dramatic card slapping – the anime!

chihayafuru

So I’m incredibly surprised that I haven’t made another post about possibly my favorite anime after my early impressions from when it first aired.

Chihayafuru is an award-winning josei sports/romance manga. Let’s analyze each of those adjectives:

  • Award-winning: Chihayafuru has won the Manga Taishou and Kodansha Manga awards.
  • Josei: Literally “woman” or “female,” as a genre, “josei” applies to media aimed at teenage girls and young adult women. Media aimed at young girls is referred to as “shoujo,” literally “small girl.”
  • Sports: One of Chihayafuru’s main foci is karuta, a Japanese combined cultural sport and literary art.
  • Romance: Obvious meaning; love is in the air!

Before I go on to describe Chihayafuru in particular, I should step back and explain karuta. The sport of karuta combines the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu with a card game similar to Memory or Concentration. The Hyakunin Isshu is a collection of 100 poems composed by 100 different poets gathered by Fujiwara no Teika during the 13th century. These poems were used to decorate a mansion near Mount Ogura. Watching the anime will give a better impression of how the game works, but I shall describe it nonetheless. In a one-on-one match, each player is given 25 cards representing the second verses of 25 poems. This means that one match will deal with 50 unique poems from the collection. A reader will randomly read poems from the full collection, and the players compete to touch the card corresponding to the poem. Taking a poem from the opponent’s set allows you to send the opponent one card from your own set. Whoever reduces her or his set to zero first wins.

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is index 3 coming?!

So a friend linked me this video today:

It appears to be a video promoting a new 10th anniversary work, and features characters from Kamachi’s other work too, Heavy Object. Obviously Index 3 is the biggest hype, but this could also mean that Heavy Object is on deck for an adaptation. Hopefully news comes soon!

man, fedex shipping sucks

hdnrb

So after a harrowing 11 day journey, my copy of Hyperdimension Neptunia: Re;Birth1 has finally made it into my hands. It shipped from Tennessee on August 27th. Even accounting for Sunday and Labor Day, I am extremely disappointed in the shipping speed, and also the complete lack of tracking updates between 8/29 and 9/4, for which I can think of zero legitimate excuse. This’ll be my first time filling out Amazon’s feedback form, though most of the blame lies with FedEx, I believe.

Also, yes, this is the limited edition that went up on IFI’s Amazon store at midnight PDT on August 26. The one that’s reselling on eBay for ~$300.

hearthstone – warrior challenge totally unbalanced

So I’m playing completely free, which means I have to slowly slowly save up 700 gold from daily quests. Just unlocked the Construct Quarter today.

The warrior challenge is completely unfair. The first 6 times I tried, I either had to face a turn 2 6/5 Leper Gnome, or back to back 5/6 Echoing Oozes because of that goddamn Mutating Injection card. Pair that with the fact that the premade warrior deck has almost all 2-power minions and no real removal, the only way I finally won was when he had no turn 1 play and didn’t echo his injection. I still had to face down 5-7 minions at a time towards the end with my 1-2 power minions, I just got lucky that Grommash Hellscream didn’t die from some bullshit that Grobbulus’s deck has.

ragequit

So yeah, started up a Hearthstone Arena, got into this board… and my opponent ragequit ;x

Hearthstone_Screenshot_7.28.2014.16.36.54

Sometimes, it feels good being really mean.

EDIT: Then, after going 4-0, I drop 3 games straight to me drawing only useless spells or 1-2 drop creatures for 3 turns in a row while my opponents play 2 4-drops per turn for those 3 turns. People like to bash Magic because being land screwed can be frustrating, but in Hearthstone you just run into more unwinnable situations. Sure, you can usually play your stuff, but there’s less strategy and more “no matter what I did, I would have lost anyway” games. Because there’s very little actual interaction between players on the board, it feels more like rock-paper-scissors or War; you do something, and your opponent just trumps it, and that’s it.

the devil is a part-timer – dub review

hatamao

Since this is my first formal anime review, I figure I should start with some disclaimer information. I am an anime enthusiast; I tend to watch anime for production qualities, story, cast/characters, music, and general fun. I don’t usually limit myself by genre. Of course, I do tend to enjoy some genres more than others, and I have chosen not to watch shows because I didn’t like the art style or the synopsis didn’t sound interesting, so I’m not some kind of super critic or anything.

Hataraku Maou-sama is one of my top 3 anime of all time, so I may show some biases in that respect.

I usually prefer subtitled anime because I am a Japanese voice actor nerd, and I also find the quality of Japanese voice acting to be much higher than what I’ve seen of English voice acting. This includes anime dubs and video game dubs. I am not against watching/playing a dub, but I just find lots of inconsistencies in dubs that bother me, specifically that voiced lines attempt to conform to the animated lip movements, which oftentimes causes a strange lack of punctuation in the flow of conversations. Aside from that, I also feel that Japanese voice acting just comes out more passionately, more realistically; whether the lack of this is the fault of the English voice actor or the director or some other party, I don’t know. Last, some things just make more sense because they’re in Japanese and the setting is usually centered around or dealing with being Japanese. A big one is Japanese dialects; oftentimes, dubbed anime attempts to retain dialects by using various heavy English/American accents, the usual culprits being a British accent, southern accent, or New York accent. This isn’t really accurate since the social connotation is different, so the experience changes.

Now, with that out of the way, I shall transition into the review. This is not a spoiler-free review, so don’t read on if you haven’t watched this series yet!

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