Author has written 4 stories for Fire Emblem, Secret/Legend of Mana, and Misc. Books.
I'm a girl and the only things you'll get out of this profile are my opinions (rants) on various things and possibly quotes I likes. I also like to used some terms from tvtropes. I'm not a troper though. I'm also VERY socially awkward everywhere. It's difficult for me to write reviews and responds, so I must apologized here for any trouble I may cause. If you ever feel like sharing your opinions with me, you're welcome to PM me, as strange as it sound I enjoy listening to people's rants. Oh and spoilers are just about everywhere here.
This series get an Outstanding in imagination and a Troll in logic. The Harry Potter series is a joy to read really, but it quite lacking in term of sense and the romance is horrid. Seriously, I often have a hard time analyzing the characters and events due to the quality of her writing. (ex: little to no consistency or realism in characters' behaviors)
For me the only good books are the first four, things just go downhill for the last three. (Although I suppose DH (book 7) do have a few merits)
Favorite characters - Harry, Luna and Neville
Harry, ah yes, I'm ridiculously bias and crazy about him. I love him plain and simple. His character contain so many possibilities it's staggering. Just look at all of those potential! While his canon self is flawed (both human flaw and author flaw) and could be irritating, he gave birth to such a diverse variety of characters born from so many different scenarios. Fanon Harry is so multi-faceted that I doubt I'll be tried of reading about him. Not to implied that I don't like canon Harry. I love him too. At the end of the days, with all his flaws and shortcomings canon Harry is a true hero whether he believed that or not.
Neville falls into my classical favorite type of guy - a good and nice guy. He has many characteristic of the traditional hero that I love. Still Harry is a whole world of possibilities all on his own, so he win hands down.
Luna is the first character that really remind me of wisdom of little children. Pure and beautiful in a way that's not Mary Sue-ish.
Ginny is just a mary sue (Why, the authoress confess that Ginny represent all she's ever want to be and everything), and an underdeveloped character with barely any screen time at that. Ginny also just happen to be the classic examples of the following tropes that I find hard to appreciate - designated love interest, strangled by the red string, informed ability (part of show, don't tell) and shilling the Wesley. I'm sure there's more bad tropes associated with her, but these are the ones that bug me the most.
While Hermione contain many attributes I valued and like in the traditional heroine, she lack the spark of life that I look for in characters so I'm really indifferent toward her. I can't really pinpoint and explain why but to me, being a know-it-all is not a part of Hermione. It's the other way around. Sure, Hermione is arguably the most developed character in HP series and I do feel that she has so much potential to come into her own in the beginning.
But as time as goes on, Hermione feel less like a character and more like Jo's personal Deus Ex Machina whose sole purposes are to bail Harry out of trouble so he doesn't have to cultivate his potential and be Ron's love interest. I swear there's moments where it feel like Jo made Hermione react and thoughts in the ways she would instead of what Hermione would react and thought which results in what feel like OoC moments. It's not that I resent author's avatar (that would apply to the majority of HP's female cast), I just find it hard to like or really appreciate a character that feel like a placeholder.
Ron is based too heavily on J.K. Rowling's ex-husband to be his own character so nothing to be said for him really. I swear it's like she hold a grudge against Ron or something, having read some works from Sara Winters really show me that it's not out of Ron's character to be more than how he's portrayed in the books.
Snape is the true definition of a 'gray' character. He has his faults, he has his reasons and he has his honorable moments. I'm indifferent toward him. So any portrayal of Snape in fics are fine by me as long as it's not the OoC misunderstood Saint persona. Snape for all his love and honor, is and always will be a snarky, petty git.
Dumbledore is the perfect target for Dark spells after all the old coot sure deserve it. I know the whole grey and only human excuse, but that's not good enough to forgive for the crimes he committed against Harry. How could he does what he's done to any child much less Harry. Even if you're not a Harry fan, as a human being how could any one stand it.
I could vaguely see why some people might like him for his manipulative nature and what not, but what he does to Harry is unforgivable. This is not Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean manipulative where he's only trying to save his own skin, this is playing God. My words truly could not do justice to the description of the horrors that Dumbledore has done to Harry and just about everybody else in his bloody life.
Seriously, I don't want to know or understand why so many people like him if it's going to make me blase to what's he has done. Abuse is not funny or something you could shrug off (yes, Jo I'm looking at you and that's the eternal reason why while I appreciate and value your work I'll never respect you). Anybody that make light of other people's pain make this world a bitter place to live. I don't want to be one of them.
Draco x Harry - This is a pretty delicate pairing, definitely hard to be done just right. Once upon a time, I used to hate this pairing so I could truly understand why so many people despise it. Yes with shipping goggles on, there are hints of this pairing in canon, but let's face the fact that's in Jo's realm it's not going to or could ever happen. Canon = Impossible.
If we are going to stick very closely to canon, neither of them is going to be attracted to the other. Even if we used our super fanfiction power to push the boys together the results would be a) one or both of them would be so OoC you couldn't call them Harry and Draco anymore or b) a dysfunctional toxic relationship. Then one day I realize that good, sensible reasons (foe yay is a kink and not an actual reason) for liking this pairing do exist. There are people who are fascinated by the passionate, unhealthy and destructive aspect of their relationship.
For me it's a wonder to find that using what we were given from canon, it's possible to create plausible versions of Harry and Draco that not only work together, but actually complement each other. Not only in looks (yeah reading about hot people is hot, but I need more substance to keep my attention), but in personality. It's incredible how some author could make their shared history into a precise reason why these two boys belong together.
The similarities and differences, a study of contrast and how opposites attract... I'm not going to lie. Trashy fics that feature this pairing are common, but like with all pairings, there's writings of all quality and complexities that feature these two (Take your pick). And for me I have found fics that are to die for in this corner of the fandom. I'm looking forward to continuing to find more.
It's pretty hard to find a fic that make this seemingly impossible pairing to work, some authors though are really good at it, for example - Lomonaaeren. I could be pretty picky when it come to this pairing, so while I enjoy this pairing immensely I can't say I love it in all its incarnations. Draco with a heart is a must. It's the chemistry between them that fascinate me, the thought of those two fucking with no feelings hold no appeal to me. (The attraction, man, the attraction!) I don't care if it's all mixed up with hatred, the genuine attraction must be there.
My favorite theme for this pairing is the whole 'Draco saves Harry' scenario. It's sound so much like an impossible scenario really, but when the right author breathe life into it... it's pure beauty. Simply amazing really how many different types and style of relationship could be born from pairing these two boys together.
The type of relationship that I like the best is when the boys are pretty much equals after all that's the appeal of pairing rivals. Lomonaaeren is THE person you goes to for the equal relationship dynamics. Seriously her H/D fics are to die for. For the whole top/bottom issue, I prefer bottom Harry if only because then Draco won't be a whiny, wimpy little bitch. After all IC Harry even as a bottom would at worst has no backbone while IC Draco as a bottom at his worst is . . . let's just say I might as well read het and not get too deep into the details. I also prefer pining!Draco to pining!Harry if only because pining!Draco is more likely to spawn happy endings than its counter part.
This paragraph don't have anything to do with the pairing it self, but about Lomonaaeren. The reason why I'm mentioning her in this section is that she's a Drarry writer. Her talent is so amazing. The wide array of genre and plots she could write is mind boggling. Top quality writing combine with originality? Awesome. It would be even better if I'm not so limited in my tastes. Can't say I like all of her fics, but I do respect her. After all I could recognize and realize that the element that put me off is not the quality but the uncomfortable aspects of the characters and life itself. I like to buried my head in the sand and be blind and deaf to all suffering. Pathetic, I know. At least I'm true to myself about it and that's all that matter. But I digress. This part of my long winded rant could merely be boiled down to 'read Lomonaaeren's stuff'. After all even with the story that I don't like I still felt satisfied after reading it. Not something uncomfortable stories by other authors could do to me.
Harry x Luna - They've a deep connection with each other in OoTP (Book 5). The boy that was forced to grow too fast and the girl that never grow up. Perfect.
Harry x Hermione - I like this pairing on occasion. After all it made sense.
James x Lily - He love her so much, he's willing to learn, change and grow for her. He could and does make her happy. That's enough.
Snape x Lily - He love her a lot. His actions speak for itself, but his utter lack of morals kind of get in between them. It's just not meant to be.
Harry x Ginny - I can't believe that I used to like this pairing way back when CoS (book 2) is new. Seriously, J.K. Rowling has gone out of her way time and time again to show us that Harry doesn't like fangirls, and guess what? Harry's married to the president of his fanclub! They don't understand shit about each other. The so called compatibility reasons Harry x Ginny fans like to give are shallow, Harry need someone he could connect to on a deeper level. (mutual liking of quidditch is not enough to build a marriage on) Seriously, they will be miserable together.
Harry despite his noble nature is not prince charming plus superman plus any delusions she might cook up. Harry's just an ordinary boy. Uh, words can't express how much J.K. Rowling's universe made me HATE this pairing. I lost counts of how many times this pairing stop me from reading a popular story.
Draco x anyone but Harry - I don't know why, but Draco x Harry seem to own a part of me, what ever that is. I can't seem to stand seeing Draco pair with someone else. Like Draco x Harry is the ultimate slash pairing or something. I could barely stomach seeing Harry and Draco being pair with any guys but each other. So no Snape x Harry or Draco x Ron or any pairings like that. Just thinking about Draco or Harry with any other guys feel like a betrayal to Draco x Harry. (I'm weird like that) I suppose this made Draco x Harry my OTP.
Snape x Harry is just eww. I don't do cross gen. (unless it's well written, exceptions could always be made for quality) And I know some people say that this pairing is just as possible as Draco x Harry, but just look at HBP (Book 6 or Harry and Draco slasher's bible) and you will realize that these two pairings are worlds apart.
Draco x Ron - I guess the underlying concept between these two is similar to Draco x Harry, but as previously stated, this is another betrayal to Draco x Harry. Plus, they don't look as aesthetically pleasing together like my favorite pairing, and the complementary personalities and . . . I'll shut up now.
Draco x Hermione - I know, I know. Hermione is a girl so it's shouldn't feel like a betrayal to Draco x Harry, but somehow I still feel that way. And to think I start off for a VERY brief time as a fan of this pairing. (I've seen the light!) I could only stand this pairing as a side pairing nowadays. I don't think I could ever read a fanfic with this pairing as the main pairing no matter how amazing the story may be. The chemistry between Harry x Draco outshine Draco x Hermione any day. I don't think I can look back.
In my opinion, Harry is really the prophesized child and not only the child that Voldemort chose to pick off first. I'm sure Voldemort has planned to kill off both children, but he probably chose to go after Harry first for he perceive Harry as more of threat. I know Neville also fit the bill and all, and without a doubt probably could have get the job done with possibly less mistakes and casualties too.
To me this is a 'two different roads, same destination' type of thing, both Harry and Neville have their own strengths and neither is really better than the other in term of being the Chosen One. Honestly with Harry being born a day after Neville, you have to admit that the scale do tip in favor of Harry when it come to being the prophesized child.
That and the fact that I couldn't see how Neville could be Voldemort's 'equal' in any terms that doesn't involved having the mark. Harry is such a perfect pararell to Voldemort with such glaring differences that you couldn't help placing them in the same level and separating them still (the whole yin and yang concept). Neville will probably get the job done if he need to, but apart from a mark left by Voldemort, I wouldn't really be able to see them as equals in any way.
There's something dark about Harry as a character. Yes he's a good person and his conscience and sense of responsibility are definitely overdeveloped. Those heroic traits are there, no doubt about it. Still, I always feel that the whole Harry was a candidate for Slytherin because of the soul shard is a horrible cop out. He's a pure Gryffindor! Trust the author to sprout the moral about how it's choice that define us and not ability using Harry as an example and tell us at the end that those ability and possibility are all Voldemort's fault after all. I don't buy that excuse.
As far as I'm concern, it doesn't really feel OoC to portray Harry as a force of incorruptible goodness, but his disregard for rules is an indication that it's not far-fetched for Harry to be an anti hero or belong to any other archetype in the gray or even black spectrum. He's brave and honorable and someone who's willing to bend the rules to suit his purpose. He's willing to go out of line to do what he believe in.
I just can't believe that Neville is someone who could be IC and embody an archetype that's not white. He feel too much like the traditional hero. It's almost like they lived in different worlds. I could see Harry and Voldemort/Tom living in the same world filled with darkness while Neville belong to somewhere else altogether. In that sense, Neville couldn't possibly be the Dark Lord's equal.
Fire Emblem 6: The Sword of Seals
Idoun - It's strange. Idoun's presence could only be felt at the end of the game, but somehow she end up as my favorite character for FE6. Her tragic back story is sue-ish material, but it doesn't bother me at all. It's just that the first time I go through that part of the game I was utterly shocked and horrified when I heard her story. Her phenomenal theme definitely help. The music is so poignant and melancholic... it made me feel her character. Just like that, instant connection. In retrospect, Ninian's theme is extremely similar to Idoun, but Ninian's doesn't strike a chord within me at all.
While I scoffed at Guinevere for her Mary-Sue status, Idoun who was obviously designed to garner sympathy didn't annoy me one bit. She made my imagination run wild and all of a sudden I already got a headcanon story about her. Some people only see a female character with no soul. I see something much more than that. She's empty inside and the reason why this happened is so... I felt that the one moment of hesitation that cost Idoun her soul say something about her character. The fact that she was a divine dragon before, made me wonder if she was like Fa once. How dearly did that one instance of humanity cost her?
So I finally realize why I love Idoun so much (thanks to a discussion on Fate/Stay Night last route) It's certainly a surprise to know that I judge all fictional characters with only one criteria: decision.
Background, personality and circumstances are all very important because it provide context. Still, for me it all boil down to decision. Such minute difference, but it's enough for me to love Idoun while other tragic figures tend to invoke from me either indifference or even disgust.
Strangely enough, for me Idoun is a character and not a plot device. Things happen to her; yes, but her decision and action show her own character as much as (if not more than) the author's intention. That and her situation is more grounded in reality than the realms of fantasy.
Figuratively speaking, soul crushing traumas do exist, especially in time of wars. There are children who were sacrificed because the need of many demand it or simply because nobody could be bothered to save them. People have been dehumanized and treated as tools. These things happen. It's real enough to relate to.
In this sense, Idoun is not super special in the 'suffering and misfortune' department. She's not even unbelievably resilient or strong or pure or heroic. She's a normal victim of war, that's all.
Nobody could blame her for hesitating. Some people would sympathize with her plights. Some people would find nothing commendable about her, after all her reaction was normal.
However, I realized that Idoun has made a decision that define her character for me. She could have given in. It would make no difference in the grand schemes of things. This would just turn into a case of a little girl being forced to do things against her will. It wouldn't be strange if she do as she was told when they were threatening and begging.
Even in that situation, the little girl still doesn't want to harm. Even then she is thinking of something other than herself. Even when she was turned into an abomination, she still doesn't blindly follow orders.
This single instance of humanity is not an indication of how special Idoun was, but it is a promise of something worthwhile. That she is worthwhile. I can't say that I have ever seen anything like this in the tragic figures I hate. I can't say that the tragic figures I am indifferent to has anything for me to judge.
Not to mention that Idoun is actually good for the story. In her, the differences between humans and dragons are answered. Because of her, the ending of FE6 is filled with promise of renewal and hope.
Soul Nomad and the World Eaters
I wrote a long rant praising this game's Voice Acting, music and story and complaining about the reeking laziness of the visuals. Too bad the save is not successful so it's all gone. Oh well, the short version would have to do.
Pro: GIG! Voice Acting, music, story.
Con: Visual, the randomized aspect of the gameplay and the fact that the female PC is considered male game play wise. Overall a decent game with decent cast of characters, the gameplay doesn't really work for me though. What got me hooked enough to rant about it here is the story and Gig. Yep, I could be considered a fan.
Gig - The soul of Soul Nomad, no doubt about it. He's a funny, foul mouthed badass. Really, Yuri Lowenthal does an excellent job as Gig's voice. I love his lines so much I could listen to them over and over again.
Revya - It's probably due to my weakness to protagonist in general, but I like Revya. Just for the record, I prefer Revya to be female. As a male, Revya's personality is just your typical silent video game hero. Meanwhile as a female, Revya made a not so typical heroine. A strong willed kuudere with stoic pragmatic streak and hints of snark? Maybe I'm inexperienced, but I've never seen a video game female protagonist like this before. (At least one with given personality anyway.)
Danette - Too dumb and verbally abusive. I know she doesn't mean it much and Revya doesn't mind the treatment, but it's still wrong. Dumbnette here really rub me the wrong way. To be perfectly honest, the only female characters I like in this game are Revya and Shauna. Juno, I'm indifferent to, while the other females are either tolerable and/or annoying. Can't say I actively hate any of them, but I view the male characters in this game more favorably.
Trish (Tricia) - The closest thing to a Mary Sue that this game has. I don't hate her and she doesn't really bothered me that much. To me she's a 'meh' character.
Gig x Revya (female only) in any paths - Not that I have anything against slash, but I always see both Revya male and female as straight. It's not like this pairing get much support in the game (male Revya is heavily favored after all), but I always feel that the term 'soul mate' in the traditional sense might not be too far off when it come to these two. Their personality complement each other really well. I can't put everything into words just yet, but to me their relationship is too complicated to sum up with the word 'love' alone. They matter to each other a great deal, but their relationship could be taken as romantic or platonic. I just prefer romantic.
I believe that most people would agree that these two have companion love at the very least. Passion, the part that make up most romantic relationships, is not really apparent here so I could see why some people don't ship these two. It's a stupid reason, but I ship these two so bad is precisely because of this. Most romance stories' attempts try too hard with the passion aspect, it's sickening. Love at first sight, going nuts over each other because of so called chemistry that I can't feel with no reasons what so ever... I'm sure good passionate romance exist, but my experience has sour that notion.
It probably have to do with my own preference but romantic love that stemmed from friendship and intimacy is very appealing to me. If these two fall in love, I know which category they would fall into. If you think about it, these two made sense. I could see that each possess some quality that the other would find attractive (which is not the case with Gig and Danette).
Vigilance x Revya - I want to read a fic about them so bad. Really, someone else must have wonder how Revya would deal with Vigilance the complete opposite of Gig.
Gig x Danette - I never like this pairing and never will. I could see why someone might ship them though. The growth their relationship is more obvious than between Gig and Revya. They do bicker a lot. If you're into bickering = sexual tension, it might just work, but the game doesn't really support this pairing either. In fact, Soul Nomad doesn't really favor romance at all. There's still a canon couple and hints for another one, but it's nothing much. I digress. Anyway, I can't see any attraction between them at all and their personality definitely clash (in some way they are too similar for it to work), so no support from me.
Levin x Revya - Their ending convince me. That's pretty much it.
Levin -> Tricia -> Vitali: I like this love triangle. I don't really care for Levin x Tricia myself and Tricia x Vitali could only work if Vitali reciprocate her feelings. So this triangle is the way to go!
Nippon Ichi Rants
This is the only Nippon Ichi game that I will play. I tried my hands at Disgaea the flagship series once, but the presentation doesn't suit me at all. I hate grinding which is something Nippon Ichi games are known for. The story is not something I could comment on. The jokes, the characters, the atmosphere and gameplay just turn me off. The first time I tried I couldn't even play for a full hour.
Then there's the cameos. Personally I like my games' universe to remain separate, so all these guest stars appearance piss me off. I hate it enough in Soul Nomad (oh so powerful Lujei is annoying, Asagi is dumb and Endorph is pretty much 'for insider's enjoyment only'), I can't go through it again. Little cameo is fine, but Nippon Ichi style is definitely not my type. Forget to mention this, but broken characters (the stupidly powerful kind) is yet another thing I can't enjoy. Gig doesn't count. He's awesome because of his personality and his power is a plot point that's not over the top. From what I heard, other Nippon Ichi games specialize in everything I dislike.
Necessary Grinding? Check. Characters whose only selling points seem to be how powerful they are? Check. (Don't know this for sure but if the fan base reaction is anything to go by...) Silly Jokes? Check. The last point I could tolerate, but the first and second one are major turn offs. If my sources are to be believed Soul Nomad got to be the only Nippon Ichi game that won't forced you to level grind to finish the story line, that mean I'm not even going to give the other games any of my time.
I don't know about the other games, but disgaea so far seem to aim for cute, silly and funny. That's alright until the item world and how I was forced to level grind for the second boss. Grinding = NO! Phantom Brave? It seem like the game doesn't end well at all. The main cast are separated and some of them is suffering. I don't want to get attached to characters only feel bad when they become fate's bitches. GrimGrimoire? If Lujei is in it, then I won't bother. Makai Kingdom's story don't look so bad, but the game play is a complete turn off. I won't play, but watching a Let's Play should be feasible. You know, maybe Let's Play is the answer for all Nippon Ichi games here since I don't have to play them and could get to know the story (which don't look too shabby at all if I could avoid the retard forth wall breaking).
Summon Night : Swordcraft Story
A lovely game with a good cast of characters, the story isn't something special (objectively or subjectively speaking), but overall a very nice experience that I still came back to. A solid title that provide an experience of satisfaction. The game play require lots of grinding for levels or material, but if that bother you, just go ahead and cheat. It's a GBA game, so you should be using emulator anyway. Personally, I don't even have to grind level, the only cheat I need is the max material one.
Anyway, story rant time! So in case, it isn't obvious I love this game too. Not as much as Persona 3 or Fate Extra or Fire Emblem, but as far as JRPG go it's a lovely game with no really crippling flaws.
This is another game where female is the favored gender. Really, it's not just the character design or fan preference or even the famous yuri fan service, but the script it self.
Sure, the default name for male PC is better (Cleru vs Pratty), but female PC got better dialogue, more personality, and cutesy moments to boot.
Then there is the matter of shipping. Since this is a multiple ending game with relationship values, it kind of resemble a dating sim...
Anyway, since I hate the default names I have my own names for the PC. Penny for the girl and Nickel for the boy. That said unlike other games where I like to see both PC coexist, Penny is the only one I give any damn for. The boy don't need to exist at all.
Granted, I like him with Razzy as a couple, still he is no match for Varil and Penny.
Razzy's confession during her date made way more sense with Penny. Sugar and the infamous kiss at first sight. Most importantly is how Varil's 'date' is basically one big episode of meet the family.
Really even people who hate this pairing could see it. There's also the fact that without the optional talks, the story itself made a point to show that Varil and the PC care for each other.
Then there is the whole Sanary angle. In the whole Q&A session, Cleru must be a total wuss to get the matchbox while Penny could go all "I'll beat you!", and in the end which sound better, Sanary got possessed by the Big Bad because a boy is surpassing her or she got insecure that her friend is going further and further away and she want to catch up?
Persona 3 (another spoiler fest all the way through)
The memory of my first foray in the Persona series, Persona 3 Portable, is special. I played and like many games' story, but Persona 3 is one of a kind. I haven't played Persona 4 yet, but from what I have known about its story I'm sure I would still like Persona 3's story more. (It's just that I'm not a fan of crime mystery, but I bet I'll have a blast anyway) Persona 3 definitely kick serious ass.
On game play's front, the combat feel intuitive and smooth, and being a fan of relationship values games the social link system is a godsend. The story aspect though is where this game really shines for me. I won't say that Persona 3 changed my world, life or anything like that (although if someone's claimed that their life/world changed because of this game I wouldn't be surprised) What Persona 3 does though is teaching me more about my own preferences, showing sides of me I never known exist.
Before Persona 3, I never realized that doom and gloom game that feature the meaning of life and fire forged friends would be my type. In fact, I thought light heart sunshine and rainbows and happily ever after is the point of gaming. Then I met Persona 3 and my self perception waver, distort and transform. The deep meaningful answer to life thing I used to mock? (Eh, some people who prefer philosophical stories are stuck up brats with superiority complex) Turned out, I belonged in that camp, so I can't cast everyone who prefer that genre as insufferable anymore. Thinking so badly of yourself ain't good for self esteem, you know. I still like the softer, lighter stories... darker and edgier ones just happened to be something I also enjoy.
I have to say that the Persona 3's story has spoiled my appreciation of countless games. I never has a problem with saving-the-world theme before this game. In a way, I still don't, but many games' story seem lacking in comparison now that I've experienced Persona 3. In the beginning, Persona 3's story come across as a typical anime stuff in video game format. Ordinary High School student by day, super heroes by night. Except, it isn't.
Persona 3 is not a game where you could sit back, relax and enjoy the show. (Hence why I understand that Persona 4 is better suited as anime) This is a game where you must role play to enjoy, a game where only through putting yourself in the protagonist's shoes and using your heart could you feel the game's message. The meaning of life, memento mori, the significance of the journey and the answer at the end of the road... these are all the things that the game actually handle well. There's nothing subtle about how the messages are conveyed. It's a surprise for me, to be shown that it's possible to made art out of blatantly throwing around these heavy themes.
This is the first game I played that's not about saving the world. It's about saving our world. I mean saving the world is obviously the correct thing to do, right? After all it's the world. Some games made a better job of making this reason more personal than others. Persona 3 take this a step further. It's our world we are fighting for. The good, the bad, the ugly. The hopes, dreams and opportunity that would be lost if there's no future. This hardly perfect world of ours, that's not even very nice to live in... At the end, Persona 3 crew is fighting against the impossible for their hopes and lives (everyone else is just a fringe benefit). This is personal. This is about trying to do the impossible for the sake of their belief and resolve. This is about the vision of the future that's so powerful it's worth dying for.
I do find the protagonist's death sad, but it's hardly a senseless sacrifice. There's meaning and worth in achieving your dream. A dream so important, that you want to see it made real it doesn't matter if you could not be a part of it. Love is worth it. Life despite its short comings is worth it. I'm sorry for the sappiness, but this is how Persona 3 made me feel. This is a game that's very close to my heart.
I won't go into the characters right now, although I will get back to this later.
spoilers* Story and Ending
Persona 4 (yet another spoiler fest)
So I finally got around to playing Persona 4 the PS2 version (won't get vita so I'm going to forget Golden), and I have to say that it's disappointing. The gameplay is better than Persona 3, but that's to be expected. I'm not a hard core crime mystery fan so it should be easy to impress me, except the story is not impressive at all. Of course, I still had fun. It's just underwhelming.
Persona 4 is a great game, but it just doesn't have the same emotional impact of Persona 3. The story is anime material and that's not necessary bad. I just find it hard to take the game seriously when it doesn't take itself seriously. Jokes and goofing off are well and good when they aren't the only things the cast do. Oh wait. That's what they do for basically most of the game. Oh and did I happen to mention that having the girls beat up the guys for no good reasons is their running gag?
Things only get serious toward the end and even then things don't feel that serious. The only significant thing to happen? Oh guys, I'm sorry but it looks like your baby sis is in bad condition for no reasons that the plot could explain. Oops, she then proceed to die for the heck of it. Oh wait, you actually realize that something is amiss don't ya? Congratulations, she isn't dead after all. WTF, Atlus you have no guts.
Then there are stuffs like the hot spring episode and festivals. I love events stuffs and all, but the implementation made everything feel disjointed. They just feel too much like the filler that they are. It's pretty funny since I forever bemoan the fact that the culture festival got cancelled in Persona 3 and there are just too little events in Persona 3 dammit.
Most of the cast do feel just like regular high schoolers, I'll give you that.
Before this game, Type Moon is something I know of, but don't really care about. Tsukihime is very cool, but my interest is shot to death the instance Nasu's euphemism made sure I could never eat toblerone chocolate ever again. Then there's the language barrier to made things even more difficult to get into. Of course, Fate/Extra changed my mind.
It's funny really. A lot of people had cited F/E's resemblance to Persona as the reason why they find it repulsive, and of course I just had to be attracted to it for the exact same reason. Really at the end of its all, I don't think F/E is a cheap Persona knock off when it stand well enough on its own. The different angles and approaches have made all the differences that matter.
In Persona, there is no doubt that's the protagonist is the ace, the key, the chosen one or what have you. The irrefutable fact is that the main character of any Persona is one special badass. Whether as the awesome leader among the group of 'gifted' people or the warrior therapist that utilize the power of friendship to save the world, Persona Protagonist is a born winner in all categories.
Compare and Contrast with Fate/Extra protagonist whose status as an underdog couldn't be denied. Extraordinary growth aside, right from the beginning til the very end, there is never a time when their power alone is enough. (Meanwhile, Persona MCs could solo the entire game) I repeat, Fate/Extra MC couldn't win any fights with their power alone even when their life depend on it. Training is extremely important, but without help from external factors they are toasted.
First Round - Opponent was overconfident and had NO idea what he was getting into
Second Round - Opponent's wavering resolve and honor before reason attitude is what save your ass.
Third Round - Opponent was pretty open with info, not to mention that without Rin's and Rani's help you won't even get the required triggers.
Forth Round - Opponent was plain crazy
Fifth Round - Without traps and that mana transfer, you will be dead, no questions asked
Sixth Round - That Firewall Bypass is extremely important to your survival
Ultimate Round - Think you could blot out the sun on your own?
In hindsight, F/E MC are just ridiculous. It's not normal for people to survive against such overwhelming odds. The most hapless master should not be able to become the indisputable victor in any Holy Grail Wars. Then I realize how absurd it is that such unnatural happenstances could feel like a natural outcome to me, how the words plot armor, ass pull and deus ex machina are not applicable in this scenario. That an unremarkable nameless master could truly earned the title of the most extraordinary master of all.
The gameplay is nothing special, the atmosphere isn't noteworthy, and the plot is hardly earth shattering. Yet when I play the game, the unfolding story is beautiful beyond my ability to describe.
Long ass Gil x Hakunon OTP feels*
Note - Male Haku is Male Hakuno, Male MC. Hakunon is Female Hakuno, Female MC. Just 'Hakuno' is both protagonists
Male Haku is ideal for Casko, but for all other servants it's Hakunon all the way. Well maybe not CCC Archer. Anyway, Gil and Hakunon is the best. With male Haku it just feel like Enkidu v2 or 2nd place partner. But Hakunon challenge Gil's perspective so much it would be useless to put Hakunon and Enkidu in the same category. Male Haku is stoic while Hakunon is much more lively... Long story short, I could see Hakunon carving out a place for herself while male Haku is not someone who could shake up Gil's world to that extent. (Of course, Gil would still like him a lot. Expect Kirei's style corruption only with much more moral end result and lasting impression like Enkidu)
Meanwhile, Hakunon is beyond description. Gil is really out of his element with her. I don't think Gil lie about his belief about male-female relationships, so he would have no clue on what Hakunon is to him. So yes I think her gender is important when considering their stupid relationship. Don't get me? Now see how much Hakuno's gender effect Gil... The answer is minimal, so really what does this mean when Gilgamesh is the original sexist?
Sex is not the core of their bond, Gil can't dismiss this fact. What make this relationship so wonderful is that romance could not deepen or cheapen it whether or not sexual attraction play a part. The addition of romance here would merely add another dimension to the whole thing, but there is no need for change in dynamic. It's already perfect as is. Really, I never thought I would love watching a tsundere competition.
Prince Maker 2 (Braveness, MSN2)
Yes, I spell that right. Prince Maker Braveness is the second installment in the Prince Maker series, a game series created by a Chinese group called Alfagame. As the name suggested, this game is a raising simulation, not unlike the Princess Maker series. It actually feature a storyline, so it's pretty much resemble Princess Maker 4. (Hells, the kid's a half demon too!) I won't say it's a rip off though. Sure, the game play part pretty much emulate the Princess Maker series, but rip offs don't turn out to be better than the original. I can't speak for every installments in PM series, but for me MSN2 beat PM2, hands down.
It's bad for the collector in me, but the story here is super effective with guilt trip. Unlike PM2 where as long as the father-daughter relationship is good I could get those low end jobs ending without feeling like a total failure, I can't bear the thought of letting little brother ending up with less than prestigious occupation. May be he only mouth off in the tramp ending, but still I feel like a massive fail. Only acceptable goals for me are emperor and human king endings. (Demon king ending is not bad with how much of a jerk the previous kings are, but the talk made brother sound like he has gotten power hungry and rough)
Prince Maker: Origin is the MSN2's prequel and it's here that the player character change from an empty insert into a character in her own right. Sure, you could select the character's gender, but the story obviously was written with female in mind.
spoiler start *
I mean, come on, Dean keep going on and on about how he wants to protect the player character (PC). It's all fine and dandy with a big sister, but with a big brother? Just doesn't work. Male ego won't stand for that.
Then there's Rex. He recognize the PC on sight, and when he says that the PC remind him of someone that is obviously the PC's mother. A boy could have a remarkable resemblance to his mom, but being mistaken for her at first? Although, of course pretty boys do exist, so this reason might not hold water.
The next reason is pretty solid evidence though. The CG of the PC leaving depicted the PC with very long silver hair. Sure, boys could have long hair too, but that long in that style? If the creator want the gender to be more ambiguous they shouldn't choose a hairstyle that scream feminine.
Update - I stand corrected on point number 2 and 3, but number 1 is still valid!
First off, MSN2 PC or as I will called her from now on, Maia. Sure her official name is Kafir, but I already think of her as Maia, so at least here Maia she will stay. (I'll use Kafir when I talk to other fans) Ever since I played Origin, I think of and like her as a character. Sure I used to think of her as an empty placeholder before, but Origin turn her into a protagonist I like. Not because I used her as my avatar either.
It's probably has a lot to do with alfagame's skill with the 'show not tell' technique, but you could tell that she's one great, smart person through her dialogue and actions, not because the narrator or other characters line up to tell you so. She seem perfect in every way. Brains, brawn and beauty, it's the whole package here folks. Um, okay so the beauty part wasn't really established in Braveness or Origin. In fact, most likely due to poor game design, Twilight would sort of imply that you're playing an ugly woman. (I believe MSN3 would remedy this.)
Maia is without a doubt, pretty awesome. If you list out her qualities, it seem she has it all... Yet, it's never quite enough. Unlike Mary Sues, things just doesn't goes her way. Sure, she won the tournament at 10 years old and what not, but really she's just trying to uphold her mom's legacy and house pride and all that. The result? Her mom ditch her and she's left practically an orphan. Adopting Dean to be her brother to ease the loneliness? End up having to leave him to save him. Then the fanfics I have read pretty much told me that things got a lot worse for her in MSN3. Failing at things that actually matter... Nope, disqualified from being a Mary Sue.
Seriously, it might seem like she's so perfect and awesome and everyone love her, but that has never been the point. Poor girl has been trying so hard, but no matter what her whole life is bittersweet at best. She could forgive everyone's inadequacies but her own. Her compassion and gentleness are real, but that mean little to her in the face of her selfishness and failures. She's not perfect (not really) and that torture her. Her mind might comprehend all the philosophical stuffs, but I doubt her heart speak the same language. Like how she said that her dad is just a trivial detail, but considering how often she spoke of her mom I doubt her heart agree.
I must also admit that being able to play with a character that's actually competent is a nice change of pace. (Really, she guess the big reveal all by herself while I the idiot player never caught on. Too bad there's no CG of Lucifer's reaction.) I know that not everyone will like and relate to her, but to me her situation hit pretty close to home. No, I'm not ace material, but knowing that your best will never be enough... I won't say that it's the worst thing in the world, but it should be safe to say that it's not a good thing either.
Imperfect in her perfection... I think this describe Maia, for a lack of better words, perfectly. She's wise. She's strong. She has it in her to keep going on. Yet, I can't help but find her so fragile, so vulnerable, so tortured. There's no doubt in my mind that she has a good heart, but well this quote from a fanfic said it all "Cursed are the pure, for they will be besot with temptation hundredfold worse than those of the sinner." (Said fanfic is 'Haunted' a harvest moon fanfic by Kuruk).
In the end, I feel that Maia is the perfect character to represent the series' tragic premise. This is a world where you could try and try and it still wouldn't be enough. Your utmost best will still end up short, but to not try at all is impossible...
I was going to put this in the other characters' section, since this section is already very long, but I don't want bits about Maia to pop up everywhere. Things should be contained in their own section as much as possible. So now I am going to go off on tangents for a bit and veered into subject of Maia's relationships.
Let's start with Dean and Lyle who are pretty much her adopted brothers. Her success at being a sister is pretty questionable. I ship her with both of them and all, but if at least one (or even both) of your adopted brothers grow up to be in love with you... a model sister you do not make. Granted their relationships are pretty intense, their love are deep and enduring with or without romantic connotations. It made sense though, since all of them are orphans (so what if Maia's parents are alive, they might as well be dead with what little time they spent with her).
This is probably why I believe her other relationships will not be nearly as smooth. Motherhood is always hard and undoubtedly so when you never ever have a maternal figure in your life. The fact that her childhood is so far removed from normalcy doesn't help. She will love her children (she is loving by nature), but how could she understand their needs? How could she provide for these children who should want for nothing? The orphan bonding work well, because of lack and loss. The expectations she will have to fulfilled as a mother... That's a totally foreign battle field where she hold no advantage and never will.
Update - If the paragraphs of ramble above doesn't tell you that I have a strong image of Maia in my mind (not to mention my attachment to the name I gave her), nothing will. I love Origin and now that I played it, MSN2 player become her own established character. This is the character I bonded with. Partly because Origin is played through her eyes, but mostly because I understand her. A strange turn of events really since she's the first broken ace I identified with. Before now this type of characters could only garner my distant sympathy without any connection.
Then today, I stumbled across some posts on alfagame forum that feature 'Kafir' hate. I didn't read a lot, but at least three people are vocal on their dislike toward her. This actually surprised me, although it really shouldn't (there's fans and haters for everything). Then one of them listed out the reasons why and I realize that once upon a time I would have felt the same.
In conclusion, luna120225 had said everything I would have felt if I played MSN3 before Origin. Being the player character alone isn't enough to make every players feel for her. The player avatar thing ensure that she lack presence so not that much could be said about plot significance. A faceless personality, luna120225 pretty much hit the nail right on the head.
The empty implications in Braveness is not enough to prop up the image of gentle beauty that MSN3 lauded for her... People believe in what they see and Kafir's character only appear in Origin. Without Origin's context, it does seem like Dean's love is crazy. Regardless I am strangely grateful to The 12 Jiu for the great counter arguments. I agree 100 percent that Nona's a less sympathetic character with how irresponsible she is.
Update 2 - There's no way I would accept Kafir as MSN2's PC name now that I knows its meaning. Oh and I'm transferring my attachment to the name 'Matilda' to 'Maia', since Maia is a four letters name with better (but still similar) set of meaning and exactly the same numerology. Actually, the reason why I like the name Matilda so much in the first place has everything to do with its meaning and numerology. Both Matilda and Maia compatibility with the names: Dean and Lyre (Lyle's result is not bad but as always I prefer Lyre) have amazing scores. Compatibility with Ares is good too, but it's nothing spectacular.
Second up, it's little brother's turn. His official name is Lyle, but to me it's Lyre. The thing is I actually tried to use the official name, but I misread it and now he's stuck as Lyre in my head. (I'll use Lyle with other fans here as well) An extremely sweet boy, he will stir your maternal instinct. The canon relationship between Maia and Lyre is implied to be very close and affectionate, but don't worry I have shipping goggles glued to my face and yet I find the ship tease between them to be next to none. In fact even on their relationship route, I still find the ship tease lacking.
Now on the subject of shipping! This game handle the romance pretty well actually. All romances are pretty fast paced and most feel like it come out of the blue, but your willing suspension of disbelief will not be stretched too far. After all, in every relationship you actually see progress, so yes relationship actually are develop in this game. Oh just a note, the Lyre pairings below are ordered according to their in game priority.
Lyre x Maia (MSN2 PC) - I understand why some people would be squick by the idea of this pairing alone. The Hikaru Genji vibes is hard to denied. Still, canon establish that Lyre and Maia love and value each other a lot. It's far too easy to ship them.
Lyre x Nijie - Sure she got her own story arc and is the second priority, but man she has nothing to do with the main plot. I bet the only reason she rank second is because of her race.
Lyre x Katherina - The only pairing where Lyre has enough self awareness to be the one who confess his feelings.
Lyre x Yvette - I always favor irony and this is no exception.
Lyre x Dean - It's well developed and all, but with all the trouble the creator gone through to establish Dean's devotion to his savior, I find it hard to ship these two boys together. Plus, I don't want to believe that Lyre could be THAT oblivious.
Lyre x Ares - Many people have boarded this pairing ship. It's little wonder though, since this is Ares!
Lyre x Twilight - For someone who was the last priority, the divination priest sure approve of her. The player? Cries of incest and condemnation. The three girls? A generic would you give them your blessing. The boys? Taboo love and disapproval. Twilight? Seem like a perfect match.
Lyre x Random Girls - For random girls, their ending sequence actually show that they do have their own personality.
Dean x Maia - I think it's obvious that the creator ship these two. I mean 85 percent of what came out of Dean's mouth is ship tease for this pairing. Yes even most of the dialogue for Lyre's Dean romance route. Really, this pairing should come across as squicky, but the portrayal is so well done I can't help but feel that it's all so emotional. I mean, Maia is not only 8 years older, she adopted Dean to be her brother from when he was 6. They getting together (same case as Maia and Lyre) is like an inverted Hikaru Genji plan. Still, the game somehow manage to made this not creepy, but rather touching. This is actually a hard pairing to sexualized, since you could feel how little the physical stuffs matter here. I could actually feel the love between them. (In Origin anyway)
Ares x Maia - The only time 'ship tease' for this pairing came up is during Origin and yes that's game is mostly all about Maia and Dean. If you're thinking that I'm a horrible person, you'll be right. I ship Maia with Ares too! She's just like Lyre when it come to relationships; it's just too darn easy to ship her. Sure you have to do a lot of specific guide dang it stuff to get Ares ending, but they do build a good beginning foundation for...relationship progression. Really the ending actually convinced me that this could happen. It's not too far fetched to believe that Maia and Ares could stay in contact during Braveness what with Ares and Lyre being friends and all.
So the translated MSN history timeline is up, making me one happy gamer girl. It answer a lot of my questions and provide me info I don't think I will ever get. It also create more questions for me (but that's signs of an interesting story!). It also serve as an evidence, once again, that writers just can't do math. If you ignore the numbers, most of the story is pretty sensible. (And even the few that don't could be explain away if it was delve into)
Turn out, Nona (Maia's mom) won the tournament at 9, so Maia being able to do it at 10 is really no big deal. Being appointed as the head of Lante family at absurdly young age is actually the norm. The previous Demon King (Orhanpa Satan) is a major douche. Oh the orphan of the Demon General (who put me on this throne in the first place) was entrusted to me? Let's give him to the Lante family for adoption (never mind the fact that their head is still a kid herself). Oh we need a candidate for a sacrifice? Let's use said orphan! Oh the Lancelot guy (who also help make me king) find out about my nefarious plan? Let's kill his entire family!
Seriously, why do this assassin family console themselves with things like 'trying to help the Lante is a good thing, we should be proud even if it get us in this shit'? They should be cursing the Orhanpa guy instead! None of this would happen if nobody goes out of their way to hand the Demon throne to him. It's no surprise that his second son is also a douche. (Although accounts said that his first son is a black sheep in this regard)
Detective Conan (Pairings Rants, required prior knowledge for understanding)
The thing about this manga is that the author have an obvious hard-on for childhood friend romance... which ironically killed this trope dead for me. Seriously, 90 percent of the canon pairings are this trope, it's sickening. I don't know about other people, but when I like/ship a pairing it's because I like the pairing's dynamic not because it ticked off some requirement on a list. I used to like this trope, but wow now I couldn't recalled why I ever like it. Talk about overdone and meaningless...
Let's just say Gosho is good at writing mystery, but romance is too heavy-handed and uniform... and that Detective Conan is not meant to be Doraemon. It's unfortunate that the series is now very much a Doraemon style narrative where status quo is gold, but oh well maybe one day Gosho would decide to finally advance the main plot to the endgame. Fillers are not innately bad, but I would hate to see Detective Conan became another Naruto. At least the fillers it self is not of horrible quality, but filler is filler, man.
(Mild Ran Bashing Alert)
20 years is way too long to drag things out. In this time, most characters have developed in some way while Ran the female lead has actually regress, because the blatant detrimental favoritism is showing far too much and for too long... I like her well enough in the beginning, but it's been too long since the beginning that now I have to say that her stagnant character has show its rot. I'll be frank, Ran is no longer a character to me now. All she is a pin-up designated love interest, and yes it's not exactly her fault but rather that Gosho has subconsciously single her out in a way that rub me the wrong way... Still, when every characters including the indisputably minor ones got more development than the female lead? Something's very wrong, Dave.
Yeah, I understand it's all the author's fault for the repugnant handling of romance, yes, but that doesn't negate the fact that it's not a character there at all now. I know, it's a too bad and so sad situation, but saying that Mouri Ran is a good female lead in relation to most of the worthless blobs out there does not equate Ran as a good female lead. Bottom line, she still isn't a good female lead. If she's even a lead character at all.
That said, Mouri Ran is salvageable as a character in my eyes. Unfortunately, I don't believe that could happen in canon, so my perception toward her in fanfic are also torched by default. I am capable of liking an author's version of her, but the character itself would be nearly beyond help. It certainly is extremely inconvenient that I could barely stomach ShinRan anymore with the epiphany I had regarding her lack of character. (Author's pet who is beyond reproach for 'reasons' is my pet peeve, okay?!)
ShinRan is fundamentally wrong, that's how I feels now. It's not just the childhood friend romance thing, not when I could and still do like Heiji x Kazuha. Now that's a couple that managed to do things right in spite of being in the spotlight pretty often even when Gosho is being so heavy handed and uniform about it all. Because in the end, there is understanding there...
I would not be surprised if there are other former ShinRan shippers out there who would wake up one day to realize that they couldn't like it anymore. Just look at the wiki on their relationship, it cease being two way for far too long. There cease to be anything meaningful and touching long ago. ((and I am going to pause my dissection of this pairing here for now. Everything I feel is wrong about the pairing could be constructed here later...))
As for something more positive, I support Haibara and Conan as a pairing because it actually feel more faithful, mutual and healthy to put it in as simply and short as I can. Meanwhile, I ended up supporting Kaitou Kid x Kudo Shinichi as a pairing, because of a psychological analysis (in the form of fanfic) on this very site. They have potential to be so good together, heck, even their canon friendly rivalry do make me smile... ((all in all yep, placeholder for analysis that should be more uplifting))
Fullmetal Alchemist (organizational mess alert)
The best manga story I have ever known, a true magnum opus. Any complaints I have in regard to this masterpiece are minor at best, really I could say this with not only complete confidence and back up from complete strangers that the story of the Fullmetal Alchemist is a hallmark of literature. But enough gushing in general, let's dive right in to my ranting corner, yeah?
My first experience of FMA is when I'm barely a teenager. Even back then I always felt that the world of FMA is solidly built and could withstand scrutiny in addition to the compelling story... Yet I couldn't help but turned away. Later on I will learn that there are differences between the first anime and the manga. That what felt like a drop in quality that allow me to back out is merely anime running out of manga material to cover and having to make do with what they can do. I didn't know that then, all I do know is that the horror and anguish are too strong. Everything feel too heavy and crushing then. Before I grew up to handle the thoughts, the feelings of despair managed to impress itself upon me. Before my mind know it, really know it.
Years later, I came back to take a look and that's when I realized that there are things so impressive in this story, the little moments have managed to reveal the mark of its impression on me that I have never been aware of. FMA had age like wine, I come to love and appreciate it more now that I have the years and time to grow. FMA has not only a great story, but a great cast of characters as well. Complex and human and still so true, there are many things and people to love in this universe.
AND now the reason I felt a burning need to write out this rant... the characters.
Edward Elric is my favorite by far, and it seem like one of the few times I share something with a lot of fellow fans instead of being that odd duck. I love Ed and I love pairing him with lots of people. Then here come the odd duck exception after all, I love both EdWin and RoyEd, to be honest I ship lots of characters with lots of other characters.
The problem is that I HATE fanon Winry with a burning passion, so it's damn near impossible for me to read EdWin fanfic. Then there's the fact that many of my fellow RoyEd fans hate EdWin so what the fuck could I say to anybody?
Another instance of me not being able to say anything is the fact that my feelings about Al is one of the things that have to be discover. It's weird, but "The Advantage of Perspective" by UP2L8 on AO3 comments section of chapter 25 gave me a revelation I never know I need. Ha, it's like 'they' said, faith has to be challenged to grow and it's only through exposure that I came to know.
I don't like Alphonse. I never have. I only feel obligated to like him, because I valued his individual traits, but when it come down to it, I really don't. How peculiar that it take a well written story that is not intended to bash him to make me realize that I never like Al and I never will.
It's not that I feel that other readers forgive him too easily there either. By that fanfic context there alone, it's pointless to hold a grudge when Al is trying to make amend in his own way, when Ed would forgive him a thousand times over when Ed never know better to feel betrayed in the first place. Not to mention that these other readers actually like Al and as long as Ed is happy why should it matter?
It's just that I now know with absolute certainty and clarity of universal truth that nobody could contest that Alphonse is OoC in that fic. His reaction is in character by source material canon account. Thus lie the crux of the problem, I realize now that it's within character for Alphonse to treat his brother like trash. That's the bottom line of it all. It's in character for Al to never put his brother's need above his own, to never truly love his brother selflessly. To make Ed believe even if only for an instance that he is unconditionally loved and cared for, is likely something Al could not or would not do. Alphonse is Hoenheim's son more than Edward is ever capable of at least in regard to where it matter, character.
He is a better man than his old man, of course, but the tragedy of it all is that Edward's devotion could very well not be mutual and Ed is prepared for the possibility and is fine with that. The true saving grace here is that canon material attest that Al (could/would) chose otherwise, that at least the unconditional aspect could be actually exist and while Ed might not truly believed it he could possibly feel it there in the original source... Well, FMA is one of the few things in media where I feel that is already perfect and fan works aren't there to close up the gaps and fill the missing parts but to play around with the universe longer anyway.
So my bottom line regarding Al is that his relationship with Ed has the definite potential of being beautiful and moving (because it's mutual), however the less definite (but still undeniably there) possibility of it being a train wreck is too ever-present. There was this one time I read a fic with the beautiful brotherly love of the Elric brothers, and all I could think then was that it's a good thing that Al returned Ed's devotion (it would be too tragic otherwise). The proof was present even then, but it's only much more recently that I realize what I know deep down all along. Ed's love is so set in stone, so integral to his character, people call it OoC for him not to care about Al. The reverse has never been true. The tragic element is always ever present, Al's 'moe' couldn't hide that. To love so deep and freely, knowing and accepting that it would not be returned. That's tragic.
...It's not about the grand gestures. It's the little things absent even from perfect canon of source material that give rise to this detachment (The holes I have only seen fanfic writers fill...), that made me realize that I couldn't like Alphonse in his entirety. It's not even dislike, it's just hard to like someone who was suppose to be loving with only brittle proof of said care.
Now for another character rant before I move back to shipping... it's time to transplant my review of "A Meaningless Title" for that encapsulate a lot of what I think about the man.
Time to go back to EdWin.
Like I said before, I hate fanon Winry. The wench throwing thing probably have very solid grounds in anime, but I don't care how prettily it is present, abuse is abuse. Canon Winry is a wonderful character, not just a wonderful FEMALE character, but a wonderful character in and of herself. Yes, she's not as badass as Riza, but character integrity does not need to be measure in badass scale. Sure the wench thing still happen in the original, but guess what? Instead of a defining character trait, in the manga it's a little character quirk that showcase the fact that she care about Ed, about people...instead of how much she love her automail. Notice the difference? See why people might be more incline to ship her with Ed in one case but not the other?
Canon Winry is brave and supportive. She understand enough to let Ed and Al do their thing even when she was locked out of the loop because the boys are in some deep dangerous shit. She respect their decisions and while angry at Ed's disregard for his own safety, she never push her own belief onto them. A caring woman who want to help people...helping Ed is not only for his sake but something that also in accordance with her own dreams. A character in her own right rather than a designated love interest. Canon Winry is hard working and determined, Fanon Winry is everything Ed accuse her of and no more, a gear head whose only love is automail. Really, Canon Winry has empathy and feel the brothers' pain, Fanon Winry is too happy to abuse Ed because it's not like his pain matter next to her precious automail, you know.
As for my RoyEd angle...
It's simply a matter of fascination with the relationship Roy and Ed already share in canon material. These two souls share a connection of mutual trust and respect framed in a way that could be missed by someone who never bother to look beyond the surface. That said, there is nothing romantic in the canon material, and yet the connection is undeniably there and undeniably fascinating to me. This is two people who get one another and could sympathize with each other, people who are different yet so similar in such important ways. They will deny it to the best of their ability, but they both hold each other in high regard. It's not just their life experiences, there is something in their very souls that allow them to connect... As far as I am concerned they already made the soulmate cut.
So why the romantic angle? The answer is simple, it's one of the many ways to force these two characters to interact. I always like their chemistry, period. The romantic thing is just one more tool to induce interaction and more honesty. Foster more intimacy and lessen distance. Hence why I love their platonic relationship just fine.
Now I will admit straight up that I almost always find cross-generations pairings to be upsetting, because of the vast differences in mental age. If that issue has been taken care of then no problem. So I do ship RoyEd, but here is the breach in my unconditional love, the pairing must be present in a way that could overcome this issue first.
Granted, there are provided groundwork in canon with how Roy is NOT an authority figure in parental role to Ed for one. But it meant nothing if the writer does not capitalize on it. Really, age in and of itself is not an insurmountable factor. Given enough/the right time and circumstances everything that could be considered wrong about this pairing could be overcome.
To summarize, interesting chemistry worth exploring and the squick about age difference could be overcome, since canon materials tend to show them on a more or less equal relationship in essence.
The World Ends With You (TWEWY)
Rampant spoilers once again, but considering the game's premise it's neigh impossible to discuss anything meaningful without spoilers in the picture.
This is another game that capture my heart so completely, I find it flawless. Unfortunately, similar to FMA, its story is so perfect and complex as is I couldn't immerse myself in the fandom when fandumb is a thing. Granted I expect this from the very beginning, and my foray into it is hardly pointless when I do encounter some true gems for my trouble. Still, its a very uncomfortable fandom to be in with too many things to say, discuss and no one to do them with. This is the first fandom I joined that beset me with this issue. It had never matter before that I only learned the wonders of something way past its prime and that it's no longer new and shiny enough to warrant activity... TWEWY is the only fandom I know where discussion is so vital to its enjoyment and with nobody to share in that joy with things are just...wrong.
Wow, now that I typed that out it seem that the whole partners thing managed to permeate the real world as opposed to staying neat and tidy within the gameplay system. Just, wow. Too bad, no such person exist for me. I see it happen with other people, but I guess other people could actually do this social interaction thing that remain forever elusive to me. *shrug* I just have to deal with it.
Anyway, as much as I want to claim that my love is rational and sensible... (and I bet that it really is), emotion could lead to some decidedly not rational or sensible stuff. I'll be frank. I love this game and Neku so much that if you said that you don't like either of them (without an explanation that I considered as adequate) I will judge you. It's stupid, perhaps, and I usually never judge someone unless they do something I considered as morally reprehensible. (Everybody has the right to do what they want unless there are very destructive repercussions involved.) Hating on a game or a character I love is nowhere near morally reprehensible, but my fanaticism is irrational and senseless so there you go. Granted, I'm not going to place you anywhere near the scums of the earth, but I will judge you wanting... which is something genuinely bewildering to me.
I'm not really a judgmental person when the chips are down, so for me to be so negatively bias against another person for this is so strange. I doesn't get the usual fan girl fever for this game that I do for everything I ever care for enough to sink time into, and yet... Perhaps, it's because I find everything already perfect and good enough as is with the mentality of "more is too much"... Hell, I'm one of those tiny minority who DOES NOT want a sequel, period. Still, that good conversation partner would be very welcome, but such grand list of requirements probably could never be fulfilled.
I could freaking write an essay on the game and Neku, but there is no point as of now. Definitely not when it will sound super philosophical and filled to the brim with praises for story presentation. So let's just go to the more fun stuff, now that I got the (unfortunately less) crazy stuff out of the way.
Personal Pet Peeve (inclusion of these elements will be a surefire way to ruin the fic for me... hence why I stop reading fics for TWEWY before my enthusiasm for it could waned)
Mr. H x Joshua - I hate this pairing with a passion. Granted, it's partly because I abhorred senseless shipping (Did everything has to be about fucking romance or sexuality? What's the point bashing these two characters in a non platonic context? Is romantic the only context that matter?!), and partly because it's clashed with my head canon of angels as aromantic and asexual beings. (Based on the data on their order structure, Angels don't have social need or a need to reproduce...so no romantic or sexual attraction should exist)
Not to say it couldn't be done well. Every pairing could be done well when the writer got skills and heart for it. Hell, I could even guess the point, it is as close to equal a romantic relationship that Josh could have possibly have after all, what with power and influence levels. Still, it seriously doesn't mesh with me personally.
If you don't go with 'everything about Joshua is a lie' route then this pairing contain massive inequality from how Josh still got the maturity of a brat, while Mr. H was essentially Josh's guardian and everything feel so squicky to me here, ok?!. Way worse than putting Josh with a human teenager, since at least then their emotional age would be in the same range.
Granted, I love their relationships just fine without the added romantic component some shippers do... Then there is the fact that when the chips are down I might ship Neku with Shiki and Joshua, Mr. H with nobody, and Josh with Neku alone, period. After all, I have never been one to really ship something that could be considered as crack or has no basis in canon when the source material has already provided a perfectly serviceable option...
Zeiva Games and my spoilerific thoughts on them
The funny thing is that I realize who X is the moment I pick the option that said he couldn't possibly be X.
I mean there is no way Yuon could be X since that doesn't made a speck of sense.
Oure is obviously a ghost and being confined to one corridor kind of imply that it's where he died.
So really if X is not some random guy that would only pop up at the end or not appear at all, it has to be Anon... Why am I so certain that he is not the one anyway?
The more I think about it the more sense it make, the more I realize that my decision is not made on logic... I just don't want Anon to be X.
Essi is a natural character and easy to relate to from the start, but my understanding of her was just ramp up to eleven then and there.
I like Essi with Anon the most, but my favorite boy got to be Yuon. After all, the theme of his story is near and dear to my heart.
Oure is great, but when it come right down to it he is no competition for the other two for me. I keep vacillating between Yuon and Anon while Oure, the most popular fan favorite, was not even in the running as far as I am concerned.
I mean the guy is adorable and there's the tragic star-crossed lovers thing, but personally I can't buy it. Essi shouldn't spend her life waiting for a guy she knew for a month.
There's living your life while reserving a place in your heart for a comatose guy, AND there's waiting and dreaming for a reunion with a comatose guy who could very well die...
Now, back to Yuon and Anon. Ultimately, the reason why Anon is deemed a better match for Essi than Yuon has more to do with the author's intention/story than compatibility comparison. (Yeah, Zeiva actually managed to make their favorite feel destined rather than strangled by the red string when countless published authors failed)
X-Note is a story of X, so the full mystery is only revealed in Anon's route. Then there's the fact that without Essi, Anon would commit suicide while Yuon would still be alive anyway. With the deck stacked so heavily against him, Yuon inevitably lose out.
All guys are lovable, but there are some guys that don't really feel like love interest. Case in point, Yuras. I supposed it's only natural since they got no prior history and all. Anyway, all characters are very well written, so let's skip ahead to the pairings, yes?
Belph is the BEST. No seriously, he and Elcia are perfect. Rexus is awesome and Livan is a good specimen, but Belph is still the best. Zeiva made these three boys go extremely well with Elcia, but for me Belph is the one that stick out anyway. Sure his ending is not really happy if you take account of overall plot, but Belph is worth it. Belph and Elicia is one of those pairs that made you think "They play off each other so wonderfully it's a pleasure to see them interact at all".
IPhone Games Section
Sure I have to at least find something interesting/engaging before gushing about it, but when it come to free stuffs more often than not you won't find me being overly critical about it. If it's an alright way to pass the time, then it has done its job adequately. After all, I do know better than to complain about quality when I am not paying for quality.
SEED 3: Heroes in Time
I have played (but not beaten) both seed 1 and 2, and while the game play is solid enough I won't say that I enjoy them. I'm not a fan of grinding which is essential if you want to beat the game. That and the heart of RPG (*cough* story *cough*) just isn't there. The story is just one big excuse plot, period.
So of course, I wasn't expecting much when I give 'Heroes in Time' a try. I was surprised to say the least. I could hardly believe that this game is made by the same developers as SEED 1 and 2. Everything is just that much better.
Before this game I always thought that every story's quality is determined by two factors, plot and delivery. Now I realize that there is another very important element that is separated from the aforementioned factors - characters. Really, the story started off as super cliche, typical fantasy setup. Come on," twins separated at birth" and "raised by wolves"? Then it all get better from here.
Dialogue is not extremely cut and dry, not to say that it's amazing, just that it's natural enough to avoid being grating. Visuals are bright and colorful with nice animation. Music is appropriate and not jarring. Story and gameplay integration is smooth. Nothing fiendishly difficult (the story is quite nice but really it's not good enough for me to stick to it if the gameplay is nintendo hard). Really if you bought the Colosseum IAP, you don't need to level grind since this feature give you lots of exp. If you don't mind grinding when the ramp in difficulty show up, you don't need to buy anything at all.
Really the game is well made enough that you should support the developers anyway. The inventory space could use expanding (IAP - $0.99) but if it's plenty manageable if you don't want to pay. (I am a pack-rat and I manage without it just fine) The Colosseum is there to give people who hate grinding (like me) a more enjoyable option, but it's not needed if you want to go without (IAP - $0.99). There is no backtracking required for the story so you don't need to buy the warp gate either, the only time you need it is when you want to play through the previous Colosseum or something. All in all, IAP is for people who want things to be easier but it's not needed at all.
There is stupidity involved in the plot, but the vast majority of them are forgivable. Mikhail is very gullible but he is a sheltered wolf boy. Bettina and Edward trusted too easily, but to be fair Mikhail turn out to be their strongest ally, Checka their current smartest member is out, and the second set of spy is really after Mikhail and bagging the Tress is just a bonus. Barlena on the other hand... She has proven to be competent a few time, but she decided to trust Pela's lackey? What the hell?
Anyway, I have to say that the vast majority of the characters are pretty one note (the chicks' tits are way too big as well, but let's forget that degrading treatment), but the main characters more than made up for it since I care about them so much they carry the whole game on their back. Love you, Mikhail and Carl!
Oh yeah, this is also the only game I know that use the "giant space flea from nowhere" trope well. While a giant space flea from outer space IS the final boss, there are allusions and build-up early on that indicate its existence. So I guess, it's good since it's actually a subversion??? Plus, during the whole evil final boss from space sequence, nobody really care about said final boss, it's all emotional drama between our beloved boys, yo! That we give a damn.
Not free. No hardcore grinding necessary. Can't go anywhere without looking at the world map on the developers' website. Witty dialogue. Make from RPG Maker. Not your typical fantasy story. Really, the writing is the best part of the game. The plot is solid and the execution is smooth. I bought this for 99 cents, so nope no complaints.