The Ultimate Pupa Review

Despite the show being pretty gorey, I’ve gone out of my way to take screenshots that don’t show any excessive gore! I know, I’m the best.

Pupa is a TV short anime that aired in the Winter of 2014. It’s about two siblings and was somewhat infamous at the time it aired for being a pretty bad, gorey show. There’s many ways to review an anime, and in this post, for once I’ll be taking a very methodic approach where I look at various ‘elements’ of the show.

Story

There is no story in Pupa. There’s clearly no intention of world building as we get a short exposition in episode 1 about a virus, and then it’s over. After that, I’m not exactly sure what the creators of Pupa have done. The episodes are sort of structured like they are meant to be watched individually. There’s always some kind of narration that introduces you to something that’s at least loosely related to the main plot, and then we see some gorey shit and the episode ends. But it’s all so short, and when it ends you think, “…..eh? And???” If the point of it was to present various shocking or tragic stories, there’s so many better cases of it elsewhere.

Artstyle

Bizarre is the best word I can come up with. The character designs are very generic and there’s not much to say apart from that. The color design is also pretty normal, but there’s some weird

You should be able to tell from this photo. It’s like they tried to emulate watercolor(or maybe it really is watercolor) but due to the really boring and dull color scheme, the show looks generally dirty. But it doesn’t add to the atmosphere, it just feels… disgusting? But not in like a gorey way like I imagine they wanted.

Censorship

I imagine they have a bluray with no censorship…..? I really don’t know, but it’s so god damn blaring that it’s hard to see any of the stuff that is going on.

Voice Acting and Fetishes

So I’m not going to talk about the voice acting in general, but instead the girl, particularly when she’s ‘eating out’ her brother. It sounds so fucking sexual man. So what are the fetishes we have here… incest and gore? Fucking hell.

Episode 6

This episode is like a great embodiment of the show, at least in my eyes. As I said before, the majority of episodes start with some kind of narration. But this episode just has the girl say “onii-chan” from the beginning til the end in a sort of sexual tone, with her voice echoing. I swear, if you cut part of this episode’s audio where she’s repeating “onii-chan” and the guy grunting in the background, someone will think it’s just some hardcore porn. The entire episode is just her eating her brother’s guts. Now to some people that will sound disgusting, and to some people that will sound hilarious(ly bad). And yet when you watch the episode, it’s not particularly that gorey, and not just because of the censorship. It’s just… boring.

Episode 12

Wha….. what????

I strongly encourage anyone who has not seen Pupa to watch just this episode. Skip the opening, it’s 30 seconds long. You will be shocked, for all the wrong reasons. I promise you that you will feel some kind of emotion that is not disgust.

Final Impressions and Overall Stance

Recently I’ve been feeling sick a lot, but wasn’t able to actually get the vomit out of my system. It really troubled me until today! Now I just fire up Pupa and can throw up easily! Thank you Pupa! 

10/10 Masterpiece!

Should you Play: Sayonara Wild Hearts

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a game that came out quite a while back, but in case you were still wondering where to buy it or not, here’s my opinion:

So I sat down to play… Sayonara Wild Hearts (2019) - George ...

In short, yes.

Sayonara Wild Hearts is extremely entertaining, with graphics that look really good, and uses the blockiness of it to its advantage by making it a part of its aesthetic.

Sayonara Wild Hearts - Original Soundtrack 상품을 Steam에서 구매 ...

But although the visuals are great in the game, I think the key appeals of it are the music and the gameplay. Wild Hearts itself is an extremely short game, even for its 13 dollar price, and it’ll take you 1-2 hours to clear the entire game.

Review: Sayonara Wild Hearts - A Marvellous, Music-Driven ...

It’ll take longer than that, maybe another hour or two(or even more) to get Gold Ranks on all of the stages, but in 2 hours you’ll have seen everything the game has to offer.

The gameplay consists of dodging and shooting, while collecting points through hearts. Yet its constantly changing, sometimes being a 3D racer, while other times its a shooting game or resembles a 2D platformer(this review is intentionally showing similar photos that are mostly from the beginning of the game, to avoid spoilers).

sayonara wild hearts review (7).jpeg | GameCrate

But the key point to the gameplay is that it’s extremely easy. The levels themselves don’t require much skill, and there are countless amounts of ‘silent checkpoints’ in the game, allowing for quick respawns close to where you died, which keeps your excitement high while you’re playing.

Many people have referred to this game as a rhythm game, but I don’t think you should go into this game with that expectation. The music is definitely great, and there’s no doubt that this game would be much worse without it. That said, the gameplay itself is very loosely connected with the music, and rarely relies on your sense of rhythm.

I think the best way to understand how cool this game actually is, is to watch the trailer for it. When I first watched it, I thought that there was no way the game is actually going to look like this, but literally all of the gameplay looks like whats shown in the trailers. It transitions so smoothly between the short cutscenes and the gameplay, and it’s really unique in how you’re put in all sorts of new situations, introducing new gameplay mechanics that are really cool to play with, but simple enough to not warrant a tutorial.

Sayonara Wild Hearts Wallpaper 68826 1920x1080px

I only have two major complaints with this game, both of which are related to the ‘coins’ that are in every level, which affect the ‘rank’ that you achieve after each level. The first complaint I have is how disconnected the gameplay is to the visuals. There’s these guiding ‘coins’ in this game, and so when you’re being chased by an enemy, instead of looking at it to see where it would go and where you can dodge, you can simply look at the coins to look at where you’d go. This makes the visuals feel much less important and dragged my attention away from it, which is a true shame considering how cool and well done they are.

Sayonara Wild Hearts Review - Full of Heart (PS4)

The other complaint that I have is how the coins actually appear. During the parts in the game where there is no enemy, and all you’re really doing is chasing the coins to get a better rank(and lack of anything else to do), often times there is no visual cue or consistent pattern to how the coins appear. Instead, it’s much easier(and I think the only way to actually get all the coins) to kill yourself after seeing where to coins appear, so that you go back to the previous checkpoint to be able to collect the coins.

Sayonara Wild Hearts Review | Flashy stylish arcade bliss

But enough of my complaining, if you’re even considering this game, then I would strongly, strongly recommend it, especially since it’s only 13 bucks. The problems I mentioned were some things I found a little annoying during my first playthrough, and I’m sure some people won’t even notice or be bothered by it at all.

Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Dress Up Features are Simply Great!

For the longest time, ever since the first pokemon game, players have never had the ability to customize their own character’s design. Now, I don’t know about you, but I actually never had any problems with this.

The main character sprite in Pokémon Red and Blue is off-center ...

In the first place, the original games were tiny pixels, so obviously there isn’t much room for customization there. That said, with the recent additions of 3D pokemon games, I think Game Freak made an excellent decision to add character customization to the game, even if it wasn’t really asked for.

The amount of customization that’s present in this game is actually quite diverse, too. There’s plenty of different clothes for your character to wear, all sorts of hats and shoes, and I surprisingly found myself enjoying the heck out of myself customizing my own character.

There’s also this new feature in the latest installment to the game called “league cards”, where you basically pose your own character and decorate it with backgrounds, effects, and frames in the game, and share it with other players. This was also super fun, and I’m not going to lie, making mine was one of the top highlights of my playthrough lol. The character is just too cute!!

To show off some of the differences you can have in characcters, here’s my league card compared to Edy’s. It’s also there to show that I am better than him in design and pokemon.

Overall, although I’m sure no one is going to play pokemon for its character customization, I think many people will find themselves enjoying the dress up parts simply for how easy it is to make a good looking character in the game.

What makes Kaguya-Sama Stand Above the Other Rom-Coms

With the second season of Kaguya-sama being back on air, the popularity of the show has once again shown itself, with various anime communities having consistent conversations about the show. Kaguya has gotten an immense amount of popularity, even in the western fandom, with over 250,000 users listing the first season on MAL, and the second season currently holding an incredibly high score of 8.75. It’s not common for a Rom-Com Slice of Life anime to be ranked so high, so what makes Kaguya-sama stand so far above other Rom-Coms?

Well for the most part, it’s basically two things. Comedy and Cute Girls. But it’s the great execution that the show carries out with these two elements that allow for such simple things to help the show achieve such great acclaim.

The premise of the show is pretty simple, two very noble, prestigious students are in love with each other, but they want the other to confess first. Sounds somewhat like a commonplace relationship, but here, these two are characters of high intellect, so we are often treated with “high-level conversations” where the others try to evaluate any small hint that they come across through small talk, and they try and make the other slip up into a confession.

This of course is simply ridiculous, but it’s this absurdness of the show that makes it so funny. Many of the best parts of this show(and the source material manga) is the frankly stupid situations that the main two find themselves in.

Combine this comedy with the somewhat large cast of genuinely interesting and mostly likeable side cast, and you have an excellent recipe for a success.

P.S. Kaguya is best girl, fight me.

The Hilariously Wrong Vegan Documentary: The Game Changers

Now you may be wondering. Why is an anime blogger posting about a vegan documentary? My answer to you:

Confused-looking anime girls with question marks above their heads ...

With the CoronaVirus, I’ve been watching random stuff on Netflix. The other day, I watched the documentary, “The Game Changers”, a relatively popular documentary on netflix which discusses the ‘plant eating diet’.

It is definitely not because I had a quick school assignment, and did not want to write a blog post this week. Definitely not. No way

——– warning: this post is filled with 5 minute research, and you probably shouldn’t trust it. i am an idiot with no degree, no prior knowledge in this area, and my opinion should not be taken seriously ——-

fixed that for you guys 🙂

This documentary is actually pretty funny if you consider the ways in which it’s just outright wrong, which you’ll find from just a bit of research on the web. For example, they say that a peanut butter sandwich has just as much protein as a 3oz beef, but that would require literally ¼ cup of peanut butter.

If that doesn’t convince you to watch this, I would like you to know that there is a section in this movie where they discuss how eating plants make your erection better.

But for now, I’d just like to talk about the documentary and its problems.

The documentary pushes the idea that plant eating diets are much more effective in helping people for exercise, and strongly suggests that it is the superior diet to a meat based diet. It attempts to debunk many ideas within society of the benefits of meat diets and negatives of plant eating diets. 

One of the things that is deeply covered within this documentary is the poor knowledge that many people have about meat eating diets. There are undoubtedly many benefits to eating plants over meat, and eating sufficient amounts of plants and not overwhelming your system with meat is definitely a good idea, however, as this documentary mentions, many professional teams eat many steaks a day and treat themselves to junk food right before real matches

The film pushes the importance of diet on human’s physical performance. However, this film puts too much importance on the diet, and has a lack of focus on anything else.

There is a section in the documentary in which various athletes are given a meat burrito first and have their blood tested, then have a bean burrito the next day and have their blood tested again. In this test, they put the blood in a centrifuge to see the plasma within the blood easily. The point of this test was to demonstrate that one meat meal can impair blood flow, and that endothelium functions less well after a meat meal. Of course, the results of the test in the documentary show that the bean burrito was much more helpful. 

However, the documentary does not even mention other variables whatsoever,  such as sleep, medical history, training, muscle fatigue, mental clarity, emotional state and genetic predispositions. 

Furthermore, this documentary often has lots of sections where it is arguable that the problems being mentioned are not necessarily due to the people consuming meat instead of plants, but because they are consuming poor quality meat. 

Conor McGregor | UFC

There is massive misinformation and misrepresentation of facts, and man it’s hilarious if you know the context. There are many instances in the documentary where there are so many elements that are not properly shown to the audience, and only the diet is shown as the main cause of everything. One of the highlights of the film is where the fighter Conner McGregor goes against Nate Diaz. It shows McGregor constantly eating meat, and saying that he overeats meat, and strongly implies that the outcome of the fight in which Conner McGregor loses and that causes a major upset in the fighting community, is solely because of the diet. 

This is an extremely poor representation of the facts, because of many factors in this fight that were not mentioned. For example, many believe that in the first place, McGregor was a poor match to Diaz due to their conflicting fighting styles. Furthermore, Diaz was known to do much more cardio while McGregor would focus more on strength training. In addition to that, in this fight, McGregor had to go up two weight classes for this fight, meaning that there was likely a 20 to 30 pound difference between the two during the time of the fight. This is not mentioning the 11 losses that Diaz has, as well as the fact that McGregor emerged victorious in the rematch. The claim that the diet was the difference in this match is simply ridiculous, as it does not take other sources into consideration. 

Another one of the points that this documentary makes is that although people believe that we need to get protein from animals, that is actually false, and we can actually get all of the required protein from plants, and perhaps even better quality from protein. The film makes a fucking hilarious claim that ultimately the protein we get from animals and plants is the same, because the animals eat those same plants. However, there is much scientific evidence that suggests that plant protein is inferior to meat protein. 

There’s various reasons, and these are just a couple of ones I found from biolayne.com.

  1. most plant proteins are far less bioavailable than animals proteins
  2. most plant proteins are limiting in various essential amino acids.
  3. most plant proteins are low in leucine

anyway, thanks for reading. see you next week where i will actually post anime things.

Imgur: The magic of the Internet

The Struggle with Additional Characters(ft. Hidamari Sketch)

So many times, in long running TV shows and occasionally Anime, come a time in the show where either some character(s) join the main cast. There’s many reasons that can apply to this situation, such as some of the main cast leaving because their actors are too expensive, or even the writers running out of ideas with the current character dynamics. But whatever the reason, you often find that characters are coming in and out of shows. And the ones that come in are almost never just as good as the original cast.

Obviously there’s the sentimental value that you’ve come to bear for the original cast. But there’s indefinitely something beyond that. Good writers can obviously come up with characters that would have interesting chemistry with the pre-existing cast, and with the main cast already having been deeply explored, it may end up being easier to write a character with a personality and background that compliments the others than it would have been in the beginning. But more often than not, show writers are not that well skilled.

Hidamari Sketch is an example of a show where there was a more than solid cast, but the team(or rather, mangaka) decided to add an additional two characters who simply did not live up to the main cast. Nori and Nazuna are not dislikable, but they’re simply nowhere near the level of Miyako, Hiro, etc. Even the side characters like Natsume or Sae’s little sister are much, much more cuter, interesting and likable.

Still, there are some fun occasions with the two new main characters where they have some really enjoyable chemistry with the original main cast that stems from the upperclassmen and lower classmen. 

Also, Nazuna’s voice is just a little too high pitched for me, which just makes it worse- but that’s probably just me…

How Music in Slice of Life can transform「calming」into「relaxing」

Music affects our viewer experience, often much more than we end up realizing. When reading media reviews, especially ones concerning anime, I often see a lack of focus on the sound section. Now, of course I definitely think that part of this is on the fault of the anime industry, due to many series having lackluster soundtracks. But I think that the anime community in general has a lack of awareness for how important music is to a medium.

Animations consist of three different key elements, art, sound, and story. Now, I’d indefinitely mark sound in the last of the three, and music is only one of the three elements of sound, sound effects, voice acting, and music. But just because it’s not as vital as the story or art, you shouldn’t underestimate the massive effects that it can have on your experience with a show.

In this post, I’ll mainly be talking about the effect music has on slice of life shows, but the influence it has on viewers is universal to all genres. An excellent example would be Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Yoko Kanno is a serious legend, with masterful control of music. So much of her compositions in Stand Alone Complex are catchy and get me so hyped up whenever I hear them, enough for me to go back and download the soundtrack after completing the series. Of course, there are instances in which you can overuse your music, which I’d argue is somewhat of a case in the TV series Suits, where the same 10 songs are probably used the entire time. That said, the music in that show is also crazy good, which helps me not get tired of the soundtrack.

If you’re a slice of life fan, you may have heard of Hidamari Sketch. It wasn’t too successful, and that goes especially for the western community, where there’s only a little over 25,000 members listing it as completed in Myanimelist. The show is a bit of an oddball, where it implements many usage of Shaft’s signature material despite being an Iyashikei show. It’s directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, which was what dragged me into the show in the first place. There’s lots of creative imagery and clever usage of real life images to make up for small budget but also to establish character. There’s lots of other things to like about Hidamari Sketch, like the charming cast and excellent voice acting. But to me, what elevates this show from a good one to an excellent one, and what truly allows me to relax when watching it is the soundtrack.

The soundtrack of Hidamari Sketch is incredible, there’s so many songs that just ease up my shoulders as soon as I hear the music start. The best is probably “Shinmiri” , a song which whenever I hear it come on, I just begin sinking into my couch helplessly. The songs in Hidamari Sketch aren’t just catchy, they’re healing. Hypnotic, almost. As I said earlier, music influenes viewer experience in any genre. But in my personal opinion, I think the music of an iyashikei show is what truly helps it to become a real gentle, relaxing experience.

If you want another excellent example, I’d give you Aria, which I already made a post about why the setting of the show makes it kick even more ass. But Aria’s soundtrack is what allows the show to do what it does best, make you comfy and relaxed. The series’ opening, which plays in the beginning of the show allows it to reestablish its calming tone every episode. That opening song, “Undine”, played by Makino Yui, is one of the most relaxing vocal songs that I’ve heard in my life. Not only does it perfectly match the magical, mysterious yet inviting tone of Aria, but it’s just so god damn soothing.

I think I’ve said enough about why music is so important to anime, and the slice of life genre in particular. Do you have any opinions on genres that music is vital to, or want to share an excellent soundtrack of a show you love? Leave a comment!

The Unfortunate Circumstances of Studio Shaft’s Hidden Gem

On the 11th of January 2014 to May 24th, you may know that one of the most successful rom com animes aired, titled ‘Nisekoi’. You may also know that Nisekoi is immensely popular, and is stacked with various qualities which include an already successful manga source material, popular voice actors on the anime, and incredible visuals that even people who dislike the show cannot argue about.

But what you definitely don’t know, is that during the time of Nisekoi’s airing, studio Shaft took on another project. On the 13th of April of the same year, Mekakucity Actors had been broadcast for 12 episodes, and it was… something. The reviews on the show are mixed, and it’s very easy to see why. And you’ll find that those reasons are because the show ended up being too oriented towards people who already knew Kagerou Daze, and also because the art directing is experimental at best and questionable at worst. Mekakucity is an adaptation of a story that was told by music artist じん, who told that story through his music. The story is undoubtedly convoluted and hella confusing, but you have my word that it is definitely interesting and fun once you get invested into it. 

The problem with Mekakucity Actors is that it was never given a full chance. The anime released as a small fan appeal project, with not even enough effort to try and appeal to non-kagerou daze fans. And what’s most disappointing about that is the fact that, at least for my money, Mekakucity Actors manages to still be pretty damn entertaining. There’s  quite an amount of storytelling attempts that are made throughout the 12 episode course, and it tries and implements Kagerou Daze’s music element. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but to me, simply getting to watch studio Shaft’s signature trippy animation in a new light was damn fun.

If you’re still not convinced that this show really lacks the budget that it could have had, then watch this, and if you still believe the show’s budget did it justice, then I have nothing to say.

Why Spoilers are Good for Anime(and any other story-telling medium)

There’s always some conversation going on in any community that involves story-telling about whether spoilers are good or not. And for the most part, people always argue in favor of no spoilers. Now, while I can totally understand people’s appreciation for the shock value in shows, I’m going to be arguing for why being spoiled beforehand actually makes for a better viewing experience.

Out of my two main reasons, the first is that it allows you to gain more appreciation for the story telling. In any show, there’s always foreshadowing of a plot twist that normally isn’t enough for you to realize it beforehand, but enough for you to be satisfied later on. When you’ve been hit with the plot twist, you’ll perhaps recall some of the past foreshadowing that’s been shown, but there’s no way that you’ll remember all of it. However, if you already know about the plot twist beforehand, then you’ll be able to notice everything. Character dialogue, small visual keys, everything that has been made to foreshadow a plot twist, you’ll notice. Now of course, this can be said about rewatches, but not everyone has time to rewatch every good show.

The second reason is that it’s a different viewing experience. Sure, you’re not going to be able to have that shock value the typical viewer gets. But on the other hand, you’ll be experiencing the show through a different lens. Instead of going from point A to point B, and wondering what point B is, you already know what point B is. Instead of wondering what point B is, you are now wondering how in the hell you go from point A to point B. How does this character go from being such a wimp to being a hard, badass? How does this guy turn his life around from being a poor man to a millionaire?

So, next time you get spoiled, don’t feel so bad. Maybe you’ll get something from being spoiled.

How Aria’s Setting Elevates it to a Masterpiece

For my money, Aria is one of the best iyashikei slice of life out there. And what really elevates Aria from a run of the mill SOL show to a top tier one, is the setting.

All three seasons of Aria are set in the future, and we watch the character’s lives in “Neo-Venezia”, a city in “Aqua”, which is the anime’s name for Mars. Furthermore, in this universe, the characters call Earth, “Man-Home.” Already from the beginning, the anime has unique terminology and is set in a strange location which we are never given a long exposition for. Instead, we get to explore the culture and the setting of Neo-Venezia along with Akari, our main character. 

As the name would suggest, Neo-Venezia has resemblances to the city in Italy, Venice. Because Mars is a planet that is filled with water, the architects of the planet have made a large city with the exact same concept as Venice, in which there are no car lanes or bicycles, but instead bodies of water where gondolas are placed. The main cast are all gondoliers, and it’s great because being able to see the great scenery and explore the lives of gondoliers.

Of course, the setting is nowhere near as important as the characters of the story or the music, since they are what truly carry any slice of life show. But the reason why the setting in Aria is so great is because it makes the show interesting. Iyashikei anime have no real plot, and that’s the point of an iyashikei. Something to watch just for relaxing purposes, with no story and no stakes in the plot. But what happens often as a natural result of this is that the show is boring as hell. How Aria manages to prevent that is by having a really interesting setting, that we viewers get to slowly explore through the 3 seasons of the show. 

Another good example of a show which uses a similar tactic in order to keep the show interesting is Flying Witch, where one of the main girls is a witch, and although many parts of the anime is not magic or fantasy related whatsoever, we’re constantly kept entertained by the occasional magic elements of the show.