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Con Report: Tails and Tornadoes 2022

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Tails and TornadoesThis year's Tails and Tornadoes convention, held at the Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is only the third furry convention I've been to. Previous conventions I have attended were Oklacon 2004 and Anthrocon 2017, and I only made it all the way to Pittsburgh due to being nominated for an Ursa Major award and wanting to attend the awards presentation (I ended being late and missing the announcement of my category, but I lost anyway). Tails and Tornadoes, like Oklacon before it, had the advantage of being cheap and nearby, as I am a local Oklahoman.

As I live only an hour from Tulsa, I made the decision to just commute daily to the convention, as I calculated that the price of gas would ultimately be cheaper than staying at the hotel for me, not to mention cutting out the hassle of actually booking a room and possibly even finding a roommate for the stay. So, I have no idea how the late night atmosphere of the convention was, or the reality of the room situation there. The truth is, that part, the social aspects of convention going is just not for me, despite the fact that it seems a primary draw for just about everyone else. Hence my relatively low total life convention attendance.

Movie review: 'Perlimps' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Perlimps (trailer) is a Brazilian 2D animated film, the second from animator and director Alê Abreu. After seeing his earlier film, Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo, 2013), I really wanted to see what his next project would be like. I wasn't expecting to wait nine years!

Abreu's films definitely do not adhere to typical Hollywood narrative structures, veering towards the artsy without being self-indulgent. Boy and the World, for example, has no dialog at all, and conveys things entirely with sounds and visuals. (As well as being an abstract statement about growing up and the poverty that comes from the exploitation of labor.)

Perlimps is way more approachable in comparison. On the surface, judging by its trailer, I thought it was going to be another film about the devastation of the environment by humans. It does some of that, sure, but that's just surface stuff.

The rest of the film's surface is all in the trailer. Claé (an orange wolf) and Bruô (a blue bear) are secret agents from the opposing kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, trying to find the Perlimps, mysterious entities who can help save the forest from the encroachment of man.

Furry Weekend Atlanta draws ire as it books outside talent for musical shows

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Before the coronavirus shut down many furry conventions around the world, a strange thing occurred at Furry Weekend Atlanta in 2019. The popular electronic dance group Mystery Skulls performed a musical set at the convention. This is a pretty mainstream group, well-known for their singles such as Money and Ghosts.

When in-person events started happening again, Furry Weekend Atlanta's new headliner was again more known for their mainstream work than for their ties to the fandom. FRND, also known as Andrew Goldstein, is not quite as well-known as Mystery Skulls. After having worked with many mainstream musicians (such as Maroon Five's Beautiful Mistakes as a co-writer), he started to work independently and created his own singles.

Now in late 2022, FWA is giving a wink toward Little Nas X, a very well-known rap artist, born and raised near Atlanta. He's known for stirring up moralistic controversy with his music videos. I guess that's how you know it's real rap.

As FWA's drive towards mainstream musical talent has continued, furries have become a lot more pointed in their questioning of the convention. But whoever's been in control of FWA's social media account has continually dismissed such criticism. For instance, during the FRND announcement, they responded to one critique by posting a gif of Clauhauser calling the critical poster "cute". At the time, this post only drew more attention to the critique. FWA later deleted the tweet and apologized for their behavior. In response to the threads that appeared after the Little Nas X announcement, they have started to use their social media tools to limit responses to no one but the artist in question.

In this article, we'll be going over what defines a work as furry, why this is separate from how furry music is defined, and how Furry Weekend Atlanta may be able to help mitigate future concerns for their furry attendees and the musically talented within the fandom.

Furrstein: a furry convention at Hauenštejn Castle, Czechia

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (8 votes)

Furrstien's castle venue Our journey starts near Frankfurt am Main's main train station, where I pick up a friend. We head to Czechia, buying a vignette at the Czech border; arriving at Hauenštejn Castle, near the German border, after a four-hour drive.

This is it! A medieval castle, some parts of it still in restoration; furries with all their luggage waving to us and welcoming and greeting us in excitement. They are just as excited as we are.

We go to registration; they speak English to us, because shitty, a member of their orga team, recognised me from another convention called KRAZ.

My friend Alexis and I are sponsors of the convention and got a T-shirt, along with a wooden logo of Furrstein and its theme, which is Harry Potter this year.

Stray - A simple and focused game in a world of games that go astray

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Stray.jpgOkay, this one may not technically be a “furry game”. If the late Fred Patten were to start this review off, he may have asked something along the lines that if you as a player moves around the world as a cat with a robot companion augmenting their ability to interpret the society around them, is that game actually anthropomorphic? Perhaps it’s more in line with transhumanism, but in this case more transfelinism, where your feline character is augmented by their technological companion.

And like Adam Jensen of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the cat you play certainly didn’t ask for this.

Movie review: 'Luck' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Luck (teaser trailer) is a 2022 computer-animated movie released on August 5 on the Apple TV+ streaming service. It's the first animated film from Skydance, to be followed by Spellbound.

The story follows Sam, an extremely unlucky 18-year-old. After years in an orphanage and never being adopted, she moves into her first apartment. When she encounters a black cat, her luck suddenly changes, becoming good - and when it reverts to her previous bad luck, she follows the cat into the magical Land of Luck, the source of all luck in our world (both good and bad).

Most of the film revolves around Sam trying to regain luck - not for herself, but to help a younger girl at the orphanage - while a series of evasions and accidents escalate into circumstances that threaten the Land of Luck itself.

It's an ok film, with a really nice magical world, although the story has tons of holes if you think about it too much. Furry-wise, besides the cat, most of the characters are leprechauns. Here and there are some cartoony bunnies and pigs, plus a couple of other background creatures that you don't often see anthropomorphized (goats and root vegetables). And a large, pink, six-limbed dragoness, in charge of good luck. She's not in too many scenes, but she's definitely one of the highlights!

Interestingly, this film lacks a clear antagonist; most of the conflict is situational in nature. I wouldn't say this movie is a must-see, but it's fine to pass the time with, and I think it shows a lot of potential for what Skydance could make in the future, if they polish up their writing a bit.

(Spoilers and griping under this cut.)

The dragon

'Fuga: Melodies of Steel' - A game that tanks, but in a good way

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FUGA Did you ever want to play a game with animal people in a World War 2 inspired environment with characters and plots that have anime aesthetic as you drive a literal kaiju tank through the countryside and melt away your opponents in turn-based tactical combat? Well, that request is rather specific, but Fuga: Melodies of Steel is here to fill that void.

You control six youths who find themselves piloting a powerful weapon of unknown origin after they are forced to fight back against the Berman army that has been attacking their homeland of Gasco. As you journey, you'll find others to help along the way, develop friendships between the characters, and power up your machine of death as you move forth to free your captured relatives.

However, things may not be so simple. Aboard this tank there is also a mysterious voice on a radio driving the crew forward, and a strange ghost that seems to haunt the halls. Also this monstrous tank, named Taranis, has a dormant weapon that sleeps, awaiting a desperate hour to arise and unleash its devastation, but at a great cost.

If you like tactical RPG combat with good art direction and an orchestrated soundtrack, you'd do well to play this one. More details and minor spoilers found past the divider.

Furries Are Being 'Cancelled' for 'Feral Porn Art' - This Is a Problem

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (22 votes)

About 2 years ago, I started to see a growing debate about 'feral' NSFW art, and it was mostly more calm. The first time was when FurryLife.online started to ban most feral furry pornography, which has sparked a lot of debate online here (in the comment section), Twitter, and some other online sites. In the discussions, there were a lot of folks defending it with a fair amount of logic, mainly explaining that human levels of intelligence creates a difference. There were also folks reasoning that many of such ferals being attractive were exactly the same reasoning why furry characters such as Nick Wilde would be considered attractive by many other furries, by the fact that they have animal parts.

After such drama emerged, it felt as if it was dying down, thankfully. However recently on about June 19th, a popular furry known as KaimTime has been publicly “exposed” after some furries found out that they had a “feral” focused NSFW Twitter account known as Feral Fawcet. As a result, angry furries accused the person of being into “zoophilia”. as well as many Twitter folks ending up doing the whole “if you support this, block me” style posts. There was even one popular YouTuber, Crying Blossom, who made a call-out video against KaimTime mainly for KaimTime having the separate Twitter feed with this art on it, and their response video defending their right to have this separate page and fantasy. All of this, likely because of a furry artist partly having an interest in having fantasies with anthropomorphic animals on all fours.

Klonoa's new remake is coming out!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Klonoa is a franchise by Bandai Namco that got its first release in 1997 for the PlayStation. Having reached great sales in the Japanese market, it got modest earnings in the west, large enough to approve a sequel, Klonoa 2, for the PlayStation 2. Both games got great reviews, and are platforming classics, but unfortunately diminishing sales killed the franchise, with one last re-release of the first game back in 2008 for the Wii.

The franchise is now being revived after all these years with a new remake of Klonoa 1+2, with great care and respect for the source material. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series comes out July 8th for PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and Steam (PC). Consoles get a physical release in Europe and Japan, with US receiving digital releases only.

Ursa's Major Issue - Confident self-promotion vs humble passionate skill, and a voting system's favoritism

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (10 votes)

UrsaVoting.jpgUrsa, we may have a problem. Or at least so it may seem. Over the past few years the number of people voting in the furry fandom’s popular choice awards appears to be dwindling once again, despite continual growth and booming attendance at our conventions - COVID aside - revealing the growing audience and community beneath this stagnation.

But if less people in proportion are voting, is there a reason for this? One option may be that the system may be lead to some strange victors based on popularity of a franchise or personality rather than other considerations. But is this just a coincidence or could it be how the system was inadvertently crafted?

This article’s goal is to highlight why the current system is so sensitive to favoring artists who self-promote or whose fans rally on their behalf, at the expense of voters that weigh more toward judging the quality of the pieces nominated without authorship considerations. It will then propose a small change to make it more fair to both types of voters and creators, without stifling out those who show up with a passion for their artist.

Be wary, this gets long and technical. But if you’re reading this up to this point, I’m sure you knew that’s what you were in for.

Tunic - The hero's adventure reforged

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

TUNIC.jpgThis game is going to be tough to review, in essence the game’s strength only remains a strength the less I say about it and what makes it so good. I suppose the best way to approach it is how it displays on its surface. A fox protagonist in a green tunic raises his sword and blue shield to go on an adventure. Many would instantly connect this iconography to the Zelda franchise.

The game can be Zelda-like for sure, but it’s important to know that not all of Zelda’s Link’s outings are created equal. So the best way I can describe this is that it’s a Zelda-like, also known as a “Hero’s Adventure” game, that feels very much like the franchise before it went into a heavy handed narrative focus.

Streaming review: 'Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

'Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers' movie posterChip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers is the Disney+ streaming service's newest exclusive movie, directed by Akiva Schaffer and starring John Mulaney as the voice of Chip and Andy Samberg as Dale, the titular pair of cartoon chipmunks. The movie is mostly live action, but features cartoon characters interacting with this live action world. The movie's relationship with the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers animated television show is a bit complicated. This movie is not a sequel or reboot, but instead takes as its premise that the characters of that show were actors playing parts in a world where cartoons and humans coexist.

The obvious point of comparison is the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, made even more obvious by the fact that Roger Rabbit himself makes a small cameo in this movie. If anything, a few people have interpreted this as taking place in the same world as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, though I'd argue it's actually a bit more meta than that. Unless I'm getting this wrong, the Roger Rabbit that cameos here is another actor who played himself in a movie that is equally fictional in both our world and the world of this movie. Cartoon actors share their names with their characters, for whatever reason. But, the point is, the movie is very meta like that, and though it never explicitly acknowledges it's own fictionality, it's showbiz savvy characters are likely to treat their situation as if it were a movie.

Also like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a major appeal of the movie is nostalgia for its animated characters, both specifically for its titular duo, as well as a series of cameos and walk-ons from others. While this sort of thing can be fun, it can also come off as a cynical branding exercise. However, the movie manages to avoid the pitfalls of this sort of thing better than most.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale - Heartful, Artful, and another anthro 2021 Game that's wonderful

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Chicory.jpgWhile 2021 was a pretty crappy year overall, for anthro gaming titles it was certainly a renaissance. It also did an excellent job curb stomping my 2018 statements that visual novels seem to be the genre of choice for anthro game developers. In 2021 we had a Metroid-vania mixed with a brawler in Ursa Nominated FIST. We had an isometric top-down combat adventure in Ursa Nominated Death’s Door. Now we have a game that is a narrative and art focused 2D grid exploration and creativity game in Chircoy: A Colorful Tale. Unfortunately this one didn’t get a nomination, because I would not have complained if it did.

This game is interestingly one I would recommend to furries who are artists more than gamers. While it doesn’t require being an artist by any means, and traditional gamers would be able to complete the story just fine, the narrative has more reflection on the power of being a creative type and the stress of societal expectations that comes with artistic pursuits. Imposter syndrome, having people demand things from you for exposure, and other such tropes in the artist world are addressed through your character’s trials.

There is a full world to explore and color to your heart’s content and it's more about the journey than the conflict. But there is no art without some struggle. While your character named after your favorite dish may have started their adventure wanting to wield the magic brush of this world, heavy is the hand who wields.

To avoid spoilers stop reading at Art within the Art

Movie Review: 'The Bad Guys' (2022)

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (8 votes)

The Bad GuysThe Bad Guys, a DreamWorks Animation film directed by Pierre Perifel, should be a slam dunk, right?

With a voice cast of personal favorites such as Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina and Craig Robinson? Full of anthropomorphic animal characters in a kid-friendly Tarantino take-off? And there's even a furry vixen in the mix? What, is it my birthday? (Actually, that's Saturday.) [Happy Birthday! --The editors]

Featuring a criminal gang of five predatory animals, meet Mr. Wolf (Rockwell), Mr. Snake (voiced by Marc Maron), Miss Tarantula (Awkwafina), Mr. Shark (Robinson) and Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos).

After a television interview with the local governor, a vixen named Diane Foxington, Mr. Wolf is goaded into carrying out a ridiculously difficult heist. Which correspondingly goes ridiculously wrong. The gang are put in the care of Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade), a guinea pig who tries to teach them how to be good guys.

Review: 'Sonic the Hedgehog 2'

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (9 votes)

sonicthehedgehog2.jpgSonic the Hedgehog 2 is that thing which, as a furry reviewer, I feel like I should run into more, but actually don’t. It is a perfectly acceptable kid’s movie. Which is a bit of a problem, because that makes it the worst type of movie to review. A movie that’s just okay. It’s fine. Alright, even.

I’m tempted to write more about how the Sonic the Hedgehog movies bookend the Covid-19 pandemic, which is just a coincidence, than this movie. I'll keep it short, but I want to make clear I’m a guy who reviews kid’s movies for adults, not a virologist, so while I may feel safe enough to go back to theaters, you do what you feel comfortable with.

It’s okay enough, and the Sonic franchise has a passionate enough fanbase, if you want to spend full price for a movie ticket, I won’t judge too much. But it’s not so good I don’t still recommend waiting until it hits streaming.