Saturday, November 27, 2021

Monster (Naoki Urasawa)

 Revisiting one of Naoki Urasawa's works and i have to say either this series, Master Keaton or 20th Century Boys is this legendary mangaka magnum opus. Monster is one of the well regarded Seinen Manga because it has one of the best antagonist who just relies on his pure intellect. The series tells the story of a Japanese Surgeon in German whose life turned upside down after he saves a young boy named Johan Liebert who is gifted with a bright mind but used it to manipulate people for grisly ends.

As the main antagonist of Monster, Johan Liebert is well made character comparable to Makishima Shogo or Hannibal Lecter, who due to his traumatic past mostly commit his evil act by manipulating others through his eloquence and intimate understanding of human psyche. But what sets apart Johan with the latter two, is that he is not in the point of no return yet. From what i am able to grasp, before reaching that point of becoming true psychopath monster and to prove his point, Johan probably decided to end his life in a most elaborate way possible which the main protagonist rebuked by sentencing him to life at the conclusion of this series.

 Beyond his facade as a villain, to me Johan is a troubled young man who turned into sociopath due to being a victim of unethical cold war experiment. Usually when a person exposed to extremely traumatic experience, they tend to develop deranged personality as coping mechanism when Insanity was the only alternative in which Monster tried to showcase Naoki Urasawa's take on this argument. In the end at its basic level, what i believe that Monster tried to convey is that it is up to a society to determine how deep a man can sunk so low, because people are always the product of their environment.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

4th Year with Fate/Grand Order

 Surviving another year with this Gacha Hell game yet again but my burnout toward Fate/Grand Order quite took its toll this time. Of all Gacha game that i have played, no doubt Fate/Grand Order that sticks with me the longest surviving 3 phone changes. But overall my 4th year with FGO is a downhill race that started promising but went downhill by the mid of the year. Despite my severe burn from this year's misfortune, I think i still have the drive to stick around FGO at least until LB6 which featured alternate version of Camelot.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Yami playing Genshin Impact

  It has been more than a month i started playing Genshin Impact and with the milestones i have reached, i think i am ready to prepared a rounded opinion about this hottest AAA Mobile Game of the year. It took me more than a year to start playing Genshin Impact partly because of limited hardware issue of my mobile phone at the time, but mostly from my hesitation trying another Mihoyo Game due to personal bad experience playing Honkai Impact 3rd which is a very high maintenance for a mobile game. 

Before i tried Genshin, i always thought the game to be very overhyped with its well-placed aggressive marketing that attracts Normies which is a recipe for toxic community. However after trying what Genshin able to offer for some time, i do find the game have its merit that makes it earn its current position as the top reigning Mobile Game. If i have to sum up my experience with Genshin Impact, the game experience is a polarizing one. By F2P standard, Genshin offers very amazing open world exploration but at the same time some of the worst Gacha experience on par with FGO and Uma Musume. Personally i like Genshin because it is the Chinese answer to Avatar and Exalted, two great series inspired from Eastern Asia esoteric cosmology, and a decent one at that.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Genshin Impact Nendoroid 1717 Traveller/Aether


 2 Months after Genshin Impact 1st anniversary, Goodsmile finally released the preorder for the main protagonists of the most popular open world Gacha Game themselves, The Traveller! and the twins come both at the same time! Nendoroid Aether and Lumine are sold for 5800 Yen each separately with July 2022 release schedule. For some reason related to production capacity, the first Genshin Nendoroids as well as Figma Mona will be released in rather limited quantity. 

 In terms of Accessory, Nendoroid Traveller both Aether and Lumine are rather lacking since they only came with low rarity sword and glider wing. The miniscule amount accessory may hints out that the product release for Nendoroid Traveller is likely to be rushed, probably something to do with Mihoyo's blunder during their 1st anniversary. I won't be surprised if GSC will release the DX version of both Aether and Lumine which could include Paimon and elemental effect parts as the extra accessories for starters.

 I tried Genshin since last month after getting a new phone that is capable of handling the game's rather high spec for a mobile game. After trying this game for a month for roughly a month, overall i find the gaming experience of Genshin to be polarizing. On one side you got yourself a well made Open World game that are available for free and on the other hand you got yourself one of the vilest gacha mechanics which puts up a good challenge with FGO. As for further discussion about Genshin, i will probably make a dedicated post for the series in near future.

Nendoroid Aether/Lumine is an easy skip for me with their lacking accessory but i personally will look forward to future release for Nendoroid Ganyu or Ningguang if GSC ever release one since those two are the characters from Genshin i am interested the most.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Fate/Grand Order 1/7 Scathach-Skadi

 I think it has been more than 2 Years since the prototype revealed but after many setbacks, GSC finally open preorder for 1/7 Scathach Skadi. Sold at 22800 Yen, 1/7 Scathach-Skadi is scheduled for March 2023 which is still a long way to go. I wonder if the release timing is intentionally coincided with the recent end of Skadi Banner Rerun in FGO NA server.

An alternate version of Warrior Queen Scathach whose personality merged with Norse Ice Giantess Skadi, Scathach-Skadi played the role of the LostBelt ruler in LB2 Singularity. Skadi is one of the most popular servants in FGO Japan back in 2018 since she is the enabler of Quick Meta which reigns supreme until the arrival of Castoria last year.

 All in all it will take around 4 years for this lovable Ice Queen figure to be available, i guess the struggle of the Japanese Figure Company is quite real in the last two years due to COVID for them to delay the figure this long. The for Skadi was quite high when the prototype revealed back then, but i really doubt it will be the same by the time when the figure is released.

 Despite the waning popularity of FGO series, i hope this won't be the end of GSC Support for FGO products because we still need more Skadi collectibles in the future as well as other recent servants such as Morgan and Melusine.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Final Gear

 Over past five years, I have played several Gacha Games and at long last i think i have found the right one for Mechas. Around last week, i tried this particular Gacha Game called Final Gear which featured Mechas with Waifus. Final Gear had been around for 2 years in China and Japan but it was only available on Global Server two months ago in which the localization handled by Komoe Games.

 When it comes to Gameplay, Final Gear feels closest to Azur Lane or GFL where you assemble a team of four mechas destroying everything that blocks your team's Path. Final Gear also features parts customization system akin to Medabots, Danball Senki or Custom Robo so you will feel right at home if you were fans of those games. Compared to AAA Gacha Games like FGO or Arknights or Genshin, Final Gear story or waifus are nothing special but the Mechas is no doubt its Strongest selling point good enough to be 1v5 Carry. To put it frankly Final Gear have plenty of Cool Mecha designs which will pamper anyone who consider themselves as mecha fans. Perhaps in near future, i might even consider to make starter guide for Final Gear.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Spy X Family

 One of the few great manga from past 5 years that escaped my watch until recently. It was until Spy x Family getting anime adaptation that makes the series caught my attention and long story short i marathoned all 55 Chapters in single sitting. Taking in a cold war setting, Spy x Family tells the story of a Legendary Spy called "Twilight" who infiltrate enemy nation to unveil the secret of the Nation Leader through elaborate complex plan which requires him to have a fake family of a wife and child as part of the plan. But in a turns of strange event, The Spy's fake family member themselves are quite extraordinary too with a beautiful Professional Assassin played the role of the wife and a Psychic being the daughter in which only the latter know the truth.

 After reading through all current 55 Chapters, I could say Spy X Family is one of the manga from last decade that have one of the better writing. The Manga series put a good balance on Action, Suspense and Humor and still managed to stay on track with its genre. As history fan, i like how Spy X Family managed to replicate the atmosphere of Cold War Espionage quite well which other few mangas able to pull off notably with Golgo 13 which comes in mind. The main character himself might not be as badass as Duke Togo but Twillight is still well accomplished in his field as Spy.

 Time will tell how the series with end up, but with current quality of writing, i think Spy x Family could last for 100-200 Chapters just fine. For now lets hope that the anime adaptation next year won't distract the progress of a promising manga series like Spy X Family.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Joytoy 1/18 1st Legion Steel

 Joytoy is mostly well known for their 1/24 Mecha Toys that shares close aesthetics with Titanfall series, but from time to time they do make Military or Sci-Fi action figure both in 1/24 and 1/18 Scale as well. Recently there is a notable addition for their 1/18 action figure series dubbed 1st Legion Steel. The 1st Legion Steel featured Joytoy Original design of Power Armor action figure in 4 Variants. This lineup incorporated the cool elements from several Power Armor designs from series like Fallout, 40k or Dead Space. 

The 4 variants of Joytoy 1/18 1st Legion series are sold for 35 USD each which seems reasonable enough compared to Kotobukiya Hexagear that still require assembly. Out of the 4 Variants, The Green and Gray Power Armor variant interests me the most due to more unique selections for the Armaments. In any case i will keep a tab on the continuation of this series by Joytoy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

SSSS Gridman

  Another mecha anime from past few years that i gave a try with higher expectation due to the hype during its debut. SSSS Gridman was a reboot anime adapted from Tsuburaya older series, a company well known for their Ultraman series. During its inception, Gridman was probably created to serve as bridge for Tokusatsu and Mecha featuring Gridman, an Ultraman like character who can power up with giant vehicles to form some sort of hybrid mecha.

 But in the end SSSS Gridman proves to be a disappointment for a mecha fans like me. The series essentially focus too much on style over substance in order to target Teens as the main audience. The storyline of SSSS Gridman gets as barebone as its gets where a group of teenagers team up with Gridman in order to confront Kaijus that attacked their cities while attempting to locate the mastermind of the Kaiju attacks. In defense, 12 episodes can't really facilitate anything complex but i have to say the effort on the story is disappointing because even Yuusha series which are more than 2 decades could come up with something better. The mecha design in Gridman is also a failure for me as they are just feel something cobbled up together instead of being properly designed which make it a big miss. Perhaps Gridman would fared batter if they go with more organic route instead of the blocky mess.

 One thing you won't deny from Gridman is they have very nice eye candy as distraction, Rikka and Takane easily some of the most popular waifus in the period of late 2018/early 2019 being an oversexualized female teenager doing fanservices. SSSS Gridman is probably one of the anime series that you would enjoy more when you turned your brains off and don't think anything too much out of the series. I think Dynazenon would maintain the fanservice level quite well though i doubt the overall value will be any better compared to SSSS Gridman.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Back Arrow

 The latest Mecha anime made by Sunrise early this year that caught my attention since Bandai released some merchandise for this series despite the uncertainty whether the series will turn into hit. Overall Back Arrow had interesting concepts and characters but mediocre execution combined with meh mecha design makes it a mediocre mecha series which are forgettable by next season.

 The story of Back Arrow starts with a amnesiac young man fell from the sky who comes with mysterious power unseen before in the world. Accompanied with companions, the young man traveled around the two major nations that makes up the majority of the world to uncover his past which is tied to the fate of the world which are surrounded by walls of unknown origin on its ends.

 Back Arrow tells the story of the world that serves as the source of nourishment and pruned off if certain parameter exceed the limit which share some similarities with Ranceverse. The issue with Back Arrow using this trope is that the existence of character that exist as reset button is not justifiable enough in the series since it lack the bleakness for these Destroyer type to start exist. Mecha design is probably the weakest part of Back Arrow for me which i find the designs suit more as power armor for a series like Tiger&Bunny.

 Despite its glaring weaknesses, i do find some of the casts to be enjoyable which are rarity for Sunrise mecha series from last decade. The Emperor and Strategist guy certainly takes the crown of honor with the former is a good expy of Master Asia and the latter drives the storyline most of the part. Back Arrow might not be the best Mecha series that Sunrise could offer but i guess it is still more tolerable compared to Valvrave.