Cloud's Editorials


Editorials, rants, and reviews.

This is where you'll find what I (personally) do best. But if anyone wants to submit an editorial or a fanfic review send it to Dyne with the subject as "Editorial" or "Review for..." whatever you're talking about.

Rules:
Please try not to diss anything too much if you don't like it, I hate getting flames.
Try to keep the submission as concise as possible.

10/8/06: "Digital Devil Saga: Too Hardcore for the hardcore?" by Watcher Prime

     Many people use a great many different measuring sticks to see if a role playing game is up to snuff, and many do so with good reason. LetĀfs face the facts, Final Fantasy X-2 was basically a 40+ hour pretty princess dress me up simulation. FF11 is a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG with the massive or the multi player. FF12 is not all that promising and the smart money is bound to say that hardly a soul would be dumb enough to buy FF13 if it actually costs 99 American dollars and that is assuming that what I am hearing from Sony is accurate. Add this to the seemingly constant disappointment of the various clones out in the market; it is easy to see why made believe that RPGĀfs are going by the way side.

     Fear not this ill news however, fellow RPG addicts. Uncle Prime has your next time sink all lined up for you, but I must forewarn you, before you start a new game, there is a disclaimer that will appear on the screen, those of you that are easily offended in regards to religious imagery should take heed of this warning.

     Shin Megami Tenshi: Digital Devil Saga throws you into the role of Serph, the leader of one of the six ĀetribesĀf of the Junkyard, the fictional world of the game. The only things you know of this world once you read the manual are these three rules:

     1. All tribes must fight to reach Nirvana
     2. Only one tribe may enter Nirvana
     3. When a tribeĀfs leader is killed, that tribe must swear allegiance to the one who killed the leader

     Aside from that, you do not know much else of this world and that is a propelling force within the game, to try to unravel what sort of mystery is put before you. The premise is also unique in that you are not there to save the world, it is already damned and you must lead your tribe to escape it while crushing the other five tribes in the process. To complicate matters, from the very start of the game, everyone in Junkyard has the ability to revert into their Atma, or demon form, which gives the people of the scarred world another reason to fight: to eat. The demon form requires that those who have the ability to shift the distinct need to devour those they kill. Add to this a young girl with black hair whose song can allow people to maintain control of their Atma forms and you have a heck of a mystery on your hands.

     The object of the game is to gain experience points to level up your characters and so forth, but with one nasty little twist to it all: you do not learn spells naturally, instead, you must buy mantras and master said mantras so that new abilities will be open to you. As you play the game as you normally would, you will realize that simply fighting off monsters will not net you the energy needed to learn your spells fast enough.

     This is where abusing the battle system is necessary. At the beginning of each round, you have three Āeturn iconsĀf, one symbol representing each characters turn. You can extend these turns by landing a critical hit or by exploiting your foeĀfs elemental weakness. Missing an attack or otherwise casting a spell that the monster may be immune to will deduct from your turns. The AI for the monsters is no pushover either, as it will try, and with resounding success I might add, to exploit your characterĀfs weaknesses to extend its own turns. It costs ? of a turn when you exploit a weakness or land a critical hit, it also costs you 2 turns whenever an attack is dodged or otherwise absorbed by your foes. In short, stupidity, in any way shape or form, is punished by the quick death of your party.

     The dungeons are at best simple mazes and at worse looks like one of those 4-D mazes you commonly see in art houses, confusing, never-ending and never beginning. This is not a completely bad thing, as it will take a mountain of corpses to level up your characters and learn new skills.

     This leads me to ĀgHuntĀh skills, another cornerstone in the gameĀfs combat engine. These attacks are simply that, but are two unique features:

     1. If these skills land on a foe, and said foe dies from the damage dealt, the unlucky mob get eaten whole by the character landing that attack. In turn, this gives that character a massive boost in AP.
     2. These attacks cost proportionally massive amounts of the characterĀfs HP. Every attack done in this manner is a risk, as it hits for hardly anything compared to other attacks.
     With those two constants in play, one can safely presume that there is a way to make these attacks worth the HP cost and it is in using your foeĀfs weaknesses against them. After all, making them fear you makes them easier to digest for some reason.

     Now, the fun part, the pros and cons of the game in a simple check list.

Pros:

     * Complex combat system keeps the most hardcore players on their toes.
     * Storyline enough to keep a committed player interested, without cut scenes the length of Xenosaga
     * Characters you can feel for, Voice acting to go giddy over.
     * The fact you can eat the demons.

Cons:

     * Dungeons can be trying, more so with a high encounter rate or bad luck.
     * Everything costs you money in this game, from healing to buying mantras. Should be approached as if it was a bad check ĀgCrap, where am I going to get the cash for the fees?Āh
     * The enemies are known to be so varied, that not one ĀepathĀf is completely useable. This means more money gathering for mantra purchases and more devouring up to a point where you may very well be over-powered for the next area, but your abilities are still not at par.
     * Ends on the worst cliff-hanger possible, story wise.

     Long story short chaps, if you have the drive, the patience and the ability to restrain yourself from destroying your PS2 because of how often you might just see the Game Over screen, you will be treated to one of the best RPG experience on the console.


2/28/04: "Choices: A Short Story" Critique by Valkyrie of Leo

     The novella (short novel) was well written. It had only a minimum of typographical errors and punctuation. Your paragraphy structure was close to perfect. The plot followed a very well made plotting organization and is a little more than mediocre in strength. Your theme was very creative, selfless, and equally vital throughout your chapters. The character sketch was very diverse. The personalities of Ranma, Akane, Shampoo, Ukyo, and Nodoka were the most prominent. Very dramatic and worthy of staying in character for the most part. The dialogue was very believeable, although most of the characters did overpower others.

     I. Punctuation = 7 out of 10
     II. Paragraph Structure = 9 out of 10
     III. Plot = 8 out of 10
     IV. Theme = 9 out of 10
     V. Character Sketch = 8 out of 10

     In order of strongest character personality to the weakest:
     I. Ukyo
     II. Akane
     III. Ranma
     IV. Nodoka
     V. Shampoo

     (Since they were the chief characters)
     If you could go into even more personal depth and expand on motivation of these chief characters, it would bleed with even more interest and become even more and readier believeable.

     Questions and Comments =
     1)I have no idea, but does Shampoo make you think of the extraterrestrial princess in Urusei Yatsura?

     2) Until now, I've never heard of "You're Under Arrest". Thanks, Dyne. If you say it's worthy, I'll check it out.

     3) Belldandy is so smart. I love her thin cameo!

     Here are the best chapters with the highest enjoyment factor:
     1- Visions
     2- Conclusions
     3- Consequences
     4- Revelations
     5- Invitations
     6- Discussions

     This is a "MUST READ".

     OVERALL SCORE - 8 out of 10


1/7/04: Review of choices by SW_Squall

     When I first clicked on Choices, I was a bit skeptical. Iíd read serious Ranma fics before. A lot of them were......bad. A few were good. I was gratefully disappointed. Dyne did a fantastic job of capturing the personalities of the characters, along with getting most of their normal dialogue correct. Itís a wonderful prelude to Results, and I really canít say much more than, Wow. I really couldnít find any errors in what I read, and Dyne catered this fic just fine to suit any good Ukyo/Ranma fan. I know this is a bit short, but I just couldnít find anything to complain about with this one. One of my favorite parts. Considering how long Nodoka has been looking for her son, and she just now finds out heís Ranko*The young man dropped his head and reached back to scratch it. A large sweatdrop appeared before he spoke, ďMother, Iím your son, Saotome Ranma. Sorry about this.ĀE

     All in all, I love this fic. Good job.


12/8/03: Love Hina: Number 1 with a bullet or just one with a bullet? by Watcher Prime

     Ever had girl trouble? Ever wish that your dream girl could just pop out at you..? If soĀEWell, you would almost be feeling sorry for Keitaro Urashima, wellĀEAlmost feel sorry for him.

     Enter the odd turn of events known as Love Hina, where going to Tokyo U. is the main goal and the ladies are more than just in the way, they make life for our study buddy hell. Actually, Love Hina is a love story about childhood promises, but itís still very odd indeed.

     Keitaro Urashima, 15 years ago, made a promise to a girl possibly his age, possibly not, that theyíll go to Tokyo U. together and live happily ever after together. The problems are simple: 1. The girl he made the promise to moved away 2. Keitaro canít remember the name of the girl and 3. He flunked the entrance exam twice already and his parents want him to give up on it!

     Strangely enough, our little guy of bad luck gets a call from his grandmother, inviting him to visit her at the Hinata lodge... And yes, Granny forgot the mention that the Lodge became an all girls dorm, this little omission brings hell to earth for poor Kentaro as he almost gets killed after realizing this fact a little too late, if you get my drift.

     Overall, the animation was crisp and cleanly cut and the sound quality is quiet good in my viewing of it. The dubbed acting was good considering that the entire series is strange and called for a strange set of voices for it. Of course, the subbed version has a bit more jokes on the racy side, mostly involving Keitaroís most un-redeeming fault; heís a total klutz.

     A lot can be said about a series like this, but Iíll just narrow it down to a few key facts. First of all, itís more than over the top in some cases, from transforming girls that uses a mass turtle attack, to a portrayal of ďJourney to the WestĀEgone horribly, horribly wrong. Secondly, each episode, no matter how zany it turns out to be always has this feel of closure around it, as if someone made the right choice about something or what have you. Lastly, the love story is actually done quite well. As a matter of fact, any guy might actually like the romance because itís done with the right amount of craziness and mushy stuff mixed in with a lot of pummeling from to leading lady to our poor guyĀEbr>
     But hey, who said love was cheap? Point is, you must get out there and buy the series RIGHT NOW! Fair warning though, I havenít seen the movies yet, so tread down that road carefully.


11/16/03: The Ultimate Loophole in Ranma 1/2 by Dyne

     I have here, conclusive evidence that Ranma and Akane were never engaged!

     It's so simple when you think about it: When Soun introduces his daughters to Ranma, he says, "Choose which one you want, she's your fiance." Did you notice it yet? Ranma never chose, Kasumi and Nabiki chose Akane for him. Since Ranma has never specifically said that he chose Akane for his fiance, he is either engaged to none of the Tendo daughters, or all three of them. Even when Ranma says to Sanzenin, "Akane is MY fiance," it's either a downright lie or the half-truth because he's also engaged to Kasumi and Nabiki at the same time, depending on how you look at it.

     I could continue this on to trace down to how his engagement to Shampoo is also invalid and how Ukyo is his only legitmate fiance but I've made my point: Ranma and Akane were never engaged. And, unless Ranma swallows his pride and actually says out loud, "I choose Akane to be my fiance," or, "Akane, will you marry me?" they never will. As for the argument against Shampoo, look for it when Kohei gives it at the end of Results.


9/1/03: Rant about stupid flamers all over the Internet by Dyne

     Okay, this is just another rant to vent my frustration at people who think they know everything but, in reality, know nothing. Iíve been reading a lot more fanfics in the past couple of months than I have been in the past year, and I have run into some extremely excellent stories. However, many of these stories often diverge from the original story that is set in the series (ie: Ranma choosing Ukyo over okonomiyaki, Usagi leaving Mamoru for someone else, Goku dying at the same time as Majin Buu, etc.). These stories have all been unrightfully and mercilessly flamed because the authorís opinion either divulges from the creatorís ideas or the flamerís opinion. If thereís one portion of a story that you donít like, donít bash the entire story because of it. Simply comment on how good the story is and politely state that you had a problem with one part, but acknowledge that as the authorís opinion.

     In a friendís web site, he states in response to the complaint, ďYour fan arts donít look right,ĀEthat thereís no such thing as a fan art done 100% right and if everyone had the same drawing style, the world of fan arts would be very boring. I agree completely to that and also add in the same statement regarding fan fiction because both art and fiction are the same thing, fanís ideas and opinions, just expressed in different media; one in pictures, the other in words.

     Granted there are some fanfics out there that do deserve bad reviews, but you have to remember that many authors have different levels of knowledge on series. If I was up to rewriting AVALANCHE vs. Sailor Moon, Iíd do it in a heartbeat because I wrote it before I knew enough of the series. But as always, there are exceptions because there are some authors who write sickening stories on purpose, but I still say that even those donít deserve flaming. With those, just donít read Ďem and tell others not to.

     I just want to make my point clear: there is no legitimate reason to immaturely flame any fanfic or fan art for any reason. They can affect the creatorís confidence, but mostly they just show how stupid some people can be. Iím going to say this right now: as long as I feel that Ranma and Ukyo, Debe and Ami, and other non-cannon anime couples I support should be together, then thatís what youíre going to see in my fics. If you donít like it, simply comment on it and not trash the whole rest of the story in doing so. And for those of you who dare to flame me and my work, be prepared to be dishonorably immortalized in my Hall of Shame.

8/8/03: Big O: Does it blow? By (The Infamous) Watcher Prime

     Think of life as you know it right now, with your computers and fancy cars and anything thing else cool you can think of..

     Then BOOM! You wake up one day and you donít remember a single thing.. It was as if your entire memory was erased in an instant.

     If you thought of the scene that I just gave you a rosy picture of, then you have the basic gist of ďThe Big OĀE a styled anime that was made a few years ago and ended on a cliffhanger.. Thanks to an un-seemly large fan base in the States, they made a whole second season.

     The setting is a 20ís metropolis known as Paradign City, where the rich live in domes and in the lap of luxury while the poor and the unfortunate live out side of the domes. The Paradigm Corporation, whose founder built the city, runs everything in the end.

     Humans are no animals though, they remembered to use machinery and run electricity. They have some sort of normal lifeĀEIf one doesnít count the fact that there are relics in the very city that can crop up at almost any moment. These relics are known as Megaduses, or simply put, giant robots acting on their own or being piloted by humans.

     One of these human pilots goes by the name of Roger Smith, a Negotiator of this very city, when deals become too big for him to handle, he calls in his steel bolted, ready to go Big O to the scene and a mech smack down begins... The series starts off with a bargain gone very wrong, and basically goes to hell almost from the get go! (Iím making the description of the epi. Short for the sake of the episodes.)

     The animation styles should be familiar to you if watched the old Batman cartoon series, because those people were the crew for making this series look so damn well. I mean it too, sit down and watch a episode and youíll notice that everything is styled with the manga authorís intent in mind. The mechs in Big O look like they could have been made off of a Ford Assembly Line and equipped realistically, as you will see in the shows.

     This is considered to be the ďBatmanĀEof anime with its style and action rolled into a nice package.. So it wouldnít be a bad idea to catch on Adult Swim Sundays at 11 p.m. est and see what the hell all of the fuss is about.

     Trust me, if a series bowls me completely over, it will have a good effect on you too.


7/20/03: More Horrors of English Dubbing by Osiris

     About 3 Weeks ago I got an order in the mail of Box 3 and 4 DVD sets of Japaneese Yu-Gi-Oh as soon as I started watching it, I was floored. It was Awesome and put that crappy dub version to shame.

     Yes English Dubbing rears it's ugly head again. This time Yu-Gi-Oh which is being dubbed by 4Kids was ruined. Scenes where goons had guns were edited so that there were no guns. Instead it was the "Pointy Finger of Death" At least a few characters personailities were messed up like Seto Kaiba to name one. A duel where the loser would get their legs cut off by saws was changed to where the saws would send them to the Shadow Realm instead. Sound familiar? Yes it's just like "The Next Dimension" in the Dub Version of Dragonball Z. Also there was a Tag Team duel that happened on a 4 section glass floor on top of a 30 Story Building. When a Person's Life Points reached 0 (they lose) the box would explode breaking the glass underneath that person and they would fall all the way to the bottom. Instead it was changed to they would fall into the Shadow Realm.

     Difference here though is that the Shadow Realm was actually used as a place of dueling for the Shadow Game (Dark Game), however the stakes are much higher and the damage players get in duels is real and can hurt people physically if not mentally at the very least. In fact a loser could at the very worst could get killed here (Like when Ra's Attack would've killed Mai). I wonder how they are going to dub Dark Game Battles that happen in later episodes. Quite frankly I probably don't want to find out either.

     After making the comparisons I am evenually going to get more Box Sets of the Original Japaneese Version since it is far better. This is just another example of how English Dubbers tend to ruin most of everything. There were two redeeming qualities of the Dub though. Some of the music they put in which didn't bother me and some of the English Dub voices weren't that bad either. Other than that though the horrors of English Dubbing have struck again...

7/8/03: Anime: Old School or New School? By (The Infamous) Watcher Prime

     "DBZ is the be all end all of Anime!" "Hell no! Yu-gi-oh! Is the god anime!" "F*** that! Sailor Moon is the toast of Japan!" Tell me, are you tired of this going on in every anime debate? Does every worthy discussion of an anime and its plot have to boil down to something completely pointless and sounds almost like what was written above?
     Well, this my friends, is the state of decay of the anime community within the United States of America. This is what is going on even now in our homes, T.V. dens, on-line clubs, forums and fan sites. What started as a "classified" new set of shows for the kiddies ended up to be just about the same thing but with people willing allow themselves to be cocooned into these shows which have been mangled and distorted from the original episodes.
Let us look back to a series, which was taken in by T.V. stations long before Dragon Ball: Star Blazers. It had a short run (3 seasons) over here in the states, surprising enough though; if you did watch the Japanese version and the dubbed version side by side, you will notice one thing.
     Besides the names being changed and the victims of war being called "space drones" or "robot tanks" the story, complete with its dramatic effect in the script; was overall completely intact in the translating of the series. You still felt pulled into the hell that was their world, filled with senseless death and destruction. At times you could weep for them when things looked like they couldn't take it anymore. It was great and expected by all who watched, the golden age, if you will, began with that.
     Compare this to one of our most "beloved" anime series which is airing currently on Cartoon Network, Dragon Ball Z. This anime is meant to be a fighting series, filled with quiet a bit of violence, blood and cursing. I cite Dave's rants on FUNivision's treatment of the shows in the constant censorship and poor dubbing of the show. Just about every cursed at one point or another, even Buu did once I reckon.. Overall, it was a good anime, until it was mangled but these people and turned into a kid's show. If you watch both versions side by side, you would know that DBZ was made for a teen audience at the very least!
     Another thing bugging me is the new anime that is coming out in general. Granted, it does look beautiful but most of it seems like it was made like sitcoms on network T.V.! I mean the plots are just re-hashed from the classics without breaking new ground or making a new and fresh story from the main plot line! All of them now seem like they were made from cookie cutters as if it was done by completely by committee. Personally, I do not like the type of anime that was made by a collective. I like my anime done by a small group of visionaries with a great story to tell. I just hope it stays that way.

7/7/03: A rant about fanfiction.net by Dyne

     Okay, I am absolutely sick of fanfiction.net! I've been there at all times all day today trying to fix a couple of fics and also to put up Ramza's Last Stand, and every five #$%#$ seconds I get a page that says, "site overload, please try again in a few minutes." And it's not only today that I've gotten mad at it, it has the WORST maitenance I've ever seen. I remember a time either last year or two years ago it took them MONTHS to get the Search system working again. I'm sure there are several reasons why all of us hate it, but I needed to type this rant and get out a little steam. I feel better now.

9/28/01: A review for Ramza's Last Stand by Beverly

     I abolutely LOVED it!It was funny how every time someone said Instant Plot Device(Just add water!),someone else would say "Just add water!"And also,the end of it,I was CRYING!Seriously!Oh,sure,there were a couple of funny parts,but I was crying so much I could barely read the words on my screen (especially with the music on!)!And I think Give A Reason is one of the BEST songs in Anime history!Good job,keep it up,luv ya!^_~


9/28/01: A rant from Cloud

Please read all of this before throwing stones.
Thanks.

DUBBED VS. SUBTITLES IN ANIME (not just DBZ)
     I've been noticing quite a dispute between DBZ fans of both subtitled and dubbed versions. The question has been raised, "Do true anime fans only watch subtitles?" I have an answer to this question- Hell no. Some anime is actually better dubbed (don't throw stones yet Dave I'm not finished!) such as Record of Lodoss War and other anime that is SUPPOSED to be Otaku. If I saw an English-looking knight like Parn talking to Deedlit in Japanese it would just be *WEIRD*. On the other hand, I watch Flame of Recca subtitled and I like it that way because they're all Japanese and that's the way it should be. Is dubbed necessarily a bad thing? No. BUT FUNIMATION NEEDS A SERIOUS EYE-OPENER.

     Now let's be fair when we compare Japanese DBZ to American DBZ, as BOTH have their strengths and weaknesses.

MUSIC
     We'll start with Funi's over-Americanized "Rock the Dragon." Two words- it's weak. The Japanese theme for the Z series is far better, but still not the best- I personally like the theme in the History of Trunks and Bardoc tapes better than either one. Music is one of the big differences in American and Japanese DBZ, and I must honestly say that I like the in-show themes better in the American version. Vegetta and Picollo (English spelling) don't have themes in the Japanese version, just odd remixes of Cha La Head Cha La. In all fairness, music is a stand still.

ANIMATION
     The American versions by Funi are cleaned up by computers and thus the animation looks smoother, but on the other hand they make it look more cartoonish. The Japanese DBZ is more manga-esk and they sure as Hell don't cut out the blood like Funi does. If Funi didn't release "uncut" versions of DBZ they'd have no audience. The problem is, they're NOT uncut.

LANGUAGE AND EDITING
     Let's face it folks, DBZ ain't no damn cartoon- it's ANIME! I could deal with the series as dubbed if the translations were decent but the fact is they're bad! I'll bet millions of DBZ fans have no idea that Yamcha has an attack called 'Mega Happy Doom Fist' or that Master Roshi drinks beer and saki, not 'Frothy Mugs of Water!" (Courtesy of the DBZ cards.) The voices aren't *THAT* bad, except for Chibi Trunks (he sounds like a thug!) but after seeing the fansubs the editing in the American version makes me want to go on strike! It wasn't until the Great Saiyaman Saga that my friends and I ever even knew that Bulma smoked! This is not a show for little kids- deal with it. This of course brings me to my next point...WHERE'S THE CURSING?! In the Japanese version even Cell curses like a sailor, and as it should be. If your life was on the line, you'd be cursing too.

The three morals are:

Dubs are not always bad if none properly, and don't necessarily take away from cultural value.

Changing plot, personalities, characters' lines, and feel of a series just to make it appeal to sheltered American children is a result of greedy shmucks wanting money and not caring how they get it.

English or Japanese, it doesn't matter so long as the series is done properly and with the original intent.

9/28/01: A satisfying rant from Jason

reply to all them FUNi editorials:

     I seriously wish i could see the japanese version of DBZ. I heard that the japanese version was much bloodier and 40x less cheezy. Did you know that in the english version, on gokus ship on the way to Namek, he pulls a beer or something out of the fridge and says something like "Hey whats this doing in here? *puts it back* lll have a soda instead its much better for my body" and S**T like that. Its just not right, i mean its supposed to be a lesson for little kids right? So why would a kid want a beer in the first place? Its just screwed up. Also they completely left out Launch or whatever her name was. And also, Master Rochi, in the jap version, does stuff like grab a nurses butt or touches Bulmas breast. They leave that ALL out and therefore you never really know how naughty he really is.

9/14/01: A tribute and thought about the events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 by Dyne

     Lately I've been watching the news and seeing more and more people excited to anger over those lost on Tuesday. During dinner tonight I was inspired to write this little speech that I hope will get published in my school paper. This also touches a little into my religion, but that is normal.

     I am only a college student, and a freshman to boot, but that does not prevent me from exercising the freedom of speech given to all of us in America. First of all I'd ask everyone to give a special definition to the word "America." I can only define it as "home," and I believe that every single person in this great country will agree with that.
     As we all know, an act of war was committed against us this past Tuesday. It was not just an act of war; it was an act of terror, hatred, fear, and cowardice. Thousands of innocent people have been killed or injured, leaving millions mourning for their losses and billions of dollars spent in the recovery effort.
     The most saddening portion of this event Tuesday was the celebration of this senseless murder, in the Middle East. I believe that not every single person over there was celebrating, but even one is too many. I would like to ask those people to put themselves in our shoes and see what we've seen, to feel what we've felt. To imagine their beloved family and friends perish in a horrible manner, then to see other people dance on their graves. We all are humans, deserving the love of our fellow man. To celebrate the death of others is seen only within the depths of hell.
     The question I would like to ask the people who planned and carried out this operation is this. "Will you look within to see a shred of goodness large enough in your hearts to allow you to see the blood stains forever molded on your hands that can never be washed away? Will you ever see what tragedy and suffering you have brought about to millions of innocent people who have never harmed you in any way?"
     This act can never be forgiven. But if these people realize the wrong doings they have caused and seek forgiveness, we should be able to give it to them. If we seek revenge using a blind rage, then we are no different. We have been taught to love our enemies and forgive them. Should they continue to persecute us, we should continue to forgive, and our blessings will increase a hundred-fold. However, I am not saying that these people should not be brought to justice. They have made the choice and will now pay the price. These consequences will not be light. These consequences will also not be hastily planned in a savage manner. Those people may not receive them in this life. But rest assured, if they do not seek forgiveness then they would find their eternal reward to be eternal damnation.
     I have focused most of this little writing to those who were involved and I plead with you that it is not too late to seek forgiveness. Even though those thousands of lives cannot be returned, you can still do your best to make amends by seeing the wrongs that you have done. I am praying for both the perpetrators, that they will see what they have done, and for the victims, who will find justice but not revenge. I pray for America, that it will be a keystone for the world. When pressure is exerted upon us, we will only be strengthened! I pray for the people of the world that we will one day see eye-to-eye and look beyond our little faults to see the goodness that resides in all of us, to see each other as fellow humans. Maybe one day, we will open our eyes and see each other as fellow human beings and as fellow brothers and sisters. We are one!

Please let me know what you think, even if you don't agree with my ideas.

4/8/01: Reply to Dave's Two Rants about FUNi from _SW_Squall

     I hate what Funis' done as much as anyone. I play the DBZ CCG. On one of my Piccolo cards from the Trunks Saga, Piccolos line is "Enough Shoot. I'd like to do this while I'm still young.". I ask you, DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE? A two year old would have the brains to figure out what their saying. I just think that this is totally butchuring one of the best series.

_SW_Squall

Review on The Saga from Jason Erish

     I think that the Saga is hilarious! Ive been in trouble multiple times at school for reading these during Typing and Study Hall. My teachers have taken to closely watching me during these periods. Now I cant read them at school! That really sucks but I have read them all so far at home and I cant wait for it to continue! I give The Saga by Dave and Dyne 5 stars, 2 thumbs up, and 10 out of 10 Tequila Mans! Tequila Man!!

~ Jason Erish

1/6/01: Another rant from Dave

Who are the True Fans?

     It's been well over a year since I got my first chance to see DBZ in it's pure form..... the form it was meant to be shown in, as well as dubbed. However, as FUNi continues to dub the final chapter in DBZ, they still haven't listened to what us fans want. Or have they? The answer is yes and no. They have in some respects because of the great idea of releasing DBZ eps. subbed on DVDs. This does show they want to please the fans of the original series, and allow others to experience DBZ in it's pure form. However, even though they maybe taking this step, they still dub the series as if it's something they can toy around with and think they can please everyone. They have it all wrong. The dub shown on TV is improving, but there are still way too many major flaws in it to make in enjoyable anymore. Those flaws have been mentioned in another rant of mine. This is how it all boils down. You have two types of fans. You have the fans of the original series and the fans of the dub. So who are the true fans of anime?

     The other day, I went to a party at a friends house, who all enjoy watching DBZ. I decided to bring along one of my fansubs for them to watch, so they can enjoy DBZ in it's original form. I thought they would be so excited to actually see what they have been missing, to see their favorite character in Japanese, and to realize the dub's flaws. Did this work out the way I wanted it? It went totally opposite. Something I hoped that other fans of the series would enjoy, turned into 20 minutes of nothing but whining and total ignorant criticism. "Why do we have to read the episode?" "I don't see why you think this is better then the dub." This along with other ridicolous comments was all they would say. They never once commented on how it was so cool to see DBZ in it's original form. They never once complimented on how well the Japanese version was. It seems the only reason they watched it was to make fun of the voices. Folks, this is a prime example of total ignorance. This is very unfortunate, and they aren't the only people who think this way either. They think they know everything about the series by watching the dub yet they don't realize just how little they truely know. They are blinded by the effects of laziness and lack of respect for another culture to see just how much is wrong in the dub. They totally make fools of themselves when trying to prove a person whoo really knows a lot about DBZ or another anime wrong by thinking the dub's way of saying the name of the technique is the correct one, or by trying to prove that the dialogue is so great in the dub. You cannot say you're a true fan of Anime if you can't acknowledge and respect the original version of where it came from and the culture it's based off of. Many people will argue with me on that statement, but I know it's a fact and many others will agree with me on that.

     Are all people who like the dub like this? Of course not!! A lot of my friends may like the dub version but a lot of them also respect where it came from and realize that the Japanese version is better. These people I don't have a problem with, because they know the faults of the dub, and they know that by watching the dub, they aren't going to get the full experience. I have no prblems at all with anyone enjoying the dub, despite it being low quality. It's what their values are on the original series of that dub that depends whether or not they are true fans or not. So what does make a person a true Anime fan? Is it watching the subbed version? No. Is is totally despising the dub? No. A true fan is someone who respects the origin and culture of the anime, and can admit when they're wrong about something and not act stuck up about it. THAT is what makes a person a true Anime fan. Thank you for reading, and good night.

P.S. Even though a few of my friends may think this, they're still my friends. Don't hold any form of grudge against them, nor trash them for what they think. They're humans like everyone of us, and they make mistakes, like everyone one of us do. I don't want any emails saying anything bad about my friends or about my editoral in general.

4/5/00: Rant from Dave

DBZ: The Best of Both Worlds

     "Breaking through the shining clouds, I'm gonna fly away (fly away)".... is literally music to my ears. It's music that is worth a great listen. However, it was left out. An awesome song with a great tune was replaced by a crappy song with a "noisy" tune. "Cha-La Head Cha-La" is among one of the greatest Anime songs in existence, but it was replaced by the lame song, "Rock the Dragon". Why? Why did FUNimation take out the cool original soundtrack of DBZ, and replaced it with an obnoxious one? Why did they waste more time editing and making up new songs, instead of simply going by the original script? I have asked myself this same question, and many others concerning FUNimation's dubbing abilities. When I first got into DBZ, I was amazed on how much action there was, and how cool the characters were. However, it wasn't until December of last year when I finally had the privilege of viewing "true" DBZ. The minute I popped the tape in, I heard the song, "We Gotta Power" and immediately was hooked, again. This time though, I was hooked on the true version. After watching my first set of tapes, I was almost disgusted at how FUNimation has presented DBZ here.

     The thing that really gets me mad most is how FUNimation has literally ruined the true spirit of DBZ by adding an entirely new soundtrack, which ruined so many great scenes in the Anime, like when Goku first turns Super Saiya-jin. I have heard the original music score for that scene and it was at least ten times, if not more, better then the music score FUNimation added. Instead of having scenes with a lack of music, they have music playing throughout the entire episode. The lack of music in the original brought out the suspense to a scene, but FUNimation added music to it anyway. I wish they had dubbed "Cha-La Head Cha-La" instead of composing "Rock the Dragon". Don't even get me started on their new opening theme. It's nothing more then a mere instrumental theme that was used as the prologue to season three. How lame can they get? Obviously, pretty lame. I'd take "Rock the Dragon" over the new crappy opening theme any day. What are they going to use for the Buu Era , Pee Wee Herman's theme? Maybe they'll dub "We Gotta Power!" and "We Used to be Angels" but I'm not holding my breath.

     Another thing that bugs me is how FUNimation added a lot of cheesy lines. In some cases, they ruined the emotion of one scene because they changed a good line into a really cheesy one. I can understand if they were to censor some of the worse cussing, but most of the dialogue they've changed, didn't need to be changed at all. Maybe it was to make the episode shorter or longer, but whatever the reason is, they should've just followed the script exactly. It would've saved them time, money and the hassle of adding new lines.

     However, without FUNimation, many people here would've never have heard or seen DBZ. Without FUNimation, DBZ characters would have never appeared in the saga. Without FUNimation, we would be stuck with DiC's version of Sailor Moon. Despite their flaws, FUNimation is getting better at what they're doing. In the third season, they presented us uncut episodes, but sadly, not unedited ones. Like I said, dialogue, music and features like that were altered, sometimes, heavily. I don't know if I should hate or praise FUNimation. They're the ones I should thank for bringing DBZ to the States, but they also can do a lot better. Although they've done better with DBZ then what DiC has done to Sailor Moon, FUNimation needs to realize that we DBZ fans want the real thing. Not some lame music soundtrack they composed in five minutes, we want the original score. Instead of adding cheesy lines for the voice actors to say, just read off the original script. How hard can any of these be?

2/2/00: Editorial from Cloud B

     Yes, it's a crying shame. In this modern world, we have technology that lets us truly express our imaginations and bring life to our dreams. These drams are those most commonly held in the mids of video game designers. The creative minds at SquareSoft have made these dreams into games that have brought enjoyment to many people. But even with the best of intentions, there is still room for fault. I feel it is safe to say that anyone who ever played FFVII loved the game. I know I did and I've never been questioned on that. I currently own FFI-VII and have taken time to play them all. My favorites are Final Fantasy IV, VI, and VII. I have played demos of Final Fantasy VIII was not impressed. I have also played he rather obscure Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. Both of which SUCK. FF: MQ wasn't nearly as bad as VIII but is still far from good. It's a beginner's RPG and I don't really consider myself a beginner. FFVIII was totally lacking in story. It seems that Square was more focused on making that game pretty rather than making it enjoyable to the mind as well. FFVII was a perfect game. I had an excellent balance of both graphics and story that I don't think can be beaten by any other RPG to come. Others argue thatmy views are too critical, while still other agree with me on every front. We all have the right to our opinions and mine is that FFVII is the best while FFVIII is the worst. I only hope Square can make ammends for this game in the future.

1/30/00: Kasshan's Review or Repressed Memories

     Hey what's up everyone? Kasshan here. this is a review on one of my most fav Fanfics, Repressed Memories by Cloud Strife.

     To put my entire feelings on what i though of Repressed memories in a phrase would have to be Simply Amazing.

     The story makes you feel like your right there. the drama and detail of the story is what amazed me. the way that the story is so believable next to what was'nt explained in FF7, it shows where Cloud and Zack meet up for the first time. and their travels to become 1st Class Soldiers in the Shinra Army. and the fight seens were very detailed. it would also explain why cloud never made it into SOLDIER, even though some say that cloud (The character) was'nt skilled enough. but what the hell, it gives all those Cloud fans out there a differen't side of the story. and another thing that caught my attention was the Cloud's Mother was'nt his biological mother scene, it makes sense. since many others have come to that Conclusion.

     And many other things in the story really impressed me. but since i'm short on time i'll write a revised review later. see ya'. Kasshan.

1/13/00: An anti-Pokemon article from Demon

Pokťmon is evil!

     Let me tell you something. I've been a VERY avid Nintendo fan. I bought an N64 in January. The last time I bought a game was in April, when I bought Super Smash Brothers(still the best game on the N64.) Along the way, I hear about Pokemon. I hear about how Pokemon is so great, Pokemon is better than anybody, Pikachu should be Nintendo mascot, Pikachu should run for President, things like that. And it makes me sick.

     I Have never seen any company pull a stunt like this! Pokemon isn't the great craze it claims to be. It's a threat. Look at the news. Kids killing each other? Blame Pokemon. Kids raping each other? Blame Pokemon. Kids stealing? Pokemon. Burger King customers punching out workers when they didn't get a Pokemon toy? Had to have been Pokemon. Kids lying to parents? Pokemon. Adults fighting each other to get Pokemon stuff? Pokemon's fault, of course.

     Pokemon has gotten Nintendo into trouble. They take heat for all the PokeProblems, yet they continue to promote it! everyone says Pokemon will be Nintendo's main franchise and take into the new millenium, but they're wrong. Pokemon will be the DOWNFALL of the biggest, baddest company of gaming.

     On another note, Nintendo is treating Pokemon as it's main franchise and Pikachu as it's mascot. They're forgetting about the two brothers who practically MADE Nintendo: The Super Mario Brothers! POKEMON is the reason we have not seen a Mario 64 sequel! If Nintendo doesn't end Pokemon right here, right now, The new ecomony will fall apart in no time! I'm sorry if this offended you Pokemon fans, but it's all TRUE. deal with it.

-Demon

9/17/99: Review on Weird Stuff from Cloud B.

     This fic is hilarious! I was reading it during study hall and people were looking at me with cocky faces because I was laughing so much. Ah well, this fic has just about every FF7 chracter in it, even a few Summons. The story is just the most bizarre and farout thing I've ever seen and that's hard to find. Having a backwards FF7 would prolly be simailar I guess, maybe not. but who gives a damn anyway?!

8/8/99: Rant by Dyne

     Hard to believe that this place is a year old already. It's kind of funny exactly what led up to me creating this site in the first place. Over a year ago I began working at the Post Office here on Kwaj, but due to co-worker problems I transferred to the Army Headquarters and worked in an office. When I would have nothing to do I was allowed the surf the Net. Since I didn't ahve access at home at the time I thoroughly enjoyed it. One day I stumbled aross a site that is now closed but was one of my favorites, Cloud's Final Fantasy VII Heaven. I was impressed at what the creator had done in HTML and that got me into browsing deeply. Then I found a link to another site, Rocket Town: The Shinra 26, and that's where I began my big fanfic reading spree. A week after I first found Rocket Town I decided to write a fanfic for it, the rest is history with that.

     I stopped working on July 25th as that was the day my family left for vacation and went to visit the family in Utah. My brother, Steven, had a new computer and he would let me check my mail and browse. On August 6th I made the decision to sign up for Geocities and create a page. I was originally going to base my site on Cid but after several search engine browses I found NOTHING on Barret and the orignal AVALANCHE, the decision was made. Barret Wallace's AVALANCHE Hideout officially opened on August 8th. A problem arose after vacation as I still had no Inernet access at home and so I had to work at a friend's house. But that was finally remedied in February.

     As for my life as a fanfic writer I have been writing fanfics for four years. My first one was for a school project where we could write any short story we wanted. My very first fic ever to be distributed was called Final Fantasy III: The Death of Terra, it is now long gone. I continued to write FF3 fics as well as Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire but my plots were too close to the game, I wanted to do something different. I created a serious Chrono Trigger/Final Fantasy 3 crossover in which Locke's apprentice, Ken, was caught in a timewarp caused by Kefka's last breath. Ken was sent to 1000 AD where he met Crono and it turned out that Ken's effect on the Space-Time Continuum was the only reason the group could travel through time. I never finished that.

     Anyway, before I go on for another hour I'd like to thank everyone who's been tothe Hideout during the past year. Thanks to all authors who have submitted their great fanfics and the artists for their art. My goal for the site's second year is to reach over 50000 hits. I'm sure that will happen easily. Better go, I have to get to work to improve the site even more.

7/31/99: Fanfic review by Henry Wayne on Dyne's fics.

     I can sum up all your (comedic) fan fics that I've read in two words: HELLA FUNNY!!! I laughed until I couldn't laugh anymore. This is truly inspired comic rudeness (Where have we heard that review before?). From Red XIII getting barfed on to Sephiroth getting Ominslash'd several times per fic, these have to be the best crossovers I've ever read! This proves that a cheesy story can make fun of itself (therefore making itself cheesier) and still kick [@$$]. Here's a suggestion: The original FF7 group meets up with the Legend of Legaia or Star Ocean 2 casts?
     I have recommend your fics to all my friends and such. Also, this has given me an uncontrollable urge to attempt and I mean ATTEMPT to write my own fics, involving some of these casts, along with a group of my own characters. I could go on forever, but I gotta go...FANFIC SIGN!!!!

6/22/99: Fanfic review by Dave

Here's my review on Trouble in Hazzard Country:

     There's one word that describes this fic..... COOL!! The whole fic was well written and funny. My favorite part, of course, was the death of our old friend, Pikachu! Cid shoving his spear up Pikachu's @$$, Sephiroth impaling him on his sword and then Cid kicking Pikachu's dead carcas around and threw it into a river, was all funny! I give it 4 out of 5....uh.... dead Pikachu carcases or something, but anyway, that's my review.

6/19/99: Rant about what's happening to this site by Dyne

     I'm sure many people are wondering why the hell is this site featuring (or at least soon will) so much Anime stuff. The reason is this, I'm personally getting sick of just seeing FF7 on this site. So that's why I decided to write AVALANCEH vs. Sailor Moon, why I decided to start writing Anime based fics, and why I'm giving my award to any video game and/or Anime based site. I think we're all getting sick of the same old thing every time we come here, so I may combine a whole bunch of features together for the site. It'll still be mainly FF7 but one of the only FF7 sites with Anime fanfics. Soon there'll be MSTed fanfics that all of us can do (I'll explain the rules for it when I get that section up in the fanfics). I'd better stop before I go on for pages.

6/18/99: Fanfic review from Kasshan

     About "Life of a Dragon Slayer": I thought that the storyline was good,but the author added things that just slowed down the story and I thought it was average.
     Now on to the main character, well...the name "Spicer Draconus" sounds to much like his job as a dragon slayer, also he has no ties with Cloud, Sephiroth, Jenova or Hojo. All he has is a friendship with Aeris. I thought the author could have made him more realistic like Dav Cole-who's related to Locke Cole, Kevin Darksangel-who's part Cetra, best friends with Cloud and has known Sephiroth since they were kids. Also I think he could have gave him a better look and attitude.

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