About ladybacula

I'm a hipster-cosplaying bagpiper.

Tales of Solaris: Pay to Win?

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So I’ve been playing my MMORPG Tales of Solaris for a while now, enough that I officially do not suck at it, which is awesome. In my previous review, I mentioned that it was a free game, and that wasn’t entirely correct. You can play for free, but there are added features that allow you to pay real world money in order to get better items and become stronger. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the amount of enjoyment I was getting out of the game was worth a couple of bucks. And ever since it’s been a constant drain out of my wallet every time I “top up” on the special cash-player money. Continue reading

Pony Fandom: A Bit Much?

Remember this guy from the Will You Press The Button? post?

button 2That’s just one of so many more scenarios about ponies on that site that paint the series in a particularly bad light. Others ask, “Fuck the perfect woman” but “It’s a pony.” I think in general that these topics are a tad over the top. But I digress, since the point of this post is whether this My Little Pony hate is warranted.

Now, many MLP haters pressed the button and have been sharing it on Tumblr like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I’ve watched all of MLP. In and of itself, MLP is a great show. Not perfect, but very good.You have good female representation, you have a fairly decent feminist message. If we consider racism in MLP, it has its fair share of bad moments, but in the portrayal of the different types of ponies it has been excellent. Could I complain? Of course I could. But in general, when MLP focuses on what it does best, it does a great job.

So what’s the problem? Well, right now, I think MLP isn’t doing what it does best anymore, largely because of its adult male brony fan base. We’ve covered bronies before multiple times, as well as fanservice to bronies, and in that post, we painted them in a very positive light. The show was still fairly new when that post was written, and I’m writing this post to comment on how that has changed. The way the older part of fandom has seized control of everything that is MLP is not so good. Instead of the show being for its intended audience, young girls, the show has been hijacked by adult males. I think there is a way to appeal to both audiences; the show did initially, after all, which is why bronies exist in the first place. But now the show caters so much to bronies that the little girls are getting screwed over. And the bronies are using their ‘power’ over the show to demand more fanservice and be more obnoxious.

Speaking of obnoxious, the other bad thing about bronies is that they don’t actually ‘love and tolerate’ like they claim to. I follow MLP Confessions on Tumblr, and I can tell you for a fact that MLP fans are probably the least tolerant group of fans I’ve ever seen. In two seconds, they will jump down the throat of someone who doesn’t like their favorite ship, or dislikes their favorite fic. It’s abominable. But the part that makes it so bad is that they think they’re the nicest, most tolerant group on the internet when they’re not. Bronies are an obscenely self-righteous bunch, and that is my issue with them.

Now, do I think this problem justifies taking My Little Pony off the air? No. I think if the MLP executives stopped listening to their adult male fan base, refocused the show, and went back to its Lauren Faust-penned, Season 1 roots, things would be a lot better.

My little pony group

Manga Mondays: Gosick

gosick1Gosick follows Kujo, a Japanese exchange student in a European country in 1924, as he gets accustomed to his new, very superstitious school. One day when Kujo gets sent out early to run an errand for one of the maids, he observes a murder. Kujo then gets accused of the murder by the town’s aristocratic detective, Inspector Blois. Kujo, running from Blois, finds himself at the top floor of the library and in front of Victorica, a super genius girl who skips class and helps Blois solve his crimes when she’s bored. They all become friends and they solve crimes together.

This manga reminds me a lot of the Encyclopedia Brown books, which is a childrens’ book series about a boy detective whose father (the police chief) seeks his son’s advice about cases. And by advice, I mean Encyclopedia solves the case. Victorica is Encyclopedia Brown, in that she listens to the facts and then solves the cases.

I personally liked Victorica; she’s just her quirky little self and doesn’t really care what anyone thinks of her. She’s like a mix of L from Death Note and BBC’s Sherlock. It does make for an interesting mix: she’s got the whole sweets obsession that L has and the ability to solve crimes. She also treats Kujo a lot like Sherlock treats Watson. She’s a very interesting character to read, and other than L I’ve never seen anyone like her in a manga.

However, Inspector Blois is one of the most annoying characters I have ever seen. I get the impression that he’s more of a comedic relief character, but he’s such a pain in the ass. He’s like a Hetalia character, specifically America, in that he’s always jumping to crazy conclusions or making bizarre suggestions about their next course of action. Hetalia is supposed to be over-the-top and ridiculous, but in a manga that is supposed to be about solving mysteries, Blois’ ridiculous antics only get in the way of the actual story.

Now, I said up at the top that the school was very superstitious. I just want to be clear that so far, there haven’t been any real ghosts, or zombies, or haunted houses. While everyone suspects these things, Victorica gets to the bottom of everything and figures out that the supposed supernatural has a very reasonable and logical explanation.

Gosick is a very good manga, and I highly recommend you read it. Be warned though, while there are only twenty-three chapters that I’ve found, some of them can be as long as fifty pages. So it’s a time investment, but it’s definitely worth it. And if you don’t feel like reading it, you can go watch the anime, which Saika reviewed ages ago. Do take note, though, that she didn’t think the show was very good.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Twincest

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You know, for living in a society that generally disapproves of incest, there are a lot of incest pairings in nerddom. And incest between twins, or twincest, even more so. So this Saturday, I’m taking a look at a few different examples of twincest and whether or not these relationships are actually healthy. Buso Renkin, Game of Thrones, Saiyuki, and Ouran High School Host Club after the jump.

Continue reading

Manga Mondays: Yu-Gi-Oh! GX

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The never-ending saga continues.

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX follows Judai Yuki and friends as they study at the Duel Academy, a boarding school for learning Duel Monsters. There’s also some weird things going on with Spirit Monsters (Judai has a Winged Kuriboh) and some ancient Egypt-related things that made no sense.

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Winged Kuriboh Spirit Monster

The thing about this series was, if it was just a school drama with Duel Monsters it would have been excellent. But then the Egyptian mythology stuff had to get forced into the series and down the reader’s throat in order to try and relate it back to the original series. I’ve read Yu-Gi-Oh! GX twice; the first was for the hell of it and the second so I could have a clear memory of it to review it. I still have no idea what is going on with the Egyptian stuff. This series did not need an ancient Egypt connection, in my opinion; the Duel Monsters connection is strong enough to tie it to the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise. I actually quite liked the idea of Spirit Monsters and feel that it had a lot of potential, until it got severely overshadowed by the what-the-fuckery of everything else that was going on. The series was interesting and flowed rather smoothly until Mackenzie and Reggie (the bad guys who started all the random and irrelevant shadowy Egypt things) were introduced. The Egypt stuff was a forced attempt to connect back to the original series that failed.

But like I said, the series is generally really great and I enjoyed reading it. My favorite part (and I think a very crucial one as well) is that Judai is so different from any character in the original series. You have your Kaiba-ish character, Manjome, who resembles Kaiba personality-wise and has a somewhat similar deck, and a Yugi-ish character, Sho, who has a similar deck, personality, and physical appearance to the original protagonist. By making the protagonist, Judai, unique in all aspects, it makes Yu-Gi-Oh! GX more capable of standing on its own.

I love Asuka though. She’s such a strong character, a strong duelist, and they rarely draw attention to the fact that she’s a girl, which I think is a good thing. There was one small and quite ridiculous story arc, however, where there was a contest to see who the prettiest girl was, but she blatantly turned down the prize because she thought it was stupid, and that appearances were less important than Duel Monsters talent. I think she’s a great duelist and a great character, especially when you take into consideration that the original Yu-Gi-Oh! didn’t have any real strong female characters, who adds a lot to the depth of the story.

If you liked the original Yu-Gi-Oh!, then you should definitely read this. If you didn’t love the original, you’re better off passing this sucker up. And if you hated Yu-Gi-Oh!, you obviously shouldn’t read its sequel/spinoff. Hopefully this post satisfied you, because it may be a while until we have the best thing ever, a.k.a. card games on motorcycles; I have to get my hands on more than four pages of the material.

And I'm not going to stop potting Kaiba pictures any time soon, in case you were wondering.

And I’m not going to stop putting Kaiba pictures up any time soon, in case you were wondering.

Manga Mondays: Buso Renkin

buso renkin1The things I put myself through for you people. To be fair, this series isn’t really that bad if you can get over:

1. Papillon (the main rival)
2. Papillon’s outfits

However, Papillon himself is a subject of another post on another day. Buso Renkin follows Kazuki Muto after he saves a girl. In the process of saving her, Kazuki dies. The girl, an alchemist warrior named Tokiko, gives Kazuki an alchemic object, also known as a kakugane, as a heart replacement. The kakugane has the ability to transform into a unique weapon, or a Buso Renkin, based on its wielder. Anyway, Kazuki learns how to use his Buso Renkin, meets some friends, and gets into trouble with Tokiko.

One of my favorite characters in the history of manga is Gouta, an alchemist warrior who has a major crush on Tokiko and considers Kazuki his rival in love. He’s very much like Gokudera in Katekyo Hitman Reborn, but with a more realistic, down-to-earth personality. I also like how he defeats every bad guy by being clever. I value smart characters more than your typical shounen hero types (which Kazuki is to a T) and Gouta is so far from that. It makes me really happy.

I’m really trying to avoid saying a lot about this series because I’m probably going to wind up doing an In Brightest Day on everyone simply because there are that many screwed up characters. I’m not sure if that’s a testament to Nobuhiro Watsuki (author of Rurouni Kenshin)’s writing ability or a big mark against it.

However, speaking of Watsuki, the subtitle of this series should be ‘the time Watsuki went to an anime convention.’ If you read the notes as to why he did the things he did (he wrote a lot of them, which I found nice), basically every character and every scene had something to do with that darn anime convention. It drove me crazy. You couldn’t have gotten any other inspiration?

In short, if you can get past the GIF below (that’s Papillon) then you should consider reading this. Because the below GIF happens a lot.

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