAH the trails of alma! I knew there was something missing. thank goodness too cause those trials were rage inducing.

Okay so.... Ys 6 on ps2 is WAY WORSE (though voice acted.... but you have to put in a code to get the proper cutscenes) then this version... Xseed really did a great job with the translation... i do wish it had voice acting but i am assuming the PC version actually predates the ps2 one... which i can understand....

But before this Headache makes me completely incoherant... though i'm pretty sure we are well past that point... I want to say the thing i enjoyed the most about Ys 6.
I am so happy i played this after playing 4.
The first time i played i had little to no idea about the Eldeen civilization or Geis role in the overarching story...
it still kills me a little that i'm missing out on how Adol got to know Pirates... i really hope (after Ys 8) they remake Ys 5 since i'm just so curious about it.
But since this time i played after ys4 and the explination of the origin of some eldeen societies made so much more sense and just really put into perspective how important 4 is the everything chronologically after it.... i don't think it affects 1 oe 2 much... other then winged people.

So did i have fun? yes.... despite hating some of the things about this game it still made me smile.
Can i recommend it?
only if you are playing chronologically...
cause that puts it right near the end and you can finish off with 7 which i really liked.
It's short, it introduces geis and has some of the best world building of the series but i would still rather play any of the other numbered entries...
just.... not on DS... never again.
but yeah.... either play it in that order or like Ys a whole lot (though i understand there aren't too many who like it that much)

Still it's thanks to this game that Ys3 and Origin are so good (they learned from their mistakes) and so i'm grateful for that at least. 

I got the GoG version cause i'm not thrilled with steams customer service as of late. (seriously takes them over a month to get back to me on anything) so yeah... trying out a new platform and it seems to be working out okay.
now i just need to follow a laundry list of things in order to get Gurumin to work on my PC.

For now I think it's time to get some rest.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Antique Bakery

About once a year, thanks to their pretty amazing christmas sales, i buy a ton of anime from rightstuf.

Unfortunately to get free shipping i have to order A LOT.
far more then i'm normally comfortable with in a single order.
On the bright side that anime tends to last me the year as long as i don't marathon it.

On that note i started watching this yesterday. 
But back to my original point... sometimes i'm just shy of hitting the free shipping threshold so i'll pile in a few shows i haven't seen and know nothing about.

I really enjoy anime about baking, I don't know why... perhaps cause i enjoy baking myself? I don't know... i just have a soft spot for shows on this subject matter. Unfortunately 95% of the baking shows i have seen are geared towards a younger demographic.

So when i saw the art for antique bakery i had two thoughts.
"well it doesn't look like it's for kids..."
"all male cast with large hands... it's a Yaoi isn't it?"
So i looked it up and it was just Classified as Shoujo and Comedy so i figured... why not?

I was pleasently surprised.

The show is about a man who is opening up a cake shop and the Brilliant Patisserie who was just hired just so happens to be an old Classmate who confessed to him on graduation but was turned down because the owner is straight.
There is also a boxer with a sweet tooth who has to give up the sport since his retina has detatched... so he becomes the brilliant Patissier's assistant.
and the owners childhood friend who is pretty useless at everything but after falling in love with the Brialliant patisserie does his best to be useful in the shop.
oh and the owner opened the shop for pretty much the sole purpose of finding this guy who kidnapped him when he was 9.
so there is that.

 The best parts of the show are when it's the 4 of them running the shop. there is this whole crime drama subplot that gets thrown in at the end that felt a little rushed and it's fine but i much preferred the character interactions.

The way the owner deals with having turned someone else down in such a way where they contemplated ending their own life.
Or how sometimes shit happens and you have to give up something you have dedicated your entire life to.
Or having to deal with the fact that everyone hates you because you don't fit into what 'normal' men are supposed to do or like.
and uh... one for chikage... uh...
well... i guess he did father a child whom he doesn't live with and that could be a thing that happens... maybe... i dunno chikage kinda throw a wrench into my "the problems in this show are surprisingly realistic" spiel.

Either way those are the plots that were really well done and it would have been nice to see that furthered instead of "lets catch a crazy person who is feeding kids cake before killing them"

Also the animation is really interesting... all the backgrounds are CG but it looks pretty nice (awkward when used on people... decent when used only for BG)
The intro song is also probably the coolest i have ever seen.
i'm not entirely sure how they pulled it off... to me it looks like a model or something with a camera... btu it could be CG... but the textures and the ligth and the way light acts off things... hm... either way it's pretty cool... i love when shows do more then needed to convey the intro.

I am not surprised at all that the manga this was based on won awards... it was really cute and sweet and other then chikage it was subtle and realistic.
Is it a Yaoi? not at all.
It does have a little in the way of shonen-ai themes considering a character is gay and there is a relationship (kinda?) between him and Chikage. But it's more world building then the focus of the title. The oddest/silliest part of their arc is when they twirl around in the rain... and that is pretty much the first thing that happens when they meet.

However in the end the focus is on four 30 somethings getting together and running a cake shop despite their different perspectives. 
It's cute and well done and the ending is a bit... well it's not what you want to happen in a show with crime drama themes but i understand why they did it and it probably is more realitic... but stil lthe ending needed work.
but would i recommend it? yeah....
Assuming you like baking shows.... if you don't like those stay away...
Also their french is a little painful to listen to... which is funny when you consider how structurally similar french and japanese are... luckily there isn't too much of it.

But yeah... cute little 12 episode show...
now i have to pick between my last few remaining rigthstuf purchases..... or rewatch natsume yuujinchou cause... boy thats tempting.  

Monday, 18 May 2015

Slayers Revolution - R

Because lets be honest... Revolution and Evolution - R are the same season... they just are...

Originally i was going to start this by saying "well that was pointless fanservice to the fans of the original series"
But after those last two episodes i can't completely standby that.
It IS fanservice for those who like the original three seasons, but the last two episodes are really well done.

However it's best to explain myself.
As i mentioned in my Saylers/next/try Ramble I had a friend who really liked Slayers...
She liked Slayers as much as i like Natsume yuujinchou.
I personally enjoyed the series but never really got into it as much as her.
However last Christmas rightstuff had all 5 seasons on sale for less then 50 dollars... considering most of the time it's hard to get a single season of this show for less then 60 i jumped on the chance.

Rewatching Slayers/next/try was a lot of fun, Slayers next is still probably the strongest season considering the story lines it managed to explore before the plot derails that (like it does it ever season. Turning on Revolution (ep 1-13) was pretty good at first.
Well it has the best intro and ending song of all 5 seasons... but it felt like a lot of pointless filler sprinkled with a tiny bit of plot near the end.
So when Evolution - R (ep 14-26)started i figured well considering we just finished some plot relevant stuff it would just jump right in.
Instead we get the worst intro and ending song in the entire series (also the endign just starts out of nowhere with no buildup or fade out or moment of silence... it's just like BAM mountain range) and mostly filler.
To me it feels like 11 episodes of filler... is that a bit unfair? probably but if i break it down into the episode arcs... nothing that happens affects the overall plot.
Finding the 'jar'? kinda pointless.
Following the armour... no reward by the end doesn't do anything.
Protecting the nobel, not only pointless but time wasting and a chance for some character development that they just throw in the garbage.
then we get a few filler episodes that do relate to the plot a little and then 2 really solid episodes. that really should have been more the focus of the entire 26 episodes... just just the 5-8 it ended up being. across 2 seasons

Now i am easily swayed by how much i like the music of a show... if a show has a terrible intro song it may sour my whole mood... that could be whats happening here because WOW i really don't like Evolution - R's music.
(while trying to find the name of the song i saw that there is a 1 volume manga for Evolution r.... the fact that all the important plot fits into one volume doesn't surprise me at all)
Also now that i have heard the full version of the song... it's not terrible... btu the TV edit of it is... i will stand by that... especially complaired to plenty of grit which is just so good.

Front Breaking (tv size)
compaired to the season before
Plenty of Grit (tv size)
Again it could just be me but yeah... not a fan of the last seasons music.

One last thing before i describe the plot ... i was worried that the 11 year gap would chance how the show feels... the animation is different... the 90's art style really dates it however i think the animators did a great job.
the colours could use a little muting but i do love how clean and crisp everything looks. 

Okay the plot is pretty simple.
Lina and her party come across a magic Weilding stuffed animal who apparently is actually the prince of a town stricken by a plague.
Years ago Rezo put everyone to sleep to slow the process of the disease but before he could break the spell
Uh spoilers i guess...
Lina blew him up... or more accurately the evil spirit inside of him.
However the seal never broke so somewhere in some capacity Rezo must still be alive... the goal is to..
*deep breath*
Find Rezo, get him to release the seal on the town
Find out if theres a way to turn Zelgadis  back to a human...
Find gourry a better sword cause... well he loses it in try.

and finally.
just.... smug little loveable jerkface Xellos.

however most of that stuff is crammed into the final few episodes.. instead we get a bunch of people we don't care about trying to kill lina for reasons. it doesn't further the plot and only really serves as some fanservice connecting the original 3 seasons to these two.

I know i've been kind of mean to it but i did enjoy Revolution - R
i'm happy i didn't have to spend 60-70 a pop for it cause BOY it is not worth that much. but the 24 i spent for both seasons... thats not too bad.
But when you consider the fact that there was an 11 year gap between season 3 and 4 i was kinda hoping for more.
I want lina to deal with her sister.
I want gourry to get a new sword.
I want lina to beat a final boss without using a certain spell.

I want Xellos to show up more then gets as a convenient Dues Ex machina.
But most of all i wanted a little more time exploring what a certain character meant in there final moments in the last episode. it was a really interesting line that can't be explored because of what immediately follows.

So it's good, if you like the other seasons it's a lot of fun.... but pick it up cheap if you are unsure or just casually enjoyed the first three seasons.

If they do another one (and who knows they might) please let it actually be about gourry... for the past 3 seasons he has been worse then useless... and thats a bit upset because even though he is incredibly stupid he does have an interestign character.

But yeah maybe i'll eventually see the OVAs... it may help explain the one character i have no clue about in Evolution - R

for now (barring another season which i'm sure would be fun) i'm glad it's done, it's a very long show to only be wacthign 1 ep a night and i was wanted to check out some of the other series i bought.
and maybe rewatch Natsume yuujinchou.... cause work is starting to make me sad and that would just make me smile... we will see if i cave.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

It doesn't need to be like this.

Not too long ago Cute High Earth Defense club LOVE finished airing... it came out in an interview that if the sale of the episodes through dvd and blue ray goes well we may get a season two.

I knew this really only meant Japan but still i was hell bent on supporting this show... in a stellar season it was one of my faves... So i knew i would be buying the dvd or blu ray over here.
Funimation streamed it so they probably got the distribution license, there 13 episode series range from 50-70 which is a bit high for me but i love the show enough where that is reasonable.
I had no idea how wrong i would be.

Funimation does not have the home video License... Pony canyon does.

What does this mean?
It means i'm not getting Cute high earth defence club love.... at least not untill it's packed at 13 episodes in on purchase... and/or it goes on sale.

Okay lets back up a second...
lets talk about selling anime in japan.

Japanese DVDs and Blurays (as far as i've seen) only have 1-2 episodes per disk on them.
They also cost around 7000 Yen.
which is (approximately) 70-75 bucks
for 2 episodes.

This is problematic for a few reasons.

The biggest one being that if you tried to tell someone in north america they need to spend 70 bucks for 40 minutes of content they would laugh at you.

Granted when buying anime on dvd had a big boom (it may have been sooner but due to my age it felt like this book was in the late Nineties and early Aughts) the prices weren't too far off.
The first dvd i ever bought on my own was the cardcaptor sakura movie... it was 50 bucks.
The first boxset i ever bought was Sailor moon uncut.... it was 120
Those prices in todays market are just obscene.

Today you never seen 4 episodes per disk sets... EVERYTHING is done by cour (13 episode chunks)

My personal guildline is
13 = 30-50 (and i really have to love the show for it to be 50 OR it needs to have enough goodies to warrent the higher price [read as NISA boxsets])
26 = as close to 50 as i can manage.
Movies = 20-30 bucks
52 = (I have to love the show enough to commit to that much time) 70-100 TOPS

I refuse to buy anything less then 13 episodes.

So when a japanese company from a japanese market comes here and prices out a show...
well we get Aniplex and Pony Canyon.
you know who else pulled this shit? Geneon.... and well they don't distribute here anymore.

Back to the topic at hand... Cute high earth defense club love is going on sale for 70 bucks for 4 episodes.

I don't like to swear online but my immediate reaction was "you have to be fucking kidding"
When my friend told me about this i was convinced that it was actually the japanese prices... cause we don't put out 4 episode disks anymore... they don't sell as well here as cours do... 
We already have to deal with the aniplex tax (read as Aniplex prices range from 70-150 on a given show) we don't need another Comapny charging these outrageous prices.
I loved the show
I want a season two
But until i can get it all for the 30-50 bucks i am willing to pay for a 13 episode show it will not happen.
i don't care if that means i never get it.
I mean i'm sad but i rather be sad and stick to my guns instead of happy i got a show and being part of the problem.

Like, i mean i can't say this for sure cause i own it.... but actually no... i can say with certanty that if Natsume yuujinchou, My all time fav anime... one i need to rewatch every few months or i get sad, were sold for 70 bucks for 4 episodes... i wouldn't own it...

and if i can't spend that much on my fav show... no way i can spend it on a show i greatly enjoyed.

I rarely wish for comapnies to fail but i hope Pony canyon fails.
I hope the north american market rejects their bullshit prices and they leave.
same with aniplex... but they already seem to be letting their quality slip so it's only a matter of time before the pull a geneon.

I am so upset about this... why do companies make it so hard for me to give them money....
had they done 4 episodes for 20 bucks.... maybe i would have considered... it's sub only so thats still stupid high.... but 70 bucks? thats a slap to the face.

oh well... maybe 5 or 6 years down the road right stuff with have it on sale for a decent price.
i can wait.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Light Novel: Is it Wrong to Pick Up GIrls in a Dungeon vol 2

So last night i finished volume 2, and i was quite pleased considering it ended exactly where the last aired episode ended.
I was so happy that i would get to read ahead.
except one itty bitty problem.
volume three doesn't come out in north america till august.

so.... yeah...

guess i get to be surprised with everyone else.

I am enjoying the light novels, you get a lot more personality from everyone since there is more time compared to a 23 minute episode.
Another bonus to the light novel is that it tells you far more about the status, skills and levels.

I never would have guessed there was a letter grading system within the levels, or that to reach level 2 so many conditions would need to be met.

But as for recommending reading it... maybe when the show is done give it a chance since by then the early episodes wont be so fresh in your mind.
I did really enjoy it. I am curious how long the overall series is... as long as it comes out more often then the melancholy light novels i should be okay. (i think it was 5 years between the last book being written and the english version being published... it was a long time)

The writing also got a little better in volume 2... it doesn't feel as awkward so either the translator got into a good rythem or they changed them out... either way it's a lot of fun and i look forward to the next volume.

Unless the show pulls a sword art and i end up hating it by the end......
please don't pull a sword art online.... i can't deal with that again.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Is it Wrong to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon Vol 1 (Light Novel)

I have heard that Patience is a virtue
yeah pass.... i am only of the least patient people i know... if there is a way to get more of something that i enjoy i will do whatever it takes to get that.

At least when it comes to anime.

So.... a bit of a spoiler for the end of the season but.... one of my favourite shows this seasons...
a season with a second season to SNAFU and a Haruhi Suzumiya... is called
"Is it Wrong to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon"

If this was a few years ago... i never would have watched this... i would have seen the title and said "that looks like a fanservicy piece of crap.... what is with that string? what purpose can it possibly serve"
Now since i get every show a chance (and i have been surprised many times in the past 3-4 years thanks to it) i sat sown and watched it.
and boy did i nit pick the first episode with a friend.
but at the end i sat back and thought. "you know.... it wasn't terrible.... i kind of want to see more"
I was stunned... how could a show with such a stupid title (granted in japanese it's Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru noha Machigatteiru darouka... which still is long and stupid)
This was supposed to be my "yeah well that was what i expected" show.... and now i'm hooked.

Not only is it not bad.... it's really good... god i hope this doesn't pull a sword art online on me... thats always my worry with harem shows... a great start and then just rage and anger at missed/wasted potential.

however i'm not here to talk about the show... it's good go watch it on cruncyroll you have no excuse not to.

No i want to talk about my lack of patience.
A few weeks ago, after i told one of my friends "i can't believe i like this show" he linked me to the light novel.
and i stared at the link for a while.
"I want to be surprised by the show.... but the ligth novel probably has more info... and i could read ahead... but the show.... but more info"
and then two nights ago i caved and bought it... only to find out my kindle may be dying....

Anyways I told myself that light novels are like water and i should only read a chapter a night (consdering the whole 200ish page book is only 6 chapters)
Then i did something to my shoulder and now we are here... yay~

Many years ago gods decended from another world in order to have a good time with people on the main world. They gave them blessings and the abilities to fight monsters in a dungeon. These Familia work to keep the peace and keep up their entertainment.
After a chance encounter with a goddess named hestia he decided to become a member (the only member) of her Familia. This way he can become an adventurer and fulfill his deepest desires! he want to meet women.
Lucky (at least in my opinion) that goal doesn't even make it past the first page as he is nearly killed by a monster. Realizing he was a  moron for thinking such a simplistic reason would be enough to keep him alive he now just fights to survive and get stronger.
The story overall is about him working towards a goal, some of it is fueled by love but more then anything he just doesn't want to lose anyone.

This volume when compared to the anime doesn't go very far at all... i would say 4 or 5 episodes?
actually i just checked and it's 3 episodes...
so yeah i didn't get anything new persay but i got a lot more insight into bells character (which is both good and bad... i think the translation leaves something to be desired) and i learned more about the lore surrounding the world....
i've also pretty confirmed a few things i had supposed about the "antagonist"
but yeah if you are enojoying the show i would recommend the light novel... it's a quick read. (about 2-3 hours i would guess... maybe less... i don't tend to pay too much attention with light novels)
I see the manga is also coming out, it's probably good too (and probably had more fanservice cause why not i guess?)
for me i think i'll be picking up the next one.... i don't think volume 3 releases for a few months.... which makes me sad cause i want to read ahead more.... but i'll take going into the next arc.

So yeah... stupid show and it's stupid title... admitting i like this show kills me a little inside.
but hey better to not judge a book by it's cover.
or an anime by it's title.... no matter how terrible the title is.
If it gets licensed jus tchange the name to "Hestia" cause even though i like Bell more... Hestia is adorable.....
but still what is up with that string.