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Jun. 15th, 2016 @ 10:43 pm Play to find out what happens
Current Mood: pensivepensive
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I was going to run a campaign using Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, using the module Hoard of the Dragon Queen" which I got for Sinterklaas last year. Then life happened and I had to postpone my plans for a bit. Since then, I have started playing in the Dungeon World PbV that I wrote about earlier. We have been playing most Sundays, and I really like how the game has been developing. I have also started (again) in the Dungeon World rulebook now that I have some experience with the rules in actual play.

One of the main rules of Dungeon World (and I guess every game that uses the 'Powered by the Apocalypse' system) is: "Play to find out what happens". Instead of moving through a pre-determined set of events, you leave the resolution (and escalation) of dangers up to the characters' actions. And then I thought about those adventure paths that we played in Pathfinder and the set-up of the module that I was going to play -- and that all seemed kinda 'flat'. It is definately not "play to find out what happens"!
I play RPGs because I want to portray an awesome character whose awesome adventures have an impact on the game world. And with those modules which are actually just a trip along several set pieces, that is lacking. Take the Hoard of the Dragon Queen module. In it, the players go on a journey from place to place, pursuing a treasure that will go to a central collection point. Along the way, they get to various places where various factions are doing their various things that they have to deal with. For the scenario, it is a necessity that the players are always one step behind the bad guys. If they catch up with the treasure caravan before the end of the module, that's the end of the adventure right there. Instead of being awesome, the characters have to be dumbed down and made ineffective. They don't have the initiative, they're just running after somebody else.

So now I'm not so sure I want to play through this module. But I'm not so sure I can get this group to go for a Dungeon World campaign. And: can I run DW effectively? I had the same 'wow'-feeling when I was reading through the Fate Core rules, but I never really got that off the ground...
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Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?
Jun. 14th, 2016 @ 07:10 pm I did the thing...
Current Mood: amusedamused
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So somebody was selling their HDMI capture device second-hand, I made them an offer with a price I was prepared to pay for it, and they accepted! So after two days I had this device at home. I've been spending quite a bit of time setting it up... I game with a controller from the PC in the living room. That is connected to our TV with an HDMI cable, so I could hook that up to the capture device, which also acts like a HDMI passthrough. (There was something with resolutions though, but I got that resolved.) Then I hooked the capture device through USB up to klik's laptop, and now I have a streaming setup though her laptop!
So I've been doing some streaming, and it's great fun. I don't get many viewers, but some of the people that I regularly watch on Twitch have subscribed and come to hang out, which is a lot of fun. And you can easily export videos from Twitch to YouTube, so it's easy to get a playlist of your playthrough of a game (in case anyone is interested...).

So you can now find me (mostly Wednesdays and Thursdays) on my Twitch.tv channel over at https://www.twitch.tv/fubfubfub. If you want to know when I'm going online, keep an eye out for my streaming-related Twitter account @fubfubfub. Drop in, say hi, watch me fail at games (mostly working on a Dark Souls II sorcerer playthrough).
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Maid dance
May. 27th, 2016 @ 10:34 pm Who'd watch me game?
Current Mood: pensivepensive
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So I have been hanging out in various Twitch channels these past few months -- mostly for streamers who play games I'm interested in or familiar with. Mostly Dark Souls II because I have been playing that one too, and because the gameplay makes it easy to drop in or out of a stream without missing essential plot development. I subscribed to some of those caster channels if I liked their personality and way of doing things and then stuck around as they moved on to other games. I even now play in an RPG campaign that's streamed to a channel because of this.
So, watching streams is kinda neat: the chat allows you to interact with the caster and the other watchers, and that can be a lot of fun. Not quite like sitting next to them on the couch, but it's close to that, and much more convenient. ;) And I play games too, so maybe I could start casting too? I'd need one bit of additional hardware, but we'd be set for the rest of the needed kit.

But I'm not sure I should do this. Who would want to watch me fail at games? Most casters I follow have a set schedule and work kinda hard to promote their channel -- that almost seems like work. I'm not going to do that. Also, I don't have a dedicated room to game in: we have specifically chosen to put all the computers in the (extended) living room, so that we'd still be together if one of us is on their computer and the other is on the couch. In fact, when I game, I'm using the TV and klik might watch from the couch. I'm not about to share all of those domestic scenes with the world.
But she works three evenings in the week... But do I really want to invest in something that might or might not work out? I'm just not sure. I'm interested, but I'm just not sure.
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display
May. 27th, 2016 @ 10:34 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, kishenehn!
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eten
May. 13th, 2016 @ 05:24 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, issue_i!
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eten
May. 13th, 2016 @ 05:23 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, isabelgou!
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eten
May. 12th, 2016 @ 11:32 pm Finished series: Hai to Sensou no Grimgar
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
We've finished watching Hai to Sensou no Grimgar. The basic theme is, once again, about people being pulled into a game world. But this time, there are some very interesting twists added. For one, they do not remember their 'old' lives. For second, while they learn skills and spells, and there is a 'cool-down' period etcetera, the combat is really, really gritty.
New arrivals in the world are given 10 silver, and they are instructed to become Trainees in the Volunteer Army. The country is at war, but here, at the frontier, people are needed to fight against the might of the No Life King and his monstrous minions. The Volunteer Army keeps the goblins and all in check, so that the people in the city may live in peace -- since there are no soldiers of the 'official' army to spare. But everything costs money -- even getting an official induction in the Volunteer Army costs money! If you want to eat or sleep, you need money. And the only way to get money, is to kill the goblins and kobols and loot their corpses. But there are start-up costs, such as getting training to become a certain class, armour and weapons, etcetera.
The main characters are a bunch of people who form a party after all the strong people have banded together. They are weak and always strapped for cash: in the beginning the whole party isn't even strong enough to take down a single goblin! I really like how they depict a pitched and desperate battle with a single goblin: they goblin doesn't want to die either!

But the focus is really on what the characters are thinking, how they are coping and how they interact with each other -- which I really like. The designs are very nice, and especially the background, which have a water-colour look. There's plenty of nice music to set the mood in the series, especially in the earlier episodes.
There's not much that's wrong with this series. We really liked it, and even though it has a theme that's been done to death, the twists make it really fresh and interesting. I would watch a second season of this for sure.
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Viking!
Apr. 29th, 2016 @ 09:37 am Rise and fall of the Angry Blackbird
Current Mood: pensivepensive
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A blackbird had decided to build a nest in the hedge, close to the back door. So far, so good, but then he got Really Angry when the cats went out. Sounding the alarm and even diving towards them! The cats sneaked from chair to chair, but after about a week of this they didn't want to go out as often anymore: the Angry Blackbird was winning the battle for the backyard. It even got so bad that they'd sit on the backs of the chairs we have in the living, and the Angry Blackbird would see them through the glass, and then would get all Angry again -- we've spent a few days with the curtains half-drawn...

And then last Saturday, the cats went out -- the Angry Blackbird seemed to be occupied elsewhere. But after a while, he had found them again and was again in full-on alarm mode. When I went to the backdoor to let the cats back in, I saw that they had caught a lady blackbird! I let them in, and then I found that the bird was still alive -- but she clearly was never going to get up by herself, so I had to euthanise her... Not a happy experience, that. We're still not sure if this was the prospective bride of the Angry Blackbird, or just a random passer-by.

Later that day, we decided that enough was enough. We plucked the blackbird nest out of the hedge (which was still empty) and chucked it in the green bin. I don't enjoy interfering like this, but raising a nest of young birds in our back yard is not going to end well for anybody involved.
We haven't seen the Angry Blackbird since.
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kodama
Apr. 23rd, 2016 @ 08:36 am (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, luna_puella!
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eten
Apr. 22nd, 2016 @ 10:05 pm More new anime
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Shounen Maid: Chihiro's mother dies, and he's left all alone. A kind older couple take him in, but then his uncle turns up to take him in! Turns out he's a rich costume designer, living in a big house -- even though Chihiro and his mother led very simple lives... But Chihiro doesn't want to rely on charity. The house is filthy, and he decides to clean up. So his uncle makes a deal with him: he can be the live-in maid in the house!
An orphan taken in by family -- and they are actually kind and compassionate? We haven't seen that too many times before. And it's fun in a gentle way. I want to see more about this.

Haifuri: Sea levels have risen and most of Japan has been submerged (again). There are now naval ships protecting the city ships -- with an all-female crew (because of course women don't fight...). We follow one training ship, staffed by a highschool class. But there's something weird: once they set out and approach the rendez-vous point, they are attacked by the ship of their instructors! They run away, but are now considered to be dangerous by all the other school ships...
Interesting, it reminded me of Starship Operators. There is obviously a conspiracy going on here, and I want to know what's happening. I would have liked the character designs a bit more realistic/serious though -- the way they act is like it's a regular highschool comedy series, which it's obviously not.

Sansha Sanyou: Yoko used to be a rich girl, but her father's company went bankrupt and now she's poor. She doesn't really know how to act in the company of 'normal' people, so she doesn't have any friends in class. This means she always eats her lunches alone. But one day, two other girls find her spot and the three of them meet up for lunch from then on.
An interesting mix of characters. And the writers didn't take shortcuts by simply selecting one of the many two-dimensional stereotypes. Still a bishoujo series -- but you know I like those.

12-sai: Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki: The series focusses on a sixth-grade class and the changes that the kids in the class go through. Main character is Hanabi, who finds out that she actually likes her popular classmate Yuto.
The character designs seem a bit dated, and it has all the trappings of your last year in elementary school. I didn't particularly like that year, so I don't really want to revisit all those things like inter-class feuds and all.

And that's it for this new season -- at least for the full-length episodes. And none of the short-length episodes were of interest -- which is like it usually is.
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Bishoujo squad!
Apr. 21st, 2016 @ 10:55 pm Stacked
Current Mood: nerdynerdy
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TransIP, a hoster in the Netherlands, has a free offering called STACK: free cloud storage for 1000 GB! It took me a few days to get an invite to activate it. It's based on Owncloud, and they made branded clients. That means there are clients for phones and tablets, and every OS (including Linux!). In addition, you can mount the drive through WebDAV too. It's reasonable fast, and you can store your Dropbox many times over in there. I'm a fan.
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ADM3A
Apr. 21st, 2016 @ 10:38 pm More new anime
Current Mood: okayokay
Super Lovers: Haru's mother lives in Canada, and when he comes to visit her for the summer, he is tasked with looking after his adoptive brother Ran, who is still just a kid. Ran lived in an orphanage, and he's kind of a wild child: spends all of the day outside and is only friendly to the dogs. But with some hard work, Haru slowly gains Ran's trust and gets him to behave a bit more like a human child.
It's a yaoi series, but the first episode is just build-up. But two (adoptive) brothers with a huge age difference shagging up? Creepy.

Kuromukuro: An ancient artifact was found, so of course the UN built a lab to investigate it. Yukina is the daughter of the lab director, but she just isn't that smart as her mother... One day she visits the lab to return a forgotten cell phone, and all hell breaks loose when several objects from outer space land on Earth -- they're attack mecha! And then the artifact activates with Yukina there!
The setup strongly reminded me of Neon Genesis Evangelion, which is not a bad thing at all. It's all very polished and there is quite the plot twist at the end. I really want to know how this continues.

Kuma Miko: In a mountain village, humans and bears have learned to live together. The bears even speak the human language. Up the mountain is a shrine dedicated to the bears, and Machi, a middle school girl, is the shrine maiden there. She takes care of the ceremonies, but before and after she chats with the bear, who is quite friendly. But Machi is thinking of leaving the little village behind and moving to the city.
Small-village life with a touch of the supernatural (and the history is just a tiny little bit lewd, which amused me). A very pastoral feel, like Non Non Biyori, but then with a talking bear being around too. We liked it.
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Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?
Apr. 19th, 2016 @ 11:11 pm Hamburgers
Current Mood: fullfull
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My boss, a Canadian who lives in Germany, is visiting Nijmegen this week. When I asked him if he needed me to make any arrangements (specifically for dinner), he replied that he'd just go to the snackbar for some fries. (This was through text chat, so I think the sad undertone I thought I heard was completely my imagination.) I replied that he should go to Restaurant Wally in the city centre, because they have great burgers there. I may have talked those burgers up quite a bit, and it turned out that he's not averse to a good burger. It didn't take long to decide that we'd go there together.
So when we were about to leave, there were two other colleagues left in the office, and they came along. One has a long list of strict dietary requirements, but since everything is made fresh, I thought it wouldn't be too much of a problem to have them change the burgers slightly to conform to fit within the restrictions. They even have an allergy-matrix where you can see which allergen is in which menu-item. This colleague doesn't like to make a fuss about her diet (which I can fully understand), but it wasn't any problem for them to, for instance, leave the bun off the burger and to serve the dressing apart from the salad so that she could eat with confidence.
So expectations for the burgers were high, but they were met. We had a good evening, and it was around 9 o'clock when I dropped them off at their hotel. I think there will be more visits to Wally in the future when he's in Nijmegen...
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eten
Apr. 18th, 2016 @ 08:59 pm More new anime
Current Mood: calmcalm
Joker Game: In 1930s Japan, a group of men is trained to become spies. Of course, this requires something different from the strict adherence to military doctrine that the army requires. So the men, who don't even know each others' real names, play all sorts of subtle games amongst themselves. Lt. Sakuma gets posted as the army liason to this spy unit, but he doesn't have a high opinion of these methods. But he has to learn to play the game to keep up with them...
An interesting concept set in a time where Japan was rapidly becoming the militaristic state which would plunge them into WW2. It's all very subtle, until Sakuma starts to 'get' it -- and then he gives as good as he gets.

Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu: Subaru is a NEET, and then one day when he visits the conbini, he gets transported to a fantasy world. This is of course like the games and the anime he is familiar with, but he quickly learns that he is not the protagonist of this world: he doesn't have any magical powers and is not immune to some old-fashioned beating when he runs into some thugs. He is saved by a half-elf who is looking for her stolen insignia, and Subaru, who got a look at the thief, decides to stick with her and help her.
We sure have seen this plot development quite a few times, but it's kinda refreshing that Subaru didn't gain any special abilities. He is at quite a disadvantage too... What can I say? I kinda like these series.

Big Order: Some people can get their wishes fulfilled, which is of course potentially dangerous to the rest of humanity. They are called 'Orders'. Eiji is one of them, and he is convinced that it was his 'Order' that destroyed much of the world ten years ago. Of course, he keeps it a secret, but when he is found out and his sister is taken hostage, he remembers what his real wish was, and acts on it.
Apparently made by the guy who wrote 'Mirai Nikki', and that we didn't like that either. I guess we don't like watching series about psychopaths.

Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge: Tanaka is lazy: there is nothing he likes to do better than to snooze. Luckily enough, his friend Ohta looks after him. Tanaka is so dedicated to his laziness that he goes to great lengths to be able to be lazy...
Funny in a slow-paced way, with some nice characters. The comedy reminded me of Nozaki-kun: funny situations without having to resort to weird violence or improbable situations. I'd be interested to see where it goes.

Seisen Cerberus: Ryuukoku no Fatalite: Some time ago, an attempt was made by a king and queen to seal an evil dragon away, but it failed. Now their son, the prince, has become a swordman, and he is seeking to finish what his parents started. Of course, not everybody is thrilled with that prospect, because the status quo gives them power over others.
The animation is kinda bad (as modern series go), and we didn't really care about the characters and what was going on. Bland and lacks character, with an uninspiring technical execution.
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Ships passing in the night
Apr. 17th, 2016 @ 09:25 pm More new anime
Current Mood: okayokay
Kiznaiver: A group of highschool classmates are captured by the shadowy organisation that is running their town and get subjected by the Kizuna System. Now, when one of them feels pain, they all feel it. They will be given missions, and the organisation is willing to demolish the whole town in order to get them to cooperate...
Kinda weird, and I'm worried about what the missions will turn out to be. But it's also fun and the animation style gets nicely 'semi-flat' for the more zany parts. Interesting plot, I want to see how it will develop

Mayoiga: A diverse group of people joins a tour to a secret village, under the impression that they will start a new life there. They only know each other by their internet handles, though some of them know each other from their 'old' lives. There's a very diverse cast of characters, and not all of them are sympathetic -- they all have their own reasons for abandoning their lives and trying to start anew.
With so many characters, you know it's probably going to be a case of them being killed one by one... To up the tension, our 'main' character is a very naive boy who will probably get into all sorts of trouble since he is so easily manipulated. It's all mysterious and weird, a bit like Lost I guess. Let's hope this one will have better writing. ;)
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Fleeing rabbit
Apr. 17th, 2016 @ 09:51 am Spontaneous RPGing breaks out
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
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I have been watching quite a few gaming streams on Twitch.tv lately. basically, you're watching other people play a game. Some also have a face-cam, most have audio to provide a running commentary to the game, and there is a chat-room for the stream as well. It's an oddly social thing: it's like you're sitting on the couch watching someone play, with some banter in the background. The type of banter is of course quite dependent on the streamer and the public they attract.
I've been a follower of this one guy. The topics in his chat range from national anthems and language structures to the mechanics of the game he's player. His regulars are a friendly bunch, and it's fun to hang out with these people. So when he mentioned earlier this week that he was going to be playing Dungeon World (a pen-and-paper RPG) this Saturday, I was intrigued. I could even help with the preparation by sharing my guide for setting up a campaign over Google Hangouts.

I have the Dungeon World book -- I got it because the game has a large following. It uses the 'Apocalypse World Engine' -- it's basically a fantasy game based on the rules engine of another game. I've tried to read through the rulebook, but it was not easy to get through: there's lots of jargon that really obfuscates what it is trying to do -- I just couldn't wrap my head around what a 'move' actually is, etcetera.
So I thought it would be interesting to watch some people I 'know' play the game, to see how it works and what makes it 'tick'. So when I saw the announcement coming up on Twitter that they'd go live with a Dungeon World session, I joined the Twitch channel. And it turned out that the game had slots for players open, so I was immediately invited to join. Apparently not knowing the rules was not a problem: we'd spend some time going over the rules and creating characters together before starting out. klik was out to the theatre and hadn't come home yet, so I thought: "OK, why not?" I got the link for the Hangout they were using, and off we went!

The total session time was about 2.5 hours, but we spent a good chunk on character creation and discussing the rules. I got to play Hazel, the Halfling Thief, and I had a great time. With the game being streamed on Twitch for a live audience, it wasn't as focussed as my regular Play-by-VOIP games, because you also want to keep an eye out on the chat on Twitch as well. Still, great fun, and we'll probably continue the game somewhere next weekend. I think I understand Dungeon World a lot better, and there are some things in there that work out quite nicely.

You can watch the stream here (if you're interested). Skip to 12:00 because that's when we started creating the characters. The adventure itself kicks off at 55:00.
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Viking!
Apr. 16th, 2016 @ 09:58 am New anime
Current Mood: okayokay
More spring anime!

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri: The world has been overrun by zombie-like creatures, and the remaining humans have retreated to strongholds, keeping the zombies out with steam-powered weapons. A caste system has sprung up. Armoured trains run from city to city. And then one of the 'stations' is overrun by the zombies, panic ensues! One young engineer finds a way to kill the zombies, but he needs to get out of the city if he wants to survive...
It's been compared to Attack on Titan, and there are certainly parallels between the two series -- liking AoT is certainly a good predictor of liking this one. The animation is very nice, the characters seem cool (at first glance), and the plot could be interesting.

Sousei no Onmyouji: 14-year old Rokuro was a very powerful exorcist, but he stopped two years ago when his family was killed in a demon incident. Then one day, he catches a girl falling from the sky: she is an exorcist too, and they get caught up in a demon incident. Faced with this demon, Rokuro needs to draw on his experience as an exorcist again to save the day.
Fine for what it is. The character designs are nice and the demons are really unnerving. But in the end, it didn't really grab us -- the exorcisms are more window dressing, and it's probably a "monster of the week"-type of series.

Sakamoto desu ga?: Sakamoto is the coolest guy in the school. Girls want to be with him, guys want to be him. But they get jealous and try all sorts of nasty tricks on him -- which of course all backfire horribly and Sakamoto comes out smelling like roses every time...!
It's like One Punch Man in that the main character can't lose. You'd think that would get stale quite fast, but OPM has shown us that doesn't have to be the case. And the setting is a lot less 'out there', which makes it both more relatable but will also require better comedy writing from the creators.

Netoge no Yome wa Onna no ko ja Nai to Omotta?: Hideki is a nerd who spend most of his free time in an MMORPG. Once he confessed his love to a female character there, but it turned out to be a guy -- so he never trusts female character again. He is part of a guild: two other males and one female. When they declare an 'offline meeting', it turns out that all the guild-members go to the same highschool -- and apart from Hideki, they're all girls.
It's probably 'one of those series', but I liked the set-up. The in-game footage is kinda cool too.
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Ships passing in the night
Apr. 11th, 2016 @ 08:33 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, coronanl!
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eten
Apr. 11th, 2016 @ 08:32 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, cissa!
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eten
Apr. 10th, 2016 @ 04:47 pm More new anime
Current Mood: bitchybitchy
Bungo Stray Dogs: Atsushi got kicked out of the orphanage where he lives. He then saves a man from drowning, who turns out to work for the 'Armed Detective Agency': a group of people with special powers who take on cases that are too hard for the police and the army. They are hunting a man-eating tiger, and Atsushi is convinced that tiger is after him personally! It turns out to be slightly different, and he gets recruited to become a part of the Agency...
It has special powers, it has a colorful cast of characters and a main character who has his own powers but seems to be mostly normal... The snappy dialogue and the action also reminded me of Kekkai Sensen, and that is not a bad thing at all!

Boku no Hero Academia: 80% of the population has powers in the form of 'Quirks'. This has given rise to supervillains and, of course, the superheroes who fight them. Izuku dreams of being a hero like that and going to the 'hero academy', but he is 'Quirk-less' and hence doesn't have a superpower! Everybody ridicules him, but he is determined to make his dreams come true.
Remember the last part of One Punch Man, when he joins the hero association and gets a rank and all? Well, suppose there's a highschool that trains its students to become heroes like that? And suppose one student is determined to make it work while he doesn't have any powers...? It's kinda cool, but poor Izuku is indeed quite worthless in a fight, so I'm not sure how he's going to make it work.

Hundred: Large monsters called 'Savages' attack mankind. The only thing capable of stopping them are 'Slayers': special trained forces powered by a 'Hundred', which turns into a weapon that suits their personality. Hayato has the highest compatibility rating and is invited onto the school-ship Little Garden to study to become a Slayer there. But he gets into trouble during the opening ceremony and is challenged to a duel by the school queen, the student council president!
I'm sure I've seen this exact set-up before. And we didn't watch those series either.

Flying Witch: Makoto is a witch, and as is traditional, she has to move out to become a full-fledged witch -- but her parents worry and make her stay with family in north Honshu. She gets lost easily, so her second cousin hands her off to his friend to bring Makoto back home. On their way, Makoto finds a mandrake root and wants to give it to the friend as a present...
It's like Kiki's Delivery Service, if Kiki lived in the present day, looked like Minmei from Macross and was a bit odd... Slow-moving but hilarious.

Endride: Shun is obsessed with crystals, and one that is in his father's lab, sends him to another world, where he meets a prince who wants to kill the current king: the usuper of his father's throne. Apparently people in that other world can summon special weapons from their chests, and Shun has this power too. Together, they escape the castle.
Not only is the plot uninspiring, the chemistry between the two boys is incredibly bad too. Designs are 'meh': instead of an exciting and beautiful world, it's all rather drab on the other side. Mediocre at best.
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icecream