Month: April 2021

TOP FIVE: How to Turn Your Children into Weebs While Also Giving Them an Education (or 5 Edutainment Anime to Show Your Kids )

Dear The Millennial Weeb Generation,

The year is 2021 and long gone are the days when we had to hide our generic Naruto-nin headbands and plethora of body pillows. No longer do we feel pressured to sheepishly private a playlist of our favorite fan amvs, nor must we steal away from judgmental eyes to the school bathroom during lunch hour to read the latest issue of Shonen Jump. The continued globalization of pop culture over the last ten years has done wonders for us weeaboos. Anime has more and more become a commonplace leisure activity…it has become accepted and, dare I say, even prized and cherished in this new world order. No longer will we be so casually stereotyped as junk-eating freeloaders lurking in the dark of our mother’s basement. Gone are the dark days of our ostracization. We may now step into the light, openly in our multicolored wigs and gothic Lolita dresses. 

…Congratulations, fam. We have come a long way. We have made it to the promised land. 

All jokes aside, this wide acceptance of anime as an entertainment and art form by the general public has been years in the making, and it will only continue to grow exponentially with time. Chances are, by the time y’all younger millennials and teeny-bopper gen Z-ers finally have kids (or if you already have kids), they will have significantly more anime and or western cartoons heavily inspired by anime at their fingertips. The market is going to be oversaturated, yo! And not all of it will be good content. That’s why it is important we don’t forget the landmarks of our time. You can bet I’ll be showing my kids all the anime classics.

But also, I want my kids to have a proper education (it’ll makes me feel less guilty about letting my kids watch TV all day, ahaha). And so, without further ado: my current list (soon to be growing) and breakdown of the best edutainment anime classics to show your weeaboo children!

1. This one is a no brainer: Cells at Work!

Subject (aka Synopsis): “Inside the human body, roughly 37.2 trillion cells work energetically 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Fresh out of training, the cheerful and somewhat airheaded Sekkekkyuu AE3803 is ready to take on the ever-so-important task of transporting oxygen. As usual, Hakkekkyuu U-1146 is hard at work patrolling and eliminating foreign bacteria seeking to make the body their new lair. Elsewhere, little platelets are lining up for a new construction project.

Dealing with wounds and allergies, getting lost on the way to the lungs, and bickering with similar cell types, the daily lives of cells are always hectic as they work together to keep the body healthy![Description via myanimelist.net]

Report Card (aka My opinion): I mean, the name really just says it all. This is basically the anime version of Osmosis Jones, except rather than a buddy-cop vibe, its tone exudes that of a comedic slice of life. Our cast of characters consists of a crew of cells, all cleverly athropomophosized to look aesthetically pleasing AF. Seriously. Check out how cute this platelets are:

But this show isn’t just pleasing to the eyeballs. It’s also incredibly informative, presenting facts about the cells in our body in a way that is both entertaining and easily digestible. Every episode features a different scenario revolving around a conflict in the body — sometimes several at once. Each storyline represents an event that triggers the body’s autoregulated immune system. For instance, when it’s under attack from invading bacteria, the white blood cell and killer T cell characters arrive on the scene to exterminate them; or when outside forces like fever or heat stroke threatens the body’s homeostasis, the cells in charge of the sweat gland send sweat missiles into the air (an allusion to our bodies “sweating bullets”). In addition, the show’s narrator explains what is happening on a scientific level all throughout the action. This show really does do a fabulous job depicting the different cells’ functions!

Grade Level (MPAA Rating): I give this show a PG rating. There are regular depictions of heavy combat in this show, e.g. white blood cells chopping down bacteria, but it’s honestly fineee. It’s meant to be comedic, not scary! So y’all are good to show this to your kids and future kids, people. Oh, but make sure you’re watching Cells at Work and not its weird cousin Cells at Work: CODE BLACK. That…that’s the much, much more violent spin-off…

2. Holy moly — Heaven’s Design Team?!

Subject: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He also sought after a wide variety of animals to populate the planet. However, he felt that it was too tiresome to think of new ideas within his criteria. To address this problem, God appointed an organization—the Heaven’s Design Team—to do the work instead!

Shimoda is a newly-hired angel who serves as the mediator between God and the design team. As he steps into his role, he witnesses his coworkers conceive interesting ideas for many unique life forms according to God’s desires. From giraffes and snakes to birds, anteaters, and everything in between, the possibilities for different animal species are endless!” [Description via myanimelist.net]

My Opinion: All right, y’all — I cannot express enough how much I love this little gem of a show. Seriously, I’ve already written an entire article dedicated to all the reasons why “You Need To Watch Heaven’s Design Team”. Now here I am, back again to shove this show down y’alls’ throats. All the reasons for watching Heaven’s Design Team go far beyond its educational value — read my previous piece to find out just why— but for the purposes of this list, I will stick strictly to its edutainment qualities.
This show can largely be summed up as a graphic design meets National Geographic gag comedy. The episodes follow the general formula of God assigning the designers an animal prompt and the designers scrambling to fulfill it. Through this process, we are able to see how the, often completely illogical seeming, combination of animal traits proposed by God actually comes to life — through SCIENCE! This anime presents in-depth explanations of the strange intricacies of animal biology by showing us the multiple stages of the design process. With every failed and successful prototype of a new animal, we discover how each feature (such as wings or horns or webbed feet) contributes to a species’ survival. We also learn, through the designers’ failed concepts, why certain features are less evolutionarily successful and why the actualization of certain mythological creatures, such as unicorns, just wouldn’t work! There’s also an informational section of the episode that provides real life pictures and more detailed introductions of the animals’ qualities. 

Grade Level: With a rating of G, general audiences are all welcome here. This is the perfect show to watch with your kids. The humor can be enjoyed by humans of all ages — which means your kids can easily understand what is going on and you can supervise without feeling trapped in a kiddy snoozefest! Have fun laughing at all the unexpected crazy traits of these animals, folks — it’s gonna be one w i l d ride. 😉

3. YEEHAW! Buckle up, Cowboy — it’s Golden Kamuy:

Subject: “In early 1900s Hokkaido after the Russo-Japanese war, Saichi Sugimoto tirelessly pans for gold. Nicknamed “Sugimoto the Immortal” for his death-defying acts in battle, the ex-soldier seeks fortune in order to fulfill a promise made to his best friend before he was killed in action: to support his family, especially his widow who needs treatment overseas for her deteriorating eyesight. One day, a drunken companion tells Sugimoto the tale of a man who murdered a group of Ainu and stole a fortune in gold. Before his arrest by the police, he hid the gold somewhere in Hokkaido. The only clue to its location is the coded map he tattooed on the bodies of his cellmates in exchange for a share of the treasure, should they manage to escape and find it.

Sugimoto does not think much of the tale until he discovers the drunken man’s corpse bearing the same tattoos described in the story. But before he can collect his thoughts, a grizzly bear—the cause of the man’s demise—approaches Sugimoto, intent on finishing her meal. He is saved by a young Ainu girl named Asirpa, whose father happened to be one of the murdered Ainu. With Asirpa’s hunting skills and Sugimoto’s survival instincts, the pair agree to join forces and find the hidden treasure—one to get back what was rightfully her people’s, and the other to fulfill his friend’s dying wish.” [Description via myanimelist.net ]

Report Card: This THE historical anime of all historical animes! The anime’s creator, Satoru Noda, does an amazing job of making his story historically accurate. Okay, so technically, this is a work of historical fiction, but it does feature characters based on real figures in Japanese history who play pretty big roles in the show’s plot. While education isn’t the anime’s main objective, its portrayal of Japan’s Meiji Era, the era it is set it, is incredibly informative. From the depictions of the character’s clothing, to the characters’ weapons, to the battlegrounds and other landmark locations, this show is seeped in the richness of its setting. It’s also a landmine of information regarding the Ainu, an ethnic minority group of Eastern Asia who are indigenous to northern Japan’s area of Hokkaido. Soda pays special attention to the Ainu, intricateily showing and explaining the people’s culture, such as their attires, their cooking and hunting methods, and their ancestral and marriage customs. While there are plenty of anime out there that celebrate the history of Japanese heritage as well as European heritage, it isn’t usual that we can engage with a story that centers around a minority group, much less one that is so culturally sensitive and expansive. It’s so invigorating getting to broaden your cultural knowledge while watching such a captivating story!

Grade Level: I’m gonna say PG-13, recommending Teens and up to be safe (or recommended parental guidance). This ain’t the anime for the younglings. There’s some adult humor (aka gratuitous usage of the word ‘penis’), depictions of violence, as well as discussions of physical torture, such as skinning (which is pretty dang important to the plot, so it’s not like you can avoid it). Buuuut, it’s still an awesome story with awesome characters. If your kid isn’t easily perturbed, then this one is a go! Better yet, adults should watch it with them and get edu-ma-cated. 

4. Here’s a throwback for sure…Hetalia Axis Powers:

Subject: “What if nations were people? What traits would they have? What would this mean for historical events?

Hetalia Axis Powers takes these questions and runs with them, personifying countries into characters. The show takes a comedic and light approach to politics and historical events while educating the viewer.

Taking place primarily during the events of World War I and World War II, the story focuses on the Axis Powers and occasionally throws the spotlight onto the tumultuous relationship between the Allied Forces. The Axis Powers feature the titular character North Italy, who is clumsy, carefree and loves pasta; Germany, who is very serious but easily flustered; and Japan, who is stoic but has bizarre interests.

Based on Hidekaz Himaruya’s widely popular webcomic turned print manga, Hetalia Axis Powers is a historical comedy that pokes lightly at culture, examines the relationships between nations and breathes fun into history.” [Description via myanimelist.net]

Report Card: Wow. It’s been a while since anyone has mentioned this show. In part, it’s because it came out a whole freaking decade ago. As for the other reason…well, the general public has criticized its humor for aging poorly. This is in part due to its culturally stereotypical portrayals of each personified country and its depiction of LGBTQ+ characters. So why is this title still on my list of recommended edutainment if it’s been facing all this retrospective backlash, you might ask? Before I go into that, it’s important that we get something straight regarding the accusations hurled against this anime. First of all, this show. Is. A. Satire! Every country is personified in an oversimplistic and stereotypical manner because to poke fun at World War II politics. The countries are larger than life; they aren’t supposed to be realistic, nor are they supposed to be representative of their peoples. The characters are over exaggerated to highlight the childishly convoluted relations between countries. It’s a spoof comedy about world politics! It’s not meant to be taken seriously! No one country gets special treatment. They are ALL caricatures on purpose, because caricatures are funny and satirical. As for the show’s depiction of queerness, a majority of the characters are either queer or coded as such. Sure, one could argue all day that using queer characters in a weird spoof comedy is a case of problematic humor. However, that once again misses the show’s intention: to satirically portray the relations of countries in the context of WWII (in addition to other historical events). The character’s queerness is largely incidental to the humor and the show. The slapstick comedy is funny because it is bawdy, sarcastic, and inconceivable, not because the characters are queer. Additionally, there are plenty of poignant moments between characters. It’s not always one big joke. The queer characters who are in love are portrayed to genuinely care for each other. The show may be comedic in tone, but it doesn’t mean that all the relationships are a farce.
Ok. Long rant aside, let me be startlingly clear: I didn’t learn a single thing from this show. That being said, however, Hetalia is still the sole reason I was able to pass middle school history. Look, this anime is not incredibly informative. As I previously stated, it is meant to be a spoof. However, while watching this show in addition to studying for my world history classes, my memory for historical events greatly improved. By picturing the personified countries in my head, I was able to remember which countries had roles in each world event much more easily. Sometimes, there would be an episode that tied directly into what that I was learning about! My recall ability was aided even more through humor. Pro tip: laughter and fun times helps retention. Huh. Who knew?

Grade Level: Teen and up recommended due to humor and hijinks. If you read my rant, well… you get it. The humor can be quite raunchy at times and if you’re young and don’t know any better, the satirical stereotypes could be misconstrued.

5. Growing up is hard…Koe no Katachi:

Subject: “As a wild youth, elementary school student Shouya Ishida sought to beat boredom in the cruelest ways. When the deaf Shouko Nishimiya transfers into his class, Shouya and the rest of his class thoughtlessly bully her for fun. However, when her mother notifies the school, he is singled out and blamed for everything done to her. With Shouko transferring out of the school, Shouya is left at the mercy of his classmates. He is heartlessly ostracized all throughout elementary and middle school, while teachers turn a blind eye.

Now in his third year of high school, Shouya is still plagued by his wrongdoings as a young boy. Sincerely regretting his past actions, he sets out on a journey of redemption: to meet Shouko once more and make amends.

Koe no Katachi tells the heartwarming tale of Shouya’s reunion with Shouko and his honest attempts to redeem himself, all while being continually haunted by the shadows of his past.” [Description via by myanimelist.net]

Report Card: Ok, so its technically not a show, it’s an animated film. It’s also not your typical edutainment title, but I swear I can explain! This story is mainly a character study of Shouya and Shoko as well as an exploration of their relationships. While this film doesn’t necessarily teach your typical school subject matter, there’s so much we can extrapolate from their journeys and apply to our own lives. This is especially true and important for children or teens coming of age. The film deals heavily with the relatable subject matter of bullying, showing characters on all sides of the situation. I’m willing to bet that all of us, at some point in our childhood, have witnessed or experienced some type of bullying, whether we were the frightened bystander, the helpless victim, or the misguided aggressor. It’s a realistic and nuanced portrayal of the lasting repercussions of bullying that can carry long past childhood, some of which can be rather dark such as depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the discussion of heavy topics, this movie ultimately sends a message of hope for emotional healing and forgiveness. It reminds us that people can change if they genuinely work at it. It’s also just a general lesson to actively combat bullying when you see it happening — in a way that also doesn’t destroy the bully’s life, of course! Think of this film as investment in your child’s interpersonal skills. I guarantee it will remind them to treat people with kindness and be more conscientious of other’s feelings. I mean, what more could you want for your kid as you send them off to school?

P.S. I also recommend reading the manga it’s based off. It’s a short read of seven total volumes total. Some details are more fleshed out, there’s an epilogue, and I feel like story is really well suited to the pacing of comic panels.

Grade Level: This show does deal with some heavy topics, but it is a coming of age story and extremely relevant to a kid’s school life. That being said, I will rate this a hard PG to soft PG-13 with an additional trigger warning. I also suggest you watch this with your kid (or at least be on standby), so you can provide emotional support if anything triggers them.

All righty, that’s it for this time, folks! Make sure to follow for my next roundup of edutainment anime 🙂

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Need coverage? Please send an email to allagesofhr@gmail.com.

T. Wu is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow T. on Instagram @kata_the_clown.

Interview With Darlene Jacobson!

Kat & Tat reached out to Darlene Jacobson, a well known author, to hear more about her writing journey!

1. What inspired you to become an author?

Thanks so much Tatiana and Katya for inviting me to your blog today. I am really excited to share my author experiences with your followers.

I’ve had a love of reading since I was a girl. I also loved making up stories in my head. As I’d gotten older, and had a few short stories published, I realized I wanted to try and write a novel. I made a couple attempts while my kids were younger and was able to write some horrible stories from beginning to end. So, I knew I could do it. But to do it well, I really needed to learn from those who wrote the kind of books I wanted to write. The books that resonated with me were the ones with kids who solved their own problems and tried to figure things out. 

The thing that also motivated me was the idea of leaving something lasting behind after I’m gone from this earth. To be able to pen a book that children will value and enjoy reading seemed like a way to immortality. Don’t we still treasure the books from authors of our own childhood who are no longer with us?

2. What are some advantages of being a KidLit author?

Being a kid lit author means I get to hang out with other authors who write some of the most amazing books! And, I get invited to classrooms to meet amazing kids who tell me how much they enjoyed my books. Getting thank you notes from kids is something I never expected and it always makes me smile. I realize how lucky I am to be able to do what I love and have it make a difference in a child’s life.

3. What are some disadvantages of being a KidLit author?

I can’t think of any disadvantages. Maybe just the fact that because of Covid, and remote learning, many classroom visits have been put on hold. I miss being with young people and look forward to sharing my books with them again. I’ve had a few virtual visits, but in person is something I miss.

4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an author?

Read a lot of books in the genre you want to write. Study the craft of writing by taking workshops, going to conferences, and sharing your writing with critique partners. Write something everyday if you can, even if it’s only a paragraph. The only way to get better at writing is to do it. Be prepared to accept criticism and rejection and learn from it. One thing I’ve learned, editors want good manuscripts that they can turn into good books. They aren’t rejecting you to be mean. Keep writing to improve your craft and stay with it. I was rejected by 36 agents before I got a call from Liza Flessig offering representation for my first novel WHEELS OF CHANGE. If I had given up after ten or even twenty, I wouldn’t be talking to you today.

5. Tell us about your books.

Both WHEELS OF CHANGE (WOC –  Creston) and WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY (WISHES – Creston) are historical middle grade novels. 

The first one, (WOC) which you’ve read Katya, takes place in 1908 Washington DC during the last months of Theodore Roosevelt’s Administration. It deals with the sweeping social and industrial changes that are on the horizon and threaten Emily and her carriage maker father’s way of life. Racial intolerance, women’s suffrage, factory mechanization, are things the family must come to terms as well as deciding which changes are worth fighting for.

My recent novel, WISHES, is written in verse and set in the summer of 1964. Jack’s dad is MIA in Vietnam, and he, his sister Katy, and their mom are spending the summer with his dad’s family. Jack would rather be home moping and missing his dad than pretending to be happy with his grandparents. Until he meets a girl named Jill, who is trying to escape her bully of a brother.  They hang out together, along with Katy, and catch a fish named Fred. A fish who grants wishes.  A fish that could be the answer to Jack’s problem.  But when Jill makes a wish of her own, things don’t turn out the way they expect because every wish has a consequence.

6. What are you currently working on?

I am working on another noble in verse. It was such a joy writing WISHES in that format, I wanted to try another novel that way.

7. Plans for 2021?

It’s kind of hard to make any plans that involve author visits and the like while we are all still in the midst of Covid restrictions. I hope that by the fall, I’ll be able to go back to visiting classrooms, attending book fairs, and having in-person events with other authors.

Find more HERE

An Interview with The Judgmental Critter

For those who may not know you, who is The Judgmental Critter?

I am a reviewer on YouTube! My passion is to critique animated shows and RWBY is usually the show I like to discuss the most!

Why do you enjoy discussing RWBY?

I don’t know what it is, but I absolutely love the show. I think the world is fun, the characters are unique and enjoyable! I just found myself constantly thinking about the story progression and the evolution of the characters and the story. So I got to the point where I thought “what if I start trying to better articulate my thoughts about the show?”

What is some parts of creating your videos that an ordinary viewer may not think about?

Definitely the editing. I don’t think most people realize how much effort it takes to edit a video together. I can have a little picture float across the screen with a silly sound effect to go with it, and people won’t realize that could take me up to an hour to do. Editors really are unsung hero’s.

Looking at your videos, you redesigned Blake. What character in RWBY do you think has the best design and why?

Ah! It’s so hard to narrow down! But I’m going to say Jaune has the best design. It conveys important aspects of his character. The regular jeans and hoodies awkwardly bunched up underneath the blocky, mismatched colors of his white armor tells us loud and clear that this set of armor wasn’t made for him. It’s his grandfathers’ hand-me-downs along with his sword and shield. But the really fun part about his design is how he evolves to fit his armor better over the years! He slowly starts to get better fitting clothes, his armor gets redesigned to be a bit more stylish. It portrays his character growth amazingly watching his design develop to show how he’s grown as a huntsman.

What would you tell someone who wanted advice in creating their own videos?

Don’t be discouraged by having cheaper equipment! I see a lot of people asking creators “what editing software do you use?” Or “what mic do you use?” It’s important to remember you don’t NEED those expensive fancy things to make videos. I still use MS paint and Gimp to make my videos because they’re free! You don’t need to try and mimic what other people are doing, you can make great content with whatever you can get!

The Judgmental Critter YouTube

The Judgmental Critter Patreon

A Few Tips For Animal Crossing: New Horizon

Introduced in 2001 by Nintendo, Animal Crossing was a fascinating social simulation game. All ages can play and go about creating clothing, design a house or fishing in the ocean. This is only a small part of the options offered. When released in March of 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons went gangbusters. Possibly due to the start of the Pandemic where there were lockdown’s, one option was to play a game that would allow socialization. Of course, no Animal Crossing game can be successful if it didn’t have new villagers, islands to discover, and musical guests like K.K. Slider. In addition, there are so many tips for Animal Crossing. A few include how to grow rare flowers, how to use the Nookphone, and obtaining golden tools.

One tip to boost the landscape in Animal Crossing is to grow flowers. The standard flowers an island starts with are different than the next island, but to make unique and rare flowers it will take finesse. It is called cross-breeding, plant two different colors of the same type diagonally from each other.  As in, a red rose and a white rose will make a pink rose. Rain helps water the flowers, of course, but watering them from a watering can boost them to grow even faster. A key reason to crossbreed is that Island evaluations can earn more stars when there are diverse flower collections.


The Nookphone is a feature in Animal Crossing with a few helpful options. Push the ZL on your remote or hand-held Switch, and the Nookphone will open. This is very similar in layout to a personal phone. There is a camera, Critterpedia (this has every insect, fish, or sea creature you have caught), a map of your island, and DIY recipes. One tip to individualize a villager is to use clothing, rugs, or art that has been picked from internet searches. It will take a few steps to get there. If dressing a villager in Pokémon shirts, or an Anime rug outside the house is the look you are going for, be sure to check out items from the internet search.  First, download the Nintendo Switch Online app on either an Android or iPhone. Once this is linked to the game go talk to Tom Nook on the Home screen. Tom will make sure that the app is linked appropriately to the game by answering a few questions. In the Nookphone there is an app called custom design. This is used to choose any image that would fit your motif for outfits or art. By accessing this tool it creates a unique look to any island.

Animal Crossing users do numerous real-time activities to improve their island.  One way to pass countless hours is to Fish in a small pond or catch insects to donate to the museum. Unfortunately, the majority of tools that make money or will be used to work on a hobby are going to break over time. This will cost a villager resources to be able to obtain them. One tip is golden tools, which include an ax, shovel, watering can, fishing pole, slingshot, and a net. Obtaining each tool is not an easy task.  After breaking 100 normal or flimsy axes a golden ax is available to make in a DIY recipe and to get a golden slingshot pop 300 flying balloons prior to a recipe. The fishing pole and net require one of every fish or insect on the island, whichever is appropriate, to be caught.  The shovel is the hardest golden tool to acquire. A downed seagull, Captain Gulliver, will wash ashore. The objective is to talk to him 30 times with 10 separate times helping him to get off the island.  After those steps are taken a DIY recipe will be sent.  Golden tools are an arduous task to achieve even a few of them, but once built they are meant to be used for quite some time.

Via[Animal Crossing World]

Whether you need additional tips on how to obtain stars to boost an island’s standing or how to make money for new items, there are many features Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers. The outcome of each discovery is completely up to how one approaches the game. For example, a villager can travel to other islands, fill up a museum with beautiful butterflies, or just sit and listen to music when the fireflies are out.  Each season and holiday is highlighted and occasionally there are small touches and details that pop up. Animal Crossing will offer additional options the longer it is played which creates a smart and interactive way to play any simulation game.

  Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Need coverage? Please send an email to Allagesofhr@gmail.com

Katie Bolin is a writing intern at All Ages of Geek. You can follow her on Twitter @KatieMarie5Fly.

An Interview With Vtuber Takahata 101

Vtubers are transforming online culture in a positive light. More and more people are now able to make videos on Youtube, stream on Twitch, and so on because they do not have to face the fear of being seen on camera. Not everyone has the ability to stream, however, Vtubing is making it easier for everyone to be a part of streaming. With the rise of Vtubers we are seeing more and more unique avatars streaming on online platforms. “A virtual YouTuber or VTuber is an online entertainer who uses a virtual avatar generated using computer graphics. A growing trend that originated in Japan in the mid-2010s, a majority of VTubers are Japanese-speaking YouTubers or live streamers who use anime-inspired avatar designs.”

I came across Takahata on Twitter and absolutely loved the concept of his Vtuber. So, I decided to reach out and hear more about his story. Takahata is Vtuber who bartends, a Twitch ambassador, and an all-around kind soul. In this interview I asked Takahata how he got into Vtubing, What inspired him to have the bar theme, the advice he has for other male Vtubers, and his plans for 2021.

Listening to Takahata’s story is very inspirational.

Takahata collaborates with other Vtubers in his bar and has many entertaining streams you can see on his Twitch page! Be sure to check out all of his social media pages so you can stay in touch with all his plans for 2021!

Have a Vtuber in mind you want us to interview? Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Need coverage? Please send an email to Allagesofhr@gmail.com

Tatiana Stec is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at All Ages of Geek. You can follow her on Twitter @Tatiana_Stec

Late Night Gaming Discoveries: Crowsworn

Greetings fellow gamers. Tracy Preston/CuriousCat-13 here with a special gaming news update. Coming soon to Kickstarter is an upcoming indie game (games developed by small teams that aren’t financially or technically supported by big gaming companies) in the works: Crowsworn. Developed by Mongoose Rodeo, Crowsworn is set in a beautiful, gothic environment with plenty of action and difficulty to keep even the most skilled of gamers on their toes. Inspired by beloved games such as  Hollow Knight, Devil May Cry, and Bloodborne, Crowsworn is one game that you don’t want to miss out on. 

The studio also has a video showing gameplay, and I’ve gotta say….this game is gorgeous. While I’ve never played Hollow Knight, I can tell that the visuals were inspired by the game (as previously stated). As for what type of game it will be, Crowsworn is without a doubt going to play a lot like a Souls game. For those that aren’t familiar with this analogy, the Souls games (i.e Dark Souls, Demon Souls, Bloodborne) are video games with a high difficulty rank and are skilled at punishing players when their character dies. Basically, you collect specific material (like souls) that help boost your character’s skills and if your character dies in battle…well, you lose those materials and have to go all the way back to where they fell and re-collect them. There are numerous times where that can get frustrating and players have to step away to cool off. However, when you get to a certain point and defeat that enemy that kept giving you trouble, the rewards are all the more satisfying. Long story short, Crowsworn is going to have plenty of those moments that will make gamers go through those familiar scenarios. The combat system looks incredibly smooth and reminds me of the Devil May Cry games (hence the inspiration from the series). There also appear to be skill trees for different weapons and play styles, which could lead to some epic boss fights. 

I want to take a moment to talk about the music in the game’s soundtrack? In the forty-two-second long gameplay video Mongoose Rodeo shared on YouTube, the music (that I can only assume is part of the game’s soundtrack) is gorgeous and fits perfectly with the overall theme. Right at the beginning, the song starts with a beautiful guitar strum. While it sounds like your typical, basic acoustic guitar strum, the scene that it plays in just works so perfectly and it keeps on blending so well with the rest of the gameplay video. As the song continues to play, the rest of the instrumentals add to the tone and overall environment of the game, turning it into an elegant dance. I don’t know if this is the main theme or a boss battle theme, but all I know is that the soundtrack is going to be amazing and even worthy of a gaming award nomination. 

While, to my knowledge, the synopsis hasn’t been fully revealed, the video has shown enough to give some type of hint. Our main character is possibly some kind of plague doctor demon slayer, or something else. The only thing we know is, something big happened that brought the world into a dark era where there isn’t a place that is truly safe from the creatures of the underworld. For whatever reason, our character is tasked with fighting these monsters or demons and finding answers to a possible cure to the current ongoing situation. Whatever the reason and situation, Crowsworn is going to be a dark, epic tale full of mysteries and danger. Even though there isn’t any knowledge about which gaming systems it’ll be one, I can see it as an amazing Nintendo Switch and PC game.

via Mongoose Rodeo’s YouTube channel

While the Kickstarter hasn’t officially started, you can still follow it so that you can be notified about any updates. For those that are interested, you can click on the link right HERE

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Tracy Preston is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow her/him/them on Twitter @CuriousCat_13 and Instagram @curiouscat_13

RWBY: The Bond Between Blake and Ruby

At All Ages of Geek, we love to hear the communities views on characters in shows we cover. With the finish of RWBY Vol 8 one of our community members Angelique tells us what they think about Ruby and Blake’s friendship.

“I always thought Blake Belladonna admired Ruby Rose and thought highly of her. Ever since they first met in volume 1 episode 3 when Ruby said she wants to be like the heroes in books. I always sense Blake saw a girl with pure heart and intentions. This was further proved by Blake telling Sun in volume 4 how Ruby’s word description was Pure.

Now, in the last episode of volume 8, Blake finally tells Ruby how she always admired her and thought highly of her. Blake said to Ruby that at one time in her life she was like Ruby but things got in the way. We all know what those things are, Adam and the White Fang. She explained to Ruby that she always does something to make things right even if she doesn’t know if it will work or not. She keeps moving forward and tries to do what’s best for everyone or the given situation.

I think having this moment between Blake and Ruby is so important. it’s important for Ruby Rose to hear what her teammate Blake views of her. They have a bond and this conversation showed it. I absolutely loved this moment between them and it solidified my views of Blake having a high regard of Ruby. I truly hope these two have more moments together their friendship is unique and sweet and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them.”

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How Pokemon Go Makes Money As A Free-To-Play Game

by: Emily Gibson

Remember when everyone was running through the streets searching for rare Pokemon on their smartphones? It’s hard to forget. And during that time, the app’s developers were creating a game that has generated almost $2 billion.

How? Through the Games as a Service (GaaS) model. GaaS is a business model that allows a company to continue making money off a game or app after its initial release. By requiring users pay a monthly subscription fee, or providing in-game downloadable content or in-app purchases, the developers can monetize their game and keep the money flowing in. 

Games like Pokemon Go do this through microtransactions, or in-app purchases that can help the user personalize or upgrade their playing experience by buying extra items. In-app purchases usually aren’t required, so the game remains free to play. But with such a wide audience, enough people do choose to spend money on the game to keep the money flowing in. 

Microtransactions and in-app purchases aren’t the only way that developers can monetize their games. Some developers choose to opt for a monthly subscription, paid in a flat rate at the beginning of each month. Once the user pays this fee, they are granted access to the entire game and community. This model is used by big games like World of Warcraft, whose devoted fanbase is more than willing to pay up. 

For those without the ability to charge a monthly subscription fee or provide in-app purchases, in-app advertisements are another way to generate revenue. In-app ads can be tricky, as players are likely to get aggravated if the ad interrupts their gaming experience. Try to keep ads relevant to your user base and placed in a way that won’t interrupt the flow of the game. 

Sea of Sorrows – Comic Book Review

IDW Publishing enters the supernatural in the 1920s as the depths swell with evil. At the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean lies a sunken boat that holds all the gold in the world. In the Sea of Sorrows you can’t trust anyone or anything you see.  

Rich Douek writes a compelling story about greed and fear as an unlikely band of sailors and crew explore the hidden depths. Captain Deke Harlow makes waves to claim this treasure; he enlists the help of deep sea diver Nick Shoals. In the ruins of the submarine Nick discovers an underwater creature resembling a woman with grey skin and red hair. The problems don’t stop for everyone on board the ship wants a piece of the gold and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it.  

Artist and colorist Alex Cormack creates a gritty world that is relentless towards its characters. Alex uses a quick hand with sketching characters and details and leaves bold outlines. Dark shadows are ever present highlighting emotion on characters or the surrounding environment. The style fits the time period within the story offering a grounded realism to the people and sea life. 

Red sprays across the page painting the panel with blood and delivers a masterful use of grey, black, and blue. The water is ever shifting and presents realistic circumstances of life at sea and back end dealings with extreme money. 

Helplessness is the proper term for what the reader feels as these characters journey across the bottom of the sea. The fear of the unknown is present for anything could be swimming in the dark waters all around with the only salvation being the surface.  

The adventure will continue with this ongoing comic book for the risk and danger are just beginning in this Sea of Sorrows. Who knows who will go down with the ship, but all will endure Davy Jones locker to achieve the ultimate prize. 

Dempsey Blackmon is a contributing staff writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him on Twitter @dempsey_sb17 and Instagram at dempseyblackmon

Mortal Kombat Review

Back in 1995 when Hollywood attempted to bring Mortal Kombat to the big screen, it became one of the industry’s better live-action video game movies. However, its PG-13 rating prevented it from bringing the blood and the gore that the games have been known for. 25 years later, a new live-action version is out with a brand new vision by debutante director Simon McQuoid that delivers on the R-rated material that fans know and love.

In this reboot, Mortal Kombat follows a cage fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan), who tries to provide for his family after his career takes a nosedive. We find out that he has been chosen to participate in a tournament that determines the fate of the world. Joining him in this cause are some characters that fans of the games are all too familiar with. We get introduced to army comrades Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) and Jax (Mehcad Brooks), who first recruit Young and have been keeping tabs on the legend of Mortal Kombat. The conniving criminal Kano (Josh Lawson) also becomes part of the team as well as warrior monks Liu Kang (Ludi Lin) and Kung Lao (Max Huang). Earthrealm’s finest fighters are recruited by the thunder god Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) to take on the likes of sorcerer Shang Tsung (Chin Han) and his own team of fighters for the fate of Earth.

The film does set the tone with its action-packed opener by providing a backstory to Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Sub-Zero (Joe Talsim). The set pieces and the fight choreography in the scene immediately grab your attention with the gritty and bloody throwdown that happens between these two adversaries. Things start to sizzle down once the story focuses on our main guy Cole Young, an original character made specifically for the film. Cole seems like a way to help those who aren’t familiar with the source material learn about the world and the lore that the film is building. The only problem is that the character doesn’t immediately connect with the audience as his development kind of gets rushed like the rest of the cast. We don’t get to spend much time with the classic characters like Liu Kang or Sonya Blade since the plot kind of rushes along.

The standouts from the film would have to go to Kano and Sub-Zero. Lawson brings comedic relief as the one-eyed rogue bandit who acts like a rat only looking out for himself. The actor brings enough of the personality from the games into the character, which works throughout the film. Sub-Zero also becomes a force to be reckoned with thanks to the amazing fight scenes that Talsim does. He brings a sinister demeanor with his character as he tears through the streets with his icy abilities. 

What the film does well are the stellar fight sequences that remind you of how great the games were in promoting martial arts. Much of the cast has some background in different fighting styles, which helps make the film more grounded and authentic when it comes to the action sequences. Some of the CGI may feel a little off, but it does complement the amazing fights that build up on the screen. The film even brings in some of the fatalities that the games are known for. Just seeing the fights bring in some sort of realness as much of the characters experience pain and can get hurt if they’re not careful.

The film feels more of a set-up to what the games are known for. We are introduced to these characters as they prepare for the tournament to defend Earthrealm, but it doesn’t seem like we get to the main attraction as we are treated to more of an appetizer than the main course. The film can only do so much with the number of characters that are available from the games, but it doesn’t feel earned when we are shown material that doesn’t fully deliver. The lore of the games is what makes Mortal Kombat worth investing in, but the film doesn’t seem like it wants to get to the main event until it is warranted for another installment. 

As a whole, Mortal Kombat is a visual spectacle that relies on the fight choreography that happens to add some blood, guts, and special effects to craft a new take on the popular fighting games. It can be a little over-the-top at times and it seems like we are getting an origin story to set up this team of warriors like many superhero films. What we get is a first half that kind of goes at a slow pace and puts in a lot of explanation into these characters that deserve more screen time. The second half is where the film truly shines as it picks up on the action to deliver some amazing fight scenes. This version is definitely a step in the right direction for more installments in the future.

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Mufsin is a contributing writer and Host at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him on twitter at @MufsinM