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Ookamikakushi TV Review

dimanche 8 avril 2018 à 08:07
Ookamikakushi (TV Series, 2010)
Produced by TBS, flying DOG

What is mystery without intrigue? What is suspense without tension? Ookamikakushi, the 2010 anime series based on Ryukishi07's visual novel of the same title, seems intent on trying to answer these questions. This may be a tad harsh way to introduce the 12 episode series, for a number of staff did a splendid job on putting Ookamikakushi together, but sometimes it only takes a broken part or two to compromise the machine. Before I touch on the real positives and negatives allow me to set the scene a bit.

Hiroshi Kuzumi, 15, is moving from Tokyo to a new neighborhood in the mountainous Jōga city (sound familiar?). An unassuming son and student, Hiroshi is surprised to find himself in the neighborhood and school spotlight the moment he sets foot in Jōga. Smiling faces and physical affection greet him wherever he goes. At a reasonable pace the series divulges the less reasonable attention being given to Hiroshi, which turns out to be only a small part part of Jōga's mysteries.

This is one aspect in which Ookamikakushifalters. A disproportionate amount of time is used in building up unnecessary characters and trying, but failing, to build tension. Later episodes improve in this aspect once all pretense at mystery is dropped in favor of action and drama.

If only Hiroshi himself could have been improved. Here lies Ookamikakushi's aforementioned broken part. Kazumi is a terribly-weak main character—your constantly flinching, wincing, red-faced boy who is more or less dragged through the storyline. Gasping at nearly every word uttered his direction, his frail design couldn't be more appropriate for his vapid personality. And he's not the only character with designs to highlight negatively. The touchy-feely tomboy Izumi Tsumuhana, father Masasaki Kuzumi and every boy in school are clad in bizarre attire. Bashing the wardrobe of characters may be a shallow complaint, but most of these designs go hand-in-hand with poorly-written personalities. None of them offer enough to make them likable or memorable.

Taking a deep breath, it's time to refocus on some of the series' strengths. Art by AIC looks pretty nice. Daytime scenes appear crisp, and the evenings are stylishly-rendered with heavy use of purple, orange and red. Aside from a few distracting 3d animations the visuals earn an easily-passing grade.

My vote for project MVP goes to music composer Takumi Ozawa (Divine Gate, Hidan no Aria). Ozawa's solid soundtrack contains several standout pieces (the intense, guitar and choir-driven “Shirube” and “Oogama” first come to mind). It's a shame that the scenes beneath the music weren't so well composed.

Alas, Ookamikakushi packs sturdy production that can't compensate for its weak character cast. What could have possibly been a fun, more straight-forward thriller plays out as a mundane mystery.

-2 Awful, ruined it
-1 Took away from the experience
0 Okay, didn't leave an impression good/bad
+1 Added to the experience
+2 Superb

Story: 0
Writing: -1
Characters: -1
Art/Animation: +1
Music: +1
Entertainment: 0
Personal Bias: 0


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Depression (Playlist)

samedi 7 avril 2018 à 17:47
Links below lead to album downloads. This playlist is centered around depression--tracks made from a poor state of mind. Mercy Maya and Loli War Noise comprise the majority of this hour-long compilation of noise, ambient and other electronic mishaps. Unreleased 2011 Loli War Noise tracks are included.

00:00 Red tears in her eyes.
01:03 Ужасном Мире
03:17 Something To Never Have
04:34 Stream (2017 Remaster)
07:49 Stabbing My Eyes
08:44 Accepting Loneliness
11:05 Droning Sense of Fear
13:00 Hate Them
13:40 Raindrops [A Dull Afternoon]
14:47 How Beautiful the Dawn Is (2017Remaster)
16:14 a.h.E.
19:15 untitled
21:20 Catatonia
23:50 it hurts to hold it in
27:20 Loneliness & Frustration
28:48 i'm tired
32:16 i wanna die...just let me die...i don't wanna live...
35:36 if you can hear me
38:28 i don't get it
42:24 i lied
44:04 i'm sorry... i didn't know what else to do
48:17 all the time in the world (loop)
53:20 Meaningless,Everything...Meaningless
01:02:35 Surely Nothing (2017 Remaster)
01:05:40 Misery: A painful and unfulfilling reality which will be forever

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Lulzbra and Toph return!

dimanche 1 avril 2018 à 16:30
It's been five years since the last Lulzbra release. That drought ends with d(^_^)b.

MediaFire download
YouTube preview

This release sees my first project returning to its original source of inspiration: Toph Beifong. While re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender for reviewing purposes I recorded myself a library of Toph samples, a fraction of which can be heard in this collection of simple electronic tracks.

The original preview video for this album was blocked on copyright grounds—understandable but unfortunate considering I put a fair amount of time into it. In its stead I've whipped up a (not-so-relevant or carefully-made) video for the Voi.xcetrack “Meatball Construct.” First heard on the 2012 album Kbos, “Meatball Construct” was in a Blue Gender AMV for the old War Loli YouTube channel. This video... Well, April Fools (I guess)?

On a final note the Battle Lolis Eleven & Warbound CDs have been shipped. You should have received an e-mail notifying you. If you have spoken for a CD and did not receive an e-mail, please notify me at

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Higurashi (Season 2) review

vendredi 9 mars 2018 à 20:38
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (TV Series 2007)
Produced by Geneon Universal Entertainment, Frontier Works, Sotsu, Movic

Terrible circumstances befalling likable characters was the name of the game in the original season of Higurashino Naku Koro ni, a 2006 anime series based on Ryukishi07's visual novel of the same title. The twenty-six episode season blended a cute art style with a brutal, and ambiguous at the time, storyline. Airing just one year later, Higurashi's second season aimed to shed light on the mysterious series of deaths and disappearances: the truth behind Oyashiro-sama's curse.

So, while the first season cryptically introduced the strange and violent circumstances surrounding the mountain village of Hinamizawa, season two plays out more like a mystery-thriller. Campy scenes of action, distinguished by their lack of subtlety and their cheesy dialogue, are very satisfying—rewards for enduring Higurashi's misfortune and ambiguity; While sad moments are beautifully punctuated by series composer Kenji Kawai. The only downside of the writing in this well-paced, twenty-four episode season could be the lack of "slowly-suffocating-you" creepiness (Spirited Away by the Demon arc from season one, I'm looking at you).

The colorfully-haired Higurashi cast was a major selling point for season one. Distinct character designs and excellent voicing led to tremendous character chemistry. This second time around, with Rika Furude offering a darker and clearer narrative, Keiichi Maebara continuing to charm through his determination and wittiness, Higurashi'sever-so-slightly enlarged cast continues to make great impressions.

Production elements are in line with those of season one: brightly-colored, instantly-recognizable artwork and more superb musical themes from Kenji Kawai. Extending praise to the latter, Kawai provides almost fifty new pieces for Kai. Great tracks such as “Yokan,” “Zasetsu” and “Sakuryaku” fill the season's soundtrack.

In short, Kai builds upon many of season one's strengths: great characters, an intriguing setting and wonderful music, while telling a compelling (and more clear-cut) story.

-2 Awful, ruined it
-1 Took away from the experience
0 Okay, didn't leave an impression good/bad
+1 Added to the experience
+2 Superb

Story: +2
Writing: +1
Characters: +2
Art/Animation: +1
Music: +2
Entertainment: +2
Personal Bias: +1


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Her Humble Duty

samedi 3 mars 2018 à 18:44
Huzzah! More Battle Lolis.

Her Humble Duty pays homage to the World War II soldiers of Loli Canada: who battled with ill fate in Hong Kong and Dieppe before participating in the D-Day landings at Juno Beach. Preview and download the eight-track EP through the links below.

MediaFire download
YouTube preview

Much thanks to unknownbird27 for the art!

June--the release of Eleven & Warbound--is fast approaching.

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