Monday, May 2, 2016


Scott Pilgrim VS. The World is a film that came out at the wrong time with little fanfare or advertising. I remember being hyped about the film based on the trailers and just the premise presented in the comic. The trailer promised a stylized attempt to bring the comic and the pop culture it evolved from onto the big screen...

...and the film actually delivers on the promise. Scott Pilgrim remains a fairly unique film, although some films and television shows have used editing and graphic additions similar in their own ways, and the style delivers the most comic book comic book movie that I can think of. The pacing, framing, humor, etc. all create a unique world. A unique universe.

It's a shame the film remains such a flop (even in dvd/bluray sales) but it has a cult following for a reason.

In my long hiatus, I didn't really get a chance to talk about League of Legends many updates and, my favorite update, the Poppy update is one of my favorites. They took a champion that didn't really fit into the way the game functions, didn't really telegraph well, and generally stuck out as a rather ugly eyesore in the roster. Not only did they visually enhance the champion into being one of the cutest champions and help cement what defines "yordles" (the cute little critter species from League of Legends lore) but also created a viable and fun champ.

Good job, Rito.

I still need to play Metal Gear Solid 5...

Saturday, April 30, 2016


attorney [at-ur-nee]
1. A lawyer.

I have a little history with the Phoenix Wright series. In fact...

... I played the first case with my friend Zach on my youtube channel back in 2014 when I gave that a go. It was actually a lot of fun! The characters are fun, the music/design is decent and the writing is pretty funny.

The portable series found on Nintendo handhelds involves solving puzzles and cases as Phoenix Wright in order to save your defendant. That, of course, isn't really a defense attorney's job in our world but the universe that the games take place is a little silly. It would seem perfect for an anime series but the biggest case against it being made into an animated series is that the games, save the flashbacks, primarily take place in the less-than-action packed courtroom. So, when I saw there was a new anime based on the series, I was a tad leery.

The first episode is a very conservative take of the first case in the game series. It introduces Phoenix Wright, his mentor, and his defendant (his friend Larry Butts). They introduce a couple of new details but it is mostly a simplified version of the case. It was a very safe take with bland 3D background, boring voice acting, and a pretty weak pace. But then the anime tapped into the over-the-top nature of the show...

... and if it can tap into that more, I think it has a chance. The best parts of the games are when characters have full on freak-outs and meltdowns. The first example of such a reaction, combined with the weird logic of the Ace Attorney universe's bizarre legal system were the most amusing part.

Despite this strong conclusion, I gotta...


Still, if you're a fan of the game series or this sounds compelling, give it a fair trial on Crunchroll now.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

WORD OF THE DAY! 4/26/16!

barrel roll [behr-uhl-rol]
1. An aerial maneuver in which the airplane makes a complete rotation while maintain forward momentum at all times.

I featured these cool independently produced fan animations based on the Star Fox characters last year and, finally, after years of hard work of "Fredryk Phox" and his comrades, we have an episode length pilot. And it is fantastic.

They took the characters and setting of the Star Fox franchise, animated them into a more adult style reminiscent of the jazzy Fritz the Cat meeting Bojack Horseman's dry wit and rolled up together in a way that is so good you'd swear you were watching the pilot for a new Adult Swim show.  The music and voice acting just add to the aesthetic of this brilliant piece of hand animation that was clearly a passion project. I really hope there is more coming and just hope Nintendo or someone else doesn't kill it. This is why the internet exists.


And it comes out right on the heels of a new Star Fox game (which may or may not be one of the worst disappointments of the year) and a Star Fox anime short (which is so-so). The latter of which you can enjoy in the link below!

Monday, April 25, 2016


The first video in today's queue is the fantastic cover of Katie Perry's Firework by Jontron. It's been a long time coming-- like five years long time coming-- since Jontron first teased his audience with an incomplete cover at the end of his Dino City video from 2011. It is a pretty great cover and the video is electric thanks to the collaborative efforts of a bunch of talented animators.

On a side note, we are stuck with Katie Perry's Firework until we die thanks to it being a fun pop song with a theme that can easily be tied into every 4th of July firework celebration from now until the end of time. I dunno if that's good or bad, but it certainly is a thing.

Twilight Princess's HD remake came out for the Wii-U and I bought it but... I haven't played it yet because I promised myself to finish some of the other games I've bought before I do so. I beat Pokemon Blue's 3DS shop remake and currently I'm working my way through the main storyline of Fallout 4 with my character Patagonia O'Brian.

But I can't wait to play Twilight Princess again. It's my favorite 3D Zelda game.

Cowboy Bebop is one of the best animated series ever made. I got my parents to watch it with me when I got it on bluray and the animated film, from which this sequence is from, is a fantastic example of animation that is hip, stylish and has scenes constructed with such hypnotically smooth movement that it is hard not to admire it. Check it out.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


New Mixed Bag? New format! (Maybe videos later. For now I'm just glad to be back in this horse and pony show.)

Anime Co-Pilot is a new fun little article series I plan to use as a means to share my thoughts on animes as I discover them. And I plan to watch a lot of anime this year. So, in Anime Co-Pilot I'll be describing my opinion on the first episode of the anime and give a simple review with a rating of Continue! or Pass!

"Continue!" implies that you should check it out and I am gonna watch more. "Pass!" implies that you can probably skip it and I won't be watching more.

I hope that is simple enough and I hope that these articles are interesting to you guys.

himono/干物 [hee-moh-noh]
1. Japanese. Literally "dried fish" but also used as slang to describe a woman who is lively and proper in public, while being a lazy slob in private.

imouto/ [ee-moh-toh]
1. Japanese. Little sister.

"Himouto!" / 干物妹 is a portmanteau of the Japanese slang himono and the Japanese word for little sister. I've mentioned before that the Japanese are fond of their portmanteaus, such as Pokemon being a combination of "pocket" and "monster", and this play on words is an apt description of the main female character of Himouto! Umaru-Chan.

I hesitate to call Umaru Doma the protagonist because of her estranged relationship with her brother Taihei (who may also be the protagonist). Himouto! Umaru-Chan is a comedy that starts by defying genre conventions. 

The meta humor reflects a modern trope: typically, in the animes that the introduction parodies, a perfect teenage girl moves into the big city to live with her older brother and the anime suggests or even outright delivers romantic and/or sexual tensions between the older brother, his sister and her friends. An offensive trope, especially for Western sensibilities, but a popular genre nonetheless in the last couple decades. But...

Himouto! Umaru-Chan isn't really that kind of anime.

In public, Umaru is perfect. Taihei tells us that she is the popular, pretty and talented. She is an A-student and everyone loves Umaru. They do not know that Umaru lives a double life: in public, she is perfect. In private, she is anything but! 

The moment Umaru crosses the threshold into her apartment she transforms into an obnoxious (but cute) chibi caricature of herself, Umaru-chan. Umaru-Chan is a bratty, obnoxious, lazy, slob of a female otaku who spends all of her free time indulging herself by eating junk food, watching anime, playing video games, drinking cola, and pestering her brother into waiting on her hand and foot.

This is not anybody's fantasy. It is a hilarious nightmare where we find ourselves rooting for and against both characters. Sometimes we want to indulge Umaru-chan in her ridiculous pursuits and interests. I mean, even when she is at her worst, she is one of the cutest anime characters I've watched in recent memory. The fact that she is a little annoying honestly adds a little bit more to her likeability! But when she pushes Taihei too far and acts like a spoiled toddler, we begin to root for poor Taihei! This dynamic is great and I can't wait to see whether or not Taihei can save his sister from becoming a loser or whether she'll drag her friends down in the process!

The slice of life comedy, mixed with over the top cute visuals and otaku references, is addictive fun that manages to hook me from the get-go.

And I'll admit that I have watched a few more episodes and getting to meet her friends and rivals, who are all equally obnoxious and cute in their own ways, is enough of a reason to keep watching the rest of the season!

That's why it is so easy to give Umaru-Chan a rating of...


What anime should I check out next? What do you think of Umaru?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

WORD OF THE DAY! 4/19/16!

ronyon/ronion [ruhn-yuhn]
1. A mangy creature.

EX. From the moment I saw Jontron's newest ronyon, I ask myself, did he get a side of ronion rings with that shake? I don't apologize for puns. I do ask that you...

Monday, April 18, 2016


Himouto! Umaru-Chan is an anime comedy about high school student Umaru Doma. She lives with her brother Tahei. In public, she is the perfect girl: Umaru is an A+ student, a talented athlete, popular, beautiful and effortlessly capable at whatever she puts her mind to. But the moment she crosses the threshold of the flat she shares with her brother she transforms into a spoiled junkfood eating, soda guzzling, video game addicted, anime binging otaku who takes advantage of her older brother and throws tantrums if she doesn't get what she wants.

And it's hilarious.

Check it out on Crunchyroll today.

I may do a more in-depth review of the first episode, if that is something you guys might enjoy, and the anime watching bug I've caught stays uncured.

Game Grumps is still going strong and Ninja Sex Party is bigger than ever with the release of their cover album "Under the Covers" featuring Tupperware Remix Party. I've seen footage from the live concert they did and Danny was electric that night. I will probably keep on sharing songs from Ninja Sex Party and Starbomb as long as they keep putting them out.

Let's end on perhaps my favorite League of Legends remix thus far: the DeLux Jam. The video is fun and the song is infectious. That is a pretty good summary of getting addicted to League of Legends. Just missing a little salt.


It has been a long, long time since my last post. In fact, it has been about 6 months since I've posted anything or uploaded any videos. Not to bring things down too much and I don't want to get too personal with my own drama (mostly because my life is pretty good), but I feel it will help to share a little bit with my readers (hey, thanks for checking out my article!).

I am writing this off the top of my head and I might do a video about it later...

I am not exactly sure when it started, but I would guess that about six month ago, I experienced the most overwhelming mix of anxiety and depression that I have ever experienced in my life. It started out with a feeling of unease and doubt that developed into helplessness and exhaustion (physical, mental and emotional) by Christmas and by Valentine's Day I was drowning in self-loathing, anger and an inability to enjoy anything like I normally would. It was about that point that I had several panic attacks and had to examine the root causes of these feelings.

For weeks, I went through the motions and fought the good fight. I even had good days. But the bad days were a trudge. I didn't enjoy movies or video games like I usually did. The new movies I had been anticipating for months underwhelmed me and I didn't turn on my consoles for weeks. For every ounce of creative effort I put in, it felt like I was only producing at a fraction of my normal quality and quantity. It is why I just stopped blogging without a word of explanation. Every week I felt like even my favorite tasks were exhausting. By the time Sundays rolled around for my weekly table top gaming session, I was too drained to properly GM with the same gusto that I usually enjoyed. Every conversation and activity that I usually relished was instead accompanied by this bitterness that came out in the form of complaining.Eventually, my friends and family could tell that something was off.  I couldn't sleep. I couldn't be productive. I couldn't even be. I was depressed.

Sometimes I felt happy but most of the time I was angry, sad, or just tired

I was in pain. I was numb. I was filled with angst and ennui. I jokingly called it "punk ennui" but the joke was that it was killing me.

After winter passed (and perhaps winter was partly to blame), I started feeling better and I'm glad to say that for the last couple weeks, I've begun to feel like myself again.

I can play. I can write. I can...

Before I finish the subject, I want to add something:

Depression and anxiety affects us all. For many, the struggle is chronic or even daily. My biggest takeaway from the experience is that when people suffer from this negativity, they don't always communicate it. It took a while for people to realize I wasn't well. I didn't want to admit it to myself or them. I wanted to maintain control or some semblance of control.

But I didn't really start to get better until I started talking it out with trusted friends and family. Their advice, their company and especially their patience helped me dig myself out of the ditch. Anxiety and depression almost always have physical, mental and emotional elements. For me, I believe that my work hours mixed with the weather contributed heavily to my issues but confronting some of the problems, with the love and support of others, really helped me out.

My advice when dealing with depression or those with depression is to strive for the same virtue I usually champion. Patience.

Listen to people, try to understand them, give them the benefit of the doubt, give them your forgiveness and give them your time.

A little kindness goes a long way.


So, now that I'm back to being me, what have I been up to? I am working my retail job for the time being but mentally prepping for a change. I am going to Universal and Disney next month. I have been gming Force and Destiny (a Star Wars RPG) and working on a homebrew sci-fi game setting codenamed "Hyperdrive" with my friends Kyle and Sarah. My own 5e Cleric Geth Dawnbreaker hit level 20 and we're approaching end-game in that campaign and I started playing my first evil player character, a catfolk with dwarfism and a naruto-worthy sad backstory. I'm having a blast playing through Fallout 4, so I can get to the rest of my backlog (Twilight Princess and Phantom Pain are next!) and I'm heavily anticipating Overwatch. I am still playing the crap out of League of Legends, collecting Amiibos, love Pokemon and Nintendo, binging on Netflix and watching anime. I'm currently watching The X-Files, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Himouto! Umaru-Chan:

Which may or may not be related to a new weekly blog format about my attempts to reenter and go deeper into the anime fandom this year...

Anyways, I have returned.