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Anime Review

By Raisa Rafique

Age: 17+
49 Episodes
Studio Deen
Based on the manga by Yuya Aoki and Rando Ayamine

“…If it's only money that's taken away, we can just take it back. But if it's something like the warmth of humanity, to fill the cavity that's formed in people's hearts, only the encounter of two equally empty people can do that.”

Have you lost something special? Was something precious taken from you and you want it back badly? Well, don't fret, because the solution to all your problems is just a phone call away! Introducing the invincible two-man recovery team with a 100% success rateThe Get Backers! Ban Mido and Ginji Amano are here to save your day claiming there's nothing they can't get back.

I believe Animax used to air the series some time around 2005. That was when I first saw Ban crushing some poor guy's nose. See, the invincible Mido Ban has a super-human grip of 200kg, which he calls the 'snake bite'. He also has a special ability called 'Jagan' or the 'evil eye' where he can keep his victims captivated in a dreamlike illusion for a whole minute. Ginji, on the other hand, can generate electricity from his body. He formerly belonged to a deadly gang called the 'Volts' and was their revered 'Raitei' or the 'thunder emperor' at the mysterious 'infinite castle'. Leaving their differences aside, Ban and Ginji must team up and continue their adventurous lives as a retrieval team in a semi-parallel Shinjuku, Tokyo for a living, because they simply have no luck with money!

GB is a shonen (boys) anime, meaning there are lots of gang fights, adrenaline surges, egoism, and of course, women in tight dresses. But I've seen all the anime episodes and it's strictly 17+, although I won't say the same for the manga, because of language and stuff. GB is mainly a story of people with agonizing loneliness at heart, coming together to find a better meaning of their lives. As Ginji once so aptly put it, it's always raining inside their hearts. All the characters have stories of their own. Despair, frustration, helplessness, and death all that we are afraid of actually make us stronger and give bloom to new hopes and aspirations. This also happens to be the theme of the rocking second opening song by Kirito 'Barairo no sekai'. However, the first opening 'Yuragu koto nai ai' expresses the title itself even better. Tamura Naomi's voice is simply intoxicating and it beautifully compliments the main theme of the anime. My personal favourite list also contains 'Ichibyo no refrain' and 'Mr. déjà vu'. The only song that felt out of place was probably the second ending one.

Movie Review

By The Anarchist Kitten

Let us not call a spade a shovel. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is not art, but it's a perfect example of the main reason most of us watch movies- to escape into a different world, one of fantasy and mythology. This doesn't have to be implicit in the film itself, as long as it presents us with an escape from our lives. If you liked either of the first two Underworld movies, then you're going to like this one.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is story-driven, not action-drive; this sounds completely silly about a film franchise that has relied almost solely on it's action sequences, and while this prequel is not very different from the rest in the series, it's a lot more connected with story-telling- the history of the lycans and vampires, the cataclysm that lead to Lucian being something of a villain-figure in the first two films, the explanation in more detail of the relationship between Viktor and Selene.

The filmmakers have taken a considerable amount of risk in leaving out the character of Selene, played by Kate Beckinsale, who was a significant reason a lot of people watched the Underworld series. But this film is more story-based, and Selene's absence is necessary to tell the story of how the lycans rose to power.

Classifying this movie as action seems criminal to this reviewer; very rarely do the characters in an action film engage viewers as much as the fierce, determined Lucian or the effectively creepy Viktor does in Rise of the Lycans. Sheen's brave and dedicated performance really makes the character of Lucian work, while Bill Nighy is once again suave and ice-cold as Viktor. Rhona Mitra's presence as Sonja is welcome on screen, but she presents some disappointment in that she doesn't carry the amount of charisma that Beckinsale did before her, making her an unwise replacement, which she obviously is.

At points Rise of the Lycans appear to be under-budgeted. The action sequences could have had much more flair and the finesse of a trained choreographer; it comes off as silly at times (specially the very first scene with the teenage Lucian). But there is a lot of visually engaging duelling, and a nice Lord of the Ring-esque battle scene near the end, which without a doubt any viewer will agree was immorally short.

The final verdict is that Rise of the Lycans does nothing out of the ordinary to grab your attention but does whatever it does to keep a steady flow of entertainment going throughout the film, and making sure you're never bored. For fans of the franchise, this film answers a lot of questions and presents insight to the Lycans (specifically, for instance, it portrays the history of Raze, a character that's been around since the first instalment).

It's a worthy instalment to the series, and certainly not a disappointment as many prequels often are. It has decent action scenes, engaging characters, a storyline arguably better than the first two in the series and a brilliant lead performance by Michael Sheen. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans will certainly entertain fans of the series or fans of mythology and fantasy, as well as first time watchers.

By Emil

WHENEVER I hear the word, “Watchmen”, it almost makes me ogle and drool inside in a nostalgic manner.

Naturally, news about the “End is Nigh” made me a slight bit excited. I mean, I hadn't seen the movie, but the trailers looked pretty damned awesome. So, the game couldn't, and definitely shouldn't, be far behind, yeah?

Not really, no. Well, maybe. But only sarcastically.

Watchmen: End is Nigh is a horror game. In the sense that fans of the amazingly awesome graphic novel would find it utterly horrific and sacrilegious to everything they hold dear about the comic books. Yes. It is that bad.

The game tells the story about the team up between Nite Owl and Rorschach that was mentioned vaguely in the comic books. During a blackout, they go to a prison facility, where the backup generator has failed. They're there to quell a riot, and the prison guards, police, etc don't seem to like the duo much, too.

Graphically? It's okay. Nothing awe-inspiring, nothing to make you stop short and wonder, “Hmm. That's nice.” But, then in this day and age, where utter realism is the fad, and 2d crayons are cool, you can't truly judge a game by its looks. So, that's okay.

By innovation standards? It's got nothing.

Take that all out. Think horribly stupid AIs with sticks and knives. Think nothing-new-whatsoever in the last 20 years. And you have Watchmen, the episodic game. A reliable little bird has told me, that finishers for combos (combos, by themselves are pretty boring) are gruesome, bloody and messy. Hence, awesome, because we, too are godless sons of guns that feed our soul with mindless gore and violence. But, I didn't have the stomach to try it out for myself. As in, not that I can't handle the gore, but that I couldn't handle the game for more than 15 minutes.

The dark gritty atmosphere the developers went for didn't really seem like a dark gritty atmosphere- it was more along the lines of a dark tint that reminds the player of fumes, and smog, rather than noir.

I played with Rorschach, so tutorial comes in the form of bright posters with rorschachs (those crazy abstract ink patterns which apparently defines who you are) on them, with Rorschach's name on it, and is very subtly called “Rorschach's Journal.” …

You know what? I don't think the game is all that bad. I mean, it tells a story in the Watchmen universe, supervised by the original series' editor and artist. Sadly, Deadline Games sure tried very hard to make sure that playing the game isn't very fun, what with annoying controls, extremely repetitive gameplays, and grey dullness in general.

Remember that Punisher title from 2005? That was one amazingly fun game if you were in the mood for a beat-the-heck-out-of-baddies. There was a satisfying crunch every time you gunned down some low-life and made the streets a better place. Not here, though. Here it seems like… nothing. You bashed those buttons and put down those rioting criminals for nothing. No sense of achievement, no sense of “Yeah, bring it on, punk!” no anything. Disappointing.

While being in the super-hero genre, and the progeny of such a brilliant and popular one, you'd expect something really epic. Yeah. This episodic Watchmen game is definitely epic in something. Epic Fail…

Sorry, Deadline Games. Normal fail just doesn't cut it. I get your name, though. Punny.

I hereby grade this game, with considerable disappointment, a solid E-.


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