Thursday, September 16, 2021

A Post That Is Sort Of About Football: 2021 Edition

I know I'm a little late with this, seeing as how the season has already started, but, hey, whatever, right? Initial thoughts and way-too-early snap judgments: (1) I don't care for the 17-game schedule, purely for purist, change-resistant reasons (as they say in Doctor Who, "You've redecorated. I don't like it"), (2) the NFC West looks like a division of juggernauts, amirite? and (3) the quarterback carousel that's going on this year is making my head spin (see multiple notes below). Anyway...

Arizona Cardinals: JUGGERNAUT

Atlanta Falcons: seem to still be suffering from the acute case of Brady-itis that they contracted back in 2017.

Baltimore Ravens: "Raven" seems to be a popular name for fictional characters (Teen Titans, X-Men, That's So Raven, etc.). Kind of like "Finn" (Star Wars, Adventure Time, etc.). And "fins" is a nickname for the Miami Dolphins (see below). Where am I going with this? I have no idea.

Buffalo Bills: I sort-of-predicted that they would be division champs last year, and well, whaddya know? Although this season has sort of started with a thud.

Carolina Panthers: are now starting Sam Darnold at quarterback? I was like, wait, what? When did that happen?

Chicago Bears: are now starting Andy Dalton at quarterback? I was like, wait, what? When did that happen? (although they're probably going to be starting Justin Fields on Sunday)

Cincinnati Bengals: are now starting Joe Burrow - oh, right, he was there last year, he just got hurt. I'm sure they're glad he's back.

Cleveland Browns: could maybe, finally, be starting to turn the corner?

Dallas Cowboys: back in 2016 I described this team (who I used to follow when I lived in Hawaii due mostly to a lack of options) as like "an ex, where you just peripherally take notice of stuff they're up to but you try not to get too involved." I did, however, watch their season opener against Tampa Bay and was actually sort of rooting for them. Oh well.

Denver Broncos: are now starting Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback? I was like, wait, what? When did that happen?

Detroit Lions: are now starting Jared Goff at quarterback? I was like...oh, actually, I knew about that one.

Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers' singer-songwriter State Farm commercial is pretty funny.

Houston Texans: are now starting Tyrod Taylor at quarterback? And supposedly turned down three first-round draft picks for Deshaun Watson? And still won their first game?

Indianapolis Colts: are now starting Carson Wentz at quarterback? Good game on Sunday, by the way (not being sarcastic. Seriously).

Jacksonville Jaguars: are now starting Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, but I knew that because I'm a semi-football nerd who watches the annual draft.

Kansas City Chiefs: I always find it funny when I watch game highlights and they're all like "Patrick Mahomes this, Patrick Mahomes that" but then you find out that the Chiefs only won by several points after finally taking the lead late in the fourth quarter. You would've thought that they had won by ten touchdowns or something. But, well, as a Seahawks fan, I can relate.

Las Vegas Raiders: once in a while I find myself wondering, "why doesn't Las Vegas have a MLB and/or NBA team?" Don't ask me why I wonder stuff like that.

Los Angeles Chargers: I'm still not used to them not being in San Diego.

Los Angeles Rams: are now starting Matthew Stafford at JUGGERNAUT

Miami Dolphins: Are also known as the "fish." Dolphins aren't fish. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that.

Minnesota Vikings: According to Wikipedia, "Vikings is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden), who from the late 8th to the late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and settled throughout parts of Europe." It's also the name of a historical drama TV series for the History channel.

New England Patriots: last year, I said "the first real test to see if the Patriots are Belichick or Brady." I guess I have my answer.

New Orleans Saints: are now starting Jameis Winston at quarterback? Seriously? I guess it seems to be working out so far.

New York Giants: They Might Be Giants were not kidding - old New York really was once New Amsterdam.

New York Jets: are now starting Zach Wilson at quarterback, but I knew that because I'm a semi-football nerd who watches the annual draft.

Philadelphia Eagles: there's a restaurant near my house called Philly Bilmos that has awesome cheesesteak sandwiches. I haven't been there in a while. I need to go again.

Pittsburgh Steelers: are still starting Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, who is actually somehow younger than Tom Brady.

San Francisco 49ers: JUGGERNAUT

Seattle Seahawks: on the first offensive drive of the game against the Colts, I was like, "this new offense seems a lot like the old offense: run, run, Russell Wilson runs for his life when the pocket collapses and somehow gains a first down, run, run, Russell Wilson chucks it into the end zone and somehow Tyler Lockett comes down with it, touchdown." But I guess more educated football minds than me saw that the run schemes were different (could've fooled me) and as the game went on, there really was more tempo and quick-pass shenanigans. Either way, I liked the end result, which was a strangely low-stress affair. I just hope they can keep this up. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: last year, I said "the first real test to see if the Patriots are Belichick or Brady." I guess I have my answer. Sure wish that dude would retire and give someone else a chance.

Tennessee Titans: they play the Seahawks this coming Sunday, so I will keep my mouth shut.

Washington Football Team: weren't they supposed to have a new name by now?

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Glorified Issue #4 Is Here!

That's right, the fourth installment of Glorified, the manga/comic book series by Second Player Score, is now available!
Print copies are being sent out to select Kickstarter backers soon. Also, the issue is for sale in both print and digital formats at IndyPlanet. Additionally, you can read it (with subscription access) at GlobalComix.

As a reminder, we are donating 50% of the profits from the sale of any issue of Glorified in any format to the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon. You can find the first three issues at the links below:


Excelsior!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Anime Roundup

Hey, I'm back with another edition of Anime Roundup! I know, it's been a while, right? Usually I've been doing these every five or six weeks or so, but this time the last one was over three months ago. The main reason for the gap was My Hero Academia, which, after I talked about it the last time, quickly because my new all-time #1 favorite show (sorry, Food Wars) and was basically all I was watching for a while. But once I got caught up (it's still ongoing in Japan, and new episodes only come out once a week) I was able to turn my attention to other stuff, like:

Black Clover
Crunchyroll kept feeding me ads for this one, and I'd heard a lot about it, so I finally decided to give it a shot. And I'm glad I did! I love the premise, which is: in a world where basically everyone has magic, one boy without magic is still determined to become the Wizard King so he can help save the world from demons (and also marry his childhood crush). It's kind of like Piers Anthony's A Spell for Chameleon meets Naruto. I also love the main character's indefatigable spirit and inspiring catchphrase ("Not giving up is my magic!"). It's nice when you discover an anime that you enjoy that is new to you but has a billion episodes already out (actually 170, but close enough) because you know that you'll have something to watch for a long time.

Jujutsu Kaisen
I'd heard that this one was considered the next big thing in manga/anime, being fairly new (the manga started in 2018, the anime in 2020), so I also put it on my post-My Hero Academia list. A fun and watchable mix of a lot of different influences, it's basically about a teenage boy who inadvertently becomes the host of a powerful Curse (like an evil spirit) and then joins a school for something called Jujutsu Sorcerers whose job it is to fight said Curses. You can tell that it sort of follows a Naruto-like template, but it puts its own original spin on it, and the juxtaposition of standard anime-style humor and grotesque horror imagery makes for an interesting contrast.

Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro!
A light and airy rom-com about a high school girl who, um, flirts? I guess you could call it? with a shy and quiet otaku (nerdy) upperclassman, this one is, yes, a little racy and un-PC and definitely not for younger or sensitive audiences, but it never really crosses the line and eventually (spoiler alert? sort of?) showcases a wholesome and touching side with themes about love, friendship, and confidence.

Spirited Away
If you're an anime fan, you've probably heard of this Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki classic. On the surface, it's a seemingly simple Alice-In-Wonderland-like tale about a young girl who stumbles into a spirit world and has to find her way out, but there's actually a lot more to it than that, with underlying themes that deal with spiritualism, consumerism, environmentalism, and more. It's deservedly won a boatload of awards (including an Oscar for Best Animated Feature) and was the highest-grossing film in Japanese history for 19 years until it was finally surpassed in 2020 by the Demon Slayer movie that I mentioned in a previous roundup post.

Bananya
Okay, so "nya" is the Japanese equivalent of "meow." Therefore, "Bananya" is a cute and silly show made up of short (two-to-three minute) episodes that feature cat-banana hybrid creatures living in regular households, sometimes alongside regular cats (how that works, I have no idea). Season one showed them in everyday situations (or, as everyday as life can be for cat-banana hybrid creatures), while season two was a little more origin-story-ish and explained where they came from (another planet, sort of) and had magic and science fiction-y elements and other stuff. Lots of lovable fun for those times when you don't want to think too hard. Also, after every episode when the credits started rolling, I was like, "that was SO Japanese."

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Tanjoubi Omedetou, Neko (Happy Birthday, Cats)!

This week, Boots and Mittens are somehow, unbelievably, SEVEN YEARS OLD. Time flies when you're having fun (and waking up humans at 3am).
I've heard that developmentally, cats reach the equivalent of 15 human years by the end of their first year, then 24 by the second, and then four years per year after that, which would make these two...44?? Holy catnip! That then begs the question, do cats have mid-life crises? (My guess is: probably not.)

Anyway, here's to many, many more!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Big In Japan?

I'm excited to announce that Second Player Score has started up a partnership with the Japan-based media company VisualReel Inc.!
As of now, they've produced a Japanese website for us (that you can see here), but there's much more to come. Could this be the Japan-related destiny I talked about in this post from a couple of years ago? Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Four-D Status Update

This is a status update on Four-D. Not Four-D, the music album*, but Four-D, the card game!
If you've been following this blog and are familiar with the SPS-Verse (formerly known as the SPSU), then you know that along with Second Player Score's fourth album (titled Four-D) there will be an accompanying card game that is also called Four-D. We actually designed and tested the base gameplay (which is similar to War or Trumps but with some fun extras) over two years ago but have recently gone back and started polishing up the finer details; most notably, the names of the individual elementals that the players use to "battle" or "challenge" each other (the final verb is still up for debate). With that, we now have an upgraded test deck - hand-scribbled by yours truly - that we have retested and found to be in proper working order. If all goes well, the card game will be released simultaneously with the music album in Summer 2022.

There's also supposed to be an accompanying light novel or novelette or novella that tells the story behind the songs on the album, but so far, that's been a bit more of a challenge... I actually wrote most of one draft, didn't like it, started over and wrote (and finished!) a completely new draft, didn't like it either, and am now wondering what direction it should take. We shall see. Either way, even if something doesn't come out at the same time as the album/card game, it'll eventually take shape and see the light of day in some form or another...

* For a status update on the album, see this post

Thursday, August 5, 2021

The SPS-Verse

If you've been following this blog, then you're probably familiar with something called the SPSU, or Second Player Shared Universe. I first introduced it in this post from October 2018, where I described it as "the connecting hub and overarching umbrella for a number of related franchises that are all loosely centered around my band, Second Player Score." It was mentioned in passing a few more times after that before getting an update post a year later, where I described in further detail the ten different projects that made up the SPSU.
Since then, some of the projects have changed and evolved as their development has continued; for example, Four-D now features a nonbinary cat-person from another planet as its main protagonist, while 200BPM is now called CIVIL and has had its underlying story altered pretty significantly. Also, the SPSU itself has undergone a rebranding - it's now known as the SPS-Verse.

This change came about because, in the course of working on Joel Suzuki, Volume Six and Four-D concurrently (and also watching Loki on Disney+), I came to realize that all the different projects in the SPSU actually existed not in a universe, but a multiverse (also, "SPS-Verse" is more catchy and won't be confused with Southern Polytechnic State University).

Along with the new name comes a new description: "the SPS-Verse is a collection of interconnected original intellectual property franchises that each contain four elements: (1) music and media, such as film, TV, books, comics; (2) food & beverage; (3) toys, technology, and merchandise; and (4) philanthropy. The first three elements represent the individual strengths of each cofounder (meaning the guys in my band), while the fourth is a shared passion and interest."

Otherwise, our goal remains the same: to help make the world a more positive place through the proliferation of pop culture!