Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Great New 2014 Anime and JRPGs Make Me Busy

Wow, where has all the time gone?  Busy with work, tax season, overcoming health issues, trying to complete final edits on my novel, and blogging.  Then there's that Japanese pop culture thing making you want to play Japanese role playing games on the PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS, and PS3 during that extra 24 hours a day you don't have.

JRPG - Bravely Default / Final Fantasy X/X2
Just finished playing chapter 1 of Bravely Default and it is definitely living up to the hype of being a great Final Fantasy game, but not being Final Fantasy.  Enjoying it immensely.  Fought the boss at the end of the chapter and it was way harder than it should have been.  I didn't level up enough and after adding a few job levels for my knight and black magic wizards it was a piece of cake.  Take the best armour and gear in.  Square Enix did a really good job on the collectors set with the AR art cards, soundtrack, and art book.  Nice box too.

I have to start Final Fantasy X and X2 on the Vita too as it is supposed to be nicely remade for HD.  I just wish they would release a Valkyria Chronicles for Vita to make my deepest wish come true.  But I hear there is a Tales RPG coming out so that will be good too.

I also got this really good miniature model of the Panzer IV from Girls und Panzer from Japan last week and it is awesome!  The little chibi characters all fit in it making it a great souvenir for the show.  The videos of the PS Vita game for Girls und Panzer also look pretty good too.  I'm not going to hold my breath for a North American port of this, but here's to hoping for one.  http://www.japanator.com/girls-und-panzer-for-the-ps-vita-showcases-tank-on-tank-violence-32314.phtml

Crunchroll Spring 2014
There's a pretty stellar lineup of anime to watch right now for free on Crunchyroll.  Not a great deal of mecha anime, but they are there.  Unfortunately the only one right that looks good to me is Captain Earth at the moment.  However, the best thing about anime is that is is so diverse and you can find many different stories being told.  The ones I'm able to follow right now or have just finished are:
  1. Nisekoi.  Kind of a harem anime, but with some nice character twists and plotting.  The whole locket and key thing seems to be a red herring so far as a plot device.
    Did everyone see the cool homage to Evangelion in this anime on Twitter?
  2. Kill la Kill.  Great action anime in the old school style.
  3. Love Live! Season 2.  More Love Live and idol singing and antics.  You're either a fan or can't run into the hills fast enough.
  4. The World is Still Beautiful.  I like this one with the princess that controls rain to be married off to the child emperor that has conquered the world.  Nice art, lovable main character, and a gentle touch to the stories.
  5. Captain Earth. Giant combining mecha and mysterious tech.  Hmmm.  Could be good, but we'll see.
  6. The Pilot's Love Song.  Alternate world and some new student pilots that are going to be exploring both a mystery and flying in combat against an enemy empire.  Looks good as it combines Miyazaki, Last Exile, and the Pilot and the Princess.
  7. Nagi no Asukara.  Weak story on this one (world building seems odd with the physics and tech), but the artwork and the characters are good. Suspension of disbelief could be hard even if the ideas are good.
  8. Witch Craft Works.  Lots of people seemed to like the reversal about having a strong female character protect a weak guy.  Seems like Fate/Stay Nightish or Shana-ish to me, but it is a nicely realized magical world and story.  Highly recommended if you like these other shows.
  9. Beyond the Boundary.  Just the first four episodes so far, but this looks like a very good show about high school and youmi hunting.  Good characters and plot twists coming up I think.
  10. Silver Spoon.  Farm school anime is awesome.  Very entertaining.
  11. Golden Time.  Amnesiac trying to resolve his life and love relationships after he moves to Tokyo to attend college.
  12. Wake Up Girls.  Another school idol anime with a great heartfelt story.  Good characters.
There's more than this too on Crunchyroll, but there isn't the time to watch it all.  Eureka Seven AO, Last Exile FAM, and Robotic's Notes were all pretty good video releases too.  I'm waiting the English subbed official release of the Macross Frontier movies, to see Space Battleship Yamato 2199, and the Puella Madoka Magica Rebellion movie too!

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