Chris Matthew can finally start wearing pants again — the Blue Bombers won the Grey Cup =) Absolutely incredible game by the entire team, but we all remember the old saying “defense wins trophies”. Winnipeg’s D allowed just 12 points and forced (one way on another) 8 turnovers. A nice touch — I knew that Harris is from Winnipeg but turned out that Demski is also playing for his hometown — a rarity in modern professional sports.

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo

One of my co-workers asked for recommendations on ongoing anime (it happened a few months ago) and I was stupid enough to suggest watching “Maidens in their Savage Season”. I mean, I genuinely liked the show but when I started explaining what it was about… “Well, you know, it’s an anime about a high-school literature club, consisting of 5 girls who talk about sex. All the time. But it’s actually cute, trust me!”

Honestly, despite the fact that the maidens are indeed in their savage season and that they are kind of obsessed with sex — the anime is sweet and pretty innocent. 80% of its time — it’s a pure romance show, showing how our heroines, who are school outcasts to some extent, learning to trust other people and their feeling. Yeah, for sure, some of them have childhood traumas (Sugiwara-san, I’m looking at you, your behavior is not acceptable!) and that screws things up a little closer to the end of the anime, but it’s much, much better than it could’ve been. I just need to figure out a way to advertise it properly =)

By the way, I’ve finally received my PR card and Nastia, hopefully, should get hers next week. Summing up, the whole process, starting when we first submitted the documents to the Express Entry draw and until I found the card in the mailbox, took almost two years =)

Ys VIII Lacrimosa of Dana

I have not played any other Ys games but Lacrimosa of Dana certainly turned out to be a not-so-ordinary JRPG. Not that it’s a new word in this genre but the authors made a memorable, intriguing game, even though it would look more appropriate if it came out on PS3 =)

Okay, a bunch of survivors of a shipwreck ended up on a mysterious and almost deserted island. What would you expect next? Personally, I thought that we’d leave the island in the first 5-6 hours of the game and begin traveling over the world. I was wrong =) The castaways won’t leave the island until the very last moment of the game. So you have to explore it, find other survivors, defend the “village” you built from aggressive beasts. You have to figure out why the hell there are dinosaurs on this island. You have to gather various material to improve the condition of your village, create new weapons, armor and so on (a very elegant solution for a situation when you obviously can’t use money). It feels fresh despite the fact that all the explorations, essentially, are linear (sometimes I want to feel like I’m about to find something unexpected if I just go off the beaten track a little).

Some parts of the island look pretty awesome

When the thing with Dana helping you out from the past was explained — I thought it was brilliant. My hope was that Adol would be traversing the island in present, while Dana would be his soulmate from the past and the only way they’d be interacting would be the crystals. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to move the Maiden of the Tree to our present days and, respectively, her future. Yeah, it was explained and makes sense in terms of the plot but it would’ve been such a bold move to just keep fragile dreamlike relationships between those two, at the same time slowly unraveling two parallel parts of the story (the one where Adol is leaving the island, the second one — about Eternia’s history and what destroyed that prosperous kingdom). However, all in all Lacrimosa of Dana offers a good story, consisting of a few layers and elements. Some of those elements are a bit weird, like the murderer on the island or when all of a sudden the party has to fight ghosts.

Also you’ll be helping all around, whether it’s a request to find a good spot for a prayer…
…or finding the notes for an old melody

What I did and didn’t. I did finish almost all the side quests. There are not so many of them and they are not extremely tedious. I missed, for sure, the one given by Sir Carlan — the bastard disappeared before I was able to provide him with the dish he wanted. I did find all the castaways — well, this one probably wasn’t that tough. I kind of give up on raids and hunts, doing only those which were necessary to move on. For maybe 80% of the time my main character was Laxia and the rest of the party was ignored, because, frankly, on normal difficulty they can stand up for themselves and, comparing to Tokyo Xanadu, the abilities of the characters are not that different and that doesn’t make you want to experiment.

As the next logical step I’m going to play Ys IX when it’s released in North America. Even though it looks a bit duller that VIII, Falcom’s action role-playing games definitely have their charm =)

The Grey Cup final this year is a game between Hamilton Tiger Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers and when I’m okay with either team winning (both well deserve it), I’m still going to support the Bombers a tiny bit more. First of all, the last time they won the CFL trophy was in 1990, which was incredibly long time ago by the standards of the league with only 9 participants. Secondly — I cheer for the Jets in the NHL (not a very convincing argument, probably). The third reason though is more interesting. This guy is just one win away from wearing pants again =) So… go Bombers go, I guess =)

Fruits Basket 2019

Seems that it’s about time I dropped a couple of lines regarding all the summer season shows I finished, while I still remember at least something =)

In out local anime community the original Furuba was mostly met with polar opinions — people either loved it a lot or hated it with all their might. I watched it because, well, everyone else had and, honestly, was closer to the second group. Everything is this anime felt artificial, overly-dramatic and the main heroine was not sympathetic at all.

Years had passed and we got the second interpretation of the same story, which should’ve been closer to the manga. And… maybe I just got older but I enjoyed this version way more than the show that came out in 2001. If I had to point out what’s become better — I probably couldn’t. It’s the same cheesy story and Tohru is still not especially likeable. Soma family… despite his apparent questionable intentions Shigure is the best guy there, hands down. All of them are still pretty much one dimensional though (I mean, in this world everyone has to have something dark in the past). However, Fruits Basket 2019 is well done. It doesn’t drop the quality of its animation anywhere, the pacing is good, the music in openings and endings is catchy. Plus, another big factor is that I watched this anime ongoing, so I always had a chance to get distracted with something else before the desire to throw the TV out of the windows appeared.

I hope that the second season will be able to keep up and we’ll finally see how anime-Tohru lifts the Soma family curse. She will do this, won’t she?

Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai

I did my best and didn’t cry while watching this movie. And I have to say it feels almost like a heroic deed — from the very first minute, when the anime kicks off with a scene of a funeral, and till the very last, the authors won’t let you relax and forget what all that is about — the story of a girl who’s about to die and well aware of this fact.

I’m a bit cynical and such a situation seems a little bit like a trick — you’re bound to feel something. Nevertheless, the movie is good. The duo of characters is perfect — they kind of resemble “Your lie in April”s Arima Kousei and Miyazono Kaori but a bit more realistic. Well, at least, they both are not great musicians =) Sakura and Haruki are very likeable, starting from their first interaction, when the boy found the girl’s diary:

” -What’s written here is true, I will die soon. – Oh, okay”.

What they do together? Nothing crazy actually =) I mean, typically the main character is this situation would try something insane, because he or she has nothing to lose. Sakura wants ordinary things, despite the fact that she doesn’t have much time left — go on a trip, watch the fireworks, eat sweets at a cafe. It would be possible to forget about her conditions if she didn’t talk about it herself and in Haruki she found an ideal companion, who wouldn’t pretend that everything is normal but at the same time wouldn’t go overboard with his attention.

Frankly, “Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai” does not invent something new, it’s not an era-defining movie — but it’s sweet, romantic and sad. And definitely worth watching.