Thoughts on Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi

Seems I have found myself on something of a slice-of-life-like excursion. While the medium has plenty of stories revolving around superpowers and fantasy elements, I’m swimming in waters far more… ordinary. With today’s example of “everyday life only mildly exaggerated with anime tropes,” Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi (or My Senpai Is Annoying), it could not get any more trope-y. Almost like that’s exactly what it’s going for.

Almost like the opposite side of the same Working!! coin, it features a large cast of characters in a workplace environment. Sometimes. Each person embodies a very particular character archetype that is amped up at specific points for maximum wholesomeness. Or humor? Hard to tell sometimes. Whereas one side of the coin was more based on comedy and, to some extent, parody, this leisurely swaps between two distinct modes: comedic bait and switch and doki-doki cockteasing.

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Thoughts on Unwording

During my tenure with KeenGamer, I played a fair number of games from indie developers. Interestingly, many developers ended up being one-and-done, that is to say that someone created one game and didn’t do anything else afterwards. One of the few times where this didn’t occur was with Armaan Sandhu of Frostwood Interactive, whose second game Forgotten Fields ended up being a rare follow-up title from a developer I had experience with. Now, third time’s the charm.

Unwording is the latest attempt at harnessing an energy of positivity and hope often nestled at the core within Sandhu’s games. Specifically, it is bringing awareness to a concept known as cognitive distortions, or more simply “negative self-talk.” Through a combination of puzzle gameplay and a short, sentimental story, the intent is to make something both engaging and fun.

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Thoughts on Cool Doji Danshi

“Trendiness” is something I’ve historically been very hostile towards. If I sniff any such odor that may linger about a new anime series, I turn up my nose and skitter back into my cave. Things have changed since then… at least to some degree, and I’m willing to indulge in these varyingly creative works that have been inspired by those before. That, and any anime with “Cool” in the title has a better chance of acquiring my attention.

Cool Doji Danshi, or Play It Cool, Guys, may not necessarily be derived from a specific piece of fiction, yet its existence lends itself to a very particular group of humanity. A bunch of goofballs who also happen to be very attractive, which only accentuates how lovely their presence is to others. It’d be easy to simply use this as a crutch for the whole of the series. Fortunately, these guys’ level of “cool” rises to the level necessary to give the story worth. Usually.

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Thoughts on Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series

Believe me when I say that the name “Klonoa” is one I’ve heard around the internet plenty of times over the years. A bonafide cult classic among those my age or older who happened upon the original titles from the late ’90s. An attempt at the ever-popular mascot platformer era of gaming that didn’t quite stick, but didn’t quite disappear, either. I imagine the announcement of this remastered collection had a certain niche of gamers very excited.

If you’ve been around this particular blog for a while, it would be easy to guess that this was, at least on the surface, adjusted to my tastes. Platformers are my comfort games, having grown up playing approximately seven-million Nintendo titles. An opportunity to understand why this series was so beloved made this an easy purchase… after a sale. Regardless, how much magic is there to this “dreamy” platformer series?

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Day Thirty-One: Platoon (March of the Movies 2023)

Turning to dusk on the final day. This year’s festivities have been eventful and, for the first time in years, consistently exhilarating. Likely aided by a large number of great films, I’ve managed to keep my energy level and my reviews (relatively) informative. I don’t think more than a few have been over 1,000 words, but so be it. Let’s end on a bang: Platoon.

War films are fairly common for a war-crazy country such as my own. We like wars, as George Carlin once said, and we also like making films about them. Seriously, look at all of these. Unfortunately, when it comes to war, there’s only so much we can say about them. Most are anti-war, showcasing the horrors of all-out violence between two countries of people. Platoon is like most, which may or may not be to its detriment.

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Day Thirty: His Wife’s Diary (March of the Movies 2023)

Penultimate choice. Decided to take a quick dive into some Russian cinema and came across this title: His Wife’s Diary. On Letterboxd, only 130-something users have it registered in their lists, so it’s incredibly obscure, at least with English speakers. Something about its rough aesthetic appealed to me, and it happened to be on Tubi. Sure, why not?

This post will be basically nothing, because this film is basically nothing.

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Day Twenty-Nine: I Care a Lot (March of the Movies 2023)

Another recommendation by one not titled as “myself.” I Care a Lot features one Rosamund Pike, whom I’ve heard nothing but adoring praise for, in a role that promises to be rather ruthless. Undoubtedly, many who view this will be asking the age-old “Can I like despicable characters?” question concerning fictional media. Is there a moral? Should there be?

No answers are provided here. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Day Twenty-Eight: Fatal Frame (March of the Movies 2023)

At some point in 2021, I was asked by my superior at my job as a games journalist to create quizzes for the website, because content. While a lot of topics were pretty large names that were relevant at the time, one franchise I ended up doing a quiz for was Fatal Frame. Researching the series erected interest in trying out the game for myself (have yet to do so). Some time later, I came to find out something even more fascinating: Fatal Frame got a movie!

With the whole “There has never been a good video game movie” stigma out there, I’m surprised this hasn’t been brought up more. At least based on Letterboxd user scores, this has a pretty reputable consensus. That, combined with the lingering curiosity I have for its video game parent, invited me to give this a shot and see how it fared.

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Day Twenty-Seven: Shazam! (March of the Movies 2023)

It’s gettin’ a wee bit late in the day and I’m tired. Gonna go ahead and make this a quick’n and keep things concise.

Superhero films ain’t “the vibe” for me. While there are those who enjoy a good bing-bang-boom and other assortments of onomatopoeia, my pleasures tend to come from quieter, less cacophonous ventures. Regardless, sometimes superhero flicks do come across to me as potentially enjoyable and I’ll sit down to test their mettle. Shazam! is one that I’ve had my eye on since it released.

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