Hello there! I’m back with the second part of my countdown of my favourite POVs from A Song of Ice and Fire. Number two: The Turncloak himself, Theon Greyjoy.
Spoilers, of course.
In recent years, a stigma around Shonen anime and manga has arisen. The idea is that they are bloated with horrible filler content, poor animation, and stories designed to appeal to little boys. One of the shows that has contributed to this stigma almost more than any other is Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto. As part of “The Big 3“ Naruto surged in popularity in the early 2000s and along with One Piece and Bleach, did much to ignite the western anime boom of that era and while One Piece went on to be the best-selling manga of all time I feel it is safe to say that Naruto was the best at crossing the barrier to the rest of the world. For examples of this, you need not look farther than many American television shows. There have been almost countless amounts of winks and nods to the series, especially in cartoons. In a brief survey I conducted for this topic I found that 30% of people in my immediate surroundings were at least passingly aware of what Naruto where as One Piece and Bleach both ranked bellow 15 and 10% respectively.
As the year draws to a close, so too does another year of anime. If you, like me, have been unable to keep up with most of the most popular anime of the year then you’ve likely missed a few of the truly great ones. Today I have compiled a non-exhaustive, personalised list of my 5 favourite anime of this year.
Akira Toriyama’s manga Dragon Ball is one of the most widely known and adored manga or anime series of all time. Even if you don’t watch anime you’ve probably heard of Dragon Ball or at least would recognise if you were shown one of the main characters. After one of the major arcs in Dragon Ball, Toei Animation, the company in charge of the anime decided to carry on with their adaptation under a new name. This is where Dragon Ball became Dragon Ball Z. It wouldn’t be hard to go online and find an analysis of Dragon Ball Z but that’s not what I’m here for. Today I intend to dive into the things that distinguish Dragon Ball from Dragon Ball Z. It is all part of the same series but it is clear from looking at the two that they are vastly different types of shows.
With no Assassin’s Creed game this year (for once), I’ve been trying to catch up on some of the expanded universe stuff. Here’s one I’m particularly fond of: Assassin’s Creed: The Fall!
Assassin’s Creed: The Fall explores a new chapter in the Assassin-Templar conflict. It tells the parallel stories of Daniel Cross, a deeply troubled young man in the late nineties, and Nikolai Orelov, his Assassin ancestor from Tsarist Russia. Telling a story that spans decades where empires fall and friendships shatter, it tells a self-contained story that sows some majors seeds for the future of the series.
NOTE: This article contains no future anime spoilers
In a vacuum, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is a game with almost no merit whatsoever. The 2014 fighting game by CyberConnect2 (developer of the great Asura’s Wrath and not much else good) was released in Japan to fervent hype, receiving a 40/40 from Famitsu (Putting it alongside such greats as Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Nintendogs) and going on to become the best selling game of the year. However I feel this was a mistake on their part, as the game is a steaming pile of horseshit, no matter how much a fan of Hirohiko Araki’s 30 year spanning saga you are.
The Hedge Knight
Written By George R.R. Martin
If you watch TV, are a fan of the fantasy genre, or thinking about it, have read this blog, you’re probably familiar with HBO’s frankly enormous show Game of Thrones. And as you’re also probably aware, Thrones is based off of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, a series boasting such a terrifyingly gargantuan page-count that it makes The Lord of the Rings look like a light-hearted one-man comedy script. Following the first book, A Game of Thrones (1996), four more titanic volumes were released – A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Two more are on the way, and the vast fanbase that the series has spawned awaits the remaining volumes with all the eagerness and devotion of a rabid dog, slavering over a piece of meat.
In 1998, two years after GRRM graced us all with his debut novel, he published The Hedge Knight in the fantasy anthology Legends. So began the Tales of Dunk and Egg, a series of novellas set around a century before the main series that chronicle the adventures of the wandering knight Ser Duncan ‘Dunk’ The Tall and his squire Egg. Two more novellas, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight, were released subsequently in 2003 and 2010, and in 2015, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms was released, compiling the three novellas into one beautifully-illustrated edition. However, I’ll only be reviewing The Hedge Knight here.
So, before I get the ball rolling with this review, I just want to warn you all – FULL SPOILERS FOLLOW. As such, I’d highly recommend reading this story before this review, and as I’ll make abundantly clear, I’d just highly recommend reading this story.
Anyways, without further preamble, here’s my thoughts.
So you’ve heard of this fantasy thing called the Cosmere. It sounds cool, but you don’t know what it is – this Brandon Sanderson guy seems to have tons of separate series of books, with different characters and very different premises. So what is the Cosmere? And how do you start reading it? (more…)