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Month: September 2020

VIZ Media: Sherlock Holmes Manga Spinoff, Moriarty The Patriot

Exciting news from our friends at Viz Media!: “Sherlock Holmes’ famed antagonist William James Moriarty is getting a spin-off manga in the form of Moriarty the Patriot on October 6th. Unlike the nemesis we know in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tale, Moriarty is somewhat of a hero trying to balance London’s unfair class system.”

“In the late 19th century, Great Britain rules over a quarter of the world in Moriarty the Patriot. Nobles sit in their fancy homes in comfort and luxury, while the working class slaves away at their jobs. When young Albert James Moriarty’s upper-class family adopts two lower-class orphans, the cruelty the boys experience at his family’s hands cements Albert’s hatred of the nobility he was born into. He asks the older of the two boys – who has a genius mind and a killer instinct – to help him rid the world of evil, starting with Albert’s own family!” Expect a manga review from us soon to find out more about this thrilling manga!

Moriarty the Patriot 1: Takeuchi, Ryosuke: 9783551746467: Amazon.com: Books

About Viz Media:

An international authority on manga for more than three decades, VIZ
Media is leading the way in what’s now, new and next. Reaching one
in four millennials and half of all GenZ manga readers, VIZ. is at the
forefront of America’s Japanesepop-culture phenomenon, which today
dominates multiple industries from publishing and animation to film
and gaming. VIZ is proud to be the #1 destination for manga in
America and home to some of the most prestigious anime brands
driving the industry. Combined with a market share footprint larger
than household names collectively, VIZ has pivoted from a localization
company to a market-leading pop-culture publisher and producer.

About Ryosuke Takeuchi & Hiakaru Miyoshi:

Ryosuke Takeuchi was born November 20, 1980, in Hyogo, Japan, and
is a manga artist and writer. He got his big break in 2011 with ST&RS,
his first serialized Weekly Shonen Jump series. He later did the
storyboards for All You Need Is Kill.

Hikaru Miyoshi is a manga artist whose previous work includes
Inspector Akane Tsunemori, which was based on the popular anime
Psycho-Pass.

Takeuchi and Miyoshi began collaborating on Moriarty the Patriot in
2016.

In Memory of Joe Ruby: My Life With Scooby-Doo

On August 26th, 2020, the world lost Joe Ruby, the co-creator of one of the biggest, most well-known shows of all time: Scooby-Doo. He was 87 when he passed away from old age. While his life may have ended, the legacy that he left behind will remain as an eternal part of our lives. Even if you’ve never watched any of the shows/seasons (or even the movies), you’ve at least heard of it and the numerous pieces of merchandise available worldwide. In honor of Joe Ruby’s passing and the world he helped create, I will be sharing with you, the readers, my experience with Scooby-Doo and how much it impacted my life.

The earliest memories I have with Scooby-Doo was when I saw Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. While I didn’t have cable at my house, there was a relative of mine or a friend of the family that we would visit that had access to cable. I even remember some of the after school latchkey programs (that I attended when I was little) that had cable, and Scooby-Doo was one of the many shows airing during my time there. After watching some of the shows, two of the live-action movies, and Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, I would check out any other animated movies from the library. I might’ve not seen all of them, but I’ve enjoyed each one that I watched. Each one had its own interesting synopsis and plot twist, not to mention the monster that was the main focus of each movie.

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (Video 1998) - IMDb
Photo from imdb.com

As I grew older, I didn’t watch Scooby-Doo as often as I would want to. I would mainly focus on other series and my studies. However, the memories and my enjoyment of the series never faded. It wasn’t until years later, that I found my copy of Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island on VHS and watched it again. To my surprise, the movie’s animation, story, and even voice acting still holds up. Out of the many Scooby-Doo animated movies, Zombie Island is the one that will always remain on the top 10 list of my favorite movies. Looking back, most of my exposure to Scooby-Doo was through the many animated movies. I remember, back when the library had VHS tapes, I would check out any Scooby-Doo movies that I would discover. I must’ve watched Scooby-Doo and The Loch Ness Monster at least a dozen times when I checked it out. As far as I can remember, the only animated Scooby-Doo movies I’ve ever watched was Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness Monster, Scooby-Doo! Meets the Boo Brothers, Scooby-Doo! and the Ghoul School, and Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf. Back then, I had no idea that there were so many animated movies for the franchise, which blew my mind when I got older. At the time, I naively thought there were only a handful of animated movies for Scooby-Doo. I had no idea that (at the time of this article’s publication) there are 38 animated films with the 39th coming out this October. I had to lean back in my chair when I found out about this. I wouldn’t say that I think it’s excessive, I’m just surprised that they made this many. The ideas for each case are definitely worth being made into a movie (otherwise we would have a five-part arc for each said case) and while the synopsis for a few seemed a bit out there, I enjoyed the ones I’ve seen so far.

While I didn’t have very many good memories of the first live-action Scooby-Doo! movie, Monsters Unleashed definitely left a better and stronger lasting impression on me. The whole idea of the gang facing real versions of monsters they’ve unmasked in the past just felt perfect. It also brought me back to what they went through when they were on Zombie Island. Sure, there may have been moments that seemed almost over the top with its cheesiness, I feel like that was the point. It’s a live-action adaptation of a cartoon, so of course the main villain and certain scenarios are going to give off that vibe. Even having Scooby brought to life through CGI was necessary, I mean, look at how he moves about in the show, it makes the movie all the more perfect. It also brings up the question of what happens to the criminals after they served their time in prison. Honestly, it brought up a number scenarios that I never thought about when I was growing up. While I never researched the previous roles of the main actors and actresses (I was only a child at the time), I feel like they did an amazing job bringing the gang to life. All-in-all, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleased is the live-action Scooby-Doo! movie to watch.

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) - IMDb
Photo from imdb.com

With the current events that we’re going through (the ongoing pandemic), I was able to visit some of other shows that were available. At the moment, I was able to watch some episodes from Scooby-Doo! Where Are You?, What’s New Scooby Doo?, and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. It was fun to see the difference in not just the animation, but how the main characters are written and what mysteries they’ll solve. The monsters were both terrifying and intriguing in both their design and the lore that surrounded them. From what I’ve seen so far, Mystery Incorporated definitely has an all-around focus on the characters, the story, and the mysteries. Everything is connected in some shape or form, which definitely keeps the viewers engaged. Even with all of that, there’s still plenty of classic Scooby-Doo humor sprinkled throughout the episodes.

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (TV Series 2010–2013) - IMDb
Photo from imdb.com

With What’s New Scooby-Doo?, it felt like a refreshing upgrade to the show that started it all: Scooby Doo! Where are You?. It’s not just with the animation quality and the voice acting, the characters felt more fleshed out. In each episode, the main gang and the side characters had their own personality. I’m not saying that they didn’t have any personality in the original show, it just feels like more effort was put into it. Like every show of Scooby-Doo!, the monsters were fascinating to watch on screen, some being classic monsters from the original show. While the classic first show will always remain as, well, a classic, What’s New Scooby Doo? gives off the feeling that it was what Scooby-Doo! Where are You? strived to be back then.

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOREVER: WHAT'S NEW, SCOOBY-DOO?
photo from saturdaymorningsforever.com

Other than re-watching What’s New Scooby-Doo? and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, the most recent thing, that was Scooby-Doo! related, was when the show did a crossover episode with long-running series Supernatural in the legendary episode Scoobynatural. Fans of both series, including cast members, had been waiting for some type of crossover to happen. In season 13 of Supernatural, fans finally saw their fantasy become a reality, and honestly, it’s definitely one of the best episodes and one of my favorites in Supernatural. Not only was this the only animated episode (which clearly had so much effort put into it), but the episode was more enjoyable knowing how much of a fan Sam and Dean Winchester were of the show. Like Monsters Unleashed, it answered questions about what would happen if the two worlds collided and the characters. I feel like, even if you haven’t caught up with the show, you could watch it without worrying too much about getting lost on any key plot points. Other than the recap at the start of the episode, it doesn’t leave new viewers scratching their heads in confusion.

Scoobynatural | Supernatural Wiki | Fandom
Photo from supernatural.fandom.com

While Joe Ruby’s time on earth has ended, the show he has helped create will live on forever. The numerous pieces of pop and geek culture that were inspired by his work and the various crossovers in shows will also continue to carry on his legacy. The way Scooby-Doo! has impacted our lives will forever remain in our memories. Joe Ruby, we thank you for being part of the creation of such a beautiful series with many different styles of telling the story of Scooby and the gang’s adventures.

Shadowed Flames: PTSD in RWBY Part 8

Disclaimer: These articles contain in-depth discussion on the topics of mental health/illness and topics such as abuse. 

The writer is also not a trained nor certified therapist. However, they have been writing for twenty years with a heavy focus on correct, realistic portrayals of mental health. They have studied PTSD and C-PTSD in depth and speak from personal experience. Of course, they only speak from one point of view as PTSD symptoms and experiences are unique to each and every person. This is done from a clinical viewpoint, using sourced academic literature.

More technical jargon (namely the actual list of symptoms) will be given in more everyday language when and where possible.

All right, so we can’t go into this next stretch of this series especially this article without at least acknowledging the controversy about Adam and Blake’s past. I’m admittedly on the periphery of the fandom. However, I am very aware that people claim Adam isn’t abusive, there was no grooming or somehow Blake groomed Adam, etcetera. I’ve seen a lot of the arguments, and I’ll admit I’ll be taking a stance here. I’m not trying to incite arguments and anger; I’m simply presenting my own view based upon my knowledge of psychology. 

And I will address my source for this particular article. Yes, I know that using a site that unironically uses “Radfem” is…not the best source. However, in digging, it was the most in-depth exploration of gaslighting tactics I could find. I am focusing solely on the descriptions given and not any of the “societal gaslighting” presented in the article. Basically all other articles are “Signs you’re a victim of gaslighting” or something along those lines. None of them really focused on the tactics like this.

With those additional disclaimers out of the way, let’s begin.

— 

So the first bit of evidence I’m gonna personally pull up for there being abuse between Blake and Adam is actually their ages. While we do not know Adam’s age at any point in time, he’s clearly a fair bit older than Blake. This is especially evidenced in his character short. We never really see him change in age, only his outfits change. Granted, that…is not exactly the best example as it seems like the writers/animators didn’t entirely think that short through. I mean, we see Ilia fighting with the White Fang at her V4/V5 age when she should obviously be much younger. 

And, yes, I will acknowledge that me bringing up this point weakens my own arguments for when we delve into part of that short later. A lot of us (including me) acknowledge that the writers often do not pay attention period, so I think it’s fine. Anyway, I’m digressing from my main point.

I would like to direct everyone’s attention to V1 C16, “Black and White,” while Blake is giving the spiel about the White Fang’s history. 

[Image description: A burgundy and black mottled background. The White Fang symbol of a white lion’s head surrounded by a circle on a flat blue flag is shown in the center of the frame. A black flagpole is on the right. Subtitle says, “Blake: And then, five years ago”.]
(Also yes, I had to add the subtitle because this episode doesn’t have any on the RT site)

The leadership and philosophy of the White Fang changed “five years ago” as evidenced by the quote. While we do not know exactly when Blake and Adam met, we know that it was even before five years ago. 

[Image description: Adam takes up most of the foreground in his V1-3 attire. Ghira stands in the background in his attire from the Adam short.]

The short clearly shows that Ghira is still the leader of the White Fang in the second scene of the short. That means this is at least five years ago.

Why am I harping on this particular point?

Seventeen minus five is thirteen. That means, at a minimum, Blake was thirteen when she met Adam. Again, I know we don’t know Adam’s age specifically which does make this argument somewhat wobbly. His vague age could put him minimum 3-4 years older than Blake which isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be. But just from the way he moves, acts, and the strategies he uses, to me, implies he’s a fair bit older. However, that is bringing headcanon into this which isn’t any grounding for the arguments I’m making.

However, I want to move onto my second argument which I feel is much stronger.

It’s the scene between Blake and Adam in his short which seems to be fairly clear gaslighting. 

A quick note, I know there’s a post floating around on tumblr that does the same thing what I’m about to do with this scene. I have read it a couple times, but it’s been a long while. I’m mainly just pointing this out because there probably will be unintentional similarities. I am not plagarising, though. 

So getting into it…

[Image description: Blake to the left of the frame in her V1-3 attire minus her bow. Her head is bowed, eyes narrow, and her arms are folded. Her back is to Adam who’s approaching from the background. Subtitle says, “I told you it was an accident.”]

The first bit we see in scene takes place after Blake has called Adam out on killing humans.

And we are already getting into manipulation with the gaslighting tactics.

Adam is trivialising Blake’s worries. She’s rightly voicing her opinion that he shouldn’t be killing those that don’t really deserve it, but he’s trying to downplay it as simply “an accident.”

She continues to hold her ground despite it.

[Image description: Blake on the left of the screen in the background with Adam in the foreground, though he’s from the back. Subtitle says, “This wasn’t the first time humans have died on missions you’ve led.”]

She then questions him.

[Image description: Basically same shot as before. However, Blake’s ears are folding down, her expression is uncomfortable, and she’s folding her arms. Subtitle says, “How many more ‘accidents’ are there going to be?”]

He then brings up the fact that he doesn’t know and that people get hurt when they’re fighting. Granted, this is obviously wrong as we know, but within the logic of the scene, it makes sense.

But then—

[Image description: Single shot of Adam from the shoulders up. Red trees are in the background with pink and purple mountains above that in the distance. Subtitle says, “What do you want me to just abandon our cause like your parents?”]

Here we see countering and diversion

Countering is when one draws the victim’s attention to their memory and can use past incidents of gaslighting. It’s often done in the form of questions. We see him making Blake draw on her memory of her parents leaving and, no doubt, what she said to them. While we don’t know how that scene played out, we know she at least called them cowards. V4 V8 “A Much Needed Talk” shows us that much.

[Image description: Ghira and Blake are sitting on a couch in their V4 attire. Ghira has his arm around Blake. Subtitle says, “I called you cowards!”]

The diversion is pretty clear. He’s pulling her attention away from the topic at hand. 

This isn’t a gaslighting tactic (at least as listed in the article) but this particular question is driving Blake into a serious corner. It’s forcing her to make a decision about her parents as well as foster a black-and-white, us-versus-them mentality. She has to acknowledge either Adam or her parents are right. He’s questioning her loyalty to him and he’s stopping critical thinking. 

This multi-layered question makes her question herself and her thinking.

[Image descriptions: Two images.
First image: Shot of Blake facing Adam with her ears down but the insides still visible. Her expression is uncomfortable. Subtitle says, “I’m not saying that, I…”
Second image: Blake’s head is down much more, eyes completely obscured by her bangs. Her ears are much closer to her head too. Subtitle says, “I don’t know.”]

The next bit we see is diverting yet again.

[Image descriptions: Two images.
First image: Blake on the left in the foreground with Adam on the right. Subtitle says, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought them up.”
Second image: More or less the same shot. Only difference is Adam is bringing his hand to rest up on his chest. Subtitle says, “I just get scared when it feels like you don’t believe in me anymore.”]

Another point of diverting is the fact the gaslighter is making the situation all about them and that they’re the victim. 

The scene caps off with Blake apologising and Adam “accepting” it.

[Image descriptions: Two images.
First image: Adam in the foreground on the right of the scene with his back to the camera. Blake is below him, head bowed and eyes covered by her bangs due to her head being bowed. Subtitle says, “I never said that.”
Second image: Closeup of Adam and he’s smiling with teeth visible. Subtitle says, “Glad to know I’ve still got you.”]

Okay, so let’s take a very quick recap of the scene. Blake brings up the very real concern that people are literally dying while Adam’s leading missions. However, he dodges the enormity of it by saying that people die when they’re fighting. He then brings up her parents and makes her question why she’s asking in the first place. He then makes it look like he’s the victim and she apologises.

While I try to provide a fact-based view in these articles, in this case, I’ll break that and say this is clearly manipulation. Adam is making Blake question her perception of reality and why she’s criticising him. He makes her feel guilty. This is not how this sort of thing should be playing out. She shouldn’t be feeling guilty over the fact he is allowing people to die on his missions.

This is so clearly gaslighting. 

And then we have the end of Volume 6 with him attempting to use some of these tactics against her even if they ultimately fail. They happen numerous times so I’m not going to hit every example.

He uses countering to try to make her question why she left and how she treated him.

[Image description: Adam in his V4+ attire with a blindfold. He’s getting up from the snowy ground. Subtitle says, “Just forget it all? Is that what you did with me? You just threw all our memories away!”]

He trivialises her very valid desire to be safe from him.

[Image description: Shot of mostly Adam’s face with a blindfold, though he can be seen holding Blame’s wrist on the left side of the screen. Her head with her ear can just barely be seen in the lower right-hand corner. Subtitle says, “I wouldn’t have to be doing this if you’d just behave!”]

He tries to divert the issue of her fighting for her life due to play the victim card when we finally see his face.

[Image description: Shot of Blake on the ground with her ears drooped over slightly. Subtitle says, “People hurt me long before we met.”]

There is so, so much more I could do to break down even just the V6 fight scene, but I think I’ve made my point. I know many, many people will disagree with this take on things, but this is what I’m basing the rest of this article series on. 

Sources:

Anonymy. (2018, April 7). SYSTEMIC SOCIETAL GASLIGHTING Part 1. A Radfem Types. https://aradfemtypes.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/systemic-societal-gaslighting-part-1/

Monster Hunter Rise Coming To Nintendo Switch in 2021

Capcom is prepping for an all-new adventure in the Monster Hunter series next year with the upcoming installment Monster Hunter Rise. Coming for the Nintendo Switch, the newest title will become available next year as part of the system’s new line-up of games that was announced during their Nintendo Direct presentation.

Based on the trailer, Capcom has put so much focus on the monsters in the game, which is one of the highlights from the series. The video showed off creatures like Aknoson, Great Izuchi, Tetranadon, and the Magnamalo. Players can also expect to see some of the classic favorites from the series as well within the game. One of the newest features in the game is the use of the Wirebug to reach up to high altitudes as hunters will be able to travel up the mountains and even running on walls. This new mechanic will also be useful in battles as one can do special combos with the player’s weapon attacks.

Players won’t be traveling alone as the feline Pelicos will also make a return to help out with support on various missions. There will also be the option to use a Palamute, a canine that will help players travel long distances throughout the terrain as well as help fight alongside them against big monsters. Players can even have both of them on their team when they are playing the the game solo. As fans make their base of operations in Kamura Village, there will also be some new locations to explore that is exclusive to the new game. One of these new locales, the Shrine Ruins, was once a safe haven for those who prayed for protection. Now a barren wasteland, it will be filled with monsters coming out during the day and also lurking in the night. 

One of the biggest advantages with the game is being able to take it with you wherever you are. With the Nintendo Switch’s portability, Monster Hunter Rise takes full advantage of the console as players can play it in docked and portable mode. As with all previous titles, players can also team up with up to 4 others in co-op to take down monsters and share the loot after missions. The game will also make use of the ammibos for more fun as well as unlockable features once its paired with the console’s other new release Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. More of how they will be compatible will be mentioned during the upcoming Tokyo Game Show later this month.

Monster Hunter Rise will come with a deluxe edition, which comes with a layered armor set and some new gestures. Once players pre-order, they can get up to three bonus items, a golden retriever costume for their Palamute, a forest cat costume for their Palico, and even a novice talisman to give some extra support early on in the game. The game seems to be more open world like Monster Hunter: World as the developers revealed that this would be a “seamless locale” rather than traveling from zone to zone.

Monster Hunter Rise is already available for pre-order on the Nintendo Switch as it releases on March 26, 2021. 

Let’s-a Go!: 35 Years Of Mario And What It Means To Me

Princess Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser, and it is Mario’s job to save her. This is the basic plot of Super Mario Bros.. Anyone who has picked up a Gameboy, Nintendo Switch, or any of them in between since the NES knows who Mario is. Mario is Nintendo’s mascot, and there’s no way around it. Some game franchises come and go, but Mario is the constant. Not many games can say they’ve lasted thirty-five years and the ones that have lasted this long or even longer, are iconic: Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Pong, Space Invaders, Frogger, etc. Fans have seen Mario have a cereal (part of the Nintendo Cereal System where the other half was Legend of Zelda), have an animated show called The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! which lasted from September 4th, 1989 to December 1st, 1991, to even a big screen movie called Super Mario Bros. in 1993 which is regarded as one of (if not the) worst video game movie ever.

Personally, I didn’t grow up with the cereal, the cartoon, or even the movie. The very first Mario game I played was Super Mario Bros. 3 for my Gameboy Advanced. I forget how I got the game, but I remember playing it a lot; however I never beat it. The first one I did beat was New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS. In comparison to what we have now, my DS was a huge silver brick, but man I played that Mario game. I remember 1-1, World 1, Stage 1. Now, there was a special item, the Mega Mushroom. This thing would let you hold down left on the d-pad and you basically destroyed everything in front of you. Besides that, the game had a cool feature called Download Play. This was mind-blowing to me back then. You and a friend could play some other games together even though only one of you had the game. My most memorable was one where you needed to collect this big stars to win. There were three was to get stars. One: Be nice and wait for one to appear on the map. Two: Be mean, and bounce on your opponent’s head for them to lose one and have a chance to collect it. Third: Wait for and or cause your opponent to die so they lose ALL their stars. I loved playing this with my mom and the best part, none of us held back. Sometimes we still talk about it.

So, what does Mario mean to me? Mario is family. I know this sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Nintendo struck gold when they created Mario ‘Jumpman’ Mario. Whenever I see Mario I go back to my childhood, playing New Super Mario Bros. with my mom. Sure, I played things like Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass or Pokemon Diamond and I look at them fondly still. However, Mario is exactly that…Mario.

Goodbye Nintendo’s 3DS – The loss of a powerful handheld.

The mighty handheld, the 3DS from Nintendo has fallen from grace as the curtains close on this trend setting device. The video game company is moving in new directions turning away from the popular handheld to focus efforts on the Nintendo Switch. 

Over the course of several years the 3DS has gone under numerous upgrades and dynamic changes since its initial launch back in 2010. The following models to emerge come in the form of the 2DS, 2DS XL, 3DS XL, and the revamped 3DS. 

Nintendo’s official website states certain products under the handheld are “out of production.” Therefore, any possibility to see a continuation of said device is unlikely as the technology may not keep up in today’s new demands for faster responsiveness, compatibility, and design. 

Another device in Nintendo’s arsenal that has been shut down is the Wii U, a console that first released back in the year 2012. Now, in the current year with the competition of the Playstation 5 (PS5) and the X Box Series X consoles on the brink of release, Nintendo is making efforts to keep up with the video game giants. 

The 3DS will be a part of history as a popular trend setter going through multiple colorways and customizable layouts for fans around the world. The popular titles and icons to emerge from the company include Mario, Pokemon, and Smash Brothers.   

Kang the Conqueror is Coming for the MCU

Last Monday it was reported that Jonathan Majors will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man 3. Majors broke out in 2019’s The Last Black Man In San Francisco and currently stars in HBO’s Lovecraft Country. He will now bring his talents to a villain whose big-screen debut has long been awaited by fans. In fact, Kang’s entrance to the MCU could have major (no pun intended) implications for the next phase of films. 

Jonathan Majors | Profile & Filmography | Fried Plantains
from Google Images

Who is Kang?

from Pinterest

Kang the Conqueror has no superpowers but is a scientific genius from the 31st century. A historian obsessed with mankind’s past, Kang discovers time-traveling technology and uses it to leave his influence throughout human history. He does so by utilizing his access to advanced, futuristic technology to conquer ancient civilizations. In his first comic book appearance in Fantastic Four #19, he became Pharoah Rama-Tut of Egypt before being defeated by Marvel’s First Family as they were lost in time. He then became a consistent rogue for the Avengers, including founding member Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man. 

Fantastic Four (1961) #19
from Marvel.com

It had been speculated that if Kang came to the MCU it would be against Pym and the Avengers. He will instead face off against the Scott Lang Ant-Man and hopefully (pun intended this time) the Wasp, played by Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily, respectively. Kang fits in well with the direction the tiny superhero duo were heading after Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers: Endgame, where time travel was found to be achievable via the Quantum Realm. Perhaps Scott and Hope will embark on another “time-heist” and run into different iterations of Kang throughout history. Regardless of how it plays out, Kang definitely presents them with their most formidable foe yet. 

To the Future…

Kang’s presence in the MCU could be linked to even more unrevealed elements coming to future films. For example, Kang’s real name is Nathaniel Richards, and he is believed to be a descendant of Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. The time-traveling technology he discovers was also created by Dr. Doom, archvillain of the Fantastic Four and an immense threat to the entire Marvel universe. Therefore, Kang being in the MCU suggests that the Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom exist in some capacity as well. Furthermore, when Kang becomes Pharoah of Egypt he plans on mentoring En Sabah Nur, the world’s first mutant who goes on to become Apocalypse. Kevin Feige has already stated the FF and X-Men are “coming home” to the MCU, so Kang’s announcement for Ant-Man 3 could be the first of many signs for their arrival. 

Doctor Doom (2019) #6
from Marvel.com

The revelation that Kang the Conqueror is coming to the MCU is bright news for comic book fans in 2020. I personally have anticipated Kang appearing in a Marvel feature film since the original Fantastic Four movies. Aside from a classic character finally earning his big moment, Kang most likely signifies greater things to come for the MCU. There is also a chance that Kang himself proves to have enough depth to warrant multiple movie appearances. Many believe he will have a role similar to Loki during the Infinity Saga: not the Big Bad that Thanos was (that’s presumably reserved for Galactus or Dr. Doom), but still a persistent antagonizer for Earth’s mightiest heroes.

Kirby 100: Kang, the Conqueror | Marvel
from Marvel.com

Jonathan Majors is yet another strong addition to the star-studded ensemble of the MCU. He will look to continue the streak of intense, villainous performances seen in recent films. Ant-Man 3 currently has no release date but is expected to begin production in early 2021.

My Thoughts on the PS5 Event

Well the time finally came where we would know about the things that were going to be showed on the PS5 event that happened last Wednesday, and while it seems like things are heating up, in my eyes, it worries me about the future of consoles and this whole “PC vs Console” war that’s been going on, and this is coming from the person who spent five months talking about the history of console wars.

So let’s talk about everything in order.

Something that bugged me right out the gate was that Sony wanted to show the true graphical power of the PS5, but we ended up getting a message on the screen that said “Emulated on a PC to show a PS5 experience.” That was probably the biggest red flag throughout the entire event, especially when these consoles are trying to compete with PC, but also my main concern being they don’t have any footage of the game running on the actual hardware, which in my eyes, is already a dealbreaker, because I can’t buy a console that doesn’t show its true power right out the gate, and I have to imagine that what we saw was the PS5, when they haven’t shown anything for it.

Afterwards, we got a reveal of Final Fantasy 16, which was admittedly a surprise since 15 came out many a year ago, and is still a relatively popular game to play for the JRPG audience. Although the game isn’t my cup of tea since it’s hard for me to get into RPG games, it’s nice to see that a very well known franchise is getting a new game. However the main criticism I have for it was that they said it was a PS5 exclusive, with quite the asterisk of “Also available on PC” which isn’t the only game with the asterisk.

Next up was Spider-Man: Miles Morales and this game did have footage from the PS5, which I hope it did or else I would be getting increasingly concerned, and the game put an immediate smile on my face when I saw the Puerto Rican flags hanging on the fire escapes in Spanish Harlem in the game. Nice to see my naive country and my heritage getting recognition in the game. There were noticeable audio problems as well, where the audio didn’t sync up at all, and even through that, I’m actually interested in this game. I’ve never played a Spider-Man game before, but I’m pretty sure everyone’s gonna tell me to play the first one before diving into this game. It’ll be nice to see how well this game does.

Next up was Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and I’m already excited for it, we got a sneak peek of the campaign, I saw the multiplayer reveal, I played the Alpha of the game, my body is ready to the max for this game, but I do have one criticism. Just make the Alpha available worldwide. I hate the brand superiority thing or the playing favorites thing that Activision has done, where PS4 players play the Alpha first, while Xbox and PC players wait an extra month for it. It makes the game less profitable in a way, and it makes it increasingly annoying that Activision is showing a bias to Sony, when this game is literally gonna be released on five whole platforms on Friday the 13th of November.

Next we get another teaser for RE8, and I’m also interested in that as well. Did you know that Chris is a mountain of beef now?

Deathloop is next, and this is another game I’m interested in seeing where it goes, and it really reminds me of BioShock, so let’s see what that game has in store for us when it releases. It’s also another game with the asterisk of “Also available on PC”.

Next we get Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition, which I don’t care much for, but it’s nice to see that game come to the PS5, although this is a game being remastered to fill in for the slight lack of launch titles the system has. Slight, not complete.

Next was Oddworld: Soulstorm. Next

Next was FNAF 8. Next

Next was Demon’s Souls. A game that was released in 2009 being brought back in 2020. For 70 dollars on launch. Next

Next was Fortnite. Don’t care.

If it isn’t obvious, my emotions were slowly getting negative not only in this article, but when I did my live reaction to this event. Four games in a row was a game I never grew up with, a franchise that should’ve died after the fourth game, an 11 year old game, and a game that 11 year olds play. My mood pretty much plummeted to this level in the reaction, because now I became disinterested in wanting to buy a PS5, and my opinions on it were beginning to get negative.

Also there was a Harry Potter game that was shown, which was pretty nifty, although I’m not a fan of Harry Potter for the reasoning being that I never read the books or the movies because Diary of a Wimpy Kid existed for me, but it’s nice to see that there’s a game out there for the Harry Potter fans.

Sony then made a response to the Xbox Game Pass, that being the PS Plus Collection, which is also interesting to see, since I own the Game Pass myself.

We then got the price for the PS5, and folks, the price is not right. So it’s 500 for it, and 400 for the digital model, and I’m not saying that’s a bad price for a console, but in a gaming standpoint, half or most of the games that were shown in this event, you can play on PC, or it’s gonna be on the Xbox Series X as well. And if you’re a PC owner, there’d be no point in owning a PS5 if half of the games shown are coming to PC anyways. It just fell flat as hell for me, and that’s worrying, because I was hoping the day would come that I take the shot in the dark and buy a console day one, but I think I may be skipping out for a year or two, and focus my money on continuing to build my PC/Streaming rig for the time to come until something of interest interests me to purchase this console.

And lastly, we got a teaser for God of War: Ragnarok, which I’ll admit, will be very interesting since the recent one that came out was critically acclaimed.

But the true MVP of this entire event was the GoPro HERO 9, because before the event even started, I saw a recommendation for it while waiting for the stream, and I was far more excited for a small little camcorder, than an entire console. Yes, there’s actual footage of me getting distracted to watch that advertisement, and yes I’m tempted to buy one.

But in all seriousness, this PS5 event felt like a bit of a disappointment. I didn’t feel excited to want to buy a PS5, let alone be excited for any sort of competition with the PS5 or the Xbox, when this whole competition has devolved from a console war, to a brand loyalty war that has been stale and annoying throughout the Eight Generation of consoles. As we prep for the 9th, it doesn’t look good for either Xbox or the PS5, as it just feels like we’re purchasing paperweight at this point, and buying the consoles for their brand exclusives, rather than for the games they have to offer to pull us in.

I’m not interested in the PS5 at all, nor am I interested in the Xbox, and that makes me concerned about what the future of consoles will come to be by the end of the 9th.

A Look Back On Sakura: The Chunin Exams

Every anime and manga series has a variety of characters that fans love and hate. Each of them go through different levels of character development. Unfortunately, there are also a handful of characters that receive an unnecessary amount of hate. It gets to the point where other fans expect you to hate the character, without giving a valid or even justifiable reason why. One of these unfortunate characters is Sakura Haruno from Naruto.

I still remember when I discovered the series in its original manga form. It was at least a year after a friend showed me the first two or so episodes of the anime. At the time, I loved each character that I met and it was great meeting some fellow fans that went to the same school. Unfortunately, there were comments made that conditioned my opinions on Sakura. It became worse over time as I came across media that supported these negative comments. “Sakura is completely useless!! She literally does nothing to contribute to the series!! Why is she still in the series? They should just kill her off.” Soon, I began to agree with them and hate Sakura, despite the clear as day moments where her character developed. Thankfully, over time, I was able to cleanse my mind of those thoughts and re-examine everything with a clean slate. This is where this article comes into play, it is my analysis on Sakura’s character developement throughout the Chunin Exams.

The Written Exam

While there wasn’t much-involving character development, I did notice some instances where her attitude towards Naruto improves. For those that aren’t familiar with the series, Sakura generally gives Naruto the cold shoulder and can be aggressive towards him, all because she finds him annoying. However, just for a moment, when things look bleak with the chance of the team failing the exam, Sakura mentally shows compassion. Sure, there were a few moments where she mentally puts him down for not being academically smart, but this one moment did something. In any other situation, she would let him have it for making the team fail at any type of mission. Instead, she mentally tells him that it’s okay to give up, that they can always try again next year. Sakura showed that she was prepared to go down with him and no one would blame him. Heck, when Naruto straight up said that he wasn’t going to quit (which somehow led to them passing on to the next test), she cheered him on with praises. This is one of the rare moments where the viewers/readers are shown that Sakura doesn’t entirely hate Naruto and does feel a shred of respect for him. An interesting, yet unsurprising fact that I discovered, was that she’s smart enough to tackle some of the most difficult questions without cheating. And the whole point of the written exam was to cheat or gather information about the questions from the others…without getting caught.

8 reasons why Sakura is a total badass | Anime Amino
Sakura filling out the questions on the written exam.
Photo from aminoapps.com

The Forest of Death

If the written exam part of the Chunin Exams showed her levels of academic intelligence, the Forest of Death showed her ability to survive when the odds were against her. Sure, if Sasuke wasn’t so keen with catching on to everyone disguised as Naruto, things would’ve gotten significantly worse. However, this also taught her to not be too trusting of others. As time passed on in the forest, there came a point where Sakura had to take a stand to protect both Naruto and Sasuke. The team came face-to-face with an unexpected enemy, who would later play a big role in the series, that was too much for all of them. Even after an epic fight between this villain (later revealed to be former Hidden Leaf Village ninja Orochimaru) and Sasuke, Sasuke was over powered and given the Cursed Mark. Despite feeling helpless and terrified (in an incredibly real way), Sakura stood her ground and did everything in her power to make sure that nothing happened to the boys until they woke up. What became the next test of her abilities, was when a team of three ninjas from the Hidden Sound Village ambushed them in order to fight Sasuke. Obviously, Sasuke was in no condition to do anything, let alone fight. Fortunately, Sakura was able to set up some clever and well-constructed traps, and even when those traps didn’t work, this girl stood her ground. Sure, she was terrified and didn’t know what to do next, but she stood her ground.

Sakura Blossoms! | Narutopedia | Fandom
Sakura “let’s go” of her hair.
Photo from naruto.fandom.com

When Rock Lee appeared to defend her, she could’ve taken this moment as an opportunity to grab her teammates and run (or even run to save her own skin), but she stayed. Even after the Sound ninjas’ took Lee down and she was once again next, Sakura fought with everything she had. What never ceases to amaze me was how she, with zero hesitation, cut her hair with a kunai knife while it was being used to make her submit to the enemies. Sakura’s hair was one of the things about herself that she took great pride in growing and keeping healthy for years. It gave off a vibe where she was willing to let go of something that she believed would raise her chances of being with her crush. Sure, Sakura doesn’t give up her crush on Sasuke, but it definitely showed that some sacrifices have to be made, and her hair was one of them. After that, she fought at least two of the three sound ninjas BY HERSELF and took every punch they (and kunai knife) threw at her like a champ. It got to the point where she was fully prepared to give her life away to protect Naruto and Sasuke, which isn’t something you see every day. Here’s the thing that made this whole scene so powerful: Sakura is fully aware that she isn’t as powerful as Naruto and Sasuke, but she was prepared to face what she did and she did it while staring death in the face. After she and some fellow Leaf Villiage ninjas get pummeled, Sasuke wakes up and goes on a cursed mark rampage. While everyone else is standing on the sidelines watching him destroy one of the Sound ninja, Sakura, with no hesitation, runs over and holds him back. This simple, but courageous action was what snapped Sasuke out of it. Honestly, this is one of the bravest things I’ve seen her do at her age, even I wouldn’t have had the courage to do what she did. And at the end of it all, she thanks Rock Lee, someone she found a bit annoying at first, for going all out to protect her and her team. In all honesty, The Forest of Death section of the Chunin Exams is where a huge chunk of Sakura’s character development blossoms.

May be an unpopular opinion, but part 1 Sakura during the chunin exams who  had almost zero fighting experience or abilities fought better than current  Sasuke versus Urashiki (so far at least) -
Sakura fighting back against the Sound ninja.
Photo from reddit.com

The Preliminaries

While Sakura spends most of the time watching from the sidelines in this part, she still shows a good amount of growth during her fight with childhood friend and rival: Ino. The fight between these two shows not only more of Sakura’s fighting skills, but also allows us to see her becoming more independent. Back when they were kids, Sakura would always rely on Ino to protect her from bullies and to be her main source of self-esteem. By fighting to beat her, Sakura wants to show Ino that she’s not the same little girl. And in a way, she does. Sure, the fight ended in a tie, but Sakura didn’t hold back her punches. Even when Ino hit her with her signature Mind Transfer Jutsu, Sakura, through her powerful inner strength, pushed Ino out. When the two are brought to the sidelines (after their fight ends), Ino acknowledges Sakura’s strength by telling her that she has bloomed into a flower. This is a statement that I whole-heartedly agree, Sakura has bloomed into a beautiful flower, but one that also has plenty of thorns. After this nice exchange of words, Sakura and Ino make it clear that they’re still rivals (when it comes to winning Sasuke’s heart), but now they have more respect for each other. Even when they make small talk about their fight, Sakura doesn’t rub it into Ino’s face how she beat her jutsu or even the number of punches she hit her with. While we haven’t seen too many fight scenes involving Sakura (before the Chunin Exams), this scene shows that she is capable of being a good winner and accepting of her losses (even if she’s disappointed with losing).

Top 10 Inner Sakura Moments From Naruto | CBR
Sakura’s inner self rejecting Ino’s Mind-Transfer Jutsu
Photo from cbr.com

Conclusion

All-in-all, Sakura’s character development, whether you think it did anything for her or not, was still quite something to see. The Chunin Exam arc offered a number of moments for her to grow and develop into the character she is now. Not only the Chunin Exams, there are a good number moments later in the series where she strives to be a better ninja and gain more useful abilities. Even if you still don’t like her after these moments, that’s perfectly fine. As long as you give valid reasons for not liking Sakura’s character, you can hate her as much as you want to. All I ask, is that you let any new fans to Naruto asses her character through their own eyes. If you don’t and push your own opinions about her, then they’re going to expect themselves to hate her without giving her a chance. All I have to say is: sometimes there’s more to a character than being “useless and annoying.” If you only use those characteristics, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss out on some important moments. Sometimes the character will acknowledge that they’re useless and use that to improve themselves. So the next time you first think about how a character is annoying or useless, think about Sakura and her greatest moments of character development. Now that I’ve shared my thoughts on Sakura and her character development, I want to know your thoughts. Feel free that share your thoughts in the comments below. The only other thing I ask of you is to respect everyone’s opinion, even if you disagree with their reasons. Until then, this is CuriousCat-13: signing off.

Sakura Haruno • Naruto • Absolute Anime
Picture to be used as the thumbnail photo.

NOW I’M MOTIVATED!- Vergil announced for Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition.

[Spoilers for the game. Honestly, why haven’t you played it yet?

We all saw this coming.

If you have ever been a fan of a certain franchise that revolves around killing demons, cheesy one-liners, and loads of pizza there’s only one thing on your mind: “More. I need more power!”

God Tier Logo.

Devil May Cry 5 released March of last year and was considered to be one of the best action games of this generation. It was a return to form after the lackluster fourth installment and the misguided attempted reboot. Dante was back and more stylish than ever. The game allowed players to play as three characters: The Son of Sparda, Dante; The angsty yet charming, Nero; and mysterious newcomer, V. Capcom delivered an action game jam packed with content and replay value that it earned their fans’ trust back– dubbed as Capcom’s “Redemption Arc.”

There was, however, one thing missing: Vergil.

Pineapple on pizza? Foolishness, Dante. Foolishness.

Dante’s power-hungry twin was the big bad at the end of Devil May Cry 5. His big return would prove to be a big step for his character development, finally settling his feud with his brother. And fans dig it. So much so, that they wanted to play as the Son of Sparda in game.

It has become a tradition for every Devil May Cry game to release a Special Edition after some time. Its big selling point tends to always be the same, more content, and playable Vergil. It’s been like this since Vergil made his first appearance in the third installment of the franchise. (I’m not counting Nelo Angelo’s appearance in DMC1). Playable Vergil was almost a guarantee, but some fans have gone ahead and modded playable versions of Vergil into their games months after the game’s release. Some people just can’t wait…

At Sony’s PS5 reveal event held on September 16, Capcom unveiled the long awaited Special Edition of DMC5, with a new Legendary Dark Knight mode difficulty setting and, of course, Vergil as a playable character.

I’m assuming that’s his battle theme… It’s badass!

He looks absolutely amazing in game! He comes complete with all the familiar moves like Spiral Swords, and Judgement Cut. It also seems that he’ll be given his Doppelgänger Stand–er, Style– which summons a clone of himself to maximize damage. It also appears that he can turn into V for a brief time. My guess, it’s his version of Dante’s Sin Devil Trigger.

Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition will be released as a launch title for the Playstation 5. Special Edition will also be made available for PS4, Xbox, and PC, at a later date.

I can hardly wait…