Kikuko Inoue





Just call her "Onee-san", because Kikuko Inoue is probably the most motherly or elder sisterly regarded voice actress in the Japanese voice acting industry. She voiced some of the most angelic, mother/elder sister figure type characters, all with that deep, mature voice that she portrays. Of course, even though she's almost in her fifties now, that doesn't stop her from sounding 20 if she needs to. Valkyrie (Valkyrie No Densetsu) and Phillia (Tales Of Destiny) are pretty much the kindred souls that can do no wrong. Cecile (Code Geass) is more of a leader figure, Nanase sensei (Chunibyo series) is a kind and angelic teacher that has her own sense of responsibility. Eleanor (Zero No Tsukaima) has a demonic temper, but can be a loving sister if she needs to be, the exact opposite of Akira (Baka To Test To Shokanju), who's a total bro-con that tries to seduce her brother at all times. Tycho (Devil Survivor 2:The Animation) shows us that she can do an energetic, lively girl no problem, and I-no (Guilty Gear) is just the exact opposite of all of her roles, a total sadistic, bad-ass bitch.



Characters from left to right


1st row: Valkyrie (Valkyrie No Dentetsu), Phillia (Tales Of Destiny), Cecile (Code Geass)

2nd row: Tyco (Devil Survivor 2:The Animation), Nanase (Chunibyo Series), Eleanor (Zero No Tsukaima)

3rd row: I-no (Guilty Gear Series), Akira (Baka To Test To Shokanju)




Aoi Yuki





Aoi Yuki was one of the few voice actresses with a loli voice that I used to absolutely adore, until many others came up. Still, I do love her voice, she's pretty versatile when it boils down to it, and for someone her age, I think she's doing a pretty fantastic job with all of her characters. I think she has a fantastic voice for young, energetic girls. Platinum (Blazblue Series) both fit the bill here Iris (Pokemon Best Wishes Series), and while Kohina (Black Bullet) is rather jumpy as well, she's has a nice, sinister touch to her that makes her super evil at the same time. She makes a great magical girl with a shounen hero personality with characters like Hibiki (Senki Zesshou Symphogear Series) and Madoka (Puella Magi Madoka Magica). She does well as a soft spoken high school girl with Mio (The World God Only Knows), as well as a technical genius with Akira (Valvrave:The Liberator), and she can be plain old, ditsy and clueless if she wants to with Meme (Soul Eater Not!). Then there's the devilish little sister with Komachi (My Teenage Romantic Comedy SNAFU), and Jubei (Hyakka Ryouran Series), whose a badass mix of two personalities.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Mio (The World God Only Knows), Iris (Pokemon Best Wishes), Hibiki (Senki Zesshou Symphogear)

2nd row: Akira (Valvrave: The Liberator), Kohina (Black Bullet), Meme (Soul Eater Not!)

3rd row: Platinum (Blazblue Series), Jubei (Hyakka Ryouran Series), Madoka (Madoka Magica Series), Komachi (My Teenage Romantic Comedy SNAFU)




Rina Hidaka






When it comes to lolis, she's got you covered, almost more than anybody else, really. Rina Hidaka just has a voice that's perfect for the likes of young girls, and she's got a lot to show for it. Her more famous roles come from the incredibly energetic lolis, Enju (Black Bullet) and Last Order (To Aru Majutsu No Index Series), both of which are also capable of insane mood swings. Airi (Ro-Kyu-Bu) is soft spoken, kind, and really shy, while Silica (Sword Art Online) is a typical representation of a damsel in distress (who's also a loli). Nagisa (Strike The Blood) is a perfect middle school little sister, while Anko (Tamako Market) is an even cuter little sister. Hozuki (Galilei Donna) is a fired up little genius girl who wants to explore endless possibilities, while the Red King (Accel World) just wants to fool people with that fake smile of hers and smash all her opponents into bits.



Characters from left to right


1st row: Airi (Ro-Kyu-Bu), Red King (Accel World), Silica (Sword Art Online)

2nd row: Enju (Black Bullet), Last Order (To Aru Majutsu No Index)

3rd row: Hozuki (Galilei Donna), Nagisa (Strike The Blood), Anko (Tamako Market)




Rikiya Koyama





Here comes the boss! Rikiya Koyama has one of the manliest voices in the voice acting industry, and while his characters range from weird to badass to heroic, its this strange diversity that makes him what he is. He has the perfect voice for villain type characters IMO, especially the calm, cool and collected ones. Kagetane (Black Bullet) is freaking perfect, being a villain who's always unpredictable, and he currently might be my favorite character of his at the moment. Kiritsugu (Fate/Zero) is a badass main character AND father, Azazel (High School DxD New) is just a swaggy old man who likes to joke around, but can really mean business if he gets serious. Then we've got the serious fellas, like Ronaldo (Devil Survivor 2:The Animation) and Mishima (Coppelion), or the bloodthirsty warlord who always craves a challenge, Takeda (Nobunaga The Fool). Kira (Jojo Series) is yet again another delicious villain, while Stark (Bleach) is just a freakishly strong fella who doesn't give a f**k about anything else. Shinigami (Soul Eater) is just troll as hell, no words are needed.



Characters from left to right


1st row: Kagetane (Black Bullet), Kiritsugu (Fate/Zero), Azazel (High School DxD New), Shinigami (Soul Eater)

2nd row: Mishima (Coppelion), Ronaldo (Devil Survivor 2:The Animation)

3rd row: Stark (Bleach), Takeda (Nobunaga The Fool)

Center: Kira (Jojo Series)




Maaya Uchida





There's really not much of an ongoing trait for Maaya Uchida, I mean, she voices all freaking types of characters, its crazy. I guess if its something she's good at...its pretty much everything. She can do innocent, soft spoken high school girls like Rea (Sankarea). She can go full retard, while still being shy and soft spoken with Rikka (Chunibyo Series). Then there's the occasional cocky high school girl that can put up a fight with some epic ability with Frenda (To Aru Kagaku No Railgun S), or Irina (High School DxD New). If you need an older sister archetype, she's got it too with Minori (Outbreak Company). Need a crazy, stupid and illogical girl who just can't shut up about her jokes? Mao (Gj-Bu) has got you covered! How about a typical, serious main heroine who's in high school? Rei (Vividred Operation) is here for all your heroine needs. Badass, merciless slayers? Zero (Drakengard 3) says hi. Then we have my 2 favorite characters from her, Hajime (Gatchaman Crowds) who's cheerful and enthusiastic as all hell, as well as Hiyori (Noragami), who's a funny girl with lots of personality.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Rea (Sanka Rea), Rikka (Chunibyo Series), Hajime (Gatchaman Crowds), Frenda (To Aru Kagaku No Railgun S)

2nd row: Rei (Vividred Operation), Irina (Highschool DxD New), Mao (Gj Bu)

3rd row: Minori (Outbreak Company), Hiyori (Noragami), Zero (Drakengard 3)



Peace.



Opening Songs
OP 1 - BEAUTIFUL WORLD (Joanna Koike)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Promise (Rena Maeda)

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Episodes: 12



Shoujo animes may not be on my preferred list of genres, but once in awhile, something great comes and snags me away into a world of lovey dovey moments. Such is "The World Is Still Beautiful". To put it simply, its a romance anime with a female lead. There are a good mix of characters here and there, but the focus on romance here can be a little bit overwhelming, whether in a good way or not, I'll leave it you to decide. For me, this was indeed, a beautiful experience. The character growth for our two main leads is excellent throughout, and there are plenty of emotional moments. What's starts off as a forced engagement soon becomes a special relationship between two, very different individuals. If you are a fan of love stories, this is a hard one to pass up.




The king and the queen.


The opening song is "BEAUTIFUL WORLD" by Joanne Koike. Its a really energetic song which is befitting of an opening (though its not really my style), and it pretty much sums up the entire anime. Its energetic, its good fun, but at the same time, its lovely. The ending theme is "Promise" by Rena Maeda, the seiyuu of Nike. Its a pretty generic ending theme, though there is some decent emotional feel in there. I just don't like how the entire ending is just a shot of a sleeping Livius.



Rating: 8.0/10



I really enjoyed it, a lot more than I thought I would have, honestly. The characters are all really charming, our main leads grow a whole ton throughout the entire show, and the hardships that they face are all quite...real. There's a lot to like about the star couple here, and they both are so different from one another. Of course, them being different only adds on to other factors, especially comedy (the show is surprisingly funny). The story is surprisingly pretty captivating, with some pretty interesting arks. The pacing is fantastic, with each increasing ark becoming more and more important to Nike and Livi's relationship. The supporting cast is great, and while there isn't a lot of action going on, the constant sense of hardship only makes each character seem more important in each episode. Also, while Nike is pretty much a pretty dense princess (I guess are main characters are pretty dumb, even if they're girls), her romantic feelings toward Livi are pretty heartwarming.


Lay off, Luna.

Princess Nike is not what you'd expect out of a princess at all. She hails from the principality of the rain, a continent far from where anyone has heard off...especially if you're from the sun kingdom. One day, the emperor of the sun kingdom, the tyrant that was known for uniting the world with his treacherous tactics, wants a princess from the principality of rain to be wed over to him. Out of despair and luck, Nike, the youngest of the 4 princesses, was chosen to be the sun kingdom's bride. After a long journey to the sun kingdom's palace, Nike meets the sun king, Livius I, who turns out to be a snotty young brat. After flat out defying him at first sight, she is sent to a dungeon, where she quickly escapes from with her powers to control the wind. She goes back to Livi, only to be sent back to the principality of rain. Unfortunately, when she leaves, Livi is attacked and his palace is set on fire. To save him, Nike sings the song of the rain and made it rain, putting out the fire and saving his life. Somewhat grateful, Livi decides to keep Nike as his bride...much to her disliking.


"The World Is Still Beautiful" shows us the beautiful side of an ugly coin. There's not much to a snotty little brat at first, but he develops into a pretty loving character, much like our amazing heroine. Shoujo romance anime once in awhile isn't that bad I guess, especially if they all involve emotional love stories like this one, I'm a sucker for good romance shows. The ending might not be the best thing ever, but at least it either baits us for a sequel...or ensures that the love between our protagonists still exist.


Peace.









Flexile Sentry
HP: 3150
Skills: Double Slash, Lunging Slash*, Mace Combo, Double Mace Slam*
Souls: 14000

Difficulty: 1.5/5
Deaths: 0



So you've beaten the guardians of "Heide's Tower Of Flame"? Then its time to proceed into "No Man's Wharf", a pirate cove of sorts, with undead bandits scurrying all around alongside long armed, reptilian monsters. There's not much to like here other than getting hounded by guard dogs or mauled to death with axes and swords, but there's a pirate ship up ahead, where you'll need to use to get to your next destination. When you do finally make it there...there's a sentry waiting, preventing you from ever steering his ship through the wrong course.



Come at me bro!


Unfortunately for the Flexile Sentry, he's not the hardest boss around. In fact, he's pretty damn easy as long as you don't stand around like a sitting duck. He's rather slow, but his attacks do cover a lot of room and do some heavy. Still, for an early boss, he's very manageable, and if you don't get greedy, you can slowly but surely cut him down. If possible, try dodging more than blocking during this battle, because his attacks may inflict bleed on you.


Double Slash - He slashed you twice with his sword side. Easily blocked or dodged.

Lunging Slash* - He leaps at you from a distance, doing high damage. Blocking may eat up a considerable amount of stamina, dodging is the way to go.

Mace Combo - He slowly swings his maces at you for a few times, easily dodge-able.

Double Mace Slam* - He slams two of his maces down on top of you for massive damage. Roll away for this one, since dodging will leave you wide open for another attack.



The strategy for him is rather simple: just keep moving around. The Flexile Sentry is a very immobile boss with no form of gap closing except for his lunging slash attack, and even for that move, you can easily dodge it. Most of his attacks are pretty slow, so you can just block, or simply just walk out of most of them. His attacks have long cooldown times, so you have plenty of chances to keep going in. He isn't as tanky as previous bosses, so you can take him down pretty fast.


Double slash is simple, he just slices at you twice. As long as you keep close to him, he will spam this move, which is easy to exploit since its so slow. If he's facing you at the other side, he's going to hit you with his mace combo, which isn't very impressive as well. Both can be easily walked out of or dodged, but if you choose to keep a distance, he might use lunging slash, which is probably his most dangerous move (which isn't very dangerous at all). This one will hurt you both health and stamina wise, so dodging is the way to go. Other than that he might just run up to you and try to net you with double mace slam, which is also easily dodgeable.



Yeah, keep trying to hit me.


The Flexile Sentry is simple enough for you to win. For something so easy to beat, he grants a hefty amount of 14000 souls. After this you can go claim your pyromancy flame as well as set sail for the next map, "The Lost Bastille".


...But before you do, you've got an old score to settle.



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The Pursuer
HP: 3110
Skills: Dashing Slash, 3 Hit Combo Variation*, Horizontal Slash, Curse Stab*, Dark Swarm*
Souls: 17000

Difficulty: 3.5/5
Deaths: 10+



Time to go back to "The Forest Of The Fallen Giants". This time, take the soldier key you got from "The Last Giant" and open up the door to a new, short area. Now kill the little undead soldiers that stand in your way and enter a fog gate...to see something that you'll soon come to despise. Meet "The Pursuer", a large knight that hunts those that bear the sign of the undead...which means you. How are you going to beat this massive hulk of a knight? Its time to die.



Oh god no....


The Pursuer is unlike any boss you've faced thus far, and for the early game, he's probably the hardest boss you have to face. He's has high defenses, he has few openings for you to hit him, he's fast, he has a gap closer, his attacks are powerful, and one mistake can cost you the fight. There are twin ballistas for you to use so that you can deal immense amounts of damage to him, but these require precision, timing, and most of all, your positioning must be perfect. I wouldn't recommend that strategy unless you REALLY need it (you're dieing to him 20 times or more in a row)...if you want to fight him like a man, here's the rundown.


Dashing Slash - His easiest attack to avoid. Blocking this will put you in a stunned state, leaving you open to an attack. Always dodge this, as he just comes straight at you after a brief windup and slashes UPWARDS, which will almost, always not hit you. This is probably the safest time for you to hit him.

3 Hit Combo Variation* - A series of attacks, composed of slashes and shield bashes. It caps at 3 hits at most. You'll need to dodge properly for this one, its going to hurt.

Horizontal Slash - Just a wide, sweeping slash. Dodge forward or backward, this one can be blocked too.

Curse Stab* - His sword glows, then he stabs forward with an unblockable attack. DODGE, if you get hit by this even once the fight is probably over.

Dark Swarm* - He only uses this if he managed to curse you. Its a very power attack where he summons a mass of floating, dark orbs that home in on you. Requires multiple, well timed rolls to dodge, deals massive damage.



At the very beginning of this fight, the game makes it clear to you that you're going to have a pretty hard time. The Pursuer is intimidating, and his bulky build doesn't make it any easier for you. He's going to hit you hard and fast, up close, you stand little chance if you don't memorize his attack patterns by hard. He has a massive shield that blocks a small portion of his body, making it hard to hit him at times, and he can use that to attack you, breaking your guard and leaving you open for an attack that may be your last.


The Pursuer is almost always going to want to be in your face, and he WILL use dashing slash to close the gap every time. If you're not a melee fighter (archer/mage), then you'll want to stay at mid range, where you can have a safe distance for you to start casting, though you might want to be careful, because some attacks can reach you from quite a distance. Anyways, no matter what play style you're using, after a dashing slash, he leaves himself open for quite abit, so this is the safest possible time for you to hit him for some easy damage.


Erm...come at me, bro!

Now then, time for you to actually try to learn his attacks. The one that kills most is his 3 hit combo...this thing f**king blows. Its varied, so sometimes he might open with a sword slash, sometimes he opens up with a shield bash, and every time he tries something different, you need to react differently. If its the shield bash, you'll need to dodge for sure, because that thing breaks your guard and leaves you stunned up for the rest of his combo. The slash can be blocked, but if he opens with a shield bash on his second hit, then you're screwed because he'll get you with his 3rd hit.


While its easier to just block the slashes and dodge the shield bashes, its better altogether, if you memorize the timing and range of his attacks and try to roll past them.  Because The Pursuer has such a wide range of attack, dodging to the sides is never worth it, and dodging backwards just means you're going to have to dodge more attacks since he'll keep coming TOWARDS you for the rest of his combo. That means that, as stupid as it sounds, you'll need to roll TOWARDS the monster. If you dodge his attack, you'll be behind him, and you have the leeway to avoid the rest of his combo and go land some hits on him.


Its not quite over though, while his 3 hit combos are killer, he might come at you with a curse stab. While its an easy attack to dodge, it might not be easy to see coming. His sword will glow, then he'll perform an unblockable stab. This thing doesn't really do TOO much damage (it still chunks you decently), it'll curse you and he gets access to his dark swarm ability...which is just frustrating to deal with. Everytime you see the sword glow, just haul ass and dodge with the best of your ability, because that thing will end you.



Just get out of my face...


So, keep playing safe, tactical and cautious....you will EVENTUALLY kill this guy. Killing him grants you 17000 souls, a pretty nice sum for such an early game boss. After all is said and done, you unlock a nest, which grants you access to "The Lost Bastille"...our next destination.



Until then....peace!



Well, today we're back with more fighting game character impressions, this time once again, with "Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax", a fighting game that I'm very much looking forward to, even more so than the likes of "Under Night In Birth EXE:Late" (which looks amazing) and "Guilty Gear:Xrd". As we approach the game's release date (yes, the game has been confirmed for a console release), I would like to state my opinions on the newly revealed fighters since our previous post...most of which are freaking awesome.


Without further ado, let's get started.





Name: Taiga Aisaka
From: Toradora!
Role: Playable Character


Taiga as a playable character is just hype. She may be somewhat of a joke character, but come on, we have the likes of Kirino and Tomoka in this. At least when it comes to fighting, she can kick the ass out of the both of them. Does she really deserve a spot in this though? Well, I do think she deserves the spot more than characters like Tomoka or Kirino (or Asuna, for that fact), but her fighting style isn't really appealing. Sure, she stays true to her character in the anime, but compared to many of the other characters, I wouldn't be too interested in her.






Name: Miyuki Shiba
From: The Irregular At Magic High School
Role: Playable Character


Having watched a little bit of "Mahouka", I think Miyuki is a good choice to add into the game...but Tatsuya deserves it more. Instead, he gets thrown into a support role....wtf. Its not like Kirito, when Asuna was added, Leafa was support, leaving some hope that he might get added into the game...and he was added indeed added in later on. With Tatsuya as support, that just means that we won't get to play as him, which is a shame because he is pretty freaking amazing. At least we get to play with the ice queen, which SHOULD be fun, she seems kind of like of like a zoning type character, with plenty of screen control and low mobility. Not my type of character though.





Name: Himeragi Yukina
From: Strike The Blood
Role: Playable Character


This was one character that I expected. Kojou, no matter how strong he may seem, is just a regular dude with the body of an indestructible vampire. He has no proper fighting skills and all he ever does is stand back and let his familiars fight for him...Himeragi is the one who knows how to do the close ranged combat. Armed with her magic interfering spear, she is sure to go town against most of the characters in the cast, and being a mid ranged rushdown type character, she seems perfect for me. Gotta say though, the one and only super that was shown seemed a little bit "meh" to me. Other than that, she's looks like she's going to be one of my "go-to" characters when the game does eventually come out.





Name: Satomi Rentarou
From: Black Bullet
Role: Playable Character


I, for one, am STOKED about Satomi being in the game. I was really worried that Enju might become playable and Satomi was support (that would have been quite the bummer), but luckily, Sega did the right thing and did things the LOGICAL way. Satomi is prominent in the Tendo martial arts fighting style, and it looks like he'll be doing a lot of tactical fist fighting in this game, true to his character. He also has his handy pistol which fires of varanium bullets, as well as his varanium prosthetic eye, arm and leg, which is REALLY cool in game when he uses it in a super. Since he's primarily rushdown, he's up there in my hype list of characters that I'll be interested in playing.



The revised hype ranking


1st: Misaka Mikoto
2nd: Satomi Rentarou
3rd: Himeragi Yukina
4th: Kirito
5th: Shizuo Heiwajima
6th: Shana
7th: Kuroyukihime (I watched Accel World guys, I do like her a little bit more now)
8th: Miyuki Shiba
9th: Taiga Aisaka
10th: Tomoka Minato
11th: Asuna
12th: Kirino Kousaka



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Daze (Jin Ft.Maria from GARNiDELiA)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Days (Jin Ft.Lia)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Psychological, Romance, Science Fiction, Supernatural

Episodes: 12



I really wanted to watch "Mekakucity Actors". I really did, so much so that I even watched the little episodic trailers introducing the characters that came out before the actual show. That's because its based on "Kagerou Project", possibly one of the best series of story related vocaloid songs. Of course, no matter how much you hype up an anime...the results aren't always the best. "Mekakucity Actors" has some of the more interesting characters I've seen in anime, and it starts out pretty strong, but only goes downhill. What started out as something interesting, unique, and possibly dark turns into something somewhat weak and generic as it reaches its conclusion. There was so much potential in "Mekakucity Actors", but it just didn't live up to what I imagined it to be. If you're familiar with the "Kagerou Project" series, this one might mean something for you. But if you have no idea what it is, "Mekakucity Actors" might just serve as a gigantic question mark to the face.




Yeah, looks badass. But not for long.

The opening song is pretty freaking badass (so are most of the insert songs, which serve as covers of some of the songs in the "Kagerou Project" series), and its "Daze" by Jin Ft.Maria from GARNiDELiA. I've never been too big of a fan of GARNiDELiA, but "Daze" was just magnificent when it was sung by Maria. Brilliant opening animations and just a great song overall...this is seriously one of the best opening songs I've heard in quite awhile. The ending theme is "Days" by Lia, and its somewhat of your everyday regular slow song in an ending theme. Not really my thing.



Rating: 7.0/10



Its alright I guess, though I do think that it could have been a lot better if they dragged it out just a tad bit. If you never been into the "Kagerou Project" series, chances are that you're not going to have the slightest clue about what the f**k is actually going on, even towards the end. There are so many things left unexplained, so many plot holes that could use filling up, and there are even some things that they throw at you out of the f**king blue, expecting you to already know what it is. What's more, its one of those animes that focus on different characters from time to time, so there isn't really a main character. With all the time skipping and jumping of characters, you won't really know who's who and or what part they play in the actual story. Like Kisaragi, what the heck is his role? His ability isn't even fully explained, so there's really not much you can do if you're not familiar with the "Kagerou Project" series. I guess it all boils down to not having enough episodes to fully flesh out the characters or story.



Yeah, Kido is pretty badass

The story talks about 9 special characters that make up the Mekakucity Den, a group of teenagers with specials abilities after coming close with death. Shintaro is just a regular NEET who stays at home all day with his AI partner Ene, a pixelized cyber girl that terrorizes his PC. One day though, due to an error on his part, he spoils his keyboard, and is forced to go out to buy a new one. Unfortunately for him, being a NEET, he's never left his house for a LOONG long time. His first time going out in a long time, Shintaro just wants to buy his keyboard and quickly go home, but of course, as luck would have it, things wouldn't be so easy for him. The department store that he went to was assaulted by burglars, and the entire store's customers where taken as hostages, him included. However, he meets 2 hooded individuals that help him out. Before he knows it, he is dragged in as a member of the Mekakucity Den, being told that he has a strange power within him...


Without further ado, I conclude this post. "Mekakucity Actors" just doesn't kick as much ass as I thought, and even goes as far as to not make sense. As long as you have no experience in the "Kagerou Project" series, this one isn't going to appeal to you as much. Its even better if you'd just watch the original series of "Kagerou Project" videos, you'll probably have better luck there.


Peace.



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Wan Wan Wan Wan N_1 (Inu Musume Club)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Lemonade Scandal (Yu Serizawa)

Genre: Comedy

Episodes: 12



Your everyday regular rom-com animes can be rather boring and stale at times....unless its crazy and unpredictable like "Dog X Scissors".  "Dog X Scissors" might be one of the most ridiculous things that you've ever watched...but that's the beauty of it. You never know what to expect, the main cast is great, there are some pretty funny characters (though some others are just meh) and certain scenarios can be hilarious. Instead of your regular, generic high school kid main character, you've got one hell of a crazy dog instead. Of course, when your main protagonist is a freaking dog with a human brain, things start to change in perspective, and this change in perspective might just be what you need to restore your faith in the generic comedy romance genre!



Behold, the weirdest couple is anime history.

Erm...I'm not sure how to put it in words, but the opening song is "Wan Wan Wan Wan N_1" by Inu Musume Club (ridiculous name, I know). As stupid as it sounds, its actually quite an addicting opening theme, with all the weird ass animal sounds and with all the girls singing so quickly in their super high pitced voices. The ending theme is "Lemonade Scandal" by Yu Serizawa, and while its decently addictive, it loses out to the opening theme.



Rating: 7.5/10



Its good at what it does, and it constantly delivers on that aspect alone. Its funny and ridiculous right from the get go, and it keeps staying that way, even when it tries to be serious, it ends up being hilarious. The scenarios are pretty well written and can easily find success in being funny, though when it comes to everything else, its rather average. The main protagonists are great (seeing the world through the eyes of a dog can be fascinating), but the supporting cast...not so much....other than the masochistic Hiiragi. The story has the potential to be interesting, but instead on focusing on our protagonist's back story, they decide to do different arcs that kind of go nowhere. Not that these arcs are badly written, because at best, they can really make you burst out laughing. The animation is alright, but there are moments where it seems a little bit..."unpolished".




Yeah...don't piss off Natsuno.

Harumi is probably the unluckiest nerd ever. He loves reading, and while his entire family moved to the rural areas to live, he stayed in Tokyo to get the latest book releases. He particularly loves the author Akiyama Shinobu, and is an avid reader of her books. One day however, it was reading that took his life for the worst. He was in a regular cafe when a robbery took place. In the cafe, there was only the master, Harumi himself, and another girl who seemed to be writing vigorously. Failing to comply with the burglar's commands, he tried to shoot the girl, but seeing the girl write with such spirit even when under so much pressure, he jumped and took the shot for her, effectively dieing in the process. Instead of actually dieing however...he does actually wake up....as a dog. Then he gets adopted by the girl from the cafe...who introduces herself as Akiyama Shinobu...a sadist young woman who constantly wields a pair of scissors.


"Dog X Scissors" does end rather abruptly, but there shows shows for a sequel....hopefully. There are a lot of questions left unanswered and a lot of characters that were only briefly introduced. There's room for a more diverse and interesting world in "Dog X Scissors", its only a matter of whether or not they are willing to explore that possibility.


Peace.



Opening Songs 
OP 1 - Shosho Innocence (Maaya Uchida)

Ending Songs
Too many to list*

Genre: Action, Drama

Episodes: 12



For some reason, the higher ups of a certain top secret organization wants some high school girl dead. So what do they do? Put her in a class full of 12 freaking top level assassins without her knowing about it! Amazing plan....isn't it? "Akuma No Riddle"'s title is a lot less than it implies. There are no riddles, there are no devils...hell, there isn't really anything supernatural about it in the first place, despite having such a title. All we have....are 12 high school girls with superior assassination abilities trying to murder one...helpless airhead of a woman. With such a simple premise, its actually quite hard to screw up, and honestly "Akuma No Riddle" does quite well. Usually something like this has to rely on fanservice, but "Akuma No Riddle" actually holds its own without having to rely on that aspect....though there are a few gripes. If you're all about girls fighting against one another (without excessive fan service, mind you), then "Akuma No Riddle" may actually be something really entertaining, and it might even surprise you, even IF you're not a fan of all-girl animes.


Okay...Yuri time!

A lot of budget was obviously put into the songs used in "Akuma No Riddle". There are an absurd amount of ending themes, a different one with each episode. While there are some pretty good ones in there, I'm not about to handpick them and list every single one of these ending themes....if you want to, go look them up yourselves. The opening theme is "Shosho Innocence" by Maaya Uchida (judging by the cast at first, I thought she was going to voice a character, but apparently not). Its quite a cool song actually, not something that she does often, with a pinch of intensity and occasional moments where she actually sounds sexy. Quite fitting for an anime like "Akuma No Riddle".



Rating: 7.5/10



Its actually a lot better than it looks, and right off the bat it gives off the "Holy shit, this show is going to be pretty interesting!" vibe. While we have an ultimately uninteresting main character and the supporting main character is naive AND incredibly stupid at times, the rest of the characters (the ones that are trying to gut the f**k out of our 2 heroines) are actually pretty f**king awesome! Its definitely pretty beast that we get to see regular looking high school girls actually turn all twisted and evil, then do something really unexpected, be it try to blow someone up with explosives or smash them with a giant hammer. These supporting characters that also serve as antagonists are some of the more interesting characters that I've seen around, and you can tell that their seiyuus are having fun starring as sadistic, violent girls rather the stale and stereotypical high school girl. Blood will be shed, and the girls will fight. It will be entertaining...though that's pretty much its strongest point, because the story is pretty much nothing without its excellent character cast.


So...when do I get to kill?

Azuma Tohkaku is as boring as main characters get. She's a blue haired girl that supposedly belongs to a family bloodline that exists to kill and only that. Belonging to a long running generation of assassins, Tohkaku easily passes the examination given by Kaiba sensei to mark herself as a top class assassin. She is then given her first mission, to enroll into Myojo academy and assassinate a certain someone, a girl in her soon to be class. She goes to Myojo the next day, only to find that the entire class is filled with nothing but assassins of her calibur, all with the same mission....except one girl, by the name of Ichinose Haru. Haru is just like any other high school girl, and greets everyone on her first day like its all good. Of course, seeing how easy it is to kill a naive girl like her, someone immediately goes in for the kill, only to have Haru herself be protected by Tohkaku, whom was lucky enough to be her room mate. After hearing Haru's story, Tohkaku decides to be a different factor in the game. 11 assassins will try to kill Haru...who only has Tohkaku protecting her. 11 assasins vs 1 Tohkaku...how will this play out?


So that's all for "Akuma No Riddle". There are no mind boggling riddles, there sure as hell are no demons, only bloodthirsty girls out for each others' throats. With the way it ended, there most probably won't be a second season, but I wouldn't mind for something like that. For an original project, this one was pretty good. Let's hope Kaiba sensei has something else in store for us (either that or the post credits scene was nothing but a troll scene).


Peace.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Parties In RPGs (Tales Of Xillia)

Even Jude can be epic if he wants to be.


Name: Jude
Traits: Great melee combo potential, Tanky, Healing, Probably the safest link partner
Rating: 9/10


As much as I hate Jude (I picked Milla fyi), he's a mighty solid fighter. You want to go up close and clobber someone's face? No one in this game suits you better than Jude, honestly. While Alvin and Leia are good up close, Jude just has too much to pass up. His combos are easily chained, with many similarities to old time "Tales Of" fist fighters, he can really bring the pain. What's more, he brings SO much else to the table. He can take punches to the face very well, he can heal, and linking with him probably means that you'll never f**king die. For such an indecisive main character, he more than carries his own weight in a fight.


With some of the best health in the game, Jude probably works best as a front line fighter. Being melee just works even better for him in his favor. And if things ever become sticky, just have him sit back and heal up the team...he's a medical student after all. Just equip him with a ton of AC and watch him go to town on even the tankiest of enemies. And let's not talk about linking...his link specialty is probably the sickest thing ever. If you ever go down with Jude as your link partner, he just comes and helps you up, without, f**king, fail. He's the ultimate guardian, with him around, you can just focus on all out offense...with him being part of it as well.



F**k it, she's the hottest "Tales Of" female, EVER.


Name: Milla
Traits: Unique Mystic Artes, Four Great Spirits are freaking OP, Can fight melee or from afar
Rating: 7/10


Milla may be the sexiest thing the game has to offer, but in combat, she's pretty much average. In fact, I might even consider her to be the weakest character in the game WITHOUT the Four Great Spirits. With them however...she's a freaking monster, especially when she's solo. So much damage and area coverage...it makes all of her other abilities look silly. However, that doesn't mean she sucks. She might be somewhat underwhelming for the early portions of the game, but she does have redeeming qualities.


First off, Milla can fight well both from afar and up close. Like most character, she has access to mystic artes, but in her case, they can be "quick cast" or cast regularly like how Elize and Rowen do. Regular versions of her spells will just come out as per usual, while her "quick cast" versions have no cast time at all and appear instantly..though they are severely downgraded and most are only good for melee comboing. She is one of the few characters that learn both melee attacks and mystic artes, making her one of the more diversed characters. Partnering with her lets her bind your opponents...its alright, but not the most impressive ability around.



The traitor of the traitor's nation's traitor traitor.


Name: Alvin
Traits: Very high damage up close, Tanky, Solid link partner for destroying solo enemies
Rating: 7/10


Alvin probably seems really impressive at first sight. While he is considerably one of the stronger characters in a straight up fight, there really isn't much else to him other than being a brute that soaks up damage up close and dishes out some as well. However, this damage that he does in melee range is probably the best that the cast in this game can offer, and if you ever need someone to crush face, Alvin is your man. Plus, he has some defensive options with the incredibly useful Guardian Field/Grove.


Alvin is a beast when chaining artes for combos. Being tanky helps of course, but he'll need some help going in. Having mystic artes to open up guards for him is perfect, and he could use some healing when he's being focused down. Of course, with Alvin as your link partner instead, everything changes. Having someone like Leia or Jude linked with Alvin is best, because his special link ability allows him to destroy guards, something that is INCREDIBLY useful versus some of the more persistent enemies/bosses. Plus, all in all, he's just a very badass man.



She's like a tiny angel.

Name: Elize
Traits: Powerful Mystic Artes, Lots of AOE and lockdown, Great support/Healer
Rating: 8/10


The typical "Tales Of" mage type character, Elize is pretty freaking useful and you're probably going to need her for most of the game. She brings heals, lots of support abilities with Teepo, and she is a complete monster if she manages to pull off one of those long channel mystic artes. However, Elize is low on defenses and HP, if she gets focused she'll be down in a heartbeat. Protect her like you mean it and she'll bring you victory. Of course, worst comes to worst, you can just manually control her to spam revives and heals to your team that's getting decimated.


Being the typical mage in a "Tales Of" game, you know what to expect out of her. She's like Cheria in "Graces" or Tear in "Abyss", you can't live without her...sort of. She's still a valuable asset, but just not AS useful when you have the healer squad all in your team (Jude, Alvin, Leia). Linking with her is awesome, as her Teepo support restores some TP every now and then whenever she deals damage. And if you don't need her doing that, she has LOTS of powerful mystic artes that cover almost the entire screen while locking down enemies.


The old man huh.


Name: Rowen
Traits: Powerful Mystic Artes, Physical Artes help keep enemies away
Rating: 6/10


Rowen is really powerful, like, REALLY powerful with his mystic artes, but he really needs help. For one, his health and defenses are pathetic. His cast times are also really horrible until you really invest in reducing those. If enemies decide to just rush him down he can die in an instant. You'll either need someone else to lock him down so Rowen gets to pull his spells off, or constant keep him healed up....which is really not too worth. Unless you run double casters with Elize, Rowen really doesn't do much.


To really be potent with Rowen, you MUST manually control him. He has artes that defends himself as he casts his more powerful ones, and up close, he's meant to keep enemies away. However if he does pull off a spell, it can be as devastating if not more so than those that Elize can cast (by god his late game artes are monstrous). But there is one thing though...his linking specialty. Just pair him up with Elize and those 2 can literally break through enemies waves instantly...as long as you have the likes of Milla/Jude or Leia/Alvin doing all the heavy lifting up front.



HERE COMES LEIA!


Name: Leia
Traits: Healing, Strong Physical Artes and combo potential, HER LINK SKILL SAVES LIVES
Rating: 8/10


Leia probably made the game easier for a lot players out there, I'm not kidding. While her utility and overall kit is somewhat already really good on its own, there's really something that only she can do....and that something is SO good. Before we go into that though, let's go through Leia's role in "Xillia"'s party. ...And that's nothing. She's somewhat like "Sophie" in "Graces", she excels in both melee combat and provides some good support/healing with her artes. She buffs you with things like Sharpness or Barrier, then heals/revives you as well...all while going up to opponents and smashing them in the skull with her long pole.


Leia combo potential is actually really decent, and he damage is a little bit on the higher side as well. All she's missing is some form of offensive mystic arte and some high defenses/HP, but I guess that's a bit too much to ask for (ain't it, Sophie?). However though, when you link with Leia, she brings along the all-so-important steal ability. While steal might sound really trivial, its a godsend when you fight against bosses with f**king elixirs or any form of healing item. Leia will REALLY shine here and make these guys regret trying to cheat during a f**king boss fight (f**k you Muse and your unlimited Heavy Treat spams).




Since you can switch party members now mid combat, there's really no need for any party preferences now are there? I just use everyone. However, I do like to manually use these guys, with the following link partners:



Me: Milla      Link: Jude
Me: Elize       Link: Rowen
Me: Leia       Link: Alvin




Peace.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU



Let's cause some trouble!

"My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU" has a lot of good characters, and I honestly love most of them. Everyone has got some swag levels of their own, but to me, everyone gets beat by Haruno, a character that really deserved a lot more screen time. While she may not have appeared a lot, the small amount of appearances that she had made really impacted the course of the anime, and I really like that in a character, whether or not the impact was for better or for worse.


Haruno just isn't serious enough when it boils down to the facts. She knows a lot, and she has ideas of her own to solve many problems, but she just keeps it all to herself. When something is about to go down to shit, she just lets it happen because she wants to be entertained. She doesn't really care, she just...likes to go with the flow, even though the flow might be bad sometimes. In an anime full of rather serious characters, she's a good change of pace.


Of course, being Yukinoshita's sister, she has the beauty factor going for her. She likes to fool around with her sister, and actually manages to startle her here and there, a feat that no other could achieve. She also has this sort of a badass "everything was just a fraud" behavior that she can pull off. With a season 2 coming soon, I think we'll get to see more of what Haruno can do.




Love, Chunibyo And Other Delusions



Te-hee!

Who else deserves more love than our beloved sleeping beauty? The "Chunibyo" series has its own share of lovely characters, but no one is more cuddly, cute and likable than Kumin, the senpai who loves to nap and not make any sense at all. While the other characters are have their own charm, Kumin's charm is arguably the most adorable thing out there that the series has to offer.


While Kumin plays more of a support role more than anything else, she's still not someone to be trifled with. Since she doesn't really have much thought given to herself, she mindlessly joins in on most of Rikka and Dekomori's antics...though she usually falls asleep halfway through. Because of this, she is one of the more reliable characters that the others can turn to (we see her trying to take on Rikka's role in season 1 when she was had her slump).


Her regular napping habits just make her all the more adorable. She sleeps and sleeps and sleeps...sleep talking at the same time, which so coincidentally happened that she rejected Makoto in her sleep without her knowing. To make things even better, she CAN fight and hold her own in the banishment world, where we see her fighting to the very end in that napping competition.




Minami-Ke Series



Yep, Kana is the best.

"Minami-Ke" is a very laid back series IMO, its one of the best animes to watch when you don't really feel like doing anything. All the characters are pretty chill, some are more ridiculous than others, but everyone just feels like a small piece of a full puzzle. With so many different kinds of characters, its really hard to pick just one...unless its Kana. Being one of the 3 main characters nets her a lot of screen time, and of course, it also helps that she's so freaking full of energy all the time. Hands down, she's my favorite of the 3 sisters, and probably my favorite character in the entire show.


Kana is just...so stupid. She's so stupid that its funny! The 3 sisters have very different personalities that contrast well with one another, with Haruka's big sister spirit, Chiaki's "super smart but lacks common sense" brain, and Kana's overall ridiculousness. She would start random arguments with Chiaki over the smallest thing, like eating her pudding or just asking her a stupid question, and it would end hilariously. Also note how she's like the female version of any main character in any harem...she never notices anything about romance (poor Fujioka).


Despite all this though, Kana is VERY likable. She's so energetic, she fills the Minami household with fun just by her being there! She might as well be the main character, seriously. While the middle school side of characters aren't as entertaining as the high school and elementary school ones, Kana by herself makes up for all of her middle school classmates. Come on, you can't count the amount of times that she has went full retard...she just makes me smile.



Peace.






Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Great Game OSTs (Part 2)

Fighting Game Music




Song: Black And White (Ragna Vs Hakumen theme)
From: Blazblue:Chrono Phantasma
Artist: Daisuke Ishiwatari


More "Blazblue" songs, because by god are they f**king amazing. "Black And White" has got to be my favorite song in the entire freaking game, not only because it sounds stupidly epic. It's a song with meaning, its not without reason. While the badass guitar rifts and powerful drums roar through the entire song, making you feel like a freaking beast, it also tells a story. Like how the guitars and drums symbolizes Ragna, while the air of nobility symbolizes Hakumen. From start to finish, this is just an amazing piece, and I almost always pick this as my default song when playing against someone else.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q1EWrlTteI






Song: Heartful Cry -In Mayonaka Arena- (Aigis's Theme)
From: Persona 4:Ultimate In Mayonaka Arena
Artist: Shoji Meguro


While "Persona" songs mostly fit well for their RPG esque feel, it seems like it can be used pretty masterfully in a fighting game too. "Persona 4:Arena" is filled with kickass themes, and nothing beats the best one of them all, which is, in my opinion, Aigis's theme. "Heartful Cry" was a pretty sweet theme for Aigis back in "Persona 3:Fes", but somehow, they Shoji Meguro, being the beast that he is, amped it up so much more that it became a theme for a freaking fighting game....and a f**king badass one at that! The remixed version of "Heartful Cry" is perfect for a fighting game, its fast paced, it rocks hard, and it still contains a lot of Aigis's emotion.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxO7v5dSOVE






Name: Electric Fountain (Stage Theme)
From: Tekken 6
Artist: Masaharu Iwata, Hitoshi Sakimoto


While I do like the "Tekken" games to some degree, I still prefer my 2D fighters. It doesn't mean though, that "Tekken" doesn't have awesome music. ....Just listen to this piece...it may not be the most epic thing ever, but it certainly spells hype. Every time I go on this, I just start bopping my head for no apparent reason, because its just so freaking catchy! I bet you that if you go driving with this music turned on, you'll find yourself speeding over 200 KM/H. I find that this would fit for a faster paced game though, because "Tekken" might not be the best game for these kind of music.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsB14OVlcrs



RPG Music





Name: Long Dream
From: The World Ends With You
Artist: Takeharu Ishimoto


"The World Ends With You" has some of the hippest music ever used in an RPG, other than the "Persona" series. The songs were full of style, substance, and the vocals just made everything all the more addictive to listen to. "Long Dream" was perhaps one of the most memorable pieces in the game, being the very first battle theme that you'll listen to. It just gave you that feel of kicking ass, with the noise all around you...and with you jamming to this song. Its somewhat lighter than the later battle themes, but it still packed a nice punch.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIeIvDqOttE&list=PLC33DECC17A7C6E60&index=4




Name: Life That Runs Through The Battlefield (Miku vocal version)
From: 7th Dragon 2020 II
Artist: SHIKI


I like how SEGA got well known vocaloid music composers to help with the Miku versions of the battle themes...it just makes everything sound so much better. While the battle theme in the original "7th Dragon 2020" was pretty good, "Life That Runs Through The Battlefield" easily blows it out of the water. It gives off a MASSIVE hype boost just right at the start of the fight, and the fast paced beats just made my head bop throughout ANY random encounter. Its a pity that this one only plays for the new dungeons.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQa05Rk8bRU&index=37&list=PL139ySJp_6tG8AIdYlh2Fz8d-KmGaS4Xv






Name: Alcyone
From: Atelier Meruru:The Apprentice Of Arland
Artist: Ken Nakagawa


Holy f**king balls. Those were my exact words when I heard "Alcyone". With a game like "Atelier Meruru" and with the entire theme of the game being about a young princess building a kingdom, who would have thought that you would find THIS gem in the game?! "Alcyone" sounds like something out of a "Mana Khemia" game, and that means a LOT. Scratch that, it sounds too badass EVEN for "Mana Khemia"! Its just crazy good guitar rifts and power drum beats all the way, and I really never expected to feel....so fired up after listening to this. Unfortunately, there aren't many bosses where this theme plays. Shame.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQOlKLnIJTo



Other





Name: Open Fire! (Imca's Theme)
From: Valkyria Chronicles 3
Artist: Hitoshi Sakimoto


I never really liked the music in "Valkyria Chronicles". The songs were either too peaceful, or repetitive. Of course, that was until I heard "Open Fire!", possibly the most hype piece of music that could be found in the damn game. This one only plays when you use Imca's special "Open Fire" ability, and my god it fits so well. Even though its just for a single shot, when this theme plays, you get the feeling to just dominate everything on the field...with style. Of course, Imca lets you do that, because she's a freaking beast, right along with her theme.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDcL2x-XLnY