Hey guys, I wanted to use the blog as a way of cateloguing my comic book pick ups to better help my memory. Ive gotten Jessica to take a few pics. So here we go!
The first two pictures here are DC’s 1970’s run on Shazam. It includes issues 2, 4, 6, 10, 17, 20, and 22. There’s no major or even really any minor keys in this Shazam lot. But it is a great way to start my run!
This is a run of Frank Miller Daredevil. Issues 176, 182 and 183. These are 3 great, great Daredevil covers. The middle cover is the issue after Elektra’s death. The right most one is the first appearance of Stick, Daredevil’s mentor.
Here’s DC Showcase 59, Teen Titans #5, JLA #26 and 72. DC Showcase is the 3rd appearance appearance of the Teen Titans.
Lastly we have 2001: A Space Odyssey, Peter Parker Spider-Man 90, Ghost Rider #29 and Fantastic Four 389. 2001 is the first appearance of Machine Man!
So, there you have it. That’s my first comic book haul on the blog! I buy comics often, so expect plenty more! Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Pokemon Unite came out earlier this week and Jessica and I played a few rounds with it. When I wrote this article, I was Lv. 7 and only had played a few Ranked Matches. Meaning, some of my early gripes are remedied (but definitely not all.). Any text in italics are current me adding in new thoughts to the article I wrote 2 days ago.
Let’s start with the first thing I noticed. The roster. The roster is loaded for a new game but is shallow compared to the franchise as a whole. Pokemon Unite starts off with 20 Pokemons available to unlock through a various amount of methods. The player gets to choose 1 of 5 Pokemons to stat with. That selection is comprised of: Charizard, Pikachu, Talonflame, Eldegoss and Snorlax. (1 Pokemon for each of the 5 roles.) I chose Talonflame and have enjoyed him. Charizard is by far the least seen Pokemon from this list, surprisingly. Snorlax has impressed me a lot from what I have seen other people do. Apparently Pikachu is really good. I never run against the same teams in ranked, which is great. The roster seems nice and diverse for now. This is good because it leaves room for the game to receive plenty of updates to keep the game alive.
At first glance, I thought most of the Pokemons were from Gen 1 and 8 exclusively. Though I found a few exceptions such as Absol and Talonflame. Type diversity is also great but as a result, no one type has a lot of variety. Most types have at most 2 Pokemons (i.e. Flying has Talonflame and Charizard. Fighting has Lucario and Machamp.). As new Pokemons roll out into the game I hope they don’t oversaturate any one type. I could see Psychic or Fighting or something similar really getting favored with the addition of more Pokemons as the game goes on.
The Map is something my opinion has improved on but is still not completely changed on. The Map is extremely restricted to Remoat Stadium and the training stage. (After unlocking quick matches you can access to a new stage). Still even with the addition of the second stage, there’s a lot to be desired. For starters, each map is only accessible in one game mode. So Remoat Stadium is only playable in regular 5 v 5. While the second stage is reserved solely for 4 v 4 quick match. Give us a few more stages for each mode and this game will truly start to shine. This is another area the game can be improved on with future updates.
Their ideas for move learning is really great here. It works on a branching path system akin to Bloon Tower Defense. I found the branching path in move selection to be sweet initially. However, after playing multiple rounds, its another area I hope the game can improve upon. If not, this is the area of the game I feel needs the least improvements (as there’s a lot to like about it as is). Your Pokemon can learn 4 moves. 2 of which have split pathways we discussed earlier. This provides plenty of mix and match flexibility to keep the game feeling fresh. It’s not the format I’d like to see updated. Its more so maybe adding in another possible learn set for each Pokemon. This probably wont be necessary with the addition of future characters. But for example, giving Slowbro access to Recovery or Confusion/Confuse Wave. With this pathway you could select a tanky role or a defensive role. This gives Slowbro a nice change of pace each time you use them. I find myself playing multiple different roles as a Slowbro main. I can help clear up weakened Pokes our offensive teammates didn’t finish off. I can guard a base when they make a push. Or if they lack a real threatening presence, I can use utility moves to actually be offensive.
To continue an earlier point. A better representation of types is needed. Water only has Greninja and Crawbird(I could not remember Cramorant’s name when I first wrote this. haha). While Greninja is great, the inclusion of Blastoise or Milotic would be nice. Gyarados seems like a rather obvious inclusion eventually. Ground has no representation at all. Steel is only featured as Lucario’s secondary typing. Crustle as the sole Bug/Rock Pokemon is offensively bad. Adding in Scyther and Scizor would help on both fronts. Ariados could be a support Pokemon if it could set up speed traps with webbings and have access to Poisoning effects. I could understand them not wanting an annoyingly sturdy Steel type, so maybe add in Excadrill? He is not pure Steel or even primarily Steel but he is a great Pokemon from Gen 5. Donphan would be another interesting ground Pokemon. Also, both Donphan and Scizor would help address the fact that there are no Johto Pokemons at all on the roster…
Now on to the cosmetic aspects. Pokemon has always struggled with this. The characters lack anything really separating them from other trainers. The Pokemons can have awesome themed outfits unlocked for them but I dont yet understand the in-game currency (I do a little better now. There’s three types of currency, each with their own usage). There’s a lot of content here while also feeling like there isn’t any. It is kind of weird. I’ve mostly been playing through the battles, occasionally checking out some of the other menus. Admittedly, I dont get everything. As an update to this, there’s so many Pokemon’s, Outfit’s, battle items, and currencies, you’ll almost always be unlocking something after each battle. However, you will, in reality, use very little of these unlockables. I am glad they are there. Don’t get me wrong. However, most of the time it just feels like you are clicking through pop up windows.
There’s a battle pass area where you can complete challenges for rewards, daily missions you can complete for rewards and daily log on bonuses that can be turned in for rewards. There’s even stage specific challenges, too! But again, this mostly a second language to me now. You are able to obtain 2 or 3 more Pokemon this way including Venusaur (As well as Slowbro!). So that is pretty cool.
All in all this is my first foray into a game like this and I am enjoying it. Of course, it being based off Pokemon and my ability to play with my wife help. The Pros here are plenty. Lots of challenges, awesome Pokemon and simple gameplay make it easy to jump into. The cons are that while it is a team based game, your fun can be hindered if you or your teammates arent great at the game (I still very much feel this way). Character customization isn’t great and the lack of stage selections is lame (Also, still very much feel this way.)
So, after playing with the game another day, my issues are still the same. However, my biggest issue is the lack of a second, at least, stage on 5 v 5. However, this still may be my favorite release of the year. Not bad at all for a Free to Play MOBA!
However, I think this was a strong launch and I look forward to playing more!
Favorite Pokemon: Slowbro (10 Battles 5 Wins), Talonflame (3 Battles 2 Wins), Zeraora (3 Battles 1 Win)
My Trainer ID: 2YPR4TT
Jessica’s ID: A8263QE
That’s all. Thank you guys so much for reading. Leave your thoughts down below! Thank you again for reading and have a great day!
Hey guys, were back with more Digimon deck techs! I think this is one of the harder brews to build because it is a midrange deck. This means it is not a linear strategy nor does it just jam 4 of each card. There is a real balancing act for this deck. Before we get into that. You guys seemed to like my last Digimon deck tech of Blue Green Imperialdramon Dragon Mode. If you have not read it, feel free to read it here. It is a bit more aggro relying on jamming and just just going for security checks.
The reason this deck is so challenging to build is because it is a very flexible deck. Meaning it is not a straightforward archetype. For starters, check out the namesake card here.
Piedmon was one of my favorite Digimons from the anime. I was drawn to the value of this card because, quite frankly, the value is outrageous. Being able to return 2 level 4 or lower Digimons is insane momentum. It also helps guide the direction of the deck. However, we lose on play effects. Meaning these guys are the best candidates I could find.
Really, the way I am designing this deck is to be super stalling. Which is why Vilemon and Starter Deck Devimon are great. No on play effects, so that is not a draw back here. Devimon’s BT2-074 retaliation is a great recursive ability to use to kill your opponent’s Digimon. Currently I am running 4x Vilemon BT2-072 4x Devimon BT2-074 and 2x Devimon ST6-08. But let’s also remember we can return Level 3’s as well. Sadly, level 3’s are really lacking in this deck.
These are two of my favorite to run. With my configuration, I have 3 more spots left. Tapirmon BT2-070, Impmon BT2-068 and Labramon BT4-079 are all interesting picks. I would go with Tapirmon.
If you were trying to turbo into Beelzemon, I would go Impmon. And if Labramon was not an on play effect, I might would go Labramon. However, neither are those things work here, so Tapirmon it is.
Thats the level 3’s and 4’s for now.
3x Tapirmon BT2-070
4x Gabumon ST60-03
4x Dracmon ST6-04
4x Vilemon BT2-072
4x Devimon BT2-074
2x Devimon ST6-08
4x Meramon BT3-083
That’s right. 4x Meramon too. Now Meramon is not a great return target. It has no abilities like blocker or retaliation. So in a way, even with having 1000 DP more than Devimon, it is not a better attacker. This is because Devimon will kill almost anything it swings into, even if Devimon does not survive. However, it belongs to a cycle of aggro/ramp like creatures. By this, I mean it is a LV 4 with an Evo cost of 1. Look at the other level 4’s in the deck. Most LV 4’s will cost you 2 memory to evolve. He only cost 1. If your opponent gives you a good amount of memory or you have the 4 cost Purple Matt, you digivovle all the way to your LV 6 in one turn.
Next up are the LV 5’s.
4x Skull Meramon BT3-085
4x SkullSatamon ST6-10
3x Kimeramon BT2-077
2x LadyDevimon BT3-088
The 5 drops are a confusing bunch of characters. I’m not really sure what to make of all the numbers. SkullMeramon is here to further the ramp plan. This would allow us to aggressively digivolve into our 6 drops quickly. SkullSatamon I feel is needed to help recur our bigger dudes like getting Piedmon back to keep looping lower guys. Kimeramon is a great utility creature. Sometimes I wonder if we should run 2 because we have to blow up our own creature. However, our ability to get back creatures should help offset that drawback. LadyDevimon is probably the biggest question mark. I haven’t got to playtest her yet, so she might not fit well. Honestly, might cut her for more options or lower LV Digimons. However, draw 2 seems strong in a deck that does not mind the trash bin.
Finally LV 6’s.
2x Mastemon BT3-090
1x CresGarurumon ST6-13
2x Piedmom BT2-080
Further more. LV 6’s are another tough group. I only have the 2 Piedmons. I might end up picking up 2 more if I like the deck. CresGarurmon is mostly here to get Dracmon back. Since on play effects still trigger, Dracmon can get back Trump Sword or Nail Bone. Mastemon was a last minute addition when I was playing a Yellow Purple Anubismon deck. However, her ability to instantly “perform” a security check and recur a creature seems like too much value to pass up. I own a third one and might add it if I like her enough. The thing I don’t like about CresGarurumon and Mastemon is that 4 Evo cost. In the games I have played, my opponents rarely get me above 3 memory, which makes playing them a real cost.
Options and Trainers
2x Trump Sword
2x Nail Bone
3x Purple Matt
Personally, I find it hard to get Trump Sword to go off. I’m hoping the presence of Blockers and the threat of retaliation keep the opponent from swinging in. If that’s the case, Trump Sword should be cast easier. Things can get awkward when the creature you want to kill swings in and reveals Trump Sword off the security check. That can be a feel bad. Nail Bone is great because it is basically extra copies of Piedmon. Purple Matt, I feel, is a must for the deck. Being able to return 1 Digimon or even returning Nail Bone can be a huge swing. On top of that, it fixes your memory allowing for the swift evolving from LV 3, to Meramon to SkullMeramon into a LV 6 all in one turn. I might be tempted to bump it to 4 if I want to cut the LadyDevimons.
Purple’s eggs feel a little underwhelming to me. I can’t wait to test out Xiaomon. I assume even with the recursion aspect of the deck, we will still be filling up the bin often enough to trigger Retaliation in the inheritable effect. DemiMeramon is here because I like his effect more than Yaamon or Pagumon. BT6 will give us Tsunomon with a better effect. Check it out here,
So here’s the official deck list for now! Starting with eggs and moving from LV 3 and up and ending with Options and Tamers.
LV 3’s 11
3x Tapirmon BT2-070
4x Gabumon ST60-03
4x Dracmon ST6-04
4x Vilemon BT2-072
4x Devimon BT2-074
2x Devimon ST6-08
4x Meramon BT3-083
LV 5’s 13
4x Skull Meramon BT3-085
4x SkullSatamon ST6-10
3x Kimeramon BT2-077
2x LadyDevimon BT3-088
LV 6’s 5
2x Mastemon BT3-090
1x CresGarurumon ST6-13
2x Piedmom BT2-080
Options and Tamers 4/3
2x Trump Sword
2x Nail Bone
3x Purple Matt
Here’s a bad picture of the deck
With only 11 LV 3’s I could see someone not liking that. Remember we aren’t an aggro deck in the sense that we aren’t out to hit all their security checks ASAP. However, that cost us some early draw power off of digivolving. I might remove the LadyDevimons for early 3 drops. In a similiar manner, we could run some Yellow digimons to better utilize Mastemon. If that was the case, we could also run Wizardmon.
I could totally see you wanting to go with this angle if you want more retaliation than blocking power. You could run this set if you want to attack more than being passive. My problem is what yellow Digimon would we even run? You could run Falcomon and BushiAgumon if you wanted to run an aggressive rookie rush build. In fact, that was part of the original Anubismon deck. You could still run Dracmon and Nail Bone and have LV 3s and 4 to recur. You could run Unimon if you wanted another blocker. This starts to become an entirely new version of the deck though. As I think it is entirely too hard and not worth it to splash yellow just yet. However, I definitely would like some form of recovery that yellow provides. I just don’t think the card exist yet for that version.
Other cards I would be interested in are different options.
No doubt Back For Revenge and Night Raid gets better in an Anibusmon shell. Heat Viper is probably a must if your meta was Rookie Rush but would be terrible in Zoo stacked metas. Death Claw is also amazing if you are up against Rookie Rush all the time. You’re able to get it back with Dracmon which is huge against them. But in there lies the issue with the above 3 options. If they were 1 or 7 memory and could be returned using Dracmon, this deck would be insane. As it stands now, Death Claw might still be worth running if you can find the spots for it. If it hits, it is insane value and gets rid of most blockers in the meta and rookie rush threats. If it is ever dead, you can pitch to one of your draw/trash effects and get it back later if it ever becomes relevant. If Digimon ever adds a sideboard, I would jam some in there for sure.
In certain versions of Piedmon Purple, I could see wanting either of these cards over, say CresGarurumon or LadyDevimon or Mastemon. If you run Lilithmon build your deck to maximize and take advantage or the draw/trash effects in purple. You might even run Beelzemon in that build. DanDevimon just looks fun. I’ve never tested him though. I only own one.
If you find yourself losing to some of the bigger threats like Omnimon, Argomon and Mega Zoo, Milleniummon and Hell’s Gate can be used specifically with those cards in mind. Again, if Digimon every adds sideboards, I think that’s where these guys belong. If you had a way of recurring 6 memory options, it certainly is worth a 1 of spot with purple’s ability to draw/trash (such as trash it on a drew effect and get it back with purple Matt).
So there you have it. That is most of the relevant cards we could discuss. Remember, I brought up a lot of different ways to build the deck and different flex cards that are totally meta dependent. If you verse a wide meta with many different strategies and win conditions, Purples ability to turn dead cards into live draws is a huge plus. I personally did not construct this build that way. I focused more on getting blockers back and hiding behind retaliation creatures. But that makes this deck a great option for a wide event. However, since this is not a set in stone archetype, I highly recommend playtesting with your locals and finding what tools you need. As stated, Death Claw and Heat Viper will completely rock Rookie Rush but be stone cold dead to Mega Zoos. Piedmon Purple lacks a true dedicated route to victory. It hopes to kill stuff, block stuff, and eventually outlast the opponent. Gaia Force being Red instead of Purple is a real shame here. No, I’m not sure it is worth splashing red to get access to it, for now. I don’t feel like BT4 added much to this deck unless you went for the Anibus Shell or added DanDevimons at the top of the curve over the other 6 drops.
So, please tell me what changes you would make. Midrange decks are always so hard to get the numbers right.
Also, tell me what decks you want to see next. I’m most interested in: ShineGreymon Yellow, Some Black deck, Argomon/Ceresmon Green, Chaosmon, or maybe even a MegaZoo deck. I have some other ideas kicking around about Purple, but I will wait.
I am also thinking of doing an upgrading the starter deck post. Basically where we talk about what upgrades you could bring to those decks to be ready for locals play.
This was a long one and I thank anyone who reads and/or comments ideas and suggestions. Thanks so much guys! Have a great days!
Hey guys. I should have been a little more productive today then I was. However, I took the time to catalogue my Wii U, N64 and Gamecube collection. Next week I plan to maybe, hopefully tackle OG Xbox, 360 and Wii games.
My Wii U collection says 161 out of 165. However, I have a little different system than most, so in my list there’s only about 163. I am not sure what the exact differences are. I know I only count Bayonetta 2 as the only release. It had an original printing with Bayonetta 1 included and a second print run without the original included. I also include New Super Mario Bros, New Super Luigi Bros, and the 2 and 1 bundle as one game. Others include all 3 as separate releases (in their defense, they are all separate). I’m missing Devil’s Third and Just Dance 2019.
My Gamecube collection clocks in at 108 after a last minute impulse buy of Zoocube. Jessica said I should own the last game alphabetically speaking on the gamecube. Some of the highlights include Skies of Arcadia loose, both Pokemon Colosseum games, all the Mario Party games, and the Zelda collection including Zelda 1, Zelda 2, Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.
My N64 collection only has 62 games. I thought for sure I had already broken 70, but alas, not yet. Some of the highlights include Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Bomberman 2nd Attack, Silicon Station Space Valley (yes, I know this is wrong. It’s actually Space Station Silicon Valley but I can never say nor type it right.).
Despite being almost done with the Wii U and the N64 containing most of my childhood games, Gamecube is my collection I am most fond of. It is such a great console!
N64 and Gamecube games.
Not a very flattering photo, but Jessica took this picture of the N64 games and Gamecubes stacked how she did.
Anyway, I don’t know how many of the regular readers are into retro games or video game collecting, but here’s just a small look into the collection! Thank you guys for reading!
As always have a great day!
E3 has come and went. While the presentation did not quite live up to the hype, there was still plenty to be excited about. Now, full disclaimer. This list is based solely off my taste, my anticipation of the game, and how close it is to coming out. So while the new Zelda game is probably the game I’m most hyped about, it doesn’t have a release date and will get docked points accordingly.
Starting the list off is Monster Hunter Stories 2. Admittedly, I missed the first entry in this game series. I also wasnt a huge fan of the Monster Hunter on Wii U. Still, the trailer for this game looked pretty solid and interesting. I’m not fully convinced I’ll pick this game up short of a sale, but I can say it looks fun nonetheless.
Next up is Final Fantasy Origin: Strangers in Paradise. Part of me is excited for this game due to my renewed interest in the series, namely FFI and FFVII. But that’s what’s so cool about it. I beat Garland again in FFI the night before Square’s presentation . The game supposedly plays like the Soul’s franchise. Again, another franchise I’ve never really played. In fact, it is a bit of a turn off. However, I do enjoy the lore of Final Fantasy so I’m willing to dive into this game. Especially if it pops up on Gamepass.
Halo Infinite is Xbox Series X’s flagship title. With a purchasable campaign complimented perfectly with a free to download multiplayer experience, Halo Infinite will attempt to kickstart Microsoft’s foray into the next generation of gaming. I believe this will be made available immediately on Gamepass, so I’ll probably visit this soon after it drops on Gamepass. I did not own an original Xbox, so I missed out on Halo 1 and 2. However, as a proud 360 owner, my brother and I beat the campaign of Halo 3. I fell out of the series after that installment marked the end of the Bungie run on Halo. I am hopeful this iteration of Halo will capitate me again like Halo 3 did nearly 15 years ago!
Now, Metroid Dread. I think Metroid 1 is very outdated and Super Metroid is a joy to explore. I’ve never played the GBA entries but Dread looks a great return to form for 2D Metroidvania games. This is most likely not a day one purchase but a game I’d love to grab eventually. Bonus points for the extended gameplay shown off.
Next is Elden Ring. Elden Ring is what I always imagined the Zelda franchise turning into. Skyrim feels almost like what Zelda BOTW would be if it was developed by not Nintendo. Elden Ring feels like what Twilight Princess or Zelda 2 would be if it was developed by not Nintendo. Truthfully, I cannot really tell you what’s going on, but this game looks epic. That is enough to get me excited. If this comes to Gamepass, it is a day one download. I am still a physical collector at heart, even with the new generation of consoles out. With that said, I need to see more in-game footage before I commit this to the day one purchases.
Zelda Breath of the Wild 2 (for the record, not the official name as of the writing of this post), Starfield and Stalker 2 all seem too far out to judge now. However, I think it is safe to say, they will be some of the best in show at E3 2022 and be in competition for game of the year next year. We did not see a lot, but what we did see, gives me plenty of hope in these titles.
Far Cry 6 seems to be one of, if not the biggest multiplat coming out this year. Ubisoft can be hit or miss in their business practices and games they release. However, there is no denying their juggernaut status in the world of 3rd party developers. Owning titles like Rayman, Assassin’s Creed and the Tom Clancy games to name a few, Far Cry is another long running franchise under their belt. Far Cry 6 stars Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad and The Mandolorian!) as its villain. That alone is plenty enough reason to be hyped for this game. The setting looks good, the weapons look fun and the last few Far Cry games have been instant hits. Far Cry 6 is sitting pretty close to the front on the hype train this year.
Guardians of the Galaxy has become one of my favorite MCU movies and teams. While that has not translated into me reading their comic series more, I am beyond stoked to suit up as Peter Quill, Star Lord. This was one of the few games that received extensive screen time. I would say do not listen to the haters of this game. Everybody is judging it off the fact no one liked Marvel’s Avengers the game. This game seems, for now anyway, completely different. We could be wrong and it could suck. However, nothing about the in-depth breakdown gave me any concern. For the most part, if I had to name anything to be worried about, it is repetitive gameplay. I am not always into brawlers. Hopefully there is more than mindless action to keep me engaged. If not, the decision making dialogue and the way Peter can call on his members individually to take advantage of their power’s will potentially keep things interesting throughout the play through. This probably won’t be a day one purchase. It comes out pretty close to Black Friday and the holidays in general. I am hoping it will go sale as there’s about 3 or 4 other games I will be picking up around this time.
Such as Mario Party SuperStars for example. Another game that got plenty of screen time. I am sold already. Featuring 5 boards and 100 minigames from the golden age of Mario Party, this game is set to be a blast this holiday season. I cannot remember if they revealed any additional modes other than the traditional party mode. Regardless, this game should serve as a great stop gap until the next mainline Mario Party game comes out. I am truthfully ecstatic to play this game.
I should note, there are plenty of games that look good that just don’t interest me. Instead of naming them all, I will just highlight Shin Megami Tensei V. I don’t see the appeal of this game, but Jessica adores Persona 5 and wants to hop into the SMT series. This will probably be her jumping in point. Maybe it will grow on me? Either way, this is one of those games that cemented Nintendo won E3. This, Metroid and Mario Party SuperStars was enough to win it even without throwing in the BOTW 2 trailer and the other goodies they sprinkled in along the way.
However, the game I am most excited for is Psychonauts 2. I really want Psychonauts 1 to come to Gamepass. I played through some of it on Steam, but if they released it on Gamepass with achivements and the ability to play it on the big screen than I would be over the moon. Either way, Psychonauts 1 was great from what I played of it. Psychoanuts 2 looks like a beautiful, vibrant 3D platformer. I haven’t watched much of it past last years reveal trailer. However, I heard it is coming Day 1 to Gamepass and that is huge. I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
Man, this E3 got crapped on. And at times, it was horrible. However, I think enough good games got revealed or showed off that it was at least salvageable. There’s a lot of things to look forward to this year and next.
Thank you guys for reading and have a great day!
It is Mother’s Day. I know it might be the second year in a row some of you wont see your moms. Hopefully that’s not the case for you guys.
Either way, I wanted to do a post celebrating anime moms and I could only think of a few. For starters, Ash’s mom is probably my favorite mom. Yes, she was in the background but she did steal the scenes she actually appeared in. In Yu Yu Hakusho, I remember his mom being really depressed during the initial arc. In Case Closed, Sinichi’s mom has the same playful vibes Ash’s mom did. Jessica wanted to give Naruto’s mom a shout out despite, well we know how that ended. But she died very nobly and for that, she deserves a mention. I’m sure theres plenty of moms in the opening acts of Shonun that kind of fade as the stories progress past the home lands of the hero. Slice of Life animes typically have moms but very few I’ve seen have been memorable.
So with that in mind, how about you guys recommend animes with awesome moms in honor of Mother’s Day. Anyway, remember to tell your mom you love her while you still got her.
I watched Episodes 4 and 5 of Odd Taxi Monday. I was going to do a review over both episodes, but from what I remember, there was almost a disconnect between episodes. And it was episode 4 that stood out to me.
Both episodes were good. 5 was more of that gangster, noir espionage feel that the show has used to great effect. Episode #4, however, had a unique vibe. It told a different, but still interwoven, story about a cat and addiction. His addiction centers around collecting, gambling and loss of self identity. In an essence, it tells a story of consumerism stealing our meaning in life.
This topic hits pretty close to me for two reasons. The first is that I work at a hobby collectible shop and we see a lot people make bad financial decisions in order to obtain cool stuff. Personally, I believe people work for money and would gladly trade that money in for happiness in the form of trinkets and games. I think that part is natural. Though, there is a line where it becomes unhealthy. Some people do it because of the dopamine hit. Others do it to belong to the exclusive clubs that come along with the items. Others determine their whole self value based off of what they have in their possession. Obviously rich people do this too (keeping up with the Jones). And that lifestyle leads to bankruptcy and burn out. It happens to the lower-middle class as well.
The second reason is because in my sustainability classes, we actively preach against the false comfort that is consumerism. We talk about the power of freeing yourself from the shackles that are identifying your worth based off what you own. (Not talking about assets like stocks and such.)
The story follows Tanaka, a cat whose life is spiralling out of control. It’s been a 16 year build up of just bad decision after bad decision. The beginning of this episode deals with school yard psychology as Tanaka and his class peers compete to have the rarest most collectible erasers. One kid’s parents travel and as a result can buy exotic erasers from other countries. Tanaka cannot compete with this. I think this is an important lesson for kids and adults. There will always be someone richer than you. Dont compete with money. If I am remembering right, we never see Tanaka use any of his personal traits to win the kids over. He never uses his humor, his charm or any interesting facts about him. He just tries to impress the kids with expensive erasers. And how does he do that? He steals his dad’s credit card and pays a ridiculous amount for something half the price. This earns his father’s ire.
I’m not sure what message the show was giving by having the expensive eraser never be shipped after he won it from ebay. My only guess is to make the username the antagonist. As the username will pop up later. The next step the show takes is to have his classmates move on from eraser collecting and the eraser never shows up. However, I thought it would have been impactful for him to rush to class to show off his new eraser and the other students dont even acknowledge it or even make fun of him for still liking those while he desperately clings to the item he just spent a small fortune on.
Either way, fast forward I think 16 years and we find Tanaka has a nice job and hes learned his lesson. He still likes collecting but now its digital through a free to play zoo game. The game gives daily coins for free and will mostly reward you with common and uncommon (not rare or super rare) animals. For the ol giggles, he checks the player with the best rated zoo. It’s the same name as the eBay seller from 16 years ago. That old primal rage is resparked. He now wants the best zoo. He starts off small, only putting in a 1,000 yen a week. However, frustrated with not seeing the results he wants, he ups the spending big time. Before long, he has put about a million yen in a free to play.
This is the huge PSA announcement. The social commentary here is how predatory gacha machines and similar games can be. It feeds off of gambling tendencies and our rush of dopamine from the chance of pulling something rare. Tanaka plays as a stand in for the audience. For the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost countless money on these gimmicks.
So, finally after 16 long years Tanaka gets his revenge. He hatches the dodo bird (the rarest animal in the game). He literally starts crying tears in the middle of the street. His joy is cut short when a crazy taxi driver (you’ll never guess who) drives recklessly around a corner. This causes Tanaka to jump out of the way, dropping his phone on the ground and into a ditch of water…
He retrieves the phone but the progress is lost. The dodo bird no longer resides in his zoo. To make matters worse, Tanaka’s real bird dies. While burying the bird he stumbles upon a gun. Now, with dead eyes and a taste for revenge, Tanaka sets out to kill Odokawa.
This episode is a masterpiece. Plain and simple. The fact that they can, in the middle of the anime, shift gears and focus on a formerly nameless character and it still has the same feel as the right of the series, you know theres something special about this anime. I love the nonlinear storytelling, the narration and dialogue, the characters and the world, it all just blends seamlessly into a near perfect anime. You have to observe everything because it could become the focal point of another episode soon enough. I’m completely sold on this anime. I already was, but now its official. This anime is genius and I cant wait to see how it end.
I plan to do a more in-depth video later when I have more time. I’m sure most of you have heard about how the PS3 has gone crazy. A lot of my favorite Youtubers from Pete Dorr to SicCooper, from Radical Reggie to Metal Jesus have covered the topic. I did a little searching around eBay and some local game stores. I will continue to monitor my local game stores and update my thoughts.
In a not shell, 3 things happened. (Really 4, but mostly 3.). The first was Covid. This cannot be fully blamed even if some want to. People are at home still, but PS3 didnt spike last year. Nor did it spike during the unemployment checks of last year or the stimulus checks of this year. It may be playing a role now, but it is not to blame.
Secondly, and I think the biggest offender is Sony mentioning closing the PSN for the PS3. Check the dates, I think this was the biggest catalyst. Prices were probably trending up before, because, well that’s it goes in this hobby. But that is what throw the spotlight on the PS3. Pete tries to discount this because why would physical collectors care about digital sales. I think this grossly discounts 2 strong points. 1. It highlighted a lot of “must have” PS3 games. And what was different now about those videos than before, was people were actually looking (because of the Sony news). And 2. The threat of not being able to get patches for those games. Jessica and myself love the PS3 and we owned a lot of what we wanted (Ratchet and Clank, Red Dead, Fallout, Persona, etc), but with the PS3 thrusted into the limelight, we started looking for more out there games.
The third cause for all this is because the day has come where they arent easy to find at Gamestop. We checked our local Gamestop, they had maybe 10 PS3 games left. Sure, they are going to be everywhere if you know where to look. But they are no longer convenient. Theres a funny theory about Earthbound not being rare. It was never rare. It’s just one of those games collectors and the internet decided to turn into a myth. The same could be said for a lot of PS3 games right now. As very few are truly rare. However, when you go out, you arent going to see them anymore. At least, not nearly as much. Dont be surprised if games you were tripping over 2 years ago are considered rare now.
The 4th reason is one weve already talked about. Youtubers and bloggers rushing to tell you not to miss out. FOMO is one of the biggest influencers for people buying useless junk. I believe that is happening. Just 2 weeks ago it wasnt cool to collect for PS3, now I’m about to film a video highlighting my PS3 collection. Its just how things go.
So, that’s how we got here. Is it true PS3 games prices are crazy? Relatively speaking, possibly. But this is nothing compared to Gamecube collecting. I use Gamecube because that’s what I currently collecting for. When Covid hit, that changed everything. 10 dollar games I was putting off suddenly became 60 dollar games. From my personal experience Paper Mario and Chibi Robo are prime examples of how crazy it got. I refused to spend 60 on them just a year and half ago. Both of those games peaked out around 200 bucks. And you were lucky for retro game store to even have sports title. Everything was overpriced even if they were common. PS3 is no where near that. Retro game stores still have healthy sections that havent been raided or jacked up in prices. Maybe things are different here in the South? Ebay is certainly a lawless land. Games are doubling in price. May 3rd Sly 4 could be bought for about 30-40. Yesterday it sold for about 75-80. So avoid ebay at all cost until things quiet down.
So my thoughts are, things are mostly crazy online because theres always a fool online. Not necessarily in stores. If more fools come out easily parted with their cash, prices in person may go up as well. Until than, I dont really feel threatened down here where I am. Hopefully you guys have good hunting spots as well.
This is a topic I am interested in covering more down the road, so be on the look out. Let me know your thoughts down below. Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Case Closed was one of my favorite animes growing up. When Jessica and I got together in 2014, it didn’t take me long to introduce her to anime. First I showed her Naruto and One Piece. However, after I went to an F.Y.E. down in Panama City over a summer vacation with a friend I managed to pick up season 1, 2, 3, and 5 of the anime. Jessica and I began watching the first 50 or 60 episodes of the show. Eventually we fell off as we tried to expand out taste in anime. We started to watch some of the latest animes that were coming out and some of the hotter choices. As a result we fell behind on some long, ongoing series. Case Closed was a causality of new animes coming out like Assassination Classroom, Parasyte, Attack on Titan and so on. I don’t regret that. As a result, I had more animes to talk about here on the blog. My taste grew as I searched more than just childhood and newer Shonens. Well, we’ve been eyeballing Case Closed for a while as the latest 300 episodes or so are on Crunchyroll. Something we noticed was it was super close to 1,000 episodes. We tried to binge watch 300 episodes in a few weeks that way we could watch the premier of episode 1,000. We failed. We were watching 4, and sometimes more, episodes a night sacrificing time to do other things like stream, play games and clean smaller things around the house. Eventually it became too much and we missed the premier. Finally, we broke down and looked up a filler guide and skipped the filler episodes for now. Within no time, we surged past episode 1,000. Are we current, kinda. We’ve skipped a lot of filler and Crunchyroll is missing over half the anime, but we are watching new episodes as they premier now.
Since this became our goal, we fell off watching newer animes. I’ve started to remedy this by watching the latest seasons of anime such as Odd Taxi, To Your Eternity, Tokyo Revengers, and Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro. You guys will see in a future post why balancing getting caught up on old anime while trying to stay current with new anime is a tough hobby. Either way, there you go. When I made my post about Case Closed a little while ago, I wasn’t watching new animes. As such, there were no new anime reviews coming to blog. I’m trying to get better at that aspect and I think I am. Here’s to staying on top of it.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
I was at my LCS a few weeks back and found this manga among their relatively small section. Little Battlers Experience has been like finding a small new world. I read the first volume and wondered why I had never heard of the series because it seemed like a perfect mainstream series to make into a million offshoots. Upon further research, that is pretty much the case.
Littler Battlers Experience, LBX for short, came out in 2011 (a decade ago!). However, it is pretty tough to say what the initial idea was. Wiki claims the series is based off of a game developed by Level 5 (one of my favorite video game studios). The first game came out on PSP in June of 2011. The manga predates that by 5 months. But maybe Level 5 wanted a manga out to introduce kids to the series before the game’s release? The anime came out in March of the same year, both predating the original game. By my calculations, there’s no ongoing anime, but a series called LBX Girls just wrapped up their first season. It has spawned several video games, spin off mangas and anime adaptions.
So, what is Little Battlers Experience? This game came out late in what I call the “kids anime” genre. Think Pokemon, Digimon and even Bakugan. A lot of those animes came out in the late 90’s and early 2000s. Most kid animes did not take off after that time period. Bakugan is probably an exception, coming out in 2007. And it just missed the DS/3DS revival. Yokai Watch kind of became the next generation’s Pokemon in a way. The DS and 3DS helped give a lot these made for kids animes a place to branch off into games. LBX tells the story of how little robots were built for kids to battle with. They’re customizable robots and the stages are cardboard dioramas. Our main character’s, Van, father was a creator of LBXs. He would die in a tragic airplane accident. 5 years later a woman holding a mysterious briefcase shows up being chased by 3 men. She hands the briefcase to Van and tells him to run. The briefcase is revealed to have an LBX created by Van’s father. Later it is also discovered that Van’s father hid a blueprint to an unlimited energy source in the robot. Van’s father is also alive and being held captivate by the evil organization introduced earlier. Van must win a tournament to claim the key needed for the infinite energy machine. For exchange of the key, the organization will release Van’s father.
The story is nothing special or groundbreaking, but it does not need to be. The manga is mostly for kids and to help sell the video game. On that front, I think it does a fine job. The art is good, the characters are likable but not really unique and the story doesn’t drag on. In fact, one of my complaints is the story progresses pretty quickly. Another knock is that, for now, the characters are only passable. The good guys are heroic with reckless abandonment and the villains are corny levels of cliché. This won’t matter to kids who are just enjoying robots killing each other. Volume 1 is fine as far as the setting, the scope, and grand scheme of the story. I feel like volume #2 may help in those departments as the LBX tournament is about to start.
But on the plus side, this is a great starter manga for kids. It only ran 6 volumes so it should be easy to collect. It is pretty action pack to keep the kids’ attention. The battlers are similar to Pokemon or any of those kind of mangas. There’s no foul language, no blood and guts, no perverted comments or degrading of women. It is just a good, clean fun manga.
Recap: To reiterate, this a fun manga if you are into series like Pokemon, Zatch Bell or anything that seems similar to those. If you like those adventures, you’ll feel right at home with this one.
Action: This manga has action in every chapter. And its robot action too!
Romance: No hints of romance currently.
Plot: Again, this is a kids series. The plot is deeper than say Pokemon, but it is not the main draw here.
Characters: I like the characters. Right now, they are all pretty stereotypical. We have the stubborn hero, the jaded grandson, the cartoon villain, the buddies through it all pals. But they are likable and well written for what they are.
The World: The world is like ours, but with mini fighting robots.
Humor: This isn’t your typical edgy humor Shonen but it has moments of being funny.
Verdict: 7 out of 10. It is not perfect but I enjoyed my time with it. My LCS has 2-4. I’ll probably pick them up at some point. I recommend checking this one out for sure if it sounds interesting to you.