Anime Sunday: Ryuo Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m back with my first look at a Winter 2018 series. It’s my Ryuo Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: Kuzuryū Yaichi is a prodigy shogi player who won the title of Ryūō at the age of 16. Following his victory he has been in a slump, until he is approached by Hinatsuru Ai, a 9-year-old girl who begs him to make her his disciple…

Plot: This isn’t a romantic comedy, from what I can see at least. This is purely based off the first episode, although there are moments where characters exhibit certain stereotypes commonly found in a romantic comedy, or horror.

Characters: Yaichi is our male lead, and he’s pretty interesting as is Ai. Yaichi’s a much more outgoing and forthright individual than Rei in 3-gatsu, but these two series couldn’t be more different from each other. 3-gatsu is all about overcoming mental and emotional trauma, while Ryuo seems to be more comedic. The only thing in common is that the male leads are both pro Shogi players. The rest of the cast is also interesting, but we really only get to meet Yaichi and Ai in this episode.

Art: The art is great, and while it’s not ufotable quality that doesn’t mean it’s anywhere near as terrible as Studio Deen.

Music: The musical score is good and fits the series well.

Overall: Definitely worth a watch, if only because this might turn into one of the more interesting series this season.

For those who like: Shogi, Slice of Life, Comedies, Great Lead Characters, Good Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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End of an Era

Hey all so I wasn’t at all expecting to have to write this post. So it will be rather brief, and while I’m not taking a break from writing, I am going to have to change my columns for a while, maybe permanently.

What’s Up?: So for those unaware Bato.to is shutting down permanently on the 18th of this month. It’s a huge loss to the Manga community at large, and while some of you might say “Michael they supported Pirates” That isn’t true. Any licensed series were not hosted on Batoto.

So Why Are Things Changing?: I used Batoto almost exclusively to find obscure series for my Manga Monday and Sensate Saturday columns. Losing easy access to such a large repository of content is going to seriously put a hamper on what I’ll be able to read for material to write about in those columns.  So things are going to have to change, maybe permanently.

What’s Changing?: Well obviously my Manga Monday and Sensate Saturday columns are going to be put on hold and replaced with something else. I’ve had a backup type of content in the wings in case something like this happened, although I wasn’t expecting it to occur because of Batoto shutting down. The Sensate Saturday series has a high chance of being permanently shelved in favor of that backup, and while I have tons of content to write about for that column that’s it. I do have a temporary solution for my Monday columns, however I have absolutely no confidence in that being a permanent solution due to the nature of what I’ll be writing about and my own personal disabilities and challenges. The worst case possibility that occurs is that I have to stop writing my Monday columns permanently after I run out of material for my temporary replacement of Manga Monday. Hopefully by the time I’ve run out of material the Manga translation scene will have calmed down enough. That however is an unknown and I can’t promise anything.

What Are You Going To Write About?: Well I’ll keep that under wraps for now, though I will say that Monday’s post is going to be fiery. That’s the sole hint you’ll be getting from me. If by some miracle someone manages to guess what I’m writing about and posts their guess in the comments I’ll be shocked. And yes this is a complete and shameless attempt to get people to post more comments on my posts.

That’s it, I hope you’ll all forgive me for having to do this, but circumstances have forced me to put plans in action that I was hoping I’d never have to do.

Retro Game Friday: Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Paper Mario. It’s Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door!

Plot Synopsis: The game opens with an introduction about a seaside town which was damaged by a cataclysm and consequently sunk into the depths of the earth. A town named Rogueport was later built at this site, with the fortunes of the lost kingdom fabled to exist behind the eponymous Thousand-Year Door, located in the ruins of the old town. Mario becomes involved when Princess Peach contacts him about a treasure map that she bought in Rogueport…

Plot: The plot is okay, but this isn’t anything like a Final Fantasy game in terms of story telling. The story is definitely aimed at a younger audience, which is fine because this is a Mario game. If you’re expecting gritty and hardcore violence, I’m sure any Mario game will not be what you’re looking for.

Gameplay: It plays a lot like the original Paper Mario, with most of the differences coming outside of battle in the forms of powers Mario gets to explore and solve puzzles with his partners. In fact that fact is probably the only downside to this game, it’s really not that much different from the original Paper Mario.

Art: It’s aged pretty well, but the art style of the Paper Mario series has always lent itself a timeless quality.

Music: The music is very much a Mario score, but that again isn’t surprising, this is a Mario game. It’s going to have familiar sounds.

Overall: This is a good sequel, but not a great one. If you really loved the first game, then Thousand-Year Door will probably be something you’ll want to play. Otherwise this can be a skippable game.

For those who like: Mario, RPGs, Turn-Based Combat, Puzzles, Good Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

 

TNT: Arifureta Volume 04 by Shirakome Ryo

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back to Hajime’s journey to get back home. It’s Arifureta Volume 04 by Shirakome Ryo!

Plot Synopsis: Having killed his classmate, Shimizu Yukitoshi, for trying to kill their teacher Aiko and destroy an entire town at the same time, Hajime left with Yue, Shea, and their newest member Tio for the next Great Labyrinth. At the same time Kaori and Shizuku along with Amanogawa Kouki and his party have been steadily conquering the Great Orcus Labyrinth in the hopes of finding Hajime who they still think is dead. What awaits both their teams are things no one could have seen coming…

Plot: This is probably one of my favorite volumes in the entire series, the reason why is incredibly spoilerific, but I will say it also includes character growth.

Characters: We get introduced to a couple new faces in this entry, but mostly we see old familiar faces from the previous volumes. Tio is still a shameless pervert though…. However of the newcomers my favorite is definitely Myuu, if only for what she brings to the story and the cast’s character growth.

Overall: An excellent addition to the series, this is where the story really starts to take off.

Bookish Wednesday: Soulkeeper by Brian Simons

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG, if anyone wants to recommend another genre to me, please by all means leave a comment below with a title suggestion and it’s genres. It’s Soulkeeper, Book 01 of the Travail Online series, by Brian Simons!

Plot Synopsis: Coral joined the immersive virtual reality video game Travail Online because her waitressing job, like so many other jobs, was automated by a growing robot workforce. She starts as a Seamstress, hoping to craft useful clothing in-game to sell for real life cash. The game, however, has other ideas…

Plot: The plot of this isn’t really amazing. I won’t spoil anything, but this has nothing really new going on for it, just a mishmash of various plot devices that are commonly used in both the Fantasy and LitRPG genres. Now this isn’t as bad as Unbound Deathlords, but it comes pretty close. The only thing preventing me from really tearing into Soulkeeper is the fact that the author didn’t try to write about and characterize Depression in a completely bullshit fashion, among various other faults that Deathlords had.

Characters: The cast of Soulkeeper is pretty boring, we’ve got a stereotypical Ice Queen, Immature Adult Asshole, Glutton and finally a Noob. Really, this cast is so generic that I’m not even going to bother saying anything else.

Overall: This is barely above trash bin material, but there are worse books to read. Just not very many.

For those who like: Mediocrity, Fantasy, LitRPG, Generic.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Video Game Tuesday: Swatting is Stupid

This week for Video Game Tuesday I wish I wasn’t writing this post.  Swatting is Stupid, among many other things.

Wait what?: So a little less than two weeks ago there was an incident in Wichita, Kansas (which is part of the US if you are unaware) where some asshole swatted a completely unrelated man who was fatally shot. Andrew Finch was the victim, and in respect to him and his family I won’t be naming the bastard who did the actual call.  I’ll just be referring to him as the “Asshole” from now on in this post.

What is Swatting?: Well I’m not talking about a playful slap or trying to squash a bug. I’m referring to the practice that has become a trend in recent years that has people falsely calling in highly dangerous situations into law enforcement agencies to interrupt other people. Whether they be streamers who regularly broadcast on Twitch to some poor sap who just handed someone else their ass, all these people are victims of an incredibly stupid stunt. I’m not going to call it a prank, because pranks don’t get people killed. It was really just a matter of time until this occurred, but the fact that it happened at all is incredibly telling of how toxic the online world can get.

Andrew Finch was a father and husband who didn’t even play online. So when Asshole lost in a game of Call of Duty he proceeded to Swat someone else thinking it was the person who had just beat him. It wasn’t, and it’s a very sad situation that occurred. Law Enforcement teams that are often termed as SWAT are frequently some of the mostly highly trained people in their respective forces, but even they make mistakes which can lead to tragic consequences.  In addition to actually taking care of situations where innocent lives can be lost because they didn’t act on a subtle cue on a regular basis, these teams are often among the first responders to arrive at a mass shooting situation. So they are under huge amounts of stress. While a portion of the blame goes towards the Law Enforcement teams of Wichita, it wouldn’t have even occurred if Asshole wasn’t being such a childish prick.

Asshole is now in custody and awaiting extradition to Kansas where he’ll be tried on multiple felony charges.

Wait you can get arrested for this?: Of course you’ll get arrested for pulling shit like Swatting. Making a false emergency call is a misdemeanor in the US according to a quick Google search while writing this post, but it can become a felony in certain situations. Such situations include calling in false threats, which is the main way Swatting occurs. For those unaware what the difference is, the general rule of thumb is that a misdemeanor is a crime in which you will go to jail, but not prison. Felonies on the other hand are crimes in which if you are found guilty of said crime you’ll go to a prison. There are differences, jails are short term while prisons are long term. So the general rule of thumb is that you go to jail for less than a year with a misdemeanor and you’ll be enjoying prison food for over a year if you commit a felony.

So moral of the story is really simple. DON’T SWAT. It’s stupid, dangerous and highly illegal.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. I’ll hopefully be back to a more regular post next week.

 

Manga Monday: Yuukoku no Moriarty by Takeuchi Ryousuke

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a really interesting Quick Review for you all. It’s Yuukoku no Moriarty, or Moriarty the Patriot, by Takeuchi Ryousuke!

Plot Synopsis: The story of Sherlock Holmes, reimagined with Moriarty as the protagonist and exploring his motivation in becoming the greatest criminal Britain has ever seen….

Plot: This isn’t a happy story, it doesn’t reimagine Moriarty into some noble hero. However if you ever wondered why Moriarty did what he did, this gives a good guess as to the explanation. I won’t spoil anything further, but I’ll just say I was hooked by the end of the chapter, I might even see about getting my Aunt to read this, as she loves Sherlock Holmes.

Characters: William is our lead character, and the rest of the cast is good as well. I won’t spoil anything, though we don’t get introduced to Sherlock yet in this first chapter.

Art: The art is excellent, easily meeting Shueisha’s standards. Given that this is are published by Shueisha that should come as no shock.

Overall: Yuukoku no Moriarty is quite an interesting read, and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves Sherlock Holmes.