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December 26, 2016

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Blogging (Part 3)

“There’s no way Joseph is the best JoJo.”

I’m not usually one to play the contrarian, even though it seems like that with some of my less-than-ideal opinions (like anything that has to do with Naughty Dog).  I’d like to think that I’m able to rise above preconceptions and biases to speak clearly and honestly about subjects.  But for the life of me -- and even now -- I cannot say that Joseph Joestar is the best lead JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has to offer.

Hear me out on this.  Joseph is the hero of Part 2 -- Battle Tendency -- which ran from 1987 to 1989 in manga form, and from December 2012 to April 2013 in anime form.  The former came out forever and a day ago, while the latter is fresher on people’s minds (thanks to all sorts of memes, to generalize).  Either way, there’s a LOT of content to go through.  Remember, there are eight different JoJo sagas out there, with the latest of the bunch still in production.  There’s a ton that people still need to be exposed to and given the chance to digest.  Even if we peel away 75% of the context of each arc, we still need to put every JoJo under the microscope.  Those who are 100% up to date with the manga can probably do that, but for everyone else?  How can you say “Joseph is the best” when at a bare-ass minimum, we’ve still got to get through Giorno, Joylene, Johnny, and Gappy Josuke?

Now, you can say “Joseph is my favorite JoJo so far”, because that’s much easier and more credible to quantify.  It’s an opinion with good grounding.  So with all of that said, I’ll declare this: no, Joseph is not my favorite JoJo so far.  But he’s still a good, good, good, good, damn good character.  And the same applies to Battle Tendency.

Like a bloody SPOILERS
Burning like a bloody SPOILERS
Some SPOILERS pound through your veins…and this post

December 19, 2016

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Blogging (Part 2)

Can I just take a minute to gush about how much I love Hamon?

Sure, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has long since earned fame for its Stands.  But having watched and enjoyed Phantom Blood, I still feel like Hamon’s the cooler power of the two -- and that’s saying something, because I agree that Stands are rad.  The “power of the sun” not only lets its users fight with supercharged energy and beat down vampires (and zombie grunts), but also gives them a chance to interact with items in the environment in all sorts of zany ways.  Lots of creative applications, to be sure -- as Battle Tendency proves later on -- and it’s the sheer unpredictability that makes it a treat to see in action.

I also love how Hamon’s weakness is an obvious one.  It’s made possible through the proper breathing techniques, so if you can’t breathe, you can’t use it.  I mean, yeah, pretty much every living being is crippled if they can’t breathe, but the applications of it in JoJo add a layer of tension to battles.  When mere chains or a dip underwater become a credible life-or-death situation, you know you’ve done well in storytelling.

Also, this doesn’t have much to do with anything yet, buuuuuuuuuuuuuut…cripes, JoJo does NOT shy away from the body horror.  Thank god for the censorship, because sometimes it’s seriously hard to watch without cringing so hard my eyes clamp shut.

Anyway, on to Phantom BloodAgainWITH SPOILERS.  Again.

December 12, 2016

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Blogging (Part 1)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is more than just memes.

I repeat: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is more than just memes.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s a masterpiece, or the greatest thing ever (in the anime/manga world or otherwise).  I know I’ve said this before, but I have to make it absolutely clear: paring down JoJo to a bunch of images and out-of-context YouTube clips is a huge disservice to it.  It’s lasted this long for a reason.  It has fans for a reason.  It’s got a brand new, still-in-progress anime for a reason.  There are many, many, many things you can pull from a decent-sized chunk of said anime -- most of it accidentally hilarious -- but if you look at it as a whole, it’s truly something special.

So here’s the big question, and one that I hope to answer over the course of this miniseries: is it really as bizarre as the title claims?  It’s hard to say for now.  But if I’m going to come to a conclusion, I’ve got to start somewhere -- and it might as well be at the beginning.

SONO CHI NO SADAME!
SPOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILERS! 

December 5, 2016

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild VS Horizon: Zero Dawn: Hell in a Cell (Part 2)

This post is probably going to oust me as a hypocrite (well, more so than usual).  I can see it now.  I mean, even though The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t officially being called an open-world game, it shares a good number of traits with the subgenre.  Plus, being called “open-world” carries a lot of baggage with it these days.  Ubisoft and its AAA contemporaries have run what was once a good thing -- if not a symbol of progress for the medium -- into the ground, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the mere concept is enough to make someone’s eyes roll so fast that they could break the sound barrier.

I’m pretty sure I’ve taken shots at open-world games as well, so the fact that I’m excited for Breath of the Wild means that I’m a dirty liar in need of a bath filled with holy water.  More to the point, I’m a hypocrite because this game appeals to me, but I’m about ready to write off the superficially-similar Horizon: Zero Dawn for what may come off as arbitrary reasons.  In my defense, it’s not as if I love one and hate the other; it’s just that I feel like BotW appeals to me more.  And while I’m pretty confident that Horizon will eventually be a solid game, it feels redundant -- and significantly less special -- in the face of BotW.

I guess now I’ll have to explain why.  So let’s go ahead and step back into the ring for another smackdown.

December 1, 2016

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild VS Horizon: Zero Dawn: Hell in a Cell (Part 1)

I think I’ve sent myself on a guilt trip.

The dust has long since started to settle on E3 2016, with no shortage of information to parse through.  Granted some things were still a no-show -- a new Sonic game is on the way, but Sega just teased an announcement of an announcement of an announcement to screw with everyone’s heads -- but I doubt anyone will go on a rant about how the industry’s major players kept all their cards close to the chest. 

And that’s where my guilt comes in.  At last year’s E3, I was intrigued by Horizon: Zero Dawn.  Very intrigued; it was new, it was different, and it looked as if it had plenty to offer for gamers vis a vis robot dinosaur hunting.  I’d assume that’s not all you’ll be doing, but if that’s the core gameplay, then it seems all right.  Well, that’s what I’d like to say; cut to a year later, however, and I’m suddenly not so intrigued by it.  What would’ve once made my eyebrows slide up my face now makes me go “Ehhhhhhhhh…” and “Awwwwwwwwwww…”  I don’t understand what happened, and it’s kind of tearing me up inside.  That’s especially true, because -- at least on a superficial level -- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ticks some of the same boxes, yet my hype is breaking through the atmosphere.

What the hell’s going on?  Well, I intend to find out with this LONG overdue post.  Even though I already kind of have an answer, but let’s pretend we’re going in raw.