piranha: 3 little terracotta friendship pigs and the kanji for "heart" (kokoro)
i can now read kana fast enough to keep up with all but the fastest songs in my current jpop rotation (and even if i could read those fast enough, i can't even SING them fast enough, *heh*). i also know enough kanji to read those as well for those songs that are fairly simple in vocabulary. that's pretty much all johnny groups; they're not very demanding compared to, say, bump of chicken who have very complex lyrics, and i cannot follow those. that doesn't really mean i KNOW those kanji (i don't know all the readings and meanings, especially not in combination), but i can read them in a common reading well enough to recognize the kanji at first glance and not lose my place in the song.

this makes me happy.

*whew*. どうもありがと, さよなら, romaji, it's been a slice.(thank you, and goodbye.)


piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
since i am on this live action kick i started looking at some where i have not read the manga yet, and i am picking those on story concept and lead actors. when i saw that kurosagi features both yamashita tomohisa and horikita maki, two of the three leads in nobuta wo produce (my favourite jdrama), i jumped on it. the story sounded intriguing too.

based on the manga by the same name (by natsuhara takeshi and kuromaru), this is primarily a crime/mystery drama with a wee bit of romantic interest thrown in. the show tells us at the start that there are 3 kinds of swindlers: those who pray on people's money; the shirosagi (white swindlers), those who prey on people's emotions; the akasagi (red swindlers), and finally kurosagi (black swindlers), who prey on the other two. an important factor is that the law, because of a loophole, cannot bring justice to the victims (i have no idea whether that is true).click for details, possibly mildly spoilery )

overall i liked it enough to see the movie sequel, but i am not sure i'd recommend it, because part of why i liked it is that the protagonist is a loner with emotional issues, and i can look at yamapi all day long. the reviews on the net seem generally less impressed than i was. if you're a yamapi fan, it's a must, of course. ;) and there's slashy subtext -- kurosaki runs into a former friend from high school, tanabe satoshi (koyama keiichiro), and wow, at first i thought HERE is the real love interest; the two virtually lit off sparks (maybe they have real good rapport because they're both in NEWS -- another JE boyband). koyama's role is small, but i liked him in it.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
there are several systems of romanisation for japanese; only 3 of which really matter these days. since i got my first "instruction" in it via manga and anime titles, my set is kinda fubared, because the people who romanise titles don't all use one system, and worse, many mix the systems.

i understand why they mix. the best-known romanisation for english speakers is hepburn (not after audrey or katherine; after a guy who published his dictionary in the late 19th century). at some point later that got revised, and the revised system is what pretty much all dictionaries and most modern instruction devised for english speakers is written in.

even revised hepburn unfortunately uses macrons to indicate syllabic n (n̄) and long vowels (ū, ō, ī). not a problem for printing books, but most people don't even know how to type these. and so hepburn gets modified -- but not just one way. some people write n', uu, oo, ii, some write n, uh, oh, ih, some write ou for ō, some i- for ī... it's a mess.

but it doesn't stop there, oh no! the japanese themselves weren't happy with hepburn; they wanted a system that more clearly indicates japanese sounds for japanese speakers. so they came up with their own: nihonshiki (日本式ローマ字), which has, of course, since also been revised as kunreishiki (訓令式ローマ字). it uses circumflexes for long vowels; a bit easier to type for europeans. but it also uses ti (chi in hepburn), syo (sho), tu (tsu), etc -- not exactly intuitive for english speakers, ergo it's not surprising that it hasn't really caught on over here. the japanese are sort of accepting that in international communications -- but not by adopting hepburn for themselves, no, by making certain explicitly allowed exceptions (such as "passport japanese").

for example, you can see 東京 (とうきょう) romanised like this:

Tokyo -- in most international references; this isn't any proper romanisation, and IMO sucks because it results in nobody pronouncing it properly (though i guess it beats Cologne for Köln.) US manga publishers also use this "method" for names. i can see why -- because english pronunciation is so fuxx0red, but i'm griping about it anyway.
Tōkyō -- original and revised hepburn, seen in dictionaries and english study materials
Tookyoo -- modified revised hepburn
Tôkyô -- nihonshiki and kunreishiki
Tohkyoh -- passport japanese, and germans use this (which is WHY it is passport japanese i bet)
Toukyou -- wa-puro, which corresponds well with kana spelling [1]

i've been considering adopting kunreishiki just to stick with the way the japanese do things (cause if i ever go over there, that's what i'll need to use). but for translating manga, that's not a good idea. at this point i am doing what everybody else seems to be doing -- rolling my own, which is an unholy mix of modified, revised hepburn, kunreishiki, and kana spelling, *sigh*.

don't even get me started on word separation or capitalisation in romanised japanese. or on reverse translation of katakana. i have opinions!

[1] since starting to type into apple's kotoeri (IME = input method editor), i can see that my unholy mix works well with wa-puro (ワープロローマ字). wa-puro stands for "word processor" and is the romanisation most people use to type japanese into computers these days (including the japanese, who are leaving their kana keyboards behind). it's quite forgiving in that it needs no macrons or circumflexes, and it accepts nihonshiki, kunreishiki, and most modified hepburn. adhering to kana spelling rules helps me with remembering vocab as well.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
there should be a picture here, but won't be because i have choice paralysis and 2 more pages of manga to translate before bed.


i've been trying to figure out how to type certain japanese characters (like various brackets, ellipses, and the noma ) using the mac's japanese IME, kotoeri. you'd think there would be some help about this in the help file for kotoeri -- but unfortunately you'd be wrong.

i finally unearthed an actual, lovely user guide, which seems quite complete, on the mothership itself. since i didn't get any immediate google hits when searching i figured i store the info here for the time being.

てん gets you a bunch of rarer punctuation marks (scoot down; ellipsis hides here)
かっこ surrenders a load of japanese brackets
たってきどう for those who love punctuation in vertical writing too
えん provides the ¥ symbol
じおくり gives you the thing that sent me on this chase; the noma 々 (repeats the kanji before it).

spacing through often finds more hidden treasure.

oh, and one can add dictionaries to kotoeri! and change things in existing ones. even write one's own.

of course you can get all of the special characters via the character palette, but who wants that thing always open; i don't have the room for it. but before i got the dictionary program i use now, i used that palette to look at radicals, readings, and installed font variations. it's really amazing how much neat language support the mac has. i have no idea while it seems to mostly be unsung and hidden.

mine!

Jan. 22nd, 2011 07:42
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
seagull picking at a dead salmon


i should have been in bed hours ago, but translating manga is fun. it's going rather a lot better this time around because i am much faster at finding kanji that i don't know.

quack

Jan. 21st, 2011 02:15
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
beautiful green-blue iridescent head on mallard drake


favourite bit from the dictionary today:

嫁する [かする: KASURU] (1) to wed, to be married, (2) to shift blame to someone else
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)

hydrangea with a colour gradation that i especially like in plants. in japanese such plants often have "nishiki" in the cultivar name, which means "brocade".
today's good thing about dreamwidth: it respects lj-cut in RSS feeds: users can now set a new syndication level in addition to "full", "title", and "summary", and if the "ljcut" syndication level is selected, it will show full posts in that user's RSS feed unless that post is behind an lj-cut, in which case it'll only show the uncut portion with a link to read more.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
because i can't leave a puzzle alone. of not much interest to anyone else, i am copying this here as a reference for myself.

guess i better cut it too so as to not bore the flist )
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
today's gmail text ad is headed:

"Over 20 brands of Ukes"

*cackle*. ok, this is only funny to those of my fellow smut lovers who know that "uke" is the japanese term for the sexually receptive male in a homosexual coupling.

(the ad continues with: "UkuleleWorld2.Com - Fully Guaranteed or Money Back Uke Strings, Picks, Parts, Music".)
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
i am about to crank up the japanese learning one more notch. i am just so impatient, and cannot be bothered to follow standard curricula, but i must, must, must do some of that to fill the gaps immersion leaves. listening constantly to drama CDs is really working well; i recognize considerably more words now, and more importantly, i recognize parts of speech. i've got most basic verb conjugations down, so when i hear what i think is a verb i can often immediately look it up because i can derive the dictionary form on the fly (that does not always work for japanese verbs, but it works more often than not). i can occasionally understand entire sentences at full speed (and i don't just mean ore no mono da, *snicker* (you are mine!), but hontou ni yamete hoshii no ka (do you really want me to stop?) -- well, _i_ think that's progress. :).

the decision to concentrate on verbs first seems to have been the right one (though it means my vocabulary is sadly bereft of nouns, *snicker*). i'm also steadily acquiring more kanji, though that's proceding very slowly, too slowly to make me happy. i probably need to start writing them; i learn better when i write things down, and typing doesn't anchor them as well as writing by hand. i have gotten much better at determining the major radicals, so i can now look up kanji faster, and that speeds my translation efforts. i should also seek out more manga with furigana; i generally don't pay attention to that since i pick up raws based on whether i like the art, but it would help with kanji acquisition as well.

several days ago i was listening to a drama CD for 悪 waru (evil, wicked, bad thing|person), which i thought was based on a novel; i didn't know anything about it. but while listening casually, things started to sound familiar. now mind, i am still at the stage where if i don't at least know a summary of the CD i can hardly ever figure out what's going on (except for, well, you know which parts). but here, i understood somebody was being kidnapped, and things were not going the kidnapper's way (despite him having his way with the kidnappee), and then i listened to it over again more carefully and understood just enough to think "this sounds oddly familiar". and yes, it did. i had read the manga (weeks ago). i am quite proud of myself, *chuckle*. especially since this was the second recognition in a row -- the other one turns out to be in fact based on a novel, but i read a related manga, and i recognized the characters from their specific interactions (it's rather a dramatic relationship). the drama was 猫かぶりの君 nekokaburi no kimi by asagiri yuu, the manga i had read was 魅せられて miserarete.

i am also getting better at not confusing different syllables that start with the same sound (like ka, ke, ku) when trying to recall words - nekokaburi, not nekakuburi; that sort of thing -- i used to have a lot of trouble with that at first, and still do some. syllabary-based languages seem to me harder to learn than alphabet-based ones, but i am starting to remold my brain so it can handle this. it's creaking a lot, but it seems to be following the rails i am laying down. i am very specifically learning japanese grammar the way japanese would learn it, not the quick-n-dirty western way. that makes some things a bit more complicated (during conjugating), but it maintains the syllable concept at all times.

since the paramour was seduced away from learning japanese by the *poing* who tempted with angband, i think i'll start writing bits and pieces here again to try and tempt zir back. :) i still want to talk about conjugating verbs because it is so easy and cool.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
so i am on record about being willing to listen to the tokyo phonebook being read by some of my favourite seiyuu. or any other phonebook, for that matter, as long as it's thick.

today i found something that is even worse.

my favourite seiyuu counting sheep (200, i believe) so as to make it easier for fans to fall asleep.

hitsuji de oyasumi 4, suzuki chihiro and toriumi kousuke. no sex tonight for mr gayboy, we're counting sheep in japanese.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
what i really don't grok, is how a story i don't even understand can get to me so i feel all weirdly touched inside.

i've been listening to 裏刀神記 (ura katana kami no ki) by ogasawara uki (which i translate to something like "chronicles of the spirit in the sword" -- we'll see how dramaqueen translates it when the english version comes out, since they just licensed it). it's a brutal story judging from the art; there seem to be 2 people (plus the spirit in the sword, by name of shiba), whose destiny is entwined across several reincarnations / transfigurations, one of them (shinkai) pursues the other (ryoutarou/tsunaie), who always kills him. at least that's what i think happens. it's an "eternal rival" story where they can't really live without each other, but these guys can apparently not live with each other either for some centuries, *wry grin*.

i got the drama CD first because it has one of my favourite seiyuu (masutani yasunori, of fujimi orchestra fame), who has done so little leading work that i've been trying to find everything by him. also, okiayu-buchou as the spirit; always a treat, and sakurai takahiro -- great cast. after i figured out that it was based on a manga, i found the japanese raws for it, and most of the story i've pieced together from that. which isn't really much more than i've already told. after realizing that everybody romanizes the title differently, i figured out that there is scanlation of the first volume, but only two chapters of that are the main story, and you know, it's no clearer to me after reading the translation either; the timeline jumps back and forth between at least 3 different periods, the scanlator's english isn't the best, and half the story is in the second volume which i don't have. i've ordered it from japan, because i Must Have It. the art is gorgeous, btw. the sex isn't to my taste (too much tying up, non-con, and yeah, dying during), and i don't care; i'm not looking at it for the sex.

but somehow the emotion of the drama CD gets to me even though i am incredibly hazy on what actually happens. tonight i've been listening to it over and over, trying to translate bits and pieces. which is hard -- i usually don't even try with stories that have samurai in them, because they tend to use some archaic language that completely stumps me, of course. i think there is actually a happy ending, but what the heck happened with the spirit in the sword? he had a thing with shinkai at some point, but shinkai clearly has The Thing for ryoutarou, and yaoi never does polyamory.

anyway, i am all weird inside. i feel like i am not really here, but somewhere in a different place where this story is real. i listen to a lot of drama CDs, but i don't remember this happening to me before, not even with stories i like a lot (and actually understand because i have full translations). the music might also have something to do it. heck, i should buy the CD, that way i get a booklet with it and can look up who wrote the music; i keep finding myself humming along.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
for a while now, since i've started listening to japanese drama CDs, it's been annoying me that the archive programs we have on the mac can't properly unzip them (keeping the original filenames intact). i understand the problem; the mac deals natively with unicode, which is a step up from ye olde windows crap of old. but most people who rip drama CDs in japan don't use unicode, they use Shift_JIS or EUC-JP.

today i got off my butt and in no time at all found an archive program that can detect those automatically, and unzip with the japanese filenames intact: the unarchiver. and if it can't detect it automatically, it'll stop and let you select. sweet. i am very happy (if a bit mad at myself for taking so long looking for something better). some of my donation budget will go to its makers.

(Midara na Kiss ni Midasarete: Morikawa Toshiyuki x Okiayu Ryoutarou! *squee*!)
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
i am scanlating my first manga. it's a 10-page oneshot which has no actual plot, and lots of smexing -- i picked it for that reason, since my vocabulary is most comprehensive when it comes to sex scenes, *snicker*. i also picked it for the mangaka, takahashi yuu, who is relatively unknown (which means none of the existing scanlation groups had picked this oneshot) -- i really like her art.

on the downside, the kanji in this oneshot has no furigana (small kana next to the kanji that specify the pronunciation, which makes reading much easier for people without sufficient kanji knowledge). i spent 8 hours alone transcribing the japanese text, painstakingly looking up all the kanji i didn't know on jim breen's multi-radical kanji page. jim breen's work makes this type of effort actually enjoyable, for the most part. with most kanji i am getting pretty good at discerning one or two major radicals and the approximate stroke count. only a few keep me stumped for a long time.

the very worst was a handwritten one. i don't remember how long i looked online until i finally gave up. but later, while sitting on the loo there is of course a handy "learn kanji" book available, so i paged through that, guessing about the strokecount, and then *wham*, i saw it.
the actual kanji:

TSUU TOU, itamu itami itai
pain, ache; sorry, sad; bitter

i knew right away that this had to be it because, well, uke usually scream something about things being painful, *snrk*.  and how appropriate, considering what a pain it was to figure it out.

i also worked out my script format.  i've never seen a scanlation script, so i am making it up as i go along.  i am trying to get a native (or at least fluent) japanese speaker to quality-check my work when i am done, so i figured i better have a decent format not just for myself, but also for anyone else who might need to look at it.

this is a lot of effort, but i find that i am learning quite a bit while doing it, especially when it comes to typing japanese text and memorizing kanji.

now on to the translating.  i've roughly done the first 2 pages -- looking up what words and expressions mean and just writing everything down without doing much triage when there are several meanings.  once i've done that, i'll get to the actual wording in english.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
since the paramour is now also learning japanese (when angband leaves time for that), and we now have conversations about grammar while walking (which is inconvenient, because i can't google while walking), i'm gonna write up bits and pieces when i think about how to explain them better afterwards.

so, verbs. to be or not to be. and what is a copula?

copula comes from latin for link/tie, something that connects. linguistically, a copula links the subject of a sentence with a predicate (that which makes an assertion about the subject); it equates or associates the subject with the predicate.

in english the verb "to be" is the main copula.

i am forever a student.
cats are felines.
the sky was blue again later on that afternoon.
boys will be boys.

"to be" is also used as an existential verb (i think therefore i am.), which isn't a copular use IIRC, but i doubt most people know or care about the difference. i do though, and it's important to know that in japanese these concepts are not expressed the same way.

in japanese the copula can't simply be translated as "to be", and most definitely not in its sense of existence. the japanese copula isn't even really a verb. it sometimes gets used like one (but sometimes not), it conjugates, but it doesn't conjugate quite like any other verb -- it's either the super-verb, or not a verb at all, depending on the specific usage. anyway. the japanese copula is formally である (de aru) -- this form seems rarely used in speech today, but it's still common in writing, and knowing it makes conjugating the copula clearer. students come across it first in its polite form of です (desu), and slummers like me hear a lot of plain だ (da) on drama CDs -- which is just a contraction of である (de aru).

the general, simple pattern of a sentence using the copula is X は (wa) Y です (desu), where X is the subject, the topic under discussion, は the topic marker, and Y the predicate, that which is being associated with the subject.

いちじです (ichi-ji desu)
it is one o'clock.

これわおいしいです (kore wa oishii desu)
this is tasty.

たなかさんわせんせいです (tanaka-san wa sensei desu)
mr/mrs/ms tanaka is a teacher.

ぼくはがくせいだ (boku wa gakusei da)
i am a student.

conjugating the copula, and forms that don't translate to "to be" next time.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (reading)
on sunday i went to chapters (bookstore), as a reward for also running errands -- buying a home depot gift card, and printer ink cartridges. cunningly i avoided the manga shelves for the most part (except, ok, i fondled the pretty edition of earthian, but i really would like to have kouga yun's art in a larger format, and hanging on my wall).

the most needed purchase was a very concise japanese grammar (schaum's). sure, it's been pretty exciting to figure out from listening to drama CDs that japanese must have two classes of adjectives, one that behaves like verbs (and gets conjugated similarly), and one that doesn't, but it's a whole lot easier to read up about that, *wry grin*.

while i am extremely happy with the WWWDIC server (and my undying gratitude goes to jim breen for creating this wonder), i really like paper dictionaries, and the one thing the WWWDIC server is missing are example sentences that clarify usage. i found a great little (that should be in quotes; we're talking 550 pages) dictionary that fits my needs well at this time, the oxford pocket kenkyusha. it has kanji, kana, romaji, example sentences, it tells whether a verb is irregular, and it has examples. once i am more advanced i want to buy an electronic dictionary from japan, but it's as yet too soon for that.

the most fantabulous book i bought is the guide to remembering japanese characters by kenneth g. henshall. it gives details of the "general use characters", the 1,945 characters prescribed by the japanese ministry of education for everyday use, in the order in which japanese school children are taught. it contains on- and -kun readings, english meaning, examples of usage, suggestions for mnemonics (which range from amusing to meh, but are fun to think about), and best of all, scholarly (if compressed) etymology. it doesn't include stroke order, but since i am mostly using a word processor, and have a separate book for that anyway, i don't really care. i am totally excited about this -- i am lugging it along with me between my room, the bathroom, and the computer, *heh*.
piranha: red origami crane (orizuru)
just an example of what a sentence can look like, and why even being able to translate all the individual words doesn't dissipate the cloud of "HUH?" that forms around my head at times: 当然だ当こすりでつきあいはじめたようなものだから.

当然 (touzen)
natural; as a matter of course;
だ (da)
plain copula
当こすり (atekosuri)
snide remark, insinuation, innuendo, cynicism, sarcasm

particle location of action; at; in; or time of action; or means of action; cause of effect; by;
つきあい (tsukiai)
association; socialising; fellowship;
はじめた (hajimeta)
started; began;
ようなもの (you na mono)
those kind of; this sort of
だから
therefore; so;

i translate it as "therefore, i naturally began our kind of association due to my own cynicism", and in context would modify it to be more explicit about what that "association" consists of, and try to make the sentence less stiff in combination with the surrounding text. but man, no wonder babelfish totally fails on japanese, and why so many manga translations are unwieldy; one really has to have a good feel for japanese and the target language, and can't fake it.

also, y'all should have a chance to listen to bump of chicken's supernova and only lonely glory. 11:03 minutes of happiness, thanks to aja. *squee*.
piranha: fujiwara motoo of "bump of chicken" (i want just one true thing to last)
ok, this is the middle of march. i've had it with the freezing temperatures. i want to start gardening! this winter has been unseasonably cold. it's not like i wouldn't have hermitted anyway, but i've been extremely bad about leaving the house, and the cold is not helping. the older i get the more narrow the range of temperatures in which i feel really comfortable.

i was gonna put the sole picture i've taken of a snowdrop cluster here, but photoshop's filebrowser is still busy thumbnailing aegis' image drive, which it has now been doing for more than two hours -- that was probably not a bright idea, to let it start doing that. i need to do better digital asset management. really, the images should move onto the external drive.

i am listening now almost exclusively to jpop/jrock. me -> handbasket -> hell. i blame BUMP OF CHICKEN (lead singer of which is in my icon)(ghod, i have a japanese boyband singer in my userpic. shoot me now.). except how can i not love a group called "bump of chicken", i ask you. no really, i should blame aja. *hearts aja*.

yesterday i spent several (3? 4? 5? time escaped.) hours trying to translate 3 scenes from (another) manga that has sucked me in.
jinian: gokujou no koibito by minase masara -- very, very pretty bois, great dynamic between the characters. i loved that lots of people on [livejournal.com profile] yaoi_daily couldn't tell who the seme was until they were right in the act. probably her best after empty heart. maybe even better. hard to tell; there are 4 chapters missing out of 13, and only 2 are scanlated; empty heart is much shorter. there is something about her characters that hooks me even in her oneshots, but i don't know quite what.

cast: yoshimi (dark hair), masahiro (glasses). text removed to prevent innocent eyes from burning. gayboy is developing a crush on masahiro. down, gayboy. you do not need two lovers. i need some rest.

i must stop with the translation attempts, really. it takes up so much time, and i am so bad at it yet. however much i want it, i can't force the absorption of japanese at that level. i do get something out of it; it feels really amazing when i decipher a key kanji, and suddenly the phrase sounds in my mind, and i RECOGNIZE it. but my time would be better spent conjugating verbs and learning about sentence structures.

more detail about my kanji adventures in yaoiland than most anyone will care to read )
piranha: two beautiful boys kissing, one with gold, one with silver hair (chuu)
copied from a reply to a survey; i wrote bits and pieces here before, but this is a good summary.

what got me interested in yaoi was, many many years ago, zetsuai, which is pretty much THE classic of the genre. a gay friend showed it to me (there goes yer theory that gay men don't like yaoi). i thought the art was fantastic, and i thought it was way cool that this sort of thing existed. but that was that. i didn't seek out more yaoi at the time.

then fairly recently, in need of wank material because my own fantasies were falling short, i went looking for something different. and i found that het porn is boring and artificial when it's not plain disgusting, and that gay porn is boring when it's not plain disgusting (but at least it has no plasticky women in it who could learn something about faking orgasms from meg ryan) -- real people porn just doesn't turn my crank. hentai is eye-rollingly disgusting and has even more annoying female characters than RP porn. ah, i remembered, what was that, yaoi? and i searched, and saw, and fell in love. it is awesome, and turns me on like nothing else. impossibly beautiful men, no annoying women, angst, crazy passionate romance, forbidden lust, love against all odds, sex everywhere one can imagine (and some places i hadn't imagined), beautifully drawn sex at that -- mmmh-mmh. and the best thing? drama CDs one can listen to while reading, or, uh, falling asleep. japanese BL seiyuus are love.

in the category of "the personal is political" one aspect that i especially like is that yaoi is so far outside the hetero-normative world in which we live. in much yaoi, homosexuality is perfectly accepted, it's what's normal, every man even if he starts out straight will become gay by simply having a bit of a french kiss with a gay man (or another straight one, for that matter, should he accidentally, uh, fall on him). something in me just delights at how this turns the real world upside down. mind, i also like the stories in which society's judgment provides a major source of angst, but even in those our beloved fags win in the end. being as i am an active supporter of gay rights, and disgusted with many of my fellow human beings for their horrible gay bashing, it makes me happy to live in a fantasy world in which teh gay wins all the time.

and, the art. let's not forget the art. and i don't mean that like "i read playboy for the articles". i really dig the art. some of the art is stunningly beautiful, and more generally so than in shoujo, for example.

mind, there is plenty of yaoi i don't like. keep shota away from me, and i don't like S&M any better drawn than in real-life. i don't like girly uke -- the more "feminine" the uke, the more helpless with copious tears, the less i'll like him. and when a mangaka starts dressing the uke up in maid outfits, i throw the book against the wall. i roll my eyes at the "uke who falls in love with his rapist without much ado" device (i think yaoi could do with a complete moratorium on raping). i like both men to be strong men (they can be sensitive and quiet, but not weepy); i prefer reverses/switches over very clearly typed seme/uke. i want story with my porn; PWP rarely does anything for me (i'm looking at you, chitose piyoko). too much fluid turns me off too (points at the queen of splooge, murakami maki).

for the record, i do not often identify with either character, i just watch them. when i do identify, it's more likely with the seme if the boys are typed that way. i wish for more internal dialogues from seme, dear kami of yaoi. we always hear from the uke. i know, it's easier. ganbatte.

i read some yaoi (mostly of the shounen-ai variant, but also low-smex content like kusatta kyounshi no hoteishiki) just for the story, not for the porn at all. that's sort of separate, i feel; it's more like i read hikaru no go for the story too, not to slash hikaru and akira.

mangaka whose work i seek out: oki mamiya, kouga yun, minami ozaki, abe miyuki, kozuma kodaka, kawai touko, yumeka sumomo, koide mieko, yamakami riyu, takashima kazusa (yo! finish more stuff!), yamane ayano, nitta youka, maruya kae, minase masara, kujyou aoi, sakuragi yaya, toujou asami, sugiura shiho, takanaga hinako, kunieda saiko, naono boura, nishida higashi.
piranha: fujiwara motoo of "bump of chicken" (i want just one true thing to last)
today i translated my first page of manga. and no, it wasn't one of the pages with a lot of "a...h" and "n...h". :) though it had only a minimum of kanji, since i know so few. i hadn't actually planned on it, but i got sucked into a story that has only had a chapter scanlated, whch ended on a cliffhanger, so i got my hands on the raw and tried to make sense of it. this bloody raw doesn't have furigana, so i am not planning to carry on with it; it'd frustrate me in no time. it took hours just to do three pages with very little actual text. but i resolved the cliffhanger and can now sleep well.

i'm glad i listened to so many drama CDs lately. knowing the sound of words even if i don't know how they're written really helps when translating -- i have to painstakingly sound out the kana syllable by syllable (yes, i move my lips), and then suddenly! it makes a phrase i know! なんでもない was the first one that gave me a "eureka" feeling.

this stage of foreign language acquisition is generally a royal pain because i don't recognize any patterns yet, and i am generally such a pattern matcher, and rely on it hugely for reading in all languages in which i am fluent, *sigh*. but to get the mere inkling of a pattern is a thrill.

i'm tickled a bright electric blue. :)

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renaissance poisson

July 2014

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