Thursday, October 23, 2014

Anime Geek: The Slayers

The Slayers is an anime that came to the U.S. in 1995 that was originally created in Japan in 1989. The two main characters are Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev. Throughout the series they pick up companions, such as Zelgadis and Amelia. For those who are looking for the buxom and beautiful Naga you will have to wait for the second series to see her. She is not in this first series. 

Through all the wackiness and fighting there is actually a small plot. In the very beginning Lina destroys a camp of bandits and then loots their treasure. In all the loot Lina takes there is a statue and within the statue is the Philosopher’s stone. The Philosopher’s stone is supposed to magnify any magic user’s powers.

The Great Red Priest Rezo wants the stone so he can restore his eyesight. He sends all kinds of monsters and magic users after Lina, including Zelgadis who joins Lina and Gourry. Rezo does end up with the stone and tries to restore his eye sight, but in the process is destroyed when he releases the evil deity Shabranigdo who is bent on the destruction of the world. 

Lina, Gourry, and Zelgadis do defeat Shabranigdo, but the adventure doesn’t end there. The trio find out they have large bounties on their heads. Lina and Gourry discover they are wanted in Sairaag so they make their way to the city. They are fought every inch of the way by bounty hunters and magic users. Once in Sairaag they discover Rezo the Red Priest is still alive and wants them dead and he doesn’t care how much collateral damage he causes.

Now I can’t stress enough that this anime is old school. If your library of anime is less than five years old you’re going to have a difficult time getting into this series. I know I did. 
The art was excellent for twenty years ago. This was when all animation was done by hand. I appreciate that sort of thing. It took a lot of work back then to do all of the animation by hand.
The strength of this anime is its wackiness. The innuendos border on adult, but nothing riskier than a few boob jokes. Through all the jokes and light-heartedness there are moments where the series tries to take itself seriously, but honestly I feel the drama and power that it could have are lacking.
So if you are looking for a light-hearted action story this should do it for you. Just remember it is old school. Personally, I'm looking forward to watching the next series of Slayers.

Thanks to:
Slayers 20 years ~ Ly-Xu
SLAYERS ~ Spring Temari
Rezo ~ Lina-Inverse

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Books Vs. E-Readers

The debate of books vs. e-readers has raged among book geeks (bibliophiles) and techies for a long time. I like to think of myself as a book lover and a techie, so I thought I would share my two cents on the topic. 

From a techie point of view it’s a gadget and gadgets are always cool. It is nice to be able to read off an e-reader in the middle of the night, without having extra lights on. For us older techies (shut it) to be able to enlarge the text is so nice. I have glasses and I still struggle to read the text in books. 
The thing I like about books the most is being able to point to my vast collection of books on my books shelves. It’s just not impressive to point to an e-reader and say, “I have over a hundred books stored up.”
When it comes to graphic novels and manga I strongly recommend sticking with the books. I feel something is lost not being able to take in the entire page and then work your way around to each pane. Sometimes the e-readers show the entire page and then everything is too small to make out. Taking the time to zoom in and out on the frames really detracts from getting into the story.
Yes books are more expensive, but the prices for a novel on an e-reader, I feel are out of control. I personally have published my stories electronically and the only overhead you have for e-reader publishing is your time. Paying $10.00 for an electronic story is, in my opinion, robbery.
One of the big arguments books vs. e-readers is durability. Personally I think it’s a tie. Water and fire will do equal amounts of damage to both books and e-readers. You can drop your book and it will be fine. Falls don’t work out so great for e-readers. Now most e-readers back up your library to the cloud, so if you do lose your e-reader you can download the books again.
I don’t know if I solved anything here. I know a lot of you out there have strong feelings one way or the other. However, if I had to choose between books or an e-reader I would choose books. Yes, I’m old school that way.

Thanks to:
E-Reader ~
Reading ~
Library ~
Reading ~

Friday, October 3, 2014

Anime Geek: Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann is one of my favorite anime shows. I came to this show looking for a serious action anime. Giant robots and mutants were a bonus. What I didn’t expect was the humor and human drama, which by surprise sold me on the story.
Even though it really doesn’t say, I believe Gurren Lagann takes place in the far flung future. The Earth has been overrun with mutants and humans are forced to live underground for safety. 

The three main characters are Simon, Yoko, and Kamina. Simon is an orphan kid who digs tunnels for his underground village. He has no self-confidence. Kamina is the exact opposite of Simon and uses his boisterous confidence to buoy up Simon. Yoko at first is pure eye candy, but quickly becomes the balance between Simon and Kamina. 

Simon in all his diggings finds a robot shaped like a head with small limbs. With Kamina’s and Yoko’s help Simon defends their village from a mutant attack with their own giant robots. It should be noted that the giant robots are called gunmen. The trio soon leaves the underground pits and venture out onto the surface of the Earth.
On the surface it is one fight after another with the enemy gunmen, but they also recruit more humans to their cause. Eventually they build a large armada to take on the Spiral King, the leader of the mutants. There are two seasons to Gurren Lagann, but to go into the details of the second season would ruin the ending of the first season.
My favorite episode happens about halfway through the first season. Kamina and his crew of resistance fighters find a resort with hot springs. They are treated to food and the springs. The springs are separated between the men and the women. Kamina spends most of the episode trying to get a peek at the girls naked. Of course the resort is a trap and the girls are taken prisoner in their towels. Kamina is told to surrender to save the girls. He’s still only out to see them naked. 

There is a message threaded throughout the entire series of having self-confidence to do whatever you need to do. Kamina sums it up beautifully by saying, “Believe in the you that believes in you.” This is a saying I keep in mind whenever I’m faced with a scary situation.
This entire series will pump you up and make you laugh. At the end you will be ready to face any challenge in your life. If you are struggling I highly recommend you watch this show.