Yu-Gi-Oh! Heart of the Cards

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-by Joshie Jaxon

Long ago when the pyramids were still young, Egyptian Kings played a game of great and terrible power. These “shadow games” erupted into a war that threatened to destroy the entire world, until a brave and powerful pharaoh locked the magic away; Imprisoning it within the mystical millennium items. Now, 5000 years later, a boy named Yugi unlocks the secret of the millennium puzzle. He is infused with ancient magical energy, and is destined to defend the world from the return of the shadow games, just as the brave pharaoh did 5000 years ago. How’s that for series opening voiceover? Damn it’s good. I love this show, despite being nowhere near the actual gameplay until the Battle City arc. Though my own dueling decks may have a little dust on them, my fondness for the cartoon hasn’t faded.

I presume they’re in Domino City. I don’t think it’s ever stated outright that I can recall. For my posts’ sake I’ll say they are. Domino high school. Yugi is teaching Joey how to play Duel Monsters. Tristan harasses Joey’s ability to think. Teá says that Yugi is like an expert. She explains the basics to Tristan, and us as the audience. Bakura is standing and watching as well, but isn’t identified by name, or even speaks. Joey makes a move, but Yugi makes a better one. We see Kaiba sitting there reading a book. He’s too cool to be bothered with such nonsense. That is of course until he hears Yugi mention his grandpa owns a game shop, and has a super rare card. Anyone familiar with my postings knows that I’m usually on the side of the villain, this series will be no exception. I adore Kaiba, and may even write up a Character Crush for him. Oops, as River Song would say, Spoilers.

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At the game shop, Yugi arrives with Joey, Tristan, and Teá in tow. He asks his grandpa to show them his rare card. They all beg, and he says they’re in for a treat. He doesn’t whip it out for just anyone. Well, he is old. Anyhow, he opens a box to reveal a blue eyes white dragon card. So rare, so powerful, it never leaves his hands. Until Tristan takes it for a closer look. Grandpa says it’s priceless, there are only four in the whole world. Joey says he’s ready to trade. No, not for the dragon, in general.

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The door opens and in walks Kaiba. Despite having a company to run, he wants to see the card. Well, he is still a teenager after all. Joey says they should all play sometime. Kaiba would have more of a challenge playing solitaire. He’s the top-ranked duelist in the country.
Kaiba spots the blue eyes, and offers an entire briefcase of cards for it. Even any amount of money he could think of. No dice. Even if it were a common card gramps wouldn’t trade it. It is a treasured gift from a friend. Kaiba storms out of the shop calling him a senile old fool. Girl isn’t used to hearing the word no.

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At Kaiba Corp HQ Seto tells his men he needs them to get something from the game shop. They go the store and challenge gramps to duel Kaiba. Figuring that he’ll teach Kaiba some respect, and not really having the option to say no, gramps accepts. Yugi and gang arrive after school to an empty shop. The phone rings, and it’s Kaiba telling Yugi to come pick up his grandfather. They rush to Kaiba’s office, and find him on the floor. Gramps says he failed in teaching Kaiba respect for the heart of the cards. Joey calls Kaiba sleaze, but Kaiba said they only had a duel, each putting up their rarest card as the prize. Dueling against a champion like him must have been too stimulating, but fair is fair. Kaiba produces the blue eyes, and proceeds to rip it in half. Now it can never be used against him. I call bullshit. Kaiba wants power, and strong cards, at the very least, he’d have held onto that rather than destroy it. It’s episode one, but down the line, we see he has a great deal of reverence for those dragons. Well, maybe just his own.

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Gramps is upset that his treasured card was ripped. He gives his cards to Yugi, and tells him to teach Kaiba the lesson he failed to. Joey says they’ll take care of his grandpa while he takes care of Kaiba. After all, Yugi is the best player he knows, plus he has the millennium puzzle. Teá produces a sharpie, and marks their hands with a smiley face, as a symbol of friendship. They take gramps to an ambulance, but Joey stays behind to cheer for Yugi.

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Kaiba and Yugi are in his special arena. Yugi says playtime is over. His puzzle glows, and we see him surrounded by light. Yugi is now taller, his hair, voice, and demeanor changed. Kaiba reacts like he can see it, but the early episodes have never been 100% clear if the change from Yugi to the Pharaoh is strictly for us as the audience, or if the in universe people can see it too. It’s an issue for later. It’s time to duel!

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The duel starts with Kaiba summoning a monster. When his card is played, a holographic image appears in front of them. “Yugi” deduces that this is how Kaiba overwhelmed his grandpa. Yugi plays his own card as Joey, and Kaiba’s brother Mokuba, arrive to watch. Kaiba loses the first clash, but on his next turn he summons and powers up his dark clown, and uses it to attack Yugi. Yugi draws a random chained leg. Not helpful. Yugi loses monster after monster to Saggi the dark clown. Kaiba taunts that he’s not faring much better than the old man. Yugi believes is his cards, and is rewarded with Gaia the fierce knight. With the clown vanquished, Kaiba pulls out all the stops and summons a blue eyes white dragon. Wait, wasn’t that torn up? Double wait, gramps wasn’t the only one in the world who had one? The dragon, like so many before it, makes short work of the knight.

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Monster after monster are fed to the dragon. Feeling cocky, Kaiba plays his second blue eyes. Now dealing with two dragons, Yugi needs a miracle. Swords of revealing light! Kaiba’s dragons are stopped for three turns. Yugi isn’t about to give up. If only he knew what to do with the two legs and an arm that he’s holding. We hear gramps reminding him that the cards can be like a puzzle, and if all the pieces are put in their place… Yugi then remembers about the time grandpa told him about the only unstoppable monster in the game, Exodia; who can only be summoned if all five cards are assembled, a feat which has never been done. Doubtful, but we’ll go with that. Yugi summons the dark magician to defend.

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However, his efforts are for nothing. Kaiba summons the third blue eyes. See what I was saying earlier about power, and dragon loving? I don’t buy his reason for destroying the fourth. I’d have believed if he’d said it was because you can have more than three of the same card in your deck, but he still could have kept it and not used it. Seriously, if he wanted to be the only owner of a blue eyes in the whole world, you don’t destroy one. Anyhow, the dragon takes out the dark magician. Kaiba tells him that next item all three of his dragons can attack. Yugi will lose no matter what card he draws.

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Yugi starts to doubt himself, and the cards sense it. When he goes to draw a card, he feels like the cards are out of reach. He remembers the friendship smiley, and hears his friends encouraging him to believe in himself. Kaiba tells him to draw his last pathetic card. Grandpa’s deck has no pathetic cards, but it does have Exodia. Riddle me this, Kaiba. What’s the only thing more powerful than three blue eyes white dragons? The answer is Exodia! Alright it’s not a riddle. Just like the symbol he’s summoned from isn’t a pentagram. Stupid US tv edits. Kids don’t know or care about such things. It’s just a cartoon to them. I didn’t get the booby trap joke in Roger Rabbit for years. Sorry, edits done to original works in the name of protecting children irritates me. Kids can handle more than they’re given credit for. Anyhow, Exodia obliterates the dragons, and Yugi wins the duel.

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Kaiba is in shock. Mokuba is in shock. His brother never loses. Kaiba doesn’t understand how he could lose to Yugi. Yugi tells Kaiba that he only plays for power. If he really wants to understand, he needs to open his mind, maybe then he’ll begin to see. A symbol appears on his forehead, he makes a dramatic gesture, and we see a picture of Kaiba crack. The effects of which are seen later.

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Elsewhere, Mr. Pegasus has just been informed that their undefeated champion, Seto Kaiba, was beaten by a boy named Yugi. Pegasus’ golden eye briefly sparkles. I should also note that the censor/editors didn’t care that he’s drinking wine. Until next time. Goodnight everybody!

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JJ

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T5T – Top 5 Pinball Machines

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by Bevianna Bones

Good day to you readers! What a wonderful holiday weekend it was. My mate and I made an excursion to Pinball Kingdomz, which is exactly what you would expect. A castle filled with pinball machines, old arcade games, ticket games, and craft beer. It was Bevianna heaven. After a day of playing the pins and drinking delicious beers, I was inspired to discuss pins here on the blog. Joshie and I have been discussing introducing a new recurring segment, Top Five Tuesdays, so what better way to start it off than to count down my top five favorite pinball machines of all time. Again, these are simply my personal favorites, not the top five in terms of revenue or general consensus.

5. Black Rose

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Shiver me timbers!! Black Rose is a swashbuckling themed table of beauty manufacturered by Bally-Williams in 1992. It was unique for having a cannon in the center of the lower playing field, and upon lighting broadside, you launched the pinball to sink the ship. Also, Black Rose had 2 mulitball modes and multiple video modes. 3746 of these tables were made, and I currently have the grand champion score on my home machine.

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4. Scared Stiff

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Scared Stiff is the second Elvira licensed pinball machine, and was by Bally-Midway in 1996. The first was Elvira and the Party Monsters in 1989. While both are great machines, Scared Stiff has the better gameplay and the better naughty Elvira quotes. “Now there’s a scary stiff”, “Who oesn’t love a little head”. Set in the realm of midnight horror bad movies, the premise is to light all 6 scary tales to activate the stiffometer and get scared stiff. The unique animated backglass of the spinning spider wheel adds an interesting element to activate bonuses when the ball is dropped in the spider hole when activated. This machine has 2 multiball modes, and the unusal ability to play bonus modes simultaneously when activated to really rack up the points. Bally made 4028 of these machines, and is currently fetching upwards of 20k in the collector market.

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3. Theatre of Magic

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Released in 1995 by Bally-Midway, this table was instantly one of my favorites the first time I put my 50 cents in and heard the voice say, “Welcome to the Theater of Magic! Shoot for the magic trunk!” The goal of the table is to light all of the magic shows and work your way up through magician apprenticeship to unlock the grand finale. Several different playfield oddities are on this table, such as the hidden basement, levitating balls, and a mirror that extends the playfield. Multiball was an easy unlock on this table. Bally made 6600 of these machines, and there is a supposed Easter egg, that if you hold down start and a flipper at some point in the game, vs codes for MK3 are shown, however, having never done this myself, I cannot confirm.

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2. Medieval Madness

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Another great Bally table released in 1997, this table featured a renaissance theme and Monty Pythonesque humor. Tina Fey even did some of the voices. The purpose of the game is to destroy the 6 castles of various roalty types, working your way through the kingdom to ultimately destroy the Reign of Payne. King Payne that is. Along the way, there are plenty of humorus modes to activate; peasant revolt, save the princess, catapult shots, and trolls to destroy. 3 multiball modes and a playfield castle that you actually get to destroy, make this a must play machine for any pinball or Monty Python lover. Bally produced 4016 of these machines, and it remains one of the most sought after by collectors, fetching nearly 15-20k dollars a machine.

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1. Twister

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My personal favorite, is different than many other people’s. Most pinball junkies will tell you that Addams Family or Twilight Zone, or even Terminator 2 are their favorite machine, but mine hands down is Twister. One of the last machines that Sega produced before getting out of the pinball business, it’s easily one of their best. This was a licensed table, based off the movie, so gameplay basically was driven around chasing the storms and unleashing Dorthy. This table has an impressive 4 ball multiball, and 4 different multiball modes. Filled with dialogue and music from the film, no one can imagine the pleasure of starting Chase Multiball and hearing the game tell you “We got cows!!” Oh it’s pure pinball greatness. And to add to the multiball madness, there is a spinning twisted disc in the center of the table that flings the balls throughout the playfield. The backglass even has a fan that blows “wind” on you to get you further in the mood.  While this is not a well known machine, or highly sought after by collectors, it’s multiball mayhem will always hold it the most special place in my heart.

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All images in this article were taken from my virtual pinball cabinet that I built for use in my home. The cover image was taken at Pinball Kingdomz in Buda, TX.

Naruto – Enter: Naruto Uzumaki!

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-by Joshie Jaxon

Twelve years ago, a nine-tailed fox suddenly appeared. It’s tails lashed out, smashing mountains, and sending tidal waves crashing to the shores. The ninja rose up to defend their villages. One shinobi faced the nine-tailed fox in mortal combat; he sacrificed his life to capture the beast, and seal it in a human body. This ninja was known as the fourth Hokage. As mentioned in several prior posts, I love me some good voiceover. This one was courtesy of Sarutobi, aka the third Hokage. It gives us the key event that sets up this series, as well as Shippuden that follows. This is one of my favorite anime, and for good reason, but I’ll get into that later on.

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We open the series with a baby crying, surrounded by candles, an something resembling a tattoo is on his tummy. Flash forward, our titular character is running through the village escaping the adults trying to catch him for painting all over Mount Hokage. That’s not what it’s called, but as it’s four heads of the village’s leaders carved into the stone, you can see why I’d call it that. We see Sarutobi painting as he’s interrupted. Oh no, not Naruto again. This guy knows his people. Naruto manages to get away from his pursuers, but Iruka sensei pops up and tells him to get to class.

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Cut to Naruto tied up at the front of the class. Iruka, being at the end of his rope, pun intended, tries to get through to him. Since Naruto doesn’t seem to care, now the whole class has to practice their transformation jutsu, and turn into Iruka. Sakura and Sasuke do theirs without a flaw. Naruto on the other hand, breaks out his sexy jutsu. He changes to a busty, long-haired, nude, blonde. Obviously distracted, Iruka falls over, which is a running gag in most anime, but not so much here in the states. When we see Iruka upright again, no pun this time, he’s got tissue in his nose. Apparently Naruto is so sexy that rather than blood rushing to his, uh, shiitake mushroom, it came out his nose instead.

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On Mount Hokage, Iruka is supervising the clean up detail, and tells Naruto he’ll be there until it’s clean. Big deal, it’s not like anyone is waiting at home for him. That sentence gives us a glimpse at the fact that Naruto is an orphan. Iruka decides to sweeten the deal, and offers to take him out to dinner if he can see the sexy jutsu again. Alright, he actually says they can go for ramen when the graffiti is cleaned up. Now Naruro is motivated. This isn’t three minute cup o noodles, this is the good stuff. It’s restaurant quality. He’ll be done in no time.

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Later that night, in the ramen shop, Iruka asks Naruto why he did that to Mount Hoakge, and if he knows who they are. Naruto says they were the best of the best, undefeated ninja champs. The fourth is the most amazing, for saving the village from the nine-tailed fox. Again Iruka asks him why he did it. Naruto says he will be greater than any of them. He’s gonna be Hokage one day, then people will have to show him some respect. Naruto asks to try on Iruka’s headband, and is shot down. You can only wear the leaf headband if you
pass the exam.

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The next morning at the academy, the final test will be in the clone jutsu. No! That’s Naruto’s worst technique. Focus, Naruto-San. Wax on, wax off. Not even Mr. Miagi’s teachings can help. Naruto’s clone looks like he molted a shell, while looking like a frog. The other teacher wants to cut Naruto a break, but Iruka says no. He didn’t get to see sexy jutsu last night after dinner, and he’s cranky and frustrated after practicing his hand signs.

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Naruto failed, and was the only one who did. We see him sitting alone while everyone else is having fun together. Two girls start to discuss him, but one shuts the other down, saying it’s forbidden. Meanwhile, the other teacher approaches Naruto for a private conversation. Seeing this, Sarutobi tells Iruka he needs to talk to him. Stranger danger, ninja style! Later that day, teacher and student are talking. We learn that Iruka is like Naruto, with no parents or family. Naruto will never be strong if Iruka goes easy on him. Yet to be named teacher tells him there is a secret way he could graduate.

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Iruka lies on his bed, as Sarutobi’s words go through his head. Because of the nine-tailed fox, he’s never known the warmth of a family. Flashback to Iruka being dragged away while his parents went to fight the fox. The flashback is interrupted when the other teacher tells Iruka that Naruro stole the sacred scroll. The scroll of sealing? Oh no! Relax guys, Naruto is just trying to study. First technique, multi shadow clone jutsu. No, not clones! It’s still his worst jutsu! We see a group meeting with Sarutobi. This is more than just a prank. That scroll contains secrets that were sealed by the first Hokage. Secrets known only to their village. Sarutobi sends them to retrieve Naruto.

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The unnamed teacher thinks to himself about how he’ll take the scroll for himself once Naruto is out of the way. Low blow setting up a kid to take the fall. Let’s think this through though; a kid was able take something, under assumed guard, and get away with it. Not only that, he was able to just open and read the scroll with no on-screen consequences. Now, I know this is episode one, but if that scroll contains such powerful secrets, a kid that can’t make a decent clone shouldn’t have been able to take it, where a teacher presumably failed, despite being a fully trained ninja. Just thought I’d point that out. Back to the show.

In the forest Naruto is panting, as Iruka shows up. Naruto praises him for catching him so fast. He only had time to learn one technique. Iruka can see the progress he’s made. Naruto says he’s gonna show him what he learned, and then he’ll pass. That’s what Mizuki said. Anyone who learns a technique from the scroll, passes. As Iruka realizes that Mikuzi is a traitor, multiple kunai are flung at him. He shoves Naruto out of the way, and is hit by several. Iruka tells Naruto to keep the scroll from Mizuki, since it contains forbidden jutsu.

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Mizuki tells Naruto that Iruka is lying. That Iruka is afraid of him because of the decree. What decree? I’m glad you asked. The nine-tailed fox is inside Naruto! That’s why they treat him like dirt, he contains the fox spirit that cost so many their lives. Naruto’s anger flares, and so does his chakra. Iruka remembers what Sarutobi told him. Naruto always thinks about the family he doesn’t have. He’s always in pain. That’s why he gets in trouble, so people will notice him and pay attention to him. Mizuki tells Naruto to die, and throws a giant shuriken at him. Iruka intercepts it, in the back. Naruto asks him why. Iruka says they’re the same. After his parents died, people ignored him. He became the class clown just to get attention. No one should have to be alone like that. Mizuki tells Naruto that Iruka hates him because the fox spirit that killed his parents is inside him. Naruto takes off running.

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Iruka throws the shuriken from his back at Mizuki. It misses. Mizuki will come finish him off, after he has the scroll. Mikuzi has a big mouth. If Naruto unleashes the nine-tails, they’re all in danger. We see Iruka catch up to Naruto, but Naruto tackles him. It was Mizuki in disguise. That’s ok though, Naruto was Iruka in disguise. You can’t trust a ninja. Mizuki says Naruto is a beast, and will pour his revenge into the scroll. Iruka tells him that’s not who Naruto is. He’s got a big heart, and tries his best. Naruto overheard all of it. He’s so moved, that when Mizuki goes to finish off Iruka, he intervenes. Naruto threatens that if Mizuki lays a hand on his sensei, he’ll kill him. Mizuki laughes. He could finish Naruto with a single move. Naruto says he’ll get it back a thousand fold. Multi shadow clone jutsu!

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Mizuki is surrounded, and Iruka comments that these aren’t illusions, and are solid clones. A lot of progress in one night to master such a technique. We hear the sounds of fighting, then are shown Mizuki unconscious and bruised on the ground. Naruto makes sure Iruka sensei is alright. Iruka calls him closer, he wants to give him something. Back in the village, the search party is baffled that they haven’t found Naruto yet. Sarutobi tells them that the scroll is fine, and Naruto will be back soon. In the woods, Naruto opens his eyes, and is wearing a Leaf Ninja headband. He graduates! Iruka says he’ll take him out for ramen to celebrate.

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JJ

Glorious Girls of Gaming-Samus Aran

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by Bevianna Bones

Greetings readers! What a glorious day it is! So glorious in fact, that we should take a moment to reflect on one of the most glorious gals of gaming of all time!! The last time I wrote a post about a glorious gal, newsreader…aka Elena…there were a few cynics out there that didn’t seem to find her quite as glorious as I do.  Shame on them for not being as well versed in obscurity as me. That, friends, is not my fault. And frankly, if we only took the time to highlight well known pieces of pop culture, what fun would that be? Who learns from that? No one. But it made me think about all the times that the masses may have been waylaid by pop culture. So today I decided that we should celebrate the very first Crying Game moment of video games and talk about not only the time everyone was shocked by the secret ending, but also the most badass bounty hunter ever to grace our consoles. No not Baba Fart…the one, the only, the iron maiden herself, Samus Aran.

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First let me just clairfy, for some that may not know who I speak of, her name is not Metroid. Metroid is the name of the game, and the name of an alien species in the game. The final boss of many, if not nearly all, of the games. Think facehugger meets jellyfish. The real stuff of nightmares. In the same case that folks think Link is named Zelda, most folks think Samus is named Metroid. This may be enough for an argument that Nintendo needed to market it’s lead characters better, but that’s a topic of discussion for another day. So for a final bit of clarity, I have included the images below.

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Standard Metroid.

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Smoking hot Samus Aran in the Zero Suit. Nintendo came up with her so we would finally all understand what was under the Varia Power Suit…as the following was not necessarily enough for some people.

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Wait?! What?! They brought a girrrrl in here???!

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Obscure reference to one of our earlier articles 🙂

Now that we’ve got her name straightened out, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The fact she’s a girl. Back in 1986 when Nintendo released the original Metroid on the NES/Famicon, it was pretty much unheard of that any kind of videogame, marketed primarily to young boys, would have a female protagonist. Girls don’t play games, and when they do, they have their own games!

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Nintendo knew this, and didn’t want to let the pussy out of the bag, so to speak, so not once throughout promotions, press releases, the instruction manual, or anytime during the game did it ever say that the hero, Samus was a female. It also didn’t say directly she wasn’t either. Not was actually ever said, but the industry, and our culture being driven by predominatly male influence, we, the gamers all come to the assumption that the character is naturally a male; just as dogs are boys and cats are girls.  Imagine the shock, awe, and dismay when upon completion of the game, we were treated to…

Yep. Samus is a girl. Eat it. Nintendo had huge success of Metroid, and it spawned several sequels. Metroid II: Return of Samus was released for the original (yes the many shade of green) Gameboy, and then Super Metroid for the SNES. For all the youngsters out there that I might be speaking gibberish to, think Castlevania:Symphony of the Night meets Mario, meets Star Trek. And if that’s not enough to get you to try out the franchise, play Metroid Prime, originally released on the GameCube (and the sole reason I owned one). This game not only redefined the franchise, but it was an inspiration to many, many games to follow.  Like Bioshock? Like Fallout 3? Like Dead Space? If you haven’t played it, you need to, as it is easily the greatest game ever to hail of the franchise, it’s hands down the best game experience the GameCube had to offer…(my opinion includes the once exclusive release of Resident Evil 4)

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Prime opened up the depth of the universe and allowed us to learn more about Samus, and her past.  She was born on a mining planet that was invaded and destroyed by space pirates; an orphan, she was raised by the Chozo on the planet Zebes who infused her DNA with that of the Chozo to build resistance to many environments, trained her as a warrior and bestowed upon her a Power Suit comprised of ancient artifacts of the Chozo. Now a bounty hunter employed by the Galactic Empire, Samus and her Gunship embark on a variety of missions to save the universe from Space Pirates, metroids, and other nefarious entities.

Other games in the franchise include, Prime 2: Echos, Prime 3: Corruption, and Metroid: Other M, released on the Wii and left the same kind of distaste in one’s mouth that Alien Resurrection had for that franchise.
Samus has also appeared in all of the Smash Bros. Titles as a playable character, and one of my top three faves; along with Zero Suit Samus as an unlockable in Melee.

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Well guys, all this talk about her and I feel the need to dig out my GameCube and, start over a play through of Prime. The only other game that competes with my soul for the title of Best Game Ever.  The other being Final Fantasy7. But that’s a topic for another Glorious day.

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Inuyasha – The Girl Who Overcame Time… And the Boy Who Was Just Overcome

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by Joshie Jaxon

That is a very long episode title to start the series with.

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We open with villagers screaming the series’ name. Alright, they’re actually screaming at the red-clad, white-haired half-demon that just broke out of a net. He crashes into a temple, and takes the shiny jewel of awesomeness. Finally, a way to be a full demon at last. We see a clearly injured woman call his name as she draws an arrow and fires. The arrow of sparkly magic hits him in the shoulder, and pins him to a tree.

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The jewel falls from his hand. Inuyasha sees who shot him. Kikyo, how could you? He thought- Before he can finish, he passes out. Kikyo retrieves the jewel, as her little sister, Kaede, comments on her injury. Kikyo isn’t worried out the pain. She won’t feel it much longer. Kaede is instructed to take the sacred jewel and burn it with her body. Kikyo will take it with her to the next life. We cut to the jewel glowing as the flames consume Kikyo.

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Modern times. Shikon no Ma? No, Shikon no tama. Kagome is getting schooled by her grandpa on what the sacred jewel was. She’s looking at the keychains he ordered, and is surprised he thinks people would buy them. As he tries again to explain, her cat keeps batting at the one in her hand. It makes me giggle, as I have three cats, and that’s exactly what they do. Kagome reminds him that it’s her birthday tomorrow. He got her an authentic mummified hand of a water imp. She gives it to the cat.

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The thousand year old sacred tree. The legend of the hidden well. Kagome has heard these stories all her life, but didn’t believe them until today, her fifteenth birthday. As she leaves for school, she notices her brother is hanging out to the door to the well. He can’t find the kitty. They hear a noise, and he says there’s something down there. Yeah, the cat. Kagome is a bitch, and I love her for it. She hears a noise coming from inside the well. The calls are coming from inside the house! The boards on the well break from the inside, and spectral hands reach out and drag Kagome into the well. They belong to a topples, multi-armed lady demon. Uh oh. Kagome screams for the demon to let her go. Let her go! Can’t hold her back anymore! Kagome’s hand glows, and she gets free.

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Landing in the bottom of the well, Kagome starts to climb out of it. Despite not being in the building she was in when she entered the well, she still feels the need to call for her mom, gramps, brother, and cat. She realizes she’s not in Tokyo anymore. She sees the sacred tree, and heads towards it. Upon arrival, she notices Inuyasha still secured to the tree by the arrow. Roots and/or branches have grown around him, so we the audience know it’s been a while since he’s been there. Kagome goes up to him, and touches his ears. Just had to get that out of her system. Villagers with arrows fire on Kagome, and capture her.

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Bound in the village, Kagome is looking around. She’s noticing all the clothes and hair. What is this, Japanese medieval times? High priestess Kaede arrives, and throws salt or powder on Kagome and tells the demon to be gone. She’s not a demon, she’s just serving Japanese schoolgirl realness. If she’s not a demon, why was she in the forest of Inuyasha? Um, why were the villagers that shot at her? Whatevs, Kaede. She really looks at Kagome, and says “it’s there”. Cut to that night, and Kaede is feeding Kagome. She looks at her, and sees her sister Kikyo. Kaede says it’s been fifty years since she died.

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The centipede demon attacks the village, her target is Kagome. She demands the sacred jewel. Kaede asks if Kagome has it. Schoolgirl is clueless. She’s heard of the jewel, that’s about it. Kaede says they need to get the demon to the dry well, in the forest of Inuyasha. Kagome asks if that’s where the light is shining. Kaede is surprised that Kagome can see the unseen. Kagome flees the village, trying to draw the demon away. As she runs, she pleads for help. Someone! Anyone!

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Inuyasha twitches awake on his tree. He can smell the blood of the woman who trapped him. He reaches for the arrow, and it glows. No breaking your curse today. Kagome arrives, and Inuyasha taunts her about playing with bugs. The Kikyo he knew would never take this long to finish off a demon. Kagome is surprised that Inuyasha is alive. As he calls her Kikyo again, the demon arrives. The villagers manage to harpoon it, but can’t do much else. Inuyasha calls her pathetic. She says she’s not Kikyo. Then why do you smell like her? He sniffs her again, and says she’s not her. Getting her teenage attitude on, she says she’s Kagome. Ka-go-me. Snap! The demon grabs Kagome, and she in turn grabs Inuyasha’s hair.

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Kaede and the others see that Inuyasha is alive. Kaede says the seal should have lasted forever. Time travel moment, but he wasn’t on the tree in Kagome’s time, so we had to know he’d get free. Granted, he’s the title character, so we knew that anyway. The demon mentions the jewel again, and that has Inuyasha’s attention. The demon grows fangs, and Kagome holds out her hand screaming to go away. Her hand glows, and forces the demon back again. Her chest glows, and before she can wonder what’s happening, the demon bites her, and the jewel falls from her body. Inuyasha begs her for the jewel.

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Lady centipede wraps up Kagome against Iniyasha and the tree. She’d heard about a half demon out here. Half is all he needs to kick her hide. He’s so arrogant, I love it. Kagome asks if he can back it up. The demon taunts that they’re both pinned, and helpless. She then eats the jewel, and takes on a more horrific form as she says her power is complete. Inuyasha asks Kagome to pull out the arrow. C’mon, nothing bad will happen if you pull out. Kaede says not to, or he’ll destroy them all. He tells the old hag to shut up, at least with him they have a chance. The centipede just wants to eat them.

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Kagome chooses life, and grabs Inuyasha’s arrow. It dissipates in her hand. Well, it had been fifty years since he’d been touched. Inuyasha is free. The centipede tries to crush them, but with a flex of his power, parts of her are blasted off. He calls her a nasty hag before attacking her. Iron reaver soul stealer! He uses his claws and cuts her down the middle, and into pieces. Kaede tells her to get the jewel or she’ll revive. Once extracted, the body turns to bones. Kaede gives the jewel back to Kagome, who wonders how it got inside her to begin with. Inuyasha tells her humans can’t use it, and to hand it over before he sharpens his claws on her. Wait, he’s not the hero? Credits

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I didn’t get as into Inuyasha as I have other anime. Made it halfway through the series, then was distracted by something shiny. After rewatching the premier, I may need to go back and finish it. The snark and bitchiness appeal to me. I can’t imagine why. Until next time, everyone!
JJ

Howard the Duck – First Night in Cleve-Land

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-by Bevianna Bones

By now, all of you out there have probably figured out that I truly love this movie. Each of my posts have recaped a total of about 15 minutes of the glorious film. In the first installment of The Howie Series, we took a look at Duckworld, and of course, Duckboobs.  In the second installment, we took a look at Cherry Bomb, Bev’s badass 80’s rock band; and when we left off, Howard had just unleashed a wicked quackfu attack on Bev’s would be rapist alley assailants.  Bev, grateful for Howie’s help, offers him a place to stay the night, and thus we begin the third installment of the Howie Series…what I am calling First Night in Cleve-Land.

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Before we talk about the obvious budding relationship between Bev and Howard, let me first just point out that while Bev’s apartment is supposed to be a slum dive, I always thought it was a super badass loft.  Even if her loser crummy band manager did find it for her.  What a scum…it’s important for future events of the movie to understand that we should hate Ginger, the band manager. We will call this foreshadowing. Can anyone say Space Rabies?? I’m getting ahead of myself, more on that to come. So much neon lightning must have cost a fortune. The neon afterall matches Bev’s clothes. Great job art department, if only that level of detail had gone into the duckhead and it’s dead eyes.

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Whoops…wrong movie…anyways…

Bev takes Howie up to her badass pad and the two of them get to know each other as Howard tries to understand this strange new world, and Bev makes insulting comments Howard such as she hopes he doesn’t poop the place and she can get him a bowl of milk. Howard is not amused with this, but Bev eventually figures out that while he’s a duck in appearance, he’s just like everyone else. Rainbows and unicorns and hugs.

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Like looking into a mirror of dead eyes…

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One of the several times we have a laugh over the commercialization of ducks on our world. 

Howard and Bev share a beer together, and Howard obviously can’t handle his hooch, as he immediately passes out. Bev takes advantage of the situation and not only molestes Howard for the first time, yes there are more times…we will talk about Ducksex in a future post, she takes the opportunity to go through his wallet. Guess no one explained to him the dangers of traveling abroad.  I wonder if there is a Duck Liam Neeson?

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So soft and fluffy…

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Yay more duckpuns…

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Wait what’s that…is that what I think it is? Yes it is. But the real question is why is it not in a wrapper? Is this a used duckcondom Howard is carrying in his wallet? Gross.

Bev resolves to help Howard find out why he is here and help him get back, so the next morning she takes a cab to the science museum and hauls Howard over there in a hefty bag.  Liam where are you?!

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Airholes or stab wounds…you be the judge.

Howard states that he’ll need therapy the rest of his life; not only him I’m thinking but likely all the people Bev runs course with during her hefty excursion. Even more disturbing no one asks questions. She must be in a really rough part of Ohio.

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Enter a very young Tim Robbins as the budding scientist Philsy and soon to be best pal to Howard, but we don’t know that yet. He further insults Howard by asking him a series of absurd questions and Howard gets fett up and is ready to leave.  Philsy explains to him a theory of duck evolution that every schoolduck knows and determines that this avenue is a waste of time.

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See…more duckpuns…just incase you haven’t figured out that this is a duckthemed movie yet

Pissed off about the circumstances he’s been faced with, he decides that he doesn’t need anyone’s help. Not Philsy’s, and certainly not Bev’s. Their first quarrel, and Bev says so long duckie and storms off in huff.

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Humph!

What will happen to Howard now that he has been left by his only friend? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see until our next installment…

-BB