Opening Songs
OP 1 - Unravel (tk of Ling Tosite Sigure)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Seijatachi (People Of The Box)

Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Supernatural

Episodes: 12



One of the major anime hits this year, there's really not much people who don't know of "Tokyo Ghoul". It was one of the more popular manga series out there, and when it was made into an anime...apparently people were expecting great things. They were right in that sense. "Tokyo Ghoul" is a whole ton of awesome, even though it does not follow the manga exactly as it should, its still good enough to entrance you, ESPECIALLY if you didn't read the manga. Even if you did read it and expected it to be better (frankly, they left out quite a lot of shit), you still gotta commend them for doing a pretty good job. "Tokyo Ghoul" has enough blood, gore, action, torture and complete massacres for those looking for a somewhat violent experience. I highly recommend this one, especially if you haven't read the manga.



She has the best Kagune, seriously.


The one and only opening song for the anime is "Unravel by tk of Ling Tosite Sigure. Well, it IS one of the most popular opening songs on the net right now, and...I can sort of understand. While I don't really like it a whole lot (it sounds kind of gay), its very different from the usual anime openings that we're so used to hearing. Plus, it has kind of an abstract feel to it, AND the song has its moments of brilliance, especially during the chorus segments. The ending theme is somewhat less inspiring. Its "Seijatachi" by People Of The Box, and its your everyday typical rap-ish kind of song. Not really a fan of it either.



Rating: 8.5/10



When I first went in without knowing ANYTHING about the manga whatsoever, I was legitimately impressed. There so many things amazing about "Tokyo Ghoul". The first episode was f**king amazing, it left a great first impression and it had a lot of impact. The anime goes downwards for a few episodes, then immediately shoots back up to levels of greatness after a few episodes of character introductions. There is never a dull moment throughout the show. Great fight scenes, great character development, and even the story is pretty f**king good. The scenarios are very well written and dark, Kaneki goes through some really serious shit, and he grows very well as a character (though he's still a f**king pussy UNTIL the last episode). The characters are so varied from one another, and in such a dark world, its very interesting to see how these characters to interact. What is a ghoul? What is it like to be one? Do you risk losing your humanity when you feast on flesh? Its these questions that you ask yourself as you see Kaneki live through hell that makes you grow somewhat attached to his endeavors.



Yeah, okay.

Kaneki Ken is your everyday loser college bookworm student that doesn't do anything special with his life. When hanging out with his best friend in a local cafe one day, he notices a girl that he likes, and they agree to hang out in a date. The girl, known as Rize, goes around town with Kaneki, and they do all sorts of stuff that couples do on their first date. Everything was going good....until night came. Rize attacked Kaneki and killed him, revealing herself to be a binge eater, an S class ghoul. Ghouls are monsters that consume human flesh, and take on the appearance of human beings. When Kaneki was on the urge of death, he was saved as pillars from a construction site fell down on Rize, killing her. Close to death, Kaneki's body was taken and experimented on. He wakes up to find himself with one black eye, a trait that only ghouls possess. All his favorite foods taste like crap, and he has an urge to eat human flesh. That is when he knows...that he is no longer human. He is indeed, a ghoul.


"Tokyo Ghoul" has one of the best things going for it in this year's long list of animes. The many amazing things that are present in its entire slew of 12 episodes just blew me away, and I eagerly awaited each other episode to come. Sadly, the last episode was the best episode, and that was the end of that. Fortunately for us, season 2 is on the way, and let's hope it delivers. Let's be honest though, it will.


Peace.




Haruka Tomatsu





Its really not too hard for you to NOT hear about Haruka Tomatsu if you watch a decent amount of anime. I mean, she's easily another one of those girl's voices that you hear almost anywhere (pretty good looking as well). She started off pretty young, so you can say that she's another prodigy of sorts. Surely you've heard her voice Asuna (Sword Art Online Series), or maybe even Lala (To Love Ru). One is really serious and one is just super cheerful all the time. She's more adept at doing the very "normal" sounding high school girls though. We've got the Older Sister Maid (Maoyuu), Mibu (Mahouka), Anjo (Anohana) and Saki (Valvrave The Liberator). Misao (Asura Cryin) and Nagi (Kannagi) fall under the more cheerful category right with Lala, Aliasse (Valkyria Chronicles 2) as well. Then we have Ibara (Coppelion), who just has an incredibly strong kansai accent. Nice to see something different from her.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Asuna (Sword Art Online), Lala (To Love Ru)

2nd row: Older Sister Maid (Maoyuu), Nagi (Kannagi), Mibu (Mahouka), Misao (Asura Cryin)

3rd row: Anjo (Anohana), Saki (Valvrave), Ibara (Coppelion), Alisasse (Valkyria Chronicles 2)




Hisako Kanemoto





May not be as popular or well known as some of the other seiyuus out there, but she's still pretty sweet in doing the plain old bishoujo voices. One thing is for sure though, she can sound different, that much I can give credit for. Even though most of her voices are pretty girl voices, they are DIFFERENT kinds of pretty girls. Let's take Luctiana (Zero No Tsukaima) and Haru (Akuma No Riddle), they are the happy go lucky, don't give a f**k type of girls (even though Haru is in the danger of being killed). Yuhata (Knights Of Sidonia) is a mix of a very stereotypical high school girl and also a brilliant strategist. Himeka (Oreshura) is a bit of a kuudere, while Yui (Kokoro connect) is the best thing she has to a tsundere. Yuki (Kore Wa Zombie Desuka) is a ditzy ninja, and Souma Takiko (Tokyo Ravens) is probably the only villain that she has played that I know of.  Natsuki (Strike The Blood) is my favorite, because she sounds so strict and stern unlike most of her other characters.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Haru (Akuma No Riddle), Yui (Kokoro Connect), Himeka (Oreshura)

2nd row: Natsuki (Strike The Blood), Takiko (Tokyo Ravens)

3rd row: Yuki (Kore Wa Zomebie Desuka), Yuhata (Knights Of Sidonia), Luctiana (Zero No Tsukaima)




Shinichiro Miki





If you don't know about him, you clearly haven't been watching a whole lot of anime, really. Shinichiro Miki is one of the most highly regarded seiyuu veterans, having a shit ton of characters credited under his name. Truth be told though, he may not be as relevant today as he has been in the past, but he still does a good deal of characters. As you can see, he is more well known for doing the badass characters. Dude, Urahara (Bleach), Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist) and Assasin (Fate Stay Night) are all freaking badass as HELL. Gyro Zepilli (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure) is somewhat of a young man who just wants to fight. Galius (Outbreak Company) and Shoma (Black Bullet) are the quiet "cool" dudes. Akira (Virtual Fighter Series) just wants to punch shit with his spirit of youth (even though he's not all that young anymore). Finally, my favorite of his characters, Kaiki Deshu (Monogatari Series). This guy is so sly, you can't help but worship his cunning feats.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Urahara (Bleach), Shoma (Black Bullet), Galius (Outbreak Company)

2nd row: Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist), Assasin (Fate Stay Night), Gyro Zepilli (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure)

3rd row: Akira (Virtual Fighter Series), Kaiki Deshu (Monogatari Series)




Koji Yusa






This is another one of those old dudes who voices a bunch of pretty swag (and not to mention pretty) looking young men. Koji Yusa is late into his forties and sounds damn near in his early twenties (sometimes even younger)...he's another one of those dudes that blows my mind. I mean, he is young enough to sound like Renzo (Ao No Exorcist) and Hyoubu Kyouske (Psychic Squad), who are basically high school students (Hyoubu is a really badass high school student, by the way). Then we have the rough voices like Jolly (Arcana Familgia) and King Of The Night (Kore Wa Zombie Desuka). Then we have his sexy voice, which he uses to breathe life into most of the seductive men in their early-late twenties, Zhou (Mahouka), Saint Germain (Nobunagun) and Ohtomo (Tokyo Ravens) all fit the bill really nicely. And of course, how can we all forget Gin (Bleach), who pretty much started the trend of badass dudes who keep their eyes closed all the time and only open them when they go serious.


Characters from left to right


1st row: Renzo (Ao No Exorcist), Zhou (Mahouka), Saint Germain (Nobunagun)

2nd row: Jolly (Arcana Familgia), Ohtomo (Tokyo Ravens), King Of The Night (Kore Wa Zombie Desuka)

3rd row: Gin (Bleach), Hyoubu Kyouske (Psychic Squad)




Satomi Arai





Satomi Arai is a pretty funny voice actress, because she can really do all sorts of weird characters that range in....looks and personality. She is no stranger to the girl characters, but it all depends on the tone. Kuroko (To Aru Kagaku No Railgun) is just a lovable sport that wants to cling to her onee-sama all the time, and she sounds really funny here. Seiko (Corpse Party) is similar, just towards Naomi instead of Misaka (though since Seiko dies a lot we're more used to her screaming in horror than anything else). In fact, these 2 are not the only lesbians that she's done. Shiroyasha (Mondaiji) is f**king amazing and hilarious as hell despite being a badass ice loli chick. Lala (Knights Of Sidonia) is a f**king bear that cares for her students, Mephilia (Bravely Default) is a f**ing sadistic piece of sh*t, but I guess she does it very well. Peke (To Love Ru) is Lala's transforming uniform who gets drunk easily, and Azami (Mekaku City Actors) is one of her more serious characters. She done a fair amount of other minor characters too, like Kanda's Mother (The Pet Girl Of Sakurasou) and the Narrator of "Okami-san And Her Seven Companions".


Characters from left to right


1st row: Kuroko (To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Seiko (Corpse Party)

2nd row: Azami (Mekaku City Actors), Shiroyasha (Mondaiji), Lala (Knights Of Sidonia)

3rd row: Peke (To Love Ru), Kanda's Mother (The Pet Girl Of Sakurasou), Mephilia (Bravely Default)

Monday, 22 December 2014

Pimp Wars (Rail Wars! review)



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Mukaikaze ni Uta Renagara (Minori Chihara)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - OVERDRIVER (ZAQ)

Genre: Action, Romance

Episodes: 12



Now this is a surprise. Who would have thought that "Rail Wars" wasn't a complete, colossal failure of an anime? I mean, its a show about f**king TRAINS! Who the hell can cook up a story about a bunch of teenagers and TRAINS?! Fortunately, its not nearly as bad as it sounds. "Rail Wars" is substantial enough to have a decent story, some rather fun characters, and overall it works as a semi harem/romance themed show as well. It also has a good amount of action, though if you're here looking for a great action anime, you'd have better luck looking elsewhere. Though the anime mostly uses fan service to play to its advantage, the fan service is rather decent and well, you'd know that this would be quite fan service heavy before walking into it. Otherwise, well, there you go! If you're another one of those that can't stand scantily clad girls with ridiculously good bodies with clothing that emphasizes on their curves, this isn't for you (panty shots and boob bounces galore). If you don't mind that however and you're willing to give this a go, then prepare to be decently surprised. An anime talking about trains isn't as boring as you'd think.



Well, I did mention fan service, didn't I?

"Rail Wars" has a surprisingly good selection of opening and ending themes. The opening theme is "Mukaikaze ni Uta Renagara" by Minori Chihara. If you don't know who she is by now, you haven't been watching a lot of anime, apparently, because Minori Chihara is an amazing anisong artist. "Mukaikaze ni Uta Renagara" is a very powerful song, and sometimes, it sounds too overwhelming for something like "Rail Wars" (I feel like it'd fit something like "Horizon" a lot more). The ending theme is the real kicker here, its "OVERDRIVER" by ZAQ. Now I'm usually not too keen on ZAQ songs, but "OVERDRIVER" sounds incredibly sexy and catchy. Its auto tuned to perfection, and the electro feel that the entire song has is just perfect. One of the best ending songs I've ever heard.


Rating: 7.0/10



Now it isn't spectacular, but its pretty good to some extent. Its certainly not as bad it sounds, that's for sure. The show starts off pretty well, and gradually loses steam throughout, before gaining a little bit of it back at the end. The core concept of it is pretty stupid, with teenage kids being secruity guards for the local train station. There isn't a lot of post pounding action going for it, nor is the romance in it any good at all (seriously, its just standard harem "romance", nothing much). However, what it DOES do well, is in its fun characters, scenarios and writing. While the girls are portrayed as somewhat slutty, they're actually not TOO BAD (though they can feel a little bit like anime girl stereotypes). Even though there's another dude in the anime (who's totally the best character), its an obvious harem surrounding the main character. Fan service is used somewhat excessively, though most of it is fairly reasonable (no nudity). There are a ton of fun scenarios (like that one arc where the team rides an organ to save a life), but its very clear some are a lot more interesting than others.



All right, you know what you're getting yourself into when you see this.

Takayama Naoto is your regular train loving brat who always desired to work with trains for his entire life. With the Japan industry booming with high tech trains, he wants to live his life as an engineer, so he enrolled into the JNR training program when he came of age, aiming to be an engineer. He gets teamed up with 3 others, Iwaizumi, a hardheaded fellow, Aoi, a tsundere police girl, and Haruka, a ditsy girl who's smart but also has a fairly weak body. Together, the 4 of them blaze through the entrance exams, and finally comes the day of the fated on job training program. They are posted together to the same station, and on the day of training, they witness a crime, a purse robbery case. Together, they work together with a combination of skill and wit catch the culprit. Then came the day where they were to be posted out to different stations to continue their lives at JNR. Well, it must be a coincidence that the 4 of them ended up in the same office as security enforcers. And thus, the 4 continue their lives together as full fetched security officers.


"Rail Wars" may not be for everyone, but for the general male audience who enjoy harems, this is a candidate. It's certainly not as bad as it sounds, or what some others make it out to be. It may be one of those animes that rely on fan service, but its honestly not too bad. Makes for a good distraction, and its a fun series. I hope it gets a season 2.


Peace.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Child Of Light

Gamespot Score: 8.0 (Great)

My Score: 8.8


(+) Pros: - Incredibly amazing to look at, from an artistic standpoint, - A brilliant tale of sadness, betrayal and overcoming hardships, - Great exploration of an already amazing world, puzzles and problem solving segments are well done, - Igniculus mechanic is well thought out and well implemented, - Interesting spin on traditional turn based battles.

(-) Cons: - Too easy on default difficulty, - Occasional repetition.


Gameplay time: 15-20 hours







"Child Of Light" comes close to the best game I've played in 2014. I'm not even f**king joking. Its brilliant in so many ways, and for its asking price, it delivers beyond expectations (especially if you've bought it for a mere $5 during Steam Sales). Being one of the most artistically beautiful games EVER, and having a unique combination of gameplay elements from different games makes "Child Of Light" an engrossing experience that you won't want to let go of. For RPG fans, this is a must, and if you like problem solving/puzzles/platforming, this one will likely deserve your attention as well. Even if you aren't a fan of both, "Child Of Light" is a game worth trying as long as you've got a bit of fantasy in your heart.



The story focuses on Aurora, who's pretty a parody of the Disney Princess with the same name. Aurora's father enjoyed a time of peace with her daughter, but one day, she was whisked away into an unknown realm of dreams. Never waking up in the real world, she was thought to have been dead, and her father, the duke of the kingdom, despaired ever so much, to the point where he lost interest in everything, including his life. His condition became so bad that he refused to take medication for his illness or help the kingdom in the time of need. Meanwhile in the dream world, Aurora lives, and she explores the world unknown to her with hopes of returning to her father. There, she is told to free its world from the dark grip of the witch Umbra, and by doing so she will need the obtain the Sun, Moon, and the Stars. Befriending a wisp by the name of Igniculus, Aurora must brave a world filled with Dark, and triumph over its many evil beasts to get back what she holds dear.



My oh my...look at the pretty colors.


"Child Of Light" is a fairly simple game. Though simple it may be, its also very easy to get yourself lost in it. For one, its art style and visuals. They are simply spectacular. While its not a massive powerhouse on the technical side, its simply gorgeous when it comes to the artistic side. The game is so vibrant with its colors, and with a water color style added to its backgrounds, the entire game looks like a very expensive painting. Everything, ranging from the environments, backgrounds, to its characters and enemies (Aurora actually ha 3D model though). Even the flourishes in the different attacks make them look incredibly pretty and powerful when they actually connect on their desired targets.


The story in "Child Of Light" is also dreadfully endearing. Aurora's journey is just filled with hardships, both for herself and the friends that the encounters. The characters are well fleshed out, and they vary from one to another, be it their appearances or their personalities, they never fail to stand out. Its not the most light hearted story ever, and its a lot darker than you think. You'd think that they'd give a little girl like Aurora a chance? Nope, she gets beaten down on like a poor puppy many times, no mercy, even to little children. Ouch.



I don't usually like puzzles, but when I do, they're in "Child Of Light".

Being a standard RPG following a very standard RPG formula, "Child Of Light" is very easy to follow. You roam throughout the dark lands, touching enemies on the field brings you into battle with the wild beast. Getting them from the back lands you a preemptive strike, and you get ambushed when they do the same to you. Traversing the field in "Child Of Light" is actually fun, much more so than you'd think. The entire game is played on a 2D field, like a puzzle platformer game (something along the lines of "Limbo"). You traverse through different dungeons, caves, and ruins, each with their own special themed puzzle mechanic for you to play around with. Shifting boxes, flying around looking for loopholes, flipping switches...all of those stuff. Some also involve Igniculus, the wisp that follows Aurora around.


Igniculus is a very peculiar wisp. He acts as a light to most dark areas, he's an irreplaceable asset in battle as he slows enemies and heals allies, he's also a catalyst needed to solve some of the on field puzzles. Oh yes, he's also handy in flying off to unreachable corners to loot treasure chests. Whatever he can do, the game makes it obvious that you're going to need his help, and since you need to use him rather cleverly, he ends up being a pretty fun mechanic to play around with. Igniculus comes with an energy meter, the more you use him, it goes down, then he eventually becomes tired out and you'll need to wait for him to recharge. In battle though, you might need him a lot more than he wants to be used, this is where the faerie elixirs come in.



Boss fights are a key highlight in the game.

Battles in "Child Of Light" are standard affairs. You will be fighting A LOT, and luckily for us, the battle system is pretty fun to mess around with. While it looks like a standard "Final Fantasy" ATB style turn based battle system, there are twists to it that make it a lot more....strategic, and in some ways, reflexive. The timeline is a gauge which times your character's movements. In the waiting zone, characters can't act, and instead, "wait" for their icon to move forward into the cast segment. In the casting zone, this is where you choose an action for your character. Your character will prepare to act in the casting zone, then when he/she hits the end of the casting zone, they will execute an attack. Sounds simple enough, but if a character or enemy is damaged while "casting" in the casting zone, they are pushed back into the waiting zone, their action nullified. This is called "Interruption".


Obviously, you can keep interrupting an enemy while they are in the cast zone for instant stun lock. That by itself is the most logical strategy to aim for when fighting against most enemies. Of course, its not going to be so easy to continuously stun lock enemies as speed is a very inconsistent factor. Igniculus comes in here, as he can slow enemies as you mouse him over them. Or he can heal you if you're low. Doing so requires energy, which is usually scattered around the battle. Micro managing resources for Igniculus is key here, and if you keep him on the enemy, you can pull off a ton of chain interruptions



You want skill trees? Well, we have them.
.

"Child Of Light" does suffer a little bit on the repetition side. While most of the game remains fresh with new environments, enemies and puzzles, you'll be using similar strategies to take out most normal encounters and later puzzles do reuse some elements from previous dungeon themes. Also, the game is way TOO EASY on default difficulty. I mean, I didn't even game over once throughout the game, and maybe losing characters in a fight about...two times? And that was when I had over 20 revival elixirs, so it was all good. If you want a challenge, at least play hard mode (to be fair, Oengus is pretty strong versus most of the late game bosses).


"Child Of Light" is a great game, that's it. Its a single adventure that can be played multiple times for new game + and new builds on different characters. There's a lot of depht to it (I never discussed jewels and upgrading your characters with them), be it the exploration, battles or even just the story. There's really something amazing for RPG fans here, and if you're one of them, don't hesitate. Just jump straight into the game.






Happy Gaming!



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Kyumei No True Force (Hitomi Harada)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Blade Dance (Knee Socks)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance

Episodes: 12



We've all seen the standard harem troupe before. Seriously, I was pretty into it when I first (personally) saw it in "Infinite Stratos". An entire academy of girls with special talents/abilities that only females are capable of, then out of nowhere, this dude pops up, he can do whatever is so special that the girls do. Suddenly, he is enrolled into the academy, and now he's the lone guy in an army of never ending fan girls (or sometimes, hater girls). He becomes the center of attention, and without fail, there will be a group of girls who are constantly hanging around him. These girls will later be classified as his harem, and they will fight against each other for said Protagonist's attention. Insert some fan service here and there...boom, you've got yourself one heck of a harem. At least, that's what they want you to think, I've seen this premise so much that it doesn't even surprise me anymore. "Blade Dance Of Elementalers" is a story based off what I just said, and while its not the most horrible thing around, it does a serviceable enough job and ends up being a very "average" harem series.



Bow down to me, dog!


Admittedly, "Blade Dance Of Elementalers" has a pretty kickass opening theme, with the courtesy of Hitomi Harada. Its "Kyumei No True Force", and as mentioned, its a very powerful song that plows right into your face. You honestly won't think that its for a harem anime if you listen to it. Since "Blade Dance Of Elementalers" isn't a very action heavy anime (despite its title), this doesn't quite fit, but it doesn't really matter. The ending theme is "Blade Dance" by Knee Socks (probably consisting of some of the seiyuus of the anime), and despite its name, its a pretty weak ass, generic, cutesy ending theme. I don't know why I expected something else.



Rating: 7.0/10



It could have been better in SO many ways, but since the production quality for this one was kind of iffy, its hard for me to give it something higher. Yep, I said it, for a show called, "Blade Dance Of Elementalers", it has a ton of really unpolished battle scenes. Either that or they're just plain old lazy, simple as that. It was the ONE thing that they had to get right...but, oh well. Other than the lazily done battle segments though, the rest of the anime holds up fairly well. While Claire is RIDICULOUSLY annoying to me, the rest of the girls are pretty great in terms of personality. The rich ojou-sama Linslet, the honorable yet somewhat cute on the inside Elis, or the seductive Fianna. Claire is just the annoying tsundere brat, but we've seen that character archetype 100 times by now so there's nothing to be surprised about. Then there's the dreadfully alluring and super cute Est, who's easily the most likable of the bunch. Some of the interactions between the characters are rather uninspired, but most aren't too bad. Seriously though, everyone is fine except for Claire, she needs to lighten the f**k up. Fan service comedy is done fairly well without going TOO overboard (some scenes can get a bit ridiculous, but no nudity), which can be considered a plus, I guess.



Is he now? You sure he doesn't just share Touma's  misfortune?

Elementalers are sacred female warriors that were raised to tame the familiars and master the art of summoning. This art is EXCLUSIVE to females, and no male has been able to harness the power of a spirit since the fall of the demon king thousands of years ago. Young elementaler Claire Rogue was taking a bath in a nearby spring to "purify" herself, and she is seen by a man, who introduces himself as Kazehaya Kamito. Out of embarrassment, Claire attacks Kamito by summoning her familiar, Scarlet, a flaming cat. In her rampage, she knocked down a tree on herself but is saved by Kamito. By giving him a second chance, Claire lets Kamito in on her plan, after realizing that he was to be seen by Greysworth, the academy headmaster for elementalers. Claire wants to get a stronger familiar by taming the legendary demon slayer sword. She fails, and is almost killed by the sword itself, until Kamito tames it. After realizing that Kamito is a male that is able to tame the legendary demon slayer sword, Claire knows that he is no normal man, since no male has been able to do so for a VERY long time. Kamito is later enrolled into the academy as the only male student, where his life is turned upside down.


"Blade Dance Of Elementalers" has its moments, but more often than not, its just an average harem experience throughout. I'd say its slightly better than "Seikoku No Dragonar", which also dropped this year, but that isn't saying much. Its definitely watchable, and there are some good moments for harem fans. But if you haven't watched some of the better harems that dropped by in these few years, you can skip this one to go for those.


Peace.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Revisit: Demon's' Souls



Do you remember dying 10 times straight? Do you remember getting crushed by Dragon God? Mauled off the arena by the Maneaters? Succumbing to the poison of the Valley Of Defilement? What about getting chopped to bits by the skeletons in the storm of shrines? Roasted by a dragon in Boletaria? Well, we all did, but of course, it doesn't hurt to do it all over again after not touching the game for about 2 years or so, that's what I did. With a bunch of free time in my hands and not much new games to go around, I tortured myself by going back into "Demon's' Souls", two years after finishing the game for good and putting it aside. How was it like, playing this game again after two years?


Nothing short of amazing.





When I first booted up the game, I was greeted with the all so familiar character creator. Sure, that things is a lot better now when I'm playing "Dark Souls 2", but for a game made back in 2009, it still kicked a lot of ass. I started off playing a build I've never tried in previous playthroughs, a DEX build character. Immediately the game felt fresh and new, playing with a new fighting style, a new weapon, a new build throughout the game. I knew I was going to have a blast, tackling all these old foes of mine using weapons and tricks that I never bothered to think about before.


I was reminded that the game had unlimited play ability, because the amount of builds that existed was crazy. Its even crazier now in the current "Souls" games, but even back then, you could practically do all sorts of crazy shit. I already knew that the game would still be fun, playing a different character. The levels were as dreadful as I remembered, but with almost 5 freaking years of experience with the "Souls" games, and having seen them before, I didn't succumb to them as much as before. I then realized that of all the "Souls" games, "Demon's' Souls" had some of the easiest levels. Easy they may have been, but they were still masterfully crafted, and after not playing this for 2 years, the 2nd stage of the mines f**ked me up really bad.





Slashing and cutting mid way through my game, I was invaded by an enemy player. Then I thought to myself, "Who the f**k is still playing this game?". Turns out I got destroyed, since I was running a DEX build and this bugger was using the Scrapping Lance, my Katana was shredded in a matter ot hits. He switched to a great sword and I knew it was over. PVP in "Demon's' Souls" was pretty good back then, and even now, the hardcores still linger around, hoping the crush the new players or look for fellow hardcore loyalists for a duel. It reminded me to stay in soul form my way through the game (was not a huge fan of PVP).


There was also a shocking amount of bloodstains throughout the game. There were more players than I thought there would have been. People are still falling prey to the same traps laid by the developers many years ago, though for some, it may have been their first time. Enemy encounters seemed to vary. After fighting more and more BS enemies that "From" has come up with in the recent "Souls" games, not much of the enemies in "Demon's' Souls" seemed to give me much trouble. Sure the gigantic molten bees were annoying as hell, but as long as you have a crescent falchion or any form of magic damage, these things go down easy. This game may have been punishing as hell before, but now, its not too bad.




Then as I fought the bosses...I felt like a whole new person. Even if I've fought these guys before 2 years back and remember some of their moves, fighting them again felt amazing. I was reminded of GOOD boss design (not the mostly sub-par ones in "Dark Souls 2"). The Tower Knight was a refreshing change of pace from the mostly straightforward battles in "Dark Souls 2", the Flamelurker actually moved like a beast meant to KILL, and the Maneater's ganking shenanigans reminded of the Belfry Gargoyles, only more menacing. Sure there were a share of pretty...meh boss fights in this game. I wasn't a fan of Dragon God, despite how amazing he looked. The Storm King was also a pretty sad fight, as you'd honestly spend most of your time killing his lackeys more than him.


Then the REALLY good ones. Obviously, Old Kind Allant was still one of the toughest "Souls" bosses to date, and it felt really good to have a rematch with him 2 years later. He's fast as hell, he hits hard, he hits from almost anywhere, and his kamehameha explosion ability still catches me off guard, even today. The Old Monk was another good one. Surprisingly, I got matched up with a human opponent instead of the standard AI...people still actually WANT to BE the Old Monk and f**k shit up. Of course, there were other things I had to mention. It felt pretty stupid to grind all those suckerstones again for my Katana, since that was the ONLY way to upgrade my weapon. There were too many different types of stones, I'm glad they standardized the currency for upgrading weapons in the future installments.




End of story: two years later, "Demon's' Souls" is still one hell of a kickass game. The brilliant level design, the boss battles, and the way the game encourages you to try different builds makes this game have somewhat an infinite amount of replay-ability. Its the same game every time, but if you go around it a different way all the time, every time, its still pretty damn fun. The surprise factor is still there. And since there are practically an infinite amount of ways to build your character, this game is worth a revisit every time you want to do a "Souls" marathon.



Replay Value: 10/10 (Would die again)



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai (Masayoshi ┼îishi)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Uraomote Fortune (Ari Ozawa)

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Episodes: 12


Its been awhile since I've gotten so happy to watch a high school romance comedy anime. And no, this isn't one of those standard ass harems that you see everywhere. Think of it as more along the lines of "D-Frag" or "Baka Test". Its funny, there's some romance in it (though its also more or less there just to reinforce the comedy factor), and there are a ton of likable characters in it. So much so that I actually felt reluctant to leave it behind when I finished it. "Gekkan Shojo Nozaki Kun" is entertaining to watch throughout. While the story and premise may initially start off simple, it soon shows that it can impress with tons of hilarious dialogue, scenarios and brilliant characters. "Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-Kun" makes me proud that I haven't quite abandoned the high school genre in animes that so many people have deemed cliche.


Moral of the story, its not all about looking cool.

The opening song is " Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai" by Masayoshi Ōishi. Its a great song, reminds me of the stuff that Milktub used to cook up for the "Baka Test" series. Its full of youth, it screams shounen (even though this anime is more catered towards the shojo audience), and or some reason, I find that it fits incredibly well with this anime. The ending theme is Uraomote Fortune by Ari Ozawa. Its really cute-sy in comparison to the opening theme, and while its not bad per-se, I just can't see myself getting used to it so easily. She just doesn't sound like Sakura at all.


Rating: 8.0/10


Needless to say I really enjoyed myself here. For the most part, the brilliant characters and hilarious scenarios carry the entire show. Every single character ends up being funny as hell, even when they're not meant to be, and when these characters come together, its just a brilliant mishmash of madness and crazy antics. Of course, the main component of "Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun" is the comedy. On that end, it excels with flying colors. Every episode is packed to the brim with laughs and plenty of ridiculous moments. Dialogue is funny, and the over exaggerated art style on some of the male characters (and Kashima, of course) only seem to amply the ridiculousness even further. There is some romance in this game, though its mostly only applied to our main heroine. Its not badly done, but I must say, it goes nowhere, making the romance segments seem somewhat pointless at the end of the anime.



That fact still amazes me to this day.

Sakura Chiyo is just an everyday normal high school girl with a secret crush for a certain guy. One day, she decides to go for it and confess to him. She didn't get rejected, but her crush, Nozaki, took things the wrong way, and instead of responding to her love, he gave her an autograph. She even got invited to his house to do some...betas for manga. After going home that night, she realizes something through studying the autograph that Nozaki gave her. Nozaki is none other than Yumeno sensei, a famous shoujo manga artist responsible for a popular series that many girls follow, including Sakura herself. Now she finds herself part of his group of assistants, which consists mostly of fellow high school students. With datelines and thirst for ideas haunting him every day, Nozaki constantly seeks for new inspirations and discoveries within school life, and Sakura is dragged along with him. Sakura may not have gotten the romance that she wanted, instead, she gets dragged along to ridiculous character hunts and has to deal with all the weird assistants that Nozaki works with.


"Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-Kun" has the characters and scenarios to make you cherish the idea of slapstick high school romance comedy in anime. There's something for everyone here, and the show doesn't lower itself to fan service to satisfy its viewing audience, so even female viewers can join in on the fun. I really liked this series, and I hope that it continues. Sakura NEEDS to end up with Nozaki, though I think he's too stupid to get any vibes at all.


Peace.



Belfry Gargoyles
HP: 1400 (5)
Skills: Double slash,  Pole arm smash, Sweep, Flying tail whip*, Tail whip*, Fire breath, Aerial Fire breath, Lightning storm*
Souls: 25000

Difficulty: 3/5
Deaths: 2


So you think you're ready to move on with your adventure? Not quite yet friend, there's still something you need to do at the Lost Bastille. Make it to the first bonfire after killing the Ruin Sentinels, go down a ladder in the corner where a lone wild hound awaits. Kill it and examine the walls for a weird face, enter with a Pharos Lock-stone. You'll now find yourself in Belfry Luna, a tower meant to worship the princess who yearned for her prince. Anyway, operate yourself past this tiny tower and you'll find yourself in the fog gate, enter it to face an old friend (another one) from the previous game.



Aw come on, 1 game later you guys STILL can't fight fair!

If you've fought these guys in the previous game, you know that they are complete f**king sons of bitches that never play fair. Unfortunately, they still don't play fair here, and to make things even worse, they brought EVEN MORE backup. Remember how in "Dark Souls" you had to fight 2 of these guys and they would kick your newbie ass? Now, you fight 5 of these guys, and up to 3 of them can gang up on you at once. The struggle is real, ladies and gentlemen. However though, they are a lot easier to kill INDIVIDUALLY this time, and with the proper steps, they can be defeated without too much trouble.


Double slash - A simple double swing from the bell gargoyle. Easily blocked, no issue here.

Pole arm smash - He smacks his weapon down hard. This can still be blocked, but expect a big stamina cut. This is easily dodged too, so try that.

Sweep - He flies up into the air and sweeps down to hit you for some damage.

Flying tail whip* - This move is stupidly annoying. He flys over you and cancels your lock on, then smacks you over from above. Its stupidly painful, and since it disrupts your lock on you will have a hard blocking it.

Tail whip* - He turns his ass towards and swings his tail. It looks slow, but be warned, this will probabl crush your guard and leave you under his tail, doing big damage. Its not advised to dodge it either, so just run far away when you see him do this.

Fire breath - Not only does this deplete alot of stamina when blocked, it does ridiculous damage and staggers you. Just back the hell away when he does this.

Aerial Fire breath - Just Fire breath, but in the air. Heavily telegraphed, so you can just back away when he does this.

Lightning Storm* - A new, dangerous attack that the Gargoyles got in "Dark Souls 2". They do a quick charged lightning bolt that spreads out into a fairly large area. You have some time to react, so just roll away.


This seems like a really extensive move list, and it is, but you don't have to worry as much. Most of the moves the Belfry Gargoyles have are similar to the ones that they had in the previous game. You are fighting 5 gargoyles, with the maximum of 3 ganging up on you at once. This sounds terrible, and it is, but at this point of the game, the gargoyles wouldn't be 3 shotting you unless you're in the champions covenant, so not all hope is lost. Each gargoyle can use every one of these attacks, but as long as you keep your cool and chop away at these assholes one at a time, you'll win this.


Its always good to get up close and personal.

The gargoyles mostly attack at mid range with their massive halberds. They have a few basic swing variations, basically horizontal or vertical, and their combos can go up to 3 hits depending on how healthy they are. At this point, you are mostly safe, since these guys don't do a lot of stamina chip on block, and even if they do connect, the damage isn't too devastating. It is however, if they hit you all 3 at once. The game is very generous with its arena here, so you can run around to kite these guys, separate them, or just to find a safe spot to heal OR duel with the gargoyle.


More so than in the previous game, the gargoyles love to take to the skies more, meaning that you'll have to deal with a lot of aerial attacks. In a way, this is good. In the air, their attacks may be harder to avoid, but they are generally more predictable. As long as one gargoyle remains in the sky, you can spend more time on the others. Also note that the gargoyles tend to get really trigger happy with their fire breaths, so be sure to steer clear.


As you kill gargoyles, more will appear to replace their fallen comrades. These guys all share one health bar now, so it'll be awhile before that thing whittles down. As usual, be wary of attacking them from the back, as they have a habit to swing their axe tails to crush your health and/or stamina bar. When these guys get low, they'll use a new attack called lightning storm, which covers quite a decent AOE and does good damage. Be special careful about this once since you have little time to react, be ready to roll.


Wait wait, everybody hold the f**k up and let me heal.

Since these buggers only have 1400 health a piece they WILL go down really quickly, one by one I mean. As you thing up their numbers the battle gets easier, and when you finally narrow them down to 2 and then finally 1, the battle becomes a breeze. Defeating these 5 guys give you 25000 souls, so its 5000 each. Quite worth the effort I say.


Next time we FINALLY move on to a different path. Peace.



Opening Songs
OP 1 - Sen No Tsubasa (Livetune ft. Takuro Sugawara)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Brand New World (Ayami)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Supernatural

Episodes: 12



So "Hamatora" got a second season, as we expected. But I didn't really expect it to be so soon, considering how it wasn't exactly the best thing ever. "Re:Hamatora" as a sequel, actually performs rather well on some ends, but weaker on others. In a way, it tells a better, more focused story (something that the original did rather poorly), but sacrifices some awesomeness in terms of the action scenes. I would like to say that if you enjoyed the old "Hamatora" for its ridiculousness and interesting character abilities, you won't find too much of that here. Instead, we get a whole season of its more serious side, which is average at best. It gets too predictable for its own good, and while the show has its moments, its too centered on a character that's honestly not very interesting. With the series coming to a close and many characters left under-developed, it feels lazy and maybe rushed. At least its not horrible, there's that.



Bring out the guy squad.

Ultimately the opening song in "RE:Hamatora" sounds very similar to "Flat", the opening theme of the first season. Its also by Livetune, just that this time, its a different singer who goes by Takuro Sugawara. Its nice and all, but there's really not much in terms of variety here. The ending theme is "Brand New World" by Ayami, which is a...slow song. As we all know, I hate slow songs, so its not surprising that this isn't really up my alley.



Rating: 7.0/10



It does some good, but that's pretty much it. Its SOME good, and that's in its story telling. The story is a lot more straightforward and SO much easier to follow. Plus, it makes sense, even if its not much. There's a common enemy this time around, and the show doesn't beat around the bush about who they are or how the characters reach them. In a way, its makes more sense, and since there isn't much time wasted on ridiculous side adventures, the anime gets to the point s much quicker, and that's a plus. However, there isn't much in terms of cool, action scenes or incredibly surprising scenarios. What's known as surprising has already been shown in season 1, what we have here is just another random bunch of new super powered freaks, nothing too interesting here as the new guys don't really have powers that blow your mind. Basically what you see here, you've seen before in the previous season, and that does it better.


If Honey says so, it must be true!

The story follows the dynamic detective duo Hamatora once again. Following the events of the first season, after Moral was killed, Nice was also shot by Art, leading to his death. The folks over at the bar were holding a memorial service for him, as the discrimination against Millennium holders continue to rise, Hamatora was starting its age of decline. However, a client showed up, her job being the killing of a rising star. After all sorts of debate, it was decided that Hamatora be brought back into action, but without Nice, there would be no Hamatora. So a replacement volunteered herself, and that person is Hajime. She may not be half the brains or power of Nice, but she tries her hardest to fill up the shoes of Nice...who isn't gone for as long as we'd imagine.


"RE:Hamatora" actually concludes the "Hamatora" franchise rather nicely. I guess it wasn't a really amazing franchise to begin with, but at least it ended without too much major problems. The show did have its share of good and interesting characters, but ultimately, its rather predictable plot made for a fun but shallow experience. If you just want to watch this for the brainless, but good looking battles, you'll enjoy yourself.


Peace.