I'm Talking About You, Satoru.

Friday, April 19th, 2019 09:16
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
After I first watched ERASED, back in 2016, I said I wasn't sure I'd ever watch it again. I really enjoyed it, but it was so intense I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle a rewatch.

I'm glad I came back to it. It is very intense, but it's also very good. And it's only twelve episodes, so it kicks you in the gut with DRAMA and EMOTIONS and then politely leaves to let you patch yourself up, rather than continually kicking you in the gut.

If I had to recommend an anime series to someone who'd never seen one before, I think ERASED would probably be the one I'd choose, with the caveat that it deals heavily with child abuse.

Full-series spoilers for ERASED. )

I think ERASED has my favourite opening sequence of all time. Not just because of the part where the protagonist is clutching his head and writhing in emotional agony under a bridge, although that is very good.

I've been thinking fondly recently about Higurashi and how much I love watching Keiichi slowly losing his mind with terror. So I ordered the two-volume manga of the first arc (Onikakushi, called the Abducted by Demons arc in the manga).

I think this is the first time I've read a manga that's an adaptation, so I didn't entirely know what to expect. Fullmetal Alchemist, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Death Note, DN Angel, Full Moon o Sagashite, they were all manga to begin with. But Higurashi started out as a visual novel. Would the manga adaptation be good? Would it feel too compressed?

My reservations turned out to be unfounded. I enjoyed the Higurashi manga a lot! Even if it suffers slightly from going TITS TITS TITS too much before getting down to the business of psychologically pulling its characters apart. (The manga changes the early scene where Mion and Keiichi are playing 'hey, Keiichi, show me your dick' chicken to be about Mion's breasts instead! Outrageous.)

When the manga does start ripping Keiichi to shreds, it does it very effectively, although of course I can't say how it would have impacted me if I'd read the manga before the visual novel. In some ways the visual novel portrays the horror more effectively by having less to work with visually and more to work with in terms of sound, and by having more time to really dig into Keiichi's mind, but it was still really cool to see the characters having more expressions. And to see Keiichi's face!

(Keiichi's increasingly petrified, sleep-deprived, conflicted face. These poor kids.)

Reading the manga when I've played up to Tsumihoroboshi, and therefore have slightly more of an idea of what's going on, absolutely ripped me apart. Everything is agonising!

Spoilers for the Onikakushi/Abducted by Demons arc of Higurashi: When They Cry. )

This has prodded me into beginning a replay of Higurashi. I'm doing some sprite editing this time around, though, because a few of the Steam sprites bother me; I wasn't a fan of Rena's embarrassed/anxious expression, for example, so I've changed it from this to this. I was going 'I wish I could play a version with a few of the sprites altered' and then 'wait, I have access to the game files! I have the power to do this!'
rionaleonhart: umineko: battler smiles nervously because what the fuck else is he supposed to do (i have no idea what's going on)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
Time to round up some commentfic bits and pieces I've written here and there!

Higurashi, 150 words, prompt: first kisses. )

Until Dawn, 300 words, prompt: getting along with someone in your friend group that you don't particularly like. )

Zanki Zero, 100 words, prompt: no going back. )

Zanki Zero, 250 words, prompt: bondage. )

I really want to write a full Higurashi fic about Keiichi being haunted by memories from other timelines, but for some reason it's not taking root. It's one of my favourite types of fic, and it's such a good canon for it!

(I'd also love to write a full Zanki Zero tentacle bondage fic, but I doubt I'd be able to do the concept justice.)


Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 12:11
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: riku, blindfolded and smiling slightly. (we'll be the darkness)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
I found a copy of The Sexy Brutale for £5, so I picked it up. Interesting game! The title is terrible and gives absolutely no impression of what the game's actually about. (You're at a time-looping party where all the guests keep getting murdered, and you have to try to save their lives.)

I was going 'this is diverting enough, but I'm not especially emotionally invested' for most of The Sexy Brutale, and then startled myself by getting tearful at the ending, which was extremely up my street. It makes me like the entire game more in retrospect.

Spoilers under the cut:

Spoilers for The Sexy Brutale. )

Always good to make an addition to my Time Loops and Murder videogame collection.

The current Time Loops and Murder collection, in case anyone else is a fan of this oddly specific genre: Ghost Trick, Higurashi, The Sexy Brutale, Umineko, Zero Escape. Life Is Strange and Oxenfree might also qualify, although they're a bit less about murder than the others. I suppose NieR Automata might fit, but frankly I was a bit too confused by that game to say so with confidence. (Some of these games deal more in alternate timelines or short-jump time travel than actual time loops, but the spirit is similar.)


Monday, April 15th, 2019 12:38
xkeeper: a very pensive mood (pensive)
[personal profile] xkeeper
Haven't been around much. Wasn't intending on taking a long hiatus, but here we are. I just haven't been feeling great, mentally or emotionally.

Burnout has hit extremely hard, work is turmoil, and I'm just... tired of everything. I don't see a future in continuing to live, and nothing feels fulfilling. I know part of it is due to work, but at the same time I don't know what I can do about that. Finding a new job isn't easy, and when you're already exhausted all the time, trying to find new work with outdated skills is ... out of the question.

I'm just tired, and I wish it would stop.

I don't have too much else to talk about. I turned 31 ten days ago; it was quiet and uneventful.

Love Ya, Stupid.

Friday, April 12th, 2019 10:26
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xv: prompto, the best character, with a touch of swagger. (looking ahead)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
Watching a Let's Play of Zanki Zero, I was astounded that it kept getting more and more tailored to my interests. A group of strangers are thrown together and forced to bond by shared adversity! Haruto and Mamoru discuss the nature of love and Haruto concludes, blushing furiously, 'I think... I love everyone here,' in an outright invitation for me to write the character/everyone fic I write in every fandom! Tentacles! Who the hell filled this game with things I love and then gave it gameplay I hate? I'm so frustrated!

I thought at first that Mamoru would be my favourite character, but I think my top three are actually Ryo, Minamo and Haruto. I'm fond of everyone in this cast of traumatised bisexual clones, though (even Zen, who I initially wasn't expecting to care about at all). I ship everyone in a big poly mess, and I feel the game supports me enthusiastically in this.

Ryo sort of reminds me of Prompto from Final Fantasy XV: passionate and friendly and fun, bit of a cowardly streak, enjoys photography, wears his heart on his sleeve, slightly in love with everyone. (If Prompto were in the same situation, he would definitely also be taking imaginary photographs with his inoperable camera.) Both Ryo and Prompto took me by surprise; I wasn't expecting them to be my respective favourite characters in their games, but they're great. Plus Ryo easily has the best hilariously sparkly pin-up CG of the Zanki Zero cast. (NB: the image linked to, although it's not graphic, is not very safe for work. Also, I promise there's a good reason he has a D-pad on his stomach.)

I can't explain my fondness for Haruto. My weakness for bland Spike Chunsoft protagonists strikes again! But characters like Haruto and the various Danganronpa protagonists do have just enough character to distinguish them and make me feel they're not just a blank slate. Haruto's pretty reserved; he cares, but he gets embarrassed if things get too intimate or sincere. He's interested in the world; he wants to understand everything he encounters; he likes to listen to people talking about things they're knowledgeable or passionate about. They're not very flashy traits, but they're enough to make me feel there's a person to get to know there.

In this fucked-up situation - one of the last eight survivors of humanity, short on food, trapped in a cycle of endlessly dying - I think Haruto is happier and more at ease than he ever was in his regular life, and that sort of breaks my heart.

Zanki Zero is flawed, even if you disregard the gameplay. It's very backstory-heavy, but a lot of the backstory bits don't really feel like they have much impact on the plot, making the story feel a bit unfocused. But I really just wanted a bunch of characters suffering and struggling and coming to love each other, and it more than delivered on that. I hope it gets a fandom.

The biggest way this game let me down: I can't believe one of the characters of Zanki Zero is a bondage artist who can manifest tentacles and yet never ties anyone up with his tentacles. This is an outrage.

Fanfiction: Falling Down (Zanki Zero)

Monday, April 8th, 2019 09:50
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart

I mean, it's sort of understandable in this case, because Zanki Zero isn't officially out in English-speaking regions until tomorrow. Apparently the English version was released a few weeks ago in Asia, though, so a Let's Play already exists, and I have fallen head-first into this weird game about love and friendship and human cloning.

Someone's got to kick off this fandom, and it's going to be me.

Title: Falling Down
Fandom: Zanki Zero: Last Beginning
Rating: somewhere on the PG-13/R border
Wordcount: 1,200
Summary: It isn't easy to overwrite the data on an X Key. Sometimes, something stays behind.
Warnings: Late-game spoilers (up to the end of stage 07), violence, strong references to suicide.

Falling Down )