Blogs

TGWTG's Community Blogs.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login

Anime

Posted by on in Anime

0
Hits: 25 0 Comments
Video shared by on in Anime

Tagged in: anime collection
0
Hits: 55 0 Comments
Video shared by on in Anime

Tagged in: anime collection
0
Hits: 84 0 Comments

Posted by on in Anime

Summer of 2014 has gone BOOM with the truly amazing anime "Zankyou no Terror"

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/animechair

Anime-Planet: http://www.anime-planet.com/users/AnimeChair

...
0
Video shared by on in Anime

0
Hits: 151 0 Comments

Posted by on in Anime
0

Posted by on in Anime
Good evening, addicts! Hide your kids, hide your wife, because it’s about to get tragic on tonight’s Netflix Adventure. Yes, sirree-bob: this ain’t your grandmother’s anime. So just sit back, gird your loins, and join me in struggling through tonight’s series:

B GATA H KEI: YAMADA’S FIRST TIME

First, a little backstory:

When I began this blog, the first thing I did was I went to the anime section of Netflix and just kind of strolled through it, and I noticed that there were a metric buttload of anime series out there to choose from. How’s little old me supposed to decide what to watch? So I resolved myself:

“I am going to watch the very worst anime I can find on Netflix. I don’t care how long it is. I don’t care how bad it gets. I don’t care how much it hurts. I don’t care how much damage I cause. I will complete every single episode, or I will die trying.”

That’s an actual quote from me. I said that out loud. In my own home. I regret it immensely.

The anime I ended up stuck watching was none other than today’s featured series, B-Gata H Kei, subtitled “Yamada’s First Time” in America. If you’re wondering why I believed this to be the Worst Anime On Netflix, I’ll read to you, verbatim, its Netflix short-sell:

“Fifteen-year-old Yamada is the prettiest girl in school, and wants to have her way with 100 guys. There’s just one problem: she’s never been kissed!”

Oh, joy. A hundred guys, in only thirteen episodes? I’m not so good at the maths, but that roughs out to about eight dudes done per installment, an exhausting figure. Hooboy. I thought I was in for a thrashing, an all-out assort on any sense decency, subtlety, and decorum. I thought I’d have to binge-watch Pokemon just to bleach the nasty from my retinas.

But was I right? Well…

Yamada’s First Time concerns itself with Yamada, a high school freshman girl who’s far more occupied with sex than she should be. She makes it her mission to bed and breakfast a hundred different men—hey, a girl’s gotta dream big, right?—and at first it seems like she’ll reach her goal, no sweat. She’s pretty and very aware of her sexuality, and guys are constantly making passes at her. There’s just one problem: Yamada’s a virgin. Yes, like the name suggests, our dubious heroine hasn’t had her “first time” yet, and is cripplingly insecure about her lack of experience—so much so that she rejects anyone who approaches her. Her solution? Find a virgin like herself to have her “first time” with, toss him aside, and move on to her other 99 conquests. Our leading lady, everybody. Luckily for her, a likely prospect comes along in the form of Kosuda, a plain-Jane boy Yamada literally crushes falling off a ladder at a bookstore. (She’s buying a new dictionary because her old one has all the naughty words highlighted.) After determining Kosuda’s  purity, Yamada sets out to claim his virginity as her first stepping-stone to sluthood, but seduction proves more difficult—and hilarious—than she anticipated. Wacky hijinx ensue, hearts are broken, complications set in, Secrets are Revealed, blah blah blah.  Sounds terrible right? But remember that hesitation-thingy I did earlier? Yeah, that was planned. I did it for a reason. Because… (deep breath)… 

B Gata H Kei: Yamada’s First Time is actually kind of good.

Am I insane? Let’s not be too hasty. First, let’s look at the characters for a second. I’ve already exposited plenty on Yamada and Kosuda, but B Gata H Kei has other major cast members as well: for starters, there’s Takashita, Yamada’s longtime best friend/advisor, whom Yamada is always peppering with blatantly explicit questions about her “experiences” with her boyfriend—who, by the way, is in college. This show’s weird like that. Then there’s Miyano, another girl who has a crush on Kosuda, but hasn’t confessed to him yet, despite living next door to him all her life. And then there’s Kanejo (or is it Kaneho? Or Kanoujo? Or Kanejou? They spell it some funky way) another extremely pretty girl in Yamada’s grade who Yamada marks as her rival for “queen of the school.” Kanejo returns Yamada’s rivalry and becomes the outright villain of the series, constantly scheming to destroy Yamada in a variety of ways—popularity contests, stealing her boyfriend (Kosuda, purportedly)… the list goes on. She is also—get ready for it—in love with her college-age older brother.

Again: this show’s weird like that.

But surprisingly, the show’s weirdness works strangely in its favor. You see, in another similar ecchi show, this kind of deviance might go completely unnoticed by the rest of the cast. Not so in Yamada’s First Time: any time Yamada says or does something outright sexual or deviant or outrageous, Takashita calls her on it, letting viewers know that such behavior is not the norm for this universe. Yamada’s not just an ordinary schoolgirl: there’s actually something very, very wrong with her.  Konejo’s brotherly love is also notably taboo: she takes great pains to hide her obsession from her classmates, and is appropriately paranoid about anyone—Yamada especially—discovering her secret. In later episodes, the show switches focus and centers not on Yamada’s quest to mount a hundred dudes, or even deflower Kosuda, but rather on just what her major malfunction is, and where it might have come from. Ultimately, Yamada’s first time isn’t the wacky sex comedy we were led to believe it was, but rather a battle for Yamada’s soul: will she right her capsized sexuality, or continue down her increasingly self-destructive path to slutdom?

Her friends, cutout characters though they are, are important pawns in this battle. Takashita, Miyano, and Konejo represent three possible endings for Yamada’s journey. Takashita is the “good ending,” representing maturity and wisdom: she has what Yamada wants (sexual experience) and also what she sorely needs (the strength of character to not make such a big deal out of it.) Konejo, of course, is the bad ending, representing pent-up sexual corruption that seemingly destroyed her mind. Miyano, while benign, is somewhere in the middle of these too: being an outright predator like Yamada certainly isn’t advisable, but neither is being so cripplingly shy as Miyano is.

Good old Kosuda also has his part to play too, of course. Most of Yamada’s difficulties (the ones that don’t stem from Kanejo’s sinister machinations) are caused by Kosuda’s cluelessness, and complete inability to read even the clearest signals from women. He’s not my favorite character—nobody’s that dumb, c’mon. She flashed me! What does that mean? COME ON!—but he does have his strong suits, plot-wise. Kosuda is a photographer, which means that he’s very good at taking in slow moments, capturing split-second instants in stunning pictures, allowing him to temper Yamada’s wilder moments quite well. Yamada, nymphomania aside, can’t act in the moment: Kosuda, on the other hand, is all ABOUT the moment, and the two work off each other very well.

There are other things I don’t particularly like about this show. This is an ecchi, remember, so there’s going to be fanservice, and lots of it. Remember that this is a show comprised entirely of high school girls and aired at ONE IN THE MORNING in Japan, giving you an idea of who its target audience probably was. The mo% isn’t spectacular, either. It probably runs at a steady 25% throughout, and its easy to see that some more well-animated scenes totally blew the budget for that episode, because the rest of the episode will look like total garbage. The voice cast isn’t terrible, but it’s easy to tell that the American dubsters didn’t take their roles very seriously, especially the poor saps who play the extras: “I’m glad we’re going on a school trip! A change in setting gives us more lines!” Please.

So why do I like this show? Frankly, I like the leading lady quite a bit. This isn’t to say she’s a likeable character—she isn’t—but she is a fascinating one. She’s almost like one of the great Shakespearean anti-heroes, like Macbeth or one of the Henrys. The idea of a nymphomaniac who’s clueless about actual sex—and a freshman girl, to boot—is just so strange to me that I can’t help but get invested in her struggles, even though ultimately it’s just as much fun to watch her fail as it is to see her succeed. This show definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you can get interested in Yamada herself, Yamada’s First Time just might be a good time for you, too.

See what I did there? That was tight.
0
Hits: 152 0 Comments

Posted by on in Anime

Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. Well seeing as we’re near the end of the Demon Lord arc I think it’s fair to do a quick review of the different demon lords we’ve seen so far. We started by seeing a demon lord accept his destiny, a demon lord being a better hero than the actual hero, and a world where the demon lord no longer exists. This week we’re gonna be looking at an anime showing the benefits of having a demon lord around and the anime that’s gonna help me with this is Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha when translated means Demon King and Hero and follows the story of a demon lord and hero who work together to bring peace and prosperity to the world. It’s an 8 volume light novel written by Mamare Touno in 2010 and ending in 2012 with 5 ongoing mangas of the series out there written by Mamare Touno as well (geez the man’s a writing demon. He puts me to shame). In 2013 the anime studio Arms the one studio I never would have thought in a million years would put their hands on a series like this decided to turn the interesting light novel into an anime. As if that wasn’t odd enough here’s a bit more oddness for this series. The director of this series Takeo Takahashi is also the same guy who directed Spice and Wolf and the script writer for this series Naruhisa Arakawa also wrote the script for Spice and Wolf. We are dealing with a lot of oddities in this anime folks. Let’s close the final curtain on the demon lord arc by taking a look at Maoyuu Maou Yuusha.

...
0

Posted by on in Anime

For more episodes, check out www.fivepointpodcast.com.

Xam’d: if Studio Ghibli had created the Guyver.

...
Tagged in: Xamd: Lost Memories
0

Posted by on in Anime
Let’s talk about Sword Art Online.

But why start there? asks that jerkface in the back row. You’re starting an anime blog, J-Mo: begin with one of the classics! Talk about Cowboy Bebop or Fullmetal Alchemist, or evenPokémon, for crying out loud. Analyze something respected, something that’s stood the test of time and proven its mettle, just so we at home know you’re not just some hack-at-a-Mac who thinks he can say whatever he wants about our sacred cows. If you’re going to start wrong, why start at all?

Well, truth be told, Sword Art Online was the first anime I ever watched.

And let’s make one thing clear right now: when I say “watched,” I mean watched—as in, completed. Or at least that I made a concerted effort to decide if a particular show was worth my time. And you know, I was a kid once. I watched Toonami same as all of you, and got my own fair helping of the Dragonballs and Pokémons and Sailor Moons of the day. But Sword Art Online was the first anime I ever watched as what I’ll call here a Discerning Viewer—and not only watched, but finished, first episode to last.

What made SAO different? In a word, “consistency.”

Because of course SAO wasn’t my first experience with anime. I dabbled some in high school—I had an experimental phase! Shocker!—but at the time I found the seas unwelcomingly rough. Why? Well, at the time, Bleach and One Piece were the heavy hitters, but in both these series, stuff…. Just kind of happens. What the hell’s a Soul Reaper? Why can that pirate stretch like that? Why are they just floating there and talking instead of fighting? Long story short, I got lost fast, but I was determined, striving headlong against the mighty current of displeasure until I…

What? What’s that you say?

THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX more episodes to go?


I QUIT


But then! Like a balm amidst the tempest, like an oasis in the desert, like a Wayne Brady catchphrase in the middle of a terrible mixed metaphor… Sword Art Online appeared from the void. A video game-like fantasy world with well-explained rules? A small, focused cast? American-style storytelling? ONLY THIRTEEN EPISODES? Deal me in, Perry!

Unlike the anime series I’d sampled before, Sword Art Online established from the get-go that it had rules. For you uninitiated out there, here’s the basic premise:

In the near-ish future, a virtual-reality technology allows for the development of the Fulldive System, a video game console that interfaces with players’ nervous systems, allowing them to enter virtual fantasy worlds and control the game with their thoughts. The first game of this sort is Sword Art Online, a hack-and-slashy MMO that emphasizes swordplay. SAO is extremely popular, but as soon as the game comes out of beta the game’s creator Kayaba removes the option to log out, trapping thousands of players inside the game in a bid to become a god in his own virtual world. Kayaba warns the players that if they are defeated in the game—or if their Fulldive System is tampered with from the outside—microwaves will fry their brains, killing them instantly. In other words: you die in the game, you die in Real Life. The only way out is to clear all 200 floors of the game and defeat the final boss, upon which the game will end and all the trapped players will be released.

Naturally, this news terrifies most of the players. But one player, a beta tester who calls himself Kirito, resolves to use his prior knowledge of the game to beat the 200 floors, defeat the final boss, and free his fellow players. It is Kirito we follow throughout the game, and much of the drama of the series stems from both the physical and psychological conflicts he encounters along the way.

So what does this have to do with rules? Well, anybody with any gaming experience can tell you that a good video game abides by a certain set of rules. Mario can only jump so high. Sonic loses his rings when attacked without a powerup. Link can swim, but if his air-meter runs out—that’s curtains! Savvy fans might also calls these rules mechanics: they’re the building blocks of game design, and determine how the player interacts with the game. Good mechanics ensure that the player feels in control of their experience at all times, and that failure or death in-game feels like their fault, and not the game’s.

Now remember that SAO takes place inside a killer videogame. You see where I’m going with this? I started SAO on the assumption that the writers would follow the same rules to create a fake game as they would a real one. At first I wasn’t disappointed: because SAO doesn’t include any sort of magic system, Kirito and friends are limited to swordplay, grounding the combat from the start. Players become more powerful by gaining experience from monster encounters and item drops, similar to any MMO.

But remember how I said “at first?”

Any of you who have seen ANY of SAO know that Kirito, the protagonist, becomes extremely overpowered very quickly, so much so that he survives punishment that would have demolished any other character in the series. In fact, it becomes a running joke in some of the more lighthearted episodes to see just how much of a beating the kid can take without biting the big one. But this brings up a somewhat troubling question: how much can we possibly care about an invincible protagonist?

We’ve seen this problem before; most recently in the big-budget Superman reboot Man of Steel. Many critics have noted that the climax of the film is forty-five minutes straight of Supey and villain Zod punching each other through literally every single building in Metropolis—barely mussing the hair of the Kryptonians themselves. Luckily, for the most part SAO avoids this pitfall by focusing on the psychological repercussions of combat just as much—if not more—than the physical. Kirito establishes himself as a powerful fighter from the first episode, but instead of being hailed as a hero, the other players accuse him of cheating, and selfishly hiding his true power. This coupled with the shocking death of a party member drives Kirito deeper and deeper into lone-wolf-dom, opting to quest alone while the other players take shelter in large numbers. But no matter how much he tries to avoid his fellow players, he breaks his self-enforced solitude again and again to help players in dire need. This is where the emotional drama of the series lies: no matter how powerful Kirito becomes, he can’t always protect his friends, and each tragic death he witnesses drives him farther into hermitage. Eventually, however, he meets another player, a girl named Asuna, who’s just as powerful as he—the only kind of person he could ever love.

But enough highbrow analysis! Let’s talk about:

The Top 3 Reasons Sword Art Online is Awesome

3. The Art:

One thing you’ll be hearing me talk about a lot in this blog series is a little concept I like to call the “Motion Percentage,” or Mo%, if you will. This refers to the amount of run time in which the episode isn’t in either still-frame mode or talking-heads mode—ultimately, how much is moving on screen over the course of x amount of time. Shows with high Mo% tend to look better and feel more engaging, while shows with low Mo% tend to feel cheap or rushed. High-budget shows tend to have higher Mo%, but this is not always the case. SAO runs at a constant 75 Mo% throughout, which is pretty high for a series of its complexity. And even when things aren’t in motion… folks, Sword Art Online is gorgeous. Aincrad, as far as world-building goes, is a friggin’ masterpiece, and really feels like a living, breathing world. There’s a moment in one episode where realizes he’s actually happy being trapped in the game, and after spending so much time in Aincrad with him, I can believe it. Everything has this glow to it, from the incredible detail in the vast fields, to the utterly charming character animations, to the phenomenal monster designs—some of which are truly intimidating. No matter what part of Aincrad you’re looking at, the art of SAO makes coming back time and time again a visual treat.

2. The characters:

I don’t know why this is, but when I first heard about Sword Art Online in high school, I assumed—erroneously, of course—that the series would function more like Attack on Titan does: as an ensemble piece, with loads and loads of characters and no clear protagonist. Instead, SAO largely focuses on just Kirito, and later on both Kirito and Asuna, with the addition of a small supporting cast that pops in and out of the narrative in cameo appearances. Let’s talk about Kirito first.

Lordy, lordy, lordy, is Kirito a badass.

Okay, I know I complained earlier about how boring an invincible protagonist can be, and to be honest there’s a lot I should really hate about this character. For one thing, he’s essentially a neckbeard living in his room playing video games, but somehow SAO turns this unsavory trait into a superpower—he likes games so much that he can’t be killed!. Sometimes he’s emotionless and bland, but sometimes he’s the emotional heart of the series! Sometimes he’s awkward and socially inept, but later we see him being both a good husband AND a good father! What? But perhaps his most defining trait is that unholy, grit-and-iron willpower of his. Sure, most anime protagonists exhibit shades of this, but Kirito’s resolve literally allows him to break the rules of his own fictional universe. Over the course of the first 13 episodes, Kirito performs the following Charles Atlas feats: A) He withstands a fatal poisoning just by sweatin’ it out, B) hacks into the game to save an AI character through sheer determination despite no knowledge of how to do so, and C) OVERCOMES HIS OWN DEATH to stab villain Kayaba through the chest—freeing everybody trapped in SAO—just by wanting it bad enough. If you’re not inspired by that, you’re either a plank of wood or a porcupine. A porcupine that can’t read. Shame on you.

Kirito’s main squeeze Asuna is a lot of fun too, even though for the first half of the season we don’t see too much of her. This actually works to the series’ advantage, because every time we catch a glimpse of her, she gets stronger and stronger, implying that she’s having her own awesome adventures just off-screen. This means that we’re glad to see her every time, if only to find out what in the wide world of sports she’s been up to in the meantime. And when the show finally begins focusing on her, it gets even better. Asuna’s just as much of a badass as Kirito is, and any scene where the two fight side by side is always a series highlight. This isn’t to say Asuna’s just about fighting. Yeah, maybe I should get upset that one of the show’s female lead’s defining characteristics is that she maxed out her cooking skill, but, you know what? I’m not: because she even makes cooking look badass. Remember when she threatens Kirito with that butter knife? Yeah, I jumped too. Sucks about what happened to her in the second season, though…

BUT MORE ON THAT LATER

1. And the number one reason that Sword Art Online is Awesome is….

         THE FEELS
Sword Art Online is an emotional blender, the kind that tears your stomach out, puts in where your heart should be, blindfolds you, spins you around three times, and makes you watch your favorite characters die. I don’t know why I keep comparing SAO to Attack on Titan, but I’m about to do it again: I actually think Sword Art Online wins as far as emotional impact goes. I don’t know: maybe it’s the dreamlike feel of the fantasy setting, maybe it’s the sheer unpredictability of some of the deaths (you’re predictable, AoT—get over it), but no series before or since has made me feel the levels of terror, triumph, sorrow, and joy that Sword Art Online has. I cried when Sachi was struck down and murmered her unheard last words to Kirito, and wept all over again when the show just REOPENED that wound with NO PROVOCATION when we finally got to hear what she said. I laughed when Lisbeth fought to confess her love to Kirito above the roar of terminal-velocity winds. I felt my own sense of bitter defeat when, after Kirito watches Asuna die, he grimly staggers after Kayaba, too grief-stricken to even swing his sword. And—my friends, I am being one hundred and forty-four Mo% honest with you all when I say this—when Kirito awakened from SAO at the end of the last episode, when he struggled to his feet despite being weak from coma-induced malnourishment and hobbled off to find Asuna—I felt as though I, too, had won an astonishing victory.

That is why I love Sword Art Online, and why I continue to revisit it to this day.


And then the second season happened…
0
Hits: 177 0 Comments

Latest Videos

Nash: Come on Baby, Like My Fire

Watch Video

MikeJ: A Week on Baby Food D7

Watch Video

MasakoX: Moe-tan

Watch Video

Lupa: BW - Snake Eyes

Watch Video

Shaun K: Fall of the Tomb Raider

Watch Video

Brad: Nov Man & As Above So

Watch Video

SUaT: Kyle Hebert

Watch Video

iRawss: GH - Boys of Valor

Watch Video

Paw: Quest 4 Glory 4 P7-8

Watch Video

Lupa: BW - Muddy Waters

Watch Video

MikeJ: A Week on Baby Food D6

Watch Video

RC Podcast: Going Off w RC

Watch Video

Brad: Sin City 2 & Dr Who

Watch Video

WMR: Mayuri OP

Watch Video

Sage: Lily CAT

Watch Video

Ursa: SYL 101 - Clueless

Watch Video

AF: Freeman's Mind 58

Watch Video

Brad Tries Chatterbox Beer

Watch Video

MikeJ: A Week on Baby Food D5

Watch Video

Word Funk: Justice Warriors

Watch Video

Lotus: Galerians Ash P1-3

Watch Video

Korra Vlogs: Finale

Watch Video

LAG: CBI - Sinestro #1-3

Watch Video

Phleous: Lion and the King P2

Watch Video

Guru: Tetris Board Game

Watch Video

Shaun K: Professor Layton

Watch Video

Taylor: Akiba's Trip

Watch Video

MikeJ: A Week on Baby Food D4

Watch Video

NC: Princess Diaries 2

Watch Video

SGIK: The Time We Had to Wait

Watch Video

Linkara: HOPR - Operation Over

Watch Video

Blog Categories

What's Up? (142)
Sports (264)
News (281)
Book Reviews (555)
Funny (581)
Top # Lists (743)
Animation (940)
Wrestling (999)
Movies (1065)
Anime (1105)
Thoughts (1160)
Comics (1205)
Misc Reviews (1303)
Music (1433)
Video Reviews (1954)
Film Review (2758)
Uncategorized (4032)
Video Games (5247)
Old Blogs (15312)