Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Another Century Episode 3


 Rewriting the article since i think the article was a pile of mess when i wrote this back in 2010 and feels that the game needs better treatment that it deserved. In any case i always held Another Century Episode 3 with high regard as it was the game that opened my eyes to mecha series other than Gundam before i get serious with SRW. As of now i have played my 3rd Playthrough on the game and unlocked most of the units already. I will be highlighting the best things that come out from this game in this article.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Gear Fighter Dendoh PSX Game


 Dendoh is one of the series that i always really want to watch since it got some cool gimmicks and on top of that this was a mecha show directed by Fukuda before SEED debacle. Before there was SRW MX, there was this PSX Game for Gear Fighter Dendoh. It was really fun beat'em up game and i used to play this a lot when i was a 6th Grader. I think for Game that was intended for Cross-Promotion, it was rather well made if short and give really nice coverage on Dendoh before SRW R and MX included the series in their roster.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

KidsLogic Shurato Action Figure Get!


 I think i have been seeing some new Shurato toys few years ago but not too observant about it. After some random lurking on Taobao, from some impulse buy decision i got myself Shura-Oh Shurato and Yasha-Oh Gai for 600 RMB or roughly 50 USD each. These Shurato Action Figures apparently made by KidsLogic, a Hongkong based Toy Company which surprised me for many reasons. On the first glance these Shurato Action Figure are on par with Bandai's Armor Plus with some metal parts for the armor though it could have more face sculpts in the package. These Shurato Action Figures can be bought from Kids Logic Website for 84 USD but  Taobao usually sold them slightly cheaper around 340 RMB. To me the Shurato anime was a disappointment with so much potential wasted but that doesn't prevent me to like the aesthetics of the series. I really wonder if Kidslogic are going to make more of Action Figures for Shurato since i would welcome other Hachibushu to my collection especially Ten-Oh Hyuga.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Muvluv Schwarzesmarken Anime


Perhaps my opinion toward Muvluv was rather low after Alt Chronicle 3, but after watching Schwarzesmarken i guess i slightly regain my faith toward the series. By no means the anime version of Schwarzesmarken is the definitive version of the series but at least it fulfills its purpose successfully. Though at very least i think you should read Muvluv Alternative beforehand in order to appreciate what Schwarzesmarken Anime could offer.

MIG-21 Balalaika is quite awesome
 Schwarzesmarken is a spin-off story of Muvluv series revolving around the Elite East German 666 TSF Squadron who specialize in suicidal missions. The series Roughly taking place 10 Years after the first BETA landing where the world are fighting losing battles against BETA while still manage to bicker with each other due to cold war mentality. If Alternative is a story of man fight to save humanity, then Schwarzesmarken is the story of a man fight to preserve his sliver of hope toward humanity.

Initially i was rather skeptical toward Schwarzesmarken due to fanservices but overall i think the series plots are decent enough to breathe a fresh air into Muvluv series. After multiple Blunders from other spin-offs, at least Schwarzesmarken managed to get the setting Grimdark enough which was one of the major selling point of the series. Compared to Alternative most of the "grimdark"ness of Schwarzesmarken come from the political intrigues while it still got decent amount of deaths.

Fluff-wise Schwarzesmarken Anime does contribute alot to Muvluv-verse. The anime shows more detailed view on how TSF Squadrons deal with BETA in the transitional period between 1st and 2nd Generation TSF as well as the sheer horror of these Alien creatures bring to the frontline. It certainly sucks if you fight as footsoldier in the frontline against hordes of those Tank Classes trying to have piece of you. At the same time the series also provide good insight how the cold war tensions between the Nations cost them dearly by the time of Alternative.

F-14 Jolly Roger Squad with the Phoenix missiles
On the end note, Schwarzesmarken succeed to show a different sides for Muvluv series while maintaining the appeal of the series. Despite the Anime appeared to be minimalistic, it managed to get me interested to look into the original Light Novel or VN which to me the anime succeeds at its goal. I will definitely look forward for the localization of Schwarzesmarken VN which hopefully is not just pure re-telling of the story especially more insight on how the protagonist of this series end up in the circumstances of his in TE. Also i still hope one day we get some Muvluv action game since it is a sin for such delicious mecha designs do not have such treatment. Perhaps for now i will just re-read Muvluv Alternative.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Super Robot Wars and Char


  Char Aznable is no doubt one of the most influential character in Gundam universe and spawning clones of him throughout the history of Gundam. Starting as rival Ace Pilot with hidden agenda in 0079 then a mentor for protagonist in Zeta and finally in CCA as the main antagonist leading his people to fight for not necessarily bad if ambiguous purposes. Showing up in 3 different series with different Persona do make Char to be the most fleshed out character of all Gundam series and thats why he shows up alot in medias involving Gundam especially Video Games. Char's Counterattack was used alot in Video Games like Gundam Vs or Another Century Episode. However so far the only Video Game that tries to explore Char Aznable's character further and successfully did was SRW series in particular the Alpha timeline. In this article i will try my best to point out how this crossover series pull this feat out as a homage to one of the most legendary character from Universal Century and Gundam series as a whole.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Densetsu no Yuusha Da Garn


Shortly after J-Decker, i am plowing through Da Garn! 3rd Yuusha series so far and i think would really love these series if i watched them as a kid. Compared to J-Decker, Da Garn took the classic route of the Yuusha series, which involve protecting Earth by beating the crap out alien invaders. The formula for Da Garn is rather standard but the casts are good including the antagonists. Da Garn still mainly rely on Monster of the Week formula for its episodes but with a twist where the monsters got certain distinct designs for roughly each quarters of the series. The protagonist of Da Garn Seiji, seems to be the older one compared to average Yuusha protagonist and quite competent one as well. Compared to Yuuta from J-Decker, he commands the Yuusha team better and does not merely provide moral support. If Yuusha series did not focus too much on Kids, Da Garn's romance plot could have been expanded since Seiji's character fits more as Middle school kid rather than primary school and multiple love interests for love triangle.

 In terms of Mecha design Da Garn's are quite flashy and one of the Robot Gattai is very unique too. The main Robot falls on the Balanced type as Da Garn X is quite choppy while Great Da Garn X is very shooty. Surprisingly Da Garn's ending was rather bittersweet since most of Yuusha titles tend to have happy one. While Gaogaigar is still undisputed King of Braves, i quite like Da Garn and probably still on my top list even when i managed to watch all of the Yuusha series.

Da Garn X
Great Da Garn X

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Great Battle VI


 In the early days of Banpresto before they are really famous for their SRW series, they made crossover series which involve Gundam, Kamen Rider and Ultraman in Super-Deformed game series called "The Great Battle" which most of them seen released on Super Nintendo platform. When i was a kid i used to play the 6th installment of the game on Playstation alot and it was my gateway game to Gundam series. I am quite surprised how childhood can make something biased so much since i used to think this game was the best one ever. Nevertheless Great Battle VI is still kinda decent Sidescroller.



Saturday, April 2, 2016

Yoroiden Samurai Trooper


 Around late 80s to early 90s Saint Seiya was really popular and obviously there were clones popping out to capitalize the trend. From what i know there are two of these clones that got international exposure and worth mentioning at least, one of them is Tenku Senki Shurato and the other is Yoroiden Samurai Trooper. Since i watched Shurato a while ago already i thought i may give Yoroiden a run as well considering i used to watch some of the episodes when i was a kid just like Shurato.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Brave Police J-Decker

Yuuta and J-Decker
 This is my second Yuusha series i have watched after Gaogaigar and i am glad that i have made some progress despite some lollygagging. J-Decker is one of the later Yuusha series which have rather different formula compared to its predecessor as its genre gravitate to Slice of Life. Like most mecha anime directed to sells kids toys, the series empowered your average kid to do awesome stuff and J-Decker comes in Police flavor. The main protagonist is part of police force and serve as the Leader of the Sentient transforming robot squad fighting against crime, pretty awesome eh?

 At first i thought J-Decker is all about Kids trying to play police but at its core it is all about the friendship between a child and a Robot. While J-Decker is not as GAR or as Flashy as GaoGaiGar, The Robot Casts in J-Decker are still Yuusha through and through. While Gai is one of the most hotblooded guy is have seen around in Mecha series and the J-Decker Team are nowhere near to Gai's level, they have shown Courage and Friendship throughout ordeal and that's what it takes as a Yuusha. The main issue for J-Decker to me is lack of serious enemy or rival that makes the series memorable as well as kinda average human casts. The series took a slightly different turn on Monster-of-the week formula as the J-Decker team perform investigations cases by cases before confrontation for its episodes, making it somewhat Kids version of Ghost in the Shell. Usually each Case last for an episode but the long one last around 2 to 4, and one of the case that i quite like is the old rivalry between police inspector and phantom thief.

 Even if it is not as good as Gaogaigar, J-Decker is still a decent watch and it got rather good animation quality for its time. When i was a kid probably i remembered i had some Yuusha Toys even if it is bootleg one and i recall my local toy store Super Build Tiger which were bootlegs as well. After J-Decker i will continue my journey to watch these Yuusha series which have more getting translated and i will probably start from Da Garn.

J-Decker
J-Decker Squad