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Setokai Yakuindomo *

Well between preparing for my pathfinder game and finally watching the hobbit and Full metal alchemist I forgot to update again.
It seems to be a running thing with me, I should really figure out a way to solve that.

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But the new anime season is underway and as I should start reviewing anime finished watching now lets start with one of the lesser hyped series.
While I did enjoy Kill la Kill and Witchcraft works, they won’t be the hardest series to find reviews for due to their apparent popularity.

As such Setokai Yakuindomo* (or SYD*) will be my first port of call.

Now I’m not saying it wasn’t a good series or that it wasn’t quite popular. But as I only watched a few series last season I would imagine it’s the lest well-known of them all.

Now first up two factors, firstly it’s a comedy slice of life title so there is no cataclysmic world shattering type events in it and secondly it’s season 2.

The story itself revolves around second year Takahasi Tsuda whom was press-ganged into the student council in the first season and basically responsible for being the ‘straight man’ in just about every scene. Much to his despair the stuco president and secretary are dirty minded perverts meaning that there are a lot of dirty jokes and wordplay associated with that. Although amusingly and a little ironically as this is not an ecchi series there is no partial nudity or the usual nonsense where he stumbles into half-naked girls or the like for whatever given reason.
He is also known as the ‘flag breaker’ in reference to event flags in games because he follows the trope of being fairly dense to matters and winds up not picking up on things. One example is the episode where he is going for a walk and doesn’t invite Suzu in spite of it being a perfect opportunity to connect, even as friends. She even comments ‘I can’t believe he didn’t invite me’.

Other characters include Shino Amakusa, the third year schools council president. a girl with a dirty mind and the habit of saying the first thing that comes to mind. ironically however she is very much up on upholding the school rules and is rather iron fisted about it.

Aria Shichijo the council secretary. She is Shino’s best friend and has an equity dirty mind. She however also apparently possessed exhibitionist traits. one example is the common joke about her lack of wearing underwear. as she is rather busty she does however fall under Shino’s jealousy as she is sensitive about being small in that area.

The last member of the student council is Suzu Hagimura, also a second year but has the body of a young child, naturaly she is sensative about this matter, often short tempered and prideful. So she keeps those tropes alive really. She is however a student whom has returned from studies abroad and posseses genius interlect in that she can do ten diget calculations in her head and if fluent in several languages to the level of a native speaker.

Scene from the first series where Suzu is mistaken for a child.
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Support charicters include Takahasi’s sister Kotomi, whom is a lot like Shino personality wise. The main difference is that Kotomi is fairly dumb and also lazy unlike Shino.

Ranko Hata, the club leader of the photography club whom is constantly causeing trouble and spreading rumours with her newspaper to make things interesting.

Mutsumi Mitsuba, the leader of the judo club whom is really pure and innocent in contrast with the rest of the class.

Naruko Yokoshima, the councils adviser and homeroom teacher for Takahasi and Suzu is openly perverted and intereseted in teenaged boys, completely usless and as a result gets no respect from the cast or any of her students or co-workers.

and finaly Uomi, the stuco president of the nearby school ‘Eiryou’. Freinds with Shino she often drops by to exchange ideas. She is completely deadpan but shares Shino’s interests in ‘adult material’. After she becomes related to Tsuda via family members getting married she insists he calls her ‘Onee-chan.’

other than that theirs not really much elce to be said, it’s a slice of life comedy series that is diologue baised.

While it was a curious change to see anime teenagers acting like I remeber them from my youth (that is horndogs) I did fail to see why so many of the girls seemed to fall for Takahasi other than main charicter syndrome. Sure Shino and Suzu spend a lot of time around him and he’s a decent bloke so I get them, but Uomi for instance doesn’t see him all that much.
But I’ll admit the implications for her having feeling for him are less than Mutsumi, for whom it is quite blatent about her feelings but as far as I can hell other than him helping her found the club he only interacts with her on an offical capasity.

All in all it’s fairly interesting and entetaining if you like dirty jokes and/or wordplay but it probably isn’t somthing you’d watch with your mother.
(Says the guy who lent his mother Naruto and sister Strike Witches)
As such I think it’s a 5/10 reasonable and even fairly entertaining at points, but nothing ground breaking other than it’s key selling point. (Non ecchi anime with lots of dirty jokes.)

hopfully the next update will be in reasonable time.
Val.

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A bit of writing

For the gaming group I’m part of a new campaign is starting, as such I have written up a bit of background for the Hexer I am playing and thought I may as well share.

It’s a little depressing so anyone who doesn’t like that sort of thing won’t offend me if they skip it, well not that I’d know I guess. 😛

And before anyone comments, yes their are influences from a few sources but i felt that they fit the charicter I’m trying to build.

 

He was born as Constantine to the youngist daughter of the Zvonimir family, a family that fled from the north during the war three generations ago after a tryst with a nobleman. Disgraced when he cast her aside she bore the child to be raised alone, gathering money as a seamstress and selling herbal medicines.
The town was surprising supporting of her and helped where they could even if her family was not. At least they were until the child was born with the sign of ill omen, crimson irises. Due to this reason the villagers who would have been an ally and a helping hand turned their back on them both, as the ‘child of ill omen’ and the woman who protected him.
This heralded the start of eleven years of hardship and misery at the hands of the superstitious townsfolk, this was worsened by the town mystic who shortly after his birth prophesied that a great plague would come to the town at the hands of a child of misfortune and that to protect themselves he must be marked on his either birthday before the evil has a chance to take route. As a result as the mystic had ordered on his eight birthday while his mother, whom was kept in the dark about the plan was out gathering in the forest he was dragged out and tattooed with the mark on his face as a clear and obvious warning to all that he is the harbinger of disaster. Dismayed about this she cut all ties with the town and sunk into despair. By the time he was ten her health worsened and due to stopping her work as a herbalist there were no medicines to help her in the town, not that any of the villagers would help her after she stopped curing their ills. As such his mother died, and as she was no longer around to shelter him he was cast out of the village during the heart of winter with nothing but the clothes on his back.
In doing so they ensured the prophecy came true as the whole town was ravaged by the illness his mother caught, one that would have been minor with her treatments. Not a soul resides in the town now, known to nearby settlements only as the ‘cursed glade’
Remembering what his mother told him that if he ever needs help he is to seek out his father in the city of New Eribourne , but all that awaited him was more torment. He had to survive the harsh streets, stealing what he has to in order to survive, dodging the dark criminal underworld as well as the guards. Relocating every time someone found out about his eyes or recognised the brand.
One day when the first blossoms were on the trees in spring what he believe was to be his salvation was at hand, he heard the name of his father, a nobleman was talking to his retainer. Shadowing the man he found the main gate of the estate, where he immediately blitzed past the guards, and as they grabbed his blurted out the name of his mother and pleaded for help.
But his pleas fell onto deaf ears, the man simply looked disgusted and stated “I know nothing of this woman or some filthy street-rat, cast it out with the rest of the trash.”
His objections and cries only earned him a beating before being thrown onto the streets. Dejected and devoid of any hope he walked, he didn’t know for how long until there was a shout of “thief” and before he realised the guards had decided he was the guilty party. This time he didn’t run, he didn’t try to resist, the gallows seemed like a blessing.
But the guards never seized him; with a faint ringing sound everyone had fallen silent and gazed in horror at a robed figure, a figure the boy would soon learn was a Hexer of some influence.
“He is innocent, the perpetrator is the man in the red muffler, it seems that the guards in the city bully those without power, disgusting.”
A guard tried to object but found himself choking from the strangers glare, once the spell was realised the person simply said “I don’t converse with vermin.” Turning and facing him for the first him they spoke frankly and with conviction. “Now boy, bearer of misfortune. You stand at a crossroads. You may choose to give into despair, wallowing in whatever events lead you to me and hand yourself over to an unjust death at the gallows. Or you can stand, bear the pain and anguish as your crutch and follow me to greater things, the path will be hard and you may pray for death many times. But your resolve will be what leads you to your destiny, be it greatness, or as a stepping stone on another’s path.” With that the figure turned and began to walk away.
To this day he doesn’t know why he followed them, but that’s what he did. Through the pain of his beating, the heartache of having lost all hope and the realisation that there was nowhere in this world for him be followed.
After leaving town he finally worked up the courage the ask. “Who are you?”
“Darkness” came the reply.
“That’s an unusual name, I’m guessing it’s foreign, I’m Con…”
“No” The stranger cut him off, “You have just left that life behind, you are no longer that person. We choose new names that fit us as we are now as both a symbol of leaving out pasts behind. They can also be used as a medium for curses, something our order is quite familiar with. So, who are you as you are now?”
He fell silent for a long time as they walked. Eventually he said “an echo, I’m just an echo.”

 

Feel free to share any opinions you may have. I’m not to kind of person to freak out over constructive imput, positive or negative.

 

Val

Atelier Escha and Logy

Well it’s been a few weeks almost a month and while work has prevented me from finishing it just yet, I’m far enough through that I feel I can give it a fair overview.

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A quick note for anyone familiar with Atelier games, GUST has finally decided to take the best elements out of a bunch of their prior games and integrate them into this one.
Bonuses for completing challenges, such as stat buffs and recipes. Mass item replication has returned from the Arland series in a similar manner and final something that we haven’t seen since Mana khemia on the PS2. The ability to have your whole team with you at all times and swap out mid-combat.

That said I can’t gush over it too much because it was localised by a different team than usual and well, they half assed it.
Typos here and their, misnamed items and attributes and while it was promptly fixed, the trophy list spent a spell in JAPANESE. Minor things, but when theirs a bunch of minors, it becomes annoying as it’s not one minor oversight.
I’m not sure if this is just the EU or if it’s the US as well though.

The attribute was called ‘meteor’ in the quest and something like ‘falling star’ on the item. It was more than a little confusing I’ll tell you now. 😀

But as for the game play, it’s a turn based jRPG that includes positioning, swapping out team members and moving
around to avoid everyone being hit by Aoe attacks. Tactical, but not hard to master, the way I prefer them really, over complication means you have to mess around too much and not enough stratagy means it’s purely about the number game on your stats.
For everyone else I would recommend it at a well-rounded introduction to jRPGs and/or the Atelier series as it is less complicated than some of the others and has less constrained on time.
For example the one people say is the best, atelier totori, may have the most game days if you are on the good end route but it also has the most time burned via travel and objectives in two base camps, that takes two game weeks to travel between if you take the short route.

So to break it down.

Combat:
largely simplistic turn based, however rather than ‘you have a turn, they have a turn’ the characters speed and actions will determine how long it is untill they can act again, so a really fast character will take a couple of actions in the time it takes that hulking monster to take one.
It also pays attention to where you stand for area attacks and allows party members to interject action is your assist gauge is high enough allowing you to defend weaker characters to chain attacks together.
So tactical enough to be interesting but not overly complicated that you need a walk-through for the battles.

Alchemy:
As a game about alchemist, this is a key player, and as a result a high alchemy level can circumvent a low combat level as you will potently have better items and equipment. For example I currently have bombs that do five too six hundred damage to everything in a large area, this is a good third of the hp of foes in the final dungeon. And I’ve had these since about half way through the game.
so while abusable the system isn’t simple because as you level up you learn skills and need to balance costs of actions with the effects of doing them, bear in mind what all of these skills do and what individual ingredients do. It looks daunting as a result but once you get the hang of it you’d be alchemising with the best of them.

Travel:
The world map is basically a map with discovered locations added to it, from their you select your route and it tells you how many days it takes to arrive. Once inside the area it splits into sections, each on will burn a day to explore, and that’s if you don’t perform actions that would extend the time further.
naturally you have to explore each segment in turn to unlock the next.
unfortunately in this one you cannot discover new map locations by exploration, only sections of areas, which is disappointing for people who loved exploration and the inerrant risks of stumbling upon dangerous areas and the potential rewards within.

Now finally the characters, you get to choose which of the two characters you play as but from what I can tell it doesn’t change a great deal other than a couple of events as the point of view changes, and which character gets the boosts from fulfilling tasks.

The first choise is Escha, a happy-go-lucky and somewhat gluttonous young alchemist who has joined the government to help her frontier village with her alchemy. He is a staff user and in early days, quite the weak character, she does however learn a skill that amps item power meaning that she has the potential to deal more damage than anyone with a decent item set. As such she is the choise for people who want to focus on the alchemy and the used of bombs and other items.

Second choise is Logix, nicknamed logy. He is a transfer from central and is quite serious and kind of uptight about things. As a swordsman he is a hits harder than Escha and has skills more focused in that direction making him the choise for people who want the direct damage approach.

They are joined by a motley assortment, including Eschas airship obsessed cousin, an obsessive historical researcher with a no-nonsense attitude, and a swordswoman who fails at every task imaginable except for fighting and lacks any real common sence.

So to summarise I’d recommend giving this installment a whirl for any fans of jRPGs, or anyone interested in trying them out as this lacks the complexity tha some have.
How sadly because of that, the fact it’s the second in a trilogy and the simple fact it’s a jRPG and the alchemy skill can be tricky before you have the hang of it means that it’s not a game for everyone.

Taking that into account and the poor localization (again, I have an EU copy so I can’t comment for the anywhere else) I think it’s a 7/10. Fun and defiantly one of the better of the series mechanically but the best characters are only cameos from the previous game and the little errors add up when they keep show up so it’s certainly above average, even a decent game. But I don’t feel justified giving it a high score when these typos actually make missions harder as you are looking for something different.
Also you can fail a driving test on minors alone after all and I can’t be the only person it bugs.

On the plus side I have plenty of series I can review, so I should be able to keep up a regular(ish) update schedule for at least a few weeks.

But we all know how life can be so I’m sticking with ‘should’ not ‘will’.

Val

Final Fantasy 13 trilogy

Yes, some are very old but with lightning returns I figure outlining my opinions on the earlier games may help to emphasize my points.

And with Atelier Escha and Logy due I’d better post something today because theirs a 98.76 chance I’ll be to preoccupied with that untill its completed. Not that I’m a fanboy or anything. *Glances around and drops a smoke bomb to escape*

But silliness aside.

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The first in the trilogy is possibly ironically the best in the trilogy. Yes I get that is was slated for its battle system that removes a lot of the actual ‘gameplay’ but I’ll get into that later.

The reason I say it’s probably the best is because of the story, it’s very peculiar in places sure, but it’s rare that S-E doesn’t have a funky plotline.
However it can be summarised as ‘a group of unlikely allies thrown together to fight their cursed destiny as ‘chosen’ of the gods and to stop an ancient plot that threatens to doom humanity.’

Sure they use a lot of nonsense words like L’cie and Fal’cie but if you replaced them with words like champion and by equivalent god then the plot and meaning do not change, so I’m not sure I understand the flak over the terms personally as it’s the traditional fantasy flavor, people don’t freak out over the Elven in Lord of the Rings after all.

I also felt that the ending wrapped things up nicely and that sequels were hardly necessary, but that’s just me I guess.

But back to the combat system, I understand why this was slated as the most useful attacks are chosen for you as your ATB gauge fills meaning the only real interaction in combat is pressing A and changing your paradigms, which for people unaware means in battle you was swap between preset class combinations.

The characters didn’t really appeal much, but I guess Vanelle and Szazh were the closest to deep characters and the former puts on a happy facade but seems to be harbouring something darker and Szazh is just some poor scmuck of the street who gets dragged into all this and tries to do his all to save his son whom was also chosen to be a L’cie.
Snow however if a fairly two-dimensional wannabe hero type and hope spends a lot of time brooding and whining but unlike some final fantasy characters gets past that stage at least.

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The reason I say this game isn’t as good as the first is because firstly, the combat system is not improved, although a monster pet in place of a third character is kind of cool I’ll admit.
Although S-E response to the interactive movie remarks was to add quicktime events to the monsters ‘limit break’ and the end of boss fights. Can’t say I care for that myself but I guess it IS more interactive so I’ll give the monster limit break a pass.

And the second point is that the plot is time travel shenanigans, that is already a major red flag as making time travel a passible plot hook is uncommon. There are some good ones though, but generally they don’t involve mucking around with causality nigh constantly.
The short version is the ending on the previous game didn’t happen like that according to everyone except Serah, after three years and Snow disappearing to look for Lightning Noel shows up and promised to take Serah to Lightning whom is in Valhalla at the end of the timeline, as such they must travel through time gates and fix the paradoxes as they go on their quest to restore the timeline.

The main character this time around is Serah, lightnings younger sister whom motivated both Lightning and Snow into action in the previous game i na bid to save her from the fate of L’cie.
It also adds Noel, a monster hunter from the future with a fixation on a young girl who died and is constantly reincarnated throughout time because of her oracle powers

It has some great music though.

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Five hundred years have passed since the end of 13-2 and entropy has hit the world, people no longer age and children are no longer born.
The ‘true god'(not a Fal’cie) has awoken Lightning from her 500 year crystal slumber and robbed her of her emotions (I presume because of the harsh nature of the choices he must make) promising that he will restore Serah to life in the next world if she successfully stalled the worlds destruction to be in 13 days as it is supposed to be as that is when he awakens rather than the six it will be if nothing is done. She is also charged with saving as many souls as she can to populate the new world as anyone left behind will be lost to the chaos forever.

Now I would say the plot sounds better than the second, but is still kind of shaky.
That said I freely admit I haven’t completed it yet which goes against my usual MO I realise but all I’ve been playing lately are these games and Danganronpa so I’m giving my current opinion.

My gripe comes here, now maybe I’m just hard to please but S-E did a 180 on the combat. It is more interactive which is good, but the issue is that it is clunky and seems to not work very well with multiple foes.
This is because you target one foe at a time and then hold the button for which attack or spell you want to do, meaning you can only attack one person at a time and unfortunately you can only BLOCK against that foe as well from what I can tell, The issue here being that in combat you don’t move very fast and the camera does not give you a full view of the arena meaning it’s difficult to know when an attack is coming from anywhere but where you are facing.
It feels like taking the FF13 combat and making you control your own movement, limiting your attack options and focusing the camera on one character without any allies.
If they wanted the combat to flow better I wonder why they didn’t borrow from kingdom hearts programing script. It seems like if they had made combat flow a little more like that to keep the pace up and make evading possible it would have worked.

Oddly you don’t level up anymore either,you power up by equipping better items as standard but you gain stat boosts for completing quests, meaning ‘optional side quests’ really aren’t if you want a chance of fighting later monsters.

All in all I’ve not played enough to score it yet, but my initial opinions are not great, being the stubborn sort I’ll keep going with it untill something suitably distracting comes along.

I may post an updated opinion as I go.

Val

Dangan Ronpa: Trigger Happy Havok (Vita)

Two weeks late, geez. Well work get hectic sometime I guess and as a result I’m behind on even my weekly anime, let alone doing something to ensure I have something to review.

danganronpa-Vita

So DanganRonpa, the game remake. Only just out in the EU, I’m not sure about america but as the publisher was Nisa I’m guessing it wasn’t that long ago, they are rather good for launching games everywhere at once.

I can (lazily) skip some sections as I already reviewed the anime and the plot is IDENTICAL except for a hidden scene and the alternative ending if you make the ‘wrong’ choise in chapter 5 as such the character and plot sections would largely be repeating myself.

So the gameplay. It surprised me a bit because I was expecting a visual novel for the most part and phoenix right style gameplay in the trial but the game is not so simple.
The game IS a visual novel yes, but investigations and exploration is done in a style not dissimilar to an adventure game. Except you don’t use every item you have on everything/one to progress.
The trials however break into several sections, the section where you refute statements using preselected evidence, or sometimes comments from the trial itself; there is also a section where you guess a word using letters on the screen hangman style and finally and possibly most oddly is the section that is basically a rhythm game.
Yes, a rhythm game.

Oh I nearly forgot. I’m not sure if it’s added in this version or was always in it on once you complete the game you unlock ‘school mode’ which allow you too unlock new gift items and get any missed scenes with your classmates.

Now it is worth nothing that it also has a system where you can spend downtime getting to know your classmates, this of course gives the player more data on them than is available in the main game or the anime. For example it makes Yasuhiro, the fortune-teller seem less like a bum and more like a con artist, although he does make a prediction in one of his scenes that describes the ‘bad end’ so I presume he wasn’t lying about his statement of “20% of the time I’m right every time”. Yeah, it’s a bad joke.

Now I already knew most of the answers but I still slipped up on the here and their on things so I would say the difficulty isn’t too low but on the flip side even though it was more in-depth than the anime and thus their were some things I had to draw the conclusion too I would say the difficulty is a good balance. That said I played on normal, not ‘kind’ or ‘mean’.

So to surmise I would defiantly recommend this game to people who like mystery or games requiring thought more than skill or reflex at a solid 8/10. It felt a little like it was pandering at times but I feel that most people who give it a chance would find a reason to enjoy it whether it be Yasuhiro’s inane stupidity, ‘genocide jack’s’ crazy banter or even the trials themselves.

Val

Futari wa Milky Holmes

The third installment in the story if I recall correctly, putting aside the more serious side story.

 

This one I would say is better than the previous two, probably because ‘milky Holmes’ are in fact support characters this time around. Whoever thought goofy comic relief characters made great main characters thought wrong,they just make me cringe. worse when there are four of them.

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This series though follows a pair of far more sensible girls on their bid to become renown detectives, after seeking the advise of the renown Milky Holmes they in essence become vigilante detectives as they are yet to graduate from the academy and get their licence. This does make me wonder why Milky Holmes were/are fine operating in the previous seasons as they too are still students, that is never explained in any of the three series.

But I digress, Alice Myojingawa is the daughter of a well to-do family and acts the part. She has the ‘toy’s’ with the most utility, but is primarily defensive as is creates barriers. Her brother is opposed to the idea of her becoming a detective but she is adamant about it and goes to a detective school with the rest of her families backing. For some unexplained reason if Kazumi fires through it they combine into a very powerful attack. Her family seems to be more than meets the eye however.
No they aren’t robots, hush!

Kazumi Tokiwa is from a family of retired detectives and wants to become a detective not to follow in their footsteps as she keep reiterating but what I think has something to do with her disdain for them leaving that role. hey ‘toys’ is the ability to summon a bow and arrows, as mentioned before this grants less utility so she does have a spate of feeling inferior over Alice’s power. In spite of that she is clearly intelligent, even if she is quick to act before thinking sometimes. She is the one who coins the name ‘feathers’ for their detective group.

I should point out ‘toy’s’ is the term given for the charicters special powers, it follows the principal of each person can only have one and it’s affected by your mental state.

To avoid spoilers I’ll not say whom, any are but their antagonists are a group called ‘colour the phantom’ consisting of seven members including but no limited too ‘yellow black hole, pink lovely doom and the violet shadow.’ it doesn’t take long for the audience to find out their relation to the ‘feathers’. As well as the police group ‘genius 4’ interestingly.

If you don’t know who Genius 4 is due to having not watched the originals, then you aren’t going to find out. They are more cameo appearances than anything in this series, much like Milky Holmes themselves.

As for the plot, like you’d have expected of the first two series, being Sherlock vs phantom thief Arsine it is more detectives vs a phantom thief group. But this time it has a lot less of the nonsense that Milky Holmes were guilty of which I feel vastly improves it over its predesessors, yes I just said a sequel is better than it’s predecessors, madness.

As a stand alone series I feel it would leave a lot of unanswered questions but they would be more about the setting and the cameo characters rather than the plot itself so I’d give it a passing mark here if you can ignore ‘in jokes’. You may however recall the team that did the first Hayate the Combat Butler series and Zettai Karen Children were fairly guilty for that.

So I think I’d give it a 7/10, fun without being annoying, a little cheesy with the friendship lark perhaps. but otherwise it’s nothing special really and it was fairly predictable,in a lot of places. But if you like upbeat series, detectives vs phantom thieves or anything like that, it’s probably worth a shot I’d say.

Val

Monogatari Second season

They call it that but I’m to understand Bakemonogatari was first, Nisemonogatari was second and Nekomonogatari goes somewhere before it.

 

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Confusing nameing conventions aside this series continues Kyomi Araragi’s school life, protection of his freinds (harem) from ‘oddities’ and his habit of getting overly rumbuncious with girls whom look prepubesant.

Before I continue I’ll adress that last point as that would put off many people, the main ‘victam’ is a ghost by the name of Mayoi Hajikuji whom he ambushes when he sees her in a (presumably) playful mannerbefore they start their playful banter and sniping comments. She does however do it back to him, spoiler alert, so that may be considered redeeming in a way. the other one he is flirty with is a vampire whom is bound to him but is traditonaly sealed in a young form along with her powers, she is actualy over 500.

I’m not trying to spark a ‘is that ok or not’ debate. I am just letting peple know so you can determine for yourself if thats offputting, anyone on the ropes, I’d say watch this, it sums it up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDfPyJKwmO4

 

Now onto the series itself, it’s a shaft series with a lot of vocabulary so it can be hard to follow without rereading subtitles sometimes. the text in the background is largly uneeded as they are more the charicters thoughts, but they can be quite entertaining, but be prepared to pause a lot if you want to read them all. And of course it has shafts classic funky animation and head tilt.

 

The charicters on the other hand are hard to discribe without spoiling things so I’ll keep it breif.

Kyomi Araragi, the main charicter and general do-gooder. He always tried to help people even if it means losing his life.

Hitagi Senjogahara, Kyomi’s other half and bounces between Deredere and Yandere, will do anything she can to protect Kyomi.

Karen and Tsukiki Araragi are known as the ‘fire sisters’ and spend their time helping people and fighting for justice. I suspect they both have a brother complex.

The class rep, Tsubasa Hanekawa is generaly Araragi’s goto girl for infomation because of her inteligence, in spite of her constantly saying “I don’t know everything, I only know what I know.”

Nadeko Sengoku is the shy and reserved childhood freind of the ‘Fire sisters’ and naturaly is attracted to Kyomi. She also appears to harbour a dark side. . .

Mayoi Hajikuji is the ghost i mentoned before and basicaly seems to exist to qwip at Kyomi’s antics and the final main charicter is Shinobu, the former ‘Kiss-shot acerola-orion heart-under-blade’, is now bound to Kyomi and helps him with his antics while trying to prevent him from going overboard. She also seems to harbour some jelousy towards people Kyomi is affectionate towards.

Their are other charicters whom either play smaller roles or are only refered too, so I’ll not waste time talking about them

Plot wise the story is arc baised and I’ll tell you this makes it especaly annoying watching it weekly, possably because I know the storys are short and not self contrained like some anime episodes are. Each arc is four or five episodes and focuses on one charicter, not to say others don’t play a big role Shinobu is a main player in the arcs Araragi are present in for instance.

The first being about Tsubasa’s second encounter with a feline oddity, althoguh this time she doesn’t run around in her lingerie and cat ears this time, sorry all ;). Their is also some time travel shananagans and we learn about the first time Shinobu came to Japan and about her first minion, whom has only everbeen refered too up untill this point.

Oh, it’s worth noting that their are three flashback episodes to explain the previous events if you don’t want to watch them but in all honisty, if you plan to watch this why wouldn’t you? Although they are narated in Kyomi’s usual sort of banter and are worth watching even if you have watched the previous series.

So the important things are, is it fun? yes. Interesting? Usualy. were the charicters interesting/not annoying? Mostly. I’ll be honest, Hitagi is not all that interesting after the first seasons first arc involving her.

All in all I feel it’s a solid 8/10, the things that cost it a higher mark is the fact it can be hard to follow, and the elements of VERY questionable humour that many would find off putting.

 

Val

Outbreak Company

Looks like I never did get around to making an extra post or two did I.

Well rather than make excuses I’ll just cut to the chase because I’m pressed for time again this week.

 

outbreak

The plot is a simple one. And Otaku shut in finds a job advertised online and for reasons unexplained decided to give it a try. I think that he may have been trying to revoke his ‘shut-in’ status.

Little does he know what this job truly is, as a result he is drugged and taken to a fantasy world complete with elves, dwarves and magic in a bid to spread ‘otaku culture’ among the locals as a means of integrating Japanese culture.

Now this is a ‘harem’ series and as such he acquires a lot of love interests due to the fact he is nice to everyone regardless of social standing and the like, the first being his half elven maid who is generally subject to a lot of discrimination. Naturally the ruler develops feelings for him too as per usual.
But tropes aside, what about the plot itself? Well, it’s kind of bland and predictable to be frank, it’s a light hearted and primarily silly anime with a smattering of seriousness here and there, particularly at the end.

The characters primarily lack much depth too, the main character, Shinchi, is largely a typical obsessive fan of anime, and if nice to everyone and cannot stand people being oppressed and judged by status because he himself suffered abuse and rejection for being an otaku.

Museil is the half elven maid assigned to Shinchi and falls for him rapidly because he is kind to her in spite of being half elven and basically acts all ‘dere’ without being overly forward about it meaning our dense protagonist is the only one unaware.

Peterarica however is the ruler of the kingdom is is about 1 part ‘tsun’ and 3 parts ‘dere’ in that she spends more time vying to Shinchi’s attention than giving him grief him for things, she is still prone to bouts of jealousy, especially when Museil is involved whom she does eventually befriend.

There are also a few side charicters such as the Fujioshi bodyguard intend on shipping Shinchi with Galius, Peterarica’s Cousin and bodyguard. Gallius whom doesn’t help the running joke with his behaviour and acting tsundere towards Shinchi on occasion.

Between maids, animal eared girls, tsunderes and anime references galore you could probably check off every anime trope on almost any given list. For instance Attack on Titan was referenced VERY blatantly a few times early on.
So all in all it is a primarily light hearted series with a few ‘darker’ moments for suspense and plot but is it good?
I’d say not really. It’s not bad per say but it’s hardly something I’d recommend unless you want to kill time with something that requires little brain power, or you just like series of this kind. As such I feel it’s a 4/10 as it’s hardly interesting or unique in any way.

Val

Non Non Biyori

 

Lets start my christmas reveiws simply.

Non-Non-Biyori
 

A simple summery of Non Non Biyori is what happens if you take Higurashi and remove all of the murder mystery elements away.

Sound dull? Well I thought so too at first but the series was really little more than a ‘chill-out’ time. No overarching plot, no villains, no mind-controlling parasites, nothing more than a small group of friends hanging out together in their backwater town.

 So as there is nothing bar character interaction, what are they like?

Firstly Hotaru is the transfer student from Tokyo whom has to adapt to the hugely different lifestyle in the country. From the fact everyone is confused to learn that she locks her front door to the fact her class consists of only six students including herself from varying grades. She also harbours a slightly creepy fixation with her upperclassmen Komari.

Komari is the eldest sister but second child of three yet much to her sorrow looks like the youngest, yep she’s the ever popular ‘eternal loli’ character.  She has a bit of a childish streak to match her appearance, including a classic fear of scary stories and the like. Due to her small and ‘cutesy’ nature everyone calls her ‘koma-chan’ rather than ‘Sempai’ or the like, except Hotaru.

Natsun is the youngest sister and quite the energetic tomboy, gets consistently terrible grades and is basically a bit mischievous. There isn’t a lot else to say really.

Renge, or Ren-chon as she’s dubbed by everyone is hard to describe, at first glance she seem very odd, but if you consider her comments and skills it seems that she may possess genius level intellect. And it’s common knowledge that such people seem peculiar to everyone else. Being that she is actually nine unlike Komari whom only looks it she is also fairly childish, but oddly she seem to also have it more ‘together’ than the rest of the class, including her older sister whom is the school teacher and remains calm while Hotaru panics in a particular crisis.  She is also basically I responsible for most of the series ‘cute’ factor and personaly I think she was respocible for the best humour too.

There are a few other charicters such as the elder brother of Natsu and Komari, whom has the recurring gag of the fact he never speaks and has very little presence. Renge’s oldest sister whom is laid back to a fault and the candy store proprietor whom is only known as ‘candy store’.

All in all I think I’ll give the series a 6/10. It was relaxing to watch but it wasn’t gripping at all, lacking any real goal or plot it wasn’t a matter of ‘will the group make it out of this problem’ or ‘who dunnit’ or anything gripping. The only questions asked were ‘is the brother ever going to speak and what’s he actually called’ and ‘why hasn’t anyone noticed Hotaru’s blatant crush on Komari?

 So to sum up, if you want excitement or intrigue, then look elsewhere, if you want something to relax to then give it a whirl.

 Val

Quick update

Seriously, this month sucks. I’ve been really busy, to the extent that it seems I even forgot to post an update last week.

Sorry about that, It was suposed to say that I’m planning to skip the week to get things done in advance, that way I have less distractions when it comes to this week that has most of the series I’m watching conclude. 

Some good news though, with the conclusion of various series this week, I (hopefully) should be able to make up for it during the christmas weeks by doing a couple of reveiws.

So far I have:
Infinate Stratos 2
Outbreak company

Within the next week I’ll have:
Non non Byori (frankly, I was kind of surprised I watched it) and Monagatari.

And if I ever get around to watching the last 6 episodes I’l lhave Unbreakable machine doll too. so I shouldn’t be short on material.

And who knows I might even have time to play Bravely default or the motervation to play pokemon X.

 

As I’ve not updated for a few weeks I felt like i should give an update rather than stay quiet.

I’ll not be able to start a review in earnist untill my neices return home so I’ll probably start tomorrow looking at the time.

Val