Anime Movie Review: Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa

Details: Also known as Gekijô-ban hagane no renkinjutsushi: Shanbara wo yuku mono. Released in 2005. About an hour and forty-five minutes long. You can watch it at crunchyroll.com here: http://www.crunchyroll.com/fullmetal-alchemist-the-conqueror-of-shamballa

Before Attack on Titan, the title for most shocking dramatic anime would likely have gone to Fullmetal Alchemist. I’m not talking about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. If you didn’t know, there were two Fullmetal Alchemist series. The first aired from 2003 to 2004 and the second was Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood which aired in 2009 to 2010 and was meant as a retelling of the original series that was more in line with the manga. The first series is one of my favorite anime’s of all time because of just how devastatingly sad and shocking it was. Unlike Brotherhood which sought to simply glaze over plot elements that already occurred before deviating from the original story, the original series gave its shocking plot points sufficient time to develop for maximum emotional impact.

Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa is the definitive conclusion to that original series. It does its best to wrap up loose ends, provide color to the jarring ending of the original series and ends on the same bittersweet melancholy tone established in the anime. There will be spoilers ahead in relation to the original anime and a synopsis of the premise of the movie.

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TV Show Review: Silicon Valley, Season 4

Details: Aired in 2017 on HBO. Ten episodes with each at about thirty minutes long. Official site is https://www.hbo.com/silicon-valley

Silicon Valley, season 4 is more of the same. That’s a good thing.

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Video Game Console Review: Nintendo Switch

Details: Released in 2017. Listed price is $299.99. You can find the official specifications on the official web page at https://www.nintendo.com/switch/

I just finished playing through Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, and I’ve tried a number of other games on the Switch. I think I’ve played enough of the system to have an opinion on it so here it is: the Nintendo Switch is a video game console that appeals to people who want to play child-friendly games. If you want a more mature, complex experience with more features and the utmost graphical power, purchasing the Switch is a bad decision.

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Anime Review: Overlord II

Details: Aired in 2018. Thirteen episodes with each a little under twenty-five minutes long. Here’s a site that provides information on the show: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35073/Overlord_II

Overlord II continues the story of Overlord, season one. It wasn’t a great season and you should feel free to skip it.

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Restaurant Review: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

Details: Located at 40-52 Main Street, Floor 2, Flushing, NY 11354. Official site is http://www.gyu-kaku.com/

Gyu-Kaku is a chain of Japanese BBQ restaurants across America (perhaps even internationally). If you’ve ever had Korean barbecue, you’ll have a pretty good idea what you’re in for.

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Comic Book Review: Wonder Woman: Earth One

Details: Released in 2016. Listed price is $22.99. Art by Yanick Paquette. Written by Grant Morrison. Official site is https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/wonder-woman-earth-one-2016/wonder-woman-earth-one-vol-1

Like Marvel’s Ultimate comics line, DC’s Earth One line of books seeks to re-imagine popular superheroes and retell their stories. Unlike Marvel’s Ultimate line, Earth One only seeks to change them, not change them into more realistic or grittier versions of themselves. Wonder Woman: Earth One is a good example of that change. In this book, Morrison retells Wonder Woman’s origin story in a way that glorifies a few of the more progressive elements of the character while also shining a spotlight on the more perverse and embarrassing aspects of the character’s almost seventy year history.

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Restaurant Review: Saigon Shack

Details: Located at 114 MacDougal Street, New York, New York 10012. Official site is http://www.saigonshack.com/

Saigon Shack is a Vietnamese restaurant near New York University. The most important things to keep in mind with this restaurant is that they do not take reservations, they only seat when the entire party is present, they only take cash, the prices are surprisingly cheap, and the food is surprisingly good.

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Restaurant Review: Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan

Details: Located at 42-47 Main St, Queens, NY 11355. Official site is http://hunankitchenny.com/

Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan is a Sichuan restaurant that mostly caters to family style eating. That means communal dishes to share. They don’t really cater to individuals buying separate things. Accordingly, the menu is kind of expensive considering the type of food they’re serving.

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Comic Book Review: Dark Nights: Metal

Details: Published from 2017 to 2018 by DC Comics. Six issues. Mostly written by Scott Snyder and mostly drawn by Greg Capullo. Official site is https://www.dccomics.com/comics/dark-nights-metal-2017/dark-nights-metal-1

Dark Knights: Metal is bonkers. It is absolutely bat-shit (pun intended) crazy. Metal is DC’s big crossover comic book event from last year and centers mostly on Batman. Drawing from the story lines occurring after Rebirth, Snyder tells a crazy, overstuffed story that could have easily taken thirty issues instead of six.

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