9 October 2015

Barto Club is perfect

Bartolomeo's character is undoubtedly the funniest thing to come out of the Dressrosa arc of One Piece. The guy's a really strong pirate captain... who happens to be a fanboy of Monkey D. Luffy. Seriously. That's hilarious.

But it wasn't until at the end of the arc that Bartolomeo's hilarity became great. That was when we first saw his crew, which is called the Barto Club. And they are perfect.

The entire crew consists of Luffy fanboys. I'm not kidding. And the absolute best part? Their ship.

You're so right, Usopp.

That ship is perfect. Everything about the Barto Club is perfect.

This raises several questions. Where did Bartolomeo find all these guys? How did he convince a bunch of Luffy fanboys join him? (Though I suppose they could've bonded over their shared love of Luffy's adventures.) While Bartolomeo himself becoming a fan is now known, what made, say, Gambia decide that Luffy is awesome?

Still, they turned out to be even funnier afterwards, when we found out that they are so incompetent as pirates that they don't even have a navigator. They survived through the first half of Grand Line by calling their grandma every time there was trouble... and her advice is apparently mostly useless.

These guys are basically the comic relief of One Piece. And they are perfect. I so want to see more of them.

6 June 2015

The horror of Miis

I sometimes wonder what opinion do the "Smashers" (a term for playable characters in Super Smash Bros.) have of the Miis. They seem quite creepy, if you think about it. From Mario's perspective, there doesn't seem to be any explanation for them. They're kinda humanoid beings whose perpetually unmoving faces look like they were drawn on. And they lack any personal style of combat, as if they were absolutely soulless. And whereas upon eating any other character, Kirby get either their hat or their... scalp... upon eating a Mii, he gets a Spy-esq mask with the Mii's (obviously drawn-on) face on his forehead. Obviously, they are unnatural.
It gets worse the more they think about it. The Miis would seem to have come straight out of nowhere. They just started showing up at parties, the Olympics, go-karting, baseball, basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, ice hockey, tennis, golf, and now Smash Bros. They never seem to do anything noticeable. They also exist in the Pokémon World, where they run a ranch. And if the Smashers were to take a look at the Miis' own world, what would they find? Going by Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Fit, Wii Music, Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus, Wii Play: Motion, Wii Party, Pilotwings Resort, Nintendo Land, Wii Sports Club, Wii Party U, Wii Fit U, and Tomodachi Life, they all seem to have hobbies that resemble those of the other worlds.
So long story short, the Miis would lack any explainable origin, imitate other beings, and seem to be an invasive species. They could just as well be the Borg.

13 March 2015

The Tale of Eeveelutions

I don't always make errors of judgement, but when I do, I absolutely, utterly, totally blow it.

So I was playing Pokémon X and caught exactly 8 Eevees. Yeah, I was planning to evolve them. First, I took three of them and gave them the Water, Thunder and Fire Stones. Then I traveled across Kalos searching for the Ice and Moss Rocks. I ended up accidentally leveling up two Eevees in Frost Cavern and Wonder Traded one of the new Glaceons away. The Moss Rock didn't cause much problems... at first.

Then, I had three Eevees, who would become an Espeon, an Umbreon and a Sylveon. My solution was tour Kalos aimlessly until they'd evolve. Then... in retrospect, I'm not sure what in the name of Arceus I was thinking. Only, it was stupid. I ended up leveling up all three Eevees... at Route 20. Right next to the @#€&% Moss Rock. So I had now four Leafeons at once. So, solution: Wonder Trade binge, back to Route 10, catch three new Eevees,  back to Square One. Also, hit the wall till your head hurts. I kind of deserved it.

At least I got an Electrike, a Makuhita, and a Magneton out of the deal.

11 August 2014

I really hate StreetPass

Nintendo is a Japanese company. To me, this has rarely harmed the entertainment value its games have... until now.
The Nintendo 3DS contains a mechanic called the StreetPass. It works like this: If you have a 3DS in your pocket and you walk past a dude with a 3DS in his pocket, weird things happen to your 3DS. (And his 3DS, but you don't care about him.)
Now, I understand where this is coming from. Japan has about 337 people on each square kilometer. Tokyo alone has 13 million people there. But the problem is, I'm not Japanese. I'm from what one would describe as "grim-up north" where the average population is 15 per square kilometer. I have relatives living on the countryside and I take trips to the wilderness every summer. StreetPass is useless here.
Heck, I'll probably multiply my Mii Plaza population several times when I go to the next con kept here. And if I ever visit Japan, I would multiply it again, because the cons here are small.
Fuck StreetPass.

29 July 2014

Bowser is good

I just wondered about this once. Why is it that in the Mario games, Bowser's minions are a really diverse lot with Goombas, Koopas, Boos, Lakitus, Buzzy Beetles, Spinies, Cheep-Cheeps, Shy Guys, Bloopers, Piranha Plants, Chain Chomps, Amps, Bullet Bills, Bob-Ombs, Thwomps, Whomps, Wigglers, Monty Moles, Fuzzies and Pokeys, while the Mushroom Kingdom is inhabited with the highly homogeneous Toads? In fact, a lot of areas in the Marioverse seem to be inhabited by a single dominant species, while the Koopa Troop's reign is like that. Did the Koopas just invite all the people unwanted anywhere else to serve their king?
That does make one wonder about Bowser's motives. Considering that the main area of the Koopas appears to be a volcanic, barren wasteland, is Bowser perhaps with his aggression towards neighboring countries trying to gain Lebensraum for his people? It would explain why they seem to genuinely like him.
In fact, if you think about it, Bowser himself seems to prefer the volcanic soil, as he rarely leaves it and his castles are always full of lava. (Also, why have I never seen any geysers around there? Going by Iceland or Japan, I thought volcanic areas would often have those.) Then why does he conquer the cooler lands? Maybe it's specifically for his minions' sake. Why are so many of them named "King" something, if they are his minions, by the way? King Goomba, Whomp King, King Boo, King Kaliente. Maybe they are descendants of rulers who entered the Koopa Kingdom, and Bowser's predecessor insisted they keep their royal titles even when those had become meaningless. This would make Bowser himself actually a king to whom other kings swear loyalty, and therefore an emperor.
And even if this all were proven wrong, Bowser's reign still can't be the worst place in the Marioverse. There's no evidence whatsoever of corruption there, unlike, say, Isle Delfino...
And now we know why Mario invites his so-called nemesis to go-karting and sports.

28 February 2014

Different powers

I think that the main conflict in Mega Man games - whether or not robots have souls - was actually solved in the first Mega Man X. In that game, as well as many later X games, there's an Easter egg that allows X to do the Hadōken, the famous attack from Street Fighter games. To do the Hadōken, X would need ki, and that would imply that he has a soul. Unless it's not a real Hadōken, but merely a shallow copy.
An interesting question is, what exactly is the difference between psychic powers and magic? Considering that using both requires high intelligence, what's the difference?
Well, it generally depends on the setting. I think it was A Certain Magical Index that suggested that in psychic powers aka ESP, you use energy from within, while in magic, you use energy from outside your body.
My idea is that ESP is the energy of your brain. It's kind of a gift to the few and chosen. It obviously requires very high intelligence. Magic, on the other hand, takes many forms such as alchemy, astrology, numerology and making deals with deities. (The last one implies that prayers are sort-of spells, but don't tell that to fundies.) Either way, it requires study and thus intelligence, but can be done by less gifted through hard work. Just like any actual skill in real life.
Then there's also ki, which is basically life energy that very skilled martial artists can convert into weaponry. Never mind how stupid literally throwing away your own life in the middle of a battle would be. I'm not even sure how chakra works.
Next week, I'll probably see the difference between elves and faeries.
Also, last Wednesday I was playing Pokémon X and found an unusual-looking Graveler. Self-harming moves should be illegal moves to Shinies, especially wild Shinies.

14 December 2013

About 'mons

*cough* *cough*
So, I've heard that the old rivalry between the two shows, Pokémon and Digimon has resurfaced. This has most to do with things like Black Kyurem/White Kyurem and the Mega Evolutions reminding people of Digimon.
So fanboys are arguing that which one is ripping each other off. Ripping off what exactly? Both shows are about kids in a strange world where inhabitants are monsters that become bigger and stronger in a process (incorrectly) called "evolution". Otherwise, the shows are like day and night.
Note that in most continuities of the Pokémon series, there is one world where humans and Pokémon coexist. In Digimon, the titular monsters live in a realm created by human computers and somehow, a small group of human kids get into that world. A major plot point is travelling between Digital World and Tokyo City.
There are an exact number of Pokémon that rises by around a hundred every three years. Currently (2013), its 718. All Pokémon are listed in the Pokédex, a Pokémon encyclopedia that gives us a bit explanation over several things. Meanwhile, Digimon is not nearly as consistent about that - each series has their own set of 'mons and some sets overlap in inconsistent ways.
Oh, and the series have completely separate origins. Pokémon started out as an unusual RPG idea by Satoshi Tajiri known as Capsule Monsters. Digimon was made when some guys at Bandai figured that Tamagotchis seem to be rather unpopular among boys and sought out to fix this. Then it was made an anime and a card game out of the stuff, and the rising fandoms met each other, and it was not pretty.
Oh, and SABO LIVES!!!!!!! YAYYAYYAYYAYYAYYAYYAYYAY... I wonder what this leads to.

1 November 2013

Global butterfly

So, the new Pokémon have come. And among them is the new Bug-type, Vivillon.
It certainly looks interesting. The colour on its wings depends on the geographical location of the OT. For example, "Icy Snow" can be gotten from Finland, Norway and parts of Canada and "Continental" from West Europe, Korea, Sweden, Russia and parts of US.
This rises a question. How are they going to deal with this gimmick in anime? Or Mystery Dungeon and Ranger games? Or TCG? Game Freak seems rather inconsiderate to adaptations and spin-offs at times, but this takes the cake.
In the past, the TCG's success at duplicating several gimmicks of the Pokémon has varied in success. They did do Eevee and Ditto right, but Nincada's evolutionary line should be checked. At least some versions of Shedinja's Poké-Body make sense considering its actual gimmick. The Pokémon Powers/Poké-Bodies/Poké-Powers helped save many a gimmick, but with Vivillon, it's damn much impossible.
Ditto, Eevee, Unown, Wobbuffett, Slaking, Shedinja, Plusle & Minun, Spinda, Castform, Kecleon, Shellos, Chatot, Phione, Sigilyph, Zoroark, Vivillon, Malamar... Really, why doesn't Digimon have any shit like this?
Anyone remember Digimon? I guess not.

25 August 2013

Mentally challenged zombie

What exactly is the entertainment industry trying to tell us about people with mental issues? The first thing that comes to mind is, obviously, Hannibal Lecter. His depiction is not one of a human being, but one of a monster. That mask is actually supposed to prevent him from biting people, for he is actually a cannibal. It's basically a muzzle. They're just treating him like a rabid dog. And him helping the police is not compared to Sherlock Holmes solving cases as much as it is seen as the police desperately using a dangerous and unstable weapon.
Even worse than Lecter must be the sociopath that the other sociopaths and psychiatrists run away from out of pure fear - the Joker. With his dread pale face, crimson red lips and poisonous green hair, the Joker doesn't even look like a human being. He could be thought of as death - or alternatively, dead. He's supposed to look like a clown, isn't he? And a popular explanation for coulrophobia is that clowns look like corpses or zombies. Remember that in his (usual) origin story, he fell into an acid vat. As everyone knows, acid is hazardous for life. The Joker should thus be dead by now. In fact, he is dead, or so he said in the 1989 movie.
Jack Napier is dead. I am the Joker.
~the Joker

The Joker is not as much evil as he is outside nature, something science can't explain. That's actually quite a metaphor how general populace sees mental problems - or rather, madness. The word 'mad' was originally used of them before it was understood that it was a phenomenon. When the word was replaced with 'mentally challenged' people simply thought that it's something doctors and therapists could comprehend, not regular people. They could still avoid the issue of talking about it, since it was a taboo. That continued until recently 'mentally challenged' became a taboo too and psychiatrists started to use the more precise terms such as 'bipolar disorder' and 'manic-depressive' and so on. Now it was something to understand, to be explained. Yet this didn't prevent Hollywood and the such from continuing to use the character archetype.

20 August 2013

Bellemeré is Luffy's mother

Want a crazy hypothesis? Here you have one!
(NOTE: This is for One Piece fans and may contain spoilers.)

So, Monkey D. Luffy's dad is the Revolutionary Dragon and granddad is Vice Admiral Garp. But who's his mom? I was first thinking that she was probably another revolutionary, but then I asked myself that how exactly did Garp get his hands in baby Luffy? Then I figured that Dragon might be a former Marine who had an affair with another (female) Marine. After Dragon turned against the Marines, they broke up but the girl was pregnant. Then Garp took care of her and got Luffy under his protection. I wasn't sure what happened to her then.
Then I started thinking. A female Marine soldier who had similar facial features as Luffy, was anti-authority and old enough to be his mom - Bellemeré?
Maybe that would mean that after Garp took care of Luffy, Bellemeré blamed herself for leaving him behind and took Nami and Nojiko to her foster so she could atone. Which would imply that Dragon could have saved Cocoyashi at any moment had he known about Bellemeré.
Also, Nami is, obviously, Luffy's sister, in a sense. I wonder how will LuNa fans take it. Then again, Return of the Jedi didn't stop Luke/Leia shippers at all. Unfortunately.

Speaking of One Piece, Eiichiro Oda is now married and has kids. I wonder if he still lives in that cardboard apartment.
And speaking of crazy hypotheses, Tengu of El Goonish Shive is totally Vlad Tepes Dracula. In Bram Stoker's original novel, Dracula was described as being able to shift size and shape. Tengu appears vaguely demonic, but his true form is humanoid and he mentioned being "infamously known throughout Europe". Also, he's a pervert. Totally Dracula.