It sure is nice that some minor advances have been made in computer technology and on the internet in the last few decades. Magazines, guides, and books can now be purchased or downloaded in PDF format or in some other format on the internet. After doing some searching and looking around, I downloaded some of the issues of the magazines Retro Gamer, GameFan, PlayStation Magazine, Animerica, Official Nintendo Magazine, Nintendo Power, Edge, Play, Game Informer, NGC Magazine, Official Dreamcast Magazine, PC Zone, and Gamers’ Republic. I’ve never really been a magazine reader until recently. A few years ago, I wandered into the magazines section of a large book store that’s located not far from the city center. There was a large selection of car magazines, fashion magazines, science magazines, health magazines, film magazines, video game magazines, and other magazines there. Some of the magazines caught my eye, and I took some photos of the covers for reference later on. When I began looking at whether or not some of these magazines can be bought or ordered online, I discovered that many older issues of magazines can be easily downloaded on certain websites. So, I downloaded some of the issues that looked interesting to me. If the file is 100 megabytes or less, it can be uploaded to Google Books in your Google account. One thousand files can be stored in Google Books for free. When it comes to larger files, I read them by using the app Adobe Acrobat, which is installed on my Samsung notebook and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone. The first issue of Retro Gamer that I recently began reading is issue #161 from 2016. It includes an article about the Pokemon Red and Blue video game, which was released in 1996. I can’t say that I ever really got into the Pokemon craze. I was too young when the video games were released. Moreover, I didn’t have a Game Boy, and I couldn’t play the games. It was only thanks to my sister that I got to play the video game at all for a few weeks while I was still in school. She brought me a Game Boy that her friend had, and the only game that was on it was Pokemon Red and Blue (the Blue version). Many adults, who were children or teenagers back then, now have fond memories of playing on a Game Boy. Well, I didn’t have such an experience, but I did play on a Game Boy for a little while, and I can say that I definitely wanted to have one. It’s a bulky console. Nowadays, however, this handheld is considered to be a classic. Sure, I wouldn’t mind having this cultural icon in my possession too, if only as a decoration. I like the way it looks. When it comes to the Pokemon trading card game, I didn’t get to participate in this activity either. My parents didn’t buy cards, games, or even toys for me. And I had no money of my own back then. Moreover, from what I’ve heard, the cards sold out very fast in stores back then. Therefore, even if you had money back then, there was no guarantee that you’d get your hands on the cards that you wanted. So, the only exposure that I had to the Pokemon phenomenon was through the anime television series. I got to watch some of the episodes at one time. This was exciting because the Pokemon anime was actually quite good at that time, and I looked forward to watching every episode of the Indigo League and Orange Islands seasons. Doing this was also dangerous for me because if my mother noticed that I was watching cartoons, there was a good chance that she’d take away the television remote control and ban me from watching television. The time that I had to even watch the anime was very limited. So, my participation in the Pokemon phenomenon was partial at best. But I still remember that time with fondness. In the 1990s, and maybe even in the early-2000s, people could still get excited about some things, and the Pokemon multimedia franchise was an exciting distraction for children and teenagers. Since then, I’ve been able to play every version in the Pokemon video game series. I got to watch every episode of the Indigo League as well, but I stopped watching the anime after the Johto League Championships because the anime became unbearably dull after the Orange Islands season. Anyway, reading the article about Pokemon Red and Blue in Retro Gamer was a pleasant experience that brought back some good memories. It’s interesting how the best memories or the most fond memories that a person can have can be of difficult or challenging times. When it comes to the video game series, I think that Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen, which are remakes of the original versions, are my favorite versions. It’s impressive how many good video games were released for the Game Boy Advance. I’m currently playing Mega Man Zero, which is the first Mega Man Zero game that I’ve ever played, and I’m struck by how good the graphics and the art in this game are. The art reminds me of the Battle Angel Alita manga by Yukito Kishiro. Thanks to the Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen versions, you get to experience the original great video game but with updated graphics, though I’ve enjoyed all of the versions in the series (except for the bad-looking Pokemon Sword and Shield).
As much as I enjoy reading vintage magazines or certain books that I get online, I can still mention something else that can now be obtained thanks to the internet. I enjoy many things that got made in Japan in the 1980s and in the 1990s, when the economy of Japan was still booming. One of my favorite things to watch are Japanese tokusatsu series like Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, and Metal Hero. Unfortunately, in North America, if people are aware that these series exist, they’re aware of them only because some of them have been remade in the USA as the Power Rangers series. This isn’t to say that Power Rangers is a bad franchise, but it lacks the characters, optimism, and cultural quirks of the Japanese Super Sentai series. If something is available in Japanese, I’d rather watch it in Japanese because it’s usually better. When it comes to the tokusatsu series, however, most of them are not available for purchase or streaming in English. What is up with that? At this point, anything that’s Japanese should be available, but, for some reason, one can only rely on the good work of some people that create fansubs for these shows. Many of the tokusatsu shows have been fansubbed, but some are still not available. At this time, I’m watching Special Rescue Police Winspector, which is part of the Metal Hero franchise. In order to convert the video files to AVI format and make them smaller, I use the programs Wondershare UniConverter and Any Video Converter. When it comes to the films that I’ve seen recently, I think that it’s worth mentioning the ones that I saw in cinemas. A few of the cinemas in the city sometimes screen popular old films, and the price to see them is about $5. In this way, I was fortunate enough to see RoboCop (1987), The Terminator (1984), Leon: The Professional (1994), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and Ghost in the Shell (1995) on the big screen. I would have liked to see more classic films like this, but they aren’t screened for long and sometimes I don’t have the time to see them. Recently, I got to see Akira (1988), Halloween (1978), and The Empire Strikes Back (1980). I decided not to see recently released films like Tenet because they don’t interest me. I think that The Empire Strikes Back was the most enjoyable film to see for me. There are just so many good scenes in it. When you’re watching this film, it really does feel like you get transported to another world because the filmmaking is so good. How about the battle on the planet Hoth? How about when Yoda explains to Luke what the Force is? How about when Luke engages Vader in a lightsaber duel? If you’ve seen the film, you know what I’m talking about. The film is so good that when the screening came to an end, some of the people in the audience clapped. The only downside to the screening was that the version that was shown is the special edition version. I would have preferred to see the original theatrical version. The version of Terminator 2 that I got to see on the big screen was also not my favorite version. Instead of the 3D version, I would have preferred to see the special edition version, with 15 minutes of previously unseen footage.