Video Game Favs and Whatnot

There’s this thingy popular on Twitter called ‘Get to Know Me! Video Games Edition’ where people answer the points from that pic for likes. I decided to write a blog post instead.

1. A game that had a lasting impression on you.

There are many games that had a lasting impression, but I want to highlight a game called Katamari Damacy.

La, La La La La La La Katamari Damacy

This game does so much with so little: a simple gameplay mechanic of rolling stray objects into a ball. From not being able to roll a stray rock because it’s too big to rolling continents into your giant ball of doom. It’s very fun. It was one of the few times when I thought “What a stupid idea… what a genius idea!”

2. Favorite female video game character.

This is a tough question, but the answer probably is the Boss from MGS3. The way she’s written, presented and developed make her by far the best character in the Metal Gear Solid universe for me. I don’t believe Kojima could have written such a character, so I give all the credit to Tomokazu Fukushima.

“Sooner or later, your conscience is going to bother you. In the end, you have to choose whether you’re going to live as a soldier, or just another man with a gun.”

3. A game that’s so bad but so good.

Not many people know about the game called Michigan: Report From Hell. And rightly so. It is very, very bad. But it’s hilariously bad. Nothing works properly in this game, so you shouldn’t even try to play it correctly. When you deliberately fail and go for the worst possible solutions is when this game is the most fun.

4. A game that hit an emotional spot in your heart.

For me to get emotional about a game it needs to make me feel empathy for its characters, make me care about them, and then set up an emotional moment in a proper way. This is much rarer than one can expect, sadly enough. But telltale’s The Walking Dead managed to make me care very deeply. Lee Everett and Clementine are written so well, their relationship is developed so well, and the conclusion hits so hard

5. Favorite game developer or studio.

This one’s easy. It’s CD Projekt. They seem like the last remaining beacon of hope in today’s video game industry. I love the way they make their games, how they treat their fans. I really hope they continue being awesome.

6. Favorite male video game character.

Balthier from Final Fantasy XII. He plays the leading man, who else?

7. 5 of your favorite OSTs.

VA-11 Hall-A OST by Garoad

Shadow of the Colossus OST by Kō Ōtani

The Witcher 3 OST by Marcin Przybyłowicz & others

Final Fantasy XII OST by Hitoshi Sakimoto

Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle OST by Bill Brown

8. A game that not enough people talk about.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. While Divinity: Original Sin 2 was on a genre-revolutionizing rampage, PoE2 was quietly released and it was an improvement upon its predecessor in every way possible. It pays homage to the great Infinity Engine titles of old and essentially is just a polished child of those. Story is good, writing is good, gameplay is good, yet it’s overlooked.

9. Favorite antagonist.

Luc and Sarah from Suikoden III. What makes a good antagonist? A sound motivation, logic behind his actions, charisma. Luc and Sarah have this all. Sarah is an antagonist, Luc is a villain, but none of them are even remotely evil. They were just doing what they thought needed to be done. And I may or may not have been rooting for them by the end of the game.

10. Favorite game as a kid.

Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! I still love this game. But as a kid I could just replay it repeatedly. Such a fun and well-made platformer. Need to play the remake eventually.

11. 5 of your favorite video games.

5. Neverwinter Nights

4. VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

3. The Witcher 3

2. Final Fantasy XII

1. Shadow of the Colossus

12. A game series you’ve never been interested in.

Halo games always looked soulless and bland to me.

13. Favorite NPC or a party member.

Fran from Final Fantasy XII. I love her voice, I love her look, I love her part in the story. Also fuck you she’s not just a fanservice character.

14. A game that never gets old.

15. A game everyone should play at leas once.

Shadow of the Colossus or its remake for PS4. There’s just nothing quite like this game still. This game was a pure genius in how it managed to convey its atmosphere. A single guy trying to defeat 16 colossi all by himself. The scope of it was breathtaking, the feeling of loneliness it conveyed left you speechless and the resolution left you sobbing. Do yourself a favor and play this game.

16. A game that inspires you.

Final Fantasy XII once inspired me to try to write a fanfic. No one will ever read it for the greater good of humanity.

17. Favorite genre.

Role Playing Games. I like seeing stats grow and I like making decisions that matter and I like exploring and I like fighting monsters and I like completing quests and

18. What game you REALLY should have played by now.

Bastion. I am ashamed.

19. Favorite indie game you played recently.

I haven’t played any recent indie games, but the favorite indie game I played recently is The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.

20. A game that truly scared the shit out of you.

Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly. I was smol and this moment scared the shit out of me almost literally.


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My Top-5 J-Rock Artists

My Top-5 J-Rock Artists

This text was initially posted on the RJM Discord server.

5. BAND-MAID®

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BAND-MAID® are a peculiar group. I first discovered them through someone’s YouTube reaction video (don’t ask). They don’t really look the part and judging by their visual you would really think that they ought to sound like this. Imagine my surprise when I heard a very solid rock music coupled with not a cheesy anime vocal that I pretty much expected to hear. They really did rock. At first I found it just amusing, five girls dressed as cute maids making the most contrasting with their image music possible. But as I listened more and more I just forgot about this weird gimmick and came to appreciate them for what they did. I love how they sound: hard rock and power metal elements in their music are well-combined with Saiki’s and Miku’s vocals and the end product is something very distinct.

4. Yousei Teikoku

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Yousei Teikoku is the closest Japanese band I know of that creates the type of music I enjoy from the western musicians — gothic metal. If you disregard Yui Itsuki’s vocals their music sounds like something Epica or Delain would produce. What sets them apart is the way they incorporate other elements into their music. Many of their songs feature heavy electronic distortions, and you shouldn’t be surprised by the dark ambient ring to their sound. The other thing that makes them notable is Yui’s vocal. She uses her range extremely well: high notes give way to low whispers, sweet and cheery expression can be replaced with haunting and cold when needed. All in all their music is very melodic and extremely satisfying to listen to if this is your cup of tea.

3. Kishida Kyoudan & THE Akeboshi Rockets

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I don’t know if it’s only me, but I feel like Kishida Kyoudan & THE Akeboshi Rockets have a very distinct sound to them. It’s funny, but some of their songs somehow remind me of Russian rock of 80’s and 90’s. I may be out of my mind but that’s how I feel. Their music aside, I just low how sharp and clear ichigo’s vocals are. Her voice is very distinct to a point where you won’t mistake her for anyone else if you listen to her even once. Many people know this band through their many anisong appearances, but I found them when I had my annual ‘I must find some good-sounding doujin artists’ tic. By the time this occurred they have already had their memorable anime debut with Highschool of the Dead, but I was just not aware. I think they are quite known to people who are into Touhou stuff.

2. Ling Tosite Sigure

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I don’t think there is anyone quite like Ling Tosite Sigure. They qualify as progressive rock, alternative rock, post hardcore and a shitload more genres but they may as well be considered their own genre. Shit TK does is out of this world, really. His music is distinct, his voice is distinct, and you can’t ever possibly forget his creations. Even in his collaborations he leaves an enormous stamp of his music. Take his collaboration with Aimer for example. The song ‘us’ is unlike anything Aimer has done before; TK managed to make Aimer use her voice almost to its limit.
Ling Tosite Sigure’s own music is a glorious mess of seemingly disjointed guitar riffs, metallic-sounding drums and interconnected vocals of TK and 345. Yet somehow it works and it works amazingly. Their music manages to make me listen to them more and more and more and more.

1. Haruka to Miyuki

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Haruka to Miyuki to me is a duo that not just creates music, it’s a duo that tells me a story (mind that I don’t know Japanese, it’s just the way their music makes me feel). By definition they are a folk-rock duo, but it goes far beyond that. The way their lyrics are constructed makes it seem like Haruka and Miyuki are haveing a conversation during singing, or are telling a story together. Their sound is dominated by amazing drum and guitar work, and they are one of the few artists whose live performance videos I enjoy more than their studio albums or music videos.

My Top-5 J-Pop Artists

My Top-5 J-Pop Artists

This text was initially posted on the RJM Discord server.

5. Leo Ieiri

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I discovered Leo Ieiri when I was lurking in the Interwebs searching for my favorite Japanese artists’ subbed interviews. One of the random interviews was that of a cute girl from a singing competition of some kind. I found out that her name was Leo Ieiri and that she was singing the song called “Shine”. Her emotional vocals and clear and melodic voice instantly gripped me and I started to frantically Google her name in hopes of finding more of her songs. Search results told me that her debut album was scheduled to be released in a month from that date. So yes, I discovered Leo even before she released her first studio album. What I like the most about her is how funky her songs sound, and how happy she looks while singing. Her songs are not the pinnacle of J-pop’s evolution, in fact they are very much in line with the industry, but I still love her for her voice and for the feeling that I get from witnessing someone’s career unfold before me from the very beginning. She’s also mad pretty.

4. Sayuri

Sayuri

Sanketsu Shoujo Sayuri — this name popped up in my YouTube recommendations when I was looking for some street performance videos. Immediately interested (as I have a good history of stumbling upon good shit), I clicked on the video and got instantly smitten. A petite raincoat-wearing girl, standing at a Shibuya crossroad, holding yellow guitar and singing… She was not singing, she was pouring her soul into that microphone before the dumbfounded crowd that gathered to watch a street performance on a rainy evening in Tokyo. To say that Sayuri is emotional is to say nothing. Each and every song, each and every performance, each and every music video or a live show is electrified with her energy, her emotions overflowing and flooding space, time and senses. She takes you on a journey of her expressions. You don’t just listen to Sayuri, you experience her.

3. YUI

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Oh YUI, my first true love in the J-Pop world. Most people came to know about her through her various anisong performances, but it was different for me. More… trivial. It was my birthday and people were sending me their best wishes through various ways, and one of my friends decided to congratulate me with a song. That song was YUI – Happy birthday to you you. It was a love at first listen. And it was an all-encompassing love: I loved her voice, I absolutely adored her music and guitar play, I liked how she looked. Her music quickly became a mainstay in my playlist, and she was the first singer whose songs I never skipped — I loved them all. I even watched the movie she starred in — Midnight Sun — even though my opinion on Japanese cinema industry is quite low. It’s hard to say if I liked the movie on its own merits or if I liked it because of YUI, but yeah, I did like it. And even though she ended her music career, she still has a place in my heart.

2. Polkadot Stingray

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One of my more recent discoveries, this band managed to capture my heart like no one did before or since aside from a certain girl I’m sure none of you can guess the name of. They are funky, they are fun, they fill me up with sunshine whenever I listen to their songs. It’s hard for me to pinpoint the main cause of my infatuation with them, so I’ll blame it equally on Shizuku’s quirky voice and their upbeat and spirit-lifting music. Every time they perform they look like they enjoy all this shithousery so much I can’t help but smile. Their good vibes are contagious and I can’t help but feel better after I receive the healthy dose of Polkadot Stingray.

1. Aimer

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Pretend that you’re surprised. Yes, I love Aimer. Yes, my love for Aimer is borderline obsessive. It’s actually quite hard to put into words just how much does she mean to me. Her music is not just music. Her songs are not just songs. Her voice is not just a voice. They are special. She’s my escapism, my drug, my sedative. Listening to her is one of the few ways I can relax and calm down. She never failed to calm me down. Whenever I listen to her I feel bewitched, taken, enchanted. When I listen to her, nothing matters. I cried when I watched her Budokan live. She’s just so gorgeous and cute and amazing and happy there, I just couldn’t help but cry. I listen to her daily, I feel really uncomfortable if I haven’t heard anything Aimer for a day. I’m addicted, and I love it. Yes I’m aware that this part makes no coherent sense, I don’t care, just bear with me.
There is no doubt in my mind that I am her biggest fan. Doesn’t matter if someone has listened to her more than I did, or if someone knows all her lyrics word by word. I just simply know that no one feels the way I do. There is a person that understands me and supports me, and I’m happy that this person also likes Aimer.
I am the biggest fan of Aimer because she has become the part of my life.

Top-10 Anime Endings Spring 2018

Top-10 Anime Endings Spring 2018
  1. BiSH — HiDE the BLUE [3D Kanojo: Real Girl]
  2. NakamuraEmi — Kakatte Koi yo [Megalo Box]
  3. Yu Takahashi — Pride [Major 2nd]
  4. EMPiRE — Black to the dreamlight [Black Clover]
  5. Kanako Itou — Amadeus [Steins;Gate 0]
  6. Coalamode. — Hana Tori Kaze Tsuki [Boruto: Naruto Next Generations]
  7. Miyuki Sawashiro — Seine no Kaze ni… (Adieu) [Lupin III: Part 5]
  8. XX:me — Hitori [Darling in the FranXX]
  9. Tamaru Yamada — yes [Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory]
  10. Toki Asako — Shadow Monster [Gurazeni]

Top-10 Anime Openings Spring 2018

Top-10 Anime Openings Spring 2018
  1. Kanako Itou — Fatima [Steins;Gate 0]
  2. Vickeblanka — Black Rover [Black Clover]
  3. MAN WITH A MISSION — Winding Road [Golden Kamuy]
  4. UVERworld — ODD FUTURE [Boku no Hero Academia 3rd Season]
  5. SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Uru — Binary Star [Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Kaikou]
  6. Luck Life — Symbol [Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen]
  7. Nao Touyama — Touka no Manimani [Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi]
  8. Lyn — BREAK IN TO BREAK OUT [Persona 5 the Animation]
  9. Tamaru Yamada — Even…if [Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory]
  10. fripSide — divine criminal [Saredo Tsumibito wa Ryuu to Odoru]

Top-20 Japanese Songs of 2017

Top-20 Japanese Songs of 2017

To limit the presence of some artists I decided to limit each to 2 songs max.

20. NakamuraEmi — Don’t
19. REOL — ChiruChiru
18. (K)NoW_NAME:Ayaka Tachibana — Freesia
17. fhána — Moon River
16. Sayuri — Heikousen
15. ONE III NOTES — Shadow and Truth
14. HARUHI — Sora no Parade
13. Mio Yamazaki — Noise
12. tricot — Yosoiki
11. DADARAY — Ikitsukushi
10. BiSH — My landscape
9. BAND-MAID — Don’t you tell ME
8. Polkadot Stingray — Electric Public
7. MAN WITH A MISSION — Dead End in Tokyo
6. JUNNA — Here
5. vivid undress — Sayonara Dilemma
4. Haruka to Miyuki — WILL (Ending Note)
3. Aimer — zero
2. Polkadot Stingray — Benikurage
1. Aimer — Kogoesouna Kisetsu Kara

Top-15 Anime Insert Songs

Top-15 Anime Insert Songs

15. Mika Kobayashi — Bios [Guilty Crown]
14. Girls Dead Monster — Shine Days [Angel Beats!]
13. Akino Arai — Torikago no Yume [Aria the Origination]
12. the pillows — Hybrid Rainbow [FLCL]
11. Sanae Kobayashi — Tsunaida Te ni Kiss wo [D.Gray-man]
10. Mika Kobayashi — BRE@TH//LESS [Aldnoah.Zero]
9. Mika Kobayashi & mpi — Perfect Time [Nanatsu no Taizai]
8. TeddyLoid feat. Debra Zeer — D City Rock [Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt]
7. Tommy heavenly6 — Unlimited Sky [Mobile Suit Gundam 00]
6. Mika Kobayashi — Bauklötze [Shingeki no Kyojin]
5. Olivia inspi’ Reira ~Trapnest~ — Recorded Butterflies [Nana]
4. Mika Kobayashi — Before My Body is Dry [Kill la Kill]
3. Aya Hirano — God Knows [Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu]
2. Cyua — Blumenkranz [Kill la Kill]
1. Aimer — Last Stardust [Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Season]