Category Archives: Maria-sama ga Miteru

And the advance of the light novels continue

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I actually just read about the licensing of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei light novel by Yen Press.  I was mentally exclaiming ‘Good news!’ and ‘Whew!’ at the same time.  Good news in that should I have sufficient extra cash I would be able to buy it.  ‘Whew!’ in the sense that I just had finished marathon-reading all the online translations (including summaries) just a few days ago.  I went crazy and read whatever and whenever I could.  I spent a good part of a day just figuring out how to install the stuff that would automatically generate a PDF (not knowing there were already ready-made files available somewhere else.)  So I got to know what happens after the anime ended.  Reading the light novel also introduced me to details that were not shown in the anime.  That explained a lot of things and was quite helpful.  On an additional note, the manga Mahouka Koukou no Yuutosei also got licensed.  It also has some details especially from Miyuki’s point of view.  However I think the novels are a better buy because the artwork in the manga lacks quality.

On the extreme end, it was too late with me for No Game No Life.  I was late to the anime party and imagine my disappointment when I found out the translations were no more.  Not that I’m against licensing but well, I just wanted to know how the original novel went.

I think that Yen Press needs to be commended on these licenses they’ve acquired.  Looking at the press releases, aside from the 2 shows above they also licensed Log Horizon, Sword Art Online, Accel World.  There are other titles too but these 3 are notable in that I’ve also read some translations and they’re quite decent titles.  Of the 3 quality-wise Log Horizon is on the upper level, but as entertainment both SAO and Accel World are still worth the money.  If money and space were not an issue I’d be looking at buying these 5 titles.

Of course I have my own ‘wants’ that I would really buy and the foremost title in mind is Maria-sama ga Miteru.  The anime already has the English-subbed DVDs but I actually prefer to have the light novels.  Another title on my mind is Seikai no Senki.  It’s also quite old and currently the chances of both titles being licensed are almost nil.  Of course the problem could have been solved long ago if I just continued on with my Japanese studies and became fluent enough to read the novels.  Alas, my skills are only up to reading manga with furigana–I could get the gist but not the details.  So for me reading light novels is still light-years away from being a possibility.  I can only dream until either of these scenarios come true.  🙂

An early spring feel

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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 😛

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.

Brief thoughts on my recent raw manga adventure

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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.  😀

State of Transition

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So I thought I’d post something again, before this blog turns into a one-post-a-month blog.

First off, the time of posting a lot seems to be over.  That era of staying up well over 12 AM just finishing a post is long gone.  In short, my mindset has changed considerably since the year I started this blog.  However, I’m still enamored with anime, and as long as that feeling stays this blog will endure.

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Countering the Degrade

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I never thought I’d do it this year, but in the midst of my boredom, I decided to rewatch the 4th season of Maria-sama ga Miteru–without subtitles.

I had watched most of the 3rd season unsubbed (the OVAS), so I thought, why not the 4th?  Unfortunately, in the episode where Touko was describing Yumi, I couldn’t get some of the words she said.  That made me frustrated.  So off I went to dig through my archives to get the subtitled episodes.

It’s probably been a couple of years since I last studied Nihongo seriously.  The last exam I took was in 2009, and it was a heartbreaking one–I was short of 4 points from passing!  And I’m sure that if I hadn’t spent a lot of time doing overtime, I would have passed.

But that’s the past.  Now a lot of what I had studied back then I can no longer recall.  Although, I can still understand simple sentences, and a lot also depends on the vocabulary used.  While watching anime I can still pick up some new words, but I wonder how many are lost in return.

Why am I rambling about this now?  Because recently I’d been thinking about whether to take JLPT N3 or N2.  It is possible I might pass N3 if I give it a decent review, but it would take a lot of effort to pass N2.  However, the bigger question in my mind is, should I do it just because I can do it?  What’s in it for me now?  As an anime blogger it doesn’t give me an edge as I’ve already exited the aniblogging rat race–I don’t do episodic posts anymore.  There’s no series I’m so gaga over today I’d resort to watching raws–perhaps the only thing that will make me watch raws once more would be another season of Maria-sama ga Miteru.  There is still enough material (I think) for an OVA, a ‘fifth’ season.

So why am I being tempted to jump back into the JLPT fire?  Well, it feels like unfinished business to me.  I’m still watching anime, I should be able read manga with furigana (albeit slowly).  I’m still in contact with the Japaneses language.  And I think this has hindered me from moving on to other languages.  Yup, I have tried to study French and German.  And I haven’t remembered anything really useful.

My dear (handful of) readers, any suggestions?

50 Questions Answered

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It’s been a long time since I responded to ‘current events’ in the anime blogosphere.  What’s ‘in’ now is the 50 questions post.  So to bring back some more life to this blog I’m posting my own answers to the 50 questions.  I’ve slightly changed some of the questions though.

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Spring is around the corner

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Or a combined spring anime watch list and state of the proxy post.

Surprisingly less than 10 shows piqued my interest.  They are:
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