Category Archives: Top 10s

Top 10 Favourite Wrestlers of All-Time

So after basking in the glory of becoming the WrestleCircus Sideshow Champion, I had wrestling on my mind again. Now I’ve said it before, I try not to talk about wrestling on this page too much, because I wanted to stick to anime and games as the major subjects on the page. But hey, it’s Top 10 time and it can be about anything, so allow me to indulge myself a little bit as I gush about my all-time Top 10 favourite wrestlers!

And to those who know wrestling well enough to know most, if not all the guys on this list, yes I’ve been watching since the 90s and no, this list is not being skewed by the recency effect. This is a legitimately unbiased Top 10.

Also going by Prince Puma in Lucha Underground, Ricochet may just be one of the most amazingly athletic and agile wrestlers I have ever seen and may ever see. The amazing things I have seen this man do in the ring are just astonishing, flips and twists galore, of course the main move being his 630° senton, basically a double somersault in the air. Also, he just looks fantastic, he’s the kind of guy that each passing year it amazes me that WWE has not signed this guy. He’s got the look, he’s got the swagger and he’s certainly got the moves.

One of the old guard from my childhood, the biggest name in the legendary Hart wrestling family, Bret “The Hitman” Hart was my first favourite wrestler ever. He had the advantage of being a fellow Canadian, but I always thought he looked so cool coming out to the ring in that leather jacket and those ridiculous shades. On top of that, he was at the time one of the best technical wrestlers in the world when he was in his prime. There just wasn’t anybody better when they shared a ring with Bret, which made it such a shame to watch his career go so sour after the infamous Montreal Screwjob and a very lackluster run in WCW that was cut short to injury.

Another fellow Canadian and a guy who’s grown on me more and more over the years. “Y2J”, “The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla”, Chris Jericho from the moment he debuted in WWE (WWF at the time) got my attention with his insanely high charisma and his unique look. I knew of him in WCW, but I didn’t watch enough to really get into him until his WWE run. Over the years, there’s few people who have been able to stay relevant and able to completely change gimmicks so seamlessly as Chris has been able to do. When it was finally time to become a bad guy after years of being a crowd favourite, he changed his hair, changed his wrestling attire and went from speaking with all that charisma, hard and fast, to speaking very slowly and using big words that the average fan would never use in their own speech. Now, Chris is getting a scarf and a fictitious list over with the crowd. A list of names is one of the biggest things in wrestling right now. He’s that talented.

I’ve only been aware of Kenny for a few years now, but holy freaking hell has he made an impression on me. For starters, he’s currently one of the best wrestlers in the world, is Canadian and oh, HE’S A GIANT GAMER!!! Yep, I like this guy already. There’s no one I have seen in wrestling who’s been able to go from wrestling a blow-up doll and a nine year-old girl (both of these are 100% true and real) to becoming a top star in the biggest wrestling company in Japan that is 100% about being a serious, hard-hitting promotion. He’s gone from being a cheesy over-the-top character who uses the Hadoken from Street Fighter, to one of the most badass looking guys…who once in a while still uses the Hadoken. He’s recently become my current favourite wrestler and will continue to climb the all-time ranks at the rate he’s going, especially if he ever makes a trip to WWE before he retires.

There is no tag team in the history of professional wrestling that has given me more entertainment value than Matt and Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks. A tag team that at best I can describe as walking, talking, wrestling representations of all the silly things and cliches of wrestling, ranging from the tassels, to overly colourful outfits, to constant flexing, to over-the-top moves that make no sense, they cover so many bases and yet they manage to still be extremely entertaining and very polished wrestlers. They single-handedly made the superkick the most iconic move in wrestling, one worthy of partying over. Superkick Party, anyone?

Before his WWE debut in 2016, I remember watching AJ Styles when he was really starting to get going in TNA as the company was also developing. He was so damn impressive back then and to think what would come of him with more experience and understanding the business better, it blew my mind. Then he left TNA and went to New Japan Pro Wrestling and I saw just that, a man of many years of experience, knowing what he has to do to get himself over. So in 2015, I’ve never been more happy in my life to see the debut at the Royal Rumble of “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles. Now in WWE, he truly is the best wrestler in the world right now, I don’t feel there’s anyone even close to him.

But if you’re curious who is sitting behind him as the second-best wrestler in the world today…

I was introduced to New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2015 after hearing so much about the upcoming “Japanese WrestleMania” in Wrestle Kingdom 9 through various wrestling podcasts and was really excited to see what the Japanese were doing in pro wrestling. I enjoyed the show all the way through, but in the second last match of the night, I got introduced to quite possibly the most charismatic wrestler I will ever see in terms of showmanship and swagger. Shinsuke Nakamura does speak a little English, but quite frankly he doesn’t have to in order to get the message across that not only is he a star, he’s THE star. Some people may think he’s a little goofy, but in my eyes he truly is the shining star of professional wrestling, Jim Ross put it best, linking him to legends like Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury. And on top of that mountain of charisma is one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever seen, mixing solid technical wrestling with a flurry of MMA strikes, holy shit watch how this guy uses his knees! I actually got the chance to see him live at NXT Takeover: Toronto and words cannot describe the aura that he carries and how the crowd is literally in the palm of his hand before he even walks out onto the entrance ramp.

The top guy for so many wrestling fans. Side note, I’m just gonna semi-spoil the final two spots, The Rock isn’t on this list. I like The Rock, but I was never a big Rock fan, he didn’t capture me the same way these ten guys have. But anyways, if there’s anyone from the Attitude Era of WWE that people remember the most, obviously it’s the trash talking, middle-finger waving, beer drinking redneck in Stone Cold Steve Austin. There was no one back then who was more loved and given the ratings today in comparison to back then, I don’t know if there ever will be a wrestler so universally loved by so many fans. Was he the greatest wrestler? I don’t think anyone would ever say that, but he sure as shit was the best wrestling character in the history of professional wrestling and still is to this day.

It’s funny too because as I’m writing this, it’s March 16th, aka Austin 3:16 day.

A guy that’s way higher on my list compared to the vast majority of people’s lists, Edge is a guy that I always liked as my sleeper favourite. When he first started out in WWE, I thought he was the coolest guy I’d ever seen, his look was so badass with the long leather jacket, long hair, glasses, just an enigmatic character. Then you put him in the vampire group the Brood, who I loved to death mainly because their music was so awesome. Then pair him with Christian in a tag team and they became two of the funniest tag teams of all time, basically what the Young Bucks are today. Lastly, he went away from all that and became one of the most hated wrestlers in that era. I know this because for a number of years I hated him, even though before that he was one of my favourite wrestlers. That’s how good a bad guy he was, he managed to make the teenage fan in me hate one of my favourite wrestlers. And to be fair, he also has the unfair advantage of having two themes done by Rob Zombie (“Never Gonna Stop”) and Alter Bridge (“Metalingus”) respectively.

He was at one point the best wrestler in the world. He was at one point the best talker in the world in terms of professional wrestling. He was at one point the hottest name in wrestling, even beating the legendary John Cena in merchandise sales. He beat the Cena kids in sales! At that time, no did that! For those reasons and for admittedly reasons that paint him like the ultimate martyr of professional wrestling, my favourite wrestler of all-time is CM Punk. When I first saw him in WWE on the ECW brand with his Killswitch Engage (“This Fire Burns”) music blaring and he had such a unique look, I was immediately interested and followed him. He toiled in near obscurity so many times and became the ultimate underdog, or as the higher-ups in WWE would call him, an “internet darling”. Finally, after the Straight Edge Society and the new Nexus, he did the ultimate thing that no one thought would ever happen, he got a mic put in his hand and was allowed to speak his mind. And boy oh boy he didn’t disappoint.

At that moment, it didn’t matter, he was my #1. Why? Because he at that time was the only person in the business that was visibly voicing the opinion of myself and the other wrestling fans out there who feel like our voices aren’t being heard. In an era where the only opinions cared about are that of kids and their mothers (which for a “violent” show like wrestling is hilarious to me), CM Punk was our voice, he was the voice of the voiceless. And then when he felt like even after bringing more attention to the WWE than they’d had in years, being the top of merchandise sales and easily having the loudest following in a long time, the WWE still didn’t give two shits about him, he left. Didn’t give his notice, he just quit on the spot. He wasn’t going to be held down and decided that it was time to leave. Obviously since then he’s been pursuing an MMA career in the UFC and it’s gone about as well as I think it ever could have, but the guy does what he wants and works his ass off to get there.

And as a fellow straight edge guy myself, it makes me so happy to see someone who accomplished so much and yet didn’t follow the usual stereotypes of being a drinker, or a smoker.


So that’s all for this week’s Top 10, thank you very much for checking it out and I hope I didn’t bore the majority of you with my wrestling banter. See you next week!

Top 10 Songs I’ve Performed To An Audience

Originally when I planned out these Top 10s, I only intended to do a guitar and a vocal one, but then I remembered that I’ve played a number of songs live myself. So I’ve got room for one more list and this is my Top 10 songs I’ve performed live to an audience. These are songs I have played to more than a few friends in the room, this is to an audience of 10 or more people and actually, I think the lowest number on this list is maybe around 30-40 people with all these songs on the list.

So without further to do, here we go!


#10 – “I Got Erection” by Turbonegro

Yep, you’re not reading the title of the song and the band that sings it wrong. The only real bar band I ever played for was a punk band called Inept Inc. We played a lot of your average punk music, Bad Religion, NOFX, bands like that. One band we had a blast playing a song from was Turbonegro and their aptly-put title, “I Got Erection”. It’s an easy song to learn and ridiculously stupid. Hence why we loved it so much that we had to play it live at least once.

#9 – “Plug In Baby” by Muse

The place I learned guitar from had a rock band program. My band for most of my time in it was called Cardboard Baseboard and we played together for I’d say six years or so. One of our favourite bands to use was Muse. “Plug In Baby” was the last one we did, a song that really summed up how much we’d improved since starting years ago, granted with a few people changing in and out of the band over that time. It’s a song that while wasn’t the most fun song we ever played, it was certainly an awesome track that really showed how polished we were.

#8 – “Open Your Eyes” by Alter Bridge

At competitions the music schools would have to compete against each other, there was a ‘Vocal Entertainer’ category, which was basically sing and play and instrument. The first song I chose to do for that, you’d think I’d pick something easy, right? Nah, I went right for Myles Kennedy and shot to the top with Alter Bridge‘s “Open Your Eyes”. Luckily my range was still a little higher than and I could pull it off-ish. But it also introduced me to a completely different guitar tuning I’d never used before and back then, holy hell did that unlock a lot of musical inspiration in myself.

#7 – “Glass To The Arson” by Anberlin

A band we at Cardboard Baseboard also listened to a lot, we played two tracks from Anberlinour favourite easily being “Glass To The Arson”, which was one of the few Anberlin songs that really carry a hint of badassery in it, as the band’s tracks tend to be more polished and serene. It wasn’t the hardest song to learn, in fact it was one of the easiest for us, but it’s a song that just sounded perfect with the members we had and the attitude we carried into our performances.

#6 – “Hysteria” by Muse

Our personal favourite Muse song, “Hysteria” is just such a fantastic track. I loved the song, but funnily enough I can remember being depressed about it, because I didn’t get to play the bass part, which is easily the best part in the entire song, the bass line in Hysteria is so freaking badass and cool and stands out when most bass lines never do. If you’re a bass player, this is a song you learn, no doubt about it!

#5 – “Roots Radical” by Rancid

Speaking of amazing bass parts, this was the second song I ever learned in the program. Looking back on it, I should not have been able to play this song’s bass lines at the skill level I was at. But the song was just so cool sounding that I couldn’t stop and I kept pushing myself to my limits and broke through. Rancid‘s “Roots Radical” is the lone punk song I ever played with Cardboard Baseboard, but man did we make a great pick with having that song as the only one we ever did. I still play that bass line today, granted on an electric guitar as I don’t actually own a bass.

#4 – “Lift And Fall” by Cardboard Baseboard (original song)

It sucks because I can’t put up a recording of us playing this song, we really should’ve thought about that. One year we were having trouble picking a song to do, so eventually our teacher suggested we try something really different: write a song. He had his own band and had some lyrics written that weren’t being used, so he brought one specific sheet for us, called “Lift And Fall”. We slowly but surely built a song around those lyrics and holy hell that felt fantastic to be able to accomplish such a task. For me at 14 or 15 to be in a band and have written a song that I felt was actually really badass, that felt so goddamn amazing, especially when people were amazed how good it was when we played it live.

#3 – “Broken Wings” by Alter Bridge

The only song that isn’t concert-related, I sang this song from last week’s Top 10 list at a karaoke bar that was absolutely packed. I knew no one would know the song, but that’s how I’ve always been with karaoke, I’ve never been a mainstream kind of guy. I was worried when I picked this song that my voice wouldn’t hold all the way through, but I have to remind myself that when I’m on stage, I’m a completely different person. If alone I can’t finish the song without a hiccup here and there, put me in front of a bunch of people and I’ll do it perfectly. As I got to the chorus, I hit Myles’ insane vocals so perfectly, I couldn’t believe my own voice. I was so happy and it served as a reminder to me just how much fun I have when performing in front of people, as it had been years since all my band stuff from my teenage years.

#2 – “Do You Call My Name” by RA

My personal favourite song that I played with Cardboard Baseboard, but serves at #2 for specific reasons I’ll get into later. This song from the band that loves to sound like Egyptian hard rock, RA‘s “Do You Call My Name” is one of the coolest songs I’ve ever learned, both from a guitarist and a vocalist’s standpoint, as I had backing roles in this song. Having to whisper and growl words in this song, it was such a fun and cool experience being able to do something like that. It was also absolutely hilarious watching people’s reactions when we played that song live. Generally speaking, people at these shows and competitions don’t play anything too edgy, because it “scares” the elitists.

#1 – “Blow Me Away” by Breaking Benjamin

In terms of overall value for how we played the song live, Breaking Benjamin‘s “Blow Me Away” is easily the best song I ever had the pleasure of playing in front of an audience. It’s one of the heaviest songs I’ve ever played, one of the most badass songs I’ve ever played, but that’s not even why I love it so much. Our second singer in Cardboard Baseboard was these really polished Chinese girl who I knew as being your cliche piano playing singer who only did more soft and vocal-driven songs. We in the band broke her pretty good with all our choices. This song in particular really unlocked a side of her I’m not sure anyone knew existed. There’s a part before the final chorus where Benjamin Burnley screams and the guitar solo kicks in. We joked around with our singer that she should totally do the scream and naturally she was like “No way!”, but we kept teasing her for fun, not expecting anything to come out of it.

Come show time, we’ve never gotten her to do the part. So we start playing the song in front of everyone, of course not expecting her to do it. That part comes up, I’m already lost in my musical trance as I concentrate on my own part. Then out of nowhere, I hear “RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” and I look over confused…sure enough she’s screaming and holy shit does she sound incredible! I nearly completely lost my place because I was so surprised. She looked at me first, clearly embarrassed and I just started laughing and started really bouncing around on the stage. After all, I’m a showman, I can’t let her top me, right? Needless to say, I still lost to her that time…


Thanks for checking out this week’s Top 10, hope you enjoyed it! Have you ever performed to a crowd? Doesn’t matter the size, if you have, talk about it in the comments below!

Top 10 Songs I Enjoy Singing

So two weeks ago I did a Top 10 list for songs I enjoy playing again and again on my guitar. I had a blast making that list and yes, I did play many of these songs right after I finished writing that article. So this week, I’m going to the other part I enjoy playing as a musician, except there’s no instrument involved, it’s just my voice.

I’ve been singing almost as long as I’ve been playing guitar and I mean singing as actually trying to sing like it was to be done live on stage, not what some of us do when driving or in the shower. So here’s the Top 10 songs that I like to sing the most. It’ll be a mixture of how well I think I sing it and then also how much fun I have singing it.

 


#10 – “Limelight” by Rush

Yeah, why don’t we just kick off the list with a singer with a high freaking voice, shall we? My voice by the way…not so high. But hey, that doesn’t mean I can’t try, right? Rush’s “Limelight” is a track that still challenges my vocal range, but Geddy Lee stays in a lower range for the majority of the song and allows me to have the ability to sing it to the fullest. The chorus especially is just challenging enough that it’s a fun and even more fun when I can sing it right. It’s also nice to say I’m able to sing a Rush song. There aren’t many.

#9 – “Watch Over You” by Alter Bridge

This is a song that I also really like playing with my guitar as well, the chord progression in this song is so beautiful. There are my bands I enjoy singing songs from, but none of them have as many songs I love to sing than Alter Bridge. Even though Myles Kennedy is a bastard for having a high vocal range I can’t hit sometimes, I love the flare his voice brings and it’s never stopped being fun to sing. While some of the band’s songs are intense, this one’s much softer and has a real beautiful tone to it and I love playing these kinds of songs when I break out the acoustic guitar. Not every song needs to be badass, you gotta enjoy the ballads too!

#8 – “Fairmount Hill” by Dropkick Murphys

Having a very low-toned voice and in turn a low vocal range, there are a lot of bands you can’t hit very often. This particular song from the Dropkick Murphys is actually challenging as the vocal range is really low. It’s another slower song but carries a little more power and the low-toned gravely voice you need for this song really adds onto it. It’s a song I find myself singing quietly to myself, especially while at work, easy to sing without needing to accentuate notes and in turn, raise my voice.

#7 – “Name” by Goo Goo Dolls

I used to listen to the Goo Goo Dolls a lot more back in college, but I turned to heavier and weirder music now into my late 20s. But I still really love singing their stuff, it’s right smack in the middle of my range, I don’t think there’s a single song of theirs I can’t sing, which is nice, I love approachable music. “Name” specifically is the one song of theirs that stands out, in particular their re-recorded version much later on, which really lets your voice explore the lyrics rather than being tied to a specific melody.

#6 – “Mystery Of You” by Red

Now here’s a song I have to sing early in my playlist, because after this song’s over I’m probably not going to be able to sing it perfectly afterwards. This is a really hard song for me to sing, the vocal range gets really high in the chorus and requires volume and power along with it, basically killing my vocal chords as I have no formal training. But man when I sing this song right, it sounds fantastic, the vocals in this track are just so powerful, it’s the kind of song that when you get it right, god damn do you feel so good afterwards.

#5 – “Big Bad World” by Authority Zero

This one’s all about fun for me, Authority Zero is a punk band known for having a singer who will sing lyrics to various songs at a much higher speed than most. Check out the band playing “Rattlin’ Bog”, it’s incredible how fast this guy can sing. This track specifically though is not too far in that direction, but is still a fun, fast-paced song with a ton of charm and swagger. You can’t help but move along with the catchy beat of the track and on top of that singing the calm and cool (despite the speed) sounding vocals really adds to the charm it already has.

#4 – “(*Fin)” by Anberlin

This is the ultimate song where I let the soft side of my vocals go. Anberlin has a high range when it comes to vocals, but with this particular track, it’s a very soft, high range, one that I am capable of achieving as I don’t need to really thrust my vocals out like in other tracks. This is a song that I also play on my acoustic a lot because it’s just such a freaking beautiful song to play. Once the song hits its second half and really brings out the power as well, man does it hit hard and strong, I love reaching that point in the song every time.

#3 – “Wormword” by Fozzy

Yep. A song from the band whose lead singer is WWE wrestler, Chris Jericho. I’m not kidding. You’ve either never heard of this band, or never bothered to listen to them because it’s a band fronted by a professional wrestler. But seriously, listen to this song. I’ll wait, till you come back……………………..WASN’T IT BADASS?!!! It’s a song I find myself getting a little too into it, as in moving my arms around, really moving along with the music. It’s such an epic track and as a vocalist you pretty much have every different way to sing in this song, so it’s a real challenge trying to do it all.

#2 – “Broken Wings” by Alter Bridge

My favourite Alter Bridge song to sing. It actually carries a special place with me as well, as it’s the first song I ever sang at a karaoke bar in front of strangers. There is no song that this band plays that carries more musical emotion, holy freaking hell is the chorus of this song powerful! I never stop enjoying singing this song, it’s one where it challenges me to sing Myles Kennedy’s high vocal range and yet has parts I can really flourish in the lower range and really make it sound beautiful. This is my ultimate karaoke song, cause it’s actually available, unlike the #1 of this list…

#1 – “Ashes Of Eden” by Breaking Benjamin

 

Once my favourite band of all-time until Iron Maiden really came into my life, Breaking Benjamin has always been a band I’m constantly listening to. I was really sad when the band went on hiatus and there was a long break in between albums. But their newest album finally came out and man was it great to listen to them again. What I wasn’t expecting, was a song like “Ashes of Eden” where they cut away from the badass riffs and really brought out the emotion. They’ve tried to with songs like “Forever” and “Rain”, but they never hit hard like this song did. The melodies are so beautiful and the vocals are so damn good. The lyrics are paced perfectly with every sound, there isn’t a single section that sounds off or rushed. Every single syllable is great and a blast to sing and it’s a song that gets put to the front of my vocal playlist when I’m alone in the car every single time.


Thanks for checking out this week’s Top 10, hope you enjoyed this one as much as I loved writing it. Music is a passion of mine, I’m constantly playing my guitar and if I’m ever alone driving (which is a lot of the time going to and from work), I’m always singing.

Top 10 Birthday Memories

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So I’ve turned 29 today. Hooray! I’m old. I’ll make that post when I’m 30, because that’ll definitely be my reaction when that happens. This year, I’m having more fun with it and since my birthday this year has fallen on a Sunday, it feels like the best possible option to put this into a Top 10! So here’s my Top 10 memories that I have from the various birthdays I’ve had in my life:


#10 – In-House Hockey

I’m Canadian, so naturally hockey runs through our veins. I think it’s actually against the law and a deportable offense to not like hockey here…

Anyways! The old house I used to live in had a long hallway-like room in between the living room and the back porch. It was usually the place me and my younger brother would play in, usually tossing a ball around and such. So on my birthday after me constantly talking about playing mini-sticks with kids at school, my folks saw an opening and got me two plastic hockey nets and mini-sticks. Now me and my brother had an awesome place to play hockey. And we did, almost every day.

#9 – Somehow Not Dying of Exhaustion at Chuck E. Cheese’s

There was one place that we as kids all wanted to go to, especially for birthday parties: Chuck E-motherfucking-Cheese’s! It’s a place that I’d always missed. So when I finally got the chance to go for one of my birthday parties, I was in. I don’t think I could run that much in my lifetime than I did that day. The amount of running, climbing, crawling, I’d probably have a heart attack today if I did that. Hell, I remember working a midnight shift at McDonalds and a couple of us on our lunch break tried to go through it and we were dead tired after one run through. But yeah, I finally got to play to my heart’s content at Chuck E. Cheese’s and holy shit was it fun!

#8 – Motherfucking S’mores Cake!!!

I’ve had some great birthday cakes, I’ve also had some bad ones. I remember my folks getting me a black forest cake, thinking it was my favourite (it’s my least favourite) and that was fun. But a few years ago, I got full freedom of picking out a cake from Marble Slab Creamery, an awesome ice cream shop. I could’ve gone with the usual stuff, strawberry shortcake, chocolate, all that jazz…but instead I tried something a little more interesting: they had a S’mores cake. An ice cakes laced in whipped marshmallow and chocolate sauce, topped with graham crackers and more marshmallows. It’s not the best birthday cake I’ve ever had, it’s the #2, but I was so proud of myself for picking out what at the time was easily my favourite cake.

#7 – “Man…I used to have girl-friends!”

It’s funny looking back on my life and laughing at some of the things I did and saw back then. One of the things that I always laugh at is how one year, I think I would’ve been either 8 or 9, I had a birthday party at my house, pretty normal, right? Except this young boy had five friends over to celebrate…and four of them were female. It’s so funny thinking back then that hanging out with girls was so normal, you weren’t worried about cooties, puberty hadn’t hit yet, girls were just…people. Not these scary creatures you were afraid to talk to at the risk of getting kicked in the balls or smacked. Most of my parties were an all-male crowd, but this one specific year was an anomaly and it was so much fun, we played tons of board games, watched movies, it was a fun time!

#6 – New House, Old Friends

At the age of 14, it was a big year. I had moved away from the small village town and into a much bigger town. The new school had 4-5 classes for each grade compared to 1-2 at my last school, there was a flood of new people I was being introduced to, just so much had changed. And with such a big change, there comes a lot of reminiscence, you really miss the things you used to have. So when my birthday came up, I made the ultimate attempt, I tried to get a few of my best friends to come down. It wasn’t the longest drive, at most a half-hour for them. Only two came forward, but I would’ve taken just one. My two best friends came and the flood of memories pouring back it was so amazing. For years after that, I rarely saw them again, but for that moment in time, it was such a fantastic moment for me, emotionally

#5 – Every Single Playdium Trip

Most years after 14, every party went to the same place, the Playdium, a massive arcade. There were go-karts, rock climbing and other stuff, but it was February so outdoor stuff wasn’t exactly available. They were smart to at least make the batting cages indoors though, so that was awesome. Every year when I went there, it was always so much goddamn fun, playing endless shooting games, racing in the Daytona USA car that moved with you, even the bicycle racing game that tired my ass out was so much fun. Every year I went there for like five, six years straight and I never regretted it.

#4 – Tickets To My Favourite Concert Ever

My girlfriend of nearly 10 years now isn’t the best at hiding presents, whether it’s her ideas or the actual present itself. Last year in particular, she did the most horrendous job. She got me tickets to a concert in the summer, but the problem was she couldn’t decide what seats to pick. So she pulled me aside and asked me to pick them. SURPRISE!!! This was weeks before my birthday by the way.

All that aside though, this show was the best concert I’ve ever been to. I’ve been to Iron Maiden, Reel Big Fish, Dream Theater, amazing acts, but this show had three acts that I was blown away by. Saint Asonia, Alter Bridge and Breaking Benjamin. All three sets were fantastic and didn’t stop, to the point I lost my voice singing so much. I’d never been so happy at a show ever, sure the present was given to me months beforehand, but what a birthday present it was.

#3 – Finding Out How Much I Like Lacrosse

I’ve seen plenty of sporting events in my life. I’ve been to many hockey games, baseball games, a couple basketball games, a bunch of stock car races, hell I even went to a golf tournament once and holy shit was that boring! But one birthday I got to see a sport live I hadn’t seen before, lacrosse. I’d watched a bunch of games on TV and took a real interest in it and my parents noticed that. So we got tickets to a NLL game and holy shit was that fun! For a long time that game was one of the best things I’d ever seen live, it was an action-packed game, it was not at all boring to watch live, even though you don’t have the liberty of close-ups and better views like you would on TV. Unfortunately, the sport really lost viewership and it’s so hard to find it on TV, which is a real same because it’s a fun sport to watch.

#2 – “I’M GONNA SEE KANE!!!”

I still remember exactly how it happened. I should’ve sensed something weird when we took two cars just to go to Wendy’s for dinner. After that, my dad put me in his car and we started driving off…heading in the opposite direction of home. He then handed me and envelope, saying “Happy Birthday”. I opened it up and found two tickets to a WWE (WWF at the time) house show. This was just months after Kane had debuted, a character that for whatever reason (I’m sure it was the pyro) I was so into. I saw the tickets, freaked out just on the idea of going to see wrestling and then the realization of who’d be on the card, I didn’t go nuts cause Stone Cold Steve Austin was on the card or anyone big like that, I screamed “I’M GONNA SEE KANE!!!”. And that show was so much fun to watch, the last wrestling show I saw for a long time as the coming 2000s really turned me off of wrestling for a while.

#1 – My First Guitar

 

Last week you got my Top 10 songs I enjoy playing on my guitar. My very first guitar, the instrument that started it all, my love for music, the years of musicianship I’ve worked on since the age of 13, it was a birthday present. An acoustic guitar and music lessons, that was my 13th birthday present. I’d mentioned plenty of times wanting to learn guitar, hell I broke a string on my dad’s old guitar trying to play it. I’m sure my folks thought it was something I’d do for a little and get bored of, but that was definitely not the case. Now 16 years to the day later, I’m still playing and other than not being in a band right now, I’ve never played more than now. Music is such a major part of my life, it’s where I go to relax, to get psyched up, to deal with any level of emotions I’m experiencing, it’s always been there. And being given the chance to generate the ability to play music, that will remain the best birthday present I ever got and kickstarted more awesome moments in my life than anything else.


Thanks for checking out this week’s list, hope you enjoyed it! What are your favourite memories and birthday presents you got? Put ’em in the comments below!

Top 10 Songs I Enjoy Playing On My Guitar

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I can’t believe after having a massive writer’s block, I never thought of a Top 10 like this one. It’s not like I recently did a Top 10 about anime opening themes and talked about enjoying playing a couple of them on guitar or anything, right? So now my brain has kicked into full gear again and I came up with a great idea, to have a Top 10 songs I enjoy playing on the guitar. Next week, I’ll do one of the Top 10 songs I enjoy singing.

I’ve been a musician for 16 years as of the 26th this February, as it’s my birthday. For my 13th birthday, I got my first acoustic guitar and from there on, the journey began. I’ve gone through different musical phases, I’ve owned six different guitars in my lifetime, three amplifiers and I’ve played two professional shows and a ton of other small shows within a music studio I learned and eventually taught at.

So here’s my 10 favourite songs to play on my guitar currently. These can range from really technical songs that are hard, but fun to play, or songs that are easy and just a blast to strum away at.


#10 – “R U Mine?” by Arctic Monkeys

I have Rocksmith 2014 to thank for this one. I’ve liked the Arctic Monkeys in the past, but after songs like “Brianstorm” and “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”, I hadn’t been listening to any of their new stuff. In the game, this song is among the list of songs that come with the game. It’s very easy and straight forward, but the main riff is really fun to play and with the accurate sound of the actual song being pumped out through the game, it just sounds fantastic. It’s one of very few songs in that game also that I’ll sing the lyrics while playing it. Because, well…it’s easy enough to play and sing at the same time. I’m not gonna be doing that while frantically playing through a Dream Theater song, that’s for sure!

#9 – “Database” by Man With A Mission ft. TAKUMA (Log Horizon)

The lone anime track on this list, I’ve always loved this song from Log Horizon, as it is just such a Japanese-style nu metal track with a badass beat and a killer guitar riff. It can be a little demanding, but there is enough of the song where you can just strum away and get lost in the music. I particularly like playing the opening lick (when I don’t mess it up), but man does that crazy little solo in the bridge kick my ass! Either way, it’s a really fun song to play, now if only I could find more anime tracks that are easy to learn and I won’t have to play by ear.

#8 – “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard

This is nowhere even near my favourite Def Leppard song, I really love “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages” and for those who don’t know the newer songs, “Long Long Way To Go”. But “Pour Some Sugar On Me” has that killer riff at the start of the song and no matter what guitar you play it on, what effects you use to alter the sound, that sequence always sounds badass. It’s a fun song to play, it doesn’t demand to much skill and has that party, rockin’ vibe that really makes it easy to get into and a song you can go back to again and again and not have to worry about it being too challenging.

#7 – “Cry Thunder” by DragonForce

Yes, I actually attempt to play DragonForce songs. Thankfully, while songs like “Through The Fire And Flames”, “Operation Ground And Pound” and other songs destroy my wrist and fingers, “Cry Thunder” on the other hand, while still an extremely difficult song has enough sections in it that for a veteran guitar player like myself, it’s approachable enough and still really fun to play. The opening solo is really fun to play, has a sort of Irish-sounding sequence to it. Naturally, the main solo of the song isn’t even remotely approachable for me, but I’m sure the sounds of missed notes won’t piss too many people off…

#6 – “Glasgow Kiss” by John Petrucci

Speaking of missed notes, there is no song that kicks my ass harder and yet I keep coming back to, than John Petrucci’s (Dream Theater) “Glasgow Kiss”, a song that I’m slowly but surely actually nailing down the main sections of the song before the solo absolutely destroys me. It’s easily one of the best sounding songs I’ve ever heard from a guitarist’s point of view, the sound is just so crisp, Petrucci hits every note like he’s running like a metronome, it’s just a perfect guitarist’s song, full of challenge, speed and precision. And it makes me so happy to nail down sections that a year ago I thought would’ve been absolutely impossible for me.

#5 – “The Thin Line Between Love And Hate” by Iron Maiden

Anyone who knows me and my musical tastes shouldn’t be surprised to see an Iron Maiden song on this list and even more so that it took until the Top 5 to start seeing them. When an Iron Maiden song gets in my head, it doesn’t just hang around, it pushes itself to the forefront. This Brave New World track has a great mixture of speed, precise sections, followed by slow, methodical and emotional sections. It’s an emotional roller coaster of a song and for a guitarist like myself (who also loves Iron Maiden as much as one person conceivably can), it’s a perfect song to get into.

#4 – “Blood Brothers” by Iron Maiden

Also on the same album, here’s a track that carries legitimate emotional value and on top of that is an extremely fun song to play. When I saw Iron Maiden play live, they dedicated this song to the late Ronnie James Dio, who had passed away if I remember correctly a couple months prior to the show. The song itself like the one above it in the #5 slot is a great song that mixes all the great elements of a song. On top of that, the solos in this song are just fantastic to play, they’re not too hard for Iron Maiden standards, so it’s easy for me to approach. Another song at times I’ll catch myself singing along with it, though only in certain sections, of course, it’s still a tough song.

#3 – “Wasteland” by EarlyRise

The song that Rocksmith 2014 really got me into playing over and over again. It’s honestly not a hard song, it’s not even remotely close to being my favourite song. But as a song to play on my guitar, for whatever reason it just resonates so well in my ears as I listen to myself play through it. The little solo you play during the chorus especially, it sounds so damn good. It’s a song I don’t have to devote too much of my attention and concentration to and thus becomes a song that I can just kick back, relax and strum away. It’s easily the song that comes with the game that I turn to the most and a song I wish I had played with my old music academy rock band, the singer would’ve been perfect for it.

#2 – “Radical Dreamers ~Without Taking The Jewel~” by Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Cross)

The only song on this list from a video game and also the only song on this list that you play with an acoustic guitar, rather than an electric guitar AND on top of that, the only song on this list you fingerpick instead of using a pick like you would with pretty much every other song. This is not about technicality, about speed and precision, about anything a guitarist would normally gush about. This song in its purest form, is one of the most beautiful songs I will ever play. It’s the song that really got me moving forward on learning how to properly fingerpick, though admittedly I still don’t do it properly, I pretty much only use my thumb and index finger to pick unless I need my middle and/or ring finger for 3+ string chords. This song is you’ve never heard it before is such a beautiful sounding song, I strongly recommend you listen to it and if you’re a guitarist, give this song a shot yourself!

#1 – “For The Greater Good Of God” by Iron Maiden

It should be no surprise that an Iron Maiden song is my #1 pick for songs to play on my guitar. But I think most people who are Maiden fans are shocked that none of the songs I even listed are the classic hits like “Number of the Beast”, “The Trooper”, “Fear of the Dark”, songs like them, instead all three songs that made the list are 2000s hits. In fact, the #11 song if I went further back would’ve been “Satellite 15…The Final Frontier”, which is from a 2010s album. The newer songs for whatever reason seem to strike me better than the old ones.

“For The Greater Good Of God”, that’s the only song I have gone out of my way to learn how to sing and play on multiple instruments. I can play this song on guitar and have adapted it to a keyboard (at a very low-level, I’m self-taught for a single year at this point). This song has everything I could ever want, heavy strumming riffs for verses and the chorus, a great opening lick to start things off and my favourite guitar solo I may ever learn to play. It’s specifically the last solo before the chorus starts up again, there is no solo I’ve played that sounds cooler, hell I downloaded the song for Rocksmith 2014 (a custom one, not directly made for the game) and I find myself putting that section on the Riff Repeater setting so I can just play it over and over again, just that part on its own. There is no song I’ve played more times in a row and more times over the course of my lifetime as a musician.


Thanks for checking out this week’s Top 10, hope you enjoyed this one, which was a little different to most of the lists I usually do. I love playing music and looking back on it now, I’m surprised I didn’t do a list like this until now. But yeah, next week will be the same, but from a vocalist’s perspective rather than a guitarist’s.

See you next week! Don’t forget to list songs you like playing yourself if you’re a musician as well, doesn’t even have to be just on guitar.

Top 10 Anime Pictures On My Computer

So I was having a lot of trouble thinking of a Top 10 this week. It’s one of those times where you draw blanks. So as I’m typing this, it’s Saturday and I’ve still got nothing, so it’s finally time to go to an emergency backup that I’ve been saving for a long ass time…

This Top 10 is very simple, my ten personal favourite anime pictures that are sitting in a folder with all the others on my hard drive. At the moment, the current count of pictures saved in that folder are at 1,317. So picking out ten pictures is going to be quite the challenge. But when have I ever backed down from one?

So here’s a real interesting look into what I like when it comes to anime girls and such, here’s my ten most favourite pictures on my computer!

…Oh! And in case you’re wondering, obviously there will be no pictures containing sex. That’s in a different folder. *wink*

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If anyone has ever heard of the artist, Rezi, you’ve seen a whole whack of absolutely gorgeous artwork. Out of all of them, this is the one that’s struck me the most. It’s certainly not the sexiest piece of art Rezi’s done, but out of them all this particular one is able to mix in sexy with beauty and a tomboyish side as well. It’s not often a girl in boyshorts looks that damn sexy and in this case, it does 100%. Not only that, but the detailing on her underwear as well, it looks so damn good!

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Managed to do a tiny bit of research on this one, no idea what it was from. This is “Curse Maker” from an Atlus game called Etrian Odyssey, which I never played cause I don’t play many handheld games. But if this girl is a walking, breathing curse waiting to happen…I’m almost tempted to take the risk. I mean look at her! Gorgeous body, looks so innocent and those striped thigh-highs look fantastic. The pose is very well set up and the background as well is beautiful. I’d have a hard time leaving this girl behind if I ever came across her, even if she was a living Pandora’s Box.

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I played a ton of hentai visual novels in my teenage years and one I remember a lot was Lightning Warrior Raidy. Not because of the hentai, story or anything, just because it made me realize I’d rather just find the CG sets of these visual novels, rather than play ones that have actual gameplay beyond multiple choice. There’s definitely one thing I remember well about Raidy and that was the redhead’s perfect butt in the most unpractical armor ever. Given the amount of possible things that will happen to her in the game, it’s one final shot before it all begins. I mean I’m not complaining, but if you’re going to fight sexy monsters that are much more powerful than you…might want to wear more than an armored thong.

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Well it wasn’t going to be long before at least one Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica picture made its way onto the list. I’ve made it no secret how much I adore the artwork from the anime (that I still haven’t watched more than two episodes of…) and while the red-haired Corticarte is a major part of why, this piece of artwork featuring Princesca Yugiri who usually plays third fiddle to Corticarte and her sister, Perserte. But this picture, holy shit the butt on this one! Now granted, I’m a little perplexed on how the legs are working in this picture, I’m assuming she’s in the traditional Japanese pose when they’re sitting down on their knees, but regardless, that butt completely directs me away from any questions I have. The shrine maiden robe works perfectly with this pose and as the majority of Polyphonica art is, the detailing on the skin are second to none. Just gorgeous!

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No idea where this picture is from, can’t seem to find out where it’s from either. But this is one of the original pictures that made it onto my hard drive and has stuck with me ever since. Honestly, it’s really just the green-haired girl, the other one doesn’t really do much for me. The green-haired slightly tanned girl, just wow! She’s absolutely stunning and there’s just enough of a tease with the sideboob that you just can’t help but want to see more. On a more side note though, her feet are so beautifully drawn, especially the one where you can see the bottom. I don’t have a foot fetish, but in this case I can see why some people do.

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No clue where this came from either, but holy hell if there was a picture that got me starting to daydream about girls in space, this was the picture that kicked that off. The art style is so unique and to see a girl who looks as normal as she does really sells it well. She looks like your average pretty girl who even in a cramped space in a spaceship, she wants to just kick back and play video games. And apparently not wear underwear while she does so, geez those shorts aren’t staying on that well, are they?

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I absolutely adored the hentai visual novel Princess Waltz. The anchor of that, of all girls was Angela who is easily the most evil of them all in the game. But holy freaking hell is she gorgeous and her sex scene easily has the best pose (with her up against the cliche hotel glass window) where she looks like a million bucks. But out of all her pictures, this is the one I love the most. It’s a perfect mix of sexy and badass, you can look at this picture and think “I don’t want to fuck with her!” and yet at the same time go “Well…I’d still like to, but…” as well. The only crying shame is that really at no point in the game there’s ever a good butt shot with her, because I’m sure she easily has the best one too.

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Now I said no sex, but that wasn’t going to leave some anime boobs out of the equation. The only picture on this Top 10 that required a little censorship, this is easily the best anime drawing of a video game character I’ve ever seen. This is Ramlethal Valentine from the Guilty Gear series and holy freaking hell did the artist behind this picture get her right and made her look like the most beautiful girl on the planet! Her body is perfectly shaped, boobs aren’t too big, they aren’t too small, the pose perfectly shows off everything you’d want to see from a frontal view, her chest, stomach and hips. Even the style of panties she’s wearing really grab my attention and honestly, usually underwear that takes away from my imagination don’t usually work with me, but since it’s only showing pretty much all of her legs, it’s more than acceptable. And because I’m biased as all hell, of course the dark skin is an extra plus.

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The ultimate butt picture I have on my hard drive. The first time I saw this picture, I was solely locked on the third girl with the pink/white striped panties, but since then I’ve completely opened up to all four, in fact striped panties girl is now third out of them all. For those curious, it’s literally 1st to 4th if you go left to right. I always enjoy pictures like these, not even just because it’s a bunch of butts. In the case with this one especially, I don’t have any idea how three of the four girls look face-wise. I’m big on imagination when it comes to pictures, I’d much prefer a girl in her underwear or a bikini than completely naked, it allows my imagination to fill in the blanks, rather than having all the answers right from the start. Same goes here, I love the idea of imagining the pretty faces these girls obviously have. But all right, fine! The butts are really nice too! There, happy?!

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But of course, as I said earlier, I absolutely adore Polyphonica art. There is no picture that I have been so mesmerized by than this one of four of the girls in the series as they enjoy a lovely day at the beach. The Yugiri sisters are at their best here, looking absolutely gorgeous, while Eufinley is looking gorgeous yet just a little tomboyish still, regardless of how much skin she’s actually showing. But of course, Corticarte in all her red-haired glory is taking center stage here, even though she takes up the least amount of space in this picture. Just that pose, seeing her stomach, a little bit of the lines between her thighs, she looks absolutely perfect here. And the look on her face, you know that she knows just how goddamn hot she looks right now. It’s not fair, man! Anime is just too damn perfect an artform!


Thanks for checking out this week’s list, I hope you enjoyed it, or at the very least survived the awkwardness that’s me gushing about how pretty an anime girl looks. Hopefully next week the Top 10 writer’s block comes to an end and I have a much better idea for you guys!

Top 10 Anime OP Songs

Any avid anime watcher has a list of their favourite themes from their favourite shows. For me, an anime’s OP can really enhance your excitement for each episode and can even make or break a show’s first episode. You only get one chance to make a good first impression and an anime OP can do just that.

This Top 10 is devoted to my personal favourite anime OPs. This isn’t just based on the quality of the music however, there’s a few things I’m considering on this list:

  1. Overall music quality
  2. The animation during the OP
  3. Replayability

So without further to do, let’s kick this Top 10 off, shall we?

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While the song is still catchy, what really sells this OP to me is the perfect animation that went with it. If you’re a consumer of anime and video games, you certainly got your money’s worth with this anime about one of the laziest high school girls you’ll ever see. The mixture of cheesy, over-the-top animation and a handful of video game references really make you pay attention to this OP. The music itself is really fun and silly. While not the kind of music I’d listen to on a regular basis, it’s nice to go to once in a while, just to put a smile on my face.

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Originally this wasn’t going to be a song I would’ve put on the list. Then I got a copy of Rocksmith 2014 on my PC and there just happened to be a few anime songs I knew that people had created for the game and this one was included. And wow, as a veteran guitarist, this song is so much fun to play, so I found a new appreciation for the tune. It’s funky beat, especially the badass bass guitar really makes the song such a joy to listen to and the vocals in this track (done by MICHI) are fantastic, she really takes over the song when she starts singing. It’s a great song to get you set for a pretty light-hearted anime about candy and snacks.

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I mean, this song is pretty fucking badass as a heavy metal song with a bunch of Japanese girls singing over the music. That’s already enough to grab my attention. But then it has to kick in my bias by having Marty fucking Friedman as the guitarist in the song! That’s almost cheating! In all seriousness, this song is pretty badass, even without Marty Friedman being involved. The opening guitar solo is so fucking good, that alone gets you set for the show, but the sillyness afterwards with Momoiro Clover Z singing the lyrics of this epic metal tune just adds the icing on the space cake.

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This was my favourite OP from last season and remains to be a song I love to listen to over and over again. As I said when I gave this song the award, that opening guitar riff is just so goddamn good, there’s very few songs that I’ve ever listened to and immediately pulled up Google to search if someone had tabbed out the song so I could learn how to play it. The vocals in this track are pretty sweet to, the animation alongside of it really gets the show’s colourful and cheesy nature out there and you’re more than ready to sit down and laugh along with the show.

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♫ Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay yourrrrrrrrrrrrr haaaaaaaaaaaaaaands onnnnnnn meeeeeeeeee!!! ♫

The vocals alone in this electronic OP sell it for me. The first time I heard this song, I was hooked. This was an immediate find and download so I could play this in the car and sing away. It still is today and likely will be for a long time thereafter. The animations is also fantastic, one of the most beautiful OP animations I’ve ever seen. Congrats to the Boom Boom Satellites for such a badass song (and a badass name)!

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I never would’ve thought a mixture of dubstep and hard rock would’ve sounded so fucking cool! The first time I heard this track, I was sold and then some on this show. I was already in love with it from the very start, reminding me so much of Cowboy Bebop with it’s style, but the Stereo Dive Foundation song on top of it just made it that much better. One of the best action-packed OP animations I’ve ever seen along with this badass track really got my blood pumping for each action-packed episode of this incredible anime.

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This is a case of the animation itself truly enhancing the song and then some. I said it when I gave this show the Best OP award over Kiznaiver, Anne Happy didn’t have the better song, but it certainly had the better overall package. I can still watch the OP animation to this anime and have the same uncontrollable smile on my face as I did the first time I saw it. The song and the animation combined makes for one of the silliest, cheesiest, most over-the-top and adorable OP I may ever see through all my years of anime watching, past, present and future. You have to watch this for yourself if you haven’t already, just to understand how infectious this song and animation truly is.

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It’s interesting looking back on last season’s awards. Nanbaka won Best OP and is #7, yet here’s the runner-up in Drifters at #3? Honestly, this isn’t a massive change of heart kind of situation at all. Remember how I mentioned that one of the things I was judging on when it came to placing these songs was replayability? Well when you’re a musician like myself and you used to sing in a band and continue to do so when alone in the car, having a song that is completely in English makes it really easy to play the song over and over again. This badass track is the only anime song I play that I can sing all the way through, since it’s the only one on my playlist fully in English. It continues to be a great listen and the added bonus of being in my vocal range just makes this a song I’m biased towards and ended up putting higher on this list than I first thought I would’ve put it.

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When I first started watching Nisekoi and heard this OP for the first time, it was a good song, but I never anticipated it becoming such an infinitely replayable song on my playlist. Over time, the ClariS track kept growing on me and it kept doing so with each passing episode until the first season was over and I was listening to this song in my car on repeat. It’s such a catchy song despite the Japanese lyrics, the beat is so perfect and lively, it’s hard not to nod your head and just relax as the song flows through your ears. It’s even crazier to me that this song has done so well with me when this is such a 2000s sounding pop song and I’m as anti-mainstream music as it gets here when it comes to Western music. But the song’s just that damn good!

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But in the end, there was no doubt in my mind which track I was putting at #1. The first time I heard this Man with a Mission track during Episode 1 of this fantastic MMORPG anime (that beats the shit out of Sword Art Online, suck it!), there was no song in an anime I’ve ever been more enthusiastic about after hearing it for the first time. In fact, it’s the only anime OP I’ve ever stopped the episode I was watching to rewind the episode and listen to the song again. I couldn’t believe after all the meh anime themes I’d heard over the years that a song this good, this badass was possible of being put in an anime. It’s really the first badass metal track I heard in an anime, which may give me a little bias towards the song, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the song I love the most and listen to the most when I’m the car. It’ll take a really good song to dethrone this king!


So thank you very much for checking out this week’s Top 10 guys, hope you enjoyed it as always!

Don’t forget to leave your own favourite anime OPs in the comments below!

Top 10 Harem Anime

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of harem anime. As a consumer of ecchi content, there’s very few shows that can be as good with that type of content as harems. However that’s not the only reason I love those types of shows, as harems tend to be extremely cheesy, over-the-top and honestly, full of life. It’s hard to come across an extremely depressing and sad harem, at least in terms of the entirety of the show. So for me, an anime watcher who prefers the comical, lively kinds of anime, harems fit in perfectly to that mold.

So this week, it’s my Top 10 harem anime!

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Okusama ga Seitokaichou! (My Wife is the Student Council President) is the only non-full episode show on this list, but what it lacks in length, it certainly makes up for it in charm and well…a lot of ecchi. Out of all the shows on this list, this is certainly the one that pushes the limits the furthest. How this show is televised in Japan is incredible to me when the show is literally the tiniest step away from being a hentai anime. But despite its constant pushing of the boundaries, the show goes beyond just that of an over-sexualized show. The characters are all very charming, the comedy is on point at times and the show just does a fantastic job of taking a traditional slice of life anime and turning it on its head, or in this case, completely bare breasts.

09

This is actually the first harem anime I watched in full. I’m not even sure how I came across Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou (Demon King Daimao) in the first place, but all I know is once I started watching that show, my fate was sealed, I was forever destined to enjoy harems. With a diverse cast of characters, a badass intro song and an over-the-top magical school premise that makes the show feel like what you’d get if you took Harry Potter and turned it into an ecchi anime. And come on, if you’ve watched the show, you know just how amazing Korone is. She makes that show.

08

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (Haganai) like Okusama at #10 is another one of those shows I’m amazed was aired on television, but then again it’s Japan, so why does anything surprise me anymore? While the show doesn’t go as far in terms of visible nudity and softcore as Okusama, this show is particularly known and in some cases blacklisted by anime fans because of the couple of girls on the show that are VERY underage and are naked or damn near close at times in the show. But if you can get past that, there’s an extremely funny show to be watching. With a cast of characters that go beyond the traditional over-the-top tropes, a constant barrage of jokes, puns and smacks in the face and a disregard for all morality, Haganai ends up being an extremely entertaining show, one that I went through really fast after I started watching it.

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Like Daimao, Shuffle! is an early harem anime that I came across in my early days of watching anime. While Daimao was all comedy, Shuffle! on the other hand mixed that with some extremely serious themes, particularly toward the second half of the show. All the usual harem fodder is there, lots of ecchi, a rainbow hair cast of beautiful girls, but the show also has moments where they pull away the comedy and bring in the heavy doses of serious and downright frightening material. Take Kaede for example, a girl who seems like she’s playing the role of the perfect waifu trope, when out of nowhere she can turn super-yandere because of a mental disorder that began in her childhood. The show does the impossible, being very lively at times but also able to mix in the moments of sadness, depression and downright horror.

06

It’s very possible that Rosario + Vampire is at #6 solely on the perfection that is Mizore’s butt in striped panties. I’m half-kidding when I say this. All I can say is if that you’re looking for panty shots galore in an anime, this is the show you want to be watching. Basically a high school for monsters with the MC being the only human there, the show is a constant barrage of over-the-top fights, followed immediately by panties and butts, usually at the same time. Throw a couple of sexy vampires, a witch, a succubus, a snow woman into the cast of characters and you’ve got yourself an entertaining harem anime, one of I’ve gone through and watched a number of times over the years.

05

This is a recent addition to my anime library, so it’s very possible this show wins points due to the freshness of it. However, I can’t sell this anime short on its entertainment value and downright near perfection with ecchi content. Oniichan dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne! (OniAi) is a show that people will know for teasing an incestual relationship between the MC and his sister, but the show large in part does a good job of identifying that it’s only the girl who’s interested, not to mention it doesn’t matter when they’re three other girls fighting just as hard to gain his affection (and get into his pants) and one lovely redhead in particular REALLY fights hard for it. The show is littered with great comedy, a fantastic cast of girls and some really good ecchi scenes, everything I look for in a harem anime.

04

Out of all the shows on this list, Jitsu wa Watashi wa (Actually, I Am) easily has the least amount of ecchi in it, but it makes that up with an incredible amount of charm and adorability. There is no show on this list that I enjoyed more from being cute and adorable than Actually, I Am. With girls like Youko, Nagisa and Mikan, there’s such a pretty cast of girls that are all very interesting, along with their quirks, since like Rosario + Vampire, all the girls in the show are either monsters or have some sort of paranormal quirk to them. The show is chalk full of comedy, has a really nice romantic story to it and does a great job of not having one girl completely overshadow another. It’s a harem anime that anyone can watch, so long as Shiho’s not trying to play the role of sexual tension.

03

I’ve said it a few times already here, but I can never stop saying it about this show. When I started watching the simulcast of Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou (Monster Musume), I went in with the full expectation that I was not going to like it, for multiple reasons. I figured that a show with characters of that design would just not interest me at all and while in a way that was still true, there isn’t a girl in that show beyond Smith, the only notable human girl in the entire show that I actually have an attraction to. However, all the girls in the main cast have personalities that make it damn near impossible to not like them. While the show tries its damnedest to be just as sexy as any other harem, it’s not the ecchi that kept me interested, it was the amazing attention to detail and impeccable comedic timing that the show had that really sucked me in. I went into the show thinking it would be dumb, yet I left extremely entertained. And most of all, I tell people about how smart the show was with its characters, like for example I told friends about the task force they had where the four girls were placed perfectly, the ogre as a tank, the doppelganger as a spy, the cyclops as a sniper and the zombie as the charging soldier who takes all the bullets. Someone spent time thinking about this! I was impressed!

02

I was suggested this show so many times, I’d read so many posts online about how good the show was. Admittedly, I went into watching Nisekoi with the usual expectations I had of a show getting a lot of praise: not much. Generally speaking when a majority of people like something in terms of anime, it’s less likely to be something I’ll give high marks to. I might still like it, but it won’t be the most amazing thing in the world to me. But Nisekoi ended up being beyond better than I thought it was ever going to be. There’s no show that I enjoyed more in terms of a harem anime for its story and its cast of characters. In a show where you usually gravitate to one girl in particular as the one you want to ship with the MC, I had three that I just couldn’t choose from, Chitoge, Kosaki and Seishirou, all three of them were fantastic characters, I couldn’t bear to see any of the three get rejected. The comedy is so damn good in this anime, when the ecchi hits, it’s done very well and timed perfectly and the opening theme of Season 1 is perhaps one of the best songs I’ve ever listened to (I think I just found my next list…). There’s almost nothing bad I can say about the show, it’s essentially 99.9% perfect.

01

But even though Nisekoi is as close to perfect as it is, it just can’t beat my biased opinion of my personal favourite harem anime I’ve ever watched, Infinite Stratos. I look at this show and Nisekoi the same way I look at Final Fantasy X and VI, I know FFVI is the better game, but FFX is still my personal favourite. Infinite Stratos is definitely not a better anime overall than Nisekoi, however there is just so much about Infinite Stratos that hits my personal tastes more than Nisekoi does that I just can’t help but place this show at #1 instead.

Infinite Stratos does something no other harem anime has done for me, it’s created characters that are constantly in my head, they don’t leave my thoughts for very long. Specifically Charlotte, Laura and Houki, they’re three girls that are constantly sticking in my memories as three of the prettiest anime girls I’ve ever seen on-screen. It’s not even like I saw this show early on, this show is about right smack in the middle of my anime history, it’s not something new and it’s not one of my firsts either. That’s just how memorable to show was for me. For me, this is one of the best animated harems I’ve ever watched and manages to go beyond that of just having extremely sexy girls doing extremely sexy things, they’re also capable of having some really well-designed and animated mech fights (not full mechs, like specialized suits) that I also really enjoyed. The show just isn’t about girls in skin-tight suits showing off their butts, they have some really damn good fight scenes too!

But I would be lying if I said the ecchi content wasn’t a large part in why I love the show so much. I think it also helps that there is no anime I’ve watched where the list of girls I left that show loving is larger. Because it’s not just the main cast, it’s almost the entire supporting cast as well. Teachers, students that have less than ten voice lines the entire show, hell even a certain red-haired girl who is the sister of the MC’s best friend and shows up for maybe…three episodes the entire two seasons the show has run for. So many of the characters are beautifully designed and have just enough uniqueness and charm to make themselves memorable. Hell, even the villains are a bit interesting too and I usually don’t attach to female villains much in anime.

So the show has a fantastic set of characters, some fantastic ecchi scenes and some fantastic fight scenes. It’s a show that is impossible for me to ever forget, I still remember a ton of various scenes from the show ranging from Houki and Charlotte fighting over Ichika on a couples waterslide in Season 2 and Laura “lovingly” putting Ichika in a Fujiwara Armbar while naked in Season 1. There’s so many awesome things in this show that I can’t help but love and that’s why it’s my favourite harem anime of all-time!


So thank you very much for checking out this week’s Top 10, I hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to leave your favourite harems in the comments below and don’t forget to share this post with all your fellow anime fans!

Top 10 Sexiest Overwatch Girls

I’ve been playing a ton of Overwatch in the last month, finally really sinking my teeth into the game. So after a while, I felt like I was missing out on such an easy Top 10 and now with all the 2016 and 2017 Top 10s out of the way, it’s finally time to get this particular list out and into the open.

So for all the Overwatch lovers out there, it’s time…it’s finally time! Time for the Top 10 Sexiest Overwatch Girls!

Oh! And because it’s Overwatch and I continue to love poking fun at the whole Tracer butt controversy, this is also the Top 10 Sexiest Overwatch Girls: Butt Edition!

10

It’s interesting because in the picture that I’m using for all the girls, Zarya for me is actually bearable, at least from behind. I mean, I want to tell you that all the Overwatch girls are beautiful in their own way, but I’m not going to lie when it comes to my personal preferences. At least in terms of official artwork and the various costumes for Zarya in the game, I cannot get past the super muscular appearance of her. She’s just not for me, so while for some folks she might actually be higher on the list, she only cracks the top 10 because there isn’t a 10th female playable hero yet.

09

No Sombra butt here, that butt appears to be quite elusive, must come with the gimmick. I will admit though, out of all the other girls who I would consider pretty (since Zarya just doesn’t work with me), Sombra’s the one that gets the smallest reaction from me. I guess a lot of it has to do with her style, I really don’t like her hair for starters and her outfits just never convey that either she’s sexy or beautiful. It probably also has a lot to do with the lack of good fan art of her as well, that might be a major part as well.

08

Now before you ask, no of course I’m not referring to the 60 year-old Ana in her default form. Because the game does give us a look at a much younger Ana through the “Captain Amari” and “Horus” skins, there is a lot more to enjoy. It actually makes me wonder if the people who created Ana believed she would be able to get by just being an old woman and having no younger form, but decided to give her this younger skin. After all, it appears that an old woman in a game is still a rarity and game developers have trouble inserting them into major roles. Oddly enough as well, in this picture it is actually 60 year-old Ana in there, but with that butt rivaling the other girls, I think the artist drew Captain Amari with default Ana head on the shoulders.

07

Originally in my head, I wondered if Symmetra being Indian had anything to do with her being this low on the list, as it’s not like she’s young and her default skins do give you a little butt, which is lovely. I think it’s more a case of her being designed a lot more with elegance, so I don’t find her as sexy as other girls on this list, but I also think a lack of good fan art plays a part in this as well. Also again with the elegance thing, her face doesn’t exactly draw me in either, the optical piece on her head doesn’t help that. But I will admit, she may just have the best butt in this entire picture.

06

It might be just a little weird that of all people to be taking a grab at Pharah’s ass in this picture, it’s Ana (y’know…her mother!), but I suppose we’d all love to take a quick grab as well. Pharah for me is like a hidden gem of all the girls, I think underneath all that armor, she’s rocking a killer body, including some nice abs, which I’m a sucker for. I suppose in theory, I’m putting Pharah higher than Ana and Symmetra who we at least have an idea of how they look body-wise, but I’m more than willing to assume she’s more than what her armor shows.

05

For some, having Mei so high on the list may be a surprise. This is completely, 100% having to do with the fan art out there really accentuating Mei when the game really doesn’t at all. For me, I don’t look at Mei and think she’s remotely as overweight as a lot of people seem to envision her as. I’m aware that she’s certainly not as thin as the majority of girls in the game are, but what Mei offers that they all really don’t is a sense of realism and a charm about her that goes beyond that of having a thin figure and a really nice butt, though I think Mei’s got just as good a butt as the rest of them.

04

It’s funny, cause even though I’ve placed her at #4, if there’s any female character I don’t pay too much attention to, it’s Mercy, despite how absolutely stunning she is. She’s certainly got the body, the “Witch” skin really pointing that out for sure, I think what’s holding her back for me personally is how she just comes off like that classic blonde bombshell, which to me is so overdone. She’s one of the hottest girls in the series for sure, but she doesn’t jump out at you like the girls who made the top 3 do.

03

I mean, it’s really unfair when you walk around in a skintight suit the entire time, have a smaller frame and yet still have quite the perfect bust size as well. D’va has the advantage of being super cute and yet having a very sexy look as well. The fan art only accentuates this even further, though I will admit I don’t understand why the majority of art of her keeps parts of her suit on, as if the suit is made to just take off parts of it specifically to expose her breasts and genitalia. Just take the whole thing off, damn it!

02

Hm…skintight suit, thin frame, perfect bust. Yeah, Widowmaker is pretty much D’va with unique skin tones, which is really what puts her above D’va, that uniqueness. Also she shows off the cleavage quite a bit, so perhaps she’s cheating just a little bit. Widowmaker is arguably the sex symbol of Overwatch, very much designed to be the girl with all the looks, not only the cleavage, but clearly shows off her butt the most. And come on, she’s French, everyone knows how sexy the French accent is!

01

But in the end, despite how some may feel about her, I can’t not give the #1 spot to the Overwatch girl who I definitely pay the most attention to because of her looks. It doesn’t even have much to do with the butt controversy, Tracer to me is just super pretty and happens to have a really nice butt. And like other girls on the list, the massive amounts of fan art have only thrusted Tracer further and further ahead of everyone else. Not even being outed now as being a lesbian can keep this British beauty out of the #1 spot.


Thanks for checking out this week’s Top 10, I know it was a little cheesy, but once in a while I like to have a little more fun with these and not be so serious. I had to counter the last few weeks of more “normal” top 10s with something crazy y’know?

And for those curious about the picture I took all the girls from, here’s the full picture, you can click it to get the full-size:

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Top 10 Things I’m Looking Forward To In 2017

So last week I gave the top 10 things I enjoyed all of 2016, this time around it’s time to countdown the top 10 things I’m looking forward to in 2017. I was hoping to have some anime on this list, but so much still isn’t dated for the rest of the year, so I can’t officially put them on the list. Anything listed has to have a solid release date, so because of that the only things on this list are games and films.

Anyways, let’s hop to it, shall we?

10

When the original film came out in 2002 (I don’t want to talk about the 2005 one with Ice Cube), I absolutely loved the film. It was funny at 14 years old thinking I was staring at a porn billboard whenever I’d see a big poster with the movie title on it, but that was probably the point of the film’s marketing, it got your attention. The stunts, the badass characters and fucking Rammstein performing in the movie, I was sold. And then they never followed through. So 15 years later, we’re finally getting Vin Diesel back in the Xander Zone and I’m more than ready for it!

09

Now hold on, folks. Yes, I am aware of the odds of this movie just being another bad anime-based film and when I watch this movie, I fully expect it to be bad. But from the trailers, I at least see some promise. Unlike the fucking Power Rangers movie, which continues to stress me out to the point I now have to see it so I can trash it, Ghost in the Shell at the very least is giving me reason to believe the writers, directors and producers actually gave two shits about the property they were using. Again, it’ll probably be bad, but hopefully it’s not too bad.

08

If I did this just after E3 this may be in the Top 3. But as time has gone on, it’s not that my excitement for Horizon: Zero Dawn has gone down, I’ve just become more aware of getting myself too hyped up. Now what relieves me a little bit is that the game has not been shoved down our throats like Watch Dogs and No Man’s Sky were, so there’s a lot of hope there. But I’m now a lot more jaded to big, shiny, new IPs, so instead of being super excited, I’ve tempered down my expectations for a game we just haven’t seen before. I hope it’s got GOTY potential like I said it did after I saw it at E3, but I’ll be walking into this game just looking for a solid 8/10.

07

If you played South Park: The Stick of Truth, you’ve been looking forward to this game since you finished Stick of Truth. And now, instead of poking fun at fantasy tropes, we’re now going to be playing through essentially a season’s worth of South Park episodes designated towards making fun of the Marvel vs DC rivalry. I cannot imagine this not being one of the most entertaining and funniest games of the year and the idea of the already solid battle system from Stick of Truth getting a huge upgraded is also a potentially fantastic addition.

06

This could be much higher, but I’m coming at this film the same way I did with the first. I still know nothing about Guardians of the Galaxy, I haven’t researched much into it since the first movie, because honestly I find much more enjoyment just sitting back and watching the films without knowing anything. After all, the first film for me was one of the funniest films I watched that year, I loved it. So with the second one looking to be even funnier with Baby Groot and Drax upping the ante, I’m sold and can’t wait to sit down and for two hours straight have a massive smile on my face.

05

A lot of why this movie now means so much is absolutely the passing of Carrie Fisher back in late December. It will be a very somber moment in the theater the first time we see her on screen and I imagine every moment afterwards almost being awkward. Aside from that depression, I was shocked by how much I actually enjoyed Episode VII, I fully expected to not necessarily hate it, but leave underwhelmed. Instead, I left excited and actually looking forward to a Star Wars film again (then Rogue One surprised us and holy shit I loved that too!). Now I’m just waiting for what I want to happen so bad: Rei turning to the Dark Side. Because she’s a bad girl…or at least I want her to be.

04

I know, I know, why am I putting a Spider-Man movie over Guardians and Star Wars?! Well it’s simple, for the first time in years, I actually trust a Spider-Man movie, because after Captain America: Civil War, they’ve shown that they can treat Spider-Man with respect and write him properly. Peter Parker as everyone’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man remains my favourite superhero, because I grew up with the 90s cartoon, the SNES video games, all that jazz, he was front and center. So for me to believe this movie is actually going to be amazing (pun half-intended), there’s no way I’m not putting this high on my list. It’s a biased list, come on!

03

Out of all the movies I’m going to see this year, this one holds the most value to me. Not because of anything specific to the film, but because this movie holds a place with my girlfriend and myself. The film is being written, produced and directed by Luc Besson, who also did the same for The Fifth Element, the film that my girlfriend and I watched together not long after we started dating and became really the film I associate with her and our relationship. So to actually have a movie coming out that I have to watch with her, instead of a movie I could watch with her, I’m super excited to bring her into the theaters and watch this movie like we’re nine years younger when we were first dating.

02

I know, you’re probably so shocked that this game is on the list and so high on it. Persona 4 is one of my favourite games, not just JRPGs, but one of my favourite games of all-time. So for me to have to wait this goddamn long for the sequel has be chomping at the bits and salivating at the opportunity to finally get to play a brand new Persona game and re-experience what was really the last JRPG to have me fully invested and immersed in its world. It’s to the point that I’ve pretty much looked at nothing related to the game, because I want to go in blind and learn everything myself, the same way I did with Persona 3 and Persona 4, when we lived in a time where there weren’t a hundred trailers and tens of thousands of informational videos on every single game.

01

And speaking of games I’ve looked at absolutely nothing on, here’s my #1. In the last decade, there has been no franchise out there that I have been more excited for, that I’ve enjoyed more, that I’ve talked about more than Mass Effect. Despite the questionable ending to the original trilogy, I will argue until the end of time how that trilogy was one of the best piece of game writing I may ever play. But if there was one thing I wanted to see from Mass Effect it was this:

I want a Mass Effect game where I’m not a warlord, a badass, a legendary soldier. I want to be an explorer, find new worlds, make first contact with new races.

I had no idea how fast a Mass Effect game would go that route. With Andromeda, that’s essentially what the game will be, a single-game story where you are the first explorers going outside the Milky Way. Which is exactly why I’ve watched nothing on the game, I want to treat the game the same way the characters will, I want everything I see to be the first time I see it, so that my reactions to it are unbiased and they’re not changed based on what I’ve seen videos or images on. And that potential is so exciting to me, a game that’s literally unknown to me. It sounds dangerous when it could be an awful game, but when BioWare has earned so much trust from me, to the point that even Mass Effect 3’s ending didn’t really burn any bridges at all with me, that means something. Because unlike a lot of pissed off players, I enjoyed the other 200+ hours I put in the game that the ending just wasn’t bad enough to break me out of that love for the prior time I put into it.


Thanks for reading this week’s top 10, hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to list the things you’re looking forward to this year in the comments below. Keep the conversation going!