Tuesday Rumble: December 4th

chibi-dii-blog.pngGame World Tour: Final Fantasy VIII

Welcome to a world where school doesn’t have to be all about textbooks and theory- if you’re inexplicably talented and mature for your age, then anyone from age 5-15 can enlist in Garden, an elite school that teaches you how to be a mercenary! From festivals to intense weapons training, the three Garden facilities (Balamb, Galbadia and Trabia) offer everything you could possibly require for those fun and wholesome formative years. You can even learn how to do more than just mindlessly attack your enemy by equipping a Guardian Force (GF) and unleashing awesome magic, summoning and item-using powers (note: some reports claim GF use can have an adverse effect on memory, but these are mere rumours with no scientific backing).

Adults and casual visitors need not despair, however, for there is plenty to occupy them too. From challenging random strangers to the widely popular card game Triple Triad to enlisting in the Galbadian army, you are bound to find something to suit your needs! Just remember that television and radio signals are severely affected by interference, so you may not be able to tune into the BBC world service.

Heroic Age revisited

“…once they find out you have this giant sex toy.”

“Who needs a lover when I have this to Pleasure me?”

“Why did I have it made out of chocolate?”

“No one must learn about my secret love of trashy teen horror flicks.”

What I love about Heroic Age is how it makes you feel up close and personal with the action.

“We’d better get them to form an oderly queue, or it’ll be chaos!”

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“Mmm, I’d like to be first in line.”

Use of the custom paintbrush facility in GIMP enables hundreds of identical ships to be drawn in mere seconds.

“Hey, are we even on the right show?”

“Sorry, I have to rest for a moment- my backside is sore from all the kissing.”

“The camera crane is stuck again- I can’t get it to lower!”

This Week in Anime

One man tells his sad tale of servitude to the orange empire.

More to the point, what are you doing with that raccoon?

I love Oh! Edo Rocket, but scenes like this still terrify me.

“I hope no one notices I’m standing in for the real Bartender.”

Apples team up with grapes to overthrow the evil Montague.

Oranges are caught trying to illegally enter the country.

“I hear you give excellent Hyper Self Pleasure.”

“I haven’t done it in a while- I hope I’m not rusty.”

“True love- or at least true lust.”

“That is why I perfected Hyper Self Pleasure!”

Mini-editorial: Character depth- can it sometimes be too much?

In real life, people are complex- they have various facets to their personality, and it is highly unlikely that any two people would agree with or approve of each other a hundred percent of the time. Nonetheless, the medium of television often likes to render things a bit more simplistically- heroes are heroic, villains are villainous and supporting characters, well they’re lucky to get more than one or two character gimmicks.

Nonetheless, the demand for “realism” has continued to make itself known over the years, and so it has been that in due course writers have tried to add a bit more depth and complexity to their characters with the aid of back stories, ambiguity and the like. Our hero may have a bleak past of assassination and murder, our villain may simply be a misguided product of an abusive upbringing. Such gimmicks are now familiar to us, but still we must ask- is there a point where it all becomes too much. To put it succinctly, are we able to throw ourselves behind a likable character who ordered the death of millions?

To go to the example that inspired this editorial, let’s look at Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist. The Roy Mustang we see on screen is a competent officer with a wicked sense of humour and the ability to inspire great loyalty in his troops- altogether a likable character. Nonetheless, as we dig a bit into his past, we learn that he is also responsible for the deaths of innocent people- admittedly an act he committed under orders and one which he regrets, but can we ever fully put aside his complicity? Do we accept the Mustang we see in the present, embracing him as one of our favourite characters even as we gloss over his less savoury deeds?

Ultimately, then, it must come down to what we, as the viewers, want from our characters; do we wish to be challenged to feel ambivalent about them, to build relationships with them that involve some conflict and complexity of feeling? Are there some acts that cannot be forgiven, no matter how contrite or likable the perpetrator is now portrayed? Are shallow characters cliché, or is it actually comforting to have heroes who embody ideals of purity, courage and optimism, alongside pantomime-esque villains that we can boo, jeer at and generally hate without fear of political correctness? Perhaps, in the end, there is room for both in our viewing schedules.

In Your Reflection

This week we take a look at two girls who may well be identical twins- Code Geass’ CC and Darker than Black’s Amber. Aside from their remarkable physical similarities, both have special powers, an importance to the plot that doesn’t surface straightaway, and a secondary role as Pizza Hut poster girls.

Amusing Search Terms

Old favourite: www.you toube

goo toube sex : you toube was one thing, but goo toube is just plain scary.

harvest moon help two beds together: you sick, sick person- this is a game for kids!

final fantasy 7 yuffie rape game: no, that wasn’t one of the proposed spin-offs.

maria sama ga minute: In the words of Google, did you mean Maria-sama ga Miteru?

Amusing Spam

I know you were all dying to read the Spanish Viagra advert, but unfortunately it was too long to copy and paste here.

“The Intelligent Warrior Subliminal Videos | …

intelligent warrioir video series…”

I can’t wait to watch it, whatever it is.

6 thoughts on “Tuesday Rumble: December 4th

  1. lol great Heroic Age stuff. Ah, HA… how much of it did you watch? Was it ever any good after ep 16?

    As for the character depth thing, hmmm… while I generally thing the whole ‘fiction can’t be bad because it’s not real’ thing bothers me, it does give us the chance to see characters that are horrible people, and not feel bad about liking them? I know a decent amount of my favorite characters are the type of people I’m not very fond of in real life.

    “SUIKODEN HENTAI”
    …Is it bad that I laff at the notion D:?

  2. I guess character depth can backfire if it becomes too realistic. Fiction has always been about archetypes and even with current audiences’ supposed sophistication we still predominantly enjoy the ‘this one is the good guy, that one is the bad guy’ approach. If abject realism was employed in fiction, most TV shows would be very short or very tedious, or worse divide the audience and threaten the potential financial gain.

    If anything, all this additional ‘realism’ feels like an obligatory tack-on to give characters (and their writers) credibility rather than advance characterisation as a technique. Like you say, the dark past/traumatic memory is the norm now, and if it’s absent critics and viewers alike will bitch about the show/film’s lacks depth. I think the trick is to use that formula but challenge expectations and perhaps employ it with more subtly. Seemingly, though, most media just amps up the violence and drama. Your character accidentally killed his mother as she prayed at your father’s grave? Psh, mine killed children indiscriminately and shagged his half-sister. On two separate occasions.

    But to answer the question: Hell yes I can get behind mass-murderers. It’s the pristine virtuous types that I can’t identify with. Funny how I exemplify everything I just previously criticised, eh. Also, please do not think me suspicious for cheering on murderers. They often just do more exciting things.

  3. I’m in full agreement with Hige: it’s always the villains who get to do all the cool things and deliver all the cool lines. I’ve never really understood the way so many people seem so averse to liking villainous, unwholesome characters and perhaps even identifying with them. When I look at my list of favourite fictional characters, it’s all self-proclaimed villains, deranged lunatics and mean jerks. They make sure things stay interesting. It’s kind of like what they said in that one episode of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei: if you detoxify everything, things gets really boring and dull. There needs to be at least a little bit of that poison and madness.

  4. Infiny: Actually, I dropped Heroic Age very early on; ‘Screencap Consultant’ Necromancer was the one who sent me those shots so I could laugh at the camera angles and rest assured I wasn’t really missing anything.

    Hige: I know you’re sitting in your custom-built villain’s chair watching me on magic CCTV as you plot to destroy the world ;). I guess the ultimate point is the obvious one that fiction isn’t real life- much as a lot of plot devices have worn out their welcome, we don’t need ultra realism (“Steve dragged himself out of bed, shuffled to the bathroom to relieve himself, went back out to the kitchen to put on the kettle…”) and of course we can like the kind of characters that would probably make it onto the national news (or at least into the nearest mental institution) if they showed up in real life.

  5. Tetsujuu is the embodiment of terrifyingly wrong. Oh! Edo Rocket is one of my top favorite shows ever, but I have no desire to re-watch episode 5. D:

    That aside, I’d rather have characters that behave credibly in the present than some some gimmicky tragic/haunting/traumatic past which usually just ends up making me roll my eyes at the cheese.

  6. Character development in anime often go the obvious way, Shungo more or less falls towards Mayu in Ninomiya-kun. Naruto gets stronger jutsus but he still just charges in since he´s simpleminded and such.

    For games this is partly true, it depends on the company behind them. Most of the time Square follows a certain patter with their FF games. It was Final Fantasy Tactics that changed that for me first, together with Xenogears.
    Otherwise it was kinda obvious what would happen with the characters and how they would develop.

    Disgaea 2 had some twists that didn´t accur to me untill very late and the “very bad” ending kinda stuck on me with fright. Man…

    For character development that is taken to the best point I have to say Xenogears, since we get to know basically everything about Fei and Elly.

    FFVIII may have had it´s faults, but the love story with Squall and Rinoa is really good. Yes it´s one of the obvious games from Square but still, great love story :p

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