Music of the Month; Roundabout

I had idea what music to use this month. I honestly did. Then I completely forgot what the song was supposed to be. Not even a single note in my head. That music was supposed to be theme for this month, and you guessed it, I forgot what the theme was supposed to be. Well, I better gather something together. Ah screw it, it’s Yes time.

So, the Mega Man 2017 is now 2018. I’m not going to retroactively change that in the previous posts, because that’s how the date was announced then. Now is now, and from now on I’ll be referring the sub-franchise as Mega Man 2018. Maybe it’s the main franchise, because it’s pretty much the only thing Mega Man has going for now. His design also went well with the whole transforming mecha thing we have this year. Y’know, weapon changing and all that. A bit of a stretch, but I needed a slight break from the whole thing due to the amount of hours I’ve been putting in the workshop. I should be sleeping buy in reality I’m typing this out for you.

As for this month’s design thing, I may discuss the design og A-6 Intruder from Muv-Luv Alternative. Why? Because it’s a shape changing mecha, of course. Now getting some of the linearts or general images is a bitch, so I’ll have to resort what I have. Which probably is most than what others have due to my own devices.

Speaking of âge related stuff, Evan from the official translation side of things has translated one of the crack-head funniest bit âge’s produced, True Lies. Check it on his webzone. True Lies is a story of aliens, humans and antennoids and all the truths and lies that surround their existence. There’s a lot of love in there, and a hero we all don’t want but probably will get in the end. It’s a good bit and will entertain a solid hour, even when it starts to drag towards the end. Melvina Maniax was also pushed out and there’s Kimi ga Nozomu Muv-Luv, a product that’s been coming out since forever. I guess good things are worth the wait, though personally I’ll have to wait for it myself a bit longer due to circumastances. Not that I have time to read anything currently, I still haven’t touched Schwarzesmarken properly.

As for reviews, this month will see release of new 8Bit Music Power Final, and because I love you marvelous bastards so much, I decided to go with the version that comes with an attachment that supposedly puts out higher quality music. Seeing their build quality got better with Kira Kira DX, I’m hoping that they’ll step up the quality once more with this one. I don’t expect any gameplay from them as this really is just a digital album released on a Famicom cartridge. If’ you’re a Touhou fan, you might want to pick it up as Zun has a piece in there. Not really sure what I should aim for the next review, but I guess I’ll find out later down the line this month. I’ll just need to dig up something a bit strange and game related, as that seems to be in-demand. Well, as in demand as anything can be relating to this blog.

I haven’t commented on game news recently much due to nothing too much of interest being out there. The Switch has sold over five million units, which is damn good number. Especially when you consider that we are not in holiday season. A console selling five million during Christmas or such season is nothing out of normal, but selling that well in March raises an eyebrow. The system launch library though is atrocious, but seems like it has found its spot in the niche. Now if the software would just keep rolling in.

That reminds that I should discuss the emphasize of game design over technological design now that it seems we’re in an era where each new generation doesn’t marvel with its leaps in technology. All consoles can output great graphics, but now it’s put to the design of the graphics and gameplay to make due. Graphics whoring is for PC side, after all. I don’t remember anyone going full gaga over a game in decades anymore due to its graphics, Crysis was the last one I remember having such an effect on people. Well, if you exclude Illusion’s titles, but I’m not here to talk about porn games. Not yet at least.

Perhaps discussing game collecting might be a topic worth visiting. That would be an anecdotal post, mostly form a personal point of view and as such I doubt that it would do well in grand scheme of things (though there isn’t one.) Perhaps something less serious for a change might be in place, though emphasizing on topics that get the most hits via search engines would be the logical things to do. As Spock noticed oh so many times, humans tend to be illogical beings.

Speaking of Star Trek, whenever we get to see stuff from Discovery in a more transparent way than just leaked shots, I’ll do a comment on the designs. I did so with Star Wars (and I’ve bitched about them quite a lot) and Trek will get the same treatment. However, the rumour mill has been saying that the behind-the-screen events have been pretty terrible and handled terribly. For example, despite the show being a prequel series to the original Star Trek series, the designers and showrunners were forced to make it look the most advanced series in the franchise due to executive meddling. Midnight’s Edge has a video on the whole thing. Honestly, I’m not terribly excited about Discovery, prequels tend to be terrible (just look at Enterprise) and apparently it’s going to have more sex, which is one to the things that killed Enterprise. Is it echoing here? It’s not looking good for the series, but maybe some series do require extended periods of staying away from the general view and stay within the fandom in order to renew themselves completely.

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Plane elements in Tactical Surface Fighters; F-16 Fighting Falcon

The F-16 Fighting Falcon has proven itself to be highly manoeuvrable air-to-air and air-to-surface fighter that during its reveal was nothing less than a quantum leap in fighter design. After all, it was the first fly-by-wire electric combat aircraft. F-16 is a low-cost and high-performance machine that for a reason became a classic on its own rights and was imported to numerous other nations like Belgium.

F-16A saw its first flight in late 1976, and stepped into United States Air Force’s service in 1979. F-16B was a two-seat variant of the machine and engineered the path for F-16s to have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that would allow expansions in multiple roles since 1981. These expansions vary from precision strike ability to night attacks and beyond-visual-range interception missions. This lead into F-16C and D variants that are single- and two-seat variants of the aforementioned while incorporating new technology. All current USAF units are converted to these models, while Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve still holds some A and B variants.

In comparison to its contemporary fighter aircrafts, the F-16 is a serious threat to the point F-35 losing to it in a direct dog fight. The comparison between the two is not as apt as it would seem. F-35 is mainly a stealth fighter meant to destroy the enemy before it is even spotted. Discussion whether or not manned fighters are the future with the advent of cutting edge drone technology is another discussion that we should have one of these days. Nevertheless, the F-16 is a beast that with an operation radius that exceeds many other fighters and is an all-weather fighter. In an air-to-ground missions the F-16 can fly more than 860km, deliver a pin-point strike to the object and return to base, visual or not. It’s weight, small size and well designed fuselage allows it to fly 2 125km/h with its afterburning F100-PW-100 turbofan engine and can take up 9Gs, which is helluva lot of thrust. It’s dryweight is 6 607kg, and maximum take-off peaks around 14 968kg, allowing it to carry numerous weapons with its nine hard points.  Internally, the F-16 has a M61 A1 20mm gatling gun system, which had some installation difficulties at first.

Rather than going on about the F-16, I recommend checking the F-16.net for a full coverage on the fighter, including full listing of its armaments, variants and its operational history in the Persian Gulf War and in Operation Desert Storm.

In Muv-Luv‘s BETAverse, the F-16 mirrors the real world fighter in that it’s a lightweight Tactical Surface Fighter with superior mobility and range, operating in junction to its weightier siblings F-14 and F-15. Similarly how the fighter has a long-range of operation in multitude of roles, the TSF has a long operation time on the field, derived from the Lightweight Tactical Surface Fighter competition, which aimed to create highly manoeuvrable and cost-effective unit to change tactics against the BETA. This cost effectiveness allowed the US to produce more units, as they could not completely replace their ageing first generation TSFs with the two aforementioned heavier models.

Just like in real world, the F-16 TSF was imported to numerous other countries, replacing their F-4Es and F-5s. The Benelux union has its own variant as a result of import, the F-16AM, which more or less has the usual mid-life upgrade with overall technological improvements. The same applies to F-16C, mostly used by the US and UN, with improvement Jump Units.

Due to F-16s being everywhere, they were seen in action in numerous places like Yukon base, Battle of Rhodes and during Operation Cherry Blossom in Muv-Luv Alternative. TSFs don’t tend to vary in armament a whole lot, and F-16 is not really an exception. WS-16 Assault Cannon has been TSF bread and butter since F-4 Phantom, thou later F-16 were updated to handle the AMWS-21. CIWS-1 Close Combat Knife is the choice F-14’s for combat, a good choice for a TSF that should excel in close combat. F-14 is also capable carrying MGM-140 ATACMS missile containers, which reflects the real world fighter’s multirole function.

Historically and in idea, the TSF hits close to the fighter, but the design is more derived from the in-universe sources. This is best seen in the idea that most of the TSF’s design is that of angles rather than smooth curves like with the fighter. This is because almost none of the TSFs have what could be called smooth lines. That in mind, common points between the TSF and the fighter can be made, e.g. the intake in the TSFs abdomen is the same as the fighter’s, just more angular.

As usual, here's the original imageboard version
As usual, here’s the original imageboard version

After you get use to the idea of looking at certain aspects in the F-16 TSF, you end up noticing common points. It seems like the gatling gun and loads of sections on the fuselage’s back made some of the TSF’s detailing. It’s interesting to note that the thighs didn’t see any additional details, while otherwise you see a lot of red dots downwards. Shoulders are interesting, to say the least, as they incorporate F-16 rising parabola silhouette, just with wings cut off. The arms follow this idea to some extent, but are surprisingly clean of any needles detail

The groin guard on the other hand is a flip of the coin; either it is inspired by that parabola silhouette, or was thrown in there just because. While I’m not a fan of the knees American TSFs have, they have their function in housing the CIWS-1.

Happy to see they're free of this switch blade bullshit
Happy to see they’re free of this switch blade bullshit

The knees however do make the TSF look a bit cumbersome. Despite the F-16 being the lightweight unit, it doesn’t really look like it. The shoulders look far too ornate for that, and shaving down the skirt’s and kneeguard’s sizes would’ve done good. Maybe even take elements of the shoes too. It does resemble the fighter while not really pushing those elements forwards enough. A slimmer version of the this design would’ve probably been the best middle-ground in tying it down to the TSF tech tree while pushing the idea of these being in-universe versions of the fighters.

And on top of all that, it has a face on back of its head.

face
I WILL DEVOUR YOUR SOUL

And while we’re discussing things from âge, today’s the 27th of August. Happy birthday, Hayase Mitsuki.

Review of the Month; Silver Ring

This review is a bit hard from the get go for me. Previously I have tried to look things from multiple perspectives, but this time I’m with something that could be summed as It’s important to me, I don’t care how it actually is” Don’t let that discourage you, this review will combine that personal post I promised you early in the month.

Let’s get on with the review then; Silver Ring.

I'm not going to go into the package review. It came in a nice black box with Kimi ga Nozomu Eien in silver letters on it. Nothing special
I’m not going to go into the package review. It came in a nice black box with Kimi ga Nozomu Eien in silver letters on it. Nothing special

This silver ring from Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is modelled after the one Takayuki buys to one of the main heroines, Mitsuki Hayase. You may know her from either Kimi ga Nozomu Eien or Muv-Luv. The ring makes its impact in the former, where one could argue it is the reason which sets second half of the story into motion. There are multiple renders of the ring, as the ring tends to change its overall design and shape within the animated series. One could argue that this is bad continuity and whoever was in charge should’ve pointed out that an object shown so prominently should have seen more care when drawn, but one can also argue that the ring’s changing shape reflects the changing relationship dynamics and thoughts the characters are having. The series is pretty heavy on symbolism in general, some more subtle and some heavy-handed. Not that heavy-handed in this case was handled badly, showing a broken person trying to fix a broken shoe is almost an iconic addition to the series.

The copy of the ring I have is an official one, and despite it being different from what consider to be the iconic one, is what I consider the definitive look for it. I personally like the interlocking ring more, but we’ll look at the variations down the line. The definitive version I have at hand is one ring with the top split in two, and then bridged over the path. It forms a sort of infinity symbol, which sort of plays to the whole titular theme of eternity.

Ring itself represents continuation with no beginning or end, and giving it to someone means you are entrusting your own to this person. With this silver ring you have the branching path that also plays into how the story builds itself and ends. It shows how at one point there is a moment where two can be separated, only to meet again momentarily, and then finally to become one again. I would argue that this represents Hayase’s path in the visual novel, but I may be seeing meaning in things that aren’t there.

You can almost see my reflection there!
You can almost see my reflection there!

The ring’s overall appearance is plain and straight. Its curved outer surface is standard and its inner surface is almost flat. The ring doesn’t look necessarily expensive and mass producing this wouldn’t be too hard, but that’s beside the point. The ring itself was bought from a street vendor in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, and the ring looks like the part. It’s no jewel encrusted, it’s not lined with gold or mixed with it to form electrum. It’s down to earth, simple silver ring and in that it does well. Its split is what makes it noteworthy, generally speaking, and as of late I’ve seen this sort of rings becoming more popular, but always have embed rocks on one of the paths. The overall shape the ring has become known as Infinity ring, and especially Russia tends to make rings that look mistakenly similar to this silver ring, although the ring is not of very special shape. I should probably mention that some Celtic wedding rings use similar infinity theme, but the knot goes through the whole circumference, not just the top bit.

You can see that the paths have something funky going on with them too
You can see that the paths have something funky going on with them too

The sculpt overall is good, nothing to complain about. At the connection points you can see some of the material over the points, but you’d need to inspect the ring closer to see them. Depending on how the ring is made, it may also be a casting error which may not be present in other rings from the same mould. Of course, if this has been present during moulding, then you see slight excess amount of silver in each of the ring produced.

IMG_4099
(C) âge

Markings on the ring are âge with a copyright symbol before it and Silver. It would be nice to know what sort of silver the ring is made of. It’s not fine silver, as that is not suitable for jewellery, but I would guess this silver is sterling silver. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver mixed with 7.5% of copper or other metal. The silver amount I gave is the minimum amount required, and sterling silver may vary in how much there is of each component. My guess is based on the fact that when I got the ring, it was tarnished because of oxidation. I’ve yet to see any firescaling. I doubt that the ring is made of nickel silver, as that’d be cheating. If I’m proved wrong, I’ll be disappointed, and most likely will use this as a model to replicate a sterling silver variant.

IMG_4100

Ring's inside. I should probably mention that the ring is a bit small to me and fits my pinky. On the other hand, this is a girls' ring and I am a grown man, so there's that
Ring’s inside. I should probably mention that the ring is a bit small to me and fits my pinky. On the other hand, this is a girls’ ring and I am a grown man, so there’s that

Overall, the ring fulfils the little expectations one can have for a street vendor-like ring. Some may find its simplicity too plain, but that does not concern yours truly. Now for the ring’s variants.

CJGFDSdWoAEPvVY

There are basically four variations on the ring; the iconic one seen at the topmost row with two rings interlocking at two points, a version where the ring is one piece that has two backs, and one that sort of combines the two. I wish there was a better shot of the last one. It looks like the first one, but it ain’t. The fourth one is the one reviewed here. Personally, I like the first one the most, it looks the best and is the most iconic. The rest of the variants are a bit weaker in presentation, though the final design should be the physical variant here. The physical ring was a Comiket exclusive and hasn’t seen a rerun after that (at least reruns I’m aware of), and I overpaid for this piece, about three or four times its selling price. Why? Because the ring means a lot to me, personally. It wasn’t just something to put into collection or the like.

I would lie if I said that I was a fan of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien in the same manner as with other series, including Muv-Luv. KGNE means something personal to me, and by that the ring has a special meaning for me. This bit was originally part of the Kimi ga Nozomu Eien special episode we had a while back, but my rant was too long and incoherent that I decided to cut it out, and so I’ll include the basic gist here.

The reason why Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is special to me is, without exaggeration, has played important part in my personal growth. Early  2000’s was a time when my old man was an alcoholic, spending most of his evenings chugging booze down and weekends were the worst. Some evenings saw him basically thrashing my brother’s room because it was too messy after cleaning, and there were more than few nights when I was woken up and had to sit across him in the kitchen and see him weep and blabber about things I had no idea of.

There were winds of change at the time as well, as it was time to decide what I should want of my life in terms of education and so on, which of course added further stress. People were putting expectations on me that I never knew I needed fulfil, and in my friends circle there were things that added to that pressure. World seemed like it was pressing me down, and I couldn’t handle it. I froze and there were times when I broke down during the night, but managed to gather myself in the morning. Grades and friendships suffered. I was stuck in a personal loop, unable to ask any help or move onwards with anything. Things piled up.

A long time friend of mine used to throw me CDs filled with series and other interesting stuff, and one of them was so-called Blue People Special. It contained the first episode of KGNE, and at the time I didn’t thought nothing of it. The second episode however felt strange, as if had grabbed me. When the final sequences hit, I thought only fifteen minutes had passed. I probably watched the ending fifteen times to make sure that the events did happen.

Time moved one, and the series came to an end. Slowly but surely I began to move on, making decisions what I wanted to do for myself rather than for anyone else. I saw things changing, and all the piled up things began dwindling down. I stood up on my old man’s drinking, and I think that made him realize how fucked up he was, at least a bit. It had been because of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien that I realised that I can’t just stay put. Time does not wait, even if we want to stop. It made me realize that there are emotions that I need to allow to come out, and bottling them up would just ruin me on the long run.

And then, as usual, I fucked things up with my first actual love. I screwed things early on, and used a song called Precious Memories in order to tell her how I cherish the memories, but she took it the wrong way. We fixed things together after a while, thanks to her effort, but it haunted her for a while. Certain things seemed to mirror from the the story and between the events, and because of certain future plans of her we were in a sort of stalemate. I felt we couldn’t move along, and the little under two years we dated had a definitive deadline. That’s how it seemed.

The ring was supposed to be my engagement ring to her. After that, the ring became more or less a symbol of moving forwards and choosing your path. It’s unending road and splitting paths work well for me in this one. For me, that’s how it was and pretty much still is. The ring I have now can’t be given to anyone anymore, and it doesn’t really belong to me either. It has become more or less a reminder of old me and how I need to keep moving on.

It took me about eight years since first getting into Kimi ga Nozomu Eien to get back into it properly and rewatched the series for the third time. Soon after that I got into Muv-Luv, and here we are today, with Muv-Luv Kickstarter and all under our belts. I don’t call myself a fan of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien because of all this. It’s not like with Iczer-1 that I enjoy for what it is, it’s more along the lines I value and appreciate what Kimi ga Nozomu Eien effectively did for me. Having a personal connection, you can also see how I hated the idea of aliens and giant robots being in the sequel, but everything in good spirit.

I’ll leave you with this review and little personal story, and see you next year.

Music of the Month; Futashika Tashika

Have I ever told you how difficult it is to choose a song every month? Despite these being more or less rants without any solid theme or anything similar, the music I introduce tends to have some sort of relevance and isn’t just a random selection. Most of the time. Still, any and all songs are absolutely something I personally enjoy. I don’t know whether or not this selfish approach tells anything outside that I really don’t stick with one type of music too much.

Anyway, to the music!


Give other Go!Go!7188 songs a try too. They have an excellent cover of Cutie Honey

 I want to give a shoutout to a RadioDrome special, where Josh Hadley has a very interesting and quite in-depth interview with none other than Buzz Dixon. Dixon worked on multiple cartoon and comics throughout the years, the likes of Thundarr the Barbarian, Transformers, Jem and G.I. Joe, plus whole lot more I’m not even properly aware of. It’s an excellent piece to listen for numerous pop-culture trivias that pop-up, but also just to hear the passion Hadley and Dixon share, but also how the industry has been run. Other than that, I recommend giving both RadioDrome and Lost in the Static a try, as they’re both pretty damn swell radioshows to listen while going to work or otherwise. A fair warning is in place thou, as Hadley has very, very strong opinions on certain matters, to say the least.

I’ve started to work fully on certain projects, so I apologise beforehand if the quality of the blog has dropped recently or will have posts with lesser content. I need to prioritise other things first, as blogging isn’t my job. If it would be, you’d see one or two posts per day. Possibly more.

I’m not satisfied how the last month’s review on the Shiranui Second Phase 3 turned out. It will be revised further when I have enough free time to sit down properly and work with it, as I simply forgot certain important tidbits in my hurry and didn’t even write a proper closure. As it stands now, it’s not even a mediocre review in my eyes. I’d estimate that I’ll revise it sometimes by the end of the month or so, but knowing me that estimation is off by six months. It may be better for me to revise it little by little.

Despite my own busy schedule (aren’t I always?), I have plans to return on TSF posts. If you hate when I talk about fictional giant robots, sorry. I intend to use pre-existing graphs of some of the more popular TSFs and their real world fighter plane sources to point out how the plane elements have been introduced to the design. It’s sort of old thing, but it has been on my to-do list for… few years now. Better later than never, right? My aim really is to write somewhat comprehensive design comparison, which requires some time, so it’ll be done unit by unit, and we’ll start with the more popular or easier ones. I’ll most likely be completely selfish and start with Su-47 Berkut.

Speaking of Muv-Luv, a mobage was released based on the franchise recently. It being your run of the mill browser based game on your smartphone, it’s not very good. Nevertheless, I keep tapping the screen on my almost broken HTC while doing something else. Hell, I’m tapping the screen while writing all of this in order to advance in the Missions/Quests, so there’s most likely more typos and language errors than usual. Then again, I already got the Common Hayase card, so I’m sort of content.

Somebody thought that I had moved on from Muv-Luv on 4chan. I heartily laughed at that
Somebody thought that I had moved on from Muv-Luv on 4chan. I heartily laughed at that

Another post that was actually requested from me was to make a comparison between Kimi ga Nozomu Eien characters and their BETAverse counterparts. It’s something that I’d like to do, but as always time is of the essence. I really need to start writing these bit by bit rather than in one go, like I usually do.

From matters to other, we live an era where childhood heroes and icon are dying. This is something certain generations have to face, and at the same time we have to realize that we need to allow the younger ones to have their own things. Even Leonard Nimoy wanted Zachary Quinto his own room to embrace Spock as his role and character he could work with. We, the older generations, will always have the past stories and products. Those can’t be ever taken away. However, at the same time we need to allow the younger generation to have their own heroes and icons. As much as we may hate certain people producing entertainment or other products, what we love has been opposed by the older generations.

Personally I will not hold the 3DS Langrisser reboot in any negative light because it’s not any of the older games. It has been long time enough since the last proper Langrisser game, and the new generation that are introduced to the world of Langrisser do not have to know anything that has been. They can research that later on and experience the past games if they so choose, but it is not demand or expected of them. I would say that it would be good to know about the past of the franchise if you’re going to discuss about Langrisser as a whole with a fan of the series, but that’s sort of beside the point. The point is, we can’t be stuck on the past, and we as the older generations need to embrace new things as well, rather than stifle the change.

 Dammit, I should’ve put some Jem songs up this month. Oh well, there’s always the next one, unless I go and die.

Editor’s Extra

I would like to open this entry with some greetings from Aalt: so far there hasn’t been any detectable fault with his computer, so while he builds a new computer I will provide content for this blog. He won’t be gone for more than two weeks so please bear with me.

He had a request on the subject so today you will read another Muv Luv experience. Incidentally it was Aalt who introduced me to the story, who sat through my less than polite expressions while the Unlimited story progressed and who has offered me a great insight, not only with the story, but with real life as well.

When I was first introduced to Muv Luv I had no expectations. I had some experience with visual novels, and I had heard Aalt talk about the story with tears in his eyes. It could either have meant that the story was good, or that it would be one of those “practical jokes” of his. Either way, I decided to give it to go.

Âge’s works are not completely foreign to me as I have watched KGNE. I will not utter a single word about the series, but knowing that I have gone through the story might help you understand some of my reactions.. Mostly those I initially had for Meiya. Because blue hair. Oh well.

Extra seemed like a rather typical comedy to me. The main character and his childhood friend, and a mysterious blue haired woman who tries to come between the two. The events are carefree, fun and full of drama, and the characters are easy to love. Elegant Meiya, energetic Sumika, silent Kei, ambitious Sakaki , silly Miki, and Mikoto who is just.. A bit weird.

I will not wander further into the plot because Aalt has done a significant amount of storytelling here already and I will assume that you have read most of his Muv Luv texts. What I wish to convey to you is merely another bunch of emotions triggered by the novel.  Perhaps from another point of view, too.

I had a strong dislike for Meiya at the very beginning of the story, mostly because of her hair. However, as the story grew, I found myself identifying a lot with her. I am not the heir of a rich family, nor am I as flawless as she is. I occasionally feel detached from the world, not understanding it, yet still loving it and the people around me. The reason I feel this way might be different from the one Meiya has, but the emotion is the same.

I would not, however, realize these connections before extra was already over. I happily played through the Sumika route, admiring the energy and honesty she has. Then I played the Meiya route and realized that even when Sumika is a great person, playing through her route had caused me excruciating, painful moments. Why, you ask? Because of that feeling when you know that you have done everything perfectly, and there is nothing more you can be, nothing more you can do, nothing more you can say, and it still wasn’t enough. You can be flawless without being fake, and sometimes it simply is not enough. That is the main reason I feel so strongly for Meiya, even when my true connection for her appeared only through Unlimited.

I still remember the night when I finally finished Extra and moved back to the title screen.

“It has changed.. “

After which I asked Aalt to meet up with me so that I could vent my emotions at someone. We went on a long run in the middle of the night and I told him how my initial reaction had been robots? In my Muv Luv? It was only later he told me that his reaction had been robots? In my KimiNozo? It’s funny how some things turn out.

Unlimited.

After Extra it was nothing short of a culture shock: I could feel the shivers up and down my spine when the opening theme started to play. I could tell that this was a different story we were in, and the carefree high school days were over. On the analytic level, one could see this trilogy as a metaphor for growing up – first there are the carefree days when your biggest problems revolve around other people, yourself, and getting school stuff done. Then there’s Unlimited, and suddenly we’re not children anymore. Instead, we’re dealing with war, death, desperation and constantly pushing yourself over what you thought were your limits, because you must constantly exceed them in order to survive.

Then there’s Alternative, but I’m not going there yet. But I most likely will.

Unlimited wants to make you question things we take for given and succeeds at it. To watch the pitying expressions of the others when Takeru blurts out his ignorance and childishness emphasizes one of the biggest issues of Unlimited’s first half: belonging.

Aalt has stated out that memories are an important motif of Muv Luv. In here, I would like to show other less important motifs, which still have a great impact on the story and the reader alike.

Upon first arriving, Takeru is a stranger to this world. He doesn’t know anything about the history, anything about the world, anything at all. It shows: he is placed to a squad that is struggling with its own inner problems, in a situation where the last thing that they need is someone who holds them back. He is nothing but a hindrance to the group, and the worst part is that he can’t deny it. Even when the situation he is in happens to be unfair, it is not only something that concerns him. It concerns the others around him, too.

Despite his obvious difficulties, Takeru doesn’t want to be an outcast. He does his best even when his best sometimes amounts to nothing (is that Marimo’s “SHIROGANEEEEEEEEEE!!!” I suddenly heard in my head?) and struggles to keep up. He complains a lot but he doesn’t give up, because he really wants to be a part of the group.

Another side of belonging and being an outsider is shown, when Takeru’s Game Guy gets discovered, and one of the squad’s girls slowly but surely withdraws from the group. In here, Takeru does not only see belonging as his own problem, but realizes the impact an outsider has on the whole group. In a world where everyone is needed, you can’t just run away. You must always take responsibility of your actions and be considerate of the emotions of others. You need to take your place, earn it, and walk forward with pride. After this episode concludes, Takeru seems to be making a greater effort to be one of the group.

When the squad passes the examination, Takeru reflects upon his emotions and discovers a sense of achievement from deep within. Unlimited seemed rather hopeless at first, what with Takeru being trapped in a world with no way out, and having his every weakness and flaw pointed out to him, but from this point on there is a faint shimmer of hope at the distance.

About Meiya… I related to her in Extra, but because of her rich girl demeanor and extravagant ways I didn’t really connect with her – unlike in Unlimited. She’s more down-to-earth, shares many thoughts and priorities with me, and is in general an embodiment of everything I aspire to be. A reliable friend, a loyal lover, a person who puts the good of others before her own feelings and needs.

When Unlimited was heading towards its end, I was shocked. You can’t just end it here! The story can’t end this way! When Yuuko got drunk and cried her eyes out, I knew that there was no way in hell to prevent shit from hitting the fan. I kept waiting for the plot twist I knew wasn’t coming. Nothing would change this course the story was on.

And then there was the last choice. While I realized that sending your beloved one away would be the selfless option, I wanted to be selfish for this once.

Like Aalt, I, too, am a hopeless romantic. I didn’t want to get separated from the person I love. That person might survive if I allowed them to leave. Even if that person wanted to send me away and leave, I couldn’t leave them knowing the dangers they would face alone.

Ultimately, I couldn’t make a decision t break both of our hearts when what I wanted most was to stand by them, no matter where we were. So I made the decision to stay with Meiya, to fight until the very end, to fight until our last breath.

I sometimes find myself comparing the experiences I had and the experiences Aalt had with the novel. I think it’s understandable, and it’s frighteningly similar even where our opinions differ. Some of it creeped to the text as well, and I hope that it gives you some perspective – maybe new thoughts on his texts through mine, maybe the other way around. Because Muv Luv, at its barest, is an experience to go through more than just a novel to read.

Unlimited left its mark on me, but I have to admit that it was a cakewalk compared to Alternative. But you will hear about that some other time.

Best regards,
Editor.

27.8.2013 速瀬 水月

Around a year ago I threw out somewhat comprehensive article about Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. That article still stands as the longest article on the site, and I intend to keep it that way. I know it’s an exhaustive read and that not all of my readers wish to see such huge things being posted. The post is heavy to load due to amount of links and images.  It’s messy and full of meta-humour that makes little to no sense. Yet, next to the Muv-Luv article it’s one of my popular posts without a doubt. Now, the text has been properly edited as per my current standards and has been modified slightly here and there with new, embarrassing afterwords. The old name, which was just a placeholder name originally, has been finally been replaced with the real name of the article. It’s a little bit new, a lot more something fixed, and then some extra.

This year is also the tenth anniversary of the Kimi ga Nozomu Eien TV animation. The exact date is in October, so I still have time to scheme something for that date. I might do a proper review on the series as a standalone entity, but before that I need to review Total Eclipse. It’s way overdue, but that what happens when life gets in your way.

Why are you releasing the updated article today, you might ask. The answer to this is that today is the birthday of Hayase Mitsuki, and also the day of the accident that threw Haruka into coma. Within the fictional universe of âge, it’s now fifteen years since that accident. As such, I felt that putting the updated version out felt appropriate.

I have to give special thanks to my editor, who edited the whole thing within a week. She absolutely hates the story and would like to stab me in the face for liking Mitsuki, but she was a trooper and waged through all the 40+ pages of text while mostly keeping the cursing and yelling in instant messaging  rather than writing into the article. She’ll be so excited in October, I bet.

Without holding too much back, I present you the remix of To step from Eternity to the Future; This is a story of love and guild; a story of friends Eternal.

Happpy birthday, Mitsuki
Happpy birthday, Mitsuki

“What do you mean you don’t know what I’m talking about!?”

It’s 20th of  October. Happy birthday Suzumiya Akane!

Akane as a whole is pretty interesting character. Well, that’s really an understatement, as she was the favourite character in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. She starts out as your normal run-of-the-mill happy-go-lucky little sister who knows more about dirty things than you’d imagine (and I’m sure it can be credited to certain someone) and slowly turns into a bitter teen, until she just gets it all out from her systems.

Truth to be told, Akane is a bit generic as a little sister, but she does her part very well. It’s like she’s very tasty vanilla ice cream; it’s really tasty, but it’s still just vanilla. Her over energetic attitude towards anything and everything is a fresh breeze in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, and she has the best properties of Haruka’s and Hayase’s personalities. Still, she has her own thing going on, and you can appreciate her as she is.

She follows a lot Hayase’s directness in certain things, but she goes completely red like her sister when embarrassed. Expect to get punched to the gut as an extra

After the three years skip we find that Akane has lost some of that overflowing positivity from her life. She’s more determined, more serious. I wouldn’t call her attitude towards life grim, but she clearly takes things way differently than before. At first at least, as Akane gets one of the best arcs in the whole story. Her bitterness is completely understandable in the context; her sister was taken from her, the man she loved basically vanished from her life (thou it’s her father to blame for this, for better or worse) and her most admired person left everything, even Akane. That’s a lot of things just disappearing from her life, and it doesn’t help that rumours of Takayuki and Hayase having an affair are true. In the animation adaptation, Akane actually walks into the bedroom when the two of them have just finished with their bodily desires. This is one of the changes I really like in the animation, as it allows Akane to have more reasons to be such a huge bitch she in the VN, but her bitchiness is so toned down in the series that I just have to ask why was this change necessary? It was one of her defining traits to go from extremely happy to extremely cold, and then basically allowing her ice cold walls to break down and acting true to herself again.

Akane goes through a lot of shit, that’s given. Many do say that she goes the most shit of all characters, but I’m still giving that spot to Hayase and Takayuki. Most of misfortune has faces is not because of her, but this applies to all characters. However, she copes with the situation with immaturity and complete ignorance. She doesn’t see further than what the situation right in front of her. For her, everything has gone to hell and the only thing she wants is to return to those happy days. She was happy to see Takayuki and her sister in bliss, and for her that was best place to support both of them. With Hayase, this wouldn’t be the case.
Akane doesn’t see that things move, change and grow. Much like myself, she is afraid of change and yet she grows and changes in every scene we see her without her own will. When Akane gets sick, she can’t keep her cold act up much longer, when Takayuki takes her home. As much as she hates to admit it, she yearns for loving attention from him, even thou it would mean to betray her sister. Just as she deems Hayase’s numerous acts as something horrendous, she has wished to do the same acts as well. The only real difference is that Akane never had a possibility to be that One person to Takayuki. Her status in his life has always, and will always be, just a close friend.

After the events of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Akane shows signs of returning to her old self, but with way more mature attitude than before. Losing Takayuki and Hayase again still haunt her, even thou Haruka is now awake and making fast recovery. She’s not over those events yet, and still clings to certain things that hold her back. She tries to contact Takayuki via phone, but he rejects her for the last time. Her fate to many things have shattered, and for her it’s hard to keep smiling as it is.

Then, a buffoon enters the scene, who brings much needed light in her dark days.


Yes, he calls forth a damn baseball super robo just like every healthy young man should

Really, sometimes it takes a complete awesome idiot who breaks barriers like the Spear of Longinus to allow people to believe in love again.
This one man forces Akane to break through her own barriers and habits. He allows her to smile and laugh again, do nonsensical things and follow your heart in the most romantic sense you can think of. After such a long time of having nothing but hardship, she can finally allow herself to move on and step from the eternity.


Overall, Alternative Akane is far more confident on herself

What we see in Muv-Luv is slightly different Akane. She has kept her happy-go-lucky, but it’s apparent she also is far more determined and grown in order to face the hardships a total war against BETA has caused. You could say that this Akane is what the KGNE/ Extra-verse Akane became after meeting with Gouda, but in this other world her sister and Hayase were always there. She most likely loved Takayuki just as much, but the rivalry between Haruka and Hayase is more than apparent, and things have played a lot differently. I’m sure Takayuki has been far more honest with himself in the Alternative universe, which is only a good thing.

A world doesn’t end with one love. It only ends when you give up on love itself.