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  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks and The Now Show
  • Reading: Hero of a Thousand Faces
  • Watching: Let's Plays and Sword Arts Online
  • Playing: Dragon Quest 9
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Hello guys, sorry for the lack of activity here (or anywhere else) for a while. Work has been insanely busy and in my spare time I've been sorting out the cast for the second episode of Legacy of a Stray Wolf and starting the editing process (which will hopefully take a lot less time to make than the last episode) as well as recently looking for an artist to help me with 'Project Spark'.

Anyways enough talk about work, it's time for me to attempt to make another DA journal meme for writers to take part in. This time we're going to have to tap a little further into the mindsets of some of the writers here on DA and call for a little introspection with these six questions.

1) How would you describe your writing style? And (if you can) your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
2) What is your favourite and least favourite genre to write for?
3) If you could remake/revisit one of your earliest works, which one would it be and why?
4) Is there a concept you've seen in another story that would like explore in your own writing?
5) If you had the chance to write an adaptation of an existing work, what would it be a why?
6) What is the maddest idea you've ever considered for a story?


Right, I guess I'd better start things off.

1) How would you describe your writing style and (if you can) your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?
My writing seems to focus on character driven action stories and whilst I usually try to keep it light hearted and add some humour to release the tension (add allow the characters to show off who they are), dark and/or depressing elements do start to creep in once things get serious.
People tell me my strengths are coming up with ideas for plots and characters in general and I have had some positive feedback about I write/choreograph fight sequences, but I couldn't say more than that without more feedback.
Weaknesses...I have one big one. Because I have so many ideas at once, I often leapt straight onto them right away without thinking them through 100%, which results in two things, 1) I leave a story half finished (Heroic Heart and Maternal Moon are glaring at me right now) or 2) I panic when I get to something I haven't thought about it and make a quick fix or just let it drop, which leads to some of my weaker moments in the stories (McDuck's 3rd Solo battle in Cyber Realm is a sad example of this) and I've also been told my writing ends up following generic action clichés as well. Another minor weakness is that whilst can write the occasional joke, I cannot write a purely comedic series to save my life, hence why I always have comedy supporting a story or a review, never being the sole focus.

2) What is your favourite and least favourite genre to write for?
I would say my favourite genre is action, but since that's too board, I'll narrow it down to fantasy, simply because it allows my imagination to go wherever it wants to go, although I do like to branch out to sci-fi occasionally.
My least favourite would probably horror. I enjoy creating characters first and foremost, so the idea of creating lead characters and then having to kill most of them off really depresses me. Plus I am really squish when it comes to gore (and yet I like to write action, weird huh?).

3) If you could rewrite/revisit one of your earliest works, which one would it be and why?
I always have the urge to go back and revisit a lot of my works from university usually because there was at least one concept I kind of liked and wanted to revisit.
For example, I have strong desire to write a new story for Coye (the lead from a story called Heroic Heart), who was a small timid boy and a terrible fighter, but (because of the traditions of the village he grew up in) was forced to try and become a hero. The original story was only half complete due to the time limit of my course (I ended the film with 'to be continued') and I'm too afraid to finish it because since then, the movie 'How to Train Your Dragon' came out, and my original story hits the same marks, and there's no way I'll be to convince people that it was a genuine coincidence that I came up with the same idea as Dreamworks around the same time. Want really drew to Coye was the he had to express his thoughts and feelings through his actions rather than dialogue (he was inspired by Link after all) and the idea of strength through kindness rather than physical ability. I have an idea of creating series kind of like Dr Who where Coye arrives in a town and solves their problems in his own way, but that's something I'll have to think about.
I also keep having ideas for the 'Mirrored Blades' universe, which is strange because it was one my earliest and frankly one of my most unoriginal works (I didn't even try to hide the fact that Haru was based on Hiruma Kenshin), and yet even after writing the one shot 'Broken Blades' I keep having ideas for new stories based on those characters and I even have basic ideas for new ones. Maybe I want to fill the massive gaps of universe? Give them some closure by writing good stories for them? Who knows?

4) Is there a concept you've seen in another story that would like explore in your own writing?
One concept that always intrigues me is amnesia, but now for the usual reasons. People always use amnesia as a lazy motive or a way to skip setting up a character at the start of the story, and the rest of the plot (until the very last act) consists of the hero going 'I can't remember who I am', 'I must find out the secrets of my past' etc. But personally I'm more fascinated by what happens when they don't get their memories back, when the characters have start their lives over again and create a new life and/or identity for themselves. It's hard to explain to why, but the issue of creating a new identity is something that really appeals to me, and whilst I've touched on it briefly in other works (mostly roleplays) I'd definitely love to try and explore this concept in more depth in the future.

5) If you had the chance to write an adaptation (or a universal reboot) of an existing work, what would it be a why?
Of course I'd love to make an adaptation of some of my favourite stories such as The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, or Hitchikers guide, but honestly? One thing I would really like to do is a reboot of Buck Bumble.
For those who don't know, Buck Bumble was third-person dogfighting game for the N64 (and I think PC as well?), which saw the title character, a cyborg bee, taking on an army of mutated 'super insects' known as The Herd that want to take over the garden and beyond. To me, this is an awesome concept that could make for some unique moments (fire fights around garden gnomes, desperately running for cover as rain bombards the battle field etc.) and Buck himself has a badass character design, but it didn't get to use its full potential as the characters (especially the villains) had no personality and the landscapes tended to be bland barren fields of mud with the occasional spade, pond, or wheel barrel to remind us it's not supposed to be a generic shooter.
So if I had a chance, I love to explore as much of the concept as I could and just build a large universe around Buck, create new villains that can interact with our hero (maybe generals of The Herd?), give a face to the general who keeps giving Buck orders off screen, and just go wild with the whole miniature scale warfare. At the very least it would a lot of fun.

6) What is the maddest idea you've ever considered for a story?
Two spring to mind off hand. One was a parody of Shonen anime that had one of the characters using a sword that was also a guitar called (brace yourselves for an awful pun) a 'Guitana'...I still facepalm when I think about that one.
The other is two of favourite gaming franchises into a crossover, the Tales RPGs and Donkey Kong. Yes I know the two series are nothing alike, but I believe crossovers are more fun when the two series have little in common, and hey, if someone made a crossover of Phoniex Wright and My Little Pony and somehow made it work, there's no reason this can't work as well.

And that's the lot, if you ever decide to attempt this, please send me a link, as I'd love to see how you all answer these questions.

Till next time ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks and The Now Show
  • Reading: Manga Updates
  • Watching: Let's Plays and Bodacious Space Pirates
  • Playing: Dillion's Rolling Western
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Ayup

I'll be honest, there are times when I thought I'd never reach this point. At the time of writing, Cyber Realm reached its finale on SmackJeeves/Suits and Sandals at the same time the first episode of one of my other pet projects, Legacy of a Stray Wolf (an online radioplay), was finally uploaded to Youtube after countless set-backs. It is just a great relief to finally reached this milestone, and I would like my fans for helping to make this far.

Now as I've said elsewhere, once I've finished the Q and A video, I will be taking a break from Cyber Realm to focus on other projects and plan for Season Two (maybe I should come up with a better title), but some of you may have been wondering what exactly I was planning to move onto exactly.

Well whether you were interested or not, here's a sample of just some of the projects I plan to move onto now Cyber Realm has reached a conclusion.

1: LEGACY OF A STRAY WOLF [Radio Play]
One episode down, five more to go; This is the first time I've attempted to make a radio play, but I'm having a lot of fun with it I must say, I'm having a lot of fun with it, and I'm gaining valuable experience from working with the actors and trying out new tricks in editing.
First Episode can be found here if you're curious:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK82of…

2: SAMOOCHI [Web Comic/Hand Drawn]
You've already seen a couple of concept art and/or beta pages in my gallery, but after working with a good friend of mine, we've been reworking the story and just finalising the details of the core cast. I'm currently scripting the first issue and hopefully we'll get started on this pretty soon. Maybe I'll upload some teaser images in the meantime.

3: PROJECT SPARK [Original Flash Series]
I'm taking my time with this one, mostly because I want to try and make it a long running original web series. The script for the first episode is complete, but this time I want the animation/art to be at least 80% done before I start looking for music and voice actors like I did the last time (where I hired voice actors before I even knew if the project was even possible on my timescale). Like with Samoochi, I may teaser images from time to time if you guys are interested.

4: PROJECT YETI
My first attempt at writing the storyline for a video game; the rest of the details are classified for now.

5: AUDIO BOOKS
Dramatic readings of some of my written work...simple enough really. That said I need to actually finish a lot of writing projects I'm working on first.

There are also a couple of silly project ideas I have on the side, but I'll talk about them another time.
So yeah, lots of things to be getting on with, I hope you enjoy them when they come out.

Until next time,
Cherrio ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks and The Now Show
  • Reading: Manga Updates
  • Watching: Let's Plays and Bodacious Space Pirates
  • Playing: Xenoblade Chronicles
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Alrighty I got bored and decided to try to fill another DA meme I found on LitteLynn's page, but before I do that, allow me to fill you in a one a few things.

I just got a new part time job which means my time is being eaten up again, so most of projects will be slowing down for the moment; however I will try and push myself to finish the lastest Cyber Realm issue as soon as possilbe (I'm almost at the end I can't give up now!), but it also means 'Project Spark' and Maternal Moon will be delayed for a while longer.
I'm currently working with a friend of mine, Sven the Crusader, in writing a new hand drawn comic series which I hope to start after Cyber Realm has finished (maybe even before). I won't give too much infomation about it now, but if you look through DA gallery you can probably find out what it is very quickly.
Also there will no video work camera for a while. Whilst sword training, there was an accident and long story short, I took a sword to the face. It's not too bad, the wound is healing pretty quickly and I can still eat or talk, but I've been told not to stretch the lips around too much which means I can't do any exagerated expressions, which means I can only do camerawork with a wooden face and hoping no one comments on the scar.

And now let's get onto this meme, time to answer random questions!

1. What are you listening to right now?

Either Xenoblade's sountrack or some random rock/metal  track (Black Tide). Also last night I got bored and started putting some songs into audacity and changing the pitch of the song just to see what they sounded like. It's strange/amussing thing to do as half of the Tales opening themes sound like folk songs, and Waking Up (Shadow the Hedgehog), Time is Running Out (Muse), and The Meaning of Truth (F-Zero anime) sound strangely good with higher/female sounding singer.

2. What's the best thing you've seen on DA in the past month (whether it be a pic, a story, a journal or whatever)?  Post a link if at all possible.  ^_^

Hmmm, well I do like the design of this picture
wuduo.deviantart.com/art/Kunoi…
Yeah it has elements of 'the male gaze' about it, but I'm a sucker for ninjas/kimonos, plus I jealous of anyone who can colour pictures that well (why must your secrets elude me photoshop!!!)

3. Do you consider yourself more lawful, neutral or chaotic?  

Lawful to the extreme; I always follow instructions for anything I do and I always feel akward or shamefull whenever I break them. This also extends to video games where I'm always nice to everyone and always going for the good option. PARAGON FOR LIFE! ^_^

4. If your favorite hero and your favorite villain (who may or may not be from the same story) duked it out, who would win?

Donkey Kong vs Yggdrasil (from Tales of Symphonia?) that would be too close. I mean yeah, Yggdrasil has 4000 years of experience and incredible angellic powers, but Donkey Kong once punched the moon into the planet.

5. What's your favorite dinosaur?

When I was kid it was the Triceratops, but over time I've warmed to the Stegosaurus, espeically after watching this clip a few times, it just makes it seem badass to me ^_^
www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUdcrY…

6. What's your favorite Pokemon?

Sandslash; it just embodies bad-assery to me.

7. Tell me something you dislike, that everyone else around you seems to enjoy.

Ohh that's a tough one. I'm not as fond of Tri-Cresendo games (Eternal Sonata, Baten Kaitos, etc.) as much as some people. I don't know why, there's something about the way they try to artistic and then either fail miserably or go for the easy shallow answer (War! What is it good for!) that just really gets to me for some reason.

8. Tell me something you enjoy, that everyone else seems to not even know exists.

Either Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber, a DS climber/platformer that did not get as much recognition as it should in my opinion, or a relativly new anime called Bodacious Space Pirates. Yeah I know the title makes it sound like a dumb action/harem anime, but it's actually a well thought out character driven story that is prepared to take it's time with the plot and doesn't leap straight into the action, so if you don't mind a slow paced anime, I'd definetly recommend that you give it a look.

9. What's your favorite movie trilogy?

Probably Star Wars the original, but I haven't seen taht many film triologies, so I don't have options

10. Because I'm completely shameless (and out of ideas), what's your favorite page of Rain?

Now that's a tricky one. If I had to choose, I'd say either "Out of Pratice" (99) or "All-nighter" (100), just because it captures the various experience of trying to play a hard video game after a long time. Honerable mention goes to "This" and that one page where Rudy keeps asking Rain questions (I forget the page number/name) just because I like the punchlines.

11. Seriously.  What's with this meme and the number eleven?  Whatever happened to the nice clean 10 question memes?

Because people like to go one step beyond! (Sorry  I couldn't resist)


And that's your lot, now as per the rules, here are some questions for you guys to answer if you want.

1) What's your favorite food?
2) Which do watch more these days, web videos or television?
3) Are there any odd words you like to use in coversation?
4) Has there ever been a fictional character you've indentified with?
5) What's your favorite quote (real or fictional)?
6) Did you ever have a nerd crush? if so who?
7) What's your favorite attack/special move from a video game or anime?
8) What do you like best about where you live?
9) If you had the chance, would you want to be immortal?
10) What's the dumbest thing you've heard in this past month?
11) Why!?

Until next time, cherrio ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks and The Now Show
  • Reading: Manga Updates
  • Watching: Video Reviews and Let's Plays
  • Playing: Tales of the Abyss
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Ayup
Ok, after a really tough editing project in real-life which devoured all my free time, I feel the need to relax and have some fun, so after seeing this meme in one of Little Lynn's journals, I thought I'd try it out. The idea behind this meme is that your supposed to answer these Pokemon related topics over 30 days, but just like Lynn, I've decided to just get it done in one journal rather than spreading it out, so enjoy ^_^

Day 01: Favourite Pokémon
Sandslash. I don't know why, but the simplicity of its design always gave it an badass aura in my eyes, plus it's one of the faster ground types in the game

Day 02: Least favourite Pokémon
Hmmm....I'm really not fond of Mewtwo personally; He completely broke the first generation with his overpowered stats (it didn't help that psychics had almost no weaknesses back then). That said, I dislike Zubat and Golbat even less, just the sheer amount of ways they pester you throughout the first four generations.

Day 03: Favourite starter Pokémon
If we're talking about just the starting form, then Tepig. If we're talking about the whole line, then it's a tie between Charizard and Blaziken.

Day 04: Favourite Eeveelution
Either Jolteon or Glaceon.

Day 05: Favourite legendary Pokémon
Kyorge. That beast just looks so awesome that I use it every time I play through Sapphire, and really love the concept behind it as well; a pokemon powerful enough to create the oceans of the world is one you should respect in my opinion.

Day 06: Most terrifying Pokémon
Mespirit, Azelf, or Uxie. These guys seem harmless, but they can rob you of your memories, emotions, or even take your will and leave you as a silent motionless husk. It's a fascinating concept...but it scares the crap out of me!

Day 07: Most adorable Pokémon
Tepig, Sandshrew, Biltzle, Mew, and Charmander (in Pokemon Snap anyway)

Day 08: Most amusing Pokémon
Raichu when it surfs on its tail.

Day 09: Favourite Pokémon type
I don't have a particular favourite, but if I had to choose one I'd say fire...not sure why though.

Day 10: Least favourite Pokémon type
Either normal for its blandness or Poison for being so annoying in the wild.

Day 11: Favourite new Pokémon from Black & White
I'd say either Tepig (because it's cute), Meishao (because I'm a martial arts nerd), or Excadrill (spiritual successor to Sandslash)

Day 12: Favourite Pokémon attack or move
Hyper Beam. I just love the idea of a pokemon focusing all of its energy into one glourious beam attack.

Day 13: If you lived in the Pokémon world, what would you be?
I'd probably be a gym leader (or training to be one), but like the Unova leaders, I'd have a part time job on the side to pay the bills. Not sure what that second job would be though; probably a film editor or an admin guy.

Day 14: If you were a gym leader, what would be your speciality?
Either fighting or fire; and I'd have a very simple gimmick in my gym (because I have feeling those puzzles are very expensive and take forever to set up)

Day 15: Favourite region in the Pokémon world
Unova.  There's just a greater variety of locations and things to do.

Day 16: If you could live anywhere in the Pokémon world, where would it be?
Somewhere quiet and peaceful, so either Fortree City (it would be cool living in a tree house) or the Village Bridge (I really like at aesthetics of that place for some reason).

Day 17: If you could be any Pokémon, what would you be?
I would with either Sandslash (just because it's awesome), or a Pokemon that could fly (maybe Starapter so I could look badass at the same time).

Day 18: Favourite Gym Leader
The one that sticks out in my mind is Flannery; I love underdogs and the poor girl was trying so hard to match up to previous leaders.

Day 19: Favourite Elite 4 member/Champion
Either Bruno or Cynthia. Just because they both have a good design and they remain cool and collected under pressure.

Day 20: Favourite Pokémon Professor
Professor Rowan; his questions about evolution always intrigued me.

Day 21: Favourite Pokémon bad guys
Team Magma/ Team Aqua. Not only were these guys the first team to have a goal beyond 'steal pokemon and make money', they were the first set of teams to actively compete against each other, and their battles in Emerald were some of the coolest moments in the series, plus I like that both are basically environmental extremists, it just adds an interesting dimension to the whole conflict.

Day 22: Favourite Rival
I know some people will disagree with me on this, but I always considered N a rival, and because of that, I'd definitely say he was the rival the greatest development in the series (with Cherion coming in a close second). When you first meet him, he's an self-righteous prick who quick to make judgements of everyone around him with his extreme views, but as time passes, you begin to realise that he is simply an innocent child who can't grasp the fact that not everything is good and bad or black and white (see what I did there?) and as such is being used by his father as a tool to defeat the elite four and force everyone to give up their pokemon so he can rule over all. It's kind of tragic when you think about it like that.

Day 23: A Pokémon which reminds you of a friend
I can't say any remind of my friends, but Squirtle and Flareon do remind me of my sister since those two were her favourites.

Day 24: A Pokémon you'd find useful in real-life
Anything that can use Fly.  That would save me a fortune on petrol.

Day 25: A Pokémon based on your favourite animal
Wingull....don't judge me!

Day 26: A Pokémon that is your favourite colour
Favorite color: Orange
Favorite orange Pokemon: Charizard

Day 27: Favourite Pokémon game
Pokémon Black.  The story was one of the best (if not the best) in the entire franchise, the gameplay and world design was top notch, the soundtrack was awesome, and any complaints I had with were pretty minor honestly.

Day 28: What did you nickname your rival?
When I wasn't lazy by just calling him Blue or Gary, I named him Kazza. See one of my childhood nicknames was Pazza, so I used the Super Mario logic of taking that name and changing the first letter. The saddest part is I thought I was being clever back then.

Day 29: Favourite Pokémon tune or song
Cynthia's Battle Theme: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yWMOz…
I don't know why but that theme just strikes a chord with me. It's hard to describe, but to me it is the perfect theme for a nail-biting battle and I was so happy when it got a remix in Pokemon Black (two if you include the build up theme before the battle).

Day 30: Most nostalgic element of Pokémon
Now that's a tough one. For me, the most nostalgic experience of Pokemon is either talking about it with other people and trading experiences, favourite pokemon, strategies, etc, or starting another game (be it a new or a new run of an old game) and remembering just why you fell in love with this series all over again.

And that's the lot. I hope you enjoyed it and you're more than welcome to join in yourselves, and if you do, send me a link, it's interesting to see how different people respond to this franchise.

Until next time, cherrio ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks and The Now Show
  • Reading: Secrets of the Samurai and Rurouni Kenshin
  • Watching: Video Reviews and Let's Plays
  • Playing: BlazBlue and Skyward Sword
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Ayup, it's time to go back to my usual journals.
As many of you will know, Cyber Realm is going pretty well, the finale's being set up and at the time I'm typing this, there are only two more episodes (one being a 10-12 page one) and two more pages to go! Unfortunately this is the ONLY thing that's managed to progress at this point (and even that is under threat as the laptop I normally make the comics on is starting to go crazy, but I'm getting off topic).
You see, with me getting a new job recently and so many other life events (including Christmas preparations), keeping up the weekend deadline for each page is only getting harder (heck the reason I didn't update a fortnight ago was because I was caught out and found myself trying to rush through the process and making little progress), which I don't mind, since it's keeping me disciplined and I'm making great progress through the series...
but right now that progress comes at the cost of everything other project I've wanted to work on in the past three weeks.
Right now, there's a radioplay which I'm supposed to edit, a novel that hasn't moved for quite a while, a new original series I've been trying to get off the ground (which you'll soon see a teaser of here), and the new serial Maternal Moon (which I hope you guys have read) which took far took for me write the first chapter, not to mention all the stuff I make for my Jonin Monkey account on youtube, and currently the only time I can set aside to work on them is in the evenings, when I'm also checking messages and watching internet videos, as well as being tired and thinking of going to bed, which as you can imagine doesn't get a lot of work done.
As a result, I've come to this decision; when CR Season One is finally over, when A.S and the others have beaten the N-Core and everything is at peace, I'm taking a long, long, LONG break from anything to do with Cyber Realm (apart from the 2nd Q and A video), so I can finally give these original projects a chance.
Don't get me wrong, I have no plans to abandon the series (even without people signing up, there are still many things I want to share with you guys in Season Two), but I think I need to focus on something else so I try new things and get sick of the series so I can come back to it with a fresh mind and maybe some tricks I've learned durring the break.
So yeah, I hope you enjoy the finale of Cyber Realm on Smackjeeves (I promise I'll get back to posting the old parts on DA one of these days) and I also hope you enjoy all the other projects I have planned.

On a lighter note, I don't know why, but this song has been stuck in my head for days, I don't even the know the freaking language, so I might as well share the awesomeness/frightening addiction with you all, enjoy! *Sinister Grin*
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf8PGx…

Cherrio ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks and The Now Show
  • Reading: Gun Blaze West
  • Watching: Video Reviews, The Runaway Guys, and Kamen Rider W
  • Playing: BlazBlue and Skyward Sword
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Ayup

This is going to be a departure from my usual content, but I felt it was important to post this, especially since I didn't post anything for any other remembrance days up until this point. If this is the kind of thing you dislike, please just bare with me and I'll get back to my regular content soon, but this is something I feel I have to post.

Today, 20th November, has officially been marked as 'Transgender Day of Remember', in other words a day to remember people who were attacked and murdered for the simply being who they are, killied because some people are so fixated on gender roles that they cannnot accept those who don't fit into those roles.

Now I'm not a transgender but I do know one or two people both online and in real life who are, and it pains me to know that people like them, friendly people who aren't doing anything wrong, could be killed for such petty reasons is just heartbreaking. Plus I tend to by the Lloyd Irving/Tales of Symphonia philosophy of 'Everyone has the right to live freely no matter who they', so know that anyone would kill another human being because of vain reasons such as race or gender which they can't control just saddens and angers me to no end; and before anyone buts in, no they can't control it.

To transgenders their physical and mental genders aren't the same; it's not a case of starting off female but choosing to be male (or vice versa) but a case of always being male but somehow ending up in a female body, and scientific studies show that trying to suppress it artificially (hypnosis etc.) just results in chronic depression and in some cases schizophrenia. It's a tough life, one that is hard to understand from the outside (hell I doubt this little explanation does it justice), but the least anyone can do is accept who they are and treat them like any other human being, it's not that much to ask is it?

So yeah, spare a moment to think about it, spread the word if you want to, and at the very least try to be understanding, because (ToS Quote again) from the moment they are born, everyone has the right to live.

Until next time.
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Nothing
  • Watching: Video Reviews, The Runaway Guys, and Kamen Rider W
  • Playing: Solatarobo (DS)
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Ayup

At last the animations are completed, I have a lot of free time on my hands and whilst I'm still working on other projects, I am also in an artistic mood and I want to get back into drawing and character design as well push the limits of my drawing styles, so I've set up this little challenge for myself.

Create twenty characters based on a some basic suggestions from other people.

Basically it's your chance to request me to create a character for you (in full colour in everything), so if your curious or feel like helping me out, simply fill out the form below in the comments.
There is only one rule here and that is, NO PORNOGRAPHY (sexy characters maybe, but not nudists)

Style: Type A or Type B
Gender: Male or Female (Or anything else)
Job: Speaks for itself
Keywords: No more than five

For example...

Style: Type B
Gender: Male
Job: High Schooler
Keywords: rogue sword scar moody furry

And if anyone's wandering what the difference between Type A and B is, check out this picture: animasword.deviantart.com/art/…

So yeah, leave your suggestions in the comments below and I'll start drawing.

I look forward to seeing what you guys leave for me.
Till next time ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Nothing
  • Watching: Video Reviews, The Runaway Guys, and Kamen Rider W
  • Playing: Mass Effect (PC)
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Ayup

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this journal so I might as well get you up to speed.
Sadly I haven’t been able to get as much work done as I’d have liked because, to put it bluntly, work’s been eating all my time at the moment. For those who don’t know, my job at the moment is freelance animator for hire and currently I’m working on my first paid animation job since...well, ever. The only problem is it has a strict deadline of July 2nd, which means I have to push everything aside in order to focus on getting this thing finished, and when I say everything, I mean everything.
Regular CR readers probably know that I had to take a break from the series to lighten my workload but I’ve quickly realised that it’s going to have to take a lot more than that. I’ve had to stop editing and recording the latest VGT episodes, I’ve had to stop working on my novel, hell I’ve even had to stop playing video games as much as I normally do.
Still, there is a healthy payment at the end of it, and I only put up with it for one more week, so I just have to push myself and get it sorted, and if nothing else, it’s given me the chance to animate a wide variety of scenes I’ve never done before (a concert at night is one I’m strangely proud of).
Hopefully when it’s finally done, I’ll get some free time on my hands again so I get some content out for both this starved DA account and my old Youtube profile.

Till next time.
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Nothing
  • Watching: Video Reviews and The Runaway Guys
  • Playing: Super Street Fighter 4 3D
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
This is something I thought I might share with you guys for fun. To give this a much clearer title, these are...

'Five Stories I've Always Wanted to Write (but haven't done so yet)!'

If you've like to do this yourself, the rules are simple. Share five story ideas you've always wanted to write, but haven't for some reason, be it creative block, lack or knowledge/skill, or just plain laziness.
If you have a title or basic blurb for your story, you can post it here too, but it's not a definite requirement.
And with that, let's get started.

1) Sports Story
This is a strange one consider the only time I ever show an interest in sports is in either the olympics or the football/soccer world cup, and even then it's not a diehard interest. That said, sports do give you a lot of material to work with storywise; a team of characters that need to work together, a wise mentor/coach who tries to show them the way, rivals, action, heart pounding moments, injuries, losses etc, so the idea of trying my hand at all of that stuff really wets my apatite.
Unfortunately, I always ask myself a series of questions which I can never answer and it leaves me unable to do anything
First, what sport do you use? The only sport I've ever played or know anything about is football/soccer, and honestly that's ground that's been done to death. Part of me wants to make it an obscure sport that no one knows about (like Beach Football or Table Tennis) maybe use a womens version of a popular sport (since those never get any coverage), but the gaps in my knowledge of those subject are way too big to even consider writing about those.
I've also thought about making it based around a fictional sport or putting a twist on it and making it about a team of gamers (entering something like a fighting game tournament) instead, but then I ask myself if anyone would even be interested in that, so I gave up.
The second fatal question is, how long do I want this series to last? I'd prefer to make it a single tournament so that I have a strict deadline of when it has to end so I don't get bored and give up, but at the same time, depending on how the tournament is run, there's no room for losses or failures, so it becomes a series of predictable last minute saves and the whole thing becomes boring. Plus if I make it a long running league, there's every chance that I'll run out of ideas and repeat many story elements and just the whole experience repetitive.
Still, if I ever find the answers to these questions, I'd definitely give this a shot.

2) Plot for a Fighting Game
This one's always has always come up against the gaint obstacle of me not knowing anything about developing a game, so that's always non-starter, but I have always enjoyed the stories of fighting games. so I've always been tempting to try my hand at it.
I'd say the greatest appeal of this is that the characters are the very core of all fighting games, so coming up with a large amount of characters, making all unique, and writing their various interactions (not to mention all of their fighting styles and attack names) is definitely a challenge I want to attempt someday.

3) Mystery/Detective Series
Again, I've wanted to try my hand at this after watching a few too many episodes of Marple and Sherlock, but I've run into some obstacles.
Surprisingly it's not the mystery part that's giving me problems, in fact I've actually planed out most of the mystery and how it's solved in my head already.
No, the biggest problem is the leading character. For some reason I can never decide what I want my mystery solving detective to me. There have been so many ideas I've brought up and tossed out, it's ridiculous; In order, my detective/s have from a team of a ghost and a young girl, a woman with multiple personalities, a talking cat, and a young plus old team, and I'm still undecided when it comes to this, so unil that gets sorted out, the mysteries will remain unsolved...and unnoticed.

4) Heroes of Darkness
This is a twofold concept. The first part of it was inspired by a line in Final Fantasy III (DS version), when an NPC says 'when the light got too out of control, four heroes of darkness appeared and managed to save the day', and it was little twist on a standard cliché that made want to try and explore that concept.
That spark has since mellowed out due to the fact that I've done a lot of fantasy role plays already, and I couldn't think of a way to make a concept work without making it either patronising, depressingly dark, or just plain silly.
But I have also considered trying to make a sympathetic character out of a dark concept, like maybe portraying a vampire of succubus in a more positive light, but that may also be thoroughly worn out ground at this point. Still may be interesting to try.

5) A Dream Story
This is going to sound really strange, but part of me is really interested in the reality bending/astroplain concept where thought becomes reality, and I've often crafted the basic ideas for stories in my head of people either having a kind of 'dream battle' so to speak, or somehow confronting the worst parts of their psyche. However it's hard to find a new direction to take this in without accidently cloning many other stories such as Inception, Persona, Psychonauts, some episodes of X-Men etc, and it's also easy to turn the dream thing into a thin excuse for shonen style battles (kind of like what spirits became for Bleach) so it's a subject I have to think about very careful before going ahead with it. That said, the idea of foregoing the rules of reality and creating whatever you want (as well as using that to reveal layers about the character), is definitely tempting.


And that's that. Five stories I've yet to write (if I ever get round to them). If you like any of these, leave a comment and give a feedback, if you want to write your version of this going right ahead (maybe a post a link, I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with) ^_^

Until then, cheerio.
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Nothing
  • Watching: Video Reviews
  • Playing: Pokemon Black
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
At last there appears to be some vague progress in both my online work and my real life...however small it is.
My real life has certainly given me the kick up the arse I needed to get back into animation as I've started making animations for several organisations, and once again I'm being pushed to try some new things I've never done before, including underwater scenes and lobsters (I even get to feed lobsters every once in a while these days as well), and some people have even suggested that I should go freelance and start my own business...which I'm considering, but haven't decided on anything yet.
As for online, I've finally managed to get a cast for the radio play, and Cyber Realm is heading straight into the final battle arc, which is a great milestone to reach for me, and I'm even making some progress writing for some other projects I've been working on. Plus a friend of mine, Luffy McDuck is turning one of my oldest ideas, The SMBZ fan movie, into a full comic strip, and honestly, it's been alot of fun going back to an old story and looking at what worked and what didn't work and fixing it.
And yet, dispite all of this stuff going on...my mind STILL has some more ideas it wants to work on. To be fair most of them are ideas to get my old youtube channels and this DA page back up and running with some activity, but it still, it feels like I'm being pulling myself into so many different directions sometimes.
Ah well, I'm making some progress now, so hopefully something will start to happen soon.
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks and Mitch Benn
  • Reading: Buso Renkin
  • Watching: Video Reviews
  • Playing: Megaman ZX Advent and Mario Party 2
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
So whilst browsing DA, I came across this meme in someone's profile, and decided that since none of my work was coming out any faster I'd take a crack at it myself. The rules of the meme are...

*You must post these rules
*Each tagged person must post ten things about themselves on their journal
*You have to choose and tag 10 people and their icons on the same journal
*Go to their pages and tell them you tagged them!
*No tagbacks

However, you guys can ignore the whole tagging issues unless you feel like joining in. Ok here we go...

1: I can't smell...well almost. For reasons I cannot understand, 90% of all the world's smells cannot make it though my nose. The only things I've smelled in my life are cigerettes, petrol, brimstone, and burning chocolette. Still it has some advantages, like if anyone near me has been eating beens...

2: I very rarely comment on anything. I don't know why, but unless I feel something has to be said to either help someone or support the work I'm viewing, then I can never get the will to type anything out. I guess part of it comes from a fear of people jumping down my throat for making a bad comment (which happened several times in my youth), but most of the time, it's just me not seeing a point to it.

3: I love Corn Flakes to the point where I have them at least twice a day (one in the morning and one at lunch). It always give enough energy and satisfaction to get one with my day.

4: My first ever video game was Super Mario Kart...which probably explains why I've become a big DK/Nintendo fan.

5: I love gituars. Can't play one, but I loving hearing them.

6: I love Yorkie chocolette bars, but it's now a love and hate thing because that stupid sexist campaign they've been running for half of my life now (How can chocolette not be for girls for goodness sake!?!)

7: I'm part of a Dark Age Re-enactment group part time, which basically means every once in a while I get to put on some armour and attack people with blunt weapons. It's fun.

8: Bizarely, I like combat, but hate violence. I love decontructing how battles are found and won, as well as writing my own fight sequences (and I've love to coryograph one someday), but I dislike large ammounts of gore and bloodm to the point where I've never been able to watch Akira again after my first viewing dispite knowing it's a good film (shounen anime like Bleach are the absolute limit of gore for me).

9: I get emotionaly when watching movies or games, but I never cry. The only time I came close to crying was watching Pokemon the First Movie as a kid...and I've never lived it down ever since.

10: My favorite animals are Cats (I like the weird expressions they give people), Foxes (because they look cool), and Seagulls (the only animal on earth that isn't afraid of charging straight into a city to get it's lunch).

And there you have it, ten things you never wanted to know about me. Hope you enjoyed it, and I'll see you next time.
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks and Mitch Benn
  • Reading: Bleach and Black Cat
  • Watching: Video Reviews
  • Playing: Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Righto! It's the new year, my room's been reorgansed, a paying job is appearing on the horizon (along with some unique voluenter positions), so it's time to plan for the future and try to use that momentum to get something done!

Cyber Realm's going pretty well right now since we're nearing the climax of the Pokemon arc, and I keen to get there for three reasons...
1) It's a great milestone to pass
2) It'll lead straight into the final battle arc
3) I CAN FINALLY WORK WITH EASIER BACKGROUNDS!!! (Seriously, you have no idea how hard the Pokemon map and tiles are to work with).

As for videos and animation, I'm currently searching for voice actors for a radio play I've written based on an old role play I did a while back, and the co-creator of Raigeki is considering turning that series into a webcomic instead, which turn out to be for the better.

I'm also thinking about diving into the world of motion comics as a way to make videos that are close to animation with the limited time I have (in fact DKU may go down this route if I still can't progress down the line).

I may also try my hand at a hand drawn comic series, I just need to pin it down to one idea, which will mostly come down to discpline and working out which direction I want to take certain ideas (Samoochi has had a few rewrites since I posted that first page last year).

Ah well, here's hoping at least one of those ideas turns into something good this year.

Till next time

^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Bleach and Fairy Tail
  • Watching: Video Reviews
  • Playing: Alot of old games
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
So...some of might be wondering what the hell's been going on since I'm barely making an appearence anywhere apart from when I upload something to the web (and even that's happening more slowly than usual). Thankfully I can sum what's been happening with one word...jobs.

After a long work placement with a small film studio during a documentary, I've finally hyad a chance to relax...before suddenly starting to apply for another job, which may last for a longer period of time. So unfortunetly my work speed may slow down for a little while (not to mention that there's a ton of comics and stories on Shenanilands I promised people I'd read).

I'm hoping it'll soon reach a point where I can settle down and work out my routine so I can focus on my projects again, but I'm making no promises.

So yeah, that's what's going on right now. Hopefully things will sort themsevles out and next time I can actually write a more interesting journal.

Till then ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Buso Renkin (again)
  • Watching: Fifa World Cup and Bones
  • Playing: Megaman ZX
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Alrighty, times are a changing, Cyber Realm has a new home, and I'm close to get a job (ok, more like work experience, but you get the idea)...but everything else is the same as before. CR is still being updated weekly, prgress is being made on VGT at long last, alot of ideas are in the experiemental stage, and DKU is still moving at the pace of a zombified snail, and the same goes for Raigeki.

It's sad, but for some reason whenever I sit down to any animation...I just draw a blank and end up doing bugger all. I don't know whether I'm just hitting what my friends call 'animator's blank' (kind of like a writer's block) or whether or I've just lost all the drive/confidence I once had to carry me through animation projects since my days in uni. I don't know, maybe I'll be able to break through it, or maybe I just need to rest until I get some inspiration, either way it'll be a while before I find my answer.

Actually there are alot of answers I have to find currently. Since I'm currently job hunting now and looking for jobs in the film industry, I have to ask myself the big question of what's my best skill as well which part of filmmaking I enjoy the most, since realistically, you don't get to do all of the jobs in filmmaking. You can do a few smaller jobs to work up to the one you want, but honestly it's a long climb, and I'm not going to get there by kidding myself that I can do every single job because truthfully, I can't.

Anyways, sorry for treating you guys like my therapist again, let's talk about something more cheerfull.

The World Cup's been looking like a good one so far, so many epic underdog victories, so many tense moments, a few epic comebacks (the USA were really great for those), all of which is definetly giving me the inspiration to write a sports story in the near future.....that said I've got the inspiration to write a murder mystery, an MMORPG based story, a cop show, a sci-fi road trip, and a hiest story based around Boss_Cucoo (a sprite character from my days on VGLan), so it'll have to get in line and wait with the others.

Also, We've now entered the month in July so I'm counting down the days to my birthday and getting childishly excited all over again.

And that's all I have to say now. Thank you for read through all of this. I'll see you next time ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Black Cat (again) and the latest Naruto and Bleach
  • Watching: DKC Returns Trailer...over and over again
  • Playing: Super Mario Galaxy
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
It's funny how life works sometimes isn't it?

I say this because on Tuesday 15th, I watched the Nintendo E3 conference live stream and then saw the trailer for 'Donkey Kong Country Returns' made by Retro Studios (creators of Metroid Prime), and being the DK fanboy I am, I was filled with some much joy that I spent an entire day running round the house and screaming at the top of my lungs.

I woke up on the next day feeling very happy and thinking nothing could dampen my spirits...then VGLan closed down permanently...damn. Whilst you could argue it is only a forum, you have to understand, I spent a good number of years hanging out in that forum and it's also the place where I met Doc Yoshi, Luffy McDuck, WildGamer, and so many other good friends and interesting people, and whilst it wasn't perfect (there one or two egos that were too big for their own good), it was the home and birth place of Cyber Realm, and it was also where I went to catch up with the likes of DK Adventures and Random Royal Rumble, so it's really sad to see it go.

Ah well, try to stay possitive I suppose. It's not like CR has nowhere to go now. I'm still posting old updates here and new ones on SmackJeeves and a new forum Shenanilands, which as I said a few journals ago, has a special Cyber Realm forum, so I guess I can call that CR's new home from now on.

So for now, R.I.P VGLan, Here's to a pleasant future for both Cyber Realm and Donkey Kong.

Until next time.

P.S

Heres the main forum link.
z7.invisionfree.com/Shenanilan…

And here's the two CR Links

z7.invisionfree.com/Shenanilan…
-
z7.invisionfree.com/Shenanilan…
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Black Cat (again) and the latest Naruto and Bleach
  • Watching: Doctor Who and Dogtanian.
  • Playing: Super Mario Galaxy
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Well, as I'm writing this, the Fifa World Cup is hours away from kicking off, and I whilst I'm not a big football/soccer fan (in all honestly the premier league bores to tears), I always enjoy watching international football, so I'm looking forward to it. Plus it looks like a good tournament this year, mostly because I love supporting underdog in both stories and sports, and there are lots of them in this World Cup. Don't get me wrong, I'd be happy if England won the cup as well, since they are my home team and all...but they're really boring to watch and they don't have a chance in hell (Seriously, our team's almost exactly the same as our past three attempts, and none of the players are getting any younger!)

Even so, it hard for me to keep my interest in a match for 90 minuites, so I'll most likely use the matches as a background entertain whilst I attempt to draw comics. Yes, I'm still trying my hand at hand drawn comics, and I've already thought the story for the first chapter, but as always the limits of my artistic skills are still getting to me (the backgrounds...the backgrounds always find some way to screw me over), but I'm trying to overcome them, which isn't easy.

As for everything else? Same as usall. Cyber Realm is still being updated, DKU is still moving slowly, Rageki is still on hold until I get over my animators block (and I hear from my collab partner), VGT is still suffering from technical difficulties, and everything else is still in the planning stages.

Well that's all for now, see you next time. ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Rurouni Kenshin (yet again)
  • Watching: Doctor Who and Dogtanian.
  • Playing: Pokemon Heart Gold and Super Mario Galaxy
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Ayup. After my last theorpy-session/journal I took a breif rest and only focused on Cyber Realm and strangly enough, it seemed to help somewhat. I've finally managed to make myself progress with DKU for the first time in....forever, solved some of the technical issues that were blocking the progress of some of my other videos, finally solve my chracter design problems, and I at last have a (workable) idea for some new videos on my youtube account.

Only problem was I spent my weekend traveling up the country to take part in a dark-age re-enactment, which meant fighting in swords and armour in the intense heat of early summer, which drains your strength pretty quickly, so now I can barely do anything *pained laugh*. Don't worry though, I should be able to recover over the next day or two and get back to work for the next CR update.

Oh! And speaking of Cyber Realm, if you really like that series, you may want to join a new forum called 'Sheanilands', why? Well the creators of the forum were fans of mine, so now Cyber Realm is only hosted there, but has it's own forum for people to hold dicussions about Cyber Realm (and for me to post hints and spoilers for those who are curious), and frankly I don't want it to go to waste, so if this sounds good to you, click the following lnk today!

z7.invisionfree.com/Shenanilan…

And that's all for now. See you next time ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Writing for Pleasure and Profit
  • Watching: Doctor Who, Dogtanian, and Kickassia
  • Playing: Battle Orge 64 and Klonoa (Wii)
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Unfortunetly my mind's decided to conspire against me so everything else grinds to a halt. Oh sure, I can get the CR updates out on time due the timelines I set (as well as the plans I had set out beforehand), but the last arc and the begining of season two is going to be a big problem since I keep coming up with new designs for the big bad and the new cast member (again introduced in season two) and then my mind keeps either having moments of self doubt or coming up with new ideas, to the poitn where I STILL haven't decided on a design for the final villain...which is not a good thing.

As for everything else, either technical difficulties get in the way (which is VGT hasn't updated for a while) or my mind plays tricks on me again and I have a massive mental block that causes me to just stare at the screen until I give up, which is not a good thing to have happening to you when you've got two animations to finish and a youtube channel that really needs some love and attention.

Ah well, I still experimenting with ideas, family are coming to visit soon and like I said, sort of job coming through, so who knows, maybe a quick break will get my mind to focus on the task at hand...hopefully.

So that's all for now, I hope next time I have happier things to talk about (or at least have actual work to show).

See you next time ^_^
  • Listening to: VG Soundtracks
  • Reading: Rurouni Kenshin (again)
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Playing: Battle Orge 64
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Ayup.

I wish I could say alot has happened since the last time we spoke...but that would an utter lie. don't get me wrong, stuff has happened, but only small bits and peices here and there.

In terms of Cyber Realm, I've finally started uploading all my various back issues on here again, so all the new readers on here can catch up. As for those of you from VGLan/Smackjeeves, I'll soon be uploading the latest issue of the Pokemon arc, it's just taking a little longer than expected since I've forgotten how much work tilesets require (Plus forcing the BG's in a new perspective is pretty tough in terms of making it look right).

As for other projects...well, I've been experimenting with bits and pieces to see what works, what doesn't, and what I'm (realistically) able to complete alongside everything else. These include an original comic series (which will most likely be hand-drawn), a written series for DA (since I'm enjoying writing lately), and a new series of videos for my youtube account.

How long will it be till you guys see something? I can't promise anything on the videos, but the comic and stories I'm determined to get start on as soon as I can, I just need to sort out the last few story/planning bugs and get myself started on it.

So yeah, not alot's happening, but I just thought I'd let you in on what was going on.

See you next time ^_^
  • Listening to: Serious Monkey Business (DKC2 OC Remix Album)
  • Reading: The latest Naruto (which is picking up now)
  • Watching: VG Playthroughs...and Avatar obviously
  • Playing: Pokemon Heart Gold and Battle Orge 64
  • Eating: All the things I need to survive
  • Drinking: Apple Juice
Well after missing it in the cinemas and hearing everyone and their grandmother talking about it and either praising it or bashing it (or better yet, comparing it to other movies and claiming it's a 'rip-off'), I've finally managed to rent a copy of one of the most talked about blockbusters of 2009, and I can actually form a valid opinion.

Ladies and Gentlemen...this is my thoughts on James Cameron's latest epic movie...AVATAR! (not to be confused with the last Airbender)

The plot (who those who don't know) is based around a crippled marine named Jake Sully, who's travelled to the planet Pandora to take part in an experiment that's funded by a futuristic corporate giant and surveyed by military. His mind is downloaded into of the body of a "Na'vi" (the race of aliens that inhabit Pandora), and he has to get inside their tribe, learn their ways, and find a way for the corporation to farm their resources. As time goes on, he falls in love with the culture of the Na'vi, and decides to help them fight off the evil corporation and save the planet of Pandora.
So yeah it's a cliched plot with no suprises at all, but that I don't mind. I personally belief that even when a writer uses an overused cliche, they can usally add some twist or veiwpoint on it that makes it their own, or just makes it entertaining, hell, I love Buso Renkin and Skies of Arcadia, and those are some of the most cliched stories out there.

But enough about that, you're want to know what I think right? Well the short answer is...it's alright. It's not great, it's not terrible, it's just ok; to quote the Nostalgia Critic, "It's like a giant flaming ball of adequatecy".

Let's start with the good stuff. As anyone who's seen the trailers can tell you, the visuals are really incredible. The CGI is amazing and whilst the Na'vis do take some getting used to, you end up convincing yourself that you're watching living and breathing creatures by the end of it. Hell, the second act where Jake is learning the culture of the Na'vi and exploring the world of Pandora may be a little slowed paced, but it's definetly the best part of the movie. His sense of wonder and amazement as he interacts with all the various creatures helps to draw you into the world, and whilst some of the concepts require you to suspend both your disbelief and more to believe them (Their hair allows them to merge with creatures? Really?), there are some really cool concepts in there that more than make up for it (Hell, 'Rider of the Last Shadow' sounds like an epic movie title on it's own).

But then the last act begins...and everything I was finding mildly annoying up to that point comes back in full force. If I could sum the last act in three words, it would be the following...Patronising, Manipulative, and Flashy.

The film is patornising because the two main villains, the boss of the corapration and the military sergent, have no subtlety what-so-ever; they make Bowser and Dr Eggman look like deep and complex characters with hearts inside by comparison! The sergent is the kind of miltary parody you'd see on the Simpsons (only ten times more ridiculous), and boss is an idiot who plays golf in a miltary office and actually laughs in the face of his scientists when they tell him that the Na'vi are connected to the forest whilst asking them if they've been smoking drugs...you know? The kind of person who would be fired if they tried to run a major coperation. The whole thing is clearly a REALLY bad commentary on the Iraq war, which is made even more obvious when the sergent starts using Bush-era phrases such as 'fighting terror with terror', 'pre-emetive strike', and 'shock and awe', not to mention the moment when you realise the corporation's goal is get to the 'Unobtainium' orb deep with the planet (seriously, just call it oil, it's not like you could mistake it for anything else).

As for the other two words...Remember Jason Cameron's last film? Titanic? Well these two movies share a link in their creators filmmaking style, and you see that when you start to compare both movies. Both climaxes were based around massive special effects moments (replace the sinking ship with a gigantic battle), and a ridicous ammount of tragic scenes as if the films trying to say to you "Come on! What's going to make you cry? Who do we have to kill off? Women? Children? Main characters? Fathers? Mothers? Do have to destory trees and houses? WE WILL MAKE YOU WEEP DAMN IT!!!" And thus this will either have you crying your eyes out or rolling your eyes at how ridiculous it is (I was doing the latter obviously). Is the fight scene itself any good you ask? Again it's alright, the battle between Jake and the Sergent's Mecha was pretty cool, but the rest was only ok, nothing really stands out, which is kind of disapointing given the amazing effects.  

In summary, it was an ok movie. It created an great universe, but that's about it; the background is more interesting that the characters or the story itself, which isn't really a good thing. In all honesty, I'd recommend you rent the movie first before spending your money on it.
Before I close off this long journal however, there are two questions I want to get off my chest, and since I can't talk to Mr Cameron himself, I'll share them with you.

1) What were you trying to tell us through this story?
You spent the entire last act telling us that 99% of humans are bastards who destory all planets include their own and the entire three hour long movie painting the Na'vi as some utopian culture, but what are we supposed to take from this? Are we supposed to live like the Na'vi from now on? That's going to be hard conisdering we can't connect to nature through the USB cables they have for hair! So what else can do? Destory the military? Take down our businesses? Praise scientists? Take of our clothes and live in the forest!? What do you want from us!?

2) How the hell are you going to turn this into a trilogy?
There is no possible direction for you to take the story, the Na'vi are free, Jake is offically one of them, the humans have left, and the audience has been preached to, what else can you do? Don't get me wrong, I love the world of Pandora, but I honestly don't see any loose threads you could turn into a story or any other possible direction you could take this franchise, it's just freaking pointless to try and drag it out like this.

*Phew*

That's all folks, see you next time ^_^