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Posts tagged “Comparison

In The Tall Grass vs. Triangle

Stephen King never really goes out of style in the film industry, he waxes and wanes like the moon, his work is prolific, and readily adapted for film, although it can be a little variable in quality. Certainly with IT Chapter 2 forefront in everyone’s mind, now is definitely the time to adapt some of his lesser known work, and here we have In The Tall Grass popping up on Netflix, and while I’m watching, I can’t help but be reminded of another film with a concurrent theme. And then I think, hey, haven’t done a film-versus in a while. (more…)


Ampharos VS Luxray: A Strangely In-Depth Comparison

Due to a close friend of mine having done a playthrough of Pokémon Heart Gold, I decided to pick up my old copy of Pokémon Diamond to do my revisit of the fourth generation of these games… and then I did a playthrough of Soul Silver anyway, partially to see if any of the complaints I had lodged towards it actually stood up. (That’s a topic for another time)

When planning out my teams for both games, I decided to carry an Electric-type to deal with both Water- and Flying-types, especially as in both games I was using a starter Pokémon that is vulnerable to those (Cyndaquil and Turtwig respectively). Thankfully, both games have an Electric-type found in the wild very early on.

Shinx, which evolves into Luxio and then Luxray, for Diamond. Mareep, which evolves into Flaaffy and Ampharos, for Soul Silver. How do these two evolutionary lines compare?

A note before I start: I’ll be basing my comparison off their Generation IV movesets and stats, with a section at the end to talk about how they developed as the games go on.

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Babylon 5 In Depth – Beauty In The Dark

There is something intensely beautiful about Babylon 5, despite the age and the increasingly dated characters. It has an aesthetic of its own that sets it apart from any science fiction before or since, and perhaps that’s in the design of the universe, the uniqueness of every race and their diversity, perhaps it’s in the epic musical score that underlies those moments of intense action or dramatic importance. Personally, I think it could be the philosophies and views espoused in the series, both subtly and overtly.

There is a scene in the episode “There, All Honour Lies”, very brief, in which Kosh is teaching Sheridan lessons that he will need to win a war of minds with the most powerful military forces in the galaxy. In the lesson, Sheridan is ushered into a dark place of the lowest part of the station, crawling on his hands and knees where he is greeted by a hunched and faceless figure who sits in silence until given something. Sheridan carries no cash, but instead places the metal bar that denotes him as command staff into the beggars bowl. As soon as he does, the dark chamber comes alive with shrouded figures identical to the beggar, singing in one angelic voice as the angelic Vorlon stands outside, entranced. One moment of perfect beauty.

Why?

Shedding Labels

The inquisitor sent by the Vorlons to “test” Delenn and Sheridan asks one question, over and over, “Who are you?“. Names, ranks, titles, none of them are the right answer, and he inflicts pain and suffering until both of them acknowledge that as individuals they are meaningless, but that their role stands for something. It is not long after this moment that the actions of Earth cause the crew to denounce and declare independence from Earth, and symbolically shed their uniforms, replaced by a blank uniform devoid of symbols.

Sheridan offering up his command bar builds upon that image. By taking away his symbol of command he takes a step towards humility, making himself more equal to the humble surroundings, connecting to them and appreciating them. In removing a label given to him by others he becomes more his own man, allowing him to define himself. Every step takes him away from a faction and makes him a part of the greater whole. You witness the moment of revelation on his face – kudos to Bruce Boxleitner for that subtle moment – and he embraces a new enthusiasm from that moment on.

Finding Beauty Everywhere

Much like when he visits G’Kar in his telepathic fugue, Kosh offers another lesson of light in places of shadow, hope in the midst of despair. Desperation causes us to resort to incredible measures, but a moment of clarity when the universe is crashing down around your ears is the only way to resolve the worst of situations. On their way down to the choir, Sheridan makes an off-hand comment about how Security Chief Garibaldi would go mad if they found them down in Brown Sector he’d go mad, just to impress how dangerous that part of the station is as a last-minute exaggeration before that singular moment of perfection.

Kosh lays the groundwork for a moment that comes later, for which a minor spoiler alert is in order – At Z’ah’adum, when Sheridan plummets to his death he is found by Lorien the First One, who encourages him to give in to the darkness utterly, to stop struggling and clinging to life and simply die, or else he could not be resurrected. Would Sheridan have simply lay down and died without the lesson, or would he have fought on, ultimately dooming himself and the galaxy in the process?

A Note On The Song

The song is Puer Natus Nobis Est, a Gregorian chant for Christmas. A Latin song for a human holiday rather puts pay to the notion of the choir being pac-ma-ra, but let us look at the translation:

A child is born to us and a Song is given to us upon whose shoulders authority rests,
and His Name shall be called, the Angel of Great Counsel
Sing ye to the Lord a new song for he has done wonderful things…

Incomplete, but sufficient for now. The Christ comparison is easy to make, a saviour who dies and is reborn, nice and easy, but Puer Natus Nobis Est never mentions the name. Sheridan bears the woes of his government while facing down a great darkness, but would also come to be the highest authority in the galaxy as head of the Interstellar Alliance. The Angel of Great Counsel could refer to Sheridan’s power to resolve more with words and advice than with application of military force.

I’d be open to other opinions on the choice of song. It’s not enough to merely dismiss it as a beautiful chant and a comparison to a saviour character, the use of Peur Natus has relevance, for which I am open to debate, please join me in the comments or over on our Facebook page.

I would challenge anyone to watch this particular moment in Babylon 5 and draw their own conclusions. It is beautiful, poignant, and not discussed nearly enough.


Review – Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?

When the name of the show you’re watching gives you a major clue as to what the series is going to be about, without telling you the names of any of the characters, generally it’s pretty clear cut what you’re getting yourself into. Not in this animes case, as I expected to be fronted with a highly adult, ultra smarmy cheese-fest of a guy chasing down his dream girl by saving her inside of some big dungeon. I expected that she’d have been screaming “My hero!” and falling into his arms, whilst he sauntered away with the girl and made it apparent that he was the man. Thankfully, we didn’t get that, but rather a much more touching tale!

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Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Last week we had a look at the original Fullmetal Alchemist series which aired between 2003 to 2004. Today, let’s look at Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and let’s get down to what actually makes the difference between the two as well as why you would watch one over the other.

WARNING: This article potentially has spoilers. Actually; it definitely has a few spoilers but nothing too spoil-y.

Story

So the story of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is more in line with the manga. Actually, it’s basically taken direct from the manga – It’s really quite spot on. Of course there are a few liberties taken as you’d expect but there’s nothing major. Basically the whole story from the manga is in Brotherhood.

If you’ve already read the story of Fullmetal Alchemist and want to decide which to start on, then it really depends. Do you want to see the real story in anime form or do you want to see a different story in the same universe? That’s where you draw the line between the two. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is beautifully along the actual story and as such, the story is that much better. Whilst the story in the 2003 series was good, there were a few elements which didn’t feel quite right: Namely characters like Wrath.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood has a much more “serious” Wrath than the original.

You might recall in my previous article on Fullmetal Alchemist, I brought up Wrath as a character. Well, the above picture is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood’s Wrath – Yeah, he’s quite different isn’t he? In the 2003 series, Wrath was a youngen who was created by Izumi, Ed and Al’s “sensei”. In this one, he’s a fair bit older and he’s a lot more wrathful – The 2003 Wrath was more “angry at the world” than wrathful. It was a peculiar difference but not too surprising, considering the story of the 2003 series was completed before the story itself was completed.

Visuals

this isn’t fair in all honesty. Yes, the artwork and animation in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is better – But that’s simply because this was made many years later than the 2003 series! Technology has improved and so have peoples techniques. Plus, Fullmetal Alchemist became a very popular anime and manga, thus they really could afford whatever the heck they want. With that in mind, here’s some stunning artwork promoting Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.

Beautiful!

Sure thing, that’s not really directly from the series, but honestly the artwork in Brotherhood is so much more crisp from its 2003 counterpart that it’s not really unfair to provide promo artwork. Animations also feel way more fluid too, so it’s easier on the eyes in general.

Character development

I’m not going to delve into this one too much, however Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood does have better character development in general.

As the comments in my last article said; Ed cries a lot more in the original series – This is true. However I actually believe in the given situations he was in, a boy of his age would have reacted in similar vain. With the exception of that bit of character development, however – In almost every way characters are developed better in Brotherhood. This is simply because the story has been made, the story is predetermined and it was a story that developed over time – Not rushed through to get a weekly episode out.

Music and voices

The one point of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood that doesn’t quite stand to its predecessor is the music!

The music is fine but sadly it’s just that: Fine. It sets moods, it gets you hyped for the show but the original series did music so much better, it’s shocking. You felt like you were going into an adventure with the original series and with Brotherhood – Well it feels like a very well written opening in the above clips case, but it’s not exactly a very “big and adventurous” feeling. At least for me, it wasn’t – I’d welcome your comments on the opening and closing songs for Brotherhood in the comments section – I’m interested if you think the music is as good as the originals.

There’s a change in voice with Alphonse which is noticeable but it’s nothing bad. It works rather well – That’s all you need to know, I guess. Edward’s still Vic Mignogna so if you didn’t want a different voice for Edward, then you won’t be upset! To his credit, Vic does hold the voice for Ed quite well and for some reason I feel as if he sounds better in this series. I’m not sure why I think that, it could just be memory playing odd tricks on me.

Overall

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is an anime you can’t miss if you want to be a full fledged Otaku. Not only is it ridiculously popular, it’s a bloody good watch. It’s closer to the manga by a long way and on top of that, a lot of elements is vastly improved upon the original.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: 5/5 stars. Well done!

For the record, although I’ve given Brotherhood the full fledged 5 stars, the original series is really as good – For entirely different reasons. If I had to tell you to watch one however, Brotherhood tips that scale just a bit more as it’s more true to the story.

What did you think? Have I covered most of the major differences as to why Brotherhood is considered the “superior” anime? For the record, I don’t think it is superior – It’s a more accurate take on the manga, that’s all there is to it. I just love the story of Fullmetal Alchemist. As always, I’d love your comments on this!