Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Movie Review: Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends

I went into the cinema with one ear partially deaf, I came out with both ears partially deaf!

They just don't die!
Title: るろうに剣心:伝説の最期編 (Rurouni Kenshin: Densetsu no Saigo Hen)

What is it about: The continuation of Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno where Kenshin and Shishio finally get the chance to settle stuffs.

Review: This... This is one movie where after you watched it (even though it's two and a  half hours long), you will want MORE!!!

Having watched an untold number of American films and a few Chinese films (no racism intended), the first thing that I noticed immediately after watching this movie is how Japanese it feels. Firstly, it's apparent to me that even a movie as epic as this one would actually take its time to slowly develop the characters and storyline, hence the long run time. However, that is something I really appreciate. Also, you'll notice the care that the makers of this movie has for the audiences. They realize there are some people out there who didn't actually watch the first movie and/or Kyoto Inferno (for example, because the movie only released for like two weeks in my local cinema and many people didn't get the chance to watch it!!!), there are attempts made give those audiences some back story so that they won't be completely lost, without actually jeopardizing the interest of those who has watched the past movies by having too much flashbacks. However, if you are one of those who watched the previous movies, you'll notice how similar this movie really is to the first... The dojo fight, the Sanosuke fist fight, the Gatling gun, ring a bell?

Most of the plots of this movie is taken care of in Kyoto Inferno. Therefore, this movie is pretty much the wrap up of Kyoto Inferno with loads and loads of fight scenes. Guys are really going to love this movie. Speaking of guys, this movie is so packed with action that there's barely any important female roles in it (no sexism intended). Kaoru for example, is pretty much not seen in the entire movie. The newly introduced Misao appeared in several scenes but does nothing particularly important. The entire movie is about politics, warfare and nothing else, and it's brutally good! I'm a guy and I do enjoy seeing pretty girls in a movie. However, this movie is all about the adrenaline and not so much the oxytocin (If you get what I mean). Everything builds up to prepare all the characters for one last brutal showdown with Shishio, and you won't be disappointed. The final fight scene in this movie is one of the best I've ever watched, especially the part where Kenshin unleashes on Shishio his newly-mastered ultimate form of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu Battoujutsu, Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki or Flash of the Heavenly Flying Dragon. By the way, he wasn't kidding about the flying part.

As for the characters of this movie, well, they are pretty much the same as Kyoto Inferno. The movie did a great job in character development, but I wished there were more. I felt that there are certain characters are slightly underdeveloped. But hey, this movie is no longer about character development. It's about character extermination. I guess the only new character that is introduced here is Kenshin's master. Do you wanna know why the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu is so powerful? That's because Kenshin's master is none other than the genius physics associate professor in Teito University:

No, I'm serious...

In the end, physics always win even when going against a sword which breaths fire. Okay, I'm just kidding. That was the professor from the movie Suspect X, otherwise known as Yougisha Ekkusu no Kenshin. Wait a minute, maybe it wasn't a joke after all! You can read my review of Suspect X here.

Alright, back to Rurouni Kenshin. I hereby pronounce this movie the best movie I've ever watched in the cinema, ever. This movie isn't perfect, but I feel completely drawn into it, and I wanted MORE!!! Oh the adrenaline...

 / 10

P.S.: Wanna know a reason why this movie and the previous one is so exciting? Check out this YouTube video =)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Movie Review: Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno

FINALLY!!! I finally got to watch this movie after a month of excruciating wait, which almost made me did some crazy stuffs while waiting. This movie (and its sequel) came out about a month ago in Japan and almost everywhere else in Asia except my home country in Malaysia. I gave Malaysia the benefit of doubt as I waited because there was a source saying that the release date is to be announced. However, after several weeks, I was quite confident that this movie will not be released in Malaysia. I actually planned to go all the way to Singapore just to watch this movie. Unfortunately, some stuffs happened and I didn't managed to go to Singapore. I was quite sad actually. I would not settle for watching this movie on home video. I must watch it on the big screen no matter what. Fortunately however, I found out that this movie in fact will be releasing in my local cinemas pretty soon. And so I continue to wait and wait and wait...

So here it is finally! The movie that I anticipated the most... And I love it! ^^

The law of insignificant villains states that
the greater the number of bad guys, the more insignificant
and more useless they are.
Title: Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika Hen

What is it about: War and revenge, and also about Himura Battousai of course! XD

Review: Firstly, I'll be the first to admit that this movie isn't everyone's cup of tea. If you haven't already know, this movie is actually a sequel to a Rurouni Kenshin movie back in 2012. Unlike the first movie, this movie is much more elaborate and complex. Just a recap, the first movie talks about the war that brought about the peaceful Meiji era (Search up Battle of Toba-Fushimi if you care about history), how the Hitokiri Battousai became a Rurouni, etc. Yeah, I know your head is starting to spin from all those Japanese jargon. Basically, it's about how Kenshin retire from being an assassin to become a wanderer. The story also tells of how Kenshin and Kaoru met and stuffs like that. I'm pretty sure you know who they are and what's happening. In the first movie, the villains are simply some ex-samurai who doesn't enjoy the peaceful era. In the latest movie however, things aren't so simple. As a result, this movie is almost 2 and a half hours long, and it's only the first part. Another sequel which is a direct continuation of this movie is releasing soon (in my terribly slowpoke country. You've watched it already, so spoilers please! >.<).

So, what is this movie about? While the first movie is pretty straight-to-the-point, it's not so much the case in this movie. Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno takes its time to slowly and carefully develop the storyline and the many characters it introduces. As a result, the characters in this movie talks more than they fight. That's not necessary a bad thing however. Being a Rurouni Kenshin movie, when they do fight, it's pretty damn good! I don't want to give out too much of a spoiler just in case there are people who hasn't got the chance to watch it yet, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno basically talks about an evil samurai's plan to overthrow the Meiji government and take over the whole of Japan. What makes it different from the first movie is that in the first, Kenshin is to stop a few samurai from causing a havoc. In this however, Kenshin is downright going for war. In Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, there are loads of war plotting and battle of wits. Sometimes, brainfights can be just as interesting as swordfights.

Before we proceed, there are some characters that you'll need to know amidst the many new characters introduced. To most important one being Shishio Makoto the main villain of this movie. Don't worry, I won't spoil the story for you, but what you must know is that Shishio is a really evil, intelligent, cunning, ruthless and powerful guy both in terms of strength and political power. Just imagine, this one guy with his fleet of samurai, waging war against the whole country. He did managed to control some parts of Japan, destroying many villages in the process. He even managed to push the government to desperation to the point that they have no choice but to put Japan's fate in the hands on Himura Kenshin. Yeah, hes really bad. The point that I wanted to make is that he's so bad and Himura Kenshin is having such a tough time dealing with Shishio that they won't be fighting each other in this movie. Like in a video game, Kenshin has not reached the final boss yet. Yes, in the whole 2 and a half hours, Kenshin and Shishio has never fought even once. Kenshin is merely trying to do some damage control protecting some people and fighting some of Shishio's men while trying to outwit Shishio's strategies. That said, if you are the type of people who enjoys storytelling, this movie is not necessarily bad. In fact, its far from bad. This movie is really really good. One of the things I really enjoyed in this movie is its sense of adventure, as though you are playing a Japanese role-play game. However, if you are the type who watches this movie solely for the action, well, there are much to be offered, but you'll have to wait for them.

To conclude, this is one of the best movies I've watched in the cinema. Maybe it's the fanboy in me that's screaming, but it definitely is worth your time and money. Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno isn't exactly a perfect movie and watching it may require some patience and appreciation of story development so to speak, but it's most certainly movie of the year. I believe the sequel is going to be much more exciting than this. This movie did end in a cliffhanger with quite a few unanswered questions, and the suspense is really great. I guess they are done chasing each other in this movie. In the next, they are going for the kill. Good thing the next movie is only two weeks apart from the first. Otherwise, the suspense would have killed me like Shishio would. These two movies (in fact, all three Rurouni Kenshin movies) are definitely worth your investments. Just one thing though, try not to watch this movie in midnight like I did. You'll probably need to struggle a bit to stay awake because this movie does require your mind to process it. But hey, there's Kaoru! XD

Rating: 9.5/10

Monday, 1 September 2014

Movie Review: Godzilla 2014

Hi once again! I guess you have heard a lot of this movie and I supposed there are many differing opinions about it. Though having a significant place in my childhood, I was never really a fan of Godzilla, that is until I have watched this one. Since the Digital version of this movie has been released, here's my review of the movie. (Some spoilers ahead)

"Wow, look at all these ants!"
Title: Godzilla (or as the Japanese prefers to call it, GOJIRA!!!!!)

Year: 2014

What is it about: Monsters rampaging the city. Oops, my bad. It's actually more about the human soldiers doing... stuffs.

Review: Without further ado, let us first look into the characters in this movie because it is the characters than influenced this movie the most rather than the plot and whatnot. In the beginning of the movie, we were introduced to the scientist Joe Brody as the main character, or so I thought. There was a mishap which claimed the life of his wife, and quite a good storyline begins to flow from there, mostly involving Brody trying to determine what really caused the mishap and killed his wife. *ahem.. not... Godzilla... ahem*

On the other hand, we were also introduced to a few more important characters such as Dr. Daisuke Serizawa, another scientist who prefers to call Godzilla the name it deserves, "Gojira", and Brody's son, U.S. Marine Lieutenant Ford who shall soon be promoted to main character. Dr. Daisuke's presence in the film is rather peculiar because his only role, though being an important character, is to deliver a few punch lines while making that stressful face of his. Once of the most popular punch lines is "Let them fight!" which obviously lead to you feeling excited, but I can imagine that most people would be disappointed from then on as I shall explain.

Notice that until now I did not really mention anything about Godzilla or any other creatures? Well, that's because they aren't really important in this film which includes Godzilla himself. Kinda funny how this movie was actually named after him. If anything at all, this movie should be called "Godzilla's spine', or 'Godzilla's backside', because throughout the movie you'll only get to see Godzilla's rear as he swims in the lake, rising up to reveal himself only a couple of times. He is insignificant like that. The most significant character in this movie turns out to be Lt. Ford and his fellow marines because the military is the focus of this movie. So forgive me for saying that this movie is about monsters rampaging the city. Well, it ought to be, but they failed miserably in that regard. In fact, Lt. Ford is so important in this movie that they killed off Brody, the only one who can act decently and has the most emotional impact in the whole of Godzilla 2014. Brody is played by Bryan Cranston by the way. Not that I know who he is, but I supposed you do.

Now, onto the plot and everything else. So this movie is actually about two monsters known as MUTO rampaging the city as they enter their mating season. This movie does have a few references to biology and I find that pretty cool. So as MUTO was destroying err... a city in America, Godzilla hunts them down to establish his title as alpha monster. Meanwhile, the military sets out to destroy all 3 of the monsters using the most laughable method ever devised. They are planning to blow them up with nuclear bomb, you know, in a city in America. Also, did I mention that nuclear energy is actually MUTO's food? So, yeah. Good luck with that smartass plan. Fortunately, the Japanese scientist is smarter as he puts his faith in the biological pest control method. His saw Godzilla as a hope rather than a threat, and plans to let Godzilla take care of the MUTOs. Obviously, the military rejected the plan and sets out to detonate the bomb anyway as the 3 monsters were fighting, and from then the movie focuses on the mission. See, here's the big problem with this movie. It sets up greatly for Godzilla to meet the MUTO, gear set and all ready to fight, and having Dr. Daisuke deliver the 'GO' punchline, "Let them fight!", and then guess what happened. They fought? Yes, but unfortunately you won't get to see it. Because who gives a damn about a few unimportant characters fighting each other? Lt. Ford and his half-brain, terribly failed mission is much more important than that! So the movie cut off to show you more of the military just as the monster are about to have an epic showdown. By the way, this does not happen only once, but many times. And hence my face is all red from too many facepalms.

So this has been going on for quite a while as we reach the climax where the nuclear mission failed miserably (HAHA!!) and once again Godzilla meet the two MUTO. Here's where the fun part begin and really the only 5 minutes in this movie worth watching. This time they actually show you the fight, and here's where Godzilla shows off his amazingly long and epic roar, and his iconic Atomic Breath. Sadly though, this took place in the dark so you will need to dilate your pupils a little to see what's going on. Also, this epic scene did not last really long. The film concludes with Godzilla, having injured by MUTO, blacked out next to the nuclear bomb that the military failed to recover, and the nuclear bomb literally blow up right next to Godzilla. The next thing you know, guess what, not even a scratch on Godzilla. Hey U.S. Marine, here's a derp clap for you. *clap... clap... clap*

In conclusion, I really like the remodeled Godzilla even though he looks kinda fat. But I think it is biologically and physically necessary for Godzilla's size. I liked the exciting scenes of monster rampage, however few there are, and I liked the background music that compliments it. But overall, this movie was a bit of a letdown. A sequel is on the way, and I really look forward to it. This time, seriously, for Pete's sake, LET THEM FIGHT!!! >.<

Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Anime Review: Date A Live II

As you know, I had been pretty emotional for the past few weeks because of the whole ClariS thing, but I sure am glad my copy of their latest album flew to me all the way from Japan. Don't worry, I won't be talking about ClariS this time, but rather the latest anime I watched because it's my study week and finals is two weeks away. Good anime always come out at times like these. Anyway, I am talking about a new season of Date A Live, arguably among the best anime ever and also one with the weirdest title ever which, surprisingly, kinda make sense. Well, it's Japan we're talking about here. Who gives a damn about grammar?

Notice there's no Yoshino in this picture?
Title: Date A Live II

What is it about: Erm... Spirits. Much like the first season except with more annoying spirits.

My review: To start things off, I really enjoyed the opening sequence of this anime. I find the introduction pretty hilarious and I do remember laughing a lot. I really enjoyed it, and perhaps because of that and the season before it, I kind of had quite a high expectation for this anime. So the first episode was pretty entertaining, but it wasn't before long that Date A Live II (Henceforth shall be known as DAL 2) took a downfall, beginning from no more than the second episode itself right when the Yamai sisters are introduced. The enjoyment curve of DAL 2 has a funny shape really, but let's talk about the Yamai sister for now. My goodness they are annoying. Their fights are cool and all, but when they took their battle suit off, they instantly became a nuisance especially around Shido. For one thing their storyline doesn't even make sense, much less their motive for battle and the way Yuzuru speaks... Did they actually find that amusing? Because I find it nothing but annoying. On the bright side, we get to hear a Japanese Australian seiyuu in action. Not that you can tell anyway.

So, the Yamai sisters are new characters introduced in the second season. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is how they are capable of turning DAL 2 almost into another anime. And I got lots to talk about this. I hated it when DAL 2 seems to be heading to a different direction which unfortunately one I dislike. It seems that their focus now are the worst possible attempts to make us laugh: cheap meaningless humor. At this point Shido kept falling into super ecchi To Love Ru accidents like the idiotic-girls-got-the-main-guy-character-in-deep-naked-shit cliche. Not funny if you ask me. I'm actually getting real tired of this crap (Maybe also because I was watching Nisekoi at the same time. You can read all about it in my review.). The part where both of them tried to seduce Shido to determine who is more erm... seductive. Kinda reminds you of Kiss X Sis don't you think? Don't know what Kiss X Sis is? Well, there are things in the world that is better off not occupying your brain space. This is one of them. Good news, these annoyance lasted only for about 2 episodes before we are introduced to something new. Bad news, this new character we are introduced to is even more annoying than the Yamai sisters. I swear I seriously hated the first few episodes of Date A Live. Anyway, this new character I am talking about is Miku, codenamed Diva. If it sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. Also, she has blue hair. The only problem is that she is voiced by Chihara Minori, not exactly my favorite seiyuu. Worst off, I really don't enjoy her songs, but DAL 2 couldn't resist the urge to make her super popular by making background character fall in love with her songs for the sake of the plot. Oh, did I mention that that is her power as well, to use her voice to make people like her and obeys her? Honestly, she is a really annoying character from the beginning, then she has to transform herself into a somewhat-failed tsundere character after having involved with Shido. What pisses me off the most in the entire crap is the fact that Yoshino and the Yamai sisters are being controlled by Miku. I don't care about the Yamai sisters, but how dare they make my kawaii Yoshino Miku's puppet! Someone needs to kick Miku's ass real hard. Fortunately, we do have the perfect person for the job. Introducing... wait for it... *drum roll*... Kurumi! Yes, Miku is so very toast! XD

Ever since Kurumi showed up, DAL 2 all of a sudden became drastically interesting. All the good stuffs and good characters appear at the same time. What amazed me most in DAL 2 is its ability to make characters I previously didn't care or downright disliked, awesome. They even managed to make that idiot Kyouhei Kannazuki awesome during a spaceship battle. Yeap, spaceship battle. You are now watching a more idiotic version episode of Gundam Seed. Also, Shido is able to summon Tohka's Sandalphon using brain power now. Oh, didn't know I'm watching Fate Stay Night. Shido, Shiro, geddit? Nevermind. At least Shido is way more useful and less annoying than Shiro is. Speaking of Fate Stay Night, Tohka kind of reminds me of Saber. As I put it, Tohka is basically a moe moe kyun version of Saber >.<

By the way, DAL 2 manages to make even Tobiichi Origami awesome, a character I previously hated to the max. She is so awesome it is looks like she came straight out of  Infinite Stratos minus all the uncoolness. We now have some epic Infinite Stratos-style human-in-robotic-suit partly-Gundam style mid-air battles, thanks to Origami from AST, some new villains with similar power from DEM the new villain organization, and not forgetting the most badass definition of kawaii character ever, Mana. By this time I was wondering where in the world did all the original characters went, but nobody cares anymore. Mana is really cool, but too bad they didn't show much of her this time. Her combat scenes are really worth the watch. Also we have some pretty nasty villains from DEM.

So until now, Miku is getting a buttkick from Kurumi, Mana and Origami is having an Gundam-cum-IS war, oh... Minor spoilers ahead... Tohka got kidnapped by DEM. This is where DAL 2 is at its peak and the storyline gets really interesting and full of suspense. It's a torture you know, waiting a week before I can watch the following episode. Then, at the end of episode 9, more spoilers ahead, Shido got stabbed right in front of Tohka, provoking Tohka to go berserk. (YES!!!). So now we have the best thing ever, something everyone fan of Date A Live has been waiting for, Tohka going berserk and Shido had to fight her. Shido had Sandalphon but Tohka had a much more powerful (and huge) weapon. This is in episode 10 and please prepare yourself for some bad news. Episode 10 is the final episode of DAL 2. I kid you not. The first season has 12 episodes and I was expecting season 2 to at least double that considering its good storyline, but nope. So, this berserk Tohka... Well, prepare yourself for yet another bad news. From the moment Tohka summoned her most powerful weapon which can destroy half the city, to the moment the battle ended, it lasted no more than 4 minutes. Not to mention the entire 4 minutes is merely to showcase Tohka's power. That means there's not even a single swordfight between Tohka and Shido at all although both of them had swords. Heck, it wasn't even a fight. That is arguably the greatest letdown in the history of me watching anime.

So what is Date A Live II? It's like To Love Ru / Kiss X Sis / Fate Stay Night / Gundam / Infinite Stratos and possibly more anime you can make reference to all jumbled-up together, but it's a disappointment really. I wonder if this anime is going through an identity crisis. The last few episodes before the final one are really nice actually, much better than the previous season. I highly recommend you to watch them. Maybe you should watch from the beginning just for the sake of context. Other than that, it's really a letdown because some characters are pretty much ignored to give emphasis for the development of other new or more important characters. Yoshino hardly appeared in the anime at all. Kotori and Reine, well, they had became significantly less important. It needn't be this way if they haven't squeeze everything into 10 episodes. They could have easily done better and done more. On the bright side, a movie is on the way, but it won't arrive anytime soon. Hopefully I don't have anything big going on at that time. Meh, I doubt it... But I'm watching it anyway... For Yoshino!! Yoshino, please come back to me!!! \(>.<)/

Rating: 6.5 / 10

Monday, 26 May 2014

Anime Review: Persona 3 The Movie: #1 Spring of Birth

Hi again. So, like I mentioned earlier I had been catching up with a few anime recently and I happen to discover that the Persona 3 movie that we've been waiting for is finally out. To be honest I wasn't having a high expectation about this movie given how disappointing Persona 4 anime was along with every other game-turn-anime anime that ever existed. Oh no, I just reminded myself of the dreadful Tales of the Abyss! Anyway, I couldn't resist the urge to update my blog with yet another review so here goes.

For all you non-P3 gamers out there, nope... he didn't die.
Title: Persona 3 The Movie: #1 Spring of Birth

Genre: Mystery

What is it about: You'll know exactly what is it about if you played that game. If you haven't, please get yourself a PSP and play it. I couldn't quite explain what is it about because it's quite complicated, but trust me, the game is seriously awesome.

My review: Alas, I was right for not having high hopes for this movie. Before I continue my review, I just want to let you know that I'm actually a big fan of Persona 3 and 4 and I am an avid gamer of both these games. Previously, I had also written a review of the Persona 4 anime. You can check it out here. After all that mockery of an amazing game, they dare make a Persona 4 Golden version of the anime and a 3-part series of Persona 3 with Spring of Birth being the first.

Persona 3 is a really great game, and a long one at that. What this movie tries to do is to summarize the entire game in a series of movies, which in my opinion is not the wisest thing to do. Okay, maybe it's fair for the non-P3 gamers who probably wanted this. The problem is, as much as they want to turn the game into an anime, they somewhat failed in that regard. The anime still looked like a game, only it is playing itself. As a result, certain things may seem rather confusing for those who never played the game before. For example, the calendar system. They should have done away with that and work on a better flow of time instead. This is why for every game especially the long ones, trying to summarizing into short anime or movies just isn't going to work. Also, they could at least do better with the graphics. I am already unimpressed by the graphics in the cutscenes of the game itself. Using the same graphics and character design in an entire anime is just not right. I just don't feel comfortable watching this anime.

So, who does this anime is intended for? The fans of Persona 3 who never played the game? Very rarely I  there is any I tell you. The game came out way before the anime and I bet everyone who watches this anime has at least played the game. Or maybe just an anime fan who haven't played the game? Maybe, but in this regard they could have at least make this anime more anime-like, less game-like and ultimately less-confusing for those who are new to the Persona series. So the ones that they pretty much ignored are those who had actually played the game. If you had actually played the game, the entire anime is pretty much pointless as you already know exactly what is it about and what is going to happen. In that sense, a majority of us will be disappointed with this movie. As this is only the first part of the trilogy, this movie kinda ends in the middle of nowhere. I can tell even I haven't actually finished watching it, though I did scheme through the most parts of this movie.

What I am saying is that they should have shown us something else something new. I don't mind them giving an introduction of what Persona 3 is all about, but not to the extent that it is basically ripping off the entire game. It could have appealed to gamers and non-gamers alike, and at the same time telling the non-gamers "Hey, if you wanna know the whole background of the story, go play the game.". Yes, they could have easily kill two birds with one gunshot on the head. Jk!

Rating: 2/10

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Anime Review: Nisekoi

I apologize for not updating my blog frequently. If you have been following me, you might have noticed that my university is trying its hardest to keep me busy. Because of that, I haven't been watching anime lately. But now my seriously-packed timetable is beginning to subside a little as finals is quick approaching - a calm before the storm. So I did what I do best: watching anime.

Pika pika Chitoge :3
Title: Nisekoi (Fake Love)

Genre: Romantic comedy

What is it about: Mainly about a guy forced to be in a relationship with a girl in order to stop a war from breaking out, though both of them hate each other. Then things became a little more complicated (and annoying).

My review: Nao Toyama is back once again as Karen Kujo- I mean Kirisaki Chitoge, a half-American half-Japanese blonde girl who speaks English with Japanese accent. Well, to be fair to her she did improve a lot since Kiniro Mosaic. I applaud her for even trying to speak in English. It's actually pretty entertaining. Also, the two amazing Kanas has return as well: Kana Hanazawa and Kana Asumi, alongside their kawaii-ness. To be honest, I haven't actually finished watching this anime. I currently stopped at episode 16 out of 20 and quite frankly I've pretty much lost most of my motivations to continue. I wouldn't even have made it this far if it wasn't for the fact that Nao Toyama and Kana Hanazawa is voicing two of the main characters in this anime.

Make no mistake however, I didn't necessarily hate this anime. I just thought it could be much better than it is. I will be addressing the problems with Nisekoi in a bit,  but first let me tell you why I liked this anime. In fact, I really love this anime after watching the first few episodes. Nisekoi has got the most awesome first episode ever, one that actually made me ROFLMAO. This anime opens by showing off the main character, Raku Ichijo's cooking skills which is very impressive and fun to watch but you'll never get to see it ever again. He is actually the son of a yakuza that for an organized criminal society is pretty non-threatening. Then we are introduced to Chitoge Kirisaki, daughter of a rival yakuza group who after an unfortunate misadventure, came to hate Raku. Finally at then ending of the same episode, both of them are forced to be couples. Their reaction to that are totally priceless!

This anime is funny and dramatic at the same time. I really liked where it is going and I kind of expected the anime to take a turn to become a tearjerker instead. I don't know why, but I think that would be cool. I always loved funny yet meaningful anime. However, to my disappointment, such is not the case and the anime is beginning to abandon its mission as one long major storyline, but instead focusing on small meaningless humour and a side story which doesn't make much sense. There's no more drama, just the anime's failing attempts to make you laugh which results in too much repetition of events and too much cliche. The main-character-in-deep-shit-in-the-hot-spring-after-some-idiot-swap-the-gender-sign cliche, I've seen that many times. There was a time in the beginning of the series where the two got so pissed off that they had a huge argument and Raku actually yelled at Chitoge. Well, those days are over and I really miss it. What we've got instead is the introduction of more and more characters that we don't give a damn so that Nisekoi can be a mindless harem anime.

The storyline is also became weird after the first few episodes. Instead of focusing on the yakuza brawl or the accidental couple, Nisekoi chose to focus on the small side story where the Raku made a promise to a girl 10 years ago to marry her. He couldn't remember who she was or how she looked like. All he know is he has a pendant with a lock and the girl he made the promise to holds the key to that lock. What's weirder is that the girl whom he made the promise to might actually be Raku's classmate and crush, Onodera because she had in possession of a key. Onodera also remembered only that she made a promise with a guy 10 years ago but don't know who he is and how he looked like. She only know she has a key. As if the storyline is not weird enough, more candidates of the mysterious Raku's promised girl are introduced including Chitoge. Same sh*t, Chitoge only remembered she made a promise 10 years ago but doesn't remember bla bla bla. She had another different-looking key. Oh, suddenly everybody knew everybody in this anime one way or another. To everybody's annoyance, yet another girl is introduced to potentially be the girl in question because she had yet another key. Damn, what's with this anime and keys?!

The main storyline which is interesting, dramatic, funny and fun to watch pretty much died at this point. What we get to see instead is the characters' stupidity in countless misunderstandings. Yes, I get it that Raku has a crush on Onodera. When they are together, they are excited. I get it. But this anime is really trying to over-exaggerate stuff by showing us scenes that are pretty much pointless and intended solely  to make you laugh. It worked at first, but after showing the same crap like a billion times, I'm getting real tired of it. Also, it is plainly obvious that Raku likes Onodera and Onodera likes Raku. Just bloody confess already! They had so many opportunities to do so, yet the anime is busy trying to show us how excited or nervous they are before some stupid stuff happen and they lost the chance to confess. And the cycle goes on and on. There is really nothing left to see anymore.

I don't know, but I'm feeling really sad watching this anime. It's an anime that I really liked, an anime that I actually recommended to my friend after watching a few episodes. Then it had to go and disappoint me. How very disappointing indeed. I hope the next few episodes would be a bit better at least. Hmm... Maybe I should watch Kiniro Mosaic to cheer myself up a bit. Karen Kujo anyone?

Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Movie Review: The Amazing Spiderman 2

I apologize for not writing any review for anime lately. I haven't been watching anime as I do not have that privilege of time. However, amidst all the pending assignments piling up on my desk, I did went to the cinema to watch The Amazing Spiderman 2. Honestly, I don't know what have I done.

Title: The Amazing Spiderman 2

What is it about: Spiderman, and how freaking amazing he is.

My review: I'm sorry to say, this movie just isn't worth my sacrifice and time. On that note, this movie has wasted so damn much of my time which I would rather spend it on doing my assignments or just sleep or hang out with friends or something. Around halfway through the movie, I already had to take out my mobile phone and go to Facebook just to prevent myself from being bored to death. Seriously, why did I even bother to watch a Spiderman movie? I mean, he's not exactly my favorite superhero and the past movies has been all but disappointing. Well, that's because the trailer for this movie actually looked good and very promising. And let's just say that I was utterly disappointed as I shall explain why.

Surprising enough, many people seems to enjoy this movie very much. Maybe because it's because this movie came the closest to the storyline in the comics. I never read the comics as I'm not a comic guy and I'm not a fan of Marvel (Maybe except Captain America). For the entire 3 hours of watching this movie, nothing much seems to make sense to me. Maybe they make sense for the comic readers, but certain for a layman like me. Some scenes also seem to take place just because the comic books dictate it, much like the scene where *ahem* you-know-who was killed off. It it wasn't for the comic books, that scene would have been pretty infuriating for fans. But now it's good because it obeys the order of the comics.

Also, remember I mentioned something about the trailer being promising? Well yeah, the trailer is nice, but the movie is not. That's because so many scenes in the trailer are not even in the movie! As a result, I felt extremely cheated. I think the complexity of the plot is seen much more in the trailer than in the movie itself. , but it didn't actually happen. So now everything just turns into a boring film trying to show off Spiderman's powers. Yes, Spiderman is powerful in this movie. He pretty much turned into Superman at this point. The  main villain is powerful too, but he's all too easily beaten by Spiderman. Speaking of the villain, Electro got his powers after being electrocuted by high-voltage wires. Kinda reminds you about how Peter Parker became Spiderman right? So anyone gets burned by fire becomes fireman? Jk.

The main villain in this movie is Electro, but I would rather he be known as an accidental villain. He's a villain simply because everyone around him has been an @$$hole to him (including Spiderman himself), and it just so happen he then pretty soon gain superpowers. Even after gaining (accidental) powers he wasn't exactly a villain yet, until yet another @$$hole piss him off and viola, we have Electro as the main villain. Honestly, I felt sorry for the villain much more than Spiderman for what he's being through. Also, I know that this is just a movie and that Spiderman's powers are just a fantasy and completely impossible to achieve in reality, I really dislike how this movie plays with some 8th grade science just to try to impress its audience. Yeah, maybe some magnetic stuffs will cancel of some electric stuffs. I don't know. Sounds familiar, but we didn't exactly pay attention in class. But I refuse to accept that a simple magnetic device at Spiderman's wrist are able to deflect electricity strong enough to light up the whole of New York. I could go on ranting about how unrealistic this movie is, but it would be an even greater waste of time than it already is.

Previously I mentioned that Electro is the main villain. In fact, I do mean that there are other villains beside Electro, and supposedly this is about Spiderman's 'greatest battle yet'. But Electro was defeated so easily that I didn't even realize it. Then there's Green Goblin, a product of Harry Osborne going crazy. Yeah, you know this already. Worse still, Green Goblin's appearance only lasts for at most 10 minutes in the whole of the 3 hour movie and the only motive of his appearance is for the advancement of plot to the 'right comical direction' (i.e. to kill you-know-who). After his job his done, he's no longer useful for the movie and just ends up being defeated by Spiderman. Roll credits.

Wait a minute, there is actually a THIRD VILLAIN, the Rhino (can he be any less useful than this?). Well, Rhino certainly holds the record for the shortest appearance time for a villain. He should be awarded a prize for that. I think he merely appeared for at most the final 2 minutes of the movie. Yes, this movie ends in a freaking cliffhanger in the middle of the fight between Rhino and Spiderman. Well, I guess you don't really have to watch the fight to know who will come out victorious. I mean, Spiderman did easily beat a guy with electric powers enough to light up a city (who can also teleport). What's a piece of scrap metal with guns to him?

Rating: 2/10

Friday, 18 April 2014

Movie Review: Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

After a long time, I finally got the chance to watch a movie in the cinema (while skipping a few lectures in the process. Ehehe.), and this time I'll be watching a Marvel movie. Well, not just any Marvel movie, but Captain America!... Which reminds of a song: "America, f**k yeah! Coming again to save the m*****f*****g day yeah!" XD


Title: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Year: 2014

What is it about: Let me sing that song again. America, f**k yeah! Coming again to save the m*****f*****g day yeah!

Review: See, I'm actually glad that Marvel has evolved its superhero characters from the comic books to those in the live action movies. I'm not particularly a fan of Marvel, especially having watched many of the movies which always end up in a huge disappointment and an empty wallet. Captain America was no different in this. You can read all about it here. However, little did I know, Marvel actually had a hidden trick up its sleeve which is the movie The Avengers. (Sorry, I didn't write a review about it. Needless to say, its awesome.). From that point onward, Marvel seem to produce more interesting movies, most of which have a plot background from The Avengers. There are a few exceptions of course, but rest assured, Captain America 2 isn't one of them.

The first Captain America movie basically served as the veil-opening for The Avengers, hence the title The First Avenger. Most of the people watched it simply because 'Chris Evans is hot'. I'm not gonna lie, I think I couldn't disagree with that. Other than that, Captain America 1 was actually a pretty boring film as most would complain. Well, what do you expect from a superhero film which took place during World War II starring a steroid-overdose random soldier as the superhero? Then again, I actually favored Captain America over most other Marvel superheroes for certain reasons I mentioned in the previous review.

Fast-forwarding to 3 years later (and in the case of the movie timeline, 70 years later), Captain America rose again in the present times after the events of The Avengers, this time fighting a threat more than just a random villain. However, one actually had to watch the first movie as well as the Avengers in order to fully understand what is going on. As such, the story-line of Captain America 2 is much more complex than any of the previous Marvel movies. As a result, this is actually quite a long movie to watch. Do not worry though, this movie worth every bit of your time spent on it. 

Captain America is now (quite literally) a super soldier. I don't know what the steroid or the icebergs did to him, but this time he seem to have extra superhuman strength. Then again, he's still more human compared to the other more overpowered superheroes, which is an attribute I like most in Captain America. He doesn't fight alone, but rely on his teammates, strategy and intelligence to battle the enemy. In Captain America 2, Captain America is joined by two other superhero-yet-completely-human allies, and they are really awesome. Not to mention Nick Fury and a few other characters in which this movie seems to gave them a much more important role.

What I liked most about this movie is the complexity of the storyline as well as the characters. For the storyline, we get to see a lot of politics in play and much inside job which gave the Captain much trust issues. This leads to a greater issue because most of the Captain's actions are based on trust. And this is basically how the plot develops to make it interesting. Then, there are some plot twists as well. Rest assured however, M. Night Shyamalan didn't write Captain America 2 :P

Just when you start to think you are feeling bored of the storyline narration, the movie does not allow that to happen by bringing all the action-packed scenes at the right time. This way, you wouldn't need to juggle between digesting the mindless actions and cracking your head on the plot. Captain America 2 balanced this very well. In terms of the character, I definitely liked the villain. I'm talking about the Winter Soldier here. Compared to the previous villain that red-faced guy (I forgot his name), the Winter Soldier is much more badass. Why is he called the Winter Soldier? Well, you'll have to watch Captain America 1 to find out. In fact, you should watch it before this one just so that you won't get too confused by the various pretty much unexplained characters in this movie. If you just couldn't be bothered to do so, well I think you will enjoy this movie just the same.

In conclusion, Captain America is definitely worth watching in a high class cinema. I'm not sure about 3D though, but I think you'll have a great time looking at shields flying on your face. This movie introduces a few new characters to the Marvel league of superheroes, but I don't think that's a bad thing as long as it's not too overcrowded. Also, it's pretty obvious that there is a sequel to this movie whether in the form of Captain America 3 or The Avengers 2. Anyhow, I gotta say that this is by far the best Marvel movie ever, which is really amazing given how crappy the first movie was.

Rating: 10/10

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Anime Review: Sword Art Online

A huge sigh of relief, I was finally able to finish all 25 episodes of Sword Art Online (SAO) a day before my study life is predestined to come back and haunt me. Then again, this is one anime worth watching. I totally understand why SAO was such a hype back in 2012, though I wasn't fully convinced then. I shall attempt to write a review of it now, but it will be a tough one considering the complexity of this anime. The review does contain some spoilers although it wouldn't really matter considering that I'm probably the last human on Earth to watch that anime.

Title: Sword Art Online (SAO). I honestly thought it was an actual MMORPG.

What is it about: You might heard of this before. A guy trapped in a virtual reality whereby a person dies when his/her character is killed in the game.

Review: I am going to do things a little differently this time. I will start by introducing to you some of the characters. There are indeed many characters in SAO. I had the SAO anime in my laptop since a very long time ago but haven't had the opportunity to watch it until now. Before I watched it, I did bought a poster of SAO and place it directly in front of my desk in my room simply because the characters look promising. Thankfully they did and my investment was totally worth it! :D

So let me start by introducing the main character, Kirito. Unlike most characters in anime, this one is what people would describe as overpowered. I won't deny it considering the fact that he pretty much pwned every opponent he faced alone no matter how supposedly tough the opponent is. Most of the time, characters like these are not likable. Kirito however isn't that bad. Yes, he does go crazy in battles but he's also pretty cool. He's like the Dante of SAO although there are certain period of time where he became totally depressed and emotional. This is when I really pitied him, as explained by the picture below:

Yeap, truer words have never been spoken, which leads me to my next point. When Kirito joins a guild, the guild members are indeed likable although obviously they are unimportant. Suffice to say, everyone dies. One of them is a sweet little girl named Sachi. I liked her, but she died a little too soon: Episode 3. I mean, she is voiced by Hayami Saori, but I didn't expect a character voiced by Hayami Saori to die in episode 3. Yeah I cried too. *sobs*

After some time, Kirito met everyone's favorite character in SAO: Asuna, which I expect Kirito to meet earlier but thankfully SAO managed to avoid that cliche. My first impression of Asuna is that she is a tsundere. Well, she is somewhat a tsundere but she at least she is not too extreme. I do agree that Asuna is a very likable character. She is friendly and intelligent at the same time. She's also insanely powerful. Good thing that SAO at least gave Kirito and Asuna some challenging adversary regardless the fact that they are overpowered. In that aspect SAO is interesting. Also, ultimately Asuna became Kirito's lover to the surprise of no one. However, it did impressed me that it is a love story I actually cared about and liked it. Perhaps it's because there are lots of sense of adventure in the development of their relationship over time, and that the characters didn't exactly blindly fell for each other. Then again, I gotta say that Kirito is one hell of a chick magnet. Lolies included.

Moving on to the storyline, SAO did have more episodes than one would expect as I shall explain later. But to enjoy SAO, one should preferably have some experiences in MMORPG's. If you don't know what an MMORPG is, well, some things might not make sense in SAO. The storyline of SAO is simple. SAO turned out to be an online game of death whereby players are trapped in and are forced to defeat 100 bosses in order to escape the online world. What makes this anime interesting despite the simple storyline is the complexity of the SAO world itself. SAO gives you a sense of adventure within its vast system, just like how video games gives you the opportunity of exploration. Of course, we have to keep in mind that this is about a death game and real life of the characters are at stake, which leads the plot to some conflicts and twists. However, badass Kirito managed to survive it all somehow.

All the storyline that made up SAO seemed to end at episode 14, and it can easily be concluded as the final episode. However, the creators of SAO anime obviously thought 14 episodes just doesn't quite cut it and extended the anime by another 11 episodes by complicating things a little. These 11 episodes could well be a whole new season altogether. In fact, the characters are no longer in the world of SAO but in a new online world called Al-something Online (AO). Not only do they enter a whole new universe, but the entire storyline changes. This time there are no death involved, but there are other problems and the course of the storyline remain simple: Asuna is kidnapped and Kirito had to rescue her. Well, AO does have some connections to SAO though which you will understand once you watched it. If I were to choose to play between SAO and AO, I'll probably choose SAO (without the death element of course) considering it is more physical centered as compared to the latter which is more magic centered. AO does allow you to fly though, as a fairy that is.

For the fight scenes in SAO (I'm talking about the whole of the anime) boy I love the fight scenes. Most of which involved sword fights (duh) but they are pretty epic. Also, while most of the time Kirito just went on and slay everyone, at times situation does require him to strategize and work together with his teammates. By the way, one thing I really enjoyed in SAO is the way they made the antagonist so despicable that you seriously felt like grabbing a knife and brutally murdering your television or computer screen. However, you do get rewarded by the way Kirito defeats the main antagonist. It was pretty... YIKES! On top of all those epic fight scenes, you do get some pretty epic background music. But then I do felt like I've heard it somewhere. No, I definitely have heard this music before in Xenosaga III. I did some research on Google and found out that the composer of the music was Yuki Kajiura. Oh why am I so very not surprised?

Last but not least, no anime is without flaw. There is one comment that I would like to state among others,  which I made earlier on Facebook but I'll just gonna copy it and paste it right here. So Kirito went to the fairy world to look for his gf then stumbled upon a random character, Leafa who offers her help to Kirito in his quest, and turns out the all along Leafa is Kirito's sister and both were completely oblivious to the fact. Oh come on, the second Leafa spoke I realized immediately it's Ayana Taketatsu who also voiced the sister. I searched on Google and confirmed that Leafa is indeed the sister which was already a spoiler for me, but it took Leafa and Kirito 7 episodes to figure out they were siblings. 最悪は君!!! (Saiaku wa kimi!!!) (You are the worst!!!). But yeah, Ayana Taketatsu displayed her most prominent talent by voicing Kirito's sister, well not exactly sister but it does have a long story so I'll continue to assume that she is Kirito's sister. Honestly, I swear Ayana Taketatsu voices the best imoutos ever!

In conclusion, what is Sword Art Online? Well, I'd say it is a debate on the ethical issues concerning virtual reality gaming consoles should one day it is invented, and its effect on human consciousness and emotions. Virtual reality gaming consoles is everybody's dream, but I guess there will me issues to be addressed and will probably never become reality. SAO highlights that perfectly, though by the end of the anime, virtual reality MMORPGs continue to exist. Anyway, if one day it does exist, then I might have a pretty good chance of finding myself a girlfriend! Jk XD

Rating: 8/10

Friday, 14 March 2014

Anime Review: Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

Right, until now I am still suffering from a serious insomnia and therefore is a good time to watch yet another anime. This time I have decided to watch the one which was quite the talk in town several years ago which is Sword Art Online, and I thought maybe before I start watching it I should start writing for the one which was the hype last year. I had finished watching Shingeki no Kyojin quite some time ago but didn't bother to write a review of it until now for some reason. Shingeki no Kyojin (henceforth shall be known as 'SnK') is almost as influential as most mainstream anime, so you'll probably hate me for this review if you're a die-hard fan. In short, this anime is bad. Rest assured however, this is not the worst anime I've came across. Given the popularity of this anime, I assumed that you had already watched it and I am going to include a bit of spoilers.

The Colossal Titan a.k.a. The Human Muscular System
Title: Shingeki no Kyojin a.k.a. Attack on Titan (For your information, Shingeki no Kyojin does not mean Attack on Titan)

What is it about: The entire humanity was wiped out by titans. Only a small city survived the invasion. Eventually even the city was wiped out. Therefore the titans win. The end... Or is it?

Review: I didn't exactly have a fond memory of SnK. This anime was recommended to me by a friend of mine, and the first scene he showed me was the last part of the first episode where the main character Eren's mom was eaten alive by titans. It took me a few weeks to recover from that trauma, so it didn't exactly gave me a good first impression. Somehow after that I managed to summon all my courage to watch the entire series.

After I watched the whole of episode 1, I have to say it isn't that bad. In fact it is rather interesting as the city was attacked by the Colossal titan, which is the SnK mascot titan. The Colossal Titan is supposedly to most powerful of titans, and it is the only reason which kept me watching this anime. Unfortunately, the Colossal Titan appeared no more than 2 minutes in the first episode. Subsequently, he pretty much stopped appearing anymore and things turned out pretty ugly from then on as the titans begin their invasion to the villages in the city. The anime did a good job explaining the maps of the city, the government et cetera but really, nobody cares. For one thing I watched this anime denying every logic that ever existed, and you will have to do that to enjoy this anime. I could question so many things like where exactly did the titan came from and how did the remaining human population managed to build the wall guarding their territory, but I just couldn't be bothered.

Okay so the titans finally managed to infiltrate the remains of human civilization after a few hundred years (I don't know why), and the humans are to fight them off. Yes, this anime is set in the medieval eras where there are no modern weapons yet. However, they did invent a machine that allows them so so-called move in a 3-dimensional manner ala Spiderman style. If they can do that, why do they still fight the titans with disposable paper cutters? I can assure you the Japanese katana which I believe existed way before cannons are invented works much better that the weapons they are currently using. They had cannons by the way, which were medieval and completely useless.

I started watching this anime with a full expectation that there will be loads of violence involved. I wasn't disappointed. However, I did expect the titans to be slayed in a brutal manner as they did the humans. I wanted an all-out war with the titans. In this perspective, I was disappointed. It was a losing battle all the way. I understand that the titans are invincible, but I didn't expect that their only weak point is located behind their neck. This means that no matter how you attack the titans, they won't die unless you attack that particular weak spot, and in the entire series all everyone did is slash the titans' neck and they die. I find that really lame. I was expecting the battle to be like that of Monster Hunter, but unfortunately that's no the case.

Another thing I realized is that everyone in this anime are expendables, and they pretty much lived to be killed. It doesn't matter who you are, if you are not among the main characters or someone the plot absolutely requires, you die. It also doesn't matter if you are just an innocent girl, you die. You could argue that this makes the anime more realistic, but unfortunately anime isn't reality. Don't get me wrong. Realism is an important aspect of an anime, but realism has never existed in SnK to begin with. Towards the end of SnK, not many people are left. Also, the main character is supposed to be dead already in the beginning of this anime but nope, because his name is Eren Jaegar, he gets special treatments as I shall explain soon.

Now, I'd like to give my opinions regarding the characters of SnK. Most of them are not likable especially the main character of all people. Eren is the epitome of main characters that is most despicable. He does pretty much nothing in the entire series except complaining, but because he is gifted with special powers, he got to be the main character. Speaking of Eren's power, I am referring to his ability to transform into a titan. So in the end, it's titan versus titan. Say goodbye to all of humanity's glory.

And then there's Mikasa. She is not unlikable, but I just don't understand why is she so obsessed with Eren who gave her the cold shoulder every time. I get it that Eren saved her life once, but that doesn't justify Eren's mean attitude towards Mikasa for no apparent reason and also Mikasa's intense obsession towards Eren. Also, Mikasa is pretty when she is young as shown in the first episodes. When she grew up, she looks pretty okay I guess. Her colored lips looked weird though. She cut her hair after demanded by Eren because he thinks she looks better that way. I beg to differ.

In the midst of all the unlikable characters, we fortunately did have Armin whom I considered the one and only character who is completely likable, although many seems to disagree with me. I do agree he is weak, but who vouched for Eren's innocence and supported him when he's on trial? Armin did. Who devised effective strategies to resist the titans instead of hiding in one corner whimpering and just waiting to die? Armin did. Who ultimately discovered the traitor amongst their own people? Armin did. So I'd say screw Eren, Armin should be the main character instead. Poor Armin is too underrated.

Finally while we're still discussing the characters, I have to say that the titans look terribly weird and ugly at that. They look downright retarded. They came in different designs, but most of them  basically looked like oversized nude human who are suffering from Down syndrome. They also do not have genitals. Perhaps they are suffering from Klinefelter syndrome too. For some reason, this is an exception to several important crucial-to-the-plot titans such as the Colossal Titan and the Eren titan. I'd love to see an epic battle between human and Colossal Titan, but I guess that won't be happening anytime soon because the Colossal Titan has never be shown itself or mentioned again after the first few episodes. They did in fact however brought up several formidable titans to go against Eren and the rest of humanity, among them being the main antagonist who is the traitor I was talking about earlier. She was defeated at the end of the series, but that didn't exactly make things better as the anime ends in a cliffhanger with much unanswered questions.

In conclusion, there will probably be a season 2 to SnK but I certainly won't be watching it unless curiosity got the better of me. I heard that the manga of SnK is still ongoing and it's not going to stop anytime soon, hinting that SnK is going to be draggy and long-winded just like many of the mainstream anime. Well, if you are going to watch SnK any, try not to get too attached to a character. Chances are they will die in a pretty horrible way.

Rating: 3/10

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Anime Review: Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate

Yay for my semester break! Unfortunately, there is not less than a week left of it, and I still have a long list of anime waiting for me. However, I had been suffering from serious insomnia lately, and what better time are there to watch an anime? XD

Title: Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate (Love, Election & Chocolate)

What is it about: Love, election & chocolate XP

Review: I think I have an idea why sometimes people say they would prefer to live in the anime world than the real world. In the world of Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate which sets in the near future, the school is pretty much governed by the students, and this is where this anime gets really interesting. To tell the truth, the title says everything about this anime, only in a different order.

There are many anime out there, each has a distinct theme. This one in particular, focuses more on politics. As the name suggests, the major storyline of this anime is about a guy contesting for the presidency of the student body administration. He is up against several strong rivals, each with different governing manifesto and principles. The interesting part of this anime comes from the political strategy employed by the main character's 'political party' against some influential oppositions. You many not understand much from their plans, but really this is what makes everything so cool!

To begin with, this anime has an interesting start. The title may suggest a rather friendly anime, but it turns out that Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate isn't what you think it is. Yes it's cute, but it does have some dark elements to it which mostly arises (not surprising anyone) from politics. The first episode will leave you a suspense that won't be answered until towards the end of the anime. Partly this is what kept me watching the anime the whole night. Pretty soon you will discover that the politics goes beyond merely high-school students and even the characters' lives are at stake.

So, this anime starts off with Election. Then the Love part comes in. Do not be disappointed however, this anime isn't the typical high-school love story that one would normally expect. The storyline does take a rather complicated turn and things did turn out pretty crazy. There are also family issues involved, and usually that tells a better tale than couple love stories. Also, there is a dramatic twist of plot that affects every element of this anime. As for the Chocolate part, well, it has its own set of interesting stories in this anime.

Moving on to the characters, I'd say each one of them are likable although some are downright weird. Most of them are girls with different personalities and they are pretty cute too. However, there are some things which bother me in the character design. Firstly, one of the characters is a gay (a.k.a. yaoi) who is rather disturbing in a way, though at some point he did contribute to a more interesting storyline but I thought that isn't really necessary. What's more disturbing is the fanservice this anime offers. There are not much of nude scenes in this anime, however the characters did have rather unrealistically large breasts (a.k.a. oppai). Well, I think this is probably something almost all anime cannot refrain from, and that this one is relatively negligable. Other than that and the potential PMS from certain characters, they are all likable.

To sum up everything, this anime is indeed very interesting and funny. However, I wished there were more. Sometimes the storyline can be quite predictable. As evil as I may sound, sometimes I'd live to see the characters fail and then pick themselves up. Well, in a way they did especially when the plot take a dramatic turn, but I wished there were more than that. I'm not really sure how to explain it, I just didn't like the fact that this anime is somewhat predictable and at times, too cliched. I wanted more than that.

In conclusion, despite several drawbacks, I won't deny that this anime is indeed a very interesting one to watch. If only all politicians watch this anime, the world could be a much better place to live in! Jk.

Rating: 7/10

Monday, 17 February 2014

Game Review: Resident Evil: Revelations

I was playing this game about two weeks before my exams started. Big mistake because this is an addictive game and I can't stop playing. Even more so because I am a die-hard Resident fan. However, writing a review for games is always going to be difficult so please bear with me.

Title: Resident Evil: Revelations

Year: 2012 / 2013

Publisher: Capcom

Platform: Nintendo 3DS, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, PC

Genre: Survival horror

Review: First of all, I am amazed that this game is originally intended for the Nintendo 3DS. I always thought that the 3DS is designed for Pokemon, not Resident Evil. I am not sure how is the game like in the 3DS, but I definitely liked it in PC.

If you had played Resident Evil 6, you know how horrible that game was and you are well aware that Capcom has done a big mistake of completely switching the genre of Resident Evil games from survival horror to action, and they did a terrible job at that. Click here if you would like to check out my review on Resident Evil 6. That is kinda sad for me because I was really anticipating for the game while having a major exam. Apparently Capcom enjoys pissing their fans off by unnecessarily destroying everything their fans like for a certain franchise. DmC: Devil May Cry for example. I don't even wanna begin talking about it.

However, rest assured that this game is nothing like Resident Evil 6. This is a true survival horror game although you won't be able to fight zombies just yet. In this game, ammunition is scarce and your enemies are strong. This is what makes Resident Evil games fun and challenging at the same time. I completed this game on Casual mode, but already having a hard time in Normal mode. I can't even begin to imagine Infernal mode. Some of the gameplay systems are either changed or removed. For example, you can no longer distract the enemy by shooting it on the head etc. and perform a melee immediately. Distraction became more difficult, but now you can charge up your melee moves before unleashing it. The roll/sprint/dash maneuvers from Resident Evil 6 are removed altogether, which is sad because that is one feature I enjoyed in Resident Evil 6 and they are helpful. The weapon upgrade system is back and you don't have to pay for them. You just need to search for the upgrade parts. The Resident Evil 2 storage box system is back as well which possibly made the game a bit unrealistic, but I wont complain. Capcom did their best to bring back the essence of Resident Evil. In short, I enjoyed the control system and the gameplay of Resident Evil Revelations.

As this game centers more on the ocean, there is much water theme to this game. As such, you will need to do a lot of swimming. I will also not complain about the how unrealistic this game is here, because if it is you'll never win. Rest assured, it is fun. More fun than Resident Evil 6 at least. There are also multiple interesting puzzles to be solved and most of them require you to think. The one game I find petty annoying (not the game's fault), is that the map is pretty big and for people with a terrible sense of direction like me, it can be quite tiresome to go from once place or another especially when a character just tell you to go to a particular place and you'll have to recall where is that and how to get there. A map is provided to you, but to me it wasn't very helpful. Fortunately, for most part of the game, there's only one direction and you'll just have to follow your partner when you get lost. In fact, the role of your partner in this game is just to make you feel more secure.

Rejoice dear fans, as Jill Valentine has return alongside Chris Redfield, my favorite character in the Resident Evil series! Unfortunately, this isn't a sequel to Resident Evil 6, but a prequel which takes place sometime in 2005. A few other new characters are introduced in the game as well. Jill's partner for most of the game is Anglo-Italian Parker Luciani and he is a very likable character. Chris' partner for most of the game on the other hand, is Jessica Sherawat who is, let's just say, not so likable. Poor Chris always get in unfortunate incidents for some reason. Fun fact: In the Japanese version of the game, Jessica Sherawat is voiced by the legendary Nana Mizuki. There are other playable characters as well and I am happy to say they are pretty enjoyable to play as. As for the storyline, I find it a rather confusing one as I don't quite understand who is doing what. To illustrate a point, the final boss in this game is not exactly the main antagonist but rather a somewhat random character. Speaking of which, the final boss in this game is the epitome of Capcom's logic defiance on what viruses can do. Well, you'll just have to enjoy the challenge and not giving it too much thoughts.

Overall, I find this game really enjoyable. If Capcom could somehow integrate Resident Evil Revelations with some elements of Resident Evil 6 and other series it will be perfect. I also hope Capcom would bring back zombie hostiles as well though I do enjoy battling with various species of bio-organic weapons (it's what Resident Evil call the enemies) in Resident Evil Revelations. Also I won't deny that this game is downright challenging and difficult. This game is the symbol of a good balance between survival horror and action, what Resident Evil games should be like. Of course, there are still rooms for improvement but I think Capcom is heading the right direction this time. I have really high hopes for Resident Evil 7. Last but not least, all hail Chris Redfield! XD

Rating: 8/10

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Anime Review: Strike Witches The Movie (The first 5 minutes)

Hi, everyone. Recently I've watched the Strike Witches movie and I could last only 5 minutes before I stopped the movie and deleted it entirely. So now I'm going to review about what I watched in that 5 minutes. I know you might hate me for 'judging the book by its cover', but I've got good reasons and my conscience is clear. First impression matters yo!

Title: Strike Witches The Movie

What is it about: Alien invasion and the rise of humanity against them. This is probably the ten billionth time I've seen this cliche.

Review: Personally I find it pretty uncomfortable writing this review, but I felt I just had to. Obviously I'm not going to talk much about the storyline because I had no idea at all, but the starting of this movie suggests that it is definitely not something new. However, I have to say that it is epic to see a war taking place between indestructible alien robots and humanity. Therefore, I was actually having my hopes high in this movie.

Then guess who are the savior of mankind? Little girls who are armed with machine guns and a little bit of magic known as Witches (a pretty mean name for the hope of mankind's salvation huh?)! But seriously, does it always have to be little girls? This is the case with Valkyria Chronicles, Infinite Stratos, Sora no Woto, somewhat with Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, etc.. These are the girls who are for some reason, blessed with superpowers that only them could stand against the overpowered opponents. Then again, I won't complain much about this because Valkyria Chronicles and Nanoha are pretty great anime (and games).

My real complain here is the fact that this movie completely abuses the elements of ecchi. This is the point where things get a bit explicit. For the entire 5 minutes, there is a panty-shot literally in every 20 seconds. I know this is quite common in most anime, but this one comes at the wrong place at the wrong time. Imagine a group of these Witches battling out with aliens, and all the camera is trying to do was to get a close-up shots of the Witches' panties. Worse, these witches aren't even wearing any pants, nor skirt for that matter, just so that they can give us a clear shot of their underwear. Come on, whoever made this movie. What is it that you are trying to show us? The epic battle or the sexy panties? To be honest, I personally don't find them sexy at all. Instead I find it somewhat stupid. Is this anime supposed to be one that is serious or mischievous? Because both definitely do not go well together. Is the creator of this anime trying to attract more guys to watch this movie? If that is so, it is a huge mistake and a failure that definitely backfires.

To sum it up, this anime isn't what I expect it to be: epic. Yeah, girls with machine guns are epic, and I like that. But girls with machine guns, overwhelmingly large breasts and incredible short skirt to the point that they are pretty much negligible (or no skirt/pants in this case)? Not so much. Take it as you may, I judge female anime characters by the size of their bust, and I definitely don't like oppai (to put it in layman's term, it means unrealistically huge boobs). Well, fortunately the oppai part isn't too much of a problem in the Strike Witches movie (at least not in the first 5 minutes), but still it doesn't make things any better. You may try to persuade me to continue watching this movie for the sake of the storyline, but as it is this movie is bad enough, and I'm sorry to say I won't be interested.

In conclusion, I appeal to everyone who makes anime to please consider their audiences so as to not offend anyone and display anything are viewed as improper. Anime doesn't need to be sexually explicit or disturbing to be attractive you know? Also, if you are a girl and you are reading this, please don't think I'm perverted a jerk. I see real-life girls differently from anime character :P

Rating: I can't rate the whole movie because like I said, I didn't watch it till the end. However, for the first 5 minutes alone, I'll give it a 3/10.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Anime Review: Unbreakable Machine Doll

Happy Valentine's Day everybody! In conjunction with this celebration of love, I will be posting a review of the most romantic anime there is out there! :D

The happy face of "I just murdered several machines like an infernal badass"
Title: Unbreakable Machine Doll

What is it about: Overpowered 'dolls' destroying each other alongside buildings. Oh ya, I was kidding about the romantic part :P

Review: Once again, an anime that features dolls! And I like it! However, these dolls are unlike those of Rozen Maiden and the likes, and the so-called dolls in this anime takes on various forms such as human, dragons, dogs etc. which are by no means mechanical (except for the mecha dolls). These dolls even have blood in them (again, except the mecha ones), so they are actually more alive than merely a combat puppet.

Speaking of combat, I can assure you that this anime is highly action packed which involves human-sized dolls battling out with, say, a hundred-feet tall dragon. Not only that, the one thing that is very likable of the battle scenes in this anime is that they are very strategy-filled. The main character, though being overpowered, isn't exactly one that is powerful enough to match most of his way-more-overpowered opponents, but I do find him very admirable because he often assess the situation with a calm and calculative mind, and engages in combat with strategy to defeat his opponents. He's also a tough guy who manages to survive multiple life-threatening blows, which could be kind of unrealistic at times.

In terms of storyline, this anime does have an interesting and well thought out plot for a 12-episode anime. Though given the complexity of the story line, it is expected that 12 episodes isn't quite sufficient to convey in full what was introduced to the audience. As a result, too many unanswered questions arose in this anime. Speaking of which, this anime tend to introduce too many characters that are significant but somewhat random to the point where things get a little confusing, and this does contribute to some of those unanswered questions. Also, most of these characters are introduced to us a being extremely powerful, but they are never actually seen engaging in combat. Some of them merely appeared for a short while and not much are told about them. As such, a sequel is highly anticipated and given the popularity of this anime, I would say it is pretty likely. If there isn't, it is going to be one massive letdown, but I'm having my hopes high.

In conclusion, this is one of the few anime which I found to be really epic. The fight scenes are really enjoyable to watch, though I do admit that some supposedly really powerful enemy were defeated pretty fast. Epic battles aside, this anime is also a humorous one especially given that one of the main character's forte is sarcasm. I do enjoy the background music in this anime, but unfortunately not the opening and ending theme. Last but not least, I really enjoy watching this anime because.......... loli! XD

Rating: 8/10