Category Archives: Random Musings

Berserk 2016: To Love in a Time of CG

Hello kids, welcome to Kentarou Miura's wild ride.

Hello kids, and welcome to Kentarou Miura’s wild ride.

First impressions are a bitch, aren’t they? You can spend forever and a day planning out every detail of how you present a product, an idea or shit, even yourself, only for it to blow up in your face because of that one patch of dirt you missed on your lapel, or that one glitch in the machine you didn’t iron out, or maybe the chef working at that new restaurant got some slightly-expired onions or even something as subtle as that one corpse stinking up the back of your car as you drive your hot little date to the movie theater and suddenly she’s all like “Hey, what’s that smell?” and before you know it you’re cleaning chunks of sternum out of your back seat because some people just like asking too many questions RIGHT, AGATHA?

Tangents aside, our first exposure to anything, person or media, can irreparably color how we perceive it from that moment forward. Even if it goes on to prove itself a thousand fold, we still find ourselves leery because of the festering taint of negativity that was birthed from that botched first impression. But if we’re strong, really strong, and can work past our initial revulsion, then sometimes, when the stars align and the wind is right, we might be rewarded for our open-mindedness. And in this authors opinion, that is exactly what happens if one is to delve in to Berserk 2016: a stumbling, drunken monstrosity of a show  at first blush that almost dares you to love it, before exposing its golden core to those who resisted the urge to turn away in discomfort or disgust.

Author’s Note: This will be less a “review” and more a “stream of consciousness rambling about the virtues and failings of Berserk 2016,” so bear with me if this gets a little long winded at points. Also, let it be noted that I have been a fan of the series for over ten years now, having read the manga (so far as it exists), owning the anime and the Golden Age movies, and even having beat the Dreamcast game, despite the fact that it has aged like corpse tits. So I have a pretty solid base from which to discuss the series proper. That said, on with the show!

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Hachi Announces Hokuto no Ken Month, Laughs in the Face of Scheduling

Happy Birthday, eyebrows! ...I mean Kenshiro. No, wait, eyebrows...

Happy Birthday, eyebrows!
…I mean Kenshiro. No, wait, eyebrows…

In celebration of 30 years of brawls, brows and beefy boys beating each other, I would like to officially announce that October will be the month of Fist of the North Star, or Hokuto no Ken, if you’re nasty.

Unlike my other slightly ill-fated saga celebration, the Month of the North Star (trademark pending) will be wider in scope, but looser in schedule. It all may come toward the beginning, or you may get a deluge around Halloween, but rest assured, by the end of this month, you will be treated to several Reviews of the North Star (trademark pending), including both TV anime series’, the Shin Hokuto no Ken OVA and the Raoh-gaiden series from a few years back. Also keep a look out for one, maybe two, Lists of the North Star (trademark pending), and a deeper discussion of what has made the Men of the North Star (pretty sure that one is trademarked already…) such enduring characters.

It’s sure to be an interesting time, so stay tuned to The Wired Fish for your dose of beef and manliness.

And vaguely menacing eye hair...

And vaguely menacing glares.


In Memorial: Kenji Utsumi

Ken-oh has returned to the heavens...

Ken-oh has returned to the heavens…

On June 13, 2013, the world of Japanese VO suffered a really terrible loss when Kenji Utsumi, one of the most veteran seiyu (Japanese voice actors) in the business, lost his battle with cancer, passing away at age 75.

As the Wired Fish’s resident anime geek, as well as one of a relatively low number of passionate “voice actor enthusiasts”, I find that I grow fond of certain voices. Certain actors who fill a niche well, giving me a fond thrill whenever I hear them. “Ah, there’s X actor, good to know this hero’s in good hands!” or “Oh, she’s voiced by Y, no wonder I hate her.” Utsumi-san had made a career out of voicing rough and tumble guys, his lower register voice giving many a throaty growl to characters both old and new, and I’d like to highlight a few here. Continue reading

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…

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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With The Wii U On The Way, Why Not Bring Back Silent Scope?

Ever since the reveal of the Wii U last year (and further info this year), I was thinking of what kinds of games would be a good fit for the Wii U and the Tablet Controller (called the Gamepad). After seeing what some of those games were doing with the tablet, I recalled one of those demos doing something akin to showing a bigger picture on the TV and showing a zoomed-in shot on the Gamepad’s screen. Then it hit me: Why not make a make a new Silent Scope game?

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Gamestop, You Bastards Made Me Real Mad Today!

My day began in a sleepy stupor, being asked by my sister to accompany her to the Gateway Center Mall in The Bronx. At first I refused since I was tired. But when I became fully awake, I decided to go with her. So I’m thinking that maybe I should try to see if the Gamestop there would probably have Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga. I’ve been searching quite a bit for that game. Yeah, I could get it online, but I still don’t have the means to buy stuff online (and by “means” I mean a method of instant payment via debit or PayPal). So I go to the Gamestop and look around. From the looks of things, the small Gamestop has an even smaller PS2 section, and nary an old used game in sight. While passing by the Wii section for the hell of it, I see the case for Sin & Punishment: Star Successor on the shelf. The price: $19.99! I’m like “Whuh! Shit, if they don’t have DDS, I’ll go ahead and get Sin & Punishment.” So, after waiting for some hood lookin’ chick to finally sell all her games, I as the clerk if they have Digital Devil Saga. Since it’s a pretty old PS2 game, I told her exactly that. She looks in the drawer of used PS2 games. “No, we don’t have it.”

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So, why is The King of Cosmos up there as my article image? Well, like any (loosely) sane minded individual, most of us have heard of Katamari Damacy. Some of us even played the game. So what does this have to do with The IDOLM@STER? Some of you probably already know where this is going. But I’ll continue on in hopes of humoring the public. Hit the jump to see the realization

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