nenena: (Devi - Flaming Tara)
My copies of the last two volumes of Fate/Complete Material (AKA that gigantic multi-volume Fate/Everything encyclopedia-cum-artbook) arrived today. In the back of the fourth volume there is a section filled with character designs, artwork, and notes for the canceled Fate/Apocrypha online game.

And you know what?

You know what?!

Karna was going to be a playable character. You could play him as either an Archer, Lancer, or Rider.

(*headdesk*)

Goddamit! The Mahabharata and Fate streams were finally going to cross and then the whole project got canceled. Siiiiigh.

For those of you unfamiliar with the whole Fate franchise, the basic premise is this: Every sixty years (or thereabouts - this rule gets broken right away in Fate/Stay Night) seven magicians summon seven Heroic Spirits (who can be either real historical figures or fictional/legendary heroes) and compete in a battle royale to determine who will have a wish granted by the Holy Grail. The last magician/hero pair standing wins the Grail.

The fact that this entire franchise is a thinly-veiled attempt to have fun with questions like "so if King Arthur and Gilgamesh and Alexander the Great got into a three-way brawl, who would win?" is probably what led to the natural progression from visual novels and anime to a genuine multilevel RPG. (And by the way, the aforementioned question forms much of the meat of the story in Fate/Zero. I kid you not.) Unfortunately said online RPG was officially cancelled last year. But if it HAD happened, here's what the roster of playable characters would have looked like:

Saber class: Siegfried and Joan of Arc.

Archer class: Atalanta, Karna, and David (as in the Biblical David).

Lancer class: Karna, Vlad the Impaler, and Benkei.

Rider class: Astolfo (who in this version is a young woman), Saint George, Karna, and Siegfried.

Caster class: William Shakespeare (I shit you not - he actually has an attack that lets him rewrite the outcome of any other character's attack HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!)

Beserker class: Frankenstein's monster (who is female in this game, for fanservice-related reasons), Kintarou, and Spartacus.

Assassin class: Queen Semiramis and Jack the Ripper (who is also a young woman, you know, for fanservice).



WHY IS THIS GAME NEVER GOING TO EXIST. (*sob*)

Even better: Karna actually has a skill called "無冠の武芸" which roughly translates to "Uncrowned Arms Mastership." It would have meant that his stats would appear lower than they actually are to any opponent who challenges him in a duel.

And yes, Karna starts the game with his golden armor and earrings, which provide him with extra protection against attacks. If you level him up enough, however, you could exchange the golden armor and earrings for the Vasavi shakti. Just like Karna did in the Mahabharata.

So, in case you can't tell, I am forever sobbing that this game was cancelled and goddamit I would have played the shit out of this game if it really existed.

To be perfectly honest, thought, I probably would have played as David or Shakespeare instead of as Karna. Because their attacks and special skills are way more hilariously awesome.



ETA: Okay you know what these characters designs and attack names and skill lists were just TOO AWESOME (for certain definitions of "awesome") not to share. Because, you know, Frankenstein's monster as translated into a lolified JRPG character is pretty fucking hilarious. So here you go, scanspam behind the cut: Artbook scans!! )
nenena: (Default)
The Hero Initiative is seeking donations to cover the cost of Robert L. Washington III's funeral. Please please please help if you can. Washington was a groundbreaking writer who neither got the acclaim nor the financial compensation that he deserved from the comics industry. Without funds to cover the cost of a small, modest funeral his remains will literally be thrown into a ditch on Hart Island, without any ceremony, and without giving his family an opportunity to say goodbye.

Other links of interest:

Chris Claremont, Ann Nocenti, and Louise Simonson re-unite to discuss the original plans for Madelyne Pryor's character in the X-Men comics. Wow. Wooooooooooow.

Justin Sevakis explains the mysterious process by which film properties are licensed and distributed internationally: Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Molly McIsaac lists the ten best manga (available in English) for children. Comments argue about whether Dragonball should be on the list because of its sexual humor and whether the list fails for excluding Astro Boy. In response to the former, meh, I'd say there's no hard or fast ruling on that one - it really depends on the age, maturity, and experiences of the kid reading it. As for the latter, well, if I had to pick one kiddie Tezuka manga to put on the list, I would choose Princess Knight over Astro Boy. And I still think it's a shame that Honey Honey will likely never be available in English because it is still one of the greatest kids' manga of all time.

In much less light-hearted fare, Foz Meadows explains some basics of Rape Culture 101 in her two blog posts about rape culture and gaming: One | Two. The comments on the first post are unsurprisingly full of fail, hence the follow-up post. But I agree completely with the way that Meadows lays out the differences in terms of what rape culture looks like in a digital community versus how it manifests in meatspace. Both posts are definitely worth a read, even if you don't exactly need a 101-level explanation of the basic concepts involved.
nenena: (Soul Eater - Blair kitty)
Some of these links are old, some of them are new. I hope that all of them are interesting for you.

Uktena is a historically accurate (well, with the addition of a few supernatural elements) free PC roleplaying game created by Toye Heape and based on native cultures that lived in Tennessee about six hundred years ago. It needs some funding help to get off the ground. As to why this game is awesome and important, here's what Heape has to say:

When the game is finished I want to make it available as a free digital download. I have plans for future games that I'd like to create and possibly sell, but it's important to me that as many people as possible have access to Uktena. Here's why: When many people hear the words Native American they think of teepees, war bonnets, and other icons associated with the great horse riding, buffalo hunting cultures of the American plains, but you won't be seeing those things in this game. Uktena is about a different Native culture and a different period in American history, neither of which is very well known to most people. I believe Uktena has the potential to help change that by immersing players in that prehistoric world and letting them participate in that civilization while having a fun gaming experience.

[...]In recent years road projects, housing developments, shopping centers, and even libraries and museums, along with illegal looting, have impacted or destroyed major Native American archaeological sites in the Nashville area. It may seem inconceivable that America's heritage could be wiped out like this, but I believe a major reason is because most people aren't aware of it. This was one of my main motivations for creating Uktena. I think a video game can have a powerful impact on the imagination in a way that other media can't, and once the player has "experienced" the history he or she will be more likely to object to what little is left of it being crushed under the treads of a bulldozer. [...] At the same time I want you to know that, like most people, my main objective when playing a game is to have fun, and I'll do my best, with your invaluable assistance, to make Uktena a fun and exciting game.


Recently there's been a lot of discussion on Tumblr and Dreamwidth about fan-funded indie games that are intended to be inclusive of people and cultures not normally represented in your typical mainstream RPGs. Unfortunately a lot of that discussion is fueled by a Certain Project doing nearly everything wrong. Well, here's an example of a game that is really, truly doing it right. And even though the Kickstarter deadline for this project has passed, there are still ways that you might be able to help it get the funding that it needs.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the internet! A whole lot of dimwitted male movie critics have been trying to gain Feminism Points by critiquing how Black Widow is portrayed in The Avengers. The overwhelming problem with most of these reviews, however, is not that there isn't anything bad to be said about Black Widow's portrayal or Joss Whedon's often strangely limited flavor of feminism - because there most certainly IS an awful lot worthy of critique there - but that movie critics are, for some inexplicable reason, complaining about Black Widow being useless in the film. Uh, what? Fortunately, Ian Grey has an excellent takedown of that argument. Bonus points for actually calling out the offending movie critics by name.

Speaking of Doing It Right: Dan Norton is the amazing character designer for the new Thundercats series and he's posting all of his character and mech design work on Deviantart. Well worth a gander even if you're not into Thundercats. Also, some time ago Norton's gallery hosted a hilarious flamewar during which Norton beautifully smacked down a sexist fanboy who showed up to complain about Pumyra's new design being "too manly" and not having big enough breasts. Sadly, however, those comments seem to have been deleted now.

More potpourri links:

Paul Tobin hilariously describes stupid depictions of gender in fiction.

Swan Tower writes about writing fight scenes.

How to Illustrate Weelchairs. Also useful information for anybody who wants to write about or film characters who use wheelchairs.

Push Girls is a show that documents the lives of four women who use wheelchairs.

This is the best Avengers/Disney mashup. The BEST.
nenena: (Default)
I will go to bed early tonight and be sober for the UK/Louisville game tomorrow. I will go to bed early tonight and be sober for the UK/Louisville game tomorrow. I will go to bed early tonight and be sober for the UK/Louisville game tomorrow DAMMIT.

So here is some nerdy linkspam!

[personal profile] terajk is hosting a People with Disabilities Being Awesome commentfic fest!

[personal profile] sqbr has some recommendations for fanworks about disabled characters.

Apropos of nothing and because (tragically!) it did not make [personal profile] sqbr's list, "Clothes We Abandoned in the Closet" is a beautiful Tavros/Vriska fic. It's humanstuck!AU but don't let that put you off because it is awesome.

Speaking of disability and sex and love and all that stuff! Random Curiousity has a pretty thorough review of Katawa Shoujo that I mostly agree with. But I do wish that Zaniba hadn't been so quick to declare that "this is not a visual novel for those with a fetish," as that is definitely how it began, and the reaction all over the internet has shown that those with a certain set of particular fetishes are flocking to the game. And yet despite that, the game itself has grown into something so much better that has so much more to offer to such a wider audience than just the disability fetishists. This is a visual novel for those with a fetish, and it's pretty disingenuous to claim that it's not, but it's also a visual novel for the rest of us as well.

Completely unrelated! I am ridiculously excited for the Lupin III ALL FUJIKO ALL THE TIME TV series that starts next week, even if I'm still not entirely sold on the hyper-stylized animation and character designs. Oh well. It's Lupin III and it's Fujiko and there's no way that this can be anything but awesome.

Also, this week I finally caved in and bought myself a gorgeous 27" Dell monitor, which is something that I've wanted for a looooong time, and I'm still feeling a little bit of leftover happiness buzz from being able to finally write the check for the darn thing. YAY! And it has a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels so y'all can look forward to some insanely high-resolution Soul Eater screensaver rips coming next week.
nenena: (Romeo x Juliet - Melt some faces!)
Clearly it is no longer Scanspam Week, as I haven't exactly been keeping up with getting one of these posts out every day. So now it is officially Scanspam Whenever-The-Hell-I-Feel-Like-It, and we're down to our final three posts.

Here, have some Fate/Stay Night stuff.

Yay, new artwork! )

And that's all for tonight. Coming up next: HELLO KITTY DAY. For great asymmetry!
nenena: (Tink - Cheers!)
This is one of the largest scanspam posts I've ever done.

Behind the cut: Interesting, cool, and beautiful images from Kimagure Orange Road to Azumanga Daioh and beyond. Plus, as promised: Ray Amuro's barenaked butt. )

Whew! That was one mother-long post. I hope that you enjoyed this random spamming of images as much as I enjoyed inflicting them upon you. ;)

Tentative schedule for the remainder of Scanspam Week:
Tomorrow - Funky Advertisements and Stationary Day
Saturday - Anno Moyoco Day
Sunday - Shoujo and Disney Day
Monday - Doujinspam the First (with Takehito Harada Special)
Tuesday - Doujinspam the Second (100% Toho Project)
Wednesday - Fate Day
Thursday - Hello Kitty Day
Friday - Samurai Finale

Okay, so that is more than a week. That's like a week and a half, or something. Whatever. It's my journal, and I'm going to spam it with as many pretty pictures as I goddamn want to. So there!

PS - Unfortunately, doujinspam posts will be flocked. Sorry to all of you lurkers reading this.
nenena: (Disney - Lazy Lady)
I could be recapping today's installment of Tsubasa right now, but that would involve repeatedly slamming my head against my desk, and frankly right now I can't afford any more concussions this week.

I should be writing a review for Sequential Smarts, but my copy of Castle Waiting appears to have been devoured by the fiendish Nagano Prefecture Interlibrary Loan Gnomes. Maybe I'll do Mushishi instead? I have no idea how to place that in an edumacational context, though.

I have a huge folder of Scanspam-to-Upload sitting on my desktop, but mnet's servers are being weird tonight, so whatever.

Oh my God, I haven't updated my Flickr account since December. (*hangs head in shame*) Oh, this is going to be a fun catch-up!

Here's some more info about the NIS release of Sakura Wars V. Minor LOL moment: They used my scan of the soundtrack cover art from the Kosuke Fujishima STV artbook that I uploaded to animepaper.net in that article. I can recognize it because it's been my "featured" scan on animepaper for a while now. Yay, my scans get around!

Due to budget restraints and not wanting to touch Infernus with a ten-foot pole, I haven't been keeping up with any Marvel comics lately. But I can't wait to read the new New Mutants series. Yes, I know that it's shameless pandering to fans like me who are nostalgic for the 80's. But I don't care, it's still my favorite group of X-Men characters, and I've heard good things about the first issue. Also, check THIS out. Ooooooh, preeeeeetty. I don't care that her facial expression is totally out of character for Ilyana. The colors are soooooooooo preeeeeeetty.

Also, I've been watching Wolverine and the X-Men on Marvel.com, which miraculously does not block foreign IPs. I kind of like it so far. I can't decide if I like it because it's good, or if I like it because I'm just plain awesome'd by seeing te 4th-gen X-Men characters animated for the first time. Meh, I don't care. I can't even hear my own internal criticisms over the sound of how AWESOME Santo is.
nenena: (Devi - Is it stupid in here)
A Sakura Wars game is FINALLY getting a North American release... and it's Sakura Wars V. Yes, V. As in, Five. I dunno... In my humble opinion, V is the best of the games, and it has the best cast. But it was also the least popular on the "main" franchise games in Japan, or so I've heard. And frankly I'm surprised that V is going to be the first game translated into English, as opposed to one of the more classic games with more recognizable characters. Really, it's not like V's graphics and gameplay were much of an improvement over IV, and IV had both the classic Tokyo and the popular Paris cast of characters together, so... Huh. How weird.

And also apparently Fate/Unlimited Codes will be translated and released for the PSP in North America. Despite the fact that neither Fate/Stay Night (the original game) nor Fate/Zero (the novels) have gotten any official translation whatsoever. I mean, I know that the Fate/Stay Night anime was released in North America, and that maaaaay be enough for gamers to make sense of Unlimited Codes... at least until the Fate/Zero characters start showing up and screwing with the storyline. Bwuh?

And then there's this crap.

Dude.

Dude.

I love cute things, and I love dogs, but I haaaaaate the mameshiba commericals, because they are flippin' TERRIFYING.

Jesus F. Christ just LOOK AT THIS OH MY GOD it will give you nightmares!!! And that's sooooo not even the worst one.
nenena: (Soul Eater - FUCK YEAH)
I am still in the midst of working on the Soul Eater Scanspam Post that Ate the World. Until that shizbit is ready to post, however, here's a selection of random scans that I've been hoarding on my hard drive. There's a mixture of Teh Pretty and Teh Brain-Breakage behind this cut.

Cuuuuuut! )
nenena: (Romeo x Juliet - Melt some faces!)
RE: The ending of Toradora!

Epic subversion of the usual shounen romance series ending is EPIC.

asdfjhka; this series is awesome. One of the best 26-episode romance series I've seen in a long, long time. And also proof positive that yes, Virginia, Japan is capable of producing a shounen romance story that wholeheartedly embraces - and ROCKS - a deeply feminist framework. And with a tsundere heroine, to boot.

Normally I don't really like the tsundere character types, because the "attractiveness" of a tsundere is usually wrapped up in the idea that she pretends to be tough and independent but actually isn't. There are notable exceptions, of course - Shana, Suzumiya Haruhi, and Tohsaka Rin immediately come to mind. And now I'm gonna go ahead and add Toradora's Taiga to that list, because she not only maintains her toughness and independence all the way through to the end, but she actually transcends (yes, and subverts) the typical tsundere heroine ending.

It probably helps, though, that the anime is based on a series of novels written by a woman. ;)
nenena: (Soul Eater - FUCK YEAH)
Behind the cut: Ah! My Goddess, Fate/Unlimited Codes, and Soul Eater. Oh yeah and adult!Rin. No, seriously. )

In other news... Oh, Tsubasa. I was going to type up a recap of 210 and 211 last night, but I couldn't find an appropriate South Park clip to open the post with. Over one hundred clips of Kenny's various deaths are available online, but not a single video clip of "Kyle's dead!" to be found.

Come on, South Park. I know that Kyle died onscreen at least once. In "Imaginationland," right?

Because seriously you guys I need a KYLE'S DEAD!!! opening like burning.

Oh snap, spoiler.
nenena: (Devi - Isana)
Tagged by [livejournal.com profile] xhoshichan!

Rules - That for 8 days you have to post something that made you happy that day. Tag 8 people to do the same~!

Things that made me happy today:

1. Being reminded, many times throughout the day, of how totally awesome my friends are. Seriously, you guys - thank you for all of the birthday warm fuzzies and gifts!!!

2. Cleaning out my refrigerator. Don't laugh. This makes me happy.

3. Discovering that there are hidden Fate/Zero characters in Unlimited Codes. Um, so, like... Amazon.co.jp, where exactly is my copy that I pre-ordered months ago?! Hey [livejournal.com profile] meiousei, we could totally battle each other when you come visit me next month, assuming that my copy actually arrives at some point.

I tag anybody who wants to do this, because it is awesome. ^___^
nenena: (Devi versus Bala)
My livejournal has been sadly lacking in three things lately: X-men. Saber. And puppies. So let's remedy that.



This gem of an advertisement has been running on the back of several of the previous issues of Shounen Magazine. Is it sad that I find my weekly dose of doe-eyed puppy more exciting than my weekly dose of Tsubasa? Probably. Especially considering that nothing about the puppy advertisement ever actually changes. Then again, neither does anything about any chapter of Tsubasa anymore. Oh, snap.



Lily Saber, from this month's Comptiq. Somehow that outfit looks a lot less stupid when she's in an action!pose.



An oldie but a goodie. I dug up this image because for the past week, I've been flipping through all of the American comics that I still have with me in Japan, desperately searching for a panel (or two) that would make a decent header image for that bloggity project that Jess and I are working on.

Anyway, this is probably my all-time favorite image of the fourth generation X-kids, if for no other reason than because of Julian's deliciously ridiculous pose. I mean, WTH is he doing, anyway?! Revving up his invisible motorcycle?! And I also love the sexy back-to-back pose that Noriko and David are striking. This is made even funnier in context, BTW. "Context" being "these two characters dated for years and then had a hugely traumatic and angsty breakup, which all subsequent writers and artists working on the X-books immediately totally and completely forgot about." Right, because this image? Which is supposed to be "placed" immediately after the breakup? Sure. They totally look like they just had a gigantic, ugly breakup. Totally.

Oh hey I'm still about... four months behind on the X-books. Sigh. And with the holidays coming up, I ain't planning on spending money to catch up anytime soon. Uh, so now there's a current storyline or something about Cypher coming back... as a black woman? Oh, X-Men. You so crazy.
nenena: (Default)
Recently, Nikkei Net, a humongous Japanese business news website, did a survey of over 1300 Nintendo DS owners. Nintendo published the results of the survey in nifty little pamphlets that have been distributed in electronics stores throughout Japan. I picked up one of the pamphlets the other day, and was immediately intrigued by the gender-based breakdowns in the survey results.

One question in the survey was "Please list all of the DS software that you own." In the survey results pamphlet, Nintendo presented the top 15 most-owned software as broken down by gender. Among 666 male respondents and 703 female respondents, here were the most-owned games by gender:

Behind the cut. )

The gaming gender gap: Not as big - or as real - as the marketers would have you believe!

Or at least not in Japan, anyway.

PS - The back half of the DS survey results booklet has a section with blurby advertising for all of the top "best" DS games, as chosen by survey respondents. These are: Nintendogs, New Super Mario Brothers, Animal Crossing, Nou wo Kitaeru, Yawaraka Atama Juku, Joushikiryoku Ken Training, Eigo Zuke, Cooking Navi, a traditional calligraphy training game, Mario Cart DS, and Pokemon Diamond/Pearl. ALL of those games are developed and then advertised in highly gender-neutral terms - yes, even Cooking Navi (basically an interactive cookbook for your DS), despite the fact that cooking is still an extremely gendered activity in Japan. Cooking Navi, however, is all clean, crisp green and brown colors, and elegant photographs of food. No weird pink girly stuff like you'd get with Cooking Mama.

Games and software that don't target a certain gender ghetto sell better than those that do! Well whaddya know.
nenena: (Tink - Cheers!)
Next up, for Disgaea fans: A preview of that PSP game with the exploding penguin-demon-thingies. From Playstation volume 427.

http://www.boukenshin.net/disgaea/misc/portable_playstation427_01.jpg
3.77 MB

http://www.boukenshin.net/disgaea/misc/portable_playstation427_02.jpg
3.83 MB

(By the way, DigiFlonne has been updated with a lot more PSP/DS/cell phone game artwork, here.)
nenena: (She blinded me with science!)
1. How to avoid turning your original character into a Mary Sue. Specific to W.I.T.C.H. fanfic, but most of the advice therein - especially in the first half of the article - could apply to any fandom.

2. Dictionary of Argentine Slang

3. Temari Matsumoto does Metal Gear Solid:

Behind the cut. )