YamiShikiMoon's Blog

Sarcastic girly nerd that talks about anything Anime, Manga, Game related that is of interest.


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FFXIV and Cutscenes in Story Dungeons

This is something I meant to write about ages ago when I played Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn for the first time, and now currently playing the newest expansion Stormblood I felt the need to take this up now since I feel this is still (somewhat) relevant with even more new players joining in the mmo. (Also felt like ranting cuz I got these dungeons in the Main Story Roulette recently lol)
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OH BOY, after finishing Final Fantasy A Realm Reborn Story Quest in patch 2.0 (lvl 1-50) I have some things to say, specifically the last two story dungeons, because this a huge issue that Square Enix need to deal with. (beware of very long ass wall text)

So, Cutscenes in Story Dungeons…

I just recently finished The Praetorium and Castrum Meridanium for the first time, and while the people in the group didn’t seem to mind/notice that they were effectively 7 manning, I was pretty annoyed with SE by the end. At one point the group had actually gotten 2 bosses ahead of the cutscene I was on, and it felt like the last 30 mins was just cutscenes running back to back. I spent maybe 2 minutes of the entire run actually experiencing a boss fight, and that completely ruined the experience. I could have done the same thing on Youtube. It should really be redesigned at some point. It’s a bad experience waiting to happen for every new player coming up.

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My first Praetorium experience – AKA a new player’s worst nightmare

Praetorium or Castrum Meridianum each have 10-20 cutscenes, nothing is worse than skipping the cutscene to save time on the timer and coming out of the cutscene to find yourself locked in insta-battle with something large and only 3 of the 8 people in your party present. It just drops you in the battle. I seriously believe that it is a design flaw in the coding to have the timer run while anyone is in a cutscene, and the game should never drop you into a battle directly out of a cutscene without an opportunity to regroup and strategize. Changes in this manner by the programmers could eliminate a lot of pain and suffering.

I always watch the CS during my first run through of a dungeon. Don’t like it? I’ll drop the dungeon and i”m sure my WHM will find another PUG before the time you finish typing your all caps response to tell me to hurry up. I fully understand that if i’m in a PUG that there are people that are going through the first, as a matter of fact, it tells you in the very beginning:

“hey, jackass, there are players here on their first time through, chill the @#%^ out and wait”. Of course, I’m paraphrasing but still.

If you’re in that big of a hurry, don’t do PUGs. Go find some friends that are just as impatient as you are and run dungeons to your hearts content. I do feel a little guilty, though, knowing that there are probably people waiting for me. I understand some people want to get it done fast, but first timers have every right to watch every cutscene. You might argue that you can rewatch it back in your inn, but for some people that’s besides the point. I’m talking about immersion.

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I’m one of those people who enjoy the actual journey to lvl 50 just as much as the destination itself.

Rewatching it in the inn destroys the immersion for me. I know some people feel the same way I do, and I know some people beg to differ. There is no right or wrong in this situation, but know that that is an online game where you play with others. If someone wants to watch the story unfold, they have every right to.

They should make it so that the time limit freezes as long as someone is in a cutscene.

I’m playing a game with a story, I’m watching/reading the story as I play it. That’s not ignorance or disrespect it’s quite literally how the game is designed to be played. When I enter a cut scene I just pop a quick “cs” in party chat so everyone is aware, they can wait a minute or two while I enjoy my video game. This isn’t a job, I have no obligation to skip content just because you (not you specifically) don’t want to watch it.

If you want to speed run dungeons, make a group and agree to those terms prior to entering, this has the added benefit of allowing you to run multiple runs without waiting on the duty finder.

I shouldn’t have to piece together the story post run just because you’re too impatient to wait a couple of minutes at a boss fight/[insert cs starting event here].

 

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This is Final Fantasy, it’s all about story.

I’m surprised by the people (mostly on gaming boards) saying that Prae and CM CS should be skipped because they’re “old content” or that they can be watched and the dungeon run by seven. I don’t care why you’re running an instance – if it’s tied into the story, you have to expect that there will be new players. They may slow you down watching CS or they may fuck up and wipe the group a few times. If you don’t like it, DON’T run the main scenario roulette.

Don’t just tell new players to watch stuff at the Inn later. Especially in the case of Prae/CM, the cutscenes have all of your party members – unless you watch it at the inn, in which case you’re alone. It ruins immersion in a game so widely praised for its story.
Similarly, don’t go ahead without them – part of the story is the fact that you actually get to experience it, you’d be furious if someone ruined you experience; why do it to others?

 

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Gant:0 Movie Review

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Gantz first started of as a Manga written and illustrated by Hiroya Oku, it was adapted as an Anime back in 2004 and now have also become a 3D CGI Movie that’s specifically covering the “Osaka Arc” from the manga. (The Anime didn’t cover this arc as it wasn’t enough manga material at the time for the show to get there.) I have both read the Manga and watched the Anime and now watched the movie on Netflix.

I have to say its one of the better Manga adaptations out there. It does change some things about Gantz, such as if the timer runs out they die instead of losing their points, and there are less characters than in the manga.

The movie makes use of CGI for the animation, and the result is quite excellent.

The visuals are jaw dropping. They feel like mix of photorealism and next-gen game CG cutscenes. I am grateful they opted to use CGI instead of live actors for the human characters, as it better suits the crazy monster designs without it making them seem out of place. The choice to make a CGI film with this quality of animation was perfect.

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Something also really great is the lighting in this film. Not only does it have excellent effects for all of its lighting but there are also very “film”-esque lighting. For instance, there is eye lighting. In film, this is the act of putting a light on the eyes despite it not likely making sense in the real world. This is something I love. A scene can be crowded and busy but not only are we greeted with someone’s face and their reaction, we’re drawn to it with more focus solely because there’s a light source reflecting against their eyes and skin. It’s so classic noir but it feels great to see this employed in an animated feature, no less.

But alas there are some downsides I found to the movie, which was :

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it feels too small. A lot of the characters was cut out of this movie, so while it has the basic story, it doesn’t feel that big. The story arc the movie covers was supposed to be a full on war, and while there are tons of aliens, there aren’t as many Gantz players running around.

Another problem I have is with the characters. This movie changes a few things from the manga, most of which is good or brings something new, however the characters may be the worst change.

With Kei Kurono dead the last members of the Gantz team don’t want to fight anymore, instead they rather run and hide. This doesn’t make sense as both Suzuki and Reika would want to fight to bring back Kei. Its not that big of a problem but it I could see it would bother fans of the series.

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The last problem was that it’s a little too much like a movie. This has some nice gore, and the CGI makes it feel very realistic. But the problem is there are too many last minute saves in this. There are a lot of people that would have died if not for being saved in the last second, something that Gantz rarely ever does, maybe 1 time every 3 arcs. It feels much more like a movie and less like a Gantz adaptation.

In conclusion, Gantz:0 is an awesome movie that caters to both fans of the manga and new comers. It has some changes from the manga, but most of them are good changes. While it does have some problems that should mainly bother fans of the manga, they seem very minor when the rest of the movie blows you away.

Now only to hope we get the rest of the Manga adapted somehow…


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Final Fantasy XV Rant and Thoughts

This rant was made prior to all the recent news of upcoming DLC and other things as I’ll primarily talking about the ending mostly. Beware of lots of capslock rage and incoherent words haha.

And of course it goes without saying Spoilers warning!

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I have never cried so fucking much over a final fantasy.

THAT IS NOT FUCKING FAIR. FUCK YOU ARDYN. ABSOLUTELY FUCK YOU. SHE WOULD HAVE LIVED. I FUCKING HATE YOU. IT’S NOT FAIR IT’S NOT FAIR IT’S NOT FAIR AND I’M SO FUCKING MAD LUNA DESERVED SO MUCH BETTER. I THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO DIE HEROICALLY. I KNEW SHE WAS GOING TO BUT NOT LIKE THIS ITS SO FUCKING UNFAIR THEY NEVER GET TO REUNITE UNTIL THE END WHEN THEY’RE BOTH FUCKING DEAD.

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LITERALLY THEY NEVER INTERACT I HATE IT. I LITERALLY RACED THROUGH THE GAME TO SEE THEM TOGETHER, EVEN FOR A LITTLE BIT, IT’S NOT FUCKING FAIR. I HATE HIM. I HATE HIM SO MUCH I’M LIKE SOBBING. POOR NOCT. I CAN’T. I legitimately like, felt like I was going to throw up. I’m so mad. I just want Noctis to come to me and let’s pretend like this didn’t happen. Or, kind of like 13, EVERYONE COMES BACK AND IT’S FINE. LET’S LIVE IN THE NEW WORLD. PLEASE I DONT WANT THE CANON.

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I’m still so emotionally drained from World of Ruin, the ending etc. Also, Noctis expressing his gratitude to his friends at the campfire. I cried so hard. The last game to manage that was Crisis Core. (Which was directed by FFXV’s director HOW FUCKING IRONIC)

The ending was very abrupt, and you could definitely feel that they didn’t get everything done that they wanted to (remember, older Noct hadn’t been modeled until June according to many sources). I’m not happy with the way it was handled, or part of the ending itself really… I understand that Noct had to die to avoid him becoming like Ardyn, but the guys shouldn’t have died. It’s a giant plot hole. They got killed by Iron Giants??? We’ve fought so many of those. Also, weren’t they just knocked out inside the palace? So Noct went inside to get them, went back out, and then left them for dead while he went to his own death? Why did they need to fight them anyway? Daemons couldn’t get inside the palace, they could have just stayed inside and waited for the sun to rise. They should have been with him when he took the throne. They threw away their whole lives getting him there and should have been with him when it happened. But no. Off screen death. I’m bitter.

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Personally I think there were just so many things that weren’t mentioned properly and also many things that seemed to contribute nothing to the story at all.

Examples are:

Why does Gladio leave the group? Only reason I see is to make a point for the DLC.

Why bring the fact that Prompto is a magitec up, solely for the point of him being able to unlock one single door?

Why and how did Ignis lose his eyes? Again, that would be only necessary for the DLC.

What about Ifrit? If you don’t read anything outside of the game, he has no point in being there, as he wasn’t explained at all.

Where was Noctis all these years? We just see him 10 years later and Umbra gives him a letter from his friends, like they waited exactly 10 years to contact him.

There’s so much they could have added, like flashbacks of Ardyn’s past or the events leading to the Imperial capital being overrun by demons and Ledolas ending up dead.

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I’m also kind of disappointed about the fact that only Noctis was the one suffering from the start? Like what’s Gladio, Ignis and Prompto’s pov when insomnia fell? They looked so awfully calm and things got worse and worse but they didn’t show anything. Also when they fought on the train I wanted to see Gladio and Noct talking it out and get on good terms like there wasn’t even a hint of it because I saw Gladio eternally pissed at Noctis.
Also I felt Ravus should’ve had more screentime as he wasn’t such a bad guy after all. Just having him there for one short scene with the guys and another scene with Luna before killing him off-screen wasn’t fair.

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I can’t help but think of how amazing and epic it would have been if when Noctis found Ravus, and he was still alive and well, once he claimed his father’s sword, the two of them could have fought side by side as the brothers they really were meant to be. Noctis and Luna’s marriage would’ve made Ravus officially apart of his family and, in Ravus’ last days he finally came to understand Luna and Noctis really needed him. HE CAME THROUGH FOR THEIR SAKES. He was the whole reason Noctis reunited with Regis’ sword. Ravus safe guarded it for him. And since the bros weren’t able to fight alongside Noctis during most of his venture into that dark and sad place, Ravus would have been a perfect ally.
To me, that’s how it should have ended and if Ravus did have to die, then why not let him die by Noct’s side, protecting him, fighting beside him, and being “physically” there with him and for him since Luna could not be. He would have been remembered as a hero. In my opinion, that would have made Luna and his mother so proud of Ravus and he could have shown so much potential as a fighter. We already saw how strong he was when he appeared to the boys at the base attack. Even Gladio was weaker against him. And if his tragic end wasn’t bad enough, we never got to see him as the hooded man Square said he would be. DAMN IT. WHY? WHY DID THEY HAVE TO DO HIM SO DIRTY??? I don’t get it at all. And go back to Kingsglaive where his mother died to save him and the fact he was the only person “deemed unworthy” to put the Lucii Ring on and live to tell about it. He deserved better. MUCH BETTER. Simple as that.

I went into FFXV after watching Kingsglaive thinking I don’t care for Ravus, he need to go somewhere or just die.

My thoughts on him after beating FFXV? Ravus did not deserve that.

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Same goes for Luna, they did so much advertising for her before the release, but in the game she barely gets any screentime and when she does, she dies literally 10 minutes later.
I wished they would’ve showed more of a Noctis that’s scared and overwhelmed by the whole situation. He doesn’t even question it a single time. Cor shows up and says you have to gather these weapons and Noctis is just like yeah whatever. This game is beautiful but they didn’t make a really good story out of it. With this plot, the story could’ve easily reached the 40-50 hours even if you just rush through the main story. Its fault is that literally half of the stuff that has an impact on the overall story happened off-screen. I think XV could’ve used a little more of cutscenes to better explain the story (No, not like the Omen cutscene, that scene contributed nothing to the story at all)

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Took 33 hours for me to complete the main story. I cried so hard at the end especially during the scene where you have to choose a picture from Prompto. The gang’s comments on some of the pictures really hit me hard… It felt like 10 years really had passed in real time for me. Looking back on the memories with them feels nostalgic for some reason. I love how the game devs really made them feel so human.

What was the MOST disappointing for me though… (Adding on the list lol)
It is that the game took them 10 years to create… It’s just the story and the main quests seems really off and it feels like when you make a project and you keep on editing bits and pieces here and there and you end up with each part as stunningly beautiful but as a whole looks inconsistent and wrong… I dunno… Very disappointed. The game is above average definitely… But the story feels really short… I guess my expectations was too high… (Unlike Kingsglaive, it was a masterpiece for me. Ie the movie’s part of the story appealed to me more)…

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I actually enjoyed Kingsglaive and made me hopeful/excited to explore and learn about this world and how the story would unfold.
Moving on to another point, am I the only one hoping that the ending is a ‘Bad ending’? Not literally but in a way that there’s multiple endings, good and bad. Obviously we got the latter.
The tagline for the game is “Reclaim your throne”. The buildup right to the end kept hinting that Noct will head back to Insomnia with the gang to restore it to its former glory yet the game forces you to witness a 10 year time skip and ultimately ends the story by killing everyone.

I’m saying isn’t that sort of a really bad scenario where you did something wrong in the past, leading to it? Just like most games that have multiple endings.

10 years and Square Enix still killed everyone off WTF…what kind of fantasy is this…

10 years and this is the best ending they could come up with?

…It’s a slap in the face.

Personally I prefer happy endings but I’ve also watch ones where the sad ending has such an impact was so memorable it had me brawling my eyes out. This one just left me feeling so empty.

I’m just hoping the upcoming DLC has an option for us to continue our journey from the past in an alternate timeline where Ardyn doesn’t exist. This’ll provide more screentime/development for Emperor Ledolas and the other Niff higher ups. It’s disappointing that we didn’t really get to know them as characters in the game. Now because of the ending I have a really hard time picking up my controller to continue finishing off the side quests/extras in the game… Need to cooldown for a bit.
For now I’m just going to keep telling myself that the ending for the game is a ‘Bad Ending’ and hope that the upcoming DLC will include the proper more fleshed out story/ending we all deserve.

I am left with a bitter after-taste.

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Like how we were supposed to collect the swords, but it didn’t matter whether you do so or not. It was not given any importance. Upgrading the regalia was optional. You don’t get to visit the other cities, even part of it. I was hoping to explore the world. Some people complain Final Fantasy X was linear. But at least we got around everywhere, and interacted in different ways. But here… I feel disappointed. I was hoping to see a reason why the empire was hell-bent on invading lucis. But that was all Ardyns doing. Yeah go figure. What? That’s all we get? Really?

Those little tid-bits of the story that were missing from the game made it really… sad for me as a FF fan from a long time.

All the other FFs had a lot of story, a lot of conversations. A lot of explanations. I missed that.

I feeel so depressed after the game now because everyone dies. I was expecting so many things about the marriage, Noctis is going to be the new king. But NOOOOoooooo!! The ending is just a dream that he got married with Luna.

I was personally very interested to see how relationship between Noct and Luna would play out but after seeing what actually unfold I have to say it was extremely weak and god damn she had more screen time in Kingsglaive movie than the main game. I mean seriously? You don’t just kill off main heroine literally a minute after she finally gets to meet the main protagonist. I know Tabata is all in for tragedy but that was just laughable.
I bonded with everyone of the members and enjoyed the trip, I just didn’t expect it was the last trip to enjoy his life with his friends and meeting his beloved one last time. It hurts so much thinking Noct to die on his fate.

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The last Royal standing to save the world and his Kingdom. What will happen to Insomia after this? I want to know what happened to the people and everyone. Did they bury Noct and his friends? It now became part of their History books. It’s just sad okay, just sad. But I have to say the game is good, I like the game but when you get to the point of everythiiing -_- It’s just sad and depressing.

I don’t know how to feel. I fucking loved the game. I have no words. But now I just feel empty. I have a serious case of post-game withdrawal. The 10 year time skip really messed with my head and my emotions. When Luna died I figured Noctis would follow suit upon saving the world, but knowing that 10 years pass since her death, and everyone will have had to live with the knowledge that there is no more Oracle. Prompto, Gladio and Ignis.
They all had to live for 10 years in darkness without Noctis. 10 years is a really fucking long time (I think we all know exactly how long it is, lol). And just thinking about having to live like that. I just became depressed throughout the rest of the chapter. You know that nauseous feeling you can get when you miss someone or something so desperately? That. This game messed with me on an emotional level no other game has done, right now I just feel so emotionally devastated at what happened to these fictional characters, I don’t know what to do with myself.

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Overall, I think it could have been so much better with all those 10 years of developing time.


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Games and Anime highlights of 2016 (Part 2)

Onwards to Part 2 I will talk about my Anime highlights of 2016 and, well there is quite a lot so lets get down to it shall we?

Here’s some honourable mentions of anime i watched but will not go into greater detail as I will with the others because then we would have a much longer list haha:

91 Days, Alderamin on The Sky, All Out!!, Assassination Classroom Season 2, Days, Cheer Danshi!!, Drifters, Arslan Senki Season 2, Fune wo Amu, Nanbaka, March Comes in like a Lion, Prince of Stride, Kuromukuro, Tales of Zestiria the X, ReLIFE, Occultic;Nine and Haruchika.

Obviously I won’t list every single anime I watched so here’s my MAL if anyone’s interested on what else i watched this year: https://myanimelist.net/animelist/Izanagi-No-Kai

I can say that there are some anime coming out this year that I wanted to watch but didn’t have enough interest at that time and probably will watch in the future (next year maybe?)

Nevertheless, lets start!

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Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

We hit it right off with probably one of the most hyped series of the year lol, Did it live to its hype. In my opinion, absolutely. It completely blew my expectations out of the water.

It took something basic and completely twisted it around in surprising ways. Subaru have become one of my favorite anime protagonists and Rem is my best girl ❤

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Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto

I loved the manga and the anime is no difference, they completely nailed the comedy and I laughed out loud so many times watching this. It’s relaxing, fun, consistently funny, and a great show for anyone who wants to unwind and laugh. I would definitely recommend this anime. Bow to our lord Sakamoto.

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Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

Speaking of comedies, KonoSuba was also an awesome anime dealing with a lot of comedy. No matter what, I never get tired of “Main character get teleported to a rpg-like world” formula, and this anime proves it, in more ways than one.

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Natsume Yuujinchou Go

The 5th season of Natsume yuujinchou and so far it still remains as one of my all time favorite anime ever, absolutely beautiful.

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Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Speaking of getting stuck in another fantasy world, here’s another one! The animation was the first thing to get me sold in this show and then the music… wonderful. The story was also interesting and the characters felt really realistic to me. I can hope for a second season but I guess in the meantime I’ll read the Light Novel.

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Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

I like Steampunk, I like zombies and Hiroyuki Sawano doing the soundtrack? I’m sold. Now I did hope a bit more from this show and may have set my expectations a bit too high (okay, like WAAY high) But I still enjoyed the show for what’s it worth and again can hope for a second season since I want to know more about their world and the characters.

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D.Gray-Man Hallow

If I have to be completely honest, this season did disappoint me a bit. It might be my Nostalgia speaking (which it probably is) I absolutely loved the first D.Gray-Man anime, and it holds as an all time favorite in my heart along with the manga and I was excited that they actually wanted to continue the show from where it left off. But alas it didn’t hit my expectations for a lot of reasons but I still think it’s a highlight of sorts since I got to see my boy Allen and his precious friends animated again.

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Durarara!!×2 Ketsu

The third and final cour of Durarara!! and oh boy it was a journey. Still can’t believe that the show started in 2011, feel such a long time ago… there is so much i could tell about this show but it would be spoilers so I’ll just say to watch it yourself because this is something that needs to be experienced, this show is truly a gem among anime in my opinion.

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Orange

Dealing with themes like depression and suicide in anime can be quite a challenge and this one really nailed in terms of maturity and deep meaning to it. The anime was so beautiful and sad but also quite heartwarming and I felt really satisfied afterwards.

Suwa is such a sweetheart and the best bro.

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Boku Dake ga Inai Machi

Another hyped up anime that I think (kind of) lives up to its hype. Now granted I haven’t read the manga yet but I still think the anime was really great. Plot-twists, mysteries and time-travel, this show was awesome. And of course the opening gets stuck in my head.

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Kiznaiver

This show was… special in a way, don’t really know how to describe it. The story was okay and the characters were great but I really wanted something more, I wanted to know more than what we got. I doubt we’ll get more of this (maybe an OVA?) but the show still left an impact on me and the opening was absolutely beautiful. Bless Michiyuki Kawashima, you’ll be solely missed.

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Bungou Stray Dogs

I already read the manga before the anime was announced but nevertheless i still enjoyed it. It stuck mostly faithful to the source material and I looked forward to a new episode each week when this show aired.

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Boku no Hero Academia

What can I say that haven’t already been said about this? The animation was on point, the story was awesome, the characters were great and I can’t wait for the second season next year!

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Mob Psycho 100

I absolutely loved this show. It was funny, exciting, heartfelt and just a delight to watch. 100/100 Salt Attacks.

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Yuri!!! On ICE

Ah, Yuri on Ice, a title that isn’t what it seems. Coming into this show, I had high expectations and didn’t have an ounce of disappointment. Perhaps the show isn’t suitable for everyone’s tastes or style but I would recommend it to anyone. This anime takes ice skating and character relationships to a new level that is phenomenal. It truly as the opening said “was born to make history”.

Aaaand that was it for me in 2016, it was as I mentioned before not the best year in general but it still gave us these games and shows that we love and I hope to see even more in 2017.

So until next time, Yami out~ (*^▽゚) /~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Games and Anime highlights of 2016 (Part 1)

I’m not gonna sugarcoat this, 2016 sucked as a year, just as a year in general. Not specifically animated or gamewise. Just fuck 2016.

So many good people died, tragedies have happened all across the world, USA got Donald Trump as a president and it’s terrifying and just so many things happening this year that it is probably going to go down as a year to be remembered. And not in a good way.

Thankfully though for anime and game fans, we actually had quite a good year and had some really awesome games and anime that I think are worth mentioning.

This is not going to be a Top10 or really a list per se, but just me telling you guys my personal favorite anime and games that have come out this year that I loved.

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If a particular game or anime you’re looking for isn’t here, the most probable answer is I have yet to play/watch it because I have been busy with other things and I maybe got stuck playing a boss in some rpg lol who knows

Anyway let’s roll and I’ll start with games in this one!

FIRST OFF, some honourable mentions of games that i haven’t played personally (more like watching other people playing it lol) but I still count as highlights of the year regardless and will probably play once I got the money and time for it:

Overwatch, Uncharted 4, Watch Dogs 2, The Last Guardian, Project X Zone 2, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, Steins;Gate 0 and Ace Attorney − Spirit of Justice.

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God Eater Resurrection and God Eater 2: Rage Burst (PS4)

I played Gods Eater Burst when it first came out back in 2011 on PSP and was one of my fave rpgs on that console and just as an rpg in general. So imagine my surprise 5 years later when we didn’t just get the sequel localized, but an enhanced remake of the first game as well. I just really love these games for many reasons and I’m just happy that even after waiting for that long and giving up hope, we actually got these games. Just bless.

Speaking of waiting for long…

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Final Fantasy XV (PS4)

Oh. My. God. Did we wait long for this game. TEN WHOLE YEARS IN FACT.

Was it worth it?

…Kind of?

I mean I love the game, there are many things I love about this game but there’s also a lot I don’t like about it in regards to the development cycle and the so many “this could have been in the game” that made me… “Slightly” angry haha… but, nonetheless the fact remains that we actually got the game out and I could actually play it. so gg Squeenix, now I’m just waiting for the story update and the DLC lol.

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Pokémon: Sun and Moon (3DS)

I haven’t gotten so far as I just got it for my christmas present and I haven’t played a lot but my general impression is that I quite like it! And I just want to give Team Skull a hug.

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Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (PS4)

Not much to say really, I just love both the first and the second game so much that I had to play it again dammit, and oh man the memories were coming back…

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Odin Sphere Leifthrasir (PS4)

Another remake and remastered game, of PS2’s Odin Sphere, with new animation, stages, changes to gameplay etc. It’s just a really pretty game and I’m so happy that they wanted to make it prettier lolol

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Bravely Second: End Layer

I absolutely loved the first game, I loved the visuals, the characters, the music, the gameplay and now when we got the sequel i squeeled with joy. Truly an awesome rpg game that everyone should play.

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Fire Emblem Fates (3DS)

Throwback to my Awakening review, I loved that game and now we got a new saga with new characters (with also some similar faces returning) and with similar gameplaydesign. I enjoyed playing Conquest and Revelation (have not played Birthright) and it was a very good game that I think everyone will enjoy regardless if they like strategy or not.

And this was it for Part 1 and in Part 2 i will talk about Anime and will probably be much MUCH longer hahaha

What were your game highlights of 2016?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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25 Anime Openings I never skipped

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We all have our favorite openings that get us pumped up for new episodes or simply something that reminds you of all the adventures you had with all these characters.

I’m gonna list my own personal favorite openings that I never skipped when the series was still airing and also some I maratoned through and still didn’t skip them no matter what! because even if the last episode you saw ended on a cliffhanger, you just can’t skip that awesome opening!

This was (un)surprisingly a very hard list to narrow down as I had to look at all of the anime I watched (or atleast remember I did haha)

Here’s my MAL if anyone’s interested:Izanagi-No-Kai and from this list, who knows, maybe you’ll find something new to watch haha.

All of the openings are in no particular order and the only “rules” I have for this list is one opening per series.

1. Major Season 1 OP – Kokoroe by Road of Major

This anime is truly underrated and should be watched by every anime fan out there (whether you’re a sports fan or not), I could argue and say that all the openings were unskippable but the first one feels special not just for the lyrics but also for playing in the final season at the show’s most climactic moment and you just feel nostalgia all over again. Also worth mentioning the final season’s opening was was the same song but made by Triplane instead, getting all those feels back as you saw the little boy Goro from his young adolescent years growing up and playing in the Mayor League.

2. Clannad After Story Opening – Toki wo Kisamu Uta by Lia

All the tears are coming back…

Not really sure how to describe what feeling this opening gives off, other than it basically breathes peace and maybe nostalgia? This anime is was truly got me into all the other works done by KEY and also made me cry more times that I can count. The animation is amazing, the lights, the music, just soaking it all in as you watch this and see what lies beyond that flower field.

3. D.Gray-Man Opening 3 – Doubt & Trust by Access

This was really hard because all the openings were really cool and hard to skip, but then i remembered 0:42 and just took this one haha. DGM have always been a dark show but I believe that this was truly when the series took a different turn as so many new things happened. The song is really catchy and the visuals are awesome.

4. Katekyo Hitman Reborn Opening 4 – 88 by LM.C

WASURETEE SHIMAUU DAROUUU

This really brings out memories… I don’t really know what to say about this one. The song is awesome, the transition as you see the characters switching with their 10-years-later counterparts are really awesome and you just gets psyched to whats going to happen to our dear Vongola familia.

5. Boku Dake Inai Machi Opening – Re:Re by Asian Kung-Fu Generation

This was almost kind of obvious it would go into this list haha.

Not only is the song awesome but the clever way at how they hint important things about the mystery the show surrounds is really clever. Just a really solid opening for a solid show.

6. Charlotte Opening – Bravely You by Lia

Holy shit this opening is beautiful.

This was definitely one of my favorite shows when it first aired and Lia as always didn’t disappoint. The visuals are truly breathtaking and I just love this opening *cries*

7. Parasyte Opening – Let Me Hear by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas

This band have a distinct style that you easily recognise and probably have heard used in other anime as well, ex: Hunter x Hunter and Kaiji S2. I loved the visuals and how the song timed in, its just awesome.

8. Shingeki no Kyojin Opening 2 – Jiyuu no Tsubasa by Linked Horizon

LE GASP I DIDN’T PICK THE FIRST ONE OH MY GODDD

I really love both openings and I didn’t skip either of them but if I had to choose… I would have pick this one, sorry xD

Linked Horizon just really knows how to make epic music.

9. Boku no Hero Academia Season 1 Opening – The Day by Porno Graffitti

THE DAY HAS COOMMMEEEE

Right at the start it sweeps you in this adventure as you listen to the catchy song and visuals. Just simply awesome.

10. Shingeki no Bahamut Opening – EXiSTENCE by SiM

I have always loved rock music and this one is no difference. I love everything in this OP, the “wanted posters” ish montage at the beginning timing with the music, rest of the visuals, especially at around 1:13 are my favorite segment.

11. Log Horizon Opening – Database by MAN WITH A MISSION feat. TAKUMA (10-FEET)

DATABASE DATABASE JUST LIVING IN THE DATABASE WOW WOW

I don’t have anything to say, this kind of speaks to itself haha.

12. Guilty Crown Opening 1 – My Dearest by Koeda, Supercell

One of the prettiest openings I have seen. The song is calm yet puts pressure, it really fits with the animation as it slowly builds up to the end.

13. One Punch Man Opening – The Hero!! Set Fire to the Furious Fist by JAM Project

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one singing along as you watched the new episode coming out.

Too many things to appreciate in this OP!
– Saitama punches the crap out of that smiley face star and it makes me crack up everytime!
– Mumen Rider going sick on that bike!
– The last part sounding reminiscent of Guns n Roses
– Saitama holding the grocery bag at the end like the ultimate badass and it ain’t no thang!
– That animation!
– That chanting in english!

Just a great opening to get you pumped up!

14. Planetes Opening – Dive in the Sky by Mikio Sakai

I don’t know what it is that I liked about this opening so much that I didn’t skip it. Just at the start the music was amazing and pulled me in. This is another truly great underrated anime that takes a concept and truly goes all the way and makes it seem really realistic and possible!

15. Akatsuki no Yona Opening 2 – Akatsuki no Hana by Cyntia

This opening is just really cool haha, the song is really catchy and the visuals are awesome, it was also at the point of the story when this opening came that just made it that much more awesome when you had to wait for new episodes when this was first aired.

16. X’amd Lost Memories Opening – Shut Up and Explode by Boom Boom Satellites

Right at the start you feel the catchiness (kind of like those shose in the beginning xD) and I just kind of went along with it and didn’t bother skipping it? I just really like this song, ok? xD

17. Neon Genesis Evangelion Opening – A Cruel Angel’s Thesis by Yoko Takahashi

I don’t know if I need to explain this one, the opening itself have become a meme now xD It’s just so iconic and one of it’s kind.

18. Baccano Opening – Gun’s & Roses by Paradise Lunch

It’s so damn catchy! I just really loved this opening and I never skipped it. It’s so clever in so many ways and you haven’t watched the anime already, this opening will probably make you interested.

19. Utawarerumono Opening – Musouka by Suara

Ahhh memories… even though I love the opening as a whole, it was those 3 first seconds with the characters in red that made me stay every episode.

20. Tears to Tiara Opening – Free and Dream by Suara

The irony when this song was done by the same artist who did Utawarerumono’s opening, not that I’m complaining though, in fact it actually just makes it better. I found this anime purely by chance after having watched Utawarerumono and wanted something similar, so I found this and the opening was far too awesome to skip when I binge-watched it.

21. Subete ga F ni Naru:The Perfect Insider Opening – Talking by kana-Boon

This opening was just really stylish and catchy, hard to miss as you just want to get up and dance to the beat!

22. Black Jack Opening 1 – Gekkouka by Janne

This was really hard as it stood between this and Young Black Jack‘s Opening. Ultimately I choose this one, feeling a bit biased hahaha, but I still really love both OPs and never skip any of them when the respective series.

23. Durarara!!x2 Ten Opening 1 – Day You Laugh by Toshiyuki Toyonaga

One thing I love about the Durarara!! openings other than the fact that the OPs are incredible is that fact that every character happens to be in the same place/locality for these 90 seconds, quite similar to Baccano in sense as you see all these characters are connected to each other one way or another. What I really liked about this opening that made it unskippable was; Mikado. One of my favorite characters of the show, and at this point in x2 Ten, it focused on him and the Opening really shines that fact. Don’t believe me?

Mikado appears in:
-0:20(passing by)
-0:28(zebra cross)
-0:39(walking on zebra cross with face hidden)
-1:10(using phone when suddenly Shizuo appears carrying a motorcycle)
-1:25(passes by)

And if that wasn’t enough, The Opening is sung by his Voice Actor.

24. Sidonia no Kishi Season 2 Opening – Kishi Koushinkyoku by Angela

Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved the first opening, especially the first words of the lyrics that really describes the story;

“I will fight for someone else, I will fall on the battlefield for someone else”

But if I had to choose one of them, the second opening wins my heart. I love Angela, she have made so many good songs that I love and she has this disctinct style that’s easy to recognize. The opening really has a sort of anthem vibe to it, making you pumped up for the incoming battle as you fight for humanity.

25. Haruchika: Haruta to Chika no Seishun wa Koi ga Suru Opening – Niji wo Ametara by fhána

This opening is so happy and makes me smile, the lyrics are also describing the joy of music that really fits with the show.

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Aaannd that’s all folks! Hope you enjoyed this list, maybe you found something new to watch or you might have seen any of these and felt nostalgia again? Feel free leave a comment on your anime openings you never skipped!

Yami out~ (*^▽゚) /~

 


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Hua Mulan: Rise of a Warrior Review

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If you’re like me, the only real experience you’ve had with Mulan in terms of film involves lots of lovely singing and a wise-cracking miniature dragon. Well, Mulan: Rise of a Warrior is nothing like that movie, although I imagine that’s not particularly surprising considering Disney’s penchant for…well, being Disney. That aside, I quite enjoyed the movie which shows what I’m assuming is a more realistic portrayal of Mulan’s story. Though some parts of the story are a bit iffy, Mulan as a character shone, ultimately leaving me more than satisfied with the film.

Warning for spoilers!

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The Story

The basic story revolves around a young woman, Mulan (Zhao Wei), who decides to take her ailing father’s place in the Wei army by pretending to be a man. Despite a shaky start in which she is almost executed, Mulan quickly rises to the position of sub-commander, proving to be both a smart tactician and a charismatic leader. The first half or so of the movie places emphasis on building up Mulan’s character from someone who isn’t quite prepared to face the harsh realities of war to a person who has decided to be the best leader she can be in order to protect as many of her friends as possible. Meanwhile the second half places shifts more of the focus to wrapping up the war with the Rouran tribes, which have temporarily united and become more aggressive with a shift in power. Though Mulan’s final strike doesn’t work out as planned, the war eventually ends as a result of a political marriage (Unsurprisingly, it’s not one you’re going to like). The movie ends on a relatively bittersweet note, but it manages to wrap itself up nicely in a way that stays true to Mulan’s character and is somewhat satisfying in that sense.

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Admittedly, the storyline felt a bit rushed in places and didn’t quite make a ton a sense, but the main bits, which were  typically some of the more emotional ones, tended to be particularly well done. There’s a scene near the end, for instance, where Mulan is forced to watch as the enemy massacres those captured in the recent battle, unable to help without sacrificing those who managed to survive, a sacrifice she knows she can’t make for the sake of a few. Instead, she and the others start singing the song that typically served as a funeral song of sorts for those who had died in battle. The scene is a bit cliche, sure, but it was also one of the most memorable and moving because it had a lot of heart to it. And that’s what I like about those major scenes (and even a few of the smaller ones), they have a lot of heart to them which helps in creating a more genuine or sympathetic tone that works in the movie’s favor considering it’s large focus on Mulan’s character development over the years.

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 The Characters

While the emotional stuff is pretty good, the same can’t quite be said of the rest. For one, most of the characters aren’t nearly as developed as our heroine. The bad thing about this is that when you see people die, you have to rely on Mulan’s tears and agony to make you feel anything; you don’t actually know enough about the characters to care about whether they die or not which sucks, especially when it comes to scenes that seem to rely on you caring about the side characters themselves. Even Wentai (Chen Kun), who plays a major role in the movie, is really just a person who forced more of Mulan’s growth.

Speaking of Wentai, the romance between him and Mulan is one aspect of the story that, despite leaving me with some of the greatest frustration at the end, I ultimately sort of appreciated despite its flaws. Being the romance fan that I am, I dutifully shipped the two the entire movie and enjoyed the more intimate scenes that strongly hinted at the romance between the two (you don’t feed just anyone your blood), but the handling of the romance, in my opinion, wasn’t too swift. A lot of it boils down to, I think, the movie trying to cram as much as it could relating to Mulan in the movie, with some of that stuff, like the romance, being less enjoyable by the end than others which is logical considering the other, more interesting stuff going on.

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At the same time though, I liked the romance for its strengths. Though Wentai makes some iffy decisions here and there, he’s a pretty good guy and never once treats Mulan any differently because of her sex; if anything, he treats her harsher because he wants to make her strong enough to be the leader he knows she can. The various ways he supports her throughout the movie, I honestly thought were quite sweet. Mulan, herself, benefited from the romance in the sense that it allowed her to be a girl again, not the leader, and to find hope in a place that seemed to want to crush it. In a surprising twist, one of the things that I liked most about the romance is that it goes unfulfilled. The two can never be together with circumstances as they are; if they chose to run away and live their happy lives, they would be sacrificing the peace that would come from Wentai’s political marriage which Mulan, at least, knows she can’t do. Though their romance met a sad end, it showed that the two had the maturity to put something greater than themselves before their own happiness which, though bittersweet, makes me appreciate their characters more.

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On the character side of things, if you haven’t caught on yet, Mulan is basically the only character that matters. Sure you may like Tiger (Jaycee Chan) or Wentai or any of the other equally nice male characters, but that doesn’t change the fact that the movie focuses almost entirely on Mulan, which makes sense considering the title. That said, I really liked Mulan. I’ll admit that I think she was a bit overly emotional at moments (okay, one moment in the middle) and cries a heck of a lot, to the point where I wondered why people didn’t question her status as a guy, but she’s not a weak person. The combination of her emotionalism and ability to “suck it up” for the sake of those around her is what makes her a likable character because it makes it easy to empathize with her. Her hesitation when she has to behead her first person; her devotion to her men and her friends; her desire to simply escape her warrior lifestyle and the sorrow it has brought her– all of these aspects and more are used to show Mulan’s development as a person, making her feel real.

One of the most powerful moments in the movie, which really makes you appreciate how far Mulan has come, comes at the end of the movie when Mulan finally returns to her hometown after 12 years on the battlefield; she’s finally freed herself of the warrior lifestyle, but you can finally see how tired she looks as she touches her face with her calloused hands and lets down her hair, something that hadn’t really been apparent before– she is different from the naive girl that signed up for war all those years ago. Mulan’s story isn’t a happy one, by any means, as we see her make sacrifice after sacrifice for the sake of those around her and for her country, but it’s one that also has a strange hope running throughout it. Though Mulan was inevitably changed by the war, in a sense, she never gave up; she kept on marching forward because of her hope which I find kind of touching and makes the ending a slightly less sad.

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As for everyone else? Well, aside from Wentai who was an okay guy but not one that I can say stood out a bunch aside from his status as Mulan’s Helper and as a bit of an irrational guy, there aren’t a whole lot of characters that stand out. There’s Tiger, but his importance comes and goes pretty quickly which is unfortunate because I quite liked him and was sad when he was killed later on. The only other major character is Mendu (Hu Jun), the coldblooded guy who eventually becomes the leader of the Rouran tribes, but he was a pretty uninteresting fellow. From his introduction, you can pretty much tell that with his greedy and violent tendencies he’ll be the one to forcefully take power from his more understanding father. The only surprises about him were that he wanted to bang his sister (almost completely useless, by the way) in order to create perfect Rouran babies and that he was defeated as easily as he was which was a bit anticlimactic. The bad guys, in general, were a pretty bland and predictable group whose single shining moment came near the end and involved them gaining an unexpected advantage over Mulan; other than that, they behaved as you would expect them to. That random white guy hanging around them was probably the most interesting out of all of them simply because I absolutely no idea why he was there in the first place.

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Design and Production

The movie was relatively low key in the terms of action, although the battles that did receive attention were typically kind of brutal to watch which I appreciated in a weird way. The movie also had a pretty grungy look to it with a lot of dreary colors in it; I’m hard pressed to think of more than maybe a handful of moments that had vibrant colors in them them. Not that I’m complaining, though; I liked the color scheme because it gave the movie a more “serious” tone and fit the battleground setting. I also really liked the costumes which were pretty detailed and neat to look at (minus the silly looking Rouran ones).

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Overall

I quite enjoyed Mulan: Rise of a Warrior. I found Mulan to be an empathetic character that I could get behind and whose bittersweet story tugged at my heartstrings, albeit not as much as I was expecting it to. I doubt I’ll be able to look at Disney’s version quite the same way, especially considering how the romance works out, but I’m not necessarily complaining. Despite a story that is a bit flawed and silly at parts, it has a genuine feel to it and is pretty neat by itself. Admittedly, your enjoyment of the film hinges on how much you like Mulan and drama, but I think that most will find something to like in the film, so I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who’s itching for a relatively okay drama.