Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is probably one of the best mystery games I’ve played, but because its only US release was on the Playstation Vita, it’s hard to recommend to people. Fortunately, the 2013 anime is easier to find streaming, offering a more condensed version of the story for those unable to play the game, and it’s a surprisingly good adaptation.
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Gravity Falls was a cartoon series that aired on Disney XD between June 2012 and January 2016 with a total of 40 episodes. The series was created by Alex Hirsch, who you might know as the creator of the cartoon series Fish Hooks. The series begins as 12-year old twins, Dipper and Mabel Pines, head to the small town of Gravity Falls, Oregon to spend the summer with their great uncle Stan (or, as he’s almost always called “Gruncle Stan”. Gruncle Stan runs a tourist trap outside of town dubbed the Mystery Shack, a curiosity shop claiming to reveal the secret weirdness of Gravity Falls, but really just revealing cheap props and tourist goods. But before they’ve been there long, Dipper finds a real secret, a cryptic journal buried in the back yard talking about secrets: zombies, demons, unicorns, and soon they have their first encounter with the town’s strangeness. Who wrote the journal? What does Gruncle Stan really know? What secrets is the town keeping? Dipper is driven to find out, with the help of Mabel, Wendy (his 16 year old crush who works part time at the Mystery Shack), and Soos (their 20-something friend who is employed as the Mystery Shack’s handyman and groundskeeper).
There’s a lot of good stuff this summer, so much that I’m glad my plate is currently clean of other series because I may end up watching a bit more than usual.
Welcome to Night Vale is most well known for their podcast (written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor), formatted as a small town radio show set in a sleepy little horror town ala Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft. The podcast is nearing its 4th anniversary and 2015 saw the release of a related novel of the same title from Harper Collins.
On top of this, they also do live touring shows that tours both around the US and has gone to Europe, to Australia and New Zealand. The shows are in a similar radio-show format as the podcast, (with some differences that I’ll explain). The live shows are unique–they’re not just rehashes or previews of podcast episodes. After each live touring show is done they generally release recordings of that show.
Schwarzesmarken takes place in East Germany in an alternate 1983 where aliens have landed and are slowly taking over the planet in a torturous land battle. The aliens do not appear to be particularly intelligent, content to win battles through sheer numbers, but since they cannot be reasoned with, humans have no choice but to fight.
Though the aliens can be slain with conventional weapons, mecha are particularly useful for taking out the living alien artillery, and the 666th squadron, nicknamed Schwarzesmarken, is East Germany’s best unit.
Seveneves is a science fiction novel, written by Neal Stephenson, published in May 2015 by William Morrow, and was one of the novels nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel this year. The story begins with a bang as something inexplicable happens to the moon. Something punches a hole through it, fragmenting earth’s only natural satellite into seven fragments. No one knows how this could be possible, or what caused it to happen, but soon they realize that these aren’t the most important questions: the most important question is “How can humanity survive this?” The moon is going to break up into smaller and smaller fragments and start a catastrophic meteor shower in only about two years.
The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story covers graphic novels and comic book series (including web comics). Five graphic stories were on the final Hugo ballot, but Sandman: Overture (written by Neil Gaiman with art by J.H. Williams III) appeared to be only a partial of the book in the Hugo Packet, so I haven’t reviewed that here.
written by David Steffen This is the “movies-ish” Hugo category, a fan-voted award. I say “ish” because it’s any presentation over 90 minutes, which sometimes includes things that aren’t movies, such as a season of a TV show or something like that. Most of the nominees this year were also nominees for the Ray Bradbury […]
Normally I write up full reviews for each of the Hugo novels I have time to read, but I had already read and reviewed Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Mercy here last year, just follow the link if you want to read it.