Most relationships that I’ve ever had, be they romantic, familial, or simply friendships, can all pretty much be equated to building a sand castle. You pack down the sand, and shape it the way you want it, and you can actually end up making some really impressive stuff out of it, but eventually, no matter how much you try to avoid it, it’ll crumble and fall apart. It’s sand, it’s not gonna hold up forever.
So you build a new one and you think to yourself, “I’m not gonna make the same mistakes this time. This castle will be stronger than the old one.” And maybe it is, and maybe it looks a little better and lasts a little longer, but then it falls apart.
And you keep building and building, and over time, as you find yourself packing down the sand once again, you begin to wonder why you keep building the damn things. You know the outcome. So why do you continue to try?
And that question begins to eat away at you. All of a sudden you start seeing all of these imperfections in each of your castles and instead of doing something to fix it, you just sit there and watch it topple over. Why try to patch it up when each castle is nothing more than a waiting game? Each attempt, no matter how substantial, will be met with the same result.
And then you wonder “Should I ignore it, that question eating away at me, and just keep going? Or should I save myself the time and just kick the castle over now?”

I usually end up knocking them over.

Magical Economics 101

So, I finally got around to watching the Wizard movie after being told that it was actually fairly good. Now, this isn’t a review of the movie or my complete thoughts on the thing. All it is, is me explaining something that has been swirling around in my head since watching the film.

The neatest thing about the Wizard movie(to me) is also its biggest problem. On the surface this world, its economy and its social statuses all changing because of the inclusion of magic, is a pretty cool one. However, the moment you apply any amount of thought to it, the whole thing completely collapses.

OK, so in the real world a person uses money to purchase things(oh my god, I’m explaining how money works). In order to acquire said money a person will, more often than not, work for it. They, as previously mentioned, will then use their well deserved money on goods and services. The companies providing such goods and services will then divide the money among their various employees, providers, etcetera. Those employees then take the money that they have worked for and go about using it on their own necessities. This cycle continues on and on.

In the movie they establish that everything is paid for by using mana. Here’s the problem, the mana that they are using as currency is produced within themselves. It’s completely natural to them. Meaning they do not have to work in order to acquire their currency. If there is reward for their work, then why work? Hell, we later find out that all of the mana spent goes straight to a single source, which means that there isn’t even any sort payment for those providing services. So that means, that not only is there no reason for people to go to work, there’s not even a reason for the work to exist.

I know, I know, it’s a movie directed towards kids and here I am talking about this fictional economy, but it’s still a flaw. One that kept nagging me throughout the movie and I didn’t quite know why. It seems like some minuscule fact that kids aren’t even going to pick up on. It shouldn’t even be something necessary for the story to move forward. That’s just it, though. It’s not just this tiny overlooked thing, it’s a major plot point to the movie. The whole plan made by the antagonist completely requires this mana based economy to work. It can’t though. It just cannot work. There’s no reward, so there’s no workers. There’s no workers, so there’s no services, so there’s no mana being collected. Then suddenly you have no economy, you have a society running on nothing, and you have no plot for your movie.

RRR Vcomics

This is something that I’ve wanted to try for a while now and decided to test it out with some of the pixelated RRR guys that I made. So here is a bit of a bulk post with the first three videos that I made for this series.

Lets Manga: Beet the Vandel Buster

Back in the far off year of 2002 a series by the name of Beet The Vandel Buster was published in Monthly Shonen Jump by writer/artist duo Riku Sanjo and Koji Inada. The series follows the titular Beet as he aspires to be a Buster, a sort of high-class mercenary, and put an end to the Dark Age of the Vandels, a race of demon like creatures that rule over the majority of the world.

On his first day as a Buster, Beet witnesses his childhood heroes, The Zenon Warriors, taking on a particularly powerful Vandel. Just as it seems that the Zenon Warriors have the Vandel on the ropes, Beet yells out in excitement, catching the attention of the Vandel who then proceeds to mortally wound the young boy. In order to save his life the five Busters give Beet each of their Saiga, a magical weapon construct connected to ones own soul. In doing so they successfully pass on their greatest power to the boy, saving his life, but in the process leaving them defenseless against the Vandel. As the Busters charge into battle Beet loses consciousness only to find both the Zenon Warriors and the Vandel gone without a trace when he awakes. From that moment on Beet assigns himself the task of wiping out all of the Vandels and ridding the world of its Dark Age.

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The Writing

Riku Sanjo is at his best in this open world fantasy adventure and shows just how far he had come since the duo’s previous work, Dai no Daiboken. While the story and setting are simple and very Shonen they are done near flawlessly. Each character is given plenty of room to grow with no one feeling too particularly overshadowed. Of course this is a story about Beet and as such he gets the bulk of the shining moments within the series. That said it never feels as if it’s too much of a hindrance on any of the other characters and Beet himself manages to show off legitimate development for all of the time that he’s given. Beet aside the supporting cast is wonderfully entertaining, with each character having distinct and fun personalities. Even the Vandels themselves each manage to have an impressive amount of characterization, be it the quirky minor villains or the surprisingly interesting, and sometimes rather intense, big bads.

Surrounding the characters is an impressively fleshed out world for that of a battle manga, and an intriguing one to boot. Every facet of the world functions similar to that of a fantasy roleplaying game, with such things as the Busters and Vandels gaining levels, videogame-esque economies, and even power-up modes for each of the Saiga. The reason behind this choice seems to be entirely for appeal as the world itself is not actually supposed to be looked at as a game, but rather just game-like. That said, it all works fairly well and helps to showcase the growth in strength of each of the characters through visualized leveling. Whether more was meant to be done with this style of world was unfortunately never able to be seen as the series went on an indefinite hiatus in 2006, leaving the story without a conclusion.

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The Art

Being a monthly series the art feels very polished and manages to increase in quality as the series progresses. While, like the story, the art is simple, Inada’s work matches up very well with the story, world and characters laid out by Sanjo. The design of the characters falls in line with the game-like theme of the world with the main characters looking very much like your typical cool RPG-esque heroes and the villains taking on a sleeker and, of course, demonic design akin to that of a Dragon Quest game. Which is fitting given the duo’s previous work, as mentioned earlier.

The overall aesthetic to the series is a fairly lighthearted one, with the human characters looking quite animated and the Vandels looking more “cool” than monstrous or grotesque. The series has an obvious look of wanting to be more fun and adventurous as opposed to taking a more serious tone. That said, both the art and the writing manage to hit a suitable dreariness when dealing with a more somber or ominous moment, while at the same time going just as big and bombastic as necessary for its fight scenes.

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The Wrap Up

As mentioned earlier, Beet The Vandal Buster is unfortunately an unfinished series with it only making it about four years into its publication. The series had originally gone on hiatus following artist, Koji Inada’s, sudden illness. A mere six months later Monthly Shonen Jump had announced that the magazine itself would cease publication with an alternate magazine, Jump SQ, taking its place. Since the end of Monthly Shonen Jump, writer Riku Sanjo, has gone on to do work for the Toei Company, writing for several of its television shows, such as Kamen Rider W and Jyuden Sentai Kyoryuger. To date, Inada has continued to remain out of the public eye with it being uncertain as to his current physical condition.

While Beet The Vandel Buster seems to be in a never ending limbo it is, regardless, a series worthy of attention. For what it does, be it simple or not, it does it near flawlessly. The team of Sanjo and Inada proves to be an effective one and each manage to compliment the others’ talents very well. It is a series that pretty much exemplifies a shonen battle manga and is worth a look, ending or not.

Beet The Vandel Buster is available in English by Viz Media having been fully released in a healthy twelve volumes. No digital copies are currently available. There is also an anime for those who are so bold! Produced by Toei animation, it ran for two seasons for a grand total of 77 episodes. The series was licensed by Illumination Entertainment in North America, but only saw a single DVD release covering about four episodes.

This has been Lets Manga!, a brand new series with a stupid title that I have been working on for a fair amount of time. If you have any criticisms or suggestions then feel free to blurt them out as you will. Lets see if we manage to do this again sometime. Until then, bye bye!

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Auto Morph Black Ranger Review

 

Hey guys, welcome to my video review of a classic MMPR figure. Things were a little surprising when I took this guy out of the package so go ahead and check it out!