Sunday, May 31, 2015

Syan Vs Movies: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A.k.a. “It Was Better In Okami”

In Okami, both characters were likeable

Based on a thousand year old folktale, “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” tells the story of a tiny child found in the woods by a Bamboo Cutter who is raised up to become a princess before she returns to her mysterious home.

This is the illustrious Studio Ghibli’s 19th feature film and the 12th film directed by one of its founders, Isao Takahata.  While a visionary director in his own right, Takahata has long been overshadowed by his more successful peer in Hayao Miyazaki. So now, with Miyazaki having already released his final film “The Wind Rises,” Takahata has an opportunity to show himself as a preeminent director of animation.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

KO Coverage By A KO Look-A-Like: UFC Fight Night 67: Condit vs Alves

Another night full of fights! While there's only one huge name fighting, this Brazilian-stacked card taking place in Goiania should have plenty of warriors working to make a major statement.

The Natural Born Killer vs The Pitbull
Condit travels to Brazil to reinvigorate his stake as a top welterweight

Carlos "The Natural Born Killer" Condit (29-8, rank #4) tries to rebuild some momentum towards earning a title shot in the welterweight division as he takes on "Pitbull" Thiago Alves (26-9, rank #12) who is on a two-fight win streak.

Nik Lentz (27-6-2, rank #9) and Charles Oliveira (19-4, rank #8) face off in a Featherweight bout to move up the ranks and earn a chance to call out the winner of the hugely anticipated Aldo v MacGregor UFC Featherweight Championship match.

See who comes out on top with live update coverage on all the hits and submissions.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Rican's Free 2 Play Friday: League of Legends - The MOBA Phenomenon

Rican's Free 2 Play Friday, a weekly look into free-to-play gaming such as MOBAs, MMOs, Team Shooters, and more! This week we look at Riot Games' foray into the MOBA space with the colossal monster that is League of Legends!

  PC gaming has gone through some interesting genre defining moments. In the early 90's Lucasarts pioneered the point and click adventure game that now serves as the basic DNA for most Telltale games you currently play. By the end of the 90s, the real time strategy (RTS) game, and the first person shooter (FPS) had taken a hold of the PC market, and one could argue that, save for the mighty MMO, that dominant hold has stayed for the better of two full decades. But something strange happened to the RTS genre. A little game called Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos came out during the turn of the millennium, and with it came a level editor that was promised as a modding tool for the community by Blizzard Entertainment; I'm sure you've heard of them! This modding tool gave birth to one of the most popular custom maps in the history of the RTS genre: the Defense of the Ancients, which played homage to the Starcraft custom map Aeon of Strife (AoS) . Three lanes, two teams, five players each - battling for supremacy to reach the other team's "Ancient." Whomsoever reached and destroyed the other team's ancient, was the victor. And so began the age of DOTA.

What. The. Shit. Is. This?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

All About Anime: Sailor Scouts, School, Space and Seraph

The last few years have seen a resurgence in anime, with a variety of adaptations of new manga, shinier reboots of classic series, and even original storylines getting a primetime slot.  The current offering has everything from classroom settings in modern day Japan to apocalyptic futures overrun by monsters… that are still in a classroom setting. Japan sure loves their school stories. The quality of animation has improved tremendously and the fact that several series have adopted a seasons format has benefitted them in keeping a consistent quality.

Shockingly, I'm not talking about either of these guy's shows
Ah, who am I kidding, I'm bound to mention them eventually

There are still long running juggernauts like One Piece or Naruto: Shippuden, but shows like Attack on Titan and Nisekoi have chosen to adapt the manga for a standard 26 episode-or-so run then take several months off before returning for the following season.  This has helped to negate the nightmare of most anime fans: filler arcs. While there are some absolute gems created by filler, such as my favorite arc of Dragon Ball Z, the Great Saiyaman adventures, where Gohan becomes a superhero and lampoons Sailor Moon poses and stops street-level crime in mere seconds or my co-host Straw Hat Rican’s beloved G8 arc in One Piece where the Straw Hat Pirates land in the middle of a Marine base, these diamonds in the rough are rare gems indeed, drowned out by the overwhelming quantities of Garlic Jrs, silkworm ninjas in Naruto, cooking ghosts in Bleach, and the old stand-by beach vacation episode in every slice-of-life anime ever. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Fastest Man Alive: The Flash Season One Review

"My name is Barry Allen, and I'm the fastest man alive. When I was a child, I saw my mother killed by something impossible. My father went to prison for her murder. Then an accident made me the impossible. To the outside world, I'm just an ordinary forensic scientist, but secretly I use my speed to fight crime and find others like me, and one day I'll find who killed my mother and get justice for my father. I am the Flash."


Faster than his MCU counterpart, not to mention still alive.

  To say that the DC Comics "Movie Universe" is a fragmented mess is an understatement of metahuman proportions. Between the Nolan "Batman" films and Snyder's Superman catastrophe "Man of Steel," it seems like DC cannot get the engine running to jump start their cinematic universe properly, the same way Marvel has for almost a decade. By DC's own design, they have stated they do not want to copy the competition and would rather do their own thing. Which is valiant and all, but has left a hole of cohesive continuity in their films that Marvel has excelled at. And then came Arrow. Known as the best (superhero) show on TV in some circles, Arrow started the DC TV Universe the same way Marvel and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. attempted to capitalize with the medium for storytelling.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Syan Vs Movies: Pitch Perfect 2

The dirtier but funnier version of Glee is back, but is it as good as the first?  Beca (Anna Kendrick), Chloe (Brittany Snow), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and the rest return as the Barden Bellas who are the reigning a capella nationals champions for the last three years, however, they have a disastrous accident occur during a huge performance and are stripped of their right to perform and will be disbanded unless they win the world championship.

The Bellas get the kiss-off from singing if they can't win

Along with getting ready for the world title, they gain a new member Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) who wants to become a songwriter, Beca works at her internship to plan for her future, and Fat Amy looks into her relationship with Bumper.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

KO Coverage by a KO Look-a-like: UFC 187- Johnson vs Cormier

UFC 187 is here and the stakes could not be higher! With both the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Championships on the line, this is a card for the ages.

Three contenders, two titles. 

All-American Chris Weidman (12-0) faces UFC veteran Vitor Belfort (24-10), who made his UFC debut at UFC 12, which means he has been in MMA for the last 175 PPV bouts and has 22 more fights of experience. But Weidman is a fierce warrior who in only 12 fights has established dominance over the division and his position as the champion.

After several tribulations, Light Heavyweight king Jon Jones was stripped of his title. With the title now vacant, the #1 and #3 ranked contenders Anthony "Rumble" Johnson and Daniel "D.C." Cormier will fight to claim the greatest prize in the division. It's a classic match-up of a talented boxing striker in Rumble and an Olympic level wrestler in former bronze medalist contender Cormier.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rican's Free 2 Play Friday: Marvel Heroes 2015

Rican's Free 2 Play Friday, a weekly look into free-to-play gaming such as MOBAs, MMOs, Team Shooters, and more! This week we look at Marvel's foray into the MMO/Action RPG space in their recently revamped Marvel Heroes 2015.   

  On Tuesday, March 17, 2009 Gazillion Entertainment, founded by Diablo and Diablo II designer Dave Kosak, announced a 10-year partnership with Marvel to release an action/RPG MMO. The game was to have the same feel of the Diablo franchise, with the Marvel Universe as its backdrop, and the social components of an MMO including: hubs, an in game economy, and perpetually updated endgame content. The result of this was Marvel Heroes, which was released on PC (and a Mac Beta is now available) June 4, 2013, after a long gestating closed beta and later open beta.

Oh, so much promise wrapped up in such a shite game!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Syan Vs Movies- Mad Max: Fury Road

After 30 years Max Rockatansky has returned the big screen and the action does not stop for a moment. Hop into the War Rig and ride through this dangerous Fury Road. With Tom Hardy in the titular role, replacing Mel Gibson, and Charlize Theron acting in the lead role as Imperator Furiosa, this is a hit.  Oh, what a ride, what a lovely ride.

Immortan Joe is Sweet Tooth's descendant

With a longer hiatus than Doctor Who, Mad Max had a lot to do in order to reintroduce himself to modern audience. The choice to go with a movie that is light on plot and heavy on action worked heavily to its benefit. Mad Max: Fury Road can have its entire storyline boiled down to “Max joins up with a group of women on the run from a crazed dictator.” It’s that simple. It’s not a big character study, it’s an action-packed run and the movie industry NEEDS those from time to time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The One With The Milk of the Kofi: WWE Payback review

Another new episode of the Syan & Rican Podcast is now available!

Kehihihihihihi! The Shield are nakama once again!
Seth Rollins is the WWE version of One Piece's Wet-haired Caribou

We review the WWE Payback pay-per-view with its I Quit matches and Fatal 4way Reunions and look ahead to possibilities for the Elimination Chamber event!

Seth is so bad at reading the situation

The One With The Milk Of The Kofi

Give it a listen and post your thoughts either here or on the Syan & Rican PodOMatic homepage!

Don't forget to hit the subscribe button so you never miss an episode!

You can also catch our episodes on our iTunes Syan & Rican page!

And you can follow us on Twitter @syanofflame and @StrawHatRican, so ask any questions or give any comments you'd like!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Avocados At Law: Daredevil Season One Review

   On December 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. At the time, many had feared that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (spearheaded by one Kevin Fiege) would derail into itself and take away the wittiness and bite off the Marvel movies. A similar situation has ensued during the Lucasfilm/Disney deal that has given the House of Mouse (and by extension, Marvel Comics) control over the Star Wars franchise. At the time, and even currently, most Marvel movies are PG-13 fare that skirts into the young adult with some rare glimpses into serious adult entertainment. Around of October of 2013, rumors began swirling that Netflix was going to get first dibs on Daredevil as a series, that would eventually lead to a Defenders mega series (similar to Marvel's Phase One). Fans wondered what tone the show would have, especially after the last portrayal of Daredevil in FOX's Ben Affleck critically panned bomb; and the tepid first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Enter Netflix's Daredevil:

"Ben who?"

Monday, May 18, 2015

The One With The Live Studio Audience: Avengers- Age of Ultron review

Another new episode of the Syan & Rican Podcast is now available!

We review Avengers: Age of Ultron and look into the potential future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially what could happen when Civil War hits the big screen or when Thanos finally enters the fray.

Five babyfaces, two tweeners, and a heel

The One With The Live Studio Audience

Give it a listen and post your thoughts either here or on the Syan & Rican PodOMatic homepage!

Don't forget to hit the subscribe button so you never miss an episode!

I can't be the only one who wants to buy this statue, right?

You can also catch our episodes on our iTunes Syan & Rican page!

And you can follow us on Twitter @syanofflame and @StrawHatRican, so ask any questions or give any comments you'd like!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

It Doesn't Matter What Your Name Is: Arrow Season 3 Finale "My Name Is Oliver Queen"

If you have listened to our podcast or spoken to me in person, you might know two things about me. One is that I love pro wrestling. The other? That I think Arrow is the #BestShowOnTV

Seriously, this show embodies the best of comics and the best of action spy movies. It’s in your face and keeps at a hectic pace, despite the fact that it mostly involves an entire season of a major villain playing a cerebral chess match and planning out everything meticulously to best foil our heroes’ efforts. This in my opinion is the piece which allows Arrow to keep my favor over the far more flashy adventures of its sister show, The Flash.

The Flash is amazing. Don’t get me wrong. If I were to pick a number two, I’d be hard-pressed to say there’s a show more deserving than Grant Gustin’s high-octane exploits.  But even though the whole season of The Flash has led to Barry Allen’s showdown with Eobard Thawne, it also spent a large portion of time dealing in the “bad guy of the week” business. Which, hey, is a pretty cool racket to be in! It just doesn’t have the aim and focus of Arrow.

Myself, I just love the tactical feel of Arrow. Every person has their place and is critical. Oliver does not get far against the likes of Deathstroke or Merlyn without Felicity on tech support, without Diggle as his lookout and back-up, or without Roy assisting him as Arsenal.  Fans talk about Team Arrow because they adore the dynamic composition and how each member complements one another.

The city needs saving, but first we gotta take our nap.
Can't fight evil if you're tired!

Monday, May 11, 2015

The One With The Supermen: Extreme Rules review

Our podcast, The Syan & Rican Podcast, has a new episode available.

We talk Dragon Ball Super, One Piece,  and give a full review to the WWE Extreme Rules 2015 show.

The One With The Supermen

Give it a listen and post any thoughts here or on the Syan & Rican PodOMatic page

Don't forget to hit the subscribe button so you never miss an episode!

And check out our Youtube page for occasional fun videos like this:


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Syan Vs Movies: Ex Machina

As this is my first movie review here in the No Kayfabe Zone, I want to preface that, unless I note otherwise within a review, I never give out any real spoilers for a film, just set up and character moments that are interesting. I also do not like to give score ratings for movies, a la 3/5 stars or B+, because I would rather describe how I feel about the movie at the end and note if I would rewatch it.

Caleb, Ava, and Nathan
Who do you trust?

Any movie that has a principle cast of only three characters has a huge hurdle to jump as far as keeping the audience entertained. All of the actors need to captivate and own their screen time. Some of the best performances people have given are under these circumstances, such as Sandra Bullock in Gravity, Ryan Reynolds in Buried, and James Franco in 127 Hours.  There are also some of the most boring films if the actors aren’t given much to do, such as the terrible Open Water. Luckily, Ex Machina is amazingly well-acted.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The No Kayfabe Era Begins!

As some of you may have noticed, and I apologize for how abrupt the change in the page and URL went about, Rican's Beach House ( has been wholly absorbed and changed into "The No Kayfabe Zone" ( And there's a few reasons why this came about.

"The House is closed, for now..."

Number one was the need of a cohesive webspace for our columns and a platform to spread our podcast audience instead of solely relying on Podomatic's page. We are obviously less constricted here (and Syan would tell you I'm the tech guy in this particular case), and we can change the page more to our liking and post more than just podcast episodes. Which, because of our vast array of opinions on wholly different shows/interests/genres is a good thing.

Number two, we can only cover so much on an episodic format (even if some episodes are a staggering 2+ hours, for which I apologize - unless you enjoy it, in which case "You're welcome...?"), but with this Blog space, and our separate Twitter accounts; which we do try and use for live tweeting and breaking certain news/interests/random factoids, we feel confident this was the best route to go and hopefully you will all enjoy the journey as Syan and I attempt to take you all along for the ride.

Number three, and this goes without saying, and judging from the decor on the site at the moment (which I consider to be very much an "Alpha approaching a Beta" Phase) we are extremely wrestling inclined, but we still have a passion for other avenues of storytelling (and make no mistake, our love for the "sport" comes from almost unanimously its unique method of storytelling)

Let us know what you think: as always I'm available @strawhatrican on the Twitterverse, as is my partner in crime @syanofflame!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

TBE? Floyd Mayweather v. Manny Pacquiao

The Match of the Century has come and gone and despite there being a unanimous decision, there is still a huge controversy amongst those who watched the fight.

Honest to God, every time with this! 

Outboxers win on points, swarmers win on KOs. It rolls like that almost every time.

Your reigning WBA, WBC, WBO, and The Ring Welterweight Champion

Don't get mad at Floyd for "running." Get mad at Manny for not having the pressure to put him down.