Archive for December 25th, 2011

Merry Christmas / Happy Festivus and All Other Holidays This Season


^In the flesh. Or if you don’t feel like admitting to yourself for whatever reason that the one pictured above is Kafka Fuura, think of that person as the one who writes for her/him/it. Also that piece of paper I’m holding up – psychic paper. Yeah. (嘘です).

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “useless/aimless” post. Here goes!

So, Happy Holidays! Maybe I should have worn a Santa hat, but I’m not very festive.

I don’t know. I really don’t have much to say, but first of all I’d just like to thank everyone for their continued support. I was a little bit of a mess (nocturnal class-skipping hikikomori for starters) when I first decided to post “Siren” on livejournal (the first song translation I had done I felt confident about; and yeah I spent six months on livejournal before moving to wordpress). Back then I didn’t really know if anyone was looking at my stuff and I didn’t really care, now I’ve got a load of work and expectations to fill. I mean, because of you all I’ve built up something I can be proud of. I’m nearing 600 song translations (not to mention the various other stuff I did) in three years. That’s ridiculous. Now I’m not saying that’s ridiculous because I’m saying “Hey, look – I’m awesome aren’t I?” I’m saying that’s ridiculous because that’s totally beyond me. There’s no way I could have done that – I hardly believe it myself… so it means that you all must have done it, or rather pushed me to do it, I could have never have done it without a constant drive. I broke through the boundaries of my University’s Japanese department and made translating my thing because of all the amazing things I found about about the Japanese language through translating lyrics and later, stories. If you’ll believe me, I made Bs in Japanese before I started all of this. I’ve become a product of this site. I wrote the site and the site rewrote me.

You know, the other day I got an email from someone saying I had inspired them. I’m not sure if you can imagine how that feels and I’m not sure I can describe it. I’m still blown away by the very thought.

While I’m thanking all of you in general I would like to specifically thank those who have donated. When I first set up donations I was truly in financial straits and those few people who donated then actually helped me eat a little better from time to time so really guys, thanks a ton – you know who you are. Everyone else who has donated (since I’ve come back up from the metaphorical sea floor), you’ve really made me feel like what I’m doing is worthwhile and that means millions to me (you are also quite few in number so, feel special guys).

2012 still pretty much looks like a blank slate for me, which is a bit scary. You find out by the time you’re 22 that at that post-graduation-real-world-stage if you haven’t got the next 3-5 years or so planned out you’re a lower class citizen for it. I might be going to work in Japan, I might be going to graduate school for a degree in translating, I might fail at all my ventures and have to slave away to keep refueling my savings (I never want that to hit bottom ever again; I like eating…). I’m thinking I want to write more in general and thinking I want to read more in general and translate longer pieces of work, and dabble more in professionalism in regards to all of that, but I don’t see myself abandoning this site. At least not for another year. I’m actually constantly wondering what more I can do with it. Part of me wants to get a reading circle going, part of me wants the site to have more guides and tips on learning Japanese or on translating in general, part of me wants a community contributor pool for translating things – but free wordpress has a lot of limitations, I really don’t know how much anyone is interested in any of that, some of my ideas for projects are a little more bold in stepping right on that copyright infringement line/issue, and a lot of things would only be practical if I had about 10x as many viewers as I do now. (I don’t have a great ground to compare to, but I consider my visitor stats to be pretty modest). So I wanted to ask – what do you all think?

Maybe I itch for change too much? Perhaps it’s a ghost of that innovative spirit that was with me in Electrical Engineering (and which was most of the reason I quit it, ironically).

Back to thanking people. More as a response out of respect rather than fearing the letter of the law, I could have all my images and all my lyrics translations and short story translations and doujinshi translations and whatnot stripped from my site at the request of the original authors. Japan is rather more lax about copyright (implicitly) than the United States is, but in Japan there is no such thing as a fair use clause (this is why ja.wikipedia.org has so few images), and honestly I can’t imagine any organized body giving a crap about the time or effort I’ve spent on anything. So, I was, especially in the beginning, afraid that someone would come and tell me to take something down. Instead I had a few artists follow me on twitter and say how cool it was that I was translating their lyrics. RD himself, the lyricist I respect the most out of anyone, told me how thrilled he was that I was translating his songs (and I always feel infinitely bad that I can’t do those songs more justice). One day, I hope to have a legitimate license to translate something, but until then I’m riding on everyone’s graces. ( – and if I won the lottery or something there are so many people that I owe, so many…)

If everything goes according to plan, hopefully you’ll see some original stuff written by me. I hope that it won’t be awful, and I hope that at least a few of you will find it interesting. Whenever I write, it tends to veer towards the phantasmagorical, Touhou is sort of phantasmagorical – yeah I’m not going to promise anything – everything I write might be awful but that’s for the future to decide. (Not me!)

I feel like I’m sharing a lot today (my image too!) so I’ll go ahead and share my 2012 resolutions:

・Write every single day, either in English or Japanese.
・Study for the Kanji Kentei (日本漢字能力検定試験) (level 3 or 2).
・Live in Japan for a minimum of 3 months or have plans for 1+ years by the end of 2012.
・Have at least one draft of a story that is theoretically ready to publish.
・Bring Student Debt < $10,000
・Collaborate with someone on a project
・Order no more than 6 figures + 1 per 6 volumes of Light Novels read (Visual Novel==2 LNs).
  ^I'm not addicted I swear
・750+ translation posts or 1000+ total posts.
・Complete a 50+ hour class visual novel. (probably something by nitro+ or Umineko)
・Participate in NaNoWriMo (participating means 20k+ words by the end)
・Finish 4 LN/Novel series.
・Attend an "event" (I've never yet once in my life been to an anime convention).

It'll be a busy year ahead.

I'm looking forward to ranting to myself and (hopefully) entertaining you all as well.

Thank you.

PS: Don't forget to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special Today!!!