Posts Tagged ‘Fate/Zero’

Yep, its time for a ressurection post; much like I did with Return of the Desirable Drakahn earlier in the year. This time, I’m recalling this old post from 2009, with a re-drawing of Zakura Fafnir, given my upgraded drawing skills. Without further ado, here she is:

Yadda, yadda, click to see full-sized.

Zakura is a well-loved NPC from my first 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons campaign (I’m now on the third such campaign, which is set 70 years afterwards). You can read of some the parties exploits in the ancient post this one is linked to at the top. After that and more, she ended up being the mother of a Player Character in the second campaign, and also an NPC there for some time, in her middle age (that one was 20 years after the first).

However, this picture is obviously her from the first campaign when she was 23 years old (much like the new redraw of Alicia was of her being 25 in the first campaign). Again, like Alicia’s new version, Zakura’s outfit underwent a metamorphosis to more closely match what I described her wearing at the time rather than being limited by what I felt I could draw. Her fairly generic off-white robe thing transmuted into a sort of corset and short skirt affair with long purple spats, allowing her to show off her ample (!) cleavage. This is, I should note, entirely due to her vastly overconfident personality and reputation as a beauty among beauties in the Alogian Chain. She did, after all, have 26 Charisma~ and in Dungeons and Dragons, 10 is considered average, so yeah… (as an aside, Alicia had 22 CHA)

Her cape is still wizardly with the high collar, but has been shortened to a half-length one held up with the aid of her pauldrons rather than being stitched to the rest of the outfit. This, combined with the corset/outfit and the more detailed armlets, gave her more chance to show off her Fzvir. As I noted in the prior post, Warlocks of all varieties in my setting gain a ‘Fzvir’ (pronounced Veer), which is a large tattoo along their left arm as an expression of their contract (usually with an angel of a certain deity~ Infernal Contracts with Saulm, Star with Kinah, Fey with Corticarte and Dark contracts with Dahlia). It seems to be a pseudo-living thing, which writhes, snake-like, along the skin, when a Warlock casts a spell.

In Zakura’s case, she is immensely strong due to having contract with three seperate angels [Wilheim, Drayke, Ansuz]. One of these angels was actually killed by the demi-goddess Iliya in the second campaign, and replaced with one called Kylar after the party visited the underworld.

The three angels of darkness are expressed on her Fzvir now, in any case, and Dahlia’s symbol (The Bloodied Black Butterfly) dominates her hand. And yes, the Fzvir is now on her left arm, as it actually should have been in the original (derp).

Oh, and she actually gained her runic hat which she equipped with the entire game. It was an awesome hat with writhing runes along the brim, and it really needed to be represented. So now it is.

I’ve also made a joint wallpaper of both Alicia and Zakura for desktops. Here:
Has a few marginal photoshop tweaks (mostly cleanup). Enjoy!

As an aside, I’ve had a visual novel surge recently, having played through the Al Azif route of Demonbane (which was pretty epic), and also checking out the 50% patch of Fate/Hollow Ataraxia (also awesome~ but needs to be finished!!). It’s possible that I may considering doing a VN diary again of one of them (no guarantees, though).

And now for a random overview of the prior anime season:

I’m glad that Fate/Zero continued to very closely follow its novels, and it obviously took the cake for best show, though they did actually skip out on a few bits and bobs this time. Nothing crucial, I guess… the main loss was Lancelot’s backstory and his fight with Arthuria, which was overshadowed by the Kirei vs. Kiritsugu fight. However, the latter was awesome so I can just about forgive UFOtable for the cut (especially as they popped a little bit of the missing backstory in the epilogue to compensate~ still not all of it, but it helped). Now they need to go off and animate the Heavens Feel route of FSN, and then do Hollow Ataraxia. And if they have time, come back and re-do the Fate route and Tsukihime. They certainly have the skill!

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san sadly lost steam as it went along. It had a great start, full of great jokes, but degraded into a generic romantic comedy that took the piss out of its own (lack of) plot too much. This is unfortunate as it had alot of potential had they have had the guts to steer it away from just being “My harem of malign deities!”. It still continued to have its moments (Nearly everything up to episode 5, Nyaruko using the cliched body swap to her advantage, Kuuko in general being hilarious and very emotive) so it’s still worth the watch if you’ve got a spare hour or two. Also, Marasy played the OP on piano, cementing it’s awesomeness.

I’ve dubbed Hyouka the “Mundane Mystery” show, because that’s really what it is. Despite that, however, it takes these otherwise really boring things and turns them into fascinating problems, which is showing some great skill on the writers part. Although Chitanda likes to abuse her mystic eyes of compulsion curiosity, I just find that funny, so its okay, especially given her other antics (getting drunk on whiskey chocolates?).

The other surprise hit for me was Natsuiro Kiseki. It was very cliched in parts, but had dollops of WAFF to pile on and make you feel good about watching it. I didn’t even tag it in my preview post, but its worth a look.

Bizarrely, all of the ‘cautiously optimistic’ items from the April preview turned out to be busts for me. I didn’t get past episode 3 of Shining bread whatever. Acchi Kochi made me wait too long for most of its jokes. Zombie season two immediately fell flat on its face and… well, flatlined, still failing to match its early greatness from the first season.

Anything else of note? Not really. That’s actually about it.


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Well, the spring season is pretty much out of the gate now. My Guaranteed watches have stayed guaranteed (which is funny, since I originally put Nyaruko there as a joke, but it’s actually probably the second best show of the season, much as predicted). Fate/Zero is looking as resplendant as ever, of course, though they changed Gil’s roflcopter into a space glider. Oh well.

As for the rest, well, Zombie Season II is typically making my eyes roll; since they’ve ignored any plot potential so far and are instead re-running their greatest hits. Which is sad to watch; really. Sure, it’s had a few chuckles, but its not original.

Acchi Kochi is… okay. Its actually a 4koma type thing, not a romance (although Io and Tsumiki are always lovey dovey and denying their feelings); and its got a couple of giggles out of me, I guess.

Shining Hearts takes its bread seriously. No really. Serious FUCKING BUSINESS. And besides that, I don’t think the show knows what to do with itself. They haven’t even made the main guys amnesia interesting so far. His harem seems awfully generic. Elves are cardboard cutouts. Only funny because I keep making stupid jokes about buns in the oven.

Kuromajo is indeed a kids show. I’d like to think otherwise, but nah, it is. Weird given its air time. Also, it spends the entire episode setting up its punchlines. Even if they’re half-size episodes thats not really gonna wash.

Accel World was never a great novel, in my opinion, and it feels similarly meh onscreen since they’re keeping things accurate. The author did a far better job with Sword Art Online; which I’ve heard is actually coming out next season. That might be worth the watch, but here? Not so much.

Sengoku Collection is an episodic tin of meh. Nobunaga is not funny, and clearly they’re doing some cliches each week with each of the ancient Japanese warlords making their way to Modern Japan. Its not even silly like Momo-Iro-Paradox.

Hyouka is not out until the 23rd, so we shall see about that.

Anyway, have some Arshes Elucianne Fafnir:

As always, click to see full sized

This lady is the latest addition to the D&D party; an ancient vampire girl from the history of Fafnir. She’s a master hexer and also an invoker of Simic. She was locked away for 80 years; and as a result, is still mostly clad in the old fashions (of giant ballgowns). She’s also the master of the Spectreshard, Ector and loves trolling people with undead summons.

As a slight D&D Note, its plausible I may eventually release my 4th Ed setting for general consumption, since I actually started crafting a Gazetteer for the world recently. Don’t hold your breath at the moment, mind.

As another side note, Aniventure Shimaihen is actually also progressing well for the first time in awhile. A fair bit has been done. Although a recent weird incident with one of my fonts suddenly having a casing spazz (which itself may well be related to me switching my system over to full Japanese mode rather than using Applocale all the time) may cause a slowdown as I search for a freely usable alternative.

Anyway, that’s all for now, keep it real.

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Again, I’ll be using the quicker format for now with my opinions attached. As noted before, I’m aware that full text previews are boring, but it takes 5+ hours for me to do fully picturised, tabled HTML happy preview posts, and frankly it achieves little more. Anyway, as before, click the link to be wisked off the Anime Database entry and see pretty pictures.

Guaranteed Watches:

Fate/Zero, Part II: Well, obviously. I was impressed at how well the first part kept to the novels, and in fact improved them with a few minor but well selected tweaks. UFOTable has kept the magic they applied to Kara no Kyoukai, and though everyone was dissapointed about having to wait a season for this continuation, it was in my thought better for them to do it right again than rush out the second part (which is pretty awesome in the novels!!).

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san: A boy is attacked by mind melting alien horrors. A dark god in the form of a young girl comes to his aid. And… !!! oh my god they didn’t just turn an Elder One moe, did they? Surely not!? Holy shit they did. High Scroll romantic battle comedy, meet Cthulu, you’ll get along just swimmingly! I really want to head-desk right now. Nevertheless, this is such a ridiculous concept it just might work, but irregardless it’ll probably make you lose 2D6 sanity points. Therefore, you have to watch it.

“Happy ♪ chaos, is due! Nyarlathotep is crawling next to you! Always smiling!”

Okay, so I lied about no pictures. But this stuff from the official promotional material is utterly priceless.

Cautiously Optimistic About:

Kuromajo-san ga Touru: Hmm, I can’t decide whether this is a kids show or not. However, the early morning showing suggests not. Apparently a girl obsessed with occult junk (but can’t cast a spell to save her life) accidently summons a real magic user. Hijinks of her bugging him/her/it (hard to tell with the robe~ Spider senses say male, but the trap alarm is blaring) for real magic lessons ensue.

Shining Hearts: The Bread of Happiness: All together now! (FACEPALM) at the title, please. Moreover, its based on a PSP RPG animated by Tony Taka of all people. You can guarantee, however, that his usual extreme art-quality, as always, does not transmute into anime (like in Shining Tears x Wind) because he can only do stills at that quality. But its got bread, amnesia, and pirates in it, so it can’t be terrible, right?

Acchi Kochi: The Tohno gland strikes again. A clone of Shiki is wrecking havoc in an alternate world, making a clone of Konata from lucky star into a tsundere for him and… (wait what?). Erm, actually this is a generic romance; but its very clear they’ve been stealing character designs, adding huge antennae, and calling it a day. The prospect of Romance done right is the only thing keeping my cautiously optimistic. Since the writer was involved in Astarotte (which had a distinct lack of morals but was actually quite sweet),  it could be ok.

Is this a zombie? Of the dead?: I don’t normally cover sequels in previews, but I needed to pad this area. Go figure. Anyway, Korewa Zombie is back. It was a great show for the first half. And then it just… wasn’t, for most of the second half. Its like their writer and director suddenly realised their fringe brilliance and felt the need to tone it down. Hopefully, the new season will forget that the second half of the first season ever existed (except Eu speaking to kill things, because that was actually awesome).

May possibly look into:

Accel World: Well, I read the first novel of this. It’s… weird… In 2046, a few elite have access to celerity of thought and action, allowing them to speak and react at stupendous rates. The price? You have to fight and win in real-life beat-em-ups with your powered up alter-ego. No really. Also, the main character is a fat chibi that somehow gains the attention of the school princess. (le sigh)

Sengoku Collection: The spiritual sequel to Oda Nobunaga’s Quest for Clothes. I can’t even remember the proper title of the show. The one based on pachinko. Momo-Iro-Paradox, that’s the one (I had to look it up). This time, is based on a game from a Japanese facebook. Joy. Famous japanese warlords thrown into the gender bender machine come into the modern day. Hilarity ensues.

Hyouka: Literature club, detective mystery, and wait… what… the writer of Full Metal Panic? Animated by KyoAni. Huh? What a wacky collection of resources. Don’t tell they’re going to try and duct-tape them to… of course they are… this season is just going to be like that, isn’t it?

No, Just NO!

Sanka Rea: Fact= Zombie girlfriends are cold in bed. Studio DEEN is involved. Avoid like the flesheating plague.
Medaka Box: Student Council. Shounen Jump source. Gainax have lost their way lately. Skip it.
Nazo no Kanojo X: Eating a girls bodily fluids for psychic connection? What the fuck is wrong with you, man?

The above titles should be, at best, touched with an eleven foot pole. Of course, your mileage may vary. But if it varies this low, I question your ability to appreciate entertainment.

Mm, yeah I think that’s about it, at least in terms of things worth mentioning. There is more, but everything else screams generic, and my senses are usually right with identifying the chaff (not always, though).

This season has alot in common with rooftop nabe. Lets throw things into a boiling pot of miso and cream and see what happens. You know, that kind of thing. Also, please don’t take my recommendation of Haiyore seriously. It’s a plot from the Elder Gods to get you to watch it. Of course, the fact that the blasphemy could turn out well is what makes it all the more puzzling. Besides Fate/Zero, and carrying on with watching Bodacious Space Pirates, I really don’t see alot of amazing. Which is odd, since last spring’s season was full of resplendant potential. Funny how things change year to year, isn’t it?

Anyway, keep it clean, people, and cya soon.

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Just a pretty quick post today.

For starters, I was inspired to make a new wallpaper! Check it out:

As always, click the above to see it full size.

As you might imagine, I decided to start playing through Fate Stay Night again. Much to my shock and amazement, its actually been nearly a year since I finished Heavens Feel for the first time and unlocked everything, but its been far longer since I played the Fate route. And of course, I’ve had a HD wipe and PC change since then as well.

So, a couple of days back, I finally got around to reading the second novel of Fate/Zero, the prequel, which is now fully translated on Baka Tsuki. Shortly after that, I was sorting through some stuff and found the disc, apparently through some strange chance (its always the way, eh?).

Despite the fact that it was late, I decided to slam it in (not literally, of course!) and relive what is still probably my favourite Visual Novel. I know alot of TYPE MOON affectionados would probably say ‘but Tsukihime is better!‘ I still maintain that whilst Tsukihime does indeed have a marginally superior story, Fate is a better package as a whole, as a visual novel.

As of the moment, I am currently up to Day 10 of the replay of the Fate Route, and I’m still rather enjoying myself. Of course, this has put play of Touhoumon temporarily on hold, but ah well…

Anyhow, this wallpaper manages to combine nearly all the main heroes and heroines! (and villians!). Though it looks a simple job, it actually wasn’t since each set of characters came in three’s and in order to get them all in there, I had to split them and redraw several missing parts. Avenger and Illya were especially a pain to place correctly and needed a fair bit of work. I gave Kirei some Black Keys as well for no real reason apart from the fact that I find them cool. The Melons, Excalibur and the crying Taiga by the text was a last second thought, but I think ended up a nice touch, especially since theres no image of Taiga in this style to use. I also decided to make Irisviel and Kiritsugu ghostly, for obvious reasons.

Well, thats all. See ya again soon!

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