Sunday, February 14, 2016

Big things happening for the week of February 14 to 20 (Part 2)

My lifelong journey with Power Rangers and eventually Super Sentai

As with most, I was introduced to the genre through MMPR. Classic show, nostalgia factor forever. Green Ranger arc is so good. I still watch Dragonzord Vs Tyrannozord in awe. In awe of the special effects work and in awe of seeing 2 Godzilla like robots fight.
(Johnny Bravo voice) Ooooh, Not the tail!
I followed the series until the live action movie, which was pretty good. And then for some reason, I never got to watch Zeo and the succeeding seasons. I don't know why but I think the show simply stopped airing. I do have the Megazord up to Turbo and I even have a VHS of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. That had a harrowing water scene involving Jason and Kimberly. After that, I had no knowledge whatsoever about In Space till Time Force.
The fulflej song was pretty rocking though
I had the Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue game for the PS1. I loved the soundtrack of that. It was annoying that I never ever got to finish that game because it always hanged at one point.
Will we ever get a decent Power Rangers/Sentai game?

I got back into it when I saw Wild Force promo. I thought, hey, Power Rangers. I loved that before, let's watch this new one.  And I did and I enjoyed it. Especially when Zen Aku came around. I got my mom to buy me the Wild Force Megazords and the Predazord was just so cool. Unfortunately the Predazord got broken and I can no longer display it. These are the last Megazords I ever got.
I wouldn't mind if Toei did this with all 40

I continued watching Ninja Storm all the way to Mystic Force. I stopped at Operation Overdrive because I could not stand to watch even 1 episode of it. Jungle Fury was a lot better and RPM was so so for me. I know it gets praised but by this time, I think I was ready to move on.  And I did, I stopped for maybe a year.  But then I came across a youtube video that said, female red ranger and I couldn't believe it. It was unheard of at the time, sure there was the SPD one but it was hardly remembered. So I watched it and that's when I was introduced to the wonderful world of tokusatsu.
Add caption

And the rest is elementary. Gokaiger was right around the corner by this time and seeing all these teams that are unknown to me teaming up with familiar power ranger teams just blew my mind. I had to know who these were.

I thought I knew every Power Ranger series after seeing Forever Red and following the series but there was so much more. So much more amazing action sequences, roll calls and teams ups to be seen and loved. So I threw myself into Sentai and after oh, 5 years, I have quite the collection of unwatched subbed seasons. I have Figuarts that show my appreciation for the franchise that has entertained me for majority of my life. I have followed Sentai since Gokaiger and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. As long as Toei can keep making new ones every year, I'll always be interested in them

Zyuohger looks really good. I don't know why people hated on the suits. It may be plain but it's the good kind of plain. It looks so clean and smooth. Not clunky henshin device on the wrist is a plus.



Big things happening for the week of February 14 to 20 (Part 1)

Ah February, the time when the new Sentai is upon us. It's always exciting especially if the general consensus prior is positive, unlike a certain train themed one. But this year's February is extra special. Not only is it Sentai's 40th anniversary, it also marks the release of Street Fighter 5.



Now this may come a little off topic for this blog since I never really talked about fighting games but ever since E3 and EVO 2015, my focus on the gaming industry has intensified, specifically on fighting games. Whenever I have the time, I have been visiting Eventhubs for fighting game news and USF4 highlights. I watch the top players on the Capcom Pro Tour and I really enjoy the moments. I played MK X for quite some time too, having Jason and Predator really piqued my interest. Ferra Torr was my first character and they are a blast to play as. It's a crying shame the PC users will not be getting Alien. I was planning on purchasing the Komplete Edition but I guess WB lost another customer with this decision.

I had so much fun with this Variation
Now if only Freddy returned this would be even more perfect


So with all these big events happening in my fandoms, I began thinking about how I grew up with these 2 fandoms. I will start with the fighting game genre

One of my earliest gaming memories involve Street Fighter 2. I do not know which iteration I had I was trying to get 2 Blankas to hit their electric attacks at the same time. I don't believe I ever succeeded.
In fact, when I try to think about old gaming memories, majority of them are from fighting games. I remember battling my cousins in an Alpha Series. I was button mashing like crazy and my thumb always had blisters. We battled in Tekken 3 where Eddy Gordo was the cheapest character ever.

The Vs series blew my mind. I loved playing those games over and over with different teams. I remember seeing a 99 hit Super combo with a 2 Gambit team and I was so into it.
This is probably my favorite one of the series

Eventually the PS2 era came and we got Tekken 4 and MVC2. By this time we were not that into it anymore. We got to play the Naruto Vs games and that reinvigorated us for a while. Then the PSP came along. Tekken 5 was in a handheld device. I was able to take it anywhere with me. It was amazing. I threw myself into training mode and grinded out the most damaging combos I could find. Then Tekken 6 came out and I can't tell you how many hours I wasted beating the same Arcade mode over and over again.

                                  
                                           

After the end of that, I was done. I did not want to game anymore. Nowadays we all have PC games and console gaming in my family is ancient history. I do miss the days when we would get together, boot up the old PS1/PS2 games and play.

One big reason fighting games have always appealed to me is because of its fast pace.  After 2 rounds, you have a winner. The loser gives the controller to the next guy and the cycle continues. Everyone will likely get a chance to play. Everyone can get the chance to show off their favorite characters. It's so satisfying to win and it's exciting to watch. Even those who don't play can get in on the action by button mashing and back then, it usually works.

As I got older, I realized something, I told myself, "Hey, you've been playing these games all this time and I don't think you even really know how to do a Hadouken" And I felt ashamed. Unfortunately for the Street Fighter  side of me, which was really non existent at that point in time, I never got to play SF3. It was Tekken 5 era. So I learned Tekken. Then SF4 came out, I realized the inputs were identical. A Phoenix Smasher had the same input as Hadouken. A Lightning Fist input is the same as a Shoryuken. I never properly learned SF4. I never got to learn FADC combos or whatnot. Playing on keyboard and trying to pull off Ultra moves with say Guile or Zangief confounded the hell out of me.

                                   Arcade Stick CDBArcade Stick Delta (How in the world do I do this in keyboard?)

And the links, oh my gosh a simple 2 button combo was impossible for me to do. I was so dumbfounded that I could not link a light and medium punch combo. So I gave up, what chance did I have with those long combos that ended with  Ultras. So I just played casual as can be SF4 with friends. And I loved every minute of it. Even though we couldn't do the fancy stuff, I still felt the same feelings the old games gave me. The excitement of simply watching 2 people try to win in a fighting game is all one needs to enjoy them.

With SFV on the horizon, I plan to be an online player. It's a new game, we are all on even playing field, except those who got the beta, I have a definite interest for the FGC, I have a decent laptop that hopefully can run it. I also have a PS4 controller. I think the way Capcom is handling the DLC is the way every game with DLC should be handled. SF4 with all its iterations really did it no favors.
Pre order shenanigans

Oh wow, this was longer than I expected, I'll talk about Sentai/PR in the next post.

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.

http://noodlerama.tumblr.com/post/127004437576/ive-noticed-misty-dawn-and-may-all-have

Which lead to this post,

http://noodlerama.tumblr.com/post/117668567641/how-exactly-is-dawns-character-i-always-see-her

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.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS58nPTzWr0

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 http://allthingsmisty.tumblr.com/.
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.


http://pokeshipping.tumblr.com/ 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 http://suift-duroo.tumblr.com/tagged/vivid-kids 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  http://brandylog.tumblr.com/tagged/my-translation
http://brandysmainblog.tumblr.com/post/30312650869/chocolate-panic-translation
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.