Sunday, May 29, 2011

Over 2000 Hits Already.

I really do thank all of you for this number of hits so for. I know that most of you have not posted here and that's fine but I do wish that some of you would post more often or users here would post content besides me. This aside I do realize that even I have been slacking in this department as of late. I will try my best to have a couple reviews up soon for you guys besides the ones I have recently done.

I guess for small celebration you guys have some nice Hatsune-Miku videos to watch. I really don't know what else to give you guys but again thank you all for all of this number of hits guys/gals. I will do my best to keep this site up and running the best that I can for everyone. Okay people peace out people, so let me know if there is anything else you want to see reviewed.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What I Use To Review Anime and Visual Novles

I know this is not the most important thing in the world to discuss, but I do wish to get this out of the way. As I am aware most of you either watch anime on your PC/Mac by using "Torrents" downloading and watching on an media player using codec packs. Also there is the legal option to use"Stream services" in SD/HD to avoid legal issues. People like me still use physical copies such as DVD's, that you can watch on player such as your standard DVD or Blu-Ray player. I prefer Blu-Ray players due to fact they play both formats thus limiting the amount of devices to hook up. With the introduction of HDTV quality/production of these shows has gone up greatly making them looking just wonderful to watch and listen to. Below are my purchases so far for 2011.

Recent Purchases

Okay for watching DVDs/Bluray movies I use my Ps3 with a max of 1080p res, hooked up with an HDMI cable, to an 32in Vizio LCD HDTV with 720p Resolution w/ Dolby digital sound. Nothing to fancy but it gets the job done for watching my physical media.. Due to streaming services that are now available on the Ps3 such as Net-flix and Hulu-Plus you can pay a monthly fee around "4.99-9.99" to stream unlimited anime series/movies with out having to us psychical copies. The down-side to this however is that you must have a high-speed internet connection/router in order to do so.

T.V. Set Up
Moving on to my review equipment for the PC. This is where I spent most of money and my time at to still watch anime/play visual novels. I have a Dell Xps Studio Desk-Top 7100. I have an ATI Radeon HD 5450 Video Card, Hooked up to a Dell Flat Screen Hd Monitor, through a DVI cable w/ a max resolution of 1440x900. My sound out-put is Real-Tex HD that is THX certified, so even with my speakers half up I can jam pretty damn hard. The main OS that I am using is Windows 7 home premium 64bit, 6 gigs of ram and a whopping 1tera byte hard-drive. So Yeah as you can tell I have plenty of potential with this computer thus making it easy for me to play any Visual Novel as or watch any show despite any quality issues.

The best site that I do recommend for legal streaming is "Crunchy-Roll" and "Funimation" due to their  huge/legal library of shows for streaming. Crunchy-Roll is now on devices such as the Ipod-Touch, Roku-Box, Boxee and so forth. Now setting up a crunchy roll account is free, however if you want to cut out the ad's that would be another 6.99 month.This is not a bad price at all in my opinion to watch over fifty plus different anime series, with new episodes added each week. That's all I really have to say on this, noting that important or even note-worthy just something I feel like sharing is all. Let me know what you think guys. Below is my set up for PC also comment on how you think.

My Set-UP

Having Fun Now?? A Review Of The School Days Visual Novel


The following review is intended for those over the age of eighteen or twenty one depending where you live. I do not take any responsibility if you choose to ignore this warning so don't come crying to me later on.

So what is School Days? It is a adult visual novel/eroge developed by "Overflow" and published by "Stack" game productions in April 28th 2005. An all ages version was released/published by Interchannel for the Ps2 by on January 17, 2008 as well. The Ps2 Special edition/normal version of the game came with a limited edition "ova" in-titled "School Days-Valentines Days" which is much more light/heart-full to watch than the dreadful anime series. Another ova came out in-titled "Magical Heart Kokoro-chan" which is just a magical school girl parody that came out March 26th 2008.

This visual novel/eroge also has an anime adaptation produced/animated by "TNK" that aired from July 3, 2007September 27, 2007. I have such a hatred for the anime adaptation that i will not, can not, or ever review it. So if any of the other reviewers want to review the anime be my guest. The only other related media is a two volume manga which I have yet to read, also the two spin off games "summer-days" and "cross-days" that re also available for the PC but no patches have come out for these games as of yet and it seems as if none will ever come out at all.

With the synopsis out of the way let's get down the the main portion of the review. School Days has to be the most interesting adult visual novel I have ever played to date despite it being six years old now. What I happen to love most about this game is the amount of possibility or endings that you can achieve within the game due to it being a "tree-branch game". This means that you the player have the ability to choose the ending depending on branching choices that can either lead to more open scenes with even more choices or cut off short if you choose nothing at all as well. Your ending that you get is solely based on these choices you made as far back at the beginning of of the game so tread carefully and save often.

School-Days main cast of three characters "two females and one guy" are also the ones with the most screen, sex and screwed up endings. The male leads name is Matoko Ikuto who just appears to be your average high school kid, nothing really special or great about him aside from being slightly aggressive. Up next we have Katasura Kotohana who happens to be Matoko's main crush and love focus for the series who rides the train with him everyday to school and is your very shy/timid type of character. Lastly we have up Sekai who is class-mate of Matoko who first learns about his crush on Kotohana and sets up their first date/meeting on the school roof for lunch and she has a really noisy/opinionated attitude about her-self which lands all three of them in hot-water down the road.

Something that needs to be pointed out is that isn't your standard eroge either. Everything in this title is fully animated, voiced over and split in to different episodes like an ova series. The choices that do come up are time based so you either you make choice or it will choose the default choice zero to where matoko doesn't say anything at all. I'll openly admit to this being one of the biggest surprises when I did my first play through. Personally I'm just being kind to give you all heads up now on the game-play mechanics now. You can pause the game, fast forward or rewind through previous read text or scenes once you have completed one route in the game.

As of now I've gotten over ten different endings so far out of whopping twenty one endings total. Not all of the endings are dark or creepy as in the anime adaptation, it's actually quite the opposite here. This eroge has taken away lot of my free-time, but to be honest I have had fun so far. I love ever character despite "Matoko" on how you play can be the biggest asshole in the world in which deserves more than a slow painful death. I know a lot of people out there hate this male lead so much for some reasons or other. I can not bring myself to hate him despite being the massive douche that he really his and still is through out a majority of the routes you choose to play.

Yet despite this flaw he has, for some reason I just feel some level of connection to him so I do understand why he did it. Matoko starts off shy, clumsy and in the end being pushed to be aggressive from an outside source and then loses all self-control becoming a self centered prick. Still I am sadly stuck at the point now in my life, thus making me a no worse than him on a lot of levels. I do realize this now but I am still wary of what could have happened to me if I knew a person like "Sekai", I would do the same things he did in the anime adaptation, however this is a review for the source material not the adaptation that spewed a famous 2007 famous meme keep that in mind.

I will just be blunt if you liked the t.v anime series or you are looking for a good romance eroge I hihgly recommend this title. So if you are interested in any-way, shape or form, please just click the links below. You will also need to go to my "previous post" to set up your PC to play this game as well. Just to let most of you know this game is coming to America from "Jastusa" so please support the new version "School Days HQ" when it does come to America sometime at the end of this year or beginning of next year. The game will be fully uncensored and will be for the PC of course "I have no word Mac Os Compatibility as of yet but it will be most unlikely".

This version that is come here legally is an updated version of the game that came out last year for the 5 year anniversary of the original release of the game. Also this version has even more endings with a new good/bad of course and a massive upgrade to the art work to near "High-Definition" quality so it is a warranted purchase in the end unless you want to pay over 200 dollars to import the original game. In all honesty no piece of IP is worth that much to me used no matter If really need it for my collection.

One of the greatest high points for music is really a great high point even with the tragic ending song that still makes me tear up a bit to this day. Hell it's the song Kanashimi no Mukou e that still sends chills down my spine every time I hear it on a an bad ending for a route I was playing. I haven't personally heard anything emotional powerful to eerier as this song in my fifteen years of being an anime fan which is saying a-lot coming from some like me.

Another high point is Everyone in this eroge is fully voiced over even down to the tiniest of the character roster which is still just amazing and greatly adds a lot to this genre. In all honesty I think school days is the first full eroge to have a voiced over male lead taking out that self-insert character they normally do most in the eroge genre overall Actually I think it's quite nice to control a character with a personality rather than a creepy insert character they usually write in for these games. One quick thing I do need to point out one other tidbit and it's this the partial patch from the sekai project only covers up to episode four of the game so I highly recommend using a guide if at all possible or saving before any major choices.

Now maybe I am praising overflow a little so much for this IP, however it was the first to break the mold of most standard games in the genre. School Days does suffer from some huge faults as well and those need to be addressed. So lets address them shall we are that some latter choices really don't effect the outcome that much it just adds some different scenes. However in one route your choices also go form one extreme to the other such as the best ending possible to the entire game, to the worst ending possible in just once choice. This is just highly unbalanced and I hope is fixed in the newer version because one choice should not effect your effort or outcome that much.

Overall this is a great Visual Novel/Eroge with so many possibility and out-comes it feels like the game of life. However I cannot recommend this for the faint of heart due the graphic sex or murdering that does occur due to your actions.These moments in the story where I just wanted to slap some of the minor characters across the face due in part of their horrible nature/attitude towards other people as well. Well that wraps up everything people, I hoped you enjoyed reading this review and you make sure careful what decisions in your life you choose to make. I'll catch you all later on my live-stream~

Animation: 5/5

Game Play: 4/5

Story/Plot: 4/5

Characters: 4/5

Music: 5/5

Overall Rating:4/5

Age Rating:18+

Setting Up Your Computer

Strategy Guide

Pre-Order School Days HQ

-Cecil The Dark Knight

-Image credit for the nice boat banner goes to "Tamadachi-san"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thrid Review For Spring 2011 "Aria The Scarlet Ammo"

This review is only over the first half of Aria the Scarlet Ammo or known as Hidan No Aria in Japan. This Originated as a light-novel first published by media factory and written by Chūgaku Akamatsu In August 2008. The Light-Novel is still on going as of now which already has  nine volumes out so far that, have sold an estimated 1.9 million copies as of April 2011. A manga is also in publication which started in September 26th 2009 that have only 2 volumes out so far and is also published by Media Factory. The manga is being illustrated by Yoshino Koyoka. The anime adaptation is being done by J.C.Staff and currently only has twelve episodes slated for spring 2011. An ova has also been announced for release on December 21st 2011.

Now here is a brief summary of what I've watched so far. The plot heavily focuses on a high-school Student named Kinji Tōyama that wants to quit his job at the Butei. Kinji just wants to live a normal life without chaos and ever day mayhem.   Kinji lives alone in the boy’s dormitory number three off of Butei high-school campus and he is often visited by his Child-Hood Friend named Shirayuki Hotogi that has a pretty calm/cool personality. Hotogi is willing to cook, clean and do all "sorts of things for Kinji if you catch my drift."

Keep Your Loli In Place

Despite Kinji being another dense character when it comes to woman's feelings, there is one thing Kinji knows about Hotogi. She is prone to extreme jealousy if Hotogi looks at or happens to be around any other females. As you can guess this is going to fun, due in part because of our other feisty red headed female lead Aria. Now Aria happens to meet our male lead in the second half of episode. She runs into Kinji while he is being hunted down an unknown terrorist group known as the butei-killer. They send out use mounted machine guns that are controlled remotely on a segway?! These mounted guns are capable of shooting 10 rounds a second putting Kinji in a real tough spot, until he is saved by Aria who happens to be the top ace of the assault division. These said divisions of the butei are allowed to use fire arms to take down offenders and arrest criminals. "This is a huge plus in my book".

When Aria and Kinji are corned in a school gym equipment room it's here where Aria see's Kinji's true power thanks to her flat-chest and is able to get rid of the hacked machine like it was nothing. Aria then happens to get pissed off at Kinji for touching her chest. Hilarity is insured next in a three minute quarrel where Kinji shows her up and pisses her off even more. Now you would think they would go there separate ways after arguing, like this but guess what it's not going to happen. Aria tells Kinji to meet her outside by the school in quotation marks says, "become my slave Kinji". So aria is going to be our  typical Tsundere character that j.c. staff loves to turn out every season. 

Now the two female leads Aria and Hotogi are pretty spot on to their source counterparts but this isn't enough to save the show from just being average. Sure there are guns/explosions, suspenseful moments but none of it really amounts to anything so far. With six episodes of show are already done the show is already half over. Now they have at least introduced the main villain, Kinji does grow a small pair and stays with his job to protect Aria from harm. In episode six the two love rivals are introduced in thus bringing it down back down. There is no problem with introducing two love rivals in any art form but they way it was executed, sadly this series does poorly

When Aria and Hotogi first meet they get in to a Huge ass cat fight thus tearing up Kinji's dorm room. The break his table in half, throw sword through his TV, ripping his bed in half and many other possessions. Then to make up for it Hotogi is willing to jump on his dick right then and there, to show that she is sorry for upsetting him. This was just a poor/childish execution to do and no means warrants any good cause to do so. To make it cynical/funny Kinji does not even a love interest in any female as of yet so the bitch fight was for nothing but I suppose they needed to mark their territory all over his dorm room.

Now Personally I have just seen this happen way to much from J.C Staff's adoption's of light novels and manga as of late. By no means do I hate J.C. Staff they have produced some really good shows like Index and Excel-Saga. I really wish they would stop pandering to hard-core fans just to sell the series. The only other thing that pisses me off is that Kinji will confess to Aria on the tenth or eleventh episode. Thus making the series go in to full romance drama that will most likely end in a cliff hanger that will hinder on getting a second season based on bluray/dvd sales alone.

Despite all of these gripes I have pointed out Aria is still worth watching if you like loli/tsundere trope. I will admit to being a little a harsh, however I am getting to be an older anime fan so pick/choosing what I watch is no different from any other form of media. There is still something enjoyable to be found among the clichéd ridden writing apically the whole girls with guns aspect. I will admit to being a sucker for that type of set-up since I love guns and I love cute anime girls. However it does stop this series from being a cliché ridden mess, which still has some charm to it.

Age Rating: 13+

Music: 3/5

Animation: 3/5

Story: 3/5

Characters: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Aria Legal Stream 

-Cecil The Dark Knight

Friday, May 13, 2011

Drop of Licenses "Funi Lets go of Higuarshi and Familiar of Zero"

Usually I try not to bitch, piss, moan and groan about a distributor business practices but this really had me pissed off for the passed few days. I just need to get this off chest and ask why wait so long to do so? Why not try to do a S.A.V.E. Edition for both series to make a bit more off the license or at least try to promote them more. I do realize that the sales did not meet their expectations and this was a license recuse from Geneon USA but why dangle it for year with out producing any more copies? Funimation is business and they do need make a profit off of the sales to warrant a release for the other seasons as well thus the reason for the drop. I will say this, I do not harbor any ill will towards Funimatoin to let you guys now.

However they do have to realize that most fans at the time where under the age of eighteen in 07-09 there for a lot of the fans could not buy it legally and it didn't help that geneon released single DVDs at 30-40 dollars a piece. I don't think many parents are going to buy their kids a forty dollar DVD single ever two to three months. Okay I am done venting guys, what done is done. Is there still hope that Higurashi and Familiar of Zero will see the light of day here again? That's up to you guys, let other companies like "Sentai Filmworks" or "Crunchy Roll" that you legally want to see/own the series. This is all I am going to say about this, peace out people. Enjoy the op for series below as much as I do.

-Cecil The Dark Knight.

My Legally Bought Copies

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Quick Information Dump For Clannad

Official DVD Cover

The following is not a review just a small info dump on what clannad is, my review will be up in few days so look forward to it.

Yes this has been a long time coming and I do really apologize for the wait on this review so with out further ado let's get the ball rolling. Clannad is an "all ages" visual novel developed by key and published by visual arts on April 28th, 2004 on the PC with a full voiced version released 02/29/2008 with everyone from the original anime cast. Like most key-visual art games the original version of the visual novel had no voice over work until the series got a anime adaption. 

This particular visual novel is so popular in fact that it has ports on nearly ever console and handheld that I can think of. It was release on the  PS3, PSP, and Xbox 360 by Prototype with same full voice over's from the anime cast. This visual novel was also the first key-visual arts series to get a full spin-off called "Tomoyo After It's A Wonderful Life" that continues off of the Tomoyo arc from the main game or TV anime OVA. I will do a review for that one was well as soon as a translation patch is up for it. The following review also contains spoilers so if you want to play this visual novel/game head out now.

Despite this visual novel being as popular as it is, there is no official release in the states for it. So if you really want to play this game you can probably guess what your going to have to do However please at least try to import a copy for the game to show your support for this franchise or at least buy the DVD sets and movie that happen to be licensed in the states by Sentai Film-Works. Show some support for s franchise/series if you really it so they can continue to make series that you like.

Now with all this aside lets get to the main point of review, how does Clannad hold up after all of these years?? I has held up wonderfully despite being nearly eight years old now, it still holds it's own from even the newer 3D visual novels/eroges that are coming out now. With it's wonderful cast of characters, music and plot development there is something here I believe nearly any-body can enjoy. Clannad is classified as a Bishojo Game "or pretty girl game". That's all the information I will dump for now just keep your eyes peeled for the review.

-Cecil The Dark Knight

Monday, May 9, 2011

Now Launching My Live-Stream Account

The pic above is not related but just cute. Now some of you might be asking what the hell is live stream? It's exactly what it sound likes in the title people, a website where I am able to stream off of my computer and show you games, movies, step by step instructions for how to do things as well. I will be launching it tonight at 8pm my time by playing the first full arc of umineko for your enjoyment. Please feel free to drop by and have a good time, I do hope to see tonight.

Yes this post is not as long as my other or well thought out I just wanted to point this out for you guys/gals. This is something that has been stuck in the back of my head for long time to do but I just never got around to it until today. Let the good times and I will be reviewing "Aria Scarlet Ammo" Tomorrow by 4pm the latest. I hope you hall have fun time the link to my channel is below.

Visual Novel Play

-Cecil The Dark Knight

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day 2011

This is way off subject I know but do owe my mother so much in my life that I can not help It. Just feel free to read the letter I wrote her for mothers day 2011

To my mother:

           Mom I do really appreciate all that you do for me even if do not show it all the time. You help me out so much in my life and I truly do love all the help/advice you have given in my life so far. There are hardly no words that can express my gratitude towards but you know what I am going to try my damn best to do so. I do realize that I am not a model son nor have really earned my keep but I do thank you for putting up with my hobbies and bull crap.

           I just wish that I could be more of help to you instead of being the way the I turned out. There is no blame on you at this point ever action that I do take is my own responsibly from now on the only thing that I truly ask for is your supportive advice through this late time in my life. You might not see but I am no longer a kid anymore 4 more years and I will be 30 years old and by then there will be some major milestones accomplished but I need your love and support.

         I might need your help this summer to get a car my driver's license so that with your support I can become more independent. It is just due to fact that you will be home more this summer in which I can get more training because dad still has to work all this time. I need your push and tough love to help me so that this obstacle and finally be pushed aside in-turn I will be able to get a job and support the family like I am suppose to.

           To close all that I truly have to say is that I love you mom, you mean so much to me. I don't know what would happen at this point in time if me or Tim where to lose you nor do I wish to think about that. I thank you so much from the bottom of my hear for being so good to me and loving me so much, I know this letter is not much but as of now it's the only thing I can offer you. I do hope you have a wonderful mother's day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review on my 2nd anime for spring 2011 "Nichijou/My Ordiany Life"

Nichijou (日常 Nichijō?, lit. Regular Life) or know as "My Ordinary Life" in English. This is a anime adaption based on manga written by Keiichi Arawi first published in 2006 by "Kodokawa Shoten" in their manga magazine "Shonen Ace". The manga is a simple 4 panel comic like "Azumanga Daioh" or "Lucky Star" so you can already guess what the anime is going to be like.  Another slice of life/comedy anime which is something that I happen to personally love. However this is a genre that still gets mixed reviews so I will do my best to present a fair/equal review that anyone will be able to understand.

Now this something that is really hard to review not due the fact the show is bad it is due to the fact this show has a huge barrier of entry. Okay now follow me on this one  take shows that have panty shots or nudity for example. No matter how good the story nor how matter they develop the characters people will not watch it. It's the same for this show, the humor is for a niche market or certain kind of fans there for some will just hate because of that. Setting up culture boundaries between people to where you have to look up the jokes online is also hard for mainstream fans to do, cuts out time/enjoyment from the show thus some people will be turned off. Due to this fact I will be giving this show two scores in order to represents where I stand and where mainstream fans please try to understand this.

Alright now on to the summary for the first half of the show or what could be seen as the "main plot". It focuses on a group 3 high school girl freshmen by the names of Mai Minakami, Mio Naganohara and, Yūko Aioi who have the biggest personality differences between anyone I have seen in a long time. This usually deals with the daily antics they get into with each other such as Mai purposely doing things to mislead Yuko and make her do things that she wouldn't normally do. Now on to the other half show which would be about a young 5 year old "Professor, her robot caretaker "Nano" with there talking male cat "Sakamoto-san" who just show off more crazy/bizarre routines but what makes it so interesting is the fact that the professor actually acts like a real little girl instead of an grown up character wanting to screw the male lead."I will talk more about this more clearly in later post"

There are other characters that I will mention as well, like a junior named Kōjirō Sasahara "who has a fascination with riding his goat to school",  Misato Tachibana " she has an weapon arsenal that could make the NRA jealous and keeps Sasahara in check." and my favorite random character Tsuyoshi Nakanojō "who has the best animated Mohawk ever and it's known why due to fact his hair doesn't grow on the sides...WTF?" The characters In this show are just random hit or miss as well. Meaning that you will either like or hate some of the characters from the get go but this can be said for nearly any form of visual medium.

That's I can really say  for the story to be honest with you. It just a random collection of scenes with running gags put together that seem to work flawlessly for me since I am such a hardcore fan but this will not work for all. The only real life show I can compare this to is "Seinfeld" so if you liked that show you will love this anime. Okay now onto a high point for the series which happens to be the animation. Just the smooth flow off the screen flawlessly to a point it feels makes me feel as I am doing a paint by numbers in real-time.

Everything is just so clean, clear and crisp thus making everything nice to look at. As I just stated above the hair animated in this show is probably some of the best rendered hair that I have seen in the past ten years" cromotie high school was the last". Hell even watching this show on in low quality still looks better that most anime series that where put out in the early turn of the century. The only chink or flaw in the animation is that it's to cutesy for some, thus driving shonen fan-base away.

Okay moving on to my favorite part of this anime is the music which I absolutely love. Yeah that's being hugely biased on my part but I don't give a shit. What surprises me even more is the fact that "Hyadain" a well know flash musician that  has made videos from old games like Final Fantasy IV or Super Mario Bros Did the OP for the show called "The O-o-o-one-sided Love of Hyadain - C", as seen above.

It seems that his music has had such a hit with mainstream people it caught on enough for him to do a record deal which is fine with me. Now that's all well and good but rest of the music is also what makes the series just plain enjoyable to watch. From the high funny piano music to the low key soft music that could help anyone some fall asleep. I do know one thing I will be buying this soundtrack when it does come out.

Overall as a series this is just a fun anime to watch to mellow out if your having a bad day. Now there is a hit or miss for a few people and even some episodes for some. If you love this sorta show I highly recommend that you watch it but if the barrier is to hard for you to get through just don't I do not want you watch something you will not like. That's all I can really say for the show nothing major happens no plot to destroy the world or ground breaking material here just wacky fun for all. You can fine the show legally at crunchy roll for simulcast this season.

Age Rating 13+

Music 5/5

Animation 4.5/5

Plot/Story 3/5

Characters 3.5/5

Overall Rating 4.5/5

-Cecil The Dark Knight

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekly Reviews

Okay now just to get this off my chest I will be doing a weekly review aside from normal post like this. Yes I do know that i have been lacking lately in the department but look forward to one every Tuesday. Now the reviews I do will be on a 1-5 scale on anime and visual novels. I will not do 1 to 10 scale due to the fact that anything below a 5 isn't worth a shit on that scale. So it  makes more sense to me to use the 1 to  5 scale. 

Okay not that I have this aside there will hopefully be others here that do reviews as well due the fact this is a joint site project as of now.  I want some others to help to get this started and I am still looking for 4 more people to do so, just contact me if you wish to help out. Now with all of this aside I do wish to think those that have visited here so far and already made  me hit a 1000 hits in only two weeks, thank you all so much. Please enjoy this video below as thank you.