Nintendo 64 Memories Part 2: Christmas 1999 and Playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in the year 2000

Hey guys! I know it’s late, at least it is here in Ottawa, but I still wanted to get the second part of my Nintendo 64 Memories series out before I went to bed. Before I get to my memories of playing games like GoldenEye 007007 The World is Not Enough, and Perfect Dark with my friend Garrett I wanted to talk about what it was like to open an N64 of my own (it was actually shared between my siblings and I) on Christmas Morning 1999 and the game that we got with the console. So let’s go back to December 25th, 1999 and I’ll tell you about that day.

Okay, so you have to understand that my family isn’t rich and so we didn’t have a lot of money to spend on things like really expensive video game consoles and games. Especially not back then. So the chances of us actually getting a Nintendo 64 during it’s lifespan was next to none. So much so that me, my brother and my sister weren’t expecting to get one. In fact I was pretty happy just playing it with Cam and the other kids up at the cottage in the summertime. However, we have grandparents who spoiled us rotten when we were growing up and still do to this day. My dad’s mom had bought a Nintendo 64 and one game for us all to share. See, my grandmother is very observant and so if we say there’s something in particular that we would like for a birthday or Christmas, she does her very best to get that item for us. Which is how I was able to get the massive coffee table book Power Rangers: The Ultimate Visual History for Christmas last year. It’s also how my brother, sister, and I were fortunate enough to get a Nintendo 64 and one game for Christmas twenty years ago.

The Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time

That game was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I talked a little bit about this game when I did my review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch and talked about my history with the Zelda franchise a year and a half ago. But it bears repeating, because this is the very first Zelda game that my siblings and I ever owned though I do remember playing at least one of the games that were on the original NES (I think it was the original game, The Legend of Zelda, not Zelda II: The Adventure of Link) and maybe A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo one of the times I was in the hospital, but we didn’t own the first three Zelda games, and I don’t remember renting them, though my sister tells me we did (this was almost thirty years ago guys, I don’t remember every video game we rented back then).

Now while most of you got Super Mario 64 as the in package game that came with the Nintendo 64, we did not. Because we got our Nintendo 64 so late in it’s run, Super Mario 64 was not included with the console. I don’t remember this off the top of my head, because it’s been almost twenty years, but either our console didn’t come with a game and my grandmother bought Ocarina of Time separately, or the game was the included game with the console. Either way we got the console and the game at the same time.

What’s funny is that it took us a few weeks to get through the first dungeon, “Inside the Deku Tree”. My brother and sister mostly played the game and I watched, so I didn’t get through the first dungeon at all. However I remember going back to school in January of 2000 (Y2K didn’t happen, so I had to go back to school), I was in grade 7, at a brand new school, and I remember talking to one of the guys in my class (none of the girls in my class played video games), Alex, about how difficult we were finding it, and he told me how to do it. My brother and sister had either figured it out on their own, or had asked people they knew how to do it, because they did it and beat the first boss.

That’s how you did it back then guys. My family wasn’t hooked up to the internet yet, and the strategy guide from Nintendo Power was either expensive enough that our parents didn’t want to buy it for us, or it was really hard to find by that point, considering the strategy guide had come out in 1998 and Canada usually lagged behind when it came to publications such as this. So we had to figure games out on our own or ask people who had played the game already because we didn’t have access to online forums or strategy guides, or online walkthroughs or anything like that.

And like I said I didn’t play the game that much, because it was a single player game and I just wasn’t that good at it, so I let my two siblings play it more and I watched them. Our video game consoles were in the basement of our old house out in Greely, so we’d sit down there and my brother or my sister would play Ocarina of Time and I would watch them play. This was before I had friends coming over frequently so I spent a lot of my at home time either by myself or with my siblings back then. I had a couple of friends at school, but none of them came over, and I’m actually not friends with any of them anymore. I drifted away from them during high school. Which happens in life sometimes.

Anyways guys that’s it for me for tonight. I just wanted to come on here and talk about the day my siblings and I got our Nintendo 64, the game we got with it and how much fun we had with it because it leads into my memories of playing the N64 with Garrett when I was in grade 8, going into high school, and going up to grade 11. My Garrett stories will be told next week. In the meantime I’ll be back on Friday with my review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze on DVD. So until next time have a great night and I will catch you all later. Bye for now!


Thor: Ragnarok Discussion

Hey guys! As promised I’m back for a little discussion on Thor: Ragnarok from 2017. I realize that it’s been a year and a half since the movie came out, but I’ll get into why I’m just talking about this movie now, rather than when it first came out. I’m not going to be talking about anything that are spoilers in this discussion, just talking about the movie in general so if you still haven’t seen this movie and you care about that kind of stuff, then don’t worry. Having gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about this movie.

Thor - Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok is one of those rare movies that I have an interesting history with. The reason being is that I had no interest in seeing it. In the theatres or otherwise. I am not a fan of Thor. I like Chris Hemsworth in the role and I like his interaction with the other Avengers, but I am not a fan of the character. In fact I’m not a fan of Norse Mythology in general, I’m more of a Greek Mythology kinda guy, but I’m not a huge fanatic about myths and legends. So when the teaser trailer for this movie dropped and everyone was ranting and raving about it, I sat on the sidelines and said, “I’m not interested” and left it at that. My friend Brad couldn’t even convince me to go see it with him and I usually go see these movies with him.

Fast forward a year and the movie comes out on Netflix. Anyone who hadn’t seen it in theatres and everyone who did see it in theatres and loved it, watched it again. Including my sister. I still was not interested, because I didn’t like Thor or Thor: The Dark World all that much, and I just wasn’t interested in watching a Thor movie again. But see, here’s the thing about my sister. She can be very persuasive when she wants you to do something. I’m stubborn though and for six months she kept bugging me and bugging me to watch it, even offering to watch it with me. I kept refusing. Finally, last week she said that if I watched the first five minutes and didn’t like it she’d stop bugging me about it. Of course my OCD kicked in because I can’t just watch the first five minutes of a movie and then turn it off unless it’s a really bad movie or I’m sick enough that I can’t concentrate on it. So I watched the whole movie. It was a good movie, but I didn’t care for it. And it has nothing to do with my not liking Thor as a character.

I enjoyed all the stuff with Hela on Asgard and thought that would’ve made a fantastic movie all by itself. What I didn’t like was all the stuff with Thor, Loki, and the Hulk on Sakaar. And I especially didn’t like Jeff Goldblum’s character, The Grandmaster. I understand that he’s a popular actor. What I don’t understand is why. I’m not an actor and even if I was, there are so many different ways of acting and none of them are the right way or the wrong way to act. Having said that, I tend to like actors who emote and have a wide range of voices, instead of Goldblum’s almost monotone voice and lack of facial expression. Especially since I feel like The Grandmaster would be a very impish or fun character to watch on screen with anyone else in the role. I don’t read Marvel Comics very much so I’ve never heard of this character before this movie so I know nothing about him. I could read up on him on Wikipedia, but I don’t care to do so, so I’m not going to.

Honestly I felt the tone of the Sakaar scenes clashed with the seriousness of everything going on on Asgard and I didn’t understand the humour. It’s not that these scenes are bad, they just felt tonally different enough that they could’ve belonged to an entirely different movie. That’s what it felt like to me. Like I was watching two different movies and the Asgard movie was way more interesting than the Thor on Sakaar movie was. Maybe it’s because Hela was the inspiration for Queen Hedrian, a villain in the Super Sentai series from Denshi Sentai Denziman and Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan as Marvel had been heavily involved in the production of several seasons of Super Sentai in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Either way, I found Hela to be much more interesting than the Grandmaster and I wish we’d gotten more on Asgard than we did.

Having said all that Thor: Ragnarok isn’t a bad movie. The production value is excellent, the script, while tonally all over the place, is excellent, the CGI is fantastic, and the acting, despite my dislike of Jeff Goldblum, was great. It’s just not a character I’m interested in and like I said, the Sakaar stuff could’ve been removed and the Asgard stuff expanded.

So those are my thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok. I’m glad I watched it, I just wanted a different movie than the one we were given. That doesn’t take away from just how good the movie is. I know I sound almost indecisive, because I liked the movie, I just didn’t love it like so many other people did. And that’s just partly because I didn’t care for the constant tone shifts throughout the movie, and partly because I don’t care for Thor as a character.

Anyways guys that will just about do it for me for today. I’ll be back tomorrow for the next installment of my Nintendo 64 Memories series and I might do my review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze later this week too. We’ll see though because I have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday in the afternoon and it’s the Easter weekend this weekend so even though I don’t really have any plans, things tend to pop up when I least expect them to. So until next time have a great evening and I will talk to you later. Bye for now!

An Interesting TV Watching Experience

Hey guys! How’s it going? I’m actually doing pretty well. My plans for last weekend got postponed to another time, but that’s okay, I did other things instead. Today I wanted to talk about a couple of interesting TV watching experiences that I’ve had in the last few days and it’s something that I didn’t touch on in my Fandom: From Then to Now post that I did a couple of weeks ago. Each experience is the same one, but with two different shows. The shows are The Orville and Arrow. I know, I talk about those shows all the time, but they are two of my favourite shows on TV right now. This isn’t a review of these episodes, but there will be spoilers for the episodes, so I just thought I’d warn you in case you’re not caught up on these shows yet.

The Orville came on on Thursday night as usual and as the guest credits rolled after the opening title sequence, Marina Sirtis’s name appeared on the screen as did Tony Todd. For those of you who don’t know Marina Sirtis played Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation, in four Star Trek movies, and as a guest character on both Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise and Tony Todd played Worf’s brother, Kurn, Son of Mogh, on both Star Trek: The Next Generation and in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Tony Todd has also guest starred in several other Science Fiction shows of the ’90s and 2000’s and was the voice of Zoom in season 2 of The Flash. On The Orville he played a Moclan delegate. For those of you who don’t know the Moclans are the species of main character Bortus, and are the Klingon analogues on the show.

Marina Sirtis played the new school teacher, replacing Kelly’s ex-boyfriend, Cassius, who left several episodes ago. So that was pretty cool to see the first two TNG alum to guest star on The Orville.

The same thing happened with Arrow last night. I was watching it, but wasn’t really paying attention to the guest cast credits, because half the time they’re names I’m not familiar with. So I’m watching the episode and as Dinah is confronting Laurel, who has inexplicably gone back to being Black Siren, a woman shows up and the camera cuts to her legs and pans upward. She’s got a white costume on, and for some reason I’m expecting Felicity because up to this point in the episode, she’s been sticking up for Laurel against Dinah, and it would make sense for her to wear a protective suit. Nope. Instead it’s Sara Lance, played by Caity Lotz, wearing her White Canary costume that we haven’t seen on Legends of Tomorrow all season and I don’t think we’ve seen it since Crisis on Earth-X last season. This wasn’t just a quick cameo like Barry gets from time to time, or that Sara got in the season six finale either. Sara was in the entire episode from that point on and I loved it.

I don’t follow either of these shows on social media or any of these people. I used to but then I got rid of my Twitter account and I basically just use Facebook for this blog and to stay in touch with my friends and family. And because I don’t keep up on the behind the scenes stuff for any of the shows that I watch anymore, it took me by surprise to see Marina Sirtis and Tony Todd on The Orville and Caity Lotz on Arrow. And it brought me back to my childhood and teen years where there was no internet and no such thing as social media. Unless it was announced in the news, you didn’t know when a certain actor was going to make an appearance on your favourite shows. I think the only time I remember knowing ahead of time was when Leonard Nimoy was going to guest star on Star Trek: The Next Generation, as Spock, in the two-part episode, “Unification” for Star Trek’s 25th anniversary, and then when James Doohan was going to guest star on TNG, as Scotty, in the season six episode, “Relics”.

Nowadays, you know weeks, or even sometimes months, in advance that something is going to happen on the show. I think it was in April 2018 that we found out that Caity Lotz was going to show up in the season finale of Arrow and the finale wasn’t airing until mid-May. By then we also knew that Paul Blackthorne was leaving the show and his character, Quentin Lance, was getting killed off, so Sara showing up in the finale made sense. As a result there’s no sense of surprise when it comes to things like this, because we’re so plugged in with actors, TV shows, and people who work behind the scenes on these shows.

So when Caity Lotz showed up on Arrow for a very Birds of Prey like episode, I was completely bowled over, because Legends of Tomorrow had just been on, and she’s the lead character on that show, and then BAM! she’s on the show she was created on, kicking butt again and I finally got to see her and Dinah/Black Canary work side by side on screen, since the only time they’ve worked together and interacted with each other was in the novel that bridged the gap between season 5 and season 6, Arrow: Fatal Legacies. It just kind of brought that sense of nostalgia back, not only for the early seasons of Arrow, but for the time where special appearances of a character from one show on another show set in the same universe. Star Trek used to do that all the time. Doctor McCoy cameoed in the pilot episode of Next Gen, Captain Picard showed up on DS9, Quark on Voyager, and of course various other crossover appearances of characters from one Star Trek series to another. And obviously we’ve had the Arrowverse since The Flash started in 2014, so it’s nothing new.

Anyways guys I just thought I’d share those experiences with you because I did grow up in a time where social media didn’t exist, and the internet was in it’s infancy and watching those two shows gave me some nostalgia for that time. It was wonderful to be surprised like that watching TV again. I’ll be back later today to talk about Thor: Ragnarok which was an interesting experience for me given I saw it AFTER I watched Avengers: Infinity War. So it’s not really going to be a review as much as it is going to be a discussion. Until then have a great rest of your morning.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch Season 1 Review

Hey guys! Happy Friday! Today’s been absolutely insane. I finished the first season of Sabrina the Teenage Witch this morning, which is what I’m going to be reviewing today, I finally got around to watching Thor: Ragnarok this afternoon, and the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode IX, now titled Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (I’m not sure I like the name), dropped today as well. But those things I will get to another time. Right now it’s time to talk about Sabrina the Teenage Witch Season 1.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

When I was a kid ABC had a Friday night programming block called TGIF and I watched a lot of them including Full HouseDinosaurs, and Family Matters. But in 1996 Archie Comics licensed their comic book series, Sabrina the Teenage Witch to be developed into a live-action sitcom. My Dad worked weekends at the time so my Mom, my brother, my sister and I would sit in front of the TV on Friday nights and watch SabrinaBoy Meets WorldYou Wish, and Teen Angel. That was our tradition for three or four years until Boy Meets World ended and Sabrina changed networks. All that happened in 2000.

When I bought this season on DVD last weekend I was afraid the show wouldn’t hold up because I hadn’t seen the show in 19 years. But I took a chance because nostalgia kicked in and this was my favourite show when I was a kid. I finished this show in four days. 24 episodes in four days. It was exactly how I remembered it being.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is the most faithful adaptation of any comic book series I have ever seen. The comic is a comedy, it was never actually meant to be scary or weird or anything like that. And to have a TV show, a successful TV show at that, that follows that so faithfully is a big treat. It was especially a big treat in 1996, when comic book based TV shows were a novelty and mostly confined to the realm of Animation. It’s also the most wholesome show I have ever watched, besides Full House, and trust me no show is as wholesome as Full House is. Sabrina definitely comes close though. Particularly for a show made in the mid 1990s.

I absolutely love this show. Like I said at the beginning of this review, I hadn’t watched it in almost two decades so I was afraid it wouldn’t hold up as a show that I watched as a kid and was now checking out as an adult. My fear was unfounded because it held up really well for a now almost 23 year old season of Television.

Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina is amazing. There’s just something about her that made me alternate between wishing she was my older sister and wishing that she was my best friend. Kiernan Shipka’s Sabrina Spellman from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina felt the same way to me, but her insecurities were different than those of Melissa’s in this series. They each have different priorities as well. In this show Sabrina worries about her being discovered as a witch by her friends and classmates at school because she doesn’t want to actually be labeled as a freak, while Libby is the only one who calls her that. Whereas in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Sabrina is worried that her family would be persecuted for being Witches. Which makes the problems of Sabrina from the original show seem minor in comparison.

My absolute favourite part of this show for me is Salem, the cat. I mentioned in my season 1 review of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina that I didn’t really like where they went with the character, particularly since he didn’t really talk that much once he was in cat form. Nick Bakay as the voice of Salem though is amazing. He’s as instrumental to Sabrina learning about her powers as Aunt Zelda and Aunt Hilda are. Which is really cool. Speaking of the aunts, I like Aunt Zelda in this series way better than I have in the current Netflix series so far. I also love Caroline Rhea as Aunt Hilda a lot better too. Their dynamic is much better on this show than in the original.

The character that blindsided me the most is probably Jenny Kelly, Sabrina’s best friend this season. And not because she has a first name for a last name either. I don’t remember her that well from when I watched this show as a kid. I mostly remember Valerie from seasons 2 and 3. But Jenny was cool though and I vaguely remember her from the 1996 TV movie that served as a pilot episode for this series, but I haven’t seen that in over two decades so I don’t remember anything about it.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch Season 1

The DVD doesn’t have much on it. It’s just all 24 episodes of the season, spread out across four discs. There’s no bonus features or commentaries or anything on it. Just the episodes. I don’t know if there are any bonus features on the Complete Series set, but there aren’t any on this set. Which is fine because I just wanted the episodes to watch because the show isn’t available on Netflix and it isn’t on in reruns on any channel here in Canada. Plus the DVD was $10 so I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to watch the show again.

It was awesome getting to go back and watch this show again. It was one of the staples of my early teen years and it was one of the shows that my family got together and watched every Friday night. Well, four of us. Three of us really, because my mom usually fell asleep in her chair while we watched the shows. I have such nostalgia for that time in my life because it was simpler back then. I mean what’s more simple than spending a Friday night watching TV with your family? I had friends at school, but we were just kids and we lived in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere at the time, so it’s not like we could hang out at the mall or go to the movies easily on a Friday night. Even hanging out at each other’s houses was a pain because we didn’t live in the same neighbourhood and I didn’t even know Garrett yet when Sabrina the Teenage Witch first started airing in 1996 so none of my friends were in biking distance of my house, though I’d had a few girls from school come visit me after I had a hernia operated on in a very….ah…sensitive spot. I’ll leave it at that.

So to be able to go back and rewatch this first season, which is a great season and binges really well, was a real treat for me. Especially since I’ve been not as enthusiastic about a lot of TV shows these days. Particularly the newer comic book based TV shows. Oh by the way Sabrina’s biology teacher this season was played by Paul Feig. Yes, the guy who made the Ghostbusters movie that everyone hated back in 2016. THAT Paul Feig. Before he became infamous for “ruining” Ghostbusters. I was actually surprised because I didn’t realize that he was an actor, not just a director, writer, and executive producer.

I think I’ve gushed about this show enough for today. It was fun revisiting memories of watching Sabrina and Boy Meets World with my family, and revisiting the show in general. I definitely recommend revisiting this gem from the past if you’re like me and watched it when you were a kid, or watched it with your kids when they were younger if you’re like my parents. Or if you’re just a fan of the Archie Comics comic book series. Anyways guys I’ll be back soon with more reviews and other posts. Until then have a great weekend and I will talk to you later.

Anime: Why It’s Been A Constant Thing in My Life

Hey guys! How’s it going? Tomorrow’s Friday and that means it’s the weekend. I don’t have any huge plans this weekend like I did last weekend, and no hunting for DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, comic books, or VHS’s this weekend, but a friend of mine is coming over on Saturday and I haven’t seen her in four or five years so I’m really excited to see her again. Today I decided to come on and talk about something that I don’t really talk about on this blog and that’s Anime. I have a few friends who are way more into Anime than I am and are probably better qualified to talk about it, but even though I don’t watch a lot of current Anime, it’s been a big part of my life since I was a really little kid. So that’s what I want to talk about today. To start off let’s go back to the very first Anime that I ever watched.

Speed RacerAlice's Adventures in WonderlandAstroboy

The very first Anime I ever watched were three of the oldest ones that came to North America in the ’60s and the ’80s. They are: Speed RacerAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Astroboy (Tetsuwan Atom). I didn’t actually watch Speed Racer until about the mid-’90s when my parents rented episodes of the show on VHS for me, but I’m putting it here because it is the oldest Anime that I watched growing up. The other two were on TV in reruns by the time I saw them in the early ’90s, circa 1990 or 1991.

Now you have to understand that I was only four or five years old when I watched these shows, so I had no friends who watched them, no way to find out about them because there was no internet yet, and no access to them once I’d watched the episodes. So I had no idea what Anime was or that these shows were from Japan or anything like that. I treated them like they were just like any other cartoon that I was watching at the time. That’s how the TV networks seemed to treat these shows. At least here in Canada.

They were on alongside cartoons like Inspector GadgetTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesThe Real GhostbustersThe SmurfsThe Care BearsThe Adventures of Teddy RuxpinThe New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and The Smoggies (does anybody remember that show?). In fact I remember being awake at the hospital at like 6 or 6:30 in the morning, turning on the TV and watching Astroboy and then Droids and Ewoks right after. Then the mid-’90s came along, Anime exploded into popularity here in North America (it had been a niche thing before that) and it happened because a klutzy 14 year old girl got super powers from a talking cat and began her career as Sailor Moon, the Champion of Justice.

Samurai Pizza CatsSailor MoonPokemonDragon Ball ZYu-Gi-Oh!DigimonMedabots

There was one more Anime that I used to watch before Sailor Moon began airing over here and that was Samurai Pizza Cats, which is basically a spoof of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was still super popular in 1990, and in about 1992 or 1993 when I started watching the Pizza Cats. This was a super ridiculous Anime but I loved it. It was on on YTV’s The Zone on weekday afternoons with RugratsVideo and Arcade Top 10Mighty Morphin Power RangersCaptain Planet and the Planeteers, and reruns of Alvin and the Chipmunks and Batman (1966). And then Sailor Moon started and I was absolutely blown away by the characters, the story, and the action, even if the dialogue was cheesy and certain characters were annoying.

Other Anime began coming over here like Dragon Ball ZPokemonYu-Gi-Oh!Digimon, and Medabots. My brother loved Yu-Gi-Oh! but I never got into it. Those were just the ones I knew about. There were so many others like Mobile Suit Gundam WingCardcaptorsEscaflowneHamtaroBeyblade and tons of others that I didn’t even know about. And with the exception of Dragon Ball Z and Yu-Gi-OhI watched all the ones I knew about (the ones I have images for above). By this point I was going into high school, I’d lost interest in PokemonMedabots was done, Sailor Moon was finishing airing the anime’s third and fourth seasons (Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon SuperS) and wouldn’t air the fifth season (Sailor Moon Stars), and the only Anime that I was watching at the time was Digimon and I would basically stop watching it after the third season (Digimon Tamers) though my brother would watch season 4 (Digimon Frontier) on YTV for a bit after that. With that it seemed like my history with Anime would be over. I was completely and utterly wrong.

In high school (2001-2006) I met my friends Brad and Kelly. Both of them are heavily into Anime, with Kelly being into Japanese Culture in general and over the years they’ve each shown me a ton of Anime. Not so much in high school though, because we still didn’t have access to a whole ton of Anime yet as this was still before video streaming became a thing and we didn’t have access to the Anime DVD and VHS releases yet. It wasn’t until we were in our twenties that Brad and Kelly started showing me Anime on DVD.

Mobile Suit Gundam WingNeon Genesis EvangelionDesert PunkDurarara!!JormungandThe Mightiest Desciple KenichiMy Hero AcademiaHaganai - I Don't Have Many FriendsFullmetal AlchemistFull Metal Panic!Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone ComplexHigh School DxDFood WarsGargantia on the Verdurous PlanetMaid Sama!

Both Brad and Kelly have shown me tons of Anime over the last twelve years or so. I can’t name all of them and not all of them stood out to me (as good or bad), but the images you see above are the fifteen Anime that I watched that stood out to me, whether I enjoyed them or not. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and Fullmetal Alchemist are probably the two most iconic and popular Anime series that I’ve watched out of these fifteen. Brad showed me both of them and Gundam Wing was the very first one that Brad showed me. Of course being that I was watching it in the summer between semesters at Algonquin College I binged it in seven or eight days. Fullmetal Alchemist is also the one that annoyed me the most because of how long it was and the fact that I’d be in the middle of enjoying the story, then suddenly it would go off on a tangent with characters I didn’t care about. They’re not my favourite of all the ones I watched though.

My two favourite Animes that Brad and Kelly have recommended to me are The Mightiest Desciple Kenichi and Haganai: I Don’t Have Many FriendsFull Metal Panic! was also really good, but the other two are my favourite, simply because I could completely relate to the main character in each show. If I can get my hands on these two shows again I’m going to go more in depth because I wasn’t running this blog when I originally watched them so I’ve never gotten to talk about them aside from talking about them with Brad after I’d watched them. Now there are two more Animes that I’d like to mention before I wrap things up for the day. They’re a throwback to the ’90s and my biggest days of watching Anime.

Sailor Moon Crystal

In 2014 Sailor Moon Crystal started airing. Unlike the original Anime which came out in the ’90s, this version stripped away all the filler and changes made in the adaptation process and stuck closer to the Manga than the original series had. By this time I’d already started collecting and reading the English translation of the Sailor Moon Manga and so I appreciated what Sailor Moon Crystal was doing in a way I might not have had I not started reading the Manga when I did. And because they’d removed all of the extra storylines and character stuff that made the original Anime so iconic, the story moved at a much faster pace, even more so than the live-action Tokusatsu version did in the mid-2000’s. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep up and I was forced to stop watching it before the end of the first season. One of these days I’m going to track it down and watch it all the way up to where the show is now. The DVD and Blu-ray sets are expensive, but not as expensive as the DVD and Blu-ray sets of the original Anime, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to get them. That’s my goal though.

Digimon Adventure tri

The last throwback Anime that I watched a few years ago was Digimon Adventure tri.. This is a direct sequel to the first two seasons of Digimon that I watched in the late ’90s and early 2000’s, starring the original DigiDestined from the original series. I only got to watch the first four episodes, which make up the first movie, because Kelly and I watched it at her place during one of our weekend hangouts. So I haven’t seen past that. It’s another Anime that I would like to try and track down and watch all the way through one of these days.

So that’s my history with Anime. I’d like to try and talk about Anime a bit more on this blog because I enjoy it, even though my tastes are different than those of my friends and with Netflix and friends with Anime I have access to a bunch of it. I also have the first episode of Pokemon, the first season of Dragon Ball Z, the first two seasons of the original English dub of the original Sailor Moon Anime, and a few episodes from the first season of the more recent English dub of the original Sailor Moon Anime on DVD and digitally. Digimon isn’t available on iTunes though so I wasn’t able to get any episodes of that series unfortunately.

What Anime of the ones I’ve mentioned or included images for have you seen? What are some of your favourite Animes? Let me know in the comments below.

That’s it for me for today, but I will be back tomorrow with my full season review of the first season of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (I’m already halfway through the season). Until then have a great evening and I will talk to you later. Bye for now.

Nintendo 64 Memories: The Summer of 1999

Hey guys! How’s it going? I’m pretty good. Last week I did a post about Fandom and how it’s changed for me from when I was growing up in the ’90s, before there was the internet and before there were the huge online fan communities on social media as there are now, to now, and as part of the post I talked about video games and how I used to play Nintendo 64 with my friend Garrett. I mentioned how I’d like to talk about my memories of playing video games with my friends in middle school and high school because I have more memories of playing video games with my friends than I have memories doing anything else. Especially from middle school and high school in the late ’90s and early 2000’s.

Originally I was going to just do a single post about this because why not right? Then I thought about it more and I decided that the post would end up being so long that nobody would want to read it. So I decided to split it up into segments and make an entire series about my memories playing the Nintendo 64 with my friends. These memories go all the way up to 2014 or 2015 when I played Super Smash Bros. and Mario Party with Katie on her Nintendo 64, in her game room. Right now though we’re going to go back twenty years when I was only 12 years old.

Super Smash Bros.      Mario Kart 64

When I was twelve years old my brother, sister, and I went to stay with my grandparents at their cottage in the Laurentians, in Quebec. I think at the time we were only there for two weeks, though I remember going up again later that summer, closer to the end before the new school year started and I went into grade 7. Anyway we were up there and they had an event night for the kids at the social club. So all three of us went and while I was there I met some other kids. Now this was the summer that Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was in theatres, and by that time I’d already seen the movie twice at the theatre, which was extremely rare for me at the time. It still is. But I was downstairs in the basement of the club building and I came across two boys talking about The Phantom Menace. I remember one boy saying that he’d heard somewhere that Queen Amidala was going to be the mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. I’ll talk more about that when I get around to reviewing The Phantom Menace. But that boy’s name was Cam, and Cam had a Nintendo 64.

Before I met Cam I’d only played the Nintendo 64 once. I’d been in the hospital at Christmas Time in 1996 with a sinus infection and so I ended up getting to play Super Mario 64 while I was there. But otherwise I’d never played anything like this console before. My siblings and I wouldn’t get our own N64 until six months later as we’d gotten it for Christmas that year. So Cam would come over to my grandparents’s place every single day, with his Nintendo 64 and we would play either Mario Kart 64 or Super Smash Bros. But it wasn’t just Cam who came over.

The other kid I’d met that day at the club event was Colin. Now, Colin has a big family and I was pretty good friends with all of them. But I got along with Colin and his brother, Benjamin the most because they were both into some of the same hobbies as I was, like Star Wars, video games, and movies. I remember that whole time I was up at the cottage, and we weren’t playing N64 with Cam, the two boys and I would talk about Star Wars, particularly Episode I since it had just come out and there was still three years before Episode II was going to come out (this was back in the days where you had to wait three years for a new Star Wars movie rather than having one every year).

So all these kids came over every day because it wasn’t just Cam, Colin, Benjamin, and I. Colin and Benjamin’s siblings, Serena, Nicole, Marlee, and Maddy came over as well, and of course my brother and sister were there and we would play Nintendo 64 all day, stopping only for lunch, with the other kids usually going home for lunch and then coming back after lunch to continue the fun, which was really long for me because I was tube fed back then, so lunchtime was the longest part of that summer for me. It was also the first time where age didn’t matter, as we were all varied in age with Nicole and I being the oldest and Maddy being the youngest, with everyone else aged in between us.

Aside from playing these two games, which I will get to talk about in a moment, I think what made that summer so awesome was the fact that for the first time other kids didn’t see me for my disabilities. They knew I had them and everything, but it didn’t matter to them. I sort of had that in grade 6, which I had just gotten out of, but that was limited to the schoolyard and didn’t spill into my home life. This was pretty much the first and only time that I got to experience hanging out with other kids without needing a ride from my parents, or the kids needing rides from their parents. Colin’s family owned a cottage less than five minutes away from where my grandparents lived, and Cam’s parents were renting a cottage just down the street from my grandparents’s place. Before this I’d only ever seen this on TV or in the movies, because none of my friends at home lived anywhere close to where I lived. Garrett lived close enough to come over on his bike but I wasn’t friends with any of the kids in my neighbourhood. And none of the kids I went to school with lived in my neighbourhood.

Super Smash Bros.

One of the things that I loved about playing these games with Cam was how much he came up with in terms of jokes and snide comments. On Super Smash Bros. he would say the most random stuff like he was trying to distract us so he could defeat us. For example if he was Donkey Kong he would make DK jump into the air, pause the game, move the camera so we’d be looking at DK’s feet and just blurt out, “Smell my feet!” and then quickly unpause the game and knock one of us out before we could hit him. And nine times out of ten it worked. Another remark he’d make if one of us played as JigglyPuff was when we died, he’d say, “JigglyPuff’s Lullaby Corner is closed permanently due to JigglyPuff’s death!” With these remarks alone, he had us laughing so hard that we couldn’t concentrate on the game. I never beat Cam at the game either because I didn’t own an N64 or the game yet, so the only time I could play it was when Cam brought it over or I went to his place.

Mario Kart 64

It was pretty much the same with Mario Kart 64 as well, because, that was a game I actually didn’t own. We rented it a few times, but we never owned it, even after we got our own N64 console. But it wasn’t that different from Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo in terms of the controls, so I actually got pretty good at it. And just like with Super Smash Bros. Cam made snide remarks and had a commentary going the whole race. There was this one track where you’re driving on a regular city road with vehicles on the road as well. And if you got hit by a vehicle you ended up falling behind in the standings because it made you stop. So there was this time where we were playing on this track (Toad’s Turnpike I believe is the name of the track) and I got hit by a truck and Cam was like, “Truck death!” and just carried on in that manner the whole race.

I haven’t thought about that summer in a really long time. I’m still friends with Serena, Colin, and Marlee, but unfortunately they all live in other cities so I don’t get to see them very often. Especially since our cottage has passed into other hands so I don’t get to go up there anymore. I haven’t seen Cam in about eighteen or nineteen years though and I’m not friends with him on Facebook or anything like that unfortunately.

It was just a magical time though, because up to that point, as I said, I hadn’t had that experience of hanging out with friends whenever I wanted. And being a kid who was physically handicapped AND had developmental issues as well, it was harder for me to make friends. Especially at school where I was consistently the only kid in my grade or in my whole school who was in a wheelchair. So, to be accepted by so many kids at one time was a truly wonderful feeling. If I’d known what middle school was going to bring I don’t think I would ever have wanted that summer to end. That’s a story for another time though.

It’s hard to believe that these two games brought together so many people into one place in that particular period of time. That was my first real co-op experience when it comes to video games. The NES and Super NES just didn’t have that. At least, not with the games we owned, and not to the extent that Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 64 did. I mean the Super Mario games sort of had that on the NES and Super NES, but that was more an exercise on learning how to take turns rather than truly playing a game together. And like I said I still talk to Colin, Serena and Marlee occasionally, I just don’t get to see them because we don’t live in the same city.

I’ll end things there for the time being. But, I’ll be back another time for the next stage in my memories of playing the Nintendo 64 with various people over the years with some of the best times I’ve ever had with a friend. I’ll be talking about the time I spent playing GoldenEye 007007 The World is Not Enough, and Perfect Dark with my friend Garrett and all the things we did back in those days. I’ll also be back on Friday with my review of season 1 of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. I might also do a comic book review somewhere in there as well. So until next time have a great evening.

Comic Book, DVD, and VHS Haul, April 6th, 2019

Hey guys, I’m back! I’ve got quite a haul to show you today from the last week. Most of it is from my trip to Kingston with Brad and Jonathan, but the comics are from last weekend. I’m going to separate it out into comic books, DVDs and VHS’s. So without further ado, let’s jump right in shall we? First up are the two comics.

Batman - The Dark Knight Adventures          Marvel Milestone Edition - Amazing Spider-Man #129

Last weekend the Ottawa Comic Book Convention was held on Sunday. Now I need to be clear about this because some of you might be confused as to what this is. This isn’t Ottawa Comiccon with celebrity guests, Artists’ Alley, panels, photo ops, and autograph signings. This is merely a comic book sale. I didn’t go to this sale. Knowing we were going to be going to Kingston yesterday, and because I’d spent most of the previous day in the hospital, I chose not to accompany Brad to the sale. While he was there though he picked up Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures and Marvel Milestone Edition: Amazing Spider-Man #129. Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures is actually the second of two volumes that collected the first twelve issues of The Batman Adventures back in 1994.

As you know I am quite fond of this series and this volume actually collects the first four issues that my mom ever bought for me back in 1993 along with two issues that I missed. So when Brad sent me a message with a picture of it, I jumped on it because it’s been out of print for 25 years and it was cheaper than the volumes that DC is currently putting out of the series.

The Marvel Milestone Edition comic is a 1992 reprint of The Amazing Spider-Man #129 from 1973 which introduced Frank Castle a.k.a. the Punisher into the Marvel Universe. An original edition of this issue fetches collector’s prices at conventions and on eBay so this is a great way to own the issue without breaking the bank to buy an original copy. I’ve flipped through both books and they’re pretty cool. Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures does something that DC generally wasn’t doing with their trade paperback collections at the time. It included the original covers for all six issues as chapter stops instead of just putting them in a cover gallery as most trade paperbacks from DC Comics were doing in the ’90s. So that was really cool.

The Great Mouse Detective (DVD)Star Trek - Voyager Season 1Sabrina the Teenage Witch Season 1EuroTripWatchmen

I’m now going to cover everything I bought on my trip yesterday, starting with the five DVDs that I bought. So, in Kingston, I don’t know if they’re also in Ottawa, there’s a store called Chumleigh’s where you can get second hand media such as books, CD’s, DVDs, Blu-rays, VHS tapes and vintage video games. It’s basically a thrift store without the clothes, hardware and toys. Brad, Jonathan and I visited all three Kingston locations. The DVDs that I picked up at two of the three locations are: The Great Mouse DetectiveStar Trek: Voyager Season 1Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Season 1EuroTrip: The Unrated Edition, and Watchmen: The Director’s Cut.

I used to own The Great Mouse Detective on VHS when I was a kid. We kept it at my grandparents’ place for us to watch it over there and I really enjoyed that movie. But, I’ve never owned it on DVD before and haven’t owned a copy of the movie on any format since the original VHS release from 1992. So when I saw it on the shelf at Chumleigh’s I grabbed it because it was actually cheaper there than the later DVD edition that I saw at Odds & Sodds (a local second hand media store) last year.

The two first season sets are of course awesome. Star Trek: Voyager Season 1 is the original release from 2004. It was re-released in new packaging a couple of years ago so this one’s been out of print for a while. It was also a reasonable price, so I grabbed it as my goal is to own at least the first season of every Star Trek TV show on DVD because trying to collect every season of every Star Trek series is an expensive endeavor, particularly if you want the original DVD releases rather than the more recent ones. Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Season 1 is a more recent release as it has the CBS DVD logo on the spine rather than the Paramount Home Video logo as it was first released in 2007. I can’t wait to watch this series again. I’d bought the pilot episode from iTunes but now I can watch the entire season instead of just the pilot. Which is pretty cool.

EuroTrip was a popular comedy when I was in high school. In fact I think it’s the only movie I actually recall hearing everybody at school talking about. To this day I’ve still never seen it as I’ve never had access to it. But, I recognize some of the actors on the cast list, and it was a pretty popular movie when I was a teenager, so I decided to pick it up finally.

A couple of years ago I picked up the theatrical cut of Watchmen on DVD at a flea market that Brad I went to. I saw the Ultimate Cut after my ex-girlfriend, Vicki, lent me the DVD box set while we were dating back in 2015, and the Director’s Cut was on there as well, but I stuck to the Ultimate Cut at the time. So when I saw the 2-disc Director’s Cut on DVD at the first Chumleigh’s we stopped at yesterday, I picked it up so I can get rid of the theatrical cut. Now onto the VHS. I got quite a lot of them so I’m going to split these up into sections.

CinderellaThe Lion KingI'll Be Home for ChristmasPinocchioSnow White and the Seven DwarfsThe Princess Bride

I bought six clamshell case VHS tapes yesterday. Five of them are Disney movies, and one isn’t. Two of them were re-acquisitions as I used to have the original VHS release of The Lion King and the VHS of I’ll Be Home for Christmas when I was growing up. The other four are movies I’ve owned or seen, but in different versions. We had the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection editions of Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and I had the Walt Disney Classics edition of Pinocchio. I think this VHS release of The Princess Bride is the one I remember watching at school in grade 8. I’ve never owned The Princess Bride before. I read the book a few years ago, but I haven’t seen the movie in seventeen years so hopefully I’ll get to enjoy the movie once I get a VCR hooked up to my TV. The rest of the VHS tapes I bought are slipcase ones and there are a lot of them so this is where I’m going to have to split them up.

Dr. No GreaseStar Trek II - The Wrath of Khan (VHS)Star Trek III - The Search for Spock (VHS)Home AloneStar Trek 25th Anniversary Special

So the first set I picked up are Dr. NoGreaseStar Trek II: The Wrath of KhanStar Trek III: The Search for SpockHome Alone, and Star Trek 25th Anniversary SpecialStar Trek IIStar Trek III, and Grease are actually the same versions of the three movies that my parents owned when I was growing up. Although, unlike the version that my mom had, this one doesn’t have the demo CD or the behind the scenes booklet, but I really just wanted the tape for the movie, not the bonus material. Home Alone is the 1997 release. My grandparents, or my parents, had the original 1991 release when I was a kid. I don’t remember watching it at home or at my grandparents’ place though. I do remember watching it at the hospital though. Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special is an elusive tape for me.

When I was a child someone who worked at my school owned it, or owned a tape that had the special taped off TV, and she’d brought the box to show me, but didn’t include the tape and being the Star Trek fan that I am, I wanted to watch the tape. I never got it though. So when I saw it in the VHS section of the final Chumleigh’s that the boys and I went to, I picked it up as part of the 15 VHS that I bought as all VHS were $1 each or 15 for $10. Except for Home Alone and Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special I actually own all of these movies on DVD. On to the second batch of six.

Jurassic ParkStar Trek GenerationsIndependence DayGeorge of the JungleThe World is Not EnoughThe Mummy

Again these are all movies that I have seen and enjoy. I also own three of the six of these movies on DVD. My dad has The World is Not Enough on DVD as part of the Ultimate James Bond Collection box sets (I don’t remember which volume it’s in) and I own Jurassic Park (I just bought that recently) and Star Trek Generations on DVD. But, again, these are all movies that I’ve seen at some point, and owned two of them on VHS, and I just haven’t found all of them on DVD yet. For me the coolest find is George of the Jungle just because it’s a later title that I didn’t get until I was eleven years old and because I haven’t been able to find it on DVD. Independence Day was a cool find as well.

Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom MenaceX-MenThe Mummy ReturnsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The last four tapes are all eighteen to twenty years old. Aside from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets I have all of these movies on DVD. But again, these are movies that I first saw on VHS. I remember sitting in my bedroom, with my sister in like 2003 watching X-Men on my TV/VCR combo set. So, because all of these tapes were only a dollar each, I just grabbed them.

I love seeing all of these old VHS tapes, looking at the covers, and for most of them, remembering when I first saw the movies, whether or not it was on that particular VHS release of the movie. That’s why I collect VHS, DVDs, and Blu-rays. Yes the movies or TV shows on them are what makes the memories, but these formats help to make those memories because they are the vessel on which these movies are delivered to us as viewers once they’re out of theatres. This is how movies live on long after they’ve ended their theatrical runs. And it’s great to see them on my shelves.

Alright guys I think I’m going to end things here for today. I had so much fun with Brad and Jonathan yesterday. I’m sure by the time we turn 90 we’ll have done this many more times. I’ll be back with more reviews and posts very very soon. So until then have a great evening and a great rest of your weekend and I will see you all later. Bye for now!