Friday, December 30, 2022

What Happened To The Sonic Online Community?


Green Phoenix - Klaus Review

In a corridor between two houses (bearing some resemblance to a Christmas Tree), Klaus holding a large bag of items, with Jesper holding a letter, Alva, and Márgu. The Children are seen holding letters while the adults of the Krum and Ellingboe Clans hold items and exchange taunts. The tagline on top of the film's title reads "Welcome to the Jingle".

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and are excited for the new year.

As has become a custom for the end of the year, my December vacation block has been book-ended with a review or article covering some form of media regarding the holidays. Last year, it was an analysis of the Ranken-Bass Christmas specials and their shared connective universe. This year, I decided to go a little easy on myself and simply do a review of what I am sure will be a future Christmas classic.

The holidays are often inundated with new Christmas-themed movies, usually from the Hallmark channel or made in a similar vein. These films usually come and go with very little fanfare and the rise of streaming services over the last three years has only made this more prevalent. Most Christmas movies pass under the radar or are forgotten altogether, leaving me hungering for a new Christmas IP that would actually manage to stand alongside Christmas classics.

Luckily, today's article is on such a film. Released on Netflix in 2019, Klaus was an extraordinarily well-produced and enjoyed film, and I genuinely believe that it will quickly become a Christmas regular if people continue to watch year after year. It's still early, but I have little doubt in its future classic status.

My confidence is born of my general opinion of the film, which you can read down below.


Monday, November 28, 2022

The Walking Zombie 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review.

Normally I wouldn't be reviewing a free-to-play game, but Alda Games kindly gave us a key to review the Nintendo Switch port of The Walking Zombie 2. Still, wouldn't normally be reviewing a free-to-play title like this, but this port isn't free-to-play. This version costs about twelve bucks. Will this version be a better and more rewarding experience? Or are you just best saving your money and go for the free version instead. Who knows?.. I do. I do indeed. Otherwise, what's the point of this bloody thing that I call a review? (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Green Phoenix - Thanksgiving Wishes and Holiday Break 2022

 Hello everyone!

Here's hoping you all have a good and safe Thanksgiving. This past year has been a time of great change for myself and I'm sure that many of you, like me, feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all the good fortune and kind support that has been present in your lives.

This time of year is a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next and it is in that spirit that I announce my usual Holiday Break will begin on November 25th. Through the rest of December, with the exception of my usual holiday review, I will be taking time to spend with my family and build up my plans and articles for the coming year.

Following my Holiday Break, I will return the First Friday of January with my 2022 in Review article before getting right back into the spirit of my usual reviews and articles.

This is a time of the year where I prioritize my own welfare and I hope that all of you will do the same.

Stay safe and have a great time with those you can!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Green Phoenix - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

Black Panther Wakanda Forever poster.jpg

This past year has seen a rather lackluster collection of films in theaters that have drawn my eye or attention. I think that this is largely the result of two-years of COVID placing a greater importance on streaming entertainment as well as the interruption to regularly scheduled film productions. So when I knew that we were expecting a second Black Panther, I was instantly excited.

Of course, that excitement turned to concern following the death of Chadwick Boseman. The death of a headline actor, the face of one of the superheroes, is something that the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn't dealt with and how they handled it would have an enormous impact on the future of the franchise going into Phase Five and Six. Marvel made the difficult, but I think monumentally important, dicision to not recast T'Challa and instead focus the second Black Panther on exploring the passing of a superhero and how those who remain must learn to cope with the loss. It's a surprising fit for the rest of Phase Four, which I like to think of as the Post-Endgame phase or the Grief phase.

It is with that focus in mind that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was released with huge expectations and a massive Sword of Damocles over its neck that would either push the rest of the universe into the trajectory necessary to make Phase Five a success or would make everyone question whether or not Boseman should've just been recast.


Pokemon Scarlet / Violet - What happened here?


Friday, November 4, 2022

Green Phoenix - Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You (Season 1) 12" x 17" Tonikaku Kawaii - TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You  Anime Poster: Posters & Prints

My love and adoration for romance is something which, at this point, should almost go without saying. I am an inveterate shipper and will almost always find myself attached to at least one relationship in any piece of media that I can find. In addition, I often find myself drawn towards romantic media, especially with regards to anime.

With that in mind however, I do often find myself frustrated by some of the more annoying and, unfortunately, ubiquitous tropes within the romance genre. Things like the will-they/won't they, the almost kiss, the assault on a male protagonist due to some innuendo laden accident, and other such commonalities of the genre more often than not fill me with frustration and a deep desire to see such tropes and archetypes subverted in the media I consume.

Thankfully, today's article will be on an anime that presents such a wonderfully grounded romance, with likeable characters and is fundamentally built on subverting some of the more frustrating tropes of the romance genre whilst still presenting a worthwhile and entertaining story. I am talking about Season 1 of Tonikawa: Over the Moon For You, initially airing on October 3, 2020 and with an upcoming Season 2 to premiere on November 22, 2022 on CrunchyRoll.

Let's get into it.


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Power Rangers Dino Force Brave King 6: Brother! Howling Crying Soul! - Summary/Review

alternative translation


We have reached the halfway point of this special Korean made Power Rangers and it seems the Gold Ranger's identity arc will be concluded this time. Last episode was not great, but did not ruin the overall stories flow. Click "read more" and let us see if they do better this time. 

Calm Before The Storm...Sonic fans embrace Sonic Frontiers - will it Make Or Break Sonic Team?


Friday, October 28, 2022

Green Phoenix - Let's Talk...Roger Rabbit

In 1981, author Gary K. Wolf wrote Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, a murder mystery novel involving hardboiled detective Eddie Valiant as he seeks to uncover who murdered famous comic strip character Roger Rabbit, using a "doppelganger" of the former character to assist him in the investigation. From this concept, would eventually arise the 1988 Robert Zemeckis classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

While this would adaptation would essentially change everything about the original story, it would also become an incredibly popular and influential film, propelling the character of Roger Rabbit to the upper echelon of animated legends. In the succeeding years, a series of cartoons would be developed involving Roger Rabbit and his co-host Baby Herman, and then...nothing.

What happened to Roger Rabbit? And what could've been done with his character, or what could be done now after almost two decades without any new Roger Rabbit content?


Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3 - A Trip Down Memory Lane


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Monday, October 24, 2022

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The Sims 4 Base Game Becomes Free to Play


Attention all Steam users, the vanilla Sims 4 is now free to play! Which means it will now only cost $641.42 to get the full experience of this title. 

Monday, October 17, 2022

Friday, October 14, 2022

Green Phoenix - Trailer Talk: The Super Mario Bros. Movie Teaser

A poster featuring the film's visuals

In the annals of video game adaptations, few films stand quite as infamous as Super Mario Bros., released in 1993. Starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi, the film was bereft with strange directorial and production choices that left the film resembling nothing like its source material, an almost cursed production with terrible treatment of extras and cast-members, and a puzzingly inept interpretation of what should've been an easy narrative, all owed almost exclusively to the terrible writing and strange auteur-stylings of its married director team.

So terrible was this film that it actually turned Nintendo off from any future film adaptations of their properties until Detective Pikachu in 2019, to average but generally pleased reviews by audiences and critics. Thus when it was announced in 2018 that Nintendo was working to create yet another adaptation of their most famous property, people immediately took note, not entirely positive either.

This attention grew even higher when it was announced that Chris Pratt, the man who I have begun to refer to as the modern John Wayne (in that he only ever really plays himself in most of his films), would be voicing one of the world's most popular video game mascots. I, like the internet, was utterly shocked and befuddled by this choice, especially when Charles Martinet, the actual voice actor for Mario, wasn't even considered for the role. It left everyone anxious for just what kind of film Nintendo was willing to adapt to the screen.

Thus when the 2022 Nintendo Direct revealed the first teaser for The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the internet latched on with the force of a leech. With so much excitement, how could I not make it the subject of my next Trailer Talk?

Short answer? I couldn't. So let's take a look at the trailer and see what catches my attention.


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Are Open Endings Lazy Writing?


Whether or not a story is better with an Open Ending or proper closure is an endless debate that is really a case by case basis. However, one thing I always wonder whenever I come across an ending left open is whether or not the writer actually has hidden meaning, or if it was done as a cop-out in order to not need to write a proper finale. No matter what you think of open endings, they are definitely easier to write because they do not require tying up loose ends or resolving all the mystery. So, is that just a writing shortcut? Or do they take more planning than we realize? Click "read more" and I will give my take.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Tiger Claw Radio #425 - Mario Mario, Luigi Mario..

This week's TCR features classic tracks from the 8 bit collective as well as a look at the new trailer which just dropped for the Super Mario Bros movie.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Power Rangers Cosmic Fury Predictions


Wow, this is a surprise. Not only is Dino Fury going to be the first incarnation of Power Rangers since the original Mighty Morphin to get a third season, but it will have elements of an older Sentai season Kyurangers as well. Click "read more" and I will tell you what we know so far and my predictions.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Green Phoenix - Let's Talk...The Hobbit Trilogy

The Hobbit trilogy dvd cover.jpg

In 2001, Peter Jackson released the first part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy to near universal acclaim. Over the next two years, this ambitious project (which had never been done before) would rise to become one of the greatest film franchises of all time, not only helping to popularize the fantasy genre for blockbuster audiences (a trait the Lord of the Rings trilogy shares with the Harry Potter series) but also ensuring that the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, would become a household name.

With an expansive and immersive world, fantastic characters with beautifully realized archetypes and a true sense of focus that George R.R. Martin could only dream of, The Lord of the Rings has long become a cornerstone of the fantasy genre, almost to the genre's detriment if I'm being particularly critical. But it was not the only exploration that Tolkien took into the world of Middle-Earth. Before The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien had been working for decades on several projects including works that would eventually become The Silmarillion and, of course, the book that propelled him to popularity in the first place, The Hobbit.

Thus when the fans of The Lord of the Rings cinematic trilogy began to express their hunger for more content, The Hobbit was the clear and obvious choice. Despite this obvious recipe for success and profit, the world would not see an adaptation of Tolkien's beloved children's book until 2012, with a brand new trilogy of films: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of Five Armies.

At last after a decade of waiting, a new trilogy within the world of Middle-Earth was available for people to enjoy. And audience's collective response to this trilogy was...lackluster, to say the least. Initially, I couldn't decide if I wanted this article to be a Building Better Backstories or just a general editorial. Because of that, this edition of Let's Talk...will be something of a discussion and consideration. We will look at what worked and what did not about Peter Jackson's second trilogy in the world of Arda. I will naturally discuss my passion for the greater Tolkien mythos and ponder on what alterations might have been made to improve the overall product.


Friday, September 23, 2022

Green Phoenix - ClueFinders 6th Grade Retrospective


At long last, we come to the end of my retrospectives with regards to the ClueFinders series.

While I know for a fact that The Learning Company released nine different games under the ClueFinders name, my sister and I only really grew up with and experienced the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade games, so those were the only games I felt comfortable in the immediate to reflect upon.

If I ever find myself in a position where I could perhaps play the other games, then I may yet again visit the series to discuss the "missing" games from my childhood.

The ClueFinders 6th Grade Adventures: The Empire of the Plant People was without a doubt the strangest game in the series in terms of story and I find myself reflecting on the game in a way that is markedly different from any other game in the series with the exception of perhaps Puzzle of the Pyramid.


Friday, September 16, 2022

Green Phoenix - The Dark Knight Review

 The Dark Knight (2008 film).jpg

2008 was a year that, in retrospect, really was a truly different time that seems more defined by hindsight than maybe any other year. In the political sphere, a seemingly political nobody named Barack Obama was running for President, the final Harry Potter book was released only the year before and the sixth film wouldn't be released for another year, and the US economy was slowly approaching a recession as the War on Terror continued to spiral out of control.

In this environment,Marvel and Warner Bros. both released two films that would have a profound impact on the superhero genre, though both in very different ways. Marvel took a tremendous risk by releasing a superhero film based on a hero that almost nobody had heard of named Iron Man, to fairly good reviews; though their idea of creating a massive "cinematic universe" was almost certain to be failure as how on Earth could a single "Avengers" film be filled with so many strong personalities and not be overwhelming right? By contrast, Warner Bros. released a sequel to their moderately successful Batman Begins known as The Dark Knight, a Christopher Nolan take on an already tried-and-true superhero brand, as Batman had starred in several prominent films throughout the 1990s.

With the benefit of hindsight, its rather amazing that two influential films for a single genre would be released within weeks of each other. Iron Man and the setup for The Avengers completely revolutionized how audiences and studios saw superheroes and how their stories could be told through interconnected narratives. By contrast, The Dark Knight though lauded as one of the greatest superhero films in isolation, has arguably done more damage to the superhero genre then any other film through many film studios' efforts to maintain the same "gritty realism" of the Nolan classic. As much as Iron Man relished in the silly and fun, The Dark Knight treaded through pathos and tragedy and the DC Cinematic Universe, in my not so humble opinion, suffered as a result.

The impact of The Dark Knight is without question, but does the film actually deserve its reputation as the greatest of superhero films. Or has Warner Bros. been seeking to emulate a film that was far too overrated?


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Is Using Video Games To Escape Reality a Bad Thing?


Hello gang, this is going to be a short article about a topic I have been guilty of a lot these days and one I have seen being ask about on social media. Plenty of people play video games without using it as a crutch to escape their real world problems, but just as many, if not more, use it as a coping mechanism or a distraction from any number of real world problems. So, if you care to hear my take, click "read more".

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Power Rangers Dino Force Brave King 4: Threat! Space Mercenary! - Summary/Review


Looks like it is time for some Gold Ranger action. I am eager to see how they implement this power and for some classic Ranger vs Rangers action. So, let's not waste time, click "read more" and we shall see how well they pull off this classic event.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Green Phoenix - Light and Magic Review

 Light & Magic poster.jpeg

Disney+ has been, in my humble opinion, a boon for anyone interested in classic films and the filmmaking process. The streaming service is filled to the brim with fascinating behind the scenes documentaries and featurettes that reveal the magic and history behind some of our favorite films. From The Reluctant Dragon to Waking Sleeping Beauty, the streaming service is just an absolute treasure trove that I find myself drawn in for hours upon hours of great information and fun.

That's why, when I saw Disney+ recommending a documentary series called Light & Magic, outlining the history and legacy of the special effects company Industrial Light & Magic, I knew I had to watch and review it. That it would be everything that I tend to look for in my documentaries and even play into my love of film history and special effects.

And I was not disappointed. So let's not waste anytime talking and just get right into a review that already had to be delayed by a week due to work and other distractions. But in my humble opinion, this review was worth the wait.


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Fake Twitter Accounts! Beware


The only real account

This weeks article is a short but necessary one. There have been a couple fake twitter accounts created under the Emerald Rangers name that have been dedicated to attacking one of our contributors whom the imposters are under the false assumption that this contributor is running Emerald Rangers. I am making this post to put the record straight; Emerald Rangers was founded by myself, Cendoo aka Litestudios and Retrokaiser and we are the ones who run the website. THIS is the only real twitter account associated with this website. Whoever this imposter is has made some very offensive tweets under our name that none of us condone. Please, do not support this imposter or attempt to attack/spam them. If you come across the imposters and want to help us, a simple report will do.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

"Light and Magic" Review Delayed One Week


 This post is to inform readers that this week's review of Light & Magic, a documentary on the history of Industrial Light & Magic, currently airing on Disney+ will have to be delayed for at least one week. Due to medical and work related reasons, I have been unable to fully watch the series to a level of satisfaction that I feel would allow me to properly review its content and put that review to text.

To ensure that I continue to provide the level of content that you all have come to expect from my reviews, I will have to delay the release of this review for at least a week until I can fully watch the series.

Thank you for understanding.

Power Rangers Dino Force Brave King 3: Gabugaburincho We-re a Team!

The Brave continues after the last episode saw the completion of the core 5 Ranger team and a sneak peak of the 6th Ranger. It would seem that Cyan, Gray, Violet, and Silver will not be returning for this incarnation. So, this season will be kept as simple as possible. Click "read more" and let us take a look at episode 3.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Green Phoenix - Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy Review

Last week, we took a look at a relaxed slice of life isekai called By the Grace of the Gods that is one of my favorite anime of the past few years. After watching that anime, alongside How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, I was fascinated to see if Crunchyroll had any other anime in a similar vein to those two that I might be interested in watching.
Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy, an anime from July 2021 that seemed to slip under my radar, was what got recommended to me. And the result was rather interesting in how my outlook on this anime turned out.
Initially, I didn't really have plans to further discuss this anime, only really using it as some minor popcorn relaxation. But then I saw that it had a second season planned down the line and that I could discuss it immediately after By the Grace of the Gods to give greater context on what an isekai can do right and wrong.
To that end, let's take a look at a strangely generic isekai anime and see if it has anything that can truly propel it beyond its seemingly mundane appearance.


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Power Rangers Dino Force Brave King 2: Come on, New Warriors! - Summary/Review


This special Brave season continues. With this episode, we are expected to see Green and Pink make their debut. So, click "read more" and let's see how they do.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Green Phoenix - By the Grace of the Gods Review


To say that anime is currently saturated with the isekai genre is like stating that the ocean has a bit of water in it. It's technically true but it fails to truly grasp the scale of its presence. And by and large, these isekai anime are woefully inadequate or reductively similar to one another, either trying to be a carbon-copy ripoff of Sword Art Online, or being a massively boring overpowered, oversexed power fantasy.

And while both of these can absolutely be fun in the right setting or the right mood, it does leave me hungering for something that feels a little different, especially when I want a story a little lighter in tone or less oriented towards overpowered magical harem fantasy.

It is with such a desire that I find myself immensely grateful to have discovered By the Grace of the Gods, an isekai adventure slice-of-life that released its first season back in 2020; with plans for a second season announced June 2021. When I first saw this anime, I didn't know what to think, initially believing it to be something along the lines of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, or another slime-oriented isekai show (its a little amazing that is such a prevalent subgenre). But what I got instead is a relaxed, grounded and immensely intelligent and heartwarming adventure of a young man's journey to find his place in a new world and heal from a past lifetime of pain and suffering.

But enough of my waxing poetic, let's get into what exactly about this slice-of-life isekai do I find so enjoyable.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Power Rangers Dino Force Brave King 1: The Birth of a New King - Summary/Review


Ultimate trivia time! What we have here is South Korea's first original Tokusatsu production. Super Sentai in South Korea is an odd story. Generally, they simply show the original Super Sentai but re-name it Power Rangers, but different Power Rangers names than the US. However, Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, under the name Power Rangers Dino Force, was so successful in South Korea that they created their own sequel to it with new cast, new footage, updated costumes, and an all original story. This season would even be dubbed into Japanese under the title Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger Brave. (Which makes it debatably part of the canon.) If that story was not interesting enough, Kyoryuger was my favorite Super Sentai so I am behond curious to see how this project turned out. Click "read more" and let the journey begin.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Green Phoenix - Trailer Talk: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Teaser

In the last few weeks of July, we were all blessed to see San Diego Comic-Con return after a three year hiatus, now that the life-altering shitstorm that was COVID-19 is now a more normalized and managed part of our daily lives (even if it isn't gone completely). And with Comic-Con's return, we were all graced with what is absolutely my favorite part of convention season, the release of new trailers and teasers for movies and TV shows.

A good trailer can make or break a film's release. Some trailers are so designed that they kill all excitement for a film like with Megamind's trailer which spoiled every twist in the film. On the case of trailers like the original Sonic the Hedgehog, the trailer can be so poorly received that it enables the creators to completely shift the film for the better. And yet, an amazing trailer can be almost as entertaining and revolutionary as the film itself. In some cases, the trailer is even better than the movie its set to promote.

Naturally, this talk of trailers got me thinking. Why don't I write editorials where I discuss trailers, either new releases or maybe even reminiscence about trailers of the past and see why they either do or do not work. Thus was born this new editorial series Trailer Talk.

As for the first trailer to be discussed in my new series, how about we turn back to this years San Diego Comic-Con and one of the most widely regarded trailers released that weekend.

The very first teaser for Marvel Studios' next film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Top 5 Super Sentai Teams I wish got Power Rangers Adaptations


It's so easy to complain about either Power Rangers or Super Sentai and claim why you know one is better than the other. However, as someone who is a fan of both shows, I know there are several seasons of Super Sentai that either got skipped or came before Zyurangers (Mighty Morphin) and have always wondered how they would turn out as Power Rangers. (Fan made seasons do not count.) So, I am going to countdown 5 of these seasons that I wish got to become a Power Rangers season, for a variety of reasons.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

5 Things From Shenmue 2 That didn't make it Into the Anime

With only so many episodes to the anime, most likely anything deemed non-vital to the plot was cut. Shenmue 2 had a lot of optional events that made sense to cut. So, just for fun, let's countdown 5 of these things, based on nothing more than my observation as a fan.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Green Phoenix - Thor: Love and Thunder Review

Thor Love and Thunder poster.jpeg

It's time once again to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that I was taking a look at Marvel's action pseudo-horror action film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, to only moderately good reviews. Truthfully, I've been struggling with Marvel properties as of late as I desperately wish to see the direction that the universe wants to take as we enter what is now I think the sixth film in Phase Four and I still don't have a clue how everything connects beyond minor narrative references and overall theming (just as a point of comparison, Phase One was composed of six films in its entirety).

And now with all that baggage, I have to take a look at the next entry in the Thor franchise, which has been rather hit or miss in the past. Under the direction of Taika Waititi, who did a phenomenal job at re-contextualizing Thor for Thor: Ragnarok, I decided that I needed to see Thor: Love and Thunder, and I couldn't see it alone.

With TrotCon having occurred last weekend as I write this article, I went with my girlfriend and a company of close friends were at the convention with me. Their perspective gave me plenty to think about and its left me with a clearer idea of what I think about this fourth entry in the Thor franchise.

Is it a game-changer like Thor:Ragnarok that will completely re-imagine the series going forward. Or is it a average treader of similar grounds?


Friday, July 15, 2022

Green Phoenix - Jurassic World Dominion Review

JurassicWorldDominion Poster.jpeg

Going to be honest. As much I absolutely love the Jurassic Park franchise, I was not chomping at the bit to see the latest entry in the series Jurassic World Dominion. I just had such a weird ambivalence from my prior experiences with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which was easily the worst film ever set in the Jurassic Park universe.

Which is a real shame, as the Jurassic Park franchise formed an integral part of my childhood and really helped foster my love and passion for dinosaurs and paleontology (as well as science fiction). The first film was literally the first "grown-up" movie that I ever watched and I never miss an opportunity to watch the movie when it comes on screen.

Which just made my overall reluctance for Jurassic World Dominion all the more painful for me. I should've been chomping at the bit to see this film. However, much like Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, my enthusiasm was curtailed by the poor quality of the previous installment. I knew I would watch the film, but it was more out of loyalty to the franchise than any real excitement on my part (though I will say that some of the side projects and shorts associated with the film's marketing were absolutely fantastic and would've been almost better in my mind for the future of this franchise.

But was my reluctance warranted? Is Jurassic World Dominion its predecessor, or does it actually manage to capture some of the magic from the original trilogy of films?


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Episode 13: Shenmue - Summary/Review


This is it, the final episode of what I hope is only the first season of what has been a fantastic adaptation of my favorite video games series. Ryo and company have reached the roof of the Yellow Head Building and the final brawl from Shenmue 2 is about to begin. Click "read more" for my full coverage.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Green Phoenix - Building Better Backstories VII

A man with a suitcase on a foggy city street. Behind him are two women and a man.

I have made it no secret that I have a rather neutral, leaning-negative, perception of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Several weeks back, I had the "pleasure" of reviewing the third film in the franchise and while I will admit that I enjoyed it significantly more than its predecessors, even then I noted that it had a tremendous amount of problems attached to it that were simply systemic of the franchise as a concept.

Which is a real shame because I absolutely love the Harry Potter franchise and it made an incredible impact upon my childhood and teenage years. The world-building was superb and was deeply connected to the characters that inhabited that. While I have grown to hold some reluctant hesitance with regards to uncomfortable subtext within the universe due to the reputation of the author, the series as a whole still holds up.

This enjoyment of Harry Potter, but general ambivalence towards Fantastic Beasts, has been a consistent mystery to me and motivated me to explore and figure out what about the prequel series has me so frustrated and disappointed. The conclusion I came to, and the solution that I would prefer, was something that I absolutely knew needed to be my next issue of Building Better Backstories, especially in the wake of The Secrets of Dumbledore. As you will see in the article below, that film had an element present that the other films were mostly missing. A crucial element that truly helps set the tone and genre of the Fantastic Beasts.


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Episode 12: Guidepost - Summary/Review

 We are almost done with this season, only 2 episodes left. Everything should come together in this episode with Yuanda Zhu, Dou Niu, and Hong Kong in general. Let's not waste anytime, click "read more" and may the journey continue.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Shenmue the Animation Episode 11: Entangled - Summary/Review


We are nearing the end of this season. Last episode ended with Ryo in trouble and Xiuying arriving to save the day. In the games this rescue happened mostly off-screen, so maybe the anime will show some action. Click "read more" for my analysis and final thoughts.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Cheap Cheevos #9: A Clay Old Time.

I've been searching high and low for the easiest games to unlock all of the the achievements on. While a lot of these games will not be (and have not been) the best of quality, it will be enough to quench your cheevo thirst for the day. I've got an interesting line-up picked out for this edition. From school-girls with fishing rods, to an achievement set made by yours truly. So brace yourselves. It's Cheap Cheevos Issue 9. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Episode 10: Comeback - Summary/Review

We have reached the final 4 episodes of what I hope is for only the first season and not the entire anime. What I am predicting based on my knowledge of the games, Ryo has finished his business in Hong Kong and we are moving onto the Kowloon Saga. How will this be adapted? Click "read more" for my analysis.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Shenmue the Animation Episode 9: Distinct - Summary/Review


Ryo's quest comes to a brick wall when Xiuying sees through him and knows that he is out for revenge which results in her refusing to help him. However, Fangmei has brought Ryo a book written by Yuanda Zhu that is his only lead right now. Even though I already know generally what will happen, I am eager to see how they do it in the anime. So, click "read more" and let us begin the analysis.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Top 5 Things in Shenmue 1 That Didn't make it into the Anime

This is a total fanboy countdown, but one I still think people have talked about. The first 5 episodes of Shenmue The Animation covered the events of the first game Shenmue for Sega Dreamcast. Naturally, this meant a lot of stuff had to be cut out. For the most part, the anime does a great job of re-pacing the story so that multiple things can happen at once and a lot of unimportant things were at least referenced. However, there had to be some things from the game left out for the sake of better story telling. While I am not here to debate how right or wrong it was to exclude what they did, I am here to count down the 5 pieces of content cut that stood out to me the most. Click "read more" for the countdown. 

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