It’s not a huge secret that Joey Belladonna is one of my favorite singers and it’s pure joy to listen to him singing covers on videos I accidentally stumbled upon =)

“Don’t Stop Belivin'” With Steel Panther (Michael Starr is quite a singer himself, so, you know, “it’s twice the fun”):

And I had no idea that he plays drums too!

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story

Long story short — this anime about magical girls is quite a disappointment. I was (and probably still am, watched it long time ago) a big fan of the original Madoka Magica. It was definitely a new word in the genre, a dark story about dreams, betrayal and, of course, death. Not to mention that it was a collaboration of two 天才, Akiyuki Shinbo and Yuki Kajiura.

So… did we really need a new story? Based on a mobile game? With Shinbo as an animation supervisor and without Kajiura-san? The short answer is “no”. “Madoka Magica Side Story” is a visually great (thanks Shaft!) meaningless mess, with at least a dozen of boring characters and a non-existent plot, where Iroha, a replacement for Madoka in this anime, is searching for her little sister (who disappeared entirely and no one even remembers that she existed), making new friends, defeating the witches and discovering the daunting truth about the magical girls. Again, all this looks amazing but, oh man, it’s dull as hell. The only good episode is episode number 12, when Madoka Iroha learns who the witches are. That’s it. It’s especially a shame that episode 12 is not the last one =) The next, this time final, episode is again bland, as if to remind us to keep our expectations low. As a humble admirer of Shaft’s shows I will watch the second season but if I wasn’t — I wouldn’t be able to come up with a single reason to do that.

ID: Invaded

ID: Invaded is not as enigmatic as it might seem at the first glance. Yeah, we have all these ID wells, cognition particles and a mysterious figure on the background with a name conjuring up warm feelings for every whiskey aficionado (now I’d probably prefer a bottle of 15 years old J.P. Wiser’s but the Black Label still has a special place in my heart. Ain’t I a fancy guy?) Pretty quickly though you more or less figure out how all these futuristic stuff works and keep watching this anime not because it’s gruesome or intriguing but simply because it’s very, very dynamic.

I don’t remember a single character’s name but at the same time can’t recall any really boring episodes, except maybe for the mandatory grand finale. A new serial killer, a new well, then it’s a jump back in time (kind of), or maybe an Inception-like “we need to go deeper”. Keep on keeping on — ID: Invaded never stops. This show might be not thought-provoking or innovative — but it’s fun and this is probably what matters.

Got another chance to realize that I’m a dumbass a couple of days ago. I’d been having problems with the batteries in my basses for some time — they were drained in no time. In my experience a battery would last for at least a year and yet with my new LTD I had to replace it basically every month . Initially I thought that it was just a sad consequence of buying the batteries at a dollar store (because I’m lazy). However, the trend continued even when I switched to more expensive ones, bought at a bit fancier place.

Finally I gave up and started looking up online what the hell it might be. Well, as I said at the beginning, turned out that I’m just dumb =) Last year I bought not only a new bass but also an amp and the guitar is connected to it all the time — I never unplug the jack, just turn the amp off. And I always assumed that if the power is off the preamp will not work! Well, I was wrong. As long as the circuit is actually closed (by the jack) — the bass’ electronics is happily draining the battery. That’s why I never noticed that before — the good ol’ Warwick only got to know that feeling of a plugged cable for 3 hours a week.

The long and complicated story with Byfuglien’s retirement is finally officially over. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, not in a way I hoped. The Jets and Big Buff terminated the contract =(

Somali and the Forest Spirit

It’s an indisputable fact that Somali and the Forest Spirit is a cute anime. Another indisputable fact will be that it’s also sort of meaningless.

Oh, I mean I understand the theoretical strong points of this show — a world full of fascinating creatures (that doesn’t mean though that the world itself is somehow unusual) and the story showing that the family bond is stronger than everything else, despite the fact that the aforementioned family originated just thanks to an accident. And I bet I would’ve enjoyed it more if I was into rabbits with horns and various bipedal wolves. Unfortunately, I’m not and the entire journey of Golem-kun and Somali-chan folded into a single colorful messy ball in my head. “Golem found her and then Somali was annoying and then something-something happened and then she was annoying again”.

Another potentially interesting plot line would be the one about the Grotesques’ attitude towards humans. But again — I never felt that Somali was in real danger. We’ve had a couple of anime where humans disappeared or lost and the world belongs to demons — The Melody of Oblivion or Yakusoku No Neverland as an example, and that sense of constant threat, of not being able to just enjoy your daily life and whether the characters would be able to overcome it or not, it was an important part of those shows, keeping things interesting. I knew that nothing bad was going to happen to the girl in this anime.

I’m a bitter guy and Somali and Golem-kun gave me a perfect opportunity to complain a little but the truth is — this is not a bad anime. It’s average but if someone is looking for something calm, slow-paced and colorful — it might be a good fit.


As someone who didn’t get along with the first RDR at all and dropped it after the first two hours, I had no idea that I’d actually enjoy the second game a lot!

First off — it’s beautiful. I started playing this game just to check out the graphics and got caught immediately. I must’ve made a hundred or two screenshots during my playthrough and I’m sure they’re going to be a source of inspiration for me from now on. The only other game that punched me that hard in terms of graphics was the new GoW. How scenes are composed, how detailed they are, how great the lighting is — and how perfectly everything sits together. A terrific work by artists, level designers and programmers!

Surprisingly, the plot turned out to be really strong as well — Arthur’s journey to become a better man maybe didn’t leave me in tears but nonetheless was emotional and sometimes even touching. Ah, and thanks to the superb voice acting! When I was just in the middle of the second chapter I had to resist the urge to speak like Arthur Morgan in real life, “He is a nice feller, ain’t he?” with his accent =)

Dozens and dozens of bells and whistles, neat ones, here and there — the gang members sing sometimes, you can go and watch a show in a city, pat a dog, Arthur has different words for horses depending on whether it’s a boy or a girl, and so on and so forth.

RDR2 belongs to that type of games, though, which require the player to entertain themselves. It’s massive but a lot of content is optional. I skipped almost all side quests, hunting, gambling and random challenges. My Arthur was a good guy and I didn’t rob or kill strangers unless they really had it coming. It took me 4 months to finish the game and it could’ve easily been 8. It may be the main minus of the game, along with the animation-driven items pick up (it will take some time to get used to it) and sometimes annoying auto aim — but the main story makes up for all that.


As a rule of thumb I usually keep my distance from anime about youkai (yeah, shounen shows and youkai shows — and especially those which claim to have both in the description). In/Spectre… well, I don’t have a good explanation for myself why I finished it. The first two or three episodes were cute, especially the relationships between Iwanaga and Kurou, with her straightforwardness and clinginess and his indifference. But things sort of went south after that. I mean, the idea of Steel Lady Nanase and the explanation why she appeared in the first place were okay. But it would’ve been so much better if that case had been resolved in two episodes, three tops! We got, oh boy, 8 or 9 of them! It felt like a filler, a king of fillers! Endless, having no substance whatsoever and dragging on and on and on. It’s only natural that after having finished the 12th episode you end up pretty much at the same spot where you started.

I’m sure there are better youkai shows, there are shows with cuter heroines and, despite the general lack of detective stories in anime, there are certainly better shows of this genre out there. So yeah, I don’t have a good explanation why I finished this one =)