Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons
Black Magic shall rule over all

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Demi Gods, Dog Gods and the Undead

Just received some of the items that I bought from E-bay.
One of them was the Wonder Woman animated movie that came out some time around last year that completely escaped my notice. Then again, like I said, comic book break.
The movie is quite obviously what you would expect of Wonder Woman’s first animated movie; it’s an origin story. We get to see the birth of Wonder Woman from an excited teenager who wants to see the outside world, to the superhero we all know and love, as she takes on the God of War Ares and his minions. If there is anything about the movie that I could seriously complain about, its that they add some random airplane pilot into the mix, who introduces Wonder Woman to the outside world, is the very first man she’s ever met. As the story goes on, they seem to fall in love, and at the end, it seems they are at least living together.
Edit: I’m an ass. I just found out that that guy has been there from her earliest beginnings. My mind is blown.
Personally, I am against this for one specific reason: Wonder Woman, in my eyes, will never be tied down. Especially not to someone who is completely human. I actually don’t agree with Wonder Woman falling in love with anyone; to me, she should always stay a virgin. To me, that’s just part of her mythos. Still a good thing movie though; I would recommend to any fans of Wonder Woman or anyone with a passing interest in the character.
Another purchase was the first two movies in the Evil Dead series, Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. I didn’t buy Army of Darkness because I already have that movie on VHS. I’ve been a fan of the series for quite a while now, so getting to watch the first two movies in the series is really cool. So far, the only one I’ve seen though is the first movie. I was actually genuinely surprised by how violent the movie was; Army of Darkness was never anywhere near this violent when I first watched it. This one has people getting stabbed, mutilated, and there’s even a instance where a woman is raped by tree vines! It’s like the director Sam Reimi was a fan of La Blue Girl before he made this movie. The violence isn’t anything large by today’s standards, but it was enough to make me a little wary. I don’t have much of a stomach for gore sadly. Big reason why I have yet to see Ichi the Killer. Still, it was a very entertaining movie, and it was very interesting to see main character Ash as a bit of a coward rather than the badass he is portrayed as in every other Evil Dead movie. At least the vine rape scene wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, it wasn’t very graphic at all, nothing like the aforementioned hentai. I also liked the movie’s visuals considering just how old the movie was and the small budget that it was shot with. It’s obvious why fans were so interested in the movie. Highly recommended. I have yet to see the second movie, but I will most likely post about it once I actually get around to watching it.
Also bought about three Poke’mon TCG theme decks, one being one of the World’s champion decks. I’m genuinely surprised by how much the card game has changed from when I was a kid. Namely, most of the poke’mon from the original sets would get their asses killed going into battle with some of the newer ones. Its crazy. Everything from damage to hit points has been severely upgraded. The decks have proven a lot of fun, and my sister and I got them mainly just so we could catch up on the current events of the card game.
Also decided to buy Trinity Universe, the PS3 game made by the kings of mediocre JRPG’s, Idea Factory and Critical Heart. These are the same people that made Cross Edge, Record of Agarest War, and upcoming in America, Hyperdimension Neptunia. A lot of people generally hate the company due to their legacy of making substandard JRPG’s. I  have actually come to like their games; maybe it’s the otaku in me, or maybe it’s just a general thing for shitty games, but something about them attracts me. Anyway, the story of Trinity Universe is very simple: a dog god named Kanata is trying to find out how he can save the universe without being turned into a gem, a play on the kanji making his Japanese name, InuMaou, or Demon Dog King. By taking one part of his Kanji and adding it to another as shown in the opening video, this name becomes Demon God Gem. He thus needs to be turned into a gem like his ancestors in a ritual so that he can protect the capital of the NetherUniverse from being destroyed. However, doing so means his life will end without going on an adventure, and he thus brakes out of jail with his loyal vassal Tsubaki so that he can find a way to cure his lust for adventure, and save the capital at the same time without being turned into a gem. The game, like most crossover RPG’s, is absolutely hysterical. It was localized by NIS America, the same people who localized the Disgaea series. While their localizations are not always accurate, they have a real knack for injecting the series with huge amounts of humor, which really shines in this game since the Disgaea characters make an appearance. The interesting thing about this game is that, unlike Idea Factory’s other games that I’ve played, the character’s are rendered in 3D as opposed to 2D. While the graphics for the 3D portion are mostly middling, the 2D graphics are amazing, with the characters moving and talking as the speech comes. It looks really amazing, particularly on a HD TV. The battle system is something like Xenosaga ep1, where you press three buttons to attack, basically weak, strong, and magical, all of which will drain your AP as you attack. Certain enemies are weaker to certain types of attacks, and certain attack combos lead to special attacks which hit for big damage.
Another thing that sets this game apart from the rest is that this game features two different playable protagonists; the aforementioned Kanata, and the Valkyrie Rizelia. While I haven’t played as Rizelia yet, her gameplay is supposed to be harder than Kanata’s, and her story features more Gust characters while Kanata’s features more Disgaea characters. The game so far has been highly enjoyable, and in particular I have really come to like Tsubaki, the Yamato Nadeshiko with an evil streak. She happens to be voiced by Ayana Taketatsu-kun, the voice actor for Azusa in K-on. Hearing Ayana-kun talk in a delinquent voice when she gets angry is ridiculously hysterical, especially coming from her. Definitely will keep playing this. I’ll post about Rizelia’s gameplay after I beat the game with Kanata.

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Blog design

Yes, for the first time in this blog's history, I have updated my blog's design to reflect my current tastes/obsessions ^_^;
Let me know how you like/dislike the new design as a comment!

Also, new blog update coming soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I tried out Pokemon Black and White during the week, and was pleasantly surprised with how the game is. Nintendo has really tried to revamp the game with what they did in Black and White. The graphics have been changed to really take advantage of the DS graphics capabilities by displaying the game in almost true 3D. Plus I really like that the MC’s are teenagers rather than the same 10 year olds we’ve been playing as since Red and Blue. It’s really a nice step in the right direction for the series, since people have been getting slightly tired of the same shit every single time. I personally was getting tired of playing as 10 year old kids considering I’m 21. I also really love the new interface of the game, as it just seems much more cooler. My only complaint would really be the new Poke’mon. Some of them just seem like really dumb ideas, or rehashes of older ideas. I personally believe the same thing everyone else believes: Nintendo is running out of ideas for new Poke’mon. It was something we all knew would eventually happen, but all considering it happened pretty fast. This is only Generation Five after all. I’m not planning on playing the game very much though. I’m not having any problem at all even if it is in Japanese. I just don’t want to play the game much because once it’s localized and hits the states, I’m going to have to beat this game all over again, as well as start my Poke’mon collection all over, something I really don’t want to do. In the meantime I’m just going to fool around with the game and see what kind of new Poke’mon are in it. I do like Mijumaru though. Along with playing the game, I have also been watching the JP version of the anime, Poke’mon Best Wishes, and Mijumaru is turning out to be a popular character. He’s ugly as all hell, but the little guy has a ton of personality. So do Tsutarja and Pokabu. Let’s just see how the English anime decides to butcher them with changed names. I admit though, I wouldn’t mind if they named Tsutarja with his fan name, Smugleaf. To me, that’s a perfect name for him. He’s grass, and he’s smug. So why not lol?

In anime, I’ve been watching some of the new fall anime, and I’m surprised. I like it a lot.

The first anime I’m going to talk about is Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls. What is this anime? I’ll tell you in simplest terms: It’s Ikki Tousen with the Japanese Sengoku period rather than the Three Kingdoms era. Quite frankly, I love this anime so far. It’s everything I ever could have wanted: Japanese history with Ikki Tousen style girls and fighting. What’s there to hate? I’ve only seen the first episode so far, so I’m not going to talk about it much, but seriously this anime looks awesome.

Another anime that I’ve been watching is Kami Nomi zo Shiru no Sekai, or The World only God Knows. The story is about a high school boy named Katsuragi Keima, who is known as the “Capturing God”, famous for capturing bishoujo female characters in bishoujo games. Supposedly there has never been any dating sim that he has never beaten. One day he gets a request to capture a select group of girls through an anonymous email. After accepting the challenge, a girl comes from the sky named Elsie and reveals that she is actually a demon, and that other demos have been leaking into local human girls, threatening to take over their souls. The only way to save these girls is to fill their hearts with love by having them fall in love the main character. Problem is, the main character may be godlike in dating sims, but in real life, he is a complete otaku who has never even held a girls hand before, and the entire school regards him as an otaku that’s best left unknown. What to do…

The anime is actually really funny and obviously pokes fun at a lot of typical anime and bishoujo game conventions. Plus I have to like any anime featuring an otaku character. Knowing me, I’ll be watching this anime all the way until it’s through.

The next anime will be Yosuga no Sora. This anime is about a twin pair, the older twin brother, Kasugano Haruka, and the younger twin sister, Kasugano Sora. Both of their parents were killed in a violent car crash, and they have decided to move back to their old country town so that the two of them can simply live together. There, they reconnect with their old friends and possible love interests as they try to live a normal life. Now just by hearing my short-ass description of the story, would you be able to gather that this story was actually extremely ecchi? You wouldn’t, would you? Well, believe it or not, it actually happens to be one of the more ecchi stories I’ve seen in quite a while. The funny thing is that the ecchi isn’t all up in your face, like Ikki Tousen, Hyakku Ryouran, or even Eiken. Yet at the same time, the story happens to top all three in sheer ecchi factor. How? Not only with implied twincest between Haru and Sora, but with one character actually masturbating on screen, an actually shown lesbian sex scene, and a just about fully shown sex scene in which the only thing missing, was both characters genitalia. Hell, it even showed penetration!!! It mind-fucks you at how such an anime can be shown on non-late night television programming when even the breasts are shown. The only time there was ever any censoring at all was when Haru was playing with his girlfriend! It literally ends up being more ecchi than any other anime I have ever seen that wasn’t a hentai. I just don’t know how they get away with this shit. I’m having a hard time even talking about it just because I’m still kind of in shock from what was in this. Yeesh. I would definitely say that this anime is 18 and over. I wouldn’t particularly call it a good story though. At many times it’s supposed to be similar to Key anime, with lots of touching and sad moments. But the problem is that this anime doesn’t give me enough reasons to actually care about the characters in it. Its not like I hate all the characters in here, like I did with Higurashi, but there’s only about two characters I like, while everyone else in there I just….do demo iin da. I just plain don’t care. They’re not interesting. At all. They do nothing to make me like them. At all. But I have to keep watching this anime just to find out where they go from the sex scene. It’s like watching a train wreck: you just have to see what happens next despite the journey to it isn’t all that exciting. If you like to see some crazy snippets of hentai, then this anime might just be for you. If you want an interesting story that will keep you in, then you might want to watch something else.

I’ve also been watching the other anime that happens to be based off of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms that features hot anime girls: Shin Koihime Musou. The story is basically a retelling of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms storyline with almost all the legendary warriors being attractive females. It’s differences from Ikki Tousen include the story: as opposed to these girls being the fighters resurrected in modern day Japan, these girls actually are the original fighters in China. Another difference lies in the fighting: As opposed to the realistic or spectacular fighting shown in Ikki Tousen, the fighting, from what I’ve seen, is more in line with how you would have expected the characters to fight; amazing for their universe, but these girls aren’t jumping fifty feet in the air or doing 100 hundred sword slashes in the span of 2 seconds. Also, the characters are really pretty likable from what I’ve seen so far. I don’t know exactly which Koihime series this is, as they are multiple, but once I get the name I’ll post it here.

Other anime I’ve been watching is Sora no Otoshimono. No, not the second season. The first. I know, I’m behind. Anyway, this anime I highly recommend; it’s a fucking riot. The story is about a normal everyday high school boy (what anime isn’t? >_>) who one day meets a being named Icarus, who calls herself an angel sent simply to make him happy. The story is a one hundred percent complete comedy as you could imagine what would happen when an angel that literally makes anything and everything possible lands for your average Japanese teenage boy. Best part is that the Angel is na├»ve and provides a huge amount of deadpan humor. There’s also the main character, who’s a complete pervert but is otherwise normal, his childhood friend who happens to have a crush on him, and his older sempai, which consist of an extremely serious young man who truly believes in conspiracies and other worlds, and the student council president who happens to be the heirest of the local town Yakuza. It’s exactly the type of story I love: Randomness at its best. Once I finish this I’ll just start watching the second season.

Let’s see…another series that I’m watching is the second season of Strike Witches, a series a practically fell in love with two years ago. The series is takes place in an alternate timeline where WW2 never happened. Instead, the human race was attacked by a sentient alien race known as the Neuroi, and all of the world’s armies have had to unite to fight off the alien invaders. The only one’s capable of fighting off the Neuroi are girls with magical power known as Witches, who all use special jet boosters on their legs in order to concentrate all of their available magical power, and so that they can fly and lift heavy weapons. Since the Neuroi typically take the form of and fight as jet planes, the Witches then take to the skies in order to fight the Neuroi. The first season ended with the main cast of Witches apparently having ended the war by taking out the huge Neuroi hive above England, freeing most of Europe from Neuroi control and apparently having ended the war peacefully by opening communications with friendly Neuroi.

The second season opens by having a different squadron of Witches talk to the friendly Neuroi that main character Yoshika found during the course of season one. However, before they have the chance to speak, A humoungous Neuroid hive opens up behind the already huge hive the friendly Neuroi came out of, and completely destroys not only the friendly Neuroi hive, but most of England with it. Main character Yoshika and her squadron of Witches are then called back to duty, as now all Witches must come back on deck in case the war escalates again. The second season is much like the first; very entertaining with quite the spattering of fanservice, and I will continue watching the anime, as I was a very big fan of the first season.

I also got to see a movie I’ve been wanting to see for quite a long time: Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. I really wanted to see it after seeing the trailer for it in Batman: Mask under the Red Hood. The story is basically a retelling of Supergirl’s origin story, the one where she is the other survivor of Krypton. In my opinion, it’s a really well told story with everything that makes a comic great; great fight scenes, great story and great story. As a one-sentence synopsis of the storyline, it’s Kara Zor-L story as she lands on Earth, learns how to be an Earth girl, control her powers, and eventually gets kidnapped by Darkseid, and Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman must travel to Apocalypse to rescue her. Maybe it’s simply that I have general interest in Supergirl and her future counterpart, Power Girl, but I enjoyed the story. I know among comic book fans its apparently a subject of mixed reviews, as some people think the movie is one of the worst movies DC has ever made. I think it’s actually rather good, I don’t know. A lot of people just hatred the movie for no real reason.

On that note though, while I am very happy that Power Girl is getting her own series, I would like to see her receive something of a movie. The only time she has ever been on screen in a DC movie was in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, where she was the only super hero who continued to side with Superman and Batman after they were framed by President Lex Luthor. I understand that she is the butt of pretty much every joke considering she has the largest breasts of any character in the DC universe, but that doesn’t mean that she has to constantly get joked on. She has proven time and time again that she is extremely capable, and even owns a large company dedicated to helping people and the Earth. So why does she get no respect? She’s the Rodney Dangerfield of the DC universe. Oh well. Hopefully DC does something with her.

I also decided to get back into Comic books after my little hiatus from them months ago. I got back into them back in Feburary by buying the Witchblade Omnibus Vol. 1. Witchblade has always been one of my favorite comics, along with its sister series, The Darkness. The art more than anything appealed to me. While a lot of comics have middling artwork, this series has consistently had amazing artwork. Plus, getting to stare at main character Sara Pezzeni in various states of nudity always helps. I also primarily got into The Darkness after playing the amazing video game based on it for the PS3, as it was one of the first games that I got for the system. I bought the Omnibus because I wanted to read the characters story from the beginning. I just want to point this out now: I am primarily a comic book reader, not a collector. I don’t have nearly the paycheck to cover that kind of a hobby. I buy comic books so that I can read the story, not so that I can sell them off at auction. This reason is why I usually buy compilation graphic novels rather than the single issues. If you can get the single issues right from the beginning as soon as the series starts then fine. But once the series has gone pretty far, a bunch of the issues are going to become collector’s items, and then you’re going to be paying huge amounts for the one comic. Lord help you if you if it’s a popular character like Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Spider-man, the X-men or the Incredible Hulk, because you can easily wind up paying way more than $100 for the single issue comic, particularly if the character goes back into the Silver Age, or god-forbid, the Golden Age of comics. What also makes a comic’s value go up is if it was a significant portion of the characters history, like Wonder Woman’s recent redesign, or the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin. If the comic specifically wants to get read by a quite the amount of people, you can usually expect the price to go up. In case you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a pretty much a DC reader. Their comics just appeal to me slightly more than Marvel. Maybe years of getting pawned in MVC2 has made me come to hate Marvel lol. Though if there’s any character in Marvel that I am interested in reading, it would probably be X-23. Probably because she’s going to be one of my mains in MVC3. From what I understand, she’s gotten her own series, so I’ll try to check that out. I just don’t like how everyone is blowing her off because she’s a clone of Wolverine, both literally and figuratively. People didn’t blow off Akuma, and he’s basically a Ryu clone. Hell, at least X-23 has a different moveset from Wolverine, which is hard to say for Akuma. Though I will admit, the fact that she looks like a character from Twilight doesn’t exactly help matters. I do like how they incorporated her foot claws into her moveset, because unlike Wolverine, who just does repeated slashes, she does whole circles, so her moves look similar to Juri’s pinwheels.

The other character I’m looking forward to playing is Trish and Dante from the Devil May Cry series. While I would have preferred DMC4 Dante, 3 Dante wasn’t so bad, so I have no problem with it. He does look like a beast though, sort of how Zero looked in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Trish looks like she is going to be beasty keep-a-way with her lasers, her sword mode looks badass, and she can fly. Can’t wait to play her.

That’s actually the funny thing about this game. I’m actually excited for this games release. There’s a ton of characters in here that I am actually interested in playing: Trish, Dante, X-23, Albert Wesker, Chris Redfield, Morrigan, Hulk, Deadpool, Tronne Bonne, there’s just so many I might have like three teams when the game hits, just because there’s so many characters I’m interested in playing with. First time I’ve been excited to play Marvel in a while. Once I get my items, I’ll post again.