Cardfight!! Vanguard Gaiden: Shining Swordsman Review

Cardfight Vanguard is a massive franchise at this point with lots of shows, video games, manga, and more. It’s good to see it excel because I’d consider it to be a true rival to Yugioh. It absolutely holds its own in the comparison and now this would be a manga to focus on the card world which is always a fun angle. The series is really short at 2 volumes though and feels a bit incomplete. It’s almost like taking a glimpse into the world but not really seeing the beginning or ending. Still a fun journey but I hope we get a sequel series at some point.

The series starts with Prince Alfred deciding to surprise his troops by showing up during a normal battle. His top warrior Ahmes isn’t thrilled about this as he points out that Alfred is a ruler and shouldn’t be throwing himself into reckless danger like this. Alfred shrugs it off but then wounded soldiers begin turning into giant monsters. In an instant the clan is surrounded and their fighters across the kingdom are being assaulted by this mysterious force. Nobody knows how these creatures started appearing or what triggers them but they must be removed at once. The heroes may even need to rely on some experimental weapons in order to fight back but the risk may be greater than the actual enemies.

The enemy creatures may not have elaborate designs but they do the trick. You understand right away that these are mindless monsters that want nothing but destruction. It means that negotiation is off the table right away and the heroes must just try to survive. The villains do a lot of damage though particularly because they appear out of nowhere and have the element of surprise on their side. Additionally their defenses are quite good, only a handful of fighters seem to be able to go up against them.

The stakes are high here too as the series isn’t afraid to throw in a body count. So many characters are blown away and it can get surprisingly intense as they are ripped in half. Ultimately it’s easy to see why the extra power from the risky swords would be tempting but most characters can’t hold this power for long. In the end I would say there are 4 really important characters here among the crowd.

First is the creator of the swords, Blastid. This guy appears shady from the start but his swords are the real deal. They can cut through just about anything but if they don’t like their wielder, they will cut through him first. Blastid is protected all the while as the swords cannot harm him. I do think the heroes didn’t take him seriously enough as a threat though. When his swords murder one of their comrades he’s locked up but Blastid just breaks free and arrives later on to talk to the heroes about using another one.

They don’t seem to react to the fact that he’s no longer in jail and just take it in stride. I guess during a war you can be distracted but I was expecting some kind of reaction. “You can’t be here!” or something like that. I mean this guy appears to just be a villain flat out so go take him back to jail right? It may be hard to hold him but this guy is clearly shifty. Towards the end we get a twist about him so he’ll be back if we ever get a sequel.

Then we have Junos who is one of Alfred’s top soldiers and you feel bad for the guy. He trained all his life but was ultimately never able to match Ahmes in term of skill. Now with the swords he feels like he can finally contribute. Unfortunately he is given 0 support as Ahmes believes Junos won’t be ready and tries to talk him down. It’s sad because Junos was handling the power well enough at first but after the questioning started then he began to falter. That seemed to just suck the confidence right out of him. Ultimately Junos still has his big moment but I think Ahmes is to blame there because Junos may have done all right otherwise. Now it’s too late for him.

Ahmes is a very down to business character and outside of the Junos situation I thought he handled everything else pretty well. At the end of the day he is here to guard Prince Alfred and that guy makes it really hard on him. I don’t blame him for wanting Alfred to stay in the rear because it’s a lot easier to protect someone who isn’t constantly in battle. You figure from the start that he will become Blaster Blade so this works as a good origin story for him. He did well and earns his rep as the top guard.

Finally you have Prince Alfred. I think he’s a good character but I wish he was a little stronger. It’s a good morale boost for the soldiers to see your prince out on the battlefield but you need to be fairly powerful to ensure you don’t die. In any series when the king steps on the battlefield, it’s because he is a true fighter. It seems like Alfred never trained all that much so it comes off as a bit of an arrogant move on his part to think he could just walk in here and deal damage. It doesn’t quite work like that and so he is mainly ineffective for the whole adventure.

His father the King could at least fight well as we see in a bonus chapter at the end of the volume. Back in the day he was a lot like Alfred in that he would travel around looking for fights to help the kingdom. The difference there is that he was already known as a well regarded fighter who could look after himself. He clearly put in the work and that’s key for fulfilling that kind of role. I’d say it’s something that you have to do in order to be a ruler.

The series ends with a lot of open plot lines like the start of the Blaster Dark group, where did the monsters even come from, and what about those mysterious swords? It seems like an intentional cliffhanger to set up the status quo in the original series but I would be up for a sequel to show things in more depth. It was also a little convenient how the monsters all just decided to flee. Otherwise things were looking bad for the heroes. Potentially with the new sword Blaster Blade could have taken them all down but I wonder about that. The sheer numbers were going to be difficult to deal with either way.

As for the artwork, it is a little unrefined but looks good. I would put it more at tie-in level than a full fledged manga personally. It can be a little hard to follow the action scenes and it just rough around the edges. It does have its good moments during the action scenes too but I wouldn’t consider this a real strength to the series so it could improve a bit there.

At the end of the day I would say this series just lacks a hook to take it to the next level. The adventure is fun and all but it doesn’t feel like there is a ton of substance to the adventure. Like I said earlier, it feels like we’re jumping into the story midway through and leaving before the ending so it’s like a sneak preview. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but in the end it feels like a fairly standard adventure that you won’t remember much in the end. There also weren’t any true standout characters to help elevate this to the next level either.

Overall, Cardfight Vanguard Gaiden is a fun look into the world of Kray and how dangerous it can be. The heroes really have to go all out in order to stand a chance against the monsters. If every threat appears as suddenly as this one, I dare say that the heroes can never afford to rest in peace. If you’re a Cardfight fan then I’d say to check this one out. If you’re a standard fantasy fan then this one probably won’t impress you but it’s still not bad by any means. You’ll get your share of action and adventure. It’s also such a quick read that it’s definitely worth checking out.

Overall 6/10

The Legend of Zelda Review

After all these years I’ve finally played through the original Legend of Zelda thanks to the Switch Online. I don’t tend to be a big fan of the original games because a lot of them don’t hold up for me but LoZ wasn’t bad. I would put it in the middle. I can’t imagine playing it without today’s modern features though because it seems like it would be an extremely long process without a lot of quality of life features. With the Switch Online enhancements it does help the game to an extent but I certainly am glad that the modern titles have added a lot to the experience.

The general plot is that it’s dangerous to go alone so Link grabs his sword. He has to stop the demon king and save the princess so he’s in for a busy day. To do this he will have to find all of the pieces of the legendary Triforce and only then will he be able to save the world. Don’t underestimate a hero that is on a journey! Link will never give up and never surrender until he has his day. That is why he’s so legendary.

The gameplay style uses the overhead format. For the most part you slice the enemies that get in your way but additionally you can also get other weapons later on like a laser blaster, arrows, and bombs. For the most part you don’t want to waste ammo so you’ll stick to the sword but the laser is an exception as the ammo is limitless. Using your gadgets wisely is the only way you can come out on top here because if you squander them then you will be easy pickings for the monsters. You have to be very careful because you take heavy damage just for bumping into them.

Also it’s easy to miss an item and have to backtrack a lot so watch out for that. This is definitely a puzzle game first and foremost, not to mention that it’s also an unforgiving one. If you don’t watch your step then that’ll be curtains for your time. It definitely took me several hours to beat this game because I would get lost a whole lot. I don’t know how you would be able to navigate the final dungeon straight through. That one is extremely long and filled with shortcuts. There’s no visual indicator of any kind on which walls can be blown up so I just had to try on all of them. Each room had at least 3 corners to try and there could be over 20 rooms so that was a lot of options. I should mention that you can only carry 8 bombs unless you find a secret upgrade so without rewinding to replenish your stock…that would have been absolutely brutal.

The actual combat can be fun but expect to get hit a whole lot. At times the game turns into a bullet hell title where everyone is blasting you at the speed of sound. There’s one particular enemy that is super tough to deal with because he emits a full barrier with a lot of little attack nodes that are super hard to dodge. If any of them hit you then they will deal an incredible amount of damage. I would avoid them when possible but a lot of times you would have to fight in order to move forward.

If I were to take a stab at trying to improve the game it would really boil down to one thing. I would add some kind of indicator that a shortcut was nearby like a crack in the wall or something. That takes the guesswork out which I think is a good thing. Why should you be wasting bombs everywhere when you can just place them tactically? There is a sort of map on the top right of the screen but it’s an empty void that only shows your location. I would put in landmarks and such so you at least know where you’ve been. It’ll be like Link was filling out the map along the way.

These quality of life updates are what I would add to the mix and I think it would work really well. Then you can focus more on the actual combat and just taking out the villains. I’d also say maybe they shouldn’t let you exit a dungeon without taking every key item there. It would help prevent issues like not taking the raft in world 4 and then having to search every dungeon until you find it. That’s definitely no fun because you never want to have to go back. It just isn’t fulfilling. The only time I really enjoyed backtracking is when there is a power up system so you get stronger or the levels are super convenient. Like going back in Shantae is fun enough because you get the ability to fly and do other kinds of things that makes the old levels a breeze. If you’re about the same level of strength then it’s just not quite the same.

The soundtrack really holds up quite nicely though. You hear a lot of classic LoZ themes that are still used to this day. Nintendo really never held back in this area and the graphics also look pretty good for the NES. It’s clear that a solid budget was put into the game for back in its day and it shows. Good effort never goes to waste after all and they can look back on that and be proud. We’ll see if the next Link game can match it in that respect.

Overall, Legend of Zelda ended up becoming a big thing so clearly the game succeeded. I can see the appeal back in the day in that there was so much to do so you could easily spend months playing this game and figuring everything out. That would definitely be a rewarding experience but I wouldn’t say it holds up quite as well nowadays. It can really toe the line between being annoying or being fun at times. Still, you can’t go wrong playing it for free on the Switch Online though. Give it a whirl and see what you think. Either way you get to experience one of Nintendo’s most historic titles so that alone should be an incentive to give it a whirl. That said, if you take the nostalgia goggles off, I would argue that Skyward Sword still leaves this one in the dust.

Overall 5/10

The Fate of the Furious Review

The series rocks on with another big installment. Of course this time there would be no Brian which is a shame since he was a solid member of the crew. That may even be what makes the film a bit weaker because otherwise he would have had a massive role here based on the plot. This is still a really solid film to be sure but does trail behind the last two. Ultimately that’s not saying much since those were so great though and this series continues to be consistently great.

The movie starts with Dom taking down a street racer and redeeming the guy in the process. Now he runs a clean ship and Dom is proud of how things have turned out. He’s out of the biz now and just wants a normal life. Unfortunately that is not in the cards at the moment. A lady named Cipher appears and shows him something on her phone before confirming that he will now betray his family and work for her. Surprisingly Dom agrees to the terms so whatever she has on him must be massive. When he starts stealing nukes and EMPs, the crew is forced to assemble once more but can they really take out their former leader? Their only shot is to team up with Nobody, Hobbs, and Shaw. With every hype character in one room surely they can beat him!

That alone shows how much cache Dom has though. If you need the entire cast to even stand a chance against him then there was no doubt on who the big boss was. Personally, Hobbs and Shaw have both proven themselves to be a match so you’d figure that this would be easy but I suppose it’s more difficult in a race than a fight. Dom does have the best driving skills of the cast, I think that’s fair to say so it’s hard to actually catch him at that point. Still, the gang will give it their all.

One of the early scenes that really stood out was when Shaw breaks out of jail so he and Hobbs have a big chase throughout the compound. It was a really good action sequence where we got a lot of different combos and attacks. You feel bad for the guards who are ultimately at the wrong place at the wrong time. They really didn’t stand much of a chance here and particularly Shaw was making sure to destroy his opponents. You get the feeling that a few may have died against Dom too with how hard he was hitting.

This is something that you can’t help but remember when we start to go through the redemption arc for Shaw. I mean it’s pretty cool to see him fighting with the team and he’s a great character either way but I feel like the characters themselves would be super mixed about the whole thing. Ultimately it feels like there is a ton that he will have to atone for even if he is directly helping the heroes.

Then for Hobbs, he gets a lot more to do in this film which is good. The banter between him and Shaw is hype as always and Hobbs always knows how to pick the strongest looking car in the lot. He also did give Dom a few chances to surrender before going all in so I thought he handled the situation as well as he could have.

The rest of the crew is always around for their moments to shine as well even if they can’t keep up quite as well. You have Roman who is still the comic relief here but he actually does get a pretty big moment to help balance that for once like when he shoots a bunch of villains who were approaching him. Perhaps the only reason he hasn’t been dominating is because there haven’t been enough gun fights? Tej and Ramsey have a good dynamic as they each think of plans to help out. I did find it funny how the God’s Eye was already surpassed though, that definitely didn’t take long considering how much hype it got. That was the ultimate global hacking machine after all and it was taken down so quickly.

As an aside, the scene where they bust in and take out the entire cast was great though. Here you have all these big heavyweight fighters who can theoretically take down an entire army and they all get served up by a concussion grenade. I guess you really don’t want to mess with those things. It was a great way to give the villains some hype though and also felt like a scene out of a comic book movie. Even the layout of the area reminded me of Agents of Shield.

Letty doesn’t get as much to do as I would have expected here with the whole Dom going rogue angle. She does have her big moment where she grabs the briefcase and buys a bit of time but we don’t get the whole “Now it’s personal!” dynamic that you might have expected. Usually that would probably have been some kind of big fight and a lot of back and forth. Still, Letty and the crew never started doubting Dom which was important.

Nobody returns and he looks great here again. The guy is still just a lot of fun at all times and he gets results. He’s someone that even the main characters won’t want to cross. Then we’re introduced to his junior coworker in this film who tries hard but can’t get that same level of respect. And it’s not even close, that guy gets insulted throughout the movie. I thought he was rather decent myself but he does go in a little too hard on playing by the rules which doesn’t work out too well when you’re surrounded by this unit.

As for the main villain Cipher, she is quite a bit weaker than the last few villains. Her plans are wide scale but ultimately there’s not a ton to her. Cipher is really lucky that she is in possession of something to keep Dom off of her because otherwise she just wouldn’t last here. Anyone can be tough with a bit of blackmail, it’s the really strong villains who don’t need it.

Her right hand man Connor felt doomed from the start. He tries to talk tough to Dom but right from their opening scene you knew that he wouldn’t be able to back it up. These two are just in different tiers of power and Dom was absolutely not going to go down with family on the line. Once fighting was an option that was going to always be game over for the guy.

One older character appears here for a big role but I won’t say who since you could probably guess a lot from that. It was nice to see her return but unfortunately her role didn’t allow for any big moments. So she didn’t look bad because there wasn’t much that she could have possibly done but I wouldn’t say that she looked very good either. She was just fighting a losing battle here.

Finally we have Dom and of course the big question would be, was the blackmail enough to justify him going rogue and nearly murdering everybody? I mean just by working with the villain he nearly took everyone out. I always tend to be very skeptical of the hero in a scenario like this and I wouldn’t say Dom is exempt from that. His options were limited but I feel like he could have clued the team in somehow, especially since he had a lot of time. As long as he could trust them not to say anything then it would be easier to plan something out. Unfortunately it didn’t go that way so I think for once he was the one who didn’t believe in family hard enough.

Ultimately he still gets to take names and look hardcore as always though. At one point he basically has to go up against the entire team which was a lot of fun. I always like seeing a group vs 1 fight like that and it’s not like these are scrubs. Technically they’re very skilled too…just not skilled enough in this instance. Better luck next time and all of that.

Overall, Fate of the Furious is another great installment. It may not beat the others but it still has a lot of epic moments all throughout the film. It may even be the darkest one since some of the originals. I still say that loosely of course since I wouldn’t consider this film dark by any stretch but it has its moments and is certainly going for more of an emotional feel to it. We’ll see if 9 is able to top this one but ultimately I think that will be difficult. In a way it’s always tough for a sequel to beat a film that’s an 8 or up because that’s a lot to live up to.

Overall 8/10

Furious 7 Review

The Fast & The Furious is back! The series may have had a shaky start with the first 4 films but since then it’s really been firing on all cylinders! I can see why it became such a global hit and this title keeps up that same energy. It follows up on the cliffhanger ending from the last film and really sets things up to be a high tier bout of excitement from start to finish. This is one title that you don’t want to miss!

The movie starts off with a bang as Hobbs breaks into a hospital and murders just about everyone as he vows to avenge his brother who is in serious condition after being taken out by the heroes in the last film. He then breaks into Hobbs’ base in order to get info on Dom and the crew. He’s now determined to take them all out one at a time. Dom isn’t hiding and has no intention of waiting though. He’s just as eager to take Shaw down to avenge his friend Han and so the battle is set. Tracking Shaw won’t be easy though so they are going to need the power of the God’s Eye, a super hacking device that can track anyone in moments. The only way to get this is to save Ramsey, the creator of the program who is being held by Jakande and a bunch of terrorists. This won’t be easy.

You always want to start a film off with a dynamic beginning and that’s exactly what this film does. It was also nice to see it all tie in together with Tokyo Drift and the previous films. You could see how this was meant to be the really big film. Of course I’m glad that the series kept on going but it will be difficult for them to match 7. I don’t think any future film will be able to defeat it but we’ll see. There’s always a chance.

Really the only issue with the film is that it can still be a bit indulgent with the fanservice. You always have the characters heading to a beach or an area like that with a lot of slow-mo and zoom ins that don’t add anything to the plot and just make you shake your head. That may be a staple in the franchise at this point but it’s one that we can definitely just ditch and the films are better off for it. Fortunately it’s usually just a scene or two to check that box off and then we’re back to the action.

Now the fight scenes are a big part of why the films are so big. Hobbs vs Shaw is one of the big match-ups here and that was a good way to start the film off. The battle is very evenly matched so the whole time you’re interested in seeing how it’s going to end out. Later on we also have Dom vs Shaw in another really solid fight. The choreography is always really good and you can feel the blows. It’s a bit ironic that all of the best scenes don’t involve the cars but sometimes that’s just how it goes.

The car scenes are still a lot of fun as always though. Who doesn’t like a big car chase right? Then you’ve also got the heroes fighting off planes as well and a lot of great jumps and falling stunts. You may not buy that all of this can happen but the important thing is that they do happen. So it makes for a lot of fun scenes and with Shaw constantly on Dom’s tail, there is always a sense of danger going on here.

I’d also say the soundtrack is really good. The movie always picks a solid song that fits the location they’re at. It makes for a lot of variety and that’s something you always remember from the films. Tokyo Drift in particular had a really strong soundtrack since it took place in Japan but all of them have been really solid so far.

As for the characters, Dom is a great main character as always. He fights for his family and never gives up. You can always count on him to have your back no matter how tough things get. Dom’s also a great fighter and likes to battle with honor so he’s not going to go for the cheap shots or anything like that. He has a lot of great dialogue throughout the film. One thing the films always take advantage of is making sure to give everyone their hype so each character feels like they’re some kind of champion. Eventually you have several characters in the same room who are all talking tough and it’s extremely entertaining.

Hobbs is still the strong rival here but unfortunately he is gone for most of the movie. It’s a shame that he had to be written out early but at least he got his big fight scene first. He also gets some good moments near the climax. So his role is a bit on the smaller side but it’s impactful and you’ll enjoy all of the moments. Of course Dom’s crew is around as always for some backup. Roman is still yelling constantly and gets in a little over his head but still helps out as best he can. You feel bad for the guy with how everybody keeps on throwing shade at him but he never lets it get to him.

Tej mainly likes to be the one ribbing Roman but ultimately they’re good friends. Letty is still struggling with her memory loss but fights alongside Dom in the meantime and hopes to eventually get them back. She’s still got her skills from the old days. There’s a new character in Ramsey which now means that the team has two geniuses. She’s a fun character who gets the hang of things quick so I was glad about that. When characters are slow on the uptake it usually means that the pacing has to slow down so people can explain things.

Brian gets a fun role here as you would expect. He has a rivalry going with one of the villains so they fight two times and next to Dom he’s definitely the most capable fighter on the crew. He also isn’t tricked as easily as the others and made sure that Dom didn’t leave him behind. He’s a character who will definitely be missed in the future installments because he really did add a whole lot to the dynamic. This movie gave him a solid final role at least.

Then we have the mysterious Mr. Nobody. I liked his inclusion as well as the group that’s basically SHIELD. With the films getting crazier and more out there it makes sense to eventually add in a group like this. Nobody also doesn’t feel like your average government lackey and instead has a lot of charisma. He has a lot of confidence in himself and you need that when talking to these guys. Nobody never backs down and always has a plan so it’s hard to go against that. I look forward to seeing more of the guy.

Naturally Shaw is a great villain as well. He gets a lot of hype and really gets down to business. No matter who he’s fighting, the guy goes in hard. He has to be the most powerful villain in the series and I don’t see that changing. Of course if we count Hobbs then that’s a different story but even in the first film he was still an officer trying to bring in wanted criminals so he was more of an antagonist. Shaw is a lot of fun here and really enhances the film.

We’ve also got another villain in Jakande and that helped to keep the crew busy in the B plot. He’s a solid leader. We don’t really get to see him fight in hand to hand but with his guns he does keep everyone busy. His group was an interesting third party that showed up to mess with everyone. The more factions the better I always say so that worked out.

There isn’t much of an update to the standings of the franchise as a whole with this one because it’s pretty easily divided. The first 4 films were below average and not very good while films 5 and up are a blast. You can really see how the films started to focus more on the action which was a really good idea. There is never a dull moment in these films, you can absolutely be sure of that. They’re long but because of that you can cram a lot of battles into that. Typically each film has 1 race too but that’s usually not the focus here. The heroes have bigger things to do.

Overall, Fast 7 is a great film that I would absolutely recommend. It’s got a lot of nonstop action and excitement all the way through. The soundtrack and visuals are really good and most importantly, the character cast is excellent. The series has really built a ton of super memorable characters by this point who all bring a lot to the table. The continuity here is also taking advantage of the previous films to throw in a lot of callbacks and easter eggs. If you’re an action fan then this is a movie that you don’t want to miss out on.

Overall 8/10

The Adventures of Tintin Review

I saw this movie a little while back so the review’s been in the works for a while. I remember reading a whole lot of the Tintin comics back in the day. They were a lot of fun and you could always bet that you would be having a good time there. The film takes things in a bit of a different direction than what I was used to. I think a straight adaption from the comics would have ended up making it better but ultimately this was still a pretty good film. I’d say that the risks it took did pay off by and large.

The movie starts out with Tintin buying a toy ship for a fairly cheap price but immediately afterwards he is heavily encouraged to sell it by some shady characters. They are offering a lot of money but Tintin is a reporter who is always looking for a good scoop and so you can bet that he definitely won’t be selling it now. The decision is taken out of his hands though as he is kidnapped shortly and brought aboard a ship led by Sakharine who wants some secret hidden within the toy ships for some devious purpose. Tintin’s only chance at getting out ahead of this guy is Captain Haddock whose ancestors were actually on the ship. The trouble is that the captain is a big drunk at this point who has none of his predecessors bravery.

Right off the bat the film does do a good job of getting that classic adventure feel across. The film moves quickly and the heroes do go to various locations so it’s not like they’re stuck in any one place. They have to keep moving at all times and each area is very different which works out well. There are some real action scenes here too as Tintin uses a gun and Haddock actually lands some punches on the opponent. There was more action than I was expecting and I definitely say that as a good thing.

Tintin wasn’t afraid to mix it up with the villains in the comics after all. The animation style here is quite different and while a classic style that looked more like the comics would have been better, I would still say this one was good. It’s really detailed but doesn’t go too far into looking like a live action film or anything like that. The style won’t be for everyone though which is why I would call this a fairly big risk but one that worked out well enough. This is a film that will still look very distinct 5-10 years from now.

Now, one big mistake that the film did make was in wrecking Haddock. He may get drunk a lot but he’s never been the type of character to be a coward and that’s where the film messed up big time. He whines a lot during the first half, is scared of everything and constantly makes excuses. He felt like Haddock in name only and that was disappointing because I consider him to be the best character in the series ordinarily. I wasn’t a fan of his here. Sure, he does man up by the very end of the film but it’s too little too late to save him here. For a sequel at least it seems like he would do good.

It’s not a good way to introduce people to him though and even as an origin story it just feels really messy. This was not the right approach if you ask me. Tintin is at least in character even if he gets beat up a lot. He does tend to get saved by his dog Snowy a lot and loses a bunch of fights but at least he also has a lot of high points to make up for that. Downing a plane with a single bullet was really solid for example and he is brave in the face of danger. You can see why he was considered as an ace reporter.

Snowy is definitely the MVP here with how much he contributed against the villains. The movie did a good job of showing their solid bond here and Snowy got his due respect which was really good. The dynamic between the 3 characters is what you always want to see in a Tintin film and that’s certainly intact.

As for the villain Sakharine, well he’s more on the generic side. He’s okay but you won’t remember him all that much and I would say that his motivations are on the weaker side. Once we find out why he’s doing all of this, I wouldn’t say it helps him or anything. If anything he probably just needs to let go of the past and just do his own thing.

Then there’s a subplot with Thomson and Thompson but it is really filler. It doesn’t tie into the main plot for just about the whole movie and it’s just there for some humor. It’s a bit on the forced side though so that would be the weakest part of the movie. In general I wouldn’t say that it ever gets downright boring or anything like that but you will have a hard time figuring out why they even decided to put that in. It just doesn’t add much to anything. Surely there could have been a way to add the Thompson twins to the main plot instead.

It’s fair to say that a sequel looks unlikely at this point but I would definitely be on board with it. The action/fight scenes alone would have me interested in a sequel. Beyond that I’m sure the writing and core adventure would be good like in this film. We could probably drop the Assassin’s Creed style mind meld where Haddock can look into the past though. It’s not a bad idea in theory but I want Haddock to really be focused on the present and steal the show the way he should have stolen this one.

Overall, The Adventures of Tintin is a pretty solid film. To an extent you can call it a basic action/adventure film. There isn’t any area where is really excels to a high degree but it doesn’t make many mistakes and keeps you engaged the whole time. The animation does really stand out so as long as you like it then that will be a nice positive as well. We can always use more adventure films and so I would certainly be able to recommend this to anyone. It’s a well balanced movie.

Overall 7/10

Chakravartin vs Anti Monitor

Suggested by Sonic The Anti Monitor is very powerful to be sure but he’s getting absolutely washed in this fight. I don’t see him being able to last for very long at all with the power that Chakravartin displayed in Asura’s Wrath. This guy has barriers to block the Monitor’s attacks and his speed is on a different level. Anti Monitor will be on the defensive the whole time and while his durability is also good, it will definitely fall in the end. Nobody can take hits from Chakravartin for long without going down. Chakravartin wins.

Erishkegal vs Shiho

Suggested by Sonic Erishkegal once fought the Living Tribunal and was a cosmic force to be reckoned with. She has basic super strength, energy blasts and the like. Still, I wouldn’t say that she is going to be able to take down Shiho in a close quarters fight. Shiho may lag behind some of the other characters in Seraph of the End but he has worked on his speed and power. She will have a tough time getting past his twin coffins and doesn’t have the combat speed to stay ahead of them for long. Shiho wins.

Cosmos vs Layer

Suggested by Sonic This was a close one. In theory Cosmos should have incredible light based abilities as the leader of the heroes and the foil to Chaos. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like she ever gets to really fight it out except for brief little cameos. If she ever fights seriously then I think she could overtake Layer but in the meantime Layer has the edge. Her energy towers and close combat skills will make the difference here. Layer wins.

Ageha vs Yoichi

Suggested by Sonic Yoichi’s arrows are hard to dodge but they won’t be doing much against Ageha. His pure destruction energy would block each attack in their tracks. Additionally Ageha is a lot faster and stronger than the kid. Yoichi has grown more powerful over the years as his contract got tighter but I don’t think that he has closed the gap just yet. Ageha wins.