Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Honey & Clover 2

When i first watched Honey & Clover i had no idea that i would eventually go to Art College and consider myself an Artist. So having the two completely different view points between viewings make this show that much more interesting to me.

Honey and Clover is about a group of friends who for the most part all live in one apartment complex and attend an art college.
And it's probably the most slice of life show i have ever seen. Unlike other shows there are some things that don't get resolved like they would in typical slice of life... a bit of a spoilers but there are very few couplings and the ones that do happen are fairly unexpected. One thing happens very late in the show and we never find out if the characater makes a full recovery because the character who could be considered the main character leaves to start working. People drift apart and even though they will always be friends it wont be the same.

I just think it's so well executed and if i had to pick between this series and eden of the east i would probably be the only person ever to pick this.

but then again i relate to this a lot more.

Like i mentioned before one of the artist gets injured, badly enough where the question of being able to continue creating art come up. As an artist that idea is a terrifying one, i know myself and others would do everything in our power to continue arting but it's still such a scary thought.
Still watching the character deal with that, the pain and the fear and continue to push to recover, it's hard to describe but it's the thing i remember most from watching the show when i was younger.

Also yes, Hiroshi Kamiya is a voice actor.... but i like this show way before i liked Natsume Yuujinchou... it's not my fault he has a really pretty voice.

So yeah if you like slice of life that doesn't necessarily have every little plot end neatly tied up but still resolves everything... this is the show for you

The good:
The animation i lovely and considering it's a show about art it has some stunning imagery.
The voice acting is great.... but i am biased.

The not so good:
Viz for whatever reason would put the characters First name in the Subs even if the character is saying the last name... why would you do that? characaters calling other characters by certain names shows how friendly they are and you are pretty much throwing that out the window... it's one of the only subs i can think of that does this but man it's annoying.
The story may be too slice of life for some, characters who in any other show would hook up do not get together, love isn't this easy perfect thing... it's complex and unpredictable and this show does a great job with that. but some people just wanan see everyone happy so yeah... not this show.

I still love it, it makes me cry lots but it also makes me smile.
Maybe it's on Neon Alley? i don't know since i don't get that in canada... oh well.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2

*gross sobbing* not cool movie... that theater was surprisingly packed for such an early show and you had me crying.... there were children in the audience holding it together better then i was....
Mean Mean wonderful movie.

Ok it's story time.

When i first saw the trailer for how to train your dragon all those years ago i couldn't get over how stupid it looked. just another UGH inducing movie that was purely made to pander to children.
So when it was getting universally praised by everyone i was more then a little surprised... i figured i'd see it one day but no rush since it still had some of the worst advertisement i had seen.
Then one time in college my friends found out i hadn't seen it and we got together and all watched it together.
pretty sure i cried then too... which is like my number 1 thing i hate doing... crying infront of friends is a big no no.
anyways... i really loved it, it was beautiful to look at the score was one of the best i had heard in ages.
Man i was bummed i didn't see it in the theater.

Not this time.

Problem 1: Recently 1 of the two major theater companies was bought out by the other and the selection of films that came to town dwindled to a surprisingly few titles unless i wanted to make tehe trek to the big town that i HATE going to.

Problem 2: I would have to take my bro with me since i'm his caregiver during the day and that makes long trips tricky.

SO i waited and eventually a local second run(ish)[it's pretty much a first run theater now that it just gets what the other theater doesn't] theater picked it up and becuase they had cheaper films on tuesdays i finally go to see this.
and damn it was good, i would say even better then the first... there are some pacing issues in the middle but that is such a minor gripe.

Also this film has some really smart moments, the first was all about trying to open peoples eyes through sheer force of will which worked well but this film shows how there is a bit of naivete to that thinking and sometimes it doesn't work out like that but you still have to keep moving on.

The film takes place 5 years after the original, Berk has.... uh yeah okay spoilers for the first one, so Berk has completely embraced the life of living in harmony with dragons, Hiccups now expanded world is an open book to him and is his constantly flying around with Toothless being the village Cartographer even if no one is to keen on leaving any time soon.
One time he comes across a mysterious formation of ice and any more then that would be spoilers.

The good:
SO PRETTY, the water and fire effects just look so wonderful and the character designs look great.
That music.... i'll be buying the soundtrack for this... cause it's just so well done.
the story...  i wanna tell you more but i can't but trust me it is great.

The not so good: 
Do you like crying in public? i don't.... so that may be a deterrent but seriously it's worth seeing this in theater if you can.

The bad: 
again there this one chunk in the middle that drags the tiniest bit and there was a moment of "how do you know where that is?" but these are super minor nitpicky things.

Overall very good, i look forward to seeing the third one even though they have confirmed it's going to be a whole lot of sad.
But yeah if you liked the first one ou have probably already seen this and this was pointless for me to write but i don't care.
if you didn't like the first then yeah this may not change your mind but i still think it's better then the first.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Atelier Escha & Logy ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~

I saw the intro video for this game a long time ago and it really reminded me of Avalon Code's intro vid so i was really excited to learn more about this game... st the time it was on a system i didn't own so i kinda forgot about it.
then not too long ago i caved and bought the system and this (along with Tales of Xillia and Atelier Ayesha) was one of the first games i picked up.

Just gunna say right off the bat, i adore the art in this game... and i love being able to play as Logy, one of the nicest character designs i have seen in a while (the atelier games actually have a lot of nicely designed male characters.. .probably part of why i enjoy them so much)

The game is quite different from other Atelier games.
1. The most obvious difference is that there are two main characters that you pick between at the start, i have been told Escha is more focused on Alchemy and Logy more on Combat but other then what they Synth i have a hard time believing that the gameplay style is that different.
2. The map feels much smaller and there aren't quite as many locations but each area has many spots within it.
3. When in a field every action to do adds to a gauge and when that fills you get 3 random options to pic from. These range from collecting a relic or document to fighting a strong enemy or changing how things in the map behave.
4. Events are marked with a "!" on the quick warp menu making it damn near impossible to miss stuff (i still did but more on that in a bit)
5. it is easily the most generous with time, i beat the game with over 150 days left when i have technically not beaten any of the main bosses for the other games.

So what the story?

well i'll tell it from Logy's perspective since that who i played.
You are sent from Central to the bondocks to help the Research and Development facility. Your job is to help expand the land and help find out why it's not getting the resources it needs.

You are also charged with exploring nearby and unexplored Ruins in order to learn more about the people of the past.

That being said the overall story in this one isn't nearly as interesting as the character stories. It doesn't feel quite as organic as Ayesha or Totori, it is very structured and like i mentioned before you never travel too far... the furthest place from the town is 10 days. Still i love the fact that all the missions are done in these 4 month chunks so you never are wondering when the next event will trigger.

The problem with it being split is that since i played as Logy i know a lot about him and next to nothing about Escha's story other then she grew up there... i know they want me to play the other half to get the rest but i so rarely play the other campaigns in games like this... i still need to beat Milla's route in Xillia and before that i wanna play Valkyria Chronicles.

I think it's a game where if i had a gap i would come back to.

I personally got 4 endings, i would have gotten 5 had i not missed the window for Triggering Awins event (i was trying to complete the term tasks and ran out of time) but yeah got the good ending (cause wow i actually beat the game bosses) and three character endings.
I couldn't get the true ending cause that involves playing both sides (which i get but still... this isn't a short game so replaying right away may be too much for some)

Still i did really enjoy it, it has a good story when i focuses on the characters and the world more then your job. it has some laugh out loud moments and just an overall sweetness to it. The characters weren't as mind numbingly stupid as other Atelier game characters so that is always a bonus.
I'm looking forward to the next game in the Dusk series since the Dusk world is an interesting one.

All that said, i'm sure there will be a Atelier Escha & Logy +
wait for that if you are in no rush.

Toradora - Dub

Once of the first titles NISA licensed was Toradora
It was Sub only and in a funny shaped box but it was the start of something wonderful.

Recently they did something i never though would happen... they annouced that they would re-release it as a bluray with a dub.
My head damn near exploded i was so happy.

I know a lot of people loath Dubs, depending on the title i can be one of them but i do believe in giving a dub a fair chance. There are a handful of titles where i prefer the dub (Princess tutu immediately comes to mind since a lot of the japanese puns will go over someones head and the english did a wonderful job of translating the puns in a way where the jokes make sense) also i've liked NISA's dubbing of video games (for the most part, no one is perfect) so yeah... i was looking forward to this.

I ordered it almost immediately and it arrived a few days ago, i made sure the dub was selected and then i couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear.
The dub is practically perfect.
The voices fit so well. I especially love Taiga and Kitamura's voice... i dunno it was just the second i hear it i felt that yeah, that is the best voice for them. Especially Jhonny Yong Bosch, first i have to laugh that he is in every dub ever (well pretty much) and he just so perfectly fits Kitamura.
Another thing i loved about this was that the menu design was really nice.... i know thats a strange thing to talk about but i really liked it.
On the other hand the bluray is on 4 disk, broken up as 1-9, 10-13, 14-22, 23-25+OVA
I don't understand this... espeically since the disks with more episodes also have the extra features.
i dunno why not do it over 3 disks and then a fourth for extras if you really must have 4
Also.... i love the box but it's a different size then the other Nisa boxes...  it's not gunna be alone in being different cause CCS will arrive soon (which also has a new dub i am so happy) but still... big box : (

Other then that if you don't own Toradora and are curious about it or want to hear the dub go to Crunchyroll and the first 6 episodes are available free and if you like it you can either go premium on Crunchyroll or buy the box set.

One other thing i should mention... If NISA re-releases natsume's book of friends with a dub.... I will be the happiest fangirl in the world.... and i will buy it so fast despite already owning all the permium editions. that is how much i love that show... it's kinda pathetic.

But yeah check out the dub, it's pretty good (in my opinion)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

First Impressions: Summer 2014

It's that time again.... lets see
I have heard Summer tends to be full of small shows that the companies don't have confidence in but i think that either they were wrong or the idea has changed...
Spring 2014 started strong and quickly fizzled.
Summer 2014 could go either way but it has a few titles i'm excited for.

First lets see whats continuing from spring.

The irregular at Magic High School.
I'm a little behind, i've been finding the main characters lack of emotions a bit annoying as well as the whole sister who loves her brother a little too much.... but i'll probably continue i just hope they stop hinting at them being together.

Please don't start sucking.... please! i'm already worried that Kuroko has gone into the "okay this is stupid now" realm... i don't want that to happen with you!

Captain Earth
I have to watch this show in a way where i can close out quick but despite the chance for panic attack so far so good... i'm loving everything about the show...
but that can easily change so i just have to hope that I can make it throug... though i'm worried it'll pull a gurren lagaan on me....... that would not be fun.
The secodn intro isn't as good as the first but thats ok.... maybe i'll be able to watch the ending song now (i can't watch the first one... saw it once.... not a fun time)

And that looks like it... everything else either finished or i stopped watching.


Hm... just going to say this now.... no... i'm not giving sword art 2 a chance... is it unfair? hell yes... i don't care... after the bullshit of the ALO arc.... and the rage i was sent into after reading the description.....
so the show description sais theres a new MMO where if people are shot with a certain gun they die in the real world.
Kirito is contacted by someone to investigate but he doesn't think things in the game can affect the real world.
i'm sorry.... what?
trapped in a death game for 2 years.... but a game can't affect the real world?
Girlfriend in coma cause her conciousness is still trapped in a game but a game can't affect the real world.
plot of brainwashing via the games headset.... but a game can't affect the real world
a ingame pain slider that if turn up all the way can send a person into shock and be felt even after exiting the game..... but a game can't affect the real world are you F*cking kidding me? are you seriously saying that kirito doesn't think that games can affect the real world....
If i were strong enough to flip a table... i would.
also apparently all the avatars have to be female.... GEE i wonder why. i'm sure that wont be used and abused for fanservice purposes.... at least this time there shouldn't be as many tentacles. 

Free: Eternal Summer!
yeah i didn't like the first season of this show but in the end it was harmless stupid fun... i am just curious if it continues to be a plotless mess or if it gets better..... i'm betting on the former.
well the proportions are still freaky....
... this is starting almost exactly the same... did they just reuse the animation? guess they had to pay for the CG water somehow.
so much fanservice... but the proportions are so wrong.... plus wow these characters are more anoying then i rememeber.
ugh.... it's fine and harmless but still smacks of stupid... unless there is nothing this season i can't see the need to continue. 

Samurai Jam-Bakumatsu Rock
it's set in the past.... but they have speakers... TVs.... electric guitars... and they are samurai?
I don't even know.
oh and there is pizza... cause..... why not.
apparently the only type of music thats allowed to be played is Heavens song... and the mian character plays rock which is bad...
... and then they play and their shirts are ripped off....
so it's like uta pri but like... a million times more crazy.
i don't think i can stomach any more but if you just want a random fun time this show will probably work for you.

Well the animation is pretty lovely but it's PA Works so thats expected... hopefully this ends up being another title added to NISA's lovely line of boxsets... oh it was licensed by Sentai.... oh.... well... okay... *pout*
it's nice to see a show where they show a person working on their art and not just being amazingly talented right off the bat.... though she would know that chickens move around and you just have to keep working despite that. Also glass blowing in summer.... i know people who do it but boy it must be rough... i've just walked by the glass blowing department at my old school and it was sweltering hot.
Also pretty sure it's not terrible sanitary to keep a chicken in your room... just saying.
buit yeah even though not a lot of info is given in the first episode i liked what i saw and look forward to seeing more... the ending song sounds like the same artist that did hanasaku iroha... lets check, yep! it's a pretty unique sound so that's not too surprising.
but yeah seems like it'll be a fun little summer slice of life type show.

Ok so we have badly CGed mechs and war... okay thats unfair... the cg isn't terrible it just doesn't feel like it fits.
It's just so dijointed, they are showing all the sides... i have no idea whos who or why i should care.
oh and new guy to the army has a hero complex and ends up getting a super cool mech by chance.... yeah cause that NEVER happens in mach anime.
I dunno... Mech anime are rarely my thing but maybe i'll give it another episdoe? but right now it didn't do enough to make me continue to watch the show. 

Oh wow this is so cutesy... this is another one of those plotless moe girls eating cake shows ins't it...
it's worse... it's an Idol show.... why are there so many of these lately? also you can't just go to someone "get on stage and sing"... you have to give them time to prepare and practice.... plus it's two strangers... they need time... i swear if she's amazing right off the bat i'll be out so fast.
oh god this is painful.... at least theri hands are proportionate.... normally moe shows have the tiniest hands...
If you like moe shows or idol shows then this will be for you.
i don't like either.... so yeah... not for me.

Sailor Moon Crystal
Quick Aside, Sailor moon is the show that pretty much got me to love Anime. even many years past when it was popular i still loved every moment of it.
I have been looking forward to the reboot ever since they announced it like... 2 years ago?
some of the stuff they previewed had me a little worried cause even though the style does look more like the manga...... i don't really like it cause it looks....... wonky.... especially the eyes.
but still i knew i was going to watch it all no matter how good or bad it is... it'll be a year long run (26 episodes every 2 weeks) so waiting will be hell but hey... i'm just happy it's finally here.
now that i've seen the episode.
1. still not a fan of the style... i'm sure i'll get used to it but the only time you see the white of the eye above the persons pupil is when they are surprised or purposfully opneing their eyes a lot.... so everyone in the show looks surprised.
2. Intro song is fun, i think Revo's sound mixes well with the singing.
3. The transformation sequence is too long and look hideous.  I do not like it and i hope the other senshi don't get CGed Transformations (i know they will) cause it just looks bad... the style does not mesh... especially considering there isn't much CG anywhere else.
4. the colours are all very bright and somewhat pastel... especially true with the teacher and Usagi's mom... again i feel this is somthing i'll just have to get used to.
5. Who wears a tuxedo during the day!?
5.5. probably the same guy who wears one at night.... right Usagi?
6. i know it's her voice but it sounds very very high pitched and i almost wanna rewatch my old set to see if it was always so high.
7. it's really close to the manga but still has some differences... it's a nice balance so far.

I like it... i do but i know i'm in it for the long haul. At least Crunchyroll is putting it out cause if it were anywhere else i would fall behind without reminders.

Aldnoah Zero
not a big fan of how they rendered the moon but i didn't panic... as long as there are no flashbacks i should be able to watch.
So, 15 years ago there was a thing called Heavens fall.
There is a civilization on Mars and their princess is coming to earth as a mission of good will.
Things are not that easy and shit hits the fan.
 Due to the subject matter i don't think i'll be able to stick with this one but it looks decent... at least compared to Aggrevollen.  Still not a fan about shows dealing with War.
the end was hard.... just.... not a fan of that kind of shit.... can not deal.

Rail Wars!
Look pretty bad from just a first impression of the poster.
Apparently it's an alternate reality where the railways aren't privately owned and people strive to work for the train station..... sounds like another "oh look how cool this totally uncool thing is... isn't it just the best ever?"
You know whats better then a show about work and how awesome a job full of repetition is? Pretty much ANYTHING else.
You know whats better then "did you know this exposition?" followed by "why yes, it's because of this exposition!"..... every other show ever.... i would rather watch sword art 2 then more of this....
Yeah.... this show is pretty terrible... no better then propaganda for the railway... and the strange thing is this isn't the first time i've tried to make a show about how cool the trains are....

*looks at sword art 2*
it's just gunna piss me off.... i know i'm just going to be angry.... no.... sticking to my guns...

Akame ga Kill!
it must hurt to get balloons sewn to your chest....
So it's about a boy who comes from a small village to seek fortune and fame in the capital to save his village....
I think it's trying to be funny... but it really isn't... it's just so forced.
well it's rare to see a show now a days where it's not censored... there is a lot of blood.
actually it kind of reminds me of Dangan ronpa.
Honestly i wasn't enjoying it till the reveal... i think this show has some potential i just hope the pacing and story get better.

DRAMAtical Murder
Accoring to tumblr this is Yaoi but i don't think thats the actual case? I honestly know nothing about it...
well other then animals talk and the fashion sense is........ odd.
okay so... theres a game that seems to take place in the physical world too...
and there are gangs...
and spirited away cases.
i may give it a few more episodes but right now it hasn't given much away.

Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun

Oh great another show where a male author is using a female pen name to get their shoujo manga out there... i bet he has to keep it a secret and-- wait he told everyone? it's not a secret... no one believes him cause he is super tough and blunt? ok thats kinda funny.
Honestly i have never seen a show about manga i like... the closest is Genshiken and the manga is the side plot so i don't count it.
OK this show is pretty funny... lots of little "lets try it like this" that all artist do made me laugh.
so far the show is cute, i'll try and keep up with it since so far it's not looking like i'll be watching much this season.. or atleast not as much as last season.

Looks utterly adorable... and moe...
any time a bunch of moe girls start playing in a band i get worried... but at least the song was good unlike another show... and so far no sign of cake...
Well so far it's really cute and sweet... i hope this isn't another Kiniro Mosaic bait and switch... i think i'll keep watching.
It's about a girl with no self esteem having a chance encounter with a forigner and taking a potential interest in a type of traditional dance known as yosakoi. hopefully it continues to be cute and i look forward to seeing more.

Blue Spring Ride
I love when shows look like watercolour paintings... so pretty.
oh.... this show is going to make me cry isn't it.....
I think, if this show continues to be as good as this first ep... it'll be my fav of the season (not including sailor moon since it's a yearlong thing)
Meeting up with people from the past is so hard and so to see a show where thats one of the major themes... as well as who you are infront of others vs how you really are... it's just some things you don't tend to see much in shojo cause it's so focused on the romance.
it should be interesting.

Sabageba! - Survival Game Club!
.... was't there a show like this like... just last year or two years ago? i think it was about airsoft (i remmeber rambling about how i prefer paintball to air soft)
but seriously why are there shows about this? I mean aside from "omg girls with guns" thing some people are into... it's not a fun thing to watch.... just go out and play! 
Also pretty sure you can't bring a marker that looks like a gun around or wave it around without getting arrested... there are laws against that kind of this... hell i've seen lockdowns happen cause of airsoft guns.
You know what.... this is really quite disturbing... such romanticism regarding gun culture.... it creeps me out....
also the art is shit.

Love Stage!!
Thats an interesting way to render eyes...
also this is Shonen ai which as i have mentioned i'm not the biggest fan of but as long as they don't use one plot device used in every single Shonen/shojo ai i have ever seen maybe i'll be able to watch it.
So far it seems really sweet and cute.  The story is that 10 years ago Izumi was used in a commercial as a quick replacement for a girl that couldn't make it... it worked cause he was so cute and everyone was fooled.
His entire family is in some kind of entertainment and they are pushing him to be an actor or singer or something.... he much rather be a manga-ka.... too bad he can't draw.
Suddenly an offer for a job comes his way, a 10 year later version of that commercial.... he doesn't want to do it but after being bribed with a custom voice actor alarm clock he agrees.... the catch is he has to dress up like a girl again.
the other catch is that his co-star, who has loved him since the first commercial also thinks he is a girl.
The reason why i'm actually not worried about this turning out rapey at all is cause it just all feels extremely sweet and sincere.... unlike other shows where the one guy pretty much forces himelf on the other regardless of what they want... which is not cool.
Hopefully it continues to be good... If not then i'll have a few other shows at least.

Momo Kyun Sword
I know I shouldn't judge shit before i watch it... i mean thats why i try all the new shows... cause sometimes it can be deceiving... i will be amazed if this show isn't just a fanservicy mess
*sighs* you know.... if you don't know what breasts look like... maybe don't draw them... fun fact... they do not look like balloons attached to ones chest and they do not have as much momentum as a raging river.... in essence what i'm getting at is breasts don't work like that.
Also yeah.... this is just gunna be 30 mins of fanservice.... better shit to do with my time.

Shin Strange+
First webshow i've come across this season... and i don't watch those... so pass.

Persona 4 The Golden ANIMATION
If this is just Persona 4 anime but with Marie i will be more then a little annoyed.
i liked the persona 4 anime from a year or two ago...
i like the game
but seriously.... what could the golden animation possibly give us.... UNLESS it's a post game story... but i doubt thats whats going to happen.
Ok so have you seen Persona 4 The Animation? 2011, good times.
This is the EXACT same show.... but with Marie....
so just like the Golden game... it has some extra stuff but whether or not it's worth it is dependant on you having experienced the first iteration.
well okay it's not exactly the same... it's way faster cause it is half the length...
the game is easily 80 hours
80 hours is hard to get across in 12 episodes
i'll still watch it... cause why not.... it's on crunchyroll... but i will continue to be perplexed by it's existence.
would have been nice to get a show that was the inbetween of p3/4 and the fighting games but again... thats just me being greedy... better to redo a show thats 3 years old....
17 mins in - credits.
show are you even trying?
like theres a chunk after the credits but honestly the marie stuff could have been 5 mins web series.

[after watching ep 2]
So... it's an animated dedicated to the new content in P4 golden? whats the point... maybe it's supposed to be watched interspersed in the original p4 anime?
it's fine i just don't understand why it exists.

The art style really reminds me of Shakugan no shana and haruhi but there doesn't seem to be any connection... at least nothing mentioned on Myanimelist
Ah another story about a ghost who lives an an apartment.... we are getter a lot of these lately.
oh and a magical girl.
ugh.... wonderful unflattering fanservice... i don't think guys are into broken spines so i dont get why this is a thing.
and now we have a race of underground people.
and now an alien... er princess... whos main role so far has been for a extended panty shot.
so... it's a harem show where all girls are something mythical and this room is the most important room of all time.
sad thing is it was fine right until the girls started to poor in one by one... i'm just not a fan of harem shows and to be fair i'm not the target market anyways.

Magimoji Rurumo
SO the premise is be careful what you wish for. The main guy apparently wished for something and the one who granted it will claim his life in two days...
though we all know she'll get to like him and wont take his life cause..... otherwise it would be a short show.
I do not like the art... it's so boxy....
Also "it's so funny cause he's so perverted" yeah... cause he's the only guy ever who could be even a little perverted... but yeah... just another shitty Fanservice heavy Moe show.... again... better shit to do with my time.

Bladedance of Elementalers
Wow... they all have the exact same eye type.... in a lot of shows thats the only thing that they change cause changing face shapes is hard...
So we start off with the guy accidentally seeing the girl bath, the girls reaction being to burn him to crisp... when she knocks down a tree behind her he saves her but oh no... accidently puts his hand where it didn't belong... oops.
he gets knocked out and i swear for the next few minutes we just get a talk about what type of pervert he is.
i'm getting early Aughts flashbacks... seriously these types of shows didn't do well then.... why would they think thats changed?
 oh wow and the midcard is a close up picture of her ass.... lovely.
Again.... obvious 'fanservice' trope filled harem and yeah.... not my thing.

Tokyo Ghoul
Oh look... lots of censorship.... i'm sure the Bluray ver will not have the black covering pretty much the entire screen... but in the tv version it takes away a little of the impact.
So this is a Horror show... i don't tend to care for them... this goes for live action Horror as well... i just find it all kinda silly.... sometimes because they take themselves way too seriously but mostly cause the premise is just too stupid or out there for me to care... i can't like any characters cause i know they probably wont make it so what's the point.
Yet i've always had friends who love it... just never got it.
So i didn't really care for this show... the premise is scary i guess... being targeted as prey and then after an accident turning into the predator.... but yeah.... not my thing.

Shonen Hollywood -Holly Stage for 49-
Did... Uta-pri do really well? yet another pretty boys singing show.
wow.... that sure is an interesting hairdo you have there president
The animation is really detailed but there is something off and i can't quite put my finger on it. it's both way more fluid then normal and incredibly stiff.
So one episode in all i know is that these 5 boys are in an idol group.
i don't know why any of them joined... i barely know their names
and whats worse i don't really care....
it's not a bad show but it's also not good... completely forgettable.
And seriously these idol shows need to stop... they are all pretty blah.

Nobunaga Concerto
it's all 3D.... and looks awful.
I want to try.... but it's just so distracting. The music seems dencent from what i heard but yeah... not the type of show for me.
If you like anime that try to look different this show may be right up your alley.

Terror in Resonance
Well... if i did watch this show it would have been my WTF show of the season...
But.... no, the subject matter is just a bit too dark for me and i don't want to see a show that has the main characters doing atrocious shit just cause they feel wronged... the animation was good... they sunk a lot of money into this but yeah... i find it hard to believe that there is something in the rest of the season that can make up for what they did in this first episode.
i dunno... this actually kinda bugs me...  I have a feeling thats the point but still... the fact that the subject matter in this show is a show.... just gotta wonder "why was this made?"

Last show... and the sad thing is it airs on friday but because i'll be at a con i wont see it till sunday at the earliest... and it's one i actually am curious about.

~after con~
so... tired... want to post... stupid long blog post...

Tokyo ESP
 There is a very large cast so far and not much reason why i should care but it is interesting enough where i hope to continue, it's on funimation so i may forget about it. but i did like what i saw.

Um.... final thoughts...
lots of good stuff this season, hopefully i'll be able to stick with all the shows i want to.
And yeah.... still not goingto watch sword art unless i hear from others who hated the Alfenhiem arc as much s i did but are ok with it.... and i have a feeling thats not happening any time soon.
For now though i just need to recover from the con and this cold.

ConBravo 2014

This is the only con i can say that i've gone to every single one.
and it just continues to get better and better.

I love how relaxed the con is, you see guests all the time and it's just really nice to be able to say "hey, love your show" and walk away without feeling like you are bugging them. (cause i am the type who ALWAYS worries that i'm bothering someone)
I went with a friend of mine and for the first time we booked the hotel and yeah... much better then commuting daily.

I didn't buy much but a few things i got were pretty expensive.
The Proplica moon wand.
Kuroko no basket figure (kuroko)
Shiny Eevee Plush toy.
a Key necklace.
Valkyria Chronicles
Game chaser dvd
Blue exorcist OST
Masterball bean bag.

I got most of the autographs i was hoping for, missed out on Jon Tron cause i wanted to go to the did you know gaming panel and when i got out the line had been capped. I also missed out on Angry joe but i have gotten his autograph from a previous con bravo

Still got to have nice little chats with some guests, My favorite being Gaijin Goomba who talked to us for quite a long time and even took a selfy (never been in one of those before) and yeah it was just really nice. The con feels more like just a celebration of all things nerdy and you don't have as many of the rabid fans you get at bigger cons (at least not that i noticed, sure there is always a handful)

I'm looking forward to seeing what guests come next year. I can hope for certain guests even though i know it's unlikely that they will wanna make the trip to Canada (it's far/expensive... i understand)

Also i did get to see all three 404s shows and they were pretty funny, i wish the crowd had been more awake and excited for the saturday show but what can you do.

But yeah easily the con i look forward to the most and they have already announced a handful of guests for next year so it's all pretty exciting.

For now i have to let this cold i've been fighting off for 3 days take over and spend about a week recovering. I really had no right going but i booked a hotel and i was not going to miss the con unless i couldn't move.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Lovely Complex

For a long time this has been one of my fav Shojo Manga/anime. I first started reading it at a time where i was getting so sick and tired of just seeing the same stuff played out with different characters.
It was great, it was funny and it was never easy.

Now that i'm older, have my feelings changed?
a little.

Risa Koizumi is a very tall girl (5'7"... wait.... like... every girl i know is that height... thats only a little taller then i am...)
Atsushi Otani is very short (5'1"... and yeah i only knew like two guys who were that short)
due to the fact that they are a bit of an odd couple they have earned the title of class clowns since they are always perfectly insync.... despite hating each other.

The story takes place in Osaka and the anime only spans their highschool career.
Risa eventually starts having feelings for Otani because he has these moments of sweetness.
Only when she confesses he doesn't believe her... this sets up the reason why i loved this show/manga... it has a great depiction of unrequited love and is truly heartbreaking at moments... as risa is struggling to convince him that she does like him you feel for her.... when she realizes his not believeing her has nothing to do with how dense he is but instead because he can't comprehend it as a possibility your heart breaks along with her.
and i mean.... the bear curry scene? i still can't watch it without crying.
That part of the show is fantastic....
seeing Otani slowly realize his feelings for her (not a spoiler... i mean it's a shojo show.... it had to happen) is also great.

The part that as an adult i'm not the biggest fan of is how Otani acts after they start dating.... it's not all bad but he get so angry over stupid shit.... there are times where he expects her just to put up with him even if he's being an ass and worst of all when their a problem or somethings bugging him he gets a little possessive and instead of talking about why he's annoying or upset he goes to extremes... and risa is just like... Whatever.

I dunno... that kind of behavior always bugs me... does it ruin the show? no but i still needed to mention it.

So why talk about this now?
I just picked up the DVD release, so happy to own this wonderful show.... that being said the manga is better... simply cause it continues on past highschool (granted it's been many years since last reading it so i dunno if it really holds up but yeah... this is one of my fav romance shojo stories ever for a reason)

But yeah... the animation is good, though pretty old now
It's really funny and also really sad... if you are a sucker like me you'll cry lots.... and again... the bear curry scene.... so many tears.

The DVD was released by Eastern Star... a company i honestly haven't heard of... though it shouldn't be the last i buy from them since they are re-releasing the cardcaptor movies and i need that to go with my NISA cardcaptor re-release.
Right Stuff has it for a decent price but i have no idea if it's region blocked.
Still if you like Shojo and haven't seen/read this series give it a try. It's really sweet.

Saturday, 12 July 2014


Late to the Party much?

So I really love going to movies but i don't get to do it much because
1. honestly.... theres not much i wanna see  most of the time.... if you can't tell by now i'm more then a little picky.
2. Tickets in my area range from 15-30 bucks... 15 if i just want to have the express privilege of watching the film and 30 if i wanna go Imax/3D/VIP.... that is a lot of money to spend on something that more then likely.... i'm not going to like.

So i tend to just wait for the film to show up on a free venue like Netflix or Movie Network.... and thats how we find ourselves here.

Now i will say i have had the entire film spoiled for me.... Thanks Tumblr.
Still all my friends had seen it and had opinions and because i had not actually seen the film myself i held back... i knew how i felt about the songs i had heard and the character designs but that was all i let myself have an opinion on.

Now i can have all the opinions I want.... yay~

Frozen is a loose adaptation of the Ice Queen by Hans Christian Anderson (i can't be the only one who sing that name thanks to that one movie which the title is escaping me) Anna and Elsa are Princesses of Arindale? Arendelle (according to Wikipedia)
Elsa was born with Ice magic and accidently hits her sister with it... the solution? Take away Anna's memories of magic and then hide it from her cause that'll never backfire.
Until it does.... oops.
The day of her coronation through a combination of nerves and anger she accidentally lets out a uncontrolled burst of magic and flees the kingdom in the worry that she may hurt someone.
Anna must go and convince her sister that it'll all be okay through a series of really stupid choices by a naive little girl.

Other stuff happens but you know what? i'm the last person on earth who hasn't seen this film.... so i don't need to tell you.

What did i think?
I liked it.

I'm surprised i liked it but i did.

Everythings not perfect, i do not particularly care for the songs... they felt more like a song you'd hear on a tv show. they were a bit more sing songy thendisneys other films where it feels more like we are talking to each other it just happens to be through song....
not sure i'm making any sense.
I did end up liking Let it go after hearing it a few times but even it has some funny bits that don't mesh well (in the film version, the credit/radio cut sounds much better)

The ice effects were stunning... absolutely lovely and you can tell they had a lot of fun with it.

I don't really like how close Anna and Elsa look like each other (and their mother and Rapunzel and Rapunzel's mother) I get that they are sisters but they look like clones... it smacks of lazy character design.... i know it's the main artists style and ALL his characters for disney have had a certain look i just find it really obvious in the 3D disney films. (and i'm not the only one)

I think the story was good.... barring Anna's sheer stupidity in some scenes. (who goes out in a snow storm alone after never leaving the castle for years....... who does that?!)
The back and forth between the kingdom and mountain felt a bit.... i dunno there was too much of it. or characters get places and get back faster then others and it's just.... hard to explain.

Still it was sweet... is it my fav disney movie? no.... that honor goes to black couldron.... maybe.... I remember i asked to watch it the most at my grandparents house but i have no memory of the film...
I actually don't have a fav disney film (at least.... i don't remember if i do?) cause most of them are pretty good.
Would i watch it again? maybe... i think (just to compare it to another film)Tangled was better.... especially the music.... but this was better then Brave (which i know is disney pixar) so that's good.

but yeah... glad i finally saw it and got to talk about all my vague nonsense opinions.... good times.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk

So, when i first bought this i was surprised by the teen rating... other then a few still images and a couple of scenes with innuendo these games tend to be EXTREMELY tame... things are said or hinted at but never shown.

Then I saw Keith and the fact that he smokes...
"no that can't be it" I told myself... i mean i know North america has strict rules about what characters can smoke while japan really doesn't care.... but that can't be it.
But it was the only thing i saw in my playthrough that made sense... so i looked up their reasoning.
"there are scenes were people have/talk about having..... ALCHOHOL!!"
me: . . .
"there one instance where they in a dark cave and the one girl accidently touches..... THE OTHER GIRL!"
me: for the love of...
"and and and, the worst of all.... one scene has characters nakid in a hot spring and you can see..... THEIR CLEAVAGE!"
me: are you kidding me?

now i didn't get the ayesha's birthday event in the bar so i don't know how horrifying to the senses it actually is but i did get the other ones... and again..... one still image where everything is covered and the other where characters are just saying what they are 'doing' nothing is shown.

I get it.... the rules need to be strict in order to protect those kiddies (cause we all know there are no kids who play games that have a ESRB rating that excludes them)... i'm not saying the game needs an E rating.... i'm just saying this particular rating came off as incredibly prudish... granted i should be happy it doens't have an M rating.... cause i think one of the older ones actually managed to get one.

Anyways.... that aside yay another Atelier game, my third beaten this year.... cause i had some catching up to do.

You are Ayesha, an apothecary in a tiny little workshop. Your live is simple but your sister did vanish 1 year ago and part of you still thinks she could be alive somewhere. While visiting her grave you come across a man inpecting the glowing flowers around it and he states that she may in fact be alive.... but she probably wont last more then 3 years in her condition. He tells you that you need to find the truth yourself and that she will need alchemy.

Unlike the other two atelier games i played the time limit is 3 years... not 5..... yet it feels quite a bit longer then Totori or Meruru. The game was advertised as no time limit but that only seems to apply to quests and such cause year 3 3/30 is your last day to do anything.

I qualified for two endings... the normal one (obviously) and Kieth's ending.... i liked Kieth's ending a lot and i'll just assume it's canon..... even though i know it's not cause theres a stupidly difficult to get cannon ending.

and i do mean stupidly difficult to get.
do all requests, side quest, npc quests, party character endings, win every contest and defeat this monster that on his turn has 4 super powerful moves... and i was at level cap and i still never killed it.... got really close once but ran out of time to try again. and considering i missed most of the requierments i wasn't getting true end anyways.... not that i knew it at the time.

Some changes from the Arland series is that items of the same type can stack.... which is the best thing ever.... traveling doesn't take as many days and all dungons areas are represented on the world map so you can go to any point of any dungeon at any time. Finally failing synthesis doesn't seem to be possible... but it wont let you even try things out of your level range... also it's a bit trickier to get A rank things and i don't think i ever saw anything S rank.

Overall, compared to the other Atelier games i have played, the story feels a bit more organic then the others.... your goal is to rescue your sister.... thats it... you get hints throughout the plot but there are no arbitrary "you must have this much X by Y" so it really does feel like you are in control of everything.  Also triggering events feels a lot easier and i don't know why... it just feels less random and if you know you have an event lined up but it's not being triggered cause another event is playing then just leave the area and come back and you shoukld get the event you were expecting.

One thing i Do not like is weapons and armour.... you can buy some of them but the best ones are drops...
Who thought that was a good idea.
not only are they random drops from very specific types of monsters but they also have all their stats hidden until you use a item on them.... so it  sure was fun when i got a better weapon for Juris that had a hidden ability of taking away all this health....... WHY IS THAT A THING?

The art is bright and colourful but i had a hard time finding a setting on my tv that didn't look too bright or too muddy.
There are a lot of issues with the framerate.... like i don't tend to notice that kind of stuff but in areas with not a lot happening the game just seems to chug and stutter. Enemies take a long time to oad on the screen and i have walk into encounters more times then i would like to admit.
Other then that the game is very pretty.... it has the havok engine for some reason i can't even begin to understand.... her hair physics maybe? or perhaps the dress?

Exploring without being careful is still a good way to end up killed by cute fluffy animals.... an example is there is an area of the game that the stage before end game..... but you unlock it (or at least i did) really early in the story.... so i wasted a lot of time trying to go back and see if i was strong enough just to have it no progress cause i hadn't gotten then end game trigger... there was no reason for the path to open up to me when it did... there should be some kind of level thing where if you will get killed in a hit it just wont appear for you... or give you a warning or something.

Still as the start *double checks that is is Game 1 in the Dusk series* of the Dusk series of Atelier games it was really good, the story works and never feels forced or unfair, the music is really pretty.... well other then the goofy one but it's not supposed to be pretty. Some of the enemies are boring cause there are only like.... 10-15 base types and the rest are recolours. The time limit is short bu fair and even though Ayesha isn't the brightest character out there she is still likeable and all the side characters are unique and a lot of fun.

That being said, wait for Ayesha Plus because.... well it'll be on vita (these games are better on a handheld) and it'll have a bunch of additional stuff added on.... it just came out in japan so it may be a while but yeah... I bet it'll be worth the wait.... had i known i would have waited.

Still i am REALLY looking forward to Esch & Logy which i'll start playing shortly after posting this.... but first a recap.

The good:
Characters, Music, story, stackable items, synth multiple items in one day, short but fair time limit.

The not so good:
Weapon and armour drops are random with hidden stats, areas that you may not be ready for are easy to go to early on, some event triggers are tricky to figure out... especially true with the part of the game where you have accomplished your goal but not hit the 3 year limit.

The bad:
Some graphical hiccups/stutters and slow down as well as occasionally the music skips, repeats and then tries to catch up... it's not game breaking but it can take you out of the moment.

Hopefully having two characters in Ecsha & Logy will make for an interesting new experience... i'm just looking forward to some of the wonderfully designed male characters... cause I am just as shallow as everyone else... never let anyone (or me) tell you otherwise.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Black Bullet

well it's the end of season one at least.,, they have hinted at a sequel but honestly.... i don't knowif it's good enough to warrent it.

it's not a bad show....
but if i were to describe it I would call it Attack on Titans with bugs and little girls to add a little touch of gunslinger girl.

The world was attacked by these bugs known as Gastrea forcing humanity to build sities with pillars of Veranium surrounding them cause the bugs don't like it. In the initial attak any women who were pregnant gave birth to girls with red eyes who have hightened abilities and are the only thing that can stop the gastrea... each girl is paired up with someone older who will both be their partner and keep them in check.... the girls are teachically infected and could turn into gastrea at any moment.
infact if normal people get infected they turn into the giant bugs very quickly. (though it's only shown once)

it's a neat idea... not a fan of the little girl aspect because the main character is male and all the girls adore him to a point where some scenes get really really really creepy.

the problem with it is that they throw too much other stuff at you and expect you to care.... or they kill off characters shortly after introducing them but again they don't give you a reason to feel anything cause you don't know them well enough. the ending of this season is especially rushed and the last little chunk before the conclusion was so out of left field it could have been it's own 6-13 episode arc. I get it... it's sequel bait but it just wasn't built up enough... it was just suddenly "fun fact i'm like this now"

The good:
Animation is quite nice and full of colour.
Music, though the songs have a very attack on titan vibe to them with harsh bits clashing with more singsongy bits.... it's a good song but it hard to get away from compairing it.
the base of the story is good, just too much additional stuff... sometimes more is just more

The not so good:
some parts that should be action packed drag and other are over way too fast. characters come and go with little to no consequence and after 13 episodes i don't know as much about this world as i should... again i get it... leaving stuff for season two but this may not get a second season.

the bad:
Little girl.... so many.... all clinging to him... it's just a little gross... Tina and Enju are the worst but everyone seems to be wanting Rentaro and yeah... just stop.

The show is okay, love the intro and ending but the rest is honestly pretty forgettable... i worry that if season 2 does come out i wont remember or care enough to watch it.
still it's all available on Crunchyroll.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Tales of Xillia

Or as i like to call it.
Tales of Alvin.... cause he's the best character in my opinion.

So.... first things first.... i wont be spoiling anything till i get to the end of this post cause i havea fan theory i wanna talk about and it involves spoilers from this game as well as another tales of game.

Second thing.... wow this game was longer then i thought it would be...
Assuming tales of games are around 30-40 hours.... i assumed that since this one has two stories it would be 20-30 hour campaigns.... 30 at the most.
Granted i could just be going super slow but i don't feel like i am.

Third, I picked Jude first and from what i can gather it is the better of the two stories.... which isn;t hard cause Milla is kinda.......... flat.

Tales of Xillia is the story of the lord of spirits, doing her best to make sure humans don't destroy themselves with power and the ordinary boy who's live is changed by a fate encounter.

Again i can really only talk about Jude's story cause it's all i've played and unless i just blast through the Atelier games before i can get more games for my ps3 i doubt i'll be playing Milla any time soon...
not cause i dislike her or anything just.... for a game with multiple stories it's really long... i wasn't rushing at all and i still ended up with a time of 36:29
and while my second playthrough would probably be closer to 25-30 cause of all the stuff you can carry over... thats a lot of time to put into the game when i have others games i wanna play. (other potentially long games i may add)

But yeah i enjoyed Jude's story... the arc of going from completely ordinary (though genius smarts), to sucked into a situation out of his control to choosing his own way to deal with things is a good one....
but seriously why wasn't Alvin the main character instead.
he has the most interesting arc and the most chances for having reasons to break up the party.... i can only really think of 2 or 3 parts where Jude and Milla were completely seperate..... yet i can thing of at least 10 when the mercenary leaves the group for reasons that make sense.
not to mention that [huge major big spoilers] would give him a different perspective then all the other characters.
yes i got tired of them trusting him after Sudden and inevitable betrayal number 5 but again that plays into his overall arc.... also thats not a spoiler, the way he's introduced is shady and everything he does it shady... he's the guy who you know is going to sell you out the first chance he gets...and the second.... and the tenth.... but still way more interesting the both Milla and Jude.

Still i really did enjoy the game and i know a lot of people didn't care about the story but i thought it was pretty decent. It was better then my least fav tales of game so thats good in my books.
was it as good as vesperia? no
did it make me cry? no but it did make me laugh a lot.
but it wasn't bad..... some of the names were stupid though... Spirex and Spyrites... i dunno smacks of trying too hard. 

The combat system was okay... it's incredibly complex and deep while at the same time you can win every match by mashing X or O.... as you encounter things new tutorials pop up that range from "yeah no kidding" to "wait what?"
Mostly the one thing that tripped me up was trying to figure out how to use Mystic arts because i didn't realize what attack i had to use first to activate it.
The orby leveling up thing...... yeah that didn't need to be there.... i mean i appreciate it.... making jude as fast and starong as possible right off the bat was a nice touch but honestly.... i'd rather they just level up my character for me and let me add stuff with the herbs that boost stats.
on that note wow there were a lot of Red [herb] treasure boxes and that was a bit surprising to me... hell if you get black features you can trade them for blue [herb]s and yeah.... it was just a bit easy to abuse cause they hand out the black feathers like candy.
actually there is just a lot of stuff.... lots of customization (lets just say by the end everyone had angel wings and Jude and Alvin got some glasses) lots of loot lots of treasure lots of glittery check me points... the world is littered with them and you could spend hours just trying to collect everything.
I especially like the purple box things that al almost all hidden in plain sight and it was just neat to see a box and know you're probably going to get something to change how your character looks.

there are a lot of sidequests which i accepted but barely did any of them.... i'm not the side questing type.... there are also a lot of Sub-quests which are character specific side quests and any time one of those popped up i would drop everything and go see cause again... the characters were the best part of this and learning more about them (especially Alvin and Rowen) was a nice touch.

So yeah.... i liked it.... it's not my fav tales of but it's better then some others.

The good:
Characters, mostly besides the main but the main characters get a chance to shine too... my fav character design is Leia... if i had more confidence i would cosplay that outfit.... so cute.
length... if you want a long game that you have to play twice to get everything out of this is your title.
Fun battle system and rarely feels cheap

The not so good:
most of the music sucks.... like..... really sucks.
theres on track in the last area that is great.... but that doens;t make up for echoy jazzy(ish) noise or Sinister sounded crap i don't wanna listen to for more then a min.
Also, and this is true of all the tales of games... including my fav.... there are so many "okay well if you go to this place you can get more plot" points and every time.... every single time my reaction is a resounding "mmkay but where is that? i have like... 3 places i could go right now.... which one will get me to plot?" and it's especially bad right when you start with Jude cause fenmont is massive and you have to find your way around it like right off the bat.... every tales of game does this and i really wish there was just some kind of hint marker so you know that you are heading towards or away from plot progression. sometimes i wanna explore.... sometimes i just wanna get to the next thing... not a fan of guessing where i need to go next since my character would actually know.

the bad:
I personally do not want to replay cause of length... i think the game may have been better with just one story instead of two.

The exciting:
The sequel comes out soon... so thats nice... i would get the special edition but that price? nope... pass.

if you like tales of games and have been on the fence about Xillia give it a shot.... but start with Jude.... i have heard multiple times that it's more interesting and i believe it.

Now who's up for me rambling about things i know aren't the case but it's fun to look at anyways!

[Spoiler filled fan theory time]

So...  Tales of Phantasia... if i haven't mentioned is my fav of the entire series... it's the first and really only JRPG i have completed.... i got every spell, every summon, every little secret and i even got everyone [except chester but i don't count him in the SNES ver] to level 99.
is it the best in the series? no probably not but it is special to me so it'll probably always be my fav.

The game opens with a quote... it's the first thing you see when you turn the game on.
"If there is evil in this world, it lurks in the heart of man"

This one line sets up the theme of the entire game perfectly even if you wont really see it till the very end.

so when Xillia started up and starts with "everything was peaceful and good and happy and wonderful and nothing bad" i had to chuckle to myself. "boy we sure have come a long way from the phantasia quote.
my snarkiness was rewarded with the very next line being "but maybe if there was evil it would probably lurk in the heart of man"
so after a good laugh i started to think. "wouldn't it be funny if this was connected to Phantasia? [and i guess symphonia too but.... focusing on phantasia]"

But you know what.... it really does feel like a sequel.... like many years past phantasia we have come to this.  maybe the nods are just cause it's an anniversary game (i'm 99% sure that is the reason it's so closely related to phantasia but fan theories are fun) but there are a few similarities i have a hard time overlooking.

1. Maxwell
Maxwell was a summon you got in phantasia, he  is an old man who is sitting on something with a book and a staff.
He is ONLY in phantasia.... he never appeared in any other game until Xillia.... and one of his features could hint to the passage of time between the two games.

2. Volt
Same thing... volt only appeared in phantasia and symphonia (and legendia but he looks 100% different and i'm pretty sure the series has deemed it not canon so for my argument lets just focus) it's just a bit odd to bring back summons that haven't been used in the series for such a long time.

3. Alvin
so the main character in Tales of Phantasia is Cless Alvein and you have a character who has a name that pretty much sounds exactly the same (especially if you pronounce it by Katakana [Arubein vs Arubin]) Granted alvin has another name but still... 

4. the tree. 
So this is a stretch but fan theories are built on stretches. 
In symphonia they spend the game trying to uh.....
ok side talk a second... even though i play symphonia more recently i didn't like it so i don't remember much... unlike phantasia which i played almost 15 years ago and remember every moment. 
anyways i remember that you are doing something to help martel and in the process giving the tree a name/planting the sapling? i really don't remember. 
In phantasia which despite coming out first is way later then Symphonia... the tree is dying because of the use of a weapon that drains mana from the world and the tree is the source of all mana. 
uh.... major phantasia spoilers 
So Dhaos seems to be showing an interest in this tree, he is a god like being who can travel through time and has been trying to kill humans for as long as they can remember. he gets sealed... the freed and then it's up to us to stop him from doing anything to the tree and killing people. 
except.... he's not trying to do anything to the tree.... when mint Heals the tree not only does he appear but he does everything he can to help her. 
we find out later but yeah.... important bit is god like being on a mission to save his connected and yet manaless world. 

in xillia theres a tree on the save screen.....

i told you it was a bit of a stretch. 

5. Two worlds. 
Phantasia, Symphonia and Xillia all have two worlds that are both connected/hidden/ mirrors of society and mana. 
in symphonia both sides have mana though one it more technologically advanced. 
in phantasia one side has mana in the past but in the present it's all gone since the tree is dying.... the other is a dying world with no mana since they also need that same tree to survive. 
in Xillia one is full of people who can use magic [like if the tree were healed] and the other has killed all the spirits that they has and is slowing dying if they don't replenish their mana.

6. Sequels
another stretch.... Pantasia and symphonia both have games that happen shortly after them... this one does too... is there and abyss or vesperia sequel? no.... just saying.

Again i don't actually think Xillia is in the same world as Phantasia or Symphonia but it's fun to think "what if they are" 

and thats all i got.... may come back and change some things if i ever play Milla's campaign... but it's unlikely.

Dropped: Yowapeda

so... two seasons ago i was surprised by how enjoyable this show was.
then it started to peter off as they trained for the interhigh.
and then the interhigh hit... and i just couldnt' stomach it anymore.

what is it about sport shows that start of interesting then bore me to tears.... i worry about kuroko going down this path in the next season as well.

so far the only sports shows i have enjoyed have had a protagonist that is way out of their league but through sheer force of will and love of what they are doing they find the strength to be amoung their peers.
well other then Chihayafuru which she starts terrible but within the first chunk of the show we know she is one of the highest ranked karuta players around and could potentially one day beat the queen.... but she has been training for years so it's buyable.

the other shows all seem to have done one other thing (minus Haikyuu since we are still early on and it's still pretty damn good)
they have all forgotten who the main character is.
i get it... sports are a team thing... that means lots of characters and rivals who all deserve some attention... but so often too much focus is on the side characters that the show loses focus.

Kuroko no basket is more about Kagami being in the zone constantly as opposed to Kuroko trying to push his limits.... when kuroko gets a moment they are great... but they are so rare in the later episodes and i've been warned it continues that trend in the book.
also they started naming moves.... that is a sure fire way to kill a sports show for me.... ignite pass kai?  like... seriously? stop it.

This show the main character is the focus for maybe 4 or 5 of the last seasons eps that i saw.... the rest theres a guy just screaming abs over and over and he's even named them and theres a creepy guy who is just amazing cause reasons and he's a jerkface. the climber part of the interhigh wasn't too bad but again onoda had a chance to shine...
it's just.... so boring.
the story has gotten so out there and yet so dull...
then i forgot about watchign it... .and even up falling 5 episodes behind by the end.
1 ep i'll still probably catch up
2 episodes it's getting dangerous but i'll still probably go back to it.
3? well... it's possible but unlikely
4..... almost never
5..... maybe a 1% chance.... but i obviously don't care...

and thats the thing
i don't care
i don't care about the results of the interhigh
i don't care how everyone does
i'm bored.... and i have better shows to watch.

it's not a bad show.... I am just extremly picky when it comes to sport shows.