TNT: Everyone Else is a Returnee Book 06 by Toika

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the sixth set of chapters in Yu IlHan’s adventures. It’s Everyone Else is a Returnee Book 06 by Toika!

Plot Synopsis: Having adopted a dragon as his son, Yu IlHan has set up his armor and weapon shop Vanguard that sells equipment to those who helped him out during prior events, like Kang MiRae and her group. But the storm is only intensifying and what is coming towards Earth is something even Yu IlHan wasn’t expecting to happen….

Plot: This is a fun set of chapters, mostly because it really sets Mir up as a badass in his own right. I won’t say much other than that, because it would really be too spoilerific.

Characters: Mir was probably my favorite character in this set of chapters, although MiRae and YuNa were great as well.

Overall: The story has really taken off now, and the ride only continues to get more intense from here on out. If you aren’t reading this series yet, you really need to do so.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday.

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Bookish Wednesday: Best of 2017

Hey all I’m back with a short post for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. It’s my Best of 2017!

Best Novel Overall: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. This should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this column frequently. I love Sanderson for his amazing works of fiction that are simply outstanding. Oathbringer is the third in the Stormlight Archives sub-series of the Cosmere mega-series, and covers so many amazing events that has huge impacts on the rest of the Cosmere potentially. So many interesting things happened in Oathbringer that when I was done with it a full week and half before it released for sale, thanks to Tor sending me a review copy, I was left with the realization that I had just made myself wait even longer than most people would have to wait for the next in the series. I’d call it a buzzkill to the emotional aftermath of finishing that book, but it wasn’t. I’m just excited to see what fellow 17th Shard members will dig up.

Best Debut Work: Morningwood, Book 01 in the Everybody Loves Large Chests series, by Neven Iliev. I mentioned it briefly in my post on this book, but I loved listening to this in audiobook form. Jeff Hays did an amazing job at narrating this book. I can’t wait for further entries in this series to come out in Audiobook format, so I can enjoy the various hijinks that will occur and the mayhem that follows.

That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday.

Movie Monday: Blazing Saddles

For my Inaugural Movie Monday post, I’m covering my favorite movie of all time. It’s Blazing Saddles!

Plot Synopsis: In the American frontier of 1874, construction on a new railroad will soon be going through Rock Ridge, a town inhabited exclusively by white people with the surname Johnson. The conniving attorney general Hedley Lamarr wants to force Rock Ridge’s residents to abandon their town, thereby lowering land prices. After he sends a gang of thugs, led by his flunky Taggart, to shoot the sheriff and trash the town, the townspeople demand that Governor William J. Le Petomane appoint a new sheriff to protect them. Lamarr persuades the dim-witted Le Petomane to appoint Bart, a black railroad worker who was about to be executed for starting a fight. A black sheriff, he reasons, will offend the townspeople, create chaos, and leave the town at his mercy.

Plot: First let me get this out of the way, this is purely a satire. I do not condone the usage of slurs or racial epithets. However the usage here in the film is to point out the obvious bigotry in the usage of such things. Okay with that out of the way, Blazing Saddles is absolutely not for children. However my Dad, who I love dearly and respect immensely, showed it to me when I was 8, so this film had a lot of influence on me growing up. If you ever thought I had a twisted sense humor, or my sense of morality was more than a bit askew, this film might be part of the reason. I always will love Mel Brooks films, because they are almost all funny with few, if any, really sad endings. Blazing Saddles is my favorite of the bunch and I love this film for it’s usage of comedy to show that bigotry is stupid.

Characters: The entire cast is just a mish-mash of comedy and side stitch inducing laughter. However my favorite might just be Gene Wilder as the Waco Kid. Or I just might like him as an actor the most. Either way I enjoyed the entire cast, even if we were obviously meant to hate certain characters, they were done in such a way that I really didn’t hate them too much.

Cinematography: This isn’t a Lucasfilm production, in fact the stage props are so blatant sometimes it’s hilarious. Okay you can stop pulling out pitchforks to gut me with, I couldn’t resist doing that.

Overall: If you’ve never watched Blazing Saddles, you need to stop whatever you’re doing (assuming your not at work or something like that) and go watch it right now. Like seriously, it’s one of my favorite movies of all time.

For those who like: Comedy, Great Plot, Laughing, Amazing Cast of Characters, Their sides aching from laughing so much, Excellent Cinematography, Not being able to breathe from lack of oxygen due to laughing so hard. (Are you sensing a pattern here?)

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate all of that?

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.

Anime Sunday: Losers of Fall 2017

Hey all for this week’s Anime Sunday I’m covering the less successful shows, in my opinion, of the last season. It’s my Losers of Fall 2017!

Juni Taisen: It was somewhat interesting, but frankly it was just too bloody with little to no reason about the why being explored. Sure there’s the Wish granted at the end, but I feel like there is just so much backstory of the actual Zodiac Wars that could’ve been explored that it was overshadowed by the incredibly messed up lives of the participants we got to see in flashbacks each episode.  This is possibly the closest series in this post to actually not being on it. That being said it seems like it was just an overly violent series for the sake of shock and awe. So that’s why I’m putting it on this list.

UQ Holder: I expected that it’d devolve into Fan Service-laden sequences frequently, although that is what Akamatsu is known for so maybe that’s not a surprise. But I just couldn’t enjoy the series all that much. Something was lacking compared to the original Negima Manga and just wasn’t conveyed through this Adaptation. That’s why I’m putting on this list.

Black Clover: Like I said in my impressions post of this series, it could just be called SCREAMING the Anime. This lack a lot of the charm that has been so prevalent in other series prior to this like Bleach (with it’s snappy musical soundtracks) or the emotional rollercoaster that is One Piece. Frankly this was a huge disappointment, and I’m probably not going to look into reading the original source material because of how off putting this adaptation was.

That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday. Did I miss a series that you felt deserved to be on it, or disagree with what I put in it? Leave your responses in the comments below!

Retro Game Friday: Opoona

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure game. It’s Opoona!

Plot Synopsis: The planet Landroll was impacted by a large meteorite composed of crystallized dark energy. Half of the star, once lush and verdant, died from the impact, becoming the Deadlands. Life for the survivors changed drastically; the impact caused a shift in gravity, causing the sun to become tidally locked to the planet. Species died and vegetation withered in the heat; mysterious creatures, known as Rogues, emerged from the meteorite and began to attack people. Humans eventually built sturdy glass domes over Landroll’s surviving cities. Sanctuary, an island floating above the northern pole, was unaffected and habitable areas outside the domes became the wild lands.

Several hundred years after the meteorite impact, Opoona and his siblings, Copoona and Poleena, are on a family vacation from the star Tizia with their parents, Momeena, Dadeena and co-pilots Troc and Noix, travelling in a spaceship to Landroll. Momeena tells Opoona that her brother, Roidman, lives on the planet doing research on how to reduce the Rogue population. Shortly after, the spaceship is attacked by mysterious dark energy, and the three children are placed into separate escape pods before the spaceship crashes on Landroll.

Three days after the crash landing, Opoona awakens from a coma in Tokione Dome and is informed of the incident, and told that his parents are being treated by Sages in Sanctuary.

Plot: The plot is okay, but rather simplistic. It’s not super amazing or terrible, but mediocre. That’s probably why this game is so damn obscure.

Gameplay: The gameplay isn’t a classic turn based combat like you might expect of a JRPG. It’s closer to a Tales of Game, although maybe comparing it to Ni no Kuni would be better. If Ni no Kuni had no minions.

Art: The art hasn’t aged well, which is to be expected of both a game that was made in 3D and a game made for the Wii. Sorry Nintendo lovers, but almost every third party Wii game looked like crap.

Music: I don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: An easily skippable game, that being said if you get the chance to play it for cheap or free, you might as well give it a shot right?

For those who like: JRPGs, Simplistic Art Styles, Real Time Combat Systems.

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

Bookish Wednesday: Morningwood by Neven Iliev

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with what might be my favorite work from a debut author of the past year. It’s Morningwood, Book 01 in the Everybody Loves Large Chests series, by Iliev!

Plot Synopsis: Large chests are said to encompass all manner of hopes and dreams. Men covet them. Women envy them. But one fact holds true – everyone wants to get their hands on some big ones. The same holds true for one intrepid adventurer – a strapping young lad by the name of Himmel. Armed with his grandfather’s trusty longsword and the dream of being the strongest, he sets out on the journey of a lifetime! It is sure to be a long and dangerous road, fraught with danger! And it all starts with a simple test – reach Level 5 in the dungeon called the ‘newbie zone’ and earn the right to become a full-fledged adventurer! However, such things get hopelessly derailed when his adolescent mind beholds an exposed chest for the first time. A fateful meeting that would inevitably lead his life in a direction he never even dreamed of!

Plot: Now hold on before you start thinking I’ve absolutely lost my mind and reaching for the shotgun or pitchfork.  I want you to really look at the two definitions of the word Chest depicted in the picture above. Got it? If not just read the first chapter, it’s pretty freaking short, so even if you read at a like 10 words a minute you’ll finish it in no more than 10 minutes. (I might be exaggerating a bit). Now hopefully with your hands free of any sharp or explosive implements, I want to say that this isn’t what you’re thinking. It sounds incredibly immature, and I’ll say that the author wrote that for his actual Amazon page’s book description, but he did it for a very good reason. Go read that first chapter, you’ll get it. Now with all that said and done, EBLLC is a masterwork of comedy that pokes fun at the LitRPG and Video Game genres as a whole and it’s a hilarious ride.

That being said, there are some really risque parts, and fight scenes can get detailed. So kids absolutely, without question, not read this. It is NOT for kids. It’s a fairly short book, but I loved every freaking minute, I recently listened to it again while I was sick right before the Christmas weekend, and was having to hold back my laughter to avoid starting a coughing fit. Let’s just say that Josh Hays does an awesome job with this book.

Characters: I won’t get into the cast, because that would be spoiler territory. That being said I like our Lead Character quite a bit. He’s absolutely not what he appears to be. And after reading the book please don’t kill me for that last sentence. Neither is the rest of the cast, but I will say I enjoy every main character.

Overall: If you love Video Games, at all, and you aren’t a kid, you have to read or even better yet listen to this book. It’s an absolute must listen to for any gamer.

For those who like: Video Games, Comedy, Action, Adventure, LitRPGs, Stupendous Plot, Superb Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but serious it’s a must listen to.