Friday, June 27, 2014

Blogging for Everyone, Not Just Me

People always say that we make blogs for ourselves and that the primary focus of a blog such as mine is our own thoughts and feelings. However, this thought never sat well with me. If we're all connected on this vast world through the internet and the little community known as the aniblogosphere, why would I spend my time only talking about myself? Even if it comes to simple editorials, spotlights, or more, my thought process when blogging is the exact same every time. I'm writing for my readers, and myself.

For this reason, I encourage and even ask for people to comment and share their thoughts on anime. Why not get into heated discussions about your likes and dislikes? Just keep it calm and don't go overboard. You can even connect with people who enjoy the same things and discuss; that's the beauty of the Aniblogosphere. I think this is the only way to keep the community thriving and alive. 

Otherwise, we'd just have a bunch of loudmouths. For example, while looking around the internet one day, I stumbled upon an interesting article. It basically talked about how the internet has become a bunch of people who want their voices be heard. They stated that everyone is talking but no one is listening. Through forms of social media, we may talk, voice our opinions, and rant. However, what does that accomplish if we don't listen to others? Although I cannot say if I really agree with that statement or not, I believe it would certainly become real if everyone started blogging only for themselves.

You can even think of it like a business. Yes, it's necessary to focus on your own earnings and build yourself up, but how can you do that without any support from others? Our blogs are the businesses we're raising, and they won't get anywhere without the consumers and competition. By supporting another anime blogger through blogrolls, guest posting, or a simple comment, we're boosting them and ourselves. Giving a simple anime fan some attention in the spotlight, is the way to make social connections, and let someone else have a chance at the limelight. It's not just one person benefiting, everyone is! I believe this is the magic of blogging and the secret to connecting the community of anime fans. 

So if you have the chance, please leave a comment after reading! What do you think about the anime blogging community? Are you a blogger or a dedicated reader? Let your voice be heard!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Onigiri Online Thoughts

Are any of you guys interested in picking up another MMO? Well, if you've taken a look at my YouTube, I uploaded a video displaying the character creation of Onigiri Online. From it's name, you can easily tell that its a Japanese-based online game. (Onigiri is the word for rice ball in Japanese.) However, this game certainly has nothing to do with rice balls of any sort.

The game features more of an earlier time period Japan setting. The game has a traditional feeling to it, similar to something like Dynasty Warriors. The story isn't all too complex. Basically evil monsters and dark spirits wrecked havoc on the world. They were eventually sealed away by Amaterasu, the sun goddess. Time has passed and one of the seals has broken. Naturally it's up to the player to do something about the incoming waves of monster attacks.

Aside from the story, the main feature that is highlighted is the weapon change system. As I played I was conveniently able to switch between a set of four weapons. The "fast weapon change gameplay" lives up to its name, sporting easy changes without any long animations, lag, or other sluggish features. While I haven't delved too far into the gameplay, I like having a vast variety of weapons and fighting style. It's a lot better than sticking with one class forever.

Onto character creation. The game has a lot of good customization features, but it is certainly no Phantasy Star Online 2. Despite this, you can still cycle through a good amount of options for hairstyles, eyes, face shape, even body size and height, and thankfully, voices. There are also plenty of colors for each options accompanying this, though it was a little disappointing that there was a lack of a skin color option. For an example, take a look at the video above.

Upon entering the world, I found it was very vast. Exploration seemed encouraged, and I liked how the focus wasn't on fighting monsters all the time. While the graphics were really nice, they didn't seem to burden my laptop too much, as I experienced very minimum lag when recording as well. 

The controls were easy and gameplay was fast and fluid. Movement could use a little work though; I kept sliding all over the place since your character doesn't stop moving the instant you let go of the key. It was hard to fight enemies that were constantly on the move, until I discovered the targeting system that is. Even with this, dodging and attacking respectively...seemed difficult. I got hit a lot and had trouble timing guards and dodges. However, I'm not too familiar with these types of games, so don't take it so badly.

While there's not much to say in terms of the characters, its nice that the story actually feels somewhat real. When doing dungeons NPCs (Non Playable Characters) can accompany you so you're not alone, This is great for people who don't like playing with real people, or others who have a favorite character.

All in all, its a pretty fun game. Sure its not perfect, but its new and expecting perfection right away is asking for too much. I really like the atmosphere the game gives and can't wait to see how Onigiri Online grows in the future!
Please subscribe to my YouTube for more Onigiri and gameplay footage! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lessons from Anime: Destiny is Something YOU Create

Do you believe in fated events? If everything in life was predetermined, from our personalities to our future, why would humans continue living? Why would we push forward when all we can accomplish is so much? The answer is simple, we're not bound by any special paths we have to follow.

I think we may have a few things that push us in the right or wrong direction, but everything isn't out of our hands. In fact, we could argue that we control everything that happens to us. Even with everything planned out and perfectly suited for us, simply making the wrong decisions can lead to ruin.

While I've always thought this way, this isn't the case for everyone. It's understandable to feel helpless. Even now I sometimes have doubts, especially when bad things happen one by one, it feels like I'm not in control. However, when I watch anime characters who struggle against the odds and ends life gives them, I see that life is what you make it. Not necessarily saying that bad things won't happen if we don't think they will, just that a person has the ability to make their life "ideal."

Anyone remember Naruto's fight with Neji? The whole fight was basically a struggle between someone who wanted to create their own destiny, and someone who felt their life was not in their hands. In the end, the person who believed that they could control their own path won. That was Naruto. Yes, I've heard people say that due to recent events, the meaning behind that fight and moment are wasted. Just hear me out a bit, I'm going to examine this a bit deeper.

So as we know, Naruto has been labeled as the "Child of Prophecy." Naruto came from two extraordinary parents, one being the a strong ninja and Hokage; the other was a powerful ninja and descendant of the Uzumaki clan.

With two great parents, most people would instantly think that Naruto was "destined" to become a great ninja. Yes, he probably was. However, we're overlooking a few key facts. Naruto started off as a failure. He could barely perform any jutsu correctly, had few real talents to name, and was hated by the majority of the village. Lets say Naruto didn't look at things with his "never give up" attitude. What would have become of Naruto? He would have ended up either in the hands of the Akatsuki or failed to become an official ninja. While he did fulfill his so called "destiny," this was only because HE made it possible. If anything, I feel that's what Kishimoto is trying to portray.

Angel Beats is another anime that addresses destiny, somewhat indirectly. We could say that all of the students were victims of destiny. We could even say that the school ground that exists after death, exists only for them; the people who weren't happy with the hand they were dealt and the effects of it. So instead of becoming a victim of fate, they take hold of it. Thus, they were given another chance, because they didn't settle for horrible conditions of living. They created this new life themselves.

So what should you take away from this post? Well, that's easy. I think the basic idea is that we're given certain traits or a "hand of cards" in the beginning of our lives. Now, while these cards vary in strength and abilities, we have the ability to accomplish anything with them. It depends on how we play with the cards were given. Like any card game, a skilled player can win even with the most useless cards. If we play them right, we can live good lives, if not we won't. This is how we create our own paths, our own lives, and our own destinies. Destiny is real, but its something that we decide for ourselves.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Taking an Anime Breather

I'm sure you've all noticed that there's been a recent lack of posts regarding anime. There's a good reason for this of course; I'm simply taking a break from anime. I believe that there's a possibility of having too much of a good thing, even when it comes to Japanese animation. So in order for me to enjoy and have fun with the new series that are currently airing and others which I wish to watch, a break is necessary!

Still, don't let that get you down. I'm going to keep posting of course! I'm just getting a little tired of seeing the same trends in anime, reusing the different tropes, different plots with minor changes, and such. Also, I'm pretty tired of having to drop different series, because they don't appeal to me.

In the meantime, I'm playing a lot of Nintendo and other games. If you are subscribed to my YouTube, I might be uploading a bit more there. Its a little barren, but there's more to come soon. I hope to get my hands on some sort of recording software too.

All in all, this can be considered a blog update. Just taking a short break, and focusing on other things for the time being. Hopefully, won't last too long.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Now That E3 is Over.. Let's Review

I'd like to take the time to share my own thoughts about E3 and gaming. I've been looking around and seeing many different opinions and impressions. For some reason, a lot of people say E3 didn't really stand out to them. In fact, a couple say that there was absolutely nothing worth anything there. So it makes me wonder, were people watching the same broadcast?

Coming from my background, I've had my hands on most of the game systems. Whether it be Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft, I've been involved with each in some way. So I feel this gives me a more open look at video games. While I obviously favor a certain company more than another, it doesn't stop me from looking at another's games. So I can say that, so far this E3 was probably one of the most exciting for me.

I'll admit it right now, that I pretty much liked everything Nintendo had to offer over everything else. I'm not a person who enjoys heavy violence, maturity, and shooting. I like partaking in games that everyone can play. While Sony and Microsoft both offer this, Nintendo takes the cake in my opinion. In fact, this could be considered Nintendo's role in the gaming world. Their variety is what makes them appealing.

When it comes to Sony and Microsoft I have played both. However, Microsoft never appealed and still doesn't appeals the least to me. Why? There's a lack of variety in the games. I love to play anime and family games. This may seem childish, but it's what I like. While Microsoft does do this, Sony does a little better when it comes to anime. Still, Sony doesn't give me the satisfaction I want when I play a game or use a console. I can at least say that Sony had some announcements that appealed to some members of my family, such as Little Big Planet 3.

So if I had to rate  the companies in order from best to worst my opinion would be: Nintendo, Sony, and lastly, Microsoft. (I can't speak much about Ubisoft and EA and other gaming companies, as I do not know them well enough.) Ignoring the ratings, the one thing I really liked about this E3, was that the companies focused more on the gamers, instead of the games. I think this is a big plus.

I could go on comparing the numerous companies and the games that were announced, but that would take forever. In this day and age it's easy for someone to Google Search. So instead, let me talk about the positives I saw at E3 disregarding any console wars.

  • Gaming stereotypes were broken. For example, Nintendo showcased games that could be considered somewhat mature, such as Bayonetta. They also broke the stereotype of casual play, with the extremely exciting Smash Bros. tourney. Sony and Microsoft showcased other games despite the usual first person shooters, breaking the stereotype of mature only gaming. 
  • Interactivity with the gaming audience. Somewhat self explanatory, but I felt like my voice mattered.
  • As a followup, something for those who are still at home. Having the ability to view the whole thing in the first place through the internet, imagine if things like this weren't possible!
  • Last, the community being tied together through a single medium. Social interaction through games, or social interaction about games outside of them...whatever it may be, we're all being connected by something we love.
"We'll make it to E3 next time!"
Although I basically payed the most attention to Nintendo, the others were doing fantastic things as well! I really enjoyed the E3, and I hope one day I can attend the event in person and bring footage back to you guys! 

Until then, that's all for now~

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Our Personalities Are Linked to Our Anime

Do you ever take the time to think about the anime you like? What about the colorful characters that fill the animated world? Do you know why you like those characters? Some people may, and others may not. However, when it comes to our likes and dislikes I've noticed a lot of it has to do with the type of person we are.

A friend of mine casually joked that everyone he's met has been similar to the first shonen they watched. I kind of laughed it off, but I didn't realize how true it was. Naruto was the first shonen anime that I really got into. I really view the anime and the characters in a positive light, but imagine if I didn't start with Naruto. What if something like Bleach or One Piece had been my first? Since I had learned so much from a simple anime, my outlook on anime and certain traits about me would certainly be different.

So this raises a completely different question; are we shaped by anime or our shaped by ourselves? From my view, I think there's a bit of both. For example, I have the power to freely pick and chose what I want to watch and experience. No one is telling me what I have to like. There's no restrictions or bounds on my views and traits, therefore I'm able to let my true personality free when it comes to anime characters and series. With this way of thinking, I pick the anime I truly like the best. Yet, I am still shaped by the media I intake, subconsciously or consciously.

Despite this, we still have to take in account other things such as peer pressure and the community outlook, but these aren't really important when a person is alone with something they enjoy. It's different than being in a public setting and being bound with certain rules and expectations. You're not limited. I think maybe that's why I enjoy anime so much; it is freedom of expression.

Staying with that thought, most of my favorite characters are similar to me in some shape or form. Sometimes the negatives and sometimes the positives, but it's nice seeing a person like me even in fiction form. Or even seeing an anime that follows my ideals and beliefs. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I'm drawn to anime that is similar to me, my personality. If my personality were different or if I were a different person I would like different things. Sure, people might say that's a bad thing. "We're all different, how in the world do we get along?" I think that being different is what makes the anime community a beautiful thing. Different people connected by a single medium.

"Let's just call it the ramblings of a dreamer?"
Sorry if this post isn't as long as you expected, or doesn't really express the topic well. I just feel that sometimes shorter posts get the point across more efficiently.

That's all for now guys and girls, see you soon~

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nintendo Press Conference Summary

Hello again everyone! If you weren't up early enough, Nintendo had their press conference today! I'm glad to say that E3 has finally begun and I can't wait to see what's in store of us. I'm an avid gamer and Nintendo fan, so E3 is like heaven for me.

So I'm here to bring you some info on what happened at the press conference. I'm aware that I may not be as fast as most people when it comes to news updates. However, that's not going to stop me from bringing information I find important. Onward to the news.

During the press conference today we got a good look at great new features in games. The first game of course, was Smash Brothers for Wii U and 3DS. Surprisingly new characters were announced, but they weren't really the ones we were expecting. The Miis finally take their place in Smash Brothers!

 While many have been begging for character customization, this is probably the closest we'll get for now. I can say that I'm pretty excited, I like having the opportunity to use my Mii in games. It gives me the feel that I'm really into it. 3DS version releases October 3rd, and Wii U somewhere this holiday.

There was also a good amount of talk about the new Amiibo feature that is being introduced for Super Smash Bros. The technology features figurines as seen above, that contain special chips allowing them to carry data to and from the Wii U. I thought at first that this would be a good way to keep a record of our battles with our main character, instead it's more like having a partner that we wish to battle alongside.

Despite this, I still think the idea is very interesting and I'd like to see more to come from using this feature. It was hinted that the figures would also be used in other games such as Mario Party and Mario Kart, so we can look forward to more announcements.

The rest of the news consisted of a few other games such as Yoshi's Wolly World and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. I'm quite happy with both of these games, as Captain Toad's levels in the recent Mario game could be a little frustrating, but they were lots of fun. Kirby's Epic Yarn was probably one of the most beautiful games I've played, so high hopes for Yoshi's Wolly World.

Yoshi's game features similar play style and controls to the former Kirby game. I also see a few elements that stem from Yoshi's Story.  Captain Toad is basically a puzzle exploration, which sometimes takes a little time to solve. Despite this, I liked the fact that you didn't have a tight time limit, and the ability to keep trying over and over was helpful. I'm a fan of puzzle games and exploration, so both together is grand. No set release date on these.

Of course we got looks at the new Legend of Zelda. The focus of the game this time is to create a vast and beautiful world where one can explore. If you've played The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker you will remember it's beautiful ocean and wide realm. If not, Wind Waker basically consists of many islands on a wide ocean. The islands are pretty isolated, but each one is a new place to explore. As explained in the video, they like the vastness but don't want the isolation. They want everything to be connected and accessible.

Hyrule Warriors was also seen. Yes, its another Zelda game, but this time with different mechanics. Instead of the usual exploration and adventure, you fight hordes of enemies with multiple characters. This gives you the chance to play as Link, Zelda, Impa, and now Midna. It has a similar playstyle to the Dynasty Warriors series which I have never touched. Basically one person taking on a whole army with cool attacks and special moves. Releases September 26, 2014.

Moving on, we also got a look at the long awaited Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. The game looks extremely similar to X and Y. We were shown glimpses of similar mechanics, 3D worlds, 3D battles, and mega evolution. As shown above the gym leaders even get a little makeover.

Aside from the usual screenshots and video footage, we still haven't heard much about these games. I just hope we'll see more soon as I patiently wait for updates. The release date has also been announced. The games are set for November 21st, which is not that far away.

There were many other announcements for the smaller titles and a few new ones, but the one took the cake was the ending Smash Brothers footage. We got a glimpse at a very cool anime fight scene between Link and Pit. Link is obviously winning, and Pit gets backed into a corner. However, someone comes in and saves him.

For fans of Kid Icarus like myself, someone who we know well appears in the new game. It is the Goddess Paluetena! She sports a staff and shield, using numerous amounts of special attacks. I can say I'm very hyped for this announcement as she is a favorite character of mine, yet I can't help but wonder where are the old Smash characters from the first game? Ness, Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff...where have they gone? Unlockable perhaps?
Few screenshots of upcoming titles.
This pretty much sums up the Press Conference. For Smash fans, I recommend checking out the tournament going on later today. The set time is 4 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. PST. Make sure to check out Nintendo's Twitch Stream.

That's all for now my readers, stay tuned for more E3 later!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Element Fire in Anime and Life

In life and animation, we tend to see elements grouped into multiple categories and stereotypes. Water is known to e calm and cool. Earth is rigid and grounded. Wind is light-hearted, and on the move. When it comes to the elements, there are mainly positive connotations associated with each. However, with fire we see a wide variety of views.

The common viewpoints of fire label the element as being inherently "bad." When we look at crazy villains they rarely wash the villages and towns away with water. They usually use fire to burn down things in their path. Fire is the thing that people tend to associate with danger. Burning buildings, smoke rising, burn scars, and more.

Connotations I've seen in fictional media are hotheadedness, leadership, wildness, lack of restraint, rage, danger, destruction, and evil. See the large amount of negative qualities linked to this element? Why is fire treated in such a way? I think the answer lies within our media and events that have taken place.

We can examine the use of fire in many anime and other forms of media. In the recent Pokemon games, Pokemon X and Y, Team Flare are the new villains. If you couldn't tell by their name, they wear bright red suits with matching flame hairdos. Their Pokemon type of choice is fire. While it's too far of a jump to blindly blame Pokemon, the everyday child isn't going to look deep into the game. So I feel that this could create more negative connotations with the element, portraying the "bad guys" as fire users.

Now we can even examine the traits associated with characters who use fire. The physical appearances vary based on the creators, but generically fire users are red/orange/pink heads in regards to hair. Many of them are either wild and hot-blooded or girls/boys with tsundere traits. I feel this isn't doing the element justice, all it does is create an overused generic appearance and personality for characters.

Still, we can dig deeper into more media that actually addresses the issues concerning fire and the audience's views. Avatar: The Last Airbender may not truly be an anime, but it's pretty close. The series touches on all the elements and characters who are personifications of said elements. Luckily, they're not stereotypical. (No red headed tsunderes or cool and calm water users.) Despite this, they still carry the different traits of the elements in good and bad.

Similar to Pokemon, the fire users are the "set" evil group. Later, we find out the true reason why they're wrecking havoc on everyone else and why their element is being pointed as the bad guy. It isn't the actual fire that is bad, it's the way it's being used and the people using it. 

Avatar eventually addresses this in an episode with sun warriors, and the chief states that "Fire is not just destruction, it is life." They learn the true way to use fire. Instead of using hate or anger to fuel it, they use their power within. 

 I feel this is a very important lesson that many need to learn. I also hope to see other works of fiction take into account the negativity fire carries with it's name, and do something to turn that around. Just because someone has an affinity for something, doesn't mean they have to completely embody that idea. A character using fire does not need to be a hotblooded youngster or a short fused red-head. They can be a jolly, peace loving pacifist. Or maybe a shy bookworm. The element should not define the character, the character should define the element.

For my readers, I hope you're able to learn something from this post. Try to look past the negative connotations associated with certain things and see them as they are.

If you take anything from this post, remember that fire is not destruction, but life.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Underdog Characters Never Cease to Amaze Me

Underdog is a word for a character who starts off with the lower end of the stick. They aren't particularly good at anything, they lack style and class, or they're living in unsavory conditions. Yet no matter how weak, useless, or puny they are, the "underdogs" continue to surpass all odds and become the best they can be. I can't help but have respect for these types of people, over their "perfect" counterparts. To me they will always be more appealing for many reasons.

They Prove That Anyone Can Accomplish Anything

Impossible? What does that word mean? For underdogs it usually doesn't exist. These characters are usually inspiring, because they shatter the basic beliefs held by most people. For example, the underdogs start off weak as previously mentioned in the other paragraph. Usually since they are so weak, people tend to ignore or overlook them, some even think they won't amount to anything.

However, it seems that they live to break this way of thought. A ninja who lacked the ability to perform any sort of ninjutsu, and another who was hated by the whole village. Both proved to become very strong and important people in just a short amount of time. When it comes to card games, we overlook the guy who doesn't use big and scary monsters. Despite this, he becomes one of the strongest duelers alive with the help of his friends and "cute" critters. He can even take down the most frightening of beasts with "useless" cards.

When people see their outstanding success and drive, they can't help but be inspired. Those who believed they were worthless and failures soon believe in themselves. I think this is one of the reasons why they're so successful; they appeal to the younger, weaker mass. They also appeal to the common crowd, and many others who fit in the anime fanbase.

They're More Human 

Do you know anyone in real life who is completely good at everything? Someone who never loses, never has setbacks, and never makes any mistakes? I sure don't, and if I did I'm sure that type of person would annoy most people.

Despite beliefs, there is no one who is perfect in this world. Everyone has ups and downs, everyone makes mistakes, and no one can win forever. However, certain characters that always win and never lose aren't fun to watch. They lose their human feeling and become more of a deity than a person. 

This is different for the underdogs. They are the complete opposite of perfect. The underdogs are like everyone one of us in some way or another. They're human. This is why they're so easy to relate to, so popular, and unbelievably strong in the end. Why? Well, because each one of us has the power to improve inside of us, like our favorite anime characters.

Most Importantly, They Never Give Up

If there's anything common I've noticed about underdogs, it's the simple fact that they continue even when things get tough. Most of them keep their positive and jolly attitudes even in the face of negativity and hatred. Their lives may not be good, but they usually don't let this bring them down.

Last time I spoke about Vanguard and it's lessons on true strength. Well, while searching for power in an honest way and looking for the resources to assist your friends is correct, this isn't the only form of true strength. The other form is the tenacity to persevere through no-win situations.

While you may love or hate underdogs, they're everywhere in anime! They are to this day, my favorite characters and will continue to be. Are there any characters you like that are underdogs? What are your opinions on them? Like them or hate them, let your voice be heard!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Let's Share:【東方Vocal】【Halozy】 感傷の摩天楼

Just a simple music spotlight for today, since I've been obsessing over Byakuren lately. I've never been much into Touhou, but Byakuren is a character I really like! Enjoy~

☆ 曲名 / Title: 感傷の摩天楼
☆ Title Translation: Sentimental Skyscraper

☆ 原曲 / Originals by ZUN:
東方星蓮船 ~ Undefined Fantastic Object
感情の摩天楼 ~ Cosmic Mind
Emotional Skyscraper ~ Cosmic Mind
Fires of Hokkai

☆ 歌 / Vocal: ほたる ~ Hotaru
☆ 作詞 / Lyrics: 疒
☆ 編曲 / Arrangement: すみじゅん ~ Sumijun
☆ サークル / Circle: Halozy
☆ アルバム / Album: (C80) Aqua Trytone
☆ HP:

☆ イラスト / Illustration: wogura (Danbooru)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tanjoubi Omedetou Rise-Chan! (Happy Birthday Rise)

Hello and good evening everyone! Today is the birthday of one of my favorite characters, Rise Kujikawa from the Persona 4 series. Rise Kujikawa is a former idol by the stage name of "Risette," who ends her career to work at her family business in Inaba, Japan.  Rise eventually gets wrapped up in the series of crimes taking place in the game, and provides support for the playable characters.

In the game, the color associated with her is pink. This can be seen by the pink glasses, and her being of the Lovers Social Link in game. She's recently been announced as playable in the new Persona fighter, Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax. If you're interested please check out the video at this link.

She is pretty much my favorite female character in the Persona series, alongside Yukiko Amagi and Aigis. I'm very excited to see her in Persona 4 Arena, and I'll probably play her a lot once the game comes out.

For anyone who wants Rise fan art, I've created a folder full of Rise goodness. You can download it here. Please remember to check out the wonderful artists who created beautiful art of Rise. For tracking pictures back to their sources, please use SauceNao. Enjoy, and again happy birthday Rise-chan!