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All Anime Stats Anime Stats
Days: 73.9
Mean Score: 6.50
  • Total Entries603
  • Rewatched0
  • Episodes4,167
Anime History Last Anime Updates
Kimitachi wa Dou Ikiru ka
Kimitachi wa Dou Ikiru ka
Apr 14, 11:31 PM
Completed 1/1 · Scored 8
Suzume no Tojimari
Suzume no Tojimari
Apr 13, 8:56 AM
Completed 1/1 · Scored 6
Sand Land: The Series
Sand Land: The Series
Mar 20, 10:45 PM
Plan to Watch · Scored -
All Manga Stats Manga Stats
Days: 149.7
Mean Score: 5.91
  • Total Entries426
  • Reread0
  • Chapters24,151
  • Volumes2,684
Manga History Last Manga Updates
One Punch-Man
One Punch-Man
Apr 16, 10:36 AM
Reading 193/? · Scored 8
One Piece
One Piece
Apr 14, 12:46 PM
Reading 1111/? · Scored 8
Boku no Hero Academia
Boku no Hero Academia
Apr 14, 12:38 PM
Reading 420/? · Scored 6

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Terrestrious Mar 14, 3:45 AM
Didn't think I'd be gone for this long. Considering I didn't even rate everything from last year, so I'm halfway through March but I can't even start March Mania 2024 until I finish 2023. Don't think I'll end up getting much done this year lol. Though I got a vacation from work coming out so hopefully I can get a few things done.

162 countries is insane, what was your method of choosing what to listen to? Like did you just venture for greatest selling albums or the best critically received albums? I also assume you used that ratemymusic as a source to find these, or did you go through like wikipedia (Wiki was my source when I was going through the years).

Mate, I'll be honest, I started my through the years music project with 1950, and the 50's were a rough decade to get through. Maybe it's because I was relying on the wikipedia pages to pick out the songs to listen to but those are like my shortest playlists by far. So maybe going deeper and less of the hits would provide more interesting songs but I don't know if I'll ever make time to seek out songs from the 50's or even attempt the 40's. I did scroll through albums of the year to see if I recognized any of them, Elvis & Buddy Holly were sort of my saviors for the second half of the 50's so seeing them is helpful, but a lot of the earlier 50's ones I don't really recognize. And I see Doris Day got your album of the year for 1949, and see was like my hero in the first half of the 50's so maybe one day I'll go through and check those albums out.

One note for Millennium & X-Files, since Millennium's life was during X-Files, after it was cancelled it did sort of have it's finale as an episode of X-Files. I'll state that I haven't actually seen the crossover episode, it was one of the ones I happened to miss (if I did see it, I forgot it), but if you watch all of X-Files first you will spoil Millennium to some extent. My recommendation would be to watch all of Millennium after X-Fiiles' first movie. It's been decades since I seen it, but the first movie should operate as a decent pausing point, and it's around the time Millennium was airing anyway. But the Millennium crossover is in Season 7, so I'd just recommend fitting it in before that. Although, apparently fans of Millennium like the crossover episode less than the people who just watched X-Files, as apparently it's not a great send-off to the show and the crossover with Millennium isn't even the most memorable part of the episode apparently, so maybe it's better you don't watch Millennium first lol. I can't really comment much since I haven't seen it, or even finished Millennium yet. But eventually I will.

I find that I have a hard time focusing on more than one type of media at a time. Like since I haven't been on, most of my free-time has been going to video games, not only have I not really watched much new tv, but I haven't really kept up with new music all the much lately. I caught up with a bunch of 2023 stuff before the end of the year, but it's largely been video games. Got a PS5 in the last year, and played a good chunk of Final Fantasy. Still need to finish my second playthrough of XVI and do the DLC for that game, and I just started Rebirth, though I plan on pausing that for anime soon.

Kirby & The Forgotten Land I played when it first came out and I loved it. Big Kirby fan, and Forgotten Land is easily a top three game from the Kirby franchise for me, it might actually be my favourite in the series. It's surprising that it took Kirby so long to have a proper 3D game, but they really nailed it out of the park. I assume you finished it by now, your overall thoughts I imagine are still positive. Have you ended up playing any other Kirby games yet?

I didn't bother with Tears of the Kingdom, since while I did enjoy my time with Breath of the Wild, once the Odyssey came out I kinda moved on to that and never really came back to it. I've heard mixed things on whether it's better or not than Breath of the Wild, where do you land?

And the most unfortunate part of this post, Dragon Ball. I've seen you been reading it a lot lately and it's not hard to figure out the inspiration why. I don't really know what to say about Akira Toriyama's death outside of that it really sucks, especially considering he seemed pretty excited about Daima. He's basically responsible for my childhood, one of the most influential artists ever, and definitely the creator that's influenced my life the most. I don't have much planned for my March Mania this year, but I know for a fact I'll finally be watching the Dragon Ball movies.

But regardless, I went and checked some of your comments. I loved your Vegeta rant, the idea of him & Oolong being secret best friends is hilarious. I guess I never really thought much about it but yeah, the turn does sort of just happen.
Terrestrious Mar 1, 2023 1:41 PM
It's been quite some time, but the most recent run of Hunter x Hunter has ended and I didn't end up re-reading anything in prep and for the most part that wasn't a problem. It was really only the last chapter were I was struggling to remember the actual details of what was going in, but thankfully, much of the last run was dedicated to the Phantom Troupe's backstory, which took me completely by surprised but I loved it. Since you were following community reaction with Togashi's update, did anyone predict this? To be honest, I never expected to get much insight into the Troupe's past, sans maybe The Kurta massacre itself. It's just not very Togashi-like to have an extended flashblack like this, the closest any of his series got to this was Gyro's past. Every other flashback backstory seemed to be relegated to side-stories, like the Hiei/Kurama extra chapter in YYH, or Kurapika's backstory being it's own two chapter volume.

I'm guessing it was one of those chapters you mentioned making you tear up? It was such an unexpected joy to get to see these characters, and how surprisingly wholesome their origins started out. Never put much stock in their name, beyond it sounded cool, but them starting off as like a fandub performing group was so perfect. And it was interesting thinking about how this backstory recolours some of the earlier stuff in the series. Specifically with Pakunoda's feelings to Killua & Gon, knowing how Chrollo was before then following him into the descent of villainy, hearing Gon & Killua's reasoning for going with the hostage exchange being that they wanted to avoid Kurapika going down the path of a killer must've hit especially hard. Paku's face in the panel after Chrollo mentions he'll end up killing a bunch of people speaks volumes. Outside of Sheila who dipped, the other members shown like Phinks, Uvo, or Shalnark's expressions were more neutral, but Paku looked devastated.

It will also be interesting to see what the future of Hunter x Hunter holds, since it seems like it'll no longer be serialized in a weekly format. I'm fine with whatever as long as more comes out, I suspect a monthly release but I don't know.

I can relate to not being able to revisit a lot of songs you like, though for me it's not because I listen to a lot of new stuff, definitely not to the extent you do. I tend to have several songs that I play on loop for a bit, and once they leave that rotation, I just never really return to them. At least not intentional, sometimes they come up on one of my generic playlists when I'm not sure what I feel like listening too, all that to say that most of my favourite artists I mentioned months back, I haven't really listened to in quite some time, sans maybe a couple of my favourite tracks. That includes Gotye, I can understand liking Somebody That I Used to Know the best, and I get not liking that it doesn't feel very connected but that's short of what I like about it.

Yeah, I can't blame you for not wanting to deal with 1975's album length. Kinda surprised you ended up liking this more than the Gotye album, but I gather that's because it's a more cohesive product? This album's fresher on my mind so I feel like I can actually comment. I've always liked Matty's vocals but I do kind of agree about the lyrics being on the bland side here. Outside of "Part of the Band", I like the lyrics of "Looking for Somebody to Love", if only because the subject matter is more interesting, and I like the lyric in "Wintering" about his mom's bad back, I think it gives the song more personality. The rest of the album, I think the lyrics are mostly serviceable, "All I Need to Hear" is a perfect example of a song where the lyrics are serviceable but nothing beyond that. "Oh Caroline" lyrics are intentionally bland, Matty said the thing he liked about that song was that, outside of maybe the cuck lyric, any artist could cover it and it would make sense. Personally, I think that made it one of the worst songs lyrically on the album, sonically I still really like the track but I do like "Africa" by Toto and this song definitely feels like it aped from that one. "I'm In Love With You" is my least favourite lyrically, I get why but the chorus feels super lazy. It's not quite catchy enough, or sung with enough conviction, to justify being that repetitive. I still don't dislike the track but I can agree it's definitely a lowpoint. "Looking for Somebody to Love" was one of the high points for me though, I can get finding it annoying but I do like that it's busy, I think it's matches with the school shooter concept. "About You" is another one of my favourites from the album, I think it goes on a bit too long, but I really like the mood of that track and the female vocals in the bridge is my favourite moment of the record.

I've also listened to some of your suggestions since the last time I logged on. First I listened to Alvvays' Antisocialites. I was really taken aback but how retro/classic it sounded, I get like a 1970's vibe from a lot of these songs. Part of this surprise was because I didn't know what jangle pop was, but the bigger reason was when I went to listen I didn't re-check your recommendations, and mixed up the descriptions from Alvvays & Magdalena Bay lol, so I was expecting synthpop when I started. But regardless, I did really like this album, I can't say it's an all-time favourite, maybe my favourite from 2017 (It's this or Paramore's "After Laughter"), but I don't really have any complaints, all the songs were just really nice. Picking my favourites would be tough, but I'd either go with "Dreams Tonite" or "Lollipop (Ode to Jim)". The former is probably the song the pops up in my head the most from the album, particularly the title drop line in second verse, the melody line there has just popped up in my head at work sometimes. The latter song I think it just generally the most engaging of the songs. At least from what I can remember, this was months ago. "In Undertow" and "Plimsoll Punks" are two others that stand out to me.

Either way, I liked the album enough that I decided to check out Blue Rev when that dropped. Considering Antisocialites is one of your favourites, I'm curious to what you think of the follow-up, because personally I think I might like Blue Rev a bit more. I think Antisocialites is probably the more cohesive product, but the tracks that stood out to me from Blue Rev really connected with me stronger. The album felt a bit more dynamic to me also. I think it comes down to mostly being just a Singles guy, the albums I like the most tend to be the ones that give me the most songs to return to, and while I looped Antisocialites as an album more than Blue Rev, I've probably played my favourite tracks from Blue Rev more frequently, and most of Blue Rev is solid anyway. It's not the case where I just really like a handful of songs.

Anyway, the highlights for me this time around were "After the Earthquake", "Belinda Says", "Many Mirrors", & "Tile By Tile". I don't have much to say on the last three, although as someone who deeply loves Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven is a Place on Earth", I think it's like he perfect 80's pop song, "Belinda Says" kind of cheated it's way into my heart there. But "After the Earthquake" is by far my favourite song by them, and a top five, maybe top three song of 2022 for me. I love the energy this song possesses, I think it matches the pace your thoughts can have during crisis like these, and I love the sudden dynamic shift during the bridge. It fits the the mood of the lyrics as those are the most depressing thoughts expressed in the song, and kinda feels like the sobering sad moment of the realization of what was lost, but also just sonically it gives the song so much life. It stills followed the template of verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus that most songs are confined to, but very few do that drastic of a shift, it makes the song feel more engaged and real than a lot of other ones. And I just love the lyrics, I really like stories of expressing personal apocalypses basically, and I think the song does a good job of expressing the thoughts of someone potentially losing someone due to this earthquake/car crash scenario.

After them, I did check out Magdalena Bay's Mercurial World, and while Alvvays' didn't give me an all-time favourite album, Mercurial World is absolutely an all-time favourite of me. When it comes to albums, I typically only listen to them full, in-chronological order once because I don't find most albums give me a reason to loop the album. Usually I pick up my favourite from an album, and just loops those, and even in cases like Antisocialites where that's the full album, I don't necessarily loop them in the track list order. I alphabetize a lot of my music mostly because it just makes it easier to keep track of it, so that's usually what I do. But Mercurial World is built around the tracklist's order in a way that's more sonically necessary, or more overtly important so even people like me can pick up on it. I totally looped this entire album multiple times.

The transitions between songs are so smooth, sometimes while gaming when I looped it would take me a few to realize I'm onto the next song because the transitions are so seamless. The obvious highlight being "Dawning of the Season" to "Secrets (Your Fire)", that one is so perfect. This album reminds me of Marianas Trench's "Ever After" in a way, one of Josh Ramsay's goals for that album was to make it all one long song. There'd be not cuts, every single song would just transition naturally into the next one. But I never really liked how he accomplished this, because for the most part, rather than feeling like it was one continuous song, it felt to me like he just stitched an instrumental interlude in-between every song, that lasted too long to be an effective transition, whereas Mercurial World most of the transitions feel pretty snappy. In Marianas Trench's defense, the album came out in 2011, and I probably haven't heard it in full in like a decade so I could be exaggerating how bad those transitions felt, but it definitely wasn't to the level showcased here, and Ever After doesn't even loop on itself.

That was one of my favourite discoveries, that the closing track "The Beginning" loops perfectly back into the opener "The End", it's just perfectly matches the album's theme of this kind of circular looping nature of own our existential narratives. Lyrically it doesn't really do much with the concept beyond like just bringing up the questions and the eternal resolution, so I'm not sure it's really saying anything but I appreciate carrying the theme over musically. The only other slight issue I have with the album is that unlike Ever After, they're inconsistent with the transitions. Especially in the second half of the album, they kinda just stopped doing it, it was pretty disappointing after the first half was filled with them.

On an individual song basis, all the songs were pretty good. The standouts for me were definitely "You Lose!", "Dreamcatching", & "The Beginning", I played those songs long after I was done listening to the album in full, especially "The Beginning", that song's just like pure joy. None of the songs were really bad, though I don't care much for "Domino" much on it's own, and obviously "The End" & "Halfway" don't really have much purpose outside the context of the album, but yeah I loved this.

I was pretty excited when I found out they released a deluxe version of the album, but I kinda hated it. I appreciate that they didn't just do basic acoustic remixes of their songs, I like getting more weird interpretations like an 8-bit version of "You Lose!" or a Spanish version of "Domino", the secrets are cute I guess, and I like the two new songs, though I do think they're weaker than most of the songs on the original tracklist. So I did get good music out of it, but the order of the tracklist is baffling to me. They didn't add any transitions with the new composition, they only subtracted them. "The Beginning" no longer loops perfectly into "The End" because the stick some secrets and a new version of "Mercurial World" in between them. They clearly put effort and thought into the deluxe track listing, but I don't understand what they were going for. Rather than expanding on what they accomplished in Mercurial World, they simply removed the element that made it so special to me.

But anyway, I loved Magdalena Bay even with how souring the Deluxe version experience was, I'll have to at some point check out their earlier works, and listen to your other suggestions. King Grizzard still sounds insane for their work ethic, but also kind of the most intimidating to get into, so I might go for Phoebe or Sufjan.

I love the idea of active listen, I kinda do something similar. I usually have something going on admittedly, for example when I listened to Mercurial World I was leveling up in Sonic Frontiers. If you haven't played Sonic Frontiers, in order to level up Sonic's speed or ring capacity, you have to talk to this NPC who can level you up but he can only level you up one stat at a time. So basically while listening I was also mashing to go through his dialogue tree to level up to 99 because I grinded all the materials in the fishing game to get to full level. It did take at least half of the album to get my stats up to 99 (I was at like lv. 25 for speed & lv 10 for Rings). It's the worst part of the game , I hope they patch an option to level it all at once. So I'll do a mindless task like that or like Tetris (which I did for Taylor Swift's Midnights) but generally I also try to give music at least 90% of my attention anytime I listen to new music. Which is a big part of why I don't listen to as much as I want.

I also love the idea of listening to music from different countries. That's something that I might consider doing, I don't tend to check artist's origins all that much, but I'm certain most of my artists are also from the States, though obviously I know got a lot from UK, Canada, & New Zealand, at least some of my favourite artists are there. Also, a good amount of music from Japan because anime, and I know I have a few songs from Russia but I do like the idea of culture traveling through music.

The only music project I did that was kind of similar was Wikipedia has a bunch of pages of "Year in Music", and I wanted to say I know & like a song from every year, to an extent. Since I went through all those pages from 1950 onward until I reached a point where I knew a lot of music, and kind of just listened to a bunch of random songs listened on the page. That's actually how I discovered Patti Smith since the album name Horses stood out to me, and what lead me getting more into Kate Bush since I listened to her songs when they came up since I trusted her from "Running Up That Hill".

Speaking of Patti Smith, and I swear this is related, have you ever watched the TV Show Millennium? If you haven't, it's an interesting show if only because it lasts three seasons but it feels more like three different shows that just happened to share the same characters & consanguinity. I haven't seen Season 3 yet myself, but I know a good deal about it and I know the production history, which mirrors the latest Star Wars trilogy.

Basically the gist is, during the height of X-Files popularity, Chris Carter was able to make another show with Fox during X-Files fourth season. For Millennium's second season, Carter would be too busy with X-Files fifth season & The X-Files movie to continue showrunning Millennium, so he handed the keys off to the writing duo of Glen Morgan & James Wong, who truly took the wheel (writing 11 of the 23 episodes) and drove the series in a completely direction. They were only contracted for one season, so come season three they left & Carter returned (not to the same level, three had a troubled production), who apparently wasn't a fan of the direction the show took in season two. So he wanted to return the series to what it was in season one but so much had changed in season two the show could never return to season one, so season 3 ends up with it's own identity as they had to come up with something to return the series to it's roots without. I can't comment on season three yet, but I can confirm that season one & two feel drastically different from each-other, though I enjoyed both versions of the show.

In an funny aside, season two seemed divisive like Last Jedi but not within the fandom. Millennium is kinda niche so it's hard to get a strong grasp, but it's seems almost universally considered by both fans & critics that season two was Millennium at it's best, but behind the scenes it seemed like Carter wasn't the only one who wasn't a fan of the new direction, as apparently several writers, directors, and even lead actor Lance Henriksen weren't fans of what Morgan & Wong did to the show.

Anyway, season two is where Patti Smith comes up. Season two of Millennium is a very ambitious show, sometimes to the show's detriment as the episodes that don't work, don't work because they're trying too much, but the absolutely high point of their ambition comes with Patti Smith. I'm going to put this in a spoiler tag in case the show is on your to-watchlist and you want to go in blind, it's not really a plot spoiler, but it will change the experience if you know it's coming. I just need to gush about it because it's really cool, and if you don't care about watching it, it's at least a neat thing or potentially a motivator to watch it. I know it's one of the reasons I was excited to start watching it, since I did know about it before starting.

Terrestrious Nov 2, 2022 12:00 PM
Yeah, the first five parts of JoJo should be one entry from my understanding of the guidelines, as those five parts continue the same volume count. Definitely wish JoJo was the rule and not the exception with the guidelines. Pokémon Adventures is probably a much bigger victim of this than Chainsaw Man, since from my understanding each game generation gets their own arc, meaning that series is probably never ending.

lol, I totally see that comparison to Oda's writing with Chi-Chi's marriage, like I do think this is also what happened with Observation Haki and Mantra.

One last thing about manga, Hunter x Hunter is back! I couldn't believe it when I heard Togashi had joined twitter and started sharing progress on new HxH chapters. It was so out of left field, I loved it. I haven't been following his feed much, but I don't suspect more than 10 chapters before he breaks but I'm so grateful to just get that much. Especially as I hear more about the effects of Togashi's back issues, getting anymore feels like a miracle.

Am a bit worried about feeling lost jumping back in though lol. It's been a least a year since I've re-read some of those chapters, and the Succession War has more moving parts than I think I've seen a story have, certainly when it comes shonen. Might end-up having to re-read a bunch, but I'd rather spend my free-time also catching up on all the other manga I've ignored. When HxH was last releasing, it was the only thing I was reading, it'll be cool to read it alongside everything else I think. And with HxH, I'll actually be reading weekly.

With music, I do want to note two things before I continue. Firstly, I'm pretty bad at describing music sonically, so I might mess up with a genre tag though I'll probably try to avoid labeling them. You are definitely way better equipped at discussing that. And secondly, that it's really only been this past year that I started listening to albums in full. Of course, there were a few artists/bands I listened to their album releases as they came out over the years but typically I wouldn't explore past the singles or whatever songs I heard on TV/were suggested to me. But now, if I heard a song from an artist I really liked, I'm more likely to check out their album.

Which brings me back to Taylor Swift, because you mentioning hating "You Need to Calm Down" & "ME!" reminded me that I think Taylor Swift often picks the worst songs to be singles lol. I don't like those tracks either, they're the low point of Lover and yet they're the ones that's suppose to sell us on it. I was dreading entering Reputation because of how much I hated "Look What You Made Me Do" and granted you didn't like the album, but would you agree that it's not really representative of the rest of the album's sound? I feel like outside of "New Year's Day", it's probably the song with the least in common with the rest of the tracklist, though maybe that's just my bias since I myself do like a good chunk of that album. I also do like a lot of your favourites too, "august" is probably my 11th favourite.

Have you listened to Midnights yet? I think it's pretty consistent, "Vigilante Shit" is the only song I didn't like, though the album's maybe bit too samey for how long it is. Though to contradict what I just said, "Anti-Hero" is probably my favourite off the record (not counting the bonus tracks), so Taylor got this single right.

My favourite Kate Bush album is Hounds of Love, when I went through the discography I probably would've said The Sensual World was my second favourite, but the further I get away from the Bush marathon, the more I find myself returning to tracks from The Dreaming more than any other of her albums. "Suspended in Gaffa", "Get Out of My House", and especially "Houdini" are some of my most replayed songs from her. And yeah, I love the donkey noises too. & lol at Stranger Things just getting worse.

One thing I really appreciated about Kate Bush was how often her songs were about more interesting topics than just typical break-up/love/romance stuff. Like I mentioned "Houndini" which is basically a love song but it's such a specific & unique situation, it just makes it more interesting than most. Though I think 50 Words for Snow is probably the album with the most interesting song concepts. Like I don't know that "Misty" really needed to be 13 minutes long but I do still like that song and part of the reason is because it's this weird dark song about a one night stand with a Snowman. "Snowed in at Wheeler Street" is another great concept for a song.

Of the artists I mentioned that you don't really know, Gotye is the one I'd most recommend. I discovered him, & Kimbra, through his single "Somebody That I Used to Know", which is I'm pretty sure it was a worldwide hit so there's a good chance you've heard it. And the great thing about Gotye is, if you had heard it, whether you hated it or loved it, I'd still recommend the rest of his discography because none of his other songs are really like that. One thing in particular I love about Gotye, the diversity also extends to his music videos. The music video for STIUtK is pretty memorable itself, but the most of his other ones are actually animated, with each one being pretty distinct. One is stop-motion, another one is like a Ghibli-like anime, etc. I don't really watch much music videos now, for example I don't think I've watched a single Swift, Bush, or Patti Smith music video in full, but I do enjoy music videos, and Gotye probably has my favourite of any artist.

Heh, The 1975's actually my favourite band. If you didn't like their first album, I probably wouldn't recommend checking out their second either. If I had to describe the difference between the two, it's less emo and more new wave, with a pinch of funk, but while I like their second album more, I don't think it's different enough that I could recommend it to someone who didn't like the first. Personally, I really like both albums, but with that said they didn't become my favourite until their third album.

I remember an interview from Matty during promotion of the second album, where he says something like "genre's are so irrelevant to me" but that mindset wasn't reflected in his actual music until A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships. The singles went from like this really pulsing song with raw vocals to an autotune dance pop to RnB, and the full album kept up that variety, even having a song where the vocals were done by Siri, so it's more like Siri-storytime set to their music. Their following album was even more varied, their first single "People" was what wiki calls anarcho-punk, with like screamo and sounds absolutely nothing like the rest of their discography. Beyond that, the album contains country, reggae, acoustic folk, and even a Greta Thunberg climate speech. I don't like it as much as a Brief Inquiry, as Notes is too long (it's like 80 minutes), doesn't have a theme tying it together whereas Brief Inquiry has the online relationship things (even if it's not great), and there are duds for me on Notes than any other album.

This variety is why I loved "Part of the Band" as the lead single, because like "People", it was another song that sounded nothing like anything else on this discography, except "Part of the Band" is far more my type of music. Now that Being Funny in a Foreign Language is out, I've seen they scaled back on the variety of their recent albums, producing a more cohesive identity like they did on their first two records. Admittedly, this is a bit disappointing for me but I do think this worked out in the album's favour. Not sure where I rank it among the others, might be my second favourite.

Have you checked out Being Funny in a Foreign Language yet? Definitely interested in your thoughts.

And yeah, I just haven't listened to Bon Iver though I really need to. Even years before the Swift songs were a thing, I somehow stumbled across their song "Perth", and I love that song yet never followed up on it. Between that, the Swift songs, and The 1975 comparison, I really gotta get into them properly lol. Maybe they'll be they next artist discography I go through completely.

The Cure are great! In terms of albums, I've only heard Disintegration, and Wish in full. I don't really remember Wish beyond the fact that I liked it, but Disintegration is definitely a special album, though I don't rank it as highly as you. For me, when it comes to music I do tend to be very vocal/lyric driven, when a song has an extended instrumental section, especially if it's a loop, I tend to lose interest. It's my biggest problem with Prince (& 1975 to a lesser extent), I prefer going with the album version in most cases, but there are a handful of Prince songs I take the Singles edit simply because it feels like the songs waste my time with some of these instrumental outro loops or whatever. Anyway I bring this up because Disintegration is one of the exceptions, there's just this great mood to the instrumentals that I don't mind these songs taking like two full minutes for Robert Smith's vocals to kick in.

I haven't listened to much of Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, or Neil Young. Honestly not sure I've heard any Neil Young but that seems unlikely to me so I assume I've heard something. I've never been the biggest Beatles fan and I've heard little of him outside of them, but from what I sampled he is my favourite of the Beatles.

Joni Mitchell is definitely someone I'm more curious to check out. I only know "Big Yellow Taxi" & "Help Me" and I like both of them, especially the former. One thing I'm curious about, when I was going through Kate Bush, I looked at some reddit threads to get a community consensus of her work, and someone said something to the effect that 50 Words of Snow was almost more like a Joni Mitchell album than Kate Bush. Like they'd recommend it more to people who were big fans of Joni Mitchell than Kate Bush, does that seem accurate to you?

As for Bob Dylan, he's like Prince for me where I like most of what I've heard from him, but his discography is so intimidating I doubt I'd ever go through it all. I've just heard significantly less of his discography than Prince's. I've probably only heard like two, maybe three of his albums in full. Blood on the Tracks being my favourite album, with "Tangled Up in Blue" being my favourite song of his. People insult his voice a lot, and fair enough if people don't like it, but I love his vocals, and I can't see a song like "Tangled Up in Blue" working as well under anyone else's lungs. As an aside, I think 1975 is one of the best years in music, definitely the best year of the 70's imo. Don't know if you categorize music by years at all, but from the 70's, 75 is the standout for me, though I still have a lot to listen to from that decade though.

As for the more recent artists, I've heard Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago" since it was in a None Piece video, and I love that song. Definitely sounds like someone I should check out. Phoebe Bridgers is only someone I know because of her features on songs from The 1975, Taylor Swift, and MUNA, but never listened to any of her own stuff. I've had heard great stuff about her, so I'll probably try and listen to more of her stuff, upgrade her from just the featuring artist label.

The other three I've never heard. Magdalena Bay sounds the most appealing to me immediately, because synth-pop is definitely a genre I really like. King Grizzard & The Lizard Wizard sound the most interesting for sure, not in a way I'm sure I'd even like but definitely in a way I'd respect. Hell, I respect them for releasing 5 albums in 2017, I checked their Wiki page and it seems they've also released 5 albums this year? That's insane, I might have to retract my comment about Prince having the best work ethic I've seen in music lol. And I have no idea what jangle pop or shoegaze mix means tbh, but it'll probably be more fun to find out by listening than Google, though I'm not sure when I'll get around to checking them out.

This is been pretty long but I just have one last question I want to ask, do you end up replaying songs a lot? I find myself constantly repeating songs, part of why I don't listen to as much different music because I really like wearing myself out of certain songs I guess. I can find myself looping the same handful of songs for a day or two before I move on. Just curious how you balance all the new releases vs. listening to old favourites with how much music it seems you're keeping up with.
Terrestrious Aug 8, 2022 7:37 AM
Kinda fitting that not long after we start talking about Mononoke, they announce a movie for it. Seems some people are speculating it's going to be a recap of the series or something, but either way it's perfect timing. I'll definitely watch the Akayashi and Mononoke proper before the movie comes out.

Totally understandable, one of my bigger problems with Goodbye Eri was that I don't think it gets interesting until the final act, so I don't blame you for dropping it early. I do think the strongest element is the visual presentation anyway, but had you read it, I'd be pretty interested in what you thought. Of the Fujimoto stuff I've read that you haven't, it's probably the one most worth checking into. And as a side note to Fujimoto, I'm unreasonably upset that Chainsaw Man part 2 is just continuing on from the Chainsaw Man entry on MAL. I get why they're doing it, but it annoys me nevertheless, especially since it seems inconsistent with the anime database, as split cour shows are still separated.

Interesting. I've never thought of the world-building in One Piece that way, I definitely agree that One Piece's world has, since the time-skip especially, started feeling a lot smaller than originally presented but I've always attributed that towards the shift to narrative progression in the time-skip as opposed to the previous episodic nature of the One Piece arcs. Like it a decade, almost to the date, from Luffy's declaration that he'll defeat Kaido in Punk Hazard to him actually doing so in Wano. But yeah, I definitely think Oda's connection-heavy storytelling definitely plays a big part in this now thinking back. I was happy with the Zoro Dojo connection just because I was worried Oda was going to give Zoro himself a far more direct connection, but having that connection at all doesn't really add any value I think. Or the reveal that Whitebeard, Big Mom, and Kaido were all part of the Rocks Pirates. I still think Luffy is the main problem when it comes to determinism of One Piece, because if he didn't have all this "chosen one" stuff it wouldn't matter if the other Yonko all started on the same crew, Luffy would serve as the counter-example that you don't have to be some fated figure to achieve success. But yeah, I get the comedy being enough.

I will say I still do like how much Oda weaves connections together though. Very few series have the length and history that One Piece do, so getting connections hundreds of chapters later can be a uniquely rewarding experience mostly exclusive to One Piece. Like, I loved the reveal that Koala from Fisher Tiger's backstory grew up to be a Revolutionary, I think I was almost more excited about that than Sabo lol. I definitely get the problem, but it still definitely works on me from time to time.

I have to ask, what did you think of the Laboon/Brook reveal? Personally it's one of my favourite moments in the entire series but it's arguably the most egregious example of Oda connecting everything together, at least in pre-time skip.

Also on the note of manga, I read your comments on Dragon Ball, I don't think I recognized how much retreads were in the Piccolo arc when I read it. But definitely another reason why it's probably the worst arc of the series proper (discounting GT & Super of course).

I love that you mentioned Folklore, since that's exactly what finally got me into Taylor Swift. My history with Taylor Swift started with "Love Story" back when it first released, and I kind of wrote her off immediately. A few years later I'm listening to Pandora and this song with like really biting lyrics come on that and to my surprise it was Taylor Swift's, "Blank Space". So I ended up getting into 1989 at the time, an album I mostly enjoyed. But she followed that album up with stuff like "Bad Blood" and "Look at What You Made me Do", two songs I really don't like so I went back to ignoring her entirely. Once I heard "exile" on a Todd in the Shadows video, I decided to give Folklore an entire listen through since I liked that one song more than anything else she released. I loved Folklore so eventually I had to give Evermore a listen to, and then I decided to just go through her entire discography, except I only listened to the Taylor Version's of the albums that were available.

Folklore is still very much her best work imo, and most of my favourite songs come from there, but I ended up enjoying a lot of her catalogue. The only real exception was the first album, she constantly sang with what felt like a fake country accent, it might've been genuine at the time but it sounded so inauthentic and cringy that I gave up halfway through the album and just moved on. But yeah, it was definitely fun going through all of Taylor's Swift discography, she definitely changed her sound up enough throughout the years to remain interesting, and usually for the better imo. I once considered 1989 her only good work, and now it's not even top five.

What are your favourite songs by her? I can give my top ten.

I. my tears ricochet
II. mirrorball
III. exile
IV. gold rush
V. Forever Winter
VI. Renegade
VII. The Archer
VIII. Soon You'll Get Better
IX. this is me trying
X. long story short

The last artist I went through their full discography for though was actually Kate Bush. And I did it about a month or two before she blew up thanks to Stranger Things too. Which side-note, have you watched Stranger Things. I've been meaning to forever but finding out the last season has movie length episodes have further pushed me away from starting it. Did watch the scene with Running Up That Hill though, and that was very well executed. Anyway, I'd say Kate Bush didn't change her sound as frequently as Taylor Swift did, only her last two albums sound like a noticeable departure, but I feel Kate Bush had a much stronger, more unique stronger artistic sound.

Bush and Swift are definitely two of my favourite artists. Along with them, off the top of my head, some of my other favourite artists are The 1975, Prince, Patti Smith, Marianas Trench, Gotye, Kimbra, Baby Queen, Escape the Fate, Falling in Reverse, and EDEN. I listen to a lot of music though so I'm sure there's plenty I've left off, besides I wanted to focus on artists that I've heard pretty much their entire discography. I haven't heard all of Prince since he had the best work ethic of any artist I known, as he basically released a new album every year since 78 until his unfortunate death but I've listened to a good chunk. Not the biggest variety of genres here, but yeah.

Who are some of your favourite artists? I know you're a big fan of Susumu Hirasawa but who else?
Terrestrious Apr 25, 2022 2:02 AM
Yeah, once I realized I could probably hit 500 anime completed, I added a bunch of like music videos to my list. It makes the milestone far less impressive when you actually look at it, but I don't care, I like having the big number. I doubt I'll ever reach 1,000 completed, even if I keep up with March Mania for another decade, so it's cool to hit the last big milestone number I'm probably ever going to reach.

Do you have a cool collection set-up like a lot of Youtubers or anything for your films? All I have is a dinky three cube storage shelf for my games and DVD's, and they're all kind of crammed in together, they're organized by like console in stuff but I have a back and front row with every shelf so it's pretty cluttered. I'd like to eventually get a better way to organize them but since I've mostly gone digital, it's not been high on my list.

I have read your review now and I do tend to agree with, what I really liked about your reviewing, and what you're saying here with Takahata and Grave of the Fireflies, is the importance of the context you watch the movie in. It's not something I think about much but I would tend to say art is a conversation with it's audience, not a statement to them. It's cool there are movies that can grow with it's audiences, makes me think I should re-watch stuff more often. It'll be fun to see how the new re-watch works, I imagine it'd resonate stronger.

I looked up Kenji Nakamura, and see the only other thing I've seen that he's done is [C] Control . . . I'm kind of glad I didn't know that going it, might've made me a bit hesitant to watch Kuuchuu Buranko. It's been a decade since I've seen it so I can't be too harsh as I don't really remember it now, I don't think it was awful but my impression of it isn't very high either. Either way, Kuuchuu Buranko was amazing so I'm definitely down to watch more of his stuff.

Added Kemonozume to my list, and Mononoke has been on my PTW list for ages. But "flamboyant punk rock Mushishi" is like the best sales pitch ever lol, so I'll probably try and get to that sooner. I did briefly consider it for last month, but because of it's connection to Ayakashi I opted against it, since I'd want to watch both. And I think that's why I haven't watched Mononoke first, I see that you didn't rate Ayakashi that highly either. I'll probably watch that first regardless but do you think it's necessary or even worth watching?

That's probably a better way to go about watching Angel's Egg, as an experience rather than a puzzle. I'm not sure I was ever going to be able to do that unfortunately. I ended up enjoying the movie regardless so I guess it doesn't really matter but yeah.

lol, the real fatal flaw of Deadman Wonderland is how forgettable it is after the first chapters. I do think you're right about Minatsuki, that sounds familiar.

Despite Tokyo Ghoul being my least favourite of the three, I actual agree with your reasons. The finale episode of season one I liked a lot for tackling the life philosophy of "It's better to be hurt than to hurt others", it felt like a personal attack in the best way. And I barely remember any of the female characters in Tokyo Ghoul, which is an improvement over Power. I think I like Chainsaw Man the most for the opposite reason, from what I can remember of all three, it's the only that really indulges in the wackiness. Granted the Bat Devil arc was mostly bad because of that, but I think a large part of why I don't care for the ending is they mostly abandon that and play it straight.

Speaking of Chainsaw Man, Fujimoto recently put out another whopping 200-page one shot out recently, "Goodbye, Eri". I think it's arguably his most interesting work plot-wise and visually, at least from what I've read. There's no way to discuss the former without spoiling but the latter is interesting largely because it features a consistent panel layout with another unique touch that meshes really well with the story. It's something you'll immediately recognize within like two pages so it's not really a spoiler but I'm going to spoiler tag the more specific version of the presentation cause it will sort of hint towards the plot and it still might be better to learn that yourself going in blind.

I didn't love it like Look Back though, didn't emotionally connect with me at all, I think because I didn't really care about the characterization, and partially because I think it takes awhile to get interesting. I'm curious to know what you'd think of it, but obviously it's not a strong recommendation since I didn't love like it Look Back and you enjoyed Look Back less than me. I totally get if you don't want to read it. I will say, I already kinda didn't want Chainsaw Man part 2 since 1 was a complete story, but I really don't want it now. I'd much rather Fujimoto just keep making these movie-length one-shots, hard to imagine these two won't stand as his most interesting works.

I've switched to reading One Piece weekly, even started reading some other Shonen Jump series weekly too. It was pretty fun for awhile, getting to kind of rank each series weekly or following the rankings and speculate with others on potential cancellations of the newer stuff. I've kinda been losing interest in this, I know I'm enjoying these series less because of it so I've been scaling back. I might go down to reading monthly, that way I get roughly three to four chapters and can still somewhat keep up with the community discussions. Though right now I'm reading in chunks of every two weeks.

It's definitely hurt One Piece, I hated the Big Mom fight, I think it's one of the worst constructed fights in all of One Piece, but my dislike was definitely heightened from reading it week to week, since it despite only being an handful of chapters, it felt never-ending. So I was also getting bored of Wano for awhile there, and Luffy's power up definitely spiced it up but as I was reading the reveal I thought it was lame.

To clarify though, I absolutely love the power, and I loved it immediately, it was the only thing I liked about that chapter. And the chapter after the reveal where Luffy's toon force were on full display against Kaido was the most fun I had with a One Piece chapter in ages, at least since the Raid started. However Oda didn't need to change Luffy's Devil Fruit to have this power. I didn't expect it to be this over the top cartoony but functionally this was I expected Luffy's awakening would be. And my problem with the reveal lies with the fact that the only thing changing Luffy's Devil Fruit accomplishes is to further lean into my least favourite part of One Piece, the amount of determinism in Luffy's journey of becoming the Pirate King.

Luffy being a destined "chosen one" isn't anything new, and I think Oda handles it a lot better than most (like how Luffy may have all the special qualities you can have like Conqueror's or Voice of All Things but at least he isn't the only one) but it's never been aspect I've liked and every further element Oda adds that makes Luffy's eventual victory feel like a fated occurrence disengages me further with Luffy's actual journey. Especially in shonen stories of this ilk where I think inspiration is baked into it's DNA, so giving Luffy stronger connections to deified figures just kills any inspiration I can take from him.

I also do think the reveal was just generally sort of poorly handled. I don't believe Oda plans out everything well in advance, I don't buy for one second Haki was intended from the beginning, or even intended like pre-Thriller Bark, but I do think Oda did a great job of incorporating them into the series. But still, all the foreshadowing to this reveal being so close to the reveal combined with the reveal itself having the Gorosei randomly exposit to each-other about the Fruit's power and history in a very "As you know" manner felt rather clumsy to me.

I ranted a bit there but I'm mostly over it now, I like the powers themselves a lot and I accepted years ago Luffy was going to lean more towards determinism than determination in the end when they started adding prophecies and back in Fishman Island.

It's actually why Zoro's my second favourite character in the series, because he serves as the biggest counterpoint to the determinism angle in the series, as he currently is just some guy who decided he was going to be the greatest swordsmen and dedicated himself to that goal. I would've been far more upset if it was revealed he had some prominent connection to Wano, but thankfully Oda just connected his dojo to Wano, which I think was a good compromise to still give Zoro some sort of reveal in Wano without really altering his history. Which was a concern I had since we know nothing of his parentage.

I'm also greatly looking forward to re-reading it all once it's done. I've gone through most of the pre-time skip stuff like three times so I'm pretty well-familiarized with those parts of the story, but a lot of the post-time skip I've only gone through once and my memory of them is pretty hazy. Hell, I don't even remember all of Wano that well anymore lol.
Terrestrious Apr 1, 2022 4:47 PM
Yeah, Tatami Galaxy's premise is fantastic and they really got the most out of it. How excited are you for the sequel series to Tatami Galaxy btw? I'm cautiously interested, seems completely unnecessary to me though. And lol, Night is Short is probably a fantastic drunk movie either way. Do you have a lot of anime on Blu-ray, or is it just your favourites? I've mostly stopped collecting physical media, though I made an exception for Satoshi Kon (still need to grab Perfect Blue, and maybe Paprika). Even with gaming, I've gone mostly digital.

I'm glad you suggested it, I think I said it in the thread, even if I'm not sure I even liked it as a whole, Belladonna of Sadness is like exactly the type of anime I wanted to watch last month.

I should clarify, after Night is Short I did purposefully watch anything. After finishing Night is Short, I put a bunch of anime into a randomizer, and just watched what came up first. The only other exceptions is I knew I was going to end with Angel's Egg (hopefully as my 500th, which I succeeded in doing), and I know my brother wanted to watch Spirited Away so I just watched it with him but otherwise everything I watched was just a product of the randomizer. I thought this made the experience more fun, though it did lead me to not necessarily watching the best stuff. I don't think I'll wait another year before watching some of the stuff I missed out on this month. But yeah, I didn't choose to watch Grave of the Fireflies first intentionally, it's just came up first.

Oh, so your first watching of Grave was probably closest to my initial reaction? Interesting, so maybe it's something I should re-visit at some point in the future. I'm not sure how likely that is, but I would've preferred to connect with it. I have seen Only Yesterday since then, and I definitely enjoyed that movie a lot more. I don't know if you read my thoughts but it's a fascinating production. The fact that the present day stuff was recorded prior to animation and sometimes with the actors in the same room, with the the animation being guided by their performance, added so much to the realism. It's probably the most realistic anime I've seen, and a lot of the comes from their facial expressions and character acting. And the fact that those segments were all created for the movie with only the flashbacks being from the source wasn't like surprising because they did feel distinct from each-other, but that's the kind of adaption choice I love. It reminds me of Kekkai Sensen, season 1 was way more interesting to me because it was mixture between the source material's episodic nature and Rie Matsumoto's thematic-drive over-arcing narrative. The second season lost her as the director and they just adapted the manga straight, and while it wasn't bad, it was definitely lacking in comparison. I get the appeal for straight adaptions, and how risky it is, but I wish there more interesting ones like Kekkai Sensen or Only Yesterday as both I feel really added to the experience. Even the Yuasa adaptions of Tatami & Night is Short had more interesting creative decisions apparently. I haven't read them, and it doesn't seem like you have either, but from what I read like Night is Short was multiple nights in the novel, and Tatami Galaxy only had four loops I think.

Anyway, I do think Spirited Away is my favourite Ghibli film from those I watched, but Only Yesterday's probably second. I actually think Only Yesterday in a lot of ways is maybe the better crafted film, like the ending especially, Spirited Away's ending is a little weird whereas I think the credits sequence of Only Yesterday is the emotional high point for the film but Spirited Away's endless parade of creativity is just hard to beat.

Kuuchuu Buranko is my favourite thing I've seen this month! I immediately loved the series look but the first episode had me a bit worried because narratively I thought it was rather weak, so I figured it might be a case where it's strength lies solely in it's aesthetic but episode two showed that wasn't the case. That boner episode is one of my favourite episodes in all of anime and while it remained my favourite, Kuuchuu Buranko produced several more all-time classics by the end. I really loved the amount of inter-connectivity between all the stories too. It was so satisfying to see characters from earlier episodes pop up with a case of their own, or to get different perspectives of own scenes, really made the world feel more lived in. Fantastic series.

Of all the stuff I finished in March Madness that you haven't seen, I'd recommend Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Kafka's, outside of knowing about him I certainly wasn't, but it's very weird, surreal short story. The content of the story itself is at least mildly interesting to ponder over and I've read some solid analysis of it but it's how well the artwork and especially the animation match the oddity and twisted nature of the story that's the selling point. Nice little slightly demented twenty minute experience.

The last thing to discuss is Angel's Egg, I'm really curious to read your experience with this. I don't know if you read my posts but the short of it is that I wasn't able to come up with my own cohesive interpretation of the film, especially with the ending notes, on my own. I had some thoughts here and there but nothing that ever fully realized. Read/watch a bunch of other people's interpretation afterward, and it's super fascinating to here more fleshed out interpretations, with pretty much all of them feeling valid. Which of course is the power of the film. It's certainly a movie that my affection for it has grown way more after the credits when researching/reflecting on it then the experience of actually watching it albeit despite the slow pace, I was never bored with the movie (outside of like the over two minute shot before the boy breaks the egg), it was a fascinating movie to think about, with astounding artwork (Amano is a god), and I did find the moment where my theory about Noah's Ark was proven right when the boy explicitly detailed it, even if most things after threw me for a loop.

Deadman Wonderland featured rape!? Damn, I really don't remember anything about this story lol. Was it like, Shiro's mom, or Shiro herself? I knew you weren't going to like Shiro, Minatsuki had completely forgot existed and had to google to remember who she was. I don't blame you for disliking either of those. I do wonder if I re-read Deadman Wonderland if my score would change, especially since it clearly hasn't stuck with me that well, but I don't think I'd score it as low as you do, because I do still enjoy more typical shonen stuff as sort of comfort food. And I want to say the Forgeries arc was pretty solid shonen from memory, at the very least I recall liking the old man with the fire powers story a good deal when I read it.

I didn't really like what I saw of the Tokyo Ghoul anime, outside of the OP, ED, and surprisingly the final episode I loved. Never continued on past the first season since I wasn't a fan and I heard the anime adaption completely went off the rails and manga fans especially hated it. I see that you rated Tokyo ghoul the highest of the three, what do you think makes it the best of three?

Oh, and One Piece's last chapter was pretty monumental, what were your thoughts on that controversial reveal?
Terrestrious Mar 7, 2022 4:33 PM
I've added all those work to my watching list so I'm definitely intending to watch all of them at some point. It might be like last year where the last week I dedicate entirely to just cramming a bunch of films in. Haven't really been off to good start with zero anime.

Angel's Egg is an anime I feel like I've known about for like almost a decade at this point, and it's something I've been really interesting watching but never got around to. With everything everyone says about it (the different interpretations you mentioned), and how different and interesting it sounds, I have a terrible tendency to put it off because I want to make sure I experience it in the right mindset. Like I want to make sure I'm fully decided to the film when I watch it. Which I think is why I've been favouring Shonen Jump stuff lately, since that's such a low level of mental engagement I need to maintain, there's no mindset I can read One Piece in where I feel I'm doing it a disservice.

But I've been thinking that's pretty dumb, and I'm never going to end up watching the movie if I keep going like that.

Even though I want to focus on more obscure things, I'm definitely not just going to watch us the unknown stuff, so I do appreciate the Takahata amount. I've known about him for quite awhile too, especially Only Yesterday which I heard a lot of great things from another friend. I think my mentality was to go through Miyazaki first then Takahata, but I'm fine skipping straight to Takahata, as while I liked every Miyazaki film I've watched, none of the managed to connect strongly with me.

Although, I think I'll try to watch Spirited Away this month. It's about as far away from obscure I can get, but it's easily the most cultural significant anime film I'm yet to see. For similar reasons, I might watch Grave of the Fireflies because while I want to focus on lesser known stuff, not having those two films on my anime resume feels wrong.

Also I noticed you started reading Deadman Wonderland. That's quite a nostalgic series for me, in fact when I first joined MAL back in 2012, my profile picture was of character in Deadman Wonderland called Crow. Despite that nostalgic fondness, my actual memory on the series is actually rather vague, I kinda just remember a few of the earlier plot beats and vague impressions of what happened later. I'll admit I was a bit of surprise to see you start this, it doesn't strike me as a series you'd be particularly fond of. What are your thoughts on the series thus far?
Terrestrious Feb 26, 2022 4:42 PM
Oh, Brothers was Josef Fares? I had no idea, I really should pay more attention to the credits. I haven't played any of his other games, but I've been hearing a lot about him recently as It Takes Two has been on almost every "best game of 2021" list I've seen, and Josef himself seems like a legitimately cool person.

It's pretty interesting that he shifted gears into a focus on mutliplayer since Brothers on it's surface seems like a game perfect for co-op but all it's power comes from being a single-player experience. Which side-bar, I heard the Switch port added multiplayer, that seems like a mistake. It might be fun to replay under the context, but I hope nobody's first experience with it is the multiplayer mode. Anyway, I wonder what the motivation for switching to multiplayer was? I assume it's because it's easier to meld the storytelling and gameplay when you add a human connection to it with a second player, but maybe striving to create the human connection is the whole point?

Even though I haven't played either games, I do actually appreciate his focus on multiplayer experience, especially locally. I'm not really a fan of playing games online, and so many games have neglected the local experience in favour of online. Case and point, Nobody Saves the World. It's a very fun top-down action rpg dungeon crawler game where the gimmick is your character can transform into many different forms like Mermaid, Horse, Bodybuilder, Rat, etc. I thought it'd be a fun game for my brother and I to go through, but it turns out that co-op is exclusively online for some reason. Game's still fun but that was definitely a disappointment. So to have someone who's dedicated to keeping those experiences alive is something I'm grateful for, even if admittedly I'm not so certain I'll play them myself. Hopefully one day you'll get to play either of his multiplayer games too, since they're both apparently excellent.

I'm so bad at following anime movie news, I had never even heard of Inu-Oh. So I checked out the trailer and I already loved it. Definitely going to watch that when I can. Looks a lot more appealing to me than a lot of his more recent-ish output like Ride Your Wave and Lu Over the Wall. Doesn't seem like it's on any streaming service atm, so it'll probably be awhile before I watch it, but I do intend to watch some of more of Yuasa's works next month, namely Tatami Galaxy and Night is Short.

Hoping to watch some more obscure/niche anime as well. The only thing I know for sure is that I want to finally watch Angel's Egg, any other off-the-top of your head suggestions for anime films?
Terrestrious Feb 6, 2022 8:49 PM
I had never heard of the Toriyama collection, and while I was not surprised to learn there was one, I was surprised to see it pop up on Viz. Should probably get back to reading those, its always fun to dive into the early works of artists I like, even if the one-offs don't wind up any good themselves (though I've enjoyed a decent amount of what I read in the collection).

Reading your comments it seems like Dragon Ball's holding up for you so far at least! I liked your mention about Goku and Bulma representing the two clashes of Dragon Ball's world, the traditional Chinese and the technology. I got the clash between the characters obviously, but I never realized how it matched the mish-mash of Dragon Ball's world design.

Oh that's good. And lol, I imagine the conversations with that friend about Chainsaw Man were pretty fun.

Oh no, I should've linked the World Apartment Horror movie, so you don't have to search for it. The link for the movie on youtube with English Subs.. I would assume it wouldn't be blocked in your reason, and it does seem age-restricted so if you don't have a Youtube account the link's worthless. I still haven't watched it yet myself. Have no idea when I will either, but I have it saved on my watch later.

Speaking of the risky proposition of referencing other films, it occurs to me that this is something the MCU sort of thrives on that never had a potential backlash because the MCU is very homogenized in it's visual story-telling. They're functional, but none of the MCU movies I've seen really go beyond that. Except maybe Black Panther, as that was the only one I've seen that had strong shot composition (the Killmonger fire scene stands out to me). The visual effects are usually strong in all the films though, which are nice.

It doesn't really bother me per se, especially when watching a camrip lol, but re-watching the Raimi films and they definitely pale in comparison to the Raimi movies. The Doc Ock scene was a great, wasn't a surprise to learn from my brother that Raimi has a history in horror. My personal favourite part was in the first film, when Goblin bombs the testing site and the explosion seamlessly transitions into the graduates throwing their scholar hats into the air. Such a slick, and fun transition.

I've also only seen the Amazing movies once when they first came out, and I recall enjoying both of them, which puts me in the minority (at least for the second ones). That said, I'm not sure I'd call either of them great movies. The things I recall liking from them were Peter & Gwen's relationship, probably my favourite of all the Spider-Man movies love relationships, and I really liked Spider-Man's personality, the quips and humour of the character. One of my problems with the Raimi trilogy was Spider-Man barely ever quipped, him never shutting up has always been a fundamental part of the character, so I was elated to see that translated into the movie counterparts.

That doesn't really translate to them being good movies albeit, and most of the stuff I remember about them besides those two qualities are negative. One of my favourite things in the first two Raimi movies were the moments where the citizens supported Spider-Man in a moment of crisis. TASM tried to do this with the Crane scene but it just came across a super hokey, and since a villain wasn't present (from memory), it lacked any significant impact. And the movie ended with the final phone message from Uncle Ben, but it wasn't written like something anyone would actually say without like, knowing they were about to die or something. I imagine I'll re-watch all the films at some point, but not really looking forward to re-watching those.

And I'd feel remiss to say, that upon re-watching the movies, Tobey did quip more than I remembered. He's basically mute compared to Andrew & Tom's Spider-Man, but I was happy to see more of that aspect of the character was represented than I remembered. And of course, it didn't really make sense for the story in Spider-Man 2 for him to be quipping all the time, so I always gave that one a pass.

Ah, I don't have a car. I think there are other options that aren't too far out, so if there was something I needed to see in theatres I could work something out, but otherwise it's just easier to wait for them to become available on streaming (or getting caught in a leaked rabbit hole). The old theatre was only about an hour away on foot, so I never minded making the walk if I wanted to see something spontaneously.

I've played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons now! It wasn't on X-Box Live, but it was on sale for two dollars so my brother just bought it for me anyway. I looked it up on, and once I saw that it was only three hours, I decided to wait until I had the free time to just do it one sitting.

First thing I'll say is I do kind of wish I played it on the Playstation because of how the analogs sticks are positioned. I think gameplay wise, having both sticks on the same level would've been better than the X-Box's set up with the left stick higher up and the right stock lower down (which in a way, matches the brothers' heights so it kinda works). That, and the triggers on the dualshock are more comfortable imo.

But that didn't really dampen the experience. The gameplay itself was really fun. I love the short length here too, because within the time limit I think they managed to get everything you could get out of their limited control scheme without any segment feeling too long. I guess, maybe the boat rowing segment lasted a bit longer than I would've liked, but I was impressed by the pacing of the different tasks you'd be giving throughout the game. My favourite being when you're climbing that castle and have the ropes attached so you're swinging all over the place. Unless they wanted to make the game really challenging by making you do different tasks with both brothers at once, I don't think there's much more you could do with this gameplay. It really impressed me just how much it got out of it's gimmick from a gameplay perspective.

Story-wise, I was surprised by the lack of any discernible dialogue, yet without that they still managed to convey the simple story really well, as well as the personalities of the brothers. One of my favourite things about the opening sections is interacting with the different townsfolk with the each of the brothers. It tended to go with the older brother being responsible and helpful while the younger was being a little kid, but other touches like the older brother not being good at music while the younger is, it allowed me to get a better sense from the characters just by playing the game.

Another example being the Spider-lady we rescue. I chose to constantly interact with her with both brothers, and seeing the older brother start to flirt with her while the younger brother seemed to start liking her less was really funny at the time, and allowed me to get more enveloped into the adventure through my own actions. There are cutscenes and they are helpful, I think the older brother getting a flashback to fishing with his father was really important (the younger brother had already felt like the main character due to starting with his flashback, so having this helped make them feel on equal grounds as main characters, which helps makes the ending more devastating).

Also, I did not see the Spider-Lady being a Spider-Lady but I definitely was starting to question why she needed rescuing with all her insane feats during the journey. They did a really good job of hinting towards that twist, I think there was even a spider drawing in a cave at one point. Which, just as an aside, character models have aged a bit, and there were at least one instance of really noticeable texture pop-in but in general, this game's environments are breath-takingly beautiful. I took every opportunity to have both brothers sit on the bench and just gawk at the scenery.

Another thing about the story that surprised me was just how graphic and dark it could get. I should've suspected as much with the fairytale vibe to the world since unless Disney is involved those tend to get extreme, but when your going through the forest at night and you come across those three hanged bodies, that shocked me. And later, when you actually stop someone from hanging themselves too, that was a pretty powerful moment I thought. Or traveling through the ruins of a battlefield with giant corpses all around that you have to like shoot mutilate to get by.

But obviously it's the ending of the game that's going to stick with me the most. When the gameplay and story elements truly mesh in a beautiful way. The Spider-lady boss was quite fun at first before it got pretty sad with how she was just trying to get away. I jumped when she delivered her final blow, as that's when I realized I was probably finishing this game with only one brother. Seeing the brother dying was sad enough, I was not happy that the game wanted me to bury him personally lol. That was a such a brilliant knife-twist. It's much like the earlier example interacting with the village people. The game could've done a cutscene to get their personalities across, but it lets you do it yourself. The burial could've just been a cutscene and still be effective, but they make you do it yourself. The game never broke me, but this was the second closest they came.

The closest they came was when the younger brother has to cross the river by himself. This is the most genius moment in the entire game. First, I love the fact that we're left with the right side of the controller. Pretty much every game ever has conditioned us to use the left stick as a primary method of movement. So losing that at the very end and being left with just the right stick, it just made the loss that much more pronounced to the player personally. Having lost the left side for a little bit before this point of the journey, means it's not something that's going to immediately cross the players mind.

After the second time I wasn't able to cross the river, I thought of the older brother, and I used his command and it worked. This was the most emotionally powerful moment, and the climax of the game. Every-time the game had me use the older brother's command to accomplish tasks I previously couldn't have me fighting tears. Just a powerful way to convey the power those we love leave behind. And the ending being the father just breaking down in tears hurt too.

Last comment about the game, I really appreciate that the trophy/achievement list had nothing to do with the story, but were all these sides things you could do throughout the journey. Like, if you're playing the game you're going to get through the story anyway, I liked that I was rewarded for exploring and experiencing more of the journey. Like with saving the suicidal man and getting him that music box or helping those turtles.

So yeah, fantastic game. Definitely an all-time favourite now.
Terrestrious Jan 9, 2022 5:34 PM
First of all, nice save on the Toriyama Collection. Believe it or not, this isn't even the first time I had to re-work several of my chapter posts due to a mistake on my part haha. While I was reading GetBackers, the site I was reading it on just straight up skipped a chapter, and I didn't notice until several chapters later. Had to re-edit all those too.

I had completely forgotten about the Denji taking care of Power bit, that was awful.

For me, the highlight of the manga was the fight between Denji and Aki at the end. I figured since you didn't really care for any of the characters that probably wasn't going to work for you, but I thought it was really structured. The mixture between the snowball fight vision and reality was pretty effective, I particularly liked how we saw the Aki's death through the lens of his vision, with Denji disappearing and his brother much this tied up previous threads, like Denji's apathetic nature towards the deaths of those close to him, how he didn't really care about Himeno and thought there wasn't a chance he'd care for Aki, but it was his tears, his human emotion that defeated Aki in the end. And I'm also a sucker for citizens saving the heroes that protect them, so that bit was nice.

I agree that Makima wasn't a good villain either. I liked her as a point of intrigue throughout the series, but once we actually got her I feel her characterization was pretty weak. I don't care much for the last arc.

A part two to Chainsaw Man feels too unnecessary but I'll check it out. Don't blame you for skipping though, feel kinda bad for going to bat for the series when you didn't end up enjoying it lol. But at least you liked Look Back (which is easily his best).

Did some searching into World Apartment Horror, and I managed to find both! The manga wasn't too bad, it seems that's available on several of those manga reading sites I'm sure MAL doesn't want me openly linking (I can PM them if you want). The movie on the other hand was a bit of a pain to track down, but I managed to find the full thing on youtube, with English subtitles. Skimming through, the subs seem they can be a bit hard to read, but I think this is best we can expect. Here it is, I may try and watch this soon myself.

I finished UnderHero and I have to say the end of the game really bumped up my impression of it. Legitimately one of the coolest final boss battles I've ever played. Granted, I have a tendency to not finish games, but still. Hades is probably the best introduction to Rogue-lites, since it's the most forgiving and has plenty of options to help alleviate any frustrations people tend to have with the genre. It's actually not uncommon to hear people who hate the genre end up loving Hades.

Can't say I'm too surprised that I haven't played many of these. The only game on this list I put considerable time into was Infamous, and I only played the first area (though I 100% that area, least I got the trophy for doing it). Definitely had a lot of fun with it though. I do own The Last of Us (it came with my PS4), so maybe I'll try it at some point.

Ni no Kuni has always been something I've been interested in for years for obvious reasons, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons interested me more from the gameplay concept, controlling both characters with the thumbsticks. However, gameplay was pretty much the only thing I knew about this, you've got me a lot more interested in it now. Never knew it had an emotional story or that the gameplay isn't just a fun idea, but an integral component of the storytelling itself.

When it comes to story in video games, what I really look for and appreciate are how the game mechanics contribute to it. Hearing that this couldn't be achieved in any other medium is exactly what I want. My brother has an X-Box and Game Pass, if that game's on there I'll try and play it soon. If it isn't, it might be a bit, but it's definitely high on my games to buy.

I have seen Spider-Man: No Way Home but I should specify, my local theatre did not survive the pandemic, and I uh, ended up watching a camrip. I was just looking up to see if Maguire and Garfield were actually in the movie and found leaked cam scenes of the movie, and that lead me to just kinda watching the full thing. I will buy the DVD's or online version when that's allowed, both to ease some guilt and to experience the movie at a better quality. I just feel like prefacing that I went into the movie, knowing a lot of surprises and that I saw it camripped, both which likely hurt my experience. The quality of the Camrip was mostly solid, and it was cool to be able to hear the fans cheer for Garfield & Tobey's appearances (especially since they were quiet for the rest of it), but it probably detracted.

All that aside, the movie was a lot of fun. I wish I re-watched the Raimi films prior to refresh my memory but it was still undeniably cool to just see these characters again, and to see them interact with each-other. Especially once Maguire and Garfield entered the picture, it was so much fun just seeing them all interact with each-other, like talking about the fact that Raimi's Spider-Man can shoot webs from his body (which is honestly, I change I always liked from the Raimi films), or Garfield's "I don't have time for Peter Parker" stuff chat with Tobey.

And despite that easily being the biggest appeal of the movie, I really respect the decision to keep No Way Home a Tom Holland Spider-Man film. Maguire and Garfield don't enter the picture until the last hour, and while both of them have little arcs that callback to their original films (with Garfield's rescue of MJ in particularly being pretty satisfying), I don't feel the focus of the film ever deviated far from Holland's conflict. I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish the film had leaned more into the crossover element of the Spider-Man's more but that probably would've made for a worse film. I do think they did a good job of not allowing the crossover aspect overshadow the personal story they were telling with Tom Holland.

I suppose my biggest problem with the film might've been that said story was basically Spider-Man's origin story. Aunt May's death didn't really land for me at all, and I'm not sure it's a fair criticisms since my reaction here is based upon my own conclusions from previous films. In Civil War Peter tells Stark "If you can do what I can do but don't, then when bad things happen, they happen because of you", and in Homecoming when Ned finds out, Peter convinces him not to tell Aunt May because "She can not know, I can not do that to her right now. You know, with everything that's happened with her." I've always interpreted both of those lines as Marvel's subtle acknowledgement that the Uncle Ben stuff did happen, they're just not going to address it. And the former at least shows that he understands the "Great power comes great responsibility lesson", so having Aunt May substitute Uncle Ben's role here sort of disconnected me from the intended emotion of the scene. Again, this may not be fair.

I did like the scene at the end where Peter ends up meeting with MJ and Ned at the cafe but ultimately decides not to try and remind them of who he was because that level of sacrifice has always been at the core of Spider-Man's character to me, and it's one of the reasons I've latched onto the character so much. I found that more effective. And I loved the ending, with Spider-Man stripped of all his connections to the MCU, and just on his own, with his own hand-made costume, and being Spider-Man. I was never one bothered by how the MCU stuff got incorporated into Homecoming or Far From Home, they've always seemed like they were there as vehicles for Spider-Man character rather than the other way around, I never seen him as Iron Man Jr. but even so, stripping all those elements and having Spider-Man on his own was such an exciting way to end the film, and has me very excited for the potential future of Tom Holland's Spider-Man.

Also, while I honestly prefer Raimi's Green Goblin design, it was pretty surreal seeing Willem Dafoe's gradually shift into a design reminiscent of the comic book incarnation. And speaking of the villains, I liked how all of them had their own distinct motivations throughout the movie that lead them to their roles in this climactic battle.

I don't entirely know how to evaluate No Way Home, but similar to you, I don't love it like everyone seems to. I loved certain moments of it and the experience was mostly a blast, but I do prefer the other Holland films to No Way Home. Maybe a full re-watch of the Home films will change that, but as it stands I think Homecoming and Far From Home were better.

Also, No Way Home did convince me to re-watch the first two Raimi films, and yeah, those two were much better movies than No Way Home. The most popular of the Raimi trilogy seems to be Spider-Man 2, though I personally preferred the first. The train scene in 2 is probably the highlight of the Raimi trilogy (outside of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, he steals every scene), and that's always been the scene that stuck with me throughout the years.
Terrestrious Dec 12, 2021 10:33 PM
That's a fair take on Chainsaw Man. I likely wouldn't mind if those elements were removed altogether either, as I hated most of the Bat Devil arc, but I do sincerely appreciate the effort to do more with that, even if it doesn't do enough with it.

I checked where you are, and you're at the peak of the series imo. I really enjoyed the International Assassins arc, I liked the structure of introducing multiple antagonists to deal with at roughly the same time than one at time, with each of the different antagonists having fairly distinctive gimmicks to them. I recall quite liking Aldo's little story arc there, and thought the Santa Claus twist was well-executed (I had anticipated her & Tolka to be the biggest deals since their presentation was quite different from the rest, but I didn't expect that much). I also love when stories dip into surrealism, and the trip to Hell did that rather effectively I thought. Fujimoto's art was probably at it's best there. And I recall liking the fight with Santa Claus if just for the moment where they end up playing Tug of War, that made me laugh.

While I mentioned I don't care much for the final arc (at least I think I did), I do think the best part of the series is just ahead of you. I'll be curious to see if you end up agreeing with that.

And Opus was great! Oddly, I sort of think the ending we got was better than a proper ending would've been. At the core, Opus was about the artists relationship with their art, and the plot hinged around the finality of one's work, so this weird auto-biographical/meta direction was the like the perfect summation for the series' heart.

But more so than anything that happened in the chapter, what sticks with more most is the fact that it exists. Especially at the point Kon was in his career, there was really no reason to make this chapter, even in the incompleted form we got it in. What stands out to me is the clear amount of passion & dedication Satoshi Kon had to his characters. The ending message "She'll get the cool ending she deserves someday. I'm not sure where or when, but I look forward to meeting you again!" had me fighting tears. It just makes me miss the man all the more.

On a similar depressing note, Keiko Nobumoto recently passed away. There's no name in the anime industry that got me more excited/interested in a project more than hers, outside of maybe Kon himself as I began to dig into his works. In my top ten, there's no name more common than hers, with Tokyo Godfathers, Cowboy Bebop, and Wolf's Rain. Think I'm going to have to watch Macross Plus, which features the same dream team of Shinchiro Watanabe, Yoko Kanno, and Keiko Nobumoto.

Have you ever watched World Apartment Horror? I was looking into other Nobumoto works (her resume is impressive, but rather small) and this caught my eye. It seems that in addition to Keiko working on the screenplay with Otomo, the story is done by Satoshi Kon (he apparently even did a manga adaption of it later).

Oh, and before I forget, thanks for not commenting on the plot at all. That was a real fun blind read-through.

Interesting, so in a way Yuasa almost made it more like Matsumoto's style than the manga itself? Least on a small scale. Glad you loved it, definitely one of the best anime I've ever seen too. I watched it as it aired, and that was like the best time to be an anime fan. Because along with Ping Pong, there were new episodes of Mushishi and Hunter x Hunter was in final stages of Chimera Ant at the time.

90 HOURS!? Mate that's insane. Stuff like that's why I won't get into a lot of RPGs, like the Persona games, since I know a lot of them hit that ridiculously length. I tend to find 40 hours pushing it tbh. Shame it doesn't even sound good.

Now that you've finished up the PS3, I'm curious, what would be your top five/ten games for it? And yeah, the PS5's are still very hard to get a hold of, but thankfully I don't think there's much reason to get one atm anyway.

Yeah, I've played a few solid titles recently.

The first being Metroid Dread. Really good game, the in-game clock said I beat it in about 9 hours, think it was like 9:18 or something but the in-game clock only counts time from save-point to save-point so the amount of times I've died to like bosses were counted so I'm sure you could add a few hours to it. But it was fun, my favourite thing was easily the combat. The boss battles in Dread, the final one especially, are really fun. Very challenging, without every feeling punishingly difficult. Especially since most of them have counter spots, where if you activate the counter, you can bombard them was ton of free damage. And a few bosses even have hidden techniques that will allow you to basically skip a section of the fight (though those require skill on your part as well).

For example, you can get the morph ball bomb early if you know what to do and are able to complete some pretty tricky platformer challenges. If you have the bomb early, then you can essentially skip the second phase of the Kraid boss fight, it's super cool. It's how I did that fight, simply because I learned from my brother that I could. The other one I know of isn't as cool, but you can still end one of the last boss fights early with proper shinesparking.

In terms of exploration, I think the game generally does a really good job of informing the player where to go next. Clearly there can be benefits for explorations once you know certain stuff, but I think the sense of direction the game constantly gives you is pretty great. Which makes the moments they fail all the more frustrating. The most egregious example happens near the beginning of the game after the first boss, where your path forward is by shooting at some wall that's not really indicated to the player. There's one environmental cue I noticed that would probably alert veterans of the game (though even my brother got stuck at this point, and Metroid's one of his all-time favourites), but I don't think it does much for anyone besides the diehards.

I knew about that moment going in so it wasn't a big problem for me, but there were other times where I had to look up a guide to see where I needed to go next to progress, and each time I was suppose to shoot the landscape. One of those times, the area I needed to shoot was actually the area I thought I needed to shoot to progress but it didn't break because I didn't shoot it with missiles. The earlier example I mentioned above did not require missiles to destroy the land, so the game didn't train me to use missiles there specifically (there are a lot of hidden missile or E-Tank upgrades hidden behind missiles specifically, but that's different from mandatory path progression).

The EMMI's are another problem I have with the game, which is a shame because they're what hooked me originally. At first, they are a pretty fun pace breaker but quickly they just became annoying. Especially since they always seem to be right by whatever entrance you use when you enter their areas. I do like killing them, those kind of come across as tense life or death puzzles tbh, since it takes awhile to deliver the death blow and you can't move or you lose your charge, so you have to find the best spot in the limited space to deliver it. Getting an upgrade for it is always great since it relates to an ability they've been using to chase you. And thankfully, around halfway through the game the EMMI's kinda peter out in prominence. Or maybe I just sucked less so I was able to go through their sections more quickly lol.

The only other negative I can think of is maybe Samus is too weak at the start. Some relatively early enemies can take multiple fully charged energy shots to take down but that does make the end of the game more satisfying when every standard enemy can be swiftly dealt with a lot more satisfying. This does make me completely uninterested in ever doing a replay though. Metroid's kinda set-up for multiple playthroughs but the idea of playing as neutered Samus again sounds like a nightmare to me. Oh, and loading screens were kinda long traveling from area to area.

Mostly had a really fun time with Dread though. Doesn't sell me on Metroid as a whole though, especially since the combat I love so much aren't going to be present in the earlier entries, since Dread gives Samus additional mobility options and the counter's only been in one other game.

I'll be quicker for the next two. I've been playing Underhero as well. It's a rather fun mixture of a sidescrolling platformer and an RPG, with a nice comical story and tone, like the Mario RPGs basically. Like, the boss fights have you sidescrolling throughout their attack phases, and then when you have an open you go up to them and activate the battle system, it's a fun system. What I love about the timing based battle system, is the lack of any menu's. All your actions are mapped to the face buttons & triggers, which are helpfully displayed on screen at all time with colourful pictures to remind you what each button does. Next time I play it I'll likely finish it.

The last game of note is Hades. I think it's every bit as good as everyone said it was, and I find it pretty addictive. It's probably the best rogue-lite game I've ever played, there's a constant sense of progression. There are several collectibles during runs that can fuel different upgrades and advancements, in-between runs gives you a lot of the story & character progression so losing a run still pushes you forward in some capacity (the integration between story & gameplay is very well-handled), there's just so much options and agency placed on the player. And the base gameplay's a ton of fun, I like most of the weapons available, and they did a good job of making them feel distinct.

Maybe I'll end up getting frustrated with it later, but right now it's just been a blast.
Terrestrious Aug 9, 2021 10:47 PM
Glad to hear you enjoyed Look Back, especially since I hyped it so much lol. Ordinarily I'd probably agree with you on the school massacre bit, but in the case of Look Back it works for me, and that's because of the external context of Look Back. Didn't want to mention this when recommending it since I felt it'd be too close to a spoiler but Look Back exists in response to the Kyoto Animation arson attack. Guess it wasn't officially stated it was made as a tribute piece but it was released on the anniversary of the arson attack, the reason the guy gave for his massacre was plagiarism which is the same motivation the arsonist gave, and Kyomoto's name, being a portmanteau of KyoAni & Fujimoto. Which also note, I love how much Fujimoto places himself in here too, Fuji(no) & (Kyo)moto with his own career track, having seven one-shots published at such an early age is true to him, Shark Kick having 11 volumes like Chainsaw Man, and there were visual nods to Fire Punch and Chainsaw Man.

But yeah, having that outside context made the school tragedy effective for. Made it read like more of an effective tribute piece to all the artists in the industry, and it wouldn't surprised me if Look Back was written as part of the grieving process for him. Definitely love the visual storytelling and art in Look Back too. My favourite part of the manga was the very end where after Fujino talks about how she doesn't even like drawing and questioning why she even does it (which side-note, very relatable for anyone who had creative aspirations I think), that the answer we're giving is in the silent memories of her time with Kyomoto, and the effect her work had on her.

I haven't read either of those, but I probably will at some point simply because I like getting a complete look at an artists work. I'm somewhat interested in the first one you mentioned, since it at least sounds like it has it's heart in the right place but the second one kind of sounds just awful.

Interested but wary is probably a safe bet with Fujimoto. The only other work I've read from him besides Chainsaw Man & Look Back is his other serialized work, Fire Punch. A series I had interest in from it's cover picture but never got around to reading it until after Chainsaw Man & Look Back, and I'm glad I waited because if I started with this, I might not have gotten past chapter one and dismissed his other works entirely. The first chapter was miserable, and the first several chapters felt way more concerned with shoving every taboo dark thing they could think of rather than creating a good story or giving anything to emotionally latch on to.

Once a character named Togata, who is this kinda vulgar, cinephile director badass gets introduced, the series became a blast to read, capturing the manic sense of fun I was hoping for. Togata's also the only character that I think ends up working on any dramatic level, it's hard to think of another series where a single character managed to dramatically change my impression on the series. Even outside of Togata it gets fun, for example the main villains' motivation for their plan is one of the best things I've read. The last third of the series shifts focus again, and there's a few notes I like there, it does kind of feel pretentious, a bit too focused on a emotional thread that never worked for me, and it's the weird mixture of very weird story directions whilst also being kinda dull at the same time.

I've heard Fire Punch be described as a shit-post, and I don't really disagree (although again, the last third does seem like it wants you to take it more seriously). It left it hard for me to rate, since at least the middle bits I loved. I ended up going with 6 mostly because I tend to lean more positive in my ratings, it's a pretty quick read, and I can honestly sort of appreciate how all over the place it was. I just have a soft-spot for weird experiences I'm not really going to get elsewhere.

Wouldn't really recommend Fire Punch though. I could spoil some of the more interesting moments or the motivation I mentioned (I have those panels saved because I shared them with friends who I knew would never read it), but I didn't want to do that here since those are like the main rewards for reading it. Interested in hearing your thoughts on Chainsaw Man when you get around to it, it is one of the more interesting Shonen offerings in years at least.

Prince of Tennis ~ The only thing I know about this series is eventually they start using super powers while playing Tennis, like I think one of them has a black hole technique. Not surprised to hear it's boring though. When it comes to Tennis series, I'd recommend Baby Steps. I only seen the anime but it's probably my favourite straight sports series (not counting Ping Pong). It's got a pretty unique main character, and probably the most dedicated to the actual sports it's portraying.

Neuro ~ Only know about this series because of J-Stars Victory Vs., don't entirely get an idea of what it's about from the synopsis but shame it stunk.

Assassination Classroom ~ I saw the Jump Fiesta OVA of it years back and gave it a four, I think I found it dull and slightly annoying. At least hearing your thoughts on it makes me think it was probably fair enough for me to stop watching. Hearing this mangaka did Neuro also further makes me less interested in that.

Orange ~ I've actually seen this one fully, in the anime (which had some production dips, so I'm sure the manga's probably better tbh), and I personally did like it. I did check to make sure you read it all, so I'll talk about it a bit. It's been years since I've seen it, but I'll fully admit suicide is just a topic that's a bit close to home for me, so a series that would be so emotionally bare about it did line up with my bias. It never made me cry but there were a few scenes that came close, which is a pretty uncommon thing for me so that helped my impression of it. The only other things I really remember as being strong points where that I liked that it was ultimately Kakeru's decision to live and I remember Suwa being an awesome bro.

But I did have issues with it. I remember Kakeru finds an unsent text from his mother which was written in the most dramatically convenient way possible which felt forced. And I felt they spent way too much time on detailing the actual mechanics of how the time travel letter thing worked which I felt was unnecessary, especially when the series was more concerned with the flat-out emotion.

And thinking back on it now, the premise does kind of fall apart when you think about it, like the letter is definitely a drama construct that kind of falls apart logically. Like, I remember we didn't even learn that Kakeru was suicidal until episode 3 in the anime I think, but realistically why would the letter be so vague. Like the day his mother commits suicide, why would they write the letter to include a vague ominous warning? I felt it did work to create dramatic tension but it does sort of forgo logic I guess.

Food Wars ~ The mangaka does hentai, lmao that makes so much sense. My only familiarity with Food Wars are the Sanji One-Shots they made, didn't like the first chapter but the following two were better. The third one didn't even have an orgasm bit, it was set during Alabasta and the orgasm bit at eating Sanji's great cooking was replaced with a spread shot of Vivi's memories with the crew. Can't say I'd recommend those though, especially you don't like Sanji.

Sneeze ~ Went through and read your comments, and I can get enjoying the musical memories even if they weren't really highlights for me. I do love the musical aspects of 20th Century Boys, and the companion song Urasawa released with it I really enjoyed it, both versions were great and I thought it helped 20th Century Boys a lot. I've only seen a few pictures of Asadora, considering me surprised to hear that's at least kind of a Kaiju manga! Would've never guessed that from what little I've seen.

Urasawa's not really a mangaka I want to read piece by piece, so I probably won't read Asadora until it finishes, but you do remind me I need to get back to his other works. Putting Astro Boy on hold kind of put Pluto on the backburner, but maybe I should try out Billy Bat at some point soon.

But I think Opus will have to come first. Especially looking into it and seeing that it's a pretty short series.

Added GoGo Monster to my PTR, especially with how short it's chapter count is (also added Go For it, Nakamura! I do like how short many of these are, nice contrast to most of the shonen stuff I read). Will probably just watch Tekkon Kinkreet movie, at least before reading the manga version, though may save that for next March. I do have a bunch of manga volumes lying around my house that I've never really read, I've been meaning to start those first, maybe after that I'll go through some of these. Really depends on time.

How straight of an adaption has the Ping Pong anime been so far? I've always been curious to how much of the visual styling is Yuasa's influence.
Terrestrious Aug 1, 2021 3:39 AM
Ah gotcha! It's probably not super worth getting, but it's cool that you could probably borrow the Wii, my friends and I don't go beyond borrowing games. Although I've gone mostly digital at this point, so that's kind of stopped too haha. Still pretty upset they didn't include Galaxy 2 in the 3D collection, or even as a separate download on the e-shop.

I hear the original Mega Man has a lot of the glitches or bad enemy placement that really hurts it, but the rest are suppose to be excellent. 2 & 3 specifically. I've played a bit of several of them since my brother's a huge fan of them, but I never really got into the Mega Man games. It's stupid, but I could never get over the fact that Mega Man could only shoot in one direction. Though back into the conversation about the SNES holding up much better, I did enjoy the X games I've played a lot more. Though admittedly, my favourite version of the original X game is the PSP version which allows you to play as Vile.

True, only one person in the group needs to buy Mario Party. Guess I'm just too use to being the one in the group who buys them lol. You probably should just pass then.

Chainsaw Man was a pretty fun read imo. I don't personally consider it edgy though I could understand someone forming that opinion of it. While Chainsaw Man is willing to include darker subject matter (not necessarily exploring them mind you, just featuring them) and has a readiness to kill off it's cast unseen in any other Shonen I can think off (which I found refreshing with how many shonen seem to refuse to kill anyone), Chainsaw Man is much more willing to indulge in over-the-top silly hype action sequences. Not just in a, it's really violent way, but in a it creates ridiculous circumstances or set-pieces. The series has too much fun with itself during the action sequences for me to really consider it edgy, a lot of the deaths it does have don't even really weigh on the series until the end.

They're still treated as deaths mind you, but the series rarely ever drowns in it's darkness in a way that's trying to show off it's more serious & meaningful than it is, they're used for stakes or as a tool to further characterize Denji, but the series mostly just maintains a fun over-the-top tone that made it usually a blast to read. The last arc is probably the only time it gets to the way of edginess, I'm not quite sure I'd label it as such, but I didn't care much for it, though it still had several notes about it I did like, and I thought final chapter was a really a satisfying conclusion that I'm kinda uninterested in the sequel series. I'll probably read it, but it seems unnecessary.

I feel I should note that I think only two of the deaths hold any emotional weight, but I one of them in specific is the emotional high-point of the series for me. The best scripted death sequence I've seen in any shonen by far, sans Hunter x Hunter of course. Strongly scripted, with multiple pay-offs of seeds planted & nurtured for most of the series, and great visual storytelling. There's also one point in the manga that dips heavily into surrealism, I loved that too.

I guess I'm mentioning this stuff to say it's not just all about the fun action, though I think that's a big selling-point that maybe won't do much for you. I can't say it's one of the most mature series but I do think there's a level of maturity to it, even if sounded by some goofiness or comical writing. A really good example happens early on, I'll spoil tag it but the vague gist is it committed to a bit I really didn't like but the ending salvaged it.

So said spoiler tag is an instance of maturity. It's not Urasawa or anything obviously, but I don't think there's a good base level of maturity for what this series is. As for fanservice, I think Chainsaw Man is probably the most sexually charged I've read but I don't think it's has that much fanservice. Off the top of my head, a small amount of the cover pages are just straight up fanservice. There's a group of characters introduced in a lesbian orgy, which does establish those characters dynamic & all of them quickly but also, is still a lesbian orgy so still fanservice cause they could've found another quick way to establish those things, even if it does serve a function. And at one point, I think a character has an outfit that's more revealing than I'd like but I don't recall the series gawking at her body much during this period at least.

There are other sort of sexual situations that come up from time to time, at least one of them I believe is intentionally uncomfortable (at least it made me uncomfortable). I think most of the other ones though sort some sort of narrative or character purpose, it's rarely every felt like it was for the sexual gratification of the readers. Still the stuff they do have might be even for you to write off, which is fair. But it's not as a bad as a lot of shonen.

As for whether I recommend it or not, I think it's probably better than you're assuming but I don't know if it's a strong recommendation. I think if anything I said piqued your interest, or if you like the one shot, it's worth giving the first chapter a read. I already liked it from chapter one since I think it did a good job of making Denji likable so if you read the first chapter and don't like it, I can't really say the rest would work for you.

I do want to state Look Back is nothing like his other works though. I would absolutely recommend it to people who didn't even like Chainsaw Man. Not to hype it too much, it's just a completely different style of series.

I saw a few episodes of the Soul Eater anime, I remember finding it kinda fun, I liked Death the Kid for the OCD jokes but yeah, I recall there being a decent amount of fanservice, and I'm pretty sure I read that the anime toned it down from the manga quite a bit, so yikes. I've never really liked fanservice either, so I can't blame you there, even though I'm sure I have more tolerance for it. Was that the only shonen you read that suffered from it? Were the others you tried just kind of typical boring shonen stuff?

I tend to still like Shonen myself, but I can't blame you for finding most boring. Honestly the main reason they tend to be what I read is just because they're just the most convenient and readily available.
Terrestrious Jul 30, 2021 3:53 AM
Oh? You don't have Wii, and you don't have a Wii U either right? Are you planning on buying one of those for consoles anyway for other Wii games because I would not advise buying a Wii just for Skyward Sword, since you know you won't like it. Like the Switch port doesn't really change that much from the original it seems. It adds a new control scheme without motion control but you could just opt to play with the original control scheme using the Joy-cons. And I know it made it so the Fi's advice is something you have to trigger instead of something that constantly interrupts gameplay to hold your hands, and I think you can like fast-forward dialogue now. I guess it's not the original experience, but it seems to me if you play with the motion controls the only real differences are quality of life that don't really have to do with gameplay so much, just allowing you to play it without as much pausing.

But I haven't played either since I can't speak from experience, I just hope there's more incentive to get it the Wii then Skyward Sword if you go down that path. I think for me, Mario Galaxy 2, and maybe Super Paper Mario, are the only Wii games I'd want to play that I can't play already play on different hardware.

I never actually played the original Mario Bros. games on the NES, I only played the All-Stars version. I think they have slightly tweaked physics, at least the original Super Mari Bros., but I'd mostly agree that they aged well, at least in the sense that I'd still recommend people play Mario Bros 3. I still like several other NES games, like I enjoyed my playthrough of Kid Icarus, but I wouldn't really recommend it, a fun time but there's many other better games. The Mega Man probably aged well for people who like them. Compared to the SNES, which I still think has one of the strongest gaming libraries, and many of my all-time favourite games are on there.

Do you think the online aspect of Mario Party Superstars will be something you'd make use of? I don't even have Switch Online but it's not something that would interest me anyway, especially with something like Mario Party. But I am pretty impressed with the fact that if you're playing online with friends, you don't have to play a full game in one setting. Being able to save the progress mid-game and pick it up later sounds insane to me for Online Play, but maybe that's just because I focus on Offline play. And yeah, adult life really kills multiplayer experience lol.

Ended up finishing The Vertical World btw. I definitely preferred the series when it took place in the Vertical World itself, though they handled the Earth reveal/fabricated world reveal a lot better than I expected. I had suspected that twist several times before but I usually get worried that this reveal would essentially serve to undermine previously seeds they planted in the The Vertical World but thankfully most of the foreshadowing still had tangible payoffs, and I did really like the arc where they were on the Colony ship. Didn't care much for Kepler returning as the big bad at the end though. Overall a really fun series though, probably a 7/10 series for me elevated to an 8/10 through the way it was told. The vertically storytelling was brilliant, and they did it so well that I kind of don't need another series every told in this format again, you know? Sometimes scrolling down with the way the panels would constantly zoom out and fade into colours, it felt like animation. Certain sequences I would just basically scroll back up and loop because it was so cool to see.

Interested to see what the future would hold for Kuu Tanaka, especially if they continue in future manga with the vertical format, I imagine they won't since it was so purposefully done in The Vertical World, but I'd like to read other works from them.

Speaking of manga, there was a recent one-shot released awhile back by Tatsuki Fujimoto of Chainsaw Man fame (which I'm sure you've at least heard of) called Look Back. It's only 144 pages long, it should be available for free on MangaPlus, and I highly recommend reading it. I actually think it's easily the best work Fujimoto produced, and it's easily one of my favourite manga. It's probably better if I don't say too much about it sense it's so short, but yeah, it's a quick and beautifully profound read imo.
Terrestrious Jun 27, 2021 4:10 PM
I have finished the Soul Society arc now, and while I don't like it as much as the early chapters, I did actually like it this time around. The best part of it was pretty much the Soul Society itself, seeing all the different captains with their own unique perspectives, goals, and alliances were all pretty interesting. I ended up liking a good deal of them as well. And losing the Ichigo/Rukia dynamic stinks but I also liked Rukia's characterization quite a bit too, found it pretty relatable at points. Thought the Aizen reveal was done pretty well, I knew going in he was the big bad, I'm not even sure it's possible to know of Bleach without knowing that twist at this point, but I did appreciate how much sense it made. Kubo dedicated like two chapters just with him explaining everything, and it lined up with everything before, answered several questions, and didn't feel BS at all. The battles of the arc were still weak and I didn't really find it entertaining to watch Ichigo's ridiculous growth in power throughout the arc, definitely the weakest part of the plotting here.

& lol, I already kind of feel like I'm done reading Bleach. I'm sure I'll get back to reading it someday, maybe even someday soon, but having completed the Soul Society arc, I kinda wish that the series ended there. Sure Aizen is still out there and they seeded a re-match with Grand Fisher that hasn't happened it, but I kinda don't care about any of that. The conclusion of Rukia deciding to stay in the Soul Society arc, Ichigo's acceptance & their goodbye, with everyone going home & Ichigo getting well-deserved rest at the end, it just feels like a fitting resolution to what the series has been about so far, which is the relationship between Ichigo & Rukia. Maybe I just feel this way because everyone says the series goes don't hill from here, or maybe it's just because I care about plot far less than most, but right now I'm content to put Bleach on the back burner.

Which I guess saying that makes it little weird that I asked about Berserk's manga cliffhanger, but hearing one big thing got somewhat resolved recently is definitely something I'm happy about. I actually did have some issue with the anime's ending but I did watch it 8 years ago so maybe it'd bother me less now, and I still really liked the anime regardless. I'll probably start the Berserk manga soon, part of me is considering waiting until I can afford to get the series physically rather than relying on online scans, which outside of time is one of the biggest reasons I haven't started it. It's high on my PTW list though.

Guessing since you've played a bit of Skyward Sword, you already own it? Definitely makes sense to go for the Wii if that's the case, or do you not and you just rather play it on the original experience? If you don't own it, hope you can get it for cheap, I suspect the Switch version releasing might make it less expensive. The only one of those Zelda games you've mentioned that I've even dabbled with is a Link Between Worlds since I played a demo for it. Honestly one of the Zelda games I most want to play.

I'm in the same boat as you with E3, at least this year I only bothered with Nintendo. I do skim Youtube to see if any trailers catch my eyes, and not really this year. Though I did watch the Final Fantasy Origin trailer, gameplay seemed fun but everything around it wasn't too appealing. The main character, is the most normally looking guy ever and is apparently named Jack, which is weird. Also, the trailer was only about two minutes and they said "Chaos" like 8 times, with the main character constantly saying he wanted to kill chaos.

But for Nintendo I was pretty happy with their show. I love the looks of Metroid Dread. I never really got into the series, only playing a bit of the Prime games. Part of this was because I assumed I'd hate Metroidvania's since I don't typically like backtracking, but Hollow Knight became one of my favourite games off all-time so I've been meaning to get into it, and Dread looks like the most promising to me. I liked that it's incorporating horror gameplay design (even if I don't play horror games).

In defense of Metroid, Dread has caused a lot people to be interested in Metroid, and I've seen several Metroid fans commenting about starting points, and most of them say to skip the original Metroid, or that it wasn't very good. It seems like many regard it as the weakest of the mainline side-scrolling ones, including my brother who loves the franchise. I'll probably start with Super Metroid when I get into it.

Yeah, BotW 2 was probably something they felt obligated to show since a lot of time has passed without much, but they didn't really want to showcase much of anything. This theory is sort of supported because I read that BotW 2 does indeed have an actual subtitle, but they haven't revealed it yet because it'll spoil something about the game. Looking forward to whatever that is, but I mostly just want a playable Zelda, maybe even co-op BotW. But I get wanting to go in without knowing anything, since much of the original game's appeal is the exploration. Seems like you'll get one thing spoiled with the subtitle at least.

For me, the other key moments were Smash Reveal, Super Monkey Ball, & Mario Party. For Smash, Kazuya is in weird place where he's neither an exciting announcement or a disappoint one, he's just an announcement. I like Tekken, but I honestly never even played as him in any of the games until after his reveal. Still, interested in how he plays, Tekken breaks fighting game tradition by having the main characters be some of the hardest characters to play, so he's not likely to feel like Ryu or Terry. And also found his reveal trailer kind of hilarious, just how he was murdering all the cast (Kazuya was only the main character in the first Tekken iirc, ever since then he's been antagonist I believe [he is in 7 at least, which is the only one I put much time into]).

Mario Party Superstars is something I've wanted from Mario Party for awhile, and it's exactly what people wanted from the The Top 100. Collection of the best mini-games with several of the best boards in Mario Party history. Slightly worried about only having 5 boards though. Party 2 & 3 only had 6 boards, but they also had additional modes, like a story mode or a duel mode (MP3), if it's just five boards, minigames, & online I'm probably not going to get a whole lot out of it. Nintendo games have been getting into sort of a bad habit of releasing games with minimal content and finishing them later via free updates, so maybe this is another example, and they'll add more boards later. Also, I don't know why they choose Peach's Birthday Cake as one of the boards.

Super Monkey Ball remakes was the highlight for me though. I've been dying to replay the first two games (especially the second), and getting a third game I've never played before is an added bonus, whether it's good or not. Monkey Ball is such a unique series gameplay wise, but I had so much fun with those first two games years ago, especially the mini-games like Monkey Target.
It’s time to ditch the text file.
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