[Anime Review]: Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (OreGairu)

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A.K.A: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

Directors: Ai Yoshimura (S1), Kei Oikawa (S2)

Writer of Original Light Novel: Wataru Watari

Animation Studios: Brain’s Base (S1), feel. (S2)

Version Watched: Subbed

It actually took me two attempts to get through Oregairu, as after the first season it didn’t seem to be much more than an average romcom. I’m very glad I gave it another chance, however, as it was much more enjoyable the second time around and the second season blows the first out of the water. There are few productions that manage to achieve characterisation as complex as Oregairu, so if you’re after a character-driven drama with a hint of comedy and a ridiculous amount of subtext then this show is for you.

Hikigaya Hachiman is an outcast in just about every meaning of the word. By his own admission he hasn’t even talked to a girl in years and can count the number of friends he holds dear without any hands at all. His every waking moment would be a struggle, if he actually cared about what anyone else thought. His impressively cynical attitude ends up getting him forced into the newly formed Service Club by a worried teacher, with the only other member being the similarly isolated Yukinoshita Yukino. Naturally, the two can’t stand each other, but as they work together to help others as part of their club duties they find opinions and attitudes of rubbing off on them and, along with the bubbly but conflicted Yuigahama Yui, desperately fight to navigate the complexities of normal high school life.

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Posted in Anime Reviews, Reviews | 6 Comments

[Visual Novel Review]: Sekien no Inganock

 

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Developer – Liar-soft

Translator – Amaterasu Translations

Length – 10-30 Hours

It’s pretty amazing that after four years of reading visual novels and having exhausted most of those currently translated to English that I can still encounter titles that are unlike anything I have read before. Sekien no Inganock features a relatively unique story, setting and art style that very quickly caught my attention, and though my interest waned markedly as the narrative progressed for a number of reasons I can confidently say that I don’t regret the time I put into it. Let down by some poorly considered plot devices and pacing issues, Sekien no Inganock is still a title that may be worth taking a look at if it sounds like your cup of tea.

Ten years ago the self-sufficient city of Inganock suffered The Revival, a calamity that resulted in it being cut off from the outside world. Overnight an impenetrable mist engulfed it, the populace began to mutate into a variety of weird and wonderful new shapes, and creatures with devastating power were unleashed. Gii is a Cracking Doctor, a man who travels the impoverished lower tiers of the city illegally healing the sick with his powerful Phenomenon Equation, rewriting their bodies’ sickness and replacing it with health. His existence is an emotionless one until he encounters Kia, a polite young girl who appears to have no connection to the city whatsoever. As the two continue Gii’s endless work, they will encounter many of the secrets behind what happened to Inganock all those years ago. The two, together, with the clown that dances ever on the edge of one’s vision.

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[Visual Novel Review]: Steins;Gate 0

 

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Developer – 5pb. Games

Translator – Pqube

Length – 30-50 Hours

[A review copy was kindly provided by Pqube]

[Pqube has had no input into the content of this review]

[This review assumes you have read Steins;Gate or read my review for it]

[This review contains SPOILERS for the original Steins;Gate]

Steins;Gate is an extremely popular visual novel in the Western world. In fact, it’s rated second on VNDB behind only Muv Luv Alternative. When I finally got around to reading it I found it to be an enjoyable experience with unique art and fantastic characters, though it failed to grip me like it had so many others due to a protracted low-energy introductory segment and underwhelming climaxes. So how does this sequel stack up? For me, Steins;Gate 0 can be fully described with the phrase “more of the same”, with all of the good and bad connotations you might attribute to that description. For fans of the series, however, I’d say it represents another must-play instalment.

That was it. He’d had enough. After having chased his most precious friends across time and back, and failed to save them in every way imaginable, Okabe Rintarou has decided to give up. Even if that means sacrificing the person dearest to him, and even if that means World War III will inevitably occur. Life returns to normalcy, and Okabe hangs up the mantle of Hououin Kyouma, the mad scientist, in favour of the life of a regular academic. During his studies, however, he discovers that Makise Kurisu still lives on. Her memories had been digitized before the two ever met and now she exists as an artificial intelligence known as Amadeus. Okabe’s struggles are not over, and with new allies and enemies to help and hinder him, he may yet discover the path to Steins Gate. Continue reading

Posted in Reviews, Visual Novel Reviews | 4 Comments

The Unique Blogger Award, and Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all The Geek Clinic readers out there! I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season!

Today i’m going to respond to another of the chain-awards floating around the blogosphere, so i’d like to give a big thank you to Maengune over at Yousoro for nominating The Geek Clinic for the Unique Blogger Award!

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As per usual i’m going to be a spoil sport and not nominate anyone else for the award (though that’s not to say there isn’t anyone that deserves it!), mostly because it’s Christmas and I have to get to the festivities!

So without further ado, here are Maengune’s questions!

1. How do you best: Listening, Watching, Reading or Doing?

Look, that’s a really tough one. Being involved in medicine means there are a lot of different skills to learn and we often go by the adage “Watch One, Do One, Teach One”, with the doing being the most helpful from my perspective.

That’s not to say the others aren’t important though. If I have to give an order, i’d say Doing > Watching ~=~ Reading > Listening. The two in the middle are similar because it all depends on the teaching ability or quality of whoever or whatever you’re learning from.

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2. Do you think you can live without the internet?

Well, the quick answer is “Yes, but it would suck.”

There are plenty of things to amuse yourself with regardless of whether the internet is available or not, and it’s not like the world would end if we suddenly didn’t have access to it either. It would make my job a hell of a lot harder, however, and i’d lose access to a good chunk of my hobbies, so i’d like to keep it around if at all possible.

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3. Are you a console or a PC gamer? What games do you play most of the time?

For most of my youth I was most definitely a console game, and I probably would have identified as such right up until the current generation of consoles. With Steam’s accessibility, games lineup and prices, however, that may be changing. I don’t even need to mention the greater capabilities of PCs over console or the selection of mods available to PC users only.

I still like consoles, though, and i’ll probably always prefer a controller over keyboard and mouse for certain games.

I’d say I mostly play RPGs. It’s all about the story for me, with gameplay often being a nice extra (though I still do like the odd storyless game, like Trials Fusion, for example). Whether it’s JRPGs or MMORPGs, that’s what i’m normally playing. I enjoy most genres though, whether they be FPS or puzzle or just about anything in between. I’m less keen on racing games, however, and will never pick up a sports game.

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And that’s it! For those who want to play along at home, i’ll add three questions of my own.

1. Other than your own, which is your favorite country and why?

2. Is honor valuable?

3. Who is your favourite male character from any series? Who is your favourite female character from any series? Would they make a good couple and why/why not?

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Posted in Editorials | 5 Comments

[Anime Review]: Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari (Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar)

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Directors: Masaki Kajishima & Koji Yoshikawa

Writer: Hideki Shirane

Animation Studios: AIC Spirits & BeSTACK

Version Watched: Subbed

Believe it or not this post marks the first time a reader has requested a review, and the first time anyone at all has requested an anime review. While I’ll have to start out with the disclaimer that I haven’t seen any of the previous entries in this series, Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari is a spin-off from its predecessors featuring a different cast so I don’t think that had any effect on my viewing experience. Arka Mondal, the reader I mentioned earlier, wanted to know whether the show was worth their time. The answer? Well…maybe, I guess.

Kenshi Masaki finds himself stuck in an alternate world, one with massive mech-like weapons known as Seikijin that have been unearthed from the ruins of an ancient civilization. His talent as a pilot (and as just about everything else…) marks him as one of the few males able to use the Seikijin at all, and he is immediately used by a mysterious organization to attempt an assassination on Princess Lashara Earth of the country of Shtrayu. The attempt fails with Kenshi being captured and thereby freed from the organization that had forced him into combat, leaving the boy free to follow Lashara to the Holy Land where Seikijin pilots, Seikishi, are trained. Kenshi’s former allies will not lay dormant however, and he may be instrumental to saving the world he has only just arrived in. Continue reading

Posted in Anime Reviews, Reviews | 8 Comments

[Visual Novel Review]: Anime Studio Simulator

This week’s review is brought to you by long-time Geek Clinic reader and friend, Shinygami!

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Developer & Publisher – Visualnoveler

Length – 2-10 Hours

[A review copy was kindly provided by Visualnoveler]

[Visualnoveler had no input into the content of this review]

Ladies, gentlemen, I go by Shinygami and today, it seems it’s my turn to talk about the first VN/Simulator outing by Visualnoveler, a webapp that has decided to make the jump from letting people track and discover VNs to making them as well. Or at least a simulator that wears the trappings of one. It ain’t the worst, but it’s not the best, it’s the OELVN: Anime Studio Simulator. And today, I’ll take you through my experiences with it. Roll the intro… What? There’s no intro? Oh, you mean that WAS the intro! Sorry, new to this. 

The story focuses primarily on Yukari, a young woman who has just graduated from high school and has decided, before attending university, to fulfill her dream of directing an anime! Already on board is her childhood friend Mayumi, who will act as the sound director, but they still need artistic and writing talent. Very quickly, they manage to enlist the aid of sisters Yuuko and Sumiko (who is slightly younger than the other characters), a pair of opposites in personality, who work on the characters and the backgrounds respectively. And last to join them is Shunsuke, a logical sort who comes to the group after catching wind of their project. Shortly after the team is assembled and manages to acquire their startup funds, you get the chance to pick what your anime’s genre will be, Mystery, Action, or Harem, and then name your creation. From there, the game takes off in full.
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[Visual Novel Review]: Memory’s Dogma

 

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Developer – LizArts

Translator – Sekai Project

Length – 2-10 Hours

[A review copy was kindly provided by Sekai Project]

[Sekai Project has had no input into the content of this review]

In many of my reviews I talk about the concept of a story as opposed to the story itself. Some productions shine a spotlight on fantastic ideas with huge amounts of potential, and Memory’s Dogma is one of those. Some productions don’t take full advantage of the concepts they’ve started to explore and, unfortunately, Memory’s Dogma is one of those too. However, it’s also the very first visual novel released by LizArts and I think they’ve accomplished enough to keep them on my radar for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, Memory’s Dogma is a well presented, if misguided, title that may well be worth your time for the introduction alone.

Digital Immortality. The ability to record one’s memories in a digital format is one of the most ground-breaking technologies to ever see the light of day…but it was abused, and its use forbidden to all but the government itself, and then only on the recently deceased. From that development, however, came the Connect Centers. These high-tech public facilities allow family members to communicate with their loved ones for a set period of time before they are lost forever. Kusuhara Hiroki’s life hasn’t been as bright since he lost his friend Sorano. He simply can’t see any reason to carry on when someone so brilliant and so innocent can be lost in an instant. He has four days left to go and see her. He’s just not sure he can bring himself to do it.

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