The Professional Gamer - October 10, 2016

Hi Everyone! I don't have a lot to report on this week. With the change in recent change in weather, I ended up wanting to spend a large portion of my time with a bit of a comfort movie. In this case, The Lord of the Rings. For those who have been following me for awhile, you may be aware that I tend to read the books once a year. I'm currently reading The Two Towers and decided that watching the movies would be a good way to spend my evenings.

Also, I found a new anime series to watch for the fall season: Yuri!!! on Ice. The series is about Yuri Katsuki, a 23 year old figure skater. At the the beginning of the series he suffers a major defeat, coming in last at a Grand Prix competition. He moves back home to do some soul searching and decide whether to continue with his skating career. At the end of the episode he finds a new coach who wants to help him. The animation in the show is fluid and provides an great sense of grounding for the characters. The style for the opening is also really cool.

That's all I have for this week. See you next time and game on!

The Professional Gamer - October 3, 2016

Hello readers! I've very much had a anime more than anything else; so, let's start with the one thing that isn't anime. In Elite: Dangerous, I'm continuing my work towards a Type 9 Transport. This work has generally consisted of booting up the game and looking for a good trading route; finding that the nearest good route is about 100 light years away; traveling to the target systems while trading and exploring; and finally, running out of time to play and going to bed. All of this means that I'm not making progress very quickly. However, I love cruising through new systems to pick up data about all the little planets and icy rocks.

First up on the anime docket: Food Wars! I watched the last episode on Saturday. The final episode offered a good conclusion to the series; giving some resolution to the main plot line, but leaving lots of room for the audience to imagine the future adventures of all the characters. In the end, I recommend the show for its over-the-top humor and delicious food ideas.

Next, I spent much of the weekend binge watching Sweetness and Lightning (Amaama to Inazuma). The series is not quite what I was expecting and had me periodically tearing up from the first episode. Sweetness and Lightning is a heartwarming, slice-of-life story about Kohei Inuzuka and his daughter Tsumugi. Kohei is a recent widower, and is worried about the relationship between himself and his young daughter. He therefore decides that he should start cooking for her so that they can eat dinner together. Kohei makes some more friends along the way and, in a way, forms a new family. The series is very lovely and emotional. And the acting (both voice and character animation) of Tsumugi is remarkably believable as a child. 

Last, I've started watching Himouto! Umaru-chan. This series is a few years old at this point, but I've just finally had the time to watch it. Umaru appears to be a perfect high school student: good grades, athletic, and pretty. But once she gets home, she transforms into a lazy, chibi gamer. The show is rather full some rather sterotypical tropes, but still ends up being a lot of fun. I'm about halfway through currently, but I doubt that my opinions about the series are likely to change much as I finish. It's worth a watch if you need a break from something with a high degree of emotional investment (like Sweetness and Lighting), or just generally want something that's a little silly.

That's all that I have for now. Have a great week and game on!


The Professional Gamer - September 26, 2016

Hello readers! Sorry for missing my article last week. I was making a hard push to get the last of the Nan Desu Kan 2016 interviews finished up. No that I've done that, I can get back to living the geek life and writing about it for you.

Let's start with some anime. I've spent most of the past few weeks plowing through Food Wars (Shokugeki no Soma). And then, when I sat down tonight to write this article, I realized that I've actually been taking advantage of a Crunchy Roll simulcast show. This is a strange place for me to be, as I am often very late to every party. I had been warned that the show had a bit of cheesecake in it, but it was not as much as I had anticipated, much to my relief. The show itself fullfills many of the over-the-top shonen tropes, except that the battles are waged in the kitchen. The main character is Yukihira Soma, the son of a diner owner, and follows his experience at a super elite and super intense Japanese cooking school. I very much enjoy that Soma's "special power" is simply his prior experience and his willingness to work hard and persevere through all of the challenges that are thrown at him. Food Wars is simulcast on Saturdays, with the last episode schedule for September 24. If you haven't taken time to watch it now, give it a chance.

In normal Jim fashion, it's now time to talk about something that I'm very much behind on: Saga. I'm finally getting to reading the copy of Saga: Book 1, that my brother-in-law lent to me at least a year ago. Again, I'm very much behind the curve here. Anyways, Book 1 is great. I love Fiona Staples artwork, and the narrative method is very interesting as well. I have always been a sucker for the stories where several groups of people are on periodically intersecting storylines. At this point, I'm three-quarters through the hardback and making steady progress.  However, I'm still about 3 years behind on the series, and have some series catching up to do. 

And last, I've played a little bit more Elite: Dangerous. I'm enjoying my new ship, the Python, and at this point mostly taking my time earning the credits that I need to further advance myself. However, I am holding off on working through the recent "Engineers" expansion material in order to get myself into a top tier ship sooner. Frontier has released a beta version of the next expansion: The Guardians. The idea of carrying some small fighters to help defend my hulk of a cargo ship sounds like a great plan, as well as the ability to carry passengers around the galaxy. We'll see how that goes.

That's all that I have for this week. Game on!

The Gameslave Podcast - Episode 224

The final interview podcast from Nan Desu Kan 2016 is posted at the podcast feed.  This episode is an interview with Richard Epcar. Enjoy!

The Gameslave Podcast - Episode 223

Hi everyone! I've just posted our interview with Alisa Freedman over on the podcast feed.  I hope you all enjoy!

The Gameslave Podcast - Episode 222

A new episode of the podcast is live at the podcast feed: interview with Johnny Yong Bosch and the band Eyeshine.

20 Years of NDK

As many of you probably know thanks to Jim, we went to NDK's 20th anniversary. And one of the special things they did for this event was a NDK Museum highlighting what brought them this far. If you did not get to visit the museum I have great news, I took pictures of everything they had there. Please take a moment to peruse the photos and help us remember 20 years of NDK!