Thursday, 22 February 2018

REVIEW: Pogo- Ascend

For starters, I try before I buy. I'm no collector, So I dont think Star Charts nor any album before this is worth a purchase (not talking about EP's or singles). I consider Kindred Shadow the first REAL album from Nick. That was flawless. I'm no fan of artists like Pogo/Nick re-using samples in later songs. Its like they arnt happy with the original. There are 3 songs which I deleted off of Weightless because I felt they just didn't belong. These were Trumpular (god- no, not Trump), Hoo ba ba Kanda (its just more annoying Americans), and Dream Reaper (sounded evil- and it uses samples from the previous album). I'm pleased with this new album. In actual fact I think its solid. Its dreamy, the flow of the songs fit nicely, and nothing sounds off, apart from Take Those Pills, which doesn't have a place on the album but feels like the eccentric kid in the middle.

Monday, 8 January 2018

The mess that is Clamp, and why i'm now avoiding them

I got into the anime of Cardcaptor Sakura when it was still known as Cardcaptors. I really loved it. After I learnt of the hack job that dub was, I got into the uncut version, Cardcaptor Sakura, which was absolutely amazing.

After its second movie I craved for more, though the ending was brilliant and didn't need any more.

Then Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE the manga came out. I couldn't help myself. I wanted to read up on events of what happened afterwards for the protagonists of Cardcaptor Sakura. Only, it wasn't them. Oh well, I continued reading in the hopes that the original characters would turn up one day. Sakura did, but only for a short time to hand over her magical staff and say her infamous line in chapter 224.

I also started getting into xxxHolic which tied into Tsubasa. It was a better story, and the likelihood of Clow Reed appearing was high, who was another character from Cardcapor Sakura.

Many years later these two stories have been ended with cliffhangers multiple times now. Meaning they occasionally come back to continue their stories. However I am seriously thinking now that they wont end. Ever.

Many fans may think that Tsubasa is over but the characters never found a place they can call home. That was the point of its story. Likewise in xxxHolic the story stopped dead and isn't going anywhere, even though it keeps repeatably teasing fans about a mysterious egg that could change the fate of things and bring a close to the manga. Well its not. Its just a fucking Pokemon GS Ball: a plot device to attract its audience but doesn't ultimately do anything.

As for the anime version of xxxHolic and Tsubasa? Forget about them. They never even tried to catch up with the true manga storyline.

With the return of Cardcaptor Sakura, the Clear Card arc, I'm now questioning why I ever commited myself to both xxxHolic and Tsubasa in the first place. You see, I've never read the Cardcaptor Sakura manga. Even if the characters turn up in xxxHolic and Tsubasa, they would never be the same true anime characters, they would be the manga characters that I never read.

And there is NO WAY the Cardcaptor Sakura manga could EVER top the anime version. The anime version is in colour, its in moving pictures, it has more stories than its manga, its in more depth, and its characters speak and the music is great. It has soul. Usually there is just NO WAY a manga can outshine its anime adaptation if its done right. If the anime cant keep up to its manga or has a whole bunch of filler episodes, only then do we have a problem. But the Cardcaptor Sakura manga is only something like 12 volumes long. Its too friggin short to outshine its anime.

So now we have a problem. Why did i comit to the very long Tsubasa and xxxHolic mangas?

Bring in the new Cardcaptor Sakura Clear card arc anime. We defiantly have a problem. Its episode 'prologue' adapts the last few chapters of the original manga.

Its a different universe from the original anime.

The events from the original anime are mostly the same but it diverts at exactly 22:36 seconds into episode 69.
After this moment, time passes between the events of the showdown with Eriol. In that time, Shouron gives Sakura the bear, and admits his feelings to Sakura differently some time after that. She makes a bear for him and manages to give it to him just in time before his bus departs for the airport (but there is no sign on his butler on the bus too, strangely).

Regardless, this diversion is separate from the original path of the anime and therefore the original anime is safe from being trashed or tarnished. Thank god. This episode is however mostly bland and rigid. the animation is static with not as much love put into it as the original. Also the animators seem to forget that the anime was ending in colder weather early in the year 2000.

Somehow its back to being warmer weather in this episode. Maybe a lot of time has passed since the ending of the Sakura card arc and that's why Shouron's butler has already gone home back to Hong Kong? weird.

Okay. Time to watch episode 1. Reactions below:

Episode one clearly repeated events showing Sakura and Shouron at the airport just before he left for Hong Kong. This means that the episode 'prologue' doesn't happen in the Clear Card arc. HOWEVER, the background during this shot is not exactly the same. The moment is the same yet the airport layout with the air hostess and the guy with the green bag are completely different.

AND THERE WE GO! We have modern TV's and smartphones now! this ISNT set in the early 2000's meaning its NOT the original anime canon.

Okay now I'm pissed off. This episode just said that Sakura stayed up all night to give Shouron a bear before he left. That never happened in the original anime, that was in the 'prologue'. Whats more that happened at a bus stop in the prologue, but this episode earlier referred to the airport scene in the original anime. And there is absolutely no way the prologue happened after the second movie so WTF?


No way am I watching this clusterfuck. Seriously, how much effort does it take for writers to understand the previous plot? HELLO! WATCH THE FINAL FEW EPISODES! sloppy. No way am I watching a window into a CCS universe that is somewhere between the original anime and the 'prologue', yet set in modern times.

There are now 3 Cardcaptor Sakura anime universes because of this fucking mess.


And that's why I have decided to stop out-rightly being interested in anything Clamp do ever again.

They never officially ended TusbaHoli, and have decided to undo any endings for Cardcapor Sakura too. This is a total clusterfuck. I never read the Cardcapor Sakura manga and therefore don't care for events that happen in that world, INCLUDING this clear card arc sequel. I realise now I'm only interested in watching a direct sequal to the original Cardcapor Sakura anime, leading off from its second movie.

Now that its 100% official that the Clear Card arc anime is NOT a direct sequel to its original anime, I'm past caring. I'm still interested in continuing the TsubaHoli manga though, just because I invested so much time into reading them.

But hell, I'm totally expecting this Clear card arc to never end anyway. Thats just how Clamp works.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

GAME REVIEW: Sonic Mania

Most likely you've read a bunch of reviews about this game that say the same thing, so lets cut to the chase:

Its meh.

and whats more, I don't think its the creators fault. Yet again uncle Sonic Team got their way forced it to be boring.

How? Simple, they made sure that 60% of the game would be stuff recycled from other past classic titles.

I don't give a fuck if the second stages of all the classic levels apparently "change it up". Spoiler alert, it doesn't! They just contain gimmicks that have been found in other classic levels, like Oil Ocean act 2 basically being a mash up of Oil Ocean (obviously), Marble Zone from the first game, and Sandopolis Zone from Sonic 3. **YAWN**

What made Sonic 3 the best of the classic games was simply because it was fresh and didn't contain gimmicks from the previous titles.

Now don't get me wrong, I think the team behind the Mania game are the best folks for the job of a classic game sequel. I knew this all along, but Sonic Team are fucking twats and made sure the game would suck. Just look at the new levels for this game, no gimmicks from other games, just 100% fresh. That's Sonic Teams fault. The whole game could have been this fresh. Hell it was suppose to be! It was suppose to be fresh as a daisy with nothing recycled. Pure and simple. Stupid Japanese twats that don't trust western developers enough and have no fucking clue about their own franchise and quite frankly, haven't for a few decades already.

One thing I just cannot stand though was just how frustrating the blue sphere bonus stages are. This IS designed by the western developers and they have forgotten that Sonics a kids game. These levels are literally designed for the older players that have played the blue sphere levels often enough for years. So those new players would never ace them even after a LOT of tries and hair pulling, and whats the reward at the end? Nothing. that's what. A token that does nothing unless you have more. I WENT THROUGH LESS HELL IN SONIC 3 FOR A CHAOS EMERALD you bastards.

So yeah, Sonic Team forced this game to look and feel like a fan game. Frustrating.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

ANIME REVIEW: Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki OVA 4

As per usual, this series is OTT with too many new characters. Only this time you NEED to have watched GXP and read the GXP novels AND all the other crap like the Seikishi series to understand whats really going on, of which I cannot read it all due to NOT BEING JAPANESE!

Why alienate the viewers like this? Whats the point??!

Episode 1: The music in the background is kept to the background, and sparingly so too unfortunately, as I feel it suits the music style of OVA 1 and 2 more so. The character designs have changed yet again, this time the designs make everyone look fatter and fuller. Yucky.
Ditching an opening credits in favor of storytelling to the tune of a song works better for Tenchi. The show is suffering from lack of screen time as it is, so this is a good thing, however the love for the show is obviously not there at all. The quality of this OVA is worse than a typical television episode of things these days. The story is confusingly set in the past too, which doesn't help matters.

Episode 2: Just what the actual fuck is going on here?! This makes the overall original Tenchi series go down the crapper. Too many new characters, not much plot. Introduction to smartphones in the early 90's when this episode is set was a major head scratcher.

Episode 3: Meh. But it at least got to the end of the bloody pointless retelling of the wedding and focused on Reas background as she is accidentally brought into the universe from the Geminar one, to defeat a rouge sport robot. However thousands of years happen at a quicker rate than in the Tenchi world, and she for some bizarre reason, HAS to bring that world back HER child. Though that wasn't explained very clearly as to why. Still, its better than NO explanation, right?
Though it does state that she is created in a lab so her child would have the genes necessary to defeat the evil robot of that world.
Obviously her son would end up being Kenshin who would start the whole Seikishi spin off series.

Episode 4: Truly god awful. It was set years later (the year 2000 maybe??) and only consisted of plans of what to do with Kenshin, with a bunch of fucking pointless fanservice.

The end.

I'm sorry but I'm now putting this failed Tenchi Ryo-Ohki series under the classification of "dead to me".

What a fucking stupid pointless series. It didn't even make it to 26 episodes! BAH!

There is no hope for the series other than a reboot, and I renounce everything I ever said About Kajishima being the creator of the series. He's just a character artist, nothing more. That's why there are so many damn pointless characters in this fucking mess.


Once Kajishima is dead of old age, maybe AIC will actually consider a reboot. Tenchi Muyo has some things going for it with the goddesses and Tenchi being some sort of god. But its just not told in any sort of coherent way. I used to love this show. I seriously believe now that the original writers like Hasegawa left because of this stupid Kajishima dude. He is obviously no writer. I'm sorry, there is no way this guy can write, so why is he considered as the head of this franchise? Did he even create Tenchi Muyo in the first place?!? I seriously believe not. There is just no way.

Tenchi Universe is frustrating too because things are wrong with that show but in different ways. But no way is it as bad as the fragmented mess of the original.

My idea would be to have a 26 episode television show that tells a story about a farmboy that was actually god, but he didn't know it until goddesses messed with his life that forced him into a space opera adventure, that saw him finish off as a king of another planet with many different wives, but all the meanwhile he just wants to escape back to his farm boy lifestyle. Give it some zest, some life, some fun! some comedy! Some originality! Less talk, fewer characters, less garbage. Easy going great fun. That's all this series needed to be.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

ANIME REVIEW: Cardcaptor Sakura- Clear card arc prologue episode

Weird. Not what I was expecting, and thankfully keeps the original anime and leaves it alone.

This weird episode adapts the last few chapters of the original manga, I think. I never read the manga. Not when the anime was soo damn perfect, so I cant say for sure.

Thankfully I can clearly say without a doubt that its setting up a tangent universe for the Clear Card arc anime series that is coming out next year. a totally different universe from the original anime, one that splits from the Sakura Card arc at exactly 22:36 seconds into episode 69, or rather the moment Sakura defeated Eriol and Keroberos is shocked to see Eriol and co disappear so suddenly. In the original anime, Syaoran admits his love for Sakura straight afterwards. Not long later he flies back for Hong Kong, but not before Sakura turns up at the airport and demands him to give her his bear that was meant for her anyway. In this anime divergent, Syaoran gives Sakura his bear off screen, and hangs around for a few months in Japan before admitting his love to her. Then Sakura makes him a bear and manages to give it to him just before his bus departs for the airport. She also admits her feelings to him during this moment.

Weirdly, there is no sign of Syaorans butler on the bus too, strangely.

Regardless, this diversion is separate from the original path of the anime and therefore the original is safe from being trashed. Thank god.

Unlike the original animation, this episodes animation is bland and static with not as much love put into it as the original. too many panning shots of static characters with only lip flaps moving. One weird animation moment had the teacher walk into the room portraying the children as being only white blobs with faces. WTF?! cheap and unkempt.

I'm just glad this doesn't touch the original anime. That's one of my all time favourite anime series.