Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yo Ho Ho, and A Bottle of Bleach!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you poor saps who are only keeping up with the English manga, or worse, the English anime <shudders>, you should consider yourself warned! This post contains spoilers!!! (ohnoes!) If you have kept up with the Japanese version like a sensible person, this isn't a big deal. But I thought it should be mentioned for those reading this that haven't. You have been warned. That is all.

Okay, now down to business. I work at a store that is essentially Nerd Heaven. The people I work with are all fairly awesome, and we find a lot of things to talk about. One of the people I work with shares my love of anime. At least, on some of the newer anime. One such anime is Bleach, a series based on the manga (Japanese comic book) by the same name written by Tite Kubo. It is an amazing show/manga, and I heartily recommend it to anyone with any interest in anime. It's mainstream, but it's good. Anyway, on to the point. If you're not already familiar with Bleach, you might want to skip the rest of this. It assumes you know what the hell I'm talking about.

At work last Thursday, we were discussing the Arrancar, and who was the Primera (rank 1 Espada). My co-worker is one of the unfortunates following the English version, and hasn't discovered it, yet. Well, hadn't until I told her. Anyway, I made the comment that it was, of course, Shunsui's counterpart, Starrk. Shunsui was the most powerful Shinigami, other than Old Man Yama, so his counterpart in the Espada ranks was naturally the most powerful Arrancar. This led to an entire discussion about who was the counterpart to who. There are ten Espada, each ranked according to their power. After the defection of Aizen, Gin, and Tousen, there are now ten Shinigami Captains, too. So, we analysed each of the characters, and found what we thought were pretty decent counterpart pairings. The results of that discussion, and the reasons we arrived at our conclusions, will be the focus of this post.

We'll start with the first. The Primera. The rank one Espada, most powerful of the Arrancar. Coyote Starrk.
Doesn't he look like just the perfect douche?
Well, his counterpart was terribly obvious, and already stated; Shunsui Kyoraku.
No similarities to Starrk at aaaallllll. . .

They're both the most powerful in their respective organizations, they're both lazy, they both loathe being serious in a fight, they both keep a girl in their circle that puts them in their place, and they both tend to piss off others who don't really get them. So, yeah, obvious.

Next up on the list, Baraggan Luisenbarn. The old man Arrancar in charge of death.
Yeah, He's kinda awesome.
Barragan is an old dude who sits on a throne (most of the time) and is content with letting his underlings do most of the fighting, not thinking he should have to join the fight. His underlings should be good enough to take care of any threat that arises. He has a certain timeless wisdom (or at least he thinks he does), that makes him seem older and more powerful than he looks, which is saying something. Now, first instinct is to pair him with Old Man Yama. However, after careful consideration, we chose . . .
He's small, but he'll eff you up, brah!
. . . Toshiro Hutsugaya. He's young, younger than any other Captain, or even any of the officers in his squad, be he, too, has a timeless quality about him that makes him seem older and wiser than might first be expected, even by a Captain of the Gotei 13. Also, He and Barragan share an intense desire to see Aizen dead, albeit for different reasons. While Toshiro does not share Barragan's opinion that he shouldn't have to do his own fighting, he does share the confidence that he is powerful enough that most people shouldn't be trying to fight him.

Rank 3 in the Espada went to the lovely Tia Halibel.
Not shy at all, is she?
Tia Halibel is somewhat of an ice queen, except when it comes to her girls, the three Arrancar she keeps as her primary underlings. She seems a hateful hardass to most, especially the men, but her love for her girls, and their love for her, gives her the will to cooperate with her peers to defeat the Shinigami that would threaten them. Sound a little like someone else we know?
Tell me she's not a lesbian. I dare you.
Soi Fon, the Captain of 2nd Squad, is a pretty obvious choice for Hanibel's counterpart. They have very similar personalities (both being kinda ice queens), and they both have a love for their respective females that borders on, if not dives right into, lesbianism. (Soi Fon is definitely a diver. Just watch the episodes of her vs Yoruichi. Seriously.) Soi Fon has the same tendency to look down on her males allies, especially those who work for her.

Which brings us to number 4. Ulquiorra Schiffer.
"I'm so emo, I cry green acid tears."
Ulquiorra Schiffer is the Arrancars' silent badass character. The way he moves is deliberate. His speech is smooth, eloquent, and to the point. His arrogance is such that he won't even pull out his sword to fight you unless you prove you're strong enough to be worthy of such a thing. He prefers to not to even look at you, if he can help it, because you are so far beneath him. Looking at these attributes, his counterpart was fairly obvious, as well.
Fear the pink, bitch!
Byakuya Kuchiki. Captain of the 6th Squad, and Rukia's adoptive brother. He's seriously almost Ulquiorra's twin. I'd write an analysis for him, but it would end up being a copy/paste of Ulquiorra's, except I'd change "won't even pull out his sword" to "won't even show you his Bankai."

Espada number five is Spoonboy Cowtounge. More popularly, he is known as Nnoitora Gilga.
Spoonman! Come together with your hands!
Nnoitora values strength and combat above all else. He believes life isn't worth living unless he can fight and kill. His motivations are simple and brutal. Just like . . .
He is Asskicking incarnate
. . . Kenpachi Zaraki, Captain of Eleventh Squad. He lives only for the next fight, the next challenge for his massive strength. The primary difference is, where Nnoitora's motivation stems from hatred of others and love for destruction, Kenpachi's motivation comes from the thrill of martial challenge.

And now, it's time for everyone's favorite Espada. <fake applause> Number six, Grimmjow Jeagerjaques
"How you doin'?"
He's mean. He's loud. He's obnoxious. He likes nothing more than to beat the shit out of people. He is a force of injury and destruction. We considered pairing him with Kenpachi, but we came up with a better counterpart.
How can someone so sweet be so scary?
Retsu Unohana is the perfect counterpart for Grimmjow, not because of their similarities, as it has been with the others, but because of their differences. Where Grimmjow is mean, Unohana is kind. Where he is loud and obnoxious, she is calm and pleasant. Where he causes injury, she heals. They are diametrically apposed. Where most of the others reflect certain traits in each other, Grimmjow and Unohana balance each other, instead.

This post is turning out longer, and taking longer to compose, than I originally expected. Thus, in the interest of sanity, I am going to mark this Part 1, and write Part 2 at a later date. Soon, just not right now. Until next time!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Butt Rape Has Never Been So Much Fun!

So . . . . Yeah. LawGambit and I have spent the day playing StarCraft 2. 2v2. We suck.

For those who don't know, StarCraft 1 & 2 are Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games. Basically, you take the role of a military commander, and your responsibilities include setting up a base, managing resource allocation, and building an army to destroy the other commanders' armies. In the case of StarCraft, you can choose to be one of three races, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The Terran (humans, for those lacking knowledge of Latin) are good at walling up and being bitches. The Protoss, cybernetic psychics with extremely advanced tech, have shields and very powerful weaponry. The Zerg, genetically unstable bugs, are quick and cheap to build, making it easy to get a swarm of them out in a short time.

I play Zerg. I like their speed and brutal elegance, even if I'm not the best at controlling it. LawGambit plays Protoss. Neither of us can bring ourselves to play Terran. "Too easy mode," as LawGambit puts it. Turtling bitches . . . .

It's okay. The tide will change when the Heart of the Swarm expansion come out.

Anyway, we both suck at this game. Like, seriously. We are getting better. We learn things with each match, and get better at at out macro-management skills. But we still lose 90% of the time. Usually, we get beaten hard. That's okay, though, because it's fun! I don't know how they've done it, but Blizzard Entertainment has managed to make a game that is incredibly fun to lose at. Well, not the losing, so much, but, even losing, we have a blast playing. And learning. It's great, and it teaches us to work better together as a team. He runs defense, while I tech up to a badass offense. We're still in Bronze League, which is the lowest league you can be in, but we're not doing horribly within our league. Except when we're pitted again Gold League players, for whatever reason. Then we just sit there with our jaws open, and stare at the massive army they've managed to crank out in three minutes steamroll us and all our troops and defenses. Then we curse Battle.net for matching us up against them. However, we still have fun. It's amazing. ^_^

Who knew losing could be so much fun?

First Come, First Serve

Greetings, all! Drai-Gon, here. This is the first post of my new blog. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep up with it. Planning on jotting down all sorts of things on it. Everything from reviews, to updates on games I'm playing, to progress on projects, to just random ramblings. Should be fun.

This blog was inspired by my best friend. He has a blog, too. You can read it at http://lawgambit.blogspot.com. LawGambit and I have been friends for about . . . 5 years now, I guess? We met while working the math lab together at the university we went to at the time. We've both graduated from it at this point, thank the gods, but it was fun working together. And the people we met, including each other, will forever be significant people in our lives. Even if it's only because they taught us a little about life and people in general. Neither of us grew up with much in the way of contact with the outside world, so it did us both good to see what it was like. Much as I expected going out into it, it sucks. For the most part.

While in college, I also met the other two people who are the most important to me, referred to in this blog as Lily and Leeta. Both are like sisters to me. In fact, along with LawGambit, they are the closest thing to siblings I have, and I love all three of them as such. It's odd to think about it, really. There was a time when I scoffed at the idea of needing friends. Honestly, I didn't need any. However, I'm not sure what I'd do without them, now.

At this point, I'm not really making much headway in life. I'm too busy being lazy resting on my pile of treasure. However, I have a few projects in the works that might help me to make progress in life and grow my horde. Claws crossed on that one. ;)

That's about it for this first post. Just wanting to let you know what's going on, what I plan to do, and a little about myself. You'll learn more about all of that the more you read, so check back. And, if you find this entertaining at all, pass it on. Also, check out LawGambit's blog here. If you like my stuff, you might like his, too. We're different, but we're friends for a reason . . . . Even if we haven't quite figured out why, yet.

Until next time!