Archive for the Anime Category

Thundercats Remake? HOOOOOO!!!

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Fan Service, My Stuff on February 5, 2011 by thelonegamer


Lion-O and company get the anime reboot treatment.

I don’t know how many of you guys out there are old enough to remember or have enjoyed the classic Thundercats cartoon. It came from Rankin/Bass productions, and was one of the iconic adventure series back in the mid-80s. It was all about the last surviving people of the Planet Thundera- Thunderans, AKA Thundercats, and their battle to survive against various enemies and threats while making their new home on the strange world of Third Earth. It had magic, tech, combat, weird creatures, warrior women, mutants, Big Bad Mummy Villains and the token cute mascot, and it was pretty cool.

I have to say though, that the series has its iffy aspects. While the Thundercats Intro OP is EASILY one of the finest animated sequences I’ve ever seen (much in the same way the original Soul Edge Intro still remains awesome to this day), the actual show’s animation didn’t measure up to the masterpiece of action and acrobatic awesomeness of the opening (probably because the intro had a big budget and was probably made in Japan, while the actual in-show animation done elsewhere, with a far lower budget…).
Also, Thundercats has some of the WORST voice acting I’ve ever heard- or at least, worst voice characterizations. To be fair, the show only had two voice actresses for all the female characters appearing in the series (pulling double-triple or quadruple duty). This problem persisted in a lot of Rankin/Bass cartoons, as far as I can remember.

ANYWAY, the ‘Cats are gonna have a revival later this year- a new Thundercats cartoon is in production from Warner Bros., and it will have everything from bad-ass anime-esque character designs, an edgy storyline and lots of cool action you’d expect from shows like the DC Comics cartoons, Avatar the Last Airbender and more. The pic above is an official image from the show, and I have to say I like it (even if Cheetara seems a bit too waif-ish). I guess this is finally the chance fans have been waiting for given that the T’Cats movie never really materialized. I’ll surely be on this like a cat- er, a hawk. This should be pretty awesome.

SSFIV AE: Evil Ryu/Oni Endings, Evil Ryu’s Chest Wound Explained

Posted in Anime, Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Manga, Super Streetfighter IV on January 24, 2011 by thelonegamer

UPDATE: A copyright claim by Capcom just took out the Youtube videos of Evil Ryu and Oni’s endings. I guess if you missed ’em, just wait for someone else to upload them or just wait a bit till the video embargo on them is lifted and they become available online again.

Meanwhile, the reason for Evil Ryu’s hole-in-the-chest is explained. The design is in reference to the manga Ryu Final (considered by many as the true telling of the story of SFIII), wherein he gets himself punched right THROUGH by Akuma in their final battle. It’s pretty intense, and if you wanna see the whole thing, get the translated manga by Udon. Every SF fan should have a copy.


Ouch.

Anyways, don’t worry about Ryu- though the manga goes out of its way to make it seem that Ryu went to the ol’ Dojo in the sky, going as far as showing off what appears to be his grave, the ending reveals otherwise.


Hey there, Ryu… RYU?!

It’s at this point where Alex should start running. Come on- the guy survived a freakin’ punch THROUGH the chest. What chance do you have, dude? Heheh…

Anyways, the manga is the work of artist Masahiko Nakahira, from whom the character of Evil Ryu actually first came to light (as well as character Karin Kanzuki, created in the Sakura Ganbaru manga, also made by Nakahira). Credit goes to Hadoken.net for this info.

Avatar: Legend of Korra News

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime on November 24, 2010 by thelonegamer


Martial arts action animation!

Despite the really unsatisfactory Shyamalan movie, I am still a die-hard fan of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s great that I have something in this franchise to look forward to in the next year that’s not from the overrated director of The Sixth Sense. It’s The Legend of Korra, a sequel mini-series to ATLA that tackles the adventures of the next Avatar, a female waterbender with a big chip on her shoulders. So far this is what we know about this upcoming awesome show.

It’s as yet a 12-episode mini-series, not a full show like the previous Avatar, but if it proves popular, who knows?

Korra, the hot-tempered and angry new Avatar, is natively a Waterbender, but she’s already mastered both Earthbending and Firebending. The series apparently concerns her trying to find an Airbending Teacher.

The prospective Airbender teacher is Tenzin, who is apparently the son of the previous Avatar, Aang. From some posts online, Tenzin apparently resembles his father at least in terms of hairstyle- or general lack of hair.

Korra will be set in a more modern version of the Avatar world, primarily in a place called Republic City, which is rife with anti-Bender sentiment and other issues. It will be darker but generally still have the same humor and feel of the previous series.

Since this is about a new Avatar, it’s pretty much a given that Avatar Aang has shuffled off… in fact, Korra is set about 75 years after the events in ATLA. So we probably won’t see the old crew back in the flesh, but perhaps in flashback. There are strong links to the previous series, so fans shouldn’t be too disappointed. Perhaps Aang will be a spiritual advisor to Korra just like Avatar Roku was to him. If that happens, I hope it’s still the young Aang and not an older version that appears.

Dante Basco is voicing a new character who is very much connected to his previous character in ATLA, Prince Zuko.

Voice Director Andrea Romano has mentioned that three episodes of Korra have already been recorded. Korra will also be using the same music producers of the previous show.

Sifu Kisu, the martial arts director for ATLA, is also involved with the Korra series. Expect even more authentic moves and awesome fights to come!


Korra looks upon the expanse that is Republic City…

Legend of Korra is currently set to debut in November 2011.

Man, Avatar is still my all-time favorite animated series and this sequel should continue the elemental awesomeness. Gadzooks, I can’t wait! For updates on LOK, you can check out the forum topic over at AvatarSpirit.net.

Valkyria Chronicles 2 (PSP) Waging War with Class

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Gaming, PSP, RPGs, Strategy RTS, Valkyria Chronicles 3 on September 23, 2010 by thelonegamer


Back to School in Gallia.

For the past week or so, once again, I found myself neglecting the big ol’ PS3 and Xbox360 in favor of Sony’s handheld. The game in my sights is Valkyria Chronicles 2, the sequel to the under-appreciated classic on PS3.
The game is set once again in that anime-fantasy version of post WW1 Europe, in the Ragnite-rich but tiny state of Gallia. It’s a couple of years since the end of the big war with the Empire portrayed in the first Valkyria Chronicles, and things seem fine on the macro-scale. Unfortunately while the scrapes with outside threats have quieted down, internal conflicts are beginning to sprout like evil weeds. A rebellion has erupted in the southern regions, threatening to spread out and engulf the whole country if the current reigning ruler doesn’t step down. With Gallia’s standing army still in tatters, the militia unable to act due to legal technicalities, it’s up to the armed academe of Gallia’s Lanseal Academy to protect the civilian populace and put down the extremists. And they have to do it in between Math classes at that!


Ah, Lanseal Academy. You just have to love a school with its own munitions factory.

Man, now that I’m thinking about it, how dumb is the Empire to get on the Gallians’ bad side- I mean, these guys are probably the Israelis of Europa… they send their kids to school to become killing machines… I would NOT want to take on a country where schoolkids are armed with rocket launchers and state-of-the-art main battle tanks, would you?

Anyway, players now have a new main character in the form of Avan Hardins, a country lad and somewhat exceptional underachiever who suddenly finds himself following the steps of his late brother. Soon enrolling in Lanseal, he finds himself at the head of the school’s most troublesome class and headed into some fierce skirmishes. Will the intellectually-challenged but always-optimistic Avan be able to mold his classmates into the deadliest company of warmongers Gallia has ever seen? That’s up to you!

Like the first game, VC2 is mainly about sending your squad into combat, which is a combination of turn-based maneuvering/positioning on a set number of battlezones, with actual shot-by-shot fighting being handled by you actually moving a soldier’s sights on a target and then letting ‘er rip. In addition to the Scouts, Shocktroopers and Lancers from the first game, you also get to use handy Engineers and rather hardy Armored Techs in your squads. As you fight and level up, your can unlock new skills and even advanced classes to switch into, such as deadly Snipers, close-combat Fencers or anti-personnel Mortarers, or even the dreaded musical Anthem Corps!


Fans of the first game will be happy to know that some familiar faces will show up in VC2, and not just in simple cameos.

In between missions, you’ll also interact with Avan’s classmates- an unruly lot to be sure, consisting of all the troublemakers in Lanseal. You have everything from bullies to prima donnas, closet otaku, control freaks, outcasts and the odd blue-blood. But the more you use them in combat and get to know these problem kids, the more they’ll open up and be all that they can be- all the better soldiers to defend Gallia’s freedom from the rebel menace.

It’s all told in some entertaining cutscenes with anime-style talking heads and rudimentarily-animated character art which will either endear you or have you pressing the Start button to skip ’em. Personally, I found these little interludes quite entertaining, and now I’m addicted to unlocking every single one of my classmates’ stories. Gotta befriend ’em all!

It’s not all high school drama of course- you also have to juggle training your troops (raising levels), managing rosters to see who goes into combat and even developing new weapons and equipment for both your soldiers and your company’s lone but formidable tank. Your vehicle is customizable, able to be configured from turret to body to paint jobs, to fit missions from search-and-destroy to escort services. What a fun place Lanseal seems to be- it’s like Blackwater the School!

The game looks great on PSP, though purists of the original game will surely take issue with the degradation of the ‘watercolor’ style from before. Regardless, the game looks fantastic, both in the art and the in-game assets. For me the light-hearted art style is fine, and the tone of the game, mixing often comedic high school antics with war and politics is perfect for anime fans. Platoon this ain’t, but then, could you really expect realistic, gritty warfare in a world with big-eyed anime soldier babes complete with school crushes? The replay value also seems to be high as there are tons of options and stuff to unlock in the course of the game (including characters from the previous game) which you may miss the first time around.


The game wouldn’t be complete without some silver-haired, overpowered Valkyria babe in there somewhere…

In any case already well over 30 hours into this game, which is a lot more than I can say for the original. This is already quite the hit, and the sequel, Valkyria Chronicles 3, is already on the way. Perhaps, once I finish this I may just go back and revisit the original PS3 VC. This is a title that’s perfect for taking along on your PSP for a nice, long, addicting and satisfying strategy RPG/school-and-war sim. HIGHLY recommended!

Ride of the Valkyria to Continue on PSP

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Game-related Events, Gaming, PSP, Valkyria Chronicles, Valkyria Chronicles 2, Valkyria Chronicles 3 on September 15, 2010 by thelonegamer

It’s a bit of a nice coincidence that while right now I’m actually getting into Valkyria Chronicles 2 on the PSP, the sequel, Valkyria Chronicles 3, has just been revealed and will be showcased this week at TGS. Famitsu recently confirmed that the strategy-RPG sequel will be released once again on Sony’s portable, and as before will feature an all-new storyline and cast of characters.

According to Famitsu, the story of VC3 will be set at the same time period as the first game, but will be on a different front and trio of heroes. Unlike the provincial militia in the first game and the academy cadets of the 2nd, this time the spotlight will be on the soldiers of the Nameless Squad, a special company of Gallian conscripts consisting of the dregs of the military- criminals, troublemakers and other misfits that no other outfit would take in. Kinda like the Zombie Squad from Stallone’s Cobra- they’re the guys (and gals) who do the dirty jobs the other soldiers won’t do. Also, they’re called the Nameless since they’re usually addressed by numbers instead of their actual names. Bad rap, dudes.

Taking the forefront will be Kurt AKA Number 7- he’s a formerly promising officer who was plunked into the Nameless after a bad incident; he’s hoping to perform well enough to get back to his former unit. Assisting Kurt will be two heroines- No. 1 AKA Imuka, the squad’s Ace, and No. 13, Riela Marcellis, who is secretly of Valkyrian descent. These two probably won’t get along too well as the game goes on since Imuka’s village was wiped out by the Valkyria some time ago… do you smell, catfight?

Anyway, when asked why the game isn’t on PS3, the producers cited that a PS3 entry would require lots of drastic changes and additions to the game, instead of the incremental developments doled out to the PSP games. And well, the PSP Valkyria 2 sold really well on release, which is easily a good reason for Sega and Sony to keep mining this vein. Yet another legacy of the original VC’s less-than-great performance before. Oh well.

The game should be out in early 2011 in Japan, with a wider release some time after. For now, I’ll try to finish up VC2 and perhaps try to go back and finish the first game. TGS should show off more info in any case. For all this info and more, check out Andriasang’s article over here.

Spoiler-filled SSFIV Juri Anime Review

Posted in Anime, DLC, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, Streetfighter, Super Streetfighter IV, Xbox360 on May 18, 2010 by thelonegamer


Ouch.

I finally got to watch the special Xbox360 exclusive Juri Anime OVA. I got an Asian Collector’s Edition of Super Streetfighter IV, and included therein (along with an OST and a thoroughly useless art book) was a download code for the GONZO-produced short film starring SF’s new femme fatale. This bonus is available only with the Japanese and Asian Collector Editions of the game, and not with the US games, which makes it a bit rare, and pretty non-existent anywhere online. Well, I got to watch it finally and here are some Spoiler-Heavy Thoughts.

The OAV is set just prior to the actual SSFIV Tournament. Seth has gotten himself a new hatchetwoman to replace Crimson Viper from the previous game- Korean Taekwondo fighter Juri Han, who is empowered by her possession of an artificial eye and ‘Feng Shuei Engine’, which makes her seemingly unstoppable. The vid opens with her emerging from the S.I.N. lab with her new eye and raring to ‘go kill something’. She then heads to an amusement park, hunting down some former S.I.N. personnel. The heavily-armed thugs don’t stand a chance- Juri’s skills let her kick RPGs out of the air! I guess she learned a bit of stuff from Lars over in Tekken 6.
Though Juri is basically killing off other bad guys as well, she is clearly no goody-two shoes; she doesn’t care at all that there are hostages or innocent civilians around as she uses her Feng Shuei powers to lay waste to everything around her. If there is still any bit of goodness still in Juri, it’s buried very deep.

Enter the Interpol team of Guile, Chun-li and Cammy, who arrive just in time to see the park go up in purple flame. They storm in and split up, with Chunners being the one to encounter Juri right away. There’s a pretty one-sided fight where Juri beats Chun-li pretty much to near death… yeah, you’ve seen it in the trailer. Before she can squash Chun’s head in for good, her eye malfunctions plus the cavalry arrives, so Miss Han makes a quick exit.

Later, some info from a mysterious source reaches the good guys on Juri’s whereabouts, so while Chun-li is confined to the hospital (playing Puzzle Fighter), Guile and Cammy set off in pursuit. We find out that Juri’s on a mission to capture the Shadaloo Dolls (Bison’s ‘Elite Guard’) at a secluded lab. There’s a bit of action between Juri and some dolls (notably one who may be T-Hawk’s sister), but for the most part it’s all pretty one-sided, so the dolls end up neatly wrapped up in tubes for extraction.


What’s the matter, soldier boy? Can’t beat a girl?

Cammy and Guile arrive. As Cammy attends to an unconscious Juni and Juli, Guile fights Juri. While he’s not as total a pushover like Chun-li was, Guile’s clearly not doing much harm to the Korean Whirlwind. When Juri mockingly mentions Chun-li and asks if she died, Guile gets enraged and unleashes what appears to be a super-combo on her ass. It doesn’t really do much though but piss her off, getting her to give him the same attack she did on Chun. Even though she starts off several yards away and Cammy gives him a pretty clear warning, Guile just stands there and seemingly lets Juri hit him with her super attack… that freakin’ Guile is just too macho for his own good. Anyway, Guile’s not hurt as much as Chun-li was but he’s still effectively out of the fight.

Cammy’s left alone to leap onto the escaping S.I.N. craft, where she and Juri have another short fight which is once again pretty one-sided, even if Cammy gets to do some cool attacks (at one point she looked like she was going for her Ultra). Juri ends up shoving the unconscious Juni off the plane, taking Cammy along with her. Luckily, a nearby mountaintop and lots of snow broke their fall, so the worst injury Cammy got was just to her pride. Juri flies off and is congratulated by Seth. The OAV ends with Juri licking her chops in anticipation of the bloodshed to come when S.I.N and Shadaloo clash in the very near future. Credits roll.

The anime is, contrary to some reports, a decent 35+ minutes in length, including the end credits. The character designs are good and stylized, though the animation quality, particularly for the action bits, isn’t as good as I would have liked. All in all though it’s still a notch better than the SFIV anime, Ties That Bind. The version I watched was in english, and as such features quite excellent voice acting. Again, contrary to some rumors, Juri’s voice actress is Jessica Strauss and not Grey Delisle, even if Juri kinda sounds like Princess Azula.

The Juri anime didn’t exceed my expectations of what I saw in the trailer, in so that it does it’s job of introducing the new bad girl of SF, hyping her up as a pretty nasty and powerful villain. Perhaps too well though… Juri comes off as pretty invincible, which she really isn’t in the actual game. Her personality though is spot on at least… the bitch is psycho.

Unlike Ties that Bind, the SSFIV OAV is pretty short and mostly sets up the story in the game (sheds some light on Chun and Cammy’s story bits, I guess). Sadly we don’t see Juri ever getting any comeuppance for her actions… perhaps in the next game and bundled anime? We’ll see. Overall it’s a nice bonus and hardcore SF fans will probably do all they can to watch it. Is it worth importing an Asian version collector’s edition? Probably not unless you’re a big Juri fan or an SF completist. Since I kinda qualify as both, then I think I spent my money well to get this little bonus anime.

SSFIV’s Out… Where’s the Juri OVA?

Posted in Anime, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gaming, Streetfighter, Super Streetfighter IV, Xbox360 on April 30, 2010 by thelonegamer


What’s Juri’s story before the game? Perhaps the OVA will tell us…

By now pretty much anyone who wants Super Streetfighter IV already has their copy, or it’s on the way. Me? I actually got two copies, so I’m selling off one to a friend. Anyway, according to Andriasang, Capcom announced today that the first shipment of over a million copies of Super have shipped worldwide. That’s a lot of fighting. But hey, after all this time, why haven’t I seen much of the Juri OVA?

You remember- the Original Animation Video created by Gonzo specifically for release with the Xbox360 game, meant as a prequel to the events in the actual game. As far as I can tell, the OVA introduces Juri, has her taking out some Shadaloo elements (along with doing something to the Dolls) and then later encountering Chun-li (and giving her a beating), Cammy and Guile. How does it end? Well, who knows yet… but it ends just before the game starts, so everyone’s up and about afterwards anyway.

I still wanna see the anime, so I’ll keep my eyes out. If anyone out there has it, or has seen it, chime in and say if it’s Yea or Nay for the latest Streetfighter animation. Just tell me it’s slightly better than the in-game cutscenes and I’ll be happy…