Sword Art Online II – 24

Oh SILLY.KILL-ME-NOWmy God. Oh my Goooood. Oh my God the Father, the Son, and the fucking Holy Spirit. This finale sucked so fucking bad. It was a full 24 minutes of boring-ass dialogue coupled with as much cliched Sadomasochistic Japanese Tragedy Porn as possible. I don’t think there were ten straight, unbroken seconds of silence in the episode. Just taaaaaaaaaaaalking and taaaaaaaaaaaaaalking and even more taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalking. No pacing, no style, no grace anywhere in the whole thing. And the tears. Geezus H. Christmas. WE GET IT. IT’S SAD. CRY SOME MORE. There is such a thing as overdoing it, and boy, did they forget that was true. They ripped the fuck out of any emotional weight of Yuuki’s death, then burned it on a pyre of dry, dead cliches. There wasn’t even an actual funeral scene. To top it all off, “Mother’s Rosario” turned out to have absolutely no meaning. It’s just the name of a sword skill. What the fuck is this bullshit? Can anime deliver on anything it sets up these days?

Also, I also need to get this shit off my chest: “gambaru” is the worst verb ever invented. Japan, stop this shit right now. Stop talking yourself into enduring everything because it’s too hard or annoying to change things. “Gambaru” is fucking bullshit. You don’t work yourself into fixing everything. All it does is justify unnecessary suffering and pain and let problems go completely unsolved. You don’t need to take a girl’s tragic death, even a fictional one, and use it as subtle collective reinforcement of your society’s superficial mantra. Yuuki’s death was a tragedy that should never have happened in the first place, but instead of taking people to task on messing up a blood transfusion or something, somehow everything worked out okay in the end for most people. Well, that makes this even carry even more weight then! Awesome! How am I supposed to believe Yuuki’s death really meant that much to Asuna if everything is sunshine and rainbows literally five seconds later? Real people don’t get over shit that quickly, or even at all. Adding a few thousand words of overmusing on the situation doesn’t amount to anything either, Japan. You’ve done this a billion fucking times before and it’s all so goddamn hollow. Stuff like Evangelion strikes far truer and deeper into the human psyche than this crap. Hell, the Fate/ series does better at philosophy than this shit. In fact, I’m think I’m going to watch that now so I’ll stop feeling like a desiccated corpse.

Tl;dr, Sword Art Online is a fucking terrible anime and it always has been. Spoilers galore there. What a complete waste of time.

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Warlords of Draenor – the DK Report

While I count down the last few agonizing hours that stand between me and Dragon Age: Inquisition, I’ve taken up the new World of Warcraft expansion. I had a great time at Blizzcon, and it really made me want to hang out with my guildmates more often. My schedule precludes me from raiding, probably forever, but I can at least be in the game and do stuff with them. So I dragged my good ol’ Death Knight out, dusted him off, and charged through Draenor to see what all the hullabaloo about PVP and Ashran was. My general impression so far:

SILLY.MCKAYLA

Times a billion.

Disclaimer: I know the expansion has been out for less than a week; I know the metagame has yet to stabilize; I know a lot of people are busy getting gear for PVE and such; I know most people haven’t gotten their PVP gear yet; I know 25% resilience is still in the game; I know damage will start outscaling healing as the seasons progress. All that being said, PVP in WoW is only slightly improved from when I left it two years ago and is still as infuriating as ever, especially as a Death Knight.

Let’s start off with the much-hyped Ashran. This zone is a fucking disappointment if there ever was one. I would likely be much angrier had I gone in with any expectations for it. Going in blind probably prevented me from frothing at the mouth with how angry I’d be at Blizzard right now for fucking PVP over yet again at the basic level. Ashran is a concept–in theory–for bringing back the feel of the old Alterac Valley. If Ashran is working as intended, then let me just say this right now: fuck the old Alterac Valley. Fuck all you silver-haired PVP veterans who have kept lusting after your retarded nostalgia fantasies for the past seven years without remembering all the crippling flaws they came with. I never experienced the old Alterac Valley, and now I’m glad I didn’t. It sounds like a chore. Surprise: Ashran is a chore. It presumes a large, balanced server population that’s interested in PVP. I can only imagine how small a minority of servers in WoW fit that description. Well, good job: you have a never-ending, pointless seesaw battle that gets you tiny amounts of honor and no artifacts because you have to take them off of other players’ bodies. For some reason, Holinka thought it would be a good idea to have you lose Artifacts if you die or release your spirit, which will happen very often in a mass PVP situation. Moreover, the only significant reward for your time in Ashran is earned by killing the enemy boss in the opposing faction’s base, which is nearly impossible, as all the NPCs can one- or two-shot you and the giant NPC you can summon to help you has the worst AI this side of the Twisting Nether. If Ashran is going to work, it needs some massive tweaking and rebalancing, starting with non-tagged looting for artifacts, significantly increased honor rewards so you get something out of it more reliably, and mechanics to compensate for faction imbalance. Otherwise, I’m only going to Ashran for dailies, idle time in between battleground queues, or to buy some gear. The zone needs serious attention to be anything but another repeat of Tol Barad.

Now, onto the PVP meta itself. The following picture describes how it feels to be a Death Knight in WoD:

SILLY.MOLASSES

Now with teleports added for everyone except you.

Holy-fuck-my-stars-God, Holinka. You fucked up so bad. Every other fucking class in the game has insane mobility except DKs. Trying to stay on your target or keep up with anyone is a never-ending nightmare. Druids have blink, Mages have blink, Monks have blink, Hunters have disengage and constant mobility, Warlocks have their portal, recall, and a fucking knockback, Shaman have Ghost Wolf and etc, Warriors still have a billion stuns and charges, on and on and on and on it goes. What do DKs have? Chains of Ice and the Death and Decay Glyph. Aaaand Death Grip on a 20 second CD. Oh, that’s totally enough, right? At one point, long long ago, I thought Desecration needed to be removed. Now I don’t. I never thought I’d see the day when I thought Descration needed to be returned, but explain why all nine other classes are bouncing around every BG I find while I’m spending half my resources just to keep them snared so I might be able to hit them with my sword once in a while. Meanwhile, my damage still sucks, and our Level 100 talents are horrible. They’re massive CC breakers that don’t do anything. Necrotic Plague is worthless in PVP; Breath of Sindragosa takes too much RP and too much setup; Defile is the least bad choice among them. Given the fact that DK DPS has gotten almost no significant changes in two expansions, I’m confident in saying the designers have given up on the class in PVP. The amount of effort spent on DK ability design is pitiful, and it shows. They don’t give a shit.

Neither do they care about DPS in general, apparently. I don’t know what the design goals for PVP in WoD were besides cutting CC down to size a bit, but it seems like they put all their effort budget into that one idea. Healing is out of control. Healers alone can still put people back to full in an instant with instant casts, but now Ret Paladins and other hybrid healers can do that too. Killing people is absurdly difficult; one healer can negate half a battleground’s worth of DPS, if that. I’m honestly thinking of just finishing gearing my DK up for PVP in blues and leveling my Priest so I can feel like I have more of an impact, though I’ll probably run into just as many annoyances and nightmares as I’ve found with my DK. Sigh.

If my guild weren’t filled with such wonderful people, I’d shelve this game forever and go back to LoL. No matter how frustrated I get in LoL, it’s nothing compared to the sheer rage WoW PVP inflicts upon the soul.

I leave you with Snape, smoldering.

SILLY.SNAPE

Classy smoldering.

Zankyou no Terror – 11

It’s settled: this sSILLY.FUCK-YOUeries is a complete piece of shit. Not even Yoko Kanno’s music could save it.

Nothing paid off. There were no answers. No resolutions. Zilch. Jackshit nada. Nine and Twelve just fucking die, and that was the best part of the episode: these two crazed, psychopathic, murderous fucks finally bit the bullet (in Twelve’s case, literally) and got what they fucking deserved. Meanwhile, they detonate a nuclear bomb in the stratosphere under impossible conditions (did you know a simple hot-air balloon can outclimb a fucking F-16 or its weapons components?), scattering radiation all throughout the earth’s atmosphere, destroying dozens if not hundreds of satellites, blinding tens of thousands if not millions of people, horrifically damaging Japan’s geopolitical position and social stability, and destroying the country’s entire electronic infrastructure, thereby sending the whole country plunging into a massive economic depression and wreaking untold suffering and havoc on over one hundred and twenty million innocent people for years. WHAT FABULOUS HEROES. WHAT PARAGONS OF VIRTUE. HUMANITY APPLAUDS YOU.

Oh, but “Von” means “hope” in Icelandic. That all makes up for it, right? That was the payoff we were all waiting for, right? I forgot that Shibazaki somehow represented Oedipus. To which I answer: HOW? HOW THE FUCK DOES SHIBAZAKI REPRESENT OEDIPUS? HIS CHARACTER AND ROLE HAD NO RESEMBLANCE TO HIM WHATSOEVER. DID YOU EVEN READ THE GODDAMN PLAY, YOU FUCKWITS? OEDIPUS IS A COSMIC TRAGEDY. THIS IS A FUCKING COMEDY OF STUPID.

This inane statement by Nine totally fits with Sphinx’s whole MO of incompetent terrorism that ultimately had no rhyme or reason behind it. It was just a childish tantrum of revenge against Japanese society for crimes a handful of politicians inflicted on them in secret. I was happy when Twelve got shot. I really was, even though there was no reason for the Americans to shoot him over the guy holding the detonator. Why not just shoot Nine instead? Oh, wait. They had to kill off Twelve first so that everything would be tied up in a neat little bow and seem poignant to idiots watching this show. This is not how you make an anime. This is never how you should make an anime. No one must ever make an anime this insultingly pretentious and grossly ill-constructed ever again.

Yoko Kanno can do wrong. I’m sorry, but it’s true. No one’s perfect, and some people are going to hell, specifically all the people whose names flashed onscreen during the last three minutes. Excuse me, I have to go call Light Yagami and tell him to get on that shit.

Zankyou no Terror – 4

“We haven’t a sSRS.HACKINGingle clue about the perpetrators!”

Except the not-Youtube video clearly showing many of their physical features, unscrambled voices, and personalities. You know you are looking for at least two, unlikely more, young teenagers, one with black hair, one with brown hair, of X approximate height and weight. You have a fucking police sketch that people out in the sticks recognize, for God’s sake. Man, these police fucking suck. Oh, and apparently Bitcoin is a thing now even though the Japanese government doesn’t accept it. In fact, why would the Japanese government approve a request for gunpowder under such suspicious circumstances? Holy shit. Do these people not read what they’re writing? Meanwhile, downtown in Stupidburg, hacking is done through DOS and two teenagers with a fucking laptop can hack the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department with such ridiculous commands as “/attack” and shit. Also, I haven’t forgotten how the writers completely glossed over the many innocent deaths their bombing of the police station racked up. Other bloggers have done so, being so easily sucked in by this C-grade hack prose, but yeah, not a single word of that has been mentioned in any of the police department’s briefings. I know why, though: these two sociopaths have a real moral code, unlike all the adults out there who’ve forgotten what it is to be human, especially those responsible for their terrible childhood. Stop feeding us this high-school freshmen social criticism. Your plot is not deep, Zankyou no Terror. It is the exact opposite of deep. It is so shallow the water doesn’t even cover my pinky toe.

Blah blah blah, Hazuki Nagisa the Insane rescues Lisa as we knew he would. Man, I was so on the edge of my seat for that. I had no idea that’s how the plot would go. No, seriously. Took me completely by surprise! Gasp! Can we move on now? It’s been four fucking episodes; stop telegraphing this shit and get on with the plot. Oh, and Lisa finally gets the psychological release she’s been longing for because of her TERRIBLE FAMILY AND BULLYING JAPANESE SOCIETY AND BOO HOO HOO. Whaa. There, I cried. Done? Didn’t think so.

Blah blah blah, Shibazaki uses his head and solves the crime on his own, but the CORRUPT INCOMPETENT MINDLESS STUPID SOULLESS OLD UNINNOVATIVE STALE BOORISH (insert a thousand more scathing adjectives for good measure, since we can’t squeeze enough commentary into this show) police department can’t recognize an obvious trap and goes in guns blazing, resulting in their embarrassment in front of the public…instead of an actual bombing, which would make me care and give the terrorists some weight behind their words. After all, we can’t have the viewers thinking bad things about Aizen Sousuke the Younger, can we? We can’t let them realize these are just two terrorists putting the lives of untold people at risk with their antics? No, we’ll embarrass the police department instead of making them suffer real consequences for their stupidity. It’s more anvilicious that way!

I guess have to say this again: I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THIS CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TERRORISTS AND THE POLICE. There’s been no sense of risk or danger to them. They’re just a thousand steps ahead of everyone because MAGICAL REASONS. They are two 17-something teenage boys. They do not have the logistical capabilities or expertise to take on the fucking Japanese government. Or any government. Or any semi-competent agency interested in doing its goddamned job.

It’s like the writers just keep throwing whole kitchen sinks at you labeled “COMMENTARY ON CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE SOCIETY” at the viewer and hoping you don’t think about it because YOU’RE TOO BUSY DODGING GODDAMN KITCHEN SINKS.

FUCK.