Opening Songs
OP 1 - Speed And Friction (Amazarashi)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Mikazuki (Sayuri)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Episodes: 11

"Ranpo Kitan: Game Of Laplace" is probably a show you've never heard off. If you haven't, then good on you, because its most definitely not worth your time and you'll probably find similar but better shows out there. Even if you want a mystery/horror themed show, this isn't the place to look for it, I'm highly convinced of that. Its a show that starts off deceptively well, then ends up being overly complicated and pointless at the very end, even almost negating the entire point of the show. If you somehow did end up watching this one to the very end like I did, then you'll feel my pain in more ways than one. One of the worst things a show can do is to set itself up to be promising, then failing to be anything when it matters. "Ranpo Kitan" has its moments, but they are far too few to count in a show that's meant to be somewhat serious.

The only thing this show has going for it is its tier 1 trap protagonist.

The opening song is "Speed And Friction" by Amazarashi. Its quite an uninspired song to be used as an opening theme, but it actually sounds quite catchy. For a show of this caliber, its actually a song I enjoy quite a fair bit, and it sure fits for a mystery/horror show, too bad the show doesn't do both very well. The ending theme is "Mikazuki" by Sayuri, which is actually pretty freaking good as an ending theme. When the first few opening lines kick in, I always feel a bit hyped up. The entire song itself is nice, with a steady flow of strong vocals throughout, there's little to not like about it.

Rating: 6.0/10

Its certainly a show that I won't be recommending. The show itself starts off decently well enough, and introduces itself as quite an odd ball mystery show. The execution was fine for awhile, then it slowly started to get extremely repetitive. Despite one extremely well done episode (which, by the way, was a freaking BACKSTORY episode on a MINOR character), most of the show is dreadfully dull, failing to bring out the most of its "mystery" theme. Even if some of the subplot arcs made sense, the way that they were presented was incredibly unsatisfying. The main characters are quite dull, dreadfully so. The typical badass child detective, horrified best friend and a super cute empty shell of a protagonist aren't exactly interesting as a trio. Sure, there are amusing side characters along the way, but they play such a small part in the overall story that its insignificant. The final arc that summarizes everything is also so full of bullshit that most will just give up right there, inclusive of its incredibly dull, "true villain". 

What did I say? A tier 1 trap!

Kobayashi is a regular middle school boy that's got a problem. A big, BIG problem. The dude is pretty much a psycho path, he thinks his life is boring, and goes as far as to completely blank out anyone that he meets in real life that isn't interesting to him. Living a completely comfortable life is a big no no for this young man, and luckily for him, he was framed for murder. While he was taken to the police station, he was brought in for questioning as the prime suspect. The case was taken by lead investigator Akechi, a 17 year old genius teenager prodigy detective. Upon meeting Akechi, Kobayashi had a spark in him, thinking that his life might get interesting if he followed him. Being determined as all hell, he solved the murder case with the help of Akechi and someone got accepted into being his assistant. Together, they tackle on a series of mysterious murder cases that might shake the world.

"Ranpo Kitan" is just not a show that most people will sit through, myself included, even though I pretty much forced myself through the final few episodes. If you want mystery shows, the anime world has a lot more to offer, so there's no reason to dump yourself into the world of "Ranpo Kitan" by the lure of its incredibly adorable trap protagonist. 

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Literally (One Punch Man review)

Opening Songs
OP 1 - The Hero! (Jam Project)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - I'll Find It Before The Stars For You (Hiroko Moriguchi)

Genre: Action, Comedy

Episodes: 12

It's criminal how late I am to the party for "One Punch Man". Despite watching a multitude of clips of it from Youtube without even watching the real thing. I held it off until late 2015/early 2016 before actually watching the show....for whatever reason. When I finally did watch it though, I was overfilled with manliness and pride, even the clips I already spoiled myself on Youtube with were spectacular. From start to end, "One Punch Man" is a great envisioning of how its like to be an overpowered junkie that pretty much defeats any and all enemies standing in your way. Instead of it being a story of a hero trying to take the top, its instead one which starts our hero from the top, trying to find something that can even be a challenge to him. Go into it expecting that, and you'll find one of the most enjoyable and well animated action franchises to date.

Step back, its time for the big boys to play.

"One Punch Man"'s opening theme is probably extremely iconic and popular right now because of the success of the anime. Can't blame everyone though, because "The Hero!" by Jam Project is probably the best song in the world right now that can be used to represent "One Punch Man". Its loud, its scream echo into your soul, and it makes your manliness burst out from your soul. Its pretty good as a song, as the opening to OPM, its amazing. The ending is "I'll Find It Before The Stars For You" by Hiroko Moriguchi. Its a pretty slow and meek ending song, not much else to say here. I feel that it doesn't really fit into the OPM universe.

Rating: 8.0/10

In terms of personal enjoyment, OPM is incredible. Its probably one of the animes I enjoyed the most in 2015, bar very, VERY few others. But here's the thing, it may be incredibly enjoyable, but there's not really much to it. Its very much, as I explained earlier, a very straightforward story about an incredibly overpowered hero that starts a story at the very peak of his strength. Its all about this hero that can overcome anything and everything without even trying, and the rest of the plot is pretty much other heroes that are considered gods in this world who are trying to reach his level. Its an action show, but when the main character is concerned, there is no action, because he literally kills everything in one punch. Otherwise, the animation is top tier, the music is brilliant, and the visual flair is absolutely stunning. For those action show nuts, this is perfect. And of course, its pretty funny too, when our heroes aren't fighting, there are a lot of laughs to be had.

Well, you f**ked it up.

Hero Saitama was once an average man who didn't have anything that he could be proud of. No job, no money, no nothing, he has a shamble of a man. However, a fateful encounter with a crab monster changed his life forever. After beating that monster and saving some people, he decided to become a hero. He trained and trained and trained. He trained so freaking hard that he became bald. He got so strong to the point that he could kill everything in a single punch. At that point, nothing was a challenge for him, and he regretted becoming this powerful. One day, he meets Genos, a half human cyborg, and defeats an enemy in front of the young man. Genos is impressed by his power, and decides to follow him for life to understand the source of his power. He then unofficially becomes Saitama's apprentice, and the 2 go on adventures that can never be stopped.

OPM has become one of the most beloved action anime franchises within such a short time span. Its amazing animation quality and visual style is surely something to behold. One can only wonder what kind of surprises are in stall for this epic punch of a show.

Today we'll explore more RPG music. More specifically, the random encounter themes. Sure, most RPGs have sick boss themes, but when it boils down to it, having your player head bang or simply jazz to fighting normal enemies is pretty important. While its rare, there are some RPGs out there that provide some incredibly catchy, normal battle themes. Here are a few good ones.

Song: Furnace Of War
From: Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl
Artist: Yuzo Koshiro

First thing's first, Yuzo is a god (probably will do an OST post featuring only songs by him), so its no surprise that he composes one of the godliest regular battle themes I have heard in a JRPG. "Furnace Of War" simply doesn't hold back, its a powerful song that uses all the right, epic instruments to make it shine, and boy does it shine hard. It sounds absolutely epic, and it sounds like even a regular battle is a fight that has your entire team struggle to their very last breaths. Very intense, I love it, couldn't have asked for anything more when you're exploring Gladsheim within the game.

Song: Normal Battle
From: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Artist: Shoji Meguro, Toshiko Tasaki, Kenichi Tsuchiya

While I was many, many, MANY years late to the "SMT: Nocturne" party, I still managed to play the game via a PS2 emulator. It wasn't the best experience to have to play it that way, but I was glad I got to experience what the game is all about. The game is no bloody joke, and so is this battle theme. Simply named "Normal Battle", this music is plenty kick ass. It sounds both sinister AND groovy as you kick some random demon's butt as you grind its face into the floor. Asserting dominance on the simple fodder enemies that try to stand in your way has NEVER felt as satisfying.

Song: Ooparts
From: The World Ends With You
Artist: Takeharu Ishimoto

Like music from many games, I believe "TWEWY" deserves an entire post of its own, simply because all of its themes sound so freaking unique. The game NEVER has a dull moment with the RIDICULOUS array of different themes playing over the background. Regular battles included, and while the game has its share of simply ear-gasmic battle themes, "Ooparts" always did sound the catchiest among its peers. I believe this one plays when your partner is Joshua, and my goodness, its one hell of an amazing song. Its super catchy, the beats are so in sync, and the vocals are simply INTOXICATING (in a good way), even though its a mixture of Engrish and Japanese. 

Song: Unchained
From: Unchained Blades

Artist: Tsutomu Narita

A criminally underrated game, "Unchained Blades" was one of those games that nobody probably ever heard of except for a very, VERY small minority. Despite that, I did like the game quite a fair bit, even if it did get a little bit repetitive towards the end. The main battle theme however, kicked some major ass. It sounded epic, and the opening drum + violin sequence was SUPER badass, even if your opponents ended up being a couple of weak, plant monsters. 

Song: Dark Creatures
From: Child Of Light
Artist: Cœur de pirate

"Child Of Light" is a great RPG and probably one of the best ones made by a non-Japanese company, this is coming from a JRPG lover. This game does so many things right, and the OST is just one of those things. "Dark Creatures", being a regular battle theme, sounds so criminally epic. Its like you're facing off against a horde of evil creatures, AS A LITTLE GIRL WITH A SWORD. Its basically what it is actually, and I love this theme oh so much for that. Its fully orchestrated, and that only makes it better.

Song: Time To Make History
From: Persona 4: Golden
Artist: Shoji Meguro

Yeah you saw that right, I NEVER played "Persona 4: Golden" because I don't own a damned vita, but I can without a shadow of a doubt, "Time To Make History" easily takes a freaking dump on "Reach Out To The Truth". Sure, the vanilla battle theme kicks plenty of ass, but its weaker than both P3 battle themes IMO and when "Time To Make History" dominates BOTH of those themes, you know there's a huge different. It just sounds so much more energetic and lively, making each new random encounter give you something to look forward to... Which is obviously headbanging until your eyeballs fly out of your eye sockets.

Song: Battle Theme 1
From: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Artist: Motoi Sakuraba

I have just one question for Nintendo. Where. The. F**k. Is "Golden Sun 4"?! I NEVER played the original 2 "Golden Sun" games, but this 3rd one KNOCKED my socks off! Anyway, ranting aside, I feel that Motoi Sakuraba shines best at creating songs with retro sounds, like this one. Being the very first battle theme of the game, it sure sounds awfully epic, and I can just hear the sounds of monsters falling to me unleashing the wrath of my spirits! Oh I miss this game.

Opening Songs
OP 1 - Brand New World (Shiena Nishizawa)

Ending Songs
ED 1 - Waiting For The Rain (Maaya Sakamoto)

Genre: Action, Science Fiction

Episodes: 12

As someone who loves his typical sci-fi futuristic high school harems, its seriously no surprise that the very concept of "Gakuen Toshi Asterisk" had me hooked. I mean, its a harem, high school action anime that runs most of its fights in a tournament styled setting, and after the shenanigans of "Shokugeki No Soma", I could not wait for more tournament styled fights. The anime community didn't take "Asterisk" too well, mostly because its another generic harem anime with the first episode having the protagonist stumbling into the main heroine while she's changing....a setting that's WAY too overused for these types of anime. All those aside though, look past its generic first few episodes and I actually found the first season of "Asterisk" to be quite enjoyable, with the show having its own share of interesting characters. Still, its a harem, so harem nutcases like myself can immediately jump into this one.

No shortage of generic looking heroines!

I won't lie when I say that the opening theme of "Asterisk" got me pretty f**king hyped, and its one of the reasons why I wanted to watch it in the first place. "Brand New World" by Shiena Nishizawa is a pretty nice techno styled opening theme (though admitedly, the techno parts are few and far between) that's very nice to listen to. Its fast, the opening animation visuals are flashy, and the song itself is catchy. The ending theme, "Waiting For The Rain" by Maaya Sakamoto, is a slow paced song with again, some electro based instruments used in it. Nothing much, the opening theme is leagues better to listen to.

Rating: 7.5/10

I actually think its better than most people it is. Sure, it starts off generic, and yes, its another tournament styled high school fighting show, but at least for the parts that matter the most (the action), there are some really nice fights. The show's weaker points come in some of its heroines, they're pretty bland and the show puts them in some incredibly predictable situations. I didn't think I actually liked any of the main heroines too much, though the show DOES introduce some other side characters which are a lot more interesting (too bad they're not really expanded upon too much, probably saved for season 2). How the setting of the world is set is pretty much like "Index", an island city that's filled with academies, each brewing up their own star students to take part in the "Phoenix Festa" to bring pride to their school. Its a simple concept that works well, and I liked the way it was presented.

Of course! Everyone wants the MC's attention!

Amagiri Ayato looks like your average high school student in an island city full of super powered teens with wacky weapons and fighting skills. Nothing really stands out from his appearance and his personality doesn't really show anything. However, deep down, he's trained in the Amagiri family dojo, and is one hell of a skilled sword fighter, though he doesn't brag too much about this. He enrolls into Seidokan academy to fight for the school and to enter the annual Phoenix Festa tournament in hopes to win it. On his very first day, he accidentally stumbles unto a girl changing in her room by entering through her window. This girl would soon battle him for pride's sake, and she would introduce herself as Julius, one of the strongest students in the academy. After surprisingly holding his own, he is brought to Claudia, the student council president, who briefs him on his task. The festa only accepts pairs as entries to the tournament, so naturally, he would need a partner. With the introduction of more and more girls that seem to know Ayato, things start becoming more complicated.

"Gakuen Toshi Asterisk" was a good watch more me. It wasn't fantastic or amazing, but it stands out enough to have some sort of impact with me, though on the fan service and heroine side, there isn't much to see here IMO. I'm hoping that season 2 shows us some more of the characters that were more interesting that AREN'T the main heroines.