Tag: lists

Starchaser’s Favorite Visual Novels

I never have time to read visual novels nowadays. It’s a shame since they have some of the best stories I’ve ever been exposed to. Maybe when I graduate university I’ll get back in the game, but until then let me not waste any more time and instead tell you about some of the best visual novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

 

Muv-Luv Alternative 

Muv Luv Alternative

Muv-Luv Alternative is a true beauty. It’s difficult to talk about any of it without getting into spoiler territory though. Alternative is the third and final part of the Muv-Luv series. It takes characters you’ll be familiar with (it goes without saying if you want to read Alternative you SHOULD start with Extra and Unlimited first so you can appreciate it in its entirety) and puts them in a world where an alien invasion has humanity on the brink of extinction and human-piloted mechs are their only hope for survival.

This visual novel did a lot whilst making me feel a swirl of emotions and succeeded in doing so. I can’t understate how heavy the plot is though, and I wouldn’t recommend it for the weakhearted and those who can’t deal with depression. The ending is the definition of “bittersweet”, and calming songs such as this were able to hit me in the heart every time I heard it. Oh yeah, and it’s because of Alternative Ayamine Kei was solidified as one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. The only other character I hold in high regard is Miles “Tails” Prower. Her moment with Chizuru and reading her letter had me burst into tears.

 

Galaxy Angel 

Galaxy Angel

My community college days were fun and I have the Galaxy Angel trilogy to thank for that. It’s no secret Fullmetal Alchemist got me into anime and manga, and this is what got me into visual novels. There are probably better introductions, but make no mistake, Galaxy Angel is one of the best visual novels I ever read. The story is straightforward and the theme mostly centers around romantic love. It actually makes for a good amount of heartwarming moments no matter which girl you pair Tact Mayers with.  It’s one of the best romance stories I’ve ever experienced. Some people talk about Beyonce and Jay-Z being “relationship goals” but for me, I would want a relationship with a woman the way Tact Mayers has with Ranpha Franboise.

For me, this visual novel oozes with charm thanks to its pretty art style, sci-fi and futuristic setting and wonderful soundtrack. I should also mention “Eternal Love is one of the grooviest themes I’ve ever come across in any media. The moments where it plays is always fitting and a delight to hear. The actual battle gameplay mechanics are great as well even if they are on the simple side. The ending to the third and final installment is a happy one that’s bound to bring a smile to the reader’s face.

 

Grisaia no Kajitsu 

灰色的果实高清壁纸

This visual novel really tested my patience, both in a good and bad way. If I can encapsulate what Grisaia no Kajitsu is about I would say… everyone has their own story, everyone has their own struggles, and everyone makes mistakes, regardless if you can see any of them or not. Also, no one’s perfect. Anyway, the dialogue, writing, execution and unique heroines are what makes this piece of fictional work stand out.

This has the longest common route I’ve ever read and that’s what I mean by testing my patience in a bad way. What keeps it going though is the copious amount of comedy thanks to the girls’ quirks and Yuuji’s serious and stoic disposition providing a lot of hilarious moments. Once one of the heroine’s route starts, the tone of the story takes a turn for the more serious. I started to find a deeper meaning in why the woman in question is the way she is now. There are quite a number of plot twists in each route that kept me guessing and engrossed throughout.

 

Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!

Majikoi

This and Muv-Luv Alternative are the only visual novels I have given a 10/10 to. So yeah, I think it’s really damn good. Unlike the previous entries, Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai (usually shortened to Majikoi) is more lighthearted and over-the-top, and I’m a forgiving person especially since there wasn’t one character here I didn’t like. The story is about life, growing up and making memories with the people you love. It’s a story about family/friendship between a group of childhood friends. Considering I’m a happy person who loves his family and friends to death, I was able to get a lot from this visual novel.

It might be not plot heavy, but this is where the characters come in. All the characters are lovable, entertaining  and memorable. Besides the main characters, there’s also a bunch of supporting characters and they’re all great. They contribute to the comedic dialogue and each have at least one moment to shine. If there is one visual novel I would recommend, it would easily be this one.

 

Sonic the Hamilton: 5 Essential Charles Hamilton Projects for a New StarCHaser

Note: This is not necessarily a list of his best work, but rather a collection of what I consider to be albums/mixtapes for anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with who Charles Hamilton is as a musician.

 

With over 250+ albums and mixtapes (last time I checked), Charles Hamilton has been making good music for over a decade now and the funny thing is, he’s still at it! I heard there’s an album that’s supposed to be released this summer (fingers crossed) so I figured now was a nice time to revisit the days when Mr. Hamilton was putting out projects faster than Sonic could complete the Green Hill Zone. Fortunately, I was alive during the Hamiltonization Process and I’ve watched him grow over the years, but if you somehow missed him or you’re still in your teens, it’d behoove you to get familiar with one of the greatest music artists who ever lived before you get left behind like Tails.

 

The Pink Lavalamp

Considered by a number of fans (including myself) as his magnum opus. I remember I once said it was the best rap album since Illmatic. Seriously, if you haven’t listened to this, stop reading my blog post and do so right now ’cause it’s THAT GOOD! According to Mr. Hamilton, this album was recorded during the worst period of his life, he was “homeless, doped up, heartbroken, in love, poor, dirty, stinkin, angry, suicidal, happy, silly…but alive”. The Pink Lavalamp is him at his most focused, it’s his most concise, well-rounded and complete album to date. It mixes unapologetic nerd anthems (Loser) with poignant tributes to loved ones (I’ll Be Around) while finding perfect balance in between. The Pink Lavalamp is a showcase of the many tools at Mr. Hamilton’s disposal: pellucid writing, wonderful metaphors, rough experience, raw emotion and euphonious instrumentals.

 

Sonic the Hamilton

In hindsight, this was a pretty depressing project. Charles Hamilton has never shied away from being genuine, even if that means being ostracized and ridiculed for it. One of his many strengths as a music artist is his ability to be many things at once, and not all of them are pretty. Philosophical and heedless, compassionate and indifferent, emotional and cold. In Sonic the Hamilton he can be cocky on one track and vulnerable on the next. It makes for an interesting listen, and this whole album is the definition of “head phone music”. CH has always been an intricate writer and skilled producer and this amalgamates well to make something that’s as delicate as it is prickly like Sonic the Hedgehog’s quills (tee hee).

 

My Brain is Alive

“Hate it or hate it a lot, I’ll make my way to the top” Charles Hamilton asserts on a song called Freshman Orientation. He shows why he’s a consistent musician with this offering. Embarrassingly, I didn’t pay much attention to this when it was first released and it’s only recent I have appreciated its charm in its entirety. Charles Hamilton finds new ways to bring his talent to the listener’s ears. The listener can expect to be hit with hard-hitting beats on tracks like Freshman Orientation, experience positive vibes on a feel good song and a half with Every Now and Then and sing along to a catchy hook on Get on the Bandwagon. He really does find innovative ways to engage his fans without losing himself in the process.

 

At Most I’m Just… 

It may not be as ambitious as the previous three, but in my correct opinion, this project has some of his best lines and beats. Charles Hamilton is a big fan of the band Incubus and here you’ll only find Incubus samples (with two exceptions). Everything is grim, intense and brooding on At Most I’m Just… like when questions “Nothing wrong with writing about people/But since people live, am I writing about evil?” on Friendly Reminder/Mop-N-Glo. And since I said some of his best lines are on this project, I’ll give you an example from the first track, The Incubator. “I’m a raging inferno of pink, with the face of a skull/Razor blades for my teeth. Got a tongue made of water/A voice made of pure vibration/I guess my songs are like word libations”.

 

This Perfect Life 

I just want to say CH’s 2nd verse on Cable in the Classroom is the most perfect rap verse I’ve ever heard. This was originally supposed to be his debut album, but due to a lot of crap (some being his own mistakes and others out of his control), it didn’t happen. Anyway, This Perfect Life has a brilliant collection of songs and just like The Pink Lavalamp, strong features from the few music artists who do appear. Charles Hamilton deals with personal issues on this album as well, although not with the same devotion overall. I said “overall” because for certain tracks it can be argued he conveys stronger emotion. He briefly mentions his child molestation, is the “three pound bullet in the sky”, doesn’t let things that aren’t around bother him, cuts “niggas” (I don’t use this word so that’s why I have it in quotation marks lol) off, is all alone, expresses his love for music, and closes the album letting us know pink is the color of life. It’s been over eight years since this album was leaked and the only person who fully understands Charles Hamilton to this day is Charles Hamilton.

10 Things I No Longer Worry About

なるようになるか。

 

Even though I might be happy 24/7 to the point I question if it’s even healthy, there are times where particles of sadness and worry can seemingly come out of nowhere. However, I’m usually able to shift my focus and reset my brain. In doing so, I drop my “problems” from my mind and feel invigorated. I feel like I’m ready to take anything that comes my way. Worrying sucks. Here are some problems I found myself worrying about far too often before I discovered how to refocus. Life is too short to worry about…

 

1. Money

“Fuck bitches, get money”

Unfortunately or fortunately, I have no interest in having sex with most women, hoes or not. Oh, the lyrics were figurative not literal. I remember writing in my journal for my College Success class “money provides opportunities”.  Think about it, you need money for almost everything. You need money to buy groceries, you need money to go to Disney World, you need money to attend university, you need money to travel, etc. People do some strange things for paper and I’ll never understand why. Now, you won’t catch me saying “money doesn’t buy happiness” because people who say that have obviously never bought a puppy. Also, money can get you a jet ski and I have never seen anyone unhappy on a jet ski.

Yes, we do need it. There’s no denying that. And while I have said I want to be rich/a multimillionaire, I don’t allow the dinero to be the source of solving any of my distress. I live my life so I can reflect on the great times I had and don’t worry about spending the few dollars on those Yu-Gi-Oh! cards I really want, I just enjoy it. With that said, I make sure I have some money stashed away for a rainy day.

 

2. Death

It’s bound to happen one day. Sooner or later in my life, I’m going to have to face the inevitability of my death. I can’t stop the Grim Reaper and hiding is only going to impede me from living my life to the fullest. It’s funny really, because I almost died three times (suicide attempt, choking and falling down a high hill), but for some reason, the Grim Reaper must’ve been thinking “Naw I don’t want you yet, you good fam”. People die every day, but the fact I’m still one of the people breathing is pretty rad. I could go to sleep tonight and not wake up to see tomorrow. Even if I do wake up, there is still a chance the place I live could be nuked or a meteor could fall to Earth killing us all. Sure, the chances might be slim, but they’re still there.

I’m not going to lie, whenever the Grim Reaper starts knocking on my door, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he does everything he can to break the door down. I’m not someone who’s going to accept death with open arms especially at this point in my life when I feel I’m destined for great things. I think I lived a wonderful life so it wouldn’t bother me too much if I were to die, but the one thing going through my head would most likely be “Damn, I thought I had at least 4 more decades”.

 

3. What People Think

“It doesn’t matter what you think!” – The Rock

It took me my sophomore year in high school to finally accomplish not caring what people thought of me. By my senior year I jumped out of the Tornado and started flying on my own ever since. I started living my life as though nobody was there. I started being me, regardless of what my friends, family, the government or the guy on the internet thought about it.

Fitting in is required in certain situations, but it’s not the end-all, be-all for every situation in life. There are times when I need to keep a low profile, but for the most part, unless I’m James Bond, I let loose and have fun, regardless of what people think. It’s my life, I live it, I love it, and I don’t care what anyone thinks of it.

 

4. The Small Stuff

Little things go wrong every day in our lives. I forgot to write my essay, a dollar short for my purchase, tripped and fell on the floor, laughed during a presentation. If I were to consider this a bad day, I’d be archiving my life the wrong way. Instead of getting frustrated by the little things, I focus on the positives. I can still pass the class, the cashier didn’t mind, I’m still able to walk, nobody is going to remember me laughing in six weeks… there are too many great things happening on a day to day basis to worry about the little annoyances.

 

5. Celebrities

I don’t keep tabs on most celebrities because I don’t care what they say or what they’re doing. There are certainly a few I do like such as Chris Tucker and I’m aware of eminent scientists, but what they’re doing doesn’t get me anywhere in life. I might be aware of their existence, but they aren’t of mine. There are plenty more going on in the world outside the lives of celebrities.

 

6. The Past

This was hard for me. Sooner or later I had to let go of my past. Instead of dwelling on it, it’s an important facet to learn from, but I shouldn’t let it get in my way and become a burden. Instead, I look ahead and get that dirt off my shoulders. *Jay-Z voice*

I made errors in my past. Even though I may look at my jewelry wearing, depressed, people pleasing past self with disgust, there’s no need to run from or be ashamed of who I am now or where I came from. I can’t let what happened distract me from my goals and vision. Gotta learn from my mistakes and stand up every time I’m knocked down. The only way I can continue being harmed by something that already happened is if I let it.

 

7. Negative People

People aren’t always going to like what I do. It’s fine as long as they don’t go out of their way to say or do some vitriolic shit (if I didn’t do anything to deserve it, of course) but there are some people who think it’s a good idea and pursue it. Despite this, I have to continue doing what I’m doing. Whether I become a worldwide celebrity and/or a Youtube personality, I’m going to tread on certain toes. See, whether you like my blog or not, I’m still going to make posts until I can’t anymore. If I stopped and stressed out every time someone said something distasteful, I’d never have accomplished anything in life. The fox doesn’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

 

8. Work

While most people want to be rich so they don’t have to work, I want to become rich so I can work more. I call it the “Shane McMahon lifestyle”. I want work to be something desirable, something to look forward to, not because I have to, but I also want the option of “You know what, I don’t want to work anymore for the rest of my life”. If I’m not at work, there’s nothing to worry about. If I’m at work, it’s the time to be more productive. I may not have been crazy about any of the previous jobs I had, but work is a silly thing for me to get grumpy about.

 

9. What Can Go Wrong

I’m not going to Dairy Queen today. I could run out of gas. I could get in an accident. What if there’s a long line (lol)? What if I forget my wallet? Someone might break into my house while I’m gone. I’ll just stay home instead and do nothing about it.

If I didn’t start something because I was scared of all the things that could go wrong, then I would deserve to be unsuccessful, because I can’t be successful if I don’t know how to react when faced with adverse circumstances. No matter how well I make my plans, something can go wrong. Somethings are out of my control. Which are times it’s nice to have a Plan ‘B’ in those scenarios but even Plan ‘B’ could not go as planned.

 

10. Worrying 

It seems weird to worry about worrying, but it happens. It’s normal to worry even though I’m better off not doing it, but when I’m worrying about worrying it’s time to take a step back and breathe.

My Bucket List

 

Note: Will be updated periodically. Stuff on the bucket list that have been completed will be striked out and there may or may not be new things added.

I have a confession to make, I have never made one of these. I’ve heard about them, but I never stopped, thought and wrote down what I wanted to do before it was lights out for me. I plan on changing that right now. If you haven’t heard about the term “bucket list”, it is a list of all the goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to fulfill and life experiences you want to have before you die. Even though goal and vision setting is already a perennial activity, I still found many new things to do while I was writing down my own list. Creating my bucket list was an insightful exercise. Coming up with my list gave me a sense of enthusiasm knowing what’s in store for my future! The idea for my bucket list is to transform everything listed here into achieved, unforgettable experiences.

 

  1. Become a polymath/Renaissance man
  2. Be trilingual (English, Japanese and Spanish)
  3. Graduate from my university*
  4. Publish a book
  5. Learn how to play the piano and flute
  6. Ride an elephant
  7. Compete in a triathlon
  8. Save a life 
  9. Meet Charles Hamilton
  10. Become a science communicator
  11. Get a tattoo
  12. Travel Asia (Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, South Korea, India)
  13. Attend a WrestleMania with my brother
  14. Buy a two story house
  15. Become a multimillionaire
  16. Maintain my current friendships until I’m dead
  17. Visit my grandma’s grave
  18. Do psilocybin mushrooms
  19. Do LSD
  20. Bungee jump from the Macau Tower while listening to Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 while hollering like Goofy
  21. Host a party
  22. Meet Joey Greco
  23. Speak in front of a thousand people
  24. Take a picture of myself for a whole year
  25. Become great at drawing
  26. Start my YouTube account
  27. Start my Deviantart account
  28. Attend an Awesome Games Done Quick event (and donate money to them)
  29. Buy a Bob Ross painting
  30. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge
  31. Buy this Eleonora Viltaria figure
  32. Learn to cook my favorite food
  33. Visit Canada
  34. Prank call
  35. Be on a TV show
  36. Be in a commercial
  37. Be on a radio show
  38. Complete 50 pull ups
  39. Sleep on a trampoline
  40. Smoke a Cuban cigar
  41. Solve a Rubik’s cube (worst experience ever)
  42. Become an organ donor 
  43. Donate blood
  44. Go skiing
  45. Lose enough weight to get a six pack
  46. Attend a Nicki Minaj concert
  47. Memorize the periodic table
  48. Invest in gold
  49. Do a speed run of Brave Fencer Musashi
  50. Volunteer at a dog shelter
  51. Learn to knit
  52. Go shark cage diving
  53. Meet Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  54. Become a voice actor
  55. Climb a volcano
  56. Witness a solar eclipse
  57. Ride a camel
  58. Go on a segway
  59. Go on a roadtrip
  60. Get my driver’s license
  61. Go to space
  62. Finish my play
  63. Tell a stranger she’s beautiful
  64. Stargaze
  65. Bake a cake
  66. Become a HIV/AIDS activist
  67. Achieve a 4.0 for one semester
  68. Attend a TED talk
  69. Go on a blind date
  70. Create a blog
  71. Capture a tornado on camera
  72. Buy all The Sims 2 expansion packs
  73. Dye my hair blue
  74. Shave my head
  75. Plant a tree
  76. Learn all the countries and capitals in the world
  77. Buy a vacation house in Japan
  78. Leave a $100 tip for a waiter/waitress
  79. Have a meaningful conversation with a stranger
  80. Have sex under the stars
  81. Swim with dolphins
  82. Write a short story
  83. Become an audiobook narrator (especially for The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
  84. Write a letter of appreciation for my teacher
  85. Coin a phrase “Holy macaroni”
  86. Take a class on accounting and business
  87. Donate $10,000 dollars to a charity
  88. Give my lunch to a houseless person
  89. Be happy
  90. Do peyote
  91. Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day
  92. Leave a positive mark on this world
  93. Jump into a pool full of jello
  94. Eat in an underwater restaurant
  95. Build a gingerbread house
  96. Attend Comic-Con with my brother
  97. Visit my best friend Tye in HIS country
  98. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  99. Float in the dead sea
  100. Visit all 50 states
  101. Skydive
  102. Skinny-dip 
  103. Watch the FIFA World Cup in person
  104. Attend Oktoberfest 
  105. See a chocolate factory
  106. Go to hot springs in Iceland
  107. Meet Oprah Winfrey
  108. Fly first class
  109. Meet Chris Tucker
  110. Eat a fried tarantula

 

*As for graduating, I know I will at least finish my major for my bachelor’s. Depending on my mood, I might just add another two years and go for my master’s.