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Posts tagged “Animation

Re-watching Akira

I watched my first anime back in my early teens, I think I started with the bizarre and rather extreme Fist Of The North Star. Now I am no Anime aficionado, but I like to think I know great animation and story when I see it. Akira (the film) was adapted from a comic book and released in 1988 and I remember renting it from a local video store in the early 90’s and I remember distinctly being blown away by the entire film. I will say that I didn’t exactly understand the movie when I first saw it but since then I have seen it several more times and now understand the storyline and appreciate the whole movie just a lot more than I did in the first place.

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Film Review: Finding Dory

Just keep swimming folks, I went to go and see Finding Dory in the cinema this past week. Whether you remember the Pixar classic Finding Nemo, or whether this is your first venture into the great big aquatic adventures of these fishy friends, this film is a must see before it’s too late. Join Timlah as we look at Finding Dory and what makes it so great.

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Top 10 – Internet Cartoons

GeekOut Top 10s

Media as we know it has changed, for better or for… No, better! The internet has provided us with countless hours of amazing content with flash games and of course our favourite, the animators, who are highly underrated in what they do. Yes, the internet is really, really great – For a lot of things, but this Top 10 isn’t the best things the internet has produced: It’s the best cartoons it’s produced.

So whether you’re sat there spitting out dank memes, or just thinking about how the internet has provided you with some of the most nail-biting, fear-induced sweats you’ve ever had, it’s time to face this week’s list: It’s GeekOut’s Top 10 Internet Cartoons. (more…)


Top 10 Cows

GeekOut Top 10s

Mooo-ve over goats, it’s time to pay our respects to the bovine beasties of the world with our next list. Trot on over to your seats ladies and gentlemen, as it’s Saturday and that can only mean it’s time for another strange collection to graze through. Selected by you, we’ll prove we’ve got no beef with this weeks choice. We’re not playing around when it comes to milking these puns today, it’s time for our Top 10 Cows!


Top 10

10. The Tauren – Warcraft

Taurenew

“Moo, are you happy now?”

Ah yes, the Tauren of Warcraft are an incredibly nomadic people. These huge humanoids resemble cows and bulls, akin to that of a Minotaur. The difference with these folk are their shamanistic and druidic ways, as opposed to a typical Minotaur view of solitude and isolation, making the Tauren a lot more of a herd mentality that we’re used to from cows in general. The Tauren are a noble people, who sided with the Orcs and their Horde.

One interesting point about the Tauren is their strange relationship to the Night Elves. On the one hand, war separates the two, yet they’re both keen on the protection of the Earth. If only these two races kept to themselves; perhaps fel energies wouldn’t be so present there on Azeroth. Coming in only at number 10, the Tauren are one of the more neglected, but certainly lovable aspects of Warcraft.

9. The Brazen Bull

Brazen Bull

Torture is a terribly creative affair, it’s incredible the ways we find to bring each other pain. The bronze bull or Sicilian bull was devised a means of executing prisoners by imprisoning them in a metal sculpture that is slowly heated until the victim is cooked to death, oh but that’s not the creepiest part. Smoke was allowed to curl out of the beast’s nostrils, and a series of pipes and tubes made the horrified screams emerge as the enraged howling of the bull.

If you want to see exactly how horrific that can be, watch Immortals by Tarsem Singh, it’s a rather superb take on a classic Greek tale, but it’s also rather gruesome. Magic: the Gathering also brought out a Brazen Bull card entitled Deserter’s Quarters. And as if Amnesia wasn’t creepy enough, there’s even a haunted Bull in the torture chambers that still screams when a fire is lit beneath it.

8. Cow – Cow and Chicken

Cowandchicken Cow

The cartoon series that featured the grotesque and childish mishaps and happenings of the brother sister team, hard-done-by 11 year old Chicken and his overly emotional 7 year old sister Cow. While Chicken largely tries to ignore or berate his sister he cannot escape the fact that he is literally overshadowed by the big, fat and ugly cow he is charged with protecting.

Cow is massive, loving, easily brought to fits of hysteria or bouts of tears, either accompanied by an emotional moo. Considering their neglectful and unhinged parents it’s little wonder that the unlikely siblings have issues of their own, although it probably doesn’t help that they share a creator with Ren and Stimpy.

7. #241 Miltank – Pokemon

241Miltank

When Miltank was released upon the Pokemon franchise, at first I thought it was going to be a bit of a joke Pokemon, not really understanding the meta-game importance it would achieve. Even to this day, a well trained Miltank can seriously soften a blow for a team that needs the time to set up. This beefy, tanky cow is able to withstand some really devastating attacks from many different types.

Miltank isn’t anything special really; but the fact it was such a sturdy tank for so long and can still soak up the damage is testament to how well this bovine Pokemon has fit in with the franchise. Whether it’s surviving by the skin of its teeth and drinking… Er… It’s own milk to recover health, or if it’s the surprisingly useful move set that jumps out at you, don’t worry: Miltank will never be forgotten as one of the greatest assets from Generation 2.

6. The Secret Cow Level – Diablo 2

CowLevel

If you’ve never heard of the Secret Cow level, then you’ve either never played Diablo 2 or you’ve never used Google before. The Secret Cow level is an Easter Egg of mythical proportions, a secret passed down from player to player and even from Diablo to Diablo (only it sometimes changes forms to other things, such as rainbow unicorns and ponies in the process).

The Secret Cow Level requires you to get the Horadric Cube and to place inside of it Wirt’s Leg, a seemingly useless item from Tristram and with it, put a Tome of Town Portal in there with it. Transmute the items together and a red gate will appear, as if conjured up by hell itself. This only happens when you’ve beaten Diablo and are taken back to the Rogue Encampment for the first time. Do not select a higher level of difficulty, for you’ll have to beat that ones Diablo. Be prepared, as these cows are tough, wielding halberds and polearms of all sorts… But the treasures beyond the portal are immeasurable.

5. Ballistic Cow/Fetchez la Vache – Monty Python and the Holy Grail

We have a Holy Grail, it’s very nice, but you cannot come in to see it. Now go away or we shall taunt you a second time! Or hurl livestock at you via trebuchet, or possibly mangonel.

In the same way that this flung cattle is the opening salvo in a barrage of assorted debris, clutter and livestock, this is one of the many, many, many many, manymany MANY jokes from Holy Grail that would seemingly live forever in the form of a wide variety of weaponised cows, many of whom appear on this list! It may not be the most famous part of the scene, but it’s perhaps the most parodied.

And this one is for your mother.

4. Cow Launched – Earthworm Jim

Considered one of the weirdest plot devices in all of video game history, Earthworm Jim is about an earthworm, named Jim, who becomes super powerful whenever he puts on his intergalactic suit. With the universe in danger from Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, Jim sets out to go and save Princess Whats-Her-Name and to hopefully steal a smooch from her. Little did he know, his dreams of smooching the damsel would be completely smooshed.

In a weird twist, the princess is flattened by a cow that falls from outer space. Jim, beside himself, leaves the scene… Only to return to steal her crown after the land has cracked away at the cow and the princess. But why would a cow fall from space like that? Back in the first level, a trap is set up to force you to progress the game. The trap forces you to launch the same cow into orbit, where you see the cow travelling by at insane speeds throughout the game. Crazy, silly ending, for a crazy, silly game.

3. Cows & Cows & Cows and Moo – Cyriak

Cows & Cows & Cows is a video featuring a large bunch of cows in a field, perhaps even a whole herd of cows. They start to moo in a rather catchy rhythm, mooing cheerily, but somewhat eerily too. They then start to bounce around in silly manners – Oh the joy in those moos. But then, suddenly, the joyful bouncing turns into weird shapes, such as spider cows… And even puddle cows. Very odd. Moo is just as odd, featuring aliens and cows fighting it out for… Something.

It’s really hard to explain what makes these videos (and thus Cyriak) such a highly talented piece of animation. But hey, Cyriak’s YouTube ventures, including both Cows & Cows & Cows and Moo saw his animation expertise be snapped up by both the BBC AND Adult Swim. Who would have ever thought that making some cow-monstrosities would create such an impressive career?

2. Angel/Demon Cow – Black and White

Cow BAW

Black & White was a highly anticipated game by Lionhead Studios, who recently shut down for good. It’s a shame, as Lionhead produced some amazing games, such as Black & White and of course, the legendary Fable series. WIth this said, the cow in Black & White was hilarious in many respects. This was a cow that could be bigger than a mountain; or “only” as tall as a building. This was a cow that could be good and heal the sick, or be rotten by healing the sick… then eating them. It could inflict pain like no other, or it could help those who truly were in need. This cow was not only a godsend: It was a literal avatar of a god put on Earth.

This was a close call, having almost made this our number one pick… However, it just loses out because this simply isn’t as well known as our number one choice. That was the only determining factor between the avatar of a god and our next choice…

1. Minotaur – Mythology

minotaur1

Asterion, the bull of Minos, was the misbegotten child of Pasiphae and the Cretan Bull, sent as a curse upon King Minos for failing to sacrifice the bull. In his dispair Minos commanded Asterion imprisoned in a labyrinth, to be slain years later by Theseus, a son of Poseidon. The minotaur is also one of the first things most people think of when they hear the words Greek Myth.

Minotaurs have entered gaming circles as an entire species of evil carnivores bent on destruction. It may be a misappropriation of the source material but it’s one that’s spread throughout the fantasy genre and has built something of a mythology around themselves. A playable race in D&D, a pivotal race in Magic’s plane Theros, and in the mythology based RPG Titan Quest you can fight your way through a horde of the beasts to kill the original beneath the palace of Knossos.

Was there really another choice for geekiest cow? Well yes, it got pretty close with the Avatar in Black and White. In the end it was the far reach and cultural impact of the bullheaded maneater that won out the number one slot.


Honourable Mentions

That wasn’t so bad now, was it? Now that these Moo-vers and shakers have been shuffled along, it’s time for two more to be mentioned. There’s always a couple of layabouts in a large herd. So whether it’s all about being punny, or it’s all about hoofing over another ‘potential’ for our list, here are two more that just deserved to be mentioned.

Bison – Street Fighter

YES m bison

BECAUSE HE’S A BISON?

I am so sorry. Bad pun it may be, but it is nerdy, and it’s kind of an interesting piece of trivia. The powerful crime lord in the red military garb is actually named Vega in the original Japanese, the masked fighter with the claws is named Balrog, making the original M. Bison the pugilist we know better as Balrog. The name swap was brought about by the unapologetic similarity to Mike Tyson.

But no matter which Bison you know, both are almost comically exaggerated combatants, and regular antagonists of the series. The boxer is a dirty fighter, and cheats to land bigger paychecks, but the head of the operation has a real god complex that has driven him to pursuing the dark Psycho Power beyond his physical limits.

Not exactly cows, but we couldn’t resist.

Mad Cow – Worms

 

 

Amongst the wide variety of brilliantly ridiculous weaponry at the disposal of the heavily armed invertebrates are a collection of barnyard animals, including the sheep, super sheep, concrete donkey, and of course the Mad Cow.

Not the most devastating, not the easiest to control, but a rather interesting balance of the two. Point and shoot to unleash a stampede of wildly trampling cows that detonate on impact, y’know, like cows do. The problem is what they might make contact with, one badly angled launch can be result in a devastating backlash or a heartbreaking waste, but I have seen some rather effective uses by dropping cows from a grappling hook.


 

I’ve gone mad from all of this cow-talk. So give yourselves a pat, you’ve seriously made us need to farm through the banks of our memories for this one. But don’t think you’ve defeated us, because once again we rose to the occasion and we’ve come up with a list that is definitively GeekOut and is as barn-y as we are. Oh, I really should stop with milking these puns. Take a moment to help us pick our next Top 10:

Don’t have a cow man, that’s the end of our list for this week. Whether or not you had fun trotting through this list, or if you now have some personal beef with us for forgetting your favourite cow, let us know in the comments below. Do you agree with our ordering of these shapely creatures, or do you think we’ve forgotten one all together? Alternatively, share your bovine frustrations with us over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


Adult Cartoons

Let me start by saying not that kind of adult cartoon!

To the ill-informed cartoons are still for children, despite the uproarious success of the Simpsons which has some jokes that are clearly not intended to get the kids laughing, or South Park which – frankly – if you’re letting your children watch it then I hope you’re prepared to have a long discussion about what language is permissible at school.

While the 90’s also gave us King of the Hill, Ren and Stimpy, and a smattering of lesser known others we seem to have seen one hell of an upswing in animated series designed for an adult audience from somewhere around the mid 00’s onwards. This upswing has brought about a change in the way the west percieves animation, and it’s due in no small part to the influence of anime and its international popularity. (more…)


Anime Review – The Perfect Insider

We’re deep in the fall season for anime and it’s been quite a slow burner this year. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some interesting choices, such as Beautiful Bones, but even that isn’t truly a great series. However, sticking to the theme of investigative anime, we’re now inspecting The Perfect Insider. But does it hold to its namesake, or is this just another anime muddled in with fall season? Join Timlah as he delves through The Perfect Insider.

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Top 10 Discworld Books

Many nerds I know are introduced to Tolkien from an early age. My father instead encouraged me to read the works of Terry Pratchett, and while I couldn’t get to grips with the Bromeliads or the Johnny series, the Discworld had me enraptured from the age of about seven or eight. I lost my father when I was fifteen, now at Grinshill in Shropshire there stands a memorial bench with the inscription “These hills are in my bones” Dad being an avid climber and Discworld fan, it felt right. (more…)


Dragon Hunters

How to Train Your Dragon (2010) is an excellent film, of that there can be no doubt. The vikings vs. dragons set up would have been excellent in itself, but the original books (of the same name by Cressida Cowell) present a world filled with a Monster Manual style variety of dragons to pick and choose from, creating a far richer environment. The story is filled with deep characters with fully realized personalities, and the dragons themselves are amazingly expressive. All told it’s little wonder that the film has earned two sequels and some pretty lucrative merchandising deals.

It’s far from the first film about dragons, although it’s certainly the most successful film series about them, but I stumbled across a particularly enjoyable little animated title that was released a couple of years before HTTYD came out. (more…)


Nichijou – My Ordinary Life

OH!.

OH!..

OHH!…

Right. This is one I’ve been watching ONLY via YouTube and ONLY via clips. Therefore, I do not know loads about this series. However, since I’ve been reviewing shorter series as of late, this one strikes me as one of the best of the best. 26 episodes for the anime – That is all that has been released. Throughout this, I’ll be sharing with you some of my favourite clips as well as explaining what this is all about. Now, on with the “review”…

I should really make a format for these.

Art

Yes, just an ordinary day.

The art direction in Nichijou is some of the purely spectacular art and animation of any anime I think I’ve seen. I say this a fair bit, I realise, but I seem to be going from great to great in anime (Ooh, next time I’ll review one I know I didn’t like!) As proof, I present a video clip, of the struggles of trying to open a pumpkin (DISCLAIMER: I definitely had more trouble than this opening the pumpkin I used for my helmet).


That is one hard pumpkin.

Story

Actually, this is where Nichijou would fall if this were a serious review. You see, Nichijou, doesn’t truly have an absolute story. It’s more about these high school students going about their ordinary lives. Sure, it might be in an extra ordinary sort of environment, what with a boy who rides his goat to school, a girl who’s… Simply put, a troll… a child scientist who made a perfect android, but can’t handle simple things, like not getting herself trapped in glue – This is just about a day in the life, no, a day in the ordinary lives of the people of this world.

Certainly, this type of humour can be considered a “Slice of life” though I would be really pleased to hear from you if your lives ever look or sound like what you’ll witness.

With this being said, have another clip.

Now we’re getting serious, see?

Music

Well, as per usual, anime music isn’t my forte. I’ll have to break this mould some day. However, I will say this: Many of the scenes have an important piece of music to it. The music sets the tone for the rest of the clip. The above two, you heard the “inspirational” sound when trying to break a pumpkin. You heard the ferociousness of the heat of the battle with the deer… And to top it all off, this series has a pretty funky opening. Enjoy another clip.


Keeping to the rather charming style of Nichijou throughout, even the theme is fun!

 

Overall

Pointless! Bizarre! Strange!

Absolute fun. Go ahead and watch this one, or do what I did: Watch the clips. As far as I’m aware, there’s no greater plot to this show, than to be purely entertaining and funny.

So, without further adieu, my absolute favourite scene from this series:

Always watch out for the girls who are into Yaoi. GOODNIGHT!

 


Geekdom, what is it?

These words are my views and possibly mine alone. Take them as gospel at your discretion, as this is in no means “right”.

Now that my disclaimer is through, let us discuss what we think “Geekdom” is and why. I actively welcome conversation on this post, so please do not be shy!

My “geek world”

As you are possibly aware about the writer, he is an avid gamer, anime/manga fan and loves to get out, meet people and share little stories about life and his hobbies. With this in mind, it all changed drastically after he cosplayed for the first time! He looked to meet other local cosplayers, actively sought to meet like-minded people and started blogging his (mis)adventures.

I was born in the 90’s, so was pleasured with all of the 90’s entertainment. This ranged from pop groups such as The Spice Girls, to consoles like the Playstation (PSX). I am happy to admit: as a kid, I did enjoy The Spice Girls. Why, I will never know, but hey, childhood was fun!

Oh! An Amiga! :D

Growing up in the 90’s, I played with an Amiga, a Windows 95 and Windows 98 personal computer. Consoles I played with were the Sega Megadrive and Gamegear, the Sony Playstation and the Nintendo Gameboy and Gameboy Colour.

I had one that looked just like this!

At this point, I would like to apologise to non-British readers who were taught American English, as you may have noticed: “colour” and “Megadrive”. I believe the equivalent to the Megadrive was the Sega Genesis. I make no apologies for using British English, however. If anything, I am proud of the differences between the two. Back on with the story!

So I wasn’t without Console or PC. My Gameboy kept me amused with Tetris for hours on end, my Megadrive captivated me with titles such as Cosmic Spacehead and, dare I say it, Bubsy the Bobcat.

Growing older, early 00’s, I found game design/development fascinating. I am still no coder, even though my Minecraft friends may see a different side to that and unfortunately I did not study hard enough to be a games developer. That is water under the bridge, I learn new skills almost daily through self-study.

Around this time, Pokemon and Dragonball Z was every kids morning/afternoon slots. Anime took off in a big way in the UK. With the rise of the internet, it was also getting easier to find your favourite anime and share it with friends. Shops such as Waterstones started to sell more Manga novels (which used to be placed with the Graphic Novels) and it was becoming aparent that anime and manga was here to stay. TV slots for “Toonami” showed off a lot of different anime and it helped change the UKs view of Japanese animations.

Yup, afternoons looked like this.

I started to watch more and more anime, doodling in my spare time (never to a great quality) and generally just making my time pass. Years pass and I pass school and college. I started to play other games such ad the Trading Card Game, Magic: the Gathering. I grew up a full blown geek!

This year, after many years saying I would, I attended an anime convention. Cosplaying, at that! People noticed when I returned that I was even more social than usual and I ended up wanting to meet more geeks. Enter GeekOut and here we are.

The future?

Carrying on with GeekOut and as you see before you, continuing the blog for GeekOut is ultimately a major goal. I am interested in what all sorts of people have to say about all sorts of subjects and I would love to hear more from people about what makes them a “geek”.

Geekdom is very special and it’s something I’m proud to say I’m a part of, whether only partially or completely. That’s down to whatever someone else might view me as, but I feel I’m as geeky as a person can get. I try not to cite anything to anyone who’s not interested, but ultimately, this is why this blog is here. This is my space to ramble on about all subjects of interest to me. With this being said, I’d like to now hear from as many of you who are interested in sharing their story with the rest of us.

What’s your “Geeky areas”?What makes you a “geek”?
Is there anything you’re most proud of?
Was you brought up “geeky”?

I’d welcome any discussion on this one, so please, if you’re a geek for games, comics, TCGs, novels, whatever: Let me know! Let the world know and be damn proud of who you are. It’s why you’re worth investing time in as a person, the realisation that you are who you are and you are proud of being you. That’s, ultimately, what geekdom is here for. We acknowledge our non-mainstream interests and we acknowledge the way we go about our interests.

To all of you out there, please remember:

Geek proud, GeekOut