Tag Archives: JLPT

Anime Progress Report: Playing Catch-up

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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!  😀

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.  😛

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!  🙂

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Anime Progress Report – Spring 2013

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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

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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.  😀

Re-watch galore

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Amidst the pressure at work, I am drawn to blogging rambling again.  What a turn-around!

It seems that this early part of the year has been more about rewatches than new anime.  Of the currently airing anime, only Chihayafuru, Space Brothers, and Zetsuen no Tempest have been able to really capture my interest.  No wonder I’ve been on a rewatching spree lately.

So for the past two days I have been rewatching choice episodes from the 1st season of Chihayafuru.  I’ve already forgotten parts of it–at the Queen match I thought Yuumin (Yamamoto Yumi) had won.  My memory of that match’s outcome was wrong!  So even with the reigning Queen’s handicap (the fact that she became fat it was the biggest surprise of all), she still had enough skill/stamina to defeat Yuumin.  That’s how good she was.

The other anime that I have been rewatching recently is Aria.  I started off with Aria The Animation.  Now I’m currently stuck in the first few episodes of Aria The Natural.  This reflects the fact I don’t like The Natural that much.  But I don’t want to start with Origination just yet–I dread the part where Alicia retires.  Just thinking about it makes my eyes cloudy with tears.  ^_^;

I’ve also been on and off with my rewatch of Glass Mask, I’ve stopped in the middle.  I also rewatched Thermae Romae and Hatarakiman.  On the live-action side I’ve rewatched Nodame Cantabile (yeah all of it), and the first few episodes of Zettai Kareshi and Orange Days.  I also rewatched the first few episodes of Yondemasu Yo! Azazel-san.  And the series was both revolting and funny as I remembered it.

Aside from all the rewatches, I’m trying to restart my Nihongo studies again.  It’s been years since I took a JLPT exam, and my neglect has caused me to forget a lot of what I had learned back then.  Of course the basics are still there, but it will take some time to relearn the kanji I’ve forgotten.  Wish me luck.

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In other news, it seems that there will be a new Banner of the Stars novel.  Unfortunately I cannot read the source material even if I wanted to (if I hadn’t stopped my Nihongo studies who knows).  But I hope they make another anime.

Vampire Knight is also ending, though I stopped caring about that manga a long time ago.  But I’m still interested in how it ends.

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I guess that ends this week’s ramblings.  Till next, ja!

Oh, it seems I forgot I had an anime blog

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So, not only did I manage to achieve one post per month for 4 straight months, I did not post anything in August!  Hahaha!

The culprit/s?  A new job and the 2012 London Olympics.

As I announced in July, I got a new job.  I’m still enjoying the perks of a newbie at my job–not much work to do.  I will probably get busy next month, though I don’t think I’d have to do a lot of OT this time just to get things done.  And I’m actually happy about that prospect.   😀

On the other hand, the London Olympics just took my mind off anime for a whole month.  When it’s something that comes only every 4 years it’s kind of hard to ignore.  I didn’t watch like crazy but on weekends I’d be in front of the TV for hours.  It’s only now I’ve started reading anime blogs again.  I’ve watched some anime in between but not that much.

And regarding JLPT, I think I’ll pass up this year.  I just don’t have the discipline right now to be studying at the level that I had years ago.  I know I shouldn’t worry that much about my declining Nihongo skills, but every time I hear Nihongo being spoken that curiosity, that yearning to understand would pop up again.  I wonder when I can shake off this lethargy that has gone over me the past 2 years.

On the anime front, I have a lot of catching up to do.  I still haven’t finished Aquarion EVOL, Fate/Zero, Mine Fujiko to xxx, and Tsuritama.  Though I’ve now caught up with Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Uchuu Kyodai.

And since the fall anime previews are out, here are the shows I’m planning on checking out:

Shinsekai Yori – It’s sci-fi, ’nuff said.
Jormungand: Perfect Order – Not as good as Black Lagoon but what else is there?
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012) – Trying this out of curiousity.
Suki-tte Ii na yo – Something for the heart.
Psycho-pass – Almost anything in Noitamina I will check out.
Robotics:Notes – Same as above.
Kami-sama Hajimemashita – Comedy.  Something to lighten me up.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – Same as above.

Until the next month? post, ja!

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?

I’m free!!

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The JLPT yoke that had been cast upon me is now gone!!  Yipeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

This is the second time I took the JLPT level 2.  I’m not confident that I passed, though I was not as frustrated after the test as I was last year.  I think my listening test was better than last year’s, though I’m not as confident with the reading and kanji tests.  But  I’m happy now that it’s over.

Next year, I won’t be taking JLPT anymore, even if I pass this year’s test (though my chances are still slim).   I’ll think about it again in 2011.

For now, it’s gonna be fun times again!  😀