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Posts tagged “War

Review – Captain Marvel

The release of Captain Marvel marks the last step to End Game and the first female lead across twenty two MCU films, a milestone that has been long awaited, and there was general consensus that she was a solid choice. Most of the good options from Marvel’s roster of female characters are either X-Men (or memebers of a team), villains, or female iterations of someone else, of those that remain Carole Danvers is easily the best known which, sadly, doesn’t say a great deal. DC at least have always had Wonder Woman to lean on, and they recently found some success with two thirds of a good film, Marvel have never quite had the same fortune.

Nor can we say that origin stories hold up against the big titles that Marvel has become revered for, Doctor Strange was a good enough film, Ant Man was ok, and certainly none of them are as bad as Thor 2, which I maintain still has some redeeming qualities, I’m getting off topic. The Avengers have been the films we have come to respect and love, characters are established and made strong on their own and then brought together to be stronger. A wise man attempts to build his house upon the sand, and tells us that because the house stands so tall that it will stand forever.

There Will Be Spoilers but I’m not going to lie to you here, it won’t make much difference if any at all. (more…)

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Top 10 Space Battles

GeekOut Top 10s

Space… the final frontier, and like any untamed wilderness there are always struggles and conflicts for the resources and strategic advantages they might offer. While the physics, tactics, and possibilities offered by all out space-combat might go under utilised and appreciated in modern media, there’s one thing we can do in film, TV, and games, and that’s make it look epic!

Though the loss of life may be tremendous, and the horrors of war are made even more heartbreaking when the fallen are cast adrift in the endless dark… but damn it looks pretty! Here’s the Top 10 Space Battles.

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Babylon 5 In Depth – What Makes Humans So Special

The gates of Babylon 5 opening places humanity firmly in the middle of the space-faring races. No longer completely green around the gills, they’ve helped topple one mad genocidal force, narrowly avoided genocide in mysterious circumstances, and are now seeking to help forge peace among the disparate races and factions of the galaxy.

Naturally as creators, we create based on what we know, so aliens in B5 are broadly based on human cultures or some animal traits given sapience – more on them next week – but there are particular features of humanity that distinguish them from any other species, often commented on by main alien characters in awe, deference, disbelief, or disgust. Today I’ll be looking at what makes humans so special. (more…)


Babylon 5 In Depth – A Primer

Why do people always ask “Star Trek or Star Wars”? That’s a question that overlooks some real tyrants of the sci-fi scene and there are more than enough of us who can rattle off a few dozen series, films, perhaps books, and even computer games (why not, it’s a valid art form) that equal or exceed them both for quality.

Over the next few weeks I want to take this stage to showcase one of the titans of science fiction and a personal favourite, J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5, addressing its depth, its cultural impact, its influence on sci-fi that followed, and beginning today with a quick primer on exactly what it is we’re discussing. (more…)


NaNoWriMo Chapter 1 – The Where And When

Shield-Nano-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiResLast week I laid out my plans to write my NaNoWriMo entry based on your votes and suggestions. Let’s get this ball rolling shall we?

As with starting a D&D campaign, I have to start with the broader picture, the genre and the world. They inform the characters, the story, the very tone of the writing. They can give us a base upon which to build detail, and out of an organic world living characters can arise to face real situations that practically write themselves.

My previous attempts were in a future earth with a strong super-power cyberpunk theme, so I am going to attempt to avoid that altogether. Here instead are some genre blends I think I could write, along with some ideas for stories that you’ll get the chance to vote for later in the month. Vote below for your favourite. (more…)


Fullmetal Alchemist – 2003-2004 series

Regulars of this website might have noticed I am a fan of cosplaying a certain undersized, midget whelp of a man called Edward Elric. It’s okay, he’s not here to defend himself right now. So what about the series he came from?

Plot

Without ruining too much, I’ll explain the premise of the start of the series:

Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse Elric are two gifted alchemists from a very young age. They lost their mother and wanted to bring her back to life, as two loving sons would want. They studied night and day to learn the forbidden alchemy – Human transmutation. The ability to bring the dead back to life, for one.

Upon activating the ritual, things weren’t quite what they seemed. They had gathered the ingredients which make up a human, sure – But they forgot about one important element: A life for a life. Alchemy is the science of equivalent exchange, what you give must be of equal value to what you get back. The ritual tried to take the younger Elrics (Alphonse’s) life, Edwards right arm and left leg are taken in the process. Edward using his own blood created a seal to bind his brothers soul to a suit of armour before it was too late.

Years later and the two had been taken in by the military, they became known as the Elric brothers; Edward being named “Fullmetal”, due to his newly made Automail arm and leg. They go in search of the philosophers stone and the secrets behind it; but what dark secrets await them?

Who’da thought this smiling kiddo would be a wrathful fellow?

Although well documented, it’s worth noting that this series doesn’t follow the manga story that well. This is because this series was being aired around the same time as the manga. Inevitably, this series started to speed past the manga, so they had to use a bit of creative freedom to guess what was going to happen. So we had characters unseen in the manga, such as this version of Wrath appear. For the record, I really liked this version of Wrath – It didn’t work as well story wise as the mangas version, but to give them credit, they clearly had a good vision for this character from the get go.

Art

The art of the series is beautiful with cleverly designed characters. From Fullmetal himself to his brother Alphonse and from characters such as Gluttony to Envy; there is a huge variety in the characters presentation.

There are the people from central who don their military attire, then there are the Homunculi. Not forgetting the Ishbal (Or Ishval) people such as Scar, another important character throughout, you see plenty of variety in the depiction of humans and the “creations”.

Scar. Named so for the scar on his head. See? Clever.

The art in this series isn’t quite as good as the art in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, but that’s a story for another day.

The backdrops in this series are some of my favourite in any anime ever made. Everything is so clean and so easy to follow, it doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of anime or not: This series sets itself apart thanks to its appearance and amazing special effects. It’s no wonder then that this was rated so damn highly on “top animated shows” lists, time and time again.

Music and voices

So as always, we’ll talk quickly about the opening theme tune of the original series.

This opening made the series feel like it was going to be a lot more than just a cartoon. The theme made you feel like you were watching an adventure which had deep meaning, an adventure of discovery and glory abound. Okay, perhaps not glory – but certainly an adventure of discovery.

The dramatic music within Fullmetal Alchemist always made me feel more tense and is one of my favourite mood shifters of any series I’ve seen.

As for the voices, they were cast well. With Vic Mignogna voicing Edward Elric in the English version, he made a good choice to play Edward. He certainly has one of the best “Young guy screams” in the industry.

From the chaotic sounding Envy, to the rather sexy voice of Gluttony Lust, you can tell each person was cast after a good selection period. I could be wrong, but it sounds like they put a lot of thought into their voice casting process.

 

Overall

With a brilliant contrast of funny and very serious moments, this series can appeal to just about anyone. It has plenty of action for those who want a good combat centric anime, yet there’s plenty of discussions such as religion, the lengths man will go for power and even the human condition. This makes it more heavy watching than a series such as Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo, which has no heavy-value at all, but the humour separates this series from other series that fill the action-hole.

Fullmetal Alchemist remains one of my favourite series of all time. I’d argue that for me, this was the anime that sealed my love for the art… However, there is a one up to this series. Many years later, they released another series of Fullmetal Alchemist which follows the manga way more to the book.

All in all then, Fullmetal Alchemist gets a whopping 4.5/5 from me… So what does the “follow-up”/”Reboot” get for its troubles? Join us again next time when we review Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Have you seen Fullmetal Alchemist? What did you think of it? Was the story too dark, too light, or just right? It gets pretty graphic at times, but there are also way worse anime for being graphic, such as Berserk… But for the type of series it was; do you think it was “just right”?

Would you change anything about this original series? What would it be?