The Royal Tutor Anime Review

The royal tutor is a fun show, but I would say that it’s missing some substance.

Opening with what I’m certain is a reference to Ouran High School Host Club, It definitely left a good first impression. It had some fairly interesting characters, all of the princes had their own unique and worthwhile character traits. The tutor Heine was amusing to watch, although rather gimmicky.

The Royal Tutor took it’s time developing these characters to make the audience connect with them and root for them. This was done in a way that both covered their weaknesses and bolstered their strengths. It was enjoyable to watch the unpleasant facades they originally created for themselves, melt away over the course of the show. Heine himself was the only main character that saw little development, and ended up becoming one of the shallowest characters in his own show.

Image courtesy of Funimation

I think more effort could still have been put into the characterizations of the princes, as a story solely about their development as people would certainly be worthwhile. Especially as they were the highlight of the show.

The story was rather weak, perhaps because so much time was spent developing the princes as characters that no real effort was given to the story. An interesting concept was introduced, but which fell flat in a mere few episodes. Perhaps if it had been developed slowly rather than wrapped up in twelve episodes, it could have been a fascinating and nuanced story. Pertaining to the dangers facing these developing princes as they grow closer to the throne. It was however as cliché as they come towards the end. Several loose ends were unsolved and the ending was unsatisfying. Revealing Heine’s past took all of the mystery out of the situation and left the story bland.

The Royal Tutor is a bit of fun, but missed its chance to build a really interesting story and instead settled for an ending full of boring tropes. It seems to continuously fall into mundanity, a disappointing state for a show dripping with potential.

Why you shouldn’t expect to see Persona 5 or any main line Persona games on the Switch

Currently the Nintendo Switch is extraordinarily popular, and is getting remakes of plenty of new and popular games. Persona 5, however is unlikely to make it over.

Most people have at least heard of, if not played a Persona game. The series has markedly risen in popularity since the release of Persona 3 in which the social link system was first introduced. However many may not realize that Persona is a spin off from the Shin Megami Tensei series. A much darker series known for an intense difficulty level and post-apocalyptic themes.

Persona 5 was recently released for the Playstation 4 and 3, an unusual move by Atlus but not at all inconceivable. Shin Megami Tensei has had games available on almost every system for a number of generations spanning up until recent times, and has had a chance to test all of them. They have even published the game Jack Bros. for the VirtualBoy, a defunct Nintendo console with almost no games at all.

Every main line Persona game has been published on a Playstation console. Persona 1, Persona 2 Innocent Sin and Persona 2 Eternal Punishment were all released on Playstation 1 and PSP. Persona 3 was on PS2 and PSP, and Persona 4 was on PS2 and PS Vita. The only exceptions would be the predecessor of the Persona games Shin Megami Tensei If, which was available on Playstation and the Super Nintendo. Along with Persona Q, a parody game available on the 3DS.

Of course these games are often on portable platforms, but the pattern seems to dictate it would most likely end up on PS Vita.

In contrast, mainline Shin Megami Tensei games haven’t been on Playstation since Nocturne on the PS2. These games along with many spin-offs such as Devil Survivor have been steadily produced on Nintendo Systems.

It is clear that Atlus doesn’t want the Shin Megami Tensei series to die in obscurity. It makes sense that to try and promote it they would release a new game from that series on the Switch. In an attempt to use the popularity of both the Switch and Persona 5’s recent release to finally help bring the original SMT into the limelight.

Along with a new mainline SMT game, a new Devil Survivor 3 or Persona Q2 could easily be a Switch release. However I personally hope to see a revival of mainline SMT on the Nintendo Switch.

A trailer for an SMT game was shown along with many of the first game trailers released, and although the clip was short and the release date was 2018 I think it can be said without a doubt that it didn’t look like a Persona game.


I’ve heard rumours of a new SMT game was announced for smartphones. I don’t know how to feel about that. I’ll leave that subject for another day.

Restaurant to Another World Anime Review

Restaurant to Another World has managed to capture a charming everyday feel within a most abnormal setting. Boiling the fantastical genre down to simple interactions between people. (Or mystical creatures) It has a charming atmosphere but I can imagine it becoming dull if given a longer run, if not for the ingenious and creative writing that’s been used to keep the story fresh at every moment so far.

With the recent growth of “food porn” shows it’s not at all surprising to see another one pop up, however it isn’t the food that makes Restaurant to Another World special. It is appealing as a celebration of the simple and mundane. It’s quite a beautiful concept.

When it comes to the food itself I can appreciate good cooking but the way this show presents it is not really my cup of tea, and honestly I sometimes find the customer’s inner monologues of the food to be drawn out and ridiculous.

It is quite relaxing to watch, but perhaps not ideal to marathon given the slow pace and lack of action or overarching plot. It’s more of a collection of short stories with a shared theme rather than an ongoing story. The juxtaposition of fantastical characters taking so much pleasure in everyday things is what really makes it so charming.

This image comes from the Funimation website.

The characters are surprisingly well fleshed out in a gradual but masterful way. It’s easy to feel for them, after hearing their backstories and listening to them argue with each other over simple things. Restaurant to Another World presents a clear message that food can bring people together, and there is something wonderfully sentimental about that.

So far this anime has done an amazing job with world building, and has created a fantasy world so broad and yet so distinctive that given more time it could really come into its own.

I think that this anime is superbly written, but may be destined for a small niche audience when it deserves to be more widely known.

I would recommend Restaurant to Another World to anyone who is happy to watch an anime with a slower story and a little less action, and hope to see a second season soon.

Platinum Review: Freedom Wars

Having achieved the platinum trophy for Freedom Wars on the PS Vita I now feel confident in reviewing it.

Freedom wars is a game with interesting and challenging action oriented gameplay. The fights have enough complexity and freedom of choice to make it quite a lot of fun. Giant robots are generally the main target and missions often require the rescuing of innocent citizens from their clutches, however there are occasionally small human enemies that can sometimes be tricky to deal with. The thorn in particular is worth mentioning and is a gameplay feature unique to this game, although still perhaps comparable to other grappling features from other monster hunting games. The thorn is a brilliantly executed gameplay tool, with many different uses. The progression is fair and provides a perfect challenge. Despite being a JRPG grinding is not all that necessary. However I would highly recommend playing online as soon as the option is available because of how brilliant this feature is and the leg up it provides in future battles. The community is mostly rather friendly and forgiving, and honestly worth getting to know.

At the start of the game you are given an accessory, a robot which will act as both your prison guard and your protector. While the accessory cannot be directly controlled it can be given basic orders during gameplay, as can the AI teammates provided. You get to customise your own character and your accessory in this game on every level, and while not the most important aspect of the game it is rather extensive and worth playing around with so that you can show off in the multiplayer.

The premise of Freedom Wars is a fascinating one, however the story, sadly has very little to do with it. The premise is extremely well presented at the start and makes it all feel real through an immersive and clever system of restrictions with which you need to work at the beginning. However the immersion disappears very quickly as restrictions are lifted and the story takes over from the premise. The concept of a world imprisoning citizens and turning them into soldiers to fight for resources, could have become a brilliant story with branching paths but was instead tossed aside for a nonsensical plot about magical ghost girls and alternate realities. I also would have loved to see some greater characterisation of the teammates provided for your character, as they mostly seemed too simple to really matter.

I think this image is a good example of the atmosphere that the premise provides.

I should also mention the cell garden. Because missions in the cell garden are a massive pain. They are, however mandatory.

The hardest trophy for some is the DIY Demon trophy, which requires upgrading a weapon to level 10 by harvesting the right resources from the correct places. However, the trophy that I struggled with was Pelta Pelter, which requires you to defeat the final mandatory boss of the game offline without dying once. For some reason I really struggled with this because it was just far too swift and had too great a reach. Even with speed boosting stats and maxed out weapons I only just barely managed to get this trophy.

Finally got it!

Although lacking a new game+ I would say that this game has a high level of replay ability, due to the many missions available and the constant room to improve or upgrade gear. Even greater challenges await within the many retribution missions available, but the multiplayer is in my mind the best reason to pick Freedom Wars back up off your shelf.

 

Feel free to leave a comment about Freedom Wars down in the comment section.

 

Why Season 3 of Rick and Morty could be a hit or miss with the fans.

Rick and Morty has evolved from good hearted nihilism written within an adventurous sci-fi setting to full frontal nihilistic absurdism. Could that shift in tone be a shift too far?

The structure of this hit cartoon show has always been about questioning reality and oneself, but has never really dived to such dark depths as in season 3. It has taken on a new personality, one that many viewers simply may not enjoy. Some may theorise that the recent uptake of new writers could be responsible, however it is also very possible that this was always going to be the natural progression of Rick and Morty. It is a logical next step, but will it be a successful one?

Throughout season 3 we have also seen the camera draw closer and begin to examine the characters of the main cast in greater, perhaps too much detail, while scrapping the greater themes regarding the universe and society. In many ways character progression is a good thing, but is generally built up slowly and naturally throughout a season, rather than being the sole focus. This change creates a far grittier and uglier story than the fans are used to, given the nature of these characters. The show itself in a recent episode reveals that Rick views his own core character as toxic, a revelation that is in no way as surprising or meaningful as it could have been earlier on, instead being simply a grim reminder of Rick’s own deep sadness and self-loathing.

Will these changes be popular in the community or will they prove too much?  Let me know what you think about Rick and Morty Season 3 down in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Season 3 promotional image taken from the Rick and Morty Wiki page.
http://rickandmorty.wikia.com/wiki/Season_3

My Thoughts on Spiderman Homecoming

I recently went to see Spiderman Homecoming and walked out of the cinema with one thing on my mind, they stopped production of the third Amazing Spiderman movie, and Sinister Six movie, and yet greenlit this project, which is in my own opinion a far less interesting and a poorly developed version of Spiderman. One of the many problems to be found in superhero movie reboots is that with every reboot the character is dragged back to the point before any previous development, and creates a natural frustration within the viewer. At a certain point it becomes more desirable to see character growth than stagnation.

Stagnation is without a doubt the right word to refer to Spiderman homecoming. This was a Peter Parker without any responsibility and without any real grit or self-determination. He was simply handed a fortune in technology by Tony Stark and allowed to focus solely on the matter of his own popularity rather than having to worry about the troubles of his Aunt May who has become young and hip in this new reboot. The greatest concerns of this Peter Parker do not reflect any real struggle beyond your average teen drama.

Image Courtesy of ComicBookMovie.com

 

I’m aware that this movie draws heavily from certain runs of the comics, but this reflects the current problem with marvel’s outlook, in that they are attempting to connect emotionally with a demographic who they themselves don’t believe go through any real struggles. By attempting to be “cool and hip” and concerning themselves with the inane problems that almost every teen might face, they are creating a character that will never display any proper emotional depth and a world in which there are no true heroes.

After seeing Peter Parker’s brief appearance in Captain America Civil War, I had one expectation of a certain level of humour, however it seems he made more jokes during his minute appearance in Civil War than throughout the entire movie in Spiderman Homecoming.

This movie was not without its moments. The villains were the highlight of every scene that they appeared in. The transformation of a second rate villain (The Shocker) into an office joke was, in my eyes, a brilliant take on cheesy old fashioned villainy. The black market weaponry business felt perfectly gritty and interesting, and the true nature of The Vulture made for some masterfully suspenseful scenes despite the detachment from his usual Spiderman backstory.

I felt that the acting from most of the young cast was lacking and bland, including Tom Holland in his role as Peter Parker. With the exception being Jacob Batalon playing Peter’s best friend, Ned, who always stole the scene whether analysing tired superhero tropes or simply sticking with his best mate.

Personally I felt that the flaws in Spiderman Homecoming outweighed the enjoyment I got from watching it, but that is just my opinion. Feel free to comment to let me know what you thought of Spiderman Homecoming.

Zaion I Wish You Were Here – Anime Review

Average 1

This show starts out in a world where an alien virus is transforming people into ferocious, mindless beasts. Soldiers under the employ of a certain organization have been supplied with sub dermal nanomachines which will form armour around them when necessary, and these soldiers fight the beasts. This is a fairly stereotypical setup so far. It’s nothing really new.

There is also a girl being kept in a lab by the same organization in question. She is forced to live her life in almost complete isolation because of her ability to nullify the virus.

One of the soldiers stumbles across her, one day in the courtyard, and they begin to grow close.

 

The plot isn’t something too unique. It also seemed quite centred on the lives of those within this organization, failing to give a clear picture of the state of the world otherwise. Without any world building it becomes hard to grasp the true consequences of failure. Which makes it harder to care about what they are doing. This could be partially excused by the limited timeframe they had to work with.

It tried to explore a theme within the show, “is it right to keep someone captive to save a multitude of lives.” to which it gave a clear answer. It was done simply, but at least with this the story wasn’t completely aimless.

Image courtesy of http://www.world-art.ru/animation/animation.php?id=2070

I do like the fact that this is a soppy romantic story, set in this particular environment. I felt it unusual and quirky, and they pulled it off quite well towards the end of the show. Their romance was much too sudden, but considering they only had four episodes to work with it’s a forgivable flaw. I loved the dynamic between those two characters.

I wasn’t a fan of the way they displayed her powers, I thought it not only overused but also found that it crossed the line in terms of suspending disbelief. It was just a little too strange for the setup. I feel like it’s a trope from a whole other genre.

I thought that they had far too many other soldier characters, and they actually gave too much character development and focus to them. These other soldiers didn’t add much to the story, so they should have kept the focus on the main characters, especially in such a short series.

 

Many people seem to be overly critical of this short show in their reviews. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but I don’t think it was completely awful either. I think in general it’s likeable, flaws and all.

The setting of this show actually reminds me quite a bit of Generator Rex, although I think Generator Rex did a far better job of presenting it.

Minor Annoyances in Manga Collecting

Humph

Arrrgh!

I just finished the entire Darker than Black manga, which I assumed was what the anime was an adaptation of, only to find out that this was written after the anime’s completion and did not follow the same story. I haven’t seen the anime, so that was kind of annoying and probably explains why the story got a bit hard to follow towards the end. Grrr! I should’ve checked before reading.

I’m one of those people who love collecting, reading and watching things in sequential order. When I started collecting manga, it was easy to imagine lining up an entire manga series neatly on a shelf. But currently I don’t own a single manga series that isn’t incomplete or out of order.

I used to think nothing was more irritating then then owning a series out of order, but now I’ve come to accept that I will always own stray volumes that I can’t read yet due to other missing volumes. This always happens when I try to buy it cheaply.

I guess it’s just my curse as an otaku and collector. (With a limited budget.)

 

Higurashi When They Cry Anime Review

Scaredy cat

This is only a review of season 1.

I actually had to start skipping the opening song every episode, because it was too catchy. I ended up losing sleep because I couldn’t get it out of my head and it made me remember all the scary bits in the show it was from. I’m such a scaredy cat.

Higurashi is a show with a really unique format, because it consists of relatively short story arcs that each occur during the exact same point in time. With different events happening in each arc. I think that this was the best way a visual novel adaptation could be approached, especially in the horror genre, simply because it contributes so well to the eerie atmosphere.

All of the main characters in Higurashi become extremely well developed throughout the progression of this series, which makes it all the more brutal in the end. Disregarding genre, developing these characters so well also creates a richer story, which always improves the experience of watching any show. The fact that they were able to do this with so many main characters is truly amazing.

Most secondary characters were given almost no development, but as something adapted from a visual novel it makes perfect sense for most secondary characters to be rudimentary. It is also possible that they are given more depth in the second season.

Another element that makes this show so well done is that you see so much more than the horror elements. Without the slice of life type beginning to each arc this show would be quite mediocre, because it’s the change in the tone and not the tone by itself that makes it a good horror.

Image courtesy of http://www.planetminecraft.com/member/zaasianboi/

Changes in perspective, as were also seen throughout different arcs, contributed more to the mystery within the show. Giving you small clues that eventually build up, providing a chance to see what’s really going on.

Within season 1, much of the plot is explained and wrapped up, leaving only a few questions which I’ve heard are answered in the second season. The way the story appears scattered at the beginning and converges towards the end is masterful.

I believe that any fan of anime probably should watch this show at some point, because it really is a unique and brilliantly made show. Although it is horror so if you’re a scaredy cat like me, feel free to skip it.