Sunday, January 22, 2017

FMA Homonculi vs FMAB Homonculi

For anyone familiar with the Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series, you'll know that Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is undeniably the better of the two they are two very different series. The differences appear in origin stories, character development, the removal of or addition of other characters, the meaning behind where alchemical power comes from, and who are the Seven Sins Homonculi and what their personalities are like.

Now, while I should state that I have an incredible bias towards Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in every way possible, what follows is my comparisons between the Seven Sins Homonculi in each series, with absolutely no unbiased commentary whatsoever. I just wanted to make that clear.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Envy

I can't be the only one that had trouble with Envy's gender?
Envy was the same physically in either series (with the exception of his monster form) but there were some key differences in his motives that affected his personality. To quote the wiki:

"In the first anime adaptation, Envy was the first homunculus and the only one with no desire to become human..."

Now, someone explain to me, how the literal embodiment of "I want that because you have it!" is the only homonculus to not desire to be human in a series? How does that make any sense?!

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Envy

Well that's not horrifying
I adore the symbolism of this form. He just had to take in all those souls. Why? Because that's what envy is. It's that hollowness, that emptiness inside. The desire to fill that in this monstrous way is such a perfect embodiment of enviousness. Envy's other form also embodies envy. (When making an argument for why a character named after a trait embodies that trait, I'm feeling very redundant...)

Evokes the perfect mixture of pity and disgust.

Unlike the other series, in this series, Envy desperately wants to be human, but is ashamed of his...envy, which in fact, is very reflective of someone consumed by envy. (I have said the word envy so many times!) 

Fullmetal Alchemist - Greed

Greed, also known as the deadly sin of fabulousness!
To be fair, I feel there are less writing and character development sins with Greed in this series. He wanted it all, but I don't feel he fought for it as hard and depression seemed to take over at some point as well.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Greed

Can't touch this.
Now, Greed has this form in both series, but I had to meet my quota for pictures included so there ya go. Greed in this series was allowed to self-reflect a lot more, was allowed more character development, and was even able to take up residence in another body. Now, while that doesn't mean that this Greed was better developed at his base, it does mean that this Greed was given far more screen time and therefore the opportunity was given to us as viewers to delve into his personality more, and that's always satisfying.

So satisfying
While I can admit that this part of the series, in some ways, felt like a stretch, it was really satisfying to watch one homonculus go through something completely different from all the others. He adapted. Furthermore, it's not as if Ling didn't embody greed himself, if from a place of good intentions. Seeing them fuse together and the resulting struggle was incredibly satisfying from a story-telling perspective.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Gluttony

Poor, fat, baby.
I actually like Gluttony being portrayed as very much like a child. It makes sense. When we are infants, our only concern is comfort. A large part of that is being fed, and, as we all know, children need to be fed every few hours. His childlike need to satisfy his hunger pairs well with his occasional moments of naivete. However, much like Greed, he just wasn't as expanded in this series.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Gluttony

Get in mah belly!
 In this series, we get, pretty much, the same Gluttony, on a far better end. Pride having to betray his brethren in order to eat Gluttony was one of many perfect moments in the series that highlighted the divide between the sympathetic homonculi from those that drew no sympathy.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Lust

What a lost, vapid expression.
In this series, Lust struggles with her identity. As the reanimated, homonculus version of a devoted wife, she struggles with hurting others or even her sexuality. How is that lust? I'll tell you how, by accident. She's not the focused, determined, sexual monster of the Brotherhood series. She's the vapid bimbo who happened to grow up with a nice pair and figured out, entirely by accident, that she could occasionally get her way by wearing a low cut shirt. Give me a break.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - Lust

If I can't use you, what good are you?
The disdain she has in this picture is fantastic and is the epitome of why I love this version of her so much better. Lust doesn't give a flying fuck about who she's hurting. After all, that's part of the fun in seduction, right? It is her earned privilege to see someone fall apart after she's caught them in her web. That's what she's in this for, and that's what makes her such an amazing villain.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Sloth

I can't be the only one that thought this was lazy writing.
This. Drove me. Crazy. Your mom is back and alive and walking around as not your mom and in far sexier clothes but somehow that was kept secret from you even though you both work for the government and in the same building no less.


Compared to Brotherhood's version of Sloth, this really felt thrown in at the last minute and she didn't seem to exemplify any characteristics of anything, let alone sloth.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Sloth

A giant beast of a creature enslaved to do your bidding, constantly moaning "Mendokuse" (what a bother, how annoying, etc.), now that's Sloth! Everything about him screams how greatly he is irritated at the work he's been given. He's large, slow, and unbearably inconvenienced. We don't see much of either Sloth in either series, but with this Sloth, that made sense. He had literal underground work to do for most of the series. It fit into the plot well and his emergence into the plot was just really satisfying.

This is really getting in the way of all the digging he's supposed to be doing.
Fullmetal Alchemist - Wrath

This isn't Wrath. It's insanity.
In this series, Wrath is Izumi's attempt at bringing back her child that she lost, which, in and of itself pisses me off, because it robs the ENTIRE SERIES of ONE OF THE BEST SCENES IN ANYTHING EVER!

I have nothing comedic for this level of sadness.
When Edward was determined to find out whether the body they brought back was even their mother, he discovered that the creature they buried didn't even have the same hair color as their mom. After this discovery, they called Izumi to let her know, and she thanked them. Edward didn't understand this at the time, which confused me. Ed and Al were so grateful that they didn't put their mother through that. Why wouldn't they also understand Izumi's relief? She says, in absolute solace, that she's so thankful she didn't kill her child twice (not that she killed her child the first time).

Having Wrath come back as her child completely robs the series of this profound realization (as does this series' entire take on homonculi). It also reaffirms that you can, in fact, bring back loved ones, but incompletely, and as homonculi, whereas, in Brotherhood, it's affirmed that you cannot, in any way, bring someone back after they're gone. This sharp difference between the series is exemplified in the way Izumi is made to bear the burden of her mistake in caring for Wrath in this series, instead of giving her the relief of letting go. It diminishes her strength of character for the rest of the series in a way we don't see in Brotherhood.

Furthermore, this kid isn't wrath. I'm sorry, but he isn't. He's a child with a temper tantrum exploding back and forth between delightful glee and rage, only resorting to the latter when he doesn't get his way. Do you think true Wrath would care about getting his way in any way that that was the only consequence to inducing his fury? No! Wrath would be full of rage and violence and bloodlust regardless of circumstances. That's the point! We all feel rage, and every other sin, depending on circumstances. A character that only feels an emotion some of the time isn't a character that deserves to embody that trait exclusively.

Your joyful exuberance sickens me.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Wrath

Now, this is the face of wrath.
King Bradley does so much better as wrath because he embodies both cool wrath and full-blown rage. When he's "calm, cool, and collected" he makes it very apparent that it comes from a place of arrogance, of complete assurance in his strength and ability, but not so much as a leader, as as a soldier. This, to me, makes perfect sense. Wrath isn't concerned about getting its own way. Wrath is concerned about wrath. Wrath is concerned about violence. Wrath is concerned about having an outlet for their rage, and whatever gives them that, is whatever they're on board with.

I have a sword. Now just give me someone to stab.
Fullmetal Alchemist - Pride

I'm just brimming with self-assurance. Can't you tell?
King Bradley, the Fuhrer, the leader of Amestris, is Pride himself in the Fullmetal Alchemist series. Now, my criticism of this choice, is going to sound contradictory to itself, but try to follow me. I think King Bradley is far too reserved and far too unreserved to deserve the title of Pride. When I talk of Pride, or any of the Seven Sins personified, I am talking about how I personally see that sin and how I imagine its embodiment, not the individual characters and personalities that represent them in this series.

I tell you that, to tell you that, Pride is enveloped in himself, consumed in his own identity and how valuable he believes he is. Pride is in control because Pride can't fathom a reality in which he is not the best. It should only be when this reality is threatened that Pride looses his cool. Even then, he would not turn to anger so much as manipulation. Turning to anger when your identity is threatened is Wrath. Turning to further manipulation, further sinking into one's rabbit hole of lies and ego, that's what Pride does.

While King Bradley is largely calm and composed, and even at times, prideful, he is far more humble than anything else. He places much of his value not in himself, but in Father or in "the plan" or in progress, however he sees it, and this is true of Bradley in both series. Now, while pride can masquerade as humility, it is my personal opinion that, more often than not, Bradley's humility is genuine.

He doesn't care much about himself. Even when he describes how he used to be human and the process he underwent to become a homunculus, it's as if he's detached himself from either category and is more concerned with goals as something to put weight into. That is the attitude of someone who sees the big picture as bigger than themselves. That's not the attitude of Pride. In these ways, Bradley is far too reserved to be Pride.

In other ways, he's too unreserved. His gloating is forced, and his ego is obvious. Painfully so. People truly consumed with pride have learned how to hide these traits most of the time, because being prideful doesn't get you the attention and accolades you're after. You have to learn false humility, and prideful people know this. Bradley doesn't. There's no way he got to that level of power and didn't learn it either. It's just awkward and forced and disappointing.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Pride

The villain we deserve
Whoever animated Selim Bradley in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood deserves all the awards. The body language, the facial expressions, the insane amount of control and manipulation he exudes are palpable and he's everything you want in a villain. He's intelligent, conceited, manipulative, full of disdain, and impatient with failure but patient towards the end goal. His composure is impressive and it makes it all the more satisfying when he loses it in the end.

He totally knows how to play the sweet, innocent, little, school boy, the perfect child, and then, on a dime, switch over to a power hungry, impatient, warlord-esque, manipulator dangling his power over your head, just in case you forgot how easily he could squash you. And boy, does he love reminding people of that! His ability to go from wide-eyed wonder to consumed with disdain and compete assurance is proof of his understanding of how pride really works. It's manipulative. It's patient. It's judgmental of others. And it's sure it's going to win.

You could eat the smugness off a plate its so real.

So these are entirely my own reasons for why I think the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood rendition of the seven deadly sins evoked more of the true characteristics of the vices. Feel free to agree or disagree below!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Super Mario Workout Master Post

  1. Super Mario Workout

Sonic the Hedgehog Workout Master Post

  1. Sonic the Hedgehog's Workout
  2. How to Get Fast Like Sonic and Rainbow Dash (Tough Like the Toonz EP1)

Shura no Toki Workout Master Post

  1. Mutsu Enmei-ryu Training- Part 1

Sailor Moon Workout Master Post

  1. The Beauty Workout

Prince of Tennis Workout Master Post

  1. Prince of Tennis- Play the Game
  2. Kaidoh's Training

Minecraft Workout Master Post

  1. Minecraft Workout

My Little Pony Workout Master Post

  1. Fluttershy's Training
  2. Tough Like the Toonz EP1: How to Get Fast like Sonic and Rainbow Dash

My Hero Academia Workout Master Post

  1. All-Might Deku Training (Tough Like the Toons, EP11)

Garouden Workout Master Post

  1. Bunshichi Tanba's Daily Training

Full Contact Workout Master Post

  1. "Full Contact" Basic Training

Eyeshield 21 Workout Master Post

  1. Eyeshield 21- Play the Game
  2. Sena's Basic Training

Danny Phantom Workout Master Post

  1. Danny's Fitness Test Workout

Crossover Workout Master Post

  1. Crossover- Play the Game

Bowling King Workout Master Post

  1. Bowling King- Play the Game
  2. Shautei Lei's Basic Training

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Real Anime Food - Cute High Earth Defense Club Curry

Watch these series. Do it.
Cute High Earth Defense Club is a parody of magical girl series with an all male cast for both the heroes and the villains. Copious amounts of fan service and ridiculousness ensue. If that sounds like your bag of chips, watch it and comment with what you thought! I'd love to know.

In one episode of the series, they have to come up with a stand for their school's Culture Festival. After some debate, they decide to serve curry and "cosplay" as those new heroes everyone's been seeing around school lately.

After reviewing the conversation they had about the style of curry, examining the picture and comparing it to actual pictures of curry, and researching Japanese curry, I've come up with my own recipe for Cute High Earth Defense Club Curry.

First, we're going to make Tsukemono. Note: This part of the recipe needs to sit overnight, so make it the night before.

Warning: Addictive

  • 2 red peppers, sliced or diced (I did sliced)
  • 1.5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Mix all ingredients in a pan and cook until softened. Refrigerate overnight. 

The next day, we'll start by getting our veggies going.

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut
  • 3-4 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Add all ingredients to pot with enough water to boil the vegetables. When the vegetables are done, DO NOT DRAIN. Leave them in their flavored water. Super important. While the veggies are cooking, let's get on the rice.

  • 2 cups white rice
Cook the rice. (I used a rice cooker.)

While the rice and vegetables are cooking, you're going to use another pan to cook your meat.

  • 2 pounds beef tips
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced (I used a food processor. You may keep them chunkier if you like.)
  • 1.5 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cut or process your onion to your preference and add to the oil and garlic in your pan. Add your beef tips and salt and pepper to taste. Cook through. While your meat is cooking, you're going to make Tonkatsu sauce. Think of these as BBQ sauce, Japanese style.

  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 talbespoons malt vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
Mix and set aside. It's going to taste really sweet, but don't worry. Once everything is mixed together, it won't be an issue. I'm issuing this warning because when I tasted it, the sweetness made me nervous, and I don't want you to be nervous. I got your back. Everything's going to be okay.

When your meat is done, add the meat and onion mixture to your vegetables. If you're worried there's too much water still in your vegetables, you may drain some of it, but still leave enough to, at least, almost cover them before adding in the meat and onion mixture. Next, we're going to make our curry sauce!

  • 1 red pepper, cut to your preference
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • Tonkatsu sauce
Add the pepper to whatever oil and seasonings are left in your pan. Add 3 tablespoons butter and cook until softened. Now, this is the tricky part. Pay careful attention. No walking away from your food for this part! You're going to be adding "light dustings" of flour, bits at a time and stirring thoroughly. The goal here is to thicken the butter without creating flour clumps. Since we need to add the flour and the curry powder, I alternated between the two as I went, but this isn't necessary. You may add all the curry at once and just focus on adding the flour lightly bits at a time. You may not need the full 1/8 cup, but that's about how much I used. Just keep an eye on it until it looks like a thick paste. At this point, add the tonkatsu and stir thoroughly. If it becomes soupy, add more flour as before to keep it thick.

At this point, we're going to "de-thick-ify" it. It's very important that you don't add the tonkatsu mixture to the brothy mixture you have with your vegetables all at once. It won't mix well. Instead, use a serving spoon to add one spoonful at a time of the liquid from your vegetables and meat. Do this until the tonkatsu mixture is sufficiently "soupy". At this point, you can add all the tonkatsu mixture back in with the vegetables and meat. Then, you have curry! Serve with the white rice and a little bit of the tsukemono on the side.

I ate the tsukemono as a sort of palate cleanser throughout the meal to break up the taste, but you can eat it all at first or even mix it in together. Whatever you like! If you try out this recipe, let us know in the comments below! Enjoy your Real Anime Food!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

My Favorite 10 Sailor Moon Youma

I have always been a big fan of all the various monsters sent out in Sailor Moon and how bizarre and creepy they can be. These are my favorite ten youma, the monsters sent out by the Dark Kingdom in season one. They are based on personality, creep factor, ability, and interaction with the "good guys". Don't see your favorite on the list? Comment below and tell us yours!

10. Boxy

Boxy is one of the Seven Great Youma, the youma who were already reincarnated into human beings, humans who didn't know that they held these monstrous beings inside of them. It became Zoisite's duty to recover them to serve the Dark Kingdom.

Boxy makes my list just because he's so wonderfully absurd.

That's right. I'm a boxer and an angel.

9. Derella

Derella is a half-dressed, ice queen-looking, bitch sent by Jadeite to absorb the energy of eager young starlets looking to find their fame in a local talent show.

The cold never bothered me anyway.
She is not, however, an ice queen, but, instead, a glass....queen... She uses a spitting ability to immobilize a famous singer so she can steal her identity. From this position, she gathers students, police men, and anyone who will listen to her hypnotic powers to try out for her special talent show, the winner of which, will be a star! Luring in helpless victims in this manner, she and her master Jadeite, intend to steal great deals of energy for the dark kingdom.

Spitting streams of glass? No wonder she's screaming!
Derella makes spot 9 on my list because of her snarky attitude, her creepy spit powers, oh, and because of this.

I'm not sure glass is supposed to do that.
8. Rikoukeidar

Another Rainbow Crystal inhabitant, Rikoukeidar was one of the Seven Great Youma, like Boxy, but, is far more terrifying in ability. In addition to dodging explosions, the Sailor Scouts had to avoid their own attacks thrown back at them because of this youma's abilities. That's never a good day, in any anime.

Not too hard on the eyes though, you know, for a green lady.

7. Petasos

Petasos is one pissed off version of Mother Nature who is infuriated that man is destroying the world in the way that he is. Nephrite uses her to take up residence in the hat of a saddened, old, man who will soon have to give up his job tending to the gardens of a beautiful park, because the city intends to build a mall over it. She grows his bitterness until his peak, using his energy to explode into her true form and wreak havoc in the name of the Dark Kingdom.

Even her hair is angry with you.
In addition to having way cooler hair than I'll ever have, Petasos makes the seventh spot in my list because she has the ability to control nature itself to her will.

Now I'm jealous of her powers and her hair.

6. Cameran

Cameran (I love the pun names, I really do) is a youma placed by Nephrite in the camera of a talented young photographer who was beginning to worry he had lost his passion for the art. She drove him into a frenzy of desperately trying to photograph as many beautiful, young women as possible, when, previously, he had only taken pictures of nature. Once his energy had reached its peak, she burst forward in her true form.

Those shoulders though.
As if her physical structure wasn't unsettling enough as it is, her frenzy for capturing the energy of others was done in a manner that was horrifying to say the least. She uses an eyeball inside of her hand, along with a brilliant light, to capture people inside of pictures, where, if it weren't for Sailor Moon, they'd be trapped for eternity. Her unnerving physical form and abilities are why I think she's deserves a spot in my top ten favorite youma.

People forget how fucking creepy Sailor Moon can be.
5. Bakene

In the most adorable little love story between a rather plump Earth cat and his crush on Luna, Sailor Moon's cat from the moon kingdom, Rhett Butler (yes, the cat's name is Rhett Butler) discovers that he, too, is the holder of a Rainbow Crystal, and thus, one of the Seven Great Youma.

Now, try not to judge me too hard here, but...kitties.

Isn't he just the cuddliest little thing?

4. Jumeau

In my previous writing, I wrote about the episode with Usagi's little brother Shingo and his friend Mika. In that same episode is a wonderfully creepy youma named Jumeau. In addition to throwing evil porcelain dolls flying at her enemies

3. Castor and Pollux

Yes, I realized I listed two names. These two are a package deal. Nephrite implanted these two in a young, competitive artist. Driven by the drive implanted in her by their dark energy to be the best, she reached her peak point, drawing Castor and Pollux into the world to sap her of her energy for the Dark Kingdom.

I seriously adore this character design.
I personally have a weakness for a good duo that shows some sort of duality or symmetry. The two worked together to "mimic" Sailor Scout attacks in this beautiful dance of working together. I am just a sucker for stuff like that.

2. Shakoukai

This. Youma. Kills me. She was absolutely hysterical. In the episode featuring Shakoukai, a prominent etiquette school opens up to lure Sailor Moon out of hiding. Since she's known as unbearably clumsy and unrefined. When Shakoukai believes she's finally figured out who Sailor Moon is, she appears, clad in various shells, looking rather elegant. However, she has a strange sort of stupidity about her. She's so wrapped up in grammar and proper formality, that she's easily outraged or distracted, which Sailor Moon uses to her advantage. Pair her amazing character design with this irresistible humor and I just can't get enough of watching her exasperation with Sailor Moon!

If only tea solved all our problems.
1. Murid

This one is my favorite! We made it to the top of the list! If I ever get the opportunity, I'd truly love to cosplay as her because her character design is phenomenal. Personality wise her character goes from the epitome of unbearably precious to the most wonderfully creepy incarnation of evil. Let's do a before and after, shall we?

In addition to this character design and personality switching that I am just in love with, she has the ability to control your "dreams". Not sleepy-time dreams, but those precious thoughts we hold dear in our hearts and hope to come true; that's what she uses to turn against us, using hallucinations sent forth from her control of her dark apple.

Snow White and the Evil Queen wrapped up in one creepy doll.
Now, there are tons of monsters of various kinds throughout the Sailor Moon series. These were only my favorite from season one. Comment with your favorite Sailor Moon monsters from any season! Ever cosplayed as one or know someone who has? Share that with us too!

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