Once Again Tagged by AK of Everything is Bad for You

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In what appears to be something of a running joke, I have been tagged once more by AK of Everything is Bad for You. Glad you’ve been enjoying my content that much! The rules are the same as they’ve ever been. First, the tagger asks a variety of questions. From there, I answer them, and then I provide questions of my own for other site owners. And away we go!


1) Is there a game, book, or other work that you’d like to experience but that you can’t because it’s untranslated, not ported, or otherwise inaccessible?

Ashita no Joe is considered one of the greatest manga series of all time in Japan, yet it hasn’t been translated into English in its original form. A lot of people consider it the Japanese equivalent of Rocky, though its start date predates the film by eight years. It’s one of those works that comes across as a massive deconstruction of the plots offered by Shōnen manga in the coming decades despite codifying half or more of the tropes associated with the demographic. It also provides a very ahead-of-its-time look at the negative effects boxing has on its participants. Most people wouldn’t know of these effects until 1996 when Muhammad Ali lit the torch at the Olympics, clearly suffering from Parkinson’s disease brought on by severe head trauma.

2) What’s one work that really affected you or stuck with you in the last year, and why do you think it did?

To be honest, it’s been awhile since I last experienced a work that truly affected me. The last one to truly affect me was when I played through OneShot back in 2017. I know I’ve mentioned it a number of times when doing these tags but it, along with Undertale, are several decades ahead of what most acclaimed filmmakers have been doing this past decade in terms of innovation and storytelling. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Guess you’ll just have to see for yourself, huh?

3) If you could revive one series of works that’s been abandoned or dropped by its creators for any reason, what series would it be and why?

I know that Half-Life: Alyx was recently revealed to the public, but I still think it’s worth mentioning the Half-Life series if for no other reason than because Valve ended up cutting the story short with no resolution for over twelve years. Jokes about how long it took for them to make games were funny back in the early 2010s when they still worked on them, but now they’re jokes everyone is sick of. Why they can never seem to make a third installment of anything is truly beyond me.

If we’re talking about series that actually are, by most metrics, dead, I think we can draw our attention to Rare as a developer. They had so many great games throughout the 1990s and Microsoft doesn’t seem to be letting them do anything with their properties. Not to mention that there are plenty of great individual games that could have gotten a sequel, but didn’t. Blast Corps especially comes to mind considering that it has entirely unique gameplay, yet has very obvious flaws – particularly in the last third when the developers got lazy and began recycling level designs. A sequel with new levels, new challenges, and better controls would be great. As it stands, I find myself revisiting that game every now and again, having fun with it while being slightly annoyed that it could’ve been better.

4) When it comes to music, do you prefer songs with vocals and lyrics or instrumental pieces, or do you have a preference at all?  If you prefer one type over the other, why do you think that is?

When it comes to music by itself, I find I prefer it with vocals. With the exception of jazz or classical music where the focus is primarily on instrumentation, I find lyrics really tie entire songs together. It’s really cool seeing a musician’s poetry brought to life with music. Relatedly, it was awesome getting to see Bob Dylan troll Nobel Prize purists when he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016.

When it comes to other mediums, however, I don’t have as much of a preference. Instrumental music is generally better for normal scenes in films or video games while music with vocals can really punctuate certain scenes when used sparingly.

5) When was the last time you bought a magazine, newspaper, or other form of print media?

In regards to books in general, I’ve really gotten into manga lately. Recently, I ended up reading through the manga adaptation of All You Need Is Kill – the light novel that inspired the film Edge of Tomorrow. I have to admit I liked the latter more, but the original story is still well worth looking into. For that matter, I’ve also given Berserk a shot after the story celebrated its thirty-year anniversary this year and Dark Horse began releasing deluxe editions, which encompass three volumes apiece.

If we’re only taking about print news sources, I honestly don’t have an answer to that. I have never purchased a single newspaper, and I haven’t had a magazine subscription since the 2000s when I had one to Nintendo Power and another to Game Informer. The latter came free with a GameStop purchase, and I didn’t bother to renew it. I’ve read newspapers left lying around in public places, but that’s about it.

6) Is there a holiday you don’t get to celebrate/take off because of family or work reasons but that you wish you could?

With my current job, I actually get most holidays off, though I have to admit I’ve never really found working on them that big of a deal. In one of my previous jobs, I would get twice as much money for working on them (the holiday pay along with the hours for working on it).

7) If you had to create a new holiday, when would it be and what would it involve?

I would create a holiday dedicated to celebrating the arts wherein a panel of experts could all band together and come up with five obscure, classic works (older than twenty years) per medium for people to experience for themselves. Because I generally have trouble naming things, I think I would call it Art Day. Because people would have to go out of their way to discover many great works, I would have it so that for this one day, people could experience them for free. I’m not sure how the logistics would work, but I would have it so all creative mediums would be covered, including comics, literature, films, video games, and music. And for good measure, I would place it on August 15th because it’s the only month of the year to lack a national holiday (or at least in the United States).


And now, here are eleven questions of my own…

  1. What is your favorite variety of meat? Or if you don’t eat meat what is your favorite meat substitute?
  2. If you could permanently remove one installment from a series you like (which would erase its existence from everyone’s memory), which one would you choose?
  3. If you lost a bet, would you rather read the worst book, play the worst game, listen to the worst album, or watch the worst film that you know of?
  4. If you won a bet, what kind of punishment would be in store for your friend?
  5. What is your favorite month of the year?
  6. What is a piece of obscure trivia you like to mention during social gatherings?
  7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? In this hypothetical situation, assume your choice would grant you complete fluency in the area’s official language.
  8. What is the longest amount of time you’ve ever driven a car or other vehicle in one sitting?
  9. What is the most annoying fictional character you can think of?
  10. What is the most underrated fictional character you can think of?
  11. With the decade coming to a close, would you say this was a good period for films, comics, animation, music, literature, or video games?

The people tagged are…

33 thoughts on “Once Again Tagged by AK of Everything is Bad for You

  1. Yikes! Thanks for the tag 🙂✌ I like your questions… especially about the last decade of entertainment. My friend just dragged me into debate hell because I said the decade was ending and he said it wasn’t 😅 Anyway! I’m right and he sucks 😛 I’ll get on these questions in the next few days!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, that caused a big, old stink going into 2000, didn’t it? I’m firmly in the “the decade ends as soon as the third digit from the left rolls over” camp, so December is the last month of the decade. Hope you like answering these questions!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! And Ashita no Joe does predate Rocky, though from what I’ve read, the latter wasn’t influenced by the former. Because the manga hasn’t been released in the West as of today (let alone 1976), I can believe the two stories were written independently from each other.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. I thought it would’ve came after Rocky, but that’s still mike blowing. From what I know about the series, I don’t think Rocky is a rip-off and that’s a just reason that they would’ve been made independently. Don’t worry, I’m not someone who just throws the term rip-off every time. Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I honestly never heard of Ashita no Joe till now actually. I have believed to this day that Akira was the greatest manga to all; which I’m almost done reading through too. Thanks for sharing its importance with all of us and for comparing it to Rocky. I never would’ve guessed.

    Thanks for tagging me for this one! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard of it for the first time when somebody reviewed a really terrible video game adaptation of it back in 2006 called The Legend of Success Joe. It’s generally considered the single worst game to ever debut on the Neo Geo. And I actually have the Akira box set, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I definitely will at some point because a lot of people say it is far better than the film, though that’s to be expected given that the film is only a few hours long whereas the manga is thousands of pages long and ended after the film was released. I don’t think Rocky was influenced by Ashita no Joe, but it would be great if the latter finally saw an official release.

      You’re welcome! Hope you like answering the questions.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, I’ve tagged you a lot, haven’t I? You can just consider yourself a legacy nominee from now on if you feel like it.

    I’ve heard a lot about how legendary Ashita no Joe is. Kind of surprised it hasn’t been officially translated yet. It’s interesting that an older manga addressed issues in sports that we just started getting around to recently (especially in the case of football with concussions, which everyone seems to have forgotten about again.)

    Yeah, OneShot was an excellent game. I played it for the first time this year, so I guess I’d have to pick it as well if I’m answering my own question. I can’t remember a game that made me care as much about the protagonist as OneShot did.

    I don’t know if Valve just finds it easier to make money by running their own game platform, but I still have to wonder how it’s taken them this long to make a followup in the Half-Life series. You could maybe say the same for the Portal series — though I think Portal 2 had a satisfying ending, there’s probably even more they could do with the game mechanics at least. My own choice would be Skies of Arcadia, of course, though it’s not so much a series as a single game that never got a sequel.

    I love how pissed off some people got over Dylan getting that Nobel Prize. I feel the same way when it comes to rock and funk alongside the instrumental jazz and fusion and classical stuff I listen to. It’s nice to have a mix. I also really like some foreign vocal pop stuff — if the music is good but the lyrics are stupid, I can still enjoy it fully because I can’t understand what they’re singing about.

    Great to hear you’re getting into manga; there is some excellent stuff out there. I’d like to read the Legend of the Galactic Heroes light novels one day. As far as print media goes, I think the last thing I bought was a Time or Economist in an airport maybe 7 or 8 years ago, before I had a smartphone. I also bought a Sunday edition of the local paper recently, but that was just to use for packing paper. The NYT Sunday crossword is still nice to do, though, even if I’m too stupid to even come close to completing it.

    I like the idea of Art Day. It would be good to have a day off dedicated to appreciating the arts. And again, I’d love to see some people getting pissed off about video games being presented as a medium equal to older art forms. I was originally thinking about bringing back the Bacchanalia, but I don’t think that would go down so well, so I’ll support Art Day instead.

    Interesting answers, and thanks for putting up with my questioning once again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I was surprised when I looked into it earlier this year only to realize that in the thirteen years since I first learned of it, it still hadn’t been officially translated. In terms of themes, it was really ahead of the time – to the point where it was hard to believe it started its run in the late-1960s.

      And yup, OneShot is incredible – light years ahead of anything any filmmaker has done this past decade. That it had such a likable protagonist in the form of Niko certainly helped.

      Valve really got complacent this past decade, which is never anything you want to be when you’re an artist. I honestly don’t mind that we haven’t gotten a sequel to Portal 2 because it ended on a satisfying note, but the lack of Half-Life continuation is annoying. I really should find some way to get into Skies of Arcadia.

      The sheer amount of salt generated by purists was a sight to behold, alright. I’m always amazed how conservative these progressive-minded people manage to be. And having a mix is the best way to go, I’d say.

      The manga I’ve checked out is great, and I always get a kick out of reading the book right to left. It’s surprisingly easy once you’ve gotten used to it. I want to check out Legend of the Galactic Heroes after everything you’ve said about it. By the time I had my own money to spend, newspapers were pretty much all but dead, and I had no desire to get a magazine subscription. It really says something that the only reason you bothered to buy a newspaper was to use it as packing paper. I find online stuff manages to be a good substitute for most of what I’d find in a newspaper. You have to take things with a grain of salt, but that was true back in the days of print media as well; the only difference is that more people are aware of it. On a related note, I’m fond of doing the daily chess puzzles on chessgames.com.

      Glad you like Art Day! I kind of wished I had come up with a better name than that, but it’s probably for the best it’s to the point. Indeed, including video games would have a massive potential for trolling the conservatives who think they’re progressive. What you say does make me wonder how bringing back the Bacchanalia would go, though. Probably either really well or horribly wrong – no in between.

      Thanks for the nomination as always!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the nomination!

    Doing the lord’s work out here telling people about OneShot. In agreement with you in that it is one of the few games that made me feel something while playing a game and compelled me to keep playing entirely down to the story. It’s truly a gem that everyone should play.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! And I consider critics leaving OneShot to fall by the wayside one of the biggest failures in the history of gaming journalism. I’ve heard them sing praises about how much Gone Home is a quiet triumph in storytelling, yet they practically ignored OneShot despite the latter being far more innovative. It really is one of the most avant-garde artistic statements of this decade.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the mention! I will try to answer these ASAP in between my upcoming reviews for the Star Wars series, Frozen II, Jojo Rabbit, several video games, and my Christmas special… Hmm…

    Great answers, as always. Btw, is the “What is the best film you’ve seen in theaters” question one of the ones you’re asking of the people you’ve tagged?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Can you believe I got tagged yet again? Have you ever purchased a piece of print media? I have to say I’ve never actually purchased a newspaper in my life and by the time I had my own money to spend, I didn’t go out of my way to get a magazine subscription.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on another much-deserved award. I enjoyed reading the answers to your questions, which got me thinking about a recent movie that impacted me. A couple of weeks ago I saw the Bulgarian film “Glory” (2017) at a film festival, and it was a film I’ll never forget. (Did NOT see that ending coming.)

    Thanks for the nomination! I’m going to give some thought to your questions before responding. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now, you’ve got me curious. I really wish American theaters were better at screening foreign films. As of the success of Parasite, I now believe it’s less because people have trouble reading subtitles and more because the film executives can’t stand the competition.

      You’re welcome! And I hope you enjoy answering these questions.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yo! Thanks for the tag!

    And here I thought Hajime no Ippo was the Japanese Rocky. Although big chunks of Ippo remain untranslated as well, at least officially. Maybe that’s a curse for boxing manga.

    And you know, I don’t think Half-Life: Alyx really counts for what we’re really hoping for with a new Half-Life, given that it’s a prequel and thus pretty unlikely to provide a conclusion to the story. I really hate when series do that, going completely out on a cliffhanger or with no complete conclusion to it. And it’s been frustratingly common. And yeah, it’s a little frustrating that we don’t get much of the Rare magic anymore. Although part of that may be that they don’t have that magic anymore. A lot of the people that made the company what it was in its heyday just aren’t there now. They had a solid showing with their Killer Instinct revival, but outside of that, I can’t think of a game they’ve had since Nintendo sold them that hasn’t been at least a bit underwhelming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey! You’re welcome.

      There are so many famous boxing stories out there across several mediums that I can believe their inspiration is independent from each other. It doesn’t surprise me that a fair bit of Hajime no Ippo is left untranslated. We’re talking about a series that has gone on for over three decades and spans over one-hundred volumes. Have you read it? I’m surprised a story can go on for that long.

      And no, I think at this point, Valve is just being complacent. It’s a real shame because in their heyday, they were the only developer who could give Nintendo a run for their money in terms of innovation. I really think that unless a sequel is greenlit, ending on a cliffhanger is a bad idea. As it stands, the ending of Half Life 2: Episode 2 has gone for over twelve years with no resolution. And yes, I definitely know that the people who made Rare the force it was in the 1990s are long gone from the company. It’s sad that the single greatest game bearing Rare’s logo within the past decade was Rare Replay. I think that spark can be found in indie developers, but that Rare themselves have fallen so hard is indeed highly frustrating.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: November 2019 in Summary: The Home Stretch! | Extra Life

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