Some of My Favorites: Nine Western Animated Movie Specials!

Does anyone remember those hour-long movie specials for cartoons, back in the day?

Yeah, you know them.  The over-hyped specials that would be advertised at every opportunity, the ones that Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, and of course, Nickelodeon were notorious for.  But did we, as viewers, really expect anything amazing from the newest Spongebob hour-long special, or the newest Fairly Oddparents movie?

No, of course not.  But that being said, there were several gems among them–special stories that really took advantage of the extra time, to create something that really stood out from the rest of the series.

I’ve been feeling a little bit nostalgic as of late, so here’s a quick top ten for you–my favorite movie specials of Western Animation!  To qualify as what counted, the series had to be generally advertised as a special event.  Even if there were technically separate episodes, or if it was just a singular movie, it doesn’t matter–so long as they were aired together at some point, telling a single narrative–season finales, TV movies, whatever!

And yes.  Nine.  I couldn’t think of a tenth, sue me.

Continue reading “Some of My Favorites: Nine Western Animated Movie Specials!”

Some of My Favorites: Top Ten Male Anime Protagonists

A great male main character is one that is hard to find.

They’re not the manliest of men, but neither are they complete pushovers either.  These characters are the ones that have drive, that have charisma, the ones that are interesting, engaging, and push the story forward.  It is through them, that we experience the anime we love, and are a major reason as to why anime tend to go down in history as some of the best.

And these, are my personal favorites among the bunch.

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My Top Ten Story Arcs in Western Animation

Western Animated shows, on the whole, are fundamentally different from anime in a number of ways.

The tropes they employee, their general reputation, the style they use–it all combines to create a more lighthearted, comedic atmosphere in comparison to the Japanese medium many know and love.  This has led to a format where most Western cartoons tell their stories sporadically.  With lots of independent, unrelated stories in between, compared to anime, which continue a single plot without interruption.

However, there are times when these shows choose to focus on a single story, over the course of multiple episodes.  These are the episodes that get plot-heavy really quick–the ones that oftentimes are responsible, for creating the most high-stakes, memorable situations of a show.   And today, I’ll be talking about my top ten favorite story arcs!

I tried to stick to two criteria for this list.  First, only one story arc per series, and second, the arc has to last at least five episodes, or at least be addressed over the course of a series.   This was to rule out those hour-long specials, which are so common in Western cartoons.  That said, let’s get to it!

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My Top Ten Protagonists of Gaming!

Though a protagonist’s eyes, we experience new worlds.

Playing a video game for the first time, the main character provides a means, through which we experience the world of the game.  If the game is fun, dramatic, action-packed, the protagonist should generally reflect that.  And of course, some protagonists do this job far better than others, bringing far more to the table than most.

These protagonists are my favorites in all of gaming.  Their individual personalities, the ways in which they let the player experience the game, their general design, all combine to create memorable characters that stand as some of the best of the video game medium–at least, in my eyes.

Having said that–here’s my personal top ten protagonists of gaming!

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Some of My Favorites: Five Underrated Video Games!

Some video games have the ability to create wonderful memories, even if they aren’t exactly perceived as great.

These are the underrated games–titles that have some quality, some merit, but are perceived by many as terrible or bad.  For whatever reason, these titles end up being hated by the fanbase, or just hated in general, when I believe they deserve far better treatment than that.

Today, we’re going to talk about five of these kinds of games.  This list will be based purely on my opinion, so if we disagree, well.  I’d love to hear what your thoughts at the end of it!

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My Top Five Western Animated Movies

Haven’t talked about animations in the Western world in awhile.

Movies in theaters tend to have many more advantages than other, less popular animations.  These movies have the benefits of directly leading to revenue, of being advertised everywhere, and satiating a need for cinematic entertainment.  Western animated movies are popular on a level that is far above anime, manga, or even basic western animations.

That being said, these movies are restricted, and often end up as part of a predictable genre, that can get stale.  Oftentimes, with the same humor, the same general plot twists, and the same insistence on a happy ending, these movies are interesting and entertaining, but ultimately similar.  It takes something exceptional to stand out in the world of Western animated movies: but there are certainly some out there that  and, knowing this, I’d like to share some of those movies that stood out to me.

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Some of My Favorites: Five Great Final Boss Battles!

Final boss battles are often what push video games into greatness.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that the ending of a story is imperative to its quality.  If the video game in question is beautifully executed up  until the end, then you just get that sour taste in your mouth, that it could have been so much better.  Luckily, many great video games are able to deliver, and some decent ones are remembered much more fondly thanks to their final bosses.

From my experience, final bosses don’t have to change the gameplay very much, but rather, they serve as the climax of the story.  They are the ultimate test of your fundamentals, a simple showdown that serves to wrap up the story in a satisfying, powerful way.

They’re the final glimpse you have of a game, the last takeaway- and boy, some of them are pretty damn good.

Continue reading “Some of My Favorites: Five Great Final Boss Battles!”

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