Breimh’s Anime Review – The Mystic Archives of Dantalian

Hugh inherits a musty old mansion, along with the entire book collection contained within, from his grandfather – a bibliomaniac who once traded half his lands in exchange for a copy of a rare book. The only condition was that he also inherit the “Archives of Dantalian.” Having arrived at the mansion to put his grandfather’s possessions in order, Hugh meets a girl of 12 or 13 quietly reading amongst the tall piles of books in the basement. She is dressed in jet-black, and wears a lock around her neck. Her name is Dalian, and she controls the gateway to the Archives of Dantalian, where the forbidden mystic books of demonic wisdom are kept.
Published by: Kadokawa Pictures Inc.
This well-drawn and written series pulls in the watcher, in the same way that a good book does. Lovely Victorian backdrop frames each tale, while the dialogue – though sometimes sharp and shocking – guides the viewer as easily as one envisions in their mind the words they might read on a page. With intriguing and charming characters, the watcher is lead through a maze of quests following Huey Disward and Dalian as they seek out and attempt to negate the worst effects of forbidden texts called Phantom Books. Twists abound in these wonder-tales, so pay close attention as each story unfolds; but most of all, may you enjoy these delightedly artful treasures. This one is yet another delight, easily achieving 5 of 5 stars from me and those within my household.
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CCMTGC

5th Annual Clallam County Magic: the Gathering Championship 2016

Clallam County Magic: the Gthering Championship 2016

The Annual Clallam County Magic: the Gathering Championship took place on 8/20/16.  This year Anime Kat and Mark’d Body Art were the sponsors.  We had a good turn out for our small town.  A total of 17 players competed to win a part of the prize pool valued at over $1,000.  Big prizes include a booster box of Eternal Masters and a certificate for a tattoo at Mark’d Body Art.

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There was a nice variety to the decks this year.  Final standings were:
1. Evan – Merfolk
2. Casey – R/G Tron
3. Connor – Dredge
4. Dan – Infect
5. Joey – Abzan Company
6. Dillon – Esper Control
7. Joel – R/G Tron
8. Jake – Living End
9. Kyle – G/B Elves
10. Colin – Storm
11. Travis – Mono Red Artifacts
12. Conan – Mono Black Demon
13. Tyler – Pillow Fort
14. Marcus – Bogles
15. Will – Mono Red Goblins
16. Troy – Soul Sisters
17. Ben – W/U Knight Control

Watch the final match between Evan and Connor.

Watch our award presentation.

 

Breimh’s Anime Review – Science Ninja Team Gatchaman

A classic anime, and the first of it’s kind to try to emulate the American Superhero genre, this series has stood the test of time since 1972! Gatchaman centers around five young people employed by Kōzaburō Nambu of the fictitious International Science Organization to oppose an international terrorist organization of technologically advanced villains known as Galactor who are trying to control Earth’s natural resources. The leader of this evil society is an androgynous, masked antagonist named Berg Kattse acting on the orders of an alien superior called Sosai X.
Originally published by: Tatsunoko Productions
This is the series that first got me interested in the anime style and genre, when I watched it many years ago as a child, aired on American television as Battle of the Planets. It has since been re-released under the titles of G-Force: Guardians of Space, Eagle Riders and Battle of the Planets: Phoenix Ninjas. The environmental saving messages that are conveyed through the story line, the sleek lines of craft and costuming, and even the fantastic array of colors initially attracted me to the show, and every so often I come back to watch it again, noting how the forms and lines have changed over the years, but there is still a quintessential aesthetic style that emanates in all anime today.
If you haven’t seen this one, you’re missing out. It can feel dated and simple, in some ways, but is a great romp with true flare. That’s why I give it 4 of 5 stars, even after all these years.
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Breimh’s Anime Review – Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends

Hasegawa Kodaka has transferred schools, and he’s having a hard time making friends. It doesn’t help that his blond hair tends to make people think he’s a delinquent. One day, he runs into his bad-tempered solitary classmate Yozora while she’s talking animatedly to her imaginary friend Tomo. Realizing that neither of them have any actual friends, they decide that the best way to alter this situation is to form a club and start recruiting.
That is how The Neighbours’ Club was formed, a club specifically designed for people who don’t have very many friends. As other lonely classmates slowly join their little club, they’ll try to learn how to build friendships through cooking together, playing games, and other group activities. But will this group of relationship-challenged misfits really be able to get along?

Published by: Media Factory
Filled with frolicking fun, a host of great character interaction from the typical anime types we have come to know from myriad other shows, this series deals with uncommon problems of how and why your appearance or attitude can leave you as an outcast, to being incredibly popular but still feeling alone in a crowd, and yet thriving to remain true to yourself instead of forcing you to change to fit in.
The events and interaction that are presented for the viewer are believable, the simple yet elegant style of line, the off-color humor and embarrassing situations all give something one can identify with on some level. In the end, this may be a great way for introverts to identify and unite! While I find some of the humor a bit base, and a couple of characters a bit too easily fitting the over-the-top stereotypes, I thoroughly enjoy this one, and feel that Kodaka has found another friend. I give it 3 1/2 of 5 stars.
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Breimh’s Anime Review – Red Data Girl

A modern fantasy based on Japanese Shinto legends. Suzuhara Izumiko is a 15-year-old girl, who has been raised and protected in a shrine deep in the Kumano mountains. She is quite shy and destroys all the electric devices she touches. When she begins to think about going out of the mountains and moving to the city, her guardian Sagara Yukimasa recommends her to enter a high school in Tokyo and forces his son Miyuki to serve Izumiko for life. Miyuki and Izumiko repel each other but their relationship begins to change when a terrifying accident occurs on the school excursion. Izumiko learns her fate as the last representative (yorishiro) of a Himegami goddess and Miyuki learns of his duty as a guardian Yamabushi of Izumiko.
Published by: Funimation
What makes a great mystery? Something I have asked myself from time to time is what the formula is for drawing me into a show and keeping my attention. This one brings up that question again, because it challenges my previous notions of what the formula is. The artistic style for Red Data Girl far surpasses many others of the genre, mixing CGI and hand-line seamlessly. The story, while not my usual cup of tea, pulls at me to continue watching though the attitudes of the characters sometimes leave me baffled as to how they manage to continue to remain in the same space as one another, and at others want me to strangle the writers for throwing in too much below-the-surface tension. But, it is the mystery that holds me transfixed, wanting to watch until the story plays out to the end. I do find things I dislike about this one, but they are personal reasons, and thus I give the series 4 out of 5 stars, and encourage others to offer their own opinions once they’ve viewed it.
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Breimh’s Anime Review – 7 Deadly Sins

In a world where humans and non-humans have not yet been separated, the kingdom of Leones is protected by the Holy Knights, powerful magic users both revered and feared by the people. Supposedly the strongest, most fearsome of these knights, the Seven Deadly Sins, betrayed the kingdom and made enemies of all the other knights. Queen Elizabeth doesn’t believe this story, and sets out to find the Sins – but when she meets the first Sin at a tavern, his name is Melodias, and he’s nothing but a boy in charge of the pigs.
Produced by: Aniplex
This absolutely fun romp through the fantasy genre takes it’s place easily in the annals of Anime circles. Comedic timing and one-liners abound while thrilling suspense and action, as well as a few sentimental moments, offset the zaniness in just the right moments to make one keep from feeling like it’s too much to take. Watching this series, my group of friends and I found ourselves noting moments when the show seemed to steal some of the best elements from the latest MMORPG banter or a scene of our tabletop game as if the writers had been eavesdropping.
The writing aside, while there are some classic overly large weapons and ungainly suits of armor, the lines and color – and even CGI work – are superb! This series makes me hope more will be forthcoming, soon, whether in the same setting or with another group of legendary figures. I give it 5 of 5 sins… I mean stars!
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Drew's Reviews

Game Review: Bananagrams

By Drew

 

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Background
Bananagrams is a tile laying game where the goal is to be the first player to complete a word grid after the pool of letter tiles has been exhausted.

Initial Thoughts
The game is inexpensive and very quick to learn.  It uses elements from Scrabble and Boggle; so, players familiar with those games will have almost no learning curve.  Bananagrams is a multiplayer game, but you have little interaction with the other players.  The only player interaction is racing to complete your grid first after the last tile has been drawn.  There are no turns.  Everyone places at the same time.

Review
Pros: Bananagrams has very high replayability.  Its easy rule set makes getting new players up to speed a quick process.  If you get bored with the base rules, there are variants to the game that people have posted online.  The game has a heavy dose of luck which does help level the playing field when playing with poorer spellers.  Bananagrams is great for causal gamers and those looking to take a break from more complex games.  The only set up is placing all of the tiles into the middle of the table face down.

Con: I have few, if any, complaints.  The game does bounce between being skill based and luck based, but many games are.  The basic game can get repetitive if you play too many rounds, but that’s while variants exist.  The pieces are high quality.  The packaging is very thematic (it’s a zip up banana), but it can make putting Bananagrams away more difficult.  You can’t just put it at the bottom of your game pile.

Final Thoughts
This game is loads of fun, quick to teach, quick to set up, and a great breather from more complex games.  It’s fun for heavy table gamers and casual players.  Each round is short, and you can keep playing rounds until you are bored with playing making the game last essentially as long as your group wishes.  I highly recommend playing this game.

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Breimh’s Anime Review – The Princess and the Pilot

The war between the Levamme Empire and the Amatsukami Imperium has been raging for years. In the midst of this struggle, the prince of the Levamme Empire declares his love for Juana del Moral and vows to end the war in one year, as part of his marriage proposal. When the Amatsukami catch wind of this, they assault the del Moral residence, targeting Juana’s life. As a last-ditch effort to bring the prince his bride, the San Maltilia Airforce employs a mercenary of mixed blood—a bestado—to fly Juana to the prince in secret.
Published by: NIS America

Watching this anime, I was drawn back to days in my youth as I would sneak into my dad’s special comics collection and page through his WWII graphic novels and comic serials. Sweeping views of aircraft whirling around one another in a dangerous dance was only part of the magic of this magnificent movie! The characters, and the story are solid, and offer a cherished tender moment as the hero and heroine realize a shared past. With an understated score accompanying only a few brief moments of the film, I found myself only vaguely drawn toward other distractions, but the dialogue and movement made me gravitate back almost immediately. Beautiful scenery and sleekly drawn characters are sure to make this one a classic in it’s own time.
With it’s ballet of story, breathtaking visuals and sublime interplay of characters, I would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy this one on some level. I have to give it a full 5 of 5 stars rating.
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Drew's Reviews

Game Review: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous

By Drew

 

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Background
The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is from the same company that designs the Pathfinder role playing game.  The card game is a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players (up to 6 if you get the expansions).  Each player’s character is made for a deck of cards, stats, and class (familiar to all roleplayers).  You’ll improve your character (specifically the deck you use) by earning or finding new spells, items, upgrades, and other loot to change your deck.

According to Paizo, “the adventure begins with a Base Set containing nearly 500 cards, including the first chapter of an Adventure Path that offers your characters interesting locations to explore, monsters to fight, and villains to hunt down, as well as piles of weapons, spells, armor, loot, and everything you need to build you own unique character deck.”

Initial Thoughts
Getting into the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is for only dedicated players.  The full Adventure Path will take you months to play (assuming a season a week like my friends).  The base game is only around $60.  However, the base game is only the first of many parts to the Adventure Path.  With 6 expansion decks at $20 a piece, the full adventure will be over $200.  If you want extra characters, items, and the ability to have up to 6 players, it’s another extra expansion.  However, there is enough content to last 7-12 months depending on how frequently you play.

Review
Pros: I enjoyed the mix of a card game and the idea of leveling up and gaining new equipment.  The story was a little thin, but most card games, if they even have a story, ignore it during the actual game play.  The full Adventure Path can take awhile to play.  The group I play with has been playing almost weekly for three months, and we are not finished with part 1 yet.  At the rate we are going, when we finish, we will feel as though we accomplished something.  New players can join at any point and other party members can sit out if they can play that session (although if you sit out you miss out on possible loot).

Con: I have two main complaints.  First is the price.  Yes, the game is expensive if you want to do the full Adventure Path (about $200).  If you are a fan of collectible card games or miniature war games, you may not have sticker shock.  For others, here is my reasoning.  If my friends and I are actually going to play it through, then the price is fair for the total hours play (100+).  If you think you will only play a few times, only get the base game.  It’s much cheaper, and you can try it out.

My second complaint is the potentially repetitive nature of the game.  Once you learn the game play, each session consists of using your cards to defeat other cards until the boss creature is found and destroyed.  Unlike Magic: the Gathering, there doesn’t seem to be too many synergistic decks you can make out of found loot.  Rangers take range weapon cards; paladins take swords, and so on.  However, we are still early in the game, and that may change.

Final Thoughts
In the end, the question is, “is this a fun game and worth the price?”  My answer is yes.  After you get over the potential sticker shock, the game will provide, by my estimation, over 100 hours of game play.  This is a card game with loot that carries from session to session and the ability to add and drop players from session to session.  My friends I and are looking forward to the day we finish the game and have a feeling of accomplishment we’ve never had with a cooperative card game before.

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Breimh’s Anime Review – I Couldn’t Become A Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided To Get A Job

Raul had always wanted to be a hero, but failed the exams necessary to become one. He reluctantly took a job working at a small electronics store called Magic Shop Leon. His life is dull but busy until a new girl comes applying for a part time job. She’s the daughter of the demon king who defeated him in his exam.
Published by: Kadokawa Pictures Inc.

Some anime don’t transition well to English, others do so on such a fantastic level that they wind up enjoyed around the globe. This one has such potential! Fun and quirky, this series offers a lot of the familiar genre plots and characters, and even settings, but there are a few fun and wonderful twists and comments that examine, poke and prod our modern world to not only explore what is dark and vile about it, but give us some genuine rays of light that bring hope and enjoyment in the everyday to our hearts. The main plot is kept simple and stays on course, and thus it can be noted that it is predictable; for some, that may be a turn off, but in my own opinion, it does not diminish the story in the least, it does – in fact – enhance the little observances and lessons of this tale in the aforementioned ways I have noted previously.
The artistry is both simple and sublime, offering a veritable garden of color and delight in the details, while showing the same tried-and-true traditional elements of anime that fans find friendly, familiar and wonderful to experience.
While many of us cannot be a hero in our everyday lives, those of us who see the deeper aspects this series offers can feel like heroes all the same. The show might then be seen as a teaching-tool for doing just that.
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