Set the VCR: The Death of Maes Hughes…

I’m going to start off this post with a passage from Bill Simmons’, aka the Sports Guy, (one of my favorite writers) column on the 13 Levels of Losing:

Level III: The Stomach Punch
Definition: Now we’ve moved into rarefied territory, any roller-coaster game that ends with A) an opponent making a pivotal (sometimes improbable) play, or B) one of your guys failing in the clutch … usually ends with fans filing out after the game in stunned disbelief, if they can even move at all … always haunting, sometimes scarring …

In my opinion, “The Stomach Punch” (and all levels of losing actually) can apply to more than sports, and can be a nice analogy for many of these things we go through in life. I think many of us can think of time  in life when we felt that “stomach punch” and yes, those times are “always haunting” and  “sometimes scarring.” So for this Set the VCR moment, I focus on a great “stomach punch” moment that led to one of the saddest sequences ever in an anime series.

Fullmetal Alchemist (anime)/ dir. Seiji Mizushima/ Episode 25 “Words of Farewell” / 2004

Hit the Jump! Continue reading

Set the VCR: It was you, it was always you…

In a reasonably good anime series, there are “aww…” moments, and there are “A-HA!” moments. “Aww..” moments usually happen when dealing with relationships, sometimes between parents and children, sometimes between friends and family, but most of the time it happens between significant others. “A-HA!” moments occur when a major plot twist  or loose end is finally concluded or tied up. Both moments offer an amount of satisfaction when through, and both moments tug at your heartstrings. However, there aren’t many cases when the “aww…” moments and the “A-HA!” moments are one in the same.

For this Set the VCR moment, I chose what I believe was the defining moment of a magnificently done series, RahXephon.

RahXephon/ dir. Yutaka Izubuchi/ Movement 26 “Time Enough For Love”/ 2002

(hit the jump to witness this moment)

Continue reading

Set the VCR: Little Mac vs. Mike Tyson

nes-punchoutAt the moment there are 2 stellar video games that feature the sweet science of pugilism or boxing. Fight Night Round 4 is one of those games and the other is the revival of the classic Nintendo series Punch-Out!! on Nintendo Wii.  I think I have already demonstrated once before how animation and boxing are related, and these new video games bring out both the great physics (Fight Night Round 4) and the great enterntainment (Punch-Out!!) of the sport of boxing.

Even though one is more geared toward simulation and real-life and the other toward exagerration and cartoon, they both have a common thread in terms history. They both harken back to this Set the VCR moment, from arguable the greatest boxing video game of all-time!

Hit the jump to read more about this Set The VCR moment: Continue reading

Set the VCR: Happy Birthday Lisa, from Bart and Michael Jackson…

2006257928018765212_rsYesterday was one of those surreal days. I think mostly everyone will remember the day Michael Jackson died. Combine this with the whirlwind of Farrah Fawcett passing away earlier in the day and Ed McMahon passing 2 days before that, it was just madness. I’m not even sure how they went through with an NBA Draft. Anyway, my dude jabok stated it best over twitter:

the worlds coming to an end. =(

A little overblown, but I think that was the general consensus. Now I know everyone is doing their little tributes and look backs to the “King of Pop” at the moment. It’s amazing really, MTV started to play music videos again… really! I’m going to ignore all the craziness and all the controversy surrounding the last few years of Michael Jackson’s life for the moment, and focus on this one touching moment in television animation history.

Hit the Jump to read more about this Set the VCR moment: Continue reading

Set the VCR: Let’s burn the house down, there’s no turning back

Tomorrow, or today, err soon ,(April 5 in Japan) a brand new Fullmetal Alchemist series will be launching in Japan. From what I read, it will NOT be a continuation of the series, but a re-boot of the series in order to be more faithful to the manga.

Will it be as successful as the first anime series? We’ll see, but first I wanted to go over one of the many Set the VCR moments from the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series. 

Fullmetal Alchemist (anime) “Mother” 2003

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Many of us can think of an event, an occurrence, a decision, or maybe a series of these in our past that drastically changed our lives. A change so dramatic, that we can safely think: “after that, there was no turning back.”  Do you remember any those times? Do you remember the feeling you had when you realized that everything had changed?  Were you confident and sure of your new paradigm? Or were you hesitant, worried, and a bit scared of what would happen next? Remember those feelings and emotions now?

Expressing these feelings and emotions through art is a daunting task for any form of art or media. Get it wrong and your audience will lose interest with the quickness. Get it right, and the skies the limit. 

This is where this next Set the VCR moment comes in: (Hit the jump) Continue reading

Set the VCR: Alan Moore Speaks! (The Simpsons “Husbands & Knives” 2007)

Alan Moore, writer of Watchmen, genius. He is one of the first writers to establish a literary and structural tone to comic books that rivals traditional novels. It’s no secret that Alan Moore is not a fan of the care-free licensing that major comic book companies (Like DC) take with writers’ characters. He has always decided to take his name off writing credits when a movie is made based on one of his many genius comic stories. With the disaster that was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie, Alan Moore became more frustrated with the whole licensing process. 

Because of this, I don’t think he gets out in public that much. Actually, for many years I just knew him as that dude with the beard…
alan_moore

Yup, thas him! That’s all I knew of him. He never really seemed human, like if I ever met the dude I would cower in his presence. I never really heard him speak or got a sense of his personality until this fateful Set the VCR Moment: (there’s the jump!) Continue reading

Set the VCR: Here Comes The Ambulance! (Madden 92)

This new segment in the blog goes over the moments in cartoon history that have to be recorded and seen over and over. Since I am old school and remember the VCR days (when setting the VCR took a whole day’s work), I am calling this segment “Set the VCR.”

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There is still time in 2009 to talk  football. Now folks now-a-days are spoiled with the  current “Madden NFL” series. The player models are looking more realistic with every passing year. The old school football game to go to will ALWAYS be Tecmo Bowl, but Madden 92 was the first to really bring the realism (and humor) of football to my eyes.

john_madden_football_92_gen_screenshot11

Background

Before Madden, Video Game football was not too realistic. Bo Jackson could potentially zig zag his way to score on every play in Tecmo, and there was always one play where no matter what, you could score (cough..flea flicker). I mean Tecmo only had like 4 plays! You could just mash buttons and play decently.

Playing Madden 92 for the first time was actually like football in that you had to know what the fuck you were doing. When I first played Madden I hated it because everything seemed so complicated (look at Madden now though…you need a degree to play that game). As I kept playing and getting used to the game, I started seeing how realistic this game was compared to Tecmo. 

And then the “Set the VCR” moment came that totally made me fall in love with the game…

Set the VCR

I was playing as the Seahawks (obviously)  against the (then LA) Raiders. My QB, Dan McGwire (aka QB #10) dropped back looking for a deep pass to Brian Blades (aka WR#89). Suddenly Howie Long from the Raiders (aka DE #75) came off the edge and totally blasted my QB. The game told me QB #10 was injured. Then something shocking and at the same time hilarious happened…

An ambulance came from nowhere and ran over 6 more players!!!

Don’t believe me, watch the ambulance montage in this clip:

The Impact

Ok so after that, I wanted to see someone get injured on every play! Not only was it the first time I saw a video game ambulance drive onto the field, the programmers and animators saw it fit that they add a little more realism and run over other players that was in the ambulance’s way (bravo, now that is art!). 

To me, this was a new path for video game sports. Madden 92 obviously started a franchise that is booming today. It even helped start a franchise based on absurd & hilarious Video game  violence (NFL BLitz). I don’t think its a stretch to say that Madden 92 helped pioneer the sports video games of 2009. However, they took out the ambulance around 1994 (bad move), and to this day I wish it would make a return. I know it won’t because the NFL (No Fun League) has Darth Vader Force Choke on violence in any NFL License video game. 

But for know, I’ll Set the VCR one more time…

HERE COMES THE AMBULANCE!!!

PS: Inspired by Chad Cocelmo’s The Memory Card on the Destructoid Blog.