10 October 2017

'Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, Vol 2'

Three years. I've been biting my nails in anticipation for this book for three bloody years.

And now I have to wait for the translation of volume three. And this book ends on an even more nerve-wrecking note than volume one. I love this book so much that my anxiety for volume three's translation and publication might kill me.

While it has been a long time since I last thought of the five-volumed Quantum Devil Saga and its spiritual older brother the Digital Devil Saga duology, I easily jumped back into the narrative and world without feeling like a day passed since I last read about Serph, the Embryon, and the denizens of the mysterious Junkyard. I rarely felt that connected to a story's world, and I cannot praise everyone involved in the games and this book series enough.

Before reading further, I suggest checking out my thoughts on Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, Vol 1 from 2014. Also, as I went down memory lane to prepare for this post, I remembered Kevin Frane informing me that the guys at Bento Books read my review of volume one and liked it. Supposedly. I-I'm still kinda in denial about it. *fans self to prevent fainting*

Anywho, enough about silly me. SPOILERS AHOY!

28 September 2017

Netflix's 'Death Note': Another Awful American Adaptation

Once upon a time in the scenic but boring Philadelphia suburbs, a girl quietly took notes and waited for her teacher to return as her classmates gossiped and played pranks. The boy in front of her annoyed her especially with his radiant gold hair, light skin that tanned into a crisp Hollywood celebrity glow, and pearl-white teeth. He always sat in front of her, but not by choice; students sat alphabetically in rows for every period from the first day of the school year to the last. A jock and one of the smartest kids in her grade, that boy bragged about his supposedly authentic Italian heritage and basked in attention, adoration, expensive cars, and education awards. He was not the one she hated most in the school, but even if he was moderately attractive, she was physically unable to say a positive thing about him as a human being. She once slammed the back of his head with her history textbook for making an ignorantly sexist comment, shocking the class who never thought the quiet, muted girl living in her own mental dreamscape had a vindictive streak.

Given the right environment with the right people, that girl would rant and debate for hours on anything that she felt passionate about. Instead, she sealed her lips shut, kept only four friends, and navigated through eight years of Catholic schooling. She never knew what group she belonged to - nerds, goths, gamers, or whatever labels were cool in the late 2000s - but she knew herself and her interests enough to not feel completely lost when she was alone. After she graduated high school, she kept her friends and burned the names and faces of her peers from her memory. They never cared for her in school, so why should they ever try to reach out to her now? She feared that if she tried to remember them, hatred for them would fester and manifest into urges too "logical" and compelling to not act on. Instead, she poured her energy into studies and work to live a productive life, and she allowed herself to relax with entertainment to cope with emotions not respected in a post-industrial society.

I am glad Death Notes aren't real, because I would definitely be one of the worst people who could ever have the power to murder at will. If I did have it, I'd be fighting the temptation to get rid of any of my Catholic school peers who dare to try to contact me instead of targeting the politicians that have allowed the political, economic, and cultural capitals of the US to become ideologically cultish cesspools. Imagine Stephen King's Carrie if she was a Myers Briggs INTJ like Augustus Caesar and channeled Rei's stoicism from Evangelion. I still resent the people I went to school with, but I am aware enough of my feelings that I do everything in my power to not allow them to mutate into an uncontrollable monster that consumes me. That is something someone like Light Yagami would completely fail to understand... but at least he's not Light Turner.

Fuck. He looks like that douchebag I sat behind.
Oh yes, people, I watched the Netflix adaptation of Death Note. And I have opinions. Strong opinions.

Spoilers, if anyone cares enough about this predictable dumpster fire.
Oh, and as an added disclaimer, I do get a bit political given some of the ire American adaptations of Japanese fiction tend to stir on the lovely English-speaking side of the interwebs.

18 June 2017

Yet Another Guilty Pleasure: Romance and 'Yuri!!! On Ice'


... I love Yuri!!! On Ice.  It's better for me to come out and say it on my own platform rather than on Twitter or Tumblr. Oh god I can't make myself look up YOI on Tumblr or Google without safe search...

Please don't ask me to rate this. I've no clue how to rate it anyway. This isn't a review. If you want to watch Yuri!!! On Ice, go forth and watch. If not, don't watch it; that's perfectly acceptable. If you're undecided, well, don't feel the need to watch it because of me or anyone else who asserts that this is the best thing ever (SPOILER: it isn't). This is not a show you need to watch right now, because it already has deserved more than enough praise. SERIOUSLY, this show does not need any more fans and/or attention.

Yet here I am, a fan, blushing uncontrollably as I'm typing this. I am ashamed. So very ashamed. I tried to resist this damned anime, and I have never failed so spectacularly in not giving a shit.

Yuri!!! On Ice, you broke me. You fucking broke me. You have left my brain and heart at odds over your stupid existence. I want those 30+ hours and five weeks worth of repeated binge-watching back. And you owe me a million grams of insulin for the diabetes you inflicted upon me. And I need directions to the nearest volcano to throw myself into.

There be SPOILERS ahoy... if you care enough. Seriously, please don't read beyond this point. You don't need to see me at my most pathetic. Seriously, read one of my older posts instead. You'll get more use out of my badly written high school drivel than this. Please. don't read any further. I beg of you. Don't do it.

05 June 2017

Promise Lost ~ A Reflection on 'Mass Effect: Andromeda'

Enough of the eagerness and euphoria has left my bloodstream that I can look at Mass Effect: Andromeda a little more objectively. If I were to write a review today, I would align myself with those who gave the game a 7/10. By my rating system, that'd be about 3.5/5. Regardless of whether people think it's a good score or not, I cannot condone the gaming industry's skewed and bullshit re-interpretation of ratings for games, and I condemn the bombardment of low ratings from players who hate the superficial faults and call the entire game a dumpster fire based on said shallow nitpicks. Also, a budget of $40 million isn't that much money in the realm of AAA games, especially when this industry is getting so massive that Hollywood will soon be sweating bullets. Mass Effect: Andromeda's problems vastly eclipse quantitative numbers regarding finances and "five years".

THAT SAID. I may still say I love this game in many ways, but when I wake up and smell the coffee this game is a disappointment. Mass Effect: Andromeda took the franchise one step forward and two steps back for a variety of reasons more harmful than "bad animations". And above all, I fear the way Bioware will address these problems, much like every single major developer in the AAA market has done for almost a decade. Now that the Bioware Montreal team which worked on Andromeda is being downsized, my fears are coming true.

Without a doubt, this series deserves better that what we got, but I want to pick at the miniscule specs of gold that is worth preserving and improving upon.

Here there be some SPOILERS.

02 June 2017

The Squees of Spring: An Update

Once I purchased Persona 5, I fell into a deep rabbit hole in which I think I'm climbing back out of. It's hard to say at this point since I'm still in the middle of being distracted. I haven't streamed or updated my blog due to my narrow focus as of late. At least I have uploaded nearly 20 chapters of my Persona 3 fanfic on a semi-regular weekly basis, though I had to pause briefly to make some additional changes to my drafts before continuing the upload.

I will keep working on my Mass Effect: Andromeda post, but with the three released patches and the news that Bioware's Montreal team is being downsized due to all the backlash and EA being EA, I still don't feel entirely confident rendering judgement on the game. My excitement has sobered considerably, particularly because Persona 5 is vastly superior in nearly every single way, and I have been unable to bring myself to complete my third run with my Vetra-mancing Ryder despite being 75% done the main story. That sentence might damn the game more than a long rant, but I have to be honest about where I'm sitting as of today.

Rather than focus on lukewarm topics, I'll share more positive news.

24 March 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda ~ The First 15 Hours

I am so happy right now. My grin is bigger and wider than my face. Considering how stressful the past year has been, this is exactly what I needed. If nothing else, Mass Effect: Andromeda has consumed my life enough that I have walked into work completely exhausted and tired three days in a row. And it was worth it.

Four years life through college later and the waiting is over at last. Finally. Fucking finally.

Since I am still relatively close to the beginning of the game (over 15 hours and nearly 20% complete according to my save file as of my writing this), I will make a multi-bullet-pointed first impressions post. Twitter does not accommodate my gift in writing essays, and my poor baby needs some love, so blog away I shall!

Minor spoilers ahoy!

12 March 2017

Making Adjustments and Testing the Streams

Over the past few years, I've been struggling with finding a way to express myself that I am comfortable with and not feel bored in the process. This blog has helped me a lot in high school, but I know I've been neglecting it due to my personal insecurities and the changes in my personal life. It doesn't help that college was just a busy time for me in general. The timing couldn't be more perfect: last year, when my activity here was at an all-time low, I had the most visitors.

There went a window of opportunity and growth that I missed.

Anywho. Since I graduated from college almost a year ago, and the possibilities are endless, I'm now trying to change how I approach my hobbies to see if I can do anything with them besides hiding in a corner and wailing. I started by posting my fanfic, Through the Empty Spiral, over a month ago on a semi-weekly basis. I can't be a better writer unless it's out there to get praise or ridicule. There are still a few posts I have not yet published, and I want to work on them so fewer untouched items sit at the bottom of the basket.

Yep. I dabbled in streaming. By myself. While sober.

Me. Doing anything based in video. Me, who had two panic attacks in my public speaking course in my freshman year and somehow still got a B. The me who stutters and rambles if I don't have a script handy. The me who has no following whatsoever and pretends that at least one person likes what I say on this vast, open, wild and free country known as the internet.

Past me would hate current me for my nerve.

Well, time and events do change people. The me from 2010 would not recognize the me of 2017. Honestly, not changing would have made me an insufferable person, and I still have enough energy in me to make changes and improvements when necessary and practical. If writing alone isn't enough to get me excited or to motivate me to learn, well, I do the very thing that I once claimed I would never, ever attempt.

(But there were those handful of times I did appear in a friend's streams, but I don't count them much.)

In my personal experience, being late to hop onto the bandwagon is better than never. There are still a lot of kinks to iron out with streaming (some of which can't be avoided due to my less than perfect internet connection and the PS4 not being a PC powerhouse), but I thought, "Why the fuck not? Try it out and see if you like it. If it works out, that's awesome; if not, at least you tested your limits." As of this post, I have two sessions saved on my Twitch archive, and once they vanish thanks to the 14-day limit they will sit on the Youtube account I have thanks to Google. I doubt anything will come out of this, but I'm willing to try a medium outside of my comfort zone. Writing comes much more naturally to me than speaking or making videos, so this unmarked territory will bring all sorts of challenges I never had the chance to know about or attempt to overcome.

I am uncertain how things will play out this year, especially when my current job will end this July and finding a new one will be me fighting the same anxiety demon as I did last summer. If this helps keep me sane and I learn a few things about myself along the way, then I'll feel like I accomplished something.

In the meantime Mass Effect Andromeda comes out nine days from now, and my bank account hates me for it. I will likely be off the map for a while, gushing and squeeing over the return to the world of Mass Effect in a new, refreshing way, but when in doubt, I will likely say something on Twitter.

Maybe if I'm ballsy enough, I might stream a bit of Andromeda... as soon as I make changes to the resolution and fix the audio. And pray my internet doesn't crap out on me. Baby steps, me, baby steps...

... March 21, come quicker, damn it!

09 March 2017

Farewell, HIM, My Lovable Music Nerds

Three days ago I caught wind of HIM calling it quits this year. They're holding one last tour across the globe to celebrate 26 years of music spanning eight albums, dozens of singles, and a bunch of bonus albums with remixes, live performances, and music videos. If I can make it to any of the shows in the US, that'd be great. If not... well... once is better than never, right?

To be honest, I'm not entirely shocked they're breaking up. It's been a few years since Tears on Tape's release, and I was concerned that it was playing a bit too much on the safe - if not stale - side. The lineup had not changed in over a decade until Gas left a few years ago. Without any major updates, I was waiting patiently, only to learn from one of my internet friends from Finland about this recent development.

I... I think I'm ok with this. I will never claim they're the best band to ever live. Not by a long shot.  I'm an unapologetic fangirl for this band, and Ville Valo raised my standards for men above and beyond the realm of reality, but I'm not stupid.

HIM were a goofy, strange band with an eclectic, diverse, and dynamic style that works wonderfully for some and fails disastrously for others. Scared moral guardians took His Infernal Majesty from their early days way too seriously (hell, even my own parents did at first, funnily enough), and a legion of fans came around thanks to Bam Margera's fanboy-ism going to insane levels in the early to mid 2000s. And, yes, some of the more intense fragments of the goth fans did sometimes get melodramatic about the band to the point that serious music critics could barely take HIM seriously. And most of all, some of Ville's lyrics are cringe-inducing in how corny, lame, intense, and sappy they can be; Razorblade Romance, even with its vibrant, migraine-splitting pink cover, is audio candy so sweet that you'll get diabetes and need a limb or two amputated before the halfway mark.

Despite all of that, they're my favorite band. They're my goofy, pseudo-goth band with their melodramatic brand of "love metal".

I literally fell in love with their music on Valentine's Day in my freshman year of high school. I pre-ordered two of their albums, both of which arrived at the very moments I needed them most: leaving school early due to illness, only for snow to cancel school the next day, and returning home from college to find items to help me complete my final assignment in an art course. They were the first concert I ever went to, and I was fuming when Ville came out on stage with his curly hair completely chopped off; I saved my babysitting money for tickets, and I bought my fingerless gloves, a sweatshirt, and a shirt that I still hold onto. They made me feel like a normal high school girl when I feared I felt too different, having pictures of Ville Valo cover the inside door of my locker, crushing hard on the tall, dark-haired baritone, and listening to all of their albums inside and out until I nearly memorized the lyrics to every single song. I was so happy to love a band that sounded as great live as they did in the studio, something that seems so rare for some reason. And I cannot stress how much I admire Ville Valo for being a singer and multi-instrumentalist as well as a songwriter in rock and metal, another unfortunate rarity these days.

HIM helped me endure period cramps that would leave me bedridden for two days. They inspired me to expand my taste in music further by listening to their influencers, including Type O Negative and Black Sabbath. They helped fuel some of my passion for writing, and they helped me focus on my long, overdone Persona 3 fanfic. They had fun with their art, making me laugh over interviews and live performance recordings throughout the years. They burned a big hole in my wallet that I proud of. They shined a little light on a country many people overlook due to them being so far north in the cold, and I wanted to learn more about Finland's language, culture, and art almost as much as anime made me fascinated in Japan. They taught me to not take my interests and opinions too seriously when others disagreed with me. They let me cry and be vulnerable when my parents divorced, when I left home for college, when I moved out of my mom's house, when I panicked about grades, when I searched for a job, and when I struggled with my confused feelings about love.

March 26, 2010, the day I lived a full life.
HIM helped me grow up. HIM made me a stronger person. HIM is a warm blanket that I have outgrown and has holes in it from overuse, but they always brought me joy when I needed them. I laughed and cried over a group of men I will never meet because their talents and abilities as artists created something beautiful and unique that can never be replaced.

And now... they're gone.

More than them breaking up and moving on to other projects, I lament how short those seven years of my being a fan were. There is no new album to look forward to anymore. It feels strange, eerie, like a sudden death of a friend. I'll miss HIM. I'll miss them so much. I will continue to treasure their music, and one day, I will have a heartagram tattoo in my skin. Every music fan has a group or song that means the world to them. HIM meant still means the world to me.

Ville, Linde, Mige, Burton, and Gas, godspeed, you adorable music nerds. Good luck to everything you boys do in joy and sorrow. Thank you.

*sniff* ... I managed this much without crying, and I'm failing. Shit, their music makes me wanna cry all the time now.
Damn it, I need to laugh.

I am so glad I saved all of these images on my computer over the years. XD

Haha, I love you, boys.


20 January 2017

Fun, Madness, and Fanfiction: Jan 2017 Update

Yesterday marked the end of an era. Today, an 70-year-old offspring of a human and an orangutang is sworn in as presidency in America's great capital with almost no heavy traffic, no Hollywood celebrities in sight, protests galore, an uncrowded broken subway system, and venues canceling events due to lack of interest in today's humiliating festivities.

God bless America.

At least now people are starting to wake up and fight back, which makes the world feel slightly less crazy than it already is. 2017 is starting off better than last year, so I'm trying to stay positive. Having John Oliver and Bill Maher back on air as soon as there done with their breaks will help tremendously. The non-profit I work for is planning to write up an open letter to keep certain conversations about issues going. And Chelsea Manning will be free in May, which is the best news to start off this year.


Gaming-wise, I'm pretty lax with the six games - including Tales of Zestiria, Hatsune Miku Project Diva X, and Bloodborne - I have for my Playstation 4 Pro. They're barely helping me get by until Mass Effect Andromeda and Persona 5 (the delay to add in dual audio and the drama that it caused baffled me more than anything), but now that I'm in love with Dragon Age, I am now in agony until the fourth game comes out.

(Thankfully I'm not foaming at the mouth and, AOS is right, but I am still annoyed.)

Music-wise, I got a Spotify account. I've been bored of my own personal music library and I'm too broke to buy CDs and iTunes gift cards at the moment, so this is a fair compromise. Since it's been years since I last heard them, I've been listening to more Moonspell, Eisbrecher, Pain, and Tristania. HIM is still touring, thank goodness, but waiting for their ninth album is also killing me. I guess since I'm not making much money, this means I can afford to wait until I jump onto another job with a higher wage. Until then, going back down memory lane when I listened to music on Pandora has reminded me that there are still great bands out there if you look hard enough.

Movie-wise, I saw Rogue One with my dad, and we enjoyed it immensely. Otherwise I have not seen many films as of late. Netflix's library hasn't enamored me either besides A Series of Unfortunate Events. I grew up reading the books, and while I don't remember much from them, the show does touch ideas that I remembered enjoying from the books. Part of me still likes the 2004 film, but this series has caught my attention, and I will stick with it. Not much else has kept my attention long enough anyway.

Oh, and I finally just started posting my Persona 3 fanfic.

Yep. It's about time, honestly. I did angst and torture myself over it for years now.

As of this post, only three chapters are up, but I will try to post new chapters up weekly. This also gives me time to polish up the laster chapters as I tie the last knots of the plot since I'm literally at the tail end of the story. Feel free to check it out.

Yep, I am so feeling the love right now. I think I should focus on writing something constructive -

"Ar dirthan'as ir elgara, ma'sula e'var vhenan."


I do not like bald eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I Am.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...