First off, welcome to August!
Because I will be on vacation from the 5th to the 12th (at an estimate) and I have no single topic in mind for this Spontaneous Saturday (I already covered SGDQ specifically in the most recent Top Three Thursday), it’s time for another thought dump.
Note that the next Top Three Thursday and Poké Monday will be prepared ahead of time and scheduled for their respective dates in case I end up in a place where I cannot access wi-fi or would have a hard time doing so.
Video game thoughts
In Pokémon Omega Ruby, even though I finally have the Reshiram I wanted, my legendary hunt yet continues. Right now, I have Virizion, Entei, and Tornadus left of the legendaries I can access. Entei in particular has been one heck of a problem. At first, I didn’t think I’d worry too much over the specifics of Entei because it only gets Extreme Speed (a move which is on pretty much every set) through event, then I noticed a set in the Smogon Strategy Pokédex:
Even though it is a VGC set and I’m not into VGC (and probably never will be), it is the only set in the strategy dex that does not contain Extreme Speed, so I figured it’d at least be worth something. Given the spread of the set, I figured it’d be best to have perfect HP, Attack, and Speed with acceptable bulk.
The difficulty of finding such a spread lies mainly in the specificity of the spread. In catching it, I have to go through two main procedures: judging its bulk based on how much damage a Brick Break from my Gallade deals to it (I use a Gallade with Thunder Wave and False Swipe to help capture Pokémon), and going through a process similar to what I did while catching Reshiram and gauging the damage it deals before I succeed in catching it. Much like Reshiram, I unfortunately lack a Pokémon that can be used to check its Speed (which ideally would be 120 and thus would require a 119 Speed Pokémon, which I lack), so I can only estimate its bulk and check its offensive prowess.
How do I check its offensive prowess? Using a GUI, of course! It’s a similar GUI to the one I used while judging Reshiram’s offenses, but with a few tweaks to improve its design and to account for the presence of burn damage (which Entei can cause with Fire Fang or Flamethrower) and the lack of Fusion Flare.
As an improvement from the original design, the most noticeable difference is the new layout, which requires one less component than the previous design. Also, there are labels above the HP components, moves, damage output, and rejection status, making it much easier to tell what purpose they serve.
The buttons also serve different purposes. The “Ouch!” button updates the “Damage” label to the difference between “HP before” and “HP after”, updates the “HP before” label value to match that of the “HP after” text field, and updates the “Reject?” label to show whether the damage dealt is accurate based on the move selected and whether or not it was a critical hit. (Damage from physical attacks helps determine whether Entei is max Attack, while damage from Flamethrower helps determine whether it has an Attack-hindering nature.) The “Burn damage” button subtracts the value in the “HP before” label by 28, the damage Gallade takes from burn. The “Reset HP” button resets the “HP before” label value to Gallade’s maximum HP, 230.
All in all, the GUI is situational, but at least it’s improved.
Estimating the Entei’s bulk, on the other hand, is more of a judgement call than a calculation. Given perfect bulk with Adamant nature, Entei would take between 78.9% and 93.1% from Gallade’s Brick Break. Because percentages in terms of the HP bar are difficult to judge, I just decide to capture the Entei if it survives the Brick Break with any higher than 3-4 pixels of HP.
It’s such a pain to deal with, though, and I’d rather keep in touch with Pokémon Rumble World and Pokémon Shuffle. In Rumble World, I finally managed to beat mission 24 (with 2 extra goals) using a tag team of: a 1779 Ho-Oh with Sacred Fire and Safeguard (main attacker for a majority of the mission), a 1564 Gardevoir with Heal Pulse (to heal the Mii before/during the wave of Zorua/Zoroark and/or after the first half), and a 1656 Xerneas with Moonblast and Geomancy (to defeat Yveltal at the very end). I tried to get the third goal (to beat the mission in 3 minutes), but the fastest I could complete it was around 30 seconds off of target time, and I just gave up after that. I’ve also caught every species in every balloon up to Fairy, aside from the Dark balloon, for which I only need 10 more diamonds.
In Shuffle, I’ve been trying to get more S-ranks and take care of the EX levels while also keeping up with the daily/weekly/monthly events through wi-fi. So far, I have S-ranked every main stage up to 172 and unlocked every EX level up to 22, and I have caught every Pokémon in those EX levels except for Chesnaught. Chesnaught is really causing me problems, though; even if I buy Mega Start and Disruption Delay, I can only get a catch rate of 17% at maximum (base catch rate 1%, multiplier 4, done in 12-14 seconds) which, even with a Great Ball (which would boost the catch rate to 34%), still fails to catch. What also irks me is that the catch rate boost never seems to happen against Chesnaught in particular, which is most likely bad luck (typical Shuffle). Since I rack up 6000 coins every time I prepare for the battle, it frustrates me every time I fail to capture Chesnaught.
Also, I have been watching SGDQ 2015 selectively, and I shall make note of what moments I have particularly enjoyed so far:
- Yoshi’s Island 100% (5-4 skip successful!)
- the Tetris Grandmaster block (which I hadn’t watched during the last GDQ it was in but I heard some good things about so I decided to watch during this GDQ)
- Metroid Prime Hunters all items (particularly the end, when Shasta literally finished Gorea 2 while dying)
- Donkey Kong 64 No Levels Early (of which I actually had to watch a video highlight because it was so late that I couldn’t possibly stay up past my curfew to watch it live; it was worth watching, though, especially the parts when 2dos pretended like he had no idea what he was doing (notably during the MMM setup and DogaDoneQuick))
- TASBot (I enjoyed its performance in AGDQ 2015, so naturally I wanted to watch the next one; nice of them to demonstrate how a TAS works; Mega Man was broken, Sonic Advance was fast, and Ikaruga was beyond me)
- Super Mario 64 any% race (amazing performance by both racers; 360chrism got the 0 star run, while GamerDomey got perfect Bowser 3 throws)
I may watch the Pokémon Blue 151 and blindfolded race video highlight later (the entire blindfolded race and 1/4 of the 151 were past my curfew, and I missed the other 3/4 of the 151 in favor of watching the DK64 highlight) or the run of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (because I have no clue what goes on in runs of that game, and hopefully that run in particular will educate me). In the end (I mean, Chrono Trigger isn’t over yet, but I don’t care enough to watch it), I say it was a great GDQ, especially seeing how it has raised over a million dollars for charity.
Recently, I decided to watch Hibike! Euphonium because I heard good things about it from the MAL Slice of Life club (especially because someone in particular said it was like K-On but better), and it did not disappoint me in the slightest. Episodes 5 and 13 were particularly pivotal moments in the anime, and they make me feel pressure beyond any other anime I’ve watched, especially episode 5, which had me shaking even long after it was over. Heck, even thinking about those particular episodes makes me feel pressure. The other episodes have their merits as well, and they set the scene wonderfully for the two highlight episodes. I also have to say that the moments shared between Kumiko and Reina are emotionally gripping. Overall, I will have to agree that Hibike! Euphonium is better than K-On, and thus it is my second favorite anime overall. (Also, before then, I had no clue what a euphonium was. Apparently it’s a wide-ranged brass instrument used in bass sections.)
As for this season, there’s nothing particularly outstanding about it. There were some series that caught my interest at first but didn’t make me want to continue watching, some sequels to series I have already watched, and some series that continue to interest me whether or not they deserve it.
Series I dropped that briefly caught my interest:
- Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Seneki (sounded interesting by its title and maybe its cover, but the first episode…wasn’t so interesting)
- Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri (was said to be like Outbreak Company, but I didn’t care enough to continue past episode 1)
- Himouto! Umaru-chan (I couldn’t explain what even got me considering this, but I decided against continuing to watch it past episode 1 due to how ridiculous it is that a girl can put on such a perfect façade in public while being such a mess in her and her elder brother’s apartment home…although the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it might teach me a lesson about how to deal with people like Umaru’s inner self, so my decision to drop this particular anime is tentative)
Sequels to series I have already watched:
- Non Non Biyori Repeat (sequel to Non Non Biyori): Having finished the first season (and OVA) before the airing of episode 2 of season 2, I have to say that this series is…certainly something. Basically, it involves a rural setting where students of different years (1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th) are taught in one combined class, one of whom (Hotaru Ichijou, 5th grader) moved in from the city. It’s intended to be a calming anime with some comedic elements, a picturesque view of what it’s like to live in an area surrounded by nature. Not stellar, but still pretty good. The theme songs aren’t the best, though, especially the second season’s opening (of which I dislike the vocals).
- To LOVE-Ru Darkness 2nd (sequel to a sequel of To LOVE-Ru): In a world where humanlike aliens and humanoid weapons exist, Rito Yuuki is destined to become king of the universe thanks to a fateful(?) encounter with Lala Satalin Deviluke, whose sister Momo Belia Deviluke plans to create a harem for Rito in an attempt to bring happiness to all of his female acquaintances (including herself). I believe the intention of this series with every season is to start off light and get heavier as the episodes go on. The heart of the issue in Darkness lies not chiefly in Rito’s harem but rather in the destiny of Konjiki no Yami (Golden Darkness) as a human weapon destined to kill. Other important characters include the observant Mea Kurosaki (another human weapon) and a Kili-like character in Nemesis. It’s been interesting so far (although Rito’s constant falling has become quite predictable by now), and I’m excited to see how the rest unfolds.
Series that continue to interest me:
- Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou: I feel like this series is more interesting to me than it should be (and definitely more so than I expected). I’ve never read the manga, so I’m not familiar with all of the characters (only the ones that have appeared in episodes 1-4), but from what I can tell, the general structure seems to involve introducing one “monster” per episode. So far, as of episode 4, we have Miia the lamia, Papi the harpy, Centorea the centaur, and Suu the slime, who all somehow end up under the hospitality of the human Kimihito Kurusu and, to a lesser extent, Sumisu. (Well, not so much Suu; episode 5 will tell whether she gets to stay.) I don’t know what it is that has me interested, though. Perhaps I’m actually fascinated with how non-humans can live life with humans. Maybe that’s why I like the Pokémon anime.
- Wakaba*Girl: Truth be told, the only reason why I watch this anime is because it’s short and sweet; the episodes are only about 7 minutes each. From what I can tell, the story is about a rich girl (Wakaba Kohashi) who tries to become more girly with the help of her three friends. Think K-On but with Mugi as the central character (minus the musical instruments). One particular shot that caught my attention:
- Sore ga Seiyuu!: I’ve actually only watched one episode of this anime, so my interest in it is tentative, but I am interested for now. It involves the lives of voice actresses (plus a few actors), most of whom are young, told mostly from the perspective of Futaba Ichinose who, despite obviously not having the raw talent of a voice actress, pursues voice acting as her dream. I imagine the anime follows the classic structure of a newbie getting used to his/her environment and getting the viewers to learn along (in this case, with the help of Futaba’s stuffed doll). It seems like a type of anime I can get into.
So, I guess that’s all I have to say for now.
À la prochaine! (Until next time!)