We’re Obsessed With… Pokémon TCG, Severance and James Gunn — April 2023

THE MAGIC RAIN is back with our We’re Obsessed With… April 2023 edition! This column is where our writers share their current obsessions; from video games and Anime, to books and TV shows, and even music. When it comes to the things you love, there’s only one rule: No holds barred.

If you’re interested in more content like this, do explore our previous write-ups here!

The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG)

The Alternate art of Eeveelutions are absolutely gorgeous. 

This April, I am absolutely obsessed with the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG). I have been playing Pokémon TCG on and off for the past 20 years, and quite recently jumped straight into the deep end of it once again, and at the perfect timing too since there’s been quite a lot of shake ups within the Pokémon TCG scene. The Pokémon Sword and Shield TCG era is concluding, and with it, the start of the new Scarlet & Violet era.

While Pokémon cards are largely played the same, I am absolutely obsessed with the new alternate art rarities of the newer cards, and they look absolutely remarkable. They have always nailed the art department for Pokémon cards, but they have now brought that bar to new heights that I haven’t quite seen in any modern card games. 

Over the month of April and early May, I have even entered multiple shop tournaments in both Malaysia and Vietnam (look out for a write-up about the Pokémon TCG scene in Vietnam coming soon!) before concluding with one of the biggest tournaments in Malaysia. The Malaysia regionals were held at the end of April at Pavillion Bukit Jalil with close to 200 participants battling it out to be the very best. — Amos

Severance (Apple TV+)

The sub-genre within psychological thrillers that explores the manipulative effects of new-age technology has been blown wide open by the success of Netflix’s Black Mirror and Apple TV+’s new series is a brilliant addition to this burgeoning space, with bone-chilling impact and splendid performances. (I am late to the party but better late than never.) 

We follow the story of Mark (played by a spectacular Adam Scott), a management executive at a seemingly altruistic biotech corporation who is part of an experimental batch of “severed” employees, who get their memories compartmentalized between their work and personal lives. Their work personas and their personas after hours are completely cut off from each other and exist as separate personalities. The conflicts and tensions that arise from that, coupled with the hidden intentions of their corporate lords form the rest of this tantalizingly mind-bending tale that will keep you guessing.

With its array of excellent performers, a minimalistic but hard-hitting screenplay and perfect use of brilliant cinematography and sound design to build suspense and intrigue in every one of the nine episodes that make up Season 1, Apple TV+ has clearly got another winner on its hands after the success of earlier shows on the platform like The Morning Show and Ted Lasso. Severance has all the ingredients for the perfect weekend binge-watch, one that will give you the perfect blend of suspenseful mind games and the drama of complicated human relationships. — Char

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (and James Gunn in general)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has just hit the cinemas and oh boy, I was a complete emotional mess coming out of the theater’s doors. James Gunn has once again proven that he can both write and direct not only an emotional and moving movie, but a great action flick as well. This has led me to his other works like Peacemaker and even older movies like Slither and Super. He has a great sense of character development and is working on telling emotional yet fun stories.

An inspiring film creator whom I look forward to bringing the DC universe to the forefront of the film industry. I cannot wait to see what he will do with Superman Legacy and I am sure it will be a blast. — Aqasha

Kizuna by Mezzo” (Music)

I finally had time to explore and experience the new songs sung by my favourite subunit from the IDOLiSH7 series — MEZZO”. Being a long-time fan of said series, I undoubtedly had high expectations for the songs itself. There were a total of two songs released under the ‘Kizuna’ (『キズナ』) album. The one that stood out to me was the one with the same title as the album itself, Kizuna. 

Kizuna in Japanese means ‘bond’, usually referring to close relationships built upon mutual trust and support. The song greatly reflects the phrase well, as it maps out the journey of two people together, touching on them opening up to one another and entrusting them with your true feelings. With the harmonic blend of the vocals from the KENN (Tamaki) and Abe Atsushi (Sogo) duo, as well as the passionate lyrics and storytelling, it’s truly not short of what has been delivered so far.

Besides, the beat of the song is very catchy and upbeat, which helps convey and enhance the passion behind the messaging. I truly enjoyed the song ever since the first listen, and I foresee it will continue to be on my playlist for a few months. — Dionne

What are you obsessed with this month? Leave a comment down below for us to check it out!

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