The Great Zelda Playthrough Part 1: The Legend of Zelda (NES)

In preparation for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I’ve decided to play through all the main series Zelda games (all of them that have an official placement on the timeline) in release order. What this means is starting with the original game, The Legend of Zelda on the NES.

I think Zelda 1 (as I’ll be calling it to distinguish it from the series as a whole) is the hardest game for me personally to put into perspective. It released in America back in 1987, years before I was even born, and I didn’t really get to play video games until long after that. It was only after completing eight or so other games in the franchise (the exact order I played these in escapes me) that I first played it, and while it did establish a lot of what the series would do moving forward, it’s also drastically different from the direction the series took from A Link to the Past onward. Continue reading “The Great Zelda Playthrough Part 1: The Legend of Zelda (NES)”

The Writer’s Guide to Anime: Darker than Black and “Show, Don’t Tell”

One piece of advice that writers are very frequently told is “show, don’t tell.” Inexperienced writers have a tendency to explicitly tell a reader information, which at best makes a read feel dry and at worst can feel condescending. They are instead often encouraged to show that information instead, or convey the information without flat-out stating it. To give an example: “Bob was sad when he read Alice’s letter” is telling. Showing would be more along the lines of “Bob’s hands shook as he read Alice’s letter. Her words became harder and harder to make out as he fought back tears.” The first example just tells you Bob is sad. The second also tells you he’s sad, but it shows it through how he reacts rather than just stating it.

Darker than Black isn’t a masterpiece by any means. However, one thing that’s always impressed me about it is how it handled worldbuilding. In worldbuilding, so many works will fall into the “telling” trap by awkwardly shoehorning in an explanation of how things work so that the audience understands. This is usually done through the use of a newcomer to the world (or someone who’s more removed from it and is consequently inexperienced) who acts as an audience surrogate for a mentor to explain things to. It’s something that I’ve seen in so many fantasy series. Darker than Black, however (at least the first season; I’ll get to S2 later), manages to avoid using those archetypes and manages to drop you into a world in a way that feels completely natural just by showing you how it works rather than telling you. Continue reading “The Writer’s Guide to Anime: Darker than Black and “Show, Don’t Tell””

Dropped! Spring 2016 Week 1

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Dropped! This week we’ve started actually watching shows. We’ll be dropping some of them just as quickly. If you want to see how off our preseason predictions were, feel free.

Anyway, this will cover everything that aired from April 1st through April 7th, excluding a few shows that were not picked up or that were simulcast at a later date. In addition, while the titles we use may vary some, the order is based off of the Japanese titles as given by AniChart, with full-length shows first and shorts after. Continue reading “Dropped! Spring 2016 Week 1”

Dropped! Spring 2016 Preseason

Buggy: Hello, readers, and welcome to “Dropped!” With me is my good friend Chris, who will be joining me on a weekly journey through the Spring 2016 anime season as we figure out which shows are worth sticking with and which ones…aren’t.

Chris: Hello everyone. I just want to see that I am excited to see what the Spring 2016 season is going to have in store for us

B: Before we launch into things weekly, I figured it’d be a good idea to do a sort of pre-season runthrough of the shows, because, while we’re probably going to be giving almost every show a shot, there are some we aren’t for one reason or another, and since the point of Dropped! is to see how long all these shows can last, it’s only natural to include the ones that don’t even get a chance. But also because this allows us to give some of our first impressions, which, admittedly, could end up being very, very wrong.

C: Given how wrong we were with Rakugo, I’m honestly hoping wrong about a lot of shows that I have negative opinion on this season

B: Crazy, huh? I was expecting Phantom World to be my favorite show of the season and Rakugo to suck. But look where we are now.

Anyway, we’re using AniChart‘s list of shows to do this, so if you want more information on the shows you can check there. So shall we start at the beginning of the list?

C: Absolutely! Continue reading “Dropped! Spring 2016 Preseason”

The Writer’s Guide to Anime: One Piece and Structuring Long-running Stories

One Piece is perhaps the most well-regarded of the “Big Three,” the three most popular and longest-running Sh┼Źnen Jump weekly manga. These three are known largely for their impressive length. At the time of this writing, Naruto has recently ended with 700 chapters, Bleach is in the mid-600’s, and One Piece has just passed the 800-chapter mark. I can’t speak to the quality of Bleach or Naruto, because only One Piece has ever really interested me. Why? Well, upon reflection, I’ve realized that there’s one key reason that One Piece initially drew me in and has continued to hold my attention: no matter how drawn-out and long-winded the plot can get, I never feel like it’s wasting my time because the story is structured in such a way that it always feels like it’s going somewhere. Continue reading “The Writer’s Guide to Anime: One Piece and Structuring Long-running Stories”

It Bugs Me: Phantom World Interlude

In my previous Phantom World posts, I’ve been breaking down the episodes bit by bit and complaining about whatever strikes my fancy, but I’d like to take a moment to talk more broadly about why exactly Phantom World is failing so hard for me.

First of all, I suppose I should answer one important question: why do I care? Why bother tearing a show apart like this? Why get riled up about a show that, overall, is just “on the bad side” rather than “irredeemably awful?” I think it largely comes down to betrayal. I was expecting good things from the series before it was airing, and KyoAni has a pretty good track record. So when it ended up being bad, I got angry. The things you have high expectations for or that become popular are always the ones that are most infuriating.

So on to what’s wrong with Phantom World. Continue reading “It Bugs Me: Phantom World Interlude”

It Bugs Me: Phantom World Episode 8

Thought I was done with these, huh?

After the first four episodes, there wasn’t a lot to talk about in Phantom World. I’d covered the setup and worldbuilding, I covered the lazy writing, I covered the characters by not covering them because there’s nothing there, but after that initial surge of terrible, there wasn’t a lot to talk about. It just went back to being generically bad. You know, the type of bad where the fact that the show looks pretty is actually able to keep the show relatively enjoyable.

But then comes episode 8. Continue reading “It Bugs Me: Phantom World Episode 8”