Saturday, October 22, 2016

Persona 5 review

Finally finished Persona 5 in 165 hours! I feel like a big weight has finally been lifted off my shoulders! Persona 5 is a dungeon crawling RPG about a group of high schoolers who can enter this parallel world and reform people whose desires have become warped. If I had to compare Persona 5 to any game, it would be Ryu ga Gotoku. RGG is an adult/Japan night life sim while Persona 5 is a high school simulation.

Let's get the good out of the way. The art style is great and the music is jamming, especially when they add lyrics to the main themes at the end. The relationship stories and dialogue are not far removed and do not contradict the main story like in Fire Emblem Fates. Its a huge pitfall of having an RPG where you can romance many characters.

The main story is actually pretty good. There are two very nice twists in the story and something unexpected happens near the end which says something interesting about society. The ending is really good. Morgana really grew and Ryuji is probably the most interesting among all the members because he actually behaves like teenager. With that said, Persona 5 has a huge Achilles's heel, namely pacing.

This game is super unnecessarily long. It just takes too long to progress through the co-operations/relationships and most of them are very straightforward and boring with tons and tons of text. There are some well written ones like Soujiro and Futaba most of them are just dry and not funny. I almost gave up on the game many times but as a Japanese study tool, Persona 5 has a lot more useful words and phrases compared to something like RGG so I persevered.

Don't get me started on Mementos which is this long side story dungeon that looks the same and just rehashes enemies to fight. Persona 5's greatest sin is that not one of the side stories are interesting nor funny. Most of them end up being similar to RGG in that its all about some scam. While RGG has many memorable side stories such as Be My Baby from RGG2, Persona 5 makes you sit through a mountain of dialogue to reach a predictable end fot the side stories. The writers did push themselves in a corner with the fact that you need to know someone's name in order to reform them which removes any potential who is the bad guy mysteries.

Its not all bad. The writing is a step above Sen no Kiseki series and its the first anime RPG in a long time I didn't feel like everyone was the same nice cardboard anime character with no personality.

Persona 5 is such a mixed bag for me. There are something I like and there are parts of it I really hated. If I could suggest a fix it would be to shorten and combine a lot of the co-operation stories and just and reduce the barriers for furthering co-operations. I think there's plenty of fat to cut to make it a lean and mean 100 hour game.

I should have played Tokyo Mirage Sessions (which is a similar game on the Wii U) instead because I've read that it's shorter and funnier. Persona fans will love the game and they know what they're getting into which is losing 4 weeks of your life to one game. If you value pacing like I do, I am Setsuna is a much better game.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Koekoi eps 4-12

I really enjoyed the first half of Koekoi. It was your typical high school shoujo manga style dorama but the paperbag head brought made it different enough to be fresh and I was looking forward to what Koekoi would do with it.

I was completely devastated when Karata Erika suddenly left the show. Romance doramas are about delaying the inevitable but making it fun and she and the President made it fun.

The second half of Koekoi descended into standard shoujo manga fare with everyone liking someone else and seemed to have no ideas on how to capitalise on Matsubara-kun's paper head.

The show added the super boring and unnecessary childhood friend. Karata Erika as the seemingly perfect student had much more potential because they could have played around with her keeping up appearances.

The only fun thing in the middle episodes was seeing Matsubara-kun in panic mode and act more like a real person instead of this rigid robot.

I basically watched the second half of Koekoi while playing my 3DS because its was so generic and predictable including the lines.

Good thing the episodes are only 20 minutes but they should have just reduced it to 10 episodes and cut out all the fat.

Ultimately Koekoi is an ok series that did not fulfill its potential and is best watched in the background.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Strange Freak Designs X Ryu ga Gotoku Majima Goro Hannya bracelet

I haven't watched anything for the past two weeks because of Persona 5. I'm pissed off at myself for not being to get the Ryu ga Gotoku ring at TGS. I should have pre-bought my ticket and lined up at 6.

Anyway, Ayako-san, who a I meet at the RGG X Sweets Paradise shop earlier this year brought this bracelet to my attention but I was hesitant to buy it because of the price. Having missed out on the ring, I finally decided to order the Majima bracelet from Rakuten. They didn't ship overseas so I had to use Tenso to redirect it.

The hannya is the tattoo from Majima's back. Especially after Ryu ga Gotoku/Yakuza Zero, he's become my favorite character.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

A Bride for Rip Van Winkle

Ah, Iwai Shunji. A very talented director who made a good movie (Love Letter), a good first episode to a dorama (April Story), overrated movie that put me to sleep (All About Lily Chou) and an acclaimed movie I can't remember anything about (Hana and Alice). Suffice to say, I'm not a big fan but his talent is undeniable so I went in with low expectations.

You can watch A Bride for Rip van Winkle as a movie or a dorama. They are both the same. I'd recommend watching it as a dorama because like all Iwai Shunji movies, it is slow as. Its still beautiful enough so that I didn't skip any scenes but it was a frustrating movie to watch because introduces interesting elements to the story such as the Noriko's Dinner Table like fake family substory but doesn't take them far enough. The most interesting character in the show is Ayano Gou's Amuro. I so wanted him to take centre stage in the movie but Iwai kept pushing him to the side and we got way too much Cocco.

Rip van Winkle is a movie where it takes a long time for the real story to be revealed but the journey should be a lot more fun. I kind of get in my head what Iwai Shunji wants to convey but this movie just lacks that playfulness to make it memorable. I was happiest watching this movie when two faces I know showed up for a cameo near the end. I can't say any more without spoiling the whole thing.

Iwai Shunji fans will probably eat this up. For me it was a movie that looked good but didn't entertain me. Meh.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

5 reason Kenja no Ai might be this year's best jdorama


Jdoramas usually light everything up and look like a crappy soap opera. WOWOW and NHK shows usually have a grittier more movie like look. Ken no Ai reminds you that this is a visual medium and creates so many stunning images.


I'm not talking about memorable tunes cause there are non in Kenja no Ai. I'm talking about how the music doesn't overpower the scenes but rather enhances them.


Every single revelation instead of being just a twist for the sake of a twist adds another complicated layer to the relationship between Mayuk-chan and Yuri-chan.


Sick of the 'hey let's just all get along and be nice to each other' jdoramas? Kenja no Ai is about how a lot of times in real life, we have to pretend to get along. My favourite character is Yuri-chan. She's the bad guy but I can't hate her because how damaged she is. Everyone in this show is kind of trapped by past sins and don't know how to set themselves free and instead smile and pretend to be happy while living with great burdens.


I was expecting to hate Naomi but I didn't mind his acting.


There is one thing I hate about Kenja no Ai and that is the fight scene in the last episode. The music and shot composition was great but the fight itself was so fake. It was like those sentai shows where the bad guys just throw themselves on the ground. How could the director be satisfied with that crappy performance. It felt like the two actors were so scared of physical contact and I'm not talking about the fake ass punching.


I do not have enough superlatives to describe Kenja no Ai. I'm just sad that it so much better than most jdoramas but not many people have seen it. Definitely deserves to be subbed.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Japan loot second raid of 2016

Sakuraba Nanami poster. It says I like judicial clerks. Yes the judicial clerk association of Japan hired Sakuraba Nanami for this.

Thanks to bframe for getting the two posters for me. Maybe judicial clerks play some special role in Japan.

My favorite shirt from this trip. Should have gotten the Megadrive and Dreamcast ones but I have way too many shirts. Now I regret not buying because how many shirts have the Sega logo?

Saturn controller at the back.

My second favorite shirt because its a Reinhard von Lohengramm shirt! Need more Legend of Galactic Heroes goods. There was a Rossen Ritter shirt as well which I didn't get.

You can't watch anime and not know this shirt.

I like the Sonic at the back.

Really crappy Berserk shirt. Can't even tell its Guts.

Shibuya with Tachikomas from the Production I.G store.

Got a new 3DS, Xenoblade, Uppers and Rose and the old Castle of Twilight for the Vita. No second hand cause I want to support the developer.

Genie Ibun Roku aka Tokyo Mirage Sessions. Second hand cause it was too cheap to ignore.

Root Letter Premium Edition. I played the PS4 demo and quite enjoyed it.

Ryu ga Gotoku fan from TGS.

Bigger battery for Wii U controller, USB Y cable to connect HDD to Wii U, USB C female port so I could connect my mp3 player to my phone, Ryu ga Gotoku badges and 20000 yen in PSN currency. I also got a usb to 3DS adapter but I can't find it atm.

Persona 5 TGS bag.