Thoughts: Final Fantasy V (game)

I started up final fantasy V recently. I just finished Bravely Default and I remembered that this game has a job system too. Besides that it’s the only non final fantasy spinoff I haven’t beaten. Heck I think I only played a few minutes into it probably a decade ago. Besides Besides that the PS1 version of it was on cheap sale on Amazon awhile back so I got it. 

What I like most about Final Fantasy games really is the interesting stroies and the old games really have a a problem with the stories. At least 1-4. I know in four there is a lot more story ramped up but really it still felt like a basic premise. King dies and the warriors have to go save all the crystals and beat up the evil thing that’s trying to rule the world. There is a bit more that happens with the characters that’s a step forward but to be honest they just seem to through in an emotional moment without really building up the characters.

With 5 so far the story is starting out the same typical way. Except the main character we are introduced to is an an adventurer who is living on his own how he wants. There is also a bit of foreshadowing as to possible brothers or twins connection between the good guys and bad guys. I haven’t really gotten much into it so I can’t say much.

The other thing about the older games is that it can be brutally hard. First of all it’s not often very clear about the direction the game is trying to take you. You will just wonder in hopefully the right are and if you are wrong you are killed by a super strong monster. Heck usually if you are in the correct area every fight is life or death. There are no easy monsters unless you backtrack several areas. I guess I sound like a wuss to complain that that fighting is too hard but I think I prefer to have easier monsters between the boss fights. I don’t mind grinding a few levels if I have to though. So far I’ve been traveling based on where the map lets me go rather than people tellin me I need to go to a certain city. I guess in some ways that was a charm of the older games. You needed to search for clues and deduct where to go next. More recently I won’t speak to 90% of the NPCs that someone thought out dialog to have him say. If he doesn’t give me something I don’t care. I’ll try to keep that in mind and enjoy it while I go through the game.

At the same time I’m playing Akiba’s Trip and Sword Art Online so I got a ways to go before I’m very far in the game.  

Review: Fatal Fury the Movie (anime)

Thoughts: This movie is (as it says on the VHS case) based on the video game and made in the early 90’s. This could make you assume a few things, and in most cases they were right here. I gave it a watch since I’ve had it in my pile for awhile and  just read a review in Otaku USA about it. 

Story: The story is pretty simple, as to be expected. There is some invincible armor that the bad guy is trying to collect so he can get revenge on people who killed his parents. His sister finds the hero’s of Fatal Fury(tm) games and asks them to help her stop her brother. our hero’s are feeling unstoppable because they won some fighting tournaments before but it turns out the man they fight now is better than anyone they’ve fought before. There are a few clashes where our hero’s lose but are spared because of the sister. Then after the villian gets all the armor somehow the hero’s are able to win. Funny enough even though the armor is invincible it doesn’t make the wearer of it invincible.

The Otaku review mentions that the story takes a back seat to the fighting and that’s what makes this a fun watch. Do I agree? Well I’ll get to that in the art section but the story does take a back seat. It wasn’t incomprehensible like other OVAs i’ve seen though. It did get a bit boring though. I didn’t really care about if they stopped the evil or if the evil got all the armor. I think that was much because I didn’t play the fatal fury games. The story was paced well though. They introduced the characters through some fights. Introduced the problem with the bad guy. Had a few losing fights, then a winning fight to end the story.

Characters: The characters seemed to have been introduced already through the game because they didn’t tell much about them and I didn’t know much about them. I did think some of them were cool through personality but I didn’t get to know them well enough to care much about them. 

Art: So there were a lot of fight scenes. The choreography wasn’t especially well. I think they were imitating fights and moves from the game. It was more of super attack against super attack and not realistic fighting. I’m not saying it’s bad but describing it. Personally I think I like the bruce lee type fighting rather than the Advent Children type of fighting. The animation is good and fluid though. I’ts not really lacking frames. For the time it was quality although not top quality, and now it looks kind of normal. 

The art has a cool look to it. Many of the characters are attractive guys and girls. It helps give the characters a personality. that personality I’m not sure matches though since they didn’t give anyone a backstory, or even a story.

Rating: 

2/5 - It doesn’t do much right but it does a few things well. Mostly art. I think it’s made for those who play the game.

Entertainment: 4/5 - If you’ve played the game I’m sure I’m sure much of what I found a mystery would seem great. At that point really only the story is holding it back. 

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment: Blurb

People are saying they wish the game was better or that the game isn’t good. Well I’ve played enough to give a quick opinion on the game. The game is a very accurate recreation of the game depicted in the anime/novel. Many of the features as described work in the same way. To be honest this makes the game kind of weird to play but at least it’s how the show was, and what people were asking for. To contrast it, if they made the game a bit better, or fun to play people would complain that it’s nothing like the show and it isn’t good. 

Along with this the story is an alternate ending to the shows first arc. It would be kind of boring to just replay the show but adding to the story could be fun for sure. In a way this is what many fans wanted too. They didn’t like that the show went to a second arc in a different game. I don’t really like that they added Leafa and Shinon but I’m assuming they did this because fans like those characters so they felt pressured to put them in the game. But again people are complaining that the story makes no sense. Just enjoy it for what it is, which is an experience that is for fans of the show and tries to cater to them. 

Review: Moribito (Anime)

Thoughts: I got allmost all of this 26 episode series in my box of random anime so I decided to give it a try. There were stickers on the boxes that claimed this show was on Cartoon Network at one point and my first thought was that this means the the show was too mainstream for me to like. Not that because something is popular I have to not like it, but for an anime to be mainstream it needs to have a mass appeal. I’m not saying Naruto isn’t good but simply being good doesn’t mean it’ll be a hit. This show, I’m happy to say, didn’t have that mainstream feel to it. It’s surprising that it was on even Adult Swim. 

Summary: Balsa is a female body guard who wants to save 8 lives through her job to make up for 8 deaths she caused earlier in her life. While in the town of the emperor of the land she rescued the prince during an assassination attempt. While being rewarded with a stay in the imperial residence the mother of the prince appears and says she would like Balsa to be his body guard and to leave with him. Because the child has a spirit egg growing in him he is being targeted by the King for assassination to save the city. As it turns out this was a bit of a misconception but Balsa takes the job and takes off with Chagum (the prince) and protects him from the kings best warriors while running away and trying to find out how to hatch the spirit egg without killing Chagum.

Story: The story is the meat of the show here. While the art and animation and action are all good what is really supposed to pull you into this series is the story and characters. It does a good job with this. It is a 26 episode anime so it has plenty of time to move it’s story along and it does a good job with pacing. It obviously doesn’t seemed rushed, but it also doesn’t get bogged down or have filler.

It starts off pretty fast, before you get to know the characters you get introduced to the plot with almost all of my summary happening in the first episode. After Balsa and Chagum are able to escape and heal up you start to get to know the characters as they set up how their lives will be. They don’t want to live in the woods on the run so they buy a house in the middle of nowhere to live for awhile. During this time is a few episodes of just the daily lives of the characters but it really helps grow those characters since you didn’t have time before to get to know them. These episodes are interesting by themselves anyways but I guess they don’t play into the overall plot too much.

After getting to know the characters the plot picks up again with finding out more about the spirit egg and being hunted yet again. Eventually the ending of the show has to do with that egg’s birth and the prince returning to the city to be king. It also had a last episode that wraps things up. Many series, especially shorter ones, just have a sudden end as the story climaxes. 

Characters: The characters also are a big part of the show. Chagum is the prince and they do a good job of showing at first how he is spoiled and doesn’t even know what it’s like to be poor, but at the same time they don’t make him seem bratty. Eventually he starts growing up and becomes more mature and a good leader. Balsa starts out as a mystery but quickly you see she is pretty straight forward. She is smart and very experienced in combat. She starts to take on a motherly quality when she is traveling with this child for long enough. Even though she is strong and a fighter she isn’t really masculine, and I appreciate this.

Tanda is a healer who has been a friend of Balsa since they were small. There is a bit of a funny role reversal with Tanda being more of a house wife and Balsa being a working father with Chagum being the child. Even though this is the case Balsa really doesn’t think about love so Tanda is just left being supportive and wishing she would give some affection. Torogai is an elder healer who Tanda studies under. She is rather active for how old she is and she seems good natured although short spoken and crabby. She is endearing and funny at times.

The bad guys are a bunch of swordsmen that you don’t get to know too well. They seem professional and are a bit annoying at first. Eventually you understand they are doing their jobs. Shuga is a star reader who works for the emperor and is concerned about Chagum but eventually finds the truth about what is happening and how the emperor has been changing the record to make their family seem more important. His relationship with Torogai ends up helping solve the problem of the egg.

Art: The art is crisp and well done, although it doesn’t seem to be more than what is required. Characters are still when they aren’t the main focus. The shading and textures on the characters are basic or 2 toned. The characters seem unique though and it helps with showing the personality of the characters. 

The animation is also basic until the action scenes. The action scenes are rather well animated although they have some weird choreography. Some of the choreography gets recycled too in several battles. Direction in general seems the normal Japanes directing. Safe and normal camera angles either showing close ups of who is talking or further pans if the action is the focus of the scene. 

The music is a beautiful score although at times it seems limited as a few songs are stuck in my head from hearing them so many times. The voice acting I listened to in English and it was very good. Some of the voices seemed the sameish but there weren’t any goofy cartoony voices, even with background characters. It was done well and seriously. 

Rating: 
3/5: The story is well done but it doesn’t do much else above par. As well as the story and characters were it didn’t make things super exciting. It’s very solid and I recommend it for sure but it’s not going to grab your attention.
Entertainment:
4/5: If you are looking for a good japanese tale then this is for you. There are a few other good or better shows for story but this is up among the best.

Exploding clothes

Shouldn’t there be some sort of half way between exploding clothes anime and regular anime (where there is no realistic damage during a fight to clothes or anything else) I mean I want to say exploding cloths are dumb and they kind of are but is it realistic for there to be an all out martial arts fight and everyone’s clothes aren’t even scuffed? 

Review: Cardcaptor Sakura (Anime)

Thoughts: Cardcaptor Sakura just got a bluray re-release recently and I thought since I’ve seen the show I’d give a bit of a review of it to help you decide if you want it too or if you just want a nostalgia trip. Cardcaptor Sakura was one of the first (if not the first) anime I watched where I was aware it was an anime. At the point I had seen pokemon, DBZ, speed racer but didn’t know it was Japanese. I had just got into really understanding and liking anime and then I saw Cardcaptors on channel 11 saturday morning. I knew it was anime and I was ready for it. I thought it was a lot of fun but I could even tell then that it was edited/censored. I felt like I wasn’t getting the whole show and that annoyed me. Eventually Sam Goody started getting the Japanese show (for $30 a dvd with 3 episodes on it) and I got as many as I could afford. (Which was like 4 over a period of about a year). To be honest it was easier for me to get into an anime at the time since it was new to me and so different/better than anything I’ve seen up to that point. I think it still holds up today.

Story: A quick overview is that Sakura releases a collection of magic cards onto the world (or just nearby places in Japan) called the Clow Cards. She then is given a magic wand that can use the cards and transform her into a slightly more powerful version of herself? After that is her adventures collecting all the cards again so they stop creating trouble in the city. 

This is a story by clamp and it’s the kind of sweet shojou story instead of their other kind of dark action stories. Sakura is the normal nice sweet girl with a best friend, an obnoxious older brother, and an older boy she has a crush on. This show has a new card she collect every week and has that pace to it, but it has a rather deep over arching story. The drama of her crush, the drama of saving lives as the cards create havok, learning about the secret lives of the people she knows. Even the background characters have some interesting side stories. One kid falls in love with the teacher. 

It kept me interested in each episode. I cared about the character trying to get through the situation. I wanted to know what the whole story was when they only hinted at more of the overall story. It’s not just about the story though. 

Characters: I don’t think there was a character I hated. They were all fun unique and stand out characters. Even the back ground characters seemed well thought out. Sakura was sweet and heroic, Tamoya was fun and cute, Li Syaoran was cool and kind of cute in an immature boyish way. It’s easy to hae a favoritecharater because they are so different and well thought out. They really help make the show shine with interactions and just development of themselves. 

Art: It’s hard to believe the show is cel animated, and it’s one of the last shows that was. It’s very bright and colorful and smooth with the animation. The music is outstanding with the opening closing songs, but also just the background music and the extra tracks they have the characters sing randomly. I have the soundtack and still listen to it. The art is just quality, and one that won’t be met again on cel art since the medium has passed.