Pure, unadulterated geekery.
Everything from obscure cult films to our random thoughts on Toronto culture/events is what you'll find here.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Recommended Reading: CONFESSION

It's been a long time since I left you without a good manga to read. So I came back with something really good...

CONFESSION is a psychological manga by Fukumoto Nobuyuki (story) and Kawaguchi Kaiji (art).
Two friends, Asai and Ishikura went mountain climbing together, as they do every two years. They normally go with a group of other climbers, but this time everyone else cancelled and they ended up going alone. While climbing, they get trapped in a storm and Ishikura, who was injured and thought he was going to die from blood loss, makes a disturbing confession. Ishikura’s confession basically puts him and Asai in something like a heightened state of cabin fever while they wait to be rescued.

My terrible synopsis aside…if you enjoy psychological seinen, this is a great manga to read, you’ll love it. It was well written; the ending was just perfect and may catch you by surprise.
It is only about 302 pages and can be completed in one sitting (which you will likely do, as it is really too exciting to put down). If you are reading it on MangaFox as I did, note that CONFESSION is only 2 out of the 8 chapters uploaded under the title (0.1 and 0.2). Someone uploaded a different manga which is clearly by a different mangaka with it and it has yet to be fixed.  

- Shinji

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Ending Is (Almost) Here

This is going to be a short post as this is little more than a heads up to all the Mass Effect fans who were just enraged by the ending. As Bioware has now announced an extended cut DLC for the game. Though there doesn't appear to be a set date for its release Bioware has said its to be released this summer. When the DLC is released you can expect a review of it from yours truly.

Here are some links, and feel free to add your two cents on this topic:




Monday, March 19, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Ending and DLC: Rant (SPOILERS!!)

Not the most captivating title I'm sure but it does contain all that's been running through my mind since I finished Mass Effect 3. Originally this was supposed to be a review of Mass Effect 3 and how it truly lived up to all the hype, but then something happened. I finished Mass Effect 3. Don't be mistaken, the journey it takes you on is one of the best sci-fi adventures out there. While some actions on the part of the writers seem to suggest that the game is more linear than it let on (rachni, leaving earth, must build super weapon), it still showcases consequences and such from past games. Further more, you still have those eagerly awaited moments and easter eggs with your crew and friends. Its just unfortunate that the writers decided to go with a cop-out ghost in the machine ending. Now for the ending, to realize the over all consensus for the ending one would only need to Google or youtube the words 'Mass Effect' and 'ending'. By extension my thoughts and feelings for the ending goes hand in hand for what I fear the gaming industry may be trying to accomplish with DLC's. As well as not really giving a damn, since mediocre games go for just as much as great games.

I'll start off with why I didn't like the ending and lead in to why it may not have been as bad as people have been leading on. First off it goes against what the game was supposed to be about, which is making choices and facing consequences. You are for all intensive purposes Shepard and attempt to make a place for humanity in the galaxy as its representative. Through either an altruistic paragon out look, or by an any means necessary renegade view. Through Mass Effect 1 and 2 your decisions are supposed to leave an impact on the galactic community, which in turns affect future game play. Yet the end of ME3 gives you one of three general deus ex machina options that are the same inevitable ending. All of which leaves the entire galaxy screwed and disconnected from one another, an entire armada stranded on earth, Shepard's legacy reduced to a child's fairy tail, and all your work to unite the galaxy is all for not. Point is, there is no real conclusion and not even a hint as to what's to become of the galaxy. An obvious reason why this ending is so hated is because it answers nothing. A bit after ME2 and ME3 when we talk to old shipmates we find out what's been going on with them and by extension the galaxy. For true ME fans we all felt a wave of nostalgia and even a connection with these characters, yet we have no idea what happens to them afterwards. Need I even mention the Normandy supposedly fleeing from the battle and stranded on some random planet. All we have at the end is guess work and theories with no real framework based on virtually nothing. Don't let this imply that I wasn't ready to see Shepard die, because in all honesty I half expected it. A hero who's been through what Shepard been through usually doesn't see the full scope of his work or sacrifices, add to the fact he's actually died before and it wouldn't be much of a shock.

What I would take as acceptable from the ending is that to destroy such a threat as the reapers you would have to make a sacrifice. Giving it some real thought, the destruction of the citadel and relays along with the reapers make some sense. Remember ME1 and Legions reference in ME2, the relays and citadel were all ways for the reapers to essentially force their idea of order on to the galaxy. With all of that now destroyed, there goes any further influences from the reapers. Despite all this being said to me from what looks to be a representation of Shepard's guilt and symbolic failure to stop the reapers. This is all just told to me and there's no real argument or conversation here like any other conversations seen in any of the three games. Shepard just nods his head and agrees completely with what this AI is telling him. In ME2 you demanded to see proof that colonists were in danger and the Illusive man complied. Something else that bothered me was that the writers decided to explain the Reapers purpose. Why? In all the previous games we kept hearing that the reapers purpose were beyond mere biological understanding. We could have accepted this, the reapers being countless of years old with no real beginning or end who's actions fall outside the boundaries of our imagination or comprehension. But, not only are their actions and reasons easily comprehensible but also debatable.

In short Bioware could have made an epic ending for its epic game but fell way short. I'm sure there were countless things they could have done with the ending and still make it controversial enough for fans to talk about. Yet they resorted to this. Its a shame they went with an ending that just reduced the ME galaxy to almost nothing.

Now the worst part of the ending, according to countless online arguments and videos, is that it may not even be the real ending. That's right, apparently Bioware decided to piss off its fan base first than have us clamour for a DLC for the 'real' ending, or some sort of happy ending. Great marketing strategy by the way Bioware if this holds any truth. I'm against this as it will only cheapen the experience even more. Though if they do go as far as changing what they've already written I'm not going to buy it. Not to make a grand gesture of any sort, but I did already pay $60 for an experience I got. At most I may watch the ending if some one posts it online, which almost feels inevitable. It may not have been what I wanted but its what I got, and I can only hope it doesn't happen again.

*Since posting this I have heard about the ending being an indoctrination expereince on the part of Shepard. I'm not going to post anything about it here untile Bioware, if ever, decides to post something about it. Only because I haven't really seen Bioware say much about just little hints here and there, even though fans seem to be buying it and even bringing some compelling proof. Or until a DLC (complete with youtube clips) that will apparently conclude the game, apparently the first day DLC wasn't bad enough.

Below post a comment on what you think about the ending and the possible indoctrination theory.

                                           CNN on the confirmed DLC

Someone who know Mass Effect talking about the ending. 

The indoctrination theory.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Every North American "otaku" worth their salt knows that 4Kids bastardizes great anime*. They've single handedly turned the art of localization into a joke; 4Kids is the reason why most of us turn our noses up to dubbed anime.

A commonly cited example of this would be One Piece. 

However, I will have to give them a bit of credit...they did do one thing that I liked (and only one).

The first opening theme to 4Kids' One Piece dub was (like every other edit they provided) completely unnecessary, yet unlike their other changes, entirely awesome. When I was a kid and woke up early on Saturday mornings, I would shout along with it.

Listening to it now, waves of nostalgia wash over me, and damn it, it still goes hard. 

*Thankfully, they seem to have some respect for American cartoons; TMNT was great.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Random Manga Review: Rock & Roll Ricky (RRR)

This manga pick may not be so random on my part as I was searching for another boxing manga to mull me over in between Hajime No Ippo chapters. Not to say that this is fodder, or a mere substitute, as its one of the best sports and life mangas I've read in a while. Add to that a Lone Wolf and Cub relationship in the story and I was immediately sold.

The story in a nutshell is about a man trying to do right by his nephew, sister, and himself. That's it, simple and heart warming but never boring. The protagonist, Rikitaro, dreams of becoming a big rock'n roll legend just like his idol Jimi Hendrix. Unfortunately at age 27 this dream of his is looking more and more unlikely everyday, as even those close to him don't expect much of him. After a tragic event and a chance encounter with the recent retired Japanese Champion he is soon thrown in to the world of boxing. Though keep in mind that this part of the story takes time to develop. As the author concentrates more on building Rikitaro as a true to life character rather than throwing out yet another sports manga.

Of course this isn't a straight forward transition as he has to fight tooth and nail to reach his goals. Another note I'd like to make is that this series, while being about boxing, doesn't seem to be boxing or action heavy at the start. I've read much of the manga already and it seems to be more focused on the slice of life genre, with some really well done action. A comparison can be made to Hajime no Ippo in this regard, but I have personally never seen this level of maturity in other sports series. Though if the concentration on character development over general sports action in it self turns you off to reading this manga, keep in mind that once you stick with the first volume you'll appreciate the characters and their struggles that much more. This is the essence of any good boxing story no matter the medium, whether its in manga format or a cinematic one.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Geek Apparel and Merchandise

As my counterpart, Shinji, has done something like this before I thought I'd try it myself. As I started writing this well over a month ago I'm kind of glad I've only finished this now. As this post now seems well timed with the upcoming holidays.

Now for those adults out there who are well connected to there inner child, and those who just love anything geeky, here's a little run down of some cool geek merchandise (i know, wow, those two words in the same sentence). Keep in mind I'll be trying to update this particular post every so often, and no I'm not getting commission from these sites. But wouldn't a discount be a nice sentiment.

*Also I don't have any affiliation with these websites, just passing on what I assume to be cool merchandise and great gift ideas*

The first is an obvious choice, http://www.thinkgeek.com/. The name alone hints at what you'll find, from Jedi robes to organ transplant cooler. The website is extremely varied in terms of merchandise. Its definitely a place to go for those who have embraced their inner geek, as well as a great place to go shopping for people who are regularly hard to shop for. You have a game geek in the family get him an Ocarina. A star wars geek living in your basement get him a yoda plush. For the impossible to shop for shut in upstairs you can get a survival-kit-in-a-sardine-can. There's even something for that special lady in you life, pure-magic. The site is basically an ever growing stock of gift ideas for geeks and regular people of course. Though references may be lost on them. If your not completely sold on this site or not sure what to get out of all its awesome stock. Think back to an episode of Big Bang Theory in which Raj walks in to the comic shop blasting Darth Vader's theme music from his shirt, that's right its a real thing, enough said (link).

Another excellent choice would be http://sharkrobot.com/. Which is a site completely littered with internet and gaming references, countless web comic themed items, a number of art prints, and various t-shirt and hoody prints. Websites like VG cats, halolz, yugioh/team four star abridged, eddsworld, and harry partridge all have their merchandise on this website. It also contains some art prints and buttons for those who'll like to accessorise their cool hipster bags and rooms.

Now if you want a novelty t-shirt where the novelty doesn't diminish once you've bought it, bustedtees is the place to go. If you know about college humor you may already know about this website as they're the ones who started it.

Enjoy, and happy holidays from Blaku

Sunday, September 25, 2011

LusTorRak's escape = Shinji's return.

It has been decided that during LusTorRak's hiatus, I will be making my return from my own unannounced hiatus.

Technically, we're still both going to be on hiatus (as I will be returning to school in January) however, since I have the current semester off I will do my best to fill the gap.

I will be making a few changes to the look of the blog, as well as posting regularly again (did I ever post regularly?).

I have 4 posts lined up, so look out for those soon.

I also will be contributing to the blaku twitter (why do we have one?) whenever I think of something that is relevant, but not quite worth being posted here.

See you soon (I really mean it this time)!