Squid Girl, it’s squidtastic!


 

             Greetings dearest readers!

A while ago while browsing Netflix I stumbled upon an anime I had never seen on instant play before, it was called Squid Girl. Due to the bad view of tentacles on the internet (*cough cough* hentai *cough cough*)I was briefly worried. But after reading the description and looking at the rating, I found myself watching the new to me anime, and I must say, it pretty Kraken funny  

                Each episode of Squid Girl is actually 3 separate episodes in one, much like Rugrats. The show is about a young squid of a girl named Squid Girl (creative right?). Squid Girl has come to the surface to “Inkvade” and stop the pollution of her home, the ocean. Upon arriving at the surface she encounters the Lemon Beach House, a small restaurant, and decides to make it her base of operations. The owners of the restaurant, the Aizawa siblings, have no problem kicking her out though however, and Squid Girl fights them for it. Sadly, she not only loses, but she manages to put a whole in their wall, and now must work at the beach house to pay for it. The series follows her comical adventures at the beach house as she works both towards paying off her debt and “Inkvaiding” mankind.

The entire cast… With the exception of Squid Girl

I must say I enjoy the pure wittiness of the series, with Squid Girl often facing a direct conflict (often in the form of her mangers, the red head Eiko Aizawa, and her calm older sister Chizuru Aizawa) and causing trouble as she misunderstands the culture of the surface world. Though the series itself seems limited in actual plot, it has its own charms in its short stories which make it extremely enjoyable. It is very lighthearted, and easy to watch on those off days. I find this attractive, and I believe others do to, as it allows for me to not have to get too involved with the plot. In many anime this is important, but it also causes strain because in most cases it puts you on an emotional roller coaster of sorts. A series that doesn’t do this makes a nice cool down for those that do.

Squid Girl does this extremely well, with its episode based plot and all the “Squidtastic” word play. It has an adorable art style, often making good use of chibis and comical effects. The team for this anime shows skill in many ways, art being a huge one. Characters have just enough depth to be relatable too, but are still very swallow in

I can’t tell if it’s Nintendo, mainly because that’s an X-Box controller.

terms of development. This series focus primarily on comedy, and surprisingly, of a less perverted variety. I am proud to say that I would watch this with RetroRob in the room, which is quite a statement. A majority of the jokes focus primarily on Squid Girls cluelessness, and all the trouble that it gets her and her friends into. The rainbow of characters and personalities causes a variety in episodes, and the setting allows for its own comedy (i.e Squad girl “downing” despite the fact she can breathe underwater…) and overall it’s a heartwarming story about a girl and her squid.

I’m not sure where I am right now,

PandaEatingATaco

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Pokemon White: I play stuff


zekrom-and-reshiram-legendary-pokemon-black-and-white-artwork-lets-play

Hello dear readers!

How are you and your wonderful faces? I myself am doing quite well, having tasted the wonder known as victory after a grueling day of pure defeat. It took me a week, but I was able to do it, I defeated Pokémon White (Well, at least the main plot, you can’t really all out win a Pokémon game after all). Now, this is surprising to me not only because a) I normally just play to get the cute Pokémon and therefor ignore the plot and B) Because I didn’t think I’d like the game much in the first place.

You see, I grew up playing Pokémon Red on my Gameboy color and learning that was the only way too play (though later I fell in love with Emerald and Gold), leaving no interest in the new generations and their ‘ugly’ new Pokémon. In fact, upon first seeing gameplay I thought that Black and White both looked pathetic, but man, I was wrong. My boyfriend gave me his old copy after I had watched him play, asking all sorts of question. I was excited because it had been years since I had played a Pokémon game that wasn’t just an emulator. I started to play, and I became hooked.

The starers, can you guess which one I chose?

The starers, can you guess which one I chose?

The game opens like all the others, the game’s first female professor, Professor Juniper, tells you a bit about the world of Pokémon, and asks your name and gender. Though after this, the game shows quite a bit of progression from its predecessors, upon entering your game world, you and your friend Cheren are waiting for your other friend Bianca to show up so that you can choose your starter Pokémon. After receiving it, you and Bianca battle in your room, tearing it to shreds (but don’t worry, mom doesn’t care). You then began your journey, entering the wonderful world of the Unova region. On your journey you meet Team Plasma, a gang that has it’s heart set on ‘saving’ Pokémon by forcing their trainers to release them (with words, of course), and the mysterious (and amazingly attractive) N, who not only speaks to Pokémon, but seems to want you.

The plot of this game seemed to add a lot, seeming as I normally tap A when most people talk in other Pokemon games (I can only handle listing to team rocket rant for so long…) and I took a good amount of time to read what was being said in this game. I enjoyed feeling like there was a real story in this game, and that I was truly a part of it. I liked that I could choose my answer sometimes, and the way I wasn’t simply “That annoying kid whom happens to be uber tough” all the time. Honestly, the fact that characters actually interacted with each other and you the way they did made the game so much more enjoyable.

Gameplay seems to have improved greatly too, little things like the ability to use TMs more than once and the lack of HMs that need to be used make for much easier move combos, to larger things like triple battles. The overall gameplay mechanics seem to have changed very little, buttons still do pretty much what they used too and you still need to press  B to run, though the menu has become easier to use, and using items has become much less time consuming, especially if one wants to use the same item more than once.  The new Pokémon are both cute and creative 90% of the time, which is honestly not too bad.

Fanart that depict the characters best...

Fanart that depict the characters best…

I have yet to try many of the games online features, as I use WPA security, and DS lite is not compatible with such. Though I have traded, as soon as I could I received a Charamander from my friend, and later and Eevee. I have found trading via inferred to be easy and fun. Overall I very much enjoyed the game, and look forward to playing it more.

I fell asleep on my floor halfway through writing this, sorry,

PandaEatingATaco

Akira: something I watched in the desert


That’s a lie, it’s rated R now, but still, would be funny

Good day dear readers,

                Recently, I went with some friends on a road trip to see their family. After a long weekend in a land of pure flatness, I found something amazing in the house I was staying in. In the bottom corner of their movie cabinet was an entire section dedicated to anime. It wasn’t a huge variety, but it was more than I own.  After a brief conversation with the owner, he recommend I watch Akira, which, up until that point, I had heard a lot about but had yet to actually see it. I sat down to watch and was told ‘If you don’t know much about anime, you won’t understand this opening.” It opened with a shot of Tokyo exploding.

Akira is about a Neo-Tokyo; set in 2019 the story shows a view of a Tokyo after WWIII and the story of a biker gang that lives there.  At first, it seems evident that poverty has stricken much of the area, and a resistance is rising against the government. The story follows a teenager named Shotaro Kaneda, who leads a biker gang called ‘The Capsules’, and his rival friend, Tetsuo Shima.  After a fight with their rival gang ‘The Clowns’, they run into a boy named Takashi, who stops Tetsuo with a telepathic force, knocking him off his bike. After a run in with a secret government organization (who decides to take Tetsuo to the chopper, without the weapons) Kaneda goes off, seeking his friend and running into the lovely lady Kei.

When I first picked up the movie case I searched for the year it was made, 1988. I am not as familiar with anime of this era, but I recall watching several anime from the 90s, and I found that in terms of art, Akira seemed to be way ahead of its time.                Katsuhiro Otomo does an amazing job at using the technology of the time, producing beautiful animation and breathtaking scenes. I have told by many it was revolutionary, a true advancement, and though I was not around at the time to compare that, I’ll take their word to be true. The art is truly graceful, even the scene where someone’s insides become their outsides holds its own disturbing beauty (If you have a weak stomach, don’t eat before watching). The flow is smooth and there seems to be a lack of many ‘static’ scenes which so often leave with the feeling of ‘Why does that person in the background have no soul?’ It truly is a beautiful movie to watch.

The plot has its own charms. For a majority of the movie, I was asking myself who ‘Akira’ really was, and when they finally explained it, I wanted to know what that meant. By the end I had figured it out, and I began to understand the plot as a whole. I was truly able to ponder it, and ask myself what it was Katsuhiro Otomo wanted me to take from it, if anything. It kept me enthralled and interested, and left me satisfied. The ending itself is not direct, it is very much left to interpretation, but it does it in a way that lets you know what will probably happen, it’s very much intentionally so. The movie ends with a question, a question and something else (watch the movie to find out what that is). I honestly was very happy I stayed up late (therefore woke up tired) to watch it.

Characters were something I paid close attention to in this movie, I was doing an experiment of sorts. I was curious to see if I could justify the actions of the character by who the character was, if it made sense for them to do something by how the author had portrayed them to me.  I found that the characters did this well, each one had a defined personality, with individual characteristic and appearance. I can honestly state I was able to keep up with characters and their motives, each showing true depth and development.

I really enjoyed Akira as a whole, and plan to one day buy it myself. It truly is a masterpiece, and something any anime lover should add to their arsenal.  I hope you all go down to your video store (or open Netflix in another tab) and pick it up (add it to your queue). The beginning is wonderful, the middle is awesome, and the ending is amazing, and I honestly can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. It was not perfect of course, but I was too busy watching what I liked to pay attention to what I didn’t.  If you have any opinion about it, I’d love to hear it.

I’m going to try posting once a week again,

PandaEatingATaco

Black butler or Kuroshitsuji or whatever you want to call it


Good day my dearest readers,

1076     There was a time in which my method of finding new anime to watch was listening to my friends and random Netflix sprees, sometimes a mixture of both. Black Butler (or Kuroshitsuji as it’s referred to on the internet) was something I discovered on a Netflix spree but heard about from a friend, being a combination of both, I watched it. I didn’t know what to except, all the summery told me was that it was about a 12 year-old kid and his demon butler (who, I might add is extremely attractive) and they went on adventures all through Victorian London. I had no idea what to except but I assumed it was some romance anime judging by the appearance of the butler and the fact that every person who had ever uttered its name to me was female (romantic loving females, I might add.)

I was surprised however, to find that in the first episode a man was shoved in to an oven by are demon friend (Sebastian Michaels) and that there were literally almost no viable romances even involved. The second episode seemed just as good, with Sebastian attacking a group of armed thugs with nothing but silverware, and winning. It was after this I realized that I was watching one of those action-packed comedies that were targeted at a female audience, something which seems to be more common as of late.

The story itself is about 12 year-old Earl Ceil Phantomhive, the head of the ‘Funtom’ toy company and head of the Phantomhive household. Young Ceil lost his parents when he was just 10 years old due to a house fire, leaving him an orphan with one goal, to avenge his parents death by finding and killing the arsonist who started the fire resulting in their death. To do this, he made a contract with the demon Sebastian, who promises revenge, at a price. In exchange for his services, Sebastian will be allowed to eat Ceil’s soul after he gets his revenge. The series follows their varies adventures in search of the arsonist, and all the distractions they face along the way.black-butler-group-16804775ef

The overall story is nice, filed with twist and turns, and I love the art style, which not only shows personality overall, but also gives each character a unique look. The action scenes flow nicely, using beautiful art and various human poses for a bit of a mix-up each time, and conveying the overall emotion of the fighters with few or no words. The characters work well together, personalities often clashing for comedic purposes, and giving each character individuality. Comedy occurs often, and is often pure randomness, smartass comments, slap stick, or characters finding other characters attractive, which tells me that the target audience is in fact, female (that and the weird almost-yoai stuff). Overall the series is pretty good.

Iconic silverware throw…

It does however, have its problems. Most of this lies in the fact that in a similar fashion to Pandora Hearts, the manga was unable to keep up with the anime, leaving the anime staff to continue the plot, and for a while they did well, and then, it failed. They began to add concepts that made little sense, and then abruptly ended the series on a negative note, but a complete one. Then the made Kuroshitsuji II, which picked up an already ended series, and re-murdered it brutally via poor plot devices and bad characterization. Than they ended that a really really bad note by going against almost all we had come to understand in order to end on a slightly positive note. Still in the fashion of Pandora Hearts the manga goes in an entirely different direction, yet I have to find out the best place to pick it up, and not sure if starting over is worth it.

Black Butler is one of my favorite series, more for the characters and art than anything else (I’m not going to lie, Sebastian is hot.)  It was well worth watching, and one of the few series I plan to buy when I get the chance. The story is strong as well, though I feel it start stronger than it ended, perhaps this is avoided in the manga, though due to it not ending, it’s hard to really say. The lack of direct romance in the series is something I rarely see in the more female based Shōnen genre, and I really enjoy it and hope to see it more in mainstream manga.

Update: As I write this I have just found that a Kuroshitsuji live action movie, it will be directed by Otani Kentaro (director of the live action film Nana) and the leading man Sebastian will be played by the wonderful Mizushima Hiro. Not much is yet known about it, but we’re told it’s an original story and takes place 130 after the manga/ anime (which, from my math/guessing, would bring it up to about modern times, maybe in the near future. I specifically got the year 2018). I myself do not know much about the director or leading actor, but from what I’ve heard there good at what they do, and judging by the pictures of Hiro as Sebastian, I do not doubt them.

look at that Sebastian...

look at that Sebastian…

I have a feeling that Ceil will not be in this new movie, and that perhaps it will just be Sebastian with his new victim client. I believe this would allow a lot more flexibility and make it harder to mess up, as they really only need to keep with one or two characters from the original, which means that mad fans can’t scream about how such and such is wrong with blank because blah because blank wasn’t even in the movie. This would of course, disappoint some fans, though having a human character live 130 years would need much more explaining… (Unless it’s based off the second season of the anime, than it’s a similar concept, just with Ceil there) And while I want Ceil to be in the movie, I don’t know how I feel about him being there and it being modern times, I feel that Sebastian (who lived through many time periods) would be a little easier (though not easy) to explain adapting than a 12 year old who grew up rich in the 1880s (though he could adapt). This, and I think that a bit more about Sebastian would be nice, we know a lot about Ceil, but little about who Sebastian is, or his past, which is something I hope the movie might cover.

I’m pretty excited, and I’m hoping for the best (I’m not really sure how they could screw it up…) and already plan to see it as soon as I can. The movie is to be filmed in April and slated for release in mid-2013.     

That was like two blog posts…

PandaEatingATaco

Minecraft: Lolita Princess Pack


Cheers dear Readers!

      In the past few weeks I have spent what little free time I have doing one thing, playing Minecraft. Some of you may have heard of the block based game of awesome and creation and I’m willing to bet some of you have even played it, maybe even own it. I personally really enjoy the game, but one thing had bugged me from day one, the textures. After a little while, they bugged me less, and I was able to put up with it, not even noticing that 1/3 of the textures were absolutely terrible to build with and literally just server to make you burn them in lava and replace them was something else, and then I discovered texture packs.

Just look at it! It’s so pretty!

This is not to say that I didn’t know about texture packs before, but simply that I believed them to be pointless garbage which to up more of my CPU and made Minecraft nearly unplayable (well, that’s what it did to my friends computer.) I later found out, texture packs are beautiful pieces of art that take up more of your computers CPU (less so if you use Optifine…) and that each one can add to the already wonderful minecraft. I personally have yet to use too many texture packs, but have already fallen in love with one in particular, one that seems to be unknown to most, but offers some of the most adorable textures I’ve seen yet.

The pack is called the Lolita Princess Pack, and it’s done by “Zoepapilla”. As you may have guessed, this texture pack is based on the Japanese street fashion “Lolita”, which makes it seem very ‘feminine’ or even ‘girly’. This is not the first pack which offers such a girly take to Minecraft, it’s not even the most high quality, or complete, something that makes this one special is the way it does things, first off, it’s not overwhelmingly pink.

My moon gets rainbows!

The rare forever alone Ghast in it’s natural habitat.

I have attempted to use a good amount of packs labeled ‘cute’ or ‘girly’ but each and every one just seems to fill the world with bright colors and 50 shades of pink, using one color to make it ‘girly’ vs. finding patterns that work with a variety of colors and don’t look too busy. This texture pack offers just that, with a more anime-like twist. The textures connect beautifully and the patterns work well together, which is a challenge every texture pack face, and why I believe many themed packs struggle.

The pack itself is reminds me of a Shōjo manga scene, with cute colors and the basic Lolita fashion concept, which does often occur in manga (though, it is not vice-versa, many ‘Lolitas’ are not big fans of the media.) It supports random mobs, which means that several of the mobs can have multiple different appearances, and many of the skins keep the ‘scary mob’ feel while still maintaining the overall feel of the pack (some referencing memes…).  The armor itself is Lolita fashion; well, as best as it can be in minecraft. Helmets are wigs with headpieces and leggings often have a skirt look to them. The overworld reflects the style of ‘sweet’ or ‘ama’ Lolita while the nether is based on ‘gothic’ Lolita (from what I can tell, the end is a mixture of the two).

I actually built these using a different texture pack, I’m amazed at how they turned out.

The pack is not fully done, paintings, the ender dragon, and custom water/lava animations have yet to be added. Though, this does not make it an incomplete pack, the rest of it is done, and looks perfect! I must say that for a one person team, they really outdid themselves for this pack. Minecraft feels like an almost new game with it, and I’d recommend it for any minecraft player who would like minecraft to have a more ‘cute’ feel to it.

Oh, and by the way, the Panda faced pumpkins are by far my

The inside of my panda sanctuary.

favorite!

PandaEatingATaco

P.s. For more pictures I suggest visiting the site, same for download

Halloween fun


Happy Halloween!

Greetings my dear gentleman and women,

As you may know, Halloween is approaching, and this entails a lot of spooktasitic material and the wide ability to enjoy activities that make you wet yourselves. Reading this blog post won’t be one of them, some things suggested in this blog post however, may. Some of you will be busy on the night of hallows, enjoying some time with your friends and showing off your costume, but others of you (the ones not playing the new Assassins Creed) will be at home, with not much else to do than hand out candy to trick-or-treaters (and if your house is like mine, you won’t even have that). So this blog post will be more geared towards you, and things you can do at home.

  1. Play Slender

You need: A Laptop and the will to face the faceless (download here)

This not-so-new indie game came about based on the lovely little myth of Slenderman. This game has seemingly simple game play, just run around a dark forest collecting 8 notes in various locations. Controls are basic (you use around 7 buttons total) and for the first few minutes or so it seems easy, than Slendy comes into play. The Slenderman (for some unknown but highly speculated reasons) has a problem with you touching these notes, and will do anything to stop you. He attacks you with his mind, giving you a static screen, and eventually killing you, whenever you look at him. With each note you collect he gets stronger, eventually gaining the ability to teleport. Beating the first round unlocks daytime mode, beating that unlocks $20 mode, and beating that unlock Marble Hornets mode. The best advice for beating this game: Don’t look behind you and use this map (Captain Sparklez failing at Slender…)

2.Read the /r/ No Sleep section.

You need: internet connection and common sense

The only time I ever go on Reddit is to enjoy the wonders of the No Sleep section. /r/ No Sleep is, like the name suggests, a place you go when you plan on not sleeping. Most posts are ‘scary’ stories and things that ‘actually happen’ (you, as the reader/commenter, assume it did), the first rule of this subsection is ‘everything you read here happened.’ Many of these stories do seem extremely believable and are rather freighting, leaving the reader often questioning all they ever knew. Some of these stories do suck, as it is a place where anyone can post, but others have kept me up at night. If you feel like reading before bed on Halloween this is a great place to go. (Cry reads No Sleeps the best!)

3.Enjoy the wonders of anime with friends and family (or alone)

You need: an anime/ internet connection

I’m going to state the obvious here and say that anime is probably one of the best things to watch on Halloween. Finding the right one is key, but after selecting a title the rest is easy. Unlike horror movies, one anime can entertain the whole night and more if long enough and come on a wide range of spooky subjects. Netflix even has a section dedicated to horror anime with a wide range of titles (if you don’t liked dubbed you can use it as a reference and then watch it subbed somewhere else). If you don’t have Netflix and want ideas you might find some on this blog or other parts of the internet.

4.Go trick-or-treating

You need: A costume (don’t have one? The internet is a wonderful place.)

Some of you just said to your computer screen “But I’m __ years old! I can’t go trick-or-treating anymore!” Well I say LIES! Because you’re never too old for trick-or-treating just like you’re never too old for the free candy you get from trick-or-treating. If you’re really still against that, than get some friends together and go hang out around town, even your virtual WoW town, and partake in Halloween festivities. Halloween is the one day a year that the whole world has an excuse to cosplay, it’s like a giant convention of fans of everything, and you should enjoy it. Even if that means just having a small gathering of friends in your living room, or even a game server, to enjoy a bit of trickery and fun.

Other things you can do is enjoy minecraft with a new texture pack, get that ugly hat that you’ll probably never wear in Team Fortress 2, post some cosplay cheer on your favorite internet forum, enjoy a spooky role-play session, or even throw a Halloween anime party. The points is, have fun and scare yourselves, the most fun I’ve ever had being scared, is when I do it with someone else, even if it is just family or something on the internet. So if all you can do is take out a relative, do it, stay safe and enjoy the fright!

Man, I’ve been watching waaaay too much Batman,

PandaEatingATaco

Hana to Akuma


 Hello good ladies and mentlgen,

At one point during the summer, right before my computer had its memory wiped, I stumbled upon a manga known as Hana to Akuma by Hisamu Oto. I was browsing a site and looking for new manga’s when I saw a picture of its cover and its title. I didn’t expect much, but click the link any way and stared reading the fan translations (This book is currently not available in English, but you can purchases the Japanese ones here.)

The story is about a demon named Vivi, who left the demon world and came to live among humans. One snowy day, after a day in town he finds a baby girl in front of his mansion. He decides to keep it on a whim, calling her Hana after one of his butlers comments that her smile is “like a flower.” 14 years later Hana is still living with Vivi, worshiping the very ground he walks one. Vivi is protective of her, but is scared that if he touches her she will wilt (When a demon touches a flower it dies). Hana is saddened by this, and determined to help Vivi get over this, leaving a flower in front of his bedroom door every morning.

At first the story seems to start slow, it’s a lot of flashbacks, and a lot of explaining. After that though, the story picks up and more characters are added. As the story goes on, we find out more and more about Vivi’s standings in the demon world and his relationship with the demon king. We also watch Hana grow and develop new feelings for her demon friend and his feelings for her. Each character has a comic side, and a personality. They all have goals (some state them bluntly) that are seeable to the reader at one point or another.

  The art express the Shōjo theme of the story, with more of a girlish touch to it. The plot is of course, a romance, but it does contain some action, but not enough to escape the classic girlish theme of Shōjo. The beginning manages to avoid romance and focus on pure comedy, and the comedy is never lost. It comes back often, allowing the series to appeal to more than just the romance lovers. Providing the audience with loveable characters (mainly of the Bishonen type) so giving the audience a chance to choose a favorite.

Overall, it’s a pretty decent manga. If you’re into the supernatural romance, I’m willing to bet you’ll love it. It has a nice ending too; tying up any loose strings and leaving you with a sappy romance feeling (I was pretty touched.) The art was nice, not amazing on some panels, but some panels were quite beautiful, and it was very clean. The plot was a little predictable, but did take some surprising turns.

On another note, Pokemon: Black and White 2 came out Sunday,

PandaEatingATaco

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