Civ 6 spring update adds Persia

NEWS – Civilization’s Youtube channel has just published a video yesterday unveiling the newest addition to the roster of civilizations, Persia.

In Civilization 6, the Persian civilization is lead by Cyrus the Great.

Cyrus’ leader bonus is called Fall of Babylon. It allows the player to declare surprise wars with less diplomatic penalties and gives all Persian units bonus movement after declaring war.

With this leader bonus, the player can freely declare war on any other civilization in the game without suffering the heavy warmongering penalties. It’s quite a pain when you really need to declare war on someone but you just can’t due to the fear of being denounced by everyone in the game. Worry not, for this bonus will save you from those pesky peace-loving hippies.

It allows gives you a head start with the bonus unit movement. This bonus movement allows you to mobilize your units more quickly and hopefully start dealing damage to your enemy.

This leader bonus is historically accurate since it contradicts Tomyris’ leader bonus which she dislikes surprise wars. In history, Tomyris and Cyrus were not exactly in the best of terms so it is quite nice how the developers added this in.

The Persian civilization bonus is called Satrapies. You receive a free trade route after completing the Political Philosophy civic and receive more bonuses from internal trade routes.

This bonus is extremely beneficial in a scenario where there is no safe trade route other than your own cities, most probably happening during a war. You can be at war or be under pressure from surrounding barbarians and still have a fairly healthy economy.

The Persian civilization’s unique unit is called the Immortal. It is a melee and ranged unit which replaces the swordsman and has a strong combat defense. Judging by the reveal video, this unit has a ranged attack of two tiles.

This unit is extremely useful if you want to dish out some damage without getting hit yourself. You can range attack a city and when it is down to low health, you can most probably melee attack in order to capture it. Still not sure regarding the melee part though but since it is a swordsman replacement, it wouldn’t make sense if it didn’t have a melee attack.

Lastly, the Persian civilization’s unique improvement is called the Pairideza. This improvement provides culture, gold and appeal. It gets bonuses from adjacent districts and city centers. Provides more yields in later eras.

This improvement could prove useful if you are going for the culture victory or you are just short on gold.

That’s all the current information regarding the new civilization.

How will you lead your civilization? Will it stand the test of time?

SOURCES:
Civilization VI – First Look: Persia
Civilization VI ► Persia DLC in Civ 6 – But WTF for Digital Deluxe Owners?

Disney’s upcoming title “Coco”

DISCUSSION – Two days before the release of Disney’s film “Beauty and the Beast”, they released a teaser video for their upcoming title “Coco.”

Here is the premise of the animated film:

Coco follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery, leading to an extraordinary family reunion.

Despite his family’s generation-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector and together they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

The animated film will be directed by Lee Unkrich who has also worked on the “Toy Story 3.”

The whole premise of the film is quite similar to another animated film which is also set during the Day of the Dead, “The Book of Life,” wherein the main character finds himself lost in the land of the dead.

I am personally excited for this film due to the main character’s love for the guitar and to emulate his idol musician. I don’t quite understand how this part of the story will connect to the main character being trapped inside the land of the dead. However, in regards to the family history premise, I believe that his idol could be one of his missing family members – either father, uncle or grandfather and he should play a significant role to the main character’s current situation.

Anyways, it is my first time writing something in regards to western media. There is a huge difference when making an article about anime and western animation since they’re entirely different media forms from two different cultures.

I hope to write more articles like these.

RWBY Volume 4

REVIEW – Over the span of four volumes, Rooster Teeth has been constantly improving its animation as seen through their animated series “RWBY”. From the clunky and robotic movements in its first volume, this show has come a long way.

After watching the entire volume, I can sum the whole plot in just a few words: “The fairy tale is over”. In the first three volumes, we were always fixated on team RWBY and their antics at Beacon Academy. They experienced a lot of happy, thrilling, and depressing moments but not quite as much as a huge pitfall like in the fourth volume.

The fourth volume takes place after the events in the fall of Beacon.

Ruby Rose along with Jaune, Nora and Ren have taken it upon themselves to seek revenge upon the people responsible for destroying what they love. Yang is recovering after losing her arm in a fight against the White Fang leader. Weiss has been snatched away by her father and is living the life in Atlas. Blake, still reeling from the events, has fled to her hometown of Menagerie.

Out of all the four volumes, this has to be my most favorite so far. It focuses on each of the characters’ development and reactions to the events during the fall of Beacon.

Jaune, being the most affected by these events, is still not coming to terms with Phyrra’s death. This is clearly seen by how he has kept mementos of her on his person – like her weapons, the training lessons and many more.

Ruby has shown to have matured in this volume as the fairy tale is slowly crumbling around her. Unlike before where she was surrounded with friendly people, she is now stranded in a world where there’s too few good left.

Blake has succumbed to her former self and has started blaming herself over what happened to Yang and the events during the fall of Beacon – how she was helpless and unable to do anything useful.

Nora and Ren have been given deeper backstory on how they ended up with each other.

The animation has been done wonderfully considering how fluid the characters’ actions have become and how the environments are getting even more detailed by each episode.

The soundtrack for this volume has been rather done well by Casey Lee Williams. The melodies and lyrics used in each song have clearly set the mood of the entire volume – one filled with chaos, fear and yet hope.

In this volume, we’ve seen more new places like Menagerie, Mistral, Atlas. We’ve also learned more of the world’s history such as the two brothers of light and darkness and how they are related to the Grimm.

This entire volume has been basically a setup for future progressions in the fifth volume. It is the build up towards the endgame wherein the forces of good and evil will clash to settle things once for all.

It was a wonderful watch and I can’t wait for the events that’ll unfold in the fifth volume.

ozpin lives

New stunning CM for Violet Evergarden

NEWS – Kyoto Animation recently released a new promotional video for their upcoming anime series, “Violet Evergarden.” The video does not show new information but we do get to see more of the studio’s stunning work.

 

“I will run as fast as I can to wherever my customer desires. I am the Auto Memories Doll, Violet Evergarden.” – Violet Evergarden (at the end of the video)

There is still no exact date announced for Violet Evergarden so we will have to wait longer. Considering the animation quality of the promotional videos done by Kyoto Animation so far, it would not be too surprising that the series would still be in the works. After all, the level of quality has to remain consistent otherwise the whole series would be bad.

As far as the little information I have gathered regarding the anime series, here is a brief synopsis:

Auto Memories Doll.

It’s been quite a while since that name caused a fuss. Originally invented by Professor Orland solely for his beloved wife, Auto Memories Dolls eventually spread out into the world, and a machine that allows people to rent out the dolls was also created.

“I will run as fast as I can to wherever my customer desires. I am the Auto Memories Doll, Violet Evergarden.”

A girl who almost appears to have popped out of a fairy tale with her blonde hair and blue eyes said this with her inorganic beauty and sweet voice.

The promotional videos, so far, were worked by the following staff:

Director/Storyboard: Taichi Ishidate (Kyoukai no Kanata)
Character Design/Animation Director: Akiko Takase
Key Animators: Nami Iwasaki, Fumio Tada, Kohei Okamura, Shinpei Sawa, Nobuaki Maruki, Tatsuya Sato, Miku Kadowaki
In-Between Animation Check: Hiroko Kuroda
Color Design: Yūka Yoneda
Special Effects: Rina Miura
Background Art: Mikiko Watanabe
3D Art: Joji Unoguchi
Director of Digital Composite: Kōhei Funamoto
3D Computer Graphics: Tetsuro Umetsu

It is still unclear whether these people will be working the anime series itself.

On a personal note: *suppressed fanboy screaming*

Twelve minutes of SAO: Ordinal Scale

DISCUSSION – Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale has just been theatrically released in Japanese theaters on February 18, 2017. A preview has just been released by Sony of the first twelve minutes of the movie.

After viewing the video in roughly-translated English, it seems to show the events leading up to Kirito’s involvement in the augmented reality MMO, Ordinal Scale. Throughout the video, the movie’s setting shows how much has changed since the events of SAO and GGO.

People have gotten more reliant on augmented reality in their day-to-day life. It now serves as the upgrade from smartphones to even more advanced technology. Smartphone functions can now be done in a simple movement of your arm with the new augmented reality gadget, Augma.

Gaming has changed as well. People have gotten hooked into augmented reality gaming rather than the full-dive consoles – much to Kirito’s distaste.

He’s shown a strong displeasure when it comes to augmented reality and comes around when he’s heard news of some odd happenings in the augmented reality game, Ordinal Scale.

It is revealed at the end of the video that the odd thing about this game is that some of the bosses are the same ones from the first game, Sword Art Online. Kirito sets to find out the identities of Yuna, the diva of the game; the second ranked player and the game as a whole.

Go ahead and view the first twelve minutes of the movie yourself. It shows a lot of promise.

KyoAni’s Maid Dragon

FIRST LOOK – Kyoto Animation has been known for its trademark which is ‘Moe’. The display of quirky, cute and sometimes air-headed female characters is almost synonymous to Kyoto Animation in the anime community.

The animation studio’s newest comedy series, “Kobayashi-san’s Maid Dragon”, depicts a fantasy, slice-of-life story involving dragons in their human form. Tohru, one of the main characters, is a dragon who is devoted to a human, Kobayashi, and does everything she wishes. There are some lesbian tensions here and there but quite normal from what Kyoto Animation has provided in its previous series before.

After watching the first four episodes, the series was a pretty decent show for people who long for the comedy, slice-of-life genre.

You’ve got a woman who’s a salary woman and does not enjoy her life as a main character getting dragged into an everyday life involving dragons. Every episode is a new hurdle for Kobayashi and the dragons.

One episode might be about social etiquette and how to blend in with ‘normal’ society. In the process, the dragons such as Tohru will find ways to hilariously screw it up.

The charming thing about this series is that despite being a cliche comedy, slice-of-life – the jokes are not repetitive and boring. Every episode shows something new that’ll rock your socks off.

If you’re having a really depressing day and want to watch something that’ll cheer you up, then “Kobayashi-san’s Maid Dragon” should be on your list.

It might not be the best series but it does one thing well – comedy.

Why am I still hopeful for Sword Art Online?

If you’ve read my article on Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, you might remember me writing about how hopeful I am for Sword Art Online to redeem itself. I haven’t changed my thoughts about it since, but why?

Sword Art Online’s popularity was probably the largest than any other anime I’ve seen. The fans were partial when it comes to their reactions about the franchise – it was either they hated it or loved it. I kind of understand since Sword Art Online had a lot of good stuff going for it and there were also numerous times where it just ruined itself.

The main reasons why Sword Art Online was ruined is either because Asuna started to suck as a character and depended heavily on Kirito as her knight-in-shinning-armor, Yui was introduced in the series, and Kirito was heavily overpowered.

In the first three episodes, Asuna was a sort of bland character and majority of us were rooting for her development but it was ruined when she developed a sort of dependent relationship with Kirito. Romance can be a good thing in a series but only when done right.

Yui, as a character, was quite absurd for me. An artificial intelligence was somehow set loose by a game’s system and players are able to “adopt” it or just make some conversations with it as if it were a legit human being. I mean, that’s quite impossible in real life but hey – it’s an anime series and anything can happen.

The biggest reason, however, is that Kirito is an overpowered player. I don’t know if the writers intended it to be like this or just didn’t know how to properly write a well-written badass main character.

Him being invincible is a factor up for debate. He might’ve become as such due to the fact that he’s a solo player and therefore gets the full amount of XP from the monsters he fought.

This part is absurd though – hacking. Every time he hacks something, it’s always convenient for plot progression. It’s like a button writers made when they’ve reached a dead end and don’t know how to justify a certain event or actions of a specific character.

But despite of all these, Sword Art Online had a lot of promise going for it.

First of all, the series was and is still known for it’s visually appealing animation. It may lack a bit in how fight scenes are animated but it still does a pretty good job in making the environment more vivid and unique.

Secondly, the setting. Despite the concept of people trapped in a virtual world or game has been used before the series started, none of them have gone deeper than Sword Art Online (as far as I know).

The series does an excellent job of portraying the MMORPG setting but it does have a few flaws. However, if the people working behind this would be able to somehow improve it – that would make a lot of improvement to SAO’s  overall setting.

The pros and cons of Sword Art Online have similar weight. I am still hopeful that with this upcoming movie, Ordinal Scale, the series will be able to redeem itself.

Augmented reality is a wonderful setting to tackle after all.

Hibike! Euphonium 2nd Season

REVIEW – Kyoto Animation continues the “Hibike! Euphonium” anime series with a second season. It showcases the same characters with the addition of a few ones namely Mizore and Nozomi. The season comprises of thirteen episodes and depicts the struggles of the Kitauji high school concert band as they aim to win gold for Nationals.

Hibike! Euphonium is an example of Kyoto Animation’s signature with the stories it tells in each of their adaptations – full of moe. The studio has been known to have moe in most or rather all of their series.

What got me interested in this series in the first place was the fact that it was going to revolve around people involved in music. I, myself, am a musician and like what I do. Seeing an anime series that depicts music in a much wider (though not covering it entirely) scope just warms my heart.

The first season of this series was rather the typical KyoAni moe, slice-of-life story revolving around music. It gets even deeper and in-depth, especially with the characters, in this second season.

The series shows and explains the events that happened in Kitauji’s high school concert band prior to Kumiko’s membership. In the first season, it was vaguely described as a usual club drama. The seniors and juniors had a big argument and therefore caused the club to malfunction.

We are given a general idea of the whole conflict through Mizore and Nozomi’s story. How Nozomi appeared as an angel to Mizore and how Mizore became after Nozomi left the concert band. Albeit cliche but it works for me.

We get to see more depth in Asuka and Kumiko’s character. The series shows us a side of Asuka of being human – a person who has her troubles despite appearing to be the most “perfect” student. Kumiko’s character was given even more depth as she grows to like Asuka and gives her reasons to remain in the band over her mom’s desires.

Again, a bit cliche but it works wonderfully.

This season has been a great one – we’ve seen more character development compared to the last season. It was, as if, the writers decided to take a somewhat serious tone for the story whilst keeping that moe theme in tact and it worked wonderfully.

The ending was well-done with everyone coming to terms with their problems. A new set of officers were set to lead the remaining members of the concert band as the seniors graduated. The way how Kumiko clinged to Asuka so much was a bit weird for me since I felt some Yuri tension in there but nonetheless, I cannot argue.

The animation was praiseworthy as expected from Kyoto Animation but I can’t compare anything in this season to Reina’s scene from last season.

The orchestra soundtrack was impressive as well. I found the Marine’s march rather fun to listen.

This anime series would work well for those who’ve taken a liking to the slice of life and moe genre. If you like that and music, then you’re in for a treat if you watch this show. It may not appeal to all people but it’s worth watching it when you’re a bit down.

 

 

RWBY Volume 4, Episodes 4- 7

REVIEW – RWBY’s recent episodes have been exciting for me. In the fourth episode, we have been revealed about Ozpin’s current state and his relation to the farm hand, Oscar. A good amount of depth to Oobleck, Port, and Taiyang’s character – on how they know each other and their antics at Beacon. We’ve also got a glimpse of Raven and Qrow conversing about the relic and the location of the Spring Maiden – neither got an answer.

Fifth episode, we’ve seen a good amount of the faunus’ home continent, Menagerie. It was interesting to learn about faunus being transported to the continent which resulted in overpopulation in there. We’ve also been shown Blake’s home, her mother and father. Sun was incredibly hilarious to watch in this episode as he tries to mingle with Blake’s parents.

Sixth episode, team RNJR are surprised to see an abandoned city called “Oniyuri.” Ren seems to know a lot about the place considering how he mentioned about his parents investing in the city’s construction. I hope we get to explore Ren’s past – enough for us to understand him and how he ended up with Nora.

In the same episode, we see Weiss’ performance in the charity concert her father organized for the people of Mistral. It was an incredible development of character in Weiss as she firmly expressed her disbelief in the people of Atlas’ selfishness regarding the events in Beacon. Props to General Ironwood for supporting her.

Seventh episode, we get to resume the battle starting between Team RNJR, assisted by Qrow, and Tyrion. Rooster Teeth has displayed their forte: fighting sequences. Although it may not have been the best of animation, it certainly packed a lot of action into me and most viewers. We get a reveal of Tyrion being a scorpion faunus which his tail was later cut at the end of the battle by Ruby.

Also, Rooster Teeth’s adding some profanity in the script which was an indicator of how serious the series was getting. Tyrion calling Ruby a “bitch” after cutting off his tail was just the good stuff.

These four episodes were a roller coaster ride. It was an incredible display of the improvements Rooster Teeth has done in its animation and story writing.

I am in hype as episode eight releases.

KyoAni works on “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid” anime project

NEWS – Two weeks ago, Kyoto Animation uploaded a video teaser for their upcoming anime project, “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.” The series is expected to air on January 11, 2017.

The series will be adapted from Kyoushinsha Cool’s “Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon.” The North American publisher, Seven Seas Entertainment, describes the story as:

Miss Kobayashi is your average office worker who lives a boring life, alone in her small apartment–until she saves the life of a female dragon in distress. The dragon, named Tohru, has the ability to magically transform into an adorable human girl (albeit with horns and a long tail!), who will do anything to pay off her debt of gratitude, whether Miss Kobayashi likes it or not. With a very persistent and amorous dragon as a roommate, nothing comes easy, and Miss Kobayashi’s normal life is about to go off the deep end!

 The following is the staff for the anime project, “Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon”:

Original: Kyoushinsha Cool (Futabasha “Monthly Action” in the series)
Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto (Haruhi Suzumiya, Amagi Brilliant Park)
Series configuration: Yuka Yamada (Samurai Warriors)
Character Design: Miku Kadowaki (Amagi Brilliant Park, Beyond the Boundary)
Art Director: Mikiko Watanabe
Color design: Yuka Yoneda
Small setting: Shuchiku Uniformitarian
Sound Director: Yota Tsuruoka
Music: Masumi Ito
Music Production: Lantis
Opening theme song: fhana
Ending Theme: female leads as Choro-gonzu

via crunchyroll

Think, write, discuss, repeat.