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Alzrius's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,184 posts. 70 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Tyinyk wrote:
Neadenil Edam wrote:
timelord ?
Be a reincarnated druid.

My group called that particular idea "Dr. Hoot."


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This thread points out why most Pathfinder PCs don't go clubbing.

*rimshot*


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Erik Mona wrote:
But an archetype requires a class, and what class is Red Sonja? Check back here next week, and I'll tell you!

You kinda let it slip before, with that EN World article that showed that she's a level 7 ranger.

That said, I'm quite hyped for this comic series; I just side-cart'd a preorder, and can't wait for it to arrive! I'm also very interested in these design diaries, as I always find these peaks behind the proverbial curtain fascinating.

In this case, I'm intrigued by the process that went into the coinmail (née chainmail) bikini armor, since insofar as I'm aware this is probably the most serious treatment that that particular trope has ever received in the tabletop RPG industry. It's a shame it's not going to be an actual armor that anyone can wear, though I agree that as written the above armor is little more than an excuse to get enhancement bonuses (even if haramaki armor does that already, as others have noted).

...but what I really want to know is, why does Sonja have a +1 shield bonus to her AC? Doesn't she typically fight with a two-handed style, rather than sword-and-shield?


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thejeff wrote:

As a software engineer, I'm quite familiar with this kind of set up. The correct solution is almost always to redesign and rebuild from scratch.

As a developer, I'm well aware there's never time or budget to do that.

In my experience - and from what I've heard from others - that's an unfortunate truth that comes up much more often than a lot of people think.

While I like a lot of the suggestions that were put forward, that can often be like someone saying "I really like this house, but the roof needs to be a foot higher. It's only a foot, that's not that hard, right?" When in fact, doing that wouldn't be that much different from building a brand new house, with commensurate costs.


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KSF wrote:

@Alzrius, thank you for replying, and thank you for reading and considering what I said.

We'll have to continue to disagree on what we disagree on, but I do agree that we are coming from a similar place. Apologies if I was a little hot under the collar at times in my replies.

I'd like to apologize also for coming off a little too strongly there at the beginning, and also express my gratitude for such a constructive dialogue. :)


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Crystal Frasier wrote:
Buri Reborn wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Quick side note: LGBT people are not "controversial topics." LGBT people are human being we ask be treated with respect and humanity in our company spaces, especially considering that we have many employees who fall within that community and are required to participate in the forums as part of our jobs
Then, please, enlarge that company space to include the forums and afford the folks here the same protections you, yourselves, enjoy, including from and especially to other members of the Paizo staff.
You'll note we also don't tolerate people using our forums to proclaim that heterosexuality is a mental illness, or dictate how straight people should act if they don't want to be fired for being heterosexual.

You're correct, but oftentimes the situation is far more subtle. I've seen posters here justify making insulting comments about a particular demographic by calling it "expressing frustration" rather than "expressing hate."

Moreover, they then compounded this by saying that there was no need to indicate that this sentiment wasn't universal with regards to all members of that demographic, making excuses like "people slip between literal and figurative language all the time" and "the 'not all' is understood," not realizing that if you have to say that then that's quite clearly not understood.

When another member pointed out how that would sound if applied towards black people like them, they were told how it doesn't work that way due to "power dynamics."

Not only was this not moderated, a Paizo member favorited the initial post in question.


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I'll mention that posts by Paizo's staff seems to be exempt from the moderation policies. While I can understand that this might be a tricky needle to thread, I've seen a member of the Paizo staff be very condescending, rude, and sometimes outright insulting on multiple occasions, and flagging has never resulted in any deletions or other actions that I've seen. Needless to say, this is rather disheartening.


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High-fantasy post-apocalyptic.

The reason why Golarion is gone in Starfinder? Because the Worldwound opened wider, the demons won the war, and Rovagug is comin' back, baby! It's a setting that has yer "points of light" on the verge of being snuffed out...unless you can step up.


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WOOOOOT!!!

Freakin' booyah!!!

As a subs fan with a Crunchyroll subscription, and who has long wished to access the stuff on Funimation but didn't want to manage another subscription (particularly since, unlike Crunchyroll, Funimation doesn't have a channel that I can load onto my TV via my WiiU), this makes me so deliriously happy!


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Isn't this the kind of problem that glamered armor was made to solve?


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Freehold DM wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
For those who haven't seen, there's a very brief review of Chobits over at gaming blog The Alexandrian. Slightly NSFW due to cursing.
this guy doesn't read much clamp, does he?

Yeah, I thought that too (though his review did make me laugh).


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For those who haven't seen, there's a very brief review of Chobits over at gaming blog The Alexandrian. Slightly NSFW due to cursing.


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I was just reading that old article ("Plane Speaking: Tuning into the Outer Planes," by Jeff Grubb) in issue #120, where he gave the material and pitch for the tuning forks needed for each plane when casting plane shift.

There are plenty of old articles like that that are still incredibly useful today.


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Dragon78 wrote:
I really liked it as well but then again I have liked every Discord episode so far.

To be clear, I wasn't saying that I liked it per se. I certainly didn't dislike it...rather, there were a number of points that I found noteworthy, in one way or another.

For example:

Yeah, this is where I turn into the "Genius at work" guy. I can't help it; it's just how my brain works.

The Premise, Part 1: This episode's prologue immediately lost me. Why is Discord so bereft that Fluttershy is leaving for a few days? The implication seems to be that he won't know what to do while she's gone, but that doesn't make any sense; most episodes that feature Fluttershy don't feature Discord, which suggests that he's not spending the vast majority of his time around her anyway. So why is he practically begging her to stay (or at least to take him with her)?

The Premise, Part 2: Why are Spike and Big Mac even trying to keep their love of tabletop RPG's a secret in the first place? I get that this is a play on the old stigma about being a gamer, but does Equestria - the land of friendship and harmony - really have that stigma in the first place?

(Wait, does that mean that Spike saying that he and Big Mac were going to talk about hoofball back in The Cutie Map, Part One was just a cover?)

The Setup: Oh Spike...a GMPC? Really? That's about as fun as playing a game of chess against yourself. Wouldn't it be better to tradeoff GMing with Big Mac, where you each run a solo adventure for the other?

Also, Spike is playing a level 30 enchanter and Big Mac is a level 27 black knight? Yeah...I call Monty Haul on this campaign.

Crappy GMing: Spike told Discord that his archer (who was using arrows against skeletons there at the end) couldn't use magic. Then, when Discord insisted, had him mis-cast a spell - and then described at length how the NPCs were laughing at him for it - and then went back to saying that Discord's character couldn't use magic. And yet this is somehow within the rules? Really? Because it seemed to me like Spike was being a real jerk about that entire exchange. That's like a primer on how not to bring someone into the hobby.

Interaction: It really felt like the conflict between Discord and Spike and Big Mac was being artificially played up. Why didn't Discord leave immediately when he found out what they were doing, or at least when they made it clear they weren't going to stroke his ego? It just seemed weird that he kept at it for as long as he did.

By that same token, why did Spike and Big Mac immediately miss Discord when he finally did leave? Considering how angry and upset they were less than a minute beforehand, it seemed almost schizophrenic.

Discord Does What?: Wait, so Discord's idea of a guys' night out is drinking, dancing, and...picking up girls? Well, this certainly adds a whole new meaning to that time that he gave Celestia flowers.

Big Mac Stays Silent: I really feel like this was a missed opportunity to give Big Mac some speaking lines. I get that sticking to just "eeyup" and "nnnope" is his schtick and all, but he's stepped outside of that before, and it would have been nice if he did here, since he's so rarely anywhere near the spotlight.

The "Gamers" Part: I knew ahead of time this was going to go "in-game" at some point; that just seemed inevitable once the premise was established. That said, I did like that the very first thing that Spike and Big Mac did once they were brought into the game was start wrecking stuff. Murderhobos indeed.

But Spike, why oh why did you turn tail and run when the Squizzard and his skeletons appeared? Were his stats really that overwhelming? I mean, you're a level 30 spellcaster for cryin' out loud! Elminster was only level 29 at his highest! (Albeit with a major template, and his Third Edition stats added another six levels on top of that, but those didn't add to his arcane spellcasting and so don't really count for much of anything.) You should have been packing some serious punch!

(Yes, Ogres & Oubliettes isn't D&D, but it's clearly meant to be in the same vein, and there's no edition of D&D, nor any class-level-based retroclone, OSR game, or fantasy heartbreaker wherein level 30 isn't damn high!)

The Canon: So I suspect that the use of "Ogres & Oubliettes" will trigger a debate on if that makes the comics canon, since the game is first mentioned there. I don't think that it does, if for no other reason that there are still many, many more instances where the show contradicts the comics - usually in a much more egregious manner - to counter that assertion. It's not like Discord made any mention of the CMC having played the game, so this doesn't really reference any instance or circumstance from the comics anyway.

"Guys Night": Okay, a slightly more controversial topic here. At the end of the episode, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash throw themselves into the game that the guys are playing (Pinkie looked like a bard, but Rainbow was a...rogue of some kind? I see her as being much more of a fighter-type), openly cheering "guys night!" when they do. Given that the premise of the episode was that the boys wanted to spend some time playing their favorite game together - as in, not with the girls - was this discourteous of them? Or was the very nature of the boys wanting to have a "guys night" exclusionary (and therefore immoral) of them in the first place?

In both cases, the answer I came to was "no." This is largely because we saw exactly the opposite of this happen in Brotherhooves Social (wherein Big Mac dressed in drag to be with Apple Bloom at the Sisterhooves Social, only to find out that everyone knew it was him, and didn't care). The tone that both episodes struck was the (very mature) realization that celebrating one particular group doesn't mean you're denigrating anyone else, and that if someone else does want to join in that celebration, then there's no reason not to welcome them.

Looking back now, that part of the episode was probably my favorite. Except...well...they were LARPing there at the end. Damned dirty LARPers.


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@BigBadFighter Im m.class rogue/ranger, so meet my rust monster animal companion #level20problems #NicheUnprotected #RoguesDoItFromBehind


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Lvl 20 rogue mad cuz I can still replace him with Gr. Weapon Spec., some ranks in UMD, and wand of knock. #level20problems #NicheUnprotected


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lol. NPC plebs I knew at lvl 1 just gave 50 gp to kill goblins. Gobs gave 100 to leave em alone. Oh well, CN here ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ #level20problems


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So my keen holy g. touch longsword +5 can beat DR 20/cold iron, epic, and good on Pazuzu but not DR 5/bludge on a skeleton. #level20problems


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Hafta use gate cuz plane shift can't handle my familiar, cohort, followers, constructs, animated undead, and party members. #level20problems


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My stupid holy champion power is auto-ending my smite evil whenever I use it to whack an evil outsider. Sucks! #level20problems


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I absolutely don't get folks' love for kitsune or any other anthropomorphized race. But that's just me.

Oh yeah? Well I don't get why I keep reading your name as "DungeonmasterSoCal," so there!


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So I did some checking, and I can now confirm:

Spoiler:
This blog entry has the correct number of "na's" in the title.


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Krensky wrote:
Both of you compleyely missed the point.

I don't believe I did, but if you disagree then I'm interested in hearing your opinion on the anime under discussion. What do you think the point of it was?


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thejeff wrote:
Alzrius: The proper response here to moderation issues is to contact the moderators and ask. They have restored deleted posts on occasion.

That's what I did. Or did you mean privately?

I've seen public responses to moderation here before, and can't recall any particular admonishments that such responses should be done privately, so I didn't take that to be an issue.

Quote:

Just reposting a removed post (and continuing the deleted back and forth - or was the previous post also a repost?) is just asking for trouble.

Flagged.

Neither of those were reposts; I rewrote my initial response to Aranna's points in a way that was designed to be less confrontative while still speaking to the points under debate; given that Liz had seen fit to leave that particular response of Aranna's up (as well as one of mine before it), it seemed self-evident that the debate itself was permissible.

Likewise, the second post was a complete rewrite (and I stated upfront that it was a rewrite) of my thoughts on the series in question, rather than a word-for-word repost.


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So for no reason that I can fathom, my previous review of Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne ("Rinne no Lagrange") was deleted. I'm going to presume that this was some sort of mistake, since there's no way that it violated any of the forum rules, and do my best to rewrite it.

I'm of the opinion that reviewing something is a process of asking the following questions about a particular work: 1) What goals did it set for itself? 2) Did it succeed at meeting those goals? and 3) If so, how artfully did it achieve them? If not, then why not?

To my mind, Lagrange was a coming-of-age story that wanted to focus on themes of (deep and meaningful) friendships and self-affirmation as one enters the world. However, I'm of the opinion that it failed to meet those goals, largely as a result of how it utilized external opposition to try and represent internal tribulations. I say "how" there because the idea of having external circumstance be reflective of personal growth is far from a new idea. Rather, the issue was that Lagrange simply didn't do this very well, to my mind.

A twenty-four episode series, Lagrange is the story of a high school girl named Madoka. When she's suddenly tasked with piloting a mecha - and use it to defend against two galactic kingdoms whose war has just arrived at the Earth - she eventually becomes friends with the princess from each kingdom (who themselves break away from their homelands), using their mecha to bring an end to the war while trying to also navigate their everyday lives.

The setup here is presented rather well; the initial episodes make it clear that while Madoka, Lan, and Muginami are all initially well-adjusted teenage girls, as their circumstances suddenly change each of them has a personal crisis that needs to be overcome. For Lan and Muginami, this is based around separation from their family up until that point, forcing them to figure out who they are apart from their extended social network. More notable is Madoka, who goes through this transition without any sudden transition, and as a consequence needs longer to figure things out.

This is where the story of "adolescence-turned-adulthood" tries to tie into themes of friendship. All three girls are fundamentally alone at the beginning of the series; while this is highlighted when Lan and Muginami are separated from their respective kingdoms, Madoka's isolation comes into focus in a way that more directly connects to the show's main theme of growing up: for her, the realization is that she's been acting the part that her older cousin invented for her as a coping mechanism to deal with her (Madoka's) mother's death. It's in realizing that she can't maintain this identity after high school ends, since it's not her own, that Madoka's pathos comes from.

The reason I don't think that the series is very good, however, is that it tries too hard to telegraph its message. For Madoka, the answer to this problem is not so much to create a new sense of self (the way that Muginami and Lan do), but rather to come to own the identity that she's had up until now. Rather than act as a member of the "Jersey Club" - the single-member school club that she's in whose activities are to go around doing good deeds - because that's how she was taught to act, Madoka makes the conscious and deliberate decision to do so because that's who she wants to be.

This determination is presented in terms of her being essentially unstoppable - not just on the battlefield - but in the face of almost every problem she faces. While we do see instances of her having self-doubt, these are comparatively few and far between. Instead, most of what we see is Madoka blazing a way through any and all opposition.

By itself, that's not a problem; there are lots of shows that use pesonal determination as fuel for overcoming an external situation. The problem comes in the form of the show throwing Madoka against problems that shouldn't be able to be solved via simply being headstrong...and then she solves them anyway. The most egregious example of this is that she manages to single-handedly end the war between two galactic-scale civilizations by indignantly declaring that their leaders should...not so much sit down to talk, but open their hearts and share their feelings with each other (or she'll beat them up).

This, for me, was the single greatest failing of the series. War, especially at that scale, shouldn't be something that can be ended (let alone instantaneously ended) by just making their leaders hug it out. Moreover, the idea that only the pure-hearted determination of a teenage girl can see that, let alone make it happen, was more than my suspension of disbelief could handle.

The end result was to make Lagrange into a show where everything revolved around its main cast to a degree that the narrative didn't seem to adequately support. Ultimately, Madoka seemed to triumph over her foes not so much because she had an ultimate mecha at her disposal, or even because she had determination that became a source of power for that mecha, but simply because she wanted it more than anyone else...whether it was combat or emotional virtue. The former is plausible, whereas the latter is not (at least to me).

Ultimately, this was the series single greatest failing, and why I wouldn't recommend it. When the main character can bring an end to macro-scale sociopolitical problems because she can emotionally-overbear the opposition, the show isn't one that I think is worthwhile.


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Aranna wrote:
It isn't that I ignored your explanation it's that I reject it. Only people with deep close friendships aren't loners?! Huh? That makes no sense.

It makes perfect sense; you can be alone in a crowd of people, and be a loner even if you have numerous acquaintances. That is to say, you misunderstood what I said; see below.

Quote:
A loner is "a person who prefers not to associate with others." to quote the dictionary. They all associate with others freely and clearly enjoy it.

The dictionaries that I looked in both included that a "loner" can be someone who is alone - regardless of reasons - and not just someone who wants to be alone.

In the case of Lagrange, that very clearly applies to Madoka, Lan, and Muginami, as they are alone in the sense of having no close friends before they find each other. They have casual acquaintances, sure, but that's quite clearly not enough.

Quote:
Also I begin to see what you clearly missed that gave you the impression about talking about it working.

I didn't miss what you indicated; rather, I don't think it carries the same significance that you seem to be assigning it.

Quote:
Spoiler:
In the dialogs between the Kings and Moid at various points you can piece together that the only reason he stopped the war with De Mitrio is because he thought he had lost... NOT because he feared Madoka punching him... the whole punch thing was just for humor. So in essence Madoka's efforts just gave him the way out from having all the various factions attack him after his plot was revealed. But that changed when Moid gave him a way to open the portal without the girls. And he immediately attacked again.

Spoiler:
The issue with the "punch thing" is not just for humor. It's the summation of the fact that Madoka and her friends have gained greater military strength, and are threatening to use it unless Dizelmine and Villagulio make up with each other personally.

Now, it's true that Moid convinced Dizelmine to go back on his word, but that ended up concluding in exactly the same way. Madoka went in, battered her way through the situation (albeit this time via Yurikano), and forced her will on the situation, which was "everyone WILL be friends with each other...or else!"

In both cases, Madoka used force to demand - not peace between the two factions - but a state of personal friendship between their leaders.


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I talked about this a little over in the "What are you currently binge watching?" thread, but I'll go ahead and expand on my review here.

One of my perennial issues with single-cour anime series is that it can be difficult to fit everything into only twelve or thirteen episodes, particularly if it's an adaptation of an existing work. In that case, the show will either need to resign itself to telling just a fragment of the whole story, or compress things down to where it can all fit into the episodes that it's been allocated. In the case of Beyond the Boundary ("Kyokai no Kanata"), it honestly feels like they tried to split the difference, and in the end satisfyingly accomplished neither.

A twelve-episode series, Kyokai is set in the modern day, where creatures called youmu - invisible to normal people - bedevil the population, and are hunted by Spirit World Warriors, people with supernatural powers that fight them. The story revolves around Akihito Kanbara - a half-human/youmu who is immortal - and Mirai Kuriyama, a Spirit World Warrior who is exceptionally powerful, but is both insecure and an outcast.

I won't go too deep into the details of the plot, as it's a fairly tight narrative that's built around a series of events happening with the local youmu even as Mirai - a newcomer to the local area - gets to know Akihito and his friends.

I do have to give the show credit, as it does a surprisingly good job at juggling disparate elements, both in terms of tone and presentation. Where the former is concerned, the show deals with some fairly heavy drama, and yet is able to also deliver humor adroitly, which I attribute to the fact that it knows to keep the two separate. For example, when a revenge-driven girl from Mirai's past shows up, out for blood, the show doesn't try to break that up with comedic antics, letting the drama play out without undercutting its seriousness. Instead, it segregates the comedy for when, as an example, the group tries to confront a youmu with a skunk-like defense by...singing and dancing at it.

Moreover, the presentation works because the show deftly flips back and forth between characterization and plot advancement. The main thrust of the show is the relationship between Akihito and Mirai, and it pushes this forward both by giving them plenty of interaction - both with each other and other people - but also by pushing forward a web of intrigue that undergirds the serious situations in which they find themselves on more than one occasion.

(In fact, the show even goes so far as to give them signatures, with Akihito unfailingly going ga-ga over girls in glasses, while Mirai has a catchphrase: "How unpleasant!" ("Fuyukai desu!").)

All of this makes it a shame that the show quite clearly can't do everything it wants to. Ultimately, the background events that set the plot in motion are only ever hinted at, with no clear answers forthcoming. While this doesn't hurt the impact of the show's resolution, there is a sense that it could have been a lot more enjoyable if we'd been given a greater peek behind the plot's curtain. Given that there's a few OVAs and a movie or two for this series - none of which were on Crunchyroll - I suspect that these at least try to fix this.

Overall, Beyond the Boundary is a good show that's straining at the edges of what it wants to do. It's a shame that the anime - based on a light novel series that only had three volumes - couldn't quite manage to pull off the landing, when everything else about it was nicely polished. Still, it's one of the better shows out there, and it's worth a watch.


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Aranna wrote:
- Also once the girls start meeting people at the school it's made very clear all three are very popular. So I again have no idea how Alzrius got "loners" out of the show at all?

You seem to have deliberately ignored my previous explanation here, which is that I was using that as a shorthand for "lacking in any deep friendships prior to having met each other." That they're "popular" has nothing to do with that.

Indeed, one of the driving themes of the show is that all three girls feel isolated from others because they're letting themselves be defined by the roles that other people have constructed for them. As with most "coming of age" stories, the show is about them breaking free from that so that they can define themselves, and in doing so form strong bonds with others of their own volition.

Quote:
- Last correction is again confusion over Alzrius's statement that everything is resolved by forcing people to talk it out. In fact the ONLY thing ever resolved by such action is the relationship between the girls themselves. Ultimately such an attempt ended in complete failure.

I don't believe that this is correct. Quite the contrary, Madoka ends the war between La Garite and De Mitrio by essentially forcing Villagulio and Dizelmine to sit down and work out the issues that they have with each other because of their personal histories, threatening to beat them up if they don't. Moreover, this attempt is a complete success

Spoiler:
even when Dizelmine backslides on his agreement, Madoka is able to make him recant afterwards. Things only escalate after that due to Moid's betrayal.

Beyond that, I disagree with virtually everything you've said about the show, as the characters are two-dimensional and everyone falls in line with the Mary Sue (to use a loaded term) protagonists. It's a frustrating watch that, in my opinion, leaves its viewers with only a sense of irritation to break up the boredom. Obviously, your mileage varied, but I wouldn't recommend this series to anyone.


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How come I can't get no Tang around here?


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So, in an effort to move things along...

I've long held that how adroitly a story is told is far and away more important than any question of how innovative it is. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that there's nothing new under the sun, I do think that originality is overrated, compared to the quality of its presentation. Hence why I found myself enjoying Golden Time, a twenty-four episode romantic comedy/drama.

The cliché element to Golden Time is found with its main character, Banri Tada; specifically, that he's an amnesiac. Having experienced a traumatic brain injury just after graduating high school, he spent a year in the hospital having lost all of his memories from prior to his accident. Having left recovery, and feeling no connection to friends and family that he doesn't remember, the story begins with him enrolling in the college that he was accepted to just before graduating.

The other half of the story is the girl he meets there, Koko Kaga. An effervescent blonde, Koko is initially stuck on her childhood friend (who, in an amusing inversion of the classic trope, is not only sick to death of her romantic overtures, but has no second thoughts about her later on) before Banri manages to start a relationship with her, with the show being about their story.

On a surface level, it's easy to compare this series to Friends, in that there's a core group of six characters, three guys and three girls, with the largest drama being around one particular pair of them trying to make it work as a couple. Of course, that comparison is only skin deep, as Golden Time sets up mini-arcs within the main overall narrative of Banri and Koko's awkward romance (and make no mistake, it is awkward - for example, the two of them have the most hilariously-bad attempt at a "first time" since Yamada tried it...see what I did there?).

These mini-arcs, however, are what make the show so enjoyable. If it had become stuck on a single major theme (e.g. "will Banri ever get his memories back?" or "If he does, what will that do to his relationship with Koko?"), then it would have been far more boring than it was. Instead, the plot feels like it moves forward at a brisk pace, as the group tries to deal with immediate issues while still moving forward with their lives.

Perhaps the greatest example of this is the (slightly dissonant) supernatural element that pervades the middle of the series. In this, we see that Banri is "haunted" by the ghost of who he was before his accident. There's a vague implication that the accident was so severe that it caused his soul to leave his body, and that the memory loss is merely a side effect of this, but it's never clarified. This angle, which fades away (for a reason that is thankfully made plain fairly quickly) as the show moves on, could have been more odd if the supernatural angle was played up more heavily. But instead, it's used almost as a metaphor for the issue of Banri's past refusing to stay buried, even when he wants nothing to do with it.

The show isn't without its imperfections, of course. The most egregious of these is that the other supporting cast members can sometimes feel superfluous. That is, they can sometimes come off as being exactly what they are: vehicles to move things along for Banri and Koko. What highlights this isn't so much that they play too hefty a role in helping the errant duo, but that the sections that focus on their own lives can come across as somewhat disjointed and incomplete in comparison, as though the show were trying to hard to say "see? These guys are fully-fleshed out characters with their own lives too!"

(And God help you if you play a drinking game with people saying Banri's full name. I have no idea why, but it seemed like people kept saying that a lot!)

Overall, Golden Time was a fun little rom-com with interesting (main) characters and a smart sense of pacing. If you like love stories with a nice dose of drama, you could do a lot worse than this show.


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Lemmy wrote:

Wait... Was that... A 2nd episode of Re:Zero that doesn't make me feel miserable every step of the way?!

I almost can't believe it!

Now... If only Subaru could see that Rem is best grill... All would be perfect.

I thought that episode eighteen was incredibly powerful. The sheer humanity of that episode, as Subaru finally hit rock-bottom, and finally began to climb back up, was awe-inspiring. It really cemented what I already knew: that this show is one of the greats, at least for me.

But yeah, I called complete BS on him not declaring his love for Rem right there. At this point, she should mean far and away more to him than Emilia ever did.


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Nicos wrote:
So?, you don't need to be of Japanese culture to create an Anime-style cartoon.

This presumes that anime is a "style," which I don't agree with. Just because you create an animated work that bears superficial resemblance to the common perception of the majority of Japanese animation does not, unto itself, make it an anime.

Quote:

Or to be a black guy from brooklyn/harlem to create hip hop.

Would you insist that only black people from brooklyn or harlem can create hip hop?. Because an statement like that is of the same style as saying that only japanese people can create anime.

I'm not sure why you're leaving the Bronx out of this, as hip-hop has very strong roots there, but that aside, I believe that your analogy is fundamentally flawed for the same reasons as I mentioned above. That's because "hip-hop" is a genre - a category of art based on stylistic criteria - whereas "anime" is not. Indeed, the fact that there are so many anime out there of various genres, ranging from action to comedy to horror to erotica and so many others, makes it self-evidently futile to use that as the basis for coming up with an all-encompassing definition of what "anime" is.


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NenkotaMoon wrote:
This thread is the work of an enemy Stand user.

ORAORAOROAORAORAORA!!!


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Lemmy wrote:
Sure, you can take that position... I just vehemently disagree with it. It seems pointless and xenophobic to me.

It's only xenophobic if you label it with bigoted sentiment like "one of the inherent characteristics of anime is casual sexism." That's not the same as noting the particularities of a culture that are reflected in their popular works.

Quote:

Sailor Moon wouldn't bee any less anime if it had been written and produced by a French author/company... Naruto would still be anime if it had been produced by a Brazilian author/company... And the same goes for One Piece, Death Note, Dragon Ball, etc.

Just because certain themes aren't as popular in a certain region/culture as they are in others doesn't mean those themes couldn't be used somewhere else.

I don't believe it's a question of "themes," per se. Rather, it's a recognition of the fact that cultures, like individuals, are a unique gestalt of their history, values, characteristics, and myriad other factors, and that this is reflected to some degree in the art that they produce. When the country in question is Japan - and the medium in question is animated work - we use the shorthand term "anime" for that.

The idea that the uniqueness that comes from this is something bad is a view I personally reject. Yes, those differences can be used as a point of hatred and divisiveness, but that's a perversion of their strengths, rather than being an inherent quality of them. By that same token, suggesting that that uniqueness is false (e.g. thinking that any recognition of differences between groups is inherently bigoted and needs to stop) and should be torn down does a disservice as well, since it throws away something special just because it could possibly be corrupted to a bad end.

Hence why I believe that "anime" is a term that applies only to works of animation made by and for Japan, and that's okay.


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Sundakan wrote:

1.) Grappled Grendel and ripped his arm off.

This is an ability unavailable to a Pathfinder martial. In fact, it's only available to f!&@ing Grendel in the rules.

I have to nitpick here. The called shot rules for an arm state that, in the event of a "debilitating blow," then "If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the arm is severed or otherwise mangled such that only regeneration or similar effects can repair it."


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Alternate title for Re:Zero episode 17:

"Yes, It Can Still Get Even Worse"


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There's a famous quote by Dorothy Parker that I'm fond of (originally made in reference to Katherine Hepburn's acting): "a striking performance that ran the gamut of emotions, from A to B." Now replace "emotions" with "plot-progression," and you'd perfectly summarize my feelings about Isuca, a ten-episode urban fantasy series (there's also an OVA, but as it's not on Crunchyroll, I haven't seen it).

Isuca is the story of Shinichirou Asano, a high school student who falls in with a petite blonde monster-hunter named Sakuya Shimazu, after she saves him from being eaten by a yoma (which the subtitles call "specters"). After an initial misadventure where Sakuya realizes that Shinichirou is overflowing with spiritual energy - and, moreover, can somehow infer the true names of yoma, making them easily bound - the two of them work together (along with a small cadre of others) to try and figure out who's summoning yoma and why.

Right from the get-go, this show seems to be somewhat cognizant of how generic it is, and so wastes absolutely no time in establishing its two main draws. The first is that there's slightly more blood and gore here than you'd expect; this never ventures into - or even comes close to - guro ("grotesque") territory, but rather that we get the occasional arterial spray when a background character becomes food for a monster.

That's a minor point compared to the series' second go-to, which is that the girls in Isuca get naked, as well as end up in compromising positions, with notable regularity. Sakuya's clothes get shredded in battle several times, for example, and Tamako (being a nekomata; that is, a two-tailed cat yoma) simply prefers to go around naked even when she's in human form. (As if to drive the point home, the ending sequence is both of these girls completely naked - save for Sakuya's stockings - in various positions that just barely manage to cover their naughty bits while still showing their bodies off.

Of course, this last point is somewhat hindered by the censoring, which makes sure to block out any instances of bare breasts, but is also very hesitant to even allow for a panty-shot. Worse, it's often hideously unsubtle about this, often simply putting floating patches of darkness over the offending nudity. I haven't seen censoring that nakedly obtrusive (see what I did there?) since the broadcast version of Kodomo no Jikan.

All of that is a shame, because this show desperately needs the naked girls to help distract from just how full of holes the plot is. It's one thing to not resolve the main plot line - while not ideal, leaving things with a "we've won...for now" cliffhanger is acceptable - but it's another thing to toss out several particular threads and then ignore them.

For example, when Shinichirou speaks Sakuya's true name, we're told that that means that he's become her master, with the implication being that if he directly orders her to do something, she literally can't disobey...and yet, that's never touched on after its initial presentation. Why does the main villain want to hurt Sakuya so badly? She says her reason, but never provides the context necessary to have her answer actually make sense. What exactly is Sakuya's grandmother? That last scene of her questions that are never answered. And why oh why does one of the supporting characters wait until the series is three-fourths of the way through before saying "oh hey, that villain we've been fighting? The one whose identity is a complete mystery? Do you think the fact that her magic is identical to our clan's centuries-old rival clan, who's heretofore never been mentioned, is significant at all?" I won't even get started on that whole "yoma drain life-force, which causes extreme pleasure as a side-effect" schtick that's used in the first few episodes and then never mentioned again.

I could go on (e.g. if Shinichirou can share his spiritual energy with the girls via kisses, super-charging their powers at no danger to himself, then why doesn't he kiss all of the girls during the extremely-difficult final battle?), but at this point I think I've made it abundantly clear how weak of a show this is. Ironically, the actual execution isn't half-bad; the characters are likable enough and the plot is actually rather brave in its dogged determination to ignore its own internal inconsistencies. Oh and hey, the (censored) boobs.

Ultimately, Isuca is a show that's undone if you pay attention to details. It knows this, but takes a "don't sweat the details" attitude, instead being content with having its female cast members nip-slip and panty-shot their way to the finish line, along with a few wannabe-edgy bits of violence. It's earnest, if not very talented, and makes for an okay distraction when you want a series that's as pointless as it is short.


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Alzrius wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Man... Re:Zero can get really freaking dark sometimes... I enjoy the series, but the latest episode was... emotionally exhausting. X(
Very much so. When I first started watching the series (mistakenly thinking that it only had one cour), I binged on the first thirteen episodes. In hindsight that was a mistake, because the series puts so much punch into its plot and characterization that it works better if you take it a few episodes at a time to let what happens digest.

So Crunchyroll is now streaming Re:Zero Breaktime, a series of three-minute shorts with chibi (super-deformed) versions of the characters (much like the Pure Pure Pleiades shorts from Overlord). These are openly being presented as lighthearted breaks from the main series' heavy presentation, though so far they seem more "cute" than "funny."

Eleven are up so far; I have no idea if there's more to come or not.


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Krensky wrote:
If it's Genimar, well, that has something to do with the water near the Masaki shrine and the hero being related to 'gods'. Or something. It's a Tenchi show, don't think too hard about the relationships and how everyone is related.

Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari (I can't call it by that awful "War on Geminar" name) was where the Tenchi Muyo! OVA series lost its luster for me.

The Tenchi series - or at least that continuity - primarily works based on the strength of its cast, which is absolutely required because the plot is typically thin-to-nonexistent. As such, going with an entirely new cast is a serious risk, one that Seikishi Monogatari wasn't able to capitalize on; its characters felt like a collection of tropes more than unique, interesting individuals.

(GXP pulled this off because director Shinichi Watanabe - the famous "NabeShin" - knows how to make a credible comedy series, and that held things together while we got used to the new cast, who were actually rather fun to watch; ironically, this ticked off series creator Masaki Kajishima enough that he's rewriting GXP in a series of novels.)


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Lemmy wrote:
Man... Re:Zero can get really freaking dark sometimes... I enjoy the series, but the latest episode was... emotionally exhausting. X(

Very much so. When I first started watching the series (mistakenly thinking that it only had one cour), I binged on the first thirteen episodes. In hindsight that was a mistake, because the series puts so much punch into its plot and characterization that it works better if you take it a few episodes at a time to let what happens digest.


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Aranna wrote:
Torturing yourself for credibility? Are you a professional?

Quite so; the name's 13. Golgo 13.


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Lemmy wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
When I finished watching Aethetica of a Rogue Hero - which I did purely because of the two-minute crossover omake it had with Queen's Blade Rebellion - I found myself wanting to know whom to call to demand back the five hours of my life that I'd wasted.
Let's be fair... If after 1~2 hours you still didn't know it was a waste of time, it's your own fault for watching the next 3~4! XD

Oh, I knew. But I do my damnedest to always finish what I start, if for no other reason so that I can assert that I know what I'm talking about when I tear it a new one later.


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Grey Lensman wrote:
The Testament of Sister New Devil shouldn't have been a surprise - it's by the same manga writer as Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero, which was another anime with gratuitous fanservice shots. Also featuring a 'daughter of overlord' magical boom powered girl with twin tailed hair.

When I finished watching Aethetica of a Rogue Hero - which I did purely because of the two-minute crossover omake it had with Queen's Blade Rebellion - I found myself wanting to know whom to call to demand back the five hours of my life that I'd wasted.

By contrast, Testament of Sister New Devil was...okay. I wouldn't go so far as to call it "very good" or anything, but it was certainly a not-unenjoyable piece of ero-filled fluff.

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