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Toonami: 3/17/97 - 9/20/08

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"'til the sun rises on a world without Toonami, we remain the first, and still the best." - TOM 2

My childhood has official expired.

We have come to terms.

R.I.P. Toonami

Pokemon Scientific Analysis - Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, and Venusaur

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The first Pokemon in the National Dex order, Bulbsaur is a very interesting creature It is both a Grass-type and a Poison-type, but other than the growth on its back, there are no overwhelmingly plant-like characteristics.

Most experts believe this is because of a symbiotic relationship that began millenia ago. A common theory is that Bulbasaur was initially a Normal-type, or perhaps even a Water-type, that took to the land and became amphibious. The skin of the Pokemon was, and still is, very porous, allowing various seeds to grow on its back. Of these, the bulbous flower on its back seemed to take best, eventually becoming extinct elsewhere and forming a bond with the Pokemon.

Obviously a flower, the plant has a variety of uses. First and foremost, it's used to store energy from the sun. This energy can be used in a variety of ways, as a weapon, for attacks such as Solar Beam, as food, to nourish the Pokemon, or even as spores. These spores are used in another way; by Venusaur, to choose mates. Each pattern on a Venusaur's back is unique, as are the spores released through all evolutionary stages, in a way humans do not fully understand. Of course, the bulb and flower both hold a very important item as well - seeds.

At some point, the area where eggs are held in a Bulbasaur moved from inside the body to inside the plant on its back, changing into seeds. Many can be found here - most small and useless. But when a male Bulbsaur-family member releases its pollen, it will find its way to the seeds and fertilize them, similar to mammilian procreation. This is evident in a Venusaur - a seed can be found in the center of the flower, ready to grow into a baby Bulbasaur. Strangely enough, it seems that the Pokemon can also breed with non-Plant-based equals, such as Rhydon and Tyranitar, showing that it still has traditional child-rearing organs.

As for habitat, it is thought that, before gaining a symbiotic plant, the Pokemon lived in swamps. Bulbasaur waded through the water, eating prey and soaking its skin, as did Ivysaur, while Venusaur simply submerged itself, mouth open, and waited for food to swim down its throat. Many fossils have been found of starved Venusaur, too bulky to actively hunt, that died waiting for food.

However, now that they have a plant to gather energy, hunting is unecessary. Some still do eat smaller Pokemon, but unless found in a place where sunlight is impossible to gather, this is rare. Due to this, it is unknown where Bulbasaur family Pokemon live. They are adept at camoflague, and few ever reach the final stage, meaning that any forest could contain untold amounts of Bulbasaur and Ivysaur. Just as well, they are solitary creatures, other than for mating, making it hard to find more than one in a single place.

It is unknown just how many Bulbasaur are in the wild, but many are used as Starter Pokemon, primarily in the Kanto region. They are very independant, but also fiercely loyal, making them perfect for unexperienced trainers. They can also be bred with both of the other Starter Pokemon given out, Blastoise and Charizard, meaning that a single Venusaur could lay untold amounts of eggs.

The Bulbasaur family is an amazing example of harmony in nature - two completely unlike organisms, working so closely that they're indistinguishable from one another. I'm Johnny One-Three-Nine; join me again next time for another edition of PSA - Pokemon Scientific Analysis!

Pokemon Scientific Analysis - Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard

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One of the most popular Starter Pokemon of all time, Charmander and its evolutions are Fire-types, eventually gaining the Flying-type, as well, and known as the Lizard Pokemon initially and become the Flame Pokemon. Few Pokemon are as well known among young trainers, and few are as popular among experiences ones.

One of the more interesting facts about the "Char" family is that, unlike most Pokemon, where the lowest form are the most common, few fail to reach their final evolutionary state, similar to a human's development from child to teen to adult. This is due to a variety of factors, such as habitat, temperament, and lifestyle. Charizard are communal creatures, living in large clans, made up of many families. There, females care for young Charmander and Charmeleon, and the youth fight amongst each other, growing to full adulthood.

This is because of the Charmander line's mountainous dwelling. Large crags and plateaus are often populated purely by the clan, and other than roosting birds and small rodents, few prey can be found. Males, and when necessary, females, will fly to nearby flat lands and find larger meals, which they will then bring back to their families and friends. Charmeleon will also attempt to hunt, and in many cases, will leave the relative safety of the clan to travel and obtain its own food. This has led to the belief that Charmeleon are solitary Pokemon, while in fact, they are so focused on their clan that they will risk their lives to be of more use.

As for diet, though Charmander and Charmeleon will happily hunt and eat Pidgey and Sandshrew, Charizard pursue larger prey, such as Tauros, Miltank, and Kangaskhan. Long ago, Charizard, while still living in remote areas, were far more common than they are today. It's believed that depletion of its prey has led to this decline. As more settlers began to move into and develop on plains and grasslands, many larger prey were killed, hunted, or domesticated by the new inhabitants; the latter leading to many extermination efforts by ranchers, angry at their lost livestock. In desperation, Charizard have been known to fight to the death with Rhydon and other mountain-dwelling Pokemon in an attempt to gain food, regardless of the fact such Rock-type creatures are nearly inedible.

Today, conservation efforts are hampered by the trainers attempting to capture the massive beasts, or poachers attempting to sell them on the black market to wealthy people in search for an exotic pet. It's believed that there are more Charmander line Pokemon domesticated than there are in the wild. However, great mind such as Professor Samuel Oak have done great lengths to protect the beautiful beasts. In his youth, he obtained a small group of Charmanders, and since then has bred them and given away the hatchlings to young trainers, in the hope that wild Charizard will be left alone. Only time will tell if this will cause a real impact.

Many urban legends can be found about the Charmander line, the most prevalent being that the fire on their tails give them life, and if extinguished, the Pokemon will die. In fact, the opposite is true - the fire is entirely dependant on the Pokemon's health. One full of life will have a large tail fire, while one sickly will have a small one. Upon death, the fire is extinguished completely. The rumor that Charmeleon are extremely irritable, however, IS true. The reason behind this is hormones; as a Charmeleon bridges the gap from child to adult, it has many pressures upon it, from finding a mate to earning its keep among the clan, causing it to be reserved and easy to lash out at enemies. Finally, the idea that Charizard will actively use fire to hunt is completely false. It does use flame-based attacks, such as Flamethrower and Fire Spin, in battles against fellow Charizard, but rarely using anything but its claws and teeth against prey.

As an interesting sidebar, Charizard seemingly have a common ancestor in Magmar. The two are very different, Magmar being a purely solitary hunter with young that are left alone nearly from birth, but the similarities are striking. It's even apparent to the Pokemon themselves, as during rare encounters between the two, they will fight as if battling a relative as opposed to a random enemy. It is also theorized Charizard have common roots with some Dragon-type Pokemon, but these ideas have no evidence behind them other than superficial observations.

One of the most majestic Pokemon known to man, Charizard and its family have been pushed to the brink of extinction, but with our help, they may recover yet. I'm Johnny One-Three-Nine; join me again next time for another edition of PSA - Pokemon Scientific Analysis!

Pokemon Scientific Analysis - Drowzee and Hypno

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Drowzee and his evolutionary form, Hypno, are known as Hypnosis Pokemon. They're of the Psychic-type, and as such, have highly advanced brains. The combination of these two factors should show one obvious fact - the Drowzee line hypnotizes its opponents.

It's diet is a mystery. Many believe it feeds on dreams, however, this is an impossibility. It may use dreams for other needs, or for its mental wellness, but it's fairly obvious dreams cannot be used as food. It's more likely that the line is herbivorous - feeding on berries, shrubs, and other plants near the ground. The trunk of a Drowzee supports this theory, as, for many four-legged herbivores, trunks are used to pluck and hold plants. It was likely that this was its original purpose, but as Drowzee adapted over time to its current, bipedal form, this adaptation became unnecessary, as it could just as easily use its hands.

The how the Pokemon's hypnosis is a simply one - being a Psychic-type, it's frontal lobe is larger than most animals, and it uses this to its advantage by transmitting waves through their eyes. The mystery is exactly why it uses hypnosis. The most simple explanation is that it hypnotizes "prey" and feeds on their dreams while they are in a prone state. "Energy" that is consumed by Ghost-type Pokemon is somewhat of a mystery to us, but it's very likely that dreams are made up of similar energy. Good dreams cause a positive effect upon consumption; nightmares a negative one. Perhaps energy is really emotion, and eating dreams is simply tapping into the emotion of a prone being?

Hypno is another mystery. The mane is larger in females, making it seem they are the dominant of the two genders, unlike most species. Of course, the pendulum created, or obtained, it also interesting. The reflective properties seem to transfix the eye, and the effects of hypnosis seem to hinge purely on eye contact. This much is obvious - it causes its prey to look upon its pendulum, then look into its eye. But where this item is obtained baffles scientists to this day.

Hypno, and to a lesser extent Drowzee, are very interested in human children, and possibly the children of the young from other species. There are even some reports of the Pokemon hypnotizing a child and kidnapping it, never to be seen again. Many theorize that, as children are more innocent, and "pure," their dreams are better for the creatures. This is insubstantial, as it's nearly impossible to measure the flavor of a dream.

Drowzee are found in grasslands, usually nearby cities, due to the lack of large predators. Few Hypno have been found in the wild, but it's theorized they would live in urban areas, due to their physical frailty and penchant for human children.

Other than for breeding, the line entirely solitary. It is unknown how their young are raised, or if there is a family structure, as only domestic Drowzee and Hypno have ever given a documented birth. It's likely that the line's pre-evolution, if it indeed has one, would be a small, brown quadruped; one with a long trunk that it uses to feed in thick brush, as to avoid being seen by both predators and humans.

The Drowzee line is a mysterious one indeed, but other than a few interesting quirks, it's simply a matter of time before we discover the Pokemon behind the legends. I'm Johnny One-Three-Nine; join me again next time for another edition of PSA - Pokemon Scientific Analysis!

A Tale of Souls and Swords, Eternally Retold...

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One of the coolest fighters of all time is out, and the tears I have spilled over my lack of a 360 and/or PS3 are endless. I mean, come on... I have a list of custom characters with everything from age to place of birth that I'm going to make! It's consumed me.

Just wanted to share.

...

Anyone have a spare PS3? :D

"My country lay within a vast desert..."

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"When the sun rose into the sky, a burning wind punished my lands, searing the world. And when the moon climbed into the dark of night, a frigid gale pierced our homes. No matter when it came, the wind carried the same thing... Death. But the winds that blew across the green fields of Hyrule brought something other than suffering and ruin. I coveted that wind, I suppose."

"It can only be called fate... That here. I would again gather the three with the crests... That I should lay my hand on that which grants the wishes of the beholder... That when power, wisdom, and courage come together, the gods would have no choice but to come down... The power of the gods... The Triforce! He who touches it will have whatever he desires granted! Already, the crest of wisdom is mine... All that remains..."

Link's hand glows; the Triforce of Courage appears.

SHING!

He falls to the ground, sword tossed away, as Ganon stands over him.

"Do not fear. I will not kill you... I merely have need of the power that dwells within you." He lifts Link up. "Now! Let us put an end to that which binds us together!"

The Triforce appears, out of all three hands. The three pieces combine to create a solid, corporeal piece; it brings light to a sunless world, deep beneath the sea. Ganon drops Link to the ground. He walks over to the Triforce, hesitating to touch it. He readies himself and shouts to all the cosmos.

"Gods! Hear that which I desire! Expose this land to the rays of the sun once more! Let them burn forth! Give Hyrule to me!!!"

He moves his hand forward to touch it, but suddenly, his eyes widen. The King of Hyrule stands, hand on the Triforce, glaring at Ganon, into what little soul he has left. "He who touches it will have whatever he desires granted... That is what you said, is it not, Ganondorf? Gods of the Triforce! Hear that which I desire! Hope! I desire hope for these children! Give them a future! Wash away this ancient land of Hyrule! Let a ray of hope shine on the future of the world!!!" The Triforce glows, in approval and acceptance. "And let our destinies finally be fulfilled... Ganondorf! May you drown with Hyrule!!!"

With that, the Triforce splits and returns to its fragmented form. The three float away as Ganon stands, his hand still outstretched. Suddenly, he smiles, a wide, manic grin. Craning his head back, a loud, booming laugh is expelled from his throat, echoing from ones end of the sea to the other. Water begins to fall as the barrier collapses; the two sounds intermingle, making something both deafening and void-like. Link stands, and he turns to face the Great King of Evil.

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Sorry. Probably my favorite scene in the history of everything, and I wanted to work on my detailing skills. :D

Jeez, I need moar monies...

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Now, there are three things that I divide my spendin' money into - Video Games, DVDs, and Heroscape. Up until now, it's mostly gone into Video Games... and DVDs. That's what I've spent my last $200 on, anyways.

But there's two things that'll change this - Wave 8 and One Piece. You know One Piece, right? Well, by September they'll have released the second Box Set. Only $30, right? Not too bad? WRONG! I'm BROKE now, and in about a week, Heroscape, Wave 8 will come out! Now, there's two things you need to know about Heroscape - it's fun, and it's EXPENSIVE. Wave 8 alone is going to cost me $140... but if you count all of the old things I've missed, Heroscape in and of itself will end up costing $500! And that's ignoring all of the FUTURE releases, which there are at least two or three of each year! So that's another ~$100 by the end of 2008, and 2009 could bring me as far up as $300!

This is an obvious problem... toss in the Miyazaki DVDs I'm lacking, One Piece every few months, and the new Yu Yu Hakusho Box Sets I need to buy (28 episodes for $24... you can't beat that!), and I'm WAY over my head... then, factor in the fact I don't even have a job! Hell, I owe my parents $40!

The point I'm trying to make is... dear God, my gaming budget just dove backwards off a cliff. Or maybe Heroscape pushed him. The world may never know.

What I've Been Up To... - Part 2: Now with more interesting stuff!

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So, vidjagames. That's why we're all here, right?

First of all, let's start at the bottom. I've awarded all of these games an 8.0 - which, IMO, is fair.

SoulCalibur Legends - It's fun, but otherwise... nothin'. Not enough characters, not enough variation, not enough anything. It certainly has potential, though, and I'd love to see a sequal someday.

Bleach: Shattered Blade - The game is shallow and tiring... but hey, it's Bleach, and it's fun. It can actually be pretty difficult to string together good combos, and there's a ton of characters, but unless you're a big time fan, not worth buying.

Mairo & Sonic at the Olympic Games - Nintendo = good. Sega = not so good. It's a fairly fun party game, but otherwise, nothing of interest... Brawl is the only TRUE way to get a Sonic vs. Mario smackdown.

Now let's go up a little. 8.5's here, which is good... not great, but good.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 - DBZ has never had a history of fantastic games, but so far, the Budokai Tenkaichi series has been a lot of fun. I mean, it's not a real fighting game, but it IS a good way to kill time.

One Piece: Unlimited Adventure - I'm a BIG One Piece fan. BIG. I'm sure you know this already. It's big. And this game didn't disappoint. It gets boring after a while, and the fetch quests aren't much fun, but hearing so many FUNi voices in a new game that DOESN'T completely suck is a great thing.

And the Virtual Console...

ActRaiser - It's a bit too short, and the controls feel kinda sloppy, but for its time... a great game all around. The God Sim part is great, the platforming part is so-so. It balances out.

Super Mario Bros. 2 - Black sheep of the NES Marios? Far from it. Personally, I prefer SMB2 to SMB by a long shot. Four characters, fun, challenging levels... and though I've never gotten past World 3, it NEVER gets old.

Galaga - My dad bought it. For it's time I'm sure it was great... but personally, I don't like playing it much.

Super Metroid - I may get a lot of flak for this, but I'm about half-way through, and it's a bit of a let down. I like the Prime Series and Zero Mission MUCH better. It's certainly not bad... but it's not that great either.

Legend of the Mystical Ninja - Nostalgia let me down a bit. I remember it being hard, but not THIS hard. The controls are shakey, but otherwise, a great game with friends.

Now we get to the good stuff - 9.0s here!

The Sims 2: Seasons - The Sims 2 is great. This makes it even better. Cut, dry, print.

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life - I love Harvest Moon. I don't think I know anyone who DOESN'T I rented this game a while ago, and my uncle got hooked and bought it himself (the girl's one, for his daughters to enjoy). It's overdue I got it... though I was distracted by Brawl for a while. Heh.

Virtual Console...

Super Mario Bros. 3 - Best game ever? No. FANTASTIC game? Yes. It's easier than SMB and SMB2 (though that may be because of the Wii's save feature), and this makes it much more fun. The best of the trilogy, and one of the best NES games without a doubt.

River City Ransom - This game is just plain fun. Generally, I'm not a fan of the NES's library - many of the games seem aimless and primitive. But it works for this one. Hell, I have no idea what I'm doing, but it's so much fun to beat people up for no reason. You think you're tough? Eh, punk? Think you're a big man? How'd ya like a TRASH CAN TO THE FACE!!! HA! BIOTCH! Yes, I actually say that while playing.

And the 9.5s - as I never, EVER give out 10s (well, so far), these are the cream of the crop.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations, and Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney - I'm lumping them together for ease of discussion. Not many changes, but with Phoenix... do you NEED any? All of them fantastic, though Trials and Tribulations is definitely my favorite. Can't wait for Gyakuten Kenji!

Super Mario Galaxy - Man, I love this game. I don't think I was old enough to appreciate Super Mario 64, and Super Mario Sunshine was a bit of a let down, but SMG... god DAMN. FANTASTIC. Just easy enough in some parts, just hard enough in others, all around fun.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - This is the most innovative Zelda since OoT. No, I'm not kidding. Though the graphics and all around feel of the game was lacking - admittantly, that turned me off at first - but the gameplay more than makes up for it. I can't wait for the next DS game, hopefully with the same style. The way it uses the DS is just so INNOVATIVE. Closing the screens to press a map onto paper? GENIUS!

Super Smash Bros. Brawl - You've been waiting for this one, haven't you? :P Yes, it's great, and yes, I love it. Ice Climbers, Toon Link, and Mario are my mains. Skyworld and Spear Pillar are my favorite stages (and Big Blue, but that doesn't count). And to give a short review... fantastic. At first I was a tad disappointed, but it fits like a glove. Subspace is great (I'd love to see a full fledged game made from it) and the gameplay is all but perfect. New items, characters, trophies, features... EVERYTHING fits together right. Out of all the games I'd played? Best in show.

In fact I think I'll hold a little reward show choosing my favorites of my time away. Or not.

What I've Been Up To... - Part 1

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Hai guyz.

When was my last Blog Post? End of September? What have I been up to...

Well, let's see. I've been getting my Shonen Jumps steadily for a while now... Naruto's gotten ahead fast, but One Piece is still stuck in the Alabasta Arc, which SUCKS. They've added Bleach and Slam Dunk to the roster, which is awesome, as I love both.

Speaking of Bleach, I've been watching that steadily. Soul Society Arc just ended on TV, so I'm up to speed, as the serialized manga starts right after that. I've also been watching Death Note... pretty fantastic... One Piece is gone, which makes me want to die, but the DVDs are coming out, which makes me want to jump up and down. And Toonami is all but dead to me. When the highlight of the night is a Samurai Jack repeat, you know something's wrong.

I got Batman: The Long Halloween a while back. Great story... my first real American comic, so, it feels good to own. I'll probably be picking up the semi-sequal sooner or later. Also, lots of Neil Gaiman novels and stories - read Neverwhere for school, finished Smoke and Mirrors a while ago, currently reading Anansi Boys. Pretty much my favorite author.

Uhh... oh! Heroscape. Swarm of the Marro is great. 'Scapers got a cool new redesign... lots of previews... none of you know what I'm talking about, do you? Nevermind then.

Hmm. Got some more Miyazaki DVDs. Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, and Porco Rosso... seen the first two (already own Castle in the Sky on VHS), but Porco Rosso KICKS ASS. My favorite of his next to Castle in the Sky.

...

Castle in the Sky.

Well... doing well in school... high honors... turned 15 last December... and... uhh... well, darn, I can't think of anything. Oh, wait, one more thing. You know, those silly little video games.

But we're out of time... see you for part two. Or not. I suppose that's your choice, not mine.

Set Sail for FUN Piece!

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Tonight at 10:00 PM, EST, the FUNimation Dub of One Piece will be on. Watch it. You won't be disappointed.

EDIT: It's... so beautiful... :cry: