Creative blogger award

eva congrats

About a billion years ago, I got nominated by both Jubilare and Medieval Otaku for a so-called “Creative Blogger Award.” Perhaps it’s time I get around to writing something about it here.

The rules are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • Share 5 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers and add their links.
  • Notify the bloggers you included.
  • Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do!

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Quick takes

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On a whim I started rewatching Dragon Ball Z. The last time I saw any of it was when it first aired in North America, which would’ve been around 1999-2000.

Like many kids, it was one of the first anime shows I followed, and I managed to make it as far as the Android Saga before drifting away.

Turns out it’s just as compulsively watchable in adulthood. I’m pretty bad at following through with shows, even those I like (the last one I watched to completion was Girls Und Panzer) and yet I seem to have no difficulty breezing through DBZ’s heavily padded episodes. I forget how much I love Akira Toriyama’s art style (and really, when I think about it, it’s probably half the reason I keep trying to get into Dragon Quest) and the cast is probably the most likable in shonen anime; you just want to spend time with Goku and co., and barely even notice how thin the plot gets stretched at times.

Incidentally, the very long, drawn out fights where characters frequently pause and agonize over battle strategies make a lot more sense now that I’ve participated in my first Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

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Samurai boogaloo

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Shin Megami Tensei IV is a game which holds its good and bad points in such tension that I alternate between finding it intriguing and then feeling dumb for wanting to take it seriously. It’s also Revenge of the Sith: The JRPG.

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A Link Between Axes

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Once again I find myself taking a break from my RPG obsessions research to play something short and sweet. Last time, I tried out the Resident Evil remake. This time I similarly picked up a game which is a remake of sorts – The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, which hovers somewhere in between being a sequel and a remake of the 1991 Zelda title, A Link To The Past.

Nintendo’s high fantasy franchise likely needs no introduction. The original title single-handedly invented the nebulous action-adventure genre, while the fifth wrote the book on how 3D games should make use of their imaginary Z-axis. You’re always some kid in a green tunic called Link, often fighting some dark lord called Ganon, and there’s usually a princess called Zelda factoring into the proceedings. Go beat several dungeons to get the MacGuffins so that you can save the world. You know the drill.

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Strange Journey halftime talk

strange journey screen

A little less than two months ago, I talked about how I started up a game of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, and gave some initial thoughts. Now that I’ve crossed what I assume to be the halfway milestone another update seems in order (and I’m gonna assume you’ve read my previous post here).

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Xenogears and Erzatz salvation — Beneath the Tangles

Giant robots and churches – what could possibly go wrong? My first post at Beneath the Tangles has gone up!

Squaresoft’s 1998 RPG Xenogears seems to have a way of pushing people to extremes. On the one hand are those who extol it as one of the greatest games ever made, citing its deep, complex story and flashy, martial arts-based combat mechanics. On the other side are those more than willing to declare it one…

via Xenogears and Erzatz salvation — Beneath the Tangles

 

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Le Morte D’Arthur

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It took me about a year or so, but I finally finished Sir Thomas Malory’s English compendium of Arthurian legend. While you can find more graceful tellings of these stories elsewhere, Malory’s attempt to capture all the facets of them has a magnificent cumulative power to it. Like I said a few months ago, it’s one of those books that feels like a world unto itself.

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The last rabbit

Early on in Watership Down, the rabbits happen upon a curious warren. The burrows are large, but there are few rabbits. And those that are there, while large and in good health, seem to have grown docile and reliant upon food given to them by a local man. They no longer know how to fight, or to trick. When Dandelion recites a story of El-ahrairah, he’s met with a tellingly cool reception:

“Very nice,” said Cowslip. He seemed to be searching for more to say, but then repeated, “Yes, very nice. An unusual tale.”

“But he must know it, surely?” muttered Blackberry to Hazel.

“I always think these traditional stories retain a lot of charm,” said another of the rabbits, “especially when they’re told in the real, old-fashioned spirit.”

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…but first they must catch you

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When people talk about their introduction to Martin Rosen’s 1978 animated adaptation of Watership Down, there seems to be a recurring narrative: at a young and tender age it was put on the TV for them, perhaps by an unwitting parent looking for a 90 minute babysitter, and were promptly traumatized by the film’s matter-of-fact brutality and dark tones. My own story is quite similar, except that my parents were quite deliberately attempting to get me interested in Watership Down, as around the same time I received a copy of Tales from Watership Down, a followup collection of short stories which they mistook for a copy of Richard Adams’ original novel. As far as I’m concerned, they did well.

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Vulpes vulpes

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Wes Anderson has been a difficult director for me to appreciate. The aggressively composed mise-en-scene and deadpan tone of his films invites comparisons with Stanley Kubrick, a director I like a lot. But while Kubrick had a dark, Swiftian outlook on life, Anderson is an unabashedly twee sentimentalist, and that has always seemed to clash with his formal commitments. The result is that although I am closer in spirit to Anderson than I am to Kubrick, his films have a greater difficulty at engaging my heart rather than my head. Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of two exceptions to this (the other being Moonrise Kingdom, which I am still in the process of, well, processing).

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