Living the Good Life, Episode 150 (July 26, 2020): Lotta manga readin!

Fun week this week, just chillin and readin manga.

 

EATAN:

 

TIMAN:

Nothing this week ;-;

WATCHAN:

Ep. 15 of No Guns Life: Interesting episode. Juzo and Victor fight, and Vic soon gains the upper hand thanks to his powers, and paralyzes Juzo! He starts gloating and talks about how in the war, Juzo had a special ability that was so uncontrollable it was dangerous to his own allies. But like most anime villains, he takes too long, as Mary has an opportunity to escape from the chains Victor set around her with special mini-rockets (she hides in her chest jacket, naturally, lol), and even though Victor tears off Juzo’s other arm, he leaves himself open for Mary to get behind Juzo, grab the trigger on the back of his head, and fire his special cannon to blow Victor’s head off.

Then, things get REALLY interesting. The little hand sidekick, “Lefty,” hooks himself up to one of the discarded cyborg bodies in the arena and starts talking. It turns out the little hand is the REAL Victor, and the one they were fighting was an evil second personality! When he was working with Juzo, Victor was doing research on remote-controlling drones and turned himself into a cyborg that could control drones (rather than fighting directly on the front lines, as Juzo did). His intent was for drones to replace soldiers so people wouldn’t die in war anymore, but naturally, this was naive and his drones were just slaughtering human beings. When Victor realized this, the emotional duress made him go crazy–his cybernetic enhancements, the second brain or sub-brain that let him control drones, malfunctions and creates a personality of its own, one dedicated to slaughtering cyborgs and everyone related to them, and one which takes control of Victor’s body while the good Victor was just relegated to that little hand thing. So yeah, it was sort of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type thing. And of course, the Hyde personality notices and takes over just as the good Victor is finishing his spiel, causing the little hand thing to to go silent ;_; And even worse, the cop guy from the previous episode was listening in to their conversation and shoots Juzo in the legs, because the crooked cop wants to be the one to apprehend Victor! Rude!

PLAYAN:

Panzer Paladin. This is SUPER fun, kinda (but not quite) Metal Warriors mixed with Panzer World Galient! Essentially, in the future, demons are invading earth, but the only way to fight them is with their own demonic weapons, and those corrupt the users! So an android named Flame and her giant mech called Grit, who are somewhat resistant to the corruption, have to save the world! This game is a platformer where you guide your mecha through side-scrolling stages, avoiding bottomless pits and spikes, and fight demonic invasion by picking up swords, axes, etc. your enemies drop. You can get out of your mech and play as the android, who’s much smaller and can squeeze into tight spaces, but is also much much weaker. There’s not too much else to say about it–the graphics are a great example of the retro style, there are some fun anime style cutscenes throughout the game (really making you feel like you’re playing an anime game from the 80s), the controls are super tight and smooth, and the music is GREAT. There are also a few more extra modes and stuff to play after you’ve beat the game, like Blacksmith mode, where you can make your own weapons, which is super fun, so this adds a good deal to the replay value. Awesome, definitely worth 20 dollars, even if you’re not as much of a mecha fan as I am! And yes, I did buy the OST, at only 2 bucks it was well worth it 😀 😀

Also playing a bit of Monster Hunter World here and there, cause there’s a summer festival event going on 😀

 

BOOK READAN:

Nothing in particular.

MANGA READAN:

Chapter 361 of Berserk: FINALLY, an update! This seems like a really meaty chapter, though there aren’t quite as many reveals as I would have liked, there are a LOT of tantalizing hints. Guts and Skull Knight talk a bit about causality, but then they go deep into the island woods to meet the guy who crafted both the Armor of the Berserk and Skull Knight’s current armor, which he calls a “coffin.” Meanwhile, Schierke and Morda practice flying on a broom, and follow Guts and SK into a deep ravine, where they talk about Morda’s mistress, an expert in curses and speaking to the dead–and how an ancient kingdom once invaded Elfheim. I wonder if it was Gaiseric/SK’s empire! Also, it seems Skully knew one of the old warlock guys, and notes he’s the son of Vid. Vid…I wonder if that’s Void? So when they meet the old blacksmith, a Dwarf named Hanarr, he warns Guts about the armor’s power and hits him with his hammer, causing the Armor of the Berserk to activate. And that’s a cliffhanger…

Really liked this chapter. While I was expecting and hoping for a long conversation with Skull Knight in which the lore and history behind him would be revealed, these tantalizing glimpses into another bit of Skull Knight’s past I didn’t expect–how far back his relationship with Elfheim went–was much appreciated as well, even more so because it was so unexpected. I would NEVER have guessed that the old side character wizard guy, Gedfrynn, knew SK when he was kid, and even less would I have guessed that he might have been Void’s son, again, assuming Vid is Void.

Also, I’ve been reading Sanctuary, written by the writer of Hokuto no Ken (Buronson, who did this under the name Sho Fumimura). I finished the whole thing (107 chapters) earlier last week.

It.

Is.

AMAZING!

Seriously, absolute best manga I’ve read in ages. The gist of the story is this: Two young Japanese kids, Akira Hojo and Chiaki Asami, whose families were living in Cambodia in the 60s/70s get caught up in the Cambodian Genocide, but manage to make their way back to Japan, and by the 90s (after the dissolution of the USSR), they’re determined to make the entire country their sanctuary. The way they do this is by playing rock-paper-scissors to see which one of them takes which path to power. Akira loses, so he drops out of high school to take the “dark” path, becoming a yakuza! His intent is to taking over all the Yakuza in Japan, and using those resources to propel Chiaki to the very top of Japan’s government through the “light” path–as an honest politician, aiming to become the youngest Prime Minister in Japan’s history.

There’s so much here I don’t want to get too much into it for fear of spoilers, but suffice it to say the sheer quality of the art, the characterization of both the protagonists and their supporting cast, the profundity and maturity of its plot and the skillful, honest, and considerate way it tackles themes of racism, social and political stagnation, and the importance of higher goals, the perpetually compelling way the plot progresses, and the relevance of its subjects it addresses to politics and society even today (Sanctuary was written from 1990-1995, i.e almost 20 years ago), make this an absolute gem of a read. There are a few minor criticisms I could make (The most prominent female character is supposed to be formidable but ended up kinda pathetic, the ending might have been a *little* cliched, and so on), but they don’t detract from an absolutely incredible accomplishment from both the artist and the writer. A true epic of a manga.

WRITAN:

Nothing really this week.

 

So yeah, dang good times, I’d say. Just keeping on keeping on~

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