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OMG, WTF, LOL, BBQ [Oct. 10th, 2010|05:15 pm]
underthepale

Hey!

Hey, you! Yeah, you!

Did YOU have hope for Mega Man Legends 3?

Abandon it. Now.

This is pitiful. It's almost like being asked which body part I'd rather be shot in. None of the designs really "fit" the Legends universe, three of them barely look like girls, three of them are indescribably bland, and three of them... Still don't fit the Legends universe, but actually look damn decent.

If anyone's wondering, from best to worst, my opinions are...

 

The Good:
Setsugu
Komaki
Higurashi

Setsugu's design comes closest to actually being a Legends character, all things considered. Higurashi's does, too, though it borders on the outlandish... As does Komaki's, which looks like it belongs in a Battle Network game. Oh hey, didn't Komaki work on the Battle Network games? Fancy that... (I gots to know, though: What is up with the sleeves? No, no, I follow Touhou, I can dig detatched sleeves, but detatched sleeves with zippers? The fuck you thinking, man...?)

The Bland:
Nakayama
Kaji
Ishikawa

Ishikawa rounds out the "bland" with a completely nondescript girl in an absurd dress. Kaji's in this bracket only because his girl has a Metool hat. Also, because it looks like a girl. Nakayama's offering looks like a Zero character. Oh hey, didn't Nakayama work on the Zero games? Fancy that...

The Ugly:
Yoshikawa
Inafune
Itou

Ow.
Fucking ow.
These three designs hurt to look at, they hurt to consider, they hurt to put into any order of quality, because they have none. I am not surprised Inafune is here. I AM surprised that he is not the worst. Inafune apparently didn't get the memo that this was for HEROINES, or else has forgotten what a female human being looks like. In either case, he did what he always does: He drew Zero. Didn't he try to replace X as the protagonist with Zero? Fancy that...
Yoshikawa's design is at the top of this bracket, in seventh place, not because it is actually BETTER than the other two below it, but because, of the remaining three, he at least tried to make a decent design. It's absurd, outlandish and utterly ridiclous; Never mind that it looks like a goddamned Yu-Gi-Oh filler arc opponent, but it at least tries harder than the other two.
As for Itou... Itou's design is going to give me nightmares: Unnaturally skinny, is freakishly curves outwards near the waist, in what I'm sure he intended to be hips, but looks more like she's one of those inflatable clown punching bags that grew legs- Note how her thighs do not betray anything in the form of buttocks whatsoever. There's having a flat ass, and then there's forgetting about anything called an ass. And yeah, it hurts to know that I consider this thing worse than Inafune's design, but wow. Also, he worked on Megaman 5, 6, and 7. At least, now I know there's a name for my pain...

Yeah, I just... Yeah.

Legends fans, you've been asking for it for ten years.

And by god, you're gonna get it...


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Vacation Hell [Jul. 31st, 2010|07:40 pm]
underthepale
So yeah.

Was on vacation this week, and while it was fairly relaxing, we had addtional people with us this year. People who spent a lot of time watching the newer seasons of The Simpsons.

Ugh. I'd always heard this series had fallen from grace, but I never knew how hard it had fallen. Far enough, it seems, that I update just to express this fact. 

The two that stick out in my mind were the Europe episode with Sideshow Bob, and the affection ban episode.

On the first... It ffelt like an exercise in plot contrivance. Why, for example, would Burns ask Homer, who had proven how unrelable he is in nearly any situation, to transport the car? Because the plot requires it. More, he didn't HAVE to bring his family? But he did. The plot required it. And Sideshow Bob... Dear god. I won't say he was a great character, because he eventually became rather flat, but as Bart's arch-nemesis, wouldn't it behoove them to come up with a better way to insert him than "Oh look, the Simpsons are stranded in Europe. And here's Sideshow Bob!" They also tried to use the fact that he's still crazy as a joke by telegraphing his burning hate of Bart though his son, but this, like so many other gags, dies on stage. Also, this ep ends on another reset to zero, when it probably shouldn't have.

There was also a slam at Family Guy and American Dad, but I'll address that below.

On the second... This felt like a flagrant attempt to seem socially relevant. A horrible, endless masquerade where refrences are hurled at the audience for no real reason whatsoever.

In other words, this felt like a South Park episode.

But you know what? This probably would have worked if it were a South Park episode. If South Park ever tacked the (admittedly ludicrous) affection bans in schools, I daresay that episode would be better than this one, sight unseen. And do you know why I say this? BECAUSE SOUTH PARK KNOWS HOW TO STRUCTURE A GAG. THEY KNOW HOW TO WRITE STORIES WITH A PROPER A AND B STORY. THEY KNOW HOW TO WRITE STORIES WITH A C STORY, BUT THEY FUCKING KNOW BETTER THAN TO DO IT EVERY FUCKING EPISODE.

Ugh, I never thought I'd say this but... South Park is the better show. It too is past its prime but IT'S STILL A BETTER SHOW. See, I was forced to watch the economic crisis ep of SP some time ago, and yeah, it was stupid, but the way they used the story of Christ as a model for their own tale was rather clever, most of the gags worked, there was a proper B story, and while very little was resolved, it's not hard to see why and how the town reset to zero after the curtain fell.

More, I laughed. I laughed good and hard at several scenes, including the kid smashing the Margaritaville on the floor. They played their hand well, they didn't let any gag die, almost everything worked.

All this is more than I can say for The Simpsons: They had an A story in the affection law, a B story in Bart and that girl, a C story in the two classes being merged, and a fucking D story in Lisa interacting with Michelle Obama.

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK.

PEOPLE.

This was material for two episodes. It was material for THREE episodes. It was a fucking mess.

Now, in the Sideshow Bob ep, they out and called Family Guy and American Dad "plagerizers." And you know what I say to that?

Haters gonna hate.

I don't like Family Guy. At all. I daresay I like it less than South Park. The mysygony just kills it, on top of all the stupid shit in the show. But you know what? I was forced to watch Something Something Something Dark Side, and while I hated it, I will admit: They can structure a gag, they can use characters well, and they have guts. They do not go the safe route. They take the  bull by the horns.

So again, I say: You're only mad because FG took your ball and ran with it. GO CRY MORE.

And I return not only with this, but plans to finally do a full review of Bleach- YES ALL OF IT- and to write some stories I've had kicking around for a year. I return to you a new man.

OF HATE.
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New video! [Apr. 12th, 2010|09:53 pm]
underthepale
Here. Anime Boston stuff.  Just random pics I took. Yeah. Stuff. Enjoy. Or not.
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This is my least favorite day of the year... [Mar. 31st, 2010|07:45 pm]
underthepale
Well, it's still March 31st here in New York, but in some places, it's already April 1st. And I fucking hate April Fool's Day. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good practical joke, something in good fun, something light-hearted. I still think that some of Blizzard's old jokes were hilarious, as are some of Google's.

But my least favorite kind of gag is one that hijacks normal viewing experiences. Such as when I went to TASvideos.org and found an announcement that the site was being taken down because it was proven that tool-assisted speedruns are impossible. They link a thread involving a solitary example (Blades of Steel using uninitialized memory, a very strange occurrance indeed, as this would make proper RNG manipulation completely impossible), and act as though it spells doom for the site. Adelikat- whom I've always felt is a bitter and spiteful bastard- had a private thread brewing since the 24th, and made the "decision" public today.

While this is clearly a joke... the kind of damage it will do to the community isn't funny. Some believe it's true, others know it isn't, but the fact remains, Adelikat took down the site for this "joke" and will need to live with the fact that, on Friday, he'll need to say "Just kidding! Can't you take a joke?!" and wonder why everyone sees the trollface superimposed over him.

There were ways to No, no, I'm not even going to dignify this: It was a BAD IDEA and someone should have had the stones to tell him "No." 

People wonder why I hate April Fool's Day. Well, it's because it ruins lives. All for a joke.
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I has a blog. [Feb. 6th, 2010|06:38 pm]
underthepale
Yeah. Inspired by Gel and my own boredom, I decided to start a blog on traditional gaming. Yes, a place where I can babble about D&D and actually sound vaguely intelligent so doing! Woo!

... hopefully I'll update it too...

Have a nice day, and enjoy your maids.
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God damn it, I was right... [Jan. 24th, 2010|06:58 am]
underthepale
Pluto: ...I got sucked in. Indeed, it's almost like this manga KNEW it would have that effect, as the first thing you're greeted by is a full-color splash panel of a shadowed figure with horns, forming a vortex above its head. I've said that Urasawa knows how to start a story, but doesn't know how to end one. That's true here, if you ask me, but at a lean 65 chapters, Pluto is probably his lightest and briskest read. It also works the best from what I've seen, given that you are granted reason to care about the characters you're being shown. Just one example, fairly early on as I don't want to give TOO much away here, is North 2, one of the seven mass destruction robots. They spend two chapters on this guy and his reassignment as a custodian to a blind pianist, and it's mostly to establish that, yeah, he's a weapon of mass destructon, but he has a heart, and a soul, and it's actually pretty sad when he dies. Indeed, most of the deaths in this series made me sad, a few actually made me cry a little.

Now, the only other thing I could really complain about is... near as I can tell, to get the full effect from this series, you need to be familliar with Osamu Tezuka's work. It uses a lot of refrences to his series (Atom himself being the least of these), and it always felt like I was missing something. I was wondering why Tezuka got co-credit on Pluto, considering he's been pushing up daisies for years now...

On the other hand, except for a somewhat abrupt ending (an ongoing problem with Urasawa's work...) it was a very good read, and since it's available in English, and almost over... I might actually buy this.

I just feel sorry for anyone who was following it in realtime. 65 chapters, but it took SIX YEARS for them to be released. And given the number of mindfuck cliffhangers peppered throughout the series, that's a lot of time to be waiting.

Ah well. Third time was indeed the charm...

Have a nice day, and enjoy your maids. ... Pluto had robot maids, but they weren't overly attractive...
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I think I'm gonna make some people mad with this... [Jan. 11th, 2010|11:46 am]
underthepale

But... Eh. Oh yeah, potential spoilers, but most of the people in my Friends list who've heard of this have already read it...

20th Century Boys: Oh ye gods. I was following this, up until about Volume 5 or so. Yeah, volume 5, when we get to the climax of the first arc and then... Timeskip 14 years into the future where Kanna is now the main character, Friend controls all of Japan, Kenji's friends are all in jail or exiled, and Kenji himself is missing (and apparently remains so for about 100 chapters...).

I was moderately interested in this arc... until I learned that its climax also does not come for another 100 chapters. So I looked up some scanlations and skipped to chapter 179, where Kenji returns... for a page. Then we get a flashback to the childhood of Friend in the year 1969 (Short version: He's always been a dick.)  which lasts a good four chapters, then we get Kenji on the road, approaching a fence... But we don't see the conclusion to THAT for another good 20 chapters or so, as they focus on the "Age of Friend" story going on inside the walled-off Tokyo...

This is my problem with the works by this author (whose name escapes me right now...), I tried to read Monster, too, and it suffered from many of the same problems. Except, where Monster focuses on side stories that are far less interesting than the main plot, 20th century Boys has almost the exact opposite problem: It focuses on side stories that ARE interesting, but then leaves the reader hanging by switching to another, then leaves those both hanging to switch to another and so on. I don't care if he wraps it all up in the end, don't make me care about a character and then write them out for a whole three volumes or more.

Hell, I'm not even sure the ending really resolves anything- Sure, Friend is defeated (sort of), and the world is saved (sort of), but the majority of the planet is still devestated, the people are destitute and how is anyone supposed to rebuild when, indeed, these are the same people who, some four years before, were killing one another over the vaccines to the new virus? If human beings are so fucking fickle in this world, what hope is there? Maybe that's the point, but it doesn't make for much of an ending.

Also, the motivations of both Friend and his decoy? Suck. Come on. You were going to destroy the world  because Kenji stoe a shitty plastic badge from your shop? 

I don't know. Maybe I'm missing the point. What I do know is, if this author gets another series out here, I will... Probably get sucked in to that, too. Only to learn it suffers from the same narrative dissonance as Monster and 20th Century Boys...

Ugh.

Have a nice day, and enjoy your maids.


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Bloated egos [Jan. 8th, 2010|07:39 pm]
underthepale
WALL OF TEXT!Collapse )
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I feel like ranting. [Jan. 3rd, 2010|11:58 am]
underthepale
Okay, so.

You know what I hate, but cannot stop thinking about? Kubo Tite's Bleach. Yes, that shonen manga you might be forgetting exists. God knows I wish I could. I know I liked it for awhile, but then Soul Society happened. And that's when Bleach's popularity skyrocketed, as if to say "Who cares about all these human charachters? I want more superpowered sword fights!"

And that, you fucking Philistenes, is exactly what you got: A good  TWENTY VOLUMES of increasingly idiotic Shinigami duels. And it doesn't actually END, we go right on to the next arc: Hueco Mundo! And then we get ANOTHER TWENTY VOLUMES of superpowered sword fights that increase the stupidity of the previous arc to eleven.

See, see, let me tell you why I hate this series so fucking much. The early volumes involved the interplay between the characters: Ichigo, suspended between two worlds, neither of which he really wants a part of. Rukia, who has to teach Ichigo to be a Shinigami, while at the same time, Ichigo and his friends teach Rukia how to be human. And Ichigo's friends, a diverse, ecclectic and outright strange lot, were stars of the show without needing super powers.

I loved watching this unfold, of seeing plot seeds planted and waiting for them to bloom.

One of the biggest was Grand Fisher, an apparently ancient and powerful Hollow who had evaded destruction for over fifty years. He's also the Hollow who ate Ichigo's mother (and apparently was one of the ones to wipe out the few remaining Quincies, though this was retconned out later...). Ichigo dealt him his first real loss, and I was awaiting their rematch.

... Then he gets ignored for a good 20 volumes, whereupon he returns as an Arrancarar, and... gets one-shotted by Ichigo's father, who was a former Shinigami captain.

...

I HAVE FURY!!!!

Bleach is a series that has fucking forgotten what it is. Ichigo went from wanting to protect his friends, to wanting to defeat the enemies who were threatening his friends. This might not seem like much of a change, but it made the series increasingly meandering and schitzophrenic. Wanting to defeat his enemies means becoming stronger... And so doing actually THREATENED HIS FRIENDS several times.

...

I HAVE FURY!!!!

And speaking of meandering, Hueco Mundo wanders around in a daze, unsure of where it is, or where it wants to go. Though it is clearly approaching a climax (Aizen is in the human world, secondary characters are dying left and right (Wait, I thought nobody died in Bleach...?) , the Captains are fighting the Espada, including Yammy, the 0th Rank Espada... I HAVE F... never mind... Oh and Unohana told Ichigo that he is the only one who can beat Aizen because he never saw Aizen's Shikai... EVEN THOUGH HE FUCKING DID. GOD DAMN IT KUBO!), nobody is at all sure where it's going to end, when it will end, or even if it can really end, as Ichigo has almost no hope of defeating Aizen.

Is it any wonder the anime has just entered ANOTHER extended filler arc? Yeah, Falzar and I are calling it "Shinigami Versus Darkstalkers," because that's... Really what it looks like. And fighting against a band of legendary monsters running loose in the human world is a damn sight closer to the concepts Bleach was founded upon than anything it's doing right now.

And I'll bet you dollars to donuts that the studio is doing this to avoid losing more viewers than it would on trying to follow the latter half of Hueco Mundo without knowing where or how it's going to end.

What I'm saying is, expect a Gecko Ending. Once Bleach starts to fishtail, they'll neatly wrap it up and that will be it. And thank God.

I don't want to know what's going to replace it, though... I shudder to think what's on the rise now...

Sigh. I just wanted a good series about maids. Was that too much to ask?!

Have a nice day, and enjoy your maids. Even though I won't...
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Happy New Year. [Jan. 1st, 2010|12:12 am]
underthepale
That is all.
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