Blood_XIII

28 years old
Female
from the middle of nowhere, in Kentucky.

  • Activity

    • The Journey That Is Modding The OG Xbox

      1 day ago

      Blood_XIII

      I learned around the middle of July that, unbeknownst to me for the 4-5 years I've owned it, my Hauppague HD PVR2 capture device can ACTUALLY take composite input... Which for anyone too young or not tech savvy enough to know, means I can capture video from the old school red-white-and-yellow AV cables that were standard fare two console generations ago.


      For me, this meant that I had a whole world of new options for my videos going forward! Namely with THIS bad boy.

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      The original Xbox.


      Now I know what some of you are thinking and yes, The OG Xbox DID have a component cable (Red-green-blue-red-white) and I DO own such... But not every game supported HD, and even IF I only stuck to those there's still the issue that, for whatever reason, the Hauppague WILL NOT recognize the incoming signal (I think it's the difference between 720i/1080i and 720p/1080p, seeing as the OG Xbox only does the former... But I've got no fucking idea). But whatever, I'm fine having my videos be on the blurry end if the alternative is NOT having the capability to use certain consoles AT ALL.


      Here's the catch though: Games for this old console are hard to come by, and all the best ones are stupidly expensive and I'm NOT gonna pay over $30 for a game on a console that is over 15 years old! So I decided to go a different route, that being one I was once familiar with because I had done it YEARS ago on my first Xbox: Softmodding.


      (For the curious, the Halo Edition one here was one I bought on Ebay back in 2011 or so. My FIRST Xbox was sold to a friend around the time the 360 came out)


      So I went looking into the details of how to softmod the OG Xbox, because it'd been so many years that I legitimately forgot almost EVERY detail... Turns out it's gotten WAY more complicated.


      Hence where the journey began, with me first learning that I needed to do some PHYSICAL modifications as well. Before starting, I needed to specifically I needed to make sure of two things; The dashboard's third identifier needs to be 5960 AND if the kernel's third identifier is 5713 or less I would need to crack it open and remove something.xTA1OI0.png


      The dashboard was the right version (Which if you ever played a game AFTER the release of Halo 2 it was an update on the disc), but the kernel was right within the problem zone! Much to my own chagrin, I would have to break the stickers on the bottom of the console and open it up.


      The reason being is that all Xboxes before the 1.6 model have a capacitor that allow the system clock to stay accurate even when the console is unplugged... But after about 7-8 years (Or less, if the system is used heavily) this capacitor begins to leak acid onto the motherboard. If left long enough it will eat through the nearby traces and ultimately to board itself, causing irreparable damage and potentially even starting a fire within the console!


      So, following the many guides that exist, I began my journey by opening the console.CQIKeic.jpg
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      Lucky for me, this particular Xbox had spent so much time collecting dust before AND after my purchasing it that the capacitor had barely leaked at all... So little in fact that the r/OriginalXbox subreddit had to point out to me (Via the slightly darker discoloration on the board) that it had leaked at all!

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      Some quick work with a pair of small pliers removed the capacitor, and then I followed the subreddit's advice and used white vinegar to clean the traces of acid THEN went back over the area with rubbing alcohol to remove the vinegar (Because vinegar can be very conductive when dried, and that's obviously bad for electronics)40eQtFG.jpg


      After clipping the tabs off with some small wire cutters, it was time to make sure my modification hadn't broken the console...TUFnslW.jpg

      Success! And just as expected the clock was no longer keeping time.

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      Next came the parts I had done all those years ago; The actual softmodding process... Except it had gotten a bit more tricky than it used to be. This USED to be doable via memory cards, but...Sh7GljB.jpg


      That's not USB, and the OG Xbox doesn't have USB ports, BUT you have to get the softmod files from a PC onto the Xbox somehow! This USED to be doable with a Gameshark peripheral that allowed you to access the memory card with a PC... But that old trick doesn't work on anything but Windows XP!

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      The workaround NOW is that there are controller-to-USB cables you can get online for like $5... But I have something that not many people still own!XRqKdAH.jpg


      Though it may be covered in dust and on it's last legs, this old tower hanging out at my parents' place is STILL alive and running Windows XP! I wouldn't need to worry about getting that extra cable, nor would I have to deal with the headache of finding the right <4gb flash drive (The Xbox will only read a very select few!) like everyone else!


      Next came the process of actually adding the files to the memory card, which required all of the following:

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      The Action Replay software was the ONLY thing I could find that would give the PC the right drivers to recognize the memory card... And that alone took me two days to figure out! Anyways, unpacking the .zip folder and drilling down to get to the files I needed was the next order of business.

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      Then, instead of using the Action Replay or Gameshark software, I was instructed by every tutorial to use Xplorer360, a program that made it MUCH easier because I could see the files themselves as opposed to only seeing files the program would recognize.

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      With the files now on the memory card, I simply had to put the card into the controller and then copy them to the Xbox's internal hard drive.

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      There was only one other item I needed, so $6 and 9 days later...x7uGXXV.jpg


      There are three games you can use to load the Linux files, and the original Splinter Cell is regarded as being the easiest... And it's also what I used in the past, so go with what you know, right?


      It was time to enter the next major step; The actual softmod installation... Which I recorded and edited, to save myself a lot of typing.

      By the way, during this process the Xbox's LED turned what is normally the color of universal death and dread!

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      This is normal though.


      Next came what I personally found to be the hardest/most stressful part: Upgrading the internal hard drive.


      First I had to download a program known as Chimp, then set up the FTP connection on my computer and put the files onto the Xbox in the correct folders/manner.5QAWcL2.png

      I didn't document this part AS I was doing it, so everything is already in the proper place ni the next imageset.L3dufCX.png


      The next step was where my issues began, because I'm an idiot.

      The new HDD I chose was a 250gb Western Digital... Not thinking about the fact that the HDD INSIDE the Xbox was also a Western Digital (I'll explain why that's a problem for dumb people like me in just a bit)n3eZTAl.jpg


      Next was setting the jumpers in the right way, to make sure the Xbox would recognize its original drive as the master and the new drive as the slave (So as not to overwrite the wrong one)

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      Next came the tricky process of setting up both drives at once. Basically, you have to pull the IDE cable from the disc drive and plug it into the new HDD to clone it, BUT the Xbox will crash if it can't detect the disc drive! So you can ONLY do this once Chimp is loaded.

      Once again, I failed to document this part because I'm an idiot, so have a screencap from the video tutorial I was using.

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      Then you just start Chimp (AKA LpartX).

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      NOW it was time to swap the IDE cable... Which I again didn't take a picture of, so here's another screencap from the tutorial I was following.

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      AND THIS IS WHERE I HIT MY PROBLEM.


      See, I'm paranoid AND dumb, so I don't know how to tell designations in-system between a master and slave... And because I was so nervous, I ALSO misread the drive serials.xkqHaZP.png


      Though I didn't take a screenshot of the second drive's info, they both started and ended with the same designation. WD80EB looked EXACTLY the same as WD2500EB to me in the moment, and I had no idea that it was as simple as /dev/hda being the master drive and /dev/hdb being the slave drive... This took me three hours to figure out.


      Once I did though, it was a simple matter of just following the second option from start to finish, cloning the C and E drives.nWBotNU.png
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      With THAT out of the way, it was time to remove the old drive for good and permanently install the new one.5MXBf7D.jpg


      And then hook that bitch up and make sure the F drive's number checked out...Lgd3PFq.png


      Which it absolutely did.

      I now had a softmodded Xbox with 250gb of space; All the free games, emulators and homebrew stuff I could ever want to play for my channel was now an option! I can even rip a game from the disc that's IN the Xbox's disc tray! And speaking of games, the first wave was a collection of old favorites AND potential material for my channel...


      My channel is about to get a lot more retro, guys.

    • Blood's Anime Of The Month: August 2017 - Dagashi Kashi

      1 week ago

      Blood_XIII

      Late as always, but this time it's only because the data on my cell plan was so close to the monthly limit that I literally couldn't even turn mobile data on for five seconds without going over.... I know this because that's exactly what happened and now I've got to deal with overage charges :P


      The Anime Of The Month for August, 2017 is...

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      If you're anything like me, I apologize for the snacking urges you're going to get while watching this series.



      Series Name: Dagashi Kashi
      Creator Name: Kotoyama
      Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-life, mildly cultural(?)
      Air Dates: January, 2016 through March, 2016
      Number Of Episodes: 12 (With a second season coming in 2018)




      The opening and ending for the series aren't anything too groundbreaking, but they're actually quite cute and to the point so I rather enjoy them.



      How I Found This Series: Okay, so.... This series was introduced to me in a way that I'm not exactly proud to admit, at least not FULLY. Unlike the other series thus far which I either found via friends, the internet or total chance, Dagashi Kashi fell into my lap when I started seeing hentai (That's the common Japanese term for drawn/animated porn, for the uninitiated) of the two female main characters popping up ALL over the place. One thing led to another and I started wondering where these two characters I kept seeing came from, since I could only assume they were from something popular.


      From THERE it was a more normal process; Read about what the series premise is, look into some funny gifs and clips, etc. Just based on the popularity despite such a mundane premise, I found myself very much interested in giving it a watch so I too could see just what made it so special.... Also yes, the girls were cute; Big deal, like YOU'VE never started a series just because you found one or more of teh characters attractive?



      Summary: Dagashi is the all-inclusive Japanese term that is used for, effectively, every single snackfood item in the country (Think of it as being the more positive version of 'junk food'). Sweets, candies, crackers, chips, etc.; ALL of it is dagashi, and like any country Japan has a whole market for such as well as people who love everything about the various snacks... Not to mention people who run the small stores that SELL these various tasty treats! In the land of the rising sun, dagashi shops are their own thing and far more common than the cady shops we in the West typically only find in malls and places with high tourism traffic.


      Enter the tiny, rural Shikada Dagashi; A store owned by a middle-aged man who has run the place alongside his son. The store has been in their family for eight generations, and the father is so passionate about spreading joy to young children and anyone else who enters the shop (Also he's just kinda obsessive) that he wishes for his son to one day inherit the family business and become the ninth generation owner... Except that his son is more interested in becoming a manga author instead!


      The two have little arguments over this regularly... Until (Predictably) one day a strange, lavender haired girl shows up with a business proposal for the father! Unfortunately the old man won't take this offer UNLESS his store is left in good hands in the meantime... Resulting in the strange girl having to to do everything possible to convince the man's son to take over the family business!



      Characters: I've been on a roll lately with NOT picking series that have a gazillion characters, and this one continues that streak! There's only FIVE characters in the series, and every single one of them is a perfect stand-out role that adds something to overall series.



      Shikda Kokonotsu
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      The main character of the series, and the would-be ninth generation owner of the Shikada Dagashi shop. Affectionately called "Coconuts" by his friends, Kokonotsu aspires to write and draw his own manga in the future, as opposed to leading a normal, boring life... However, despite his knack for art, he is more often left in charge of the register for the family store as his father is off doing.... Actually it's never REALLY clear, but it's probably something stupid. Also, though he protests the idea of inheriting the business, Kokonotsu seems to have a natural talent with all things dagashi; Be it knowledge, intuition or even the occasional business strategy, this boy ho seems so opposed to his fate would seem to be very passionate about all things dagashi all the same.



      Shikada Yo
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      Kokonotsu's rather odd father, and the current owner of Shikada Dagashi. While he comes off a bit on the dumb side AND seems to always have business to attend to that leaves his son no choice but to run the shop in his absence, Yo is actually a very knowledgeable and kindhearted person who truly seems to want nothing more than spreading joy and happiness via his innate talent as a dagashi shop owner. In fact, that very talent is EXACTLY what made him a desirable hire for a certain company, thus setting in motion the plot for the whole series!



      Shidare Hotaru
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      There are A LOT of words that could be used to describe Hotaru... 'Normal' is so far from that list that the girl herself is probably allergic to the word. Dagashi is practically her entire life AND the thing behind her very life force, to such a point that she seems to be lacking a fair deal of common knowledge simply because it DOESN'T have anything to do with the snacks she loves so much! Hotaru is the daughter of the owner of the well-known and widespread Shidare dagashi company, and was sent to the middle of nowhere in search of Shikada Yo so that she could extend a job offer to the old man who is allegedly so skilled in the ways of running a dagashi shop. Of course though, Yo wo't leave unless Kokonotsu takes over the business, so Hotaru instead makes it her mission to force Kokonotsu to see that it's his destiny to become the owner of Shikada Dagashi!



      Endo Saya
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      A childhood friend to Kokonotsu and the twin sister of To, Saya and her brother run a cafe (Named Cafe Endo) on the larger end of town from Shikada Dagashi. As you may expect, Saya has quite the crush on Kokonotsu and unlike MOST anime girls has no problem hanging out with and even passively putting herself in romantic situations with the boy she likes! Compared to the other characters Saya is probably the most normal one among the cast... Though as Kokonotsu and Hotaru find out, Saya has a VERY unique talent in that she is almost masterfully skilled at a variety of simple children's' games that are sold in dagashi shops, even though she's never really played most of them before!


      Endo To
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      Another childhood friend to Kokonotsu, and the twin brother of Saya. To is... Well, put simply, he's a passive slacker who mostly wants to be popular with any and all the ladies! Despite that description though, he's actually quite the charming character and seems to genuinely care about both his best friend and younger sister, even if he DOES drive them both crazy on occasion with his antics.



      Personal Opinions/Views: I feel like I say this A LOT, but holy shit this series is AMAZING. It may not be full of action, and the comedy may not quite land with everyone, and SOME people may bitch that it gets a bit fanservice-ey at times (That's melted ice cream, get your mind out of the gutter)...... But in terms of standing out and giving an actual decent lesson on culture, not to mention what MAY be (In my opinion) the single best romantic subplot EVER CONCEIVED, Dagashi Kashi has all but become one of my top recommendations for series that every anime fan needs to see.


      Let's get the usual stuff out of the way first though, before I go off on the reasons why I fell in love with this anime as much as I have.


      We'll start with the look and feel of the show, something that I believe is done VERY well and in a pleasantly unique fashion. The dagashi featured in the series are not only REAL (More on this later), but they're shown in the series almost perfectly mirroring the ACTUAL products themselves! The logos, the packaging, even the look of the snacks themselves; It's all dead-on the real thing and is given so much attention to detail that the dagashi themselves may as well be the sixth character in the show. Add to that the fact that all the charaters LOOK like normal people (Aside from the one who doesn't ACT like a normal person) and Dagashi Kashi has a certain charm in how.... Well, NORMAL it is compared to everything else out there.


      Something else to note in terms of interesting visual design is that each character's eyes are unique TO that character alone! Kokonotsu's are relatively normal, Yo's are smaller overall, Hotaru's have multiple rings in the iris, Saya has tiny irises and To.... Well, he's always wearing sunglasses. Another nice touch is that Saya has the sharp and cute-but-cliche anime snaggletooth, while her brother has a full set of rather sharp-looking teeth. It's just an interesting thing that the twins have THAT much thought put into their character design.


      The voicework is just as unique, the characters' voices being a perfectly middle-of-the-road feel and tone, and even the performances are almost understated in most cases as if the characters were purposefully made to be just normal people. I can't speak for the English dub, because as always I opt to watch in the superior subbed format, however the English cast is comprised entirely of people whom I've personally never heard of, and so I can only assume that same feel is kept with the English dub. In terms of sound design in general, the series actually does have moments of brilliance that aren't often utilized in nearly the same way within other series. There is literally an episode that touches on the sound different types of dagashi packaging makes when you open it, for instance!


      If anything the one shortcoming of the series is its' plot, which is extremely simple and rather devoid of any drama or twists or other 'draws' that most people seem to almost require in their storytelling. It's JUST a simple tale about a boy who, despite natural talent and passion, wants to pursue a different dream than the one that is seemingly awaiting him in the future. It's cute, funny and might teach you a few things, but beyond that it really ISN'T a story that's going to be remembered among the likes of Code Geass or Cowboy Bebop.


      Now, allow me to tell you why this series should absolutely be at the top of your watch list.


      If you have ANY interest in Japanese culture, Dagashi Kashi is an excellent place to either start learning OR to explore an avenue of the culture that you probably have almost no knowledge of already. It was certainly a pleasant surprise to me to learn so much as I watched it, not ONLY about the Japanese snacks I'd seen so often in the small, out-of-the-way Asian shops I'd been to locally, but about the general culture and thoughts of the Japanese themselves centering AROUND the dagashi in question! There's even one moment where Ramune, the Japanese soft drink that is known even to some Westerners, is explained in detail and the viewer is given a (Mildly comedically inaccurate) history lesson on where it came from and how it became such a hit in the Japanese culture.


      And speaking of Ramune, the most interesting thing about the series to me is that EVERY SINGLE SNACK they bring up is a real product that you can easily find and purchase! I'm 100% serious, I went looking on Amazon for nearly every dagashi the series features and I was able to find a good 85%-90% of them without trouble, and the ones I COULDN'T find on Amazon were found after a few minutes of simple Googling. I WILL say though, in a lot of cases the most effective prices were for bulk packaging, so if you're going to indulge in sampling some of the snacks featured in this series you're probably better off just buying one of the bundles that has a variety of dagashi all packed together... But even then it can be a bit pricey at $35+ per bunch!


      Even going BEYOND that though, there's a whole episode centered around Japan's Summer festivals and all the foods, games and other common things that tend to be at each one. Most anime gloss over these festivals, having an episode that features such but never really EXPLAINING them. Things like the goldfish catching game, for example, are shown in many series but the rules and the reason why it's so difficult are never mentioned; Why would they be? Anime is made in Japan, and the Japanese know such commonplace things already. You don't watch a Western TV show and question things like the hammer-and-bell game, because to us it's something we grew up knowing and so there's no need to bother explaining it. In the same episode there's even a discussion about how candy apples in Japan are seen as a Summer treat sold at festivals, while in America they're typically seen only in the Winter or late Autumn; And from there they even comment on how interesting it is that BOTH cultures would think it'd be strange to experience it from the other side's point of view!


      This is the first major thing about Dagashi Kashi that makes me love it; It gives you something to think about AND teaches you things at the same time! It's a wonderfully nice reminder that even something as simple as snackfoods can be totally different in other parts of the world, and that EVERYTHING has a story behind it that is often so simple it's astonishing how popular it became regardless!


      The second thing about the series I fell in love with is something that I won't get into TOO much, because I could go on for a VERY long time on the matter; The romantic sub-plot between Kokonotsu and Saya.


      I've said it before and I'll say it again, I CANNOT STAND romance bullshit in most stories. I hate that it ends up driving the plot, I hate that it defines the characters more than their actual personalities, I hate that it always works out somehow even though there's no logical reason other than pure determination AND I hate how it's always so abnormally perfect for absolutely no reason whatsoever (All this saying NOTHING of how shipping and OTP nonsense is my biggest hatred an reason why I utterly despise fandoms as a whole). I find almost all romance in media to be the fastest way to murder my attention and ability to give any fucks whatsoever about the thing as a whole, and I've literally dropped a few series in the past because I got so sick of dealing with every fucking arc being all about one of the main characters' love interests getting kidnapped or being in danger and the main character risking EVERYONE'S lives to save them. It's stupid, I hate it and I will probably NEVER think or feel otherwise.


      Dagashi Kashi is able to feature a romance between two characters, neither of which are likely to openly admit to having for one another AND more than once it lends directly to the plot, and yet it NEVER commands the viewer's attention nor does the plot fully revolve around it. What's more, neither Saya nor Kokonotsu seem to let their emotions for one another DRIVE them in any major way, both simply remaining their own character with their own personalities and thought process WITHOUT needing the romance there to help define their characters! There is literally only one scene, a flashback to be exact, where Saya comes on particularly strong (Thirsty is a better term, if we're being honest) and her romantic feelings are driving the scene... But it's done in a comedic way, not to mention the whole flashback is STILL giving you a cultural/dagashi lesson, so it feels less like it's DRIVING the scene and more like it's simply part of what the series wants you know about the characters and the snack in question.


      It's absurdly perfect, in my opinion, how this series handles the romance between those two characters. It just feels.... REAL, for fucking once! It's not overblown or dramatic, not full of turmoil or high stakes, and even with Hotaru in the mix there's so little implications of jealousy and/or concern on Saya's part that it just feels RIGHT every time it's brought up. It's literally as if someone made a manual on how to not write a stupid, shitty love story into an anime, and then Kotoyama memorized that book AND passed a full set of college courses BEFORE earning a doctorate on the goddamn subject. I have NEVER in my life cared more about the relationship between two characters, because for the first time it felt like it wasn't being shoved down my throat like Hotaru does to herself with any given dagashi.


      Even better, Saya and Kokonotsu have constant exchanges throughout the series that ARE NOT romantic in the least. They can meet each other at random or even hang out with one another and JUST act like totally fucking normal friends! They're not constantly blushing when they look at each other, not stammering over every other syllable when the other is in the room, not constantly thinking about the other when nothing else is going on, etc. They're ACTUALLY proper childhood friends who just so happen to like one another, even if both of them are too timid to actually bring it up to one another. For fuck's sake, To and Saya actually TALK in private about how she likes Kokonotsu and Saya doesn't outright refute it or pummel her brother for mentioning it. That ALONE is such a fucking rarity that I honestly can't think of the last time I saw it happen in a series. It's SUCH a welcome change to see characters who can like each other without letting that crush all but command their lives!


      Am I biased on this because of my own thoughts/preferences? Of course, that IS the point of everything I've been saying! It's almost like someone sat me down and asked me what MY ideal romance story in an anime would be, and then proceeded to write it into some goofy series all about Japanese junk food. Maybe it's not YOUR style of romance, and maybe you'll personally find it to be lacking or shallow or underdeveloped... But anyone who has ever thought of romance sub-plots the way I do, this is one I will BEG you to give a chance, because I found it to be THAT good and THAT genuine.


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      I know I've said this before as well, but I cannot recommend this series enough. If you're even remotely interested in food, culture, cutely inconsequential stories and/or just like to have a nice chuckle on occasion; Dagashi Kashi is like a breath of fresh air amidst all these series like Attack On Titan and Re:Zero and Your Lie In April that can't seem to function without insane amounts of drama and/or feels forced upon the viewer. It's just.... Nice.


      Until next time, my fellow Nippon nakama!
      MATA NE~!


      Hint for next month: Just like there is only one truth, I have but one question for you; Do you like Sherlock Holmes?

    • Dead Or Alive Month Is Coming Back! Gimme Your Questions For It!!

      3 weeks ago

      Blood_XIII

      Some people may remember that I did a series of videos in Dead Or Alive 5 where, for each episode, I just answered a question at length while doing a character's training commands.


      Well that was a long time ago... Like, AT LEAST a year. Since then I've gotten an Xbox One AND Team Ninja released two additional characters.


      So it only makes sense, with the upcoming re-branding and overhaul of my YouTube channel, that I do the ENTIRE SERIES over again on the current console generation!


      There are now 36 total characters in the game, so I'm going to need 36 questions to answer! Which, like last time, is where all of you come into things!

      Ask me a question, anything at all! Ask about philosophical stuff, about political stuff, about me/my life, about my opinions on various things, etc..... Just at least try not to be TOO vulgar or weird about them!


      You can also look at the other journal I linked and see what the questions were last time, both for inspiration AND to avoid asking me duplicate questions that may not have a new answer by now.


      Try to aim for open-ended questions as opposed to simple ones, that way I can get more out of them. Remember that the command training takes a good 10-20 minutes for each character, so there's a lot of time that needs to be filled with each single question!


      So go ahead; Throw your questions at me in the comments OR use the Ask feature on my stupid Tumblr page if you want!

    • I'm Looking For An Animator To Commission!

      4 weeks ago

      Blood_XIII

      To put it simply, I'm re-vamping my YouTube channel in the hopes of it being not QUITE as lame as it is currently. I've been slowly working on a few aspects of it AND my branding/presence beyond such. So far I've got the theme I want to go with down, my website is about 75% done, I've made an end card slate AND I've done a few other little things in terms of planning and motivation up-keep.... I just need an animation to finish the intro slate.


      I've already got the background, effects and everything else planned out, but it's missing the key element which is the animation in question! I've got ZERO skill or knowledge of animation, so I'm on the hunt for an animator I can hire/commission for the piece!


      To sum up the project quickly, it's only going to be about five seconds long and it's going to roughly be the same sort of animation as when Sonic/Tails come up from out of frame inside the logo upon the title screen of the old Sonic The Hedgehog games. Obviously it's going to be a different character (And ONLY a single character) and there's finer details to it that I can explain, but until I FIND an artist willing to entertain the idea there's really no point in laying out all the details/reference art in full.


      So then... Any takers and/or anyone got an animator friend who'd like to talk details?


    • zogman1 asked Blood_XIII a question

      Are your anime of the month posts late, or extremely early?

      Answered: Jul 7, 2017

      Late, because the idea is that it's meant to introduce someone to a new series. As such, I try to post at the beginning of each month so anyone who cares to WATCH the series will have the whole month to watch it. Then, at the start of the next month, they get a new one.


      I'm just lazy and/or busy and so I usually don't sit down to write the thing OR watch the series myself until the last second. The Project A-ko pot for this month was LITERALLY composed start to finish in about 5 hours and I posted it as soon as I finished XD

    • Blood's Anime Of The Month: July 2017 - Project A-ko

      1 month ago

      Blood_XIII

      Late again, but not as late as last month!


      The Anime Of The Month for July, 2017 is...

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      I will be genuinely surprised if anyone who reads this journal has heard of this series before.


      Series Name: Project A-ko
      Creator Name: Directed by Katsuhiko Nishijima
      Genre: Parody/Comedy, Action, Mecha, Sci-fi
      Air Release Dates: June, 1986 through August, 1990
      Number Of Episodes: 1 movie, 3 sequel OVAs and 2 alternate universe side-story OVAs (Which can be ignored)



      Being an OVA series, Project-A-ko actually doesn't have an opening or ending per se... So here's an English trailer for the DVD remasters



      How I Found This Series: This one is a bit special, because I was introduced to it by pure chance in my youth. A VHS copy of the initial movie was given to me by mother when I was in.... Maybe 7th grade? I have no idea WHERE she found it, and she doesn't even remember it AT ALL. I would assume it either came from our family-owned pawn shop that she worked at during that time OR she found it at some flea market... And there is actually the off chance that it came from the same video store I now work at back when they still HAD VHS tapes. Regardless, one day she just handed it to me as a gift because she knew I loved anime and it was only like $2 whenever it was that she discovered it. Little did she know that she'd given me a treasure of sorts, and little did I know that I was in possession of an anime film that almost NO ONE EVER would see.



      Summary: Set in the not-too-distant future, the story of Project A-ko begins when an asteroid comes from seemingly nowhere and impacts Earth, leveling a city somewhere in Japan. 16 years later, the city has been rebuilt from the crater left by that asteroid and renamed Graviton City. The city came back from the destruction stronger than ever, becoming the technological center of the world and boasting a quite happy population residing all around the city limits. However, amidst the seemingly better-than-perfect recovery of the city, there is still the question of HOW it bounced back so hard and WHY the citizens are so happy... Too bad all of that is pretty much glossed over and instead the story just focuses on three girls who happen to live there, as well as the insane antics they force upon one another!



      Characters: While there are quite a few characters I COULD name off, most of them would be delving into spoiler territory OR just ruining the surprise/theme of said character.... Besides, the three main characters all have a convenient naming scheme that makes them impossible to forget.
      (Note that I'm only going out of logical order for the sake of their descriptions flowing into one another)


      Magami A-ko
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      16 years old and stronger than you PLUS every single person you know... But A-ko is pretty much just like any other girl her age. She has trouble waking up on time for anything, likes cute clothes and occasionally thinks about boys, worries about her weight/physique... And saves the world from time to time. Her personality is one that fits all those traits as well, being relatively carefree and just wanting to get through each day until something fun happens. She does, however, have a bit of a temper that makes her superhuman strength all the more terrifying! Rather comically, she may be the most sensible character in the entire series.


      Kotobuki C-ko
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      Also 16 years of age and blonde as they come... In almost every sense. C-ko is hyper-energetic, childish and more airheaded than some other classic anime airheads can ever hope to be. Despite all this though, C-ko DOES seem to understand more simple ideas and she's very much open when it comes to her emotions and saying what she feels. She is best friends with A-ko thanks to the redhead having come to rescue at a young age... And ever since C-ko hasn't left A-ko's side for a moment, nor would she apparently EVER do such even when the world is at stake...


      Daitokuji B-ko
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      Like the other two, B-ko is a 16-year-old girl attending high school.... She's just infinitely more rich, intelligent, sophisticated AND unhinged than the other two. She's very much a spoiled girl, wanting that which she cannot have and pursuing them to such lengths that the word 'extreme' is too polite to use. Strangely though, when she sets aside her spoiled brat nature, B-ko seems to have her heart in the right place and is actually quite a thoughtful person... Too bad it doesn't happen often, so her heart is usually aimed at making something (Or someone) her own and her thoughts are focused on the designing of things like technologically advanced battle suits.



      Personal Opinions/Views: Do you like girls who can kick your ass and look good while doing it? Do you like oversized mechs wreaking havoc? Do you like plots that don't REALLY bother to explain themselves because it's funnier that way? Do you like gratuitous panty shots? If you answered yes to any of these, then Project A-ko is a must see series for you!


      Actually, fuck what you said in response to any of that; You NEED to see this series.


      Project A-ko may very well be one of if not THE original anime parody, paving the way for things like One Punch Man in today's world. Almost everything about it is meant to be satire and/or total nonsensical fun and/or over-the-top action of some type. It's. Fucking. Nuts. Before now I'd ONLY ever seen the initial film, and while watching the sequel OVAs there were few moments when I wasn't laughing my ass off... And that's only because in those moments I was asking what the actual fuck was going on OR I was exclaiming to the empty room how totally bananas that shit was.


      It's SOOOOO fucking worth a watch if you value the art of parody and/or laughter, and even moreso if you like sci-fi and/or cute girls.


      First off, here's the naming scheme for each OVA. This is important since I'll be referring to some by name.

      1. Project A-ko (Initial movie)

      2. Plot Of The Daitokuji Financial Group (Or "Love & Robots Episode 1" for the Engish title)
      3. Cinderella Rhapsody (Or "Love & Robots Episode 2" for the Engish title)
      4. Final (Or "Love & Robots Episode 3" for the Engish title)
      5. Project A-ko The Versus: Gray Side (Or "Project A-ko: Uncivil War 1" for the Engish title)
      6. Project A-ko The Versus: Blue Side ( Or "Project A-ko: Uncivil War 2" for the Engish title)


      Now, onto the usual points.


      As you can see, the localization for Project A-ko was pretty heavy handed... And the English dub of each entry shows it even more, as I'll explain later.


      The biggest draw to this series, for me personally, is the comedy. I found it to be laugh-out-loud funny purely because of purposefully ridiculous it aims to be, and even when it's NOT being that funny it's quite smart at how it handles humor in general. You wouldn't really know it from the initial film, but Project A-ko is undeniably a parody series once you hit the Daitokuji OVA and from there it never looks back... Well, kind of, but I'll get to that near the end of things. It knows exactly what it wants to be, and it has no problem reminding you of such in case you happen to forget.


      Also the writing features a few sick burns even by today's standards.

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      Perhaps I'm driven by my own nostalgia for the initial film, but I also find the characters and their looks to be a big point as well. Ever since I first saw the initial film all those years ago, I've NEVER ONCE forgotten exactly how A-ko, B-ko or C-ko looked down to even the smallest details (Such as the daisy in C-ko's hair). I don't know what it is about the three main girls, their designs just always stuck with me and I find that a lot of the characters I've ever seen or made on my own tend to borrow at least one concept (Visual or otherwise) from these three OR I end up comparing them against one another. Even beyond them though, the overall look and feel for Project A-ko is something special... Again, at least to me. I don't doubt that me having watched it all the time in middle school has swayed my opinions and feelings, but somehow this series just has a very satisfying feeling to each scene.


      Also, as a testament to the time period in which these were released, there were bare tits multiple times in the series and yet PG-13 was the highest rating these things hit in the US. I was a very happy young lesbian, to say the least.


      Another point is how mecha-heavy this series is, which is to say that almost EVERY entry has a cool mech or five somewhere in it. Again, this lends perfectly to the parody nature of the series, because the mechs and technology are the only way B-ko can fight fairly against A-ko... Not to mention it just opens up a world of potential hilarity as A-ko deals with each thing that B-ko throws at her. Even when it's not comedy though, there is more than enough awesome moments both involving mecha and/or simply involving the girls themselves. Like One Punch Man the series does an astounding job of combining comedy with action, lacing something silly or frugal into a scene with badass destruction or feats of inhuman strength.


      Also it's the only series I know of that makes throwing a drink at someone look cool.


      This is all helped greatly by the music, some of which are actually English songs FROM the 80s as I found out when re-watching the initial film! Two in particular are all but synonymous with imagery from the movie for me, and those are "Dance Away" by Annie Livingston and "In Your Eyes" by Samantha Newark. Without fail, I would have one of these songs randomly pop into my head once every two or three months EVER SINCE I FIRST WATCHED THE MOVIE. Again, I don't know if it's because I practically lived on that movie for a full year or more, but something about the imagery and those songs together have made them permanently locked inside my mind. Even aside from those two songs though, the soundtrack itself is straight out of the 80s and it is fucking glorious. It sounds like it belongs in Blood Dragon, or perhaps more logically like it belongs in an old Sonic The Hedgehog level. Also, if you happen to know the names, all the original music for the film was made by Joey Carbone and Richie Zito; Two American song producers from around that time period who worked on quite a few things and did a DAMN good job at it.


      So now we move onto the voice acting of course, and.... Well, I kinda have to split it up. While I'd only ever heard (And nearly memorized) the English dub of the initial film until last month, I watched every entry in the series in Japanese before writing this journal. The voices can be a little grating on occasion, but that's mostly due to the fact that it  IS from the mid-80s and so the quality isn't quite the best. When someone hits a high pitch it doesn't always translate well, and C-ko practically hits some crazy note EVERY SINGLE TIME she cries over something... Which happens at least once per OVA. This can easily be worked around by simply lowering your volume a pinch, OR messing with the equalizer settings and tuning down the highs just a tad. Either way, if/when you get past the period quality (Which honestly MAY just have been my versions of the files) the voice acting itself is quite charming and lovely~ A-ko's voice has a cute rasp to it at times, C-ko sounds like an adorable child and B-ko sounds rather sultry when she's not being spoiled and/or insane (Which is also done quite well by her VA). As implied by earlier statements, there IS an English dub for this series. It's... Well...........


      This is why I told you it was coming later in the journal, because it deserves a whole section to itself. The English version of the series came out in 1990, which puts it in the time when dub were so bad that it was almost funny if you could get over how badly directed they were... And Project A-ko is DEFINITELY badly dubbed, however because the series is a parody to begin with it ACTUALLY kind of works. It's a relic of a time in the past when you didn't HAVE the option of dub or sub, and things were merely whatever the VHS tape happened to have on it. You either took what you got OR you got nothing at all. Having grew up watching it in English, I have a special love/hate with the English dub; It's so overtly localized and they filled in so much dialogue where there originally was none in Japanese that it's almost nonsensical at times... BUT, as I said, somehow that works perfectly with the series because of how nutty it is to begin with. Honestly my BIGGEST gripe with the English version is that they decided to rename each OVA with some stupid title that only just barely stayed relevant to the plot.


      By the way, if you don't mind suffering through the English version, every bit of Project A-ko is on YouTube (And yes, it's uncensored ;3)


      So now let's move on to the other problems this series may have for some of you.


      There IS a few small catches with this series that may turn a few people away. First of all it is VERY of its time, and that time is the mid-80s. The animation can be all over the place, the action moments aren't as impressive as we have in modern anime, and of course SOME people will be bothered by the overt sexual/gender based humor that exists within Project A-ko... Namely when girls like Mari show up (Yes, that is a FEMALE) Tumblrinas and SJWs would be so pissed at the inherent humor in someone basically making the main character for Fist Of The North Star into a schoolgirl. Even that aside though, the girls in the series are stereotypical girly at some points, especially in Cinderella Rhapsody.


      Perhaps the biggest thing that would make the more PC crowd enraged though is the non-existent yet still heavily implied lesbianity; Specifically centered around B-ko. The ENTIRE FUCKING PLOT of the initial film is that B-ko wants C-ko all to herself because she finds C-ko so cute... However, multiple times this is referenced as her wanting to take C-ko on a 'date' OR her wanting to simply be C-ko's best friend. It's all over the map, and I THINK it was designed specifically to never quite make sense in keeping with the parody theme. What it results in though is just confusion about B-ko's sexuality, not to mention a complete nightmare for the English dubbing team to either A. Figure out, or B. Work around, because the English version is even MORE confusing about B-ko's intentions/sexuality. This remains confusing until Cinderella Rhapsody when the MALE love interest shows up, and B-ko wants him seemingly only because A-ko does... Meaning that people are basically just trophies to B-ko and she wants whatever A-ko wants JUST because, and at best is super bisexual.


      And speaking of plot, that brings me to the fifth and sixth OVAs; Project A-ko The Versus. If you want to watch these, I'll go ahead and save you the headache by spoiling the premise...

      WHICH MEANS STOP READING THIS SECTION IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS!


      These two are set in an alternate universe that has NOTHING AT ALL to do with the four entries before them. The only similarity begins and ends with the fact that it stars A-ko, B-ko and C-ko. A-ko and B-ko are not only best friends in this series, but they're also business partners on an alien planet who end up involved in a plot to kidnap a 10-year-old C-ko so that she can be used to host an evil witch's spirit and revive a space dragon that can destroy all the multiverses and make a new space/time with new universes.


      No, I am not joking, THAT'S the plot of The Versus OVAs.


      Even more annoyingly however is the fact that it DOESN'T go the way you'd expect! They stop the dragon in the end and simply explain that all four entries in the series before now were simply one of the existing universes. Remember, I'm NOT the kind of person who likes downer or sad moments, but even I'M sitting over here wishing that they had failed to stop the bad guys quite in time. Hoping that they'll all be erased in a multiverse reset even though they won, but are okay with it because they know they'll meet in the new reality the dragon makes... And then BAM, suddenly we're shown that The Versus reality was a prequel and the original four entries are that new reality and they simply don't know each other even though they ARE still connected..... 


      BUT NO! They stop the bad guys and the universes all continue to exist, it just so happens that The Versus takes place in yet another universe separate from the one that the last fucking four stories all took place in. Why did we need to know this? Why was this relevant? Nevermind the fact that The Versus just plain IS NOT that entertaining because it completely dropped the parody aspect, but it lends absolutely nothing new to the characters or the story! If anything it feels like someone was trying to either set up reasoning for future sequels that break the already silly canon OR wanted to validate every possible fanfic that may come up for Project A-ko.... Which, by the way, there's VERY little of.


      SPOILERS ARE OVER NOW, YOU CAN START READING AGAIN


      One final note which may bother some people is how little of the backstory is actually explained. A-ko being obscenely superhuman, for example, is never once explained even remotely! In Cinderella Rhapsody there's even a line that implies that her black bracers somehow limit her power to a more controllable level, but beyond the redheaded wrecking ball saying "I forgot, I left my bracers at home!" the audience gets NOTHING in the way of it even being a notable fact! For that matter, the only REAL reference to A-ko's strength is in passing glimpses of her parents because they hold a conveniently passing resemblance to Diana Prince and Clark Kent, comedically implying she's the daughter of Wonder Woman and Superman. All that is saying NOTHING in regards to C-ko and the huge spoilers revolving around her, and even B-ko's family life and upbringing is all but a mystery beyond her father and his occasional appearance.


      ==================================================


      I know it sounds like I'm hating on the series at the end or even saying it's NOT all that great, but really I'm just trying to prepare any of you who DO decide to watch it for what you're getting into. This IS NOT a modern anime, and if you go into this 80s relic expecting the quality you get today then you WILL end up hating it. By all means, this series may permanently be one of my all-time favorites and I will never NOT love it to fucking pieces... But that's because it holds a special place in my heart, and perhaps even played a role in helping me understand my sexuality way back when. For other people who are just now hearing of it though? It's like handing a teen from today a Sega Genesis and going "This is real gaming" and expecting them to understand what you mean; All you're doing is setting things up for failure and endless arguments/criticism.


      I love Project A-ko; You may hate it. I'm definitely not going to make it better by ONLY jerkin' my own gherkin and fangirling over it, so I just tried to point out the things you may NOT like to be safe.


      That said, if you dislike Project A-ko, you're wrong.


      Until next time, my fellow Nippon nakama!
      MATA NE~!


      Hint for next month: Have you ever just wanted to be a manga artist but then this weird girl shows up asking your father to go back to doing the thing he does best but the old man refuses unless she can convince you to take over the family business first? I HATE it when that happens.

    • Blood's Anime Of The Month: June 2017 - Kill Me Baby

      2 months ago

      Blood_XIII

      Yes, it's late again. No, I don't have a good excuse.

      I just can't find the time/patience/motivation to sit down and write these things lately, what with the 100+ videos RT puts out across their channels in a week AND me needing to make progress in KH2FM, nevermind work and other social obligations :/


      The Anime Of The Month for June, 2017 is...


      QHU4wVc.png


      Title is an accurate representation of how I feel with my self-imposed scheduling disasters... But I digress.


      Series Name: Kill Me Baby
      Creator Name: Kaduho
      Genre: Comedy, Slice Of Life
      Air Dates: January, 2012 through March, 2012
      Number Of Episodes: 13



      Okay, before you judge TOO harshly after seeing/hearing that off-key and scatterbrained intro, I promise the series itself isn't THAT weird and/or nonsensical. I mean it's still pretty nonsense-filled, but not THAT badly.

      Also I wouldn't be surprised if you've seen the ending in SOME form or another.



      How I Found This Series: No special story this time! Kill Me Baby was introduced to me in that Reddit thread I made last year, in which I simply asked for any and all series with cute girls and a light-hearted premise. Might be a lame story, but simple is nice sometimes.



      Summary: As a Slice Of Life series, the premise for Kill Me Baby is quite simple. A young girl is an assassin, and either by necessity of law OR necessity of maintaining her cover (It's never really stated) she has to attend high school! Unfortunately for her, the most airheaded and eccentric and all around weird member of her class has decided to be her friend. The series literally jumps into things with their friendship already being established for an unstated amount of time, and the viewer is merely given a window into the beautiful clash of personality between them.



      Characters: Believe it or not, there are only four three characters in the series who are even given an actual name! doesn't get much easier to remember than this, folks.


      Yasuna Oribe
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      There are many ways to describe Yasuna, but among them you're NOT going to find things like smart or sensible. The girl is as airheaded and eccentric as they come, literally forgetting or not caring almost every day that her best friend is a literal trained assassin. She pretty much just lives her life by her own beat, which tends to be following every single thing she sees on television. As a result, she's always into something new and tends to have a very strange over-dramatized and incorrect view on everything... Also she's terrible with money.


      Sonya
      Yp90GqY.jpg
      While it's never explicitly stated WHERE she comes from, Sonya is a foreign girl attending school alongside her best friend, Yasuna... And is a trained assassin. She's effectively the total opposite of Yasuna; Has no patience for fun and games, is rather intelligent AND can very much handle herself. Thing is though, because she's constantly watching her back for attacks, she tends to overreact to anyone invading her personal space... And by that I mean she tries to murder them or break their arm. Ironically she's terrified of simple things such as bugs, ghosts and even domesticated dogs.


      Agiri Goshiki
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      Not that it's saying much when there's only four three characters, but Agiri is far and away my favorite. This girl is a ninja, employed by the same assassination association as Sonya. However, unlike Sonya, Agiri has her fair share of silliness and non-serious behavior... Namely in that she's relatively lazy and her techniques are often total nonsense, not to mention that she's constantly selling 'ninja items and techniques' that are barely worth having. This cute little con-artist salesninja seems to just appear whenever she's called and/or it benefits her to be present, and is the first to make her leave when things start going South.



      Unused Character
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      It's weird, I could've sworn there was a fourth character in this series...



      Personal Opinions/Views: It's short and super simple, with episodes that mean next to nothing in the way of continuity and characters that are very much readable/predictable... And it works PERFECTLY. If you've ever wanted to just sit back and watch an anime that will make you chuckle (Or laugh out loud, if you're me) and yet not be overwhelming in ANY sense, then this is your dream come true.


      Over 75% of the series takes place in ONE classroom, there's only four characters, there's no real story and you can come into the series in the middle and not be confused almost at all. This is the kind of series you sit down with a boyfriend/girlfriend and just put it on while you cuddle and laugh at the silly moments. It's THAT simple and chill and fun.


      Also, the series is infinitely gif-able and meme-able.

      Each of those words is a link; Click them all for proof.


      However, that simplicity MAY be it's downfall for some people. Almost NOTHING happens in the way of story or development, and teach episode features multiple tales that sometimes have nothing to do with one another. For those in the know, I'm fairly certain (Cannot confirm) that Kill Me Baby was either adapted from OR inspired by 4-Koma manga. If you DON'T know what that is, think newspaper comic strips. 4-Koma are literally just manga that are written with four panels in each little story, oftentimes following a simple path; Setup > Delivery/Reply > Punchline > Reaction. Again, not at all unlike the simplistic comics we see in the newspapers.


      This may seem odd, but there have been quite a few series that gained a decent fanbase after being adapted from 4-Koma manga. Aumanga Daioh, Lucky Star and Yotsuba& are three easy examples, but there's plenty more if you go looking! Kill Me Baby, however, has unfortunately came about in an age where everyone just wants things like Attack On Titan or Yuri On Ice or Sword Art Online, things with a deep/involved story and scenes of tension/excitement. Comedy anime aren't as appreciated now, and the ones that ARE tend to mix in action with the comedy (Like One Punch Man and KonoSuba) or are overtly hilarious and popularized. People don't really venture outside the realm of well-rated and well-known series these days... And because of it they miss little gems like Kill Me Baby.


      Yasuna does or says something she KNOWS will piss off Sonya; Sonya damn near kills her as a response. Over and over and over again, like the writers were getting paid for each time they made the same joke... And yet it NEVER gets old. The chemistry between the characters is pure enjoyment paid fully in cuteness and happiness, and you never get tired of it even when you can predict EXACTLY what's going to happen next.


      Sure it's not life-changing and it's not going to be remembered as a classic, hell I wouldn't be surprised if people don't remember it a few years from now. But in a way that's WHY it's so special! It's genuinely cute and fun, and funny too; For a series that people may not remember in five years, it has more heart and spirit than some AAA anime series that no one can shit the fuck up about for 10 seconds to hear YOUR opinions. Yes, I KNOW I sound like a hipster right now. I swear that's not the point I'm making though, I'm simply saying that sometimes a series that is 'just okay' can be more enjoyable than a series that is 'the next big thing.'


      So let's talk the usual things, which I can actually get through quite quickly for once.


      The voice work is adorable and VERY good, as seems to be the constant. Agiri's voice in particular just makes my heart smile every time she speaks (Too bad her VA was arrested for drug possession and doesn't really get work anymore), and the ironically (Intentionally?) underused Unused Character has a voice that is borderline annoying BUT fucking cute as shit at the same time. The emotion and range of the voice actresses in this series is incredible though, and you'll hear them hitting sounds that are honestly momentarily stunning because they're so damn good... Also the guy who voices Brook in One Piece voices almost every random male character in the show. Only real problems are that Sonya's VA can sound a bit boyish at times, and the 'BABY PLEASE KILL ME' commercial/intermission bumps that come up 2-3 times per episode can get a little annoying to some.


      The music is also quite wonderful, with a lot of it being almost like 8-bit tunes or extremely simple/short passages of notes that could be described as something like the Ocarina songs from Ocarina Of Time. The music is merely an accent to each scene, meant to give you a nice little feel for the tone of things and in some cases even help set up the jokes!


      The look of the series is perfect for what it is. A lovely mix of chibi and normal anime styles, bright colors and stylized backgrounds complete with vibrant pattern backdrops for whenever the scene is focused on delivering a joke. It's really about as close as you CAN get to a moving 4-Koma, short of digging up a visual novel on Steam or from some other source. It's JUST nice to look at, and yet at the same time there's really nothing special about it in the least. In a way the series has a knack for not overstating itself in terms of looks, and lets the characters and their interactions with one another do all the work.


      Aside from the hiccups I already mentioned above, the only other real problem MIGHT be the comedy itself. This is a Japanese cartoon after all, and as such a good deal of the humor comes from the culture that created it. At least twice there are moments that revolve around a play on words that requires either basic knowledge of Japanese language OR a very attentive ear to discern the similarities. Furthermore there are tons of cultural references like splitting a watermelon on the beach, catching goldfish at a summer festival, hunting for a Tsuchinoko and countless mentions of little things food, holidays and superstitions that might mean NOTHING to a Western audience. I took two years of Japanese in high school though, as well as have watched anime for so many years that I actually understand the jokes being made at Japan's own expense. YOU may not be so well-versed, so some of the jokes may fail to even register as more than confusing conversation!


      ==================================================


      For all the little issues it may seem to have on the surface, Kill Me Baby is a series I would still eagerly recommend to anyone who likes nothing more than relaxing and having a nice laugh. The girls are adorable and fun to watch as they live their 'normal' lives, even the dangerous and murderous Sonya! From start to finish this series had me giggling and/or laughing, just straight up enjoying myself while never once making me feel like I NEEDED more. It was fun to watch, and delivered zero pressure to push me into the next episode. I only watched them all back-to-back BECAUSE it felt so nice and cute that I didn't want the feeling to go away.


      You should DEFINITELY give this series a watch, even just once. Kill Me Baby is just plain cute and fun all the way through.


      Until next time, my fellow Nippon nakama!
      MATA NE~!


      Hint for next month: When a super-powered schoolgirl, a super-rich schoolgirl and a super-ditzy schoolgirl are all constantly in each other's lives, you get endless amounts of hilarity and some really weird lesbian undertones that APPARENTLY mean nothing.


    • Blood's Anime Of The Month: May 2017 - Outlaw Star

      3 months ago

      Blood_XIII

      Okay listen, I've been being lazy WHILE being busy catching up on stuff, alright? Three weeks of RT/AH content, two seasons of MLP and three Dungeons & Dragons books, not to mention a stupid incrimental tapper mobile game I got myself addicted to and CANNOT STOP PLAYING.

      So this one was a little late, as usual.


      The Anime Of The Month for May, 2017 is...

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      Yeah, no way I had time or wanted to MAKE the time to watch a new series. You shut the hell up though because this one is a treasure.


      Series Name: Outlaw Star
      Creator Name: Takehiko Ito
      Genre: Space Western/Space Opera, Sci-Fi, Action
      Air Dates: January, 1998 to June, 1998
      Number Of Episodes: 26


      The intro for Outlaw Star is, to me, one of THE greatest anime themes ever. It's epitomic of 90s anime as a whole and gets you way pumped.



      How I Found This Series: This is another series that was brought into my life by Toonami/Adult Swim back in my youth. Today I can't imagine it NOT being part of my anime history because it was THAT important in getting me to watch other things... But we'll talk about that later. I remember not watching Outlaw Star at first, and only at the behest of a friend I've since fallen out of touch with did I give the show a watch. It was damn near love at first sight, and I IMMEDIATELY started watching the series from that day on even though I'd missed the first 5 or 6 episodes.



      Summary: Outlaw Star is set in the fictional 'Toward Stars Era,' a futuristic time in which humans have not only mastered space travel AND faster-than-light speeds, but are spread out all across the galaxy and all trying to make a living however they can. Be it mining asteroids for materials, bounty hunting, business and trading, mercenary contracts, you name it; The entire population of the galaxy simply lives day to day, somewhat peaceful lives. That population ALSO includes aliens of varying types, from the humanoid cat-like Ctarl-Ctarl race all the way down to the weird green sentient blobs! Technology has advanced so far as well that things like bio-androids and cybernetic beings are perfectly normal, as are advanced AI and laser guns and really all your typical sci-fi staples.


      There is also a legend in this world; A tall-tale known as the Galactic Leyline. No one is sure where it is or even exactly WHAT it is, but it's said to house power, knowledge and treasure in amounts the mind can't even begin to comprehend! It's the dream of every daydreamer in the known universe to find it... But no one REALLY believes it exists, outside those whose imaginations refuse to let go of the fantasy! Gene Starwind and his business partner Jim Hawking are two of those who've heard the tales, but only wish such tales were true. So when someone shows up and, through a series of fantastic events, effectively drops into their lap a ship and a bio-android that were purpose-built to FIND the Galactic Leyline... It starts them on a grand adventure filled with peril and a myriad of antics!



      Characters: Not a fuckton of characters this time! Still WAY more than I'd want to name fully though, so I'll just stick with the main five who join the crew.

      Also sorry for the potato quality images... It's hard to find decent pictures of the characters that aren't fan-art or DVD covers.


      Gene Starwind
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      There are many words to describe Gene, but 'reputable gentleman' isn't part of the list. Sure he's a good guy, but he's also a risk-taking, overtly brash, supremely cocky, slightly womanizing, potentially alcoholic AND has a tendency to ignore all the rules (And laws) to do as he pleases.... But again, he's a GOOD guy at his core! For despite all this he's actually rather compassionate beyond all that exterior he puts up, and actually has a rather significant fear of open space due to a fairly traumatic experience in his youth that resulted in the death of his father. What he may lack in open tact though, the all redhead makes up for in both his luck and actual skill! Numerous times he shows to be actually quite intelligent and very good a deception, not to mention a decent tactician and expert shot. Gene's weapon of choice is one of the more significant things to his character though, an old-world handcannon known as a Caster Gun. Considered by many to be ancient to the point of there only being a handful in the universe, the weapon uses very special ammunition known as Caster Shells. Effectively, the gun and ammo are a modernized form of magic and spellcasting! From simple large blasts to non-fatal shocks and all the way to miniature black holes, IF you can find the extremely rare ammo for the weapon it's a guaranteed way to turn the tide of any battle.


      James "Jim" Hawking
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      Despite being only 11 years old, Jim is everything his business partner Gene is NOT. Wise and tactful, calm and reasonable, respectful and open, not to mention a near genius when it comes to computers and technology! While he and Gene get into arguments almost constantly about the smallest things, the two actually have a great respect or each other thanks to the simple fact that they've got each other's backs so very thoroughly. It's a perfect odd couple-esque partnership between them, the definition of brains and brawn in team form! Even to the point where Jim is more in charge of their "Starwind and Hawkings Enterprise" venture than the adult among them is! Jim may owe a lot to Gene for taking him in, but Gene owes Jim countless debts for keeping his redheaded partner in check AND his eyes on the prize! Without Jim, Gene would be just another alcoholic sleeping his way around town and solving every problem with a 'shoot until the problem is solved' mentality... Though in a similar way, Jim wouldn't be as forward and take-charge as he is unless he'd had to deal with Gene for so long!


      Melfina
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      Melfina is.... A bit self-contradictory, really. She is a bio-android that, alongside the ship which eventually becomes named the Outlaw Star, was made with the express purpose of locating the Galctic Leyline. Due to her being partially unfinished AND the nature of the Leyline itself and the mysteries surrounding it, she's subject to moments of thought and action that are very hard to understand even for herself. As a result she is oftentimes very confused and/or conflicted, wishing merely to know who she truly is... But at the same time her personality's TRUE nature is one of kindness and positivity, with a sense of that can at times be the highest of the whole crew! The whole of the universe is new to her, so she takes all of it in with a slight sense of child-like wonder and innocence. This lends to her kind spirit, in that she's quick to help others even if they seem questionable to most others, and she's also quick to forgive.


      Aisha Clan-Clan
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      Aisha is one of those anime characters that you've probably seen SOMEWHERE even if you've never seen the series she's from! Her cat-like ears are proof of her non-human origin, being part of a race known as the Ctarl-Ctarl. Like others of her kind, Aisha is practically invincible... No really, I mean this girl can smack bullets out of the air and bathe in lava (Mild NSFW)! Her race's strength is also off the charts, as she is able to single-handedly tear through walls like they were made of paper. The Ctarl-Ctarl are a proud race because of their inherent indestructibility and strength, and when you add to that Aisha's unique ego and personality what you end up with is a hot-headed disaster waiting to happen! She is eccentric and oftentimes self-serving, not to mention ever-so-slightly crazy... But she's an AMAZING character and is deservedly most people's favorite! Also fun fact, her English VA is the same woman who voiced Rogue in the original X-Men cartoon!


      Suzuka
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      "Twilight" Suzuka is, simply put, an assassin with a no-nonsense personality. Having trained in the art of the sword and had a life filled with turmoil, she is searching for the man who killed her sword master and her family to exact vengeance upon him. To achieve this she has put her skills to use as an assassin for hire... And she's damn good at her job. Her epithet stems from her actually rather kind nature, as she approaches her target at sunrise to tell them that she intends to take their life at sundown, telling them to say their goodbyes, make amends and otherwise prepare to leave this world by then. While she has no problems killing she often refuses contracts if they violate her moral code or she disagrees with the client, typically meaning she only goes after those who deserve to die or otherwise lead lives of crime. Ultimately though, her exterior coldness hides a warmer heart than one may believe, and she rather enjoys people who can live life openly and follow their own path.



      Personal Opinions/Views: As per my usual, I CANNOT say enough good things about this anime. It's EVERY SINGLE THING that Cowboy Bebop, Firefly and Borderlands did right all packed together, and then some. You can definitely see shades of each and more within Outlaw Star, though as a 90s anime it pre-dates many of those more popular mediums and MAY have influenced them in some ways. Of particular note I have to point out RWBY; The way Caster Shells work are VERY similar to the idea of Dust-harnessing ammunition! Again though, I put emphasis on the fact that a shared idea IS NOT the same as influence! Simply that the coincidence makes it far more approachable for more people!


      But seriously, the moment in Firefly where you first see River is VERY close to the moment in Outlaw Star where you first see Melfina. It would not surprise me in the least if Joss Whedon were inspired a pinch by this series.


      The characters are EXACTLY what you want too; A rag-tag group that barely functions as a whole BUT somehow is the best team to handle anything that comes at them... IE, like the crew from Firefly. Each member of the Outlaw Star has a memorable personality and look, and to this day I use them as a reference point as much as I do with characters FROM shows like Firefly and beyond that are regarded as having some of the best written characters within fiction. Their clashing personalities coming together to help one another and overcome the obstacles before them is... It's just entertainment perfection, really.


      The story is, by modern standards, a bit simple though. Dudes get awesome ship and magic lady thrown at them, dudes and lady go on an epic quest for the magic treasure at the end of the universe, other ladies join, baddies want the treasure, much fighting happens, predictable end-game goes down, good guys win, happily-ever-after, hooray. The idea of a grand treasure is something that practically fuels the likes of One Piece and Borderlands, the latter ESPECIALLY sharing points because the Vaults in Borderlands are said to house far more than just a simple load of treasure! While simplistic though, the story is still wonderfully presented and fun to witness every step of the way.


      Not to mention that Outlaw Star has the same cliche as EVERY 26-episode 90s anime, so more than half the episodes are nothing more than really fun world-building and character moments! I honestly wouldn't be surprised if someone has made a supercut 'movie' of Outlaw Star that hits every important story beat and is less than three hours long. It's a perfect definition of a series where the journey is more important than the destination, and you actually WANT to know more about things going on around the characters as opposed to making it to the finish line sooner... Then again, I HAVE expressed my dislike of the more modern 12-episode anime format BECAUSE it makes a series feel rushed, so maybe I'm just set in the old ways of series like Outlaw Star?


      Regardless, let's now move on to the usual points!


      I can actually cover these a bit quickly this time around, because... Well, there's not much to say! I've actually NEVER seen Outlaw Star in Japanese, save for MAYBE the first episode one time only and I don't even remember it. So for once I can't give a real opinion on the Japanese VO work! The ENGLISH, however, is MORE than acceptable! It was right in that perfect window of 90s anime where the localization teams actually cared enough to pick good voices, but also didn't feel compelled to make th writing perfect. A a result you get a wonderful mix of amazing voicework and 90s-tastic cheese in ever episode, and it just ADDS to what makes the series so good. If there's ANY complaints to be made, it's that Melfina's voice can sometimes seem annoying and Gene's VA MAYBE has a small lisp if you're really listening for it... But both are easily overlooked once things get exciting.


      Next is the animation quality, and all that can be said for it is that it's 100% on par with it's more popular sister-series, Cowboy Bebop. If you enjoy how Bebop looks, Outlaw Star is THE EXACT SAME kind of style and feel with the exception that this series plays up the futuristic look and the spread of civilization. Honestly you cold be forgiven for thinking the two series could very well take place in the same continuum, with Outlaw Star simply being a few hundred years past the end of Bebop.  The only real issue is that, thanks to it being a less popular series AND having a time when the licensing studio with hands on the series closing down, Outlaw Star has been in a bit of a rut where it's near impossible to find.


      Hell, I've personally owned the same box set of the series TWICE because my third ex's drug-addict uncle STOLE my box set and sold it to GameStop for probably $10 so he could get his fix. I literally happened to walk INTO the store just as said ex's uncle was walking out, and knowing he stole shit from her constantly to get money for his habits I looked behind the counter and saw a tong of games and DVDs being sorted... Among them being an Outlaw Star box set. I called my lady at the time to have her look for it and confirmed it was indeed missing. Unfortunately the guy working at the store couldn't do much other than call the cops to let them try and sort it out... And because I didn't want to cause a huge problem for my girlfriend's family (Who, by the way, KNEW he did that shit and just forgave him because they're all fucking morons) I just WATCHED as my own DVDs were added to the shelves. Years later I bought the same box set from an FYE and it ran me $50 ON CLEARANCE, which sounds crazy but at the time copies on Ebay were going for upwards of $80! So now I've got my lovely little box set of the series that I adore...


      BUT as I was writing this piece I was FUCKING HYPED TO THE MOON by an awesome discovery I'd made! This June, Funimation is releasing the series as a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack and it's ACTUALLY kinda affordable at $50! What's more they're releasing a collector's edition version as well that has a FUCKING BADASS BOX made to mimic the look of the ship itself and also containing an art book! So guess who's going to be spending $75 in June? Yes, the series means THAT much to me. I personally regard Outlaw Star as being more important than Cowboy Bebop, because the two are SO similar and I simply saw Outlaw Star first and Bebop was overhyped when I got around to it. No doubt that Bebop was first and certainly influenced anime as a whole in more ways, but I've personally ALWAYS felt that Outlaw Star wasn't given the attention or praise IT deserves simply because Bebop stole the show and left this amazing gem buried under the sands left in its wake. So now that Outlaw Star is getting a MAJOR re-release, I'm really hoping that people come to know of it!


      ==================================================


      Same with this journal, really. I'm very much hoping that SOMEONE who reads this either forgot about Outlaw Star and will now be reminded of the awesomeness, OR that they've never heard of the series and will give it a watch now! I have a bad tendency to get the urge to watch any old series I write about in these journals, and I was SO tempted to put Outlaw Star on my list for once I can find myself some free time... Now I'm just waiting until June so I can catapult my money at whatever source can get that shit to me the soonest! I'd say about what the very thought of getting to see such an awesome series in full HD does to me, but... Well, I'm a more classy lady than to delve into that sort of talk!


      Until next time, my fellow Nippon nakama!
      MATA NE~!


      Hint for next month: What do a master assassin, a ditzy klutz and a lazy ninja have in common? Well for starters they're all girls in high school...

    • Blood's Anime Of The Month (One Year Anniversary) : April 2017 - One Piece

      4 months ago

      Blood_XIII

      This one is probably late again, because I was both VERY lazy in getting around to writing it AND I was hella busy for most of the last two weeks of March. It's literally April 1st right now, 10am, when I'm typing this opening statement... And I'm probably going to put it off for a few more days after this.


      ADDITION: Okay, so SUPER bad weather in my area AND being made to house-sit for a week for my grandmother in an area that gets literally ZERO cell signal delayed me in putting this out even more than I expected :/


      SECOND ADDITION: Sorry to anyone who tried to read this the FIRST time. Apparently editing a journal that exceeds the character limit breaks the journal's URL. Go figure. Only had to re-do all the formatting and links again. Not like I needed that hour of my life for other stuff.


      The Anime Of The Month for April, 2017 is...

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      WARNING! This time around I WILL be delving into spoilers! One Piece is literally turning TWENTY YEARS OLD this July and is STILL going strong, so I think I'm justified in including such things... Plus if I DIDN'T give myself this liberty the character section alone would be VERY tricky.

      You have been warned, so IF you plan on watching/reading all of One Piece (Or catching up, if you're already an old fan), just keep in mind that you may have some stuff spoiled if you keep reading this! I WILL do what I can to avoid super-major spoilers, of course, but don't expect EVERYTHING to stay a surprise.

      For those of you who are already One Piece fans, I'm going to TRY sticking exclusively to pre-timeskip info! If ou're NOT already a fan I explain more on what this means later in the journal.


      Series Name: One Piece 

      Creator Name: Eiichiro Oda

      Genre: Comedy, Action, Drama, Shounen

      Air Dates: October, 1999 through present day

      Number Of Episodes: 780+


      By the way, that's NOT a typo on the number of episodes. If anyone you know has ever talked about Dragonball Z being 'too long' you can tell them that One Piece literally has it beaten by a 500+ episode margin. For the record though, IF you ever want to watch One Piece, there's about 110 episodes you can skip because they're pure filler. You can also look up One Pace, which is a fan project to essentially make a One Piece Kai that is paced more quickly WITHOUT sacrificing any of the story. On average they've cut down entire arcs to half or less their original amount of episodes!


      Now PRE-statement this time around... One Piece has had like a million opening and ending themes over the years, so I'm just picking three of my favorite openings and ignoring the endings altogether.



      So you're aware, "We Are" is the FIRST opening for the series and to Japan is about as iconic as the themes to "The Simpsons" or "Power Rangers" are to us in the Western world. Also note there is an alternate version of "We Are" that has the voice actors of the main characters all singing the song instead!



      How I Found This Series: Add to this section's title, "And My Personal Adventure Through The Series"


      One Piece was first introduced to me by Shonen Jump; Yes, the rather laughable American attempt at serializing manga. Say what you will about SJ and their overt censoring, translations and methods in general, but they DID open the doors for a lot of people and made tons of anime/manga fans that otherwise wouldn't have been. Point is, Shonen Jump was all I had back in my late middle school/early high school years, so I read it every month. One of the series in SJ that I would keep up with was, of course, One Piece. At the time I thought it was just okay; Something fun and cool, but not as awesome as Naruto or DBZ or... Whatever the hell else Shonen Jump was running back then that was the 'cool' thing. I got into it for a bit though, jumping ahead to download chapters from scanlation groups online.


      Eventually, however, I stopped caring about One Piece altogether, right around the time I caught up to the current chapters at the time and ran out of stuff to read. Years later my usual source for all things anime, Josh/Chaos621/ChaoSamui, was talking to me about how One Piece had gotten significantly more amazing after the point where I stopped caring. I tried getting back into the series, but I had forgotten EVERYTHING about it! So I started over, from the very beginning... And made it EXACTLY to the point I'd made it the first time! Once again I found myself floating away, though THIS time it was due to work and other life nonsense.


      Cut to even FURTHER in the future; Said friend had been keeping me updated on what was happening on and off through the series, and I was allowing spoilers thinking I'd NEVER be caught up... But I had, at some point, decided I would jump back in full-force and watch the series ALL HE WAY THROUGH FOR A THIRD TIME once the anime had reached the end of the current arc at the time; Dressrosa. If you already follow One Piece, you KNOW how much that delayed me as a result. Still, as the anime was finally winding down to the end of Dressrosa, I started watching from the very beginning just as planned... Albeit skipping every filler episode!


      It was going wonderfully, and I'd even gotten past the part I'd stopped at twice before AND dropped my toxic ex during that time, so I had the TIME to indulge in the series! I was locked into One Piece hardcore... Until Monty passed away. I cannot even BEGIN to explain the heartbreak and emotional anguish his death cast upon me, and to this day I'm STILL not quite sure why I seem to have taken Monty's passing harder than most everyone else I've ever spoken to (I STILL cannot listen to the RWBY soundtrack without crying). To make matters worse, I was specifically near the end of the Marineford/Summit War arc in One Piece when we lost Monty... And again, if you follow One Piece already then you KNOW what the tail-end of that arc entails. Needless to say, the comparisons and emotional investment I pulled from all of that where magnified a hundred-fold with the loss of Monty.


      So I stopped, yet again, though this time it was a MUCH more logical point to stop at; Immediately before the time-skip. For those who DON'T know, there's a creator-defined definitive halfway point in One Piece, and that halfway point is when there is a two year gap in the story where the main characters all grow older and stronger from training over that period of time. Hence why you'll hear people (Including myself, throughout this journal) referring to One Piece's events as pre or post time-skip. But I digress, for the POINT of this is that I couldn't go on watching the series after the pain of Monty's passing. It wasn't tied to him in any real way, I just hurt to much and didn't think I would be able to focus on it.


      So jump to a year later, when I experienced a slightly lesser form of heartbreak after separating from my at-the-time significant other. I was so lost as to what to do... I needed ALL the distractions I could get, and there's even a journal post here on the site from around that time that details several of the ways I was trying to keep my mind as far away from the heartbreak as I could... And in that journal, you'll find a picture of my TV playing an episode of One Piece! Indeed, One Piece ended up being one of my many escapes from reality during that time. I blazed through the episodes after the time-skip, getting more invested in the series than ever! The ONLY time I took a break was when I overshot my predictions and reached the start of Dressrosa before the arc had finished. After a few months though, I was able to start that arc finally!


      And am I EVER glad I waited. Dressrosa is, at present, THE longest arc in One Piece at over 100 episodes. For anyone keeping track of weekly releases of each episode, that meant it was just around TWO YEARS of a single arc. I watched the entire arc in a little under two weeks. It was MUCH better than waiting week-to-week, and further proved why I prefer binge watching! However, now... I had caught up! There was nothing left to watch! So I did the only logical thing, which is what I'd planned to do from the start; Switch over to reading the manga.


      And thus, here I am today. At any given point I'm only three or four chapters behind the most current release for One Piece, and I feel like I'm FINALLY part of the people who can call themselves a major fan of the series. I WOULD say more, but... Well, there's a whole other section at the end dedicated to all that!



      Summary: This one is a bit harder to explain than normal, if only because the series itself is so long and intricate. I'm also going to take the liberty of detailing the beginning of Luffy's story, since it DOES sort of lead into the rest of the series even if you don't get to see it until a flashback happens a few episodes into the series.


      The world, that is to say the planet, which One Piece takes place within is about 90% ocean. The largest landmass is a single strip of mountainous rock that circumferences the globe on a North/South plane, known as the Red Line. Across the equatorial circumference is a belt of ocean known as the Grand Line, and the Grand Line itself is bordered on the North and South by a twin set of phenomena known as the Calm Belt. Beyond all of that, the major oceans of the world are named by cardinal directions; East Blue, West Blue, North Blue and South Blue. The Red Line is widely uninhabited, or at the very least MOST of the planet's population exists on countless islands scattered all over the globe.


      While the major oceans are easily navigable and follow common logic even as we understand it in our own world, the Grand Line is completely different. Compasses spin wildly and maps are useless as a result, and the weather can change from a sweltering heat to a blizzard within seconds IN the same spot of the sea. Instead, the only way to navigate the Grand Line is via Log Pose, a special compass that locks on the the unique magnetic field of the nearest island. Once on that island, the Log Pose adapts to the magnetic field over time (Each island has a different set time for the Log Pose) and will eventually lock on to the next nearest island.


      Also inhabiting the world are countless species of sea-life. Included among them are the humanoid Fishmen, who are able to walk upright as humans are while still having a very fish-like appearance, to the mermaids and mermen, who appear exactly as you might expect. Also dwelling in the sea, however, are Sea Kings; Giant sea monsters that can be anything from the size of a house to the size of a Navy warship, and some even bigger! The Calm Belt is the natural breeding ground of these fearsome creatures, and alongside the fact that the Calm Belt has NO wind patterns and NO sea currents make it almost completely unable to be traversed (Though the Navy has methods that allow them to pass through the Calm Belt with ease). For normal sailors and pirates, there is only ONE way to reach the Grand Line safely... And even then it requires such skill and bravery that most who set out for the Grand Line never even make it there.


      Only a single man has ever traversed the entire Grand Line, making it all the way to the final island known as Raftel. That man was Gol D. Roger, AKA Gold Roger, the pirate king. He amassed untold treasures and caused an insane amount of trouble for the world government as he led the proverbial pirate's life, ultimately becoming a legend even as he lived. He was ultimately captured though, and sentenced to death for his crimes. Wealth, fame and power; Gol D. Roger had it all and even as he was led to the gallows he showed no regret for his life. His final words were an accidental call to action, telling the world that he'd left his greatest treasure at the end of the Grand Line; At Raftel.


      Though he was executed even as he spoke those words, the people of the world were enticed by the prospect of the greatest treasure to ever exist... And so with his dying words, Roger had inadvertently spawned a Great Age of Pirates; Sending common people to the seas to pursue their dreams by whatever means necessary. Of course though, most people lacked the proper conviction, knowledge and willpower, ending up becoming mere criminals that the world now had to deal with. Some had morals and would only travel, others were ruthless and took whatever they wanted.


      One such treasure the world offered these sailors and pirates were very special fruits, which gave the person who ate them an incredible power. Known as Devil Fruits, only one of each type and/or user of each power can exist at a time, though some fruits have SIMILAR effects to others. Most give the user the ability to change their own body in some way, but quite a few give the power to change other objects and/or living creatures as well. The caveat to these powers are as diverse as the powers themselves, BUT they all share a single, common weakness; Water. If a Devil Fruit user is ever submersed in water more than 25% (Typically to their knees), they begin to feel incredibly weakened as if suffering from extreme fatigue. If fully submersed the effect is something along the lines of paralysis or passing out, essentially rendering the person unable to move at all and, effectively, ensuring their death via drowning.


      All of this information lends to the beginning and indeed focal point of the story. On a small island somewhere in East Blue, a great pirate by the epithet Red-Hair Shanks makes regular stops and has befriended a young orphan by the name of Monkey D. Luffy. Luffy, having heard he legends and tales of Gol D. Roger from Shanks and other people on the island, has decided that he wants to become a pirate himself... But not just ANY pirate, for Luffy wants to travel to the end of the Grand Line and obtain the treasure of Gol D. Roger; A treasure which has sense came to be known as One Piece (In case you were curious where the title came from!). On one of these stops to Luffy's island, Shanks has brought with him a Devil Fruit which he plans to sell... Until Luffy eats it out of curiosity.


      The fruit Luffy had eaten was known as the Gum-Gum Fruit (Gomu-Gomu no Mi) and as a result his body gained the properties of rubber! The young boy is now able to stretch his limbs and can withstand damage that would cause serious injury to most anyone else. Furthermore, as the series later shows, this makes Luffy invulnerable to bullets and really anything that isn't bladed or otherwise able to cut. Of course though, this makes Luffy forever unable to step into bodies of water ever again, seemingly putting a huge dent in his plans to become pirate king.


      In this same trip to the island, albeit on a different day, Shanks is accosted by a small crew of no-name pirates... And promptly acts as though it's no big deal after they disgrace him. Luffy, however, is furious at the treatment of the man he looks up to. The boy foolishly rushes out to fight the pirates and is immediately captured by them. Shanks and his crew have a very short standoff with this other crew before all but decimating them in an instant, showing that Shanks' crew is actually quite the big deal indeed! However, the captain runs and makes out to sea with Luffy still in his grasp, forcing Shanks to follow. Seeing no other way out, and in return for his crew being defeated, the captain throws Luffy into the sea to get Shanks off his tail, forcing Shanks to save Luffy.


      However, a certain Sea King calls the area around the island his home, and upon sensing the commotion rises up to devour the escaping captain and his ship before turning his attention to Luffy and Shanks. Thanks to Shanks' quick action, he protects Luffy and scares the beast away with a single, intense stare and the words 'Get lost', further solidifying his power... However, as Shanks calmly tries to console a crying Luffy, it is revealed that the Sea King had taken Shanks' left arm in the process of Luffy's rescue, and Shanks seems more concerned with Luffy's well being even despite this fact.


      As Shanks and his crew prepare to depart the following day, he tells Luffy to never give up his dream and take to sea once he's old enough to do such. As a parting gift, Shanks removes his straw hat and places it upon Luffy's head, telling the young boy that the hat once belonged to someone that Shanks himself looked up to. A promise is made from Shanks to Luffy; That Luffy must one day find Shanks and return the hat to him, most likely AFTER Luffy has become the pirate king. With that Shanks left, leaving Luffy and his island for good so that Luffy would be all the more driven to his goal.


      Many years later, Luffy indeed set out on his own from the island, his plans to become pirate king only grown and strengthened over time as much as his own strength and understanding of the powers his Devil Fruit had given him! As Luffy departs, the same Sea King who took Shanks' arm and destroyed a whole ship in a single bite shows up to confront Luffy... And is swiftly defeated with a single, powerful punch to the jaw from Luffy. The young, helpless boy is no more as Luffy begins his grand adventure, his goal not to be deterred by anyone or anything who tries to stand in his way.



      Characters: If you thought I'd hit the limit back on Girls Und Panzer when I talked about numbers of named characters, prepare to have your mind blown. Not counting the named characters that NEVER speak, are ONLY background henchmen and/or anyone that ONLY gets a name in passing, there are still over ONE HUNDRED characters in One Piece that I can literally name off from memory alone... And that's JUST from the first half of the series.
      So I'm only going to name off the (Currently) nine members of the Straw Hat crew, since they're the ones everything tends to revolve around. Also, as a testament to how long this series is, I'm also going to include the episode/chapter number of their first appearance in the series... Oh, and once again, be prepared for some mild spoilers!


      Monkey D. Luffy
      First Appearance: Episode 1 / Chapter 1

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      The primary main character of the series, Luffy is EXTREMELY outgoing and optimistic in virtually every regard possible... And he's also a bit of an idiot. As already detailed, Luffy ate the Gum-Gum fruit in his youth and as such has the ability to stretch and otherwise change his body shape as though he were made of rubber. This is perfectly reflective of his personality, as he is very bouncy and takes most everything in stride, his only real moments of anger being when his friends are threatened and/or he is witness to injustice and other such evils. His biggest flaw, as was just mentioned, is his lack of intelligence. He's not QUITE a simpleton, but Luffy is so lacking in common sense that he will consistently forget his own weakness to water and try to dive in either to help someone else OR just to go swimming. He has also, on several occasions, completely misunderstood the words of others and created a larger problem in the process AND completely ignores or sometimes misses major facts until they're impossible to miss.
      What he lacks in smarts though, Luffy makes up for a million times over in strength and heart. Part of Luffy's vast power is exclusively due to his stubborn determination. On multiple occasions Luffy has risked his life and pushed his body to near breaking points JUST to defeat a single enemy, sometimes even using self-damaging tactics and moves on multiple enemies in a row KNOWING that he doesn't have the strength to keep such up. Nearly all of these instances have been for the sake of someone else though, almost never for himself alone. Whether it's to liberate a group of people from a cruel and unjust ruler OR to save/help his friends, Luffy's own life and indeed his greater goals almost become secondary to doing what he believes to be the right thing. Fortunately for him, his crew are all of the same mind and have come to learn how he behaves CANNOT be changed, so by the current point in the series they often don't even think to question or act surprised when Luffy does something absolutely insane that puts ALL of them in a life-threatening situation...
      Things like punching the face of someone in SUCH high position within the world that it is against world law to even refuse whatever said person may ask of you JUST to save an acquaintance, or declaring war on one of the four strongest pirates in the entire world to help an ally... Or just declaring war on the world government as a whole to save a friend!


      Roronoa Zoro
      First Appearance: Episode 2 (Technically 1) / Chapter 3

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      Chances are you've seen Zoro SOMEWHERE on the internet, and it's most likely purely because of his very unique sword style named Santoryuu (Literally 'Three-Sword Style'). Wielding one sword in each hand and a third that he holds horizontally in his mouth, it is arguably the most recognizable and equally the most mocked method of swordsmanship to ever exist. Unlike Luffy, Zoro is a perfectly normal human with no Devil Fruit powers... Not that you'd know it by watching him fight. If Luffy is strong and tenacious as they come, this green-haired swordsman is a VERY close second! He's practically tied with Luffy for the number of times he's ALMOST died after a fight, and one particular injury he sustains early in the series is SO great that it carries over into the next arc and further bleeds into the arc after that for a short time... And even AFTER recovering, the massive scar from that injury STILL exists to the present day in the series.
      Zoro's never-say-die attitude and tenacity have pushed him towards his own goal, which is to be the best swordsman who ever has or will ever live. This ties directly into his backstory, which I WILL NOT delve into here so as to give you more reason to watch the show! Back to the point though, this stubborn nature of his has led him to be rather like Luffy in that he will cast aside his well-being in order to win... But he differs from Luffy on being able to let go of his goal, instead using his goal as a double-edged sword. If he wants to be the best swordsman in the world he HAS to win, but if he goes all out and still can't beat the other person then to him there's no point living a life where he CAN'T be the strongest. This is true to the point where he ALMOST cut off his own feet at one point in order to free himself so he could beat an opponent! He has evolved this belief over the series though, now thinking more along the lines that if he CAN'T beat someone then he simply has to exceed his limit and fight harder. The fact remains though that Zoro's mantra is, at the simplest level, 'Get strong or die trying.'
      While his tenacity and resolve are character flaws in their own right, Zoro's biggest and likewise most comedic flaw is simply that he has almost ZERO sense of direction. It's a running gag in the series that Zoro will often show up at the wrong place completely OR arrive late to a fight OR arrive at a fight he hadn't intended to be part of at all simply because he'd gotten lost along the way. Like we're talking someone can point down a hallway and Zoro will take of in the opposite direction kind of bad, and that's NOT a exaggeration. Despite this, Zoro is almost overly serious and harsh at times and THAT is his other major flaw. He has no problem telling someone exactly what he thinks and/or not taking any amount of bullshit even from his closest friends and allies... Though in the end he's usually right in some way for acting like this, the way he presents and goes about it can sometimes lead to conflict with the more sensitive and kind members in the crew.


      Nami
      First Appearance: Episode 4 (Technically 1) / Chapter 8

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      This lovely redhead is Nami, and she can summed up rather easily with one word; Money. The girl practically has an addiction to it, to the point where she actively cons her own crewmates out of money on a fairly regular basis! Even outside her own friends, Nami is likely to steal anything and everything she lays eyes upon IF she likes it and/or it can earn her a little extra cash. All of this stems from an understandable place, however, as she has been trying for many years to save up a full million for her own cause... Which I won't get into here.
      Her ambition started when she was very young, when she came to realize that she not only liked drawing maps and studying navigation BUT she was naturally gifted at it as well! This extends as far as her being able to predict the weather almost flawlessly, be it a few hours or seconds before it takes a sudden turn that to MOST people seems unexpected. All this, atop her rather helpful ability to quickly and simply order the crew around the ship during a rough storm, lends perfectly to her dream of making a full map of the entire world... And more than earns her spot as the ship navigator.
      Nami's flaws are obvious, what with her thieving nature and excessive lust for money. Aside from those though, Nami typically has little patience for the antics of the more rambunctious members of the crew (Typically Luffy) and will normally end up shouting her head off at them to stop being morons. Add to this the fact that she CAN be the more sensitive type and thus be strongly and verbally against the more harsh actions of people like Zoro, and one can see how she's more complex than she appears. Like everyone else in the crew though, once you get past that exterior and really look at who she is, Nami has a very caring and loving heart and will ALWAYS fight for what she believe to be the right thing.


      Usopp
      First Appearance: Epsode 8 / Chapter 23

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      Usopp is good at exactly two things; Marksmanship and lying... Okay, he's ALSO pretty creative and can be kinda smart sometimes, but MAINLY those fist two. Easily the most frightful of the entire crew, Usopp tends to be the first one to point out a bad idea as soon as it comes up AND makes a convenient excuse as to why he cannot be part of it (Typically a fake disease whose name directly correlates to whatever he doesn't want to do). His lying skills, however, are better based in his ability to tell a grand story OR more importantly to pull off a bluff in front of his opponent!
      His goal is probably the simplest of the entire crew; To become a brave warrior of the sea. Usopp has always led a coward's life and avoided danger at all costs... But he's sick of being that weakling! Even though he may be terrified out of his mind, Usopp will push himself before he's even realized what he's doing and jump into the fight. Fortunately for the long-nosed liar, he has a certain uncanny luck that tends to side with him in battle AND he just so happens to be a natural-born expert marksman... And by that I mean he can actually hit what he's aiming for from almost half-a-mile away. Oh, by the way, he almost EXCLUSIVELY uses a slingshot or slingshot-like weapons!
      His flaws are easy to pick out, what with him being a major coward and effectively a compulsive liar. He's usually the last to get on board with an idea unless his emotions are running high, and even WHEN he's not being afraid of everything ever he has a bad tendency to lie himself into a corner. Whether it's by telling random passers-by about his great deeds and them forcing him to help because of such OR he puts unnecessary pressure on himself, Usopp is more often than not his own worst enemy... As is most anyone the Straw Hats fight with, since Usopp usually gets beaten down BEFORE he begins to shine.


      Sanji
      First Appearance: Episode 20 / Chapter 43

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      Sanji is a ladies man... Or at least that's how he sees himself. Whenever an attractive woman walks by his eyes turn into hearts and he becomes smitten to the point that he goes all extreme gentleman and whirlwinds over to them to kneel and kiss their hand while offering a very romanticized compliment of some sort. This runs completely against his ability in battle though, as he is damn near as strong as Luffy and equally as strong as Zoro OR (Depending on whom you ask) just a pinch weaker. The man is also a super-expert chef, able to cook virtually anything and everything and as such has a rather fond attachment to his own hands... So much so that he exclusively uses kicking attacks in battle.
      Sanji's goal is one that requires a bit of explaining, and that is to find All Blue. The four main seas o the One Piece world all contain different types of fish, not unlike our own world. There are some bleed zones where you'll find a fish of one sea at the edge of the other sea, but for the most part if you want certain fish you either have to get lucky at a market, special order them OR go to that sea yourself and get them. The All Blue is a sort of tale among chefs and fishermen, and is simply a sea where ALL the fish of the world can be found together. Sanji's goal, however, has since evolved to be MORE than just finding this sea... But as with the others, I'm not going to get into specifics.
      In terms of flaws, Sanji's biggest one is by far his almost comedic attraction to the fairer sex. Sanji is utterly useless against a woman, and that goes double if the woman is attractive! His personal code of chivalry makes him refuse to attack or otherwise let a woman come to harm, even if they rightfully deserve such he WILL NOT attack them himself. If the lady is good looking, however... Well, let's just say that Sanji has had MANY moments where he was nearly taken out of a fight completely because he let his guard down around a cute girl who turned out to be a villain. Of curse though, this shows that he has a good heart, even if it IS a little skewed towards women. Like the others though, he's inclined to fight for the side of right based on his own decisions and judgements... And in particular, with the latest arc in the manga, would even go out of his way to help someone he well and truly hates JUST because he doesn't feel it's right to let them die.


      Tony-Tony Chopper
      First Appearance: Episode 81 / Chapter 134

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      As you can probably tell, Chopper isn't exactly human; In fact, he's a natural-born reindeer! In his youth, Chopper ate the Human-Human Fruit (Hito-Hito no Mi; And people wonder why I hate English translations :P) which is a SPECIAL type of Devi Fruit (Known as a Zoan Type) that allows the user to change their body into that of another species. Most of these fruits let the user turn into an animal, but Chopper found one that allows the person to eat it to become superhuman. If a NORMAL human had eaten it they'd just have the ability to change their body structure at will and have powers to reflect that, but Chopper being an ANIMAL the fruit gave him a more human appearance AND the ability to think and act as humans do... Though he ALSO has the ability to change his body, having a multitude of forms all with their own abilities (And one form that is particularly dangerous and is only used as a last resort!)
      Chopper's personal goal is to become the best doctor in the world, thanks to him being raised by a doctor on his home island after his herd rejected the poor reindeer following his eating of the Devil Fruit. This doctor loved and cared for Chopper as though the reindeer were his own son... But as with many of the backstories in One Piece, it was NOT a happy ending (Which as always I'm not going to talk about in detail!). So in honor of that man, and because he so very much likes helping others, Chopper wants to take the doctoring skills he's learned and apply them to rid the world of all disease and sickness.
      For flaws, Chopper's are by far the most adorable. He's EXTREMELY bashful, to the point where during his introduction arc he will run away and hide behind a door frame (On the wrong side of it, no less) when confronted with someone he doesn't know. He also tends to take compliments FAR too excitedly, typically doing a cute little wiggle dance and smiling happily as he says something like "Don't think that'll make me happy, dumbass~!" Before you say anything about it being a tsundere trait though, know that NOTHING else about Chopper fits that character type. He's EXTREMELY kind and open, and tends to only fight when he deems it absolutely necessary.


      Nico Robin
      First Appearance: Episode 67 / Chapter 114

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      Robin is another Devil Fruit user on the Straw Hat crew, hers being the Flower-Flower Fruit (Hana-Hana no Mi; Unbelievably the 4Kids version KEPT the Japanese name and then the Funimation dub changed it. What?!). Robin's power allows her to grow replicas of her hands, legs and really ANY part of her body on virtually ANY surface that she can see or feel, including other people! These replicas are made up of mysterious petal-like objects and can be created and dispelled in an instant, BUT are only as strong or durable as Robin herself.
      Robin's ambition is... A bit tricky to describe concisely and without getting into MEGA spoilers. Put simply though, she is searching for something called the Rio Poneglyph, a huge cube of stone that details a missing century of the world's history. Robin, being very interested in archeology and historical fact, finds the fact that there is 100 years of missing history in the world to be almost an affront to the people living in that world, so she simply seeks to learn the truth so that she may help spread it. For reasons unknown though, the world government are the ones that had this truth hidden away from the world, and... You know what? Saying anything more would be too much. Suffice it to say though, Robin's backstory MAY be one of the most tragic.
      In terms of character flaws... Robin is once again hard to pin down. Her biggest flaw seems to be her surface indifference to EVERYTHING. She always seems like nothing is bothering her and likewise that she only cares about things and people in passing. While this is of course very much untrue, it gives a somewhat false exterior persona to her that most people never see past. Furthermore, she has a tendency to speak her mind when she's having rather dark or grave thoughts, often in a way that is described as being humorous. As ever though, she's a perfect fit with the crew in that she has no tolerance for injustice in the world.


      Franky
      First Appearance: Episode 233 / Chapter 329

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      (For some infuriating reason, there are NO good full-body images of pre-timeskip Franky on a white or transparent background. The fuck, internet?)
      Contrary to how he looks, Franky IS a human and he DOES NOT have Devil Fruit powers of any sort... He is, however, a cyborg. Through a backstory I STILL won't get into, Franky's body was damaged greatly in his youth and SOMEHOW he found the strength and ability to put his shipbuilding skills to use on his own self, rebuilding his own body with machine parts and becoming half robot... Did I mention he's powered by cola? Look, it's One Piece, you learn not to question some things after a while, alright? Just go with it, he's cool, I promise.
      Franky's dream is one of the more beneficial within the crew; To create and sail upon a ship that is capable of circumnavigating the globe. This one is ALSO hard to get into the specifics of without spoiling a lot, but at some point the Straw Hats' are given their second ship, the Thousand Sunny, which was created BY Franky himself and is indeed his 'dream ship' that he hopes to take all around the world. All the same, Franky is an expert shipwright and helps keep the Sunny going, and atop that is an excellent fighter thanks to his many upgrades and weapons installed within his own body!
      Franky's biggest flaw is his... Manliness? It doesn't make sense to say, but that's the only way to put it, really. Basically, Franky is openly sympathetic and respectful of people who have been through hardship and/or follow their own code even to a fault, even if they're an enemy! Actually his REAL major flaw is probably the fact that he's a bit abrasive and extremely weird, as you can no doubt tell from him running around in a speedo, and just LOOK at those arms! Franky is my personal favorite within the Straw Hats, and even I think he looks weird! In keeping with the theme though, Franky's initial 'flaw' also proves that he's still got his human heart and emotions behind all that cola-powered metal.


      Brook
      First Appearance: Episode 337 / Chapter 442

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      Alright, let's get the obvious questions out of the way. Yes, Brook is a living skeleton. No, he is not spooky or scary in the slightest. Yes, he is human. Yes, he is technically dead. Yes, he still eats and drinks. Yes, he still poops somehow (This is LITERALLY the first question Luffy asks him). Brook is able to exist thanks to his Devil Fruit, the Revive-Revive Fruit (Yomi-Yomi no Mi), which allows it's user to do a myriad of really cool things related to ghosts and the spirit world... But more importantly, allows you to come back from the dead exactly one time! Thanks to a little mishap though, Brook's soul was unable to find his body for over 50 years, so when he DID locate his body it had decayed and only the bones remained! As a result, Brook now inhabits his skeletal 'body' and is impervious to most mortal wounds since he has no flesh or organs that can be injured!
      Brook's ambition is... Well, let's just say there's a certain very special friend that he left elsewhere in the world; A friend that is still alive that Luffy's crew happened to meet at one point during their early adventures, and Brook wishes to see them again for himself! Saying any more would of course be spoilers, so let's talk instead about how Brook is the one thing Luffy has wanted on his crew since the second he left his home island... A musician. Brook can sing and play virtually every instrument imaginable, and is the source of another VERY widely-spread-even-outside-the-series song known as "Binks' Brew" ("Binkusu no Sake" in Japanese). His abilities ACTUALLY encompass his music as well, giving Brook sub-powers similar to hypnotic suggestion and hypnosis in general. While not related to his music, Brook being only bones means he's very light, making him one of if not THE fastest members of the crew (So much so that he can run on water for a short time!).
      As for flaws... Where does one even begin? First off, Brook is CONSTANTLY making jokes at his own expense and much to the chagrin of those around him who are not Luffy or Chopper. His 'Skull Jokes' entail him saying something and then correcting himself, such as "Are my eyes deceiving me?! Then again, I'm dead and have no eyes to begin with!" One of his other major downfalls is that he CLAIMS to be a gentleman, and indeed most times he is... Except when he meets a very attractive woman, at which time he will almost always ask to see their panties as either the first or second sentence spoken to them... And for those he sees regularly, such as Nami and Robin, CONTINUES to ask such even though it always results in them giving him a good whack upside the head. Like the other eight members of the crew before him though, and in perhaps the TRUE show of his gentleman nature, Brook will risk it all to help those in need and NEVER breaks a promise he's made.



      Personal Opinions/Views: I'll just open with it outright; One Piece is probably my favorite series of ALL time. The characters, the story, the emotion, the look and feel, the sound... ALL of it is absolutely amazing and ALL of it exemplifies the exact sort of thing I want and often look for in a series. 


      I'll also say this, for anyone who doesn't know; One Piece is the series that single-handedly exploded the term 'Nakama.' The word has taken on an entire new meaning almost thanks TO the series, and as a result some fansubbing groups found it hard to translate properly and as such left it as JUST the word, thus spreading it around the internet. When translated Nakama simultaneously means friend, family, ally AND crew, as well as a few other similar words. It's an all-encompassing term that is hard to pin down on ONE definition, especially the way Luffy and his crew use it when talking about one another.


      As I said before, April is going to be devoted to series that I personally have a deeper attachment towards, and One Piece is THE magnum opus of examples for such. So yes, I am an admitted fangirl and total sucker for anything and everything related to One Piece, and as a result I WILL be praising the fuck out of it. If you happen to hate the series or think it's overrated, then this is NOT going to be the sort of thing you're hoping for. If you've been thinking of watching the series and are on the fence... PLEASE WATCH IT. It's long as fuck and even I'll admit it can drag on at times, but One Piece is 100% worth your time and attention if you even remotely enjoy action and comedy and feel-good adventures.


      Don't listen to ANYONE who tells you that One Piece is 'too shounen' or 'too happy-go-lucky' either. Those statements are pure evidence of how little they've seen of the series. Drama happens A LOT in One Piece, and by that I mean almost EVERY ONE of the main characters has a relatively dark backstory and/or character moment that is told to the audience. Two examples of such are one character watching their adoptive mother get gunned down in front of them, and another being indirectly responsible for the destruction of their entire inhabited home island. Furthermore, One Piece covers ACTUAL major and serious topics throughout... As in things OUR world deals with on a day to day basis. Racism, sexism, corrupt government and law enforcement, judgementalism, prejudice, discrimination, elitism... You name it, it's IN One Piece and is often a driving force behind SOME aspect of every single arc.


      And let's not ignore the common complaint, which is that shounen series aren't 'realistic' enough. Cartoon-ey action and impossible abilities aside, One Piece is RIFE with realism. If the above topics weren't proof enough of that, we can EASILY talk more about death and how it affects the characters and the world in the series. While you WILL see a lot of the cliche moments where a character 'dies' and then is revealed to be alive later, even THOSE moments are presented with such power and emotion that it leaves you stunned and slightly hurt. And in the moments when a character is IRREVOCABLY AND COMPLETELY, 100% NO MISTAKING IT DEAD... The context and emotion and every other thing that leads to and lends to that moment WILL have you in tears, or at least force you to hold them back and only get that watery-eyed sting. When a character in One Piece dies you will ALWAYS remember that exact moment, so every time the character is mentioned afterwards you'll be forced to mentally revisit it.


      As stated before, it PROPERLY affects the series and characters as well. When someone dies it MEANS something, be it an intense emotional strife OR a defining point where a character gains their purpose OR ramifications for the world itself... Sometimes all three at once! It's not limited to JUST those examples either, as you'll find if you watch the series. While One Piece DOES strive to avoid killing random people throughout the story, there ARE times when another character or villain will be SHOWN killing or be SAID to have killed people in their lifetime... And when it comes up, it's a complete showstopping moment BECAUSE of how rare it is. Death isn't something you become used to within One Piece, nor is it something you come to expect over time. EVERY death or mention of such within the series is powerful in its own right, actually MEANING something to you as a viewer as opposed to being a reminder of 'realism' or being used simply for shock value.


      This plays a small part in the next point I'm going to make, which is entirely centric to the story of the series. Unlike a lot of shounen series, where you can guess whatever is coming next AND/OR you always know the heroes will win, One Piece is constantly there to break the mold and surprise you. The story is so intricate and detailed that scenes from the earlier episodes are STILL being cast in a new light thanks to the information that comes up in the newer ones... And while some say that's not uncommon, the same is true for information in the MIDDLE of the series being turned on it's head thanks to newer revelations, and on a smaller scale information at the start or middle of an arc being completely flipped around due to a twist or reveal that makes sense of it all! Again, these things AREN'T all that uncommon... But when you have almost 800 episodes/chapters and you can STILL deliver these moments consistently AND keep them exciting and fresh? That's not something you see every day.


      The audience is always left guessing right up to the reveal as well. To this day we have unanswered questions in the series BECAUSE there's information we've only gotten in pieces. What exactly IS the One Piece treasure? What exactly IS the Will of D? What was SO scary about the Pluton weapon? What even IS the Uranus weapon? What HAPPENED during the Void Century? Who told King Neptune to protect the Noah, and what's so special about it anyway? These are just a FEW questions the series has given the audience to think about, and ALL of them we only have context clues and widespread theories to use as a means for deriving an answer so far, otherwise we'll ONLY find them out when they become relevant... IF we ever learn the truth of them AT ALL!


      No matter how long or how big an arc/conflict is, there's ALWAYS a myriad of underlying reason and questions behind them. Aside from the earliest ones, no arc or conflict simply 'starts and ends' in a traditional way. There are rarely any purely 'wrong place, wrong time' moments, and even THOSE FEW THAT ARE end up having a deeper story behind them than you might expect! Sometimes it's as simple as the story of how the crew gains a new member, other times it's as important as being revealed to be a major historical location and no one knew it... And in at least A FEW cases, having a greater reason and/or having future implications FAR more impactful than what we're told at the time! In fact there's STILL a prophecy the audience was told about in part of the series that has yet to come true, and JUST from the base telling/interpretation of it is something that would NEVER happen!


      One Piece is not devoid of positivity though, and in fact nearly ALL of the darkest, most serious moments are eventually countered by such in some way. Be it the members of Luffy's crew who suffered great loss in the past finding a new family once they join, the liberation of an island from a tyrannical and psychotic villain, or even someone who's lost all hope being practically FORCED to have hope again thanks to Luffy's rampant and often defiant nature pushing him to help those in need... This series will ALWAYS build you back up in ALL the best ways each and every single time it tears you down, and every time it happens will be that much more inspiring and heartwarming than the last. IF you somehow manage to avoid crying whenever you witness the tragic stories that unfold throughout the series, you're almost certain to be pushed to tears when you're shown how the people affected by that tragedy ultimately grow stronger and/or recover from it... And barring that, you may be moved to tears SIMPLY due to the pure goodness that some characters have in their hearts.


      In this modern world, where we witness EVERY SINGLE DAY some act of atrocity or discrimination, an act or statement of hatred and non-understanding, and in general just plain human shittiness... One Piece breaks out by showing the audience what we ALL wish for; Genuine altruism and kindness. The main characters show it regularly, but sometimes it comes from a source you're NOT expecting. A mostly corrupt government and/or Navy, of which there will be the occasional member who stands out as an actual good person... A villain who is defeated and left with nothing, learning the errors of their ways and becoming an ally... A character whose hope and faith in humanity was destroyed years ago, learning how to trust and believe in someone else once again... It's all wildly uplifting, and each instance is written and portrayed in a believable and inspiring manner! None of the convenience and simplicity you'll see in a shorter series, nor any of the sudden and reason-lacking shift in attitude/alignment.

      So now let's move on to some OTHER things in the series that I normal cover... Starting with the visuals.


      While One Piece STARTS OFF as looking overly goofy and silly, the artistic look and feel evolves rather quickly into something far more refined and elegant. As the show takes a more serious tone over time, the art style adapts and shifts to fit WHILE still keeping the ability to portray a comedic moment in perfect fashion. By the 200-300 episode range, the look has changed so much that it's almost like two totally different series... And yet you'd never mistake it for anything other than One Piece's unique style. Even NOW though the look is changing and evolving slowly, all while keeping the same style and feel that it's ALWAYS had. The characters have all changed drastically, yet still look so perfectly like themselves. It's almost amazing how Oda has evolved as an artist, and likewise how the animation team has captured his style in the anime.


      Speaking of the characters in One Piece, you'll be hard pressed to find a more diverse cast! Every character has a unique look and personality, even the ones who are MADE to be similar! Oda also borrows the visage of countless celebrities and film characters for his characters, often leading to some very interesting and occasionally comedic takes on a face or look that you've definitely seen before! Each new character stands out more than the ones before them, and yet he OLD characters evolve over time and tend to come back stronger and more awesome than before! Coby is the PRIME example of such; A whiny and stupid little shitty brat that is almost pure annoyance in living form who ultimately becomes a pretty attractive badass in his own right... But STILL retains some of the personality quirks that made him so annoying to begin with, but NOW they and seem like genuine traits and character flaws that perfectly accent what you WANT in a character! It's honestly like watching someone grow up and learn how to LIVE with their flaws, as opposed to letting those flaws run rampant and ruin them.


      The locations and backgrounds, however, are a glorious beast of a totally different caliber. EVERY island and EVERY building is unique and gorgeous, and you'll almost never confuse one for the other. You can look at most backgrounds in One Piece and be able to recall exactly what island or place it's depicting within a few seconds... Which is impressive considering Oda himself mostly SPEAKS his designs or draws them just once. For the manga, HE draws almost all the characters and action himself, leaving ONLY the backgrounds to his staff after showing them sketches and/or explaining it to them in words. When EVERY PLACE in the series has its own unique look and feel, THAT is a feat you don't find often outside of video games... And even THEN you rarely find it! Look at visual masterpieces like Uncharted 4 and/or Breath Of The Wild; Take a screenshot of most any background area, devoid of landmarks, and you might have a general idea of where that is at best. With One Piece though, the generic background of EACH location is unique to itself to such a degree that even looking at a TREE would give you enough hint to know what island it was on.


      That said though, there ARE common complaints about the characters that people often point at... Namely, the women in One Piece. Impossible proportions are one thing, but the ladies of One Piece are often drawn with SUCH an impossible body shape that it's completely distracting to some. Waistlines that you could wrap two hands around, boobs that could potentially have their own gravitational field, legs that are so long they seem to leave the character with little-to-no discernible hip location... It goes on and on, and that's not even getting into the OUTFITS these characters wear. Personally, I've NEVER had issue with any of this. It's animation, of course it's not realistic! Yes it's overly sexualized, but then so are a lot of the MALES in One Piece. Look at Zoro, who in almost EVERY fight he's ever had in the series ends up shirtless. Look at Usopp, who after the timeskip became ACTUALLY ripped/jacked and now has a muscle definition that would make people at the gym jealous. Look at Doflamingo, who is tall and skinny as hell but still has a torso that could put a bodybuilder to shame.


      Going to the FULL opposite end of the spectrum, look at women like Kokoro and Dadan and Caterina Devon who AREN'T the most attractive or have ridiculously odd bodies... And males who ft that category as well, like Franky and Hogback and Jesus Burgess. One Piece is FILLED with extremes in terms of body types... And what's more, the LOOKS of a character aren't reflective of their skill or powerfulness! Rebecca walks around in a chainmail bikini and kicks more ass than almost ANYONE ELSE on her home island of Dressrosa, and yet the same can be said of Doctor Kureha from Drum Island, who is an old and less-than-atractive woman that is practically better at medicine than anyone in the world AND can kick your ass. Same goes the males, where you've got the super pirate-cliche sexy Shanks who can LITERALLY beat you with a single arm, and yet you've ALSO got people like Borsalino (AKA Kizaru) who looks like the failed offspring of Elvis and Al Pachino BUT has the fucking power and speed of light at his disposal!


      Going FURTHER down that rabbit hole, the guys and girls who look hot can ALSO be completely useless in equal amounts. Gals like Conis who are just there to give information and expand the background BUT can't fight in any true capacity, and guys like Iceburg who fit the exact same bill... And in fact JUST as easily can be a hostage or liability, male OR female! These characters may LOOK a certain way, but their looks don't at all hinder or improve their skill or ability. In fact the ONLY character that comes to mind whose looks are directly related to ability is Boa Hancock, and that's because she's essentially a human Medusa of love.


      So let's move past the politically correct people who ironically want to judge based on looks, and instead talk about the SOUND of the series.


      As always, the voicework for the series is amazing... So long as you're watching in Japanese. The English version is okay, but Luffy's English voice JUST grates on my nerves from some reason. Maybe because it's too deep, maybe because it's lacking the kid-like nature, I dunno... And let's NOT even talk about the debacle that was the 4Kids version of One Piece! Shitty voice work aside, they changed and censored SO FUCKING MUCH of the show that it became literally impossible for them to proceed with certain story arcs later in the series. They would've had to exclude or completely change things if they'd kept going, and they likely WOULD have done such happily because they're FUCKING MORONS.


      But I digress. The JAPANESE VAs nail every single role and bring the characters to life in a way that i hard to put into words. The woman who does Luffy's voice alone (Who ALSO does the Japanese voice from Krillin in the Dragonball series) is pushing 60 and STILL delivers lines like she was born to be a weird, tan-skinned, rude and stretchy twenty-year-old male. The emotion, the feeling, the passion, the ENTIRE BEING of the character is carried perfectly in each VA's reading of every line fo their characters... Which is understandable, since a few of them have been PLAYING these characters for going on 18 years at this point. I ALWAYS say it, I know, but the Japanese JUST PLAIN do better voicework than almost anyone in the Western world. They commit to a character like a method actor would for a movie or theater play, and it REALLY shows when they push their voice to the limit in ways that only a rockstar ever would.


      The sound design for the series is just as impressive and iconic, being damn near on par with Dragonball or Star Wars. The silly sound of Luffy's body stretching, the soft whistle as Robin makes an arm sprout from a wall, the strange squeak/boom combo with each step that Gekko Moriah takes, the the high-pitched rush of wind when someone uses Haki, it just goes on and on and on! Every single ability has its own unique sound, and as SOON as you hear it you know whats going on. If you could get the series WITHOUT the voice track, you could probably watch it with your eyes closed and still be able to tell who is on screen and more or less what they're doing at each moment. I'd go so far as to say that every sound effect is as much a part of the character AS their voice is, and they'd be just as incomplete without their unique set of sounds for their powers/abilities.


      And thus we move into the music, which is quite frankly absolutely ridiculous in the best way possible. I'm not exaggerating when I say that some of the music tracks you'll hear around episode 750 HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN USED SINCE EPISODE ONE. New scores and music are added with each arc, of course, but there's at least 15-20 musical scores that you'll hear over and over and over again throughout every single episode... And you'll NEVER get tired of them. Pieces like "Luffy's Fierce Attack" and "Overtaken" are big staples in particular, and they fit SO many different potential scenes almost perfectly. This carries over to the opening and ending themes the series has had over time; Each and every one fitting either the tone of the arc OR the tone of the series as a whole, sometimes even both at once! The most obvious example is of course the first opening theme, "We Are," which was written FOR the series. As I said before, the song is SO iconic in Japan that it's practically a national treasure.


      If we absolutely MUST talk negatives, there's only ONE that is worth mentioning and it stands out far beyond any other shortcomings of this series: The length. Even if you omit filler episodes, there are over 750 episodes in One Piece. If we take the 24 minute runtime of a episode and cut out the opening and ending AND the recap of the previous few episodes that comes before the title card, we can assume each episode is about 18-20 minutes long in total. For sake of ease let's just average that out to 19 minutes per episode. The math for this tells you that there are over 14,000 minutes in all of One Piece, which is just shy of 238 hours, which in turn is just shy of 10 FULL days. If you watched an hour (About three episodes) each day, the series would take you just over 2/3 of a full year to finish. If you made watching One Piece into an eight-hour-per-day job, it would take you almost

    • Does Anyone Have Any D&D5e Books They'd Like To Sell?

      4 months ago

      Blood_XIII

      Specifically the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and/or Monster Manual.

      Because I'm willing to talk prices and buy them off you.


      I want to get into D&D, but I'm not about to pay the retail prices of like $35-$45 per book; That shit is crazy expensive!

  • About Me

    4EoC0.png

    - A Co-admin of the RWBY Group!
    - Founder of the Traveling Game Community (COMING SOON FUCKING EVENTUALLY MAYBE!)
    - Other stuff used to be here but goddamn man I lost track of it


    The mother of many ideas and much procrastination!

    ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ PRAISE LORD HELIX!! ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

    1s1Vq

    DUE TO CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, I NO LONGER ACCEPT EVERY FRIEND REQUEST. YOU MUST EITHER BE A LONG-TIME MEMBER OF THE SITE OR YOU HAVE TO BE SOMEONE I'VE TALKED WITH AT LENGTH AND OTHERS CAN VOUCH FOR YOU.
    Sorry I have to be a bitch like that from now on, but we gotta hide tha peoples cuz' they be some crazy folk be climbin' up in ya windows an' snatchin' 'em up.

  • Comments (294)

    • zogman1

      1 month ago

      it looks like your gifs broke btw.

      • Blood_XIII

        1 month ago

        Seems about right for the site as of late XD Fixed that up either way, turns out I just had to re-do the formatting

      • zogman1

        1 month ago

        At least it was an easy fix.

    • zogman1

      5 months ago

      Dare desu ka?

    • zogman1

      8 months ago

      Is your friendship face working?

      • Blood_XIII

        8 months ago

        It's working for me, yeah XD

      • zogman1

        8 months ago

        Good  yang

    • zogman1

      1 year ago

      You got a new gif! I like it.

    • Greenie FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Aristoctopus

      1 year ago

      Herp Derp. Happy Birp!

    • Retsushin

      1 year ago

      Eeeeeeei what up! Honestly I added cuz that friendship face with pinkie pie made me laugh. Plus your "about me" is bloody awesome haha. Figured I'd make friends. Also really jelly about getting that XB1 through the mail...goddam that thing is sexy.

    • DCLaxer06

      1 year ago

      Hey there, I have a friend who's doing some awesome art commissions right now. Would you be interested?

    • erinator9000

      1 year ago

      020.jpgBITCH

    • Elyessi FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Press

      2 years ago

      guuurl...I have a business preposition for you

      • Elyessi FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Press

        2 years ago

        @Blood_XIII I wanted to make a B/C group on Gaiaonline and am looking for people who actually understand the RWBY universe to help me with the project. I would do it here...but the groups are limiting in design :/

      • Blood_XIII

        2 years ago

        I actually have about million things I'm about to undertake soon, but I'm definitely listening~ :3
        Because one thing I can apparently never have too much of is things to work on XD

    • fallenlords Dirty Shisno

      2 years ago

      Merry Christmas!

    • agentmaine6

      2 years ago

      Leabian hay.. if I was old and creapy I would make some sort of perverted joje ....but cause of my dark humour I have to make one

      I got a spiny dildo from my ex if you want me to mail it I will

    • zogman1

      2 years ago

      YOU'RE ALIVE!!!!

    • Maiu

      2 years ago

      I should have you know, Rhydonna's level 62 and evolved. Rhyhorn is def way cuter, but Rhydonna is Rhydonna no matter her form. <3

      • Blood_XIII

        2 years ago

        Rhydonna's level 62 and evolved.


        94fbdde6dd.jpg

    • Edjie

      2 years ago

      Thanks so much for accepting my add smiley1.gif

      • Edjie

        2 years ago

        Tell me some about yourself? smiley1.gif

      • Blood_XIII

        2 years ago

        No problem at all~!

    • PaulHikari

      3 years ago

      Something tells me that this is the part where I look at your profile pic and go, "D'awww."

    • zogman1

      3 years ago

      So, have any thoughts on the RWBY volume 2 trailer?

      • zogman1

        3 years ago

        Lol
        Well let me know when you see it

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        My thoughts are that I haven't seen it yet, lol~ I was last online on a good connection like back on the 3rd :P

    • AustinKidd

      3 years ago

      Hello:)

    • Andy50k1

      3 years ago

      X3 love your profile Motto

    • Red_Franke

      3 years ago

      Check your email at [email protected] I sent a message about me leaving (just in case me removing my account gets rid of messages I send you).

      Also feel free to delete this message if you dont' want people having your email address lol

      Post edited 5/01/14 9:46PM

    • Elyessi FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Press

      3 years ago

      Hi new friend, happy belated birthday!

    • SpartanJ95

      3 years ago

      Nice title:
      Pervy Panty Pirate Pony Princess
      It really fits you! ;-)

    • phoniexape12

      3 years ago

      hi... you probably wont get this anyway...so what do you look like now for 2k14(selfie?)

    • SpartanJ95

      3 years ago

      Did you get my XBL (Xbox Live) friend request? We could play together when I'm also online! Gamer tag: RadicalOne95

    • Krazee64

      3 years ago

      Just for the heck of it I'm posting a character analysis of RWBY characters on my journal whhich I'm inviting you to read whenever I post it.

      .

    • ryan18245

      3 years ago

      Thanks for joining The Twonks Rooster Teeth group! Are you a listener of the podcast?

      • ryan18245

        3 years ago

        HAHAHA well thanks for joining anyways! Maybe you could listen one day :P

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        I don't even know what it is, honestly :P I believe I had an invite and just randomly accepted it, lol

    • Greenie FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Aristoctopus

      3 years ago

      tumblr_mygpxv0X2S1s9bv8lo4_1280.gif

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        This was made a million times more hilarious because I was listening to THIS when I clicked over to the image :P

    • zogman1

      3 years ago

      Awesome sponsor title.

    • phoniexape12

      3 years ago

      So i showed my friend thissite so he saw u and then he said she could of bend bi

    • QuinMcLivan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Avatar

      3 years ago

      Rightio. I just finished setting up a second account on my Xbox One. I got what should have been one achievement in Call of Duty: Ghosts and two achievements in Forza 5 offline. I turned it off before coming back online and you were right. They did not pop once back online.
      So it must clear some kind of achievement cache when it gets turned off without first connecting to the net.
      Surely there will be a patch for this or something. I'm not sure. Hope it all works out haha

      :D

      • QuinMcLivan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Avatar

        3 years ago

        Oohhh. Right.
        Damn ruining the good shit!

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        I dunno. The suspected reasoning behind this is so it makes it harder for asshat people to mod their gamerscore, and M$ really wants to crackdown on such now that achievements will be tied to in-game rewards and such, not just avatar items.

      • QuinMcLivan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Avatar

        3 years ago

        It's surely an issue that has been brought up and is easily fixable right? I don't know shit about all the technical stuff but hopefully they're onto it already hahaha

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        WELL FUCK.

        Looks like I've gone back to just saving and hoping like fuck they do SOMETHING to fix that bullshit.

        Only other possibility I can think of is that achievements are now for Gold members only, lol.

    • Mike FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Feed Me Memes

      3 years ago

      First thing I see when I come to your profile:
      4EoC0.png

      Amazing.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Welp, I'm normally pretty sexually open, panty pirate is one of many nonsensical terms for a lesbian, and out of the Sponsor Chat regulars I'm the one who knows the most about MLP, so it all just came together.

        Post edited 11/26/13 3:08PM

    • Tock FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold WDSY

      3 years ago

      What kind of plan can you get with the HTC Droid?

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        To be honest, I've no idea :P Like the description on it says, I got it from the high school's lost & found because they apparently just throw out the broken/damaged phones after they've been sitting in there for a year, and I have no use for it so I figured I'd try selling it on eBay :P

    • Chiefroberts FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Asshole

      3 years ago

      Apparently the images you posted in the Level 20 Roll Call thread were too awesome for my computer to handle, because they now crashed it three times in a row.

      • Chiefroberts FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Asshole

        3 years ago

        My computer is on it's last leg. The browser practically exploded the second time. Everything turned into multicolored squares.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        The others were just the emblems for the other three girls :P I actually thought since they were just solid black on transparent BGs that it wouldn't be an issue for them to load on most people's connections. Hell, the biggest in terms of filesize is Weiss' emblem and it's only about 480kb :P

      • Chiefroberts FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Asshole

        3 years ago

        It's fine, the one I actually got to see (Ruby's logo thing) looked awesome.

        Post edited 11/19/13 1:02AM

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Oh... Whoops :P I keep forgetting that the site doesn't get along with my huge resolution images :P
        Well I can't edit the post now because the old methods I knew to edit posts even AFTER the time limit has expired seem to not work anymore :P
        Mah bad, lol

    • DlNGO

      3 years ago

      A little birdie told me someone here's a lesbian and its definitely not me. Well...it could be. I was also told that flirting with this certain lesbian will get me nowhere. CHALLENGE EXCEPTED!!! So babe......come here often?

    • Tock FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold WDSY

      3 years ago

      I did just wonder earlier this afternoon, while working and able to think about whatever at the same time..is the reason you don't have a home wifi network because of money, or because you're living in a deadzone?

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Fair enough, lol

      • Tock FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold WDSY

        3 years ago

        I'll keep the photos up, and the website shouldn't be going anywhere.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        I can't access Social Club from the library for some reason :/

      • Tock FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold WDSY

        3 years ago

        Good thing there's Snapmatic on Rockstar's Social Club website. I'll tag you in a photo shortly.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        I haven't seen an RS yet :P

      • Tock FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold WDSY

        3 years ago

        In other news. GTA V online: I delivered a stolen car to the docks, then just jacked the first car I saw to avoid walking. It turned out to be a Karin Sultan RS, which I kept.

      • Tock FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold WDSY

        3 years ago

        Oh. I think I read between the lines and saw that they want. more. money.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        That's what we have. And we've tried talking to them about it and they're shocked to have to tell us they can't quite get the appropriate signal strength for us to have reliable connection for the price they charge :P

      • Tock FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold WDSY

        3 years ago

        Hmm. Perhaps a Satellite tv and internet bundle would work? Like one television ad that says you'd only need a clear view of the sky facing south.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Deadzone. We're 12 miles from town and they just don't run the cables out that far and for SOME reason satellite providers can get us TV but not internet :P

    • NinjaTogepi

      3 years ago

      Hi.

    • fakeahcrew

      3 years ago

      I finally just finished what will be an awesome let's play vs, team lads and gents. You have to give me just a few minutes to show you this beast. I put some comedy in there i know the guys will love :). Thanks a million. Gamertag ( Ichwill69 ) message me if you would like to see it... It really is amazing took me 2 weeks almost straight.

    • Tock FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold WDSY

      3 years ago

      I'd mail you my copy of GTA V at my expense, but I'm not sure I'd want to put you through all this online character deletion bullshit, and to a lesser extent the other problems with the online game.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Well I don't have internet at home anyways because I live 12 miles away from the nearest town, so the only thing that really matters to me in games is the campaign :P

        And of course once I finished that I'd gladly send it back your way :3

    • CitrusKnight

      3 years ago

      Heyyyy!! Thanks for the friend request. I'm also a lesbian so high five

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Because, once again, people are idiots :P

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        it's called "Friendship is Magic" for a reason!! Why can't everyone just love each other??

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        I see it a lot in YouTube comments as well. The whole internet is like that really, and so are a few people in IRL.

        Fortunately this site is pretty accepting of most things.... Depending on which threads you go into/people you talk to.
        Ironically and sadly, the MLP thread here is one of the more unfriendly places on the whole site :P

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        It's basically what places like tumblr and twitter are full of, uuunfortunately

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        It's how things SHOULD be, but unfortunately there are too many idiots out there who have closed-minded views and opinions because of what society has decided is appropriate and/or normal :/

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Exactly how things SHOULD go, but the world is full of morons who can't accept others because of what society has decided is the appropriate way to think :/

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        That's awesome since it's exactly how things should go :L It's probably why I get along with almost everyone ~

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Exactly my own feelings on the subject, quite honestly :3

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        That's kind of how I am. The way I see it--as long as it's not hurting anyone, you can do whatever you want and I'm not gonna judge ~

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        True, but furries/cloppers are generally a bunch that are hated with extreme prejudice and much much caps lock activated anger and disgust.

        Being part of the LGBT crowd my whole life though, I don't really agree with hating people for their sexual preferences and/or fetishes, so they're all cool with me :3

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        This is the internet. No matter how weird something is, there's always going to be something even weirder out there. So I don't even worry about it.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Half the time I wonder if it goes further than that, but I don't want people thinking I'm weird or anything, lol :P

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        friendship crushes oh my goooood those are probably going to be the death of me. i know how you feel.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        I'm just the weird person who likes all the characters :3

        Though I think I'm weirder for having platonic friendship crushes on Chrysalis and Photo Finish, lulz :P

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        I can tell by your profile pic~
        I think I probably like AJ the most since I used to ride horses all the time and her attitude reminded me of a lot of people I rode with :L

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Because they regard her as the dumb hick :P
        Being from the redneck capital of the universe though I can confidently say she's more Old West than she is Southern, which is why I started to like her myself :P
        But I'm obviously a Fluttershy girl, lol

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        whAAAT ;W; How could people not like Applejack?? This is blasphemy.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        Yay~! At least you accept it unlike a fair number of people :3
        As for AJ, you're sadly in the bottom two for overall rankings. She and Rarity get way too much hate :P

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        Well there's nothing wrong with throwing ponies everywhere ;D I just happen to be a fan of Applejack, even if I don't watch that much of the show.

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        I use it as my place to just throw up random comments and also any good pony images I come across.

        Oh yeah, there's lots of pony-ness thrown around in there as well, so be ready for that :P

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        That sounds like every day of my life! Especially the attention span part :D Maybe I should start posting there a little more ;D

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        You'll fit in perfectly then. We're known for our extreme laziness and complete lack of attention span in that thread :P

      • CitrusKnight

        3 years ago

        That's awesome :D I should post in there more but I'm so laaaazy

      • Blood_XIII

        3 years ago

        w00t w00t~! Saw you in the Level 20 thread, so automatic FR :3

    • WMDman FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      3 years ago

      brohoof! /)

    • SpartanJ95

      3 years ago

      Quick Question: Who is your favorite pony in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?

    • RAGEgirl FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold r00kie

      4 years ago

      Hello, new friend! Took a quick look through some of your more recent journals and I'm liking all the graphic design stuff. =)

    • haloguy77

      4 years ago

      you figure out how to get a golden shovel in AC:WW yet?

      • haloguy77

        4 years ago

        yea it is, it's the only one I bothered getting as well

      • Blood_XIII

        4 years ago

        I found that out ages ago, lulz. It's by far the easiest Golden Tool to get :P

    • haloguy77

      4 years ago

      I got a notification that said you mentioned in a forum RT went retarded when I clicked on it, what was the mention?

      • haloguy77

        4 years ago

        ok thanks, I'm checking it now

      • Blood_XIII

        4 years ago

        It was in the Level 20 thread

    • JJ FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      4 years ago

      Helllooo Rebecca! thanks for the add! I promise i wasnt flirting or trying any "smooth moves"

      • Blood_XIII

        4 years ago

        lol, you wouldn't be the first anyways.

        As a genuine compliment though, I love the visual inserts on the videos you edit; fucking hilarious!

    • Xixius FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      4 years ago

      Hey! Nice to meet you. What's going on? And can I ask where you found me?

      • Xixius FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        4 years ago

        Achso! That's not a bad idea. ;]

      • Blood_XIII

        4 years ago

        I believe I friended you when you joined the site, lol. I always friend randoms out of the new people who've just joined the site on any given day :P

    • senorstupid

      4 years ago

      I hope you don't mind the random friend request. I sent it because I like the stuff you say and post in the MLP thread (btw those were some awesome pony cars!).

    • dracokitsune

      4 years ago

      i do not know if i have thanked you yet but. thank you for being my friend here when i have spare time i will draw you a picture as a true thank you :3 hopefully i will have some time on friday :D

      • dracokitsune

        4 years ago

        i find it as a nice gift to those who friend me on here ^w^ since i dont have meny on here :3 its a nice thank you i am drawing it tomorrow :3

      • Blood_XIII

        4 years ago

        Awesome! But really, you don't have to go to all that trouble if you don't want, lol. I always friend randoms and anyone who loves MLP on this site :3

    • chris9801 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Achievement Hunter

      4 years ago

      MLP Comics

    • Brittastrophe FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Epic lvl rogue

      4 years ago

      *Waves* Hi! Thanks for the request.

    • WADR

      4 years ago

      1s1Vq


      Says you. I can be very suave. Also, it seems that Forza has moved all their IT over to Horizon and future projects. My Forza 4 gallery still has that first picture in it and hasn't been updating for new ones. smiley5.gif

  • Questions answered by Blood_XIII

    Late, because the idea is that it's meant to introduce someone to a new series. As such, I try to post at the beginning of each month so anyone who cares to WATCH the series will have the whole month to watch it. Then, at the start of the next month, they get a new one.


    I'm just lazy and/or busy and so I usually don't sit down to write the thing OR watch the series myself until the last second. The Project A-ko pot for this month was LITERALLY composed start to finish in about 5 hours and I posted it as soon as I finished XD

    This question actually comes up often, and fortunately there IS a decent story to it.


    When I was younger my friends and I would always find video games we could play against each other, and since this was back in the days before online gaming was a thing outside of PC, we had limited options.

    One day I happened across a Playstation game that was multiplayer capable, in which you could build your own mech

    RBMo55L.png
    There was something like MAYBE 200 parts total in the game, and there were like 10 categories for parts, so it wasn't anything TOO impressive by today's standards, but back then it was mindblowing.


    My friends and I took to this game in a MAJOR way. We all played through the game's campaign to learn how it played and upgrading our mechs, and once we all finished we started fighting against each other in the Arena mode. We all played it endlessly, making different mechs to change how the fights went, trying out weird mechs for fun.... Then we started to get competitive.

    It was as simple as it gets; 1v1, the person with the better set-up and skill wins. We even resorted to using Game Shark to give ourselves access to all the parts and money we could want so that we could remove the issue of any one simply having better graded parts than anyone else. The competitiveness was what drove us to be better, and more importantly to make mechs that played to our PERSONAL strengths as opposed to just using only the best parts in the game.


    Our mechs started becoming a matter of personal pride, and we even started coloring our mechs in ways that set them apart from each other so we'd all KNOW which mech belonged to whom even at a quick glance. Being a teen, I was prone to trying to be edgy for the sake of coolness, so when the colors were being decided I quickly chose red as a primary color with a darker red as the secondary. Not exactly my favorite color, but it made sense with the name I was going to give to my mech: Blood.

    We would fight in the game and take mental notes of what worked and didn't work for us, and moreover what did and didn't work against each other. Most among my friends would always rename their mech when they saved the new blueprint, a few simply numbered the new versions... I decided to keep Blood named as she was (Being a girl AND following the rules of ships I decided my mech was a girl. I'm weird like that) and just add numbers at the end... But I would do it in a way that took advantage of the text select screen's options.


    dad0156933.png

    Armored Core MoA had a unique set of characters in the bottom third of the text screen, and I immediately took note of the Roman numerals.The first time I gave Blood a decent upgrade, I added the Roman numeral "II" after the name. The next time I added "III," and so on. Each upgrade was focused on what weapons and armor I seemed to work best with, as well as the things my friends had the most difficulty with. By this point I think you know where I'm going.

    Specifically I recall the decision to sacrifice aesthetics for power by using the Moonlight beam sword instead of the LS-100W, because the latter's beam was red where Moonlight was blue... But after a while the blue beam sword became a staple of it's own because my friends eventually learned to associate the bright blue flash with extreme levels of danger; In alliance with my middle name, they actually ended up referring to the Moonlight as BloodMoon instead. While prolific enough, BloodMoon isn't exactly a rare term that no one would use as a name, and moreover it was just a nickname for a weapon that already HAD a name. So I kept using Blood and Roman numerals...

    And after 12 iterations, Blood reached her pinnacle at the unluckiest number; XIII.


    Blood XIII was built with a single purpose; Get in close and do as much damage as possible, then get as far away as possible to avoid counterattacks and simply repeat the process again. The fastest legs in the game with the strongest boosters, a lightweight energy-based rifle and the Moonlight, two back-mounted missile pods and everything needed to make them lock onto a target almost instantly and a generator with plenty of juice to allow excessive boosting.
    I won't say that Blood XIII was invincible, but I WILL say that my friends had unique setups they would use specifically to handle her and CAPITALIZE on those weaknesses... Specifically the fact that if they could keep me at a distance then I had little hope of winning, or barring that just do an obscene amount of damage quickly since Blood XIII's armor stat was quite low.


    Many times I tried upgrading to Blood XIV, but nothing EVER worked as well as the XIII model. It was always either too slow or ended up feeling like it had too much going on, and I wasn't one for complexity when I favored simple hit-and-run tactics. My friends all kept upgrading and changing their mechs, but Blood stayed in her XIII model for the rest of time and I merely learned to cover my weaknesses where I could... Which wasn't often, because I'm not THAT good at gaming.

    Still though, I was able to give my friends a good run for their money each time we played. I won more often than I lost, but it had to be AT BEST a 60/40 split in my favor. Nothing that would get me any awards, but it made me happy to know I had found something that worked for me.


    Ever since then I always found surprisingly good luck in the number 13. Perhaps that's JUST because superstitions are nonsense imaginary things and so the "curse" on the number caused me to notice when good things revolved around it instead, but who knows? Either way,I kept using the number to be all edgy and cool, and it became associated with me after a long while because of my favoring the number AND because of my fabled mech. Blood XIII as a username was something I started in like 9th grade, when we had to make email accounts for my computer class. Of course though, spaces didn't really work for an email address, so instead of cramming them together I just went with an underscore, making it Blood_XIII.

    The teacher didn't seem too pleased with it, but she didn't make me change it and so it stayed. My old friends from elementary school IMMEDIATELY recognized it and we had a few good days talking about the game again until we repeated the process from years ago, pulling out our old copies and memory cards to battle it out once more.


    Everyone else changed their mechs and battlestyles to suit their age and their now attuned gaming skills... But being a weirdo, I kept Blood XIII as she was and simply learned to use her even better. Much to the chagrin of my friends, I was STILL just as good with my close-range speedster, and once again they had to create specialized setups to keep me at a distance to have the best chance at beating me.

    The mech stood the test of time, and in every future Armored Core game I tried I would use a similar setup and find success when I played a 1v1 match (Because the campaign of Aromored Core games requires VERY different tactics, so I have another mech setup I use for that [And yes it's got a different name and color scheme ;3]), so due to Blood XIII's awesomeness not fading over time I felt like it was only right to keep the name alive by using it in other games and every time I needed to make an online account. It actually reached a point where I had to make a backup username to use on occasion, so some of my friends whom I no longer speak with and/or the people who picked on me in school wouldn't know who I was online... But after a while I stopped caring about such petty people, and went back to letting my polygonal mech have her continued moment in the limelight.


    So there you have it; the entire story of where my username came from and why I continue to use it in some form or other in every username I create :3

    How do you America?

    | Asked by: KMH1995 1 year ago

    First you find the restaurant with the biggest amount of food you can order for the lowest price, then you eat as much of that as you can and throw away what you don't.

    Next, go buy a very large pickup truck and/or SUV, more 'Murica points if you can afford both AND put oversized tires on the truck.

    After that you'll want to go and buy a few guns, about 10 should do if you really want to convince people of your Americanism.

    At some point you need to spend a lot of time watching football and listening to pop music (Rap is also acceptable), and also watch TONS of reality TV shows and get very angry when the person you like has a bad day or gets kicked off (Double points if your favorite is the most annoying or confrontational one)

    You must also spend all day complaining about how much you hate your job but ALSO complain about how foreigners are going to take your job away from you.

    Finally, you must be very lazy 24/7 and do as little as possible, even when you go on vacation to other countries.


    There's more to it, but I'm too America to bother.

    First of all that's two questions.

    Secondly, here's your answers:


    It's rainy as fuck like every other day, and unfortunately not because if there were I'd have more excuses to eat KFC.

    Nothing, actually. I'm just an average user who is a co-admin of the RWBY group, and we've ONLY ever been a fan-group no matter how big our collective and/or the show has grown. Back during Season 10 of Red Vs. Blue, RWBY was first really talked about when Monty and the others handed out these tiny flyers that were simply the word "RWBY" and the now iconic silhouette of Ruby, and I was already interested in knowing about it and being involved however I could because of Monty's awesomeness. Later, the Red Trailer was tacked on after the credits of the RvB10 season's last episode, and I was immediately invested. The day after that RvB episode I went on the site with plans to MAKE a RWBY group (Because on the old RT site EVERY group was made by users, as opposed to now where show-centric groups are usually created and even run by the staff themselves) but one already exited under the creation of Sarge811 (Another everyday user of the site). The group had already started gathering members, and TM4TheWin was already on-board as a co-admin as well. I simply asked Sarge811 if I could be an admin myself, since I had been following the steady build-up before the first trailer had been seen, and I was lucky enough that both of them approved my request. We added Monty to the admin list as the group gained enough momentum for the staff to actually notice it, and as certain people like Barbara were shown to be major parts of the show, we added them to the admin list both out of respect AND so they could post to the News sections IF they ever wanted to. Ray was the oddball and we just added him BECAUSE he's Ray.



    So TLDR; I have NOTHING to do with RWBY officially, nor do the other active co-admins. The RWBY group was simply started by normal members of the RT community to show that we were already invested in the late Monty Oum's new project. Anything we've ever done, talked about, or posted has been 100% separate from the official production and we have little to no involvement with RWBY and indeed Rooster Teeth in such ways.

    something

    | Asked by: FallenWind 1 year ago

    Nothing

    Favorite anime?

    | Asked by: sympt0m 1 year ago

    Probably One Piece, though there are countless others that could just as easily be my answer as well.


    Editing this two months later to include that JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a very close second now.