Alas, that's it for my weeks of doing nothing but watching tv shows. I'm back at work today, 5:30 wake-up call and all.
Looks like my summer vacation is...over.
(That's a Kingdom Hearts reference.)
Here we go, one last time. Things I revisited in the past week:
Two months ago or so, just before exams were about to start up, I bought the remastered HD version of Final Fantasy X/X-2, because of course I did. I developed a nice schedule of sleep - studying - gaming - more studying - more gaming - sleep, and after exams were over I spent some days doing nothing but playing FF X-2. Good times.
FF X was the first RPG I ever played, so it was very formative for me. I vaguely remember playing Street Fighter and Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. with my sister back in the day when the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64 were the height of technology, but yeah, FF X was the first game that was really important to me. I don't actually know how old I was back then, has it been 10 years yet? Or wait, Kingdom Hearts is already 10 years old, maybe it's been even longer...The point is, I was still really young. If memory serves correctly, my sister and I were both playing it at roughly the same time, but I know I spent a lot of time just watching my sister play. I was much more interested in seeing the story and the game play as opposed to playing (and thinking about the puzzles) myself. I have much more appreciation for playing myself these days, of course, but I'm still not big on puzzles, tbh. I make constant use of play-through guides.
I don't think I ever played X all the way through, but I did see the final boss fight and the ending at a friend's place. (Meeting this particular friend always meant 3-4 days of nothing but playing video games, it was awesome, she's the best.) The remastered version looks good, just the movement is quite jerky when compared to newer games, of course. There's less detail to the character models and so on, but you can't really expect more from the engine. The cut scenes are absolutely gorgeous though. Oh wow. They were always pretty, yeah, but I only ever saw them on our old, tiny-in-comparison CRT-TV. Never am I so glad to have bought a huge, shiny flat screen as when I'm playing Final Fantasy games. *happy sigh*
FF X-2 is the game I've played more so far, because I've always had such a fondness for this game in particular and I've missed it (I've misplaced my PS2 copy, because there seems to be a rule in my life that I must always lose one game when moving rooms. First it happened with FF X, then when that reappeared in the next move, FF X-2 disappeared. Very strange.). I'm going for 100% completion, obviously, that perfect ending is the best thing about the game, at least for my happy-ending-craving shipper heart. I still have one chapter to go, though. And I'm really looking forward to the final boss, I remember really liking that fight.
While I'm going on about the series I might as well talk about the XIII games, because I UNAPOLOGETICALLY LOVE THEM. When FF XIII came out I was still in school and didn't have a PS3, so whenever I had a free period or two I would go to my sister's apartment and play it there. I only got my own copy very recently, actually. I should play it again from the beginning sometime. *avoids looking at pile of unfinished games* As for FF XIII-2, I'm not a big fan of that one. Definitely my least favourite in that series. The characters from the first game don't show up enough and the game play isn't interesting enough to make up for it. Really, the only really great thing to come out of FF XIII-2 is adult!Hope, who was hot enough to make me retro-actively start shipping Hope/Lightning in FF XIII, which in turn made me vaguely uncomfortable because of the age difference. Damn. Then there's Lightning Returns, which I bought back in March, right after I finished writing my Bachelor thesis and had a mini-break from classes, and then proceeded to play straight through in a few days. It's my favourite out of the three, in terms of graphics, story, game play (the fighting system! Dear god, I never expected to love it this much but I do!), everything. There's really only two things I wish they'd changed, then it would have been perfect: 1) After one play-through, unlock an option to play without the time limit and 2) HAVE HOPE GROWN UP AT LEAST DURING PART OF THE GAME, GOD, HOW UNCOMFORTABLE DO YOU WANT ME TO FEEL ABOUT MY SHIPPING CHOICES. C'MON. NOT EVEN ONE SCENE? /o\
Side note: wow, Final Fantasy really brings out the het shipper in me, doesn't it.
Ookiku furikabutte is so cute. SO CUTE. <3 Just...more so in the beginning. I finally caught up on the manga, and reading this many baseball matches without much Abe/Mihashi moments in between is just kind of...meh. Usually I appreciate the realism of Oofuri, but sometimes I get why other sports manga don't do this. And I didn't remember the art being quite this bad. <.<''' I also went back and watched the first couple episodes of the anime, and yeah, that's where it gets me right in the feelings. Just...the hand-holding, you guys. BEST. <3
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne:
Ooooh, another big one from my formative years. My sister really liked Arina Tanemura and got all her manga, and of course we both watched the Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne anime. I remember it a lot better than Sailor Moon, actually. Probably because I never read the Sailor Moon manga. Anyway. Arina Tanemura's style is still really cute, her clothes design especially. And her title pages! They're lovely, especially in colour. I was always fascinated by how she drew all the individual stands of hair. As for the story, it moves a lot faster than I thought! Maron and Chiaki find out about each other's identity after two volumes, I could've sworn the ~mystery~ went on longer than that. All in all it moves rather fast when compared to other magical girl stories, but the pacing is pretty good, not too much unnecessary stuff going on. And while Maron and Chiaki's relationship flip-flops around quite a bit, it's never enough to really annoy me - though that might be in part due to my nostalgia for the pairing.
The story and the art both show their age, and there are a couple of old shoujo clichés that made me uncomfortable. (Granted, I can't tell if they're still around in more recent manga because I don't really read shoujo anymore.) Because of those uncomfortable moments I was very pleasantly surprised by how she subverted the whole 'having sex makes you impure rar rar' thing. It was very sweet, and a good message. Same goes for Maron and Miyako's friendship, and how they put each other first despite the love triangle (that never really is a real one). Y'know, there really is a lot more to this series than I gave it credit for in my memory.
P.S. Access is still my favourite, aw yeah.
Let's be real, I am in a constant state of revisiting One Piece. After figuring out how to view the Japanese amazon in English, I've started ordering the summary logs, issues in Shounen Jump format that collect whole arcs of the manga. Why they don't get translated and published over here I will never understand, but since I want to get good enough at Japanese to read manga anyway, buying them in the original language gives me both an opportunity to practice and a goal. It's actually really good practice for reading kana more quickly, and since I know the story it doesn't matter that I don't know more than 50% of the words. Between reading a chapter of these once in a while and listening to all those drama CDs I downloaded lately, I really feel like I'm improving. :D
Yesterday's Haikyuu!! was hilarious, omg. Mostly because of Oikawa, of course. I didn't think I cared all that much about our resident trash king while reading ahead in the manga, but I absolutely loved him and Iwa-chan here. Their dynamic is just so much fun. As always, watching this anime is a great experience, because I get INCREDIBLY INVOLVED to the point where I just scream the characters' names at my laptop screen when they do something awesome. Last week it was Nishinoya's foot save, this week it was Kageyama and his glorious, glorious setter point. Ah~, this show is so good for me.
BTW, since I'm now apparently getting really into recognizing seiyuu's voices (why though?), I recognized Oikawa's seiyuu as Fai from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle! I really should've noticed that earlier, he's using basically the exact same voice, all breathy and...y'know, the way he talks, I can't even think of how to describe it. He also voices Hisoka in HunterxHunter, which I never would have guessed.
free! Eternal Summer:
Why did I wait so long to start in on this season? I've missed this show. <3 As with the first season, Rei (what a dork, omg <3) and Nagisa (thug seme, ehehehehe) are my favourites, and the episodes that focused on them were my favourites so far, obviously. EXCEPT FOR HOW THERE WERE NO HUGS. Seriously, there were so many prime hugging opportunities. As for the OP and ED, I've seen gifs of them all over my dash weeks ago, of course, but I really need people to reblog them again because I want them on my own tumblr. <.<''' Especially that one part from the opening, y'know, the one where everyone gets a shot where they look all cool with the dark background and their jackets flaring out and stuff? Because hnnnng, I really like that part, it looks so gorgeous.
Embarassaingly, when I started the first episode I was super confused for a moment because I have apparently become way too used to everyone's voices (and Haru's more extreme personality) in the free! abridged series, the awesome and hilariously titled 50% off. <.<''' Oh well. And, of course, I noticed another seiyuu, because that's a thing I do now. I recognized Rin's voice as that of Joker from Kuroshitsuji and Fushimi Saruhiko from K. Once again, that's what I get from listening to all tose Yata/Fushimi drama CDs...