Monday, October 5, 2015

The LIGHT has now DAWNED upon me

Terrible pun aside, welcome back. It's been 5 months since my 100th post and my yearly birthday post needs to be made.

During the past 5 months, I've been happily giving in to whatever inspirations hit me and making videos out of it if I deem it sensible enough. I am particularly fond of a Bust a Groove and Pokemon parody video I made. It just seemed so perfect in my mind and I'm thankful the anime and 2000 movie provided me with just the right amount of scenes to make my vision a reality. 
Now I guess I should explain why I titled this post the way I did. It's because Dawn/Hikari is now the center of my attention. Misty is all but banished from my thoughts and I am really being honest here, as in I look deep inside myself and ask myself if whatever I felt about Misty 5 months prior is still there, it is now GONE.

She just has so much to offer!

I can't exactly tell you when it happened but when I tried to remember what the trigger was, this post came to mind.

Which lead to this post,

And I believe from there, I started going through all the Dawn related tag and I really enjoyed what I read and saw.

Now my full on rant about why I love Dawn and all my thoughts toward her will be for another post. This post is just the normal ranting I write when my birthday rolls around. It's honestly kind of easy to rant around this time of year because another Kamen Rider season has come and gone so I'll always have something to rant about, assuming I keep watching that is.

I watched every episode of Kamen Rider Drive. I even have his figuart and he looks amazing btw. I don't think I can really say whether a toku series is good or bad plot wise, I really don't give much thought to that. I can only tell you if I enjoyed it and if it kept my attention. And I did. It was an enjoyable series. I did not flat out drop it like I did with Gaim early so that's a good sign it was doing something right.  I liked the protagonist Tomari Shinnouske, I actually think I could pull off a cosplay of him.  Gou started out as really energetic to watch Rider, with his extravagant henshin debut and his cool guy after henshin pose. By midway, he completely changed and I was saddened, but at the end of the story, I understood it and was glad. I really didn't like the fact that Chase became the 3rd Rider especially when his suit design looks too similar to Kamen Rider W in my eyes.  I sincerely thought he was shoehorned in and was written in to become a Rider due to his popularity. I'll never know. But as time passed, it was obvious his story will be the classic machine trying to understand human feelings type deal. And this development actually produced one of the most memorable scenes in the series. He pulled it off well in my eyes and I applaud it.  Gold Drive seems destined for an exclusive figuarts release and darn it, I actually want one.
If you watched the episode, you know what happens

For reference if needed, this is Episode 43

I'll miss all of them but I'll probably miss Gen's wackiness the most
As for Kamen Rider Ghost, I still think Toei is blatantly cashing off of Deadpool's popularity. From what I've seen, I'm leaning towards the idea that they are trying to make Wizard V2. His fighting style looks similar to Wizard's. The main character even looks like Haruto a bit.
Though the longer I look, the more I'm beginning to like
Random pic much? But I just love the design
Ninninger has definitely improved. Whenever I set about watching the current episode, I was always not that excited. Like I knew it just wouldn't be all that great in terms of story. But the new ninja rival school arc and the conclusion of Star Ninger's character arc made the show feel better. I now appreciate the heroes' personalities now more than ever although not all the time.  It is nearly time for the announcement of the next Sentai and seeing as the 40th anniversary is just around the corner, I'm really excited to see what they come up with next. And oh, WHY OH WHY do we still not have news about figuarts for this team!
Takaharu could be a lot better though
 Toy wise, I've been bargain shopping old Kamen Rider Figuarts whenever I chance upon a sale online. I got Fourze Base and Magnet States for a steal as well as Gaim Orange Arms. Now I really regret not getting Kachidoki Arms when I had the chance. I also got Marika Peach arms, blame the pink color for that. My Riders are now 1 figure away from matching my Sentai figures. And I told mysel when I started I'd only concentrate on Sentai, "palm to forehead!"

I was introduced to Heroes of the Storm (HOTS) and it is my very first foray into the world of online gaming. Only this game and it's noob friendly play style will allow me to feel like a badass online competitively. There are the toxic players but that's unavoidable.

That's it I guess, I was really in a writing mood huh. I'll be back next time with Dawn, Kenny, Ash and more DAWN!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Lady in Red: Misty/Kasumi

Yeah, I'm old
Misty from the Pokemon anime. Never would I have guessed my 100th blog post would be about Pokemon. I played Pokemon like all the kids did back then and I enjoyed it. I played Pokemon Red on my Yellow Game Boy Color. I of course picked Charamder. I played Blue and Yellow as well and I'm certain I completed the 150 Pokedex at least once. But that's it, when news of Gold and Silver arrived, I wasn't into it anymore. So I have no knowledge whatsoever of the succeeding generation of Pokemon aside from the original 150. The circumstances leading up to this post, when I think about, make sense after putting it all together.

This is how it happened according to my best recollection

October 10, 2014

My introduction back to the world of Pokemon started when my friend shared this amazingly well done parody of Mulan's "Make a man out of you" song.

I really cracked up at this hilariously accurate parody

Now that did not make me start looking at say Bulbapedia or Tumblr for more Pokemon stuff, but I believe the seeds were planted there.

November 13 - 16, 2014

I went to Osaka, Japan with said friend and another. On the last day, the two of us visited the Pokemon Center. I was truly baffled at the lines I saw for the arcade/card game machines. Pokemon is apparently still a big thing in Japan.
More exposure to Pokemon
December 13, 2014

At a college reunion Christmas party, karaoke was sung a lot. One of the songs was Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh. I was unfamiliar with it back then but enough of the tune and lyrics stuck with me for awhile.

December 26 - 31, 2014

I can't really remember the exact date but this much I remember.  I was lying in bed surfing with my phone, probably watching that parody video. Youtube sidebar showed a video of the scene in the episode Gotta Catch Ya Later where Misty and Brock parted ways with Ash. And this is where it all started.

Naturally, I was struck by Misty. I want to say old nostalgic feeling of her returned but there really wasn't much. I watched the anime but not too much. I remember the earlier episodes more clearly than the later ones, such as Pikachu defeating Onix and Lt. Surge's Raichu. But as far anime knowledge go, I had no idea who Tracy was. That means I stopped watching early and never really got to appreciate Misty growing up.

What is it about Misty that captivated me so? I believe at that time, I was ready to kind of latch on to a new thing, know what I mean? I was still watching toku but Toqger really didn't give me much to search for and I was looking for a different thing. Then came along this familiar redheaded spit fire mouth of a beloved anime and I just plunged into it.

It started slowly at first. Google Images here and there, Youtube search of tributes. Then I saw this picture in Bulbapedia

I was flabbergasted. She looks too amazing. The red Chinese dress, the earrings, bracelet on her left arm and ornamental ponytail all look perfect on her.

Because of that picture I discovered Tumblr and this account
I spent many happy hours browsing through the adorable screen caps, heartwarming fan arts and interesting commentaries. I was soaking it all up like a sponge and I was happy.

As I was browsing some more, I realized people can submit content to this tumblr and since I can't draw to save my life, I decided to submit a video. I started downloading the episodes and currently have all of the ones with Misty. The song I chose, you guessed it, that beautiful song I heard during karaoke. Once I remembered enough of the lyrics to Google search it, I was moved when I listened to Chris De Burgh sing it. It is a timeless classic and one I can sing along to anytime.  I actually sang it three times in karaoke over the course of two days during an excursion with my high school batch. I was so into it.

As I grew more familiar to the song, a problem dawned on me. The lyrics, while singing about a lady in a red dress, are being sung by the man the lady is dancing with. So I was forced to make it into a Pokeshipping video. Now I never knew the term Pokeshipping. I don't even know what the context of shipping meant until I read it on Tumblr. Then I realize I've been shipping long before I even knew the term existed. My very 1st shipping video was of Ben and Gwen Tennyson of Ben 10 way back when it was still airing. It progressed to La Corda eventually and one Maid Sama video.

Old and unignorable feelings started welling up inside of me. Well I guess I'm a hopeless romantic at heart because I felt inspired. I felt the need, the desire to make this video in my head a reality. This song is the perfect song for my envisioned video. It may not be the perfect Misty only video I originally wanted, but I love the song enough to make the best Pokeshipping video as I could. this Tumblr account provided me with all the important shipping moments.  It also led me to the Vivid Kids doujinshis. These things are some of the most heartwarming images I've seen in a while. I sincerely thank for scanning and sharing them. I would buy them if I could. I remember I obtaining them during New Year's Eve. As the fireworks exploded throughout the night, I was holding back tears and feeling my heart beating faster and faster as I browsed through the incredibly show accurate drawings of Chocolate Panic, Marine Girl, Orange Mail, Ready Go and Yumeirokibun.

A tumblr user
translated Chocolate Panic and Yumeirokibun. I'm sure that made a lot of people very happy. I was getting hit in feels so hard as I alternated between the pictures and the translation. I don't know how accurate it is but I'll take it.

The finished video is one I am proud of. I worked on it for a long time, making sure the timing is just right. When I watch it again, I feel I can make it better in some parts, especially the parts where it's mostly pictures telling the story but I'm satisfied. Many nights I went to bed racking my brain to remember and create the sequences of scene to fit into that particular lyric. I love that feeling, the feeling of wanting to start working on it because if you don't, your brain might forget that magical perfect scene forever.

So now I guess I'm a Pokehipper. In my mind it's not really fair since I never even watched the succeeding seasons and can't judge for myself how real the other ships are. I don't plan to follow the anime, just what I see on tumblr. I don't plan to start playing the games as well. I will say, out of the main Poke girls, Dawn is the one that stands out for me. She looks really pretty in her dresses. Her interactions with Ash are also really cute and I think of Pearlshipping as my second choice.  I have tried watching a bit of the Diamond & Pearl season but I could not stand the new voices. They just sound too different.
I really like her Hoenn outfit
The Pokemon fandom is such an active one. Everyday people still post and talk about episodes more than a decade old. The fan artists still lovingly draw their OTP's (learned that from tumblr) and I am amazed by their talent. Looking at the amount of effort and detail they put in their art, one can't help but feel and be inspired by it. I can admit I suck at drawing anything, but I am seriously considering trying my hand at drawing a shippy photo. My theme would be a bowling date. I have no idea if I will even attempt it but the desire is there.

What else is there to say? Checking Tumblr multiple times everyday has become my routine. I am filling up my external hard drive with Pokemon episodes to create some sappy love videos, and God help me I actually want to skim through every one of them to find adorable Misty scenes and make tribute videos. Misty opened up a new and exciting fandom for me to follow as well as becoming a source of inspiration for the long dormant artistic side of me. I know very well there is little to no chance of seeing her in the anime again. I plan to enjoy this ride for as long as it holds my interest, but seeing as how Misty fans and Pokeshippers never seem to run out of topics regarding her, I envision this will be a very long and interesting ride.

One last thing I want to share is the experience that made me want to write this blog post. I was playing with my dog when he jumped up and his teeth nicked me on my upper gum. Small scratch as it is, my mother insisted I go get an anti rabies shot. It was a grueling affair, having to go back to the public hospital 3 separate times and having to wait a minimum of 4 hours each time to get the shots. What kept me entertained throughout the ordeal was the planning of this video. Listening to Lady in Red over and over and running the scenes I thought matched up best in my mind, I enjoy the process.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1 more before 100 (Status Update)

Something wonderful happened during the holidays last. A series of events led me to a new fascination coming into 2015. The reason I actually feel like writing again is because I want to try and see if I could accurately describe what I felt during that period into words. The extreme feelings of that time has subsided considerably but I am thankful for it. This will be the topic for my 100th blog entry.

Hello 99th blog entry. I shall now rant. 

I still watch Sentai and Rider. Only through the sheer convenience of having a smartphone capable of downloading torrents was I able to finish Toqger. I was surprised at myself for finishing it since I tried watching Go-Buster but I could not regularly watch. This was before I had a smartphone though, if I had one at the time, I probably would have watched all the way through. But with Gaim, I had a smartphone and was watching from ep 1. But when Michi turned into Ryugen, I outright stopped caring. It was the absurd light hearted storyline that did it for (fighting for territorial right to dance) Gaim thankfully got better, a lot better as a lot would agree. 

Ok what was I initially talking about? Toqger right.  I tolerated it. The cast grew on me eventually. Akira especially, He was definitely the Ucchi of the show. I loved the bathhouse centric episode with Kagura. The rest of it though is just so... bland. I don't really know what else to say about the story. The color change gimmick was really weird. I enjoyed the novelty of seeing a female red and a pink male but it really didn't add much. They even stopped using it in the latter parts.  The villains design is praised and I agree. Madame Noir is an eye catching design and Zed's monster form reminds me of Dante's Devil Trigger. Grita though can disappear forever and no one will care, seriously, I was so happy when Zed finally absorbed her.

Speaking of Dante, due to the announcement of DMC4 Special Edition, I installed DMC4 again and remembered why I uninstalled it in the 1st place. I get hooked too easily. Having access to Dante's 4 styles plus the Dark Slayer Style and the ability to freely change it anytime in game just open up a ton of possibilities and massive replay value. I am considering getting it once it comes out and I hope it lives up to its hype. I am ready to immerse myself in it again 4 months from now.

My toy collection has stalled. Red sentai figuarts are my main interest and it seems Bandai wants to focus on other franchises for the moment. I'm not too disappointed, I enjoy getting new toys to add but it's not like I need every single release. I do have Vul Eagle on the way to update my red sentai collection.  I also have Kamen Rider Drive and Armored Rider Marika ordered. I just fell for Marika, guess my weakness is pink hehe. Drive is a really nice design and coming of the heels of the massively praised Gaim figuarts, it's safe to assume he will come out okay, unlike Wizard.

Ninninger is 3 episodes old. I am not feeling the cast so far. Ever since I saw their faces, I felt no excitement. Also the 1st episode feels like they are trying too hard to be flashy.  It's like after the blandness of Toqger, this new sentai has to have all this flashy effects and cool poses. The suits are cool enough, don't try too hard.  I want this to be successful because I would really love to own figuarts of these guys. White female senshis are so rare, I was really happy to see one when the team was revealed. I was more overly ecstatic when I realized the team had a white and pink, I was blown away that day. 

Last thing, I've been toying with the idea of buying a Kiryu Monsterart for some time. The price though at the local stores are a bit too steep for me. 

I guess that's it, I feel inspired enough to really pour effort for my 100th blog entry. I hope it meets my expectations, I do want it to be well written enough that I can read it later in life and recall those once in a lifetime feelings.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kamen Rider Gaim Series Review

Hey all, it's been 6 months. Things have been chugging along and I just don't have that much to say about the current tokusatsu. But since my birthday is coming up and I always make it a point to post something on that day, I don't really know why, here are my thoughts on Kamen Rider Gaim. Also it's cool that my birth month coincides with the new Rider show.

I was 10% interested in Gaim when it started. I gave it a chance. I liked the samurai theme since I really enjoy toku sword fight scenes. I continued till the episode where Micchy became an armored rider and I stopped right there.  I wasn't feeling the whole dancing plot. And when I saw all those other riders showing up (Baron, Bravo, Gridon), I really wasn't interested anymore.

But then news came out of a PINK female rider. I couldn't resist. I love pink warriors. So I started watching again but I did revisit the old episodes. Until now, I don't really know what they were about, maybe I'll check it out later. With the arrival of the Genesis Drivers as heralded a very nice upgrade, the Kachidoki Arms. I gotta say, it was the bomb to watch this form dish out the pain. I like the form so much I might consider buying the figuart. Kiwami isn't too bad but I'm disappointed it didn't come with its own special weapon. It just reuses old weapons and uses the DJ Matlock gun for its finisher just like Kachidoki.
I love this form and weapon

Radiant Mai

The story by this time transitioned to a more serious tone. I gotta say, to make me more interested in the story than the fight scenes is rare.  All the betrayals, revelations, triumphs and defeats just meshed perfectly and constantly moved the story forward at a lightning pace.

This series caught me and probably everyone else off guard on how good it turned to be. It was a joy watching this amazing drama coupled with armored rider fight scenes.  Amazing how a show with a childish concept could gradually transform into a darker story, all the while incorporating various real world legends into its own.

Drive has a lot to live up to.