Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Future GPX Cyber Formula Double One

With a total of 6 episodes, the direct sequel of the TV series shows us Hayato competing in the 11th Grand Prix in 2016 to defend his championship. However, the pressure threatens to crack him when it is clear that Super Asurada is already trash of the past and his skills as a racer are lacking, as painfully demonstrated by the sudden return of Knight Schumacher (yeah, that's his name lol) to the Grand Prix.

As expected, I greatly enjoyed this series of OVAs, not only because the quality of the animation went up several degrees compared to the TV series (ALL DAT SHADING!), but because they portrait quite a few things from actual F1 races, such as how fast the development of racing cars is: Super Asurada was the most advanced car in the previous season. At the beginning of the next one it is already outdated by the performance of the cars of the rest of the teams. Fortunately, it gets upgraded to the Super Asurada AKF-11, although in order for Hayato to draw its full potential, he also has to grow up even more a racer, developing an inertial drift technique.
I think my favorite moment was in the 4th episode, when Hayato pulls off a totally crazy ski stunt that allows him to win the race. Similarly, the OST is excellent, so, if you liked the Cyber Formula TV series, this is a no brainer that you simply must watch.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Future GPX Cyber Formula

After seeing how many times this series was recommended, I finally decided to watch it and boy, I can't believe I didn't do it sooner!
This is a show about futuristic Formula racing, in which the race cars are equipped with computer support systems called "Cyber Systems", allowing the racers to improve their abilities, go much faster than F1 cars and reduce accidents.
The story focuses on a 14 year old boy named Hayato Kazami, whose father designed Asurada, a super intelligent AI computer to serve as the navigation system of the Asurada GSX, the machine with which the small Sugo Team intends to participate in the Cyber Formula Grand Prix. Due to a series of circumstances, Hayato ends up as Asurada's driver and we get to see him participate in a series of (crazy!) races as he attempts to become the Cyber Formula World Champion.
I'm not that much into sport series, hell, I was only familiar with Captain Tsubasa, Slam Dunk and Speed Racer and that's because here in Mexico those were aired to death back some years ago. Still, I was pretty surprised by the development Cyber Formula has, as we get to see Hayato grow up from a newbie pilot to a full fledged racer through the series, meeting other racers who at first, seem overconfident as hell and act like complete jerks, but they really get fleshed out as most of them develop a rivalry with Hayato, who despite being a newcomer in the sport, proves to have the required instincts and abilities to go head to head against the veteran racers.
In sum, Cyber Formula is an amazing ride I really recommend to anyone, even if they are not familiar with the sport it makes an homage to. It has a lot of heart (something that pretty much almost every series nowdays lacks), a fantastic OST and a grand total of 27 OVAs which I intend to watch next and from the few glimpses I've had, they simply ooze with quality and keep getting progressively better, continuing the story of the TV series.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

HGUC Hyper Beam Javelin

Don't you fucking love polearms?
This is an extra item packed in the Gundam Unicorn Ace vol. 6 that came out last May. It is basically a sort of tankobon full of Gundam Unicorn manga chapters. The first one is especially cool, as it shows the Byarlant Custom 02 fighting the Unicorn Gundam.
Anyways, the hyper beam javelin (that SHOULD have come with either version of the actual HG Full Armor Unicorn Gundam but that's Bandai for you...) that came in this magazine is actually a bundle, as you get a copy of each of its configurations: folded to be stored in the shield or fully extended.
The folded weapon is not compatible with the vanilla version of the Unicorn, as in order to be attached under the shield, the javelin connects to a hard point of the piece that stores the beam gatling guns, which I don't have since those came with the Full Armor versions of this model...
The fully deployed javelin is a whole different story. It is composed of no more than 5 pieces and once complete, it's taller than the actual Gundam! Since the entire thing came molded in gray, I decided to use some black and white paint to make it look more like the real thing. I even painted the engravings of the beam generators with red to simulate the psycoframe effect.
You get actual beam effect parts, although they are molded in clear pink hard plastic, just like the shield or beam sabers from the recent HG Victory and V2 Gundams. I painted them with clear red since I did that back when I built my Unicorn Gundam so the effect is really cool.
The damn thing is just for show actually, since it is so big it looks awkward in any action pose, not to mention that it can sag down the hand of the model and part of the arm. Nevertheless, it look really impressive, although I have to wonder why the hell they made this weird giant beam axe thing in the first place? Can't be more effective than normal beam sabers. Maybe to compensate the fact than the Sinanju also has some absurdly huge beam blades hidden in the shield? Who knows, but I guess rule of cool applies.
Not sure if you feel like blowing 800 yen for the sake of this accessory, twice that amount if you want to get both javelins to reproduce all the armament the Full Armor Unicorn has, not to mention that it must be quite difficult to get them already since the Ace vol. 6 seems to be sold out everywhere.
Anyways, this is quite an impressive weapon worthy of display. I wonder if they will ever release the Armed Armor DE in 1/144 scale (the booster shield) for the regular Unicorn. I think I'd buy it too.

RG Gundam Exia

The best Gundam to come from 00 in my opinion.
Exia, Setsuna F. Seiei, Mokyou kuchiki suru!
While this RG definitely looks great, it has some glaring issues that put it under the RG Freedom in my opinion.
The main problem are the shoulders. They plain suck. In the RG models you are supposed to place them in a slot over the connector between the torso and the arm that is supposed to rotate freely. Note the word, "supposed".
The problem here is that due to the GN condenser that goes from the inside of the shoulder to the arm, anytime you try to bring up the limbs, the shoulders pop off out of their place, virtually making any dynamic pose a royal pain in the ass to get.
Next are the front skirt armors. The barely move and restrict almost completely the legs from going forwards.
Finally, the GN Blades or more importantly, the way you attach them to the hips. They use a tiny peg to connect said weapons so Exia can carry them around, however, given how small said pegs are, it is almost certain they will break very easily (mine already show the white mark in the plastic from placing too much stress on them).
That aside, it certainly looks fantastic, I like how slim the suit itself is save for the shoulders, which look rather beefy, making Exia no pushover.
Weapons wise, while you get the entire arsenal, for me, Exia is all about the bigass GN Sword. The blade came plated so it looks absolutely stunning, wish the one of the HG Red Frame was also chromed...
The weight of the sword is a little too much for the arm though, so if fully extended, it will inevitably sag down the limb. The shield is also annoying, it pops out from its place by blinking at it and even worse, it can't fucking rotate! What the hell?
Group shot with the rest of my Celestial Being guys, Dynames Sandstorm and Astraea Celeste. Maybe I should get Kyrios and Virtue?
Save for the issues I mentioned, this is a pretty good model. I wonder if we will see something else in the RG line from Gundam 00.

Friday, June 20, 2014

SRW Z3 Jigoku Hen Platinum

Managed to get this one just before the final stage of my 2nd lap.

The only real time consuming trophy is the one of amassing 30 million gold, that aside, there is not even an EX Hard mode or anything, which is slightly disappointing compared to the previous 2nd SRW OG game for the PS3.
Regarding what you could call game breaker units, this game actually lacked them compared to the monsters you got in Z2. The units are much more balanced in terms of damage output, although the fact that you can get almost free Continuous Action for everyone in every stage is quite broken. Perhaps the only thing you really need is to Ace Zechs, as his bonus gives a free Accel to everyone in the first turn, so you can quickly advance and rape the enemies in the first turn.
Hopefully, the next and final chapter of the Z series, Tengoku Hen, doesn't take that long to appear. It will be interesting to see all the MC of this saga together, as well as any new additions to the rooster of series for the final wrap up, as the first part of Z3 only left the Evangelion Rebuild movies and Full Metal Panic! plots unresolved (although how that will work out I have no freaking idea, given the ending where they reveal a SECOND Earth, wtf).