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Monday, May 7, 2012

An Anime Fan First



Covering what I love, when I love it

Hobbies change, interest and likes change. Recently, over the past few months, I’ve undergone one such change which has seen an unexplainable shift in a few of my hobbies, mainly my moving away from gaming as much. I still love to spend hours lost in a fictional world but both job and the joy of parenting not to mention street hockey and jiu-jitsu have led to my shift. My focus is now turning back to anime and away from both video games and manga. Why? Good question and one I find a difficulty to explain. I found myself covering games I did not truly love or enjoy, it felt like a business and the whole reason I began writing was to express my joy as a fan. I began contradicting myself, trying to play as many games as possible to cover the entire market and I got away from the joy I found as a fan. I’ve now shifted back to playing games I truly love, Batman: Arkham City for example, and will cover these titles but as a fan again. Novels are also gold for me, especially the new Halo books which create such salivation for Halo 4 it’s hard to contain.

Manga is a little easier to talk about. It’s gone big time digital and I’m loving my Viz digital but not having full books to hold, read and review makes it tougher to cover. Groups like Tor provide solid content but with Tokyopop going the way of the dodo, well the landscape is reduced, sadly. Comics are covered, again as a fan, but more in the graphic novel collection format to get full story chunks, solid stuff.

Finally there is anime which I have so much I want to cover and the digital aspect is a god send here. Being able to watch online just allows for more availability and a broader range or reading. No media request, just go online and watch 3-5 episodes. So much fun.

So what I’m getting at is I feel refreshed. I’ve got anime, some games and novels that I feel I need to share my thoughts on and freeing myself of ‘must cover’ really helps also. No longer do I feel pressured into covering things, I do what I like which seems to me is what AnimeSentinel is all about. I’m a fan first, always have been and while my overall hobbies shift and change what I’ve found is my love for anime has not. I may not post as often but when I do it’s all about the things I enjoy … or that appall me so much I gotta slam them J

Monday, February 27, 2012

Madoka Magica vol. 1 Blu-ray Impression

It’s a magical girl adventure but with a bit of darkness and maturity to it

Magical girl anime, where little girls with big eyes, out of proportion bodies (big heads folks) gain magical powers and fight evil all while looking cute with fantastical transformations and some kind of cute mascot character. That’s the formula for magical girl anime and its front and center in Puella Magi Madoka Magica vol. 1 on Blu-ray and DVD combo from Aniplex yet there’s something a bit different about this tale. Is it the crisp animation or haunting music … maybe the darker tone … let’s take a look.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

.hack//Quantum on Blu-ray Impression

Still going strong, the latest .hack// entry is short but oh so sweet!

The .hack// franchise began on PlayStation 2 as a combination of game, anime and card game and it’s fake MMO gameplay may have been ahead of its time. The concept would be great as a real MMO with downloadable anime episodes, online components and scanned in card game pieces but oh well, such is the laments of a .hack// fan. While the past cannot be re-written the present sure as hack can be enjoyed, this thanks to FUNimation. The latest OAV anime .hack//Quantum is everything to love about this franchise in a few condensed episodes. From beautiful animation with the solid .hack// design and music this is one enriching anime. Here’s what’s to love …

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Darkness II Xbox 360 Impression

It’s not the continuation expected but The Darkness II is enjoyable for gamers and comic fans alike.

The original The Darkness introduced games to hit man Jackie Estacado. A character established in Top Cow’s comic of the same name, and quite badass at that, but an interesting choice for a gaming experience. The Top Cow universe is not as tenured as Marvel and DC but it is rich with plenty of backstory and memorable characters (Witchblade!). The first game introduced Jackie in a fairly Top Cow universe free world where he and his powers shine and the experience was quite solid and fun. Fast forward to The Darkness II and besides a new developer there were also some story, pacing and graphical tweaks that just detracted from the original. What am I getting at? Let’s shed some light on this …

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Insights of a Burned Out Gamer

When hobby becomes burden; Step Back!

I've been blessed; able to work in an industry I love, to watch anime, read manga and play games that I’m more than happy to spend my cash on yet I hit a wall. When too many titles piled up and deadlines needed to be met, the love and desire I have for this content began to feel too much like a task, like a job I did not enjoy. So what did I do … took a step back, actually a few months of stepping back. After 5+ years of posting weekly I just stopped. It was odd but gave me a relief and allowed me to reconnect with what I loved thanks to games like Halo: Anniversary and Batman: Arkham City as well as anime like Fairy Tale and Rosario Vampire. I’m reading Halo novels, getting into the digital manga space, it’s quite nice.

I share this as I’m looking to get back into the game, not as heavy as before but from a ‘what I enjoy’ standpoint. What good is a hobby with little to no monetary benefit if it leaves one miserable and tired? It’s no good folks because life is too short, time too short to spend doing things that just don’t bring joy. Have I rediscovered what thrilled me about gaming and anime, still trying to answer that but I am getting the itch to share my thoughts again but maybe tone it back quite a bit.

As I’ve thought about this, played games without thought of how I’ll write about them or watched anime and not judged the voice work I started to realize how many things in life we just don’t take a step back from. Plowing ahead with no true insight into where we are going is not the way to go. The journey is such a joy so don’t miss it. Game for the love of it, not for trophies or accolades, ones gained with no joy. Watch and read as an escape but not just for completion. It’s good to step back and look at the grand scheme. What are you missing out on? Is it time with the kids, the spouse or a nice workout? Hobbies should be a joy and fun but not all consuming and should not affect your mood. I was close to this point.

Am I back; no, I’m not but I am getting there. Relationships need work and mine with gaming and anime is being worked on but is far from gone. I hope to chat about some of the sweet anime and games, hobbies and sites, which I truly enjoy to share with those sporting likes that are similar. Heck, I may even rant on about my favorite sports teams (:O) also, why not, it’s my blog. Welcome to 2012, a new beginning.