New Rubik’s Cube

Taking a step back from anime for a second, a new cube just came in for me. It’s the Dayan IV Lunhui. Preliminarily, I’d say it’s pretty good. It’s a lot faster than the Guhong and it seems to be designed to reduce popping. For those of you who don’t get that, you’re free to ignore it. However, this is a video of me solving the Rubik’s Cube (not the Lunhui, though):

It’s a bit of an old video, but I’m still at that general speed.



Surprise, surprise. Another review. So, this is an anime that I watched quite some time ago. For those of you unfamiliar with the .hack franchise, all of their games/anime revolve around an MMORPG called The World (yeah…I know). So, here’s the deal. You put on a headset and grab a controller and you can experience the game in virtual reality. Sounds like a fun series, right? However, this series revolves around the problems that arise in The World that blur the line between reality and online. Take .hack//SIGN for example. The protagonist, Tsukasa, suddenly realizes that he cannot log out and is trapped in the game. Even worse, he’s lost all of his memories. This anime follows his quest to figure out who the heck he is (and boy is it a surprise). Luckily, the omnipresent Morganna is there to help him out, but unfortunately, her intentions are not what they seem. Tsukasa meets players along the way that try to help him out as well despite his…colorful attitude towards them (can males be tsundere?).

Despite being a series about a video game, the main focus is on the mystery of Tsukasa’s condition and his development as a person. Not much fighting will be seen, but it’s still there. I thought the story was okay, but the series seemed a bit slow at some points. The characters were pretty well done and the animation and music were both good. It’s a great way to get introduced to the setting if you want to play the games (which are great). I give it a 7.2 out of 10.

With 5 reviews done, I’d definitely appreciate any comments/critiques of my style. I’m still new to this, so I’d be happy to incorporate any cool suggestions. Thanks a bunch!


[C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

Alright everyone, here’s the next one. So, Kimimaro Yoga is a struggling college student (I feel your pain, buddy) studying economics. However, one day, a mysterious man named Masakaki appears offering to give him endless riches. Sounds great, right? But like everything else, there’s a catch. In order to keep this money, Yoga must join the Financial District. There, he would battle using his “Asset” against other people like him, called “Entres”, and their Assets. What’s the wager? His future. Kimimaro’s Asset is a girl named Mashyu, who specializes in fire attacks. As Kimimaro keeps fighting in the Financial District, he learns just how serious wagering your future is. Becoming bankrupt and losing your future can even make you lose your kids (not that Kimimaro has any). He is then invited to join the Starling Guild by Souichirou Mikuni, one of the strongest Entres. The idea of the guild is to control your “Deals”, or battles with other Entres, such that you win only by a small margin. Because of this, the other Entre doesn’t go bankrupt and you minimize the damage on the real world. Of course, things aren’t quite so simple.

This anime was pretty sweet. The characters were definitely entertaining, whether it’s Kimimaro’s naive idealism or Mashyu’s innocence and ignorance of the real world. The concept was also unique, focusing more on the finances of the world and the economy. Plus, a whole country disappears. Definitely a good series to watch. As with Angel Beats, it was too short and didn’t leave much room for a sequel. This one gets either an 8 or 8.5 out of 10.

Angel Beats

Angel Beats

As I promised, Angel Beats will be up next. So, this anime follows the story of Yuzuru Otonashi, who wakes up to find that he’s dead. Greeting him is Yuri Nakamura aka Yurippe, who informs him that he is in a sort of purgatory world. He meets up with more people like them, who have banded together to form the SSS, or Shinda Sekai Sensen (SOS Brigade, anyone?). So what’s the point of the SSS? They’re facing off against Angel, a girl who tends to make the people in this world “disappear”. But, this rivalry between the two sides is not what it seems, as you will find out as you watch. Also, I need to make this clear. This purgatory world revolves around a school that the members of the SSS, as well as Angel, all attend. Along with them are people that were never actually people, called NPCs by the SSS.

Although Otonashi’s the obvious pick, it’s hard to pin a protagonist in this anime. Otonashi’s the new guy in the SSS with the lost memory. He’s a kind person who tries to help out when he can, even if it’s Angel. Yurippe’s a pretty good leader for the SSS, able to dictate and create new operations for the group to tackle. She’s pretty loud and can seem a little maniacal at times. Finally, Angel’s student council president and charged with keeping the SSS under control. She has several “guard skills” that let her counter the weapons that the SSS throws at her. She’s also really quiet and doesn’t say much.

This series surprised me. When I first started watching, I was wondering where it was going, but by the end, I was definitely loving it. There’s plenty of comedic relief and the story is great. Part of the SSS is a band called Girls Dead Monster, which plays some amazing music throughout the series. These are mostly insert songs, but the opening and ending themes were also great, especially the opening. The only real problem is that this series is super short and has little room for a sequel (side story, maybe but unlikely). Other than that, it’s definitely worth checking out. I give it a 9/10

Week of 7/3/2011

Another week has gone by. Was definitely swamped with volunteer work (sad as that may be). Anyways, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko and Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi both finished. They were definitely entertaining. Also, I finished Hidan no Aria, which completed this week too.

Currently following (will probably have a better list next week since the new season is starting up):

  • Ao no Exorcist

Plan to watch:

  • Nichijou
  • Ef – A Tale of Memories
  • Bakemonogatari

Also, I’m gonna try to get at least 2 reviews out this week. I think I’ll try to get into a pattern of reviewing something I watched a while back along with something that I’ve seen recently. This week, I’ll probably go for [C] and Angel Beats.

Trying to keep things concise, so I’m going to put some Rubik’s Cube stuff here too. I started practicing again, and will probably be re-assembling some of my cubes. Also, I ordered a Dayan IV and a Dayan V, so those should be coming in any time. Also ordered some Lubix and I’ll probably test that out on one of my Guhongs.

Death Note

Death Note

Alright, let’s follow up Code Geass with Death Note. The protagonist, Light Yagami, is another one of those brilliant students in Japan. However, his world is pretty much the same as our world, but with one twist. There are Shinigami that hang out above the humans in their own little world. One day, Light notices a notebook falling out of the sky while he’s in class. When he checks it out, he finds the Death Note. Any human whose name is written in it dies…no joke. Light decides that he wants to use this notebook to rid the world of criminals, making it a better place. Sounds pretty nice, huh? Light soon finds out that the notebook originally belonged to a Shinigami named Ryuk, who dropped it in the human world to entertain himself. By this point, the police have figured out that criminals are dying, so they decide to bring out their secret weapon, L. Not a nuke, L is actually a brilliant detective who hides in the shadows and solves the world’s toughest cases. Light and L then proceed to go head-to-head in a race to find the other.

The animation in this series was definitely great. The music is amazing and the story’s concept was genius. The scenes where L and Light investigate each other are incredibly entertaining. However, this series starts to deteriorate at about the halfway point and the story begins to falter. Part of the appeal of the first half of the story was the long face-to-face “battles” between Light and L, where each would predict the thoughts of the other and counter, all without saying a word. This sort of analysis slows down in the second half. Also, the ending turns out to be pretty bad. However, this is definitely an anime you want to check out if you don’t know about it, especially if you want to see the infamous potato chip scene.


Rubik’s Cube

So yeah…I solve rubik’s cubes. I haven’t been very serious about it recently, so I’m not completely sure what my times are. So, for starters, I’m gonna make an estimation and try to keep a semi-regular update on my progress.

2×2: sub-8 seconds

3×3: 14-16 seconds

4×4: 1:20 – 1:45

5×5: ~3:30

3×3 OH (one hand): sub-40 seconds

Magic: sub-2 seconds

Master Magic: sub-7 seconds

Pyraminx: sub-20 seconds

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Code Geass

Of course I was going to talk about this anime first. Without a doubt my favorite anime of all time. Go easy on me since this is my first review. Naturally, I’ll avoid spoilers and the like. Anyways, Lelouch Lamperouge, the protagonist, is a Britannian student who lives in Japan. In the world of Code Geass, Britannia is one of three major superpowers along with the Chinese Federation and the EU. In the events leading up to the start of the story, Japan is taken over by Britannia after losing in a war. Instrumental in this victory is Britannia’s use of the Knightmare frame, which is the mecha unit of this anime. As a result, Japan loses its name and is renamed as Area 11.

How does Lelouch factor into all of this? Lelouch is a brilliant student, but spends much of his time gambling on chess games rather than schoolwork. It’s not a problem, though, because he never loses. One day, while returning to school, he is caught up in a terrorist operation and trapped in a truck with “poison gas”. Turns out the poison gas is a strange girl, who gives Lelouch the power known as Geass, which allows him to force anyone into obeying his order. Naturally, this power has its limitations, but Lelouch also uses his natural tactical abilities to get past them in his plan to obliterate Britannia.

Another one of the major characters is Suzaku Kururugi, the son of the former prime minister of Japan. Suzaku is naturally athletic and has a strong sense of justice. Suzaku is what is called an “honorary Britannian”, or a Japanese citizen who has enlisted as part of a Britannian military. Same prejudice, just a longer title. Unbeknownst to most of the world, Suzaku and Lelouch are actually good friends, but they keep this a secret because of Lelouch’s ancestry.

The music of the anime is absolutely amazing. The first opening theme of the first season, Colors by FLOW, is one of my favorite songs. The openings of the second season are also great. The second opening of the first season was a bit strange at first, but it kind of grows on you. The endings are also all enjoyable, my favorite of which being Mosaic Kakera.

Also, the story is full of twists which keep you guessing, especially the start of the second season. Be ready for a ton of cliffhangers that will keep you watching. Only problem I have with the series is how tragic the relationships are. The mysterious nature of Geass kind of helps the story stay exciting, but it just leaves you with so many questions at the end. I can also see how the cliffhangers can be annoying, but I definitely enjoyed them. In all, two seasons with 25 episodes each to keep you entertained.


Week of 6/26/2011

So, this is the first week of this blog and I’ll probably try to do something like this every week. Basically, it’s an update. So, for this week, I finished Chobits and Akagi. I may do reviews of them later, but I’m still just starting up. Also, I finished up [C] this week, which I had been following as it was being released.

Currently following:

  • Blue Exorcist
  • Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
  • Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi

Possibilities for this week:

  • Hidan no Aria
  • Ef – A Tale of Memories
  • Dragon Crisis
  • Deadman Wonderland
  • MM!
  • Steins;Gate

This being said, it doesn’t mean I’m not gonna just watch something that’s not on that list. But in my mind at the moment, those are the ones that I am considering watching.