I Don’t Watch Any Ani-tubers

1495407177183

I like video games. That’s why many of my subscriptions on Youtube are to those who deal with video games. I like films. That’s why many some of my subscriptions on Youtube are to those who deal with films. I like anime. I don’t watch any ani-tubers. Wait, why is that?

Thinking about it earlier today, I found it somewhat odd that I never latched onto any particular person on Youtube who does anime-type reviews or videos. At least, I don’t now, seeing as none of my subscriptions deal with anime in any capacity other than references (or adaptations based on video games). So I thought about it a little more, while also browsing Youtube for a short while, and I’ve come to document my thoughts on why I think I’m not taken by any particular ani-tuber at large, and why I may never be. But first, a little history between me and ani-tubers. (more…)

Top 10 Highest Quality SiIvaGunner Rips (2017 Edition)

siivagunner

Some time ago, I stumbled upon some high quality rips. I liked them so much that I found myself listening to tens of different rips in a single day out of curiosity. The quality of these rips were consistently high-quality, but some stuck out for being so high-quality that the heavens above became the heavens parallel to the feet of the rip. Why not accentuate my strange nature by making a strange Top 10 list?

For some context, a “high quality rip” is a remix of a particular (usually) video game track that employs one (or an assortment) of references to various things, or internet memes. One could consider the content a joke, though many tracks of the highest quality often challenge the original in creativity or composition. Much like the essence of a remix in general. This dedication to improving the music is what makes me so enamored with SiIvaGunner’s works, which consists of a team of “rippers” providing multiple uploads a day.

I labeled this the “2017 Edition” because of how few rips I’ve heard from the channel. I’ve listened to a couple hundred at the most, which seems like a lot before looking at the number of uploads. SiIvaGunner has uploaded nearly 5,000 rips! That’s a lotta rips! And they’re still going! That being the case, this list will become a yearly thing, constantly changing and reworking the tracks that made the last high quality track feel so mediocre. There’s no guarantee the lists will look all that different with each year, but with as many rips being uploaded every day—along with all the rips I still have yet to listen to—the definitiveness of this list only goes so far as a “Beginner’s Guide,” if you will. I’m judging these tracks primarily by personal enjoyment, though I did try and consider the impressiveness of the rip’s additions to the original track. I’d advise you, the reader, to brace yourself. The quality of these rips will be exquisite.

#10: Resort Island (Beta Mix) – Sonic R

I don’t like Adam Levine. I don’t like Maroon 5. There are very few songs by them that I care to listen to. But this rip? This rip makes him and his music about 800 times more bearable. The original song is so slow; this speed-up makes the track an absolute joy to dance around to. The energy, the beat, and the upbeat execution makes this a very bubbly and infectious rip. I also really enjoy the original Resort Island track, so that helps, too.

#9: Re-Tail – Animal Crossing: New Leaf

I don’t have a whole lot of experience with New Leaf, so this track in particular didn’t ring very familiar with me. When first listening to it, I couldn’t even place what was playing in the background until the very prominent chorus. I didn’t think much of it, but I ended up listening to it over and over and over again, until I found myself amazed at how well the tracks mix together. It’s a very subtle addition, but the dings and bells boost the added track to a level of naive charm that the original version couldn’t quite muster. Sometimes the more simple combinations make the best of creations. Like peanut butter and chocolate.

#8: Final Bowser Battle – Super Mario Galaxy 2

The biggest drawback to this track is that it’s too short. Only a minute and a half of P U R E  M E M E  E X P L O S I O N. The original track is epic enough, if not a little lacking in gusto, but the additions… oh, how absolutely splendid. There are so many to list off I couldn’t do so without wanting to ruin the experience for first-time listeners. It’s entirely possible the right person would be horribly turned off by this. If you’re not the right person, be proud of your wrongness.

#7: Unknown from M.E. (OST Version) – Sonic Adventure

Among SiIvaGunner’s most popular rips, this track is more funny than catchy. For those aware of the franchise, the original Unknown from M.E. has lyrics, something the team took full advantage of. The actual track is barely edited, but the audio of the lyrics has been completely reworded to say the most fucked up things one could imagine. The result is a four and a half minute Youtube Poop of the highest quality. Be wary, however, as the dialogue is fast and hard, much like Knuckles himself. You gotta be Sonic speed fast to catch every high quality joke.

#6: Ai no Uta – Super Smash Bros. Brawl

I don’t care if they’re a joke! Linkin Park’s first two albums are amazing, despite how immensely angsty they are. I’m also biased, as I grew up listening to the albums on a near-daily basis. Regardless, this rip features the calming and soothing Ai no Uta as a backdrop to the (slightly slowed) serenades of one Chester Bennington roaring out the lyrics to his song Crawling. The result is a strangely cathartic mass of tranquility. It may just be from my twisted tastes, but listening to Bennington’s soft voice cooing the lines in-between the chorus with benign background tunes brings me to a state of blissful nothingness. It speaks to me, almost literally, in a way most rips don’t. It’s almost addicting. I can feel the essence crawling within.

#5: DK Rap (Gorilla Version) – Donkey Kong 64

Another of SiIvaGunner’s most popular uploads, this is essentially their version of Unknown from M.E. with their patented ripping expertise. Also memes. One of the channel’s most prevalent and popular memes come from the constant revisitation of the “DK Rap” intro to Donkey Kong 64. What makes this track better than the rest is the fantastic implementation of Gorillaz’s (Get the joke?) Feel Good Inc., which is a great song in and of itself. The other versions may be funnier or more crammed with other memes, but this one is pleasant to listen to on top of it. And it fits. Oh, so very well.

#4: Escape from the City (Unseen Vocal Mix) – Sonic Adventure 2

It’s. So. Fucking. Catchy. The original track is soul-crushingly catchy enough, but this?! This is too much. The smooth, jazzy interpretation adds a different spin that is absolutely perfect for the upbeat and carefree tone of most Sonic games. The parallel between the added song and the speed at which the vocals are sung match as if the song were real, a real, genuine track from sir Stevie Wonder (Get the joke?). More than anything, though, is that the rip is so. Fucking. Catchy.

#3: Ballad of the Goddess – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Skyward Sword had a fantastic soundtrack. No one really refutes that. Its epicness and sense of adventure makes the game more amazing than, perhaps, it really is. How do we add to this? Great vocals from a lovely young female singer! This is the greatest pairing I never knew I wanted. The rip is among the channel’s least meme-y. Its seriousness almost makes people wonder if the track was really meant to be a joke, or, ahem, “high quality.” It sounds beautiful, with the echoes of the singer blending marvelously with the sweeps of music of the ballad behind her. I love it for the subtle power that arises as it continues. It makes the already captivating track all the more impactful.

#2: Windy Hill – Zone 1 (Beta Mix) – Sonic Lost World

Remember when I said Final Bowser Battle was a meme explosion? This track may as well be the response: a P U R E  M E M E  A P O C A L Y P S E. Good length. Great application of everything added. And the last twenty seconds of the rip? No joke: gives me chills. That ending made me love this rip on first listen, and a clear contender for favorite rip ever. Should the 2018 list have many new faces, this is one rip that will likely never leave the Top 5. Everything about it is the very essence of SiIvaGunner and the channel’s purpose—high quality rips of the highest caliber.

#1: Creative Exercise – Mario Paint

The strangest thing about this rip… how does the original track fit so god damn well with a Swedish dude saying “Who’s been drawing dicks?!” in a funny voice? I mean, really, honestly? The track itself is fairly straightforward and not very meme-y, but it manages to sound astoundingly good. The highest quality sound to ever come from a rip. It’s absolutely addicting, a rip equivalent to that of cocaine. And it shows; once again, it’s among the channel’s most popular videos. For whatever reason, the planet’s aligned and made this track in particular the greatest sounding dick joke of all time. The kicker? I don’t even like the original track that much. To heighten the quality that much with so little, that alone makes this rip the highest quality of all.

My First Youtube Review: Axiom Verge

Hey, everyone. I know I write quite a bit, but have you ever wondered what I actually sound like? If so, feel free to check out my first video review of one of my favorite games of last year: Axiom Verge—an indie metroidvania game developed by a single person. If not, watch it simply for the sake of a man embarrassing himself by putting out a half-assed project that was shelved for many months due to other priorities. It’s not up to my expectations, but I can only strive to get better in the future. A start is a start, after all. Thanks in advance to those who choose to watch it! Take care!

(This is the only time I will dedicate an entire blog post to advertising one of my Youtube videos.)

I Wish to Review People. Is It Ethical?

005a8820-3d30-0133-5b77-0aecee5a8273

As someone who enjoys the art of critiquing, it’s no wonder I’ve dedicated so much time and energy into writing reviews spanning all sorts of different subjects. I’m one who enjoys taking things apart and analyzing the individual importance of every piece that makes the final product work. Putting that together with my many interests in life makes a rewarding and fulfilling amount of (self-described) work for me to use in my writing. It’s not a career for me, but I’d love to make it so. One day. But one subject tends to throw me through the most loops, and ultimately riles up my brain more than any other subject in comparison: people.

I’m not going to come out and say that I want to review people based on their quirks and ambitions and make myself into a second-coming of Dr. Phil in virtual form. Nothing of the sort. Many of the subjects that I typically write on on my blog come in the form of a team of people. Anime, video games, movies. Things of that sort. Manga and novels are usually much smaller teams and tend to be more intimate of reviews due to primarily having one person to criticize, but still have that feeling of not criticizing them directly. The argument is a tad vague, but my reviews tend to focus on the in-story flaws rather than the flaws of the person writing that story. The subject of “people” that I wish to review pertains to the work directly attributed to them, while putting themselves out there front and center to give that work their own identity. This, in itself, makes criticism of their work much trickier.

Back when I attended university classes, I took a few fiction/non-fiction workshops where the students had to learn about and write stories regarding various topics. Every week, we would dedicate one or two days to review certain people’s work during class. Every person wasn’t required to speak up, but it was encouraged greatly by means of participation grade. Whenever the subject came up, I was hardly one to speak at all. I read all of my classmate’s works as I got to them, with varying degrees of likability and quality through my mindset. However, especially for those whose work I found atrocious, I never let them know it bluntly. I would comment on a few things here and there, but never gave them the full throttle of why I was disgusted with every word placed into the story. Why? Because it feels mean. It feels nasty. It feels unethical to me. I couldn’t bring myself to smash their work into a million pieces due to how I felt it would affect them emotionally. I was scared to be honest, so I stayed relatively quiet most days. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a lot to say. I had so much to say. But as an aspiring critic, this hurt my pride greatly, to think that I couldn’t muster the courage to criticize my classmates’ works in a respectful manner. It’s easy to criticize someone’s work from behind a computer or away from the person’s face, but I wish to be better in giving them the benefit of my honest opinion, whether they care for it or not.

The topic I had in mind when planning to write this was Youtubers. People who put themselves online and showcase their zany minds to the world. I think it would be a really fascinating experience to analyze and review the videos by a particular person on Youtube, whether it be big names like Pewdiepie or JennaMarbles, or those who dwindle within the realm of obscurity, whether it be because of their quality or relatively low subscriber count. More than anything, I find it intriguing to scroll through a person’s history and see how their videos have changed over the years. I would love to provide feedback on my own platform rather than be one of millions of comments on any individual video. While I don’t necessarily feel that “Youtuber Reviewer” would be my calling-card, I think it’d add a bit of flexibility to the subjects of my blog (And perhaps my blossoming Youtube channel?).

But therein lies the difficulty of doing a subject like that: treading the line between critical analysis and personal attack. I would, for example, mark an entry titled “Thoughts on Pewdiepie” in which I would criticize his use of overexaggeration and dependency on inside-jokes or staples of his Youtube career and history. When does a review that directly attributes the effort a person made into a form of entertainment impede the line of basic criticism? Most of all, should I feel like the bad guy if my review of Pewdiepie’s channel offends him? It’s a pretty give-and-take process of carefully crafting a language system that benefits the ego of the person being reviewed while also maintaining a professional tone to smooth out any negative attributes described. That’s not to say reviews of people or their work should only focus on good qualities with negative addendums written in tiny text in the bottom-right corner of the page, but one shouldn’t resort to insulting the subject as a means of further proving their point. Perhaps it’s harder to do when everything about the subject is negative, but always keep in mind that nothing will be gained by appearing biased.

I also recognize that I am guilty of this to some degree within various reviews. Just look at any “Ruining” posts.

I have always wanted to review people, but what gave me the idea to make this post was a WatchMojo Top 10 list of “Underrated Youtubers,” wherein six of the ten placements were Youtubers who primarily run Let’s Play channels, which made me roll my eyes. Many are aware at this point that Youtube is the web king of Let’s Players, guaranteeing a varying degree of success so long as the person playing the games is either physically attractive, personally likable, or have an odd quirk to them, like a strange voice or rainbow-colored hair. Or entertaining to children. Sorry, had to get that in. This fascination with Let’s Players makes me want to branch out and give my genuine analysis of the people who run accounts like this, to see what makes them different from others or why those who do differently shouldn’t be overlooked. To those curious, the four others on the list were two video game reviewers, a video game reviewer/live-action skit artist, and an educational channel relating to the creation and marketing of video games.

It’s a slippery slope, but I feel confident enough in my own abilities to be able to respectfully cover the overall scope of a Youtuber’s (or anyone else in general) “career.” But I’m willing to take in input on the subject as well. What do you think of the idea of “reviewing people”? Do you think it’s too sociopathic? Or do you think it’d be a good way to provide feedback? All answers are greatly appreciated, and for those who follow, don’t be surprised if you see an entry pertaining to this subject very soon.