My Grand Fire Emblem 7 Post PART2

Limstella being a cutie π

(continued from HERE)

Gameplay or Seven Paragraphs of Nitpicking

・ Time to get to the good stuff: gameplay. Fire Emblem is sometimes described as an SRPG – a fusion of a roleplaying game and a turn-based strategy. If “RPG” means grinding and “TBS” is logical thinking, the latter element prevails in this duality (thank goodness it does). It’s more of a strategy in a fantasy setting, really. There’s this sort of games I absolutely love and play passionately, by which I mean the opposite of “action games”. Titles like Pokemon, JRPGs, Advance Wars, and before anything else – Fire Emblem. The kind that requires no manual skill or nimbleness from the player. They’re usually menu based and require only the bare minimum number of buttons on the gamepad. The d-pad, the OK button, the Cancel button. I suck at action games, you see. Of all those titles mentioned above, it can’t be a coincidence that two were made by Intelligent Systems. I guess they’re my favorite game devs.

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My Grand Fire Emblem 7 Post PART1

the resolution could be higher, could it not

Year 2003 – I was somewhere around 14. A lot of important stuff happened that year, but for me personally, stumbling upon *this* GBA game was one of the highlights of that time period. The seventh game in its series, called just “Fire Emblem” in the West, is what came out. Originally, its title was “Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken”, but I’ll refer to it as “FE7” from now on. Back then, I would play GBA games under an emulator, like the poor wannabe nerd from the Third World that I was. I was living from one hotly anticipated game release to another, and every next awesome game would feel like a milestone in my middle school life. I could have been marking these milestones in a calendar if I had my shit together enough to actually keep a calendar. Alas, those fun times shall not return… Anyway, this “Fire Emblem” game had just come out, the title rang a bell and I’ve seen positive comments about FE at a certain rom site. How the hell did Polish people know about old Fire Emblems in 2003, though? I wish I knew any of you nerds in real life. I tried it out and fell in love. It was the series’ first venture beyond Japan, and boy, was that an impressive introduction. Impressive enough to start my long and exciting adventure with Fire Emblem games, which lasts to this day. I played this so much I can’t help but wonder if FE7 influenced me as a person. For a few years, I lurked at a now-defunct forum about the games called FESS, too. Or wait, I hear there were FE characters in Smash even before the proper games’ debut. Oh well, if it got people to play Fire Emblem, I guess even Smash proved to be useful for something.

I absolutely had to write a post on FE7 at some point and looks like the time has come. To make sure this writeup is as good as it can be, I got through the game recently, for the eighth time, after over a decade since my most FE-obsessed days. Note that I’ve never played it in Japanese, mostly because I’ve heard the English version is superior – it supposedly has some goodies that weren’t present in the Japanese release. Also, I do not mind reading through this game for the eighth time in English, because that’s how good that localization was. Anyway, I effin’ love this game and here’s several thousand words explaining why.

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I read the “Sora no Ao wo Shiru Hito yo” novelization

browz browz browz

Not long ago, Sora no Ao wo Shiru Hito yo, another anime film written by everybody’s favorite Okada Mari dropped to Japanese cinemas. It’s supposed to be another part of a trilogy, after Ano Hi Mita Hana and KokoSake, but who knows, maybe they won’t stop at three parts? Why would they? Anyway, are you interested? If you are, and are an unfortunate denizen of the Third World who can’t just go to a cinema and see it, like me, you have no choice but to wait until SoraAo comes out on video, right? Well, NO. I found a way around that problem. Apparently, a novelization of SoraAo was published around the time the movie came out. The blessed existence of this book, written by Nukaga Mio, an experienced young writer, gave me the opportunity to check what the story is about months before I’d usually be able to.

This won’t be a very long post, though. Spoiler: I didn’t like it.

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On Hai-iro no Diet Coca Cola (Gray Diet Coke)

The cover.

Remember Faust? I don’t mean that old, thick, boring brick by Goethe, though. In the late 2000s, a publisher called Del Rey, which was considered the embassador of Koudansha in America (sorta) put out these two volumes consisting mainly of short stories, titled Faust. They were the English incarnation of a Japanese periodical with cutting-edge nerdy fiction started by Oota Katsushi, the legendary editor and founder of Seikaisha. After a short while, Del Rey disappeared without warning or announcement, leaving several manga series in English unfinished. Some worthwhile novels were announced, but never saw the light of day, too – to this day some sources claim Kara no Kyoukai came out in English when it didn’t. The whole mess must have had something to do with Koudansha publishing their stuff without any intermediaries nowadays.

Anyway, one of the authors who were lucky enough to land in English Faust was Satou Yuuya, whose Dendera I’ve written about a few months ago. In one of those two books you can read Gray Diet Coke, a short story of his titled after a piece by an edgy writer called Nakagami Kenji. That story was later developed into a novel – some call it a story collection, since Satou wrote three more segments to follow up on the original Gray Diet Coke and together with some illustrations by Oshimi Shuuzou (they couldn’t have chosen a more adequate person), they formed this neat little paperback – the 2013 reedition by Seikaisha. The novel is what this post is going to be about. As a fan of Faust, I bought this bad boy to see if it’s any good and share my impressions with the world.

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On God Hand Press

The most worksafe image I could find.

Ever use any of those sites where you can read doujinshi online? They’re magnificent. Around 2005, the first attempts at making those would house only several tens of titles, but now? They’re giant – it’s like they contain most of all drawn porn ever created. Apart from what you’d expect to find there, you can hunt down some surprising treasures at Sadpanda and its cousins. Like novels – novelizations of eroge and ero-LN. Textbooks on sex ed. Artbooks, worksafe and not. Recently, though, I managed to dig out THIS. God Hand Press is a series of fanzines on porn and related topics, which was being regularly published by a bunch of Japanese nerds at Comiket. The first issue came out in 1995, and the last one – in 2007, if my research can be believed. Quite the long run. I could only find three issues: #8, #10 and #13. That much was enough, however. I gave them a spin and… they’re fascinating. Get ready for a venture into before-unexplored territory: this will be my first blogpost on porn. Below, I’ll summarize the best bits from those three fanzines.

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