The Brigade, sausage fest be damned
Welcome to 竜国の戦場 (Ryuugoku no Senjou), a blog ran by Ryuuichi Suzuki/Johnny Nguyen (a.k.a. AzumanoEirei and many other internet aliases), or rather, me. 竜国の戦場 is a Japan-centric blog that focuses on subjects regarding anime/manga/visual novels, Japanese culture, and translation. Media reviews are mostly written for finished products, but I have done episodic reviews in the past. Many write-ups are mixed with a bit of friendly sarcastic humor and wit in between, so please do not be offended (otherwise 出ていけ、弱虫). Types of blogged shows vary because the main writer (me) can’t decide whether or not he’s into quality, moé, or giant robots with sunglasses. Sometimes he prefers all of them combined (okay, okay, maybe they don’t have giant robots with sunglasses, but they’re close enough!).
My blog was formerly known as オタクSPOT (or The Otaku Spot). General blog history and facts:I first started this blog on Blogger as an anime fan wishing to share his thoughts on the shows he watched (getting inspiration to start one from reading blogs like Memento and Anime on My Mind, the former being dead and the latter being known as.… whatever the hell it’s called now). Slowly getting tired of what Blogger offered me, I imported all my stuff to WordPress.com and continued the blog from there. Eventually, I got a hold of the awesome, free hosting at AnimeBlogger.net, owned by Maestro, where it has been a home of the blog from my highschool days to adulthood. Unfortunately, the glory days went by and it no longer exists. I managed to move everything to a new host and got my own domain name… where it stands today.
“Otaku” in Japan means someone who is extremely involved with their hobbies almost to the extent of obsessiveness. Unfortunately, unless it’s a jock hobby like sports, it’s going to be viewed negatively one way or another by people who hate other people having fun in different ways from them. I want everyone to be comfortable with their hobbies and shun the idea that people who like video games are any worse than someone who is into baseball, for example. Nevertheless, “The Otaku Spot” is quite the uninspired name and has now become the subtitle. Ryuugoku no Senjou is a reference to my Japanese name, Ryuuichi, which means first dragon son. The fact that this is my personal blog means I’m its ruler, and it’s therefore my country (竜国 = Dragon Country). Senjou, meaning battlefield, references the history of this blog where it has occasionally become a battlefield of words.
I’ve gotten guest writers in the past, one of which was my friend Steven. Even though he was not a permanent nor large contributor, I felt the need to mention him because he’s fucking awesome. I did recruit a more active contributor in the form of my Canadian friend Daniel Greenway (The Sixth Ranger), known by his internet handle “Wahfuu”, who did very excellent write-ups of visual novels he played, and was responsible for me getting into the medium more. Of course, since he’s a white Canadian, his post were not really “Asian ramblings” as the blog advertises, but “white Canadian ramblings.” Also notice that his name resembles Dan Green. He has since moved on to bigger and better things, but you can find him on Twitter.
I have since been alone, and on-and-off due to health complications and RL hangups. But this battlefield belongs to me, and I bite like a dragon.
THE BAND… OF WRITERS
Name: 鈴木竜一 (Suzuki, Ryuuichi), Johnny, Long Nguyen (The Guitarist — can’t play for shit)
Birthday: July 1st, 1993
Status: Taken with many younger wives.
Alias(es) (common names I go by on the blogosphere/internet): AzumanoEirei, AzumaYugi, Heaven’s Feellya, Mikoto, Yuugame
A friendly, fun-loving, kinky, yet slightly sarcastic man living in the scorching pits of California and occasionally the scorching pits of Summer Japan. Oh, hey, look, it’s that annoying Ryuuichi kid.
Why, hello there, dear visitor. I started this blog in hopes of sharing my thoughts on one of my most beloved hobbies: anime and manga. Now it’s Japan in general. Hopefully, it doesn’t turn into a chore and stays fun. Hopefully. I love all sorts of anime, given that they don’t completely fall into dumb cliches, aren’t cash-ins of a popular overrated genre that does things that were done millions of times before, or fail to do what they’re supposed to do.
My other hobbies and interests include Asian Dramas, tokusatsu, drawing, gaming, Japanese fashion, horror movies, and just hanging out. I listen to a lot of J‑Pop and sometimes K‑Pop, like your typical Asian overgrown manteen.
Even though the site was known as “The Otaku Spot”, I’m not an really exaggerated geek like the ones stereotyped in Japan or in Genshiken. I’m just overenthusiastic about things. Also, despite popular belief, I am not a hikikomori. Yeah… I need to get out more.
My favorite anime/manga series and movies include the following: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, FLCL, Mushishi, K‑ON! (guilty pleasure), Lucky☆Star, Mononoke, Non Non Biyori, Fullmetal Alchemist, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, The Girl Who leapt Through Time, Grave of the Fireflies, Samurai Champloo, Yuu☆gi☆ou/The☆Game☆King/Yu-Gi-Oh! (THE MANGA) and many more. I’m also a very big CLAMP fan in general, so expect me to go ga-ga over Cardcaptor Sakura and Kobato. ;D Overall, if I had a favorite, it’d be Cardcaptor Sakura or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
I also enjoy visual novels, but I’m particularly a fan of Type-Moon media, such as the Tsukihime and Fate/stay night series of visual novels, their anime, manga, movie, light novel, and video game adaptations/spin-offs, etc. Kara no Kyoukai is amazing and I want to fully read Mahoutsukai no Yoru in the near future. Also, if it wasn’t obvious enough, the best Type-Moon girl for me is Illyasviel von Einzbern, in every form, including the chocolate and vanilla combo in Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. But anything stemming more directly with the Stay Night incarnations jive extra well with me. Her tragic background story won me over, her role in Heaven’s Feel was excellent, and I love all of that maturity hidden underneath that cute petite shell of a half-human homunculus.
Some of my favorite video game series are the following: Skies of Arcadia/Eternal Arcadia, Shin Megami Tensei, Persona, THE iDOLM@STER, Atelier, Tales of, Metal Gear, Shenmue, Resident Evil/Biohazard, Silent Hill, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Street Fighter, Disgaea, Final Fantasy, Yakuza/Ryuu ga Gotoku, Growlanser, and Fatal Frame/Project Zero. Basically, my favorite types of games are usually either open-world, RPGs, action games, or survival horror games. Give me a good JRPG and I’ll play it for hours. Right now, I also have a penchant for the Japanese doujin games brought over by Carpe Fulgur and want to play Fortune Summoners Deluxe.
My favorite Japanese foods are soumen, uni (fresh sea urchin), and sashimi (which includes nigiri sushi). Food in general, Phở (Vietnamese noodle soup dish) and raw sushi are definitely up there for me as god tier. Takoyaki and Vietnamese summer rolls are my fun food. I hate ketchup in foods that don’t need it, it ruins the taste. Fries mostly — if it needs ketchup then it’s most likely a bland frozen potato. But hell if I can tolerate ketchup in a hotdog.
As far as tokusatsu goes, Kamen Rider all the way.
I have a disease called dermatomyositis, which I contracted near the summer when I turned 25, which I delt with for a year not knowing what it was because American doctors couldn’t do shit to help. This is a type of disease where my immune system just goes to shit, so I had to go to the hospital multiple times for strep throat and sepsis, which they took care of. The American doctors kept telling me I was alright, but I was clearly not. It was not normal for a young man to have serious shortness of breathe, extreme weight loss, rapidly declining physical strength, rashes, and occassions where even walking is painful. Then, in Takeda Hospital near Kyoto Station, they diagnosed me in under 5 hours. I had to go to another hospital immediately after I left Japan, but the American doctors once again couldn’t find anything on their own — luckily I had medical documents in Japan and that pushed them in the right direction. Japan saved my life, because although this disease is manageable to the point where you can ignore it, if left alone it could have killed me.
(P.S. I’m currently under the delusion reasonable impression that I’m an overlord. I’m the overlord of this blog, therefore I’m the overlord of you!
Game consoles I own(ed):
- Super Nintendo
- Sega Mega Drive
- Nintendo 64
- Sega Saturn
- Sega Dreamcast
- PlayStation 2
- Game Boy Advance
- Nintendo DS
- Nintendo Wii
- Nintendo 3DS
- Nintendo New 3DS
- Playstation 3
- Playstation Portable
- Playstation Vita
- Playstation 4
I also own a custom gaming rig that I also use to do artwork.
Name: Steven Le (The Drummer — Likes beating his shit)
Birthday: February 24, 1993
Ethnicity: Vietnamese, Apparently someotherAsianmaybe
Alias(es): Mr. Lex, 420 no Smoke, Corporal Crotch
I’m practically a guest writer, with an average of one article a year, but damn it I still want to leave a little snippet here. I was originally brought on to write about video games, but that went down the shitter as soon as I realized that “playing video games” and “writing about video games” isn’t a simultaneous action. That and up until the release of Dark Souls, I had a serious dry spell of Japanese games, and this unfortunately isn’t The Westaku Spot. One day.
My other excursions into Japanese media include visual novels (Daniel/Wahfuu is to blame for this one) and light novels, though my inability to read in any other language other than English has me held back on both of these hobbies.
I don’t really want to make this an autobiography, but I feel I should note two things because they’re related to my writing. First off, I love criticizing things. I do not mean nitpicking in order to talk about how shit something is, but I feel that being able to point out everything I hate or dislike about something and then being able to finish the rant with “…but I still fucking loved it,” truly shows how much you enjoyed yourself. Second, my attention span works in bursts. I will get really involved in a video game or visual novel, stick to it for 3 days straight, get distracted by something else and not return to it for six god damn months at which point I marathon the rest of it over the course of a week. It’s unhealthy, and the reason I mention is because I want everybody that reads this to realize that if I say, “Next I’ll review:…” or “I plan to play…” it means as much as me screeching in your ear like a raving harpy.
A few favorite anime of mine are Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Lucky☆Star, Dantalian no Shoka, and Detroit Metal City. There’s plenty I forget to list here (I’m more or less just trying to show a variety of genres on here), as well as dozens that I’m interested in watching, but just end up not touching. I get frustrated with anything in a video format or audio format because I can’t control how fast I’m experiencing the content. If it takes me a long time to play a video game, or read a visual novel or light novel, it was my own fault, but I don’t really want to hit the fast-forward button while watching anime.
The visual novels I have under my belt at the moment are Da Capo II, Katawa Shoujo, Monster Girl Quest 1 & 2 (I REGRET NOTHING. I AM WILLING TO ANSWER ANY AND ALL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TRAUMA CAUSED BY THESE EXPERIENCES), Little Busters!, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All.
I am currently reading the Spice & Wolf and Haruhi Suzumiya light novels, and I didn’t enjoy either of their respective anime adaptations. Go figure.
I wish I could create a even remotely complete list of video games that I would call my favorites, but that is just impossible for me. Still, it’s worth a shot, I’ll try to mix up both new and old games into this vastly incomplete list.
I enjoy roguelike games, from old classics like NetHack (which wreck my shit) to newer takes on the genre such as Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. In a similar vein, I am a huge fan of dungeon crawlers, though they were admittedly not a favorite of mine back when the genre was more popular because of how terrible I was at them. Recently however, the Etrian Odyssey series has given me a chance to give the genre a second try, and it’s one of the few video games series I still consistently enjoy, other than the flagship Shin Megami Tensei series, another great dungeon crawler from Atlus.
I wish I could say what my favorite Japanese role playing game is, but there’s just too many. Some of the ones that are up there include Grandia, the original Arc the Lad trilogy, Wild Arms 2, and the Xenosaga trilogy. Western role-playing games are also difficult to list, but some of my favorites include The Witcher, Deus Ex, Jade Empire, and Fallout 2. I really need to go revisit the golden age of WRPG’s, I haven’t even played Planescape: Torment, something that I am legitimately embarrassed about.
I do miss older stealth games, such as the Thief series, and the older Splinter Cell games where going on a rampage was tantamount to suicide, or at least very inefficient and bad for one’s score (I’m looking at you Hitman: Absolution, revealing my identity after snapping somebody neck in a wrestling arena should not be rewarded damn it). Hell, the Metal Gear Solid games get silly, but Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater had me thinking twice about killing people because of a certain stupid river.
I’m not a huge fan of first person shooters, not because of the genre, but because of how generic they feel these days. The ones I did enjoy though were the early days of Team Fortress 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, and Bioshock. Some older games that felt damn original to me at the time were Red Faction with its destructible environments and The Operative: No One Lives Forever which had just absolutely fun gameplay and a hilarious atmosphere.
I’d list some more genres and games, but I don’t want to be that guy and drag this on any longer, if somebody was that damn curious they could always ask me. Instead I’ll list the consoles I am currently playing video games on.
- Nintendo 3DS
(Mikoto note: His Viet name is Binh. he taps on da binh)
Name: Daniel Greenway (The Keyboard Player — fingering his shit)
Birthday: July 31, 1991
Ethnicity: Caucasian, definitely not Black
Alias(es): Wahfuu, HEY YOU CANADIAN
I talk a lot about still-framed voice-acted cartoon sex that most people masturbate to but I for some reason find incredible amounts of artistic merit in, which makes me thirty types of weird with sixty types of wrist pain.
Thank you, and goodnight!
What, that’s not enough? Okay then! I’m Wahfuu. Wahfz, if you will. W to the Fuu. Whatever you want to call me is fine. I’m a gigantic nerd that enjoys anime and the occasional manga and all sorts of video game genres! Of course, the thing that I’m sure most people know I love the most would be VN’s, which I find to be the absolute best form of story-telling for various reasons. Not to diminish any pros the others have, it’s mostly just a personal preference that seems to be glued to me. I’ve read most of the English ones save for few that I’ve put off for specifics and a few of the Japanese ones despite being as proficient at the language as your every day toddler.
Favorite anime would probably include Lucky Star, Joshiraku, Chuu2, Nichijou, Clannad, (depending how I feel at the time) Hellsing: Ultimate, Evangelion, Angel Beats and probably Full Metal Alchemist. There are definitely others I’m forgetting. I’ve been far out of the loop when it comes to anime, lately. Hajime no Ippo gets a special mention as one of the only manga that has kept my attention through absurd amounts of content.
Favorite VN’s will include, but are not limited to: MuvLuv Alternative, Little Busters!, G‑Senjou no Maou, Fate/Stay Night, Chaos;Head, Sharin no Kuni, Tsukihime, Hoshizora and Forest. Special mentions go towards Kamidori Alchemist Meister and Majikoi, for being a bit hard to pin down but doing what they do extremely well. Other mentions go towards YU-NO and Cross Channel, which despite being amazing in their own right, I can’t seem to get into but highly recommend regardless. This is all just personal taste, of course, and tentative as shit. This list will probably get edited a hundred times over the course of its lifespan, so take it with a grain of salt. I’ll hopefully have a review for everything in the future.
I could mention some other stuff, too. Like the Da Capo and Katawa Shoujo for being great entry level VN’s and the Liar-Soft game series which I haven’t had the time to read but hear amazing things about. Same with Steins;Gate. Rewrite is mentioned here too, but that looks to be making its way into my favorites at lethal speed, so I put it here only for now. If you are wondering why I didn’t mention X VN for Y reason, it’s probably because I’m an idiot and forgot. You should probably ask me somewhere what I think of X for Y reason so I can put it in here.
You will hopefully never see me use a point system for VN’s. I simply hate using it. I think condensing art, message and personal enjoyment into a number can make people compare apples to oranges. I also think that perfection cannot and will not ever really exist in any product, but a score system implies that perfect does exist and unfairly places it against a gigantic invisible impossibility for comparison. However, the good chap Ixrec over at Amaterasu gets a special mention for the polarity addition which is probably the best way to go about it properly. I guess it’s not the system, more about what seems the fanbase has turned the score system into, which is an excuse to argue. So, I’ll probably refrain from using it. I’ll put a TL;DR at the end of most of my reviews, however.
What else? Oh, vidya. I play games on the hardest difficulty because I’m a masochist that likes being punched around like a dirty casual. Games like God of War and Devil May Cry (combat glorified) games are my favorite. Kingdom Hearts 2 FM gets a good mention, too, along with sandboxes like Infamous and Prototype. Also the souls series. Yeye.
Damn, this picture is the most annoying thing in existence.
Name: Everybody calls me Kyon, which annoys me to no end… They’ve been calling me that for so long, I think even I forgot what my name was. Mikoto: He’s the dude that drags our shit around for us. LOLOLOL
Birthday: .… I don’t really know, myself.
I help Johnny (a.k.a. xXMikotoNakadaiXx… what kind of username is that?!) blog The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, an anime series with a cynical character that somehow bares a strange resemblance to me.
Mainly because it IS me.
… It’s more like a biography of myself more than anything else, going more in-depth of my disdain of all the wierd stuff going on around me. More than what was portrayed in the anime series.
Yeah. Like that’s possible.
Name: Sam C. (Backup Drummer — beating everyone’s shit)
Birthday: September 23, 1987
Ethnicity: Spees Muhreen
Status: Dedicated to the Emperium to Purge the Unclean
Alias(es): Lieutenant deepon
FOR THE EMPERIUM! I purge galaxies of heretics and unclean races in the name of the Emperium and in my spare time I do mundune reviews of anime for Jahnny. Attempting to GAR up this blog from the excess of Heretical, schoolgirl, slice of life anime and VNs. All for the Emperium! I really hate heretics, unclean races, psykers, sisters of battle, tau, eldar, dark eldar, anything chaos related, orks, tyrannids and Blood Angels. I. ALSO. HATE. NECRONS. THOSE FUCKERS ALWAYS COME BACK UNLESS YOU TAKE DOWN THE DAMN MONOLITH, UGH!
But I enjoy the walks along the beach, admiring my trophy room full of the heads of the heretics and unclean heads mounted on my wall and movies with Morgan Freeman in it because I have a man-crush on his voice.
Also, for the Emperium!