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Day: May 4, 2021

Yasuke Review

Netflix’s Yasuke takes cues from history by telling the story of Japan’s first African samurai while also telling an original tale. Created by LeSean Thomas, it follows the story of Yasuke (LaKeith Stanfield), a man from Africa who served under the feudal lord Nobunaga Oda, known as the great unifier of Japan. Much of the show draws from Yasuke’s life, like his first meeting with Oda who has never seen an African person before and was intrigued with how dark his skin was. Even though there weren’t many records of Yasuke after Oda’s death, the series attempts to tell a new story filled with fantastical elements. The show depicts 16th century Japan with not just samurais, but also with sorcerers, beasts, and even mechs roaming the lands.

We follow Yasuke, who has lived in isolation since the death of Lord Oda as he lives the remainder of his life as a boatsman. He drinks his sorrows away to forget his painful past as a formidable samurai in Oda’s court decades earlier. The country is at war with a powerful Daimyo, who has decimated Nobunaga’s army in her wake. Much of the series displays some flashbacks of Yasuke’s life living under the feudal lord’s roof and serving under him as his top warrior despite being considered an outcast by those around the court. We see Nobunaga’s attempts to bring Japan forward from its old ways by accepting an African man and a female samurai into his military. 

After Oda’s defeat, Yasuke feels guilty of how he died and the betrayal of his female comrade, Natsumaru. Yasuke’s undying commitment to save the Japanese community reawakens when he encounters a young girl named Saki, who holds an extremely powerful supernatural gift. Yasuke is tasked with bringing her to someone who can help her harnest these gifts to be used against the Daimyo. Much of the series follows their journey filled with fantastical fight sequences and interesting characters they meet along the way like werebeasts, sorcerers, and giant robots. 

What works here is the stunning animation thanks to Studio MAPPA, who has worked on other anime series like Jujutsu Kaisen and Attack on Titan. The incredible action sequences should keep audiences engaged with the individual fight scenes with Yasuke as well as the huge action pieces during the flashback scenes with Oda’s army fighting against the Daimyo. Even the music done by Grammy-nomimated artist Flying Lotus. The music blends some R&B and electronica that perfectly matches the style of the series. 

Even though the series takes inspiration from other anime series, the show does seem to struggle with finding its own footing. The storytelling follows a similar formula like other animated series on Netflix, where shorter seasons would build up a story arc and lead into a big showdown. However, Saki and Yasuke’s relationship is perhaps one of the strongest components of the series. Saki shows off what she can do with her gifts as they become powerful each time she uses them. Yasuke has shown how much skilled he is as a swordsman and fighter. Despite all the incredible fights we see here, the stories are something that we are all too familiar with.

Deep down, Yasuke proves to be worth a watch thanks to the superb animation and the incredible musical score. Creator LeSean Thomas has crafted something that shows his appreciation of anime as a great storytelling platform by giving audiences a historical tale that will break down barriers, following in the same footsteps as Afro Samurai, another anime series with a black lead character. Yasuke very much tells the age-old story of good versus evil that works when it comes to exploring feudal Japan through the eyes of an African samurai, but exploring more of the deep overtones of an outsider in a strange land would’ve been interesting as well. Nevertheless, Yasuke is definitely a series that will grab anyone’s attention thanks to the unique concept of a familiar style of storytelling.

Yasuke is available to stream now on Netflix.

Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society

All Ages of Geek supports Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society and we want you to learn more about them:

“Rescuing an animal must create good karma – though this is not why we do it. To rescue an animal is to literally save a life – to change their fate or destiny. Saving a friendly animal from a harsh life outside, from a hoarding situation or from having litter after litter because they are not spayed … lives saved. If some good karma comes along with it – bonus!

Zen can be considered a state of mind – particularly one that is calm. When we thought of the rescue process – going from a situation that is probably far from ideal to one of calmness and safety – the state of zen came to mind. That is the goal – to move animals into that calm state so that they can flourish and, in turn, find their forever homes.

Mission + Vision

“The mission of the Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society is to provide a safe and peaceful haven for homeless, abandoned or abused animals. We will help decrease the number of cats and dogs being destroyed in kill shelters through the work of our adoption, trap-neuter-return, and education programs.

The vision of the Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society is a world where every companion animal is respected, fed, warm, happy, and not in danger of being killed because it is temporarily homeless.

Karma Cat + Zen Dog vows to treat all persons with respect and consideration – regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, maternity, marital or family status, disability, age or national origin.

Our Story

Christie & Clarence 2010

Christie with Clarence, a 2010 rescue

In 2010, sisters Christie and Michelle Arlotta formed Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society; an organization that puts a positive light on animal rescue efforts. They knew that they wanted to change the fate of homeless, abandoned, or abused animals, while offering them a safe and peaceful haven during the transition.

Through the help of our leadership and animal care volunteers, board members, donations, and grants, we are able to operate our adoption, trap-neuter-return, and education programs to further our mission. We are a volunteer-run, New Jersey-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit with two locations: an adoption center in Milltown and a location within the PetSmart in North Brunswick. Every year, special events, including the annual spring gala Paws for Celebration, are held to celebrate the organization’s accomplishments as well as raise much-needed funds to continue saving precious lives.

We are not a religious organization and we mean no disrespect of any organization that identifies with the concept of karma or the study of zen.”

Volunteer Programs

MA_Karma

“We have several volunteer positions:Fosters, Socializers, Cleaners/Feeders, Adoption Counselors, Transport, Foster, Event and Fundraising,TNVR, Crafters, and general office.” Descriptions are attached. HERE:

How do people who are interested in adopting get in contact with you? What are the requirements? 

“Our adoptables are listed on Petfinder. Most folks that don’t know us that wanting to adopt find us there and complete an online application. We have an adoption center in Milltown that, until COVID, was open to the public. There are typically at least 5 cats in the center. we did have a presence at the PetSmart in North Brunswick. We backed out of having cats there with COVID but hold monthly adoption events. Some potential adopters hear about us for Social Media or other sources (we are on Magic 98.3 and have had interviews on Philly NBC channel 10). for them we get an application from our website, an email, or a call to our office. “

Adoption Stories!

Check out these amazing stories:

How to Support?

“We accept donations from food and supplies (Chewy wishlist) to stock. We sell merchandise and hold several events throughout the year.  Ways to support are on our website, https://karmacatzendog.org/support

G4 Returns With New Host Kassem G

On 19 April 2021, something miraculous occurred… an upload on the iconic O.G. Kassem G YouTube channel. Not just any upload, but an upload of the beloved Ask Kassem format.

Ask Kassem was a comedic interactive Q&A show, with host Kassem G thrown against a greenscreen of brilliantly janky animations, hitting its peak of popularity between 2010 and 2012. The brief return of the show features favorite, Director of Photography, John “Fucking” Na.

The episode serves as an even larger announcement for the return of another dearly missed entertainment property, G4tv, with Kassem G stepping in as a new host.

G4tv was a geek-culture channel for the early 2000s, possibly most known for its original programming Attack of the Show! and X-Play. G4tv made it to approximately 61,217,000 American households by 2013, unfortunately ending all operations the following year.

On 24 July 2020, the Twitter accounts of G4, Attack of the Show! and X-Play were reactivated to announce a revival of the network. Finally, in January of 2021, we got the G4 relaunch announcement trailer, featuring Gus Johnson as G4’s “stand-in CEO” and confirmation of returning hosts Adam Sessler and Kevin Pereira, Ovilee May, and Froskurinn. 

The channel has already posted videos with guest appearances from ProZD, The Completionist, and Ron Funches.

On 19 April 2021, Kassem G’s official host announcement video went live on the G4 YouTube channel, followed by a pinned comment with Kassem expressing his gratitude for the warm welcome, as well as his intentions as a host. 

“Thanks for the warm reception so far everyone! I’m a G4 fan first and foremost! I want to see a lot of the old G4 stuff I remember watching on television in the early 2000’s but also very excited to see and help make new content and shows that reflects how gaming and pop culture has changed over the last decade. I’m very thankful for the opportunity and will do my best not to let you down! Plus I’ve already been paid so there’s no backing out now!”

Kassem G is already all over the G4 channel, participating in live streams as well. His sardonic, spicey wit is a welcome addition to video game commentary — almost perfectly timed for the current games media landscape with many critical of games journalism and craving a more self-aware, non-gatekeepy ethos. 

G4 will bring back versions of Attack of the Show! and X-Play,  along with Gaming News, Let’s Plays, Community Live Streams, and the occasional sketch — all with a digital-first approach.

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

Rohil Aniruth is a producer and staff writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him on Twitter @yorohil & see his portfolio at rohil.work

 

Mercenaries Mode Returns to Resident Evil Village With More Strategy and Fire Power

Resident Evil Village, the franchise’s eighth main installment, drops on May 7th, 2021. The game is a direct follow-up to the protagonist, Ethan Winters’ story in Resident Evil 7.

Once you beat the primary campaign, you’ll unlock the fan-favorite Mercenaries mode, an arcade-rush style of play where you clear out waves of enemies and make your way to various checkpoints, trying to get the best time.

Here are some quick deets on the updated game mode.

Before each round, you’ll link up with The Duke (Merchant) and purchase your load-out and support items. You’ll also be able to upgrade weapons too. Previous Mercenaries modes in Resident Evil 5 & 6 had predetermined load-outs based on the character you selected. This added choice of what you take with you into battle adds a new layer of strategy and allows players to explore the play styles which work for them.

RE: Village is a first-person shooter, bringing a new perspective to the traditionally 3rd-person Resident Evil Mercenaries play. Pairing the first-person camera with arena verticality makes for a more fluid, tense play experience. Shout out to Doom: Eternal one time for making that vertical combat trend again.

Dispatching enemies will buy you just a few more seconds for your run, while collecting orbs will give you a solid 30 seconds. Blue orbs will allow you to choose from 3 abilities you’ll have until the end of the game. Each ability pairs with your weapons. For example, one might enhance your melee, while the other boosts your sniper game.

Resident Evil Village is shaping up to be a release stacked with tons of replay-ability.

Check out Rohil’s thoughts on the final Resident Evil Village demos here.

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

Rohil Aniruth is a producer and staff writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow him on Twitter @yorohil & see his portfolio at rohil.work