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    • Don't be such a Hot Rod

      15 hours ago

      CaButler

      Hello everybody and welcome to our next Transformers review.  Today we continue the Titans Return run and show off our next figure, who was also a Targetmaster turned Headmaster.  And I also realize that I have a lot of figures of this guy, which includes a legends version, a Masterpiece version, a Third Party version (though technically it's a different character, but that's semantics), and with this, two deluxe versions.  Crazy, right?  It's almost like I have a problem, but we all know that isn't true.


      So, without further ado, may I present to you the Titans Return Deluxe class figure, Hot Rod!


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      Yes, Hot Rod.  Not Hot Rodimus, not Rodimus Prime.  Hot Rod.  Looks like Hasbro got the rights to the name back.  Anyway, you can see the figure here in it's package, looking very Hot Rod.


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      And on the back you have your typical product shots, including what else came with him in his wave.  So, let's ignore all that and see how he really is out of the packaging.


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      So here we have Hot Rod out of his packaging and already I have a couple of problems with this figure.  First, his arms are insanely long.  The angle may make it look longer but seriously, these are crazy long arms.  Though at least the proportions are there and he bends at where the elbow typically would be.


      My second issue is the silhouette.  Now, for many people who know Hot Rod, they know that he has those giant yellow wings on his back, which gives him a unique look.


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      And while this version of Hot Rod is no exception, hte problem is that they're mostly blocked by his giant arms and shoulders.  It's a disappointment, to be honest.  Anyway, let's get in on that head sculpt.


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      That certainly looks like the head of the whiny savior of the Autobots.  He'll be taking seriously, just like Optimus, one day.


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      Anyway, with articulation, long arms aside he's got some decent range, though some of it is limited due to his backpack, and that isn't just the wings, either.  Still, he's a stable figure thanks to how the legs are, and despite my gripe about the spoiler, he's pretty well engineered.


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      Of course, like any Titans Return figure, Hot Rod comes with two guns.  Though I'm bit of a G1 purist in that regards.  Hot Rod either doesn't have guns or uses his Targetmaster.  So he won't be using these very much.


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      Though like the other Titans Return figures, the guns can combine to form one massive, double barrel gun of murder justice.  Though given how it's held, it's a bit awkward for our hero.


      Now for some comparisons.


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      First, here is Hot Rod with old soldier Kup.  The kid is, of course, a hair shorter than the old bot.


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      Next, here we have Generations Voyager Springer with Hot Rod, showing how big the Triple Changer is in comparison to his future leader.


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      And now for a Hot Rod comparison.  First, here is TR Hot Rod with Reveal the Shield Hot Rod.  Honestly, TR Hot Rod is a much, much better figure.


      Now for transformation.  It's pretty simple, for the most part, though the arms are going to give you a bit of trouble because they are long.  But still, with time, you'll go from Hot Rod in robot mode...


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      To Hot Rod in alt-mode.  And... yeah, honestly, I'm not quite feeling it here.  I think it's the color red they used for him.  I think it would have worked if the red was a darker hue.


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      Though at least they got the look right, with the yellow spoiler in the rear and the exhaust pipes running along the side.


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      And he cleans up pretty nicely, too.  So my personal preferences aside, this isn't really that bad of an alt-mode for Hot Rod.


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      Now, with the guns, you do have a couple of options.  First, you can plug them into the side of Hot Rod's alt-mode, like so, or...


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      You can put the combined gun on top of the hood.  There's a place for it to be plugged in, sort of similiar to how the MP version has a place for the gun.  It's a nice touch, and any Titanmaster can fit in there easily.


      Speaking of, let's take a look at Hot Rod's Titanmaster.


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      Here we have Fire Drive, aka, Firebolt, the Targetmaster turned Headmaster.  And like every other Titanmaster after the first wave, it's unpainted.  Really, these guys need the pain so badly.


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      But unlike Flintlock, Fire Drive can cheer on his partner in battle or at the race track.


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      And speaking of Flintlock, here he is with Fire Drive.  And my issues with the paint aside, at least Flintlock breaks up the color scheme a bit.


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      Now, like any good Titans Return figure, Fire Drive can sit inside of Hot Rod in his alt-mode.  Because sometimes the roadster needs a little help driving.


      Now for some quick comparisons.


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      Here is Hot Rod with fellow Targetmaster turned Headmaster, Blurr.


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      Here he is with Reveal the Shield Hot Rod.  Yeah, the TR is a much better version, if you ask me, even though it is smaller here.


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      And just for kicks, here is MP Hot Rod with TR Hot Rod.


      So, yeah, honestly, it's not as good as Kup.  With that said, if you happen to own Reveal the Shield Hot Rod, TR Hot Rod is a nice upgrade for the figure.  Like Kup, Takara's version will come with a proper Targetmaster, so if you want to go that route, you can wait for him then.


      Next time we continue the Titans Return line as we see a figure that nobody was expecting to get the modern day treatment.  I just hope I don't suffer a Doublecross when I do it.  Until then.

    • An old Kup of mine

      1 day ago

      CaButler

      Hello everybody, and welcome to a string of reviews I plan to do involving the Titan's Return line.  I have a lot of figures to get through and they'll be in whatever order I want, but I hope you enjoy what I have in stored for you guys.


      Today we'll be looking at a former Targetmaster turned Headmaster, who's gotten an updated look that's more G1 than his previously released figure.  But despite that, this old soldier has some life left in him.


      So, without further ado, may I present to you the Titan's Return Deluxe class figure, Kup!


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      So here we have Kup in his package, and you can see he's part of the Titans Return line, as well as a glimpse of what he has with him.


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      And on the back of the packaging you can see who else comes with him in this line.  And we'll be getting to them at some point.  So, let's get him out of the package and see how he really looks.


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      So here we have Kup out of his package and looking quite a bit like his G1 counterpart.  I don't think there are many others in this line that can say that here.  He's got the right color and the right look, which is a plus for me.


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      Getting up close to the head sculpt you can see that it's very much a Kup face, looking grumpy and tired of those darn kids and their rock n'roll!  But he warms up when he's got a story to tell, and he's got a lot of them.


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      Unfortuantely for Kup, he's got robot back problems.  He'd look into getting that fix but robot health care isn't what it used to be.  He's got a decent amount of posing options, though, inducing a waist swivel, which is always nice.


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      And like recent Titans Return releases, Kup comes with two guns.  Here he is doing his best Dirty Harry impression.  He's very good at it.


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      Like others from this line, the guns can combine into one super gun, which any Titanmaster can sit in.  Here we have Titanmaster Brawn as an example.


      Now for some comparisons.


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      Here we have Kup with Titans Return Chromedome.  Kup is a half a head taller than the Chromedome, which shows that this old soldier didn't shrink in his old age.


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      For a size comparison, here is Kup with Generations Brainstorm, showing how the old soldier scales here.


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      Here we have Kup with DX9's Toufold, their version of a Legends size Kup.


      Now, I do have Generations Kup, but as he's a real hassle to trasnform, I'm not going to do any robot comparisons with him.  Instead, we'll skip to TR Kup's transformation.  There's nothing to note with the transformation itself and there's nothing to really look out for.  It's simple so just follow the directions and you're good.


      And soon, you go from Kup in robot mode.


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      To Kup in his G1 alt-mode, looking very much like a Cybertronian pickup truck.


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      Really, when I got Kup in alt-mode, I thought was "Yup, that's a G1 Kup to me."


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      What impresses me is how well TR Kup hides the robot bits.  You can't really look at him and pick out the robot stuff.  It's rather impressive.


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      Moving on, with regards to weapon placement.  You do have a few options.  For example, you have ports on the sides to place the guns there so that Kup can shoot at targets in front of him.


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      Or you can put them on the back and give it more of a turret feel.  Unfortunately there's no real way to get the combined gun in alt-mode, so you have to make due.  But you do have some options with regards to Titanmasters.  Speaking of, let's talk about Kup's.


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      Here we have Flintlock, the Targetmaster turned Headmaster.  And as it's been the case for the Titanmasters after the first wave, the're not painted aside from the head on the back.  Which is a shame because some of these guys have detail that are just begging to be painted.


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      Here's some of Flintlock's mobility.  He wants a hug!


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      And for some quick comparisons, here is Flintlock with Brawn.


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      And like any other Titanmaster, Flintlock can drive his buddy around.  They fit the old man dynamic well together.


      Now for some quick comparisons.


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      Here is Kup with fellow Targetmaster turned Headmaster, Blurr.


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      Here he is with Reveal the Shield Hot Rod.


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      And lastly, here is Kup with his Generations counterpart and DX9's Legends counterpart.  You can see how different the coloring is, which now makes me question if Kup was more blue or more green.


      Still, it's nice to have a G1 looking Kup, even if he's a Headmaster now.  Though there is a Takara version coming out that is more of a Targetmaster, but I'm happy with what I got.


      But speaking of Targetmasters becoming Headmasters, we have a couple more coming up, including one that's been more of a Hot Rod to his unit as of late.  Until then.

    • Log Horizon Season 2 Episode 10

      2 days ago

      CaButler

      Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Log Horizon, where we see that not only are the Adventurers no longer bound by the rules of the game system, but neither are the monsters. Because why should only the gamers have the advantage of gaming the system, right?

      In our last episode, we went back to the events of Christmas Eve, only from Shiroe's perspective, as he's busy with the Silver Sword guild and their raid of the Depths of Palms. After much searching they found the next raid boss, one that was fought before in another raid. it goes a bit better than you expect, though the rules of the monster have changed, but still, they're able to keep up and wear down the monster. The problem, however, is that he wasn't alone. Two other raid bosses appear to join their comrade, and what was a tough yet manageable boss fight turns into an impossible fight, resulting in Shiroe and the Silver Sword suffering a TPK, which includes Shiroe's first on screen death.

      Which brings us to the second half, where we see Shiroe's own trip through purgatory. We learn that he's always made himself to be a loner, no matter the situation, mainly because he always seemed to be alone, with his parents staying out late for work. He never really blamed them for it or anything else, but it did change his attitude. Though this attitude carried over with his guild and friends in the game, where even he didn't trust them with his plan or what he was doing. In effect, he was pushing away the very people he could trust, all because he couldn't trust them with the information he knew. This gives him more insight on what to do next. And we also see his Christmas Eve date with Akatsuki on the moon, which is also the test server and opens up a lot more questions, ending with Shiroe respawning and knowing what to do next.

      With what has happened, can Shiroe and the Silver Sword recover from this setback? Will they be able to face impossible odds and win the day? Or was this venture doomed from the start? Let's tune in and find out.

      -Our episode begins with the TPK happening, with William's final spoken words of the episode. Is this a quest not meant to be beaten? And right into the opening title. Wow, short teaser today.

      -After the opening we cut to the raid entrance as William lies on the ground, depressed over their defeat. They were completely wiped out, and this is something our Guild Master doesn't know quite how to handle. Speaking of, tonight's episode is titled Guild Master. I suspect this will be a William episode here. As the guild recovers from this nasty setback, they begin to wonder if the whole "raid bosses joining up together" is only in this zone, or if it's now in all raid zones? And if it's all raid zones, then they are in some real trouble, since certain items and materials can only be gathered in raid zones. There's a real crisis of faith, so to speak, of their own abilities, showing how much time and energy they poured into the game, to be as good as they are. From the comments made it seemed like Silver Sword was a strong raiding guild that never suffered a setback like this before.

      -For most, the days of easy raids are done. They've lost faith in themselves and their abilities. For William, this hurts more than if they lost faith in him. William apparently had a difficult life as classmates picked on him for spending all his time on a computer, supposedly talking to it. Well, yeah, if William has a mic, then he'd be talking to his computer because the people on the other end would talk back to him. Still, this cause him to tell the classmates in his vision to shut up, though this does get a reaction from his guild mates. Noticing this, William tries to think of something to say, but knows he would have difficulty saying it because not even he believes his own words to be true. William thinks about it some more as he hears one of his members ask himself if this is as far as they can go? The morale of the group has hit rock bottom and they're all ready to give up now. They prefer keeping the peace in Susukino than raiding an impossible dungeon here.

      -As they talk about what they'd like to do back in Susukino, and while William is willing to think that maybe it would be easier to just have an easy life in Susukino, but quickly changes his impression, saying that they would be no different than everyone else. To him, they would be taking the easy road, offering nothing but cordial company and a little shallow "valuable" advice. He thinks this while recalling his classmates, those who mocked him, and that just seems to grind his gears more.

      -William speaks, telling his guild that, sure they may be right. In fact, they're absolutely right, including that one guy trying to find a girlfriend, you are doubly right. But you want to know what he thinks of all this? It's bullshit! This gets a small reaction from the guild as he continues, saying that yeah, they got their asses kicked and lost a raid, that maybe they should just quit as they're all washed up. It could be a waste of time, like they're always told. Apparently those people knew what they were talking about. Aren't we projecting a bit here, William?

      -William continues, saying that they're a bunch of game junkies, locked in their rooms, addicted to wasting time. But so what? They already knew that, and still, they kept logging back in and all did the same thing. In his thoughts, William is ready to let them quit, but he hasn't given up yet. Just because he and his group suffered a TPK doesn't mean he's going to let that be the end of him. He's going to stand right back up, facing those monsters and call them every single bad name he can think of before kicking their asses all along that arena.

      -Though he's not going to tell them that yet. William tells his group that he understands that they lost and it's something new for them. But this won't be the last time they lose a raid, either. There's no need to start packing it in after one defeat. Sure, they loss once, right? But compared to their win/loss ratio, it doesn't mean anything. You don't get an award for being perfect... unless your the '06 - '07 Patriots who blew it at the end. But that was one time, okay?

      -To bring his point across, William tells them to look at the server and see for themselves. They are great at this, even if it's a game meant for kids. Though in his mind, he says that it's more than that. It's something special to all of them. He says that he won't tell them to not grow up and go back to Susukino, as that's something he wouldn't tell them to do. Because they're all the same in here. He understands that they're feeling worthless for losing this quest, but that won't stop him from going back in and doing it again! In his mind, he says that this is the center of his universe.

      -This appears to be getting the Silver Sword's attention as they sit up to look at William. He asks if they're just bits and byes of worthless information on some server now? To William, they are not, and that's because they're here, and they're all worth something! Even that guy just trying to find a girlfriend! They may feel lost and stuck in here, but William is glad that they're here with him. Those idiots that told you that games were worthless? They're idiots. They are wrong. He says to never allow someone who doesn't understand tell them what to do! He admits to looking a little ridiculous right now and he may be projecting a bit, commenting that he's just some shut-in playing a silly game. But you know what? IF it's something that inspires him and drives him, then what's wrong with that? Well, in a normal situation it would be a lot, but given your current situation, not as bad as you think.

      -In the end, William says that he made his choice, and that's all that matters. They all decided to be here, but in his mind William says that he doesn't care who they are, he won't let anyone make light of that. Out loud, he tells them to take a look at all the time they've invested in Elder Tales. No, seriously, look at that number. It's a crazy amount of time they put in for a silly little game. He goes into story teller mode, saying that when a raid boss would show up, they would grab their weapons and lay a beating on him and they couldn't be stopped. They got all excited and sounded like a bunch of giddy kids, but so what? Sure, maybe it was nothing but a bunch of ones and zeroes on a computer miles away, but since the beginning, they loved it. Sure, they won some and lost some, but they came back either way. So what if they've actually let this game consume them? It's been worth it, right? Well, since they are stuck in the game, the answer to that is obviously yes.

      -William continues, saying hat winning is the best part and they celebrated. They would then split up all the epic items and toast their victory. And when they lost, they'd pick themselves up, have an evaluation meeting and try to find a better way. So if they want to sit there and tell him it's a waste of time, go right ahead. As he said, it's their choice. But for William? He doesn't care if it's a game anymore. And if they do put their time into this place, then they make it worth it! Who's with him!?

      -Cricket, cricket. I guess that didn't know as well as you hoped, eh, William? In his mind he admits that they lost, but for Silver Sword, willing raid was like doing something sacred, but in front of this downtrodden group of players, what should he do now? What else does he tell them? What else can he say? He just goes with the flow now, saying that they're not like them. Aren't they all the same here? It's just us, and he really doesn't care about anyone else at this point. Though his inner self is asking "What in the hell am I saying? Stop that!" He then brushes away his inner self and clarifies what he said, meaning that he knows it's easier to give up and move on, and they're all free to do just that. But he gives his own thoughts out loud. Why is he going off like this anyway? Inside William agrees. What's your bloody point?

      -So William gives his point. He doesn't know. Well, it does help to be honest. Also, inside William (which the captions label as Alt William), stop trying to do my job, okay? Anyway, William tells the group to do it for you! Anything that helps you make a friend has got to be worth something. Again, I think your projecting a bit, William. Still, Alt William believes this is all he can tell them. Out loud, he tells the group that it's fine if it's your good looks, or if you're clever or smart. You're the life of the party, or maybe you've got a good sense of humor. But he's still got to ask them this. Did they really have all those things in their personality when they were in real life? Especially you, guy seeking a girlfriend?

      -William, however, is willing to admit that he wasn't any of those traits that people look for. He was very awkward. And what he's about to say is something he's never said before, as he couldn't bring himself to, but the Silver Sword? They are his friends. And without this game, he wouldn't have any friends. He's a nobody, a loser, a DnD nerd! He just hid himself away and lived inside a game. And he doesn't know why, either. Maybe he just need a place to heal or something. and inside the game, he believes he found it. There's a way to fall back and get help and a way to help others. He recounts the story of meeting a guy who thought he belonged on the front lines, but didn't have to stay there. Instead, he learned another way to be valuable. He may have been quiet and reserved, and didn't get all the attention he wanted. But you know what? Turned out he was the one his friends could always count on. He was terrified , but he didn't let it show. He was dead tired from daily life, but he made it a point to log in every single day. He sees it! He really does! And that is what this is all about. And that person was... not him, since he's more of an archer type and I don't think he respeced in the game.

      -In this thoughts, William believes he is correct, saying that the game has taught him a lot about people and himself. In a memory from the real world, we see who appears to be William, and he appears to be a High School student. He says that he heard it all in the outside world, like "You just don't get it," or "You're self-righteous," or "You're inconsiderate," or "You're a lousy team player." And so on. William says that you can only hear so much of that before you just shut everyone out of your existence. But Elder Tales was different. For him, it was a place where he actually started feeling connected. He cherished those bonds with eery once of his being, and in return, all of his new friends shared so many secrets with him. And who said online gaming would only be the bane of one's existence?

      -In the game, the first thing William learned was teamwork. There were a few people he worked well with, but others, not so much. Some players got it , and others just didn't. We call those guys scrubs. As time went on, William knew that learned to work with others was the best reward of all. He soon figured out that some partnerships didn't work out, only because they didn't know what he was after. Geez, why does that sound familiar for some reason? Later, William finally started raiding, and before he knew it, he became a guild master. He then learned that their win/loss ratio magically increased on nights they were all hyped up, even if they were about the little stupid things, like the guy trying to make an NPC his girlfriend. That poor guy.

      -During these raids, some party members played feeling great while others were barely able to keep themselves going through their illness. They all had their own personal problems going on in the real world, and William quickly realized that everyone in his guild was just like him. He started asking them about their lives and what they wanted from him as the leader. Through this, he finally learned patience, and how to ask the right questions. It's more of an art than a science. And after a while everyone started to put up with his short fuse. And we saw that in his short appearance many episodes ago, too. Though it would make sense, given that he was a high school student when things went to hell.

      -William adds that most raid guilds don't last very long. Every raid will come across something that everyone wants, and not everyone gets to have it. Especially if there's only one item that can ever drop in a raid for everybody in the game server. And really, that just sounds like a poor raid design, if you ask me. He goes on to say that people in your party feel cheated if they don't get the item. Eventually it becomes too much and the guild breaks apart. But somehow, the Silver Sword were able to work it out. William tried to be completely open with his guild mates about everything. They forgave him for getting pissed off all the time and started to trust him. And soon, word of the guild grew, and it wasn't long before everyone knew they were a force to be reckoned with. They did single handedly take over an Adventurer town, after all, but I imagine they didn't meet much resistance. They were welcomed as heroic conquers, I imagine.

      -Our eyecatch is of Chibi William, with the background image first being his real-life self, then his game avatar self. When we come back, William is still giving his speech, telling the Silver Sword that he knows what they're thinking. It's not that hard to figure out after all. They think that this is it, just game over without the game over screen, right? He tells them to admit it, that they'd rather just go back home and forget this ever happened. Sure, that may be an option, but he likes being here. This draws some surprised looks from the rest of the Silver Sword. William goes on to say that he knows at least a few of them enjoy this, too. They all ended up in this place because they loved the game. To clarify, he asks if it's y so bad that they're here? This is the world f Elder Tales, after all, and who else can say that they're living in their favorite game right now? Well, there may be a group of another set of players stuck in another game, but that's a tale for another time.

      -We get a flashback of William during the beginnings of the Apocalypse, but unlike everybody else who grew concerned and fearful, he relished it, showing a giant grin on his face. While he could never dream it, he knew that this was the best moment of his life. Sometime later, what made him the happiest he's been, was seeing the rest of this guild mates there with him. They are exactly what he imagined, and he hopes that he is the same to them. That may be beside the point, but he's happy to do this with them, together, and there's no one to tell us that they're losers here. Except for Demicas but we've learned to ignore him now.

      -But here, at the lowest point of their lives, they will be a bunch of losers if they leave. Maybe they can't win. Maybe this quest really is impossible. The odds are certainly not in their favor, but who cares? Who cares if they lose again? He asks the Silver Sword if they can look at themselves in the mirror if they don't try? What do they think they'll be doing if they just go back to Susukino? What's left for them? Take this away and what do they have left? William says that he played Elder Tales so much that everyone thought he was a freak. He's given two years of his life to this game, and he couldn't think of anything else whenever he played it. When he ate, slept, and bathed, his head was in the game. I think that's the first signs of a problem, but I could never see the appeal of MMOs, to be honest, so what do I know?

      -Every single thing William did in his life was for the game. And what about you guys? Well, without the same amount of passion, they're all in agreement. William tells them to call him crazy if they want, but that's inferior as he's used to that. He's a gamer dork who spends his nights with friends he's never eve seen to win some imaginary prizes. That I can relate to. But despite all of that, he's going to do the best he can, dammit! So he's not going anywhere. He's not going to turn and run away form an extra raid boss or two. Where would he go if he didn't take this on? Who would he be to scoff at all of this like the jerks back home? So if they choose to walk away, then they will join the very people that laughed at them and put them down. And then William will turn his back on you, because to hell with you, he says. So much for that uplifting speech.

      -That's when Demicas speaks. Oh joy. What nugget of wisdom do you have for us now, oh monk? Well, first, he calls them a bunch of morons. Great start! Looks like his counterpoint is "screw this, I'm out!" Apparently he hasn't evolved in his thinking like everybody else has. He's still convinced they're playing a game, but admits that the rules are starting to change. He says that they're basically a bunch of clueless amateurs against this changing course. As far as he's concern, they're lost. And William wants them to keep at it, despite facing seemingly impossible odds? Sadly, as much as we hate the guy, he does bring up a valid point. What's your counter-counterpoint, William?

      -William admits that he has run from something before, and it's been bothering him. It was when he was invited to the first RTC meeting, when Shiroe was looking for help in bringing order to the city and to protect the younger players. But William refused, running away from that responsibility. He was more interested in his own plans and wanted to complete the raids he hadn't done yet. He admits that he was pretty selfish. Later, he's telling his guild members that he was short sighted, thinking he had better things to do. He convinced himself that the RTC was fighting a lost cause and they were a bunch of idiots for taking it on. He'd be lying if he said he didn't look down his nose at them, though he asks Demicas if it sounds familiar to him.

      -Thinking back on it, William admits that he lost who he was and betrayed himself. He had become the very thing he hated so much. But Alt William returns, saying he remembers one person who never ran away. He thinks of Shiroe, admitting that he always admired him. And then he goes on about the legendary party that competed with the major guilds on high-level quests, but they never formed a guild of their own. They were known as... The Moonlit Black Cats.

      -I'm kidding. Of course William is talking about the Debauchery Tea Party, because everything goes back to that group. William always looked forward to see what they would do next, and he told himself that he would join them one day. But then, for some, unknown reason, just before he hit level ninety, they broke up. And instead of making guilds of their own, they just went their separate ways. Well, Soujiro did make his own guild. Then we have Shiroe, Naotsugu, and Nyan-ta forming their own guild. And then one of them joined up with Minami. So there's that.

      -William thinks it's crazy. The Tea Party was better than everybody and had them all talking about the group, but then they just up and disappear, just like that? What kind of crazy nonsense is that? In the present, William continues to be honest, saying that he didn't think the RTC was going to work. But Shiroe made it happen, like he did with the Tea Party. But instead of beating bosses, Shiroe created a city, which is nothing short of a miracle. Alt William says that Shiroe took control and made the impossible possible. As if he went beyond the impossible, right?

      -With that, William has nothing but admiration for Shiroe, which is why he followed him out here without even knowing what the plan or goal was. He continues this thought out loud, telling the Silver Sword that they were all there when the Enchanter asked him to come out here. He was flattered that Shiroe asked him. And while they might not have a chance of winning this, he will try as long as the Villain in Glasses needs him. He will be ready to suit up and enjoy the ride. I'm sure that will win a few supports on Shiroe's side.

      -Speaking of, we see Shiroe currently resting after his long bout with death. William is still going when he had a perfect place to stop. He says they all know this guy is as sadistic and crazy as they come, and yet, they all joined him anyway. Because they knew it would be fun and that they could win. And you want to know why? It's because they're gamers! And gamers look for every single loophole and exploit they can find and use it to their advantage, and nobody is better at coming up with that than Shiroe! And also he has faith in them, so that counts for something, too.

      -We then have an awkward moment of silence where the typical cliche is to have the group join in a chorus and yelling their approval. Not here. But while the moment is a bit long, the result is the same. One of the tanks stands up and asks what are they waiting for? It's time to get back in there and get revenge for their TPK. William is a bit surprised by the reaction as each member stands in solidarity to their guild master, with one planting the banner of their guild. I think you got your answer, William.

      -In his head, William admits to being stupid, but he's ready to go back in there and beat on those bosses. And most of all, he wants to win. And he wants to do it with his guild... his friends... his family. Demicas, however, isn't so convinced, but he's a jackass so we tend to ignore him. Nearby, Naotsugu goes to check on Shiroe and asks if he's done sleeping. We see Shiroe waking up and I do see the damage to his glasses did carry over. Because why not make it spooky like that?

      -Nearby, Tetora, who's pretty much crazy on her own level, is nearby, with the captions saying that she's doing shaky humming and giggling. She's rocking between two stones and just staring at Shiroe and Naotsugu. Yeah, I don't know what's going on there but that can't be normal on any level. Shiroe then turns to the Silver Sword, with Naotsugu commenting on quite the guild they are. That kind of speech makes Shiroe wonder if he could ever pull that off? He thinks of the younger players, but doesn't know if he can do what William did with his guild. To lay out his heart to them. He then thinks of Akatsuki, recalling a moment together where the ninja tells him to not worry about her, since she's protecting him. And given her job in the raid, she became the best bodyguard in the world.

      -So, yeah, the reason for Tetora shaking about like that? She's crazy excited. She wants to help Silver Sword win. She asks Shiroe and Naotsugu and they both agree. Shiroe goes quickly into thinking mode, and when Naotsugu asks about it, he tells the Guardian he has something he needs to tell him. As well as Tetora and the Silver Sword. It's the reason why they're doing this raid, what the actual payoff is and why he needs to get his hands on it. Though he admits he took advantage of everyone's trust in him. And despite trying to leave Naotsugu behind, the big slug didn't even give the Enchanter a chance to say no. And if they're willing to forgive him, he has another idea, and it might just give them a better chance. How much better. Why, fifteen percent, of course! Why, with such fantastic odds, how can they possibly lose?

      -Though it looks like Shiroe will need to talk to Kinjo and the Kunie tribe, about his request and all of Yamato's land. Next time, he will look at Kinjo straight in the eye and tell him what they need. So, wait, are you planning to buy all of Yamato? Because that's what I'm getting when you mention "all of Yamato's land". That sounds like something a Supervillain would do... oh my lord, did you become on because of your trip to the moon? Did you want to build a moonrise there all of a sudden?

      -After a fade out we return to Naotsugu talking to Maryelle, I believe, saying that he'll try to make it back as quickly as he can. Maryelle can't wait to see him, promising food for his return. Seems like Tetora wants in on the conversation but the Guardian is doing well in guarding his private conversation. Nearby, Shiroe is having his own conversation. It appears a week has taken place since the TPK. He's talking to Akatsuki, who promises to hold the New Year's noodles for him. Shiroe says he'll be back by the seventh and to let Nyan-ta know that. He also has a few things he'd like to share with everyone. She promises to wait, and he says that he'll be coming home. Nearby, a revitalized Silver Sword stands ready, with William leading the charge once more. This time, they will plant their banner and they will claim this zone as their own.

      -In a well animated shot, Shiroe turns towards the Silver Sword, saying that they are going to make it home this time, and he means all the way home. Probably not real world home, but Akihabara is close enough so it counts. I just hope you don't run into any Leroy Jenkins issues with a certain, angry Monk. Cue credits!

      -In our next episode preview, Akatsuki counts up from one, saying the count starts again. For the three raid bosses, the players are ready with weapons in hand, a mental image of the map and the plan burned into their memory. The chance of success is only fifteen percent, but comrades-in-arms are fighting at their sides. All this and more in our next episode, Retry. Stand up, one more time, and make sure to give an inspiring speech to get everybody to stand up, too!

      So, this episode... I'm not a fan to be honest. While I'm fine with getting some character development for William, to show how he went from the seemingly hot-headed fool to a hot-headed field general, dedicating an entire episode to it seems too much, if you ask me. It feels too much like a filler episode as the only thing that really happened was William bringing up morale among a tired, defeated guild. You could have probably compressed that into the first half by dropping parts of the speech and some of the development, especially when it felt like some things were being said and repeated.

      While I have a bit more appreciation for William and think of him a bit better, really, the entire episode being dedicated to him like that just seemed unnecessary. But opinions will vary, of course. And Demicas being a jerk because that's all he's got going for him at this point, especially with the raid failing could help in his cause to hurt Shiroe in some way.

      I don't know how it is in the book, but I think, if I were to compress the scenes with William and the Silver Sword, I would spend the second half with preparing for the retry and what they know of the other two raid bosses in order to help determine how to deal with them, especially if all three come out at once, like before. And maybe throw in the scenes with Kinjo, if that happens at some point. At least, that's probably how I would do it.

      It looks like we're gearing up for the final push in Shiroe's arc. With the revitalized Silver Sword, can Shiroe succeed, even after telling them all the truth? Will they secure the gold? Or will there be a last minute betrayal? Tune in on Friday to find out.

      Until next time, remember, when everybody is feeling defeated and ready to abandoned the quest, remind them of all the time they spent in this game and hope they don't realize that, damn, they really did spend a lot of time in this game and make it worse somehow.

    • How about a Persona 5 cover?

      4 days ago

      CaButler

      You'll never see it coming.


    • Log Horizon Season 2 Episode 9

      5 days ago

      CaButler

      Hello everybody and welcome to our next episode of Log Horizon. Where players find themselves stuck in a game, but then do what any good gamer does. Try to think outside of the box with their skills.

      You may have noticed I'm doing this a day earlier than usual. That's because my schedule for Friday is, at the moment, uncertain. As such, I thought it'd be easier to do an episode now, when I'm more sure, then tomorrow, where things are uncertain. Sunday should be normal, but if you see an episode before that, then you'll find out why. I can't go into details about why my schedule is uncertain, so we'll leave it at that.

      Anyway, in our lats episode, Akatsuki joins up with several other lady gamers to take on Neruresu in an in-city raid, facing off against the rogue Royal Guardsman against near impossible odds. They treat it like a raid since he holds in his possession an item that one can get from a raid drop that may be possessing him. It's an all night raid that consists of hit and run tactics, but even then, that isn't enough. Thanks to Raynessia, the magic circle that protects Akihabara and powers the armor of the Royal Guard is disabled, preventing Neruresu from teleporting all over the city and having the advantages the armor gives it. As such, Akatsuki, with the help of a new weapon, destroy's Neruresu's weapon, freeing him of his possession. Though he did most everything else on his own beforehand so he's very much guilty of the murdering. Though this is a victory with a cost. Without the protection of the magic circle, the city is open to monster attacks and PvP can happen without consequence, and it may take decades for the circle to revitalize. That sounds like a Shiroe problem.

      Speaking of Shiroe, we haven't seen him all that much the last couple of days, but today, we're be focusing on him and his Silver Sword raid. After a massive set back that lead to a TPK, suffering his first on-screen death, he's back now, ready than ever. But will the raid be successful? And how will he react knowing that he'll have another massive problem to fix when he returns home? Let's tune in and find out.

      -Our episode begins with basically a flashback. Shiroe sets the stage for us. It's Christmas Eve as he and the raid enter into a big arena, perfect for fighting a raid boss. Like that giant one right there, all in purple armor. Naotsugu can't believe how big he is as one of the Silver Sword, Federico, names him. This is Ruseato of the Seventh Garden, who is a level ninety-seven raid boss. I think our team is woefully under leveled for this. The others comment that Ruseato is the spitting image of the boss from the Heilos raid, but Naotsugu sees this as an opportunity to breeze right through it. Uh, yeah, remember that last boss that was also from another raid? Remember how well that went?

      -Shiroe makes this comment towards Naotsugu, but William believes that they can keep themselves alive if they stick to the plan. Tetora asks Shiroe what their chances are, and the Enchanter gives them even odds. With that, William orders the attack, leading right into our opening title. I wonder if they'll be showing off the entire battle or basically skip it to the TPK ending?

      -Nope, we're right into battle. Shiroe warns everybody to be careful as everybody gets to work. William, showing his confidence, orders his group to drop him where he stands as we get tonight's title, The Changing Battlefield. The battle continues as William passes orders as Shiroe notices that the raid boss' weapon is glowing. He tells everybody to be careful as the glow must mean something. The boss takes a swing with his axe, causing a whirlwind strike. Shiroe gets a casualty report. Two are dead, one from Party one and Party two, and several are critically wounded. He orders everybody to reinforce the frontline as William prepares for his own attack and tells everybody to keep hitting the boss from a distance so they can start healing and resurrecting their fallen. Got to recoup as the countdown starts.

      -The Silver Sword can't believe it as the attack was much more powerful than the original encounter. The boss then starts charging for a second shot, but Shiroe notices that the technique looks different than before. This is more of a downward slash, which Naotsugu is able to tank. The count then goes up to ninety from the original strike, looping back. Tetora and the other support start casting shields on the tanks, with them being given orders to start the count if they survive. The boss strikes again, but this time, they were prepared and there were no losses this time. Some of the Silver Sword note that the boss is wide open after the attack and they just unleash everything they have on it. Naotsugu and Shiroe are happy to see how things are progressing as the battle continues with everybody during their jobs properly.

      -One of the mages does an attack that gets a tank to yell at him to stop drawing aggro. AS another shield comes up he notices that he can't move. Another tank notes the same, that the gunk on the floor is preventing him from doing anything. Worse yet, it's poison so anybody stuck in it is losing HP. One of the tanks calls for a buff, but Shiroe, watching from afar, says that he doesn't remember this pattern in Heilos, but it doesn't seem to inflict much damage. While that probably isn't so bad, I imagine the "not being able to move" is something that requires more immediate attention. Can't do any attacking if you can't move.

      -Though something unusual happens. One of the tanks cast Anchor Howl to draw aggro, but for some reason, the boss ignores him. It then starts to float into the sky as William sees the problem with skill that is immobilizing the front line. That's when they notice it's going to attack so the order is AOE barriers and healing spells. The boss then sends out a... lets call it a Destructo Disc, which runs the length of the arena, knocking everybody around, including sending Tetora's ass into Shiroe's face. No, that actually happened. The gunk is gone, but they lost eleven raiders as a result. William orders the healers for Party One to start supporting them. Party two is to heal themselves while Party's three and four are to lower their damage by seventy percent. While he's looking pretty ragged, William smiles. He's enjoying this, despite the losses to personal and time. Guess you need to be a special kind of crazy to love raids this much, let alone lead a raiding guild.

      -The battle continues on as Demicas goes nuts with several attacks in a row, but notices that he's getting support by Shiroe, which he doesn't approve at all. Shiroe orders Naotsugu in to switch up with another tank, which he's more than happy to do. As he charges in, the armor around the boss starts to crack, which everybody takes to mean that the boss is going to switch to a different configuration. This was apparently a gimmick in the original encounter, but now, the boss can do it whenever it wants. The boss, which was in purple armor, is now in white armor. Shiroe remarks that the true fight begins now and to keep your guard up.

      -So, all that pieces of armor that fell off? Yeah, they become monsters for the raiding party to fight. They're all in the seventies and there are quite a few of them. Some wonder if they can do this, but Demicas, proving himself to be a Leroy Jenkins, tells them all to stop complaining as he wants to get this fight started. William passes out orders to the front line to attract the attention of the newly formed mob. Everybody else will keep attacking the boss and make sure every hit counts. The battle continues, but the situation becomes worse. With each enemy monster they defeat, they start restoring health to the boss. That sounds so unfair, even for a raid boss.

      -Shiroe notes this and finds it clever. Don't compliment the unfair bosses, Shiroe! As a result, the boss is back in black knight mode and delivers a powerful strike, but William says that it doesn't matter if it's regaining it's strength. If they can hit it fast enough before it can regroup than it'll be good. The battle rages and once again the mob comes out. Rinse and repeat here. Tetora says this isn't working, and Demicas agrees, saying they should be focusing on the boss, but they can't just ignore the monsters, or else they'll kill the healers. Shiroe observes the boss for a moment and tells them all that it's a numbers game. Well, yeah, that's the case for all RPGs, isn't it?

      -More specifically, Shiroe is talking about the monsters that appear from the boss' armor. He says the number of monsters is directly related to the number of people that cause damage to Ruseato in Black Knight mode. In this case, he suggests letting their heavy hitters take on the boss. Everybody else will take on support roles. As the battle continues and the number of the monsters is less than before, making them more manageable. The order comes in that they are to draw aggro from the monsters, but don't kill them. Demicas is still pissed at getting support from Shiroe, though, but in his own thoughts he admits that he wouldn't be able to beat the Enchanter as he is now. Still, he can't forgive Shiroe for making a fool of him and promises revenge, making sure that everybody sees it. I honestly hope we get to meet his wife soon. I want to see the type of person that can have Demicas under her thumb.

      -As the battle continues, they're able to get Ruseato down to half health, drawing a smile from William. Demicas, however, continues to fight the monsters, saying he'll get stronger and get epic items on this raid, promising to deliver pain to Shiroe when he gets a chance. Also, why are the gates opening up around them? Nobody else seems to notice at first until the guy doing the count gets smashed by a new arrival. It's a boss they're familiar with named Tartaurga. He's level ninety-four, his full name being Tartaurga of the Fourth Garden, a boss that looks like a giant viking. And just to make it worse, another raid boss appears. It's a snake creature by the name of Ibra Habra of the Third Garden. Though it appears to be a multi-headed snake. So... yeah, why are all these raid bosses happening at once?

      -As Tartaurga and Ibra Habra attack at the same time, causing ice and fire to engulf the arena. From here we recap from the last time we saw them several episodes ago, Natosugu standing in disbelief. We get a scene of Tetora commenting the additional raid boss, with William summing it up well. This isn't good at all. There are now three raid bosses at the same time, drawing complaints from the raiders about how this isn't fair, but their concerns are countered with a fire breath attack, wiping them out. As the destruction goes on around him, William drops to his eyes, wondering if they are in a quest that isn't meant to be beaten. As he twitches at the thought of losing, he is engulfed in fire.

      -But don't worry, Shiroe is on the case, and with his... two other people left out of all of them, I'm certain he can squeeze out a win. Though, obviously Naotsugu survived, but would it surprise you to know that Demicas was the other survivor? I know, I'm surprised, too. As Tartaurga starts his attack, Demicas jumps in and... kicks Shiroe out of the way. He tells the Enchanter that he has the stupidest look on his face right now as he takes the blow meant for him. But it was in vain as both Shiroe and Naotsugu are engulfed in flames by Ibra Habra, ending the battle in a TPK. Worst Christmas Gift ever!

      -Hey, remember that scene in the opening that had Shiroe waking up in the snow? Guess what? It's a scene from the show. We see Shiroe waking up in the full moon, but then quickly cuts to our eyecatch. It's a rather dark one because it shows Shiroe's glasses, but they're broken. When we return to the show properly we cut to eyes getting their focus as somebody stands in front of a store. It's the Christmas Sale, with Santa standing in front of a store with a sign. This is very much not Elder Tales.

      -But if you need further proof, we get an extreme close up of Shiroe's eyes, looking more realistic, wearing square glasses instead of the typical specs he wears. He immediately recognizes this location as his hometown, with the color fading out. As he walks the streets, he mentions how he was born and raised here. He stops in front of a store that says Ramen, but for Shiroe, he's having trouble reading it, but knows it's a restaurant. Of course, this being Shiroe, he immediately knows what's happening. He's losing one of his memories. He then recalls dying in the raid, but seems rather somber about it. Having death as a slap on the wrist can do that to you.

      -As Shiroe walks the town, he says that it wasn't anything special. It was a place you could eat, sleep, and work, but if you really wanted to get something, one would have to go to Shibuya or somewhere like that. He's just a normal guy from a small town, and there really isn't much more to it than that. We see Shiroe, and yes, we see all of him, no face covering shadows or camera angles covering his face, walking through the streets with a bit of a dazed look. He looks pretty close to his avatar counterpart, actually, only with less messy hair. He stops in front of a house, which happens to be his house and sees a person exit it. It's his younger self, probably late grade school.

      -Apparently our Shiroe was a bit of a delinquent. He mentions that, because both of his parents work late, he snuck out of the house at night and walked around the town. And apparently he doesn't like being alone, because he mentions that, even when going to bed, he was dealing with bad feelings and depression when he was by himself. However, he didn't go to downtown with a lot of people, because he was afraid. So instead, he went to a park, which looks like the one from the opening, only it's still in the film noir style here. Maybe he was trying to be a junior detective at this age?

      -As young Shiroe sits at the bench, his older version tells us that he spent a lot of sleepless nights on it. Whenever he felt bad about something, spending the night out in this park was the only thing that helped him forget. But thanks to that, he has a revelation as to why he's here. He knows that he's dealing with another failure. Well, yeah, when the game cheats like that, of course you'd fail. The cheating AI bastard!

      -Shiroe sits down with his younger self, commenting on how the adults complimenting him on being "grown-up." He admits that he did a pretty good job of keeping quiet and understanding what they said, but he asks what he lost by not being like the other kids around him and, in his own words, acting high and mighty all the time? I'm starting to think that you don't really have that kind of attitude and more like you project an air of it by just your posture. Anyway, Shiroe goes on to say that he made so many mistakes and pushed all his potential friends away. Though they did offer, he just refused and crawled further into his shell. Basically, they weren't bullying him, he just wasn't interested in these things called "friends".

      -Of course, he realizes that he was walking away from the group he needed to be a part of, which was his family. He laments on how hard his parents had to work for a kid who wasn't really there because they weren't there? In the Shiroe home we see a note who I believe was from his mom, apologizing for not making dinner, but washed the bathtub so he's free to use that or take a shower. Oh, and they'll be talking to his cram school teacher about his last test on Sunday. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. But at the end, the note apologizes for all of this.

      -Back in the park, Shiroe recognizes that he made a lot of little mistakes, but he punished himself for them over and over again. He would come to this park every time he screwed up in school, swearing to not repeat his mistakes, but he did, anyway. He recalls his meeting with William in Susukino about what happens when an Adventurer dies. You learn a lot about yourself. You learn things that you wanted to know and didn't want to know. And it doesn't get easier each time it happens, either, so most of them don't want to go through it again. Given the type of monologuing Shiroe is going through, I can't understand that. And we had Akatsuki a few episodes back, too, where she was lost in a city of big people. Fun times.

      -Shiroe understands what it means to die in Elder Tales. Death doesn't happen unit you actually want to die. Uh... wait, what? "Death doesn't happen unit you actually want to die?" Does that make sense to anybody else? Am I the only one who doesn't get that? What exactly does that mean? Is he talking about in the game? Honestly, with that raid battle, there were so many things outside of your control that you'd be lucky if you somehow escaped from it. Also, this is getting really depressing.

      -Oh, and Shiroe may have been a bit suicidal, as apparently he's thought about dying a few times. I may be taking that out of context, but honestly, from what I'm hearing, that's what it sounds like to me. Anyway, Shiroe recalls throwing all of his precious notebooks away once, or just about every time he said goodbye to his folks with that fake smile of his, or the night they parted at the library. Okay, so he's talking more like dying on the inside? Because he says that, because of these things, he's already died a lot. Yeah, no, I'm still calling you out on the line. It honestly doesn't make a lot of sense. To me, anyway.

      -Shiroe recalls Demicas kicking Shiroe out of the way from the attack from Tartaurga, wondering why he, of all people, would save him? Why did William say yes without actually listening to his plan? And why would Naotsugu follow him around? Granted, he seems like a perverted idiot, but he's got more sense than that, right? He recognizes that he has so many friends, not knowing where he's from or what he's doing. They're just hanging by a thread right now. He recalls his last meeting with Log Horizon, and Minori commenting on the possible spy from Minami, which is why Shiroe is going ultra top secret on his "get rich quick" plan. Though he gives it some more thought and says that, if there are spies from Minami, they're the least of his worries. So far he's only seen Adventurers and People of the Land, but there is someone else here. There's an unknown third party that brought us to Elder Tales for some reason. And we all know my theory on who that mysterious third party is.

      -Shiroe says he's been using the connections of the RTC to snoop around and find out the real identity of the person or thing that did it. He also asked Roderick to investigate what might be going on with flavor text imbuing objects with power, and he asked Soujiro to see if any of the monsters started changing behavior. He also had Michitaka examining plants to the south and Karashin collecting and assembling a library of Eastal's Folktales. Of course, Shiroe being Shiroe, he never really told them why he wanted it done. And you guys think I'm joking when I say that Shiroe is operating on a dimension that us mere mortals can't even comprehend to understand.

      -We see Shiroe in his office, looking over the reports, but then thinks to himself, saying that, at least to this point, there's nothing in what they've gathered so far that shows us the face of the third party he's looking for. Granted, some of these changes are on a major scale in the grand scheme of things, but in Shiroe's sixty-four dimensional thinking, they are but stepping stones to the real truth. However, in his mind, it just seems a little too coincidental that all the evidence points in that direction. It's almost as if someone planted it. So while you think a third party is involved, you think somebody is planting evidence to make you think that it is a third party, or perhaps who the third party is? Your'e a bit vague there, Shiroe.

      -After a fade out, we return to Shiroe on the bench, smiling. He realizes that everything he just thought of is just an excuse. Even though he kept all that to himself so they wouldn't worry, he's still putting everyone out. I suspect Naotsugu knows this about your personality and didn't even give you a chance to tell him no. In the end, he wonders if he deserves their trust? He recalls the formation of Log Horizon, how Naotsugu and Akatsuki waited for him back then, and now everyone else is waiting for him. He blames himself for putting distance between himself and his guild. He realizes that he should have involved them more and told them what he was thinking. Oh, so this is what he meant about trusting people more back with his heart-to-heart with Akatsuki a couple of episodes ago. He wasn't talking about the raid, but about Log Horizon and the RTC. And you wonder why people call you a Supervillain? Well, you probably don't wonder about that as you know the full reason why, but you don't help yourself when you pull stunts like this.

      -With all this, it leads back to Kinjo. Shiroe didn't trust him, either, she he kept his thoughts buried. He believes he should have been honest and up front about what he wanted and told him all the facts. Though given what we know of Kinjo I think you made the right call here, Shiroe. He then looks down to his younger self, who turns to look at him. As if being told to stop being an idiot, Shiroe understands the message being conveyed and recognizes that he should be getting out of this purgatory. He rubs his younger self's head, who then smiles, as Shiroe realizes that one can only spend so much time hanging out on a bench with yourself. As he stands, he finds himself on the beach with the crystal blue lake, with Earth above him. He's on the moon, and apparently, you can indeed breath here.

      -Interestingly enough, Shiroe opens up a status bar and gets the name of this place. It's called Mare Tranquillitatis, which translates into Sea of Tranquillity. Though the status screen itself is really corrupted, as all the other information appears in gibberish. So much for patching out the text here. Actually, this is a real place on the moon, though there really isn't a sea there... unless NASA lied to us!

      -Anyway, Shiroe wonders why he's here and wonders if he's on the test server. He says that management for the Elder Tales game was divided between thirteen servers that covered all of the regions. The test server is not officially included, but is considered the fourteenth server. He recalls that somebody said on the internet it was on the moon, but he never believed them. Huh. That is interesting. But I guess astronauts want to play their MMOs, too, even if they're in space. But still, given what we know, it's very unusual for the test server to be accessible when, in theory, it shouldn't be, because the Adventurers aren't stuck in the game, just in an alternative universe that happens to look a lot like Elder Tales... right? Right? Could my AI theory be close to the mark?

      -But there's no time for that. Akatsuki appears and we get a repeat of their Christmas Eve date on this test server. There's nothing really new here. It's pretty much the same scene, right down to Shiroe putting up Akatsuki's hood. So there's no need to recap what happens here because there is nothing really new happening. Clearly just showing the scene again here was a cut cutting measure, even if it was only done a couple of episodes ago. Anyplace to save a buck, right? Though there is one new thing. Shiroe thinks to himself that they both have to get up and take one more crack at it.

      -After the fade to white, we return to the entrance to the raid entrance as Shiroe awakens from a drop of water. That's when he realized he came back to life. What a profound experience, right? Cue credits!

      -In our next episode preview, Akatsuki states that raw emotions are fully exposed. What else is left? What can be done? The answer is simple: nothing. No matter what anyone thinks, he pushes forward. It's the path he chose. And there is no way back. He will try again and again until his banner is planted into the soil. All this and more in our next episode, Guild Master. Stand up, one more time. But if you find yourself on the moon, don't stand up too fast, okay?

      So we have a bit of a recap to when Shiroe's party had it's TPK moment. Long story short, the game cheated and sent three raid bosses after them, putting them in an unwanted position. This is a nasty set back for the Silver Sword and Shiroe, putting their schedule behind even more, and the clock keeps ticking, no matter where they are. But from the next episode preview, it sounds like William will take another shot at it, because dammit, he lives for this! I bet if this was a life action movie, William would be played by Vin Diesel.

      We also learn more about Shiroe, how he purposely led a solitude life, even in the game where the situation itself has changed. Because of his trip through the afterlife, he realizes all of this and how his inability to trust people with his plans may end up hurting them more than help. Granted, this shows that Shiroe was ahead of the curve in a lot of situations, but even now he questions if the path he's taking is correct. There is, after all, one other person who's just as good as Shiroe, so who knows what game she's playing here.

      Knowing the situation ahead of them, will the Silver Sword continue their quest, or will the battle against three raid bosses be too much for them to handle? Will Shiroe continue on with his newfound knowledge and help the Silver Sword complete the raid? Will Demicas finally get his revenge on Shiroe? Tune in on Sunday (hopefully) to find out.

      Until next time, remember, even if you're locked into a life or death situation against a powerful boss, always make sure to watch your back. You'll never know when another raid boss will appear behind you just to smash you into the ground.

    • Log Horizon Season 2 Episode 8

      1 week ago

      CaButler

      Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Log Horizon. The show that involves weapons and items taking on a new life thanks to the lore text that some guy put on because it sounded cool and dark and edgy only to end up causing a disaster. Thanks a lot, guy.

      In our previous episode, it was all build up. After her return to life, Akatsuki set up to work with several other Adventurers to train and prepare for what is basically an in-city raid against a nearly unstoppable Royal Guard gone rogue. They plan to treat this as a raid because of the weapon Neruresu is using, which is related to a raid boss that drops said item. With this in mind they will treat Neruresu as the raid boss and act accordingly, only they'll be working within the confines of the city limits.

      Which is still a problem because Neruresu is Royal Guard, so he ain't going to be hurt or stopped by the Adventurer attacks. So the decision is made. Ask Kinjo of the Kunie Tribe, who decided to pass the buck to Raynesia, to disable the magic circle protecting Akihabara. This means that Neruresu won't have the protections of the Royal Guard armor, but it also leaves the city open to monster attacks. But that disaster can wait until they fix the current disaster. 

      Will the Maidens of Watermaple succeed in this raid? Will they find a way to protect the city from the potential disaster that awaits them? Let's tune in and find out.

      -Our episode begins in the Akihabara streets as Akatsuki engages with Neruresu. Maryelle is her support as we get some stats of the tiny ninja. She's a level ninety-two Assassin and her status bar is yellow because... reasons. We also see a number of enchantments, including a boost to physical damage, defense, increased evasion and increased resistance to cold. So, basically, she has Tarukaja, Rakukaja, and Sukukaja cast on her, as well as Ice Wall. Sorry, I've been playing Persona 5 a lot so it's kind of stuck in my head. But I hope Maryelle keeps casting them on her as they only last three turns.

      -After an exchange of blows, the two combatants back away. Maryelle is busy supporting Akatsuki and reminds her that Neruresu's sword can cast the Blizzard skill, as well as his stats are off the scale. Stupid cheating armor that only NPCs can use. After a boost, Akatsuki asks Maryelle if she's ever been in a raid before. This is actually her first time and she sounds very excited about it. Then they can have their first time together! Wow, that came out so wrong.

      -Still, they have an overpowered monster to fight, and Akatsuki would like to not spend New Year's Eve on the floor of the Cathedral. She'd like to spend it with Shiroe but he's currently busy not getting killed in his own raid. And with that, Akatsuki engages Neruresu once more, hoping to make her first raid memorable and not actually with death.

      -After the opening credits we keep to the streets of Akihabara. Rieze is providing a status report to the other raid members and who's involved in the attack. She orders D-Squad to support C-Squad and orders all other units to hold their positions until... uh, why is Blackrose in this anime? Granted, her hair is purple now and wearing a different set of armor, but seriously, that looks like Blackrose from .hack. That has to be intentional.

      -Right, the battle. We see Kyouko running with Rieze and asks about the C-squad members. Mainly, if Akatsuki is with them. Rieze confirms that it's her and Maryelle, but that this was part of the plan, given how good of a tracker Akatsuki is. Kyouko is happy because she's interested in revenge as the two continue running in the hopes of finally getting this guy. Though Kyouko, you should probably learn the name of the person you're going to kill, because it doesn't sound anything like Neruresu.

      -Tonight's episode is titled Akiba Raid. It's also listed as Akihabara Raid. But it's basically the same thing. So move along, nothing to see here. We cut back to the battle, currently in progress as Neruresu starts to freeze his environment. Akatsuki is just outside of it's range as she recalls advice that Rieze gave her. She needs to be in a constant state of evaluating your opponent. Know what she can do and be aware of what she cannot do, so whatever she cannot do doesn't take her surprise in the fight. Which Akatsuki takes as having to face her shortcomings and make them work for her. In other words, what she normally saw as weaknesses can be used as strengths instead. Then again, some of those issues she has just can't be used well.

      -But what weaknesses were those? Well, there is Akatsuki's height, for example. It makes her a smaller target. Then there's her speed, which allows her to move faster. She does this by looking for a blind spot on Neruresu, jumping up and over him, then running at him. She effortlessly dodges a strike, sliding between his legs, then attacks with a skill called Morbid Stinger Slash, which is a poison attack. Maryelle, knowing to keep her distance, praises the ninja for the strike. I hope she doesn't ruin the serious moment by bringing out pom poms, but that would be such a Maryelle move that I honestly wouldn't be surprised by that.

      -Another strike dodged, Akatsuki grows in confidence as Neruresu unleashes a shockwave attack that's actually meant to disguise his approach, forcing Akatsuki to block the attack. Some of her armor glows, but she's able to break the clash and move away. As she does so, more of her armor glows, with the ninja happy that everybody shared so much of their things with her. Looks like they're making her the main DPS for this raid. With a break in battle, Akatsuki declares that Neruresu will be stopped. She charges, only to use her teleporting skill, allowing Kawara to come in from the side and use her Orion Delay Blow, catching him by surprise. With the arrival of her group, Akatsuki and Maryelle are allowed to retreat, but Neruresu sees this more as a challenge, saying the little girls won't run from him. Yeah, let's just boost up the creep factor more, why don't we?

      -We see Rieze and Kyouko taking a higher vantage point as they can see explosions in the distance. Kyouko can't believe they're actually having a raid inside of the city, which Rieze comments would have been impossible in the game. Stupid demon summoning developers. We see the fight progress as a new group has come in to attack as Akatsuki and Maryelle are recovering. Kyouko then asks the question many of us have been asking for a while. Why haven't the Royal Guards come in to deal with one of their own? Again, it's due to the laws of the game. As far as the system is concerned, as Neruresu is armored up, then it assumes he is punishing them, even though we did see Kinjo point out that the armor is stolen and is being used in an illegal manner... but don't ask them to do anything about it. Their laws are that binding.

      -Of course, because of Neruresu abusing the rules, it allows the Adventurers to fight in the city. So hooray for loophole abuses! We see Akatsuki and Maryelle running but are cut off by a teleporting Neruresu. He wants another round with the ninja, but gets blind sided by a massive fire attack, allowing Akatsuki to come in with another strike. The new group says they'll keep him occupied as much as they can and tell C-Squad to move to the next area. Looks like aggro is still in effect here and it's all focused on Akatsuki. I hope this was part of the plan, too.

      -As C-Squad leaves, Neruresu looks on, and even with the mask you can tell he's really pissed off. Rieze comments that the baker was right, that Lugrius is also boosting his abilities. I assume she's talking about Mikakage. I hope nobody tells her that Rieze can only remember her as that baker girl with the familiar now. Anyway, Rieze is able to confirm this as everyone within fifty meters is buffing Neruresu. Kyouko agrees that getting everyone to stay indoors was a good idea, since it means they can't oppose him while in what I assume to be designated safe-zones.

      -We get an overview of Rieze's plan, how she took the players out on the street, put them in small groups and spread them out as thin as possible, and the plan is to have Neruresu follow Akatsuki and Maryelle around the city. Though what I find funny is the peg's representing the characters look normal... except for Maryelle, which has a chibi look to it. I imagine a lot of people look at Maryelle that way. Anyway, the purpose is to have C-Squad run Neruresu through a gauntlet of each team's patrol area, where they can deal damge to him. A classic example of kiting. As a non-mmo player I had to look this up, and it is indeed a term used in the MMO sphere. To summarize, it's basically hit and run tactics. So clearly the people involved with this project did the research on even the terminology. Well done.

      -With this plan, as Neruresu's aggro focuses on Akatsuki, the others in the gauntlet attack him while Maryelle focuses on healing up the ninja for the next round. Kyouko is impressed by Rieze's planning and thinks it will work. Well, in normal situations it would work, but this situation is so far from normal. Rieze points this out, saying that you can't simply set up a raid and expect to win anymore. Shiroe learned that one the hard way. Then you factor in the sword Neruresu is using, as well as the Royal Guard armor he wears, allowing him to move about freely, which he does after dealing with the next squad in the gauntlet. What a terrible boss to fight if they can teleport anywhere in the city.

      -From above, Neruresu is getting more pissed off, but I think he's starting to see the pattern. But he'll keep fighting them, no matter what. Lugrius tells him to hold, saying they need to hunt the little wench first. So, wait, is he likening Akatsuki to the Maid of Elm? I wouldn't be surprised, because those ghosts can be very vengeful. As he teleports again, Rieze is worried, because despite how well laid her plans are, there are still a number of factors that can go wrong. Kyouko notices that Rieze is deep in thought and asks if anything is wrong. Actually, yes, something is wrong and it only just hit her. She's endangered many people and there's nothing she can do to help them, and that thought overwhelms and terrifies her. And compared to Princess Raynesia, she has had to deal with such dire circumstances her entire life, so now she has a new respect for her. Wow, so many people are gaining a new respect for the princess now. So much for the differences in class.

      -Kyouko counters that everybody in the RTC has to deal with it, and the same goes for Rieze. They all do what needs to be done now, and with that helpful prep talk, Rieze is back in action and ready to end it. She then goes back to passing along orders. When D-Squad is back to full health they are to join up with C-Squad once more. She has F-Squad go towards Checkpoint D to prepare for the next spot in the gauntlet.

      -While the Adventurers deal with their own battle, we go to the Guild Hall to see that Raynesia is engaged in her own battle. We see her in a meeting with Kinjo, with Henrietta acting as her retainer here. She has made her decision with regards to the magic circle. Turn it off. Kinjo reminds her that the city will be without it's magical defenses for decades, and without the Royal Guard to keep the peace, the city may fall into lawlessness. You know, maybe you should have thought of that before you decided to sit on your hands and do nothing, Kinjo! He's your guy out there causing all of this to begin with, and the Adventurers had to make it their problem because you refused to make it yours! So thanks a lot for that, you jackasses!

      -But in the end, Raynesia goes with it. She says that it isn't just the Kunie tribe, but that all the People of the Land share in the blame. They were responsible for guarding the armor. And now they should do what they can to assist the Adventurers. As far as she's concerned, she and the rest of the People of the Land owe them dearly for their failures in this matter. Though I still think the blame should fall mostly on the shoulders of the Kunie. In any case, because of this, the situation calls for cutting off the magic circle. Kinjo, who seems to be really against this idea, tries to persuade the princess otherwise, but that's why Henrietta is there, to make it clear that this was a request from the RTC. And as they are residents in Akihabara, they've already pledged their support in remedying this. Also, they'll probably wait for Shiroe to come around to fix this. He's pretty good at fixing these things.

      -With reluctance, Kinjo agrees to their request. He also admits that, no matter what, there was a fault in his tribe's security that will be addressed. And likely a better vetting process, too. They've defended the magic circle faithfully for hundreds of years, and thanks to Neruresu, that history is tarnished, so they need to atone for that. It would have been nice if maybe you send out a couple of your own guys in Royal Armor, but we'll just settle with blaming you for all of this.

      -Raynesia asks Kinjo to clarify what he said. Basically, like she said, they must do everything in their power to assist the Adventurers as they learn to live in this land. They should take a new step forward, and not reject them. Though apparently Kinjo has been testing the princess all along and apologizes for that. And because of this, Kinjo will be in Raynesia's debt regarding this incident. But he suspects that he's going to be clearing that debt with someone else. I can't imagine who he's talking about, can you? With negotiations settled, Kinjo reveals a secret passage, leading them to the Magic Circle.

      -Meanwhile, in the Akihabara Raid, things are not looking good for our Maidens. Rieze orders J-squad to retreat in order to heal, then orders D-Squad to hold their position. In one battle we see Neruresu beating off the Adventurers before teleporting away. I find it interesting that he's not attempting to kill any of the Adventurers, instead, just beating back enough in order to move on. Man, Akatsuki must have really pissed him off in that opening battle. Speaking of, we see her and Maryelle continue their kiting path. The ninja asks the Cleric how she's doing, but Maryelle is full of energy and can keep running until dawn if she needs to. I assume she's means the dawn after tomorrow.

      -Meanwhile, Neruresu intercepts the two girls, but it's Lugrius who is talking. And as suspected, he sees the Maid of Elm, Sutuynaw, and not Akatsuki and Maryelle. He demands to know why she betrayed him, but Neruresu quickly takes control, his vision returning to normal. Akatsuki tells Maryelle to fall back as Lugrius takes control once more. He tells the girls that he saved "your" city and this is the thanks he gets? Luckily, thanks to his villain monologue, Byakkou is able to summon a Golem and attacks, forcing Neruresu to dodge the attack. Akatsuki is grateful for the assist and strikes Neruresu while he's busy dodging, getting in a quick strike before retreating. She dodges his blizzard skill, which freezes the golem, but is taking the blunt of the attack for Akatsuki. What a nice golem.

      -Mikakage shows up and uses her Heartbeat Healing skill to help out Akatsuki. We see her stas and show that her MP is about half empty (or half full, depending on your outlook in life), and she still has the buffs from before as well as Regan. Great, I'm getting my spells all mixed up. But while they have this great in battle, Akatsuki says that Mikakage's incantation is adorable. Does she mean her familiar? But there's no more time for talk as Neruresu destroys the Golem. Akatsuki gets in a quick back stab as Byakkou brings out her Combat Companion Summon: Diesel Lancer. And now I have this image of Kevin Nash as a Lancer stuck in my head.

      -Suddenly, a rain of a thousand spears comes down on Neruresu, allowing Akatsuki and Maryelle to retreat. Maryelle contacts Rieze and gives her an update. Just ten meters until the next block. As for Akatsuki, she feels like she's close to learning something, but as they run a suddenly attack hits Maryelle, causing part of her to freeze. Rieze and Kyouko are able to see the battle but note that J-Squad won't make it on time to assist. We see that Maryelle is now frozen to the wall, literally, as Neruresu faces off against Akatsuki. His sword is starving, he tells the ninja, and the only way it can be quenched is with her blood! It must be extra sweet with all the buns she eats.

      The two fighters exchange blows, but it becomes clear that Neruresu has the upper hand as he flings her around like a rag doll. But this isn't going to keep the ninja down. No, she thinks to herself that she's got to move faster as she deflects and attack, but it isn't fast enough. Faster, faster, got to go faster! And suddenly, a pause as a purple aura covers her. Suddenly, Neruresu is surrounded by tiny ninjas. Thousands of them. But they are all real as they lay into the Royal Guardsmen. I think somebody unlocked a new technique.

      -Maryelle, still frozen to the wall, wonders where all those Akatsukis came from? And nobody tell Henrietta about it, okay? She's already taken up enough closet space for her Akatsuki wardrobe. Just imagine if she found out that there could be more than one of them. After the attack, Akatsuki merges back into one, but wonders if she just released the Hide Shadow ability when she was pushing herself to go faster? She suspects that her desire to move faster must have triggered it somehow. And she gets a pop up for her new skill, the Oral Art known as Shadow Lurk. Hey, she got her Oral Art! And all it took to get it was for the city to be put into perilous danger!

      -Our eyecatch for this episode is Chibis Rize, Nanza, Maryelle, Henrietta, Raynesia, Tatara, and of course, Akatsuki, who then splits into hundreds of other versions of herself. Oh, and the Fuzzy Goat Slime appears because... uh, reasons. Back on their perch, Rieze and Kyouko are happy to see that Akatsuki got her Oral Art. Rieze explains that one is simply not taught an Oral Art. One has to train, to understand their weaknesses, and fight to overcome them. With this, the balance of the fight shifts as our ninja goes on to abusing her newfound skill.

      -As the thousands of Akatsukis attack, she realizes that she spent so much time depending on what the game was giving her that all she had to do was reach beyond that, to take it as her own. All she has to do is free her expectations to find the truth. She realizes that she used to be like Neruresu, held back by herself, but it's okay if she's weak. She can use it to get better. And she's got something to say to the Royal Guardsman. He chose to never face his demons, but instead, embracing a cursed power. So he has nobody to blame but himself. He may have overwhelming strength, but it's nothing compared to a will inspired by weakness. So, basically, Akatsuki rolled a natural twenty on one her skill checks at the right time.

      -With this, Akatsuki lands a critical blow right into Neruresu's side. Unfortunately, in all her excitement of learning a new skill, she forgot about some of the other skills the Royal Guardsman has. Her sword is stuck in his side as it's covered in ice, allowing him to grab her by the head and hit her into a nearby wall. This knocks her HP into a very dangerous spot. As Kyouko helpfully tells us, she's got five percent of her health left. And she was disarmed at the same time. That one isn't her fault this time, since it got frozen over.

      -To make matters worse, Maryelle, her support, is running out of magic points, so she can only cast light healing spells on Akatsuki, which won't be enough. We see her trying to heal the ninja, somehow able to get herself unfrozen, and apologizes for running out of mana at the worst possible time. Akatsuki tells her to get out of here before they both end up dead as Rieze desperately tries to get them support. Maryelle refuses to leave Akatsuki's side, but suddenly, a new chat message arrives. It's from Tatara, telling her not to give up. She tells the ninja to find her as quickly as she can, no matter what it takes.

      -A quick cut has Rieze giving out orders to the other squads to move to new locations to cover C-Squad. Despite being able to escape, Neruresu quickly catches up with them, as Lugrius demands that "Sutuynaw" face her accuser for once and stop running. Neruresu tries to tell his uppity ghost that it's not the Maid of Elm, but the Adventurer Maidens. With this it becomes clear to all involved that Lugrius is taking over Neruresu's mind. Like that was hard at all. As Akatsuki prepares to face off against the Royal Guardsman, suddenly, a weapon is thrown at her. It's the Screaming Sword, Haganemushi. Wait, did it's flavor text give it flight, as well?

      -Well, no. First, it isn't Haganemushi. Well, not exactly. And second, it's Tatara who threw the weapon at Akatsuki. She explains that she reforged it into Haganemushi-Tatara. She made it smaller so Akatsuki could handle it better. But why such an expensive gift? Well, to Tatara, it looked like the ninja could use a sword, and as she lowers her bandana, she tells the ninja to make good use of it and to finish off Neruresu once and for all.

      -Akatsuki recalls all of her training sessions, alone and with everybody else, realizing that she got a lot of help to get to this point. Rieze comments that maiden twenty-seven finally appeared on stage, and with perfect timing. With a new weapon, Akatsuki is ready for the next round. They exchange blows with Akatsuki acting like a DBZ character before the two lock their weapons. Akatsuki says that, even if she cuts down Neruresu, the murders won't stop. Uh, why did you come to that conclusion? Well, for her, it isn't so much that Neruresu is the one responsible, but the sword itself that's causing the murders. That's maybe about half true, as we know that Neruresu went rogue long before he purchased the sword.

      -Anyway, in case you don't remember from last time, Haganemush has an ability that decreases the weapon durability of the enemy's weapon. We see this is the case as part of the weapon breaks apart, only to self-repair with ice covering it. Akatsuki seems to recognize this and knows she has to finish it fast. She uses Shadow Lurk to attack from every direction as the real Akatsuki comes in from a jumping attack. However, Neruresu recognizes this and turns his sword in her direction and letting gravity do the rest. Damn you gravity! Why must you be his ally at the worst time?

      -Luckily, Nazna and Isami are there to help, with the Fox-Tail grabbing Akatsuki and Isami attacking with several blows of her own. Remember to make sure the Aggro remains on Akatsuki, okay? Anyway, how is it going with the enemy's HP? Well, the display has gone insane, but it's at twenty percent. I also note that he's listed as a Raid enemy. Even though it doesn't look like the system is going to help, it does recognize Neruresu as an enemy and has ranked him accordingly. Though what's interesting about the display is how it jumps from white to red, which may be an indication of his possession, as well. Or the system could just be that confused thanks to the Royal Guard armor.

      -With this information, Rieze orders C-squad to take over from Nazna and Isami, then adds that, if this is a raid boss, then they're at the point where the attack patterns change, so watch your backs out there. We see Akatsuki running with Nanza as her support this time, but they ran straight into Neruresu. Luckily, another group is there and uses a classic Shiroe move, Thorn-Bind Hostage to hold Neruresu in place while the other takes shots at him from afar. This allows the two girls to keep running, but Nazna states to Akatsuki that Shire's protege is her protege, and it looked like she could use a hand. I don't think Shiroe will like you stealing his protege from him. She does not that the ninja appears to be distracted and tells her to get her head in the game, but she wipes away a tear of joy, knowing how many friends she has now.

      -Akatsuki seems to be having fun, though. If this is what a raid is like, it's amazing to her. As they continue to run, Nazna is ready to show off her Oral Art. So, wait, is this a skill that everybody has? Do they need to reach a certain level or do they need to clear specific parameters? It is assigned by the system? Does everybody have a unique one? How does this work? So confusing.

      -Anyway, Nanza's Oral Art is Divine Step, which creates platforms for the two to walk in mid-air. Akatsuki thinks they look like Walls of Purification, which are suppose to keep one from getting injured, but she's actually making them steps in the air? Is that how she saved Akatuski earlier? That's a gold star for the ninja! Nazna explains that you just have to change how you see the world. She asks the tiny ninja if that makes her feel kind of silly, but she gets a smile in response. Just a tiny bit.

      -After a break, we see the girls approaching the city limits, but Neruresu is there, but he's really looking ragged. His sword has taken a more demonic form with the ice, and every step he takes freezes the ground. Nazna can't help but get a jab in, wondering if he's going to attack or just keel over and die. The guardsman isn't up for banter, though, and is ready to put an end to this little game. A game he's having no fun with, by the looks of things.

      -So, anyway, that Magical Circle bit. We see Kinjo has lead Raynesia and Henrietta into a sphere of light, with the three in the center. There's a control panel there, but Henrietta is counting down. When it ends, she tells the the two with her to take down the Magic Cricle, and together, the two NPCs disable the spell. The sphere of light disappears, which reflects in the city itself as a wall of light appears around the city, only to crumble away. Neruresu notices this, that his armor has lost it's power. Rieze, who we saw earlier hanging off a ledge with Kyouko supporting her, is just outside of the fifty meter range. It's time for a taste of his own medicine as she unleashes her spell, Freezing Liner, which strikes the guardsman dead on. How about that for a cold shower?

      -With the spell completed, we see that Neruresu is encased in ice, his sword glowing. And thanks to the Magic Circle being disabled, it means that he can't teleport his way out of his icy prison. With the sword in sight, Akatsuki attacks it directly, with Neruresu doing all he can to escape and Lugrius vowing revenge on Akatuski as the sword breaks. With it, Neruresu drops it, indicating their victory.


      -So, yeah, now about the flavor text on Akatuski's own weapon. Is it going to do anything to Akatsuki? Well, no. You see, when Tatara changed reforged the sword, she changed the flavor text. Here it is in a screencap:

      ogYkYQG.jpg

      -Looks like Tatara reforged it specifically for Akatsuki, given what that text says. With the threat deal with, the rest of the Adventurers gather, including air keyboard wolfman, to celebrate their victory. Though the raid was a success, the goal wasn't so much to kill Neruresu as to destroy the blade which was making him crazier. I guess they plan to hand him over to the Kunie tribe to make it their problem once more. As Raynesia shares a high five with Henrietta, Soujiro contacts Nazna and tells her how amazing she was, which she already knows. Those women sure are powerful, aren't they?

      -With the threat dealt with, it's time to celebrate the New Year. And the only way to celebrate is with a lot of food. Rieze loses her cool demeanor over the sight of so much food, which prompts one of the other girls to ask if all her pajama parties are like this? Looks like all the ladies, including Dolce, are enjoying the celebration. Raynesia is smiling and joining in on the pajama party. She notes that, with the curfew lifted, everyone is out dancing in the streets. Akatsuki adds that they can bring back all the lower level players back, including Minori. Though they do wonder what to do about Henrietta, who's currently crashing from the cuteness overload. Meh, she'll be fine.

      -Finding a quiet space to themselves, Raynesia thanks Akatsuki for everything, but our ninja says that it should be her thanking the princess. They giggle as Maryelle looks on with a smile. Sometime later, Akatsuki goes outside, telling an invisible Shiroe that she's finally figured it all out. She understands that protecting someone means giving them a home to come back to. what people need is a place where they can laugh without fear. She understands that now. It's the reason why Shiroe works so hard, to give everybody a home. One that she hopes he hurries back to.

      -Speaking of, guess who's contacting her via Telepathic Link? What? No, it isn't Santa! Or Henrietta, who's still crashing on the couch. It's Shiroe! Instead of being overwhelmed with this sudden and convenient communication, she carries a deadpan expression and asks what's happening out there with his own raid. Is there a problem? There's a problem, isn't there? Well, yeah, that was the deal, but that isn't the reason why he's calling. Akatsuki, with her more down to earth personality, is shocked that her lord would break the rules like that, but he reminds her that he is the Villain in Glasses. The rules mean nothing to him, evil laughter.

      -Anyway, Shiroe asks how the raid went? Though he didn't really need to hear the answer from Akatsuki as he already knows, but he congratulates her on a job well done. Sad to say, they aren't on their way home yet. They're still working out this raid problem they have on their end. They're back at the entrance, but they aren't ready to give up yet. They're about to give it another go, and this time, there will be no mistakes. Cue credits!

      -In our next episode preview, Akatsuki states that, on Christmas Eve night, Shiroe and his companions died. The rules had changed. This isn't the world of Elder Tales anymore. Their time is over. Upon losing his body, Shiroe wanders through a town of memories. he also sees a friend at the beach on the moon. When did the moon get a crystal blue lake? All this and more in our next episode, The Changing Battlefield. Stand up, one more time, even if you're on the moon somehow.

      Okay, let's talk voice actors. The person voicing Rogue Royal Guardsman turned Serial Killer Neruresu is voiced by Marty Fleck, who also voiced Lord Serjiad in the same show. From a kindly, if stern, leader to a nut job killer. How the mighty have fallen.

      As for Lugrius, unfortunately I'm unable to find out who voiced him. But he was trying to go for an Orson Wells deep voice to him, which means that it was Unicron speaking to Neruresu. Isn't that fun?

      So here we can see that the shared story arc splits into two. We have just seen Akatsuki's character arc, which shows her grown from lone wolf to trusted companion, allowing herself to break out of her stern character into a more light-hearted, relaxed character. She also has an Oral Art that is super useful in battle, since it looks like she can attack from all directions at once, making her extremely useful in a lot of situations.

      But with this victory comes a price. The defenses that protected Akihabara from monsters are now gone. They are open to attacks from goblins and monsters just wandering in. They also no longer have the protection of the Royal Guard from players who want to get their own murder streak in. Assuming there is no immediate fix, the situation at Akihabara has changed dramatically, forcing all involved to rethink their approach to their city.

      Still, one thing at a time. Let Shiroe handle it when he gets back. I'm sure he'll find an answer... maybe... hopefully. But right now he's too busy trying to fix a problem that caused him to leave the city to begin with. With a major set back to the raid, can Shiroe and company correct their mistakes and finally succeed where they failed before? Tune in on Friday to find out.

      Until next time, remember, after completing a successful raid, there is only one thing left to do. Pajama party!

    • Found a random RWBY MMD video

      1 week ago

      CaButler

      It's very random.  Also pretty good.


    • Log Horizon Season 2 Episode 7

      1 week ago

      CaButler

      Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Log Horizon, where the after life is basically you running around a colorless city from your memories before meeting somebody to have a Christmas Eve Date on the beach. It tends to get weird after that.

      In our last episode, after suffering her first on screen death, Akatsuki sees herself, in her real life self, stuck in a city that appears to be Tokyo. She is the only one with color in a colorless world, and while shorter than average, she isn't the extremely short person she is in the game... that or everybody around her are crazy tall.

      After being stuck in a looping staircase, she finds herself on a beach with a crystal blue ocean. There, she is joined by Shiroe and proceeds to let herself out of character and be herself, enjoying this little date in the afterlife. The reason Shiroe is there is, of course, he suffered his own death thanks to a TPK. They offer up some hair to the ocean as they begin to explore how they got here. Akatsuki was basically the lone wolf and Shiroe had issues trusting people. Realizing their mistakes, they return to the real world in order to correct them.

      We remain in Akihabara for the second half, where Akatsuki turns to her friend to assist her in finding and defeating Neruresu. She has a plan but she's going to need a lot of help. They accept before making sure they express their disappointment in her and Raynesia for not telling anybody anything. I honestly hope they also know that Neruresu is basically a rogue Royal Guard.

      Oh, and we get some stuff about the world changing and people playing opposite genders slowly becoming that gender, but it isn't really that important in the long run. Oh, and something about the lore in weapons and items causing them to change too, like Misa's weapon, Disaster, suddenly acting up and attacking them, possibly killing Krusty. You know, the unimportant stuff.

      With a plan in mind, will Akatsuki successfully lead her team in defeating the seemingly unstoppable Neruresu? And will Shiroe's team finally complete their raid? Let's tune in and find out.

      -Our episode begins at Watermaple Manor. Its a cold night as the fountain is frozen over. We see Henrietta step out as Rieze is talking to somebody, promising to look for new information. She'll call back shortly as Henrietta calls out to her. Rieze turns to her, tears in her eyes, but quickly turns back to wipe them away. She found out about what happened with Krusty and apologizes, knowing that they're in their own desperate time. Henrietta is understanding, telling Rieze that she doesn't have to hide her feelings from them. She offers her handkerchief and offers to be a shoulder for Rieze, but she looks down in response. I'm guessing it's Krusty's unusual circumstances in his death that she's upset about. because being told "One of Misa's weapons went sentient and tried to kill her" would also ask a lot of questions.

      -After the opening we cut to the streets of Akihabara as Henrietta is told of the call and what happened with Krusty. So apparently Krusty isn't so much dead as he disappeared. I'm guessing their's some sort of icon that would indicate if he was dead. Rieze explains that they tried contacting him but nothing is getting through, which is just another Shiroe problem to add to the other Shiroe problems they have. Why is it that when Shiroe isn't around things go to hell in a hand basket? Though Rieze does pull a Shiroe move and says this information can't be leaked out. So why are you talking about this in a crowded street? Henrietta agrees, though she suggests to not tell the RTC, either. Given everything else, having this leak now would be rather bad for everybody, including their little cold war with Minami.

      -Henrietta also wonders if they should inform Raynesia, but Rieze thinks she should know. Though Henrietta is confident that Krusty will treat his "being made to disappear by a suddenly sentient weapon" as nothing more than a rough night of raiding. Suddenly, Henrietta gets a call from Mikakage, who's in a panic, indicating that there's something very wrong with the flavor texts. You know, that thing that is used just to make a weapon or item sound cool or mysterious? Yeah, that.

      -Tonight's episode is titled The Miadens of Suifuu. Or, as it's listed, The Watermaple Maidens. Both would be true, but pick whichever one you like the most. From there, we cut to Rieze and Henrietta being told that the items are taking on the descriptions of their lore text. You know, I can't help but think this is Shiroe's fault somehow. "Hey, you know that magic you created that turned Rudy into an Adventurer? Well, you did a little more than just that. Have fun fixing it."

      -Being told this, Henrietta says they'll need to pay close attention to the item descriptions from now on. Mikakage agrees, saying it would cause all kinds of trouble for them if they don't. You know, like that issue that happened to Krusty. Rieze believes that to be the case, but then recalls what Neruresu is holding. It's the sword, Byakumaru, and is worried about its flavor text coming to life. She explains that the sword can do an incredible amount of damage on it's own, and now it's in the hands of someone in Royal Guard armor. Oh, good, they actually told them the situation. Henrietta recalls that Byakumaru is an item drop for a quest, which Rieze confirms is from one of the raids in expansion pack ten. In order to get it, you had to beat the Dead Warrior Lugrius. And he had one hell of a sword.

      -Which leads to the next question. What does the flavor text say on Byakumaru? Rieze explains that it talks about the legend of Lugrius and how he turned into a demon. Well, doesn't that sound like fun? She goes on to say that Lugrius originally fought as the Hero of the Icy Walls along side the Izumo Knights for a hundred years. We get a picture of the sword, as well as the flavor text. I'll post the screenshot here.

      DMTYIHB.jpg

      -So, yeah, that's a fun weapon to have, isn't it? Rieze explains the text, since nobody has fourth wall breaking powers. She says that Lugrius fought to keep the icy giants away from Susukino, keeping the people there safe. He was truly the champion of the Ezzo Empire. However, the Maid of Elm, Sutuynaw, served Lugrius a deadly poison in an unforeseen act of betrayal. It was probably due to not getting a pay raise. Shortly afterwards, Lugrius became a monster and, filled with bitterness and anger, hated everyone. Well, what a fun tale that was. Let's hope it's never repeated with us Adventurers.

      -Mikakage asks if it's possible the evil spirit is helping Neruresu, but Rieze, in a sudden outburst, tells her not to be ridiculous. She apologizes for her behavior, but relents that it may be possible. And because of that, it may help them devise a plan to defeat Lugrius. And I need to point out that the spell for "Lugrius" appears differently a couple of times. Most of the time it's "Lugrius", but sometimes it shows up as "Lugris." Just to keep it simple, if it comes up again, I'll be using "Lugrius."

      -Meanwhile, in the sewers of Akihabara, Neruresu is currently having a mental crisis, dreaming of Lugrius fighting ice giants and being poisoned by his maid. He fights it off, saying he won't be the dead spirit's puppet, yelling that he is a member of the Royal Guard. Yeah, one who went rogue and will be shunned from his tribe if he survives this encounter with the Adventurers. Lugrius, however, calls out to him, to release himself, for he is not Akihabara's filthy guard dog. After all, with power greater than the Adventurers, he should be the hero. Come, join him in his vengeance against the Maid of Elm, then against all the putrid human refuse swimming around him. So, yeah, thanks to the conversation from earlier, we know that Neruresu isn't insane, just possessed... and possibly insane.

      -After a fadeout, we're back in the streets of Akihabara. We see Akatsuki walking the streets alone, having been told of the flavor text of items coming to life. She wonders what would have happened if she got to Byakumaru before the killer did. I imagine she'd be less restrained and more murder happy, especially to a certain middle school rival. She realizes this, of course, and is afraid to know what would have happened if she did have the sword. After a breath, she continues on, walking by Amenoma along the way. She passes Tatara, who only looks back and just let's it be.

      -We check in on Soujiro who's enjoying a little meal. He's resting after his encounter with Neruresu and plans to stay out of it. Nazna asks if that's what he wants, and he thinks that he doesn't like being a dark hero. Besides, he trusts that Akatsuki will come up with a solution. Nanza takes this as meaning it'll all boil down to Oral Arts. She passes him some tea, which he happily accepts. He explains that the Oral Arts are quite simple. And as for him, he has the power of his girls by his side. Yes, he actually called them his girls. I'm suddenly suspecting that the requirement was for it's members to be female in one way or another and be madly in love with Soujiro. I imagine that second part was added by the rest of the guild.

      -Speaking of, Nazna has called a meeting with the other players, having given them a briefing of the goal of their new training sessions. They are going to find and murder the hell out of Neruresu. In keeping with the strategies devised by Rieze, the training sessions will help everyone to know each other as well as increase their abilities in battle. As for Akatsuki, she wants to learn the Oral Arts, so everybody needs to show her everything they've picked up so far. Poor girl has now become the center of attention, something she does not like doing. She greets the others and promises to give them her full devotion, even if she isn't that experience. Hawaiian shirt guy laughs and tells her to save it for the guy he ends up marrying. The other laugh, with Mikakage saying that Henrietta would have lost her mind if she heard the ninja say something like that. Which is why she's as far away as possible from here.

      -Some of the younger players tell Akatsuki that she isn't the only one who wants to toughen up, with several of them nodding in her direction. Kyouko is ready for some revenge and wants to get this started, which causes a round of applause from the players there. Nazna, having a little fun, asks Akatsuki if she's glad she decided to join them? The ninja smiles in response. Looks like her lone wolf personality is slowly breaking apart.

      -Now on to the training. Of course, it appears they are inside or close to the city, so instead of looking for monsters, one of the Adventurers summons monsters. Nazna tells them to study distance and to find their range. Nearby, Akatsuki is asking about Oral Arts, but she learns that it's not something one learns by clearing a raid, and it's not like it's an item drop from killing any enemy or untying. Okay, but what about killing another player? Does that work? In any case, they agree that the Oral Arts aren't anything special if you know about them. Even if they told her how they got one, she wouldn't be able to do the same thing. As an example, their guild master learned how to use the Hyperion Eye. And no, it didn't make him the CEO of a massive space company looking for vaults in a remote planet in the ass end of the galaxy, nor did he get a crystal pony out of it.

      -The skill basically gives the guild master the ability to determine what his target's hit points and status are, even if he doesn't get a good look at it. So if Akatsuki could learn something like that, she can figure out how many hit points the guys behind her have and figure out if they're a threat. It's a pretty sweet skill, too. While Akatsuki thinks it would be a helpful skill, only the Guildmaster is the only person they know has it. I wonder if his name happens to be Jack?

      -Despite being told this, Akatsuki will take whatever help she can get. And so she is in battle with to other Adventurers, but is quickly cut down. But Akatsuki isn't going to let a little thing like that keep her down, as she stands up wanting more. She will learn the Oral Arts even if it kills her several times over! I hope it works out for you, Akatsuki.

      -After a fade, it's lunch time! You can tell because the caption says "lunch chatter". Akatsuki is seen alone, thinking of the Oral Arts and is looking for a clue. Of course, she's keeping some aspects of her lone wolf nature, but Mikakage isn't going to let her off that easily. She made something just for her, calling it special. When the ninja questions that, the Druid and her familiar run off. When Akatsuki opens the box, it's a lunch with a picture of her and the words "good luck" spelled out with the food. Akatsuki is a bit embarrassed by this, but then smiles. D'aw, so adorable!

      -Meanwhile, at the Guild House, Henrietta is telling the RTC the situation involving Neruresu. She's keeping it to the facts. He's a Royal Guard member who went rogue, has the moveable armor that causes them problems, and is armed with the Sword of the Cold, Byakumaru, which may or may not be possessed by an evil spirit hell bent on destroying the world. Rieze explains the techniques the sword has, as well as being able to inflict damage on targets from a great range. The RTC members remember Lugrius, and with this knowledge, it should help them defeat Neruresu. Rieze explains why this will help them in three ways.

      -First, the sword will use Blizzard to inflict the freeze status effect. Second, it will increase all of the stats of the person with the sword, multiple by his opposition. In a mock up map, we see Neruresu surrounded by several other Adventurers. Rize explains that every offensive and defensive statistic for Byakumaru's master will go up for every player that oppose him within fifty meters. That's quite the range. It also means that you can't just overwhelm him. Rieze says that it is possible to use a raid party, but with a different tactic. They will still use their twenty-four, with the usual six split in two or three, but scattered across the city like a net. Sounds like she's suggesting a full raid inside of the city, but given that they have their own monster inside the city walls who basically can ignore the rules, they might as well treat it like a raid.

      -Raynesia is amazed by Rieze, explaining to us that one can tell she's in charge of the development and training squadron in Krusty's guild. She's showing no signs of wilting or backing down in the face of all the grand warriors. Eins, however, has a comment about his plan. To him, it seems like Rieze is spreading the team out too far. How does she plan to lead them if that is the case? Well, obviously they'll be using the Telepathic Network to keep their chat up and running during the battle. Henrietta explains that once one of the groups makes contact, they'll have them deployed in such a way that the others can get to them quickly. We see Soujiro smiling at this battle plan, and it looks like they already have his vote.

      -Woodstock, however, isn't quite so impressed yet. He suspects that Bakyumaru's third effect isn't so hard to figure out, right? Right. Rieze explains that, like a lot of magi swords they already know about, there should be a basic boost to Neruresu's hit-points. Of course, they will still need to deal with his Opposition Increase passive buff. Woodstock always hated that skill. What kind of demon summoning idiot came up with that anyway?

      -Woodstock asks how they plan to deal with it? Why, they need a curfew, of course! They'll need it from right now until midnight New Year's Day. Basically, all parities are cancelled until then, and there will be more than a few people upset about that. Henrietta explains that it needs to come from the RTC to ask all the People of the Land to stay in their homes for their own safety. Michitaka decides to go with this plan. If anything, it's a start, but Woodstock, who still isn't impressed by it, asks if they should face something so powerful? Eins agrees with him, pointing out that with the moveable armor, Neruresu can teleport anywhere within the city at any time. And all of their plans will be a waste if he gets away. Well, they have a solution to that, and Raynesia is working on it. And like that, Raynesia has a deer caught in headlights look, wondering how she got dragged into this part of the proposal?

      -Our eyecatch is Chibi Akatsuki and various items of food, all for her. They really like feeding her for some reason. Back in Watermaple Manor, it looks like the Adventurers want Raynesia to cut the power off to Akihabara's magic circle. You know, the thing that keeps all the monsters out and prevents PvP from happening within the city. She recalls the meeting she had with Kinjo where this option was explained to her, as well as the restoration taking decades. And this is something she doesn't want to agree to. Rieze, who has been informed as such, knows of the risks, and knows this isn't an easy decision for the princess to make, but with her blessing, they do have a chance of defeating Neruresu. They'll deal with the monster problem after this threat has been dealt with.

      -But the Adventurers can't ask it of Kinjo. It has to be Raynesia, as a representative of the People of the Land. However, they will respect her decision, no matter which one she chooses. They're trying to take some of the pressure off of her, but a fade out shows that she needed time. She admits that she couldn't make a decision right there on the spot. She wanted to be a friend and give them everything they asked of her. However, as her Grandfather's Ambassador, she questions it. What is the right thing to do here? Do you leave the magic circle on and face an impossible foe, or turn it off and face a possible endless horde of monsters? It's not a simple decision to make.

      -At the Log Horizon guild hall, Akatsuki is on the roof, training. Time is running short, but she wonders what to do now? She's not getting anywhere closer to where she needs to be. That's when Nyan-ta appears, checking up on her. He asks when the raid is taking place, and it will be on New Year's Eve. Nyan-ta likes the timing, since it means taking care of the resolution before the end of the year. Akatsuki, however, is having issues mastering an Oral Art. To her, it feels like she's constantly grasping at air. Nyan-ta offers to help, but Akatsuki declines the offer. But that's when the chief opens his eyes, showing that he's serious, and stating that Akatsuki appears to be pushing herself too hard. She stares at him, recalling a meeting she had with Shiroe in his office. He's busy working, because he does nothing but work. There, she suggests that he take a break, but he declines, saying he needs to squeeze in as much work as possible. While Akatsuki won't deny it, she does tell him not to overdo it. He tells her not to worry too much. He's working hard because he wants to. He can't be happy until he's worked twenty straight hours, and even then, he'll worry he didn't do everything he needed to do.

      -Back in the present, Akatsuki still can't understand why Shiroe pushes himself as much as he does. She suspects that maybe he's trying to get the best out of himself, so she will do the same thing for herself. If she's going to take out an enemy like Neruresu, she needs to test her own limits. Though she laments about not being strong enough. Nyan-ta, however, looks to the sky, with no words to be said. He's always been more of a hands off mentor, but he tries to help in his own way.

      -The next day, Nazna is working the troops hard in their Super Sentai action sequences, what with all the different colored smoke blasting up all over the place. Rieze is doing some one-on-one training with Akatsuki. She tells the ninja to know what she can do and be aware of what she cannot do, so she doesn't get taken by surprise in the fight. Akatsuki then gets into position and faces off against Rieze, who sends a few dozen fireballs towards the ninja. As she dodges them, she understands that she's weak, but by knowing what her weaknesses are, she can win. Then she gets electrocuted for her trouble. While that's going on, Akatsuki explains that she's learned from defeat and found a purpose in her lack of talent. But she also understands that her lone wolf attitude was a hindrance, and that she can't do everything on her own. We see her having lunch with other Adventurers as a couple of them offer an item to help build up her defenses. She accepts, but reluctantly. She really doesn't like being the center of attention.

      -A couple of the West Wind Brigade offer Akatsuki some strawberries. They have them in surplus from Christmas and it's only right to share. As she take a bite, she realizes she can get strong and learn teamwork at the same time. In a private training session, Nazna notes her height, but tells Akatsuki to use it to her advantage. To help, she tells the tiny ninja to think about how big Neruresu is and that it'll drive him nuts if she moves around and he can't hit her. As such, he should have a ton of blind spots. So let's give it a try by facing an Adventurer who's roughly the same size as their opponent. And we see that the advise Nazna gives Akatsuki works well as she's able to blind side her much bigger opponent. I bet he never saw it coming.

      -Akatsuki thought that being small was always working against her, but now she realizes she can use it to her advantage. But as she's flung away by her much larger opponent, she knows that she has to be mindful of what she can and cannot do. suddenly, two more Adventurers appear, asking if they're at the spot where the training spot for the raid? We have Seine and Byakkou, who are here because they want to help, though Seine seems a little reluctant at first, but when asked, she's in. We see how good she is by accurately hitting three targets on a tree, who's a bit embarrassed by the applause. With this, all positions in the raid party have been filled. With this, Rieze turns to Henrietta and asks her to tend to the other matter as member number twenty-five. With pleasure! And you know she's excited about it if she doesn't have to be asked twice.

      -Later that night, Akatsuki is still training, thinking back to training earlier in the day. Raynesia is there, observing the grounds. Mikakage is happy the princess came to join them, but it's lunch time. Hawaiian Shirt guy asks about the rice balls, but apparently Mikakage forget that it's almost noon, she she gets reprimanded by him for losing track of time. As the two go off to get lunch ready, Raynesia asks if she can help. They ask if she has the cooking skill, but she couldn't say. I doubt cooking is part of the Princess class. Still, they'll let her give it a shot, though. And it doesn't end in total disaster, luckily, but there's some refining to be done. So I'm guessing it's not earlier in the day but the next day? That cut with Akatsuki at night was weird.

      -As lunch is served, everybody takes the ones that don't look terrible. Akatuski, however, doesn't care much for looks and just grabs the first one within her reach, which happens to be one of the rice balls Raynesia made. As the ninja enjoys her meal, the princess joins her, explaining that she made the one Akatsuki is eating. So, what's her review of the Princess's handmade rice ball? Well, it's lopsided, it doesn't look clean, and really, really needs a lot of work. But aside from that, it is good. It's very tasty. So it's not a total failure, which is a victory for the princess.

      -As the two sit, Raynesia happy about the review, she says that she needs to apologize. She apparently looked at Akatsuki as an easy way out of her situation. This was shortly after her meeting with Kinjo and learning what could be done to stop him. Raynesia says that, for a moment, if Akatsuki could have defeated Neruresu that night, then she might have been able to avoid any conflict with the RTC and the People of the Land. She just wanted to cry to her Grandfather or get Krusty to handle it. But from now on, she's not going to be that person anymore. She won't avoid responsibility like the Kunie tribe, who laid the whole thing at her feet a couple of days ago. Wow, an in-universe take that to a bunch of NPC's who are forced to obey their laws of the programmer. Still, it's nice to know that not all the People of the Land are united in such matters.

      -With all that said, Raynesia is still nervous about the decision laid on her feet. She still can't make a decision, since convincing Kinjo to deactivate the magic circle will bring some major consequences to the city. Akatsuki, however, has been listening carefully, but tells the princess that she was happy when she called her a friend. The ninja tells her that she doesn't need to be nervous as she has a whole lot of friends here who have her back. Plus there's her, and she will always be Raynesia's friend. Yay, friends!

      -Okay, lunch time is over, back to training! As Akatsuki runs off to do more training, Raynesia watches her run off, repeating her comment. They're friends. Later that day, Nazna is doing her hands on training with Akatsuki and had just disarmed her. The Fox Tail asks her if she's figured anything out yet. That she keeps losing her weapon a lot for some reason. Nazna then helps out, telling her that to discover an Oral Art, she must realize she doesn't actually need it. Well, that was a lot of help, wasn't it? Akatsuki calls her out on her cryptical comment, given how cryptic it was. Nearby, Tatara watches on, but as she starts to leave, Rieze stops her. Turns out, she's blaming herself for letting the weapon be sold. Rieze tells her that there's no way she could have know that this meaning looking, angry character would have gone on a murder spree with the weapon. It could have just been his default look, after all.

      -Back at Watermaple Manor, Raynesia appears to have come to a decision. She will not run from this responsibility. She remarks that, if she does things the way she used to, letting other people fight her battles for her, she will be showing that she can never be trusted with the work that befits her title. And she can never be worthy of their friendship. A knock on the door and she shows herself in to where Henrietta is. The princess wants a part in this quest. Sure, why not! Twenty six maidens is a much better number than twenty five.

      -Back in Amenoma, Tatara looks at the half-empty weapon rack, looking at the other sword still there, the screaming Sword, Haganesmushi. We even get flavor text for it, which sounds very instantly. Apparently, in duels, the opponent's blade will grow increasingly dull. Looks like Tatara might have a counter for Neruresu's own weapon. In Akihabara, the streets themselves are empty as Akatsuki is preparing for war. In the end, she has failed to master a single Oral Art. But that's fine, for now she has a team she can trust. As we fade over to Watermaple Manor, Nyan-ta sees them all out. Go get this guy and murder him well.

      -In the streets of Akihabara, we see the Maidens of Suifuu preparing for war, but it looks like Neruresu isn't waiting any longer. He teleports in on Akatsuki and Maryelle and is insulted that it's only the two of them. I should remark that Akatsuki has changed up her armor. Instead of going with her typical ninja garb, she's got a bit more armor on her while losing some of the baggier aspects of her outfit. Anyway, Neruresu is ready for more killing, even if it's only two of them, and he will make them pay, just like the Maid of Elm. And with that, battle is joined. Cue credits!

      -In our next episode preview, Akatsuki says the raid is underway. The murder's sword shines with the power of a blizzard. The conviction of twenty six comrades drives the fight. But fate can be a flickering flame. Just as the city sinks into despair, a twenty seventh maiden appears with a mighty weapon. And a profound secret is finally discovered. All this and more in our next episode, Akiba Raid. Stand up, one more time, even if you keep losing your weapon in your hand.

      I think this is the first episode where Shiroe actually didn't appear, nore had a voiceover, in the entire series run. Including the first season. I guess they just couldn't find a way to fit him into the episode that didn't take away from the pacing. And compared to the last episode, this was a much stronger episode. Better paced and a better flow.

      It looks like we're seeing the conclusion of Akatsuki's personal arc, along with several other members of the cast. She's come to realize that her lone wolf personality has been more of a hindrance since the Apocalypse, and now, with the help of the Crescent Moon, the West Wind Brigade, and with Princess Raynesia, she's come to learn her own weaknesses, as well as learning of the bond of friendship and teamwork.

      We also near that Neruresu, who had his own issues with the Adventurers, has gone insane thanks to a possessed sword from hell. Because that's always a fun enemy to deal with, right? Seriously, the Royal Guard really needs to vet their soldiers better than this. Though I do like like Raynesia called on the tribe on letting this happen to begin with, the jerks.

      With battle joined, the fight for Akihabara begins. Will Akatsuki and the rest of the Watermaple Maidens finally bring this enemy to his knees? Will they find a way to restore the magic circle after it has been deactivated? And what of Shiroe? Will he recover from his own crisis of faith? Tune in on Sunday to find out.

      Until next time, remember, even if the person you're selling a dangerous weapon to happens to be shady and looks a bit angry, that doesn't mean you shouldn't sell him the weapon, so long as they have the gold to pay for it.

    • Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works - The Abridged Series

      1 week ago

      CaButler

      Oh look, somebody made an abridged series of UBW.  I wonder how terrible it is?



      Turns out, it's really freaking good.

    • Being honest about Nier: Automata

      2 weeks ago

      CaButler

      Not enough robot butts.  May be slightly NSFW.


      Also, new images, if you care for that short of thing.

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    • zogman1

      2 months ago

      did you get a notification for this?

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 months ago

        I did. 

      • zogman1

        2 months ago

        Notifications seem to be working for you now then. Good.

    • Kaoru27Umi FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Princess of Mars

      3 months ago

      73167f51d1d76f3c6bd6681536cf397f9cfc44e2


      Happy Warm Fuzzy Fuzzes Day!

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        3 months ago

        Thank you, Princess of Mars.  Long may your reign be.

    • zogman1

      3 months ago

      I just found out Shantae and Compa (and Croire) have the same VA.


      Edit: wow she's voiced a lot of stuff I've played.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        3 months ago

        She's also playing Velvet in the new Tales game.


        @zogman1

      • zogman1

        3 months ago

        Yep.

    • zogman1

      4 months ago

      Look what I found: https://youtu.be/71lLnE8gJnU

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        4 months ago

        You only just now found this?


        @zogman1

      • zogman1

        4 months ago

        The other day, yes. YouTube doesn't really like me.

    • Kaoru27Umi FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Princess of Mars

      6 months ago

      HAPPY FU DAY~!  confetti_ball

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        6 months ago

        Thanks.  It's the best time of the year.

    • Kevinet496

      6 months ago

      Congrats on the feature, man. It was about time.  donut

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        6 months ago

        Thanks.

    • Toptoast FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of the Breakfast

      6 months ago

      Happy FU!

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        6 months ago

        Thank you.

    • IndiaRT28

      6 months ago

      Congratulations for unlocking the Achievement: "Featured User!" Enjoy your 100 gamerscores!


        whiskey geoff jack ryan gavin michael jeremy tower

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        6 months ago

        Thank you.  I will spend it wisely.


        Mostly on booze.

    • HOWtwoROCK

      6 months ago

      I think the RT site deleted your comments from my images

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        6 months ago

        They have been rolling back on stuff.

    • Blood_XIII Badass Bitch

      7 months ago

      So I just started Forza Horizon 3, and it gave me a free SUV and since I'm actually online for once it popped up with suggested community decals. I picked one that looked cool and upon further inspection realized it was something you would appreciate.


      je01VJ2.png

      Tn1QXet.png

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        7 months ago

        There be some creative people online.  But they screwed up the arm placement.  The hand cannon is on the wrong arm!

      • Blood_XIII Badass Bitch

        7 months ago

        @CaButler Well to be fair the decal is mirrored on the other side, so they likely put it there first and then just mirror-copied it to the right side of the car as opposed to placing the decal itself

    • HOWtwoROCK

      7 months ago

      wait why did trying to load page 2 of your images lead me to your journal entries???

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        7 months ago

        Don't know.  The site has been doing it for a while.


        And if you post something, make sure to tag me.  I won't see it otherwise.

      • HOWtwoROCK

        7 months ago

        ...you know you gave me a great idea


        If I post images most likely I'll shove them all in journal entries. because I know the journal entries get notifications.

    • RedUnit10

      8 months ago

      You still participating in ISML voting?

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        8 months ago

        Has that been going on for a while?  If so, I kind of forgot all about it.

      • RedUnit10

        8 months ago

        Since the spring, look for it every monday, wednesday, and friday.

    • zogman1

      10 months ago

      Are your notifications working?

      • solblade44

        10 months ago

        Not him but I was going to ask the same thing. I'm not getting any either.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        10 months ago

        They appear to be working now.

      • zogman1

        10 months ago

        indeed.

    • HOWtwoROCK

      10 months ago

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        10 months ago

        @HOWtwoROCK


        Cute.

    • grenou

      11 months ago

      Congrats on your Fail making it into today's video!



      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        11 months ago

        Awesome. I submitted that months ago. I wonder if there are any others there? Thanks for point this out.

    • zogman1

      1 year ago

      I still need to watch the Fate series.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        I guess you're looking at @HOWtwoROCK post from below.

      • zogman1

        1 year ago

        Yep, but I didn't want to whatever the term is now a 1 month old conversation.

    • HOWtwoROCK

      1 year ago

      Remember when these characters were trying to kill each other?


      tumblr_o4bqcicVBh1r3z16po2_540.gif
      tumblr_o4bqcicVBh1r3z16po1_540.gif

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        Well, bitches want the D.

      • HOWtwoROCK

        1 year ago

        You know I would watch a romantic comedy with these characters

    • HOWtwoROCK

      1 year ago

      Got norton back and shantae is fine now.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        Norton likes half naked half genies.

    • Raltrios Dislike the new site!

      1 year ago

      Did you have this? Figure you could use it as a holiday profile pic or something.

      jKcX27w.png

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        I did not have a Tales holiday image, so thanks.

      • Raltrios Dislike the new site!

        1 year ago

        You're welcome.

    • HOWtwoROCK

      1 year ago

      Your fail made it into fails of the week

      yay

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        I know. I saw. I made Geoff laugh. It was awesome.

      • HOWtwoROCK

        1 year ago

        I know right

    • HOWtwoROCK

      1 year ago

      Just gonna dump this here tumblr_nzmqzzbChv1sojsjno2_540.jpg

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        Already have, but thanks anyway.

    • ConanEdogawa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold All of 'em Anubis

      1 year ago

      apparently, now mangaconda is shutting down, too.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        I completely forgot about them, to be honest.

      • ConanEdogawa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold All of 'em Anubis

        1 year ago

        really? it's only been a couple weeks, and they're who picked up translating hayate.

    • ConanEdogawa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold All of 'em Anubis

      1 year ago

      good news!

      https://mangaconda.wordpress.com/

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        Yay

    • HOWtwoROCK

      1 year ago

      Ah I noticed you have shante up there

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        Yes. I posted up an image that I had done as a commission. Take a look at it and give it a good look over.

        Also, I never got notification of a comment here.

    • ConanEdogawa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold All of 'em Anubis

      1 year ago

      so, for days now my "users I follow" feed has been empty, and I assumed it was just because of another stupid update that they'd fix sooner or later.

      what f**king idiot thought automatically having us unfollow everyone was a good idea?

    • HOWtwoROCK

      1 year ago

      deleted the picture that freaked you out. Sorry, didn't think it would hit you so hard

    • IronBridge FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Flibbity Jibbit

      1 year ago

      I upload new and interesting facts everyday in my series:

      "Fact of The Day"

      Hope to see you there!

    • RedUnit10

      1 year ago

      Hey Ca, do you get a notification when I make a comment post?

    • HOWtwoROCK

      1 year ago

      I was watching Fate Stay night unlimited blade works (Tv show). Why the fuck wouldn't archer just use his phantasm on the little german girl who had Bezerker?

    • zogman1

      1 year ago

      you didn't get a notification about any of my image comments, did you?

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        1 year ago

        I don't think I have, no.

    • zogman1

      1 year ago

      you didn't get a notification about any of my image comments, did you?

      • zogman1

        1 year ago

        This wasn't a double post originally O_o

    • RedUnit10

      1 year ago

      When you vote in ISML, be sure to also nominate the spring seasonals.

    • RedUnit10

      1 year ago

      ISML is back.

    • ConanEdogawa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold All of 'em Anubis

      2 years ago

      I saw an image posted by you on my feed of a pink haired girl on the beach, but when I clicked to view it, it was gone. could I get a link to it?

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        You're welcome.

        I wasn't certain about how safe it was initially, but I think I'll be putting it up again later.

      • ConanEdogawa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold All of 'em Anubis

        2 years ago

        thank you.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        Try here.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        She was a blonde, actually. I'll see what I can do about it.

    • HOWtwoROCK

      2 years ago

      Is Dog Days a good show for kids?

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        I call it a kiddie show, but there are a few fanservice scenes featuring female nudity.

        You can't see anything, but it's there.

    • Raltrios Dislike the new site!

      2 years ago

      Here, I think you might like this. It's another work by Sharkbro.

      • Raltrios Dislike the new site!

        2 years ago

        No problem, I was just looking over some of his other stuff and looking for familiar faces.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        I think I already have that in the Odin Sphere folder. I'll have to check. If not, thanks for the find.

    • dragon55128 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Crazy_texan

      2 years ago

      well%2Bthen.JPG
      this happened smiley13.gif

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        Go nuts.

      • dragon55128 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Crazy_texan

        2 years ago

        lol I figured you would like me to share this smiley13.gif

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        C.C. appreciates a fine ass.

        Kallen likes them curvy up top.

        They both win.

    • RedUnit10

      2 years ago

      Hey Ca, you watching the second season of Knights of Sidniona?

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        No. I though I'd wait for Netflix to stream it, if they get the license.

    • RedUnit10

      2 years ago

      Was it you who posted that super cute comic about Bell as a Rabbit?

      • RedUnit10

        2 years ago

        Damn, been trying to find it.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        I don't think so.

    • HOWtwoROCK

      2 years ago

      Is this tame? pbs.twimg.com/media/CBnINtOUAAAmA_V.png

      • HOWtwoROCK

        2 years ago

        ok

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        Dear God no. That can result in you getting banned.

      • HOWtwoROCK

        2 years ago

        Okay now delte the first comment

      • HOWtwoROCK

        2 years ago

        I see

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        Borderline, and in my opinion, on the wrong side of the line.

    • ConanEdogawa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold All of 'em Anubis

      2 years ago

      this safe enough for me to post?

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        I see it's listed as questionable, but aside from Esdeath nearly falling out of her suit, I can't see anything that would get it deleted.

        But of course, it's all about the personal taste of the mod that will get you. I think it's fine, personally.

    • gi_goku FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Tacos

      2 years ago

      Tatsuya Shiba is a troll among trolls sometimes xD

    • Star357

      2 years ago

      I have been taking a lot of my anime choices recently from the image gallery you have been posting. Right now I am on Akame Ga Kill about 1/3 through it and already seen a number of characters die. I am guessing it gets worse as the series goes on huh?

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        Yeah, and people are not about it.

        It seemed to go more with shock value than anything else.

    • RedUnit10

      2 years ago

      ISML is back.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        Well, I'll have to check it out later.

    • gi_goku FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Tacos

      2 years ago

      CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon trailer

    • Raltrios Dislike the new site!

      2 years ago

      No idea what you said, obviously. Cool.

      • Raltrios Dislike the new site!

        2 years ago

        Clearly.

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        It was me ending the conversation.

    • shadow15

      2 years ago

      hi hi! :)



      hugz-natz

      • shadow15

        2 years ago

        you and I both actually

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        Hurting financially. My own fault, really.

      • shadow15

        2 years ago

        long time no talk whats going on?

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        Hello.

    • HOWtwoROCK

      2 years ago

      x2jywtxdpxnphoxlbldt.gif

    • HOWtwoROCK

      2 years ago

      I think you're new neptune picture experinced an error because I can't comment on it

      • HOWtwoROCK

        2 years ago

        oh okay

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        No, I deleted it because Dark already had that image, and they can get a little pissy when that happens.

    • ConanEdogawa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold All of 'em Anubis

      2 years ago

      enjoy. www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium...

      • CaButler FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        I've seen it. Won't ever post it.

  • CaButler's Pictures

    CaButler's Albums


    Images

  • Questions answered by CaButler

    Why?

    | Asked by: zogman1 6 months ago

    Because!

    I'm really Carlone Butler, the NBA player.