Arsip Penulis: rayharaisha

Tentang rayharaisha

Writer

Fate Series – My Perspective

Fate Stay Night is not my first visual novel that I read. I initially follow the story from the very first adaption of anime Fate Stay Night. The premise of Fate Stay Night is a battle royale between mage, who can use magic obviously and summon a heroic spirit in favor of the Holy Grail. The Grail itself is an ultimate prize that will fulfill the champion’s wishes, whether it is for the benefit of people or the selfish act. The basic of the visual novel is the direction of the story could be change based on player choice as the main character, so the story itself divided into three main routes. The player’s favor to one of the main heroine will determine the paths of the story. 

Emiya.Shirou.full.1879111.jpg

Putting aside inherent unnecessary elements in the story, like sexual innuendo and complicated magic mechanism that most of the time contradicts itself, I see Fate Series as Emiya Shirou (the main character) journey to realize his ideals as Hero of Justice. In practical explanation, he wants to protect as many people as the hero that Emiya Kiritsugu, his stepfather, portrayed in his childhood.

3645d9bfae154d2d935e7464ba939f2a.jpgFate Stay Night is the first route. As a player, you can walk this path if you put favor to Saber, Shirou’s servant. Saber is the heroic spirit of Arthur (in girl version for the sake of marketing, I guess), who had a dream to reclaim her kingdom from failing with Holy Grail later on. In the finale, Shirou fulfills his idealistic way to save everyone in the city by making Saber yield for her false dream and destroying the Holy Grail because it was revealed that the Grail is a source of chaos and destruction. The battle royale consequently ended, and the heroic spirit, including Saber, disappear. If you can endure your main character being a boy scout all the time, perhaps you will like this part of Shirou’s journey.

MV5BOTg5ZjI5ZTAtOWE2OS00MjY4LWI4ZDQtMzEzMDY4MTgzYWJlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjc3OTE4Nzk@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,701,1000_AL_.jpgThe second route is Fate Unlimited Blade Works. You can choose this alternative story if you pick Tohsaka Rin as a love interest. Rin is a successor of the Tohsaka mage family, who has the excellent capability as magician and master to win the Holy Grail. Her servant is Archers class, which had a mischievous personality toward Shirou, but helpful when a threat comes to Rin. From Shirou’s perspective, Rin is someone who not only he admires as a woman but also he needed for support in every battle royale for Holy Grail. Shirou in this route challenged by Archer, who is the heroic spirit that created by Shirou idealism that corrupted by pessimism and harsh reality. Storywise, Archer, lost by Shirou, and his virtue gets corrected by Shirou. The battle royale ended with the death of Gilgamesh by Shirou and the destruction of the Grail by Rin. Shirou maybe becomes that Hero of Justice like the previous route, but his interaction with Archer could be entertaining if you take it as Shirou, who faces his dark side of his principle. There’s also Shirou’s relationship with Rin, which could be exciting to see because they had opposite mindsets but completing each other.

12182992-4134681247102607.jpgFate: Heavens Feel is the final route that unlocked after the player finished Fate: Stay Night and Fate: Unlimited Blade Works. There’s no significant change in the world-building, magic system, and battle royale rule. The notable thing that differs this route from others is the darkness from The Holy Grail takes the initiative lurking to eat innocent people, even the Servants. The darkness itself chooses Sakura, which would be the woman that Shirou pick as a love interest in this route, as their host. If Saber and Rin introduced as strong, independent, confident, and brilliant women in the previous route, Sakura is the opposite of all of it. Sakura was a victim of the evil of the Matou family. She constantly hurt and raped to increase her magical circuit, which becomes too large, so the Darkness of Holy Grail want her. Despite her suffering, she fights for her own freedom even she know her hope is crumbling before her eyes. Shirou is her hope. She moves without any thinking to know of Shirou, even though her approach at first seems forceful, awkward, and strange. Later on, Shirou fall in love with Sakura, which becomes the root of the conflict in Fate: Heaven Feels route because that means Shirou falls to the primary source of evil that becomes a threat to every city and his virtue. If he insists on protecting Sakura, the town, even he and Sakura itself, could be destroyed because of The Darkness of The Grail. While in the previous route you can see the interaction between Shirou and Saber or Shirou and Rin looks exciting, in this route, Shirou and Sakura feel more grounded. Shirou indeed takes all the risk for the sake of the city because of his idealism of Hero of The Justice at first, but things get complicated when he wants Sakura alive. In this route, you can see Shirou throw away his virtue for the sake of Sakura, and that’s, at least for me, is a more realistic way to portray Shirou as human. The final battle became more interesting because Shirou fights Saber, Kirei, and Sakura, who get corrupted by the darkness of the Grail. It is obvious that Shirou will win in the end eventually. Still, at least I appreciate the execution, for the example, the way Shirou to decide fights his ideals to save Sakura, Shirou realization that he is only an ordinary human that can not and should not protect everyone over his limited power. Sakura also presented as a mere woman who wants to normalize her cruel life with Shirou without being vengeful over her traumatic past. Shirou and Sakura forced to face their past so they can move to their grounded and realistic future, which may entirely not for the good of all people, but primarily suitable for facing their darkness.

heavens-feel.jpg

Tales From Earthsea

Watched 75% of the movie and I still confused what the story is all about. First there’s two dragon killing each other, then some ‘unbalance’ nature in the land happens (being told not shown), then Arren, the edgy prince, kill his father to steal Kings sword for no reason, then he meet Archmage, then he help Therru randomly, then they work a mundane life as farmer, then suddenly come the main villain screw things up and explained her evil plan, which is relatively had little connection with a very beginning the movie because all I get is the story is just about two rivalry wizard. The pacing is all over the place and a lot of magic things happen randomly so the boring plot can progress.

The finale is slightly interesting, even it’s still didn’t explain why Arren can split his shadow? why Arren want his father sword so badly that he must kill his own father? why Ged want to take Arren? what purpose of the True Name of Arren and Therru? why they suddenly know their True Name? why Therru suddenly can transform into freaking dragon out of nowhere? It seems the story only want to convey the message that life is matter and giving life to others is the most important things rather than fear of death so anything, even it’s confusing and super convenient, will happen as long as it’s follow the message.

Whisper of the heart

First half of story kinda dragged too long. The story need ‘that convenient cat’ so Shizuku can meet Seiji properly, which it gets interesting from there. The pinnacle of this story for me is when Shizuku make her own story to understand Seiji attempt to achieve his dream job in Italy. They’re both supporting and respect each other to realize their own dream, even so, I understand that is just some story flavouring because the main point is Shizuku and Seiji confess their love each other. Most drama romance movies I watched is about two potential lover stretching their own unnecessary conflict just to confess each other.

Note : The ‘KOONTRI ROODO’ song in this movie really good.

Princess Mononoke

It begins with the gods curse in Ashitaka, which is the very first reason why the plot progress because it give him the superhuman strength and compassion about the suffer of animals that die in forest because the unending war between human, led by Eboshi, and animals in deer god forest, led by Moro, San, and Okkoto. The curse may seems convenient for Ashitaka to solve his conflict but I think its somewhat ‘balanced’ because the curse itself not only challenge Ashitaka morals to make him became hateful and destructive but also weakening his body. There’s gory scene here and there, which fit the themes because war is ugly. The main plot is about Human greed-animals attack-revenge and the evil circle goes on until final battle between human and the deer god. It’s simple and became more interesting because the faction itself is kinda divided to solve their own war, which give Ashitaka opening to stop the evil circle with his belief that human and animals in forest can coexist together.

The funny thing is, the deer god, atleast to me, seems doesnt care about the war and start giving shit after he lose his head with his omnipower, which is the final conflict in this story. It have the same pattern with Nausicaa of the Valley of the wind story.

I love Ashitaka as character, even though he too idealistic and seems have no flaws, but its acceptable because he sometimes failed. His feeling toward San kinda come too fast, maybe he just a simple guy who easily love a ‘wild’ girl riding big wolf that passes him by, jokes aside, maybe because her kindness to him in forest before.

The message of this story kinda have same vibe with Nausicaa : Hatred and revenge won’t solve anything, which is kinda too naive and cliche for me, but it’s acceptable in some degree because mother nature will ‘clear things up’ if that hatred thingy messes them up. I may look complaint and nitpicking too much in this long-ass-kind-of-review, but for me, this story is very good and give me a great inspiration.

The Wind Rises

The story mainly focus to Jiro attempt to achieve his dream to build airplane, who previously dream to become a pilot but kinda adjusted because he is nearsighted. At first glance, it seems flat, but it’s presented beautifully with imaginative exposition from Jiro perspective so you can understand his way to see world. Despite his geniuses, Jiro mostly failed to build his airplane, disappointing most of every his relative and country expectation. In his crumbling morale, he meets Nahoko at second time, which will be his wife later on because she somewhat elevated his spirit to build plane again. In finale part, Jiro succeed made his first airplane with his team that at that point he regain every hope that his company and his country longing from him. There’s some kind of dramatization in finale when Nahoko, who actually dying because her sickness, decide to leave her medication just to stay side by side to Jiro untill her husband finish his big project. From there, I somewhat already know the tragic ending for Jiro. Despite of mostly realistic things that happen from beginning toward end, Nahoko last action somewhat too romantic, just like an angel who came passes by to Jiro, give him all her love and life so his husband can fulfill his dream again, which to me kinda break the immersion. Lot of technical stuff in air crafting and blend with Japan setting before world war II so you will enjoy it more if you love these kind of things.

The Secret World of Arrietty

About first half in the movie explains the life of Arrietty and her family as borrower, basically a very small sized human, to ‘borrow’ every resource they need to live, like sugar, tissue, biscuit and other things in normal human home, which is a place of Sho, the other main character. I like this part because it focus on Arrietty perspective as small human in a very giant house to them that give me a sense of adventure when she go through it.

The interaction between Arrietty and Sho is very interesting. The very main reason Arrietty and her family to survive give Sho reason to strive and fight his heart disease.

On the second half however, the ‘villain’ come, which is basically want mess Arrietty family because she thinks they thieves, which is true in some degree. I understand the story need some dramatization so Arrietty and Sho belief kinda challenged in some way, but I feel it kinda forced because in the end, even Arrietty family get caught, Sho or his aunt will protect the borrower so the ‘evil woman’ step back. Why? because Sho grandfather already know the borrower existence and create special house for them. They obviously will fight because they believe what their grandfather want to protect.
The story kinda ‘trapped’ to concept that ‘borrower must remain unknown from humans beans’ so every Sho and Arrietty attempt to break that concept is useless because at the end of the story, it remains the status quo. Despite all of that, I still enjoy and like the story.

On the second thought, I think the story can be optimize the fully potential if Sho attempt to open dialogue with Arrietty parents. The ‘dramatization’ will come between the distrust of Arrietty parents towards human generally, which itself give Sho understanding of parents protection towards their son/daughter because Sho kinda hate their parents who leave him because of their work. Soon, the ‘evil woman’ come to catch the Arrietty families but Sho save and protect them, which give them mutual belief and agreement each other so the status quo itself broke….but, hey, it’s just my opinion.

Final Fantasy IX

001-44

Final Fantasy IX
Developer : Square
Director : Hiroyuki Ito
Producer : Hironobu Sakaguchi and Shinji Hashimoto

Final fantasy IX is my very first Role Playing Game I played back there. I remembered played it blindly, without knowing anything about strategy or tactics that commonly used in playing RPG, ended up dead many times and stuck when facing Gizamaluke’s Grotto, which I later on use Gameshark to cheat and beat the game shamelessly.

As the story, it begin with Garland, a man from Terra Planet who become the very last hope to save Terra planet and it’s people soul from destruction. By saving means that he want to find new planet, which is Gaia, so souls of Terra people who dying can find life in there. The consequence of this plan of course he must destroy the Gaia, or eliminate the people of Gaia to be precise. Unfortunately it wasn’t easy for him because Gaia had Eidolon, the summoning monster, to defend the planet.

In order to do his ‘Godly’ mission, Garland send his two ‘angel of death’ to make chaos in Gaia, which is Kuja, the main antagonist, and Zidane, the main protagonist in the game. They both are Genome, the races that contain soul of people Terra but lack of emotion and limited age. Kuja created earlier before Zidane, so he somewhat became ‘lesser’ version of Genome than Zidane which Garland acclaim as the perfect version of Genome.

At the beginning, Kuja succeed destroyed summoner village so Gaia can’t fight back with their Eidolon. But later on, he feel insecure about his imperfection due to his flawed body. He became more agitated because he know Garland want replace him with Zidane, who had more perfect body than him. He still insist to rebel his fate to dying as ‘defect’ Genome by fight Garland even he know Zidane is failed to fulfill Garland expectation because Zidane had amnesia when arrive in Gaia. That’s why he start scheming, manipulate Brahne, the queen of Alexandria by became her Arm Dealer so the Queen had an enormous Black Mage troops that created by mist and Dark Matter to summon the Eidolon.

Knowing Brahne plan to start the war, her step-daughter, Garnet til Alexandros XVI escape from the castle to investigate the key person that make Brahne sudden heart changes. Garnet helped by Zidane, Steiner, Vivi, Eiko, Freya, Quina, and Amarant to stop Brahne main plan to attack Burmecia, Cleyra, and Lindbum. They succeed to know that Kuja is the main reason of Brahne became ambitious. They also managed to destroy Iifa tree, which is the ‘Black Mage Main Factory’ that Kuja used to create Black Mage. Unfortunately, they failed to stop the queen.

Brahne use Kuja Arms with greedy heart. She summon Atomos to crushed Lindbum, emerge Black Mage troops to destroy Burmecia, and summon Odin to annihilate Cleyra completely. She make Alexandria the only kingdom that conquer Mist Continent by Kuja arms. She also start to emerge war to Kuja, by summoning Bahamut, to fight Kuja. But Kuja counter it by using Invincible, Terra Ship that can control Bahamut so instead firing him, the King Dragon fire the queen, made her madness stop.

The death of Brahne made Garnet become Queen of Alexandria. But in the night of Garnet coronation, Kuja order Bahamut attack Alexandria, enforce Garnet and Eiko to summon Alexander, the Eidolon that had enormous wing to protect Alexandria from King Dragon’s flare. Alexander managed to stop Bahamut by countering it’s flare, but alas, Invincible strike again to ‘drain’ Alexander. The different is, Invincible not moved because Kuja, but Garland, who initiate the movement because he didn’t want Kuja rebellious become stronger. Garnet shocked because the destruction of her hometown. Her heart heavily crushed because he failed to protect her people as queen, which made her can’t speak in a mean time.

The presence of Garland in Alexandria make Kuja mad. He emerge his troops to outer continent to chase Garland, which guide Zidane and the party to know that outer continent, Shimmering Island to be precise, is the ‘bridge’ between Terra and Gaia. Kuja, Zidane, and the party arrive in Terra and slowly understand Garland plan to ‘replacing’ Terra people’s soul with Gaia people’s soul by secure the use of Gaia Eidolon. It also explained that The mist in Gaia basically came from Terra which channeled from Iifa tree.

Zidane also remember his origin as Genome, one of Garland’s Angel of Death, which made him mental breakdown because of his existencial crisis. Gladly, his friends save him to empower his confidence. Zidane and the party succeed defeat Garland. But at the same time, Kuja becomes enraged (the game use ‘Trance” as it’s term) and go to the depths of Memoria to find the Crystal, the source of Life. His only mission is to ‘reset’ his dying fate as defect creatures by conquer the Crystal. After defeating Kuja in Memoria, Zidane and the party will face the last boss, Necron, which is embodiment of the Death that Kuja afraid of.

After defeating Necron, Zidane and the party back to Terra where the mist starting engulf and uncontrollable. The party, along with Tartarus, Alexandrian troops, Lindbum Soldier, and Burmecian Dragon Knight start to run from Terra along with the remaining Genomes in there. But Zidane stay still to help Kuja who dying in there. One year later, after the restoration of many destruction that happen in mist Continent in Gaia, Zidane come back safely to Alexandria to meet his lover, Garnet, and his friend. Happy ending as always.

The setting and the music in Final Fantasy IX is very atmospheric with it’s ‘fantasy’, of course, which make you easily immerse with the world that presented in the game. Many races, and it’s each own quirky, made the setting interesting in someway. The basic story is solid, however, there’s some of my nitpicking in this series :

  1. I don’t understand why Garland seems to be hold himself even his mission to conquer Gaia is very important. He know Kuja rebel to him and Zidane fail to fulfill his mission but he seems not care about it. I mean, he had fully control of Invincible who can conquer Eidolon easily from it’s summoner (example : Kuja used it to control Bahamut when Brahne want kill him by using Bahamut). It feels so weird to me when he used the Invincible only to control Alexander. Invincible is overpowered device that can flip every protagonist hope to fight back, which is strange if Garland must send his two ‘Angel of Death’ because Invincible can do all the work. Even Kuja can’t fight back when Garland take over Invincible. It was unfortunate that Garland, who I presume the main antagonist, become weaker, and nicer, forcefully by the plot without redeeming execution so Zidane and Kuja can get their own stage in the story later on.
  2. The story oftentimes tell about how people had value to survive despite their’s limitation. Kuja and Vivi is the primary character who moved by this premises. They both feel insecure about their existence who destined to destroyed or controlled by their ‘master’ in their lifetime. Kuja is the one who resist about it an try to achieve the perfection in himself, while Vivi accept his destiny and try to made value in his short life. Very interesting to take, even I consider Vivi is more interesting main protagonist rather than Zidane, which had me disconnected when Zidane lead the journey because he didn’t had same problem like Vivi. I feel he just there as the charming guy who can solve it all the problem that Kuja make and give Vivi nice pat to get rid his friend’s sorrow. Yes, Zidane had mental breakdown when he realize that he created by Garland to destroy Gaia, but why though? He had amnesia about it and feel nothing before Garland told him about it. I guess it’s happen just for the sake of the drama, to show that Zidane is vulnerable.
  3. There’s a sub-plot in each character when the main plot goes on (self choice themes by Garnet and Steiner when they escaped castle is one of the example) which I considered is pretty good to make character develops or at least introspect with their choice. Too bad this sub-plot somehow drifted away by when the main plot strikes. When Garland strikes, most of character, except Zidane, is just a merely Kuja’s victim of war with a very little emotional relationship between them, which made our investment to each character is irrelevant.
  4. From first to third part, the story feel so atmospheric with it’s fantasy, like races quirk, Zidane’s flirt behaviour to Garnet, Quina desire for only food in his/her live and often times feels comedic (Cid become ogloph and frog is the example). Of course there’s big scene happen when Eidolon start destroy the city which made the tension feel real, but then it somehow passed by because it’s directing to fantasy atmospheric and comedic again later on, except when Garland appears.
  5. In the last part of the story, Genome who still live in Terra migrated to Gaia before Terra itself destroyed after Garland defeated. Later on, it explained that most Genome try to live together with people in Terra. If that can be happen, why Garland bother to destroy Gaia then? The main problem that Garland had to save his own people is his people soul cannot be lived if there’s still people in Gaia. But after Zidane migrated the Terra people to Gaia, that problem seems disappear without any reason.

Despite of my own nitpicking, Final Fantasy IX still enjoyable and playable. In story perspective, most of the time it tries to solid to it’s themes, which sometimes missed but it tends blinded by player. In game play perspective, I enjoy the unique of each character skill and ability binding, but the Trance system too rigid that you can’t depend on it when boss battle (I still prefer Limit break system from FF VII and FF VIII). The character design is cute and funny which appeal to mainstream player, even to the kids, but the side effect of this is made the story feels too childish and tend not to take it seriously.