☯ The Pristine Trinity Sect ☯

"Everything in the universe exists in a state of perpetual flux. Permanence is an illusion. Human "progress" is an illusion, for "progress" is impossible in a zero-sum universe. Humanity is riding a ferris wheel, spinning around in circles without aim. This corresponds in an essential respect with hedonic adaptation. Your entire life can be summed up as one big dopamine rollercoaster. Everything you do in life is about getting your next dopamine fix. There is nothing more profound about your existence." #redpill

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Critical Review of 幻城 Ice Fantasy (2016)

In spite of its name, there is nothing fantastic about this bloated tribute to mediocrity.  At first glance, this series is high-budget eye candy—the stunning costumes, sets, and visuals put that of its western contemporaries to shame.

But below its icy surface, this drama is deeply flawed.  Ice Fantasy makes use of every cliche in the Chinese fantasy costume drama book.  The direction is a mess—the story rarely even makes sense the way it is executed.  It's all over the place, convoluted bits and pieces the never come together cohesively.

All of the characters are bland, underdeveloped one-dimensionals.  The main character is an overpowered Mary Sue—he kills humans just by standing there and willing it with his mind.  It's laughable how juvenile the script is.

Most costume dramas lose steam and turn draggy as the series progresses.  Ice Fantasy lacks an engaging story to begin with.  That said, the series does boast a lovely soundtrack with some brilliant orchestral scores, arguably the only redeeming quality to this criminally overhyped production.


STORY — 6.5/10
WRITING — 6.0/10
DIRECTION — 5.5/10
ACTING — 7.5/10
MUSIC — 9.0/10


If you're looking for an engaging and refreshing 2016 costume drama to binge-watch, look no further than Yu Zheng's Demon Girla review for which is forthcoming.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Best and Worst Episodes of the Original Pokemon Series

With the release of the megahit mobile phenomenon Pokemon Go, as well as the upcoming release of the seventh generation (Sun and Moon) of the handheld games in November, I decided to marathon and re-evaluate the quality of the original anime series from the late 90s on Netflix.  This year marks, after all, the twentieth anniversary of the influential franchise.

That said, what follows is a list of some of the best and worst episodes from the original eighty-two episode Indigo League season.


A sensational episode that is perfectly plotted from start to finish, continuing from a tense cliffhanger and ending on one of its own


My personal favorite episode as a kid, creepy and poignant at the same time.  The epitome of an entertaining standalone story


Intensely eerie episode with a great cliffhanger ending.  The start of a memorable gym badge three-parter


The best episode from the last quarter of the original series.  A surprisingly entertaining backstory that sheds new light on a so-so recurring villain

Episodes such as "Bye Bye Butterfree," "Pikachu's Goodbye," "The Legend of Dratini," and "Snow Way Out!," while tearjerkers, are not as good as these top-rated episodes when you consider the overall plot.


Everything between "The Problem with Paras" and "Volcanic Panic" is very entertaining.  Then immediately we are treated to this sorry excuse of an episode.  Very weak, uninspired plot that couldn't sustain ten minutes, let alone twenty


This episode is an inferior and unnecessary rehash of "Clefairy and the Moon Stone," which was one of the weaker earlier episodes to begin with.  This is the third of a string of bad episodes following Cinnabar Island, when the series starts to weaken, and the fillers begin to feel like fillers, though not quite as atrocious as the quality of later seasons


A boring, forgetful installment.  Frankly, there was no reason at all to make another Gloom-centric episode.  This one is the definition of pointless filler

This listing does take into account the internationally banned episodes.  However, most of the banned episodes were not very good anyways, the exception perhaps being "The Legend of Dratini."

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