Check Out Games Revisited

gamesRevisitedCapture1I’ve been meaning to add a link  to my new video gaming blog on Anime Epicuriosity. If anyone would like to read about the Japanese games that I play, feel free to check out Games Revisited at gamesrevisited.wordpress.com.

I’m a huge fan of both anime and video games. However, I’ve been playing video games a lot more often. I just feel like video games are more fascinating, because the medium is so experimental. A lot more of the ideas in these games are liable to fail, or to try radical new things.

Note that I usually play Japanese role-playing games that usually have anime-style graphics, so this isn’t a huge diversion for me. Besides, the Japanese anime shows even receive their own video games.

So if you have some free time, try out Games Revisited. I’ll be revisiting all the classic (and not-so-classic) games of my childhood. Right now, I’m checking out the unique world of Tales of Symphonia. If you have any suggestions about games that you’d like me to try, let me know in the comments below.

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Filed under Games Revisited, Uncategorized, video game

Updates: New reviews and rants

genericStress

I’m making a couple changes to how I review anime shows, but I feel like I should explain my present situation.

I’ve received an associate’s degree in computer information systems this year. I restarted my job search three months ago, hoping to get hired in my field as soon as possible. However, job hunts are never easy. I usually don’t get hired until a year of networking, searching and researching.

I hate to gossip about family matters, but I have to vent for a bit. Some family members want me to focus 100 percent on my job search. Unfortunately, job hunts always seem to take longer than usual these days. So until I get hired, I need some productive way to pass the time. The Anime Epicuriosity blog has always been a source of refuge for me, because it allows me to write about the exciting shows and games that I have seen recently.

Sorry, but sometimes my family just says certain things that irritate me. I just have to vent out my thoughts, because some of their comments drive me insane.

netflixEnvelopesI’ve had trouble coming up with a prompt review schedule. I used to review anime shows by renting DVD collections through Netflix. Their mail service was once my biggest source for reviewing collections of episodes. Now that anime shows are broadcasted over the Internet, Netflix cancelled their mailing service. I have been trying to review shows through streaming services, such as Crunchyroll.com and Hulu.

Unfortunately, the review format is never easy for me. I’ve tried reviewing entire seasons of shows, but that takes far too much time. I’ve also thought about switching to reviewing episodes, but that would make the blog too long for the average reader.

For now, I think I’ll stick to reviewing three or four episodes at a time. This was always the standard format for most DVD collections. Each disc had about three or four episodes, which was enough for me. I would typically watch the entire DVD in one sitting and write the review in two or three days. Then I’d mail the DVD back and I’d receive a new one to review next week.

And there were always shows that I missed out on. For example, I never finished watching Claymore or some of the other mainstream shows with 10 million episodes. That was fine for me, though. Some of these shows literally take their sweet time telling their story. Anime shows are usually based on manga comics, but they sometimes take over 21 episodes just to get through three manga volumes. Sadly, many of these shows were literally made to waste my time.

Anyhow, I know that I’ll write up a review for next week. I don’t know what to choose, but I’ll probably just pick something off of Crunchyroll. Stay tuned…

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Anime review: Inspiring Musician Love Story That Starts With a Lie

yourLie1Your Lie in April starts off as a simple boy-meets-girl romance with musicians, but it quickly turns into a intensely emotional roller coaster. Don’t be fooled–this show is a heart-wrenching drama about a friendship that turns into an uplifting commitment like no other.

At first glance, this show moves at a snail’s pace. The first episodes slowly introduces us to a depressed pianist boy, Kousei Arima, who struggles to maintain a normal life after his mother’s death. He was a child prodigy who played at classical music competitions. His mother trained him constantly to become one of the best pianists, but her vicious drills traumatized him to the point where he just couldn’t play the piano anymore.

The girl next door, Sawabe Tsubaki, is Kousei’s childhood friend. She thinks that a girlfriend could raise his spirits and possibly motivate him to play the piano again. She invites Kousei on a date to meet up with their other buddy, Ryouta Watari, and his new mystery date. Little does Kousei know that this meeting would change his life forever.

Ryouta’s new girlfriend is Kaori Miyazono. She’s a virtuoso violinist who often gets criticized for improvising too far from the written sheet music. She invites her friends to watch her performance at a classic music competition in Towa Hall. Kousei is quite impressed with her playing, but he keeps his distance from her. After all, Kaori seems to act as if she likes Ryouta. However, Kaori actually has a big-time crush on Kousei.

yourLie5One day, Kousei meets Kaori on his way home from school. Kaori says that she is waiting for her boyfriend, who seems to be running late. She decides to use Kousei as her new substitute date. Kousei has reservations about this outing, but Kaori clearly wants to know more him. She wants to know more about his life as a virtuoso pianist and why he suddenly stopped playing.

The entire show is focused on the growth in the relationship between Kousei and Kaori. Although they are both amazing musicians with incredible chemistry together, their whole relationship is peppered with personal struggles. Kousei constantly tries his best to deal with his traumatic memories with his mother. Throughout the series, Kaori also has plenty of medical emergencies that force her to more of her time in the hospital.

As the story slowly unravels over the course of the series, we learn that Kaori is struggling through one of the most difficult moments in her life. Although I really can’t reveal anything else about the story, I will say that their relationship is strikingly touching, heartbreaking and emotional.

yourLie4Even if the ending of the story is somewhat predictable, the voice acting in this show is exceptionally poignant. The animators somehow struck a delicate balance in texturing the episodes with just enough tragedy and compassion to make everyone shed tears of joy and sadness. If anyone only has enough time to watch one anime this year, be sure to watch Your Lie In April. It is definitely one of my favorite shows of the year, by far.

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Filed under masterpiece, music, romance, slice-of-life, Your Lie In April

Season Review: The Dumb Cute Squid Girl Show (Part One)

squidGirl1The story of the Squid Girl anime really isn’t complex. It’s about a little girl with a squid-shaped hat who wants to take over the world.

Yeah, this is ridiculous. To be honest, this is one of the silliest shows that I’ve ever seen. However, the creators come up with enough well-written lines to make this comedy cute and believable.

I probably shouldn’t explain this story, because it is very one-dimensional. It begins with our adorable main character–a girl with a white hat in the shape of a squid head, with blue tentacles hanging down from it. She barges into a beach restaurant called the Lemon Beach House and declares that she is taking over the world.

Everyone in the restaurant thinks that this cosplayer girl is playing a ridiculous joke on them, so they all just ignore her. The end.

Well, that could’ve just ended right there. Then again, she’d probably cause a ruckus amongst the customers. The waitress has a heart-to-heart chat with this weirdo in the back of the restaurant. Turns out that this “cosplayer” calls herself Squid Girl (or Ika Musume in Japanese). She has some sort of revenge plot to take over the world, to retaliate against the humans who pollute the ocean everyday.

Any normal person could’ve just ignored this girl. Thankfully, the restaurant owners see her as an opportunity to help grow their business. You see, the waitress and her big sister both own the restaurant. They live in an apartment nearby. They need all the help they can get, so they keep asking her to take dishes to the customers. After a while, Squid Girl gets fed up and tries to demonstrate that she doesn’t want to get bossed around. She shows her grown-up power by destroying a wall of the restaurant with one of her tentacles.

squidGirl2Of course, the waitress isn’t going to stand for this disaster. After all, if a girl destroys the wall, she has to pay for it. Squid Girl reluctantly agrees to work for the restaurant owners, to try to pay off her debt.

So that’s really the whole idea of this show. This comedy is more or less about Squid Girl and her quest to try to take over the world. After she pays off her debt. Okay, it’s a stupid premise. I’m not gonna lie.

The script writers come up with really funny jokes, though. In every episode, she seems to run into a wide variety of people who have some strange attraction to this Squid Girl. The owners’ little brother loves to play with Squid Girl’s tentacles. The girl in the house down the street has an unhealthy obsession with Squiddy (yeah, I’ll just call her Squiddy from now on) and she wants to dress up as her. The restaurant owners hire a new waiter, who is scared to death of weird people such as Squiddy.

Every dumb joke seems to focus around Squid Girl’s fascination with the world. Thankfully, the show takes a surprisingly dramatic turn at the end. This lowbrow comedy really could’ve stopped with a lame ending, but the writers did a good job in developing the characters. There’s also a second season, if anyone is willing to watch through more of the same old sight gags.

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Sega Girls Too Hard to Pass Up

segaHard1

Japan makes anime comedies about all sort of strange topics. Now we have an anime show where three cute girls represent video game consoles.

Sega Hard Girls is a strange collection of hit-and-miss video game jokes. The average anime fan might pass this up, but the beautiful 3D animation makes the show much more enjoyable.

I thought I’d seen every type of anime by this point, but Sega Hard Girls is definitely one of the most unusual shows to date. The show’s full name is actually “Hi-sCoool! Seha Girls,” but most fans just call it by its nickname, Sega Hard Girls. The show has three main characters who each represent Sega video game consoles. Their names are Mega Drive, Saturn and Dreamcast. The game systems in this show are represented in the form of cute anime girls.

These Sega girls are all attending Sehagaga Academy in Tokyo. Their goal is to graduate and become full-fledged video game consoles. Well, at least I think that’s their main goal. For the entire season, I kept wondering what would actually happen to the girls when they graduate. The whole concept is already too strange to comprehend.

segaHard3Thankfully, this show isn’t focused around a serious plot—it’s a comedy based around video games. The main goal of the academy is to earn 100 medals. To earn these medals, the girls have to enter the worlds of old Sega games to perform a specific task. Each episode focuses on funny slapstick jokes that use retro game characters.

The show is a unique mish-mash of 3D anime and video game animation. I’ve seen all sorts of lame 3D anime films where the animation looks incredibly stiff and fake. Sega Hard Girls is the first 3D show where I had an emotional connection with the characters. The brilliant animators of this show took the time to slow the action down and focus on the facial details and expressions of the character models. Because of this detail, the girls look a lot more like humans with feelings and emotional expressions.

The result is a light-hearted cartoon that looks back at the joy and fun of video game characters in the past. Some episodes showed off some really obscure games that were only released in Japan, such as Border Break. Based on the episode I had seen, Border Break looks like a versatile, online 3D shooter with mecha robots. Even if the game’s environment looked a little bland, I really enjoyed watching these girls explore the unique landscape of Border Break.

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The show has plenty of cameos from video game icons, but the funniest parts actually take place when goofy-looking characters wander in from other random Sega games. In fact, Sega Hard Girls is chock-full of visual gags. My favorite jokes took place in episode two, when the girls used martial arts moves against little birds from Flicky, pig men from Golden Axe and a giant beetle from some weird bug game (Mushiking).

Sega Hard Girls is a retrospective of all the funniest moments of early video games. The show is geared for all the anime fans who yearn for the old days of video games, when all the graphics looked a lot more innocent and timeless. Sega Hard Girls also shows off some of the best 3D animation I’ve ever seen.

Sega Hard Girls is available to stream at crunchyroll.com.

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Filed under 3D anime, action, anime streaming, comedy, crunchy roll, fighting

Me and My Complicated Life

persona4-1If anyone is still paying attention to this blog, I just wanted everyone to know that I’m still here.

I always seem to have trouble keeping up with updates. I’ve almost forgotten about this blog, because I had to study for my Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems. I’ve really learned a lot more about all the computer programming that takes place in Web publishing.

I don’t want to take too much time explaining my life in the last few years. I just had to focus a lot of energy on my studies. This time, I felt that my college studies were a top priority for my future employment.

I’ll update this blog with a review of Sega Hard Girls, the odd 3D show about girls representing video game consoles. Yeah. I guess I’ll explain that when I finish my review.

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Favorite Anime Openings (as of 2014)

Every anime has to have a stunning opening. No matter what kind of show it is, each show has to have an awesome music video to draw you in. Here are some of my personal favorites so far.

Feel free to watch a playlist of all my favorite anime openings on my YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSQUtn411JcHvXXuoToqEJaTXyRhBRvDg

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