‘Onward’ Film Review

  Grade: B+

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Ratzenberger, Tracey Ullman, Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna, Wilmer Valderrama, Catherine Apple, Sharon Calahan, Grey Griffin, Chris Pratt, Kori Rae, Mel Rodriguez, Dan Scanlon, Octavia Spencer, Keith Bunin, Kyle Bornheimer, Noah Klocek, Lena Waithe, Adam Habib, Jason Headley, Tom Holland, Ali Wong, and George Psarras in Onward (2020)   With the Coronavirus epidemic hitting the United States as of late, and movie theaters closing up shop as a result. Films that have been released in the past few weeks have made the move from big screens to smaller, digital formats. Pixar’s newest feature, ‘Onward’ is one of those films. However, it is streaming on Disney+ as of Friday, April 3rd, which means if you have a subscription, you do not have to purchase it on your phone. Families can sit around the TV and watch the tale of two elf brothers as they go on a quest to bring back their father for a day.

Continue reading “‘Onward’ Film Review”

Crisis Council – A Semi-Cooperative Social Board Game for 3-4 Players (FREE)

How’s Everybody Doing?

I hope you are all doing well in spite of everything that’s been going on lately. This is just a quick article letting you know that my creative juices have been on overdrive. As a result, I created Crisis Council, another game that you can go download and play, absolutely free, right now! This was created under the social distancing period (now lockdown) as a way to stay active, but also to have something fun to do with friends and family (and of course, to share with all of you stuck at home).

This is my third-ever full game release following my previous title Tempting Fate and Into the Woods.., which has been highly rated and enjoyed by several hundreds of people now (thank you so much for that). With that, let’s dive right into what this game’s about!

Overview

In Crisis Council 3-4 players must work together to repeal a major threat (be it a kingdom fighting off an invasion, a city dealing with a viral outbreak, etc…). However, each player wants to profit when the dust settles. Do you have what it takes to stop the crisis and come out ahead?

-The Game’s Page

Currently this is just the BASIC rules for Crisis Council, I plan to create a much deeper version of the game in the future which is planned for both a digital and physical release. The full version will have a cost as well. Here’s what’s planned for that:

  • Hidden Roles/Objectives
  • Different Arbiter Setups (Tax Rates & Dice Pools)
  • Emergency Declarations (Modifiers for Rounds 2 & 3, Chosen by Arbiter From a Card Pool)

What’s in the Box?

Currently you have access to a 4 page PDF that contains all the rules you need to play Crisis Council. There is no set theme currently, you may decide on that for yourself. The game is relatively straightforward in the BASIC state and shouldn’t be much work to figure out. Just in case, an optional player aid is provided as a separate document.

What You’ll Need

For the BASIC version, you will need 35 six-sided dice and some friends. Do not worry if all the dice are the same size or color, this will not impact gameplay (though it is suggested you play with 35 identical dice when able).

Download Now!

For more information, you can see the game’s page here. Feel free to ask any questions here if you’d like as well. If you have a good time, I do suggest a donation because I put a lot of effort into this, but it isn’t required. You can do that on the game’s page or use my Ko-fi button below. Either is fine. I do ask, that you do rate and share the game if you can even if you don’t want to donate as that helps me out a lot!


Normally I’d write up some questions and such for you here. Just providing my Ko-fi link and wishing you an excellent day! 🙂

Anime ABC’s W Results

Legitimately Surprised!

Every round I put a couple of shows that I really want to review, even though I know they have next to no hope in winning. This voting round had Wataten! An Angel Flew Down to Me, World Conquest Zvezda Plot, and today’s winner.

With 14 unique voters, Witch Hunter Robin barely took the lead with 5 votes.

Right behind with 4 votes was Wolf’s Rain and WorldEnd (the one with the stupidly long title). In all honesty, I am glad Wolf’s Rain didn’t manage to win as I’ve seen it before, and while it is good, I am in no hurry to watch it again. WorldEnd I was interested in alongside the ones listed above, but I can’t really complain.

All said, I’m very excited to watch Witch Hunter Robin. It’s been out of print until just a year or two ago even though it aired in 2002. This one may take me a few weeks to go through with everything going on, but I should get this reviewed a lot faster than last round’s winner.

While you wait for this review consider checking out the previous winner, Versailles no Bara or my big alphabetized list of every anime I’ve reviewed. As always, the breakdown of the votes can be found below.

Widget_1f4d5690-9f9c-4a67-982e-72ce7b48f9ffWidget_26d17d47-bb17-4f85-b986-e25f2e748411

 

Other Votes: Weathering With You (note from Jon, this was purposefully left off of the vote proper as I can’t rewatch the film to give a good review but I have seen it), Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Working, and Wake Up Girls!

Girls’ Last Tour – Thoughts for a Dying World

Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness

A concept that is often explored in media is the resiliency of humankind. No matter how bleak or hopeless a situation appears, people always find a way to survive and carry on. In some ways Girls’ Last Tour echoes this message while depicting a surreal, lonely, dying world. As long as we have each other, we can enjoy the end of the world together, right? Continue reading “Girls’ Last Tour – Thoughts for a Dying World”

Tempting Fate – My Latest Role-Playing Game That You Can Play FREE Right Now!

How’s Everybody Doing?

I hope you are all doing well in spite of everything that’s been going on lately. This is just a quick article letting you know I created another tabletop role-playing game. You can download Tempting Fate and play, absolutely free, right now! This was created in under 24 hours under the social distancing period as a way to stay active, but also to have something fun to do with friends and family (and of course, to share with all of you stuck at home).

This is my second-ever full game release following my previous title Into the Woods.., which has been highly rated and enjoyed by several hundreds of people now (thank you so much for that). With that, let’s dive right into what this game’s about!

Overview

Whether a group of teenagers trying to escape a crazed killer, a gang of bank robbers trying to score big, or some kids trying to cheat a math test, all of them are tempting fate.

-The Game’s Page

Tempting Fate is a rules-lite tabletop role-playing game that can be enjoyed by
1-4 players and 1 narrator. The game may be enjoyed without a narrator or even solo should that be desired as well. While Tempting Fate is best suited for horror narratives, it supports any story that has high stakes where the players face major consequences if anything goes wrong (expulsion, arrest, insanity, or even death).

What’s in the Box?

Included is a short 17 page rulebook which houses the rules and 9 playbooks for players. There are no scenarios or settings included in this rulebook, but some ideas are offered to get you started. The rules are simple and easy to understand, fitting on about 7 pages.  The rest of the document being devoted to the playbooks which act as rules references and character sheets for the players.

What You’ll Need

In order to play Tempting Fate you will need a standard deck of 52 playing cards with both jokers, some tokens (several six-sided dice will work just as well), and this rulebook. Of course, you may want to invite a friend or two to play with you as well 😉

Download Now!

For more information, you can see the game’s page here. Feel free to ask any questions here if you’d like as well. If you have a good time, I do suggest a donation because I put a lot of effort into this, but it isn’t required. You can do that on the game’s page or use my Ko-fi button below. Either is fine. I do ask, that you do rate and share the game if you can even if you don’t want to donate as that helps me out a lot!

Hope you have fun with the game and I eagerly await your feedback! Best of luck to you as you try your hand at, Tempting Fate!


Normally I’d write up some questions and such for you here. Just providing my Ko-fi link and wishing you an excellent day! 🙂

#Anitwitwatches Season 5 – Wandering Son Schedule & Announcement

Welcome to the Fifth #Anitwitwatches!

We all know that anime can be goofy, action-packed, and a way to escape. However, this season of the watch we are watching a series called Wandering Son, an anime that explores real-world issues in a respectful and meaningful way. If you are LGBT, or even if you aren’t, this is going to be one watch you don’t want to miss!

Below you’ll find information on what the watch is as well as the schedule for the fifth season of #anitwitwatches. Thank you to everybody who has participated in the past and all of you who will be joining for the first time with this series!

What is #Anitwitwatches?

This is a weekly community event meant to bring folks together to revisit old favorites and discover new shows. It’s meant to be something you can get as involved in as you want, there is no pressure to participate every week or every watch, but we’d love to have you to share in the experience and discuss the shows we are watching all the same!

I was inspired to do this after seeing the “rewatches” that people do over at Reddit in the r/anime sub. Since I interact with a lot of you guys on Twitter, I thought it would be the perfect place to do something similar! That said, even if you do not have a Twitter you can still join in by posting any content via WordPress, YouTube, or whatever suits your fancy. If you do, be sure to send me an email at jonspencerreviews@gmail.com so I can share your wonderful creations!

For everyone else, simply watch the episodes for the week based on the schedule below. Make sure to use the hashtag, #anitwitwatches when you do, and that’s it! Discuss with the other folks participating, create content, and generally just have a fun time!

This next show was chosen based on YOUR votes, so let’s get to the watch schedule.

Wandering Son Watch Schedule

We will be taking a 1 week break, meaning that we will NOT be watching anything for the week of 3/23/20. This is to give me time to properly prepare for hosting the watch and give everybody else a little break before starting something new. We will be keeping the Monday time slot for this watch after careful consideration and feedback.

If you have not done so, you can see where you can watch Wandering Son for free, and legally, by using because.moe. Unfortunately, I cannot realistically check all regions but I aimed to make this as accessible as possible. That said, I won’t stop you from doing what you need to in order to participate. The more the merrier!

Here are the dates (all Mondays) and the episodes for each:

After careful consideration and feedback, we’ll be keeping the Monday dates once again. That’ll make this watch 7 weeks long with the usual break at the start. I hope you’re excited to watch this one and I look forward to all the excellent discussion!

Anime ABC’s – W Voting Round

Just a Few Rounds Left!

With The Rose of Versailles reviewed, even if it was a fair wait for you folks, I’m ready to once again embark on the Anime ABC’s journey! That review was a tricky one for a lot of reasons so I hope you’ll go and give it a look if you haven’t already. With that said, it’s time to get this show on the road!

Remember, if a show is missing from the list, be sure to consult my alphabetized list of everything I’ve ever discussed here. If you don’t see it there, go ahead and vote for it using the “Other” option. Encourage other folks to vote for it as well, it could always win!

Anime ABC’s W Voting Round Link <- Click Me!

Voting is open from today until 3/25/20 11:59 PM as usual.

Not Sure What Anime ABC’s Is?

Anime ABC’s is a fun community focused event that I run here at Jon Spencer Reviews. Any and all people can participate in this event, even if you know nothing about anime! So how exactly does this all work? It’s simple! Just follow the link above and vote for as many of the listed shows (or provide your own) that seem interesting to you. Each round moves to the next letter in the alphabet, so the current “W” round is the twenty third anime ABC’s. This is done to keep things interesting and to allow for more variety with each passing round.

The goal of this series is to encourage community input, interaction, as well as to allow me to discover cool new shows, or in some cases, rediscover ones that I previously watched. You can check out my previous ABC reviews for:

Be sure to click on any of the titles listed above (you can’t click on the pictures below, the link thing doesn’t work in a collage) to see what a finished product will look like!

 

 

What are you waiting for? Vote now and have your say in what anime I review next!

Anime ABC’s V is for Versailles no Bara

The Past Often Informs The Future

To date, Versailles no Bara or The Rose of Versailles, is the oldest anime I have watched to completion. Airing in the Fall season of 1979, this historical drama follows the history of the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette. It’s an almost surreal experience to watch a show and see just how much it has informed modern works, that and to see how anime has evolved with time. All of this holds especially true with a highly respected work such as The Rose of Versailles. Continue reading “Anime ABC’s V is for Versailles no Bara”

Saying Goodbye to Girls’ Last Tour – Concluding our Fourth #Anitwitwatches

Come and Vote!

The time has arrived once again to say goodbye to another great season of #anitwitwatches. For our fourth watch we settled on Girls’ Last Tour for a change of pace after School Days. Don’t fret though! We’ll be preparing to move on to a new show after next week. That’s where you come in! Below I’ll leave a link to our vote on Twitter where you can help decide what we’ll be watching next. Keep an eye out as we’ll be announcing the winner alongside the concluding thoughts for Girls’ Last Tour on 3/16/20.

I’ll be reviewing Girls’ Last Tour shortly after the watch concludes, so please look forward to that as well!

What is #Anitwitwatches?

This is a community initiative I started a few months ago where we get together and collectively watch an anime. Then, we talk about it on Twitter using the hashtag #anitwitwatches. The first ever watch was for Tonari no Seki-kun which was a lot of fun. You can view more information on the watch, as well as my review on Seki-kun here.

Our second watch was for Rampo Kitan which I had already written about previously, so that review won’t mention the watch at all. However, you can find all of the threads about any previous watch by searching the hashtag on Twitter or by clicking the linked #anitwitwatches right here.

As mentioned above, our third watch was for the infamous School Days! It wen’t over really well and has even lead others to watching the show some time after the watch has concluded. You can find those thoughts linked above and via the hashtag mentioned in the previous paragraph as well.

Why is X Show on the Poll?

As I mentioned last time, each show was carefully considered using a series of criteria to ensure that this activity remains fun and varied each time. Due to some oversight with the last voting round on my end and the heavy nature of School Days, I’ve elected to largely mix up the poll for this new season of #anitwitwatches. A short summary is provided below and in the actual voting thread above as well.

  1. Wandering SonThis is a carryover from our very first watch, it just keeps almost winning! There seems to be a lot of interest in it and I’m all for watching it. This  made my Top 20 Anime of the Decade list awhile back if you wants some quick thoughts.
  2. Rolling GirlsA CGDCT show with just enough depth to be interesting week-to-week. Very colorful and fun!
  3. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou – This is a story about failure, but learning to push on even in the face of adversity. For creatives like us, it’s perfect! The show is a 24 episode one, but don’t let that worry you. It’ll work just fine 😉
  4. Death Parade – Lately this show has been at the forefront of discussion in various circles of mine. This has me itching to watch it, and I’ve wanted to put it on the poll anyway.

Join in the Fun!

So get to voting! I hope to see you for the next watch and would love to hear about shows you’d like to see added to the poll in the future. If you have any questions feel free to ask, I’d be more than happy to answer!

Fall 2019 – 3 Disappointments

You Can’t Win Them All

It’s taken me a lot longer than expected to work my way through the remaining Fall 2019 anime, but now that I’ve finished most of the shows, it’s time to get to some reviewing! Today I’m going to cover 3 shows that disappointed me the most during the season. I chose to do so in this format as opposed to my typical one-show-one-review style as I either have said a fair bit on the show or didn’t have much to say in the first place. With that, let’s get to it! Continue reading “Fall 2019 – 3 Disappointments”