Tag Archives: Stranger Things

Secondary Findings: Guilty Gear, MultiVersus, Etc.

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Advertisements

Las Ruinas by Rico Nasty

I have always been much more of a casual fan of Rico Nasty than a dedicated listener. Sure, I heard her featured on tracks with other artists like Denzel Curry and enjoyed her performances. Even on her own singles, she clearly has an aesthetic and direction she enjoys However, nothing has really compelled me to listen to a full project from her. At least, not until now.

I got to say, though, as the only full-length project I have heard from her, this is surprisingly great. The fusion of a wide variety of genres was not something I expected, even despite her singles like “Intrusive” leaning pretty significantly into hyperpop territory. Songs like “Phuckin Lady” demonstrate Rico’s tight flow even on faster, break-core style production, and the slower acoustic ballads such as “Easy on Me” and “Chicken Nugget” show she is more than just a rapper vocally. Even for people who are not “into hip-hop/rap,” I recommend giving this a try.

Creepy Nuts

Call of the Night is currently my favorite seasonal, even above Made in Abyss, for one simple reason: aesthetic. The story is by no means bad. In fact, I would love to do some kind of post breaking down its themes when the series is over. However, the show has cultivated an air that just oozes cool, in no small part to the band Creepy Nuts.

Ok, “band” is maybe slightly inaccurate, at least connotatively. Creepy Nuts is a duo comprised of rapper R-Shitei and producer DJ Matsunaga. The two formed officially in 2017 and have gone on to have a lot of success not just in music but in various other areas of entertainment, even now hosting their own radio show.

What I love about this group is how, while they are indeed centered in hip-hop, they are able to pull off a variety of styles, from their jazz influence which can be felt in the opening and ending of Call of the Night, to their other work which takes from many genres. I have not listened to enough of them to have a favorite project, but needless to say, I will be listening to them quite a bit from now on.

Strangers Things…Again!

The last time I put out one of these posts, Stranger Things season four had only gotten through its first half. However, the second half came out right at the beginning of July, and wow it was incredible. I was not sure what to expect from a nearly four-hour-long finale, but everyone involved was on their A-game when it came to this ending.

The acting was absolutely incredible, but shout-out to Netflix for calling it, I guess, because Caleb Maclaughlin as Lucas arguably had one of the best performances. My favorite of the season, alongside many others from what I can tell, is Gaten Matarazzo playing Dustin. He went from not much more than comic relief to arguably one of the most compelling storylines of the season, alongside fan favorite Eddie, anyway. The worst performance I would actually give to Finn Wolfhard, not because it was actually bad, but rather because everyone else was amazing by comparison.

The settings and background shots were also fantastic. Dumping money into a series may not always be the best way to get good results, but the 30 Million Dollars per episode budget definitely did not hurt when it came to bringing alive Vecna’s House, the Upside-Down, the Russian Prison, and various other locations. Overall, a fantastic way to end the season, and one that most certainly builds the hype for season five.

Advertisements

Guilty Gear Strive

Slowly, but surely, I am getting back into Guilty Gear Strive. I picked up the game a few months after its release last year and enjoyed the game’s mechanics a lot. Yet, I enjoyed its aesthetics a lot more, which is primarily why I ended up buying it. The metal-inspired soundtrack combined with its unique fantasy world and colorful characters made me want to get into it. However, I ultimately stopped playing because…eh?

While I may be juggling this blog along with competing in Smash, as a casual fan of the traditional FGC, Strive has been one of my favorite viewing experiences of the last year. The mechanics are a bit complicated, but not so much that someone who knows literally nothing about the game cannot enjoy it. So, yeah, hopefully, I will have time to play more in the future.

MultiVersus

Platform fighters as a whole are seeing potentially the largest interest surge in the genre’s history. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and Melee are both doing great in terms of viewership, Rivals continues to draw a decent crowd of its own despite having a significantly smaller competitive community, and while Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl ultimately ended up kind of unfinished, it too had a strong interest grow around the game upon announcement.

MultiVersus seems like it could be adding to that surge, with a cast that spans the Warner Brothers universe, from Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time and Steven Universe to Shaggy and Velma of Scooby Doo. On top of that, the game’s mechanics are not only fun but show the team’s willingness to experiment beyond being “just another smash game.” In particular, the perks system introduces a new level of strategy and seems designed to test what aspects of a character the player values.

This is only compounded by the game’s emphasis on the two versus two format, where teamwork and communication are essential. Doubles formats in platform fighters have historically been unexplored, largely due to the genre’s emphasis on single-player experiences which tend to mirror normal FGC titles. However, given the genre’s unique emphasis on positioning and the many differences when it comes to executing combos, the two versus two format could very much flourish in a game like MultiVersus.


What non-anime/manga things have you all been enjoying recently? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Advertisements

Secondary Findings: Redveil, Stranger Things, Blue Box, etc.

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Advertisements

Welcome back to another edition of “talking about random things I like cause it makes me feel good.” For those joining this series for the first time, Basically, anything that either I do not feel like covering in full or does not fit within the usual scope of the blog. I try to keep these a few months spread apart so that people do not get bored and I actually have stuff to talk about. With that being said, I hope you Enjoy

learn 2 swim by redveil

Something that most probably do not know about me is that I am a pretty big RAP and Hip-Hop. In 2022? I know, very surprising, but it is true. However, since I do not talk about music that much on this site, I figured this would be a great place to talk about said music.

First on that list is an album that seemed to take a lot of critics by surprise, learn 2 swim. Redveil is an artist that I honestly knew nothing about before this project, but he certainly has my attention after its release. A lot of the instrumentals seem to be sampling or inspired by jazz and soul, with most of the tracks having a flare reminiscent of a downtown street performance. My only gripe with it musically is that some of the tracks can sound a little samey, but given its overall narrative arc that makes sense.

Speaking of, the lyrical capability on this album is absolutely insane. Lines like “growth ain’t one direction it’s a tour” gave me pause and honestly sent me into a bit of self-reflection. The over-arching narrative is one of self-growth, looking back on the past as a way of informing the present. All of this is made even more impressive by the fact that redveil himself is only 18 and produced the majority of the album by himself.

At the end of the day, learn 2 swim is an incredible album. It has basically everything one could want out of a hip-hop record, so if you’re looking for something a little more low-key and experimental I would highly recommend it.

Things with Wings by ericdoa

On the note of experimental, I talked previously about my love hyperpop and its adjacent sounds. ericdoa’s previous solely record COA is considered largely a success in that regard, with a variety of hyperpop/EDM-focused sounds, leaning on a good amount of vocal modulation to boot.

Things with Wings is taken a bit of a departure while still retaining a bit of what gave COA its hyperpop identity. It is decidedly more pop, with songs like “phases” leaning into more funk sounds and “victim” feeling more like traditionally dance-pop.

Surprisingly, there are no features of which to speak, which is a bit of a shame since some of the songs could have used the additional length as many feel a tad too short. Most of the songs have a verse and maybe a small breakdown. Still, eric is a capable vocalist and manages to carry the majority of the songs pretty well.

The album definitely has its shortcomings, but it is still a lot of fun. So, anyone who is interested in that sort of sound should give it a chance as well.

Advertisements

Stranger Things

Well, I was supposed to finish part one of season four with my siblings and my mom…but, that did not really work out. Everyone kept having something going on, and so I just said screw it and finished it by myself.

I do actually feel a bit bad though, cause wow, that was an amazing way to start the final season. The hype may have died down a bit from the series being delayed by COVID and Netflix’s general incompetence but it still felt well worth the wait.

Stranger Things has always felt at its best when disconnected storylines build and then eventually meet, and thus far the series has done an excellent job of that. I will leave this section spoiler-free since, by the time this comes out, the series will still be relatively new. What I will say, though, is that the horror in this season has been turned up to eleven (all puns intended). That 30 million per episode budget may feel ridiculous, but it seems to have accomplished something at least.

If I were to pick a favorite character, however, it would probably be Dustin. In the past, Dustin has come off as mainly just the comic relief of the group, for better or for worse. In season four, it feels as though he is finally coming into his own, almost becoming the “mad scientist” of the group. Overall, it was a fantastic start and I am genuinely excited to see how part 2 wraps ups the series.

Trash Taste Podcast

Putting this here almost feels stupid since the number of views they get on one episode seems to suggest that just about everyone watches them at this point. However, I recently got back into watching the Trash Taste Podcast, so I figured I would talk about it.

Despite having the least history watching him as a creator, it was actually CDawgVA that got me back into it. His second channel just happened to show up in my recommendations, after which I started watching his videos which eventually lead me back to Trash Taste.

I am not gonna sit here and pretend like I have always been the biggest fan of their work. (The whole Flying Colors Foundation thing from years back still makes me seriously question their trustworthiness). However, I have been missing something to put on in the background while I fall asleep, and so it fills a nice role that way.

For what it is worth, though, I do think they are genuinely pretty entertaining. The way they go off on stupid tangents at basically every point of a given episode makes it a lot more engaging and fun to listen to. It is a tad disappointing that do not talk about anime more, considering that is kind of what it was originally advertised as, but still a great podcast overall.

Blue Box

I am putting this here only because I honestly do not know if I will end up covering it for the blog or not. However, I did manage to read the first few chapters of Blue Box, a sports/romance manga that is currently being serialized in Shonen Jump. I found out about it after watching Super Eyepatch Wolf’s recent breakdown of Shonen Jump, and I have to say, I am impressed so far.

The introductory chapters are about what one would expect from the above description. However, there is an earnestness in the characters’ feelings which does resonate quite a bit. Also, despite how obvious it was, I would be lying if I said the reveal at the end of chapter two did not catch me off guard.

The art, while not particularly detailed, is nice enough to look at, and the character designs are distinct enough that I do not have to do a double-take while reading, which is more than I can say for some other series. The whole thing honestly reminds me more of a shoujo aesthetic than it does a sports manga, which makes sense considering the romance seems to be the main focus. I am excited to eventually catch up and see where exactly the series will go.


What have you all been enjoying recently? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, thank you to our Patron Jenn for being absolutely fantastic!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Advertisements