A Commentary about Anime Today (and Tomorrow) from a (Hopeful) Fan (Part 4 – Anime Industry)

I can go on to criticize anime all I want however, there are real world problems that have led to what I see as a decline of quality over the recent years. It’s not everyday you would stop and think about everything that goes into making, marketing and distributing Anime or ask yourself “why” Anime isn’t as great as it is meant to be. The reality is that the Industry is hitting speed bump after speed bump, and the question is, “How will the Anime Industry continue to thrive?”

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A Commentary about Anime Today from a Tired Fan (Part 3 – Source Material and Plot)

It’s easy to have a look at a shiny new Anime and when you have a look at the title and the plot description, it isn’t exactly appealing at all. The art looks decent enough so sure enough you give it a watch, and after watching it for 5 episodes or less, you drop it to your backlog where all the Anime you never finish go to perish. The show may have an amazing cast of characters with lovely design and outfits however, the story they are in is neither interesting nor captivating enough to have you go the distance.

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A Commentary about Anime Today from a Tired Fan (Part 2 – Character Appearance and Design)

These days it’s not only the character personalities that may be bland and archetypical, the character’s appearance and their name can also be a product of poor design choices. We see a lot of characters not only acting the same through the use of those cardboard cutout personalities, they also look similar if not the same as well. Just under a different name that probably isn’t a good match either, it could be anything that is carelessly slapped on without any relation or link to the character.

Read Part 1 here

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A Commentary about Anime Today from a Tired Fan (Part 1 – Character Personalities)

Anime has somewhat stagnated in recent times and there are very few series that shine like diamonds in the rough that are worth giving attention to. Most of different mixes of ideas and cheap concepts combined with the same old character archetypes just doesn’t leave a great impression on me anymore. As time goes on, It gets harder to disagree with generalisations from the veterans of the industry. Hideaki Anno (the creator of Evangelion) says that “Anime is dying” and also there’s Miyazaki Hayao‘s notion that “Anime was a mistake”. Do these opinions really hold water to the situation now?

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Building my first Minecraft Chunk House with a Modern Flair

A chunk house is basically a house built inside a Minecraft chunk, and one Minecraft chunk is exactly a 16*16 blocks in area. When building a chunk house, it can be as tall and go into the ground deep as you like however it must not step step outside the chunk you’re building in. With this simple restriction it gives you enough creativity to design  and build something inside  a chunk. I’ve never built one before, and I also  never used modern styling on any of my houses in Minecraft so it was time to change that.

I installed Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable shaders and Dokucraft: The Saga Continues Light resource pack and here’s what I came up with.

The Design of the House

Working with a 16*16 area is easy, there’s literally so much space I could use. I knew I wanted a modern looking house so I had a look at a few photos from google, and I tried different building materials. I was aiming for a house that felt open, close to nature, simplistic, has adequate lighting and easy to build. When I finally started, I laid out the foundations using stone brick with the house 12*12 in size in  the center of the chunk.

I didn’t want to use wool for the walls because it would be boring, and so I decided to use nether  quartz, however placing it purely vertically horizontal is too generic so I decided to make it a criss-cross pattern. This gave the walls a nice feel to it and the wall textures weren’t too plain at all thanks to the alternating vertical and horizontal lines.

For the edges, I tried using just pure oak wood at first, however it looked a bit strange, so I decided to switch to dyed clay which I ultimately scrapped in favour of oak wood for pillars and oak planks for horizontal edges which looked quite nice so I kept it. The wood and planks gave the house a bit of natural feel and it fit in with the modern styling.

The lower balcony is made of spruce slabs, while the inside flooring used acacia wood to imitate a varnished look, there’s also a a cobble stone path surrounding the rest of the house. The upper balcony uses dark oak wood for flooring. The use of different woods is an easy way to make a house look stunning without having to change to a different type of material.

For the lighting, I had to somehow integrate glowstone and since this was a modern house, I wanted to avoid using torches entirely. I broke holes in the wall, and filled it in with glowstone to light up the outside as well as the interior. I also broke holes in the roof and floor and also filled these with glowstone so I could light up the ceilings, floors and the top of the entire house.

With loads of glass, I used glass panes for small windows on the  lower floor and on the second floor I used  them for big windows and fences and there’s dyed blue glass for the balcony roof as well. Glass is mostly transparent so it gives an illusion of a  wide open space if used correctly. Speaking of wide open spaces, A high ceiling in the in the living/dining room gives the house a nice open feeling to it.

For decorations, I didn’t want to go overboard, I placed a few paintings, used book shelves, a couple of pot plants, sugar cane, and instead of a chandelier, I used leaves since I had no where to put them and I wanted  to use leaves somewhere. I added vines to the leaves just to add a bit of extra detail. With all those indoor plants, it gives off a nature vibe without too much clutter, and clutter always ruins the openness. I placed just enough  plants to give a good sense of nature without impeding on the openness of the house.

Finally there has to be a water feature somewhere, and so under the glass flooring I placed a pool of water which doubles as lighting. It has mossy cobblestone and it’s like a watery closed terrarium. On top of this is a glass flooring which supports tables made of fences and  stone pressure places, and chairs made of birch stairs.

I hope you like my modern style chunk house! Until next time.

Good  Luck, Have Fun!

~Neul

Dear the People who designed the Jungle Speed packaging

Let me get straight to the point, the box is huge. So huge that it doesn’t need to be. I was expecting a box that was frankly half its size, since the contents of box only should contain a deck of cards, the totem, an instruction manual and a pouch. I was surprised by the sheer size of it, if that was your goal you indeed have fulfilled it however did you think about how much wasted cardboard and plastic you’re going to use to make the packaging? You literally could have made the box compact, and space efficient so it wouldn’t be a hassle to lug around when you first take it home.

The box really doesn’t have to be that big, it’s highly inefficient. There’s all this empty space inside the box that isn’t filled, in fact it’s enough room to fit an average size paper back novel. You could have made the box thinner or even smaller so that you can store more boxes in a given space, instead we get a box that the inside is practically half filled with air. Do you really think this is a good idea considering how huge empty boxes can be easily crushed? With the materials you use to make this 1 huge box, you could literally make almost 2 smaller boxes that can still get the job done.

With the amount of space inside the box, you could literally fit 2 Jungle speed sets inside. So I’m just saying that you could possibly save a bit of money on the materials, and shipping and allow the re-sellers to store more of your product before they sell them to the consumer.

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The contents don’t even take up half of the box’s available real estate.

One last thing – YOU MERE MORTALS DARE DESECRATE THE SACRED DUELS WITH FLIMSY PLASTIC? BRING BACK THAT WOODEN TOTEM, OR I SHALL SMITE YOU WITH MY SWORD.

To all my dear readers living in Australia, you can purchase the exact same edition of Jungle Speed I have at “Good Games” for $28. You can get it shipped or you can drop into one of their stores, and they’ll take care of you.

Click here to go to the Good Games Website.

Good Luck, Have fun!

~Neul