Animini: Digimon Adventure -Episode 13- Garudamon of the Crimson Wings

Konichi-what’s up with these super spoilery episode titles? I mean.. I know some people never saw Digimon and might not know what is about to happen next.. but with a title as did I sure as heck was suspecting a Sora episode. Yet after last week I somehow expected Digimon to begin falling apart for me as well.. yet I saw one of my best episodes yet.. one that made me squeee so loud my downstairs neighbour asked me if it was alright.

The Summary

I am going to do these Summary sections a bit different from now on .. talking more on what I feel about certain plot points.. then using the positives and negatives section to talk more about the consequences of those choices and such.. because.. I have to use this section to gush a bit! We see both parties traveling forward on the way to the ford that contains the holy digimon still.  When Yamato’s and Sora’s group encounters a flying fortress shaped like a giant queen bee. It turns out this huge fortress is a digimon called cannon Beemon. It is in the process of capturing FunBeeMon and turning them into Waspmons.. with the dark Miasma to create soldiers for.. what I assume is Devimon. Sora, being the kind girl, wants to save these helpless creatures but ends up crashing in the woods with her partner.. where she encounters a single terrified Funbeemon… I LOVE FunBeeMon it is one of my favourite digimon!..Even if it evolves into a wasp.. it’s so cute.. and this anime makes the digimon super cute as well.  I am so happy they chose this.. plus it offers a very easy crutch to tell a Sora story… all enemies in this episode are Airborne. She has the only flyer in this group!

To take Joe out of the equation temporarily the series decides to give him air sickness.. because of this he lacks the strength to evolve Gomamon and gets into trouble. This means even Yamato who follows the belief of “we are so important , we can’t risk ourselves for everyone”  has to be involved. This same behaviour is seen with the rescue attempt.. as soon as they got Joe.. Weregarurumon punches a hole in the floor of Cannonbeemon to make an escape. So they can put Joe on the ground safely as he is out of his league. Cannon Beemon. Then Joe gets a great role as well not making him useless throughout the episode. He and Ikakumon will work as the “artillery station” using Harpoon Vulcan to keep the Waspmon away from Sora.. who can not leave innocent creatures behind. Yamato joins her.. knowing Sora by now.. and that she will save the Funbeemon. He comes up with a plan where he goes inside the monster.. while Sora distracts and fights Cannonbeemon. When we see the monster has the strength to blow up a mountain.. Sora wishes for the strength to protect these sweet little innocent creatures..her love for all that is living and pure allows Birdramon to evolve.. and we see Birdramon Super Evolve into Garudamon. It defeats Cannonbeemon in a spectacular way and we see Funbeemon lovingly say goodbye to the group as they travel into the new area.. no doubt seeing Zudomon in Episode 15!

The Positives

Once again this series really understands how to set up a conflict. You need to keep the focus on Sora so choosing for flying enemies is a great choice.. not just a single flyer.. because everyone has ranged attacks.. no this time they need to enter a flying fortress.  Joe can indeed function as heavy artillery as is displayed at the end of the episode so giving him motion/air sickness makes sense. It fits his character and you take out a character from the action in a non intrusive way. Old Sora struggled with love.. she was kind of cold and in the end her love for Biyomon pushed her to activate her crest. This time.. we see a Sora whose heart is filled with love. She cares for everyone.. and this was established prior to her own episode.. allowing it to work even better. It feels like a much more powerful emotion worthy of Digivolution.  We see a much more heroic Sora that has her own sense of justice. That pursues her ideals.. hard. Not as reckless as Taichi.. but a lot more proactive than Yamato. The idea of having Cannonbeemon be a flying fortress you can enter.. also opens up so many possibilities for cool encounters in later segments, plus having Joe struggle can be a great hook to activate his crest of Reliability!  Awesome!

The show also does some amazing power scaling. My favourite scene is the evolution into Garudamon. We first see Cannonbeemon blow up a Mountain when facing Birdramon.. the Mountain is miles and miles away but it blows away a huge chunk.. causing a shockwave to reach all the way over there.. then Garudamon arrives and instead of dodging this time it uses its own attack and a short beam struggle follows. Cannonbeemon’s beam however is fairly easily overwhelmed showing how immensely powerful Garudamon is! I am a sucker for these types of visuals in Shonen situations.. Beam Struggles are fun on it’s own.. but Beam Struggles we can power scale… Woop Woop! There are a few scenes like this troughout the episode.. that really makes us realise how much impact some of the attacks here have.. by applying the attacks to things we know.. and can imagine what force it would take to damage them.. it all makes the hits so much more.. real. Great Job.. great action!

The Negatives

This episode does fall in the pitfall again of having too many things scale though. Birdramon  takes up half the screen, the log the chosen ones are sitting on takes up a quarter of the screen .. so now you have to draw the digidestined into a  eight of a screen or so… it results in a few very ugly looking shots where there is no facial detail and thick outlines.  Even some scenes where the destined are bigger  have no facial details.. as if they just blew up the other art to give them perspective.. it really REALLY stands out.  To a point where I feel as if two animation themes did this.. and the cheap team did the non exciting scenes.  The scenes that matter look absolutely breathtaking.. but there are also a fair few scenes that look a bit clunky.. as if they think.. this is a kids show.. they don’t care. I HATE that excuse.  I am not sure if they did it for that reason.. but it left a bit of a blemish on this episode.. that honestly for me is not that bad since I don’t care about visuals that much.. but I noticed and I know for a few of you that is a big thing.

And that’s about all I dislike in this episode. The pacing was great, the action was superb and I LOVE FunBeeMon’s voice acting. It sounds super familiar..but I could not place it.. but I could just hear the joy and fear in it’s little voice.. great job. I do like how they take Koshiro’s laptop away little by little.. meaning he will not have the KNOWLEDGE he has had so far.. setting up for a great episode about him that undoubtedly will be next. The flying bee fortress setting was new and fresh as well. If I had to pick another nitpick..the final fight could have had a better endshot.. now the head of Cannonbeemon just kinda falls off and it looks a bit more comical than it does epic..but since there were people on board I do get why it did not fully explode. I would have loved to see Garudamon rip off the compartment with the Yamato and the Funbeemon and then see the evil fortress explode in a Death Star like explosion.. but that would be asking for a cherry on top of my cherry.

The Score

While admittedly this one will be on the lower end of my highest score I did still decide to award this episode just that.  I don’t mind the visuals that much.. I just notice them and wonder.. would it not be better to draw these things big and scale them down?!  But I have no idea about animation, let alone animation budget so who am I.. if these faceless weird Chosen ones help pay for the visual spectacle in the actual battle scenes I will take it for granted three times over. I really like how music is used in this show as well! It constantly lifts my spirit or brings me down.. when I need to be.. I am not a big music girl and I keep being surprised how much investment I have in it.

Digimon Adventure will be Digimon and it has a fairly high level of colour by numbers, when it comes to it’s overarching plot.  Episode 14 we will see MegaKabuterimon, Episode 15 will show Zudomon, I have no doubt in my mind and in that manner you could say the show is lazy.  Yet in a way this show is also a legacy show.  While also bringing Digimon to a new audience.. they indeed are probably best served with this level of structure.. while the audience that has been on this journey before will just love the ride for showing us all these classics and without delay and just offer us that other kind of fanservice.. you know the one that makes you go Wooo Demon Mayan Bird Thing that I know and love!.. Instead of Wooo Boobies. I can imagine this show will get stale for newcomers to the show that are of the age that they will read my blog…but for kids that where as old as when I first watched the original and for long times fans.. this just consistently an amazing series.

The Paradise Weekly Gazette 3: 23 to 29 November

Konichi-week’s up again!  Bing Bong! So it is time to recapture our week of blogging.  I got an amazing article written about me… and I got the wish of every anime character ever.. Senpai Noticed me.. so after this week alone I can already die happy! It’s also been a week of mixed anime results and the one where I answered by besties Summers Questions.. so let’s put it all in a summary and see how I did personally shall we! This is the Paradise Weekly Gazette Issue three. As we cover Paradise adventures from the 23rd till the 29th of November!

The Animinis

The week started off pretty shitty! While the episode was not very bad.. an episode of Digimon got under my skin and messed with my brain. Feeling.. very down for some reason I did not know what to do.. given that we would get yet another fairly depressing episode to follow it and a plain bad episode my first hour of anime really rubbed me wrong. However the four episodes that came after became truly amazing as I had to say goodbye to one of my now all time favourite anime ever.

Digimon Episode 12: Lillymon Blooms

Samurai Flamenco Episode  19: The Quiet Life

That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 18: Evil Creeps Closer

Flip Flappers Episode 13: Pure Audio

Hikaru no Go Episode 23:  The Room of Yuugen

Natsume Book of Friends Episode 3: The Mysterious Person of the Eight Fields

Cowboy Bebop Episode 3: Honkey Tonk Woman

Pinkie’s Other Posts

The Staff is taking a bit of a break still, but Kuro has told me they are working on a new bit so expect that soon! Sunny was trying to breed a Starfish with a Goldfish so we could get a Golden-Starfish-fish which of course in cartoon form would be yellow! Indigo is struggling playing Ace Combat 7 so might not land for a good while? I am not sure!  But I did a lot of fun stuff this week!

I played a Pokémon Mystery game involving Looker set in a Gen II Bullet Train

I answered Summer’s Questions for some Sunshine and I changed the rules of a post!.. As well as a commenters comment!

I got treated to  a VERY bad movie for my birthday.. even though I love the orginal

I played a VERY good game I bought with the help of my Kofi Supporters.. as a Birthday gift .. to me! As well as provide the website with some content!

Camp Coconut Updates


It’s not the right season for coconuts! I have a lot of Coconut Milk saved from all the love they have gotten me earlier and thanks to King Coconut, The Shy Coconut and fairly recently the Buddy Coconut I have had a very nice birthday in terms of gifts.  The  Playful Coconut gifted me two games for my birthday, so thank you Holy Mailman, Ospreyshire,  MikeKelly666 and the Multifaceted Ocelot, you all contributed to me having a great  gaming week! I think the Coconuts might be holding a winter sleep though so I am not sure if they will ever reply!

Posts that Impressed Pinkie

So .. I  planned to find some very niche and new bloggers here this week to show off to you.. there were plenty of interesting reads.  A post on the Later Levels Twitter Inspired me.. how do we make people new in the community feel welcome.  Then I clicked on her blog and saw Kim tackle this challenge.. Pick five games that you would play if you can only play those five for a year. I really like these types of scenario things so it quickly became one of my favourites posts this week. The images are the links! If I could not find an image.. or wanted to have some fun .. I dabbled a bit!

Now these in the first two installments of the Gazette I have picked up at least one article that is more or less..  something that works as an announcement within the community! Like  Ospreyshire writing his 400th post for Iridium Eye and Irina looking for Guest Bloggers. So when your Blogging Bestie (.. or since  recently, ONE of MY blogging besties… I now have Three.. four cause I kinda count Geek Girl Joy as well)   announces she is changing how her content works.. you share! Summer is going to bring us some Woo-Woo. And No I don’t refer to the Woohoo cocktail after a few drinks.. no more mystical stuff! That will be SUPER interesting. You all should really give her blog a follow so you don’t miss out!  She will also talk a lot about some anime/cartoons she is watching so geek content a plenty.

I guess I have Five Blogging Besties because Raistlin.. Also would count as one.. Though I kind of feel he is a bestie in the way a good dog is your bestie.. Not that I think he is a dog.. but he is just sweet and kind to everyone..Only he gives the headpats instead of the other way around.. Inverse Dog Raistlin  must make him God Raistlin.. Anyway.. As a 34 year old I do love the 80’s and 90’s.. You might wonder “But if you’re from 1986, you can’t remember the 80’s” .. and that is kinda true… but back in the 90’s a lot of 80’s stuff of america first aired on tv here.. OR went in reruns because it was cheap and it would help sell toys!  And about those toys Raistlin made a blog! I do remember my childhood toys.. I destroyed so many of them! …. So this shot of Nostalgia was one of the greatest euphoria trips I got this week. The new bloggers did not make me feel this great. I might have tweaked the image with an iversed dog god Raistlin! I hope that doesn’t insult you Raisty! I truely love how supportive you are to us all!

So I only had one slot available.. as I tend to do these in fours.. Why four? I originally wanted to do 7.. and tie them to the Dragon Balls.. or something.. but then I wanted a few custom images and I have to make 7 each week.. alongside all the other stuff.. I’ll need to do a LOT!
Distracted again! .. Kind of like Senpai.. who started to work on the Blog Tag The Kore Wa Watashi Award. In this Blog Tag you tell us about yourself.. through anime.. but Senpai got distracted and stuck… and then she made the award even better and more beautiful. She made it about someone else.. and that person was me.. she made the award explaining how she sees me.. through anime characters and she was pretty darn close… do I not like being called a mom!  I might be old.. but I don’t want children!  I do like to talk in the community though!  I also worry about all your safety… so she wasn’t that wrong with the word…
But yes SENPAI NOTICED ME! … AND I HAVE PROOF! HOW CAN I NOT PUT IN MY POST TOP FOUR! *SQUEEEEEEE* She noticed me! Senpai Noticed me!…..

I was gonna edit in a god Irina.. but I could not touch her work I was too touched she did this for me!

Pinkie Away from Keyboard

On a personal front not a whole lot of interesting things happen to me, yet at the same time they did!  I had my online tabletop on monday and it was fun to see the group encounter their new ordeal.. or course I had to force them to hurry up because everyone was stalling.. and we are SO behind schedule already!  So when I say.. you Literally have two options, you attack or you let the bad guy win.. but take no damage yourself.. just to others around you.. they tried to find the hidden third path.. as DM I kept insisting.. “You have two options.. these are the rules for your next encounter.. or you can abandon that encounter”.. they were like.. What if we do this instead. “No that has been explained.. that would not work” .. It’s like a dm saying there is a fork in the path one path goes past a lake the other through the dark woods.. Instead of choosing a path the group ended up checking all the bushes for a secret path.  No matter how many perception checks told them there were only two paths.. frustrating but fun.

Obviously.. we build a third road and by helping a random town we hope they will help us.. in case we might need bridges.
Yes

Tuesday I had a big day.. I got a phone call I had been expecting for a LONG time.. I can not explain too much detail.. a few of you may know what it is about as I shared this with a few of you..  but I finally began a long awaited Medical project in February.. the first investigation will start in February first. It will lead into a series of treatments that (hopefully)  will improve my quality of life by a lot. It will be an ordeal that will take a while.. but we are heading in the right direction.. and perhaps I then can finally look at the mirror with some confidence that I will make it through the day. 

Wednesday and Thursday I had a bit of anxiety.. but I went out for a few walks. On Friday my Neighbors apartment kept beeping..  No idea what it was but it kind of annoyed me!  You know like someone is playing Operation in their apartment in dead silence but all i could hear is that buzzer sound. I also paid my rent, got myself some new flowers that smell super good and nearly cut  three fingers off.. Luckily I do this stuff a lot so my reactions came in time and by letting me sink through my own legs.. I managed to fall myself out of harm’s way.. I just mopped so I got a nice whiff of citrus scent to boot! Yesterday my normie friends came over which was kinda awkward but fun nonetheless.  I nearly fed them bad tomatoes.. well they were past their date but looked fine so I figured they are fine.. but I decided to eat them myself later.. they were not fine.. Doesn’t matter though I had a fun day.. though one of the girls kept bringing up super depressing topics.. so I drank a bit to much wine to keep the spirits up.. both literally and figuratively.

Plans

We are moving into December on Tuesday so that means we will start Steam Punk Month. For the first time ever I will play Dishonored.. but since I probably will not have that game finished by the end of the week I will most likely start with a rave about my favourite Final Fantasy Game.. one that is very Steam Punk.. Final Fantasy VI. I also play to play a sky shooty game on Sega Genesis and either a Diablo Clone or a Point and Click Adventure depending on how the mood strikes me. 

I will watch Laputa Castle in the Sky for the first time.. as well as Steam Boy the anime and movie department.. but since so many of you like me to watch bad movies as well.. I will watch .. hilariously terrible.. Wild Wild West again as well. City of Ember also is on my interest list of movies as well.

There will be stories, there will be gadgets.. andI will probably need to stretch the concept of steampunk to fit it all into this month! But heck! I surely will have great fun! I also fully intend to write a guest article for Irinia’s blog next week.. but first.. outside Steam Punk Month there is a special Pokémon Post I have to make..  since someone was super kind to me I have a favor to repay.. so unless I am REALLY hungover today.. which Saturday Evening Pinkie really doubts..  Tomorrow you will see Irina Reimagined as A Pokémon.. and Imagined as A Pokémon Trainer! Of course these are all plans so who knows what might change!

Animini: Cowboy Bebop – Episode 3- Honkey Tonk Woman

Konichi…Wooohooo! This was such an awesome episode of anime to experience! After knowing more or less nothing of this show before.. This was the first episode I truly had expectations off…  I wanted to see something with gambling, seedy crime ..smuggling stuff!  The underbelly stuff of Mars that we established in the last episode.. Okay so we weren’t totally on Mars but it was darn close.. I got so much of what I asked and I got so much more in the third episode of Cowboy Bebop.

 The Summary

We do begin our adventure in the streets of Mars.. at least I think it mars.. it looks like Macau with all the chinese lettering and I feel that’s what they were going for with Mars, plus the planet is red.  So yes.. A woman is heading into a herbal store.. just to find herself being attacked by goons.. But this is not an ordinary woman. She comes prepared.. she takes out a machine gun and shoots at the shadowy figures outside the store.. teaching the friendly store keeper a lesson in violence. In response.. The henchmen shoot up the guys store with a gatling gun and the woman finds herself captured. She gets taken as a space variant of a cruise ship that has this rotating roulette wheel as an engine thingy.. lot’s of spaceships have these spinny things…but this one is a roulette table.. It feels so campy but just the right amount. On that ship is a Mafia boss who calls the girl Poker Alice who is allegedly over 200 years old. Is she an android?! Why am I so obsessed with Robots lately! .. Regardless she allegedly has a huge gambling debt which she can pay with one job.. it just happens that Spike stumbles upon that job

Spike and Jet are having a nice relaxing night out.. .. Jet sticks to slots .. and things mechanical while Spike’s sharp mind draws him to the Black Jack table.. the girl is the dealer of the table and uses her cheating skills to scam him.. thinking it is part of her job!   A guy in an outfit like him.. and looking kind of but really not all that much the same was supposed to lose everything and hand over a final chip.. that is actually A CHIP .. that unlocks some super hacking thing. Spike catches her cheating and has some fun and walks off the table with his last chip.. Thinking she somehow blew it and wanting to repay her debt she follows him and Spike ends up bumping into the guy he is mistaken for.. they end up swapping chips in the old.. duplicate item falls on the floor sjtick. The girl chases Spike and ends up getting captured by him..  getting locked up in the bathroom.. Ein the dog .. Now the named guards her while the other two investigate the chip and discover her name is Faye Valentine.. a woman with a 6 million bounty on her head. Trying to decide whether to give her to the police or sell the chip to the crime lord type.. they end up going for the latter which obviously ends up being a trap. We get an awesome space scene.. Faye escapes and after some more epic space action we see Faye take off and Spike still having the chip. I assumed she would join the crew by the end of this episode but looks like we need more time! And I like that.

The Positives

Without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, Cowboy Bebop was the best thing I watched this week! And I watched the finale of Flip Flappers so that is saying a lot. It encapsulated my love for the OLD Star Wars ( I really enjoyed the prequels but none of the sequels did it for me.. I liked Rogue One and Solo well enough) . I deeply enjoyed the atmosphere,  the action, the characters and the amazing will  sets and action pieces. Faye Valentine is a really interesting character, there is a mystery of her age.. her violent tendencies, at the beginning there is so much to unpack. I do feel like she will join the team but I am not sure yet.. but I think I saw a shadow of her ship in that funky little intro! She kind of fills the function of a rogue of the party with stealing and sleight of hand. It works well with Spike who is the muscles of the group punching and kicking his enemies. She seems more heavy range based.  So I already like the sense of diversity! Ein was a good boy in this episode though it did not seem not nearly as intelligent as the last episode. Jet in a white suit looks pretty amazing. 

The Zero G/ Gravity Boots fight  on top of the casino spaceship was something else.. so many moving pieces are utilized.  Spike throws the chip in low gravity.. uses the gravity  boots to have a very different momentum, to  dodge bullets, he uses the mechanics to defeat an enemy all while there is a little ship floating around that is being attacked by missiles. I really loved that action scene.  I also very much enjoyed the casiono chase as well, the use of colour in that scene.. the way Faye froze when she was revealed to be a cheater.. unable to repay her debt.  There’s a way the motion has been done that really sold the scene for me. The show caters HEAVILY into tropes.. and yes even for an anime that was released in 1998.. these tropes we get might be older than me.. yet for some reason it really works. For some reason I want those Film Noir tropes to happen. I also love how everything is just oddball enough.. the world is quite grim and raw.. but it is also funny and charming.  The Bebop might feel cold and grey but by seeing Ein run around in it.. it’s quite cute.  There are plenty of jokes that relieve the “dark” and keep things consumable for me.

The Negatives

I have very little negatives about this episode . and when I saw few I kind of mean none.. So it’s nitpicking time! I found the roulette wheel on the big cruise ship a bit too garish and cheap. It’s a fun effect  but the way these space ships are built no one would see it.. yep .. that’s about all I have as a negative. I still really want to see more of Mars as it looks so cool.. but for now I can’t really use not seeing that as a negative either because it looks like we might see more of Mars in the next episode so yeah.. I am honestly unsure how to fill this  segment.  I just loved this episode that much.

Thematically Cowboy Bebop might not be my show entirely.. but there is just a way that it is presented that makes it so appealing and a delight to watch. The cyberpunk atmosphere,  is normally not something Pinkie enjoys..  and I do have issues with seeing cliches  be used at times.. it can make a series predictable .. as if I know the blueprint. With Cowboy Bebop it’s not the cliches that drive the plot it’s the personality of everyone and the world.. The cliches happen in the world as a reward. To strengthen that atmosphere.. let’s compare this for example to  let’s say.. Sailor Moon or more so Pretty Cure.. In Pretty Cure.. we get a monster of the week and one monster does fears, the other creates strife in a group.. the cliché is the engine. Here Spike is the engine..  the cliché just makes it more enjoyable and delightful. It’s a testament of how strong the writing in this show is. 

The Score

While watching this I remember a time of my live I really love, when western film making did not bore me when everything was predictable.. but in a bit of a different and more satisying way.  This episode has a level of campiness that makes this show so great to me. We aren’t the only ones having fun with this.. the maker is having fun with this.. the writer is telling a tale they really want to tell.. or at least that’s how I experience what is shown in this episode. It’s not made just for us.. it’s made  out of a love, a passion project. It’s just one of those episodes where goodness oozes from every pore!

I think it’s a great thing if all you have to nitpick about is thinking a certain spaceship is slightly garish! Oh! And I just thought up of a second one.. you for people who really want to burn this episode to the ground because they want to hate on it! When Ein Barks at Faye .. there is no Echo in a room that clearly should have an echo! You know that is a great reason to drop this show if you want. Oof I am really catching steam right now with finding the negatives so let me stop this review before I burn this episode to the ground… or think about Ein so much that I want a Corgi!

It’s Impossible! … Not To Have Fun! Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair Review

Konichi-what a satisfying feeling, to treat yourself to a game for your birthday and have it be as good as The Impossible Lair is to me! For those who read my rambling and store them in their head a bit , it might not come as a surprise but one of my favourite Platforming franchises of all times was Donkey Kong Country.  I adored those games. So the Sequel to the already amazing Yooka Laylee came out.. and it would mimic the classic Donkey Kong Country games rather than the Banjo Kazooie franchise. I was more than hyped to play this. I figured content would be a bit lacking though so I bided my time to find a good sale.. I sure as heck got my money’s worth now!

Don’t Worry BEE Happy

The Impossible Lair is the second Yooka Laylee game by Playtonics Games, published by team 17.  It enjoys moderate success on Meta-Critic with about a 7.7 user score consistent out of 78 positive reviews, 17 negative ones and 9 mixed ones. I’d say the grade is slightly low.. but that is because this game comes with a bit of a warning and unique concept.  The game has a self imposed style difficulty level, with a rather steep drop in the deep at the end.  It is a game without difficulty settings but instead, you as the player are more or less free to determine your own difficulty level. This however.. does not apply for the final level.. which is a very harsh stage. One life.. and if you lose.. you get booted out of the level.. and since it’s a 30 minute level… it isn’t easy!  Lots of people do not like this system and think the last level is unfair.. but I honestly don’t believe it is. It’s a very natural evolution of the old school difficulty system that blends in perfectly with the ban on traditional stock of lives. Most people play this game the wrong way I think.. and I might have found the perfect way to do it!

The entire concept of this game is that the final stage of the game is also the very first stage of the game. A small story tells you how Capital B, the franchise enemy uses a device called the Hivemind to control all the bees in the world. This leads the queen of the Stingdom to be overpowered and her precious shield gets stolen. Yooka and Laylee but in the fight and get to play the Impossible Lair stage from the beginning. In theory.. you can beat this game  in about half an hour.. if you are a god tier gamer..  there even is an achievement tied to it.. YET people think.. because there is an achievement for it.. it should be doable.. but this game takes a different approach.. it shows you through the achievement it is near impossible to do this. Like.. offering a money fee to people who can hack into your new security system.. it’s not like you want to hand out that price.. you are confident that your thing is impossible to crack!

This rubs a lot of people the wrong way with this game.. but I , who was born without the ability to give any fudges about prestige like things such as achievements or victories over others.. and is just here for the fun,  love this idea. Based on what type of gamer you are you can immediately see if pursuing “platinum” is something you can do.. and I can not!  .. But I am getting a bit of track here! Once you die in the first stage you get booted out and the overworld opens up.. here you can travel to twenty five-ish chapters by exploring the overworld and exploring the stages.  Using T.W.IT. Coins you find in stages and beating special stages you unlock more and more areas in the overworld and learn more about the game.  Inside the stages  you try to make it to the end and free.. one of the 48 beettalion bees. Why? because they become your hit points for tackling that final stage! Man I love that concept!

To BEEt or not to BEEt that is the question

Yes I know I spelled that wrong

Here is how most people tackle this game.. okay so I need to free all the bees.. and then go tackle the final stage.  Most negative comments I’ve seen are of people trying to rush things. Just beat all the stages and gather the bare minimum of T.W.IT. Coins to go through the final stage without any disadvantages or advantages.. This however is the WRONG way to go about that.  The game technically is fairly hard.. though with infinite lives all stages are beatable.. so many people delude themselves that just by beating the game you are good enough for that final stage.. then they plunge into a half hour gauntlet of grueling challenges completely unprepared for what is to come. Most negative reviews say “I was having a lot of fun with this game, then I reached the final stage and could not beat it.. what a fricked up game 0 out of 10… Well first of all if you have 90% fun… just don’t like the last stage.. it is NOT a 0 out of 10 game. This game makes it fairly clear it’s not about beating it. In fact I would have been perfectly content with getting across the finish and just enjoy playing in some very fun stages. See how far you get!

Yet I think if these people played the game the way I play it.. they would have had a lot more fun!  You see.. beating an area , instead of going to the next one first I take a crack at the Impossible Lair first.. to see how far my current Beetalion will get me!   Usually that isn’t very far.. because the final stage REALLY is hard.. but this means I slowly make my way through sections of the stage.. getting a feel for the layout of the place. If I get tripped up by a section with a lot of buzzsaws .. I then will make sure that I 100% complete a stage (as in find all T.W.I.T. Coins)  as a practice for that section.  I then move on to get the next batch of bees and repeat this process.  Yes I failed a few times in the last stage.. but this way I am not going in blind and in the end have to do a 30 minute stage blind. I notice I am keeping my bees with me for longer as I go as well. But here is the truth.. YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE… just like retro games gave you a game over resetting all progress.. this game mimics that by just yeeting you out the final stage without checkpoints. You get good by losing.. not by beating stages.  That’s how these games always worked.. Now there is just a lot of stuff built in to have fun with.. without beating the final stage.

BEE a Hunter

The story in this game is practically non-existent ,  an evil guy causes trouble. .you have to travel to his castle to beat his ass… and that is exactly why I love this game so much. Never did I feel compelled that I needed to see the ending, it’s just a part of the skeleton that can help you have fun.. but even if you miss a single bone  somewhere.. you can probably still have fun! Finishing this game is a cherry on top of a sundae.. or for me.. a chocolate pudding as I don’t like Ice Cream.  It’s not the ULTIMATE goal needed to enjoy the game. There is so much to do that can give you satisfaction.. beat all the  48 regular stages! Find all the tonics in the overworld.. solve all the pagie challenges. Open all the Paywalls (These are the names for checkpoints you open with the T.W.I.T.  coin resource).  There is cute dialogue from familiar and unfamiliar NPC the overworld is colourful and creative and allows you to use all your platforming skills in a 3d setting.. almost in a zelda-esque way.  There is so much to do!  This is a 12-ish hour platform game and that is a lot for the genre!

Tonics make your life easier or harder.. you find them hidden in the overworld, once found you unlock them with feathers, you can carry three at the same  time and these provide modifiers to the game world, some make your life easier.. for example I used the “do not lose T.W.I.T. coins after death”  one.. This one makes sure I keep my coins even if I do not bring them to a checkpoint in time! This means I can leap to my death to obtain some of these.. saving me a lot of frustration. This does mean however that the feathers I collect at the end of the stage get reduced.. to compensate for that I use a tonic that sticks googly eyes on the enemy making them look more cute.. but gives them two hit points instead of one! Which increases my feather count.  Then I use a tonic that makes Laylee the bat.. more tranquil..
In this game you start with two hitpoints. In phase one you have Laylee riding on Yooka but once you take a hit she begins to panic and flap about.. if you can  collect her before you take another hit or you are fine you regenerate that hitpoint.. if she flies away.. your can not be hit anymore or suffer your demise.  So having her more stable allowed me to try some zanier stunts. There are a lot of fun modifiers, such as inverted controls for more feathers, more invisibility frames for less feathers and lots and lots of visual modifiers for no other reason than just to have fun!

“But wait A minute Pinkie.. did you not just say there were 48 bees to collect.. but only 25 chapters.. how does that work”… well my sharp eyed friend.. or people pretending to be clever to the insight I just provided…  Most stages have two varients.  You can unlock a second mode by interaction with the overworld. For example a book on a pond might indicate a stage featuring lots of water elements but by eating an ice fruit and having Yooka spit it at the stage portal.. that same stage is suddenly frozen solid.. which completely alters the stage layout and path.  These alternate stages are very fun and it’s always a surprise to see what happens. There is a stage where the book gets covered in sticky honey suddenly turning a horizontal stage into a vertical stage. There is also a certain book you can read the wrong way.. suddenly you have to backtrack this level.. chased by deadly lasers.. but since there is so little time.. you more or less travel atop of the first stage.  Think of these as the reversed levels of Yoshi’s crafted world.. but done a lot better. It’s not just beating the stage that is a challenge.. it’s also finding a way to unlock the counterpart in the overworld that is a delight.

Finally there are the Pagie challenges, the collectable/Jiggy variant from the first game is back in this game.. not to be collected by you but to use that power you unlocked before in your favour.. but you have to prove your worth to them. The challenge is simple .. beat all the enemies in a single screen without dying and the pagies will reshape the overworld. Allowing you to find more tonics, unlock more alternate stages, get more hit points for the final stage.. or even just find hint signs that provide you with clues where to find a particular type of treasure. Most of the time you can choose what you want to focus on to make progress.  You will need to collect some coins in the stages to get past paywalls in the next areas but I never had too much trouble getting enough of those things without straining myself or feeling I was forced to do this. Even if i did .. feel like “I really should get extra coins in this stage” I either made it training for the final stage OR I decided to reward myself with a vanity tonic and would use my hunt for the coins to reward myself with vanity! It’s super fun and motivating that way.. everything just reinforces each other.

This might STING a bit

Is this a perfect game? No!… Yet in sale I only payed like 10 euro for it and King Coconut and the Shy Coconut helped the blog get some funds for reviewing projects like those..as well as the Buddy Coconut.. so I was super content.  I do have a hand full of grips with the game though. First of all I find the music slightly forgettable.. I love the overworld team and for good reason. It’s Grant Kirkhope. It is fantastic. He made music for both the original and for Banjo Kazooie and it has that distinct feel.  He doesn’t do stuff for the 2d stages and that is okay.. because his style fits the overworld more.. that feels a bit Banjo-esque.. The 2d stages feel like Donkey Kong.. and two people where put  in charge of this Matt Griffin, who does a very good job at capturing that DK spirit but making it feel original and  David Wise.. who makes every stage he designs the soundtrack off sound like that Royalty Free Ukulele music that is everywhere on YouTube… Can you guess which one is the one I consider a downside?! A few stages in and you can really tell who is who and that kind of irked me a bit.  On the one hand we hear how good the music can be.. on the other hand we see what I as an anime fan would call.. musical filler episodes. Blegh! Luckily half of the music is still good!

The second issue I have with the game is it’s level design.. well that is the wrong worth.. the level “assets” and esthetics.  While it is nice that zones are themed we do not get that many themes and it all has this really familiar aspect. The buildings in the desert world look different from the ones in the forest world.. but it feels more like a skin change than an actual change in the assets.. The best way to describe this is.. that everything in the background feels a bit “Little Big Planet ” You know that game with sackboy! There are loads of assets to make your creation look unique but it is all tied to a very similar style. So a tree house looks the same like a cactus house.. the cactus house just has .. hacienda style wallpaper.  It makes the stages a little less exciting than the original game or it’s big inspiration Donkey Kong.  There we have a volcano world, a theme park world.. a swamp world (Okay that is the second Donkey Kong but it’s just so good)  and here.. you’d get.. a Roller Coaster going to the same forest assets.. some hue shifted wood textures to make it look a bit darker.. to signify we are in the swamp.. maybe there is a pool of water.. but all in all I always kind of keep expecting sackboy to come stumbling through. The stage challenges and level design as in.. how to get from A to B is fantastic though. The set dressing is a bit stock.

The final gripe I have with this game is the tiniest one.  There is not enough interaction with NPC’s .. mostly from Laylee.. I loved how bold she was in the last game. While I do get that there is less dialogue in a 2d platform game, plenty of elements in the overworld and sometimes even in the stages talk to you through a small text balloon. It would have been funny to give Laylee a bit more flavour and would make everything pop.  If a Pumpkin tell “hey you are not support to be here” .. it would be fun  to say Laylee tell it to shut up or  she will eat squash tonight..or even give her some 4th wall breaking humor.. that once you encounter the living fans in the overworld Laylee would comment, they are really running out of ideas.  Simple stuff like that could help the game pack that Yooka Laylee flavour a bit more.  THe rest is there.. but the two main characters don’t shine as brightly as I would.

BEE Plus

Time for me to score this game! It is tricky to do this for everyone else so do take note that this is just for me personally. I do think fun, challenge level and time needed are all self imposed. What do you define as beating the game, what do you think is fun to do within the confines of this game?! I really like this.. it has that shovel knight.. feeling of picking your difficulty, there are plenty of ways to make it easy.. there are plenty of ways to make it hard.  Neither should be a gripe as you can choose not to use it.  I will admit that the plunge into the final stage is a bit too steep and I would not call the final stage a great success. It might have been better if you had a few sub tiers and chose to continue  at the last checkpoint with the amount of bees you had left when you got there -1 for each try or go back to the beginning if you lost too many bees in that segment.  Had they done that I would have been perfectly content with this game despite it’s minor flas like generic music from Mister Wise.. and a lack of unique polish here and there. Controls are tight..graphics are fine and in sale it is super affordable.

Now I do have to conclude that not everything in the game is as fun as it can be. Honestly if I have to give advice to people who liked the Donkey Kong Country games.. I’d say the best way to play this game is to pick it up on sale.. play the stages until you had your fill.. try the impossible lair and if you did not reach the 50-70% marker (depending on how many of the bees you got)  and just end it right there! Quit while you had fun, this is a game to have fun with not one I’d say you really need to beat. It’s a neat achievement to check off your list but there is no big epic ending you would need to do it for. It’s the classical video game ending with a story wrap up.. in the vein of those classics.

There is no deep lore you will miss. No secrets that will be needed to play the third game if there ever will be one.. which I would hope mixes the two playstyles.  This is a game to have fun with.. and the game knows it!You can literally put glittery effects when you defeat an enemy, or put googly eyes on an enemy to make them cuter.. sometimes those eyes are on their bumholes! Teehee! Cinematic filters, Dramatic Sepia.. tonics that make you have to play this game like a bat.. Everything screams that this is just a game to have fun with and that’s what I did ! Strawberries all around!

Animini: Natsume Book of Friends – Episode 3- The Mysterious Person at the Eight Fields

Konichi-Well the second part of my anime week is a lot  stronger than the first half. While Natsume gave me the least impressive episode I’ve seen so far I must say I am really starting to enjoy the message this show packs in it’s end of the episode! I took a fist full of feels to the face yet again.. albeit maybe a little girl first this time! I still felt the impact though and as I heard this show really picks up in a few episodes never to let me go again.. so if this is the weakest punch.. I am sure to be in for one heck of a ride.

The Summary

Natsume is tired and depressed, giving Yokai their name back has completely drained him of all his energy. Since the friendly ones tend to come visit him at night and beg for their name back he hasn’t been sleeping much either. Nyanko-Sensei is still upset that Natsume is making the book of friends thinner every night and throws a tantrum as it will lose it’s power to control these spirits little by little.  To make Natsume’s situation even more annoying for him he can’t sleep in class either because a strange person has been asking for him. A boy going by the name of Tanuma.  For some weird reason though each time Natsume gets kind of close the boy disappears. Natsume hopes this man can see Yokai too.. and remembers a woman he once met who seemed to be able to see Yokai as well.

A cow and a cyclops Yokai knock on Natsume’s door but unlike the others they do not want their name back. There is a Yokai killing humans on the prowl blessing areas with holy magic.  Since Natsume has the reputation to help Yokai they ask him if they can kill this human. After a bit of investigation Natsume begins to believe this Tanuma boy is responsible for causing serious pain to the Yokai .. killing some and banishing the weak from their home. Taking pity on them he decides to confront the man responsible for this. Meanwhile he flashes back to that woman he met before .. telling the audience in a way about how she was not actually a woman but  Yokai trying to connect with him.. he feels betrayed and chases her off.  Yokai always made his life so difficult so he is not sure who to side with. There are some good Yokai out there.. that do not deserve to be killed but he doesn’t exactly like them either.  A huge cow geisha Yokai joins him in the quest to kill this Yokai hunter.. forcing Natsume to compel it by using its name to save Tanuma.. but then he discovers it was just a weak priest. Tanuma’s father.. who tried to keep the place safe for his son.  When Natsume confronts the young man in the hope to form a genuine connection the man admits he can’t see Yokai either.. but sometimes he sees shadows. Natsume tells Tanuma his secret.. including fondly remembering that woman from before.

The Positives

The episode is a bit boring, in the sense that the conflicts all kind of just meander on.  There is no real sense of threat and in a way that is this shows and this episode’s great strength.  We get a rather vanilla story.. that doesn’t really matter in the long run that provides a very form of subtle exposition and  character development. It truly is unique. During this episode Natsume stands and a proverbial crossroads several times and takes the less interesting path of the two a few times and when it happens I feel kind of frustrated.. yet five minutes later there suddenly is a payoff to this thing that seems like a wrong choice. Ah.. so you wanted to highlight that Natsume is seeing Yokai less and less like evil spirits and more and more like humans.. and the journey he goes trough in this episode is him coming to terms with that fact.  Getting a hindsight on his past actions and seeing it through the lense of new found discoveries. That is a very static approach but it also is very interesting.

I loved the Yokai designs for this episode as well. The priestly cow.. the mid tier cow was adorable and the cyclops old man would make for a fine cookie serving minion!  The high level cow thing  felt intimidating and I love how the studio plays with its shape to make it feel intimidating. Those steel blue eyes give it a heartless quality it does seem to possess.. yet it’s cow nature also gives it something tranquil.. which it also seems to possess as it doesn’t seem to have intentions to hurt Natsume.  The classical scuff marks on the mid tier Yokai made me feel compassion with them.. normally that.. slightly singed look is played for comedy.. and while it is slightly the case here as well it also really conveyed there creatures were helpless and meant no ill will. Seeming them suffer the same stuff as Ash does in the Pokemon anime.. invoked a completely different reaction and that is creditable to the solid world building this show does.  It still is funny.. but in a N’awww .. you guys way instead of a “Hahaha Oh my Arceus Ash you never learn.. kind of way”..  I also REALLY ended up caring for the Yokai pretending to be a human just to be social and help Natsume.. her look was just weird enough to suspect something is up.. and her voice acting when she begged him for forgiveness felt sublime.. I really felt that she did not want to lose her precious friend.

The Negatives

The episode is a bit boring, in the sense that the conflicts all kind of just meander on.  There is no real sense of threat and in a way that is this show and this episode’s greatest weakness. While there is an impact to what Natsume does, it really all just pan’s out in the last five minutes.  Especially the first 9 minutes felt a bit like a slog to me. In hindsight not as much but during those first few minutes I wasn’t all that entertained.  The long Neck Yokai looked pretty amazing yet at the same time she invoked a sense off “I really wish that chased him or tried to harm him”  for a bit. It’s a very cool Yokai design.. I just loved to have it do something. In a way the same goes for the big cow.. but it gets “sit boy’d”   before it can do anything. Again that isn’t bad.. persé.. a golden gun is still worth a lot.. but it would be kinda cooler if you saw someone fire a golden bullet out of it.

The only Yokai that actually get to do something is Ushi and the Old Man.. again I have no idea how to call them.. but the mid tier priesty looking fellows I… felt bad for them in the end.. but I will be honest and tell you, there were minutes I have wished for some gruesome fates to befall them because they can REALLY be annoying in the first half. They function as Natsume’ cheerleaders and are just being loud and telling him how amazing he is.  In the end it feels earned but before that it just feels insincere and irksome. They are just being loud! That’s a trope I really dislike..  but well like I said I did feel bad when they got hurt so somehow they ended up growing on me. In a way negatives also a strength and we can see it that way. Still imagine me really wanting new shoes.. but the pair I have is still too good to  reasonably to replace and I am maxed out since my shoe cabinet is full. So my best friend Bean decides to stick a huge meat fork in my foot.  I bleed all over the shoes and finally can throw them out.. after a while I don’t feel the wound anymore and I got the new shoes and they are amazing.. but do I really say Bean.. you did a good thing? Or would I also be sour for those first few minutes of pain?!

The Score

Last episode I explained how I normally dislike “second episodes” of a show.. their exposition heavy, character establishing and world building plots often feel a bit “mandatory” ..we see the main character decide they will follow the “heroes path”  we see the elements we can expect.. in other words it’s kind of like looking at the solution of a jigsaw puzzle by looking at the front of the box. It can be pretty but it doesn’t feel all that satisfying. This third episode is THAT second episode.. just in the end we open the box as well.. pour the contents out on the table and lucky us we find a corner piece straight away! What a delightful feeling that is! I still feel kinda weird for staring at the box of the puzzle for a good 10 minutes I wish I would have taken more puzzle time.

This is one of those episodes that tells me I will love the frig out of this show.. but it does lose my love a bit because it has the one that explains to me why I will love it. Like an entertaining synopsis.. or the Star Wars title crawl.. there are amazing elements but when is all done and over no one will say that their favourite part of Star Wars was the title crawl… although with The Last Jedi… I kinda liked it most.. but you know what I mean right. This episode does a great job at establishing Natsume’s mindset.. but as a Pokémon fan.. and a creature fan I kind of wanted to see the amazing creatures do more things instead.. It’s brand Vanilla flan.. it’s the best you can do with Vanilla Flan.. but it’s still just Vanilla flan. I prefer chocolate!

Animini: Hikaru No Go -Episode 23 – The Room of Yuugen

Konichi-Wow … this episode sure picked up some serious slack from the last one! Hikaru No Go bounced back strong with this set up episode. Easily one of my favourite views of this week so far, I am happy that I can be very positive. This episode really made me happy and I am so eager to see what happens next week! I really mean it.. this is one of those episodes that makes me regret doing these in a weekly format i just wanted to press on! But NO! Pinkie contain thyself!  We shall walk the path you paved for once.

The Summary

This week focuses on Hikaru’s journey through the Insei School.. or club.. I am not sure what it is. I am going to say school as there are classes, and Hikaru is learning and growing. We see him pick up more losses that eventually turn into a couple of wins. Which are played off as flukes.. but the audience knows better. Hikaru is catching up; he is just downplaying himself.  That subterfuge however is reinforced by the fact that Hikaru really knows NOTHING about the Go world whatsoever. He does not know what it really means to be Insei, he struggles to comprehend how the world of pro’s works and he has no idea how to move upwards in the world of Go.. he is literally just there to play games.. and we can see him winning games.  Waya becomes Hikaru’s mentor of sorts, showing  him the ropes and teaching how things will work. He also is proof that miracles can happen without him even knowing.  At the end of the year only three people can take the Pro-Exam.. which seems like a pretty trivial fact.. However it’s established that Waya only holds the sixth seat in the Insei group.  Another Insei passed the test..  so I guess Waya was at least seventh last year?!  That means he got to participate despite his ranking? That could be interesting for Hikaru later on.

There is a second story though as we see more of Akira again , taking his first steps in the world of the pro’s. I think his journey is meant to be the opposite of Hikaru’s .. as things seem to be going fairly well. He hasn’t played any matches yet but people think very highly of him.. however where Hikaru has that fire in him driving him to be pushed forward we see Touya being depicted as empty.. lacking passion.. skills but no heart.. while Hikaru is more in the Heart.. but lacking the skills needed to progress. He is facing off against an Ouja.. i  think that was the word at least.. some high ranking pro player, who first thinks he will go kindly on Akira.. but after Akira is shown that Hikaru is trying to catch up to him.. his passion is reawakened.. he hates the boy now and wants to make sure he will forever stay out of reach rising higher than anyone..  this new drive makes him super confident when facing his new foe.. which insults the man.. and he plans to crush Touya.. Hikaru is playing his Insei match at the same time as Touya is playing his exhibition match.. but with some luck Hikaru will be able to see the second half. The match between Touya and the pro is about to get started and things get serious pretty quick. .and we see Akira place a stone.. in a very dramatic manner. Ending the episode.

The Positives

This episode was very VERY good! I really adored all the elements that came into play and the many MANY ways the writers give themselves to tell this story. Where the school tournament arc for example basically wrote itself to have only one possible outcome with Hikaru losing to Akira as it would end the story otherwise, here we are seeing so many options open up. Hikaru can make his way up the ranks.. get drafted for the Pro Exam.. The most obvious route.. However what Waya said opens the possibility that Hikaru gets selected for the Pro Exam based on his more “mysterious” qualities  and his potential. He can take on the role of the rising star with a mystery appeal. Yet Waya’s  oldest friend and number 1 of the Go class tells us also that you do not be an Insei to take the pro-exam. While he says it, it turns into a deadline for him.. but here we could get a Journey that reflects Hikaru’s journey with the Haze Middle School Club.. he stops being a Insei and goes take the Pro Exams on his own accord. Once again being forced the ties that he formed there to move forward. This episode hints that Hikaru is getting better.. but also keeps it’s foot in the door to say it is a fluke.. as the guys he played all made some mistakes Hikaru claims to have been huge..  yet is it?! Or is he underselling his own talent again… and is his comprehension of the game rising so much that he thinks small mistakes are big ones. This is something I am super happy to see.. anything can happen this episode opened the field completely!

The animation is amazing as well.. something simple as how victory and loss stamps are being brought into view.. to show the “power level” of future opponents is done very well. When Hikaru is distracted we see a match being played with no focus on the board when he begins winning we see a close up of the board just seeing the frustration of his opponent from losing to a weaker opponent.. but could it also mean Hikaru is actually catching up?!  The way Touya places his stones makes me fairly confident he will win. Regardless if he will or not.. the way he placed these stones are like the “old” Touya.. Not the angry and broken one.. but the one who will do anything to reach that certain level he aspired. He feels like a final boss! Taking more traits similar to Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh as he steels his heart and wants to prove he is the elite one. We do see a form of arrogance sneaking into the boy. He is slightly moving towards a more antagonistic path. Where he will go I feel depends on his first steps as a pro and I do like that. The music is spot on in this episode as well!

The Negatives

The weak points of this episode are view and I have talked about them before. I do not think the writers have great comedic timing. Right at the beginning of an episode there is a lot of frowning faces that are played a bit to comedical.. it does keep things light and it’s very anime yet it doesn’t hit.. it’s airy.. and whimsical.. it’s not funny though.. while the visuals seem to indicate it should be.  I do think Waya and Hikaru bounce off each other better comedy wise than any other before.. so it has improved.. but that third guy.. that is a bit of the random add on of the group that joined in the comedy moment it just felt  like a big miss to me. “I Lost to Akira as well…Teehee” .. isn’t really a joke. In Hikaru and Waya the comedy can arrive from their persona.. they have traits that allow you to be funny.. otherwise it keeps feeling shoehorned in to me. 

The other negative is that pro-player turning into an absolute cartoon character. You can already see in his design he is not a good person.. but he even does the whole face change thing. “New Plan.. I’m gonna Crush Him” while chasing from a friendly smiling face to an evil face. I don’t find that it fits the style of the series so well and I kind of feels it goes a bit against its philosophy as well.  It might be weird as an analogy but in a way this show has a somewhat similar mentality as the main characters in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z. The characters are all very differently but bound together by their desire for an amazing fight. To grow and to fight better opponents.  This has extended to virtually everyone in the Go community so far.. with a few scammers as possible exceptions. The fact that we are dealing with a high ranking pro being so petty towards young Akira seems strange for saying something as simple as what he did. Not being nervous to face a pro?!  I get that it might be insulting from everyone else.. but Akira plays his father all the time probably so it makes perfect sense he is not afraid. It’s nothing to major but by making him this two dimensional  I feel like he is going to lose. and we lose a bit of that otherwise superbly build up tension.

The Score

Not liking a guy that is just providing a single match of course is not a reason to discredit this episode because what it mostly did was setting up a path towards a bright and exciting future. The somewhat forced first three minutes, and the mentality of this particular player do keep the episode from getting a perfect score but I love how this show .. for the most part.. manages to be a reflection of it’s own self. This episode clearly being a Hikaru.. showing so much potential and room from growth with a few rough edges here and there that come from “quirks”  in personality that do not seem to match with the bigger picture.

The episode is back to it’s stellar direction, great cinematography, great audio direction and the way the episode flowed as amazing. Each scene mattered and felt like it was just in the right place at the right time.  Offering us exposition in a natural way but also giving us some room to let those news ideas breath and put them into perspective of the bigger picture. It gave me some Prince and the Pauper vibes.. where we see Waya rip on Hikaru’s lack of talent while Akira gets extra pictures taken and lauded as this new prodigee. I love how this episode established contrast. I would have just loved it a slight bit more.. if we just played a little bit more with said contrast. We are bound to see the situation flip at some point so I woild have loved to see them have just a bit more fun with it and build in a bit more tension from Akira’s end. If he loses now.. it’s because  a petty man that is his superior tried to hard.. if he wins good for him and it will truely show his level.. either outcome however I kind of feel is okay for Touya and that just makes it a bit less exciting.

Soulless Witches Versus Toxic Warlocks: The Craft Legacy

Konich-Witches in movies haven’t been doing that well lately. Recently Anne Hathaway had to apologise for her role as the Grand High Witch in the new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book. Apparently the community was at an outrage because the author wrote that these witches had three fingers just.. and Anne Hathaway had the audacity.. to portray a character with three fingers. It was an insult to everyone with Limb Difference.. said the community.. you are portraying us as evil…So Anne had to apologise….  The Craft Legacy.. does the exact opposite.. It tries to be as inclusive as possible and not offend anyone…. unfortunately just including “everyone” doesn’t make a good film. Mostly  because while everything is here.. no one has any personality whatsoever.

Un-EARTH-ing the Origins

Written and Directed by Zoey Lister-Jones this movie is a sequel to the 1996 movie “The Craft”  Directed by Andrew Fleming and Written by Filardi. The sequel currently holds a 4,3 out of 10 on IMDB and has a Metacritic score of 3.4 from the audience.  The Craft from 1996 is one of my favourite witch movies.. and I love it for how amazingly 90’s that movie is.  From the title crawl to the end of the movie.. it almost is so culty that it feels like a family guy 90’s movie spoof.  The Craft Legacy is connected to the original in the most loose way possible and only comes into play at the end of the movie.. otherwise it is unconnected. What the two do have in common though is how anchored they are in this time. This movie is SO ridiculously 2020 that I think in 5 years it will be hilarious and a lot better than it is now.

This movie IS SO insanely politically correct it is almost hilarious. Do not get me wrong.. I am all about inclusion.. but this group of four is so ultra inclusive between the four of them.. that it kind of feels like one of those “A Rabbi and Priest and a Imam walk into a bar “ jokes. There is our main actress, who plays the white girl Lillith..she is the one why this movie is called Legacy.. then we have  Frankie who seems to have slight hispanic roots, Tabby is our melanated  character and Lourdes is the trans-witch. Again.. I do think this idea is awesome.. I love that they went in this direction.. this should be possible… however.. when you realise we do not even learn Lourdes and Tabby’s name in the entire movie.. you realise we are in trouble. Of the four main characters.. two aren’t really named on screen..ever..I might have missed it.. but if I did so did my friend. 

When your main characters are not even named , they do not deserve a power Walk!

Please FIRE the director

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I am not a fan of cancel culture.. I do think we should work hard to make Hollywood a place for everyone.. but that Anne Hathaway stunt I mentioned earlier.. I find very dumb.. For one Witches are written to not be humans.. so a different physiology  should not be taken in offence whatsoever.. by that standard Baby Yoda would and Yoda would depict people with less fingers as having very weird eating habits. No witches in this variant are not humans.. even if there are other definitions of witches. Do not question EVERYTHING or involve everything to yourself.. is my rule. Now I think the movie makes all the right inclusions.. but are they really inclusions?! I am not so sure… when you want to include people .. make sure they are actually included.. as characters. If you want to make a trans person a witch do write her to be at least a bit interesting. I don’t Lourdes being a trans woman should affect the plot or anything but at least let her say her name.. instead of saying she doesn’t get periods.. She doesn’t have an identity…. and the only thing she mentions is a few spells and a few comments on being Trans that’s not a real person. Same goes for any of the other old hollywood-shunned acting people.

Fairly early in the movie the girls enchant the stereotypical bully jock into being nicer. It turns out he actually has more depth.. or so they would like to believe… because he then spouts politically correct exposition explaining what a cis-gender , explaining women rights .  He also is bi-sexual .. which seems to be a plot point but doesn’t go anywhere. He cries over it and he feels relieved having confessed but much like Lourdes.. it kind of feels as if the character tries to make itself stand out… for being different and being “2020”.  There is a lot of good things going on.. there is a closetted gay  person in this movie who struggles with his sexuality.. it seems to be a plot thread.. but once again.. after it is revealed .. nothing happens with it. I REALLY like the inclusion.. but I think you really cheapen things by letting all the characters tell you what makes them inclusive.. just to see them replaced by some generic stock character.  Kind of like the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Roll Call.. “Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Melanated, Adopted, Transgender Girl”  Then they all morph and we cut to the Japanese stock footage with completely different characters.. I really hated it.. as if it plays inclusion as a gimmick to be cool. That doesn’t show you are a skilled writer or a good director.. that shows you pick popular buzzwords and put them into your movie… No I do not think they should fire the director.. though she clearly did a bad job.. I am sure she has her merrits.. I just needed every chapter title to resemble the elements.

These look like Twilight Characters to me

Full of Hot AIR

I am happy the trans girl is played by an actual trans person and we do see an example on how movies can be.. in THEORY.. this does feel in a way like the world we want to see.. but at the same time it does paint a bit too much of an Utopia..  This kind of brings issues within the settings of this movie.  Really hurting any sense of credibility. The story is as follows. Lilly and her mother move in with her mothers new boyfriend. As Lillith adapts to her new school three girls discover she wears a mysterious pendant tying her into the world of magic..  Every which has an element and a wind direction, Tabby is Fire, Lourdes is earth and Frankie is air.. however without Water they can not do powerful spells.. what do you know it seems Lily is a very powerful witch…attuned to Water. This poses a bit of an issue.. how astronomical are the chances of four THIS diverse girls all having a different element all being born in a line of magic?! I like the idea of making a movie that includes people who never could shine in Hollywood.. but making them feel common by making them special and chosen one.. feels contradictive.. luckily this movie has more where that came from. Spoiler for people who do not know what the word Legacy means.. because that is the only way you will not get this plot twist….. 

Lillith is the daughter of one of the witches of the first movie.. a villian drained her of her magic…which already happened in the first movie… so it ignores the ending of the first movie to an extent.. and she was given up  because that woman went crazy but also did not want Lily to grow up with her magic .. she must never use it. Sure, that is a nice trope.. hide the kid away from their true nature. This seems to be a huge rule though.. Yet the ONE memento her real mothers seems to have given Lilly.. is a necklace.. that connects her to the magic of the four wind directions.. that necklace is the very thing that makes her discover she is magic. …… The heck?! That’s like saying.. Girls from Charmed.. I do not want you to discover you have magic powers.. I’ll send you to spain.. Please have my magic book!?! Eeeh… What.. It get’s worse though.. Lily’s new father played by David Duchoveny is called Adam… (like the first man)   he is a famous motivational speaker who talks about holy Masculinity.. he believes women to be inferior beings… ..jeesz I wonder who the bad guy of this movie is going to be…Spoiler.. again..  but …

He turns out to be a Warlock who wants to steal magic from Witches because women should not hold power. I think he is Lily’s real father but it is never made clear..but since a Witch has to voluntarily surrender her powers.. he seduces her adoptive mother.. tries to torment her into manifesting her powers.. then driving her and her friends apart making her resent the powers so she can give them up.. Except.. he  doesn’t do anything of that..  Everything that happens .. happens kind of at random. The girls find Lily because of her pendant.. which has nothing to do with Adam.. Lily falls in love with someone.. because they used a spell on him.. which has nothing to do with Adam.. For some reason he knows everything in the end.. even what Lily’s friends do at different locations, he knows how the girls magic works at one moment.. at the very next moment he completely forgets and walks into a death trap.. kind of showing more toxic masculinity in the end.

This movie really likes to put people in neat rows

WATERered Down Original

It’s such a shame that this movie is so weakly written. The original gave all the girls mini arcs to go through here.. we don’t even learn their names.. there is no character development for any of them. There is no consequence to any of their actions.. at one point they seal their magic away.. literally a MINUTE later.. they are back with their magic more powerful then ever. The original had consequences.. they reacted to each other, had arcs started to mistrust each other.  Here the group break up comes out of nowhere at the most inappropriate time ever, with no real precedent why the thing that was made an issue is an issue.There even was a perfectly good reason to let that break of trust happen.. but for some reason they did not get mad at Lily deeply shaming a girl’s trust and choosing forsaking how friends should behave amongst another.. for some reason they get mad for a thing they aren’t even sure caused an issue.. This movie could have been such a good thing for Hollywood.. but instead of making a real movie they just shoved a bunch of feathers up their own touchie.. look at how cool we are!

This movie is nice for a twelve year old girl who thinks witches are cool..but the things these girls do feel way to overpowered and not grounded in real magic.. a girl lays in a bathtub  and it glows.. and they make a whole thing out of it..the first ever spell the girls learn is to freeze time..It’s so poorly written because that ability kills all the tension. The CGI is really bad and the cringiest sentence in the movie is “I want to learn how to shapeshift.. so I can become Kirsten Stewart because I am a huge Twilight Stan” This movie is made for 12 year old girls and if you are NOT a twelve year old girl.. this movie is something you should stay away from. It’s Tik-Tok Hollywood and that ain’t for me!  I love the way this movie set worked.. too bad it did not produce a movie but a viral video instead.

Animini: Flip Flappers -Episode 13- Pure Audio

Konichi-WAAAAAAAAH , my favourite magical girl show is over and I am sad now! My sweet island guests! I had such a great ride with this show and it quickly worked it’s way into my heart!  I loved this show so much and while I had a few episodes I did not like as much.. due to the chosen themes and the constant infighting.. what I had in the end was beautiful.  Could this final episode deliver a proper ending?! The answer is YES! In True Flip Flappers fashion it did it in a rather unconventional way..but I really loved this show.. and I really loved the ending as well.

The Summary

There is a lot to unpack here and words may not tell what happend properly.. but what we see is the final battle between the evil side of Mimi.. the broken part that clinged to Cocona as the only light in her life. That wanted to protect her from everything bad… however it doesn’t take long in this episode for her to abandon that goal and want to give Cocona a proper spanking.  Mimi Conjures, Snake Like Golems  that are immortal to beat the powered up Cocona and Papika. When they manage to hold her own Mimi starts to attack Yayaka as well who has been stripped of her powers. Luckily.. this super magical girl transformation Cocona and Papika have undergone cause their Impedance to go super unstable..  which caused breaches into Pure Illusion everywhere.. why is this lucky? Because Uexkull , Cocona’s Rabbit manages to enter Pure Illusion and in his warrior rabbit mode he saves Yayaka. Dr Salt uses the Elpsis to enter Pure Illusion and create another layer of it to hopefully keep Mimi at bay…This doesn’t work to well but it draws the good Mimi out! .. Sensing she is now losing ground Evil Mimi says “Flip Flapping”  and transforms into a Dark Magical Girl.. who is also a black hole.. planning to undo everything and recreate.

Flip Flapping Mimi overpowers the group and first but Cocona flys over to Papika.. they confess how font they are of each other one more time.. and reaffirm that whatever selfish desires they seem to have had.. to go on an adventure.. to let life just take them away.. all got redfined by meeting each other.. now whatever they do.. it only matters because they do it with each other. This realisation gives the girls the power of light ..and that destroys the black hole.. Evil Mimi realises she was wrong and is fished out of a pond by good Mimi.. fusing into a more complete being afterwards. .It seems Cocona wants to stay in pure Illusion to save her mother but Papika uses a bubble to send her trough a portal.. and we see Cocona return to a world.. but without Papika! A world that seems a lot more sterile than before.. she refuses to accept this reality.. and rightfully so.. it turns out that this grim reality is yet another figment of Pure Illusion.. almost as if a final test for Cocona.. she won’t leave without Papika… together the pair Flip Flaps one final time and flies among giant Butterflies back into reality again… where there friends… old and new are waiting for them to arrive… together.

The Positives

Sometimes you encounter one of those show that over time becomes.. “whatever they do you’ll think it’s cool”. I will admit that Flip Flappers has become one of those types of shows for me. While the final battle isn’t particularly epic and the final attack is kind of selfish.. justifying the villians belief.. it is pretty in it’s own way. A simple attack so filled with friendship and love .. and a desire to go beyond this obstacle that even a black hole could not assume it.. A love so fast.. it can not be consumed by that what consumes everything.  That doesn’t need to be a pink colourful spiral flying with sparks that if you look closer is a galaxy… No it’s litterally just two girls in cosplay being sucked into a black hole together.. with a light bloom effect on them..This not only stopping that final attack but also completely vanquishing the foe was  great.. because that is what this show is about. Friendship and love overcoming any limit.  That is what we got! The Epilogue is weird.. but fits so hard in the style of this show.. when we suddenly see Uexkull depicted as a regular bunny. Was he so weird from the start because of Cocona’s power?!  I did not see the twist coming and I was choking up.. fearing I would not get the end I wanted to see… yet when Papika popped up in that old concrete pipe .. my heart jumped with joy! Seeing Yayaka just start at the sky and grin when her two friends breach back into reality it all feels like carefully placed buttons that the end of the show pushes for you to leave you as content as possible and assure you  that there is no longer any doubt in these girls hearts on what they mean to one another.

Everything seemed even more crips in this episode.. they chose for some extremely close close-ups and it works so well. We can see every twinkle in Papika’s eyes, we can see how broken dark Mimi really is.. and we even get a lovely moment between Mimi and Salt.. where their sizes do not match up anymore.. even though they were both mature..Salt is painted very much bigger… he has grown older.. he has grown…while Mimi stayed her in pure Illusion, it helps convey the tragic truth that these once lovers are from different worlds that can no longer co-exists.. Salts form of Pure Illusion being more dead.. while Mimi’s is more alive and colourful. Their final embrace and Mimi’s request to Salt to always be his number one are a very touching sentiment and deep care for one another. The makers pulled out one heck of a ribbon box for this episode because everything gets so nicely wrapped up.. and pulls out all the stops in the visual department to make clear this is a finale too.

The Negatives

I do not believe in a flawless final episode, no matter how much you try , if we love a show there is always something we want to know as well. Will Yayaka ever go exploring Pure Illusion with Cocona and Papika again.. will Salt ever tell Cocona she is his daughter? (Probably not)  Where will Papika stay now that her evil robotic auntie/grandmother has been slain and her house has been blown up? It’s all kind of left unanswered.. perhaps what we saw in Pure Illusion can be an indication of what happens next but that is never confirmed. I would like to think so though. Would I have loved to see Salt hug Cocona and tell her the truth.. I think I do.. I am not sure?! So while the ending offers no closure on all things except for what Papika and Cocona mean to each other, I am not sure if I mind. On the one hand I really would have loved to see a bit of a fleshed out epilogue to see she is alright.. afteralll in reality she still is in pretty deep doodoo! I would love to see some resolve.. on the other hand.. now I can imagine what happend at the end.. and choose what happens. If in my headcanon Salt becomes a loving father.. he can.. if I want Papika and Cocona to live in a concrete pipe for the rest of their lives together.. eventually moving into a couple .. I can.  Flip Flappers is a show about making choices and it gives you the ultimate choice in the end. 

Like I mentioned earlier the episode might be a bit too oddball  to officially be called a good final episode. There is some odd pacing.. such as the final fight being resolved in the first half of the episode with half an episode epilogue.. could the show have been stronger if both things have gotten an episode? Yes quite possibly! There was so much that needed to be told… did they succeed in telling it all?! Yes! I am content.. could it have been told better.. Yes.. one more episode might have left it even more Ironclad. However could an additional episode have made it resonate with me more? If I had given all the answers I wanted would the show be as much on my head as it is now?! Possibly not. In the end it comes down to this show making a stylistic choice of ending that ..like the rest of the show isn’t made for everyone. I do think they could have done a better job with the final episode.. in some ways.. but no matter how I change it , I might like it less.  The flaws on display give this a character of sorts.. I am being made a participant.. instead of just being spoonfed things.. It might not be as satisying to pick my own grapes.. compared to being fed them by skimpily clad ladies and a Enuch with a palm leaf fanning me… but because I touched it.. I do feel more of a connection with what I experienced.

The Score

So do we end it on a perfect score?!  No.. the episode is just a bit to oddly paced, the fake out in the middle, while fitting denies us closure and instead of slowly ramping down the insanity that is this show we keep on revelling in it  in the end. That might not seem bad.. but compare it to a rollercoaster, that goes up a hill slowly then it picks up speed down hill… some crazy loops, crokscrews and what not..  usually right before the end you break and are hauled into the little station.. a moment to catch your breath… this ride stops full speed at the station and as a result .. you are not full ready to disembark yet, you haven’t wrapped your head around the fact that a guy now shoos you out of the cart. 

It’s a ride that I have found truely unique and delightful and it surprised me to the very end. Reality and imagination became interwoven and I get to decide if they live a happy ever after. I do like that idea.  The final episode has been structured to give people who loved this show one final trip. One more JOB! Everything that made this show great is crammed in this single episode and we even get a dark magical girl transformation to complete the entire trope thing as well! I did not know I needed that but when it happend I went .. .OH MY ARCEUS!  I NEEDED THAT! So in a way this show knows me better than me.. with this show I felt like it was made FOR me.. and this final episode could have almost have my nametag written all over it.. wrapped up in a pretty pink box and delivered by a jolly fat man or maybe by a Delibird. It isn’t flawless.. it isn’t a perfect final episode and it will not get the perfect final score.. but that makes this show better. A show that gets the perfect ending is a show you want to stop watching something that leaves you truely content… With Flip Flappers I might have not gotten everything I want.. but now I ‘ll forever want more.. and I love love LOVE that!

And that concludes the series! What magical girl show should take it’s place on the Animini slot?! Should I do an article where I gush on the entire series?! Let me know in the comments! Also this must be said! Yayaka rules!

Summer Brings the Sunshine When Winter Comes: Another Sunshine Blogger Award

Konichi-welcome Island Guest !  I lost count of how many Sunshine Blogger Awards I have done by now!  I think  it’s close to ten!  I took a break from tag posts for a good while but I can never refuse to answer my Blogging Besties questions! So we tackle a new Sunshine Blogger Award .. but break most of its rules again. I know that may be rude.. but it’s just SOOOO many people to tag! We all did this a lot .. so I am trying to shape this into something on a a more pro-active basis rather than a reactive one! I do love the tag though and I do love Summer’s Questions.

Do we even do the Rules Still?

Display the Sunshine Blogger Logo, thank the one who nominated you, answer 11 questions, nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions. It’s so familiar to me that we can brush through these! Will I nominate 11 bloggers? No!  The tag has been around for so insanely long that I think everyone did these. If you like my questions you can answer them if you don’t that is fine as well.  If you want to participate just comment one of the questions in my comments.. and as a reply I will answer it.. in the end up to 11 questions can be asked of me and by then I will have nominated 11 people.. who interact with my blog! Isn’t that a neat less intrusive system?!   Woot! Ideas!

It’s not that I dislike rules or anything but 11 is a very high number to  nominate if you have done this tag 10 times or so! Thats 110 nominations!  I don’t have nearly that amount of active followers.. the community I dabble in I’d say is .. 50ish people large.  I can’t even keep up with so many of you even though I’d like to.. so self nomination by mutual interaction is the way to go!  I don’t mean to be disrespectful to any post creator .. just as a tag is used over and over again I think it should evolve a bit.. and this feels like a proper evolution!

What?! Your Blog-Tag is Evolving!

Now with that said , Thank you Summer for nominating me and I was really intrigued by your questions so I will answer them!  Here we go! Thanks for being such a loyal follower and supporter and having such an amazing life that leads to some of the most interesting tag answers I can read as well! You have such an interesting blog and people really need to check out your amazing art and insightful ideas! They can even do so by clicking on this link! Summer has free Butterscotch candy for everyone! Here is my answer to your questions!

Summer’s Questions

Question 1:  Now that the pandemic has thrown all the building blocks of our lives up in the air, shuffled them, and dropped them randomly – have you made any significant life changes, either day to day or in your future plans? What have you learned?

I remember this episode of the tv show Community called Debate 109. In which Annie and  Jeff have to debate whether mankind is good or evil. Covid to me has shown that mankind is inherently evil and selfish. It might sound rude but we have revealed to have zero respect for each other. I usually stand with the more careful side but I do occasionally see some people and a close friend may come closer than six feet on a rare occasion. I think we need to be careful .. yet we also can not be TOO scared and pretend to fight everything. Nature is calling and telling us we did bad… we can fight for those we hold dear and we should.. but we can not fight for everyone.  If we oppose nature too much.. it will happen again.. and again.. so for me the Covid times are about finding balance. 

Making choices.. both paths have their benefits. .and none is inherently wrong.. as long as we keep some semblance of sense. That doesn’t mean balantantly ignoring the rules because you think masks are stupid.. or saying our goverments are harvesting DNA or testing panic scenario’s… No I simply mean that if you want to give your cousin a hug.. and none of you are anywhere near sick.. and the hug is worht more to you than that risk.. if you wash your hands afterwards.. maybe you can.

What we can not do is let this divide us. If I am more careful than a friend of mine.. I do not mind if he goes out to party with more people than is allowed.. It just means I will wait 10 days before I see him. I do not judge him because he needs that interaction to thrive. He doesn’t judge me for being careful. If he needs to socialise.. he will then afterwards not visit family that is weak.. or at least warn them of what he did so they can make an informed choice. It’s okay not to listen to all advice.. but if you ignore advice , accept that people might stay clear of you.. It’s okay to follow all the rules to the letter.. but do note that without people ever taking risks and breaking the rules we would have been much lesser of a world as well.

We share this world .. and we already have plenty of enemies so let’s not let a disease separate us. Respect each other’s opinion and don’t try to force your way upon others. Of course you will have to follow the law.. so if the government says you need to wear a mask.. you will need to wear a mask. There is no big evil government trying to collect DNA samples to easier keep track of everyone and turn the world into a police state.. and even if they did what do you have to fear from them having your DNA if you are a law abiding citizen.. Sure you have right.. but the right to privacy will not be invaded  if you act like a normal person.

Sure you can’t go burn down 5g towers.. that sucks if that is your thing.. but what good will privacy do for you.. if you are not safe.  People measure only with their own best interests in mind all the time..and have become less and less compatible with each other.. that is what Covid has thought me.. and I adapted to it.. in a sense that I will focus my life on the people that matter in my bubble, I can not create a better world.. but I can create a better world for myself.

Question 2: Of all the many streaming services now offering anime, who is your favorite and why? Which one do you watch most?

Crunchyroll offers less basic stuff than Netflix does, and is the one that works most consistently in Europe..  HighDive I think is not available to me.. and let’s not even begin about Fun.. I basically select anime shows I watch now based on whether or not I can find them on Crunchyroll or if one of my DvD collecting pals has them in their library.  There are a few more factors that come into play but Crunchyroll has been my defacto service for a while now. So much so that I use it’s icon for my Anime Cocktail featured image-thing!

Question 3: Do you even know what a CD is? 3.5 Floppy Disk? Vinyl record? Owned any? Still own any? Is this one question or five?

I owned all of them and I still have a few CD’s.  I had Commander Keen on Floppy Disc , it was this space platformer game about a guy in a pink shirt shooting space slugs with his laser! It  was very fun!   There was a while when we had to do our homework on Floppy Disc even which was super nifty because it was so easy to cheat.. those things cost like nothing.. so if I had done a bad job on my homework I would always wreck my floppy. I would always pretend to be super upset.. because I always had good grades teachers always believed me.. my odd movement would make them put them in my bag unlucky and that little metal thing on the top would clip to my zipper and voila.. I skipped homework!  Vinyl I did not own a lot of .. my dad was a hobby musician and grandpa was a music teacher that kept forcing music onto me.. and so often that I always felt listening to music is a chore.  

The Vinyl I did have was Disney Audio Books.. or well retellings. I had the Smurfs on Audio Cassette.. which I think is missed in this question as a medium and I had the Disney collection on Vinyl. my favourite Vinyl was that of Robin Hood.. because we did not have those on VHS .. another medium that kind of is missing here as well.. we never had Betamax though..  anyway.. since I never had Robin Hood on VHS I would often listen to the vinyl in our playroom. One day my sister wanted to play with me and I wanted to finish the story.. so she took the record from the player and hit me on the head with it.. it broke!  I was super upset for days!  I have never watched or listened to Robin Hood ever since!… Well the disney movie at least.

Question 4: What do you think is going to happen after you die?

I believe in reincarnation of sorts. As physics tell us the energy before a reaction equals that of the amount of energy after a reaction thus energy can never be expended and just transformed. Whatever energy we have will return to the earth.. whether that is us decomposing to fertilising the plants, after my death my energy will remain.  Eventually that plant will be fed to a few cows and I will love on as the energy of a 20 cows.. and then the stereotypical american will go Mac Donalds and eat 20 burgers.. and I will live one as an American!… If Mc D still uses reall beef and not Soylent Green by then. Maybe I will return as an actual person .. who knows.. I just know my energy will never go away!

As for an afterlife.. I do think there sort of is one. When we are dreaming time slows down we see things and can experience things beyond what is thought possible. I do belief that when we die our brain.. just like it makes your life flash in front of your eyes just before you die.. can enter a dreamlike state.. which can be considered an afterlife.. a nearly everlasting dream…caused by all sorts of processes going up in there. Trapped in a bliss induced by our own decay.. this final dream will be what we perceive as “heaven. Now I already told I believe if planes of existance beyond our comprehension linked to creativity and ideas and I do belief that our concious from the dream state can transition into these other planes.. as long as people remember us.. , think of us or imagine how we would respond to a thing after we are gone. It will literally allow us to live on in the memories of others.. digging into that plain of existance that we call imagination. This is also why I do kind of want to be remembered for the person that I really am.. if I ever meet my demise.. that way my dream may never end and I can stay in heaven.

Question 5 : What is your favorite bird?

This should come to no surpise to people who frequent my blog but it’s a duck!  It’s an adorable species that is distinct enough from other birds to be recognised by anyone, it has this level of clunkiness to it that I do appreciate in animals and a very distinct sound.  Ducks aren’t as evil as Geese and make for good and lovely pets! I have seen so many videos of ducks just enjoying being petted or even listening to the radio.  Back when we had a little pond in our garden we always had ducks in summer. They would come and hang out to the pond and walk to our window to be fed.  These were wild ducks yet they all bonded with us.. and each had a bit of a different bond with most of the family. The female duck really bonded with mom while  one of the male ducks really preferred me.. It was quite lovely to see personalities in them and such.. A few other birds had that as well but for me duck have the full package.

Question 6: Do you think you have a totem animal? Or Spirit animal? What is it?

Yes I do, it’s a cat.. and that is strange because I am totally not a cat person. Yet I “hallucinate” a cat every now and again. It’s a black cat.. and it’s always the same.. it has yellowish eyes and a white tipped tail. It also has a bit of white in the face. I see it staring at me from time to time.. usually just from outside a window on a roof. The first time I saw it.. I told dad  I saw a cat in my room (I was 15 I think)  it walked backwards after seeing me spot it.  We searched the entire house but could not find it.  Whenever I see it it usually is a signal that I should be careful because some bad luck is coming my way.  It’s avoidable..but in a way it works like the Pokémon Absol to me. Who predicts disasters.. the cat predicts trouble. Yet I have also seen it running in some bushes and when I look below I found money.. or once a little mouse that got trapped in empty soda can. So I do believe I have a animal spirit guardian of sorts.. it might also bring me bad luck! But just like with real cats.. you never no what they will drag in.

Question 7: What is a comfortable indoor temperature for you? No, really, I’m curious. What’s your thermostat on, if you have one?

Well isn’t this a tricky one.. .. I do have a thermostat in my new home but as a European I use Celsius and not that weird one Americans use.  (Celsius uses the temperature that H20 changes from liquid to  solid and gaseous state as 0 and 100 point and other than that scales to the absolute scale of Kelvin). I usually use 19.5 degrees C to be productive but warm and 20.5 degrees when I want to be toasty and snuggly in front of the tv. This means that I am usually most comfortable with temperatures between 66 degrees Fahrenheit and 68,5. The warmer it gets the least productive and groggy I get!  I love wearing big sweaters to hide in so I don’t need the temperature to be insanely hot!

This is before I get my first gas bill though! In my old house gas was included in the rent price.. though they tend to frick me over in the end! 

Question 8: How do you feel about slice of life anime?

Slice of life is a very big concept and there are anime within the genre that I do like.. I mostly like Slice of Life  when it is used as a subgenre though.  Slice of Life episodes in Shonen anime I absolutely adore. Slice of Life moments in horror make the impact  of it all so much bigger.  It makes characters really relatable. I do enjoy Slice of Life moments a lot.. ..

Pur Sang Slice of Life anime however I usually find boring. There are exceptions like Watamote which is one of my favourite anime, but usually I find Slice of Life anime devoid  of any relatability.  I do not talk with friends on how to eat a pudding bun, I do not have 27 potential lovers or even 2..  It either depicts an to idylic life for me or something to zaney.  I like my loony characters and odd stories but I don’t really feel anything by seeing a potato peel itself and jump into a curry.  Japanese culture often doesn’t help make these situations any more relatable and without that connection I do think many of those stories are lackluster.

Question 9: Do you watch the same genres in live action as you do in anime?

No, life action I mostly watch Sci-Fi and Horror shows.. also a lot of those crime shows! Or well I used to.. I nowadays barely watch any life action fiction. I rewatch some Buffy, some Power Rangers and a few sitcoms just because they are on tv but I am mostly done with Life Action series. I like the Mandalorian and will watch the second season once it is completely released  but there is a predictabilty in Western Media that has mostly put me off it. Each CSI clone has basically the same episodes in a different order, there is a structure that makes them ultra predictable to me. I did not care much for Game of Thrones after season 3 because we mostly just had a looping plot. Stranger Things is just “every Steven King Novel Ever”  stretched over an entire season with just a dash of cosmic horror and some 80’s flavouring.  The west really very much more than the east wants to see the same thing over and over again.. and due to how my mind works I can’t watch those series and feel I haven’t seen this before.

This is also why I don’t watch a lot of Shonen and prefer the odd ball anime that I do .. I want to be suprised, I don’t like to be able to predict a series. I try to turn my head off when watching these things but I pick up on this subconsciously. Even in movies I have been able to predict a final scene of a movie based on how the first shot was framed. For example there was this movie where we see a woman come home and put her key on the dresser. Putting it away in a drawer.  The scene was shot from a frog  perspective and  would linger for just a second so I knew in the end she would attack the killer with that key.  At some point she did not do it when inviting a certain character over.. because .. she had mail in her hand that day or something and I knew.. well that guy is the killer then.. he does not know she keeps her key there and it will allow her to escape. A 20 second opening shot and I already connected the dots and solved the entire movie for the intermission in the cinema. I can’t do that with anime! ..It’s also why I tend to wath more YouTube nowadays because predictability isn’t a thing there.!

Not even sure what genre this would be!

Question 10: Do you remember the very first anime you saw? Was it love at first sight?

The first time I subconsciously saw anime .. was either Alfred J Quack if you count that one or MapleTown  and I loved both series.. especially Mapletown had me crazy as a kid!   I have NO memories of the series except for .. I loved Mapletown and the theme song in dutch! Then it would take years to see an official anime and it was Gundam and I hated it! It was aired in front of shows I thought that were good and Gundam was just too complex and dark for me at the time. It would take me awhile until they started to air Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh Beyblade and Medabots to fall in love with it again.  Pokémon as well of course.  Those were love at first side.. but Mapletown will always be my really official first. I watched it when I was 3 to like 5 or maybe 6.. not sure.. and I just remember it made me happy.. so love at first sight? Yes! I think so. Opening down below if you aren’t checking this in reader!

Question 11: The EMP hit. Everything with a computer chip is fried. Will you survive?

Nope! I have a device on my heart that helps me out at times.. I assume that would break as well .. so I’d probably literally die from the EMP itself.  It kind of depends on how fried the pacemaker would be. I have no landline to call for help , and not a strong enough voice to yell out I am in trouble.. so I’d probably be up doodies creek without a paddle.. and a hole in my canoe!

If the device powers down without leaving me with any damage I would be good for a while. I do  keep a slightly okay stack of cash with me.. so I can pay for some groceries, I usually live on  day to day basis so I don’t have a lot of supplies going to waste, so I would probably just buy some bread and cheese and wait it out while getting some paper and pens to write stories down the old fashioned way as a way to kill time. I also have a lot of analogue games, and a pretty great analogue hobby so in that sense I would not die straight away.

However deep stress can cause my heart rythm to go wonky pretty easily and I think seeing the entire world blacked out and having no means of communications would cause enough stress to still kill me..  So unless I happen to have a friend over.. I would say I am quite litteraly done for! .. Not in the sense that most millenials would.. but like actually ..dead dead!

The questions to anyone willing to answer.. and ask me to answer one of these in the comments! …also All coconuts since they are auto-nominated! Yet Do Not feel Obiligated If you don’t want too!

Question 1:  Do you have any non-blogger people that inspire you to do your blog?

Question 2: If you had a reality tv show based around you, what would it be called?

Question 3: Do you use your real name for Blogging.. if not what is your real (First)  name

Question 4:  If you would be a serial killer from a 90’s movie.. what would be your gimmick and what would be your media nickname.

Question 5: What Anime Character do you think is the most overrated?

Question 6: What Anime or Game or Movie did you really like but you are ashamed that you like it so much?

Question 7: Describe yourself, when you became a new species of Pokémon (Name , look, typing or whatever you can think off)

Question 8: If you could kill someone… without any consequences.. (including causing no grief in people that know this person) would you?! If so what would you do?!

Question 9: What do you think is a good movie idea that hasn’t been done before?

Question 10: If Humans stopped being Mammals.. what would you prefer they become instead?

Question 11: Name a Geometric Shape, A Colour and a Single word to describe yourself… use Microsoft paint.. to turn that into a picture

That is it 11 weird questions to give you all a challenge!  If you want to participate.. just ask me one of these questions in the comments.. once I reply to them you have been nominated to participate in this challenge.. Don’t ask the same question twice!  So I can actually nominate 11 people .. though I doubt I will gather 11 who want to do this one.. it can still be fun! I will see you in the comment section. If you don’t want me to answer my own questions.. or if 11 people have gone before you… consider becoming a coconut.. by supporting my Kofi! That will nominate you as well .. and help me buy a pc!

Animini: That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime -Episode 18- Evil Creeps Closer

Konichi-well-this-hasn’t-certainly-been-my-best-week-for-anime everyone! I haven’t been impressed with Slime for a fair few episodes now ..well two to be exact.. it just feels longer because of the move.. but still this current chain of events of Slime feels a bit Meh to me. Where last episode could at least keep me entertained.. This episode was the equivalent of shaking a can of cheap peanuts to check if there are more. “This can’t be all right?” I shook the can with all my might and no additional peanuts dropped out.. it still was a fairly okay snack.. but more and more Slime is devolving into just that for me.. a snack! Bear in mind though I watched this after that shower, and after Digimon and Samurai Flamenco had such “bummer” episodes. 

The Summary

Phobio, that beast guy ..is really angry at Milim for insulting him and punching him. Everyone in his beast troup thinks it would be best to discuss a peace with the Slime creature because they have craftsmanship that completely blows theirs out of the water.. but Phobio can’t seem to let his thirst for vengeance go. He wants to attack the village.. in his own name so he doesn’t involve his Lord.. but also that.. by doing that he can tell his lord that at least something .. happened?!?   He wants to make his lord proud..but because Milim is there and she annoys him.. peace was never an option.  Two members of the Moderate Harlequin Alliance show up.. being Tear and Footman who tell Phobio he can be strong enough to be a demon Lord by freeing the creature Charybdis and claiming his power.. hungry for vengeance the beastman things on this and eventually agrees. Sending home his troops because they should not be involved. He then follows the two masked Majinn to a Mysterious cave.

Clearly the two are setting him up to be some kind of sacrifice to release this powerful being.. which I think.. ends up working.. as we see the creature take flight just a little while later. Tear also killed some young dragons which they fed to Charybdiss so it can spawn 12 Flying Megalodon.. so now we got one organic sky fortress that is rumored to be the son of Veldora with 12 flying sharks heading for the village of Rimuru. The Dryad try to stop him but seem to be growing weaker by the minute.. so Treyni’s sister tries to contact the village.  She is covered by a murderous aura.. which apparently comes from  Charybdiss being close.. so there are a few trust issues at first. Milim offers to take down the Calamity class creature..but Rimuru’s followers ask her to stay out and let Rimuru resolve this instead. To prove his worth to the humans so they can establish trade roads in good trust. Rimuru doesn’t seem on board with this idea but eventually asks Milim to stay out of this, making everyone else fight at a mountain that is at a crossroads to Dwargon Rimuru and whatever direction the monster is flying in from.  Battleplans are being made and that is where this episode ends.

The Positives

I am not happy with this episode!  There is so much wrong with it.. and I mean SO much! It is however not without it’s merrits. Eren and her group finally get some nice interaction with Rimuru which I had been craving for last week.  The hot-tub scene this week is actually pretty funny with the humans liking this village so much they basically are taking a vacation in town and the girls taking a bath so much that even Shuna is beginning to give up etiquette.  The comedy this week is quite solid! The jokes with Milim are also fairly succesful.  Her drive to prove herself to her besty and not being able to hurts her which feels in character.. but now she is adapted enough not to cause a tantrum. So we just see her switch in her battle outfit.. and then being upset. I do like that! It makes sense Milim would wear her battle outfit underneath her clothes just so she can clobber enemies! I had a good chuckle.

The manipulation that Tear and Footman do towards Phobio is also quite nice, the dialogue is nicely written and you can sense them testing the waters to find the correct buttons to press.  Digging deeper and deeper getting underneath his skin, eventually you know there is no more escape for him.. they successfully manipulated him into doing their bidding. His troup caring for their leader and trying to talk him out of it also made this scene a lot more interesting… they do make them a bit too “goody-good”  for my taste.. because with this mentality the conflict of the week before would never really have happened..  but all in all they do a good job of fleshing out this group and making you feel that the bigger evil took a win here today.  Ill intent has prevailed.  I do think Phobio could have Ill intent enough.. but making the Harlequin Alliance more depraved gives us something to worry about in the future and I do like that.  Rimuru establishing his beef with the Demon Lord Leon was also one of the episode highlights.. Unfortunately that is also where those end.

The Negatives

Jeez-Louise there was a lot of stupidity in this episode. While some scenes were very strongly written .. the big picture is completely messed up and kind of angered me. Let me start with the very idea of Rimuru fighting Charybdis without Milim. That feels insanely stupid..instead he is going to risk his own citizens and that of his only ally… just to proof their worth for a trade deal?! .. How about protecting the lives of everyone in this village?!    Didn’t you adopt Milim into the village for exactly these kinds of situations?!   What’s the point of her being there if you are not going to use her?!   I do get that for the tension arc in the show you need to pull these kinds of Shenanigans …but that could have been done so much better. Say for example that Charybdiss can absorb the energy of Demon Lords.. so Milim CAN’T be there.. or make clear that it is after her and it will become super powerful if it succeeds. Rimuru so far always wants to fight using every strategic advantage he has.. so no using your nuke ..at least as a backup seems.. odd and just done in favour of the show’s tension.

Other than that.. the episode was also quite boring. We did not see what happened to Phobio, seeing him being consumed by darkness and transformation would have been super cool, we do not see the fight of the dryads against Charybdis. .not getting a sneak peak of its abilities, instead we just get exposition and bathhouse scenes. Why does Charybdis have to have flying sharks, it seems kind of random.. and I do like random but this doesn’t feel whacky enough.. the design of Charybdis is very otherworldly so I would have loved to see matching adds… just big sharks.. is kinda boring. We do not see what happens to Phobio’s group, we do not see Tear feed Charybdis those dragons, all the important stuff happens trough exposition and we get  “the girls having a holding the breath contest” or “Rimuru talking about trade routes”. I like both scenes but when you find out what was happening at the same time.. I can not help but feeling quite screwed over.. you showed  the wrong thing. I get the other thing is harder to animate but this really felt like a cop-out.

The Score

I had a few chuckles with this episode of Slime.. it still has its charm and I still want to see the rest of the show.. I do feel like next episode it will pick up again..but this block of three episodes has been fairly weak! They all have something to offer.. stand alone and it has enough charisma to sell itself.. but that doesn’t change the fact that it made some big fudge-ups in terms of how the story is connected.. character roles and overall narrative flow of things. It feels a bit directionless… as if the writer was throwing stuff against the wall and see what sticks. Thus Milim feels a bit like an overpowered Jarjar and Rimuru’s actions don’t make that much sense.. and that is a shame, because there is so much you can do here.

I do feel that the writer tried to take a page from Oda’s book and create a long lasting epic, in the same vein as One Piece.. with introducing new hurdles to overcome. I do feel that letting Rimuru go after the Demon Lords instead of all this new stuff would be more satisfying. Now we get one Demon Lord  awakening an Eldritch abomination basically to fight Rimuru, while another doesn’t even seem to know he is a slime sending a footsoldier to deal with him. Which could make sense..if not everyone has heard of Rimuru.. but both the dwarves and the humans also heard of a slime defeating the Orc Lord.. and since the demon Lords still are in an Alliance and can’t interfere with each other,,, this seems a very improbable chain of events. Oda makes the world move separate from the main characters as well but he writes them as to how they interact with the world.. here everything moves seperate but it’s written how they interact with Rimuru and we get a less cohesive world as a result.. and in this episode that caused a major conflict for me that made this one of my least favourite in the series so far.