trying to (re)watch: gunbuster

The idea to revisit the Gunbuster series came to me because I want to remember why I find Gunbuster boring in the first place, and also why I vastly prefer Diebuster over Gunbuster.  I might have rushed the 2 OVAs at the time, resulted in not much recollection of them. Naturally, the first part would be about Gunbuster, as I present both my past memory and my current thoughts on the show to reflect my changed opinion. 

My short clean non-spoilery thoughts: The OVA is worth a watch if you want to watch a character working her way to the top in an 80s aesthetic. If you just want to watch an action oriented story, you will most likely be disappointed, I do not think it delivers the action part well most of the time.

I remember only 4 characters in Gunbuster, with only 3 of them relevant. Even then the 3 characters are meh. Everyone else are either only there to progress the plot, or plain unmemorable.

Let’s start with the character design, I like everybody’s simple character design, including the unmemorable ones. Noriko has the plain generic cute anime girl look, makes me want to say “her look is made that way to be easily projected on”. Coach with his glasses on look fucking manly and cool, even though he is crippled and has lost an eye, in a way he looks even cooler and manlier. Onee-sama has the reliable senpai and perfect model student look, later on she looks like a reliable adult. The Russian’s design communicates a headstrong characters and she is exactly that. The delinquent is an interesting one, her role shifts from a delinquent to a coach and then to principal, her appearance fits all 3 of the roles. The ship commander do looks like a commander. Noriko’s friend looks like the cliche female friend who is beside the main protagonist, and she is exactly that.

In short, the character’s simple design communicates their role extremely effectively including the unmemorable ones. I do not know what black magic is casted upon the character design, except for Smith.

Now for the characters themselves. Noriko gets 70% of the screentime for the sake of her development. She is the protagonist so she naturally gets a lot of screentime. Here’s the problem, I’m not interested in her growth. Her training montage and the results from it is tame to watch. She becomes cool to watch when she work out her feelings and become determined, coincidentally that is when Gunbuster gets good. Beforehand I find the OVA kind of boring. The OVA gets better after that point because we are treated to an interesting timeskip and a cheesy romance subplot. That cheesy romance subplot is Onee-sama character arc, and it works because…….it feels genuine as well????? The climax and resolution from it is extremely satisfying.  And then there is the Coach, he doesn’t get development but he looks awesome and manly, and acts awesome and manly, that is enough.

Everyone else are not important, including the Russian. She challenged Onee-sama in episode 2 for no reason and then accept her afterward even though the fights earlier has no clear victor. Afterwards she talks about her love for the coach, and then decide to move on from it. Oh yeah she once tried to challenge Noriko to the duel. I guess she is there to serve as a rival to Noriko and Onee-sama. To be frank, I do not know why she is there. At least her character design is great like everyone else, except for Smith. I think everyone else are purposefully made unmemorable since it is about Noriko’s journey, there is no reason to devote screentime to other characters.

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The two people on the right feels out of place.

I remember Gunbuster is grounded, and there isn’t any fights.
Well, Gunbuster is grounded most of the time, occasionally it decides to slightly tip the scale and become a super robot tokusatsu action show, always done in a pivotal point in the show. The sudden shift in tone actually enhance the scenes. When Gunbuster stays a grounded show, there is tame fights and science fiction stuff. I can see people enjoys the science fiction explanations, but I don’t think anyone will say those fights are good, fortunately they do progress the plot. The tame fights are well animated but they are not choreographed like a fight scene, I don’t think they are meant to be enjoyed as a spectacle and more to serve a narrative purpose. I’m not a science nerd, naturally I am not interested in the science theories. I do like the usage of time dilation.Top o Nerae! 2 [BECB7ACE].mkv_snapshot_07.50_[2019.06.21_20.54.02].png

Let’s talk about the time dilation and the aliens, what they serve in the story.
Other than the coach, the cheesy romance subplot, and some of the fights, the role of the aliens and the time dilation are really interesting for me to think about, also allow me to act smarter than I actually do.

The antagonist of the story, the Zerg (they act and look like a Zerg to me mkay) wanted to eradicates humanity for unknown reason within the story. The zerg are treated like a destructive force and aren’t given any personality, like an apocalyptic natural disaster. They are far superior in both strength and numbers. The humans are only at war with them to keep themselves alive. At one point the background character questioned whether they shall just accept their fate, as they are essentially sacrificing everything around them to keep themselves temporarily survived. Shall we(the human race) really sacrifice everything for our goals(ensure their own survival)? 

The answer is yes, because Noriko and Onee-sama sacrificed themselves to ensure humanity survival. Their idea of sacrificing themselves are not taken lightly by the Captain and the Russian though, especially the Russian. Now I can get to the time dilation, the part that make the second half and the ending so effective.

The time dilation the characters experienced is foreshadowed as a looming threat. Everyone acts like it is not a big deal, because no lives is lost. From a strictly utilitarian perspective, it really is not a big deal. But in actuality it is a big fucking deal, because we have people we are close to. Noriko and Onee-sama will not die when they sacrifice themselves, only an uncertainty amount of long duration will pass by by the time they return home. When they return home, twelve thousand years have passed. The two heroes are uncertain whether humanity still exist on Earth. That’s what makes the ending so well loved, and why time dilation is the redeeming element of the OVA for me. (Oh man, it is hard for me to write this part without feeling pretentious.) 

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Conclusion
Well, I like Gunbuster more on the rewatch, largely thanks to the second half, as payoff for all the setups are really satisfying to watch. I’m sure one can find more enjoyment from the OVA if they can be invested in the 3 relevant characters more, none of whom I care that much.

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Let’s Write About My Own Media Taste (Part 2)

To sum up my problem with my own taste in anime and manga, what EXACTLY do I look for?

I looked at my video game favourites mosaics, I know I like shmups, fighting games, beat em ups, and some action games. They are mostly arcade-ish games. They are mostly skill demanding game. I place a lot of emphasis on gameplay. Now I look at my anime favourites mosaics, I see a lot of anime girls, and that’s all I can see.?

I know it is normal for a guy to be into girls. I also think it is fine to be into a specific aesthestic of girls (I seemingly lean toward all-female setting, or at least something with perspective told from a girl). But I don’t judge shows based on how cute the girls are, my curiosity on a show is completely dictated by whether the girls on the front look cute to me. And then I went in and roll with it.? I don’t care a whole lot on characters, or stories, or animations, or visuals, or soundtracks, or acting. I can’t even tell apart the voices.

Manga is on an even worse spot. Mangas are made by one to two individuals instead of a team effort, and usually much more underground. Weird ideas and concepts suddenly become much more common. There is no boundary or criteria here, a cute anime girl on the front is not needed, as long as it sounds and look interesting to me, I will check it out.

There is a difference between willing to try out anything and knowing what you want. Since I know I am a gameplay fag and only want gameplay, I can use this as a guide to try out any games and discern whether I like it based on its gameplay. I am willing to try out anything in anime and even more so in manga (since I do not only care about the presence of girls), but I just roll with it, I don’t have a particular wants. I am fine with the characters or stories, as long as it’s enjoyable it’s all fine.

And that is how I end up with anime and manga favourites mosaics with works coming from all over the place.

This explains why I find it so difficult for me to write reviews for manga and anime. I don’t have a criteria I can use to judge manga and anime.

Now I figured out my long time issue with manga and anime. I can try to “salvage” what I can, by figuring out what I look for the most in anime and manga(and movies).

Story: I don’t have anything in my mind other than Perfect Blue. I like thrillers and mysteries because the questions raised will keep me on edge, wondering what actually happened. Which is the case with Perfect Blue. I didn’t watch a whole lot of mysteries and thrillers. There are times when I am out of patience and just want to know what happens next in the story, like have the urge to skip ahead, and so I did that, and proceed to forget about the show forever. This only happens to the shows where I lost interest in but have the desire to know how it ends so I can come to “full circle” with the show. I care very much about lores and consistency, I’m the kind of guy who spends time in wiki reading lores. If the show is being inconsistent, like how most Sailor Moon fights are, they can hurt my enjoyment of the show, even if it is not the focus. But most of the time I just roll along with however the event will unfold.
In short, I think I care about lores and consistency more than story, and that’s about it.

Characters: I have plenty of favourites where I like them exactly for the characters, but a character-centric show does not necessarily guarantee a higher chance of me liking it. I do not know why the characters in my favourites appeal to me, they just do. I think only specific kind of character writing appeals to me, if I look closer I might can discern what kind of characters works for me.
I rarely relate to characters, even when I do they do not help much in my enjoyment of the show aside from Liz and the Blue Bird, which I relate like hell.

Themes: Nope I definitely do not care about themes. I occasionally think about the message of the shows or attempt to figure out its themes. Definitely not in my highest priority.

Aesthetic: Aesthetic might be what I value the most. It’s not common but it is definitely possible for a work to appeal to me solely on its aesthetic. Teekyuu is one such examples. I see the way Teekyuu present its episodes and comedy as aesthetic, and they fucking appeal to me.
Now that I think about it, my lean toward female-centric settings is actually my aesthetic preference, my fondness for Tokusatsu heroes are aesthetic preference itself. When the aesthetics alone wont carry the entire thing, they are often, probably, very likely, play a huge role in resonating with me. Things with strong aesthetic that resonated with me:
Land of the Lustrous, Liz and the Blue Bird, Kaguya-hime Monogatari, From Up on Poppy Hill, Aria, Yokohama Shopping Log, Jojo series, Vagabond, Gunslinger Girl, Monogatari, Flying Witch, A Girl On The Shore, A Centaur’s Life
I do not know how I end up valuing aesthetic over everything else, maybe my obsession with concepts in my younger years cause it.

Therefore, ideally a great aesthetics, good enough characters, and consistent plot will most likely appeal to me the greatest.
1)Aesthetic
2)Characters
3)Consistency
4)Lore
5)Plot
6)Theme

Let’s Write About My Own Media Taste (Part 1)

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Video Game 3×3

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Video Game 5×4

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Anime 3×3

Just recently I updated my mosaics favourite. For the first time, I feel proud of my favourite video game mosaics, and in turn my own taste. Not because I feel my taste is superior or anything, it is just that I have clear grasp on my own taste. I know exactly why and what I look for in video game, I know what and why I do not like certain things in video games. I think the mosaics accurately represent what I look for in video games.

I like skill-based and fast-paced gameplay while not caring much about anything else. I enjoy improving and git gud at something. I like to dive into a particular game, learn about its ins and outs, and get better in the process. I like to challenge the higher difficulty the game is able to offer, and slowly work my way up. Although if the game got too difficult I will back down on one level. Therefore, skill-based games appeal to me the most. Arcade games, or arcade-ish design, tend to be accessible, straightforward and fast-paced, making them easy to pick up and play, and they are usually designed without obstruction from cutscenes and stories. Since I don’t care about most aspects of the game other than the gameplay, arcade games naturally appeal to me, and they are easy to learn.

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At least the game is straightforward with its tutorial.

Shmups, fighting games, and beat em ups are skill based, arcade or arcade-ish design, stylish as hell, and my chuuni obssession with battle, they are my holy trinity of video game genres.

Racing games and Turn Based Strategy games are an unexplored territory for me. I enjoyed my time with Redout and Fire Emblem 7, Redout is my entryway into the racing genre while Fire Emblem 7 is the best time I have had on a Turn Based game since XCOM Enemy Unknown (which is my entryway into turn based strategy games, and the only TBS game I have played to completion and I played it a millennia ago). I am interested in trying out RTS games as well, if Starcraft taught me one thing, it is that they are action games disguised as a strategy game. Any 1v1 competitive multiplayer game, like Puyo Puyo series, looks like a variant of fighting games, I am interested in trying them out as well.

I don’t care much for stories, graphics, soundtracks and whatever symbolisms tied to gameplay. Not that I completely disregard them, I can enjoy a good story, visuals, OSTs or a good presentation (except for symbolism tied to gameplay and Spec Ops The Line suck), I just see them as a nice bonus to a game. I play a video game mainly for its gameplay. I enjoy learning and improving at video game the most, I enjoy fiddling around with the mechanics the most. If I want to experience a good story and character, I want to get straight to it, not locked behind hours of mediocre gameplay. That is why I cannot get into Persona series even though they look super aesthestic especially Persona 5, or any JRPG, or any RPG. I rather play adventure games, text-based games, dating sims or even walking simulators, or even visual novels. You don’t play them for their gameplay anyway.

RPGs suck(in my eyes), but there are 2 kinds of RPG I like
a) the ones with fun real-time combat, like Soulsborne series and Monster Hunter,
b) the DRPGs, like Wizardry and the Etrian Odyssey series. I always have interest in this subgenre, I haven’t dove deep into any of the games yet. I did play a bit of Touhou Labyrinth and Stranger of Sword City, I can 95% guarantee I like this subgenre. It seems I can enjoy a game about managing a team of misfits. I’m not sure if there are other RPGs out there that has deep team management gameplay like DRPGs, if there are I might be interested.

As much as I love fast-paced skill-based games, I cannot get into platformers. I tried on too many occassion and I gave up on it. I have a theory on why I cannot get into platformers, I only like combat and fights, which all the genres I have interest in are essentially about. Platformers, including action platformers, are never about combats, they are about movement and navigation through obstacles. When you do have weapons to fight, like a whip in Castlevania, you use them to help you navigate through environment instead of fighting enemies. This same theory applies to Metroidvania, Metroidvania and platformers to me are similar, only difference being the Metroidvania has a big wide maze for you to explore.

I do think this theory has some issue, I have interest in racing games and enjoyed Resident Evil Remake, both are not about combat at all, and Resident Evil is arguably a Metroidvania. But they are fun and I enjoy them unlike platformers and metroidvanias which are all terrible.

I have fallen out of interest with the FPS genre. I have struggled to find out the reason with my dwindling interest in the genre, I used to like the original Doom games. I tried out a lot of FPS and none of them did the job. If I have to think up a theory, I say I am more of a melee or close combat guy, this can explain my fondness for shotguns and gun fu, and it can explain why I don’t have much fun at making accurate shots. Often times I find the FPS games I played either don’t test enough of your aiming skills, or movement skill, or both. Old school shooters have lot of aiming and movement, but they have frustrating maps to navigate around and I don’t care about finding secrets, I find the maps tedious instead of interesting. Currently, Devil Daggers is the only FPS I like, you are placed in an arena and tell you to survive as long as you can with your aiming and movement skill, nothing more nothing less. Theoretically I should really enjoy Doom 2016 and Desync, they are like cuhrayzee games but FPS, yet I don’t like them too much, I rather play them over any old school shooters though.

I have more unmentioned genre, I either don’t play much of them or feel indifferent to them. They are probably objectively better and more interesting than platformers and metroidvanias though.

In short, I am proud and satisfied with my current taste in video game, I know what I look for and what I enjoy in video games. I can use them as a guide in exploring the big wide video game medium. Of course, taste never stays constant, this piece of writing can serve as a record of what I currently into, and who knows, maybe my taste can shift to the point of able to tolerate platformers and metroidvanias in the future.
Genres that are rads: Shoot Em’ Ups, Fighting Games, Beat Em’ Ups, Racing, Turn Based Strategy
Genres I might like: Real Time Strategy, DRPG
Genres I don’t like: Platformers, Metroidvanias, FPS, Most RPGs 
Genres I am indifferent to: Everything else I did not mention

Now now what do I think of my anime and manga taste, oh boy….

Trying to Play – Zero Ranger

I want to start a “Trying to Play/Watch/Read” series where I consume a particular work and attempt to wrap my head around it, mainly inspired by Joseph Anderson and Mandalore, with journal-ish element. I was gonna kickstart the series with Zero Ranger. Then I encountered a lot of trouble with the structure, I am not suited to write an overly long essay, and then this went on a long hiatus. Eventually I got fed up with it and just write in a way that suits my style, informal and journal-ish. 

I 1 credit cleared Zero Ranger. The most high profile shmups in recent time, adored by inside and outside the shmups community. Everyone in shmups community has at the very least heard about it, it has a spot in the Shmups Forum annual popularity poll, Dunkey shilled it, random folks I seen on Discord expressed interest in playing the game. I’m glad a shmup has received attention outside of shmups community, now if only Devil Engine or every other newly released shmups get the same treatment. 

I suspect I have differing opinion of Zero Ranger with everyone else. This game got a spot in the Shmups Forum Top 25 Shmups of all time, people are saying this game is one of the best shmups of all time, beating out a hundred other shmups in existence, that is a huge statement. I only see Zero Ranger as a good game with an otherwise unique presentation no shmups ever had.

There is a huge variety within the bosses, enemies, levels, but they are largely style over substance. They look cool the first time I look at it, then they turn out not that challenging and not even that interesting to fight. The best level in the entire game is the second stage because it is the only challenging one that tests player on both survival and scoring. I hated the R-Type ship, but then I find it the best boss to fight against in the entire game. It has a ball that absorbs your bullets, absorbs enough and it releases a lot of dense bullets. The ship itself is relatively fragile, well protected by the ball and its own dangerous bullet pattern. You can get around the ball and swiftly obliterate the ship, but positions you at a risky spot. The main boss is not as good as R-Type but it is still better than most of the bosses in the game. Its constant movement between left and right makes his bullet pattern pretty dangerous. The additional boss in second loop, he can be a dangerous fight if you do not have the backshot upgrade. Since you can’t stay above his head and safely backshoot him to death, you have to either stay below the head and shoot him, which puts you much closer to the source of the bullets, or try to hit his arm, which is easier said than done because the arm has hitbox and the boss will still shoots bullet toward you.

I have to say I like how the bosses have such a huge variety, but none of them reach the height of bosses in second stage. Grapefruit is a hype bossfight, I can play it again and again for the presentation, but really he is just a pushover. The true last boss looks intimidating at first, but she never changes her attack pattern up until the end. Once you become accustomed to her attack pattern, she sort of becomes a pushover as well.

Let’s talk about the stages, I like stage 2 because it has multiple things for players to keep track of at the same time. The player has to keep in mind of obstacles, the enemies coming from multiple direction, if the players play for scores they need to keep an eye on their chain counter. All the other stages feel like cakewalk, it becomes a bit harder if one tries to go for a scoring run, but not much. Playing stage 3 feels like going back to stage 1, it is most similar to stage 1 compared to stage 2 and stage 4, and it is a pretty easy stage as well, not counting the train and the walker. Stage 4 has a tons of gimmicks, and doesn’t even pretend it is not a scoring stage. In short, Stage 2 is the best because it is the only stage that tests players on both survival and scoring.

I beat the game with Type-B II IV VI, I have heard people criticized the balance of the game, that Type-C is completely inferior to  Type-B so there is no reason to choose Type-C. From the bit I played of Type-C, I have not discovered any advantage with its faster speed, its narrow shot doesn’t seem to deal more damage, seems to just exist for a tradeoff for its useless faster speed. The upgrades aren’t just less useful, they don’t even look as cool. Type B powerup allows you to shoot long range flamethrower from your butt, Type C’s just let you shoot regular bullets from your butt. Type B charge shot has a lot of utility, from shielding yourself to create a blockage, Type C’s is just piercing, you can absorb as many bullets as you can with the front but it covers very narrow area. Absorbing the bullets speeds up the charging, but this isn’t a bullet hell game, it might be more useful if the game is actually one, as there are more bullets for you to absorb, and allows you to spam the charge shot, and thus make it more useful. To be frank, the game does not seem to be balanced for Type C.

Zero Ranger has a great presentation, it has great visuals to look at, great soundtrack to listen to, and lot of surprise up its sleeves for first timer. I love its soundtrack and would shill it as much as I can. Zero Ranger has my favourite colour (orange) in its colour palette, and it meshes well with the green colour to create a very cool-looking aesthestic. As much as I love the visuals and soundtrack, they are bonuses to me, I tend to pay more attention to the gameplay department of a game. I can play a game with ugly looks as long as it is fun to play, I cannot play a boring game with pretty looks.

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Despite all the issues, I still like the game overall. I know not everybody are as gameplay purist as me, presentations and unique ideas still attracts a lot of people. With the game’s phenomenal presentation and original ideas, I can easily recommend it to anyone, even to people who doesn’t play shmups. I am looking forward to the hard difficulty mode, maybe that will fix my complaint, or at least the lack of challenge.

Why action genre rarely engrosses me (but not video games)

Action is fun, I love to watch others fight, I love to be in a fight(not in real life of course). I play a lot of action games, shmups and beat em ups are my favourite genre, followed by fighting games. You can look at my 5×4 and see how many of them are action games.

However, outside of video game, I have way worse time with action genre. A lot of them are really lacking, even the ones that is considered good by others. A good one will make me rewatch the scene multiple times and copy its choreograph like a chuuni, not a lot of action works make me do that.
That isn’t to say I did not have any action works I like, it is just that they are few. Works I like include John Wick, Mad Max Fury Road, The Raid, Rambo 2, Jojo, Vagabond, Berserk.
Most of my issues with actions scene can be broken down to 3 things.

1) They are either too short, or there isn’t enough of it
If something is tagged action, I expect a substantial amount of action on it. Instead of a 10 seconds fight. SSSS Gridman has this issue, the fights are too short in relative to its episode runtime. During the supposed fight scene, how many blows are traded between gridman and kaijus?


I can like an action work in spite of its lacking action scene, I can just look at the other aspect of the work, like characters and stories, but it is not an “action” work in my eye anymore. In Gridman case, I feel like I am watching a teen drama.

2) Too much exposition
This is a huge problem with Shounen Battle works. The characters sure love to explain their powers, motivations, backgrounds, hobbies, favourite food, life stories, fetishes etc in the middle of a fight. It breaks my suspension of disbelief of a fight is currently undergoing, no one stop fighting just to have a talk. In fact, no one are supposed to be talking during a fight. Sure it is fiction instead of real life, some leeway can be given for that. It doesn’t fix another issue though, slowing down the pacing of the fight.  The worst offender are the ones that has someone in the background constantly explain every single thing that just happened on screen, early Jojo manga and Hunter x Hunter 2011 anime adaptation are guilty of this.
Imagine watching a John Wick action scene, whenever John Wick or the opponent do something, like someone shooting at John Wick, the camera cuts to someone on the sideline yelling “The woman shot John Wick!”. And then the camera goes back to John Wick falling on the ground and when John Wick is getting up, the same person on the sideline yelled “John Wick is trying to get up despite his gun wound!”. That is real annoying.

Many fight scene try to fit in the expositions in a natural manner, like the characters are in a position that is possible for them to give exposition. I don’t necessarily hate exposition, if they are used well, the fight can end up as hype as a dialogueless choreograph. Jojo has tons of exposition, but Araki sure knows how to create unique scenario with the characters’ usage of their extremely specific Stands.
If the expositions do not break my suspension of disbelief, and the exposition is decent, I can have myself a good time. I only find Jojo and Dr Stone to do this well though.

 

3) They are just….alright
This one is more subjective and personal. Assuming an action work does not have shitty expositions, and there are enough action in an action scene. It might still not appeal to me. Because the fights are just not exciting. The Ultraman manga is an example, the fight panels are clean, not a single word in it. But the whole fight is just alright.
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I like over the top action, Devil May Cry has plenty of over the top cutscene and I can always watch it over and over again. The thing is Devil May Cry cutscenes basically have its own identity, you don’t see choreograph in Devil May Cry anywhere else.

Ultraman manga looks like something I have seen before, I will think it looks cool if I was in 10 years old. I compare it to fights in Marvel movies, it’s popcorn entertainment.
In other words, I like action works with a unique identity of its own. John Wick’s slick and elegant gun fu, The Raid’s brutal martial art, Devil May Cry stylish and crazy physics defying choreograph.

Why video games can appeal to me much more easily
Video game operates under a completely different set of rules, as long as the gameplay is phenomenal, it is good to go. Basically every beat em up and shmups I like. I am the one in control of the character, it is like under the illusion that I am the one doing the fight. I need to work my way up to get decent at a video game, in the process I enjoy the entire ordeal. A game can have a terrible story however it wants, that is not what I look for in a game. I am looking at the gameplay. The story and fight choreograph in Guilty Gear Xrd is terrible but that doesn’t detriment how great the gameplay and mechanic is. Everything is so damn cool and metal and I can do any of it as long as I put in the effort. I’m not into airplanes or aerodynamics or space opera or dogfighting, but dodging obstacles and figuring out routes is fun. If I manage to pull off a 1cc, it is extremely rewarding.

Conclusion
Overtime, my peculiar action taste has affected me negatively. It makes me avoid anything action. Instead of wasting time on consuming an action work and have an okay time, why not watch a slice of life anime, read a slice of life manga and have a great time. This season has Mob Psycho 100 season 2 and Dororo, they are probably great, they probably have great sakuga and fight scenes. I am not interested in following them. I am probably missing out, but there is just so much bad taste in my mouth. There is a limit to how much chance you can give something.

Now if you excuse me, I shall go play some more DMC 5.
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Surprises and Lessons in 2018 – Manga Edition

I compile a list of notable things happened in my life in 2018, and the ongoing troubles that carry over to 2019. I will separate them into video game, anime, and manga.

I notice there isn’t as much things happened in my personal life for anime compared to video games. I did watch plenty of good anime, it is just that I don’t think they deserve a spotlight.  A lot of them are really well received online so I expected I will like them very much and have a good time, or love them very much and have it become one of my favourites. You Are Under Arrest has so much unexpected circumstances surrounding it, it deserves its own spotlight in surprises and lessons.

This is the same case with manga. I actually consumed a lot more of manga compared to video game and anime, but there just isn’t much things happened in 2018. Regardless, here is the final surprises and lessons.

 

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I finally become a Jojo fan!
Jojo has a huge following both in manga and anime. I seen people talk about it so much, I have to read the manga to semi-participate in any future discussions. Beforehand I have watched the anime adaptation of Part 1, read Part 2 and Part 3.
In 2018 I have read Part 4, Part 7, Part 8 and Part 5. Somewhere along the line I start to like Jojo series.
The appeals of Jojo come from the battles, there isn’t anything else likes it. Maybe Hunter x Hunter? The nen power is too complicated for my small brain and the series is still very much shounen (not a fan of shounen battle series in general).
And I have particular fondness for extremely stylized art.

 

Hanjuku Joshi, I finished it exactly on January 1st of 2019. Somehow I like this manga fairly well.


Down the yuri rabbit hole
I learnt what Dynasty Scan actually is in 2018. I started using it to read random yuri works. It does not go well.
I find a lot of them mediocre. Ever since Bloom into You I have been trying to look for something that can be as good as it.
I read so much of yuri, dropped so much of them, I started to think this genre is not for me. After all, Bloom into You , what makes Bloom Into You great for me, stems from the character motivation and drama, the lesbian romance is a side effect. Or I set too high of a standard for myself
I have a channel of my own in a Discord server, where I share my thoughts on Yuri stuff I read. It makes reading Yuri slightly more fun.

Still have not delved into yaoi, shoujo and josei
I am interested in depiction of homosexual relationship, maybe because I never seen one myself in real life. I went for yuri first because, girls. I still have not started looking for yaoi manga yet. To be honest, I do not know where to start.
As for shoujo and josei mangas, it’s more that I seen Shounen and Seinen mangas are talked about more often, at least from my perspective, naturally I get into them more often, Shoujo and Josei are basically untapped territory to me. Even though these are just demographics labels, different demographics like different things and that is what makes it interesting to see what is popular among a particular demographic. I’m curious how does Shoujo and Josei mangas look like. Again, I do not know where to start.