Author Archives: Hachi76

About Hachi76

Well, I'm a leo. I like long walks on the beach and severely damaging people's faith in a caring, just God. I am both nerdier and cooler than you, and the sooner you accept this, the sooner we can move on. My areas of expertise are Video Games, Anime and Kung Fu Films, with minors in Manga, Film and Music circa the 60's to the 80's

First Step Week Delayed to THIS Week, Hachi Offers to Sever Leg in Recompense

So…some of you may have noticed the lack of much Hajime no Ippo-related writing here, despite my claims to a large amount of such things coming out. Well, that’s because it will be coming this week, for reasons that have nothing to do with my inability to recover from a drunken, debaucherous weekend at a convention, coupled with E3 coverage NO SIREE, HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT.

…*ahem*. Anyway, expect all the boxing fun promised last week to instead come this week. I would also like to officially announce that First Step Week is now dedicated in loving memory to Kenji Utsumi, the voice actor for Coach Genji Kamogawa who tragically passed away last week. I’m offering this to his memory, so I’d better damn well be up to snuff.

Well folks, see you in the times to come.

Announcing: First Step Week (FSW), Celebrating Hajime no Ippo

So much MANLINESS...and eyebrows. Also eyebrows.

So much MANLINESS…and eyebrows. Also eyebrows.

Well, that about says it, doesn’t it? Yes, to celebrate the…well, no occasion really, just to celebrate, we will be taking a week to look at the long running manga and anime classic, Hajime no Ippo.

“But Hachi, you divine morsel you, what exactly is Hajime no Ippo?” Good question! Hajime no Ippo is a boxing manga created by Joji Morikawa back in 1989, and is still running today. And…that’s it. No bells, no whistles. It’s a boxing story, about boxers and the boxing they do. There is naught a magical girl or a energy beam to be found, and no one will be killing anyone’s family member in revenge for a past slight, or seeking to save the world. It simply chronicles the adventures of one Makunouchi Ippo, as he endeavors to improve himself through the path of boxing, and to find out for himself what true strength is.

Well, of course, there are the occasional techniques and training montages that strain credulity, at best. And the characters are as broad and eccentric as any manga you’ll ever find. But that is all the surface dressing to what is easily one of the best stories, and particularly one of the best anime, you will ever find.

They reaaaaallllyyyy strain credulity some times...

As previously stated, they reaaaaallllyyyy strain credulity some times…

Hajime no Ippo is a triumph of great storytelling, great character development, amazing humor and heart, and of course, amazing fights. However, it is…well, not terribly well-known here in the states. Oh, it has a fanbase, of course. A small, fiercely dedicated one at that, and I and several of my friends count ourselves in said circle. But ask any ten anime fans about it, and you’ll be lucky to find one or two who know what the hell you are talking about.

Which is a shame. Almost without exception, this is anime at its finest. Not its most bombastic, or its most over-the-top. But just…finest. Doing what anime should do; tell a story in a compelling, fun and occasionally gonzo way.

So, to wit, this week will be to educate you. There will be articles galore! Lists! General discussion! And reviews of both the anime series’ that have come out based on the show! It’ll be a good time, and if  I do my job, you’ll be poised to get into one of the best stories in the art form.

We begin tomorrow! Bring your gloves…

Bethesda Announces The Evil Within, Hachi Reminds Himself to get a Tetanus Shot

Fun fact: this was originally the subtitle to that CG Final Fantasy movie from a few years back. OH, HISTORY SLAM, TAKE THAT, SQUARESOFT'S LONG-DEFUNCT FILMS DIVISION!

Fun fact: this was originally the subtitle to that CG Final Fantasy movie from a few years back. OH, HISTORY SLAM, TAKE THAT, SQUARESOFT’S LONG-DEFUNCT FILMS DIVISION!

Source: IGN

For a while now, Shinji Mikami, the man behind Resident Evil (among other things) has been teasing his new game, previously code named “Project Zwei”, because Mikami likes English like we like syphilis.

The announcement came through this morning that the project is in fact a survival horror game called The Evil Within. It’s being billed as “A return to TRUE survival horror” and “The perfect blend of action and horror.” The game is to be published by Bethesda Softworks and is being developed by Mikami’s studio Tango Gameworks.  Continue reading

Gamer Review: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

*Insert Pink Floyd reference here*

Not every kiss begins with K…

  • Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
  • Release Date: March 20th, 2013 (24th in America)
  • Developer: Next Level Games
  • Publisher: Nintendo

Ahhhh, remember the early 2000’s? Gods, those were heady times. The Dreamcast went under with the arrival of the PS2, Microsoft was throwing its hat into the world of console gaming with this nifty thing of theirs called “The Xbox”, and games were poised to explode into mainstream culture as never before.

And here comes Nintendo, with their little purple Picnic Basket of a console. But in a break with tradition, they launched, not with a new Mario game (that would come a bit later, with the…divisive, Super Mario Sunshine), but with a Luigi game. A Luigi game featuring him sucking up ghosts with a vacuum cleaner. Huh. Regardless, Luigi’s Mansion is a fondly remembered part of the Gamecube’s launch window, and has lain dormant as a franchise for a number of years.

Until now. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon features the return of ol’ Mr. Green to the world of Ghostbusting, with all the flashlight shining, specter catching and treasure seeking you can want. Almost more than you can want, actually. But his return also heralds the arrival of one of the 3DS’ most unique little gems, one that evolves its predecessor, and yet still feels nostalgic at heart…

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Newsbreak: Arkham Origins Announced, Hachi Prepares to Become The Night…Again.

Find out the REAL story behind Big Boss and the founding of...whoa, wait, wrong series...

Find out the REAL story behind Big Boss and the founding of…whoa, wait, wrong series…

Source: IGN

In a move that will surprise no one with a basic knowledge of series-milking, Warner Bros. announced the development of Arkham Origins, the latest in the critically and fanbase beloved “Arkham” series of Batman videogames. Precious little information is available at the moment, other than the fact that it will take place before either of the other games, starring a younger, more inexperienced Batman just arrived in the city and on the lookout for love and meaning in his life after the accident.

I may be lying about that last part, but it is totally a prequel.

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Newsbreak: Dynasty Warriors 8 Confirmed For International Release, Hachi Starts Counting Seconds

Ooooh, my "Flaming Chinese Man" collectible is coming in the mail!

Ooooh, my “Flaming Chinese Man” collectible is coming in the mail!

Source: Koei Warriors

In the most exciting news I’ve heard since sliced bread was used to power that Haitian dirigible (oh, you didn’t hear? Pay attention…), a producer over at Koei made it officially known that Dynasty Warriors 8 (known as Shin Sangoku Musou 7 in Japan, because of…reasons that would take a bit of doing to explain) will be releasing here in the US and in Europe. And it’s sooner than I anticipated, coming to us on July 16th. Continue reading

Hachimuse: Remembering Roger Ebert

A life worth giving a thumbs-up to.

A life worth giving a thumbs-up to.

 “So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”

-Roger Ebert, on his last post on his website, April 2nd, 2013

Roger Ebert, one of the men most responsible for the modern age of media review, passed away April 4th at the age of 70 after a long, hard-fought battle with Thyroid cancer. His death leaves a gaping hole in the world of reviewing of any kind, and he will be missed terribly. Continue reading

Anime Theater: Basilisk

Like kunai in the throats of our hearts, these are the days of our...apparently very misty photo shoots.

Like kunai in the throats of our hearts, these are the days of our…intergalactic photo shoots.

  • Basilisk: Kouga Ninpo Cho (just Basilisk in its English distribution)
  • Year: 2005
  • American Distributor: Funimation

When I say “love story”, what comes to mind? If you’re a literary sort of any kind, or if you ever attended a New York school like myself, then whether you like it or not, the first thing that pops into your head is, of course, Romeo and Juliet. The tale of a true, deep love unfulfilled due to the cruel auspices of fate, and the warring passions of two families, R&J has been captivating audiences for almost half a millennium now. On the other side of the coin, we have the world of Anime, where everything, even the most staid premise can be made anew by the creative madness of the men and women who make these things. So what does this have to do with today’s subject? Well, if I was to describe Basilisk in a sentence, it would be to say that someone looked at that old tale of love and loss, and said “You know what would make this story AMAZING? Ninjas.”

In fairness though, despite that rather silly description, Basilisk is a mighty enjoyable, occasionally heartrending and endlessly creative (yes, creative) little gem for anyone who’s in the mood for some high romance, but feels that there should be a body-count. Just like any true-to-life love story…

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Hachimuse76: Final Fantasy X HD: Why Buy It?

Christ, this title has more X’s than an abortion clinic. …Too soon?

I miss being a young gamer. I really do, the days when I could just fucking LOSE myself in a game are long behind me. Sure, I still play games. I relish them, I dissect them, I obsess over them. I am a gamer, always will be. But there was a time when I could just submerge myself in a good game universe, and nowhere was this more possible than with a good RPG. Towns, side-quests  the villains, the heroes. The emotional drama, the world-shattering struggles. For hours a day, my life faded away, and these people and their trials and tribulations were EVERYTHING to me. The effect of those gaming experiences are as indelibly etched on me as any aspect of my traditional academic education or psychological development.

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Kung Fu Theater: Odd Couple

Why does Sammo look like he wants to kill me, while Lau looks like he's about to break into "The Circle of Life"? Photoshop is weird sometimes...

It looks like a poster for “The Lion King” Except with…you know, weapons…and Chinese people.

  • Bo Ming Chan Dao Duo Ming Qiang (Sweet Jesus) AKA “Odd Couple” AKA “Shaolin Saber vs. Wutang Spear”
  • Year: 1979
  • Availability: Available in several compilations, and a few individual releases if you’re willing to look. Generally subbed, although a terrible dub exists.

In the 70’s and 80’s, you couldn’t throw a javelin without hitting some Kung Fu “superteam”. Be it the “Little Fortunes” of the 80’s, featuring Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and friends. Or how about any number of the teams assembled by Chang Cheh in his time (seriously, pick one)? Regardless, it seems like almost every actor or director worth a damn had a stable of recurring people they worked with, for maximum synergy for the production and maximum enjoyment for the fans.

This is not a practice I am condemning. No, far from it. The more comfortable performers got with eachother, the smoother and more intense their fights. The more aware of the actors’ strengths and weaknesses a director became, the more effectively he could cast them. It was nothing but good. The reason for this lead in is that one of the most consistently good, and sadly shortest lived, of these teams was the duo of Sammo Hung and Lau Kar-wing.

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Anime Theater: Shigofumi: Letters From the Departed

See, if mail carriers were ALL this adorable, it would solve so many problems...

See, if mail carriers were ALL this adorable, it would solve so many problems…

  • Shigofumi: Letters From the Departed
  • Year: 2008
  • American Distributor: Sentai Filmworks

When the time comes for you to die, what will your last thought be? As the darkness closes in around us, as we shut our eyes for the final time, a veritable cavalcade of thoughts will sweep over us. “Is this really the end?”, or “What happens to me now?”, or “Was it really wise to choose Pop Tarts over pancakes this morning, because I gotta say, even as a lover of Pop Tarts  one should never lightheartedly pass off pancakes, I mean, they’ve been the premier breakfast food for years for a reason and-“

…Anyway, back on topic. But most of all, we will think of those who we’re leaving behind. And by extension, of any last words we would want to say to them. Perhaps words of encouragement or of regret. Or rage, or of love. Or even simply some truth we couldn’t bear to say in life. It is this concept that lies at the heart of “Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed“, a little gem from a few years back that uses the concept of one’s final wishes as a fulcrum through which to show how we relate to each other in both life AND death…

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Ace Attorney 5 Announced, Hachi Seeks His Fancy Tie and Wig

He’s here to kick ass and provide evidence. And he’s all out of ass…

After several years of languishing in the depths of the “Shit We Don’t Talk About Because We Need To Focus On Re-releasing Our Fighting Games” closet at Capcom, website “My Nintendo News” revealed that the latest issue of Famitsu (basically the premier video game magazine in Japan, and part time Mos Eisley Cantina) features the announcement of the long-awaited Ace Attorney 5, in development for the 3DS. Yup, no “Investigations” spin-off this time, or Layton crossover. It’s an honest-to-goodness mainline installment. This news has me…slightly excited.

Actual photo of Hachi’s room when he heard the news.

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Samurai Warriors 4 Announced For 2014, Hachi Seeks A Nearby TARDIS

“…In about 400 years! So stay tuned!”

Source: http://www.koeiwarriors.co.uk/

In a twitter post, Samurai Warriors (Sengoku Musou) producer Hisashi Koinuma announced that Samurai Warriors 4 is indeed in development…and that it will apparently be coming out around the second coming of Christ.

“And yea, the Lord said, “Let Tadakatsu Honda be built up as the best character, even though Keiji Maeda clearly has the better moveset”, amen…”

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Newsbreak: Rumors Abound of FF Versus 13 Cancellation, Hachi Suddenly Recalls That FF Versus 13 Exists

Noctis apparently doing his impression of his creators…

Sourcehttp://kotaku.com/5927645/rumor-final-fantasy-versus-xiii-is-dead

In an article posted early this morning, Kotaku added some fuel to the ol’ rumor mill by announcing that, according to several of their sources, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, part of the series of games planned to take place in the Final Fantasy XIII universe, has been quietly cancelled. They say that instead of making a public announcement, Square Enix has decided to apparently let the game fade away, since stock concerns may arise if they make too much of a fuss.

“No Squeenix! Not like this!”

Final Fantasy XIII, released in 2009, was the latest in the venerable Final Fantasy franchise of JRPGs. Back when it was announced, however, it was also announced that there would be several games in the FF XIII “line”, as it were, spanning different genres and consoles. Said line is collectively referred to as the “Fabula Nova Crystallis” mythology, which incidentally sounds like the BEST GLAM ROCK BAND NAME EVER.

Cloud’s later years were marked by…”experimentation”. Go ahead, I DARE you to tell me that she doesn’t look like a modern FF character…

One of the other installments in this line, Final Fantasy Type-0 (originally announced as “Final Fantasy Agito XIII“), which is for the PSP, appears to be in pretty fine health. But Versus had always had a…sporadic existence, popping up every now and then as if to remind you it was alive. Since its announcement in 2006, the game has made precious few appearances in public, and what little we know of the game’s overall play engine, one more action oriented than its predecessors, has come more from here-say than footage. The six-year blackout has given the game a sort of “vaporware” reputation, one that makes this announcement tragic but, to me, not earth shattering.

It should be noted that, in the article, the writer mentions that Squeenix has actually folded the resources that would go to this game into the next numeric installment in the series, creatively titled Final Fantasy XV. If so, perhaps we need less look at this as the death of the game and more as an assimilation of it into a greater whole, like some JRPG Borg Collective. That makes it better, right!?

Okay, all snarking aside, the difficult history of the game lends a sad amount of credence to this rumor (which, I must stress, is still a RUMOR). And to be perfectly honest, of all the generations of the game to do this in, Squeenix could not have chosen a worse installment to try something like this in. Although selling mightily, reviews and fan reaction in general for FF XIII have been rather divisive, with some reacting badly to the game’s innovations and cutbacks. FFXIII-2, released as a sort of answer to said complaints, further divided fans who regretted the focus gameplay change at the expense of storyline efficiency.

By extension, any game that would be released under this line (the FNC games will all share the same universe, albeit at different periods in time) would have some amount of difficulty due to the association with the aforementioned installment. For comparison, when Final Fantasy X-2 was released back in the day, it was attached to an almost universally loved installment in the franchise, and, in addition to starting this retarded naming convention, even that game, due to tonal changes and the like, has an…interesting effect on the fandom. The FF XIII label, meanwhile, already inspires some heated division, and that may, honestly, have hurt this game a lot when it was released. Oh, it would have still sold more than a Beatles album released by Jesus himself, but the fanbase chaos would have been amazing.

I wish I could comment on the game in the context of its gameplay, but, well, we don’t have any of it to comment ON…

So, here’s to tomorrows hopes…

Gamer Review: No More Heroes

The Justic League tried to set up a branch in San Diego. It…didn’t pan out.

There comes along, once in a while, a game that utterly stuns you with its uniqueness. It resides so far outside the bounds of what you, or others for that matter, are used to that even as you play it, you sit slack-jawed in disbelief. I’m not talking about a game with new, unique gameplay features or a boundry-pushing technological advancement. I’m talking about an air, a mood, a certain…something that lends it an aura of the special or the strange.

Looking through the catalogue of one Goichi “Suda 51” Suda, you will find several games that fit this category. His most recent contribution to gaming, Shadows of the Damned, was reviewed a ways back by my companion Suiko on this very site. Still, even that gem was diluted somewhat by the (not unappreciated) presence of Shinji Mikami. Suda’s games tend to be a bit rougher around the edges, both in terms of content and the game’s actual construction. Regarding his style, his magnum opus is probably Killer7, a horrifically dark and strange little gem that defies any real attempt at description. Being part surreal horror, part rail shooter, and 100% crazy and unique, not to mention touching on some rather ugly issues (terrorism, cult mentality, the variability of reality, child trafficking, suicide, rape), it handily shows Suda’s propensity for wholly individual and utterly unrestrained expression.

His other opus, No More Heroes, is similarly unbound, but for entirely different reasons. Where K7 was dark and disturbing, NMH is ridiculous and over-the-top. Where K7 asks you questions about the world around you, NMH just tells you to strap in for the ride. Where K7 casts you as seven psychotic killers, NMH casts you as one really, REALLY expressive one. And it is good, it is all good. NMH is one of the most enjoyable, fun and wholly unique experiences from this generation of consoles, and deserves to be played by anyone with an open mind and a taste for the eccentric.

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