Batman: the animated series

batman animated

“I am vengeance. I am the night. I AM BATMAN!”- Kevin Conroy, portraying Batman and delivering the greatest I am speech of all time. Any 90’s nerd knows the classic opening noir with Danny Elfman’s perfect score and feels a chill when we catch that iconic image of Batman before the show begins. With four seasons, and four animated movies, Batman was edgy and dark as hell for a kid’s show. With dark, complex adult plots and extremely well acted characters the show didn’t pull punches. Whether it was the tragic two part Two-Face origin episode, or the creepy ass Mad Hatter episode to flushing out the epic story of Ras Al Ghul, we got to see the darker side of Batman’s lore come out. Not to say the show was all doom and gloom. Robin added some levity without being annoying or dragging the show down as much as Joker and Harley frequently brought on laughs without taking away from there menace. Kevin Conroy delivers a masterful voice performance as Bruce Wayne and Batman while Mark Hamill is iconic as Joker but there is too many great performances to name. I will say the suddenly artistic reset in season 4 may jar many fans, especially Joker’s appearance which is the worst of that seasons redesigns but the stories and voices remain just as good. In the end, I highly recommend the show to pretty much anyone. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Fullmetal Alchemist

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The ultimate rule to alchemy is equivalent exchange, you never get anything without a price for it. There are very few times in life I see something that totally shakes my life up and changes my outlook on a genre or a art form. Fullmetal Alchemist did this for me.

Edward and Alphonse Elrich are young brothers who have seen tragedy: their father is out to war and their mother tragically dies. In an attempt to revive her with alchemy, the brothers fail and are left nearly dead. Edward without his arm and leg, and Alphonse without a body, instead his soul encased in a suit of  armor. Edward, becoming a State Alchemist after being recruited by the Flame Alchemist Roy Mustang, vows to gain the knowledge and skill to set things right, setting forth on  an a epic journey with his brother to set everything wrong, fix the wrongs of the world around them, and face the embodiments of there sins and the people in there past…

Fullmetal Alchemist is probably the most heartfelt anime I’ve ever watched, weaving touching genuinely touching moments with pure tragic times. The characters are all compelling and memorable. Alchemy is a fascinating and imaginative power. The only real flaw I can see is the ending is a bit anti climatic and while exciting and captivating, it lacks the action level of say DBZ or Bleach but I’ve been told Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is more action packed, though I haven’t watched it yet. I highly recommend this fantastic anime. May the gaming gods bring you glory and best wishes everyone.

Knights of Sidonia

knights of sidonia

You ever wish John Carpenter’s Thing was mixed with space mechs or J.J. Abrams Star Trek was creepier? Well, here you go. Sidonia is the last bit of humanity left, a militarized colony in space, struggling to battle the Guana- giant, fleshy space creatures that cause mass devastation. Sidonia’s main defense are the Knights, mechanized suits of weaponized armor. Upon the brink of destruction, a young man emerges with an uncanny gift to pilot, but will that be enough to save him and humanity from the threats inside and out?

My feelings here are pretty mixed. Regardless, the show looks beautiful. My problem is I was truly invested in season 1, addicted even. There was intrigue, danger, creepy shit, and messed up political scheming going down. After the first season though, two fell flat for me. I couldn’t really dig the direction the story was going in; in lames terms it blew its load too soon, pardon the expression. If you watch season 1, its a fast, exciting, and creepy space adventure. After that- meh. May the gaming gods bring you glory and best wishes everyone.

Another

another

“What happened in Class 3 twenty six years ago?” is the question that drives this strange, tragic and creepy anime. The story follows a class of kids that have the misfortune of being in a cursed class. Every year, if there is a Extra involved in there class, people in the class and there families begin dying. To counteract this, the school pretends a unlucky kid doesn’t exist as part of a tradition. New kid Koichi isn’t aware of this and acknowledges pale, one eyed girl Mei and so begins the curse and the fear who will go next as these kids try to discover how to break the curse.

I’m going to say this anime stole my heart with it’s creepy atmospheric tension, engaging and likable characters and great dialogue as part of a fascinating mystery. I binge watched the hell out of the short 12 episode series. For those new to anime and love a good psychological horror mystery or want a good quick anime to binge watch, I highly recommend Another. May the gaming gods bring you glory and best wishes everyone.

Tokyo Ghoul (season 1)

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In many ways I consider Tokyo Ghoul the spiritual successor to Deadman Wonderland but there’s a beautiful sense of madness, beauty, and pathos to this story. Keneke is a quiet bookworm all alone in the world except for his best friend. Until he meets a beautiful girl who enjoys the same literature he does, but all is not what it seems. She is a ghoul, a flesh eating beast that is resilient and powerful and wants to eat Keneke. Through the accident the beast is dead but by a twist of fate, her organs were accidentally transplanted into him and suddenly he isn’t the same, left with the mind of a human and the stomach of a ghoul. Suddenly Keneke is thrust into a dark underbelly of monsters and a relentless task force meant to slay his kind, but he must wonder what really makes a monster…

This is one of my favorites artiscally, while gory, there is a breathtaking amount of vibrant color mixed with a lot of gothic and noir elements. Also I’m in love with the opening credits and the song Unravel. The characters are really good and the world itself is pretty fascinating. I will warn you, this is a very violent and towards the end of the season, very disturbing show so if you get sick around blood and torture, this isn’t for you. I do recommend this to anime and horror fans alike. May the gaming gods bring you glory and best wishes everyone.

Ash vs Evil Dead (series)

ash vs evil dead

I came late to the party on this one and just recently caught up on seasons one and two. Rather than doing each season by itself I figured I would just give my thoughts on the series in general.

Only counting the movies this is based around the last one came out in the early 90’s, and for those not old enough to really know the first Evil Dead is pretty much the definition of a movie that was made and became a cult classic that nobody could have seen coming. I can’t imagine they made this thinking ” Ok guys thats a wrap, lets sit back and wait to make a couple million, a few sequels and in about 30 years a television show.” I mean maybe that happened but I seriously doubt it.

Later movies took on a much less serious tone and I think thats because by the time I saw Evil Dead I thought the movie was hilarious not scary. Fast forward to Ash vs Evil Dead. This show is stupid, ridiculous and serves absolutely no purpose. And I can not wait for season 3. If you said hey Savior what would you want in an Evil Dead television show, this would be it. The entire show is based around Ash doing mostly stupid stuff, hitting on women, getting drunk, and killing deadites in gory and ridiculous ways. One of my favorite lines is him driving along yelling about how maybe he shouldn’t be driving and he may not have a fancy license from the DMV but at least he is drunk. Numerous times he will talk about how things can’t get worse and this always means things will get worse. Any fan of the old movies will like this show. Sadly it is also one of the most illegally downloaded shows out there, so please, it is on Netflix, go watch it there. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

South Park Xmas specials

mr hankey

Do I enjoy Christmas- No. If you saw how Torsten makes a living, you’d understand why I hate holidays of pretty much any kind but me and the legendary Duke would get warm and snug and watch some true family friendly Xmas programming: South Park. I shit you not, pun intended, we did eat a assload of fiber one Xmas eve so we’d get visited by Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo. So I’d like to recommend a few episodes for you and you’re loved ones this holiday season, in no particular order, here we go…

5. Red Sleigh Down (s6, ep17)- Santa gets kidnapped by terrorists in the middle east and it’s Cartman’s bright idea to save him so he can win a spot on the nice list. So wrong, but so damn funny.

4. Merry Christmas Charlie Manson (s2, ep16)-  The gang travels to Nebraska to visit Cartman’s family and while there his uncle busts out of jail with none other than Charles Manson, who slowly learns the value of Christmas.

3. Mr Hankey’s Christmas Classics (s3, ep 15)- a various collection of of our favorite characters singing songs for the holiday. May I recommend “Christmas time in hell” by Satan and Hitler?

2. Woodland Critter Christmas (s8, ep14)- ok, in high school this episode scared the shit out of me. Stan finds a lovable group of talking critters that are friggin Devil worshippers and want to birth the Antichrist. I recommend for the dark humored at heart like myself or Savior.

1. Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo (s1, ep9)- the one and only talking piece of poop that brings you presents if you’re good and have a lot of fiber in your diet. There is a lot of heart as the center of it revolves around Kyle feeling isolated because he’s Jewish on Xmas and relevance on the political correct war on Xmas. Definately my top pick of the group and a must see this holiday. Best wishes and may you all get a visit from Mr. Hankey this holiday season.

Stranger Things (Season Two)

And we are back with Stranger Things, Season two. Now I will admit I am a bit late on this one to. Its not my fault… I was playing video games and never got around to watching…ok so it was my fault.

Anyway was season two as good as season one? Well no. And who thought it would be? But damn it was good. That part with? And the other with? And? Yea well you know..my hatred of spoilers makes it really hard to review a Netflix series.

I will give you this one. At one part they all go to school and are they only kids dressed up for Halloween. Poor bastards. And to make matters worse they all assumed the black kid was going to be Winston when they went as the Ghostbusters. Seriously kid get some new friends. And not the girl with the skateboard and the brother that is a huge racist….aaaand that’s his new friend. Damn it kid.

Seriously tho, while maintaining its cliche 80’s feel that many of us loved the show took on a similar but different feel this time around. The kids have matured a bit after last seasons incident and who can blame them?

The town has also changed, friends have gone, new people have moved in relationships have changed. They have actually done a great job of making it feel like time has passed. But the more things change the more they stay the same.

Now I can’t give to many details without spoiling season one, but I will say this. While the initial threat from season one was stopped, it hasn’t truly gone away. A new threat has emerged and this time it may be more than the town in trouble. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Stranger Things (Season 1)

Stranger things was one of those shows I hadn’t heard of until it was out. Then people went ballistic over it. I am talking everyone I knew screaming watch this damn show it is the best thing out there ballistic.

The problem is these same told me The Walking Dead was the best written show on television. TWD was good. But the hype didn’t stand up to reality.

That being said I broke down and watched the first season of Stranger things probably after most people did. And while I won’t say it is the best thing out there it is amazing.

Season one starts out in possibly the most 80’s nerd way possible. Kids in a basement playing D&D. That is Dungeons and Dragons for you nerd illiterates. Anyway after we hear a complaint to mom about having only played for like 10 hours the group goes home.

Seriously this show is essentially an 80’s horror movie cliche. It even has a token black kid, tho he doesn’t die first thankfully because he rounds out the group very nicely. Later on we discover an evil corporation is covering stuff up, teens are going missing and dying.

The story is great, but these damn kids honestly make it. 11 does more without talking than some actors do at twice her age with a full script and if Finn Wolfhard can keep his head on straight and avoid the rampant abuse in Hollywood he is going places and I hope all these kids nothing but the best.

The show however is not perfect. Remember when I said the show was basically an 80’s horror movie cliche? I meant that in a very real sense. Some of the dialogue can be corny and one dimensional at times, the big bad creature is hardly seen and when it is to be honest I wasn’t neither scared or impressed. Everyone should at least try the first few episodes. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Flash, season 1

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A few years ago, I was drastically obsessed with the CW DC shows; Arrow was in it’s prime and in season 2 we saw Grant Gustin debuted as Barry Allen ending his arc with the events that lead to him becoming the Flash.

Barry Allen wakes from a coma after being hit by lightening after a disastrous incident with a particle accelerator, leaving him with superhuman speed and a connection to the Speed Force. After the incident, lives are turned upside down however. Dr. Harrison Wells, creator of the device, is left paralyzed but fascinated by Barry’s transformation; his assistant Cisco Ramon is thrilled by the discovery of a Meta-human, while his other assistant, Caitlin Snow, is grieving her fiance, Ronnie Raymond’s seeming demise in the accident. Before the change, Barry was a forensic scientist hoping to crack the case that put his dad wrongfully behind bars, being taken in by Detective Joe West, and his daughter Iris, who Barry secretly loves. And it’s because Joe is in danger from someone much like Barry, another Meta human, does he don the red of the Scarlet Speedster and take on his famous villains like Captain Cold, Grodd, Trickster, and Weather Wizard. But there is someone like Barry, someone malevolent that we discover has been the driving force of Barry’s life and misery, the powerful Reverse-Flash…

Ok, to start I have to confess that I only got to see the first season so far. And I loved it. Gustin is spot on as Barry Allen and the cast does have a great chemistry. Tom Cavanagh especially caught me as especial as Reverse Flash. For a TV show, the special effects are awesome and the fights are cool. The overall story is engaging, and really cool seeing Barry push himself to learn more about his powers and the Speed Force. My only real complaint is a lot of the villains felt like X men clones. In the end, I highly recommend it and I can’t wait to hit season 2 in the near future.