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Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? (And you thought there is never a girl online?

Back in early 2000’s you always hear stories of guys falling in love with people in MMOs during the heyday of World of Warcraft. As friends we have always made jokes of these stories that the female avatar was always played by a stereotypical overweight troll who agreed to go out to get some rare items or just for lol.

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This is what I originally thought this series was going to be about . But this series based on the light novel of the same name written by Shibai Kineko that was released in the Spring this year is about a young teenager Hideki Nishimura who not only finds out his team online are real life girls but are also classmates from his school.

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Sounds very Haremeque so far but Hideki has become disillusioned about his life after asking a female player in the game only to discover that the player was a guy.

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I think all of us can identify going on a first date or talking with a potential interest only to discover they weren’t what you were expecting.

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The series is broken down to 2 arcs . The first is the introduction arc where the players meet up in person and the founding of their school gaming club and the Romance arc where Hideki comes to grips with falling in love with character’s wife who in the real world is delusional female fellow student with severe anxiety problems.

High points of the show : Animation is light and bubbly which makes the show an enjoyable watch with plenty of humorous moments.

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Low points : The goal of the show was to help the love interest realize she isn’t married but nothing is resolved here besides the main character falling for her. I wished that she was able see reality for what is was . The main character asked her out , or spoke from the heart it had no emotional effect on her because she already believed they were together.

Final Thoughts : Lacks any emotional impact but still enjoyable 5/10 Boobies

 

Let’s Repeat – Re:Zero

Subaru Natsuki is suddenly summoned to another world after walking out of a convenience store . With no sign of who summoned him, he soon befriends a silver-haired half-elf girl. When he and the girl are mysteriously killed, Subaru awakens and discovers that he has acquired the ability “Return by Death”, enabling to go back to a previous point before his death took place.

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Based on the light novel series by Tappei Nagatsuki and created by studio White Fox a relatively new studio who previously worked on Devil is a Part Timer and Is the Order a Rabbit?

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Taking the very simple and clichéd premise of transporting someone to another world scenario and running with the game mechanics into story and environment seem like a very tired premise takes a little deeper meaning.

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Through out the show Subaru repeats sections of his path as he dies and tries to overcome the same mistakes the next time.

Later in the series when situations go a lot more complex . This ability becomes a burden. Knowing your mistakes and decisions has led to someones death or has destroyed lives. Subaru desperately  tries to save his friends and villagers from countless deathless which leads to a near madness at one part.

Now the reason why I haven’t explained much of the characters is backstories and introductions to characters constantly change as scenarios change when he repeats his path through death.

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While the story has great approach on dealing with trauma . It does have some major issues with character development. The main female protagonist is introduced early in the show but is barely shown throughout the series as we see backstories for pretty much every other character it gets hard to support the main couple.

Overall the series is still a Fantastic watch from beginning to end and plays with simple RPG mechanics to keep gamers satisfied until the very end.

Fans of dot hack SAO and Btoom will definitely enjoy this series

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Unconventional Convention Alcon 2016

Over the years I have attended and gave panels to numerous conventions all over Ireland.

From game and multimedia style conventions . But for the first time since my first time since my first convention I have been left speechless about an event.

 

First Alcon takes place September 1-4 in Leicester, England . Held at De Montfort University. It is probably one of the few only over 18 anime and gaming conventions held in the UK.

At first I really didn’t know what to expect besides the usual array of convention staples such as the cosplay contests,pub quiz etc

What really happened was probably one of the most relaxing and enjoyable events I have ever attended.

First night while I didn’t get to attend much due to flight problems travelling over . I did get to attend the first party of the weekend as I was quickly dragged to the dance floor by a random attendee. Music was a mixture of the pop punk upbeat tracks that kept the majority of the audience on the dance floor until late in the evening.

Friday

Friday probably was one of the high paced days as it Started off strong with Jessica Calvello Get random panel which was light-hearted and humorous. Her ability to connect with people and being immersed with the convention on top of her skill and upbeat energy not only makes her panels one of the biggest highlights of the convention because she made everyone feel so welcome.

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Saturday

Saturday’s events were good for the most part with the major highlights being the Rock party in the evening. Other events include Cards Against Alcon with the Special Guests

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Sunday

Sunday unlike many conventions was a jam-packed day of events including our panel on Weirdest Anime titled Did they really make that? The event was jam packed and the majority of people enjoyed the clips being shown and the humour that was being made throughout the talk. Other events included a yoai vs Yuri showdown that included creative uses of whipcream and Jollyboat live performance of comedy and pirate themed songs.

The final party of the weekend was probably the most epic one as it showcased some of the best anime openings from the past to the recent season.

Overall the convention was one of the most enjoyable events of the season. But the real feature of the convention was the atmosphere. Everyone was very open relaxed and very sociable . It took a little time to get used to such a relaxed convention . Most of the attendees and crew were very helpful and friendly and I would like to personally like to thank the PR crew for helping me over the convention not by helping me register for the convention but willing to talk to me . It shows how very open and welcome the community is. The other thing is lack politically correct filters on some of the attendees . People making jokes not worrying who to offend because we were all their to enjoy the convention. The event had people from various backgrounds,countries , religions all enjoying the events activites. Cosplayers from beginners to advanced to guys walking around in dresses and female cosplays.Straight, Gay, Trans it didn’t matter everyone seemed to enjoy the event. Everyone was treated with the same respect and welcomed none the less.

My only criticism of the convention would be the Bar.

Prices were expensive especially since I was converting euro to pounds and the heat over the weekend was crazy at times but knowing it was an improvised venue due to construction it had nothing to do with the convention organisers.

Regrets

I never had time to arrange an interview with the special guests due to scheduling conflicts . A lot of guests like myself couldn’t attend the VIP event due to our own panels on the Sunday.

Not going to this event sooner.

Would I recommend this convention?

For the first time I feel relaxed coming back from a convention. Everyone was very welcoming and major thanks to the nightcrew for helping intoxicated attendees get back safe to their rooms into the late hours of the morning.

Fantastic Guests , Great Environment and Great Crew and Attendees 10/10 Ducks

We hope we get invited again next year

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Dragon Half but All Comedy

In our preparation for interviewing the awesome Jessica Calvello. We are taking a look back at Dragon Half created by Production IG but back then known as Victor Entertainment back in 1993.

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The plot is simple . Mink a daughter of the one greatest Swordmasters in the kingdom and a Red Dragon. She is hopelessly in love with “Dick” Saucer a famous Dragon slayer and pop singer. To make her wishes come true she with the help of her friends search for the human human potion to make her 100% human. Meanwhile a dopey king and his selfish daughter plot to get revenge on her parents by kidnapping her to get revenge for some minor reason.

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While the story is simple it doesn’t take a lot to make this a great show. Using a great comedic timing and plenty of 4th wall breaking moments including a moment where characters watch the first episode of the show to recall a plot point .

If I was going to compare the show to anything I would compare with the likes of Slayers and Crayon Shin Chan with its use of comedy and Fantasy elements.

The only problem is I really wanted more only comprising of 2 episode OAV could done a lot more by having additional episodes.

If you enjoy some good slapstick comedy why not check it out Dragon Half

 

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One Hit Wonder or One hit KO – One Punch Man Review

One Punch Man is a anime developed by Madhouse based on the ongoing online comic of the same name.

The story is set a alternative world where our main character Saitama live in Z-City a city that is constantly under attack from numerous villains and natural disasters and many heroes with amazing abilities to combat them.

Saitama is easily the strongest character of the show. Flipping the role of the typical shonnen jump route. He is already bored with being a hero. As every obstacle he overcomes with no effort at all.

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Genos is disciple and partner register the Hero Association in the hopes to gain recognition for their efforts. Which is only challenged by various heroes who laugh off Saitama as weak and useless.

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For ages after its release the popularity was huge mostly due to common basis that everyone at one point in time used to be a Shonnen fan. I was hesitant not because of the popularity but due its premise. I’ve been in the trenches for way to long and have seen all the parodies for the Shonnen genre that it was almost cliched.

But one of the shows greatest strengths is tackling the topic of depression and resentment.

Saitama is bored due to his own power but its dealing with depression and boredom of moving forward is something quite unique. We all struggle with the daily routine whether if its about looking for work, keeping our employment or just living its how we deal with it that really matter and working towards a goal.

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Resentment plays a equally strong theme throughout the series. Every Hero and member of the public hates him. Blaming him for either taking credit or being a fake . This reflects a lot what everyone deals with . Whenever we achieve good things in our life whether its a job , a love life or simply gotten healthier . Misery love company and  hates competition.

But Saitama never lets it get to him because that was never the reason why he became the hero he simply became one because he was bored while he searched for employment.

But as season 2 rumours have spread over the summer it remains to be seen . Can One Punch man continue with the same pace and jokes as the first season did or literally be a one punch hit?

Well either way its something that people should be watching for . 3/5 Mosquitoes

 

 

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Absolute Rubbish – Absolute Duo Review

Where to begin with probably worst anime  of 2015 . Based on the light novel of the same name created by Takumi Hiiragiboshi who’s only credit is this joke of a show takes place at a school where the student Battle each other using weapons called Blaze . Our main character Tor uses a Blaze shield which makes him an irregular user

Each student is paired with a partner that compliments their fighting style . Tor is teamed up with Julie Sigtuna a supposed a Scandinavian girl who uses 2 swords as weapons .

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This is where things end on common and entertainment as things get way to clichéd as the they throw in too cliched boring girls into this harem. The only redeeming feature being a psychotic bunny teacher who barely shows up in the series to make room for a villain group called Equipment Smiths who have a feud with one of the harem girls family’s and only want power.

But the biggest problem is bland main character . Tor is searching vengeance for his family that was killed by a mysterious group that isn’t brought up a lot in story and his goal changes to being strong enough to protect Julie

Animation is sub standard at best which is why I really need to ask why create something so crappy 1.5/5

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Cult Fiction: Player 2 Rowdy Rowdy Randy – Review

It has been 2 years since we got introduced to Municipal City and the characters of Rowdy Randy , Lockheart, and Anna. Written by Irish writers James and Brendan Dwyer. This book takes a slightly different turn taking place years before Lockheart and the E-Virus come to the city. As this story comes from the self titled most awesome player Randy a troll of a player Rowdy Rowdy Randy and how he makes his way through the city from rookie to a walking powerhouse that he is today.

What makes this version so much different from its previous novel is its perspective. Taking place before the main novel in the first part the second part taking place during the main novel and the final part being the actual sequel to Cult Fiction.

Rowdy who only comes off as an asshole in the first novel . But in this novel he develops his character through his backstory and his actions as what can only be explained is a “True Hero” a player with a shattered ego only playing the role of loud mouth only because it’s the only thing he can do well . Through betrayal and development he becomes redeems all of actions and choices  he’s made in the past .

While the first novel drew major inspiration from works like Neuromancer and Ready Player One . This novel takes a very classic Hero Journey approach for Randy.

From the development of the city to new refrences to the media of the 80s,90s and 00s to comedic scenes between Randy and his female team mates . This book has definately surpassed the first novel.

But what the novel does more than tell a good story is almost give a perfect commentary on a lot of people today we see a disconnect with players and death in the game which for the most part we really don’t see alot of.

Should you read Cult Fiction : Rowdy Rowdy Randy. Absoutely 5/5 E-Viruses13612307_948254938620448_7851435590130236020_n

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Order UP! Big Order Review

10 years ago a apocalyptic event happens when a mysterious being asks a young Eiji what’s his greatest wish was. This results to a wasteland of a earth . The survivors angry about all the lives that been lost or people known as Orders people that can use supernatural abilities due to their wishes being granted .

Eiji who is now in High School looking after his sick sister . He doesn’t remember what he wished for but only his wish caused the Great Destruction.  With people that want Eiji dead or to use them what is Eiji going to do with the world’s fate causing him guilt.

This shonnen was released in the Spring 2016 from the same creator of Future Diary is about over the top as you can get. With supernatural abilities that rival JoJo Bizarre adventure and has the same flare for drama and Suspense as its precursor.

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The strongest aspect of this series is the characters , each of them have an over the top power and back story that may not even connect to the main character or the events leading to beginning of the story which is a breath of fresh air you don’t see so often . Sometimes people forget that even minor characters have their own lives.

The negatives of this story is it plays a little too much on the twists which makes this show difficult to talk about. There is a little too many twists which removes the impact when they occur.

Is this show worth watching yes . But its shonnen flaws stop it from being a masterpiece. It had great potential and it’s a great watch but it will soon be forgotten within the next year .

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Welcome to the WEird – Serial Experiements Lain Review

Us as anime fans watch shows for a variety of different reason. Sometimes we watch shows because we can relate to the characters and stories . Sometimes we follow the shows because we aspire to want to be the positive characters especially if we grow up with some of the shows.

Other times maybe once in a blue moon a show truly resonates to the spirit of our character. Serial Experiments Lain is one of those series.

Made in 1998 by Pioneer Entertainment and directed by the late Ryutaro Nakamura who passed away due to Pancreatic Cancer shortly after making this work.

Serial Experiements Lain is based around Lain Iwakura, an adolescent girl living in suburban Japan, and her introduction to the Wired, a global communications network similar to the modern Internet. Lain lives with her middle-class family, which consists of her  flaky older sister Mika, her emotionally and non responsive distant mother, and her technology-obsessed father. Lain herself is somewhat awkward, introverted, and socially isolated from most of her school peers and her family , But her routine is changed once she hears that a girl in her class received a email from Chisa Yomoda  who committed . When Lain receives the message herself at home, Chisa tells her (apparently in real time) that she is not dead, but has merely “abandoned her physical body and flesh”, and is alive deep within the virtual reality-world of the Wired itself where she has found the almighty and divine God.

From then on things get more and more bizarre as she is entangled in conspiracies, cults and the realization that everything she has ever known has changed.

This show while being quite old has built some amount of following and has gone on to inspire cyber punk artwork and hacker groups. Even academic papers have been written on the show trying to breakdown the concepts and symbolism used through the show.

I could give you my own version of what the show is about but I like the original creator of the show want viewers to create new theories about what the show is about.

Character designs are done by Yoshitoshi ABe whose work has a distinct feel and makes him stand out as a artist . He has worked on such shows Welcome to the NHK and Haibane Renmei.

Should you watch this series ? Well the simple answer is yes but like Lain everything has its levels but if you would like to venture into a series that explores philosophy and concepts of technology with the occasional messing with your mind. Then this show is just for you.

10/10

Hataraki Man Review aka Working Man

Hiroko Matsukata is a story that deals with a topic not touched often in anime. It is a story that deals with real world problems. The story centers around Hiroko a 28 year woman who works for a men’s interest  magazine company. She puts all she has into her work, and is known as a strong, straightforward working girl, who can at will turn herself into Hataraki man (working man) mode.  No this isn’t a super power its just her mode of sheer determination to get the job done no matter what it is.

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Despite Hiroko’s success at work her love life is always unbalanced with her and her boyfriends’s late hours, Between dealing with her the problems of deadlines and getting leads for projects and competing against the other women in her workplace . There is one thing for sure . This is a original show with a unique take on a real world topic which needs more exploration.

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In a world now a days that dealing with the rise of Feminism and a harsh working world in general . This is the series that deals with many of these topics. With a very episodic format dealing a lot of problems a lot of us will be dealing with now or in the future. This is a example of how a anime series can properly deal with the real world and still have a entertainment quality to it. You can relate to these characters because you deal with these problems from deadlines to fellow employees sleeping around its our determination that gives us the outcome that we want and need.

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