Goodbye Dota

Time to leave Dota behind

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From the day where Dota was just a custom map of Warcraft 3 to the day it’s evolved into Dota 2 – a full-fledged standalone game by Valve, it’s quite a long time. A 10-year journey for me. Thanks to it, I got to know a lot of friends, some of them have become my best friends even till now. We played together, had fun together and worked together. There were laughter as well as sadness. I wish I could keep following this great game for some more time.

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Manila Major, Philippines – 2016

However, I don’t think I have the time nor the energy for it anymore (my last game was 9 months ago). My life has been going down hill, I’ve been struggling to find something new to do as well as maintain my own living, not to mention all the complicated problems I’m facing right now…

So I guess that’s it, at least for now. It was a good time. Maybe sometimes I’d still watch some big tournaments. But I won’t probably play Dota again, not until I feel like it again.

Still, born a gamer, forever a gamer.

Saekano S2 ep 8 – a lesson of trust, friendship and much more

Kato finally showed her real self.

[This post is just a wall of text, it’s best to watch for yourself]

Since her effort not being recognized by the protagonist, Kato was reluctant and trying to avoid Aki. She even tried to get away when he was showing his project proposal. After all, what was the point of her staying when this retard seemed to pretend nothing happened after all the shit he’d done?

But then Aki offered his thank and apology, albeit late, then she let it all out, all the feelings that had been building up in her for the last 2 months. For someone as bland and plain as her, her crying was quite surprising yet understandable.

Her hardworking seemed hardly significant, but she was the one who worked the hardest. There were problems with the other 2 girls, Aki stepped in and solved them. But when he himself had his problems, only Kato was there to help and push him in the right direction. While the other 2 girls intentionally (or maybe not) asked Aki to help them – and had some good time with him, too – Kato got no attention for herself at all. Still, she didn’t seem bothered and tried her best to help out as much as possible. But then what did she get in return? Nothing. Her effort wasn’t recognized correctly, just merely that of a typical assistant.

But the most important thing is that her trust was betrayed by the one she trusted the most. I can’t stress well enough how important friendship is to Kato. Being betrayed by her very first actual friend must have been painful for her. Not only did she lose her trust but also she lost the only place she truly belonged to. I had the same experience, I could say that it must have been really depressing and frustrating. Had Aki done nothing, she would’ve had no way to overcome and forever lost.

Fortunately, the guy realized it after some time. He recognized her effort and that was all Kato needed to find her way back. That was a touching scene. Finally, we got to see the real side of Kato after a long time she’d tried so hard to hide her emotions.

This whole episode was probably dedicated to Kato. It’s so obvious that we all know who Aki’s gonna end up with from tons of hints in this episode alone: the cooking scene, the dinner scene, etc. (note how couple-like Aki and Kato were). Looking at all those scenes, who could say they are really just friends?

Also, we can look back and see the development of Kato as a character, from when she was still a plain, expressionless girl to when she became a character with different emotional dimensions and complex personality. Kato is definitely the best character I’ve seen so far.


 

Saekano S2 ep 6 – the side of Kato you didn’t know

Kato is my waifu so I’ll mostly write about her

[This may contain spoiler]

Sadness. Anger. Disappointment.

That’s what Kato might feel after everything happened around her.

Kato has been trying hard to open up herself. She even offered help to our fucking cancerous protagonist not once, but twice, when Eriri was in trouble. But for a reason, this bastard Aki didn’t want her help. And here is the fucking reason: He wants to keep Eriri all to himself. And he didn’t even realize it until it was pointed out.

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So this faggot thought that he was the only “right” person for the job. He must be full of himself, obviously since he knew too well his childhood friend. And then he took all the credit while Eriri was happy as he showed up alone, proving to be her “right” person.

Although Kato sacrificed a lot when role-playing and helping Utaha, she didn’t even get to help this time. Worse, her effort wasn’t even recognized by this shitty MC until she had to say it out loud herself. She tried her best and this is what she got. Fuck.

In my opinion, this is the most heartbreaking episode so far in the series. In just under 2 mins, we get to see how cruel Kato was treated. The feel just hit rock-bottom.

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Not like I’m much different from Aki anyway. I’d always try to solve everything by myself, I’d not ask for help even when being in desperate situation, I’d rather keep silent than talk about my problems. And after all, the one who is the closest to me – my girlfriend – suffers from the same thing Kato did. And I don’t realize it until much later.

Just how much longer girls can endure guys like this…

Saekano S2 ep 5 – Kato’s strike! And childhood friend

Now it’s Eriri’s turn! But that can wait, Kato comes first!

[This may contain spoiler]

As my previous blog post about Saekano, I made a few observations regarding the development of the characters in season 2. And tada! In this episode 5, Kato made her first appearance on her own as someone came and confessed his love to her (and as expected, she turned him down).

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This alone proves that Kato is no longer her old plain, dull self – she started to make her presence better, especially after the night in episode 4 where she transformed into someone else and danced with Aki. Further into the story, her change was under the direction of Utaha and Eriri, but even they themselves didn’t expect that drastic change of Kato. Even more, Aki planned to reintroduce her into school after the Winter Comiket. How hilarious when someone gets to be reintroduced at the place she’s been there for a long time, hahaha.

So the reason Kato gave to the group when she turned that guy down is that she wanted to spend more time on the game project, if she dated him she wouldn’t have enough time for it. That reason may or may not be true on the surface, still it shows that she really values the time she spends with her group and enjoys it, and she’s super serious about it. She cares a lot about her friends, too, as it can be seen from this and the previous episodes. At this point I don’t think she has any feelings for our dense-as-fuck MC yet (not yettttt, or else I’ll rage).

Enough Kato for me. The featured character of this episode is actually Eriri, though.

Frankly speaking, this episode doesn’t have much interesting development regarding Eriri. We all know that she’s Aki’s childhood friend, and so the route is pretty familiar and clichéd. Eriri is trying to finish her deadline, she forces herself to be isolated in her remote villa so that she can concentrate on her work. Utaha later points out that it’s a fatal mistake of Eriri and predicts that she won’t be able to complete. So Utaha’s warning puts Aki under a lot of pressure as he is trying to find a way to help Eriri. Actually he’s so worried about her that he wouldn’t expect anything but her safety and well-being. That being said, Eriri wants to finish her work as it’s based on Aki’s very first original piece of work – the script for the final route of his game. She wants to make his dream come true. So she puts a lot of effort in it, even tries to go out of her usual style. Then Eriri gets too exhausted and becomes unconscious. A similar event perhaps happened once before when Aki and Eriri were playing together in that remote villa.

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So in the next episode, we will know how Eriri would get her treat. I wonder if Kato would play another role, once again, for Eriri? Either way, let’s hope that we won’t be disappointed.

Thanks HorribleSubs for their hardwork that allows me to watch this great anime!

Sakurada Reset – underrated much?

When I first read its synopsis, I thought it is just some casual anime about supernatural powers. But it turned out I was wrong.

When thinking of supernatural powers, usually they are meant to solve any problems. However, they are far from perfect, they come with rules and limitations and their affects have much greater impact to the world.

And the most importantly, supernatural powers alone can’t solve anything. It all depends on how they are used.

Kei, our main character, possesses a special ability that helps him remember everything he has experienced – which itself isn’t really particularly useful under normal circumstances. He met a girl named Haruki, who has another special ability that allows her to “reset” the world to the past state – which itself isn’t really impactful either since things will still go on the same as before even after being reset many times. However, when Kei and Haruki are brought together, they have the ability to change the “fate”, or “future”, by resetting when facing undesired result and memorizing the experience so that when they redo, they won’t make the same mistake. This reminds me of Steins; Gate, Charlotte, Re:zero, Kokoro Connect, etc., just to name a few.

The first 2 episodes are the prologue that helps us understand the background of characters and their very first success as well as failure. Although it’s just a prologue, it’s already shrouded in mystery as Soma – an important character that brought Kei and Haruki together – committed suicide. Soma’s death marked the first time Kei being unable to solve a problem. The last part – part 3/3 – of the prologue was intentionally left out, perhaps they will screen it at a later time. It’s really a dramatic and intense prologue that triggered my interest in this anime.

Most of the time, the supernatural powers don’t seem to play an important role – they can be easily replaced by similar situations in real life. As such, the anime is much more focused on the core of the problem itself, which involves a lot of philosophy and thoughts about human society – what they desire, how they interact with each other, how they understand each other, etc. All these things give the anime quite a depth, which sometimes make it difficult to understand and follow.

Some say that the characters don’t act like that in real life. Well, it may be true, considering their special abilities they possess. The greater the power, the more burden they have to carry. Specifically in the case of Kei, as you can see, he has a great sense of justice and righteousness, but he doesn’t consider himself a righteous person as he has done some bad things. The way he thinks and acts is really similar to me to some extent. So saying the characters don’t act like that in real life doesn’t really make sense (though it’s limited only to my own experience).

Obviously, the anime is definitely not so refined and well made, but the deep meanings it brings about are really interesting and worth thinking of. This anime is not for everyone, many will find it boring and hard to digest. I can’t really explain how, but if you feel good after watching the first 2 episodes, then this anime is (maybe) interesting enough for you.

Saekano S2 ep 4 – beautiful!

Rusty pen back to otaku’s world!

[This may contain spoiler]

Saekano came back in season 2 and once again, it amazed me.

This time, all of our favorite characters have grown up and became more matured somewhat. Their game project is coming to the most important part and so, challenges arise. And during such difficult times, each character’s personality is portrayed with even more details.

So, what hit me the most this time is at the end of episode 4, when Kato and Utaha are talking to each other. Kato has transformed from a plain dull girl into someone who is much more perceptive and capable of understanding other – or perhaps, she already has this quality to begin with, she just didn’t get a chance to show before. I remember somewhere in the previous episode that once someone said “I hate perceptive girls like you” to Kato – it proves just how deep of a character she really is; a proud, smart girl like Utaha would definitely dislike being seen through by someone as plain as Kato.

Back to their talk, it seems that Kato discovered the connection between Sakuya – the main girl in Utaha’s Metronome in Love – and Ruri – the main girl in their game project, that they are all based on the real Utaha. And so they all share her hidden wish: being chosen by the protagonist (in both the novel and the game). I haven’t done any research but it seems that Utaha wrote Metronome in Love after an incident involving our dense-as-fuck main character. Utaha wishes for being closer to Aki (spoiler: she really shows a lot in the same episode I’m writing about, she even hints him sexually but her effort is still in vain), but she herself makes it impossible. Her personality and ego prevents her from lowering herself to match him, her being older and more experienced and successful is another thing to top it up. She’s also aware that she is competing with other girls. But more importantly, she’s afraid that if she changes, our MC would not treat her the same as before anymore. Perhaps it’d be better, perhaps it’d be worse, but the uncertainty is too great for her to overcome.

After listening to Utaha, Kato seems somewhat troubled as she doesn’t know how to help Utaha with her hopeless situation, probably. When she’s about to turn away, Utaha says that Kato may be able to resolve this problem. When Kato asks how, Utaha just smiles, probably it’s a hint that Kato may already know the answer without realizing it herself.

And so it comes to the most beautiful scene in the whole episode, or perhaps the whole Saekano S2 up until now…

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If it’s not for Kato’s voice, I wouldn’t even recognize her. She completely transformed into someone else. She’s role-playing as Sakuya, Ruri, and also… (you-already-know-who).

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And then they start dancing together while the duo artist – writer sit further away watching them. Eriri also draws the scene for the game based on Kato and Aki’s dancing. We do not get to see her face, but she definitely feels pretty jealous and frustrated there.

Perhaps this is the way that Utaha wanted Kato to solve her problem – to get her feelings to Aki. This also serves to get Aki love the characters he’s making even more (Ruri in this case), thus he’d be able to make his game even better. 11/10 for Kato’s acting!

Utaha gets too much of her sweet time in this episode. I wonder if Eriri would get the same treatment, though in her case of being a childhood friend, it can be even harder. Nevertheless, the scenery in this episode is perfect.

But let me talk a little bit more, about Kato – yes, Kato.

From the beginning of the whole anime series, Kato seems to be pretty unimpressive. Still, she plays an important role to connect every piece of the puzzle together. However, in this episode, I feel like she made a huge sacrifice when role-playing for Utaha’s sake. If I remember correctly, she has never ever made an appearance and an impression on her own. Every role she has played is directed by someone else. It’s just not herself. Yet she keeps doing this kind of thing, showing what she’s capable of and never ceases to amaze me, without asking for anything. Heck, she deserves much more.

And I hate this. I want her to make her own appearance and impression so that our dense-as-fuck MC can open his eyes and see what she’s got. I want her to show that she’s not just a typical plain, dull girl but someone extraordinary and beautiful. I just hope that I can see this in this season.

An experiment on social network

Recently, some of my friends on Facebook have posted something like this:

I truly can’t wait to see everyone’s response.
I think it will be interesting to see how we are all connected. Since life is not only made of photos, I’m going to get into the game called “a reunion of friends.” The idea is to see who reads a post without a picture. So, if you are reading this message, make a comment using a single word about how we met. After that, copy this message on your wall and I will also leave you a word.
Please, don’t leave a word and then not bother to copy the text. You’ll ruin the fun.

So, how well will it go?

Let me take an example from one of my friend: She posted a few days ago, after a day she got a total of 6 comments, from 6 out of her 800+ Facebook friends. Some other people cared enough to give that post ~20 likes. And that’s all she got.

I had thought of commenting on her post. But then I realized I didn’t really know her well, partly because I never really talked to her before except that one time when she asked me for some advice on travelling (to my home city). I was friendly enough to give her as much information as I know, even treated her to some street food while talking about it. Oh, and she tried to be thankful when she said she would treat me next time (but the time never came, actually). I was kinda annoyed at first, but since she’s a girl so I didn’t bother to react.

Some more background info about her: she was in my university class, she’s quite pretty, talented and open-minded, she looked cheerful most of the time, etc., in short, she was a typical college girl, and she’s been single (at least on Facebook) for as long as I could remember. Sounds good, right?

So this is how I would reply: “DN (my home city). It’s not a place where we met obviously, but it’s the only topic we’ve ever had a talk about.”

What do you think would be her reply?


Personally I think it would surprise (shock) her well and leave her with some confusion such as “why would this guy comment like that?”, “does he have any ulterior motives?”, etc.

– But hey, I’m not trying to get you treat me back, and I don’t even think that I’m really your friend. At most, I’m just an acquaintance.

And so I didn’t comment, yeah.

(I’m trying to protect world peace, be grateful!)


Actually something like that post isn’t a bad idea. It’s just too much of a hassle when you try to call out your friends – actual friends – on Facebook like that. Most of the time it doesn’t work. Lazy people like me will just skip it, even if I do consider that person as a friend. And words don’t have as much impact as visual. And for me, friendship purely on social network is such a surreal thing. If my friend reached the ratio of ~6/800, I think I’d do way better as whatever I post can always reach the ratio of ~5/300.

Even in real life, it’s hard to keep in touch with my friends. Last time I had a 1-week vacation back in my home city, but the number of friends I managed to meet was nowhere near 5 – I was trying to reach my friends through both Facebook and phone, but they all seemed to be caught up in something else.

I do care about my friends a lot, but I have neither enough time nor energy (and money) to actually reach out to them all. That leaves me with the expectation of return from their side. The best I can do is to maintain a few real close friends that I can hang out and share things often.

In this modern day and age, geographical distance is still a thing, you know.