The Flash: The Red Streak Lives

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Exactly what it should look like

Despite being a bigger fan of heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, I’d always tap my brain to figure out what a live action movie or even a show would look like for The Flash. Now I was still very young at the time and only saw The Flash as a guy who ran really fa   st which was the obvious opinion of most around my age at the time. It’s wasn’t a lot, but it was cool nonetheless. Growing older and discovering comics that included The Flash and all of his exploits made me realize that he’s much more than just a guy with fast feet. This just made me even more intrigued to see what the scarlet speedster could do with a prime time television spot. Don’t have to do it anymore as we are now four episodes into CW’s The Flash and it has been a joy to see. Read on to see why.

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Grant Gustin as Barry Allen

 At a time where live action superhero shows are becoming more and more acceptable as a commodity for viewers, The Flash is not only a part of that new wave but it is at the head of it. The small screen version of this hero stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, a forensics scientist who gets struck by lightning after a storm mixes with an accident at Star Labs. After being in a coma for nine months Barry finds out that somethings not right… yadda yadda, becomes a superhero; you all know the rest. The formula for creating the Superhero may be static but what is dynamic is the character in the suit and the villains he faces.

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A look at the series first villain Weather Wizard played by Clyde Martin

What’s probably the biggest benefit this show has it its format. It’s almost the antithesis of its predecessor Arrow from which it shares the same continuity with. The show is far less gritty and while still actively trying to stay rooted in realism, has its own comic book charm that’s reasonable enough. It can get a bit carried away, but that’s much more the exception rather than the norm. The plot is also very simple. Working with a crew of scientists from S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry battles the typical Villain of the day with powers given to them in similar fashion to Barry while he tries to continue his daytime career. Its an easy concept to grasp and very workable for a first season

Unlike Gotham, easter eggs and the name drops are just that. Even if the characters may not be as recognizable as the more mainstream heroes subtle hints at future characters and plot lines are all that’s necessary. With that the focus of an episode isn’t shoved to the side by viewers because of all the easter eggs shoved in your face. Even seeing spots from characters like Ollie and Felicity from Arrow in this show make it a delight for fans of Arrow as they enjoy the benefits of seeing a shared universe. What this show benefits from the most is its heart. From the first episode when you see Barry have a moment with his father in jail to seeing Barry’s adoptive father Joe West (Jessie L. Martin) realizing the mistakes he made in dealing with Barry and his agenda to find out who framed his father for the murder of his mother, you get to see a depth of character and emotion seldom seen in much of any live action comic book adaptations,


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Special effects also play a big role in the quality the show possesses

While the show has many things to praise let’s not absolve it of its shortcomings. Let’s start with the fact that it’s still a CW show (yes that can be a bad thing). Whether the station produces good shows or bad, its target audience will still be teenagers and even young adults. Typically that is fine because they watch television too and as apart of that demographic I watch a bit of television. However, what seems to be this running theme in most, if not all of their shows is this angsty sort of vibe that characters seem to give off. Whether its the script (which often times it is) or the expressions and overall look of the characters, the end result always seems awkwardly executed and a bit unnerving to watch. In the most recent episode entitled “Going Rogue” there’s a date scene which sees Barry and Felicity on sort of a contrived double-date with Iris (Candice Patton) and her boyfriend Eddie (Rick Cosnett). I get what the writers were going for with the scene regarding the latter two but it just seemed a bit too much and too common an issue of what plagues other CW shows more than this one.


The Flash is largely what many like myself wanted from this and some other adaptations. A simple start to a complex character and a shared universe. Not a lot to gripe about concerning the show but it’s also not like the show is perfect. If I wanted to give it a grade I could but that wouldn’t be fair now would it, Show’s this new need time to develop and it’s worthy of that time. It’s done a lot of good things thus far and it looks like it will get the time to do more.

Verdict: Good show with even better potential. Look for more from this show and maybe even some more crossover episodes with Arrow.

No score

+ A simple format for a slightly lesser known character

+ Good special effects and villains to combat the main characters

+ Nice portrayal of Barry Allen’s character

– Still has a bit of the angst and drama prevalent in most show on the CW

Watch The Flash Tuesday nights at 8PM Eastern/7PM Central on the CW

I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying Review

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I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying (also known as Danna ga Nani o Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken). This Comedy, Seinen, and Slice of Life follows the daily lives of Kaoru, a hard-working office women who’s passionate about her job and her husband Hajime, a dedicated otaku who lives a shut-in lifestyle, whose only friends are his blog followers. Kaoru worries about her husband from time to time, but they seem to get along just fine.


 

9e8027f658fcc763ae7c07880b9aa5711410914622_fullWhat can I say about this three minute anime? It’s absolutely hilarious! I give this anime it’s props for having the two main characters as a married couple and you don’t see that in a lot of anime. The show’s focus is unique on how the couple gets along even though they are two different people.


 

799472-cant_3For this type of show, I feel that the animation is perfect. The story also fits its time length perfectly and brings you the feeling of wanting more.

Verdict: I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Sayings is fun, witty, and cheerful. So if you’re looking for a good short anime that will make you laugh out loud, then I highly recommend this one.

I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying gets a 5 out of 5

+ Good use of storytelling for its runtime

+ Original approach to a Slice of Life style anime

+ Well… It’s hilarious

 

Star Wars Rebels

Poster of Star Wars Rebels

Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels

Watch this show, you will.

Ever since Disney bought both Lucasfilm Studios and Marvel Entertainment, fans and adorers feared that one day on the big screen, we shall see Mickey Mouse wielding a lightsaber or Donald Duck having the power of the darkside. Thankfully, that has not happened…yet. Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars gave us an original series with it’s unique animation and storyline that takes place after Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, but ever since the buyout, the last season was a tad bit short and released on Netflix. So is that it? No more extended universe storylines until we have to pick up the books, Star Wars Battlefront on the PC & next-­gen consoles, or wait for J.J. Abram’s Star Wars Episode VII? Not very likely. Disney released it’s new series, Star Wars: Rebels to keep it’s fans occupied but is it enough?

Rebels takes place fourteen years after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and five years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, when the Imperial Empire has established their oppressive order throughout the galaxy. It follows Ezra, a young con artist who fools citizens and Imperial groups. However one day, Ezra sees, follows, and steals from a group of smugglers led by Kanan Jarrus. Ezra decides to join the team to not only foil plans by the Imperials, but also learn the ways of the force from Kanan. The Imperials themselves won’t back down without a challenge as both Agent Kallas and the mysterious Inquisitor hunt down the group to put a stop to their actions in rising a rebellion.

With only the first three episodes shown, it’s safe to say that this show is a must see for a fan of the saga or a person who is interested in how the Rebel Alliance came to be or what happened during the Episodes of III & IV. It’s story and writing (by Teen Titans and Young Justice‘s own Greg Weisman) does feel like a Star Wars comic book with the action and space drama. However, since it is on a Disney, there are some comedic and kiddy moments that can be a bit corny at times. You can also see a similar type of storyline where a young person stranded on a planet wants to get off of this planet and do some small adventures. Sounds familiar no?

The animation unlike The Clone Wars which had a darker tone, is a bit brighter and gorgeous and sound effects from the famous blaster shot to a lightsaber being turned on are easily recognizable. The voice work supplied by talents such as Freddie Prinze Jr. (I Know What You Did Last SummerScooby Doo), Steven Blum (Cowboy Bebop, Naruto), Jason Issacs (Harry Potter series & NBC’s Awake) and some of the original Star Wars Cast Members, James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), Anthony Daniels (C­3PO), and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) is on point. Oh, did I mention that if you are TRULY a Star Wars fan, you’re in for a treat with the amount of easter eggs and references that are mentioned or shown throughout the episodes.

Verdict: Besides the typical notion of a boy who wants to get off a planet to find himself to the Disney family humor, Star Wars Rebels is definitely a must see for any Star Wars fan or lover of cartoons.

Rebels gets a 4.5 out of 5.

+ A good storyline to fill in some of the gaps of Episodes III and IV

+ Balanced action and drama

+ Great animation and voice work

– Has cheezy moments and jokes a typical Disney Family Channel would have

– A storyline of a young character who wants to find adventure and meaning, we’ve seen that already.

Catch Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD, Monday nights at 9 PM Eastern/8 PM Central

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3DS)

Released September 16, 2014, the sequel to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (2012) has arrived it brings a host of new and improved features to an already exceptional game. All of the songs and DLC from the first game are included. The plot that holds it all together is just a repeat of the first; Chaos is disrupting the harmony of the Music Crystal and the Heroes of Light must collect Rhythmia to restore its balance. But that’s not important, let’s talk about our rhythm game.

This time you get an even larger assortment of characters to choose from in addition to the mass of content to find. The scores available include many of the sequels and spinoffs of the Final Fantasy series like, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. I expected to see DLC although it didn’t seem very necessary to also have downloadable characters. The one and only song I was interested in purchasing was “KUON ~Memories of Waves and Light~” from Final Fantasy X-2. That being said, I might feel more inclined to purchase songs if I could preview them first. It would be nice to have the option. It is worth mentioning, however, that songs from Romancing SaGa (a once top-selling game in Japan) are available in the shop.

There are three main modes. The Music Stages are for playing individual songs in three difficulties. The Versus mode is for local or online play versus another player. This is something brand new for the game. You can challenge other players or play against AI. You battle against one another and randomly activate obstacles throughout the song. Rotating arrows and off-tempo triggers are two examples of mischief you can throw their way. The winner gets to pick two out of three collect-a-cards and increases their rank. The profi-cards from the first game return and are exchanged after a battle. They may contain Chaos Maps. The Quest Medleys are like an adventure mode and come in short, medium, or long. Each map has a wacky title that resembles the Dark Notes from the first game’s Chaos Shrine. They combine different songs to make a stages specked with keys, crystals, bosses, and rewards.

The rewards for collecting Rhythmia are given with enough frequency to keep the game interesting. The Collect-a-Cards play a bigger role this time. In addition to collecting the cards, you can now synthesize them into perks and abilities for your characters. This allows further customization of each specific character. The new scoring system is also something to get used to. The highest letter grade is now a SSS. Some songs may feel easy at first but the difference between basic, expert, and ultimate mode is more noticeable than in the previous game.

There are two new play styles in addition to using the stylus. You can now play by using the buttons on the 3DS. If you want, you can use a combination of both. Although the hybrid style feels less efficient than the other two it’s still a cool idea and fun to try out. Another neat little feature that I’ve been using more than I thought I would is snapshot. You can record your scores or party line-up by using the camera on your 3DS.

So is this game worth the money? Absolutely. All of the little things that have been tweaked and refined, some of the new features that add to the fun, they all come together to make for a really solid gaming experience that is both enjoyable and challenging. It gets a 5 out of 5 from me so go, collect Rhythmia and restore the crystal’s balance once again!