Monday, July 30, 2012

[Caitlin] Where No Nerd Has Gone Before: Season 1 Final Thoughts

I think I might have become a Trekkie! I have really enjoyed this first season. I have come to appreciate the fact that there is not a unifying storyline for the simple reason that I am not compelled to watch the episodes back-to-back for three straight days (which I have a tendency to do and can be very detrimental to my classwork and social life...). I have also been able to ignore the blatant chauvinism, well maybe not completely but I’m trying not to let it turn me off.

I am really enjoying the storylines of the episodes, much more than I thought I would. They are intricate and sophisticated, and they deal with very deep philosophical topics and very advanced scientific ideas. I find it fascinating that groundbreaking scientific theories often  become topics for science fiction to explore; the writings of H.G. Wells come to mind (*giggle* H.G. Wells the woman *giggle* Warehouse 13 *giggle*).

I am certainly pleasantly surprised at the quality and depth of the series so far, and I cannot wait to see what Star Trek has in store for me next!

And now for an OMG moment from Season 2 Episode 2 “Who Mourns for Adonais?:” OMG! The Greek Gods were Ancient Aliens!! Bahahaha!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

[JT] Anime Van... Re... er... the ORPG anime post....

Welcome back to our anime review series.  I find it kind of ironic that my first post back in this series and I cannot even use the name I came up for it, but it's very a very special reason!  This post is going to cover three different series; one from the past and two from the present.  So we have a little from column Vanguard and a little from column Rewind.  This week we will be covering my favorite genre of anime: online role playing game anime!

My favorite anime series is Yu Yu Hakusho and my favorite video games are Legend of Zelda.  Now wait... I just said we were talking about ORPG anime, so why in Gott's name am I mentioning these two?  They sure as hell are not ORPGs.  It is because, even though they are my favorite series, my favorite IP of all time is .hack//, so much so that for the longest time, the first anime of the project, .hack//SIGN, actually usurped YYH for the top spot.  So here's the Rewind part of the post...


I am going to try and make this as brief as possible.  I can make an entire series about .hack// by itself since it spans so many different mediums and individual series, and has been a huge part of my life ever since it started (the music itself has opened me up to a multitude of different genres, including both classical and techno). It starts with a novel, then a manga, then an anime, 4 PS2 games, 4 books that coincide with the games as well as an anime that tells another side of the games, a manga with an anime adaptation (I am referring to .hack//DUSK (a.k.a. Legend of the Twilight stateside.  I would also like to note: READ THE MANGA.  While the anime is not bad, the manga is immensely better), another anime, 3 more games... and more.... and even more after that.  To save you the pain (actually the pleasure) of going through all of it, I will try and keep things as an overview of everything.

We learn that before the story even begins, the previous Christmas Eve marked the crisis known as Pluto's Kiss, the world's largest cyber terrorism attack in history.  As the world recovers from the attack, the first game of the time is released.  Known as "The World", it is the largest Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) ever made.  Using AV goggles, the player is immersed into a game deeper than any before it, allowing a player to choose different classes, equipment, and spells to use to clear dungeons and level up with players from around the world.

Unfortunately, this would not make a compelling anime unless something goes terribly wrong.  Thankfully (am I an a** for saying that?) it does and all hell breaks loose.  A secret file hidden in the game begins to corrupt The World, and soon the in-game world begins to affect the real world; even having detrimental effects on the players.

It is here we can begin to talk about the first anime of the series, .hack//SIGN.  We meet a young, antisocial,  Wavemaster (the Mage-class of The World) named Tsukasa who suddenly finds himself unable to log out of the world.  He slowly gains a party of friends that are determined to get him out of The World, as well as discover the root of all this turmoil spreading from the game.

.hack//SIGN cast.  Tsukasa is bottom, center, left.
//SIGN focuses more on the exposition than the action (rightfully so because this is where most of the mythos of the entire franchise is cemented and revealed).  This can be a little disappointing if you like to see swords actually get used, which the second half of episode 1 will lead you to believe you will get. That's not to say there is no action, it's just spread a little thin and mixed with more exposition (episode 25: Catastrophe is where you want to be if you want action).  However the story itself is beautifully crafted (No jaded opinions here... Nope.  None at all ... >.> <.< >.>) and is not retarded by the lack of swordplay in the slightest. I love the story and all of the characters so much that //SIGN has sort of become my benchmark for other anime series, including the other anime in the franchise.

.hack//DUSK cast
In terms of anime, //SIGN is followed up by //DUSK (I really wish they would have kept that name here in the U.S.), which is a bit more cutesy and features chibi-ed versions of the main characters from the four Playstation 2 video games preceding it (//INFECTION, //MUTATION, //OUTBREAK, and //QUARENTINE).  It features a bit more action than //SIGN, but with the more colorful art form, the battles can seem a bit childish.  Still definitely worth checking out as a stand alone since the story in //DUSK (as far as I can tell) never reverberates forward into other iterations, which is something that .hack// is great at.  That, however, is another post entirely.

.hack//ROOTS cast.  Haseo is the sexy, white-haired player with the exposed midriff.
Following the light and fluffy //DUSK comes the ever so dark and brooding //ROOTS.  Taking place in "The World X:2", //ROOTS is another story driven series that has a very nice blend of action in it.  While not incredibly big (as in, normal fans may not find this interesting at all), one of the things I find most amazing is the time frame this series is set in.  When you pop the first of the 2nd generation .hack// games into your PS2 (//REBIRTH), you are greeted with the first cut scene of the game: Haseo's first adventure in The World.  We are immediately thrown into the second cut scene, which takes place six months later.  //ROOTS is the story of what happens during those six months  We get to see Haseo's climb to power and how his bonds with a certain Guild are formed.  While //ROOTS is not my favorite of the .hack// anime, I can certainly see why someone else would enjoy this series over //SIGN.

I am going to leave the .hack// discussion at that.  Avid fans might notice I skipped a few things, such as //LIMINALITY, the four part series that is tied in with the first generation video games, as well as //QUANTUM, the three episode series that premiered last year.  Also, the (supposed) finale of the .hack// series (//END OF THE WORLD) just premiered a few months ago for those of you that dive in and want to see it through to the end.  The thing is I wanted to keep this brief, so I tried sticking to the main story points of the .hack// timeline.  Not only that, I still have two more series I want to talk about!  Time for the Vanguard part of the post!

Accel World

Haruyuki and Kuroyukihime
Accel World has been going for a few months now, with episode 16 premiering this tomorrow.  If the "lack" of action in .hack// was not your style, Accel World will be more up your alley.  Haruyuki is tormented and bullied at school until he is recruited by Kuroyukihime to Brain Burst, a game that speeds up the players brain, allowing the player to slow down time in the real world.  The game itself is a fighting RPG where the combatants belong to factions who are trying to expand their territory.  Haruyuki finds himself the center of attention when he unlocks his special ability, an ability that has never been seen before in the Burst World.

Accel World main cast
A-World hits a chord with any chubby little video game nerd, such as yours truly, mainly because he gets the girl of his dreams.  Maybe that's why I love this series so much.  Or it might be the fact that this is like .hack// on overdrive.  If .hack// is 65% exposition to 35% action, A-World is 35% exposition to 65% action.  The action, as well as the politics behind them, is compelling, and do more to move the story along than most other series.  The unique aspect of this series, and the driving factor of all the characters, is the point system, which distributes or takes away points as a character wins or loses a battle, respectively.  Using these points, a player can level up their avatar to new levels, or increase their stats.  Once a player loses all of their points, they are removed from the game, and the system is automatically uninstalled.

A-World has been, is, and will be a series I pay close attention to.  In addition to the incredible art style and animation, the politics of the game they are playing, as well as the the ramifications of using the burst in the real life, drive the story forward from one battle to the next, kind of like a shonen beat 'em up series, while still being centered in an ORPG.  Right now we are at (what I suspect is) the halfway point of the series, meaning we should see something along the lines of a mid-season upgrade soon.  I cannot wait to see what is next for Haruyuki and Kuroyukihime

Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online cast.  Kirito featured in the black cloak.
This is the newest of the ORPG-genre series.  Only three episodes young, Sword Art Online has been giving me mixed emotions.  SAO starts off similarly to .hack//, in that we see the release of the newest innovation in gaming, an ORPG of the anime's namesake, and our main character, Kirito, log in for the first time.  Without giving away too much about the story (which is kind of hard to do since there are only three episodes so far), the players of SAO find themselves in a desperate struggle to beat the 100 floors of the game like their very lives depend on it (<spoiler (highlight to read)>they do</spoiler>).

The unique thing about this game is that there is no magic.  This is a very novel concept because every MMO, both in the real world and in the anime universe, there is some kind of energy (SP, mana, etc.).  This means there.  Are. No. Clerics!  No revive spells!  No Phoenix Down.  Once you're HP drops to zero, that's it.  This is a very compelling aspect since all the other ORPG series to date have had no terminal effects on the players.  When they died they either respawned (.hack//SIGN) or lose their access to the game (Accel World).  Here, it's game over.  It's a nice touch.  However the no magic can become a little bit of a stretch at times.  There are still special techniques, and while this can be explained normally (Rurouni Kenshin has no magic), the glowing of their blades is a little random, and seem a little out of place.

Kirito performing a dash technique.  The glowing blade is odd for a game with no magic...
So far, this is definitely one I will be keeping an eye on.  While there is still plenty of time for it to turn into a let down, I am really excited by SAO for now.  Episode 1 left both me and Jas with a feeling that the show would just be a poor rip off of .hack//SIGN that wouldn't be able to carry itself through to the end. However, after episode 2, I was literally giddy to see the next episode.  I had a definite feeling that the show would be something to stick around for.  Episode 3 did a lot of time jumpa, which are understandable since there are 100 floors that need completing within the series, but some of these can seem a bit ridiculous.  (Episode 1 and 2 take place on the 1st floor.  Episode 3 jumps to the 11th floor, to the 20th, and eventually to 49th floor.  When you watch though, have an open mind and remember what Kirito's true strength is at this point.  Things make a lot more sense when you do, and the jumps are not as jarring.

Phew.  Ok.  that was a lot longer than I was expecting.  I really appreciate you sticking it out to the end and I hope this sparked your interest in ORPG Anime.  Definitely give them a try, at the very least.

Fun little note to leave on.  I made the mistake of selling of my .hack// PS2 games because I never had a chance to play on a PS2 any more.  Now that I have one again, I have been trying to recollect them.  I was able to get .hack//INFECTION (game one) for a Yu-Gi-Oh! card (Yes.  One card.).  So I have been trying to get the other 3 from the first series and the 3 from generation two.  However, as I sat down to finish this post up, I popped in .hack//SIGN vol. 1: Log In, and what did I find sitting next to it?  .hack//QUARENTINE, the fourth game!  Week = Made!

Ok.  I'm logging out for the day.  Catch you at ΔHidden, Forbidden, Holy Ground!

*All images used are from simple Google searches of the series.  Credit goes to original posters of the image.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

[Jas] I'M BLIND!

BLINDED BY MY LOVE OF BLIND BOXES THAT IS! Now, this isn’t the same as figure collecting (which I only do if I love a character to death Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace…..ACE!) Blind boxes are like little mysterious cardboard cubes of love and adventure into a magical world that you can’t wait to rip open and tear out the insides of! Bad description? Too bad, I’m not an English major (That’s Sarah’s realm).  [JT's note: Isn't that one of the warning signs of a serial killer?  ... O_o]

Number One!!
So it all started with my love of pokemon cards: a.k.a opening something and not knowing what you were going to get. The thrill of mystery. The sound of tearing open a pack and finding what was laying in wait for you to love. NJKFNLANFLNAFLKANF!!! Then, it happened. Borders (WAH!!! R.I.P BORDERS!) started selling blind boxes. At the time I had NO idea what a blind box was, what it’s purpose was, why people wanted them, or even what the point was of having them be blind and all (I’m almost legally blind and no one wants me, what’s up with that? Huh?! HUH?!). So, when I first got a blind box (Age: 16) I was obsessed with CLAMP after re-kindling my love of Card Captor Sakura and diving into Chobits (I hid the books from my parents and convinced them that it was a children’s story with no nudity…..since apparently they thought all anime = hentai). {JT's note:  Wait... it doesn't?]

Then, there it was. On that fateful day. Just sitting on an end shelf display. A little Chii figure (Not a blind box mind you).  I grabbed that right up and next to it, another box with more cute girls on the sides. I grabbed that up to. I had NO idea what was in it, what the series was from, or what the point was. But I wanted that box. Just because. Well, needless to say that it all went downhill from there.

Buy me a blind box you wench! Bwahaha!
I discovered that Dealer Rooms at conventions were a TREASURE TROVE of blind boxes. Every table a new set to pick from. I didn’t care that I had no idea what half the series were. If it looked cute, hell I was buying it. And well, that’s how I ended up getting into some of the series that I started watching back them. So, thank you blind boxes, for making me even more poor and insane [JT's note: Doooooooon't think you needed the boxes for that last part.]. But really, thank you, or else I’d probably still be missing out on an integral part of life.

I also tricked some friends into getting into the whole opening a blind box thrill. So, let’s go through the exciting steps:

  1.     Find a blind box. Or if you can't find that, you can always use those lame quarter sticker machines….
  2.          Assuming you found your blind box (At your local Barnes & Noble perhaps or maybe you have an anime-centric store) stare at it lovingly, admire all the sides, check out your options
  3.     Shake gently, weigh different boxes in hand to see if perhaps you can guess based on the image which would weigh more
  4.     Stare at it some more, imagine how awesome it will be when you rip it open and find out how lucky you are that you got what you want!
  5.            RIP IT OPEN! ERMAHGERD!
  6.            YOU GOT THE ONE YOU WANTED! YES! YES YES YES! I AM MOIST! (If you were not lucky, go to step 7)
  7.             Buy some more, hell buy the whole flat. YOU NEED THAT ADORABLE GIRL WITH THE STRIPED PANTIES!
  8.       Turn into me: with a book shelf full of blind box things.
  9.     Now you’re awesome, let’s be friends?

You can see my manga in the background XD

Phew, that was a lot of steps. So now that you’ve had your exercise for the day it’s about time I dusted my shelves again, and switched the heads on my yu-gi-oh blind box figures. HURP DURP AND I’M OFF!

[JT's final note:  ... o_o ...]

Saturday, July 21, 2012

[Caitlin] Where No Nerd Has Gone Before: Feminism? What Feminism?

I realize that this was 1966, but I cannot get over the portrayal of women on this show. I have tried to get passed it, I really have, I want to be able to just brush it off as a result of the times, but it’s just gotten ridiculous.

First of all; what is with those uniforms?! Really? Tunics that barely cover anything, tights and platinum leather boots? It’s one thing for women to choose to wear revealing clothing, but for it to be a uniform is another thing entirely. I don’t see the men having to walk around with their shirts off. Ugh… just, ugh…

Then we have the women of the Enterprise themselves; Lt. Uhura is basically a glorified switchboard operator, and the others are all secretaries or nurses. The creators of this show were brilliant enough to consider all of the ways that technology and human societies would have advanced, but they couldn’t believe that women would be capable of doing other jobs? UGH!

All of the extraneous women of the show have just been ridiculous. One relying on the manufactured mental simulations of an alien race to be beautiful; has plastic surgery just disappeared? Another, an insane serial killer; can someone from the BAU please explain to these people that women are infinitely unlikely to become serial killers ? UUUUUGH!

I sincerely hope that the creators of the many revival series had the foresight to correct this issue, and hopefully it won’t turn me off of the series for good.

And now for an OMG moment from episode 14 “Balance of Terror:” OMG! The DMZ is in space! (Sorry my history nerd came out)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

[JT] CGC: Why now is the perfect time to get into M:tG

While I will be talking in the future about my vast scope of card game experience, you all know from my previous Card Game Corners that I feel Magic: the Gathering is the best game around.  You also know from some of my Blenders how much I let myself fall down the nerd hole (allusion to our other series ~_^) when thinking up deck ideas and combos.  However, one thing I have not really addressed so far (though you might have picked up on it in my Legend of Zelda EDH deck from my last CGC) is how much I love the flavor of the game.

I wholeheartedly believe that if M:tG was not as flavorful as it is - if it did not have as rich of a storyline as it does - I wouldn't be nearly as engrossed in it as I am today, and the decks that I build tend to follow suit.  For those of you that know your M:tG lingo, you know that that means I am a Vorthos player.  For those of you that do not know your M:tG lingo, this simply means what I just stated: I care about the flavor almost as much, if not more so, than the power of the cards.

Card art of M:tG's Highborn Ghoul
For example, as a horror fan, this plane/block that was just released, Innistrad, was an incredible flavor home run; a horror set that pulls influences from all the classic horror troupes tickled me a shade of pink that any real horror fan would be ashamed to wear.  However, there is something else that M:tG R&D has been doing that has gotten me even more worked up than the horror of Innistrad.

As was revealed a while ago, and discussed this past weekend at Comic-Con (you can find the recording of the M:tG panel here, but do yourself a favor and read the rest of this first), the next block that will be released in October will take place on the plane of Ravnica.  New players will find this really cool; to go from a place as dark and brooding as the plane of Innistrad to the bustling metropolis that is Ravnica.

*blink blink*  
Hold on a second...
>.>  <.<  >.>

Ravnica art from M:tG's Comic-Con Panel
Let's take a second to think about what I just said: "go from a place as dark and brooding as the plane of Innistrad to the bustling metropolis that is Ravnica."  We just spent three expansions in Innistrad, so its obvious I would know what the tone of the plane was like, but how do I know what the new plane is like if the set has not been released yet?

Simple.  This set is called Return to Ravnica.  As the name implies, this is the second time M:tG is journeying to this plane.  The reason I know so much (phrase used loosely because I am in no way claiming to be an expert, which you will see shortly) about Ravnica already is because I've already heard so much about it from other players.  This is not the first time it has happened either.  The Scars of Mirrodin block is the second visitation to the plane of Mirrodin.  It's here that I always have to pause and smile, and why I think now is the perfect time for anyone who has been interested in getting in the game but haven't because of the vast history that it has behind it to jump in (I know, a long way to go to finally get to the point.  I love talking about this.  Sue me :P ).

These 2.0 sets (as they have been dubbed) give new players, like myself, a chance to go back and revisit these planes from M:tG's past for the very first time.  I started playing at the end of Rise of the Eldrazi, just as Scars of Mirrodin was being released.  I was dumbfounded when I started to hear people mention something about "affinity" from Mirrodin.  It was then that I discovered Mirrodin's vast history as well as the all the horror stories from the block revolving around the affinity abililty.  Here is where the true beauty lies: I've heard about the pains of Mirrodin, as well as all of the love people had (and still have) for Ravnica, and it sounds all well and good (Yes.  I am implying that I would at least like to have tried playing in an affinity format).  However now I get to experience it for myself.

Now is the time for new players, players who just want to test the waters (or is it the blue mana?) of the game, to give it a try.  The stories alone will wrap them up and draw them in.  They can now see for themselves how these stacks of paper and ink do more than just allow dorks to play a game.  They can see that these cards are actually just pages from a fantasy novel that they actually get to be a part of; one that will blow away any other story they have heard before.
Card art for M:tG's Increasing Confusion

So let me finish this by summing up this WHOLE post:  THANK YOU, Mark Rosewater and all of the M:tG staff for doing these 2.0 sets you have been doing.  They allow new players, like myself, go back and revisit these planes for the first time, and that is something that is what makes me love this game more and more.

When I started playing M:tG, I came for a card game.  What I got what so much more...


P.S.  I am REALLY interested to hear from the readers whether you think I'm right in this?  Or if I am just ranting and raving like a lunatic.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

[Jas] Anime Vanguard: Summer Anime - First Looks

Summer Animes just starting…first thoughts.

My rating scale: 
Love it!    ()
Like it!  ()
It’s all right.  (・_・)
Ehhhh. ( ̄~ ̄;
Doubt it.   ( ;)
No way. ( _ )

Jinrui wa SuitaiShimashita: The icon image was a cute girl with pink hair, so obviously Ineeded to click on it. The animation style is certainly different than what I’mused too. The backgrounds looked watercolored, almost abstractly at points (not like that bothered me, I kinda liked how different it was). Opening song was super cute though, along with character designs (aka I’dcosplay someone). A cutesy fantasy anime? At least that’s what Igathered from the first episode. Super awkward chicken moment though (Watch itand you’ll know what I mean……) Okay, now I’m just mildly confused by this wholeepisode….what is this…what am I watching? I can’t even. What? Loaf of bread? What wasthat? …..well uhm, a nice low key ending song. Nice. Yeah….

Will I watch more?  () I thinkI’ll give episode 2 a go and see how it’s progressing and if it makes anysense. Plus the lead girl is cute.  

Muv-Luv Alternative:Total Eclipse: ALIENSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! Immeditaely I thought of Gantz. But no,not at all. So, what does this anime have? Mecha. Cute girls. Aliens. Spacenonsense. Got some hot mecha suits, boobage and such, though nothing to extremely ecchi ... yet!! Nothing too ground breaking oranything as of yet. Ending song not too fanastic, the first episode doesn’thave any open/ending animation so I can’t judge that yet.

Will I watch more? ( ̄~ ̄; ) /  ( ;). It’snot looking like I will, I might take a look at the second episode but I’m justnot feeling it. If I continue it will be only to see the introduction of thewhite/purple haired girl in the icon.

Tari Tari: Adorableanimation and adorable girls! Honestly, I can’t ask for more than that. Cuteopening song, I like the music. I smell a high school days + romance +friendship type show just from the opening song. Also…THERE IS A FAT CAT!! (Ilike that more than the cute girls) Totally just got a nose bleed for noreason, can you get a nose bleed from cute girls?  Now I’m getting a K-on type vibe from thisshow but with singing. Cute songs! Can’t wait to hear more adorable singing!

Will I watch more?  () Yes! I liked K-on and this seems like a more seriousversion of that from what I’ve seen so far. I think it will be cute.

Arcana Famiglia: Likingthis already, 25 seconds in, due to adorable little boys with weapons. Mafiafamilies seem to be the theme, or one family. The girl is adorable too, cosplayworthy…well all the boys look cosplay worthy XD Seems like it will have moreaction, but not too over the top. Tarot cards relate to each personspowers?  Interesting.  Not to mention an inter family battle over thetop spot + a beautiful girl to be your bride!? Hmmmmm~ Ending wasn’t myfavorite, kinda plain and the opening was run of the mill.

Will I watch more? () / (・_・) Seems interesting and Ireally like the art style, so I don’t think I’ll ignore the secondepisode!  I can’t ignore lots of hot men.:3

Campione!: Magicgirl with nice boobs fighting demons/monsters/divine beasts/Gods/whatever youwant to think of them as. And of course, a normal human boy caught in themiddle. The art style reminded me of the normal run of the mill style that Iwas used to from slightly older shows. Seems a little generic to me, I don’tknow, nothing too special jumped out at me. The part I liked? Seeing panties..Obviously!

Will I watch more? ( ;) I don’tsee myself hunkering down and watching more of this, at least not unlesssomeone tells me otherwise. 

Asa Made Jugyou Chu!:As you should guess from seeing the word “chu” in the title, it’s going tobe something outrageous. And….it was. Holy ecchi for the sake of being ecchi.What kind of girl even BEGINS to act like that? Giant boobs. (Which you see allof mind you) and such random ecchi that doesn’t even start to make sense. Guylooks/sounds like a chick and through some stupid problem has to live with thisgirl who is just redic. I can’t even. I couldn’t even. Boobs.

Will I watch more? ( _ ) As much as I love boobs….that’s whatFakku is for. I just couldn’t handle how unrealistic the whole thing was.Though, it might end up being a guilty pleasure watch if I get bored. >_> I can’t see it having aplot….not at all. The only part I really liked was the whole cute little boy being a cute little girl (crossing-dressing obviously)

Ai Mai! Moe Can Change:Now I enjoy seeing the word ‘moe’ in a title, so I couldn’t wait to clickon episode 1. Moe Therapy? I could use some of that. *is shot* Pretty cute opening song and all the girls are obviouslyadorable…they have to be! I wanna be a Navi girl *is shot for a second time* Ienjoy the app that changes your clothes and makes you look moe though XD I’duse that ALL THE TIME! (cause walking around in public wearing school swimsuitsand cat suits is totally normal…right?) Ending is decent, lots of cute pictures!

Will I watch more? (・_・) Ilike it…but at the same time it seems like it will be that kind of plotlesssilly show that just has cute girls. If I watch more it’ll be for the cuteness,cause I like cute (in large doses) and silly (in small doses).

Kokoro Connect:The K-on! art style drew me in. I figured it would be another slice of life,but…it had a super natural twist that I wasn’t expecting at all! LOL loved the sudden yuri moment, and now that it's getting further in, it's certainly interesting. It's the kind of show that you want to keep watching because you are curious as to what will happen next! 

Will I watch more? () Seems interesting. I’m liking it so far indeed, I want to seewhat happens next!!

Yuru Yuri Season 2:For starters, I have not watched season 1, but I’m just going to go ahead andwatch the first episode of season 2 and see how that goes. Yeah? Oh goodness,cute opening indeed with adorable girls!!! Immediately wanna cosplay XD OKAY TOOCUTE I NEED TO WATCH SEASON 1 RIGHT NOW!! (surfed tumblr, found so many gifs,need this in my life!!!)

Will I watch more?  () YES I LOVE IT ALL OF MY MOE/CUTE FEELS!!!!!!!!!1!! Inormally don’t watch much girl love stuff, but this is just too cute toignore!!

ChouyakuHyakuninisshu: Uta Koi: Don’t even ask me to try and pronounce that.....butanyways! Looks to be more historical and with multiple love stories! The art israther basic in my opionion, but I don’t mind it. It’s based off the karutapoems from the 100 great poets, I do believe. So that’s interesting thoughhistory really isn’t my thing. I do like love poems/stories though, so that’sanother plus. So far the episode is funny and I like the simple art as it goeson.

Will I watch more?  ( ̄~ ̄;That’s up in the air for now, I’m not sure if I’llreally be able to get into it or not. May or may not give episode 2 a go.

Look it's me!
Binbougami ga!:I’m already liking this “god is misfourtune”.  She’s kinda cute in a really weirdway haha! Anyways, it looks pretty cosplay-able (of course that’s all I’mthinking about XD hehe!) The opening is pretty cute, not the catchiest songI’ve heard so far but still pretty cute. It’s so funny so far, and I think I’mgoing to like the story as well! :3 Just the right amount of fan service +humor for a first episode and I liked the art + animation as well. Also, Ithink I like the ending song more than the opening!

Will I watch more? ()  Yessssss!! I WILL I WILL!! I’m liking this sofar, seems cute, funny, and just…I don’t know, something that’s I’d like!Also…TROLOLOL at the “fortune” / “misfourtune” examples that Momiji giveshehehehehe!!! XD

Natsuyuki Rendezvous:Already seems like a love story of some sort, and I like the art. Theopening song is slow, instead of upbeat and that’s a nice change from the othersongs I’ve heard. It seems like it’s going to be a realistic story, instead ofoverly clichéd, but I can’t quite tell that yet. OH SUPERNATURAL ELEMENT!!!SUDDENLY I REALLY WANT TO WATCH THIS MORE!!! Forget the realistic part, butsuddenly this seems like it’s going to be a super show, goodness, hehehehe!!!Ohohohohoho!!

Will I watch more?  () Hmmm I think so! It does seem cute in it’s own way, anda silly/funny/supernatural-ish love story seems refreshing to my lonely lifehahahahaha!!!

Koi to Senkyo toChocolate: Cute girls in the first 27 seconds is always a good start,though so far is doesn’t seem like a “girly” type show. Mysterious intro, forsure. OH WHOA! I wasn’t expecting that AT ALL!!! The opening is prettyadorable, rather bland though. Too many cute girls @_@ (this seems to be atheme here….) After watching the opening I can’t see what the intro had to dowith anything though….>_> So that is enough to keep me interested at themoment [JT's note:  Uummmmmm...  ever heard of Zetsubou Sensei????]. The uniforms are absolutely drool worthy. Pretty cute/silly so far(like 7 min in) Awkward white fuzzy sensor clouds. DAMN!! Omg what…yaoi stick?JNANFAFLKJAFIEAIORFLHKAFA my life. What even…is there a tap of beer in thatroom? Is this is school? What even is this? Okay it’s like a super advancedschool or something? Seems….interesting?

Will I watch more? (・_・) I mean,I’m still confused at the end. I might give it a shot, I might not. It’sanother “we have to save our club” type show at the moment, though I’m guessingthere is going to be some major type of twist. Especially after the intro andvery ending of the first episode.

Moyashimon Returns: Whoawhoa whoa?!?! Weirdly shaped heads and a cross dresser. Strange characters indeed.So the main character can see microbes? Strange……. I can’t get over this cast ofcharacters….it’s just….whhhhhattt? Though, this might be mildly educational…I’m not sure if this is a sequel or not, I mean the “returns” at the end makesme think that it is. Even the ending song is oddly educational, I feel you’dsing it in school or something.

Will I watch more? ( ;) I’m not feelingthis. It just doesn’t interest me, the characters are too outrageous. If thereis a first season, well I don’t think I’ll be watching that anytime sooneither. A guy talking to microbes just doesn’t make any sense to me!!! Plus, Idon’t really wanna know how to make all this stuff (sake, soy sauce, etc.) thatis all based on fermentation. >_> too strange for me to handle.

Kono Naka ni Hitori,Imouto go Iru!: I’m smelling a harem-type show. What kind of condition is itthat in order to take over the company you need to find and marry a girl inhigh school? Obviously the plot of this show is going to be shallow and clichédlike the other harem type shows. It reminds me of the Bachelor….exceptanimated…and in high school. He meets harem member 1, who is exceptionaly cuteand he has some weird scar on his head. Well, the bachelor HAS to have somemysterious trait, right? Enter teacher who looks like elementary school student(clichéd again) Enter harem member 2. Okay, enough of that….

Will I watch more? ( _ ) I’ve seen enough harem things in my day. There is nothing tooground breaking or attention getting for me so I doubt I’ll be moving ontoepisode 2 of this anime. The only fun part of harem shows is trying to guesswhich girl it will be, though normally it’s pretty obvious.

Hagure Yuusha noEstetica: Demon king’s daughter, man-hero, saving people from destructionin modern times. Seems like an anime that I would give up on halfway through,since I’ve seen so many like it. Not as refreshing as I’d like it to be, thoughthe main girl is pretty cute with the pink pigtails and all. Though it isinteresting that it takes place AFTER he has won, you know. Also…fanserviceboobs. Still, I don’t think the story really has what it takes. Nipples.

Will I watch more? .    _ ) Story doesn’t seem up to snuff considering other’s I’vewatched like it. Lots of repeats, King Satan defeated, man being the hero,weird school thing, naked girl who is a demon, big weapons, ehhhhhhhhhh justdon’t really care for more of the same.

Sword Art Online: WheneverI see VR (virtual reality) game animes I immediately think of .hack//SIGN  [JT's note:  I won't let you disgrace the name of .hack// by not capitalizing it correctly!!!!!  </fanboy mode>] andnow I think of Accel World. (I also think of that arc in YGO when Seto getsstuck in that game…oh and Noah’s whole arc LOL) hmmm…an RPG game with no magic?I think I known someone who will like this show…..or at least will want tojudge it~~ hmmmm hermit gamer kid that feels more alive in the game world..Iwonder what the twist will be? Oh….found it…….oh…well……that’s freaky…..

Will I watch more? () creepy/interesting/game world/whoa I think this will be aninteresting show indeed. I do believe I’ll be watching more of this! Plus thereis a cute girl in the ending song that I want to see XD

Dogs Day Season 2: Never watched morethan the first episode of the last season so I’m not concerned about spoilingthe first season or anything, (I’m just not a dog person, what can I say) though I did like that they gave you a brief summary of season 1 in the intro,very nice for someone like me. Omg chipmunk girl is adorable. Maybe I gave uptoo soon, there are more than just dog girls!! OMG A CAT GIRL DOESWANT!!!!!11!!1!!!! BUNNNY?!?!! IS THAT A CAT BOOOOOOOOY??!?!?!! Still though, Idon’t know if I can get into the plot….though the characters are DORBSABLE  [JT's note: ... ... ... o_o ... ... ... ]!Government funded athletic festival? Between nations? Huuuuu?

Will I watch more? (・_・) We willhave to see how things are going, and if I get around to watching season 1. Butat the moment…eeeeehhhhh~ Perhaps, perhaps. If only to see cute animal girls~

Nagareboshi Lens: Sparkles andglitter~ so much glitter and sparkles! Cute girls!! Looks like a high schoolromance anime, shoujo style of course. OH SPARKLES! It looks like this wholeanime will SPARKLE~~!! Suppose that makes sense, considering the name is“Shooting Star Lens” XD OH THE GUYS FROM CLASS 2!! SPARKLE GLITTER SPARKLESPARKLE! Even the pen sparkles. Oh goodness, this already shaping up to be atoo-good-to-be-true love story.

Will I watch more? () Seems cute enough that I may give it a shot. Reminds me of allthe shoujo manga I end up reading, then hate myself because IT ISN’T REALLIIFFFEEE~~

Oda Nobuna no Yabou: Action right offthe bat! Looks also like the main guy doesn’t belong where he is at themoment….uhmmm? So already I want to watch more to find out how he got there.Time travel? Doctor Who? (lol jk it’s not like Dr. Who) His hair looks funky.More cute girls, obviously. Historical fiction anime with random modern boystuck in the middle….GO! Whoa, did her boobs just bounce IN METAL ARMOR??! CANTHAT EVEN HAPPEN???!?! So all the old men generals are not cute girls….I wantto cosplay. A monkey in charge of her shoes? Interesting. Doesn’t anyone thinkhis clothes look weird? I mean he’s from the future for god’s sake…and HOW DIDHE GET TO THE PAST?!?! I WANT EXPLANATIONS!!!

Will I watch more? (・_・) Perhaps.It’s kinda like a cute history lesson, even though it isn’t. Because it’sobviously not completely historically accurate. And also…I WANT TO KNOW HOW HEGOT THERE!!

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II: I haven’tseen the first part of this one either! Gee! Ah. Naked man within in the first20 seconds….I’m already confused out of my mind. Well, I’m going to guess fromthat whole thing that this series isn’t that serious. The opening looks seriousthough. Ah confusing! Lots of big boobs. Oh my god what is this? IT MAKES NOBLOODY SENSE?!?!? WHAT EVEN AM I WATCHING I AM SO CONFUSED! I only like lookingat the costumes but WHAT IS THIS??!??! CROTCH GRAB WHAAAAAAT???!?!!?

Will I watch more? ( ;) my brain can’thandle this much nonsense in such a short amount of time. Someone save me~~

Joshiraku: Cute….but….kinda alsoconfusing? The humor just isn’t my style as it continued on I found myself openingup new windows and browsing amazon. There wasn’t anything that really went BANGWATCH THIS MORE! During episode 1, so I found it hard to really get into theseries. They kept mentioning how “_____ so you can focus on the cute girls”soooo if you like focusing on (semi) cute girls, then go for it!

Will I watch more? ( ;) I don’t think Ican find it in myself at the moment to watch more, I mean, I already watchedTari Tari episode 2 and got even further into that. I don’t think I’m going tohave motivation to go back to a series that didn’t wow me on the first go.

Rinne no Lagrange Season 2: So, Ihaven’t watched the first season of this anime either… let’s see if I’vebeen missing out on life! Hmmm what’s the ‘sweats club’? Sounds like sitting ina sauna all day to me. (LOL LOOK AT ME MAKING JOKES!) Okay, from the openingsong I have gathered: cute girls + space + mechas It seems pretty interesting,just the right about of action and cuteness. Though I’ll have to watch season 1first if I intend to watch the second season!

Will I watch more? () Season 1 comes first though!

Hakuouki Reimeiroku: Reminds me of Brave10 a little so far, minus the cute girl. Or maybe it’s just the time periodthat reminds me of Brave 10. Lots of hot men though, according to the opening,and I like that. Samurai anime, yep yep.

Will I watch more?(・_・) Watchingfor the men because I am a perverted little girl…and by little girl I mean oldman. What? Don’t know if I’ll really like the story/plot line or anything but Ido enjoy the art and character designs. Can I has some BL?

Final thoughts on thenew animes?? There are so many new animes starting! Wah! I’m obviously notgoing to be able to watch them all (and I don’t want to watch them all either!) Still, there are some that I want to keep up with so let’s see….my to watchlist for this upcoming season:
1. Tari Tari (onto episode 2 now and LOVED IT!)
2. Yuru Yuri Season 2 (watching season 1 right now andgushing over it like a crazy old man)
3. Natsuyuki Rendezvous
4. Binbougami ga! (was in 3rd until I watched NatsuyukiRendezvous)
5. Kokoro Connect
6. Sword Art Online
7. Nagareboshi Lens
8. Rinne no Lagrange Season 2 (After I finish season 1~)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

[JT] Group Therapy: Meet NerdPop

This post has been a long time coming.  I present to you an introduction to the authors here at NerdPop.  Most you have already met; a few you haven't.  This page will be updated constantly as more and more authors join our ranks.

This post is also going to start off another new series: Group Therapy.  What I'd like to do with this series is we'll take a common subject, and all write our thoughts on it.  This week it's introductions.  All of these are written in my voice (JT), but if we continue with Group Therapy, everyone will have their own say.   For now though, let's all take a seat on the couch and start this weeks session... 

You've already met:
Jas (@JasSteff)
Hiyori... but who's her Risa?!
Oooooooh what to say about Jas?  If you haven't been able to tell from her posts, she's pretty much bat-sh*t insane!  2.5 years ago, my anime club went to Tekkoshocon in Pittsburgh, PA.  This is where we met Jas for the first time.  She is the best friend of one of the other girls in our club, so she joined us for the weekend.  We met up in our hotel room... where she promptly walked in, said hi to her friend, and removed her shirt... -_-.  Don't get the wrong idea... she's not a stripper.  She's a cosplayer (has been for six years now), and we were pressed for time so she was in a hurry to change into her costume, but that pretty much sums up Jas in a nut shell.

Remember that gender confusion?
Thief King Bakura

She'll be doing more anime reviews, as well as cosplay talk and who the hell knows what else!

You can also fin her here:

Caitlin (@piccplayr)
Almost five years ago, I moved into my dorm at my undergraduate college.  The next day, we were introduced to the rest of the students in our Freshman Year Initiative course.  It was there that I met Caitlin.  Five years later, she is my best friend and still reminding me of all the non-anime things that make me giddy.  She is the one who made me obsessed with the show Bones, is the biggest Harry Potter nerd I know, and a history buff as well.  She's also into anime, introducing me to some great series, including the Tears to Tiara anime.

Not a cosplayer, but still a nerd.   See?  Total.  Nerd. 

You've already seen her in her "Where No Nerd has Gone Before" series, but she will also be talking about other TV series (like Warehouse 13 and Dr. Who),  anime (like the aforementioned Tears), and just wait until the new season of Bones starts in the fall.  I'm sure she'll be throwing more curves on what it is to nerd out over something as well.  You bookworms may especially want to pay attention to her posts. *wink wink nudge nudge hint hint*

You can also find her here:

Still to come:
Princess Tutu
I met the lovely Nyxiie about 2 years ago at the Erie Anime Experience in Erie, PA despite both of us actually being at Tekkoshocon in Pittsburgh the previous Spring.  ... Ok, that's not quite true. She met some of the members in my anime club at the EAE, and we met after the fact.  She's an amazing cosplayer that likes to ground out my self esteem whenever she gets a chance, but (even though she will never admit it) I know she secret loves me ~_^.   *awaits the knife being thrown at my head*  In all seriousness though, she has helped me, personally, discover a ton of new anime as well other things to nerd out over.  She is single-handedly responsible for my obsession with SlenderMan ARGs, as well as my love of Vocaloids (she spent three or four nights educating me on them through Facebook IM).  She will help you learn more about your nerdom than you thought possible.

She'll be covering cosplays, anime, video games, conventions, and more!

Did I forget anyone?
JT (@NerdPop140)

Whoops... I guess there is me... 

Oh hi!  You caught me off guard...
Yes.  I am the brains (or lack-there-of) of NerdPop and the one who pulls the strings here.  Even though I said I wouldn't do an introduction on myself, since I am introducing everyone else, I figured I might as well give you some info about me.  Throughout my entire undergraduate enrollment, I was the [Vice] President (since our actual president would go M.I.A. after two meetings each year) of our anime club.  I guess I'm the resident card gamer, but I'm also deep into anime, ARGs, as well as some video games.  I'm not a cosplayer (I tried it once and am terrible at it), but can appreciate when one is done well and looks bad a**.

Cosmic Badminton like a Hyotei
As you can see from my other posts, I'll cover a great plethora of things since my interests will fluctuate and I will be DEEPLY immersed in something one week, and then something else all together the next week.

Unfortunately, our time is up for this week.  I think we made some great progress here.  Next time we will discuss our first exposure to anime, and make a break through in finding the root - getting to the core! - of our nerdom!

-JT *signed in an illegible doctor's handwriting*