Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Spike from Templar Arizona has a great twitter. Here are some excerpts:


In other news, I talked to Carla Speed McNeil at C2E2 about reviving "Smut Peddler," a minicomic anthology of porn by chicks.


I think I'll do a filthy little comic eventually. If only to counteract all the awful, misogynistic, plastic, fuck-robot porn out there.

Follow her at @iron_spike

Oh Atlus!

Now, I don't need a stupid baseball hat, but my panties are indescribable at the idea of gameplay improvements for the masterpiece Persona 3. I wonder what sort of part time jobs they'll come up with. I still haven't done all of them in Persona 4...


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reviews: Wild Ones, Gemini Lost, and Powers by Ursula Leguin

Wild Ones

I read volumes 4-9. It's a vaguely pleasant manga, with characters that aren't insanely gripping, but interesting enough. Sachie is a pleasantly interesting protagonist-dense, yet hardworking and loyal. Rakuto has a mysterious past out of central casting, with the requisite selfish mother and kind father, who only wants to be a good dad, but is hamstrung by obstacles that would not be viewed as an adequate excuse for a mother not to see her child. I also enjoyed the fact that the obstacles to lurve weren't eliminated after the first volume or so, like some manga I have seen. Instead of folding at the first sign of TRUE LURVE, Azuma stays in the running, making determined attempts to catch Sachie's eye. Likewise Chigusa Sensei doesn't just drop out of the story after his arc is completed. Wild Ones is competent shoujo- the illustrations are better suited for paging through quickly than detailed study, and the plot is pretty weak, mostly relying on one shots of people nearly finding out the TERRIBLE SECRET that Sachie lives in a Yakuza family or Sachie's big mouth getting Rakuto and Azuma into situations in which the kind and gentle Yakuza who never extort money, give anyone an injury worse than a bruise or do anything that could be remotely construed as illegal, help innocent and hardworking people out. Basically, I'm glad I got this from the library. I would have been mad if I spent money on it.

Gemini Lost
A well produced game with brightly colored graphics. You click and drag your little people to cut wood, mine stones, do research,etc. I liked that the game incorporated its Zodiac theme in that only characters with 'preferred' Zodiac signs can marry[and near automatically produce children] One game mechanic that I was annoyed with was that the children are fairly useless until they are 18. In an agrarian society, you'd think they'd at least be able to fish or do something in the garden. Some may complain about the lack of innovation, which is a consistent problem with casual games, probably because they come out so fast, and are meant to be light entertainment, much like the arcade games of long ago.

Powers by Ursula LeGuin

Yet again, Ursula LeGuin manages to write a book that is amazing and an instant classic,etc. I think my favorite part of her writing is that people live in the cultures they are born with, not the cultures that we would prefer them to live in. In a society based on slavery, our protagonists are not the lone voices against slavery who bravely resist. Instead, they very humanly believe that the way the world is is the only way the world can be. I also liked the depiction of the lives of the Marsh people, especially the observation that city people may have thought of their lives as simple, but their culture was really rich and complex. I also liked that Gav was not the sort of person who automatically fit into radically different societies at a blink like many fantasy protagonists, and I liked how the theme that Gav must learn to see the sexual violence against women in his society was subtle, yet powerful. With his sister, the women of the forest, and little Melle, everytime he is unable to really see what the true circumstances of the women in his lives are, tragedy follows, but when he is able to see them for what they are, things improve.

I also like how the 1st two books were swept into this one- not over obviously, but beautifully all the same.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh My Kingdom for the Princess!

Designers, why did you have to add a stupid cannibal obstacle? Haven't you gotten the memo? That sort of othering crap isn't cool anymore. Why does it matter? Because it's unnecessary, and annoying. It would have taken just as much effort to create almost anything else but a cannibal, and it wouldn't have been a throwback to 1925. Defending why we need random cannibals in games would take more effort than simply getting with the program! Man!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Salon Finds Out About Mary Sues

About 30 years late. And remember, writers, don't just masturbate all over the page. Let the reader into the fantasy too.

On that disgusting note, I'd like to note that I finally got a volume of Yotsuba. I've been reading the volumes from the library, but Yotsuba is such pure delight, I probably should actually buy them for myself.

Also, how people making money on books has RUINED! RUINED! publishing. The book publishing company is there to make money. If you want to make art, go and publish yourself.


Moff's Law, Bitchy Bitch and Crimson Hero

Moff's Law gets some static in YKTTW and that reminds me of folks griping about this manga hall of shame here. I think thinking about our entertainment makes it better.

Oftentimes, we get in the rut of the same story with the same characters over and over, and by thinking about our entertainment, we can create new narratives. One thing I often hear is the idea that things need to be whitewashed to be 'relatable', which is balderdash. I can't 'relate' to the racist, homophobic Bitchy Bitch, but I enjoy reading about her travails. Of course, talent really helps with that. The fact that Bitchy Bitch is cartoony in a good way- Bitchy's misadventures spring off the page with intensity and verve. I also like comics tricks such as Bitchy saying it's unnatural to be in a world with only women, and the picture being of Bitchy's woman only office.

I've also been rereading Crimson Hero, and I love it. I hate sports, and I've never been a Japanese schoolgirl who is under pressure to continue the family business, but I love how Nobara, our main character, is so intense about volleyball. There's romance, but luckily, it's not allowed to overshadow the action. I only have up to volume 9, so I'll have to buy more.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some Reviews

I read volume one of D Gray Man- Not bad. Secret powers, ancient mysteries, imaginative art.. I liked how the mangaka seemed to understand that in a first volume, you need to hit the ground running. Instead of taking forever with a bunch of useless nonsense, by the end of the volume, our protagonist has a secret destiny and an adventure to go on. Good job. Sure, it's not astoundingly original, but a lot of the time tried and true genre work can be better than going out there on a limb. There's a reason that boy's adventure is so popular. It's because it has some attributes that work. Here we have something a little scary[ souls being fused with machines], a long quest that promises a lot of variety yet with an overarching plot to keep it from becoming stale. Looks encouraging.

I'm also starting on My Kingdom for the Princess. Interesting gameplay, which reminded me somewhat of the first Westward. You need resources to meet your goals. You can build buildings to help with this goal, and also plan your tasks so you always have say...enough wood and food to repair the bridge that is out. Fun graphics- cartoony like I like them.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Cute Knight Kingdom

Eh, I played this for a few minutes. The graphics are primitive, but so was the predecessor Cute Knight I have to admit I find the former more charming. The new system of gaining job experience doesn't seem as charming and seems a bit longer than it was previously. It was sort of a meh experience, not worth my game club credit.

In other news, I'm surprised that people don't remember that Final Fantasy tends to be linear. Then again, I started in the Nintendo era, and I don't think I remember a Final Fantasy that was extensively nonlinear. There were bonus bosses and fetch quests, yes, but I just can't imagine a nonlinear Final Fantasy, although I have not played the MMORPG ones since I don't play those games.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Life Story

My Life Story is the sort of sad little game that is addictive for no reason that I can see. Maybe I just enjoy resource management, and buying items. I have to admit that I always liked the part in Final Fantasy where you went to a new town and bought tons of shiny weapons and armor. Basically, the premise of My Life Story is that you're some sort of loser just out of high school. You can be a white male loser or a white female loser. I decided to be a white female. You can choose what you want to do with your time up to a point. Basically you need to keep yourself healthy, full of energy, entertained and full while still doing your job and getting an education. On the weekend, you automatically go back to your digs and get some bonuses.

I was reminded slightly of Princess Maker 2, although you have less freedom. You can choose a major after general ed at college town college, and you can purchase items for bonuses. There are events and little milestones that keep you going. Basically, it's a cute game. The graphics and music are inoffensive. But somehow, I keep playing it. A mystery.

I think it could be improved by making it more possible to customize your character. Maybe have different attributes that could be improved on by various activities. Here you do the activities to avoid losing the game by being rushed to the hospital.


On Translation of Titles

I like translated titles. [ Thought bought on by this comic ] Why? It's just easier. For example, they changed the name of Usagi Drop to Bunny Drop. You know why? We have a perfectly fine English word for bunny. I would have preferred something more direct for Kimi Wa Pet than Tramps Like Us but the translation isn't an issue. I read manga because they are comics and there are lots of them. I don't care about foreignness.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Traditional Genres? Whooey

I don't think casual gamers need to be moved towards traditional genres at all. We're a new force in gaming, and I hope we remake the face of it. Less violence, more creativity, more fun for all.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Everyone can not move halfway across the world. It's a matter of money, psychological fitness, and a whole bunch of other factors. I think we all take some things for granted. I can write English sentences that resemble something that might be grammatically correct, but many people can not do that. I find the thing people most take for granted is social ability. The ability to go to a strange place, make friends, and fit into the mainstream of life is something many don't have, even if there's no actual cultural barriers. This has little to do with this guy's long rant on how he loves how Japanese people love Dragon Quest, but it's something important we always miss. Not everyone is the same, and what is easy for some is impossible for others.

The idea that everyone can do everything is a huge burden to me. I want to throw that burden down, but I always take it back up again. Wouldn't it be nice to fulfill those dreams that belong to someone else? That person who hates sleep, charms others, and somehow has amazing language skills exists. But, that person is not me, and I am not that person.


Suppli Vol 4!

It's finally avaliable for preorder! But there's a mystery here- why is it 19.99 instead of the more common price of 9.99? I hope that's a misprint.


Monday, April 12, 2010

On Being a Creepy Perv

First, I am not pleased that my sexuality is being equated with a plastic statue of anime chick B. How is it that whenever some dude wants to defend his dudely pervness it's always 'folks are just scared of female sexuality'. Dude, unless we're snarking on some woman who masturbates to plastic figures, don't drag our sexualities into this. This ain't female sexuality, this is a plastic figure with huge boobs. Not to mention, to make it equal, it shouldn't be just men being bad asses with no shirt- they should be blushing in a thong speedo, bent over in a receptive position!

Second, yea, I find a room full of PVC figures in which HER PANTIES REALLY COME OFF! off putting. I'd feel more comfortable if there were one or two lingerie lolis in with a wide vareity of figures. I could think "Oh, this guy just loves his plastic toys". But if they are all lingerie lolis, I'm going to think that yea...that's just a bit obsessive... I hope he's not the sort of guy who loves the female form, but hates the real thing.

Yes, us 3d human females, with our different likes and dislikes, our human quirks, remember us? Anyway, sometimes I worry that some people are using the fantasy world of anime and manga to hide out from their real intimacy needs. Yes, Vanille will never leave you, but you can't really love her, as she's not human. Maybe we should all get out of our otaku caves and interact with the real world and real people.

It's easier for males to hide in this world, as people tend to at base excuse their "women are blah blah blah" spiel. If a 30 year old woman was insisting that her entire room dedicated to RPatz was healthy, she'd be backlashed pretty hard. Us black women are constantly hearing 'settle for any man with a pulse OR YOU'LL BE ALONE!!!!!!!" We have less leeway for that nonsense, so most of us woman up and grow up.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bunny Drop

There's been a big buzz about Bunny Drop on the net, so I decided to check it out. It has that sparse artwork I like, and I liked the rhythm of the story- it was slow, but not too slow. One could really enjoy the pace of life with Daikichi and Rin. I also get the sense that things will develop into a little drama. There's the mystery of Rin's mother, there's some possibility for romance with the mother of Rin's little school friend, and more could develop with the angle of Daikichi's job. I was surprised at first that Daikichi had such a responsible job, but it fits his character- even though the relationship is slightly awkward, he is still able to take care of Rin fairly well, and even understand some of her emotional issues, despite the fact that he isn't really comfortable with kids.

I hope that this manga doesn't stall out, and give into the temptation to just be a collection of sweet moments.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

This Month's Afterschool Charisma

Before I start, I'd like to say that a lot of people remember Clone High! Anyway, this chapter introduces the school's chairman, who in the tradition of all anime school chairmen ever is wacky. I thought he might be a clone at first. That's how off he is. Although, I don't understand people saying a clone isn't human... In the world I occupy, a clone's like an identical twin- you don't say identical twins aren't human. Then again, maybe they make the clones in a different way than I am thinking of. Freud is cool this time, but still no more clone Hitler.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Suck It Up

My reaction to some of these comments. Now, I'm old, but really, I'm not entitled to free comics. It's nice if I can find things at the library, or get them used, but manga is pretty labor intensive. If you want free comics, read some webcomics. If only this particular manga will do, support it.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I can't stand 3d either.

This salon lady hates 3d and I don't like it either. I avoid 3d movies as I really don't like paying more for a gimmick. With that price I can watch plenty of netflix movies, and not have to worry about getting dizzy or the fact I can't see a wit. I want something simple and comforting nowadays.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Why Don't They Lisence Hotaru no Hikari?

PLEASE?! Hotaru is such a charming character. Nothing better than a good romance without rape, vampires or the love of a good woman redeeming a bad boy's heart. She's a bit insecure, but this is a good comedy without too many hijinks. There's nothing better than a comic for 20 year olds. Personally, I want Hotaru and her boss to end up together. There's nothing I like better than two adults that get along get getting together.

Today I also read the 2nd volume of Butterflies, Flowers. While no rape, vampires, or the love of a good woman are involved in this manga either, it's a bit too 'light' for me, so I'm dropping the series. I did like the snarky coworkers, but you can't distinguish them from each other, and I also can't really see Choko and Domoto together. I know they are together, but the chemistry just isn't working for me. Also, it has the same 'obstacles to lurve are easily surmounted' problem that Otomen had. At least Choko's little brother is funny, but he has very few appearances.

I want to support more josei manga in the US, but this series is just OK. BTW: 2nd volume actually does have explicit content.