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Monday, August 10, 2015

Gakkou Gurashi Rises from the Dead:

I've decided to keep watching Gakkou Gurashi after all.  It's nothing special, but it still has a certain charm to it that offsets the problems.

Meanwhile, I finally got my hands on a legibly translated version of Naruto: The Last movie.  It was much better than watching it the first time through.  Though I felt like Naruto loved Hinata before now, and that his feelings for Sakura were certainly genuine, I can't argue with the author who would know these things best.  As it happens, this is the canon route, and I can accept that things played out this way.  Naruto is surprisingly innocent when it comes to romance, he never took his feelings for Sakura seriously, and he never had serious feelings for anyone up until now because he was busy playing ninja all day every day.  It's possible.  Unexpected, but Naruto has shown signs of being a complete imbecile before.  It would take a total imbecile to not understand Hinata's confession during her fight with Pain, but I guess all's well that ends well, and Naruto figured it out eventually through a memory refresher course via a magical moon tunnel.

As for the visuals, the movie looks fantastic.  The awesome ink prologue set to greensleeves.  All the amazing pictures of Hinata who's more beautiful than ever before.  Some great animated action sequences where both Naruto and Hinata show off their martial arts moves.  The Rurouni Kenshin like firefly confession scene.  The kiss at the end!  I've waited so long for these things to happen, I've always loved Hinata so much, to see her reach her dream was extremely satisfying after all these years.  The new Bolt movie came out just recently in Japan and is selling very well.  I'll be looking forward to it with high expectations as well.  To think that Bolt is the son of Hinata, it's just so satisfying.

Naruto was on a filler break last week, so hopefully the anime returns this week and we can get back to the pivotal fight with Madara.  It's frustrating how long they're dragging this stuff out, but once it's all done all those frustrations will wash away and I can rewatch the series from the very beginning to the very end in one narrative go.

All sorts of manga are taking one week breaks currently.  Fairy Tail is currently on break.  Before it was One Piece.  Brynhildr, Zettai Karen Children, Hayate, everyone's on break as far as I can tell.  I suppose even manga-ka should have time off, so I can't complain too much, but it sucks when it all happens at once.

Amagi Brilliant Park has come out in blu-ray in full as of today.  It only ended half a year ago, though, so I think I'll refrain from rewatching it until it really has faded into my long term memory.

Sword Art Online has a new short story translated courtesy of Tap-trans.  It's a story of Yuuki Kanno and her older sister Aiko when they were first getting into VRMMO gaming.  It's a sad story.  Deeply melancholic, because we all know the ending already, and it isn't a happy one.  Even so, it's a good story.  Anything to do with Mother's Rosario is worth reading.

Sword Art Online may just be the perfect story.  It all depends on how the ending plays out, of course.  But I feel simultaneously closer to the characters in this story, as more relatable people whose feelings and aspirations make sense to me, and also a deeper respect for these characters, as having all of the traits and perspectives I could wish for in a person, than anyone else.  Kirito is the perfect man and Asuna is the perfect woman.  To think that the same author would monopolize the creation of both those roles is stupendous.  Even though the world of SAO is much shorter and smaller than One Piece, Fairy Tail or Naruto, it makes up for it with the depth of its characterization involving its most important figures.  If the anime would just cover the Alicization arc I could see giving it the rank of #1.

I think Ted Cruz won the Fox News debate.  Polls agree, as he jumped up to #2 from out of nowhere.  It's distressing, however, that Republicans continue to insist on banning abortion under any circumstance.  This would mean that even if your child has down's syndrome or some other terrible disease that is diagnosed in the womb, you'd still be forced to care for it and raise it through indefinite years of bitter anguish and tedium with absolutely no reward.  There needs to be fewer children in this world, not more.  We're already well over the carrying capacity of this Earth.  Abortion is most used by black and hispanic mothers, the very people we most want to not have kids.  So long as Republicans insist on this unpopular abortion plank they'll never beat the Democrats -- and that's a good thing.  There's no tax policy or spending policy the Democrats could enact that would have remotely as negative an impact in America as getting rid of abortion would.  At this point I'm forced to root for Bernie Sanders, as no one in the Republican field is acceptable anymore.

Warlords of Draenor's new patch doesn't have much content.  Tanaan Jungle just has some boring dailies in it, no actual plot quest like the original zones had.  The shipyard quests are just like the garrison missions but with higher risks/rewards.  I don't raid so who knows if Hellfire Citadel is any fun.  6.1 didn't have much content either, so basically this whole expansion has been short shrifted.  Not to fear, though, the new WoW expansion is coming -- World of Warcraft: Legion.

In Legion you get something that was not available in Draenor, a whole new character class, Demon Hunter.  Expansions with new classes are much better than expansions without new classes, because they introduce the most new gameplay into the game.  Both monks and death knights were really fun and cool, and Demon Hunter looks to be following that tradition.  In addition, a lot of specs from older classes will also be changed.  Hunters are getting a melee version back in the form of Survival hunting.  Discipline priests will finally be able to do damage like they were originally designed to be able to do.  Demonology warlocks will lose Metamorphosis, which instead goes to the Demon Hunter class, and returns to its roots of being a warlock specializing in powerful demon summons.

Like in Draenor, they've prepared 10 levels of new content for us, rather than the chincy 5 from previous expansions.  Since leveling in WoW is the most fun part, this means Legion has double the fun.  Also, in Legion everyone gets a legendary weapon from the beginning, which they can build and grow based on various achievements throughout the course of the game.  Not only do you get a guaranteed awesome weapon model this time around, but any enchants or gem sockets you put on the weapon won't be instantly wasted when you just upgrade your gear to the next level.  This is a very attractive proposal.

Like in Draenor, Legion allows an instant upgrade of any character to level 100.  In addition, Demon Hunters are a hero class that starts off high level, so unlike monks you don't have to worry about grinding all the way through classic wow, burning crusade, and wrath of the lich king yet again.  As such, I expect Legion to be a big hit and drive subscription numbers back to full again from their current lows.

The WoW token has been a great way to play WoW for free, but that's becoming much more difficult to afford now that garrison missions aren't paying out as much gold as they used to as of 6.2.  From an easily achievable chore to a horrible tough grind, the WoW token is far less fun a feature as it used to be.  I guess they didn't actually want people to play for free after all.

At 24 shows, anime is shining spectacularly this summer season.  We're about halfway through the season already though, so it's time to shift focus over to the upcoming fall schedule.  We'll still have Naruto, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball, Gate, and Pretty Cure, which is always nice.  But who will join them?

Owarimonogatari, Utawarerumono: The False Mask, and Yuru Yuri season 3 will all be great.  Heavy Object is by the author of Index so it too should be good.  After that, a couple moe and chuunibyou shows might be good.  So we're looking at 12 shows or so, half that of the summer season.  We'll just have to hope that Owarimonogatari is good enough to make up all the difference.

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