It’s been a while since I played anything more than Flash games or something Uta-related, but this week sees the grand ‘reopening’ of the gaming era. I previously stopped gaming because it had become more of a tedious chore than a pleasurable pastime, but in Star Ocean 2 I have discovered a game that makes it all enjoyable again. Next up: Star Ocean 1, Xenogears, Valkyrie Profile, and all those games I always meant to play but never did.
Christmas is coming: anime-inspired present ideas
Christmas is just around the corner, and for those who still can’t decide what they want to see in their stockings on the morning in question, we have compiled a list of essential items to ask for. Simply show this to any relatives pestering you for gift ideas, and your Christmas will be complete. Alternatively, if you’re stuck for what to buy for the anime fan in your family, just pick something from this list- we guarantee they’ll be delighted!
- Death Note. Remember that annoying kid who always used to hog all the crayons in pre-school? Or that cashier who was too busy chatting to a friend to ring up your purchases? With your own Death Note, you can finally get revenge for all those annoyances by sending the people who get on your nerves to a well deserved doom. Simply write down their name, picture their face and voila- they’re gone from your life forever!
- Grunty. Sick of having to walk everywhere or wait for unreliable buses? Is running a car simply beyond your means? Fear not, for with the eco-friendly grunty, you can have your own mount on call any time, anywhere. Simply blow on your Grunty Flute (sold separately) to summon your grunty, and have him take you to your destination. Be sure to specify what type of grunty you want- the last thing you need is to be looking forward to your comfortable new Aqua and end up with a Poison instead.
- Tachikoma. If you’d prefer a more inorganic form of transport, why not go for the functional Tachikoma? Much more than a form of transport, your Tachikoma will oblige with computer hacking, philosophical discussions and combat- you can even sneak around stealthily using its optical camouflage mode (may not work on animals). Their continually evolving sentience even means that you can send them out on their own if you’re feeling too lazy to pick up some more bread and milk yourself.
- Magical baton. Ever wanted special powers, sickeningly cute outfits and your own naked transformation scene? If so, then the magical baton is for you. Simply program in your desired voice commands and costume design, and the patented nanomachine technology will be ready to obey your every command. For a modest extra payment, your model will come equipped with talking mascot and wireless internet connection.
- Your own harem. Based on a monthly rental plan, your harem of bishounen or bishoujo (please state preference on application form) will constantly pursue you and attend to your every need. Those who prefer a challenge can opt to start with a ‘cold’ harem who will offer periodic opportunities to be won over by your charms.
- Supernatural servant. With this all-purpose contract, you can bind a servant to you; from demons to reincarnations of legendary heroes, no one is off limits. Your servant can be put to whatever use you see fit, but be sure to read the small print of the contract before forcing them to do something against their will.
- Wishing stone. Sick of being treated like a child? Maybe you’d like to go back and relive the ‘best days of your life’? Either way, the wishing stone can help you- simply wish to be older/younger, and you will switch ages with someone close to you! It’s an interesting experience for all parties, but be sure not to use it when Grandma’s around, or you may gain more years than you bargained for.
Not interested in grunties? Try a chocobo or whelk instead.
The Tachikoma is only one sample from the extensive mecha catalogue- from spaceships to giant robots, everyone’s needs can be catered for.
Looking back to last year, those presents that seemed a good idea at the time
This is an extremely self-indulgent section, but I thought it would be interesting to look back at last year’s Christmas list and pick out the presents that I thought were a good idea at the time and explain how, actually, they weren’t.
- Tenjho Tenge #4 DVD: what was I thinking when I started collecting TenTen? Was I so blinded by the worthiness of Maya/Chibi Maya that I neglected to notice the series’ complete lack of a coherent plot? Was Ikki Tousen just so awful that TenTen seemed good in comparison? Whatever the case, I’ve started selling off my TenTen DVDs, so this is no longer in my possession.
- Aquarian Age Movie LE set: During my extremely brief Aquarian Age fandom phase, I thought it would be a good idea to buy this expensive set, comprising the movie itself, the movie OST, a few Aquarian Age trading cards, a box to store more trading characters, three chibi Juvenile Orion keyrings and the first volume of the Juvenile Orion manga. Not a bad haul, perhaps, except that most of it is useless to me. The manga isn’t too bad, and I have the keyrings on my bag, but the movie is fairly pointless, the OST has only been listened to once, and all the card game related items are of no use to me when a) I’m not interested in collecting Aquarian Age trading cards and b) the cards are only available in Japanese anyway.
- Bleach 9-10: Bleach, why did I let your stylish artwork fool me into thinking you were more than a run-of-the-mill SJ action series? By the time I realised that Bleach was far less interesting than it initially appeared, I had already acquired ten volumes; for months, they sat accusingly on the shelf waiting for me to purchase more, but I broke the vicious completion cycle by selling them off.
- Avenger OP/ED Single: The Avenger music is good, but since the full OP/ED are on the main OST anyway, this was a bit of a pointless purchase for anyone not interested in the karaoke version. Oh well, live and learn.
- Texhnolyze: Man of Men: I don’t regret getting this OST, but I’ve only listened to it twice, so it’s hardly great value for money right now.
- Chinese writing set: I didn’t actually choose this for myself, but since my uncle knows that I’m interested in “that Japanese rubbish”, it was a clear gift choice. The actual contents are quite nice, it’s just that it’s been stuck in the cupboard all year and will probably remain there for ever.
- That being said, there was one minor gift that I eventually found a use for:
Periodic table mousemat: when I got this, I only ever used the touchpad on my laptop, but at long last I have begun using the mouse for certain games and of course drawing sprites etc for the HiME RPG. I would prefer something more aesthetically pleasing than the periodic table, but at least it’s functional.
Short Parody: Otogi-jushi Akazukin
Souta and the others travel aimlessly through Fandavale.
(Ringo: Souta is mine! I won’t give him away to these girls.)
(Shirayuki: In the end, I will be the one to have Souta.)
(Ibara: If I pretend to be ditzy and sleepy all the time, I can get close to Souta.)
(Akazukin: Juushi~ Juushi~ Zukkyun~)
The party reaches a village.
Villager: Hello, this is yet another minor village in Fandavale. We just happen to have a legend that will be relevant to today’s episode.
Souta: I love listening to clichéd fairy tales! Let’s hear it!
Meanwhile, at Cendrillon’s base…
Randagio: We lose to the Musketeers every time, but I absolutely won’t fail this time!
Cendrillon: I am more powerful than any of my minions, so I will just sit back and let them do all the work.
Our heroes are at the village when Randagio shows up with some Nightmariens.
Randagio: Go, Nightmarien! This is bound to work this time!
The Nightmariens attack.
Akazukin: Sweet Phone!
Voiceover: Sweet Phones are available from all good toy retailers. Simply call the number onscreen to find out where you can buy one.
Akazukin, Shirayuki and Ibara attack a few times, but to no avail.
Randagio: Mwahahaha! This time we will win!
Souta: You can do it, Akazukin!
Akazukin: That’s right- we were just saving our best attack until last instead of efficiently ending the battle straightaway! Princess Mode!
Musketeers: Juushi! We’ll show you love, courage, friendship, destiny and the power of the plot!
Akazukin and the others deliver the finishing blow.
Randagio: Damn, who would have guessed I would fail again? I’ll be back next week!
Hansel: Actually, next week is my turn.
Return to top and loop 39 times.
Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto 6
Kanna shows off his pistol.
The gaydar on the end of Akidzuki’s sword activates.
Nakaiya has clearly been reading “How to be a Villain” by F. Wong.
Kanna, however, is only interested in HARD GAY with Akidzuki.
The Eternal Assassin is rather well-endowed.
A request for HARD GAY is denied.
These are chaotic times, chaotic times indeed…oh wait, that’s ROTK.
Nakaiya tries out the advice given in chapter 7 of F. Wong’s book.
These generics decide not to try HARD GAY after all.
Go game of the week: Go makes all things better, and so both Dororo of Keroro Gunso and Lelouch of Code Geass try to improve their respective series with a brief glimpse of a Go board. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to save them from the red.
Avu Kamuu cameo of the week: Hauenkua’s red Avu Kamuu custom makes an appearance in Code Geass this week, with Karen taking the helm after its previous owner’s unfortunate demise.
RPG series of the week: A special award must go to Star Ocean 2 for being an immensely fun game that reopened the gaming era for me. If only I could defeat the final boss (with or without cheating).
HARD GAY ‘weapon’ of the week: “Swords” and “guns” have long been staples of HARD GAY, but this week an equally important weapon must be brought into the spotlight- the Bow. Bow started its career in 1986 series Ginga Nagareboshi Gin, but has since begun to enjoy a revival of sorts in series such as xxxHOLiC and Busou Renkin.
In Your Reflection
This week’s head to head is between Ichihara Momoko of Love GetChu and Sakura Shinguji of Sakura Taisen. Both are newcomers to their profession whose enthusiasm and potential far outweigh their confidence, whilst they also get a “not really going anywhere” mild romance with the leading male of the series.
OST Spotlight- Final Fantasy VI
A staple from the days when simple, electronic and looping were the best a console could manage, this OST isn’t particularly spectacular; tracks are simplistic synth efforts with little variation and limited instrumentation. In all fairness, though, this is from an era when soundtracks weren’t expected to be up to much; it does the job in-game but hardly inspires one to rush out and order the CD.
Notable tracks: Battle Theme, Techno de Chocobo
Worthiness: Any worth stems purely from nostalgia, and even then you’d be better off actually playing the game.
Amusing Search Terms
Really, you have one tiny section of user-provided content on your blog, and they can’t even be bothered to provide you with material for that. Never fear, though, Amusing Search Terms will continue, but to make up for the lack of actual search terms, I’ll be introducing a new feature soon- HARD GAY corner.
t: I’ve finally figured out why people are searching for t- they’re accidentally typing into Google whilst trying to play a game where t is the attack button.
your toube, you toube: I told you already, don’t click here. One person even typed YOU TOUBE in capitals.
Hack Pre Audition: It’s good to have this back.
“A-one” Asuka doujinshi: More doujin searches.
“busou renkin” after: After what? The mystery of what this person was searching for may never be revealed.