Death Stranding: Women, Weirdness and America

When Death Stranding’s review embargo went up, the critical response was very divisive, which was a big surprise both for fans expecting another critical darling and jaded skeptics who saw the first-party AAA title as a new golden calf the games media could put on a pedestal. What had been assumed to be a cinematic action game full of Kojima’s trademark plot twists was revealed to actually be a very labour-intensive hiking game that sidelined combat in favour of exhausting travel and the building of infrastructure across untamed wasteland. To say people were confused was an understatement. Yet beneath the contentious opinions Death Stranding is a truly interesting title worth talking about for its themes, ideas, flaws and strengths. Whether you think it really nails its goals is up to you, but I think the way it reaches into new areas of gaming and story is really cool and absolutely a good topic to discuss. Note- I will be spoiling a lot of plot details because I want to talk about them.

Continue reading “Death Stranding: Women, Weirdness and America”

Shitty Yuri Anime: Manaria Friends, Revue Starlight, and Gun Gale Online

Yuri is a genre to be celebrated. Girls are awesome, gayness is awesome, so surely gay girls are awesome? Of course they are! But. Frankly, a gay relationship is just as susceptible to bad writing as any other kind of relationship. In this blogpost I’d like to highlight three shows featuring girl relationships that to be honest pissed me off with how badly they handled the relationship dynamics of their characters. These shows aren’t necessarily all bad (well one of them is) but I feel that they so utterly botched their main romances that it’s a serious flaw in their writing and sends some really bad messages to the audience. So without further ado, let’s get messy.

 

Continue reading “Shitty Yuri Anime: Manaria Friends, Revue Starlight, and Gun Gale Online”

Kingdom Hearts: The Postmodern RPG

On the surface, one can read Kingdom Hearts as an incredibly shallow, capitalistic experience. It’s the product created by one of the biggest Japanese videogame studios and the most enduring and powerful entertainment corporation around.  A game that consists of combining the popular JRPG series Final Fantasy with animated films which have saturated culture on a global scale, it’s very easy to write the whole thing off as a moneymaking crossover. And in a way, it is. We can’t just ignore the money and material behind it. But this blog post is going to stick the knife in a bit deeper, and hopefully explain that something so outwardly simple is actually one of the most unique responses to modern entertainment around. Or die trying. Minor spoilers, nothing for KH3.

Continue reading “Kingdom Hearts: The Postmodern RPG”

Twenty-Four Anime I Liked and Why

Recently on Twitter a bingo chart was going around where people put their fave anime on and others marked off the ones they’d seen. For me, I realized that a lot of my picks were pretty unique and represented shows that are mostly overlooked. So I thought I’d elaborate on them a bit and what they’re about. This is a pretty informal rundown.

Continue reading “Twenty-Four Anime I Liked and Why”

Game Thoughts: There but for the grace of Gex go I

The first videogames you play tend to have the biggest impact on you. If not in defining tastes, they’ll be the ones that stick in your head when you think of your childhood. Gex 3D: Enter the Gecko is a game that I’ll always remember, even though it’s a piece of shit, because it was a foundational piece of shit. Going beyond the conventions of its rudimentary 3D platforming worlds, Gex 3D is a gateway into a time I grew out of. It’s kind of like coming home, a bucket of sights, sounds, smells and even tastes of the past. This blog will be about my memories of that game.

Continue reading “Game Thoughts: There but for the grace of Gex go I”

Darling in the FranXX: A complete summary of disaster

Darling in the FranXX, or Darlifra, is probably one of the most impressive failures I’ve seen in years. Hyped up by Studio Trigger fans despite the mixed nature of the studio’s actual role in the production(Trigger was involved in creative roles the whole way through in collab with A1) and garnering a large fanbase, the show managed to take an interesting setting and a decent cast of characters and proceed to do nothing with them for twenty episodes. Add to this some confusing design and structure decisions, uncomfortable and kinda sexist writing, uneventful fights and dull music, and you have a show that feels like a hollow imitation of earlier titles. This blog is going to go over the events of the series now that it’s finished and discuss the aspects of why it just doesn’t work, or at least didn’t for me. I don’t think I need to qualify that since I’m writing this! Also SPOILERS if you care.

Continue reading “Darling in the FranXX: A complete summary of disaster”

Male Gaze, Female Eye: Comic Girls, Slow Start, Sakura Trick and lewdness

One of the most prolific genres when it comes to late-night anime is the realm of cute girls doing cute things. I’ve talked about this style of show in the past, but there’s something about it that I think is interesting, namely, lewdness. Eroticism, fanservice, ecchi content, call it what you will, the undercurrent of sexuality is very present in many shows that are conceptually and practically innocent. This juxtaposition of lewdness with a “pure”, safe environment makes some audience members uncomfortable while others enjoy it. This can often vary on the degree and type of what’s presented, but I think it’s worth scoping out. This blogpost is unlikely to have a cohesive flow, but let’s begin.

Continue reading “Male Gaze, Female Eye: Comic Girls, Slow Start, Sakura Trick and lewdness”