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August 14, 2000
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I'd rather create than critique
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Honestly, I have just about had it with this #BringBackNationalDex bullshit. It's fine to be disappointed over the fact that not all Pokemon from previous generations will be returning in Sword and Shield, I understand perfectly. But to completely discredit Game Freak and treat them like fucking Satan over something that is honestly not even that big a deal is ludicrous and, frankly, somewhat childish. I mean, I wanna see all Pokemon make it into the game as well, at least eventually. But when people start doing shit like this: cdn.discordapp.com/attachments…cdn.discordapp.com/attachments…
That's when you know this movement has gone too far. It almost makes me wanna come up with a counter-hashtag of sorts. How does #ScrewTheNationalDex sound?
Looking back, I kinda regret a certain aspect of my fourth satire, Two-Dimensional Thinking. Not my portrayal of ToonEGuy, I still think it's spot-on, but my portrayal of Disney. Recently, my feelings towards them as a company have soured somewhat, and I feel like my portrayal of them was a bit too idealistic. I'm not gonna rewrite it or anything, I just feel that aspect hasn't aged too well, for me at least.
Y'know what, change of plans. I've got something else in mind for my next satire. Here's a hint: it concerns what might just be one of the most controversial movies in recent memory. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it's still pretty controversial.
Hey guys, gamerjerk here comin' at ya with a big announcement - I'm starting a new review series. Yes, I know, my tagline says "I'd rather create than critique", and I still stand firmly by that statement, but then I felt that maybe it wouldn't hurt to just get my opinions out there. I may not be the most articulate, eloquent or confident critic out there, but it most certainly wouldn't hurt to give it a shot.
As you could tell by the title, I'll particularly be taking a look at the delightful world of anime. To think, just over a year prior, I wasn't that into the medium and the only shows I had watched somewhat consistently were Pokemon and Kirby: Right Back at Ya, but after being introduced to Little Witch Academia, all of a sudden, I was sucked into the rabbit hole that is anime, and it is a truly splendid rabbit hole. Since then, I've grown to adore the medium and haven't turned back since. With anime, there's something for almost everybody. Want something epic and action-packed? Laugh-out-loud hilarious? Warm, fuzzy and laid-back? Poignant and thought-provoking? Anime's got you covered.
So, for my first review, I decided that I wanna take a look at a show that's considered to be the best of the best and see if it lives up to that reputation. It was definitely not an easy decision, with a ton of critically-acclaimed shows out there like Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gurren Lagann. But, in the end, I had made my decision, and it wasn't any of those shows, it was something else. A show that I kept hearing about in various YouTube comments sections, constantly being cited as "the greatest anime of all time". Ladies and gentlemen, I am gamerjerk450, and today I will be tackling the absolute phenomenon that is......
....... ....... ....... .......
Cory in the House
First off, a bit of history. Cory in the House is a 2007 political shonen battle anime created by Kyoto Animation, who were also responsible for other hype shonen anime such as Drake and Josh and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. It is a spin-off of the popular 2003 shojo anime based on the manga of the same name, That's So Raven, which was instead created by Madhouse, who also did The Big Bang Theory. Why Cory in the House was handled by a different studio, I'm not sure, but at least they didn't hand it over to J.C. Staff (you will be avenged, One Punch Man). As Raven was drawing to a close, series creator Michael Poryes-san felt a bit unsatisfied with his work. In his own words, "It was good, but something was not right. I felt that maybe writing a shojo romance anime wasn't my thing. Personally, I'm more into shonen action shows, like Two-and-a-Half Men and such. So, I decided to make a spin-off of That's so Raven aimed more at boys, which would include all of that stuff.". And thus, Cory in the House was born.
Anywho, with that out of the way, how is this anime? Does it measure up to its reputation? Or is all the hype completely undeserved? Frankly, I'd say the latter is the case.....because it deserves way more hype than that. I mean, all I ever see is people just stating that Cory in the House is the best anime without going into detail as to why. It almost made me doubt that it was true because it felt like they were just memeing. And, so nobody ever feels that sort of doubt, I'm gonna go in-depth as to why Cory in the House is the greatest anime of all time.
Okay, so right off the bat, you can tell that the animation is absolutely gorgeous. KyoAni have always had a reputation for making beautiful shows, but they have absolutely outdone themselves here. They managed to make the characters look realistic without making them look uncanny, which is quite the feat. Let's compare it to one of KyoAni's latest efforts, Violet Evergarden.
Looks beautiful, doesn't it? Now, let's compare it to Cory in the House.
The difference is abundantly clear. The animation is so lifelike, I swear I'm looking at real-life people, and their movements and facial expressions display a lot of nuances and subtleties that can't be conveyed through dialogue. Also, the animation on that skeleton is incredibly accurate to how an actual skeleton would move, which is a lovely detail that not many shows would even care about. Now, while Cory debuted before Violet and looks miles better, that's not to say KyoAni's animation quality has gone downhill since then. In fact, the reason Cory looks so good is because God himself decided to bless them with this once in a lifetime ability to create the best-looking piece of animation ever conceived, which he has yet to give to anyone else, but they could only use this ability for one show. Of course, they chose to use it for Cory in the House, and their other shows that year, Lucky Star and Clannad, unfortunately couldn't be blessed with such stunning animation. Such a shame. I mean, imagine this, except with Cory in the House's animation quality.
Come to think of it, it would probably look a little something like this.
Anywho, animation alone can only take a show so far. So, what's the plot? It's simple. Cory Baxter has just just moved into the White House after his father Victor lands a job as the president's chef. While there, he attends a new school called Washington Prep Academy, where he befriends Newt Livingston and Meena Paroom. All the while, he finds himself dragged into various political conflicts and scandals. It's a simple premise and seems fairly typical for a shonen, but it has many interesting and engaging twists along the way that will change your perception of it. The world-building is really fantastic as well, particularly regarding the show's unique and interesting political system. The series also presents us with some wonderful political messages that still ring true to this day. It has also graced us with some of the greatest arcs to ever come out of shonen anime, such as the Alaska Reclaim Arc, the Dwayne Johnson Exercise Machine Arc and the Cory's Presidential Takeover Arc.
And of course, you can't have a good shonen without a strong set of characters. So, how are the characters? One word: fantastic. They may be fictional, but they feel real. Their dialogue and actions feel like something I'd see a real-life human being do. Like that time Cory almost gave Alaska back to the Russians and, in order to fix his mistake, had to win a game of Dance Dance Revolution. Totally realistic. Cory, at first glance, seems to be little more than a money-hungry bastard, but as you can tell from the very first episode, where he lies about himself to Newt and Meena to impress them, he actually has some major self-esteem issues deep down and is trying to suppress it by concocting various hare-brained schemes. However, he's not the only one with personal issues. Newt is the son of the Chief Justice of the United States, and thus has a huge legacy to try and live up to, but all he wants to do is play music. All the societal pressure that has built up inside him leads him to feign stupidity to make everyone around him laugh and distract them all from his pain. Then there's Meena, who's more than just a token love interest. Like Newt, she also faces the pressure of being the child of a major political figure, that being the ambassador of the fictitious country of Bahavia. She's aggravated with her father's disapproval of her integration into American culture, as well as his insistence that she completely uphold her country's backwards political and social views, so she rebels against him. So, as you can see, our protagonists all connect with one another because they're all broken individuals on the inside, and can only truly find enjoyment in playing music together. And the best part of it is that all of this is shown to us instead of being told via exposition dumps, which puts it head and shoulders above every other shonen out there. I'd talk about the supporting characters, but it would literally take me forever to unwrap all their complex motivations and personality traits. Even the background characters have a magnificent story to tell.
The best characters in the show, however, are its villains. They each have very complex, understandable motivation for doing what they do and make you wonder if they truly are the bad guys in any given situation. The best villains in the show are, in my opinion, Sophie, The Liberrian, Dwayne Johnson and, of course, Jason Stickler. Sophie is probably the most recurring antagonist, frequently doing whatever she can to cause trouble for Cory just for fun. But the only reason she antagonizes him is because he's the only person who doesn't fall for her cute charm, and, like Cory, she has some self-esteem issues of her own. You see, Sophie's spent a good chunk of her life believing that she has no other talents aside from being cute, that it's the only thing she's good for. And the fact that she's come across someone who's virtually immune to her cuteness obviously doesn't sit well with her. As you can see, Sophie's a very sympathetic figure, and is more of an anti-hero than a villain, really. Sometimes, she and Cory may form a truce when they have a common goal. The Liberrian is a less frequent antagonist, but he has an even more tragic motivation than Sophie. You see, the reason he runs the Liberry is to fund his daughter's cancer treatment operation, but the money he earns simply isn't enough. His daughter's last wish is to see DC3, the band Cory and his friends are in, perform live on stage. So he desperately wants them to perform for him, but since he doesn't have much money, he pays them with single small glasses of juice, because that is all he can pay. He may be a jerk, but that is quite the tragedy. Dwayne Johnson was an antagonist in the aforementioned Dwayne Johnson Exercise Machine Arc. However, he was simply an unwitting pawn in the Dwayne Johnson Excercise Machine Corporation's (DJEMC for short) scheme to trap Cory and his friends in the closet forever. After Cory and co. managed to push the machine out of the closet, it wound up trapping Dwayne Johnson and Sophie while they were having a tea party in preparation for The Game Plan. So, Dwayne Johnson punched the machine out of the doorway and, unknowingly, reset Cory and his friends' progress. His motivation is clear here. He had to antagonize Cory and his friends or else he and Sophie would've been trapped forever and suffocated, and after all, his needs are no less important than Cory's. Like the previous two villains, he has my sympathy. And last, but certainly not least, is Jason Stickler, Cory's longtime arch-rival. He doesn't have as complex of a motivation as the previous villains, but he is still my favorite of the bunch because he's just so utterly villainous. Stickler is actually an enormous coward who's afraid of taking on anyone bigger, stronger or more emotionally stable than him, so he prefers to prey on weaker kids like Cory. Over the years, their rivalry got worse and worse, and soon culminated in him shredding Cory's credit card with such sadistic glee. You see, that credit card was given to Cory as a gift by his late mother just before her death (yes, the mom in That's so Raven died, and the only reason you thought she went to law school was because the dub was handled by those idiots at 4Kids who don't think kids can grasp the concept of death). So, Cory saw this card as all he had left of his mother. But then, Stickler, knowing fully well how much this card meant to Cory, decided to break his spirit further by shredding it. At this point, Stickler has established himself as one of the most irredeemable villains in anime history. There's also a few villains who make their way over from That's so Raven, like The Juicer and Stanley, but I'll get to them another time. In short, the villains in this show are fantastically written very well-realized.
In conclusion, Cory in the House truly is among the greatest anime to ever be conceived. It has beautiful animation, an intricate plot and amazing characters. And I hope I have fully convinced that it's worth your time. Personally, my favorite episode is episode 3, Everybody Loves Meena, because in that episode, Cory and Stickler's longtime rivalry culminates in an epic battle as they compete for Meena's affections. Both characters have clearly defined motivations and the ensuing fight is just nothing short of spectacular, full of enticing action and very dynamic camera angles. Just check it out for yourself (the fight begins around 16:40, and you can really feel the tense atmosphere. Also, I apologize for the not-so-good quality.).
Now, onto the question you were all probably asking: should you watch this dubbed or subbed? You see, there's a handful of anime out there where the dub is superior, like Cowboy Bebop and Panty & Stocking, and I'd say Cory in the House is among that handful. For one thing, the dub has a better opening, which is just an English version of the Japanese opening, but Kyle Massey's voice just makes it so much better. I mean, compare these.
The dub opening is obviously better. Also, the voice actors in the dub just fit their characters so perfectly, the Japanese VAs can't even compare. I particularly give props to Jason Dolley, whose performance as Newt is legitimately some of the greatest voice acting I've ever heard. He truly brings the character to life and captures his inner brokenness effortlessly, like in the scene below (skip to 17:53. Also, I apologize for the audio quality distracting you from this man's sheer prowess.).
So, this has been my first anime review. Thank you all for tuning in, and make sure leave suggestions of anime you want me to cover in the fu-.......oh. Oh. Ohhhhh no. Apparently, Kyle Massey's been accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, and this review seems to have caused a bit of a stir with audiences and now this series has been cancelled. So, I guess this means no more anime reviews until further notice. Don't worry, guys, I'll keep fighting to keep this show afloat, but until then....
Oh my god, you guys! I never thought this day would come! I've finally been tagged by ! This is the happiest moment of my life! First of all, I would like to thank the Aca-
Moss: Ju5t g3t 0n w1th 1t, n00b.
Oh right, let me introduce you to My Obligatory Snarky Sidekick, or Moss for short. He's here so I have someone to play off of, you get me? Say hi, Moss.
Moss: W4ddup b1tches?
Isn't he charming? Anyway, onto the questions.
1. Favorite type of music?
Uhhh......just anything that makes me feel pumped. I can't really say I adore a specific genre.
2. If you could improve on an already good cartoon, what would you do?
I would give Elmyra less focus in Tiny Toons. If we're talking about something currently airing, then I got no clue.
3. Do you have a mantra of sorts? If so, what is it?
4. Favorite song parody?
"The eBay Song" by Weird Al. It's not exactly the funniest song out there, but it was the first song I ever heard from him, and I just love singing it any chance I get.
5. What is your least favorite aspect about your favorite thing?
My favorite game of all time is Mario Galaxy 2, but I don't like how, when you die, you lose all the coins you picked up throughout the level, so when going for certain stars where you have to feed a hungry luma, I prefer to avoid the checkpoint.
6. Favorite app?
You're referring to mobile games, right? Then, Plants vs. Zombies. It's so fun creating several rows of plants and watching the zombies go down in seconds.
7. Are you currently in a relationship?
Yeah, I am. Ya see............yeah, I wanted to make a joke there, but I got nothin'. The answer is no.
8. Vanilla or chocolate?
9. Worst decision you've made in your life?
Picking a certain topic for my recent assignment at uni. The end result was some half-baked shit, and now I'll probably have to redo the assignment over the summer. I should've picked a different topic.
10. Are we real, or just brains with meat sacks?
We're real, alright. If we were just brains with meat sacks, getting stabbed in the chest probably wouldn't kill you.
11. Is their anything you have misspelled on purpose?
One time, in secondary school, I was writing a French exam. I hated my French teacher so much, 'cause he was so bad at effectively teaching us French. So, out of spite, I misspelled his name on the paper. Instead of "Mr. Makinde", I wrote "Mr. Mankinde". So devious, am I right?
12. What do you take offense towards?
Can't really say.
13. Least favorite country?
14. How does one know when they've seen a person that smokes?
I don't know, maybe if they cough inexplicably?
15. Worst site (besides Pornhub)?
TheTopTens. I swear the people on that site are fucking monkeys.
16. Name a word you feel like no one else knows.
My vocabulary isn't that expansive.
17. Is it grammer or grammar?
18. Many seem to use Enter's comments section as a hub of sorts. Why?
He doesn't seem bothered by it at all, I mean, he barely replies to anything. Frankly, that comments section is literally the only reason I visit his page.
19. Favorite time card?
2000 Years Later
20. Who is your favorite musician?
Don't have one, but I'll just say A-ha, 'cause Take On Me is my favorite song. Now, if we were talkin' video game composers, I'd say Jake Kaufman. His music rocks.
21. What is you opinion on stale/dank memes (like this one)?
I like memes. I'm not one to get tired of them easily.
22. How do you do what you do? As in, if you're an artist for example, do you use a format to get what you need done?
Well, as a sort-of artist, I just draw in my sketchbook.
23. Death is quite a strange thing. It can strike at any moment, and it is devastating. Yet when many people are on it's bed, they do not fear it. So...do you fear death?
Actually yeah. But, at the same time, I'm incredibly curious as to what death feels like....not that I want to find out soon.
24. What made you realize what you were going to do on DeviantArt?
The moment I wrote my Bigbuny satire. I just did that 'cause I thought it was amusing how Bigbuny tried to write his very own satire, and I wanted to write about that. Then, I saw comedic potential in satirizing Michael Bay's Dora the Explorer movie, by having it play out like a ridiculous action movie. So, because of the feedback I was getting, I decided to start doing comedic and satirical writing. I almost feel like I'm the new MikeTheHuman in that department.
So, that's it. My first tag. That was pretty fun, wouldn't ya say, Moss?
Favorite visual artistChuck JonesFavorite moviesAirplane, Ghostbusters, Wall-E, Groundhog Day, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?Favorite TV showsSimpsons, Animaniacs, SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar, Futurama, South Park, Looney TunesFavorite bands / musical artistsBruno MarsFavorite booksDiary of a Wimpy Kid, A Series of Unfortunate EventsFavorite writersJeff Kinney, Lemony SnicketFavorite gamesMario, Pokemon, Super Smash Bros.Favorite gaming platformWiiTools of the TradePencil, Computer, Ruler, Light pen, Eraser, SharpenerOther InterestsDrawing