So me and Noshi are back to the adventures of Rimuru, and his efforts to build and maintain the Jura Tempest Forest kingdom.
As we loved this comedy / fantasy lighthearted series first season, we sat down to enjoy this season 2 (part 1 actually), numbering 12 episodes.
And it starts with Rimuru receiving a delegation from demon lord Carrion in his kingdom, immediatly leading to some comical, friendly brawling, continuing the tone from before.
As the commercial trades of Tempest pick up due to the brandy Rimuru decided to make, the Kingdom of Falmuth grows jealous and plans on waging a Holy War on the monsters nation, spearheaded by three Otherworlders. They erase magical barriers reducing the powers of the monsters, and an attack ensues injuring many, and killing some of the citizens due to the three rules Rimuru had instated early in season 1. Rimuru himself meets his match in the form of Hinata, former master of Shizui, and barely escapes.
One of the recent visitors, Myulan, reveals she had put up one of the barriers as she is a servant of demon lord Clayman, who seems to be pulling the strings behind the scenes. And seemingly made Milim declare war against the beast nation of demon lord Carrion.
The Falmuth kingdom attack leaves many in Tempest dead, including Shion. When learning of a way to ressurect them, Rimuru decides to become a Demon Lord, slaughtering the attackers to reap their souls and ascend. He ascends to Demon Lord status, reviving the fallen, and gains an ally in Diablo in the process.
But as Lord Clayman seems to manipulate the other Demon Lords, Milim and Frey, against Lord Carrion, whiping out the Eurazian kingdom and becoming a threat as such versus Jura Tempest. But as Rimuru restores Veldora at last, he has a serious ally now...
Another fun, albeit a bit darker, season compared to the first one, we can`t wait until we can binge the whole currently airing second part of the series!
Oh no, the penultimate novel of my beloved series!
And it all draws closer towards the "grand finale"as Blank wants to challenge Tet, the God of Games.
After defeating the rank 1 race, the Old Deus, Sora and Shiro created the master plan to make Holou into the first pop idol of Disboard. Because they realise that could compensate for the one thing they lack: charisma!
But then the Ex Machina enter the fray, survivors each of them of the Great War as no new units have been created since then, and wanting to ally with Sora and Shiro... by becoming their butler and housemaids. Intent on using Sora, who they see as the reincarnation of Riku from the Great Warm to reproduce with them as they only number 13, the siblings are in for a though game. After gaining access to Sora's adult content, they constantly sexually harass him, driving even Jibrill to despair as they try to flee from the robot beings.
When they figure out a way to break the lock, they challenge the Ex Machina to a chess like rhythm game, in sequence with Holou's Idol concert. However, they quickly learn they made a critical mistake in their game against Blank: so far, they always ignored the genius sibling Shiro.
They manage to defeat the Ex Machina, and in doing so, we learn what actually happened all the way back in the Great War, and the defeat of Artosh...
Another fun story, and back to a lighter tone then the past volumes where, making some good and relaxed reading. Now onwards to book number 10!
Yup, 2021 isn`t a good year for european union inhabitants with strange hobbies.
After the well known impact on the wargame hobby of the Brexit, the IOSS rulings came into play since the 1st of july.
Now, what this very basically means, is that there is no longer any chance that a parcel bought outside of the EU get's past customs without charges. You are now, no matter how small, and including the costs of shipping, required to pay VAT, import costs and most expensive usually of all: the rates postal services charge to actually bring the parcel to customs. In case of Bpost, it's 15 euro under a total value of 150 euro, 32 above that.
Needless to say, that makes parcels run up in price pretty swiftly, often the costs outweighing actual taxes. I had it recently with a Miku I won on an online cranegame: 2.66 euro VAT, but 15 euro service cost. Still under half the price she is here on pre-orders (about 39.99 at most stores), but before she would indeed have been free, with free shipping...
This all means that now you have to do some research and puzzling before ordering figures from Japan for example.
In a shameless advertising plug, if you go to SNK Store, you have 10% discount if you use the link HERE.
Often, local stores (local as in within the EU) have the models as well, but often 40 to 50% above the price of the japanese biggies like Mandarake or AmiAmi. But with costs like shipping, VAT (because they aren`t "in" on the new system, meaning you pay VAT twice unfortunatly) and declariations, you swiftly come to the same, if not more expensive, prices. This is also what made us decide here to go for the EU stores unless it are pre-orders (AmiAmi is one of the only stores not requiring payment up front, as pre-orders can often take up to two years before actually being released), OR things no longer found (aka, their pre-owned section, which are usually just brand new, but older, figures). But outside of that, it seems for the current day models it is far more intresting to look for the more expensive at first sight, yet not in the end, stores within the continent.
Now, it doesn`t end there. Oh no, that would be simple wouldn`t it. You see, now it has also been decreed that if you run your own shizzles on the side, like ebay, etsy, webstores, bricklink or whotnot's, you also need to register for VAT in EACH and EVERY country you ship to. Luckily, not immediatly but from the moment your total sales go over 10.000 EUR. While this might seem like a lot, take into account that is actually slightly under 835 euro a month.
Again, that sounds like a lot, as that means a like over half of a monthly average wage here in Belgium, but you might be amazed if you don`t be carefull how fast it is reached. As most geeky hobbies aren`t cheap, this quickly runs up if you sell some, I don`t knwo, Zero Two figures, or some GW starters, or some rare Pokemon cards... and now that eBay no longer is a 1-2 with Paypal, but pays out directly to your bank account, the government knows all to well what is coming in.
And the final, hopefully temporary, thing? Delays! Already, with less then a month that the system is in place, customs is swamped. Parcels coming into the country the 14th, went to declaration status on the 23rd, to be treated "within the next 7 working days". So that will be around 3 weeks it is standing somewhere in a warehouse to be declared... better get those christmas gifts ordered around september or so!
So yeah, for those reasons, both in and out going, IOSS is another little annoyance after the Brexit that came into play this year. Shope carefull my followers, and believe me, it is really starting to pay off if you do your shopping with research... and a calculator at hand!
Arriving in my Ediya Shop order I unboxed a while ago, came this Fate / Grand Order figure of Medusa.
Now, the more Fate I watch, the more I get reeled into the franchise, I really like it.
And Medusa is one of my favorite characters from the franchise so far, which for me started with the Night series, and she was the first model I bought about a month ago from the line.
So now my second figure from Fate has arrived, and it is indeed another Medusa, or Ana as she is called in this version, "the girl that carries destiny", the youthfull version of Medusa and a Lancer class this time round, this version is her "first stage" of evolution in power.
The model comes with a huge scythe and a flowing pony tail as "key points" in her sculpt, so let's have a look at her as we unbox the model!
While a bit of a b**ch to assemble with the chain, as you don`t want to put on to much force to avoid breaking off the thumb, she is a great looking figure once assembled.
And so the collection of FATE has slowly started... but rest assured more will be added over the years!
In this post, I`m taking a look at the gorgeous Kurumi figure I received a few weeks ago for my birthday, gifted to me by my dolly Noshi.
And what a lovely figure it is, the "Alluring Kimono version" made by KD Colle in scale 1/7, meaning she stands at about 23 cm tall.
She comes with her time altering fireweapons, in the form of her trusted pistol, but also a rifle, mounted on a greatly printed base.
But the main atraction of course of this figure is her kimono, full of exquisite detailing as lotus flowers are over it. The kimono has a beautiful shading to it, both front and back, and has ribbons attached to it as well.
And even the black ribbon at her back comes with a nice golden pattern on it, as well as subtle printing in a dark grey.
Her face is also a top of the line piece of work, and her clockwork eye is fantastically rendered on the model.
A truly amazing figure, which now stands in our living room display along one of the other Angels, Noshi's Yoshino.
I really, really enjoyed the first season of That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime, and when I saw this tiny Rimuru figure from the WCF line, I just needed to have it!
For me, this is a key model in his discovery of the new world, as he really had no clue what went on.
And the question mark popping out made me giggle every time. The figure was for sale at Madarake, but with the new IOSS rulings kicking in 1st of july, I went to search for him within the EU and found him at Ediya Shop, as seen in THIS post.
Now to have a look at the little cute slime in this short unboxing video:
Sometimes less is more, and it certainly is so for this little hilarious figure!
Thanks again to Ediya Shop for the great service, and until the next time!
Time to go back to Rimuru and his monster people, before me and Noshi kick off into season 2.
And that is with 5 OVA's taking place during the first season, consisting of 3 side stories.
The first one is about a sumo contest that Rimuru organises to give his people some entertainment as the always seem to be working. And in this rather fan serviced episode, we get to meet the art of bum wrestling, and learn that Milim has muscles in her hair...
Following that, the second OVA details how Rimuru wants to create cushions of himself, so that he isn`t the victim of constant extreme cuddling anymore. Including a large lake monster that went berserk thanks to Shion's cooking skills.
The final three OVA's are part of a longer story, as Rimuru's young students from class S have to go on an outback adventure test for the school, and overcome a spectre and his band of thief,s showing how far they came.
Fun stories that follow the light-hearted spirit of the series, these where a nice getting in the mood again for more Slime adventures!
A recent, 8 episode fantasy series that runs on Netflix, Noshi and me sat down to give this a look.
And we liked it.
The series takes place in a russian like fantasy country, where certain members of the population, the Grisha, have powers of magical properties. But the lands are split by a huge shadow Fold, a place of darkness, which causes the lands to stand on the brink of civil war as the western territory wants independance.
Childhood friends Mal and Alina, drafted into the map makers section of the army, are on a mission inside the fold, when events reveal Alina as the mythical mage, the Sun Summoner, that can cast the light of the Sun. This makes her suddenly the most imported, and wanted, person in the land for various reasons.
On the other side of the fold, Kaz Brekker is hired to try and capture her, while the general of the army brings her to the Little Palace. This ancient fortress of the Grisha, when they where still hunted instead of feared as nowadays, serves as a prison / protection for Alina. In her golden cage, she is thought to unleash her powers by herself, while mal goes out to hunt for a mythical stag, and a chance to visit the palace.
In the meantime, Kaz and his crew make it across the Fold with the help of "the Conductor" and set in motion a plan to break into the Little Palace themselves. Infiltrating the palace as circus performers, they become instrumental in helping Alina escape as she learns the truth about the general: that he is an eternal, and not a descendant of the Dark Heretic that created the fold, but actually he himself!
Mal catches on with her, and together they set out to find the mythical stag to enlarge her powers, so she can stand up to the general. But as they both reach the stag at the same time, Kirigan is victorious and puts her powers under his command... with the help from Kaz and his crew they manage to escape from him, and go into hiding so Alina can learn to control her powers.
Not a bad series at all with some lovely visuals, and we look forward to the second season!
For years of watching anime, I always wondered about the "what is all that vocaloid craze about" and never actually took a look at it.
Until a week or two ago, when I stumbled upon a Magical Mirai concert from 2016, strolling through YouTube.
I bit the bullet, and decided to listen / watch it... and was reeled in as if enchanted by the Mad Hatter. It actually has some darn good songs ( I LOVE Ghost Rule). Hatsune Miku actually looks like a genuine popstar on the stage and yeah...
... I bought a Hatsune Miku for my collection as a result. At only 35 euro over at Akiba.be here in Antwerp, that was a great value for a so-called Sega price figure. Sure, online in Japan I can get them around 20, but then 20 more gets added for shipping, and if unlucky if it gets hold by Customs, it can quickly total towards the 70+ euro range. So for that size and price range of figures, I decided not to take the risk.
So here it is, my unboxing of the Hatsune Miku figure. Coming from the Supreme Premium Figure or SPM line, the Pierretta:
Now, if only I can find the Ghost version still somewhere...
The first movie of a series of three that will be released in the coming years, Hathaway's Flash takes us back to the Universal Century.
And that means a lot of familiar events and names will be popping up in the trilogy.
The story takes place 12 years after the Neo Zeon War, or Char's Rebellion, the world is still on the brink of chaos as conflicts can errupt anywhere and anytime.
The anti-Federation organistaion Mafty, led by Hathaway Noa, son of Bright Noa (the captain of White Base in the original Gundam series), has taken a stand against the corruption in Earth Sphere. Inspired by Amuro Ray and Char Aznable, he has become a soldier that wants to move forward through armed resistance, but this all changes when he meets Kenneth Sleg and a mysterious girl called Gigi Andalucia.
What follows is a visual spectacle, showing the hardships of battle. For example the sequence where Gigi and Hathaway try to avoid a battle of mobile suits while fleeing away, as collateral damage rains down around them. Or the distress of Emeralda as she needs to pick up valuable cargo, namely Hathaway's Gundam, in orbit, and the pressure of failing him...
A really great movie, and I look forward to the sequel next year!
Another year to the tally this week, as past friday this old Belgian otaku turned 43.
Yeah, not the youngest anymore as my bones tell me every morning.
And let's start with the most gorgeous gift of all: Thorin's very first drawing! I got a tear in my eye over this one, and immediatly hung it up in my mancave.
Dolly bought me a young lady for my birthday though, with this gorgeous kimono edition Kurumi from Date A Live. Such a beautiful figure, she stands proudly displayed in our living room cabinet now. I`ll do a seperate post on her in the near future.
Thorin also bought me a cool figure for my birthday, with this FunkoPOP Pegasus Seiya.
From my parents there was another nice gift, with this set of 6 Trappist beers. I know the 4 belgian ones (very well hehehe) in there, and heard about the dutch Zundert one, but never heard, let alone tasted, the british Spencer one.
Finally, after years I went back to Mekanik Strip, a store where I spend fortunes in my youth, and treated myself to a little manga.
I must say their manga section has come a long way from a single cabinet...
I think I`ll be walking there more frequently during my lunch breaks the coming year.
All the hype at the moment in anime midsts, is the Genshin Impact roleplay game.
In the style of the console games, but with a cross platform co-op version (after reaching level 16), both me and Noshi decided to give this game a go.
Now, my first impression was immediatly that it looked like Hyperdimension Neptunia or the older PS3 era Tales of Grace game, which is a good thing. Soft on the eyes with a nice colourpalette.
But of course, let's go to the game. After selecting your starting character (the other one becomes your story arc goal), one builds up a first party of 4. You can constantly switch between these, and the trick is to build their levels up more or less equally during the game. Luckily, everything you do grants experience, as well as to your overal "Adventure Level", a stat most used to unlock features in the game.
Now, I must say I really like the game, but to be honest haven`t been to active on it lately now that Thorin is unlocking the "climb on everything" skill... so it's constantly eyes on the prize modus for me.
One thing people not used to playing J-RPG's might have to take into account, is that you don`t level up automatically, but have to go to the character menu to do it manually. This is also for the gear and weapons they have, everything can become better, but you will have to do a lot of managing on that part, making and buying crafting tools to ascend, farm some items to do so... if you are used to clasic Final Fantasy games for example (so, NOT the online one) it seems normal, if not, you might be missing stuff or overseeing things needed to advance in power levels.
Graphically it's an okay game for sure, not to heavy on system requirements and I haven`t encountered to much lag. The multiplayer aspect is rather limited in that you can`t grab treasure or such in the world that you visit, only if other players visit into your game.
So all in all, a good game to play during off time moments, bit like you could on normal, non-online console games. Don`t expect a top of the line MMO, this is NOT what the game intends to be however.
There we have it, the 4th and final season, consisting of 16 episodes.
Now, so far this has been a strange ride for me, with mixed feelings over the seasons.
I thought season 1 okay, season 3 part 1 rubbish, and season 2 as well as 3 part 2 great... so where will this fall.
Now, the first episodes follow the story from Reiner's pov, 4 years after he was defeated and the Colossal Titan lost to the Marley invaders. The world has advanced in weapons, and the age of the Titan as a weapon is seemingly coming to an end. So they plan to return to Paradis Island for the recovery of the Founding Titan and the resources it holds.
But Eren and his companions have already arrived in Marley, and infiltrated society. When a declaration of war speech is being held to take the war to Paradis, they spur into action and a bloody battle ensues, resulting in Eren eating the War Hammer titan. But this comes at the dramatical cost of Sasha's life...
Returning to the island with two children trained by marley to inherit the powers of Reiner, the kids find out that the mastermind behind it all was actually... Zeke, the Beast titan and half brother of Eren, who betrayed Marley for his ancestral homelands.
We learn in a flashback that Marley rebels arrived on paradis 3 years ago with Zeke`s plan, and teaching the Eldians modern technology. However, the goverment is divided on wether to go with it. After Eren's attack on Marley, prime minister Zachary get's assassinated by the "Jaegerists" who want to go to war, and free Eren from jail to re-unite him with his brother. Because the brothers have a plan to sterilize the people of Paradis, ending the threat of the Titans that way...
So, the final season wasn`t the totally final one, as a part 2 is still scheduled for release in january 2022... but so far I`m still in dubio wether or not it should have permanently ended when they reached the piers at the end of season 3.
Awright, time to try out those Constellation Warriors rules I talked about yesterday with a mini-game!
Now, the rules recommed using the mapbook by PWorks, but I opted to use my dungeon tiles for a squares grid, and some of Nonsense Miniatures official models. Aka, those I have painted up already...
As such, 2 bronze saints (Pegasus and Unicorn) will face off against the silver Sagitta saint. That means in points values that Jabu will be the lowest rank, being Novice at 8 points, Seiya will be a Soldier at 16 points while Ptolemy will be an Expert costing 20 points. A slight 4 point benefit for the Bronze saints, but heck, it is a try out...
In damage points there is a bit of a bigger difference though, as Jabu can take 7, Seiya 8 and Ptolemy only 10 hits though if I read the rules correctly (see below), so it will come down for the Silver saint to try and use his abilities to good use. But hey, Silver saints aren`t expected to win now are they? Now to grab 6 dice, 3 in each colour, for the game, and let's see how it goes.
I was asked to give some feedback on issues and such should I come across, or some thingies that might need a bit of clarification, so I`ll do that of course, marking them in italics in the battle report. Also, for my game stats, I am the bronze player for this solo game.
About the Speed stat issue in damage allocation I talked about in yesterday's post, I talked to the creator in the meantime and it is indeed the choice of which to reduce first, so you can knock off Speed AND ATT before a model gets knocked out.
The board was made with dungeon tiles I printed, and some scenery from various sources added to make it look like an old greek ruin, where the series often took place. The small dice where the required markers, though I was a bit confused on how to place them. The text states a 6 square central zone, so I pressume it is the band indicated in the diagram, being rather rectangular as such. I admit I have no idea how big the squares of the suggested PWorks book are, so this might be a battlefield a bit to big...
Fluff in mind, I also decided that Jabu would not have any access to ranged attacks, as he only has a hypnosis like ability in the anime, as well as the Unicorn Gallop. Seiya and Ptolemy both have ranged main attacks in the anime, so they'll be able to make ranged attacks in this try-out game, even though normally it can only be one quarter of your group that can have them.
The First Turn
Well, the game began with the bronze saints getting the high roll. Seiya rushes forward, unleashing Pegasus Ryu Seiken as he closes on the silver saint. Rolling two dice versus ptolemy's 4, the result was two 6's for Seiya vs two 2's and two 3's for Ptolemy. As the silver saint also has a ranged attack in this try out, that meant results 4-6 would have been applicable as well. Seiya was doing 4 points of damage and gained 2 Cosmo, but Ptolemy stops 2 of them and also gains 2 Cosmo. Never the less, first blood to the Bronze saints.
In retaliation, Ptolemy spend his 4 Cosmo to use the "Swift Shooter" ability. This allows him to fire twice (with no ATT loss for range or moving!) at Seiya, who can defend with 3 ATT instead of 2 now though. The first salvo goes bad, as Seiya suffers a single wound and Ptolemy gaining one cosmo, but Seiya's counter hits the silver saint for 3 damage and giving him a cosmo point as well. With his silver armour shattered and a Speed point knocked of, he unleashes his second volley.
And it is a devastating one! Three 6's and a 4 means Ptolemy gains 3 cosmo points and does no less then 7 damage points on the Pegasus saint. Seiya counters with two 1's, blocking 2 damage, and a 4 for an additional point on the Sagitta saint. But the bronze saint sees his armour vaporized, and both his Speed and ATT drop to one, meaning he is on the verge of being knocked out, while Ptolemy loses a point of ATT.
Jabu rushes to Seiya's aid, but as he doesn`t have a ranged attack, the turn ends there.
As this little try out is turning out to be brutal, being played with about a third of the intended points for small games, this might even prove to be the final turn already. So far, no victory points where scored, but this turn might change that quickly, with one bronze saint in tatters, the other lower in ability, and the Silver saint more or less okay with a heap of Cosmo stored. it ptolemy would get the first turn, he could use Swift Shooter again, and this could decimate the bronzes, as Jabu has no retaliation against ranged attacks and still needs to close the gap...
But luck favours the warriors of Athena, and Jabu closes the range and attacks, Using the Reckless Rush ability, to simulate his Unicorn Gallop, he takes one damage but adds two dice to his attack roll. Jabu scores 1, 1, 3, 5 versus Ptolemy's 2, 5 and 6. Comparing the results, Jabu does a single point of damage, which is blocked, and gains 1 cosmo. The silver saint hits back with 3 points of damage, of which 2 are stopped, and gains 1 cosmo as well. The Unicorn has been blocked, and now the Sagita saint can hit back! Rolling 4 dice against the 2 of Jabu, he uses the Jump Back ability meaning he will get back 2 squares after the attack without suffering an attack of opportunity, and widen the range to Seiya for a ranged attack! Jabu manages to avoid 1 of 2 points of damage and gain a cosmo, while Ptolemy recovers his spend point.
The gravely injured Seiya moves a bit backward, as he can`t fire at Ptolemy due to Jabu blocking his Line of Sight, so opts to go stand on a marker instead. This results in him having +1 ATT in the next turn and score the first victory point of the game, 1-0 to the bronze saints so far.
Both bronze saints are in a hard place, but retain the initiative. In desperation, Jabu charges again, spending 1 Cosmo point to re-roll a single attack dice. Which is waited with a 5 and a 6 on his roll, though it does recover his spend point that way. Ptolemy gets a 1, 2 and 4, meaning he blocks 2 of the three damage points and gains a cosmo point, as well as causing another wound on the surprisingly resilient Unicorn saint. But all warriors are now down to 1 Speed...
In his turn, Ptolemy uses his 3 actions to get three re-rolls on the attack dice for 3 cosmo, but again it's a wasted purchase as he scores a 4 and two 6's. Jabu on the other hand gets two 5's, so neither is blocking anything and a whole lot of damage is dealt. Ptolemy suffers two points, bringing his ATT to a measly 1, but regains two cosmo. Poor Jabu though gets hit for no less then 5 damage, taking him out of the game and scoring 8 points for the Silver saint.
While looking grim, this means the bronze saints suddenly have a slight advantage, as seiya spends 6 cosmo in his turn to use Heal. At 3 points each, he regains 2 ATT and 2 SPEED, then moves forward to Ptolemy and unleashing a desperate ranged attack of 2 dice versus Ptolemy's one...
Scoring a 3 and a 4 versus the silver saints 1, it only results in both gaining a Cosmo point, and the turn ends 1 - 8 in the Silver saint's favour.
Unless divine powers intervene, this is going to be the final turn. Ptolemy must hope to get the initiative to be able to heal up and then attack Seiya, otherwise the bronze saint is likely to finish him off, as he can add cosmo points to get re-rolls. And with a 5 to a 3, Seiya keeps the initiative and charges in, armed with 3 dice versus 1, and 2 re-rolls. With two 5's and a 2 versus a single 5, Seiya knocks the Silver Saint of his feet, and suffers no damage in return, ending the game! Scoring 20 points for the Sagitta saint, as well as 5 extra for eliminating the opponent, the final tally stands at 26 vs 8!
Okay, so that was a fitting, anime kind of true, end of the small playtest game!
These rules are brutal, and especially the abilities can have huge impacts, I was severly impressed by both Heal and the Swift Shooter ability. The rate you gain Cosmo points with, makes it possible to, especcially from turn 2 onwards, use these to the greatest advantage without having to micromanage your powers to much. Initially, it looked very grave for the bronze saints, but they managed to claw back due to this, and it came down to the initiative rolls of the final two turns to see if the Silver saint could follow through on his initial massacre. Failing this, it meant one of the bronzes could recover and move in for the victory, but it could have been totally the other way around instead.
The rules, for me, now that I tried them, have a good pace and anime feel to them, but I guess I`ll have to see what if is going to give once full point sized bands are going to be used, and the power of the Gold saints come in to play with their 4 abilities allowance...
But for a first go, I really liked this little free gameset.