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Year of Fate

Sunday, January 15, 2017 / No Comments

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month or two, you would definitely have noticed the slew of announcements and previews for the Fate/Stay Night franchise. From films to OVAs, the sheer volume of content that will be released in 2017 will excite both hardcore and casual fans. 

For those of you who're completely new to the world of Fate, this is probably the best time to start reading the original visual novel. Once you've whet your appetite with that, the many anime adaptations, manga, light novels and games will ensure that you know the franchise better than some of your closest friends.

Here's a handy list of what will be airing and with the AnimeJapan exhibition approaching, expect more updates and trailers to come.

Fate/Apocrypha (A-1 Pictures)
Fate/Apocrypha is the title I'm least familiar with out of the five listed here, having an entirely new cast of Masters and Servants. It is a five-volume long light novel series depicting a Holy Grail War between two warring factions. The vastly different format from the original Fate/Stay Night also doubles the total number of the Servants and Masters. I'm optimistic that A-1 Pictures can handle the intensity of the fights, having produced the Sword Art Online, Aldnoah.Zero and Nanatsu no Taizai anime.

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! film (Silver Link)
The 3rei!! film picks up where the anime left off and viewers expecting to see more magical girl antics and mana transfer action from the trio of Illya, Chloe and Miyu will be sorely disappointed. What you get in return is a flashback story bearing the same bleak tone of Heaven's Feel and Shirou at his manliest, producing one highlight reel after another. I'm looking forward to this one as much as the Heaven's Feel film, having read the PRISMA ILLYA manga.

Fate/Stay Night Heaven's Feel (Ufotable)
The final route of the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel will be adapted in a series of three films, unlike the 26 episode-long Unlimited Blade Works. This means that screentime is a lot shorter, no matter how long each movie is. However, I'm confident that Ufotable can pull it off, having enjoyed their adaptation of Unlimited Blade Works previously and rewatching it one too many times. Heaven's Feel closes the book on the original story and ties up any loose ends that were present. It also provides much-needed development for characters who were sidelined in the previous routes.

Fate/Grand Order First Order (Lay-duce)
I finally understood the premise of the mobile game after watching the OVA on New Year's Eve itself. Before this, I knew nothing about Fate/Grand Order's story, bar the fact that you traveled across Earth to battle enemies and save the world. Seeing the original Rider and Lancer in different classes and outfits duke it out was a treat and of course, it wouldn't be complete without Saber making an appearance. I hope that more Grand Order OVAs will be released, making up for the lack of translations in the game's story.

Fate/Extra Last Encore (SHAFT)
Imagine the Holy Grail War in a more futuristic setting, where mages are also A-grade hackers. I've completed the original PSP game but it's reported that the plot for the anime adaptation is being rewritten by Kinoko Nasu, the creator of Fate/Stay Night. Whatever the case, I'm happy to see Nero Claudius being animated and by SHAFT, no less. I'm expecting references to the odd combat system of the game and gags making fun of it.

Out of the five titles, four of them will be premiering this year, with the exception of Fate/Extra Last Encore, which makes its debut in January 2018. I expect to watch the PRISMA ILLYA and Heaven's Feel movie in cinemas and not on my computer's monitor, hopefully. Did I also mention that Fate/Grand Order is receiving a major update titled Epic of Remnant and the localised version of Fate/Extella for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita will be released in the next two days?

Written by ET

Yumeiro Cast: "My Last Lonely Christmas" No-Ranking Event!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 / No Comments
No-Ranking event on Yumecast gives a UR instead of SR to the players who participate in the event. As for myself, I joined the game near the beginning of this event and joined in immediately, anxious to get my hands on another UR. 
Though, like most event cards (even from other game), the event UR cards have slightly lower stats than normal UR. However, do note that they still have better stats than SRs and are definitely beneficial to acquire!

This event consists of the song "Saigo no Ronrii Kurisumasu" otherwise translated to "(My) Last Lonely Christmas". For this event, there is a single song, but in 7 different versions, sung by the seven different cast members. Each version has 4 difficulties (Easy, Normal, Hard, and Expert). Furthermore, each difficulty has 4 parts to it as seen in the images below (Part A, Part B, Part C, Full). The AP needed for Parts A to C are each a third of the Full version. 

Most of them also come with a Dream Stone for S score, giving a whopping total of 112 Dream Stones to be acquired solely through playing the event songs! Not to mention those on the normal sides or other special songs available then~

This is extremely useful as beginners had their own Beginner scout, which would give you a guaranteed UR of your own choice after your third round of scouting. I cannot remember the exact number of Dream Stones needed for this, but it is about 300 gems...?

In any case, I scouted in the scout and amazingly I got a UR in every scout! In the first round, you were supposed to scout 5 cards at a discounted rate and lo and behold, I got the beginner Kaito UR! In the second round, you were then asked to scout 10 cards at a discounted rate and from that I got the beginner Kaito UR again! And that means... an idolisation!

For the third round with the guaranteed UR of my choice, I decided to choose Sousei and his masquerade version as that is my best idolised version in the initial set. I regretted slightly about not choosing Kyouya's Flag March UR instead, but I managed to secure a second copy of him for idolisation and later even got him to star idolisation! (Read more about star idolisation here)

So... my only regret now is not being able to idolise Sousei.
After the beginner's scout, I went on to scout in the event box instead. There were 2 event boxes, one with Subaru's UR and one with Jin's UR. I scouted in the the side of the box with Subaru's UR as I didn't notice Jin's side until later.

What's good about event cards are that event SRs and URs would boost your event points gained per song. Each UR would boost by +0.50 while each SR would boost by +0.15. The maximum boost is +2.00 only.

For this scout above, I got a 2 UR and 2 SR scout, of which the 2SR (Sousei) can be idolised. Of the 2 UR, the one above in red (Subaru) is the event Christmas UR while the one below (Jin) isn't. Hence, this ensures that I get a +0.50 boost in the event.

I scouted again in the same box (Subaru) later and managed to get Subaru's UR again (yay, idolisation!) and a copy of Kyoya's Christmas UR. This brings my event points boost to +1.15 before the addition of the event UR from the event point reward, which will give another +0.50 to a total of +1.65.

Unsure of what I'm saying? Let's look at the event point reward UR then~ 
This is the UR Fujinuma Iori. There are 3 copies of him from the reward, of which I only managed to get a single copy as the second and third copies are at about 5 to 10 times higher in event point requirement and it was impossible for me to get it with my level at that time.

Perhaps I can do it now? One can only dream!

~ Reina-rin

Love Live!! School Idol Festival (EN): Event wrap-up and scouts -- Kanan/Mari Score Match

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Back to the Aqours side of event, we have Kanan and Mari this time, dressed in diving suits before idolisation and tracksuits after. Frankly speaking, neither of the cards particularly interest me design-wise, but it's Mari and that means "grind for the event".

And so here I am!
First day into the event and grinding starts almost immediately, not instantly because I was still in the midst of dinner. By midnight, I finally grinded up till 25725 points and gotten my very first copy of Kanan which was at 25000 points.
However, due to my late start in this event (from 9pm onward), it was inevitable that I wouldn't end very high up on the tier board. 315 is a good number to end up with on the first day and knowing myself, I am aiming for 100k-odd points (3 copies of Kanan SR) and Tier 2 (2 copies of Mari), hence there was no need to grind that hard either.
First copy GET!

The second copy of Kanan SR is at 60000 points, which was a goal for me to accomplish within 2 days of this event. I don't usually grind that much but I was expecting  a holiday in early Jan and to make up for the lack of time I would be facing for the last 3 days of the event, I had to start grinding hard and early.

Rank 373 Mi-Na-Mi~
Second day and at 60k points. This is finally the time to stop grinding and start relaxing while preparing for my holiday.

The points also gradually increased over the course of the event but never did sway much from the predicted cutoffs. Tier 1 ended off at 140969 points; Tier 2 at 85630 and Tier 3 at 45646 points. The predicted cut-offs on Reddit tallied close for Tier 1 but Tier 2 was off by a fraction, being initially at 96k instead.

That being said, this event is probably one of the less taxing Aqours event so far, coming close to how the first Aqours event on EN was : Chika/Riko. This might be because the outfits for the cards can be considered rather lackluster... to me at least?

What I considered to be one of the craziest Aqours event on EN so far would be the Tanabata Ruby/Dia event where Tier 2 ended up slightly over 100k! Noting the characters and their supposed popularity, I'm wondering if the upcoming Yohane/Ruby Token Event might rival the Tanabata event.

Returning to the current event, here are the idolised cards for Mari and Kanan respectively. They are in their image colors of purple and green for this outfit and their skills are relatively normal for event cards -- nothing too special there. However, do note that Kanan's stats is so low that it might not be optimal to keep her in your collection unless you intend to collect the or her cards.

As I sold Kanan for seals before I had a chance to screenshot her, here are Mari's stats at level 80 and not bonded. She's of relatively good stats for an event card so you might want to idolise her if you do have her and are in need of Aqours cards for that additional 10% boost!

~ Reina-rin


Tuesday, January 10, 2017 / No Comments
Happy New Year, dearest readers. I know that I am several days late into 2017, but a new year is still a new year! So things have been rather slow on my side, but that is how life goes sometimes. Of course, I get a little more worried when the down time stretches past a certain extent, like now for example. I hope that everybody has had a good start, be it in whatever that matters. Today, I am going to share my interest in an anime title that has recently premiered. Yeah, there is also the manga which might just overshadow. Seriously, I need more motivation to sit through the adaptations.

Anyway, here is Fuuka. I didn't realise that it was a spin-off from Suzuka You see, I have never watched or read Suzuka, though my ears have caught its theme song pretty much by accident many years ago. I suppose that it wouldn't affect in any way my interest, or the possible decline which would then render this introduction severely useless. Then again, nothing is ever completely certain. The extremely close-up shot of who I presume is Fuuka on the cover had attracted me in the first place. 

Who is Fuuka then? She loves music, lives her life to her own pace and doesn't own a mobile phone. The last bit has tickled me for some unknown reason. Sure, there are still people who don't carry mobile devices, but there is something about that revelation which has kind of made me snort through my nostrils. Besides, she looks do I say this? She doesn't look ancient enough to fit into that stereotype. Oh wait, the term is country bumpkin. Yeah, Fuuka over here doesn't scream of the countryside. 

The series is tagged under Music, so that also becomes part of why I am (hopefully still) interested. Anything...well, almost anything that has music in its genes is enough to hold my attention for a while here. It doesn't have to be in my face though. Fuuka seems ready to set the trails ablaze. It has been fairly long since I last saw anything remotely related to music and the idea of it. This one feels inviting as well. I should be sticking to it, and perhaps I would complement the experience by attempting to dig the trenches for Suzuka. 

Apparently, hair colour changes very easily for some people. I didn't even realise that they were the same person in some cases. Anyway, is anybody catching Fuuka? I hope that it is uplifting!

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

Figure Unboxing and Review: Hatsune Miku Hanairogoromo Version (Stronger)

Sunday, January 8, 2017 / No Comments
Apart from being sold at Sky Town, you can get her on AmiAmi or on Stronger's website. She's an exclusive, making her price increase after release, but her design is also another reason why she's so popular and so loved!

Let's look at how she is from several different perspectives, starting with the box itself!


While her box is nothing special, there's a pretty pattern that goes around the bright red base colors for the box, making her stand out. Simple as it is, it exudes elegance which ties in well with Miku in this version. Furthermore, even without the figure inside, there is a pretty back piece which makes the box even more lovely to view! I even think that the box looks better as such too!

The front and back views of the blister pack clearly shows what is enclosed inside -- the figure, umbrella, base and plants. Though there are few items, each is cleanly sculpted and painted and I will cover what I love about them later in the article.

However, do note that the blister is not secured with tape and mine actually opened on the bottom half during transit. Fortunately, nothing was damaged.

This is the illustration for the base and it is the same as the one in the yellow circle for the back piece in the box, thus making it more meaningful and memorable. The colors used are light and calming to look at.
The base isn't just a single layer but elevated. There is a huge dense of clear plastic above it. Furthermore, there are 2 metal pegs. One for Miku and one for the plant. Speaking of which, the plant is...
This is the plant piece that will be part of the base. It has the base color of green, matched with yellow and white, but it has stark reds and light pinks to stand out from this arrangement as well as tie in with the red of Miku's outfit.

Posing and Assembly

Here's a 360 of Miku. You can see that she is extremely detailed, especially her outfit. Furthermore, you see that there is a lovely gradient for her hair, going from teal to transparent to teal and then back to transparent again. Her obi and the bird are also sculpted and painted in a way which makes them stand out well against the rest of the figure on the whole.

Assembly-wise, the metal pegs are identical and you cannot differentiate well between the two. Use the official images to note which peg should be used for Miku and which is for the plant. Do note that Miku might be a little unstable due to her only having one peg inside her.

Sculpting and Painting
Let's start this section off with Miku's facial features. Though she doesn't have the typical bangs that Miku comes with, these new style suits this version very well. Thankfully, she comes with her typical hair color so we can all recognise her.

Other than this, we see that her facial details are well-painted and the individual ends of her hair strands are all crisp and sharp. As mentioned previously, the gradient for the hair at her ponytail is fascinating as well.
The ribbons at her ponytail comes with a slight gradient, but the colors are much more striking than her hair, especially the purple. It then ends with a whole line of flowers going from pink to translucent again. Not only does this fading of color make her look more elegant and fragile, it also ties in with the gradient for her hair too.
The pattern on her kimono is exquisite and elaborate. Though not many colors are used, the smart combination of reds and the contrasting green makes a very lively contrast in colors. The many layers of this outfit also adds dimension to this figure as well.

In the above image, you can see that her geta comes with two different colors, red and blue. These two are contrasting colors but they go so well together.
There's also the creases in the socks to make her look more realistic. Also, the way her feet are lifted in that pose is very believable and adds more details to the figure too.
In addition, the plants make up a very good decorative piece for this figure. The flowers are all intricately sculpted and come i 3 different types. Despite so, some flowers of the same species also come in different colors to add more dimension to the ornament.

Next, let's look at her obi. It comes with many layers and detailed patterns both on the string and the cloth. The only sad thing is that the sleeve on her raised right hand isn't sculpted deeper. The way it closes is a little unnatural.
 Next, we shall look at her with the umbrella!

It comes with a darker shadow (painted in navy) in the underside of the umbrella. This is to show the shadow cast when Miku raises her umbrella in this pose. Realistic and absolutely stunning!
 Unfortunately, there are no patterns on the top side of the umbrella or it would look so much better...
The bird is cleanly colored and has all the essential details. It even has a soft gradient from yellow to green. Definitely a feast for the eyes! 

And lastly, let's look at Miku with the amazing backpiece which came in the box~

 ~ Reina-rin