The trailer debut for the latest season of Attack on Titan just released, showcasing an entirely new world anime fans can get hyped about. Despite the short length, there are indeed some new revelations and plotlines that have been confirmed. 

This article contains major [SPOILERS] that discuss the main events in Attack on Titan seasons 1 to 3. It is highly recommended to watch the show before reading the article. Or, just watch the show!

The highly acclaimed anime Attack on Titan recently released a trailer for their fourth and final season. The roughly two-minute video showed a ton of new sights to behold and an environment that resembles a more modern civilization. It’s very clear from within the first few seconds that this season will be far different from what we’ve been accustomed to from the first three — and, that is certainly not a bad thing.

Let’s break down and try to speculate what is it we just saw and how it will affect our titan slaying soldiers. This article will only mention the events that have progressed in the anime version of the series so far. There are absolutely no manga spoilers and the author of this article has no knowledge of Attack on Titan beyond the events of season 3 part 2


Attack on Titan Season Three Box Set Vol 02

from: Things From Another World

New World

We know from the grand reveal of the third season that there is a civilization outside of Wall Maria. The trailer shows snippets from a battlefield of soldiers fighting it out in trench warfare. They appear to have battleships, rifles, helmets, and bandoliers for their guns. It is a no brainer that the final season will have a significant setting on Marley soil and that our heroes from the scouting legion will be fighting a good amount of human combatants. Not only do they have more enemies to worry about, but they’re also challenged against, quite possibly, a greater threat than the aimless titans.   

New Titans

A pair of new abnormal titans, or possibly titan shifters have also emerged. The first one being a bearded, stocky titan with a skeletal like face shield, and the second one being a fully white titan equipped with a long, sledge-like weapon. Although they have yet to make an appearance, it is probably best to assume that they are against the Eldian people. 

New Faces

It wouldn’t be a new season if there weren’t new characters involved! The trailer shows a handful of new faces, including a group of new soldiers dawned in white uniforms. It is probably best to assume they are not from the Eldian island and are residents of Marley. There is also a millisecond of a frame that shows three new characters, a young girl with tied up hair, a blonde-haired boy and a frail-looking girl, with two of them wearing armbands.

Time Skip

The returning cast has matured quite a great deal. It is most likely a result of a time skip. The most notable changes are indeed visible in Reiner Braun, Eren Jaeger and Mikasa Ackerman. Reiner, having lost his dear friend in Bertolt Hoover and subsequently failing his mission to retrieve the coordinate, is seen with a stern face and rocking a light patch of facial hair. His determination to end the Eldian race seems to have strengthened over the time gap period. If it wasn’t already made apparent that he is the main character, there is no shadow of a doubt now.


Attack on Titan No Regrets Color HC

from: Things From Another World

Eren Jaeger

Despite being shown for a measly couple of seconds, Eren can be seen with longer hair and a sculpted set of abs. Although he was quite muscular before, the animators made it a point to showcase his broader physique. Eren can also be seen putting on a jacket with a rather poised look. His facial expression looks somewhat of Levi Ackerman’s, calm and appearing as though they are prepared for the worst.

Mikasa Ackerman

Mikasa has changed drastically, and perhaps the most so far. She is seen wearing a much shorter hairstyle, similar to a boy’s. Regardless, most viewers would probably not even recognize Mikasa during their first view of the trailer. At first glance, Mikasa looks like a completely new male character. But upon taking a closer look, it is evident that she is wearing the wings of freedom sigil belonging to the scouting legion. Mikasa debuts in the trailer looking cool and unbothered, as usual. Maybe this new androgynous look of hers has a meaningful backstory. Until then unfortunately, we can only speculate.     

Now or Never

Attack on Titan is set to end its masterpiece of a run in its fourth season. The show is already critically acclaimed and is easily in consideration of being the greatest anime of all time. The show was expected to air sometime in October of this year, but it may be at risk of being delayed due to COVID-19. Luckily, no reports of that have been confirmed. Until then, all we can do is hope for a scheduled release and pray that Attack on Titan gets a conclusive ending fitting of its historic series.  

An in-depth analysis of Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³ or Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu, an anime about a group of down to earth high school girls, their ambitious survival game club and airsoft guns — lots of them.

This article contains major [SPOILERS] that will reveal the story’s main plotline, as well as the ending.

_____________________________Leader of the C³ club and Yura’s mentor, Sonora Kashima

We first meet the adorably timid Yura Yamato taking her first steps in her prestigious new school, Stella Women’s Academy. Although she flat out fails in striking a conversation, and quite possibly the start of a new relationship, with a wandering fellow first-year classmate, Yura manages to eventually find herself in the survival game club’s room.

There, she is welcomely embraced by a bunch of girls who simply enjoy partaking in airsoft skirmishes, be it among themselves or against other teams. The girls tell Yura that her inexperience is nothing to worry about and they are desperately seeking new members.


Sixth Gun Gunslinger Ed HC Vol. 01

from: Things From Another World

Mixed with a perfect blend of comedy, action, drama, and guns of all caliber, Stella Women’s Academy offers a rather refreshing and surprisingly relatable story of a young girl taking endless, and perhaps too many, leaps in an attempt to be the best version of herself. With the help of her goofy but caring friends, Yura takes the plunge to become the top gunslinger and club member of she can possibly be.  

Getting the hang of things

_________________Yura Yamato, unsure if the survival game club called C3 is the right choice for her

Starting off, Yura was a bit shaken by airsoft guns and the survival game in general. She agreed to partake in the club’s upcoming tournament, but Yura was still unsure of whether she could actually put together a meaningful contribution. During her first match, she managed to successfully get a hit on another player. Despite having to fight off her nerves, as well as the fear of looking down a barrel of a gun, Yura blasted away the enemy team and helped Stella Women’s Academy win their round opener.

The feeling was indeed phenomenal for Yura, but it would serve as the starting point down her gradual progression towards a path of solitude. We learned that Yura enjoys being praised by others, especially from her club members. It reassured her that she was doing the right thing and the attention she received was more than an incentive to continue. There is a good possibility that Yura has gone through much of her young life without any form of companionship, considering how shy and reserved she was in the beginning.

The transition from being alone with her own thoughts to a group of friends who genuinely enjoy her company is an emotion that surprisingly comforts Yura. We also notice that Yura naturally acts on instinct, even if that means going against a set strategy or plan. With only a few seconds to make a decision, Yura almost always gives in to her impulses during the heat of the moment. Her tendency to act on her own assumptions is also a driving factor and main catalyst to the eventual character development Yura goes through. More on that below.

The turning point

___________Yura has a vivid imagination that often puts her in realistic and extremely dangerous situations

During the rest of the tournament, Yura remains a bit tense with her capabilities but is reassured by their club’s leader Sonora Kashima and the rest of the members that the outcome does not matter, as long as they have fun as a group. When matched up against Meisei Girl’s Academy and their apparent rival, Rin Haruna, most of the C³ club members were swiftly taken out, with only a rookie Yura remaining on the playing field.

This may be off-putting for some viewers, but Yura’s imagination is constantly visualized in the anime. When Yura was forced to fend off Meisei Girl’s academy, she imagined herself fighting in a rundown city against an actual lethal force of assaulters.

This active imagination Yura possesses can be seen either as a good or bad aspect of her mentality. The good being that Yura takes her fights seriously, to the point where she believes her actual well being is at stake. On the other hand, it may serve as a negative attribute because Yura sometimes becomes too immersed and focused on her priorities that it tends to block out the subtle actions that happen around her.

Regardless, when outnumbered by Meisei Girl’s Academy, Yura instinctually surrenders to Rin instead of fighting to the end. After the fight, Rin tells Yura that there is no meaning to surrendering in a survival game. Sonora also echoes what Rin says and adds that someone who has no will to fight has no place fighting alongside others. With Yura being on the verge of tears, Sonora tells her to never do that again. Yura apologizes profusely for her mistakes but unknowingly became motivational fuel to further her ambitions as a C³ club member. 


Contest of Champions TPB Vol. 02 Final Fight

from: Things From Another World

Locked and loaded

______Yura comes back to the C3 club room as a changed person, complete with a new look and fiery motivation

Yura, the once meek girl who was afraid to speak out, is then seen entering the club room with short hair and a new perspective on survival games. Yura would spend the next exhibition matches with rival schools to tune up her combat skills and strengthen the weak points she once had. Her progression during this phase was extremely significant. Yura could be seen easily defeating two or more opponents at once with her quickstep and incredibly accurate shot.

With the 24-hour survival game tournament approaching and Sonora out due to injury, Yura took it upon herself to become the club’s leader. Knowing that Meisei Girl’s Academy, and subsequently Rin, would be competing, Yura had even more motivation to prove her worth and showcase her drastic change in the art of survival games.

As Yura becomes even better as an attacker and overall player, she notices her teammates’ weaknesses and continually tells them advice on how to improve, sometimes a little too bluntly. Yura becomes too focused on winning that she neglects to see the effect she has on her club members. Although they don’t say it outright, they inform Yura that she’s becoming too overbearing and that C³ club values having fun just as much as winning. 

Whatever it takes to win

__________The once shy and sweet Yura is no more, replaced by her relentless desire to win at any cost

While it’s great to see character development, Yura’s might be one of the few exceptions. Her skills in the survival game have greatly increased, even to the point where rival schools acknowledge her prowess. However, that came at the cost of alienating her friends and prioritizing winning over their safety.

Yura’s actions could be seen as no different from a dictator or as a boss who views their employees as work minions and nothing more. It’s a shame but it’s also understandable. As mentioned before, Yura takes pride in being praised for her accomplishments, and winning is the ultimate achievement for her. She subconsciously blocked out the considerations she once had for her team, and replaced them with victory plans. The new passion Yura found among friends is now a substitute outlet to find her own sense of validation.

As fate would have it, the 24-hour survival game tournament is left with just two teams, Stella Women’s Academy and Meisei Girl’s Academy. The match boils down to Yura and Rin having a close quarters’ gunfight. Yura ends up being shot in the arm while taking aim at Rin.

_____________The masterful Rin Haruna of Meisei Girl’s Academy and eternal adversary of Sonora Kashima

Instead of honestly calling her hit, Yura’s crazed determination causes her to remain silent and shoot Rin anyway. Rin calls her shot and Stella’s C³ club ends up the victor. Overcome with a wide array of emotions, Yura pleads to the organization that her team wrongfully won because of her cheating, but Rin denies any such allegations. Again, Yura’s tendency to always act on her own causes yet another ripple among the C³ club, this time with Yura leaving for Meisei Girl’s Academy. She tells Sonora that she has nothing more to learn from the C³ club and departs. 

No place to call home

Yura’s stint with Meisei Girl’s Academy was not long-lived. She joined the rival team’s club in order to get stronger. Yura was under the impression that Meisei Girl’s Academy had ideals that aligned with her own — true strength is winning. While her superior marksmanship on the battlefield was evident, Yura failed to follow orders and serve her role as a team player. Rin tells Yura that she does not fight for the team’s sake but rather for herself. Yura is ultimately kicked from the team.

During this time, Yura had more than enough time to reflect. Deep down inside, Yura is still that sweet girl who enjoys the company of the C³ club and because of that, she couldn’t fathom the idea of coming back. After all the drama and selfish actions she put the C³ club through, Yura knew that she did not deserve the opportunity to rejoin.

That, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. The girls at C³ club were still fond of Yura and would take her back in a heartbeat. Rento Kirishima led the charge to bring Yura back, but with no luck. She reassured the rest of the members that from now on, they must be more transparent with one another and not let their egos get the better of them. Yura finds the courage to go back to the C³ club thanks to her imagination spirit, Choujirou. Before the send-off party for Sonora ends, Yura enters the survival game and the club members fight off one last time. 

For old times’ sake

So, while the ending is a great send-off for the leader of the C³ club, the reconciliation between Yura and the rest of the girls seemed like a bit of a cop-out. Yura did not apologize properly and hardly any words about the situation were ever spoken. Survival game is why the girls have such a strong bond in the first place, sure, but to get over a serious quarrel with an airsoft battle is hard to believe and just seems like lazy writing.

The battle between Yura and Sonora, the protege versus the master, turned into a cartoonish gunfight that meant to relieve any seriousness between the two. It was the anime’s way of stating that it was never about who the best survival game player was, it was all about the camaraderie and enjoyment of the sport. Yura’s transition from the shy and nice girl, to badass, to control freak, and eventually back to nice was a pleasant surprise, despite some changes feeling a tad bit forced.

Farewell

At the end of the reunion episode, Yura can be seen taking the initiative by offering schoolmates an invite to the c3 club, a feat she was too scared to do in the beginning. Her transformation wasn’t always a healthy one, but a great amount of self-realization and a newfound outlook among those around her was a satisfying development to witness. It was the happy ending we were looking for, but it did pan over some needed transparency as if it were nothing more than an act.

Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu suffers from fast pacing and an ending episode that felt more like an add-on rather than a true conclusion. Regardless, it was still an enjoyable story about a young girl who finds her true self through the art of airsoft battles. It’s a great anime for those who like the slice-of-life genre but with an actual progressive story to it as well.       

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

With three sisters in line for a crown that they have to fight to the death for, the Three Dark Crowns series is packed full of history, action, and drama. The Island of Fennbirn’s history begins with the Goddess who was the first ruler and she birthed triplets, giving gifts to each of them. Elementals, naturalists, poisoners, oracles, and warriors are born throughout the triplet line and sent to fight for the crown on their 16th birthday using their gifts. 

BOOK ONE – THREE DARK CROWNS

I began this series hoping I could get lost in a fictional world on the Island of Fennbirn. Instead, I took a long time getting past the first few chapters. The book began more abruptly than I would have liked, with very little backstory. However, as each chapter progressed, I did find it easier to get into the flow of the book. Each chapter provided a different point of view based on the cities that each of the three queens were living in. This book was interesting surrounding the history of the island and it was like nothing I had ever read before. 

After getting past the first few chapters, I enjoyed learning about the history of Fennbirn and the way they worship a Goddess who created the Queens. Each of the characters believes that the island is owned by the Goddess and their purpose is to serve her and her alone. This by itself made the book easy to fall into as I too wished to have a gift from the Goddess to make me different! 

We follow the stories of Arsinoe, Mirabella and Katherine, three queens who have been birthed into the line of rightful queens. Queen Mirabella, the elemental (can control the elements) is the strongest of the three, and was an interesting character through her development of the book. She began as someone who was controlled by priestesses (followers of the Goddess), however she comes into her own and tries to run away in part of this book in order to save her sisters. This is one of the things I admired her character for, because she learned how to become her own person which made me really enjoy reading her parts of the book. 

Queen Katherine is probably my least favorite of the queens. From the beginning Katherine seemed to be a character who was controlled by the people above her. Katherine was the last born of the three and as the book progresses, we learn from Mirabella’s memories that she has always acted like the littlest too. Katherine was meant to have the poisoner gift (can ingest poison with no trouble), however, her gifts did not develop, which left me wondering why two of the sisters did not have any sign of a gift. 


DC Cover Girls Poison Ivy by Frank Cho Statue

from: Things From Another World

Queen Arsinoe was definitely my favorite queen. She had guts from the beginning and her character was so easy to fall in love with. Her friends Jules Milone and Joseph Sandrin were supportive from the beginning, however, Joseph wavered between Mirabella and Arsinoe after a quick encounter. Arsinoe was meant to have the gift of a naturalist. Naturalists were able to control plants, however, they also had familiars. Jules (her friend and guardian) had the familiar of a cougar. The stronger the familiar, the stronger the naturalist. Arsinoe, who had no familiar and no sign of the naturalist gift also contributed to my wariness of the two queens who were giftless and resorted to other methods to seem strong. 

The ending of this book shocked me and showed me exactly what I had been wondering from learning about the three queens in the beginning. It definitely made me want to continue onto One Dark Throne. 

BOOK TWO – ONE DARK THRONE

After the stressful ceremony of the Quickening, this book begins during the Ascension Year where the queens are free to kill their sisters for the crown. This book gives us a lot more information about the characters we are following and shows that some sisters don’t want to kill for the crown. 

Throughout this book I found it hard to follow Mirabella’s story. In the previous book she had not wanted to kill either of her sisters, but after the Quickening Ceremony, she believes that Arsinoe really wanted to hurt her, so she tries to do the same. This made me lose a bit of interest in her because from the beginning I believed that she was different and worth following because she would rather do good than harm for the crown even if it meant she wouldn’t be the one with it on top of her head. 

[Editor: for those fans of the original Highlander, please note that the Quickening referenced in Three Dark Crowns is unrelated!]

Arsinoe’s intentions were clear from the beginning, she did not want to harm Mirabella, and was mostly trying to stay out of the way so she could figure out her new discovery of a gift. 

Katherine’s story in this book was incredibly interesting because certain actions had been taken for her during the Quickening Ceremony, causing her to be different and stronger. It was confusing at first, but eventually it became obvious that her need to kill her sisters was stronger than her need to stay away from the poison she could not ingest without harm. 

The book’s ending was intriguing as one of my favourite characters sadly passed away, and left me in need to find out if my two favourite queens had made it to safety.

BOOK THREE – TWO DARK REIGNS

Two dark reigns was probably the book with the most history involved. With Arsinoe and Mirabella safely away from Katherine and her reign of the crown, Arsinoe begins to have visions while she dreams. Not only are there visions, but it is like she is in someone else’s body.

We learn about the history of the Blue Queen and how the protector of the island – the mist – came to be. I think this book was the most interesting for me especially because of the history involved. The Blue Queens story proved that not every Ascension Year ended with the killing of two queens and one crowned, and there is a possibility for more choice. 

Along with this book however, I did not like the storyline of the rebellion. Jules Milone, who is supposed to be Arsinoe’s “guardian” ends up with the title of the Legion Queen. This was probably one of the things that ruined the whole series for me, especially because Jules was supposed to be one of the side characters of the queen. 


Marvel Gallery Goblin Queen Comic PVC Figure

from: Things From Another World

BOOK FOUR – FIVE DARK FATES

The final book of the series was very up and down for me. I mostly wanted to finish it to just see how it ended, but the ending was definitely not what I expected nor what I would have liked it to have.

With the rebellion growing and spreading across the land, Mirabella ends up with Katherine which I actually liked because Mirabella was kind of like a barrier between Katherine and Arsinoe. It was nice to see the sister relationship develop between the two, even when it resulted in one of their deaths. This was probably the most heartbreaking part of the entire series and the reaction of the other queen definitely made me sad. 

The ending of the book ends with the battle and the rebellion taking over the capital and in the end, two out of the three rightful rulers are dead. With a Legion Queen taking over the throne, I hated the ending, especially because it ruined the history involved in the making of the island. 

DO I RECOMMEND IT?

Overall, I would recommend this series if you’re looking to pass time, but not to throw yourself into a fictional world and fall in love with the characters. It was at times very hard to follow. It did have its ups and downs like any book, and like me, you might find a favorite character in the series. 

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Is the latest reverse-harem anime to air this spring season. The villainess in question, Katarina Claes, is far from your typical mistress of evil. In fact, she’s probably the exact opposite!

This article contains very mild spoilers.

Katarina’s seemingly endless struggle to change her fate, combined with her unorthodox approach to everything, is what makes her such a lovable heroine.

The otome game nerd turned otome game antagonist has become one of the more captivating main characters of the 2020 anime spring season. Her kind personality has stolen more than just the hearts of those near to her, but the rest of the audience as well. We break down why Katarina is such a lovable character in this reincarnation turned rom-com anime. So, in no particular order, let’s begin!

Ditzy Damsel

Although Katarina was a high schooler before being reincarnated into the younger version of Fortune Lover‘s main antagonist, she is still rather ditzy and does not always make the most rational decisions. Despite not being known for her quick wit, her warmhearted personality and kind nature are enough to win the affection of the other characters in her new-found world.

Katarina truly cares for the characters she befriends and tries her absolute best to change their fates for the better, even at her own expense. Her friendly demeanor seemingly attracts the attention of others. However, like a true harem protagonist, Katarina fails to notice the gradual effect she has on others, even the girls.

Everyone eventually finds a soft spot for Katarina and we certainly can’t blame them. Her lack of self-awareness is what makes the show so unpredictable and comedic, especially when her very life is at stake. Katarina’s rather dimwitted persona is just another part of her loving, genuine self! 


My Next Life as a Villainess GN Vol 01

from: Things From Another World

Humble Farmer

To strengthen her earth magic, Katarina actively tends to her… crops. Yes, you read that right. Despite being a princess, Katarina puts on the overalls and works the field as if there were no tomorrow. She believes her work with mother nature will increase her magical affinity, and thus be able to protect herself against all odds.

Katarina becomes so engrossed in her farming that If you listen closely, she can even be heard shouting random phrases when plowing the soil, much to her mother’s dismay. It can be seen as a rather embarrassing act for the daughter of a royal family to partake in manual labour, typically seen from commoners, but that doesn’t bother Katarina at all. In fact, her friends and her fiance, Gerald, often visit Katarina while she is under the sun, working hard on her crops.

She is not afraid to do some honest work, even if that goes against the ideals of a princess. Although Katarina farms the land more often than not, her progression in earth magic still has a lot of room for improvement. Of course, her mediocre results have yet to deter her from wielding the rake.

New Body Same Girl

When we think of princesses, we probably imagine elegant girls who have mastered everything there is to know about being ladylike. Katarina Claes, however, remains exactly who she was in her original life. Although she resides in a new body, the characteristics she exhibited in her past life transitioned almost perfectly.


My Next Life as a Villainess GN Vol 02

from: Things From Another World

She does weird stuff that everyone would find unusual. Her talents in tree climbing, for instance, are so bizarre yet fascinating at the same time. Her stepbrother and fiance continue to marvel at Katarina’s ability to swiftly and quickly climb trees, despite it being a rather trivial skill… so far, anyway. Her tree climbing habits always cause problems but they aren’t enough of a deterrent to stop Katarina from latching onto them leisurely.

Her appetite is also quite concerning. Katarina has a black hole of a stomach for all things sweet. She continuously eats dessert with her bare hands while stuffing her mouth like a hungry hamster. As mentioned before, Katarina’s ill-mannered eating habits and tendency to willingly eat food off the floor, as long as it’s picked up right away, usually get on her mother’s nerves.

She is everything you wouldn’t expect out of a princess, but Katarina’s particular oddity is probably why she’s the centre of attraction among friends, royal or not. 

The Chibi Council

Katarina is put in a really tough spot. At the end of her chapter, she is unfortunately killed by her fiance and loses everything to the true heroine, Maria. Knowing this beforehand, she does everything possible to change her doomed fate. Fortune Lover has a lot of routes to take and Katarina needs to be aware of all of them.

With her life at risk, Katarina channels her inner council of subconsciousness to evaluate and determine the best course of action to take. They are represented by little Katarinas, with each of them having a slight distinction from one another to represent a specific characteristic.

The council members usually argue among themselves but they almost always come to terms with a decision, even though it might not be the right one. Katarina works in mysterious ways, so it shouldn’t come to a surprise that her mind works like a council of chibis settling a debate. On a side note, Umaru from Himouto! Umaru-chan also has a similar way of thinking.

Benevolent

Beneath Katarina’s princess status lies a regular girl who truly cares for everyone close to her. Despite being reincarnated as a villain, Katarina has yet to do any misdeeds in her newfound life. Yes, she upsets her mother from time to time, but they mostly stem from her not abiding by the traditional princess lifestyle.

She does everything in her path to prevent a doomed destiny, but inadvertently counteracts her efforts by intuitively helping others. She wins the hearts of the other characters not by intention but by simply being herself and preserving the morals she was raised with. Katarina is a down-to-earth girl who can’t help but emit a ray of warm sunlight wherever she passes. Her earth magic may still be in its beginning stages, but her power to befriend even destined enemies is a type of spell that may very well surpass all the elements.   

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is currently available to stream legally on Crunchyroll and is expected to complete its first 12-episode season by late June.

I’ve been reading a lot of LitRPG over the past couple of months if not longer and while quite a bit of it is on Scribd, I found this one on Kindle Unlimited. I’ve found that Scribd has lots of audiobooks to keep me entertained and while I don’t get to keep them like you can with Audible, the price is much lower. I’m currently listening to a book by Drew Hayes called Going Rogue which is the third part of a really interesting story which I shall get into in a future post! This book by Dave Willmarth is different to the many other LitRPG’s I’ve listened to or read so I thought I’d share my thoughts with you all on it.

You see generally with a LitRPG the hero of the story needs to transfer his consciousness into the game to:

  • Atone for a crime (he did or did not commit) like you can find in the Way of the Shaman by Vasily Mahanenko.
  • Use the game as a source of income to save his family like Project Daily Grind by Alexey Osadchuk.
  • Escape from the end of the world like Rapture: Apocalpyse Gates by Daniel Schinhofen. Alternatively, escape from a personal doom as you see in Alterworld: Play to Live by D. Russ

Also talking about end of world LitRPG stories, we absolutely must mention the exceptional System Apocalpyse series by Tao Wong.

There are other variations but in general terms they do tend to follow one of these formulae in their creation. Now that’s not really a problem by itself, but it does get a bit frustrating when they are all so much alike. Perhaps that is why this book struck me as something different.

Escape from Earth

You see the common factor with the apocalypse type series is that escaping into the game is the only recourse. This is due to a global cataclysm and the game just happens to be there and extremely popular so humans figure out how to get their minds uploaded into their virtual avatars.

Now Land of the Undying isn’t different in this respect. There is a global cataclysm which is actually really well explained. And the impact of that cataclysm causes humans and basically all other lifeforms on the planet to go insane. The death of all life happens almost overnight and only a relative handful manages to survive.

What is different though is that the two main characters have a life outside of the game also. While their characters continue to grow and evolve in-game, their relationship and romance in the real world also blossoms. There is no easy button push transfer from the real world into the game – rather it has taken months of development simply to bring an AI online to set the stage for possible eventual integration.


Zombie Tramp Statue – Gray Bikini

from: Things From Another World

The Land

Not to make a mistake between the Undying Land from Tolkien or even just “The Land” popularized in Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, the land here is nothing more than a very complex computer simulation. The land itself is vibrant and has its own character and personality. Perhaps unsurprisingly the NPCs are self-aware and know the difference between themselves and their undying visitors. In the book Mace plays a Drow Elf called … Mace (that was easy, right?) while Shari is a light elf. The two races are at constant war in-game, but with any luck Mace will survive his journey to meet up with Shari on the surface of the land.

As the story progresses many other interesting characters are untroduced and both Shari and Mace take on companions to help them grow. The gradual growth in the abilities of the characters is nice and realistic and they do not get too many windfalls of divine providence which is good.

However, one point to note is that both of the characters in real life do seem a bit too competent. Similar to Terry Mixon’s book The Scorched Earth that I talked about earlier they seem to be able to have exactly the right skills needed. While Terry Mixon’s protagonist was a gun nut with a 4×4 that could go anywhere he needed, Mace is a computer whiz & Shari a doctor.

Fast Zombies, Slow Zombies or Undying Zombies

There are many different types of zombies out there. The Slow Zombies of Max Brooks (World War Z) – that’s the book, not the atrocious movie by the way & George A Romero’s Living Dead are one type. Basically nothing more than walking corpses, they are fairly easy to avoid as long as you do not get caught in a swarm of them.

Contrast this with a more recent trend of Fast Zombies like those from the movie 28 Days Later directed by Danny Boyle. Now, say what you will about the fact that these shambling corpses can all suddenly move faster than the fastest sprinter – the fact that you cannot simply walk a little bit faster to escape makes Fast Zombies a true threat.

The zombies portrayed in this book however take this one step further. In addition to their speed, they also grow. Basically the more they eat, the bigger they get. When you think about the fact Zombies can be 8 to 10 feet tall with a proportionate amount of strength, understanding why escaping into a video game is something to look forward to, starts to make a lot more sense.


Zombie Survival Guide Recorded Attacks GN

from: Things From Another World

Getting from A to Uploaded

See if you consider the skills you’d need to configure a game to allow someone to upload themselves into it, you really could not ask for more in terms of characters could you? I mean, a computer whiz that can reprogram and build an AI capable of running a building seems like a perfect start. Added to that, a doctor that can analyze the virus infecting humanity and the world, and also understand how to sync humans and computers together … well that would be a perfect fit wouldn’t it?

Now don’t get me wrong … while I’m complaining about the coincidence, it’s not really that big a deal. They both are more than just these two facets and are a lot more fleshed out than many other characters I’ve read in the past.

Some elements that struck me as really interesting were the fact that this process is taking time and this time is impacting the inhabitants of the game also. With the global pandemic impacting everyone almost simultaneously, the inhabitants of the land are similarly impacted. Like we’ve seen in real life with shopping establishments and businesses going under due to Covid-19, the land has also been impacted by a lack of adventurers.

Now I won’t spoil the surprise and let you know whether or not our intrepid adventurers make it. I’ll let you read that secret for yourself. Suffice it to say that this is one that I would recommend considering all of the other books and more specifically LitRPG I’ve read over the past little while. The characters are interesting and I actually want to know what happens to them and their world. I think you’ll enjoy finding out also!

Back in 2016 when Overwatch first came out it was all the rage as millions of people worldwide signed up to play this new upcoming first-person shooter by Blizzard Entertainment. However, its popularity was not a given as it was a new type of game for Blizzard. Previously they had released games like World of Warcraft and Team Fortress 2 which was the only other shooter they’ve made, which needless to say had fans skeptical of whether or not Overwatch would take off and be the next big thing. 

Ultimately Blizzard’s prayers were answered and Overwatch exploded immediately on release. With countless content creators playing Overwatch and recommending it to their fans Overwatch saw numbers reach around 6 or 7 million within the first week. 


Overwatch Reaper Figma Action Figure

from: Things From Another World

Rise and Fall

At the end of 2018, this number started to plateau at around 40 million players, but by the time 2019 hit Overwatch saw a huge decrease in players. Many of the major content creators who many fans enjoyed watching had switched to other more popular games such as Fortnite. This, in turn, led to fans to also switching games which left Overwatch with a significantly reduced population of players.

2020 hit hard with the coronavirus but that also meant people were spending more time at home, which also meant the video game industry saw a huge spike in players. 

Currently, around 2.6 billion people play video games worldwide which is a huge spike from 2019 which only had 2.3 billion players. This difference in numbers may not seem like a lot but if you consider that 300 million people is almost the entire population of America it might put things into perspective. 

There is no record of the number of players in 2020 playing Overwatch as Blizzard has not released a player count but the common consensus is that over 50 million players are still active on the game. After a game has been out for over 4 years it’s not uncommon for gamers to lose interest and get bored of the same content over and over but Blizzard does a really good job of keeping players engaged with new hero skins and new events during special seasons. These events range anywhere from custom Overwatch events to winter and summer events which keep players coming back season after season to see what new content is in store. 

A New Legend

While Overwatch has players returning more than ever now it can be expected that another huge spike of players joining the community will happen when Overwatch 2 is released. At the 2019 Blizzcon, the trailer was released for Overwatch 2, and needless to say, it got fans incredibly hyped for the release. Many people came to watch the trailer just for the nostalgia factor and probably didn’t think much of it, but it’s certain that almost every fan who played Overwatch in it’s prime fell in love with the game all over again just from that one video.

Overwatch 2 has huge potential to be able to draw fans back in and keep them entertained as a whole new way of playing is coming to the community. This version of playing is known as PvE (Player vs Environment). Overwatch is more or less a PvP (Player vs Player) game with the off-time where you have to fight the AI but with Overwatch 2 a campaign game mode will be available to all players who own the game.


Figpin Overwatch Genji Pin

from: Things From Another World

Concerns have arisen however about what will happen to Overwatch 1 when Overwatch 2 is released. Will Blizzard stop releasing updates to their original game and force players to switch? The great answer to this is NO Overwatch 1 will keep being updated and will still stay fresh. You may be wondering how and what Blizzard did was amazing. They made it so Overwatch 2 and Overwatch 1 are compatible. PvP in overwatch will be a mix of the 2 games and the great thing is Overwatch 1 players get to use the new Overwatch 2 characters and maps. 

Multiplayer Capabilities

After all, this is said you may ask what’s the point of spending money on Overwatch 2 when Overwatch 1 can do all these things?. The simple answer to this is even though PvP is cross-game PvE isn’t. All the story and campaign aspects that Overwatch 2 will bring will be exclusive to that game.

This means that ultimately if you aren’t interested in PvE and already own Overwatch 1 there is no need to go out of your way to buy Overwatch 2, but if you are interested in getting a deeper look into the characters back story and they’re future adventures it may be worth it to spend the money for the new game. For many people, that enjoy going through a story mode with their friends and sharing the experience, Blizzard has helped achieve this by making their story missions co-op so players won’t have to play alone.


The Art of Overwatch Limited Edition HC

from: Things From Another World

Overwatch 2 is gonna bring back old players, but it will also bring new players who have never even played Overwatch 1. This can help bring a new perspective to the community with new faces showing up and making a name for themselves. Overwatch 2 brings new heroes and new aspects that all players want in a game. 

With all the new changes to Overwatch, undeniably players will start to come back. Overwatch is the type of game where once you’ve played it for over a month you feel attached to the characters and its hard to let go. With all the new changes to the game such as events and the new characters, players are sure to come back and rejoin the community. Other than Overwatch 1, Overwatch 2 will bring a new perspective to the world of Overwatch drawing more and more people in. Now is the perfect time to join Overwatch for the first time or rejoin after leaving, as everything that players know about the game now is sure to change in the future.

It’s been nearly three months since we’ve been locked in our homes, weathering the storm of Covid-19. In that time, a lot of people have gotten busy, using their time to learn a new skill, to get in shape, to develop a passion of theirs into something more than just a hobby. Some of us have just been playing a lot of video games. 

There’s nothing wrong with that though. Gaming has a lot of value, as an artform, and as a form of escapism. Now more than ever, I’ve relished turning on my console to get lost in a game, to get out of my small, cramped apartment without really going outside. With my newfound free time, I’ve had the time to jump back into old classics, try new releases, and finally start chipping away at the backlog that’s been building on my hard drive over the years. These are the games that have personally gotten me through quarantine, and I’d recommend anyone else try them out. 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

There are a few specific qualities that you’re likely looking for in a game right now. If you’re anything like me, you probably want a good time sink, something you can throw a hundred hours at and still be finding new things to do. You’ll also most likely want an outdoorsy kind of game, something that gives you new scenery to look at beyond your walls furniture. Skyrim not only fulfills both of these two needs, but does so better than most other games of its type that have been released in the last decade. There’s a reason that this sprawling fantasy adventure is still talked about nearly ten years after its launch, and why it will continue to be talked about for years to come.  

While the game hasn’t aged well in certain mechanical areas, the sense of freedom the game gives you to live another life in such a gorgeous and well realized world is one that can’t be taken for granted these days. For those willing to push through a bit of janky combat and buggy gameplay, the content offered by Skyrim and its three expansions will be enough to keep you coming back for weeks, discovering something new and exciting in every play session. If you’re looking to explore a wide open world, this is the best you can get in my opinion. And as a bonus, this game has been ported to so many systems that you can play it pretty much any time, anywhere. 

Fallout 76

Now, I’ve had a lot to say about Fallout 76 in the past, namely that its an undercooked, lazy, buggy, unforgivably sloppy mess of a game that demonstrated such a fundamental misunderstanding of what its own fanbase wanted that it is baffling to me that it ever got greenlit. I stand by all of that too, but after spending over a year desperately forcing myself to try and like it, I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally found some things of value. Well, one thing. Kind of. 

With the release of the Wastelanders expansion, which finally added human NPC’s to the game world, Fallout 76 has begun to capitalize on the one thing it had going for it; the world. The Appalachian wasteland is a gorgeous region, arguably the best setting for a Fallout game to date. As diverse as it is hostile, I spent dozens of hours exploring West Virginia after the release of Wastelanders gave me something to do there. While adding NPC’s doesn’t even come close to fixing the litany of problems in this game, it has given reason to explore the best feature, which was enough to squeeze some enjoyment from it. 

The reasons to play Fallout 76 are the same as those for Skyrim (although make no mistake, this is not nearly as good a game as Skyrim was). The world is a fascinating one to lose yourself in, and there’s plenty of content to keep you exploring it. You’ll have to stomach a lot more bugs, and a much higher price tag, but while I can’t give a sweeping recommendation, some people may actually find some value here. 

Oh, that Country Roads cover that was used in the trailer was pretty good too. 


Fallout X-01 Power Armor Quantum Variant 1/6 Scale Figure (Previews Exclusive)

from: Things From Another World

Mortal Kombat 11

This is about as far on the opposite end of the gaming spectrum as you can get from a Bethesda RPG, but I’ve been sinking at least an hour a day into Mortal Kombat 11 for most of the last year. I had just begun to lapse with my playing habits around February, but after being locked in my apartment for so long, I was desperately craving something faster-paced, something more stimulating than my usual gaming diet of RPG’s and simulator games. I jumped back in to try my hand at the competitive tournament mode, and I’ve made sure to come back almost every day since. 

The thing about Mortal Kombat, and all other Netherrealm Studios fighting games, is that they are some of the only games in the genre that I believe can be played at any level. Approachable for beginners, playable for casual fans, and deep enough for tournament level players, there really is something here for everybody (assuming you like ultra-violent games).

While there isn’t necessarily the same amount of content here as you’ll find in some other games on this list, there is a catharsis in playing this game that I’ve been unable to find elsewhere. I have gotten the same animation in which a well-timed uppercut shatters an opponent’s jaw, launching them in the air like a ragdoll in the wind, about a thousand times, and it never stops being satisfying.


Mortal Kombat 11 – Legends in 3D – Sub Zero 1/2 Scale Bust

from: Things From Another World

This is a game that can keep you engaged with its fast-paced and relatively simple fighting game mechanics, while never demanding so much from you that it feels intimidating. At this point in time, that’s a really valuable thing to have in my rotation, and with the Aftermath expansion coming out soon, there’s never been a better time to jump in. 

Dead Cells

Speaking of more fast-paced games, I’ve also finally started a deep dive into the somewhat recent indie-darling Dead Cells. This is one that was criminally underrated in my opinion, largely because its launch was overshadowed by the IGN plagiarism controversy. This is a shame though, because from the little I played at launch and the many more hours I’ve been playing recently, this is a game that started out great and has aged like a fine wine. 

Dead Cells occupies a unique space in my gaming rotation. Generally speaking, I’m over the procedurally generated, rogue-lite indie game craze, but  this one has managed to hold my interest for a fairly long time. On a moment to moment level, the gameplay can be best equated to something like Dark Souls in that combat is focused on dodging and blocking enemy attacks, and waiting for the right times to strike. Unlike the many other games that have tried to ape the Souls game formula however, Dead Cells brings its own sense of character and charm to the table, creating something that’s gorgeous to look at, a ton of fun to play, and absorbing enough to keep you coming back for years to come. 

Firewatch

The last big thing that I’ve played since quarantine began is Firewatch, a game that’s often described (in a somewhat derogatory, but not completely inaccurate way) as a walking simulator. You play as a man looking to leave the troubles of his life behind by taking a job as a remote fire watch operator in the wildernesses of Wyoming. While out at your post for months, your only source of human contact is chatting with your supervisor by radio. It’s a short experience, only a few hours, but it has a lot to say about isolation, escapism, and responsibility, themes that I think are going to be particularly resonant with people these days. 

Don’t come to Firewatch expecting a challenge, an epic story, or a grand adventure. Instead, try to experience it the same way your character does, to get away from the stresses of the real world. Think of it as an escape from society to the wilderness, something that a lot of us have dreamed about, but would likely never do. You might just find this game speaks to you more than you would have imagined. 

Overwatch‘s yearly anniversary event is back and better than ever. This time around, the game celebrates the 4th year since its release. We take a look back at the best changes to happen to Overwatch since then!

With Overwatch’s 4th anniversary coming up on May 24, we decided to look back on its origins to see just how far Blizzard’s first-person shooter has progressed over the years. Even today, the game continues to get updated on a regular basis, all, of course, free of charge. Blizzard is known for listening to feedback from their community and to promote an equal playing field for all players, regardless of skill level.

We’ve compiled a list of the biggest changes Overwatch has implemented in the past four years, excluding hero and map updates. These are, by far and wide, the best changes Blizzard has made to ensure their game remains polished and fun for both casual and competitive players. So, in no particular order, here they are!

Rank System

Upon its release, players only had quick play to work with. Although it’s fun playing against others of all tiers, it lacked a certain element that only ranked matches possessed. Quick play was and continues to be seen as sort of a practice mode for trying out new characters or strategies. There was no sense of urgency or seriousness in quick play.

Competitive introduced a ranking system that was initially from 1-100 but changed to a 1-5000 ranking for a more accurate assessment of skill. It offered players a reason to win, aside from loot boxes and leveling up. Skill points were rewarded for winning but taken away for losing. It encouraged players to give every match their best effort in pursuit of victory or risk the humiliation of de-ranking.

While this also fueled the competitive drive players were searching for, it also birthed a toxic environment where teammates would lash out at each other.

________The different levels of skill rating, from the lowest being Bronze all the way to higher end of Grandmaster

Overwatch is currently in its 22nd season of competitive play, with each season lasting about three months long. Competitive leaderboards are now divided into four sections, support, damage, tank, and overall (a combination of the three roles). Korean player Evermore was the first person to achieve a perfect competitive rank of 5000.

Hero Limit  

Overwatch was quite a chaotic slugfest without a hero limit. Multiple characters of the same hero would run rampant on maps with no clear counter to choose from. It was played more so like an arcade game rather than a refined first-person-shooter. Hero limit, where only one hero could be played at a time for either side, gave Overwatch a more balanced approach to team play and strategy. No longer could multiples of the same hero be used to exploit matches during certain situations. This also encouraged players to level up other heroes or risk being a one-dimensional player with no flexibility. 

Ult display

The introduction of ult display allowed players on the same team to check on teammates’ ultimate progression. This was implemented so teams, in theory, could have information to better coordinate themselves in a fight.

Although it was added to promote more synergy among teams, it could also be used to determine how much impact players had in any given team fight. The higher your ult meter is, the higher your contributions were to that team fight. This made it much easier to combine ultimates and was even more useful for players who do not use voice chat.  

Role Lock

Much like the hero limit, role lock was implemented to better preserve the integrity of the competitive play. It appeared as though the meta composition was constantly developed and overutilized for months on end. Role lock was used to ensure that there was no clear choice of characters that would outshine other compositions in every single scenario.

No longer would a well-balanced composition be up for the team to decide, competitive now forces all teams to choose two healers, damage dealers, and tanks. Although this change was rather recent, an outcry for the format to be reverted was heard from many players. 

____________Masquerade Reaper, now available to earn in loot boxes and to purchase with in-game credits

Match Replays 

Perhaps the best quality of life change ever added to Overwatch. The match replay system allows players to visit their last 10 matches and watch every moment of it from beginning to end. The matches can be from any game mode, not just the traditional ones. Players can use this footage to pinpoint where things went wrong and where they could have been better. It allows players to actually develop their game awareness by watching their past matches retrospectively.

Not only can they see the matches from their point of view, but players could watch from the enemy team’s as well. And if you want to see a better angle, match replay offers third person and free cam to better suit your visual needs. Match replays are commonly used as a teaching tool to analyze gameplay, but it also served as a method to expose cheaters.

Replays are now the go-to procedure to evaluate whether a player on either team was cheating. This can easily be used to detect cheaters who use aimbot or wallhacks. When watching the replay, if a player has jagged mouse movements or seemingly flicks to enemy head hitboxes consistently, that should raise the suspicion of aimbotting/aimlocking.

On the other hand, if a player preemptively tracks enemy movement through a wall (without Widowmaker’s Infra-sight), then that of course would be a clear indicator of a wallhack. The Overwatch replay system serves as a great way to learn from mistakes and to out any possible cheaters. 

Arcade and workshops

Overwatch is not always about sweaty matches and giving your 110% all the time. It’s also about having fun and enjoying yourself. Overwatch has an arcade mode for those who want to let loose without worrying about the wins or losses. Arcade is about playing game modes that are vastly different from the ones seen in quick play or competitive. The most popular modes are mystery heroes, total mayhem, and free-for-all.

Arcade is also where you would find the seasonal game modes Blizzard adds temporarily. As of right now, the seasonal modes are Yeti Hunter and Snowball Deathmatch. Workshops were introduced to further advance the potential of custom matches. This time, the players themselves are given tools to create a match to their own discretion.

With the number of customization tools granted in workshops, the possibilities are virtually unlimited. Overwatch content creator PMAjellies even created a custom game where you and your friends can play the classic tabletop game, Connect Four. Workshops and arcade are a breath of fresh air and are absolutely perfect ways to pass competitive queue times or to get a break from competitive entirely.

“You done?

Overwatch has succeeded where most games fail, and that is listening to the feedback of their players. Blizzard has evidently proven that their online forums are being read by the developers and that the opinions from the community are always being considered.

Overwatch has progressed significantly since its release, and although the game is the same mechanically speaking, it’s quality-of-life changes have improved tenfold. It’s continued popularity ahead of its 4th anniversary is a testament to the studio’s devoted staff, constant strive for improvement, and a healthy relationship with its players.  

A closer look at the free-spirited Yukari Akiyama from the anime Girls Und Panzer. The humble, passionate, and eccentric personality she carries among her friends and on the battlefield deserves nothing short of a proper commendation.

This article contains extremely mild spoilers, but nothing that will ruin the viewing experience for first-time watchers.

One thing anime does better than its counterpart mediums is the wide range of characters given in any show. These characters usually differ from the main protagonists and have personalities that you probably wouldn’t find in real life. As bizarre or unusual as they appear to be, it is these select traits that make them the worthwhile characters we come to love.

They are the faces and identities who leave us gleaming in delight whenever they appear on the screen. The anime itself could have some form of mediocrity in any facet of its production, but as long as the characters we adore remain true, then we probably wouldn’t mind. They have the potential to single-handedly raise the appeal in any show they feature in and give us something to look forward to every episode. 

One such character, Yukari Akiyama, from Girls Und Panzer comes to mind when talking about special characters who are relatable and simply a joy to watch. She may not be the main protagonist or have the most screen time, but she is an unforgettable character who has captured the hearts of many through her humble, yet quirky nature. Her attitude towards her friends and the art of Sensha-dō (tankery) is extremely endearing and is nothing less of spectacular. Let’s take a closer look at why Yukari Akiyama has earned the spotlight among the many girls featured in Girls Und Panzer! 

Humble Beginnings

Before becoming the loader for Ankō Team (Anglerfish Team), Yukari was pretty much a loner who did not fit in with other groups. During the initial tankery meeting, Yukari could be found distanced from the other girls, all by herself in the background. Joining a new club is already a nerve-wracking experience for most, but to join without knowing anybody is a new step of anxiety altogether.

Yukari’s love for tanks gave her enough willpower to pursue a passion she has come to cherish for years. Growing up with an unusual infatuation for tanks was somewhat of a burden for Yukari growing up. When the rest of the Anglerfish team went over to the Akiyama residence in search for Yukari, her parents told them it was hard for their daughter to make friends because no one understood her.

Her parents were so relieved to find out that Yukari made friends who shared the same attachment to tanks as their daughter. Yukari’s passion for tanks started at a young age, and as a result of that, her childhood lacked a connection with others her age. She stayed true to what she loved and didn’t pretend just to fit in. It was only a matter of time, during her second year at Oorai Girls Academy, before she would find a group of friends who were just as thrilled about tanks as she was.  

Lover of all things Tank 

It shouldn’t take much time to figure out that Yukari is absolutely in love with tanks and military culture itself. Despite not knowing anybody in the tankery club, Yukari doesn’t let that temporary state of awkwardness deter her from joining an activity she was born to pursue. Her constant devotion to all things tanks makes Yukari somewhat of an oddball in the beginning. Even her teammates, Miho Nishizumi and Saori Takebe are quick to notice Yukari’s change of personality when she channels her inner tank nerd.

Yukari, unaware that she sometimes gets a little carried away with tankery, can then be seen apologizing in an innocent yet embarrassed manner. Her excitement in an actual tankery battle against rival schools is like watching a newborn puppy run across a large stretch of grass for the very first time. She, along with the rest of the Ooarai Girls Academy, exhibit some form of nervousness but quickly vanishes shortly after.

Whenever their team is met against a new type of tank, Yukari cannot help but appreciate the sight of the metal mammoth before her. Even though the enemy tanks are ready to fire shell after shell to obliterate the forces of Ooarai Girls Academy, Yukari still cherishes the opportunity of witnessing and competing against the marvelous engineering wonders of tanks in person. On top of that, Yukari can often be seen wearing her iconic green military-style bag wherever she goes.        

In Miho Nishizumi we Trust 

Although Yukari truly cares about all her teammates on her tankery team, her outward affection for Miho Nishizumi is one of a kind. Due to her fascination with tankery, Yukari is somewhat knowledgeable of the tank news outside of her school. The highly renowned Nishizumi style of the Kuromorimine Girls Academy is a legendary fighting school that Miho’s family is a part of.

Before joining her tankery team, Yukari was familiar with Miho’s affiliation with the Nishizumi style and has held a strong admiration for her ever since. She admits to seeing Miho’s match against Pravda on TV and reassures her that her actions during the fight were absolutely correct. Miho’s leadership and unorthodox battle tactics during the 63rd National High School Sensha-do tournament have earned her the love and respect not just from her team, but from rival schools as well.

In the Japanese dub of Girls Und Panzer, Yukari holds Miho with such high regard that she calls her name with the suffix dono at the end. Although Yukari always talks rather politely in formal Japanese, she adds even more emphasis when regarding Miho. This further shows the strong sense of respect Yukari has for her commander, considering that dono is usually reserved for those perceived with high rankings, like a master or lord.

Yukari is willing to go through great lengths for Miho. During their first-ever match, Yukari tells Miho that she too would undergo the punishment if Ooarai Academy were to lose. The trust Yukari has for Miho does not waver and only strengthens as the girls continue to partake in tankery. Win or lose, Yukari believes in the comradery among her team and Miho’s prowess as a leader to overcome even the most formidable of challenges.                

Espionage 

Like an action spy from a Mission Impossible film, Yukari goes behind enemy lines to convey vital information for Oorai Girls Academy. Due to their school being inactive in tankery for so long, Yukari takes it upon herself to ensure they get every bit of an advantage. Although the deception and espionage Yukari commits could easily be perceived as cheating, she reassures the rest of the Anglerfish team that it is well within the rules.

Yukari routinely risks her neck because she wants to put her team in the best position possible. It is this selfless duty Yukari carries out that proves how determined she is to secure a victory, and how much of a sacrifice she is willing to make for Miho and her the rest of Ooarai Girls Academy.

Panzer Vor!

To put it simply, Yukari Akiyama is a cute character who embodies all the traits we want out of a teammate, colleague and friend. Her down to earth personality, combined with her irregular love for tankery grants Girls Und Panzer more meaning towards the rest of the characters and the subsequent story itself.

She is an irreplaceable member of the Anglerfish team and forever a fan favourite within the franchise. We expect her to bless us with her charming self once more in the upcoming third installment of Girls Und Panzer das Finale movies. 

With 39,556 survivors in search of a new home due to a nuclear attack, Battlestar Galactica (or BSG) is the perfect show for fans of SciFi. The first season of the new and improved Battlestar Galactica was a hit when it was released in 2004 and is personally still a hit with me.

With the miniseries as a starter, the action-packed show began with little backstory and lots of action. Along with every introduction of a new character, the show had watchers on the edge of their seats, waiting for more. The opening scene of the miniseries gave barely any background information, leaving viewers confused and wanting to learn more about the abstract world created by the show. 

Expanding on What Came Before

This is a different version of the old Battlestar Galactica which was released in 1978 which you can actually watch on Prime surprisingly! With many of the characters acting differently, there were many concerns based on the new role of female Starbuck, played by Katee Sackhoff, however, she plays the part well and is a great addition to the characters.

Talent Names – Edward James Olmos, Jamie Bamber, Katee Sackhoff, Grace Park

Previously, her character was played by a male, so many fans of the old version of Galactica were unhappy with her addition to the cast, personally, however,  I feel that she adds more character to the cast and her backstory fits well with how she portrays her character as Starbuck.

One of the coolest surprises for people who also watched the old version of the show was the appearance of the old actor from the original series who played the character “Lee Adama” or “Apollo”. Richard Hatch plays “Tom Zerek” in this remake, a prisoner who wants justice for their political systems in the sky. He is against the president and calls for an election to be held for a rightful leader, due to the president being only an education minister.

I really liked the way that they did this since many scenes with Richard Hatch also include Jamie Bamber (the new Captain Apollo) and it is interesting to see how they both act. 

Gaius Baltar Villian or Hero?

With the old show having “Count Baltar” as the leader of their greatest enemies, the new version has changed the plot line considerably through the character of “Gaius Baltar” who takes refuge with the other humans among Galactica. There are many surprises that take place along the first season with the introductions to a “sleeping Cylon agent” among the ship, along with “Gaius Baltar” having a sort of connection to one of the human-looking Cylons named Number Six.

In fact, it is revealed in the first few episodes that he had a hand in the nuclear attack on the human world Caprica, as well as Picon and many others, overall causing humans to be nearly wiped out with only one battleship left. This only adds to the suspense through him being onboard Galactica while also having a sort of communication with a Cylon that lasts throughout the season, however, it is incredibly fun to watch since nobody else can see Number Six. With a big surprise to Galactica of Cylons looking like humans, it gives the show a new twist to each story. 

God is Real

Amongst the twists of the show are the religious aspects. The human fleet has a long religious background and they pray to the “Lords of Kobol”. Their history talks about humanity leaving a planet called Kobol which was lost in myth and legend. Added to that is the legend of a place even further removed called Earth.

With every character having important significance in the journey towards safety, each episode adds to the suspense surrounding their sacred scrolls and how religion plays a factor. Viewers learn more about the religion of the fleet and their beliefs as we discover that certain characters are actually part of these religious prophecies and can help lead them home to a place they only believe is there.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA — Pictured: Edward James Olmos as Admiral William Adama — SCI FI Channel Photo: Justin Stephens

The fact that the fleet has such strong beliefs is really interesting to me since it is so different from our own world. As each episode goes on we find out a little more of their history and how they came to be and eventually the fleet’s beliefs prove to be true. I think that their beliefs proving to be true is one of the greatest plots of the show because it seems that the characters we believe aren’t very important, turn out to be one of the largest and most significant parts of the storyline. 

Many people believe that the reboot for the show has so much potential due to the storyline that pulls watchers in by the second. The graphics are amazing and although the old 1978 version was a product of its time, the new version is definitely still very watchable. I’ve recently learned that they are also doing a new revamp of this show so I’m planning on making sure I know all the characters so I can comment on the changes just like those old people with the original!

The show is not only a sci-fi show set in space but also gives watchers insight to each character and their development along with the drama that goes on not only with the war but between each individual aboard the Galactica. It adds to their religious beliefs and the character tension as their backstories collide and provide understanding for the actions that they take while fighting a war for their home. 

Where are we going?

With just one season, we see depth and back stories in each character. With certain characters such as the Adama family, we see in the first episode or so that there was another member that had been lost. As the show goes on, viewers understand why and how this came to be, along with how it affected other characters such as “Starbuck” or “Kara Thrace”. 

The last episode of the season is captivating as the characters fight their way back against the Cylons and their inhabited planets that had been destroyed, such as Caprica, and the watchers are left on the edge of their seat wondering what is going to happen to the leaders they have learnt to love over the past thirteen episodes. 

With three different stories taking place at the same time, the protagonists fight the Cylons back with each step of their journey towards the legendary Earth.