Review: Patlabor the movie (anime)

Thoughts: I’ve known about Patlabor since I’ve known about anime basically. For awhile I didn’t watch it specifically because I liked Gundam and it seemed like other mech shows weren’t as good or just weren’t good. More lately I’ve found that Gundam shows themselves can be inconsistent so why not give some other mech shows a try. I do like mech shows. At the same time I read an article about how the director of this show is great and did a great job on Patlabor. Also that there was a lost pallet of the special edition DVD and they were very cheap. I picked up the special edition with a making of dvd, making of book, and the whole story boards translated for $10.

Summary: In the future year of 1999 (This was made in 92 and was based on a manga from even earlier) humans are using giant mechs to help build and drill and other important jobs. The police also have units that are used if they need to combat other units. There is a man made island where many of these Mechs are stored and work off the coast of Japan. 

Recently there have been cases of these Mechs going crazy and ignoring orders of the pilots. They aren’t really hunting down people or anything but they just start walking through houses and destroying neighborhoods. Asuma and Shige are put on the case to find out why this is happening. What they find goes a bit deeper than an accident but can they put a stop to it?

Story: The story is done well enough to keep my attention. Because it’s short they don’t really have time to explain how all this is set up, with the police, how the mechs came about, who our characters are. This is based off manga and continue on OVA and anime series so much of that information I might be expected to already know. I expected it to be more mech fighting but much like Gundam, much of the story and drama come from the people in the show. Asuma and Shige do detective work to track down what is happening. 

As it turns out there is a fault in the new OS that is controlling the mechs and natural occurrences with wind cause them to go wild. The OS is a tightly guarded secret so a bit of espionage is needed to get the source code and get out. They also have to convince the police of the true problem and deal with it before the immanent threat takes place. This again causes a race against time and against security to do what needs to be done. 

Art: The animation and art are done well for the time, although not quite the level of Ghibli at the same time. The characters have a more 80’s look to them, meaning they don’t look very moe. The animation does a great job with moving people and looking natural instead of having a lot of still frames. The mechs are drawn well to look real. Since they are made of metal they have a very geometrical and ridged shape to them. 

As I mentioned before the direction was supposed to be very well done and it was expert. Anime has a very direct way of being direct, especially with direction. They just have a camera on the action, pulled out enough to get all of the action. In this case though this movie looks much like an american movie with camera angles and how the story unfolds. The little things are often done just right. comedic timing is done well even though it’s not as much of a comedy. Background people are moving and cared for. Mannerisms of characters are personal and realistic. Really if you wanna see a movie as an art this is certainly an example.

Rating: 4/5 - All it’s missing is really the backstory but again it might be assumed you’ve seen the tv series.
Entertainment: 5/5 - This does everything right and so many things better than average. If you are a fan of the series then this is gold for you.

Review: Persona 3 Portable (Game)

I’ve always wanted to give the Persona games a try since they came out. They have seemed like they would be fun and they’ve got a cult following which to me usually means they are a good game. With the urgings of a friend I started with P3, and the PSP version because it’s got extras and portable systems are cool.

This game takes place in modern times. You move to a dorm for high school and awaken powers within you. You are able to wake up during the dark hour, a period of time between midnight and 1am where everyone is sort of frozen in time except for those with the power to summon a Persona and a few others. the other power as I mentioned is the ability to summon a persona. Using a special gun Persona users are able to imitate shooting themselves in the head and summon a creature to do an attack for them. 

As it turns out the people in your dorm also have this power and together you become a group who explore this giant tower full of monsters that are causing the dark hour. They feel if they can explore and clear the whole tower then the dark hour will stop happening. The reason they want to stop the dark hour is because it’s causing people to turn into mindless zombies. This is because the monsters from the tower are spilling out into the real world. Not only do they have to fight off the monsters though but there is a group of people who want the dark hour to last because they like having their powers and they fanatically want the end of the world that will happen.

Gameplay: As I learned while playing this game is a weird mix of visual novel and dungeon crawler. The game takes plays through individual days where on weekdays you are going to school, on weekends you have more free time to explore the area around your house. You meet with friends and other people and form relationships that help your powers during the RPG part of the game. At night you can continue having fun with friends, work for money and better stats, sleep to rest up, or go to the tower to try to clear more of the dungeon. The tower is randomly created dungeons for each floor, even different when you go back to the same floor.

Now I’m not a fan of dungeon crawlers but it wasn’t really bad here. Monsters are crawling around and if you touch them then you go into battle. If you attack and hit it then you get an advantage, if they hit you first then they get an advantage in battle. Then it’s turn based battle. On the PS2 version you don’t control your friends in battle, but on the PSP version you do (although I didn’t figure this out till the final boss) You can do regular attacks or you can summon your persona for magic attacks. After you defeat a monster if your character was the one to do the final strike you get a little roulette game to pick an extra bonus be it health, xp, money, etc.

The visual novel part of the game is interesting but it’s so vast that it takes longer than I like to really get through it. There are like 16 characters you can and should progress your relationship with. You have to do it at certain times though so sometimes you just waste time. Most of the characters it’s hard to really care about too. Eventually it just became “shut up and just let me level up my relationship” instead of reading what they actually say. Besides the time it takes to talk to each person there is more than a full year of time to play the game. It took me literally 6 months to play the game, granted I only put an hour or 2 into the game each day at most.

That is really my only big complaint is that it takes forever to play the game. It took so long that I really lost interest. There will be times where the story is moving on and I would care more about it but there were long periods of time where you need to keep talking to people and just level up relationships. Then you have to go through several floors of the dungeon. To me it’s kind of mindless. It’s like when you are grinding levels on an RPG, you just go through the boring repetitiveness of it cuz you have to.

The story of the game is interesting enough. It’s a bit more dark and twisted than usual but kind of sticks to the themes of teamwork and kids defeating a greater evil. I liked it and the characters though so I’ll probably end up trying the other games in the series.

Art: It was kind of PS2 quality 3-D models running around basic dungeons. That part of it was good enough but not amazing. The monsters were very creative though . It’s fun to look at them and just recognize what they are based on.

Outside of the dungeons if you talked to someone it would bring up an anime art of that character. On the PS2 game there were apparently more anime cut scenes too but on the PSP it was taken out for space. The art fits the game and the time so no complaints. The creativity is a plus.

3/5 - I know some people will kill me for saying it’s average but I really think so. I think if it was more polished off it would easily be a 4. Heck if it was sped up it would be a 4.
Entertainment 4/5 - If you are really into these games then the length doesn’t bother you. It certainly is unique in some ways and if there is a product here you can’t get anywhere else it’s gonna boost the entertainment score.

Reblogged from technickelted  244,545 notes




oh god that last line killed me

I got dollar coins with a woman on it

But the downside is, we don’t really use dollar coins here in the US, so they aren’t really in circulation. Unless they can be taken at casinos (think Eisenhower dollar)

True they are hardly used but the metrolink in stlouis gives them as change when buying tix