Friday, December 31, 2010

Anime in Focus: FLCL episode 5


I just felt the need to point this scene out. Look at the size of that.... cell phone.


This episode’s theme appears to be hyper violence with a dash of Looney Toons.

This all starts out when Naota’s dad realizes that Haruko is paying more attention to Naota than himself (isn’t this familiar) and demands a gun battle with Naota. This garners the attention of the guy with the gigantic eyebrows, who winds up sending out his henchperson, whose shirt gets ripped in wonderful places. Still got no idea what these people are actually doing besides spying on Haruko. Anyway, these guys get into a rather large fight with Haruko, which winds up with nobody with a name getting killed. Clearly, everybody in this show has the aim of a stormtrooper. This suggests that every bit of violence was metaphorical and representing the characters internal struggles, or something.

Anyways, some giant thing that gets pulled out Naota’s head winds up attacking the medical building, but thankfully Naota has accepted his fate and fused with that TV headed robot in order to fight it. Haruko joins in, wearing a bunny girl outfit for some reason. While this is weird, it isn’t really enough to make me bat an eyebrow at this point.

Anyway, I’m not really sure if all of this is leading up to a finale, but there’s only one way to find out, right?

NEXT WEEK: FINAL EPISODE!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Anime in Focus: Ninja Nonsense Episode 3

<-No context could help this image make more sense.


I’m moving right along with watching all of that anime sitting on my bookshelf. Good news is that I think I’m winning.

Here we have Ninja Nonsense episode three, where more hilarity ensues. Humiliated by his defeat by Shinobu’s little sister in the previous episode, Onsokumaru decides it’s time to consult the faceless army of ninjas to see if they can come up with a plot to get even. After a long time getting nowhere, Onsokumaru decides to join forces with the newest member of the ninja clan, the crocodile that tried to eat him in the first part of the previous episode.

This episode picks up when Onsokumaru winds up in a battle with a doppelganger of himself that he created, who fights using incredibly dirty tactics, such as the duct-tape diaper (shown above)

The second half of the episode revolves around Shinobu overhearing a secret ninja meeting, where she is lead to believe that she is about to be kicked out of the ninja mansion. This leads to her moving in with Kaede for a while, having some wonderfully yuri-tastic moments. Turns out it was all a misunderstanding, but we still get to see more wonderful yuri anyway. Everybody wins!

Overall, a pretty good episode, demonstrating the show’s ability to maintain a good sense of humor. Only time will tell if it’s capable of keeping this up.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Anime in Focus: Rozen Maiden Episode 1

On my continuing journey to watch all of the unwatched anime sitting on my bookshelf, I decided to start watching this series, which grabs my attention with all of the pretty dresses.

Anyway, this anime takes us into the wonderful world of underground doll battling. This goes to show that if done correctly, anything can be made to be badass.

We start off by meeting our main character Jun, who lives in his room as a shut-in who doesn’t like doing things that involve leaving his room, such as ordering voodoo dolls online and answering chain letters. While normally staying in your room causes you to wither away and die, he has the help of his doormat sister to make sure he eats and that his weird packages get signed off, while taking his verbal abuse and not standing up for herself.

As luck would have it, one of Jun’s chain letters happens to actually work, and he winds up with a weird box containing an even weirder doll inside of it. After screwing around with it for a bit, he learns that the doll is in fact, alive, and believes herself to be the boss of the area.

Suddenly, Jun gets himself attacked by a killer clown doll. Normally, killer clown dolls are not very scary, since you can usually punt them out a window, but we have to realize that Jun has been sitting in his room making purchases off of websites instead of getting any form of exercise. This unfortunately means he has to make a pact with the creepy doll that was in the box in order to prevent himself from being stabbed to death by a killer clown doll.

The rest of the episode is dedicated to showing Jun’s relationship with his sister, and how he copes with owing his life to a weird doll that appeared in his room. Unfortunately, we don’t actually find out what being a servant to a creepy doll actually means, leaving stuff for the next episode.

This show doesn’t show many symptoms of first episode syndrome. It doesn’t spend much time on exposition, and instead gives the viewer an idea of what to expect in the rest of the series. I’m actually quite anticipating the next episode.

Coming soon! Next Episode

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Anime in Focus: Comic Party episode 1

 Hm, today I’m going to attempt to start watching some of those anime DVDs I haven’t watched that I acquired while running an anime shoppe.

Here we have “Comic Party, an anime about the wonderful world of Doujinshi. You would think that doujinshi is a rather mundane topic, but if you’ve ever attempted to put a group together to get something done, it’s a rather Herculean task.

Anyway, our vanilla lead Kazuki gets dragged to a doujinshi convention by his friend Taishi, along with his childhood friend Mizuki. During this he learns that these conventions are crowded, smelly, and have bad cell phone reception. While I have confirmed the first two in reality, I believe the bad cell phone reception is a Japan thing. Also, Mizuki gets kidnapped by a crowd, and Taishi loses Kazuki, presumably so he can buy porn without his friend looking.

While it is obvious that Mizuki is probably having the most entertaining adventure while being kidnapped by a crowd, we instead decide to focus on Kazuki. Kazuki gets crowd shuffled into the front of the line for a mysterious comic artist’s booth, and winds up being held hostage while she makes a getaway while kidnapping him.

While being kidnapped by this mysterious comic book artist, Kazuki learns the true meaning of the convention (I thought it was money, but apparently it isn't), and winds up working at her booth for the rest of the day.

This episode has a major case of first episode syndrome, and the next episode is going to have to do much better to keep me coming back. I personally think the show didn't take enough risks, which made things a bit boring. 

Coming soon: next episode

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm stuck in a love Triangle with myself

 <-This is the best picture I could find of the mysterious person who sent me this letter.


Dear BryAnime,

I’ve been having a strange issue. You see, I’m living a double life. While I’m normally a mild mannered high school student, on the side I’m really a super-hero. I can’t specify which super hero for obvious reasons, but it has had horrible effects on my dating life.

You see, not only does having a super alter ego cut into my free time (making dating difficult) but it also shows me a darker side of the city. For example, I’ve noticed that the girl I like (in my regular life) tends to wind up in seedier parts of town, resulting in me having to rescue her on multiple occasions, from rapists, muggers, and the occasional supervillian. Now then, when I rescue her, she feels the need to reward (see: make out) with me. This is all fun and games until in my regular life, I ask her out, and she seems disinterested.

This leads me to a strange problem. Every time I hang around my crush, she just talks about my other life, and considers me pretty irrelevant because I’m not nearly as exiting as super me. This leads me to an unfortunate situation where I can’t actually compete with myself.

Is there any way that I can convince my crush that I’m a great guy, and that she should be interested in me instead of um… super-me?

Sincerely,

Your Friendly neighborhood super-hero

Dear Friendly neighborhood super-hero,

You appear to be in a very difficult situation. How you approach this is entirely up to you, depending on the results you want.

Hypothetically, you could engage in rampant sex with your girl on a regular basis as your super alter ego, never telling her who you are. This could be fun, since the super-sex could entice her to pursue your super alter-ego more often. I would suggest you avoid this if you want a healthy relationship between your everyday persona and your crush.

Alternatively, you could partake in the ancient practice of super-dickery, and tell her off the next time you encounter her in a seedy neighborhood. This will be better for her long-term health, and would ignite a spark between your regular persona and her.

On another note, you could tell her about the conundrum. This is incredibly dangerous, as soon a super villain will find out and hold her hostage, and nobody wants that. It’s because of issues like these that cause many people to believe that Batman has a horrible love life, although nobody is really sure how that is.

Sincerely, BryAnime

Get Featured in a fan letter! Email you're problems to DarthSomebody@yahoo.com, or post it in the comments section, and I just might respond to you!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Anime in Focus: FLCL episode 4


<- As it stands, this man puffing up his eyebrows is on the level of a teenage girl stuffing her bra

After the almost comprehensible third episode, I am given the proper head trip I was hoping for in the fourth episode. I’m not really sure if I had more questions answered or if more new ones were spawned. Frankly, I’m not even quite sure what was a delusion or what was really happening in this episode.

Anyway, this happens to be FLCL’s baseball episode. This one seems to use swinging the bat as its theme, where Naota can’t seem to find it within himself to swing a baseball bat like his brother did. Meanwhile, he’s feeling jealousy issues as Haruko is paying much more attention to his dad than to him.

Furthermore, Naota is being watched by some guy with pieces of seaweed for eyebrows that seems to want him to stay away from Haruko. During the episode, we see Naota hitting things with a baseball bat, presumably in order to vent his frustration about Haruko paying less attention to him. Throughout this ep, I’m not sure if his father is dead, alive, or what. I’m sure most of it’s metaphorical. Furthermore, while watching this episode, I’ve come to the conclusion everybody has super-advanced teleportation abilities, based on the places they wind up at throughout the episode. This is especially likely, since in a previous episode it was established that the medical building has no doors.

While this episode is filled with weirdness and hitting things with guitairs, I’m not sure whether to treat this as an actual anime about growing up and stuff, or a big music video by the Pillows. While it is thoroughly confusing (well, it manages to make more sense if you don’t look at everything at face value) it manages to tell a story, in a very abstract manner. This it to say this show reminds me of the weird sculptures outside the college art building.

Well, I’m more than halfway through the show now, there’s no turning back at this point!

PLACEHOLDER FOR NEXT EP LINK!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tron: Legacy Review

Watch the trailer here:
Released a while ago. If that doesn't sell you on the movie, nothing will.

I was incredibly exited for this movie. I was there at the recreation of Flynn’s arcade back in Comic Con 2009, and was exited ever since I saw the stuff there. I even dug up the shirt that I got from the arcade, proudly displaying the slogan “FLYNN LIVES.”

To whet my appetite even more, this movie combines just about everything I love into one nice package. This movie has motorcycles, people dressed up like ravers, video games, flashy lights, techno, and this:

I believe this counts as fan service

I hope this becomes a new fashion statement at this year’s Comic Con ANYWAY…

The original Tron came out back in the year 1982, and apparently making a sequel was entirely necessary. This is not to say that this is a bad thing, since it gives Disney a chance to take one of the pioneers of modern CGI and update it using the fancy techniques we’ve developed to make films look shiny. The overall imagery was like taking Ecstasy through your eyesockets.

THE PLOT: About 7 years after the original Tron, we see Kevin Flynn telling his son Sam about his adventures in the digital world known as “The Grid,” and tells us a bit of exposition about what happened between the previous Tron and this movie. A few days later, Flynn vanishes and is never seen again, with the video game company he founded left in chaos due to his disappearance.

Twenty years later, we see Sam pulling a prank on the now corrupt, thinly veiled Microsoft that old man Flynn’s company has become. This goes on to establish that Sam has become a 177t haxor in the time without his father, and that this company is totally against open source software. Thank god that this movie did not become a drama about digital rights. After this we get to see Sam’s place, where he learns that his father may be alive, and there is a clue hidden in his arcade.

Finally, this leads to Sam getting sucked into The Grid, where the real movie begins. He finds that this world inside of the computer in his dad’s arcade has been turned into a digital dystopia, run by a rogue program known as Clu, a clone of Sam’s dad. This causes him to be placed in “The game” where we are treated to the greatest sport ever invented, LIGHTCYCLE BATTLING!

After breaking out of the world of EXTREME combat motorcycling, Sam goes on a journey where he meets, Quarra (pictured above) and where he meets his old man, leading him on spiritual and physical journey transcending the digital world. With lots of fights and pretty explosions.

The story is acceptable for the type of movie, although there are a few nitpicks that I found that I’m not going to dabble in here. While there is nothing particularly deep about the plot, the trip through the digital world is quite the feast for the senses. I did not find this lack of plot to be a fault for the movie, since the scenery is so lovingly crafted that I cannot convince myself to not love it.

PREREQUISITES: I don’t really think you need to have seen the Tron movie from the 80’s to understand this movie. It will help you swallow the entire concept of The Grid, but even then, the titular character, Tron only makes a minor appearance in this movie. Almost no plot elements make a comeback in this movie, aside from people wearing glowing red suits being pure evil.

SHOULD YOU WATCH IT? I would definitely recommend this movie to anybody who is not a total technophobe. The plot may not be the best, but I certainly was not bored with the movie at any point. Not the best movie of the year, but definitely quality entertainment. 

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm back

Yes, I'm not dead. I've managed to survive this semsester, and managed to get the creative fires of Prometheus back inside of me. unfortunately I'm going out to see Tron: Legacy right now, so I can't write much... but I'll be back tomorrow

Oh yeah, and the windows version  of Shira Oka is out now. Buy it HERE

Mac version should be out around January 6 via the App store.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Letter I wrote to my local senator regarding S3804

 Sorry I haven't been posting in the last few months, semesters been a total time eater. Good News is that the beta for Shira Oka second chances is done, and will most likely be released quite soon, updates to come on their facebook. I wrote a bit about the game HERE

ANYWAY! I came across a potential bill in congress that grabbed my attention more than the legalization of pot over here in Cali, and decided to write a letter to my local congressperson, in order to take part in ye democratic process...

(I put my address here, but you can't has it)

Hon. Sen. Dianne Feinstein

RE: S.3804

Hello, I am writing to you as a concerned citizen and web writer regarding the bill (S.3804, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, COICA) heading up to congress this week. While I understand that the intent of this bill is to make things difficult for pirates and other copyright violators, I feel that it would come with unintended consequences.

This bill makes it so that the Department of Justice can maintain a blacklist of websites that are to be blocked from web service providers, along with a second list that web service providers are encouraged to block, along with offering immunity for providers that do block these websites. However, this leaves little for judicial review, which is where I find issue with the bill.

While I do agree that piracy has run rampant on the internet, the solution is not to just blacklist sites without due process. People who run websites should be able to defend themselves before being put on a blacklist, in order to prevent the ability to blacklist sites from being abused. As the bill currently stands, the definitions available in the bill make it possible for the Department of Justice to take down sites it doesn’t like whether they be a political campaign, or a service frequently used that has potential for piracy. Creators and artists may have rights to their work, but people posting controversial things on the internet should have their first amendment rights protected, not infringed.

In closing, I strongly encourage you as a concerned citizen and potentially affected web writer to prevent central government from taking control over what can be posted on the internet, and reconsider bill S3804.


Sources:


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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Anime in focus: School days episode 12


 <- The only thing being exaggerated is the character's expressions

AHHHHH!

Ugh!

AHHHHH!





*shuddering* I heard about this on the internet. But seeing it is totally different. After watching these characters for 11 episodes, and seeing an ending like this is a totally different experience. I mean AHHH.

*sitting on coach at therapists office*

Oh right, of course doctor, what happened. Uhm well, it was Christmas time, and Saionji had made Itou a nice dinner to celebrate with him. She appears stressed out, but moderately exited to be carrying Itou’s baby.

Unfortunately, he cancels on their dinner. After an intense grilling, she finds out that he’s with Katsura, his first love, once again. Yes, apparently Itou has “feelings” for Katsura, and he wants to come back to her. This is, of course, after he slept with almost every girl in the school, and even got one pregnant.

He comes back home to find the dinner Saionji prepared, smashed on the floor. He seems mostly indifferent to this, seeing the complete monster he’s become. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to get back with Katsura because he wanted her, or just because she was the only one left that hasn’t slept with him (Saionji wasn’t registering on his radar apparently.)

After declaring his undying love for Katsura (BLECH) he texts Saionji telling her about an abortion clinic Katsura knew of. The next day, Saionji asks to see him at his house.

What ensued? I believe it was the most delightful melodramatic mess that I’ve ever seen in an anime. It stuck with me for a couple days, and afterwards I just sat staring at the screen with my jaw ajar. I felt like vomiting immediately after viewing. AWESOME ending, really, beats the crap out of the usual climax in this type of anime.

I seriously doubt I could recreate that here though, hehehe. Nice Boat indeed.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Maid: The RPG overview


I found this RPG supplement on TV Tropes, and just went… “Wow, this has to be the weirdest looking core rule book I’ve ever seen” Seeing that I haven’t written about any pen and paper RPG’s for a while, and that this might be fun to investigate, since the heavy anime influences make it quite suitable for this site. (What’s that? Articles about Ancient Greece have nothing to do with anime? SHUT UP!)

This forced me to acquire it immediately. I could tell this was going to be interesting when in the “things required to play” section, it lists that you probably should leave your shame at home.

Also, it uses the term “roll 1d666,” or roll three 6 sided dice.

My first impression is that this looks like a great game to bring to an anime convention or a forum meet up (Play with my regular Dungeons and Dragons/ World of Darkness Group? HA!) for a possible play-by-post or something. Obviously, I’d be willing to do a LARP (Live-Action Role Play… a bunch of people in costumes playing a game like this) with a bunch of sexy females in maid outfits calling me master.

I do like the table for determining special qualities for your character. These are things that set you apart from your peers, such as wearing giant glasses, being an albino, or being a dude (!!) Other fun qualities include having a weird fetish, a weird accent, always wear sunglasses (even at night) or have a strange tendency to enjoy stabbing people. All of these traits are rolled randomly, ensuring that this game is as much of an improv act as it is an RP

Rules for this game are relatively simple, and can be kept on about one page. You have a bunch of attributes, you roll a dice and multiply it by that attribute, and your enemy (or obstacle) makes an opposed roll. Whoever gets a higher roll wins. The loser takes damage (or stress in this case) until they reach there limit and have a breakdown (they player is then forced to act in a specific manner, such as binge drinking or being a jerk for an amount of time, in minutes based around the damage they took) I presume that rules were kept light for the sole purpose of keeping the game playable while drunk.

In order to increase insanity, the dungeon master has stats and is subject to insanity to. Also, to make things easier, there is a rather large table detailing random encounters. It requires you to improvise, but any dungeon master worth his salt can do that. This table includes all the staples you’d need to get the creative juices flowing such as rolling the dice to find out the mansion has had a zombie outbreak, or if Cthuhlu has decided to make a quick visit.

Although I do not believe that this book is very suitable for a serious role play,(Hey, if you want to do a game with a bunch of killer maids, almost any system will do.) it looks like it would satisfy boredom for a night. The majority of rules take about 10 minutes to learn, and are incredibly easy to teach to a newcomer. Most importantly, it appears that if your adventures don't turn into a chaotic mess where hilarity ensues, your probably playing the game wrong. Simplicity works for and against this book in that regard. The real meat in the book is the flavor text and the random tables, which are top notch. I may wind up using some of the random event tables in my next Dungeons and Dragons game, just to give it a shot. Unfortunately, I haven’t field tested this book yet, so I would need to do a follow up report on how the actual game plays…. I’d be willing to do a play by post, or I’m willing to meet a group at any major convention I attend...
Oh yeah, the book isn’t available on Amazon, so you have to order it from the company website. Seven dollars for the PDF is pretty nice, but the physical book would be necessary to use it at conventions.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Batman: Under the Red Hood REVIEW


I decided to watch this title because it was at my local Red Box and because I happened to have read this story arc in the comics. Due to reading the story arc, I was piqued at how they could make a story that relied on reading so many books and required such a great deal of knowledge of continuity to understand.

Thankfully, they decided to take out most of the convoluted stuff that plagues comics these days and kept it to the batman universe. While knowledge of the comics is helpful, it is not nearly as important as it was while reading the book.

While the details in the story are drastically different from those shown in the comics, the major twists are mostly the same. Unfortunately, while I knew the identity of the Red Hood from the get go, it is very obvious who he is throughout the movie, so I’d know about it 10 minutes in. This wouldn’t be an issue if the commercials didn’t make it look like it was a big mystery.

For the uninitiated, what is the plot of this movie? Batman, 5 years after the trauma of having the second Robin (Jason Todd, not Dick Grayson, who grew up and got his own spin off series) beaten to death by the Joker. This side plot is told mostly in flashbacks, where we see Batman’s relationship to Jason. The main plot revolves around the new vigilante in town, The Red Hood, who is trying to stop organized crime by both regulating it and blowing the heads off of people who disagree with him. This pisses off the current head of crime in town, “The Black Mask” who seems to serve the purpose of having a comic relief villain that isn’t nearly as awesome as the Joker. As seen in the nearby picture, The Joker wasn’t amused by his antics.

I'm sorry, this bag of chips is more interesting than you
I can’t really decide whether my favorite part of the movie was the fight scenes or the scenes of the Joker being a jerkwad. While during the first half of the movie Mistah Jay doesn’t do much exiting stuff, in the second half he really shines. I love it when the Black Mask tries to deal with him. Plus, the way he likes to remind Bats about what he did to Jason reminds just how much of a sadistic bastard he is. On the other side of things, the fight scenes are fast paced, and manage to recreate a lot of the parts shown in the comics. We get lots of awesome bro fights, including a fight where Batman and Nightwing team up and a fight where bats and the Red Hood fight some of the Black Mask’s thugs. The presence of Nightwing in this movie amuses me, seeing how he’s my second favorite DC character outside of Hal Jordan.

One thing that miffed me was that during this movie, I had a lot of trouble believing that the characters were not super powered. During one fight scene, bats and the red hood are slamming each other into walls hard enough to smash the ceramic tiles or to bust through a sink and neither of them gets a scratch. During this I was going “wait, WHAT?” since I know that any person would at LEAST have their face smashed up, but these guys actually shrug it off and keep going. It separated me from the movie a bit, since Batman is taking hits like Superman.

Voice acting is good in the movie, although Nightwing has some cringeworthy moments and gets a bit annoying. Mark Hamil is still the Joker, despite how much the current cast tries, but the guy who plays him does a solid job delivering lines.

The movie is worth a rent, but not nearly as great as other Batman animated movies such as “Return of the Joker” While the plot lacks mystery like the commercials say it has, it makes up for it with nice fight scenes and the Joker providing some twisted jokes to keep the mood dark. While it works for the PG-13 rating, I really wish it upped the gore factor, especially in scenes where a person is BEING BEAT TO DEATH WITH A CROWBAR, or when somebody is being slammed through the kitchen sink. Although nitpicks like this exist, it is a fun ride, and that easily makes it worth a rent, especially if you’re a fan of the Bat.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Merits of the dating sim genre


Well, I write about what’s on my mind, and since I’ve been playing a dating sim a lot, guess what’s on my mind?

What is a dating sim? The best way to describe it would be an RPG without all the violence. Instead of leveling up stats like attack and defense, you level up stuff like intelligence and charisma (although being buff is helpful, it’s not nearly as important) and the goal is (usually) not to save the world, but instead win the affection (well, some NC-17 versions exist, but I don’t really play those) of some (or all, for the pimp machines out there) person in the game. While this is not as action oriented as a lot of games out there, it plays quite similarly to the talking portions of games from Bioware (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur’s Gate, e.t.c.) or like the non combat portions of Persona 3 or 4. It should be noted that a well crafted game in the genre should top sitting around and chatting in those games, because you usually can’t take out a longsword and bash some skulls in because you’re bored. If you feel that desire in most dating sims, that’s a strong sign that game isn’t very good.

Anyways, there are a lot of things that make the genre unique. Most importantly, it’s the blend of anime and video game elements into a unique experience. While the story telling is similar in style to an anime, the video game elements allow a bit of interactivity, preventing the mind from stagnating and just letting the screen do all the talking (not that I object to that, that is what makes anime fun) while not being too demanding on the reflexes.

This makes the genre great for non gamers as well as beginning games, as the play style does not actively demand knowledge of how to play video games or tons of technical ability, as many video games do (Alright, I’ll admit, I remember learning to play video games as well as I remember learning to walk, but some n00b gamers I’ve met have trouble with some of the most basic things…) meaning that a new person can pick one up and know what their doing quite quickly. Most of them require the reading ability and comprehension of an online chat room anyway.

This is not to say that advanced games cannot have fun with the genre. I know that although I’ve survived some of the most hardcore games and told tales about them, the lack of difficulty doesn’t bother me.  This is due to the anime esque aspects, which take focus away from the gameplay which might not be very challenging. From this perspective, the genre becomes more like an anime you have some control over.

Well, if you’re interested, this site has a link to download a lot of freeware to try the genre out. If you want to commit to something, professional companies work on games with higher production values. I wanted to write at one point (Well, it was going to be less of a dating sim, and more of a Captain Kirk sim) but am actually being a beta tester for one at the moment… Pretty fun, I posted a review HERE.

Note: Ren’nai is just the Japanese word for visual novel, dating sim, or whatever. I feel that the English terms suffice and are easier for my tongue to pronounce.

Related Posts:
School Days: The big review (HEY, this anime was based on a dating sim, even though it was a sadistic dating sim that seemed to enjoy giving the player horrible endings where people kill each other horribly)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Big Review: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2


<-This has nothing to do with this season at all. I just like gothic lolita a lot. 

Ugh, this will definitely go down as the low point in Haruhi’s history. I’d say they couldn’t do worse if they tried, but the problem is I know they TRIED to do a bad job with this. (more on that later) I’m going to assume you’ve seen the first season of this series and are familiar with the characters because this one is not going to attract any new fans.

This season consists of approximately 3 arcs, two of which are good, and one that is so horrible that somebody needs to be fired for green lighting it. The season starts out nicely with an episode where Kyon winds up being sent into the past in order assist Haruhi in a prank she pulled at the school 3 years ago, which for some reason affects the time space continuum in a way that Mikuru (from the future) approves of. This is a nice episode that shows promise for the season, and had me exited for the next ones…

I highly recommend you just watch the first episode (Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody) then go watch the movie, since it discusses critical plot points in the movie. When people discuss the rest of the season, I suggest you cover your ears and go “LALALALALA I’M NOT LISTENING” until they shut up.

The next eight episodes consist of an endless time loop known as “Endless Eight.” They don’t call it endless eight for nothing. This is an entire eight episodes of the cast being stuck in an infinite time loop doing the same thing again and again. 

The next eight episodes consist of an endless time loop known as “Endless Eight.” They don’t call it endless eight for nothing. This is an entire eight episodes of the cast being stuck in an infinite time loop doing the same thing again and again. 

The next eight episodes consist of an endless time loop known as “Endless Eight.” They don’t call it endless eight for nothing. This is an entire eight episodes of the cast being stuck in an infinite time loop doing the same thing again and again. 

The next eight episodes consist of an endless time loop known as “Endless Eight.” They don’t call it endless eight for nothing. This is an entire eight episodes of the cast being stuck in an infinite time loop doing the same thing again and again. 

The next eight episodes consist of an endless time loop known as “Endless Eight.” They don’t call it endless eight for nothing. This is an entire eight episodes of the cast being stuck in an infinite time loop doing the same thing again and again. 

The next eight episodes consist of an endless time loop known as “Endless Eight.” They don’t call it endless eight for nothing. This is an entire eight episodes of the cast being stuck in an infinite time loop doing the same thing again and again. 

The next eight episodes consist of an endless time loop known as “Endless Eight.” They don’t call it endless eight for nothing. This is an entire eight episodes of the cast being stuck in an infinite time loop doing the same thing again and again. 

The next eight episodes consist of an endless time loop known as “Endless Eight.” They don’t call it endless eight for nothing. This is an entire eight episodes of the cast being stuck in an infinite time loop doing the same thing again and again, until Kyon figures out how to break the loop. For some strange reason, the studio decided that they would blow most of the budget on this, by taking the time to re-animate every episode with extraneous detail, even thought it’s the same plot and events over and over.

Anyway, after the studio established that they have enough money to smoke their top grade weed in rolled up hundred dollar bills, (No really, think of the animation costs, production costs, and network backlash… that took serious spine to pull off) they get to a few episodes regarding the creation of the movie shown during the first episode. The first couple of these are boring as hell and not much happens. The last three have some back stage drama and philosophical lectures that flesh out some characters. Some of this is quite interesting to watch, and almost made up for the rest of the season. Almost. The plot doesn’t get advanced that much though. Overall, there are about 4 good episodes in this season, making it an overall disappointment.

Oh yeah, I should probably mention that the ending and opening songs for this season pale before the ones in the first season. I’m probably biased because I actually know how to do the Hare Hare Yukai, but it’s a noticeable downgrade. Thankfully, they wised up and used “Bouken Desho Desho” for the opening credits to the movie. Animation quality is very high throughout this season, even during episodes that really don’t deserve it.

Should you watch this season? No, probably not. If you really insist, watch the first episode and the last five, and if you’re really hardcore, the first and last episodes of Endless Eight. The only good part about this season was that it laid some groundwork for the movie…

Speaking of which, the movie manages to prove that the people behind this project still have their artistic talent that made the first season good, they were just holding out on us this season.

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Anime in Focus: TMOHS season 2 episode 14

Anime in Focus: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2 episode 14


<- The last episode of a season is always a great time to introduce a talking cat

<-Previous Episode

Well, we end this season of Haruhi by having the characters discuss philosophy and the finishing touches on that movie plot that’s been going for the last few episodes.

This episode starts with Haruhi picking up a cat to be Yuki’s familiar in the movie project the SOS brigade is working on. Unfortunately, Haruhi’s powers cause the cat to talk, leading the cat to engage in conversations about philosophy, kind of like Brian from Family Guy. It’s rather interesting as we attempt to see Kyon try to convince the cat that it’s special that he can talk, and that he isn’t just creating an illusion of language.

Like a lot of philosophical lectures, neither side is really convinced, so they just wander off and buy cat food. Kyon explains to the cat that cats say “meow” and wonders home. We then learn that Mikuru’s and Nagato’s factions both hold theories that oppose Itsuki’s, creating a aura of tension among the SOS brigade members. Furthermore, Itsuki explains that the movie is creating issues with the space time continuum, causing reality and fiction to meld. This leads to Itsuki suggesting that they do something to ensure that Haruhi KNOWS that this is a movie, and prevent her from subconsciously causing the movie’s reality to meld with the real world.

Then there’s a montage of the character’s finishing off the movie, which is the least exiting part of the episode. The interesting part about this ep. is that if you pay attention to Kyon’s mannerisms you’ll notice he doesn’t really seem to care about the reality warping as much as everybody else. While everybody else is panicking, he seems to just take everything as it happens, not seeming to care, as long as Haruhi lays off of Mikuru. This is really interesting, as the mindset is what leads into the movie’s plot, where we see some actual growth in Kyon’s character.

Although a good episode, this is a very weak climax to a weak season. If more episodes are produced, I certainly hope their better than this seasons. If I hear anything about it, I’ll report it here as soon as possible.

Although this is the end of the show as of now, there's still The movie

Related Posts:
TMOHS Season 2 episode 1
Analyzing the various sects in the church of Haruhi
My Resignation from the Church of Haruhi

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Anime in focus: School days episode 11





<-Previous episode 

Almost to the conclusion of this series. This episode shows some flashbacks giving us a general idea of just how far the series has gone since it’s first few episodes, and how it went from a cutesy high school love triangle to the most depraved drama I’ve ever seen.

Ah, well, Itou hasn’t slept with everybody yet. There’s still Katusara and that girl on the basketball team. There were a few other gilrs, but he sleeps with all of them at once in this episode, just to show us that he’s going to grow up to act like Glen Quagmire.

Meanwhile, Itou’s actions start coming around full circle in this episode. To start Saionji reveals that she missed her period…

DUN DUN DUN

On the other side, Katsura’s been talking into a dead cell phone while in a rather creepy trance.

And while it is implied that Itou had a filthy foursome in this episode, his various flings start ignoring the bastard after word about Saionji gets around. Poetic justice really. Itou’d grown cold and heartless over the episodes, and no longer cares for the women he sleeps with (still don’t see what they see in him.) At the end, we’re given a flashback of the beginning, back when he cared. It’s kind of sad really. Not sad enough to make me emphasize with somebody who gets that much sex, but you know, sad. I’d punch him in reality of course. He has turned into a major dick after all. Like Light Yagami from Death Note, but instead of becoming numb to killing people, he’s become numb to sleeping with them.

Now then, I’m going to watch the last episode. Can’t wait to see the climax to all of this, because there is no way this will end well.

FINAL EPISODE ->

Related Posts:
The Big School Days review
School Days Episode 1
Being in a harem anime sucks when you aren't the lead
Do skills learned in dating sims transfer to real life?

Friday, August 13, 2010

BryAnime Presents: My top 10 AMV's



After attending a few AMV contests, I decided that AMV’s would be a relatively solid place to go for my “Top 10” segment, because there are many things I can rate besides the attractiveness of fictional women. While I do know this is not a comprehensive list, I do not accept arguments that do not come with evidence (links)

10.) Chibi’s that kill: This one gets a lot of concept points, just for having a bunch of cute characters beat up some more serious ones. Also, the edits look nice.


9.) Mindless self Indulgence: Warning, lyrics aren’t safe for work. This video’s biggest merit is the simply concept that it explains how hardcore Pikachu is. Indeed, this kind of silliness is a great way to get my approval. It should be noted that the author probably had to go all over the place to find all these clips, and Pokemon has a lot of episodes.

8.) Be a Man: One of my favorite Gurren Lagan AMV’s based solely on how in character everything is. Makes me wanna go watch that series because of how manly the AMV is. Unfortunately, this one’s not on youtube, so you’ll have to use this link.  

7.) Skittles: Classic AMV right here. Famous mostly for the lovely effects and bright colors. Also, has a lot of really nice editing.

6.) Setsuna of Arabia: A finalist from Anime expo 2010’s AMV contest. Although I voted for Alchanum to win, I still found this one to be quite exiting. Sadly though, I haven’t seen the Gundam this AMV is from, meaning I should probably watch it again later.

5.) Code Roll: No, I haven’t seen Code Geass yet. I might, someday, when I feel like it, and haven’t seen a raving fangirl for three months or so. This is from the time during the 2009 AMV contest when a person had the iron resolve to attempt a Rick Roll on the AMV contest. The fact that it managed to get so far really says a lot about the video’s quality, and how the characters match the song.

4.) Robots: One of the better AMV’s to come out of the contest back in 2009, this one tells about what robots are going to do after they slaughter humanity. It contains the best version of the song I’ve heard, and the animation compliments it very nicely. I give in an entirely unemotional sign of approval.

3.) Bustin’: This one’s main sales point is the news articles that appear throughout the course of the video. Without those, this AMV would be just good, but with them, it provides a near constant stream of laughs, just because of what they say. It helps that they crafted a logo for this one. I first saw this one at the AMV contest at AX 2008, and had a major struggle inside of me whether to vote for this or “The Harrassment of Kyon”



2.) Alchanum: Winner of best of show at the 2010 AX AMV contest, and the one I voted for best of show. Notable for being epic and being a rather interesting retell of Full Metal Alchemist. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate the version shown at AX 2010, alas, if you skip the ending portion, this one contains almost as much meatiness.


1.) The Harrassment of Kyon: While I do hate yaoi fangirls, I do not in fact have that much of an issue with Yaoi. This leads me to this AMV that I saw at Anime expo 2008, which I find both well made and highly amusing. Also, from seeing the series, seeing these scenes taken entirely out of context adds to the fun greatly.

Another thing that makes this AMV great is that I normally LOATHE the song “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavine, but in this context I find it catchy and amusing. Furthermore, it further stamps in the conclusion that everybody in the SOS brigade want’s Kyon, even the guys. Sorry Yuki, I haven’t seen any Kyon x Yuki videos that beat this one. Kyon x Haruhi? GET OFF MY INTERNETS!



After discussing this with some people, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are enough solid AMV’s to do a follow up report on this topic, so I’ll be glad to consider any recommendations for the next edition. All rankings are solely my own opinion.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Do skills learned in dating sims transfer to real life?



Dear BryAnime,

Hello, I’m about 15 and about to get into some serious dating, but I feel nervous. I’ve been practicing my skills a lot with some Ren’nai games that I torrented (hey, they aren’t allowed to sell those to minors, lol.) and I’m pretty sure I know what to do.

Hypothetically, I’m supposed to go up to the girl in order to buy her presents until her affection towards me increases to a point to where I can ask her out. At this point, all I have to do is be nice, and that’s not hard, since all the options I need to say appear right in front of me, and it’s always obvious which one needs to be said. This means I should have no difficulty winning them over at all!

But this doesn’t explain why I’m so nervous about asking out this girl who sits next to me in class. I mean, it should be obvious what to say, right? Because whenever I talk to her, I choke up. I’ve tried hitting the gym a few times in order to increase my attractiveness stat, but it hasn’t seemed to have helped. Do you think there’s a condition I have to fulfill before I’m able to talk to her?

Thanks,
Ren’nai addict

Dear Ren’nai addict

Well, from your letter, it’s really obvious that you’ve been sitting in front of your computer playing porn games way too much. Could you at least spend your time going to a dating advice forum or something? There you can meet people with actual EXPERIENCE or something. This is because in reality, it is in fact you who seem to lack exp, as you seem to assume that actual options are going to appear that make sense. The harsh reality of it is that it takes practice to know exactly what to say.

What’s that? What do I suggest? I dunno, try option 3 (see above pic.)

Sincerely,
BryAnime

NEXT LETTER: I'm stuck in a love triangle with myself

Get Featured in a fan letter! Email you're problems to DarthSomebody@yahoo.com, or post it in the comments section, and I just might respond to you!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Anime in Focus: FLCL (Fooly Cooly or Furi Kuri) Episode 3


 <- In this episode we get a bit more focus on outside characters, like this chick in the front.


<-PREVIOUS EPISODE

Well, this episode wasn’t quite as good as the last two, which were pretty solid. Unfortunately, this one keeps up the same pace, which is bad, since I’m used to the pacing of the show by this point. Furthermore, there are fewer surprises throughout the episode, which makes it much less interesting.

In this episode Naota has started growing cat ears for some reason. While they do not appear nearly as phallic as the horns that have been growing out of his head in the last couple of episodes, he is aroused when people touch them, ensuring that they remain just as prone to double meanings as the gigantic horns do. While he has these silly cat ears, he is required to play Puss in boots in the school play, while being bossed around by the class president who appears to have a crush on him. Or maybe it’s all symbolic of something. I can’t really tell.

The characterizations in this episode manage to be relatively easy to understand, making this one the oddball of the episodes I’ve watched in this series. While it has not turned me off from the series, it does not get me as exited for the next episode. However, I would like to believe the next episode will pick up the pace that was left behind in this episode in order to allow in more craziness.

Please comment and Subscribe!

Related Posts:
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shira Oka: Second Chances: REVIEW

<- You remember your first time you woke up about 5 years in the past with an Angel sitting next to your bed? Yeah, I was pretty freaked out about that too...

Demo for this game can be downloaded HERE. I’m trying to get the torrent hosted from my comp as I write this.

Oh yeah, Mac users should be happy to know the game is just as readily available for Mac as it is for PC!

Oh what’s that? The game isn’t out yet? It just so happens that I’ve acquired a beta version of the game through some rather… interesting… means (Okay, fine, I just applied to become a tester, and I’ve been helping test it for about two weeks now) While they are still ironing kinks out of game and debating mechanical issues such as balance and stuff, the project is, for the most part, functioning properly. They creators are really trying to avoid creating a project like Morrowind (love that game to death but GAH, the bugs) where even the most casual of players wind up tripping into game breaking bugs.

While I haven’t quite done everything in the game yet, I have clocked in a good chunk of time, and have managed to get a couple of the endings, first for Alice:

Clearly, I’m so American that it seeps through to my in- game avatar. IN AMERICA!

And the second time I got Rena’s ending
I actually found her ending to be much better, since the main puts in more effort towards his goals in that one. What's really interesting is the stark contrast between my predictions on what girls I would like, and who wound up liking me.

It appears that no matter how hard I try, Yui doesn’t seem to notice me. Jerk. At least Alice and Rena appreciate me XP

Anyways, let’s discuss the actual gameplay. The majority of the mechanics have been revealed in the demo… you work on your stats while events occur that make use of those stats. You then use these abilities to interact with the world, whether using your awesome mathematical skills to become an expert mechanic, or using your physique comparable to Zeus himself to defend your school’s honor. Like stated in the demo review, imagine Persona 4 without all that violence.It should be noted that after you manage to learn all of the actions to level up your skills, things get more interesting since the game loses some of the downtime the demo possessed.

What I really like about this stat layout is that focusing on different things tends to cause events to unfold very differently. While this game has a very large cast of characters, working on different stats causes different ones to notice you, giving a different perspective on the game, greatly increasing replay value. Also, it should be noted that stats are actually very difficult to balance, unlike games like Persona 3 / 4, where by endgame everything was maxed out. In this game, I find myself having to dump a couple of stats in order to keep up the ones I want. This means that each playthrough will wind up going very differently. Furthermore, these differences will keep you on your feet during future playthroughs, preventing you from just allowing yourself to stagnate.

Oh yes, the plot. You’re a guy who managed to be a total failure in life, who has been sent back in time back to the beginning of high school in order to start over, which leads you on a more enlightened set of adventures. However, what the demo DOESN’T tell you is [sorry, posting this part violates my non-disclosure agreement. Oh well. ] … and then… yeah. This left me exited to check out another ending.

Should you buy the game? It’s not out yet, silly. But sure, go for it. The replay value is exceedingly high, and most of the game is very interesting, and a lot of it is incredibly multi-faceted. You can really screw around and have fun learning more about the cast of characters, jerking them around, getting to know them, and whatever you want. Lots of the subplots are really interesting, and some you won’t even notice until a second time through or so. So you get a lot of bang for your buck, assuming you can’t afford to buy too many video games (like me, *sigh*) you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of the game. Also, it isn’t very heavy on system requirements, and most computers should be able to handle it, even if you’re a Mac user. It’s every gamer with a budget’s dream!

Please Comment and Subscribe!

Related Posts:
Shira Oka: Second Chances Demo review
Persona 4 review
Project Profile: Shira Oka: Second Chances
Why won’t my boyfriend stop looking at Hentai?

Related Links:
Okashi Studio's website
Shira Oka on Facebook
Shira Oka on Twitter