Category Archives: Video Games and Visual Novels

4 Things You Probably Didn’t Know Were Inspired by Anime and Manga

The following post was submitted by a guest writer by the name of Rose Martin. I do not typically take in submissions, but have decided to make an exception out of goodwill and edited it to fit the style of my blog. I will be back with my old reviews very soon.

Only slightly creepy cosplay photo

Image Credit: Image via: https://www.pexels.com/photo/comic-cosplay-convention-connichi-69378/

Japan is the birthplace of anime. Much before the genre came to the west, anime was popular in Japan. During the 1960’s, the anime series Astro Boy (Japanese: Mighty Atom) was broadcast outside Japan and became hugely successful. This led to the importation and localization of more anime series that were shown to Western audiences.

Along with the rise of anime, manga, the Japanese term for comics, also became popular across the globe. These graphic novels, made popular by Japanese cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, are read by children and adults of varying age groups.

The global rise in popularity of anime and manga has also led to the rise of anime conventions, where fans gather to meet their favorite artists, directors, and actors; attendees usually dress up as characters from various anime, manga, and video games as well. These genres of Japanese media have also inspired the following 6 products:

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「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Shirou doesn’t care if his body is made of swords

I HAVE NO REGRETS

Alright, let’s talk about English dubs.

I don’t talk about dubs much, mostly because I haven’t seriously watched one since Samurai Champloo‘s (amazing) dub. I don’t even bother playing Japanese video games with English audio either (nowadays I don’t really play localized JRPG’s that lack a dual audio option). I do like a few of them, but in general… I just don’t really care for them. Unless they veer into alternate adaptation territory (which hasn’t happened that much after the 90’s), it’s not like I have a deep hatred for them or anything. I just tend to find the typical voice performances and overall Japanese-to-English script mediocre. But I do get curious every now and then and check them out for kicks.

Continue reading 「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Shirou doesn’t care if his body is made of swords

「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Akiba’s Trip 2 and “weaboos”

Marvelous USA (a.k.a. XSEED) is one of the only localization companies I trust nowadays when it comes to Japanese video games. I particularly commend them for respecting the target audience of the niche games they bring over and paying no heed to our western culture’s increasingly incessant need for political correctness.

Their localization of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed was far from perfect (considering the use of internet slang/memes in Potsuri/Pitter, the game’s parody of 2ch, it’s understandable), but it’s good at getting the point across for the most part. When the game was released in NA during the later part of 2014, many overly-sensitive Politically Correct Babies criticized one Pitter user’s use of the word “trap”, which was used in place of the Japanese version’s use of the slang “nekama”net okama, which is essentially a guy pretending to be a girl online. I swear, humanity as a species of primates are losing their backbones just as we lost our tails – if fictional insults (if even considered one, really) used by a fictional internet asshole are to become a source of massive controversy and offense, I’m worried about where millennials will take our society next. We already had that one asswipe causing a shitstorm over a white woman’s hand being featured on Super Mario Maker. Freakin’ putrid.

It’s a fictional depiction of the internet, which is not a nice place in real life either. If people are easily offended by words in fiction without processing the context, intent, and tone of the usage, and confusing it with outright slander, they’re better off staying under the shelter of their parents’ roofs for everyone’s own good (eh, maybe not their parents’ own good).

It’s gotten to the point where it seems people value Politically Correct censorship over an accurate translation, which to be honest, the trap translation is. They could have also used something worse that actually is intentionally transphobic, like “tranny” or something. Although, it’s not like the babies will stop complaining either way. Anyways, the only big problem I had with XSEED’s localization (besides the horrid English dub that’s nullified with dual audio anyway) was this:

Continue reading 「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Akiba’s Trip 2 and “weaboos”

「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

Great game, terrible localization

Alright, I love the crap out of the Atelier series. Old school JRPG gameplay with adorable characters designed by awesome Japanese artists such as Mel and Hidari, and alchemy management with some minor VN elements thrown in here and there? I’m game, definitely better than your annual soulless first-person shooter series. And I totally appreciate the fact that more and more of the games are getting localized and that it’s becoming a trend. But holy shit, even though the localization’s been getting better ever since Koei Tecmo took over from NISA, it’s not really saying much because the quality control still leaves a lot to be desired. It’s bearable for most of the games, but a lot more noticeable with Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, the game being riddled with mistranslations, bad typography, and inconsistencies with previous games.

Continue reading 「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

Back with new content and a new PC

大学生の人生は大変だろう

Alright then… first post of 2016. Sorry about the sudden disappearance of new posts. What was supposed to be a month-long break from the blog for school turned out to be a disaster.

You see, I was going to write a Christmas/New Years post about my 2015 weeb highlights for 12 Days of Anime, but apparently my blog was hacked (hence the new layout you see before you, my old customized Pool theme was infected and had to be replaced because it was no longer supported by WordPress). Based Maestro thankfully fixed the blog for me, kudos for the great service even after all these years. But by then, it was no longer Christmas nor New Years Eve, so I decided to scrap that post entirely and the disappointment made me go on an indefinite break. I did spend some time to rework a newer theme to my liking, but… that was basically it. I think I have an idea as to why my blog was hacked, but I’m not going to get into it. Not worth it.

Here are some of the anime/manga/video game titles you may have seen if I was able to write the post on time: Owarimonogatari, One-Punch Man, Non Non Biyori Repeat, Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu, Shenmue III, and others. I might probably just give them individual articles one day, however.

But yeah, what have been up to since my last post? Well, my typical normie life aside, I managed to save enough to build myself a new PC during Black Friday, of course for my Design major, digital fan art, HD/1440p PC gaming, console emulation, and XTREME!!111 animu viewing. Here are the build specs.

Processor: Intel Core i7 4790k @ 4.00GHz (with overclock later when I get a better CPU cooler)
Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 5 (the psuedo-sound card audio quality provided by the motherboard is sextastic out of the box)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0
Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Red 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866
Local Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Secondary Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (should have gotten the 2TB version, but I was a dumbass and got scared by Backblaze’s circumstantial failure rate statistics)
Case: Enermax ECA3253-BW ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair CSM 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS DVD/CD Writer (reused, the case leaves room for me to add in a Bluray player, but I already have a PS3 in the meantime)
Case Fans: 1 Stock (Bottom-mounted), 1 Thermaltake Pure 12 LED 41.0 CFM 120mm Fan (rear)
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Drawing Tablet: Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch w/ Clip Studio Paint Pro
Monitor: Dell ST231​0 23″ Full​ HD Widesc​reen LCD
Speakers: Altec Lansing ATP3 3-Piece Speaker System

Once I get my gaming keyboard/mouse combo and a new mouse pad, I’ll post pics of my setup. Very recently, I also received my copy of The Fruit of Grisaia along with the Grisaia series display box from Sekai Project’s KickStarter (the side I have on display vs. the other side). Can’t wait for the other two to come out.

Anyways, I’ve planned to start off a new year of Mahou Zenkai ~The Otaku Spot~ with a new series of posts called Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies, where I take a piss on extremely asinine localization/translation decisions and mishaps that happen in Official English versions/subtitles of the anime, manga, and games that come over here. Quality Control can be really bad on the translation side because of editors (people taking the translated text and making it sound natural in spoken English) not being familiar with the source material. Generally though, it also probably happens because they weren’t really thinking period or they’re just simply the type of people that like to smear their shit all over foreign works because they think they’re more creative than the original creators. With video games, it also isn’t limited to translation, but also handling the UI and typesetting as well. This series will generally consist of shitshortposts unless the subject matter happens to be really, really stupid.

Just as always, I’ll also continue to update my series of Cardcaptor Sakura posts and continue my recap of the Suzumiya Haruhi light novels. I must say, I am absolutely hyped at what CLAMP has in store for Cardcaptor Sakura‘s 20th anniversary. Cheers to an upcoming fun year.

Why would you censor an M-rated game?

Amakura Twins, Best Characters

Image Credit: Hiten from Pixiv

Happy Halloween, everybody! Ever since I’ve outgrown the tradition of dressing up in a spooky costume and going doorbell-to-doorbell asking for candy, I’ve instead made a new tradition for myself where I marathon spooky video games; my favorite among them being Japanese horror games such as Zero, better known as Fatal Frame in the west, designed by Koei Tecmo (Tecmo before the merge).

Last year’s (belated) Halloween post was about my fondness for survival horror games like Zero, expressing my wish for the newest installment of the series being localized after missing out on two games on a region locked console. To my excitement, it was due for localization this Halloween season! But unfortunately, the western publishers, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe decided it would be a good idea to censor certain costumes in this M-rated game for adults, treating them like children who can’t handle such content.

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Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works Epilogue & Sunny Day

I've seen this shot about four times now

This makes it the fourth time I’ve seen this shot

Okay, so I’m back to wrap up the Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works post I started ages ago.

Instead of squeezing in the VN’s original epilogue at the end of the previous episode, Ufotable did a great thing by producing an entire extra episode with new material depicting what happens after the original route, alongside the remaining source material. As a result, I think episode 25 in itself is worth watching for readers of the visual novel regardless if you think the rest of the show is a bad adaptation or not (I personally thought it was great, but it was certainly a bit shaky here and there).

Continue reading Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works Epilogue & Sunny Day

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 24 – 「武器の貯蔵は充分か」

-I am the bone of my sword-
体は剣で出来ている。
-Steel is my body and fire is my blood-
血潮は鉄で心は硝子。
-I have created over a thousand blades-
幾たびの戦場を越えて不敗。
-Unaware of Loss-
ただの一度の敗走もなく、
-Nor aware of Gain-
ただの一度の勝利もなし。
-Withstood pain to create weapons, waiting for one’s arrival-
担い手はここに孤り 剣の丘で鉄を鍛つ。
-I have no regrets. This is the only path-
ならば、わが生涯に意味は不要ず
-My whole life was UNLIMITED BLADE WORKS-
この体は、無限の剣で出来ていた。

We’ve arrived at the “final” episode of Unlimited Blade Works, and thus, the real battle begins. Two owners, two “one-trick ponies”, one Faker. Was it able to satisfy me as a reader of the original visual novel? Find out after the jump.

Continue reading Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 24 – 「武器の貯蔵は充分か」

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 23

So long Sasaki Kojirou

Fake Assassin’s battle with Saber here is pretty damn disappointing, with how quickly it all went down. We didn’t even get to hear an anime rendition of Shippu no Kenshi, “Sasaki Kojirou”‘s own theme, in the anime. Dammit Ufotable.

It’s sad because this is the only route where Fake Assassin feels remotely relevant to the plot. He gets killed off-screen (most likely by Gilgamesh) in Fate and gets superseded by True Assassin (Hassan) in Heaven’s Feel. It’s a shame Ufotable didn’t give him much of a bangin’ exit.

It was cool seeing Shirou actually tracing a rain of swords in animation. I absolutely hated how DEEN screwed this up by not having him do that at all in their version of Unlimited Blade Works.

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 22 – 「 Dolphins」

Awkwaaaaard

Or rather, uh, sperm whales.

Losing the sex scene from the original visual novel isn’t much of a loss, in my opinion. With Realta Nua, Type-Moon likes pretending that the H-scenes in the original PC version never happened. And they honestly aren’t that necessary in Fate and Unlimited Blade Works. They only ever have a “significant” presence in Heaven’s Feel.

I just wished it was more… romantic though. Not that jackhammerin’ is very romantic, but just saying. For the record, Nasu did not write the sex scenes in Tsukihime (oysters!) or Fate/stay night. I cannot stress how annoying that misconception is. (Okay, it is kind of funny.)

Speaking of romance, love how they added Rin’s reason for falling for Shirou directly from Heaven’s Feel.

(P.S. I am being titillated by Shinji’s suffering)

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 21 – 「 My dream is not wrong」

My dream isn't wrong!

And here marks the anime’s ending of Shirou’s epic therapy session. There were bumpy moments before this episode that made me doubt how they were going to handle the most emotional fight of Unlimited Blade Works, but in the end, Ufotable managed to pull through.

Continue reading Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 21 – 「 My dream is not wrong」

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 20 – 「 I am the bone of my sword」

Back-to-back EMIYA

Back-to-back EMIYA

Looks like it’s time for Shirou’s epic therapy session. Arguably the most entertaining episode yet in terms of presentation. Although I have my gripes, it was… pretty dope.

Continue reading Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 20 – 「 I am the bone of my sword」

Oversensitive people shouldn’t indulge in creative media, ever

OH GOD, NO, RIN

Rin’s look of disgust.

Get your hands off her!

Shinji being a sicko.

AW, HELL YEAH!

The justice served by Lancer (and more).

Fuck ANN

This was from an ANN review of episode 19 of Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works, and no, I’m not going to link to it. If you really want to read that review, look it up yourself, although I suggest not to. I’m not helping these clowns get revenue by linking to them on my blog.

What, so basically “bad guys shouldn’t do bad things because bad things are bad”? Shinji, who is clearly a sicko and desires Rin, should have baked her a batch of cookies instead?

Continue reading Oversensitive people shouldn’t indulge in creative media, ever

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 19 – EMIYA

Kill myself, I mean, yourself...

Afternoon News: Sexy Red Man attempts convoluted suicide plan

After a surprisingly weak performance last week, Ufotable manages to pull somewhat of a saving throw with this episode.

I do have minor qualms with what happened this week, but for the most part, I’m extremely satisfied by Ufotable’s efforts.

Continue reading Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 19 – EMIYA

RE: Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 18 – 「Rin’s contract with Saber」

Time to forge a contract with a better mage

Something I forgot to mention in my original post: The difference between Ufotable’s fresh Rin!Saber and Saber’s other appearances with Ufotable’s famous blue auras is miniscule to the power surge she had in the visual novel.

VS.

Let me give it to you straight: I love Ufotable’s animation. With Ufotable’s talents, they could have easily showed the true extent of how much of a nightmare Saber is at her full potential the minute Rin became her source of mana, but they didn’t. Even though they’ve done quite a bit to impress me so far, they didn’t really do this scene any justice and it’s a damned shame.

Although, despite all that, they managed to do one thing right. And that is: Saber’s ponytail. Now that is excellent. (y)

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 18 – Dropping the ball

I actually prefer the original CG to this

I must say… this is the first episode where I’ve been truly, utterly disappointed in Ufotable. Everything about this Unlimited Blade Works episode was just a giant step down from how awesome it could have been.

Experiencing these scenes before, only done better, probably contributed to my disappointment. But it’s not like a lot of my expectations were impossible to pull off within the medium of animation. Ufotable blew my mind with almost everything before this, and to fall short when they’re just getting into the best parts of the route is kind of depressing.

Continue reading Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 18 – Dropping the ball

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 16-17

Unlimited Rin Works

I’m glad that Ufotable picked the best answers to Lancer’s questions for the absolute best Rin reactions. Jeez, it’s almost impossible for me to go back to Rin’s old VN design. Ufotable managed made her 10x cuter than she already was. I was iffy on it at first, but now I’m sold.

I swear, this adaptation feels like it’s been 50% action, with the other 50% being Rin making cute faces. (Not really, but that doesn’t sound like a bad deal either.)

Continue reading Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 16-17

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 14 + 15 – Thoughts (R.I.P. Best Girls, no Die Lorelei, etc.)

TOOOOOOOHsaka

Ufotable’s been doing a great job of making me like the Unlimited Blade Works anime better than the visual novel, although the soundtrack could still be a bit more… verbose. I’m scared of how underwhelming the other particular songs are going to be remixed by Fukasawa.

Well, anyway, onto the rain of praise (and otherwise – Ufotable isn’t perfect after all, gasp).

Continue reading Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 14 + 15 – Thoughts (R.I.P. Best Girls, no Die Lorelei, etc.)

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works ED #2 Observations (VN spoilers)

My whole life was...

The following contains spoilers for people who have not read the original visual novel or any of its translations. I repeat! The following contains spoilers for people who have not read the original visual novel or any of its translations.

I am not responsible if you ruin the story for yourself.

Continue reading Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works ED #2 Observations (VN spoilers)

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 13 – Thoughts

Based Illya, be nice to her

Please be gentle ;_;7

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works second season aired over a dozen hours ago in Japan, but I only just watched it a couple of hours ago. 780p encodes are all this terrible computer can handle. /sadface

Anyways, I wasn’t disappointed by what I saw. But that can be attributed to me already having experienced Unlimited Blade Works through the VN and just wanting to see it done faithfully by talented animators. It’s Ufotable, so it doesn’t take much to satisfy in that regard, but I wonder if the hype was worth it for people who only ever watch anime? That was a pretty killer wait and the hypetrain was like over 100,000,000km. Well, whatever.

Continue reading Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 13 – Thoughts