Otaku Culture - Know your Dere!


Greetings dear ladytakus and gentleweebs, Kuromi is back with an article requested by an avid reader. That's right, folks. Today we're gonna take a look on all the different types of dere in the anime and manga world.

A dere is a type or personality characterisation of a character within a manga or an anime series. 

So without further ado, let's take a look on the list of some of the most used dere in anime and manga.

1. Tsundere



First off the list is one of the most famous dere among all, the tsundere. A tsundere is a character which is hard and irritable (tsun tsun) but became soft and lovely (dere dere) as the story progress, which usually happened around their person of love interests. Well in other words, they are the bipolars of the anime and manga world. A tsundere can be categorised into two distinctive categories known as Tsundere type A (Harsh Tsundere) and Tsundere Type B (Sweet Tsundere).

Tsundere type A or Harsh Tsundere is the more famous as most series used this type of tsundere in their stories. With a recognisable traits and behaviour patterns to boot, this type became the very icon of tsundere. A harsh tsundere is a character with their harsh (tsun tsun) attitude as their default behaviour. Later, they began to turn into a much softer character (dere dere), which usually have their love interest as the main factor for such developments. Even though their in their dere dere stage, they still show signs of their irritations from their previous tsun tsun personality. However, this is usually because of the characters' still trying to appear strong or proud.

There are tons of examples of characters of this type. Famous female characters such as Aisaka Taiga (Toradora!), Asuka Langley (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Vegeta (Dragonball Z), Syaoran (Cardcaptor Sakura) and the list goes on.

They often speak with reluctance and denying their true intentions because of their tough personality and pride, especially towards their love interest. In other words, it's a little something like this: 


Tsundere type B or Sweet Tsundere is more of the rarer bunch. They have their dere dere side as their default behaviour or personality. They are sweet and soft most of the times, if not, all the time. They are soft to everyone BUT the person of their love interest. However, being the sweet person they are, their harsh or violent side only appeared when certain triggers were pushed.

A good example for this kind of tsundere is Kagome from Inuyasha.


2. Yandere


Gasai Yuno from Mirai Nikki. The very icon of yandere characters

Boyfriend: "Honey, I think it's not working between us. I love my coworker more and things are just right for the both of us. I'm afraid I have to lea-- wait. Honey? Is that a knife? What are you doing with that? Hold on, now. Calm down, there's no need to-- ack!!!"

Yandere Girlfriend: "You're mine, and mine alone, dear. If I can't have you, THEN NO ONE CAN! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

I hope you guys enjoyed my short bad script, and that my friends, is an example of a yandereTo those who are not so familiar with the anime and manga world, the first reaction they'll have when they discovered a yandere would be like: WHAT THE F*CK!?

It is pretty understandable since most of the time, yandere characters have traumatic backgrounds that leads to some mental disorders, or they just simply have it since the beginning. Bottom line is, they simply had a slightly to totally mental disorders. 

Most yandere characters tend to have a very possessive nature, and in this case, the person they love or had a crush on. Normally, regular people might simply had a 'talk' with the other person whom tried to woo their lover. However, yandere characters usually did MORE than just 'talking'. There'll be blood splattered, hearts broken, tears shed... and more blood.

Personally, I'm confused with this type of dere, simply because it's twisted, as simple as that. Still, there are many ladytakus and gentleweebs out there seemed to be 'attracted' to these kind of characters. All we can say is, to each their own, I guess.


3. Kuudere


Is it just me, or is it cold over here? Anyhow, the kuudere is, may not well noticed, but widely used character trope in anime and manga.


Cold and/or harsh on the outside, but sweet and caring on the inside. That is the very definition of a kuudere character. This trope had been used since the olden age of manga and anime. Just like the tsundere, kuudere characters have several default personalities.

Type 1 - The cold (kuu) side as the default. They will appear cold to most other people and became extra cold to their person of interest. A much thicker ice to thaw out to get into their dere side.

Type 2 - The lovey-dovey (dere) side as the default. This type of kuudere is appeared to be open to most other people but only being cold to their love interest, where they show their dere side more frequently than type 1. In other words, they are the thin ice on top of the lake. It's not that hard to get through to their dere side.

Type 3 - Okay, this type of kuudere is strange. It seemed like they have a switch to turn on or off. No, not that kind of turn on. They switch between their kuu and dere side just like that, all the time. Rarely found in anime and manga series. Anyone knows someone else like Inuyasha? No? Same.


4. Deredere



What's more direct than deredere? It's in the name. The staple character trope for main heroines in most anime and manga. Sweet and loving for the protagonist, ALL THE TIME. 

DIABEETUS OVERLOAD HNNNNNGGGGG~

But wait! Isn't dandere the same? No. Dandere is loving and sweet as well, but they were shy and softspoken. On the other hand, deredere characters are pretty much very expressive and energetic. Pretty much loud. They are also quick to fall in love or crushing on someone.

They are also well known for their giving and kind nature to others, besides their love interests. In other words, they're the cinnamon roll of the series. And we sure know, nothing beats cinnamon rolls.

Examples of deredere characters are a lot, but well known ones includes Neptune from Hyperdimension Neptunia or Onodera from Nisekoi.

Final Summation



So yeah, these are only SOME of the famous dere's in anime and manga. Of course, there are a lot, and I mean a hell lot, of other dere out there. So much it could cause cancer, only hardcore gentleweebs and ladytakus are immune to this stuff. But that doesn't mean that you have to be one, unless you're on the side where you can't be saved no more. 

As you grow into this community, soon, this will be a common knowledge. But for now, I hope you guys learned a little something about dere's and whatnot.

So until next time, keep on reading.

Over Obsession/Excited? - Otaku Fans Finally Crossed The Line


Alright, guys. It's time for a wake up call. Especially to my homeboys and girls from my place, Malaysia. Cause' I am mother, effin, pissed off right now. To my surprise, this isn't the only "fans crossing the line" news I've got. So I'll be talking about the other one first.

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~Hyuuga Hinata Threatened~


So before I get to the most infuriating news, there's another, a bit less, infuriating one. That's right ladytakus and gentleweebs, our favourite seiyuu (voice actor/actress) for Hyuuga Hinata from Naruto, Mizuki Nana had been threatened to be killed.

The man that sent the threat message was a 32-year-old man named Fukushima Akihiro. He claimed that he sent it in spite for his e-mail not replied by Nana. Dude, you didn't have to send a death threat for that, lady's busy with her concert tour right now. She's not that wild like Saya (from Blood-C) she voiced from that she can protect herself.

This news is indeed shocking, but it wasn't just the first time and it's not just on Nana. Over obsessed fans have been a bother to celebrities in Japan since time remembers which brings us to the next topic.

~Obsession and Purity~

If you had been in the otaku community for quite some time now, you'll probably noticed how weird or bizarre are the norms of the members in the community. They might be a minority, but the over obsessed fans had been making troubles and worries for a long time now. Obsessing over 2D fictional characters might be fine, but the idols and voice actors/actresses? They even called these celebrities as 2.5D. What are they, properties?

To the people outside the community or outside of Japan and didn't understand their culture, it will seemed as abusive, wrong, weird or whatever you might call it. But over there, it is already normal. Japan is a land of purity, so anything that they idolize they deemed as "pure". 

They were past cases such as of Toyosaki Aki (known for her role as Hirasawa Yui from K-On!). There were once an obsessed fan "stalks" her to her home and found out that she was living with her boyfriend. This, of course, tore the "pure" image of her and the news spread over social medias (oh 2ch, what would we do without you). Subsequently, obsessed fans then posted pictures with knives over her picture, threatening her for "betraying their dreams".


This, of course, breaks her heart. However, there's not much could be done, except adding more securities 24/7. 

So this might seemed crossing the line for those outside the community or those whom unable to comprehend these, but it has been a long case, long enough it's been considered as a normal occurrence. Though, the agencies for the said talents are still on high alert and provided extra care for them. I will discuss this on another article, but for now it's time to move on to the most infuriating news I heard today.

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~Uncontrolled Excitement or Just Plain Foul Play?~



Dear fellow ladytakus and gentleweebs, I'm sure if you see the above image, you know your shit to not record anything. However, some of my homeboys in Malaysia, can't read. I'm just kidding, they can read, but they won't understand. And I said WON'T.

Even Kirito had enough of your bullshit
Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale had been released in my country, since my hometown doesn't have Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) cinema, I can't watch that sh*t so I can't humiliate more SAO fans out there (I'm just joking... am I?). So, those that do have GSC in their local area, they are the lucky (or should I say unlucky) bastards can watch the premiere. 

Since Malaysia had been known for it's reputation for producing "pirated" products, it's only a matter of time before somebody gonna make a camrip of the movie. Well good news everyone, it doesn't even take one day and it's already on the net. That's right, that's just how dedicated the pirates in Malaysia.

But before I continue, I guess it's safe to say that it's not really a full piracy, cause' the recorded material last around 8-10 minutes only. At least that could still help in their case for justifying their actions. However, the producers and the studio (A-1 Pictures) weren't amused by this. 

Ding dong! It's the mail, Malaysia might be blacklisted from anime movies in the future!
Well done, guys. 

ODEX Private Limited, the one who's been distributing anime movies like Boruto and One Piece around Southeast Asia had been warned and might not get future licences for future anime movies. They are pleading to you, dear ladytakus and gentleweebs, to stop recording sh*ts in the cinema. Here's the link to the full news.

I know you ladytakus and gentleweebs were very excited about the movie, but could you at least enjoy it to yourself without troubling others? We are already lucky enough to be able to see it earlier than most other places (Canada's on March 17th? Really?) so be grateful. It is really sad to see how low our respect for the creators of the show. As a creator myself, I feel offended, too.

Excitement is not really a good reason for all these irresponsible acts. If you really love something, you should appreciate it and PROTECT it, not wrecking it. This small infringement might seemed small, but it could cost the producers a lot of losses. Don't forget the other fellow fans, they might not watch it since you already spoiled everything! Not every spoilers can be prevented with a SPOILER WARNING sign.

I guess we can kiss Koe no Katachi goodbye, now. (I'm kidding, GSC will screen them on April 2017. I just hope nobody will do the same sh*t again).


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~Final Summation~

So we see that sometimes fans can cross the line. And these can cause a lot of trouble to not just the creators or celebrities, but also to fellow fans. Celebrities are humans, too. They have sacrificed a lot (like their normal life, for example) so you fans can enjoy what they do or make. Studios of movies and anime also had given tons of effort to produce the shows you all love, all you have to do is support them by consuming their product without killing them like infringements above. The amount of damages from such small actions might be colossal if not handled.

So I plead to you ladytakus and gentleweebs, especially my homeboys in Malaysia, please be more respectful and responsible. We have such a reputation BECAUSE of these cases. It is up to us to change all this. Help us to make Malaysia a great place for otakus and weeaboos alike (and for other things and groups of people too, of course). Pointing fingers won't solve anything, do the right thing yourselves. You KNOW what's right and wrong.


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I guess that's all I've got to say for now. I hope you guys learnt some lessons today. Leave your thoughts in the comments below and follow my blog for more otaku related news and discussions. I hope to see you guys again soon. As always, keep on reading!

Traps and Sexuality



Greetings ladytakus and gentleweebs, it is I, Kuromi, shall be entertaining you with a mind breaking article under my sleeves for today. Today we're gonna be discussing about a controversial (my ass) topic. Prepare yourself cause' you're about to be bombed by unknown gender bombshells.

~TRAPS AND SEXUALITY~

That's right, we're goin' to talk about some girls with d**** and boys with p******. I really don't know why I write this... I think I'll dedicate this to my Felix (from Re:Zero) loving friend. Thus, the head image. Anyways, let's move on.

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WHAT IS A TRAP?

I still can't believe Bridgette's a guy...

If you're a frequent anime watcher or a manga reader, you're bound to find series with at least one character which you couldn't identify their gender. They seemed so lovely, you even consider making them your waifu, so perfect, ideal and so--- WHAT THE FAKK IS THAT A FRIGGIN' PEN**!?

So basically a trap is a fictional character in a series which looked like either a girl or a boy but actually turns out to be the opposite. This trend of putting in traps in series had been a popular trope on recent series that almost all of the current series had at least ONE trap character.

One of the current most favourite trap is Felix Argyle from Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World (Jap: ゼロから始める異世界生活). Here HE is:



I know, I'm just spamming my friend's 'best grill'. However, it can't be denied that he is, in fact, the most popular trap in the season.

But no one can make your straight body as confused as how Kinoshita Hideyoshi from Baka to Tesuto to Shōkanjū (Jap: バカとテストと召喚獣) can.


This guy, my fellow ladytakus and gentleweebs, is the very icon of traps. His mere existence causes the existence of a subgender for traps called the 'Hideyoshi gender'. It's not a guy? It's not a girl? Put it under Hideyoshi. That's where he/she belongs.

That's a girl. The skirt is completely normal. Sauce is Monthly Girl Nozaki
Of course, there is also the reverse trap. A reverse trap is when a girl character looked AND behaves like a boy. Much different than a normal tomboy. Most of the time, reverse traps appeared in serious series rather than in a comedy series. This is usually because they want to portray a strong, self-reliant female character. 

A good example of this is Kino from Kino's Journey -the Beautiful World- (Jap:  キノの旅 -the Beautiful World-).

Kino best grill! That's a girl. Trust me. She's a badass, too.

Kino no Tabi or Kino's Journey is about a young girl, whom appeared as a boy (reverse trap, remember) travel around the world to different countries to learn about their local cultures and histories. She had one rule, never stay for more than three days. Her adventures are full of actions as well which made her look more and more NOT a female, though she actually is. This show is one of my classic favourites, I totally recommend it. 

So we can see here that the roles of these traps and reverse traps differs depending on the series and one trope is more dominant in certain genres than the others. Most traps are used as fanservice and often seen in comedy series while reverse traps are often seen in serious series to portray feminine strength. 

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~ABOUT THE 'D'...~

Oh boii... That subtitle spelling, though...

So now we know what are traps and reverse traps. Now we're going into the much more serious part (or not, up to you).

If you're into traps, you must have ever wonder "if I like a trap, am I gay?". This question had been playing into many straight trap lovers all around the otaku community. Of course, there had been many justifications for this problem. Some of them sounded like this, "he looks like a girl, that means I'm still into girls, right?". Yes and no. Yes, you're attracted to him since he's girlish in terms of looks. No, you're still liking him despite your awareness his d***. This also applied to the other end of the spectrum. A girl that loves a reverse trap, is it lesbian or nah? Despite knowing the character has some nice -beep-.


This dilemma had been going on for quite some time now, okay, it had been since a LONG time ago. Still, there are still no clear explanations. There are some articles saying how loving traps ain't gay, which I had to admit, had some nice sounding points.

However, the fact that loving them despite being aware of their gender is pretty hard to pass by the 'no homo' bar. If you're a Christian (I'm a Catholic) you'll understand this example, a sin is just a normal sin if you did it without knowing, but if you did it despite knowing it is a sin, then it will become a mortal sin. I hope you get what I mean by this example.

However, of course there are those who are still not neck deep into the trap fandom. They like the trap, they love em', but in reality they still prefer only women. Same applied for the ladytakus as well. Which begs the question whether they are bisexual instead. But the bisexual argument doesn't hold water much as these cases usually are where a gentleweeb doesn't love the trap to the extent of loving them as a romantic affection. When asked, they still prefer women before traps. Thus, pretty clear they are straight, at least for now.

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~FINAL SUMMATION~

In the end, it's all about the individuals. Like my friend whom I dedicate this article to, he's a full on straight weeaboo but still love some of his traps (like Felix). It is up to the gentleweeb to identify their own sexuality. If you love a trap JUST because of his looks and girlish acts, don't worry, you're attracted to the feminine traits, and not the D'. So if anyone accused you of being gay for loving traps, there's no need to counter argue with them. They won't understand your views and preferences. You are you, you go weeb!

So what's your opinion on traps and sexuality? Leave down your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page where I'll share this article.

I hope I didn't offend any ladytakus or gentleweebs with this article. I hold no ill feelings towards the LGBT community or anyone related. This is just an opinion of mine, an article to introduce the weird, enigmatic and beautiful subculture of otaku through traps to the world. If I ever offended anyone with this article, I am truly sorry.

I hope you guys enjoy reading this. I still need to brush up my humour again to make my articles fun to read, but all I had were dirty inuendos. I hope to see you guys again soon. Thanks again for reading, and remember, keep on reading!

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By the way, I've set up a Google+ Community page for you G+ users to join. I'll be posting some polls and stuffs so I can hear your opinions there. Your feedback will be very useful for my upcoming discussion articles such as this one. Hope to see you guys soon!


Otaku Love Life Issues - 2D over 3D? (Valentine's Special)

Source: knowyourmeme.com

All right, listen up weebs. Kuromi's back with a troubling issue that finally plagued even my surroundings (just the otaku side of my reality). Recently, I've been talking to fellow otakus in a local hobby shop about girls. As usual, we start off talking about the figures of female anime characters in the shop, until an unknown weaboo butted in when we say we need a girlfriend soon. He was all like,

"F*** 3D girls! Who needs 'em!?", he shouted. Ladies and gentleweebs... if you're in this level of fanaticism, please read no further for I'm about to rant out about this issue and it might offend your precious preferences. You've clicked away? You didn't? I won't warn you again ok? Fine, let's move on.

Source: myanimelist.com
As Valentine's is coming up, instead of the usual Valentine's Day article, we're gonna talk about something else that is in the scope of otaku romance. So, here's the main question to all you gentleweebs, 2D or 3D? For those who aren't familiar with the otaku lexicon, 2D women or girls refer to drawn out female characters usually from anime, manga or games. Yes, fictional characters. While 3D refers to, well, real women. Like your mother whom you hide under your basement. Who knows. The picture above shows the difference if you still don't get it. The left is 2D while the right is 3D. 

This had been an issue in Japan for quite some time now and this also contributes to the birth decline in the country cause most men (otaku men, specifically) are content with their fictional, non-existent wives. Now, the otaku culture had spread throughout the world because now there's a magical and miraculous thing called INTERNETNow this problem arise in countries outside Japan as well. Thus, the Ultimate Weeb fella that butted in the conversation between me and my friend just now.

However, we must not be so one-sided in this matter. Is it really just the otaku men's fault or the anime industry's fault that cause these such problems? There are actually more factors that cause men's preference to something of fantasy instead of reality, even non-otaku men.

One of the other factors are the most obvious thing lies at the other end of the preferences spectrum. Yes, that's right. Real, 3D girls and women also contributes to the rise of this issue. 

Source: fuckyeahanimereactions.tumblr.com
Now now, girls. We don't mean ALL of you are the problem, since there are female weebs reading this and also had the same problem. Some of you are pretty tolerant and accepting, too. To us, you guys... I mean, girls, are the best! :3 (Forgive the cat emoji).

Due to today's materialism age, most women, like men, are pretty materialistic. When choosing a partner, they want a rational, non-'childlike' and high earning man instead of a man with an obsessive hobby. Specifically, otakus. This also applied to non-otaku man choosing their partner. 

Men or women with an obsessive hobbies are usually shunned by the society, much worse if they're uneducated, untrained and/or unemployed (a.k.a. NEET).  Of course, there's a logic in there if they're not working, I mean, how can they support their partner in terms of finance? That said, where did they get their money from to buy their hentai doujins and Bluray DVDs? I digress.

The problem lies when the said otaku (or weeb, whichever you call yourself) had a stable income and capable of raising a family. If they're not blessed with good looks, they're bound to be alone forever. However, even ikemens (hotties) couldn't get a life partner. Just because of their otaku hobbies, they are shunned and avoided.

Ask any otaku/weeb that prefer 2D over 3D, they will all have histories with real women. Or man, whatever, I think I'll just say women cause majority of this sad community consist of men anyway. Back to topic. It was these histories that cause a shift in their preference due to trauma.

Source: funnyjunk.com

How about we stop pointing fingers on anyone and look into the otaku (or weeaboo) community itself. Most of the time it stems from peer pressure from fellow otakus. Usually showing an interest in real women can cause the said person being shunned by fellow otaku brethrens.

Not to mention there are also the case of detachment from reality itself. Some otakus just couldn't differentiate reality from fantasy and vice versa. I mean, if a non-otaku can have this problem, why not the otakus? This pose a great problem because it's not just contributing a bad image to the otaku community, but they are also the root of the peer pressure issue said before. So it might be a psychological problem or so. Sometimes it just can't be helped, but it does contributes to the 2D over 3D preference problem.

Again, it may due the trauma that they had experienced in the past with real women which cause them to prefer 2D, however, it then became a habit or second nature to them. From habit, came the said problems.

 


In the end, it all comes down to individuals. Some prefer only 3D, which normies usually are.. They can't have any affections towards fictional characters. Pretty weird, right? Then there are those who can only look upon 2D and discarded reality, which most of you gentleweebs probably still reading this. However, most of the time there were those who are into a little bit of both. Who still has common sense that you can't reproduce with fictional characters no matter what you do, no, not even your precious VR set can. 

We can only pray and hope for those who have succumbed to 'only 2D' realm to find the light and return to our sane world to prevent the declining birth rate which happens ALL AROUND THE WORLD. 

It may not much, but if we can change for the better by opening up to each other, this may not be a problem at all. Of course, with boundaries, mind you. So we can all enjoy this Valentine's Day not just with Azunyan or Suzu above, but with a real, living, significant other.

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Well I talked too much, probably since it's been forever since I last wrote in this blog (explains my shitty writing, sorry). I've been caught up with many art commissions and web app development jobs. If you guys interested in my arts, check out my Tumblr or support me on Patreon.

If any of you gentleweebs offended or anything from this article, I'm truly sorry and you're welcome. This is just a personal rant and nothing more. I hope you guys enjoy a good read (I know it's bad, sigh), hope to see you guys again soon. As always, keep on reading!

Nijiiro Days - Is it really Colourful? (SPOILERS Alert)


Alright, alright. Calm your horses people. It's me, Kuromi, and I'm finally back with writing on this blog. Woo hoo! Sorry for the long hiatus, college had been killing me... a LOT. Nevertheless, we're finally got a week off so I thought I should write something. So thanks to those who visited my blog even during my 'disappearance'.

So today we're gonna take a look at a cance-- I mean, a drama anime. Featuring an average of 13 minutes per episode, Nijiiro Days is just another slice of life romantic drama revolving around high school students. The title might say 'rainbow' but honestly I don't really get that, 'rainbow-y' feeling. It might've just been me, since my roommates had been going heads over heels over this series. Me? I heard that my favourite VA is in this anime, though in the end it just 'sounded' like her. Damn snitch.

Anyway, the story is about a group of guy friends hanging around, living their normie lives. One of them, Natsuki, got dumped by his girlfriend during one Christmas. (Seriously, if it were me, I'll be at church on Christmas night). Then this one girl handed him a packet of tissue on the scene post breakup. He then learned that the girl went to the same school as him, thus begin the series of pointless drama. 



To be frank, the drama between the supporting characters were much more interesting than the main couple. Question is, does Kobayakawa even a main character anyway? (Source). To me, Matsunaga and Tsutsui's romance were much more appealing. There were a lot of development in both their characters and their relationship. Plus, there were a lot, I repeat, a LOT of scenes and moments that will make you go 'Hnnnnnnnnnnnnng!'.


Tsutsui is your generic rebellious girl with phobia of men, but instead of fleeing from them, she confronts them with violence. While Matsunaga is your typical playboy or ladies' man. As the story progress, their relationship with each other develops as they overcoming life obstacles and becoming more and more mature. Tsutsui began to open up to not just men, but also other people and treat them as friends. Matsunaga on the other hand started to lay off from his old habits and started to learn the true meaning of love and loyalty. There's a lot that can be said about them rather than Natsuki and Kobayakawa.

Other couples in the series being Tsuyoshi with Yukiko and Keiichi and Matsunaga -- the younger Matsunaga, Nozomi, mind you.

Tsuyoponnu and Yukirin
Keiichi and Nozomi
So enough with the story and shippings, let's go to the visuals department.

Since this anime is a shoujo anime, despite seeing the story from the male point of view, you can expect some beautiful arts and of course, random flowers and sparkling backgrounds. They convey the art from the original manga pretty well. Hats off to the animation team, probably the only good thing that made this anime a success.



Colours were vibrant, almost playful in a sense. Though not that consistent, the visuals actually provide more expressions than any other elements within this anime. For once, I found the art more heart tugging than music.

Now when I said that statement, it doesn't mean that the music was trash. In fact, it is the second best element ever implemented within this series. It may sound redundant later on as the same BGMs actually played for different situations, making you question yourself, what kind of scene are you in right now. Though the music was splendid and beautiful, the placement of it was somewhat off sometimes.

FINAL SUMMATION

When you're watching this anime, you could expect the following:
+ Beautiful art. So colourful it made me colourblind (Just kidding)
+ Good music, catchy and fun
+ Loads of 'hnnnnnng!' moments
+ Good humor, pretty funny
- Short episodes (Waiting each week for a 13 minute episode. RWBY much?)
- Supporting characters had more action than the mains
- Misplaced(?) music.
- Shitty drama
- My friends worship this series and I don't see it's 'light'

I would rate it around (6/10) for anyone to watch. It is a good time-passer when you want to binge watch something when there's nothing to do. If those light and fluffy romance stuff's your thing, then by all means, this is your perfect match.

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Well that's it for now. There's still more stuff to do back here, so I don't really know when will I post next. But feel free to come back for some readings to pass your time. I appreciate your support. Especially those who frequented this blog despite it's recent hiatus period. Anyways, until next time, I'm Kuromi signing off. Keep on reading!

(SPOILER ALERT)Shift the Past! - Zero Time Dilemma Review


Hello guys, Kuromi here. It's been a while, but I can't help it since I got college classes' works and assignments piling up. However, it doesn't mean that I'll abandon this little blog of mine. So today, I'll be bringing you guys a review of one of the most recent game, Zero Time Dilemma. I decided to write one since I've finally got the true ending.

Zero Time Dilemma is the third installment of the Zero Escape series. It is the sequel to 9 Hours 9 Person 9 Doors (999), the first game and prequel to Virtue's Last Reward (VLR), the second game. Directed by Kotaro Uchikoshi, the game demonstrates a great story which pars with the previous couple of games. It was released on 30th June, 2016, and I grabbed a copy a couple of days later for the PC version. That's right, PC players, you can play this game on Windows. Besides PC, it was also released for Nintendo 3DS and Sony PSVita.

But enough with the info, time for the review!



Now before we begin, let me just give you guys a heads up. I haven't played Virtue's Last Reward, the second game. At least, I've played a little bit (managed to hassle a buddy of mine) but not much. Blame me for not getting a 3DS *cries*. However, I still can get the gist of things going on here.

They brought characters from previous games like Akane, Junpei, Sigma and Phi. New characters introduced includes a firefighter named Carlos, an ice-cream man named Eric and his girlfriend, Mira. Also not to forgot, a mysterious boy with a spherical helmet called Q and a young pacifist nurse named Diana.

Story

The characters were trapped in a place like a bomb shelter where they are forced to play the Decision Game while seperated into teams, where their lives are literally on the line. They could only escape once there are six or more people died, or so they thought. Like previous games, the game's lore relies heavily on multiple universe theory, where each decision will branch off to a different outcome and another decision will lead to another outcome. In this game, most of the characters can finally use their power to shift between these timelines at will as long as the conditions are met. So by using their abilities, they try to uncover the mysteries lurking around them, the truth behind the Decision Game and make their way out of the shelter with all of them being alive.

The plot might looked like they had lot of holes, but once the story progresses, especially after shifting between timelines several times, things finally made a lot of sense. Especially with things going with team Q. The only twist was near the end of the true end. A character which never had any appearance before suddenly appeared. What's up with that!

However, the only downfall was the epilogue. It doesn't show much of what happens after the events with the true end. There are texts documents in the 'Files' section after the credit roll. But it's not really satisfying. Besides, this game's supposed to cover all holes that's left hanging from the two previous games.

Graphics and Gameplay

The way they used cinematics for narrations is a new thing considering the previous games which used visual novel approach. Nevertheless, it's pretty nice. Surprisingly, this actually boost the popularity and sale in the West. Perhaps it is because it is similar style of narration in Western games such as The Walking Dead. Contrast to their previous works, Spike Chunsoft, the developer of the game, got a bit lazy on the animation department. However, the graphics were a lot better than the others. Perhaps it is to meet standards of the previous games. 

Unlike previous Zero Escape games, Zero Time Dilemma uses 'fragments' to proceed with the game's storyline. In other words, it's not linear. True, they do have a menu screen for viewing the timeline flowchart, but to access the next fragment from wherever you currently present were hard to spot on since in the end, you just had to play all fragments and meet all ends to continue the game. Including game over ends.


Fragment screen
The puzzles and escape from room gameplay is still the same as previous games. The puzzles were well thought and challenging. I have to admit, there are some puzzles that really had me hours to solve. (Damn you, laser puzzle!). Especially the puzzles leading to the true end. It felt like a masochist fest as a puzzle enthusiast myself. There are also situations where you need to memorize passwords or answers from different timelines. So this is a good test to see whether you had a good memory or you're going senile. Joking, joking. And of course, the Decision Game. The key of the game where you are given two or more choices, and the outcomes will differ depending on your choice. Sometimes it's as simple as picking the 'correct' answer. But most of the time it's all about your personal moral views and ideology. Which really make things quite interesting, and sometimes pretty personal. (Trigger alert).

Music and Sounds

I'm really hyped when they used soundtracks from previous games during certain scenes or escape phase. You could expect for 999's soundtrack during scenes with Akane and Junpei, while you could hear soundtracks from Virtue's Last Reward during Sigma and Phi's scene. But with improvements and new variations of them, which is really cool and refreshing. As a veteran player, I just can't keep my hype down. 

Of course, there are Zero Time Dilemma exclusive tracks as well. Which are on par with those comeback soundtracks. If not, better. The sounds made you feel immersive so much that you can feel the tension with the characters in the game. Especially with a pair of nice headphones, my heart races on EVERY tense situation. 

Regarding the voice acting, I have to say I prefer the Japanese voice acting more than the English voice acting. The English voice acting is great as well, but personally, the Japanese voice acting felt more... alive, and real. But I have to say, the English voice acting for this game doesn't dissapoint me much. I can feel the emotions with it, too. Unlike other localized games, where the voice acting for English was literally sounded as they simply read the script. (Roxas, why oh why...)

Final summation




So I got all the endings, including the true end and peeked on almost everything I could with the game. Again, the end was not very satisfying, at least not to me personally. But the plot was amazing and well thought nonetheless. Twists were placed well, too. Graphic-wise, just look at Virtue's Last Reward and you'll get the idea. I'm especially hyped the most by the soundtrack. Hearing a new mixed version of previous games' soundtrack, it was blissful. *Eargasm overload*.

If I have to give a scale for them, it would be a little like this:

Story: 7/10
Graphic: 9/10 (PC)
Sound: 9/10

Well, that's all from me for now. I'm still replaying this game. I would really recommend for those who never played the Zero Escape series to play from the first game before playing this one because there'll be a LOT of references from the previous games.

Until next time, thanks for reading. As always, keep on reading.

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