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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


GameStart Asia 2018 Day 1

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It's that time of the year again, and yes, I'm talking about Southeast Asia's premier game convention GameStart! The event is back for a fifth year and having attended every one since its inaugural edition in 2014, I jumped at the opportunity to finally cover it. Looking back, each year had something memorable, be it the convention-wide promotion of virtual reality games last year or the themed booths several years back; I vividly remember the cavernous PlayStation and Bandai Namco ones till today. Although the 2018 version wasn't exactly a visual spectacle, it made up for that in many ways. This year's focus was on eSports and that was clear from the get-go, with the various booths featuring titles like Overwatch, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and the usual host of fighting games like Street Fighter V and new favourite Dragon Ball FighterZ.

I was whisked to the Disney booth the moment I entered the exhibition hall, having barely any time to introduce myself or ask a few questions before the presentation began. The company was launching an Action-RPG game for iOS and Android titled Epic Quest, letting players build a squad comprising of their favourite Disney heroes and villains to perform quests and defeat villains. The characters available run the gamut from both animated and live-action titles, catering to every Disney fan, I daresay. The demo featured Mickey Mouse, Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Carribean film series and Baymax from Big Hero 6, just to name a few. Every character has a class, a specific role to fill and even equipment slots, making this game much more complex than its cutesy exterior suggests.

Not to be outdone by...themselves, Disney is also launching Marvel Battle Lines, for iOS and Android in under two weeks. This isn't an Action-RPG like Epic Quest, but a turn-based card battle game instead. You'll be collecting heroes and villains from the Marvel universe instead of the Disney one and for those of you thinking ahead and wondering whether alternate versions of a certain hero will be available, you're in luck. The developers of the game, Nexon, are working on having alternate versions of characters, expanding the pool greatly. I've been wondering why Disney hasn't been making greater use of their own intellectual properties and today's presentations answered my questions handily. If only they announced a 3rd Marvel Ultimate Alliance as well.

Like I mentioned earlier, this year's edition of GameStart was pushing the eSports agenda heavily and it was a joy to see Dragon Ball FighterZ on the big screen, having only watched snippets of gameplay every now and then. This game was a long time coming and I never understood why Bandai Namco didn't consider a side-scrolling combat system till FighterZ, opting for an open field instead for its Budokai line of games. It was oddly satisfying to watch Tien treat Broly like a sandbag and Captain Ginyu actually holding his own.

Even the retro games booth had a more competitive vibe than the previous year's one, featuring more vintage fighting games like the older versions of King of Fighters. I sorely miss the Bomberman set-up they had last year but one can hope that it'll return next year.

Perhaps the highlight of the day for me was the industry panel at 1.30pm, titled How Do I Survive As A Game Developer. The panelists were a good mix of individuals who have worked in Triple-A game studios and indie ones, sharing their views on a variety of issues, even taking a number of questions from the audience at the end of the segment. What struck me was that the struggles faced by the video game industry are similar to any that require a significant amount of creative input, be it film or advertising. The stage events - or this one at least - were a visible improvement from the last year's ones, which I either skipped entirely or watched briefly.

Although this year's GameStart Asia had a heavy focus on eSports titles and less so on featuring upcoming games for 2019, it didn't lose its lustre and I actually thought the organisers played it smart by promoting the eSports agenda instead, by featuring so many competitive titles. Although I'd rather have a sneak peek of what's going to be released next year for the PlayStation 4 and XBOX One, the 2018 edition of GameStart Asia definitely caters to a wider crowd with its focus on the community.

Written by ET

Figure Unboxing and Review: Racing Miku 2017 - Tony's Fairy Miku 1/1 scale (Good Smile Company)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 / No Comments
The Racing Miku 2017 version is illustrated by Tony, and the concept is a 'digitalized' fairy. She has bright green hair and matching frills as a skirt, and transparent wings with digitalized print. Furthermore, she comes with various intricate parts such as wing-shaped ear covers and a flower hair tie.
Her box comes with a large window and comes in a sturdy blister that holds the wings in a separate blister from the rest of the figure. However, do note that the box itself isn't as sturdy as I thought it would be, and she is actually only shipped via EMS (she doesn't fit into SAL dimensions.

The other sides of her box shows the figure in other angles. Only one side displays an illustration of Fairy Miku. However, I noticed that there are some differences between the printed image of the prototype and my copy of her. For instance, her skin looks a lot tanner on the image than the figure. The green accents on the figure, especially the darker gradient of her hair, is less saturated on the figure than in the illustration. Lastly, the wings are a lot more transparent on the figure than in the illustration, where they seem to be tinted blue.

As mentioned earlier, the wings are packed in a second blister layer. She also comes with a trophy, which is sculpted after the winning trophy GSC got at the race itself!

Unfortunately, my copy came with some defects in her both her left and right ponytails. I have emailed GSC about it, but they refused to send a replacement part due to them not seeing it as a problem. I have since then placed the figure far above eye level so the defects wouldn't be as visible when my room light hits the figure's ponytails.
First, on her left ponytail, I recognize that there are very obvious glue spills, making the branching of new strands very noticeable (bottom arrow). When matched with the lighter gradient in her ponytail, it creates this opaque white layer that is glaringly noticeable from the front. What makes this worse is highlighted by the arrow above and is illustrated better with the picture below.
It creates this whole line of white in the middle of the hair part that stands out so terribly against the lighter gradient!
Her left ponytail meets a similar problem with this white band at the darker green of her ponytails, creating this 'break' in color, that just looks so hideous. It stands out terribly when you are admiring the gradient and the flow of her hair.
Putting those defects aside (that I hope are only on my copy), we'll take a look at the whole figure itself. You'll see that the greens are a lot less muted than on the box itself. The flow of her hair also makes her take up a lot of horizontal space, although her base is really compact in comparison.
She also looks a little strange from certain angles, but this can be overlooked, as these are not the angles which she should be viewed at.

I find that my favorite angle to view this Miku figure in is from the back. While I appreciate her wings and the sculpt for her hair, I don't really like how they did the face (which is really similar to Tony's art style).

 She really seems to be lightly dancing and skipping around when you view her from different angles!
Something that I love about this figure is how delicate the sculpt is. There are so many little details to look at here, such as the thin red lines around the front of her outfit, the small tie, the sculpt of the bottom of her ribs and bellybutton. There are also so many translucent parts, such as those around her shoulders and the outer dress part around her hips.

What I don't like about this figure is the painting. I felt that it could have added so much more rather than just using different shades of green. There should be a lot more shading involved as well.
Focusing on the good point of this figure (the sculpt), we see a lot of details in the sculpting. While I don't dig how angled her ribs appear, I'm sure there are quite a few people out there that would dig it. 
Also, there are creases around her hips and the scrunchy around her tie shows really good sculpting details that displays how soft it looks.
I love her thigh-high boots and the little feminine details on it. For instance, the cute pattern at the hem of her boots and the soft pink painting on either side of it, that resembles small butterflies.

The logo there is also a good way to add in color to the white boots, and her green heels help to tie the color scheme back to the mainly green figure.
Although there are adequate creases on the boot, the shape of her foot itself is rather strange, and I'm pretty sure it would hurt terribly if she were to pose it at this angle.
Other than the lack of shading for the boots, another point that throws me off is the lack of any patterning at her soles, which are raised in the air. Adding some detailing here would have done wonders to my rating of this figure.
Assembling Miku means inserting her wings into place. Unfortunately, no detailed instruction was given and one was left to figure out how to position her right wing based on the illustration on the box itself, which goes in between sections of her dress. Thankfully, the left wing is easy to figure out.
The pattern on her wings is reminiscent of a futuristic design and it's so pretty. I do think that the transparency of the wings made it look a lot better than with the blue tint shown in the image. I would have preferred if they could line the perimeter of the wings so the unique shape would stand out more.

I love her hair tie a lot, and you can see the effort that went into sculpting details of the different flowers on the figure. The pastel colors used really adds a different color dimension to the figure and helps the palette stay soft and cute. I wish the rest of the figure could replicate the same feel without using such a saturated green. 
Her ear covers are lined with red, and are painted without a single error. As usual, a little more shading would have done wonders on this accessory as well.
 Last but not the least, the base and trophy.

I love how compact the base is. While it is unfortunate that they did not choose to go with a small diorama to enhance the figure, I love that they chose a compact base when they decided to use a plain one. It makes it a lot easier to fit other figures around it as well, so this is definitely a plus point for me. Furthermore, the light blue circular pattern also helps draw attention to the middle of it, the figure. 

The trophy is simply made, but really looks quite authentic. There's not much here to be said as it is not attached to the figure or base in any way, you can simply pose the trophy next to Miku or choose not to. Do note that the trophy does appear quite huge beside Miku, but she's a fairy in a 1/1 scale so I guess it fits the scale.
 I love the attention to the sculpting that they have done for this figure, however all in all, the painting seems to be a little lackluster. There is a little too much green going on in this figure, and while I understand that they wanted to follow Tony's illustration, there are times when colors in 2D illustrations don't fit well on a 3D figure. The color scheme and absurd lack of shading makes her colors appear rather flat to me.

My copy also came with flaws that I felt were serious and jarring, and impeded with my liking for this figure, but were not recognized by Good Smile Company.

If you feel like getting the Racing Miku 2017, I would suggest getting the Nendoroid which is a lot cuter than this. If you are more of a scale figure person, I would recommend getting Aquamarine's version, which has a more dynamic pose compared to GSC's version in the promotional photos. However, do note that I did not get Aquamarine version as I had already ordered this, so take my comparison of this to Aquamarine's quality with a pinch of salt.

~ Reina-rin

Story behind Universal Studios Singapore Halloween Horror Nights 8: The Haunting of Oiwa!

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As it draws closer to Halloween, it is the time for spooky tales. And today, I bring to you one of the legendary three onryo stories from Japan: Oiwa!
'The Haunting of Oiwa' is one of the iconic stories in Japanese folklore and is showcased at Halloween Horror Nights 8.

The main draw of this is based on the story of Yotsuya (otherwise known as Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan), and RWS advertises this as an experience where "visitors will step back in time to the chilling Edo-era of Japan in haunted house that is The Haunting of Oiwa and come face-to-face with Lady Oiwa who returns from the dead seeking revenge after being poisoned by her unfaithful husband".

But is this all? What's the true story behind Lady Oiwa? Is there even a true story?
Well, the famous retelling of the story into a kabuki play essentially incorporates aspects from different stories. The first concerns two servants murdering their masters, leading to them being executed; and the second story involved a samurai who nailed his cheating concubine and servant to a wooden board and throwing them into the Kanda River.

Merging these two together created the chilling tale of Oiwa which haunts us all till this very day.
The story is based in 17th century Edo Japan, centered around Tamiya Oiwa. The Tamiya Inari shrine in Yotsuya is said to be where Oiwa herself worshipped and is maintainted by the Tamiya family till this day. The shrine, also popularly known as Oiwa Shrine, is a 15 minute walk from Yotsuya station.
At the shrine, there is a signboard that suggests that the story of Oiwa 200 years after her death, is purely fictional and her relationship with Iemon was a happy and fruitful one. But well, I believe that there might be some truth to the popularized story, which goes like this...
Oiwa is the faithful and beautiful wife of Iemon, a ronin (samurai without a master). Her father, Samon, learned of his past misdeeds and wanted Iemon to leave his daughter. Iemon's servant/friend, Naosuke, also had his sights set on Oiwa's sister, Osode, who was already wed to another man, Yomoshichi. Hence, Iemon and Naosuke conspired to murder the two men, and swore to avenge their deaths if the two daughters married them.

However, after Oiwa gave birth, she grows sickly and never recovers. Times were hard and they had little money. Iemon is forced into lower work to support his family and grows to strongly resent his wife and their financial status. At this point in time, Oume, the granddaughter of a rich doctor falls in love with him, but felt that she could never compete with Oiwa's beauty. Her doting grandfather then conspired with Iemon, telling him that if he married Oume, he would inherit all their riches. He then prescribed Oiwa an ointment (poison) which Iemon gladly passed to his wife.

Upon using the ointment, sickly Oiwa became disfigured. Her eye droops and big chunks of her hair start to fall, resulting in her turning partially bald. This creates the usual depiction of Oiwa in art, such as in ukiyo-e, and also in movies and at HHN8.
Disgusted by Oiwa's mangled face and disappointed that his wife is still alive, Iemon then bribes a local man named Takuetsu to rape Oiwa so he would have a legitimate reason to divorce her. However, instead of going through with the devious plans, Takuetsu is frightened by Oiwa's looks and showed Oiwa her reflection instead. It is also believed that he revealed Iemon's plans to her then. This, combined with her disfigurement made Oiwa disheartened and furious.

She rushes to kill Takuetsu with a sword, but unfortunately, trips and cuts her own throat open instead. While bleeding profusely, she kills her infant son so he would not be raised by Iemon and become someone as vile as his father, then curses her husband's name with her dying breath.
Her faithful servant, Kohei, finds the body in the morning and becomes suspicious of Iemon after noticing that the latter seemed unreasonably elated over the death of his wife, but was quickly silenced. Iemon then nails the body of Oiwa and Kohei to a board and drops them into a river, claiming that the two were having an affair.

Released from his unfortunate marriage, Iemon then marries Oume. On their wedding night, he sees Oiwa's mangled face after removing the veil covering his wife's face.
In a fit of fear and anger, Iemon slashes the apparition with his sword, and successfully decapitating her. Unfortunately, she turns out to be Oume and a flustered Iemon rushes out to find his father-in-law. Outside his room, he sees a vision of Kohei and slashes out again, murdering his father-in-law as well. Now, frantic to cover up his crimes, Iemon sets out to purge the rest of the family, throwing his mother-in-law into a canal and drowning the servants. 

Meanwhile, the widowed Osode marries Naosuke. However, she refuses his numerous advances to consummate their marriage. This goes on until Yomoshichi shows up, alive, and accuses Osode of adultery. Shamed, the woman then begs them to kill her, which they do. After her death, Naosuke realizes through a note that Osode left him, that she was his younger sister. Ashamed of his deeds, he gave Yomoshichi damning evidence against Iemon, and commits suicide as well.

At around the same time, Iemon flees from the ghosts haunting him. In one instance, Oiwa's disfigured face is said to appear in paper lanterns that light his way. 
Having lost his mind and descended so deep into madness that he can't tell nightmares from reality anymore, Iemon escapes from his cabin in the mountains and runs into Yomoshichi, who slays him out of pity and vengeance.

Even until now, the story of Oiwa is well-known throughout Japan and it is customary for actors and directors to make a pilgrimage to Oiwa's grave to ask for her permission and blessing for their production before starting their filming.
If you're interested in the story of Oiwa and would like to get your fair share of scares for the upcoming Halloween, why not try HHN8? You'll get to experience Oiwa's vengeance first-hand at a perfectly made diorama of Edo Japan in the 17th century.
And you get to have a lot of chills from from Lady Oiwa as she stalks you from start to end of this haunted house. The thrilling experience from masks, sudden and close-up jump scares, and random eerie laughter will definitely leave your extremities tingling cold even after you experience the four other haunted house attractions at HHN8: Netflix's Stranger Things, Pagoda of Peril, Pontianak, and Killuminati!
Thank you for reading and look forward to the next Japanese horror tale I'll bring to y'all!