So, today, I got the best entertainment news of the year. A new movie, releasing via streaming services next month, called Love & Monsters. Now let me be clear, I don’t expect this to be especially groundbreaking, but it looks really, really fun. A boy crosses a monster filled post-apocalyptic version of our world to get to the woman he loves, making interesting friends along the way. It feels like a monster movie version of Zombieland, which is definitely my favorite zombie movie. The monsters are cool looking, the plot seems funny and heartwarming with a few tense moments, but what really has me excited, is the lead actor: Dylan O’Brien.
Dylan O’Brien is my favorite actor of my generation. The only time he’s ever given a subpar performance, is when he was part of a subpar project. He’s unbelievably talented, with masterful comedic and dramatic delivery. He is one of the few actors who can pull me in to watch anything they’re in. I wouldn’t be bold enough assume I’m his biggest fan, but I also won’t deny the possibility.
For those who either forgot or are unaware, Dylan suffered a horrible accident on a film set a few years back that left him in reconstructive surgery, physical, and mental therapy. After recovering he returned and finished the movie that injured him, as well as another film he was scheduled for. After that, with the exception of a YouTube project, he was mostly inactive. Hey’d chosen to slow down and pace himself, rather than continue pumping out multiple projects a year. As a fan I was both happy for him, as well as concerned. Would he still get booked? Would he still get cast as a leading man? Would the projects be diverse or would he be typecast? I waited to see what his next major role would be, somewhat concerned he might not get one. Thankfully, today, my questions were answered. My favorite actor is back, and it looks like he’s got something really fun coming this October!
Also, last thing, thank you to the production studios for releasing this in digital rather than trying to convince people to go to a theater in a fucking pandemic.
So, the comic series Scott Pilgrim is my all-time favorite work of fiction. It’s honest, it’s inspirational, it’s punk, and I relate to it on so many levels. While personally I’ve never been in a band that actually got to play shows, or dated a seventeen year old in my twenties, I have lived on couches for years, been unemployed, tried to run away from my past, and faced the demons of a lover’s past. Scott Pilgrim is about so much more than just a boy fighting a girl’s exes, but the movie takes all that away. But don’t worry, this isn’t a list of all the differences and changes, just me going over some of the things that made me love the comic that weren’t properly executed in the film.
My first and biggest problems with the film in all honesty, are Scott and Ramona. In the movie, Scott’s personality is essentially boiled down the essence of the kind of character Michael Cera is known for: emotional: panicky, and overall pathetic. He gives off an overwhelming sense of negativity that just doesn’t suit the true character of Scott Pilgrim. In the comics Scott may have his occasional panic or emotional outbursts, but his usual demeanor is fairly relaxed in my opinion. While movie Scott is thrown into fights and seems completely out of his elements, it’s addressed at the beginning of the first fight in the comics, that Scott is considered one of the best fighters in the city, and thrives on it. He’s not an overly violent person, but he’s definitely not a coward. The difference changes our hero, and in turn, the overall tone of the story in a way that honestly makes you wonder why he’s putting himself through all this for Ramona. Though nothing contributed to that more than the changes that were made to Ramona herself. These changes come from the decision to make the story take place over a week instead of a year. Without proper time to date and be around each other, Ramona keeps her sarcastic and cold exterior up the entire film, whereas in the comics, Ramona is a sweet, kind, and supportive girlfriend by volume 2, because her and Scott have been together for over two months at that point. Ramona doesn’t judge Scott for his living situation, however dating her does motivate him to get a job. When Envy comes to town, intent on making Scott miserable, Ramona hates her. In fact, the entire fight she has with Roxy in the film, was taken from her fight with Envy in the comic. Even more, it’s actually Envy who has the “back of the knee” weak spot and Ramona who uncomfortably pokes it. Why Edgar Wright chose to take that away from Scott I’ll never really understand. In the battle with Roxy, there are other enemies that confront Scott, but more importantly, that fight is when he earned the power of love, and uses it to split Roxy in half. That is also when Scott and Ramona move in together. I love that moment because Scott’s no longer just a boy crushing on a girl, he’s a man in love. He starts to be a little more mature and walks with more confidence in himself. I never understood putting the power of love sword at the end, and making it too weak to defeat Gideon.
Ramona isn’t some standoffish sarcastic ice queen with colored hair, she’s a sweet girl whose been wronged too many times. She’s broken, and trying her best to put herself back together. She’s terrified of changes outside her control, and more than anything just doesn’t want to be hurt again. That’s why it really hurts her when she finds out Scott cheated on Knives with her, even though in the movie I don’t think either relationship was ever completely set in stone and both were too short lived to be anything more than casual before they ended. Ramona has been manipulated and damaged in deep ways that even she doesn’t understand, but the movie leaves that out. In the movie she’s just got a mind control chip attached. See the problem there? It’s like the movie sold you scrambled eggs when you were promised an omelet. These changes weren’t simply “the cost of converting to film” either, as many movies take place over multiple years, this was some ridiculous decision to make Scott and Ramona’s story directly tie in to an also inaccurate and wildly ridiculous hipster band adventure, and sacrifice deep character moments in exchange for Michael Cera to give his trademark look of confusion and sadness.
My biggest, and final complaint, is the misuse of my second favorite character: Nega Scott. In the movie, Nega Scott appears after Gideon is beaten, in a last “hey look at us we’re inspired be video games” joke, which just leads to Scott and Nega Scott bonding over brunch because they are both not combative people so of course they would be able to talk out their differences. This not at all who Nega Scott is. Nega Scott is the physical manifestation of every bad thing Scott has made himself forget he’s done. Ramona has her evil exes but Scott just has himself. For years, Scott has pitied himself and put in almost zero effort to be a better person, even blocking out most of his memories so when he’s asked about his past, he either doesn’t remember, or has some insane retelling of events that is wildly untrue. This denial is also the heart of his issue with Ramona, because even though they are two people shaped by their past, Ramona is a victim in most cases, while Scott was actually the bad guy. Scott’s confrontation with Nega Scott is one of my favorite moments in the entire series and in all of fiction. We can’t ever escape our past, no matter how much we run from it. We have to confront it in order to move forward into our future, and this moment delivers that message perfectly. Perhaps Michael Cera couldn’t have pulled off this scene, or Edgar Wright decided it wasn’t fun enough to include, but it was unbelievably necessary. It’s the key moment that changes Scott, makes him a hero, and makes him suitable for Ramona. It’s his half of the journey they both had to go on in order to try again. Without this, and the later reveals about Ramona, you honestly have no reason as a reader to want them to end up together aside from “that’s the story” which could have led to the very How I Met Your Mother-esque mess of a bait-and-switch where he would have ended up with Knives.
There’s loads more I could say about the movie not measuring up to the comic but I think I’ve made my point and I’d rather not spoil the story more than i already have. I don’t think it’s wrong to like the movie but I do hope anyone who enjoys it reads the comics. The final volume was unfortunately completed after the screenplay for the movie had been written, but it’s nothing like the movie at all. It’s my favorite because it’s honestly such a thrill ride and made me feel so many emotions. If you played through the Scott Pilgrim video game then you have some understanding of what the final volume was like. But yeah, Scott and Ramona are my favorite love story of all time, and the adventures of every character in that world, the twists and turns they go on, I love with all of my heart.
A show about a girl in a ghost band might be my second favorite show of all time
So, this show came out two days ago and had it not been for an ad on TikTok, I may not have known about it. Thankfully, not only did I know, but I had the day off, so I binged every episode. For those that don’t know, since I mostly write about anime these days, Lemonade Mouth, a movie about a ragtag bunch of dysfunctional teenagers who rebel against a school that put every extracurricular outside of athletics into the basement, is my second favorite movie of all time. So Julie And The Phantoms seemed right up my alley. It follows the story of a band who never got to achieve their dream and a girl who needed to learn how to live again. I wish I could say more about the plot, but you know I like to try and avoid spoiling things for you. The story will feel somewhat familiar to anyone who watched Disney Channel in the 2000s because it was created by Kenny Ortega, the genius behind the High School Musical films, as well as Descendants and many others. I found myself at some parts going “oh I know this feeling” but in a new way. While Ortega doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel with this series, he shows you the car you always expected to get from Disney, which sometimes didn’t deliver.
The music in this show is top tier. I can definitely say it has more consistent good quality than anything on Disney Channel. I’ve been rocking out to the soundtrack all day today and I’ll probably do the same tomorrow. My favorite is a song called “Bright” in episode 2. There’s a definite pop-rock vibe that carries the series both musically and in the overall tone that, for once, feels more rock and less pop. Each of the performers is genuine, no one is just holding a guitar and not playing it (looking at you Camp Rock) and in all honesty, I was too caught up in how great everything is to pick it apart. The overall story had me and my boyfriend crying happy as well as sad tears multiple times and truly rooting for these characters. Also, I’m absolutely living for the diversity in this series because it doesn’t feel forced and no one feels like a stereotype.
Overall, I give this series a 9.5/10. It’s exactly what it wants to be, and it’s definitely Ortega’s best work. Move over East High, cause Julie and the Phantoms just blew you out of the water!
So She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a reboot of the original She-Ra series from the 80s, and I can openly say that much like He-Man, the original She-Ra did not age well. Now that I’ve finished watching Princess of Power, I have to say that I really enjoyed it. In all honesty I’d say it’s a solid 7/10 for a cartoon series. Relatable conflicts, fun art style and it honestly just brings my heart joy.
I really enjoyed the original setup. Having Adora and Glimmer clash as opposing sides in a war, with both fully believing they were the good guys, only for Adora to witness atrocities and learn the truth, really spoke to me. Truth is, there are a ton of people who grow up being fed propaganda without realizing it, so having that be the first major conflict in the series definitely drew me in. Especially when Catra revealed she’d known the truth for years and decided to embrace it. I liked meeting the new princesses and other characters that joined the Rebellion, seeing She-Ra solve whatever the conflict was in every episode. However, after a while, the series kind of fell into a blend of predictable situations, reused dialogue, and bright colors. Looking back I can’t distinguish between the seasons at all until the final one, but maybe that’s not such a big deal.
I definitely have a favorite character though: Bow. Seeing him try to be the glue keeping the Best Friend Squad together, the tech guy, and so much more, I just fell in love with him as a character. He reminds me a lot of Sokka, but Bow doesn’t have any of that sarcasm. Bow may not be a princess, but he goes toe to toe with them, and many times, saves their butts. I also would like to thank the show’s creators for shutting down any debate on his ethnicity with the reveal of his Dads.
I also really loved Hordak as a villain. A soldier, lost in a universe where he is alone, severed from his master and the hive mind, desperate to return and prove his worth, because he’s incapable of self-love. I actually started paying more attention to the series when he became the primary antagonist. Hordak Prime would have been more interesting if they’d dived into his origin a little bit more. He was a cool villain but he definitely could have been more.
My biggest complaint for the series is Catra. She was a decent antagonist at first, but the series constantly gave her redemption moments, but she kept resisting them. This happened a lot, and the series always made it seem like she was only going to become more evil, but instead she just kind of stayed where she was, or worked her way up the villain hierarchy ladder, but never in a way that mattered. It felt like the entire series knew the villains didn’t care about her, except her. Most of all, while I understand the “I’m a loner badass who doesn’t understand her feelings and is actually gay and in love” trope, Catra could have been quality lesbian representation from the beginning. Imagine if the original conflict was Catra wanting to confess her feelings to Adora the day she found the sword? If rather than just being the stubborn “best friend” she had been written as the “wronged lover?” Wasted Potential. We live in a post Steven Universe world, gay can be a major character trait, it doesn’t have to be a finale twist.
Like I said in the beginning, the series is fun. It’s very appropriate for kids, or for anyone who wants to enjoy fantasy adventures and bright colors. There are things I really enjoyed, and things that definitely could’ve been better, but I had a good time.
I love the Dragonball franchise. In fact, I love it more than the Naruto series. Simply for the fact that, despite it’s ridiculous transformation from a show about a young boy going on adventures to aliens fighting gods for the sake of the multiverse, it has a somewhat more kept together lore. There are far less retcons. My biggest complaint for the series (and just to be clear I don’t read the manga) is that only Goku and Vegeta seem to really develop and grow. Perhaps I’m a little spoiled because Dragonball Z centered a lot of it’s story lines around Gohan (in a failed attempt to make him Goku’s successor as the protagonist) but watching the majority of the characters simply play the role of “written in audience” really bothers me. I remember when Krillin could go toe-to-toe with Goku, when Piccolo was the most terrifying force on Earth, and when Majin Buu was a demon said to wipe out all life. Now in this era of angels, destroyer gods, and the actual God of their series being characters, growth for the lesser characters is impossible in a series that lives and dies by it’s battles. The universal tournament allowed for some growth, but not in a real way. Hell, the Saiyans from the other universe got more character development then our own universe’s side characters. As a fan who grew up with this franchise, there’s some ideas I’ve had for years, and even though they’re impossible to do now, I just wanna talk about how cool I think it could have been.
1. Mentally Unstable Gohan
I loved how Akira Toriyama developed Gohan. Unlike most of the fanbase I always hoped he would get to live a life of peace someday. It was made very clear early on that Gohan only fought because of his father and a sense of moral responsibility. As a kid, watching him fully release his power against Cell was probably the coolest thing I’d ever seen, but as an adult, I think it’s somewhat tragic. He suffers a complete psychotic break, and starts killing his enemies, even toying with them. I think what would have been really cool would have been a story line that offers consequence for that. Perhaps Gohan swears off fighting because it still breaks him mentally, or even a story about him addressing all his trauma from all the death in his childhood. Hell, Goku visiting his son in a mental hospital would have been CRAZY right? Maybe something where Goten is protective of his powerful but delicate older brother?
2. Keep Goku dead during Buu Saga
Trunks and Goten are two of my favorite characters, especially after seeing how Future Trunks had to lose Gohan to become Super Saiyan and Kid Trunks did it with ease. Their friendship is absolutely wonderful and I can’t help but think about how cool the story would have been if Goku had left, Vegeta had stayed dead after his sacrifice, and Trunks and Goten were given the chance to be the heroes they’re capable of being, rather than spend a ton of episodes on fusion just for it to not actually stop Buu. Now these promising young fighters can’t even be in the tournaments in Super. They went from future protagonists to wasted potential, and I hate that more than anything else honestly.
3. Vegeta: Savior of Universe 7 Saiyan Race
In Super, when Vegeta meets Saiyans from another universe, he’s shocked to learn that their original home world still exists, since in our main universe, that planet has been gone a long time. Even more so, he’s shocked to hear that Sayains are peace keepers and live mostly happy lives. He even says he wants to know more. Then Goku meets some of those Saiyans and has the time of his life training them. I think a really amazing story for Super, especially now that Broly is around as well, would be to go to the other universe and see these Saiyans. They could teach Broly how to live happily and control his rage, help him heal from his trauma. Goten could go on adventures with Cabba and his group. Maybe they could even make an all new Saiyan home world and replace the lost Planet Vegeta, allowing Vegeta to prove he could be a benevolent leader, defend his people from Freeza and other evil forces, and finally be a king.
In all honesty, I know I’m probably asking a lot of a Shonen battle series, but considering how much the genre has grown over the years, if any series could break out of the mold, it’s the series that invented the mold. These heroes could be so much more than the overpowered fighters they’ve always been. Give them story arcs beyond punching and beam struggles, dive into more of who they are, who they want to be, give them impactful ways to effect the universe around them and further inspire their audience. We can’t aspire to be Super Saiyans, but we can aspire to be heroes.
Whose your favorite anime villain? What, to you, constitutes a villain? Do they have to be the big bad, a powerful adversary? I gave it a lot of thought, for me, villains have to have truly evil motivations, and in no way redeemable. So a lot of popular badasses like Madara Uchiha for example, didn’t make the list. In all honesty you might hate my list, but I hope you keep an open mind. Also, spoiler warnings because obviously I can’t talk about these baddies without revealing things though I’ll try my best not to spoil too much.
5. Major- Hellsing Ultimate
When it comes to weak and non-combative masterminds, Major, leader of the vampire Nazi army, is my absolute favorite. His motivations are crystal clear and irrefutable: he loves war. War is his favorite thing. Despite being too fat to fight and a terrible shot with a gun, he views war as a chaotic symphony and thinks himself a marvelous conductor. My favorite thing about him though, is his other goal and motivation. He wants to die, but wants to die in his idea of glory, an idea that was probably bred into him as a Nazi youth. There’s nothing redeemable about him, no tragic backstory or anything to pity, he’s a fucking Nazi. He’s a perfect counterpoint to our dark hero Alucard because he is his opposite in every way, but they are both monsters.
4. Zaheer – Legend of Korra
First things first, yes, I consider ATLA and LOK anime, or at least anime adjacent. Secondly, yes, this man is a thousand times more badass and intimidating than Ozai. Rather than being a privileged prince who was raised to be a tyrant, Zaheer is the kind of guy who could have probably taken Ozai down if Aang had never returned. He considers himself an agent of liberation, but also chaos. His conviction is absolute, not to mention in the span of only a few weeks he mastered the most complex and impossible air bending skills. With a four person team he managed to do more damage to Korra than even the spirit of darkness could achieve.
3. Bishop- Castlevania
In all honesty, it took me a minute think of a villain I hate more than this guy, simply because he just is that evil. All the events of the series start with this sexist, power hungry monster. Also, he has my favorite death of all anime villains. I mean, this man saw a giant flame with the face of Dracula, denied his existence, brought Hell on earth, and then moved to another town and immediately took control and started oppressing people all over again. Even blamed marginalized community for his crimes. True, true evil. The thing that truly makes him terrifying though, is that he’s real. This time in the history of the world, the church had more power and influence than any government, the town bishops were kings masquerading as saviors, and the kind of corruption Bishop creates in the anime is exactly the kind of corruption the church utilized in that time. He represents a real evil we have in our current society, which makes watching him die all the more satisfying.
2. Papa Dino- Banana Fish
So, as I said with Priest, I wasn’t sure who I hated more than him at first, but Dino is definitely worse. Dino lives in a world with absolutely nothing supernatural. The world of Banana Fish is essentially the world we live in, but it’s darkest parts, and Dino runs all of it. Luxury hideaways for the powerful and perverse, drugs, shell companies, street gangs, you name it. Dino Golzine is the quintessential mob boss. He by himself is not a particularly intimidating figure, but his system, his goons, and his plans are complete evil. The fact that his only weakness is the boy he loves makes him all the more terrifying, especially considering he regards the boy as property. He turned orphans and runaway kids into child prostitutes and child porn stars. He held police, and high level politicians in the palm of his hand, even assassinated a presidential candidate to make a point. Dino is absolutely disgusting, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a villain more foul than him.
1. Father- Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Think of every government conspiracy you’ve ever heard on the internet, or every story you’ve ever seen that has a otherworldly puppet master behind it all. None of those would-be-kings compare to this creature. I absolutely love him. Truth be told, he’s not even the most evil character in FMAB (worst dad ever) but that doesn’t matter. The thing I love most about him is just how genius and unbelievable he truly is. There is no comparing villains in FMAB because all the best ones are him. Not in some lame “we beat him and he comes back again” kind of way either. Wrath? Envy? Pride? Lust? Gluttony? Sloth? Greed? He’s their source. They begin and end with him. A group of nearly immortal badasses who treat humanity like their playthings and are absolutely terrifying, and all of them are him. Almost every bad thing that’s ever happened in their world is his fault in some way. But unlike your average puppet master, when you get to him you don’t find a weak old man or a disgusting mob boss, you find a cold immortal of power and purpose who can kill you with ease.
So, I spent the last few days watching Madoka Magica, and, I honestly still don’t really know how I feel about it. Maybe it’s because one of my first anime was Sailor Moon, but this dark take on the magical girl concept kinda made me uncomfortable. In the beginning I was all in. Heroes who stop the supernatural cause of depression and suicide? Hell yes! But then it got dark and it just….. it reminded me of Devilman Crybaby. That’s probably the best description I have for this anime: the Devilman Crybaby of shojo. So, if you like dark, give it a shot.
So, DC had their own digital expo this past weekend, and revealed a lot of stuff. Chances are if you’re reading this you’ve already seen all the trailers for new movies, games, and shows coming back. You’ve also probably watched a bunch of comic book YouTubers videos exposing every easter egg or important detail in the trailers. While I love a deep dive just like every other nerd, I just wanted to talk about which projects I’m looking forward to, which ones I’ll probably watch but don’t really care about, and which things I really don’t care for (for now.)
1. The Batman
So, let’s get this one out of the way first. As it stands, I have absolutely no intention of watching the new Batman movie. Robert Pattinson is a fine actor and will probably give a good performance, the suit looks cool enough, but Batman just isn’t interesting anymore. Every time they make a new Batman all they strive for is to be darker and grittier than the last one, and that’s boring to me. I thought we were done with pointless dark movies after Batman v Superman failed, and Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam succeeded? I’m not saying we suddenly make Batman wacky and fun, but this just doesn’t work. Furthermore, this Batman isn’t even part of the DCEU. But, if that’s the case, why make this movie? This isn’t like it is with Venom, where a different company is making the movie, this is all the same company. So again, why? It’s already known that Ben Affleck backed out of the role, so why not just wait it out and introduce him properly? Now this Batman is worth just about as much as that god awful Joker movie. Hell, if you ask me these characters even seem to be the same, mentally disturbed white men having violent and elaborate temper tantrums. If I watch this it will either be because my friends make me, or I get really bored and it’s on a streaming service. But even then, I’ll probably avoid it.
2. The Snyder Cut
Ok, now this I’m a little more interested in. The fact that this fanboy fairy-tale has actually led to re-shoots and a full development blows my mind. This is the biggest victory a fanbase has won over the film industry since the Sonic movie last year. It looks pretty interesting, mostly because it seems to focus on more than just Batman deciding he cares about the alien god he wanted to kill only a few months ago. If this movie truly gives Flash and Cyborg the time and development they deserve then it will be good in my book. The best part though, is the plan for a HBO Max release, considering I already have HBO Max (thanks Dad.)
My concern for this movie though, lies in Henry Cavil and Ben Affleck. We hear rumors constantly about whether Cavil is still open to being Superman, and it’s a known fact that Ben Affleck left Batman when they wouldn’t let him direct the movie. So, what does this mean for future projects? Will releasing the Snyder Cut get DC to stop dragging their asses on The Flash movie? Will we get a Superman movie that’s more true to the character, or are we still filling his story with Jesus metaphors and annoying color filters? As things are right now, the CW verse is better with it’s use of DC heroes than the DCEU. Will this movie change that, and actually give fans something to hope for now that their pipe dream has actually happened?
3. Wonder Woman 1984
I’m gonna be honest, the first trailer for this movie had me worried. Sorry, I was born in 1991, and I don’t share the rest of the world’s obsession with the 80s. Sure, the clothes were funky and music was good, but I have more rights in 2020 so….yeah. Steve and Diana having fun in the 80s was nice, but showing us the villains and a bit of the actual plot is much better. I won’t risk going to a theater to see this movie, but the minute I can watch it from the comfort of my couch, I definitely will. Honestly all I need from this movie is a good Cheetah storyline and a better third act than the first film.
4. Suicide Squad 2
Now as far as films go, this is the one I’m most excited for! The first Suicide Squad was a Hot Topic garbage fire that unfortunately, even Will Smith couldn’t save. But thankfully, after the Birds of Prey movie, Margot Robbie seems to have become the perfect Harley Quinn. I genuinely love that movie and think her performance was better than even some of the animated attempts. If James Gunn kept some of that energy with her character and doesn’t screw it up by having way too many characters or a bullshit plot, this movie could be pretty good. Also, Idris Elba in a comic movie? Yes please!
5. Gotham Knights
Now THIS is a Batman project I can get behind! Batman dead, the city in chaos, and being able to play as his four most iconic disciples as you take on a city that truly can’t be saved. It reminds me somewhat of the Battle For The Cowl graphic novel except with Red Hood as a good guy. I’ll definitely be using Nightwing and Batgirl the most if I can. Also, the fact that this is co-op? If we’re able to play split screen this game is going to become a daily activity for my boyfriend and I! The story could really be something great, seeing each of Bruce’s trusted successors truly deal with a world without him. In most comic stories, this leads to Nightwing becoming Batman, but who knows what could happen this time. I’ll play this to death for sure.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League
YES!! YES YES YES!!! Shut and take my money!! Now I’ll be the first to say I don’t normally play bad guy games, but this game seems to fall into that wonderful gray area, like the Infamous series. You’re doing the right thing, but you don’t have to play nice t do it. No more watching Batman beat someone to death but telling yourself the goon survived, or dealing with bad game writers who want the bad guys to die even though the hero has a no kill rule. Deadshot can fly, Boomerang can teleport, and King Shark is a playable character? This looks a hundred times more fun than Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad 2. I just hope it lives up to the expectations!
I’m also excited for the return of the Milestone comics heroes like Static and others, as well as the animated Static movie they confirmed, but I’ll withhold talking about that for when we know more. I don’t really care about the reboot of the animated films at the moment. Sure, a storyline where a young Clark Kent deals with the fear of xenophobia is new and interesting, but what else is gonna be in this reboot? I need more before I can be excited, especially since the new 52 based films were all so good. My overall feeling for DC right now, with all these announcements can be summed up in one sentence: I’m watching, now don’t fuck up.
So, when I first heard about Fire Force, I didn’t hear good things. Fanservice, a weird anime that tried to blend MHA with firefighters, etc. But after finishing the atrocity that was Akame Ga Kill yesterday, I figured I’d give it a chance. To every person that insulted this anime, you are out of your mind. While yes, the power scaling did become more and more ridiculous as things progressed, anyone whose ever watched any shonen ever should accept that that is likely going to happen. Also, considering there’s anime that shows people having sexual experiences with food or orgasms during gambling, fanservice should also pretty much be expected. The only time I truly felt bothered by it was when it cut in the middle of a tense moment. Many of the characters are unique and vibrant, and I shed tears multiple times while watching it.
One thing that concerns me is that this is the second anime from Atsushi Okubo, who is responsible for my favorite manga of all time, Soul Eater. Fire Force seems to be the perfect next step in his legacy. Okubo is a genius in his way to depict things that are chilling, without be scary. His intense line art when illustrating the mentally unstable or insane seems ideal for the villains of this series. Fire Force leans a little deeper into comedy than Soul Eater did but rarely does it feel out of place. My concern, is that Fire Force may end up being mistreated the same way Soul Eater was. Soul Eater the anime, ended terribly. The anime was cancelled and we were given a fake ending to a story that still had years of story being written for it. Much like Soul Eater, Fire Force has a wonderful cast of characters, a fun world with a simple enough premise that grows into something incredible. I really want to see this story played out to it’s fullest. Will anime fans get to see Shinra realize his goals? Or will we be denied like we were with Soul and his friends? I sincerely hope not.
I won’t lie, Fire Force is an easy watch. It’s not something you need to devote your full attention to, especially if you watch it in the dub, which is very good. It’s a fun ride with really great animation and well executed use of CGI. Put it on while you lean, or do laundry, and you’ll probably enjoy it. Moments that demand your full attention will announce themselves and, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to look away during those parts. I’m super excited for season 2, but I’m going to wait for the dub because one of my favorite voice actors was cast for the new season.
So, last year, in a world that hadn’t been ravaged by a pandemic, I worked a lot. Too much honestly. I had a morning and a evening job and I often manipulated my schedule so I was working both jobs seven days a week. Eventually, I realized I wasn’t using my game system, even though I used to live stream before I’d gotten so busy. Now in 2021 I’m planning to work a little less, and make time for things I enjoy that are just that, pleasures. My modeling, writing, cosplaying, and everything else is part of my career now and are major investments, but with gaming, even if I stream, I don’t care if I have an audience ot if I make any money. I’m doing it because it’s fun. I don’t play game based on what’s trending, or even what’s new, I play whatever I want, becaue that’s what I’d naturally be doing. Now, with the Playstation 5 coming out, I’ve already let my boyfriend know that I’m dedicating all of my funds to getting one the minute a pre-order is available, and thankfully, he’s a gamer too. In anticipation, my playstation wishlist is almost a mile long. A lot of old games I never got the chance to play, and of course, some new Ps5 titles that I’m really excited for. So, here’s my top 5 games I can’t wait to play while I isolate myself for 2021. Also, this is not a review, as many of these games have yet to be released and all I know is what I saw in the trailer.
So, I know this series is insanely old, and I never paid it any mine when I would walk through GameStop and see them on the shelves before, but now that Castlevania is my favorite anime I’m a little obsessed with playing it’s source material. I’m fully prepared to be dissapointed, but also hoping it will be a fun ride and maybe make for an easy game to play while I stream or wind down after a hard day.
4. Kena: Bridge of Spirits
This game feels like Playstation is taking a stab at a Legend of Zelda style game. This looks like so much fun, I can’t wait to dedicate a weekend to this and play a game that will likely keep me smiling the entire time.
3. Ghost of Tsushima
So, I know this game is already out, but I currently don’t own a console, and I’m waiting for the PS5 to be my next one. This game looks so gorgeous, everything about it feels cinematic, and for the kid who used to spend months playing samurai games, this looks like the greatest manifestation of that. I’ve watched a good portion of the beginning of the game and the story here seems very good. Watching this proud samurai struggle with not only his external but also internal battles is going to be a crazy experience to play through.
2. Solar Ash
A lot of people were watching the PS5 release event simply waiting to hear about the sequels to their favorite games. Personally, I was waiting to hear about new Spiderman and Horizon games, but one thing I didn’t expect, was completely new titles that felt like something I’d never seen before. Solar Ash is honestly one of the most artistically original things I’ve ever seen. While the trailer didn’t say much of what the story might be, the visuals and what looked like gameplay movement left me absolutely dumbfounded. This is an experience meant for 4K and I’m sure I’m going to love it.
1. Horizon II: Forbidden West
This game right now is the number one reason why I want to get the Playstation 5 at launch. In most cases I never go after the new console just because it’s new, I wait for a game, and this is it. Horizon Zero Dawn is the best post apocalyptic open world game I’ve ever played. It felt like a sleeper hit for the PS4 that most people ignored because other games like God of War 4 were available. But I’m so happy to see a sequel. The first game made me cry with how beautiful and powerful it’s story was. Alloy is an incredible protagonist and I am so full of anticipation to see where this goes next.
There are plenty of other games I’m excited for, like Stray and Spiderman: Miles Morales. Stray seems like the most original idea for a video game I’ve ever seen and I can’t believe it took the 5th generation of the playstation console to give it to us. As far as Spiderman: Miles Morales, I’m excited, but not as much as I’d like to be. I read that it’s not a sequel, simply an extension, which basically makes it glorified DLC. In all likelihood, this was originally planned to be DLC but once Sony started teasing the PS5 they decided to wait to release this. Hopefully it’s a full experience and not just a quick but of fun before putting us back in Peter’s spandex in the proper sequel. All that aside, I’m mostly just excited to play video games again, to spend whatever free time I have diving into these crazy worlds. As someone who was starting to fall out of love with gaming, this was just what I needed to pull me back in. Video games have been a part of my life from the moment I was old enough to pick up an SNES controller, and I don’t ever want to live in a world where they don’t excite me. Thankfully, for at least the next few years, I won’t have to worry about that.