The Otakusphere: Cheese and what am I doing with my life?

Good morning, afternoon or evening wherever you are in Internet-land. It is Sunday out here in my corning of the hinterlands, so it’s time for another trip around The Otakusphere.

Before I get too deep, I just wrapped up a collaboration with Ashley over at The Review Heap this week, where we finally shared out opinions on Ergo Proxy. A product from the late great studio Manglobe. You can see part 1 on The Review Heap and part 2 here on my blog.

Also, thanks to Crow for sharing my post. It’s strange how much that little bit of encouragement can make me feel a lot better about myself.

So in commemoration of actually getting the collaboration done, I will share the original version of Ergo Proxy’s credits. You know, the one with Radiohead’s Paranoid Android.

Let’s get our motors started, turn the tunes up and get going on our cruise around The Otakusphere.

Let’s Goooooo!

So there are a collection of blogs that I follow that are primarily about video games. Even though this is mainly an anime blog, I play enough video games, and I think there is enough crossover that I like including them.

Since this is my blog, I consider it my editorial discretion to do so.

But really, I probably should start actually talking about the posts. I mean that is why you came here to do. I’m sure no one is here to criticize how I string these together. I could be just writing cheese in between the posts, and some people wouldn’t notice.

Cheese. Cheese. Cheese. Cheese.

I have seen a lot of people talk about the Atelier series, and I have to admit that it looks beautiful. I’ve floated around a few of these JRPGs with anime character designs for the past few years. I’ve dipped my toes into Tales of Berseria and Trails in the Sky and Trails of Cold Steel, but I haven’t tried Atelier.

What I have seen is Pete Davison over at Moe Gamer writes a lot about Atelier. So much that I’m not even really sure where a good entry point into the game series is. Since he started a new game, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, I would share his post.

It does look pretty cool. I wonder if it’s on Steam.

Cheese. Cheese. Cheese. Parmesan. Cheese.

From one game I haven’t played, let’s talk about another one that I haven’t played.

Buffalo Retro Gaming has these neat posts about the history of retro games that he is playing and writing about. This one about Syphon Filter is no different. I’m often fascinated by the history of entertainment.

Imagine a world where we never got Alfred Hitchcock or John Carmack? What would that world look like? Would someone have just stepped in and pioneered the techniques they used, or would entertainment look drastically different?

Anyway, Colin does an excellent job laying out why Syphon Filter was important for both the company that made it and to the wider video game industry.

Asiago. Muenster. Cheese. Cheese.

Continuing with games I haven’t played but want to, how about that Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD. Isn’t that a mouthful?

The only one of these games that I’ve played has been Persona 5, in which I got to the third castle and was too afraid that I would lose and get stuck, so I never went further. Someone should do a post about the role that the fear of failing plays in gaming. I have a real problem with that.

But AK over at Everything is Bad For You put together a great post about it that is enough to make me buy the game so it can sit next to the 500 other games that I have yet to play.

Yes. I am Marie Kondo’s nightmare. I own things just because I imagine they might bring me joy someday if I’m ever brave enough to actually start them.

I don’t care if they own me. Let them. I am not a hoarder. I promise.

Cheese. Swiss. String. Cheese.

In the realm of video game-related material, The Animanga Spellbook put together this post about The World Ends with You, which evidently was a video game as well as an anime. I haven’t seen or played either of them.

But I like the idea of keeping a blog going with just the reason that you want a revival of something. I’m a fan of that kind of dedication and persistence.

Gorgonzola. Bleu. Cheese. Cheese.

Finally, we have two posts about Otome games. This one from Nonplayer Girl is all about the games she played in May, and this one from Blerdy Otome about inexpensive visual novels and Otome games.

I’ll be honest. I still have the Higurashi games on my GOG account, and I haven’t played them. Yes. I own a lot of stuff.

I did start playing Solasta, though. That is out on XBOX Game Pass Ultimate, which means I don’t really own it.

What am I doing with my life?

Cheese. Cheese. Cheese. Cheese.

Continuing on the vein of things that aren’t really anime but do interest me. Have I ever said how much I like crime movies? Because I like crime movies.

Not necessarily the serious ones like Goodfellas. I mean, I like Goodfellas, but not enough to own it.

No. I like Guy Ritchie movies, and Ocean’s 11 and the Italian Job. The kind of slick, kind of trashy heist films where you have a cast of miscreants who are all sort of charming that come together to pull off the big one.

That is why Topkapi has me intrigued. The Man in Black’s Instant Headache reviewed the 1964 U.S. film. Really, I should watch more movies along with the video games that I’m not playing.

That’s not to mention the anime I haven’t watched.

Good Lord. What am I doing with my life?

Is this joke getting old yet?

Commando. Rambo II, Eraser. Last Action Hero.

Now let’s talk about some anime. Well, sort of.

Ospreyshire over at Iridium Eye Reviews put together this post about Cybersix, a combination Argentinian, Japanese and Canadian production. To be honest, I’m not sure I have much more to comment about it other than his review made me want to go out and watch the show.

Well, that, and he does an excellent job of researching this stuff. Go and take a look.

Akudama Drive. Black Lagoon. Kaiji. Back Arrow.

This week’s theme seems to be stuff that I haven’t played, watched or read, so let’s keep going with that.

You know what I haven’t seen — Sailor Moon. Yep. I have zero frame of reference for the show other than it involves girls who change clothing and fight bad guys. Oh, and they were mentioned in a Barenaked Ladies song.

You know those boom anime babes that make me think the wrong thing.

Anyway, Emiko shared a list of her 5 favorite Youma designs from Sailor Moon. I have to give them credit. The designs are pretty rad. Maybe one day I’ll watch Sailor Moon.

You know, after I play all of those video games and watch those movies.

Man. What am I doing with my life?

On my list of shows that I want to get to soon is Chunbiyo, Love and Other Delusions. Mainly because the idea of the show appeals to me. I’m a fan of the concept of people having to deal with a world only one character can see. It’s like Haruhi, but without the main character actually being god.

Dewbond added to my interest with this post about one of the central characters in the show. It’s worth checking out.

Mozzarella. Brie. Limburger. Cheese.

Jamal is among the people who know more about animation than I do. He is also watching RahXephon, which I hope he’s enjoying, or I’m going to feel bad for pushing it so hard. I don’t want to be one of those annoying nerds that loves something so much that I ruin it for everyone else.

Well, he’s been putting up these Minisodes where he talks about a particular animator or director and fills you in some about their body of work. They are short, but they’re well worth listening to. This is the last and latest one. Go and learn something.

Passendale. Remoudou. Herzegovina “squeaking cheese.” Cheese.

Just for a brief interlude, I also want to share this animated music video that The Spooky Redhead put up on their blog. It’s cute. Go check it out.

Now let’s talk about stuff that I have seen.

So I recently shared my thoughts about episode 6 of Eighty-six, and while I know some people don’t like the show, I am enjoying what it has to say about institutional power, racism and similar subjects.

Crow had some interesting points to make about the show in this post. He said everything I could but better. You should go read his post. It’s definitely worth checking out.

And on shows that I really need to revisit, SpaceWhales Anime Blog wrote about one of my favorite shows — Now and Then, Here and There. The show is unremittingly dark. It feels like these characters should be crushed underneath the weight of it all.

But Shu remains hopeful, even as he is abused and people around him are broken. This is what isekai could be. Granted, I haven’t watched enough modern isekai to really criticize it, but I do think Now and Then, Here and There is excellent. You should watch it and go read Space Whales’ post about it.

Kashkaval. Cougar Gold. Sirene. Cheese.

As John Cleese would say, “Now for something completely different.”

Pinkie answered confusing internet questions. I really like the idea of a random question generator, but I have to say that some of those questions can lead to some dark places.

Like what would you do with $1 billion that would have an impact on the most people?

There is an answer from the darkest future for that question. I can’t even bring myself to write it. It’s too dark. I feel like I would be putting out evil into the world.

So I’ll just leave it at that and let you go check out Pinkie’s post.

Whenever you move to a different place, you have to learn to adapt to the culture there. Sometimes it’s small things, like where is the nearest grocery store. Sometimes you have to make significant changes like navigating an unfamiliar traffic system.

Well, Yomu shared his experiences about what it was like to move to Japan. I’m a big fan of these kinds of insights into what it’s like to live in another country.

Go on check it out.

Cheese. Cheese. Cheese. Cheese.

Finally, it was Al’s Manga Blog’s second anniversary this week. So she did a post about two-volume manga she really liked. It’s worth going and checking it out. I might pick up a few of those.

That is all I have for this week, and I appreciate everyone who stops by. Remember to click on someone else’s post and check it out. It would really make my day. And remember to pick up some cheese.

Most importantly, be good, be careful and learn a lot, not necessarily in that order.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

26 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Cheese and what am I doing with my life?

  1. Hahaha thanks for featuring me!
    To be fair it was just 2 million! Not 1 billion!
    And Like I said.. I would not BE that evil… just for the sake of answering I’d be evil!
    I am still a gamer! I willing to play dirty to get my high score (devil emoji)

    That was a lot of cheese! Could have featured a few more blue cheeses like Stilton and Roquefort!
    But that was fun once again! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh. I didn’t go back to check. I just remembered it was some really large number.

      I couldn’t commit that hard to get the high score. 🙂

      Thanks for noticing the cheese. I was trying to find images that I knew wouldn’t get me into trouble. I had forgotten about Roquefort and Stilton though. 🙂 I should have gone back to my Monty Python.

  2. More movies for you to watch. The Italian Job, The Thomas Crown Affair, (the early one with Steve McQueen) and did you see the remake or the original 1960 Rat Pack Oceans 11?

    1. So just to admit my cultural illiteracy, I have seen the remakes of all of those films, but I haven’t seen the originals, except for The Italian Job.

      For some reason, I don’t think I’ve seen a Steve McQueen movie. I have heard this song though.

  3. Thanks for the shout-out! Cybersix was an interesting show and it was a bit of a trip after rediscovering it nearly 20 years after it was on Fox Kids. I was shocked that they had it on RetroCrush of all places. They should give it a remake.

    1. I would love a remake of that, and a remake of Aeon Flux (the cartoon not the movie) and maybe one of Heavy Metal.

      I just want more action cartoons that are aimed at the mid-teen audience that I could like as well. 🙂

      1. Nice! I never had a chance to see Aeon Flux, but I heard great things about it.

        Sure thing. Cybersix definitely had that potential with using adult themes and with it being based on a comic aimed at older audiences. Not everything has to be Marvel-esque, but something entertaining, having depth, and can reach multiple demographics.

  4. Thanks for the link! I’m having a good time with Nocturne HD so far. I know what you mean about that fear of failure — it’s plagued me in a few games as well. I’ve been stalled out on Persona 5 Royal myself for several months now, though I think that partly had to do with general Persona 5 fatigue. I’ll get back to it eventually.

    I can second that Atelier recommendation. I’ve played five of the games so far and have really enjoyed my time with the series generally.

      1. It’s a bit hard for me to say since I might not have played the best starter yet — Pete definitely knows way more about it than I do. But out of the games I’ve played so far, I think Atelier Rorona or Ayesha would make great starting points, and Escha & Logy might as well even though it’s in the middle of the Dusk trilogy.

        I’ve also heard Sophie is an excellent place to start, though I haven’t played it yet myself. I’m currently on Ryza, and it’s a lot of fun, though very different from the earlier games I’ve played. Buying one of the DX packages is a great way to start on Atelier for sure, though.

      2. Those are the bundles being sold of remastered older Atelier games. There are a few “sub-series” trilogies within Atelier – so far I believe Arland, Dusk, and Mysterious are the ones out now, and they all now have remastered versions each titled “DX”, I guess for deluxe. They’re all sold individually and also as bundled trilogies now for discounted prices, so buying a trilogy DX bundle is a more cost-effective option if you play to play through a whole trilogy than buying each game separately.

  5. Thanks for the mention!

    And for the record, I think you’re not giving your post about 86 enough credit. You covered an aspect I didn’t, and I think you captured the show’s intent. I do sympathize with Lena, for the reasons you discussed. I don’t see what else she could do and still have any power to help her squadron at all.

    I mean, she’s no good to them if she’s dead or imprisoned.

    For years, I wrestled with the question of how to convert what’s now called white privilege into an effective tool to promote “liberty and justice for all.” After decades of trying, I won’t say I gave up. But I’ve run out of ideas.

    In the final analysis, I have to ask myself: Is there a difference between being utterly ineffective and giving up?

    Even if I write a book as good as Animal Farm, and give other writers and people of literary character a rich field of quotes, will that feed a single hungry child?

    Or provide safe drinking water for Flint?

    But there is one thing I can do, and I’ve done it all my adult life. I can provide for my family. So there are at least a handful of humans who are better off with me around.

    It’s kind of depressing to think about this stuff, isn’t it? Maybe this is the best argument to just go enjoy anime.

    I’d say at least I’m supporting the animators, but, well…

    1. I agree. The best we can really do is leave the world a little better than we found it. That has always been my motto.

      There is a lot of injustice in the world, and there isn’t any way that one person can fix it all.

      It does get depressing. I mean I’ve largely accepted that I’m just Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill. I can either laugh at the absurdity of it all or cry at the injustice.

      As Yuu says, perhaps we should embrace the hopelessness of it all. 🙂

  6. The Spellbook is the blog, I’m Aria. Or MagicConan14 (a name I only really use these days because I’ve used it long enough for it to be a sort of brand name for me – I’ve basically disowned it at this point because I don’t want to be called “Conan”, though).

    Still…you definitely got the cheese into this post, that’s for sure.

    Fun fact: The post you’ve featured here started with the title “The World Ends With You, But It Also Starts With You” but I changed it because the post was not focussed on the idea of connection (which is what I wanted to write about before I ended up with a post about nostalgia instead). That said, I forgot to take the references to that old title out before it went live.

  7. Thank you so much! I should put REM at the end of every post! 😂

    If you have an old copy of SF you should bust it out. It still plays really well. A ton of fun and a pretty engaging story – even if it shows it’s age nowadays. Thank you again!

    1. You know I often forget about Monterey Jack. I think because now it gets mixed with Colby so often that it just becomes Colby Jack.

      Also I didn’t include Colby in my listings of cheese 🙂

      And you’re welcome.

    1. You’re welcome.

      I assume at some point I will. I know it’s a stupid complaint to have, but there seems to be so much entertainment that I don’t think I’ll ever run out. 🙂

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