Monday, July 31, 2017

Manga Baby relaunch

It's manga, baby! Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Long-time readers may remember that I once had a secondary blog, about manga. I didn't even put a half-assed effort into it, more like a quarter, and so I closed it in shame after a few months.

But! Since it's One Piece's 20th anniversary, and seeing as how I'm almost done with Gen 7, I decided it was high time to try again. For my first project I'll be re-reading One Piece, and posting my thoughts about each volume. But I've got a bunch of other hella opinions about manga that I'll want to share, too.

For those worrying that this side-project will detract from the quality of NAPACE, let me assure you - it's not like things could get any worse around here, anyway.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

No. 798: Kartana

John Romero's about to make you his bitch.

Every evil team needs that one little guy. The Monstars had Nawt, the Ginyu Force had Guldo, and the Boston Celtics have Isaiah Thomas. Kartana is that guy for the Ultra Beasts.

I think it's a hilarious contrast to how stupidly huge most of his compatriots are, but being so small and cutting through anything is actually pretty terrifying if you think about it. Imagine this guy just flying around, almost undetectable, slicing cleanly through walls and necks and trees and stuff. He reminds me of the origami dudes from Spirited Away, so I'm also picturing like a swarm of them.

It's slightly odd that he's Grass/Steel - I know paper comes from trees, but it's so far removed from the concept of vegetation at that point, especially if it's just like a sharpened steel blade. I guess it's just so he can get STAB Razor Leaf and Leaf Blade, which I admit is kinda neat. And I suppose the combo makes him super vulnerable to Fire, just like actual paper, so in the end it checks out!

Ultra Grade: B+

Sunday, July 23, 2017

No. 797: Celesteela

Flight of the Bamboo Cutter ~ Lunatic Princess

First off, bitch be tall af. Second off, bitch be actually THREE bitchin' rockets. Third off, I don't know. Third base.

Celesteel is based on a Japanese folk-tale about some princess who's found in a shoot of bamboo, then flies to the moon. Honestly, she looks a helluva lot like a Persona. Which is fine, because that's what the Ultra Beasts should be, MegaTen-style entities from beyond the ken of mortal man.

And despite being a lunar bamboo rocketship princess, it somehow ends up looking rather elegant? I don't even mind the needle-thin neck, because the hair acts to smooth out the silhouette and provide weight.

Ultra Grade: A

Saturday, July 22, 2017

No. 796: Xurkitree

People thought this one would turn into Guzma. I don't know.

Living electrical wires honestly aren't too out-there when it comes to Pokemon, really. But Xurkitree is kinda cool, even if he has a dumb name. Yeah, I get it, it's like "circuitry" except you say it with the world's worst accent, that's not clever or interesting.

I think this guy would be better if his "limbs" were interchangeable, instead of being dedicated arms/legs/tail. Especially if he could walk around on 3 legs, that's such a weird thing that nothing in the natural world does. But going around like he is, seems more goofy than unnerving.

The biggest problem, though, is that his head appears to be literal spikes, instead of a sparking ball of electricity. We've got animated models, why do they keep missing obvious places to put particle effects and stuff? Happens with Magmortar's shoulder flames, too.

Ultra Grade: B-

Friday, July 21, 2017

No. 795: Pheromosa

"Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars!"

Pheromosa looking like Lusamine really only helped fuel those Lilie-Nihilego rumors, but it turns out they're utterly unconnected! Pheromosa isn't even remotely related to the plot, so it's unclear if Lusamine even knew what it looked like so she could model herself off it! strange.

But this one is like the female counterpart to Buzzswole - slim and trim instead of big and brolic. Also she's some sort of Lady Gaga cockroach? Who runs around at light speed and kicks things in the face? Sure, why not. Unlike the two box legendaries, you can't really go wrong here. I prefer Buzzswole, but Pheromosa is cool, too. Striking color scheme, fun hair/wings, and more eyelash than Tammy Faye Bakker. I don't see any problems here.

In closing, I'd like to motion that we make it canon that Buzzswole and Pheromosa are happily married in whatever hell-dimension they came from. Any objections? No? Then the motion passes.

Ultra Grade: A

Thursday, July 20, 2017

No. 794: Buzzswole

mad natty EV gains brah

Let's not think about how those "muscles" are actually probably sacs filled with blood. Instead, consider that Buzzswole has an excellent name and looks like a Street Sharks character. He looks like he could flex the bark off a tree. My guy is beyond ripped or shredded, he's torn to goddamn pieces of confetti.

Buzzswole didn't even skip leg day, you see those calves? And he's got FOUR legs, too, which means he has to squat FOUR TIMES AS HARD as the rest of us. Wait, I mean twice as hard. How does math work again? Who cares, what's important is that this bulging blood bug poses like Hulk Hogan and looks like he's about 3 seconds away from cutting an impromptu promo on his opponent at all times.

The only downside to this glorious beast is that he's only available in Sun, which means you'd miss out on Lunala.

Ultra Grade: A+

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

No. 793: Nihilego

Name reminds me of Ni'ihau

Yeah, I'm doing the Ultra Beasts. They're basically Pokemon, right? Just ones from another dimension? As such, I'm gonna make an exception to my normal grading criteria (which is a nebulous mental affair that's more exception than rule already) and think about them as crazy demon-spirit thingies. They weren't even trying to make them look like a proper Pokemon, so it's almost unfair to attempt to qualify them as such. These bastards are beyond even Legendaries, they have no place in the natural world at all.

And also because if I were to grade them on the normal scale, they'd all be 1's. And a month of that is just not fun.

In any case, we've got Nihilego up first, who looks a helluva lot like Lilie. I remember the theories that Lilie was secretly a Pokemon, but it turned out that she was actually raised to dress herself in imitation of Nihilego by her crazy mom oops, mind my spoilers.

It's got a weird ghostly quality to it, like a hollow girl - hat and hair, but no body. Creepy. Which makes it even stranger that it's Rock/Poison. Clearly this thing is jelly-like, or ectoplasmy. People have told me it's supposed to be glass, but the thing about that is, glass isn't rock. No other Pokemon interprets Rock-type that way. It feels arbitrary, like they just wanted to get a typing nobody had seen before. And I can't chalk this one up to being Ultra Beast-y, because the rest of them have pretty logical types.

Ultra Grade: A-