Attack on Titan set to end in 2019; The story so far

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…It’s hard to believe it’s only been 5 years since Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin burst onto the scene and became a GLOBAL Phenomenon out the gate. Five years after it began, series creator Hajime Isayama (Also had a part in Death Note) announced over the summer during an interview the iconic series will end next year.

 

He allowed cameras to capture him drawing what will be the final panel of the series:

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The dialogue bubble says “You are free.” No context was given, presumably on purpose. The two leading theories from fans are it’s either Eren and his daughter or an unknown pair many years later.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Season 3 of the Anime is taking a 6-month hiatus and will resume in April 2019. The reason given is so that action scenes in the second half of the season can be properly done right but this may be the other reason: To give time for the Manga to wrap up. I have the Manga volumes up to 20 but plan to get the rest up to present once I have income again.

It is worth noting the Live Action movies did use plot elements from the Manga that hadn’t been approached yet. I’m specifically talking about the origins of the Titans and how the world was before the walled kingdom. The timeline including the events of the prequel Before the Fall series seems to be a few hundred years from the present. Researchers develop what we know as the Titan Serum, a special cocktail that will cause the person injected with it into a Titan. The first Titans unleashed on the world wiped out whole nations single-handedly and in fact, 80% of the world’s knowledge was lost shortly afterward.

Most of the world’s survivor erected the walled city and hid from the Titans inside. As we know, there WERE other humans who lived outside but due to the country’s strict control of information and knowledge, those who lived within were ignorant of the world beyond the walls. If anyone knew how to kill a Titan before, that knowledge was lost by the time the Before the Fall series begins. The series takes place 100 years before the start of AoT and the Omni-Directional Movement Gear (ODM Gear for short) is introduced for the first time. The first known successful Titan kill is recorded during that time as well.

Anyone who knows the series knows a Titan’s one weak point is the nape of the neck. Using paring blades with the ODM Gear, humans could now kill Titans by attacking thir weak point. The main series seems pretty straightforward but then a curveball is thrown when it is revealed Eren and other humans have the power to turn into Titans at will. Even worse, there are traitors among them. In ousting the traitors, the Survey Corps becomes aware of a closely guarded conspiracy going back many generations within the government and both Erin and Krista are key.

It’s revealed Krista is really Historia, the illegitimate daughter of the last remaining member of the royal bloodline. To protect her life, her father arranged for her to live under an assumed name but times have changed. In the end, Historia decides to turn on her father and decide her own life on her own terms. She backs the military-led coup de tat and inadvertently ends up cutting down her father after he turns into a gian Titan. This allows the military to present their new Queen to the people as a Hero.

It’s revealed along the way that Mikasa, Levi and he man who raised him named Kenny are all from the Ackerman Clan. Their clan is one of two who are immune to the power of the royal family’s bloodline. By the time AOT begins, the three named people are the only known members of the Ackerman Clan still alive. Mikasa’s mother was a member of the clan but she along with Mikasa’s father were both killed by bandits. She was taken in by the Jaeger family after the incident. Levi was raised and trained by Kenny, who kept their shared heritage a secret out of convenience. Yes, his full name is Levi Ackerman. He had no clue until Kenny told him in the end. With Kenny dead (cue South Park reference lol) that leaves Mikasa and Levi as the sole known members of the Ackerman Clan left alive. The rest were killed off or went into hiding (which Mikasa’s mother did).

I am not up to date on where the story currently is–not yet anyway–but I do plan to own all the volumes of the Manga. I have plenty of space on my bookshelves. I do feel that AOT will be remembered as one of the most engaging anime ever. Its global reach goes without saying. I do remember hearing a few years back that Marvel approached Isayama about doing an AOT crossover. On that note, the spinoff series Attack on Titan Junior High was done with his blessing (Unlike in the US, Fan Fiction is protected in Japan and more so when you have the original author’s permission).

I can say for sure Attack on Titan is on my top 10-all time Anime list. I’m sure it is for alot of folks. It’s certainly one to remember!

 

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Jump Force and My Hero One’s Justice announced at E3

Two games based on Mega Popular Anime were announced over the weekend, both fighting games.

…Once you’ve finished picking your jaw off the floor, note what wasn’t shown and what was shown. Goku, Naruto and Luffy were obvious. Same with Frieza as well. Light and Ryuk from Death Note appearingh at the end…HOLY SHIT!

Here’s a few other names I’ll drop that I’m sure will make the cut:

  • Ichigo Kurosaki
  • Rukia Kuchiki
  • Naruto Uzumaki (Child and Teen versions as separate characters)
  • Sasuke Uchiha (Child and Teen versions as separate characters)
  • Sakura Haruno (Child and Teen versions as separate characters)
  • Boruto Uzumaki
  • Sarada Uchiha
  • Mitsuki
  • Goku (Child and Adult versions as separate characters + All canon forms)
  • Vegeta (All Canon Forms)
  • Piccolo
  • Beerus (from Dragonball Super)
  • Hit (From Dragonball Super)
  • Kale (From Dragonball Super)
  • Caulifla (From Dragonball Super)
  • Jiren (From Dragonball Super)
  • Broly
  • Frieza (All forms including new Gold Form)
  • Eren Yeager (able to use Titan Form)
  • Mikasa Akerman
  • Levi
  • Asta
  • Yuno
  • Edward Elric
  • Alphonse Elric (Suit of Armor version)
  • Roy Mustang
  • Alex Louis Armstrong

…I know those are alot of names from just a handful of franchises but I’m fairly sure that it will be a large playable roster. I’m also sure many shows will be represented as well. Some of those names could very well be DLC Characters as well.

Jump Force will be released on the PS4, Xbox One and PC later this year. I intend to get it obviously. LOL.

…We knew a game would be coming sooner or later so…yeah. So much is revealed in this 2-minute trailer. The game uses the Unreal Engine just like Jump Force will so you know they went all in. The inclusion of Pro Heroes, Stain and Villains is icing on the cake. More so since it seems the game’s storyline will follow the Anime’s up to a certain point like most Anime games tend to. All Might vs. All for One in game will be EPIC, more so given their fight in last week’s episode.

My Hero One’s Justice will be released later this year on the PS4. I plan to get it as well. Time to go beyond! Plus Ultra!

6 Anime made video games worth trying

There have been alot of video games based on Anime–not to be confused with Anime-ish video games like Tales of Symphonia and Persona 4–but until about15 years ago, they were rarely released outside Japan. The last decade has seen a Naruto game released every few years in particular, many of which I’ve played.

These are 6 games released on consoles I’ve personally played, still own and highly reccommend playing, counting down from 6:

 

6. Bleach: Dark Souls (Nintendo DS)

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…One thing Bleach had a knack for was timing when it did filler arcs. Dark Souls is no different. The game’s story mode is set right after the end of the Soul Society Arc (when Ichigo first visits the Soul Society to rescue Rukia) and follows a non-canon storyline involving Mod Souls. The game is dual audio English and Japanese. Everyone has all of their moves from the anime including Gin and Tossen, who are unlockable characters along with Aizen–not the Aizen reintroduced much later, mind you–and yes, their Bankai if theirs was introduced before. I believe the only ones who don’t have their Bankai in Dark Souls are Aizen’s (which hadn’t been revealed at the time) and Rukia’s (same as Aizen though in addition, Rukia was still recovering from the injuries she sustained at the end of the Soul Society Arc).

The game’s very difficult to find in a Gamestop. There is an mobile version of the game but from what I’ve seen, it’s definitely not the same game.

 

5. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (PS Vita)

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The smash hit Anime series got two video game spinoffs on the PS Vita (so far): Hollow Fragment and Lost Song, both of which I own. I haven’t played Lost Song yet (gasp!) because I am playing other things at the moment. Hollow Fragment, on the other hand is digital only in North America. Unlike Dark Souls, Hollow Fragment’s story takes place during an existing point in the anime. It is a non-canon storyline that takes place towards the end of the first half of Season 1. It’s an action RPG. Unlike your typical RPG though, you don’t start the game at level 1. Your level and that of your recruitable partners is much higher to fit the story’s narrative, which is just before the Aincrad arc ends.

Sinon, who is introduced in Season 2 of the anime is a playable character in this game. The obvious problem from a lore standpoint is she never was in Aincrad in the canon. The game kinda gets away with this given she is introduced in the game before she is introduced in the Anime: The anime premiered in Japan almost a year after Hollow Fragment was released in Japan. I watched it on Crunchyroll so I can say that. If you want to buy this game, it is digital only.

4. Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3

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I bought the game a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised when I saw that unlike the previous two games, the game’s story mode is a a full retelling of the a portion of the canon storyline. The story begins during the Hidden Lead Village’s reconstruction after it is destroyed by Pain and ends with Kurama accepting Naruto, helping him fight Tobi. The secondary storyline introduces North American fans to Naruto’s father and the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze as well as his mother Kushina Uzumaki. The game was released during the filler episodes that aired before Naruto meets his mother in the Anime.

There are button prompts that pop up during pivotal fights in the game. Mess up and you take damage before retrying. There is also additional dialogue during the dialogue not shown in the Anime. Mostly because the game isn’t restricted in terms of how much content per episode they can put in the game. The game was released on the PS3 and well as the Xbox 360. The 4th game, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was released on the PS4 and Xbox One earlier this year.

 

3. Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains (Nintendo 3DS)

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….Believe it or not, someone actually LOVED this game.

Folks are trying to pretend the game never existed even though the upcoming PS3 port is the exact same thing. The hate comes from the lack of gore in the 3DS game. No, seriously. It’s a SOLID game and stays true to the anime in terms of mechanics. The game’s Story Mode spans the entire anime series. You play as Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Sasha and Levi. The meat of the game is the more open-ended Mission Mode: You create your own character and start your own legend as a member of the Survey Corps =D

Humanity in Chains also contains video clips from the anime (Japanese audio with English subtitles) as well as yes, the Opening we all know and love–how can you NOT love that on a portable game? The game is digital only, sells for $30 and is worth the price tag in my book if you call yourself a fan of Attack on Titan.

2. Dragonball: Xenoverse

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Hailed by diehard DBZ fans as one of, if not best Dragonball Z game released since the Budokai games, Xenoverse mixes the done to death retelling of DBZ’s Sagas and custom characters to make a game with near-endless replay value. The game breaks the 4th wall a bit as you can chose to play as a Human, Saiyan, Namekian, Frieza-race or Buu-race character. The lore for those last two I just mentioned are being made in the spinoff anime series Dragonball Z Super, which began with the movie Dragonball Z: Battle of Gods. Anyways, Trunks summons you to join the Time Patrol, an interdimensional fighting force that is tasked with fixing abnormalities with the time-space continum. Someone is intenionally screwing with iconic battles in DBZ’s lore. Trunks can’t intervene himself (being Vegeta’s son and all) so he asked Shenron to bring you in to do the job in his place.

…The game is MASSIVE. That’s how it is.  I bought the game digital on the PS3 but it was also released on the Xbox 360. The crazy thing more mind-blowing over this being #2 is two games tied for first =O

1. Dragonball Z: Legacy of Goku II/Dragonball Z: Buu’s Fury (Game Boy Advance)

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…Surprised, I take it? So was I the first time I played Legacy of Goku II: It was a faithful retelling of the Androids Saga and the Cell Saga. Watching DBZ Kai the last few weeks reminded me of this fact. There is even a secret boss: Cooler. In addition, Hercule is an unlockable playable character in the late game. Buu’s Fury picks it up from there, spanning The Underworld Tournament to The Buu Saga. The secret boss is Broly in that game. Both games are action RPGs. Oh and yes, you can go Super Saiyan (or Super Namekian in the case of Piccolo in Legacy of Goku II) at will. You can also do fusions in Buu’s Fury, all at will. The games allow fans to relive their favorite battles or those new to DBZ to enjoy the story at a slower pace.

Both games were released halfway through the Game Boy Advance’s lifespan. If you want to find it, Amazon is the place to go since it was never ported or re-released on newer consoles. I first played both games when they were current so…yeah.

 

…Well there you have it. There may not be a whole lot of Anime that made the jump to video games but of the ones that do, few of them are as well received as half the ones on this list. This is just my list of personal faves. There actually IS another Anime I have in mind that was originally a visual novel. I found the review I wrote for it and realized I never posted it. That oversight will be correctly shortly.

 

Thinking of Cosplaying at Anime Boston 2016…

I thought about doing it last year but due to how crazy things were for me around that time, those plans were put on hold. Seeing as pre-registration for AB2016 could come as early as late October, it’s worth thinking about now before things get crazy in the first 3 months of 2016. I originally planned to announce this as a video but didn’t feel the efort would have been worth it.

So who or what would I cosplay? I’ve narrowed it down to these:

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Or this:

 

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Or even this:

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Or finally, this:

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In all four cases, I would be buying the costume. I wanna throw that out there before folks get too excited. For those who don’t recognize the second one, it’s Izanagi from Persona 4. I’m pretty muscular though not ripped though regardless, I’m expecting a tight fit: I’m 6’1″ and weigh 230 lbs. Don’t let my weight fool you: I’m more muscle than body fat, believe it or not.

Even so, I’m leaning toward Attack on Titan or Robin from Fire Emblem since they’re ambiguous and would require the least amount of alterations. For example, I don’t necessarily need to buy a wig for either cosplay. While yes canonically Robin has white hair, in-game it doesn’t really matter since you can customize his (or her) appearance. I also say that because I will be bald and a wig won’t matter =D

Since this will be my first time cosplaying, I will only buy one costume. I plan to buy all the components between December and March: Halloween is next month and that means the prices will go up until after it’s done. It’s called being a smart shopper. LOL. Of course, I COULD just buy the components at Anime Boston but I’d rather take care of things in advance.

Let’s Talk Attack on Titan

I put this video together last weekend. Enjoy ^_^

 

…And yes, I had fun making it XD

Apologies if there were ads. Putting the OP from the Anime is why.

…Next, I shall do Clannad. It’s sure to be interesting =D

 

 

 

First Look Review: Attack on Titan: Chains of Humanity (Nintendo 3DS)

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The first thing you see when you start the game is the Opening from the Anime–Guren no Yumiya by Linked Horizon:

…Never gets old.

Before I continue, obviously I don’t reccommend buying Chains of Humanity if you are not a fan of the Anime. That said, although I am reviewing a video game, since it is based on an insanely popular Anime it felt more appropriate the post the review here and reblog it to my Video Game Blog. I also reccommend playing either with headphones or with the volume turned up since the game has video clips from the Anime ^_^

The game is split into Story Mode and World Mode. Even though it’s digital only the game is massive (1.2GB). In Story Mode you play through the events of the Anime as Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi and Sasha. I assume after you’ve either cleared Story Mode or played through most of it World Mode is unlocked. World Mode is more mission-based and less linear compared to Story Mode and you create your own Character.

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For once once, I agree with those who’ve said this game would have been better on a larger screen (console). Mostly for visualization and to be able to better appreciate your skirmishes with the Titans. I am hoping the game is later ported to the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. Due to problems with my 3DS (more on that below), controls were problematic. I want to put that out there before I continue. That said, taking down Titans is a 2-part process: First you attack the ankle to immobilize them and then you hit the nape of their necks–their kill spot (see above picture, which is from the anime). Of course, in the Anime you usually just see ’em go for the nape.

In most missions you will roll in a squad of 3 or 4 people to help you take down Titans. From what I’ve read about World Mode, your squadmates come with various skills to help you on missions. Rolling with a squad is helpful for your survival and increases your chances of success: If you or one of your squadmates gets grabbed by a Titan, you or one of your squadmates will bail you out. They also actively help you take down the Titans. That said, it’s pretty easy to avoid becoming Titan food even when on the ground. Relax, it’s mostly due to the game’s mechanics.

Also, keep in mind like the Anime your blades and gas do have limited durability. You will not be able to use your ODM when you run out of gas and you will not be able to hurt the titans when your blades break. It only takes a moment to replace both. You start each mission with refills for both and you can pick up refills on the field.

…I will provide a more complete review when I’ve cleared Story Mode but unfortunately for me, that will take a month to 6 weeks: I found out when I started Chains of Humanity I will need to send the 3DS I downloaded the game onto off to get fixed due to an unresponsive button. Not one of shoulder buttons either (by the way you will need both L and R to play the game) but the X button, which is needed in this game to attack and target attack(!) so…yeah. It took me several tries to clear the missions I’ve done so far since I kept running out of time.

It will also cost me $85 but since it’s my Ambassador 3DS I will get it fixed so I can properly play this game and other upcoming games. I find it more cost effective to pay to get my 3DS fixed vs. either buying a new one or buying the game again on my other 3DS (since Nintendo doesn’t have 3DS to 3DS cross-play/cross-buy).

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Chains of Humanity costs $40 and it’s reccommended you have an 8GB or 16GB SD Memory Card to download it on to. It is a full game just like Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies so yeah, the cost is spot-on. As an aside the game is compatible with the Circle Pad Pro so if you have one, you can use it with this game on your 3DS.

 

Comparing Anime and Manga versions of a series

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As you guys know, I have the full Anime and Manga sets for Death Note (WOOT!) and Attack on Titan (plus the spinoffs!). While most fans of a particular series usually favor one over the other–I’m referring to Anime or Manga–some are so good, you don’t mind experiencing them through a second lens.

I picked Death Note and Attack on Titan as examples for another reason: The storyline is virtually unchanged in the conversion from Manga to Anime. You can literally quote chapters from Death Note while watching same scenes in the Anime. In the case of Attack on Titan, I started buying volumes after watching the Anime for the first time on Netflix. As I mentioned in my review of the Anime last year, The Manga continues the story after the series (or rather now the first season) starting with Volume 9. If you never read the Manga, you’d be in the dark about alot of things going on as well a how Levi’s past and what happened during the time of Commander Ervin’s Predecessor tie in to what’s going on now. Death Note does have prequels too of course but they were written after the original series was done to add on to the storyline. The BB Case L references early on gets a miniseries in Manga form. The third Death Note Movie L Change the World takes place during the space of time between when his name is written in the Death Note and when he dies.

Of course, not all series with both of Anime and Manga either get a US Release (History’s Mightiest Disciple Kenichi) or stay true to the Manga (The first Fullmetal Alchemist series). The original Dragonball Z Anime (292 Episodes) drew alot of heat due to the huge amount of filler added to extend the Anime. DBZ Kai is almost half as long (The rest of the remaining Sagas are currently in production in Japan) but is prettymuch the same story just WAY shorter.

Code Geass is an interesting example in which the Anime came first. The Manga is the same story minus the Knightmare frames used in the Anime. Most folks already know this but Naruto Shippuden doesn’t “exist” in Manga form. All volumes after 29 fast forward to Older Naruto in the Manga. They had to add a subtitle to the Anime for licensing reasons.