2020? No. No write up. Fuck that.

I was slowly working on writing up a review of 2020 but with work, life and YouTube commitments were all coming to a head recently and I’ve decided NOT to finish it. If anything; THE event that told me “Naika, don’t write this up” was January 6th. No. Really. The day I saw that fucking insurrection was the day I said to myself, “Nothing can close up 2020 than this event.” Not Biden winning the election, not Kamala making history as she was sworn in as our first African-American / South Asian Vice President, not the silence of Trump or the hilarious bewilderment of the QAnon establishment. Hell, not even my own personal write up can close out this hellish chapter of American life quite like a nationally televised rebellion.

It could only be that one singular moment on January 6th, 2021. I’m not wrong, and I’m sticking with it.

With this mind, as we come closer to this blog’s tenth anniversary, I’m going to have to go on a hiatus for a few months. Even YouTube will have to take a small break given my increasing workload with regards to research and, frankly, my co-workers and I have a big event to prepare for and, I assure you, it will NOT be fun (we’ve been prepping for months and there’s still MORE to do). It’s my hope that if we ALL survive this, I’ll return to blogging by August of 2021.

Until then people, please stay safe, stay healthy and, if possible, get the vaccine. I’ve gotten both doses already and I’m hoping that this, combined with masking and social distancing, will at least help me see this pandemic through. Be safe everyone, and wish me luck!

Plastic Love & City Hunter

Not gonna lie. I think this might be one of the best Anime Music Videos I’ve ever made. Hope you all enjoy!

Mask Up and Be Safe

At the start of each year on this blog, I tend to have a round-up of the previous year and, as you know, 2020 was a shit-show of farcical proportions so preposterous that I’m worried that the Bad will ultimately outweigh the Good on an infinite scale. Though a few things were good for me on a personal level, I can’t help but feel that it’s small potatoes. Nevertheless, I guess I need to take whatever I can get during this unprecedented time and hope that things get better.

As some of you know, the COVID numbers are ramping up again, so please please please do your utmost to mask up, avoid large gatherings and wash your hands thoroughly and often. As a person who works at a peds hospital, this is key and we can’t be seen doing the dumbfuckery that’s been touted by Anti-Maskers who know jack-shit about public health. It’s gotten so scary that during Trump’s Stop the Steal rally, my Wife had to work in the lab that Saturday and she feared for her health when Trumpers in her Metro car were just shouting at each other with their masks down despite keeping her distance (and this was on her way home).

And don’t look at me like I’m some fucking killjoy. Y’know that Halloween party you had? How ’bout that flight to see your folks during Thanksgiving? Oh yeah, and what about them Tinder dates or that rally you went to ’bout ‘election fraud’?

Here’s my take on this: if you’re paying up the ass in rent, then you’d be wise to find a fucking hobby, like knitting, reading, learning, music or watching TV. Ain’t no one gonna deny you a walk, a run, a bike-ride or whatever th’ fuck you need to do to get outta da house but for fuck’s sake THINK ABOUT OTHERS. There are postal workers, grocery workers and others who might be….I dunno, browner or have tougher lives than you that don’t have that luxury and STILL have to work through this. And then they see our pale assess taking a merry fucking stroll without a mask.

So please WEAR YOUR GODDAMNED MASK.

It’s the least you can fucking do. I ain’t asking for your guns or you first born. Just wear it. It’ll help others, and it’ll help yourself. Really.

Be safe everyone.

Naika’s 14 Tips to Help You SURVIVE your Thanksgiving Holiday

Though this is dated, I think it still holds true. Happy Thanksgiving peeps!!!

Naika's Lounge

Image result for thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has finally snuck up behind us and we haven’t a damn clue of what we are doing.  Are we cooking anything?  Do you know what you’re going say to your Trump-loving relatives?  Can Gary Johnson make Pumpkin Pie?  Who died and made you King?  Now before you answer these questions, here’s 14 tips to help you survive this Holiday without setting yourself on fire.  They are all obvious nods to the Onion, but this is my blog and I’m sticking to it!

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NAIKA VIDEO has launched! I’m finally back on YouTube!!!!

I am back folks. After a long hiatus, my Wife pushed and pushed and I’m finally back. Goddamn it feels good. It’s bare bones right now, but I’ll work on more stuff in the coming weeks and months ahead. Stay safe everyone and I hope you’ll unwind thoroughly with my vintage offerings here on YouTube. Cheers! Click here to check the channel out.

Naika Reviews “City of the Living Dead” (1980)

With Halloween around the corner, I thought it best to think about a film that’s both bizarre and dreadful, and what better film is there than a Lucio Fulci film? Though I could talk about Zombi 2 or The House by the Cemetery, the film that really turned my head 360 was Fulci’s City of the Living Dead. It might not be the most polished giallo film out there, but it’s full of this terrifying aura that’s less about plot and more about suffering, if that makes any sense. And given the state of things in 2020, what better way to quench our thirst for indoor despair-porn than with an Italian horror film? So let’s sit down and talk about the City of the Living Dead and why, I think, it’s a must see movie.

Right off the bat, Fulci’s film hurls us into a New York séance where Mary Woodhouse, our protagonist, has visions of a cemetery with a priest who looks like he drank a bad milkshake. All of a sudden this crazy looking fuck goes breakneck and hangs himself. Yeah, it’s only the first few minutes of the film and this dude goes dangling off a goddamned tree! This must’ve been one baaaaaad milkshake!

Mary’s vision becomes so jarring that she dies midway into the séance, sending the ritual’s host and medium Theresa into a panic. The NYPD are called to the scene, but offer no real help other than suspicions of drug-related foul play. With Theresa’s apartment building now a crime scene, it soon attracts the attention of journalist Peter Bell, but he’s turned away within minutes of his arrival. Pete’s relentless however, and when he goes to Mary’s casket prior to her burial, he discovers that she’s come back to life. The problem is that she’s stuck in a coffin, losing air and losing her mind as she tries to claw her way out in absolute hysteria. Thanks to some quick thinking however, Peter’s able to break open the coffin and free Mary before she suffocates.

After the exhumation, Peter reunites our heroine with Theresa and is given the skinny about what she witnessed during the séance. From Mary’s recollections, they discover that the suicidal priest in question sought to use his death to open the Gates of Hell, as foretold in an ancient script called The Book of Enoch. Furthermore, Theresa elaborates that if the Gates aren’t closed by All Saints Day, they’ll remain open and spell doom for all mankind. And with All Saints Day approaching, Mary and Peter decide to follow the only clue from the séance that could lead them to the priest: a New England town called Dunwich.

Dunwich is really where the movie takes off as we’re treated to some truly fucked-up shit. After the priest’s death, the residents of Dunwich are slowly driven to despair as one victim after another is mysteriously butchered in true horror film fashion. No CGI trickery here folks. This is 1980, and all the gore is as practical as it gets. We’re even introduced to two other characters, the curly-haired psychologist Gerry, and his client Sandra, a normal looking but batshit painter whose first scene sees her mumble some fucked up shit about lusting over her Dad (blaargh). It’s through these two that we see how the denizens of darkness haunt, maim and kill all those in their wake at Dunwich. And once these two team-up with Mary and Peter, we’ll soon see who stays alive, and who goes straight to hell.

I can’t tell you enough how much fun the City of the Living Dead is. Given that it’s following the giallo mindset, the film’s not about understanding the plot, but it’s there to give you fright and dread in the best way possible. The lighting, production design and even the use of color is all fantastic and I’m amazed at how Fulci makes the mundane look monstrous. Furthermore, the gore’s so good that it’s unreal, especially when organs are involved. And although the film is titled City of the Living Dead, be aware that there aren’t any zombies of the Romero kind here. They’re more like corpses possessed by evil, and they’re SCARY! The make-up and lighting alone makes them terrifying, so make sure you watch this with the lights turned off.

All in all, the City of the Living Dead is a must play for your Halloween movie marathon this year. It’s got all the gore, dread and confounding whatthefuckery that should pair well with this mess we call 2020. Furthermore, it makes Italian and Scottish actors seem so American that the Stephen Millers among you won’t even notice (fuck that guy). And before I forget, I gotta give a big shoutout to the the sound design here, where the Dunwich scenes are filled with howling winds that make the entire film feel like it’s devoid of life. The music is also noteworthy here, with Fabio Frizzi’s “Apoteosi Del Mistero” being the kind of track that ripples through you like the slow heartbeat of a slumbering beast. With chilling music, haunting visuals and grisly effects, Fulci’s City of the Living Dead is the kind of underrated gem that deserves our attention and, if you got a Prime account, can be viewed for next to nothing. If there’s anything we should be getting used to by now in 2020, it’s the sensation of us all teetering along a precipice, and there’s no better way to indulge that dread than with the City of the Living Dead. Happy Halloween everyone, and may God help us all.

YouTube Halloween Mashup 2020

Boy oh boy do I love it when YouTubers make Halloween related stuff. I even dig it when folks post up snippets from scary movies so here ya go guys. Hope this’ll get the Halloween juices flowing. Also, I have my yearly Horror movie review all set so please expect that in the coming days. Happy Viewing!!!

C++ for the Damned: Naika Reviews “Digital Devil Story – Megami Tensei” (1987)

Before it became a game franchise and the source of the successful Persona series, the Megami Tensei universe started off as a trilogy of novels released in 1986. I assume the books did well ‘cuz we didn’t just get game adaptations in both the Famicom and the PC, but we got them after the release of an OVA in 1987. If you google the initial game art for Megami Tensei, it’s all art based off of what we’re about to review today. As I mentioned in other reviews, the 80s was a time of endless cash and ideas in the anime industry, and Japan was treated to an OVA about love, youth, and devil-summoning source code that brings about the end of the goddamned world. Ain’t that grand? This, my friends, is the Megami Tensei OVA, and I’m ready to destroy your mind in 1200 words or less.

Like any other program, you’re gonna have to start with some sort of structure, so I’ll give y’all the skinny as best as I can. Akemi Nakajima is our main character here, who starts the OVA with nightmares about the Izanagi mythos. He seems like your typical teen in 80s Japan, but in reality, he’s an asshole. Whenever he’s not waking up in cold sweats to a Project A-ko film, he’s on his neat little laptop brainwashing his classmates by hypnosis via the computer lab’s monitors. Y’see, Akemi is another geek hacker in a long of line of geeks who’s gotten bullied, harassed and beaten to a bloody pulp. But since the bullying scene in 80s Japan looks a lot like the bullying scene in 2020 Japan, Akemi does the one thing he does best…

He goes all incel and makes a program to summon demons for revenge.

That’s right folks. Instead of the usual outlets afforded to us when our adolescence is plagued by bullying (which tend to be shit anyways), he decides to just fuck it all and study pagan rituals to summon demons via the computer lab. At first, his targets are merely the assholes that stomped his balls, but he soon becomes knee deep in craziness as he goes further and further down the rabbit hole. As his hacking and computer wizardry grows, Akemi basically creates a shadow army that answers to his beck and call. This all circles back to the beginning of the OVA, where we’re introduced to the video’s lone heroine and saving grace: Yumiko Shirasagi.

Yumiko’s the new kid in town with a gentle yet curious demeaner. During her homeroom introduction, Akemi of all people catches her eye, but he brushes her off like a butthurt sociopath. Little do we know that, as Yumiko begins her new life here in school, Akemi’s road to hell stretches down so deep that it’ll soon drag her with.

Yumiko is, for lack of a better word, intrigued by Akemi, but not in the way you think. In a lot of ways, Yumiko’s hunch is that she knows him somehow, but doesn’t why. Right when she realizes this however, Yumiko and a new friend see their teacher off in the distance, making her way across campus towards the Computer Lab.

I hope this incel burns in hell.

What follows is some fucked up shit that becomes a far cry from the pop visuals of Persona 4. The teacher, the bodacious Miss Ohara, is in fact another one of Akemi’s acolytes and we find her in the darkened computer lab, seated inside a hexagram. Surrounded by brainwashed classmates, Akemi emerges and connects Ohara to a PC with headphones. The students watch in silence as Akemi soon summons the demon Loki into his PC. With an eerie light hovering across the blackened room, Loki soon sees Ohara connected to him and initiates contact in the worst way possible. From here on out, it’s no turning back as Akemi takes his last dive down insanity. However, things get complicated once we discover that Yumiko witnesses the entire ritual. Akemi assures her that there’s no way Loki can materialize in our reality, but hindsight’s 20/20, and our incel’s about to get smoked.

As things go haywire, Akemi finds himself at the mercy of Loki and has to choose between vengeance and redemption, though it’s hard to find anything redeemable in an asshat who prostitutes his teacher to a demon. Like all things, it takes a whole lotta death to realize the error of one’s ways, and Akemi soon teams up with Yumiko to save the day. Akemi screws the pooch pretty hard here, and by the end of the OVA it becomes high-fucking-time for this incel to grow up.

As an OVA, Megami Tensei shines. Its horror is chilling and it ain’t afraid to splurge on the gore either. It’s also heightened by fast-paced direction, great animation and the kind of lighting you’d find in 80s horror films. Hiroyuki Kitazume’s character designs are also a big plus for me, and the OVA’s fine use of colors, ranging from sky blues to reds, makes it an anime answer to an Argento film. Simply put, it’s a good OVA effort filled with occult scares.

However, we gotta talk about the elephant in the room, and that’s Akemi. Never have I seen a more reprehensible main character since Sonny Chiba in the Street Fighter, and that’s saying something. Akemi’s bullying may elicit some sympathy with us at first, but that all vanishes once the bodies start piling-up. This is amped up even further when we soon see how much of a cowering fuckbag he is once said bodies hit the floor. I sometimes think this is the reason why Yumiko is so vital to the franchise, where she literally becomes a Megami to change Akemi’s stoopid worldview in order to salvage what’s left from the carnage. Hell, if you want a case to prove why women should run the world, maybe you should watch this…while you’re drunk.

Long story short, Megami Tensei is a brief ride in 80s anime horror, and a peak into the origins of what would become a hit gaming franchise. With great visuals, good directing and a touch of sleaze, it’s an OVA that’ll appeal to a wide range of otaku assholes, including incel fuckwits who equate sexual violence with justice. Though I enjoyed my time with this, I also felt sick inside and had a strong urge to go eat a gun. It’s got that 80s charm that’s so “OVA”, but that charm comes with caveats that aren’t only dated, but can in fact be cringeworthy. If anything, I’d recommend it for a Halloween watch but despite its appeal to retro sensibilities, don’t expect it to be a work of art.

Well, given Akemi’s misanthropy, don’t expect anything, especially from a fucking incel from the 80s.