Skip navigation

So recently I have gotten into the television show “Supernatural”. For those who don’t know it, “Supernatural” is one of those shows that came on around the same time as others, focusing on writing and drama of a group or duo. In this case, it focused on the Winchesters, a pair of brothers who were hunting demons, ghosts, and legends of both the older and urban variety. The mix of legends, the travels across America and the various little points about the two are interesting to see. The story behind the two boys, as well as their reasons for doing it and how others look at them, makes the whole thing often worth watching, as does the dialogue. Oh, the dialogue is AWESOME.

So as I tend to, I started from the beginning and worked my way to what was supposed to be the end. The writers had planned on a 5-season show, meaning the natural story arc, character development, and general plot of it all was in season 1 to season 5, and when I started watching it, season 6 was just ending.

I enjoyed the story, though I was a bit saddened by the end, mostly as a writer. I didn’t feel the ending given to Dean would be truthful or even helpful to the character. Dean is a family-oriented person, but at the same time has not been ‘normal’ since he was four…relearning that is hard. From my own experience, going from one type of lifestyle or way of living to another can be depressing and a bit hard to deal with, and so going into something that can easily be depressing or hard to change, right after something that had caused him to effectively commit suicide the last time it happened.

And he’s left alone. With a group of people who don’t know anything about the supernatural, or what he’s gone through, or who he can talk to about what he’s feeling, going through, has gone through, or anything else. In fact, if he did tell anyone, including a psychologist, he might be considered a bit insane, or at least mentally unbalanced.

So I started watching season 6, and was a bit…underwhelmed by it. I felt that the storyline was a bit thrown together, with someone randomly pulling ideas from a dart-board. First: Sam is back! So is Skinner – sorry, Samuel – the grandpa! And they’ve been back for a year, Bobby knew, and somehow they were totally sure that Dean was well-adjusted and not about to be attacked by the numerous evils they’ve fought or those that realize Dean is open and ready to kill, AND he has a family to try and protect!

Ok, you can get a whole series, or even half a series, off Dean dealing with his friend’s idiocy, returning to being a Hunter and trying to not instantly become like his dad, and having to learn more about his mother’s side of the family.

But that gets scrapped pretty soon, and now we learn there’s a war in Heaven, and Heaven is pretty messy right now. Another good story, Castiel and his group working to try and save Heaven and not start the Apocalypse while also having others besides Balthazar as Angels that left and are now hedonistic, or vengeful, or something similar. This would work well as Dean has to deal with his–oh, this isn’t even a secondary story but a reason to have Cas not be around that often…

OH, the Alphas!

You see my problem. There was a great deal of ideas, all of them good, but too many of them shoved into the season to really work. It was a bit messy, with good ideas and bad ones, and the final part just felt like something that should’ve been the focus and instead was pushed to be the huge SURPRISE for the ending.

So if season 6 was a bit of a cluster, season 7 was…also clustered.

The storyline went from both dealing with Sam dealing with hallucinations, Dean dealing with Castiel and all of that, and a new big-bad from before even the Angels. Yet only a few of the story-lines dealt with the new Leviathans, and within about two of them, I knew what they were going to do ultimately. I knew EXACTLY what was going on.

Things didn’t get interesting AGAIN until the last few episodes, and even then, some of it wasn’t all that interesting. It was a basic “last chance stand” story.

So I had problems with the last two seasons. The first five were obviously written to be a group, with the rest feeling like they’d been tacked on and, hopefully, season 8 will be better and bring back our guys instead of the angst-buckets we have now.

On the day the world was watching the Transit of Venus, a great writer died. He is known for his many short-stories and for being one of the many fathers of modern science fiction. His dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 is part of the list that high school students read to inspire (or swear off forever). He’s written essays and books on the process of taking a huge novel and making it a movie script for Moby Dick (the original one, with Gregory Peck). His short stories inspired us and made it onto shows like The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He’s written sci-fi horror with “The Vedlt” and classic anthologies like The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. The movies based off his books have been as well-done as possible and terrifying, with one, Something Wicked This Way Comes, speaks about wishes gone wrong and a horrifying circus.

I’ve read a lot of Bradbury’s works, but by far not all of it. During one of two travels to the San Diego Comic Con, while waiting for someone to speak about a movie (I think it was the first Ghostrider, though it might’ve been Spiderman 3), I saw that he was in a panel of sci-fi writers that I couldn’t get into due to being full and requiring me to give up a seat I’d waited in life a few hours for, but we watched it from there and enjoyed the last few questions. News of if another Fahrenheit 451 has been going around forever, with the only member of the cast not changing being Sir Ben Kingsley. A comedic story of The Wonderful Ice-Cream Suit was enjoyed when we rented it, mostly because it was based on a Ray Bradbury short-story, and mostly because Edward James Olmos was in it.

Bradbury’s stories range from bittersweet to happy, joyful to terrifying, and while only story I’ve read (and seen on The Ray Bradbury Theater show he hosted) dealt with Venus, seeing the writer who foresaw earbugs, multiple-screen homes, and many other sights of the future, good and bad go out with such a view is both sad and oddly appropriate.

The Transit of Venus saw the death of a great American writer and a great sci-fi writer as well, who will be missed for ages, and who’s influence may well reach until we do land on Mars.

So, finals went alright, and then with traveling home and back during Christmas, I ended up with a problem of a financial nature, and that, naturally, lead me to stop writing up my blogs in everything but a few – namely my fanfiction.

Updates are this:

1) I have longer then expected to finish up my degree, and less time on all my stuff, but I will pick up Tea ‘n History posts on Saturdays, starting next week.

2) I have a part-time job and am working on another for the summer. I get back to school in fall. You’ll hear more about that later

3) I have a Tumblr that’s of the same name here. I’m going to try and use it for photos, quotes, and other things, and it should be related to that week’s post.

Hello and Welcome to Tea ‘ n History, with your hostess Felicia Angel.

 

Due to the first few weeks of December being the weeks of finals, I’m not writing up anything.

A day late, but only because a friend is visiting (she put her stuff at fangirlintraining blog), and because I’m recovering from the food-coma that was Thanksgiving.

Since I could remember, the day after Thanksgiving marked the “panic button” for shopping, finals for schools, and generally a turn towards thicker and thicker jackets. Now termed “Black Friday”, due to violence and the amount of commercialism it’s gotten as well with the pre-Black Friday sales and such, it’s a day to head to the first major shopping mall or chain store you know and grab presents for your friends and family.

Hence the title. It’s consumerism at it’s best and worst, made only slightly more interesting by the fact that, while everyone else was crowding the stores, I was 45 minutes away, in a small town, drinking beer.

Because I wasn’t going to wait for Saturday to do that. Also we wanted to go places.

Black Friday is relatively new as far as terms for shopping and most of the history behind it is the rush for the new “big thing” your child wants, as well as the sales that go on in the days and weeks around it. As cyber-shopping became large, the other part of it, “Cyber Monday”, also opened up the idea of ordering and having something shipped, already wrapped, to your home. I participated in that once, and it was only slightly worth it, and mostly because I enjoy proving my dad wrong about the internet.

But what also came up, as the violence of corporate consumerism became “people trampled while attempting to get into a K-Mart” and other such things, was the next-day psuedoholiday of Small-Business Saturday. In truth, this one was mostly that small businesses would have similar sales, but often they had far more interesting things and you’d get the happy feel of keeping your money local.

My friend and I did go out and shop on Small-Business Saturday, and in truth it feels a bit nicer. People will go out and meet up with local businesses, which means usually you feel that sense of community.

Or it means you dislike JCPenny’s, either way it’s worth it. Still consumerism, but I’ve yet to hear of someone getting trampled while on their way to a co-op.

Thanksgiving is a very odd holiday, celebrating a group of people not starving because of bad luck (or having no skills in farming, hunting, or those other useful items while in the backwoods somewhere). Or you could celebrate Evacuation Day, like Sarah Vowell said, which probably also consists of eating yourself into a food-coma and shopping a lot.

Also pole-climbing.

Historically, this time is one of celebration of the harvest and a time to be with friends and family before remembering why you don’t invite certain family members over or talk to them the other 364 days of the year. It’s the start of the winter holidays and the drinking of apple cider, egg nog, and eating the rest of that damned turkey.

So happy holidays, be it Thanksgiving or Evacuation Day, and I hope you had fun running around the mall to work off the calories!

Welcome to Tea ‘n History, with your hostess Felicia Angel.

Two shows have been influential to me since I first saw them are also, it appears, two that show off a great deal of support from their fans. The first I saw while it was still on the air, before cancellation and the sheer amount of fan outrage and support got it a movie. The other I’d been introduced to by a friend, and was is considered one of the animes that any fan will point to as how to make a dubbed version RIGHT.

So why compare them? Well, they’re the best, and while Firefly and Outlaw Star might have a bit more in common, Firefly and Bebop are just as fun to play with and also maintain that great sense of humor, wonderful and complex characters, and storylines that’ll make you weep.

 

Cowboy Bebop, created by Shinichiro Watanabe, is a story about a group of bounty hunters in the near future. There, bounty hunters are known as “cowboys” and often have to live paycheck to paycheck. The Earth is now barely inhabitable, as a problem with the Gate, a way of travel, near the Moon exploded and took the moon with it, resulting in meteor impacts throughout and with many of those still on Earth living underground or roving. Planets up to the moons of Jupiter are colonized and terraformed, and many have their own problems or politics, but all give money for the people they put out with a bounty on their heads. That doesn’t help the crew, though, as they are often strapped for cash and down to eating little if anything.

 

Firefly, created by Joss Whedon, is a story about a group of thieves in the far future. There, a recent war to bring all of the area under control of the Alliance has recently ended, leaving everyone technically under their control but not quite. The further in you go, the more “civilized” things become, with outer planets resembling Old Western towns or areas. The amount of work, both legal and not, does not help our crew, and they are often left without money, having to look for parts, or just hope their job actually PAYS them for once.

 

So yes, two shows that deal with sci-fi western motifs and have very different ways of dealing with them. But let’s get to business.

Both series have types of motifs that make them very different and change things, as far as comparisons go. One of those, for Bebop, is that much of the show focuses on music, as each “session” is named after a song and music often plays a role in helping to show off the animation or theme. Much if not all of the music was done by the Seatbelts, and some songs still bring tears to fans eyes for the ending or the emotion it brings up.

For Firefly, the more historical western idea and the very science-fiction points means much of the emotion and feel is in watching the characters for the little points they give. Many of the characters and even much of the show goes with the “show, don’t tell” idea and so you’re left watching many of them do things that, no matter what, feel in-character and which make you flinch as you pick up more of their history.

 

Another major difference is how Firefly and Bebop introduce their characters, though they have some wonderful ones. Bebop has two main characters – the enigmatic and always-hungry Spike Speigal, and the former cop-turned-bounty-hunter Jet Black. As they go through their travels, they pick up the rest of the crew – Ein the super-intelligent Corgi, Faye Valentine the female bounty hunter with debt so big even a casino job can’t cover it, and Radical Edward a computer-genius and all-around nut. Meeting the characters doesn’t give you everything about them either – it often takes one or more episodes to start scratching the surface about who the characters are and why they’re on the Bebop. Of the group, Jet and Faye have the most revealed about them, with Ed and Ein being a close second, though most of it is just how close they are.

Spike, meanwhile, you have ideas of where he comes from and what he did, but the timeline for it is very skewed and some don’t have many reasons behind it. We know he has a false eye, but not why. We know he worked for a triad-like group on Mars, but not why or what he did beyond murder. He has a friend who is now his enemy, and he attempted to escape the life with his girl, Julia. The name Julia now resonates both for Vicious and Spike, though in different ways, and the woman herself is only seen in flashbacks so little is know about her as well.

Firefly’s characters are many and varied, but also have interesting aspects. The main ones, in my opinion, are Capt. Mal Renolds and River Tam, though we meet Mal first. Mal is a man who is unlucky, the owner of Serenity and a Browncoat (a rebel) who’s soul purpose is to have enough money to get from point A to B, and is a bit cynical but does what needs to be done. His first mate, Zoe, is also a Browncoat and determined, quiet, and sometimes torn between her continued loyalty to Mal and her love for her husband, Serenity’s pilot named Wash…who gave us “mine is an evil laugh” while playing with toy dinosaurs and can outrun and outfly just about anyone. The one who knows Serenity best is her mechanic, Kalyee, who, as Mal informs us, is so cheerful there’s no power in the ‘verse that can change that. With them as well is a man named Shepard Book, a Shepard (preacher) who may or may not be who he says he is. Also with them is Jayne, who’s main focus is on getting money and loving guns while also wearing a hat knitted by his mom that…well…go google it. Rounding up the crew before the siblings Tam is Inara, a Companion who is only partly connected to the crew but does try to be a part of them all the same.

The siblings Tam are elder brother Simon and younger sister River. Simon is a talented doctor, young and considered one of the best of his class if not on their home planet. River is his often-overlooked (by their parents) but much-loved sister that is talented in anything she decides to do, mostly though in dancing. She is also the very enigmatic one, as while she is certifiably crazy, the reasons for that are complex and frightening enough that it took fourteen episodes and a movie to figure it out. She’s wanted by the Alliance and was possibly tortured by them as well, with only her brother caring enough to save her, and now without a career or hope because of his love for her.

 

As I said before, both shows are loved by their fans and often are used in the “this is how you do things” arguments. Cowboy Bebop is known for this energetic opening, smooth songs that cover every genre and near-crazy antics as the crew attempts to get money and just deal with their lives and own problems. Past ghosts and the “actual plot” points of the series often make their appearances in two-part episodes or in ones that end very differently then what you’d expect, and each is given time to show their past as well as figure out what they’ll do in the future. The dub is perhaps the best done, and the characters are well-known and loved.

Firefly’s opening is appropriate for the series, the music used a combination and the people just as crazy as the crew of the other ship. They to deal with ghosts from the past and “actual plot”, most of it focusing around River and her importance to people in the Alliance, and like Bebop, it only takes a mention to cause a great deal of crying. While Bebop had a full run, Firefly did not, and even their movies are set in different periods – Bebop’s just before the ending of the series, and Firefly’s to hopefully tie up a few things left behind.

 

Firefly and Cowboy Bebop are perhaps some of the best shows anyone can watch in the genre – both have creators known for their wonderful shows, openings that match the themes in the shows, and a cast of characters with someone from everyone to love. There are, of course, differences, but much of the basics remain, and many of the fans will be happy with them for years to come.

 

Welcome to Tea ‘n History, with your hostess, Felicia Angel.

I might not mention this a lot, or I might mention it a great deal, that I was in the Navy. I joined when I was 18 for a variety of reasons, one of which being that I’d had an experience similar to college life and knew I needed to grow up, as well as a wish to see the world. While I will admit (and I’m sure some of my superiors will agree) that I was not the best sailor and sometimes did cut corners, I also knew I wasn’t going to re-enlist when I joined, but I did enjoy my time in the military, for all the good or ill there was.

When I left the Navy, I took up reading again, and one of the first books I got was The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Vol. I. I knew of Sherlock Holmes – when I was young the local PBS channel had “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” with Jeremy Brett as Holmes, and loved “The Great Mouse Detective” (not really Holmes but close).

So I read through the introduction, which spoke about Holmes’ often-overlooked companion, Doctor Watson.

Who was a wounded Afghanistan veteran.

When I learned of this, I started to research and became a bit of a fan of the 19th century, as well as of history. The main point of it came from the descriptions of Watson’s time away from the military before he met Holmes. He mentions that his “nerves were shot” and he was spending money a bit too freely, which I’ve seen a great deal of not just in my fellow veterans but also in myself. Having a steady paycheck, home, food, and free medical (for what the medical is worth) does tend to make things harder when attempting to find a job or making a new budget to take all of these things into account.

The first part, his “nerves shot”, meant that he was suffering from what could be PTSD. So a wounded Afghanistan veteran who had PTSD and dealt with it by helping someone solve crimes, as well as by writing his experience.

I have a hard time writing about myself. I understand many of the heroes who come home to get Purple Hearts and the like, and hearing their stories, as well as hearing them point out that it’s what they train for, is understandable to me. We train a great deal to be ready to put out fires, shoot attackers, and help our shipmates because often we’re not somewhere that we can call for help. So it’s hard for me, especially on Veteran’s Day, when I’m thanked for my service. How do you reply to someone thanking  you for doing your job?

So when I was reading the stories, I enjoyed them a great deal. Some of them weren’t that good, but some were wonderful and I could see why characters like Sherlock Holmes and John Watson would be brought up for a long while, from the basic Holmes and Watson stories to shows like “House”, “Monk”, and others.

So recently I offered up the new show, “Sherlock”, which moved Holmes and Watson to the 21st century, to someone who also was a veteran. Watson as a veteran, especially one of Afghanistan both then and now, is a character that I love a great deal and who does get a bit of the short end of the stick, as he’s the narrator so all of the action is seen through his eyes, leaving him with little to do or say. Because of that, he’s sometimes played as an idiot, but recently he’s taken to being cast, especially as portrayed by Jude Law and Martin Freeman, as a more competent character.

So for Veteran’s day, I offer up John Watson, a wounded Afghanistan veteran who has a lot of the same problems we all do, and who also can’t write about himself. Happy belated Veteran’s/Armistice/Remembrance Day.

Hello and welcome to Tea ‘n History, with your hostess, Felicia Angel.

Well, it’s the beginning of November so…quick last thing involving October frightfests.

Back in 1968, “Night of the Living Dead” came out and introduced the world to Romero’s zombies and world of unexplained living dead, along with minor social commentary and a good amount of people being killed or eaten.

Many credit Romero as the father of zombie movies, and while some of his land on shows bashing them, especially some of the remakes of the original movie, his influence on how we currently have so many types of zombie films, specials, books, television series, comics, and others just shows that we really have to blame him for all this.

And then we have the anime “Highschool of the Dead”, a Romero-style zombie survival anime that is also known for mistreating physics laws and also for having a great deal of fanservice, so much so that it doesn’t really feel like “fanservice” as much as “why the hell not”.

Which is probably one of the worst things I could say about the show. Of the four main women they have for main characters, only one is annoying enough to seriously want her to die or leave or something. The rest are interesting and despite some whining, each have their own quirks and reasons for doing things.

 

The story itself is classic zombie movie plot, at least for some parts, and is also influenced heavily by Romero, as each of the 12 episodes have “Dead” in the title and having the minor society critics. The major difference between it and Romero or most other zombie movies that I’ve seen is the setting.

While most are set around the same time as when they’re shot, as is this one, they’re also set in the same location as well, which really is what helps set this one apart. HSOD, because it’s set in Japan and around Japanese high school students, means some of the problems that come up or some of the items available to them for fighting or running away from the hoards of the undead is very different from many of Romero’s movies that are set in the United States. In general, I think a film like 28 Days Later has a closer feel to it, if only because both are set on island nations that have different ways of doing things then we do.

A few of the differences that make things interesting to me are reflected in the characters and in what weapons they have or can get. Through most of the series, the main protagonist doesn’t use a gun – when he does, he often uses it like a club or bat, but he also is unfamiliar and uncertain around them. As far as a zombie show is concerned, there is actually only a few uses of guns. This is because Japan has a great deal of restrictions on guns, so not as many people there as in the US would have them. As well, they have a very different way of doing things and a culture attached to it as well. While the main focus of the group is to get to their parents, the first is to get out of the school – most Japanese schools have gates that they close during school hours, and the only people who really have cars are the teachers. They also don’t have very larger cars or trucks in Japan, so finding a Hummer is a big thing, but beyond that, not as many cars are made for driving through bodies.

The original Japanese is not that dated, but it’s pretty good. I was able to listen to the dubbed version and…well, let’s just say that if you watch that version, you’ll probably dislike this show. The voice actors do an alright job but often don’t add in the same emotion that would be needed, and many of the jokes or references dropped only go more towards dating the show or feel out-of-place, like watching the Americanized version of DBZ or Sailor Moon or any of the other older shows.

HSOD is not for everyone, but if you’re a zombie fan and watch to watch teens defy physics in ways even Neo didn’t think of, as well as have multiple boob and pantie shots while killing zombies, it’s a good anime for that. It does keep to the Romero and zombie-style that comes up, and as far as a series is concerned, it’s nice. Not “The Walking Dead” form of awesome, or “Zombieland” form of comedy, but a good general addition to the zombie genre.

Welcome to Tea ‘n History with your hostess, Felicia Angel.

 

So recently, a show was started called “Grimm”, dealing with the idea that the stories of old, especially those associated with the Brothers Grimm, are real and a part of the real world, even today. Those who fight against the evil beings are known as Grimms, which are as much the bogeyman in the world of monsters as they are to us. The show itself is interesting, for having only the pilot, and offers enough suspense and fear to work.

 

The story behind the Brothers and their work is just as interesting as the show. During their lives, the influence of the Napoleonic era created a movement known as Romanticism. Yes, I know, considering the tales the two brothers found, things don’t seem that romantic, but the movement itself was one that comes up during the pendulum that history is. Because the Napoleonic Era and much of the various revolutions at the time were based on reason and science, the push back was to invoke emotions and symbolism into the new area, and the rise of Nationalism after the expansion of France into areas like Italy, Spain, and Germany that we have today and that wasn’t really around during this time.

The idea of nationalism rose at the time from a shared history or language, but was often fought by others, including a Pope, who felt threatened in some way or by those who didn’t want to give up the rule over various people. However, the push by Napoleon into the regions and his men’s talk of French Nationalism, which was to mean those nations who were “free” of kings and queens and like France, often had a different reaction, especially among the German and Spanish, who bonded of shared languages and the “us vs. them” mentality.

So with the fall of Napoleon and the rise of what is called the Age of Metternich, romanticism built and the idea of nationalism also came up. One, Gottfried von Herder, built up the idea of German nationalism, feeling that each nation had a patter of growth as well as specific cultural markers and artifacts that made up the nation. He also didn’t feel this was only in Germany – every nation had their own set of these and to create a nation, one needed to understand the shared culture or to create “modern artifacts”.

So why is von Herder important in the tale of the Brothers Grimm? Well, mostly that his idea was to send out his students to gather the tales, ballads, stories and folklore of their people, and the two Grimms were his most famous students.

Granted, even they “Disneyfied” their story, as the first-edition version of Rapunzel has a very different way of the witch learned about the Prince then the second-edition (hint: first edition involves PREGNANCY as a way of finding out the prince was in with Rapunzel). But beyond that, they were able to save and record a great deal of stories and folktales that have been passed on from generation to generation and which are…well, the old version of “Red Riding Hood” is a bit freakier then even the newer, cleaner, safe version we tell our kids.

So for Halloween, pull out the original text (if you can find it) and scare the kids and perhaps yourself with original tales of horror and morals from the Brothers Grimm.

Hello and welcome to Tea ‘n History, with your hostess, Felicia Angel.

Once again, time for the mandatory themed month of October, this time with the rise and subsequent ripping of all things zombie.

Well, not ripping so much…

If you want to go back to the current view of zombies that we have, you must go back to George A. Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead”, released in 1968. In many ways, it became an odd commentary on human cooperation in the face of danger, and while remade (badly) more then a few times, it and the Romero-verse of zombies are often a go-to on how to make a GOOD zombie movie and have it focus on something or, at least, focus on how things might be and the commentary with it.

However, the recent years have seen zombies become a go-to “bad” guy for horror games, most of which started in Konami’s “Resident Evil” game and move on to the movies and into other games as well. If you want an excuse to kill of humans but don’t want it to be a war simulator or something like that, well…zombies!

The main change, depending on what you watch, is the reasoning for how zombies are created. Romero’s original film doesn’t give reasons, and many often give the reason as either an infection or leave it as an unknown. Because of that, there’s a lot to play with, but also a lot to rehash instead of finding a new excuse.

Over recent years, zombie movies and shows have taken off, mostly with the release of a television show-turned-movie “Zombieland” and the comic-turned-AMC-show “The Walking Dead”. Both do what they can with a genre that is, honestly, being worked to death but both do it well at exploiting a lot of the things that do come up, with “The Walking Dead” dealing with the human side and the new way of living, and with “Zombieland” taking a stab at the “rules” of surviving the Zombie Apocalypse that many have used to create books and surveys about. Like the movie “28 Days Later”, both are welcome enough that, even coming into a genre that had been done to death, did something new enough to gain attention and a great following.

The part of the title in parenthesis was two that I wanted to talk about, namely a game and an anime that have done alright and, while there are mixed results, which I don’t get tired of watching or playing.

The first, “Plants vs. Zombies”, is a game created by Popcap that has maybe the silliest story to go with – the zombie apocalypse has occurred for a variety of reasons, possibly because of an evil mastermind scientist (what other type are there?), and are attempting to get at you and your crazy neighbor, who had created sentient plants to protect your house, at which point you start planting and using a variety of them to protect your house from the zombie hoard.
No, don’t think about it.
The game itself is very simple and quick to play through if you have a day off and a few hours to kill. Replaying through gives you a variety of ways to protect your home and, therefore, your brains, and some of the other mini-games to play are often fun and takes on other Popcap games, such as Bejeweled. It’s fun to play and available for just about every type of console.

The next I wanted to talk about was an anime that was recently dubbed over and, before that, became a slightly big hit on the internet called “High School of the Dead”. With similar nods to Romero’s classic series, as well as a bit more fan-service then is really necessary at times, to the point of it being quite silly in an otherwise serious story, the anime takes place around our time, and at first starts out as a high school drama – a boy likes a girl who is having problems and is currently dating his best friend. He has a friend who also likes him, but is willing to just point out how much of an idiot he is for being a nice guy instead of more assertive.
At that point, while outside avoiding class, he sees the teachers approach a man at the gate, get bitten, and what happens afterwards. Then, it becomes a rush to get out of the school, as well as some of the problems that came up from some of the more adult or matured teens who have to take charge and find their way to safer points in the city.

Because the show is set in Japan, some of the things that happen, as well as some of the aspects of moving for survival, are different then the Romero movies set in America. For starters, only one of the teens knows about guns, and while its put off as him being a gun “otaku”, he’s also the only one to have fired guns as well, making him important as well as necessary if they’re to learn about how to keep up a gun and shoot without wasting bullets. As well, not many people in Japan own guns, save the police, and some military or special forces people, so finding guns and bullets are decently hard to do, and most of the guns are retrieved from one of those who are either dead or not in the area at the time. Because of this fact, not many of those the teens encounter have projectile weapons – most have knives, clubs, or similar weapons.
The fighting style is also depending on the students. At least two are high-ranking students in their fighting clubs – spear and sword fighting – with two others being unable to really fight, one due to being a rather flaky adult (who does know how to drive, so that’s helpful, and is the nurse, which is also helpful) and the other because she’s able to plan rather then fight.
A few dislike the show because of the rather large amount of fan-service that is given by the female characters, but I honestly try to look past that and find a decent anime. The action is solid and while much is in the same line of the “physics is my bitch so there can be pantie shots” territory, there are points that can be scary or interesting points into how things might be. The teens are not all mature and many are together because they find it’s easier to work in a group then apart, while they’re also all worried about their families and trying to get to them as well as to safety. Episodes and hints in the story show a worldwide outbreak and how damaging it is. I honestly like it as another take on the outbreak and focusing on the Japanese way of doing it – the lack of guns as well as putting it in a suburban/urban setting, and on an island nation as well – and even with the rather silly fan-service shots and episodes, it still stands up as a decent zombie show.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.