Saturday, June 27, 2009

Suzumiya Haruhi S2 - 02 & 03

OP:Super Driver by Hirano AyaThe OP sequence is certainly fun to watch, its really colorful but the song is not that catchy. I still prefer Bouken Desho Desho than this one.

Suzumiya Haruhi S2 – 02

Suzumiya Haruhi S2 – 03

Sorry for the late posts but I’m quite busy this past few weeks since its the start of the new school year and our professors has bombarded us with a lot of homework.
I’m really impressed with the animation in the 2nd and 3rd episode because the colors are richer and the background is dead drop gorgeous. I enjoyed both of the episodes even though I’m familiar on what would happened because I’ve already read the novels. I really think that the decision of KyoAni to repeat what happened to the first episode of Endless Eight was quite good for it emphasized more the repetitiveness of this story but I think by doing that, people who haven’t read the novels would be quite confused but I think they’ll get it eventually. It really troubles me that the endless eight story is taking up most of the episodes of the season 2 but I still hope that we get to see the disappearance arc even fo just a couple of episodes.

I really liked the episodes I’ve watched because it has a lot of Yuki in it and I think in the future there would be more Yuki appearance specially in the disappearance arc. Sigh, can’t get enough of Yuki and her lonely and bored face during episode 3.
I’m really looking forward to the next episode.

until then…


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Friday, June 26, 2009

[insani] True Remembrance review

Rating: A

Imagine a world where headaches are literally treated with decapitation, and you get the idea of the world of True Remembrance. The story revolves around the world of specialized folks who somehow have the power to help people forget anything that pains them. The disease is called "the dolor", which means emo-shit in layman's terms and the doctors are called Mnemocides, and to kill memories is the treatment.

The game shifts between the perspectives of 3 very different but very developed characters. Hell, I haven't encountered any character whose development was under par. Even the more minor ones (Ilya, Mar and Lips) made a lasting impression throughout the game. This game makes good use of the slice-of-life method to develop the characters, and such method also requires good pacing. I mean, even simple acts like braiding one's hair, grinding coffee beans by hand or listening to the radio say much in developing the character.

However, character development mainly fell squarely on the 3 main characters: Blackiris, the brooding prodigy assigned to "treat" La, an honest and naive girl whose real nature is actually a more powerful class of Mnemocide, and Rook, a carefree Mnemocide who runs an unprofitable eatery. Each of them have their own narrative and worldview, which is evident in each one's narration. Rook and Blackiris have this air of cynicism whenever they narrate the story, while La is more neutral.

The story poses an interesting talking point: Whether the destruction of memories is actually a kind of partial death, in the sense that the game seems to give the message that memories constitute a part of life itself. You know, this whole "memories substantiate our existence" thing. This thought is explored in the individual cases Blackiris treats over the course of the game, and in his life too. See, whenever patients are treated, they walk out of that gloomy town without any trace of those dolor-inducing memories. Not only that, everything associated with such memories which might act as trigger, family in Ilya's case and Blackiris' life in his gets wiped out, thus making the actual damage of getting rid of memories much larger than initially thought.

Because the story is very character driven despite the overarching plot, there's a lot of day-to-day interaction between the characters. Therefore, do not expect a dramatic story. I did not feel strong emotion while playing the game. It is not as dramatic as Moonshine, for instance. It is compensated though by a warm sense of familiarity instead although I would've preferred Blackiris be reunited with Maria in the end or just see her once more outside at least (which didn't happen). Damn...

Because it's insani, this game is freeware. Download at

Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

[insani] Moonshine Review

Rating: A-

Moonshine is a story of acceptance and "moving on". Featuring two social outcasts as characters, Mai, a ladyboy Japanese kathoey who works as a hostess at some ladyboy pub and the unnamed hero, who recently got fired from his job due to a genetic disorder. Both, feeling unwanted by collectivist society as a whole, strike a very deep bond which ends on a bittersweet note.

Gender similarities aside, the story treats Mai as a half-female (denoting her ladyboy staus) although the character herself looks and feels just like a real one. In fact, this fact is so beautifully hidden that you can be forgiven if you would think that Mai and the protagonist are a heterosexual couple. However, the story isn't really about how or why Mai is who she is. The same goes with the unnamed hero. Practically no attention is given to their individual oddities. Much more emphasis is given to how these two like-minded souls came that close to gay sex.

Sex? The game itself has none. IT is unneded. Let's just say that these two were that close to the extent that Mai could pass her remembrance to our hero via a french kiss (spoiler). But put aside my homphobic jokes and see that this story is not at all about who's gay and whose not. Hahahaha. Actually, the underlying message in this game (for both) is finding redemption in the most unlikely of people and eventually going their own ways as more mature people while keeping their experience as a treasured memory-- because in the end, that's all it was. A memory of the short time they shared themselves to each other.

I personally felt gutted after the epilouge, because they went their own ways. My brain, even though aware of the fact that Mai and the hero cannot possibly be, not even in Japan, was reeling from saudade after playing this one. Not a lot of things bring me into a state of saudade. I first felt it after watching 5cm/sec, and the second, just now. That says alot about this game's emotional impact. It could've had a perfect score, but it's length was a minus factor. The story's only 5 or so chapters long and could be completed in one sitting.

This is Freeware. Download this game from the insani page.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Latest news on status

School's out, H1N1 scare in. Nothing much to do until the 29th aside from posting words of support in Moussavi's Facebook page and tracking the events in Iran. In addition, I've also been playing this game called True Remembrance. A free translation is available for download. It's a good game although there aren't any paths and choices to select. It's just a straight-up visual novel like Narcissu. The review will be up in a few days, I guess.

Remember Neda