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Naye's Archive
Happy Birthday shayera (because it's totally still your b-day in some parts of the world) & gnine!!

Could write so many things to each of you, my dears, but - you know, everything I want to say can pretty much be summed up by... see you both tomorrow in downtown Kyoto? Things don't get any more awesome than that. ♥♥♥

Wishing you both a great year, with joy and triumphs and manga and progress and no angst (unless it's by pretty boys) and lots and lots of hugs.

*hugs*

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Feeling: happy happy

3 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Wednesday is Ladies' Night at the local Movix, so five of us (fangirls) decided it was a great time to head over there and catch the Death Note movie. First of two, and my general impression can only be summed up in damn, why is the second one only coming out the month after I leave the country!?

More impressionsCollapse )

Edit: We were saying it would be fun if the movie made it to the US, because it is a good movie, not just something for fans, and then I just saw this on the Wikipedia Entry on Death Note: Cinema Topics Online has confirmed that there are plans for American screening and even an American remake of the movie. Huh. Interesting. Both a screening and a remake? (Remake wouldn't surprise me. Actual screening would, even though it's obviously what I'd prefer.)

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Feeling: impressed impressed
Listening to: Final Fantasy - World of Ruin

14 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Can't wait for classes to be over! Just one more month to go now... But first I need to survive the Japanese test tomorrow (transitive/intransitive verbs happily kicking me in the brain and running off before I can catch them). But even on days when most things go wrong, it's still awesome to be in Japan. Because there's nothing a trip to Mandrake can't cure!

Late and lost; poor but happyCollapse )

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Feeling: exanimate exanimate
Listening to: Joe Hisaishi - Ano natsu he

5 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Okay, here's a book that really doesn't need a detailed review from me. Any search engine can turn up oodles of praise for Naomi Novik's fantastic first novel.

I got the book on a recommendation from xparrot and gnine, which usally means I know I'll like it. They were enthusiastic about its similarities to the Pern books and the Hornblower tv series - I tried reading a Pern book once, and wasn't overly impressed (I guess you should start at a younger age than 20-something?), and I only know about Hornblower from second hand accounts. So neither of their main selling points were worth that much in my opinion.

Still, got the book, started reading, and was immediately sucked in. His Majesty's Dragon is fun. And sweet. Seriously, I was expecting more of a plot, but I'm not at all disappointed at the character development focus, because I quickly grew immensely of dragon and handler both. Temeraire is a wonderful character, deep and different, dragon and individual, and Laurence is a lovely gentleman.

I love the world that Novik presents us with in this series - England during the Napoleonic wars, except with dragons. I've always been intrigued by alternative histories, "what ifs", and that this world has dragon as its "ifs" is just cool! And well thought-out, and... it works. It's impressive. The way the Aerial troops fit in with the other kind of armed forces, and the way its members don't quite fit into society... very, very interesting stuff.

And like I said - I love the characters. It's been a long time since I've read anything where I came to have the reaction of, oh, I want to meet these characters! I want to go visit them and their world! It's rare, but it's a wonderful feeling! I love a lot of characters I wouldn't necessarily want to meet, but Temeraire and Laurence both I don't just love - they're the kind of individuals I'd actually want to spend time with. Which I can when I read, and I'm going slightly insane waiting for the next two books - they're out already, to my relief, but they'll take a while to be delivered from Japanese Amazon... I want the sequels now! I want to go back and hang out with Temeraire and Laurence and their friends, and I want to know why I have this hunch the fun adventure story is going to take a turn for the slightly darker with the next volume... (Didn't read the preview, because - spoilers, don't want spoilers, not when I can come un-spoiled to the experience if I just wait a little.)

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Feeling: sleepy sleepy

2 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Two very interesting pieces of news in one day, making my fangirl heart beat a little faster:

So... D.Gray-Man anime possibly coming this fall? Hee~! That'd be awesome! I've been bad at following the manga, but I like it loads, and this would definitely inspire me to catch up! ♥

And - FUTURAMA IS COMING BACK!! ^______^

I'm happy, happy, happy! ♥♥♥

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Feeling: jubilant jubilant
Listening to: Morita Masakazu - Sky High

8 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
I've been feeling odd and restless today. Tried to put my finger on it, then realized - today might not be Solstice, but it's when Sweden celebrates Midsummer's Eve. And last year I wrote this, and the day before yesterday I wrote this, and it's kind of... Full circle.

I was wondering, then, what I'd be doing now. And now I know, and it's about to end, and I don't want it to. Except I'm looking forward to being together with my love again, and my family and gaming group... and that's about it. I like it here, what can I say? Japan is fun. Japan is a challenge. Japan is beautiful. Japan is not where I've spent 22 years of my life, and even though I miss certain aspects of life in Sweden, I'd much rather stick around here for a while now.

Also, I want more Saiyuki, and ZeroSum doesn't come out until next week, and that I'm even in a position to whine about that makes me so happy I grin with glee thinking about it, and I'll stop my moping now. ♥

Tomorrow, I will squee about His Majesty's Dragon, I think, because I couldn't sleep until I'd finished it last night, and now I'm in withdrawal.

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Feeling: nostalgic nostalgic

4 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
As previously mentioned, am currently on a reading kick. Which strangely enough coincides with the "4 exams and 10+ essays in a month" I have to do for university. HMMmm. No, I don't know anything about this "procrastination" of which you speak. :D

Though this book I actually stumbled across through my studies. I was looking for information on the (in)famous Japanese Keiretsu networks, in particular Mitsubishi, for a report. What I found was Niall Murtagh's webpage, and I was immediately intrigued by the description of The Blue-Eyed Salaryman: From World Traveller to Lifer At Mitsubishi. It's an autobiographical book, describing (as the title makes obvious) Murtagh's transition from the life as a vagabond world traveller, to a permanent employee at Mitsubishi. I read the first couple of pages over at Amazon (love "look inside the book"!), and was hooked by his wry humorous tone, and unique perspective on what he wrote about.

Murtagh was the kind of youth I sometimes wish I could have been, if I'd been more gutsy - he set out to travel the world for a year, and ended up backpacking across Asia for three. He was swindled by a carpet-seller in Morocco, and ended up on the crew of a homemade boat crossing the Atlantic. He arrived in Japan because he was curious, interested in something different, and after (more or less accidentally, it sounds like) receiving a degree from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, he was offered something that was different - for him. It was the life of a salaryman at one of the major Japanese companies.

Now, after almost ten months in Japan, salaryman are still a mystery to me. I mean, I know what they are, and I see them every day, and they're there in pretty much everything I read about the country. But I've never been able to figure out what they actually do. "Work themselves to death" is such a fuzzy description... So the world Murtagh chose to enter (only for a year or two, to experience it, of course - that he stayed on for 14 years was another of those accidents...) was one I'd been very eager to find out more about. That might be one reason why I enjoyed the read so much - I already found the subject interesting.

It's a funny book. It's funny, and informative, and I don't think you have to know anything about Japan to enjoy it. Knowing Japan at least a little bit only makes it funnier, in my opinion, especially when you can recognize things like the love of rules (that make no sense), and the paperwork, and the crowded trains and the forbidden biking-with-umbrella in the rain...

It's also an interesting look at how life in a major Japanese corporation works, both for the regular salarymen, and the odd, blue-eyed foreigner, always a bit of an outsider in this homogenous society.

I was randomly amused by the pseudonyms Murtagh has chosen to use for the people he writes about - his nice supervisor at the university is Erai-sensei, while the professor who only wants to find faults in his students' work is Kibishi-sensei. (Their names could be translated as "great" and "severe" respectively.) But most of all I was amused by the humour with which Murtagh writes about what must be the daily lives of millions of Japanese, reflecting over it with a perspective that is at once an insider and an outsider's. I spent most of the book smiling, some of it frowning, and was frequently laughing out loud. Some parts I read for vargen, and he laughed out loud too. (I never knew bicycle parking rules could be so funny!)

And because I'm tired and probably just confusing everyone, there's an excellent interview with Murtagh over here, which includes a bunch of snippets from the book, and probably makes much more sense and actually makes you want to read the book... ^_^

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Feeling: tired tired

3 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
I've started reading books again. It's a wonderful, wonderful feeling. I didn't reed a single book for about nine months - since coming to Japan, I had so much to absorb in way of language and city and anime and people and manga and it was just so overwhelming, there wasn't anywhere for me to fit books. But now I've found the time and the space and when I read Rob Thurman's Nightlife, I was practically bouncing as I made my way through it. Partly because it's a good book, great fun, but also because of the sheer joy to have a book to read again. I love books. I mean, I love reading, but I also love books.

That was at the beginning of June. Since then, I've happily gobbled up four other books, and I can't wait to get started on a fifth. My love for Amazon knows no bounds - they deliver stuff to your door! Within 24 hours! For free, if it's over 1500 yen! Can you tell I'm not used to living in a country with an Amazon store? ^_^ (Usually my Amazon deliveries take about a week, and are so costly I rarely indulge...)

Last book I finished was China Miéville's Perdido Street Station, and I'm still kind of reeling from it. I'm glad I had xparrot's warning, or I might be doing more than just reeling...

Spoilery thoughtsCollapse )

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8 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Kyoto summer is melting my brain nicely. I'm not really complaining (yet), because it was a cold winter, and it's nice to be able to go outside in a skirt and t-shirt, but... Um. I'm Swedish. We don't really get temperatures over 30C/87F for any extended length of time - actually, if temperatures hit 28, that's high. I'm kinda sorta hoping I'll get used to it, but my body is telling me that's probably not going to happen. ^^;

And I've got reports (too many!), and finals (only a few), and a part-time job (probably), and books, so I'm not able to deal in my favorite way - sleeping through the heat of the day. But! It's all good, because I'm in Japan, and I've got my friends and my fandom, and so many fun little things to distract me. ♥

Like One Piece. Chapter 415 today? I only have one thing to say, and that's OMG SANJI! So COOL! Waaah. Sparkling like a mad over here, because that was awesome!

And Saiyuki! I've finally started listening to the dramas - I've had a few of them for months now, but I've never gotten around to listening to them at home. Solved this by transferring them to my MP3 player, and now I can listen to them on the bike ride to and from the university. And I can pretend I'm being good and practicing my Japanese! (Which I am, actually... just not the kind of Japanese found in my textbook.) I'm okay with listening to stuff in traffic, but I wasn't prepared for the loud snickering on my part, which gets distracting! The first drama had some extra stuff that was just brilliant. The randomness with the "boss youkai" started out as just plain weird, but then turned into something so very Saiyuki that I was grinning like an idiot when I listend to it. And the omake! Heee~! Oh, poor Gojyo. Sanzo showing his devious side, and Hakkai is just evil... and all four of them can be adorable idiots. ♥♥

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Feeling: happy happy
Listening to: A Nightmare Before Christmas - Oogie Boogie's Song

Speak to me?
Something serious, for once - an article from The Times.

Interesting things have happened in Sweden while I've been away. I knew I was going to miss an election year, and I was happy. I never thought I would be as involved in the upcoming election as I am now. Because when I left, I couldn't imagine there being a Pirate Party running for parliament!

But there is, and no matter what happens in the election, the Pirate Party has already been a part of a movement that has made file sharing into a major issue in the elections. Now we just wait, and wonder what will come of this fascinating new world we live in...

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5 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Two things in today's Shounen Jump that made me very happy - Mieru Hito and One Piece!

Of course, those two series almost never fail to make me happy, so that's nothing new. But like I said - it's the little things. ♥

In Mieru Hito's case, it's that it's made it to the middle of the magazine! Instead of being among the five last series, it's on a very decent 12th place. If this isn't just something temporary, it would make me thrilled beyond belief. As it is, I'm just glad to see Iwashiro-sensei's excellent climax a few chapters ago pay off.

I'm also kind of hoping that he'll manage to pick up those readers whose favourite series have now ended, and those who aren't too thrilled with the new ones.. . The last arc wrapped up nicely, and he slipped in a very unobtrusive recap at the beginning of this new arc, which might help long-time casual readers and non-readers alike get into the series at this point. There are new characters being introduced, new parts of the plot have been revealed, and what's going on now really doesn't depend on previous knowledge of the plot or characters to be understood and enjoyed. At least that's what I'm hoping...

One Piece... One Piece is love. The nakamaship... There's so much to love, I'm kind of surprised that single lines can still jump out at me the way they did today.

Tiny spoilers for chapter 414, I guess?Collapse )

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Feeling: cheerful cheerful
Listening to: Akeboshi - Wind

4 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
I'm tempted to write about not writing here, but - that'd be kind of pointless. Especially since I would be writing. Here.

Instead, I just want to add one thing to the long, long list of things I love about being in Japan. It's a new thing, that gnine made me aware of today.

They have Mountain Dew in 7-11 now. In cool green glass bottles. And they have Mountain Dew in vending machines, in cans. And this probably doesn't mean anything to anyone in the part of the world where Mountain Dew is readily available, but - in Sweden it's not. Available, I mean. And I'm kind of... addicted. So now I'm happy. So happy.

Thing I'll get on my next shopping expedition to the 7-11 across the street: Shounen Jump, Mountain Dew and chocolate with grape filling... I love the Japanese convienience stores! ♥♥♥

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6 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
I love the One Piece manga. I love Odacchi's creative genius, and how it shines through in all of the artwork. I love it so much that I've been falling behind on the anime lately, because - well, there's been lots of fights, and that's it. Cool, but they're not any of the best ones of the series. But because I love the manga so much I'd managed to forget that the anime is an absolutely brilliant adaption when it sticks to adapting, and not improvising. (Though I actually love some of their filler too.)

The latest episode, 264? Blew me away in ways even the manga didn't. Because, first of all - new intro! A good intro, just the right mix of cute scenes, important people, and teasers for things to come. But the show's not the only one with a new intro. Sogeking gets a new intro, and no matter how much love I give them for that, it won't be enough! They're crazy, and wonderful, and genius, in a perfectly One Piece way. A second Sogeking intro, I mean, really... With the worst (and with that I probably mean "best") pun ever. Exchanging "haato" for "hato" we get doves instead of hearts, and of course, who's the dove? Hattori's the dove, that's who. ...yeah, I know. I thought my brain was getting used to One Piece, but - no. It's still not recovered from that. XD

It's also awesome to finally get to hear the other CP9 voices! I was looking forward to Kumadori, with his whole kabuki act, and I wasn't disappointed. He even gets the typical kabuki sound effekts! Have to say, he's much easier to understand when you don't have to try and read his lines. And Fukurou - wow. Weird and wrong, in a way that makes it just right! ^_^

There are so many fantastic things in this episode, it's hard to pick favorites, but Sogeking's introduction to the rest of the crew, and Luffy and Chopper's amazing fanboyish sparkling? ♥ I don't think I've ever seen either of them sparkle over something for quite so long, and the whole dramatic background when Sogeking tells them Soge Shima is in their hearts? And then teaching them his song, and...? That moment is perfect. So prefect, as a matter of fact, that I'm going to have to go watch it again right now... ^__^

(Oh, yeah, and Ohtani Ikue is back as Chopper! ♥ Anyone knows which episode she returned in?)

Edit: Ohtani Ikue is apparently back as of this episode! And there are subs out here already.

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Feeling: impressed impressed
Listening to: sogeki no shima de umareta ore wa~...!

4 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Someone posted the new One Piece intro and ending videos in one_piece, here, and... wow. I'm so happy with the new intro! It's fantastic! It's really, really fantastic - I love it. I love that they're keeping future events very vague, but still manage to show everyone who's really important to the story. And I was really surprised to see those glimpses from the very latest chapters! Coolness! They must so have been clued in by Odacchi...

I don't love the song madly yet, but it's a good song, and the images? I don't think I could possibly be more pleased, at this point, actually. Gear Second! Monster! The awesome scene on top of the Tower of Justice! It's all there! ^___^

*squee*

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Feeling: giddy fangirly
Listening to: NEWS - Sayaendo

9 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
This is seriously only for those who've already seen the previously aired episodes of Mushishi, but then it is a really good view. Unfortunately this is a raw, but hopefully it'll get subbed eventually.

It's not a recap, exactly, but more an introduction to the world of Mushishi, and such aspects of it as music, art, and voice acting. Since I've rarely seen clips with Japanese voice actors at work, that was what I found the most intriguing. I love that they're actually sitting around in the studio with the manga, to get a better feel for what it is they're doing, even when they have rough animation to watch as they're reading their lines. (Which they do standing up, of course... Comparing what you can see of their work here with the horror stories I've heard about doing Swedish dubs, it's no wonder dub quality always seems vastly inferior.)

And I'd almost forgotten how beautiful Mushishi is! I'm probably not going to be able to wait for episode 21 to get subbed... Will be interesting to see how much I can make out of the raw. ^^;

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Feeling: impressed impressed
Listening to: Masuda Toshio - Ichiya Hashi (The one-night bridge)

3 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
It's a young fox. On a trampoline. Can you resist? ...so cute! So weird!

I wanna poing too~!

Oh, and new ep Mushishi up for download raw, here. ♥

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Feeling: giggly giggly

5 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Official word, at last! Not that it wasn't 99% sure before now, but finally that last nagging 1% of doubt can be put to rest - Supernatural will be back for a second season! WHOO!

This makes me insanely happy, even though I'd been assuming renewal would be a go for a while now... Like I said! TPTB? Evil! Fickle and evil! So now there's only all of the other stuff to worry about, but knowing there will be 22 delicious new episodes come fall makes it much easier to sit back and go crazy with anticipation relax.

And! Takaya is out of Jump with issue 25, which means that Mieru Hito is safe for now! It's still not safe, and I still worry about my baby, but at least the promising plot Iwashiro-sensei's just getting started with will probably get to run its course now. Phew!

It's going to be really interesting to see what's going to happen in Jump now once the dust settles. Popular Death Note has reached its conclusion, long-runner Mr. Fullswing has been euthanized, and now Takaya will be given the boot after less than a year. Three new series are replacing them, and two of the remaining series are less than 15 chapters long, so all in all there's been a lot of change recently. Even for Jump.

Which explains why I feel Mieru Hito is safe - they've got three new series, they've ended three old... it wouldn't make too much sense to cancel a fourth series now, especially not before they can see how the new series preform.

Ahhh... it's a good week to be a fan! ^___^ I love my fandoms so much... ♥

Edit: There's going to be a bunch of posts about this on supernatural_tv, I'm sure, and someone already uploaded the interview where this was confirmed. Need I mention there is cute in the clip? Because, you know. Jared and Jensen, together... Yeah. ...someone does need to kill that thing on Jared's head though. No, really. ^^;;;

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Feeling: jubilant jubilant
Listening to: Porno Grafitti - Tsukigai

2 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
It's been quite a few years since I last had a (current, on air) western fandom, and it's weird. A lot of things about it feels weird after having fanned almost exclusively on anime and manga for so long, and now with living in Japan... Well, it's weird to see gaijin everywhere, for one. And houses with lawns. But! It wasn't that kind of weird I was thinking about.

With Supernatural, it's almost like I'm discovering fandom all over again. For one, I'm getting to experience the lovely summer hiatus, as well as happy fun of not knowing whether your show's going to get renewed or not! That coupled with constant dread of what TPTB might do to the show in the name of ratings, and a vague worry that the stars might decide to pack up and leave is enough to make me think about swearing off western shows forever.

But I can't, and I won't, because the show itself is way too good for that, and also - US show, US actors, lots of article and interviews and whatnot with the cast and crew readily available in English! Yay! Stuff I understand! ♥

Like here. Most people have probably seen it already, but the cute! It's so cute, when they're cute like this. Six minutes of interview with Jensen and Jared from a couple of months ago, and I could barely stop with the happy fangirly squeeing for the duration, because - so adorable. No, really. Adorable.

I need everything I can find to distract myself from the fact that it's two days until we'll know for certain whether or not Supernatural's been picked up for a second season on this CW thing that WB and UPN are becoming. It's looking really good, but... this is western tv! Experience has taught me that TPTB for western tv are fickle. Fickle and evil - they're experts in the kind of evil that comes from being really, really stupid.

So. How do you survive a 4 month hiatus again? ^^;;

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Feeling: amused amused
Listening to: Barenaked Ladies - Pinch Me

9 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Because I'm an obsessive fangirl curious, I bought the magazine Characters on a whim today. Because it has stuff about seiyuu! And I'm easy!

It's a good buy, actually - it's got a bunch of seiyuu photos and quick facts, with their names in kanji and romaji both, which is going to come in handy. It's fun to be able to put a face on the name - and a name on the role, in many cases, since I'm kind of bad at remembering names.

Was giggling over Koyasu Takehito's hysterically bad picture (it's blurry enough that I'm wondering if they stuck a spy cam in his mirror or something) when one of his roles caught my eye. 楽しいムーミン一家. スナフキン. Um. Happy Moomin Family? Would that be Moomin as in... Moomin? (Or since I grew up in Sweden - Mumintrollet!) Koysasu Takehito. In Moomin. Or rather - Koyasu Takehito as Snufkins. That. I. No. Brain. No. I... It hurts. ^^;;; So, so bad. Trying to imagine Koyasu Takehito doing my early childhood hero Snusmumriken is just... no. Wrong. But beautiful. But wrong!

I... I haven't stopped laughing yet. It's just so very many kinds of wrong when your beloved childhood characters and your current obsessions overlap in this way, I can't do anything but stare and giggle!

Wow. I love being in Japan. Nowhere else would this kind of brainbreak on a regular basis be possible. ♥

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Feeling: giggly giggly
Listening to: Johnny Clegg & Savuka - The Waiting

19 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?
Since neechan-tachi had to leave the country, I watched Supernatural 21 alone. And. Uh. For the next episode, I'm sleeping over at their place, no matter what, because there's no way I'm sitting through another 40 minutes of this kind of tension and emotion on my own! Just... no. Because at least when this episode ended, I knew there'd still be another. With the next one? EVIL CLIFFHANGER FINALE. No love for evil cliffhanger finales. No love at ALL.

And now for the spoilersCollapse )

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Feeling: distressed cliffhanger!!

2 have spoken ♥ :: Speak to me?