First Episode, First Impressions: Princess Jellyfish #1

Cast of Princess Jellyfish

It’s time for another First Episode, First Impressions, where I look at the pilot episode for a series to judge how well it stands on its own and how well it draws people in to watch the rest of the show. This week, I’ll be looking at a series my friend recently showed to me, a 2010 anime show called Princess Jellyfish that centers on the tenants of an unusual apartment complex in Tokyo… where all the tenants are dorky, obsessive, and absolutely nutty female otaku. Wait, a bunch of women all … [Read more...]

Best Claymation Musical Game Ever! Review of Dominique Pamplemousse

Screenshot of Dominique Pamplemousse showing main character bemoaning bathroom signs.

Do you have fond memories of the California Raisins or those Claymation Christmas specials? Do you adore quirky and amusing musicals? Do you like media with a homespun, craft-like air, unpolished and genuine and reflecting the warmth and personality of the creator? Do you like unusual indie games that will entertain you without taking up your entire week? Did you answer yes to any or all of these questions? Well then, do I have the game for you! Dominique Pamplemousse: It's All Over Once … [Read more...]

Shoulda Picked Renegade: Review of Mass Effect: Paragon Lost

Default female Shepard from Mass Effect 3

As some of you might have already picked up on, I have a rather unhealthy affection for the Mass Effect series, questionable ending of ME3 aside. So when I heard that there was going to be a Mass Effect anime, I was excited. Two of my favorite things together at once? Sign me up! Oh my gosh, the aliens, the other worlds, the Citadel, the cool spaceflight, the battles, and above all, the amazing characters? This is going to be so totally amaz... Wait, it's about James Vega? *sigh* Cancel … [Read more...]

How to Survive MISSING a Con

No more PAX tickets. Even Spock is sobbing over it.

There comes a traumatic moment in every young geek's life where they must confront the sad but unavoidable truth; sometimes, you just can't ATTEND ALL OF THE THINGS. Whether it be due to finances, other obligations, or the ever-common problem of tickets selling out too fast, we've all had to miss out on a convention we really wanted to go to (unless, of course, you hate conventions, in which case, congratulations for making better life choices than I have!) Once upon a time, that would have … [Read more...]

Which Witch Is Witchier? Review of Little Witch Academia

Poster of Little Witch Academia

It’s not uncommon for the anime lovers I follow on Twitter to be talking about this or that new anime; it is, however, unusual for the non-anime fans or former anime fans to start gushing about a new show. Thus, when my Twitter feed started to light up with multiple mentions of a show called Little Witch Academia, I took notice… and when it turned out that it was legally available with English subtitles on YouTube, I knew I had to check it out. Little Witch Academia is a 26 minute short … [Read more...]

Someone Call CPS! Bad Parenting in Anime and Manga

Gendo Ikari, Father of the Year

  The relationship between parent and child can be one of the most varied, complicated, and interesting dynamics in media. So why is it that anime seems to have this weird habit of consistently presenting Exhibits A, B, and C for Worst Parenting Ever? It struck me today as I was glancing through my anime collection that every single one of them had parents that would keep most people in therapy for the rest of their lives. And sometimes, the parents that look the best of all are actually … [Read more...]

GDC Megapost: GDC 2013, and How/Whether to Survive Your Own GDC

GDC 2013 - From Official GDC Flickr feed

I returned from GDC 2013 a week ago, and I brought back four important things: - an inspiring vision of what games still have to accomplish - a wonderful memory of time spent with new and old friends, of relationships warming and growing closer, of challenges and cheering and all that great stuff - a sense of apprehension about my own role and path in the industry and about where I will end up going with this - a horrific case of Convention Plague which has crushed my entire respiratory … [Read more...]

Too Much of a Good Thing: Avoid Overstuffing Your Games and Stories

A zombie on a dinosaur on a shark with a laser beam.

Like J, I am a longtime devotee of World of Warcraft, and like her, I am loving the new expansion. Between all the new factions, the pet battles, the rare monsters, the huge amount of raid content, Achievements, farming, secret treasures, scenarios, finding transmog gear, rare mounts, new race, new class, and dailies dailies dailies, there's so much to do! Too much, sometimes. Mists of Pandaria, for all that I love it, is an excellent example of the adage, "too much of a good thing." There … [Read more...]

First Episode, First Impressions: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn #1

Mobile_Suit_Gundam_Unicorn

Our parents always told us that first impressions count, and while I suspect they were gently trying to explain why scruffy shirts and unwashed hair is not the best ensemble for a job interview, the statement is particularly true of anime, manga, or indeed any serial entertainment that starts out with a pilot, or Episode One. And it makes sense… our time is valuable, and we need to know in a reasonably short span whether this new manga, comic, anime or TV show is worth our commitment. To this … [Read more...]

Newton Meets Escher: Review of The Bridge

TheBridgeScreenshot8

  The world of video games is diverse and broad, nowhere more so than in the indie community. Among the many, MANY genres of games out there in the untapped wilderness of the Internet, however, one in particular has become a consumer and critical darling: the genre I can only define as Artsy Indie Puzzle Platforming. You probably know the type... a very polished and distinct art style, cutesy characters with a sort of dark twist, a sort of broody, mysterious narrative, mechanics that … [Read more...]