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Love Live SIF Event and Thoughts: Yohane/Ruby Token Event "One Dreamy Night"

Saturday, February 25, 2017 / No Comments
After a long list of single events, we finally get a double event! This would be another event that I participate in after a long break from tiering. My aim for this event is to at least T1 Yohane (that is at least 40k points) and do my best to T2 for Ruby. That will give me 3 copies of Yohane and 2 copies of Ruby.

Do note that this is the first event where you can use up to 100 lp in a single play, hence no more 4x event songs. This is also the first event where players get song ranking based on their score for the event song, hence adding a new dimension to tiering. 
 Yohane can be acquired solely through event points. One copy of her is given at each hallmark: 11k, 25k and 40k event points.
Ruby is solely acquired through tiering and you cannot get even a single copy of her until the event ends and the rewards are given out. To get 3 copies of her, you'll have to T1 however I don't have that form of dedication for Ruby and am content with simply T2.

Also, with the new system of being able to use up to 100 LP (and 300 tokens) per play, this would mean huge jumps in event points as it will be much easier to amass tokens and use those tokens for points. After considering all these factors, T1 seems very far out of my reach.
This is the song ranking reward and it is cumulative. T1 means better rewards and all tiers below are simply subsets of it. An SS seal is definitely worth it (you need 5 to idolise a UR).
 This is a brief explanation of how to collect tokens and convert them into points~
The last stretch of the event is particularly tedious, especially the last few hours. Many players fell out of T1 as a result of other players spamming the newer updates of increased LP per play. This increased the gap between T1 and T2 greatly, and the effort and number of love gems used would have to be so much more that it makes the third copy of Ruby from T1 extremely less worth it.

Some players also fell out of T2.

After the event, it is time to collect the rewards. As I have collected the cards before I remembered to take a screenshot, I only have the seals to show the song ranking reward. As you can see, I am in T1 for song ranking since Smile is my strongest team.
For ranking itself, I managed to acquire 6000 points within the last 2.5 hours and brought my points to 51k, successfully putting myself way above the cross-fire of T2 cutoff. I also managed to snag the scouting ticket at 50k in the process!

T1 ended up at 88888 points and that would mean an additional 18 plays of the event on 4x Expert difficulty (5400 tokens). To collect that number of tokens, roughly 200 plays of regular songs on 1x Expert difficulty must be played (5000 LP). This would mean an additional 36-40 love gems must be used, in addition to the 22 I have already used, to barely scrape past T1 for this event.

For me, spending nearly 60 gems to T1 for any event is definitely not worth it. How about you?

~ Reina-rin

[ODEX] Suki ni Naru Shunkan wo: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai

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Suki ni Naru Shunkan wo "I wait for the moment that you love me" is a sequel to Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita "I've always liked you". Both are produced from songs by Honeyworks and have a manga adaptation. Suki ni Naru Shunkai wo (I shall shorten it to Suki) features Setoguchi Hina and her love troubles.
Skip the next 2 paragraphs if you do not wish to read any spoilers.

In Suki, she falls in love with her senpai, Ayase Koyuki, who is later shown to be in love with Enomoto Natsuki. Natsuki is like an elder sister to Hina as the two families are neighbors and thus, also childhood friends. Natsuki's younger brother, Kotarou, is seen to harbor feelings for Hina. After Koyuki graduates from middle school, Hina is intent to enroll in the same high school as her love.
But soon after she gets in, she realizes that he has fallen in love with Natsuki and changed his outward appearance -- after which, he gets constantly swarmed by girls due to his looks. Hina finally finds the courage to confess to Koyuki but on the exact same day she intends to pass him her love letter, Natsuki and Yuu (Hina's elder brother) got together and the shock of it results in  Koyuki simply brushing away Hina's feelings for him. The movie then skips Koyuki's graduation entirely and ends rather abruptly with Hina finally considering Kotarou.
The pacing for the movie was rather horrible. There were many scene changes that were awkwardly placed. However, I expected this to happen judging by how other shows that were adapted from songs turned out (Kagerou Project/Mekakucity actors and Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku) so it isn't really something to mark this movie that badly down for. 
Complicated relationships!
This is especially so due to all the complicated relationships that were featured in the songs and how it isn't realistic to expect to summarize them down to a movie that's less than 2 hours long.

OST and song inserts were done beautifully. As a movie based on songs, the choices were obviously superb. The lyrics complement the show and gave a very good insight into what the characters were feeling and thinking at that moment. Some examples of the songs that were featured were: Ima suki ni Naru -triangle story-, Daikirai na Hazu datta, Senpai, etc.

Personally, I felt that "Senpai" is the most touching song of the three which shows Hina finally giving up on Koyuki and thus, will soon be able to consider Kotarou. However, as the song was only used as an opening theme, the later half of the song wasn't used at all. We didn't get the picture that Hina and Koyuki took during his graduation ceremony from high school (only the middle school one where Hina was bawling). 
This scene was the main reason why I decided to watch this movie and having it absent was really very demoralizing and disappointing.

As for the movie goods itself, it comes with an A4 clear file of Koyuki and a signature postcard of Hina. Unfortunately, neither me nor my friend would like to keep Koyuki's file so if you are interested, do drop me a comment about this. I am a fan of Hina though, so I'll definitely be keeping the signature postcard of her.
There are several other goods that can be collected from the stage before Usagi's Live Performance, if you are the first 100 queuing for it. According to ODEX Facebook page's details, these include:
Hina's A4 Clear File (24 Feb, 6pm)
Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita Signature Postcard (25 Feb, 12pm)
Kotarou's A4 Clear File (25 Feb, 7:35pm)
Suki ni Naru A2 Poster (26 Feb, 1:35pm)
Koyuki's A4 Clear File (26 Feb, 7:10pm)
I have not queued up for anything so I have no idea what the queues will be like. If you happen to have the Hina's file, you can always drop me a comment and I will be more than willing to get it from you (depending on price), coughs. Hina fans, unite!

There's still another day to head down to City Square Mall to queue and get free items~ From what I know, you don't have to buy the movie tickets before getting the items. You just need speed and dedication to be the first 100 in line!
Also, there is still one more screening for this movie tomorrow. If you are catching the movie tomorrow, do note that there is an additional part after the credits so don't leave during the ending credits!

~ Reina-rin

[ODEX] Kizumonogatari Part 3 Reiketsu-hen

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As you all might know, ODEX has brought several anime movies to Singapore for this week and I had the opportunity to watch two of them: "Kizumonogatari Reiketsu-hen" and "Suki ni Naru Shunkan wo (Honeyworks)". I will be reviewing them in two separate posts and will start with Kizumonogatari.
Kizumonogatari is split into three parts and this is the third and final part. As the screenings for the movie are all over, I'll give a brief summary of what it was about. If you intend to watch the movie in the future and do not want any spoilers, please skip the next paragraph!
Part 3 is when Kiss-shot finally regains all her limbs back, courtesy of Oshino Meme, and decides to turn Araragi back into a human -- something which she couldn't bring herself to do for her very first servant/minion. Here we get a little insight on what Kiss-shot concerns are about immortality and her sacrifices. Likewise, Araragi's beliefs are also challenged when he comes across Kiss-shot eating a human and this sends him into despair as he realized what he has saved that day on the train platform is really a monster and he regrets his actions dearly. After Hanekawa gives him advice on what to do (peppered with slightly over-the-top lewd stuff and a significant proportion of oppai action), Araragi challenges Kiss-shot to a duel. The fight finally ends with Araragi finally asking Meme for help and comes to a decision to weaken Kiss-shot enough so she'll be of no harm to humans but will not die either. Hence, bringing us back to her army-helmet Shinobu self.
The movie itself was terrific. The pacing was rather good and it ties the entire movie back with Bakemonogatari, giving it a very well-rounded finish. It also helped viewers and especially fans of the series to get a complete picture of what exactly is going on in that timeline and why Kiss-shot, being so active, is finally reduced to the silent and emo child in Bakemonogatari.
Hanekawa was also given a great opportunity to shine, seeing as she was always rather overshadowed in the main series. Through all three parts of this movie, we get to see how the bond between Araragi and Hanekawa was forged and how they connected on a deeper level and had absolute trust in each other, to the point that they would even give up their life for the other. If there is one thing Kizumonogatari left me wondering, it would be why Araragi chose Senjougahara over Hanekawa.

Music and OST in Reiketsu-hen was really appropriate. The humorous moments were well-placed and left the audience bursting with laughter. Something I like about Monogatari is how they are able to sneak in comedy into the most serious moments and still have it seem logical. An example I can give from Reiketsu-hen would be during Araragi and Kiss-shot's death match. As vampires with super regenerative abilities, both of them were in a heated battle filled with flying limbs and rolling heads. That is, the two were actually speaking to each other with heads rolling all over the area, from the background to the foreground. Yet the series (and SHAFT) had a way to make these gore moments seem not only appropriate but amusing.

Lastly, the extras from the movie. 

Three A2 posters were given per person for each viewing in City Square Mall. These posters feature the three movie banners which show Kiss-shot at three different ages. 

I have 2 things to point out about this. Firstly, these extras were given in a Love Live paper bag which made it feel quite awkward, especially so for non-Love Livers. And secondly, these three A2 posters were also given as extras with the One Piece movie so those who went to watch One Piece are automatically entitled to get them -- making it a little pointless to watch Kizumonogatari on its own for the extras.

However, I would like to add that the movie was totally worth it for the price of $13 and if you are a fan of the series or just intend to give it a try, you should definitely give the movie a chance when it is finally available to the public!

~ Reina-rin

First Impressions: Fate/Grand Order

Thursday, February 23, 2017 / No Comments

I've finally picked up Fate/Grand Order, after months of dilly-dallying and browsing through quick-start and installation guides. Hours spent playing Love Live! School Idol Festival, watching anime, reading manga and putting my new PlayStation 4 Slim through the ringer certainly didn't help me procrastinate any less. 

On hindsight, however, maybe I should've spent more time deciding instead because the game is threatening to take over every minute of free time I have. Being a huge fan of Fate/Stay Night and its many spinoffs does not help my cause one bit. Not to mention the generous amounts of experience points that quests give. I'm starting to understand why this game lords over the rest in the Japanese iTunes store's Top Grossing list.

It has only been just over two weeks since I started playing Fate/Grand Order but I've already reached level 71, with a current cap of 130; a testament to how easy it is to level-up. More good...or bad news awaits as a game update tomorrow raises the level cap to 140 and a new chapter in Grand Order's story mode is added, or 'Singularity', as the game calls it. 

For those of you wondering why I've been hesitating for so long, it's due to my less than fluent Japanese. Not being able to understand the text in the game's story mode or the various error codes was a nightmare to me. Fortunately, the guides from the Fate/Grand Order community on Reddit and 4chan along with the game's judicious use of English throughout the different menus made the learning curve gentler.

To stay I don't regret picking Fate/Grand Order up would be a gross understatement. The combat system is unique and it's rewarding to ponder for several seconds before tapping on the different 'attack' cards instead of other combat-oriented mobile games that offer an 'Auto' option. I simply don't see the point of a game if you're watching and not playing. Like any other mobile game, what lines the pockets of developers Delight Works is the gachapon system utilising Saint Quartz, the game's premium currency. 

In Love Live! School Idol Festival, you 'scout' for the 18 girls from the two groups. In Fate/Grand Order, you summon Servants (the 'idols' in this case) and Craft Essences; cards that you equip to your Servants and provide HP and/or Attack bonuses along with useful passive skills.

3 Saint Quartz nets you one 3-star or above Servant or Craft Essence and 30 will let you summon 10 at one go. What sweetens the deal is that you're guaranteed a 4-star or above Servant or Craft Essence along with a guaranteed 3-star or above Servant. It's obvious which option is better but I'm sure no one is able to resist the lure of potentially summoning a 5-star Servant or Craft Essence with just 3 Saint Quartz.

Fortunately or otherwise, I'm not planning to spend a single dollar on the game, partly because of the hoops I need to jump through just to buy Saint Quartz and partly due to the game's generosity. Beginners are rewarded for the first seven days and veterans aren't forgotten either, being rewarded for logging in for a consecutive number of days. Don't forget the free Saint Quartz being handed out just because the game undergoes maintenance to patch in new 'Singularities' and events.

If you're wondering why I haven't mentioned any in-game events that are a staple in mobile games, it's because I started while the Valentine's Day was ongoing. By the time I understood the format of the event and reached a level where I could complete the stages comfortably, I was only left with 3-4 days, hardly worth the effort in my books. However, I do plan to participate in the next event and the experience will be included in my full review of Fate/Grand Order in time to come.

(Common across all mobile games)

Keep a look out for my full review of the game in the coming weeks and considering this post is only about my first impressions, expect the coming one to be much more detailed. Till then, I'll be sacrificing my sleep and free time clearing these pesky enemies so I can roll the gacha over and over.

Written by ET

Nanoblock: Gaara + Kakashi

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 / No Comments

Welcome back fellas!!

I'm back (finally) with another nanoblock post, this time featuring Gaara and Kakashi~~

Between Gaara and Kakashi, Gaara was a pain to build. He wasn't as stable, and out of the entire series, he is the only one that requires a base. Kakashi and Gaara both came prepacked with bases, but Gaara will not be able to stand without the base. Why? Notice his toes? They're not attached to the rest of his feet + sandals, so unless you want his toes running around during display, you gotta base them down.

Considering I'm the sort that, if one of them has no base, the rest should follow suit, I was quite peeved about the fact that Gaara needs the support. However, given that his base is brown, I can close an eye and take it as a 'ground/sand' prop, since he has the gourd as well.

Since his feet are attached and won't move around, you can very easily build him up. The problem only starts at his face, where the blocks don't intersect much. Most of his pieces are only attached to one 'bump' which is a pain when I'm trying to stack more blocks up tightly.

In the process of fixing him up I pressed down too hard on one side and somehow managed to destroy half his face LOL. Lucky his face didn't fly too far and I was able to get all the pieces back. Also, after a while I realised that his red blocks differed slightly in shade. It's not obvious on camera + you really gotta stare at it up close to notice.

Overall, 8/10. Nice when completed, pain to build from head up. Plus let's not forget that base.

Moving on to Kakashi, he's a dream to build.

Everything clicked really well, there were minimal tricky parts, and overall Kakashi held together quite tightly. Plus I like how they kept to the details and made his mask instead of conveniently using his hair to conceal the eye.

With modular blocks, there is a limit to how you can manage a design, but I think they nailed it!! Look at this spiky hair!! A++

I only wished they had an anbu version of Kakashi, or say if they came out with an Itachi design instead?!!

But alas, there are only four so far. At least I did manage to do my otp hehee. Well, I shall leave you the rest of the photos now~~

Nerd out!

Written by: ninetylives