Nekojiru-sou [Conceptual Review]

As an anime fan, I dwell into shows that are purely amazing. Genres like psychological, horror, thriller, dementia and drama are my favorites [as stated many, many times before]. And here I am watching Nekojiru-sou, on a Monday at job :)) [because why not].

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Type: OVA
Episodes: 1
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Feb 21, 2001
Licensors: None found, add some
Studios: J.C.Staff
Source: Manga
Duration: 32 min.
Rating: R – 17+ (violence & profanity)

 

This title embarks you into a world of surreal tenderness, depictions of imagination and strange facts.

 

[SPOILERS AHEAD!]

 

We assist to a death scene from almost the very beginning. It is told ritualistically, using a process of three steps. The soul of the poor cat leaves her body after three blinkings, and the forth times she sees death coming for her.

 

Her brother, after seeing his sister leaving with death, he tries to save her soul from death, and rips apart that aura of her substantiality, making his sister – a shell of her former self. He gains one part of her soul. Death leaves with the other part.

 

The story-telling process is a complex one.

 

There are humans depicted as elements in an absurd existence, strange characters, like the cloud-bird in the circus, which is used as a metaphor for cruelty towards animals in a circus. We have God who cuts a female into pieces and puts her together using a spell – which is an epithet for religious expression. Then comes the Noe’s Ark scene, in which humanity brought doom upon themselves – as the official story tells – and not that the nature’s wrath was beyond control in a moment of this planet’s history.

 

Elements like this are detailing the course of the story written here.

 

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Strange things begin to happen after the waters evaporate. We have elements of voodoo – in which one characters is sewing up parts of corpses to create a sort of community from dead “things”, excessive violence, graphic depictions of gross and unussual behavior.

 

The tones used are pale, almost rotting, creating a perfect ambiance and an atmosphere for this ilogical and irrational tale of unreason.

 

One scene in particular was a favorite of mine. I would call it terror-punk subgenre [if that even exists], in which a man with bdsm inclinations is trying to kill our protagonists, but ends up chopped-up by our beloved cute friends. The OVA is produced in such a manner in which the cuteness is very well fusioned with the acts of brutality and tragedies of the story.

 

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Another thing that is very pleasant and demads gratitude is the imagination of the author, used professionally in creating situations and characters out-of-this world. Like the water-elephant or the abstract art used in the backgrouds with a note of H. P. Lovecraft phenomena.

 

The paradox of time, stopping it, fastforwarding it, elements of the Darwinist theory, mechanisms of life, the evolution of life, historical moments, and the traditional japanese lifestyle – all in one creation.

 

 I recommend the title for its originality. Score 5/5.

And there it was YOU…

One day I wrote to you saying good morning. Remember…? It was Friday. Busy day, busy people, busy city. Normal conversation, normal situation, normal calculation. (cause you are a mathematician :D).

And after that I discovered parts of your soul. Stories, fragments of poetry written on your smile, photographs of your inner beauty, lines and shapes of cuteness, rivers of kisses, enigmatic shades of embraces, scents of beautiful eyes…

I hold you. In the spring’s rain of sunshine.

I hold you. In the distant memory of my pain.

You hold me. In the fruitful heart of the city.

You hold me. Like no one else ever did.

I stood there watching you… Moving gentle among the shadows of this world. Smiling… a smile that could make meteors dance in far away galaxies. You opened up an Universe unknown to mankind. And yet you were here all along.. like a star playing the violin of life. And when I first kissed you, I melted like the iron of a knight’s sword on the battlefield after a victorious battle.

I imagined you staying in the castle’s opened-up window reading old books, dusty and colorful. You investigated the autumnal song of love…

Dressed in dark shades… with bright intentions. And soft skin, and cupcake-flavored lips.

It was YOU all-along that I desired.. and I found you in this clinically-constructed madness we call an existential condition. And you gave purpose to mine. For that I thank you.

P.S. I am (not) sorry for grabbing your butt on our first date :))) :*…

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Sakura -Japan in the Box-

The Meijiza Theater from Tokyo has a history of 140 years of art performing.

People had enjoyed different forms of acting throughout the Meiji, Taisho, Showa and the Heisei Eras. Kabuki shows but also newer forms of theater are shown to the public. And recently a new idea and an innovative form of acting can be enjoyed here at nighttime.

I am talking about the show called Sakura – Japan in the Box. This performance blends Japanese traditional arts like acting, dancing and playing various instruments with modern pop culture, anime and games. The performance is also being synchronized with projections of different animated pieces. It is meant for local and foreign public, and therefore, little dialogue is used.

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The show is a spectacular game of colors, motions, traditional japanese instruments – that culminate with feelings, absorbtion into the story. The performing act has to be synchronized with the animation shown in the background – therefore a lot of effort was put into the work of the actors and the producers.

This is a story about Sakura – a girl who is living her daily routine without something special attached to it. But one day – an encounter with a mysterious fox changes everything. She is taken on a journey across time and space – she meets the spirits of the four seasons:

– The Spirit of the Spring, Miyabi

– The Spirit of Summer, Choco

– The Spirit of Autumn, Rin

– The Spirit of Winter, Setsuna

The show is a compilation of kabuki, taiko players, shamisen players, sword fights and some beautiful animations that make the story powerful.

Useful links:

Facebook Page

Official Website

Android Game: War And Order

War and Order is an online Android fantasy-strategy game that I’ve been playing for a few days now.

screenshot_20170102-215219It is quite addicting, and it lets you built a city, recruit soldiers, gather resources, battle monsters and other players, get involved in raids and research different technologies to make your civilization more powerful.

The graphics look decent, at the beginning of the game you can build and evolve faster for free but then you will have to spend amounts of time waiting for buildings to be completed or resources gathered. But all-in-all is a very interesting game.

You also have a Lord with different skills that help improve your civilization.

As stated on Google Play, War and Order is a game in which:

Orc Knights, Elf Sages, Dragon Riders, and other incredible warriors are waiting to fight for your empire! Raise a massive fantasy army for HUGE, spectacularly animated battles! Axes fly, dragons roar, and fireballs sizzle as you clash with enemies from all over the world in real-time. Call on your allies to rush to your aid on horse- and lizard-back. Repay them with your undying loyalty as you take castles, slay ogres, and stake new territory as a tribe! THIS is the game you won’t be able to put it down as your screen lights up with constant new battles, chats, and upgrades!

You must battle to become more powerful than any king in history! But you can’t do it alone. It’s up to you and your allies to unite the fantasy races like never before as you conquer an endless world of empires and imagination.

★HOMELAND
• Recruit and train over 30 fantasy soldiers, uniting Orcs, Elves, Humans, and Golems
• Construct and upgrade tons of buildings for new soldiers, buffs, and resources!
• Research new magic and technology FAST for cutting-edge tactics and weapons!

★ALLIANCE
• Friend, feud, and chat with players from around the world in real time.
• Help each other build and expand your cities faster.
• Rally together to take down enemies you could never face alone!
• Share and expand territory to enjoy exclusive buildings and bonuses!

★CONFRONTATION
• Sweep the battlefield in huge real-time PvP matches!
• Build your force to leviathan proportions!
• Engulf other lords’ castles as you expand your territory.

★CONQUEST
• Attack other player’s castles to plunder their resources and climb power rankings!
• Vanquish roaming monsters for their treasures, from man-eating Ogres to massive Dragons.

★EMPIRE
• Take over the Royal City to rule over the realm with unheard of power and privileges!
• Explore unknown lands to find elite resources, ancient ruins, and more surprises!
• Grow your alliance territory for richer rewards and resources!

 There is also a Fan Facebook Page for the game.

And now for my favourite part of these kind of articles, I managed to build a few things and upgrade them. I now have:

Castle – lvl 7 – The core building of the city.

                               Building effect – Gather speed boost 30% / Unlock land 24

City Hall – Gives daily rewards to the player.

Drill Grounds – lvl 4 – A place to train soldiers. If upgraded you can raise the maximum number of soldiers in a single marching army.

                                Building effect – Army size limit 8.6 k

Depot – lvl 6 – The depot protects the harvested resources from being plundered. If upgraded you can raise the amount of resources protected.

                               Building effect – Food protection 260.0 k / Wood protection 260.0 k

                               / Stone protection 52.0 k / Iron protection 26.0 k

Embassy – lvl 4 – You can use the embassy to check the external and internal reinforcement armies. If upgraded you can accomodate more defense armies.

                                Building effect – Ally defense max 28.0 k / Help Times 8+5

Blacksmith – Here you can forge new equipment. If upgraded you can unlock higher level equipment and increase forging speed.

                                 Building effect – Forge speed 1%

College – lvl 5 – The technology center of the city. If you research new technology, your civilization becomes more powerful. There are 4 different types of technologies that can be researched: Resources / Development / Military / City Defense.

                                 Building effect – Food boost +20% / Wood boost +20% / March queue +1

                                / Recruitment Speed +0.5% / Max recruitment +20%

Barracks – lvl 6 – A place to train soldiers.

                       Unlocked units – Elf Acolyte / Mounted Knight / Novice Mage / Elf Archer

                       / Longbowman / Dragon Rider / Basic Swordsman / Orc Warrior

Hospital – lvl 6 – Heals wounded soldiers. If upgraded you can raise the maximum wounded limit and healing speed.

                                 Building effect – Max wounded 6.0 k + 500 / Healing speed 12%

Castle Wall – lvl 7 – The castle wall can make defense golems. Upgrade to raise the max amount of defense golems and city defense.

                                Building effect – Max city wall defense 2.1 k / Max golems 0 +100

Farm – lvl 6 – Produces and holds food. If upgraded you can increase the production output and capacity.

                               Building effect – Food output 1.0 k +210/h / Food capacity 10.5 k +2.1 k

Training Grounds – lvl 5 – If upgraded you can increase the number of soldiers that you can recruit at once.

                               Building effect – Max recruitment 25 / Recruitment speed 1.5%

Medic Tent – lvl 1 – Houses wounded soldiers. Upgrade to increase wounded capacity.

                               Building effect – Max wounded 500

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Forest Music

Close your eyes for a moment after reading this article and enjoy the music while imagining what I’ve written here.

Just like in an RPG game, just imagine an ever-green large patch of big, old trees, with nothing but fresh air surrounding them and colorful flowers.

The sight so splendid that it gives you a sense of finding heaven on an old, forgotten planet.

Species of plants that seem unreal, and elves residing in tree-houses. Birds, violet frogs, fire-red insects, orange butterflies, white cubs playing in the fallen leaves. A sky so clear that you could lose yourself into its infinity…

And everything dances calmly on this music mix. Music was composed by Derek and Brandon Fiechter.

Argue [horror poem]

This darkened rain that pours so soft,

This day of war and cruelty…

One gallon – blood is coughed

And death sings continuity.

A lovely, white-pale corpse

Of former lover – mine,

Just sits and rots, decaying works;

One gallon – red mulled wine.

 

I take a sip, I lose my mind,

My temper; devils dwell.

Inside my brain, my darkness’ faith –

My home, sweet home – hell.

A house of bones, the card of death,

A room filled with disaster;

I friended vipers and neglect,

Becoming murder-master.

 

And now at the beggining

Of my eternal end –

Damnation is the key.

Our love was sick,

You lie down dead

And I am lost – but free.

 

S.O.M.A. Guide – Part 1 – Upsilon Confusion

[spoilers ahead]

So.. I decided to play S.O.M.A. again. A taste of survival horror, elements of cyberpunk, a game filled with puzzles, interesting dialogues and a profound exploration of the human and non-human intellect.

After a car crash – Simon Jarrett  – deals with brain damage, his brain starts bleeding now and then. Seems that various treatments do not work for his condition so he decides to seek further available options for prolonging his life. His condition could be fatal if a cure is not found. So – he gets in contact with a facility that could scan his brain in order to develop a more suitable treatment. Unfortunately this treatment has no efficiency and as later told in the game, Simon finds out he died almost 100 years ago and that he is able once again to function because the brain scan he did was used as a template for an A.I. model – him waking up on Pathos-II facility.

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PATHOS-II is an underwater research facility located in the Atlantic Ocean during the 2100s. It is the primary setting of both SOMA and the live-action prequel mini-series and film Transmission and Depth.

It was initially built to conduct thermal mining during the 2060s and, later, developed the Omega Space Gun. It has a diverse staff of scientists and engineers involved in multiple research projects such as marine sciences, hydroculture, and deep sea construction. An artificial intelligence known as the WAU was used to oversee primary operations of the facility.

When a comet impact in January 2103 rendered the surface of the Earth barren and killed all surface life, the staff of PATHOS-II became the last living humans on the planet. Knowing they would not be able to survive indefinitely, they began searching for alternative ways to extend their lives and ultimately, save what remains of the human race – the ARK program being among them. Not much is known about the events that followed, but eventually machines previously operated remotely by humans began to become self-aware and started to exhibit human traits. The facility eventually descended into the nightmarish state seen during the events of the game.

Opening your eyes, waking up alone, trapped in darkness. That is how the horrifying story of SOMA really starts. You wake up in the Upsilon site – which  contains the facility’s primary power generation plant. Geothermal boreholes are used to generate electricity. Upsilon also contains extensive facilities used to service and maintain PATHOS-II’s collection of robots and Universal Helpers.

Soma 2016-08-13 15-12-55-14You start exploring these dark rooms, hearing distant weird noises and seeing shadows that disappear an re-appear. You find how to work with the Omnitool.

The Omnitool is a small handheld computer, originally used by PATHOS-II’s staff to open doors and access areas requiring maintenance. It has two chip slots: one for a Tool Chip, which grants additional functions and security clearances, and one for a Cortex Chip, which is used to download an A.I. into the Omnitool. If no Cortex Chip is inserted, the Omnitool has a pre-loaded AI (“Helper Jane”).

The cortex chip can also contain a brain scan, granting it the personality and memories of the person scanned. The Omnitool lacks the necessary computational resources to run brain scan simulations on its own, and must be docked to a terminal in order to do so. Catherine Chun describes this experience as a continuous, but disjointed consciousness with no perception or awareness of the time that passes in between simulations.

The Omnitool cannot be used to override security protocols that it lacks the clearance to access. In these cases, a new Tool Chip must be inserted to update the Omnitool’s security clearances.

The Omnitool can be operated either by swiping it in front of a sensor or by directly docking it to a computer terminal. The latter option allows the brain scan on the device’s Cortex Chip, if present, to directly interface with the PATHOS-II mainframe.

Soma 2016-08-13 15-46-43-12Moving further in the game you make contact with several robots who don’t even realize they are robots. At first, even Simon sees himself as being human, being normal. But slowly things start to change perspectives. He first makes contact with Catherine Chun who will direct him from site Upsilon to site Lambda, in order to discover further truths about this research facility. You are being attacked by a Construct.

This creature appears to be a horrific jumbled mess of a UH3 Universal Helper maintenance unit and WAU techno-organic growth. Structure Gel mutations have given the Helper a much bulkier build, with a bigger backside and more reinforced structure, as well as added functionality, allowing the Helper to make use of a pair of legs to navigate. Along with the small lights emitting from the numerous bulbous growths on its body, the Helper casts a bright beam from the front of its face, acting as a spotlight to assist with navigation through dark areas.

Soma 2016-08-13 16-05-27-65You get to explore the bottom of the ocean – wondering how are you going to find the right way to the next checkpoint. You rescue a little Universal Helper which will show his gratitude by offering you access to a block door in order to continue. You discover that the machines are taking control over the humans lost in this abandoned place and they will not let them die. It is a sign that the A.I. in this place, the master brain of the disaster wants everything to be fully functional, no matter what.

Finally you get to site Lambda only to discover that Catherine is also a brain scan trapped into a computer. But will all that, she will be the protagonist’s companion and will offer useful tips and information.

For a full written walkthrough, you can access these links if you have problems in finishing any of the game’s levels.

Simon Jarrett’s Apartment

Subway Cinematic

Dr. Munshi’s Laboratory

Pathos-II Awakening

Upsilon Puzzles

Bottom Of The Ocean

Upsilon Shuttle Station

[next article – S.O.M.A. Guide – Part 2 – Lambda Atrocities]