Editorial

10 Things that need to happen in RWBY Volume 8


Volume 8 of RWBY is quickly approaching and that means it is almost time for us to witness some epic fights and plot threads. The series has continued to excel with each passing season. Personally Volume 3 is still my favorite one but 7 rose all the way up to my second favorite. The series has been on a steady uphill trend ever since Volume 5. 4 was a bit of a low point for the series with all of the exposition and lack of action but we’ve gone away from that pretty well. That said, Volume 8 can’t let its guard down and I expect it to still give me 100% effort with every scene. Here are 10 things that needs to happen with this upcoming volume.

1. Salem needs to have an onscreen fight scene

I’d like this to be done along with an onscreen invasion from her forces. If we were to suddenly timeskip away from this that would be a really awful decision.n I trust that the series won’t do this though. What I’m more concerned about is Salem actually having a fight. We’re 8 volumes in now, at this point we need a legitimate reason to fear her. A no holds barred fight scene with someone would be the perfect way to illustrate Salem’s power. She has a great design and based on the abilities that the two gods had I’m sure we can expect great things out of her. I’d place my bets on her either taking down Cinder or Ironwood in the next volume. Either fight would be pretty hype to see although Cinder would have more of an impact since she is so much stronger than Ironwood.

2. Finally get the full backstory for Summer

We’ve been teased with what happened to Summer for quite a while now. I think this is a good time for us to finally learn exactly what happened to her. It would be a good way to finish off Ozpin’s plot as well where he is always shady and nobody can trust him. By learning her past that should seal his final questionable moments away with ease. We’ll then have a leader that the team can rally behind although if I was team RWBY I still wouldn’t trust him. At this point Ruby has proven that she is more than capable of leading the team on her own.

3. It’s time for Raven to return.

While Raven’s return could spell the end of her character as I don’t see her living through many more fights, she needs to return at this point. I want to see her choose a side and then weigh in on the battles. She could make for a great third party like Ironwood if she chooses to fight for herself although I’m expecting her to aid the heroes. Salem taking Raven down would be a good way to build up her hype. I don’t see a Raven vs Cinder rematch and otherwise Raven should be able to easily defeat most of the other villains. Maiden abilities are on a league of their own after all with very few characters even being close.

4. 1 villain should be taken out of the picture

It’s fair to say that the series will still keep on going for a while from here on out. Supposedly the series will run for 12 volumes but that quote was a long time ago so things certainly could have changed. That being said, I think it’s about time we take down a villain. It seems like we haven’t had a major villain go down since Adam in Volume 6 and he was a third party. If we’re talking about one of the villains from Salem’s unit then that’s all the way back in Volume 3. Last volume missed its chance to take Watts out of the picture by arresting him but I think the heroes need to start whittling down the numbers. The fewer active members you have running around, the more we can focus on the final few big fights.

5. Time to get an update on Vale

Last we saw, Glenda was rebuilding the city after the destruction during Volume 3. It’s been a long time since then and she should have the place built up pretty well by now. In that case, it’s time for the crew to rejoin the battle. The heroes have made it clear that Atlas is really one of the last safe havens on the planet. If it goes down then humanity is really on the brink. It’ll take time to get there but it would be perfect to have the reinforcements appear near the end. Coco and her team are professionals so I’m sure they could deal some damage. If the heroes lose here that would make for some interesting plot points but I would like to see what Vale’s doing right about now.

6. Ironwood can’t do a 180

Ironwood’s made his controversial choice. He’s chosen to save Atlas and abandon the people beneath him. He believes there is no way to save everyone and is doing what he thinks is best, even if it’s taken him down a dark road. Now that he has made his choice, I don’t want to suddenly see him agree with Ruby and turn this whole thing around. It’s just too late for that, especially after shooting Oscar. Ironwood’s made his choice and for his character to have a proper ending he needs to stand by it and live with the consequences. He’s been a fantastic character throughout the series but last volume is really when he stood out. I am really looking forward to seeing what he does next and I’m hoping he gets a replacement arm so he can get a proper final fight.

7. Yang vs Neo rematch

Yang and Mercury need a proper rematch as well but they had a brief skirmish in volume 5 which will have to do. At this point I’m more interested in seeing her take on Neo. Neo was exceptionally powerful in all of her fights so far and has appeared to be pretty much untouchable. However, Yang’s grown far more skilled as time has went on. Now that she has her confidence back it would be an ideal time for these two to trade blows once more. If Yang were to win now I think that would be a pretty fair victory since she will be fighting a lot smarter now. I would be fine with either fighter winning. I’d say Neo has the edge but I could believe it either way.

8. Qrow needs to break out of jail and take the fight to the villains.

It’s no secret that Qrow’s had a very rough last few volumes. He got heavily nerfed in Volume 5, looked really bad in Volume 6, and was finally starting to do a little better last volume before everything went sideways. He did what he had to in the fight and I blame the leader of AceOps for everything that happened with Tyrian. While I’m not sure if we will really get a 4th Qrow vs Tyrian fight (We honestly don’t need one. I think almost any other matchup would be more interesting at this point) I’d like to see Qrow go on the attack. Maybe have him go right up to Salem and attack. Such a move may mean his end but he should be fighting with a vengeance at this point.

9. Make Jaune’s team relevant

Without Pyrrha around his team have gotten completely surpassed in every possible way against Team RWBY. None of them are all that powerful. Any member of RWBY would have a solid chance of taken down their entire team. Only Blake may have trouble and I still think she could probably pull it off. So whether it’s through a power up or teamwork, I need them to do something here. We’ve got a few plots to think about here. Jaune might want to do what he can to save Ruby so a team up could be fun. Ren’s been pretty mixed on the strategy the heroes are doing right now so him defecting to Ironwood could be interesting. Nora’s also trying to keep Ren with her so there could be a rift there soon. Pick a plot and then make it interesting.

10. No off screen fights

I’m sure the series learned its lesson from Volume 5 but I want to see all of these fights. You can skip skirmishes with the Grimm and all but otherwise I really want to see these characters mixing it up. Volume 8 should be the next Volume 3 in terms of how action packed it is. The writers said the whole volume takes place over the span of 2-3 days I believe so that hints that a lot is going on. The volume should be pretty nonstop with the intensity and cutting out a fight would wreck the flow.

So long as the volume has all 10 of these areas in play I don’t think we’ll be seeing any problems here. I’ve got some pretty high hopes for the volume and can’t wait til we’re finally in October. A lot is going to happen here and maybe we’ll even see the return of Adam. I didn’t include that as one of the top 10 things that needs to happen because odds are that it won’t, but personally I think that would be a good move. He’s still one of the most intimidating villains out there and has definitely earned his reputation.

Editorial

RWBY Volume 7 Song Rankings


It’s time to look at the songs from the new RWBY soundtrack that came out. In particular I am ranking the 9 new lyrical songs and won’t be counting the remixes from previous volumes. I’ll rank them from last to first as we see where they all stack up. The 1st and second place entries are quite easy and then after that is when it’s time for some serious thought. I can definitely say right now that the series continues to have an absolutely stellar soundtrack. You’d be hard pressed to find anything that even comes close to this in another title. This volume’s probably got one of the happiest overall soundtracks compared to the others I suppose reflecting the hope found here. I think the theme of the volume was supposed to be Hope unless I’m thinking of the last one. Either way that makes sense. All of the songs below can be found on Youtube or any other CD as well as for purchase online. I’ve attached a link next to the top ranked song where you can listen to them online.

9. Let’s Get Real

I have to say that the very beginning of this song feels like something out of Megaman. I like the quick techno strum there. After that this song slows down quite a bit though and definitely isn’t really my style. I like the overall aesthetic of the song but it’s not going to stop this one from bringing in the last spot on the list. Speed up the tempo and I think this song will rank a little higher though.

8. Celebrate

Well, we’ve definitely got another party tune showing up here. It’s definitely the kind of song you’d expect to hear at the disco. That said, it’s the kind of song that doesn’t sound as good outside of that context. It will be good for a play or two but next to the songs coming up it definitely can’t stack up well enough. When I’m celebrating I’ll probably be playing a song closer to the top 2 coming up. Still, with the more party feel of this soundtrack that should help for when playing the soundtrack at parties.

7. Brand New Day

This is probably one of the weakest of the group for me. It’s more loud than catchy. It’s going for more of a party feel but one that doesn’t gel as smoothly as the rest of the songs. This is one of the tunes that I wouldn’t really be listening to all that often. Still, it’s not as if it means the song’s that bad. It’s not able to keep up with the others but it’s still a pretty decent song in its own right.

6. Touch The Sky

This is definitely one of the happier songs we’ve got in RWBY. It shows that the team is finally back together and having a good time. That’s good because it’s been a little bit since they were able to just have fun. It’s got a nice beat to it. I don’t see this becoming one of the more popular songs down the road or one that I will have on loop for very long but it’s a solid inspirational song. You don’t want everything to be super rock….well I wouldn’t mind, but most people want some variety and this song does a good job of providing that.

5. Until The End

This is a very somber song. In some ways it may be the most somber one in the series because it never transitions into Rock the way that a lot of the others do. It’s just a song that doesn’t leave the heroes full of hope afterwards as things don’t look like they’re about to get better. Regardless I thought it was executed pretty well. I’m usually more of a fast paced song kind of guy but when it’s a sad song then that can absolutely work without a fast tempo.

4. Trust Love

It’s time for the opening of the Volume. My favorite intro of all time is still the very first one but the series has always been pretty good with these. I’d put this song in the top half of the new ones. It’s definitely very fast and also nostalgic to an extent because I’ve heard the song very often while watching the episodes. This is not one that you want to skip when starting the episodes.

3. Fear

This is definitely a pretty intense theme and one that’s fitting for Salem’s return. She’s only had two themes now but between this and Divide they’re definitely both incredible. It really shows how Salem gets into the heads of her opponents. One line is about “Who will you see in the dark when you’re all alone” and quite a few of the characters likely see Salem. It’s why betraying her would be pretty much unthinkable and why the heroes fear her so greatly. I am looking forward to seeing her live up to the hype in the next volume. At this point you can’t really be satisfied with anything less than her completely overwhelming the heroes. This is the perfect time for her to prove her power once and for all.

2. Hero

This is one song that I think loses a bit of the intensity from the full version. The opening lyrics are going for a very emotional/sad kind of tune. Still, once we get to the good part of the song it rocks on from start to finish. It was a great song and does a good job of depicting the self sacrifice Ironwood was able to go through to accomplish his mission. Being a hero is often a lot harder than it looks and is often not a glamorous task. You gotta be ready to not be very popular at times and it can be very easy to lose perspective and become like the villains you work on stopping.

1. War
Click here for the song
This is easily the best song and it’s not even close. I remember being shell shocked when it shows up in part because it shows up with the greatest fight in the entire series. I do wish we could have kept part of the intro music for that scene but I suppose it’s technically a different part of the OST for that. Either way it’s a powerful song about thinking someone was your friend and trusting them, only to be betrayed in the end. I know hero vs hero fights may get a lot of critiques, but that’s why I love the concept. Unlike a hero vs villain fight where you’re clearly meant to root for one team who is in the right, a matchup like this is interesting because both sides are doing what they believe is the correct decision.

In a logical sense AceOps has some points here. The heroes were already being overrun by a bunch of normal Grimm who were being summoned. Salem is on her way with an army many times larger than that. It seems unlikely that the heroes can last for long and they allegedly don’t have enough time to evacuate everyone either. Thus, their decision to leave and save who they can makes some sense. It also doesn’t help that Team RWBY’s leader burst into tears right when Salem showed up and mentioned her mother. There’s nothing more soul crushing for a team than to have their leader drop out just like that.

Of course Team RWBY is ultimately in the right here because you should never sacrifice anyone. If they die then at least they die together as opposed to just some people managing to survive this round. If you had to throw a lot of people away in order to survive then it’s just not worth it. The song talks about never trusting someone again and after being betrayed like that it would definitely be hard to make new friends. It takes a long time to trust someone but only an instant to lose that for good.

So, that’s definitely my top song and it concludes the rankings for Volume 7. I look forward to seeing what songs we get in the next volume since there are always some real All Stars in every volume. It’s going to be very hard to top this one though. Of course, there’s usually a song in every volume that makes me feel the same way. The series is just always ready to hit the next level.

Editorial

What makes for a good villain?


It’s time to look at what makes for a good villain. Now, there are a lot of factors to consider when looking at such a sweeping generalization. There are many different kinds of villains and different situations to put them in of course. As such it can be difficult to just grab a few attributes and say that they make a villain. As a disclaimer you have to consider a whole lot but I am going to list 5 factors which I see in my favorite villains. If you have all 5 you are basically guaranteed to be an amazing villain but even just having one of them should help quite a lot in rising you up the charts. As you may or may not know, I consider Bass EXE to be the greatest villain of all time. He is an example of a villain who meets all 5 criteria. He also happens to be the most powerful villain if you ask me but that’s a discussion for another time. So without further build up, lets take a look at the 5 main criteria.

Cool Design

This first one is pretty obvious. It’s hard to like a villain when you just don’t like their design. It would be next to impossible for me to like a villain like Bubbleman. No matter how powerful he may become, I wouldn’t be able to take him seriously. To a degree voice is a similar aspect that can make or break a villain but it’s not universal the way a design is. You could be reading a book or a manga where the description of the design is still there but you can’t picture the voice as well. A good design is a great first step for a villain. It helps you instantly assess what this guy/girl is all about. It’s your initial impression and those are absolutely critical. You’re not likely to forget your first impression of a villain.

As with just about everything media related designs are very subjective. What I consider to be a good design will typically have a strong color contrast/sleek design. Purple is a color that is usually associated with villains and always tends to work quite well. Red and black make for a solid pair. Then you’ve got pure white/silver like Zeref which is pretty great. Ideally you want a design that looks combat ready although you can also go for one that is startlingly happy/unassuming which can work out well like the final boss of Undertale. A bad design to me is one that is either very generic so you forget it, or a design where you can instantly tell the villain can’t fight.

Honor Code

The honor code is definitely a pretty big one. I don’t want a villain who hides behind others or hostages all the time. I want a villain who is confident in their own abilities and isn’t afraid to tangle with the heroes whether it be physically or mentally. A good villain knows exactly what their goals are and sticks true to them. It’s a matter of pride and villains need to have that as well as heroes. The main example I’m using for this is Grimmjow. He and Ichigo had a rivalry right from the start of the series. Grimmjow absolutely wants to crush the lead but he wants to do it on his terms. He’s not going to be satisfied beating up on a weakened Ichigo. He even has Orihime heal the lead so they can tangle which is pretty much unheard of. That always helps me gain respect for a villain. A true villain should be able to overcome his opponent when they are at their peak and without outside help. Grimmjow’s even willing to fight other villains to ensure he gets his fair fight.

I’m not opposed to friendship power within the villains of course, but in general I like when a villain can just handle his business right from the start. Likewise a “dirty” trick during a fight may not be out of bounds if it was already 1 on 1. At that point anything goes of course and if the villain has already been fighting then more power to him. A villain who admits defeat and starts attacking random civilians to distract the hero has already lost in every sense of the word. You have to stay true to your ideals to the very end.

Has to be a threat

This is another one that probably seems obvious but is worth noting. If you’re a villain who gets completely wrecked time and time again then it’s going to be very hard to enjoy the character. This could work for a comic relief villain which follows a very different set of rules but not for a big villain that we’re supposed to take seriously. A villain needs to take care of business and that should be established early on. This is very common so there are probably millions of good examples I can use. The one I choose here would be Hideyoshi’s first appearance in Sengoku Basara or at least his first appearance in the war. He immediately sets the tone by forcing both armies to acknowledge him. He stops a huge array of arrows in their tracks with simple wind pressure and then takes down a captain in a single hit. This guy’s power is on a whole other level and it’s just hard to top that debut. I was certainly very satisfied at the very least. When you’re a threat like that, you’re forced to acknowledge the villain right away.

Has solid motivations

Now, I’m all for the villains who just want to destroy the world of course, but what really takes a villain to the next level is when they have solid goals. If the goal is something you can understand then that will play a big role in how endearing they are. A villain who is upset because some guy elbowed him when walking through a line? That’s so petty you may lose respect. A villain whose world is about to be crushed but can save it by destroying the other world first? Well, that’s something you can buy into. He would even possibly be considered the Hero from another point of view. There’s a saying that everyone is the hero of their own story. While I don’t find that to be true necessarily, I think a villain’s motivation should feel that way. You never lose sight of the fact that they are a villain but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is that this is now a villain you can sympathize with.

For this one I’ll use Mr. Freeze as an example from Sub Zero and the Batman animated series His wife is terminally ill and only has a slim shot of survival. The way to do this is to do a blood transfusion with someone from a rare blood type. Only problem is that the transfusion will destroy whoever undergoes the operation because of how much blood is needed. Perhaps if you could find two people then this could work but there isn’t a whole lot of time and Mr. Freeze is already a known criminal. As a result he decides to kidnap someone so that he can save the wife which leads into the movie. This is a perfect example as you know that what Freeze is doing is wrong and he knows it as well. Still, it is worth it to him in order to save his wife and that’s as solid a motivation as you can get. It made him a particularly great villain in the DCAU and one of the best Batman villains out there. Later on Freeze eventually begins to get buried by feelings of rage and feelings of revenge towards society but this is how he started out,.

Overwhelming confidence

Finally we have another trait which ties in to the others. A good villain needs to have absolute confidence. These villains aren’t afraid to defy authority even if a higher up tells them to do something. I already used Grimmjow as an example but that’s something he did quite well. The villains who are quickly to kneel before another don’t have the same true respect for themselves that other villains have. A lot of the best villains in history have always been overwhelmingly confident to the point of arrogance. They may readily lower their defenses just to show the heroes how absolutely outclassed they are. Honestly, it was hard to pick an example here because you could pick almost literally any villain and you would be good to go. That just shows how critical this factor is.

Ultimately I’m going with Jiren. How confident do you have to be to close your eyes and meditate in the middle of a battle with your universe on the line? You got to admit that this takes a whole lot of guts on his part. A lot of villains absolutely wouldn’t dare even if they were powerful. It’s a great moment though because that unwavering conviction in your abilities is exactly what you need in order to succeed.

So those are the 5 traits a good villain really should have. If you have all of these traits then you are probably going to go down as one of the all time great villains. Whenever a villain is introduced with some of these traits I get excited. Now, there are certainly things a villain can do in order to lose that hype which I will go into in my reverse editorial on what makes for a bad villain. That one should be fun and I already know quite a few off the top of my head. A lot of villains will end up having traits from both in which case you just have to see which side wins out. It’s rare to find a perfect character like Bass EXE but there are still tons of other amazing villains. In theory every great series should have a great villain to combat the hero. If you have no great villains then that could be trouble for the series long term.

Editorial

Clash of Ideals: Shirou vs Archer Who is right?


It goes without saying that this editorial will contain complete spoilers for Fate Stay Night. If you haven’t watched any of the routes yet, particularly Unlimited Blade Works then you should hold off on reading this editorial. I will do my best not to go too into depth here with spoilers as they aren’t really needed for the most part but some of them are inevitable. Particularly any involving Shirou and Archer.

I really like philosophical debates. It’s something that I always find fascinating in a show or movie. Shows have a better opportunity to really get the views across though as a movie only has so much time. It’s also difficult to try and portray both versions well. Typically as soon as the debate starts you know which one the movie or show is going to portray as correct. As a result the other one may end up being portrayed with strawman arguments that don’t really work. An example of a recent movie that did this really well was Infinity War. While Thanos is a villain and there’s absolutely no denying that, the goal he was fighting for at least made sense and had its own logic. Same for Light Yagami in Deathnote. There are classic battles of good and evil to be found here with good arguments made for both. Even when the villain is losing he doesn’t suddenly disregard his ideals, they just ended up losing.

A big part of Fate is the difference between Shirou and Archer’s ideals. They are both pacifists who effectively work as heroes but go in very different paths. Shirou believes in the concept of being a Hero of Justice. He believes that this is an unshakable concept and as a hero you don’t compromise. Shirou wants to save everyone he possibly can without exception. If someone’s in trouble he’ll jump in even if he doesn’t really stand a chance in a fight. He’s always been about helping everyone ever since he inherited this dream from his father Kiritsugu. Part of this stems from how Shirou had to survive a mass death experience as a child. He saw first hand how it feels to have your life saved and it also underscored the value of life to him. Shirou may not have a lot of power at the start of the series, but he uses it to help others.

Then you have Archer. Archer was once a hero who believed in such ideals, but has become quite jaded with humanity. Part of the reason for this is that his role in life is to be an eternal deterrent force. He is forced to travel to different time periods where there is a conflict and destroy the evil side. He would destroy 10 people to save 100, 1000 to save 10,000, etc. After a while, Archer had claimed more fatalities than even most villains could. Technically he was helping to provide balance to the world, but after a while the whole thing seemed futile to him. He had to compromise on his ideals many times until he finally came up with the ones he has now. He won’t save everyone and believes that’s impossible. Instead he will always look for the logical choice of who to murder to save someone else. It’s a very different framework as you’re actively looking for targets. This eventually even leads him to target Shirou as that kid would ultimately go on to murder many people in the future if he wasn’t stopped.

It’s an interesting loop there and the show has lots of debates on this. Shirou and Archer confront each other on their ideals quite a bit and absolutely do not get along.

So in the end, who is right here? The show plays it out in a way where you’re left to your judgment on this to an extent. Shirou is the main character and he is a good guy while Archer is unmistakably a villain so to an extent you can say that Shirou will have the edge here but the show never demeans Archer’s arguments. In a way a lot of the show is Shirou basically admitting that he thinks Archer is correct, but that won’t stop him. “You may be correct but that doesn’t mean you’re right” was a pretty good line there since it shows Shirou may believe that Archer is logically correct but that it still isn’t the right thing to do morally. Shirou ultimately holds true to his ideals and Archer hopes that he can manage to carry it out, but we have already seen that it didn’t work out for Archer.

I think another subtle aspect the show gives us that makes the debate more interesting is Archer’s portrayal. To counter the fact that Shirou is the main character, Archer is portrayed as being a lot more effective. He’s far more confident than Shirou as well as being more powerful. He has everything that Shirou has ever wanted in terms of ability. Shirou’s main grievance has been the fact that he currently lacks the power to be a true Hero of Justice. He has the ideals but not the power and that’s part of why he really can’t stand Archer. It works for the audience well too because Archer’s points become more compelling considering the amount of power he has. If Archer, one of the strongest characters in the show (I know that’s debatable but purely from what we saw in the show I would absolutely say this) says it is impossible to save everyone then it adds credibility. He just appears to be very wise and knowledgeable. The way in which he articulates his thoughts always makes him appear to be a step ahead of Shirou as well. This brief clip below shows how they both decline Caster’s offer but how different their responses are.

In general he’s just a lot cooler than Shirou although of course you can’t factor that in when considering the arguments. It intentionally does make this task more difficult though. Even Shirou is always incredibly impressed with Archer, below is a scene where Archer effortlessly takes down an opponent that Shirou couldn’t even touch.

There are 4 main timelines in Stay Night: Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, Heaven’s Feel, and the one where Archer comes from. There are tons of other timelines of course but those are the main ones. Whether Shirou holds true to his ideals is what you have to decide, but I believe he will. He’s already lived through a lot of conflict and had to reaffirm his ideals so I don’t see him having any more trouble in the future. The whole final fight with Archer and Shirou was really about ideals. In terms of pure ability Archer could have destroyed Shirou in an instant but what he really needed was for Shirou to relent and say that Archer was right. Winning the physical battle meant nothing if he couldn’t win the verbal one. So, short answer here is that I think Shirou is definitely right on both accounts. Let’s tackle the first element of being a Hero of Justice first:

Should you try to save everyone?

This is one that My Hero tackled as well with Lemillion being satisfied with saving 1 million people while Deku aims to save everyone. They both failed Eri initially, but that’s the concept Shirou is going for. You have to at least try to save everyone even if it appears to be impossible. The instant you decide that someone can’t be saved you’ve compromised on your ideals. It will become easier in the future to suddenly decide that someone else can’t be saved and that’s when it’ll all start to snowball. That’s exactly the issue Archer came up to. As soon as he started murdering someone, he found it easier to keep on going and that didn’t exactly work out. At the end of the day as a hero your duty is to try and save everyone.

Shirou throws himself into danger quite a lot in order to do this. He may be outmatched and certainly got a lot of heat for this but he made the right decisions. In the first show he was a bit overboard with how he would try to fight instead of Saber though. I understand fighting side by side with her like in the second show more which makes sense, but he does need to realize that he’s weaker. If he dies then he can’t help anyone else. I think you gotta risk your life if there’s someone that needs saving but if there’s someone else that’s already doing the job then jumping in is more about getting the credit. In this case he just thought she couldn’t handle it so at least the intentions were good.

This is a point for Shirou. Archer tries to say that saving everyone then goes as far as counting the villains and will always be impossible. He’s right if you take it to the extreme of course, but in that case Berserker was attacking Saber and going for the kill. In that sense it makes sense to save Saber and not worry about Berserker at the moment. It’s not to say Shirou wouldn’t try saving him in the future but in that moment it wouldn’t make sense. What it boils down to is that Archer is looking at this from the numbers and sees that it’s impossible to save everyone. As a result he thinks the whole notion is no good. I understand that take, but he is missing the important piece which is that you always have to at least try to save everyone.

One Life vs Many

The second point is risking it all to save one person at the possible expense of many. This is a point Archer would be completely against. Lets say you have one person tied to a bomb that’s about to blow up. You can disarm it right away but the person attached to the bomb will die. Alternately you can try to untie him but the process will take a while so there’s a large chance that the bomb will blow up first and destroy 10,000 people. Archer would very quickly take out the bomb so that only one person dies while Shirou would just trust himself to be able to untie the hostage in time. This is another one where I agree with Shirou. I’ve always thought that you have to try and save the one even if it risks the many. There is just no point in everyone living if you had to sacrifice someone. If it doesn’t work then you all die together at least.

It’s why that always ends up being one of the most sympathetic reasons for a villain. In Sub Zero this is what made Mr. Freeze a compelling villain because he was just trying to save his wife the whole time. At no point in the villain do you forget that he is in fact a villain. It’s important not to lose sight of that. However, it’s a goal that you can understand and relate to because there aren’t many things you would not do in order to save your significant other. A lot of times this one is portrayed as the right thing to do is to save many lives. It’s a very interesting concept and one that has had many books written about it. It’s a very popular philosophical take. I’ve always been with the one life here. You have to do all that you can to save the one even if it ends up risking the many. If someone close to you is at stake then even if you have to fight off whole legions to save her then that’s what you have to do. In quite a few series this ends up with the heroes being forced to take on a ton of other “Heroes” (They start to lose their status when they defend this) or villains. Sometimes the hero even relents to the peer pressure and submits which is always unfortunate and can ruin an ending for me (Flashpoint Paradox) but at the end of the day you have to stay true to your ideals.

It may be logical to sacrifice one if it’ll save thousands or even millions, but the numbers don’t matter to me. Even if it’s to save the whole universe, if you have to sacrifice someone to do it then that’s clearly not worth it. You can’t sacrifice your ideals to save everyone. At the end of the day the one life that is in trouble is the one that you have to worry about. Even worse is if you want to save someone but don’t do it because someone threatens you. There are quite a few Saint Seiya characters who are guilty of this but this editorial’s about over so I won’t go into that here.

So at the end of the day Shirou was right. I do appreciate the debates he had with Archer in the show though. Both characters were given a fair opportunity to explain their piece and rationalizations. It’s also portrayed in a way where you aren’t meant to feel bad with siding with one over the other. Both of them have very valid takes and I imagine there will be fans of both ideologies. It’s not as if one of them is the “correct” option. It really depends on if you’re looking at it logically or morally. The value you put on your ideals vs the amount of lives. There are a ton of factors here and it’s what made Archer an excellent antagonist and he is still one of my favorite characters in the series. I could really link the entire 21 minute fight as clips here since it’s all great stuff with the back and forth but I try to keep the clips minimal with the editorials. They should enhance the points as opposed to overtaking the whole thing. That said, if you want a good debate just look up Archer vs Shirou dub on Youtube and you’ll see theh whole thing there.

Archer did have another good point that is worth remembering as well. You need to know why you are saving people. People say that doing the right thing is its own reward. In a lot of ways what that saying also means is don’t expect a reward for doing so. A lot of times doing the wrong thing will be easier and doing the right thing will go unnoticed. There are times when doing the right thing will ultimately hurt you temporarily as well. He reminds Shirou that if he’s going to save people, it needs to be what he actually wants to do as opposed to doing it for someone else. It’s an important distinction and something to keep in mind. Doing the right thing is always what you should do, but you need to have a strong resolve as well to accept the consequences. Ultimately I do prefer Archer’s more heroic version from the 2006 version though despite all of this. Since all routes are technically the same character I suppose that means he was never super heroic but if you just saw that show you wouldn’t know any better. That may be worth an editorial some day as well comparing both Archer versions but that’s definitely for another day.

The Hero of Justice is a valid ideal and one that I agree with. Shirou wins this round.

Editorial

Positive Trope: An Even Stronger Villain Appears


One of the things I really enjoy about anime and manga is seeing how the arc after a big power up starts. This is something that can appear in any medium to be fair, but I feel like it is especially prevalent in anime/manga. The title’s a bit vague so let me get more specific on what I mean. This is the trope where the hero has just gone through a lot of great ordeals and unlocked a new level of power which was enough to stop the villain. Then the next arc starts and all of a sudden the hero is managing to get wrecked by the new opponent. That’s always one of the most hype kind of moments for me because it means the heroes are going to have to train up yet again. It’s particularly effective when the main character was considered to be absolutely crazy in terms of strength. I will be using examples from Yu Yu Hakusho’s Sensui arc, Dragon Ball Z’s Android Saga, Bleach’s Arrancar arc, and for a reverse look at a villain scenario, Fate Stay Night’s Unlimited Blade Works’ Grail War. So it goes without saying that there will be mild spoilers for each of these titles. The spoilers only encompass the beginnings of these arcs and for Fate, the beginning of the second act of the series. If you have not yet read/watched these titles I’d advise you to do so as they all are perfect examples of this. Other instances that are references through images include Luffy vs Kaido, (One Piece) Yami Yugi vs Rafael, (Yugioh) and Estarossa vs Meliodas. (Seven Deadly Sins)

This kind of plot can happen in a few different ways. The image I showed above is one of the great fakeouts from Hitman Reborn where after the heroes finally dealt with the Funeral Wreaths it turned out they were actually fighting some weak imposters. The real ones were significantly tougher. Medaka Box did this as well. It’s a slightly different variation from what I’m talking about since that affected the whole group and really a specific villain appearing. More like a group of them, but in a way that makes things even more dangerous for the heroes. The examples below are of a specific villain showing up.

First up, I’m going to start with Yu Yu Hakusho’s example as it’s a little different since it actually plays up the defeat with a bit of a mystery angle to it. So this takes place after Yusuke had just survived the Dark Tournament. He finally gained complete mastery over his spirit power and is feeling pretty invincible. He literally was able to defeat some people while tied up and unable to move so you get a feel of just how powerful he was. The Sensui arc starts with some mysterious teenagers showing up asking to pick a fight with Yusuke. Yusuke obliges them since he’s always ready for a good fight and then from there he vanishes which kicks off the arc. Somehow or another they were actually able to take Yusuke down . Part of what makes this really work is because Yusuke was built up as being pretty unstoppable. No demon could handle him so how could a bunch of human teenagers bring him down? It was a great moment for sure.

Next up we have the famous Goku vs Android 19 fight. I don’t even need to go into great detail here since everyone knows this example. Goku just took down the mighty Frieza with new Super Saiyan form. Goku’s also gotten stronger since then and handled Trunks with ease. Additionally Goku had some time to train before the Androids showed up. Yet, when they did, Goku was powerless to stop 19. He might as well not have even been fighting back because Android 19 gave him the work. To date this is one of my favorite fights in all of DBZ because of how 19 just stepped in and handled business. I like how nonchalant the whole thing was and 19 is heavily underrated. It’s easily one of the most shocking fights in the series because at this point Super Saiyan was still seen as invincible. It’s probably one of the earliest example I can think of with this trope appearing in full force and it was handled masterfully! I know people bring up valid points about how an Android should not have been able to be that powerful and I agree with that, but at the same time the scene was so hype I don’t even mind.

Bleach is no stranger to power creep so it makes sense that it would have a great example. It’s got quite a few to be honest but the best one I’d say is coming into the Arrancar arc. Ichigo just got done taking down a Captain and being acknowledged as one of the greatest Soul Reapers of all time. He takes out one of the random Arrancars and is feeling pretty good about himself. That’s when he is confronted by Grimmjow who turns out to be more than a match for the Hero. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Grimmjow is *only* ranked as number 6th among his group so he isn’t even the strongest. Ichigo is unable to do anything against Grimmjow and is completely crushed during this fight. This was a massive jump in power the likes of which we hadn’t seen. Not only did it establish Grimmjow as a serious threat (Who would go on to be my favorite character in the series) but it also showed that Ichigo and the other heroes were in deep trouble. They were definitely not ready to handle this.

Finally as mentioned lets look at a villain version of this example. It’s time for Gilgamesh vs Berserker. Part of why this one works is because Berserker is introduced as a servant so powerful that he could destroy the other 6 combined. At least in terms of pure mana output he beats the rest with ease. Now Fate does have a habit of throwing a little too much hype at everyone so they don’t live up to it (coughSaberalwayslosescough) and I’ve got an editorial coming up which will reference a fighter there but this is the whole lore behind Berserker. It’s very rare to see him be defeated in a straight fight. That’s all well and good until a new Servant decides to throw his hat in the ring. The King of Heroes, Gilgamesh. Want to talk about upping the stakes and hype? Gilgamesh is said to be the strongest Fate character in the whole Nasuverse. Granted, there are certain limitations to that quote. I believe it only applied to the base characters, once you reach into the spinoffs (Particularly the mobile game) there are some characters who could take him down. That being said, his abilities are in a world of their own. This fight shows that clear as day. It’s just about impossible for any hero to take him down because Gilgamesh has limitless Noble Phantasms. Additionally should anyone try to counter him with a world of their own, he has a weapon that perfectly nullifies it.

Gilgamesh’s only real weakness is that he tends to be overconfident so he doesn’t tend to try until he’s losing. That said, it makes his power that much more intimidating as he humiliates Berserker without even trying. Without a hostage Berserker would have done better although I don’t believe he would win. So there you have it, those are 4 examples of solid moments where this came into play. This definitely happens to villains quite a lot to be honest although in a slightly different context as it tends to happen within the same arc as opposed to the next one. The true leader tends to not show his hand until the main one is defeated. A good villain always waits until the perfect moment to strike.

I know what you’re thinking. No examples from Black Clover or Sword Art Online this time? I know I use those constantly, but I wouldn’t really say they’ve had an example like this. Certainly not Sword Art Online although Clover has some in the most recent arc from the manga. It definitely could have made the list but I figured I’d keep this editorial pretty short. Just a few examples and explaining why I enjoy this element so much. It really just a great way to take the show/manga to the next level. I always think the next villains should continue to get stronger and stronger. You will run into some issues if the power creep doesn’t stop after a while but the easiest way is to just have the strongest villain show up first to mess up the heroes and after that you have the weaker ones appear to let the heroes gradually improve to take them all down one after another. I feel like any good action series should throw this in at least once. It doesn’t have to be this directly, but in some way or another.

I’ve got more editorials like this coming up at some point with things I like to see in anime or character traits that I want in a hero. It’ll probably be a little while though as I try to balance this along with the reviews and fights on the site. Right now I’ve been doing 1 editorial a month at least. Stay tuned for July’s editorial as I talk about what makes for a good villain. Specifically I’ll be talking about what I like to see in a villain and not so much what I don’t want to see although I may reference those points. As with any character, there are a lot of factors in making a good villain. Just because I list around 10 traits or so, doesn’t mean a villain needs all of them. Of course if the villain does have them all, that’ll likely turn out pretty great for me.

Editorial

5 Ways Nintendo can fix the Switch Online Service


Nintendo has historically been known as the greatest video game company out there. Certainly they have a lot of great titles. The consistency and unchanging nature of their games is part of why they’re an easy pick for starting someone off on their first console. You know what to expect and the games are pretty high quality. That being said, they have their share of weaknesses though. A big one if their online services. For years Nintendo has lagged behind the other companies. At least they had the excuse that their online product as free though. Now you do have to pay for it so that makes the issue all that much worse. Let’s look at 5 things they can do to fix their online.

1. Make it Free

This is the most unlikely option of course but it is one that would solve a lot of the issues. The online would be terrible compared to the competitors but since you wouldn’t be paying for it you probably wouldn’t mind a whole lot. When things are free you tend to cut them some slack because you aren’t losing anything. Nintendo also doesn’t really need to charge for much. They opted not to go for dedicated servers anyway and their NES/SNES Online catalogue is basically just a bunch of emulators that anyone can download for free online. As such we know that the space for these is tiny and it doesn’t take a whole lot of power to have them online. Still let’s look at more realistic options.

2. Use dedicated servers

This is an easy one. If you boot up a Sony or Microsoft game right now and head online you can expect to have close to 0 lag in your matches. That’s because the connection isn’t peer to peer so even if one of your opponents has a terrible online system it won’t affect your match. Compare that to Nintendo where if one player has a bad connection it will mess it up for everyone. That’s pretty inexcusable. Lag completely ruins an online experience when it’s at its worse. Input Lag can be crazy to deal with and normal lag is just as bad when it comes to trying to nail a solid combo. Nintendo’s really got to shape up in this area because it is very noticeable at this point.

3. Time to add GameCube Online

This is a big one, the GameCube needs to be online. There are too many crazy amazing games for them to not be here. I’m guessing Nintendo wants to make us pay 60 bucks for an HD Remaster but that’s not the play here. Putting these games online would be hype and it’s not like Nintendo would have time to port all of them either way. Give us a few big ones like Mario Sunshine and Melee. If those are going to get remasters then give us Pokémon Colosseum and F Zero GX. Either way GameCube games are a huge jump from the level of quality and replay value of the current titles. The NES and SNES games are fun to be sure but they are also very short. Adding in GameCube will really be the ticket to get people buying the online pass. I dare say you could even skip N64 and go back to it later. GameCube is what the people want and trust me, it would definitely go a long ways to getting Nintendo’s online into the big leagues.

4. Time to get Leaderboards

This is a big one that all of the other consoles have. We need some kind of online rankings here. Whether it is through trophies, achievements, or something else it would be immensely helpful. It would also be an extra incentive to get online if that was the only way to see your position. It’s always fun to try and get everything so this would also greatly help the replay value of all the Switch games. It’s never too late to start and this would be a good addition. It’s also worth adding into individual games like Super Smash Bros should have had this at launch along with a few other online features. This editorial is more about general Nintendo Online though so I’m just giving it a small nod here. In general the Switch needs some kind of ranking system.

5. Miscellaneous free stuff

Finally, we just need more freebies. Xbox and PlayStation give you random AAA games for free at times, backgrounds, and other perks. When’s the last time you got anything for free from Nintendo? At best they give you times freebies like ARMS and Mario Tennis which you get to play for a little while and then it’s gone forever. That barely counts as a freebie because you can’t keep it. No sir, I want a freebie that I can actually keep for the long haul. Even small things like new layouts, Switch backgrounds, emblems, etc would go a long way. You need to give people something, by not giving any freebies it definitely makes us feel bad. It’s like Nintendo just isn’t looking out for us. It wouldn’t take very long at all. Nintendo’s track record with reward programs is pretty bad though, I still remember how bad Club Nintendo’s rewards were for a long time.

In short, Nintendo needs to shape up on their online offerings. It is totally within their ability to do so if they really apply themselves. Until they fix these things they will continue to get mocked by everyone all the time. Even recently Super Smash couldn’t make the cut for EVO in large part because the servers are so bad. Make no mistake, that’s absolutely the big reason why it was cut. It’s a shame because it would have been good for everyone to have seen the state it is in on the big screen. That would have been the best chance to get Nintendo to change something ASAP. That boat has sailed though.

Editorial

Top 10 Pizza Places on Earth

It’s time to look at the top 10 pizza places on the planet! Pizza is my favorite food. It used to be Macaroni and Cheese for a long time, but a few years back I changed to Pizza and never looked back. There’s so much you can do with pizza and so many different ways to make it. I enjoy eating virtually all pizza but my least favorite style is brick oven as the sauce tends to come out rather chunky. I prefer frozen or classic hand tossed pizza where the sauce is more of a liquid and completely blended. Below are the 10 pizzas that take the concept of pizza to the next level and show the full potential of this item.

10. Cici’s Pizza

Cici’s Pizza is a buffet which is an amazing concept in itself. Who wouldn’t want to go and eat as much pizza as they could stuff their face with? Cici’s is every pizza person’s dream. What keeps them from being higher up is that their plain slice isn’t all that amazing. They make up for it with the topping varieties though. The Macaroni and Cheese pizza is out of this world and more places need to give this combo a whirl. Pasta and pizza were created to be mixed together and I could eat quite a lot of this flavor.

9. Tom’s Delicious Pizza

Tom’s pizza is a place I don’t have very often anymore but I used to go there all the time as a kid. This pizza is definitely hand tossed style with a thick crust. You get quite a lot of flavor here and to date they have my favorite spinach and garlic pizza. I just have not seen another place cook it in quite the same way. The garlic is grated quite nicely and there is a lot of spinach. I also enjoy their meats pizza which always hits the spot. This place has earned itself a spot in the top 10 and is consistently great.

8. Papa John’s Pizza

While they have never been able to catch Domino’s, Papa Johns is still a fantastic pizza. As with Tom’s this place uses quite a lot of bread to supplement the sauce and cheese. The crust is very unique and you can usually just pull it off to eat that way and then enjoy the rest of the pizza. The complementary garlic sauce is cool and they will usually let you substitute it for cheese sauce. This place has a lot of variety with the pizza so you never even have to get the same flavor twice.

7. Famiglia

Famiglia is an incredible pizza. This one is more of a thin base with a lot of cheese and sauce. The size of the slices is considerably smaller than the other ones so you will want to get a full pie here. The taste itself is top tier though and quite addictive. This is one place where I very rarely go for any toppings, but if you do want to experiment then I highly recommend their bbq chicken slice. The plain is my favorite tasting slice though, they add quite a bit of oil to really make the taste shine through.

6. V&T Pizza

From all of the pizza places on my top 10 I’ve been to this one the least amount of times. It’s more of a restaurant too which is rare because usually I don’t care for their style of pizza. I’ve been to a few restaurant type pizzas like Uno, Denino’s, and Fairway and the sauce is just incredibly chunky. Of course that’s where the all cheese pizza comes in handy where you tell them to hold the sauce but that wouldn’t knock you to top 10. V&T adds more oil to their pizza than I’ve ever seen but as a result it always comes out quite amazingly. It’s very soft and like a delicacy. I really need to come back here one of these days.

5. Pete’s Pizza

Pete’s Pizza is a fairly recent pizza place. It’s been around for a long time but I only started going here about a year or two ago. They easily have the best fresh Mozzerella pizza that I’ve ever had. The sauce and cheese is added on like a piece of artwork and the slices are thin and crispy without being too cracker esque. You have to eat a whole pizza pie because of how thin the slices are but it’s worth it. This is definitely what I would call a premium pizza and it leaves most other places in the dust. It’s the gate keeper of the top 5.

4. Pizza Hut

You can make a strong case for this pizza being higher in most cases except that the top 3 are so stacked. Pizza Hut has perfected fried pizza as well as the cheese stuffed crust. It’s still quite regrettable that I only have Pizza Hut express locations next to me. The pizza is small but packed with flavor and cheese. The pizza feels very automatic in the sense that it will always taste the same no matter how many times you eat it. The recipe must be quite tight at this point. There is less variety with the toppings but when you have pizza this good why would you need more options?

3. Domino’s Pizza

I eat Domino’s just about every Saturday so you can see how much I enjoy it. Their 7.99 3 topping large pizza deal is incredible. The pizza is absolutely top tier and you can get as many toppings as you can handle for a bit of an extra price. Typically I get steak, pepperoni, and cheddar. This is one of the only places that has steak and cheddar as actual toppings which is always surprising to me. They just make so much sense as toppings that you would expect more people to use them right? This is really what helps put Domino’s on the map here as such an amazing pizza place. Throw in the fact that they have an amazing brooklyn style option and the best sauce cups and you’ve got a true winner. While the next 2 pizza places do defeat Domino’s, this is the spot that I go to the most.

2. Koronet Pizza

Koronet Pizza was my favorite pizza place for an extremely long amount of time. It was only last year when it finally got surpassed. Koronet specializes in the jumbo slices which is a pizza that is about as long as having 2-3 slices in one shot. While the price has started to get a little ridiculous, the taste is amazing. I’ve never seen so much cheese at once and the crust has the best texture that I’ve seen. The only warning I would give is that you can choke on the cheese if you try to eat too much at a time so grab the fork they have at the front and cut up the cheese when it inevitably falls off of your pizza. Once you’ve done that then you are good to go for the best pizza experience you can imagine.

1. Oath Pizza

Oath is the ultimate pizza place. I couldn’t even imagine that such a place could exist. The pizza is super thin and the base appears to effectively be a crepe. The gimmick here is that you get unlimited toppings for no extra cost. I wonder how long they can really keep this up without going up in price but right now it’s a steal. I love going here and getting around 10 toppings each time. You can go higher then that with no problems either. Once you load up all the toppings it’s almost like eating a stew or lasagna but it’s all pizza. The blend of flavors is amazing and this is truly the ultimate pizza. I can’t imagine Oath ever losing the crown, it’s just too phenomenalC.

Honorary mentions to Prince Street Pizza, &Pizza, and Little Italy. Those 3 are also very solid but just couldn’t quite make the list this time. So when you’re looking for pizza places to try you should hit up one of these spots. You can’t really go wrong though, almost every pizza place is great in its own right. It’s all about knowing which flavors to order and then you’re all set.

Editorial

Is a Hot Dog a sandwich?


One question that’s been floating around the world has been if the famous Hot Dog is a sandwich or not. Well, I lets look at this logically. I lot of the debate depends on your definition of a sandwich. My definition is that a sandwich is anything that is wrapped in between bread. The bread can be top and bottom like a classic grilled cheese or it can be enclosed like in a baguette sandwich. The goal is that something is there, if you’re just eating bread then it’s not an actual sandwich.

So that brings us to the famous Hot Dog. As you may have guessed from the intro, I would count this as a sandwich. The meat is in between the bread from top to bottom. I think one reason why people may not consider it to be a sandwich is depending where you get the hot dog it is one piece of bread that curves around, not two separate pieces of bread. If you buy a low quality hot dog then the bread will probably break and it’ll look like a normal sandwich. I make the case that in both situations it is still a sandwich. My rebuttal to the first scenario is that we already have sandwiches with only one piece of bread as opposed to two. I’m talking about the Italian Footlong.

Go to Fairway, Shoprite, Whole Foods, or Trader Joes and buy one of the long baguettes. Now instead of cutting it up into a lot of smaller ones just cut a slit into the bread and put in the meat. You’ve still got one piece of bread (albeit a large piece) but it is stuffed. Wouldn’t you call this a sandwich? I certainly would so this supports the case that you don’t need two pieces of bread to be a sandwich. The only qualifications is that you’ve got bread and you’ve got something inside of it while not being baked into it. If you churned your own dough with cheese into the mixture you’re just making cheesy bread and not a sandwich. So the distinction is that you’ve still got to have two separate items, the bread and the filling. That’s really it though. That’s all you need for a proper sandwich.

Whatever else you add to the Hot Dog after this point doesn’t take away its status as a sandwich or legitimize it. The instant you’ve put the meat into the bun you have just created a sandwich. This is a pretty short editorial next to my usual ones since there isn’t much more to be said about this, but I had to answer this age old question. It’s a topic that is brought up quite a bit in Yugioh Vrains so I needed to throw in my two cents. What do you guys think? Is a Hot Dog a sandwich or should it really not be lumped into that category and is a unique case?

Editorial

2019 Christmas game wrap-up!

All right guys another Christmas has come and gone. It was my largest haul yet I believe as I got 22 games this year. This is exactly why I love to wait until games are 2-5 bucks instead of grabbing em while they’re 60. While some games are worth snagging right away you can do without most of them til they’re cheaper. Gamestop also had their best deal yet this year with that buy 1 get 1 free deal. It’s just unheard of to do something like that so I was impressed! I have taken a picture with all the games I got, but I’ll also list them here since it can be hard to read them.

Need For Speed ProStreet
Brave
Topspin 4
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Little Big Planet 2
Angry Birds Trilogy
NFL Tour
Ghostbusters
Midnight Club Los angeles
Blur
Terminator Salvation
Wario Land Shake It
Yoshi’s Woolly World
Pikmin 3
Madden 19
DuskDiver
Beyblade Metal Masters
Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness
Diddy Kong Racing DS
Mairo and Luigi Partners in Time
Dragon Ball Z Attack of the Saiyans

Beating all of these should definitely take a long time but I look forward to taking a crack at it. Additionally here are some of the snacks I ended up going for. You can see how I tried to decorate my cookies a bit with the spoon and the emblems. I must admit that it all came out pretty good. Also, using the Chocolate spoon for the Ice Cream is brilliant because that’s one less utensil you’ll have to clean up in the end.

Merry Christmas folks!

Editorial

Top 10 Foods

Now this might have been the toughest list I’ve ever had to write here. Food is difficult to make a top 10 of because there are so many variations. How deep do you go? For example, there are hundreds of different pizza flavors. If I went that far into detail it would take up all 10 slots. Then you’ve got things that are really similar like Cheese fries with normal French Fries, Macaroni Cheese vs Fettuccini Alfredo, etc. I did my best to just capture the 10 types of foods I enjoy the most without going into the specifics. I’m also thinking of it in terms of averages. For example, Chef Boyarde makes the greatest Spagetti and Meatballs I’ve ever eaten. It would be enough to put that dish in my top 10, but otherwise it wouldn’t even be close. So I’m putting the top 10 that are typically great no matter where I have it. That seemed like the best way to go about this. So without further ado lets take a look at what we got here!

10. French Fries

This is definitely an old standby. You just can’t go wrong with a good French Fry. First off, they go well with almost any condiment. Cheese sauce, Honey Mustard, Ketchup, Blue Cheese, BBQ, etc. Naturally they taste great by themselves as well. Another thing that really helps them rank up here is how they are so versatile. You can put them in a sandwich or on a pizza and you’ll be all good. It’s the perfect option to kick off the top 10.

9. Potatoes au Gratin

This one’s a more obscure option, but a fantastic one nonetheless. Few items go together as well as potatoes and cheese. Most of the recipes I have made over the years use both for that reason. A good Au Gratin should be extremely cheesy and filled with the diced potatoes. It’s an amazing combo and it a good substitute for Lasagna if you aren’t able to eat pasta. Tomato sauce is optional for this dish but it definitely does work out quite well.

8. Cheeseburger

This is another classic dish. I typically like to have my Cheeseburgers with bacon but just about anything works out really well. My favorite burger place of all time is McDonalds, but just about any will do. My preferred way to cook them is well done to really get that flavor in. I really enjoy all of the special burgers the various chains have been coming out with lately like the Breakfast burger that usually has a fried egg in it, any with fried onions, triple cheese, etc. Burgers are just amazing and I could eat them all day. It goes without saying but any item in the top 10 is one I could go for on just about any given day.

7. Cheese Calzone

A Cheese Calzone is really just a pizza without sauce. If you’ve got some marinara cups on hand then this essentially is a pizza. I really enjoy Calzones and the only reason I don’t have them more often is because I’m typically enjoying a pizza instead. A good Calzone should have a lot of ricotta cheese and ingeneral will be stuffed with flavor. I also enjoy the Ham and Cheese version of the one with Pepperoni in it. It’s pretty similar to a Stromboli to be honest so you could interchange them. A Cheese Calzone is usually a side item for me, but you could use it as a main one as well.

6. Mashed Potatoes

This is one of the gold standards of food. Not only is it an amazing dish, but it is absolutely mandatory for events such as Thanksgiving. Potatoes are one of the greatest foods out there and as a base ingredient, it may only be behind pasta and cheese. Good mashed potatoes only need some butter and you are absolutely set for action. You can also add some other items though, I once had a really good Mashed Potatoes with bits of bacon thrown in. It goes without saying that cheese and other meats go well too. Almost every fast food place has this as a side order for good reason. There’s not much to say about Mash because everyone already knows how good it is.

5. General Tso’s Chicken

It’s time for a sweet addition. General Tso’s Chicken is pretty nostalgic as I still remember the first time I had it in the Manhattan Mall. To date that was the best version of it I’ve ever had. People make this dish in a variety of ways. My personal favorite is to have a very thick sauce accompanying the chicken. It should be sweet, but have a good impact that you won’t soon forget. The only counter side here is that I can’t eat a sweet dish for too long without getting full so I need a lot of white rice with it. That’s why this is the perfect accompaniment. It’s not uncommon to have it with pizza or Mashed potatoes. One of my personal favorite combos is to put it with Macaroni and Cheese. Part of why this one is ranked so high is because the taste is so amazing and unique. You can’t really find anything quite like this.

4. Boulders of Justice

There is no official name for this that I know of so I coined the phrase. I think the closest thing to a name would be calling this Cheese Balls. It’s effectively Mashed Potatoes with Cheese chunks embedded into it. You roll the potato into a ball, puncture a hole in it and then fill it with cheese. You cover it with more potato, wrap in breading and bake/fry til done. It’s my personal favorite recipe and it took a lot of tweaking until it was just right. Now it’s something I could eat all day every day. On my best day I’ve eaten around 20 of these at once. It mixes all of my favorite tastes together into a wonderful dish of bliss. I highly recommend messing around with potato and cheese until you find a balance that works for you as well.

3. Lasagna

Now we’re heading into the big 3 and these guys are in a class of their own. I’ve literally eaten so much Lasagna that I got sick for a very long time. (Ate almost a full tub of Lasagna) It’s definitely a dish that is dangerously addicting with how good it is. The best part is that it’s super easy to make and it will taste great. I add as much as cheese as possible going up to almost a full pound. I could still eat a full tub of it but I like to think I’d show more restraint in the future. This is one dish that is never a side order, it’s definitely the main star of the party at all times.

2. Macaroni and Cheese

This was actually number 1 for me for many years. I think Pizza only passed it maybe 2 years ago. Macaroni and Cheese is just sacred. It’s pasta and cheese which may sound simple, but the flavor is quite complex. Whether it’s from the box or from the tin this is great. I find that it’s impossible to mess this one up. So long as there is cheese this dish will always be amazing. I even got to taste a sugar Macaroni and Cheese once which I had never heard of before, but was eager to try. It was actually really good which really supported my theory that it will always taste amazing. Naturally the more cheese the better, but this dish goes well al dente or soft and mushy. I’ve experimented in so many ways with this dish and had a blast doing it.

1. Pizza

This is the ultimate dish. You simply can’t beat a good pizza. I could eat this every day all day and not get tired of it. I once went a whole summer to Mike’s $1 pizza. Literally every week day I went there and got my slice while still having pizza on the weekends. Pizza is the epitome of perfection and I doubt we will ever be able to create a dish that comes close. There are limitless amazing flavors like Pepperoni, Macaroni and Cheese, Steak, etc. I may do a top 10 Pizza varieties or pizza shops at some point. As we speak I am getting hungry for more pizza. Frozen, Store bought, homemade, I don’t care which I just want some good pizza!

So those are my top 10 foods. All 10 are naturally amazing. The top 3 certainly do break away from the other 7 quite a bit, but all of them are dynamite 10/10 dishes. I’ve never gotten to try having all 10 at once and even for me that would be difficult, but it is something to think about someday. On my Birthday I usually have at least 4 out of 10 so that’s a start.