The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the biggest, most popular superhero franchise at the moment. Adapting comic books that have affected the lives of millions of children and making their dreams come true. To believe in sacrifice for the greater good and never giving up. And then MCU phase 4 changed everything.
It started off with the typical sequence of the heroes always win and never kill, even the bad guys. Which was okay, fun, hopeful and all that. But then, in real life, sometimes, the bad guys win, there is a lot of collateral damage always, and the heroes might start turning bad. Reality, and the fact that hard core Marvel fans are now not kids, helped them develop more mature, emotional movies and tv shows and it helped them explore multiple new ideas.
MCU phase 4 tackled multiple topics that people didn’t expect Marvel would. WandaVision, phase four’s first release, tackled grief, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier tackled racism, She-Hulk tackled some feminist issues, Ms. Marvel introduces a new Muslim, Pakistani- American Teenage superhero which tackles inclusivity, Moon Knight that is based in Egypt and tackles Egyptian mythology, and finally, Black Panther Wakanda Forever that tackles death and life.
As a hard-core Marvel fan, I believe Marvel has done a great job and made a great decision to dig deeper into the characters and storylines. I loved each and every release and maybe watched some stuff more than once. MCU phase 4 couldn’t have been better in my opinion. In spite all that, some people still didn’t like most of phase four. They didn’t feel comfortable with how personal and intimate some shows were, and how some movies didn’t have enough depth. Moreover, specifically with Thor Love and Thunder, I loved how they had some scenes that were very new and strange for a superhero movie and I loved the cinematography of it all, when there are a lot of people who hated specifically that.
Overall, people will always view art in their own objective point of view and according to their own personal experience. Marvel phase five is starting this year and I couldn’t be more excited for what to come. All Marvel movies and tv shows can be found on the Disney+ app and website here:
In light of a recent announcement of 2 brand new games, a re-make of a game that is coming to western markets for the first time, and more PC ports, this series is something you need to play if you want to round out your gaming experience. Like a Dragon, better known colloquially as Yakuza, is a adventure/beat-em-up about a single man and his relationships and experiences in his life in the yakuza. Quite honestly, there aren’t many games to compare it to- this series really is its own beast. Known for flashy fighting skills, interesting side-quests and a literal TON of weird things to do on the side, this series now has 8 main-line games, 5 spin-offs and a brand new spin-off and mainline game announced to be in development.
Let me just show you just what you’re missing out on:
These fights are unlike any other.
The fighting in this game is insane. It’s honestly way better to watch, and even more better to experience it for yourself.
Beyond the pretty colours, the game itself makes you feel good about getting into fights. punching, kicking, throwing couches, and even smacking someone with a gun after running out of bullets all makes sense within the world and feels amazing to master. Getting those Tiger Drop counters is always satisfying, especially watching that health-bar being siphoned from the enemy. Or just do what I did and button mash- either way, beating down these terrible people is insanely cathartic after watching the news.
Also, the Substories and Sidequests.
Most games these days do side-quests that take you off the beaten path to help pad out game-play and help you explore the world. In basically every Like A Dragon game, every side-quest is a new character storyline, a brand new secret path to open up, and a new way to find powerful weapons and items that you can’t find otherwise. This means all the goofy nonsense (and there is a LOT of goofy, unhinged madness) that happens in these sidequests not only is fun to experience, but it also enhances your experience playing the game. Just check this wonderful snippet out:
That’s right. That’s the main character. On a side quest. To learn English. It’s charming, funny, and silly, all things extreme
ly welcome in a story about theft, betrayal, and murder. Don’t forget- this is a game about the Yakuza!
Look at all this… STUFF
Beyond all that, there’s also SO MUCH
STUFF TO DO! I’m talking RC Car racing. I’m talking Mahjong. I’m talking casino games. I’m talking arcade games. I’m talking karaoke. I’m even talking taking pictures of CATS!
These aren’t game-specific, either. All of these things can be done in basically every Yakuza game, and they’re all different in every game! The arcade games change every installment. The AI gets better for every casino, card and mahjong minigame you play. Different songs are available in each installment. Ryu Ga Gotoku doesn’t skimp out on these details, as these are some of the best parts of each game.
Did i mention food? I know you can’t actually taste anything, but these games are essentially mini-tours of different parts of Japan, and show off different cuisines and everything.
If you like video games, you need to play these games. If you like unique story-lines, you need to play these games. Hell, if you like soap-operas, these games are 100% worth your time. You can pick them up for under $30 each for the first few, and honestly it’s worth every cent.
And, if you end up becoming like me, I’m sure you’ll be picking up Like A Dragon: Ishin, out February 22!
I want to dedicate this note to a new trend in the musical field: the Sped up song version, which basically consists of increasing the speed of a song to 150%. This practice was generated on TikTok thanks to contributions from anonymous users. They would tune the song to the new style and make it freely available for others to upload with their own videos or choreographies. Regardless of whether Sped up song versions are considered a valuable artistic product or not, the truth is that originally, this was a community and anti-capitalist movement. This is because TikTok users who made their own versions posted them on the networks for free circulation and did not obtain financial benefit from it. To this, we should add a huge number of tutorials with tricks to make your own accelerated version that can be seen on various platforms like YouTube.
The side effects of Sped up song
The trend of Sped up song versions has contributed not only to generating new hits but, paradoxically, has helped turn relatively recent pop songs into unexpected super hits, even if they initially weren’t.This is the case, for example, of Sure Thing, by the American R’n’B singer Miguel (original from 2010), Die For You, by The Weeknd (from 2016), Cool For The Summer, by Demi Lovato (2015), Sway, by Michael Bublé (2003) or Say it Right, by Nelly Furtado (2006).
In all these cases, the exponential increase in clicks has been so overwhelming that the artists themselves have succumbed to the trend and started to publish these versions officially. TikTok content with the #spedup hashtag already has 10 billion views, and, according to data published by the US magazine Billboard, 80 of the 100 most listened-to songs on that social network have an altered tempo. The phenomenon has already spread in such a way that Spotify has even created an official playlist of Sped up song versions, which exceeds a million likes and includes songs by superstars such as Madonna and Rihanna.
A generation Z movement
The rise of this practice confirms that TikTok users, mostly composed of generation Z individuals, are no longer satisfied with being mere passive spectators. “Fans come to our platform not so much to enjoy the music, but to express themselves creatively and connect with each other through it, and with their favorite artists. Fans here have the chance to participate in the musical creation process”, says Soraya Castellanos, head of TikTok Content, Community, and Associations in Spain and Portugal. “Within our community of users, a movement is generated, an impressive wave of inspiration, which invites collaboration and enrichment of the content. People riff on ideas, take full advantage of our effects, and use sounds that someone has created on the other side of the world,” she adds.
Although speeding up a song by itself doesn’t have much merit, there is no creative decision beyond that tempo change, it is possible to build on that idea to introduce other new elements. Surely faster songs will also be made and heard due to this trend started by the Sped up song versions. In this sense, TikTok users are the true generators of a trend and the music market adjusts to it.
Coming from a country where there are more than 100 languages spoken, learning to read, write and speak more than three languages was not uncommon to me. Hence, growing up, I wasn’t surprised when I chose to learn a foreign language instead of picking a hobby class in school. I was about 12 years old when I was introduced to the French language and in a way, the French culture. After learning the language to score decent grades in high school, I completely lost touch with it for five years until I had my own Netflix account. That’s right, Netflix plays an important role in my journey of language learning and brings back the joy I first experienced in school!
Recently, I started the show ‘Emily in Paris’ on Netflix and as per habit, I did not change my language settings to English. Many parts are filmed in English because the protagonist of the show is an American woman that moves to Paris for work and is not familiar with the local dialect at first. They have shown her journey in the city from someone who did not know French at all, to falling in love with the language, place and people so much that she did not move back to Chicago when she had the chance to and made Paris her home permanently.
While I have an on-and-off relationship with the language myself, I have never given up on it much like Emily (the protagonist). Even though I struggle to keep up with my daily lessons on Duo Lingo, I am proud of the fact that I am on my 154th day of the streak on the App, which essentially means that I have been learning the language every day for the past 154 days.
During the covid lockdown, like most people in the world, I consumed A LOT of content. I finished all seasons of ‘Narcos’ and ‘Money Heist‘ (both in Spanish) and this reignited the spark of joy in me again. I began my short journey of learning Spanish for a brief period of three months during the lockdown. Today, I might mix up many phrases in both French and Spanish, but I am also someone who can fluently speak, read and write four Indian languages and figure my way through two foreign languages (with Netflix and Duo Lingo’s help, of course!)
I hope I can add plenty more to this list in the coming years because the journey of language learning through Netflix has by far been extremely rewarding!
What is Steam Deck? The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming device developed and produced by Valve Corporation, the company behind the popular gaming platform Steam. designed to bring the gaming experience of a desktop computer to a portable, handheld form factor. The Device has a touch screen and gaming controls built into the device, allowing users to play a variety of games, including PC games available on Steam, on-the-go.
Does Gaming Industry is really in need of it? The need for the Steam Deck in the gaming industry depends on various factors and perspectives. Some gamers may appreciate the convenience of being able to play their favorite PC games on a handheld device, making gaming more accessible and portable.
From a business perspective: The Device success will most likely be determined by aspects like as the device’s technological characteristics, pricing, and available game library. Ultimately, whether or not the gaming industry is in need of a Steam Deck is subjective and dependent on individual preferences and market conditions.
History Of Steam Deck: In 2013, Valve announced its first attempt at entering the console market: Machines. Steam Machines were small gaming PCs designed for TV that ran on Valve’s own SteamOS. Companies like iBuyPower, Alienware, CyberPowerPC, Origin PC, and even Gigabyte were all making Steam Machines, and each had different specs with prices ranging from $499 all the way to $5,000.
First Impression of Steam Deck: The device has not yet been officially released, there are no first-hand impressions of the device. Currently the units are on pre-booking stage mostly the influencers have the review units with them.
Final Thoughts on deck: I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re thinking, “Uh, wasn’t the Steam Controller a flop?” But I’m here to tell you not only did it have an amazing cult following, the Deck makes it work. The fancy touchpads no longer get in your way if you’re not interested, and you can now get precision aiming without relying on them one bit: just rest your thumb on the thumbstick to activate a gyro so you can tilt the Deck to easily zero in on your target. And while you have the option of spending hours designing the perfect multi-layered control scheme, Valve makes it easy to add that gyro or a few extra grip buttons and go on with your day.
In a world where people only post about the happy things in their lives, others create a life for themselves thinking that others’ lives are better or more happening than theirs. But the question is, ‘Is the Instagram World even real?’
The world of social media or as we call it the ‘influential world’ has a major impact on people’s lives these days. Influencers are well aware of their target audiences and they bring out the versions of themselves that people want to see. But what we actually see is the polished lives of celebrities or influencers on instagram.
They have created a fairytale world which is perfect and has an effect on young minds leading to mental health issues. The allured minds try and imitate these unattainable bodies and lifestyles which have been created by means of filters or fake editing.
But is the modification with the photos really that important? Nobody in this world is flawless or Nobody’s life is perfect. Everybody has bad days or bad photos which very few people are willing to share with the world.
HARSH TRUTH OF THE TRAVEL INFLUENCING
The point is comprehensible that people are on Instagram to show the best versions of themselves. Their lives while having a good time on a vacation with their friends. The world of travel influencers which they show on the platforms is unreal. They have struggles they deal with, while travelling, which are not portrayed to the real world. You might pick up on a restaurant by watching an influencer’s instagram story. But, after going there you realise it actually tastes like disappointment.
After the rise of the pandemic, there is a relatively high explosion of people wanting to choose to be an ‘instagram influencer’ as their career path. But what they don’t realise is the harsh truths of invasion of their privacy in the world of fame.
The need to use social media to keep updated about what’s happening around the world is quite arguable. But the best way to use it positively would be not to obsess too much over these things and miss out on all the amazing things in life that are right in front of you!
The future of Black panther seems uncertain with Director Ryan Coogler and Disney announcing their new live-action series “Kingdom of Wakanda”. It is set to be streamed on Disney+.
Ryan coogler announced a 5-year television deal between Walt Disney and his company. This collaboration will be working on Black Panther’s series “Kingdom of Wakanda”. His company Coogler’s Proximity Media has been c0-responsible for past movies. There are a lot of questions regarding the future of the franchise. The biggest question is who will be the new King in the series?
Is Black Panther 3 on the cards?
Ryan has expressed interest in directing the third installment of the film but feels that the franchise is currently a lot bigger than him. He couldn’t further comment as nothing is confirmed yet. Currently, his attention lies undivided on the series as doesn’t want to multitask with writing and direction.
Letitia Wright, lead star of Black Panther 2 said in an interview that a sequel is already in the planning but after a brief hiatus. This combined with the fact that the movie Wakanda forever ended with a message that read “Black panther will return” excites fans of the franchise.
In late October 2022, producer Nate Moore said that they were floating ideas around for the pipeline of a potential third film. Nate dint gives out other details as nothing is confirmed yet.
Marvel Studios put out a list of releases for the next 2-3 years, we won’t be seeing the next Black Panther movie for a while.
Will there be another new King in Black Panther 3?
This is open to interpretation as it could mean that there could be a sequel with Letitia Wright in the lead. It could also be that late King T’Challa’s son Toussaint will take over as Black Panther. In a storyline like this, Letitia Wright who plays Shuri might remain the head of Wakanda.
One thing that fans can be sure of is that the makers would wrap things up with the third part. This will also put an end to a lot of unanswered questions about different characters and the storyline. We might see some of the newer characters making an appearance in the Disney+ series as well.
When you think of luxury brands, what comes to mind? The first image that comes to mind is the elegant and sophisticated brand image. In recent years, the arising trend of luxury brand co-branding with cartoon characters has been impacting the market in a successful way.
Loewe – A Spanish luxury fashion house established in 1846, and Loewe is well-known for its creative, innovative craftsmanship and leather products. The product-line including handbags, ready-to-wear clothing, and accessories. Also, Loewe is part of the LVMH Group.
Gucci is a luxury fashion brand founded in Florence, Italy, in 1921. It is famous for its leather goods, handbags, ready-to-wear clothing, shoes, etc. For example, the double G logo, sans-serif typeface with repeating link-like patterns, red and green stripes, and horse-bit hardware look are very recognizable.
Luxury brands are typically associated with timeless, sophisticated, and streamlined designs. Yet, luxury fashion brands have been partnering with famous cartoon characters to create limited-edition fashion goods in a growing trend.
For instance, the Howl’s Moving Castle X Loewe collection was inspired by the 2D fantasy film that was animated by Studio Ghibli.
In the following sections, we will take a closer look at Studio Ghibli and see what other films Loewe has collaborated with this studio.
Studio Ghibli X Loewe
Howl’s Moving Castle was directed by Yamazaki and produced by Toshio Suzuki. It was released on November 20, 2004, in Japan. According to Ghibli Wiki, the film grossed $24 million worldwide. Hayao Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 and directed and produced numerous famous animated films. For example, such as Laputa (1986), My Neighbour Totoro (1988), and Spirited Away (2001). Above all, this is the third collaboration between Studio Ghibli and Loewe. Following collections inspired by Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro.
Let’s take a virtual tour by watching the limited-time Howl’s Moving Castle x Loewe pop-up store at LOEWE Omotesando, Tokyo, Japan.
Another successful co-branding example will be the Doraemon x Gucci collection in 2021, which coincided with Doraemon’s 50th anniversary and Gucci’s 100th anniversary.
There are four reasons why luxury brands have been successful in teaming with cartoon characters:
Fulfilling Psychological Needs
Nostalgic and well-known characters evoke strong emotional connections with consumers. Not to mention, those cartoon characters are tie-ins with childhood memories, beloved characters, fantasy plots, and scene design. In addition, co-branding allows the two brands to be creative and bring these elements together. The co-branding also deliver an exclusive and meaningful product to the customers.
Reaching a New Demographic
The classic logos and brand recognition are a huge part of how consumers become interested in the brand design. However, co-branding allows both brands to expand beyond their existing customer bases. Most importantly, the collaboration of vivid and playful cartoon characters breaks down the barrier between younger consumers and sophisticated luxury brand profiles. In other words, this helps in increasing brand visibility and attracting new customers.
Capitalizing on High Brand Equity
Taking Studio Ghibli X Loewe as an example, the demographics of Studio Ghibli fans are in a wide range worldwide. In fact, the brand itself massively attracts an audience of all ages. More, the imaginative and fantasy dream of Ghibli World is a timeless brand in and of itself. Therefore, both Studio Ghibli and Loewe have loyal fan bases, and it can be easier to achieve market acceptance and financial performance through a co-branding strategy.
Boosting Brand Recognition Through Retail Pop-up Therapy
Imagine entering a brick-and-mortar store and seeing your favourite cartoon character appealing to a café, a pop-up store event, and how exciting that could be. At the pop-up, customers not only do they get to visually see their favourite characters, but they can also participate in a physically interactive experience by trying on products and taking photos.
Hence, this exclusive retail experience enhances brand recognition and provides a high level of spiritual satisfaction for consumers.
Lastly, co-branding between luxury brands and cartoon characters is a rising trend that is here to stay. As a result, the power of the brands’ collaboration helps to increase their visibility and attention among the audience, and it is a new way for consumers to recognize brands in a fun and joyful way.
Not long ago, Nintendo finally released the new amiibos for its overwhelmingly popular game Splatoon 3. Fans have been waiting for quite a while! If you are still hesitating, or if you are new to the game and are wondering what an amiibo is and whether it’s worth buying, well, you’ve found the right blog! Here is my review on the new Splatoon 3 amiibo.
Cool Appearances of the Characters
The appearances of the figures were the first things to blow me away. The designs are cohesive to the aesthetic of the game which is cool and wild. Also, the figures look like they are captured in motion, adding a strong sense of flow.
Higher Quality of the new Splatoon 3 Amiibo
I have to say, each one of the new Splatoon 3 amiibo is obviously better in quality than former ones from Splatoon 1 & 2! To be honest, I did not expect the ones I bought would be as delicate as the samples. However, it turns out that the details are satisfyingly well-made. The characters look alive and the gears very cool to look at too. Personally, I will definitely keep them away from my working space. Otherwise, I will always want to take one more good look at how beautiful they are instead of focusing on my work.
New Exclusive Gears
For new fans – this is the most unique function that a Nintendo amiibo has: you can actually acquire exclusive in-game gears by tapping the pedestal of your amiibo on the controller. In Splatoon specially, you can even take in-game pictures with your favorite characters using your amiibo. The three new figures respectively have three outfits with special abilities. And I have to say, the design of the looks also delivers the aesthetic and sense of humor which you can only see in Splatoon 3!
Originally a Portuguese novel, translated in English has been written beautifully by Paulo Coelho. The book talks about the internal journey of a man and his choice of acknowledging his own destiny.
The protagonist of the book is a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago. He is in his teen years and is a shepherd because he loves to travel to different places and meet new people. Believing that his recurrent dream is some kind of prophecy, he ends up going to a gypsy lady who tells him that his dream is about a hidden treasure in the Pyramids of the Egypt. The boy first doesn’t believe it but then he comes across a king, the king of Salem who tells him about destiny and principle of favourability. To make the boy realise about his dream and destiny, the king writes some things about the boy in the sand with a stick, the things which the boy had never told anybody. He starts trusting the king and takes his advice of going to Egypt.
After selling all his sheep, he starts his journey and reaches Egypt but is miles away from the pyramids. However, he gets robbed and loses all hopes of crossing desert and reaching the pyramids and so he starts working at a crystal shop to earn his daily bread and butter. He works for a year and learns a lot about life in that one year. He is about to leave for his hometown when he remembers that king had told him to never give up. This is how he regains all the hope, starts believing in omens and intuitions and thus his journey towards his treasure begins. During the journey he finds true friends and love which metaphorically tell us about the freedom in love and understanding in friendship. His journey towards the pyramids; towards his treasure in turn becomes an inward journey of knowing himself and his soul.
About the Protagonist
The protagonist, Santiago has been portrayed in a perfect way. In the start he is shown as a naive boy who gradually becomes mature and grows as a person during his journey towards the treasure. The flashbacks of his life are perfectly placed in the story which lets the reader connect with his life and also doesn’t ruin the flow of the present life of the boy. The other supporting characters are also perfect who help in completing the story in a very dramatic way.
My Favourite Part
My favourite part of the story is when Santiago meets his true love, Fatima who unlike the other girl characters supports Santiago in finding his treasure by letting him go. She tells him that she will wait for him and will look at the desert with hopes. My other favourite part of the story is its stirring end.
The writing style is also very convincing. The book has a very simple language and can be understood by anyone. The setting of the incidents in the book mostly takes place in the Sahara Desert which the boy has to pass to get to the pyramids. The other places are open grounds of Andalusia, the place called Tarifa, the crystal shop; where the boy was originally working and the oasis in the desert. The writing style makes it possible for the reader to imagine scenes vividly and effectively.
The book is recommended for the people who believe in signs given by nature and spiritualism. Spending time with this book is completely worth it!