Dororo Episode 13 – The Story of the Blank-faced Buddha

That statue carver

Dororo has been on break for a week. It has returned with Hyakkimaru now talking in fun sentences. He remembers the events of the previous episode. Dororo nags him with pleas, asking him to rest. We find that Oku has survived her suicide attempt. We then get to witness the latest demon dragging a man. The demon seems to have been taken on the form of his wife. Placing him on a stone, with a statue that literally slices his face off. The statue then forms the face of the victim.

The demonic statue

Dororo is drawn to the waterfall, where he sees the demonic statue. The demon woman from before arrives. According to Dororo she looks just like her mother. However, when Hyakkimaru “sees” her he’s unable to tell if she’s a demon. This is very interesting considering that we see Okaka help kill a man. Okaka tells them the story of the statues carver. Dororo claims that Okaka not only looks like her mother, but sounds like her as well. She asks to call Okaka “mama.” Okaka reveals that she’s the carver, resurrected by the statue, as Dororo fall asleep.

The map on the back of Dororo

Okaka takes Hyakkimaru. Dororo awakens and chases after them. He prevents Okaka from killing him. The fight between the statue and Hyakkimaru was boring. However, that’s not the real point of this episode. Despite Dororo’s age, I found it difficult to believe that she would really think that Okaka was her mother. I don’t know. I wasn’t really emotionally invested, even though I felt they wanted me to be. Anyway, they head to a hot spring where they run into the priest, Biwa-Hoshi. While there it is revealed that Dororo has a map on her back. That of course is the most important part of this episode to be answered in a later episode. Also, why hasn’t Hyakkimaru gain an organ after killing another demon?

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First Impression – Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Tanjiro’s family alive

Having been reading the many anime blogs I frequent, I noticed that Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba or Blade of Demon Destruction was a common anime reviewed. Reading the reviews I decided to give it a shot. I have a tendency to favor anime over manga, so I was largely ignorant of the manga of the same name. Written by Koyoharu Gotoge and published by Shueisha since 2016, the series focuses on Tanjiro Kamado. He lives with his family as they make money selling charcoal.

Tanjiro’s family dead

Said family is massacred by demons and his sister Nezuko becomes one. Tanjiro sets out to seek his revenge and return his sister to humanity. I generally enjoy going into a new series without being familiar with the source material. The first episode of the series, Cruelty, obviously lays out the premise of the series. The first thing you notice is the animation and particularly the infusion of CGI. Combining CGI with 2D animation can be hit or miss. Ufotable seems to limit CGI largely to the background.

Giyu and his sword

The massacre of his family is bloody. Tanjiro runs through the snow with his sister on his back, unaware of the origin of the attack. His sister awakens, now demonic and attacks him. At this point it has been established that Tanjiro has a good nose. His sense of smell clearly is going to be an important part of this series. He tries to deduce if she was a always a demon or if she was at all responsible for their families death. As he begins to cry so does Nezuko, giving the impression that she still has human feelings.

Nezuko (muzzled) and Tanjiro

Their struggle is interrupted by a mysterious swordsmen. His sword is branded with the words “destroy demons.” He asks “why are you protecting it.” He grabs Nezuko and plans to decapitate her. Tanjiro begs him not to kill his sister. The swordsmen then becomes upset that Tanjiro was so passive. He then tries to kill Nezuko, but Tanjiro attacks him in a fruitless but clever assault. The swordsmen, Giyu Tomioka decides that he will give Nezuko and Tanjiro a chance. He muzzles Nezuko, telling Tanjiro to seek out Sakonji Urokodaki.

Nezuko and Tanjiro burying their family

Demon’s are a common troupe in anime, I wonder if the lore will be different or be derived from mythology. So far it seems that demons have zombie like lust for flesh and can’t be in direct sunlight which borrows from vampire lore. Tanjiro will need to learn how to kill demons himself. Despite Nezuko, we haven’t seen a demon that’s not human yet. I’m curious to see how powerful and large they can get. So far I like this series, I’ll definitely give it a try.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 30 – Your Favorite Game of all time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

If you have been reading along with this challenge it should come as no surprise that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is my favorite game of all time. While I think that Breathe of the Wild is the Zelda game I would recommend most, that’s largely due to the open world elements that really wasn’t important or possible in the 90’s. Ocarina of Time was my “Favorite Classic Game.” Instead, I’ll list my top ten games of all time.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  2. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  3. Resident Evil 4
  4. Mass Effect 2
  5. Bioshock
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild
  7. Star Wars: KOTOR
  8. GTA: 4
  9. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  10. Batman: Arkham City

That marks the end of my 30 Day Video Game Challenge. Thank you for your support.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 29 – A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving

Eternal Darkness

Most Nintendo console are largely platforms their top tier games. They definitely not for second or third party games, especially not AAA one’s. Eternal Darkness is a game from the Silicon Knights, released in 2002. It wasn’t a commercial hit and Silicon Knights evetually went out of business. The game was a third-person action adventure game. You generally fought monster and solved puzzles. What set Eternal Darkness apart from other survivor horror games was the “insanity meter.”

When the is spotted by an enemy their green bar decreases. As the bar becomes lower the gaming environment changes. These effects are random and reflect the players distorted grip on reality. The camera angle can change, weird noises, bleeding walls, enter rooms only to find out that you never left the previous one. Your character may even appear to have die suddenly. I was concerned that this aspect of the game would get old and I would like it. However, the gameplay along with the interesting story kept me invested in completing the game.

The games story skip’s throughout time, from 26 BC to 2000 AD. You can play as 12 different characters. Multiple paths can be taken, with difficulty changing with each path. Unfortunately, Eternal Darkness sold poorly, despite the fact that it received high reviews. It was ranked 96th on IGN “best video game of all time on all systems.” The sequel to Eternal Darkness, entitled Shadow of the Eternals was planned but never could get the funding necessary. I’m still hoping it does.


Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 28 – Favorite Game Developer

Logo

Nintendo

This is the easiest day of the challenge so far. Nintendo is by far my favorite game developer. Nintendo is THE most storied game developer. I will make an argument that it is the most influential gaming develop ever. Nintendo was founded all the way back in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Originally a hanafuda playing card company, Nintendo became a video game company in the 1970’s. What makes Nintendo so great is that they always focus on quality and fun as the most important aspects of gaming.

The legendary Mario

Many gamers have complained that Nintendo continues to produces games with simple stories and cartoon graphics, instead of more realistic and serious content. Nintendo wanted to build a reputation for having family friendly games. This wasn’t always well received by gamers. Violent games like Mortal Kombat were censored, removing blood and altering finishing moves. However, many of the games Nintendo produced were well made. This dedication to quality has to be the hallmark of Nintendo.

The 64 contoller

Nintendo also has been an innovator in the gaming industry. The many buttons featured on the face of a typical controller can be traced back to Nintendo in some way. The NES controller largely set the industry standard. The Nintendo 64 for example was the first home console to introduce four controller ports, so families could play together split-screen. They also brought the analog to home controllers and introduced 3D gameplay to gaming with Mario 64. Nintendo also dominated the handheld gaming market, with the Gameboy, Gameboy Color and now the Switch.

Smash Bros. Ultimate

Many have credited Nintendo with saving the video game industry itself in the 80’s with the NES. The most important aspect of Nintendo is of course the games. Mario. Legend of Zelda. Pokemon. Metroid. Donkey Kong. These are some of most influential and profitable video game ip’s ever. Collectively, Nintendo has sold over 700 million consoles and over a billion games. Most of the games I play are Nintendo games and their consistent quality is unmatched. Nintendo is a pioneer in the industry, whether it’s mobile gaming (Gameboy), multiplayer (64), VR gaming (Virtual Boy), motion gaming (Wii) or home to mobile (Switch). They take risks and keep gamers guessing.


Nintendo Switch – Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Con

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 13 Boss Fight ~The Final Light~

Mob enjoying the fight

I have mixed feels regarding this episode. The animation was spectacular as always, but I feel that it may have been too dramatic. Mob Psycho 100 has always had battles that could be said as to be highly dynamic. In this episode something felt off. The end result was always expected, Mob “wins.” As Suzuki got stronger and stronger I always assumed that Mob would surpass him. The main issue is when there’s no limits on the powers of some psychics, there’s no sense of urgency in battle. Basically, they become spectacles of amazing animation and the outcome isn’t in doubt.

Suzuki at 100 % output

As I previously mention the animation was “dramatic and dynamic.” While this was visually pleasing I was unsure whether it was actually happening. For example, when Suzuki gains the upper hand, Mob begins twisting his arm, then the rest of his body. It was such a weird moment that I wasn’t sure if it was actually happening. You could argue that Mob Psycho 100 isn’t about the battle between psychics, it’s about the conflict with Mob. If the battles are just window dressing and the MORE important aspect of the show is Mob’s growth as a person.

Suzuki is arrested

That is the clearly the most important theme of this season, Mob’s growth. He’s always been powerful, but he hasn’t always been confident. Throughout this season Mob has become a more mature young man. Becoming more assertive, he’s been able to both make decisions for himself and be more critical of others. He did this without removing his compassion for others. Mob became a more complete person. Overall, this season had some downsides, the Claw arc was rushed in my opinion. No news on a season 3, but I’m looking forward to how Mob continues to grow.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 25 – A game you plan on playing


Devil May Cry 5

So far this year there has been so many good game that I haven’t been able to catch up on the games I bought. I haven’t finished Red Dead Redemption 2, I started Anthem and got to level 30, before beginning Division 2 that I’m currently playing. So the game that I plan on playing is either Sekiro Shadows Die Twice or Devil May Cry 5. Of the two I think I would like DMC5 more.

While I hear that Sekiro is the challenging, I heard better things about DMC5. Unlike, Sekiro which is a new IP, DMC5 has been the anticipated for years. I found the combat in the demo to be difficult to grasp, I hope that more time with the game will change that. However, I try not to play new games until I beat my current one. DMC5 is next on the list.

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 12 Battle for Social Rehabilitation ~Friendship~

Serizawa being saved by Suzuki

In episode 12 we quickly get to see how the odd Serizawa Katsuya can to be employed by Suzuki. He was a shut in for 15 years, afraid of the outside world. Suzuki uses the fact that he is also an esper. He gives Serizawa an umbrella and tells him that he will “be fine with him.” Mob challenges Serizawa view that he was saved by Suzuki, suggesting that he was being used. Mob tells him that “if this is what he was going to do he should have stayed a shut-in.” In the last episode Mob was told to be harder on people, he is clearly taking that to heart.

Mob remembers his freinds

Mob, Dimple and Serizawa engaged in a battle. Mob warns him that he can’t assimilate back into society. That Suzuki has deluded him into thinking that he was saved. The relationship between Serizawa and Suzuki reminds me of the old relationship between Mob and Reigen. Serizawa is a sad figure. He just wanted to have a normal life but his powers have made his life miserable. Serizawa shoots a massive energy ball at Mob, who absorbs it. He then returns it to Serizawa sharing his feelings with him.

Suzuki’s massive power

Meanwhile, Suzuki explains how he shares his power with his soldiers. He reabsorbs the energy he gave the defeated soldiers becoming engulf in energy. Mob arrives, he begins to challenge the view of Suzuki. Unsurprisingly, he rejects Mob’s view that “people need other people.” When Mob displays his ability to transfer powers. Suzuki then attacks Mob, declaring him his “mortal enemy.” He dominates him in battle, until Reigen arrives to interfere. His usual bait and switch doesn’t work and Suzuki attacks. I though for a second that Reigen was killed, resulting in Mob going insane.

Mob brutalized by Suzuki

However, Serizawa arrives to save Reigen. Mob gets up after having reach 100% rage. Suzuki attacks Serizawa and Reigen, but Mob blocks it. Minegishi rescues Shou, Reigen and Serizawa. This angers Suzuki as he’s now been betrayed by everyone. He of course doesn’t see the reality that it’s actually his fault. Mob attacks him again, but Suzuki reveals that he’s only using 10 percent of his output while Mob is at 100 percent. Of course we have seen Mob break 100 percent before so it’s hardly the end of his power. I anticipate that he will need some help, if for no other reason than it fits the theme of not going at it alone. regardless, the next episode is going to be epic.

Mob enraged

Steamboy Movie Review

Steamboy is the second film from the legendary manga artist and director, Katsuhiro Otomo. Known for the classic anime and manga series, Akira. As a result, Steamboy was always going to be held to a very high standard. Steamboy is a 2004 anime film produced by Sunrise, written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The film took a decade to produce and is one of the most expensive Japanese movies ever.

The movie is set in an alternate nineteenth century Europe. Scientist Lloyd Steam and his son have discovered a pure mineral water in Iceland. This water is believed to be a potential unlimited power source for steam engines. While experimenting, Edward is engulfed by freezing gases, as the pipes burst. Ray Steam the son of Edward receives a package from his grandfather. It’s a metallic ball, along with instructions telling him to guard the ball. Two members from the “O’Hara Foundation” try to steal the ball.

Ray escapes with the ball on his monowheel invention, a one-wheeled single-track vehicle similar to a unicycle. However, he’s eventually captured. Ray has dinner with Scarlett O’Hara, the granddaughter of the foundation’s head, Archibald Simon the companies administrator and his father Edward that has been given mechanical parts after his accident. Ray is asked to help complete the “Steam Castle,” a facility that is powered by three steam balls.

Lloyd later informs Ray that the foundation intends to use the new technology to manufacture weapons. Ray escapes with a ball again and this time manages to give it to Robert Stephenson, who then uses it to power his tanks. The steam castle becomes mobile and then goes off course. The castle then becomes unstable and is about to explode near the city. Lloyd, Ray and Edward manage to divert it away from the civilians. The ending shows that Ray becomes a superhero named Steamboy.

This movie was boring. The action was repetitive, Ray steals a steam ball THREE times and his grandfather gets arrested and escapes twice. It was predictable, everyone lives. The concept that a evil corporation uses science to make a profit while making the world worst off is a common narrative. The only thing that’s great about this movie is it’s spectacular animation. The CGI and animation work well together and Otomo hard work paid off resulting in amazing detail. However, it doesn’t save the movie.

The Promised Neverland Episode 11 Review – 140146

This series loves crazy faces

To say this episode marks a major turning point in this series is the definition of an understatement. Emma reveals that she had never stopped planning their escape. Mom’s constant surveillance of Ray and Emma backfire as they are able to use this to their advantage. Emma leaves the rest of the training and preparation to Gilda and Don. Norman continued to plan the next phases of their escape. Ray continues his skepticism, and decides that he will sacrifice himself. He concludes that if he sets the house and then himself on fire Mom will be too distracted to pursue them.

Emma’s ear

Emma has other plans of course. She pretends that Ray set himself on, then she leaves while Isabella tries to put the fire out. In a shocking move, Emma cuts her ear off. She meets with the other children. The other kids were informed of the situation at the house and allowed to eavesdrop on the conversation they had with Sister. Emma had actually pretended to be devastated while giving orders to the other children. The plan largely works perfectly, until it turns out that Phil was left behind.

Mom’s crazy face

Of course this episode would put a wrench in the plot. Phil has always stood out, even considering the fact that he’s just 4 years old. The question is whose side is he on? It seems ridiculous to believe that with all this careful planning Emma and Norman wouldn’t have a plan that included making sure that all the kids were accounted for. Clearly, Phil is either in on the plot or a foil for it. Finally, I’m not convinced that Norman is dead. I predict that he will be helping them escape across the bridge.

Phil remains behind