Fate/Extella LINK: You Lied To Me ELO

hisui_icon_4040_round I was told by the Electric Light Orchestra song Twilight (An otaku classic thanks to the Daicon IV opening animation) that, “It’s either real or it’s a dream. There’s nothing that is in between.” Fate/Extella LINK clear proves that statement is completely false. Just when you think you could believe in English rock bands you find out that you can’t really trust anyone.

I have seen more and more anime games following the Musou game formula. Overall it is a decent fit for any anime series that has a large cast of mostly combat capable characters. It has a simple framework where you can plug in a huge cast of character without having to worry too much about balancing them like you would in a fighting game. The games generally have a low bar for entry so they can get a wide variety of players although you might turn away hardcore gamers as they often can be rather mindless especially at lower difficulty levels. They are the sort of the game you put out when you want to put out a game but you don’t want to try too hard. They are more work than say an endless runner but hardly the complexity of an original RPG.

As I mentioned in my two part review of the original Fate/Extella while the Fate/Extra games did fairly well the studio making them went under. This was before the days of Grand Order to give a home to any and all Fate Servants so Type-Moon needed a way to capitalize on the overwhelming success of new Servants like Nero and Tamamo. If nothing else Takashi Takeuchi has always been the sort of guy who has been able to ride a popular wave when he finds one. So Type-Moon teamed up with the publisher Marvelous games again and took the story of the odd rock paper scissors based RPG of Fate/Extra and moved it into a Musou game framework.

Fate/Extella did very well so it only made sense to follow up on that success. Fate/Extella LINK basically continues the story of Fate/Extella while improving some rough game play, adding more playable Servants, and introducing two new Servants.

Since it is my duty to talk about everything and anything Type-Moon related I figured I would talk about the value of this game to Fate Fanatics. I’m going to spoil a major plot point about Charlemagne in this review as it lets me talk about a major element of the game. If you just want my overall opinion the game is an improvement but still very much more of the same. The plot is more of an important side story than a true Fate/Extella 2. The game is good but not essential.

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After Hours: Refreshingly Unexpected

hisui_icon_4040_round Libraries can be a great place for discovery of new titles. There is enough new manga coming out that it is very easy to miss all but the most high profile titles. It does not help that since I dropped off of social media my chances for finding under the radar titles has gotten a bit slim. While bookstores can help I have found they are not the greatest way to dig into new titles. I know several Barnes and Nobles that still work to subtlety chase people away from the manga section due to manga cows. I can take a intriguing new book home from the library and read the whole thing at my leisure whereas I’m working on a bit of a ticking clock even for quick overview with a bookstore.

The manga that recently caught my attention at the library was After Hours by Yuhta Nishio. I was picking up the copy of Witch Hat Atelier that I had on reserve and went to see if there was anything else that tickled my fancy in the manga section before I checked out. The title caught my eye and it was not based on an anime that I knew of. It then saw it was published by Viz which explained why I had never heard of it. I have complained about this before but for the breadth and depth of Viz’s catalog they are utterly rubbish at promoting anything but there A-tier material.

The title is fairly solid but parts of it really stood out it in ways that made me very eager to talk about it. I know several people who would eat this series up. Patz from the Cockpit Podcast and Kevin from the OSMcast! come to mind. Also since the Manga of the Month is currently on hiatus I feel some obligation to talk about manga that is not Type-Moon related.

I’m going to spoil the first chapter of After Hours but I basically have to in order to show what is different about this series. I don’t think it is a big deal but I figured I would warn people.

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Hanging with the Inn Crowd: Okko’s Inn

hisui_icon_4040_round I remember seeing a trailer for Okko’s Inn when we went to see Modest Heroes. While I had not heard of it before that point the trailer made it seemed like a fun family-friendly anime film. It definitely feels like one of those titles trying to inherit the spirit of Hayao Miyazaki films that have sprung up since Studio Ghibli is mostly, sort of, kinda, maybe out of the feature-length film business. It has a plucky young female protagonist, a countryside setting, some supernatural shenanigans, and an overall warm vibe. The general audiences anime film is an important niche for the medium so it is good to see more studios trying to fill the void. I love me my genre trash, shonen spectacle, and high concept anime movies but something with a broader appeal helps keep the industry healthy.

For some reason, I assumed the movie was an original concept but it is actually based on a series of popular young adults novels called The Young Innkeeper is a Grade Schooler! There is also a manga and a TV series based on the books. As far as I can tell the manga and TV series are a bit more direct adaptation whereas the movie is a more compact version. Also, the movie has some major cast changes when compared to the TV series.

While I cannot compare it to the TV series I can tell you how well the movie version comes off when it tries its version of the twenty book series.

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