Posted by: SirKibble | April 21, 2009

Killing With Kindness — Yuji Sakai and Shana

Yuji Sakai and Shana by half_silver28

All right. Time to sit down and actually review the moveset that got me hooked on what I can safely say is my favorite anime. I guess I took the whole “familiarize yourself with the terminology” bit a little far, eh? Anyway, shameless plug time: EVERYONE WHO HASN’T SHOULD GO WATCH THIS ANIME! Ahem… Had to get that out there. Moving right along, these two are kind of a natural tag team, given both their compatible capabilities in battle and the love-interest factor. Shana’s certainly overflowing with moveset potential on her own, and this is the most perfect way to get Yuji a moveset as well. The backstory you give is a bit long-winded, but given the somewhat complicated nature of the anime, I think it’s more or less necessary. Spoilerific!

Moving right along, the implementation of them together looks good. It makes a lot of sense to give them different stats and whatnot, given their separability (Is that a word? It is now.) in the show, due to how different in build and nature they are. Both pairs of stats look balanced enough, but I think you’re well-aware that I think a lot of things are balanced that sometimes aren’t. Meh. Anyway, use of the Anti-Flame Ring as the shield for Yuji is quite good. Props for that. I do have one question concerning something in this section, though. You say Yuji grabs Shana for her “third jump.” Now, she’s got five, but that’s also a common term for the Up Special recovery, since most characters only have two. Does Yuji grab Shana for every jump after her first mid-air one, or only during her Up Special recovery? Without reading, I can already predict what the Up Special’s going to be, and it would make sense for it to happen then, but given the number of jumps she has, this is a potential source of confusion.

The Mechanic (named after a certain episode, I notice) suits the characters perfectly, as is still practical and wouldn’t be a burden to keep too much track of while playing. It’s pretty easy to tell if you’re synched as the Ice Climbers, usually, so I’d imagine it would be about as easy for Yuji & Shana players, though their differing stats may contribute to a tiny bit more complexity. Still, it’s fitting-to-character and totally reasonable to have in Smash as such. The Playstyle section, I must admit, I prefer being after the moveset, but alas, it is here, and so I shall read it here. The advantage this way is that I know what the puzzle looks like before I see all the pieces, so I can put them together as I go. The disadvantage is that I sometimes lose track of the whole puzzle while I look at the various pieces. Either way, this playstyle gives me a good heads up for what type of moves are Shana and Yuji’s strong points, and the ones that are most critical to their strategy, such as the N-Spec, as well as any stage-controlling moves I read, as you state that to be among their key aspects.

Onward and upward, into the moveset! Specials first, I see. Given the nature of the Playstyle I read, I’d say that’s probably appropriate here. Blaze is key, and well-implemented. Very nice placement of something from the anime that’s a pretty common tactic of hers after the first time you see it happen. I do want to point out that the sword’s name is incorrectly spelled here. It’s Nietono no Shana, not just Nietono Shana. It was right in the backstory. Makes me wonder if you copied that earlier bit from an external source, eh? 😛 Anyway, Blaze looks perfect to me. Charging times are kind of long, but considering that you can store and stack them, that’s probably a good thing. Very nicely put together.

All right, so now one of those great attacks where Yuji’s prescence makes a difference, and your catchphrase attack as well, hehe. Silver Strike looks pretty good here; especially nice work with the trick circumstance where Yuji can protect Shana if she falls. However, there are some details I’d like to know that aren’t entirely present here. For instance, you say that the fireball can be shot diagonally up or down when thrown. How far can it be angled, and can it be angled to a lesser degree than that, or are there only three trajectories (an upward one, a downward one, and a straight one) that it can take? Also, somewhat less important in my mind, how fast does the fireball travel? I can guess at that all right due to having actually seen Yuji pull this off, but mention of it couldn’t hurt. The Shana-only version of the Side Special is a bit more simple, so I can’t ask a whole lot different. Again, the projectiles’ speed would be nice, but all things considered, I’m a definite fan of both moves.

The Up Special is exactly what I expected it to be. The twist with Shana being unable to use Aerials if synched is clever, though. Something I wouldn’t have thought of. Also, I like how you allowed Shana the ability to save Yuji even if they aren’t synched as this attack starts. Just one question: what’s a “character length”? I mean, if it’s meant to be the height or width of a character, Squirtle and Bowser ought to be proof enough that those aren’t necessarily similar for all characters.

Okay, the Fuzetsu. Kind of an obligatory piece that doesn’t fit anywhere but the Down Special, if you ask me. The silver flames are a nice touch to Yuji’s version, too. I expressed my concern for the balance of this earlier to you, and fixes have been made since then, but let me touch on a few points. First, I’m not totally sure how the Negative Zone measures out in Stage Builder blocks, so I’m not sure how much of an increase it is beyond the uncharged one, but it doesn’t seem like a very appreciable amount. Again, I’m not really sure about that, but it might be something to give a second look. The other things is, as much as I like having a link to my own moveset in there, I have to oppose the failure of this move versus certain characters. It makes perfect sense for the characters stated not to be affected by the Fuzetsu, but I don’t think it’s fair. Especially with this calibre of attack, it makes those characters a heavy preference for anyone who wants to combat Shana and Yuji, which just isn’t something I can whole-heartedly approve of. Aside from that, I really like this. I’m pleasantly surprised at the subtle differences between your implementation of this move and mine, so very nice job.

The Neutral Combo is fine, but I think it would be good to try to remember to include the speed of the attack, as well as the startup and ending lag amounts. I can’t say with any certainty that I know how fast this attack executes, which would be nice to know. The Dash Attack is relatively boring, honestly, even with Yuji’s addition. I feel like you could probably work in some little effect for this attack that would make it more interesting, because as is, it’s the weakest attack in the moveset so far, creativity-wise. A nice F-Tilt, with the lingering flames to keep it interesting. Again, though, I’m feeling that stating the execution speed for moves would be very helpful all around. The U-Tilt is a risky move, definitely best in the hands of a player who knows what they’re doing, but nicely worked out. The D-Tilt is excellent, exactly the type of move I’d hope to see somewhere in this moveset.

The F-Smash’s best trait is actually, in my opinion, the explosion at the tip of the blade, not Yuji’s extra attack. Still, that makes the move interesting enough with or without him, though his attack certainly makes a nice addition from a player’s standpoint. Nice U-Smash, kind of a wide-area firestorm attack with no KO potential. I like that. I also like the combined D-Smash, which is basically two different moves in opposite directions to cover the normal area a D-Smash does. It keeps you conscious of which way you’re facing when you D-Smash, unlike with some characters, but still affords you a hit to both sides. A very nice touch.

The N-Air is really more interesting without Yuji, but Yuji’s presence does make for a more useful move. There’s no problem here that I haven’t already tackled in another move, but I’ll take the opportunity to echo a couple. Once again, a “character length” is kind of an unclear measurement. The amount of time that the attack takes to execute would be nice, especially considering it’s one with multiple hits. Lastly, Yuji’s part of the attack, “[attacking] with a powerful two-handed slam attack,” is a bit unclear exactly what he’s doing. I would assume from the spiking properties and such that it’s something like Donkey Kong’s F-Air in appearance, but I’m still not 100% sure. The F-Air is cool, though I kind of wish the triangle of flames would do something after the attack. The B-Air is pretty basic in terms of functionality and such, but I imagine it’d look pretty cool. The U-Air could be a balance problem, considering that it sounds like you could potentially use it for an infinite recovery option. It’s an interesting enough attack, but it moving you upward without any setback or limitation does present a problem. No complaints about the D-Air; a solid, interesting, and functional move.

The Grab is basic, as I would expect. I actually got a laugh out of the Pummel, because of the particular part of the anime it’s taken from (most likely, anyway). It’s a pretty powerful one, but slow, so that works out fine. The F-Throw was a bit of a surprise. I assume it’s inspired by the repeated reaching inside of Yuji that various Tomogara and such do in the anime? Kind of seems like a twist on that, and I think as long as there’s nothing graphic, it’s suitable. The B-Throw is elaborate, and a tad bit confusing (I think mainly I’m confused as to where she throws the sword to. She ends up behind her opponent, right?), but nonetheless sounds like a good enough attack. The U-Throw is fine, something I’d enjoy using and seeing used in a match. The D-Throw, I like. I’m a big fan of attacks like that, and have played with a couple opponent-healing attacks myself. Very nicely done.

The Final Smash, from someone who knows, could only be Tenpa Jyousai. If the calling forth of the Flame of Heaven can destroy the entire Palace of the Stars (I still prefer to call it Seirei-den, but alas, English is preferrable in reviews), it can certainly make a mess of the Smash Bros. opposition. A lot of parts to this move, which is probably fitting, considering I swear it lasted half an episode (okay, it was probably like five minutes, but that’s a long time to wonder about Shana and Yuji’s well-being). I do think this Final Smash is probably a bit too good, though, considering it’s range, damage, and KO potential. Probably something to give another look to, is all I’m saying.

All right. On to the area I don’t have to critique balance in (I feel like such a hypocrite doing that)! I would spam the Up Taunt endlessly, because it would really annoy opponents Shana is just too cute when she says it. The Side Taunt and Down Taunt are also nice, perfect representation of both Shana and the duo. Likewise for the Victory Poses. You couldn’t have made a better choice as far as the Victory Theme goes. Man! I swear, this ending theme kicked the holy living crap out of all the others. *Listens to repeatedly while finishing review* The Entrance and Stances are good, taking pieces perfectly from the anime. The Alternate Costumes are all good (probably the only character I’d actually choose to play in red, when I wasn’t using black). Nice working of the Kirby Hat, and a solid Snake Codec (lol, I’m so punny).

So I guess the bridge makes for a pretty basic stage, just with the appearance of various characters as a fun little addition. Fair enough. At least it’s still got all the awesome music, am I right? I am right. I love these tunes.

On to the Assist Trophies. The first is Sydonay (I prefer Metamorphosis, but that’s just me), that jerk of an antagonist I can only hate most of the time, because he’s just not all bad. His implementation is actually quite perfect, only attacking if he’s attacked. I imagine that’s exactly how he’d need to be, given his reluctance to fight on many occassions, but formidable nature when provoked. Now, the next Assist Trophy is… Hecate!! I have mixed feelings about Hecate. Darn antagonists aren’t supposed to be likable at all… Anyhow, that’s unrelated; let’s check how you implemented her as an Assist Trophy. Hmm, nicely done, but I wonder… Would this attack reach its full potential on smaller stages, or would it strike the ground before the energy balls could completely separate? Eh, either way, it’s a nice, potentially useful Assist Trophy. Oh, and I am glad that you used Hecate’s signature attack, rather than making up something else she could do, since that would certainly be a possibility.

Melon Bread makes the perfect item, naturally. Not much to say, except that I do like that it affects Shana a little more than other characters. (And nice picture at the end. <3) The Trophies and Stickers are really just a shoutout to various characters in the series. Pretty thorough list, but the maker of the Wilhelmina moveset is disappointed not to see Tiamat when Alastor and Marcosius are there. 😉 Anyhow, looks good. I don’t usually go this in-depth on my review of Extras, but considering I’d be the only person to really appreciate them, I felt it was worth doing. (Besides, I wanted to.)

All in all, I can’t say much in conclusion but great job. I stand by my earlier statement that this is your best moveset to-date, Silver. There were a couple of somewhat bland attacks, and a few missing details, but all things considered, this moveset still rocks! The teamwork was worked out perfectly; the moveset was extremely true-to-character, right down to little things like the Idle Stance; and the whole thing was beautifully-presented. I love it. Really.




  1. nietono no shana. I suppose I got lazy and omitted the ‘no’. but I have seen it spelled both ways &… oh. right. comments on the review.

    I’m happy you liked my set so much ~ & awesome shameless plug xd. & yeah, there were a few things I should’ve specified on as well. Shana only grabs Yuji when she uses her 3rd jump, uair, or her up special. I forgot to mention speed for ‘Silver Strike’ & … well I guess I should remove fuzetsu’s failure against wilhelmina & margery (if she ever gets made).

    Gah! forgot speed for the neutral A combo! but… I DO have start & end lag for it, so ha! I do admit though, I kind of dropped the ball on the dash attack :/ hm… tilts & smashes are good… I suppose I should’ve given more end lag to the uair to balance it out more. as for the back throw, I took it from ep 13 in season one, when shana killed … well, I think you know who it was kibble. She throws it above her, although I probably should’ve just had her turn her back to the opponent before doing that. I wanted to make that throw an elaborate way to change the direction shana is facing, but maybe I went a bit too far with that.

    bleh… I always suck at balancing Final smashes. I probably made it last too long and have too much KO potential. That I blame on my insistence on taking it straight from the anime.

    taunts, victory poses, etc. were all fun for me to implement. I admit, the quality of my character stages have been going down; I’m mostly using the easiest location I can think of for them lol. I still try to include the most awesome-est music though xd. & yes, Hecate’s attack would be able to reach its full potential on smaller stages. I kind of rushed on the ATs, so there are a few things I should’ve specified. & O.o. I probably should’ve included Tiamat, at least as a sticker.

    tl;dr version: 😀

  2. Episode 13… Oh, right! Makes more sense now. Still kind of confusing, but the source does help.

    Anyway, those clarifications are all quite nice. Mostly just nitpicks I had and whatnot. 🙂

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