Remembering 2017 Part 3: ACCA and the things left unsaid

NB: Spoilers!! Please DO NOT click on the links if you plan on watching the show!

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Always seem to get at least one of these each year…a show that sticks in your mind for reasons unknown. When I looked back at Winter, I used “sophistication” to describe ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept, but to be a bit more specific, I think that it’s greatest achievement is in leaving a lot of things unsaid, episode 3 being a prime example that I saw a lot of guys raving about. But for me, I’d like to point to the moment in episode 11 where Jean realises just how much Nino has done for him… Strange though it may have been, this friendship was definitely one of my favourite things from 2017.

Remembering 2017 Part 2: Getting Lost in Translation

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As most of my regular readers and friends would know, this last year has been a little crazy for me on the translation front. First of all, I seem to have started a little side-job. Over the past year, around half of my work has appeared on other websites, commissioned by others in the fandom. I know that I probably can’t make a career out of this, and to be frank, I’m not entirely sure I want to. Nevertheless, I’ve learned A LOT with this experience. Not only have I become more careful about double-checking that I’ve gotten the meaning correct, I also push myself to find the right words to convey it. The staff and cast of the shows we love are people too, and I really hope that their personalities come through in my work!

Speaking of which, here’s the latest interview I’ve done: Kajiura Yuki and Takahashi Ryo talking the music of Princess Principal, commissioned by Nachi and co-funded by Canipa, the Pauseandselect community, and JackUTS!

And for the record:
1. Rakugo Shinjuu: Ishida Akira x Hayashibara Megumi, from Febri (one, two)
2. Yuri!!! on ICE: choreographer Kenji Miyamoto
3. Yuri!!! on ICE: Kubo Mitsurou from Spoon.2Di vol.18
4. Yuri!!! on ICE: Kato Taihei, the Bento announcer!
5. Rakugo Shinjuu: mangaka Kumota Haruko
6. Yuri!!! on ICE: Otsuka Manabu from Mantan-web
7. Yuri!!! on ICE: Real-life skaters on the show (one, two)
8. Fujiko Mine: Yamamoto Sayo x Kikuchi Naruyoshi
9. Kizumonogatari: The Making of Kizumonogatari
10. Yuri!!! on ICE: Aria 《Stammi vicino, non te ne andare》

Unfortunately, there was also a downside to my slightly increased presence in the fandom this year. I’ve gotten pushback before, with Macross Frontier and Chihayafuru coming to mind as a comparison. But I can say that this past year has been far more frustrating that either of those other two experiences were. There’s a lot I could say about some of the ‘feedback’ I’ve received or comments I’ve seen about translations I’ve either done or made statements about, but I honestly do not want to revisit any of it. All that matters is that the people whose opinions I care about would back me most of the time; when they don’t, then theirs is the feedback that I take on board. I won’t name them, lest they become targets (they should know who they are), but I am truly grateful to them.

Let me also take the opportunity to thank a few people specifically. Thank you to Josh for starting me down the freelance path back in 2016. Thank you also to Nachi, Canipa, and anyone else who’s ever commissioned something from me, or otherwise contributed to funding an interview I’ve translated. I’m indebted to Frog-kun, Tora and the two offline-only friends who helped me with the interview snippets that I wasn’t 100% sure about. And thank you also to the three translators whose work I checked and edited—whilst you might feel that you gained more from the experience, let me assure you that it was invaluable to me too.

But most importantly, thank you to one of my oldest friends, who believed in me and invited me to be part of something that I will never forget. Interpreting at that event was challenging, and there were definitely moments where I feel I could have done better. But no joke, I’d do it all over again, in a heartbeat.

Remembering 2017 part 1: Merry Christmas from the YOI Hotel!

As many Yuri!!! on ICE fans would already know, the Prince Hotel Sunshine City has been running a Yuri!!! on ICE collaboration since the middle of the year. Basically, they decorated a number of rooms up with a whole range of related merchandise, including cusions, bed throws and hugging pillow covers. If you were able to come with two to three people, then you could have tried to get the larger room, featuring the hugging pillow covers for all three mains (IIRC from pictures!) and even some standees and whatnot. And yup, I applied to the lottery, though only for the smaller room…and was lucky enough to score one of the dates over Christmas! Granted, I’d have preferred to get a ticket to Japanese Nationals…but given what happened over this year’s Grand Prix series, this did end up being a bit of a pick-me-up ^^

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So yes, Merry Christmas from the YOI hotel!!!

And Happy Birthday, Victor! With some incredibly good fortune, a friend of mine found a place that still had tickets for this kuji! And somewhat unbelievably, we just kept pulling Victor!! (Along with a few Yuuri’s!)

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So I’m happy, and fortunately, I was able to give my friend this in return for one of these Victors ^^

Reflections on Fall and Pick that Voice!!

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Just made it! Had to sacrifice something I probably shouldn’t be sacrificing…but I’ll make up for it over the 12 day break I’ll be getting! In any case, this season, I again watched far more old shows than simulcast ones. But this time, at least, I actually finished two series, one of which might be a surprise, since I haven’t ever tweeted about it! Read more of this post

Summer 2017! Well, sort of…

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If I’m honest…I have to confess that I completely skipped the summer season. I watched just one episode of Welcome to the Ballroom and five episodes of Saiyuki Reload Blast, but I have yet to finish either of them. I also watched two older series, which I’ll comment briefly on below. In the end, the only ‘new’ anime I watched during the summer season were actually the three films that were screened, for free, at AnimeFest in August. But those were their debuts in the West, so they count, right? Read more of this post

First Impressions: Flip Flappers

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How in the world should I begin…? Well, with this, perhaps: by “first impressions,” I don’t mean “here are the results of the three episode test.” I finished Flip Flappers just a few days ago, and to be honest, knowing who its primary target audience was, I didn’t think I’d have much to say about it. Furthermore, fantastical stories about middle school girls aren’t really my cup of tea. But after pondering it for a while, and reading two interviews with director Oshiyama Kiyotaka, the one paragraph that I’d started constructing for my “Fall 2017” post somehow exploded into three. In fact, I think I might be in for a rewatch at some point—after I’ve had a chance to read the books on psychology that Oshiyama talked about. So, by “first impressions,” what I really mean is that I will probably return to this one day. Though hopefully it won’t be the 9 years and counting that a certain other series has endured!

In any case, against all of my expectations, there’s something about Flip Flappers that I find quite fascinating. It’s the fact that how viewers read this show reflects who they are. Read more of this post

Code Geass’s writer takes a trip down memory lane 6!!

Now that I’m back home from a certain convention I was prepping for, here’s Okouchi’s latest round on tweets on Code Geass. He hasn’t tweeted anything new since then, so I’m not sure if this will be the last time — perhaps he’ll be back when The Rebellion Path has reached Japanese screens… Though I should be back before then, doing something else Geass-related. Not entirely sure how it’ll go down, given that this will be the first time I’m discussing the show with other fans! But it should be ‘interesting’, at the very least, so do look forward to it!

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Code Geass’s writer takes a trip down memory lane 5!!

Against my expectations, Okouchi tweeted another 10 or so tweets late last night, and that reminded me that I’d actually forgotten to post the last three or so tweets he posted at the last minute before the first film landed last week. So here they are! (Along with the last one from last week, which is related.) I’ll try to get to the new ones later this weekend, in between all the figure skating, perhaps (^^;).

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Ghibli: Magic at the Cinema

Do you remember the first moment of magic you ever felt at the cinema? I’ve been around for a while, so I’m not sure I do, but I definitely remember one magical moment from the first time I saw a Ghibli film in Japan. The year was 2010, I was at the end of my first stint living in the country that has come to own my heart, and I decided to see The Secret World of Arrietty before I returned home. In that film, there’s a scene where Arrietty’s father sends her up to their ‘hunting grounds’ on a makeshift elevator, and the movement and sense of scale in that moment…in that darkened cinema, it simply took my breath away. I walked out of the cinema that day wishing from the bottom of my heart that this would not be the last time I would experience that magic. In July 2010, it seemed pretty bleak for Ghibli: Takahata Isao had not directed in years, and Miyazaki Hayao was still in his second retirement.

As we know, both Miyazaki and Takahata have returned since then—Miyazaki for the second time. But more importantly, anime has become big enough that even old classics are coming to cinemas overseas, bringing that magic I experienced to a whole host of new viewers. Towards the end of August this year, Madman Entertainment launched a month of Ghibli films, hosted at cinemas across Australia. Thankfully, my local cinema was screening every single one of them, subbed and dubbed, at least once. The more popular films, such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, were listed multiple times. Thus, despite missing the opening week (and the special poster Madman offered fans who went to see the opening show!), I managed to catch just about everything that I’d hoped to see.

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Code Geass’s writer takes a trip down memory lane 4!!

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And here we are at the end! This time, at least. Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion: The Awakening Path is the first of the three films in this retelling of the show, and Ōkouchi may have some more memories to share when the next two films are released. But that first film opens today, and in celebration, Ōkouchi talks about the relationships that sit at the centre of the entire story.

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