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Messages - ironmage

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Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: October 01, 2015, 09:59:57 PM »
Here are my end-of-season notes / ramblings.  My apologies for the text dump, but it's easier for you to skip if I contain it all in a single post.  :-P
Ratings are on the color-coded three-point scale: I loved it, I thought it mostly good, or at least okay and why do I even bother.

Ushio & Tora (continuing):  The son of a priest accidentally releases an ancient demon, and they become allies...sort of.  Japanese mythology, eldritch monsters, and fast pacing make this series a refreshing take on a classic pattern.  This also has the best opening theme of the season.

Oremonogatari [my love story] (finished): Gouda Takeo was a hulking giant, even as a middle-schooler.  This made him popular with the sports clubs, but not so much with the girls; they were more interested in his best friend, Sunakawa.  After Takeo rescues a girl (Yamato Rinko) from a subway groper, she ends up falling for him.  But Takeo has failed at romance so many times, that he assumes Yamato is really interested in Sunakawa.   This series is alternately funny (often stupidly funny) and heartwarming.  Both the artwork and writing remind me a lot of Chihayafuru.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan (first season finished):  With a more serious tone, this would have been brilliant.  Unfortunately, someone spilled anime all over this perfectly good war epic.  Still, I'll definitely sign in for the second season, if any.

GATE (first season finished):   The characterization isn't as strong as I might like, but the story and setting are bloody awesome.

Shokugeki no Soma [Food Wars] (finished):  This is a pretty funny transposition of shounen battle mechanics into a cooking anime.  Unfortunately, while it has many of the strengths of a good shounen series (action, sense of conflict) it also suffers from some of the weaknesses (too much exposition of fighting techniquesrecipes, irregular pacing).  Even if this gets another season, I think the gimmick has begun to wear a bit thin.  Viewer advisory (PG-13):  this series puts the porn back in food porn.

Baby Steps(finished(?)):   The production staff appears to have gone to a lot of effort to make this a realistic tennis series, and it occasionally has moments of pure brilliance.  The characterization is solid, and although I would have liked our hero to be a bit less unflappable, I suppose he wouldn't be much of a tennis player if he let pressure affect him very much.  There is room for another season, but it doesn't really need one.

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers (first season finished):  I was betting the seventh was Maura.  Well, whatever.  Pretty entertaining for a fantasy/whodunit series, and although the writing is a bit obvious in trying to manipulate the audience's reactions (also see: SAO), there are flashes of good characterization.  The ending was nonsense, but I might be inclined to tolerance if I get a second season.

Charlotte (finished): What if superpowers were a childhood disease, that ended with adolesence?  This series starts out well, but later on has a couple of bad episodes which almost ruin it.  It reminds me somewhat of Angel Beats, which I wish I had rewatched instead.
Writing sins (SPOILERY!):
  • Resurrecting a dead character
  • Having the protagonist go completely out of character during his breakdown
  • Never clarifying the antagonist's objectives (so what were these evil scientists *doing* with all this research?  Can't you at least give me a supervillain or two?)
  • Introducing a new antagonist (the "foreign terrorists") at the eleventh hour, with almost no foreshadowing
  • Dumping the new antagonist when the plot point was achieved
  • Pretending it is possible to blackmail someone out of using time-travel
Well, at least the ending wasn't a complete loss.

Snow White with the Red Hair (finished):  Completely unrelated to the fairytale.  This is the story of a romance between a red-haired herbalist/apothecary, and the second prince of a kingdom.  This is a charming shoujo series, with gorgeous music, but it flips into cliche plot structures a little too easily, and I can't help but think that The World is Still Beautiful did this sort of thing better.

World Trigger (continuing):  Production quality and pacing issues aside, this is still managing to hold my interest.

Chitose Get You (finished from backlog): Elementary-school comedy in three-minute episodes. Cute.

Seiyuu's Life (dropped):  This slice-of-life series centering on voice actresses wasn't too bad, but coming so close on the heels of Shirobako, it didn't really hold my attention.

Gangsta (finished):  This started out solid, but by the end, it felt too rushed, and I was losing track of who was who, and why they were doing what.  That last episode wasn't an ending.  It didn't even qualify as a cliffhanger, it simply...stopped.  Bad planning, that...maybe related to the studio going bankrupt.

Naruto (continuing...and continuing...):  Yo dawg I heard you like filler so I put some backstory in your filler so you could reminisce while you zzzzz.
How long has the final(?) battle been going on?  Three seasons?  Four?  There is yet no end in sight.  Bizarrely, the filler episodes are often better than the main story.
Do you remember that time when Naruto was awesome*?  That was over 250 episodes ago.  Forget about a little light trimming, this needs to be edited with a machete.

*Well, subjectively speaking.  If you want to say "Naruto was never awesome", I won't argue the point.  I don't care anymore.

You know what irritates me?  I'm enjoying listening to the world map music, and them *BAM*, there's a random enemy encounter, and it cuts to the battle music.  Those abrupt transitions totally harsh my mellow.  Anyway, here's everything I can think of at the moment.

(I'm not quite sure how to distinguish field themes from dungeon themes in FF12, so I'll just pretend all the enclosed areas are dungeons, and save them for later.)

FF12 - The Cerobi Steppe.  One of the more idyllic themes from 12, and it fits the scenery perfectly.

FF12 - The Feywood.  I find this simultaneously beautiful and unnerving.

FFT - World Map.  Although it can get a little repetitive, this induces in me an almost Zen-like tranquility.

Odin Sphere - World Map.  A melancholy track, which fits Odin Sphere quite well.

Ni no Kuni - World Map.  I wish more games had symphonic soundtracks...

The Helper Monkey / Re: who the hell is this?....
« on: September 30, 2015, 10:28:38 PM »
Two nights ago I had a dream that was just the phrase "PEOPLE CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT ESP.NET" repeated over and over again which, in my dream logic, was actually the slogan for some telepathy-related company that would telepathically transmit ads to you in your sleep.

Thank you for your participation in our field trials, however, our website is not yet live.  Remember, think "5% COUPON" to get a discount at participating retailers.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: September 29, 2015, 11:25:09 PM »
I've just finished Virtue's Last Reward.  Loved Phi's ending, and the epilogue.  Totally didn't see it coming.  Luna's ending, too....
The tension induced by this game makes it pretty exhausting to play.  I don't think I'll be ready to start Zero Escape 3 for another week or so.
There were a couple of minor negative points: sometimes the explanations ran on a bit too long, and sometimes Sigma's sense of humour sounded like something out of a bad harem anime, but those are just quibbles.

Here's my favorite music of the game.

<3DS backlog clear>
<Backlog games remaining: 5>

Next up: Steins; Gate.  I don't have much experience with VNs, but I liked the anime, so I hope th
Shut up, you.  I'm allowed to play a new game once in a while.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Omega Quintet
« on: September 29, 2015, 08:31:59 PM »
Fate/Extra's gameplay is acquired taste.  During an extended trip into a dungeon (about half an hour in, I guess), I got one-shotted.  I made a second foray into the dungeon....and got one-shotted again, right around the same point.  Not because I made a technical error, but because I hadn't had the opportunity to learn a new enemy's pattern yet.  I almost lost my composure.  I gently placed my PSP on the table until the urge to hurl it subsided.

The writing wasn't bad, but that gameplay made /Extra almost impossible to recommend.

General Discussions / Re: What's the haps?
« on: September 29, 2015, 07:52:35 PM »
Our decision not to purchase a new vehicle seems to confound everyone I work with.  To the point of near hostility.  Some of my colleagues have implied that they would rather pile on more debt they can't afford than ride a bike or public transportation to work. It would seem that not driving 30 minutes to work alone in their personal vehicle is somehow beneath them. 

I have a co-worker who doesn't own a car (at least, he didn't...I'm not exactly polling him about it on a regular basis).  I thought it unusual, but I can see how someone might want to avoid the hassle and expense, even when they can afford it.  I wouldn't mind walking to work, but at 40 minutes each way, it would cut into my free time too much.

If I lived in a high-density city with a decent mass-transportation system (like Tokyo), I might ditch the car, too.  I mean, a car is basically just another tool.  But I guess for some people, it's part of their identity...

General Discussions / Re: What's the haps?
« on: September 27, 2015, 11:18:23 PM »
Does anyone else get really mopey after you finish something you're really enjoying? I haven't always been that way, but the last couple of years I've hated endings simply for the sake of being endings. I start to feel a little depressed for quite a while afterward and find it hard to start something new.

The wind whistles over the cold Yi river
The brave hero leaves
He'll never return

General Discussions / Re: What's the haps?
« on: September 26, 2015, 04:06:07 PM »
Your luck matches your avatar, hah.

It's strange how much Tomoko's experience reflects my own.  Watamote was a weird series for me.

General Discussions / Re: What's the haps?
« on: September 26, 2015, 10:01:48 AM »
I am sick with the Hyperborian Death Flu.  You know the symptoms.

Why do I only get sick on weekends and holidays?  Does my immune system have some sort of misplaced work ethic?  How does it even know I don't have work today?

Bleh.  So much for getting anything done this weekend.  I'm going to self-medicate with mint tea, and watch some old kung-fu movies.

General Discussions / Re: Random and Amazing Pictures, Please!
« on: September 25, 2015, 09:11:56 PM »
Old but

I love that cat.  It's originally from a Brazilian advertisement (youtube link).

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: September 22, 2015, 08:57:10 PM »
Virtue's Last Reward!  I have Dio's ending, three locked paths, and a handful of game overs; I'm probably a bit past the halfway-point.  Most of my initial hypotheses about what is really happening appear to have been wrong, which is as it should be.  I'm enjoying the puzzles, but the real stars of this game are the characters.

I hate Dio's guts, and probably have a slight crush on Luna.  K... gives me the creeps.  His Japanese voice actor is speaking using the polite form, with a preternaturally congenial tone, which anime has taught me to associate with the vilest of treachery, and also restaurant staff.  I guess him walking through the 9-door on two different game-overs didn't help, either.

natros' playthrough of Resonance of Fate reminded me that I never finished up Neverland, or the arena, so I've also spent a bit of time on that.  Beating all 500 battles in the arena can get tedious, and is best spread out over weeks (or months).

I played a bit of FFXI closer to its initial release (back when partying was mandatory, and grinding inescapable), but I had to quit before I got very far into the story.

So, I'm finding this thread a pretty interesting read.  Thanks for the work!

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: September 09, 2015, 12:04:54 AM »
Gangster episode not 10

Why would you ever need a recap episode after 9 in a 12-episoder?

Maybe they were having production problems?  At least, that was one of the things I learned from Shirobako:  A recap episode might just mean they couldn't get the "real" episode ready in time to air.

Gangsta's compilation episode wasn't particularly good (even as recaps go), but I guess not everybody can live up to the standard set by Kill la Kill.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: September 08, 2015, 10:12:56 PM »
I might be the only person that loved Riviera.  Throw it on the pile with Baroque and Rogue Galaxy of games I can't bring up in conversation without getting dirty looks.

I didn't dislike Baroque, but it was a niche title, and rather hard to adapt to.  I think the idea of having your stats reset as a normal part of gameplay is off-putting to some.  The only way I was able to survive it was to find a Vampire Sword, and then pass it back to myself repeatedly using transfer orbs.  That sword got pretty OP, after a while...

also I turned the difficulty down to easy and used a guide but let's not get into that

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