Sunday, December 31, 2017

Personal Post: My media recap of 2017

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Let's Play BioShock 2 HD Part 2: Ryan Amusements

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

 Honestly since the developers already created an amusement park why couldn't they have incorporated some of the elements from the Rapture Carnival from the first game's DLC as parts of Ryan Amusements. I mean as I said only one ride, a gift shop and a restaurant makes for a pretty crap attraction. I mean if Ryan is going to scare kids into never wanting to go to the surface he could at least make some other attractions to generate some more revenue.

 Also since this is connected to the Atlantic Express this is one of the oddest parts of Rapture. So, what did Ryan really prioritize indoctrination of Rapture's children instead of Oxygen and food? Also how did Sinclair wind up here to begin with? We know that Lamb is monitoring all of the Bathyspheres as demonstrated with Sammy and his girlfriends failed attempt to leave and the Atlantic Express station was under her control so how did Sinclair get there in the first place?

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Bioshock 2 is owned by Take2 interactive, 2K Marin, and 2K Australia.
Power Rangers is owned by is owned by Saban Entertainment, Haim Saban, Renaissance Atlantic Entertainment, Toei Company, Ltd. and MMPR Productions, Inc.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Manga review Kazumi Magica The Innocent Malice Analysis: Bene o Male? (Spoilers)

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

To think it's only been a year since my coverage of this manga began. Don't worry I'll try to be more punctual with future installments.
 Here's the link to last time which not only finished my coverage of the main story but also has links to the previous reviews.

Part 10

 Now that you've caught up time to discuss the art, writing and characters and see where this series stands. First off the artwork done by Takashi Tensugi works for this story. The characters all look cute most of the time and properly expressive when the situation called for it. Kazumi in one panel of looks like a puppy playing with a Kitten in a sock, another she's a calm manipulative chess master. While she was adorable in most most panels my favorites were where she was either shocked or calmly infuriated by those around her. The art was also good at conveying a character's anger and insanity sometimes in the same panel. Though the arts biggest weakness is the design of the witches and some of the Magical Girls.

 But I will fully admit that ragging on the witches in a manga is incredibly unfair, it's just one of the elements that gets lost in adaptation, as Linkara mentioned in his review of the Star Trek 2 comics you can't easily replicate what worked in the movie or in this case show in the comic since comics don't have lighting, special effects, music etc. Now where I can lay down some criticism is on some of the girls' costume design. Now not all of them looked too ridiculous like Umika and Niko's for instance, but others like Satomi, Mirai and especially Yuuri's costumes looked more then a little bit revealing. Now don't confuse me for some repressed footloose esq puritan that says that nobody can dress provocatively if they choose, but then again when I can't tell if a character who is 14-16 years old looks like they lost a fight with Edward Scissorhands and decided to not change afterwords I'm going to call it out. 
"Hell Tensugi calls it out at the end of Volume one, even Umika at the end of Chapter 2 has a 4th wall moment where she asks why when she transforms there's a part where she's naked. Which I can't help but think is part of the joke."
But enough talking about what teenage girls are wearing.

 Its time to talk about the characters themselves starting with arguably the true villains of this story, The Pleiades Saints. I kept making jokes about their actions and conduct during the review and I mean them, in any other story, ignoring the context behind their actions they would be the villains. Thus the reason why this story has the subtitle of Innocent Malice; while their ultimate goal was to save not only Michiru but all magical girls from becoming Witches it's hard to ignore the fact that their actions are horrible and downright evil. Kidnapping, mass brainwashing, human resurrection and betraying their own friends would definitely put points in the evil category. Their actions actualy give rise to the actual villainous Magical Girls of this story so before I go into the Saints in full detail I now have to talk about the antagonists of this story and how the Saints caused all of this.

 Aside from the Souju's; Yuuri and Hijiri were essentially victims of the Saints actions whether directly like Yuuri or indirectly as was the case with Hijiri. Yuuri did have understandable motivations for attacking them, they killed the person that saved her from death even knowing what she did and what she became. Her goals were essentially a warped and twisted version of the Pleiades goals, while the Pleiades wanted to resurrect Michiru, Yuuri went straight for torture and revenge. Which does make sense since unlike the saints who had each other for consolidation Yuuri went completely mad by her desire for vengeance and Kyubey being the one to coax her into making the wish and influencing her decision making during her warped state of mind didn't help anyone except him. Even the original Yuuri was about to join them until she became a witch so things may have played out very differently if Ari was there to see Yuuri transform and the saints stayed behind to console her and explain; sure it might not have gotten through but it would have been better then just leaving her to be manipulated by Kyubey.

 Hijiri on the other hand had her entire identity and existence called into question, revealed that her entire life was created by Niko so she can live the life she wished she had but was too consumed by guilt to take it. Seeing Hijiri actually reminded me of a character from the 1994 Spider-man cartoon that ran on Fox Kids. An alternate universe Peter Parker who discovered that he was a clone and was consumed by anger and bitterness towards the original (who took the name Ben Riley) and was driven completely insane by being possessed by the Carnage Symbiote becoming Spider-Carnage. His goal from then on became to destroy all of reality for having everything he treasured taken away with the fact that he wasn't the real Peter Parker; just a clone created for no real reason. I could see that same madness and desperation coming from Hijiri, though just like Spider-Carnage she eventually remembered what truly mattered in the end, tried what she could to set things right and atone for all the horrors she committed. Though as she said she barely had to do anything to the saints since they were destroying themselves just fine without her interference.

 Though her abilities are rather head scratching, her wish was for the ability to sneak by people undetected. So how exactly does that lead to her being able to copy the Saints powers like she was Megaman or something? Though in the panel where she explains how she made the evil nuts we see her using her connection magic on Umika's book which as demonstrated when she used Kyoko's Roso Phantasma spell she would have more then likely copied the other's magic as well in case one of them died so she could give the clone all the memories of their powers. Admittingly that's just speculation but it makes the most sense to me so I'm sticking to it. Speaking of, the Evil Nuts are a rather useful and potentially deadly little tool, something that gives ordinary people the abilities of Witches while retaining their sense of self, if she wanted too Hijiri could have made an army of Pseudo Witches to conquer the world. But those who're motivated by revenge don't tend to think long term, though once she got her revenge she could have moved on to making that army to exterminate humanity; still thankfully those Evil Nuts never made it into the hands of others who could cause serious damage with them.

As for Souju there wasn't really all that much to her aside from her duel Soul Gems and downright evil hobby. Honestly it's my head cannon that in her spare time she's dancing around her soul gem collection listening to "Mambo #5" the same way Buffalo Bill dances to "Goodbye Horses". Shame though if this was the world of Soul Eater she'd either be taken care of by Soul and Makka or become a Kishin with how many souls she's taken. Such potential gone down the drain, shame. Now that the antagonists are out of the way time to give my thoughts on whom I consider the real villains as well as our main hero.

 I'll be starting with whom I believe to be the most off the deep end to Kazumi herself. Though keep in mind their motivation isn't the problem with them, it's how they go about it that tiptoes over the moral event horizon.
I guess I'll start off with the teams resident crazy cat girl Satomi. She was purrfectly pleasant and friendly at the start often acting as a calm motherly figure, always addressing people politely, clearly loved animals and definitely the second most emotional member of the team. Though just like with Mami this was just a brittle persona, and once she saw that Niko became a witch even though her Gem was seemingly clean; that broke her and her descent into madness began. Though not as immediate and panicked as Mami was during her break down she was far more calm and malicious, showing absolutely no signs of remorse in her actions when she was forcing Saki to kill Kazumi nor during the forced fight between Kazumi and the Clones. She may have started wanting to help animals and save them but in the end she just became a rabid animal herself."

Though speaking of mad personas and cold heartedness Mirai was a broken girl who would do anything to earn Saki's love; even if it meant killing the girl she loved in the process. She was the atypical Tsundere character and only seemed to soften up around Saki which makes sense since she saved Sakis life without hesitation when they first met. Being ostracized as she was It'd make sense that she'd gravitate toward possibly the only person in her age group who showed her any true kindness. She even started to bond with her during their time together, though she knew Saki liked Michiru she most likely took it as a small rivalry but it gradually devolved into obsession and jealousy. She was a ticking time bomb and she went off whenever Saki was involved whether she was hurt or wanted to get rid of anything that could stand between her and Saki; including the girl who was responsible for the two meeting in the first place. Even her last act was self sabotaging, summoning witches to protect Saki's Witch and by proxy the girl who was trying to exterminate humanity.
Which leads us to the person who created her in the first place. Niko was one of the more intelligent of the group, though she was the most emotionally distant. But hey you'd be a bit of a gloomy Gus too if you accidentally killed two of your friends before you even learned how to spell. Which begs the question, did her parents never consider; oh I don't know A GODDAMN THERAPIST?! Yeah no, this was mostly on them, their little girl accidentally killed two of her friends did they really think that she'd just get over it if they told her it wasn't her fault? Quite frankly the thought she didn't try to kill herself years ago over the guilt would be a miracle. As I commented before there was something to be said about her wish, she could have removed that memory and had a happy life with her new friends but instead chose to create a clone to take her place, give her family the daughter they deserve while she continues to atone for what she did and dedicate her life to fighting witches with her new family. Knowing that she could never accept running away from her sin she gave the ideal her a chance to live the life she never could, too bad Hijiri didn't see it that way. THANKS KYUBEY!!!
Moving on to the de facto leader of the team. Out of all the Pleiades she was obviously the one who wanted Michiru back the most out of all of them. As we saw in the flashbacks she went out of her way to replace Michiru's earrings. This was furthered evidenced by how she handled the clones, she couldn't bring herself to kill something that had her face and so chose to seal them away. This love extended to Kazumi as well when she broke through Satomi's mind control and stabbed herself instead. She always was the first to try and comfort Kazumi, giving her votes of confidence and trying to reassure her that she and the others have her back. However even when she was holding Kazumi she just couldn't get past the fact that she was a clone of Michiru. Though she knew her and the others actions were horrible she was the most determined to tough it out and do whatever it took to bring Michiru, the one she clearly loved; back to life.

 I'm counting these two together since they're the first two of the saints that Kazumi meets and the only ones aside from her to survive this whole ordeal. Besides they do seem to work better as a pair Umika doing the heavy thinking while Kaoru does the heavy kicking. Since they were the first ones to find Kazumi and guide her in the life of a Magical girl it would make sense that they bond with her more then the others; the fact Kaoru was willing to fight the others to protect Kazumi when she called everyone to the freezer was evidence enough of her loyalty. Umika meanwhile was one of the core members behind the groups plan for good and for ill, not only was she the one responsible for rewriting Kazumi's memories but more importantly she was the one who wrote Kyubey out of the memories of the entire city's magical girl populous. She was also resolved to kill Kazumi to make sure the project could continue, much to Kaoru's horror. But for good and for ill these two survived in the end with their new best friend and no amount of altered memories can change that fact.

 Which leads us to our title character and hero of our story. What else can I say about her? She's a pretty good main character in my books. She's loyal to her friends but not so forgiving as to let them off the hook for their actions; bubbly and goofy without being an idiot and when the situation called for it she could be genuinely angry and hurt. (Fuck you Wrong, Leftovers and Dumbluck) Hijiri called her and Kazumi artificial humans yet between the two Kazumi was the most human without question. So her wish at the end while I get the sentiment is still head scratching to me. She's already proven her humanity many times over so why would she need to wish to become human knowing that she would lose that humanity as soon as she earned it when she could have; as I suggested wish for her friends back to life? But again the sentiment isn't lost on me it's just the logic that throws me off.

So might as well mention the Saints other victim and creation. Juubey was created to fill the Kyubey gaps in everyone's memories and purify the gems for the saints. Though as shown it was nothing but a placebo. Which is a good bit of symbolism concerning the saints actions and personalities. I won't go into too much detail why since I think you all can figure it out for yourselves. But even it's existence was a lie and died for nothing. Poor fake fuzzball.
 Overall Kazumi Magica is a great side story. It gives us new likable characters, presents a good moral quandary and demonstrates a few things we always wanted to see in the main show. Which also showed why it isn't such a good idea for magical girls to team up, someone trying to change magical girls back to humans and introduced the possibility of artificial witches and magical girls, both with horrible consequences. The artwork was competent, with vibrant expressive faces and designs; though the backgrounds could use a bit more detail but whatever. Next in our look at Madoka we'll go back to the main characters in a world where Homura will meet her intellectual match and we hear about this franchises Masato Kusaka.

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Kazumi Magica The Innocent Malice is owned by Masaki Hiramatsu, Takashi Tensugi, Magica Quartet and Yen Press.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record is owned by ANiplex, F4samurai and Magica Quartet.
Archer is owned by Adam Reed, Floyd County Productions, Radical Axis and FX Productions.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Let's Play BioShock 2 HD Part 1: Adonis Luxury Resort and Atlantic Express.

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

 So now we move on to the black sheep of the BioShock franchise. While I most certainly will admit that compared to BioShock 1 and Infinite BioShock 2 does come up in third place. However among the three I can't help but think this game as the most fun. Though on a philosophical standpoint BioShock 2 is far more blatant and less subtle in its message compared to its counterparts it does let me play as one of the most badass monsters in gaming, the Big Daddy. Admittingly it's a newly created (out of universe at least) prototype creature we still get the drill, a type of rivet gun and various other bad ass weapons.

 As before I will be completing this game 100% in a single play-through, so that means I'll be getting all the Plasmids, save all the Little Sisters and relevant NPC's but all doing it on the hardest difficulty without vita chambers. Though since the hardest mode in this game is only just hard and not survivor this is comparatively easier then the first game but I may still have some trouble. First after dropping our daughter off for her joint custody weekend with her mom Agatha Christie we'll go to the spa fro some R&R. Then we're off to meet our old friend Tenenbaum at the train station.

Bioshock 2 is owned by Take2 interactive, 2K Marin, and 2K Australia.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Manga review Kazumi Magica The Innocent Malice Finale: The scarlet Spider-Gwen.

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

Here we are folks at long last the end of the road of this spin off manga. Also yes the three get new forms and they will be explained later.
 Man this has been quite a long ride. So long that I'm assuming that most of you may have forgotten what happened. Or most of you may have discovered this review on their own and haven't read either my reviews or the previous volumes of this manga. So be sure to get caught up on my thoughts on this story here.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

 Or if you haven't read this story before and don't want spoilers here're the links to them on Amazon so you can either order the physical books or read on Kindle/Comixology/whatever. So be sure to check either option then come back to see how I make jokes about the end of this entry in the Madoka Magica franchise.

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

Volume 5

 Now that I've finished providing the backlog and actual buying options let's bring this dog and pony show to rest. Where we last left off Kazumi is begging for Umika and Kaoru to stay with her and not succumb to despair. Kyubey says that it's only a matter of time until the inevitable happens and the two become witches. They however say that that will never happen since not only is their whole goal is to reject the system but as Michiru learned from her grandma and thus the Pleiades learned from Michiru that there is always hope.

Or at least room for one last burrito.
 The fluffy borg gives his whole resistance is futile schtick and that no matter how much they want, no magical girl has met her end before becoming a witch and birthing a Grief Seed. (Ignoring Tart for a second but hey, few millennia back and not written yet so no choice but to cut him some slack.) So Kaoru declares that they'll be the first.

 Now before you all call bullshit "Too late!" We see another flashback; after the Pleiades killed Michiru's witch they begin their rebellion of the magical girl system by combining their magic to hide Michiru's Grief Seed inside of her earring. Still doesn't make any sense of why the Grief Seed popped out now on its own no less but hey at least we know now where it came from an why Kazumi's ear rings were so integral to her transformations. Kazumi then uses Michiru's Grief Seed to purify Umika and Kaoru's Soul Gems thus saving their lives; hurrah! But Hijiri got away with all of the corrupted Soul Gems; harrumph! But instead of running as far as she can to fight another day, she acts like a sore loser and uses her connection magic on all of the Soul Gems that simultaneously turn into Grief Seeds at her command; which she combines into a single horrible creature that even Kyubey mistakes for Walpurgisnacht!
Well they're boned.
 Our chapter ends with Kaoru and Umika preparing to attack Hijiri and the Hyades Daybreak until Kazumi brings up a very valid point; she was only drawing upon her power as a witch, Amazon, Skrull whatever this whole time thus she never made a contract with Kyubey! So my guess would be that she'll wish for all of the Pleiades Saints to be brought back to life as well as Michiru, so they'll all be back, their goal achieved as well as having enough firepower to end Hijiri and her Chimera for good. 
Or you can make a really stupid wish, that'll work too I guess, not really, no.
 Well whatever a wish is a wish so Kyubey grants it and Kazumi becomes a true Magical Girl as Kazumi the White!
So now she's a true magical girl, but there's just one problem with this aside from the stupidity of her wish.

  Tiny hat hang ups aside we finally bring this story to a close with Kazumi and her brand new original power ready to fight Hijiri. Kaoru and Umika transform to join her and get a rather nice surprise, new powers and new duds!

 The trio charge into battle with Kaoru and Umika dealing with the Hyades Daybreaks familiars while Kazumi deals with Hijiri directly. She manages to get to her who is horrified at seeing that she made a contract and confused by how a fake human could have a real body to separate a soul from to begin with. But this is where Kazumi states the obvious, if they were fake how could they have hearts which lead them to become real Magical Girls?  
See Makoto even this series managed to figure this shit out before you did, or nearly killed Alan. God Ghost was a poorly written mess.
 Hijiri denies this and states that she's prepared to destroy Kazumi's home with the little time she has left. So the three charge up their power and combine into a super charged blast which destroys the Walpurgisnacht knock-off. Hijiri is on her last legs but Kazumi uses Michiru's Grief Seed on her Soul Gem, it's not enough to completely purify it but it should last her for a little bit. After explaining that she wasn't created by Niko for malicious intentions, well I'd give the full details but again this is one part I feel that you need to see for yourselves. Now for the wrap up, we cut to some time later in the girls school with Kazumi Subaru introducing herself to her new classmates. 

 So we cut to the other winner in this whole fiasco; Kyubey who gloats about how he was able to get new data as well as getting Forester under contract and asks Umika and Kaoru if they're going to try something like this again. While they understandably won't try an insane stunt like the clone plan again they won't give up trying to find a way to turn Magical Girls back to normal. So we end Kazumi Magica with Kyubey alerting the trio about a new Witch and the three go after it promising to live their lives to the fullest for their dead friends. 

Cue Opening to Perfect Strangers
 But don't worry we'll be seeing them again soon, maybe not in Manga form but in Magica Record. But whether that'll come stateside is up in the air. Maybe not but one can hope though, but I still have a bit to say about this book. So check in next time where I break down the strengths and weaknesses of this entry of the franchise.

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Kazumi Magica The Innocent Malice is owned by Masaki Hiramatsu, Takashi Tensugi, Magica Quartet and Yen Press.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is owned by Studio Sunrise, Gorō Taniguchi and Funnimation.
Code Ment is owned by PurpleEyesWTF.
Dragon Ball, Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT is owned by Funnimation, Toei animation, Fuji TV and Akira Toriyama.
Dragon ball Z abridged is owned by Team Four Star. 
Kamen Rider is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Lets Play BioShock HD Part 9: DLC Challenge Rooms

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

 So here we are folks, the end of the road with the 10th Anniversary of BioShock, one of my favorite games of all time as of right now. I hope that you all got something out of this crazy journey into the crazy world of Rapture and don't you all worry there's more to come as there's still BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite for you all to see me wiz through (for the most part). So from me to you thanks for stopping by and see you all next time for my Let's Play of BioShock 2.

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Bioshock is owned by 2K Boston, 2K Australia, Take-Two Interactive, Ken Levine, Alyssa Finley and 2K Games.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Manga Review: Kazumi Magica The innocent malice Vol 5: Part 1: We'll meet again one sunny day.

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

 Lets see, evil clone of a central character, obsessed with killing their original. Sounds about right only difference is that unlike Ryuga we actually know where Hijiri came from.
 Once again sorry for the delay in getting this part out but again life happens. But instead of me point you to the previous reviews of this Manga I'll instead save that for the end of this series of reviews to avoid redundancy. Back on track Volume 5 opens with Hijiri abridging the Darth Vader speech to Kazumi who of course tells her to stick her offer where the sun don't shine, even though she was a replacement the friendship between them was real. 
Your words have touched my heart, tiny little homunculus girl.  NOW LEZ GIB OURSELVES A BIG OLL BACK BREAKEN UG EH?!
 Kazumi manages to break out of the tube and grows back to normal size, maybe she had one of Saki's shrooms on hand. Kaoru offers Hijiri a chance to just stop all of this but she refuses, which leads to Umika giving her a reason you/we suck speech that really needs to be read for yourself. Nonetheless now that Kazumi won't join her Hijiri has no reason to be holding back anymore. Umika and Kaoru transform to let Kazumi rest but Hijiri gets some unexpected help. Some of Mirai's bears break into the barrier carrying tainted 6 Soul Gems including the Souju's all of which turn into witches that form a protective wall around Saki's witch. The two are undeterred however as Umika uses a spell she recorded on Kaoru.

Copy, please?
 Despite the extra Kaoru's and Umika trying a sneak attack; Hijiri and the witches prove to be too strong for them. Kazumi tries to transform but her soul gem is at its limit. Which is where Juubey comes in and does his thing.

Or not. Hey dude I know you've been kind of useless but thats no reason to fall to pieces over this.
 So now that Juubey's dead the girls are completely hosed without a way to purify their soul gems.

Wait Juubey, no no no I remember now, to our collective displeasure.
 Kaoru tries to use the two gems left behind by Juubey's remains but they're dissolved and completely useless. Now that there's no way to fight back Hijiri sends the Nebula disk witch to attack, however when it hears the sound of Kazumi's earrings it roars and the other witches charge in and start to eat her. Yes what was left of Saki commanded the witches to eat and kill her so she can give the three her Grief Seed, what little of the girl inside of the monster broke out long enough to save her sisters in arms. Kind of like Day of the dead only with less Zombies and more friendship. The chapter ends with Umika and Kaoru taking the Grief Seed and fulfill Saki's last request, using it to purify Kazumi's Soul Gem saving her life at the cost of theirs.

 Chapter 20 opens with Kazumi completely restored and no longer in danger of witching out. Hijiri even after seeing everything that these girls went though for each other still thinks Kazumi will go along with her crazy ass plan, look kid there's a difference between being stubborn and just plain old fashions stupid. Kazumi obviously tells Hijiri to blow her offer out her ass and uses Umika's power (aka Kyoko's) to create copies of herself, which manage to take out the minor witches in one strike leaving Hijiri with just the Twin Fox witch. As Kazumi charges ahead the duo reminisce and regret on how they should have introduced her to Saki much sooner then they did.

 Yeah apparently they could have had Kazumi meet the rest as soon as they found her, but they just wanted to wait and see if she was stable before moving things forward. They concluded that aside from Kazumi retaining Michiru's cooking skills she has no trace of Michiru's memories or personality, so pretty much perfect. Further in the past after a fight with a witch Umika got the idea to resurrect Michiru from the ability she copied from the witch with her X-File spell as well as pooling everybody else's powers together.

Now this just begs the question of 1, how she made this thing in the first place and 2 since Witches have hearts what would a Heartless born from a witch would look like?
 As stated earlier this is the ultimate taboo they're breaking for Michiru since she went through so much to protect them. Saki read through her journal and confirmed that Michiru at some point learned the truth, thus she made sure the other's gems were cleaned before hers and did everything she could to hide the truth from them. Her little way of trying to cope with the fact that she accidentally sentenced her new friends to inevitably becoming horrible monsters, well some people take up yoga, some people play video games and others hide the truth about their new friends becoming rejects from Tim Burton's deviant art page. Nevertheless they all agreed to this insane plan since they desperately wanted to pay back their mentor and beloved friend for all she did no matter the cost. 

 So for months they tried and tried but it never worked out, even Kazumi their most perfect creation can't avoid the fighting that comes with being a magical girl. Kaoru and Umika flashback again (take a shot) to the group wondering what to give Kazumi once she's finished. Mirai would give her one of her custom teddy bears, Satomi was going to give her back Toto who apparently was injured when Michiru became a witch. Umika was going to let her be the first person to read her new book (so, your gift to your friend/creation is to show her how awesome you are. Real selfless gift right there lass, maybe she was just really desperate for some feedback, but based on their previous attempts to recreate Michiru I would have guessed it would've turned out like this. 
 Moving on to less narcissistic gifts Kaoru was going to give her the uniform she won in the national tournament. As for Niko, she proposed a trip to America, she wanted them all to look up at the Pleiades constellation in the Grand Canyon, where she'll be able to tell them everything about herself. As for Saki, her gift was the earrings, besides being her gift it was her way of trying to move past Michiru's death, by seeing Michiru's most treasured item not as hers but Kazumi's. So essentially a regift? "cough" Cheapskate "cough".

 Back in the present as the two are about to succumb to despair they notice a much bigger problem. Saki's grief seed is about to hatch into the Nebula Disk Witch all over again. At the same time a giant glyph over the city shatters, which reminds the two about how Grief Seeds were originally disposed of. Our chapter ends with the return of the reason why the Pleiades Saints started this insanity, the being that's ultimately responsible for all of their problems, the unholy fucking fuzzball himself; the Incubator! 

 Chapter 21 has Kyubey just strutting around like he owns the place and introducing himself to Kazumi. Kaoru is perplexed as to where he was this this whole time, when in reality he never left they just didn't notice him. He elaborates that the reason why he went unnoticed this whole time was due to Umika. As yet another flashback tells us (take a shot) when Kaoru confronted Juubey what really happened was that when Umika grabbed the incubator; instead of rewriting Juubey's memories she in actuality beat Kyubey to death against a wall. She thought that would be the end of it but of course where there's one Kyubey there's another not too far behind like a game of wack-a-mole.

 But instead of the usual cannibal routine Niko kept the dead Kyubey and experimented on it. The results of her research was an artificial incubator that was subservient to them as well as able to purify Soul Gems without a Grief Seed, and thus they named their creation Juubey. With their new incubator Umika planted the finishing touches, by combining her magic with the other 5 Pleiades she created a giant spell glyph over Asunaro city that replaced every magical girls' memory of Kyubey with Juubey and made his presence completely undetectable, so that way he can't come into contact with and create new Magical Girls. Kyubey admits that her plan was pretty damn good save for one problem, they used an incubator body as the basis for their Juubey project.

 Now admittedly his critique makes sense since if Incubators were created to absorb the energy when hope becomes despair why would they be given a function that purifies Soul Gems without the use of a Grief Seed? So all Juubey was in the end was just a sentient placebo, all he did essentially was give their Soul Gems a spit shine job when they really needed a trip to a car wash. He speculates that the only reason why they didn't become witches sooner was a combination of holding back their strength when fighting as well as a residual purifying power of the Grief Seeds Juubey ingested.

 Speaking of witches Umika and Kaoru are on the verge of becoming ones themselves. 
"Just as planned Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!!" Yeah Kazumi he couldn't help but look at what's bleeding all over the floor right over there?
 Kazumi skins the Fox witch but unfortunately it didn't drop a Grief Seed. So this chapter ends with Kazumi holding her friends hands begging for them to not become witches. With this revolution we've officially reached the climax, will Umika and Kaoru be saved, will Hijiri be stoped before she can destroy humanity, and what of the other magical girls stored in the freezer? Check out next time where we see the conclusion of Kazumi Magica The Innocent Malice.

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Kazumi Magica The Innocent Malice is owned by Masaki Hiramatsu, Takashi Tensugi, Magica Quartet and Yen Press.
Bioshock Infinite is owned by Ken Levine, Irrational Games, 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive.
Rick and Morty is owned by Justin Rolland, Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland's Solo Vanity Card Productions, Harmonious Claptrap, Starburns Industries, and Williams Street.
South Park is owned by Matt Stone, Trey Parker and Comedy Central.
Warhammer 40,000 is owned by Rick Priestly, Games Workshop and Citidel.
If the Emperor had a Text to Speech Device is owned by Bruva Alfabusa.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Lets Play BioShock HD Part 8: Point Prometheus and Fontaine

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

 Honestly this is my least favorite level in BioShock. As soon as I get the Big Daddy suit the Splicers mostly ignore me and I can go about as I wish, not to mention the insane amounts of stockpiled ammo we find here nothing can even touch me. Not even Fontaine's ineffective threats are enough to deter the walking living tank that I have become. Though fear not because there's still the DLC challenge rooms for me to overcome. That's a tale for next time.

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Bioshock is owned by 2K Boston, 2K Australia, Take-Two Interactive, Ken Levine, Alyssa Finley and 2K Games.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Personal Post: Halloween List: Top 10 Favorite monsters in fiction Part 2

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

Sorry but no marriage stealing demons here.
 Welcome back to those who have seen the first part of this list. Now for those who’s missed Part 1 here’s where we are so far.

#10 Kars
#9 Fnaf Animatronics
#8 Freddy Kreuger
#7 Walter Sullivan and his victims
#6 The Heartless

Moving on.

#5 The Shadows from Persona.
You know that little voice in your head that tells you just be an absolute asshole? These guys are were that voice comes from.
 While the shadows technically were introduced in Persona 2 and did serve as the primary antagonists in Persona 3 with the distinct bodies and breeds; Persona 4 was where these two incarnations were mixed together. For those who don’t know Shadows draw inspiration from the term defined by Carl Jung where they are the manifestations of a person’s negative aspects of their self. The shadows in Persona follow this principle to a more literal degree. See also “Rest and Ricklaxation” only not as slimy but just as psychotic in most cases.

 In the Persona series Shadows are physical manifestations of humanity’s repressed negative self. Their MO varies depending on which game you encounter them, In Persona 3 they devour the minds of people who are dragged into the Dark Hour leaving them as soulless husks who beg for Nyx to bring about The Fall and the end of humanity. In Persona 4 when a person enters the Midnight Channel they’re confronted by their personal Shadow who will do everything in their power to get their real selves to reject them thus causing them to assume their true form and kill their original selves to justify their own existence as unique beings.

 More recently in Persona 5 the Shadow Selves of people whose hearts desires are consumed and twisted with negative emotions such as greed, lust, despair etc have their dark desires manifested in Mementos. The most severe cases break out of Mementos in the form of a Palace centered around their personal sanctuary where their Shadows rule over and seek to fulfill their original self’s dark desires. This attracts other weaker Shadows which are enslaved and controlled by the Palace Ruler to be their personal guards to protect their treasures. The palace treasure is the symbolic form of the source of their dark desires which are guarded against any and all intruders.

 When rejected by their real selves; or in the case of Palace rulers when their treasure is at risk of being stolen from a real world confrontation of their dark actions, these Shadows transform into bizarre monstrous forms to kill their opponents. But if their real selves can accept or confront what the Shadows have to say after being pacified in battle they become Personas. But if a Palace ruler Shadow is killed then their real self will have a mental shutdown and die. The Shadows offer a truly sick and terrifying nemesis because while you may try to act the best as you can you can never escape your darker aspects, you can run from your problems but you can never hide from yourself, and your Shadow is everything you wish you weren’t but know you may want to be.

#4 The Witches from Madoka Magica

Oktavia Von Seckendorff, such a poor, unfortunate soul.
 Most people are familiar with the stereotypical depiction of Witches, black hats, brews potions, flies on broomsticks, get killed by someone accidentally spilling water on them. But the Witches in Madoka Magica are nothing like that. In this world certain girls from the approximate ages of 6 to 16 have the potential to form a contract with the alien cat creature Kyubey to have a single wish granted. The catch of course being that once their wish is granted they become Magical Girls and are charged with defeating creatures referred to as Witches. Sounds simple right, but here's the catch though, Kyubey is the sleazy used car salesman of Magical Girl mascot characters.

 I mean sure he will grant your wish and make you into a Magical Girl but he also kind of forgot to mention that if your Soul Gem, the source of your magic turns black either form overuse or if you fall into despair the hunter will quite literally become the prey. Yes aside from looking like the living nightmares of Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton Witches are actually Magical Girls who have succumbed to complete despair and are now mindless monsters who will devour people, cause them to commit suicide and various other horrible unexplained tragedies. On top of the normal Witches that hide away in their inter dimensional Labyrinths and the familiars that sometimes escape their masters to try and grow into Witches themselves there's also the most powerful Witch of them all, Walpurgisnacht the Christmas tree topper from hell who's so powerful its mere presence is enough to cause hurricanes!

 Its not even that the most weak looking witch can kill even the most experienced Magical Girl in just one shot that make them compelling it's that most of them were formerly young girls who just wanted the universe to cut them a break for once. But they all forget that you can't expect the universe to roll over and play dead without giving it a treat. Everything from their familiars to their Labyrinths are drenched in symbolism about their human selves, their wishes and their state of mind before they became these monsters. Now the Madoka Wiki does delve into the symbolism of the original series Witches but with all of the spin offs Mangas and new Video Games (that most likely won't be coming stateside) there's more to come. so in case an alien bunny cat wants to strike a deal with you just make sure you bring a lawyer to check the terms or else.

#3 The automatons from Karakuri Circus

These are the Generals of the Midnight Circus, known as Les Quatre Pionniers. The Geezer with the bird is Pantalone, the Ball Roller. The fatso with Kung-Lao's hat is Dottore the juggler. The woman with the cheap romance novel is Columbine the Trapeze Artist and last is Arlechino, the Guitarist.
  Ohh going hipster on this one since as far as I can tell not a whole lot of people know about these wind up toys from hell so I’ll summarize as best as I can. Though with this entry I'm at the mercy of fan translations as the Manga; Karakuri Circus has to my knowledge never been officially translated so if I get some info wrong you know why. The world of Karakuri Circus is plagued by a group of sentient puppets brought to life by Francine who is the creation of the deranged Alchemist Bai-Jin with a single goal, make her laugh. To that end these monstrosities have spent 200 or so years traveling across the globe in a caravan known as the Midnight Circus and spread a horrible disease called Zonapha’s Syndrome. This disease causes the victim to become biologically immortal but in perpetual pain and the only way to alleviate the pain is for the victim to make people laugh. 

 While the automatons have sentience and can fake emotions they are not real human beings thus they also seek the Philosophers Stone which can create the true Aqua Vitae, a substance which can make them fully human, thus able to comprehend the heart and thus make Francine laugh. But there are ways to put these psychotic Pinocchios down for good. Either destroy them with a specialized Puppet controlled by a near immortal being called Shirogane, overload their bootleg Aqua Vitae blood with Ki infused Qui Gong, if they run out of human blood to mix with their bootleg Aqua Vitae or if they reject their raison d’être, but no matter what they must be fought one on one without a conventional weapon otherwise their full powers can be utilized and could easily slaughter their opponents. Everything about the Midnight Circus is absurd, from their designs to their goals and even their weaknesses. Honestly these seem like what would happen if the Joker ever became a villain in a Tokusatsu show, an army of killer puppet clowns who personify the phrase “you can’t spell slaughter without laughter”, well they'd definitely be more interesting then Jared Leto. 

 Also the only people who can defeat them are master puppeteers who use gigantic puppets as their weapons? What do you know, something else ripped off by Musashi Kishimoto and let me see Karakuri Circus began publication around 1997 and Kankuro was introduced in Naruto around 2000, yep sounds right to me. As for the Automatons themselves while a majority look like clowns with insanely exaggerated features there are ones that look completely human which infiltrate human cities to steal blood and spread Zonapha’s Syndrome. So we have a bunch of deranged, sadistic carnie vampire puppets that want to become immortal so they can make one person laugh to bring back a person who has been long since dead. If that doesn’t sound like interesting monster material I don’t know what does. Forget SweetTooth, forget Pennywise (either version) these beasts are the real Insane Clown Posse and they don't give a shit about how magnets work.

 #2 The Horrors from Garo

While this one is a common Horror they're still nothing short of hell-spawn.
 While I did compare the Horrors to the Witches in my first Madoka Magica article these eldritch terrors also share some things in common with the Heartless. All three are creatures born from the darkness of humanity and will never be purged from their worlds unless darkness no longer exists, so good luck with that. As for the Horrors themselves they're beasts from the Makai World who devour the souls of evil humans and possess them so that they can consume more humans to sate their hunger. However if the human target has a desire that interests the Horror or if the two share a common goal the Horror can enter a symbiotic relationship to fulfill that desire. But the host is still technically dead and in perpetual torment due to being possessed by an entity that pure, dang, nasty evil.

 The only ones who can defend the human world from the Horrors is the Makai Order, made of the Makai Priests and their greatest warriors, the Makai Knights. Horrors are monsters in the purest sense of the word, they see humans as prey, literally feast on pure evil and look like Nightmares made flesh. But the truly terrifying part of these beings is the stone cold fact that so long as humanity has darkness in their hearts (and lets face it it's required to be a balanced person) Horrors will never go away. Hell even the Makai Knights don't actually kill them, when they're defeated their essence is just returned to the Makai World to be eventually reincarnated all over again, so yes this threat will never end. But remember this, where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns, but by the blade of knights, mankind was given hope. Now I'm just wondering if there was a Madoka Magica and Garo crossover, project for later then if I get around to it and I catch up on Garo.

Now before I get to my #1 favorite monster here's the honorable mentions.

Headcrab Zombies from Half life, while they're terrifying and the level "We Don't Go to Ravenholm" makes me crap my pants every time I play Half-Life 2 they're just Zombies with the Facehuggers' satanic cousins on their face so not much to them aside from terror. 
The Minions from Overlord, no not the servants of the blinged out Skeletor with the hot imp with the massive rack I mean the little goblin things that serve the Overlord of Evil and his advisor Gnarl. My personal favorites are the bashing browns. Unfortunately while Codemaster's Overlord franchise is dead right now thanks to the hot mess that was "Fellowship of Evil" maybe we'll see these excitable embassies of evil again soon. Just don't introduce a new Yellow Minion tribe or else I'll swear off Bananas forever.
Rachnera from Monster Mutsume, what else can I say, I like girls with a bit of snark, a dark edge and some actual depth to their character. Besides giant spiders are awesome.
The Joker Persona from Persona 2 Eternal Punishment. Less a Persona and more of a parasite this Pseudo Persona is granted to anyone who is infected with the Joker Virus which gets stronger the more the virus spreads. While it does look cooler in its more monstrous stages it just didn't make the cut.
The Bogeyman from Silent Hill Downpour. While I may be sick of Pyramid Head that doesn't mean its initial concept is dead. Bogeyman is the main stalker of Murphy Pendleton and Anne Cunningham. While Pyramid Head represented James' desire to be judged for his sins Bogeyman to me represents someone who needs to be judged. To Murphy when he sees the Bogeyman's face after defeating him in the Monastery his face flickers between his own for how badly he screwed up his life and his son's killer Patrick Napier. As for Anne she sees Murphy as the Bogeyman because she thinks he's the one who  beat her father into a vegetative state. I'd put him on the list proper but he's just a big dude with a cinderblock hammer, gas mask and raincoat. Not that it doesn't work sometimes the simplest designs are the best ones (Mario comes to mind here) but compared to other Silent Hill monsters he's a bit on the meh side, then again so are most of the monsters in Downpour so there you go. 
Alexander from Final Fantasy. I mean come on it's practically a Megazord how is this not awesome? Hell look at this scene from FF9 (AKA the best FF) standing tall against Bahamut with giant angel wings how is this not cool?! 
Songbird from BioShock Infinite. Now when I first saw this clockwork gargoyle I was psyched for the boss fight against this thing. I thought what weapon would work, what would its weaknesses be? But in the end we never actually fight Songbird in the game!

Now my absolute favorite Monster in Fiction #1 The Big Daddies from BioShock.

Yep Mr Bubbles and his many models are my personal favorite monsters.
 While there were entries on this list that had far more interesting backstories and designs I personally love these lumbering foul smelling palookas. Originally prisoners, political dissidents and Plasmid test subjects that were imprisoned in Persephone Penal Colony they were further spliced, brainwashed, had their skin and organs grafted into these diving suits and conditioned to protect the Little Sisters at all cost. And to do that these beasts were equipped with Sea Stone piercing drills, rivet guns, rocket launchers (kind of stupid considering were they are, one wrong rocket into a window and BLAM instant fish tank) and high powered laser guns.

 Just imagine everything that you were just stripped away, existing as a sleepwalking zombie whose only function is to protect a blood sucking ghoul while fighting off genetically mangled maniacs who could kill you if they gang up on you in just the right way. Honestly I think that's the most terrifying thing about the Big Daddies, the very idea that your mind, personality, everything that makes you you repurposed into this beast if you cross Ryan. Honestly that fear of the loss of self, one of many hippocratic actions Ryan permitted in his "self made paradise" is horrifying. So that's my Top 10 favorite monsters in fiction as of this list. But I'm betting you want to know what my least favorite monsters are, well that's what next year is for, so happy Halloween and now to see how the rest of this year unfolds.

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is owned by Gen Urobutchi, Studio Shaft, and Studio Aniplex.
Karakuri Circus is owned by Kazuhiro Fujita and Shogakukan.
Garo is owned by Keita Amemiya and TV Tokyo.
Bioshock is owned by 2K Boston, 2K Australia, Take-Two Interactive, Ken Levine, Alyssa Finley and 2K Games.
Half-Life 2 is owned by Valve Corporation
Overlord is owned by Codemasters, Lennart Sas and Triumph Studios.
Monster Musume is owned by Okayado, Tokuma Shoten, Monthyl Comic Ryu and Seven Seas.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is owned by Atlus, arc system works and Sega.
Persona 2 Eternal Punishment is owned by Atlus and Sega
Silent Hill Downpour is owned by Vatra games and Konami Computer Entertainment
Final Fantasy 9 is owned by Square Enix
Beavis and Butthead is owned by MTV Networks and Mike Judge.