So, fun fact: I have made upwards of four Tabletop RPGs:
Hello to all who read this. As you probably know, my name is Marcosias, and I’m the author of this blog.
As is no doubt aware from the sporadic posts and broad nature of said posts, I am fairly bad at keeping schedules. There are many things that I want to post about, but I either forget or lack the drive to do so consistently. This post is to address exactly why.
Apologies in advance if the writing starts to tangent, but I need to put these thoughts somewhere.
As some of my readers and friends may know, I have Major Depressive Disorder, also called major depression. This means that, at random times, I may suddenly feel a sense of loneliness, self-depravity, or inferiority – sometimes this has a trigger, sometimes it just happens. But at all times, it is an inconvenience to me.
In the past 7 years, I have attempted suicide upwards of ten times – the most drastic of which being November and December 2014, where I was admitted to the ER by police escorts twice in the course of two months. During this time, I was under watch for about 5 days, where I stayed in the hospital.
While I haven’t tried anything in the past year or so, I constantly think about it. In those thoughts, the idea of being useless, never achieving my goals, financial worries, and fear of failure constantly take over. The term “struggling with depression” doesn’t seem to fit; struggling implies I think I have a chance to get past it. In my case, at the very least, I never feel truly better.
To try and combat these symptoms, I try to laugh a lot, even going so far as to fake smiles and laughs. I make daily goals on getting people to smile, whether its my friends, coworkers, family, or even strangers that I see on the street. My friends think that I’ve improved – I’ve got a new job that I like, I have some games that I spend my free time on, and I even started making a new TRPG that seems to be working out all right.
But in all honesty, it feels like I’m just lying.
Even when I laugh uncontrollably at Markiplier, or see a touching scene in a movie or anime, I can’t stop thinking about how the world would be a better place without me. I’m wasteful, passive, spiteful, and harsh, and to be honest, I hate everyone that I meet.
… For the most part.
The thing about depression is, even when you know the feelings of uselessness and inferiority are untrue, you cannot stop believing them. Its as if you were told it from the day you were born, and no one ever corrected it.
I constantly feel sick to my stomach just looking in the mirror, and I can never stop thinking that my friends just pretend to put up with me.
I want to scream as loud as I can, for as long as I can.
I want to punch someone or something as hard as I can.
I want to hurt everyone, including myself.
But, because that is looked down upon by society, I grit my teeth into a smile and bottle it up. It hurts to feel like this, but being unable to cry. To forget things constantly, but always remember the bad things.
To hurt the ones you love, when you just want to die.
Now to clarify, I’m not telling you to go out and shout how you want to commit suicide. I’m not condoning it, nor am I saying that everyone with depression feels the same way. Like all of my posts, this is how I, personally, feel [when I’m depressed].
Sorry for speaking so much, but I needed to say this. To everyone who reads my posts, thanks for sticking with me. Reviews for Zestiria X, Zestiria the Game, Berseria, and the Monogatari series are coming soon, with other reviews possibly in between.
-Marcosias A. Isif
It’s been a bit since my last post (but not nearly as long as some of them), so I figured I’d start writing this post while the anime is fresh in my mind. I will point out that this review may have spoilers, so readers, beware.
Here is a synopsis from Wikipedia, since I suck at describing:
Charlotte (シャーロット Shārotto?) is a 13-episode Japanese anime television series produced by P.A.Works and Aniplex and directed by Yoshiyuki Asai. The anime aired in Japan between July 5 and September 27, 2015. An original video animation episode was released in March 2016. Two manga series are serialized in ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki G’s Comic. The story takes place in an alternate reality where a small percentage of children manifest superhuman abilities upon reaching puberty. A focus is placed on Yuu Otosaka, a high school boy who awakens the ability to temporarily possess others, which brings him to the attention of Nao Tomori, the student council president of a school founded as a haven for children with such abilities.
While I will try my hardest not to put spoilers in this review, I will say that this show is better experienced knowing less. So once again:
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
All right, so down to brass tacks. Is this show “good”?
In short, I would say that it’s one of the best (if not the best) show this anime season – while I do enjoy Slice-Of-Life shows with bits of comedy, or hyper-violent series with emphasis on psycho-horror, this show falls more into the “Clannad” category of emotional trauma.
And by that, I mean that I actually cried.
That’s not to say that this show is all feels – rather, as stated above, it’s a Superteens show, with happy moments and dark twists. But without ruining the ending, everything ties up fairly neatly – there is not an “ending for a second season”, or even “what about this or that?” ending.
I feel that the ending closes everything nicely, even regarding my one problem with this series regarding the younger sister (which I won’t state).
But enough ranting about how I love it. Let’s review the show as a whole.
Plot: 9 out of 10
When I like a show, it’s usually superficial (as in, I like one character who seems to be the coolest character in the universe). But this show has thirteen episodes – and unlike a lot of shows, it feels like not a single one is wasted. As I stated before, everything seems to wrap up nicely, with the main character showing extremely dynamic growth through the show. The side characters have their own little growths here and there, but this story seems to know that it wants the main characters to stay that way – instead of fading into the background like in other shows. Even considering this, the one moment regarding Ayumi forces me to drop this grade by a point, but otherwise, I think this show nailed it.
Character Development: 5 out of 5
Like with the Plot segment, I have to give this show credit for its use of characters. None of the major characters seem to be forgettable, but the show still manages to keep focus on the “main” characters: Yuu and Nao. By episode 6, you think you’ve figured everyone out, but the show throws a curve ball, going deeper for character development than I’ve ever seen. I can’t genuinely state a single major character that I disliked.
Art / Acting: 9 out of 10
Let me say this: I absolutely LOVE P.A. Works. Every series I have seen them involved with has beautiful animation and powerful, accurate acting – the problem is, the series’ usually end up very boring halfway through (Hanasaku Iroha, RDG, Another… etc). However, this one had all of the above points; not only that, but every character seemed to have their own reason for using their powers… which makes some of the scenes a little more than upsetting (specifically during the last episodes).
Rewatch Value: 7 out of 10
If I am to give any low scores to this show, it would be here. While I did enjoy the show, it isn’t something I would watch over and over because of that. If anything, I would rather watch it again to clarify anything I may have missed (for instance, if the name Charlotte actually appeared before Episode 6…). But then again, I don’t like rewatching many series. My advice to you: take your time with this series. Otherwise, you’ll feel empty inside by the time you reach Episode 9. Trust me.
Overall Rating: 49 out of 50
With the one problem I have with this show, I can’t knowingly give it full marks. However, I have to admit that I absolutely loved this show. Never since Clannad: After Story have I shed an actual tear for a show or movie, but this show did its storytelling right. From the characters to the events, from the animation to the actors, and from beginning to end, this show was absolutely amazing. As I said before, I tried very hard not to put spoilers in this review, but I know that there are some things that are easier to tell now rather than later.
While I don’t know of any discs available outside of Japan and Australia, it seems like most streaming sites (excluding Netflix and Youtube) seem to have it – including Hulu. I wholeheartedly recommend this show to anyone and everyone who enjoys Superteen series (or people looking to jump into the genre). Just be prepared for the last two episodes… actually, just prepare yourself for the whole show.
Apologies. I know I haven’t been very active lately, but there’s been a lot of crap piling up in my life – most of which, I’ve managed to clear out. In case you aren’t in my connectwork, here’s what’s been going on:
-Dropped out of college completely. There’s very little chance I’ll go back at this point, but I do appear on campus every now and then.
-Got a job at Walgreens – currently working around 30 hours per week and getting 10.25 per hour. I am the Photo Specialist.
-Now I am on Riddlin as well as Lexipro, and also taking D3 tablets every day. Also visit a therapist once a month.
-Moved out of my mother’s house, due to my stepfather, stress, and other things. I moved in with two of my friends, and it’s been going fairly well.
-Gained and (kind of) lost a girlfriend. Enjoyed her presence while it lasted, still miss her.
-Apparently Donald Trump is running for president. So, yeah, that’s a thing.
Anyway, enough about me. I’ll try to post more reviews and other stuff as often as I can, because apparently keeping a schedule is too hard for me. But hopefully, there will be a solid one soon.
So, it’s been a bit since my last update. Because of that, the next few posts may be a little cluttered together.
But for right now, a new anime review – this time of a fairly well-known series of movies!
Anime Review: The Garden of Sinners
I want to start this review by saying that I had no clue what the hell Kara no Kyoukai was when I found it. The first movie I saw was the latest in the collection, and then I went back and got the rest of the movies. Among my favorite fansub groups, there is a large amount of anime I subconsciously avoid, and for the longest time, Kara no Kyoukai: Future Blessing was on that list. But after realizing that the majority of UTW’s anime choices were amazing, I decided to give it a chance.
Kara no Kyoukai started out as a 1998 light novel by Kinoku Nasu, which apparently gained a cult following, with eight novels and more than seven animated films o date, with one novel unreleased, and a possible final film being released soon. It follows the story of a small group of people in late 1990 Japan, and tackles many mature subjects such as incest, rape, suicide, murder, and parricide, adding a paranormal twist to it. The main character, Shiki Ryougi, is a form of paranormal sleuth, dealing out her own form of vigilante justice through her knife, and her mysterious powers.
Throughout the movies, it is obvious that she and a second character (Mikiya) have some sort of unspoken relationship. Not only that, but as the prequels and sequels come in, we also learn about Shiki herself, and the mysteries surrounding her, such as her prosthetic arm, her entanglement with the paranormal, and in the latest movie, her connection to these people who target her.
To be honest, I wanted to watch all of the movies in one go. However, there were problems with my player, and the middle movies aren’t playing correctly. The movies I did see, however, were definitely interesting – each movie is directed by a new director (with some exceptions)- and the story and animation show that- but still, the story seems to flow well from chapter to chapter. Also, despite the fact that the movies skip along the timeline weirdly, they seem to do so in a way that answers the questions from the previous movie, and makes new questions that can be found through careful study.
I have not seen many other reviews on this series (Demolition D+ is the only one I’ve actually seen), but despite that, after seeing the first movie, I realized that it is in fact a classic. It inspired such series as Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime, and the characters and plot points seem to be reminiscent in those series.
There’s not much more that I can say about this series, but I must say: watching Shiki break someone’s pupil with magic was awesome.
And now, without further ado, the scoring of Kara no Kyoukai.
Looking at my past posts, I realize this is actually the first Anime review I’ve published. So here’s a breakdown of the scoring system for anime:
-Plot / Story: how well-thought out the plot was, or how well the story arcs build into the main idea of the series. Out of 10.
-CD: short for Character Development. How characters develop, and how their relationships or interactions with other characters change them. Out of 5.
Art / Acting: based around character design, clothing and environment design, and above all, acting. Poor acting means a poor grade. Out of 10.
Rewatch Value: how tempted I would be to re-watch the series. Things like To Aru have a high rewatch value for me, while things like Helsing don’t. Out of 10.
Overall Rating: kind of self-explanatory. Based on the above factors (and my other personal feelings about the franchise or series) I will give the series a rating and an S through F grade, with high and low markers. Out of 50.
So, here is my score for Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners (TVMA):
Plot: 7.5 out of 10
while I did like the story (and in the series’ defense, I watched the last movie first), there were times in the movies that I just couldn’t follow. Whether it is because of poor subbing, or if the language just didn’t translate well, it caused me to deviate, albeit a little, from paying attention to the plot. However, the parts that I could follow were definitely amazing – seeing the evolution of Shiki between the first and latest movies was definitely surprising, and it correlated well when watching the other movies in the series.
CD: 4 out of 5
Possibly the only slow character development that I can stand, TYPE-MOON uses each chapter to tell a different story that connects with the main characters, and almost always features a new character that helps flesh out the major characters. There still seems to be some characters that could use this (such as Bomberman Mitsuru in Future Blessing), but that could just be because I haven’t seen him in the other movies yet. Shiki especially changes throughout the series, going from a murderous introvert who hates socializing, to a young woman who can express some form of feeling.
Art / Acting: 10 out of 10
I may be generous in most of my reviews, but it is still rare for me to award a full score in any category. The art of each chapter evolved as the series grew older, and each director had a distinct but powerful difference in their interpretation of the series. Each actor seems to be carefully chosen for the role they portrayed, and each character seemed believable, from the simple Mikiya to the complex Shiki – even some of the less-major characters (Seo, Bomberman) seemed to have their own backstories in their voices. The clothing choice is interesting, and always complements the character it is chosen for; as for the environments, the distinct lack of high-tech devices in the 1990’s gives the series a nostalgic feel, like when we used to all have that huge cellphone from Nokia.
Rewatch Value: 8 out of 10
As I said before, while I couldn’t watch the middle chapters, the episodes I did see have stuck with me. Not to say, they were perfect, but Future Blessing and Overlooking View seem to have many hidden themes, which gives me the feeling that I missed something. In fact, I have watched Future Blessing four times, and each time, I notice something new. Although this is the case for many movies and series, I feel like this movie does it well, and in such a way that makes a watcher come back again and again (although, once again, it could be the different directors).
Overall Rating: 48 out of 50
I have to admit, I absolutely loved the series. From the symbolism to the scenes, the characters to the antagonists, Kara no Kyoukai peaked my interest, and kept my attention all through the movie. Usually when watching a movie (subbed or dubbed) I have the need to multitask – for the chapters that I have had the pleasure to watch, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen. Many of the themes, characters, and basic ideas in the game were different – innovative, interesting, and above all, mysterious. I can’t honestly say that I have seen a better anime series, excluding Ghibli films, and even my favorite series can’t match up to this. Kara no Kyoukai is definitely a must watch, but only for the older audiences, as there are many violent, mature, and just plain disturbing scenes throughout each episode.
I’m not sure if there are DVDs available in North America or Europe, but the series is subtitled only, and there are a large number of Torrenters who you can get the series from. If you can find an official release for your country, however, I definitely recommend buying it.