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I think Nataku is less interested in keeping Eijiro safe and more interested in not having some snot nosed brat get in the way of his glorious bloody sword fight.

I started reading My Hero Academia, and watched the first episode of the anime. It’s entertaining! Hopefully it doesn’t devolved into shounen battle fatigue.

I also read the colorized version of the Scott Pilgrim comic series, and laughing hysterically all the way through. I love the movie, but never read the comics that inspired it, and, unsurprisingly, they’re great! I wanted to rewatch the movie after I finished, and would you believe Scott Pilgrim isn’t available to stream on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Video? I just ended up buying it since I love that movie anyway, but just goes to show how random and unreliable all these subscription streaming services can be sometimes.

I’m trying to catch up on the Marvel Star Wars comics, as they’re probably the best part of the new EU, and a joy to read. I didn’t think you could acknowledge the prequels and still make Darth Vader a badass , but SOMEHOW the Marvel comics manage it. The Luke and Han bromance is also quite glorious.

I also saw READY PLAYER ONE. It’s not… terrible? It’s an extraordinarily middle of the road movie, a standard “find the macguffin” adventure with no surprising twists and a lot of tired cliches. The movie’s only notable for the many pop culture references, most of which I’m sure the 71 year old director asked his production team to add since I doubt he’d recognize most of them. The last line in the movie also hilariously ruins the whole story.

SPOILERS: So in the very last scene, we see the main character making out with his girlfriend on a couch, while he casually states in a voice-over about how he now controls the Oasis, and has just decided to shut it down every Tuesday and Thursday, to encourage everyone to unplug once in a while and go outside. This is basically the height of old man patronizing bull. “These dang kids should stop playing so many video games! Go outside and make out and play sports!” But what about people who work weird hours or multiple jobs and only have time to relax on Tuesdays and Thursdays? What if infirmed or crippled people rely on the Oasis to communicate? What about other functions of the Oasis that aren’t just related to ‘having a good time’ and are relied upon by others in need? What about economic systems based around a functioning Oasis? The legal consequences of shutting it off just to impose a ‘start living your life the way I think you should’ mandate seems overwhelming.

But the biggest reason this whole ‘shut down’ idea is such a middle finger to the story and the audience is that the main character earlier in the film gave a rousing speech to rally all Oasis users to unite and fight the tyranny of the evil IOI corporation that wants to own the Oasis and…make it more corporate than it already is, I guess. Anyway, his rousing speech works, and people unite to fight for the virtual world that they love. One would think those same users would be none too happy to have the guy who rallied them get control of the Oasis and then decided to just arbitrarily shut it off for 48 hours a week.

You’d think the whole point of Ready Player One would be to sell the idea it’s okay to be an introverted nerd, or that some people who struggle to socialize in the real world find themselves able to connect to others more openly online. But in the end, the movie is happy to renounce the internet as something that everyone absolutely should shut off and step away from at least twice a week because that’s what the old man who made this movie thinks. (PS. I love Steven Spielberg and think he’s one of the greatest directors in cinema history, but, ugh, this story was out of his wheelhouse)

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  • Kid Chaos

    More sign language from Lord Maru! I hope it works better than last time. 😜

    As for “Ready Player One”, I was super-hyped about it because I loved the book (it has a permanent place on my Audible playlist). The movie changed a lot (naturally), but shutting down the Oasis for 2 days a week seems like overkill. They could have stuck closer to the source and said that Wade & co. were going to use their new wealth and influence to make the world a better place. As Halliday himself put it (in the book)…

    “Don’t make the same mistake I did; don’t hide in here forever.” 😁

    • Stephen Haluska

      Also a quote paraphrased from the book: “Reality is the only place to get a burger.”

      I understand the reasoning behind changing a lot of the things about the story for the movie adaptation, because a lot of the challenges wouldn’t play very well cinematic-ally, but all the more surprising twists were downplayed or change. That Aech was a woman (and gay, at that) was not that surprising in the movie, for example.

      Perhaps my biggest disappoint from the movie was the missing subtext that Art3mis, a girl, would have been the one that would have won the Egg if it were not for outside meddling. Art3mis found two of the three trials first and knew about a key aspect of the final challenge that the other Top 5 did not. Well, Daito might have know, but he actually gets killed in the book! (But, like I said, I can understand not assassinating a major supporting character in a movie ostensibly for kids.)

      All in all, the book is better, and you should read it.

      • Kid Chaos

        I liked that one of the challenges was changed to “The Shining”, and included a floating zombie dance; that was fun. 😎

  • Arkone Axon

    I have no clue as to what Maru is attempting to convey. Is he suggesting that they just sneak up and kill the kid? Because I’m thinking diplomacy is probably more likely to work (especially since Nataku can’t argue if BOTH his lord’s sons tell him to stop).

    The important thing to remember about movies like “Ready Player One” is who makes them. Remember the whole Harvey Weinstein scandal (an OPEN scandal, because it was going on for literally decades and everyone just pretended to ignore it… until finally it couldn’t be ignored anymore)? Hollywood is run by people like that. People who say one thing and do another. Who accuse the audience of being sexist and racist, projecting their own bigotry. They’ll do “a very special episode” about sexual harassment in the workplace… while forcing actresses to the casting couch. And they project their own ignorance as well – they don’t care if they don’t get the details right with something, because “the audience are a bunch of idiots anyway.” That’s how you get films that portray firearms so inaccurately that actual military types have credited them as making their jobs easier (because of all the terrorists and cartel enforcers who got their “training” from watching movies and think taking cover behind a couch will stop bullets, or run out of bullets and then realize they don’t know how to reload their own weapon). That’s how you get shows where hackers will crash through a system by… typing out gibberish on the keyboard (or even having two hackers sit side by side, tapping away at the same keyboard). And… that’s how you get “science fiction” with decidedly classical elements and outdated morals that tend to fall into the “elders know best” category.

    • multilis

      Maru is probably saying take out the escort protecting the kid, while brother takes care of kid.
      “(especially since Nataku can’t argue if BOTH his lord’s sons tell him to stop)” are you kidding? Worst case he tries to kill them both and then argue that the traitor son killed the good son and he was the hero who killed the traitor son.

      • Arkone Axon

        That… is a frighteningly plausible scenario.
        “I serve my Lord and his family!”
        “But… you killed his sons. You wiped out his entire bloodline!”

        • Turul

          “The Wataro clan is best served cold!”

      • Yasmin Mazur

        I don’t think the little brother is interested in peace – he was pretty ruthless until now. Capturing him for ransom could work – but it will take time to deprogram him.

        • clogboy

          He is however pragmatic. You do raise an interesting question where his interest in war stems from. He’s desperate to win this war. Why? Maybe to find approval with his father, and fill the shoes of his older brother? Kids are like that, I know I was.
          What it will take to change him: he thinks Genchu is a traitor. Hell, Yori is a traitor by definition, for aiding the enemy. And the enemy failed to fulfill their part in the diplomatic outcome which is why they are at war.
          Nataku obviously fed into his radical thinking, not in the last part by demonstration. What’s required to know is that Nataku isn’t only the instigator and the murderer of their mother, but also that their father is training Yori in the fire of battle to become his successor. Then, pride demands that Yori claims his rightful title by conquering the Senshin castle.
          If Senshin can’t be a turncoat, then he must be made to see that Nataku is the real enemy (requiring evidence), or that Yori as successor is the best outcome with the greater good in mind (and although Eji is brilliant, it requires a leap of faith and an insight that he’s still too young and naive to fully grasp). The only person who could convince him lies now minus head.

          • Yasmin Mazur

            if he wants to win for his father – he will not be convinced easily – I don’t know what sort of evidence they have, but there is none blinder than those that refuse to see, as they say…
            If he thinks Yori is taking his place – the little brother may try to kill him no matter what they show him. Some brothers grow up to adore each other, but I doubt this is the case here – father’s approuval is more valuable that brother’s wellbeing.
            Greater good? not likely to be a consideration for him.

          • clogboy

            He’s at the tender age where he could be easily misguided when it comes to the greater good, but is also fortunate enough to be bright and not shy away from a challenge. I think his strongest drive is a sense of responsibility. But he forgets that he’s not pulling the strings; he’s Nataku’s sockpuppet. He’s not questioning Nataku’s loyalty and he trusts his decisions, and given the situation, why not.
            But if he can be made to see that Nataku is dragging both clans into a mutually destructive path for his own pride and glory, then can you truly say that he’s a loyal general, with the ambassador now lying dead and having witnessed the other general assassinated? Yori and Ina could hopefully easily turn this ball around and guide him towards a more peaceful resolution, in defiance of Nataku, if Eji can find the error in his actions.

            And if he can’t, well… here’s hoping lord Wataro will be good for the ransom, whatever that may be.

          • Tim “Azur3flame” Eldred

            Little brother who has never killed anyone with his own hands has a lot to learn about war. He’s witnessed death firsthand, but that was either accidental or for the sake of duplicity. He’s ordering an army and a psychopathic general, but that’s not the same as cutting a man down with your own sword. Anyone can point a weapon at their enemy. Pulling the figurative trigger is another thing altogether.

          • Tim “Azur3flame” Eldred

            Valid point. Hirotomo wants to make Yori prove his worth basically by proving he can’t be bested by those he would otherwise command. In this case, the best fighters who are also the worst people. But I also see an interesting twist to it. Good way to kill off the guys you no longer want connected to you after all their dirty dealings on your behalf: make them fight your heir to the death, quietly hoping they will all lose. Then you take the honorable dishonor for forging a better leader through deception, and everything goes back to status quo with Yori in charge. I’m intentionally omitting a couple of finer points in all of that, but you get the idea.

  • Ocean Burning.

    Yori, you think you’ve handled worse… but I think you’ve also handled better. : P
    Seriously, excited to see how this confrontation goes down!

  • clogboy

    Haven’t seen Ready Player One yet. Looks a bit like Maze Runner and Scarlett Johansson in the Shell had a love child.
    I did, however, watch Avengers: Infinity War and highly recommend it. It feels less like Avengers, more like everything else in the Marvel universe, in a way where the best parts are coming together and either enhance eachother, or make for awkward, sometimes funny culture clashes.
    Minor spoiler (and missed opportunity): if none of the exchanges between Iron Man and Dr. Strange involve the line ‘No shit, Sherlock’ then that’s because Disney hasn’t hawked that property yet.

    • Nos Rin aka CTCO

      they could have used that line. Deadpool mocks DC. *shrugs*

      • Ocean Burning.

        It would have been what they call “breaking immersion” XD

        • Nos Rin aka CTCO

          eh. would have been funny.

  • LordBolanderFace

    Maru: “Your [censored] is this small, and people walk for miles just to punch it.”

    I tried to read the Ready Player One book, but the main character’s introduction really put me off. Like, I know he’s living pretty much in a post apocalyptic world, but DANG! Could this kid be a bigger whiner if he tried? My friend at work said the movie was amazing though, so I might give it another chance.

  • Yasmin Mazur

    Ready Player One – I didn’t read the book so I can’t comment on how it compares. I also didn’t like the forced scheduel at the end, but I’d take that over what the corporation was planning: “80% of the view can be commertials before the player has siezures” – I hate those things. I accept commertials when they’re small, don’t jump at me and don’t block the data I’m trying to read. Stuff that has music and video is bad, and stuff that can’t be shut off until 30 seconds later (If at all) – really annoying. Seriously – what is wrong with one or 2 fixed windows? if you can’t get people to click your add, you need to rethink your campaign, not try to shove it down the user’s throats by force.

    • Kid Chaos

      Try the audiobook; it’s good stuff, and you can skip ahead to the good parts easily enough. 😎

    • Xinef

      On the topic of ads, a while ago I found an article that pretty much sums up the mistakes advertisers make and how they can make good ads instead.

      I hope, partially thanks to adblockers, we’ll see the market shift from annoying (and stupid) ads to ads that are actually win-win-win-win scenarios, that benefit both users, web admins, advertisers and those whose products/services are advertised. Rather than fail^4 ads that are so common today.

      I thiiiink youtube is going in that direction, with many youtubers relying on sponsored videos (and patreon) rather than youtube ads for their profits.

      • Yasmin Mazur

        that’s an interesting article, and I totally agree with the main point about it being the business’ fault for not taking into account what the public wants and how the public wants to get it.
        The sponsored videos he mentions sound like something that could go both ways, though – I think that people would be annoyed if – for example – a tabbaco company sponsored a video about how good ciggarettes are (like the E-ciggarette campain that I see in my country). people can be suspicious about the motive of those things – like they are when Coca Cola is sponsering weight-loss research. Still – I think that if the company is sticking to the truth and not trying to twist the data – there will be a market for it.
        Still – it’s too much to hope for a company to remain nutral about their product.
        In the movie – the Oasis was doing decent business selling equipment and on-line products to the players (“look – that guy is a winner, he’s using the new whole-body suit – let’s get one too and win too…”) – but that company wanted to add overt commertials to the users – I was going “how greedy can you be!!!”

  • Ivresse

    *sigh* You had to say it, didn’t you Yori? You had to say the one thing not to say before an important operation that completely jinxes the whole thing….

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    I missed my chance to see the movie because I have a small theatre and it snowed the last week i might have had a chance to see it and dammit I wanted to play in the snow.
    i’ll pick up a copy on black friday maybe.

  • fantastory

    This time Battle Management Language comes with description

  • Frank Royce Harr

    I think you’ve got Nataku dead to rights.

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