Posted in Blogs, Rants, Review

Kakuriyo Review

Recently, I’ve watched a show that I’ve been wanting to see for just under a year now. As always, I’ll start with a summary of the story.

Aoi Tsubaki is a special girl who can see and speak to ayakashi. To protect herself, her grandfather, Shiro Tsubaki, teaches her how to cook food that appeals to the ayakashi’s tastes for mild and sweet foods. One day, not long after Shiro dies of an accident, Aoi learns that not only did she inherit her special ability from her late grandfather, but also that same grandfather got into a steep debt with one of the inns in the ayakashi world. To ensure the debt is paid, Shiro had signed a contract with the innkeeper, Master Ogre (I’ll call him Odanna since that sounds like an actual name and the show never gives him a real one) that states that in the event that Shiro is unable to repay his debt he will give Aoi up to be Odanna’s bride. She refuses, however, and makes her own deal with the ogre to work until the debt is paid in full so she can keep her autonomy and freedom to marry for love. To pay off the debt, she opens a small restaurant in the courtyard of the inn. Through her food, she makes friends, brings enemies to her side, pulls families together, and touches the hearts and souls of even the most soulless and cruel ayakashi. All the while, Odanna tries everything in his power to make her change her mind on marrying him; debt or no.

Saying this now, the relationship between Aoi and Odanna is really cute. He goes above and beyond, reading between the lines as to what she wants and what will make her happy. There are also so many times she acts like a child. Almost every time they go out into town together, her curiosity gets the best of her and she wanders away, leaving Odanna to have to hunt her down and save her from an ayakashi that she caught the eye of. Sadly, he doesn’t have much personality aside from whatever he believes will make Aoi happy and the kinda-sorta “father figure” of the inn. nearly everyone on his staff was taken in by him at a young and/or weakened state.

As for Aoi herself, she’s you typical spunky anime heroine who doesn’t take crap, and that somehow gets her friends everywhere she turns, the only thing that sets her apart from all other spunky heroines would be the fact that her main weapon of choice is food.

Another friend that Aoi made was Genji, the fox ayakashi who’s Odanna’s right-hand man so to speak. He’s a little sweetheart and acts like a protective big brother to Aoi when they go out in town together.

There are other ayakashi that befriends Aoi, but I’m actually low on time and most of them follow the same arc; “I don’t like you, you’re a human girl!”/”I won’t eat food made by a human woman!”, “This tastes good! Can I have more food?”, “WE ARE BEST BUDS NOW!” and they suddenly have the best relationship like they’ve been lifelong friends the whole time.

All in all, it’s a great show with adorable and likable characters, a compelling premise, and a sweet story. If that’s what you’re looking for, watch it yourself and come to your own conclusion. After you watch it, be sure to leave your own thoughts and opinions in the comments below and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Side note, I’m getting busier and busier, so blogs may be less frequent. I know I already spaced the blogs out already, but I am out of ideas and little on time to get inspired. If you have any suggestions on ideas, please let me know in the comments. I’ll post when I can, but I don’t want to force myself to post just because of a schedule and risk lowering the quality of blogs.

Posted in Blogs, Review

Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi Review

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, but just hear me out. I’m not a yaoi fangirl! With almost every yaoi I’ve seen, the writers write a story around the project being yaoi rather than write a story that complements yaoi. I was going to write this one off as something like those shows that claim to be “homosexual progressive” when really there’s no plot or conflict anywhere insight, almost like they just threw something together as if to say “look! We’re not homophobic! We have these characters!” even though the characters in question don’t have any characterization and aren’t backed by any story plot. However, one day, AnimeAngel120 dared me to watch one episode of one yaoi of her choosing, and this was what she picked. All I could say about that is props to her for knowing me well enough to show me a yaoi anime that has a compelling love story and isn’t just yaoi for the sake of yaoi.

Now, let me summarize the story to explain what I mean.

Ritsu Onodera is the son of a highly credible and successful editor and is even the owner of an editing company. However, to get out from under his father’s shadow, Ritsu leaves the company his family owns and applies instead to a different editing company. While his application was for the literature department, so he’d edit and send off literary works, the only availability is in the Shojo Manga department that’s run by Masamune Takano, who was Ritsu’s not-so-sweet-highschool-sweetheart. After clearing the misunderstandings that lead to their 10-year-old breakup, Masamune promises that he’ll make Ritsu fall in love with him all over again, so they could pick up where they left off when they were dumb teenagers. At the same time, another manga editor, Yoshiyuki Hatori, begins dating in secret with his childhood friend and editing client, Chiaki Yoshino, and another one of the manga editors, Shouta Kisa, falls in a superficial love with one of the sale clerks who’s the most successful selling his projects, Kou Yukina.

First off, let me just say, I admire how this show tackles three separate popular love story scenarios, the “previously dated back together” couple in Masamune and Ritsu, the “childhood friends” couple in Yoshiyuki and Chiaki, and the “love at first sight” couple in Shouta and Kou. However, while all three are there and are well done, each having just enough screen time to properly establish each couples insecurities and strengths, it is mostly Masamune and Ritsu who take center stage. The way that it’s set up actually reminds me of old soap-operas my mother used to watch when I was young, like Days of our Lives; with each episode, you don’t really know which love story you’re following, but they’re each interconnected. Example, there would be one episode where Yoshiyuki leaves the office early because Chiaki is falling behind on his deadline when Ritsu is freaking out about missing the deadline. The next episode, it shows that Chiaki got sick and couldn’t work. (I can’t remember if that’s actually how the episode flow is, it’s just an example.)

I guess I should give a detailed review on each of the main characters. Warning now, this may contain spoilers, though I’ll try not to spoil too much.

Ritsu definitely reminds of a type of tsundere with a hardened shell. With his past relationship with Masamune, he hasn’t allowed himself to love anyone to nearly the same degree, though, he comes across as almost mean-spirited a lot of the time. Too often, he forgets that words have consequences and he’s reminded multiple times that his actions contradict his words and other actions, sending very confused and mixed messages to Masamune and Takafumi (Masamune’s protective college friend). While the audience can see the consistencies of his words and actions (due to the show being through his eyes when it focuses on his love story), it doesn’t change the fact that outwardly, he sends mixed signals and red flags. He’s still a likable character because of his work ethic and the few times he’s allowing himself to have a relationship with Masamune.

Speaking of, Masamune isn’t near innocent either. After he hears why Ritsu ran away and never came back, he dedicates every free second to prove to him that the love they have is real. Countless times, he invades Ritsu’s personal space, even crossing the sexual harassment line multiple times. Still, his determination to get Ritsu to fall back in love with him is actually admirable. He doesn’t single him out at work, but he also very clearly cares about him and encourages Ritsu to at least meet him halfway as, either a work superior or just a friend and neighbor.

With the second couple I wanna talk about, Chiaki and Yoshiyuki, are more like sweetheart falling in love instead of one side being in love and pursuing someone who has stated that he’s not interested. Chiaki and Yoshiyuki both tell each other that they love each other constantly. However, the love triangle they’re in is a little annoying. Chiaki has a friend from his school days, Yuu, who’s also pursuing him. Yoshiyuki is jealous of all the time Chiaki wants to spend with Yuu, all the while, Chiaki doesn’t understand why his childhood friend and lover doesn’t like it when he goes on a trip with his school friend instead.

With the third couple, Shouta and Kou, honestly, I feel their relationship is phoned in and kind of boring. I mean, it’s so phoned in that Kou literally says (paraphrasing) “I’m really a straight guy, but for you, I’ll go gay.” Plain and simple, they’re cliched and boring to me, I don’t even really want to talk about them honestly.

But what did you guys think? Did you enjoy the “ex-couple back together” relationship in Ritsu and Masamune, the “childhood friends” love triangle in Chiaki, Yoshiyuki, and Yuu, or the “strangers love at first sight” couple in Shouta and Kou? I personally enjoyed the first/main couple, but I want to know your thoughts (also, I promise, I’m not going to turn this blog into a yaoi/fanservice site; this is just a one time thing because I felt the need to review this specific anime, that just happened to be a yaoi). Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants

Pros and Cons to Alliance: Yona of the Dawn

Ok, I know, I’m posting a lot of Yona of the Dawn blogs lately, but I’ve been reading the manga and I just keep on coming up with arguments and questions that I want to dive deeper into. I just read chapter 178, and, throwing this out there right now, this is NOT spoiler-free. I WILL analyze every piece of evidence I have to that point (since as of writing this, 178 is the last chapter published on mangareader.net).

Just to catch you up if you don’t remember or you didn’t heed my spoiler warning, at the end of chapter 177, Yona and company are recovering from their latest battle against the Kai Empire in an army camp belonging to the Sky Clan. Hearing that Yona injured her throat when she was trapped in a fire, Kye-sook, Su-won’s advisor who’s present at the battlefield in Su-won’s place, gives Yona medicine that Yun didn’t know about nor had access to. Yona’s throat gets better in less than an hour. When she finds him later, Kye-sook proposes that they make an alliance, bringing up the facts that Yona and her crew are beloved by the citizens of the kingdom, he and Hak had an alliance during the battle they just finished, and foreign countries have shown interest in capturing the Dragon Warriors and their powers at least twice already.

This is a big debate and tough for both sides. On one hand, if Yona accepts Kye-sook’s proposal for an alliance, her group would have constant access to food, shelter, protection, and the castle (which has special properties that speed up the dragons’ recoveries when they get injured). However, with that alliance, the four dragons would essentially be Su-won’s lapdogs. If Yona refuses, they’d reserve the freedom to refuse Su-won’s orders, however, they’d be forced deep into hiding, like the only place they could hope for safe haven would he Gija’s village (if they could even find it a second time), which may also make finding shelter and food much more difficult if they’re out in the wild mountains.

Let entertain the idea of accepting the alliance for a bit. So, if Yona accepts, and Kye-sook is the one making the negotiation and terms of the alliance, she, Hak, Yun, and the four dragons would all go back to the castle with Kye-sook and the Sky Clan army. They may be welcomed in the castle and be presented with rooms and food and Yun would be presented with the library and be able to read to his heart’s content. The biggest glaring issue would be Su-won. Hak still despises him and can’t be in the same area as him without needing to be held back from ripping his throat out. He’d need Jaeha to practically babysit him as they’d wander the castle if they’d have to stay where Kye-sook and/or Su-won could keep an eye on them while they all sit on their hands or use the time to learn all they could about whatever most concerns them; Yun would learn all he could about medicine and anything else he could get his hands on, Hak may catch up and update his military knowledge, Yona would use the extra down-time to perfect her swordsmanship and archery, the four dragons might treat the castle as some museum…or just wander around…I’m honestly not sure what they’d do with all that stationary free-time if they were essentially trapped in the castle unless called on for battle.

If Su-won decides the terms of the alliance, I believe Yona and company may get to spend the majority of their time on the road and continue with their quest to better the kingdom one village at a time as they were, only now they have the castle to fall back on. Su-won has shown a lot of admiration for Yona’s work across the kingdom, from their work as Pirates of Awa, to how they handled the Nadai case, to how they changed the Fire Clan for the better, so him allowing them to continue as they were, only difference being that now they’re supported by the state, is very believable. Su-won may call upon them to assist his armies, which they’d have to answer as soon as possible, or oversee their progress around the kingdom, as well as if the dragons are targeted again it would be more an act of war and would bring in at least one clan’s army to assist rather than just the personal grudge for Yona and Hak that it has been. Aside from that, despite Zeno saying they’d be used by the king for the rest of their lives, I don’t think Su-won would interfere much because he isn’t religious and already said he doesn’t require the dragon’s powers, as well as the fact that if he really wanted to kill Yona, he’s had no less than three times already in which he could’ve killed her with no witnesses. Instead, Su-won is content with knowing that Yona is alive, well, and helping the kingdom however she can, whether that means she’s relying on Hak or divine powers.

Now, let’s see the scenario for if Yona refuses. Like I said earlier, they’d be forced to go back into hiding. Because they’re so loved by the people, Kye-sook sees Yona as a threat to Su-won, so, if they don’t accept the alliance, I’m fully convinced he’d target her. While her logic is “He could’ve easily killed me by slipping poison into that medicine”, I wouldn’t be surprised if he refrained from killing her until after he’d try diplomacy to control her and the threat she holds. If he can’t control her threat, then he’ll eliminate her threat. With this in mind, they’d be forced to go so deep into hiding, they wouldn’t be able to help anyone with anything and have to sit on their hands.

Well, there’s the three options I think are most likely to happen depending on Yona’s choice to accept or reject the alliance proposal, and the terms of the said alliance. I didn’t get into a lot of detail in the scenario of if she refuses the alliance because, at the end of chapter 178, she accepts the offer, so now it’s just a question of who’s making the terms of the alliance; what’s expected of Yona, and what is the extent of Kye-sook’s/Su-won’s influence on what she can and can’t do.

I personally think she made a good call accepting the offer. The castle is the spiritual center of the dragon’s power and they get weaker the further they are, so logically, if they’re at or near the castle, they’ll be at a peek of power. Also, Yun needs to update his medical knowledge and the palace library and by the side of actual doctors is the best place in the kingdom to do that. Lastly, while Hak claims that he can and will protect everyone from Su-won’s armies, the Kai Empire, the Sei and the Xing kingdoms, he’s clearly at the end of his rope. Hak has been fighting to protect Yona on top of more and more people as their little misfit group got bigger and bigger. Yona saw this a long time ago and her counteractions were to ask Gija and the other dragons to protect Hak as well as her, and for her to learn weapons herself. What she didn’t account for was that once word gets out that there are people in the kingdom with powers and abilities similar to those of a dragon’s, then they’d try to get that power for themselves, putting the Dragon Warriors in more danger and putting more pressure on Hak to making sure they keep their freedom. With an alliance, Hak will be able to rely on Su-won again, maybe not as a person yet, but as a king who honors his contracts. Not to mention they’ll be guaranteed access to food and shelter, which is always a challenge when they’re on the road.

What do you think though? Did Yona make the right call accepting the offer, or should she have taken Hak’s advice and reject it? Also, are there any details that I forgot that could change how this could turn out? Leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants, Review

Meiji Tokyo Renka Review

I just finished watching Meiji Tokyo Renka just moments ago as of writing this blog, and it left me speechless in different ways. Let me give a short summary if you hadn’t seen it yet.

Mei Ayazuki is a normal high school student, only she’s the only one in her class who can hear ghosts and spirits. This alienates her from her classmates. One night, under a full moon, she passes a street performance of an odd magician who singles her out and calls her forward as “audience participation”. He claims he can make her disappear from a box, but he ends up sending her through time and space back to the Meiji era of Tokyo. Mei meets colorful men while crashing a party, and gets invited to stay at a mansion of Ogai Mori, the man who declared her his fiance in order to save her from the party guests. As time passes, she helps others find and calm spirits that they can’t communicate with alone, and prooves herself worthy to stand at Ogai’s side to save him from embarrassment. At the same time she’s offered a one-way ticket back home during the next full moon, but she must know for certain whether she wants to stay in the Meiji era or return home to the modern era, knowing whichever she chooses, someone will be left behind.

Oh boy, there’s quite a bit to unpack here. Initially, I was kind of put off by it because the first episode was set up more like a dating simulator than an anime, even for reverse-harem standards. However, I actually really fell in love with the characters by episode 3. Unlike most harems, the main character, Mei, is kind, determined, and has a quirk I don’t see much. She has a bottomless pit of a stomach for, not sweets, or rice, or any feminine type of food you’d expect, but beef. She actually reminded me a lot of Nanami Momozono from Kamisama Kiss without the back and forth aspect. Like Nanami, Mei breaks promises and puts herself in danger for the sake of others time and time again.

While on the subject of Kamisama Kiss, Ogai reminds me of how Tomoe acts in the books. Like Tomoe, Ogai wants to put his past behind him, move on, and accept that his last love is lost and he has a new love right in front of him. Ogai is very protective of Mei, showing up at locations he has no business being at just to be sure Mei is always protected; when he can’t be there, he sends someone he trusts whole-heartedly to stay with her.

Shunso, the one Ogai trusts and typically sends in his stead, also has a lot going for him. He’s a shut-in artist who’s actually trying to find a black cat that came to life from his painting. He’s more the tsundere type, and typically prefers to keep to himself.

Since the show is only 12 episodes, the other characters hadn’t really made enough of an impact on me to analyze their personalities. Honestly, most of the time is dedicated to Mei, Ogai, and Shunso. The other guys are more of…just there to act as Ogai’s rivals, similar to the Dragon Warriors are to Hak in Yona of the Dawn; they have personalities, but not given a ton of time to develop them and they’re only there to fill the rival role (which is filled well in Meiji Tokyo Renka).

Something else I wanna talk about is the time period. So many times, when I watch a time-traveling anime, it’s always to the 1500s and earlier. This is the only time I could think of where the time-traveling is to the 1920s; that’s close enough to modern-day to contemplate the benefits and dangers of electricity (no joke, they make a rap discussing the pros and cons of electricity) instead of struggling to use a bow and arrows to survive camp-outs/bandit attacks. Clearly, I’m getting a little tired of 1500s Japan and I find this very refreshing.

There you have it, a short review for a short series. It was quite bizarre and stretching my expectation in what I can accept from an anime at first, but by the third episode, I was hooked. There is one comment I have to make that is a spoiler, so prepare yourself.

You prepared for spoilers? Good. My heart hurt when Mei went back home and left Ogai on his porch saying “I’m sure we’ll see her again”. I know they throw ending lines like that just to illude to a second season, but I can’t see how a second season could even happen. Granted, I’ve only watched the 12 episodes. I hadn’t seen anything about a manga or games, so maybe there is an ongoing manga in production that allows for that to happen, but I don’t see how it’s possible and that breaks my heart. Ogai has no access, or even knowledge, of the Modern Era, and since Mei returning home was a one-way ticket, she has no access to return to Ogai. The only things she could do is read Ogai’s novels. I find that just…bitter-sweet. I normally don’t talk about the final moments of a series when I make a review, but I couldn’t help it. This is worse than most harems, where the lead doesn’t make a decision or makes a non-decision and things continue as they are in the events of the show. Mei makes a clear decision, and leaves the man she loves 80-90-ish years in the past. I’ve only seen an ending to a harem like that once before, and that’s for Dance with Devils (I may review that after a refresher later).

All in all, Meiji Tokyo Renka is…fun. It’s an entertaining way to pass the time, but nothing ground-breaking. If you’re looking for a harem, you’ll most likely be disappointed, but if you’re looking for a romance, then you might find this enjoyable. What did you think? Did you like it, or skip it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Sorting Hat

Sorting Hat: Yona of the Dawn

WOW! It’s been forever since I’ve done one of these. If you need a reminder, click here for how the rules work. For this, I’m gonna stick with the 8 main characters of Yona, Hak, Su-won, Yun, Gija, Sinha, Jaeha, and Zeno. While I could include all the other characters here like Mundak, Guen-te, Tae-jun, Iksu, etc, I’m not gonna go that far even though they all have enough character development to sort them. In the case of this blog, major spoilers for the anime and manga ahead.

Right off the bat, Su-won is a Slytherin. His ambition, strategies, and leadership not only lead to his ascension to the throne but also quickly one by one gains the trust of all the generals of the kingdom. Even when he was a child, he has the strategy and leadership to save 6-year-old Yona when she gets kidnapped in the capital city when they don’t have access to the generals’ help. He gathers allies from the back streets of the city, coordinates the guys’ strengths and managed to gather information on where Yona could be faster than Judo, the Sky Clan General, can find them in the town with all his resources at his disposal. Not to mention, after just a single day in the Earth Clan Capital, Chishin, he gathers information on resources and valuables that Guen-te didn’t even know he had under his nose, and fixed 3 or 4 problems all with one festival; Guen-te’s depressed cause he can’t fight to defend his kingdom, so Su-won makes a holiday and game to mimic war and battle. The Earth Clan is poor and struggling, Su-won makes Guen-te wear jewelry featuring the stones from his mines to increase value when everyone wants to be like their general, and he also convinced merchants to try and trade with Guen-te’s wife and start a business. So, in the span of a week, with the problems he observed in a single afternoon, he’s dragged Guen-te out of his depression, brought the Earth Clan citizens joy in having a stone that their hero wore to victory, and he brought a flood of income to the clan. There are more examples, but I’ll stop there before I run out of time and brain cells to talk about the rest of them. Su-won, go to Slytherin and wear green and silver with pride!

Next, let’s get to Yona. This is a bit tougher cause, she’s passionate, brave, and reckless like a Gryffindor, accepting and loyal like a Hufflepuff, and ambitious as a Slytherin. However, all those traits are post-chapter/episode 1. During her introduction, she really only has the passion and reckless behavior going for her. For that reason, since she’s had the traits all along, I’ll say Gryffindor!

Hak, you’d think would be easy. However, his bravery and loyalty are pretty evenly split. Heck, he’s brave enough to literally laugh off his wounds, but, if he wasn’t loyal, then he would’ve either lost his temper at Yona, left her in Fuuga without any hope for her to join him, or, if not that last point, he wouldn’t have been so eager to follow a prophecy or legend he doesn’t believe in and would’ve said “you wanna find the Dragon Warriors who don’t exist? You’re on your own.” but he stays with her through all of it. On the other hand, as loyal as he is, the few times he collaborates with Su-won in the books, he seems to be in psychological and possibly even physical pain, needing Gija and Jaeha to hold him back from Su-won, and they struggle even with their dragon limbs. With his constant cries and claims that he’ll never forgive him and all he wants is revenge, he seems a bit too reckless and passion-forward to be Hufflepuff. If there was a “Gryffinpuff”, he’d be in it. Though, since he can’t accept that Su-won is actually a good king, and the kingdom is better off, I believe he should be Gryffindor!

Yun is another easy one. He calls himself a Beautiful Genius, and he doesn’t disappoint. He makes all the strategies, dictates where they should go and what’s the best way to get there, he even is the one that cooks, handles medicine, and basically, everything that requires prior knowledge or is skill-based, he’s got it. However, while he’s cunning and pulls some real risky moves for a chance to move the plan forward, he’s not ambitious enough to be Slytherin. Therefore, he’s a better fit for Ravenclaw!

Gija is another tough one. Like Hak, he’s reckless and impulsive. To put it in Zeno’s words, “He (the first White Dragon) always charged headlong into things like a wild boar.” At the same time, Gija literally lives for Yona. He’s prepared to lay down his life over and over again if it means her goal is achieved. In a couple situations, his desire to tear apart Yona’s enemies is held back for what’s best for her. In the books (as of chapter 125), he has at least 2 interactions with Su-won and, knowing fully who he is and what he’s done in the past, he is able to hold back and see the bigger picture that revenge on Su-won would be no benefit to Yona at best and possibly endanger her at worst. Gija and Hak are similar in that if there truly was a “Gryffinpuff” he’d be sorted there, but, Su-won is the key difference between the two. While Hak had to be held back by outside intervention, Gija is able to keep calm and have a civil conversation with Su-won and collaborate fairly. I think he’s able to do that because he sees himself as a Dragon Warrior to Yona first and a stubborn, vengeful human second. He’s the best fit for Hufflepuff!

Sinha is fairly easy. He’s kind, gentle, and shy. However, in the few times that he’s lost control of himself, Yona or his village had been in danger. When he was roughly four years old, after Ao, his foster father, passed away, Sinha saw an army approaching the village and was able to logically figure out that he could either stay put and let the village be slaughtered as long as he’s not seen, or he could go out and use his power since he was still too young to use a sword properly. He chose to use his power, knowing what it would do to him. Then, in events in volume 9 (chapter 50) when bandits kill a kid with Sinha’s stolen sword and Yona attacks them, the bandits capture her but don’t go far because Sinha’s mask comes off and… let’s just say…crap hits the fan. If that’s not undying loyalty, I don’t know what is. I’m not even mentioning how he’s accepting the citizens of his village even after they’ve been so cruel to him through his whole life. He’d better be Hufflepuff!

Jaeha is another difficult one, mainly cause he’s the only one of the Dragon Warriors who doesn’t really fit in Hufflepuff at all, really. Unlike the other Dragon Warriors, Jaeha has personal ambitions and goals. He’s cautious and thinks things through and he’s also the one who holds Hak back from Su-won without hesitation, while Gija has hesitation and even stated after the first encounter that he won’t hold Hak back again. He is really conflicted, however, and doesn’t really want the “big brother” role he fills. Because of this new role, he acts without thinking at times, from leaping into white rapids to save Sinha, Gija, and Ao (Sinha’s squirrel), to jumping in front of Zeno when a bear attacks, even though he knows fully well the Zeno couldn’t die, even taking responsibility for the casualties of the tent and supplies at the end of the day. Overall though, I think he’d fit just fine in Slytherin!

Lastly, Zeno could really only be Hufflepuff. While he doubles as the “troublesome little brother” and “wise elder”, his wisdom is more history-based. He doesn’t really think things through. His personality is simply a people-pleaser. Even before he became a Dragon Warrior, he blatantly states “I don’t have the makings of a warrior. But if I can make his world and everyone in it a little happier, then I will accept the Dragon Blood.” and after the Crimson Dragon King dies, he wishes nothing more than for the Crimson Dragon to return so he’d have someone to protect again. Zeno would only belong in Hufflepuff!

So, in conclusion, that’s 2 Slytherin, 2 Gryffindor, 1 Ravenclaw, and 3 Hufflepuff.

Do you agree, or did I miss something game-changing? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants

Long-Lasting Green Dragon: Yona of the Dawn

In a previous blog, I mentioned that in Yona of the Dawn, all the Dragon Warriors predecessors only lived 4-5 years after the current ones are born. I just read the 17th volume of the manga and I have to admit, I was wrong. Jaeha’s predecessor lived 12 years after Jaeha was born. My question is why? What separates the Green Dagon from the other two?

Ok, now for the not-so-fun part. While my last theory only required knowledge of the anime and OVA’s and not the manga, this time’s different. Since all the evidence for this is in the manga, I gotta give a spoiler warning for the books.

With that out of the way, let’s review Jeaha’s back story in volume 17 for those of you who either need a refresher or you ignored that spoiler warning.

Jaeha’s predecessor was always there to yank him out of the sky every time he broke out of his literal chains and tried to escape. The Green Dragon Village, like the Blue Dragon’s, fears the implications of the outside world discovering the Green Dragon’s Power, so they all charge each previous dragon to keep the current one in check. When the previous Green Dragon was 15, that’s when Jaeha was born. After that, he lasted longer than Ao or Gija’s father, clocking in at 12 years after Jaeha’s birth. My question is why he lasted so much longer than the other predecessors?

The first thing to note is the fact that Jaeha mentions that his predecessor died at the age of 27. I actually think that plays a big part. While Ao was old enough to raise Sinha, and Gija’s father was old enough to marry and father Gija, the previous Green Dragon was barely into his teenage years when Jaeha was born. Maybe the lifespan of a dragon warrior, while correlates to when the next one is born, also is a bit more steady than I first assumed. While I’m not sure how old Gija’s father and Ao were when they died, I could confidently say they were most likely in their late 20’s or 30’s. With this in mind, I get really worried about Jaeha since he’s 25 in the events of the story.

It actually makes a lot of sense that the dragon warriors have a fairly set life span rather than it being completely dependent on when the next generation’s dragon is born. The Dragon Warriors are born literally to fight in wars and defend their kingdom and king. If they’re allowed the chance to grow into old age on the off chance that a dragon isn’t born early enough in their lives, then the kingdom and king would be without a capable dragon warrior for all the years they’re too old to fight battles and the new one is too young or not born. Granted, with how things are, Sinha was too young to fight with weapons when Ao died and could only use his Blue Dragon power, and Gija was also too young for battle when his father died. With this in mind, if this really is how it works, Jaeha has roughly 5 years left of his life.

I know this was another short one, but I really can’t think of anything else that might explain why the previous Green Dragon lasted 12 years after Jaeha’s birth while other Dragon Warriors are lucky to last 7 years. What do you guys think? Is Jaeha nearing the end of his road or is he fine until his successor is born? Leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants

Akura-oh and Tomoe’s Redemption: Kamisama Kiss Analysis

So, I’ve been listening to a lot of video essays about redemption, and I couldn’t help but think about Tomoe and Akura-oh from Kamisama Kiss. I’ve talked about redemption before in Three ‘R’s of Redemption, and I just want to build on that, focusing on the two most powerful yokai in Kamisama Kiss. One thing that I noticed was actually, Tomoe and Akura-oh are guilty of the same crimes, however, the kitsune was offered Mikage’s hand while the oni was cast into damnation in a mountain of fire. I’m just gonna annalize these two and see if they truly get the endings they both deserve and paid their dues to divine society.

Let me start with the obvious one. Akura-oh is apathetic, cruel, and disinterested in his own life as well as the lives of those around him. When it comes to his “Realization”, the step I believe kick-starts the redemption process, he doesn’t realize anything until season 2 in the anime (volume 11 in the manga) when Akura-oh, while under the alias of Kirihito, creates a mirror as a means to come and go to the Neatherworld as he pleases, the atmosphere from the Neatherworld leeks from the mirror. In an inner monologue, he explains that the atmosphere is poisonous to humans, shikigami, and lower yokai, but he himself is unaffected because of the loc of hair he collected from Nanami. He considers turning a blind eye until he remembers Kirihito’s mother, the woman who’s been caring for him and has shown him the unconditional love of a mother. The realization that she would wither away in the Neatherworld atmosphere causes him to destroy his mirror, as well as his free ticket to the Neatherworld and as many tries as he’d like to retrieve his original oni yokai body, all to save this one woman. Sadly, it’s there that he just kinda teeters on the fence, doing whatever it took to achieve his goals so long as his mother is allowed to continue living.

Now, Tomoe is a bit tricky because of his…memory problems in the anime and the first 17 volumes (100 chapters) of the manga. Because of that, I’m treating “Wild Fox Tomoe” and “Familiar Tomoe” as two separate characters despite them being the same person, and I’ll start with the Wild Fox version.

Tomoe, like Akura-oh, is cruel and apathetic with human life while he’s in Akura-oh’s company. I believe his “Realization” stage starts when he first meets Yukiji, sees how she fights back, and becomes intrigued enough to want to protect her and have her indebted to him, though, the true realization comes when Nanami, disguised as Yukiji, is paralyzed and sobbing, begging Tomoe to not look at her. Because she’s not able to move, Tomoe could easily “have his way” with her, but doesn’t do anything to jeopardize her safety or purity. After becoming a familiar, Tomoe requires his reformation process to restart due to his memory loss. His second “Realization” comes when he fully embraces his new role as a divine familiar, pouring Mikage’s sake under the full moon and vows to fulfill his familiar duties.

The next stage is “Reformation”. Akura-oh’s reformation is only in the manga, volume 23. When Akura-oh, Yatori, Kirihito’s mother, and Tomoe all meet at the base of the Flaming Mountain in the Neatherworld where Akura-oh’s oni body is kept, Akura-oh discovers that Yatori killed his mother, he does what he could to get his mother to return home and is furious with Yatori. When Yatori calls out Akura-oh for going soft, he strikes the mother to make a point and Akura-oh moves into the line of fire and takes the strike, saving his mother and dying, asking Tomoe if it’s too late for him to change his mind about humans being mear insects. Before he dies, he asks Tomoe to find his body and protect it from Yatori.

Tomoe as a wild fox actually completes his “Reformation” when he saves a pregnant Yukiji from a fate at the hands of Akura-oh, and he cares for her in secret, taking her to a village with midwives and other pregnant women. He does everything in his power to ensure she survives childbirth and lives long enough to see her dream of having a family come true. After Tomoe enters servitude and loses his memories of Akura-oh and Yukiji, his “Reformation” doesn’t come until he accepts that Mikage’s not coming back and devotes himself to Nanami in the season 1 finale. (This is an event that doesn’t happen in the manga. Instead of one event making him decide to devote himself to Nanami in the books, it mainly just starts happening over time with all the trials and adventures they go on together.)

Redemption is…a little tricky. For Akura-oh, redemption never comes unless he becomes a sweet little angel when he’s reincarnated as the little girl that’s seen in the final chapter of the manga (though, seeing as how the last conversation between Tomoe and Akura-oh is a phone call where Akura-oh is demanding Tomoe take him to an amusement park for Spring Break, I doubt he’s a sweet angel). For Tomoe, he’s redeemed when he was able to forgive Akura-oh and find his body in the mountain of fire, because it was then, and only then when he was deemed worthy of his 500-year-old wish to become human to be granted.

There you go, following the guidelines of my Redemption blog 2 years ago, I came to the conclusion that, while Akura-oh was reformed, he’s not really redeemed, and Tomoe had to work nearly twice as hard to get redeemed due to his amnesia. What do you guys think? Does Akura-oh deserve the “Redeemed” title, or do you think to call him “Reformed” is a major stretch if you squint really hard? And do you think Tomoe was even Reformed before he got cursed and met Mikage? Leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants

How to Kill the Undying Golden Dragon: Yona of the Dawn Theory

In Yona of the Dawn, there are 5 dragons of legend. The Crimson Dragon King, whose lineage is the rightful rulers of the kingdom, the White Dragon Warrior, whose claws are sharp as a dragon’s, the Blue Dragon Warrior, whose eyes can see for miles, the Green Dragon Warrior, who’s leg is powerful enough to launch himself and into the air and fly, and the Yellow Dragon Warrior, whose body is resistant to all ways to die, from sickness to wounds and even old age. The last one is who I want to talk about. In the Yona of the Dawn OVA 2 and 3, it’s explained how all the dragons gained a human form, how they loved one another, and how they each lived their lives before death.

I’m gonna stop you here. MAJOR spoiler warning for Yona of the Dawn anime and all three OVA episodes. Only proceed if you’ve seen Yona of the Dawn in its entirety (it’s ok if you haven’t read the books yet).

Zeno, the yellow Dragon, stated at the very beginning when he was first offered the power of the Yellow Dragon, that he’s no fighter, but he’ll do what he could to help. I think it’s because of this that his power is more defensive than the other dragons. After surviving a battle behind Guen, the White Dragon, and Shuten, the Green Dragon, Zeno feels like he’s just there to carry away the Abi, the Blue Dragon, when he passes out from his psychic power until Zeno realizes that he never keeps the wounds he receives. When he reveals this to the others, the Crimson Dragon, knowing what this means, could only embrace him in a hug. As the years pass, the other dragons notice that Zeno doesn’t age while they all grow older. Eventually, Guen, Shuten, and Abi set out to colonize villages so their power could be passed down the generations since those three know their mortality would prevent their work from reaching the Crimson Dragon’s descendants. Zeno stays and watches the king die of illness before he leaves the palace because people were starting to freak out at the fact that he doesn’ age. To prove himself worthy to call himself a Dragon Warrior, he faces off an invading army all on his own, all the while sensing each of the other Dragon’s deaths, naming them as they die and wishing nothing more than to die and join them. The rest of the OVA is just Zeno wandering the kingdom, starving himself in hopes that he’d die of starvation only to not receive his wish time and time again as years turn into centuries. Now, here’s where our theory begins.

What if I told you Zeno could’ve been allowed to die if he followed in the other dragons’ footsteps? When each Dragon Warrior is born, the previous Dragon Warrior begins to slowly lose their dragon power. We see that in both Sinha’s and Gija’s flashbacks. After Sinha was born, the previous Blue Dragon, Ao, started to lose his sight slowly until finally, when Sinha was only a small child of roughly 4 or 5, Ao got completely blind and died before they made it back to the village. In the other Yona of the Dawn OVA, Gija explains to Jaeha that the scar on his back was from his own father, the previous White Dragon. When his father saw that Gija had the White Dragon Claws, he knew his power would be gone soon and he wouldn’t be the one to serve the Crimson Dragon King. In time, his claws faded into a normal human’s hand not long before he died when Gija was roughly 5 or 6 years old.

So, if Zeno had colonized his own village and passed down his genetics to future generations, then by this logic, he’d be free to die not too long after the next Yellow Dragon would be born. However, colonizing a village has downsides for the Dragon Warriors.

First of all, it’s mentioned that once a new dragon warrior is born, the power from previous one flows into the new one and when the old one dies, the new one has officially gained all the power. This is problematic if, in this scenario, Zeno dies when his successor is between the ages of 4 and 6. It’s just fine for the other Dragon Warriors, but, for Zeno, the Dragon Power includes not aging; the child would be forever trapped as a child and it’ll likely either stunt their mental growth as well as physical growth, or their mind matures while their body is trapped as a 6-year-old, meaning, if they wanted to follow in Zeno’s footsteps and be allowed to die, it would be much more difficult. The only way around this problem would be if Zeno had multiple descendants like the White Dragon has confirmed to have so there would be multiple people who would’ve been able to carry Zeno’s Yellow Dragon Blood while not having the abilities so they could more likely pass it down to their child.

Another problem with Zeno colonizing his own village is actually based on how each of the three other Dragons have been raised. Gija’s village, while safe and welcoming to each generation of White Dragons, is also overprotective and coddling to the point where Gija finds it difficult to function as a “camper” sleeping outside and eating whatever could be caught, as well as the fact that each White Dragon is promised to serve the Crimson Dragon King, and they get violently angry when that promise isn’t kept, as seen in Gija’s father when he saw a baby with the White Dragon Claws. Sinha’s village shunned the Blue Dragons and called them monsters, causing Sinha to believe in the superstitious rumors that he hears his powers could do and wear a mask just to protect the people around him from turning into stone. Jaeha’s village isn’t shown much in the anime, and I still haven’t had the pleasure of reading the books just yet (as of writing this theory), but in clips that are shown, he’s chained to a wall until he runs away and joins Gi-Gan and her Pirates of Awa. I could only guess that his years in chains led him to be stuck in a rebellious mentality. He’s told he must serve the Crimson Dragon King when he returns, so he actively avoids the other dragons, cloaks his aura, and puts a firm foot down that anything he does is because of his choice and free will and not because of prophecy.

While, I like how the story plays out, in that Zeno is finally reunited with his Crimson Dragon and Dragon Warriors, I just thought this may be a way for Zeno to regain his human mortality while not abandoning the Dragon Warriors Responsibilities. Though, with how playful and childish Zeno is already, and how the rest of Yona’s team are confused at best, annoyed at worst, I don’t think it would be so great if they were dealing with Zeno’s successor trapped as a small child, cementing them as “baby sitters”, as Jeaha would put it.

I know this was a short one, but what do you guys think? Did Zeno make the right call originally by not having children and sticking it out to the end, or do you think he should’ve been allowed to die alongside the original Dragon Warriors who he called brothers? Leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

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Cinderella Phenomenon: Fritz Route Review

First off, if you’re reading this on the day of posting, it’s my parent’s wedding anniversary today! Sorry, I just can’t think of a better day to post a conclusion to a Dating Sim review (I might do more reviews like this in the future if I get into another dating sim that’s as rich in story as this one, so let me know of any suggestions in the comments).

Now, if you hadn’t seen my last post, this is kinda a continuation of that one. Cinderella Phenomenon simply has too much content to cram into one review. I mean, each of the five routes is it’s own story; no two are even remotely the same. Since Fritz’s was the fifth and the final route I chose in my quest for completion (though I wanted to play him either first or second, I couldn’t because he was a locked character), I will write a review of his route as my own grand finale to the Cinderella Phenomenon Review Series. Click here if you want to read my reviews of the other routes, but just in case you’re not interested in them, let me sum up the set-up for the game before going into the review.

Princess Main Character (I know her default name is Lucette, but her name is customizable so I’m referring to her as that instead of her default name) is simply mean. She’s so bitter, ruthless, and cold to everyone she comes across, that she’s known through the kingdom as the Ice Princess. One day, one of her most favorite and prised dolls springs to life from the shelf and claims to be a witch named Delora while cursing the princess with what’s known as the Fairytale Curse; more specifically, Cinderella Curse, where she is forgotten by everyone from family to palace staff to townsfolk in the street. It’s as if she never existed. She’s found by the witch that cursed her and a fairy named Parfait, who both explain why she was cursed and how she can break her curse. Around her neck is a glass slipper pendant. With each good deed she does out of the kindness of her heart, a piece of a second slipper will appear on her necklace. Once she completes 3 good deeds, she’ll complete the pair of glass slippers and her curse will be broken. Until her curse is broken, she must stay in an inn that acts as a safe haven for cursed individuals and work at the tavern conjoined with the inn.

The Fairytale Curse doesn’t affect others who are cursed or mystical creatures like witches and fairies; example, everyone who’s cursed still remembers the Ice Princess. Fritz is cursed with what’s called the Little Red Riding Hood Curse (the witch that cursed him wasn’t the most creative with naming it). To put simply, he’s trapped with a split personality of sorts. By day, he’s the honorable, loyal, white knight in shining armor. By night, when he falls asleep, a second person animates his body and turns him into a Big Bad Wolf. Mythros, the witch that cursed him, designed his curse to never be broken, so the only way Fritz could be free would be if his Big Bad Wolf persona, Varg, would be overpowered by Fritz himself.

Initially, I was skeptical on how a route with Fritz could even be pulled off, since right before the player chooses which route they want to play, there’s a question of “who do you choose to be your partner?” so, in my mind, the princess would verbally answer the question with a name of the character the player would choose to romance. However, that early in the story, she wouldn’t know that Fritz is cursed to begin with. I guess you could say she answers the question by being stubborn and not accepting a partner, but that sounds too convenient for me.

Moving on, Fritz is definitely the Loyal Type. He doesn’t question the princess’ decisions and only requires that he accompany her to places where it might be dangerous. Just putting this out there, as soon as he refused to return to the tavern with the princess and insisted that his home is the best place for her, I immediately got a bad feeling. While he does almost anything the princess asks for, by denying her from returning to the tavern alone, he causes her to be put in her more danger. Because the princess feels just as unsafe in the house as I did when I was playing, this route suffers similarly to Waltz’s route in that he doesn’t get much time to the romance part of his own route. Karma, Delora, and Waltz get more time with the princess and more opportunity to save her and express concern for her than Fritz does. Karma soothes the princess’ tears when she’s blaming herself for other people’s deaths, Waltz gets angry when the princess runs away and accuses him of not caring, Delora simply acts like a real mother figure, even Rumpel tries to cheer her up and reassure her that he won’t let a second person die in one night. Even when Fritz does appear, it’s when he’s already been taken over by Varg or there has to be a guessing game on whether it’s Varg talking or Fritz, so Fritz himself isn’t even there, but Varg acts like a median between the princess and Fritz while also being under the control of Mythros.

While on that subject, Mythros is…different in this route. He’s still creepy and untrustworthy, but he’s so blunt and straightforward when he shows up. He tells truths without batting an eye and stretches the truth so expertly that it makes sense why the princess would fall for it. I mean, if someone walked up to you, and admitted to what you accused them of in a matter-of-fact manner without hesitation, then told you something that confirms your suspicions, would you fall for it? It’s a bad situation, and Mythros makes it worse, but for a split second, even after playing through all the other routes, I almost believed he was on the princess’ side.

Ok, time for the spoiler warnings (sorry, everything else I want to say about Fritz is, of course, dripping in spoilers). If you hadn’t yet, turn back now, find the game on steam (it’s free to play) and run a playthrough yourself before coming back to hear my thoughts.

………..

If you’re still here, then you either already played the game, or you don’t care about spoilers regardless of warnings.

This whole route made me cry my eyes out! Not like Rumpel’s or Waltz’s, where my eyes kinda watered, no. Here, I cried so hard I had to leave the computer to clean my face of the tears no less than three times! That’s not even for the bad ending! It’s just for the main story!

So, since I mentioned before already that Mythros has an early appearance, let’s start the sum-up from that point and quickly get to the endings.

Mythros shows up at the tavern after the princess ran away from Fritz’s house. Mythros, being the oddly persuasive snake that he is, confirms that he is a witch and that he remembers Princess Main Character’s true identity. While there, he also plants seeds of ideas that leads her to betray and leave the cursed group at the tavern. She leaves in a fit of rage and returns to the palace alongside Mythros. Months pass and she’s noticing that Fritz is seen around the palace less and less, and Varg is seen more and more. After an investigation, she finds that Fritz and Varg are the same person, as is stated in his curse. She demands Mythros fix Fritz’s curse and instead informs her that the curse wasn’t designed to be broken and Fritz is on his own trying to overpower his Big Bad Wolf. Soon, the princess’ birthday comes and Mythros’ birthday gift is a chance to revive her mother, which she takes. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of energy and she’s out cold for a week. Of course, who else does she find at her bedside than Varg. Apparently, ever since Fritz came to terms with being cursed, he just gave up the reins to Varg completely so he can curl in a mental ball and sulk over how he denied his curse’s existence. Therefore, Varg, knowing full well that the princess wants Fritz, is the one who stays by her side. Also, since her birthday came to pass, her curse automatically expired because…I don’t know….reasons.

With the revival of her mother, Hyldir, Princess’ Main Character’s step-family is exiled from the palace, and her father is left brain-dead. Fairly quickly, the princess figures out that her mother is as cruel and wicked as everyone claimed she is. The two knights, Jurin and Garlan (still not confident I spelled their names right) come to the palace to save her and return her to the tavern. Unfortunately, Hyldir catches them and separates the knights and gets Garlan killed and Jurin severely injured, though the princess does make it to the tavern. Garlan’s death is the first time I spill tears in this route. With Rumpel tending to Jurin’s injuries, promising to not let her die, Delora is comforting the princess and trying to convince her that it’s not her fault someone died. Finally, Parfait comes in the picture with a plan. She will send the princess back into the palace for one day to retrieve the box and key that will break Waltz’s curse, and meet them at the gates at midnight. Waltz’s curse will break, and they’ll have the upper hand with another powerful witch on their side. Unfortunately, when the plan is put into action, the princess is caught by Hyldir and Varge, and Delora’s life is lost in the escape attempt. After mourning her death, the princess moves forward to de-thrown her mother and save her father. Here’s where the two endings divide.

In the bad ending, the princess meets Varg and Hyldir in the underground tunnels. Hyldir expresses disappointment at the woman the princess has grown to be and sends a strike with the same spell that killed Dalora. Varg recognizes the lethality of the spell and acts as the princess’ human shield. In his final moments, he admits that he fell in love with her just like Fritz has. Just before dying, he allows Fritz to return to the surface so the princess can see the life in her knight’s eyes one last time.

Admittedly, I would’ve cried for Varg and Fritz, but by the time I saw their deaths, I was cleaned dry of tears from four other deaths in the route. Sadly, that’s just about all I have to say about the bad ending.

In the good ending, the princess meets Varg in the throne room. He’s ordered to keep the king in custody and to take the princess back into custody. Varg refuses and sides with the princess, claiming that he fell for her just like Fritz. To prove it, Varg steps aside and erases himself from existence to let Fritz break his curse. Mythros, angry that his curse was broken by Fritz of all people, begins to fight him in attempts to overpower and/or kill the knight. While that’s going on, the princess is just trying to wake her father up from his trance. She’s able to save him with a simple, genuine apology for being such a jerk to him and everyone else her whole life. Mythros gets even more furious. Hyldir comes in the picture not at all happy about this and shows that she knew of the break-in all along, having Parfait with her involuntarily and wounded. Hyldir says a speech about how the princess shouldn’t have such compassion for traitors and even lashes out on Mythros for making weak curses and so many mistakes, killing him. Parfait can’t take anymore and summons her Lucis Crystal, destroying it. Hyldir and the princess both try and fail to stop her as both Parfait and Hyldir faid into gold and silver dust. With their death, so does magic cease to exist in the world, and so to do all the curses break and all magical beings lose their magical power. With magic no longer an interfearance, the princess decides to turn her education to history and spend her free time with her family to see the world and the people they rule over. Still though, Fritz joins the princess in mourning the departed lives sacrificed to get this far; Garlan, Dalora, Parfait, and even Hyldir has a well maintained grave site. Fritz stays glued to the princess’ side, obviously not learning his lesson from the beginning that she needs space and may not always want to be accompanied. Fritz and the princess have a special romantic moment, with a small hint that Varg may still be there somewhere.

As always the good ending is jam-packed with a big climax of betrayal, tears of joy, tears of sorrow, and leaves with something that’s both uplifting and yet has an under-laying sense of unease like there’s still a small piece of the story missing. I’m really curious if Varg is a larger part of Fritz’s personality than originally thought, since really, over half the romance interactions for Fritz are with Varg, so fritz himself doesn’t have much personality outside of Varg and a cardboard cut-out of the “Protective Honorable Knight” title.

I do like how they ended Varg and Fritz on a high note, be they alive or anything but, and still confirming what was hinted at, not only in this route, but in all of Varg’s appearances in the other routes; that whatever feelings Fritz has for the princess, Varg involuntarily has for her as well (seriously, play through any of the other routes and tell me straight-faced that Varg isn’t doing what he can to be sure the princess isn’t harmed in any way shape or form like how Fritz would).

All in all, I was very satisfied with the conclusion, and I’m happy that I played these routes in the order that I did. Karma’s route sparked my initial curiosity on Varg, introducing him at the last possible moment, Rod’s route feed my curiosity a little more by showing he’s not only working for Alcaster but Mythros aswell, Rumpel’s route claimed that Varg isn’t a fan of witches, which Waltz’s route confirms. And now, Fritz’s while route is the explanation of why Varg hates witches. If I had to pick between this route and Waltz’s route for most epic and climactic, it would be a really close call. However, I kinda would wanna give it to Waltz, since, not only does Waltz not die in his bad ending, but that bad ending is the absolute worst possible outcome, and on top of that, Waltz’s had a magic duel between the princess and Hyldir, while in Fritz’s they just kinda talked it out. On the other hand, the only real conclusive thing I can say about Fritz that feels like it tied the whole story in a pretty bow is the mystery of Varg is unmasked. While it does take center stage, that same mystery is also revealed in Waltz’s route, so…yeah. If I were to play these in a storytelling chronological order, I would’ve swapped Waltz and Fritz.

What do you think? Is Fritz the Loyal Wolf of your dreams, or you more of a cat person? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments, and while you’re down there, let me know who of the five options did you want to pick first? Karma with the Secretive Big Brother type? Rumpel with the Flirty type? Rod with the Tsundere Little Brother type? Waltz the Sweet Big Brother type? Fritz the Protective Loyal type? Let me know. Sadly, there will not be a next time since this concludes my reviews of Cinderella Phenomenon, but feel free to either leave a suggestion of any other dating sims you’d want me to review, or go back to my first review with a peculiar beauty, but funny guy; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~

Posted in Blogs, Date Sim, Games, Rants, Review

Cinderella Phenomenon: Waltz Route Review

If you hadn’t seen my last post, this is kinda a continuation of that one. Cinderella Phenomenon simply has too much content to cram into one review. I mean, each of the five routes is it’s own story; no two are even remotely the same. Since Waltz’s was the fourth route I chose in my quest for completion (though I wanted to play him either first or second, I couldn’t because he was a locked character), I will write a review of his route next. Click here if you want to read my reviews of the other routes I’ve talked about so far, but just in case you’re not interested in them, let me sum up the set-up for the game before going into the review.

Princess Main Character (I know her default name is Lucette, but her name is customizable so I’m referring to her as that instead of her default name) is simply mean. She’s so bitter, ruthless, and cold to everyone she comes across, that she’s known through the kingdom as the Ice Princess. One day, one of her most favorite and prised dolls springs to life from the shelf and claims to be a witch named Delora while cursing the princess with what’s known as the Fairytale Curse; more specifically, Cinderella Curse, where she is forgotten by everyone from family to palace staff to townsfolk in the street. It’s as if she never existed. She’s found by the witch that cursed her and a fairy named Parfait, who both explain why she was cursed and how she can break her curse. Around her neck is a glass slipper pendant. With each good deed she does out of the kindness of her heart, a piece of a second slipper will appear on her necklace. Once she completes 3 good deeds, she’ll complete the pair of glass slippers and her curse will be broken. Until her curse is broken, she must stay in an inn that acts as a safe haven for cursed individuals and work at the tavern conjoined with the inn.

The Fairytale Curse doesn’t affect others who are cursed or mystical creatures like witches and fairies; example, everyone who’s cursed still remembers the Ice Princess. Waltz is cursed with what’s called the Neverland Curse. Basically, he’s cursed so that, while his mind would mature over the years, his body will be stagnated until he can find three things; Tinkerbell, Neverland, and his shadow. To add insult to injury, he’s a witch, but with the loss of his shadow, so are his magical abilities are lost. Unlike the three previous routes, Waltz is an open book about his curse, and doesn’t shy away from the princess. However, similar to Karma and Rod, Waltz has already given up on breaking his curse by the time the princess crosses paths with him; having been cursed for presumably at least 10 years (he looks like he’s 12, claims he’s 22, and when the king sees him, he comments that he looks exactly the same as when he was first cursed).

What’s surprising is that we learn more about other characters than just Waltz in this route. Since Waltz’s and Princess Main Character’s curses are both broken halfway through the story, as opposed to in the grand finale or climax, there’s attention put on other characters, like Rumpel breaks part of his curse and reveals that he’s a doctor, Karma confesses that he’s the Lost Prince of the neighboring kingdom, and we finally get more info on a character I’ve been questioning since the start of it all. This is the only route other than his own where Fritz makes an appearance as himself and answers the question of Varg’s mysterious appearance. This route feels like a complete story, allowing you to learn about all the characters the princess meets instead of just the current love interest. I feel that if you could play this route first (though I know it’s not possible since this is one of the locked routes) then you’d learn just enough about each character to be curious about them and compelled to play their routes. Sadly, this does work against it since, once Waltz’s curse is broken in, like, chapter 4 or 5, he kinda fades in the background and accepts more supporting roles; filling the teacher’s role when the princess is practicing magic and even taking a Damsel in Distress role in the climax (though I’ll get to that later in the “spoilers” section). While I’m glad that they took time for the other characters to make this route feel more like a fully fleshed out story, it turned out as a double-edged sword against Waltz’s favor.

When the route is focused on the romance, Waltz kinda reminds me of a Big Brother type despite his cursed form which makes him look more like a 12-year-old child rather than the 22-year-old man he claims to be, but different from Karma. While Karma is teasing and protective of the princess’ physical state, Waltz is more playful and protective of her joy and innocence. He wants nothing more than to honor the promises he made to her when they were children playing in her room when the queen wasn’t looking. However, because their friendship was in secret, the queen eventually found out and erased the princess’ memories of ever having a friend while giving Waltz his curse.

Ok, time for the spoiler warnings to come in (sorry, everything else I want to say about Waltz is dripping in spoilers since crap hits the fan so early in his story). If you hadn’t yet, turn back now, find the game on steam (it’s free to play) and run a playthrough yourself before coming back to hear my thoughts.

………..

If you’re still here, then you either already played the game, or you don’t care about spoilers regardless of warnings.

First, to catch you up real quick in case you didn’t head the warnings, as I said earlier or you simply need a refresher, Waltz and Princess Main Character break their curses halfway through the story, and the trip to breaking their curses was just as tense as the climax and finale of the other routes I’ve played so far. Princess Main Character asks how to break Waltz’s curse, and he said he needs to find Tinkerbell and Neverland, which are both a key and a box. His “shadow”, his magical power, is inside the box. After hearing a description of the box and key, the princess recognizes that those two objects are in her room at the palace. After telling Waltz this, they eagerly ask Rod for help breaking into the palace. It just so happens that the night they break in to retrieve Neverland and Tinkerbell, is the same night that Mythros and Alcaster stage their separate coups; Alcaster for the throne, and Mythros for reviving Hyldir, Princess Main Character’s mother. Long story short since this is only really the “mid-max”, not the “climax”, Waltz gets the Royal Family safely to the tavern, the princess gets her second and thrid good deeds by insisting Waltz save his own skin and not hers and by preparing to sacrifice herself to prevent Hyldir from returning. Oh, and Varg FINALLY IS UNMASKED! He is confirmed to be Fritz, or at least a version of Fritz. Still though, the princess’ efforts are in vain, her mother is revived, and her father is the first of many casualties.

That’s not even in the climax, but it set up everything for the climax. Fritz is not trusted, even though he talks like Varg is a separate person sharing his body, or a split personality, Hyldir is set loose on the kingdom spreading fear and anger, and all Princess Main Character can do from that point on is learn everything she can about magic. Waltz being her magic teacher almost does more harm than good. Similar to when Karma agreed to teach her sword fighting, he only ever taught her how to defend and escape attackers and kidnappers until her stubbornness to join an actual battle lead him to teach her real swordplay, Waltz does the same. He teaches her nothing but barriers until Hyldir’s arrival is already nearly upon them and she insists on learning at least one offensive spell. She learns only one that’s only powerful enough to stun or paralyze.

The actual endings themselves are the only ones that have no death or bloodshed that’s not unavoidable. However, the effects of the bad ending is horrifying and dooms the whole kingdom, even though the princess and her love interest are safe from harm as opposed to the other bad endings I’ve played so far, where the love interest dies at the princess’ hand, whether intentional (in Karma’s case), unintentional (in Rumpel’s case), or indirectly (in Rod’s case).

In the set-up for the endings, the princess, along with Karma, the two knights, and Waltz all attend Alcaster’s announcement to gain some knowledge of what’s happened in the palace since her father’s demise. On the way, they meet Fritz, who claims that Queen Hyldir will make a public appearance and kill his father, Alcaster. Of course, he’s not trusted by the princess and party, after they unmasked Varg and saw Fritz’s face under the mask. Fritz explains what happened, sounding like Varg is a second personality that took over his body somewhat and he claims it’s part of his own curse which he was oblivious to until recently. At Alcaster’s announcement as the new king after the princess’ father’s death, he claims that the princess is to blame (Now that her curse is broken, everyone remembers her). Hyldir crashes the gathering, kills Alcaster, and strikes fear in the citizen’s hearts to fuel the crystal she now is forced to share with the princess. Princess Main Character doesn’t allow the people to get hurt and extends the strongest barrier she can to protect the crowd from the attacks. Hyldir tries to regain the princess’ allegiance and fails. Seeing this and realizing that the crystal isn’t under her sole control, she gets a cruel idea. Hyldir takes Waltz hostage and claims she’ll return him in one piece if Princess Main Character gives up her magic and swears to be her obedient princess. The princess contemplates the decision at her feet long after the queen disappears with Waltz. She is turned on by the people, still blaming her and willing to take her for the bounty on her head Alcaster claimed just before his death. She accepts her fate at the hands of the people until she notices that the children she played with and family she was kind to earlier is there to defend her. With a lesson in how being selfless pays off, she goes against the advice and better judgment of Karma and the knights, puts up a barrier around the palace, and flees in search of Waltz and her mother.

In the bad ending, when the princess meets with her mother again, she agrees to give up her magic in exchange for Waltz’s freedom, ignoring Waltz’s pleas of denial and claims that she’ll never be the same again. The only things that matter to her at that moment in time are 1) Waltz is set free and 2) her life is spared (though she cares more about the first point than the second). Hyldir reassures her that she will live to see another day, and proceeds to drain her powers. While she does stay true to her promise and free Waltz, he refuses to leave now that the princess is a shell of her former self and a puppet who only knows the words “Yes, Mother”. With Hyldir firmly in the crown and on the throne, the kingdom is doomed and the princess’ last promise to her father is broken.

While Waltz is alive and is technically free to leave, live to see another day, this definitely earns it achievement title of Stolen Dawn. Waltz lives to see another day with the princess at his side, however, the life in the princess is stolen and the kingdom is doomed to live in fear while in Hyldir’s rule for the remainder of their lives and in the foreseeable future.

The good ending is actually the one that has more death. In this ending, when the princess faces her mother again, she’s faced with the same dilemma, only this time her barrier is broken by Delora and Parfait, who both are there to talk the princess out of it. However, Hyldir raises a barrier blocking out Delora and Parfait and blocking herself, the princess, and Waltz in. The princess gets an idea to pretend to be in Hyldir’s side so she can give the final blow when her guard’s down. The fact that no one else in the room knows her plan makes it all the more convincing, working more in her favor is when Hyldir demands that the princess kill Waltz for being a traitor in order to prove her loyalty. Thinking quickly, the princess uses the only offensive spell she knows, a lightning spell. After the spell is charged and ready to strike, she turns to Hyldir at the last second and strikes her instead of Waltz. With the queen now stunned, her barrier and binding spells are broken and Parfait finishes the job, reducing the queen to a pile of silvery grey dust. When they all return to the tavern, the princess as the new crystal bearer breaks everyone’s curses. Karma can dress as a man in public again, Rod can speak, Rumpel remembers his given name, etc. and Parfait makes her final goodbye’s and fades into a cloud of golden dust due to her body completely having given out. The princess says her goodbyes to everyone, promising that she’ll visit them all again soon before leaving for the palace with Waltz. Rather than use a portal to instantly magic to the palace, Waltz insists that they walk instead. The princess is uneasy but goes with it anyway. On the way to the palace, she’s treated as a hero, children running up to give her bouquets of lilies, families and shop owners raining lily petals from higher windows, and everyone she passes giving her a bow and thanks. The story ends on the night of her coronation, where she will be met with everyone again. With Waltz at her side, she vows to never be like her mother again.

This ending is very reminiscent of a Hero’s Journey ending. The princess saves countless lives by being clever and witty, which are traits she’s always had, but now she also has concern for the common folk and her new loved ones. While in other routes, the difference between a good and bad ending is reliant on knowing about the fairytales, making the guy fall in love a little faster, or learning a detail as small as the fact that smacking the living crap out of someone is the most effective way to pull someone from a dazed trance, this ending is completely reliant on whether or not the princess loves the love interest more than she loves her mother. Either way, she as to chose to sacrifice her mother’s life or her lover’s freedom. In the bad ending, she loves her mother too much to sacrifice her, clinging to hope that she could be saved and the two of them could be a family, while in the good ending she recognizes that it’s too late for Hyldir. While she loves her mother just as much as anyone loves their mother, she can see past her blind love and knows the only way to save her is to kill her.

Both endings of this route seem a lot more dire of stakes than the others I’ve played. While in Karma’s route, Alcaster was the big bad, talking about Queen Hyldir having the best ruling strategy, in Rod’s route, Alcaster was a fools-errand, having been arrested before it’s revealed that Mythros was pulling the strings and requests the princess’ help (though never explains what he wants help with), in Rumpel’s route, Alcaster is dead before he even poses a threat and Mythros is the only bad guy, openly asking for the princess’ help in either reviving the queen or her being just like Hyldir. In Waltz’s route, all the conflicts with Alcaster and Mythros happen so early in the story so Hyldir could swoop in and be the real threat. She’s been teased in dreams and dialogue so many times, I figured she’d somehow make an appearance as a grand finale of sorts. It’s no wonder why in the main menu art, Waltz’s stain glass window is front and center while Rumpel’s, Fritz’s, Rod’s, and Karma’s are all off to the sides. Visuals like that in the first thing you see when booting up the game typically means Waltz is the most crucial to the story. This even follows Anime Harem logic; the first boy that’s introduced is gonna be the main love interest unless there’s a childhood friend. Walt’z is, not only the first character the princess meets after getting cursed, but even before getting cursed, but on top of that, he is a childhood friend. His route is most likely meant to be the grand finale. However, I still like the idea that the relation between Fritz and Varg is the biggest mystery, so I don’t regret the order that I’ve played these even now.

What do you think? Is Waltz the Sweet Brother of your dreams, or you not interested in his childish candy? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments, and while you’re down there, let me know who of the five options did you want to pick first? Karma with the Secretive Big Brother type? Rumpel with the Flirty type? Rod with the Tsundere Little Brother type? Waltz the Sweet Big Brother type? Fritz the Protective Loyal type? Let me know. Next time we’ll go to the last, but not least, of the bachelors. Over the river and through the woods, but it’s not to Grandmother’s house we’re going; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~

Posted in Blogs, Date Sim, Games, Rants, Review

Cinderella Phenomenon: Rumpel Route Review

If you hadn’t seen my last few posts, this is kinda a continuation. Cinderella Phenomenon simply has too much content to cram into one review. I mean, each of the five routes is it’s own story; no two are even remotely the same. Since Rumpel’s was the third route I reluctantly chose in my quest for completion (his route also concludes the routes you can play first), I will write a review of his route next. Click here if you want to read my reviews of the other routes I’ve talked about so far, but just in case you’re not interested in them, let me sum up the set-up for the game before going into the review.

Princess Main Character (I know her default name is Lucette, but her name is customizable so I’m referring to her as that instead of her default name) is simply mean. She’s so bitter, ruthless, and cold to everyone she comes across, that she’s known through the kingdom as the Ice Princess. One day, one of her most favorite and prised dolls springs to life from the shelf and claims to be a witch named Delora while cursing the princess with what’s known as the Fairytale Curse; more specifically, Cinderella Curse, where she is forgotten by everyone from family to palace staff to townsfolk in the street. It’s as if she never existed. She’s found by the witch that cursed her and a fairy named Parfait, who both explain why she was cursed and how she can break her curse. Around her neck is a glass slipper pendant. With each good deed she does out of the kindness of her heart, a piece of a second slipper will appear on her necklace. Once she completes 3 good deeds, she’ll complete the pair of glass slippers and her curse will be broken. Until her curse is broken, she must stay in an inn that acts as a safe haven for cursed individuals and work at the tavern conjoined with the inn.

The Fairytale Curse doesn’t affect others who are cursed or mystical creatures like witches and fairies; example, everyone who’s cursed still remembers the Ice Princess. Rumpel is cursed with what’s called the Rumpelstiltskin Curse. Similar to Princess Main Character’s Cinderella curse, Rumpel’s curse forces those who’ve known him to forget his name (however they all keep the memory of what he’s done for them in the past), meanwhile Rumpel himself has no memory or recollection of who he was before he’s found in the street by Parfait. When the princess meets him, his curse is recent enough that he’s just as new to the tavern as Princess Main Character.

Now, I’m gonna be blunt…I didn’t like Rumpel in the beginning. I wouldn’t have been able to go through with it without giving my two best friends constant updates on the game just to get my thoughts off my chest of exactly how much characters with Rumpel’s type of personality gets under my skin. However, for completionist’s sake, and for the sake of the review, I endured all he shallow flattery and dumb puns that I really hate seeing in otome characters. One thing that surprised me was the fact that Karma is more open and honest about what’s on his mind and his curse while the princess is partnered with Rumpel than he was when she’s partnered with Karma himself (on top of that, Karma made several claims in his arguments with Rumpel that I’d argue, saying he doesn’t lie to his partner…wait…off topic…). Rumpel’s journey had a similar mystery as Karma, but since Rumpel himself has amnesia, it’s easy to paint him as an honest person while keeping the mystery of his past alive.

Comparing to Karma (since both in Karma’s and in Rumpel’s routes, people make a point to compare the two of them), Karma has to side-step the truth to keep his curse and background a mystery whereas Rumpel is just as much in the dark with his past as anyone else. While the way to learn about Karma is through prodding and nagging, the way to learn about Rumpel is asking everyone other than him. From the little boy who recognized him as a doctor that saved his life, to his fiancee who possesses all of Rumpel’s journals and diaries, everyone Rumpel touched before his curse automatically knows more about him than Rumpel himself.

Rumpel does break his own curse before the end, unlike Rod and Karma. While I was a little worried/intrigued on what that would mean for their relationship, whether or not Princess Main Character’s curse will start to affect Rumpel, I am a little disappointed that it didn’t take that route. However, I do understand why Rumpel wouldn’t forget about the princess the moment he remembers his name, that would be tragic and cruel to grant him with memories of his whole life in exchange for memories he shared with the princess.

Also, of course, Varg shows up once again, though unlike in Karma’s and Rod’s routes where he showed up at the end, this time he randomly shows up in the middle of the story out of nowhere and serves nothing to the plot; he’s literally just someone who literally bumps into the princess on the street.

Ok, here’s your warning. I can’t talk anymore about Rumpel’s route without spoiling anything since a large part of his route is unraveling the mystery of his past. I’m now gonna talk about Rumpel’s good and bad endings. If you want to find out the end of this story on your own, turn back now, find the game on steam (it’s free to play) and run a playthrough yourself before coming back to hear my thoughts.

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If you’re still here, then you either already played the game, or you don’t care about spoilers regardless of warnings.

While Rumpel’s good ending is cute and bad ending is gruesome, both endings nearly brought me to tears.

Just for some background, there are some rumors going around that the palace has been thrown into chaos with witches taking over and the knights staging a coup against the king and royal family. However, the crown is left unclaimed. While out getting medicine with Rumpel, Princess Main Character gets captured and drugged by Varg before reawakening in her bedroom at the palace. She’s informed that Sir Alcaster is dead and Sir Mythros is the one who killed him. Let me just say really quick, it’s kinda clever that in my first route of the game, Karma’s route, Sir Alcaster was the only Big Bad that hires Varg’s sword, in my second playthrough, Rod’s route, Sir Alcaster is only a decoy while Varg’s sword shifts from Alcaster’s allegiance to Mythros after Alcaster’s arrest, and now Sir Alcaster is dead before he even makes an appearance in Rumpel’s route and Mythros is to blame for it all with Varg as a sword for hire. Sorry. Back to Rumpel’s climax; Princess Main Character tries to probe answers out of Varg. Admittedly, she does learn that he is cursed and despises witches, and he himself either doesn’t know or isn’t willing to share why he’s assisting a known powerful witch. When Mythros comes to retrieve her for dinner, she’s told her family will be waiting for her. Once they reach the dining hall, Mythros explains to the king that Princess Main Character is the true Crown Princess of the kingdom and his blood daughter. Admittedly, the player can choose to either play along and confess to being the princess or play dumb and ignorant to what Mythros is saying (just in case you’re stuck and are reading this to figure out which is the better option, it’s playing dumb). Later on, Mythros explains that he plans to groom the princess until her 18th birthday when she’ll become the bearer of the crystal and will have the power to revive her mother, the queen.

Days pass and finally Delora, Rumpel, Jurin, Garlen (no idea if I spelled those names right, but they’re the two knights that were kicked out of the palace and hired to defend the tavern and cursed individuals), Waltz and Karma come to the rescue. While Karma, Waltz, and the knights fight the witches and corrupted knights, Delora and Rumpel save the princess from her room in her tower. Rumpel and the princess flee, but are stopped by Mythros and his knights and witches. He makes the knights fight each other, and the fight entrances Rumpel into a daze.

In the bad ending, The princess tries to shake him out of the daze, but is unsuccessful. She decides to take matters in her own hands and pick up a sword to fight, forgetting that this is not Karma’s route and therefore she never learned how to fight with a sword. However, with the knights now focused on her instead of each other, she’s backed into a wall and only holds her sword out with her eyes closed. When she opens them again, Rumpel is the one pierced by her blade.

Rumpel’s bad ending deserves its achievement title; Spool of Needles. It’s sad, and I nearly cried. It’s tragic and gruesome, though not quite as tragic as Karma’s bad ending (hey, if characters in the game are gonna compare these two, then I might as well join the bandwagon).

Now, in the good ending, it’s pretty much the same up to the point where Rumpel gets entrances into a daze by the knights killing each other, only this time, the princess literally smacks him out of it, and Parfait shows up just in time to save them with a shield, along with Delora and Waltz, who somehow miraculously broke his curse and is now a hot young adult looking straight out of Hot Topic. It’s never explained how he broke his curse, but with his curse broken he now has full access to his witch magical power. However, Waltz, Rumpel, and the princess find that Mythros escaped from Parfait and Delora and has Princess Main Character’s step-sister hostage in the throne room. They try to talk him down but to no avail. The princess finally grabs a sword and comes close to killing Mythros, blade right at his throat, but she stops when she remembers Rumpel saying that all life is precious. Her showing Mythros mercy and sparing his life is her third and final good deed. Mythros doesn’t repay the kindness and goes in for the kill. To the character’s shock, Parfait, who quickly showed up to help, is the one who died at Mythros’ hands. She has just enough life left to congratulate Princess Main Character on breaking her curse before she passes in Rumpel’s arms, him still trying to convince her and himself that he could fix it, close her wounds, nurse her to health, and she’ll be better. Waltz decides to execute Mythros for his crimes, but Rumpel slits the witch’s throat before Waltz had a chance. After confirming that the royal family is alright and unharmed, the king offers Delora and the others rooms for the night as thanks for saving his family. Rumpel and the princess retreat to her room and console each other for the loss of Parfait and the burden of Mythros’ murder. The king is weary after these events, and, while he allows Princess Main Character to go into town as often as she pleases, it’s not without guards and her step-siblings. He’s also weary of Rumpel courting her, him being no prince nor knight but simply a poor doctor, but to him, it’s a problem for another day.

That’s a lot to get through. Don’t get me wrong, the other endings were long and had a lot to build up for the climax, but this….it’s a little ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable, and a roller coaster, but this barely scratched the surface. Even still, I’m not 100% confident I described everything right, even though I literally just played this route before writing this review.

While Karma was a clear tragic bad ending vs. storybook fairytale good ending and Rod is a little of a mixed bag both ways, Rumpel is just depressing. Both his endings hammer in that people are mortal. In both endings at least one person dies, and in the aftermath of both endings, the princess and/or Rumpel have to deal with PTSD that comes with killing someone.

To sum it all up, Rumpel surprisingly came close to surpassing Karma as the best guy. I like Karma a lot, and every time he showed up I literally cried for a return to my “Beastly Prince Beauty”, however, Rumpel did something I didn’t expect and had something I personally look for in a romatic partner; devotion to a smile. Between those two it’s a very close tie; a lot closer than I expected going into it. At the end of Rod’s review, I challenged Rumpel to surprise me with gold, and he did just that.

What do you think? Was Rumpel able to make you smile, or did his doctor puns not spin gold for you? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments, and while you’re down there, let me know who of the three starter options (I know there are five guys, but two of them are locked until you complete two routes with two of the three bachelors) did you pick first? Karma with the Secretive Big Brother type? Rumpel with the Flirty type? Rod with the Tsundere Little Brother type? Let me know. This concludes the three guys you can start out with, so next, we’ll soar to the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~

Posted in Blogs, Date Sim, Games, Rants, Review

Cinderella Phenomenon: Rod Route Review

If you hadn’t seen my last post, this is kinda a continuation of that one. Cinderella Phenomenon simply has too much content to cram into one review. I mean, each of the five routes is it’s own story; no two are even remotely the same. Since Rod’s was the second route I chose in my quest for completion, I will write a review of his route next. Click here if you want to read my review of the Karma Route, but just in case you’re not interested in Karma, let me sum up the set-up for the game before going into the review.

Princess Main Character (I know her default name is Lucette, but her name is customizable so I’m referring to her as that instead of her default name) is simply mean. She’s so bitter, ruthless, and cold to everyone she comes across, that she’s known through the kingdom as the Ice Princess. One day, one of her most favorite and prised dolls springs to life from the shelf and claims to be a witch named Delora while cursing the princess with what’s known as the Fairytale Curse; more specifically, Cinderella Curse, where she is forgotten by everyone from family to palace staff to townsfolk in the street. It’s as if she never existed. She’s found by the witch that cursed her and a fairy named Parfait, who both explain why she was cursed and how she can break her curse. Around her neck is a glass slipper pendant. With each good deed she does out of the kindness of her heart, a piece of a second slipper will appear on her necklace. Once she completes 3 good deeds, she’ll complete the pair of glass slippers and her curse will be broken. Until her curse is broken, she must stay in an inn that acts as a safe haven for cursed individuals and work at the tavern conjoined with the inn.

Now on to Rod’s route. Since the Fairytale Curse doesn’t affect others who are cursed or mystical creatures like witches and fairies; example, everyone who’s cursed still remembers the Ice Princess. Rod is cursed with what’s called the Mermaid’s Curse. To put simply, he’s mute and can only communicate through a magical stuffed bunny given to him by Parfait that reads his thoughts and speaks his mind on his behalf (which he might argue is a curse in itself). Because Rod is Princess Main Character’s step-brother, he has the longest history with her and the biggest grudge against her. He doesn’t accept her as a member of his family and doesn’t hesitate to tell her that the Royal Family is much happier without her around to be the wet blanket. As for his curse, he’s given up on breaking it long before the events of the game due to just how closely his curse follows the fairytale it’s based on; the Little Mermaid.

Rod’s entire backstory on why he was cursed follows the beginning of the Little Mermaid to the letter. He discovered his childhood friend drowning in a river, so he saves her. In a panic due to the fact that she isn’t breathing, Rod runs away to get help from someone nearby. When he returns, some other Prince Charming swooped in and took all the credit for the daring rescue. Knowing that his childhood friend has always dreamed of a fairytale ending for herself, he makes a deal with a witch; his voice in exchange for royal status. That night, he was mute, the next morning, the king declared his undying love for Rod’s mother and he, his mother, and his sister were moved into the palace as members of the Royal Family.

Like Karma, Rod kept the conditions of his curse secret for similar reasons. I was intrigued by learning why he acts coldly to someone who supposedly was a childhood friend and life-long crush, and I was kept at the edge of my seat watching the tragedy of the situation uncurl. While I am familiar with the original tale of the Little Mermaid, possibly more than almost any other fairytale, I didn’t expect the curse to be such a literal repeat to the mermaid’s tragic love story.

Unlike Karma, however, Rod is much more the Little Brother type (though that might be slightly due to the fact that he is Princess Main Character’s actual younger step-brother). He’s much more irritable, brooding, angsty, and simply grumpy or complaint-heavy. Any compliment he gives to the princess is back-handed at best. One thing, though, is that he is blunt and unafraid to speak his mind; even if he was afraid to, his little stuffed rabbit, Sebby, would speak it for him regardless of the consequences.

Ok, this is where the spoiler warnings come in (sorry, I guess I just didn’t have much spoiler-free to say about Rod). If you hadn’t yet, turn back now, find the game on steam (it’s free to play) and run a playthrough yourself before coming back to hear my thoughts.

………..

If you’re still here, then you either already played the game, or you don’t care about spoilers regardless of warnings.

Both of Rod’s endings, the good and the bad, are so bitter-sweet, one slightly sweeter than the other, and vice-versa.

For some context of the endings, Princess Main Character finally concludes that Rod’s curse’s conditions are a lot closer to the fairytale it’s based on than other curses, so she enlists Mythros, a witch who’s been working in the palace as Alcaster’s equal, to help her break Rod’s curse because Viroica, the woman he sold his voice to be with, is marrying another Prince Charming and Mythros confirmed that Rod will die if she marries another man. Princess Main Character gets desperate and asks what Mythros wants in exchange for his help, and he simply says “I want you to use something on the day after tomorrow” (which he’s obviously referring to the crystal that causes unhappiness since she will become the new bearer and he doesn’t hesitate to show that he’s an avid follower of Princess Main Character’s mother). She agrees blindly until she decides to pick up the Little Mermaid and read it for herself. By the time she reads that the mermaid must kill her prince to return home, it’s already too late and Em, Rod’s sister, is bringing a knife to the throne room where Rod, Mythros, and Viroica are waiting.

I could go further in depth, like talk about how Sir Alcaster still has a coup, Varg still makes a random appearance and things like that, but really, those events are inconsequential. Varg disappears as suddenly and randomly as his arrival, and Sir Alcaster is quickly disposed of and his only contribution is giving Princess Main Character the idea that Mythros is a witch.

Anyway, in Rod’s bitterly sweet bad ending, he takes the knife from Em and knows what he has to do, but can’t. He tells Princess Main Character that at the stroke of midnight, he’ll dissolve into mist. She cries, telling him she just wanted to help and that it didn’t have to end this way, but Rod just hands her Sebby from his shoulder. He embraces her, smiles, and says “I was starting to like you. If we had more time, I could’ve truly loved you”. On that note, the clock chimes 12 and Princess Main Character is left with nothing more than Sebby in her hands, and a clump of bubbly mist in front of her.

See why I say bitterly sweet? He was already on the right track to loving the princess, but she just couldn’t make him fall for her in time. Talk about so close yet so far.

Moving on to… the sweetly bitter ending. Rod still claims that he can’t kill the woman he loves, so Mythros decides to bend the rules and possess his body to do it for him. Delora rushes in and the two witches have an all-out magic duel while the princess desperately tries to stop Rod. Only when he strikes Princess Main Character when she stands in front of him to block him from Viroica does he finally snap out of it. Mythros sees that his plan failed and flees while Princess Main Character and Rod confess their feelings for one another, which breaks Rod’s curse. The princess was able to break her curse as well with her shield stunt. Now that their curses are broken, they can live happily ever after, right? ….Well, not exactly. As weeks pass, Princess Main Character learns how to control her magic with Delora teaching her, and she works with Parfait to restore balance between light and darkness as the new Tenebaram (not at all confident that I spelled that right) bearer, and plans to break everyone’s curse when she gains confidence in her abilities, even wanting to go so far as to end the Fairytale Curse once and for all. Her relationship with Rod, however, is kept 100% secret. Only Em knows anything about it, and they don’t allow anyone to know in fear that it would be considered a scandal. To get through it, they sneak out of the palace to meet in the forest, where they do nothing but dance the days away to the music of silence.

See what I meant when I said both the endings are bitter-sweet? In one, Rod is literally turned into mist wishing he had enough time to fall in love once again, and in the other, they have to keep their romance in the shadows. While Karma was a clear tragic bad ending vs. storybook fairytale good ending, Rod is a little of a mixed bag on both sides.

To sum it all up, Rod hasn’t surpassed Karma in my opinion. While Rod’s endings are more dynamic with an interesting take on how the Little Mermaid could’ve ended, I just like Karma too much. Don’t get me wrong though, Rod’s route was fun to play through. It was also a nice angle, having Princess Main Character spending most of the story interacting with people who she’s known her whole life, but don’t know her as opposed to everyone being a stranger.

What do you think? Do you like Rod’s take on his Fairytale, or should he have just let sleeping fishes lie? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments, and while you’re down there, let me know who of the three starter options (I know there are five guys, but two of them are locked until you complete two routes with two of the three bachelors) did you pick first? Karma with the Secretive Big Brother type? Rumpel with the Flirty type? Rod with the Tsundere Little Brother type? Let me know. Next in line, I suppose we should spin some straw. Who knows? This next guy might surprise me, and I might get gold; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~

Posted in Blogs, Date Sim, Games, Rants, Review

Cinderella Phenomenon: Karma Route Review

Here lately, I’m not sure why, but I’ve been infatuated with Dating Sims. Cinderella Phenomenon is one that I’ve been wanting to play for a long time, and only now do I have the time, energy, and desire to play it through completion (yes, that does mean going out of my way to get the bad endings as well). Let me start by explaining the set-up for the game.

Princess Main Character (I know her default name is Lucette, but her name is customizable so I’m referring to her as that instead of her default name) is simply mean. She’s so bitter, ruthless, and cold to everyone she comes across, that she’s known through the kingdom as the Ice Princess. One day, one of her most favorite and prised dolls springs to life from the shelf and claims to be a witch named Delora while cursing the princess with what’s known as the Fairytale Curse; more specifically, Cinderella Curse, where she is forgotten by everyone from family to palace staff to townsfolk in the street. It’s as if she never existed. She’s found by the witch that cursed her and a fairy named Parfait, who both explain why she was cursed and how she can break her curse. Around her neck is a glass slipper pendant. With each good deed she does out of the kindness of her heart, a piece of a second slipper will appear on her necklace. Once she completes 3 good deeds, she’ll complete the pair of glass slippers and her curse will be broken. Until her curse is broken, she must stay in an inn that acts as a safe haven for cursed individuals and work at the tavern conjoined with the inn.

Since Karma was the first route I chose in my playthrough, I’ll review his route first. The Fairytale Curse doesn’t affect others who are cursed or mystical creatures like witches and fairies; example, everyone who’s cursed still remembers the Ice Princess. Karma is cursed with what’s called the Beauty Curse. If he’s in the presence of a woman who’s not cursed, a witch, or fairy, then they’ll be infatuated with his beauty and will claim to be in love with him. They’ll follow him and smother him in affection. The only way around this is if he tricks the women into believing he’s a woman himself under the alias “Miss Karma”. By the time the princess meets him, he’s given up all hope of breaking his curse. He refuses to talk to others about it, and, when cornered with nagging questions about the specifications of his Beauty Curse, he’s quick to give an answer that’s vague at best then somehow make the conversation about lizards or the weather; whatever will distract the questioner long enough to make them forget that he’s talking in circles. I kid you not, this is a real conversation. “Karma, can you tell me more about you? Maybe something about why you were cursed, or better yet, how to break it?” “My father used to call me his little chameleon because I was always good at hiding. Chameleons are just so cute, aren’t they?” (maybe not word for word, but you get the idea). As his route goes on, you learn more and more about him, like how his main contribution to the tavern is training the guards with swords and gathering supplies from the town.

I really enjoyed figuring out all of Karma’s secrets, like his real name, where he learned to sword fight, and reluctantly, how to break his curse (which I figured out roughly 3 chapters before Princess Main Character did). I also really like the dynamic between Karma and the princess. There’s even a running joke that neither of them respect each other’s privacy, so they both often enter one another’s rooms unannounced, they both make the same argument of “what if I was changing?” but it doesn’t hold any weight because the princess already saw Karma’s bare chest when she barged in the first time. It really shows that, though neither of them can be alone or keep secrets anymore, neither of them have to be alone or keep secrets from one another; their relationship is with 100% open doors (pun intended). There is a point where Karma gets in a really random bad mood, and it’s never explained. He goes for several days sulking in his room, blows off his responsibilities as the trainer for the guards and the errand-boy, he even shoves away the princess, who, at that point in the story, he’s in a partnership with and had signs of chemistry with. However, after a heated argument the lead to the princess snapping him back to the real world, he does return to normal somewhat.

Karma is kinda like the Big Brother type, now that I really think about it. He’s borderline overly protective of the princess, is always there to save the day (or night), and (almost) always has a wink and a tease at the ready. The princess also doesn’t hesitate to amuse herself at his expense. At one point while in town, Karma’s voice get’s drastically deeper, as if from a flick of a switch. The princess, seeing that a woman who knows “Miss Karma” was approaching, encourages Karma to speak up and have a chat, laughing the whole time. Karma does manage to convince the woman he’s caught a cold while attempting to mimic a feminine voice and the two leave. He later explains that Parfait makes him a potion to make his voice more like a woman’s since the only way he could avoid all the girls in town groveling at his feet is to make them believe he was a woman and he didn’t believe crossdressing alone would be enough to convince all the women of his facade. This moment, not only illustrates how far Karma is willing to go to avoid the consequences of his curse, since there’s no real way for the player to tell because this game is all 100% written dialogue and description with absolutely no voice acting, but it also gives a moment for the princess to actually grace her own face with a smile, since until that point, she never smiles (it’s also really hysterical for the player; even though there’s no voice acting, I imagined just how sudden the tone shift would’ve been in his voice and couldn’t stop laughing as I read, even attempting to voice act it out myself).

Ok, here’s your warning. I’m now gonna talk about Karma’s good and bad endings. If you want to find out the conditions of his curse on your own, turn back now, find the game on steam (it’s free to play) and run a playthrough yourself before coming back to hear my thoughts.

………..

If you’re still here, then you either already played the game, or you don’t care about spoilers regardless of warnings.

Karma’s good ending is really heartwarming and a perfect storybook ending while his bad ending, while believable in the circumstances, could’ve easily been avoided if 1) Karma spoke up about the conditions of his curse and 2) the princess actually bothered to read a fairytale or two.

For some context, let me shed some light. The Royal Family (excluding Princess Main Character) is put it life-threatening peril from the Captain of the Guard, Sir Alcaster, and his knights. The prince and princess, Rod and Em (I can never remember her full name; I couldn’t even read it) escape to the tavern and request reinforcements from Parfait and Delora. Their request is granted as Delora leads a small group containing the two guards, who are both ex-knights of the Royal Family, Karma, Princess Main Character, and Waltz, a man with what’s called the Neverland Curse (I’ll dedicate a blog to him later). Karma begs the princess to reconsider going, but she insists that, since it’s her father and step-mother in danger, she must go, if nothing else than to set things right with them. He then alters his plea to her staying behind him at all cost and to run away if things get too dangerous, despite having trained with a sword for months at this point. Fast forward to the rescue, Karma gets frequent pains in his chest, claiming he’s fine. His only explanation is that the princess would either hate or fear him if he told her. She backs off with the promise of an explanation when they return home. The group then gets ambushed, the princess is captured and separated from the rest of the group. She’s soon faced with Sir Alcaster and a man in a mask claiming to be named Varg (I thought it was a little late in the story to introduce new characters, since this guy is never introduced by name or appearance until this point in the story. I have a feeling he’s either Fritz, the personal Body Guard for Princess Main Character before her curse, or somehow tied to him because Varg and Fritz look similar, as well as a few other hints that I don’t really wanna go into now). After Sir Alcaster’s big Villain Monologue about how Princess Main Character’s mother was the best ruler, mastering the fear struck into her subject’s hearts, there are reports of a beast that suddenly appears from nowhere and is attacking all the knights it comes across. The beast does make its way to the princess, and here’s where the two endings split.

In one ending, Princess Main Character runs away, running into some knights that claim they’ll protect her from the beast. She argues that she doesn’t need protection, and then the beast begins attacking the two knights, narrowly missing her. She readies her sword and attacks the beast, believing it’s a more dangerous threat than the knights at Sir Alcaster’s command. She swiftly brings the beast down, finally seeing a pendant on it that she gave Karma earlier. She finally realizes the blood of her beloved Karma is on her hands as she sobs over him and his dying words are basically the most tactless “I told you so”.

First off, I wanted to scream and shout to the Princess Main Character that if there’s a beauty in a fairytale, there’s a beast. I figured out that there was some incorporation of a beast somewhere in his curse as soon as I saw the rose tattoo on his bare, naked chest. However, I guess I can give the princess a pass since she was never really allowed to read fairytales because of her mother; she only read one before her mother disposed of all traces of fairytales, all she says about the one fairytale she read is that it features a Genie.

In the other ending, Princess Main Character still is able to escape the battle between the beast and Sir Alcaster’s knights. She soon meets with the beast again, suddenly feeling the need to trust it. She puts her back to him, remembering in her training that it’s always best to fight back to back when surrounded or caught in an ambush (which they were). While fighting the knights, she looks back and sees one of the knights dangerously close to striking the beast. She quickly rushes over and blocks the attack with her own sword. After that, the two fight on until the battle is finally won. Princess Main Character finally gets a good look at the beast, figures out it’s Karma, and declares her love, breaking his curse. She also looks at her own feet, where there are glass slippers, meaning her sacrificing her life for him was her third and final good deed. Now that the two of them have broken their curses, they find the king and explain the situation; saying that she was under a curse that made him forget her existence for nearly a year, and that Karma is actually Crowned Prince Klaude Aidric Renaldi Mattheus Almonte, the lost prince of a neighboring kingdom, as well as Princess Main Character’s lover. Karma returns to his home kingdom to inform his parents and younger brother, Llama (both of them go by acronyms of their long names), that he’s not dead yet and so he could request a proper betrothal to Princess Main Character. He returns to the princess’ castle just in time for her 18th Birthday Banquet. From there, he talks about how nervous he is to share a meal with her father, how he wished she’d visit his family, and how they’re now betrothed and will live happily ever after.

See what I mean by “perfect storybook ending”? There’s not really that much to say about it. It’s pretty much just, their curses are broken, so now, they’re just a Crown Prince of one kingdom and Crown Princess of another kingdom betrothed to be married, where the biggest problem facing them is gaining approval of each other’s families. It definitely paints a Happily Ever After picture to the storybook end. Still, after all this, Karma still barges into her room without knocking and he’s still acting like the Teasing Older Brother type.

All in all, I think Karma’s my favorite (and not just because I hated Rumpel from the moment he was introduced while Karma sees Rumpel as a frienemy at best all because he looks a little too good in a dress). I simply like the Big Brother types, right next to the Secretive Mysterious types and the Fun Optimistic types. Arguably, Karma could fulfill all three of those.

What do you think? Do you agree with the Big Brother type, or is someone like Karma more thorn than rose for you? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments, and while you’re down there, let me know who of the three starter options (I know there are five guys, but two of them are locked until you complete two routes with two of the three bachelors) did you pick first? Karma with the Secretive Big Brother type? Rumpel with the Flirty type? Rod with the Tsundere Little Brother type? Let me know. Next time we’re taking a dive under the sea; ’til then, have a beautiful rest of your day~

Posted in Blogs, Rants, Review

Yona of the Dawn Review

I’ve recently watched a show called Yona of the Dawn, and it was great, but it left a lot to be desired. First off, I should start with a summary of the show.

Princess Yona is a spoiled teenager whose biggest concern is how to tame her long, near rat’s nest of hair. On her 16th birthday, tragedy strikes and her father is assassinated and the assassin pursues her life. She’s forced to flee the castle with her bodyguard, Hak, the last servant of the late king who remained loyal. Yona is advised to see an oracle to discover her destiny to find the White Dragon Warrior with sharp Dragon’s Claws, the Blue Dragon Warrior with a Dragon’s sight that sees several miles away, the Green Dragon Warrior who can leap high enough to fly with the strength in his Dragon’s Leg, and the Yellow Dragon Warrior with a body resilient as Dragon’s Scales. Now, it’s a struggle to find the four Dragon Warriors before the new king discovers her alive and executes her himself. All the while, she discovers just how bad off her kingdom was been due to her late father’s anti-war pacifist ideals.

To start off, this show reminds me heavily of Game of Thrones’s Denaris Targarian. Not only does the main heroin start off as royalty before being kicked down to claw her way back to the top once again, but she also has a romance with her bodyguard, and learns how to fight and free slaves. Heck, Yona is implied at least three times to be the reincarnation of the Crimson Dragon King, master of the four Dragon Warriors. While Yona reminds me of Denaris, she also is a fighter in a different way. She trains with archery after being chased out of her castle and demonstrates her strength in more merciful and feminine ways. While Denaris took many lives with her dragon’s fire and her own brutality, Yona only takes one life in the whole show, that of a single human trafficking lord.

Hak, on the other hand, killed countless to protect Yona. He’s also described several times of being more dragon-like than the actual dragons, having spat in death’s face more than once. He’s also Yona’s teacher on top of being her bodyguard. He teaches her how to shoot arrows, and allows her to practice, not only on trees and wildlife but also himself. No matter how many times he nearly dies, he always wakes up with a smirk and a snarky comment. With how resilient his body is, the group jokes that he may be the fourth dragon they’ve been looking for this whole time. Even still, he would never hold back if it means either avenging the king’s death or protecting Yona, even after being distant compared to the other companions, everyone else she insists calling by her name while Yona forbids Hak to acknowledge her as anything less than the princess he swore to protect, yet there’s a running joke that everyone thinks they’re in a romantic relationship. The joke gets a little annoying until the last time they try it. From episode one all the way to near the end, everyone asks if Hak and Yona are boyfriend and girlfriend, and they both say “nope, no way” almost every time. The last attempt at the joke, however, a pirate captain tells Hak that if he focuses on the battle, he’ll see his girlfriend soon enough. Hak pauses before saying “girlfriend? that sounds kinda nice”. It definitely suggests they have a romantic future.

Yun is a studious navigator who grew up with the oracle. Yona extends a hand to Yun, asking him to join her and Hak by request of the oracle. Once he joins them, he’s unofficially the cook, navigator, and medic. Sadly though, his “pretty faced genius” gag gets in the way of anything else in his character. He is introduced as a lazy, yet busy guy who semi-reluctantly goes out of his way to help people, and near the end of the animated series, he’s also demonstrated as a clever, brave, and loyal. Outside of those two times, he doesn’t really have much going for him.

Gija, the White Dragon, seems to be the only dragon who is prepared to drop everything and lay down his life for the princess he recognizes as the Crimson Dragon. Even so, he’s actually the most annoying in my opinion, having been sheltered his whole life he’s afraid of bugs, doesn’t travel well in the forest, and can’t rest outside an indoors bed. Still, he’s devoted to his destined job and his gags grew on me a little. He fights with Hak like brothers or rivals for Yona’s attention. The biggest part of his character is his devotion to Yona, and how he simply can’t understand why the Blue and Green dragons refuse at first to join them.

Next character we meet is Sinha, the Blue Dragon Warrior. He’s shy, timid, and reluctant to even use his Dragon Eyes. Still, even with such little dialogue, he still gets so much character and becomes my favorite golden heart character. He almost never speaks, but his actions say everything. Seeing how he was raised to believe he doesn’t belong and his power is a curse, his belief in his village’s words is what makes him initially turn down Yona’s proposal to join their group. Once he does believe Yona and Gija that he’s wanted and needed by their group, he does everything he can to make his group’s troubles eased in any way, whether it’s fishing for food, or watching for a small firework to save Yona from slavery.

Jaeha is the third dragon they find. Dead set on freedom and choosing his own path and not allowing his Green Dragon blood to determine his choices. He spends the majority of his introductory arc running away from Gija and Yona. However, he couldn’t run anymore once he sees Yona in trouble dangling on a cliff-side. He starts to feel anxiety when he’s away from her, no matter how much he tries to hide it. Sadly, there’s not much to him since he only has a few episodes to establish himself, but he also is the only one that notices Hak’s reluctance to talk about growing up with Yona and the king. With the clips they show of his childhood, being chained and tethered to the ground, I don’t blame him for being reluctant to follow the Dragon Warrior Destiny.

Lastly, there’s Zeno, the Yellow Dragon Warrior. Being honest, Zeno only has less than an episode to build his character as carefree and childish, so he comes off as strange and I agree with the other dragons when they say it’s too easy that he just shows up and joins their group with nothing in exchange other than some deer meat. Going back to Hak, and comparing him to Zeno, I really would’ve believed Hak was the Yellow Dragon Warrior if that was the direction they really were going, maybe it being a mistranslation that the fourth dragon was black instead of yellow. However, the OVA’s make Zeno more believable. The second OVA shows that, due to Zeno’s dragon blood, making his body indestructible, he’s effectively immortal. He could never get sick, grow old, and wounds close and heal right before his enemies eyes. Because of this, he’s also the only one of the dragon warriors who’s power hasn’t been passed down the generations, and he’s the only Yellow Dragon that’s ever lived. He’s also been craving to either die or reunite with the Crimson Dragon King. One thing about him bothers me; if Zeno was searching for the Crimson Dragon, and he knew Yona was it and that she lived in the Crimson Palace, then why wouldn’t he wander closer to the palace and stay with her from the moment she was chased away from the castle? He would’ve gotten more character development, and it would’ve seemed more like he was a part of the plan and less like he was just shoe-horned in at the last possible moment.

Zeno’s sudden appearance is part of the reason I feel unsatisfied with the ending of the show. The whole show literally ends on a question of “Now you have the four Dragon Warriors, now what? Why gather the Dragon Warriors?” It made me realize, Yona doesn’t really have an end goal. She can’t take revenge for her father’s death, that would create more problems than it would solve. She can’t just keep running, no good could come from that. She can’t just do nothing, if she did, what would be the point? I suppose you could argue that it does its job, as exploitation to sell the manga, but for me, someone who doesn’t have much time to read and, even if I did have time, I don’t have the money for new books and can’t find it in any libraries, it leaves me totally unsatisfied, which sucks because aside from that it’s a great dramatic action anime.

Something else that’s a little distracting is the English dubbing. It’s kinda knit-picking and is nothing new with the dubbing company, but a lot of voices used in this show are recycled voice actors from other anime. I wouldn’t mind so much if I hadn’t seen other dubbed shows from Funimation, but since the first time I watched Yona of the Dawn, it was late at night and I fell asleep with it running. However, it sounded like a major crossover with Mizuki and Akura-oh from Kamisama Kiss, Russia and Canada from Hetalia, Renge from Ouran Highschool Host Club, Ukyo from Brother’s Conflict, Bard from Black Butler, Zen from Snow White with Red Hair, I think you get my point. Don’t get me wrong, these voices do go well with the characters they voice, however, it’s just a little distracting and wouldn’t be as distracting if I saw this when I was still relatively new to anime and wouldn’t recognize these voices.

What do you think though? Did you like Yona of the Dawn from beginning to end, or did the ending bother you too? Give it a watch, leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants, Review

Fruits Basket Reboot

If you remember when I reviewed Fruits Basket, I made a point that “I wanna talk about how this show needs a GOD DAMN SEQUEL! And NOT the Black Butler treatment where the animators were just pulling whatever’s popular out of a “quick-n’-easy copycat generator” (I’m looking at you, Claude). I mean, I want a sequel where the staff pay just as much attention to detail as they did the first time. I want the Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood treatment here!” Finally, it’s time to eat my words. Oh my god, I really didn’t see this coming.

(I realize by the time this posts, this would be old news, but I have this habit of writing blogs at least a month or two in advance, so…when this posts, there would already be 4-5 episodes out, but when I wrote this, all that was out were trailers and the first episode hadn’t been out yet. That being said, please read on to see my first fan-girl reaction to the news or move on to another blog along the right of the page.)

I just saw the trailers for the 2019 reboot for Fruits Basket, and it makes sense that they’d redo the anime rather than pick up where they left off in 2001. With how much animation has advanced in the past 20 years, it would look odd and out of place if someone was to watch the end of the Fruits Basket 2001 then continue the story from after Kyo and Tohru’s misadventure in the woods in the new Fruits Basket 2019 style, where the color black doesn’t seem to exist (at least on Kyo’s design) and Tohru’s entire design looks so different. If they didn’t reanimate the first season and start completely fresh, it would be so weird.

Let me explain what I mean. While all the frames featured in the trailers look just like the original, the original took its frames from the panels in the manga, however, all the characters definitely got an updated design, Tohru being the most unrecognizable for me. In the 2001 show, Tohru has a wide, round head, a small, slim body, and square teal eyes. For the 2019 reboot, her eyes got more golden brown and rounded out their shape, her face and head got more narrow and oval, and her body is more curvy and proportional for her head with wider shoulders and a few more curves. There are other differences, like, how I mentioned black hues on Kyo’s design was changed to a dark crimson. Not only did the t-shirt Kyo wears in his introduction changed from black to red, but even the beads around his wrist is changed from black and white to red and ivory.

I can overlook the design changes, since all of the changes look really good with the new animation and style. I am so excited to see Fruits Basket 2019. The best part is I hadn’t read the manga since I was about 17 (it was for a summer book report for school) so all the tears for the new reboot will be fresh and real. I vaguely remember parts and little details, like Shigure being the ex of Tohru’s teacher, Yuki and Kyo arguing over either blue or orange is a better color for Tohru’s swimming suit, and Yuki having trouble communicating with the rest of the student council because he doesn’t have a cell phone. While the only frames and clips they showed in the trailers was all an updated version of the 2001 show, there was one single frame of the original banquet, which in the manga wasn’t featured until the last or second to last volume. Because of that, I think it’s safe to assume that all three arcs from the manga will be in animated form. If I am right, then oh my god, that will be a major emotional roller coaster.

I know this was kinda short, but I don’t really have much to say until Fruits Basket 2019 comes out and is available to the public, which may be literally any day now (as of April 6, 2019, when I write this). It is available on Funimation.com with a subscription, however….I cannot afford a subscription to Funimation, therefore I have to wait until it’s either complete and released on dvd or released on free platforms like youtube or justdubs.

What do you think about a reboot for Fruits Basket? You sick of all the reboots that have come out in recent years, or don’t really mind? You excited to see what the new cast and crew have in store for this tale, or think Fruits Basket should be left as is? Leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants, Review

Inuyasha Review

Recently, I’ve seen Inuyasha, an anime that’s been on my “to do” list for years. For those who don’t know, let me sum it up.

Kagome Higarashi is a junior high student. While searching for her family’s cat on the morning of her 15th birthday, she gets dragged down an old well by a demon youkai. At the bottom of the well, she finds herself 500 years in the past where there are demons and bloodshed around every stone and tree. While trying to find her way home, she meets Inuyasha, a dog demon born of a human mother, and discovers a magical stone called the Shikon No Tama buried in her own flesh. Now she must protect the jewel with the newly tamed Inuyasha at her side and keep it from demons and greedy humans that crave its power. This job gets much more difficult when the jewel shatters into hundreds of millions of shards and scattered all across the country. They make friends in Songo the Demon Slayer, Miroku the Monk, and Shippo the fox demon child, make rivals in the older brother of Inuyasha, Sesshonmaru, and the chief of the Wolf-Demon tribe, Koga, and enemies in Naraku and his minions and henchmen, and it becomes a race to see who can gather and collect the shards first to make the jewel whole once again, Kagome and party, or Naraku and tow. All the while, Kagome leaps back and forth between the times, collecting shards one day, and cramming for a test with her school friends at WacDonald’s the next.

First thing I gotta say is…this is the longest series I’ve ever watched, clocking in at 193 episodes and four movies. I have a tendency to stay away from the longer shows getting overwhelmed with the commitment of sitting through so many hours with a show I may or may not like. However, I watched Inuyasha in its entirety no less than 4 times in the span of 2 months. I’ve been completely infatuated with this show and love how it can allow itself to have a big, grand overarching plot while also making time for so much filler that doesn’t feel like filler.

Just as an example of what I mean, in episode 60, it starts a mini-plot with a Dark Priestess named Tsubaki that is commissioned by Naraku to curse Kagome and cause her to shoot Inuyasha before her own painful death. While this whole episode takes place in a small hut, and 90% of Kagome’s dialogue consists of “Run away. Get out of here.”, it doesn’t at all feel out of place and makes sense for these characters to act this way, even keeping me at the edge of my seat, curious as to whether Inuyasha would abandon Kagome or allow himself to be killed at her hand. While Kagome and Inuyasha have their face-off, Miroku and Songo leave in search of the priestess, unaware that Kagome’s curse has her body possessed. This may not be my favorite episode, but it is my favorite example of Naraku commissioning someone else to do his job. While he sends other people and characters out to do his dirty work, Tsubaki is the only one that deserves her villainous monologue on her soapbox, even if that right was stripped away at the end of the very next episode.

Even the filler episodes that take place in Kagome’s modern era don’t feel out of place. Every time Kagome goes to her era, Inuyasha shows up to remind her of their mission and shows the same energy to help her with whatever mundane thing she needs help with, whether it’s losing her test pass, or forgetting her school lunch, or teaching her younger brother how to confess his feelings to his first crush.

Every episode, while it definitely doesn’t always hit bulls-eye, always keeps the same energy and atmosphere in every episode. Some episodes are funnier than others, some focus more on side plots than others, some focus more on annoying characters than others, but if any episode, character, or mini-plot was missing, it would be missed. Just an example, while I thoroughly believe Jaken is the most annoying character, I can’t imagine how stale Sesshonmaru would be without him, and he was a huge part of Rin’s life, being her babysitter when Sesshonmaru is away.

One thing I need to talk about though is the main villain himself. Coming right out to say it, Naraku is a missed opportunity. He was so hyped up with how he was able to tear Inuyasha and his first love, Kikiyo apart, how he cursed Miroku’s grandfather with a family curse of the Wind Tunnel, he tricked Songo and her family into a death trap while her village was slaughtered, leaving herself and her younger brother as the sole survivors, and to make matters worse, he has her brother under his mind control, which leaves him with little control over his own actions. And yet, once he finally gets introduced, what does he do in his very first scene? Commission Sesshonmaru to kill Inuyasha alongside his Saimyosho while he sits on his butt on the sidelines. When he starts to actively hunt Inuyasha, what does he do? Commission other demons to do the job. Even when he sets the trap for Songo’s family, he shifts 90% of the work to a Jurogumo (or Tsutigumo, I can’t really tell the difference and I don’t remember if they specified) and a hoard of demons to massacre the village. He sends Kagura, a female incarnation of himself to pit Koga and Inuyasha against each other, he sends Kanna to steal Kagome’s soul, he sends Goshinki to kill Inuyasha, he sends Kagura again and again to kill Inuyasha and company, he sends the Band of Seven to kill them, I can go on and on. Even when we see Naraku, it’s either an illusion or a demon puppet. The few times we see the real Naraku, he runs away as soon as something isn’t going as he had planned. Inuyasha breaks his barrier? ESCAPE! Kagome masters her arrows to hit him through walls and barriers? ESCAPE! Miroku stops giving a damn about getting poisoned by Naraku’s poisonous Saimyosho? You got it; ESCAPE! He doesn’t do anything himself and when he does, he doesn’t take any risks. This guy was simply a let-down. Inuyasha really speaks my mind when he says “WILL YOU JUST DIE ALREADY?!”

Oh well, all things considered, as annoying and relatively boring the main villain is, I still love Inuyasha and recommend it to anyone looking for a way to kill a few weeks, and looking for something funny, but deep and serious at times with aspects of supernatural horror, I highly believe this is for you. I hadn’t even touched hardly any of the more serious stuff that happens, like Inuyasha’s childhood, Miroku’s past, or Kikiyo’s entire plot.

If you want to see for yourself, then go ahead! Give this older anime a watch if you haven’t already and come to your own conclusions. Leave your opinions of Inuyasha in the comments below and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs

I’m Sorry

Hey, I just want to say, I am so sorry for not keeping up with this website. I had some technical difficulties and lost all my word documents containing all my stories and I’ve been trying to recover them all this time. I didn’t mean to neglect my blogs for the sake of my stories.

I may not be able to promise that I’ll keep up with my blogs, but I am starting to get back in the swing of things, beginning to balance my full-time job and personal life. I do promise that I’ll post when I can, however, I’ll need to change it to every other week and the stories will have to wait until I can recover my documents. It’s something, and something is better than nothing.

I hope you can forgive me for not putting in the proper care for this site that I should’ve been. Now, once again, I hope you all have a beautiful rest of your day~

Posted in Blogs, Sorting Hat

Sorting Hat: Snow White with Red Hair

Last week, I made the claim of what pony race each of the main characters in Snow White with Red Hair would be in Equestria. This week, I pretend that I’m the Sorting Hat and sort the same characters into Hogwarts Houses. Why? Because why the heck not? However, this will be quick and short because I don’t want to stuff this blog full of fluff.

To start off, Shirayuki is kind and loyal. She would prefer herself being harmed if it means a friend or kind person is better off, as seen in season 1 when she jumps out of a window to retrieve a bell that is needed to make a test succeed and a kind young woman to achieve her goal to save birds that reside in her home village. No surprise, she’s a Hufflepuff.

Raj is…difficult. At first, Raj is rude, insufferable, cocky, and childish. However, after gaining Shirayuki’s friendship, he’s become humble, loyal, and daring. Just compare how he acts when introduced in episode 1, when he hides behind his guards and Right Hand Man, Sakaki, as they fetch for him everything he declares as his, compared to the whole second half of season 2, when he literally rounds up sea merchants to chase pirates and save Shirayuki’s life! Even his father says “Even my idiot son is going to save some girl” (I don’t know if that’s the exact quote, but it’s something like that). It’s a bit difficult, but I’m going with Hufflepuff because of his loyalty that, while it doesn’t show up until later in the show, it is featured in the majority of his appearances.

Zen is much easier. He is loyal, brave, action-orientated, a bit meat-headed, and very… “act first think later” type of attitude for lack of better phrasing. If he had it his way, he’d spend his days practicing his sword fighting or traveling all over the country and beyond, while he resents time that he’s forced to spend in a single place like a desk with paperwork or in a room with a politician who’s stuck in their ways. Is it really any question that he belongs in Gryffindor House?

Another easy one! Mitsuhide is the best support Zen has. From the day he first met Zen, he’s nothing but encouraging, protective, supportive, helpful, resourceful, friendly, loyal, I can go on and on. While he could at times be a bit too close for comfort to Zen, his intention is very noble. It’s pretty obvious, from his undying loyalty to the Princes of Clarines, that he can only fit in Hufflepuff.

Kiki is kinda easy and kinda difficult. She’s very much the brains of the group. While she can still contribute a sword in the fight, she’s often the voice of reason to Zen. Ravenclaw should be a perfect fit for her.

This one is easy and difficult at the same time. While Obi is loyal and upfront, he’s also sneaky, cocky, and, for lack of better term, snake-like. In the beginning, he’s odd, untrustworthy, and sneaky, while he later becomes loyal, mysterious, and teasing. While Hufflepuff is a possibility, I think Slytherin fits him more for how he is all through his life while Hufflepuff really only fits the type of character Obi becomes over time.

And last, but definitely not least, Izana is nothing but pure ambition. While he’s still protective, intelligent, and preservative while also forward-thinking, he takes his role as Crowned Prince very seriously and takes every oprotunity to test politicians and his own brother, much like a Saw Movie (without all the blood, guts, and stomach-churning screaming). He never reveals his ulterior motives until it’s all said and done; for example, when he asked for that castle for his 17th birthday, he tested the lords of the lands that the castle is built in-between, the tests consist of how the lords treat their people as a result. Both the lords fail the test, raising the tax to ridiculous amounts to kiss Izana’s boots. It’s only after they are broke and Izana has all their gold when he reveals that it was a test for the lords and it was his intention to replace them with better-intended men, returning the gold and allowing them to start all over. For his sneaky ways to achieve his goals, Slytherin should be Izana’s house.

In conclusion, we have one Gryffindor, three Hufflepuffs, one Ravenclaw, and two Slytherins. Any points I missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Oh, and before I forget, if you’re reading this on the day of posting, or even the day after…

~Happy Halloween~

Posted in Blogs, Ponysona

Snow White with Red Hair and their Ponysonas

It’s no secret that Snow White with Red Hair is easily in my top ten list for favorite romantic fantasy anime. It only makes sense to ask the question, what would they be in Equestria? My Ponysona Rules still stand, so if you need to, brush up on my conditions for each choice. The characters I’m looking at will be the 5 central characters (Prince Zen, Shirayuki, Mitsuhide, Obi, and Kiki), as well as Prince Moron, and Prince Izana, since these characters, even though they’re secondary, have enough of an established personality to be considered, and I’m going in order of when they were introduced because why not?

To start off is our very own Shirayuki. This young herbalist is hard working, friendly, loyal, and studious. For her, I’m kinda stuck between earth pony, due to her work ethic and ties with the land, or unicorn, for her studious habits and intellect. However, I think earth pony wins. As for her cutiemark, I think possibly a Yura Shigure, since that is the herb that ultimately decides if she gets her dream job, as well as her being called a Yura Shigure by Ryu when he first says her name.

Next is Prince Moron himself, Raj. This prince is, for lack of better term, a complete idiot. He’s stubborn, prideful, however mature (at least in comparison to his younger brother and sister). He’s easily an earth pony. The cutiemark is a bit more difficult for him, however, I think possibly a mirror, maybe with an apple for his ability to reflect how he’s been treated. I mean, come on! Only a few days in Shirayuki’s company, and he’s taking huge steps from being a douche to being a decent prince taking himself seriously. As for the apple, not only did an apple cause his first meeting with Shirayuki and Zen, but apples in the show often represent Shirayuki. Therefore, a mirror and an apple could be simply how much he can take from a friendship with Shirayuki.

Right from one prince to another. Prince Zen is adventurous, athletic, loyal, kind, and a little lazy when it comes to sitting at a desk all day. Through the whole show, Zen is clearly the one breaking rules to either do what he believes is right for his friends or people or just to spread his wings and explore his kingdom. For that, he’s obviously gotta be a pegasus. His cutiemark is kinda difficult. However, I think it might be similar to Shining Armor’s cutiemark for the shield, however, instead of stars or sparkles, perhaps an apple and three seeds for Shirayuki and his three friends.

Next is Mitsuhide. He’s very loyal and supportive. Though Zen and Kiki tease Mitsuhide and annoy him all the time, if Zen needs anything, Mitsuhide is always there. For that, I think earth pony is perfect for him. As for a cutiemark, to reflect that, I believe two swords would be the perfect cutiemark. Rather than being a shield in Zen’s defense, he prefers to fight at Zen’s side as opposed to fighting in Zen’s place.

Kiki is the same way. However, she contributes more mind than just muscle to problems. Because of this, I think unicorn fits her. For her cutiemark, similar to Mitsuhide, Kiki fights at Zen’s side instead of fighting in Zen’s place, however, she does act as a shield for Shirayuki when she needs it. A good example would be when Shirayuki is captured by pirates, Kiki volunteers to be purposely captured just so she could protect Shirayuki while on the ship in Zen’s and Obi’s places. Therefore, her cutiemark should be a shield and sword.

Next on my list is Obi. He’s slick, agile, and I swear he’s part cat! So I think he’d be a unicorn, for really no other reason than I could easily see him using the teleportation spell left and right. His cutiemark, again is a shield, however with a blue sword since he only answers to Zen, and an apple since he has an obsession with protecting Shirayuki ever since he’s appointed her bodyguard.

Last, but certainly not least, First Prince Izana. Izana is cold, intelligent, and foreseeing. His list of priorities go something like; 1; his kingdom duties, 2; Zen’s safety, 3; everything else. He seems to be the only one of the three main princes who takes his role in life the most serious, however, that might only be because he’s the Crowned Prince; next to take his kingdom’s throne. Because of this, I think a unicorn with a golden crown cutiemark fits him perfectly.

I honestly just realized that all the trios are set up as earth pony, pegasus, and unicorn. I mean, the three princes, Zen’s a pegasus, Izana’s a unicorn, and Raj is an earth pony, Zen and his two best friends, he’s a pegasus, Kiki is a unicorn, and Mitsuhide’s an earth pony, Zen and his two guy friends, again he’s a pegasus, Mitsuhide’s an earth pony, and Obi’s a unicorn, then the love triangle, Zen’s a pegasus, Obi’s a unicorn, and Sirayuki’s an earth pony…this has gone far enough…

What do you all think? Do you agree or disagree with my opinion? Did I forget something that’s a real game changer? Leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants

Why is the Scarecrow Dorthey’s Favorite?

Growing up, my parents had shown me the Wizard of Oz. For those of you who’ve lived under a rock for the past 50-80 years, the Wizard of Oz is about a farm girl who gets unfortunately caught outside in a tornado and gets twisted up in the air, landing in Munchkin Land, a district of Oz. Desperate to return to her ill aunt left at home, she follows the Yellow Brick Road, making three friends along the way. First, she meets the Scarecrow, then the Tin Man, and lastly, the Cowardly Lion. They all try hardest to get their courage, heart, brain, and family while learning they’ve had the power to achieve their wishes on their own all along.

If you remember, at the end of the movie, Dorthey hugs all of her friends, giving them each parting words. While she hugs the Scarecrow, she says “I’ll miss you most of all”. My question is why?

Of all her friends, why would the Scarecrow be the one she’d miss the most? We see their entire journey, and there’s nothing that makes the Scarecrow stand out to the naked eye. However, if you know this site, you know I don’t like to stop surface deep.

If you notice, first off, the Scarecrow is the first person Dorthey meets while on the road. Therefore, even though they meet the Tin Man directly after, Dorthey is still more familiar with the Scarecrow. Also, right before meeting the Tin Man, if you notice, Dorthey and the Scarecrow had already been walking a long way before mistakenly picking apples from sentient trees. I highly doubt they spent that whole time either singing or in silence, so I believe it’s safe to assume they had small talk and get-to-know-you conversations that the film didn’t have time to add in.

Another thing to notice is that the Lion had to find his courage at the end, and for the rest of the time, his pride being cut down due to his cowardly habits become a running gag. The Tin Man, though he’s been kind-hearted the whole time despite his claim to be heartless, has a large range of emotion that becomes a handicap for Dorthey as she has to stop and oil his joints every time he cries and rusts himself. Meanwhile, the Scarecrow spends the whole time loyal, kind, brave, and clever at Dorthey’s side. Just for a few examples, the Scarecrow stands up for Dorthey against the sentient apple trees, he claims, and proves, that he’s not afraid of anything (except a lit match), he’s the first to figure out that the poppy flowers are cursed, when chased by the flying monkies, his first concern is Dorthey’s wellbeing, and that’s just scratching the surface of what I remember off the top of my head.

From what I can tell, the Scarecrow is the most courageous, compassionate, loyal, smart, and, for lack of better term, human. While the other two either truly lacked what they desired or had what they wanted all along to such a strong degree that it was a handicap, the Scarecrow always has his brain, and more often than not, knows how to use it.

What do you all think? Does the Scarecrow truly warrant being the one who’s missed most of all? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants, Review

Snow White with Red Hair Review

I first saw Snow White with Red Hair recently, earlier this year in late winter/early spring actually. What first caught my attention was just seeing it everywhere. This show was on all the anime streaming sites, all over Google Images when looking up Anime Couples, I’m pretty sure this show even featured in a few Top 10 lists on YouTube. It seemed interesting enough, so I plugged in my headphones and gave it a watch. Believe it or not, I actually have my reaction to the first episode recorded, so, if you all would like, I could post that so you’d know my complete blind reaction to the first episode, but that may or may not be at a later date. (side note after the fact, while I did record my blind reaction to the first three episodes, the recordings got lost with all my stories as of April 2019, so I won’t be able to post any blind reactions here)

The story is…what you’d expect from a Romantic Fantasy. Shirayuki (which is Snow White in Japanese, yeah, I didn’t catch on to that at first either), a young woman living in the fantasy land of Tanbarun, is the town’s herbalist and doctor until word of her unusual red hair, bright as a shiny red apple, reaches the First Prince, Raj. The prince decides upon hearing of her legendary hair to bring her to his palace to be his concubine (for those who don’t know what a concubine is…look it up. I don’t know if it’s considered…age appropriate). Shirayuki is forced to leave her home, cutting her hair and leaving her ponytail behind to simply tease the prince when arriving at the empty shop. She then moves quickly to the neighboring kingdom of Clarines with nothing more than what she can carry on her back. While there, she meets a boy with bright white hair and bold blue eyes by the name of Zen, who is later discovered as the Second Prince of Clarines. As soon as he sees Shirayuki fleeing her home, he takes her under his wing and gives her a place in his kingdom under his personal protection. As time passes, she begins to grow her own connections in Clarines, all the while she and Prince Zen develop a co-dependency for one another, quickly moving from protective friends to something more and possibly forbidden.

Spoiler warning from here on out. Either skip to the last paragraph, watch both seasons of the show and come back, or read on at your own discretion.

The story, though it’s kind of generic, does bring out a lot of comedic effects. Also, it made me feel like a little kid watching a Disney show with Disney Cinema visuals. The animation is just so amazing! I could gush about it all day! Normally, anime falls victim to the Same Face Syndrom (in case you don’t know, Same Face Syndrom is when a movie, show, or any other form of visual media, design all their characters to have the same facial structure so their only distinguishing feature is their hairstyle, clothing, and/or hair and eye colors). Snow White with Red Hair, however, doesn’t fall into this trap. Mitsuhide, Zen’s attendant and Right Hand Man so to speak, has a more wide jaw, bigger ears, and rounded chin than the other boys in the main cast. Obi, Shirayuki’s bodyguard, is a lot leaner with a longer face and cat-like features. All the while, Zen has a more round face and pointed chin with a build that’s somewhere in the middle between the other boys in the main cast, not as bulky as Mitsuhide, not as lean as Obi, just in the middle. That’s just comparing the boys for a quick example.

Another thing was I saw the first few episodes just before meeting my boyfriend, then finished the rest of the show just a few hours before writing this, and through the show, I had a new-found joy as I saw everything Prince Zen did and how he treats Shirayuki as things my boyfriend would do or has done. For example, in one episode, Shirayuki has been tasked with nursing a whole army that has fallen ill back to health. However, Zen doesn’t realize that the soldiers have shifts for around the clock and that she only makes enough medicine for one shift at a time. Once Zen has this brought to his attention, he goes to her room, pulls her from her desk, and tells her to close her eyes and count to 60. By the time she reaches 5, she’s fallen asleep. This is exactly what my boyfriend does when we talk late at night and it’s obvious that I’m tired due to being awake for nearly 24 hours (but hey, what would you do if you had to nurture a long-distance relationship and hold down a day job? Spend your days working and nights with your significant other, right?).

One thing that I thought was annoying at first but later became thrilling was that Shirayuki continued being targeted for her unusual red hair. No less than three times, someone has tried to kidnap her for either human trade or selfish desire. However, the prince doesn’t always need to save her, even though he always comes to her rescue on his white horse. In episode one, she confronts her kidnapper for an antidote due to Zen eating the poisoned apple intended for her (I know right? A poisoned apple in a show with Snow White in the title. Can’t think of something more creative? But I digress). However, Zen shows up perfectly fine because, get this, he’s immune to various poisons. Because of this, Zen is perfectly able enough to threaten the kidnapper with an act of war unless they can keep the whole incident quiet and pretend it never happened. Then, in the very next episode, she’s kidnapped again, however, makes it outside before Zen even shows up, sword in hand (then again, it’s a full 24 hours before he even figures out that she’s in trouble at all).

I also wanna kinda talk about the soundtrack. Though I don’t have much to say, I still want to get it off my chest. The opening and ending songs aren’t really anything special, there’s no Lacrimosa or Core Pride there. However, the background music in each episode reminds me heavily of the Wizard of Oz soundtrack. Heck, when Shirayuki is fleeing her country, I swear the song playing is an altered version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. While it does convey the idea to me that it is a very vibrant and colorful world, it was a little distracting to me.

Final thoughts, Snow White with Red Hair is a charming, funny, and sweet fairytale. It takes the themes of Snow White and updates them, while not being a perfect retelling of the Snow White fairytale. It takes an old tale and reinvents it into something that’s only similar by name and one aspect, however iconic the apples are to the tale. If you want to, check it out for yourself and come to your own conclusion. Let me know what your thoughts were in the comments below and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants

Three ‘R’s of Redemption

In all my years of watching tv and movies, I’ve noticed that the villains that don’t get killed either brutally, leaving little to imagination (a few examples, Carver from Telltale’s Walking Dead Season 2, King Sombra from My Little Pony, or Scar from Disney’s Lion King) or off screen, allowing the viewer to come to their own conclusion of the end in which the character is left with (for example, most, if not all, Disney villains in existence), the villains left over are subject to the ‘Redemption Arc’. This arc is actually pretty famous (or infamous, depending on your opinion) in My Little Pony. Just to name a few characters that have been subject to this, especially in quite the rush, are Discord, Sunset Shimmer, Starlight Glimmer, Princess Luna (AKA Nightmare Moon), all of which are featured in the My Little Pony franchise.

For a proper redemption of reformation arc to occur, the character needs to undergo three critical steps. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll be using Discord from My Little Pony, and Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender as primary examples, though I know there are plenty of other examples out there (spoiler warning for various episodes of My Little Pony, and Avatar the Last Airbender).

The first step is Realization, when the character realizes what they’re doing is wrong, or that they must change to get what they want.

Discord’s appearance in Keep Calm Flutter On is more of an example of what seemed like a rushed redemption turned out to be just this first step. While most people believe this whole episode was Discord’s redemption arc, after seeing the rest of his arc play out, I now disagree. This was just his first step when he realizes that he doesn’t want a life without Fluttershy’s friendship, and since then, he learns to extend his friendship to the other ponies Fluttershy hangs out with (and Spike). When he realizes he doesn’t want to lose his friendship, he decides he wants to change and performs the single act Fluttershy asks him to do, which is to stop Sweet Apple Acres from flooding.

Zuko, on the other hand, has multiple of little realizations, from the Storm where he realizes that safety is a higher priority than his own goal to Zuko Alone where he realizes that nationality shouldn’t matter and everyone suffers from war. However, he doesn’t make his final big one until the season 2 finale. At that point, he realizes that he has made a huge mistake, however, he doesn’t act on it due to simply not understanding that the path he charts where he works with his sister simply isn’t the right way. Even though he stays with Azula and goes along with the wrong path, I still count this moment because he’s tormented with doubt, trying desperately to get answers from his imprisoned uncle and whatever other resources he could find, in every episode from that point on until the Solar Eclipse.

The second step is Reformation, when a character breaks habits and can officially say they are no longer bad or evil, and/or aline themselves with the heroes.

Discord has a large relapse, comparing his villainous life to the life he has with a friend. In the Season 4 finale, Discord is tasked with escorting Tirek back to Tartarous. However, Tirek manipulates Discord into thinking that the friendship he’s achieved is a different type of prison as he walks a tightrope to stay in line. Therefore, Discord is offered to rule Equestria at Tirek’s side, provided he could help collect all the magic. He agrees until he is betrayed and the line he gives Fluttershy, “Surely you saw this coming”, is thrown right back in his face by Applejack. It’s at this point when he, again, realizes that he is without the friends he desperately wants until Twilight shows him mercy and declares him a friend. Now, Discord is finally being truly reformed, deciding that he doesn’t want to ever be in that position again.

Zuko, unlike Discord, doesn’t get a relapse during his reformation. Let me just explain something really quick. While I said earlier that a reformation is when a previously villainous character alines themselves with the heroes or simply isn’t bad anymore, I don’t consider episodes where Zuko has a temporary truce with the gang in order to defeat a common enemy as “reformation” but more as just as I said; temporary truce. Examples of that would be the Blue Spirit, where Zuko goes out of his way in season 1 to save Aang from Admiral Zhou, the Chase, where Zuko and Iroh temporarily join forces with the heroes to take down Azula (which, spoilers, doesn’t work), and even the season 2 finale set-up, where Zuko and Katara are trapped in a cave together and bond over the one thing they have in common (which is just a lack of a mother in their youth). In all of these instances, Zuko doesn’t plan on staying with them and, as soon as he’s done playing his part, he instantly attacks and calls off the truce. The true reformation is during the Solar Eclipse when Zuko confronts his father and says “I’m going to teach the Avatar firebending and help him defeat you in any way I can”. This is the moment he plans to be a permanent addition to the Circle of Heroes as opposed to a temporary truce.

The last step is Redemption, when a character surpasses their peers and answers the call of duty, or in other words, saves the day when the heroes are unable to.

Discord’s redemption comes in the season 6 finale when he steps in to save Fluttershy (specifically Fluttershy) from Queen Chrysalis and the changelings. He, along with Starlight, Thorax, and Trixie, work together to take the places of Twilight and the rest of the main six. In doing so, Discord has a large place in saving the day, rather than causing the problem to be worse.

As for Zuko, his redemption is actually linked to Katara because she was there at the battle between Zuko and Azula. I count this as Zuko’s redemption because, of all the members of the gang, Katara is the one who takes the longest to trust him due to her feelings of betrayal left from the season 2 finale. Heck, if Katara were judging, she’d say Zuko’s realization would be when he joins, and his reformation would be when he assists in Katara’s revenge for her mother’s death. However, Katara isn’t writing this blog, I am; a person who knows more than just Katara’s point of view. Anyway, back on track, the fact that it’s Katara who witnesses the Agni Kai between Zuko and Azula makes all the difference because, Azula, in a crazy, murderous impulse, directs her lightning strike to Katara and not Zuko. Therefore, Katara is helpless to the strike and Zuko jumps in front of her to take the shock. At that moment, he’s redeemed in Katara’s eyes, therefore fully redeemed (he took a lightning bolt for her! If that doesn’t redeem him, then nothing will!).

You could argue that Zuko is redeemed in Katara’s eyes after the Southern Raiders, however, Zuko only acts as a guide. He’s not a driving force and only told Katara how to get the information she needs. This is the point where Katara only forgives Zuko, not where Zuko is redeemed. In fact, he’s confused as to why she doesn’t kill Yan Rah, the one responsible for her mother’s death. Even after it’s all settled, it takes him a while to put two and two together on why she does what she does. Through the whole episode, he’s actually talking in very pessimistic and violent tones.

Well, there you go. That how you make a good, well-paced redemption arc and three examples that I’ve noticed for each stage. I know there are plenty of other redemption good examples, however, I’ve pushed it for how long my blog could be. Besides, most villains are typically killed off or never even show the potential of redemption.

Who’s your favorite villain, reformed, redeemed, or otherwise? If your favorite villain is reformed/redeemed, then do you like them better before or after redemption? Or, if your favorite villain is still evil and/or dead, how do you think they would’ve been reformed if given the chance? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants

In Defence of Sokka’s Master

After watching Nostalgia Critic’s Top 11 Worst Avatar Episodes for the second or third time, I’ve noticed an entry I believe shouldn’t be on that list, or at least, not as high as it was. Though I agree with most of the entries of the list, the season 3 episode, Sokka’s Master, never seemed as out of place as the Nostalgia Critic makes it sound.

I won’t go into great detail since you could just go onto YouTube and watch his video yourself to hear all his points, but the basic argument that the Nostalgia Critic makes is that the episode doesn’t need to exist and Sokka never even needed the change. However, I’d like to challenge his points.

First, I should go over who Sokka is as a character for all of you who don’t know or didn’t pay attention. Sokka is the older brother of Katara. In seasons 1 and 2 he’s relied on his boomerang and club, both of which are Water Tribe weapons, to defeat his enemies. When he wasn’t throwing his boomerang, he’s the one in the group who, not only keeps the mood light and comedic but also is the one who makes the plans and keeps everyone on schedule. However, in the first episode of season 3, Sokka explains that the new plan is to hide in the Fire Nation while his father rounds up all their friends and allies around the world to prepare for the invasion on the day of the solar eclipse.

Let’s think about this seriously for a second. If Sokka continued using his boomerang and club, his true nationality would be revealed and he’d be discovered as a Water Tribe citizen and would’ve been the one to blow everyone’s cover. Therefore, he only uses his club when there are no native Fire Nation citizens to see, such as around the camps the group sets up. Because of this, Sokka is without a weapon he could use without caution of who’s watching. With Sokka’s Master, he gains a weapon that is, not only unique of all swords, being made of a meteorite, but it’s also decorated with a Fire Nation decorated hilt. This is a weapon he could use in and out of the Fire Nation, disguised as a Fire Nation native or showing his true Wolf Warrior Heritage (besides, even when he uses a Fire Nation sword while dressed in Water Tribe armor, I’m willing to bet all of his enemies and opponents only see a blur of the black blade and probably wouldn’t even get a good visual of the hilt or decorations while in a fight).

Something else is that in previous episodes, Sokka proves to not use his surroundings, at least, not take his surroundings in as much consideration as he should. In fact, if my memory serves correctly, Sokka is typically one of the last to notice details in the setting. In the episode, Sokka’s Master, Sokka learns to take note of his surroundings. At the end, he uses, not only his own sword, but also the plants, dirt, and walls to use to his advantage against his master during the duel.

That’s really all I can think of. Honestly, Sokka’s Master was one of my favorite episodes (though that might be because my brother and I were anxiously waiting for season 3 and excited for the eclipse episode, therefore all the episodes leading up to that point would automatically be some of the best/favorites).

What do you all think? Was Sokka’s Master a pointless episode, or are you like me and really liked it or found it necessary? Let me know in the comments below and have a beautiful reast of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Ponysona

Ouran High School Host Club and their Ponysonas

It’s been a while since I made a ponysona blog, and I already sorted the host club into Hogwarts Houses and Elements of Harmony, so here’s what I believe the hosts would be as ponies.

Might as well start with the prince himself, Tamaki. Tamaki Suoh is eccentric, but I don’t believe he’s enough so to be a pegasus. He is stubborn, but not really enough to be an earth pony. So, though he lacks the intellect to be a unicorn, I do think he does have the grace to be a unicorn. Even though he is goofy, he is very suave and graceful, too much so to see him as any other type of pony in my opinion. So, Tamaki is a unicorn, probably with a white rose for his childish purity and fragile heart.

Next is Kyoya. I’m saying it now, there is no way Kyoya is anything other than a unicorn. He’s just so manipulative, intelligent, and studious. I can’t see him as anything else. Therefore, to save our time, I’ll declare him a unicorn with his black book as a cutiemark due to him always having his face buried in that book, or possibly, bear with me, an equal sign. Not because of Starlight’s Village, but because Kyoya is a BIG numbers person. He’s always looking for an equation, finding sums and differences between the numbers (heck, the one time in the show when he’s chipper, he’s animated with numbers and addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division signs dancing around…just watch episode 12 if you don’t know what I’m talking about…).

Hikaru and Kaoru I’m just getting through at once. Both these twins are extroverted pranksters (I know they weren’t like that in their middle school days, but I’m only judging how they were for the majority of the show). I can easily see them both as pegasi. As for the cutiemark, I think they might both have mirror cutiemarks, but different colors, since the two pride themselves on the Which One’s Hikaru game.

As for Honey, I’m kinda torn between pegasus and earth pony. Though Honey is extroverted enough to be a pegasus, I’m going to take his family into consideration and say earth pony. Honey’s family is full of master martial artists, and considering that Honey himself is the strongest of the family, I think earth pony first a little better than pegasus. As for a cutiemark, it’s gotta be a strawberry cake. Not only is that his favorite, but he’s also so bright and sweet inside and out.

Now moving over to Mori. Similar to Honey, Mori comes from a martial arts background and family. I think earth pony is obvious for Mori. A cutiemark is a bit more difficult because he hardly gets in the spotlight. Maybe some throne for his supportive nature and habit of sitting on the sidelines for almost every episode? I really can’t think of anything else.

Lastly is Haruhi. Though Haruhi has the intelligence to be a unicorn, she’s also kind of a Plain Jane, stubborn type of person. I’m caught between unicorn and earth pony…I’m literally flipping a coin to break this tie…Earth pony is the winner. As for a cutiemark, either a red rose for her ‘Natural Type’ position in the club, or a notebook for her school ambition.

Do you agree? Disagree? Did I miss something that’s a game changer? Leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!

Posted in Blogs, Rants

If Harry Potter Wasn’t with the Dursley’s

Every Harry Potter fan knows that Harry was brought to the Dursley’s by Dumbledore, McGonagle, and Hagrid so he could grow up away from the fame, fortune, and knowledge of his parent’s heroic tragedy. However, the Dursley’s, despite being the brother-in-law and sister of Lily Potter, Harry was outcasted by the Dursley’s and treated as vermin; given a horrid childhood. His story is basically a Cinderella Story, Hogwarts School as the ball, and the Dursley’s as the evil step-family. Still, Harry isn’t without kind adults who view him as part of their family, and honored/loved one or both of his parents. My question is how different would Harry’s childhood be if one of these other people came to take him as a baby before Hagrid got there to take him to Privet Drive.

Also, though James Potter was friends with Lupin, Serious, and Peter, I will NOT consider Peter Pettigrew as a potential guardian due to him being a coward and avid Death Eater (not to mention he’s the one who told Voldemort about the Potters; he wouldn’t protect Harry due to that putting himself at risk. If he did, then he’d give him to Voldemort instantly, or lock him up somewhere to live out his whole life in a literal inescapable cell. Forget “bars on the window”, Harry would literally be in a prison cell).

First is Serious Black, the one who was appointed as Harry’s Godfather by Lily and James. If Serious took Harry as a baby, I could see two possible outcomes.

The good outcome is that Serious takes Herry and goes straight to House Black to go into hiding, raising Harry in secret, probably only extending knowledge of his existence to the Order of the Phoenix. I think Serious would’ve been more than proud when Harry gets his letter and would help him with his shopping while disguised as a dog. Serious would give Harry the best possible life he could.

On the other hand, Because Serious is framed for the betrayal of the Potters and murder of Peter Pettigrew, Serious might be arrested same as in the original story, and Harry either be taken to Dumbledore to go to the Dursley’s or be sent to an orphanage, which, there are too many outcomes that go with that scenario to even start guessing.

Second on my little list is Remus Lupin, a good friend to Lily and James. Again, I can see two possible outcomes.

One way this could play out is that Lupin takes Harry and just places strict rules, especially on bed time to avoid turning into a wolf in front of Harry. He would be more than happy to help Harry get to Hogwarts and would gladly support him in school. Again, Lupin, like Serious, would give Harry the best possible life he could provide.

However, the other way it could be is, Harry would still be at high risk of becoming a werewolf as well. Let’s just say, one night, Harry doesn’t listen to Lupin when he says “go to bed”, he sneaks out, only to find Lupin either transform into a wolf or already changed. Scared for his life, Harry, who might be a small child at this point in time, would have no idea how to react. Lupin, being in wolf form, wouldn’t recognize Harry as the boy he raised and would attack, turning young Harry into a werewolf. I’ll give child Harry the benefit of the doubt and say that he would run instantly after Lupin would be distracted with something. The next morning, Harry would be wary around Lupin, and Lupin would find the scar he left and apologize, probably getting more strict with his rules and preparing Harry for the hardships that come with being a werewolf. This would also affect his school life, as most, if not all, the students would avoid Harry, similar to how they did in the Chamber of Secrets. To all the students, Harry is a threat; a danger. The only ones to treat him no different would be the other professors. Actually, he might be more reliant on Snape for a potion that prevents transformation.

Speaking of Snape, he’s the third option for the love he has for Lily. According to Snape’s flashback, Snape actually did arrive at the crime scene before Hagrid. He actually saw baby Harry as he cradled Lily’s corpse. However, if he had taken Harry before Hagrid arrived, he would’ve been a strict father figure. I believe he would not allow Harry to take after James, or might even not allow Harry to bring up or ask about his parents. How this is different from the Dursleys is the fact that Snape would keep Harry close. I firmly believe that he would still put up a harsh shell and protect Harry in secret. He may even be harsher on Harry both in and out of class.

The last option I can think of is Hagrid, simply because he’s the one who takes Harry to Privet Drive. However, if he took Harry and somehow convinced Dumbledore to allow Hagrid to keep him, Harry would probably get the happiest home life. Since Hagrid lives on Hogwarts grounds, Harry would live there too. He’d be much more familiar with the grounds before even enrolling. Hagrid wouldn’t have many rules at his house, except probably respect all creatures no matter how unattractive, how scary, how big, or how small, for those are the ones that are “vastly misunderstood”.

Shout out to the Weasley’s, they really do make Harry feel the most like he’s a part of a family, mother, father, brothers, a sister, the whole enchilada. However, the Weasley’s and the Potter’s don’t have a relationship before the events of the movies and books.

Did I miss something? Was there another option of someone to take Harry in that I missed? Are there details that I missed for the optional guardians I’ve mentioned? Leave your thoughts in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!