Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Malice Reviews #27 They Live

Matt continues to review a few more movies, while things continue to brew in the back ground.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Robocraft, Punchout Remix, Borderlands, Evil Genius, and A Kind of Magic

Going to be a day or two yet before my Review series kicks into full blast again, but here's what I've done since last time.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

The ReBoot Vlogs - Racing The Clock

In which our "heroes" are made to look like morons.

All media used is done so under "Fair Use"

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Whyboy Spotlights... Detective Conan

Hey everybody… you remember that hour and a half long video series where I listed off my top 20 favorite and influential animated TV Shows? Well… I missed one… technically, and that one is Gosho Aoyama’s murder mystery series Detective Conan. Another widely recognized and popular anime, that I originally saw during its English dub run in 2003 under the name Case Closed. It had everything; awkward voice acting, and Americanization that made dialogue and storylines conflict with the original intention of the Japanese context. It was a perfect dub. But let’s move on from my sarcastic writing and talk about my screw-up. While it’s true Case Closed was an awkward Dub the original Detective Conan is in my opinion one of the best murder mystery shows out there, with an intriguing root premise and a well full of intricate cases that our little detective and by extension us have to solve. But before we discuss the mysteries this show offers let’s talk about the premise.

Detective Conan stars high school detective Kudo Shinichi who, after investigating an underhanded deal in an amusement park, gets attacked by two mysterious members of The Black Organization and is forced to ingest an experimental poison developed by them in hopes to kill him. But due to a side effect of the poison Kudo doesn’t die but his body shrinks to that of a child. Later, neighbor and family friend Professor Agasa helps Kudo dawn a disguise, encouraging him to hide his identity to protect his family and friends from the organization.
detective conan 1
So Kudou takes the name Conan Edogawa and goes to live with his childhood friend Ran Mouri and her father, Kogoro, hoping to use Kogoro's detective agency as a way to find the people who shrank him but… truthfully it never really does help, it just lands Kudo with a dead body each episode. With the body of a kid and the brain of brilliant high school detective Kudo Shinichi becomes grade school detective Edogawa Conan and solves crimes to one day take down The Black Organization.
Now with a series that is plus 800 episodes by the writing of this spotlight this is a very meaty series. I could spend a Cartoon Corner length discussing all the various plot lines, and character interactions but for this spotlight I’ll just boil it down to my major points. Firstly Detective Conan over the last years has amassed a huge roster of characters with fully realized personalities behind them, with each character having a specific archetype to them, the bumbling detective, the tubby kid, the high society ego, all those good one’s. At first glance the characters feel like they’d tumble into that boring stereotype category, that kills so many shows but much like the Simpsons, however Detective Conan’s characters use their laid out archetype as a foundation to their characters allowing those times when they step out of their usual archetypes to be all the more memorably funny, or character defining.
The show does this best with The Detective Boys and Conan. I made it clear before that I despise looking down or being condescending to kids, it’s almost like an emotional trigger now for me. Throughout this show though, we still have Conan and the Detective Boys being looked down upon by most of the adults, keeping the status quo on how most of society treats them, but with every case that lands in their laps they manage to decipher the evidence and close every case. It even becomes apparent in the later seasons that the Detective Boys become increasingly less reliant of Kudo to solve each case. Of course it is always Kudo who finally discovers the answers but the boys are able to show that even though they are kids they can still be just as useful as any adult if given the chance. This creates one of the shows main thematic through lines and also leads me to always thinking whenever I see a Detective Boys’ centric episode “Can’t they just rub their victory in the adults’ faces for once?”
The next key character relation is the romance between Kudo Shinichi and his childhood friend Ran Kogoro. For those who love romance plots I think this will be your cup of tea. Kudo and Ran have some great chemistry with one another, showing scenes from the emotionally heartfelt, to the comedic over the top. It’s a fun romance to watch and it does feel they have a true connection. But what happens when we add the tragedy of Kudo having to hide his identity as Conan from Ran. This deception shows a whole new layer of their relationship, showing the frustrations, and the pain of a long distance relationship and the irony that Kudo literally is always beside her. Showing not only Kudo’s rock solid dedication to destroying the Black Organization, and protecting his loved one;s but the abnormal amount of trust, understanding, and patience that Ran holds for KudoAll of this creates a couple that is both fun to watch at their best and intriguing to watch at their worst.
And with that I could simply segway into the show’s biggest problem BUT let’s talk about the main bulk of Detective Conan its mysteries. The mysteries have two basic formats, the one episode mystery, and the two-part set up and deduction show. Both of these formats run like clockwork, setup, meet the suspects, crime, investigation, and then deduction. It almost always goes by that format, except from the odd one or two episodes and it works very well. The mystery writing itself is also very brilliant, interlacing logical clues to the mystery in the set up as well as the investigation portion so that the audience can solve the case along with Conan. Although Detective Conan isn’t kind to the international audience.
Detective Conan EP28-2
Obviously because its based in Japan a lot of the mysteries have their mysteries also rooted in Japanese lore. The show does take the time to provide some context but without almost even more extensive context, some of the answers to the mysteries will be lost on the audience and that’s not counting when the mysteries answer is so overcomplicated that it’s impossible to deduce. That just kills the fun of the mystery. 
But with all that said, let’s circle back to my first point and ask “If I like Detective Conan so much why isn’t it on my Top 20?” What was the reason that kicked it off the list entirely? At the time I thought it was because after you watch an episode of Detective Conan you lose the rewatch value in it, as you already know the answer to the mystery so it would be logical to think that. But after re-watching the episodes again, it made me rethink that reasoning because I still enjoyed the episodes very much even on a second viewing. So if it wasn’t a lack of re-watch ability what kicked Detective Conan off the list? 
I then tied marathoning a few episodes and that’s when the answer came flooding back to me. It’s the fact that Detective Conan is trying to have an episodic serial narrative, and really dropping the ball on paying off the serial elements. Let me explain what I mean by episodic and serial. Episodic shows are like Spongebob, or The Simpsons, shows that have self contained stories in each episode with very few to no narrative connection between the episodes. Serial shows are the exact opposite, like Avatar, or Detentionaire it’s a show narrative with a clear beginning, middle, and end, with each episode leading into one another. However Detective Conan is a hybrid the two styles, it has the unconnected mystery of the week as well as having a deep intertwining linear narrative about Kudo facing these men in black. And other shows have done this style of narrative and succeeded to varying degrees, Cybersix had a similar episodic serial format, but with the sheer volume of episodes Detective Conan has, for those who like the serial narrative of Kudo vs. The Men in Black you start to feel the show is just spinning its wheels. Out of all the +700 episodes it feels like a mere handful has anything to do with that key narrative and for me that became quite irritating to me and just wishing the show will get to the bloody point already. 
But even though Detective Conan didn’t make it on the Top 20 List I want to stress that Detective Conan isn’t a bad show. It’s a fantastic murder mystery series with intriguing and complex mysteries, involving and enjoyable character interactions and a love sub plot that is actually cute to watch. Other than a misbalance in its serial and episodic episodes Detective Conan has become one of my favorite mystery shows and if you like murder mysteries then only one truth can prevail, that you need to watch this show.
Illustrations by Nero Angelus
Written By: Taylor "Whyboy" Wyatt

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The ReBoot Vlogs - The Tearing

Huh, that was an interesting way to start the series.

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8-Bit Rolling in the Deep

Made this for the last Matt Tries ending. Work out well, so I might as well push it out on it's own too while I have it.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Evil Genius, The Hidden, Rust, and Unturned

Another collection of videos from the last couple of days. Mostly Matt Plays, but I did get a new Tries out as well for the game Unturned. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Matt Plays: Evil Genius #1-#2 Smite 3

Since the last update my big thing has been playing Evil Genius. But also I've had one of my best rounds of SMITE to date!

Evil Genius is owned by Elixir Studios and released by Rebellion.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

8-Bit Mystic Quest, and a Fistful of Frags

Going to try to make the posts a little smaller. Here's a new 8-Bit music, and my two part Fistful of Frags run so far.

And for those who may be intersted, here is the Patreon for my shows, and thanks for watching. http://www.patreon.com/MadMattInc

Monday, July 7, 2014

ReBoot Vlogs Announcement

What's this? A New Venture Has Come Forth!

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hipster Ninja Reviews - The Host (Season 2 Finale)

This Movie Has Had It Coming For Two Years

Special Thanks To TheIncredibleKMAN for his portrayal of Sora (The Evil Telephone Voice)

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& On twitter @KiraKennedyHNR

All Media Used In This Review is Done So Under "Fair Use".

Wednesday, July 2, 2014