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Posts Tagged ‘Introduction’

Wow, I’ve been negligant again, huh?

To be honest though, I’ve had nothing much new to contribute recently to the blog, as most of the time I’ve been busy with work and also writing on the side, attempting to polish up Aniventure, my pen and paper Anime Roleplaying system, to a state where it can be fully released (which, hopefully, I should be able to do soon, most likely in an electronic format, though if it becomes popular I’ll look into paper publishing).

Anyway, to herald the fact that it’s nearly ready for release, I’ve decided to put up some samples for everyone to look at, rather than just the measly character sheet that’s been floating around the project page for awhile. I’ll also put up a brief commentary.

In case you’ve not looked into it before, my system is entirely of my own devising and all of the illustrations are also my own. It uses a unique dice system I have invented called the Stacks system; which was especially devised for the purposes of larger than life roleplaying, as it allows multiple attacks per dice roll, a system that awards low and high numbers in different ways, and crazy stuff like the ability to parry a burst of machine gun fire with just a combat knife (if you’re just that good!).

As always, click images to see them full size

Core to the game system is the fact that everyone has an Anime Class. There are 19 of them, ranging from the Avatar, above, through Desperados and Kensai, to Warlocks/Witches. A class alters your Talents (stats) and gives you your base dicepools, as well as granting you a discount to certain powers and a special superpower.

On the other hand, a class is merely a springboard for you to build from. Aniventure is meant to be versatile; allowing you any combination you can think of; as you can always take any power, even if its not favoured for your class (it just costs more).

On top of that customisation, there is the archetype, which allows you to customise your character with any one of a huge number of anime and media related cliche’s. Here’s some of the unique Male only ones:

Naturally, there’s also a general selection (7 pages!) and females only selection too.

Archetypes have been a big part of Aniventure since the early days of its conception. The system runs especially well off cliche; and relishes in its complete lack of political correctness; as appearance, gender, figure, looks and personality have a big effect on your characters stats and final outlook.

And of course, seeing as how you’re an anime character, its not unusual for you to vastly exceed normal human potential in most of what you do, especially when it comes to using amazing and mundane powers; of which there are significant selection. Here is some of Deadeye Shot, two of its sub-disciplines covering handguns and automatics:

Most interesting in Aniventure combat is the fact that tactical positioning, or in fact, any movement, doesn’t exist at all. You always automatically move as your choice of battle action requires.

Of course, this means squishy wizards and shooters need support, as nothing stops people from attacking them. Party support option powers exist in many forms, from the Defensive Supports of Aegis, to the inspiring actions of Majesty.

As you can probably see from above, you can also find other options, like learning to Parry attacks using Handguns (shoot the bullet!).

Aniventure also looks into less obvious combative powers that explain the crazy nonsense that goes on in Anime. Take, for example, the Magnetism discipline:

This covers everyones favourite: needless fanservice; which allows you to heal yourself as you get injured due to the hit actually just tearing your shirt off.

Assaults of superhuman attractiveness? Check. Harems of minions more concerned with fighting rivals than your personal safety? Check.

There’s also the sister discipline of Isei-Jikoshuji, that covers incredible egotism and angsting wind; and the Destiny Inversion discipline, that allows you to develop plot armour, xanatos gambits and bad pun mastery.

Finally, as well as esoteric disciplines, there’s a good selection of anime flavoured magic. Here’s the intro page for Witchery:

You can purchase spells singly, or select entire domains together as a discount package, which helps sorcerers fill out their spellbooks more easily. Spellcasters have both Instant and Complex spells available to them; allowing both to attack in the same way as more traditional combat bunnies (only with blood and fire and darkness, rather than guns and swords and fists) and also use powerful effects that take several rounds to cast.


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this small preview. I should be releasing this system for full public consumption sometime in the near future.

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EDIT: This is for April- June. If you want to see the preview for the June- Sept 2010, click this below:
Summer/Autumn 2010 Anime Season

This is for the period of April – June, so I call it the Spring/Summer season in the same way that the previous season was Winter/Spring.

I’m little bit later this time (or, more like, only two weeks early, LOL). Spring is usually moderate in terms of new shows, and my early estimations put 10 new shows out there. This is discounting the usual kids stuff and the sequel and spinoff series. I’ve also discounted three baseball shows… since there’s always alot of those.

As usual the Format is: Title, Promo Image, Description, My Thoughts/ Enthusiasm Scale. Let’s get this started, eh?

B Gata H Kei

Well, here’s something stupid to start the report with. This apparently covers a girl called Yamada whom is strangely like a typical lonely otaku: that is to say, sexually inexperienced and full of ridiculous ideas for sexual fantasies. A whole 100 of them, in fact. So much so that has a proverbial ‘devil on the shoulder’ (an erogami-sama, so to speak).

The plot revolves around these strange ecchi desires of hers, and also branches out in a apparent real life romance with a plain looking boy whom she falls for, Takashi. Whether or not she forces her lewdness on him is yet to be seen.

In other words, another Harem show that verges on softcore porn, by the sounds of it. Which begs the question of why so many would watch this rather than going out and actually getting laid. But such is the strangeness of the Anime Industry.

Anticipation: You might have One Hundred Sexual Fantasies, but I only need one, baby.


Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

‘Oh no, not more maids!’, I hear you scream (well, maybe you don’t, but I certainly do). Fortunately, this is not an oblivious harem comedy again (though there are plenty of those this season), but rather a Romantic Comedy show based on a Shoujo manga. It follows Misaki, the student council head who fancies herself a bit of superior girl and despises most men, especially the slovenly, foolish and foppish examples set at the school where she attends, which was once an all-male academy until recent years. This even extends to the local bishie, Takumi.

Nevertheless, she has a ‘shameful’ secret. She works at a Maid-Cafe afterschool! This secret, as you might imagine, is somehow stumbled upon by hapless Takumi, and the anime follows the backlash.

It’s a silly premise, but I’ve heard that manga is very good. Since Kimi no Todoke looks to finishing now as well, this may satisfy my fix for romantic comedies in the meantime, if it turns out well.

Anticipation: Five out of five frilly aprons of fun.


Angel Beats!

Purple haired Haruhi with a silver Berreta, anyone? That silliness in character design aside, I can’t actually decide from my notes whether this is some kind of fantasy world with angels or actually some interpretation of heaven. In any case, it seems that all of the characters are some kind of angels; whom are apparently forced to fight to determine what is going to happen to them.

Some Angels are aghast of this apparent scheme by the almighty, and form a society called the Shinda Sekai Sensen, who rebel against god. Our purple haired girl is Yuri, the leader of said organisation of Rebel Angels. It appears that the rebels are (sensibly) denied the ability to use angelic powers, and instead of forced to resort to firearms and such to battle against the order (which has no such issue in causing devastation with supernatural magics). And so the anime details the gun-toting angels vs. Magic angels, I’d imagine.

What is perhaps most interesting is the mix of prolific crew on this: the director of Seto no Hanayome, the animators of CANAAN, and character designs by the ever famous KEY. Quite a set, eh? No doubt it’ll be full of screwed up theology too, so that’s always a plus.

Anticipation: Eight Glowing Halo’s, two unloaded shotguns.


Hakuouki

Another day, another samurai with heterochromia. I think every season needs a character with mismatching eye colours in there somewhere, eh? (damn you, Asuna, for starting this trend!). This is based on a PS2 visual novel from a couple of years back that seems to have been of a dark shoujo theme. That is to say, told from the pespective of a girl, Chizuru, whom becomes involved in the ever famous Shinsengumi in the 19th century.

In case you were guessing, by the way, that is a guy in the picture, Toshizou. Definately being a trapworthy bishie. If you thought it was a girl, go back and brush up on your trap detection skills.

Being a Shoujo base, there is the usual one girl for an armada of pretty guys, but I hesitate to call it a reverse harem comedy, since it seems too dark for that. We’ll see, I guess.

Anticipation: Six sharp katanas, four dull blades.


Arakawa: Under the Bridge

Another strange tale of lunatics and snobs forced into a blender for no apparent reason other than entertainment. Basically, it follows a lovely and beautiful homeless girl called Nino (which is a contradiction in terms, really). She lives under a bridge over the River Arakawa (hence the anime’s namesake) and thinks that she is a martian abandoned on earth. Oh dear.

One day, a young upper class man called Kou (or is it Riku, seems to be different info around or is it a nickname?) is saved by Nino of the bridge, presumably from commiting suicide, but this isn’t too clear. Apparently, however, it is his policy to not owe a debt to anyone. As a result, he decides to shun his prior ways and live under the bridge with Nino.

Well, it’s a weird concept, as I’m not quite sure how you can base either a Romantic comedy or a slice of life on this, but then, I dunno. I suppose there’s some potential there for a watch, at least.

Anticipation: Seven stable girders, three rickety planks.


Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou

Sai lives in a world ruled by magicians whom also form part of their countries clergy (A Theocratic Magiocracy?!? Marx would have a heart attack!). He is a young man who aspires to join his countries elite Wizard Saints and contribute to society. To do that, he studies hard and is admitted into the Constan Magical Academy. However, his future aptitude test suddenly predicts ‘Lord of Darkness’ as being his career of choice! Thus begins his difficult school life in which he is equally resented, desired, hunted and guarded by a bevy of peculiar girls (the usual, you know).

Basically, another magical harem comedy along the lines of Rosario to Vampire or Maburaho, by the sounds of it. However, it is based on a light novel, which to me has a better than usual track record, so we shall have to see whether it can overcome the cliches and actually provide some entertainment. I’m not holding my breath, though.

Anticipation: Six crazy succubi, four laughing devils.


Kiss x Sis

Apparently not convinced with the throughly ridiculous OVA of late, they actually decided to give the green light to making a full series of Kiss x Sis. Which really kind of puzzles me, since I seriously doubt there’s enough plot to make a series of it.

In any case, this series is pretty much ‘how close can we make a show to hentai without it actually being hentai’. Guy lives with sisters, sisters are retarded and totally smitten for him (and of course, are not blood related. We can’t have that; it might actually provoke some controversy! Wait what?). Cue insane close to hentai scenarios.

As you might tell, I’m nearly downright hostile with this. Apologies, but I highly doubt it can redeem itself easily given its source material. I guess we shall just have to see.

Anticipation: For the last time, I’m not bathing with you now you’re grown up.


Senkou no Night Raid

Another one with suprisingly artsy animation (similar to Bantorra, I guess), this one is a historical action/thriller. It’s set in China in the 1930’s and follows the exploits of a military spy organisation (presumably the Japanese spying on the Chinese, in this case). In case you’ve forgotten your history, this period is following alot of wars (the Imperial Japanese Army fight alot of people in the period between WWI and WWII!).

By the sounds of things, this is going to be intrigue and conspiracy heaven (though I guess it could equally possess infiltration and actiony parts too, who knows…). It might be interesting as its actually a period of history rarely covered by Anime and Japanese entertainment in general. For obvious contraversial reasons they often try to forget about the Imperial period. Also has a semi-unique distinction of being an original anime work rather than being based upon something.

Anticipation: Seven Cheongsams, three loose neckties.


Mayoi Neko Overrun!

Takumi (lots of Takumi’s this season, eh?) lives with his elder sister Otome (whom is, of course, totally unrelated by blood…[headdesk]…) in their dodgy somewhat run-down sweet shop, which for no apparent reason is called ‘Stray Cats’. Why you’d want to buy sweets that promised being made of delicious kitten is beyond me, but whatever. Of course, a strange homeless catgirl gets adopted into this scenario whilst wondering the local streets. Cue the, err, plot?

Considering the vastly vacant amount of information about this, one assumes they’re trying to sell it based upon the cute loli’s acting like kitties, and perhaps trying for a cash in on the popularity of Nyan Koi, whilst simultaneously completely forgetting what actually made that one pretty good.

Due to my absurd love for cat related plotlines, I guess I shall have to watch an episode, but I can’t say I wait with baited breath.

Anticipation: Four purring kittens, six hissing alley cats.


Working!

Technically, this has already started: the first episode has already aired, and I believe it then continues on the 4th of April.

It’s based on another 4koma, so much like Lucky Star or Azumanga Daioh, the skits come on thick and fast. The focus this time is a family resturant in Hokkaido called Wagnaria. Souta is recruited to work part time at this place by his sempai, Popura (Poplar, like the tree, is her actual namesake). Despite being named after a tree with the pretense of her growing taller, she is actually a 17 year old with body of a 12 year old (go lolicon bait). Apparently Souta likes small cute things (oh dear) and so takes the offer.

We then subsequently see his various silly exploits at work and interactions with the other eclectic employees. The boss has a no-nonsense attitude, and the other girls besides Popura seem inclined to violence (of course). They’re joined by two mysterious male chefs.

Having looked at the first ep, it made me chuckle a couple of times (though not roar in laughter like my first K-ON viewing) so it might have some potential. We shall see how it shapes up.

Anticipation: Eight Scoops of Ice Cream Sundae, Two violent waitresses.


Although I’m not normally here to discuss sequels, speaking of K-ON, yes, we have a second season starting to air on the 7th of April, in case you were interested. Of course, this is sometimes a mixed blessing, as second seasons can occassionally wear out their welcome. Nevertheless, I’ve heard they still have plenty of the manga to cover, so we’ll see.

And, phew, I think that’s about it. As usual, there might be sudden surprise announcements and extra shows creeping into the schedule. I of course have no control over this, and if one does show up that warrents my attention, I may or may not do an additional post about it.

With several things finishing, I imagine my schedule is going to be completely empty except perhaps Fairy Tail (which I’d imagine, being a Shounen type thing, will likely break the usual 26 episode limit).

Anyway, hope this post helps you with your selection this season. Enjoy, and stay tuned!

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Ah yes, its about time I did another one of these, I think.

My most recent VN play is Pia Carrot e Youkoso, an oldschool dating game by Cocktail Soft for the obscure PC-FX console, and recently translated by Matt La France, the webmaster of Matt’s Messy Room.

Reading first about this, I was significantly reminded of a game for the PC called True Love ’95, which I played a few years ago, because it involves a light RPG like element in that your character has to build up their Style, Academics, Determination, and other such statistics in order to successfully woo the correct ladies. You also have to usually be at the right place at the right time to activate flags for girls.

Since I was in the mood for being generic and classical, I decided I should go for the cover girl/long-term crush character, Satomi, as my first choice. Of course, although I didn’t realise it to begin with, I had managed to select the hardest girl to get in doing so!!

Somehow, however, I managed to blunder through to a good ending with her. Looking back at the guides now, though, I amazed that I managed to pick the right choices at the right times. I only just about managed to meet the 7 requirement in each statistic (and would have failed if I hadn’t have randomly bought a fashion magazine early on). It looks like selecting to do the chef work was probably a requirement too, since you then get to be treated with her food every day (yatta!), which again, I managed to stumble upon accidently.

Again, this experience reminded me of True Love 95, since I somehow managed to blunder through to get an Arisa ending in my first try with that, despite the fact that this is also uniformly recognised as the toughest standard ending in that game. Maybe I’m just lucky!

Well, not all the time, since I have turned up a couple of bad ends on occassion… 😛

Anyway, enough of my blarting, here’s some screencaps!

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Jeez, what’s with these silly subtitles that these games always have?!? And yes, I’m running the PC-FX emulator MagicEngine FX here, naturally.

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Hahaha, I get to select the uniforms the girls wear? Naturally, I chose this little number. Its cute, pink, and more importantly, shows off the collarbones. And as you might have be able to tell from this bizarre article I wrote ages ago, I particularly like that kind of thing.

piacarrot3

You originally promised to spend your last summer vacation pissing around with your mate, Daisuke, but because you’re also an academic failure, you lose a bet with your father, and he ropes you into working at his resturant instead. Fortunately, rather than turning out to be slave labour, you manage to have a bomb, due to the high female population of said resturant.

It was also at this early point in the game that I became very impressed with how well the Lip-Sync matches up with the voice acting. Its very well done and is a nice touch, since most games don’t bother with that kind of detail.

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And that smile during this cut-scene was what immediately sold me on selecting Satomi as my first target in this game. Kawaii!!

Ah yeah, this game has FMV anime cutscenes too. Don’t think I mentioned that. Obviously they have very 90’s animation feel to them, but they still exude a certain charm.

piacarrot5

Huzzah, I got the happy end!

Though, wait! Gahhh! I seem to have contracted Visualnovelguy-itus! I’ve lost my eyes in a mountain of hair! AGAIN! I’ve never quite understood why this happens to so many protagonists of these games. To make them more generic? I dunno…

Oh well…Thanks Oyaji, you inadvertantly gave me a resturant and a girl to be my vice-manager! Score! Actually, in this picture, Satomi really resembles Nanoha, doesn’t she?

Hmm, actually I have to wonder whether the Nanoha/Triangle Hearts character designer was also involved in this game. I mean, that fact that everyone has that trademark ‘spray’ of hair on the one side all the time is a pretty big cue, since I’ve not seen another style that exhibits this trait.

Anyway, I quite recommend this game. Its pretty fun, and has a nice story and reasonable character development. Although, the music kinda sucks horrendously (ah, what a shame, why can’t all Visual Novels have awesome musical scores like ‘Crescendo’ does…?). You can turn it off, though, and save your sanity from its generic repititious-ness. The RPG side is shallow but a nice touch regardless. The work they put into the visual elements, however, is pretty good, like the good lip-sync and the FMV cutscenes.

EDIT: Just completed the Yukari plotline as well, and I felt the need to share this:
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Y-You…made…me…dress…up… AS A CAT-GUY!!?!?

How did I not automatically perish from humiliation? Huh?

Guh…I guess it has its just rewards…like…I dunno…

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G-G-GAAHH! Its SOO cute I’m gonna die! Although I think I’m also developing envy vs. that stuffed beaver. LOL.

Never underestimate the daughters of strange obaa-san’s. They are apparently mysterious and lovely creatures.

Anyhows… Keep tuned for further VN diary posts. I like doing them!

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Well, I’ve now had time to look at the first few episodes of the new season, specifically, Asura Cryin’, K-ON, and Phantom~ Requiem for the Phantom, so I’ll post an inital look at them. I’m not going to put in full plot summaries or anything here, just a few thoughts and notes and stuff.

Phantom:

Actually the first thing I looked at from the three, so I’ll do it first. The first episode involves a little bit of timeskip to involve us in the action. Presumably, what happened before will be explained in later episodes.

phantom1-1

We open with our mail and female protagonists infiltrating a villa.

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We then flashback to the male protagonist remembering his first ‘test’.

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She looks pretty scary in that mask, no?

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That’s almost a bit artsy. We learn that the girl and the guy have been assigned the names Ein and Zwei respectively (literally, one and two).

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Apparently, no one else on the beach seems to care much about the giant explosion just a mile from them. Shocking…

Well, this was very slickly animated. Ein reminds me alot of Kirika from Noir. I’ll probably keep an eye on it.

Asura Cryin’:

Well, I’m still a little suspicious of this due to my general lethargy in general to mecha series, especially since nothing groundbreaking has happened yet and I’m generally confused about what the hell is going on since the shit hits the fan rather quickly. I mean, I’m fine with the whole ‘I nearly died and got a ghosty girl companion who only can see’ thing. In fact, I thought the first 10 minutes were pretty cool, but then all of these people started fighting + random unexplained characters appeared + there’s a mecha in a suitcase (is it inflatable?). So I eventually got to the general conclusion of ‘Lul Wut?’.

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Ghosty Girl is Ghosty. And has the same Lul Wut? expression I did, I think. Hehe.

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Heterochromia is so popular these days! Damn you, Asuna!

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Bitchslap of death punishment. Well, he did seem creepy. LOL at the reaching hand in this image.

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…guys what’s goin’ on? I laughed at the ghost boasting about how she was stylish because she could change clothes.

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A lesson to you. DO NOT open strange suitcases. Even in a three way fire-fight. Even if your ghostly companion says do it. Resist!

Though there could be a Loli in there; this could also show up. Its like a Chance card in Monopoly.

Well, I’ll definately look at episode 2. Hopefully the tempo calms the frack down and we see development for ghosty girl and deathslap girl. If so, I might enjoy it.

K-ON:

Quite possibly overhyped? Almost definately. But, nevertheless, its pretty good from what I can see. Its definately got an episodic 4-koma feel like Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star. (In case you’re not aware, a 4-koma is basically an anime/manga version of a comedy sketch programme, like Monty Pythons Flying Circus. They’re usually based upon 4-panel comic strips, which is where the name comes from.)

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This girl REALLY takes the De-jikko archetype (careless/airheaded) to new levels.

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My god, McDonalds employees get more terrifying by the second.

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Yeah, because the Light Music Club is SO going to be like this imagination bubble…

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She can’t get her sentences out right, and they think she’s a shit hot guitarist who loves Jeff Beck. By far the best sketch in this episode. I laughed at loud at them misinterpreting Jimi Hendrix and then Jeff Beck.

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‘I think I’ll actually join your club because you all suck.’ Yeah. That’s really the tack to take, girl.

Yep, there were so reasonable laughs to be had here. Its a very solid start. I hope it continues to grow.

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Hi, you appear to have dialed a wrong number. Welcome to Detarame, my new blog home on the internet. Some of you may know me as eharper256, others Elijah_Harper, and still more as Simjimm.

I’m a literary graduate, anime otaku, game nutcase, and creator of much RPG related nonsense. In other words, I’m an honest to goodness second generation geek of the highest caliber. And proud of it!

What the hell is Detarame? Quite literally, it is romaji for ‘Random’. Since my brain seems to commonly spew random stuff.

This blog is intended to be a reliquary of both my musings, my artworks, my literary trash, and even, on the side, some serious actual anime episode blogging hopefully inspired by Omni’s Place. As in, I’ll look at the new seasons of series currently on Japanese television; and give snide comments. Most likely, I will focus on the Romantic comedies, fantasies and sci-fi of the anime world.

Look forward to it! I know I do!

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