Free Space: Fancy Title of Fives

I plugged the new blog yesterday, so I won’t do another plug today.

Random Anime of the Week: Sakamoto desu ga?

[HorribleSubs] Sakamoto desu ga - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.46_[2016.06.28_09.01.04]

Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this series on the blog yet, so let’s go (it also happens to be one of the few series from spring still unfinished). General thoughts on the show: It’s a fun show to watch every week. I’m not sure if I could handle much more than that. The show definitely has a lot of good moments showcasing Sakamoto’s ridiculous antics, but I often have trouble watching certain side characters. Is it weird that I find the female characters exceptionally annoying? The opening song is definitely cool too (I wish they didn’t do the description of Sakamoto at the beginning of each episode, though).

This week’s episode definitely felt awkward and weak (with a lot of time wasted looking at the girls’ pictures of Sakamoto), but I guess I can give it a pass since it seemed to be setting up the final episode. Pfft…like I’m going to believe that anything bad will actually happen to Sakamoto in the last episode, right?

Random Music of the Week

This week, my choice is the Gundam Unicorn OP, Into the Sky by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Tielle. This should be a safe choice because not too many people talk about this series. The full song was released recently and it’s a pretty cool song. It’s a lot more melodic that Sawano’s typical music, which I like a lot (not to bash on his typical music, though…that stuff’s awesome too).

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Free Space: Fancy Title Evolved to Level 3

[HorribleSubs] Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.56_[2016.06.11_10.37.27]

Okay, let’s start things off with the weekly plug for the side project blog: linked here. While there weren’t all too many visual updates this week, the major thing is that I tried to make the layout more responsive, so it scales better on mobile devices or smaller screens. Those of you that regularly use mobile devices or smaller screens should totally let me know if stuff looks weird. Also, the plan to replace this blog with that blog in the next anime season (summer 2016) is still on track.

Random Anime Episode of the Week: Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge

I’ve seen a lot of people call this series boring and I agree it has a lot of low moments. In case you’re not familiar with the series, it essentially follows Tanaka as he tries to get through his school life exerting as little effort as possible (or, you know…just sleep). While I’m an insomniac who couldn’t sleep in class even if I really wanted to (even when jet lagged), I find the show funny because I’m very aware of how much effort I personally put into not doing things, which is often what happens to Tanaka. Those are the moments in the show that I mostly enjoy…when Tanaka successfully avoids something that would require your effort and you go “wait…how much effort did he just put into doing that?”

Random Music of the Week

If you’re not familiar with AnimeSongCollabo, they tend to have “mass” releases of covers for OP/ED songs in recent anime. This week, they released a new set of them. I don’t watch a lot of these series, so I’m not familiar with all of the songs, but there are definitely a few really good ones in here. I really liked the cover for Sakamoto’s OP because it really shows off the drum part and how intense it is. Also, the Mayoiga OP cover was a better take on the song (I’m really not a fan of the original) and the Bungou Stray Dogs OP cover was particularly well done.

Probably expect some Yoko Kanno next week. I’m planning on doing some research into her music this week.

Free Space: Fancy Title Mark 2

[HorribleSubs] Flying Witch - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.09_[2016.06.04_16.32.55]

Let’s start this week’s random post with some random updates on Marth’s Totally Legit Site. Most of the updates I’ve done so far are functional changes that my life easier when I make new posts, but I found this cool new CSS template that I’m going to be adding to the site soon…I know how much you are looking forward to that!

Also, in case you’re not watching Big Order (which you’re probably not), this is still the greatest scene in anime this week.

Random Anime Episode of the Week

I was thinking of doing Sansha Sanyou this week, but I didn’t think this week’s episode was a strong episode for the series. Instead, I’ll just do a brief aside on Kuromukuro because I’ve almost given up on the series. This week’s episode gives us the conclusion for Yukina’s temper tantrum which boils down to “I didn’t say I wouldn’t go in the giant robot…I just wish you would treat me nicely when you make me do it.” Who thought this was a good idea? Granted, I’m sure that’s not Yukina’s only reason to reject piloting the giant robot, but I’m going to have side with Kennosuke on this one.

Random Music Discovery of the Week

I’m going to toss out a warning before you listen to this…be careful around 2:32. The video does a really random sound change that can be pretty loud and obnoxious. It’s something that I didn’t hear in the actual song, but I couldn’t really find much better versions on Youtube that weren’t blocked. Anyway, this is more of a plug of the band in general. I only found them because I heard they’re doing the opening song for ReLIFE and I wanted to check them out. Honestly, I think this is just solid JRock, which I feel is sometimes hard to find. Some of their other songs like “wasteland” do a really cool job of handling high tempos and I always appreciate listening to stuff like that. Definitely looking forward to what they do in the next season.

Free Space: Insert Fancy Title Here

[HorribleSubs] Flying Witch - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.30_[2016.05.25_19.23.07]

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve been using this day as a free space to give myself a break from my regular style of posts. My past couple of weeks have made me question whether I should even write a post on this day, so I’m going to try and formalize this post so that it actually has some content rather than being a filler for the day.

Before I get into that, random announcement: I’ve moved my code for the new blog over to my secondary domain:¬†http://codebecauseican.com/. This is where the site will live until I migrate this domain to it. Judging by current pacing, I’m hoping to get the migration done in the transition from spring season to summer season…assuming nothing big holds me back. Most of my remaining changes are going to be under the hood, so let me know if you have visual suggestions. In the meantime, I’ll probably be posting about the technical pieces instead of anime-related stuff on the new blog. Hopefully those are interesting.

Random Anime Episode of the Week

As you know, I watch a lot of anime that doesn’t make it on the blog. I’ll use this area to pick one of them and say some things about it. The picture I’m using this week is from Flying Witch, so I guess I have to pick that one, right? As far as I can tell, the anime has been a pretty faithful adaptation of the manga. Why do I say “as far as I can tell”? Well, I skimmed through the manga, because it gets really boring really quickly, so I didn’t pay too much attention to the details. There are a lot of good moments, but the series as a whole tends to be pretty flat. I know a lot of people use slice of life series as a way to relax or lower stress, so I’d say it works well as that. But honestly…do I look stressed to you guys? ūüėÄ

Random Music Discovery of the Week

I used to have a weekly music thread, but I ended up running out of stuff. Instead, this will likely be a short thread where I just point at some song that I thought was good or a song that’s I’ve been playing a lot in the past week.

I didn’t even mean to find this song. I found this on Otonomai (one of my music sources) because I was looking for Chinese music yesterday. The music sounds like it’s computer-generated, but that piano melody is strangely captivating for me.

Time for a Change

So, I promised an announcement last week and I’ve spent the past week finally implementing the last pieces of functionality that I wanted on…the new blog website! You can find it here: Insert Blog Link Here. Currently, it’s mostly a test site hosted on Heroku as a bit of “proof of concept”, but hey…it’s a start, right? I’ve shown various people different prototypes of this, but I finally decided to just publicize it so people can find the stuff wrong with it. Note that Heroku apps usually go to sleep when they’re not being accessed, so don’t freak out too much if there’s a bit of lag before initially loading the site. Heroku is not my long-term plan.

My hope is that this blog will eventually replace this one (these things cost money, you know?). As for what my motivations are…well, other than money, I’ve outlined a bit of an explanation in the first post on the blog (hint hint). Out of laziness, I’m not going to copy it here. There are a lot of improvements that still need to be made on the new site, but I’m sure that together with the power of hard work, we can hire an Asian kid to do it.

Laziness

I honestly don’t have anything planned for today.¬†I have something I want to announce that will likely wait until next week because I’m not prepped yet, so yeah…does this count as an artificial cliffhanger? I’m seriously hoping that the extra effort I’ve been putting into other blog posts gives me a pass for today…

Still pissed at me? Here, listen to Kabaneri’s soundtrack and calm yourself down…or prepare for battle. Up to you.

Things you should know before playing Fire Emblem Fates (no spoiler edition)

I know it’s too late for my fellow Americans, but the European release of Fire Emblem Fates is soon, so I’m making this list of things I would have liked to know before I started playing. To clarify, I won’t be pointing out any obvious mechanic changes (like the fact that weapons no longer break and the fact that children are recruited with a free master seal after chapter 19).

Localization

No, you don’t get to pet your waifus. Get over it.

Which Version?

Birthright is seriously easier than you expect. I’ve been saying this a lot, so I won’t spend too much time on it. It might also make for a better experience if you play Birthright before you play Conquest. I did the opposite and almost didn’t want to finish Birthright. Also, ignore what some people might say about Conquest. Play it if you like the challenge or just generally better level design…don’t worry about it being too hard for you (you can always lower the difficulty or turn off permadeath if you’re having trouble…no shame in that). Honestly, I really didn’t like Revelation, but if you want to make a lot of cross-version pairings (like true Cordelia-Caeldori and true Tharja-Rhajat), you can only do it in this version. And no, Revelation doesn’t allow you to use more units per map…so most of your units will never see the light of day.

Character Creation

In Awakening, you could pretty much always make Robin go magic and he’d be fine. Corrin can go both ways. I think the popular builds are Strength¬†boon¬†Ninja and Magic boon Diviner if you’re having trouble deciding. I did Speed boon in my first run and it wasn’t fun. If you’re playing Birthright or Conquest, you might also consider choosing a secondary class that isn’t available in your version. You can use Friendship Seals and Partner Seals to get access to all of the other classes later in the game.

Oh, and dragonstones scale off of magic.

Weapons

A more expensive weapon is not always better. Steel and silver items in this installment of Fire Emblem give debuffs as trade-offs to their higher attack. This doesn’t make them unusable, but make sure you check before using them. Also, a lot of Birthright weapons have secondary effects, even the basic ones.

The¬†traditional weapon triangle that you might know and love still exists (swords > axes > lances > swords), but now ranged weapons have been added to the mix. If you’re confused by it, the weapons all have a colored background with a main color at the top and a smaller color at the bottom which is the color that they beat (red > green > blue > red).
fire-emblem-fates-weapon-triangle

Children

Don’t bog yourself down too much with the children characters in this game. Yes, they were a great part of Awakening, but they’re not as overwhelming as they were in the previous game. It’s fine if you don’t pair everyone. There is one important exception here. In Conquest, experience and resources are limited. Each child character has a special chapter where they are recruited, which may provide needed resources if you’re having trouble in Conquest (you can use castle battles to grind supports to unlock them).

Yes, I know Hayato comes at level 1 in Chapter 8 of Birthright when your average level is probably 8. However, his daughter is Rhajat and I know a lot of you guys loved Tharja. If you can wait until Revelation, Hayato comes at a better level, so you can use him more easily…

Other Mechanics

  1. Class change seals don’t become infinitely available until Chapter 20 (on every version). If you use Master Seals as you get them on any random character that reaches level 10 or level 20, you will run out. Something I tried to do in my run was use Master Seals on parents that I was going to toss at level 10 to get their first promoted skill to pass to their child. This doesn’t really work…you run out really fast.
  2. Pairing up is not the same as you remember if you played Awakening. If you pair two units up, the supporting unit will not perform a second attack. This only happens if two units are next to each other. Keeping your units separated is actually really important in the early game, so don’t jump on the pair up command too quickly. Also, you can change which unit supports you if multiple units are adjacent…I missed that the first time.
  3. Birthright and Revelation each have a character that can permanently die because of story. It’s unavoidable in Revelation and probably not a big deal, but in Birthright, it’s completely avoidable if you have a high enough support with the character. To avoid spoilers, I won’t tell you who it is, but if you don’t want to lose a character in Birthright, check who it is before doing Chapter 16. It wasn’t a problem for me because I already had the requirements to save the unit without doing anything extra, so you might not even have to worry about it.
  4. I don’t care how overpowered Frederick was in Awakening…Gunter is not worth it.
  5. All hail Xander! (may require Speedwings)

Did I miss anything? Do you have additional questions going in? Well, let me know and I’ll try to answer them.

Let’s talk Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest Edition

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Unfortunately, no images for this one…unless you really want to look at potato-quality pictures from my phone. But let’s get to the point. The Fire Emblem series is one of my favorite series (which really shouldn’t be a surprise)…it’s pretty much the only reason I buy Nintendo products anymore. Fire Emblem Fates is the latest iteration, just recently released in February in the US. The big gimmick for this game is that it has been released in versions, rather than as a standalone game, with Birthright being the “light-themed” game, Conquest being the “dark-themed” game, and Revelation being the combination. I’m not sure what the general opinion about the versions has been, but I’ve quite liked it.¬†Unlike the Pokemon style of versions, where each version is just a different flavor of the exact same game, Fire Emblem Fates seems to make each version feel like its own game with a different style of play. Birthright is basically Fire Emblem Awakening with different class names and weapons, Conquest feels more strategic, and Revelation is for people who just really want to use all of the characters (I’m assuming).

So what do I like about Conquest? Rather than the “grindy” nature of Birthright, where it feels easy to keep the party ahead of the curve, Conquest really makes it feel like I have to think far in advance when I’m playing each map. Birthright feels like the kind of game for people who really want to complete everything…doing things like getting all of the children, getting your favorite characters to max level, and such. On the other hand, Conquest feels like you’re constantly optimizing each level…not only are you completing each level, but you really want the right units to be getting the experience points. If feeling like you’re at a disadvantage in every level isn’t appealing to you, Conquest might not be the version you want to pick. If you’re willing to dish out the money to buy the DLC maps, you can probably brute force your way through Conquest, but I would argue that it makes the version lose its individuality (you basically turn it into Birthright with a different set of characters).

Also, I can’t really talk about the Fire Emblem Fates release without mentioning the controversy around the localization…it’s been everywhere. I acknowledge that this controversy exists, but I just…don’t care about it at all. Face petting really wasn’t that appealing to me in the first place…

But all-in-all, I think that it’s safe to say I’m having a lot more fun playing Fire Emblem Fates than I did playing Fire Emblem Awakening. I’ll probably have more to say about the game when Revelation finally becomes available. In the meantime, Birthright grinding?

Favorite Opening/Ending Songs of 2015

I’m going to avoid doing a top X list because I’ve always been bad at ranking things. For the most part, rankings seem arbitrary except for like the top 3. Anyway, here are, in my opinion, the best songs of 2015. These are in no particular order.

BRADIO – Flyers (Death Parade)

This song is pretty easily my favorite song of the year. I’m really glad to have discovered BRADIO as a band because all of their music is so upbeat and just sounds fun. Granted, this song makes very little sense in the context of the show, I tend to judge more on the song itself. The song starts strong with a charismatic trumpet entry and just stays hyped up all the way. If you’re going to watch a show like Death Parade, this song is a fun way to start.

SawanoHiroyuki[nzk] – &Z (Aldnoah Zero)

Because of the way Youtube copyright works, this was the only version I could really find (it’s a pitch change in case you haven’t noticed). I’ve been a fan of Hiroyuki Sawano ever since Guilty Crown, but I like his Aldnoah songs especially because of how electronic they sound.

SawanoHiroyuki[nzk] – X.U. (Owari no Seraph)

While we’re on the topic of Hiroyuki Sawano, have another song. This song is more straightforward as it sounds like a song that’s slowly building up to something…then it actually does build up to something.

UNISON SQUARE GARDEN Р Sugar Song to Bitter Step (Kekkai Sensen)

This song came out of nowhere for this series when I was watching. It’s a fun and whimsical song for a pretty random series. Honestly, I think the TV version of the song is perfect the way it is and heavily prefer it to the full version, but I still listen to the full song.

Kalafina – One Light (Arslan Senki)

I probably don’t have many constructive things to say about this one since I’ve been a Kalafina fan for a while now. I really do like the pace of this song, though, if we’re comparing to some of their other songs.

MAN WITH A MISSION – Raise Your Flag (Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans)

I’ve heard some mixed opinions of this song. I’m more on the positive side because when I heard it in the first episode, I thought “hell yeah, it’s Gundam time”.

Other Songs

Sayuri – Mikazuki (Ranpo Kitan): I could not find this song anywhere. It’s a lighter song, but it’s very good.

THE ORAL CIGARETTES – Kyouran Hey Kids!! (Noragami Aragoto): That intro was absolutely excellent.

UVERworld –¬†Boku no Kotoba de wa Nai, Kore wa Bokutachi no Kotoba (Arslan Senki): Another Arslan Senki song that I thought was really good.

Aimer – Brave Shine (Fate/Stay Night UBW): I don’t think I rate this song as highly as many others do, but it’s still a good song.

 

Lazy Post + Random Updates

[HorribleSubs] Working!!! - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.26_[2015.07.18_16.39.27]

Okay, I’m way too lazy to make a post today, so have this awesome reaction picture. Unfortunately, there’s no new episode of Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans this week, so this is all I got. I’ve been playing Recettear way too much these past few days to spend more than 10 minutes on this post.

Random updates:

  • Since I’ve been reading so much manga recently, I’m probably going to start making some posts about them. I haven’t figured out whether I’m only going to focus on completed series (which feels bad because there aren’t that many of them) or just talking about running chapters like I do with anime (which feels like there wouldn’t be enough to say). Anyway, I have some time before the winter season starts, so expect some beta testing.
  • Tomorrow’s post is probably going to be about music from 2015. It’s not going to be a top 10 of openings or endings…probably just a list of songs I liked from 2015. Hopefully all of my youtube links don’t get blocked by Sony or Ponycanyon before then.