Weekly Review:The Asterisk War

This week we are going to take a look at the popular winter and spring anime series known as The Asterisk War. I gotta tell you, I’m up to date on the anime and I still have no idea what is going on half the time, reminds of The Irregular. Actually, the resemblance is uncanny. School full of powerful, magical people, check; schools that compete against each other in tournaments, check; other schools are corrupt and attempt to cheat the tournament, check; Finally, over-powered main character that has a limiter on their power, check! In fact, I agree with a lot of people that say The asterisk War brings nothing original to the table. It is, in fact, your typical action, comedy, harem show. So what’s it about?

Some years ago, a global catastrophe known as the Invertia happened destroying many cities. From that, Asterisk was born. The city plays host to six schools that each recruit students to compete in tournaments known as Festas. In fact, dueling is quite encouraged in this city. You can start a duel right in the street if you want. Our story follows that of the second to last academy, Seidokan. After seeing a few episodes, you find out why they are second to last. It would appear almost all of the other academies play dirty, real dirty. I mean, right off the bat, episode one there is attempted assassination of one of our main characters. Don’t ask all the academy names, they fly around like little bugs and you can only hope to remember the main one.

Our main character, Ayato, has come to the academy at the request of the student body president. She wants his power on her side, but he is here for a different reason. He wants to know what happened to his sister. Naturally, since the school’s data is corrupt, no one can tell him where is complete beast of a sister is. Honestly, if she’s that good someone would know. Anyway, his bid as a transfer student earns him the right to rent out one of the school’s powerful weapons if the compatibility is there. Naturally, he gets the most powerful one.

The main story, as of now, is centering around a Festa and the main characters competing in it. Ayato teams up with a page one named Julis, a fiery princess that soon falls for our beloved main. There friends Saya and Kirin also join; Saya is a childhood friend of our main and Kirin is the former number one at the school, at least before losing to Ayato. Together they face the hardships that are the other schools and their dirty tricks. The fight scenes are actually pretty well done, though some have way too much talking going on.

I’m sorry, are you still confused? Join the club! This anime does one thing very spectacularly: not telling you a damn thing. Well that’s not true, it tells you a lot, but it’s like 100 mph fastballs flying by. It’s a struggle to keep all the characters and schools straight, not to mention the ever developing story about Ayato’s sister. If you can keep it all straight, good for you!

I am actually enjoying this anime, believe it or not. It’s not unique at all, but I find the characters likable and the fight scenes nicely done. It is a harem, which is eh, but it’s not too bad. I figure I made it through and enjoyed The Irregular without knowing what was going on, so I’ll enjoy this one too. If you are a fan of the action, comedy, harem type, go for it, it’s a good watch, just don’t expect to understand much!

Transformers War for Cybertron

Given the exponential increase in the playability of the Transformers games from one generation to the next, the third installment in the blockbuster movie-video-game adaptation was the most highly anticipated release yet. Strangely enough, it was actually the only game in the series not tied to the plot of the movie at all, diverging from the exploits of the Transformers on Earth, to the travails of their original home world of Cybertron (just in case the title didn’t tip you off).

Fans and critics alike were mostly awed by the vast mechanical structures that spanned the planet Cybertron, itself, and the series-consistent increase in graphics capability. We never see Earth in War for Cybertron, and given the repetitive nature of the environment in both Transformers: The Game and Revenge of the Fallen, maybe that’s a good thing.

High Moon Studios Produces War for Cybertron

Once again, the developers at High Moon Studios stuck with what worked in the previous games: the splitting of campaigns. You can either start with the Decepticon campaign, which is centered on a new, dark source of Energon discovered by the relentless Megatron, and the powers and abilities it wields; or, begin as an Autobot which is, obviously, a response to the Decepticon menace.

Just as in its predecessors, there is a premium on the ability of the Transformers to transform fluidly from robot to alt-mode; War for Cybertron takes it beautifully further: there are actually levels based on the ability of the Transformers to transform! As in, you practically must use this ability to make things easier on yourself and accomplish certain objectives.

The multiplayer mode went up a notch even from Revenge of the Fallen, where it was already so good as to be one of the former game’s few redeeming qualities. There is the added attribute of developing your own Transformer completely from scratch, which could be a game all unto itself. When combined with the surreal graphics, sound effects, and game control – hey they even got that right this time – War for Cybertron readily makes the other games obsolete, and serves as a reminder of how far they’ve come.

In sum, the developers finally got it right. In fact, they got it better than that; War for Cybertron may be the best game of the year. If there was one bad thing about War for Cybertron, it’s that the game likely represents the burning twilight of the video-game adaptation; it isn’t likely to get better than this. I’d put this game up against Black Ops and Gears of War any day. It would lose; but still.

Anime Vs Cartoons: What’s the Difference?

In the “Anime” community, for most fans and followers, “Anime” is “Anime and “Cartoons” are “Cartoons”. For them both of the things are really different from each other.

First of all, many people get confused between an Anime and a Cartoon, just because both are animated that doesn’t mean that they both are same. There are so many differences in Anime and Cartoons. While both are caricatures that may be animated, anime usually has visually distinct features for characters. So, here I will now explain the difference between these two. Anime are Japanese animated production, that come in different formats like, television series such as dragon ball z, Naruto, one piece etc., animated short films, and full-length movies. But cartoons are two-dimensional illustrated visual art, non-realistic or semi-realistic drawings.

Anime characters have distinct facial and physical features that are very similar to reality, their big eyes and small mouth are created because of cuteness. On the other hand, cartoons physical features are very far from reality than anime. Anime characters also show different kinds of distinguishable facial expressions whereas cartoons don’t.

Cartoons are generally made to make people laugh, so the genre mainly is comedy. But there are also many cartoons that are educational, teaching something good to mainly toddlers and kids in a fun, interactive way. For example, mickey mouse, Donald duck, bugs bunny etc.

Unlike cartoons, anime doesn’t stick to only one or two genres. Anime shows and movies are all based on some kind of plot which continues through the entire series, for example, bleach, one piece, Naruto, etc. Anime is based on real-life issues or something that are closer to human emotions and have many more genres than cartoons such as, drama, school life, slice of life, romance, action, etc.

But if you look at both of them as separate entities, or as same, you won’t be able to find a clear difference between the two, and that is why most of the people get confused between the two and end up calling anime and cartoons are same.

The first cartoon was said to be produced in 1499. It depicted the pope, holy Roman emperor, and the king of France and England playing the game of cards. However, Japanese animation began in the early 20′s, when Japanese filmmakers were experimenting with different techniques. By 1930s, as an alternative to the live action industry, animation was established.

As cartoon are two-dimensional figures drawn and used in animations, as caricatures in newspapers, and books. If we were to define what Anime is then the general idea of some of the common and agreed upon notions would be “Japanese, animation, vivid designs, and hand-drawn” would be predominant buzzwords.

Today, Anime only seems to refer “animations only from Japan” to make it more understandable for people. After all this is human nature to like the things which are easily understandable and easily categorized.

To make the distinction clearer, let’s take the example of the tom and jerry and dragon ball z. So, you may think what’s the difference between the two when they both are animated and have good visuals, backgrounds, sound effects and even the animated drawings are nice. But, there are many differences in them which differentiate them from anime to cartoon. Like, their concepts are totally different, as you know every episode of tom and Jerry is different and is not related to any of the previous episode or continuing some kind of story from a point but in dragon ball z every episode is related to the previous one, and continue the story from where it stopped in the previous episode. And their genres are different too, as tom and Jerry is purely based on a cat and mouse fight and made to make people laugh and their watch time fun. On the other hand, dragon ball z is kind of a journey of a saiyan to save the Earth and the universe from several threats, he fights for saving everyone, with the help of his family, friends and fellow saiyans. Dragon ball z is can be categorized in many different genres, like action, adventure, comedy, super power, etc.

Another thing in which some people may distinct anime and cartoon would be that cartoons are for kids whereas reach of anime can be extended to many other age groups and other areas.

But what I think is, cartoons are not just children material, because as we can see in the newspapers, and on television too, there are many cartoons containing and targeting many political, religious views. Most of these messages are hidden and unrecognizable for children, so that adults can enjoy watching them with kids. Whereas some of the anime contains high adult content and thus are not safe or good for little kids to watch. Those kind of anime are made entirely focusing on adult audience. But there are also some anime series which are absolutely safe to watch with kids. But nowadays, even normal anime’s may have some scenes which are not supposed to be watched by children.

So, I think, where cartoons are safe for kids to watch, anime shouldn’t be considered safe enough for them. But no matter how old you get, you can still enjoy it as it is.

I feel that, anime has deeper thought in them, well developed characters, broad story-line, a solid theme, realistic background animation, real life situations, dialogues, expressions, etc. all of these things bound us together to watch all the episodes (whether there are 12 or 24 or more than a hundred of episodes) of the anime series. Whereas on the other hand, cartoons, regardless of whether they are telling a story or just aiming for comedy, have shallow characters and themes.

Cartoons doesn’t look that creative compared to anime, as anime characters are so different from each other and very well developed too.

There’s one more thing which we can say that differentiate anime and cartoons, that is, for example, in the Simpsons, Bart is the class clown for the entire show but in most of the anime the character’s traits change dynamically, like in the starting they may be kind of shy, or maybe considered as weak or harmless, but later on they become stronger than most of the other characters.