Archive for April, 2009

Training for the JLPT2 + Kara no Kyoukai

Although I was told that I should have no trouble “passing” the JLPT2 by my professor, there’s a lot of new material covered on it → a lot that I have seen before, but perhaps don’t fully understand. So, I’m going to run through all the grammar that’s supposed to be covered on it (in multiple posts), as well as try to read more novels and light novels as opposed to just manga. Also in my studies I plan to go over some material of different dialects, though I know for sure that all JLPT stuff is covered in standard Japanese.

I’m finishing up on my projects and it will soon be summer! Perhaps I’ll work but I’ll certainly continue studying – maybe I’ll get an internship or job at Funimation or something? (hopeful). I need money for food, maybe I’m sick or undergoing a growth spurt or something, but I’m hungry all the time ;-; | It’s a royal pain.

Here’s the opening of chapter 1 from Kara no Kyoukai:

01. 俯瞰風景: Thanatos. Fujoh Kirie (Commanding View)



That day, on my way home I chose to take the main road.
It was strange for me to do so, it was only on a whim.
As I walked aimlessly along the commonplace buildings,
without warning someone fell down.
Though without much a chance to hear, it made a light crunching sound.
It was clear that that she had fallen from the building to her death.
A bright red flowed out unto the asphalt.
The only things left from her original form was her hair.
And thin brittle limbs that were once white.
Then there was her formless, smashed face.
This image brought to my imagination a pressed flower,
held between two old pages and placed inside a book until flat.

It was her neck, bent like that of a fetus in her remains
that reminded me of a picked lily flower.
/Commanding View.

— JLPT2 Grammar!
-these are more just example sentences for people who may be studying, so I won’t go into much detail.

~あげく(に) 「挙句(あげく)」 = in the end


-As soon as I woke up I thought that if I ran as fast as I could I might just barely make it to class on time, but as I was thinking about it time passed, and in the end class started while I was still in bed. When I realized that I just went back to sleep though.

~あまり 「余り(あまり)」 = to do ~ so much that ~ happens.


-I was listening to loud music so much that my ears started to bleed! I was a little scared, but it was alright.

(and that’s it for the grammar structures that begin with あ) \o/

Strike Witches – Kuroi Hitomi 黒い瞳

It’s been so humid I’ve had to take like four showers today. -.-

So I watched Strike Witches. Partly because I am watching Shangri-la, loving it (same studio: Gonzo), and partly because I heard it was so bad (it’s infamous). Once you get past the "O.O none of the girls are wearing pants O.o – Why…?" It’s actually a nice show. It’s not like the plot is really intriguing or anything, or that the animation is really spectacular, but it’s cute, and you get attached to some of the characters. More interesting is really the concepts behind the characters. The sheer level of fanservice-y bits is enough to make you laugh too XD – but it’s really not near as horrible as people make it out to be; maybe my level of tolerance has just grown too high?

Liking the concept of it all, I heard that the series was based on novels. This is a (fairly blatant) lie. It is instead, based on an Anime OVA by Kunihisa Sugishima (25 minutes and only loosely informative) that’s based on a series of illustrations by Humikane Shimada done in Compatiq Ace. You get the "based on novels" bit because there are three light novels that are based on that same series of illustrations. (here’s an interlinking web of characters that relate the characters of the light novels to the original characters in the illustrations), then there are currently two light novels that are a basic novelization of the OVA+Anime – along with some fan-novel. As the Anime was done by Kazuhiro Takamura and Tsuyoshi Tamai, you have a completely different set of people working on every single separate component, and therefore it’s very disjunct. (Although Humikame Shimada, the original illustrator, provided light novel illustrations to both the first light novel and the novelization.) However, I heard that either the novelization or the other light novel were pretty good, so – I might read them if I get the chance to.

As for the characters, I liked most of them by the end of the series, even the American. In fact – I believe she’s the first Anime American that I haven’t fully disliked. Maybe I connected with her longing for speed – impressive because I have a disposition to dislike characters with oversized breasts – but I got past that, (at least they weren’t big enough to break my suspension of disbelief XD.) As a night owl and not really buying into that no-pants = win, my favorite character was Sanya V. Litvyak (who is the only character ever to be seen wearing a skirt), and thus by extension I had to like Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen. (I still have to think of the Japanese pronounciation stuffs to figure out how to say her name.) I also liked Gertrud Barkhorn, and there by extension liked the other two original German pilots: Erica Hartmann and Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke. Then, because her gun is cool and perhaps I have a strange attraction to British women o.o – Lynette Bishop. Yeah… I put the main character around the bottom of my list.

If I had to rank them:

1. Sanya V. Litvyak
2. Gertrud Barkhorn
3. Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen
4. Lynette Bishop
5. Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke
5. Charlotte E. "Charlie" Yeager
5. Erica Hartmann
8. Mio Sakamoto
9. Francesca Lucchini
10. Yoshika Miyafuji
11. Perrine-H. Clostermann

-.-: Perrine annoyed me to NO end. (X-x the french) | Yoshika… was too optimistic and had no redeeming qualities. | Lucchini was cat-like which I like… but no other redeeming qualities. | Once you get past Mio’s kind of annoying laugh and obstinate kamikaze attitude, she’s got this teacher attitude that’s nice – plus she’s old (~20) and thus has a bit of a head on her shoulders at least. The three-way tie for 5th has partly to do with the fact that I want to keep all of them in the upper half – and that although that’s the order I’d put them in, they’re pretty close anyway. Lynette I like again because she’s nice and a sniper, and British. Eila makes me laugh and I like her semi-deep voice – plus she’s like Sanya’s talking counterpart. As for Gertrud, I like pretty much everything about her character, especially after you learn more about her – and I think she’s pretty ^^. Sanya, I like everything about her – her ability, her habits, and her animal, her country, the fact that she wears… clothes — everything really, but I wish sort of that she would talk more, though that would violate part of her character… So 1&2 are pretty close :d

So anyway I got hold of Sanya and Eila’s character album, and I like it ^^. One song that caught my eye (ear?) was Kuroi Hitomi ("black pupils") – which is basically a song of Japanese lyrics placed over a common Russian folk tune. It’s pretty ^^. It’s an extremely simple song, so maybe the translation’ll sound a little strange.

Translation Notes: as for the "particle" なりし – I can only guess what it means through context, as well as the only other phrase I found when I googled it 夢なりし空中庭園 – this is similar to the time when I came across にす – of which I couldn’t find any results >.> – Also, everytime you see "eyes" it really should be "pupils" but in English, you usually say eyes regardless… – but "black eyes" (lit) sound odd, so I made it "black"->"dark"

(・x・) I need to get better at translating songs – then it would be just beautiful regardless. In Japanese it’s beautiful, I promise :D

The drama tracks on this CD are cute, Eila is always mildly jealous of anyone that might take Sanya’s interest. – I’ll give her that right, after all Sanya always hops into Eila’s bed whenever she gets back :x


燃えさかる炎よ ああ黒き瞳よ 美しき炎よ 素晴らしき瞳
愛しき 悩ましき その瞳 あなたを一目見て 私はあなたの虜

Burning flame; ah such dark eyes; beautiful flame; splendid eyes
Lovely, seductive, those eyes – with a single look I am your captive

闇なりし焔よ ああ黒き瞳よ 凍てつく焔よ 底知れぬ瞳
勝ち誇り 焼き尽くす その瞳 あなたの炎で 私の心は痛む

A blaze inviting darkness; ah such dark eyes; frozen blaze; bottomless eyes
Triumphant, burning out, those eyes – by your flame my heart pains

私の幸せは あなただけに

My happiness depends solely on you

燃えさかる炎よ ああ黒き瞳よ 愛しき瞳よ 美しき瞳
とこしえに 魅惑する その瞳 私を連れ去り 破滅へといざなう

Burning flame; ah such dark eyes; lovely eyes; beautiful eyes
For eternity captivating, those eyes – take me away and invite me into destruction

あなたの面影を 夢に見る

I see your face in my dreams

夜中に歌う声 私は手を伸ばす 夢へとみちびく 黒き瞳
私はあなたと 共に飛び立つ

Singing at midnight, I extend my arms to your dark eyes, leading me into dreams
Together with you I leap into the sky

Pointless Post

The microwave is leaky~ My brain is frying~! D:
That’s how I feel at the moment orz
Tubecat… I want a cat <3
They’re changing 惣流・アスカ・ラングレー / Sohryu Asuka Langley to 式波・アスカ・ラングレー / Shikinami Asuka Langley O.o?

"Eyebrows have been raised at the steady rise in popularity several potentially Vocaloid inspired names have enjoyed in Japan’s baby naming; Ren (ranked 4th), Rin (7th), Kaito (13th) and most notably Miku (up to 24th from 50th last year)."

My roommate turned off the lights… just now, for no reason whatsoever – … is she trying to make me blind or something? – I’ve never wanted to be a murderer more in my life. (I just heard her mumble, stoned: I lost my car~) (Wikipedia "Dude Where’s my Car?")

Flowering Night/Night of Nights – One of the best themes… ever.. especially because… Sakuya=咲夜=flower(ing)+night – Furthermore, I just learned that there’s an entire type of "MAD" compiled web videos based on having flowering night in the background. O.O – Awesome!

As firefox has exceeded 970mb of RAM – it needs to be restarted for my computer’s sanity. Therefore I must post, though it’s a bit unfinished :x

–Post-Edit ←dual violin Flowering Night/Night of Nights + Piano Acc. O.O

Not that I think that I have really anyone looking at my journal – I’m doing a poll for fun. I do NOT like what’s her face: Konpaku Youmu, so she’s not included D:<

Touhou Character Poll (Minimized)

YUI and Fullmetal Alchemist (2009)

Yui – Again.
The Fullmetal Alchemist 2 Brotherhood Opening Theme just reminded me how much I love YUI. I totally forgot how young she is! She’s only 2 years older than me after, and I listened to her music years ago – so I have to give her props for her great music so early on ^.^ – will she become the next Utada when she’s older or something? I’m going to have to buy her new CD when it comes out … 2009/06/03. (yy/mm/dd) – Also have to get that Eden of the East ED O.O – I underestimated it like the first time I listened to it – I usually don’t expect much out of ending themes.

I’m so in love with YUI’s song right now that I’d translate the lyrics – but I don’t want to do close listening to try to figure them out, I’ll wait for the CD to come out :3

Instead, for my own personal benefit, as well as for others I suppose – I’m going to diagram the opening alchemy explanation statement at the beginning of Fullmetal Alchemist – because it has the particle “nakare” in it, and that’s a rare find. :D


[Alchemy] [topic] [material] [object] [understand], [deconstruct], [reconstruct] [do-verb] [science] [aff-is]. [contrastive-conjuction: though], [inifinite/limitless] [n-adj-particle] [skill] [ni-wa: relating to/in such a definition] [is not] [nothing] [from] [“it is said” (phrase quantifier)] [to bring into being] [koto: action -> abstract noun] [absolutely] [is not] [something] [object] [attempt to obtain (into a state)] [if] [without fail], [equivalent] [n-adj-particle] [price] [object] [to pay] [mono: action -> concrete noun] [aff-is]. [this] [“in other words”], [alchemy] [n-adj-particle] [foundation], [equivalent-exchange] [aff-is]. [Alchemist] [towards, in relation to] [taboo] [subject] [exists]. [that] [topic] [human-body-alchemic-refinement] [aff-is]. [anyone (becomes no-one)] [commit] [koto: action ->abstract noun] [nakare: mustn’t do].

Alchemy is the science of understanding, deconstructing, and then reconstructing matter. However, it is not a limitless skill. Nothing can be created from “nothing”. When attempting to obtain something, an equivalent price must be paid in return. In other words, this is the basis of alchemy: equivalent exchange. There is a taboo among alchemists. This is human transmutation. A crime none may transgress.

One day I’ll be a better translator :x → Japanese is such a better language, so much information is so few words.

Anyway, while I’m raving about it I might as well rave about it.
Now – Fullmetal Alchemist is the second anime I’ve ever watched – EVER! – It’s the first one I watched with Japanese audio actually. (I could never find non-dubbed Chrno Crusade stuff, until after I started watching Fullmetal Alchemist, about 3-4 episodes into Chrno Crusade :x) Well, maybe because of that – I love it. I think it’s one of the best Anime I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched all 51 episodes approximately 5 times through :x (Hey, we had a 11 hour trip once, and a car plug :D – I didn’t needlessly waste my time for all of it ;x) Maybe I was younger and more stupid – but when I picked up the manga I didn’t particularly like it. When I heard that this new anime was going to be based on the manga a lot more, I was like cool… but I don’t like the manga… orz. Even so, I figured yes, it might just be because I didn’t appreciate it properly, and I knew that if they were going to do something like re-do Fullmetal Alchemist well, they’d have the best of animation studios and voice actors and all that. I decided to give it a try no matter what I might think about it. Maybe I’m a cynic, but my hopes were pretty low. I’ll say this now, Fullmetal Alchemist (2009) is amazing! I liked some of the slower pacing and this and that for Lior, but… I’m sure they expect you have seen the first series, they’re not going to fully recap -> but there’s a lot of new stuff… and the episode about the past – and all the extra information jammed in there right from the start – I really think they’re going to go somewhere with this and I’m really excited :D. (Might make me watch the original series all over again as well :x)

Train Man

So I watched Train Man, and now it’s the weekend. They changed a lot of stuff that first made me a little D:< – but I figured that it really didn’t change the story all that much, just made it more dramatic – which is ok~ I guess. It didn’t ruin it ( ´ー`)

I’ve noticed that I’ve been slacking off – a lot, in various areas, so this weekend is going to be a major Japanese study weekend. Meaning that I should be productive with song translations and what not (those will be my breaks… >.>) My paper and many other things → hopefully in a morning till night fashion. No more playing games! D:< (except maybe Mountain of Faith like… once a day :x – (・x・)) – I should be sleeping now, I will be sleeping now.

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