Spring Anime 2020 Part 1

Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. Today we’ll be looking at what anime the spring season has to offer. If we’re all going to be stuck inside for the time being why not have a look at something new. So without further ado let’s get into it.

A3! 

A3!
Funimation

Within Tokyo’s performance and theatre district lies a once popular all-male theatre group called Mankai Company and Izumi Tachibana is steping in as the new owner and creative director. With only one actor and yakuza debt collectors knocking at the door she has her work cut out for her in restoring the group to its former glory. Will she find the talent? Can they bloom into the actors she needs?

A3! Act! Addict! Actors! is based on a mobile game of the same name. I’ve had an interest in trying the game for a while but had no idea it had been released on Iphone. I thought it was only on android. I’m excited to see I was wrong and intent to give the game a play through as soon as I can. I’m even more excited to see an anime adaptation I can watch. The show originally premiered in January but due to production reasons it was decided to postpone the rest until spring. First we have the spring and summer troupes this season and according to the trailer there will be an autumn and winter troupes season between July and September. There is a possibility that might have been delayed as well. The production companies behind the anime adaptation are 3Hz and P.A. Works. Two companies that have well known animes under their belts.

Looking at the trailer immediately you can tell this is an otome anime. The colours are bright, the music is upbeat and there are sakura petals floating around. The images and music tell you this is an otome, probably in the romcom genre. The trailer doesn’t tell you anything about the story but introduces you to all the characters. First the boys and then our protagonist Izumi Tachibana. With the boys they have a little profile that you’d normally see when reading about the characters either in game or on a website. It includes their age, height, birthday and blood type. You know, all important information. Now that I’ve seen the opening for the game I can say the trailer feels like a toned down highschool anime version of it that focuses on the spring troupe. 

Despite it’s generic feel I’m going to watch this one. I love theatre, musicals and otomes so this series should be right up my street. It’s a musical otome that no doubt will be compared to Uto no Prince Sama but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. I do hope that this series doesn’t suffer from the same problem most anime adaptations of otomes face but that’s a topic for another day. Three episodes are currently available on Funimation both sub and dub. I am sure you can find it on other sources too. If you’re in the mood for some romcom shenanigans with songs why not give it a look yourself. If you enjoyed the game this would also be a good anime for you. Let me know how it compares.

Appare-Ranman!

APPARE-RANMAN! Spring key visual
Funimation

A brilliant socially awkward engineer, Sorano Appare, and a cowardly samurai, Isshiki Kosama, find themselves drifting on a boat from Japan to America. Both penniless they decide to compete in the Trans-America Wild Race. From Los Angeles to New York they race across the American West in a steam-powered car they built themselves to win the prize money which will be enough to get them home.

Appare-Ranman! Is a brand new series set in the 19th century. This is another series being produced by P.A. Works. This is an original anime series with a manga counterpart announced for it on March 4th. 

There are three trailers I could find. The first sets up the main characters and their situation accompanied by traditional sounding music. The second introduces more characters and we see the start of the race. Finally the third trailer has the most information. For the first time we hear the voices of the characters. Accompanied with character introductions we get a glimpse at what drives each of them. Kind of like little tasters. Just enough to intrigue and know what’s what. I want to give the first episode a watch and go from there. Just from the trailers I can’t quite tell whether I’ll like it or not. I get the sense that the story of the day to overarching plot will lean more towards story of the day. An obstacle will occur each episode that will hinder their progress in the race but ultimately they’ll get back on track.

If races are your thing then this is a good anime for you. It is also an original anime which always intrigues me. It starts April 10th and can be found on Funimation.

Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen 2nd Season 

Ascendance of a Bookworm
Crunchyroll

Myne continues her quest for books as she begins her training as an apprentice priestess.

Ascendance of a Bookworm by Ajia-do is back for a second season. I think it can be classed as an isekai, it does follow a girl who dies and is reborn in a different world. I’m surprised I didn’t know about this anime sooner. The main character sounds like a kindred spirit to me. I know I’ll be giving it a look when I can. Season 2 starts April 4th on Crunchyroll.

BNA: Brand New Animal

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/61997572.jpg
TV Tropes

Michiru was living her life as a normal human until one day she’s suddenly turned into a tanuki-human. She runs away to Anima City, a place where animal-humans are free to live as themselves. There she meets Shirou, a wolf-human who hates humans. Together they look for an answer to why Michiru was turned into an animal-human but quickly get wrapped up in trouble.

I can’t find much information about BNA right now. It’s the newest anime by TRIGGER. You know the studio behind Kill la Kill and other great anime series so I’m definitely going to give this a watch when I can. Everything else I can find is that some episodes are already on Netflix’s Japan and regular uploads onto the streaming service will start 9th April. From what I can find it will be on Netflix worldwide on April 23rd. I really hope that’s the case. Even if I don’t know much about what’s going on I trust TRIGGER.

Shokugeki no Soma: Gou no Sara

Crunchyroll

Yukihira Soma and the rest of Totsuki Academy compete in The Blue!

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: The Fifth Plate is the fifth and final season of Food Wars. The second anime in the list produced by J.C. Staff. I have to admit I’m very far behind in watching Food Wars, like still making my way through the first season. So I’m not watching anything and have very little information. I take spoilers very seriously. I have no idea what The Blue is but I imagine it’s a type of culinary competition. Shokugeki no Soma: Gou no Sara will start airing on crunchyroll April 10th. To all those caught up I hope you enjoy and one day I will have watched all of Food Wars! To all the others thinking about watching Food Wars! I highly recommend it, just make sure you’ve eaten or have something to eat with you while you watch.

Fruits Basket 2nd Season

Crunchyroll

 Tohru Honda and the Soma boys get up to more shenanigans.

Honestly I can’t find a synopsis for the 2nd season but I can assume that’s the general premise. I know that it will follow on from the first season and continue the root of the manga. This is something Fruits Baskets fans have been waiting for and I’m pretty sure anticipating since last year. TMS Entertainment is giving the fans what they want. The second season promises for the first time more scenes from the manga will be brought to life. This is yet another anime I haven’t watched. It has been confirmed that Fruits Basket Season 2 will air on Funimation and Crunchyroll on April 6th.

Gleipnir

2020_SPRING_SEASON_GLEIPNIR_Keyart
Funimation

Shuichi Kagaya is an ordinary high school student until he discovers he has a mysterious power to turn into a gun wielding cartoon dog. He saves a fellow classmate who’s trapped in a fire with this new ability but she has secrets of her own. She’s after the murderer of her family- her sister and will use any means to get her. How far is Kurea Aoki willing to go for vengeance? And what will it cost Kagaya?

Gleipnir is based on a manga of the same name by Kodansha Comics. The production studio is Pine Jam, from what I can tell a relatively new studio who also did Gamers! From the synopsis I’m already interested. Anything with the ridiculous idea of the protagonist turning into a cartoon dog is worth at least having a look.

The trailers I can find don’t give much away. From the snippets in the trailers I can find I already tell that Kagaya deserves better. There aren’t any trailers with english subtitles so I have no idea what the characters are saying but it does look interesting. And different. This is one on my list to watch this season.

This will appeal to anyone who likes action and other seinen anime. You can find out the mysteries of what’s going on April 5th on Funimation.

IDOLiSH7: Second BEAT!

Crunchyroll

Takashi Production brings seven men with a variety of different personalities together to form idol group IDOLiSH7. Each with their own unique charms and untapped idol potential they start captivating the hearts of audiences. They navigate through the harsh idol world but always keep their dreams close to their hearts.

IDOLiSH7: Second BEAT! Is the second series of IDOLiSH7 if that wasn’t obvious. This TROYCA anime will continue following the members of idol group IDOLiSH7. It should be no surprise that this is a musical shoujo. Something that is up my street but of course I would watch the first season first. You can watch the boys on their journey to achieving their dreams April 5th on Crunchyroll.

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai? Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen

KaguyaKeyart
Funimation

Student council leaders Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane continue their games with each other to get the other to ask them on a date.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War has a second season that I know most people have been looking forward to. I think the synopsis I pieced together is accurate. I haven’t watched the first season so I don’t know what happened. What I do know is that the premise interests me and sounds hilarious. Basically a romance anime where the protagonists are tsunderes. For everyone that’s been waiting for a second season from A1- Pictures it starts April 11th on Funimation. Funimation has also announced that later this year they will have a dub for both seasons.

Kakushigoto

kakushigoto anime key art
Funimation

Kakushi Goto is an adult manga creator who must hide his work at home to protect his young daughter, Hime, from it’s mature content.

Kakushigoto is an anime adaptation of the manga of the same name. Ajia-do brings to life a slice of life comedy that looks at the relationship between a father and his daughter. 

From the trailer it looks rather sweet, at least Hime does. I’m willing to give this one a look. Slice of life isn’t normally the type of show I watch but I’d like to see their relationship and what shinanigens ensue. If you like slice of life and the relationships between characters this might be the show for you. You can find it on Funimation beginning April 2nd.

Kami no Tou: Tower of God

Crunchyroll

There exists a tower. Reach the top of that tower and you can become a god. Everything in the world is yours. Rachel climbs the tower so that she can see the stars. With Bam who needs nothing else but her.

Tower of God is an anime adaptation of the webtoon created by SIU. One of the first eight titles announced as a Crunchyroll Original produced by Telecom Animation Film. If anyone follows Crunchyroll on social media I’m sure you’ve seen this being advertised. I love a fantasy adventure so I wonder what this one has in store.

I get a Hunger Games tournament vibe from the trailer. Each floor of the tower holds new tests and many people from all walks of life are fighting to get to the top. We mainly follow Bam as he follows the love of his life, Rachel, into the tower. To the other hopefuls he’s considered one of the weakest to climb the tower but we all know how this goes. Bam will rise to the occasion and prove he’s just as worthy to be climbing the tower of God. It does look rather exciting with interesting characters. It starts April 1st on Crunchyroll.

Listeners

Listener_KeyArt
Funimation

In a world where music vanishes from existence lives a mysterious girl with an auxiliary port on her body. When she’s connected to an amp something once lost is brought back. She meets a young teen and together they embark on a journey that will rock society and restore music to the world.

Listeners is an original anime created by Jin and Dai Sato and produced by MAPPA. Looking at the synopsis my mind goes to 2112 by Rush. Fair enough it’s nowhere near the same concept except that they’re both set in worlds without music.

Okay the trailer was not what I was expecting but I am pleased. The use of colours and the anime style is cool. I really like the concept and where the journey can go. The enthusiasm of both the main characters contrasts greatly to this large area of trash that we’re presented with at the beginning. This is another one that can be put on the list. If you’re intrigued by the synopsis I suggest you check out the trailer and see if it really is something you’d like to watch. Listeners starts April 3rd on Funimation.

If I keep going then this post is going to be really long so I’ve split this into two parts. Be sure to catch the rest of the anime you can expect to see this season in the next post. See you then.

-Your Hostess-

Image Source:

https://www.funimation.com/shows/a3/

https://www.funimation.com/blog

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/BNABrandNewAnimal

https://www.crunchyroll.com/en-gb/anime-feature/2020/03/20-1/crunchyroll-announces-spring-2020-anime-lineup

The Dead Never Rest by Heather Bos

It’s coming. 

The biting chill crawling over my skin is a clear sign It’s in the city. A gut wrenching stench of death and decay follows behind me like a fly to a rotting corpse.

It’s coming for me and It knows where I am.  

I run through the abandoned streets, lungs already ablaze and legs aching, towards my only hope. A weapon that can end my torment is somewhere within this labyrinth. I just have to get there before It catches up to me.

I swiftly turn into another moonlit alley, sharply slamming into the wall. That’ll likely bruise but I can’t stop. No matter how much every fibre of my being screams for me to, I can’t.

I must be close now. I have to be.

I swerve around another corner and there it is. The Museum of the Undead. Resting place of Lifewarden: a blade that can destroy any undead creature. 

With salvation in sight I push myself harder. Adrenaline gives an extra boost to what little energy I have left but that kick is gone as quickly as it appears.  

There It is, blocking the alley’s exit.

The revenant. 

I freeze. Feeling my entire being turn to ice. Terror consuming me. I reflexively grab my dagger. Ready for anything. 

The creature just glares at me. I’ve never seen what It looks like, even now It stands shrouded in darkness, except the eyes. Eyes that were forged in the pits of hell. Fire swirling around a bottomless void, consumed solely by anger. A hellscape I see everytime I close my own eyes. 

We stand staring at each other for what feels like an eternity. My breathing evens out and I dare to do something I’ve been too afraid to try. I speak to It.

“Who are you!?” I shout a little shakily. 

It starts to laugh. A deep mocking laugh. Then It steps into the moonlight.

“What’s the matter baby sister? Don’t recognize me?” It taunts with a smirk.

“Caleb…?” I breathe.

Of course it was Caleb. Who else would have such a vendetta against me? He looks almost the same as the day I murdered him. 

 His messy shoulder length brown hair is now caked in dirt and mud. His skin appears ashen grey, like a ghost with flesh. His condescending grin revealing blacken gums and several missing teeth. A large dried blood stain flows from the dagger shaped hole in his forest green tunic. Looking closely I spy his ribs and the flesh rotting around the wound. My gaze lingers on that spot for a moment. Guilt mixing with the terror inside me.

I snap back to reality at the familiar sound of a sword being unsheathed. I behold the now armed conscious corpse of my brother.

“I’ve grown bored with our little game of cat and mouse Amarella.” he says with that cheshire cat grin still plastered on his face. Gripping his sword with both hands he prepares to strike. “Time for you to die.” 

Caleb charges at me.

I dodge out of the way at the last minute, using the wall to jump over his head. I break into a sprint as soon as my feet hit the ground straight towards the museum. I have to get that sword. 

I barely register a pleased growl from behind me. A clear sign of how much Caleb enjoys the hunt. Like a wolf chasing a rabbit. A true predator. 

Closing in on my beacon of hope I ready my dagger. I’ve only got one shot. I don’t need to turn around to know Caleb’s already gaining on me, he was always the fastest. I take a steading breath and hurl the dagger. 

Smash! The window shatters and I leap through the opening.

When I land a heavy hand shoves my face into the shattered pieces of broken glass.

“Tsk tsk tsk. Still trying to run away.” Caleb scolds with enjoyment.

He throws my body across the room like a rag doll. Pain shoots through my body when I crash onto the wooden floor. Caleb plunges his sword into the ground.

“What happened to the brave warrior who shoved a blade through my heart?”

He stalks towards me, cracking his knuckles. Rage and bloodlust burning in his nightmarish eyes. I start pushing myself off the ground but I’m quickly met with a harsh kick to the stomach. He kicks me over and over again until his foot collides so strongly with my fragile body that I fly into the next room. Caleb slowly strides in behind my beaten form. That feral grin painting his putrid face.

“Caleb I can explain.” I cough out, spitting blood. 

“This isn’t something you can fix with your precious words.” he spat at me. “It’s pretty clear what happened. Now stand up. The least I can do is let you fight for your life. A courtesy I was denied.” 

Caleb throws my dagger to the ground in front of me. The blade lodging itself in the wood closer to my head then I’m comfortable with. With great effort I yank the dagger from the floor and slowly rise.

“I had no choice.” I finally reply.

“There’s always a choice.”

Caleb charges at me again, fists ready to strike. Amazingly I dodge every attack he throws whilst backing away. He mirrors every step I make, anger growing with every  missed swing. My luck runs out when my back hits a wall. One solid punch to the face sends me straight back to the floor.

“Fight back!” he growls. Kicking me again to emphasise his fury.

I look up into his eyes and thrust my dagger into his stomach. A low menacing chuckle erupts from Caleb. Seizing my opportunity I dash to the otherside of the room. There on the wall rests Lifewarden. 

I rip the sword free from it’s confides. A bright white light surrounds the blade once it’s in my hands. I turn to my brother to see that grin and my dagger in his possession. 

Without fear I run at him, Lifewarden poised. Caleb makes no move to defend himself. I go to strike but quickly find my head colliding with the floor. He’d kicked me. Lifewarden slides out of my grip. Panic and fear overshadowed by the disorientation. 

This is it. This is how I die. Caleb towers over me with that grin. That sickening grin that refused to leave his face.

“Quick or slow dear sister? I’ve thought of nothing else but the slow agonizing death I would bestow upon you.” He flips me over with yet another kick. Eyes examining my broken body, spying the despair reflected in my own eyes. “Seeing you now however, broken and pathetic. I must confess I feel something that might be considered pity.”

I spit at his feet as I sluggishly back away from him. Caleb in turn places a foot on my chest and stabs my dagger into my left bicep. A bloodcurdling scream explodes from my throat. Metal rips apart muscle fibres, scrapes past bone with a nauseating crunch before embedding itself in the wooden floor. Every vein and artery throughout my body ignites in agony. Tears prick my eyes. Caleb closes his own, listening to my screams of anguish, and blissfully sighs.

“Slow it is.” he whispers to himself. “I want to listen to more of your beautiful singing. To really savour my revenge.” 

My right hand frantically searches blind for Lifewarden. At the feeling of cool leather I quickly wrap my hand around the hilt like a vice and plunge Lifewarden into Caleb’s chest. The triumph and pleasure drains from his face. His body slumps into the sword and my strength gives out. Caleb falls to the floor beside me. There’s a silence as I watch the life bleed out of his corpse.

“Why?” he requests on borrowed breath. Not asking about this moment but my first betrayal.

“You were going to slaughter millions of innocent lives. It was the only way to stop you.” I confessed with my own quiet voice.

“It was for the greater good of the kingdom.”

“No Caleb. You grew to love the killing.” I pause, looking into his dimming eyes. “It destroyed me when I stabbed you. Seeing the betrayal in your eyes. But you weren’t my brother anymore. I’m sorry.” A waterfall of tears cascade down my face. All the guilt, sorrow and pain breaking the surface.

Caleb lightly touches my hand.

“Thank you Amarella. For saving me.” he softly says with a sweet smile. A glimpse at the brother I grew up with. “Goodbye sweet sister.”

The last I see of him is the light in his eyes going out before his entire body melts into ash. The wind quickly carries them away. Lifewarden clatters to the ground. 

“Goodbye dear brother.” I mutely whisper. 

I silently cry myself into a slumber consumed by darkness, clinging to the remnants of my brother Caleb in my hand.

Time to Find the Keys

Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people, today we’re going to be looking at the Netflix series Locke & Key. It was first released February 7th 2020 and created by Meredith Averil, Aron Eli Coleite and Carlton Cuse. The show is based on a series of graphic novels of the same name written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. 

The Locke siblings move into their ancestral home, Keyhouse, after the tragic death of their father. They quickly find magical keys that hold the secrets of what happened to their dad and all the things he didn’t tell them. 

I didn’t read the original graphic novel series so this will entirely focus on the show. So without further ado let’s get into it.

I was drawn to this series because of the magical keys. To me it was an original way for magic to be used and I still see it that way. I like the magical keys. The problem is I don’t think they were utilised to their full potential by the main characters. The villain shows the audience how the keys can be used. Yes one key is used by one of the siblings that ultimately changes her personality but generally the keys are in the background. I do really like the designs for the keys.

I like the emotional journey and overall character development the main characters go through. All of the Locke family has an obviously big wound that affects them all in different ways. Through the episodes they eventually face their wounds and become stronger as a family because of it. The mystery of Keyhouse and what happened to their dad there leads them on this journey. Finding truth brings understanding.

The villain is also a plus for the series. Dodge is not one of those antagonists you’re going to love to hate but she is a decent villain. She has a clear goal and knows how to utilise the tools at her disposal to get what she wants. Her presence is felt throughout the series which is the sign of a decent villain for me.

Locke and Key is very much a supernatural teen drama series similar to the Vampire diaries but with no vampires or werewolves. However it does have some typical teen drama elements and story subplots. For some people that can be even scarier than monsters that might show up. This isn’t something I like or dislike. Really I tolerate it. I can deal with the love triangle and bullies getting their comeuppance as long as the ratio with the main plot is balanced. For Locke and Key I’d say it’s around that level.

Now for the dislikes, most pertaining to the several plot holes and terrible decisions the main characters make. Look I know the main characters are in their teens and a bit younger but some of their decisions are questionable. Especially in the final few episodes. I don’t want to go into detail and spoil anything but I am letting you know they’re there. You will question why they did this or that. It all comes down to how much that’ll bother you.

Something that is odd is Bode disappears until the plot needs him to be there. You notice it because Bode is the one who first finds the keys and knows they need to protect them from Dodge, yet in some episodes he’s absent for a good chunk of time. Some might consider this a good thing as Bode can be a little annoying sometimes. Maybe Bode knows to steer away from that teen drama. The logical explanation is that the actor is young and it’s probably best he’s only there when he needs to be.

It’s pretty evident that a season 2 is on the way, the ending does set it up. From what I can tell it hasn’t been picked up for another season yet. Whether another season is on the way or not, writing for a second season is already being worked on. Obviously a major change they can make is filling in the plot holes and making sure that there aren’t anymore in the future. I would like to see more keys be discovered and for the main characters to use them more. Maybe experiment with them so they can better use them in the future. A plot I would like to see is looking at the origin of the keys. Doing research I know it’s an important part in the graphic novels so I’d like to see it in the series.

In conclusion, Locke & Key isn’t the standout series of the year but some will find it entertaining. Like I did. It’s a short series filled with magic. Just make sure to look over the main characters’ lack of common sense and plot holes that are scattered about. If you don’t mind teen drama and want your magic presented in a different way why not give Locke and Key a try. Who knows you might find it entertaining despite its flaws too. Thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing you all in my next post.

-Your Hostess-

Image Source:

https://www.menshealth.com/entertainment/a30799412/locke-and-key-season-2-release-date-cast-spoilers/

Time To Be A Legend

Hello and welcome all you beautiful people. Today I want to talk about Apex Legends, an online battle royale developed by Respawn Entertainment that I regularly play with my brother. The legends you can choose from are diverse in many ways, each with their own unique abilities. Once in a game you play in squads of three, there being twenty squads in total, with the aim of becoming the Apex champion. All you have to do is be the last squad standing. Easier said than done. Believe me.  

There’s a lot I could talk about with Apex Legends, particularly the characters, but today I want to focus on the new season. Season 4: Assimilation started about a month ago with some significant changes. 

Source: www.gameslaught.com

Sniper weapons have been made into their own weapon type similar to shotguns. It’s an easy change to get used to but it does mean that you have to carry around two different types of ammo rather than stocking up on one. Maybe this was done in an attempt to make sniper ammo harder to find. Who knows. I do think one of the reasons  the developers did this was because they added the Sentinel. That’s right! We have a new gun. The Sentinel: a bolt action sniper rifle. It is a powerful weapon. You can even increase the power further by using shield batteries to charge it. With all that being said it’s not really a gun for me. I’m not the best with sniper rifles in the first place so I don’t really choose to use them unless there’s nothing else around. Just because it’s not my favourite doesn’t mean it isn’t a good choice to use. If you play the game why not try it yourself.

In the customization department they’ve added charms that you can put on your guns. It doesn’t change anything except there’s now a charm dangling on your gun but I love this. I hope they add more. My favourite is the origami dragon for obvious reasons.

The developers added the option on the main menu to go to the firing range. I would say it’s not entirely necessary since I hardly use it. It’s a great place to practise aiming at stationary targets, something you rarely find players being in the main game. You can try using all the guns. Understanding how they work and finding which ones you prefer using before jumping into the arena. If you’re waiting for a friend to join it can also be a good place to pass some time.

One of the biggest changes to happen this season is to the map. Gone are most of the ice covered buildings, green landscapes and bright midday sun. World’s Edge is now blanketed in the red hue of lava and a rising or setting sun, I can’t quite tell. Lying at the heart of the map is the Planet Harvester which has created multiple lave fissures throughout the landscape, splitting Capital city in two. Thankfully you don’t die if you fall into one of the fissures. However you do take 25 damage and are slowly lifted back onto the map. Another feature added to the map is Mirage’s party bus, actually called Mirage’s voyage. It’s exactly how it sounds: an airship with a party on it. And hundreds of Mirage holograms. Well what feels like hundreds of them. Mirage also has some ‘tasteful’ paintings. If there was any doubt in your mind about how narcissistic Mirage is then that airship puts his personality into perspective. I do think the party bus is in celebration of the games anniversary. But when you have no idea they added this thing and stumble upon it whilst playing it’s kind of like a shock to the system. I found it so funny and completely out there. On the games website there’s an explanation on the changes to the map and it’s really interesting reading about the goals the developers were aiming for. It’s clear their intent was to make a map that players had become accustomed to feel new. Give them new points of interest to explore and move away from repeating strategies every game. There are still times when I miss playing the original map, King’s Canyon. It would be nice if the option was always available to play on that map still.

Source: www.rockpapershotgun.com

Finally it’s time to discuss the new character: Revenant. I know mostly everyone has been waiting for another robot to be added but I don’t think this was the friend Pathfinder was expecting. Revenant was once human. He was the top hitman within the Mercenary Syndicate. He would go about his day witnessing his human face whenever he looked in the mirror. Until one day his programming failed and he saw what he had become. What the Mercenary Syndicate and Hammond Robotics had turned him into. Once he realised the truth he went on a quest for revenge. I believe that moment is what we see in his character introduction trailer, if you’ve seen it. I do know that people are theorising that the next legend to be added is the little girl in the trailer. Those events are set  twenty years in the past so it’s possible. That girl, now a young woman, seeking vengeance for her parents death enters the games in pursuit of the very being that killed them makes complete sense. I look forward to seeing her if she is our next legend, especially with all the wolf imagery surrounding her. 

Source: www.gamesradar.com

Anyway back to Revenant. He doesn’t have the best personality. An extremely cynical, all around bully who enjoys killing. What’s not to like? He even calls humans the derogatory name Skinbags. Despite his rubbish personality I like playing as this legend. When playing him it’s probably best to take an aggressive approach, something I’m not very good at. Or willing to do. I know I prefer to be on the defensive rather than the attack so maybe not the best character for me to play in order to win but you can’t win them all. His ability is called Silence. An orb that deals damage and disables enemies abilities for ten seconds. With his ultimate ability, Death Totem, a totem is deployed which protects members of the squad who have touched it from death. Instead of dying or being knocked down you’re returned to the totem. It is only for a certain amount of time and the totems influence can only reach a certain distance so use this ult wisely. Revenant’s passive ability allows him to move faster whilst crouching and to climb higher. Ideal for sneaking up on people and traversing the terrain. Like I’ve already stated, I like playing this character. Now I understand what he can do I can start working towards using him to his full potential. The other legends I prefer playing are Lifeline, Pathfinder and Crypto. 

That’s just about everything on Season 4. There is a lot more that I could talk about regarding Apex Legends but I’m going to end here for now. I find Apex Legends a fun game to play with friends and siblings or on your own. But I don’t really play on my own. The one major problem is that one more game can quickly turn into ten games or more. Not really something you can completely blame on the game. But that’s a psychological discussion for another time. I hope all you beautiful people have a wonderful day. I’ll see you in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Image Source:

https://wccftech.com

https://www.gameslaught.com/2020/01/apex-legends-season-4-launch-trailer.html

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com

https://www.gamesradar.com/uk/apex-legends-season-4-trailer/

Memories By Heather Bos

This was the moment she’d been dreading. She received the news only yesterday but there was a crucial reason to be standing here so soon. Mental and emotional defences prepared like a warrior with her shield and sword at the ready. She looks up at the two-story house, once a place of comfort now a harbinger of despair. A small castle left abandoned by her sister. The tiny key she holds weighs heavy in both hand and heart. One shove of the shield forces that feeling away and she bravely steps towards the front door. On the other side, the soft pitter patter of paws on hardwood greets her ears. Shaky fingers slide the key into the lock. A strained gentle push on the cool wood slowly opens the door with a creak.

Sitting on the other side is a patient springer spaniel, Frost. He stands, tail wagging and tongue hanging free, looking at her with his ears raised in confusion.

“Hey buddy.” she says, trying to sound happy but failing.

Frost ignores her, tail still wagging, he bounds to the threshold. Eyes search frantically outside for his owner to no avail. Frost’s tail falls and his head lowers as he trots upstairs. Sad eyes watch the heartbroken dog.

With sword raised, one step through the barrier, she enters the fray. Everything looks the same yet feels completely different. Everywhere she moves a cloak of unease and emptiness clings to her skin.

Living room to the right, a space of countless joyous memories. Now the air is silent. A foggy no man’s land. Opposite stands a sturdy precious bookshelf where two women stare at her smiling. A photo from a time long passed. Her younger self and her sister, Amber, both blissfully ignorant of what was to come, a world overrun by disease and pain. She reaches out to touch the frame when suddenly the feeling of a gentle hand rests on her shoulder. She whips around; no one’s there. Just an empty room. The feeling lingers on her shoulder, a comforting ethereal hand. Looking back at the picture, she places her hand over the ghostly one. Nothing there but there’s a sense of connection with the presence. A bubble of peace. Her hand lowers and she drifts to the kitchen.

She gathers all of Frost’s necessities as fast as a cheetah. Sword slashing and shield bashing away the hurt that’s threatening to surface until everything is neatly placed in the car. Satisfied she grabs the lead and stands at the bottom of the stairs.

“Frost!” she yells.

Silence.

“Come on boy! Time for a walk.” She calls again, yelling even louder.

Silence.

Hesitant, she ascends.

“Frost?” she calls.

Wherever he is he’s not making a sound. With each step towards the top she silently prays. Don’t be in that room, please don’t be in Amber’s room. 

A long hallway. All the doors are closed except one. Gathering courage, she marches forward. One shaky step at a time.

“Frost?” voice barely above a whisper.

Each step feels like a needle piercing the flesh. Invisible swords hack away at her inner shields.

She’s now standing in the doorway, trying her best to keep the emotional barrier in place. Inside, Frost lies on the end of the bed. He doesn’t move, just briefly glances towards her. His attention swiftly returns to staring at the pillows.

Still at the door, she tries coaxing him from the room.

“Come on Frost. Come on boy”.

Nothing.

Steeling herself, she steps out onto the battlefield.
The room feels delicate, almost as if any sharp movement would shatter even the air into millions of pieces. Every footfall strikes another fracture into the emotional barrier. The illusioned safety of the bed seems an eternity away. At last she perches on the edge next to Frost. Both rest their gaze on the same spot as if Amber would just appear, but she won’t. Her heart-warming presence will never again flood a room. A rough hand meets soft fur. The emotional defences can longer hold together as a tear slides down her cheek. Each new tear cracks the splintering shield and the barrier she’d built to protect herself crumbles into ruin. Everything she was holding back comes flooding out as she crashes onto Frost’s stomach, nuzzling her tear-soaked face into his fur.

Time To Be A Pokemon

Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. I’m sure you’ve all heard about it and probably played it by now. I mean the full release is this Friday. But today I’m going to talk about Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Demo. The upcoming game was announced during Pokemon Direct on 9th January and the full release is set for 6th March this year. For now the demo is available on the Switch store. No spoiler warning this time since it’s a demo and nothing big storywise happens.

I’ll tell you a bit about the series for any non Pokemon fans out there. Mystery Dungeon is a spin-off game series that started way back in 2005. Whilst working on this post I discovered that the developers are Spike Chunsoft who also developed Danganronpa, another favourite game series of mine. Rescue Team DX is a reimagining of the first two games: Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team and Mystery Dungeon Blue Rescue Team. The story centres around you waking up to find that you’ve been turned into a pokemon. Teaming up with your partner you must help find and stop the source of the mysterious natural disasters and strange behaviour of some of the locals. Along the way you make many friends and find your place in this new world you wake up in.

As a kid I put a lot of hours into the original. I had Blue Rescue Team on the DS and absolutely loved it. Jumping into the demo for Rescue Team DX I was immediately taken back to those childhood days. A big part of that is due to the music. Sound is really a powerful memory trigger. Hearing the theme song I felt like I was transported back to sitting in the back of the car whilst we drove somewhere. I love that they’ve brought the music back from the original pretty much the same as it was. Music isn’t my forte but it does sound like it’s been given a new coat of paint. It’s sharper and clearer. I really do adore the music, especially the opening titles. It gives the feeling of adventure and epicness.

The first thing to do when you start a new game is the personality quiz that determines which Pokemon you are. Unlike in the original you can choose who you want to play as if you don’t like what the quiz gives you. This was a great feature to add because it means you don’t have to spend hours retaking the quiz till you eventually get the pokemon you want to be. My first result was Torchic which I don’t mind. There’s nothing wrong with Torchic but I wanted to be Eevee. Eevee is one of my favourite pokemon and the one I got the first time when I played the original. For my partner I chose Cyndaquil and named her Cinder. Now I was ready for my journey to begin.

Source: www.rpgsite.net

The story is pretty much a carbon company of the original but what do expect? It is a reimagining of it after all. You meet your partner, save a caterpie and form a rescue team. Then you save some magnemite and meet a young diglett before doing some more rescue missions. Interspersed between each day you experience a dream that draws you closer to the answer as to why you were turned into a pokemon. Then a dugtrio, whose mother of the diglett you met on an earlier day, asks for your help. This is where the demo ends. You can still explore the square but that’s it. There really isn’t much else to do when you get to that point. One thing they should’ve done is let you go on more rescue missions. Actually that might get boring too since there’s only two dungeons to explore. Oh well, it is only a demo. If you want more you can always go play another Mystery Dungeon game if you’ve got one. 

Source: www.slashgear.com

So the story might not be all that different, the art style on the other hand certainly is. All the pokemon are 3D models now, similar to the main Pokemon games but with a parchment feel to them. The reaction stills are back accompanying the speak boxes, looking pretty much the same as they always did. The movement of the models is fluid and for some reason more entertaining to watch than their predecessors. When in the dungeons you no longer immediately switch places with your partner, or whoever is behind you, when you want to go backwards. Instead you push them in that direction. It is quite funny watching them spin around in circles as you push them. I should point out is possible to switch with them, it’s just funny pushing them around. I must say the background art is beautiful. It looks as if it’s been hand drawn. The colours give this dreamlike quality to the background, making the characters appear sharper. The colouring makes me think of water colours. It’s just so vibrant. 

I think it’s important to point out how easy it is to delete your save file, when you want to I mean. I always remember having to look up how to do it when I want to start a new game with the main series. With this Mystery Dungeon there is a very clearly labeled option on the main menu. It may have been there in past games but this is the first I’ve noticed it. Maybe to some this isn’t a big deal but to someone who likes to replay things it is.

Source: www.capsulecomputers.com.au

Lastly I want to talk about the controls. One new feature they’ve added is auto mode. You press the button and your team ventures through the dungeon on their own, picking up items as they go. Coming across an enemy stops auto mode and you have to fight them manually. I don’t like this feature. Surely this is just the game playing itself. Why would I use that when I bought the thing for me to play it? Answer is I wouldn’t. I feel the attack controls have changed since I last played one of these games. The quick attack button no longer just has you jumping on your opponent, instead it uses one of your known moves at random. And now it’s a lot easier to choose which move you want to use. You just push L2 and choose the corresponding button for the move you want to use. I swear in the original you had to go into the menus to do that stuff. But I may be remembering that wrong. Or they changed it up in later games. I wouldn’t know since the two Mystery Dungeons I’ve played are Blue and Sky.

That’s it. There really isn’t much else to say since this is only a demo. I know I’m looking forward to the full release of an updated version of a game I loved as a child. I’m sure this will appeal to people like myself and to children that get to experience this story for the first time. I hope all you beautiful people have a wonderful day. I’ll see you in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Image Source:

https://www.slashgear.com/pokemon-mystery-dungeon-rescue-team-dx-remake-announced-for-switch-09606394/

https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/Pokemon-Mystery-Dungeon-Rescue-Team-DX-1695693.html

https://www.rpgsite.net/feature/9409-pokemon-mystery-dungeon-rescue-team-dx-starters-test-answers-for-the-personality-quiz-and-starter-pokemon-listed

http://www.capsulecomputers.com.au/2020/02/pokemon-mystery-dungeon-rescue-team

Book vs Film: Time To Train Your Dragon

Hello and welcome all you beautiful people to the first of many book vs film showdowns. This is where we pit a book and its film adaptation against each other and we truly see which is the best. Of course that’s all down to opinion and these are mine. Just remember this is a safe space filled with love. If you disagree with my opinions feel free to let me know and why. Now without further ado let’s get into it.

Spoiler warning for How to Train Your Dragon book and film. 

The first book and film pairing I’ve decided to kick start this series with is How to Train Your Dragon. You might come to realise this wasn’t the best first choice but they heavily feature dragons. For me I had to have my first post include dragons. Anyone who hasn’t read the book and seen the film might be asking why How to Train Your Dragon isn’t a good choice? Simply put, the film vastly differs from the source material. It’s like the Berk you see is in a parallel universe compared to the Berk you read about. I don’t see this as a bad thing, it just makes it a bit difficult to compare the two. Nevertheless I will persevere. I will only be focusing on the first book and film so if anything happens in the book series that contradicts what I say I don’t know about it.

Two competitors enter the fray. In the Corner of Words we have the book: How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, first published in 2003. It should be noted that the audio book is read by David Tennet. So if anyone wants to hear David Tennet unleash his full Scottishness in Viking form you’re welcome. The main series spans 12 books at the time of me writing this.

And in the Corner of Motion we have the film: How to Train Your Dragon directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders. Released in 2010 it is still loved today. Contains 3 feature films, an animated series, a few shorts, a handful of games and quite a lot of merchandise.

Source: where else but the wikipedia page

I enjoyed both the book and the film but I wouldn’t say equally. This was my first time reading the book and I was pleased to find that I wanted to keep reading. A good quality to have in a book I say. The film on the other hand I’d seen before, although not for a few years. Watching it again I had just as much fun as the first time I saw it. 

I do believe both can be enjoyed by children and adults alike however, I think adults will find themselves leaning more towards wanting to watch the film rather than reading the book. That’s not just because people prefer to watch things nowadays then sit and enjoy a good book. I think the film has a bit more depth than the book. You’ll see what I mean as I go into more detail.

Let’s focus on the pros first. Although not the same they both follow Hiccup’s Hero’s journey. I love following Hiccup on his journey of growth and efforts to go against the status quo. In the book he even goes from being called Hiccup the Useless to Hiccup the Hero. Having a Hero’s journey that kids can relate to is wonderful, especially for those that don’t feel good enough. The story shows it’s possible to change people’s perceptions of something. Whether it be turning something from being useless into being useful or changing the way things have been done for so long to pave the way for a better future. The book and film give light to these ideas.

Both Hiccups face a similar antagonist. And no I don’t think the gigantic dragons towards the end of the book and film are the antagonist. Yes they’re an enemy but not the overall enemy. Those giant dragons are probably representations of the final obstacle the Hiccups must face to set change into motion. No I think the antagonist is the viking tradition or the resistance to change. Something along those lines. Book Hiccup is a dragon enthusiast that has to combat essentially the brawne and tough way of interacting with dragons to forming a bond and communicating with them. He has to deal with the initiation tests, being in exile and hatching a plan to save two tribes. Film Hiccup has to completely change the way that Berk residents think about dragons. He almost kills Toothless but ends up befriending him instead. He’s placed into dragon training and ends up saving all of the village from a giant dragon. Something both book and film versions do. The antagonist they both have to face is the viking society and their resistance to change. Both of them have to live up to these high expectations because they are the chief’s son but neither of them are big or muscular. They don’t look the part of a viking. They’re smart not fearsome or blood thirsty. Hiccup’s differences are what save everyone in the end. His willingness to change or try things his way. This is all part of the hero’s journey that Hiccup goes on.

Something else both renditions use is humour. There are truly some hilarious moments in each but the film’s humour is more to my taste. Some of the jokes/comedy in the book are very much aimed at children, or for children. I don’t find some humour that would be called immature funny. I didn’t find myself laughing as much as I did when I watched the film. The comedy is just so good.

Specific to the book are entertaining illustrations drawn by Cressida Cowell herself, helping to add to the visualisation of her words. Interlaced throughout the book are stat cards (or scrolls) that give the reader a bit of an insight into each dragon. The film references these through Fishlegs which I think is pretty cool. Cowell also drew some flyers and a book within the book that has the same title. Finally she also included a map. You’ll find out pretty quickly how much I enjoy seeing a map in a book.

Let’s look at the pros specific to the film and I want to start with the music. The score for a film is mostly overlooked by the average person or at least isn’t talked about as much as the visuals on the screen. The music for How to Train Your Dragon is beautiful. There are so many magical pieces and I love the Scottish feel that some of the tracks have. I’m so glad the animation style is different to the drawings in the book, not that there’s anything wrong with them. The book drawings have a more bedtime kids TV feel, similar to Little Princess (if anyone remembers that show). The animation for the film is wonderful and some scenes are absolutely breathtaking. Especially the flying scenes. One of my favourite things about the film is the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless. Watching their friendship develop just brings a smile to my face. I can say for the film there isn’t a character I dislike, not even Snoutlout which is saying something since he’s a cocky flirt. All the main characters have their own distinct personalities and you can form a connection with them. The casting was done well since the voices match the characters nicely. Anyone who has watched English dubbed foreign films or TV shows knows how strange it is when the voices don’t match.

Now we can move onto the cons, something that has to be done individually, starting with the book. My first con is the characters, or rather the lack of emotional attachment to them. The only character I really like is Hiccup. Probably because it’s his story and as the reader we’re joining him on it. The others fade into the background. Toothless does have some character development but he’s not likable. Honestly he’s a spoiled brat and I was a bit disappointed by that. Another thing is that there is a serious lack of female representation. I’m not one of those people that insist there has to be a woman in everything just for the sake of it but I know as a child I wouldn’t have wanted to read this. I prefered stories with girls in it like me because then I could easily connect with them. At least in the film they brought in Astrid and Ruffnut. I love Astrid. She’s a strong viking warrior who’s smart and protective. Again I was sad not to see her in the book. Something else that’s disappointing about the book is that no one actually rides a dragon. On the cover Hiccup is even depicted riding a dragon and yet it doesn’t happen. Unless I’ve forgotten or missed that part but I’m pretty sure I didn’t. Those are the negatives that I have to say about the book.

There aren’t many cons that I can think of for the film. I do think it’s a bit odd that after one flight on the back of a dragon Astrid completely changes her opinion of them. I mean she is a warrior trained and prepared to kill dragons. She’s been told her whole life that dragons are the enemy. Why after one flight with Hiccup and Toothless does her attitude towards them completely change? Sure Toothless didn’t try to kill her unless he felt threatened but still. I know it’s probably down to timing and that was the best way to get Astrid on their side so I’m not too bothered. It’s just odd. Also why were the rest of teenagers okay with Hiccup’s idea to ride the dragons? I know they’re scared at first but again these kids have been taught their whole lives that dragons are bad. That they’re monstrous creatures. I think maybe it’d take them a bit longer than a few minutes with the dragons to suddenly be okay with riding them on their own. Again I know it’s a timing thing but it’s the one thing I question.

There are many differences between the book and film versions. Are all the changes necessary? In my opinion the changes that were made were the right choice. The core essence of the story is still there. The changes that were made to everything around the heart of the story was the best option for film world.

One major difference is the vikings relationship with dragons. Book world they work in harmony with the dragons. Well I say ‘harmony’ what they actually do is kidnap and then yell them into submission. So they don’t really have the best relationship. The Hairy Hooligan tribe use their trained dragons to help with fishing, hunting, fighting etc. In order to be officially initiated into the tribe and earn the right to be called a viking they  capture a dragon and train it for the final initiation test. In film world the vikings have a more antagonistic relationship with the dragons. They’re enemies. The tribe hates dragons so much that once you kill a dragon you earn the title of viking. To be fair to the vikings the dragons do attack their village destroying buildings and stealing their livestock. I think for the film this was a good change. It immediately adds conflict and is a better way cinematically to show Hiccup moving away from the ordinary world/ changing the status quo.

Something in the book that they didn’t carry over to the film is Hiccup speaking Dragonese. Book Hiccup was the only one who spoke it since his father forbade the use of the language. It makes sense that this didn’t carry over to the film. It would’ve been strange to hear since the language is a bunch of sounds and noises. Even if it’d been put into English it would still sound a bit weird. The way it’s written in the book causes it to become snakish in my head. The point is Dragonese wouldn’t have translated well to film. It is strange however that the dragons understand English. Did Hiccup teach Toothless English? Are the dragons just really good at picking up languages? Maybe it’s a connection thing. They don’t actually understand what’s being said to them but they understand the feeling or can infer from the intention. Kind of like how Hiccup interprets what Toothless is trying to say.

There are many character differences between the two different versions. Some I’ve already mentioned such as Astrid and Ruffnut being created for the film. I think this was done well, it doesn’t feel like they were shoehorned in or anything. Ruffnut has a great dynamic with her twin brother and the siblings are a great source of comedy. Astrid is the top student in dragon training before Hiccup starts employing tricks and techniques he learns from Toothless. She’s also part of the romantic subplot which doesn’t devalue her as a character. Her relationship with Hiccup is a clear partnership where she acts as his conscience when he needs to hear a voice of reason. Another big character difference is Toothless. The two versions are completely different and frankly I was disappointed with the book. From watching the films, Toothless quickly became one of my favourite dragons. He’s like a giant winged cat. Playful, loyal to friends and only goes on attack when felt threatened. He’s just so loveable. He possesses all the good traits of a cat that a cat owner will be familiar with. Of course every cat also has their own personality. Toothless in the book has all the negative aspects of a cat or what all people consider cats to be like. He’s selfish, only takes and never gives. I don’t find him likeable. I’m so pleased they changed him for the film. The personality change allows the friendship between Hiccup and Toothless to really blossom. They also made him a Nightfury, one of the rarest and most fearsome dragon species in the film world. So much cooler than a common green dragon that is one of the smallest dragons in existence. Another beneficial character change the film did was giving Stoick the Vast a character wound. This Stoick lost his wife to dragons which gives him the motivation to be protective over Hiccup and solidify his hatred towards dragons. Honestly book Stoick just falls into the background compared to his film counterpart.

In conclusion, I can’t really say one is better than the other because they are so different. The book is written for children and the film is written for families. My preference however lies with the film. Overall the change in story for the film was for the best, in terms of writing for film world. The third act villain is linked to the dragons attacking and looting the village. This isn’t the case in the book. Don’t get me wrong, what happens in the book is perfectly acceptable because Cressida Cowell sets it up but in the conventional way of writing for film things tend to need to be connected or have a reason. Another reason is because they made friendship a big theme with Hiccup and Toothless’ relationship. That relationship isn’t quite the same in the book. The emotional attachment that the audience can form with the characters in the film is another reason I prefer it to the books. With all this being said I still think the books are good and great for it’s demographic. I’m just not part of that audience. I do want to read more of the books and see where Hiccup’s journey takes him. 

Thank you for taking the time to have a read. This is my first time doing this and I’m still figuring out the best way to present my thoughts in a clear way. Nothing is perfect the first time. I can already see some areas for improvement. I hope all you beautiful people have a wonderful day. I’ll see you in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Image Source:

Time for an Official Launch!

Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. After many months of collecting dust in the forgotten corners of the internet I figured it was time to emerge from the shadows.

This is the official launch of Teatime with Dragons!

I have been working on a few things and I’m aware some posts might seem like old news. Mainly the reviews I’ve done so far but I’m still going to post them. Who knows you might still find them interesting? I can’t make any promises about being more punctual with reviews in the near future.

I have ideas in the works for several regular segments such as highlighting little known content creators/ projects and exploring spirituality within fiction. Of course there’s a lot  more to come with reviews popping up precisely when they mean to. Suggestions are always welcome.

I’ve even decided to showcase my creative writing here. Be on the lookout for Storytime with Dragons for a dose of my own fantasy. Or horror. Or sci-fi. Depends on what comes out of my head.

I am beyond excited for what’s to come. The future is bright and I’m happy to have such sparkling souls join me on the quest for the golden fleece. I’m here and ready to learn.

I’ll see you all in the next post.

-Your Hostess-

Image Source:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/heart-shaped-fireworks-862516/ Photographer: Kartik Gupta

https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-with-fireworks-769525/ Photographer: Rakicevic Nenad