23 September 2015

First European Yu-Gi-Oh! Extravaganza in Ghent, Belgium

Oh, hey. Didn't see you there. Is it another blue moon?

Just wanted to drop it to you that the first European Yu-Gi-Oh! Extravaganza is happening this upcoming weekend... here in Ghent, Belgium (my home region, lol).

And it is happening during F.A.C.T.S., the biggest convention of the BeNeLux area (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, FYI).

So obviously, I will be joining to see what it's going to be like... and so should you!

What is the Yu-Gi-Oh! Extravaganza?

I have no idea!

Lol, just kidding. Until a few days ago, it was still kind of vague for us Europeans, because it only has occurred in the states.

But this is the definition found on the yugioh website:

A Yu-Gi-Oh! Extravaganza is a fun-filled weekend for Dueling fans of all ages. The entire weekend is comprised of Public Events and activities, such as Win-A-Mat tournaments, WCQ: Regional Qualifiers and Sealed Pack Play tournaments. Duelists can also take part in fun Yu-Gi-Oh!-themed activities and compete for a chance to win a Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series prize card.

No seriously, WHAT can you do?

In reality, this means a big 2-day event (which is part of the FACTS convention), where you can do participate in all sorts of public events, you would otherwise see at a YCS.

Giant Card, Structure Deck tournament, Regionals, Win-a-mats, Dragon duel and Sealed Pack events are organized all weekend long.

And during the event you can gather points in order to participate in the final play-off to obtain Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn

And the convention?

Seriously, just check the website of facts: http://www.facts.be/.

Several guests and artists will be coming, including John Rhys-Davies, Christopher Lloyd, Alfie Allen, Peter Mayhew, Ernie Hudson and more.

Also, lots of boots, games, cosplay events, and other regular convention stuff.

What else can we do in Ghent?

So the convention closes and you still want to do something? No problem.

Starting Point: Korenmarkt

There's lots of places to go to in Ghent, but for most of them, the starting point, or the point of orientation is de city Center, the "Korenmarkt".

Getting there isn't difficult. Take the tram from the convention area and it'll stop automatically there (about half an hour ride).

From there on out, there's tons of restaurants and pubs within walking distance.

Within ten minutes of walking, you can go to:

  • the "Dreupelkot", thé place to experience the Flemish Jenever (liquor in many flavors);
  • the "Dulle Griet", thé place to experience over a hundred different Belgian (and foreign) beers (try the Kwak);
  • the "Kastart", a famous student restaurant serving Pasta with a special home-made sauce;

... and many other places.

Playing cards or games after the convention

So you still want to play (card)games after the convention ends? No problem. The gathering point for Yugioh players (and other cardgame/boardgame/videogame people) in Ghent is the Outpost Ghent.

To get there, take the tram from the convention to the train station and take a walk to the Ottergemsesteenweg 13 (just google-maps it!).

The place is open until after midnight. You can also get drinks and snacks here (or nearby), so you won't starve.

Picking up a movie

Sure, why not, though it's quite some distance. By car, it's best to parc at the "Sint-Pietersplein" parking and go the last few hundred meters by foot.
Yes, you CAN park your car at the movie theater, but it's usually crowded and there's a chance the parking area is full.

If you're not by car, your best options are to take the tram to the station and then take bus lines 34, 35, 36, 58 or 70.

If you're more into alternative movies, there's also 2 alternative movie theaters with "limited release" movies.

The first one is the "Sphinx" theater, at the korenmarkt (just take the Tram to the Korenmarkt).

The other is "Studio Skoop". Easy to reach by car, quite a long distance by public transportation (take any bus or tram that goes to the "Zuid" area).

I'll be there... and you?

Yeah, as the title says. Since I've been going to FACTS every year (safe the year it almost coincided with London MCM comic-con and I went there instead), I'll be going this year as well. But this time I'll take my deck boxes along with me (lol).

So, see you there?

Otherwise, until the next time.
V out.

9 July 2015

V Reviews: Fate Stay Night Unlimited Cash Cow Milking

The first time I saw Fate / Stay Night, back in 2006, I thought it was amazing. But nearly 10 years of experience with other animes have made me backtrack that initial opinion.

After watching Fate / Zero, I gave that masterpiece a 10/10, but I also started realizing that the original Fate series was not as good as I initially thought.

So after Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works was announced, I was curious as to how the studio behind Fate / Zero would handle an alternate storytelling of the original series? Would it be just as bad, or could they make it better?

Let's find out and get this review on the road!

V Reviews: Fate / Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works TV

A: Backstory

The Visual Novel Fate / Stay Night is by far one of the most successful Visual Novels in existence. With an adapted anime, movie, manga and even the (way better) spin-off Fate/Zero behind our backs, it's no secret that the Fate Franchise is immensely popular.
And Studio Ufotable realizes that.

Meanwhile at Studio Ufotable...

In October of last year, the studio behind both Fate / Zero and the re-release of the Visual Novel have released their latest attempt to milk the Fate Cash cow with: Fate / Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works.

This TV-series (in 2 seasons) is an adaption of the Unlimited Blade Works Route of the Visual Novel and is presented to serve as an extension of both the movie from 2010 and the TV-series of 2006.

Certain moments tend to fill in more blanks than the original TV-series did. This is done in such a way, that this feels more like a sequel of Fate Zero, rather than a sequel to the original series itself. So, in short, UBW is the sequel of the prequel of Fate / Stay Night! Are you still with me? No? Good!

This however brings up the biggest shortcoming that this anime has from the get-go. It was and will remain the "retarded half-brother" of Fate / Zero, as Gigguk once called it. But to the credit of Studio Ufotable, it got a little less retarted this time around. People no longer die when they are killed.

Ufotable realized the serious task they took and did a decent job of adapting the game in a way people wanted to see it. In comparison to the 2006 anime, this story meanders a lot less on "school romance" and focuses more on the action. But there's only so much the anime can improve on a core story that comes from a visual novel.

B: Story

For those who are unfamiliar with the typical Fate set-up, I'll give a brief summary of it.

7 mages fight in a battle royale for the holy grail, which can grant the winner 1 wish. Each of the mages summons a Servant, based on a mythical hero and in 1 of 7 classes (Saber, Lancer, Archer, Caster, Rider, Berserker and Assassin). Both mages and servants duke it out in Mortal Kombat until only one duo remains.

But due to past corruptions of the grail, things have gone a little out of whack and the rule book has been edited behind the scenes as if it was handled by that annoying friend you had as a kid who didn't like the rules of the game.

Our main hero, Emiya Shirou, is an orphaned teenage boy whose home living situation would be described on Facebook as: "It's complicated". His family has gone up in flames 10 years ago, during the events of Fate Zero. His adopted father (Kiritsugu) recently passed away and he's living alone in his house, while being supervised by both the daughter of his landlord (Taiga) and a childhood female friend (Sakura).

And THAT is only the beginning!

At school he uses the little bit of magic he's able to handle, to repair faulty electric devices and electronics. But one evening, after he spend some late hours at school, he comes across a battle of two servants (Lancer and Archer), which is something he wasn't allowed to see according to the rules. The servants spot him and Lancer kills him on the spot. He ends up being revived by Tohsaka Rin, a schoolmate and one of the mages in this Battle Royale.

On Rin's side of the story (yeah, the first 2 episodes focus on both Rin and Shirou respectively), Rin has summoned a servant herself, hoping it would be one of the "saber class". But due to not having a heroic relic to summon a specific hero (or at least, that's what she thinks), she ends up with an amnesiac hero of the Archer class. Both Rin and Archer blame each other for their shortcomings but eventually agree to work together.

While getting used to her new servant, Rin discovers a magical barrier at school. She realizes there might be more than 1 mage at school. After getting rid of the barrier, she ends up being attacked by the Lancer servant. A fight ensues until a baffled Shirou unknowingly enters the battlefield, which enforces Lancer to kill him. This because the rules of the Holy Grail Battle order any outsiders that know of the Holy Grail War should be killed. Rin finds the body of Emiya, who died because he was killed. She uses a unique jewel to revive him.

Shirou wakes up, not realizing Rin saved her and goes home, only to be attacked by Lancer once more (because Lancer noticed he didn't finish the job). Emiya flees into one of the back buildings and incidentally touches a magic circle, left behind by his father and Irisviel back during the events of Fate Zero. Due to plot convenience, the magic circle activates and Emiya ends up summoning servant Saber, who defends him and she fences Lancer off.

Lancer retreats, but before Saber can explain the situation, she notices another servant nearby and goes to attack. That other servant is Archer, together with Rin, who were rushing to Emiya's place because Rin realized that Lancer would "finish the job". A short confrontation ensues, until Emiya stops Saber and both Rin and Shirou spot each other.

Shirou and Rin agree to a temporary ceasefire and Shirou gets an explanation of the Holy Grail War, from both her and the supervisor of the Holy Grail War, the priest Kotomine Kirei. After that, our heroes slowly get into fights with other mages and the plot ensues.

Revealing more would be spoiling the story too much, so I'll leave it at that.

C: Characters

Emiya Shirou
Main hero of the series. He's shown to be righteous and noble, but due to the way he uses those character traits, he actually ends up being a selfish prick at times. This in such a way, he's often cock-blocking Saber's action scenes, rendering her useless.
Tohsaka Rin
The female protagonist and master of Archer. The very definition of a tsundere character. She tries to act tough and stuck-up, but in the end, she's one of the few characters I was actually rooting for.
Shirou's servant. Noble lady who doesn't reveal her past because her identity would give an additional weakness, next to her team-up with Shirou. Due to the low amount of mana Shirou can supply her with, she can never fight at full strength. And Shirou's stubborn self-sacrificing behavior only makes it worse. She can only start to shine due to the events that happen in the second season.
Rin's servant. He's an amnesiac and only slowly starts to recover his memories. He is kind of a selfish prick. In season 2 it's revealed why he's such an asshole (once again, no spoilers).
Kotomine Kirei
The supervisor of the 5th Holy Grail battle. He's a total creep, but he has experienced the previous war firsthand and he's able to get Emiya started as an actual mage in this war.
Shinji Matou
Brother of Sakura Matou and contender of the Biggest Douche in the Universe award. From early on, he's suspected of being one of the "masters" of one of the servants. And while claiming to be a "friend" to Shirou and Rin, he might actually be one of their biggest enemies.

There are more characters in this show, but giving an explanation of them would also spoil the story. That's because one of the few strong points of both the original Fate/Stay Night series as this sequel is the mystery about who the masters and who the servants TRULY are.

D: Adaptation of the source material and comparison to 2006's Fate Stay Night

I have never played the Fate / Stay Night visual novels (not really into visual novels). But from what I caught from the Fate wiki, it seems like a fairly good adaption, with only a few minor scenes added. Correct me if I'm wrong, though.

But there are a few notable things that did change when compared to the original Fate Stay Night anime/route:

  • While Archer only showed who he really was at the end of his story in FSN, here he remembers it pretty quick. This turns into a motivation to seriously kill Emiya.
  • The roles of Sakura and Taiga have been reduced a lot. So much that they hardly appear in the second season at all!
  • While in Fate, the reason was made clear as to why Emiya was able to summon this specific servant, the reasoning is left vague in this route (it's the friggin scabbard).
  • Rider was a major enemy in the original series, with Caster being less of a threat (but a threat none the less). In this series, it's the opposite way around. Caster is the bigger villain here. Also, while Rider's goal is still to win, the means of how to get to the victory vastly differs.
  • Illya's role has been severely cut as well. Though Berserker still has his own epic moment in both series.
  • While Lancer was often ridiculed in Carnival Phantasm for having little to no impact on the story, he's got a more prominent role here. He finally gets his time to shine!
  • Due to the drastically different endings, this series' epilogue is totally different from the original (it's also a full episode). Also, Waver Velvet cameo!

Waver Velvet, the pussy has become a man!

Don't misunderstand me. These are not necessarily things I dislike. These are just some of the major differences between the two different story-lines.

E: Animation & Sound

The animation is almost on par with the stuff Ufotable did with Fate Zero. So, great stuff! Too bad the story setup causes the scenes to be less epic when compared to Fate/Zero, so it's less jaw-dropping to look at.

The sound is of similar quality as Fate/Zero. Which means it's (close to) epic. Considering all fate series have good music, anything less than epic would be a disappointment, though!

F: My problems with this anime

This anime tears me in half. On the one end, I want to like it a lot. The general storytelling and animation are truly great! And the buildup to the climaxes has been done in such a way that this anime is way more exciting than the original anime.

But there are a few major problems with UBW, which causes me to seriously dislike it as well.

  • Both Archer and Shirou are douches. Even more so than in the original series. Archer acts like an asshole during the entire series and Shirou cock-blocks Saber so much, it makes it hard for me to root for him. And the moment when Archer and Shirou finally duke it out, I seriously wished for Gilgamesh to barge in and just destroy the both of them with his Vimana ship from Fate Zero. That's how much I cared about them.
  • It's painfully obvious that this anime has some serious plot holes. Some of them may have been created due to the Ufotable adaptation, but most of the story problems stem from the original source material. The climax of this story has so many holes, it's a frigging Swiss Cheese.
  • I hate deus ex machina endings. Thus I hate the ending of this anime. The end came totally out of left-field, was stupid and made me want to flip a table. Again, this is not Ufotable's fault. This IS the ending as depicted in the UBW storyline. But still, that's some serious BS!

Conclusion and recommendation

The overall feeling I get of this anime is "meh". While I'm a fan of the Fate franchise overall, I wasn't impressed with the end result.

This anime has great visuals, great sound and a better focus on action, rather than school-romance, but it has a protagonist that gets more annoying the more you get into the series, and the story has too many plotholes and a bad ending.

And while certain characters get their moment to shine (Lancer, Berserker and Archer), the screentime of other characters is cut so drastically, you'd almost forget they existed.

Overall, I give this anime a 7.2/10. Why adding a 0.2 to the 7/10 score? Well, because this moment deserve something extra!

Sooo satisfying.

Now, onto the next problem. Which variant of the show would I recommend to watch? UBW has the better buildup of the show and an overall better quality of storytelling and animation. But FSN has a more satisfying ending and less plot holes. And considering it's the end of the show that makes or breaks an anime (*cough*Evangelion*cough*), I would recommend watching the Original series rather than this one.

And if you should watch only 1 Fate series, just skip both Fate / Stay Night series and Watch Fate / Zero instead. Fate Zero remains by far the best Fate Series to date.

Agree with me, or not? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, V out.

PS: I wonder how the movie of the third route (Heaven's feel) is going to be.

On a sidenote: I know, this should've been uploaded last week. Busy schedule = busy schedule. Next post won't take that long.

25 June 2015

V Reviews: Assassination Classroom: A feel-good anime in disguise

Last weekend the last episode of Assassination Classroom aired. Therefore it's a good reason for me to pick this anime for my first review. Because who doesn't want to see a yellow octopus-humanoid creature with a creepy smile destroy the world?

The face of doom... sorta... I think?

As you might've realized. That face doesn't look harmful nor threatening. I mean, there's no way anybody could make this face creepy, right?

Oh, right... I forgot this is a thing since the latest E3.

V reviews: Assassination Classroom Season 1

A: Backstory of the series

Assassination Classroom (or Ansatsu kyoushitsu in Japanese) is a manga created by Yusei Matsui from 2012 which is still running today.

Yuusei started out as assistent for the manga Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, which may explain his sense of humor and fascination for weird humanoid creatures.

In 2005 he got his own first success with Neuro: Supernatural detective, which ran for over 4 years and spawned a 25-episode anime in the fall of 2007. However, fans of the manga were kind of let-down with the "not-so-great" adaptation of the manga. And after the anime ended, interest in the manga slowly started to decline, which caused it to eventually end in 2009.

After Neuro ended, it took a few years before Yuusei landed another series that stuck. But in 2012, he struck gold with Assassination Classroom.

And gold is the correct term for this series. In the few years it's been running, there's a 22-episode anime with a second season already announced, a 3DS game and a Live Action movie with a sequel already in the making.

That's a lot for a manga series that's hardly 3 years old!

B: The Story itself

The story starts with the announcement that a "monstrous alien" creature has destroyed 70% of the moon, turning it into the shape of a crescent moon forever (which I know is technically impossible, but just roll with it).

This creature has declared that it wants to destroy the entire world in one year. But he gives humanity a "chance" to destroy him. And that's said with quite a sarcastic undertone, because this creature has superhuman abilities, can fly at mach 20 and has superior reflexes. And all that while he has the shape of a yellow octopus.

But for some weird reason, he decides to become a homeroom teacher in the Japanese class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School. Why exactly is still a mystery in the anime, but the flashback from episode 1 says it has something to do with a woman.

The government sees the opportunities in this and offered a 10 billion yen reward (about 100 million dollars) for the person who is able to kill this creature. And with this E-class having the most opportunities to perform this assassination, the Japanese department of Defense sends one of their most capable workers to the class in order to teach them combat and assassination techniques.

And if you think this creature would oppose this, you would be wrong. The creature gratefully accepts this opportunity, as long as he can teach this class and he even gives hints on how to kill him as well.

Since the creature doesn't have a name, it doesn't take long for the students to give him one. This being: "Korosensei", which is a combination of the Japanese words korosenai ("cannot be killed") and sensei ("teacher"). In short: "The unkillable teacher".

But I hear you ask: How can this series about assassinations with weapons be a regular Shonen series?

Actually, the Yusei evaded that touchy subject quite easily. Korosensei can't be killed by regular means. Guns, knives, grenades and even poisons don't work on him. But Korosensei has admitted he's weak to a certain "Anti-Teacher" substance, which is otherwise harmless to normal humans. The substance has been converted by the government to pellets and knives (which are sorta rubbery). The pellets are mostly used for pellet gun variations and grenades, but the manga is quite creative with the use of these pellets.

And aside from all assassination attempts, Korosensei does his best to teach his class as best as he possibly can. And he does a swell good job. He helps the students out with their school subjects and sometimes even their personal misery.

He also wants to help them get better in this school, because the 3E-Class is in fact the outcast class of this Junior High school. The head of the school is a twisted SOB who's trying to raise the amount of "superior" students, by turning the people with the lowest grades into outcasts (which in turn should motivate the rest to study harder). This in such a way that the E-class has to reside in a different building on a different campus site, in the mountains. This is all done in such a way that the E-class has almost 0% chance of ever upgrading to the regular classes.

And this is where this show truly shines. While the assassination attempts are quite funny and sometimes even ingenious in their making, it's the fights of these underdog students to be accepted by their peers and the rest of the school that makes this series truly interesting to see.

Going into further detail would spoil the show, but it's definitely worth a watch!

C: Characters

The main character of the show. He's the "evil creature" that has blown up 70% of the moon and is the sole target for these assassinations. Next to that, he's a devoted teacher, but also quite silly. And while everybody should do their best to kill him, he makes it very hard to hate him, because he's basically "the best teacher ever". Also, he can't lie, because his face is almost literally an open book and changes color depending on his mood/feelings.
Shiota Nagisa
The only student that can be seen as the "main character", since most of the episodes are from his point of view. Often seen as a weak student (both in studies as physically) and is often mistaken for a girl. He keeps notes on the weaknesses of Korosensei and is on friendly terms with (almost) everybody in the class.
Akabane Karma
Karma's a bitch and this guy's seriously tries to gain similar status. He's the smartest guy in the E-class, but got expelled a few times due to bad behavior and violent behavior. He may seem lazy, but don't underestimate him, because he's about as mischievous as Marvel's Loki. Also, he's possibly the most assertive character of the show, saying things that the characters with a more Japanese attitude wouldn't dare to say.
Karasuma Tadaomi
The loyal government worker who trains the students to improve their physical condition and assassination skills. Probably the strongest human on the show, but even he can't handle Korosensei. He's also the "straight guy" in this comedy, but can sometimes be a bit dense.
Irina Jelavic
A Russian assassin/spy who tries to reap the bounty on Korosensei. But due to failure, she ends up teaching English at the E-Class. Her biggest asset is her "charming" personality...
No, I'm not talking about her boobs! Shame on you!
I was literally talking about her personality, which earned her the nickname "Bitch-sensei".
Asano Gakuhou
The board chairman of the school. Is a "shadow figure" in the first episodes, but quickly reveals himself to be one of the primary antagonists of the series. Sinister SOB.

Since this is a class/school, there are tons of other characters, but they're mostly supporting roles. Though, they all have an episode (or half episode) where each of them gets the focus.

D: Adaptation from source material

The manga is adapted quite faithfully, with no filler added (hurrah!). A few chapters have been cut out from the manga sadly enough, but who knows? We might still see them in season 2. So if you're wondering on whether you should read the manga or watch the anime, you can go and watch the anime, because not that much is left out.

What I find positive is that the anime doesn't attempt to stretch out the individual chapters either. 1 chapter is 1 half of the episode (safe the pilot chapter obviously), even if it is a stand-alone chapter. This causes several episodes to have 2 stories. But honestly, I like that more than needlessly filling up the episode with nonsense.

Also, I find it positive that they work in seasons, rather than adapting all existing material in 1 show like Naruto or Bleach. It gives sufficient opportunity to faithfully adapt the series, rather than improvising to fill the needed timeslots each week.

E: Animation

The show is very well animated with no hiccups or signs of lazy animation anywhere. It's also bright and colorful, but the colors can quickly go darker when the story needs it to be darker.

F: Sound

Quite good, but nothing outstanding. The Opening songs are song by the student voice actors. And while they're not bad, they're not that outstandingly great either.

Conclusion and Personal Opinion

I personally liked this show a lot. After watching some dark animes lately (like Mushishi and Welcome to the NHK) and the long running animes having "darker" moments atm, I was in the mood for something light. This anime delivered that and then some!

I was often laughing my ass off during the comedy moments and often ended the episode with a big smile on my face. Truly, this anime generally made me feel better about myself. So I can say that I'm looking forward to the next season of this show.

Were there any negative things about this show? A few minor things, but it's more nitpicking than anything else:

  • This is a typical shonen humor/action series. Don't look for ingenious storytelling or amazing new things here, because it's not here. On the other end, it doesn't fall into many of the cliché anime tropes either. There's no romantic subplots anywhere to be seen, which is VERY rare in these kinds of shows. Heck, even the typical anime "fanservice" that needs to be in every shonen series is very limited and limited to very specific characters (Trust me, this could be a lot worse!).
  • The anime is great in terms of story, but can be very predictable at moments. Though it's the execution that's enjoyable, rather than the lack of inventive storytelling.
  • A few chapters surrounding the swimming pool were strangely enough not adapted. And due to the very specific setting, will probably not see an adaption in season 2 either. This means that at least 1 supporting character will not get her own episode. Sad panda.
  • Korosensei has a few Deus-ex-machina abilities to escape his assassinations. Let's hope there aren't more of these, because these will get real annoying real fast.

Overall, I give this series an 8,7/10.

It's very much enjoyable and a must-watch for everyone that wants to see something light and funny.

Looking forward to season 2, Nurufufufu~

Until next time, V out.

23 June 2015

Adding more content to the blog

Hey, MaJu V here. No, I'm not dead. Why do people keep thinking that?

I've been wondering about what to do with my blog for a while now. I'm currently not that much into Yugioh as in the past (though I haven't quit yet. It's just set on the back-burner for a while now).

But I've missed writing about stuff, so I've been thinking about what to blog about.

When I revamped this blog a few years ago, the purpose of the blog was going to be about more than just card-games, but it kind of went that route from the get-go. So I thought: "Let's get it back to what it's always supposed to have been. A blog about the stuff I like: Anime, music, card-games and so much more."

So from now on, I'll also be posting a bit more regularly, but the topics will be more varying.

I'll be reviewing the anime I've seen of late (complete, not per episode), I'll be giving a few recommendations on music (probably Belgium's finest bands, if I can be a bit chauvinistic) and who knows what else comes to mind?

Does that mean all Yugioh-related posts will be gone for good? Of course not. Once I'm done working on my house (hopefully at the end of this year), I'll probably have more time to play Yugioh IRL and I'll probably want to write more posts about that.

Also, busy with a few other experiments, but that'll take some more time to see it come to fruition.

Until next time, V out.

15 January 2015

The OCG exclusives come to TCG-land - an overview

Once in a blue moon, I feel like writing a YGO-related article again. Today, with a Examn Japanese (2nd year of 5 or 6) just behind me, I feel like venting some energy.

Well, let's be honest, the venting of energy and the released article that the OCG exclusives will finally be coming to TCG in April (W00t!)

Say what?

Yesterday, Vexacus posted the following article: http://southernhobby.com/products/detail?p=29348

In short, on April 10th, the new Yu-Gi-Oh! World Superstars Booster will be released, containing 50 cards previously only accessible in Japan and Korea and 2 former World Championship Cards (Legendary Dragon of White and Legendary Magician of Dark). Each booster will have 5 cards (4 Super Rares and 1 prismatic Secret Rare), with a total of 18 Prismatic Rares and 34 Super Rares.

It caused a little discussion on what cards would be in there, but actually WHAT's in in there is as good as confirmed in my eyes (I'm like 90% sure).

What's in there?

In short, the following:

  • The 5 Japanese exclusives from Legacy of the Valiant.
  • The 5 Korean exlcusives from Legacy of the Valiant.
  • The 10 Japanese exclusives from Primal Origins.
  • The 5 Korean exclusives from Primal Origins.
  • The 10 Japanese exclusives from the Duelist Advent.
  • The 5 Korean exclusives from the Duelist Advent
  • The 10 Japanese exclusives from The New Challengers
  • Legendary Dragon of White and Legendary Magician of Dark

Together, this makes for a 52-card booster set.

Note: The Japanese exclusives from Secrets of Eternity and the Korean exclusives from The New Challengers have only recently been released in their respective areas and still need to be "exclusive" for them for a longer time.

Legal note: The other 10% I'm not sure of, is the situation where Konami becomes Lolkonami again and trolls us with ancient vanilla's or lame OCG promo cards.

But WHAT CARDS are going to be released?

Well, the following archetypes are going to get support:

  • Chronomaly: 2 cards, Which includes the infamous Chronmaly Nebra Disk (which at one point became limited in the OCG because it made Chronomaly's OP).
  • Heraldic Beasts: 3 cards, which makes the archetype actually playable.
  • Yuma's Onomatopoeia & Utopia archetypes: 10 cards that you know you'll never play, unless it's in a fun deck.
  • Galaxy Photon support: 4 cards, of which Galaxy Soldier and Tachyon Transmigration are good. The other two you may forget.
  • Battlin' Boxer support: 3 cards. A decent monster, a great trap and a great Xyz monster that makes the archetype very much playable.
  • Heroic Challenger support: 3 new cards, which are decent.
  • Star Seraph Support: 3 new cards, which ridicule the already existing cards by their mere presence. These 3 cards are amazing.
  • Music Djinn support: 1 new Djinn Xyz, named Humhumming. Not OP, but a decent addition if you want to play a full Djinn deck.
  • HERO support: Elemental HERO Blazeman. Kinda nifty support for Masked HERO decks.
  • Naturia Support: 1 card, but it's kinda "meh".
  • Mecha Phantom Beast Support: Nice addition to an underplayed archetype, but not enough to make it competitive.
  • Ghostrick Support: 2 new cards, a nice trap and a cool new Win condition Xyz.
  • Numbers: More intended for the collectors: 5 different new Numbers cards to add to the collection (or six, if you count F0 as well).
  • Lovecraftian Monster Support: A cool new Korean "archetype", which combines elder gods (like Wodan), with creatures straight from Lovecraftian fiction. All focus around Level and Rank 4 monsters and have some nifty effects. Most anticipated card is Elder God Wodan.
  • Watt Support: Wattchic Fighter is weird: On one end it's completely based on Jojo's bizarre adventure (which is cool), on the other end, it's a psychic Watt card (which doesn't make sense), but does kind of give support to the archetype.
  • Other random good cards: Guerillakite is a Lv 4 FIRE tuner that damages the opponent when sent to the grave and is a rekindling target. Earth Shattering is a cockblocker vs Mill decks. Flowbot is a Plant that works very well in Sylvan decks in order to prepare the deck to mill cards.

Is the set going to be worth it?

Wel, the first thought that went through my mind was: "OMG, this set is going to be amazing!", a deeper analysis showed that half of the cards are supporting less used archetypes, or are simply crap. Yes, at least 1 card in every pack is destined to be a Yuma card, be prepared for that.

But, similarly to other Hidden-arsenal-alike sets, there's going to be a few hunted cards that will be worth money. Dragons of Legends proved that, amongst many mediocre cards, there were 5 or so cards that were hunted beyond belief (especially the Hands).

The cards that are going to be hunted in this set will (probably) be the following!:


Yes, obviously there will be a handful of cards that YOU like, but not the general public. So these are the "money" cards (though none will become too pricey, I guess). The rest will be worth pennies. Your choice if you want to pick up a box or not. Just telling you the facts.

Until next time, V out.

2 October 2014

They call me MaJu V. I'm back, I'm back.

Yeah, I'm back! Did you miss me?

*Hears Crickets chirping*

Yeah, I can truly feel the love!

Truth be told, I never thought I would upload anything on this blog again. But yet, here I am again!

Missing in Action?

A combination of things kind of stopped me from posting again on the blog. Busy work schedule, a boring month of June in terms of YGO news, stuff with the harmony band, lessons Japanese I've been following, a few good games I've been playing (Shadowrun and Divinity Original Sin) and that other project I talked about a few months ago...

This is the project I was talking about

Yeah, I bought a house. Lots of stuff to do in that before I can move in there, so that takes up lots of my free time.

And honestly, with a blog like YGOrganisation, I didn't really feel the need anymore to post the latest YGO-news or coverage of events. But yeah, I still love writing (it's my job as well), so it was kind of inevitable for me to return.

Due to time constrictions, the blog won't be updated as frequently as before (an occasional post per week or so). So I'll just cut short the regular Yugi-News. I'll keep my posts only on rulings, analysis, predictions and stories on random stuff I encountered.

Did I do absolutely nothing YGO-related or blog-related in the past months?

Actually... You might've spotted me in the comment section of the YGOorganisation blog, the Y.E.S.facebook group and stuff like that.

Also, I updated my blog posts on my trip to Japan from 2 years ago (added some pictures, made it easier to read, etc). I know, that's not much. But it's something.

Yu-Gi-Oh for me the past few months

I was supposed to go to the European Championship in July (I did get my qualifier quite early), but money constraints (you know, the house) and an angry mother kept me from going.

After the latest structure deck, I shifted from my good ol' Prophecy deck to a Lightsworn Ruler deck (like it a lot). And now I'm busy with assembling a Burning Abyss Deck (I was able to get my Dante's just before the hype started). I do keep Prophecies on stand-by, since it remains a good deck. But I've been playing with that deck for nearly two years so it was time for a change.

For the future year, I won't be attending any more YCS's (you know, the house puts a money-limit on lots of things), but I might attend a few regional qualifiers, just for the fun of it!

Future posts you might expect

I got a post on the latest F&L list coming up, and an analysis post on both the last TCG set (Duelist Alliance) and the stuff that's coming. But the last two still need to be written at this point (lol).

But no promises on what will be posted when. You'll just have to wait and see.

Until that moment, once again, V out.

5 May 2014

Primal Origins spoiled on the internet - The details

In the upcoming weekend, the Sneak Peek of Primal Origins will be held. So spoilers for the set should be arriving in the upcoming days, right?

Wrong, they're already spoiled in the past week. This set was not safe from the terror of the internet and was revealed more than a week before players could get a "first glimpse".

TCG World Premiere Cards

Some of them were already shown on the Konami blog, but since last night we got the info on all 10 of them.

  • Noble Knight Support: Noble Knight Brothers, Eachtar, Avalon and Noble Knights of the Round Table. And as usual all in bling style. Avalon is too situational, Round Table only becomes good if you have more NK's in the grave (okay I guess?), Brothers is a spam and Pot of Avarice card, and Eachtor special summons itself by banishing Noble Knight cards from the grave and protects any Noble Knight Xyz you make with it.
  • Artifact Scythe: A decent Sneak Peek promo for the fans of the archetype. When Scythe is destroyed, it special summons itself and prevents your opponent from using the extra deck (lol).
  • Sylvan Princessprout: Prepares your deck for excavating another Princessprout or Cherubsprout and when she's excavated, she can special summon itself and manipulate her level to whatever you desire.
  • Bujingi Sinyou: As if Crane wasn't enough, Sinyou boosts the attack of a Bujin monster you control, by giving it the current attack of the attacking monster. Seriously, more attack manipulation? Jeezes.
  • Vampire Vamp: more random support for Vampires. It's okay, but it's not like Vampires are competitive or so. So you may as well ignore it.
  • Gladiator Beast Nerokius: I don't know what to think of this one. Okay, it cannot be destroyed in battle and your opponent cannot activate card effects when THIS card attacks or is attacked, but it requires 3 GB's and when you send it back to the extra deck you only get two GB's back. Good to finish off certain boss monsters without worrying about card effects. But it's one of those cards you better only use 1 of.
  • Escalation of the Monarchs: You can tribute summon a monster during your opponent's turn. And that's a continuous effect? That's both amazing and easy to bypass. Amazing considering you can get rid of problem cards the moment your opponent summoned them (like Exciton Knight or S.H.Ark) or that can only be targetted during specific moments (like Leo). But if your opponent MST's this card, you get no effect at all. Seems good, but I guess we'll have to see whether or not Monarch players are willing to give up their free Treborn Frogs for free Tribute Summons.

OCG Promo imports

And next to the TCG Exclusives, we also know what ten OCG promo cards are being imported. And the most surprising? They've never been this low in rarity.

1 Rare card, the rest is all common. Even the two number cards aren't even in Bling (granted, they're not THAT impressive but you might think they at least deserve a Super Rare foilage or so). Heck, even Hydride (you know, the only tuner that can also be used as a non-tuner) is a common.

What cards are they? There are 6 Monthly V-Jump promo's (but sadly enough they stopped right before Geargiangler and Felice), A Weekly Jump promo (ZW Sleipnir Mail), the Jump Festa promo from last year (Shogi Knight), the bad one from the Valuable Book promo's (Shadow Lich, but no Dragoascencion) and an old Vanilla (Bolt penguin).

To foil or not to foil

Next to the 20 extra cards to the 80 OCG card set, the question that everybody asks themselves, is: what cards are pimped beyond repair? The list can be found here: http://pastebin.com/ZBZbtTYJ

The 8 secret rares are: Majesty's Fiend (oh come on!), Thestalos the Mega Monarch (as predicted), Orea the Sylvan High Arbiter (Sylvan players will cry a little), Bujinki Amaterasu (also in Ghost and Ultimate Rare) and RUM The Seventh one (seriously, the ONLY good RUM card?). Oh, and also Noble Knight Brothers and G.B. Nerokius.

Ultra's are Sylvan Sagequoia and Sylvan Charity (Sylvan players will cry more), Bujin Hirume, Madolche Anjelly (both as predicted), Nr 62 Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon, Artifact Durendal, Artifact Ignition and Artifact Sanctum (seriously, all three good Artifact cards?). Also Bujingi Sinyou and Round Table are Ultra as well.

I'm not going to run over all Super Rares (because it's only Super Rare, you know), but I am kind of surprised that they kept Jackpot 7 as a common. The card is an annoying OTK/FTK enabler and I wouldn't be crying over a secret rare foil for this card. The less it appears, the better.

Hits and misses

I don't like pimps of anti-meta cards like Vanity's Majesty (that should've been Jackpot 7 in my eyes), but it's Konami I guess. We're (sadly enough) getting used to it by now.

I'm kind of disappointed with the OCG imports, though. No Felice or Geargiangler? No Dragoascencion? Still no Gaia Knights? And still no signs of the OCG Gold series cards (like Cybernetic Fusion Support), nor the Geargia's from that OCG Duelist set.

I do like the full circle on Noble Knights. It's clear that this is the end of their support line as well, with cards like the Round Table and Avalon (although... where's Myrddin/Merlin?)

Oh, and I was so LOL'ing with Ghostrick Succubus' name change. Socuteboss? Hilarious.

That's enough venting from me now. Until next time, V out.