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Blog Update #5: (Apparently I ran out of silly titles. Oops.)

Update sign held by Usta

A new year means new beginnings, and what better reason to kickstart some new articles?

…Hey, don’t give me that look! Chinese New Year started last week, it counts!

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Hourly Comic Day 2014

Hey all! Holly here, back from the dead just in time for 2014’s Hourly Comic Day!

Once again, apologies all around for the lack of updates. I know that 6+ months is a long wait and leans more on the side of hiatus than break time, but I want you guys to know that I have no intention whatsoever of giving up on this blog. The first half of junior year was pretty busy for me, but I should have a better grip on things now.

In fact, a couple of classes actually helped me come up with some new ideas for this blog. Keep an eye on this blog over the next couple of days for an update regarding that.

For now, here are the goodies that you came for!


Artwork © Holly A. Wolfe

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UPS Is a Wonderful Thing

Do you know why? Four words: Tales of Xillia, baby!

Nostalgia Critic squee

I swear, if it was humanly possible, I’d be ricocheting off the walls right now.

Since I pre-ordered my copy, I received a couple of extra goodies, such as a CD and an art book, as can be seen below. Tales of Xillia game, CD, artbook The game also came with a code for two character costumes exclusive to the limited and collector’s editions. I’d show it, but displaying a line of numbers and letters just isn’t the same, is it? Oh, I almost forgot to mention the best part: it comes with a free box.

Tales of Xillia box

Aww yeah!

All snarking aside, sorry if I am coming off as a total a show off to fellow fans in Europe. I’m not trying to be a braggart. I’m just really excited to finally have this game and can’t wait for everyone to play it. (Which I haven’t actually done yet; I’ve been too busy squealing out loud and thanking God that no one is home to witness my extreme geek-out.) I’ll be back on Thursday with another FMA 2003 post. Until then, I’m gonna play me some Tales! The Nostalgia Critic © Doug Walker Tales of Xillia © Namco Bandai

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A Brotherhood Fan Watches FMA 2003, Episode 1: To Challenge the Sun

A Brotherhood Fan Watches FMA 2003 Ep 1

If I had remembered what watching this show is like, I would have returned to it a lot sooner.

The first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist had me feeling like I was a middleschooler again, fresh meat in the anime fandom and looking for more mature, complex shows than Saturday morning TV could provide. Now I remember why this episode blew my mind.

Fullmetal Alchemist (which I will call FMA 2003 from now on to avoid confusion) eases us into the series with the episode “To Challenge the Sun.” This episode does everything that a series’s first episode should do. It gives viewers a good first taste of the series that has everybody rushing back for seconds. And what is that taste exactly? A rich flavor of perfect pacing and character defining scenes that encourages you to sit back and savor what you are experiencing. (…Why the food allegories?)

I can’t go into everything this episode does. That would take all day. For now, let’s examine the reveal of the Elric brothers’ physical conditions and the visual style of FMA 2003.

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Something a Little Different

A few weeks ago, I started pondering to myself.

Pondering how to keep new ideas for blog posts coming. Pondering what I should do when, due to a busy schedule or something else, I don’t have a solid art piece or in-depth article ready for a weekly post.

And then I remembered Doug Walker’s Avatar: The Last Airbender vlogs.

For over a month and a half, Doug Walker, one of my favorite internet movie critics, has been catching up on the Avatar series and discussing what he enjoys and dislikes about each episode. I began watching Avatar along with Doug for as long as I could before I inevitably fell far behind his vlogs and gave up.

This got me to thinking about another TV series that I had started watching years ago yet completely neglected to finish.

The name of said TV series? Fullmetal Alchemist.

I know, I know, I must be a heretic for snubbing one of the great anime classics. Allow me to put things in perspective before everybody grabs their torches and pitchforks.

When the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime started airing in the United States, I was a middle schooler stuck in rural Nebraska. I didn’t have ready access to cable or Dish, and Funimation was far from releasing episodes online at that point in time. Needless to say, my chances to view any quality anime were limited. I don’t know how many episodes I managed to see, but they weren’t many.

Then 2010 came along and threw a new obstacle between me and FMA 2003: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Critics and fans everywhere couldn’t stop gushing about Brotherhood, praising it for being a faithful adaptation of the manga and being a new anime great. So I did what any anime fan would do: start watching it on Netflix and promptly ask for the DVD sets for Christmas.

Loving Brotherhood as much as I did, I wasn’t very keen on returning to the first adaptation and seeing all the changes that it made. However, people such as Hope Chapman (AKA JesuOtaku) still proclaim this to be their favorite of the two series and say that it still holds up as a standalone show.

That’s why I’ve finally decided to go back and give this anime another look.

I’m going to take a look at each episode of Fullmetal Alchemist and do a sort of commentary on it, discussing what works and what doesn’t. Comparing and contrasting FMA 2003 and Brotherhood at certain points will be inevitable, but I won’t blow off plot elements for not staying true to the manga. Needless to say, spoilers for both series will abound, so watch yourself if you are in the remaining one percent that has no idea what happens in either of them.

I intend to write one episode post per week, and I already have a bit of a head start, having taken notes on the first two episodes. I hope that you will come along for the ride. I have a feeling it’s going to be a doozy!

Now to give this miniseries a name that reeks of dignity and doesn’t totally suck.

…Dang it.

Fullmetal Alchemist © Hiromu Arakawa, Studio Bones, and Funimation Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series created by LittleKuriboh

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Project Progress Report #4: The Consequences of Overthinking

Well, here I am, back like I said I’d be! Let’s drop the formalities for once and cut to the chase, shall we?

This will be the last time I use this image for a while. For better or worse.

This will be the last time I use this image for a while. For better or worse.

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Guess Who’s Popping In For One Quick Post!

Honestly, I’ve about got the art of blog writer disappearance down to a T now. Once I master this mysterious art, I’ll be able to disappear for months, even years at a time!

Eh, on second thought, maybe some things are better off unlearned.

I’m sorry for missing last week’s post, but you see, it’s hard to make a post of decent quality when one’s laptop is in the shop awaiting a replacement fan. It’s even harder when said replacement fan decides to go sightseeing in China for a while. My baby is finally back, though, and in tiptop condition again.

Just in time for me to go to Iowa for a cousin’s wedding.

…Have I mentioned that my summer has been ridiculously busy so far?

Don’t hurt me!

If it’s any consolation, I have a few rough sketches ready for next week’s post. I’ll also give a much needed update regarding the statuses of my comic projects at that time.

Until then, stay safe and artsy!

Doctor Who © BBC

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