The 3DS: your mobile entertainment hub for when you’re sick

Waking up at 4 AM with the stomach flu is never fun, but when I’m experiencing catastrophic abdominal pain and confined to my bed, I know I can always count on my Nintendo 3DS to carry me through the day! And why, do you ask, is the 3DS so useful for when I’m sick? It’s simple: it’s the mobile hub everyone wants!

My revelation about the wonders of the 3DS came to me this morning when I woke up and its bright screen was glaring at me, ready to play the next episode of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. I thought to myself, “I can lay here and just continue to watch How I Met Your Mother, and I would never have to turn over to grab the remote and turn on my TV.” It hit me then: when I’m sick, moving around = bad, and with the 3DS in hand(s), I can play games, watch Netflix, and even browse the Internet without really moving at all. If it had a thermometer and a way to dispense food I’d never need another device again!

And when it comes time to bring myself out of bed and to the kitchen or the bathroom, my 3DS comes with me. That means when I’m feeling nauseated or hungry, my 3DS can sit neatly in view, allowing me to enjoy Netflix while also fighting nausea or microwaving a nice bowl of chicken noodle soup.

In conclusion, next time you’re sick, grab your 3DS and download Netflix (and if you don’t have Netflix, get Netflix) – you won’t be disappointed.

Just sayin’

REVIEW: Soul Eater

Fools!

A couple weeks ago, before school started, I decided to try to start watching anime again. While I haven’t started anything recently, I did manage to power through an anime I’ve been meaning to watch thanks to the godlike powers of Netflix: Soul Eater. Don’t worry, the English Dub is good! I’m starting to really appreciate Funimation and the effort they put into making English dubs great. Anyway, onto the review!

Background: Fool!

This is pretty straightforward – there’s an academy run by Death to help prevent evil (known as Kishin) from coming to the world. To do this, a human Meister and their weapon partner (a human that can transform into a weapon) must collect 99 Kishin Eggs (souls that are on the verge of becoming a Kishin soul), and 1 Witch Soul. Only then may that weapon become a Death Scythe and allow Death himself to use them.

Maka and her weapon, Soul, are two such students of the academy, and are very close to turning Soul into a Death Scythe.

Animation/Art: Fool!

The animation is very Halloween, and I liked that about the show since it ties in so well with the theme and characters. I never once saw a reduction in quality, and the battle scenes are very well-done. I think my favorite art aspects of the show are the sun and the moon, which are shown as being living things (they even have the moon bleed when there’s death, which I think is really awesome). There’s a very surreal look to it all, and I kind of wish I had watched it near the end of October.

Music: Fool!

The music was…OK. There’s one opening theme and two ending themes I really enjoyed, and during the show the battle music and other music was just OK. Nothing really stood out and really caught me.

Plot Direction: Fool!

The plot, while looking very simple at first, soon grows very complex, and I liked that it never jumped too far whenever it decided to. And most of the direction of the plot stems from the characters themselves, which is always a big plus in my book. The only iffy part to me is the ending, where they suddenly pull out all this plot-changing stuff that was never really touched on in the series. And, in the end, they do nothing to help the characters achieve their goals.

Character: Fool!

I really enjoyed most of the characters in Soul Eater. Many of the characters (Maka, Soul, Dr. Stein, Crona, Death the Kid, to name a few) all grow and change. Some stay the same, but are understandable (Liz, Patty, Death, Spirit). And then there’s Excalibur, the worst character to exist since Ryou in Clannad. Most of the characters are great. They all change, some of them who don’t facilitate the change in others well, and with so many characters in the series, it’s really quite impressive they were able to pull off the amount of change they did without leaving anyone out. I was a little disappointed with Black Star, but he does change, even if it’s miniscule.

Did I mention Excalibur is bad? I hate him. Although, I have to say, they got the perfect voice actor for him.

Animation/Art: 9/10

Music: 5/10

Plot Direction: 7/10

Character: 9/10

Final Score: 7/10

Just sayi-(Fool!).

REVIEW: Howl’s Moving Castle

This movie is good for ONE REASON ONLY:

Christian Bale Bird Man!

Bird Man - played by Christian Bale

Oh yes, Christian Bale becoming bird man. It’s the only explanation!

I lied, there’s two reasons:

BA scarescrow

The most bad ass scarecrow to have ever existed...

But, seriously – continuing the Miyazaki trend, I recently watched Howl’s Moving Castle. Did you know that Miyazaki throws in sub-themes as casually as strolling into a party where jeans and a t-shirt at a business casual event? Neither did I, and because Arrietty was my first of Miyazaki’s films, I was under the impression his other works would be a little more sensible.

Now, I can take chaos. The movie’s premise of a girl who feels old, ugly, and incompetent and being cursed to reflect her mood is an enchanting premise, and I was really enjoying the movie for a while as we explored Howl’s gigantic moving ‘castle’ and its ability to warp doorways was awesome.

Then came war.

Now, a funny little note here is every single time (and I mean every. Single. Time.) the characters talked about war or we saw war happening, my friend would turn to me and say, “Hey, Kappy, did you know this movie’s about war?”

As annoying as that may seem, it was funny to me because it felt like the concept of war was literally shoved into the movie as a skeleton to the plot being driven by Sophie (I think that’s the spelling) and Howl. Was war really what the movie was about? It shouldn’t have been, but in the end it was.

I applaud Miyazaki for trying to weave a story of two who belittle themselves and are cowardly and, in the end, confront their problems head-on with war being the wrong solution to problems, but was that supposed to be a metaphor for how we as people need to confront our problems head-on with discussion instead of duking it out? Maybe, but if so, it was executed poorly.

We would go from a scene with Sophie to towns and villages being destroyed and Howl just flying around destroying battleships. Um, OK, great. Why? Why was the war even there? How did it start? Why was Howl summoned by both sides?

Let’s move onto something a little more positive: the voice acting and characters. Here’s where this movie really shines. Disregarding any lines about war, the characters develop wonderfully. Being able to actually see Sophie come to terms with her feeling old and weak was incredibly powerful. The supporting cast really helps move things along, and that living scarecrow is easily the greatest character in film history. There, I said it. I loved that scarecrow. It was funny, but really helped Sophie grow, and I thought that was awesome.

Talking of characters, let’s talk about the voice acting. Since I watched it on Netflix, I listened to the english dub, and I was once again impressed by it. Especially Howl, who was voiced by none other than Christian-fucking-Bale. That’s right, Christian Bale voiced Howl in this movie, and damn does he sound good when not talking like Batman!

And how can I forget the gorgeous visuals? The animation and art were, simply put, stunning. Panning across the sky or an open lake was 10-12 seconds of delicious eye candy, and a few of the scenes (specifically when they ‘moved’) were animated really nicely.

All in all, this movie was good. There were some things I think it could have done much better concerning execution and the development of their sub-themes, but other than that, everything was great. I’m excited to watch more of Miyazaki’s work!

Rating: 7 out of 10

Also the concept of Christian Bale turning into a bird man is hilarious.

And credit to the photoshopped photo of Christian Bale goes to my friend Jacob (Xyless)!

Just sayin’.