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Posts Tagged ‘Polyphonica’

I have no idea what I was smoking when I came up with that title line. Then again, that seems to be a trend for me, doesn’t it?

In any case, I’ve had yet another busy week. I’ve been doing a few extra hours at work to make up for the fact that I’m having this coming weekend off; and in my spare time, I decided that I was feeling masochistic and hence chose to actually start watching Polyphonica CrimsonS despite the obvious awfulness of the first episode.

Much to my initial surprise, however, the show actually gains some direction and momentum starting around the third episode; which, although not exactly seat-grippingly exciting, does meander along at a respectable pelt and manages to pull itself out, dripping, from the pool of mediocrity. Moreover, Corti is actually given the screentime and character development she deserves, and the relationship triangle is more accurately resolved.  So, actually, it has kind of redeemed itself slightly from its predecessor. I guess I revoke my prior rating, placing it up to, maybe a 7/10?

Of course, given the number of quiet periods I seem to occassionally be graced with at work, I’ve also been using that time to get my sketching arm back into gear. I had a while where I did very little artistic work (in a way, it was replaced with reading books~ I recently finished a Stephen Baxter and a Gregory Maguire book) so it was nice to have a spark to do something again.

My subject ended up being my favourite long-term important NPC from my 4e Dungeons and Dragons campaign: Alicia Silverscale, the 3rd princess of Silesia and runner up in the Princess Waltz. Here’s the sketch:
b-Alicias-a-desirable-drakahn

As always, click to get a bigger version.

My setting has no elves, but instead has a few non-traditional races: Auricans, Drakahn and Necrists.

Alicia, as you might imagine, is a Drakahn, which is a quasi-dragon. (suddenly, the title of this article may now make some sense to you…) They resemble humans, but have large scaled tails, tiny horns, and draconic eyes. You can read the race article I created for the campaign HERE, if you like. It goes into more detail about the biology and stats.

She originally showed up in the campaign disguised as a travelling blacksmith called Alice, who appeared shortly after our Swordmage got his hands on Cali; whom she helped fix up. They escorted Alice to the port city of Shax whilst following another lead in chasing their village’s lost artifact, the Platinum Sword of Trayce. She in particular was described as a very attractive Drakahn, with her Silver Hair, Silver Tail, and Sapphire Eyes. Some random Drakahn monk on a pilgrimage going the other direction to her and party had a cartoon jaw dropping moment and was slapped by his abbot. Which was LOL.

The party eventually came to realise her importance in the ongoing plot; as when they ventured north, they came across a batallion of Imperial Sapphire Guard led by a Gold Drakahn called Alain, who was looking for his runaway bride…

They caught up with her again later on the Isle of Rosalind, where it became apparent she too was working against the Cult of Agon that were the initial antagonists. She showed up in style in full Silesian Battle Regalia; leaping off a cliff into a troop of daemons and insta-killing two of them, which inspired this (actually older than the above) picture:
b-Alicia-vs-daemons-intherain

They quickly discovered that she was a Warlord multiclassed in Swordmage, with one of my custom Swordmage Paragon Paths, Holy Saber.

It has a Path Feature, Sheath of the Blinding Faith, which allows one to bend light around their sword. Hence, invisible blade. (In mechanics terms, the invisible blade has its damage dice size reduced, but grants combat advantage against the first foe attacked each round). And yes, this idea is of course a homage to Saber from FSN, with her Invisible Air.

In any case, she then joined the party for the final couple of battles in this arc. Whereupon they discovered that the summoned ‘aspect’ of Agon that the cult decided to call down was actually a cock up on their part. He was called the ‘Betrayer’ in the legends. But it was actually Agon that he betrayed (LOL). So, the summoned Red Dragon in human form proceeded to blow the cultists head off (with a STR38 punch to the face, ouch).

He also happened to be the one Alicia was looking for… her old lover. And, much to her surprise and shock, he turned out to be one of the original twenty four dragons…

Unfortunately, the REALLY cocked up ritual meant a portal to hell was also opened, so their dramatic reunion was cut short by a Balor turning up to say ‘Hi!’. The Ancient Red Dragon assumed his true form and stayed behind, locked in combat with the demon, to allow Alicia and the party to escape with the girl sacrifice they rescued, as well as the Platinum Sword they were looking for.


EDIT: Because I was apparently bored, I decided to convert the above Alicia Sketch into a widescreen wallpaper for my own amusement. Which I’ll share with everyone as well, so here you go:
jt-Sketch-Alicia-is-a-desirable-drakahn

Just in case you decide you need a Desirable Drakahn for your Desktop. Go alliteration!

Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever actually used one of my sketches for a wallpaper before, so this is a first. Yay! Or something.


Ahem, anyway, enough backstories and crazy sketches of Drakahn maidens. As you may be aware, we’re into the 10th-11th episode territory for most anime seasons right now. That of course means yet ANOTHER season is around the corner! (They seem to come so fast o_0)

As normal, I’ll post an analysis nearer the time. Usually, a summer season like the incoming one has generally fewer new shows than the Spring season, but we shall see.

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Yup, here’s another one of these summaries of shows.

Valkyria Chronicles

I was surprisingly amused by Valkyria Chronicles. I was very suspicious of it, seeing as how game adaptations rarely prove to be as mighty as their parents (The old rule that a copy is always inferior to the original usually holds true here~ though occassionally it can back-fire; and perhaps this is a case of that). Though of course, I haven’t actually played the game. I’m quite sure those who have are ranting about the changes.

Nevertheless, the protagonist getting arrested for his suspicious spy-like activity (sketching trout in a stream is clearly essential military intelligence…) made me chuckle. Then of course, the tank Edelweiss is the real star of the show; all by itself.

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The art-style is also pretty nice, but then, it would have to be, since the game got alot of its critical acclaim for its sketchbook like Cel-Shaded 3d graphics. You can compare Anime Alicia (Above) to Game Alicia (Below), if you like.

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In my opinion, bakery headscarfs and military uniforms are an odd mixture. But hey, that is her character concept, I suppose…

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Therefore, you are a spy, sir!

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Some inevitable plot exposition. Is Ragnite the same ore that was used to craft the Ragnell? (obscure Fire Emblem reference, go!)

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Delicious PAN! Delicious PAN! Its my long and cruncy stick and you can’t have it! <shot>

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Because everyone keeps prototype tanks in their basement.

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Apparently, I was sufficiently enamoured with Susie’s Drill hair to make a cap of it.

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Though not particularily evident in this cap, the tank above is about to perform a Powerslide followed by some extreme drift like a sports-car in order to fire upon some enemies that its just raced past. No really. And apparently, it can go about 70+ mph and has deflective plate armour. Though definately a Lul-Wut moment, I was still impressed by the ridiculousness of this battle.

I’ll keep watching this. Its pretty and interesting (which is often a rare combo).


On the other hand, the other three have been distinctly mediocre experiences….(sigh)

07 Ghost

07Ghost gets an award for most irrational protagonist of the season so far. The guy is all at first caring and merciful, but as soon as he has a weird flashback about his pops dying, he goes into a wild rage. Way to lose your reason, dude.

That’s just the start of it, too… (sigh) I mean, first episodes are supposed to leave you hanging and interested in finding out more, but this managed to simply offer stacks of loose plot strings. I may see if the second episode improves, but as it was, it was merely like a needless cascade of images.

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Their test is to kill the prisoner to pass their exams, but of course, our protagonist shows mercy at this point.

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He has a flashback of his dad being killed by a heartless guy called Ayanami after engaging in the time honoured anime tradition of eavesdropping. And then he goes nuts. I mean, sure, you have a chance for vengeance, and bloodlust can be irrational, but this was a bit a strange turn for him all the same considering how he was previously.

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Though he uses the rationale of not wanting to get his mate involved (after their serious buddy-behavoir all episode!) it still again seems a little disjointed.

I can’t place my finger on just what is up. Perhaps the manga is wonderful, but I just can’t like this show as it stands. I’ll still watch the second episode, but unless it transforms, I don’t see myself keeping up.


Pandora Hearts

Well, this is definately the weird and slightly disturbing selection of the season. Yet another for the ‘Lul Wut?’ pile, I think.

I mean, what part about a giant rabbit wielding a halberd is not wierd, eh? Much like 07ghost, this extols the tragic effect of Yaoi on relationships. As in, whenever guys become very good buddies in this kind of show, you can guarantee one of the two will die/become evil/get sent into another plane of existance. In this case, BOTH of the latter two occur.

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Uh oh, that’s a death sentance right there!

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Nah, I’m sure that’s not true. Though you really do need a haircut, girl. Giant fringes are so for the evil genius of yesterday.

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Oz falls for this girl on sight. Suppose I can’t blame him, its pretty cute.

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And apparently, this girl can transform into a halberd wielding giant rabbit. (actually, it might be a scythe, but I had a really bad copy, so I’m not entirely sure…) Or perhaps more accurately, she IS a giant rabbit that becomes a girl. Hard to tell. The guys fighting her refer to her as Brea Rabbit. Just a little bit psycho there too.

Personally, I think she looks like Karen from Sister Princess, gone insane because she can’t love her brother in that way. LOL.

Well, it has some Alice in Wonderland vibes here, which is interesting, but it hasn’t at all bowled me over yet. Again, if it dramatically improves, I may keep it, otherwise…


Polyphonica Crimson S

Ah darn, and I was so hoping… (Ahem…)

Yeah, the original Polyphonica was a lesson on how fantastic ingredients can still be made into a broth of mediocrity. I mean, it seems to have it all. Its a wonderful idea, to have spirits in the world that thrive on Musical compositions and beautiful voices and suchlike. And Corticarte herself is a fabulous character. And there was the bike that turns into a piano, which was hilarious.

And yet…somehow…with all of this going for it, it winds and slacks and never seemed to go anywhere or explain anything. And Perse really needs to be shot.

I was hoping this might possibly redeem itself from its predecessor. But…after the first episode, all of my warning sirens are blaring already that this is already a lost cause. I realise its supposed to be going back in time to Phoron’s Academy days, but the first episode again managed so very little. It can’t even do fanservice for us properly… (sigh…)

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Damn you, setting sunlight! How dare you censor my Loli- Corticarte!

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Prine’s wild imagination is the only even slightly entertaining part of this episode.

Out of respect and fanboyism for Corti (and there’s probably a degree of masochism in there), I shall probably try the second episode, but I don’t have any hopes. Whatsoever.

Guh, anyway, I’ll be back again soon…

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Well, its already swung around to the next quarter, despite it being hard to believe. That means its time for another new anime season!

I’m obviously looking for more shows to fill the gaps this season as well since pretty much everything that I’ve been following has just ended or is about to end. Only Kurokami and Kohako no Regios are continuing from the last season. Toradora, Tytania, Index, Maria+Holic, Rideback and White Album are all leaving the schedule! Fortunately, there’s alot waiting there to leap into the slots.

So, a preliminary look at what I’m possibly interested in…

  • Asura Cryin’ Well, I’m not normally into the mecha stuff, but this one piqued my interest again, since its got some kind of dimension hopping going on as well as a haunted main protagonist. Could be interesting. I’ll have to research it more.
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  • PandoraHearts Some kind of thing about a guy with Amnesia (yawn) who gets sent to Carceri (or some other prison plane) and ends up forming a contract of some description with a girl. It seems tremendously generic, but again, I’m a sucker for dimensional travel and weird planes of existance, so I’ll give this a shot.
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  • K-ON! Based on a 4koma, this sounds like a typical one of those. This one has a bunch of girls who form a music club and each take an instrument. These things can be amazing, like Lucky Star, but can also fall and splat themselves. We shall see…
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  • Phantom ~Requiem for a Phantom~ What? Thats an awfully repititous subtitle. Something about a female assassin whose cover is blown by the random male protagonist. Fortunately for him, he has some kind of knack for killing himself and she decides to train him. Sounds a bit like a reverse version of Daughter of 20 faces, so its got my attention.
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  • Shikyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S MOAR CORTI!!!!!!! Well, I loved Polyphonica’s concept. The actual anime was a bit…meh…but its a great theory. Spirits that are fuelled by music. And, I’m Corticarte’s ravenous fanboy, so I’m definately watching this. Also, can’t forget Phoron’s bike. It transforms into a church organ, dont’cha know?
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  • Senjou no Valkyria I’ve heard some talk about this. Its based upon a PS3 game or something. I don’t have a PS3 and probably never will, being Nintendo’s bitch. Maybe I’ll look into it.
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  • Cross Game Some kind of timehopping/snapshot romantic comedy with a big baseball sports element. Though I can hardly believe it, I have to admit I’ve enjoyed these kinds of sports romantic comedies alot in the past, so I’m very interested in this.crossgame
  • Hanasakeru Seishounen Some rich girl is issued an ultimatum to select a suitor from a pool of three guys. But apparently, these guys are not aware they’re being targeted by her or something. Sounds weird and political. But so mysterious, I may look into it.
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  • Natsu no Arashi Some weird pseudo-sci-fi romance about a guy who likes a girl but has suspicions that she’s actually a ghost after finding an ancient photo of her. Its by the School Rumble guy, so I’m a bit suspicious about it, but we shall see.
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  • Tears to Tiara Haha, well, I’ve played the game and reported to you guys on it. Now its being anime-ised. Considering that the game is awesome and that Utawarerumono had a fabulous anime adaptation, I suspect this might be pretty good too. Of course, taking away all of Arawn’s wives kinda spoils the fun, but whatever. As long as Rhiannon has her oven-glove snake hand puppets, the anime will automatically be awesome. That said, what the heck happened to the character designs? Llyr looks good though, so hey, whatever.
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  • 07-Ghost From the same stock as Hatengou Yuuki, which despite being a Shoujo manga, I actually enjoyed a bit. Sounds kinda fantasy action oriented too.
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  • Ristorante Paradiso Nicoletta, the heroine, goes to the restaurant to confront the mother who abandoned her as a child. As Nicoletta has already studied at culinary school, she decides to apprentice at the restaurant (owned by her step-father) while she repairs her familial relationships (with encouragement from the head waiter). EDITED ~ Thanks to Rman for correcting my somewhat off description! I guess I didn’t research this one enough! About a girl whom, attracted by the bishies in a resturant, decides to become an appretice chef there. Though its a daft concept, I think its funny her doing this for all the wrong reasons. Almost sounds…like GTO…or something…
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  • Eden of the East About a Japanese girl on a field trip to america and whom gets saved by a naked guy in front of the white house. What?!? Well, the sheer lulwut factor will get me to watch at least the first episode of this.
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That’s not all. I’ve already eliminated 11 shows I’m not really interested in.

Hence, the Non-Starters are: Sengoku Basara, Queens Blade, Basquash, Arad Senki, Gokujou! Mecha more Iincho, Guin Saga, Shangri-La, Tatyutama Kiss my Deity, Saki, Souten Kouro, Hatsukoi Limited.

Yeah, I know that’s alot to dump, but hey, 24 new shows is pretty damn stupid. I doubt I’ll even watch all of the aformentioned 13. You know, with time constraints and all that.

In fact, considering that I’m holding onto Kurokami and Regios, I suspect I’ll have to pick maybe six new shows to watch.

Anyway, I may also post more on the subject as and when episodes start rolling out.

Hope this report is handy to some people at least…

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