Criminally Underrated Anime

Noragami

Noragami is an incredible show that is shrouded in the world of Gods, Demons, Human Souls, and living Humans. This anime follows a trio of eccentric people, one, is a girl who discovered the world of souls, demons, and gods through an accident and was helped by the other two men in the trio. The other men are a fighting duo, a fighter, who is a god known as Yato, and his Regalia (weapon), Yukine, who is a lost human soul. The show consists of excellent fight scenes, the discovery of mysterious and forgotten pasts, and fictional mythology. I would definitely recommend this show to somebody who has watched a decent amount of anime.

8.7/10

pc: imdb

Assassination Classroom

Assassination Classroom is a show that drops the viewer into a unique classroom, one where the students, known as academic failures, are tasked with the job of killing their extraterrestrial teacher. Their teacher known as Koro-Sensei encourages them to kill him as well as further their education and physicality, as many normal teachers would do. Killing Koro-Sensei is no easy task as he is an alien that can move faster than the speed of light, fly, and even become an indestructible ball for 24 hours. This anime follows the teacher and students as they mature, grow a relationship, and become deadly assassins. I would recommend this show to anybody that enjoys anime, or any newcomer to anime. It perfectly combines comedy, intensity, and strong emotion, definitely a must-watch.

9.1/10

4 Square Diaries

Some say soccer is a beautiful game, but I beg to differ. For me, it’s four square.

This quarter, four square has taken our high school by storm. Yeah, you read that right, four square and high school in the same sentence. It is mainly played by the freshman, who isn’t the most mature bunch (ask anyone), but a small contingency of senior boys, myself included, also are driven to play. It’s probably because, like the freshman, we are not the most mature bunch.

We have created all types of rule sets: feet only, west coast no feet, and many more. Most of which came from one of the most magnificent minds of all time, (can’t say the name but it’s pretty great).

Each player uses their own rule set when they are king. The power of tailoring the rules to your strengths is intoxicating and keeps the players coming back. This forms them for square identity, with the only other factor being how much they argue and whine.

There is so much whining and arguing that goes on, it is plain to see how much these people care, even though most act like they don’t. When two players disagree on a call, it becomes a screaming match, with the mob of players itching to get back to the king square serving as a jury. If the jury grants it, a 1 v 1 starts, in which two players face off. The winner is usually the person who throws it at the other person’s shins first.

On April 1st, Mr. Floyd pranked the players, sending freshmen into what I can only explain as identity crises.

“This isn’t FAIR!” whined nearly all of them.

That dark day demonstrated how reliant these students are on four square. They truly care about a children’s game, as if it is the NBA. I have been punched, insulted, and jeered over it, and I am fine with it, it’s in the game.

PC: Playworks

Manga Review

In August of last year, I decided to start reading manga. I began with Tokyo Ghoul and Death Note. After reading about eight chapters, I put everything else down and completely blew through all 30 volumes of Tokyo Ghoul and :re. However, once I was finished, I had quite the hole to fill in my heart. I had read some volumes of Death Note and The Attack on Titan prequel which are very good but still didn’t hit like Tokyo Ghoul did. That was until I picked up Jujutsu Kaisen and Full Metal Alchemist.

Although I’ve only read half a volume of Full Metal Alchemist, it is already helping fill the hole in my soul that Tokyo Ghoul and Jujutsu Kaisen left. FMA is super interesting. Not only are both of the main characters very entertaining, but they have a very compelling backstory and relationship with Alchemy. The fights are very interesting and all the characters have a very meaningful place in the story and character development. From just the first half of volume one, Full Metal Alchemist has already dealt with Blind Faith, Scammy Religion, Military corruption, and working-class rights. Mangas like this are set in a completely different universe but are still able to make tangible storylines that make commentary on human interaction and tendencies are such a treasure. Similarly, unlike many special powers or types of magic in animes, there is a cost for alchemy. Some people who overuse alchemy, break the laws, or ask too much of it can face great costs. The layers of story in this manga as of just volume one are so interesting and I definitely cannot wait to read the rest.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

However, Full Metal Alchemist is just filling the massive hole in my soul that Jujutsu Kaisen left. Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the only storylines that are so good that I watched the whole anime twice. Even after having seen the anime multiple times, the Manga still blew me away. The art style in Jujutsu Kaisen is so interesting. It’s so polished but at the same time, you can tell it’s all hand-drawn. Every character has such unique power and look, the character design and their respective powers are just *chefs kiss*. It is the perfect mix of my two favorite animes/mangas. It has the unique character design and art style of Hunter X Hunter whilst also being able to seamlessly integrate humor. It then has the darkness and uncertainty of Tokyo Ghoul whilst having Tokyo Ghoul quality fights. All that and it has some of the most compelling and interesting characters in the manga period. I’m honestly a little glad it’s all sold out everywhere because I would blow a BAG on the rest of the series.

Photo Credit: Twitter.com

Anime I would Recommend to Anyone

Mob Psycho 100

This Anime is a classic. If somebody were to ask me “What anime should I watch?” and I knew they were new to anime, Mob Psycho 100 is one of the first anime I would think of. It should be one of the first anime that a new anime watcher should see. It has a funny, upbeat, yet deep, and meaningful story as well as unique and awe-inspiring animation. It has a plethora of characters that represent many walks of life, and many types of people. This show about a talented young Esper is incredibly entertaining, and it brings up big issues with the perception of oneself. Mob despite his talent and power, is timid and bullied, because he is different. This show has spirits, curses, and more espers. I would absolutely recommend this show to anyone who hasn’t seen it.

9.0/10

photo credit: imdb

Magi

Magi is another anime I would recommend to anyone. It’s a fantasy anime with dungeons and djinns. Dungeon Capturers attempt to get through dangerous dungeons to gain access to the power of djinns. Djinns are massive magical beings that are kept with metal vessels on the dungeon capturers body and giving them magical powers. This series is split into three shows, all of which are incredibly creative and enticing. Magi perfectly uses magic powers, overpowered characters, and war politics to create a cohesive and congenial anime.

8.9/10

photo credit: imdb

Anime That I’ve Recently Watched

Other than rewatching and still going through Hunter x Hunter and One Piece, I have been pretty invigorated in anime. Although the subculture has not been filled with the best new anime this year, I am finding shows that I am loving. Some of these shows might not be for everybody but they are all unique and great in their own way.

Ranking of Kings

This anime from 2021 is special. It follows a decently simple design with its fable format. This anime is made to resonate with real-world emotions and difficulties that many may face such as depression and hopelessness. It opens up the world to disabilities and the difficulties of trying to work around them. The protagonist in this story Bojji is both deaf and mute, as well as is especially weak in a world sanctioned by power. Despite his setbacks in life he decides to work to become the best version of himself. This feel-good story is accompanied by a unique animation style that is enticing to the highest degree. The show has not ended yet but I am highly anticipating the finale.

9.1/10

Hajime No Ippo

This anime is a story of a rising superstar. A hard-hitting boxing talent is known as Ippo Makuonochi, and his journey to the Flyweight Title of Japan. This show is made for fans of boxing, bringing in-depth details of fighting, training, and experience in the fighting world. It’s a feel-good anime with an almost dangerously optimistic outlook on brain damage in the sport (until it’s explored at the end of the second season). I personally enjoyed this anime because of the evolutions the characters go through. The anime and the sport are both about harnessing talent and power to become something unintelligible. I would definitely recommend this anime to anybody that is a fan of boxing.

9.1/10

Space Dandy

Space Dandy, although not being a show that I’ve recently seen, it is something that I feel I must recommend. This show follows a classic blueprint similar to that of Cowboy Bebop, where a group of three eccentric characters travels through space collecting aliens from around the galaxy. This layout can feel overdone or boring to some, however, I don’t believe this to be an anime based on its plot, but rather on its animation. Every episode is created with a different director, writer, animation director, and storyboard director. This show about “A dandy guy in space” became grounds for many animators to build careers for themselves in the anime/manga world. This mysterious show about mysterious characters makes you ask questions with seemingly no answer other than weird space jibber-jabber, but every episode still finds its way to leave a viewer incredibly satisfied with the 20 minutes they spent watching an episode. The show is fantastic and I recommend it to anybody and everybody (I also recommend not skip the intro song as it is fire.

9.2/10

Not Artistic

http://www.artsy.net

I feel guilty for the grades I get in art class. I feel the pieces I do shouldn’t be called art, they are just drawings, sketches, and paintings. In other words, they are not artistic.

But what is considered artistic? Is there a standard to measure how artistic art is?

If we evaluate art on its aesthetics, many pieces will be disqualified. Because for pieces like Duchamp’s toilet and Maurizio Cattelan’s banana duct-taped to a wall, you can’t really tell if it’s atheistic. Especially in modern art, a lot of artworks don’t even have a concrete representation. With these cases, the value of art can’t be determined by if it looks pretty. Many artists also purposefully create art that is “disturbing” or “unpleasant” to the public, which is not “pretty” in the eyes of most viewers. But they are considered art.

Elden Ring Keeps Getting Better

When I wrote my first blog post about Elden Ring I was about 25% through the game with about 20ish hours on record. Now, 2 or so weeks later, I have 106 hours and I’m almost done with my first playthrough. If I thought that Elden Ring was the peak of gaming at the time, I was wrong, because the mid to end game was getting ready to completely blow me away. The end game of Elden Ring is so fun. There is literally no other game that can feel so fresh even over a hundred hours into this game. Every single boss and area is a fresh and enjoyable challenge. Not only that, but the variety of builds that are possible in Elden Ring is insane. When I first picked up Dark Souls 3 I was bewildered by the variety of builds that I could run, but Elden ring is on another level. Elden Ring gives the players full creative control to switch their build at any time after a certain point, which was also a feature in Dark Souls 3. However, I have never respecked in my multiple playthroughs because it’s simply too short to want to switch builds mid-game so most players just try new builds on their next playthrough. However, the sheer size of Elden Ring almost encourages players to use this feature as switching builds to keep the playthrough fresh even to the end.

Photo Credit: nme.com

The end-game of Elden Ring is honestly my favorite part of the game. Before I got there, there were hundreds of posts all over the internet of people complaining about how unbalanced the late game portion is. I honestly have no idea what these people are talking about. It’s probably because most players don’t level vigor and just get one-shotted by literally every enemy past the Plateau. The Endgame is most definitely very difficult, but the game gives the players all the tools necessary to handle the Endgame. I mean even souls veterans who are well aware of how broken some builds can be are complaining about the difficulty of the endgame and speculating that it wasn’t playtested. I don’t believe that for one second. The increasing challenge of Elden Ring through to the end is exactly what drives me to keep coming back day after day for hours. Being slapped by every boss over and over again, learning their move set, and finally beating them after 10+ is literally the point of a Fromsoftware game. I seriously don’t understand this anti-difficulty sentiment in the Elden Ring community, not only does the game give you all the tools necessary to beat these enemies, but every other Souls or Fromsoftware game is insanely hard. I mean if you look at the Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 DLC or the Sekiro Endgame, these are some of the most difficult bosses in the gaming period. These games have always been about overcoming what seems to be an insurmountable challenge. The point of these games is to die over and over again because these enemies are truly more powerful than you are but through trial and error, eventually, you will beat them and that adrenaline is absolutely unbeatable in gaming. Because Elden Ring is so big, the difficulty had to spike, it had to keep going up so that players had the challenge to overcome. I hate to be that classic Souls series troll, but if you find yourself complaining about the endgame difficulty, git gud shitter.

Photo Credit: https://assets.gamepur.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/07141317/Malenia-intro-elden-ring-hand-of-malenia-guide-e1646684005597.jpg

Golf Practice

My golf game is in a perpetual cycle of shit. I haven’t had a great round in over a year, there is always something going wrong. When I am hitting fairways I am not hitting greens. When I am hitting greens and putting well I am missing fairways. When I am chipping and putting well I am hitting snap hook hosel rockets straight into the ground. Nothing ever goes right.

My driver must live in a state of constant fear due to the amount I fucking throw it. I am in a consistently unhappy angry mood on the golf course. Everything is too complicated, grips, swing length, swing plane, swing tempo, shot aim, wind, and lie all factor into one shot. I have decided to simplify the game.

Every golf practice since I have made the change, I begin by hitting 9 chip shots, iron shots for accuracy, iron shots for tempo, then woods and drivers for accuracy, then I finish with 30 minutes of gate putting to drill in my stroke and tempo. I also need to be sure to not overcomplicate swing changes, instead, I need to implement more subtle changes.

I have decided to really buckle down and focus on playing as well as I can and this practice regiment is hopefully what gets me there.

Mi a leff, Inna di morrows – Navraj22

The Best Thing Ever Made

If you know me personally, you know that as a masochist, FromSoftware(Souls-Like) games are literally my favorite types of games. Bloodborne, Sekiro, Dark Souls 3, and Dark Souls 1 are all four out of my top five games. However, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco just released their newest title, Elden Ring. Which had been in the works since before Sekiro was released in 2019. It is now 2022, three years later, and Elden Ring is finally here. And it’s the best thing I’ve ever played. From minor detail to major detail this game is as close to perfect as anyone can get. (I play this on PC so I am aware of and have experienced the frame stutter when in fights, but they’re already fixing it and it really doesn’t take away from the experience at all).

Photo Credit: TechRadar

First of all, this game is absolutely gorgeous. Elden Ring is hands down the most artistically and graphically impressive game I’ve ever played. Sure there are a lot of games with technically better or more realistic graphics but, the care and detail put into making this world is absolutely unparalleled. As an open-world game, I was expecting it to be a little lazy with lots of walking around between one interesting location to the next like most large open-world games. I was wrong. This world is jam-packed with detail, easter eggs, items, side quests, characters, hidden levels, the list goes on. And every single one is great with immense detail, no enemy, no boss, no area feels unfinished. Every nook and cranny is filled with fun things to do. It is the single best open-world game I’ve ever played. And as a souls game, it is easily the best. It brings back my favorite part of Dark Souls one which is semi non-linear progression. Instead of only being able to go to one level and being stuck there if you’re under-leveled or skilled, you have the option to go do something else and explore the lush and lore-rich world that surrounds you.

Photo Credit: IGN

Secondly, Elden Ring takes everything good about the other games and packs them all into one. Weapon arts from DS3? Check. You can even change your weapon art on the fly. Powerstancing from DS2? Check. I am currently power-stancing two greatswords. A separate jump button from Sekiro? Check! 83 bosses??? CHECK. This game is jam-packed with content, it is everything FromSoftware learned from all the time they’ve been making games. And just like the masterpiece that is Bloodborne, it is a completely separate game from Dark Souls in every way. It doesn’t matter that the combat is technically similar, the environment, the feeling of playing Elden Ring, the satisfaction is all just on a different level from their previous games. It is a culmination of all of their previous masterpieces. If there’s any game that defines the spirit and the artistic value of gaming, especially RPGs and Open World games, it’s Elden Ring. I adore this game.

Plus it has the two best NPC’s ever in gaming, Pot man and Wolfman. Buy it right now

Photo Credit: IGN

Euphoria

I really did not want to start watching Euphoria. I don’t know why. My friends all pressured me to watch the show and I simply didn’t want to. It was a tough sell, nobody could really elaborate what was so special about it. I had watched the first episode and did not feel connected enough to the characters and decided the show wasn’t for me. That was until last weekend.

I went over to my friends house and she put the new episode on. It got me invested in the show.

I am so mad I waited this long. I am really invested in the lives of every character, even though not caring about the characters was the thing that put me off in the beginning. The storyline is impossible and outlandish by design, but it undoubtedly sucks you in.

Personally, I really like Fez.

It is impossible to write this blog post without spoilers, so I now understand how my friends felt trying to convince me to watch the show. I can’t say too much, as that would ruin it. I can’t say too little, as then you wouldn’t watch it.

All I will say is, the many storylines that weave together is incredibly entertaining and I implore you to watch the show.

Don’t go below the picture if you don’t want a spoiler

PC: Esquire

(P.S. I hope Fez and Lexi happens)