8-bit Music and Pixiv plus Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

So I finished reading a theory of universal grammar. It was pretty interesting. Finished my final Japanese test, now all that’s remaining is the project, and I’ll have to work on my final linguistics assignment (based on the theory of universal grammar) tonight.

So, as there’s always other news, in the search for other albums of 8 bit Touhou Music, namely the parent albums of 8BiTouhou3, I came across DDBY and I like the other CD demos a lot, so hopefully I’ll be able to get the upcoming Touhou Synthesis 2 Album as well as the earlier albums. \o/ – also, just look at the cover to TS2 – the artwork’s interestingly cool isn’t it? – so further investigation insued! – I looked around the album artist’s site. – Found she had a twitter, and ensued o.o – after following a bunch of links of followers I landed on someone that had a locked (only friend’s can view) account but I thought that their avatar looked interesting and there was a pixiv link, so I followed that – found that to view stuff you have to register, so I did – and was able to see the full version of this! (I believe if you don’t have an account you can still view a thumbnail): I want to bathe in chocolate too!!! – and although I don’t know much about art style anymore, everything about her style appeals to me, so interested I did one of those twitter follow thingys – and we’ll see what’ll happen. Sure it’s selfish and perhaps a little weird, but I like to read Japanese twitter feeds because well, it helps your conversational Japanese to an extent, and then you see how different people speak in different ways etc. etc. + degree’s a netspeak. (I’d like to consider myself as a low netspeak typer :x) – Plus, a lot of the time people have funny things to say. "Ah~ I finally went to the beauty salon. Bye-Bye pudding head!" etc. It’s always good to have reminders of how much your Japanese needs to improve anyway.

Speaking of twitter, got into first weird political debate about the US train system (it’s in abysmal shape). Well anyway, it looks like the government is going to mess it up – they’re trying to improve a dying system (amtrak) rather than introducing a new system. Problem is introducing a new replacement system wouldn’t fly given that it would cost too much – and improving the dying system costs much more than it’s worth. Air travel in the US is the cheapest form of transportation in most cases. You see, unlike Japan, the US has too much space between the majority of its urban centers. Instead trains should be employed alongside highways for suburb to city use, especially in gigantic cities like Houston, which has tiny lines that only provide a small improvement over most intracity bus systems. Basically, commuter trains rather than cross-country trains need to be the focus. The most environmental "damage" as well as the lowest fuel efficiency involves commuters packed in their cars on cramped highways moving at 5 miles an hour. A city like Houston is working to fix some of this… hopefully within the next few decades, but the only thing they can do relatively quickly (which is what they’ve done) is increase the size of the highway (it’s like 12 lanes wide in some places). What would be profitable though is to have a few electric train lines running in and out of the city, like a good number of smaller major cities, like Atlanta, already have.  Unlike systems with train systems, people living in larger metroplexes without them cannot survive outside the city without a car, so every working family member must have one, and most 4 member families have 3-4 cars. When you factor in gasoline for traveling hours through traffic every workday, it’s ridiculously expensive. Furthermore, large metroplexes with insubstantial train systems like Houston and DFW are among the leaders in the nation for traffic congestion and traffic accidents. A proper set of train systems would reduce emissions, reduce accidents, and reduce costs for families, as well as giving the government a system they can make money out of. Instead of a national train system, the national government should select and sponsor commuter train systems in major traffic areas.

As a sidenote: My friend just gave me some 86% Cacao Chocolate!!!!! "Midnight Reverie"~!

Anyway – I support supporting artists!! – so click on those links :D
8Bit Music Site Links Below, as well as JLPT2 Studies!

[Disks I Want – I recommend this group for 8 Bit Touhou Music : it’s great]
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–JLPT2 Grammar–

~からすると/~からすれば = As for ~,judging from ~(basically the exact same thing as からして – ~ has to be a noun)
そんな人のタイプからすると、日本がずっとみっともないはずのように見えるのさ。
Those type of people will always see Japan as indecent. (you know which people I’m talking about)
床の血からすれば、ハルメがいたはずなんです。
Judging from the blood on the floor, surely Harume was here. (Read "Masks" and you’ll know what I’m talking about, I’m not going to explain)

~からといって = Just because ~ (usually in a disagreement)
高いレストランだからといって、いつもそこで食べているんじゃないか。
You say it’s expensive, but you eat there all the time! (in response to someone saying we’re not going because it’s expensive)
お金があるからといって、幸せとは限らないわ。
Just because he has money doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy!

~から~にかけて = It took from ~ till ~ (time)
昨日の昼から今朝に掛けて作文を書いていたものなんです。もっと早く連絡しなかったので、ごめんなさいませ。
You see I was writing a term paper from yesterday at noon till this morning. Please forgive me for not contacting you earlier.

~から(に)は = Now that ~; Since ~ (usually followed by obligations, requests and such – because you’re formalizing the reason)
麻雀部に入ったからには、もっと勝ちたいです。
Now that I’ve entered the Mahjong Club, I want to win more. (kinda lame… I’ve been watching too much Saki)
せっかく日本に着いたからには、日本語でしゃべらなけりゃならへん。
Since I’ve come all this way to Japan, I’ve really got to speak in Japanese. (Kansai)

~から見て(も)/~から見ると/~から見れば = From the viewpoint of (pretty self explanatory) (~ must be a noun)
誰から見ても虹があるほどに美しいでしょう。
No matter whose viewpoint you look from, rainbows are beautiful to some extent.
保守系から見るとオースティンは革新しすぎています。 (保守(ほしゅ)=conservative) (革新(かくしん)=liberal)
From a conservative’s viewpoint Austin (city) is much too liberal.

~かわりに = Instead of, In place of, Fitting of; Suiting (depending on usage, but still kind of implies "instead of")
映画を見に行く代わりに麻雀打とうじゃないか。
Instead of going to see a movie, let’s just play mahjong. (did this on Friday)
沖縄の代わりに北海道に行ったらしいです。
It seems that she went to Hokkaidou instead of Okinawa.
私が書いた日本語が分かる代わりに、聞いてそれで書いていただけませんか。
I’m better at understanding written Japanese, so could you please listen for me and write down what he’s saying? (Implying my friend has a better ear than me, which – no matter who it is – is probably true). Sort of translates into, because I’m able to do this, do this (instead). Seems like sort of odd usage – I’m probably going to see it more than I’ll ever use it myself.

~気味(ぎみ) = Rather ~; A little ~ (~=stem of a verb or a noun)
コーヒーがなくなったから、今日、眠り気味で耐えなけりゃならん。
I ran out of coffee, so it looks like I’ll have to endure today while a bit sleepy.
遅刻になりかねない学生が汗っぽくて怖がった兎気味で教室に走ることが見えなかったか。
Have you ever seen a student about to be late running to class all sweaty looking a little like a scared rabbit? (imagine it and laugh. you know you want to.) – Note: the second one probably sounds a little odd, you’d probably use のようで instead of 気味で – 疲れ気味 and 風邪気味 are some of the more common uses)

~きり(だ) = Only ~; Just ~ (~=verb present/past or a noun) or [(~=past noun – and indicates a continuation)]
屋根から飛ぼうとすれば落ちるきりですよ。
If you try to "fly" off of the roof, you’re only going to fall.
毎日歩んだきりで元気に生けるね。
If you just walk everyday you can live a healthy life.

~きる/~きれない/~きれる = to do(be) completely ~ / to be unable to do till the end / to be able to do till the end (makes the one above suddenly make sense right?)
絶対に全部を食べきってくださいね。
Make sure you eat all of it.
ずっと愛してくれきれないとだめよ。
You’d better love me completely till the bitter end. :F
毎日運動しきれるのは意外と難しいね。
Working out everyday is more difficult than I would have thought. (lit: strangely/unreasonably difficult)
せめて、日本語習いきるね。
At least make sure to finish learning Japanese.

~くせに = In spite of~ (negative connotation – it’s generally insulting if you’re referring to someone present.)
あの学生さ、勉強しなくて全然頑張らないくせに、百点を取れるなんて!イライラする!
The nerve of that student… without studying or trying at all he’s able to get hundreds! He gets on my nerves! (No, I’m not really that selfish.)

~くらい(だ) = To the extent that~; To the point that~ / At least ~ note: kurai is classified as an ("n-adv" – so it really needs no ending, but usually at the end of a sentence you’ll have da) – both meanings generally mean the same thing anyway >.<
あなたも耐えられるくらい辛さの食べ物ですよ。
This food is of a spiciness that even you can handle.
日本に行ったら、日本の音楽家のシーディーを一つくらい買うべきですよ。
When I go to Japan I’ve got to buy at least one Japanese artist’s CD.
残念ながら、できることは待ってるくらいですね。
Though it’s unfortunate, there’s not much we can do but wait.

~げ = Seem~ (note: げ becomes a na-adj) (~ is always an adjective stem: 何気なく(なにげなく) is the notable "exception" – though you can argue なんな (the oddball na adj form of nani) with nani as the stem)
その狼が寂しげで叫んだって
And so they said that the wolf screamed out with lonliness.
今朝、なんかうれしげにニコニコ笑っているみたいよ。なんかいいことがあった?
This morning, all your smiling makes you look like you’re bubbling with happiness inside. Did something good happen?

Almost done with the か row!

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Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Funny story. I woke up today to a police woman breaking into my room. "Excuse me, we’re looking for *** (me), someone’s filed a missing persons’ report and it’s urgent that we find her." – "Uh… me?" – "I’m going to need to see some ID." *reaches down clumsily out of bed to fetch it* – then I had to call my mother and let her know that I was ok. o.o;

Apparently I don’t call my mother enough. She called me 2 days ago once, and then a couple times yesterday (all while I was asleep) and then a few times this afternoon. She left one text this afternoon, and one email about 2 hours before the police incident… all after I’ve told her that because I’m not a very phone friendly person and I live at odd hours, that E-MAIL is the most reliable way to contact me -.-; Apparently she panicked today and filed a police report, thinking that my roommate had killed me. Now – I’ve complained about my roommate before, but still saying that she’s at least good natured, just with her head in the wrong place, and quite harmless. I joked that I’d hit her over the head with something otherwise. Maybe I need to be more careful about the way that I joke? Now I feel sorry for my roommate, a emotion that I really don’t feel like feeling – because apparently the police yelled at her.

Oh well, it’ll all be over soon.

Best thing to do in situations like this is to take a sauna bath – then douse yourself with cold water – and then go ingest sugary water and caffeine! (if anything’s going to kill me it’s going to be that). Now it’s time to study and stuff! – I have my last Japanese test in less than 12 hours, but it’s only listening and writing, so it shouldn’t be too hard. The last one was a killer though, maybe I should be a little bit more worried. Mah, it’ll just be another excuse to read more manga and light novels in preparation.

Speaking of which, this morning (which counts kinda like yesterday to me). I had delicious free blueberry pancakes and punch. It was worth starving myself over and then eating an entire bowl of rice at breaking point for. During the waiting time I started reading "Zaregoto 1: The Yubikiri Cycle". Translated this time, because I felt like I wasn’t ingesting enough Japanese thought at the rate I’ve been reading my other light novels/novels (an abysmally slow rate). I wasn’t let down; it’s got a nice strange way of thinking. I’ve only read the first chapter, but I’m looking forward to finishing it. I first caught on to NISIOISIN (author) through a translation of XXXHolic: Another Holic, that I read in the translated first volume of Faust. I get a feeling it was hard to translate – you can tell through even the translation that his way of thinking is kind of out there – but that makes it really interesting to read. I found myself having to re-read over a few of the sentences to fully lock myself in that thought – and I haven’t had to do that for a while, so I got excited :D. Although it’s not good to recommend a book before you’ve at least gotten a substantial way through it – I do; on that note, I noticed a lot of weird similarities to the plot line of one of Agatha Christi’s famous novels, "And Then There were None". I could be wrong and just imagining it though, I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet – but got hooked on it through Flandre Scarlet’s character. So I thought it interesting. Also there’s a reference to a fictional (?) organization based in Houston, Texas – where I spent a lot of my time growing up. ^^ – We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve also finished reading the 11th chapter of Mushishi: "錆の鳴く聲 (Sabi no Naku Koe)" or the Crying Voice of Rust. Which is among my favorites actually. I won’t spoil the plot, but you should read it. Hrm, it might be easier on my life if I never had to speak though – I actually started to loose my voice a bit reciting the chapter aloud – maybe my Japanese has gotten a little rusty and my voice is complaining about having to contort for exclusively non-english stuff, like the glottal stop in 原因(gen’in) – supposed to sound like Ge(quick choking sound)-in – but I can’t hardly get it to sound anything than like gei-in. which although close enough is not enough for me D:<. Some of the dialectual stuff gets tricky to read aloud if you’re not used to it either. orz.

Ah, my test is going to require story-telling… perhaps I’ll compile my eating coffee beans when late, my ears bleeding and the rumors of my demise being greatly exaggerated into one! Just need to figure out how to say it now… I kind of want to watch Strike Witches again – now that my pregidous (I’ve never had to spell that word before – it looks odd) has melted away – I must say the whole concept is a lot more interesting than I thought before… maybe it’s because I’ve always wanted to be a witch and fly on a broom… (maybe I should blame Harry Potter for that?) When I was still an engineering kiddo I drew up plans for hover technology (most of which is all possible, just hugely impractical), and I also have always liked films and books set around 20s-50s WWII included… and I like kitties, and used to be obsessed with Russia. (still am to a milder extent) – All of that is in Strike Witches. So, panty-shots aside, which I don’t really care about – I’m intrigued. Now I’m going to have to fully complete one of my light novels in Japanese before I purchase all the Strike Witches light novels, so I don’t break my self promise. >.> Oh yeah, and I’ve always been all for girls’ love :D – You guys can suck it. :p XD

Now for JLPT2 Practice… I’ll let myself off easy so I can re-read Shugo Chara (also letting myself off easy) – then I should finish the first chapter of Spice and Wolf (not letting myself off easy ;-;) : oh, and one case seems to be missing, so I’ll add it in (though it might be JLPT1 or something, it’s simple enough)

–JLPT2–

~かぎり(は)/~かぎりでは/ないかぎり(は) 「限り=かぎり」 + ~とは限らない = As long as/As far as + Does not necessarily mean.
-sidenote: kagiri mean extent (kind of like hodo) so like "as far as this is concerned" etc. for the last one "this argument is not the extent of the possibilities" (there will be lots of examples)
大学にいる限り、母に心配されますわ。
As long as I’m at the university, my mother will worry about me. (implying that this is a negative thing)
知っている限り、豚のインフルエンザのことを気にする理由がないよ。
As far as I know, there’s no reason to worry about swine flu.
締切日が来ない限り、作文に頑張ろうよ。
As long as we’ve still got time before the deadline, let’s try our best on this paper. (時間がある限り、時間が終わっていない限り would work just fine as well)
雨が降らない限りじゃ明日プールに行こうよ。
As long as it doesn’t rain, let’s go to the pool tomorrow!
工学が好きな女の子がいるわけないとは限りませんわよ。
Just because she’a a girl doesn’t mean she can’t like engineering.
lit: It’s not necessarily true that a girl that likes engineering can’t exist.
テキサスで住んでいたから馬を見たはずだと限らないよ。
Just because I’ve lived in Texas doesn’t mean I’ve seen a horse before. (Of course I have though … >.>)

~かけだ/~かけの/~かける = unfinished; half~ (eaten,finished) [They have a conjugation for this in Finnish! (Suomi)] 掛け(かけ)
お前が宿題を済んだらいいけど、私はまだやりかけだから静かにしてくれない。
It’s fine that you’re finished with your homework, but I’m still in the middle of doing mine, so could you please be quiet?

~がたい = can’t do, difficult to do (arigatou = ari+gatai+ou : it’s difficult to be… – something along the lines of "it must have been difficult for you to do this for me" – that’s why a colloquial response is "いいえ" (no) – usually followed by something)
そんなこと信じられへん。→そんなことが起こったと信じがたいなぁ。
"I can’t believe it…"→"To think that something like that would happen… it’s hard to believe." (I added the kansai because I just like hearing it)

~がちだ/~がちの = to tend to do something (usually implies a sort of negative action) 勝ち(がち)
イライラしながら飲み過ぎ勝ちの癖があるからちょっと酔ったんです。
Well, when I’m irritated I have this bad habit of drinking too much, so I got a little drunk. (triple stem ftw!)

~かと思うと/かと思ったら = As soon as, no sooner than… (lit: Just as I thought that this MIGHT have happened (maybe it hadn’t yet) this happened)
あぁ、転んだかと思ったら人に捕まえてもらいました。
As soon as I fell, someone caught me. ^-^ (I think I might have blushed)

~か~ないかうちに = No sooner than (lit: In the time frame that I wasn’t sure whether it had happened yet or not)
十八歳になったかならないかうちに、十九歳になりました。
No sooner had I turned 18, I was already 19. (true story, I kept saying I was 18 when I was 19… that year flew by FAST)
飲み始めたか飲み始めないかうちに全部飲んでしまった。
Before I knew it I had drunk it all. (Happens a lot, I’ll put something on my desk and think I haven’t touched it, and when I pick it up it’s empty ;-;)
あたしには、お茶を飲んで終わったか終わらないかうちに次の一杯を注します。
As for me, as soon as I’m finished drinking tea I’ll pour the next cup.

~かねない = to be capable of, to be in danger of (this aux-verb works kinda backwards if you haven’t noticed)
こんなにボーっと勉強するかしないかなんてことを続けば落ちかねないわよ。
If you keep on lazily like this, to where I’m not sure if you’re studying or not you could fail you know?

~かねる = to be difficult to ~, to be hard to
振り仮名が無い難しい漢字が入っているあの本を読みかねたから大分時間が経っても一ページも読めませんでした。
That book, having difficult kanji without furigana it was hard for me to read, so even after spending a lot of time on it, I wasn’t even able to read a single page. (The Bamboo Cutter’s Tale – Original "Classical Japanese" Translation – couldn’t find the modern one.)

~かのよう(だ、な、に) = if you’ve gotten up to JLPT 3 level this is pretty much self-explanatory; basically "like" a sentence.
あのクリスマスの日、メキシコまで吹雪が降って、誰もいなくて、街灯りがやわらかい風船みたいに見えて、世界が外れて遠くに惑星に行いたかのようでした。
That Christmas day, a snow storm blew as far as Mexico, and there was no one around; the light of the street lamps looked like soft balloons, and it was as if I had become separated from the world and travelled to a distant planet. (This really happened. It was awesome).

~からいうと/~からいえば/~からいって = Judging from, when it comes to ~, as for~ (~ has to be a noun)
色々な人があっても、本当に妙な人から言えば、やっぱ私だ。
There are lots of different kinds of people in the world, but if you’re talking about truly odd people, that’s got to be me.
日本語はほとんど分かるようになっていても、他の外国語から言うと、本当に下手なんですよ。
Sure I’m getting to the point where I can understand Japanese fairly well, but when it comes to other foreign languages, I really suck.

~からして = Even~/Judging from~ (~ has to be a noun)
ほんとに下手なんですよ。スペイン語からして全然できないんだもん。
I really do suck! Even with Spanish I can’t do it at all. (sounding a little childish with da-mon; but XD)
二日間返事もしないことからして、何かあったはずなんだよ。
Given that she hasn’t replied for two days, something must have happened! (mother’s logic)

(I started this post before midnight, but I don’t like having two posts in one day – so I modified the time :D [not that I finished before midnight or anything]) – Oh and I’m listening to Hana Maru Sensation because of Ryuuseigun ^^;

12432 Characters… LJ is freaking out on me XD.

Horo

I just watched the Spice and Wolf II OVA (or episode 00 – however you want to put it): It was great – I’m excited about Horo again, I like Lawrence too, partly because he’s so thick (perhaps it’s better that he is though) – and Nora/Nola (it’s spelled no-ra but the long ‘o’ lends itself to an ‘l’) can go suck a toad – even though she looks nice :d. I’m sure it’s because my memory’s bad, but I forgot that Nora knew about Horo as a diety, in the OVA she doesn’t question  Horo’s ears and such – but maybe that’s because the episode’s based on a short story from the 7th volume… I’ll find out later.

On another note – I really need to read more. Read more textbooks really… Finals are coming up really soon… but my sense of urgency is a bit lax… instead of a dead day – I have a dead week, because all my finals fall on the last possible day – I’ll have time to study. However, my history class replaced their final with a test on the last day of class…. I should study for that, because well, it’s this thursday… I’ll study tomorrow :D

I need to read more Japanese stuff too…. Sure it can wait until classes are over, but I miss the enjoyment of it – and I don’t want my Japanese to start failing ;-; There’s so much I want to read, but I’m so slow, I wish I could just fully understand the language ;-; → it would make life so much easier wouldn’t it?

Oh well, I’ll get it someday.

–JLPT2 Grammar Practice Corner–
[if one form tends to use "decorated" form (de-aru) I’ll put an astrisk (*) after the definition : this only makes a difference with nouns or na-adjectives anyway.]

~以上(は) (いじょう) = since ~ (after+because), etc.  *
せっかく一流の大学に受かった以上、もっと勉強しなければならないよね。
Since I got into this first rate university, I’d better study more. (I/You)

~一方(では) (いっぽう) = While; Meanwhile (shows a comparison between two things) *
大分ノアニメが気に入る一方ではメッカとかアクションなどのアニメが全然興味ありません。
While I like a good portion of anime, I’m not interested in mecha or action anime at all.

~一方だ (いっぽうだ) = "shows something continuing towards a certain tendency" (used often with 減る&増える) *
日本で結婚していない女が増える一方ですわよ。
The number of unmarried women in Japan is steadily increasing.

~上に (うえに) = In addition to ~ (uses decorated form)
日本語を勉強している上に中国語も習っているみたいですよ!
In addition to studying Japanese, it looks like she’s learning Chinese as well!! (I envy this friend’s cognitive power)

~上で(は/の/も)・~上の = if ~ is past then "after…ing upon…ing" otherwise is "context for a warning"
アリスに大切のものを盗んだ上で、魔理沙が霊夢のところへ飛んでいた、と天狗から聞いたんだ。
I heard from a tengu that after stealing a "precious thing", Marisa flew over to Reimu’s place. (I was listening to "that song" :x)
レストランで働く上では、お客さんに丁寧にするべし。
When working at a restaurant, you should be polite to customers. (or "beki-de-aru"): "beshi" makes you sound kinda like an old man, but well I was going for a serious/written tone.

~(よ)うじゃないか/ではないか = Shall we; lets
麻雀を打とうじゃないか。
Let’s play Mahjong!

~うちに/~ないうちに = while (refers to doing something before that situation changes)
若いうちにちゃんと楽しくしないとだめよ。
You’ve got to have fun while you’re still young ^.^
早く!先生が来ないうちに黒板を消すよ!
Quickly! Erase the chalkboard before the teacher comes!
卒業しないうちになんかをしたいじゃないですか
Don’t you have something you want to do before you graduate?

~得る (うる・える) (I personally NEVER use ‘uru’, and when you go negative it HAS to be "enai", plus you eru is more common anyways): = to be possible to (this is how the potential form originated 読みえる→読める) ~ has to be a verb stem.
考え得る限りに答えを探したんだが、全然返事できなかった。
I tried thinking with all my might searching for the answer, but I couldn’t respond to her at all.
誰の女でもスカートとかズボンを穿かない世界がありえないよね。(「ストライクウィッチーズ」を観ながら)まさか!!
There’s no way a world where women don’t wear skirts or pants could exist… (While watching Strike Witches) O.O NO WAY!

~おかげだ/おかげで = thanks to (always in a positive light. it’s negative counterpart is "せい")
おかげさまで
It’s all thanks to you
先生のおかげでこんなに日本語で話せますから、ありがとう
Thanks to sensei, I can speak Japanese at least this well, thank you.

~恐れがある (おそれ) = There is a danger of ~ (You see this most of the time on Japanese warning labels.)
ゆかり先生の車に入ると死ぬ恐れがあるよ。
If you get into Yukari-sensei’s car, you put your life in danger.

Congratulations~! You’ve gotten through the あ row of JLPT2 Grammars!

Sakuya Revolution

Yeah, so I made a new userpic – It’s a picture of 咲夜 (Sakuya) taken from a scene in Glorious Revolution. The doujinshi’s website is here, if you’re interested. I believe I ranted about it’s glory earlier, so I won’t get into it again, but it’s cool :D – at least if you’re a touhou fan.

Random Updates on Life:

I finished my final paper draft on 羅生門 (Rashōmon) for my class, I might post the contents if anyone’s interested about a random adaptation analysis, (I’m guessing no) – after it’s graded (wouldn’t it suck to be persecuted for plagerism over something you wrote and then posted?); My Touhou Project Final Project application was approved, (gah now I have to do it). Similar to my sentence in my recently updated last post for the JLPT2 stuff – my ears were really bleeding and I was like "OH SHIT" but then nothing came of it, it was only a little (I have low blood pressure anyway) , and I figure it had more to do with the Red Bulls I was drinking. I watched "Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo" for the first time and thought it was cute. At the same time I realized that the ED for it "garnet" sounded ridiculously familiar and realized that I had heard it first from an Idolm@ster character album (the original’s MUCH better – though to be honest I like the Idolm@ster version of "Tori no Uta" more than the original). One thing led to another and we started having "language wars" on twitter: a friend was freaked out when I posted a translation to part of the Kara no Kyoukai opening – they already think I’m a psychopathic murderer as it is… so we all then started speaking in all the random languages that we know. Means Japanese for me: I know 你好 (nihao=HI – or "I like you") in Chinese, how to count numbers in Spanish (supposedly my hereditary language) – that’s it. Friends’ repitoire extends to French, Indonesian, Tagolog (Filipino), Cambric (Welsh), Mandarin Chinese (spoken only *facepalm*), and Spanish; extending to those outside the discussion: Hindi and Hebrew. I’m actually talking about proficiency rather than just knowing a few words, so that’s kinda impressive you think? :p Because I’m not the only one of our group that’s reasonably proficient in Japanese (though I’m at the top :D) I think it would be cool to learn some other random languages. Originally (before I was going to learn Japanese or Hindi) I was planning on learning Russian → you add that into the mix of just having watched Strike Witches and also having participated in a linguistics class, "Now I just need to learn Русский, Suomi, 漢語 and Deutsch." (Russian, Finnish, Chinese, and German). Why? For Russian, some of my favorite literature is translated Russian literature… and Sanya. (My reason for learning Japanese was because of the literature and poetry, then extended to manga and anime). For Finnish, it’s simple to read, has a lot of strange similarities with Japanese, and… Eila :3, plus along with Russian it sounds kinda cool don’t you think? – Chinese is strictly for reading poetry, I know a good amount of symbols or at least symbol portions, and it’s "politically relevant" – not really interested in speaking it though – it’s HARD to speak, easy to read (if you know the symbols). For German – my namesake Franz Kafka! His stories are just ODD, and that’s why I like him. – Anyway, for fun, I’ve already memorized the Russian Cyrillic Alphabet, the typing layout escapes me though – I just use the Japanese coder-IME. : In addition to all of this, at what seems to be a habit of "Mahjong Fridays" I won 3 times in a row (out of 5 total games) \o/ – Still under the impression that I suck when it comes to the formal Japanese ruleset though.

Enough about random updates and language learning (except for Japanese)

I think we need a Sakuya Revolution. Everything’s much too boring. I figure we have literature because it’s a bad idea to cause a large scale immediate conflict and then rage at it. The extent of our thrills are found in risky or sketchy romantic relationships, often a whole lot more scathingly dramatic than TV dramas (which I think are an excuse to throw your TV out the window). Is literature controlled conflict? At least the good stuff :3 I suppose I’m just the kind of person (I hear that there are types of people) that enjoy a rock being thrown at the surface of a glossy pond, and yet I’m an extremely passive person. Silent Liberalism!

My Japanese teacher actually recommended us Americans (the stereotypical extroverts of the world) "The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World" by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy. D. – partially because she was surprised that there are introverted Americans as well – (she was probably talking about me >.>) – We’ll probably have to discuss stuff like that on our test… – oh well, I just have to get back to practicing all my Japanese grammar stuffs till I can confidently speak in Japanese like I do it everyday. … – one day I’ll gear my introversion into some shocking form of literature – that would be nice.

As it’s on my mind, I think there’s a reason to get back to Strike Witches!
I came across this crazy correlation diagram, one that I can’t really find many references of explanation anywhere on the net. Furthermore, it looks authentic, despite the shocking (perhaps not so much) web of romantic relations across the board. I haven’t the opportunity to read up on anything, I’ve only seen the OVA, the anime series, and some of the illustrations – so perhaps that’s why it seems so strange, but it was mainly the terms like "sex slave" used liberally, that shocked me. Everything else is perfectly correct though organized very well – if it is fan-made they did a good job.

Full Image

About the Diagram:

Characters are grouped by country, division of the military, original texts, and family relations – and there’s enough English there for you to at least get most of the characters’ names.
There are tons of words that finely define love and relationships in Japanese, that may be hard to translate properly, so I will explain:
性奴隷: literally "sex slave" (though it’s missing a symbol) – I get the feeling it means "forced (sexual) relationship due to position".
恋人: literally "lover(s)" – This is like "girlfriend", people who are dating use this term.
愛人: literaly "lover(s)" – This has a much "heavier" overtone, and a word often used to describe a "mistress", people involved in a love affair, thicker sexual relations etc, it’s not a negative term and is closer to the English "lover".
セフレ: literally "sex friend" – Basically a friend that one frequently has sexual relations with, often a friend for that purpose, it implies that neither is romantically involved with the other.
元恋人: literally "original lover" – basically "ex-girlfriend"
夫婦: literally "husband+wife" – often refers to a married "couple", but can refer to a couple in general, the two do not have to be married. I’m sure you have an example of two that are a couple – they act like a married couple regardless of their extent of romantic or sexual relations, I figure that’s what this word is getting at.
恋愛感情: literally "has romantic feelings of love for" – romantic love, not necessarily "sexual" but far beyond "caring" or "sibling-like" love.
友人: literally "friend" – nice and simple
親友: literally "precious friend" – like best friends
憧れ: literally "admiration" – "to aspire to be like" sort of admiration
— (other stuff)
親分: boss
上官: superior officer
同僚: colleague
双子の姉妹: twin sisters
姉: older sister (it’s illegible but I think the sister relationships go left->right = youngest->oldest in most cases)
地獄に落ちろ: literally "fall into the depths of hell!" pretty self explanatory.
ライベル: rivals
先輩:senpai (I hope I don’t need to explain)
妹のよう: "like a little sister to"
気に入る: basically the feelings a superior has when she "takes a liking" to someone lower than her – completely devoid of romantic feeling. (at least when used in this context)

Sidenotes:
-Anabuki Tomoko (center one with all the "sex slaves"): Her surname with those symbols literally spells "Ass-Wipe"
-All the characters of "Suomus Independent Volunteer Aerial Squadron" apparently pay service to Tomoko.
-Suwa Amaki and Nakajima Hayate are mutually "sex slaves" O.o
-Helma Lennartz can pilot a jet-engine striker (\o/ – this isn’t on the diagram)
-Sanya wants to be more open like Yoshika
-Eila wants Sanya (I don’t blame her) – maybe Eila will have her first fully romantic relationship with Sanya if her feelings are returned ^-^
-Lynette and Yoshika are a couple. (Makes sense) – I don’t get the whole thing in the last episode when they all just randomly disband though, seems contridictory to the feeling in the rest of the episode – but they’re coming back with a season 2 so maybe developments will HAPPEN.
-I didn’t really think of Gertrud and Hartmann being together, but it makes a lot of sense now that I look at it.
-I can see why Eila wouldn’t want to get romantically involved with Nikka Edvardine Katajainen (she crash-lands like 24/7), Eila would be wrought with fret.

This is possibly the longest post I’ve ever made O.O – I’m going to see if I can finish up the Osaka-Chiyo Sho… Azumanga Diaoh. More JLPT stuff will probably fill the next post, but this one is already long enough.

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)

その日、帰り道に大通りを選んだ。
自分にしては珍しい、ほんの気紛れである。
見飽きたビル街を呆と歩いていると、
程なくして人が落ちてきた。
あまり聞く機会のない、ぐしゃりという音。
ビルから墜ちて死んだのは明白だった。
アスファルトには朱色が流れていく。
原形を留めているのは長い黒髪と。
細く、白を連想される脆い手足。
そして、貌の亡い、潰れた顔。
その一連の映像は、古びた頁に挟まれ、
書に取り込まれて、平面となった押し花を幻想させた。

―――おそらくは。
首だけを胎児のように曲げたその亡骸が、
私には折れた百合に見えたからだろう。
/俯瞰風景

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.

—Probably…
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

目覚めてから一生懸命に教室に走れば、ぎりぎりと間に合わないかと思ったのに、そう考えると、時間が大分かかった挙句、クラスが始まっているときに、まだベッドに入ったままなんですが。気付いたらまた寝てしまいましたけど。

-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.

高らかな音楽を聴く余り、耳から血が出てしまったよ。ちょっと怖かったが、大丈夫だった。

-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


黒い瞳
作詩:鈴木貴昭
ロシア民謡
編曲:長谷川智樹
歌:エイラ・イルマタル・ユーティライネン(仲井絵里香)&サーニャ・V・リトヴァク(門脇舞以)

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
http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm5552511 ←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)

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