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Added by the count on 5 Nov 2015 01:30
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The Count's recommendations!!! (Volume 2)

Since the original list (The Count's daily recommendations!!!) found itself on sort of a hiatus, I've decided to take a page from Hollywood's book and make a reboot of it. (because reboots always turn out so well). And if I'm going to do that, why not do it properly? Why not make it bigger, better, more awesome, basically larger than life. Am I over exaggerating?? Probably. What I'm trying to say is that the way in which this list will differ from the original one is, in one simple word, versatility. While my old list was focused solely on movies, volume two will be more diverse. It will contain movies, tv shows, books, comics, food, art, music, websites, and, for the hell of it, maybe even lists from you, my fellow listal members. Also, while the old list followed a certain pattern, this one will be more anarchic. There will be no rules as to what will come the next time. Or if the next time will be the next day, week, month, hour! That's just more fun, right??? No more topics!!! Why be serious??? And also no more interactivity. While I used to use your ideas for the topic, this one will be based on my own whims and moods. If you haven't figured it out, after being absent for some time now, The Count is back, and he is quite a different puppy than you're used to. Now most of you are probably wondering who is The Count. Well that's the good old me, and while I might not be the most easygoing person, you'll learn to like me. Why? BECAUSE I'M BATMAN!!! And I bring cookies.
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TAG: Comic
Publisher: IDW
Story by: Joe Hill
Art by: Gabriel Rodriguez

I haven't had the pleasure of reading a lot of good comics published by IDW. In fact, when I come across a comic published by this Californian publisher, I tend to not pick it up. I just don't happen to enjoy their publications. That being said, I haven't had the pleasure of reading the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic of which I have heard nothing but praises. There are however two of their titles that swept me off my feet. One of them is 30 Days of Night, and the other would be Locke & Key. I Might add 30 days to this list somewhere down the line, but for now let's focus on, what I consider to be, one of the best mystical horror comic books up to date. Locke & Key is a comic book series, published by IDW Publishing, authored by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. While the name of Gabriel Rodriguez may not ring a bell, Hill happend to be a person of my interest for quite some time now. He is the son of the one and only Stephen King, and a great horror writer to his own right, with amazing works like: The Heart Shaped Box, Horns and NOS4A2 (pronounced: Nosferatu). When I heard that he tackled into the world of graphical storytelling, I knew that this was something that shouldn't be missed.

What Locke & Key is in it's first layer is a story about dysfunctional family of three children and their alcoholic mother, who happen to find themselves in Locke family's ancestral home, after their father and husband, Rendell Locke is killed by two of his patients. In this old house, something strange starts to happen, and it's all connected to, you wouldn't believe it, keys and locks. There is something mystical happening in the Locke family house, and little Bode Locke is the only one who knows it.

Ever since I read Neil Gaimanโ€™s stunning โ€œSandmanโ€ series, it never crossed my mind that there could be another graphic novel that will blend horror, mysticism and mystery in such a captivating style. Thankfully, Locke & Key proved me wrong. Hill has a marvelous sense for balance in storytelling and for character developing and that is proven in this series by his masterful juggling with sense of loss and misery on one side, and innocence and playfulness on the other. And as if that weren't enough, on top of that he throws fear and horror. The depth of these characters is just astonishing from the early start of Issue #1, and it's captivating to see how Hill makes each of the kids and their mother deal with the loss of their loved one in such a different way, and yet every one of them is very believable.

All in all, this is definitely one of my favorite indie comic series, and therefore I do recommend it.

The Story itself is divided into six volumes and each volume is collected into one trade.
The Volumes are:
-Welcome to Lovecraft
-Head Games
-Crown of Shadows
-Keys to the Kingdom
-Alpha & Omega

Thank you and enjoy the comic.

P.S. I'm predicting it right now, this will be adapted into a movie or a TV series, and it's going to suck. Because it's that awesome!
TAG: Anime
Studio: Ufotable
Director: Ei Aoki
Writer: Gen Urobuchi

Every now and then, a story is written in such an grandiose style, with such an epic scope that it's capable of captivating it's audience in the matter of a moment. What Lord of the Rings did for the literature, Game of Thrones for television and The Godfather for movies, Fate series was just a moment away of achieving for Anime. Why didn't it? Because Anime lacks the audience that other mediums have gained over the course of history. And that needs to change. For a long time I have associated anime with DBZ and other popular Shonen works, which although popular and quite possibly amusing, lack the more adult approach to the art of storytelling and character development. I was just a moment away from dismissing Anime as "not for me". And then Fate intervened and everything changed.

Fate Zero deals with seven characters, some of which are considered to be Mages, that gathered this cycle in the Fuyuki City to try to obtain the Holy Grail in a contest known as The Holy Grail War. Each of the contestants has the ability to summon a Servant, a Familliar that will be his weapon in this contest for the omnipotent device. Servants are spirits of the past, heroes who will pledge their loyalty to their master in order to obtain the Grail. Most of the Servants are real historical or mythological characters that you will be able to recognize given time. Each Servant also has it's class. There are seven classes, and they are: Archer, Assassin, Berserker, Caster, Lancer, Rider and Sabre. Three major Mage families, the Einzberns, Matous, and Tohsakas have the desire to obtain the Grail for the glory of their name. The Einzberns, having lost three of the Wars that came before, decided to welcome a Mage killer, Kirigitsu Emiya, into their family. Therefore Kirigitsu can be their contestant in the upcoming war. Will all three families be able to participate in the fourth War and who will be victorious? You will have to watch the show to find out.

Unlike the most of the anime shows that I've been able to see before, this one has a lot of substance. It's not just the mindless action most of the time, but instead it has rather captivating three dimensional characters. Most of them you will struggle with to deduce wether they are "good" or "bad" and just what their intention is. The pace is moderate, it doesn't rush and it isn't prolonged and boring either. The show contains just a couple of filler episodes that will captivate you just as much as the main story, and are actually important to understand the mindset of some of the characters. The show deals with a lot of sub plots, some of which are the relationships between Master and Servant, capability of creating a perfect utopian world, importance of the family vs feeling of duty, the nature of human desire for omnipotence, and each of the sub plots convincingly connects to the main plot of the quest for the Grail.

Now, this show is rated R, and while it doesn't contain a lot of gore and is completely free of nudity and sexual references, it's not suitable for younger audiences because of it's dark philosophical undertone and the conversations between characters that are written so well that you will just want to revisit them to completely understand and enjoy the meaning behind them. Don't be mistaken, this anime isn't just characters an philosophy either. The main object in the Grail War is to eliminate other contestants, and that can be done in two ways. Either eliminate the Servant or eliminate the Master. And that is constantly attempted to be achieved by some of the most amazing fight and duel scenes.

The visuals are beautiful, animation is breathtaking, character design is done properly and all that combined will give you one of the most complete visual experiences in animation up to date, which will be perfectly followed with what I hope you've deduced to be a damn well intriguing story.

Also, the music

Yes, the music. Enough said.

P.S. And also, for the love of God, please dont't watch dubbed version if you can watch subtitled. If you're not sure why, ask me in the comments and I'll elaborate, the reasons are substential. And that goes for every anime, not just this one. Much appreciated.
Notes coming soon...

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