Author Archives: bunny1ov3r

First experience with Visual Novel, an attempt at G-senjou no Maou review

It’s been quite a while since I last posted in this blog, a bit more than half a year in fact. It’s not like I was so busy that I couldn’t find time to write blogs about ACG related contents, but rather that I couldn’t think of anything of importance to write about, so I spent my time elsewhere on the site with respect to ACG (anime, comics, and games) related stuff, ie. myanimelist, etc.

I have invested a lot of time in ACG related stuff since advent of high school (and even before that), and have dabbled in manga, anime, and light novels extensively. Anime and manga are definitely the more common mediums, while light novels tend to be a niche interest among ACG lovers. What’s an even more niche interest in English-speaking community is visual novels, and most people probably don’t know much about it. NSFW, 18+, dating sims, or anything of that ilk come to mind when one thinks of visual novels, or galgame. I more or less held that opinion until a few days ago, when I tried my first visual novel because I realized that a lot of great VN with great stories are never adapted into anime, manga, or light novel.

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A typical visual novel

So, what exactly is a visual novel, let me tell you about my experience so far.

The easiest way to imagine VN is try thinking of a hybrid between an anime and a novel. It is not an” anime in that the scenes aren’t animated. The narratives rely on prose to convey the plot to the readers. While facial expressions change from time to time, the art in VN is more like illustrations to a novel rather than an animated sequence. It does come with BGM and character voice, though. It is not exactly a novel either, in that 1) players have some power to influence what happens in the story (game-like”), and 2) there is way too much conversations for it to cut strictly as a novel.

I’ve heard that visual novel is extremely versatile in its mechanism. Contrary to my previous belief, each character route (heroines that you choose depending on your choices during the game) usually do not spoil other routes. Basically, you can finish routes in any order and still find something new each time without repeating or being spoiled from previous results (at least in this case). It’s kind of interesting because it allows for a story with many conclusions instead of just one, and players are more likely to find a satisfying ending among those.

Anyways, my first experience with VN is rather great. I holed up in my dorm (well I did go to classes) for a week and completed my first VN, without any regret in the end.

REVIEW of G-senjou no Maou (no spoilers)

g-senjou-no-maou-the-devil-on-g-string-810x456

Now available on steam, with English translation: http://store.steampowered.com/app/377670/

Strangely enough, G-senjou is in certain aspects eerily similar to Code Geass, beside the fact that the main antagonist’s voice actor is Furukawa Jun, the VC for Lelouch in Code Geass. How so? The whole story is a strange combination of school life, suspense, battles of wit, people trying to lie and cheat each other, and characters that can not be clearly defined as just “good” or “evil”. There is one clear distinction though. As a galgame, G-senjou places much more focus on the romance aspect, and by romance I don’t just mean the H-scenes. In fact, without spoiling the story, I’d claim that G-senjou is a pure love story more than anything else.

Story: 8/10

To be honest, looking at the story as a whole, while it is very entertaining, there are also a lot of places that could have done better. This game have 4 heroine routes in total, and these routes can be reached by choosing its corresponding choice in chapter 2, 3, and 4. In chapter 2, 3, and 4, you either go into an alternate heroine route, or progress through with the story toward the true end (chapter 5). Outcomes vary differently in true end and other heroines’ good end. Different things happen in different routes.

Beside from the fact that the game could be slightly boring in certain scenes, I found that there are two major weaknesses in terms of plot. One, the creators all but sacrificed all other routes for the dramatic showdown in the true conclusion. It’s not that the other routes weren’t emotional or dramatic (in fact, chapter 2’s good end had me crying), but rather that it has little to do with the central mystery of the story, in which the male lead rests in the center of the conflict, mainly because the true end could do without the stories of the three other heroines and still be brilliant. Two, the series of code geass-ish battle of wits in this game can bring players out of focus at certain points, simply because each incident is quite dragged out and certain developments may seem a bit forced. To be fair, though, everything is revealed in the end, providing a satisfactory resolution to loose threads or what previously seemed like bad writing.

Still, I can’t emphasize enough, the true ending is amazing; melodramatic, bitter-sweet, plenty of adrenaline, while still giving players one of the most epic endings ever.

Character: 9.5/10

The biggest accomplishment in the character department is how great they are portrayed. None is portrayed in black and white lens. All characters have bad and redeeming points to them, right down to the protagonist’s sidekick. Villains aren’t always villainous, and good people don’t necessarily always remain pure. The first and second route are great in terms of exploring the heroine’s characters and showing their realistic development. The same thing can’t be said for the third route, a route that may get you wondering why the heroine likes the protagonist in the first place. The fourth and true route is the best, as it is the “intended” story from prior development. Main characters in this route undergoes a metamorphosis, releasing all the previously pent up emotions and reaching into a beautiful catharsis.

Music, Visuals, Language: 8.5/10

I rather liked the art in this game, perhaps the style just click with me.

The most memorable song by far is “Close Your Eyes”, inserted toward the end of the game. It’s nothing short of glorious. BGM and sound effect throughout the VN seemed appropriate as well.

I read the fuwanovel’s English translation. For the most part it is very smooth and readable. Don’t expect any fancy language, though.

In conclusion, I think G-senjou is at least worth 8.5/10. I read played this game because it was strongly recommended in various best VN recommendation blogs. I have to say that I am not disappointed, and will definitely probably pick up more VN in the future immediately afterward.


Spring 2014 funny pics

These are just some of the screen shots I took while following some of the anime series in this season.

Black Bullet 8 Japanimation

[Black Bullet] The birth of a new term for anime: Japanimation

 

chess = tictactoe NGNL eps 3

[No Game No Life] Chess = Tic-tac-toe

 

Cross-dressing Shidou Date A Live II eps 5

[Date A Live II] Every successful harem mc has a cross-dressing fetish!

 

Date A Live II eps 9 Touka is #1 in my harem!

[Date A Live II] The moment you realize that Touka is indeed the #1 girl in the harem

 

Mahouka eps 10 big brother is badass

[Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei] As if Shiba is not already badass enough, the director actually feels the need to directly tell us that…

 

nisekoi ecchi

[Nisekoi] Are you sure this is not some hentai anime?

 

No Game No Life 8 pic 1 cat ear girl

No Game No Life 8 pic 2 cat ear girl

[No Game No Life] Be. Worried.

 

SHAFT Elevator Nisekoi 15

[Nisekoi] SHAFT made so much money now that it is making elevators!

 


On the topic of myanimelist (MAL)’s anime database

Hi everyone. It’s been a long while since my last post here. Today, instead of doing an usual review, I would be sharing some things about the nature of MAL (myanimelist.net)’s anime database.

I think most deeply-invested fans of anime medium would at least heard of MAL, which is basically an online site where you can update what you’ve watched on your account. While there are similar types of sites, like hummingbird and anilist, myanimelist remains as the the site with the biggest user number. To give but an example, the most popular anime on MAL, Death Note, have as many as 460,000 members! With such a big sample of users scores, we can do some basic calculations to know more about the parameters of the population of MAL scores.

I have extracted all MAL data from this site http://test.animeadvice.me/, which is a program that someone else built.

 

Distribution of All Anime on MAL database

By all anime, I meant anime that is on MAL’s database and with more than 50 user scores. There are 6922 anime in total at my time of data extraction.

Having copy and pasted all those data entries into excel, I can easily calculate the average and standard error of *MAL score of the entire anime database.

Average = 6.87

Median = 6.87

Standard Error = 0.76

 

mal score frequency

Frequency Graph Divided in range of the standard error

So basically, the distribution of MAL’s anime database scores is a normal distribution, with a slight negative skew.

 

*MAL score is calculated in Bayesian average.
Weighted Rank (WR) = (v / (v + m)) * S + (m / (v + m)) * C
where S = average score of anime; C = average score of entire anime database; v = number of votes for the anime; m = minimum votes (50 votes)

 

Average Year Aired of the Most Popular Anime

Are people only into new anime, or are people still immersed in the nostalgia of past glories? I also find it worthwhile to investigate into the average year aired for some of the most popular anime (on MAL).

I have computed the average year and standard deviation of the top50, top100, top250, and top500 most popular anime on MAL.

Year Table

The current time would be formatted as 2014.5 (2014 June). This means that the average airing time of top50 – top 500 are 7 to 8 years in the past. Whether this means that MAL users are obsessed with new anime, or are they overly fond of the old anime, it is entirely up to your discretion.


International Saimoe League

This is the International Saimoe League’s 2014 regular season promotion video.

 

http://internationalsaimoe.com/

 

For those who don’t know, International Saimoe League is site where anime fans can vote for the cutest girls in various rounds throughout the year. It holds numerous voting rounds annually, and follow a sophisticated procedure.

*Fans don’t need to register to vote.


Fate/Zero

Today, I present Fate/Zero from the highly acclaimed studio ufotable, produced during 2011-12. Fate/Zero is the prequel of Fate/Stay Night.

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Fate/Zero takes place 10 years prior to the events of Fate/stay night, detailing the events of the 4th Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City. The War of the Holy Grail is a contest in which seven magi summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete in a deadly game with the aim of obtaining the power of the “Holy Grail,” which grants a miracle. After three inconclusive wars for the elusive Holy Grail, the Fourth War commences.[Wikipedia]

Fate/Zero, alongside with Sword Art Online, is among the most hyped anime to watch during 2012. There are a lot of things to like about f/z, since it is notably different from the trend of anime today consisting of teenagers saving the world or managing their harems. Instead, fate/zero offers a cast of older men, most of whom are willing to abandon their morals in order to achieve victory in this deadly tournament. Each person wants to win for a different reason. Even though all of the motives are arguably well-intended, but good fortune rarely accompany good will in fate/zero.

The most enjoyable part about watching fate/zero for me is seeing the clash of ideals among participants of the holy grail war. By participants, I meant both the magi and the servants. The 14 characters experienced different things in life, due to the particularities of their era and social surroundings. Ufotable has done a great job in giving a big part of story-telling to dialogues between characters. These exchanges are intelligent, philosophical, and allow us to peek into the characters’ past, without becoming overly pretentious and hard to follow.

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In terms of production quality, Fate/Zero is top notch. Ironically (or not so), LiSA, Aoi Eir, Luna Haruna also performed in OP ED music for Fate/zero, same as Sword Art Online. However, the addition of Kalafina makes f/z slightly superior than SAO in terms of music.The animation … well, let’s just say that ufotable is amazing in this aspect.

However, fate/zero is not without flaws. This occurs in two levels, in terms of enjoyment and story. Allow me to explain a bit more. Storywise, f/z is amazing up to the ending. While the whole thing did not fall apart, the ending did not lived up to the epicness shown throughout the story. I suppose this is inevitable, since the story has to end in a particular way as the prequel to Fate/Stay Night. As for entertainment, for most people, f/z may present a world that is too dark for people to handle. As soon as you become attached to a character, bad things happen to him/her.

All in all, Fate/Zero deserve its hype during 2012, and presents a complex retelling of the 4th holy grail war. I award fate/zero with a 9.3/10.

RECOMMENDATION

For all viewers looking for a mature story.

For people unsure of whether to watch this, try the first episode and then decide.

For ultimate recommendation try Kara no Kyoukai movie series also produced by ufotable. Also, don’t miss Fate/Stay Night 2014 remake by ufotable that will be aired soon!

 

 


Funny Anime Quotes #1

peopledie

After this brilliant quote from Emiya Shirou in “Fate/Stay Night (2006)” …

die-not-killed

Erica Blandelli in “Campione” responded with this!


Anime Characters Awards #1

Today, I present the anime characters awards series. There will be a series of titles awarded to various anime characters.

@Most Annoying Third-Wheeler

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Shirai Kuroko (from A Certain Scientific Railgun)

Trust me, your romantic life would be in ruins if you have a roommate like her.

@Chuunibyou Award

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Rikka Takanashi (from Love, Chuunibyou & Other Delusions)

Rikka comes out on top for this criteria no matter how I many times I tried..

@Harem King

twgok__katsuragi_keima_22_by_makiri-d40hl6y

Keima Katsuragi (from The World Where Only God Knows)

Even though the concept of harem king runs rampant among many anime, Keima Katsuragi remains the god of harem, in 2D and 3D.

@Most Hated Male Character

Makoto_1

Makoto Itou (from School Days)

Had he existed in real life, thousands of feminists would line up to stab him again and again, just in case he doesn’t go to hell.

@Tsundere

bakemonogatari-crab-hitagi-senjougaharaHitagi Senjougahara (from Monogatari Series)

While most other people would nominate characters voiced by Rie Kugimiya (such as Taiga, Louisa, etc), I personally prefer more sarcastic and biting tsundere.

@Escapist

oregairu-hikigaya-hachiman

Hikigaya Hachiman (from My Teen Romantic Comedy Romance SNAFU)

My role model … enough said.

@Yandere

YunoYandereFace

Yuno Gasai (from Future Dairy)

Only Yuuki can “handle” someone like her.

@Cutest Imouto

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Kobato Hasegawa (from I don’t have many friends)

No. I am not picking a character from an incest show…

@Sword-master

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Kagura Tsuchimiya (from Ga-rei: Zero)

The other nominee is Ryougi Shiki, but then she doesn’t quite qualify because she uses a knife rather than a sword.

@Kamisama (god)

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Madoka Kaname (from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)

Gods have never been cuter.

@Artificial Intelligence Supporter

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Chamber (from Suisei no Gargantia)

The coolest AI… ever.


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