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Halloween 2018 "Spookalicious 3" with Kakichan The Oyster

Saturday, October 20, 2018 / No Comments
October is my favorite month of the year as it is the season of the creepy crawlies or what some local people called the "English Ghost" month. The culture is so westernized that it takes a bit of time for people to embrace and celebrate, particularly the business owners whom are Chinese. I'm a Chinese but I'm super fond of Halloween, ever since I was intoxicated by the thrills and the spectacle of Horror Nights and Spooktacular since 2010.

I have my own version of Halloween in the form of illustration. Let's call it "Spookalicious" and it's the 3rd edition this year. You can find in here the previous "Spookalicious 1" and "Spookalicious 2". But first, here are some throwback photos of Sentosa Spooktacular which took place in October 2012.

 Angela and myself at the entrance of Sentosa Spooktacular. 

We had to pass by a cemetery filled by blue gas-emitting graveyards (They are partly to be blamed for global warming, not just humans).

While queuing, we saw a hanging body (hopefully that thing isn't alive). Of all the ghosts and ghouls in the world, what creeps me the most is a Chinese woman in plain white clothes and long hair. Nothing scares the shit out of me compared to a lifeless Chinese lady ghost. What about you? Anyway, the atmosphere was eerie, saved from the many human bodies around to keep one another warm.

I took a photo with what seemed to be a mummy-zombie. Poor half-dead was beated up badly by humans with batons and melees. He could barely stand straight. Hats-off to these scare artists! They are there to entertain us, trying hard not to smile or laugh in the midst of doing so. I saw people got frightened and in their reflexes, punched these artists. Please control your emotions. Yes, offer to take welfies with them, they are just like cosplayers in ghoul form.

So back to Spookalicious 3 which I was talking about.
I made a Kakichan the Oyster rendition wallpaper and here's the sketch. 
From the bottom left to right, Kakichan as Chinese Buns (and seller), The Mummy, The Sleeping Pirate, The Floating Ghost, The Count Dracula and finally Kakichan as the Bee-Bat. In October every year, Amami Kisa's (Queen Bee) blue bee wings is transformed into bat wings and Kakichan takes this character.

I drew some pictures outside for our illustrator Shirielise to better understand and render into digital artwork.

The digital outline of Spookalicious 3.

The completed coloured versions done by our illustrator Shirielise.

So what's with the Chinese Buns? The idea was from this...

Isn't that cute? I hope it wasn't too hot inside and there are rotating shifts. Luckily she didn't snap and chew my finger off?

Hope you like those wallpapers. Do download and save to your computer to spice up the Halloween mood. Also the black-and-white digital outline can be printed out and pass to your kids for colouring. I find A5 size to be the most appropriate size for colouring. ^^

Happy Halloween.

Written by Max

「Mobage」 Tokyo Ghoul [:re birth]

Thursday, October 18, 2018 / No Comments
Tokyo Ghoul [:re birth] is a game where you can collect both ghoul and human characters and participate in many different types of events that are mentioned in the series as well, such as dispatches and incidents. In addition, there are new archetypes that are localized for the game version as well, such as strikes and raids.
There are help pages that help the players differentiate between the different events. One of the more interesting events that I notice would be strikes. Players are placed into either Team Human or Team Ghoul and players can dispatch characters to different wards where they can battle. The winning team will gain control of the ward and acquire territory points.
There are quite a number of items that can be used for leveling and improving your characters. These are mentioned in a help page where they explain more about the use of all the different items.
For the game, Haise would be your mentor and would guide your through the tutorial and some of the remaining parts of the game after.
Fighting is based on a front-back basis and you can always swap in the front and back characters, and thus have up to six different characters in your team that you can switch to and fro and get more turns that way. Each card has a different number of turns.

Enemies come out in waves and the game simply runs in a turn-based basis.

There are extra points to note about this game, and one of it is the weapon durability meter. When it reaches zero, defense will fall to zero as well and all their abilities will be nullified. In addition, more critical hits will be incurred during this window.

Hence, it is therefore crucial to try to bring the enemies' weapon durability meter down to zero, especially if you are facing a tough opponent (i.e. target, otherwise known as a boss).
When you scout for a new card, you would have a cut scene whereby you would be brought into the CCG database, where you will go through all the files. Files of different colors contain different rarities, with yellow being SR and rainbow being a SSR.

The same cutscene is used regardless of whether it is simply one single scout or a 10-roll, and furthermore, the sequence cannot be skipped, making it a little tedious to go through.
There were plenty of events when I tried this game out, along with many different banners to scout in. Some of these also give different rates and cards, so be sure to check the banner before you scout. 
The price of Kaku gems, which are used for scouting, is on the high side, but not completely unreasonable. It's rather similar to Love Live's price and with experience, I'll suggest for you to save your money and pass on these intangible purchases.
One last awesome thing about this game that I'll like to point out would be that it seems there is a lot of story content. You can play through the usual story of Tokyo Ghoul and/or Tokyo Ghoul :re, and after you've completed the former, you can play root A as well.

I'm unsure if it meets the manga's awesome standards or remain similar to the sub-par anime sequence, but in either case, it seems like you would be able to spend a lot of time indulging in the story and build-up of this game.
 ~ Reina-rin

Figure Unboxing and Review: Kousaka Honoka Birthday Figure Project (Stronger)

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I'm back with another figure review and this time we have Kosaka Honoka's Birthday Figure. This was released some time back as an exclusive by Stronger and with time, her price fell. Given that this is the only line of scale figures that have all nine girls in the same outfit, and together with the upcoming All Stars mobile game in 2019, there's no telling what might happen to the price of this line of figures in the future, so it might be wise to grab them now if you want them.

The box for all of the exclusive Birthday figures are similar. All of them come with a long rectangular box with absolutely no windows at all. This gives it more protection and to make up for being unable to see the figure, you get a print-out of the full front view of the figure on the box.
A similar image is used for the exclusive file, but it uses the illustration instead of an image of the figure instead. All these files are bundled with a printed autographed thank you card from the seiyuu, which are signed as the character itself.
Fresh out of the box, this second-hand figure of Honoka comes with a pretty vivid pink which contrasts against her orange hair and the dark accents of her attire. She is also standing on an L-shaped base, which can be used to form the words 'Love Live!' if you combine it with the bases of the other 8 characters.
A close-up of the base shows the L in a solid pink color and the elevated part in a translucent pink plastic with Honoka's full name printed in white font. The placement of her name also allows for a better idea of what angle the figure should be displayed at.
The base comes in two pieces, as shown below, and you can decide if you'd like to display her with just the flat L-shape or elevate it using the plastic part. If you have the other characters, you can choose to mix-and-match them too!
The base for this figure comes with a clear peg and by connecting the figure to the base, it would give a simple illusion of Honoka in the middle of a dynamic dancing pose, standing on her tip-toes.
The entire figure on the base appears to be simple but clean. The sculpting is top-notch and there are just so many layers and dimensions to this figure even though the outfit is rather simple in comparison to those of her other scale figures. A little more hair movement would really add a lot to the figure though.
A simple 360 of the figure also shows that there are many ruffles involved in this figure, such as on her sleeve, top and bright pink ribbon at her waist. The simple pink flower-shaped hair clip also has some detailing on it despite its size, which I will illustrate better in an image later.
The painting is crisp and on-point. All the stripes on the figure are painted on precise and cleanly. A tad more shading would bring the figure up another notch though.
However, from the back, you will notice that Honoka's pose will strike you as a little odd. Her waist seems a lot smaller and the angle her hands are at appear awkward. In addition, her head also looks to be very tilted, which is not an impression you get from looking at her from the front.
The impression of her head being too tilted actually continues on until you reach the side profile of the figure again. I find it a little distracting, and hope that they would have actually centered her hair a little better to fit this pose at different angles.

If you notice, at the center of the black stripe on her back there's a small ribbon indent. There is supposed to be a small ribbon that fits into that crevice, but unfortunately, said item is missing from my copy.
I love how her skirt is splayed nicely against her thighs, creating that zettai ryouiki look between the hem of her skirt and the ruffled top of her stockings. The ribbon on her chest is also sculpted to give a really lightweight look.
From this angle, Honoka's ponytail appears heavy and stiff, while the ribbon hair tie appears to be soft and lightweight as with the other ribbons and fabric material. What they could have done was to make the sculpt for her ponytail slightly more dynamic by adding more individual strands to it, which would make it appear a lot lighter.
Now, with a close-up on her outfit. We see that there are a lot of different textures and paints. The ribbon on her chest has a gloss topcoat, and that same glossy paint is also on the black hem of her darker pink top. The rest of her pink outfit is matte, though I particularly enjoy the 'rolled' effect of her lighter pink layer.
Her black skirt, on the other hand, is slightly translucent, adding another dimension to her outfit.
Her glove is skin-fit and secured with a cute pink ribbon. I love how the white glove is adequately shaded with grey to mark out the grooves of the fingers due to their structure. The way it flares out after the ribbon is incredibly cute as well. A little more detail on the ribbon would be incredibly lovely though.
More ribbons are on the tops of her glossy boots, and similar to the others on her glove, a little more detail would be more distinct.

A zoom-in on Honoka's flower hairpin shows that there are no clear details on the flower petals itself, but I really love the yellow dots on the flower, showing the stamens.
The glossy ribbon is incredibly soft looking, especially when it is matched with the two white feathers in her hair. The feathers are very detailed but a little more shading would make the feather appear much more realistic.
Honoka's expression is very typical of her, with a bright smile, happy and wide, sparkling blue eyes. Usually, I love a more subtle blush on figures, but this line of figures follow a more conservative look with an atypical three strokes of pink as a blush. 
Overall, I think the figure is very worth-it at the reduced price (30-40% discount) due to the vibrant colors, clean paint-job and precise sculpting. However, it's probably really not worthwhile if it's at its original price.

~ Reina-rin

Goblin Slayer doesn't deserve the hate

Saturday, October 13, 2018 / No Comments

As of late, I’m seeing a lot of hate for a particular anime airing this season. I mean I understand why, but have people become too sensitive that anything triggers them. I don’t condone rape but I think people are going overboard with their comments. 

Goblin Slayer doesn’t deserve that amount of hate it’s getting just because some people have their panties in a bunch. There are even worse ones out there like Berserk, which is amazing by the way, so why the hate? If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. The goblins are here to stay and so is their behaviour. And don’t judge everything just by how it looks. Give it a chance and wait it out. It gets better.

For those who are uninformed of who or what is Goblin Slayer, it is about a dude who made it his goal to kill goblins and nothing else. Just imagine Eren Jaeger from SNK and the titans much smaller. As to why he only wants to kill goblins, well you have to watch the anime, read the manga or the light novel. And if you’re expecting a happy tone to it, well you’re in the wrong part of town.

I actually think Goblin Slayer has a good story to tell having read the manga myself. There are a lot of shows out there that portrays the fantasy/adventure world as fun and exciting despite the subtle hints of danger lurking around the corner, so I really like the “deconstruction” of this fantasy world where behind all the fun and glory, there are potential and eager adventurers who were brutally beaten up, tortured, killed and raped as they were overconfident as it was just a group of “measly” goblins. I mean come on, that setting happens frequently with a certain type of genre in anime. I’m sure we’re all not innocent children here, especially in this community.

After learning about Mr. Goblin Slayer’s backstory on how he became Goblin Slayer, I sympathise with him and at the same time, I do encourage him to continue this deep vendetta of his. 

Yes, Goblin Slayer. You go out there and kill all those goblins, leave no stone unturned and mow ‘em all to the ground. MWAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHA.

And yet on the other side of the spectrum, we have yet another “isekai” anime. (I don’t hate “isekai” by the way. Actually, I welcome them). Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken or That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime is an anime about, yes, you guessed it. An unfortunate Japanese male who died and got reincarnated as a slime. 

I couldn’t have guessed that one. Better a slime than a hot spring or a vending machine. Wouldn’t want to be in that guys shoes. Umm? This anime on the other hand shows goblins on the lighter side where they seem to be meeker compared to the cunning and lecherous goblins in Goblin Slayer.

Since we’re talking about goblins, Re:Monster is another “isekai” where the main character was born a goblin. 

He has this ability where he gets the ability of anything he eats. It was a good read in the beginning where he had to survive and become strong but it has gotten a bit slow since he’s kind of overpowered now.

I really wonder why some people in the community get sensitive so easily. I’m not one to talk since I’m writing this but have a heart and give it a chance. That’s one way I get to know myself. Finding out what I can handle and those that I can’t.

Written by Zwei