The Inaugural Post

So. Here we are. One guy with a new blog. I’ve been thinking about doing one for a while, so consider actually starting it to be a New Year’s resolution of some sort, and probably the only one I’ve ever really followed through on. We’ll see if I can keep up with it.

So a little about me. I’m a graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design, majored in Interactive Design and Game Development. That means I work in video games. Doesn’t mean I’m really good at anything, though. For a few months, I worked with a large game company doing quality assurance on their online payment systems. Unfortunately, a week and a half ago, the office was shut down and the base of operations for that project was moved to California. This leaves me between jobs at the moment.

I’m a big fan of video games, manga, anime, and (more recently) visual novels. We’ll start with a bit of discussion about my favorites.

My favorite video game series is the Disgaea series created by Nippon Ichi Software (NIS).

NIS specializes in strategy RPGs (the ones with the grids, for those not in the know) and Disgaea is their flagship series. It currently has three games and several spinoffs, and the characters from the games make cameos in all of the games released since the very first Disgaea. The most recent entry in the series was Disgaea 3 for PlayStation 3. This quite possibly holds the title of “Daverost’s Favorite Game Ever”, with the only game that can challenge it being the very first Disgaea for PlayStation 2. If you haven’t looked into these games, I wholeheartedly recommend it. The first two have been re-released in their entirety on PSP with additional content and the third should still be easy enough to get a hold of since it’s a PS3 game. Word of warning: These games are hardcore. And I mean HARDCORE. We’re talking a level cap of 9999… that doesn’t really mean anything compared to the equipment you have to build up… which has a level cap of 200… which is done by blasting through randomly generated dungeons.

My favorite manga series is Mahou Sensei Negima!, or Negima!: Magister Negi Magi as it’s called stateside.

Negima is the third series by author Ken Akamatsu. It’s about a young boy wizard who leaves England to begin his real-world magician training in Japan… as a teacher at an all-girls middle school, Mahora Academy. Hijinks ensue. The story starts off in a similar vein to Akamatsu’s previous works, being a harem comedy. There’s fanservice all over the place. The series starts to pick up about 20 chapters in, though, when it starts making a gradual shift to shounen action in the third volume. From the fourth volume’s start of the Kyoto arc on, the series starts picking up shounen steam and becomes one of the greatest shounen series of all time. It’s frequently considered better than any of the Big 3 (Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach), even though it’s less known. The series has a huge cast of well-rounded characters who all get their time in the spotlight, a great artistic style, and absolutely amazing action. It will have you laughing, crying, and going “What the hell just happened? That was AWESOME”. Definitely worth looking into.

My favorite anime is a much trickier subject. Negima’s anime adaptations have been… well… not so good. The first one was faithful to the manga, but had several events out of order and suffered from terrible animation. Animation so bad, in fact, that the animation company had to make an absurd amount of changes for the DVD version just to make the thing marketable. It also suffered from a silly (though admittedly kinda awesome) original ending. The second series started out as a quick summary of the first three volumes of the manga and then branched off into something completely different. The new OADs are faithful, but few in number. There are only 5 half-hour episodes so far. So what’s my favorite? Probably Toradora!

I found this series earlier this year and watched though it. There’s a lot of debate over whether or not it’s good. It starts off with the two main characters, a guy named Ryuuji and a girl named Taiga. Ryuuji likes Taiga’s friend and Taiga likes Ryuuji’s friend. Even though they don’t like each other at first, they decide that teaming up to get involved with each other’s friend is the best strategy. Silly romantic comedy things happen. There’s a huge shift in tone about halfway through the series, though. The comedy takes a back seat to drama. Here’s where the split in opinions happen. The people who don’t like the drama and plot from this point hate the series and the people that do generally think that the second half was the better part of the series. Now obviously, saying that I like this show, you can guess what camp I fall into. I love the show to death and Taiga has become one of my favorite characters. She’s quite the adorable one. I recommend giving this series a shot, but I can’t recommend that you’ll love it to death like I do, or even that you’ll like it at all.

Lastly, visual novels. My favorite of these is the only one I’ve really read so far: Umineko no Naku Koro ni.

This is the third (and fourth) part of the When They Cry series, started by Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. It has no real relation to Higurashi (other than a character (plot-unrelated) and a handful of joke references), so it’s very easy to pick up without knowing anything about Higurashi. The setup for this one is that Battler Ushiromiya, who has been out of contact with most of his family for the last six years, is attending the annual family conference on the island of Rokkenjima. His parents are there to debate over the inheritance from their father, Kinzo, who is on the verge of death. A typhoon strands the family on the island and as the night goes on, mysterious murders occur where it seems possible that no one could have done it. Could it be the mysterious witch Beatrice from the island’s legend? This is a kinetic novel (no choices) that the author describes as a “sound novel” due to its emphasis on soundtrack rather than graphics. The graphics aren’t top-notch, but the music sure as hell is. This VN has the greatest soundtrack of anything ever. EVER. It’s perfect. The novel occurs as a bit of a contest between the readers and the author. The author takes the readers’ feedback and theories and crafts the next chapter in a way that may help them and may throw them off the trail. Currently, part three of When They Cry, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, is complete after episode four. All of these have been translated by The Witch Hunt. Part four, Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru, has recently released the sixth episode and the translation for the fifth episode was released recently as well. I really recommend trying this one out, even if you don’t try out any of the other stuff I’ve recommended so far. If you check out The Witch Hunt’s site, you can find information on how to try out the entire first episode for free (it’s available as a trial from the author). The first episode itself is amazing (although it starts incredibly slow) and it only gets better from there. Please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and try this one out. Oh, and fun fact: This blog’s (possibly temporary) name, “The Blue Truth”, is a term from this VN. The blue truth is a theory stated as a fact. Unless it is countered by the red truth, an indisputable true fact, the blue truth will stick as a new truth, overwriting whatever the actual facts may be. The process of making a claim and having someone else comment in return parallels the blogging process so nicely that I thought it was a fitting title.

So there are several walls of text. That’s a pretty good start to this thing. I know the place looks pretty rough (and very default) right now, but hopefully I’ll have some time later to tweak it to a more professional level of blogging. Here are some things I’m currently working on that you may hear more about from me soon:

Video games: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Anime: To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
Visual Novels: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Until then, thanks for reading and I hope you’ll visit again.

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