First things first: I finally have Pikmin 3. Take a guess as to when it arrived. Just guess. Done? It arrived today. That’s two full weeks after I ordered it. That’s bullcrap is what that is. Regardless, I’ve been playing it for a little while, and I can already tell I’m going to fall in love with this one. I especially love the feeling of walking around in some sort of garden. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a video game that’s so appreciative of simple nature’s beauty. I think it’s the art and the graphics that really make it work. I’ll keep you posted as I get further in.
For now, there was something else I wanted to recommend to y’all. And it couldn’t be further removed from Pikmin if you tried. You may remember I devoted one of my –isms to Attack on Titana while ago. Immediately after that, I got a whole slew of recommendations for other anime series I should watch. I took a lot of you up on your offers to various degrees, but the one I got sucked into more than any other was Deadman Wonderland, which I just finished this week. Big thanks to PKFire!
- As any good anime should, it has a kickass opening.
The premise of the show is that the main character, Ganta, gets his entire class brutally murdered by a powerful and fundamentally creepy entity he calls “the Red Man”. To make matters worse, Ganta is framed for the murder and sent to the only privately-operated prison in Japan: Deadman Wonderland. Here the inmates engage in all kinds of shows for the amusement of the paying public. While a lot of these shows are relatively harmless, almost like circus acts, there is definitely a shady underside to this particular slam. Ganta gets up close and personal with this ‘shady underside’ when he finds out he has a strange power. Once the wardens find out about this power, Ganta is transported to the secret Sector G, where he is forced to fight to the death against others with the same power as him. And to top it all off, it turns out that the Red Man is also somewhere in Deadman Wonderland. The only help he gets in all of this is from his forgotten childhood friend, Shiro.
That’s about as much as I can share about the plot without going into spoiler territory.
I would describe Deadman Wonderland as Hellsing meets The Running Man. If any of you have read/watched Hellsing (you should) you’ll be well aware how dark and gory it is. Deadman Wonderland is at least as dark and gory, perhaps even more so. In fact, blood itself is actually a vital element in the story. Most importantly, the strange powers I mentioned above all function using blood. Everyone who has a “branch of sin” (the name of this power) can go full-on Waterbender, but only with their own blood. What’s fun is that each character has a different style of bloodbending: Ganta uses what is later dubbed the Ganta Gun, and basically involves him shooting blood-hadokens. Which, if you have any kind of medical knowledge, sounds like a fundamentally flawed idea (it kind of is). Another character, Senji, goes the much more badass route of slashing open his arms from wrist to elbow and bloodbending giant blades from the wounds. Another character has blood-whips, yet another is able to bloodbend floating mines (including explosion), and yet another summons a poisonous blood snake.
- Senji is definitely my favorite character
Besides the inherent awesomeness of watching characters fight with all sorts of blood-related powers, I also find their personalities to be incredibly interesting. Long story short, over half of the cast is completely insane. And I don’t mean that they’re a little ‘out there’. They are fucking insane. Deadman Wonderland is still a prison, after all, so almost all of the people here have their fair share of murder on their records, and it shows. This may sound strange, but watching the different varieties of crazy is almost as interesting as the varieties of bloodbending. For every significant character who just so happens to be batshit insane, the show helpfully provides a flashback to explain how they got that way, and takes care to squeeze out every single drop of crazy. For example, one character was severely bullied as a teenager, but when he realized how much joy his bullies were getting out of it, he got convinced that the world’s happiness functions according to Newton’s third law: action equals reaction. So if one person becomes extremely unhappy, the rest of the world must logically become happier as a result. Take this notion to its extreme and you’ve got a serial killer on your hands, one utterly convicted that he’s doing the world a service. There’s tons of characters much like this one, and each has some sort of messed up philosophy which led to him or her becoming the killer we see in Deadman Wonderland. It’s fascinating, really.
And of course, as obligated by anime law, Deadman Wonderland is absolutely filled with the crazy-face. You know the one. Messed up eyes, terrifying smile? That. There’s a lot of them I can’t show you due to spoilers, but this one will do:
- The Red Man doesn’t even need the eyes.
All in all, I really enjoyed this anime. I mentioned before that I love shows that get dark and disturbing, and man does Deadman Wonderland deliver on that front. I haven’t even told you the half of it. I don’t know why, but that shit just gets me mad hooked. Pair that with some cool superpowers, and you’ve got a show that’s worth watching for anyone who doesn’t get turned off by blood and gore. One word of warning though: the anime only has 12 episodes, and it doesn’t have the complete story. It has about one-third to half of the manga, and then it stops. It has some sort of ending, but it feels more like the ending to an arc than the ending to the series. As far as I know, there are no new episodes planned, so if you want the complete story you’re going to have to read the manga. Even some of the characters I mentioned above are manga-only. Still, the anime is well worth checking out to get a feel for the series, and if you like it you can always get into the manga later. That’s what I did, at least.
And while I slip ever deeper into otaku-dom, let’s get capping!
I also want to thank Sotanaht for the Steins;Gate recommendation. I’m watching that currently, and even though it started a little slow, I’m really getting invested in it now. Don’t be surprised if next week’s Shadeisms are going to be Steins;Gate related. In the mean time, keep those recommendations coming!
May you always find water and shade
Villains in all media, not just video games, can end up being a dime a dozen. Far too often, a villain's motives boil down to "I am a bad, and so I do bad things. Fear me." While this format has worked for countless stories, at this point in my life (the ripe old age of 20) Iâ€™ve become jaded and grumpy, finding myself rolling my eyes when I see yet another antagonist wreaking havoc with no background or reasoning presented as to why theyâ€™re being such a butthole.
Whatâ€™s far more interesting to me is when a villainâ€™s motives or actions come across as justified, perhaps leaving you rooting for them to defeat the protagonist [insert Elder God Tier villain meme here].
My favorite example of this would be Meruem from the Chimera Ant arc of Hunter x Hunter. While he doesnâ€™t necessarily fit the exact mold I laid out above, heâ€™s easily one of the most dynamic and curious villains Iâ€™ve ever come across. For the sake of not spoiling what is perhaps one of the most exciting, action-packed, and tear-inducing arcs in anime history, I wonâ€™t delve into the details of what makes Meruem so great. Instead I encourage anyone who hasnâ€™t seen Hunter x Hunter to set aside some time and plow through the series. Really, itâ€™s that good.
But hey, thatâ€™s just how I feel. Iâ€™m sure there are folks out there who prefer their villains to be simple. If I ever met one of these theoretical people I might have a panic attack, but Iâ€™ll deal with that should the time come. Iâ€™m sure after some deep breaths we would get along. Maybe we could even snuggle, should my husband allow such an event to transpire.
All said and done, we arrive at the topic of this monthâ€™s Bloggers Wanted: Villains that did nothing wrong. Due to communication errors, this entry in the hallowed halls of Bloggers Wanted is a tad late. Regardless, all you have to do is head over to the Community Blog section of the site, and whip up a Cblog about a villain who you feel was secretly the good guy all along.
Current Community Contests
LOL nope desu~
B- Bloggers Wanted
C- Community Contests