Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Weird Stuff I'm Watching/Playing

I've built up quite the queue of stuff to watch/play, and it's only getting bigger.  Here's what's playing at Kingstone Flash and some associated thoughts.


Juukou B-Fighter - Hi No Tori ended up posting the first episode of B-Fighter some time ago, and I was very curious to see how it compared to that Beetleborgs thing we got over here.  Even as a kid, I thought Beetleborgs was pretty dumb.  B-Fighter proved its overwhelming superiority within the first 30 seconds with that awesome opening.  The action was awesome, the suits are cool, and the characters aren't dumb (Though Takuya initially seemed kind of silly and awkward to me in his own way.  Might just be corny acting.  Can't decide).  When extra-dimensional invaders arrive to mess up your shit, remember that the insects have your back, along with Guru, who appears to be a cross between a rhinoceros beetle, a Furby, and Yoda.  Overall, a pleasant surprise.  This is my first Metal Heroes show, and now I'm starting to go back and look into the others.


Kamen Rider V3 - Started the supposed epic troll-fest that is V3.  V3 has always gotten a lot of attention from Kamen Rider fans, though many claim that the show itself is actually standard Rider fare.  So far, it's been a very entertaining experience.  The action is, of course, wonderfully old-school Showa.  Seeing Kamen Riders 1 and 2 was extra cool.  I haven't watched the original Kamen Rider, but it was awesome to see them in action in the first couple of episodes.  Pretty sure they come back later.  I can't wait.  Subs here.

LOL I troll u.

Kamen Rider Stronger - Midnight Crew Subs has slowed on releases, so I'll be taking a break from Stronger for now.  I am still loving it, though.

Kamen Rider Black - Still waiting on episode 47 from Century Kings.  It's okay, I am patient about it.  The guys that make fansubs for these shows have lives.  This is a hobby for them, and I understand getting caught up in other things and not having time for hobbies.

Kamen Rider Kuuga - I finally broke down and decided to watch a Heisei series.  Kuuga is quite the different critter from the Showa series that I've been exposed to.  Godai, the main character, is a goofy, yet plucky hero.  His manner and personality don't exactly scream JUSTICE, but he's very likable.  I can see why fans affectionately refer to Kuuga as Cool Guy.  The tone of the show is a bit darker and mysterious than what I'm used to with Showa.  So far, it's less formulaic and more story-driven.  We don't know what the exact nature and purpose of Kuuga at the beginning, and we get to discover that along with the characters.

It's just so different from what I'm used to that it was a little jarring.  Kuuga seems more mystical in nature, as opposed to the tech-driven powers of the cyborg Riders of past shows.  I was pleased to see some extra violence, though.  It showed one of the Gurongi actually snapping police officers' necks, slashing them across the face, and whatnot.  Death tolls from attacks are frequently reported, and blood is shown.  I'm pretty much hooked. This one is also available from Midnight Crew Subs.

This guy.  He's cool.

Mazinger Z - I have been interested in watching some classic super robot shows for some time.  From what I can gather, Getter Robo or Mazinger are probably the best places to start.  It's a fun show, though I can't say I'm hooked.  Then again, I've only seen two episodes.  I might have to watch another episode or two before getting a feel for what I think of it.  Deserves Subs is working on this one.

Shinzou Ningen Casshan - I've become fairly familiar with Casshan/Casshern over the years.  I saw the live-action flick a few years ago, and I thought it was pretty cool.  I have seen some places selling the OVA, though I heard to avoid it like the plague.  I have also been playing Tatsunoko vs Capcom when I have friends over, and Casshan is one of my favorite characters to use.   It was only a matter of time before I decided to give the original anime a look.  I like the feel of the show.  It's a bit bleak, yet maintains some of the feel of a superhero show.

However, the writing seems a bit lazy or silly.  It kills me how easy it was for Tetsuya to convince his father to turn him into a Neo-Human, like it was the only possible option.  I would have expected for Dr. Azuma to flat out refuse, just to give in when Tetsuya is mortally injured or something.  Oh wait, that happened in Kamen Rider V3.  Also, in the second episode, Dr. Azuma inexplicably transfers his wife's consciousness into Swanee while being confined by Braiking Boss.  How he did it is beyond me, considering he didn't appear to have any tools.  His reasoning was that Braiking Boss was going to kill her, which he could have prevented by going along with BB's plans.  I figure that after building BB some more awesome robots, Dr. Azuma could secretly program them to screw him over, all the while biding time for Casshan to save them.  But no, sending his wife's mind over to a robotic swan body was the ONLY WAY.  I'm interested in seeing where the show goes.  Take a look at the Skaro Hunting Society for subs.

Ahhh, the sun.

Choujuu Sentai Liveman - Taking a break to let GUIS get some more episodes in.


To be honest, the only music I've really been listening to lately has been Toku music.  My latest favs are Metal Heroes stuff, mainly the themes for Jiban, Winspector, and B-Fighter.  I've also been listening heavily to Kamen Rider Black RX songs.  I'm a pretty big fan of Takayuki Miyauchi now.  I enjoy every song he does.  Listening to this stuff probably seems like a childish/weeaboo thing to do, but it really gets me pumped before work and keeps me inspired to trudge through all-night homework sessions.  Haters gonna hate.

Takayuki Miyauchi.  Also a cool guy.

Video Games

Rune Factory Frontier - Essentially a cross between Harvest Moon and a light dungeon crawler.  For me, this game pretty much takes the best Harvest Moon has to offer, streamlines it a bit, and then adds in some cool dungeons and battles.  You can even make friends with monsters and have them work on the farm or accompany you to a dungeon.  There a whopping total of twelve maidens to woo, and I admit I'm having trouble picking one.  Not only do you grow crops, you forge weapons, craft accessories, brew potions, cook, and fish.  Time doesn't pass when you are indoors, so you don't have to worry about not having enough time to do some things.  So far, the game does a good job of keeping things interesting with new things to do, new characters, and hints about the main character's past.  I used to be a Harvest Moon fan, though the last one I played (A Wonderful Life) got tedious and repetitive.  After playing Rune Factory, I'm not looking back.

Hell yeah, farming.
Skies of Arcadia Legends - I've been interested in playing this one for a long time.  I had always heard good things, and when I finally snagged a copy (for free, no less), I was excited to delve into it.  It's one of those JRPGs that is a fun, whimsical romp.  You get to fly through the skies with friends and go on an adventure to collect a bunch of crystals and save the world from a power-hungry empire.  Yeah, not the most original concept, but it is well-executed.  The game looks pretty good for its age, and the music is good enough to not mute the TV after hearing it for several hours.  Battles are pretty standard JRPG stuff, involving your usual turn-based rounds, with a special focus meter that charges so you can perform special attacks.  Elements can be equipped to the characters' weapons, which allows them to learn spells.  Overall, a solid experience so far.

Oh the pirate's life...