Category Archives: Video Games and Visual Novels

Uguu Review! Fate/stay night (Visual Novel)

I ask of you, are you my Master?

問おう。貴方が私のマスターか?

If the banner change hasn’t tipped you off, I’ve been on a Fate/ kick lately.

Of all the big franchises to get hit by the so-called “dirty secondary” syndrome, I believe the Fate/ series is one that genuinely gets hit pretty hard by it. I’m not going to lie, I sound like a giant snobby prick for even using the term “dirty secondary”, but in Adaptation Land, if you’re one to actually care about media besides animation/movies enough venture into what’s often used as source material, you’ll find that the term often holds… well, some painful truth to it.

Although in Fate/stay night’s case, I blame it a little more on Studio DEEN than the fans themselves. Regardless, it’s utterly depressing seeing diehard fans of the Fate/Zero anime write off the original Fate/stay night as being inferior because of the DEEN anime and movie. I suppose ufotable’s new Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works anime is fixing that divide somewhat, but it’s still there to a certain degree mainly because UBW is only 1/3rd of the full experience. Plus, there are secondaries who recommend newcomers to start with F/Z, skip the Fate route – by this, they mean the DEEN anime – then watch the UBW anime (according to them, “the definitive adaptation”; it’s good, but not definitive – it’s only one route), and then after that, watch the upcoming Heaven’s Feel movie… and I’m like “no, that’s wrong, please stop for the sake of your own experience.”

While I did enjoy Fate/Zero and what it had to offer as a spin of the Fourth Holy Grail War, which was constantly and vaguely mentioned in F/sn, it’s merely a prequel at the end of the day (note: different from preceding work) meant as an expansion to an even greater tale that people are unfortunately diluting their own experience of. F/Z spoils more of F/sn than the latter does for the former, and I wish more people that are thinking of getting into the franchise had that in mind, instead of getting fed a bunch of crap from, well, dirty secondaries.

With the context and details that weren’t present in any of Studio DEEN’s animated adaptations, the visual novel is certainly one hell of a ride, even with the shoddy English fan-translation desecrating the Nasutext. I’m 21 now and dislike using the word “epic” to describe, well, anything. But here I find it the word extremely fitting, because it is fucking epic.

I mean, okay, as much as I loved it, it was far from perfect. Like the onslaught of info-dumps, diarrhea of the mouth, cooking scenes that make you hungry, etc. Art-wise, Réalta Nua PSVita should have updated the art to match Takeuchi’s current style. But the pros definitely outweigh the cons of Fate/stay night. Nasu’s world-building is excellent, so as a person who appreciates that kind of imagination in High Fantasy stories such as this, it’s no wonder that I enjoyed it so much.

Alright, enough with my unnecessarily long preambles, and onto the review!

Continue reading Uguu Review! Fate/stay night (Visual Novel)

Cancerous Ship Girls Rant: The Expansion

I have been tainted. Now I will never marry.

Image Credit: 蒼天空 from Pixiv

…Illness when writing that mess aside, I don’t think it needed to be any clearer for comprehension.

I was going to do another Cardcaptor Sakura post or a Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works post, but in light of certain reactions to my previous Kantai Collection post from denizens of the anime community’s infamous cesspool (I say “the”, but in actuality, there are quite a few of them – pick your poison) repeatedly missing the point, I feel the need to clarify more than a few things for others who might also misunderstand the context.

(The real reason is mostly because cramming for midterms in college sucks, and I’m finding an excuse to procrastinate and letting out stress.)
Continue reading Cancerous Ship Girls Rant: The Expansion

KA~N~KO~RE! Kantai Collection TVアニメ 始まります! (Rant incoming)

Shoukaku is greatness

SHIP GIRLS

(EDIT: Oh lord, just read this)

Just a small rant before I get into my first impressions of the first episode, because I’m easily annoyed by the anime(-only) fandom. I’m writing this in bed while the flu kills my body, so it might not be as coherent or friendly as I’d like it to be, but whatever.

Continue reading KA~N~KO~RE! Kantai Collection TVアニメ 始まります! (Rant incoming)

Ufotable Cafe Fate/stay night Popularity Poll

Not even Taiga

Image Credit: Fate/stay night Cafe

I… suppose the rankings aren’t that bad, but I’m surprised that Shinji got voted at all. Why not Gilgamesh? Or even Taiga?

He was well-written in the sense that he was easy to hate (a well-written piece of filth, if that makes any sense), so I’m surprised someone honestly went online, saw a popularity poll, and thought, “Hm, a popularity poll? Shinji. Definitely Shinji!”

Must have did it for kicks. Must have.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Years!
Image Credit: あきのん from Pixiv

よいお年をお迎えください!

It’s finally 2015 on my side of the world, guys! I didn’t do a “12 Days of Anime” countdown for the end of 2014, but I’m still up to share some blurbs of my Japanese-related highlights of 2014 all in one post (excluding Fanime, you can see that post here).

Continue reading Happy New Year!

Happy Belated Halloween! (Project Zero/Fatal Frame)

Hot girls getting killed by crazy ghost girls that used to be hot girls

Big giant NO

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! Though more than a day late, I felt compelled to honor the horror festivities we had this season using this humble little Japanophile blog of mine in some way or another. Rather than diving into some bizzarro horror manga by the likes of Itou Junji and such, I’ve decided to ramble a bit about one of my favorite Japanese survival horror video game series that I find myself playing every October: 零 (Zero), otherwise known as Project Zero in Europe and Fatal Frame in the United States.

Continue reading Happy Belated Halloween! (Project Zero/Fatal Frame)

Uguu Review! Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-

Hoshizora no Memoria

Pray to become starry sky tomorrow…

So finally, after about 50 years, here’s another write-up of a visual novel (I fully admit that I’m absolutely damedame). The title of the day is Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-, a moege/charage by Favorite and one that is available with a fan-translation (by Staircase Subs).

I have to say that the art is simply gorgeous. The delicious illustrations are, of course, drawn by Shida Kazuhiro. He’s really good at drawing absolutely heart-melting loli characters and cute females in general, and honestly provides one of the strongest aspects that Favorite brand visual novels have going for them.

Also, beware. There will be major spoilers (even if I don’t go too deep into them and mostly just share my thoughts).

Continue reading Uguu Review! Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-

Things I bought at Marukai Marketplace

Another place for my weaboo-ness

Image Credit: Kayoko from Umami Map

Just thought I’d share some of my daily Wapanese exploits on my way home from De Anza College.

I usually come to this plaza to get a quick snack on my way home on the bus, usually going to Marukai Marketplace, Daiso, or Wing Stop. Depending on how much I feel like spending, I usually get either a candy bar, pre-made bento lunches (in cases where I’m going to school without lunch), ready-to-go sushi, or a full meal at Wing Stop. The lunch I bring to school sometimes isn’t enough to revitalize me for the entire day, and these snacks are better money spent than McDonalds, honestly. One dollar for a one-way bus trip to heart disease? No thanks.

Continue reading Things I bought at Marukai Marketplace

Rewrite and others coming up this week (probably)

Rewrite is coming back

Yeah, that’s right

I’m planning on killing my VN backlog within the next few months, with the first target being Rewrite, school be damned. My previously-planned “Let’s Read” posts about it kind of fell by the wayside since school (ugh). I’ll probably just do a full review of it later this month, but maybe I’ll give an entire walkthrough’s worth a shot, it all depends on how much free time I have. Rewrite just gets more and more engrossing the further you get into it, and I’d really like to finish it up by the end of the month. As a person with an ear for Japanese, I must say I enjoy Amaterasu‘s translation work of it as much as the VN itself. The English dialogue is pretty good and reflects much of the same “feel” of the Japanese dialogue, most notably the funny scenes. It’s hard to explain, but well, Amaterasu’s awesome.

Continue reading Rewrite and others coming up this week (probably)

The worst figurine of all time

KILL IT WITH FIRE

DAT FACE

Yeeeeeeeeah, the European Collector’s Edition of Bravely Default: Flying Fairy totally isn’t worth being jealous over. What was Square Enix thinking when they decided to bundle this monstrosity among the other goodies? Couldn’t they have gotten Figma? Or maybe even Alter? Square Enix, here’s some advice: what looks to be equivalent to a Chinese knock-off isn’t worth the extra expense. Poor European fans.

[SPOILER]If only they did Elise...

THIS is a figure (now if only I could find one of Elise, then all would be swell).[/SPOILER]

So yeah, in other news, I’m pretty hyped for Bravely Default: Flying Fairy coming out in America next month. I may or may not get it at launch depending on my finances. I still haven’t bought The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds yet, after all…

Have a Happy New Years!

I realize this doesn't fit the season

よいお年をお迎えください!

Hope you guys are having a Happy New Years. Lack of time has kept me from posting a “12 Days of Anime” countdown like I did last year, but I’m still up to share some of my anime-related highlights of 2013 all in one post.

Continue reading Have a Happy New Years!

Pocket Monsters THE ORIGIN – Final Impressions

The classic rivalry never gets old

ようこそ! ポケモンせかいへ・・・って、おい!

So I’ve watched the entire four-episode special a few days ago, some hours after it had aired on TV Tokyo. I did enjoy it and it was a pretty good special, but I wasn’t entirely satisfied.

As a fan who is familiar/fond with Pocket Monsters across all continuities, such as the games, the original Japanese anime (not the dub), and the various different manga adaptations throughout my entire childhood, I feel that my opinions may be a little less bias compared to English fans who’ve only played the games, watched the English dubbed anime, and read one Pokemon manga (that is, Pocket Monsters Special, or Pokemon Adventures as it’s known in the west).

It was a fun little special, but it’s totally not as good as a Pocket Monsters anime should be, and I hope that I’ll help shed some critical insight for those who are blindly praising the special.

Continue reading Pocket Monsters THE ORIGIN – Final Impressions

Let’s Read! Rewrite (Mikoto Playthrough) – The Beginning…

Rewrite!

I have recently started reading Key’s latest visual novel series, Rewrite. I’ve heard a lot of good about it (and it helps that most of my contacts on Skype have read it and constantly drown me with references and awesome music), so I thought I’d give it a go.

It helps that the only things I’m actively blogging right now are old anime and WataMote.

In contrast to resident tritagonist-turned-deuteragonist Wahfuu‘s review of the series, my posts will be episodic and will be write-ups of my thoughts of what I’ve read up to that point. Just so it could stand out from his awesome congregated reviews. 😛 That being said, MISSION START!

Continue reading Let’s Read! Rewrite (Mikoto Playthrough) – The Beginning…

Wahfuu Review! Grisaia no Kajitsu

Start!

So. Remember when I said something about doing episodic reviews for this game during my first impressions? Well, see.. turns out that once you get started reading Kajitsu it becomes very hard to actually stop. Especially for the length of time it would take me to write up an entire piece about whatever character route I just read. What I’m trying to say is that I’m both really lazy and, at the time, was far too engrossed in reading this little character showcase. So i’ve decided to do a compilation review. And because I do so love to rant and rave and add unnecessary punctuation to things (especially commas) this review ended up being quite long. Expect minor-to-slightly moderate spoiler-esque things for context and clarification. I will also probably splurge a lot about.. well, most things about the game really. And then I will bash Yumiko mercilessly. If any of these things bother you.. well.. I don’t know, really. What do people normally put here?

Anyways, this introduction is getting lengthy. Let’s not try to tire out everyone before I actually start talking about anything, aye? So before I bore you (and myself at this rate) let’s get to the actual meat of the stuff. On with the show and all that.

Continue reading Wahfuu Review! Grisaia no Kajitsu

Pocket Monsters Origins (new anime!)

Starting in October (the same month as the release of the XY games), a new Pocket Monsters anime is set to air every Wednesday, based on the original Pocket Monsters Red and Green games (known as Pokemon Red and Blue internationally) with yet more counterparts for the protagonist and rival from those games.

It seems that they’re using Red and Green’s FireRed and LeafGreen designs for this anime’s versions of those characters, as opposed to the Generation I facial design they constantly kept on using for all of Red’s counterparts in the various manga series (Pocket Monsters Special, Pocket Monsters gag series, Pocket Monsters HGSS Jou’s Big Adventure, etc.) and the anime (Satoshi, known to most of you guys in the dub as “Ash Ketchum”).

Nevertheless, I look forward to this. The Pocket Monsters anime went downhill after Takeshi Shudo left the writing team, and went on a never-ending downspiral after the fourth generation (especially after they disregarded the original Mewtwo saga in their newest movie). I hope Rica Matsumoto (Red’s anime version, Satoshi) and Yuko Kobayashi (Green’s anime version, Shigeru, or “Gary Oak” in the English dub) reprise their roles in this alternate continuity. I feel that Satoshi deserves some feeling of justice, even if it’s through another alternate adaptation of the RBGY protagonist.

The question is… why release this now? What’s the sudden special occassion that they’re suddenly making an anime that ponders to older Pocket Monsters fans?

I speculate that it’s not intended to promote FRLG or the Gen I games (though it would sure inspire fans to check the originals out), it’s promoting the XY games. Mewtwo is gonna play a role in Gen VI judging by the XY promotions, and Red or Fuji might very well play a role in those games as well due to their connection with Mewtwo alone. The Pokemon Tower arc is confirmed to be adapted in this program and Mr. Fuji’s inclusion is a given, further supporting my assumption. We also have the regular anime, focusing on Satoshi (Red’s anime counterpart) in promotions this time around and being given Red’s FRLG hat. It’s all too perfect to be a coincidence.

I’m going to have to get used to the animation in this. While it does look nice – and I’m used to alternate art from reading various Pocket Monsters manga taking place in different universes with different styles – I’m certainly not used to that in animated form.

The animation will be a collaboration between OLM, Production I.G., and Xebec. This anime will be a special program. I’m afraid they’re going to cram too much in so little time…

(For more of my Pocket Monsters ramblings, stalk me on Bulbagarden)

Grisaia no Kajitsu – First Impressions

She is the best. Don't hate.

This is Sachi.

Looks like it’s finally that time again. I’ve been posting rather scarcely as of late, mostly because I haven’t really had all that much to post about unless I start taking Mikotos mantle and start talking about anime, which I’m sure none of you would care for. The VN scene hasn’t really had anything noteworthy come out in awhile. I was thinking about doing a Steins;Gate one, but I might as well wait for the JAST release (if you haven’t heard!) before I do that. So, yes. I’ve been cheating on my visual novels with terrible things known by some as anime. Terrible, I know, but I must make do. It was pretty enjoyable though, thanks to some great recommendations. Finally, it is time though. I leave a bunch of anime, a book series and tons of other things compeltely unfinished as the great productive lad I am.

I’m a terrible person.

Continue reading Grisaia no Kajitsu – First Impressions

Fanime 2013 Cosplays

Mirakurun~

One of the things I love about anime conventions (or any convention for that matter) are the invasion of cosplayers. It was awesome seeing Downtown San Jose being infested and taken over by cosplayers and my fellow geeks and weebs. People might have been pissed by the traffic we caused and the endless lines we induced at restaurants, but we felt dominant! Made the city as “nigiyaka” (so to say) as San Fransisco is every night. It just made those four days and three nights so fun, and now that everything’s quieted down and returned to normal, I’m having post-con depression. 😛 I want Downtown Weebland again, dammit!

That being said, there were many great cosplays this year. I stopped to take a picture of almost every one of my favorite characters and shows whenever I came across them, but this is basically a list of my very favorite ones during the weekend. To those who didn’t make it into this blog post, I’d like to say that you definitely all made it to my Facebook albums. Just very wonderful memories overall.

Continue reading Fanime 2013 Cosplays

Fanime 2013 Haul

Sweet dreams to ME

I now have a huge Ore Imō wallscroll hanging over my bed.

Hey guys! I’m back from school, and raring to post coverage on my experiences at Fanime 2013. Fortunately (or rather, unfortunately?), Fanime is the time of year where I stop giving a shit about college in favor of catering to the weeb inside of me, so I’ll start posting more often on my own damn blog again and talk about shows I’ve finished and started. At least before Wahfuu gets tired of giving my blog respiratory aid. Ahem.

Anyways, I’ll begin the Fanime coverage by talking about the awesome swag that I acquired during my trip at Fanime. I made a decent amount of money this year, and therefore I bought a lot more merchandize from the Dealer’s Hall compared to last year. Of course, it was limited to stuff I couldn’t find anywhere else otherwise, as Region 2 DVDs and the like tend to be pretty cheap when ordered off of sites like Right Stuf, so I limited myself to buying mostly imports and merchandise that are hard to come by normally.

Beware: Photos were taken from my crappy 3DS camera.

Continue reading Fanime 2013 Haul

Wahfuu Rant! Romanesque Translation Situation

WE GOT LOADS OF IT!

Check out all the bullshit!

How dare Aroduc try to make money off of fan translating porn novels. Look at that! 2500$?! That’s.. well, not much money at all really. In fact, split amongst the translation group, it’s not even a 4th of what people at McDonald’s would make, as so amusingly explained by Kastel here. That isn’t the point, though. The point is, its money. On the internet. For fan translating! Oh the humanity! Someone had to take the first step, you know. Soon, almost every fan translation will be hosted on kickstarter! Everyone will refuse to translate for free because that one guy Aroducs journey into the rich high-life of fast food and stress just had to go and drag the entire visual novel translation practice into the shit! It’s the end of days, ladies and gents.

Yes, forget about the absurdly obvious and cringe-worthy xenophobia taking place here. Forget about the fact that Aroduc has delivered time and time again and will probably continue to do so. And yes, forget about the fact that the money actually acquired here would barely be enough to fuel gas for a month. We should all raise our arms in unison because of some sort of stupid invisible moral high ground we have placed ourselves on! He’s disrespecting the wishes of that dead company! How dare he. How dare fan translators ask for money for a hobby! Downright scum and evil and reasons and morality and whip wha hoo ha kazah!

….

That’s enough of that.
Continue reading Wahfuu Rant! Romanesque Translation Situation

Wahfuu Review! Dra†KoI

SPOILERS SHES A DRAGON

Grade A Dragon Waifu Deluxe!

Despite all the hype I had heard, I was fairly uneasy about going into Dra+Koi. A bit because of its reputation for being sex-filled and short, but mostly because of the boy-meets-girl romance focal point.. I don’t know if it’s because I have had bad experiences with romance stories or if it’s because I simply don’t like it as a focal point. One thing was for sure though, I was pretty skeptical of Dra+Koi despite all the hype I had heard about it. Come to think of it, I had no real reason to actually be a skeptic. If anything, I should have been excited for this little cocaine filled adventure. Yet, the combination of petty gripes with romance and my own questionable intellect all culminated in me going into Dra+Koi with almost zero expectations.

I wish I could go back and punch myself in the face.

Continue reading Wahfuu Review! Dra†KoI