Tag Archives: Collab

A D-mail conversation with Raistlin (part 6)

All good things come to an end, as I am afraid we have reached the last installment of my collab post with the wonderful Irina. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s part over on Irina’s blog. Before I move on to the final part, on a personal note I want to apologise for not having responded to some comments left on this post. Trust me it’s not because I am ignoring you but it’s because currently I am really not feeling like my usual self. It’s hard to even write a comment sometimes or find any spark of energy to even write someting. I am sad that I have missed out on a lot of posts, and haven’t been able to keep my promise for still being around here. I am doing my best to find that energy again, so please be patient with me if you can. Now, before this becomes way too depressing, on to the fun stuff: Part 6 of the Steins;Gate review. I hope you will enjoy it, and thank you again Irina for doing this amazing project with me. It’s been a blast!

Inbox Gmail: Raistlin 0903, dated 2017/18/02

From: Irina

Contrast is key

Hello everyone, it’s Raistlin (yeah who else would it be). I’m back again to continue the review of the time travel epic anime series Steins; Gate. I hope you are all ready for this as we are entering the final arc of this series. And you know that’s where things can really go wrong. We all have probably seen countless examples of enjoying something thoroughly, and having the final ruin everything that came before. The past hours I have felt this weird pressure as if someone is overlooking my every move. It’s nothing quite as sinister as The Organisation that is looking over my shoulder, but more a guiding and helping hand that makes sure that I don’t screw this up. As I said before, this is an important review. I’m writing it to make sure that everyone ends up loving this series as much as I have. But also for that blogger that I have mentioned that you all still haven’t met. I have, she is an amazing friend, and the impact she will have on this community will be felt throughout the centuries. Irina is her name: don’t forget it, you will thank me later.

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Nothing to see here….move on please…..

Okay in the last segment I talked about the fact that the first segment while slow, is very important, a joy to watch, and probably even the best thing about this entire anime.I have also let it shine through that the second half of the show is much darker. But exactly what do I mean with that, and how does it hold up in the overall scheme of things? I’m not going to tell you what happens because I have pretty much always avoided putting spoilers in my post, so I am not going to start now. Suffice it to say though that when that shift in tone occurs, you won’t be ready for it. There were very subtle hints in the first half, another thing that’s so clever about Steins;Gate. But the true shock will hit you like a sledgehammer. It will wrench your gut, and it will make you cry. You might even feel as if you are slowly suffering a heart attack. And after it happens, the anime shifts gears. Radically. It almost seems as if you are watching an entirely different show.

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What do you mean we are watching an entirely different show??!!

I often had a hard time wondering what this series wanted itself to be. But looking back now that is pretty much exactly what you shouldn’t be doing. You see, what happens in this second half is that it creates an atmosphere of true desperation. A lot of things that seemed so very innocent in the beginning turned out to have very dire consequences. And you feel Okabe’s sense of urgency. You feel his heartbreak, his need to fix things in the right way. But maybe some things can’t be fixed. Or when they are fixed, they might leave a timeline that is even worse than the one created now. And I do say timeline, because the build up to the real time travelling aspects of the show, come to the fore in this second half. Think full on Back to the Future stuff and then some. As someone who really loves everything that even has a single spark of time travelling in it, I think this is where Steins;Gate really shines the most. And not for the reasons you might think. It’s not just the way that this show handles the concept of time travel itself.

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Jeezzzz…..you are really making me upset here…..

No, what makes the time travel really work is the way this series is built up. The first half lures you in with this sense of calm, the funny dialogues, the establishing of the relationships, in short it seems to set the tone for the entire anime. At least that’s what you think. There are of course hints thrown your way that you might not pick up on until much later. And then that second half hits you: the tone is dark, the characters you know suddenly are much different when what you are used to, and you might even wonder where the series you loved so much all of a sudden disappeared to. But once the initial shock dissipates, you begin to go on the same journey that Okabe is going on. You want him to succeed at fixing things. You cry when he fails another attempt. You feel the sense of dread that maybe it won’t end happily. Every time jump into the past your heart races, hoping that maybe this is the one where our favorite mad scientist succeeds.

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Okay, we are done, let’s go drink some Dr. Pepper.

Steins;Gates’ contrast in tones is a stroke of genius. And I appreciate the show even more for doing it in this way. It takes a concept that at first seems very innocent to a level that you simply would not expect when you first start with this anime. If all my writing about this hasn’t been enough yet to convince you that you should really check this one out, then I don’t know what I can do more. Well, maybe there is one last thing. Somewhere, in the future, a time traveller called Irina will appear. Her identity right now is still hidden in mystery. When she first appears, you might not even realise her greatness yet. Almost like Steins;Gate she lures you in very cleverly. But make no mistake. Her blogging skills are awe inspiring and will blow you away. One day out of the blue, she will start to talk about this anime. And she will convince you even more to go and watch it than I have done. If for some reason the first time you might not have enjoyed Steins; Gate, try it again. Because who knows? Maybe time will change things for you…….Psy El Congroo……

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A D-mail conversation with Raistlin (part 4)

Hello everyone! It’s time to continue with the next installment of the collab post for Steins; Gate with the totally awesome Irina. We are on to part 4 already, time (pun intended) really does fly when you are having fun. Just in case you missed the previous part from last week over on Irina’s blog, here is a link to that third part. Right, all done reading? Than let’s get one with the next part: enjoy!

Inbox Gmail: Raistlin 0903, dated 2017/18/02

From: Irina

Good things take time

Hi guys! So are you all ready to continue with my review for Steins;Gate? Of course you are. Now, you all know that this is an important review, because as I mentioned before that this is an anime that is beloved by many. So if I mess this up in some way, I’m sure the backlash on this will be gigantic. Especially by this one very special blogger you all still have to meet called Irina. It’s like her favorite show, but I guess you all don’t know that yet, and this is all starting to sound way too confusing. Now don’t deny it, I can see all those frowns appearing on your foreheads. So, let’s get back to why we are all here: the review itself.

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What exactly is this guy rambling about?

In the last segment I spoke about the fact that the cast of characters is really amazing. But if that great cast has a script that doesn’t work, it kind of puts a damper on the whole thing doesn’t it? The first half of this series is slow. And slow can be boring when it’s not done right. Luckily that is not the case with this anime. This show is very dialogue driven. And the first half of this series establishes the relationships between all these characters that you will grow to love. The way it goes about doing this though is really terrific. A great example is the comedic banter between Okabe and Kurisu. As mentioned our “mad scientis” can at times be a little off, and it’s Kurisu that keeps him grounded. But this often results in some hilarious exchanges. It’s like having a conversation with a lifelong friend. You know how that is right? When these first start it almost seems as if the two don’t like each other. But…as the series progresses you will see how these conversations were very subtle in laying the groundwork for the bond that grows between these two.

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Ah…now THAT makes sense.

Even more important is establishing the friendship between Okabe and Mayuri. Rintaro might at times seem totally nuts, but when it comes to protecting this incredibly sweet girl he always changes his tune. When you first hear that Mayuri is supposedly his prisoner, you wonder what that exactly means. But as with most things in this show that also has a completely different side to it. I’m not going to say what that side is for that would spoil things for you. Suffice it to say though that you really get the feeling that there is nothing that can come between these two. Okabe is always there for her, and she for him. Even though at times through some of their conversations you might think that they both have a couple of screws loose in their heads.

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Some friendships last a lifetime.

Steins; Gates’ first half is full of these things. Sometimes there are moments during these episodes where you start to wonder where the show is going with this. Trust me, it all has a reason. For one thing it’s providing you, the viewer, with a great background to all of these characters. You know those shows where you simply don’t care about what happens to someone? In this anime that just simply doesn’t exist. Every time a new character is introduced it takes it’s time to let him or her fit into the scheme of things. And ofcourse Rintaro keeps adding them to his lab members (Yeah I know, he is not very good at keeping secrets, even though he himself thinks he is doing a great job). But another very important reason is the fact that when the show shifts into it’s darker second half, it will shock you to the core. Without going into spoiler territory, something happens that would have had less impact, if the show didn’t spent so much time with this great cast to begin with.

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Okay, thanks for clearing all this up…even though it did still sound like a bit of a ramble.

It’s at that precise moment that you truly appreciate what the series has done in the beginning. And you realise how clever it really is. It’s something you might not even discover the first time you watch this. It might depend on your mood, or maybe hearing about the fact that it’s a show about time travelling you expect it to go into that territory right away. Trust me though: it’s better this way. Steins;Gate takes it’s time but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable in that first half. I might even go so far as saying that I liked it’s first half even more. (But heck don’t get me wrong this entire anime is amazing). But what I loved about it is the fact that you almost feel like you are becoming a part of a family, or a wonderful group of friends. Because it focuses on things we can all relate to: laughter, insecurity, love, sadness, and a whole range of other emotions. It’s part of everyday life, and even though the story for this anime of course is science fiction, it never loses sight of one of the most important things to have in life: true friendship. So, keep all this in mind when you are watching that first part of the story.

A D-mail conversation with Raistlin (part 2)

Hello everyone!

Today I’m presenting you a new collab project that I am very excited about. And my partner in time, erm crime, is none other than the wonderful Irina. We have been planning to do a project together for quite a while now, and we finally succeeded! It’s probably no secret whatsoever for everyone who knows Irina, that she is a massive Steins; Gate fan. I however had a different opinion on it when I first saw it. Seeing as that would make for a very interesting discussion our plan was to write a post about our different viewpoints. I did want to do a rewatch to refresh my memory seeing as it had been quite a while since I had last seen it. And that pretty much threw our entire original plan out of the window (yep, that blame is on me). But everything worked out fine in the end as now Irina and me now bring you a semi fictional time travel review for Steins; Gate. The fun started out on Irina’s blog last week: check it our right here! Today it’s my turn. It was so much fun writing this, and I really hope you will enjoy reading it just as much!

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You see that the original plan was all worked out already on the board.

Inbox G-mail: Raistlin 0903, dated 2017/18/02

From: Irina

It’s better with friends

Hi Guys! I have just watched an absolutely amazing anime for the first second time called Steins Gate and I just had to share my thoughts on it with you. Now this show is a fan favorite, and no one is more passionate about it than a blogger who you probably haven’t even met yet called Irina. I’m telling you all that should keep an eye on her in the future as she is destined to make an enormous impact in the wordpress blogging community. Don’t ask me how or why I even know this, I just do: and trust me she is awesome, kind and an amazing blogger, and I just can’t wait for you all to meet her!

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Don’t you go and question my wisdom for this now!

Anyways, back to the show. I think the most important thing for me to start with is mentioning the great cast of characters.When Stein’s Gate starts we meet up with the strange and pretty goofy character Rintaro Okabe. He sees himself as a “mad scientist” and pretty much can’t stop talking about that fact. Seeing conspiracies everywhere he also runs a laboratory in his appartment together with his friends the loveable Mayuri Shiina and Itaru Hashida. And I do say loveable as Mayuri is just the most innocent and sweet girl you are ever likely to meet. There is not a single evil thought in her mind, and I also love the fact that she talks about herself in third person. She is a childhood friend of Okabe and the two of them share a very deep bond. Itaru also known as Daru, is just so much fun. He is a hacker, otaku, totally in love with Faris who runs the maid cafe MayQueen Nyan Nyan (don’t ask) and also a bit of a hentai (pervert). But he definitely delivers most of the comic relief in this anime.

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Who are you calling a hentai here?

But if you think the fun stops just with these three characters think again! It would be a mortal sin for me not to mention Kurisu. She is one of the strongest characters in the show, and serves as the voice of reason to Rintaro’s madness (but IS it really madness??). I loved her growth as a character. Where she starts of as this pretty serious woman, in later episodes she becomes more vulnerable, and as such it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with her. And a certain someone does. Did I mention this show has a lot of great female characters? Because it doesn’t stop with Kurisu. Rintaro’s laboratory is situated above the CRT television store run by mister Braun (Well, that’s what Okabe calls him anyway as that isn’t really his name). Now this gruff, but still very kind hearted man one day, after the shortest job interview ever, hires a new employee: the feisty and mysterious Suzuha.

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Sorry I don’t have a clue WHAT you are talking about right now.

This young girl soon meets up with the rest of the cast, and as the story progresses you get this feeling that she knows more about what’s going on then she lets on. I loved her warrior like mentality, as well as the many great conversations that she has with Okabe. Speaking of mysterious let’s not forget Moeka. Being the paranoid guy that he is, Okabe is at first shocked when this woman seems to be taking pictures of him with her phone. It becomes even weirder as pretty much the only way she communicates is by sending him texts on his phone. This often results in hilarious moments, where Rintaro is giving one of his many speeches, and keeps getting interrupted by texts on his cell by Moeka. Last but not least there is Ruka who looks like a girl, but is in fact a man (or is he?). Pretty much the only one who seems to know that is Okabe, but of course he is ridiculed by all the other characters (and often scolded at) for even so much as implying that. Ruka is really shy, but also very sweet and kind.

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Let me see if you are feeling alright here. Isn’t this a bit too much praise?

This cast is phenomenal and one of the many reasons this anime works so well. Steins Gate is full of dialogue, some of it funny, some of it really serious, and at other times heartbreaking. But all of it feels as if you are looking at lifelike and real human beings. In fact I would go as far as saying that this show might contain some of the best characters ever seen in an anime. Period! Yep, that is a bold statement I know, but I stand by it. I could have just mentioned only three characters and be done with it, but that would not really get my point across. So that’s why I took some time to introduce this wonderful cast, and it’s importance in this anime. Because every single one of them, even Faris who I didn’t talk about much, has an important role to play in the unfolding events. And if there is one thing I like as you know, it’s characters that you grow to care about. This anime achieves that, and then some.

CALLING ALL ANIME BLOGGERS AND FANS! WE WANT YOU!

I love collab posts, but you would probably be very surprised that I haven’t done many of them. Weird isn’t it? But….no worries, now that I am finally back from my hiatus, I’m working on some pretty cool ones. This one though, takes things to a new level and I am very excited about it to say the least. I was having a very interesting discussion with Ayano from KawaiPaperpandas and as a result well….I will let Ayano do the talking here, as she can explain it even better than I can. In fact she already has, just click on the post below to see what this is all about. So….I can’t wait to see how this is all going to work out: but in short: This is going to be so much fun!! Hopefully you are all as excited about it as both Ayano and I am 😊 And please spread the word as much as you can if you would be so kind. It is very much appreciated 😀

 

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Gooood morning my pandas! It is currently 11:00 am in the lovely state of Oregon and I am ready to go!!!

Y’all are probably wondering what the heck I’m up to huh? Well I’ll tell you! Raistlin and I were having a little chat the other day and we came up with a pretty extensive project…but we need YOUR help! As most of you guys in the blogging community know the Crunchyroll Anime Awards for 2017 were pretty fucking garbage. To say I was disappointed by the results is an understatement.

Some time ago Raistlin and I thought, “Hey…why not make an awards panel of our own?” We played around with the idea for a bit after the results for the Crunchyroll Awards made an appearance but I didn’t think anything of it…UNTIL NOW.

Now I am reaching out to you my pandas! We are holding a so called…

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Let’s All Write a Book |Chapter 1-Paragraph 3!

So remember how a few days ago I promoted a blogger who had just reached 100 followers and did all those push ups to thank his followers? Well, it turns out he had a really fun idea for all of us to start writing a book. And of course it was inevitable that at some point this tag would reach me. Did not expect it to be almost right away though. Thanks Irina….erm I think 😅

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I’m going to turn completely insane from anxiety and nervousness.

So if you want a reminder of what the idea was about, or haven’t even seen it yet, just read Arthifis’ post. I have to be honest the last time I wrote a story was on school about 25 years ago I guess….so yeah, I am getting old now lol. And nervous for making this even remotely interesting to read. Okay, erm…here we go. But first the rules:

Here’s a quick reminder of the rules:

1. Copy the post you’ve been tagged from the rules down (with the links)
2. Go here and read the rules
3. Write your name and link it to one of your posts (The main character is called NoGender and as the name indicates, does not have a gender, so if you want to speak in the third person use the word “it”)
4. Write your paragraph (max 200 words with 100 words margin)
5. Tag someone’s post who wasn’t tagged before and say the following rule in the same phrase “You have 3 days to accept this tag”
6. If the person you tagged doesn’t answer or doesn’t want to participate tag other person       (again, tag a post and not a page)
7. Write the Title “Let’s All Write a Book | Chapter 1 | Paragraph X”, being X your paragraph

Arthifis Chapter 1.1 : It was the same dream again, for a week NoGender was always having the same dream. Drowning… It was funny actually, since “it” had the power of controlling water.

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NoGender woke up breathing heavily as always… Next morning would be the final exam for him to be a full edge water bender, but without having proper sleep for a week, NoGender was getting nervous about it… “Its” concentration was not as good as normal, “It” had found itself almost falling asleep countless times while trying to train its skills the best it could and, at this moment “it” was getting anxious that it would just fall asleep in the middle of the exam. With these kind of thoughts, “It” bended over to the other side and fell asleep again.

NoGender was part of one of the most important schools of the kingdom. It was usual for someone to bend any kind of elemental, however only until a certain point… Having really the power to bend an elemental power to someone’s will was extremely rare. Every kid with age of 5 needed to do the national yearly exam to show their abilities, although simple, the exam was enough to see if the bender had enough capabilities to be a “true” bender or not. In thousands of children only 1%, in average, would be good enough to enter this prestigious school. However, being chosen and being in this school didn’t meant they would be benders all their lives, when these already special children got to 18 years old, their powers could just disappear from night to day, because of that, everyone did the final exam in their 18th birthday day, if they passed they could choose which path they wanted to continue and join one of the specialized schools they prefered.

Irina Chapter 1.2 : It was no good. The worries and anxieties could only be pushed aside so far before they needed to be dealt with.

OK NoGender thought, this is going nowhere. Might as well get this day started so I can get it over with. It figured the library would be a good place to while away the remaining hours before the exam. It was way too nervous to get any actual studying done but at least it could pretend, that’s what **good** students did, right? Fake it till you make it! It was starting to get a sinking feeling that making it was always a bit fake anyways. At least the library was close to the main campus.

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As NoGender distractedly ambled into the stuffy reading room, with the comfy leather chairs, that were now considerably more patchwork than leather, and the assorted desk and floor lamps that all gave off different lights, it noticed that the room was already stuffed with nervous looking students, all seemingly at a loss as to what to do with themselves.

A tall skinny boy with a smile that was the polar opposite of comforting, caught his eye. If NoGender was this anxious, he could only imagine what poor Schickley was going through, that kid had trouble handling the stress of ordering lunch. NoGender worried about him. As their eyes met, it greeted its friend in what it hoped was a reassuring manner:

-Hey Shakes, wanna go get a drink after this?

-Geni, oh good you’re here! Did you hear what happened?

-FIN-

Raistlin Chapter 1.3 : NoGender looked at it’s friend in puzzlement. “Hear what?” it asked. If anything, it seemed Schickley was even more nervous than normal. Which was saying something. Just as Schickley was about to answer, a small tremor rocked the floor of the library. Students began looking up from their books, and just then the tremors started getting worse. People screamed in fright, and small cracks appeared in the marble floors of the library.

A real panic now began to take a hold of the students and everyone started rushing towards the great double doors that formed the exit. Schickley and NoGender got swept up in the crowd and lost sight of each other. Then someone yelled ” The doors are locked!! ” NoGender wasn’t someone that was quick to panic, but it began to creep up on “it”. What was going on? But then the worst tremor yet shook the building.

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Bookcases began to fall over, and great chunks of the ceiling came loose and started falling on students. NoGender dove under a table just in time, as a big block of rubble crashed down on the space where he had just stood. And then a terrible inhuman howling sound started……..

To be continued….

Okay I have to admit: this was a lot of fun! And now for the tag: Shokamoka I choose you!  Sorry about this, but come on, we all know you were asking for it with those comments you left over on Irina’s post. So no pressure. But just a quick reminder “You have three days to accept this tag” Good luck, and looking forward to seeing where you are going to be taking the story.

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