Podzilla 1985

Friday, August 30, 2013

Brothers Conflict - A Bit Much or Guilty Pleasure?

It's been a while since I've watched an anime that I had to actually wait for the next episode to air. I've been so use to just watching a whole series in a couple marathon sessions that it's odd to go back to the episodic method. However Hulu is treating me very well and seems to have a new episode up for me each Wednesday.

What has captured my attention you ask? Well if you know me, or have read some of my past posts, you know I'm a shoujo-holic with a taste for harem series. As of late I keep finding series based on Otome games, and all I can say is if I could read Japanese I'd totally want to play some of them... Though I know someone who'd get a bit jealous if I did... Love you!
But I'm getting side tracked.... back to the issue at hand. "Brothers Conflict" is my newest guilty pleasure. It's highly farfetched and yet I can't help but want to keep watching. I'll try not to spoil too much for you all, but I make no true promise of it....

The Basics: Our heroine, Ema Hinata ( a sixteen year old high school student) is about to start a new life. He father has remarried and not wanting to impose on him and her new mother she decides to move in with her new siblings. Ok no big deal right? Maybe, except that she has only gained brothers in this union and there are thirteen of them. That's a lot of testosterone in one place. Granted they live in a condo complex, where the family resides on the top three floors and the bottom two floor have spaces rented out. So in a sense, other than the shared living space on the fifth floor, Ema and her brothers each have their own apartments for rooms.

As far as heroines go there have been worse than Ema. She's mostly likeable and has a caring nature. She's genuinely excited to have a family finally, having spent most of her childhood alone since her dad travels over seas a lot. She never planned that the new men in her life would see her more as a romantic interest than family. At times her submissiveness get's old, but it's believable in the long run. The thing that annoys me the most is her lack of reaction some times. She never really accepts or rejects any of their advances. Granted we're only nine episodes in, but really? If you want them as siblings draw the line and set them straight no matter how pretty they are.

Yes as the title may imply several of the Asahina men fall for their new step-sister. This family is a bit out of this world when you look at them as a whole. First off the oldest son is thirty-one years old, while their mother doesn't look a day over forty herself. Everyone of them is good looking and those who are employed all have good jobs, well minus Subaru doing road work, but he's still in college so we'll let that pass... Let's take a look at the trouble makers at hand.

Masaomi Asahina
Age: 31
Profession: Doctor (Pediatrician to be exact)
He serves as the father figure of the brothers, being the eldest and all, but he's not always the most reliable guy. He tends to spoil his youngest brother Wataru and has a habit of popping lollipops into his siblings' mouths to shut them up.

His attraction to Ema hasn't been covered much yet in the anime, though he did call her to inform the family of him staying late at the hospital when he would normally have called Ukyo, the second eldest. We'll probbaly see some development next week though if the previews meant anything.

I can't see him with her though. He plays too much a guardian role with her father gone all the time. He also doesn't seem as persistent or forceful as some of his younger brothers. Though that could be a good thing for Ema.

Ukyo Asahina:
Age: 29
Profession: Lawyer
Being the second eldest he's taken the mother role of the family, their own mother being a career woman left him doing most of the house work when he got older. He picks up the slack for Masaomi and keeps the household running smoothly along side his day job. Ukyo is also the one to keep the younger boys on top of their studies and tends to be the one to hand out punishment when necessary.

He's kind to Ema from the start, and welcomes the help with cooking and other various chores. Though he gets a bit jealous when the "I'll be home late" phone calls start going to Ema's phone rather than his own. His own little bit of flirting with her is more in the form of caring for her health and teaching her in the kitchen.

I like Ukyo, he's a nice bit of calm amongst the insanity that he's related to. They haven't touched on him too much in the anime yet either, but while reading about the video game I found out that he's actually kind of an awkward guy who doesn't really know how to react to a lot of things. I'm hoping they'll touch on his past a bit more since they've started doing that with some of the other brothers. Like Masaomi, I don't think he has much of a chance in the long run with winning Ema over, that whole parental aspect brings him down too. I still enjoy his screen time, though he hasn't done anything major yet.

Kaname Asahina:
Age: 26
Profession: Buddhist Monk
He is the Miroku of this series hands down. You're typical womanizing playboy who just happens to give spiritual sermons. He's the first to hit on Ema when she moves in, literally within moments of greeting her. He's also the first to steal a kiss, though it's just a peck on the cheek. He's surprisingly responsible though, and helps his older brothers out with keeping the younger ones in line when needed. He covers for a parent teacher meeting, for Yusuke and Ema, when Masaomi can't leave work for it.

Kaname amuses me, though he's not one of my favorites. He's persistent enough to not let his other brothers win, but he also doesn't get as much time with her as some of them do. He's a bit of a wild card, though I feel that Ema groups him in with the 'parental' crew as well. Not much of a chance but a little more than the other two older brothers. Due to his time away from home he hasn't had much screen time in the show yet either, so who knows what's to come.

Hikaru Asahina:
Age: 25
Profession: Writer
Like his mother, Hikaru spends a lot of time over seas, researching for his novels. He also usually cross dresses, it's generally a rare sight to see him in men's wear. Since he doesn't live in the condo with the others we haven't seen much of him in the show so far.

He doesn't seem to have any romantic interest in Ema, so far any ways. He's more interested in his brothers' reactions to the girl, and teasing them every chance he gets. We see him spying on them on several occasions with a mischievous smirk on his face.

I don't know enough about Hikaru to make any assumption about him. Though so far I don't think he's in the running and may actually treat Ema as a sibling as she wishes.

Tsubaki Asahina:
Age: 24
Profession: Voice Actor
Tsubaki is a troublemaker with a capital T. He's selfish, reckless and acts on impulse without regards to anyone. Well anyone but Azusa, his identical twin who keeps him in line. He likes to rile his younger brothers up over anything he can.

Like Kaname he flirts with Ema right away, and tries to kiss her right off the bat. Azusa stops him though before he makes any contact, though Tsubaki just laughs it off and proceeds to drape himself over the girl's shoulders any way. He flirts every chance he gets, even offering to sleep with her if she's scared to sleep in a new place. As he get's use to having Ema around he get's possessive of her and doesn't like the fact that his brothers have similar feelings to his own towards her. He's the first of them to seriously confess to her and is persistent about his feelings. He won't think twice about stealing a passionate kiss from her.

Tsubaki causes Ema quite a bit of stress, but I think he's manipulative enough to get his way in the long run. He can be over the top but I like Tsubaki, and getting past the whole sibling thing can see him with Ema. Though he needs to tone down the selfishness, not that it'll happen any time soon.

Azusa Asahina:
Age: 24
Profession: Voice Actor
Azusa is rarely without Tsubaki, being identical twins they have a very strong bond with one another. He'll do anything for his brother, but he's not above keeping him in line at the same time. The more collected of the two, he thinks things threw where Tsubaki is all impulse. He's also usually willing to let Tsubaki win when they both want something.

This changes when he realizes that he too is in love with Ema. For once he's willing to fight for himself over his dear brother. This causes a lot of friction between the two at home and adds to Ema's stress with the family. He protects her from Tsubaki, but is torn because he himself wants to do the same things to her. His real battle is with his self control, he's not use to letting go of it.

Of the twins I like Azusa more. I've grown to like the calmer characters more over the years. He seems like he'd have a easier time winning Ema over. Letting her go at her own pace rather than just jumping her and not giving her time to think about it.

Natsume Asahina:
Age: 24
Profession: Video Game Devoleper
And now we have the third wheel to our twins. Turns out they're really  triplets, though Natsume here is a fraternal brother rather than identical. He also lives out side of the main complex in his own apartment. He has two cats, who ironically are named after Tsubaki and Azusa though we don't know the story behind that yet. Though he lives apart from them he keeps in regular contact with his brothers. He worries about Subaru a lot since they both share a love for basketball, though Natsume quit playing.

He doesn't meet Ema until the day of their parents' wedding and is a bit cold to her not knowing the situation. When he goes to apologize he learns that she's an avid player of the video games his company makes. Ema plays zombie shooters! They strike up a friendship over the games and he uses her as a bit of market test by letting her play the new game they are working on. He starts to getting feelings for her around the same time Azusa is realizing his own feelings. Though much like Azusa he doesn't act on them like Tsubaki would. He does his best to watch out for Ema, but get's very irritable when he sees how Subaru acts around her and even gets in his younger brother's face about it. He wants Ema to see him as a man, but isn't about to force her into it.

Natsume is currently my favorite among the brothers...though I don't like that he smokes. He feels like a bit of an outcast from the rest of the family but I get the impression he did that on his own rather than it being anyone's fault. I wouldn't mind Ema ending up with him, though I think she's better suited to a couple of the others. Natsume should just be the good older brother who watches over her and lets her vent her stress to him. Though I'm not gonna lie I had a mini fan girl moment when he finally kissed her. I'm terrible I know...

Louis Asahina:
Age: 21
Profession: Hair Stylist
Louis is the only brother that Ema's pet squirrel, Juli, doesn't hate. The two of them even form a little coalition to protect Ema, or "Chii" as the call her, from the other brothers. Unlike his siblings, Louis is actually an adopted child of the Asahina family. He has no memories of his birth family and at times still feels disconnected from his brothers due to that lack of a blood bond. This is part of why he wants Ema to feel at ease. None of Louis's younger siblings know about his adoption, but he reveals it to Ema when she's having some hard times.

He likes to style Ema's hair and make her pretty. Her smile is more important to him than anything else. It's unclear right now if he has any romantic feelings for her. I think he does, but he'd rather make her wish come true and act as the family she desires so much. I think he's a little too girly to be paired with her, but he means well and cares for her so I wouldn't be upset if he reveals his love for her as well.

Subaru Asahina:
Age: 19 (turns 20 early in the series)
Profession: College Student
Subaru is on his college's basketball team. He had been a regular player but once Ema came into his life his game started to falter. He's rather serious and has obviously cared more about his sports than most other things. When he was little he looked up to Natsume who also played basket ball. He wanted to be like his big brother.

Subaru's relationship with Ema started out awkward from day one. He was a bit shocked to learn a girl would be living with them, but to top it off she walked in on him when he'd finished up his bath. Granted he had a towel on, but it was still embarrassing for both parties. It didn't take long for him to start to like her, and that made his actions in general hasty. Once he admits to himself that he likes her he becomes determined to become a regular on the basket ball team again, if only to have her come watch him play.

Subaru is also the first to kiss Ema on the lips, though it's an accident. He's also the first to openly ask her to date him. Though he's yet to get answer from her. His awkwardness is adorable, it just makes you want to root for him. He's probbaly the one I want to see her end up with the most. They'd just be so cute together.

Iori Asahina:
Age: 18
Profession: High School Student
Iori is you typical prince-like character. He's well mannered, popular and athletic. He attends an elite private catholic school and is in charge of tending the gardens around the condo complex. It wouldn't be far off to guess that he might be a florist of sorts after school.

Iori is sweet to Ema, but he hasn't had a lot of screen time yet. From what I've been reading he's got a bit of a tragic past involving an ex-girlfriend, but it hasn't been touched on yet in any of the episodes.

Iori seems like a good guy, but who knows. I don't know enough about him yet to pass judgement, though in the looks department he's be a cute match with Ema.

Yusuke Asahina:
Age: 16
Profession: High School Student
Yusuke goes to the same public high school that Ema does. They were classmates well before they became siblings.  He's a bit of a delinquent and far from being an A student.

He's the first of the brothers to fall in love with Ema, because he was crushing on her before their parents hooked up. Granted he'd never said anything to her, but their situation now makes it even worse. Her joining their family though gives him an excuse to hang out with her before, during and after school, without all of his brothers around. Though that changes when Futo starts attending their school as well. Ema's the first girl that he's ever had serious feelings for, so he's pretty torn up about the whole sister thing and flat out says he won't accept it.

I feel bad for Yusuke, his whole world got thrown into chaos because of a simple marriage. If his mom hadn't married Ema's dad he could have had a normal high school crush. Though knowing him he would have never said anything and just pined for her form afar. So maybe this better after all since he has excuses to actually talk to her now. He and Ema would make a cute pair. Being the same age and going to the same school gives him a little extra footing over his brothers, but his inability to convey his feelings is a major set back.

Futo Asahina:
Age: 15
Profession: Pop Idol (and a Middle School Student)

Futo is highly confident in himself, he has to be as a performer. This same confidence though has made him a bit twisted and two faced. To the public he's charming and loveable, but behind closed doors his selfish and manipulative. Even his older brothers think he's twisted and not quite right. He's very found of his older brother Louis, and proud of his talents. He'd much rather have him do his hair and make up over any of the studio's stylists.

He picks on Ema a lot, calling her plain and stupid. Yet he has no problem trying to monopolize her. He likes to rub it in Yusuke's face too. He has no problem corning the girl and forcing her into more intimate situations despite being younger than her. He seems to get a kick out of making her uncomfortable.

Futo frankly pisses me off. He's a little prick who needs to be put in line. Though setting aside his twisted actions I do think he actually likes Ema, not just as something to play with. Why else would he choose to go to the same school as her when he enters high school. He's still my least favorite of the brothers, but his chances with catching Ema are better than many of the others.

Wataru Asahina:
Age: 10
Profession: Elementary School Student
Finally we have Wataru, the youngest of the brothers. He's spoiled by many of his older brothers and it's because of this that I think he seems more like a five year old rather than being ten. He talks in a cute manner and is very excitable. He also seems to have a love for plush bunnies.

He seems excited to have a new big sister, and frankly I can't seem him as a romantic counterpart to her. Granted that can't keep him from getting a crush on her, but I doubt anything would come of it. Plus I'm sorry but for a boy he's damn girly. Maybe it's the wardrobe.... all those pastels. Maybe when he gets older he'll have a chance, but it'll probably be late by then.

So there's the situation at hand. One girl and thirteen brothers all after her heart. Pretty messed up right? Still I enjoy it and look forward to more episodes. If you've enjoyed shows like "Ouarn High School Host Club", "La Corda D'Oro" and "Uta no Prince-sama" I'd say give "Brother's Conflict" a shot. You'll probbaly enjoy it too. I'll leave you with the ending theme song as a little extra incentive to check it out.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Life is like a Hurricane... A Few Memorable Duck Tales Episodes

I've watched a lot of cartoons in my childhood, and still do to be perfectly honest. One show that has always had a special place in my heart is Duck Tales. I watched it everyday when it was still airing. Disney Afternoon was a regular part of my scheduled whenever I got home from school. So naturally when the series was released on dvd I had to have it. Over the years certain episodes have stood out in my memory more than others. Now mind you these just individual episodes, so no Gizmoduck origins this go around.

"Hotel Strangeduck", Scrooge buys an old castle and turns it into a hotel despite the rumors of it being haunted. Almost right from the get go weird things start to happen to the usual cast. Floating suitcases and books, suits of armor moving on their own, even dinner cooking itself.
 Scrooge doesn't believe any of it until he himself is threatened. Their guests aren't about to leave either the hotel either. Huey, Dewy and Louie start to suspect that their guests, the Duchess and Benzino, may be involved some how. They keep seeing the Duchess snooping around and find that she's hunting for a hidden lab. In the end it turns out that she's really the sister or the previous owner, who's not dead just missing. The "ghost" turns out to be his old assistant using invisible paint in order to steal things. The missing scientist appears and reveals all. Scrooge, impressed with Strangduck's formulas, strikes a deal with him to sell his creations for the good of mankind.

 "Maid of the Myth", Mrs. Beakley, while staring in an opera for charity, is kid napped by real Vikings. Scrooge, Lauchpad, and the boys go after her, chasing them to Greenland. They try to blend in with the locals as they search for their favorite maid. 
After being caught it is decided that if they can win a race they will be set free along with Mrs. Beakley.  Launchpad volunteers to be the racer, but naturally is awful at it. Luckily a local girl he was nice to helps him learn the ropes and get's him ready for the match.

While Launchpad is training Mrs. Beakley is forced to entertain the vikings. Their queen grows jealous of the attention the larger woman's singing is getting and plots to silence her voice. Though the tainted water ends up being consumed by Lauchpad. Unable to yell out commands to his racing goats, Mrs. Beakley takes his place in the challenge. Despite being sabotaged she over comes her obstacles and wins the race ensuring their freedom.

"Down and Out in Duckburg", Scrooge get's a lesson in being charitable when he looses everything. 
Due to an ancestor's debt Scrooge is forced to give everything he owns to Mr. Fritter O'Way. Kicked out of his home, he's forced to live on the streets with the boys and his loyal servants following him. Scrooge goes back to his roots, trying to get a job only to be turned away by everyone who he'd shown little compassion to.
Having had enough, and after a little encouragement from the boys and Duckworth he decides to go after the lost marbles that created his ancestor's debt to begin with. Surprisingly a sailor, who Scrooge had refused to help repair  his boat, offers to take them out to sea to retrieve the missing cargo. With the marbles returned Scrooge's fortune is returned to him and he turns a bit of a  new leaf and starts to use some of his money to help others.

"The Curse of Castle McDuck",  Scrooge, the boys and Webby take a trip to Scotland to visit the old family cottage. Just beyond was a decrepit castle that's rumored to be haunted by a vicious glowing ghost hound. Naturally the boys are curious about it and want to check it out.
While in the walls of Castle McDuck Scrooge tells the kids the story his mother told him as a child, and how all of McDucks had lived in fear of the hound. As night fell they see the hound first hand, but still find it hard to believe.
They discover a group of Druids using the castle and Scrooge becomes enraged over them having chased his family out of their home. During the day they set up traps to capture the Druids and the ghost hound. Webby get's lost through a secret passage, but ends up finding the answers to the mystery of the ghost hound. Scrooge's ancestor built their castle over the Druid's meeting circle, and they used the hounds to chase them away. The glowing was from a special flea powder, nothing more.

"Home Sweet Homer",  Scrooge and the boys go searching for the lost city of Ithaquack. Ancient  magic transports them a time when the city existed. They end up rescuing Homer from certain death and aid him in saving his beloved from the evil sorceress.

Along the way they meet many characters from "The Odyssey".
I still remember part of the sirens song, "Pennies, nickles, quarters, dimes comes to us while there's still time."
Upon reaching the city, they are duped by the sorceress and Scrooge and Homer ate turned into pigs. It's up the boys to turn them back so they can get home. They break the medallion that holds her power and returns everyone back to normal. It also reawakens the magic storm that returns them home.

"Bermuda Triangle Tangle", one of Scrooge's cargo ships is lost at sea, the third one in a couple of months. So Scrooge takes it upon himself to find out what's going on.
They find a society of shipwrecked survivors. They're forced into their way of living, though Scrooge is determined to get them out of there. He learns that most of the others want out as well. They start planing a mutiny against Cap. Bounty, the head of the survivors.
They convince him that they all want to try and get back home. They all work together, but have to deal with a sea monster as they try to free their ship from the sea weed.
They manage to escape back to civilization, but the creature finds it's way back with them. It wreaks havoc in Duckburg Bay, and Cap. Bounty comes to the rescue and returns the beast to the Triangle.

"Back to the Klondike", as Valentine's Day draws near Scrooge reminisces about his prospecting days in the Klondike and his love for Glittering Goldie.
Their relationship started with her cheating him out of his gold in  a game of cards. He calls her out on it, and she makes a deal to find a new gold nugget to make up for it. They both worked hard and dug up a good amount of gold to start a new life together with. But things didn't work out as planned.
The boys wonder if there's still gold in his old claim and Scrooge remembers that it is indeed still his claim, so they go to check it out. They come to find the old prospect town is run down and practically abandoned. Though they do find someone living in his old home. After being shot at they find that it's none other than Goldie, and she's got a grudge the size of Montana against Scrooge. Turns out that they were both fooled by another local who stole their gold and made them each blame the other one. They reconcile over finding a new gold vein and finding the real thief. They don't really get back together but Scrooge does give Goldie the old claim.

"Duckworth's Revolt", after hearing the boys call Duckworth his slave, Scrooge fires him so he can have a chance to make "big bucks" on his own. While the boys are apologizing to their former butler the four of them are abducted by vegetable aliens and forced to work in their garden.
Us to following orders, Duckworth does as he's told for a while, despite the boys' defiance. The boys loose faith in Duckworth, and start to give up as they listen to some of the other captives. Duckworth begins to devise a plan to rebel against their captors, to regain the admiration of the boys and his pride.
However hearing that he was a slave in his own world the others are less than convinced in his abilities. The boys are behind him 100% though and they start to take action. They rally the other slaves and over throw the Vegetable beings. Through their battle no one was flying the space ship and it headed for a crash landing on a bright green planet. Ironically enough it was just what the Vegi-people needed to rebuild their lives. They apologized and returned everyone to their homes. Duckworth get's his job back in the end and the boys understand the difference between servitude and slavery.

That's all for now, maybe next time I'll take a look back at Rescue Rangers.....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jeni from the block (No not Jenny)

This vocal bombshell has become quite popular with her YouTube covers. Meet Jeni aka Jenny Suk. This gorgeous lady has actually taken part in a reality TV show called KPOPSTAR, where contestants compete in auditions for a chance to become the next potential talents for three of the largest entertainment companies in South Korea.

Show her some love on her YouTube channel, why don't ya?! Go, go, go!


Okay, I am starting to get a bit more adventurous with Korean music. One of my fellow artist (as in visual arts) suggested a pop punk group, Never Mind.

Never Mind actually debuted back on January 17th with their single 'Shooting Star'. I have a fondness for actual bands, so these guys will be on my radar.

This post was written by

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lee Thompson Young Commits Suicide

In yet another tragic death in a series that has seemed to plague the new Hollywood scene, former Disney star Lee Thompson Young has died at age 29 from an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound.

Young was the star of the early 2000's Disney series "The Famous Jett Jackson," and went on to star in a
variety of productions, most recently the TNT drama "Rizzoli & Isles." Reports say that when the actor didn't show up on the set today they sent someone to check on them, and that's where they found his body.

A publicist for Young released a statement on the tragedy -

"It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning ... Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed."

Police believe he took his own life on Saturday. His death comes as a shock to those closest to him, as TMZ reports that he had "no serious life issues."

His death comes on the heels of another recent Hollywood suicide, as former Bachelor star Gia Allemand hung herself just a few short days ago. She was also 29.

There was no suicide note left behind by Young, but this story is still unfolding. Regardless of intent or circumstance, the tragedy of another young death weighs heavy on us all.

Saints Row IV Releases TONIGHT! We look back at our history with the 3rd Street Saints.

As you may or may not be aware, but damn sure better find out, Saints Row IV releases tonight on a multitude of systems. None of those systems belong to Nintendo. That one, small, infuriating tidbit aside, it's as good a reason as any to celebrate. The Saints Row series has evolved from a GTA style knockoff to it's own franchise and fans everywhere are lining up to find out what will happen in what many speculate will be the final adventure for our heroes.

Well, they're sort of heroes. Sure, they're gang members and they've killed thousands of people. Yes, depending on the game, they've dipped into villain territory with their complete disregard for human life. But these are the Saints that we're talking about, people! It might not be an RPG or make any sense at all sometimes, but the Saints Row series has given us countless memorable characters, unforgettable moments, and a real connection to the Saints crew.

My own journey into Stilwater began before Blogzilla 1985 was even a twinkle in my beady little eyes. I had just gotten my first XBox 360 and the first must have game on my list was none other than....Rumble Roses XX. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking there.

Oh wait, I remember! I like wrestling and I like boobs. Damn, that was an easy one to figure out. Why did they never make a sequel to that game, anyway? It had a decent wrestling engine, great graphics, and scantily clad women. The next game in the series would have been Rumble Roses XXX! This stuff writes itself, people!

I digress.

One way or the other I got my hands on the demo for the first Saints Row game, and if I remember correctly it was from the official XBox magazine. I was working at Steve & Barry's at the time but had a good relationship with the Gamestop guys, so I think they probably hooked me up. At first glance I think we all kind of dismissed it as a GTA clone, and it would be very easy to make that mistake. They're both open world games, they're both centered around gangs and taking over a city, and they both open the kind of free world roaming and destruction that this age of gamer craves like the starving dog they are.

We were all unaware of just how awesome and game changing that first title would be.

No longer were you stuck playing as Jimmy Random Criminal, created and portrayed by some schmuck working in an office at Rockstar. The freedom to create your own character from scratch was thrilling and breathed some new life into a still shaky genre. I remember my roommate creating the fattest black guy of all time, and we laughed our asses off as he waddled through the streets in his quest for glory. One trip to a plastic surgeon turned the comical fat man into a strong jawed well dressed businessman, and we quickly realized that you could do much more with the character creator than make jokes.

The first game had a solid plot and some great characters. After all, it's the one that introduced us all to the greatest character in video game history - Johnny Gat. Daniel Dae Kim voiced the psychopathic Gat, which surprised a lot of people who didn't even know Kim could speak English. I don't know why they would assume such things, except, you know, 'Murica. Kim took the role of what could have been just another killer in a video game and injected him with so much personality that he became the only character to spread across all four games, despite his untimely demise at the beginning of Saints Row 3. Some might wonder how you bring a guy back from the dead like that, but to them I point out that all of the Saints games have given the ability to bring back at least one deceased homie, and also that Saints Row 4 is about fighting aliens in a virtual reality program.

You can take your logic and shove it up your ass!

 Along with Kim came some heavy hitters in the entertainment industry for the first game. Rockstar set the bar pretty high with their voice acting cast that included everyone from Ray Liotta to Phillip Michael Thomas. THQ and Volition answered the challenge with Kim, Michael Rappaport, Keith David, Michael Clarke Duncan, Clancy Brown, Mila Kunis, David Carradine, Joquim de Almeida, TC Carson, and the eternally beautiful Tia Carrere. It was a stellar cast, and they helped turn what was in serious danger of being another wannabe into a fantastic experience that would lay the ground work for a series that would come to rival the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

But, the creators of the series weren't happy with being a rival to GTA. They wanted something to call their own, and the second adventure starring the 3rd Street Saints would cement their place in the video game world.

Five years later...

It begins with a hectic escape from prison for the main character, who was thought to have met an untimely end thanks to an exploding boat at conclusion of the first game. After freeing yourself and saving Johnny Gat from a hilarious court proceeding that established Gat as THE man in the series, you go about reestablishing the gang and taking back whats yours. A major chunk of the first games all star cast didn't return for the sequel, but in their place we did got awesome perfomarnces by newcomers Eliza Dushku, Neil Patrick Harris, Jaime Pressly, Jay Mohr, and Michael Dorn.

It also included Tera Patrick, which happens to be one of my favorite...actresses.


The core of the game remained the same. You were still shooting everyone in sight and doing missions against various gangs for control of Stilwater, but the real star of the game were the side missions. From spraying septic waste onto buildings to ruin their value to protecting celebrities from obsessed fans or pretending to be cops for a reality TV show, there was always something fun and insane to do. The character creator was even better this go around, allowing you to play as a female in an unprecedented move for the time.

It also introduced co-op, which allowed two players to take on the streets together and offered them everything the single player did. It was a far cry from GTA IV's multiplayer, which was a great experience despite lacking the options of its single player campaign.

To me, Saints Row 2 is the height of the series. I have better memories of that game than anything else in the past twenty years. From throwing people off of rooftops with my roommate to customizing my motorcycle, Saints Row 2 was everything I envisioned an open world game could be. It was one of the first sequels I could remember that not only was I not disappointed in, but I actually loved much more than the original.

If Saints Row 2 established the series as a fresh alternative to Grand Theft Auto, the third part of the series took it in directions that both alienated fans and made the series legendary.

The Third took everything from 2 and turned it to eleven. The missions were crazier, the guns were more off the wall, the characters were downright insane, and everything that made the series a serious crime drama was quickly knocked out of the park by a giant purple dildo. You would quickly forget the games roots as a thug life simulator as soon as you're free falling while shooting down assassins moments before you crash through the windshield of a giant jet, only to grab a new parachute and repeat the process.

This game is downright batshit crazy. New additions to the cast included Sasha Grey (what IS the obsession with porn stars, anyway?) and Hulk Hogan, and really the only thing you could ever hate about this game is a severe lack of Johnny Gat. I love Saints Row The Third, although I feel like it came up short compared to the masterpiece of Saints Row 2.

I've seen the reviews for IV and am fully aware that it started as a DLC pack for 3. I'm fully prepared to be disappointed in a lack of new ideas or game mechanics, because I've grown so close to the Saints over the past 10 years that I just want to have more fun with them.

And there's a lot to be excited about when that clock strikes midnight. Keith David is back as 'Keith David,' as is Benjamin King and Johnny Gat. There are aliens, Star Wars outfits, Blade Runner pistols, giant mechs, Kinzie, super powers, and a host of other features that make me salivate.

I can't wait to kick ass with the Saints one last time, if it is the last time. I'll shed a tear when the credits roll on this insane trip with the 3rd Street Saints. I've come a long way since the beginning, when I was just a fresh faced nobody that got caught up in a street war that didn't concern me.

In a few hours, I'll be an alien ass kicking super gangster with That Gun in one hand and that nerdy hottie Kinzie in the other.

Are you ready to get canonized for the last time?

Let's Talk About Love (Wild & Young)

But first, let's wish G-Dragon, of Big Bang, a HAPPY (26th) BIRTHDAY!!! (slightly belated, but SHHHH...) You know what that means?! New music is on the way ^_^
He is slated to release his 2nd solo album soon. YG just released this teaser...

So TAKE THAT you people who criticized him for his intagram pic (the one where his face was painted black... for his MV). You should have known better than to make comments about 'racism' and such when you probably don't even follow Kpop or know what is going on.


Sorry, but some people just can't keep their mouth shut and have to jump to conclusions. What ever happened to not judging a book by its cover.... or understanding that you just don't know EVERYTHING.


Now, back to talkin' about love... hehe.
Another member of Big Bang, Seungri, will be coming out with his 2nd mini album August 19th (well, actually it is already the 19th in Korea, so it is out now! Lol). Suengri, you tease!!! What a sexy teaser for a MV?! WARNING: EXPLICIT (19+ for extreme sexiness, omo) x_x

Seungri's MV for 'Gotta Talk To U' was released TODAY and is already quickly climbing up billboard charts in many countries. He has even made it into the US iTunes TOP 20!!! Woohoo! Congrats, Suengri!

YG Entertainment's newest act, SuperstarK contestant Kang Seung Yoon, has released 'Wild and Young' after debuting a few weeks ago with his rock ballad, 'It Rains'. Even though it isn't exactly something new, it is quite refreshing to have rock in the mix of the kpop world. 

MIB gave us a glimpse at their new MV with this teaser.

Turns out, that the teaser was more like an intro to the actual MV for their some Men In Black.

The concept of covering various movies as themes for MVs started recently with Brown Eyed Girls' 'Kill Bill' and now with MIB. I can't help but wonder what is next.

EXOs 'Growl' MV was revealed August 1st. Don't get me wrong... but I liked EXO when they debuted. I thought they were lacking a bit because there was so much hype for them before they actually did debut though. I think they did well waiting so long for their comeback. If this is any sign of the future of EXO, then they are just going to climb up my favorite list.

I absolutely love the MV and this song! (I have it on repeat right now) XD
A special thanks for the camera operator for this. Hehe

Their practice video that SM released live performances for this are also pretty freakin' fantastic.

Did someone say pool party? How about random dancing and pillow fights? 2NE1 has released a fun loving, self camera video for 'Do You Love Me?'. It is great to just see the girls hanging, having a great time, singing and dancing with each other and friends. Word has it that they scrapped the big production video because of their tight schedule. I think it was a wise choice, because who doesn't love seeing these 4 gals jump around acting crazy with each other? XD

During an interview with JJANG! (a YouTube show that keeps its viewers up to date on all things Hallyu from news, entertainment to fashion and culture), SM Artist, Henry let the cat out of the bag that there was indeed an English version of his solo debut song, 'Trap'. He wouldn't give any information as to its release. How dare you keep up waiting SM!!!!

August 22nd marks the date for a comeback for rookie group NU'EST with their album 'Sleep Talking'. Bring on the teasers... and spoilers!!!!?!

7 member rookie group, WASSUP, recently debuted with their 1st single titled 'Wa$$up'. It isn't looking very good for them though... could the controversial twerking of Miley Cyrus wreaked havoc for all genres of music? Well, you can't blame WASSUP for giving it a go themselves. With almost twice as many dislikes as there are likes to their MV, I present 'Wa$$up'!

String Pop group, Odd Eye, made an English version of their song, 'Catch Me If You Can', although many YouTubers are complaining that even though the song is in English... they can't really tell that it is. Regardless I enjoyed the Pop Art style video.

Last, but definitely not least... the delicious twins are back. Tasty released the MV for 'MAMAMA'. I can't even begin, just watch it! ;)


I will be back soon with more music and updates, but in the meantime... enjoy the stage performances for the comeback of B.A.P

and Tasty

and let's not forget the awesome comedic power of helium abuse!!!!!


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Sunday, August 11, 2013

More Construction!?

'Fraid so! Turns out our very own RE Casper got a bee in his bonnet about the site design and has decided to spruce it up a bit. Seeing as how he does this kind of stuff for a living and I'm just some guy that used to have Angelfire, I decided to let him take a crack at it.
So expect sporadic posts on here until we get an even BETTER NEWER AND MORE FANTASTICAL BZ85 website.

Also, did we mention that we'll be moving to Blogzilla1985.com pretty soon?

That's right. Our own domain.

Today is tomorrow's yesterday!

UPDATE - Just noticed we're already at Blogzilla1985.com! Damn Caz works fast! Like a greased up weasel! 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Them Bone Boys are Back!

Small post today as the BZ85 crew just got back from a mini vacation to St. Louis. I could rant about the mind boggling disaster that was our stay at the Wildwood Hotel, or heap praise on the amazing store called V Stock, but I digress. That's another rant for another day. We're very tired!

I did want to take a second out though to point your eyes and ears to the new single by Bone Thugs n Harmony. It's called "Everything 100" and it's a damn fine preview single from their new album.

If you're unfamiliar with the group, shame on you! Bone is arguably the greatest rap group of all time, with a career spanning near twenty years and multiple hits. Their greatest success came from the rocket ship hit song "The Crossroads," which was their homage to fallen mentor Eazy E. It was featured on pretty much every greatest hit list of all time, including country and Brazilian pop.

Bone has stood the test of time and survived plenty of trials and tribulations within the group. They broke up last year but quickly realized that independently they're amazing, but together they're unstoppable. Today's cookie cutter rap artists could learn a lot from a group that has shown more maturity and growth than Tara Reid ever will, Sharknado or not.

So, enjoy the first single, look out for their new album, and stayed tuned to BZ85 for more updates and rants once our jet lag is over.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Almost Pocket Sized Fashion

Most of you can tell from my following of Project Runway that I enjoy fashion. Granted I don't get all hyped up about who the big name designers are, frankly the only ones I even know are because of Project Runway. I just enjoy designing cloths. Even when I was little I liked making cloths. I use to draw new outfits for my Jem and the Hologram paper dolls, and I would attempt to make cloths for my Barbies, though they usually just consisted of some wrapped fabric and ribbon. My sewing skills still aren't the best so most of my fashion ideas only wind up on paper. A long time pet project of mine has been creating fashions, be in costume or feasible everyday wear, based off of Pokemon. Which ironically enough was sparked to life by Project Runway...

For a while I also spent a lot of time playing "Fashion Story" on Shannon's iPhone, but as much as I enjoyed the little fashion game it got tedious. Either I'd keep missing my time deadlines and my cloths would expire before I got to put them on the sales floor, or I'd get so far along that I would have to either spend real cash to continue or find friends to move me along. Call me a loner if you will but I like playing those kinda of games alone, not bugging everyone to send me stuff so I can make my shop cooler.

I have however found a new alternative that I am slowly becoming obsessed with. "Style Savvy: Trendsetters" on the Nintendo 3DS. Shannon tried to get me to get this game back when it's first incarnation was released on the DS, but I feared the whole you need other people to play with you thing to even give it a try. I mean I was being realistic, no one around me was going to play the silly little fashion game, they're all bigger gamers than I am and most of them are guys.

But the other night we were at Best Buy checking out their summer "Black Friday" sale and while downloading my free goodies for "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" I spotted this game. I normally I would have probably just glanced and let it go, but it was on sale for $9.99. For ten dollars I was willing to take a chance, and frankly I'm glad I did. The first night of game play alone I was finding it hard to put the game down.

You start off just window shopping when the store's own comes up with her hands full and asks you for a hand with the door. After thanking you she gives you a look over and is impressed with your sense of fashion, which I find funny since you haven't chosen anything for self at all yet. In true video game randomness she asks you to help one of her customers choose an outfit, even though it's her store and she has other assistants working there. But you do it and after a successful choice she offers you a job. The game runs through a couple of days teaching you the basics, how to buy stock, sorting through your inventory for the right type of style your customer wants, taking pictures, etc. All the while little story elements are dropper here and there as you meet other people who will make an impact in your future.

Long story short, you boss decides to pursue bigger ventures and give you the shop. As manager you get to rename the store and give it your own personality. She also leaves you with a fresh assistant, who just happens to be the first girl you helped choose something to buy. Over time you gain other assistants to help at your shop, but you can only have one active at a time.

My current assistant is Danny, an energetic teen who not only was my first male customer, once the men's lines were unlocked, but also my first Bronze rank member of  my shop. You get to dress your assistants up in whatever style you want and they won't bitch about it. They also watch the shop while you're out running errands or just taking some time for yourself.

At my store, SapphireStar, most of my clientele want bold or feminine style items. The search options helps a lot in narrowing down your search, so you don't have to memorize what each item can work under. The search allows you to narrow down by item type, are you needing pants or a skirt? As well as by brand, taste, color, pattern and price. So far I usually just rely on the taste tab. It breaks it down into Basic, Girly, Preppy, Pop, Sporty, Retro, Feminine, Luxury, Boho-chic, Asian-inspired, Princess, Gothic, Flirty, Bold and Edgy. Your customers will usually tell you want style they are wanting to go for, but once they become regulars some of them will expect you to remember what style they love. For your men's line you also get Contemporary as an option and it takes away the female only categories. So far most of my guys shoppers are "contemporary" nuts, but I've been getting more requests for "street wear" which I have yet to unlock.

As your store's popularity increases more styles and stores will open up to you at the buyers center. Each store has a style specialty, but their items are not always limited to just that one style. Several of them encourage mixing and matching, but normally their brand will have a main strength. Such as AZ-USA, my favorite so far in the game, focuses on bold looks but will also have edgy and feminine items available.

The Buyers Center is where you buy all of the stock for your shop. At the beginning of each season each brand will send you samples to start your store off with but it's up to you to buy the rest. One perk is whatever items you choose to sell in your store, you get to add them to your personal closet as well, they'll be delivered to your home.   Once you've added items to you cart you can increase the quantities as well to have more to sell in your store. Not every store is open every day, so it's a good idea to make regular trips to the buyers center. You'll start to see trends in the styles your customers like, so be sure to stay stock up on what's popular to them.

Aside from running your store there is also a make up and hair salon that you can visit to change up your own look, and buy make up for yourself. The manager of both of these establishments start off as customers as well. The sooner you get them liking you work the sooner these stores will open to you. After a while a furniture store will open as well so you can redecorate your home too.

The final element of the game is the fashion contest. You choose a model, are given a theme and then you work your magic. Choosing the right look and matching make up and hair style will get you the win. My first contest was for "Retro" fashion and I'm happy to say I managed to take first place with the little number you see to the left.

In the main menu of the game you're also given a "Style Trial" option. This is a way to find out what your own style is. You make an outfit of your choosing and then it get's rated. I honestly just tried this part today for the first time. I tried to stay true to myself, not be influenced by the game, and the results were "Ice Princess." This got a smirk out of me. I haven't thought of myself as an ice princess since high school. Each time is a little different. My latest look was dubbed "Prime Prima Donna" for style. Either way it's an amusing little feature.

I will say the game is repetitive in nature, but I like it. I wish you could create your own pieces, but you are restricted to what's in the game. In a way though that's part of the challenge. Creating something that you yourself are happy with, but also meeting your client's needs with what you have to work with. There's also an online shop mode, but I haven't looked into that aspect of the game yet.

All and all "Style Savvy: Trendsetters" was well worth the $10 I spent, and you know what after playing it I really don't think i would have minded paying full price for it. Cheaper is always better on my wallet, but this is a good quality game for it's audience.

Now if you excuse me I have more fashion hungry customers to make happy.