Showing posts from August, 2011

Flashpoint 5 Thoughts *Spoilers!*

So it's finally here. The event that, good or bad, superhero comic fans haven't been able to shut up about since it was announced what came after it. DC Comics cancelling their entire comic line-up and relaunching 52 brand-new number one issues.

Seeing the resulting mess from DC trying to do little more than continue to make money and bring more new people into comics helped me get over internet forums, but other than that it's just been an anxious wait for me. This is a big deal in comics, the likes of which even Crisis on Infinite Earths couldn't quite bring to us. DC's taking a huge risk and if it fails, we might very well be without superhero comic books altogether. (Marvel isn't good enough that it can float them solo.)

A lot of people might be happy with that. Me personally, I'd be miserable. Say what you want, but superheroes REALLY thrive in comic books. Everywhere else, they're a very niche part of the whole. At BEST we'll get fo…

Sage's Next Anime...

Love this universe. Tsukasa Hojo creates such a unique universe--one in which the hero Saeba Ryo can be both the biggest bad-ass and the goofiest pervert in all of Japan. ("You don't live very long if you cross the City Hunter.") With the exception of Kaori, every recurring character in this series is a joy to see return. (Even Kaori has her moments.)

The first 52 episodes are almost like a perfected way to write a series with a formulaic plot without ever FEELING formulaic. Nearly every episode Ryo's just saving a beautiful lady from people trying to kill her, or kidnap her, or whatever, and in most of them they fall in love with Ryo.

...And yet, despite that, each episode always seems brand-new and interesting. The details for each case are so different that you can marathon the series and not get bored.

And that's why I'm going back for the second round. From the opening, it looks like we'll be seeing more of Saeko, which isn't a bad thin…

Song of the Week: Pharoah Monche, Styles P and Phonte - Black Hand Side

Guess with this I can say goodbye to Phonte rhyming? Hopefully not, but it was just vocals on this. Still interesting.

Song of the Day: Yukali - If this is Love

I'm extremely late to the party, but gimme a break. Just getting back into the Japanese R&B/Hip-Hop game. And this is one of the first tracks I ran across. FIRE.

...No comment on the male singer's name and trim, though. I comment.

Anime Flashback: Flame of Recca

Flame of Recca's another show I started over the summer. I'd been meaning to watch for quite sometime, but it just wasn't a big priority. The manga was one of the first ones I read as a teenager when I got my first computer, and to this day it's still a favorite of mine.

The anime, however, finished ages before the manga, and I was never a fan of incomplete adaptations. Particularly when the final arc is omitted, leaving the anime a shadow of it's manga.

Still, I had to see what they'd done to it, so I gave the series a shot. Series synopsis as described by AniDB:

Recca Hanabishi is a ninja, but is nearly killed in an accident. However, a girl named Yanagi heals him with her powers. Later, the two are tracked down by a woman who attacks them. She tells Recca to ignite his flame, but he is clueless. Just as she hurts Yanagi, Recca releases a powerful flame upon the woman. She is excited to see this. It turns out that Recca was a baby, from the Hokage C…

Becoming a Better Duelist 2: Running Under the Limit

Back with another edition of Becoming a Better Duelist. We've covered the basics of deck construction, and why it's best to stick as close to 40 cards as possible. (It's something that's true in most any card game--the minimum number of cards maximizes the consistency your deck has.) Now, let's delve a little deeper into the concept *of* consistency, and while we're at it, I'll reveal another truth: Your deck doesn't *need* 40 cards. It's true. Most decks can accomplish their win condition with about 25-30 and the rest become cards to shut their opponent's actions down, or worse, "filler" cards that you probably won't need in your average duel.

And even if it did need forty cards and smashed at tournaments--eventually, the banlist will hit your deck, limiting the most essential parts to your deck so that it's not so overpowering everyone has to run the same deck to be competitive. So then what? Do you give up on the de…

Song of the Week: Mic Banditz - So High So Fine

Chill song for the first week of school. Stay relaxed folks, and remember it's just fifteen weeks.

Anyway, this is by a favorite hip-hop group of mine, the Mic Banditz, off the album Johnny Astro and the Diamond Crooks. Enjoy.

Song of the Week: m-flo - What It Is

"It makes me blow how you talkin' smack 'bout us, we paid them dues/It ain't just what you see/truth lies beneath, it's the chemistry..."

Verbal, Takahashi Taku, and Lisa kept me listening to hip-hop when the only other good thing out was Kanye West. They had a cool, early 90's vibe to their first two albums that kept them on repeat in my CD player--and this is one of their best songs.

Becoming a Better Duelist 1: Slimming Your Deck Size

After a brief bit of thinking, I've decided to start doing columns for my friends (most of whom are into Yu-Gi-Oh) about how to improve their game and become a better player. Of course, by no means am I saying I'm the best player ever, or even the best qualified to do this column--but I'm the one with the blog.

So, before we get to advanced deck building, card advantage, or budget playing or some of the other things we'll eventually cover, let's start with the basics: Deck Size. Now, when you're done snickering at how that sounds in your head, I'll talk about what that's so important.

Done yet? Ok, cool.

Now, the first mistake a rookie player makes, is looking at all the cards they *want* to run, and figuring that adding more, is better for you because more cards = more options. This is a fallacy.

In a 40 card deck, in which your opening hand is going to be five cards + draw phase, when you draw your opening hand (without your draw phase card), you&#…

Song of the Week: 88-Keys and Phonte

Another reason why I'm a huge fan of Phonte. Dude keeps it real when he talks about relationships.

"When you told me you was on the patch...I ain't know you was talking 'bout the NICOTINE patch, motherfucker!!!"


Marvel Television: Mockingbird

That's Mockingbird above, another project on deck for Marvel Television. Currently "in development", which means it's entirely possible I'll never actually see it. Described as a "Peter Parker nerd", Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) is recruited to a secret organization. I'm not entirely sure what her origins are, but I did enjoy what I saw of her in Hawkeye and Mockingbird. My guess is that she'd be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and since the costume resembles spy outfits, hopefully there won't be a need to downplay the superhero elements.

Whether this finds a home on ABC Family remains to be seen, but for now I'm interested and will be doing my best to keep up with any information released about it.

A Reason to Buy a Wii Presents Itself

Super Sentai: Battle Ranger Cross. It's no secret I'm a Super Sentai fan, and Gokaiger has been one of my favorite series thus far (and is probably due for a mention on this blog at the halfway point), showing some of the most fun fight scenes in Sentai--and some great tributes. Recently, a video clip came out showcasing footage for the new Gokaiger video game, combining the Gokaiger, Goseiger, Shinkenger, Go-Onger, and Gorangers.

This gives me a reason to buy a Wii *and* learn Japanese (level 3 on the way), since it sounds like there's an actual story for this. Only complaint is that it's on a more low-end console. Can't wait for the WiiU to come out and then this trend of games without cool graphics can end. Still, the game looks fun and I think the Wii is region-free, so I may get one for the sole purpose of playing this game.

Zo! and Phonte - Everything She Wants cover

Zo! and Tigallo Love the 80's was one of my favorite albums from 2008. Featuring producer Zo! and lyricist/crooner Phonte (Tigallo), these two cats made some of the whitest songs ever (Africa? Take On Me? C'mon Son.) into some laid-back, smooth R&B joints that embarass most artists on BET right now.

And they just did it again, with this WHAM cover of Everything She Wants.

Zo! (feat. Phonte) - Everything She Wants (Wham! Cover) by mixtapemaestro

It makes me sad that Phonte does more work as a singer than a lyricist, but it's whatever so long as I'm getting dope tracks like this.

The original, for people who want to get their hipster on.

I'd never heard the original until today, but I love both of them. Apparently WHAM was way ahead of the game over a bunch of 90's R&B acts on broken relationships. Mad respect to the group now.

Overcoming the OK Plateau

This is something I don't often discuss with people: I'm rarely satisfied with my accomplishments.

That makes me like quite a few people, to be honest. The connecting line with them, however, is that people like that are usually very successful. Not being satisfied with one's accomplishments leads to continuously trying to outdo those accomplishments, leading to excellence, which is great. Most people excel at something, or a few things--they find out what their special skills are and choose to become greater at those skills. This leads to fame, money, whatever.

In my case, I feel like I'm not satisfied because, more often than not, I don't feel I'm that great at a given task to begin with. I've always felt like a B+ student. IE, I'm above-average at most things, but not amazing at anything.

Usually, that's because I reach a plateau in a given skill, or craft, and with no idea how to surpass that plateau, I stay at that level, while others ove…

Nanoha in a card game?! Sweet.

The coolest anime character ever, Nanoha-sama (of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha fame) is appearing in a video game about cards, Weiss Schwarz Portable.

...Along with the cast of Macross Frontier, Fate/Stay, and a couple other hugely popular franchises.

This game has a very low chance of being localized, but if they ever bring it here, I'll probably buy it, even though the Lady Nanoha and the Lady Fate aren't the center of this game. Trailer below, courtesy of Siliconera.

Heroes Fantasia: A Fanfic Videogame by Namco Bandai

Unfortunately there are no screens for this yet, but man...Heroes Fantasia sounds like a game I would've created in high school.

AndriaSang and Siliconera both reported this earlier today--Namco Bandai is working on an "Anime Crossover RPG" called Heroes Fantasia.

The game will feature characters from the following anime series:
Darker Than Black Ryusei no Gemini
Darker Than Black Kuro no Keiyakusha
Sorcerous Stabber Orphen
Sergeant Frog (Keroro Gunsou)
R.O.D Read or Die
Slayers Revolution
Rune Soldier (Mahou Senshi Riui)
Mai Hime

As a kid in high school I loved S'Cry'ed and Mahou Senshi Louie. And Mai-HiMe is one of my favorite anime series of all time. The truth is, I could not be more hyped about this thing. Hopefully we'll see an English release of this game, because it sounds amazing.

Screens and videos as soon as I get them.

Song of the Week: 88-Keys and Kanye West - Stay Up (Viagra)

This song appeared in my head for some reason. Gotta share it with everyone.

I miss when Kanye was relevant. Oh well. Song is still dope. Enjoy.

Hulk: Agents of S.M.A.S.H.??

This is kind of a hilarious announcement. I'm a little late with this one, but at the Marvel Television panel, the head of television at Marvel, Jeph Loeb, and writer Paul Dini announced a Hulk cartoon series airing on Disney XD.

There's only a picture for now, no video:

Looks kinda weird, but nothing being written with the Hulk right now adapts well to animation, so the best thing to do is combine the new ideas they've been coming up with and throw it at the wall. Still--it looks crowded. Hulk, She-Hulk (Jen Walters, I think), Skaar (Hulk's son), and Red Hulk? I think they're in danger of watering down the concept. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the Hulk but I'll give a series a try.

...And, hopefully we'll be seeing a Marvel superhero block on Disney XD in the future, between this and Ultimate Spider-Man.