Katawa Shoujo

See our Katawa Shoujo articles for every one of the paths in the game! Did you like them? Share your opinion!

Anime and Manga

Find reviews and opinions from new and old mangas and animes.

Game Reviews

PC, consoles or mobile devices. Find here my last reviews and insights.

Board Games and RPGs

From the table to mobile devices!


From eroticism to job ethics... thought´s and dillemas from an exiled artist wannabe.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Little love interludes

And here i am at the metro posting. In front of a cute little random girl who just simply passes by through my life like an extra in some movie. Probably unaware that i am watching her...

Some years ago a brilliant and lucid marketing guy made some advertisings for the Barcelona Metro in which a young boy and girl shyly watched each other in the train. The guy, sitting next to the standing girl was thinking: 

- If she seats, i'll talk to her.

The girl, at his side was thinking:

- If he talks to me I'll sit.

I found it brilliant. A perfect depiction of this impossible love stories that we, public transport users are so used to. On the insides we´re burning to know that stranger, but social politeness of the grand metropolis has taught us not to talk with strangers.

And with the door closing bell ends another 30 seconds romance. She was carrying a Louis Vuitton... "She´s out of my league" I think as she vanishes in the crowd.

Who knows, maybe she was also waiting for me to talk...

Ending comments:

Just as i finished writting this post I crossed a propaganda on the Sao Paulo subway on the same line above:

The message read:

 "This bus is so full... yet i can only see you."

Monday, January 23, 2012

No one expects the american inquisition!

This week's FBI assault on megaupload has shaken the foundations of the sharing culture worldwide. And following megaupload's shutdown some other major online sharing sites are applying new total control opresive policies.

I do not want to justify megaupload crimes (if they are) but the way the page was simply taken down can only be seen as a threat to all people sharing information worldwide, regardless of the content.  I can only say that the measures taken seem to me unproportionate and the procedure lacking in correctness.

First of all, megaupload was not an american company to begin with, and in lots of countries their business system would be perfectly valid. The sudden takedown has crumbled years of anime subs with it, a fan product that, for example, spanish law has approved to be legal as long as no company in the country holds the rights to it.

Web sharing is the only chance to get lots of products that are not available to the general public out of their country. When have you seen a recently released anime on Netflix? And a japanese game on Steam? Or a less known book published in your language? When was the last time you saw a german film in your cinema or played greek music in your radios?

And in which position do the premium users fit, now publicly accused to belong to a terrorist organization, no less? Will they get the money back? This very week i uploaded to megaupload 600 megas of photos from my last holiday to share with a friend of mine in Barcelona. A completely legal content that has been burned down as one more book from this modern era's library of Alexandria.

The american way of life dictates that to prevent you from accessing some titles, all of them must been burned. Congratulations, no one expected an american inquisition!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kill Bill vol.3

Lately I'm working a ton and sleeping too few. I like my job but i must say the extra time of the brazilian workday (44h a week) takes it's toll little by little. At the beggining i thought the extra bus time would help me catch for missing sleep, but as soon i started sleeping in the bus i discovered i suffered from a sleep disorder syndrome called "sleep paralysis", which makes your body unable to recover from REM movement state for some time after your brain does.

I don't know if you even can visualize this, but the fact is that i wake up completely unable to move my body, my muscles simply won't respond to my commands. Almost like that Kill Bill scene where Uma Thurman tries to recover in the "pussywagon" after her hospital getaway.
Luckily for me i do recover in some minutes and this only seems to happen on the bus so as long as i sleep in any other place i just do fine.

Well, back to topic, this leaves me with almost no free time as i must sleep a lot at home to prevent me from falling asleep at the bus. Which in turn leaves me doing most of my personal projects, studying and anime watching on the bus (bless the ipad for that).

The problem comes when a solid internet connection is required... This last weeks i was working on various projects with regex and databases that got me up till late.
I must admit i'm a pretty lazy man when it comes to working for others, but when i get myself involved with something usually i go to hell and back to see it through.

So usually the next day after i've been so motivated, i see myself fighting the urge to sleep at the bus (lights off, everybody sleeping, it's no easy task i tell you...).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mystic Empyrean - A roleplaying App review

It's been some days since my last post, as i have been with one of those readings that suck you for a while and doesn't leave you time for anything else. This little wonder here on top. 

This last years of internet, the PDF blessing has opened the market to lots of new creators and publishers not alligned with the market titans (Lawful evil by the way). This has allowed for a new style of gameplay and new world ideas to start reaching the target market.

Today i want to talk about one of these new games in the market which has placed his bet even higher: Mystic Empyrean from level99 games. For anyone not familiar with this guys, they define themselves as game creators, but their sphere of influence broads from card games to tabletop to cellphone and tablet apps, this guys have some fresh ideas about how gaming has to be in the future.

Mystic Empyrean, the game we're talking about is a true pioneer in it's class. Even though it's being launched in both digital and printed versions, level99 games has used his previous experience in app desing to launch it for the App Store as an all purpose core rulebook. 

The idea of using tablets for roleplaying it's not new, as tablets allow to condense way more books in a reduced space and open the game for other interactive uses. But Mystic Empyrean is not just a PDF app, is a comprehensive and well referenced guide, including all the rulebook chapters, and fast reference tables that stand for the classical GM´s screen, providing all info you need for gamemastering just a clic away. 

Additionally, the program includes treasure, plot ideas and encounter generators, as well as an integrated card action resolution system (cards must be bought appart in the print or digital version, but are included in the app). All of this, beautifully illustrated and even with a exclusive tab just for the Artbook accompanying the game.  

This already is reason enough for the game to be a must, and also a reference for all future RPG's, but level99 games has gone one step further: when you buy the game, you gate an access code for the beta of Living Mystic Empyrean, the online game support site, where you will be able not only to create and access content created by other users, but also to download it for the app itself, thus creating your very own campaign database in the app. For this reason, no two apps will be the same as you can always be adapting your contents or producing new ones.  

Have I got your interest? Wait, I haven't told you about the game yet!

In Mystic Empyrean, players take the place of Eidolons, beings half way between human and divine, living manifestation of their primal emotions. Eidolons are almost physically invulnerable, having advanced regenereation and only being harmed seriously to heart blows or emotional or psychical stress. For an Eidolon, losing a friend is worst to lose a friend than to lose his head. 

The world of Mystic Empyrean is a void world, in which an Aether mist has consumed almost everything. Through the use of Cornerstones, remains of the world as it once was, Eidolon can recover fragments of the all world and merging them again. But these new world pieces are created by the players themselves: They decide the aspect, the people, the government, tech level... each time an Eidolon releases a Cornerstone he can recall pieces of the old world, but also paradigms or ideas forgotten by the inhabitants, like magic, the existence of heaven, or internet access.  

This way the players become themselves GM and the story becomes a collective story. This becomes clearer as the game recommends not to have a single GM, but instead, each player becoming responsible for the world he has created (which reminds me those forum rpg systems).

The ruleset is diceless. A card deck, called the Balance, made of cards representing different elements is used for action resolution. Each player will have his own, and special NPCs and the enviroment will have another.
This Balance will depend on the character or the world's personality: A desert for instance will grant fire, a religious community, light, space age tech will grant electricity...and so on.

In this way the enviroment can be altered and actions will be dependant on the overall personalty or feeling of the place/people involved. For example, a very conservative (stone) religious crowd (light), may be manipulated by a powerful speech into a raging mob and thus adding (fire) to the mob Balance. This will affect  all future actions of the mob as they are dependant on their draws from the Balance. In this way, chances are shaped by the world, a feature wich I myself found very interesting. 

The progression system is also a great idea. The XP reign is over. I know you are all a bunch of munchkin powerplayers. After each session, the player passes his character sheet to the player on his side, and that player will decide how the player progresses depending of his playing style during the game. So you become a reflex of how others see you, instead of how you want to be. So if you want to be a proud warrior, you will have to play like it!

I don't want to talk more on the game, I think it's better if you discover it by yourselves. In level99 games site you can find a demo version (this versions works with dice for you not having to buy a Balance). And if you are from the lucky buch who owns an ipad, give not only the app a chance, but also the other products from this guys who deserve a lot of praise for being a bunch of visionaries.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sacred Seven

Just finished watching Sacred Seven, and i must say the ending was a nice surprise for a change. Since the times of Evangelion, most anime endings use to be a complete mess due to trying to make something memorable. Sacred Seven went for a nice little conclusion in their 2 last chapters with some very nice plot hooks and twists.


Chapter eleven starts with Aiba corporation being publicly accused of fraud and Ruri being accused of financing their own personal interests with coorporate money... hell yes! At last somebody in japan understood that large coorps are not a rich man's playground! That was a nice taste of reality in a series where no one seems to care from his city being devastated by overgrown overpowered rock statues...

Aiba is dissolved and with her, all their benefits and most important, their Maid corps. I said in a previous post how Aiba maids were awesome... Well, in this chapter all the girls get field action, not just the snipers, and lemme tell you, they are a fearsome bunch. Chapter 11 is worth seeing alone just for their combat action to rescue Kagami and Arma from Kenmi's men.

But getting back to the main plot we got some nice "ultimate power" wardrobe changes for all the major characters, and even some late time plot twists as even Fei awakens her darkstone powers (even thouh becoming a kind of overgrown frog didn't make much for her general appeal).

You can expect your usual ending here, evil guy striving for godhood and world domination, some deaths to spice up, but in general a good conclusion that makes for a very decent series in my opinion. Even has time for a nice tribute for Tengen Toppa when Arma pulls a drill to "pierce the heavens" from his suit.


I would recommend anyone with a thing for shounen to giving this series a try if this does not mean leaving in the shell any other renowned masterpiece. Music is pretty good and grows on you over time. Characters are fine, if not nothing to write home about (even though Kagami is a literal clone from Bleach's Ishida).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sniper Maids and combat Butlers

Sakuya - The perfect Maid

The figure of the all powerful butler, ever loyal, prepared to serve to death for his family. Is a powerful image that transmits nobility, loyalty and desire to protect: what every woman looks for in her perfect prince charming. On the other side, Maids are the always perfect, always servile, unconscious desire of a man. A girl to fulfill your desires, even through tough times. 

Lately though roles are being changed and genres are mixing in various character experiences. Lately i'm watching two series that go back into this that has become an icon of fantasy in japanese animation and manga.

From tea serving to target practice in 0.5 seconds

Sacred seven is a cool shounen, not a masterpiece, but a blow of fresh air for a genre that's been lacking on cool new faces until the arrival of Ao no Exorcist. On the Aria corporation we can see a full army of maids and some butlers transformed into one of the most fearsome military that money can pay, fielding from mechas to railguns to sniper maids... Even being just cannon fodder for the main character to shine they have some highlight moments where they make up to the expectations.

On the other side, Mayo Chiki offers a classical approach to the figure of the butler... With a twist. As the main char in the series, Subaru is a girl who acts as her master's butler to protect the family tradition. Hilarity ensues in a lot of comedic scenes but the idea of the butler as a weapon of mass destruction prevails, as Subaru is more than capable of single handedly overpower characters presented as very powerful since the beggining of the series.

Other awesome butler worth checkin is Sebastian Michaelis, probably the maximum figure in his category. Place his figure in front of an otaku girl crowd and see them scream like the rabid fangirls they are.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

God bless the 3d!!

This irony is an inside joke between me and my brother. It dates back from the early days of the nintendo 64, when Mario 64 became 3D. 3D brought together one of the terrors of videogames: the camera. So as we jumped around trying to defy the colorful landscape we were plunged to the deepest abyss due to sudden camera changes and fail to perceive perspective on the 3d enviroment.

Everytime we chored: God bless the 3D!

The 3D is the epitome of the reality crush. Everything always looks better on the realm of the 2D just because of one simple reason: It's not meant to be. Art is the realm of illusion, of hidden hopes and dreams, of forbidden fantasies. Some people try to reproduce reality ln their art, I myself run from anything that smells to reality's shade of imperfection.

Thus 2D is my refuge from reality. Be it comics or anime, being drawing for long periods of time. I long for something i cannot hope to find in this world. For this, i keep on drawing.

On the origin of the name

To understand the name, is to understand a bit of me. I am a graduated Aerospace engineer. Born and raised on the ever beautiful city of Barcelona in Spain. I spent all my life dreaming about a future of greatness until reality crushed in.

When economy crumbled in Europe (2009), i was just graduated, thinking my new college career would open me all the paths i always wanted to follow. The truth is that i found myself unemployed and in an escalating difficulty to find a job as the crisis advanced on my home country.

After ending a long term relationship i decided there was nothing more to me on Spain, so i made my luggage and in a week after making the decision i became one more of what Spain knows as the "Lost Generation". People raised in Spain and forced to flee to better economies due to lack of qualified job opportunities.

Now I live and work in Sao Paulo, the Brazilian megalopolis. 2 years already have passed since I got here, and my mind is an ever changing landscape of ideas and plans for the future. But I still miss home.

Spagonia is one of the stages from Sonic Unleashed, later revisited in Sonic Generations (Fact #1 about me - I´m a hardcore Sonic fan). It's a lively city reminiscent of Spain or Italy, with stone buildings and orange roofs.

Thus Spagonia is like an iconic memory of my memories of home. The place that has been stolen from me. Maybe the future will bring me there again... but until then, I shall walk forward without looking back.

New Begginings

This blog starts as a personal project for myself. A place for introspection and ideas to be exposed.

So far my blogs where always limited to a particular subject, meaning I could never fit in much of the things i wanted to say or cry out to the world. This time it will be different. This one is for me. For the guy I am, and the things I feel. With no particular focus, it may be changing from politics to anime, from rocket science to pudding recipe, from deep though to banal ramblings... so if you happen to end here: bear with it. If you happen to like it... well, welcome to my mind.