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What’s Hot: The Life of Severus Snape (fan made video)

It’s been almost 18 years since the first book in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series came out. Many – if not most – kids have grown up reading the books and watching the movies, eagerly anticipating the release of the next one in the series.

The story of a young wizard, as he grows up, learns about his past, has adventures, and faces his destiny of battling the evil Lord Voldemort. We root for Harry the whole way.

But.

Woven alongside is another story.

A story of love. And anguish. And bravery.

The story of Severus Snape.

You don’t choose who you fall in love with.

Going viral right now is a YouTube video, made by Harry Potter fan kcawesome13, of “Severus Snape’s most important scenes and arcs in the Harry Potter film series in chronological order”.

 Grab your box of Kleenex.

And be prepared to be pulled back into the world of Harry Potter for 15 minutes of feels.

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Anime Video reviews What's Hot

What’s Hot: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “Double Rainboom” fan-made episode

Double Rainboom is finally out! A totally fan-made full length MLP:FiM episode, starring all your favorite ponies.  Made as a class project by FlamingoRich with assistance from a whole crew of MLP fans/bronies, and full permission of Hasbro, Double Rainboom is a clever, colorful treat!

Twilight has worked for a long time to create a magical potion. Except, she’s not really sure what it does. So, of course, Rainbow Dash drinks it. Suddenly, Rainbow Dash is super powerful. She does a double rainboom, and ends up transporting herself to a new dimension.  The PowerPuff Girls’ dimension…

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Video reviews What's Hot

What’s Hot: Simon’s Cat in “Shelf Life”

A carefree cat has a smashing time. 54 seconds of pure fun from the amazing Simon Tofield. Want more? Here’s Cat in “The Box”.

 

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What’s Hot: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic

Yesterday I read in the news about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a new show that was becoming an internet meme and gaining a following of grown men – also known as “bronies” – even though the show’s target audience is 7 year old girls.

Honestly, my daughter is 8, and she packed up all her My Little Ponies last year, put them in a bag and gave them to me, saying “Here, I am SO done with these”.

I was actually doing some research, getting ready to list them on eBay, when I realized MLP  was a hot item and selling for good money. I wondered what was up – why was MLP so hot now?

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Video game reviews Video reviews What's Hot

What’s Hot: Maplestory New Leaf Saga

My kids all agree the new animated Maplestory shorts, New Leaf Saga, by Brian Schmoyer (aka CirrusEpix) are hilarious.

Schmoyer, a teacher and animator from North Carolina, originally created 3 Maplestory parody shorts just for fun – as a satire of mmorpg gameplay and the typical neverending, repetitive, and illogical questing, endless monster killing (also known as grinding), along with “hackers, noobs and online romance”.

Ironically, as a result of Nexon’s marketing department seeing the parody shorts, Schmoyer ended up getting hired to produce original animations for Nexon.  Written and animated by Schmoyer, the New Leaf Saga animations explain a little bit about Maplestory, show how to play, and are informational, witty, and entertaining.

According to Schmoyer’s blog, messages he hopes to get across to the Maplestory community through New Leaf Saga include:  be nice to others, balance your playtime/play less, and create real friendships.  If you’re a Maplestory fan, be sure to check them out!

New Leaf Saga

MapleStory New Leaf Saga – Episode 1 – “Looking for Group”

(see video at top of post)

MapleStory New Leaf Saga – Episode 2 – “Epic Gear”

MapleStory New Leaf Saga – Episode 3 – “Classy”

MapleStory New Leaf Saga – Episode 4 – “B.R.B.”

MapleStory New Leaf Sata – Episode 5 – “Friends List”

MapleStory New Leaf Saga – Episode 6 – “The Problem with Portals”

A maplestory parody

Here are the original 3 shorts Schmoyer created that started it all:

The TRUE MapleStory

Another Maple Story

The Last Maple Story

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Review: .hack//Quantum

The latest in the .hack conglomerate, .hack//Quantum is an animated three part OVA released in Japan January 2011.  Quantum is the story of Sakuya (who looks like a female Kite), Tobias, and Mary, and their adventures in The World R:X.

Here’s a couple of YouTube preview links here and here.  Can’t wait to watch this – hope I can find it with English subs soon!

Check out my earlier review of the overall .hack mythology here, and my other posts with more details on Sign, Roots, G.U., Link, and Quantum.

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Review: .hack//Link

.hack//Link takes place after .hack//G.U., and is the story of a gamer, Tokio, who can’t wait to play The World R:X. but is unable to get access.  A mysterious transfer student, Saikaal, invites him to play and somehow transports him, body and consciousness, into the game where she treats him as a slave.  It’s quickly apparent something has gone wrong in The World – Tsukasa shows up and is acting strange, Haseo is still crazy and searching for Tri Edge – it’s up to Tokio to figure things out.

There are three .hack//Link manga books currently available, and a .hack//Link PSP video game, released in Japan only.  While the art style for the beginning of .hack//Link  isn’t consistent with the typical .hack art style, that’s true only for the opening sequence – the rest of the game is has the typical .hack look.

There are also future plans for a .hack//Link animated OVA tie-in.

Check out my earlier review of the overall .hack mythology here, and my other posts with more details on Sign, Roots, G.U., Link, and Quantum

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Review: .hack//G.U.

Once you have watched Roots, you’ll want to continue the story either by playing the .hack//G.U. video games (Rebirth, Reminisce, Redemption), watching .hack//G.U. Trilogy, or by reading the .hack//G.U.+ manga or the .hack//G.U. novels (The Terror of Death, Borderline MMO, Harald’s Archetype).

Haseo’s story continues, and he’s recruited into Project G.U. and the guild Raven.  Still searching for a way to save Shino and the Lost Ones, Haseo trains to regain his character’s strength and power.  Haseo learns about his hidden power and struggles to gain control of it.  While there are many familiar characters from .hack//Roots, we are introduced to several new characters including Endrance, Atoli, Bo and Saku, and Sakaki.  Haseo has several arena battles, becomes more involved with Atoli and Moon Tree guild, learns more about AIDA and the 8 Phases/Epitaphs/Morganna Factors and grows into his role as an Epitaph User with his Avatar Skeith.  (Cool fact:  Skeith means “Shadow” in Old Scottish.)

Mysteries are unveiled right up to the very end, and we watch as the characters are faced with questions such as – to what lengths will a person go to, to achieve their goals?  At what costs?  What are we capable of?  How strong is the human will?

For more information:

www.dothack.com

wikipedia.org/wiki/.hack_GU

dothack.wikia.com

Liar’s Smile (From .hack//G.U. Trilogy) ***Warning:  Spoilers***

Check out my earlier review of the overall .hack mythology here, and my other posts with more details on Sign, Roots, G.U., Link, and Quantum.  And, here’s a little bonus, now that we’re getting in deeper…

The Epitaph of Twilight: (source)

Yet to return, the shadowed one.

Who quests for the Twilight Dragon

Rumbles the Dark Hearth,

And Helba, Queen of the Dark,

has raised finally her army.

Apeiron, King of Light beckons.

At the base of the rainbow do they meet

Against the abominable Wave,

together they fight.

Alba’s lake boils.

Light’s great tree doth fall.

Power- now all to droplets turned

in the temple of Arche Koeln.

Returns to nothing,

this world of shadowless ones.

Never to return, the shadowed one,

Who quests for the Twilight Dragon.

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Review: .hack//Roots

.hack//Roots is the prequel to the second group of three PS2 G.U. games (Rebirth, Reminisce, Redemption).  Roots is the story of Haseo, a black adept rogue who holds a secret not even he knows about.  Set in The World:R2, it takes place around 10 years after Sign.

Again, strange things are happening and we search with the characters for answers.  Haseo is recruited by Ovan and the Twilight Brigade guild, and also by the shady TAN guild.  Other characters are introduced including Ovan, Shino, Phyllo, Kuhn, Tawalaya, Tabby, SakiSaka, Ender, Yata, Pi, and Tri Edge; it’s difficult to tell who is good and who is evil.  The Twilight Brigade is searching for the Key of the Twilight.  Does it exist?  What is it?  Again we are faced with mysteries, but this time, something darker is going on.  What is causing player characters in the real world to fall into a coma, and become Lost Ones?  Why is it happening?  Who is responsible?  Is there any way to save the Lost Ones?  Why is there such an interest in Haseo?  And what is with Ovan’s left arm, with its huge cylindrical container sealed with a massive lock?

As Haseo and his guildmates search for the Key of the Twilight, Shino is attacked by a mysterious PK (player killer) and becomes a Lost One.  Haseo becomes obsessed with finding the one responsible, and finding a way to save Shino.  Crazy and half mad, Haseo searches desperately, earns the nickname The Terror of Death, and trains to become stronger.  While I personally find the Tabby-focused episodes a bit boring, she serves as a light counterweight to Haseo’s intense and brooding personality.

Roots brings you even deeper into The World of .hack.  Everything we’ve learned about the creation of The World becomes the building blocks – The World is evolving.  The mystery deepens and by the end of Roots we are introduced to the G.U. Project, Epitaph Users, Phases, Avatars, and AIDA.  The story is now in full swing, leading into the G.U. video games.

For more information:

wikipedia.org/wiki/.hack//Roots

dothack.wikia.com/wiki/Roots

Some great music from Roots:

God Diva (Ali Project)

Dwindled Bible

Junkyousha No Yubi/Martyr’s Finger

Check out my earlier review of the overall .hack mythology here, and my other posts with more details on Sign, Roots, G.U., Link, and Quantum.

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Review: .hack//Sign

.hack//Sign is the prequel to the original four PS2 games (Infection, Outbreak, Mutation, Quarantine) and is the story of Tsukasa, a wavemaster, who wakes up in a dungeon in The World with no idea where he is and no memory of what he was doing.  Also, for some unknown reason Tsukasa is unable to log out of The World.  Other characters are introduced including Mimiru, Bear, Lady Subaru, Silver Knight, Sora, BT, Helba, Harald, Morganna, Aura; some want to help Tsukasa, and some just want to get their hands on the Key of the Twilight.

Mysteries abound, and with every episode we follow the characters as they search for clues, yet every revelation leads to more questions than answers.  Why is Tsukasa unable to log out?  What happened to Tsukasa’s player character in the real world?  Eventually we discover that Tsukasa’s consciousness is trapped in the game.  But why, and how?  What is really going on?  What is the Key of the Twilight, and does it even exist?  How can Tsukasa be saved?

A character driven story, .hack//Sign slowly immerses you in the layers under the game The World as various thought provoking themes are explored.  Why do people play online MMORPG games?  For fun and entertainment.  To pass the time. To level up, quest, and achieve goals.  To escape reality.  Loneliness.  What happens when virtual reality is preferable to real life?  And most importantly – the importance of friends.  How sometimes we can’t save ourselves – we need others to help us.

For more information:

dothack.wikia.com

animekiwi.com

Check out my earlier review of the overall .hack mythology here, and my other posts with more details on Sign, Roots, G.U., Link, and Quantum.