Thursday, 15 August 2013

Good Manners And Customs

While I was looking for some art books the other day, I came across the third volume of Date AST Like which I then picked up as I was mildly curious about the finer details of the Ashcroft project. There seems to be a general lack of information on the spinoff, which is not too surprising considering its focus. Since I had already touched on the story before, I figured I'd briefly run through the new volume and whatnot. Hopefully this will fix any mistake I may have made and clear things up a bit more than the last time.

Let's quickly recapitulate the major events so far. DEM develop five special CR-Units as part of a new project. Four of them are transported to the AST base in Tenguu city, while the first unit Alice is left in the care of Okamine Heavy Industries. Three former SSS members succeed in hijacking three of the Ashcroft units at the end of the first volume. The next volume begins with Mikie accidentally unlocking and equipping the fifth unit Cheshire Cat before the hijackers can get their hands on it. She later attends the demonstration of the Alice with Origami, Mana and Ryouko. The SSS trio attempt to steal the unit but Origami takes it after Mikie's father gives her the password. That about sums it up, I think. On a related note, I forgot to mention that while DEM build Realizers, the subsequent task of developing them into CR-Units are typically left to other companies.

I have said before that the Alice provides protection against other Wizards' Territory, but it actually does much more than just that. The CR-Unit specializes in the composition of Protect Territory. In practice, the unit was able to deploy a barrier so thick that neither the SSS trio nor the AST girls could break through. Furthermore, the barrier could be extended to create a boundary field. Ashley and Leo nevertheless managed to get away thanks to Origami's overconfidence, which allowed Cecil a chance for a sneak attack on Origami that weakened the barrier.

Artemisia? More like teenage Vert amirite?
Inside her solitary confinement cell, Cecil tells Mikie about her group's "stolen lover" - one of the world's five best Wizards and the top ace of the SSS - Artemisia B Ashcroft. I kind of left out details about the SSS trio and their relationship with Artemisia the last time since I mostly wanted to talk about the Ashcroft units, so here goes. Cecil is a fairly amiable girl who lost her eyesight in a spacequake prior to joining the SSS; Ashley is short, brash and a bit of a lone wolf; Leo is tall and tough-looking but she is actually a crybaby. As for their relationship with Artemisia, she's an irreplaceable friend of theirs and the glue that held the group together - a role which has since been passed down to Cecil after Artemisia's departure. Artemisia eventually left the SSS for DEM as the latter wished to study the unique properties of her Territory. She thought they were going to put her powers to saving the world, but she couldn't have been more wrong.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Disaster For Sale

There goes another year. Even though I never did have an idea of what this place really ought to be about, over the years I feel like I've strayed from its intended purpose. The start is always nice and simple, but the journey in the arbitrary utopia is a long and strange one.

So in an effort to return to the roots, let me talk about music for a bit. Amazingly enough it's almost been more than half a year since the last time I did something like this.

Guitarists On Demand, a group of young and aspiring guitarists who seem to have gathered together under the leadership of the ever proactive Godspeed, released their debut album G.O.D. (Guitarists On Demand) a few months ago. The concept behind the group appears to be bringing a new generation of guitar heroes to the scene, as they explore new forms of electric guitar music. Certainly waste no time in talking up the project, don't they? Having listened to the record extensively and played along to the tracks however, I have to say that while the album is quite good, it doesn't really live up to its hype.