It’s been a while since I’ve done an AMV spotlight… so I’m sorry for that. But I couldn’t let #JRPGMonth without spotlighting at least one of the incredibly talented Game Music Videos(GMVs) out there created for JRPGs. The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy’s outstanding graphics and plethora of cutscenes are perfect for this type of creation, as spotlighted by creator TheXenatron.
Last summer the second season of Sword Art Online aired. Having loved the first season, although the Fairy Dance arc didn’t quite live up to the quality of SAO’s first arc, I was extremely excited for the second season. The sheer volume of summer and fall reviews kept me from revisiting this for you guys prior to now, but #JRPGMonth seemed like a perfect opportunity to tackle this RPG oriented anime… so how did it compare to the first season?
Like SAO’s first season, SAO2 was split into two separate arcs. Unlike the first season, they took a bit of a break between the two arcs this time by offering a short story to wrap matters up. The first half of SAO2 was the Phantom Bullet arc, which then lead into the Calibur short story and closed matters out with the Mother’s Rosario arc. For the purposes of this review I’ll tackle the two arcs separately, since they differed so greatly.
It’s true that JRPGs are not often noted for their strong casts – often having characters who are simply foils or who exist simply to provide comic relief -a but they are known for having individual characters who are among the best you’ll find anywhere.
This list will focus on some of the best characters I’ve seen and celebrating how well designed they are. Unlike the previous list, there are no limitations for games or series here. Good characters deserve recognition whether or not there happens to be another good character present.
Warning: Spoilers ahead
After many years I have gone back to Final Fantasy XIII. Now, unlike some, I enjoyed FFXIII in my first playthrough despite its poor cast and lack of truly defining story moments… so I was excited to get back into it and play it some more, this time with the added element of having an audience watching.
For #JRPGMonth I promised some Shadow’s Six lists. And I intend to deliver! But first, I had to take some time to figure out what was really important… what is it that makes JRPGs special. And, for the themes of these lists, I’m going to be focusing on exactly that. Each list will be devoted to one of the aspects that I love the most about JRPGs.
For my first list, I’d like to tackle probably the most consistent part of most JRPGs – fantastic soundtracks. Japan managed to even shove some amazing soundtracks onto the Super Nintendo – and with the midi-quality effects that system was capable of, creating a memorable soundtrack can’t have been easy. So in honour of their consistent achievement, I’d like to count down my six favourite JRPG Soundtracks! Just as a note, each series is only eligible to be on the list once and we can count that as being representative of the series’ greatness.