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"Messy Writing Booth" , posted Mon 25 May 08:41:post reply

The enormous mess that was occupying a corner of the cafe prominently had been relocated to a booth in a less prominent part in the south-western wing of the cafe. The mess wasn't so much "relocated" as it was swept away, and the person that was found underneath it politely dragged into a booth and served a drink and a menu.

As this person had been isolated under that pile of papers this entire time, the cafe owner decided that said person did not represent a coronavirus risk infection, which is why they were served a drink and a menu and not a boot and the exit.

Groggily waking up some days later, the exhumed person downed the drink, then took one of the pencils beside the salt and pepper shakers and looked for a napkin to write on. Writing on menus would be uncouth.

The cafe owner pre-empted the question with, "you'll have to order something if you want a napkin, those are expensive now, unfortunately".

Deciding that writing on the table would be impolite, the newly risen rummaged through pockets that had been sealed since the before-times, found a few dollar bills, and started writing on those. They probably weren't worth anything anymore, anyway.





[this message was edited by Spoon on Mon 25 May 12:08]

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"ATTN: Maou / nobi - WET MOON and AREA 51" , posted Mon 25 May 08:59:post reply

<ELEGANT TELEGRAM FOR MAOU>
<CRUMPLED SMUGGLED TELEGRAM FOR NOBI>

WET MOON by Kaneko Atsushi is the single best neo-noir manga I have seen in years. It has clear heavy inspirations from Hitchcock and David Lynch, and is as usual drawn in his unique style that seems much more Western than stereotypical mainstream manga with its heavy lines, non-moe characters, and entirely serious stories with a somewhat black sense of humor. It has a sense of camera angle/editing/composition in what it shows its panels that gives it a very movie-like feeling: you could probably make a movie just by making each panel a shot!
This page from the beginning of chapter 1 says all you need to know about this manga:
The Georges MťliŤs imagery is seriously important to the story, it's not just for show!
In the Western world, this author's most well-known work is probably SOIL, but WET MOON is a much more surreal piece.

In other highly Western-influenced manga, there's AREA 51 by Hisa Masato. In terms of writing, it is not nearly as interesting as WET MOON, but it is extremely interesting visually because of how directly it references the style of Mike Mignola. Seriously, if you told me that this manga was drawn and inked by Mike Mignola, I would've believed you. Unlike Mike Mignola's mangas where the action is often portrayed in a fashion that tends to happen in a slightly disjointed series of dramatic shots, this one devotes a lot more panels to the proceedings and has a much more fluid sense to the action. It is not nearly as serious as WET MOON is, but it is very entertaining to look at.





[this message was edited by Spoon on Mon 25 May 12:39]



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"In search of post no. 4" , posted Tue 26 May 02:01post reply

quote:
As this person had been isolated under that pile of papers this entire time, the cafe owner decided that said person did not represent a coronavirus risk infection, which is why they were served a drink and a menu and not a boot and the exit.
The recently unearthed writer was so busy sifting through mounds of paper and research material that he did not notice the other patron in the dimmest corner of the Cafe. Little escaped the gaze of the corner-dwelling patron, however, even while he was seemingly occupied with his lobster and English beer. For instance, he noticed that during the rare times when the writer looked up from his writing to eat, he always reached instinctively first for the spoon, rather than the fork or knife, despite not having ordered curry. Mayonnaise spreads poorly on a burger bun when using only a spoon.

In the course of correcting his cutlery, he unknowingly brushed one of papers, among the oldest and most discolored, off the table. It glided to the floor by the man in corner. Looking up from his lobster, the man noticed an early story proposal, written in a foreign script that was nonetheless familiar to him:


"After hundred years of succesfull operation of preserving each and every art pieces, books and statues by de-materializing them and recreating them in a digitized reality that we can freely visit, the unthinkable happens. Attack of a forgotten virus from 2020's wipes out all the art from the world."

He shuddered only briefly at the coincidence. They didn't him to vet story ideas, though he did wonder if the author had enough yoghurt in stock to stay safely homebound. He stood up, enough for the mask-clad Cafe proprietor to look up in his attentive manner to see if a bill was needed, but he shook his head.

"Not quite yet, thanks. I'll linger just a little longer until the fourth post. If you write everything in the third post, it doesn't show up on the bulletin board you have over at the corner of the bar."








人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...


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"Return to Hotel Dusk" , posted Tue 26 May 02:19post reply

quote:

The man seemed content that his note was written clearly, and pinned the fourth comment on the wall. No one knew why the Cafe was so inviting that it led even the gruffest customers to post appreciative comments on their meals on a bulletin board on the way out.

"Coming around again soon?", asked the proprietor, gently but with interest, as was his way. Even with his mouth covered in a mask, his bespecaled eyes communicated both mystery and hospitality.

"All depends on the next job," the man answered, pulling a crumpled note out of his pocket. The text seemed earnestly written:


"Wet Moon has an impressively bold ink line, judging from that first panel. The eye in particular really stands out! Rather than western comics, the first thing I thought of was Tezuka's work---the bold, interesting lines of early Blackjack panels, where the comical characters often mixed interestingly with fairly graphic anatomical pictures. I wonder where my copies went...

And THAT reminds me that one of the most interesting things about Tezuka's work is something I think about every time I see a film with a well known actor I've seen somewhere else and yet am supposed to imagine as "this character in this film": his genius idea of having certain characters appear in different roles throughout his works, as if they were actors, as well. It's such an interesting idea that I've never seen reproduced. The closest thing I can think of is how Matsumoto Leiji's characters all end up crossing paths in different parts of space, from the Galaxy Express crew over to Captain Harlock and Queen Emeraldas.

The man looked bemusedly at this seemingly self-important analysis, but knew that it was all a code for his next destination. He wondered if Hotel Dusk was even still open these days. Only one way to find out.

He gave a subtle wave to the proprietor, who looked up from the glasses he was polishing to nod knowingly back, and headed out the door.






人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...


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"Re(1):ATTN: Maou / nobi - WET MOON and AREA 5" , posted Wed 27 May 01:52post reply

The drizzle outside is slight but relentless. A plant on my lanai is shedding leaves; yellowed fronds have littered the ground during the night. Rather than being ill the plant is enjoying the moisture too much. It is metabolizing so quickly it needs more trunk to support its burgeoning growth. While the plant may be thriving in this weather I feel like I am stagnating. I wanted to go out to purchase various sundries but the necessity of putting on a mask, umbrella, sweater and who knows what other accoutrements seems like too much trouble for minor household purchases.

No, today I shall not put on pants.

quote:
In other highly Western-influenced manga, there's AREA 51 by Hisa Masato. In terms of writing, it is not nearly as interesting as WET MOON, but it is extremely interesting visually because of how directly it references the style of Mike Mignola. Seriously, if you told me that this manga was drawn and inked by Mike Mignola, I would've believed you. Unlike Mike Mignola's mangas where the action is often portrayed in a fashion that tends to happen in a slightly disjointed series of dramatic shots, this one devotes a lot more panels to the proceedings and has a much more fluid sense to the action. It is not nearly as serious as WET MOON is, but it is very entertaining to look at.

Thanks for the recommendations, Wet Moon looks spiffy! However, when I looked up art for Area 51 I found it looked like Sin City before Frank Miller lost all his marbles. Is the manga an international mťlange of differing art styles? When Joe Madureira sleeps does Hisa Masato draw his dreams?







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"Re(2):ATTN: Maou / nobi - WET MOON and AREA 5" , posted Wed 27 May 02:59post reply

quote:
melange of different art styles


Oh it certainly is!

The main character's chunky hair actually reminds me of the animated Cyber Six:
rectangular!


The creatures in chapter 1 are extremely Mignola-ish:
a fish man

another sea beast

Lobster Johnson, is that you?!


But yes, extremely Sin City at times:
the deliberate omission of outline and powerful use of negative space!


Frankly, the proportions of the main character and her devilish associate make me think of Dowman Sayman.







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"Ghost of Tsushima/Translation" , posted Wed 1 Jul 12:06post reply

I know Nobi has previously mocked Ghost of Tsushima for its stoic weebery (as opposed to anime weebery) and obsession with HONOR, but it's kind of hilarious that the translation issues we've previously talked about in Japanese releases of made-in-English titles extends to this particular game, which is set in Japan.

If the game is dubbed in English and subtitled in Japanese, and the translations are of typical E-to-J quality, I expect that this is going to be a legendary kusoge.







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"Re(1):Ghost of Tsushima/Translation" , posted Wed 1 Jul 18:50post reply

quote:
I know Nobi has previously mocked Ghost of Tsushima for its stoic weebery (as opposed to anime weebery) and obsession with HONOR, but it's kind of hilarious that the translation issues we've previously talked about in Japanese releases of made-in-English titles extends to this particular game, which is set in Japan.

If the game is dubbed in English and subtitled in Japanese, and the translations are of typical E-to-J quality, I expect that this is going to be a legendary kusoge.


I just don't understand how you can waste so much money on an engine and save pennies on localization.
On the other hand, Sony has hilariously ignored Japan for the whole PS5 marketing plan (I think there is not a single Japanese game in the new Marvel-esque Sony logo showing all the game history of the company), so I guess they don't think a few thousand copies of Ghost of Cheese Teriyaki will change much.
Japan being only good as window dressing but irrelevant as a market sure is a weird turn of events.







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"Re(2):Ghost of Tsushima/Translation" , posted Fri 3 Jul 05:09:post reply

quote:
I just don't understand how you can waste so much money on an engine and save pennies on localization.
On the other hand, Sony has hilariously ignored Japan for the whole PS5 marketing plan (I think there is not a single Japanese game in the new Marvel-esque Sony logo showing all the game history of the company), so I guess they don't think a few thousand copies of Ghost of Cheese Teriyaki will change much.
Japan being only good as window dressing but irrelevant as a market sure is a weird turn of events.

Like with PS4 until FFXV came out, will PS5 be one of those weird systems that's made in Japan but enjoyed 99% by people abroad??

Wait! If we add a 16-bit analogy, as well we should because this is the Cafe, right down to the bad translations of the era: Switch is the SFC, dominant in both countries and full of Japanese games, many of them poorly translated into English but internationally loved, PS5 is the Mega Drive, dominant in the West and full of very American games (convert EA sports games into whatever PS5 is selling), many of them poorly translated into Japnaese this time and (maybe) internationally loved, and new Xbox is the...PC?!

Uhhh anyway yeah, it's always been weird how few dedicated E-J translation companies there are. I really only know of Dangen, for indie stuff, and they had all kinds of other issues lately. "Localization" has usually existed in Japanese in the form of "rendering colorful English speech boring by a meaning-based translation with no intelligent word choice," but not in the form of "writing in natural Japanese at approximately the same level of intelligence as the source."

Decades ago, a friend was cracking up at how someone yelling "what the hell is that?!" in Men in Black was rendered as "nan desu ka."





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

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"It's probably midnight somewhere" , posted Thu 30 Jul 08:48post reply

Last week, Ishmael posted this trailer of some KOF/Senran Kagura crossover. Among the many dreadful things in the video, the most disastrous detail was how unimaginative gender-bent Rugal turned out to be. There are several legitimate reasons to be offended by such gender swaps, but the worst sin of this particular one is how BORING it looks.
So it made me think of better times, better games, which of course means thinking about Capcomís Vampire because what else was I going to think about.

This is going to be a long post, so if you want the conclusion already: Vampire is the best series of fighting games ever made and also the best looking and also everything is the best and our civilization has been on a steady decline after Savior 1 released.
The end.

- - -

Why gender bending?
There are several reasons to draw a character you like with a different gender than they canonically are.
The most obvious one, since in fighting games the gender-binding is exclusively male-to-female, is for straight men to fap over.
To be honest I am not entirely sure of the thought process that would lead a straight male to decide to get interested in a previously hunky Terry or Yashiro forced into a thin body with giant boobs.
There are probably several angles to it, from a bromance gone too far, to the fetishization of trans women being reduced to their transition, to the way many straight men are incapable of dissociating positive feelings about a character or a person and the desire to be sexually intimate with them (which lead to many disturbing fanarts of My Little Pony). Iím not here to kink-shame anyone (at least not today) and I donít have the willpower to psycho-analyse a few billion people on a Wednesday night, so Iíll bluntly say that while Midnight Bliss may accidentally be sexy, a good Midnight Bliss is not purposefully sexy. In Savior, it also ends with the character being horribly devoured and thrown away as a dried husk. Not the sexiest happy finish! Even worse, it even forces Felicia and Lilith to wear more clothes than they normally do!
Another illustration is in SvC: even though a lot of the Blissed characters ended up as dark, sexy female versions of themselves, the most popular one by far ended up being the conservatively-dressed Goeniko, and not all of that popularity came from male libido. OK, maybe 95%, but not all of it.

I should probably note at this point that, with all my pontificating and holier-than-thou attitude, this is going to be a very cis-gendered reading of the phenomenon, and Iím probably going to sweep under the rug elements that would be fundamentally wrong to many trans folk. In which case, if you happen to have a more informed view of the subject, I would love to hear about it and learn!

The other main reason to gender-bend a character is that it can be really funny and creative. This is obviously the direction Midnight Bliss is going, and itís not alone in that regard. I posted earlier the sexy Yashiro-chan from KOF All-stars, I should note that this game also has an hilarious gender-bent Chang Koehan where everything (gender, size, age, baldness, proportions to the ball) is reversed in a playful way.
On that topic, I am also not entirely sure if the female Billy Kane is a lazy and unimaginative choice, or rather a passive-aggressive metacommentary on how Maximum Impact made Lily Kane playable and that was a fundamentally bad reading of the character.

Back to the trailer that started this thing: that female Rugal is not sexy, itís not funny, itís not creative, it's not saying anything, it serves no purpose. Away with it.

- - -

Why Midnight Bliss?

Exhibit A: Midnight Bliss in Savior 1/2

Exhibit B: Midnight Bliss in SvC Chaos

Exhibit C: Midnight Bliss in CFJ

We are going to focus on the Savior ones, since itís obviously the game were the intent was fully realized and the other two are derivative at best, misreadings at worst. Even in our source text, a few versions are a bit disappointing: Victor, Donovan or Jedah are basically ďsaucy versions of the charactersĒ (though I would pay hard money for a playable official female version of Jedah next time we see them in MvC or a dream Capcom vs Capcom, sue me).
On the other hand, the majority of them are not sexy at all. I mean, weíre on the internet and Iím sure each one of those is the fetish of some weirdo somewhere, but Anakaris becomes some horrifying embalmed falcon? With a separate embalmed creature playing independently the bottom half of the body? I know both of those are probably female and thatís enough for some people, butÖ you see where Iím going with that. Also, can we agree that mermaids are actually not sexy at all even when played straight, and are actually quite gross? I mean... they're a fish. Have you looked at a fish? Gross.
Meanwhile, Pyron becomes that really intense flower-cosmos entity with a body made of plasma, Q-Bee becomes almost even more threatening than she naturally is (instead of being a boring sexy nurse, which would have been the obvious, boring option and thus would never have happened in Savior), and Sasquatch becomes a fully-covered girl cosplaying as Sasquatch (which will be later referenced in Seishunnikki2 if you try to romance Tiffany).
Special note on SvCís adorable Mars People-chan and CFJís Hauzer-chan; even these games had some flashes of brilliance.

These special transformations were also the occasion to make references to other media. Gallonís transformation evokes (at least to any person from the 90s) YŻyŻ HakushŰís YŰko Kurama, which at the same time works, doesnít work, kinda work, and totally works the more you think about it. Felicia obviously spells out one of the main classical inspirations for the animation goodness in this game.
It continues in the other games, only, less well. In CFJ, Noolís KaichŰ cosplay is cute, but also super dated in ways that Kurama strangely isnít? As of Rose, itís a sad ďthis character is strongly inspired by Lisa-lisa, how about she literally transforms into Lisa-lisaĒ.
The transformations in the crossovers also become the occasion to make some in-series references, from Danís sister and Shiki's rasetsu form in SvC to Guy getting Makiís body in CFJ. Also, how strange that Iori would become Miss X, a character whose identity, while still a complete mystery, has been repeatedly stated to be totally unrelated to Iori in the NGP game!

A central question subsists: what does it all mean? After all, these are some fun extra animations in a game thatís filled to the brim with extra animations, all masterfully executed by Capcomís artists at the peak of their craft. But if you look at this move in context, it is a special move of Demitri, a classic vampire, and while sucking blood or transforming into a bat are basic vampire powers, transforming anyone or anything into a pretty girl arenít.

In order to understand the effect, we will need to understand the agent.


- - -
Why Demitri?


This is a series that takes the most by-the-book depiction of classic monsters, and then renders them in some fun Tex-Avery style. As a vampire, Demitri is very basic: he is a man, he lives in a castle in Romania, he sucks the blood of his (preferably female) victims, and he has a dominion over the creatures of the night. This is neither Anne Riceís romantic vampire nor Stephenie Meyerís mormon vampire. Demitri is, first and foremost, a predator, in all the meanings of the word. This is a game where everyone is a monster, including the humans, and Demitri is definitely not human. Heís not a beast either like Nosferatu: he is, very plainly, the aristocratic vampire of Bram Stokerís Dracula. With a twist.
One thing thatís interesting with Demitri is how much of a spotlight there is on his masculinity. Even though he is the only human-looking male character in 2 out of his 3 main games, it seems everything is made to highlight his manliness to set it apart from any possible competition. He wears tight spandex to outline his six-pack and his gigantic pecs, as if the people who drew him were going to make video games with X-men the following year. He is very tall (197 cm if we are to believe his bio), and yet he projects an aura to try to appear even taller. His end of round animation, as well as his ending in the first game, show him with beautiful women under his spell. Heís a STUD.
And yetÖ in the world of Vampire, heís one of the most unremarkable characters. While he is the tallest of all the humanoid characters, the game is built around monsters that are much more impressive, big and remarkable than him. Anakaris and Victor dwarf him, and even the other, smaller characters are all hunched into some sort of dynamic fighting stance, which ironically make Demitriís static standing pose look even weaker.
It is nowhere as obvious as in a comparison with Pyron: while Demitri is doing everything in his power to appear tall, Pyron is doing the opposite. Pyron is this worldís Galactus and is actually shrinking his body in order to interact with his opponents. Even his boxing stance is making him look smaller, even though almost none of his moves involve punching, or really even having limbs or a physical body. And yet Pyron effortlessly looks much more striking than poor Demitri.

Scenario-wise, Demitriís quest is about asserting dominance over everything, especially Morrigan, the heir and then ruler of their dimension. His endings in Hunter and Savior are only about her, ignoring any other plot point of the games. In Savior he ends up finally beating her and trying to impose his power over her... and even in this power fantasy, she is still resisting. Which doesn't amount to much since this is a non-canon ending.
Unfortunately for Demitri, not only is Morrigan much stronger than him, sheÖ doesnít really care about him. None of her endings even references him. Her real adversaries are Pyron, Jedah, and boredom. He doesn't even qualify as a rival.
After Savior, Demitri and Morrigan only ever met in the NxC/PxZ series, where Morrigan regularly mocks Demitriís petty ambition and giant ego, or taunts him with Dante, a much more confident and natural example of masculinity (note that it was before DMC5's tragic treatment of Dante).
All in all, if Demitri has one defining character trait, itís a man with an immense ego, and a desire to control everything. He is, far before the expression entered the public discourse, an incarnation of toxic masculinity.

- - -
Why the transformation?

Midnight Bliss is something that used to be common when fighting games were a lot less expensive to make, it's a 魅せ技, a show-off move.
While it costs 1 gauge compared to Midnight Pleasureís 2, itís slow and canít be cancelled into from most moves. Demitri generates gauges fairly well, so itís almost always a better idea to go for a Midnight Pleasure (or, even better, to use the gauge for ES Demon Cradle or GC).
But whatís the fun in that? The game is made to play against other people, in arcades, if possible with a crowd looking at the screen. If you manage to hit the opponent with a Midnight Bliss, bystanders who donít know the game will be amazed by whatís happening on screen, while players who know you used the riskier, less practical option just for show will understand that you really are a better player than your opponent. It is a higher form of humiliation than the simple, built-in provocation: it is a way of showing your dominance over other players.

Domination, humiliation: this is what Midnight Bliss is really about. Surprisingly, it is not really about gender-swapping the characters. Male characters become female, but female character remain female, onlyÖ less threatening. The underlying idea is that women are inferior to men and are merely a prey, symbolizing that the opponent, whoever it is, is a prey to Demitri/the player. Again, Demitri is a predator, in the animal meaning of the term (Vampire the Mascarade goes very far with that motif if I recall correctly), but also in the sexual, pick-up artist meaning of the word. In that world view, nobody needs to explain why it would be humiliating for a man to become a woman!
Interestingly, Demitri doesnít seem to suffer from gay panic and routinely devours the blood of his male opponents, either through his normal throw or Midnight Pleasure. It is all about the symbols and maintaining the illusion of his patriarchal power.
So of course he wouldnít go as far as transforming women into men. Midnight Bliss is not about seduction or even a symbolized sexual encounter, even though this would be the clichť reading for the classic vampire assault of a human (especially when Demitri himself is Blissed in Savior, as he's being transformed into a transfixed virgin waiting to be ravished, the archetypal vampire victim. Unfortunately the other two games miss the mark on this). The spell is about defanging women, rendering them powerless, either by being a sex doll or a child.
On that topic, I love that Bulettaís growth into a perfect woman body (according to the capitalistic concept of female body consumption) ravishes her so much she forgets to defend herself (as that kind of fascination is ingrained into young children through dolls and other hyper-gendered toys). Indeed, several Midnight Blissed characters do not look powerless and can even still look intimidating: however, they look symbolically weakened, and that's all that matters.

But then, there is Morrigan. This whole patriarchal view of the gender roles is nice and all, but everything crumbles when a woman remains ahead of you, superior to you in every way (including in tier lists in the first two games), and ends up being seen as the real main character of the game where YOU were supposed to be the Ryu/Terry Bogard. Which is why Morriganís Bliss transformation doesnít swap her gender or make her sexier or defenceless: it makes her ugly. Obviously, being ugly is probably a death sentence for a succubus, but it doesnít merely transform her into an ugly crone: instead, it replaces her with some crude drawing, as if to emphasize that Demitri doesnít really care about that superior woman, he cares so little about her that heís doing his best to signal how much he doesnít care about her. Which obviously backfires as much as his posture and his aura trick to appear taller.

In conclusion, Midnight Bliss is more than a vehicle for fun or lewd fanart: itís a way to highlight that Demitri is a sad, misogynistic and vain little man, desperately trying (and failing) to compensate for his own shortcomings with a toxic and heinous ideology that ultimately dooms him to failure and ridicule, while the woman he looked down upon will be the one leaving her mark in history instead of him.





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"Re(1):It's probably midnight somewhere" , posted Thu 30 Jul 11:35:post reply

quote:
Last week, Ishmael posted this trailer of some KOF/Senran Kagura crossover. Among the many dreadful things in the video, the most disastrous detail was how unimaginative gender-bent Rugal turned out to be. There are several legitimate reasons to be offended by such gender swaps, but the worst sin of this particular one is how BORING it looks.
So it made me think of better times, better games, which of course means thinking about Capcomís Vampire because what else was I going to think about.


This was a very interesting read! It did always seem to me that Capcom threw in an anti-thesis to Ryu as the introductory character for Vampire to emphasize that the game's world view is completely different. It's too bad that gasha toys from back then weren't anywhere as high quality as they are now, considering the Bliss moves were popular enough to make their way to them. (although come to think, the gasha market doesn't have figure toys nowadays since that has shifted towards the arcade prize market).





[this message was edited by Professor on Thu 30 Jul 18:40]



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"Re(2):It's probably midnight somewhere" , posted Fri 31 Jul 02:09post reply



Iggy's breakdown of Demitri and his power play is amazing! It's a perfect summary of Demitri's fragile, bullying persona. I've always thought of Demitri as a petty character but I had never thought to explain it in such an insightful way. I suspect a lot of other players picked up on Demitri's issues on an unconscious level, which is one of the reasons he quickly stopped being the figurehead for the Vampire series. The sexy ennui of Morrigan is far more appealing. If Demitri stopped wearing those Simon Cowell-esque outfits and constantly ranting about Morrigan like he's either a lonely incel or Iori his standing might improve but it would also make Demitri less Demitri-like.







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"this is true midnight bliss, true love-making" , posted Fri 31 Jul 11:04post reply

quote:
Heís not a beast either like Nosferatu: he is, very plainly, the aristocratic vampire of Bram Stokerís Dracula.
Oh! The Akumajou Dracula signal! And with a classy German expressionist reference? Here I come! Let's see...
quote:
Also, can we agree that mermaids are actually not sexy at all even when played straight, and are actually quite gross?
Thread power growing...
quote:
Sasquatch becomes a fully-covered girl cosplaying as Sasquatch (which will be later referenced in Seishunnikki2 if you try to romance Tiffany).
Ohmylord Justice Gakuen's Japan-only 1.5 half-sequel to the dating sim only?! Which I love?!
quote:
you used the riskier, less practical option just for show will understand that you really are a better player than your opponent. It is a higher form of humiliation than the simple, built-in provocation: it is a way of showing your dominance over other players.

Interestingly, Demitri doesnít seem to suffer from gay panic and routinely devours the blood of his male opponents, either through his normal throw or Midnight Pleasure. It is all about the symbols and maintaining the illusion of his patriarchal power.
IGGY IS A (INTER)NATIONAL TREASURE

...ahem.

I've never regretted being as bad at Vampire as I am so much and for not owning it and...wait, Capcom never made a modern Vampire collection? Okay, it's their fault.

Anyway, this post now joins the pantheon of MMCafe's Writing Canon alongside dear Toxico's World Heroes revelations, Nobi's own Vampire animation opus, and...oh, another vital Critical Iggy Studies post, and therefore is 1000% on-topic.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...
nobinobita
1911th Post



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"Re(1):Return to Hotel Dusk" , posted Sun 16 Aug 07:12:post reply

quote:
The man seemed content that his note was written clearly, and pinned the fourth comment on the wall. No one knew why the Cafe was so inviting that it led even the gruffest customers to post appreciative comments on their meals on a bulletin board on the way out.

"Coming around again soon?", asked the proprietor, gently but with interest, as was his way. Even with his mouth covered in a mask, his bespecaled eyes communicated both mystery and hospitality.

"All depends on the next job," the man answered, pulling a crumpled note out of his pocket. The text seemed earnestly written:


-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


ďOnce upon a time, I dreamt I was a blue bird, tweeting hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a blue bird. I was conscious only of my melancholia as a blue bird, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awakened, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a bird, or whether I am now a bird, dreaming I am a man.Ē

These thoughts passed, like the last gasp of a man overboard as Nobiís consciousness installed itself into the hard plastic frame of Servbot 41, sitting astride a bottle of 1962 Super Nikka on the top shelf of The Cafe.

ďThis is Antonio Inokiís favorite you know!Ē

He said as he carefully set the bottle aside and let himself down.
The Professor shot him a cursory glance. Of course he knew.

As he touched down on the floor, reality sharply set in. Gravity, time, temperature. These things had meaning here.

ďGood morning Professor! Or Ö evening?Ē

He scanned the room for windows, but found none. But listening carefully, he could hear the soft static of rain, and the roar of a distant engine making its way through the mist. In that moment he took great pleasure in the feeling of standing on solid ground once again.

Memories of life in the Grand Social Stream already felt like fog on glass beckoning for the touch of a hungry hand.

ďProfessor. I really owe you one. You really saved my ass back at the Outer Source. Because of you I was able to make it through both Draculaís castle and the Kamen Manufacturing Plant. I didnít seal the deal with Boss-51, but I did manage to get my hands pretty bloodstained down the road! How much do I owe y--Ē

The Professor raised a firm hand. Drinks are to be paid for with cash, but not favors between friends.

ďAlright, well Iíll have a Hibiki on the rocks then

He scanned the bulletin board. Ah yes. This is the stuff!

quote:
All in all, if Demitri has one defining character trait, itís a man with an immense ego, and a desire to control everything. He is, far before the expression entered the public discourse, an incarnation of toxic masculinity.


In his wanderings through the net, Nobi had come across an interesting theory. Demitri, the egotistical vampire obsessed with noble blood and power, the hyper masculine, hyper competitive not-quite-main-character, with his widowís peak and slicked back spiky hair and predilection for spandex was very reminiscent of a certain Saiyan Prince who is also absolutely obsessed with defeating the protagonist! Chaos Flare is pretty much Final Flash. And his extreme height is perhaps a funny twist that somehow still conveys the same enormous chip on his shoulder!

quote:
If you manage to hit the opponent with a Midnight Bliss, bystanders who donít know the game will be amazed by whatís happening on screen, while players who know you used the riskier, less practical option just for show will understand that you really are a better player than your opponent. It is a higher form of humiliation than the simple, built-in provocation: it is a way of showing your dominance over other players.


This is such a perfect example of how the beauty of a great fighting game extends beyond the visual aesthetics baked into the game and truly blooms in the self expression it grants a skilled player through gameplay!

quote:
Which is why Morriganís Bliss transformation doesnít swap her gender or make her sexier or defenceless: it makes her ugly. Obviously, being ugly is probably a death sentence for a succubus, but it doesnít merely transform her into an ugly crone: instead, it replaces her with some crude drawing, as if to emphasize that Demitri doesnít really care about that superior woman, he cares so little about her that heís doing his best to signal how much he doesnít care about her. Which obviously backfires as much as his posture and his aura trick to appear taller.


Pure brilliance. This entire post. To convey such complex ideas using the language of games is just a beautiful thing to behold. Nobi was glad to be back in the corporeal world.

Just then Nobi felt a slight pulse in the back of his plastic skull. A whisper in his ghost. There was something he was meant to do. Somebody he was meant to see. He took a sip of his spirit and it dawned on him that this body had no tastebuds. To a Servebot, the glass could be filled with bourbon or mud, it wouldnít be able to tell the difference. But Nobi had memories to fill in the gaps and the act was nonetheless pleasurable.

His scanners picked up more life in the area. The scratching of a pen in the south-western wing.

quote:
WET MOON by Kaneko Atsushi is the single best neo-noir manga I have seen in years.


Thanks for sharing this Spoon! Iíd seen Kaneko Atsushiís work peripherally in the past. I believe heís the artist behind Bambi and Her Pink Gun, which Iím aware of but havenít actually read. Wet Moon is compelling though! I really like stories with strong themes and imagery right off the bat! The title refers to a phase of the moon where it appears like a crescent bowl or smile in the sky. Thereís references to both that old black and white film ďA Trip To The MoonĒ as well as the cold war Space Race from actual history. I actually didnít even know that Russia made it to the moon first! Unmanned, but their machines got there first! You donít learn about that in history class in America! Atsushiís art is really interesting, because itís so clearly influenced by classic Western comics as well as ďundergroundĒ artists like Daniel Clowes and George Burns. But itís also still unmistakably Japanese. It just has that flavor, that signature, something I canít capture in words, but itís so readily apparent. Itís fascinating to observe!

The overall plot and feeling of the comic reminds me a lot of Homunculus by Hideo Yamamoto, which also deals with a protagonist whose undergone experimental cranial alteration/trauma. I havenít finished that series yet, but Iím several volumes in and I can tell you itís one of the better comics Iíve ever read. Thereís a part early on where it explains its title,

Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
which comes from the idea that when one experiences trauma, you essentially create a save file of yoruself in that moment. And if youíre trauma is never settled, it just waits inside you, this little artificial human just waiting to burst out and take you back to that moment.

End of Spoiler

Iíve found this concept to be PROFOUNDLY true in my own life, and in the actions of so many people that Iíve observed. Shoot, though I havenít given away the plot, I have spoiled a very good reveal. Iíll mark it as such.

Anyway, thanks for turning me on to Wet Moon. And Iggy, I think it was you, thank you for showing me Spy X Family which has been a constant pleasure this last year. I just picked up a physical copy of it two days ago during one of my rare trips out from sheltering!Ē

These words flowed out of Nobi as if theyíd been beamed in from space. How much time had just elapsed? He thought he heard the sound of wings fluttering. The ground felt a little less firm.

In front of him there was a tall man, tall even when sitting hunched over the table etching hieroglyphs into worn banknotes.

He looked down at his smooth pincer of a hand and saw a crumpled postcard.

ďMaouĒ

Thatís right! There was something he had to deliver to Maou! ... But what?






www.art-eater.com

[this message was edited by nobinobita on Sun 16 Aug 07:25]



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"Re(2):Return to Hotel Dusk" , posted Wed 19 Aug 02:23:post reply

Hooray, Nobi finally wrote a fiction post! I enjoyed this, and your insights are always appreciated!

Yeah, WET MOON is really fantastic, and I think with the greater appeal that surreal art-house works now have in North America largely because of a younger generation that has grown up with better taste as a result of exposure to more things on the internet, it could be successful and influential if published in English. It's familiar enough in many ways to Western and American media to not feel too foreign, but it is executed fantastically and superbly uses its medium.

----

The rumpled writer looked from the table his head rested on to see a small wind-up toy walking across the bar counter.

The Professor was usually diligent with his figurines, so seeing one run loose made the writer think he was dreaming. He was exhausted and hadn't slept well in weeks, even though he knew he could be no safer in San Francisco than here in the Cafe.

Sleep took him by surprise.





[this message was edited by Spoon on Thu 20 Aug 09:22]