Loot Crate Loot Anime Unboxing – February 2017 “Together”

Get 10% Off Loot Crates! https://lootcrate.com/justusrstone
Coupon code:  jrsyt2011

This month I’m checking out the newest Loot Anime box thanks to the fine people at Loot Crate. The theme this month is “Together” and features products from One Piece, The Boy and the Beast, Mr. Osamatsu, and Haikyu!!
Don’t forget, if this looks like something you’d enjoy, use the link above to get 10% off your very own Loot Anime crate! And yes, this helps the channel financially as well, so thank you!

And next month’s Loot Anime looks awesome! The theme is Future and features the anime Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Kiznaiver, Psycho-Pass, and Clockwork Planet!

Light Novel Feature

Newest Obsession – Light Novels

If you ever decide to peruse my blog archives, you’ll notice a recurring fandom of anime.

Some people don’t realize many of the current anime are adapted from novels.

These works, Light Novels, are usually in the realm of 50,000 words (about 200-215 pages) and aimed at a 15-25 year old audience. Another aspect of Light Novels is they are almost always a series (sometimes having ten or more volumes).

For a long time, the only way for English speaking audiences to enjoy Light Novels was to read fan driven translation projects. While some of these were decent, there were far more which suffered from horrid grammar and editing. A few I tried were unreadable.

But thanks to a growing fanbase for anime and manga, a few English publishers are getting on board and bringing some more popular Light Novels to market.

My current hero publisher is Yen On, a sub-press of Yen Press, who have been releasing manga for a number of years. A few other publishers are releasing the odd title, but Yen On puts out four or more Light Novels per month. Some examples are Sword Art Online, Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon, The Devil is a Part-Timer, Durarara!! and many more.

I love to read, but find myself increasingly pressed for time to do so. With Light Novels being relatively short and a not-too-taxing read, I’m able to breeze through a volume or two per week.

I’ve had a YouTube channel for a number of years, but have never found a real niche for it. The past two months I’ve been posting my reviews of Light Novels each week and it’s helped provide me with some focus.

I originally kept my Light Novel reviews separate from this site, but I’ve now decided to start posting them here. At least it will give a little life to the place 🙂

So what do you think? Are you reading any Light Novels? Or would you rather watch the anime? Let me know in the comments.

New ways (Places) to Interract

Hey Everyone!

Not a long post today, but wanted to let you know about an exciting development for readers over at the website Goodreads, and the discovery of another site I’m having fun with.

Ask the Author

Goodreads has launched a new feature called Ask the Author. It allows you to visit an author’s profile page and, if they’ve enabled the feature, ask questions. I’ve activated the feature on my profile and would love to answer any questions you might have! You can find my Goodreads Profile via this link.

Hummingbird

On the fun side of things, I discovered a website where I can keep track of all the anime I’ve watched over the years. The site is called Hummingbird and you can visit my profile at this link.

The site has a clean and easy to navigate design. It also has a cool feature where it displays the total amount of time you’ve spent watching anime. At the time of this article I have watched 1 month, 23 days, 23 hours and 37 minutes worth of anime!

Please visit both of these sites and add me to your friends lists. And ask me a question over on Goodreads. I’m usually on the site daily, so you won’t have to wait long for an answer.

All the best,

JR

PS Resonance is doing well. Hoping to give some more concrete answers on release date soon!

Anime I’m Currently Watching – Log Horizon

Since MMORPGs (Massive Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games) became a thing, anime has had series asking the question, What happens when the game becomes far more than a game?

_hackSIGNAn older series to pose this question was the multimedia project .Hack//Sign, which incorporated an anime, manga, and video game series all at the same time. In the anime, a single character finds they are unable to log off. The story revolves around this mysterious player and the deeper mysteries surrounding the game’s origin and purpose.

5fe886f3daa6485efecf1ea6dc5207931343265548_fullMore recently, a series to have huge success, was Sword Art Online. In this series, players interacted with the game via a virtual reality helmet. The creator of the game goes a bit batsh!t crazy and traps all the players inside the game. If they die in the game, they die in real life. If someone disconnects them from the game in real life, they will also die. The only way to escape is to win the game by defeating the ninety-nine floors of the main dungeon.

I really enjoyed Sword Art. So when I heard a similar series had been released, called Log Horizon, I had to check it out.

log-horizon

Initially my impression was that Log Horizon was just another Sword Art clone. In the anime, players of a MMORPG called Ender’s Tale find themselves waking up in the game world. This occurs just after a new update is added to the game.

Several episodes in, I realized though Log Horizon started from a similar place, it had something much different to say.

In Sword Art, the players have a goal, right from day one. They know why they are stuck, they know the basic rules of how they are stuck, and they know what they must do to escape. The series focuses on the characters as they level up, find allies, and face off against challenging odds to win the game.

In Log Horizon, the situation is very different.

The players have no idea how they ended up in the game world. In fact, unlike Sword Art where players played the game at all times as they though were truly “living” it, Elder’s Tale was a more traditional game where players sat at their computer and manipulated a character on screen.

So the players waking up “living” in the game world is far stranger and more disorienting.

Log Horizon also deals with the hopelessness and despondency people face when their life has no goal or purpose. Unlike Sword Art, even if you die in Log Horizon, you revive just as normal. So even death lacks a consequence or meaning.

Log Horizon is much more about politics, morals, and how to build a new society with order and rules when you’re starting point is pure chaos.

I’m a little halfway through the series and loving it! Though the character designs are a little drab and/or cliche, the actual characters themselves are cool and the story is engaging. I especially appreciate how they keep comparing how things worked in the game, compared to how they operate now it’s a living world. There’s a lot of thought given to the mechanics and back story of Elder’s Tale and it gives added depth to the series. I almost wish Elder’s Tale was a real game!

So if you dig the whole genre of characters trapped in an RPG, check out Log Horizon and share your thoughts.

Log_Horizon_Anime_b14

Vision of Escaflowne

It’s an older anime from 1996. A great story, awesome Mecha designs and killer music from Yoko Kanno (who also did stellar music for Macros Plus). The first soundtrack disc that was released was titled “Over the Sky” It’s been a huge help for me in writing my Nano project.

If you’re an anime fan & haven’t seen this series, do yourself a favour & check it out!

Escaflowne Opening

Zone of Enders gets some Revoltech Love

My love of anime, and therefore large, powerful robots, dates back to my childhood. At that time, shows like Robotech, Grandizer, Gaiking, Getter Robo & Voltron were the center of my world. Little wonder then that I was also a Transformers, ahem, enthusiast.

As I grew older and my geeky interests expanded, I found myself in possession of the PS2. I wasn’t as much of a gamer when I was younger. I was the moocher who hung out on his friends’ couch playing Nintento & Colecovision, but never owned a system myself until I was in my 20s.

The first system I owned was the original Playstation. The reason I had to own it? Final Fantasy 7.

I had become hooked on Final Fantasy playing my girlfriend’s Super NES (It’s cool, we’re married now, so I didn’t just mooch & run). So when I saw the glory of what was to be Final Fantasy 7, I had to own it. Funny story, I actually had my copy of Final Fantasy 7 prebooked before I even owned the Playstation.

So where am I going with this? Ummm, yeah, that single game turned into a gaming love affair. So when the PS2 came out, I had to own it.

One of the games that blew me away with its graphics and enjoyable gameplay was called Zone of Enders (given to us by the gaming genius of Hideo Kojima) . It didn’t hurt that you ran missions using a giant mech called Jehuty (that’s why I mention the mecha love earlier. See, it all ties together).

Jehuty was a great mix of the streamlined aesthetics of the modern era, but with the chunky boosters, missile launchers & sword of the mecha of my youth. I loved the design of Jehuty.

And now I can own him!!

Kaiyodo, those creators of awesome mecha toys, are releasing a Jehuty as part of their Revoltech line in April. Wonderful toy site Tomopop had the official news today.

Click on the link to read Tomopop’s article on the Jehuty figure.

I mean, c’mon, this lets you show your love for mecha & gaming all in one! I’m thinking this will be gracing my desk sometime in May.