Hellsing Ultimate

Hellsing ult

It’s been awhile but I’m finally back with part three of my best and worst of vampires thread. Let’s face it, if you caught my last two parts you can probably guess what part three and four of the worst will be. It’s quite obvious really. But the best parts likely aren’t. So I’m here to talk a little bit about my favorite interpretation of Dracula ever, Alucard. Specifically Hellsing Ultimate; I’ve never actually watched the first anime but I’ve been told by many that Ultimate,  which follows the manga more closely than the first, is far superior. So Hellsing Ultimate is the story of the Hellsing Organization led by Integra Windgates Hellsing, descendant of the famous Van Helsing continuing to keep Great Britain safe from the creatures of the night. Her personal guard and secret weapon is Alucard, a very powerful, ancient vampire that has served the Helsings for ages back. Occasionally killing lesser vampires and fighting the never ending grudge with rival and nemesis Alexander Anderson, a catholic priest with grand regenerative abilities from a rival organization.  Alucard, known for being cruel and ruthless, takes pity on a dying police woman named Seras Victoria and turns her into vampire instead of letting her die. We follow Alucard and the rest of the Hellsing Organization as a devastating plot unfolds involving Nazi vampires, a over militarized Vatican, an android and treason from within themselves.

Holy shit this anime is crazy but so incredible it has to be seen. Crispin Freeman as Alucard steals the show for me. In fact, the main characters are all deep and well developed. This series avoids a lot of modern day vampire tropes which is refreshing: Alucard DOES NOT fall in love wit either female lead nor is a “sensitive monster”, the female leads are strong, ground, thoughtful women- not damsels in distress, and Alucard isn’t creepy or brooding. He’s a fucking pimp but isn’t Bela Lagosi. I love that Hellsing Ultimate pulls no punches dealing with religious, sexual, political, or historical subject matter but keeps an elegance to it. Instead of standard 30 minute episodes, there is only 10 but each is like a mini movie which is cool. Definitely check out Hellsing Ultimate if you like Dracula, vampires, crazy shit, or bloody anime. As always thank you for reading and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Trigun

trigun

Admittedly when I watched this anime as first, I thought it was kind of stupid. Damn how wrong I was. Something I thought was goofy turned out to be pretty dark and cleaver and now I give it a lot of respect for a truly great lead character in Vash the Stampede.

Trigun is the story of the world’s greatest, most notorious fugitive Vash the Stampede, known for wiping out an entire town all by himself. He’s being pursued by Meryll Stryfe and Milly Thompson, two insurance agents trying to caputure him for the high insurance costs he causes as well as the slew of others who want to cash in on the sixty billion double dollar bounty on Vash’s head. He appears as a tall drifter in a long red coat, long buckled gloves, spiky blond hair, and amber tinted granny style sunglasses armed with a big ass revolver. At first glance he’s intimidating until we start to see him as a clumsy, childlike idiot that uses seemingly uses dumb luck to evade his captors. Slowly we discover Vash’s true nature as a highly calculated badass who refuses to kill. He forms a friendship with the ladies trying to book him and a lonely priest named Nicholas Wolfwood with a huge badass cross. In the end we discover vash’s true tragic origin and how he was forced into his horrible crime by the only person as mysterious and dangerous as Vash, his maniacal and bloodthirsty brother Knives…

I applaud this anime for tricking me so convincingly into thinking it’s something it’s not. As I said, I thought it was a western spoof in anime form. It is but isn’t. Vash is a deep well as character, both fun but tragic, and I’d say one of my favorite heroes in anime. I love the old west setting. The characters are memorable and with a second rewatching, the series gets better. My only real complaint is Knives is a little bit cookie cutter and underutilized but still great. Definitely check it out on Hulu and as always, thank you all for reading, special thanks to our old friend and Battlebuddy Sniperelitest for introducing me to the anime in the first place, and my the gaming gods be with you.

 

Arrow (summary review)

arrow

So, kind of in conjunction with my continuing DC thread, I decided to talk about Arrow, the hit CW show. The show chronicles the life of once billionaire playboy  Oliver Queen as he comes back to Starling City after five years trapped on a beautiful but hellish island with a goal to free the city from the criminal decay and the corrupt influences that eat away at it. Queen, alongside John Diggle, Felicity Smoke, Thea Queen, Laurel and Quentin Lance, must rise to face the dangerous threats that begin to accompany Queen as he takes on the identity of a archer in all green- eventually Green Arrow.

Ok, I want to get two things out in the open now. First, I’m not a huge Green Arrow fan to begin with nor am I up to date with the series. I left off five episodes into the fourth season and I do plan on going back to it at some point but I can make a solid opinion with what I’ve seen. Second thing, Batman and Green Arrow do show many similarities as it is: both buff rich dudes who disappeared for a while, came back with some new toys and a cooky outfit and went taking down crime in a infested shithole of a city. Difference you ask? Beside the obvious (one dresses like a bat, the other like Robin Hood and has a bow) Batman grew darker, more somber while Green Arrow wasn’t afraid to smile, crack a joke, and let himself have moments of being a flawed person. From what I’ve read in the comics, I can tell you Bruce Wayne is crazy but I’d never call Green Arrow a damaged madman. A majority of Arrow feels like a way to do a Batman show without Batman. He’s got Batman’s dark, brooding attitude, he’s got a hidden “Arrow cave”, Felicity is basically his Oracle, and he fights many of batman’s villains like Ras Al Ghul, Deadshot, Solomon Grundy, Prometheus, and Firefly. The tone is very reminiscent of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, trying to stay grounded in reality for the first two seasons at least. By three the jig is up. The acting is good all around and I really liked the design of Arrow for season one with green warpaint around the the eyes instead of a mask. The first two seasons are really good and epic for TV. Three is where my complaints begin. It becomes apparent they wished Arrow was Batman, it becomes crystal clear they are stalling for episodes, and storylines start repeating. Overall, watch the first 2 seasons definitely but move foreward at your own discretion.

I will recommend a Green Arrow story for fans of the show. Green Arrow: Year One. I highly recommend it, it’s pretty much a far Cry version of Castaway. It’s got beautiful art and a good survival story and a good start for anyone wanting to check out the comics.

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Beetleborgs

beetleborgs

Well this is a weird childhood gem of mine. Saban’s Big Bad Beelteborgs and Beetleborgs: Metallix were two shows similar to Power Rangers but somehow stranger. You have kids voicing over grown people in suits, rubber monsters, and giant vehicles that come out of nowhere. Yep, welcome to the 90’s. Beetleborgs is the story of three average kids, Drew, Roland, and Jo as they venture into a haunted house one day. Discovering it’s full of monsters they unexpectedly set off a chain of events that release Flabber, a magic ghost from an old pipe organ, who rewards them by transforming them into there favorite comic book superheroes the Beetleborgs to combat a villian released from the comics as well…wow the 90’s was full of weird shit. In some way, you can call this an obscure Power Rangers clone- both from Saban as a matter of a fact- but it has it’s own unique charm. The monsters of the house are goofy and annoying in that funny kind of way, always chasing our heroes to eat them in some pretty funny scenes and Flabber trying to fight them back makes it all the better. The borgs themselves look fairly cool and a tad less cheesy than the classic Power Rangers. The damn theme music is just as catchy as the Ranger theme in my opinion. The villians aren’t very memorable though. All in all, it’s worth checking out on Netflix and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Goosebumps

goosebumps

I was insanely in love with Goosebumps as a kid. Hell, even as an adult me and Savior still find a bit of fondness for the series. R.L. Stine’s children’s horror series was huge in the 90’s, whether it was in the books or the show, it was damn near inescapable growing up then. The books are fast and memorable, having some good tension built up in stories like Welcome to Dead House and Say cheese and Die. Seriously, twenty some years old reading them I actually felt a little bit tense. As for the show, three stories stick out to me above the rest- The Haunted Mask 1 and 2, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, and the Night of the Living Dummy stories. Slappy the dummy from that show creeps me out way more than Chucky or Annabelle, I don’t know how or why but that bastard creeps me out. What makes Goosebumps stand out most of all is the creativity behind the stories. Though a lot of the monsters and ghouls are things we’ve seen but Stine finds ways of making them his own. If you have Netflix, definitely check it out and many of the books can be found at your local library.

Invader Zim

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Zim and Gir will always be close to my heart. This Nickelodeon cartoon was creepy if not damn right disturbing at times but had a sort of dark manic humor that your average early 2000’s cartoon didn’t have, that was quickly dying with the 90’s. Invader Zim is the story of Zim, a disgraced alien conqueror sent to Earth on a bogus mission with his lovable but defective servant droid Gir as they try desperately to conquer our world undetected. But Dib suspects Zim’s secret, a young man in Zim’s class obsessed with aliens and government conspiracies who wants to go down in history for dissecting Zim….This show pushed a lot of boundaries with it’s more mature themes like Zim stealing organs because he’s afraid the school nurse will discover he ain’t human, that always stuck with me. I don’t recommend this to the easily creeped or weirded out but for that insane weird kid at heart, definitely worth watching on Hulu.

Death note

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So in the fabled year of 2014 when life was Ok and I was almost another person in almost another life, a close friend and original battlebuddy SniperElitest gave me an amazing B-day gift: the complete Death Note anime collection and after that I got hooked into anime. Many people who stereotype anime as violent cartoons full of flashing lights and tall haired buff people that fight and kill each other need to watch this particular anime. Duke, thought Dragonball Z was drawn out and boring so thinking outside the box I introduced him to Death note and he fell in love with anime too. Death Note is the story of bored genius teen Light Yagumi who one day comes across a mysterious notebook called “Death Note” that falls from the sky. He takes it home with him and reads the rules inscribed in it: the first being that anyone’s name whose written in the Death Note will die as long as the owner can picture the victim’s face in there mind. Light is visited by a strange creature, a Shinigami- a death god named Ryuk who sheds light on the situation and helps explain the power of the note, urging Light to try it. Light discovers it’s power are true, watching a robber die just how he wrote it. Light decides to use the Death Note to rid the world of it’s evil people, acting as the “god of the new world” under the moniker Kira- or “Killer”. The world becomes enthralled with the phenomenon, murderers, corrupt officials, warlords, terrorists, child molesters and rapists all magically dropping dead or coincidentally succumbing to fatal accidents. Light’s father is in charge of the task force in charge of hunting down Kira, but on there own they are no match for his intellect. Until L comes along, a odd famous investigator that reaches out to the police to help them catch Kira. From the start, L proves to be a match for Kira’s intelligence, suspecting Light is Kira from the get go. He keeps tabs on Light, watching every move he makes but Light manages to prevail. But a disturbing revalation comes to both L and Light when a second Kira emerges with another note of there own. Enter Misa-misa, a air headed model and pop culture sensation obsessed with Kira who falls madly in love with Light. Ryuk tells Light of a special “deal” the owner of a Death Note and a shinigami can make- in exchange for half the owner’s life span, the owner can borrow there sight and suddenly see the full names of anyone he sees. Misa made the deal with hers. Light charms her into being his accomplice while him and L clash wits and minds as the new world unfolds…but who will come out on top?

The anime is great, not one of my favorites but amazing all the same. It drags and being 37 episodes that says something but it’s full of complex thoughts between the main characters so I can understand. The music is catchy as hell; the animation is gorgeous. Definitely watch it…

So the Americanized Netflix movie? Eh…I hated it. It took the basic premise of Death Note, took out most of the twists and turns and gave us a emo teen romance story. Light Yagumi went from a character starting out as someone with good intentions that becomes a relentless murderer with a god complex who will do ANYTHING to reach his goal. In fact, when he freaks out over the very idea of killing his dad killed the movie for me; in the anime, when push came to shove he did and didn’t have one shred of remorse for it. Mia (formerly sweet, idiot Misa-misa) was more of what Light was supposed to be like. Another huge problem I had was that Ryuk was clearly the villain and actively tried to screw Light where the anime made Ryuk a grim spectator, unable to interfere with the note. The score is replaced by music that reminds me of a more emo John Carpenter knock off. Willem Dafoe is by far the best part of this thing as the voice of Ryuk and the dude who plays L is ok; there’s some decent Final destination style kills but that’s about the best it’s got to offer for me. Don’t watch this if you saw the anime first, you will get pissed.

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