Category Archives: review

The Katawa Shoujo Review That Was Never Meant to Be

I had planned to start the New Year by making a big-ass blog post.

Big. Enough.

And as soon as I found out that Katawa Shoujo was to be released on the 4th, I said “Great! I can start the year by reviewing the game!”

So I start playing the game.

And after a day, I realize one thing: This review is not gonna happen, at least not the way I envisioned.

Continue reading The Katawa Shoujo Review That Was Never Meant to Be

“La Rosa de Guadalupe”, or “How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the LULZ”

Mexican TV is awesome.

And by “Awesome” I mean TOTALLY EFFING WEIRD MAN.

Most of what you’ll find is “Telenovelas”, programs similar to Soap Operas that feature lots of drama. Most are serials in which a long-form story is told, usually through over-dramatic acting, ridiculous camera shots and mostly amateur acting that makes serious appreciators of the performing arts flinch in existential Lovecraftian horror.

There are other types, though, which feature individual stories. “La Rosa de Guadalupe” is one of them. Its basic premise is this: There’s a situation that is very dramatic. The situation evolves and becomes something that the people in the episode can’t seem to deal with; one of the characters offers a prayer to the Virgin of Guadalupe, who in turn creates a miracle through a white rose, that manages to solve the entire situation.

Essentially it’s an entire “Telenovela” dedicated to the concept of the Deus Ex Machina, and as such, it’s incredibly HILARIOUS: Bad Acting + Bad Scripting + Bad Argument = LULZ, LULZ EVERYWHERE. Of course, every episode also ends up being a story about family values and ethics, but for most of us it’s more about the unintentional laughs than the very intentional lecturing.

So it comes as no surprise that when an episode deals with Otaku culture, some people in Mexico would get up in arms.

Continue reading “La Rosa de Guadalupe”, or “How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the LULZ”

It’s all my fault in some way or another.

It all started in New Mexico. More specifically, in Las Cruces Anime Days, a small convention in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I went because I had nothing better to do, and needed pictures of trash bins to compare with the other pictures of trash bins I’ve taken in Mexican cons. The biggest surprise was the schedule: A Touhou Project Panel? A brief introduction? Let’s see what they had to say…

Mmmmmh. Nothing.

Seriously, for an introduction, it lacked… Impact.

It lacked emotion.

It lacked PASSION.

That’s when I thought, “Maybe I could do better”.

And then, “I have to do better”.

Continue reading It’s all my fault in some way or another.

The Juarez Otaku Problem? It’s All Shit

I’d been planning this post since November, but had no idea how I was going to deal with the subject. It’s about OTAKU, and my city, CIUDAD JUAREZ. It’s complicated, but I was missing a crucial component, one element that would show how FULL OF SHIT things are here.

I found it in December.

But before dwelling in how a little trip gave me the tools needed to make this evil, mean and decidedly poignant post, it’s

STORY TIME!

Continue reading The Juarez Otaku Problem? It’s All Shit

The Angel Beats Non-Review

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to open this blog post. I keep coming back to it, on and off, and find no easy answer. Instead of trying to be creative, or be witty, I’m going by the formula and getting straight to the point: I loved Angel Beats. I loved it as much as it was flawed. It had the potential for greatness, for being incredibly memorable, of being one of the best of the year, and instead of being Great, it was Just Okay. When I talked to my friends about this, they all agreed, and once we did some research on the subject, it soon became apparent why this great series was doomed to its non-greatness.

Fact Roll: Angel Beats! is a 2010 anime by Jun Maeda, the man behind the story and music in many of Visual Art’s/Key productions such as Kanon, Air and Clannad. The animation comes courtesy of P.A. Works, whose previous works include CANAAN, True Tears, and the Professor Layton movie. Character design comes from old Jun Maeda collaborator Na-Ga (Little Busters!, Kud Wafter, and the upcoming Rewrite). The director is Seiji Kishi, the man who directed Galaxy Angel Rune, Seto no Hanayome and Tentai Senshi Sunred.

Continue reading The Angel Beats Non-Review

Inception: A Review

Finally saw Inception last Friday, thanks to the way movies are distributed in Mexico. But that means nothing, because Inception is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Ever.

Here’s why.

I have been talking a lot about this movie recently. With friends, pals, random people in the net. There’s a general consensus that this movie is indeed very good, and only one person had a dissenting opinion, arguing that he did not like it that much because he didn’t find it “revolutionary”.

Well, he’s right. This movie doesn’t introduce any new concepts that have never, ever been used before in any media.

It does, however, work with those concepts to create a straightforward, rich narrative that captures the audiences imagination and never lets go in the 5 hours this film lasts.

Yes, this film bends time as you watch it. And that’s part of its magic: While other movies with great execution, like James Cameron’s Avatar, make perfect use of their storytelling resources to weave the same old tale with almost no flaws whatsoever, other masterfully executed movies also choose to do something more.  What Inception does extra is, it plays with the audience. The movie conspires, whispers, and acts in coordination with the viewer. You let your guard down, and BAM! You’re immersed, and you can’t escape until it actually lets you.

Director Chris Nolan is not afraid of pushing the story forward by any means, giving the proper spotlight to each character, all the while playing at/along/with the audience, creating small incoherences and then throwing them aside for the sake of storytelling. The man is subtle, firm and explosive, all at once. He caresses your eyes with bullets made of explosive razors, and you love every minute of it.

The cast is made of some of the most synergistic characters I’ve ever seen on a film. Each one serves its purpose, and they all get enough time to shine properly. Add the super performance of the actors, and you get “memorableness” all around: Not a single character wasted, not a single moment of “I wish that character didn’t appear on the scene”.

The soundtrack… It’s Hans Zimmer. Hans Zimmer always delivers.

In sum, Inception is a combination of super storytelling, great characters and acting, and another brilliant score. All those elements are so good that you almost forget that the visual effects are in-fucking-credible. They become simple cherries, atop of a cake made of pure, unadulterated awesome.

My recommendation to you is this: Watch it. Now. With this movie, you can, and will have your cake, and eat it too, no matter what anyone says about it.

TRAILER TIEM!