29 May 2016

Bravely Default redux

 image via. (oh my I just noticed the couple-y outfits)

Here's more couple-y images since I ship Ringabel and Edea hard: 1 & 2

It took me a very long time to finish Bravely Default, those 4 replay chapters really suck away at motivation. I'm even leaving the bonus dungeon (after I raided it for weapons before the final boss) for when I get a sharp pang of gaming desire during school.

Regardless I noted down some thoughts while I was head deep in the game in China:

Hmm a little less than 50hours into the game and I'm at the point right after the first time reset. I take back my criticism about most of the characters being one dimensional, or rather, "one track minded" as Edea often comments about Ringabel. Somehow it just dawned upon me how hard it is to see from a different perspective from the one that was strictly indoctrinated into you for all of your childhood. Perhaps what provoked this realization is seeing a short segment on TV about why this person chose to join the communist party, in which the person described her life as being devoted to the party and faithfully living in a way that conformed to the party's teaching. It was a bit horrifying to watch as I have an outsiders perspective that's biased towards the negative of what happened under the party's early years (which correspond to the tv segment person's life), as well as a general uneasiness towards living devoted to any prescriptive ideology.

Back to Bravely Default.
So I now see Agnes' and Edea's stubborn idealism as well written. Still on the fence about Tiz's character though, no major development for him yet, although the bit about Egil was interesting. (Later edit & spoiler: the bit about there being a celestial being residing in Tiz will probably come into play in the sequel.)

I was totally right about Ringabel and Alternis! But it's hard to believe that Edea never saw Alternis' face as they grew up together, he couldn't have always worn his helmet right? I feel bad for Alternis though,  that unrequited love and his terrible timing confessing on the battlefield. At least Ringabel and Edea had a funny exchange during the prison break. Sigh does this ship ever set sail?

Right now I'm kind of dreading the rest of the game, first because of all the repeated crystal awakenings, and second because the tragedy in the plot thickens.
I'm surprised that such a significant portion of the back story is in the Vampire side quest, which is entirely missable (although no jrpg player would ever not do a side quest...discounting myself and FFXII). In a hypothetical scenario in which the player does not spoil him/herself of the story (me never), the players understanding of the story would be almost opposite without this side quest.

Spoilers below, but I figure you've either already played this game or has no interest in ever playing it.
I feel a vague nod to FFX's plot twist in which you're actually on the evil side. While I'm going around awakening crystals and saving people from Eternia's tyranny, which the latter contains a lot of truth since corrupted characters exist on both sides, I then discover that oh oops nope, actually (the good part of) Eternia is trying to prevent the apocalypse (through bad execution via aforementioned corrupt characters, but ain't that always the complication when you run an entire empire ne?). Of course Crystalism starts off good too. Yulyana (or was it DeRosso?) says it well with the road to hell is paved with good intentions (this saying is also on a slide deck that I made for work ah ha).
To go off on a tangent, reality is always stranger than fiction, and our imaginations an extension of reality, makes me wonder how many similar plots have played out in history already. This thought reminds me a quotation that goes something like life is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy to those who feel.

Another plot segment that resonates with me is the miscommunication, or more accurately unwillingness to communicate between Edea and Braev. On a higher level, it's obviously written this way in order to have a story, but ignoring that, I wonder how different it would be if Braev decides to tell Edea his reasoning before that boss fight. Would Edea listen, or would she think it's an excuse given the "final confrontation" situation. Alternatively, if DeRosso told the party what Angel Anges knew, would that stop them from going to awaken the earth crystal?
It reminds me of how stubborn, and objectively wrong, I am in my refusal to regularly exercise. Of course I know that my parents nagging is for my own good, but it doesn't increase my willing a single bit. Likewise, of course procrastinators know that they're screwing themselves over by doing so, but that knowledge stops short of action. I guess for a generally future-oriented person, this is one instance of being good at living in the moment (I'm impressed by this excuse). Why is it human nature (or is it?) to not always thrive to be the best person we can be?


And this is why I like sad stories, makes me think of all sorts of difficult things.

//recount end. Here's a cute picture of DeRosso to conclude:
image via. It's emabrassing that I actually had a lot of trouble with those monsters initially.

20 May 2016

Osaka Slice #2

But of course there's glimpse and obvious sights of Osaka's historic side as well.

 (strictly speaking, a modern subject. But the residential / everyday mood fits this post more)

velvia + rokinon 12mm = most pleasing waters ever. how many times have I repeated this?

18 May 2016


My posts on this trip will mostly be photologues since I did the writing portion in analog form, and am too lazy to retype it. But a significant conclusion is that I'm starting to understand the idea that the people you meet makes the trip extra magical. While I made good friends at Kyoto, this volunteer tour guide at Isuien is the definite highlight of my daytrip to Nara.

 The deers are only exciting for the first couple of sightings :(

 The tour guide even recommended such a great place for lunch.

17 May 2016

Osaka Slice #1

While Kyoto is predominately a historic city to the tourists, Osaka is predominately a modern one. So here's a couple of snaps of its modern side.

16 May 2016


I enjoyed walking beside Uji river more so than philosopher's path, the water was mightier and hardly ran into anyone.


Was in a rush off to Osaka, so didn't go inside the main building. The photo is also deceptively serene, in actuality the site was fairly crowded.

13 May 2016

Kyoto slice #4

Slice #4 is Philosopher's Path, an exceedingly pleasant stroll. I'm rather ashamed that I haven't been to the similarly named path at UT.

12 May 2016

Kyoto slice #3

Slice #3 is other sights, though I don't mean to diminish their significance by grouping it together.

 Roof of Kyoto Station, not actually a good spot to see the sunset.

 Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社)

 Heinan Shrine (平安神宮)

 Old Rohm Theatre building that's now a really awesome Tatsuya bookstore storefront. 

 Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社)

 Ippodo!! Tried their best gyokuro, did not know that tea could be so umami, mind blown.

 To contrast, % Coffee (arashiyama branch), friend ordered a latte for me, it was very good.

 Nishiki market, quite an overwhelming experience with an overload of choice

 Nijo Castle, learning a bit of the history here gave more context to several mangas that I'm following

 Tora-ya, an exceedingly pleasant experience eating in their outdoors space. Bonus for atmospheric light rain falling.

The rain got heavier by the time I walked to the imperial gardens, no complains aside from it's difficult talking photos while holding an umbrella.

11 May 2016

Kyoto slice #2

Slice #2 is temples, which there are an abundance of in Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) - I enjoyed walking along the back mountain paths much more than the main temple grounds where there are far too many people in May.

Koda-ji (高台寺) - there are lots of statues to spot

Kennin-ji (建仁寺) - I am so impressed by the garden of this particular sub-temple, thank you Kyotographie for bringing me here. I can only wish to sit on the porch on a lightly raining day, sipping tea. 

Ginkaku-ji (銀閣寺) - the moss is gorgeous, but alas too popular of a sight.

Honen-in (法然院) - my favourite spot along the philosopher's path

Tofuku-ji (東福寺) - tentatively my favourite temple grounds, I regretted not sitting here for longer.