First Impressions: Nobunaga the Fool

What I like about the Japanese is their ability to make an anime out of any particular topic may it be about mangaka or manga artists, sports (you name it, there’s likely an anime for it), cars, agriculture and even famous historical personalities. And the thing is that the plot of the anime is interesting and fun to watch. It’s hard to imagine that someone like me who’s not really interested in sports found myself watching Hajime no Ippo, which is an anime about boxing, or Slamdunk, which is an anime about basketball back when they were being aired locally.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“Choose your challenger”

More surprising is finding myself wanting to learn how to drive, particularly drifting because of Initial D which is an anime about car racing and the concept of drifting. In fact, I used to spend money just to become good in playing the Initial D arcade stage games that can be found in arcade centers in mall. Based from my experience I must say that the Japanese are consistently good when it comes to coming up with an interesting plot for any kind of anime subject they could think of.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“Wish I could drive like this guy”

But if there’s one particular subject that the Japanese are really good at, it is about how they portray historical characters. And one of the most commonly portrayed historical personalities in most of their history-based anime is Oda Nobunaga. For those who’re not familiar with him, Oda Nobunaga was the first to initiate the idea of unifying Japan under one rule in the late 16th century and ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in the year 1868.

Back when he was in his younger years, he would be found running around with the other youth of his age regardless of his status in society. Because of his eccentric behavior, he was commonly referred to as “The fool of Owari” or Owari no Outsuke”. When the first firearms in Japan were introduced, he was one of those rulers who developed a fondness for them henceforth you’d mostly see anime portraying him as someone who wields a gun rather than the usual katana.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

And the anime Nobunaga the Fool is perhaps one of those anime that’s able to closely portray the character and life of the famous ruler of Japan. Nobunaga the Fool is a story about two different stars in the universe; the West Star ruled by King Arthur, and the East Star which was divided into many nations, each amassing its own army in an attempt to conquer each one. The prologue of the story starts with events in each star taking place many years ahead of the start of the story; the first event shows an adult Nobunaga who’s looking over his palace in flames while being attended by a vassal who reports that a certain Akechi Mitsuhide betrayed him. Meanwhile in the west star; a blond girl who’s tied at a wooden stake looks up at the sky and pleads for God to hear her prayers before being burned at the stake by the authorities.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“Ain’t she cute?”

After this opening sequence, the narrator tells the origin of the West Star and the East Star as well as the start of a new era of heroes. The story start with a blond girl named Jeanne D’ Arc having a dream of being burned at the stake. While attending to her morning duties, a mysterious man wearing strange garments who calls himself Leonardo Da Vinci approaches her and hails her as the one who’s destined to travel to the East Star.

Meanwhile somewhere in the East Star, a young man by the name of Nobunaga was being awakened by his friend, Akechi Mitsuhide. Nobunaga tells his best friend of a dream where he saw a blond girl whom he wasn’t familiar with. Little did they know that their fateful meeting was about to take place as the story progresses.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“From that day onward, they called themselves, the Tres Darongas”

The setting of the East Star as well as the mecha (yes, there are mechs in the anime) being utilized by the soldiers reminds me of another anime entitled Samurai 7 which was based from an old Japanese film in the year 1954. I also find the portrayal of the other characters that were based on personalities in different parts of history really interesting like Leonardo Da Vinci being true to the real life personality who was an inventor, Magellan being a character who commands a ship travelling to the east.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

There’s even a character that was based on the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar as well as his friend, Brutus. What’s even more exciting is that they’re both members of Camelot’s round table who’s ruled by King Arthur, the king who unified the nations in the West Star. Also, for some reason, Jeanne’s role as well as her relationship with Leonardo Da Vinci, plus the tarot cards he lets Jeanne pick for divination purposes reminds me of another anime entitled Vision of Escaflowne. Though I wasn’t able to completely enjoy the latter anime, Nobunaga the Fool seems reminiscent of it.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

I also like the character designs and illustration, particularly Jeanne D’ Arc’s when she’s wearing her armor. Overall, the anime is very promising and I hope that the pacing of the story becomes better though based on the story’s prologue; I am guessing that the anime won’t be ending happily ever after but would end in a tragic manner. If you’re someone who enjoys watching anime where historical characters are being portrayed, I’d highly recommend Nobunaga the Fool for you.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“DAT ARMOR”

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: Reveling with a God

The prerelease is already this coming weekend and a lot of people are already getting excited to open their first Born of the Gods packs to see what goodies they’ll get. I, on the other hand, would not be able to participate in the upcoming events due to things that I need to take care of first. For the meantime, let me share my thoughts about one of the hyped cards in the set:

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Reveling with a God

Before the spoiler season, there were artworks from Born of the Gods that has been circulating online and people were talking about Xenagos, rising to godhood. I initially didn’t believe the idea because for one, Xenagos already has a card of his own.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Reveling with a God

Okay fine, there’s nothing in the rules of Magic: The Gathering or articles written by pro-Magic players or people working in the R&D that says this is not possible but. Ain’t it unfair?! While Jace Beleren doesn’t have a version of himself with a printed power and toughness! Wouldn’t it be great if all the planeswalkers would have a creature version of themselves like Xenagos?!

Ahem.

Moving away from my senseless rant which isn’t really a rant but just me overreacting, Xenagos, God of Revels’ ability is reminiscent to what Fires of Yavimaya offers.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Reveling with a God

It was back in the year 2000 where four decks having four copies of this card (with the exception of one deck only having three copies) burned the tournament down that was Pro – Tour Chicago. Though the deck didn’t take the top spot, four players took four of the top 8 spots using these decks namely, Jon Finkel, Michael Pustilnik, Zvi Mowshowitz, and Robert Dougherty. For reference, here’s a list of the deck:

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Reveling with a God

The main idea here is to ramp into fatties like Blastoderm and spells like Saproling Burst to create a strong board presence with the help of elves and birds. Normally, these spells wouldn’t be that much effective because they have a limited number of uses because of the fading mechanic. Having Fires online however negates this drawback and lets you take full advantage of these spells. This means that if the opposing deck is slow, then Blastoderms and an army of saprolings will devour the opponent relentlessly and mercilessly.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Reveling with a God

Having Xenagos, God of Revels online offers the same incentive and in fact does it better in a sense that the creature being blessed by the god grows twice as large. Though Xenagos may cost a bit higher as compared to most gods, he is in a color where playing a five CC creature on the fourth turn is common thanks to mana creatures like Elvish Mystic or Sylvan Caryatid.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Reveling with a God

Furthermore, with the number of gruul-colored permanents lying around, awakening Xenagos is not that difficult.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Reveling with a God

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Reveling with a God

So why is Nylea, God of the Hunt there? Because why not? If there’s another thing that you’d want your creatures to have, particularly those that are guided by the god of revels, it’s the ability to trample your opponents’ creatures. So what about Xenagos’s stats? Well, it’s a typical stat for a god though the only difference is that if you have enough permanents counting towards Xenagos’ devotion, then you can have the satyr god rampage right away and grow him into a 12/10 creature.

If your opponent doesn’t have the means to stop the ravaging god then it’s likely that it’d be a two turn clock or so for him. Having a Nylea on the battlefield will also ensure that the damage goes through in case Xenagos gets chump blocked by an elemental token or a Boros Reckoner for that matter.  Also, having a Ghor-Clan Rampager in hand and using it for its blood rush ability to strengthen Xenagos will likely end games on the spot. I tried brewing an G/R aggro and this is what I came up with.

G/R Aggro

Lands: 23

10 Forest

5 Mountain

4 Stomping Ground

4 Temple of Abandon

Creatures: 30

3 Boon Satyr

4 Elvish Mystic

3 Fanatic of Xenagos

4 Ghor-Clan Rampager

2 Nylea, God of the Hunt

3 Scavenging Ooze

3 Sylvan Caryatid

3 Xenagos, God of Revels

4 Witchstalker

Spells: 7

4 Domri Rade

3 Xenagos, the Reveler

As you’ve noticed, this isn’t your typical GR devotion or GR monsters build. The main idea here is to try to get through as much damage as possible with the help of cards like Nylea, God of the Hunt or Ghor-Clan Rampager. Furthermore, awakening Nylea is not something the deck wants to actively do since she doesn’t benefit from the trample she grants your creatures. On the other hand, having an awakened Xenagos, God of Revels is serious trouble for your opponent, not to mention that like all the other gods in the set, he’s indestructible.

Overall, Xenagos, God of Revels will likely impact the up-coming Standard format and people are already excited to play him. I am not much into playing big green monsters but then again, I wouldn’t mind having the god of revels on my side.

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Reveling with a God

First Impressions: Noragami

Noragami is about a god named Yato who seems to live a life of a drifter. He desperately looks for people whom he could provide his services to in exchanging for getting a five yen donation from them which he saves up in the hopes of eventually establishing his own shrine. One day, while undertaking a job which has something to do with a missing cat, a young female student, Ike Hiyori, saw Yato crossing the street to try to catch the cat he was looking for. When Yato was about to get hit by a truck, Hiyori instinctively rushed to his rescue and ended up getting hit by the truck instead.

First Impressions: Noragami

Surprised at what the young girl did for him, Yato used his powers to keep Hiyori alive. However, after the incident, Hiyori tends to fall asleep without her noticing which causes her spirit to come out of her body. From henceforth, she pleads Yato for assistance in helping her return back to normal. Together, they annihilate phantoms, malicious spirits preying on people’s weaknesses to keep the city peaceful.

First Impressions: Noragami

“Kids, don’t do this at home.”

And I must say that I find the plot and the theme of the anime palatable to my tastes. As I’ve mentioned in my previous articles, I enjoy watching anime of the supernatural genre, provided that they’re good and Noragami falls under such a category.  Though the premise of the story somehow reminds me of Shakugan no Shana’s plotline, Noragami has a lighter atmosphere when it comes to the plot. At the same time, I find the relationship of the main protagonists Yato and Hiyori cute as compared to the protagonists of the former even though there’s no hint of romance between the two. In fact, I don’t mind if Yato and Hiyori wouldn’t develop any feelings towards each other as the story progresses.

First Impressions: Noragami

“Destroyed.”

Another point of interest with regard to the anime is that Yato, as well as the gods in featured in the anime, arms themselves with Regalia or Shinki as the anime refers to it. Simply put, Regalia are uncorrupted spirits of mortals who are turned into divine weapons by gods in the story. These weapons are then used to annihilate malicious spirits who threaten the world of humans. With regard to the artwork, I find it decent and reminiscent to the artwork of a manga I used to read a long time back which was entitled “I’s” with the characters’ nose line not being emphasized. Of course, the anime wouldn’t be exciting without this kind of scenes:

First Impressions: Noragami

“Fanservice will never cease”

I also find the design for the phantoms cute and interesting in a sense that they’re really portrayed as entities that come in different shapes and forms. I guess the idea of the phantoms having a lot of eyeballs on their bodies is a bit creepy but I approved of such a conceptualization. Overall, I find the anime’s story more intriguing as compared to Kyoukai no Kanata’s plotline which I stopped watching after episode four. I do intend to watch it again but I don’t think it’d be anytime soon. The story’s pacing is acceptable so far as well as the introduction and development of the characters so I guess I don’t have any qualms about it in general.

First Impressions: Noragami

“Again kids, don’t do this at home”

I am looking forward to the following episodes and I hope that the story continues to get better as well as Hiyori getting more involved in fights rather than a character that needs to be saved. So if you’re looking for an anime under the supernatural genre then you may want to try this one.

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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First Impressions: Space Dandy

This is one of those newly released anime that I usually see getting uploaded in the sidebar of the Otakustreamers home page on a weekly basis (or so I think it is) and it was purely just because of curiosity that I found myself checking the synopsis of this anime. It was only until recently that I took notice that one of the genres that I enjoy watching would be sci-fi movies and the same applies when it comes to anime.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

Though I am not much of a fan of the mecha genre, I often find myself glued to what I am watching when the story revolves around a group of individuals who are adventuring in space or a protagonist who’s goal is to discover the secret of the universe or shows that have alien invasion themes. Hence, anime like Captain Harlock, Space Ninja Team Gatchaman, Tytania, and the like tend to get my attention. And this anime is no exception.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

“No, that’s not Lupin III. And No, that’s not a vacuum cleaner.”

I took the opportunity to watch it earlier this morning with my girlfriend, Liz, (who by the way just had her birthday today) as soon as she got to my place. Her first impression regarding the protagonist, who introduces himself in the anime as Dandy, reminds her of Lupin the Third. I took another glance and also noticed the similarities artwork wise and speaking of the artwork, I find it decent and fit my taste. I guess I tend to appreciate an anime displaying strong colors similar to Trigger’s Kill la Kill and SHAFT’s monogatari series.

The premise of the story is about Dandy who’s akin to a space bounty hunter.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

“No, not this kind of bounty hunter”

However, instead of hunting down criminals who have large bounties on their heads, Dandy hunts down the most unique alien specimens available.  I am honestly not sure how he gets his monetary reward in accomplishing such a task but yeah, that’s basically his job description. He searches far and wide throughout the endless space accompanied by an old model robot named QT (which I think is really “cutie”) and Meow, an alien who appears to be a cat of some sort with human intellect.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

“It’s called a Breastaurant. You’re welcome.”

What I like about the humor of the anime is the fact that the characters are breaking the fourth wall. For some reason, I am a bit of a sucker when it comes to this kind of narration. Also, the anime reminds me of an old anime that I used to watch in AXN many years ago entitled Galaxy Angels.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

“Would you want to be with these Angels?”

I also figured that the anime is episodic and lacks any sense of continuity after watching the first episode and I’ve yet to find out in the next episode if I am right about this hunch. Overall, if you’re looking for a sci-fi anime series to watch and aren’t particular about story plots and enjoy nonsensical humor then this anime is for you.

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

 

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Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: Ephara, God of the Polis

Ephara, God of the Polis was one of the first cards spoiled during the first week of the Born of the Gods spoiler season that I got my eyes on. At that time, I thought that it’d be better to wait for all the gods to be spoiled before I decide to write an article about them. However, I eventually decided to just write about the gods that I personally like as oppose to what I did in this article as change of pace.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Ephara, God of the Polis

“POLIS. Not the POLICE!”

The primary reason why I liked Ephara is because I enjoy drawing cards and her global ability allows you to do that, provided that you are able to fulfill her conditions.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Ephara, God of the Polis

What’s neat about this ability is that regardless of whose upkeep it is, as long as a creature entered the battlefield under your control during the previous turn, you get to draw a card. This means that if you have creatures with flash and you play them at the end of your opponent’s turn, you get to trigger her ability and draw an additional card during your upkeep.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Ephara, God of the Polis

Furthermore, having a Thassa, God of the Sea at such a time not only allows you to filter what you will be drawing thanks to the scry ability Thassa offers, but you also get to draw a card right away which is in addition to what you will be drawing during your draw step. On the other hand, adding a creature to the battlefield on your turn allows you to get more gas during your opponent’s upkeep phase in case he starts flinging spot removals on your creatures.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Ephara, God of the Polis

“You don’t want to mess with these ladies alright”

Suddenly, your creature spells become cantrips and in fact, Ephara’s ability isn’t limited to you casting creature spells. If for example you have a Heliod, God of the Sun in the battlefield and you used its ability to generate tokens, you still get to draw a card on the next turn’s upkeep. And this can actually make it difficult for your opponent to control the board through the use of spot removals and or sweepers since you are able to replenish your hand efficiently through the god of the polis’ help.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Ephara, God of the Polis

Let’s also not forget that she is a creature herself that you can potentially awaken provided that you are able to have enough permanents that add up to Ephara’s devotion requirements. Of course it’s easier to awaken Thassa or any other mono-colored gods but then again, there are a lot of permanents that can reliably add to Ephara’s devotion count such as the following:

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Ephara, God of the Polis

Take note that these permanents aren’t easy to deal with unlike with most permanents that have a printed power and toughness, not to mention that Ephara already counts two towards your devotion. In addition, Ephara, just like with any other gods, is indestructible and has respectable stats that can potentially decimate your opponent in a few turns if not dealt with. Her converted manacost is also reasonable though the four manacost slot in a blue white-based deck is really getting pretty tight.

To be honest, I’ve been having a bit of difficulty brewing a deck which sports the God of the Polis. My original idea was about a W/U deck with the King of Oreskos included in it and Precinct Captain. After that, I felt that Thassa was too good not to be included in such a deck so I tried to brew a Mono-Blue Devotion deck splashing white for Ephara and Detention Sphere.

UW Devotion

Lands: 25

2 Azorius Guildgate

2 Godless Shrine

4 Hallowed Fountain

9 Island

3 Mutavault

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

4 Temple of Enlightenment

Creatures: 31

4 Cloudfin Raptor

3 Ephara, God of the Polis

4 Frostburn Weird

4 Judge’s Familiar

4 Master of Waves

4 Nightveil Specter

4 Thassa, God of the Sea

4 Tidebinder Mage

Spells: 4

1 Cyclonic Rift

3 Detention Sphere

The list may seem off in a sense that we don’t have Jace, Architect of Thought in the main as well as the Bidents but then again, this is still untested. The Godless Shrines’ inclusion is a means to increase the chances of playing a third turn Nightveil Specter similar to what Tomoharu Saito did with the manabase of his Gruul Aggro. By including two Temple Gardens, he is able to increase the chances of being able to play a Boros Reckoner on the third turn.

The truth is that I want to thank Patrick Chapin for discussing Ephara and including a mono-blue deck list with Ephara in it because it gave me the courage to post my own version of the deck here. I was initially unsure if it’s a good idea to include Ephara in such a list since the manabase seems to lose consistency as compared to how the original Mono-Blue Devotion deck was doing. I guess the idea doesn’t seem ridiculous after all but then again, a lot of brews tend to look ridiculous at first until they start taking down tournaments.

For reference, here is the deck list that Patrick Chapin brewed:

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Ephara, God of the Polis

What I am interested in brewing as well is a UW deck utilizing the heroic mechanic. So far, here’s what I’ve come up with:

UW Heroes

Lands: 22

4 Azorius Guildgate

4 Hallowed Fountain

2 Island

4 Mutavault

4 Plains

4 Temple of Enlightenment

Creatures: 22

4 Battlewise Hoplite

2 Eidolon of Countless Battles

2 Ephara, God of the Polis

4 Fabled Hero

2 Heliod, God of the Sun

4 Hero of Iroas

4 Nyxborn Shieldmate

Spells: 16

2 Bident of Thassa

3 Detention Sphere

4 Ethereal Armor

3 Ephara’s Enlightenment

4 Stratus Walk

Okay, again, this list is untested and I am still deliberating the cards in the list and if you’ve noticed, the inclusion of the Bident of Thassa here is because of my penchant for drawing cards. Then again, it’s an enchantment which counts towards the Ethereal Armor’s bonuses. Furthermore, there are seven aura spells here that can make your creatures evasive which helps increase the chance of you being able to take advantage of the Bident’s initial ability. Also, getting a Fabled Hero through uncontested, using the Bident’s second ability is something worth considering.

Some of the cards that I considered but still unsure about are Artisan of Forms, Hopeful Eidolon, Gift of Orzhova, Brave the Elements, Retracting Helix, Gods Willing, Spear of Heliod, Chosen by Heliod, Fate Foretold and some more. For the meantime, here’s what I have but I still intend to polish this list and hopefully, I can come up with a decent one soon.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Ephara, God of the Polis

Overall, I am really hoping that Ephara would at least make an impact in the current Standard but only time will tell if she would. Regardless, she’s still one of my favorite picks for this season. How about you?

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

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Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods:  Ephara, God of the Polis

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: Vortex Elemental

I was suppose to write about my favorite BoTG god which is Ephara, God of the Polis but seeing that one of my favorite professional players, Patrick Chapin already discussing it’s advantages along with the deck lists that Ephara can fit into made me decide to put the idea aside. Not that I don’t plan to talk about her one of this days but for the meantime, let me talk about another card that I find interesting.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: Vortex Elemental

At first glance, this elemental creature doesn’t seem impressive since it’s primarily a defensive and reactive card, not to mention that it doesn’t have any good stats. So why did it get my attention? For one blue mana to cast and to activate, the elemental can deal with a lot of creatures regardless of their size. Is a Boros Reckoner heading your way? Put the elemental in front of it and then shuffle away! Hmm, how about an awakened, and angry Mogis, God of Slaughter about to pummel you? Yes, you can banish him back into Nyx or in this case, in your opponent’s deck.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: Vortex Elemental

Also take note that doing so also gets you to shuffle your elemental in your library for the potential of drawing it again at a later time and then being able to cast it again to keep away unpleasant threats from beating you down. The secondary ability of the elemental may seem too difficult to trigger but then again, it has its uses. If for example a Blood Baron of Vizkopa is threatening to chump block your only means of closing the game then what you could do is attack with the small elemental along with your other attacker and then activate the secondary ability of the elemental.

 Not only will this ensure that your other creature gets to bash the opponent in the face for the final points of damage but it also gets rid of your opponent’s sole defender in such a scenario. Also take note that your opponent wouldn’t be gaining any amount of life here since both the elemental and the vampire gets bounced back into their respective libraries before the damage resolution step.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: Vortex Elemental

“Baron won’t even have the chance to bear its fangs”

Of course this kind of scenario may be rare but it can happen. Other than that, the Vortex Elemental also has the “elemental” creature sub type which means….

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: Vortex Elemental

“The truth is that the Master ate some Mizu Mizu Fruit and is a Logia user”

It grows into a 1/2 creature the moment you put a Master of Waves into the battlefield. It may not be impacting but it’s good to know that the Master is able to strengthen your 0/1 elemental. Take note that the elemental also adds to Thassa’s devotion requirement. Another neat application of Vortex Elemental’s ability is that it can deal with creatures with hexproof since the wording of its first ability doesn’t state any target.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: Vortex Elemental

“Hexproof? What hexproof?”

Is that Reaper of the Wilds giving you a serious problem? Then block with your elemental and activate its first ability. Even the big bad wolf who stalks witches is not spared from the vortex that awaits it. The vortex will swallow creatures whole like a whirlpool hungry for ships and sailors. In fact, if you have a means to force multiple creatures to block the Vortex Elemental, you can drown all of them at once! It’s ambitious but not impossible.

Overall, I have a feeling that this card will see play as a sideboard in most blue-based strategies. The idea that it can deal with any creature just by simply blocking and paying one blue mana is very appealing to me and I won’t be surprised if you see 3-4 copies of this in various blue-based decks, especially those who play control. If there are players out there who dare play a Yoked Ox, then why not play a creature which does something nifty interesting to creatures it blocks?

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

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Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: Vortex Elemental

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

This anime was recommended to me by a good friend a long time back and if my memory serves me right, I wasn’t a member of Otakustreamers yet at that time. When my friend told me that the artwork of the anime was reminiscent to the American animation series Power Puff Girls, I gave my friend a look of disbelief at what he was telling me to watch. It’s been so long since I bothered watching American animation and frankly, I am not really a fan of how they do their animation these days. Today’s western animation’s stories as well as artwork are non-comparable to American animation back in the 80’s.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“The first ray-gun was discovered by Wyatt Earp’s Ghost in an episode of The Real Ghostbusters”

I can still remember those Friday nights wherein my family, relatives and I would gather in the living area to watch an episode of The Real Ghostbusters. The former would then be replaced by Stan Lee’s Uncanny X-Men a few years later, then followed by The Simpsons, the latter, which doesn’t have a continuous story but still an enjoyable American animation/sitcom to watch with the whole family. Nostalgia aside, my friend was able to convince me to watch the anime adding that it’s not your traditional comedy anime and sports a mature humor and showed me a random episode of the anime. And little did I know that the “mature” humor he was talking about goes way beyond the meaning of “general patronage”.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“Would you like her to be YOUR guardian angel?”

Panty and Stockings tells the story of the Anarchy siblings; Panty and Stockings (hence the title of the series), angels who fell out of God’s grace for practicing excessive lascivious behavior in heaven. They were banished from heaven down to Daten City (when pronounced in Japanese is a pun for Datenshi which means “Fallen Angel”) which is a place between Heaven and Hell plagued by creatures known as Ghosts. An afro-haired priest (who has a tendency to engage in homosexual activities) named Garterbelt who presides over a church is tasked in guiding the Anarchy sisters in collecting Heaven Coins to be able to return to heaven and only by defeating Ghosts in Daten City can they acquire the coins.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“This ain’t no powerpuff girls”

The anime was absolutely funny and I enjoyed every second of it. As to what my friend mentioned, the anime wasn’t intended for younger audience and contains mature and sexual themes, as well as intense profanity throughout each episode. On the other hand, mature viewers would surely enjoy the humor the anime offers, not to mention that there are mainstream culture references that people would surely recognize and appreciate.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“That ain’t no Megatron”

Each episode runs for fifteen minutes or so and what’s unique about the anime is that the artwork of the main protagonists revert to your usual anime artwork whenever they draw their heavenly weapons in preparation for defeating their enemies.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“And ain’t no Charlie’s Angels”

In addition, whenever they defeat a ghost, a real-life clip of a ghost figurine is shown to explode literally.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“Yes, this Ghost figurine”

Overall, Panty and Stockings is a very entertaining anime that will surely get you laughing in each episode. If you enjoy watching lewd anime and has a taste for strong profanity when it comes to humor then this anime is for you.

Thanks for reading

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

Imagcredits:

otakustreamers
fanpop.com
randomnessthing.com

Tips In Selling A Guitar For A New One

If you want to purchase a new guitar but you find it expensive, you can try selling an old guitar or trading it. If you decide to sell your used electric guitar, keep the following in mind:

Familiarity: It is important that you are intimately familiar with the product you are selling. At least know what model of the guitar that you are selling. Materials that are used to construct the guitar, if the surface of or cover of the guitar is laminated or not are just a few things that you should be familiar about.

Honesty: A lot of people who sells their guitar tend to keep damages and or flaws in the guitar unmentioned. But the thing is that if you would like to give a good impression to your buyers and be reputed as a good seller, it is important that you are honest about damages and flaws apparent in your guitar. If you need to have your guitar repaired then go ahead and do so before selling it. Just make sure that you adjust your price according to the current condition of your guitar.

Music: Guitars are designed to be played with a particular music in mind so make sure that you include it in your selling proposal.

And finally, keep in mind that selling a used guitar will take time but as long as you keep the above statements in mind, you will eventually be able to sell your guitar and buy that fender Starcaster aged cherry burst reissue at musicians friend.

First Impressions: Samurai Flamenco

I discovered this anime back when some people in a forum I’ve been hanging out at posted screenshots and images of scenes from this anime. But what made me more interested to watch it was the conversation in one particular scenario which talks about the existence of real superheroes in the real world. If I remember correctly, I asked my friends there if it’s a good watch and they recommended that I try watching it.

First Impressions: Samurai Flamenco

“This conversation”

After watching the first episode, I concluded that the anime falls under the slice of life genre with a bit of comedy and action though I was eventually proven wrong. The story revolves around a young man named Masayoshi, Hazama who has a strong sense of justice. He dons a superhero suit and calls himself Samurai Flamenco. Claiming to be a seigi no mikata, (which means “ally of justice”), he helps to reinforce the law by calling on those who break the law and making sure to rectify it through sheer force of personality.

First Impressions: Samurai Flamenco

And when I say law breakers here, this includes people who jaywalks, those who smoke in places where smoking is not allowed and or even young adolescents loitering late in the evening. Yes, we have the same initial reaction regarding the premise of the story. It’s quite funny but at the same time, the development of the story is very interesting that it didn’t take long for me to realize that I am eagerly anticipating the latest episode.

Another point of interest in the anime is Masayoshi’s catchphrase: “A hero will never give up, never hide, never be defeated, and will never accept evil.” A recurring theme in the anime is the concept of reinforcing justice in society even as small as not smoking in places where it isn’t allowed to smoke and throwing your garbage away at the appropriate time. Frankly, this is the first time I’ve watched an anime who shows the truth of what is really happening in society and how even the smallest rules are taken for granted and neglected.

First Impressions: Samurai Flamenco

The anime appeals to me because its story is not just about Masayoshi’s exploits in implementing justice on those who break the law but also about how his relationships with the people he meets in the story develops. In fact, it’s interesting to note that the first episode is about him meeting Goto, a local police officer in the district where Masayoshi lives who’s more realistic when it comes to approaching the concept of justice and what is right as oppose to Masayoshi’s ideal sense of justice.

Overall, I’d highly recommend watching Samurai Flamenco for those who’re looking for a fresh experience in the superhero genre. And the thing is that the anime doesn’t stop there and offers more as the story progress.

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

imagecredits:

otakustreamers
http://sumimasensei.files.wordpress.com/
http://genkinahito.wordpress.com/

P.S.

Oh, before I forget, I also love the opening theme of the anime.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: The King of Oreskos

It’s already the second week of the Born of the Gods spoiler season and so far, a total of 64 cards have already been spoiled out of 165 cards from the whole set as of this writing. And there are already a bunch of cards that I am already swooning over, hoping that I’d get to play with them soon. One of them would be the King of Oreskos, Brimaz.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: The King of Oreskos

It seems that Wizards of the Coast noticed that white seems to be having a difficult time in catching up with the other colors in the current format. If you haven’t noticed (though I am sure that you, faithful reader already did), white is the only color that has a devotion deck in Standard that didn’t have much impact in the metagame. Of course, this is not to say that playing white doesn’t have its merits. In fact, there are a lot of white-based aggro decks out there that can bring down a tournament. Orzhov aggro decks that rely on Thoughtseize and Sin Collectors to take away Espers means of destroying the white players’ armies (I am looking at you Supreme Verdict), and or Boros aggro decks that come out of the gates real fast supported by Boros Charm and Brave the Elements are common in every tournament.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: The King of Oreskos

“Answers”

With Born of the Gods around the corner, white is getting a lot of upgrades and one of those is the Brimaz, the King of Oreskos. When I saw Brimaz the first time, he reminded me of this card:

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: The King of Oreskos

“Are you ready boys?”

I personally like this card back then because it can single-handedly end a game if left unanswered. I used to board in this lady against midrange decks and or creature-dense decks back when I was still using UW Delver. Imagine, that’s already 7 power on the board if it goes through the player which means that it is a three-turn clock. This is not counting any other creatures you have in the battlefield that are inspired by the hero.

Brimaz on the other hand may not offer the same board presence as the heroine did when she was still legal in Standard but no creature will ever get past the king of Oreskos that’s for sure thanks to him being ever-vigilant. In addition, whenever he is assigned as a blocker, a soldier of his comes to his support to help take down any foe who dares try to trespass their territory. And take note that his loyal soldier is as keen as their king when it comes to those who’re trying to sneak past them.

In addition, Brimaz always go forth into battle supported by one of his loyal subjects. While the feline king doesn’t share the ability to inspire allies with a heartfelt battle cry like what the previous heroine was able to bestow on her comrades, he is blessed with the same body as the heroine in Mirrodin. However, what I liked about Brimaz in particular is his mana cost. For only 1WW, you will be able to call forth Oreskos’ King and this means that if you are playing first, you will be able to strengthen your board presence considerably and can swing for a good amount of damage before the opponent even plays a sweeper.

If there’s one drawback that Brimaz poses, it is the fact that he is a legendary creature. This means that you can only have one Brimaz on the battlefield at one time unlike with Hero of Bladehold. But I guess it won’t stop players in putting at least 3-4 copies of Brimaz in their white-based decks since it is likely that Brimaz would be hitting the bin more often than not because if he doesn’t, it means that your opponent is in deep trouble. Plus, you would want to draw him as often as you could because of the power that he offers when you play him. If your opponent is unprepared, he will be quickly end up in the backseat. Also, Brimaz can easily trigger battalion thanks to his ability to summon soldiers to his side.

Standard Thoughts on Born of the Gods: The King of Oreskos

Having this on the battlefield means that the King of Oreskos and his loyal soldiers can potentially trump the opponent’s creatures. So far, the decks that would love to have him would be the white-based aggro decks that I’ve mentioned above. In fact, Patrick Chapin already had brewed a couple of decks sporting Brimaz.

Orzhov Aggro

Main Deck: 60

Lands: 22

4 Godless Shrine

4 Mutavault

7 Plains

2 Orzhov Guildgate

1 Swamp

4 Temple of Silence

Creatures: 29

3 Banisher Priest

4 Boros Elite

4 Brimaz, King of Oreskos

4 Daring Skyjek

3 Dryad Militant

3 Imposing Sovereign

4 Precinct Captain

4 Soldier of the Pantheon

Spells: 9

4 Brave the Elements

3 Orzhov Charm

2 Spear of Heliod

Truth be told that this list is basically the same list that Nakada, Ryo used when he won in the Grand Prix Shizuoka event. So there’s really nothing new about the list though this list is still likely to evolve as the metagame develops.

Boros Aggro

Main Deck: 60

Lands: 22

2 Boros Guildgate

1 Mountain

4 Mutavault

6 Plains

4 Sacred Foundry

4 Temple of Triumph

Creatures: 30

4 Banisher Priest

4 Brimaz, King of Oreskos

4 Boros Elite

4 Burning-Tree Emissary

3 Dryad Militant

4 Firefist Striker

3 Imposing Sovereign

4 Precinct Captain

Spells: 8

4 Brave the Elements

4 Boros Charm

This list is pretty straight-forward and can easily overrun the opponent in a few turns. What I am interested in is a UW tempo deck that has a set of the Feline king in the mainboard, similar to the previous UW Delver deck which sides in Hero of Bladehold against slower opponents and to overwhelm aggro strategies. For the meantime, I’ll probably leave that to another article.

Overall, I would want to have my own play set of Brimaz though I am guessing that it’d be a challenge to do so come prerelease since supply will be scarce. Not to mention that people would probably hold on to him more than sell into the hype. And even if people would sell him, it would be at the current price of $25 or less and if you’re lucky, you can get a play set for around $70 or $80. Then again, getting a king to side with you comes with an exorbitant price.

Thanks for reading

@ravenknives at Twitter

imagecredit: mtgsalvation, gatherer.wizards.com