A Look at the Strange World of Licensed Video Games

I am currently going through a video game phase of the sort. Recently, I managed to snag myself copies of Uncharted 4, the first four Devil May Cry games, and Kingdom Hearts The Story So Far. The tale of how I got to this point is a bit of a strange one too, since I mainly prefer stuff like books, movies, and anime and manga as my main sources of entertainment these days. That’s not to say I don’t play video games anymore, as I still do collect some titles I want to try out for myself every now and then, but I certainly don’t do it as much as I used to as a little kid. So, what got me into this little gaming phase I find myself in right now? It was actually a licensed video game believe it or not.

A few of you may be wondering what a licensed video game even is. Short and to the point, it’s basically a video game that is based on a pre-existing intellectual property licensed by the game’s publisher, according to a quick Google search. There have been quite a number of games throughout gaming history that fall under this category. It sounds like a match made in heaven on paper. Making video games out of very popular properties sounds like a good thing from a business standpoint, and there are quite a number of games one can make from various different properties. However, taking the definition above into account, these sort of games would end up more as mixed bags more than straight up homeruns, and many would argue that they lean more towards being bad games in general.

The most interesting time for licensed video games has to be any time before the 2000s. Not to say that the 2000s and beyond weren’t interesting for this category, but there was a huge abundance of games based on different properties at the time, to the point where they felt like they were made in a weird licensed game factory than actual development studios. I say this because back then, practically anything was made into a licensed video game, and because of this, not a lot of them were very good. There are some properties that would work extremely well as video games, but some obviously and very blatantly did not, but nobody seemed to care if the property fit well into games or not because apparently some companies felt that they could make more money simply by slapping a popular brand name on a video game cartridge and calling it a day. Thus, we got games like E.T., Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Fester’s Quest.

Now, these are just properties that aren’t suited for the video game format. Surely the properties that were able to translate well to the interactive medium would be better, right? Well, it’s complicated. Yes, it is true that some of them were better, but being better does not mean that they were necessarily good games. Games like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street were both games that were bogged down not just by the movies they were trying desperately to adapt, but also the limitations of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Keep this in mind because we will be talking more about it later, but short and to the point, these two factors heavily limited what the people actually developing the games were able to do.

Then there were some properties where developers were given more creative control over what type of game some of the properties could be. They could create absolutely anything without needing to adapt any sort of source material to a fault. As long as the spirit of something was there, they could do whatever the hell they wanted with them. However, even these sort of games had their issues, mainly when it came to deciding what the gameplay for them was going to be and how the properties would be incorporated properly into a well-executed video game format. This was present in stuff like Transformers, South Park, Superman and various other superhero properties, as well as early Star Wars video games. Despite these series being ripe for the picking and rich with gaming potential, many of them weren’t translated well due to a combination of confusion over the type of gameplay each property was suited for, along with the technical limitations of the earlier consoles.

However, there were some gems that managed to gain some popularity among many retro gaming communities. The biggest example that comes to mind for me personally are the arcade games that released for properties like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, and X-Men. Arcade games are pretty simple and pretty short, so these games really didn’t have much content, but they were certainly fun games to play. They managed to stick well to the properties and use the premises to the advantage of the gameplay, and even when they didn’t, they were still pretty fun to play. These are what people look back on when they think of pre-2000s licensed video games. Other examples that come to mind are the Marvel and Capcom crossover fighters and various Disney titles that are considered classics by many people nowadays.

I think we already have a good idea about how licensed games were like in before the 2000s. They were a neat concept that could legitimately make great games, but many of them sucked due to either uncertainty of what to design the games around or simply using a property that just wasn’t fit for the video game genre in the first place. So, what would the next decade bring for licensed video games? Honestly, I would have to say that the following 10 years were simultaneously better and worse than what came before. I say this because this is the time where I feel game companies were starting to incorporate more competent game design into the properties that deserved it, but at the same time, the issues that I mentioned earlier were still present, and I would even argue that there were even more games made around properties that just didn’t fit the mold, and quite possibly even less effort.

These were the years where we got games like that one terrible Aquaman game. It was the years in which we got uninteresting garbage made to cash in on popular movies like Shrek, The Bee Movie, and Chicken Little. The years where Phoenix Games would grace the world with their disturbing, incredibly boring, and highly questionable adaptations of classic stories and fairy tales. Never heard of Phoenix Games? I envy you if that’s the case. At least you never had to even look at the cover of shit like Pinocchio, Peter Pan, or Snow White and the Seven Clever Boys. I know the saying goes that one should never judge a book by its cover, but sometimes the cover is just so blunt to the point where it is indicative of the quality of certain titles,

However, like I said, there were significant improvements during this time period that lead to much more higher quality licensed titles that still continue to this day. This was the time that Kingdom Hearts was released, which would turn into a huge juggernaut of a game series that mixed Final Fantasy and Disney and garnered raving critical praise over the years. This was the time that the first Witcher game would be released to the public, leading to a series that would eventually end up arguably overtaking the original novels in terms of popularity. This was the time when Rocksteady broke out into massive success and popularity with the release of Batman Arkham Asylum, a game that is considered to still be genre defining to this day. The 2000s was the decade that showed that licensed video games could be more than just fun to play. They could be so much more and could be more than capable of standing up with even the grandest and most successful of AAA titles. All thanks to developers figuring out what worked, what didn’t, and which properties were right for the video game market.

With that, we come to the most recent decade in licensed video games, that being the 2010s, and whereas the 2000s felt like they were both an improvement and a step backwards, I would have to say that the 2010s was almost entirely a step in the right direction. Compared to decades prior, this one didn’t have that many licensed titles getting churned out left and right like bullets from a machine gun. All those terrible movie games that were rampant before? Not all that many this time. All those straight adaptations of particular properties that heavily limited what the developers could do in terms of gameplay? Almost entirely gone. Phoenix Games and their nightmare fuel? Gone. Reduced to atoms. Now, for the most part, all we are left with are companies willing to take their time with making the games, an excessive amount of creative control, and many situations where both fans and companies end up winning in the end.

Nowadays, licensed video games are treated with just as much care and polish as any other game, and the results speak for themselves. Now, we care just as much for the story of Peter Parker in Spider-Man PS4 as we do Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us. The graphics of Kingdom Hearts are on par with original titles like Overwatch. Many licensed titles have online communities just as active as your average Call of Duty title, and such titles like The Witcher 3, Telltale’s The Walking Dead, and Kingdom Hearts 3 would end up getting nominated and at times even winning awards surrounding the game industry, including Game of the Year. You want to know how much the gaming industry actually cares about licensed games now? They are going out of their way to remake or remaster some old titles dating all the way back to the NES and arcade days for newer consoles and new audiences, and quite a handful of them have received praise from fans of the originals. Licensed games have sure come a long way from being treated like sloppy seconds to everything else.

It’s incredible watching the quality shift of licensed video games over the years just as much as it is watching new technology replace the old. I myself have played quite a fair share of them, and so I would like to do something a little different that I don’t usually do. I’m going to recommend you some licensed game properties. There are quite a number of them out there that I think are legitimately good and not just bargain bin garbage like Open Season The Video Game. So without further ado, let’s run down what I think are licensed games that I think you all should give a shot sometime if you haven’t already.

To start off simple, the LEGO games by Traveller’s Tales are a fun time whenever you play them. Some could argue that they get repetitive after playing them for too long, but honestly, it’s only really an issue if you decide to have a LEGO game marathon in my experience. On their own, each individual LEGO title offers some simple but fun gameplay, a charming sense of humor, alongside a plethora of content to unpack, especially in the later titles, and you have plenty of options for these games too. DC, Marvel, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and so on. If you’re looking for a relaxing time and in the mood for something more wholesome than usual, I would say give any of these games a shot.

The entire Marvel universe has had a far better time adapting their superheroes into fun video games. It’s not just a case of one character getting thrown into the spotlight and given all the goods like with DC and Batman, no. If you want a good Marvel video game of any kind, you have way more options than your typical Spider-Man game. You want X-Men? You got X-Men. You want the Hulk? You got the Hulk. You want the Avengers or better yet the entire Marvel universe? You bet your ass those options are available too.

As for more specific and personal recommendations, I would say you should try out Spider-Man Web of Shadows, The first two Spider-Man games developed by Beenox, the X-Men Legends games, Spider-Man on PS4, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. If you want an open world experience, Web of Shadows and the PS4 games have got you covered. The first two Beenox Spider-Man games are good if you want a more linear mission structure type of game. As for Ultimate Alliance, these are basically any Marvel fan’s wet dream. An action RPG starring characters from all over the Marvel universe? Sign me up, and if you want that but with solely the X-Men, that’s what the X-Men Legends games are for. Put on your spider mask, sharpen your adamantium claws, grab that controller, and have some damn fun.

I don’t think I have come across licensed games, anime or otherwise, that managed to adapt the stories of the original intellectual properties as much as a lot of the Naruto games. While there are certainly games that aren’t really that worthwhile, there are two game series that I would recommend, and those are the two Part 1 titles developed by Ubisoft and second, third, and fourth Ultimate Ninja Storm games. The former ones manage to turn the story of Part 1 into unique 2.5D fighters with easily the best open worlds in any Naruto game thus far, and the latter are 3D fighters that manage to capture the more explosive and darker tone of Part 2 splendidly through stylized action, an amazing art style, and a fantastic original soundtrack. Both interesting series in their own right, and when you play them both back to back, it gives off the same sense of evolution and maturity that took place from Part 1 to Part 2 in both the anime and manga versions of the story. These are Naruto games for Naruto fans through and through, and if you want to experience the story in a manner that isn’t the manga or anime, these two game series are your best options.

If I were to recommend specific Transformers titles out of the plethora to choose from, I would definitely recommend the ones developed by High Moon Studios and Edge of Reality. These games are what I would classify as the ultimate Transformers video games. 3rd person shooters with interesting campaigns, a huge variety of firearms and weaponry to choose from, and bombastic spectacle all the way through. The two Cybertron games I would recommend to fans and newcomers to the series and easily the best ones in my opinion, Dark of the Moon is short but easily the best movie game in the series, and even Rise of the Dark Spark had a good amount of effort placed into it that I think should be discussed more and not simply lambasted for being inferior to the previous games. Unfortunately, the online servers for all of these games no longer work, so multiplayer and escalation are out the window these days, but I would still recommend these games for their incredibly fun and repayable campaigns. I’m certain you won’t regret any of your time with these games.

In terms of games based around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, they tend to all fall into a certain category of gaming. Many of them fall into the beat em’ up, hack n’ slash, or fighting game genre, which aren’t really the greatest sources for getting huge amounts of hours sinked into gaming. With all that said, these type of games usually don’t last above five hours at most and are mainly meant to be played for a sort of cathartic relaxation time. Much like the concept of the turtles themselves, the games don’t necessarily have to be deep to be enjoyed, and once you have that mindset in your head, I can guarantee that you will have a lot of fun playing these sorts of games as I did.

I would personally recommend four games to you if you want to check them out. Those would be Turtles in Time, The Hyperstone Heist, TMNT The Video Game, and Mutants in Manhattan. Turtles in Time and Hyperstone Heist are basically two beat em’ ups where you basically get to choose your favorite turtle and go and fight your way through the wacky locations of the original cartoon. Nothing more needs to be said, they are just short, simple, and satisfying beat em’ ups from beginning to end. TMNT is more of an action platformer where you basically go through level by level as either one turtle or all four and use the unique abilities of all four to get through the stages, both in the simple combat and actual platforming sections. As for Mutants in Manhattan, this was actually developed by Platinum Games, and while many hate it for being to simplistic for a title from them, I would still recommend it, at the very least for a rental anyway. Satisfying flashy action, fun as hell boss battles in my opinion, and a nice looking cel-shaded art style that fits the comics it was based on quite well. So yeah, these aren’t really the deepest games out there, but I would argue that they are still fun to play, and ones that I think any turtles fan should give a shot at least once.

Finally, we reach one that I’m sure everyone should have seen coming. Nothing much to say other than if you have not played any of the Batman Arkham games, do yourself a favor and play them. What else can I say about these games that haven’t already been said? Solid blend of combat and stealth, amazing aesthetics, engaging story campaigns, and lots of information on the world of Batman that will please longtime fans and newcomers alike while also feeling like it’s own thing at the same time. If you want more specific reasons as to why you should give these games a shot, there are plenty of in-depth articles and videos all over the internet you can look up. So grab your abnormally large gadgets, your cowl, put on a deep voice, and divebomb into the world of the vengeance. The world of the night. The world of the Batman.

I know that I may have missed some franchises that you guys probably wanted me to mention, but that’s what you guys are here for. What licensed games do you personally like? Which one is your favorite or least favorite? What are some interesting memories that you have with any licensed titles? Let me know in the comments down below. I just decided to make this blog post to discuss a category of gaming that I have a soft spot for in my heart. I have been playing licensed games just as much as standard video games, and I just wanted to show my love and appreciation for many of them and discuss how far this specific category managed to evolve and practically become nearly mainstream in the modern age of gaming. It’s amazing the journey that these type of games have gone through, and I am anticipating great things from them in the future.

Have a good day, take care, and thank you for your time. See you all next post.

Harry Potter and the Superiority of the Movies

(Spoilers for the Harry Potter movies and books.)

I have been thinking a lot about Harry Potter recently. To be more specific, I have been thinking about how the movies and books differ in both large and subtle ways. In many ways, they are the same story, but in plenty of others, they are very different. I began thinking about these changes when it came to adapting the source material into the movie format expecting to end up siding with many people that agreed that the books were much better. Surprisingly enough though, the more I analyzed how things worked in both the book and the films as their own separate entities, I found myself being drawn to the films much more than I did the books. I still think that the books are a great read, but if I were presented with a choice, I would go with the movies without a second thought. This may also just be personal bias since I saw the movies before reading the books, but I’m going to try to articulate my thoughts as coherently and as best as possible through comparing and contrasting throughout this small analysis.

JK Rowling is not a perfect writer. No writer ever really is, but especially in this day and age, many problems with her books are bound to make themselves clearer. Considering that this was also the time that I read the books for myself, I was able to see these problems myself, and while I may enjoy the series, it’s clear that this is a product of the times. However, before we get into how I think the films manage to improve upon the writing of the books, I want to talk about how they actually manage to enhance the moments that work. Movies as a medium of art are vastly different from simple written works, as besides a screenplay, stuff like filming, acting, sound, editing, and just overall cinematography in general are all important parts of making a good movie. You could argue that the writing is the foundation, but it is all the other stuff that make the best moments from the script really hit home. The best filmmakers out there such as Stanley Kubrick, Edgar Wright, Martin Scorsese, and many more use the medium in many creative ways to make the experience as pleasurable as possible, and I think Christopher Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, and David Yates, all of whom directed the series accomplish this well in their own unique ways.

Each director manages to bring their own style and charm to the series in the movies that they take charge of, but they also build upon each other and help keep the series consistent. Columbus manages to bring a warmth and childlike sense of wonder to the series in Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. Cuaron brings in a new and bolder style of filmmaking techniques to the series that set the foundation for future entries in Prisoner of Azkaban. Newell is admittedly the weakest director in my opinion, but if there is one thing I can give the man credit for is that he manages to make the big moments of the series work immensely well with a heavy punch and served to make Goblet of Fire a good enough transitionary film from innocence to maturity. As for Yates, he was able to see the story through to the very end, and was able to mix in everything that the previous three directors set up, even with a tonal style that was the opposite of Columbus and a way of filmmaking that was much different from either Cuaron or Newell. They are all different, but like I said, they all feed into each other, serving as a directorial evolution as the series got more mature.

Of course, there are other aspects that make many memorable moments from the series work in the movie format. The score by composers like John Williams and Alexandre Desplat bring moments such as the endings of Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Deathly Hallows, the deaths of people like Cedric Diggory and Dumbledore, and the epic battles and action pieces in the series to incredible life. That’s not even including the technical aspects such as the practical and special effects, which make creatures like the Basilisk and Fawkes look amazing and make them feel real, and it serves to also make moments like Lupin’s transformation into his werewolf form, the moment where Dumbledore burns the cave in Half-Blood Prince, and the many transitions with things such as the Daily Prophet newspapers and the memories of Voldemort and Snape all the more scary, grand, and intriguing. However, in my opinion, my personal favorite thing about these movies definitely has to be the actors.

Since Harry Potter is a very character driven story, it falls upon the ability of the people playing these iconic characters to make the important moments count more than usual, and they are absolutely amazing. From Daniel Radcliffe’s tortured performance near the end of Order of the Phoenix, to the incredible range of Emma Watson that manages to capture everything that makes Hermione great, to the absolutely stellar work from Alan Rickman in practically every scene he is in. Admittedly, some of the acting did stumble a bit, specifically in the first two films where a lot of the actors were just inexperienced children, but by the end of the series, there was arguably not a single bad performance by anybody, and those are just some of the bigger actors I named here. Matthew Lewis, Tom Felton, Dame Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Evanna Lynch, both Richard Harris and Michael Gambon, all of them were phenomenal, showing off their best efforts either from the start, or growing to become fine actors as the series progressed. Everyone was great, and they all contribute to making this series as spectacular of an adaptation as possible just as much as everyone else working on these movies.

That’s just the technical aspects of the movies though, as like I said earlier, the writing is the foundation, seeing as how this is an adaptation after all, and in my opinion, the screenwriters are able to carefully take Rowling’s script, and besides making the great moments work like I discussed earlier, they also manage to fix some of the shortcomings either through taking out stuff or adding in new things. Some could say that this ends up working to the detriment of the films, and in some areas I do agree. I think they could have added some much needed character moments for Ron in these movies, left in the conversation about James that Harry, Lupin, and Sirius have in Order of the Phoenix, as well as some more memories to Voldemort’s past in Half-Blood Prince. I definitely agree with a few of the sentiments that people share, but at the same time, I find them more to be lack of positives more than I do outright negatives. I do think Ron in the movies still has some great moments, Order of the Phoenix still works even without the conversation about James, and we get enough information about Voldemort in Half-Blood Prince that it really isn’t that much of a huge issue, and I have similar feelings to many other criticisms people have with the movies.

For the most part, I think the changes work to the benefit of the adaptation, and I can’t think of a bigger microcosm for all this than the Yule Ball scene in Goblet of Fire. There is a lot of unnecessary things we focus on in the Yule Ball sequence in the book. There is some good stuff, such as learning more about Hagrid’s past and Ron and Hermione’s feud is fleshed out more, but besides that, it’s a slog of a chapter to go through. Not a lot of interesting stuff happens before and during the dance besides the things I just mentioned, and this is where the movie succeeds over the books in my eyes. Despite it being a bit weird to see stuff like a rock band in the Wizarding World, there is just so much energy from the performance and many amusing scenes from the characters added in to make the scene more enjoyable, and much like I said earlier, I don’t think what was taken out really does much harm to the film by itself or the series as a whole. What we get with Ron and Hermione here is at the very least okay at best, and we already knew enough about Hagrid thanks to Chamber of Scecrets and Prisoner of Azkaban that we don’t need to add a racial issue on top of things.

Speaking of racial issues and politics, I’m just going to say this right now. S.P.E.W. is dumb and a huge waste of potential. I definitely see what Rowling was going for here, but she goes into too much detail about how Hermione and the House Elves think about the situation that it just becomes muddled rather than contemplative, on top of not having any sort of proper resolution by the end of the series. This was honestly her biggest writing mistake in the series for me, and I definitely think the directors and screenwriters made a wise decision keeping it out. In the movie, the issue with the House Elves is simple enough, as we can assume that the Elves are simply treated poorly against their will, and it makes the conclusion that the audience comes to much easier to see. There is no arguing whether it’s good for the Elves or not. In the movies, it’s very much anti-slavery, plain and simple. A perfect example of less being more in Harry Potter. However, while I definitely think this was Rowling’s biggest writing mistake, there is one thing that I personally do like more about the films. That is the way that the films handled one of the most iconic and popular characters, Severus Snape.

There is one thing that always bothered me about the ending of the books. In the epilogue where Harry and his friends are now grown up and have children of their own, Harry calls his son Albus Severus Potter, named after Professor Dumbledore and Snape respectively. Now, I can understand why he would choose to name his son after Dumbledore, seeing as how despite how many secrets the man kept, he was still kind and respectful to Harry all throughout. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Snape, as while he did do a lot to help defeat Voldemort in the end, he was always abusive towards Harry and his friends, and he only ever protected Harry because of his love and devotion to Lily and her memory. It just doesn’t make any sense to me why Harry would go as far as to name his son after Snape taking all he did to him and all he thought about him into account. At least, it’s not very understandable in the book.

There are many subtle changes to Snape’s character that make him less detestable in the movies in comparison to the books. He is still a strict teacher, but he never goes out of his way to abuse his students to the extent that he does in the books, and as I said earlier, Alan Rickman kills it in the role. Snape in the movies is ultimately a more likeable character, and he is also more easily forgivable since the only evil actions that he does can be easily explained, so it makes sense that Harry would grow to respect him to the point that he would name his child after him after everything he figures out about the man in Deathly Hallows. He is strict, but not terrible. He is cold, but not hateful, and perhaps the biggest difference is near the end of his memories in Deathly Hallows, where instead of verbally saying that he doesn’t care for Harry, he remains silent as he casts the Patronus, leaving the answer of him actually caring about Harry as his own person up in the air. For me personally, I believe at least a small part of him does.

I think the main reason people don’t give these movies enough credit is that they mainly see these films as simply adaptations and rarely watch them as their own thing, which is a shame. It can easily cloud people’s judgement on how good these movies are, and they end up ignoring what works about them and only focus on what they feel doesn’t work. They are missing out on spectacular filmmaking, amazing performances, and interesting changes to the source that I would argue actually benefit the series. I’m not exactly trying to change anybody’s opinion on these films or their respective books for that matter, I’m just making this post so that hopefully people will look at these films through a different lens. Do that, and you might just love watching the events unfold on the silver screen just as much, if not more than flipping through the pages.

Thank you all for your time, and I shall see you later.

My Disappointment in Soul Eater NOT

(Spoilers for Soul Eater and Soul Eater NOT.)

Well now. Here we are. Ever since I watched this series for a fanfiction that I am currently writing, I had a feeling that I was going to make a blog post around it. I’m going to be honest, I was really not looking forward to experiencing this series at all. Soul Eater may be my favorite piece of media of all time, but from what I heard from many people online, this small prequel series was not on the same level of quality, so my expectations were not exactly high. However, I went into this series only knowing that it centered around a new trio of characters and that it took place before the events of the original series, and many of the criticisms for it were pretty vague, like the fact that it was a slice of life series or that the original cast is not in it much, so I tried to approach this with as open a mind as possible. Unfortunately though, that did not stop me from having probably the most boring experience watching an anime before, and I had to deal with the slower pacing of Bleach and Naruto’s anime, and considering this series is only 12 episodes long, that is a major turn-off right from the get go.

For those of you unaware, which I’m guessing is around the few of you that either don’t care about spoilers or don’t want to bother experiencing Soul Eater NOT in the first place, Soul Eater NOT is a slice of life prequel series to the original Soul Eater by Atsushi Okubo. The series revolves around a trio of girls by the names of Tsugumi, Meme, and Anya as they get used they attend the DWMA to become NOT students, which are basically meisters and weapons that have control over their abilities but don’t actually do any fieldwork. It’s a simple premise for a simple and short story like this, although it is a bit of a bold move from Okubo to put the focus on characters that the fans don’t know at all. Usually prequels focus on characters that played major roles in the original series, and it’s rare to see one that focuses most of its time on completely new characters. That isn’t to say they can’t work, but it takes considerably more effort for it to be good, and obviously, I don’t think it does. Firs though, I want to talk about some smaller issues before getting into the main reason why this series doesn’t work for me.

First, let’s start off with the overall tone that this series is going for, which seems to be one that leans more towards very early Soul Eater, and it also seems to be amplified as well, going for a more laid back and comedic tone throughout it. At least, that is the impression that we get of the series at first. You see, this series actually tries to balance out the regular Shounen feel that defined most of the original along with the more lighthearted tone. You can clearly see this in the main antagonist of the series and the established stakes. Shaula Gorgon is nothing compared to Ashura, and instead of the whole world being in danger, it only feels like Death City itself is in danger. As you may have guessed, this really does not work in my opinion, as the lighthearted tone does not work well with the main conflict, as the danger feels less scary and combined with the fact that this is a prequel, we know it won’t actually mean much for the rest of the series, and guess what? That’s exactly what it is.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to balance things out. That is obviously far from the case, and there are plenty of examples in history that prove that it can be done. However, the original Soul Eater story, while it did start off around the same tonal level as Soul Eater NOT, it did eventually become much darker and serious as it went on, and it’s a tone that it stuck with until the end. NOT on the other hand decides to try and keep both of its contrasting tones until the final shot without any sort of transition from one to the other, and it ends up affecting both of the two plotlines in the series. It makes the actual action storyline much less engaging thanks to a downplaying of the threat at large, and it makes the slice of life storyline much more of a slog to get through because we know that there is more going on in the background. It hurts the story significantly, and both plots end up suffering because of this tonal contrast throughout it, especially when it comes to the stuff with Shaula.

Now, I do think that smaller threats can work, and I think a great example of this is the fourth part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Diamond is Unbreakable. Yoshikage Kira is not really that big of a threat in comparison to villains like DIO, Kars, Diavolo, or Pucci, but we are still interested because of how much he is connected to the daily lives of everyone in Morioh, as he is always hiding in the background, with the tension ramped up a lot because we don’t know when or who he will strike next. That is not even mentioning the terror of his Stand, Killer Queen, and how powerful it becomes by the end of the part. In comparison, Shaula remains stagnant in terms of her capabilities as a bad guy, and she is only a threat with nothing connecting her to Death City or the DWMA at all, which wouldn’t be so bad if she got some form of personal development, but we don’t really get that in NOT. However, what makes the threat of Kira work, besides him being such an ominous mystery, is the fact that, like I said earlier, Diamond is Unbreakable actually transitions into a different tone and story structure.

It’s very subtle as the second half of Diamond is Unbreakable still has some of the quirks that makes JoJo what it is, but once Kira is introduced, the story ultimately becomes much more serious, with Kira hiding in the shadows, Stand users popping up left and right as a way to keep our protagonists from getting to Kira, and it’s taken much more serious than the first half simply by introducing Kira. Kira as a character has a huge impact on Diamond is Unbreakable’s story, but even when Shaula is introduced, it’s mainly the side characters doing most of the work to fight her and her forces, with our main trio only getting involved very rarely and having them instead focus on regular slice of life antics, further increasing the disconnect between both plotlines. Speaking of the slice of life parts of the story, I think it’s time we talked about probably the biggest missed opportunity when it comes to this series.

If I’m being totally honest here, I actually really love the idea of a slice of life story in the Soul Eater world. Soul Eater is not simply set in the DWMA, it is set in an entire city, and that alone leaves a lot of potential for interesting scenarios. Too bad they only really show glimpses of these scenarios, as many of these slice of life situations get interrupted by either action or character exploration, though I should clarify that I don’t think the latter isn’t a bad thing as there are some genuinely interesting character explorations here which we will cover soon, but it just feels like it’s not the type of story that Okubo wanted to go for when he made this series slice of life. Like I said before, the more action filled storyline only serves to hurt the slice of life story just as much as the opposite situation is true, and this is just another way that it does do that. We get a small sales event in Death City, some small shenanigans in the apartments with some of the characters, and even a scene at the school where the characters are just having fun, but they don’t really have time for us to fully appreciate them since this story is trying to be way more than it can chew. I think at this point we have established that Soul Eater NOT is just lost in many ways. There is actually a story that I think is similar in many ways to NOT, and I think if NOT took some notes from this story, it could gave been way more enjoyable. I’m talking about the sixth entry in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Half-Blood Prince, despite it focusing a lot on stuff like the origins of Voldemort, the mysteries behind Snape and Draco, and Harry and Dumbledore’s mission to destroy one of the Horcruxes, is easily the entry that could be classified as the most slice of life one in the series. It focuses a lot on the daily life at Hogwarts, and it allows characters like Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny to live out their lives as regular people. They get into hijinks in classes, they play sports and have fun, they get more into their relationships with others, and a lot more. Now, you may be asking yourself if this has the same disconnection as Soul Eater NOT with these sort of things and important plot revelations for the entire series throughout it, but I don’t really think it does, and that comes down to two simple things that I have talked constantly about before in this post. Half-Blood Prince keeps a consistent tone and it knows what it wants to focus on. There is always a feeling of despair and hopelessness throughout Half-Blood Prince, and despite the slice of life aspects, it very clearly puts more emphasis on the stuff with Voldemort. If Soul Eater NOT were to simply focus on either the stuff with Shaula or the slice of life aspect of the series more than the other instead of trying to balance things out and it had a more consistent tone, then there was a chance that it could have worked. However, I think Okubo would need to have worked more on the characters to make that work, but before we get to that, let’s talk about some of the few good things that this prequel does.

While Soul Eater NOT is a story focusing on new characters, the strongest parts come from the characters that we already know, specifically with Kim, Jackie, and the Thompson sisters. For the latter, we actually get to go more in-depth into their backstories, and it really does a good job at showing off just how much they each care for each other. It’s also nice to see them adjusting to their new lives in Death City and warming up to the people in the city in the rare moments where the slice of life aspects actually pull through. The Thompson sisters are given a good amount of depth here, and it’s actually something that strengthens the original series, as they were the only ones in the original trio of meisters and weapons that didn’t really get much development.

However, even better than that is what Okubo manages to do with Kim and Jackie in here. Now, Kim and Jackie were given a fair amount of time to develop on their own during the original series, but here we actually see how Kim got used to life in Death City, how she eventually became Jackie’s partner, and how they both eventually came to trust one another with their lives. We actually do spend more time with Kim and Jackie here than we do Liz and Patty, and the story does quite a bit to keep things interesting, especially when it comes to the moments when we are with the trio of NOT. It’s moments like these where Soul Eater NOT shines brightest, and if the series focused more on the characters we already knew along with everything else I mentioned earlier, then I truly believe that this could have been a great addition to the Soul Eater story. It’s just disappointing that we don’t get that, and instead, we focus on what I consider to be the absolute worst part of the series as a whole. Worse than the tonal disconnect, the poorly balanced plotlines, and the wasted potential when it came to the world and the original characters. The worst part of NOT are the three main characters themselves, Tsugumi, Meme, and Anya.

I can describe these three girls in one sentence. Tsugumi is a bootleg version of Maka, Meme is a forgetful idiot, and Anya is a socially dense and pampered idiot. That is it. There is not much else to their characters besides that. Sure, they do go through a small arc where they learn to get along with each other and come to an understanding, but that is it. There is literally nothing else, and they are about as predictable as you can imagine. Anya learns to not be such a stuck-up princess, Meme learns to remember things, and Tsugumi is just there to be honest. They are simple and barely two-dimensional if you stretch things a lot. What we end up getting here is one character that is boring, one character that is annoying, one character that is both boring and annoying, and all of them not very interesting at all.

The funny thing is that I think they could have been great, but the series definitely needed to spend some more time with them and give them more. How about giving more to Tsugumi’s relation to Maka, seeing as how Maka inspires Tsugumi to be great? How about having Anya not act stupid to regular every day life like she is some alien from another planet? How about not having Meme’s entire character be that she has short-term memory loss and giving her a resolution that doesn’t feel like a flick of a switch? As their own characters, they leave much to be desired, and comparing them to the ones we know from Soul Eater is absolutely laughable. Which would you rather have? Maka coming to terms with her own insecurities and facing them head-on to help herself and support Soul, or Tsugumi trying way too hard to be a copycat of Maka without what actually makes her great? Black Star’s inner conflict when it comes to choosing whether he wants to be a warrior or a demon and how he feels about his own strength in comparison to others, or Meme forgetting important moments which only serve to make her look like she lacks empathy and ending up with an unsatisfactory conclusion to her arc? Death the Kid’s slow journey towards becoming a true Death God like his father through his growing appreciation for humanity, or Anya’s pampered and childlike personality with small moments supposed to signify development just feeling hollow? I think you get the point. Soul Eater NOT feels like an insult to it’s predecessor in many ways.

There are many other things I could harp on like the excessive yuri undertones that seem really forced or the poor use of fan service and cameos from old characters, but I think I made my point clear enough now. If you like the series, I respect that, but just know that I do not and probably never will. Like I said at the start, Soul Eater is my favorite piece of media of all time, and there is a reason for that. It’s a series that was filled with many characters that often were portrayed as absurd and even crazy, and I am someone that views himself as absurd and crazy too, and yet, it showed that these people were just as human as everyone else. It’s a series that gave me hope that I would be able to be great, that I could find companionship and happiness through others, and it showed off many ideas of confusion and inferiority that I just could not help but relate to, both back then and nowadays. To see this series that has helped me out through some of the darkest, confusing, and loneliest times in my life be given such bare minimum treatment just breaks my heart. I know some of you may see this post as just me ranting incoherently about a prequel that many see as harmless, but that’s because I care so much about this series that to me, it’s nothing more than a stain on it. That is all I will say, and hopefully soon I will get back to writing about stuff I actually like. In conclusion, Soul Eater NOT is an embarrassment of a series with poor characters, missed opportunities, and a disjointed narrative and tonal structure. Case closed.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day.

The Spider-Man Movies and the Embodiment of Spider-Man

(Spoilers for all Spider-Man movies, Infinity War, and Endgame.)

There is a question that many people seem to ask themselves when discussing the various Spider-Man films. That question is in determining which movie best represents Spider-Man’s character. Over the course of the Raimi movies, the Webb films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Into The Spider-Verse, we have been given many different versions of the character of Spider-Man, each with their own praises and criticisms from comic book fans and regular film audiences alike. Everyone is in heavy debate about which one is the best one, and as you can probably tell from the title of this blog post, you are probably wondering what my opinion is on the topic. The answer may catch you a bit off guard.

Seeing as how Spider-Man is one of my favorite superheroes, it should come as no surprise that I analyze every piece of media he is in with a close eye. I have watched the Raimi films multiple times, I have gone over my opinions on the Webb films on numerous occasions, I paid close attention at what the MCU movies were trying to get across, and I have thought long and hard on Spider-Verse. It is with all this analysis and knowledge on the films that I have come to one simple conclusion. In my opinion, I don’t think there is a single Spider-Man movie that fully embodies the character’s spirit, but rather they all dive deep into what it’s truly like to be Spider-Man by focusing one specific topic for each film. To first understand this though, we need to go over what Spider-Man stands for in broad terms.

It’s not exactly hard to see what Spider-Man is all about. He is just a normal man that just so happens to have amazing powers, and with great power, there must also come great responsibility. That is Spider-Man’s character summed up in one simple sentence. He is a superhero simply because it’s the right thing to do, and he uses his abilities to help those in need, even if it can come at the cost of the things in his own life. That is Spider-Man in broad terms, but beneath those broad terms lies a bunch of specific stuff that can take quite a bit of time to explore, and that is where the multiple movies come in to show us those things.

The first Spider-Man movie by Sam Raimi is an origin story in its purest form. It focuses more on setting up the character of Peter Parker, his relationships with other people, and turning him into Raimi’s version of Spider-Man rather than diving deep into some of the things that truly define the character. I don’t mean that as a criticism however, as this simple story is one that does the main character justice quite well. When I was talking about Spider-Man in broad terms, that is how I would describe this movie. It’s an explanation of the character of Spider-Man rather than a deep character study on what makes Spider-Man tick, which is something that the later movies in the trilogy would rectify.

Considering that this is the first film in the series, I feel that keeping things simple was the right move, and Raimi makes use of this magnificently. It may be a movie with a simple plot and a simple message, but the character of Peter Parker is still dynamic and interesting, with a cohesive character arc that shows the audience what Spider-Man is all about. There really isn’t much for me to talk about when it comes to what this film embodies when it comes to the spirit of Spider-Man. Simply put, if you are interested in getting into Spider-Man outside of the original comics, then this is what I consider to be a perfect introduction, as it manages to tell an engaging narrative while showcasing Spider-Man at his most simple. A perfect way to get into the character and his universe, and a good movie to get your feet wet before moving on to deeper subjects surrounding them, and Raimi would use this opportunity to the fullest.

Spider-Man 2 makes it clear that it’s more complex than its predecessor right from the start. The film opens up with Peter Parker late to his job, running late to deliver pizzas, and doing his job as New York’s number one web slinging protector. The opening to the movie ends with Peter not only failing to make the delivery on time, but as a result, he gets fired from his job and left without work, all because he was just busy being Spider-Man. This is what I call a perfect opening to a sequel, as it hints that the narrative that Raimi established with the first film has been ramped up, and it shows that he is ready for the audience to experience a grander Spider-Man story. A story that is full of contemplation, self-reflection, and questioning.

Whereas the first film was about showcasing that with great power comes great responsibility, this is a film that focuses on whether or not having a great responsibility is worth sacrificing your own life, dreams, and ambitions. It goes to great lengths to show how much of a toll Peter’s responsibility takes on him and his personal life. From Mary Jane leaving him, to his and Harry’s increasing tension, to his poor grades and loss of jobs. His life has turned to hell, all because of his bigger responsibilities as Spider-Man. All culminating to the iconic scene of Peter throwing away the costume in favor of his own life.

The entire film is one huge question mark, with Peter constantly looking for the answer, all building up to the last third of the movie where he decides to accept his responsibility as Spider-Man because it’s the right thing to do. This time though, he accepts it with full knowledge of what he is getting himself into, and he doesn’t care. He puts the suit back on, defeats Doc Ock, and by the end, even though he doesn’t care as much about his personal life anymore, he is finally rewarded by Mary Jane’s love. It’s a film about putting your eyes away from the prize and setting your sights on what is truly important, and it leaves off Peter with a more mature and calmer mindset once he opens his eyes. However, this was not Raimi’s only way of exploring Spider-Man’s responsibility.

While Raimi explored the theme of responsibility by questioning Peter’s priorities through his double life with each side shown to be of equal importance in the last film, the last film in the trilogy takes a different approach. While Spider-Man 3 is about Peter opening his eyes to what is truly important again, it’s not because one part of his double life is terrible and he must sacrifice it for the greater good. Instead, it’s about him becoming too invested in his second life as Spider-Man, as the fame and power finally get to his head. Here, Peter is living a good life on both sides, as he is finally appreciated as New York City’s hero. He becomes cocky, more vain, and once the black suit comes into play, malicious.

While Peter’s life in the second movie was being torn apart because of something he felt he couldn’t control, here he is tearing it apart himself without knowing it. He makes Mary Jane’s life miserable by rubbing in his success in her face, his relationship with Harry is torn apart almost entirely because of the misunderstanding of Norman’s death, he treats others like garbage, and creates more enemies in Sandman and Venom, the latter of which came about because he always messed up Eddie Brock’s groove, rightfully so or not. It’s only when he actually physically hurts Mary Jane after his childish dance with a small smile on his face where he sees how much he allowed the power to consume him. After that, the film is all about him fixing his mess as best he can, and it ends with him in a healthier version of his mindset in Spider-Man 2. Invested in his double life, but not to the point where it can hurt him. He doesn’t focus as much on his personal life so that he isn’t stressed out by it too much, and now he only sees being Spider-Man as a job. A responsibility born from his great power and nothing more.

The Raimi trilogy is in its entirety all about exploring Uncle Ben’s famous words to Peter. The first movie is about establishing that with great power comes great responsibility, the second is about exploring the true meaning of the responsibility, and the final film shows how easily the power can get to someone. In that sense, I do feel that this is the biggest success when it comes to the embodiment of Spider-Man’s core values on film, but as we all know, Peter is just one person out of billions. Raimi’s Peter may be the center of his own world, but it’s his own, and by changing up his character a little bit or just outright taking him out of the spotlight, the other films are able to focus more on other aspects of being Spider-Man. Aspects that some would focus on more than others. Being Spider-Man represents something different for everyone, and it’s only when comparing these films side by side where you get to see the differences in a clearer lens. With that said, with Raimi leaving his mark on the franchise, Marc Webb came in to put his own spin on the story.

While Raimi’s movies focused solely on Peter’s life, Marc Webb’s two entries are put more emphasis on how being Spider-Man affects Peter’s relationships, and in turn, how they affect Peter. As messy as these films can get, there was a clear thematic through line in both of them, and they are more bittersweet films than Raimi’s. Whereas Raimi’s are triumphant and inspiring, Webb’s are more lamentable and depressing. These films are not easy on the character of Peter Parker, and it’s all because of him and his decisions when it comes to both his personal life and Spider-Man.

In many ways, this Peter Parker is different from Raimi’s. Webb’s is more often keeping to himself and not openly getting into trouble with his peers, and he has an easier time socializing with them, as well as more obviously shown using his intellect for his benefit. Andrew Garfield’s version is also a high schooler longer than Tobey Maguire’s, and this is where the most important differences are apparent. As an adult, Tobey’s Peter thought more carefully about intertwining his life as Spider-Man with his personal life. Garfield’s Parker on the other hand thinks more like how a teenager would, and as such, his mistakes are more abundant, and in some cases, even worse than Maguire’s, and we see this in the endings of both of the Amazing Spider-Man movies.

As a teenager on the verge of adulthood, this version of Peter Parker still has some mental growth to do, and one of the biggest mistakes he makes, even if he tries to avoid it, is that he is more open about being Spider-Man to the people he loves. Specifically Dr. Conners, his best friend Harry, and of course his girlfriend Gwen Stacy. It’s a huge flaw of his that either gets him into trouble like with Dr. Conners, or ends up destroying his established relationships, two examples of this being Harry Osborn and Captain Stacy. The first ends up feeling like his own best friend was keeping him away from getting cured of his disease and grows to resent Peter and feeling heavy betrayal. The second is that because Peter is Gwen’s boyfriend and because Dr. Conners needs to be stopped, he gets involved in Spider-Man’s business, which ends up costing him his life and he requests Peter to keep Gwen out of his life as well. However, as we see, that’s not the case.

Gwen ends up dead. No longer living because Peter continued to get her involved in his life, and that causes him more anguish than ever before. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back after suffering so many losses through similar circumstances. The second movie is all about his guilt for letting down Gwen’s father, both by indirectly getting him killed because of his involvement, and by the end, because of Gwen’s passing. When looked at from this point of view, the Amazing Spider-Man movies are all about the dangers of the responsibility of being Spider-Man, both for the man behind the mask and his loved ones. Peter in these movies is basically going through torture because of his own mistakes, showing how much of a toll guilt can take on a person, and it says that sometimes, it’s best not to get people involved, and when your responsibility is as dangerous as being Spider-Man, it’s a very important lesson to understand. Unfortunately for Peter though, he learned it through the most painful way possible.

So far, we have covered two different visions with two different focuses. Raimi with his focus on the exploration on what the responsibility of being Spider-Man means, and Webb with his exploration on the very real and possible tragedy that such responsibility entails. Then, we come to arguably the most divisive on-screen version of the character yet. That version is of course the Marvel Cinematic Universe version, also known as Tom Holland’s portrayal of the wall crawler.

This version of Peter Parker is one that is given a lot of things to him on a silver platter. While he does come up with things on his own, he is still given a lot of his equipment thanks to Tony Stark. As such, the MCU version of Spider-Man is seen as a second version of Iron Man without having to accept any sort of actual responsibility. Now, while I can see where people are coming from with this, I just can’t get myself to agree after looking at it from a different angle. This version is not about the responsibility in the same way the Raimi or Webb’s versions were. To me, this is about getting into the role of Spider-Man through the viewpoint of the youngest version of Peter Parker on the silver screen yet.

This Parker is probably the most confused about the whole superhero thing, and this is due to two things. He has only started being Spider-Man not long ago, and he is also a kid still trying to figure out his life. At some point, both Raimi and Webb had their versions of Peter graduate high school, which means that they were young adults having gone through their teenage years, but here, Peter is still living in his teenage years. He is literally a child, and considering how much is placed on his shoulders throughout the MCU, it’s made clear that he is doubtful and unsure on if he should proceed with being Spider-Man.

Homecoming is a movie that gives him a lot of power throughout, but seeing as how he always manages to mess things up with those powers, Tony Stark comes in and takes them away, telling him that he will only get them back once he proves he is ready. The ultimate moment for Holland’s version comes during the third act of the movie, where he has to rely on his own tech and skills without his special suit that gave him so many more options. We see his struggle as he tries to call for help when he is crushed under rubble, but it’s also a moment of enlightenment for him, as that is the scene where he finds the drive to pull through. Not through the help of Tony’s suit, but through his own strength and willpower, and in the end, he actually does something right and is able to defeat Vulture, on top of beating Shocker earlier. It’s the moment where he did not need anymore training wheels and showed that he is ready for the responsibility of being a hero, similar to teenagers taking on more of their own responsibilities.

Then comes in Far From Home. After becoming an Avenger and after losing his mentor in Infinity War and Endgame, Peter is faced with having to live up to Tony’s name. As such, he is given more tools than ever before in this film, but at the same time, he doesn’t feel ready for the task at hand. He is still just a teenager with his own life and lots of growing up to do, and because of this, he ends up giving Tony’s tech to Mysterio as he feels he would be a better man for the job. As people who have seen the film know though, Mysterio ends up causing trouble, and this is without a doubt the film where Peter takes on the most responsibility in the MCU yet, as he has to defeat Mysterio, save his friends, save a city, clean up the mess he made, and taking up Tony’s name, not because he wants to, but because it’s what has to happen. This movie is where Peter realizes just how important being a superhero is. Simply put, it’s a movie about early maturity.

Now, before we move onto the final film released at this point in time, I want you to take a moment to think of each of these different versions of Peter Parker as different people. Raimi’s is a grown adult, Webb’s is a teenager turned young adult, and the MCU’s is a young teenager. Each of these versions can be seen as an evolution of sort. They each represent what would happen and how someone would feel and act if you gave each of them spider powers, and each of them under different life circumstances. I say this because with the next movie, it’s made very clear that being Spider-Man is not going to be the same for everyone. With that out of the way, Into the Spider-Verse is what I would call the perfect representation of Spider-Man as a whole, simply because there is more than just one interpretation shown.

Each Spider-Person is presented with a different style, a different look, a different personality, and some varying backstories. Each one feels differently about being Spider-Man because of their circumstances, and the biggest example of this is with Peter B. Parker and Miles Morales. Peter in this movie is tired of the job after it has caused so many issues in his personal life, sort of like a more tragic version of Raimi’s Peter in Spider-Man 2. All the while, Miles takes a similar approach to Holland’s portrayal in Homecoming, as he is still young and getting into the role, as well as being doubtful that he can live up to the name of his own world’s Peter Parker.

We also see how the other ones feel about this through their personalities, which speak a lot about their characters. Even though each holds the same ideals, they are not the same person, with Noir being more introverted and mysterious, Spider-Ham and Penny Parker simply enjoying themselves, and Gwen being a more elegant and feminine version of the typical version of Spider-Man. They are all Spider-Man, but at the same time, they are their own people from their own worlds and shaped by their own environments. This is why I claim that this is the perfect film representation of Spider-Man. Anybody, no matter who they are or where they come from, has the potential to wear the mask.

It could be just my own views on the character of Spider-Man that I think this way, but seeing as how everybody has their own spins on the character throughout all forms of media and how each version has its fans and haters, it’s pretty hard not to believe. Spider-Man is more of a concept that embodies the simple message of taking responsibility if you have great power, but not everyone is going to feel the same about it. Some might not be up for it. Some might just let the power get to them. Some might want to avoid the consequences of their actions with their power. Some will have to do it out a necessity to improve not just their own lives, but other’s as well. There is no right or wrong answer to what it means to be Spider-Man as long as the spirit is still in tact, and each one of these movies, no matter how drastically different they may be and which aspects of the concept they focus on more, still embody the spirit in my opinion. It doesn’t matter whether you are a genius or average, wealthy or poor, depressed or content, as long as you understand that with great power comes great responsibility, you can be your own Spider-Man.

Thank you for reading and take care.

Reflecting on 2019 and Future Plans

2019 was the year where I officially started this blog. It was in the summer where I decided that I wanted to create an outlet where I could put out my thoughts and opinions with the rest of the world in a much bigger fashion than I could do with stuff like Twitter. I didn’t really have anything for the YouTube business, although I do plan on making a name for myself on that site as well, so I decided to settle on blogging on WordPress. It was honestly one of the best decisions I made for myself, as it has been very fun writing on it and gave me a sense of fulfillment, even if my audience has remained pretty small compared to others.

Despite me starting my blog in the middle of the summer, I have shown to be pretty prolific, as I have made a total of 30 blog posts during that time, not counting my introductory post and this one. I have dozens of other ideas for posts that I want to make for this year. So much so that I don’t even know if I will be able to do them all. But hey, if I managed to pump out 30 blog posts in just half the year, I’m sure my plans for this year will be easier in a way.

I still have stuff like my AVGN retrospective that I want to finish from last year, but there are also one or two more retrospectives that I want to do. Those are a Nostalgia Critic retrospective that I am not looking forward to, and a Game of Thrones retrospective that I am semi-looking forward to. On top of that, this year is the year where I got back into and officially watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, so I also want to cover my journey with that series too.

With that out of the way, I also want to start doing collaborations with other writers on this site. I already have two in mind that I want to collaborate with, Lethargic Ramblings and Logy’s Blog, but if I can find some more people to do stuff with, I’m all for it. Of course, that all depends on a lot of different factors and is very uncertain, but I would enjoy doing it nonetheless. Great way to get involved in the blogging community I think.

As for individual posts, I already have drafts for things that I want to talk about, though I also want to expand my horizons when it comes to talking about stuff I want to talk about. I felt like I was limited in what I wanted to talk about last year, so this year I want to fix that and get into more things so that I have potentially more stuff to talk about. I would be killing two birds with one stone in that case, since I get to experience some new things and getting more knowledgeable on said things and thus give you guys more diverse content.

Anyway, I already have quite a hefty amount of individual posts planned out for this year on the back burner, so I’m going to try my best to get those out all this year. It may be difficult for me since I have been doing a lot of procrastinating, if this post is anything to go by, but if I can get out 30 posts in just half a year, I’m pretty sure I can get out less or more than that with nearly a full year at my display. Hell, if I go at it good enough, I may get them all out this month, but I think I am getting a bit ahead of myself on there.

One last thing before I go is that I want to finish this one book series that I am writing this year. I already have everything figured out on how I want the story to continue and conclude, now I just need to write the rest of the books. The first book was released at the start of last year, and ever since then I have been thinking a lot about the later books in the series. There is a possibility that me working on this series of books is going to slow down production of blog posts, but since my writing speed has significantly improved since I wrote the first book and thanks to writing a lot on here, I’m hoping it’s not going to be too much of an issue, if at all. If you are interested in checking out the first book, just go to Amazon and search up this one. Also, excuse the poor and lazy cover job, I am still trying to figure out how to make good book covers. I’m still a beginner and everyone starts somewhere, am I right?

Anyway, that’s pretty much all I wanted to say. I initially wanted to make this post covering my thoughts on all of my blog posts from last year, but it was getting to long and too boring for me to write and it probably would have been a slog for you guys to read through, so I decided to shorten it to this small update. Entering the blogging scene has been more fulfilling than I expected. I did want people to read my stuff, but the more I went on with this, the more I began to start writing more for myself than anything. I feel like with this blog, I can truly express myself and share my thoughts and ideas, and that is honestly just so much fun to do, and I feel that is what is most important when it comes to writing. Sure, you can have people read your work, but I feel what matters more is that you just simply enjoy writing what you want to write about. I gained a whole new perspective on what it means to be a writer, and that perspective has made writing for me so much more satisfying and fun than when I wrote for views. I write because I love writing, and I don’t think that passion will go away any time soon.

Here is hoping for a fantastic year for me and everyone else. Take care everybody. Peace out.

Exploring Obsession Through Shaiapouf

(Spoilers for Hunter X Hunter. Leave now if you don’t want to be spoiled.)

If there is one character in Hunter X Hunter that I would classify as my absolute favorite, it would definitely have to be Shaiapouf. He is not a character that is in the series for long. He appears in the second to last arc of the 2011 anime, and his presence is more like a side antagonist in comparison to the main threat, and to top it off, he ends up dying at the end of the arc too. He really doesn’t impact the story much in the grand scheme of things. However, that does not stop him from being one of the most, if not the most relatable character in the series for me, which is saying a lot considering this is HxH. That is because Shaiapouf’s mindset is disturbingly similar to my very own.

Shaiapouf’s entire character can be described as obsession. He is obsessed with Meruem and is willing to do anything to make the king the perfect ruler for not just the chimera ants, but also the rest of the world. Throughout the entirety of the Chimera Ant arc, Shaiapouf always tries to do things that, in his mind, will be beneficial for Meruem in the long run. It can be as small as providing Meruem with an answer when it comes to his actual name, to as big as trying to kill of Komugi so that Meruem does not get thrown off his path. He is absolutely infatuated with who the king is.

This aspect of Shaiapouf is what would unfortunately lead to his downfall at the end of the arc. He is willing to do absolutely anything for his king, even if it means getting into hazardous territory in order to retrieve him and revive him. When he finds Meruem’s charred corpse in the destroyed site of the Poor Man’s Rose, he doesn’t even think about what the after-effects of the explosion would do to him. All he cares about is getting his king back. He is willing to sacrifice himself in order to preserve the very thing that he loves and desires above all else. It is very brave of him, but unfortunately, it is during the aftermath where tragedy strikes his character big time.

Eventually, Shaiapouf dies due to the poison from the Poor Man’s Rose. That’s not the saddest part about his character though. The saddest part is what happens both before and after his death. It is in those moments where his sacrifice and his obsessive nature are proven to be worthless. The parts that make all the work he put in to making Meruem into his own ideal king completely meaningless.

Before Shaiapouf dies, Meruem finally regains his memories after losing them in the blast of the bomb. At this point, there is nothing left that Pouf can do at this point. There isn’t much else to do. Youpi is dead, Pitou was obliterated by Gon, and the nearly all of the other chimera ants have been killed by Knuckle, Shoot, Morel, and Knov. There is barely anything that the royal guard can do. All that he can do is hope that Meruem will be able to become the king he envisioned him to be. Of course though, that does not happen, and once Meruem regains his memories, his human side is what is left of him.

Shaiapouf has failed at achieving his goal. The Meruem he once wanted can no longer be retrieved at this point. With that, he accepts his fate and succumbs to the effects of the poison, letting Meruem live the last moments of his short life in peace. Maybe then, Pouf can gain some sense of accomplishment in that Meruem will be happy spending his last moments with Komugi. Maybe he will gain some sense of closure and contentment in Meruem’s simple happiness. Of course though, that does not last for very long.

When it comes to Pouf’s character, Meruem’s death symbolizes to me that Shaiapouf failed at his job at protecting his king. Above all else, the royal guards were supposed to do exactly what their name suggests. Guard the king. While it can be said that both Pitou and Youpi failed at their job too, I definitely think that Shaiapouf, should he have seen this for himself, would be the most devastated by the loss of Meruem.

Just try and imagine his reaction to this. He failed to make Meruem his ideal version of the chimera ant king and also failed in protecting him. No matter what the outcome would have been, Shaiapouf loses in both cases. He either dies and has his king go off to spend his final minutes as a human at heart, only to die soon after, or he could live, but still fail at his own personal goal and not be able to do anything to save his king. When you put it like that, the former situation sounds like mercy compared to the latter. Pouf died believing his king would live a happy life. It was a lie of course, but if he knew the truth, his death would just be all the more tragic.

The thing about Shaiapouf’s life is that he could have lead a more fulfilling life had he not obsessed so much over Meruem. At the very least, he would have died with less regret and more satisfaction than he actually had in the series. Pitou and Youpi died knowing that they protected their king. That just was not enough for Shaiapouf, and as such, he ended up dying the least satisfied. All thanks to his obsessive behavior towards Meruem. To be honest, that really speaks to me.

I also deal with obsessive behavior as well, and some could say that it’s just as bad, if not worse than Shaiapouf’s. I obsess over so many other things, big and small. Politics, religion, current world problems, school, my personal relationships, and my own future are just some of the big examples. It gets to the point where it starts to affect me mentally, to the point where I get so anxious and depressed that it starts to affect me physically. Yeah, it’s that bad. Besides all the other issues I have, I feel as if my obsession is the biggest problem with me.

This behavior of mine is extremely self-destructive. It is a feeling that I know will continue to slowly destroy me from the inside out. So I have to ask myself why I still act this way. To be honest, I don’t really know the answer myself yet. Maybe I am a perfectionist, maybe it’s something else entirely. I don’t know the answer yet. Keyword being yet.

I know if I continue this way, I know eventually it will lead to my own demise. I know that I have a problem. I just wish it didn’t take me breaking down and falling physically ill to make me realize. My life has been a victim to my own obsession for far too long at this point. I have decided to seek out as much help as I could because I seriously need it. This behavior that has caused me to lose people I love, waste time, and filled me with endless regret is something that I plan on stopping.

As of the time of me writing this, it is New Year’s Eve, two hours before the official beginning of the new year and decade. This past decade has been filled with a lot of pain, euphoria, curiosity, enlightenment, discovery, and understanding, and this year in particular is probably the one where I really began to understand who I am as a person and what is going on in my head. I will be beginning my journey on getting the help that I need soon enough. A new year calls for a change in my character, and the fact that it’s the beginning of a new decade just makes the call for action to me all the more important and relevant. The world is moving on and advancing towards the future, for better or worse. Now is the perfect time for me to join it on its journey.

Thank you all for reading.

AVGN Over The Years: Season 2 (A Cinematic Season)

So the Angry Video Game Nerd had managed to make a name for himself at this point. He managed to hone his skills through many episodes in a season filled with experimentation and soon enough found a style that was good for him. The next season would be put in high hopes because of his new found popularity, so the question was how was James going to up the ante? Turns out the answer was to do what James does best. Filmmaking.

The second season of AVGN is very heavily focused on the cinematic elements of the show, which we will talk about soon enough. However, this is also the season where because James had found a style that suited him, some of the episodes began to blend together. Regardless, that did not stop this season from being a good one. The formula that James uses is a good one, so every episode of the season is enjoyable. Some better than others, but still enjoyable all around. With that said, let’s not waste anymore time and go over the episodes.

This first episode of the season is the perfect season opener in my mind. On top of being another informative review, it’s also the first ever console review of the series, which sets up that James has become more ambitious with the series. On top of the fact that this is the season where the Nerd fully becomes the AVGN and not just the Nintendo Nerd, this is the perfect season opener. A promising start for many great things to come, and the next few episodes would continue with this promise.

The next three episodes focused on Ghostbusters video games. It’s made very obvious that James loves this franchise, not just because of all the toys and merchandise he has, but because of how his knowledge of the movies influence his criticism of the games. He touches on how the games fail on nearly everything, from the lack of Winston in every one of the games, to the inaccuracy of the Zuul building, to even the stupid sound the NES game makes that is supposed to be the iconic Ghostbusters line. Of course, he still manages to be good with his analysis of every game as he talks about how the games are fundamentally and mechanically broken, and his filmmaking skills, for as little as they are shown here, are still pretty good. A good trilogy of episodes.

This next episode doesn’t really feel like an actual Nerd episode. It feels like the most unscripted episode yet, and while I do know that some may enjoy this one, I personally do not. The editing and some of the practical effects used here are very good, I will admit, but the actual episode feels too much like an episode of James and Mike Mondays, and while I do enjoy that series, this is not what I tune into the AVGN for. I just don’t think that the foundation of the episode is strong enough for what I praised earlier about it to be able to save it. If you like this one, that’s cool. Just know that I don’t and I think it goes against the style of the AVGN. Admittedly though, the ending song is still great.

I think the next two episodes focusing on the Sega CD and 32x are good, but could have been better, mainly during the first episode where the Nerd primarily reviews the Sega CD. I just don’t think he goes as in depth as I think he should have into the actual console. He does fix his mistake and does exactly that for the 32x, but if he had done that for the Sega CD, then these episodes could have been really special. I also feel like he rushes through each of the games. I can understand why since there were a bunch of games he had to cover in these two episodes, but maybe he should have made these a three parter in that case. So yeah. Good episodes that could have been so much more.

Silver Surfer is definitely one of the most memorable Nerd episodes, and I will admit that it is a very fun episode to watch. However, I will say that this is where the Nerd formula begins to show that it is becoming more formulaic. I am not saying that in a bad way, I do enjoy this formula, but when you watch these episodes during a marathon, you begin to notice a few things that can make it tiring to sit through. Thankfully, I think James has enough up his sleeve to keep the episodes from becoming stale, and like I said earlier, this is a great watch. I’m just saying that if I were to give you some examples of a standard Nerd episode, this would be one of them.

This episode is one that shows some great filmmaking from James near the end. The episode is good enough on its own, but everyone remembers the ending to this episode. The Nerd is angry, covered in blood, damaged, explosions flying all over the place that surprisingly fit well with the video, some good camera work and editing, I could gush about the end of this episode forever. It shows us just how good James is at filmmaking. For a show that was primarily run by himself with some help by a couple others on minimal budget, this is good stuff. Certainly better than whatever the fuck Doug Walker and his team can accomplish with probably more than double the budget these days. That is just sad.

These next two episodes are ones I don’t have much to say about. They pretty much follow the standard Nerd formula. That is honestly the biggest weakness of not just this season, but also the series in general. There really isn’t much to say on some of the episodes. The Independence Day episode is good. So is the Simpsons episode. They are both good episodes, if formulaic. The Independence Day episode does have a pretty funny joke near the end of it, but that is honestly all I can say about it without repeating myself.

I do find the Simpsons episode to be better when it comes to more stuff to talk about. This one is mainly a compilation episode, where the Nerd reviews multiple Simpsons games, and the best part is how pissed off he tends to get at Bart. That is the most enjoyable thing about this episode. Just the Nerd getting frustrated at Bart Simpson. If I can give these episodes more credit, the Nerd does know the things he is talking about. He is familiar with both Simpsons and Independence Day, and in that sense, I find him a more appealing character. Serves to add more to his nerdiness. Let’s just move on though.

Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout is a great episode, and a pretty cathartic one too. We don’t actually see the Nerd take out his rage much on something or someone else besides the games he plays, but here he actually beats up Bugs Bunny and it’s the greatest thing ever. The costume is better than the Spider-Man one this time, the impression is pretty good, and the action is raw and well edited. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing this episode on my birthday. Quite the blowout indeed.

Next is the Atari porn episode. I don’t know what to say to be honest. It’s the Nerd reviewing pornographic Atari video games. It’s probably the most NSFW episode of the series, which is saying something, and it’s also the only episode never uploaded to the Cinemassacre YouTube channel. I don’t even know how to react to this episode. On the one hand, what the Nerd says and what he is reviewing is pretty hilarious, but on the other hand, I can’t help but feel like I should not be laughing at some of this shit. I guess all I can say is if you are a fan of South Park, you might enjoy this episode.

Next is the Nintendo Power episode, and this is actually a personal favorite of mine. The way the Nerd goes into the many issues of Nintendo Power is very informative and interesting. It serves as a good introduction to the magazine, and for those that used to read it, it could also serve as a good trip down memory lane. It’s also nice to see the Nerd not so angry and just having fun, which is not something we see much of in the series. Short and to the point, this episode is informative, memorable, and just plain fun. Just like reading an issue of Nintendo Power itself.

This is probably the most interesting episode of this season when it comes to the filmmaking. This is the first Nerd episode to be primarily shot in black and white, and it works well in selling the atmosphere of the Addams Family. The costume design is pretty good, the rendition of the Addams Family theme is just as catchy as the original, and overall it just feels like an episode of the Addams Family. Once again, James is able to capture the spirit of classic things very well, and this episode is one of the best in that department.

Now, if you want to talk about great filmmaking from James, look no further than to this season’s Halloween specials. James really knows how to do horror, and these episodes are definitely a step up from the previous ones. The lighting is darker and more ominous. The camera angles are more dynamic. The story is bigger. There are more actors and locations here. These episodes are as delicious as Halloween candy. These are the type of episodes worthy of being called the good shit.

I guess if I could find something bad about these episodes is the fact that they don’t feel as connected as the previous Halloween specials. Sure, we do get a small teaser near the end of the first part showing that Halloween is the next game, but honestly, you could watch these episodes separately if you want and you wouldn’t really lose much. To be perfectly honest though, that is just a nitpick of mine rather than an actual criticism of the episodes. These are top quality episodes, and ones that are a solid recommendation to anybody that wants to get into AVGN or just people that like filmmaking in general. James is just too good.

Normally I would say that this is just another Nerd episode, and it is, but after watching the ambition that was the Halloween special, this is a breath of fresh air. It’s simple and effective. I especially like how the Nerd gets frustrated with this game, since it literally looks unplayable, making his reactions all the more enjoyable to watch. It’s also nice to see the comparisons between the two versions of Dragon’s Lair. Not much else to say. The episode is simple, the Nerd is angry, and the game is shit. As formulaic as episodes like these are, sometimes I couldn’t ask for anything more.

The Christmas episodes don’t have as much effort placed into the filmmaking as the Halloween episodes, but what it lacks in that area it makes up for with good storytelling. This time the Nerd made a Christmas Carol parody, and a pretty damn funny one too. We get to see the Nerd from the present, the future, and even the past. Literally. James actually uses footage of himself playing games as a kid when he goes to visit the past version of himself, and we get to see the birth of all the anger. It’s like watching the rise of the Roman Empire.

He also does a good job with the acting and costume design of Old Man Nerd. I really want to see what he will look like in the future to see if this video comes true. It’s a nice Christmas special. If I can knock it down for a few things it would obviously be the lack of any creative filmmaking, some subpar effects at times, and I feel like Home Alone 2 and Shaq Fu were a bit random choices for games. Overall though, not too bad. I think I still prefer the Bible Games episode from the last season, but this ain’t half bad either.

I like the Chronologically Confused episodes, so it was nice to see this again. It’s like watching the Nerd try and piece together a puzzle of The Starry Night in less than an hour with some pieces of The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper thrown in. It’s hilarious seeing him lose his shit over something like the timeline of The Legend of Zelda. Not much else to say on this episode. It’s just fun.

We finally come to the season finale, and honestly, it’s just an average finale, mainly because it’s just another standard Nerd episode. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since I don’t remember any of the finales being like an actual finale, but still disappointing honestly. These are honestly one of the reasons why I feel it would be better to watch these episodes in a non-chronological order. If you watch an entire season, you might be left disappointed at the final episode. Or not. Regardless of how they don’t feel like finales at all, they are still fun episodes. I just wish James would put some more effort into the season finales.

This was quite the interesting season of the AVGN. So far, it is the one that focuses most on the cinematic elements, but it’s also the one where the formulaic nature of some of the episodes is starting to show itself. This leaves me uncertain of what to expect from my rewatches of season 3 and beyond. Whatever the case may be though, I am excited to see what James has in store after this season, now and always.

Thank you all for reading.

The Villainous Souls That I Desire to be Like

(This blog post will contain some spoilers for HxH, A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones, Attack on Titan, Breaking Bad, Death Note, and Megamind. Leave now if you don’t want to be spoiled.)

In stories, we usually tend to side with the righteous people. They are the ones that the audience is supposed to learn from, the ones that are usually the protagonists of a story, and the one that is supposed to be the moral center of a story. It’s normal to relate to the good people in media. However, sometimes, we just want to get a little dark, to the point where we can even end up following the ones that are usually considered the bad guys.

As someone that has dabbled a lot in my own dark thoughts and someone that likes to try and understand both sides of a conflict, it should come as no surprise that I would actually see myself relating to the characters that are seen as the antagonistic force of a narrative. However, do not misunderstand me when I say this. Just because I can see something of myself in these characters does not mean that I support their actions in any way shape or form. A lot of the characters I am going to talk about in this post I consider to be horrible people and would never endorse what they do in the stories they are in. So, I would appreciate if you saw this as more of a vent post than anything. With all that out of the way, let’s get started.

What I find to be the most interesting thing about Meruem is how his sense of morality and thus his sense of leadership changes as he progresses as a character. He has a solid philosophy. Whoever has power should not be stupid about the way they use it and be responsible. He shows a clear distaste for poor leadership and strives to be a good leader so that the world will be able to thrive. His methods about how he goes about this are questionable, but his motives should make sense to anybody. You cannot be irresponsible when it comes to the usage of power.

In this world, there are many cases where power is abused without control. Why do I find myself relating so much to him? Because much like him, I see that the world is a very flawed place to live in, and I want to do something drastic to make a difference. Obviously, I am not a king or natural leader of any sort, but there are methods that I can take to get more power. Gaining power and making a difference is a reason why I relate more to the next character that I am going to talk about. A character who is in some ways similar to Meruem.

Eren Jaeger was once a boy that wanted to kill the titans and save the world. Now at the end, he has become a monster that is willing to destroy most of the human race if it means that his people will be free. The story of Attack on Titan has constantly shown Eren get stronger and stronger. The big turning point is in the Marley Arc, where he has become a no nonsense revolutionary and is committed to his cause to the very end, to the point where he just doesn’t care about the lives that he puts on the line anymore.

Eren is someone that worked his way to get as much power as he could so that he could change the world. No matter what you may think of his actions in the last two arcs of the series, you cannot deny that his journey to get to where he is now is an oddly inspiring one despite what he does. He has a passion that I wish and hope that I can get myself in the future, and he acts upon opportunities whenever he sees them. All he cares about is changing the world, and as someone that also wants to make any sort of change in the world that I live in, I can see a lot of myself in Eren Jaeger.

Ramsay Bolton is the very definition of evil. He has no sense of empathy or sympathy for anybody, a twisted idea of mercy, and gets joy out of causing death, torture, and abuse. He killed his father, his newborn younger brother, tortured Theon Greyjoy and mentally destroying the man, and even played a sick game with Rickon Stark where he shot at him until he died, all in the eyes of Jon Snow who loved Rickon like family. If you look in the dictionary, you will likely find a picture of Ramsay next to the word ‘evil.’ So, with all that said, you may be wondering how I can even relate to this man in any sort of way. The answer to that is quite simple actually. Ramsay is a man that you know to take seriously, and I want to be taken seriously as much as Ramsay is.

Whenever I compete with others, I am always looked at like a joker. Somebody that you don’t take seriously at all. I will not deny that I sometimes have fantasies about putting the people that look down on me in their place. I imagine myself to be a giant and them as filthy cockroaches that I can crush with a single hard step on the ground. I want to be taken seriously, and one of these days, I will make sure that I do something so great and so amazing that it will make the work of my rivals look like trash in comparison. Maybe then, I will finally get the respect that I desire. The respect that Ramsay has.

Light Yagami has one simple goal throughout all of Death Note. To rid the world of everything that he deems to be vile. To remove the criminal scum off the streets and teach the injustices of the world a lesson. To make the world a place where the mere concept of crimes against humanity will be less than a memory. He wishes to see the pieces of human garbage be dealt the karma that they deserve. Deep down inside, I feel the same way.

Whenever I see something on the news about some disgusting criminal act, I get filled with boiling rage and unlimited hatred for whoever caused those crimes. I wish to see them locked up. To see them be as hurt as the people they hurt, because they deserve to be brought to justice. A series like Death Note is what I like to call a perfect anger catharsis series. Whenever I see a criminal in the series get their comeuppance thanks to Light writing their name in the Death Note, I always get a sense of satisfaction. This also goes for Light, because as much as I feel similar feelings to what he was feeling in the series, in the end, he became exactly what he was fighting against. It’s like the saying goes. You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

Pariston Hill is a troll. There really is no other explanation for who he is. He likes to manipulate a situation to make other people suffer all for his own entertainment. When you get right down to it, his personality is very simple. He always puts on this fake smile to make himself look good, but anyone who has seen Hunter X Hunter knows that beneath that smile lies the mind of someone more sinister. He doesn’t care about what people think of him at all, and that is what I admire about him.

Recently, I got upset that someone jokingly said my blog was a trainwreck. I acted like an whiny, insecure manchild and then the one who said my blog was a trainwreck had to go back and change it to be more respectful towards me. That is some fucking bullshit right there. I wish that I did not feel the way that I did, because hey, I don’t respect myself already, might as well go all the way and just not care for what others say about me and enjoy myself. Nevertheless, I accepted his way of apologizing, but I’ll be sure that something like that does not happen again. If someone says something that I find to be offensive towards me, I will just keep my mouth shut until these feelings blow over. A facade to put up, much like Pariston’s smile.

Walter White is a man that only truly felt alive once he was told that he was going to die in a couple years. During that time, he decided to start cooking crystal meth, and he was very damn good at it. In fact, he made some of the purest forms of crystal meth the world has ever seen. He was that good at his craft. Slowly, he began to show the world that he was not one you wanted to mess with, and he became a king among drug lords. A man that got respect by using his talents to make something extraordinary. That is something that earns him my respect.

I am a very competitive guy, so when I see some of my peers be better at something than I am, it just motivates me to do better than them and show them who is boss. To become the best version of myself and show people that I am not some weakling that needs help with my craft. To show people that they don’t know anything about my work. To become my very own version of the late, great Heisenberg.

Finally, we have Megamind, and this is probably going to be the most personal one out of the bunch. You see, Megamind is not really a bad guy, at least by the end of the movie he isn’t. He starts out evil, but as the film progresses, we see that he doesn’t know what to do with his life after he has become the ruler of Metro City. He is lost, and he begins questioning if being a villain is what he truly wants in life. I think my favorite part of the movie is when he is explaining to Hal how he used to do business back when Metro Man was still a superhero. I love that scene because it shows that he isn’t really evil at heart, but rather he feels he needs to be evil in order to have any sort of purpose in life. Sometimes, I feel the same way.

I have made many mistakes in my life. So many in fact that I sometimes wonder if I am even a good person to begin with. I sometimes ask myself if I was just born to be the bad guy. It’s why I desire to be like the ones above so much, because I feel like I am nothing if I am not bad. It’s why I always think these thoughts in my head about me being a bad guy. At the end of the day though, I always remind myself that I can be a good person if I want to. I know that I really don’t want to be as bad as someone like Light Yagami or Ramsay Bolton. I want to be more like Superman and Mr. Rogers. I don’t want to be someone like Pariston Hill or Walter White. I want to be more like Naruto and Harry Potter. At this point in my life, I am probably the most like Megamind right now, and if Megamind has taught me anything, it’s that I have a choice on the type of person I want to be like.

I know that part of this post goes against some of the things I said, but I don’t see it that way. I can use power to do good and not use it to simply use it for myself. I can ignore certain things not because it hurts me, but because it genuinely won’t bother me. I can prove that I am good at my craft, but I know that I can be a good sport about it too. For as bad as these characters may be, they ultimately have qualities that I personally want to have as a person. All I have to do is make sure I use those qualities in the best way possible for both myself and the rest of the world.

Thank you all for reading.