A Brief Overlook | Chrono Cross

Crossing the Ocean

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

Out of all the JRPG’s I’ve played on the PS1, Chrono Cross may be the most brilliant and strange. In a console library dominated by classics from the genre, the game stands out among the rest by just being so, well, bizarre. As a sequel to Chrono Trigger you’d expect something more traditional, a title hoping to live up to the soaring heights of its genre defining predecessor. But the game itself is anything but typical, featuring a battle system unlike any others before or since, and a story that seemingly tries to make things confusing. When you look up anything about the game’s endings, you’ll find that most search bars will bring up Chrono Cross ending explanation as a secondary option. The game is a puzzle to say the least.

And yet, in spite of how obtuse it can be, whether it be because of the massive exposition dumps that dominate the game’s latter half, or the strange logic of its multi-dimensional mechanics, I can’t help but love it. Because at the end of it all, when you look past the Dragon Gods and supercomputers called FATE, Chrono Cross has a very well thought out message. Continue reading

Anime Lookout | Spring 2017

Yikes, it’s been a while! Hey everyone. I know that I usually release at least one post in between these big seasonal preview guides, but, as you can probably tell, that plan hasn’t been working out recently. I’m currently in the middle of a big semester at school, and I’ve been swamped with a large project that’s still hanging over my shoulder. That being said, I’m nothing if not consistent (at least with this series), so even though I’m way behind on all my winter shows, I’m going to watch a bunch of spring premieres anyways!

As I’ve said in previous Anime Lookout rambles, spring seasons tend to be my least favorite anime wise. Even though a lot of anime is released during this time of the year, I’ve never found it to be particularly interesting. Occasionally there will be something really outstanding in the mix, but for the most part, I find that I tend to lay low during this time of the year. However, there are a lot of high profile shows this season, from long awaited sequels to shows like Attack on Titan, to more prestige titles like the Eccentric Family. If nothing else this season is packed, so if it seems like I’m covering more shows than usual, that’s probably why.

Anyways, let’s not waste any more time with this preamble and get on with the show! Continue reading

Anime Lookout | Winter 2017

Once again, we’ve dawned upon the winter season, which also means there’s not a lot of anime to watch right now! Yep, though there have been exceptions in the past, much like the winter season of 2016, 2017’s first batch of anime outings is rather lackluster. I’m not sure why this is the case (I’m no expert on why anime air when they do), but it leaves me with few interesting shows to cover, and little to really care about. That being said, there are still plenty of solid offerings this season… In the form of sequels.

That’s right, even though I usually gloss over them, this season I’m covering some sequel premieres! Desperate times call for desperate measures, and boy oh boy am I going to try to deliver a full slate of write ups, no matter the cost. I hope you enjoy the post, and let’s get this show on the road! Continue reading

Anime Lookout | Fall 2016

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year since my first Anime Lookout post! Back then I wrote the Fall 2015 just to get something out on this site, and now it’s become the only consistent series I have (I have a Shelf Review in the works, I swear). A lot has changed since then, school’s gotten more intense, I had a summer vacation in Europe, and a bunch of photos got wiped from my media library (sorry about that). But that’s enough with the sentimentality, we’re here to talk about one thing and one thing only: season premieres!

The fall season has always been one of my favorites, both in real life and in the world of the anime industry. Fall is a time for big industry hits, but unlike the similarly populous spring season, the projects released during this time are a lot more willing to take risks. Shirobako, Kyousougiga, Concrete Revolutio, all of these amazing shows have premiered during the fall in my brief life as a seasonal chart watcher; and there have been quite a few changes in the North American licensing landscape to really help me dig into what this year’s final season has to offer.

Before the Crunchyroll and Funimation partnership that was announced last month, I had always been inclined to pass on Funimation shows that didn’t seem like must watches, but now that everything licensed by them is on Crunchyroll, I have no reason to be restrained. Combine this with Amazon Prime’s new streaming only subscription and Daisuki’s somewhat manageable player, and that means a lot more people have legal access to the show’s coming out this season. And as such, I took the plunge on everything I was remotely interested in! This is probably going to be a long post, so strap on your seatbelts on and get ready to not read this in one go, because you’re about to read a lot of rambling words. Let’s get this show on the road!

P.S. I would include impressions for Natsume Yujincho Go and Mobile Suit Gundam: IBO’s second season, but I’m still trying to catch up. If I do a follow up to this post at the end of the season, you can definitely expect them to be there. Continue reading

Anime Lookout | Summer 2016

So you may be wondering why this post is a little later than usual. Well, due to a long vacation in Europe I missed every premiere until this week. Not that I’m complaining, I mean Europe is pretty amazing. Still, I felt kind of guilty considering Anime Lookout is my only consistent post series, so I tried to watch as many shows I could without completely short circuiting my brain. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the post!

P.S. I would probably be complaining about Berserk’s CGI right now, but I still haven’t watched the first season. Continue reading

A Brief Overlook | The Wind Up Bird Chronicle

windup

Recently I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more. A few years ago, you would find me reading about 60-75 books a year, a number which seems absolutely baffling in retrospect. That would mean I would have consumed probably millions of pages each year, though it would have admittedly been made up of a lot of YA fodder and the occasionally more thought provoking Newbery award winners.

Still, I kind of miss those days. Being a writer, one of the most important thing I should be doing is reading, reading, and, well, reading. Consuming the works of other writers isn’t just a good way to absorb techniques, but it also helps you better understand what you like and don’t like to write about in your own fiction. Do you hate unsympathetic characters? Do you find certain stylistic quirks to be generic and/or annoying as hell? Then it’s safe to say you shouldn’t try to write using those tools.

So with these efforts, I decided to finish up a book I started all the way back in July, aka Haruki Murakami’s seminal late 90’s classic The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I got into Murakami about two years ago with his most recent novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Many Years of Pilgrimage, which I learned about through the lovely folks on anitwitter. And while my roots with him are centered in my weebiness, my appreciation of his work is decidedly much more literary. Continue reading

Anime Lookout: Winter 2016

Wow, two seasons in a row… It’s a miracle!

That’s right everyone, I’m back for yet another generic aniblog post that covers random episodes from the new season. Exciting, isn’t it? Flaccid sarcasm aside though, I’m going to be quite honest when I say I had basically the lowest expectations going into this season. Besides a few anime with PRESTIGE written on their foreheads, most of the shows I watched this season were entirely on a whim, or for the sake of my lame curiosity (Why else would I watch SANZIGEN’s new show?). As such, I ended watching some real garbage, but sometimes that’s fun.

Considering this is the month my school finals are happening, it’s kind of nice to find an easy release for my frustration. I also went out of my way to talk about the best of the best, so if you’re here just to see what is good, don’t worry! You won’t have to wade through too much crap. Another tidbit I would like to point out is that I won’t be spouting off plot summaries here, so if you want one, click on any of the title links to get transferred to the series’ MAL page. Anyways on with the post! Continue reading