Princess Mononoke – Review

Hi All

I’m not entirely sure how I did it, but I seem to have lost my notes for this review as well as the script for the video review. So, this is both a review and a sort of script. Okay, Okay, enough chattering, let’s look at Princess Mononoke.

I first saw Princess Mononoke at the suggestion of a friend who, like me, was a massive anime fan. The way he described it, as I recall, was as a “hybrid of fantasy and romance with a plot involving a cursed prince and magical animals.”

My response was something along the lines of: “So, it’s like a cross between Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella?”

He wasn’t very impressed but I was thinking of Disney films at the time and wasn’t really paying that much attention; and come on, cursed prince (Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora was the cursed princess) and magical animals (I was thinking of the talking mice in Cinderella) – could you blame me? You probably could. So, what’s the story here?

The Story

The story has two distinct arcs that I can identify.

The first follows the character of Ashitaka, a prince who kills the boar god Nago and is thereafter cursed. He has to leave his home to search for the cure before the curse kills him. Subsequently he arrives at an iron works and meets Eboshi the woman in charge and San, a girl from the surrounding forest who was raised by wolves.

The second follows the conflict between Eboshi and the resident gods of the forest. She is making guns as a means of making a living and intends to lead a hunt to kill the deer god who rules the forest. Of course, the other residents of the forest keep interfering.

These two arcs intersect at several points and culminate in one great climactic sequence which honestly had me on the edge of my seat – I won’t say anything else in terms of plot so as to avoid spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it.

Pros and Cons

The story is great and the way the two arcs are interwoven makes it an enjoyable watch for the whole family. The animation, done by Hayao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli, is beautifully done and the film was apparently the first animated feature (at least as far as Ghibli goes) to integrate 3D computer animation with traditional 2D cell animation. In terms of music, the film is beautifully scored and well directed.download (2)

Unfortunately, not much is explained in the film and that’s the only problem with the film – at least to me. Ashitaka is a prince; okay, a prince of what? It’s never really explained who he is or what he’s supposed to rule. Eboshi wants to kill the deer god, why? What’s in it for her?

I could be wrong and these questions were, in fact, answered but I didn’t see it. Then again, that’s the joy of film isn’t it? Being able to theorize and think about all the little details.

Final Thoughts

In closing, the film was great; Miyazaki clearly put a lot of effort in creating this film and I think that effort really did pay off in the end. It’s a great story with likable characters, beautiful animation and music and while it might be slow in places; it’s definitely worth a watch.

I don’t normally recommend anime titles because it’s not for everyone but this, I feel, is the exception to that rule. If you haven’t seen this yet, then I highly recommend it.

That’s all from me for now guys, the video review for this will hit the Youtube channel at some point in the next few days or weeks and I have a couple of new segments coming up which I hope to launch soon as well.

Thanks for Reading!

Greg.

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FIRST GAMEPLAY + New Stuff

Hi Everyone!

Well, sorry it’s a bit late; I’ve had a hectic couple of days but the gameplay video for Yu-Gi-Oh! Pro Dawn of a New Era is now uploaded on the Crazy Nut Reviews Youtube channel.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HtQVgtOFtI&t=89s 

I’ve got a couple of other videos on the way – Anime reviews, book and film reviews and top 10 lists, and discussion videos. I’m not sure when all these will come out or in what order, I have to be honest, but they’ll start up soon with any luck.

I’ve got a few ideas on where to start so hopefully this coming weekend will see the release of a new video.

I don’t have much more to say except that, as always, feel free to leave any suggestions, comments, or questions on the Crazy Nut Reviews Facebook Page or my Twitter: @AnimeCrazyNut, or on the youtube thread.

That’s all from me for now, so I’ll see you all again for the next one!

Cheers!

Greg.

The Next Few Weeks on CNR

Hey Everyone, just wanted to update you all with the current goings on here at Crazy Nut Reviews.

So, last night I posted an update to my instagram profile concerning the site’s youtube channel and the gameplay video I’ve been talking about for the last few weeks – we’ll start there.

First off, the youtube channel; I believe I mentioned this in a previous article but in case you missed it, yes, CNR is getting a youtube channel – CrazyNutReviewsOnline. The last few weeks I’ve been uploading video reviews so that there’s something there when I put up the link to the channel (link will be at the end of this article). In terms of content, it’s pretty much going to be videos related to stuff I write about here and no, I won’t be doing videos for EVERYTHING that I write about because then I’d never get any free time!

The video work is going to be very specific stuff concerning books, movies, series, manga, American Comics, Games and Anime.

There are currently 8 videos uploaded to the CNR Youtube channel and they’re all anime-related; the next video which is to be uploaded is, of course, my first gameplay video for Yu-Gi-Oh! Pro. After that, I’m going to basically revamp the series and start I’ve got a few other videos in mind which I’ve wanted to do for a while now so this is a good time to do ’em.

I’m not sure exactly how everything is going to work out yet but I thought it’d be a good idea to just let you all know what’s up.

The link to the youtube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6NuujPAJnwrVW9cZcjI9xA?view_as=subscriber 

Like I said before, the 8 videos that are currently up are all anime related but I’ve got a lot of other stuff on the way; so if you have any suggestions for videos (review suggestions and so forth) then leave them in the comments section here or on any of the videos on the channel or go to my twitter (@AnimeCrazyNut) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/greg.seebregts/) and leave a suggestion there – a lot of the updates and stuff will probably go to Instagram first and come to the CNR website and youtube channel later so you can leave comments and such on the updates as they come out.

I think I’ve covered everything now so that’s all from me; but I’ll be back for the next one – hopefully my gameplay video will be up tomorrow afternoon sometime so stay tuned for that and I’ll see you then!

Thanks for Reading!

Greg.

10 Films to watch for Halloween

Hi guys

Well, while I prep a few videos for airing and continue uploading my previous content to the site’s Youtube channel; I thought I’d share some of my ‘Halloween’ watches with you since it’s about a week from now.

Okay, so in South Africa we don’t celebrate Halloween but every year around about this time; I sit and watch a lot of horror movies – and horror comedies. So I guess that counts sort of; anyways on with the list!

Number 10: The Wolfman (either version)

download (2).jpg I don’t always watch the Wolfman but it’s a good flick if you want some mindless, gory entertainment. The story, if you’re somehow unfamiliar with it, is that of a nobleman who returns home and ends up mauled/bitten by an animal and cursed with lycanthropy with chaos ensuing. There are two versions of this film, the original from 1941 and a 2010 remake.

I’ve seen the 2010 version several times but I’ve only seen parts of the original 1941 classic. Maybe I should sit down and really watch the 1941 film at some point. The remake is by no means a perfect film, there are huge problems with it but it’s a well-made and decently entertaining.

Number 09: Halloween (1978/2007)

images (5).jpg Once again, I don’t watch this one every year but the film is well done and worth watching. The story is simple, a young boy is committed to a sanitarium after killing his sister, after fifteen years he escapes and returns to his hometown to kill again.

Like the previous entry on this list, Halloween has two versions. The original was made in 1978 and the remake in 2007. Unlike the previous entry, I’ve seen both versions of this one and to be honest I enjoyed them both but for different reasons – if I had to choose which version was scarier I’d probably use the killer as the linchpin. In the original film the killer has no motives and shows no emotion – except one instance of what could be admiration. The idea that someone could kill without reason and feel nothing is disturbing.

In the remake, the grownup Michael Myers is more physical; using brute strength and aggression to overpower his victims. I don’t care how brave you are; if you’re unarmed and a masked man comes running at you with a knife I don’t think it’ll end well.

Number 08: 30 Days of Night

images (4)

Yes, vampires we’re looking at the other end of the monster scale for this entry. Based on a graphic novel by the same name, 30 Days of Night follows a small group of people in a small Alaskan town as they try to fend of a vampire siege. This film is just brilliant coming out in 2007 at the height of the twilight book craze; it brought vampires back from the sparkly, love-struck edge and made them scary again.

Number 07: Sleepy Hollow

download (3).jpg Ah yes, Sleepy Hollow probably one of my favorite Tim Burton films since 1989’s Batman. A New York constable is sent out into the boonies to solve a series of grisly murders perpetrated by a spectral horseman who did quit when he was ahead….okay, okay, bad joke I know but still it was all lined up!

Alright, all jokes aside; this film is great. Everything is very well done from the Hammer-style lighting and color palette, to the creepy music by Danny Elfman and phenomenal performances from the cast!

Number 06: the Black Cauldron

download (5).jpg This entry might seem out of place on this list but trust me; it’s not. Around the mid-1970s, Disney started doing more live-action films which were geared at older audiences and as you can imagine this made for some pretty disturbing imagery. In 1985, Disney released the Black Cauldron, a story about a boy called Taran who is constantly daydreaming and getting into trouble having to protect a clairvoyant pig (yes, you read that correctly) from the evil Horned King who wishes to use the pig to find the titular black cauldron to take over the world.

Sounds pretty standard, right? Well the problem, from what I understand, was that at the time the darker stuff that Disney was making wasn’t very well liked by parents. They were nominated for awards and such but that was about it and at that point all of their darker stuff was live-action. This was their first, and thankfully last, dark, scary, animated film (at least for that time period; don’t know if they’ve tried again). The film was destroyed upon release and was a box office bomb – still it’s a good film to watch if you’re looking for something out of the norm from the usually kid-friendly studio.

Number 05: the Strangers

download (6).jpg A young couple in their summer residence is tormented by a group of masked, knife-wielding strangers. That’s about all I can say about the film’s plot without spoiling anything. This little gem of a thriller was released in 2008 and is, in my opinion, very, VERY underappreciated. Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman do a great job as the couple in peril and the strangers tormenting them in the film are creepy…like uber-creepy.

Number 04: the Curse of Frankenstein

download (7).jpg Okay, going old-school for this entry. Curse of Frankenstein was produced by Hammer Film Studios in 1957 and was the start of a wonderful pair-up of actors. Peter Cushing plays Victor Frankenstein, a man who is fascinated with restoring life to the dead. After many months of preparation, the baron successfully reanimates his creature (played by the late, great Christopher Lee). Unfortunately, the creature escapes and chaos ensues as they try to capture it.

Very loosely based on Mary Shelley’s novel of the same name, this film hasn’t really aged well (it’s 60 years old for goodness’ sakes) but it’s a real joy to watch.

Hey voices in my head, I need a break from all this dark stuff; don’t we have any lighter stuff than this?

<inane whispering from the voices>

We do? <relieved sigh> What is it?

Number 03: Bram Stoker’s Dracula 

download (30.jpgA young lawyer, Jonathan Harker is sent to Transylvania to assist an eccentric nobleman in purchasing properties in England and while there he discovers that his host is in fact not what he appears to be. Dracula goes off to England, leaving Harker at the mercy of his brides and what follows is the quest to kill the evil vampire before he kills again.

Vibrantly colored, dark toned and rather more sexual than the book on which it was based this is also the closest any film in recent years has stuck to the book. The one and only BIG problem that I have with the film as a whole is how they’ve made Dracula a love-struck idiot! He’s Dracula not Romeo Montague! He’s not meant to be a romantic character – he’s supposed to be scary!

Still a good film for this list.

Voices, I said ‘something lighter’ I feel like laughing; not hiding! I’ll give you one more chance and then it’s loud music time for you.

<Frantic whispers>

Dracula Dead and Loving It? You got lucky this time!

Number 02: Dracula – Dead and Loving It

download (8).jpgYes, the king of vampires returns to the list and at the number 2 spot no less. Same story, this time it’s Renfield who’s the attorney though and he goes crazy at the not-too-subtle prompting of Leslie Nielsen’s Dracula.

Sexual innuendos, bad accents and chaos ensue in this admittedly silly film. There isn’t much to recommend this film but I like it.

and before the voices in my head throw out something totally messed up; I’ll beat them to it with:

Number 01: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

download (10).jpgNow, this isn’t the TV series that most everyone is familiar with. No, I’m talking about the 1992 film starring Kristy Swanson. The story is the same in both versions more or less – Buffy is a teen in high school who wants nothing more than a normal life but she’s bound by destiny to slay vampires until the day she dies.

The film is corny, overacted and purely a good time waster. Some of the humor falls flat but for the most part it’s okay and I watch this one quite frequently. If I had one problem with the film it’d be that the dialogue in some places is clearly very dated – 90s slang isn’t very pleasant to listen to.

So, that’s my list of 10 films to watch for Halloween; let me know what you think and I’ll see you next time! Leave a recommendation to add to the list in the comments.

Thanks for Reading!

Greg

 

Slight Schedule Change for YGOPRO Pilot

Hey Everyone

Well, just a quick update on the YGOPRO series – the First Gameplay video for Yu-Gi-Oh! Pro is still coming; I’m hoping to have it uploaded straight to the site’s youtube channel.

For now though, let me just get on with it; a few days ago I did an article of sorts detailing the YGOPRO recordings and I mentioned (I think) that I’m part of multiple Facebook groups and that some of  these groups do events. i.e. Dorm Entry Duel tests, Deck building, and so on.

Anyways, next week Tuesday one of these groups is having a Dorm tournament. Basically you enter a dorm by dueling against one of the group’s admins and based on how long you last you’re placed in either: Obelisk Blue (If you go for 7 turns), Ra Yellow (15 turns) and Slifer Red (20+ turns) and this tournament is aimed at those who are in ‘dorms’ already.

So, I thought I’d sign up – sort of; my first duel will be on Skype tomorrow (Friday Oct. 20) afternoon and since it’s on Skype I don’t know if I’ll do like a live video or something like that or if I’ll even just do a recording of the gameplay over Skype because I don’t know that there’ll be much to see.

You’d all be hearing my voice and my opponent’s voice and that’s it; which let’s face it, gets pretty boring after a few minutes of it. Thankfully, I do have a second duel (also on Skype) scheduled for Saturday afternoon/evening so maybe I’ll record that. I definitely will try to cover the upcoming dorm tournament.

Okay, so that’s two Skype duels and some work to do on PRO so it looks like I’ve got a busy couple of days ahead! To start off, though, I’ll probably do a deck building video and put something together to prep for my Dorm Entry Test (I guess you can call it that).

If I don’t live video/record the duels via Skype, I will do a video where I talk about the experience as it is the first time I’m doing this.

Anyways guys and gals, it’s late and I’ve a busy day tomorrow and the following two days so I’ll say good night and as always you can let me know your thoughts in the comments either here or on Facebook or on Twitter (@AnimeCrazyNut); I’ll put out another sort of update thing tomorrow morning via Instagram (greg.seebregts) so yeah I guess the shameless self-promotion is over and I’ll see you all for some fun this weekend!

Good Night!

Greg.

New Yu-Gi-Oh! Related Video Series

Hi Everyone!

Well, as the title says; I’m launching a new video series in a few…well, a few days I hope. and this is a project I’ve been trying to do for a while and just couldn’t get it right. The series is related to the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game and I’m super excited about the project. Why? Because I’ve been planning this series for about a year now and I’m finally launching. The majority of the series will be on Yu-Gi-Oh! Pro but I will be doing other videos related to the game as well as other game video series’ when I can.

What is the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG?

YGOPRO Cover.jpg

Okay, so for those who DON’T know what the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG is; it’s a card game wherein two players battle using monster cards in conjunction with spell and trap cards to get the other player’s Life Point Counter to go from 8000 to 0. Matches are 3 rounds and best 2 out of 3 wins.

 

Simple right? Well, not really. See, there are different spells and traps that do different things and different summoning rules for different monsters so things get pretty complicated at times – especially with all the new summoning mechanics coming out.

I’ve been playing on and off for about 13 or 14 years now and while I’m not too keen on some of the new mechanics; the changes they bring to the game are always interesting.

I started around 2003/2004 and actually learned to play thanks to a cousin who was really into the game at the time. I got really into it and my parents got me a double set Starter/Structure deck for Christmas (in 2004). After that, I played with any other players I could find and thankfully all of my friends played at the time as well.

So, what’s this series about?

 

Well, as I said in my Lilim Kiss review last week, my first gameplay video is almost done. Basically I’ll do a video before the actual gameplay talking about what cards I’ll be using and what strengths and weaknesses that set has. After that, I’ll do some test matches with that deck checking stability and consistency and so on. After each match’s conclusion I’ll do an overall evaluation of both the match and the archetype that I used for that match.

I’m looking to get the first test match video up sometime this week – Friday if I can do so; it seems the power company isn’t going to be switching off the electricity anymore so my uploads and everything should proceed smoothly from now on.

Last Minute Stuff

Okay, I’m not sure what else put into this post – a review of Yu-Gi-Oh! Pro will go up at some point over the next few weeks and as always feel free to tell me about your experiences with the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG in the comments section or on my Twitter page (@AnimeCrazyNut); or on the Crazy Nut Reviews Facebook Page.

Feel free to also tell me what decks you’d like to see in the series or what other Yu-Gi-Oh! videos you’d like me to do. As soon as the first test goes up I’ll put the word out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and you guys can tune in.

Anyways guys, that’s all from me for now; until next time – stay cool and thanks for reading!

Greg.

Manga Review: Lilim Kiss

Hi Everyone

Okay so, I’m having a bit of trouble getting the videos for my web-series uploaded. Our power company cuts off the power to my area at certain times and  unfortunately this has slowed everything down. The videos will be going up on Youtube as soon as I can get them there and I have a few ideas on what I can do in the meantime with regard to that.

With that out of the way for now, let’s talk about manga.

Manga and Me

I guess the best way to start this review is to include a bit of background info; just so that you guys know where I’m coming from here. Uh, I started reading manga comics about four or five years ago and I was initially confused and frustrated because the panels are read from right to left instead of the other way ’round. Still, a friend of mine recommended a series called Black Cat by Kentaro Yabuki and mostly out of boredom I checked it out and to my surprise it hooked me!

After that, I read basically everything I could find, Sci-fi, School life, Romance, and others were frequent reads for me – which brings up the subject of this review: Lilim Kiss.

Lilim Kiss

Lilim Kiss was written and illustrated by one Mizuki Kawashita and was originally serialized by a company called Shueisha for weekly release before being collected into two Tankobon volumes.

I first encountered this series while browsing through a list of supernatural comedy manga series’ and read it primarily out of curiosity and I loved it!

The Story

Saiki Takaya is a young man who finds a bottle of sorts which, when opened, releases a succubus named Lilim who promptly ends up moving in with him as a sort of live-in girlfriend.

Of course, hilarity ensues as the two get to know each other and fall in love.

The Characters

In this case there’s really not much I can say. Takaya is a bland male lead with all the stereotypical ‘macho’ nonsense thrown in; his friend Matsuda is a pervert and Kojima is the bookworm.

Lilim is likable because of how dumb she is! She’s a ditzy airhead with a heart of gold and is by far the most interesting character.  The other characters are fun but when you stop reading the series Lilim is the only character you remember and, in fact, the only one you really care about.

My Impressions

My impression of the series was one initially of resigned amusement because I’d seen a lot of the same stuff in other series at the time that I first found the series.

I enjoyed the comedic elements almost as much as the romantic drama elements. It’s definitely worth a read if you haven’t read it already.

Fun fact: the word ‘manga’ has two meanings in Japan for comics and cartooning. Outside of Japan, the term is used to describe comic books which originate in Japan.

Anyways, Thanks for Reading!

Let me know what you thought of this article and keep your eyes peeled for my first gameplay video which I’ll try to post here at some point over the weekend.

See you then.

Greg.