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September 12, 2016


DAYS - First Impressions [Anime]

I rarely watch sports anime but when I do, I make sure they are good and this one's worth talking about. If you have heard of Captain Tsubasa and Slam Dunk, chances are you might just like modern sports anime like Kuroko No Basuke, Diamond No Ace and Days. Although Days is not hyper exaggerated with special kicks and super powered tackles rammed with special effects like Captain Tsubasa, Days takes on a realist approach into the world of soccer. Tsukushi, a high school loner who never had any friends before ends up meeting with a boy named Jin who is a soccer prodigy. Tsukushi however has zero talent for the sport whilst Jin is light years ahead of him. Despite that, one day, Jin invites him to a game of soccer due to one lacking person in the team. Tsukushi works his heart and legs out that day running around and trying his best, despite falling over a billion times and missing passes/even basic kick-offs. However, fast forward a bit and soon enough we see him trying to get into the soccer club a day or few later. Everyone is ordered to do a 100 or so laps for their first day and they complete it real fast. Being far below average Tsukushi doesn't manage to complete in time but perseveres through it and forces the team captain to oversee his running even though he takes up till the end of the day. Fast forward a bit more and now I can see him leading the team pack for running and slowly growing as a player. His teammates slowly garner respect for him and few episodes back when he wouldn't have been even be considered for the player sub roster, now he suddenly is picked to be part of the team who will go for the nationals. Mind you - he is physically very weak with zero talent for the sport but all he's got in his mind and heart  is just plain dedication and passion. His dedication triumphs his passion more like it and he never burns out. Even when he burns out he keeps on going till he recovers. I'd like to term this show as a slice of life/sports anime since firstly I love the theme of a total nobody becoming somebody. It displays positivity and shows that hard work, no matter how long it takes, pays off eventually. If you suck at something but still like it, go for it and keep at it and you'll get there eventually. That's what resonates with me the most in this anime. [gallery ids="699,700,701,702,703,704,705,706,707,708,710" type="slideshow"] Besides that, the animation is pretty awesome and I love how simple they kept the soccer battles.  The art is not too detailed though like that of FREE! but more of a simplistic yet realist style. It's just the right balance. It kind of reminds me of Diamond No Ace's style of animation. There's a wide array of characters too. The zero talent, the prodigy, the legendary captain, the angry and lazy players etc so you'll have a plethora of pleasure watching these personalities meld into a team on screen. So far, I am 8 episodes in and I am loving it. You won't get a lot of soccer action if you expect something like the Kuroko No Basuke style of dribble and dash or Captain Tsubasa's kick-run-shout-dash with loads of melodrama and catchphrases - but, if you like a show where you see a character grows and see how unlimited his potential is, how far he can go etc, bundled with the added pleasure of seeing anime soccer plays then this is a good one to opt. Days is awesome, I feel it's potential will shine more as the episodes keep building up. The action and tension is slowly ramping how and Tsukushi's adventures have just begun. If you've liked anime like FREE!!! and Haikyuu, then Days is just right for you. And if you've never watched sports anime before but you're into slice of life, then give this a try. Chances are - you'll like it.    
August 31, 2016


Know Your Creator 101 - #2 - Akira Toriyama

This week, we talk about Akira Toriyama, a world famous mangaka, character designer, game artist and creator in the Japanese anime industry. Toriyama launched his career off with his famous Dr. Slump manga which hit bookshelves all across Japan and further built up his presence as one of the major leading artists of the industry when his manga, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z came to life. He started drawing when he was 5 years old and seriously took off his career when one of the editors approached him from Shounen Jump after his regular submissions at the Jump amateur contests (even though he didn't win, he continued submitting). He trained for about a year from there and went pro. His inspiration for Dragon Ball comes from Jackie Chan's films and his hobby is model-making. Toriyama's Dragon Ball narrates the story of a monkey tailed boy who fights kung-fu style and his adventures on a quest to search for the Dragon Balls that grant any wish one desires. His favourite choice of materials to work on is Kent paper, G-pen, waterproof inks and color inks. These days, he uses a Macintosh for colouring. Toriyama used to copy a lot in his classes manga style. He was highly inspired by Osamu Tezuka's works. His breakthrough as an artist began when he first started drawing real life faces and started sketching portraits of his classmates, real life objects and his surroundings. That's when his observation skills skyrocketed and he slowly started branching out from being just a copycat to a creator who can study references and use and play with them to his own advantage.   He has also worked on the Dragon Ball Online (MMORPG) game whose servers were shut down before and is now currently working on Dragon Ball Super along with artist Toyotaro. Dragon Ball Super is a continuation of the story of Dragon Ball Z except after the Majin Buu Arc.    
July 31, 2016


Know Your Creator 101 - #1 - Hayao Miyazaki

All of us watch anime but how many of us take the time to look at behind the scenes? Whilst mangaka are well known, animators are like the unsung heroes of the Japanese animation industry. It's true. Which is exactly why it's time we did something about it. Let's go behind the scenes. If you've ever watched any of the Studio Ghibli films, chances are, you've come across the name of Hayao Miyazaki. He's a director, screenwriter, mangaka but most important of all, a veteran animator by heart. [gallery ids="657,658,659,660" type="rectangular"] Miyazaki is very well known for the elements of humanity and heartwarming moments in most of his films. Personally, I love his film, titled, "Howl's Moving Castle." Stretching imaginations far and wide, his films are hand-drawn animations and that just goes on to show how much dexterity and creativity he's got. Top that off with the added element of creating mystical fantasy worlds which spark youth and adult minds alike and there - you've got yourself a modern creative genius. Miyazaki's viewpoint and essence of creativity comes from daily life and observation and he is also of the view that the reason the anime industry is full of otaku (no, not us, the ones who draw only anime and no real life stuff) is because they can't stand looking at other humans. Fun fact: He advocates life drawing as his main source of inspiration and skill in creativity. He personally reviews every frame in his films and most of his works originate in water color on screen.  He employs traditional animation in his films with the occasional touch of computer added imagery. He is also a writer and director and plays both these roles during the creation of his films. Some of the themes in his films comprise of anti-war, fantasy, imaginary narratives and machinery. He's also a huge fan of landscapes as portrayed by the vivid and lush scenic backgrounds in his films. Want to know more about Hayao Miyazaki's works? Why not take a look at this video documenting a look at his creations on YouTube? Next week, we'll talk about other anime creators soon and briefly run over their works, process and a little bio. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52raDbtNpa4]    
July 09, 2016


Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin Anime First Impressions

A survival anime series about brotherhood inside a cell View full article →
July 01, 2016


Black Goku - First Impressions

[gallery ids="557,558,559,560,561,562,563,564,565,566,567,568,569,570,571,572,573,574,575,576,577" type="slideshow"] If any of you have been recently catching up on Dragon Ball Super, Toriyama's newly acclaimed continuation from the events right after the Buu Saga, Dragon Ball Super has been getting stellar since the introduction of new transformation modes such as the Super Saiyan God Mode and Super Saiyan Blue. Up to the second arc, it follows up to the Resurrection of F plot but things get real juicy after that.   With the discovery of different Gods of Destruction and the King of Everything, frankly speaking the whole new series has so far been mindblowing So... Let's get to the good stuff, on to the brand new super villain - Black Goku.   Resembling very much like Goku, a lot less is known about this evil nemesis of the future He wears a potara ear-ring, his ki is dark and he has something known as a time wring adorned on his finger. It's pretty much surprising how Trunks in SSJ2 mode was easily beaten by Black Goku. His costume design is really cool and his fighting stance resembles that somewhat of the Kais. My only speculation is he could either be a God Of Destruction or somehow related to the Kais. Due to the potara on his ear, I suspect there might be a Black Vegeta. His demonic presence in the smoke when he wasn't revealed might also hint towards him being from the demon realm coupled with the fact he desires the extinction of the saiyans.   Another theory *fanboy mode [ON] :D * could be that he might have been good at first and later after having reached a certain level of power by training with the Gods of Destruction, he was denied any more power and became evil from there on in search of power and desired to destroy his race to prove he's the strongest.   Or maybe since he is from the future, he might be the evil Goku sent to Earth minus the part where baby Goku got hit in the head and from there he became evil. That possibility is low because Trunks is from the future and the real Son Goku was good even there, which only leads to time travel with the time ring being the explanation. But Black Goku seemed surprised to land into Universe 7 via time travel so maybe he really hadn't time traveled before.   Either way, many mysteries surround him. Why is he evil? Why is he black? (just kidding [lol] ) Hopefully we'll find out some answers in the next episode of Dragon Ball Super. So, Dragon Ball Super fans, what's your theory about Black Goku? =)      
June 18, 2016


Welcome To N.H.K. (Anime)

Welcome To N.H.K. (also known as NHK Ni Youkoso) is the story of Tatsuhiro Sato, who leads the life of a hikkikomori, a socially withdrawn individual who lacks the desire to contribute socially to the workforce in Japan. Being a NEET, he gets stuck inside his home for months and lives off of his parents' monthly allowance. What I really like about this show is how realistic it is in terms of life and imagination. Sato, being a NEET claims it is the evil N.H.K. who made him what he is and is forcing him to live his life like that. Sato frequently has trouble interacting with people and barely goes out of his home which looks like a flea market when soon enough a girl named Misaki drops by on an errand. Soon enough she starts strolling into his life, trying to help him recover from the darkness , self pity, low self esteem and isolation-like qualities within him That's the gist of the show. What really spices things up is Sato's bouts of motivation and fear when he meets his old college junior friend Yamazaki and embarks on a game design project. Just when things feel like they're progressing smoothly, he relapses and backtracks on his own gains. It's not a drama or comedy show. It's plain hardcore reality. Hikkikomoris do exist you know. In fact, hikkikomoris become who they are when life hits them hard. They don't get out of their room, stay inside playing games all day and whiling away their life and time. The depressing part is they feel sad. Lost souls who don't know what they are living for. This is one of those shows that leave an impact on you for life. Every episode has a purpose, every action in it has. You will laugh, cry, feel the pain and guilt and  even relate to the varying degrees of frustration a hikkimori faces as soon as you watch this. Prepare to be teary-eyed.   This is what this show brings the  best out of. No superheroes, no superpowers, no mind games, no shonen stuff. Plain old school reality at its best - another cornerstone of life. Where the art is concerned, the animation is clean and the soundtracks are beautiful. Simply beautiful. If there's one  point I'd like to make - if you ever encounter hikkimoris, don't make fun of them. Just watch this show and maybe, just maybe, it will change your perspective. It teaches empathy. Definitely one of my favorite shows. Did that pique your interest? Then give it a watch, I'm sure you'll love it. :) nhk-ni_-youkoso-full_-812154-750x290        
June 07, 2016


What Kind Of Otaku Are You?

There are many otaku, many varieties. Curious? Read on... View full article →
May 26, 2016

1 comment

One Punch Man!

The story of a bald headed legend who battles monsters and protects the Earth. View full article →
May 17, 2016


MegaMan Powered Up! (Game Review) [PSP]

156011-mega_man_-_powered_up_usa-2 Some games are a bunch of full throttle RPGs, while some are FPS or Racing and then there’s MegaMan Powered Up!  – a perfect example of an old school classic revamped completely for the sake of its fans and gamers on to the PlayStation Portable (PSP). MegaMan Powered Up!  - is filled with gorgeous graphics and with tons of features, which one would have never expected of an old school classic game. And not just that; the graphics complement the gameplay too, which makes it a truckload of fun! gfs_71511_2_2 If one were to ask, just to fill in the void of curiosity, Capcom, its developers, indeed, didn’t make a lazy move remaking the Mega Man series and compiling it into the MegaMan Powered Up!   game as we know. In fact, unlike some games which can be devilish remakes stocked with hideous controls and features, Mega Man breezes through players across lush environments and sparkly cel-shaded battles, all whilst maintaining the vast expanse of 2D platform gaming. What’s Mega Man about? You play the role of a kid-sized robot whose task is to defeat other robots that are deemed to be bad, due to them being reprogrammed by the evil genius, Dr. Wily. Your goal is to soar through tons of various themed environments and beat them on their own ground at their own game. Once defeated, each robot or droid offers a unique power up as a bonus which you can equip, thus gaining their abilities. . The original 8 bit-game allowed players to fight around 6 bosses but this remake features an additional two – Oil Man and Time Man. Oil Man’s battleground is packed with fire spewing bots and a lot of slippery environments whereas Time Man’s battleground is docked with explosives and time stopping pendulums, which makes it a treat for a play and a feast for the eyes.   Best of all – everything looks pretty cute. [gallery ids="408,409" type="slideshow"] Where gameplay is concerned, players can play either in the old school classic mode where it’s just you and a bunch of other robots with special abilities followed by Dr. Wily at the top of the list, or the newly added Story Mode, where you can play through as Mega Man followed by a mesmerizing, charming story. 2   What’s even better – Just like the old school game, once you defeat your robot counterparts, you acquire their abilities, just like in the old school game! What makes it even better is the fact that you can play the Story Mode as the other robots, which means Mega Man becomes your enemy.   The layout and the battle gameplay is the same as the original classic but it’s much more fluid in terms of gaming mechanics and a lot sharper. The music is basically tunes which are original remixes of the 8-bit soundtracks that blend in well with the game’s theme and complement the characters’ well done voicing. A massive, fun-filled experience with various difficulty settings jam packs it with a bucket load of awesomeness. The level editor, various checkpoints in the game, slick menus, lack of bugs and good portability well rounds the game and makes it live up to its name as a remake. 3 The final verdict – MegaMan Powered Up!   is truly a fun, well-refined game filled with gorgeous graphics and a mesmerizing story, followed by fluid gameplay mechanics. A perfect example of a good remake of one of the most famous 8-bit classics in the realm of NES gaming remakes.
May 06, 2016


Claymore (Manga)

Story about the world of Claymores, Yoma and humans - a dark manga View full article →