piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)

thanks to the grocery store, there are flowers! i thought this combination particularly striking.

low productivity today, but i rearranged my LJ pictures, since i now have a full year of dailies. if you care to look at the lot by month, here is all of 2008. [defunct as my LJ is gone; will eventually end up on smugmug.]

latest anime completed: okane ga nai. it's BL, so if that offends or bores, skip the rest of this entry.

this is the story of gentle, kind-hearted college student ayase, who is auctioned off on the underground sex slave market in order to pay the debt of his unscrupulous cousin. the highest bidder is kanou, a loan shark with a nasty temper who is utterly smitten with ayase.

and to show his abiding love in good ole yaoi manner, kanou takes ayase home and rapes him. because nothing says loving like forcing somebody who's already scared out of his mind to have sex. then we have hijinks of misunderstandings and ayase being abducted, and kanou coming to his rescue, and trying (unsuccessfully) to not scare him the rest of the time. and since it's yaoi, ayase naturally comes to love his rapist over time, because how can you possibly resist a man who loves you so much that he can't control himself? i swear, when watching this sort of dreck, and knowing how many fans adore it, i think japan is stuck in the 50s.

i haven't kept up with the manga, because i abhor girly, crying uke who are more yasashii (gentle, caring, sacrificing, submissive) than the average anime girl. i realize what the concept of yasashii is trying to get at, and i can even occasionally buy it (such as in the novel answer by sakiya haruhi). but here ayase is just too much of a doormat for me.

the art is really bad in the OVA, no comparison to the manga, the animation is lazy, and the sex (what there is to see) is not erotic. on the other hand, the voice talent is superb, and fukuyama jun is perfect for ayase because he does squealy uke so well (which is why i don't buy drama CDs with fukujun in a leading role; he's a great actor, but i can't stand his voice when he does sex). kosugi juurota plays kanou, and does him very well. supporting are okiayu ryoutarou as well as hatano wataru, and tobita nobuo has my favourite role, that of the tranny. this anime needs more tranny.

buy the drama CDs instead, they're much better (ishida akira plays ayase).
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)


watched ikoku irokoi romantan today. ranmaru, a yakuza clan heir got married on a cruise ship, but he neither loves his new wife, nor does she love him. they argue a lot, and he ends up getting drunk and spending the night with albert valentino, the sexy captain of the ship, who has a thing not just for everything japanese, but especially for ranmaru in his traditional clothes, which al finds beyond sensuous. ranmaru gets into trouble at every opportunity, especially with a rival yakuza, and al always comes to the rescue.

the story is very lightweight in its manga version, and the anime makes it even lighter with the usual problem of BL OVAs which have to rush through their material to get away with the fewest episodes. the plot is preposterous, and i don't feel the love between the two here at all (while in the manga there was at least a little time for it to develop). but the translation to anime hasn't hurt yamano ayane's art much, the boys are pretty, and the voice talent is good (suwabe junichi and itou kentarou with okiayu ryoutaro as support). the sex is ... well, as much sex as we get in BL anime, which is to say, more implied than shown, but at least they don't fade to black like in gravitation, and it's mildly erotic.

eye candy to kill an hour, only worth buying for BL anime completists IMO.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
this weekend was yaoicon, and bunches of new licenses were announced. i made an alphabetized list to check what i'd seen already, in as far as i could figure that out (not all publishers are clued in to giving us the original titles instead of just their choice of english title, and some of the naming is beyond strange; just differently strange from the original japanese).

most of you don't need to click here : )

thanks to yaoisuki for the heads up and much of this information.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
warning: yaoi|boys love|gay|men x men manga. do not read review if that sort of thing offends.

japanese title: どうせ、めろめろ (douse, meromero), english title: melted love;
1 volume 8 chapters (complete), not scanlated. published by kaiousha under GUSH COMICS, licensed in english by DMP, juné imprint, translated by sachiko sato.

japanese ISBN4-87724-475-1
english ISBN-10: 156970760X, ISBN-13: 978-1569707609
single-author anthology.

about the title -- oy. "melted love"? the original title means (literally) either something like "anyhow, madly in love" or "after all, falling down drunk". um, yeah. not a great start, but couldn't it have become at least "melting love"?

but onward. this is the first english BL manga for which i hadn't seen a scanlation or japanese raws first. and it wasn't a terrible buy, even though i am not all that much into short manga. there's quite the range of stories here.
description and commentary )
art sample; no sex )
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
12 days ago i put a request in with LJ abuse to clarify some points about which i was confused after the official statements in [livejournal.com profile] lj_biz. today they got back to me. i asked about the following points and am including in italics the reply i received:

1. whether a clear age statement was sufficient to make an image safe.

Including a statement of age indicating that characters are 18+ can certainly help establish age, but it is not a "get of jail free pass", per se. We can't provide any additional information beyond what's stated at http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/241884.html on how age is determined.

2. whether putting such images into a zip file on an external site so they would never be displayed through livejournal would make them safe.
3. whether they'd report manga drawings of characters they decided were minors to NCMEC.

If you were linking to a zip file containing images of an apparent minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, the content would be reported to the NCMEC as explained at http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/241884.html?thread=13712604#t13712604. You would either be asked to remove the material, or permanently suspended from the service depending on whether or not it was a questionable or very clear violation of the policy as explained in section (b) of http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/242136.html.

4. what repercussions there would be for a community and its maintainers if posters to it were suspended for posting images for which they got a strike or were suspended.

Actions are taken against individuals rather than communities as a whole unless a community as a whole exists primarily for posting material which is in violation of the Terms of Service. Community maintainers are generally only held accountable if a community is suspended, and they simply recreate a community for similar purposes. Communities are also suspended if there are ongoing violations in a community that continue after repeated efforts to inform the maintainers of the problem, and they are unable or unwilling to fix the problem.

i'm not into shota and chan at all, but this goes much further. i won't be sharing any manga here anymore, or anywhere on LJ. i don't want to bother to scrutinize each volume regarding whether the characters, despite the mangaka declaring them of age, might look like an apparent minor to LJ's "miller test" team. and i most definitely don't want to get reported to the FBI. i know they won't do anything about those idiot reports, but i want to be in their records as a potential child pornograper like i want a hole in the head.

and 6A's actions mean i will leave. they could act like sane people, leave enforcement to the law, and wait for a subpoena before ousting people, but they have decided to take it into their own hands to make harry potter slash fans into child pornographers. i don't hold with actual child pornographers; i find them a disgusting breed of people and they should damn well get locked up. but it trivializes actual abuse of children to go after folks whose fantasies include sex between completely fictional high school boys. and as an abuse survivor i won't support that sort of conflation, and don't want to support a service that engages in it.
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)
when this got freshly scanlated and posted to [livejournal.com profile] yaoi_daily, there was a discussion on what the ending means. since that's a closed community, and i don't want to retype what i said elsewhere, i am reposting it here so i can link to it.
cut because most of you won't care. and, SPOILERS :) )
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
warning: yaoi|boys love|gay|men x men manga. do not read review if that sort of thing offends.

japanese title: 夢の子供
english title: children's dreams
6 volumes (complete), scanlated up to v5 ch5 by essence of purity. not licensed in english, originally published by biblos.

v1: ISBN4-88271-306-3, v2: ISBN4-88271-307-1, v3: ISBN4-88271-561-9, v4: ISBN4-88271-760-3, v5: ISBN4-8352-1109-X, v6: ISBN4-8352-1275-4
takashima youji is a high school student who lives with his older sister senko. he's got a bit of a "sister complex" towards her (the japanese as per manga wisdom, frequently have such "complexes", a love that goes above and beyond the call of kinship, albeit not quite to the extent of oedipus. well, mostly not to that extent. not here, in any case.). one day senko introduces youji to one of her old university friends, akishima ren. she hopes they will get along, but things don't go as expected; youji notices the warm familiarity between ren and senko, and takes an instant dislike to ren, suspecting that they are lovers and that he wants to marry her. and then senko reveals that she's leaving for NYC to advance her career, and that she intends to leave youji in ren's care. ren is not thrilled, but agrees to the arrangement because it's senko asking him, and senko is important to him -- but youji just about goes through the roof.
however, he has no choice, and starts living with ren. it doesn't go well; when ren isn't cold and distant, he treats youji like the brat that he is, but worse, even when youji isn't a brat, ren makes light of the things he cares about -- such as his favourite author whose books mean a lot to youji. only when youji tears up and runs off does ren realize that maybe he's gone too far; and when he follows him and they talk, youji breaks down and talks about his sister and what she means to him. since she means a lot to ren as well, they make peace with that in mind, however uneasy.

since youji has decided to make the best of things, he starts watching ren -- who doesn't take very good care of himself, and forgets to eat and sleep properly when he works, and youji decides that he should make himself useful by taking care of the household. then one day he sees ren arguing with a man whose name he later finds out is hirose, a name towards which ren acts with extraordinary coldness when other people mention it. and when cleaning up, youji finds several floppy disks that seem to have something to do with his favourite author. the plot thickens. :)


commentary; download )
art samples; no sex )
piranha: (pretty bois)
i just got notice from BK1 that they have gokujou no koibito in stock. and yay, now there are finally cover pictures, and pretty ones at that:

http://www.bk1.co.jp/product/2789064
http://www.bk1.co.jp/product/2789065

IIRC it's already longer than all of minase masara's other work, and the serialization is on chapter 14 and ongoing. that makes me very happy, since i find most of her work sadly too short, and i hope a successful triple tank series (or so) will encourage her to write a bit longer stories in general.

in other news, i can now manage to order from an all-japanese book or CD store, no english help provided. yay!

*slips back into japanese-study hermit mode*.
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
warning: yaoi / boys love / gay / men x men manga. do not read review if that sort of thing offends.

english title: the other side of you; scanlated by nakama and memory for you; 2 volumes 11 chapters complete.
2 years ago in junior high school sakisaka shou was hirose takashi's best friend, but then he abruptly moved away and never replied to takashi's letters, nor maintained contact by any other means. now he's suddenly a new transfer student in takashi's senior high school class, and takashi is overjoyed. but far from being happy about it as well, shou snubs takashi, and when takashi keeps pursuing him, finally tells him that he hates him and that he should stay away from him. takashi doesn't have the slightest clue as to what happened. and kanako who's living with shou (his girlfriend?) isn't helping, but she takes a decided interest in takashi. what's up with her?

i've been plowing through a lot of crap lately, so this one came as a lovely relief; several thumbs up. depth, good characters, sensible and realistic development once we get past shou's initial behaviour.

this story is possibly a little dated because i don't know that even in japan people would still go to the lengths shou goes here to hide his feelings in order to protect takashi, but maybe i am too hopeful about the state of the world. this isn't a spoiler, i imagine, since the story is yaoi -- i guess everyone realizes that shou doesn't actually hate takashi, *snicker*. :) i think takashi is wonderful; the strength of purpose he shows under pressure, and how he is unwilling to give up on something or someone once he has committed himself, and how honest he is even when it's difficult to figure out how he really feels, is something i admire in real life, and think awesome in a yaoi manga (because it's rare, at least in as thoughtful a manner). shou on the other hand, oi, shou! i feel sorry for him, but i also want to slap him verbally upside the head. communicate, shou! kanako i just want to kick to the curb. i know i might be harder on female characters in yaoi, but must they always be so conniving, dammit? i feel a little sorry for her, and she does once do the right thing at the right moment and it's a pivotal moment, but really, she could've done the right thing all along, so i don't forgive her. and especially not considering what she does afterwards. still; she is a good character; not a throw-away threat or airhead.

the art is clean and uncluttered, and quite good in dramatic moments -- it really grew on me, and the flow is excellent; the manga was extremely easy to read.

the sex is there, and it's well done -- it fits the story. it's not particularly graphic or drawn out, and that's fine; i am not reading this story to wank.

i think this ranks among my very favourite stories to date.

i want to buy it, but it might be hard to find. not licensed in english, published by tokuma shoten, volume 1: ISBN4-19-960075-2, volume 2: ISBN4-19-960115-5 (jpqueen has the second one!)

if you'd like to test drive it, here's the f-locked download. should be about 91MB.

art samples; no sex )
piranha: (masahiro and yoshimi)
these are all the covers of the issues of AQUA in which GnK has been serialized. i've marked the issues with missing chapters. unfortunately i don't have particularly large images for some of them, but they're good enough to discern which covers they are (and that they indeed contain a chapter of GnK). i have the text in japanese, so i can start searching auction sites, and i am gonna post the covers in question in various LJ comms and on aarinfantasy to see whether we might not find somebody who has them and would scan the chapters for us.

cut because nobody but stephanie and i care )
also, whyever is there no tankoubon? heck, there is enough material for a second one. i don't understand. minase is certainly popular enough i thought, which seems to be born out by GnK getting 5 of the 13 covers; that seems like a lot. but there is so much about manga publishing i don't understand.

[ETA: chapter 7 has been found! yay! *kisses the ground [livejournal.com profile] inga_b walks on*.]
piranha: two beautiful boys kissing, one with gold, one with silver hair (chuu)
warning: yaoi / boys love / gay / men x men manga. do not read review if that sort of thing offends.

4 chapters + omake. young master ruiko, as yet in high school, is being trained to succeed his grandfather as president of the company. appointed to be his tutor is naguko shouichi, a highly valued employee of his grandfather's. one day ruiko comes upon naguko kissing a man, and throws a major hissy fit because oh noes, homos are so disgusting. and yet, whenever naguko stands close to him, young master ruiko has those strange, warm feelings creeping all through his body. dun-dun-DUN! guess what happens?

this manga is terribly annoying for me because i hate noisy, bratty, spoiled, manipulative "queen" uke, and pairing one with a seme who seems basically spineless in the face of these behaviours -- because he finds it all incredibly "cute" -- makes it all worse. whyever would a 23-year old man fall in love with a 12-year old brat [1] who orders him around like he were an unappreciated servant? the smex would otherwise be quite hot, actually, and the sex scenes are long, which is nice for the wank factor that gives. but if i don't like the characters, those just don't heat up as they could otherwise do. only the last one really wins because the kid isn't quite as much as a brat in it. generally by the last chapter this manga picks up a little because the kid actually shows some abilities beyond pouting and yelling, but then it's over, and i am left feeling slightly irked.

the art does not rescue the story; it's better than the writing, but not good enough to make me go "read this for the art". interestingly enough it's quite good during the smexing, though. so sad. :) censorship: invisi-penis.

not gonna be keeping this, nor buying it. strike one for this mangaka.

[1] this isn't really shota; naguko doesn't do anything then, he just admits later to having been in love all these years. but even at the time of the main story with the kid being at least 15 and more likely even a bit older, he looks very shotaish.

published by ... umm ... ling li comics; no i bet that's the cheap chinese ripoff version (this seems scanlated from chinese raws, which means the names of the characters are suspect) ... tokuma shoten 2001. not licensed in english. scanlated by peccatore sanctuary. art sample, including one invisi-penis )

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: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
why is it that your uke characters, even the ones who're not girly to start with, inevitably have to have a scene in which they dress up as a girl? and as a girl in really frilly clothes to boot?

that is not cute, it's cutesy.

cutesy is not sexy.

stop it. it ruins the mood. [1]

[1] apparently not for japanese readers because this is just so common that it is bound to be a turn-on for many. but i don't get it. if i wanted girl sex in my porn, i'd be reading hentai, eh.
piranha: shuichi & yuuki on a rollercoaster (rollercoaster)
ok, so i am high on yaoi crack, and my favourite drug is called "fujimi orchestra", the love story of conductor tounoin kei and violinist morimura yuuki, and their orchestra. unfortunately in english there's only one subbed OAV (which isn't even particularly representative of just how good this series is), and a short scanlated manga. the majority of the crack is in novels (more than 30 of them! written by akizuki kou.) and at least 15 drama CDs, almost none of which have been translated. if you watch the OAV based on the wikipedia article (or my burbling) [1], be warned that it is much darker than the series as a whole, and that our narrator pretty much gets raped (even though it's supposedly based on a misunderstanding, and he does enjoy himself). yeah, i know -- *major sigh*. i don't understand why i can put up with crap in yaoi that would totally infuriate me in real life or even in regular fiction.

i've been sleeping with recordings of some of the drama CDs because, ya know, 置鮎 龍太郎 okiayu ryoutarou, and even more so in this case 増谷 康紀 masutani yasunori, whose velvety voice could bring about global warming all by itself. i sorta know what happens in the first and fourth drama because the manga covers most of it (though it shortens things and changes the order). and listening to them over and over, interspersed with dictionary searches, i can recognize more and more words.

so now i am thinking of translating the 2nd drama CD (the first one is the only one that has been done). that is insane. my japanese is too rudimentary. but i can't stand not knowing just exactly what is being said in some of the emotional scenes. i can catch the "i love you's" in their various forms, and "no, no, don't, stop, don't stop", but there is so much more to this than the hot and sweaty stuff, and very poetic-sounding stuff about music that i am missing. so, i want to translate it. *sigh*. that's way too ambitious a project to start with, but my heart's set on it now.

i want to inhale japanese. and the near-total immersion is working well so far; i am listening to japanese all day now, to japanese anime, to japanese music to which i sing along when i can; i go to bed and fall asleep with headphones on, listening to drama CDs. and as a result not only is my vocabulary growing way beyond studying, but i've got a sense for the rhythm of the language now, which a week ago had still seemed so alien. that is such a good feeling; it's almost akin to learning a new manual skill and doing it for the first time just right, unconsciously almost, so it ... suddenly flows and feels just perfect. japanese now sounds "right" to me.

oh, and the music! the music is so wonderful in this -- it's for the most part classical, plus some themes were specially composed for the series (like the one that causes kei to fall in love with yuuki when he hears him play it, *awww*). it is all very well done, the music fits the emotional tone of the scenes, and i am completely over the moon for it all.

though i'll never be able to listen to wagner's tannhäuser overture again without squirming in my seat. :) which might not be a loss but a gain; i haven't actually been much of a wagner fan. the drama! but it fits; the scene is ultra-dramatic, and so is kei.

part of the reason why i am taking to this so much is that it's revived memories of growing up with radio dramas. i used to listen to those under the covers, on my first transistor radio that i had bought with my own savings. i had forgotten all about that, and how much enjoyment i got from it. it's not all about the sex! :)

[1] loads of fujimi crack can be found at music of the heart, including the OAV and the drama CDs.

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renaissance poisson

July 2014

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