Guide to Gaming – Senran Kagura – Part 2 – Characters – Hanzo National Academy

Senran Kagura features characters that are now my very favorites in all video games. That being said, I’ll gladly take the time to devote several posts to describing the characters from each of the series’ factions, starting with the series’ protagonists from the secret shinobi training program of the Hanzo National Academy.



Asuka is the main character of the Senran Kagura series. She is the 16-year-old granddaughter of the legendary good shinobi, Hanzo, for whom the Hanzo National Academy is named. Asuka is very bright-eyed and optimistic, and she is also very friendly, often attempting to befriend everyone she meets, even those who are initially her enemies, such as Homura, Kagura, and Yumi. She deeply cherishes the people around her, having learned as such from her grandfather. Furthermore, Asuka is able to see the good in everyone and is able to always find a way to end conflict without killing. In my opinion, this is what makes her stand out from many other game heroes, ad is perhaps the greatest example of her strong sense of humanity, as she is able to influence everyone around her for the better.



Now, I’ll be covering the love of my life, Ikaruga. I don’t even know where to begin. She’s the 18-year-old class representative and comes from a long line of shinobi who are publicly known as a major financial group. Se is actually a distant relative of who was adopted by the family’s head because his son was not cut out to be a shinobi, which led to an internal conflict within Ikaruga as her adopted brother resented her for taking his place in the shinobi bloodline. Even so, she still manages to keep an incredible level of composure, eventually being able to make peace with her brother and her own inner struggle, throughout the course of the series’ story. She is very kind and caring, often looking for the best way to make everyone happy. However, while she is usually patient, she does have moments when she loses her composure, becoming either embarrassed or annoyed by Katsuragi’s antics. Out of all the characters in the series, she is my number one favorite. I love everything about her. Her sword skills are amazing to see, and I can’t help admiring her gorgeous black hair and beautiful blue eyes.



Katsuragi is quite an interesting character, personality-wise. She is a perverted 18-year-old girl who takes great pleasure in groping the other girls, ofen to their dismay. In fact, she actually takes great joy in their cries of objection as well, and she seems to be completely devoted to this practice. I would like to think that in real life, we all know that this kind of predatory behavior is a pretty serious offense, but all the same, just the fact that Takaki actually came up with a character like this is quite amusing to me. Take that as you will. She is actually training to become a shinobi so that she can gain redemption for her parents, who were forced to become renegades after having failed a mission. They are currently in hiding to protect themselves from assassins. While shinobi law considers renegades to be evil, Katsuragi continues to believe in the good in her parents, and saving them from shame is her ultimate goal.



Yagyu is a 16-year-old shinobi prodigy. She is very serious about her shinobi training and devotes much of her time to her practice, making free time only to be with Hibari, whom she cares deeply for, and to pay respects to her deceased younger sister, Nozomi. Nozomi was killed in a traffic accident as a child, ad as a sign of remembrance, Yagyu used Nozomi’s ribbon to make an eyepatch, which is her greatest treasure. Yagyu cares very deeply for Hibari because she reminds her of Nozomi.



Hibari is a bright-eyed and cheerful 16-year-old girl. She is very friendly and enjoys interacting with others. The truth is that Hibari actually dislikes conflict and did not initially wish to become a shinobi, preferring to open up a sweets shop instead. But she inherited her family’s special puppetry power, Kagan, which manifests and the eyes and allows her control over others. So if anyone is wondering why Hibari’s eyes look unusual, it’s because of Kagan. She holds a deep fear and loathing of this power, at one point believing she was using it unconsciously. She cares deeply for the people around her, ad will even attempt to prevent them from making grave mistakes. She is series creator Kenichiro Takaki’s favorite character.

Yomi has some of the best themes.

Yomi from the Senran Kagura series is among my very favorite characters in all video games, along with pretty much every other girl from this delightful franchise. Because of this, I thought it would be cool to do a post compiling some of her musical themes. Also worth noting is that while I make my undying love for Ikaruga well-known, I do actually think her and Yomi would be very cute together.

Envious Gaze from Senran Kagura Burst. The melody to this song is simply exquisite.

Sprouts of Fire from Shinovi Versus. This is a very upbeat and catchy song, and listening to it, I can’t help but think of the best Sega Genesis tracks.

I Devote Myself to Sprouts, My Lovely Bean Sprouts from Bon Appetit. A very fast, infectious tune. Need I say more?

Sprouts, Me, and Seafood from Estival Versus. This song is definitely going to stay in your head for a while. It simply addicting.

Harassment in roleplay spaces

I didn’t want to have to write this. When I started this blog so many months ago, (I think over a year) I wanted to be positive. Unfortunately, problems arise and sometimes, one person who doesn’t stand to gain anything can make a difference. I am not writing this because I want to. I am writing this because I have to. So without further ado, let’s get started.

The current issue I seek to address has to do with online roleplay. I can attest to the fact that roleplay is fun. Roleplay is a wonderful little activity for passing a few hours of your free time, if everyone involved is happy and comfortable. However, just like with any hobby, a few bad eggs can ruin everything for everyone else.

For me, it all started when I noticed a woman who roleplays as Vert from Hyperdimension Neptunia with the username “per__Vert” (it’s a pun) tweeting about how she was being accused of harassment because she was talking about her experiences with recent harassment. I suppose a statement like this would seem confusing to some, but it reminded me of people I knew, so I took interest in these events. She would later post evidence of harassment towards her in the form of screencaps.

A detailed account of events, with the URLs of harassing tweets can be found here:

Now, I’m no detective, but I find this to be pretty concrete evidence of harassment. The group in particular is called “CCP”. (I don’t know what that stands for. Please do not ask me.) The people who are at the center of this group seem to really hate backlash. Case in point, a screencap of a rant by one of the ringleaders about how naming harassers is such a horrible, evil thing to do.

shitty person rant

Interesting argument. CCPNoire goes on to state that you should never bring your grievances with others into a public space. But what else can one do when someone tells them to “choke on pussy” and makes fun of them in a sexual context? Legitimate question here.

Now, let’s have a look at what is only a couple cringe-worthy tweets sent per__Vert’s way. (Fair warning. Some pretty ugly language is used here.)



Take a good long look at the behavior that’s being defended. These are horrible things to say, and per___Vert is actually tagged in these posts. How anyone can think of this as A-OK is beyond me. I suppose that next you’ll say “How do we know CCP condones this?” Well, that’s an easy question to answer. If you look, yu can see that CCPNoire actually retweeted the abusive tweets made by HienNoKoukeisha. Look if you want. Te evidence isn’t hard to find. per__Vert even took a screencap of it. (Which I am unable to upload from my tablet due to low memory, so you’ll have to go onto her profile for it. Oh, well.)

So let’s recap. Naming people as harassers is apparently wrong, but publicly demeaning a woman’s sexuality is A-OK in CCPNoire’s book. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

Something that is important to note here is that the CCP are going to keep going as long as people continue to ignore their wrongdoings. It’s like dealing with a schoolyard bully. You get in trouble for fighting back, and the attacker gets off scot-free regardless of what they’ve done. Bullies behave badly because they think they can get away with it. But if enough people take a stand, they start to see that they’re in big trouble. So don’t let the bullies rule the playground. Strike down harassment whenever you see it. Then, and only then, can this nightmare end for good.

Have a nice day.

-Dan Bordelon, Jr.

Guide to Gaming – Senran Kagura – Part 1 – Introduction

Hello, everyone. I am happy to begin a series of articles describing a number of incredibly entertaining video game series. This is something that I have wanted to do for quite some time now and will begin by introducing you to one of my favorite new franchises, Senran Kagura, which has quickly become a breakthrough hit in Japan and garnered a strong cult following in the West.

Senran Kagura, published by Marvelous Entertainment and created by Kenichiro Takaki, first debuted in Japan on the 3DS in 2011 with a side-scrolling beat-’em-up not unlike ’80s and ’90s classics such as Final Fight, Double Dragon, and Streets of Rage, but with a more tongue-in-cheek, cheesecake-y tone. The game told a story of five shinobi students, Asuka, Ikaruga, Katsuragi, Yagyu, and Hibari, as they battled against a rival school and began to discover the gray areas between good and evil, while also battling their own insecurities and anxieties. The game featured fast-paced combat, clothing damage, and numerous outfits for the characters to wear.

The game was followed in 2012 by an enhanced remake titled Senran Kagura Burst, which featured a new storyline from the perspectives of the protagonists’ rivals, Homura, Yomi, Hikage, Mirai, and Haruka. This group was initially presented as a team of evil shinobi, but eventually grew to be every bit as heroic as their rivals, further emphasizing a major theme of gray areas between good and evil. Senran Kagura Burst would later become the first game in the series to receive a western release when Xseed Games released an English version as a digital download on the 3DS eShop in 2013.

In later installments, the story elaborates further on the true nature of shinobi, revealing that both good and evil shinobi are meant to serve the same purpose of saving the world from calamity by slaying monsters known as Yoma, who are born from conflict and drawn out by the blood that is spilled in battles between shinobi. Those who are able to defeat Yoma are known as Kagura.

Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus, released for the PlayStation Vita in 2013 in Japan and 2014 in the US, served as a side-story and sequel to the first game, and introduced a competitive multiplayer component to the franchise, as well as ten new characters, Yumi, Murakumo, Yozakura, Shiki, Minori, Miyabi, Murasaki, Imu, Ryobi, and Ryona, and a revamped gameplay system allowing for greater freedom of movement.

In 2014, a direct sequel to the first game, Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson, was released for the 3DS. This installment features the addition of a system where two characters fight alongside one another, and the player can switch between controlling either of these characters on the fly. The story, set between the first game and Shinovi Versus, sees both Asuka and Homura’s groups working together to battle a force of Yoma. The game has been announced for a Western release in the Summer of 2015 by Xseed Games.

The most recent release in the series is Senran Kagura Estival Versus for the PlayStation 4 and Vita, released in Japan only two months ago, this game expands on the Shinovi Versus gameplay, adding elements from Deep Crimson, as well as enhanced Multiplayer options and the addition of cinematic, stage-based finishing moves. Estival Versus has not yet been announced for a Western release as of this writing, but I remain optimistic due to the strong success the series continues to enjoy internationally.

To conclude this article, I will state that underneath the suggestive, cheesecake-y presentation, Senran Kagura has a lot to offer, with frantic combat, lovable characters, and a fantastic storyline that are sure to leave you looking forward to more.

Later on, I will introduce you to the characters.

See you later,

-Dan Bordelon, Jr.

The Death and Rebirth of “Fandom”

For quite a while now, we have been watching the anime fandom take a turn for the worse. Now, before I begin, I would just like to say that I don’t intend to persecute anyone as I write this. Far from it, actually. Rather, I simply wish to call on you, dear audience to assist me in rebuilding “fandom” and restoring it to glorious life. So, that being said, do not take this as libel or slander. Rather, hear me out and listen as I discuss the ongoing in-fighting and online warfare that is currently being waged by those desperately clinging to the last vestiges of what they see as “deep anime”, or rather, what they personally see as “deep anime”, against those they blame for the supposed “death” of anime.

First, I will have to speak of early exposure of modern western audiences to anime. In the beginning, we didn’t get much. It was mostly either whatever could make it to kids’ networks over here or particularly violent action shows. When audiences got their first taste of Dragon Ball Z, Gundam, and Ghost in the Shell, they absolutely loved these shows. This is where they went wrong. Before I continue, I must first clarify that I do not think they are watching the wrong shows, nor do I believe they had bad taste. Certainly not. They simply got the wrong idea about anime. They started to believe that these shows represented the medium as a whole. However, the truth was that these shows were simply one part of a larger industry.

Over the years, anime localization has started to become more varied since then. More efficient, faster, and increasing in variety of titles. In particular, we are now becoming more exposed in particular, to elements such as cute girls, easygoing stories, and light-hearted humor that, together, have become known as “moe”. While some fines happily embraced this aspect of the medium with open arms, others did not.

Opponents of moe view it as a threat, so to speak. Because they did not know this aspect existed in anime, they deny that it did, and treat as a new thing and decried this ‘change” as a sign that they will eventually no longer see the types of anime they enjoy be made. A misconception created by willful ignorance. If this was the extent of their reaction, it could have been ignored. However, they did not stop there. They would go on to target the consumers of moe with ridicule, insults, and personal attacks.

From that point on, the “Anti-Moe Brigade” was born. The “Anti-Moe Brigade” is a collection of ideas that moe is a cancer that needs to be purged from anime and that consumers of moe are enemies to be mocked, insulted, and most of all, feared. Supporters of moe are labeled with such “glamorous” terms as “pedophiles”, “virgins”, and “basement dwellers”. Diagnoses of autism and aspergers are used as insults. The ultimate form of deliberate ableism. These attitudes could not be more gross and uncivil, and embody many of the problems described by Timeenforceranubis in his blog, She’s Lost Control Media, as well as the podcasts, NTR Radio and Otaku Midnight(formerly Podcast Zero). These problems also embody the “death”, for lack of a better term, of the anime “fandom”.

Now that the death of “fandom”, Let us talk about what can be done to restore fandom. It will be a long, difficult process. One that will require the effort of every willing anime fan to succeed. But it will also be a rewarding one.

The first step is to start addressing online warfare by its name, and start condemning it as the disgusting misconduct that it really is. We need more people fighting against online warfare. More people like Timenforceranubis, Kgods, and drawingirl94. We need more people who recognize warmongers for what they really are.

We will also need a lot more positivity in the community. As Timeenforceranubis has said, negativity is on the way out. We need to start looking optimistically to the future and quit with the cynicism. It’s time to say goodbye to pessimism, because nobody wants to hear from a doubting Thomas. Let’s can the insults and profanity and start being excellent to each other. Love makes the world go round, as the old saying goes.

We must afford no credibility to the notion that a certain group of people are consuming the “wrong” entertainment. There is no such thing as the wrong entertainment because entertainment is a purely subjective concept based in personal preference.

Well, there you have it. Three easy(?) steps to restoring “fandom”. It may seem difficult at first, but that is most likely because you have not done enough to help yet.

-Dan Bordelon, Jr.

Gamers Are Not Your Military

As you are probably already aware, the gaming community and the internet in general are kind of in turmoil.

It all started about a month and a half ago in August. I’m not entirely sure what the full story is, but a movement (if that’s what you want to call it) has been going on throughout all this time, and the division in attitudes, beliefs, and tactics is so astronomical, it’s kind of unsettling. I’m not going to mention the movement by name, but I believe you’ll know who I’m talking about.

The first problem with this movement is its lack of unification. On one hand, we’ve got people calling for ethics in video game journalism, and while I am certain that there are well-intentioned people who truly believe that this is what the movement is all about, these are not the voices with power in this movement. The people that do have power are the ones that we don’t want in that position.

The most powerful voices in this movement are using the fact that they have been playing video games for a long time as a means to garner sympathy for themselves and engage in online warfare against anyone who crosses their path. They deal in absolutes and have a “with us or against us” mentality stemming from a persecution complex.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Some of these people go far in their venting. Too far. They “doxx” their designated enemies by publicly revealing their personal contact information. This is then followed by rather violent, eerily specific threats of violence which drive these people out of their homes. Some directly mention the movement, and some don’t, but the targets are the same. Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Phil Fish, and Brianna Wu are among the people that have been doxxed and threatened.

This may not be the entirety of the movement, but it is the loudest, most prominent, most consistent group of people exploiting the movement’s hashtag. And they constantly create sock puppet accounts to continue the harassment, threats, and warmongering faster than anyone on either side of the conflict can do anything about it. More and more people are being dragged into this online warfare with each passing second and nobody is talking a stand to protect anyone from it. I have named the worst people in the movement “Galbadia”. Galbadia seeks nothing more than to pull the entire gaming industry, developers, journalists, and most specifically, other gamers, into their own private military, while branding anyone that doesn’t go along as a “social justice warrior”, whether they want to fight or not.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. The biggest thing that can help end online warfare is if pacifists unite to form a movement of their own to promote piece and civility and protect others from online warfare. But as the old saying goes: “United we stand, divided we fall.” I can’t keep innocent bystanders safe on my own. I need your help. And the way to help is very simple. Go onto Twitter and tweet your support for piece and civility in the gaming community and the protection of others from online warfare with #balambgamers, a hashtag of my own creation meant for peaceful discussion and the prevention of internet crossfire. If you want to know more about #balambgamers, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter. My Twitter username is @RyuubiGentoku2 and the account is registered under my real name, Dan Bordelon, Jr. I look forward to your feedback and support.


Superman/Batman: Public Enemies – Review

Since the late 2000s, Warner Brothers has released a series of direct-to-video animated films based on DC Comics’ extensive line of comic book properties and characters that are closer to the comics than any of the more family-oriented TV series in animation known collectively as DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is the sixth film in the series, based on the Public Enemies story arc from the ongoing comic series, Superman/Batman.

Public Enemies does a stellar job of bringing a story that actually feels like an adaptation of the comics and offering to offer for others.

Public Enemies does a stellar job of bringing a story that actually feels like an adaptation of the comics and offering plenty for others.

The story begins with Lex Luthor being elected the president of the United States and revealing that all superheroes will be required to register with the government. Captain Atom, Major Force, Power Girl, Katana, Black Lightning, and Starfire have all registered, but two certain big-time heroes have failed to register. Superman and Batman are continuing to act on their own, and this leads to conflict with their former allies. Meanwhile, a large kryptonite meteor is on a collision course with Earth, threatening billions of lives. The film focuses on both story arcs equally.

The first thing I want to say about this film is that the visual style is really, really good. The character designs are very well-done and the art direction is a perfect fit for the film’s action themes and can only work in this sort of production. Indeed, this particular visual style can only work with an action-packed production like Public Enemies.

Throughout the film, we’re treated to a number of exciting fight scenes featuring a number of DC heroes including Captain Atom, Power Girl, Captain Marvel (Now known as Shazam), Hawkman, and also a wide variety of villains. All of the action flies by very smoothly without any visual hiccups or framerate drops.

Warner Bros. assembled quite the impressive array of voice talent, with Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Clancy Brown reprising their animated series roles as Superman, Batman, and Lex Luthor, respectively. The musical is also impressive, and never seems strange or out of place.

The film’s writing is top-notch. It actually feels like a storyline from the DC Comics Universe and the lead characters never seem strange or out of character. Superman and Batman’s contrasting personalities of light and dark compliment one another very well and Luthor always seems like the manipulative, conniving scumbag he really is. This really is a genuine DC Universe production.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is a wild roller coaster ride full of exciting twists and turns, and I have no trouble recommending it to any superhero fan or action buff.

Final Score: 12 out of 15 (Excellent)