An early spring feel

So I just recently finished reading the translation for volume 9 of Maria-sama ga Miteru, titled Cherry Blossoms.

It’s funny because a year ago I had thought of translating it myself.  I had bought some Marimite volumes from Bookoff during the time I was in Japan.  So I thought, why not do some translations?  But then I was faced with the unbearable number of kanji (without furigana). I turned tail at the challenge–I gave up.  And after reading the translated version I am now sure it would have taken me months (if not years) to translate it myself.  So for now I’ll stick to my raw manga with furigana for my dose of Japanese reading practice.

There’s always something that gets left out in adaptations, so it was not a surprise that some details from the light novel were missed out.  Indeed, reading the light novel would really be a good choice for that reason, even after you’ve watched the anime (or rewatched it countless times like me).  Some things I can remember that stand out:

1.  First off was that Touko did other stuff to Noriko, aside from taking the juzu from her school bag.  Poor Noriko also went through other stuff that was not shown in the anime.
2.  Naughty Mami, who was the one who assisted Shimako, already had a suspicion something was going to happen and had asked Tsutako to take some pictures.  And yes Yumi’s narration that she was taking notes as the inquisition unfolded really made me laugh.
3.  Rosa Foetida and Rosa Chinensis visiting Noriko was a planned diversion with a *script*, but it’s not so readily obvious in the anime.
4.  In the anime it looked like Noriko randomly saw Shimako standing under the cherry tree, but there was a reason why Noriko went there.
5.  Yumi and Yoshino did their part for the ‘inquisition’ but it was too minor to include in the anime.  Though I wished there were also details in the novel on how Yoshino desperately stalled Shimako :P

Anyway, I really have no complaints about the adaptation.  It stayed true to the source material (with some acceptable deviations), but it is recommended to read the source material as it shows the whole story.

Anime Progress Report: Playing Catch-up

I was able to finish Love Lab this year.  Thoughts of “Why did I stop watching this again?” were running through my mind while having fits of laughter.  Ah, how many shows in 2013 made me laugh?  Not much (because I did not watch much hahaha).  After finishing I rewatched the episodes with Maki Makio in it.  Such fun!  :D

I have also finished Maoyuu Maou Yuusha.  Actually, it was more like a case of “it’s only about 12 episodes and it’s not annoying so why not finish it?” thing.  Although some foreshadowing of things to come in the ending episode was interesting, more often than not I found the show boring.  I don’t think the economics thingie was well handled–innovation blah3x now there’s progress–but it didn’t feel interesting.  Maybe it didn’t blend well for me, like the way management principles from Peter Drucker did with Moshidora.

For the backlog, there’s still To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S, and Yondemasu Yo! Azazel-san Z.  I don’t know if I will finish them this month though.  And who knows when I’ll able to start on the 2014 winter anime hahaha.

On the manga side, I’ve been trying to read through the Chihayafuru raws.  But the surprising blocking points are the small fonts.  @_@  I have been trying recently to do more reading of raws and it’s really annoying to be faced with small fonts.  Either I can’t make out the kanji, or I can’t make out the furigana (if I don’t know the kanji).  I know I’m whining but yeah it’s my blog, help me vent my frustration.  Onegaishimasu.  :P

I also read (whenever I remember to check) Space Brothers.  I suppose my Japanese-language level is not good enough when encountering complex or technical terms, but I do still get the gist of most of the other dialogue.  As a consequence I have stopped watching the anime.  One could call that a surprising side effect.

Actually I was going to write a post about anime dropped because of the manga, but yeah, laziness set in.  Maybe I will be able to write it in the future, but for now, ja!  :)

[2013 Year-End] My anime viewing habit is still in one piece

What can I say?  It was a boring year for new anime.  Not much stood out for me, except for Chihayafuru 2 and Zetsuen no Tempest.  So this year, I’m not writing the year-end usual stuff like the “My Top Anime for 2013″ post.

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Looking Back: Anime Festival Asia 2012 at Singapore EXPO

OK, so since this year I decided not to go to AFA (for financial reasons–gotta save), I’m in a reminiscing mood.  And since I actually had started writing something about it (but never finished it in 2012 lol), I guess it’s time to post something.  So below is my account of my first-ever trip to the Anime Festival Asia held in Singapore.

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Ok, so how do I begin?  This trip had a lot of firsts.  Of course it was my first trip to AFA.  It was my first international trip alone. (Thank God I got through the biggest hurdle of all:  Philippine immigration).  It was also my first time to go to an anime live concert!  Hurray!!

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The bored and the impatient

I thought I could keep up the one-post-a-month momentum.  Alas, it was not to be.  The stress from work is ramping up, though it’s nowhere near the level when I first started blogging.  Still, stress is stress.

Anyway, once Chihayafuru 2 finished, my interest in the spring season anime waned.  I then went on a time-wasting, mind-numbing anime marathon:

Honey & Clover
Honey & Clover II
Ergo Proxy
Claymore

My excuse?  I thought it was good to get better versions of old series.  And what better way to do quality assurance than to watch ‘em all episodes?  Let this post be proof of where my time went lol.

I also started rewatching Monster and Moshidora.  Unfortunately these two depress me so I couldn’t get past 5 episodes.  I’m sure I’ll finish the rewatch.  Someday.

I have also been on a manga-reading binge lately.  Aside from Chihayafuru, I have read several chapters of Silver Spoon, Space Brothers , ahead of the anime.  I also read ahead of Claymore back then, but now I have caught up.  It’s an even more excruciating wait than Chihayafuru.  ^_^;

I think that’s it for now with the updates.  There’s actually more I want to say, especially about the summer anime but it will be bedtime soon.  Till next, ja!  :)

Weekend is near once again

It’s not Friday night yet but here I am itching to write something, or anything.  Hahaha!  Of course the backlog posts are still in the backlog and until I find the motivation/energy to finish those these progress reports will have to do.

So I just finished a rewatch of the 1st season of GITS SAC.  And before that the 2nd season of GITS SAC.  And before that I watched GITS Solid State Society.  It’s backwards but hey, that’s how I started.  (Though it really must have started when I saw that new GITS trailer.)  I was tempted to buy a newer copy of Salinger’s book and re-read it.  Thankfully, I was able to resist spending impulsively.  I shouldn’t have entered the bookstore, period.

On the currently airing shows, only Chihayafuru, Space Brothers, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S, and Yondemasu Yo Azazel-san Z are holding my interest.  I seem to have gotten past my initial obsession with Chihayafuru when I decided to read ahead the manga.  At least now the wait doesn’t have to be so excruciating.  As for Space Bros it’s going fine though I wish they’d just skip the childhood flashbacks of the side characters.  Yondemasu Yo seems to have featured another angel, and well at least it’s still funny.  Railgun has gone darker in its themes and I have added to my misery by reading the wikipedia entries.  I don’t like the direction it’s going but I’m not the author so I can’t complain too much. I haven’t bothered to get the recent episodes of Red Data Girl.  Not that interested anymore.

In other news, there’s a ‘climate map’ that maps trending manga, anime and other Japanese cultural exports per country in Asia.  According to the map, #1 trending in the Philippines is Pokemon.  Though I’m not really that surprised, I’m not sure how accurate that is either.  If I had more time right now I’d probably explore it more but maybe another day.  Still it would be interesting to know how they came up with that.

Links:  Asahi, Asia Trend Map

Anime Progress Report – Spring 2013

It’s Friday once again!  While waiting for the next Chihayafuru episode, let’s have a progress report!!

Stale Bread:
Fate/Zero
Psycho Pass
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

- Even though those series have long finished, I have not been in the mood to watch them for some time now.  They’re still stuck in limbo.  I’ll try to end one of these shows this long weekend.

Fresh Bread:

Red Data Girl – I hated it at first, because lead girl looked useless.  I’ve stopped at three episodes.  I’ll check this out again when I feel like it.  On hold.
Suisei no Gargantia – So far I am liking this.  But I am not so gaga over it that I immediately watch what comes out.
To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – Not yet in excitement mode.  When Chihayafuru ends my focus will probably go over to this show.  But I am really glad that Misaka and company are back!!
Valvrave the Liberator – When I saw the first episode, I thought:  What!??  It’s another f@cking Gundam-style opener! And with annoying characters galore!  Maybe I’ll find better things to do than watch this crap.
Yondemasu Yo!  Azazel-san Z – Funny as ever.  I just hope nothing offends me in the future episodes.

Currently I’ve been trying to get some more raw manga reading for my Nihongo studies.  Right now I’m deliberating on Case Closed.  I feel that it’s almost perfect–however the bad quality of the raws might not be good for my eyes in the long term.  I’ll try to find another manga that will be easier on the eyes.

That’s it for now.  Ja!

P.S.  For comparison to the quality of previous year, here’s Spring 2012.

Brief thoughts on my recent raw manga adventure

I have been wondering why I was able to go through the Chihayafuru raws in a matter of days, whereas I had always been struggling to finish a volume of my beloved Maria-sama ga miteru series.  Actually, the Marimite manga is more friendly to those who are challenged in Kanji.  Chihayafuru, on the other hand (basing on the first volume), had at first not been so beginner-friendly.  In my observation it only manages to add more furigana in the later volumes.  Was it because the audience has widened?

Lately I have been trying to read more Japanese text, and my experience with Chihayafuru raws just goes to show that motivation really plays a big part in learning a language.  I had downloaded a lot of stories from Aozora Bunko into my Kindle, and not one of them was finished.  I read the first few pages and then after a while I give up.  Maybe the fact that manga has pictures helps.  Of course the raws are now also in my Kindle.

But the number one reason has got to be the engrossing story in Chihayafuru.  Who’s gonna win?  What’s gonna happen next?  When will we get to see Chihaya as queen?  That’s the kind of curiousity that drove me to read the raws (and will continue to drive me in the future).

I guess we’ll still have a few more volumes of exciting karuta action in the future to look forward to!  And in the process the manga will also be a good exercise in Nihongo reading comprehension skills.  :D

Recaps galore?? No problem–there’s raws galore!

Another Friday has come!  :D

Of course I was quite disappointed that Chihayafuru episode 16 was mostly a recap.  Driven by madness obsession, I just decided to read the raws from the manga!  Hahaha!

So yeah now I know who won the team finals, who won the individual finals, and a whole lot more after that!  Of course I couldn’t get the dialogue 100%, but my basic reading skills were enough to get me through up until the latest volume of Chihayafuru.  And yes, I’ve read the team finals match three times too!

But the anime is still good to watch, mainly because of the color, the movement, and the sounds. Because of this, I will still be eagerly awaiting the newest Chihayafuru episode.  I hope we get lots of action and really great visuals!  Ja!

Living for the weekends

Hurry up Friday!  I want my next episode of Chihayafuru!  :D

While agonizing over the week-long wait for the next Chihayafuru fix (usually the subs come out Saturday), I have been alternating between rewatches of episodes from the 1st and 2nd (current) season.  Not to mention rewatches of the latest episodes:

  • Episode 14 – rewatched 6 times
  • Episode 15 – rewatched 5 times.

One Random Curiousity writer had the perfect phrase for the show:  exquisite torture.  I don’t remember being this gaga for the show the first time.  When the 2nd season started I wasn’t that really hot about seeing the next episode.  One reason may be that my obsession then was Zetsuen no Tempest.  Now it’s like I can never be satisfied with watching a Chihayafuru episode only once.  ^_^;

My favorite moments from the 2 latest episodes:

  • Ep 14 – Kana-chan blurting out ‘Pizusawa’ instead of ‘Mizusawa’–it was really cute; Tajiri asking Wakamiya why she’s thin now and what dieting she did; Megumu taking the Chihayafuru card
  • Ep 15 – Makoto thinking about Rion copying his hairstyle; Kana-chan and her question about Monk Saigyo–another cute moment; Queen Wakamiya changing her clothes (were those really bloomers??); and lastly the reading of the order of the players.

Despite how good Chihayafuru 2 is I think I have to watch something else.  Currently I’m also watching both the live-action adaptations of Xxxholic and Itazura na Kiss.  I had been rewatching episodes of Xxxholic until Chihayafuru fever went out of control.  Maybe I should get started on rewatching Itazura na Kiss anime so that I don’t get Chihayafuru rewatch overload.  :)

Anyway lately I have felt that the weekends fly by so fast nowadays, hence the title.  Lately I have had a lot of activities planned on the weekends and before I know it the 2 days of rest are over.  Maybe it’s the summer heat agitating me to do something.  ;)

Now excuse me as I go pick another Chihayafuru episode to rewatch.  Ja!

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