Check That Game Freak

Have you ever wanted to collect all of the cards, and I mean all of the cards? Then it is time to start printing out some checklists. And it just so happens that I have a couple of them for you to get started with.

Game Freak released them a while ago and I am glad that they did, since it is neat having them printed out and slipped into a binder, seeing what you have and don't have, and drooling over the names of cards you may never find.

I love the lists, but I will mention that none of them are actually 100% complete. Unfortunately, the checklist do not include the secret rares.

Base Sets

Base Set Checklist

Base set checklist

Base Set 2 Checklist

Base set 2 checklist

Jungle

Jungle set checklist

Fossil

Fossil set checklist

Rocket

Rocket set checklist

Gym Heroes

Gym Heroes set checklist

Gym Challenge

Gym Challenge set checklist

Neo Genesis

Neo Genesis set checklist

Neo Discovery

Neo Discovery set checklist

Fan Favorite: Black 2 & White 2

The reveal of Black/White Kyurem was done spectacularly. The game made use of the DS' visuals brilliantly here.

As for the gameplay, it's almost the same as the gameplay in Black and White, which is not a bad thing in the slightest since those contributions to the series were excellently done. And at the same time almost everything bad about the first Black and White were improved with these two games.

My favorite new feature was probably the Black Tower/White Treehollow. It was basically the Battle Tower with levels, EXP, and prize money, plus you got a free shiny dragon out of it.

I liked that it had its own final boss, too, Benga wasn't too bad. And in addition to that the evil team actually did something catastrophic and there wasn't a clear-cut happy ending.

Easily the most underrated feature.

There are so many items here. It's a great resource for a lot of items, including rare stones, thanks to the Black Tower/White Treehollow.

Almost all of the available Pokémon appeared in the game, with very few of the monsters being left out, and most of those were starters or legends. Speaking of legends, this game has 'em in spades. Heatran, the Regis, and Lati@s are just a few examples.

I don't care what you say, Ghetsis was gonna kill the player. Even if he only wanted to freeze you, that would have killed you, just a bit more slowly. The rest of the game is smooth sailing from there on out, I guess. The champion reveal is done well, though I feel it could have been someone else, as there was already a Dragon-type leader in the region.

The end credits theme is possibly my favorite in the series to date.

I will probably see Black 2 & White 2 as the perfect Pokémon games until they inevitably top themselves.

Anime Opening Music

*Neon Genesis Evangelion – Cruel Angel's Thesis*

It's pretty iconic opening and somehow I always get this weird nostalgic feeling of home when I listen to it. This song is classic, awesome and my number one.

*Psycho-Pass – Abnormalize*

This one just perfectly fits what I imagine when I think of the series, and even though I have heard it so often it still gives me goosebumps.

*Kekkai sensen – Hello, World!*

Probably my most listened OP of all time, yet it doesn't quite make my #1 spot. True it has this very chilling feel about it, while at the same time gets me hyped, great song, just not the greatest.

Short List

  • Cruel Angel Thesis – Yoko Takahashi (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
  • Ano Mori de Matteru – Bonjour Suzuki (Yuri Kuma Arashi)
  • Maigo Inu to Ame no Beat – Asian Kung-Fu Generation (Tatami Galaxy)

Pokemon: Alola

The average speed of all the Pokemon in Alola isn't actually lower than other generations by much, the issue is the most popular/commonly used Pokemon are slow.

The faster ones are mostly rare and/or late or post game which is a deterrent for many players. Some of these include:

  • Raichu
  • M-Metagross
  • Tapus
  • UBs
  • Flygon
  • Dugtrio
  • Salazzle
  • Dragonite
  • Lucario
  • Porygon-Z
  • Ninetales
  • Salamence
  • Garchomp

But then you have fast moving options like:

  • Crobat
  • Sharpedo
  • Alakazam
  • Talonflame

A lot of people would rather try out new Alolan Pokemon than use one they likely had before. This can also be countered if done properly, for example: whenever I battle a Bewear with Fluffy, I one shot it with my Salazzle using Flamethrower. If they placed A-Vulpix, A-Diglett and Minior on Melemele Island they'd get a lot less complaints about slow Pokemon. And you would have a more balanced hand. But many people ignore that.

Yet, with with proper balancing, for example, A-Forms like A-Raichu. There are plenty of Special Pokémon as well.

But you will notice that you mostly encounter Physical ones, whether it's because of Trainer representation, encounter rates or whatever else. They include stuff you can get like Abra. Or Magnemite. A lot of purely new Alolan Pokemon seem to be physical. Still, physical isn't the problem it's having moves that make direct contact that is the problem. Though to be fair finding a physical non-contact move that is SE on Bewear isn't easy but mons like Pelliper and other special guys are still available. It makes contact moves deal ineffective damage, and all fire moves are then super effective.

One example of how I play this is for me to use a 3/3 during my play through: Sylveon, Raichu, Rimbombee as specials and Decidueye, Golisopod, Bewear for physicals.

Pokémon – The Series is for the Fans

I don't know if I would call myself a die hard fan or not, I mean, I love the series and have played/collected a lot of it but that doesn't mean that I have seen or done everything that they offer. There is only so much time in the day and there are only so many things that you can do before you get a little burnt out and that means that with all of the content available it would take me forever.

And new stuff comes out all of the time anyway.

On top of that, for me personally, my favorite is original series. I have seen it multiple times and it has the best writing imo and pacing. But in general, the first five seasons have well written stories, funny moments from Ash doing stupid things and it introduced me to world of Pokémon.

On top of that you have Tracy’s temporarily replacing Brock. This led to some good stories and it was nice seeing Ash growing from a rookie to good trainer.

The only downside was that Misty is more of a side character than a legitimate Pokémon trainer due to her so-so character development. It isn't until later that both Misty and Serena become more original. But fans had to wait until SM for that to happen.

The wait was worth it.

One is a tomboy who stood up to her sister's verbal abuse, and latter showed actual growth/ independent development from a girly girl who didn't know what to do to a more matured girl who stood up against her mom's wish and followed her dream as a Pokémon performer.

Sure for Sun and Moon some of the character designs are horrid. And I have yet to find anyone that thought Rotom was anything less than obnoxious, but the animation is fantastic.

Also the story would be better if they could introduced a new groups to replaced Team Rocket, and would be even better if Ash didn’t have to get up his best Pokémon for newbies in Johto season. The worst episode in the show has to be the gym battle vs Liz and Tate in the 3rd generation. People criticize the season for a couple of reasons: lackluster characters, lack of character relationships, as well as Ash turning into a different character.

I enjoy Sun and Moon because it is a lighthearted and fun contribution to the series.

My Pancakes Don’t Fluff

We tried a new breakfast place yesterday and we're extremely impressed with their pancakes!

These pancakes were light, fluffy and chewy. They felt like big fluffy crumpets, just not as dense!

I'm used to make pancakes but they ended up being more crumbly and generally don't like them since they fill me up quickly. Crepes on the other hand are great as they are chewy but you just need to make the batter more runny, and they still come out dense.

Now I am on a quest to find the best solution to the pancake problem.

A quick Google search opened up a can of worms and basically left me thinking do I know flapjacks vs pancakes vs crumpets.

But I did learn that I was mixing wrong regardless of what I was making.

Always mix the dry and wet ingredients separately then add the dry to the wet. Also, never over mix the batter, doing so will result in flat, lousy cakes. Whipped egg whites also seems to be the common secret, and when I tried a set it works wonderfully.

But you do have to be very gentle.

I also mixed the wet and dry ingredients, but just barely to avoid gluten formation. Then I added the whites just before cooking.

Here are the ingredients by the way:

  • 3.5 oz Mixed Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 2.4 fl oz Milk
  • 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

For the mixed flour I make my own mix which consists of normal flour cornstarch, look on the mixes in the store, it is the same thing. I expect it's that the baking powder that really makes the recipe awesome!

Pokémoments

White 2 was the first game I spent hours upon hours upon hours on. My first time getting Pokémon to level 100. It was a great game for me. I had played Leaf Green beforehand, but White 2 was the first game I actually grew invested in the game, even the horrible horrible weeks it took to get a hydreigon and Volcorona, I still remember it all with the fondest of memories.

One of my favorite memories from Pokémon was in Pokémon Black 2, when you fight Ghetsis.

It was his breaking point before going full psycho. It’s one of the most memorable villain fights in the games.

Still if we are talking about Black and White 2 I would have to say that my favorite moment was when I got into the hall of fame. The techno music didn’t hurt.

Another one of my favorite moments from the games was in Silver/Soul Silver, when I climbed up Mt. Silver and fought Red and finally beat him. It was like the culmination of everything I had done throughout the game was building up to that one intense, and difficult, moment. But, all well worth it.

I love the Pokemon franchise and have many favorite moments, but these are a few that solidified my foundation as a Pokemon fan.

I still have some Pokémon games to completely finish because I don't have my Ds or 3DS anymore. I love the Pokémon franchise. It means a lot and it gives me hours of entertainment weekly. I still play Pokémon go when I go out to places.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn Varia Arc Rewatch

KHR just keeps getting better. It started off with a fair amount of training, and then lead to some awesome fights. Just as I had hoped, the Varia arc continued the plot and character development that began in the Kokuyo arc. (Not a complaint perse) Making this is my overall favorite arc of the show so this isn't my first rewatch, but I have put somethings down that may improve your first rewatch.

34 The Varia Comes! ヴァリアー来る
35 The 7 Vongola Rings ボンゴレリング7つ
36 Katekyo, Start カテキョー、動く
37 Master and Disciple Combi, Set 師弟コンビ、揃う
38 The Disapperance of the Stubborn Fawn ワガママ子牛の失踪
39 The Unseen Enemy's Motive 見えざる敵の目的は
40 Fight for the Ring Begins! リング争奪戦、開始!
41 Feelings of the Protector 晴の守護者の思い
42 The Power to Rebound Adversity 逆境をはね返す力
43 Thunder Strike of 20 Years Later 20年後の雷撃
44 The Stolen Sky Ring 奪われた大空のリング
45 Storm Brewed by Angry Waves 怒涛の嵐戦
46 Reason to Fight 戦う理由
47 The Strongest Invincible School 最強無敵の流派
48 Namegata's Game 勝負の行方
49 Requiem of the Rain レクイエムの雨

I just love the entire premise of the arc. And I feel like it is the best implamented overall when compared to the Manga. There are some things here that you don't get, or get as much of in other arcs, especially when it comes to different group of people contesting to be the next Vongola X. I mean, really, at this point in the show, which viewer hasn't looked at Tsuna and thought "this kid is gonna be Vongola X?"

Still I am not without complaints, right now there are 2 things in the anime that are bother me, the biggest being that most of the female characters in the show are unbelievably dense. I hope they change or that more interesting and less dense female characters get introduced as the series progresses.

The other one is Tsuna's uniform, which now has wavy edges around the collar and shoulder for no apparent reason. This is a minor complaint, so it hasn't really affected my enjoyment of the show, but I can't excuse lazy animation.

As I have said, the fights, the fights. The fights are amazing. Tsuna saving Lambo at the cost of losing his sky ring! Wow, this showed how his character had developed thus far, which was nice.

Just like Gokudera's fight, Yamamoto vs. Squallo made great use of its surroundings – this time with a flooding destroyed building. Really fitted well with their fighting styles.

Rain

This is my favorite fight of the arc.

It combines action and intellect and has the best setup to the fight. The team now can't afford another loss AND Yamamoto's opponent is Squalo (my favorite member of the Varia from the beginning and someone who's showed that they're a good threat by beating all of the guardians including Yamamoto before) AND there's no "good" outcome to the battle.

I loved Squalo because of his design, VA, and funny personality but there was definitely a sad thought in my head that once Squalo lost the battle, he'd get killed by the Varia. So there's stakes in either outcome of the battle. Yes, you could argue that it's obvious Yamamoto's going to be the winner because we need to see the other battles (also, opening) but this fight is less about "who will win?" but more about "HOW will Yamamoto win?" and this fight completely delivers there.

The end to episode 48 feels so hopeless with Yamamoto being completely outclassed and now knows that Squalo has beaten the invincible style before.

My friend predicted here that there'd be "a secret 9th stance" cause that's what anime does, but KHR did it even better. It made it so there was a reason Squalo didn't know about the 8th stance and a reason for Yamamoto to create his own stance and subvert the style. I also loved how the writers didn't just have Squalo lose because he couldn't recognize the attacks–he still had his artificial hand that could've killed Yamamoto if the 9th stance didn't involve reflection.

It was a great end to an exhilarating battle and Squalo was never more entertaining during it.

I was thinking that the fight would end with Yamamoto winning and then bringing Squalo to the Vongola side and while I never truly believed Squalo was killed by the shark, I still liked the overall direction of his character

Non-Pokémon Anime

I know that most of these are fairly recent, the reason is because if I don't stay up to date I will probably never take the time to watch them. And that would be sad. Out of all of the new/ongoing anime right now I've decided that these left the biggest mark on me, some of them are just amazing to behold.

  • Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom I watched the first arc of Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom and enjoyed it, unfortunately the ending really turned me off the series. After that I watched a number of episodes in the second arc. What I found was that the new female lead was really boring and flat. After that I didn't care if she was going to become a fleshed out character or not, the effort wasn't worth it. That is why I am striking it from the list. Though the show is still worth mentioning, it just isn't an editor's pick.
    • SNAFU
  • Kids on the Slope I loved everything about this show, but the music is what really captured me. But that should not comes as a suprise, fans of anime will know the name Yoko Kanno who compose works for some of the biggest anime franchises.
  • Non Non Biyori
  • Code Geass
  • Magi

Collecting Nostalgia

When you do something long enough, when you engage in a hobby for years it is both modern, fresh and familiar, but it also brings with it a certain amount of nostalgia.

The nostalgia is a great feeling, and one that should be cherished. I love to have something physical when it comes to Pokémon. The smell of new blister packs. The sensation of opening something that it filled with a little bit of wonder. It is great. The online game and Go are both good. But the physical game, that is where I find myself having the most fun. Don' get me wrong, collecting your sixth lvl 100 in the video game, catching the 280th Rattata in Go or playing the card game online is definitely fun.

But for me it's not the same as with the TCG.

Every card is a small piece of art.

Collecting now as an adult also reduces my deep sadness that comes up when I think what happened to my shoebox full of cards.

Collecting is something that keeps the game interesting. When I started there were only 151 Pokémon. Today…

I have completed the Goldstars, Shinings, both Black & White secret rares, full arts, Breaks, Legends, Primes, first 4 sets, 95% of all Charizards including a 1st edition base Charizard, own 5 crystal holo cards including Charizard. My collecting now contains more than 29,000 cards and out of that number, over 900 are Ultra rare/ secret rare cards.

As a kid I dreamed of having an awesome collection.

You know the kind, the one that my parents would never buy for me because they thought it was a waste of money.

Now that I'm older I get to collect the holographic cards that came out when I was little, I look forward to the end of each month to buy another!

People still tell me that this is a waste of money, but it isn't their money, nor do I tell them what they should spend theirs on. I simply love collecting and if it fulfills me then it is none of their business.