Nagayama Youko (The Five Star Stories movie ED)
80's-ish genki jpop
Comments :: FSS is (among other things) a kickass mecha series, and you know how it is with mecha and perky jpop. ^^; I am fond of the song, though, not least because it reminds me of the movie. That's all the anime we're ever going to get, folks. Finding this MP3 is probably no piece of cake, either...
Song :: Samui Yoru Dakara (Euro House Version) [ download ]
TRF w/ Tetsuya Komuro
euro-dance, like it says
Comments :: Impulse blog. This is the theme song of Demi 2, FYI, and very much in the mode of the usual GW music at that. TK made a pact with the devil. Don't believe me? Next time you put on a Japanese show, watch for "Avex Trax" to pop up in the credits. (He doesn't age either - looks better than the "talent" he produces. :P)
to know that one is living a moment of intense perfection; the
sensation of drowning in beauty. Also, getting a favorable blurb
on your work from a writer you yourself respect *^_^*
that time is slipping through my fingers, that there is nothing
I can do to stop it - and that perhaps it is my fault
"Laki" with hypercubes. Ha-ha, aren't I clever? I swear I'm so sharp I cut myself. XD
(For the uninitiated, Ballanche #45 Fatima Fate Lachesis - in her evolved form, not the
one you see above - is the Goddess of Time, and mitochondrial Eve of the future god-race that
will arise from the dead end of Joker-system humanity. Hence the tesseract, or four-dimensional hypercube, to represent her dominion. Did I mention this was a mech series?)
I've always liked the word tesseract anyway. There's a sci-fi anthology goes by that name.
Tesseract tesseract tesseract...
Nothing horribly pressing in my life as of the moment, my e-mail correspondents should know - I just couldn't abide blogging in the same colours anymore. Not that this is much better. Looks like a textbook in engineering maths published off MIT Press. -_-; The balance may be a little odd too, but I honestly can't tell. I liked the image of Lachesis well enough to colour it, half in multiply and half in screen mode, so I won't mind looking at it for another month. I'll have something different up before Christmas.
Tin, on how GW fanfic is pairing-driven to the detriment of other thematic elements... I don't mind the romance-i-fication too much when I'm reading, but I mind it more and more as I'm writing. I dislike being less than firmly grounded in the canon. It's like being seated at a restaurant with one's back to the door, and all my RL friends know I can't abide the sensation (though they're mostly tickled by my paranoia). So even when I try my hand at AU or PWP, the deviations are strictly regulated. The problem with Gundam Wing is that I never really understood it to my personal satisfaction. That and Demi 2 sideswiped the question of computers, and GW features faster-than-light communication and 3.5" floppy disks. ^^; Mess all around.
Other shounen series, now... Series like YYH and Trigun are relatively easy, since one can pull pretty much anything out of one's hat at will. It's the real-lifers that create the overhead. It's not for lack of desire that I don't write, say, Slam Dunk fanfic: it's the fact that I'd feel obliged to watch a full college season on the telly to pick up the terminology in English, and I'd probably *still* be wrong because they play by international rules. Initial D would mean importing chunks of "Turbo" and "Sport Compact Car" magazines wholesale, and those babies cost more than freakin' Cosmo. -_-;
(Quite incidentally, there was an article in SCC the other day - I read them all, rain or shine! - on the cost of owning and upkeeping a sports vehicle in Japan, including various taxes, fees, surcharges, inspections and this thing about mandatory parking lots. O_O My conclusion? It's not just Natsuki. Everyone in that bloody show has to be selling themselves, or blackmailing politicians or something, because if SCC's tally is right I don't see how they can afford to do what they do. I mean, I'm very well aware that Japanese kids sponge off their parents, but if *I* were Takahashi-san I wouldn't cough up for my spoilt brats, heart surgeon or no heart surgeon. XD Can you picture *two* sons in their early twenties *each* with a modified compact sports car? They probably had to create a new insurance bracket just for this man.)
('Course, there's no photo radar or cops in Initial D either, but that's another barrel of oats.)
Saturday, November 10, 2001 04:50 a.m.
Ladios Sopp cosplaying Raquel Welsh out of the remains of his ruffly yellow blouse. Not too badly either, considering he's only about 1/4 girl at this point. XD This is one of the less embarrassing shots, I assure you - I think Nagano-sensei decided to give us a double serving of Striptease!Sopp this time to make up for him having spent the last book being chomped on by velociraptors. The swordfights and politicking draw me in so deeply that I'm *always* taken off guard when he starts doling out the bizarre sexual stuff. Always. T_T I'm not even going to *touch* the fatima brothel. Est, for cripes' sakes? Geez, in *your* fantasy life!
Ballanche before he became Dr. Dad. Every time I see Ballanche in flashback I'm always like, "Who's the cute - oh." ^^; Is he the biological father, then? 'Cos there ain't too many logical candidates, and there is something of a resemblance... <--ignore if you have no idea what I'm talking about
Get some mech pics up tomorrow. Bed...
Friday, November 9, 2001 10:48 p.m.
The manga place's stocked Saiyuuki AND Kamikaze. ^_^v Now I just need, uh, enough time to get through a dozen trade-paperback-sized deluxe tankoubons. They'll probably cost more too. -_-; Five Star Stories cost twice as much as regular manga to rent, and the guy brought out the purchase-to-rental price chart to prove that he was being nice by not charging me a triple fee. FSS was off the scale. ^^;
(Other series on the shelves I haven't read yet: Ayashi no Ceres, HunterxHunter, Flame of Recca, Houshin Engi, DNAngel, Hikaru no Go, Kare to Kanojo no Jijou, One Piece. Except for the first mentioned - a must for old times' sake - I don't know how the rest is going to happen. I calculate more than 100$ and a month's exclusive reading time just for *rentals*. Manga-wise it was usually enough for me to keep up with Mugen no Juunin and AS, when that was running. And I have to make up my mind, because their shelf space is limited and they sell off their stock after a while. I'm pretty sure Basara and PSoH are both gone, and that I've missed Rasen no Kakera and Magnolia Waltz. X is gone too, despite its unfinished status. That tells you something about the publishing schedule right there, Saint CLAMP of the Everlasting Wait. I'm going to have to throw myself upon David's good graces for the last brace of volumes.)
(I'm not a book-owning person. I'm a library person. If it's in my head, it's good enough for me.)
Five Star Stories is the greatest thing on this merry green earth. I cannot emphasize this enough. Just reading through the coloured character design sheets at the beginning of each volume gives me a thrill. That could be because they're spoiler-filled, of course... but that's part of the fun. When the entire 10,000-year timeline is already at the back of the book, one reads to find out *how*, not *what*. Show me the pwetty mechs and pwetty fatima, Nagano-sensei - and damned, doesn't Douglas Caine look good in those boots? *_* I'll perform my sl0ring duties right now and mention that the NY Kino (at least) will take e-mail orders for the exclusive English translation, even across the 49th parallel. It will cost you a few limbs, but you're getting a real classy edition for the price.
The MP3 for the movie is blogged as we speak, obviously.
Charmian: Sayers' chronology is plotted out faultlessly, strict-minded bluestocking that she was. At any rate, I can only think of the one short story in which she had Wimsey go deep undercover for about two years (coincidentally the first one I read); the other cases didn't cover much time.
Christie's books, I contend, are timeless. When I was reading them I had to be told that they were not contemporary. Sayers' is far more marked by period and place, but that's part of her oeuvre's considerable charm. With rare exceptions, she doesn't do the same thriller psychology as Christie: her plots are more "howdunnits" than "whodunnits", which while it removes a measure of suspense from the mystery-novel formula gives her leverage to explore her characters in greater leisure. And I do like Harriet, although she always bore an odd physical resemblance to Teri Hatcher in my head...
And sublimation/repression is only fun if you get to transgress too, once in a while. I can't picture Puritans transgressing. Hawthorne tells us that some did, not to mention Massachusetts history, but I find the idea frankly scary. ^^; Worse than impure thoughts about the clergy of the Catholic Church, who at any rate must be used to it.
Back to Five Star Stories. ...I'm not going to be able to stay mature about this. Hee hee, lightsabers.
Friday, November 9, 2001 02:19 a.m.
Just a note
Impulse-uploaded an MP3. (Writers all suffer from the delusion that other people care what music they had on loop while working, myself not excepted.) Will change the other one tomorrow evening. You would not *believe* how long a day it's been. I got a lot done while pitas was sleeping the sleep of the unjust, mind you...
I'm perfectly capable of sticking to a scheduled theme when updating NnY's layout, but not the weblog's. Ima, dou shiyou?
Wednesday, November 7, 2001 03:55 p.m.
Appalling lack of energy
Limp as soggy soba. The body fuels itself on pure twitchy nerves when too little sleep is had, but all the magic thus conjured dissipates as soon as one manages one's eight hours a night. I should sleep more - all day - or not at all. My throat burns; a generalized malaise. I am in much longing for bright sun streaming through windowpanes or screen doors, gay tasselled cushions on which to lay my head, silver chains bedecking bare tanned ankles and a wraparound sarong skirt brushing my calves. Orange juice, a fusty old book, and no thoughts of technology at all. I plaster my computer with CLAMP pictures of wide-eyed children, but it's a cold, left-brained thing for all of that. That side of me is over-indulged. In old pictures of my mother at my age, her hair is marcelled and she's wearing flowered-print dresses that tuck in at the waist and flare out to the knees. I haven't had dresses like that since I was five or seven; they don't look good on me. From November to March I wear the same five items of clothing in laundry rotation, second-hand from the men's section. I keep my hair short for manageability, and am not allowed to dye it. In Japanese I use feminine speech markers with something approaching desperation: atashi, atashi, dame desu wa, sou kashira? Here as well as there, the words you hear aren't those of the person who's of use to the world around me. Je ne suis jeune fille que dans mes mots.
I saw most of my friends in the past two days, excepting David who hasn't been to class at all, and answered some of my tardiest and most urgent e-mail. And that's the socialization quotient for November. -_-; I'd blog my assignment pages for reference, but that would interest no-one and depress *me*. I try hard not to think about the speed at which I'm learning on the fly, because I'd convince myself it was impossible. I chronically under-estimate both myself and the willingness of other people to cut me slack, methinks. It's not so much that I think my teachers, TAs, classmates etc. wish I'd fail, but I find it hard to envisage that they might hope for my success. Why should they, when I don't hope for theirs?
Passons. Complaints are tiresome unless one is able to commiserate (not an impossibility - I don't suppose my troubles to be terribly unusual for senior year). To touch upon the book front briefly, I'm reading Sei Shonagon. She must have been a difficult woman to live around, clever and fussy and intransigent in her opinions. In the Pillow Book one rather likes her, but then it is her diary, and all that a diarist needs to be likeable is a forthright voice. None of this Dearest-Annie-I'm-so-miserable-and-confused nonsense. ^_^ I develop the new habit of going about categorizing every situation I find myself in: such and such is a 'pretty thing', such another a 'tiresome thing'... and so, rakugaki-ing on the fly (I love that word, the two kanji say it all) to find that the sketch falls miraculously together without struggle or conscious planning, and one last sweep of pencil to define shoulderblade to curving spine to hip in a single line - so - that is a 'joyful thing'. Good enough for me to sign, and I don't sign many pictures. But anything to persuade Lorraine to do that master's in yaoi, and disseminate some accurate papers on the subject for once. ^^;
On the anime front, Initial D past the sixth episode or so. All I'll get to see for some time, I expect. Otoko-tachi no hageshii seriai ga tsuzuiteku - one official race so far. I hear the TV series is 26 episodes, so they'd probably never reach the apogee of Slam Dunk, in which thirty seconds of 'ball could conceivably amount to thirty minutes of anime... I sublimate right into the mentality of these shounen shows where [insert competitive practice] is presented a matter of life and death. Reminded again of a passage from Luriko-Ysabeth's "Smoking Mirror" (which of course I think everyone decently conversant with FY and YYH should read):
The search for an aite with whom one can strive, fighting at the best of one’s ability, with every part of one’s body and mind singing together in the doing, being forced to go beyond the limits that were thought to be impassable, and yet in the end be scarcely defeated; there are no words for the joy of finding that person. No words for the exaltation of finding the person who can thus command your respect, of matching your strength and skill against his every day and every day finding new levels to reach in that endless quest, always remaining one step behind and to his right. No words.
It’s a male thing.
The phlegmatic quasi-Zen serenity (or is it the daytime catatonia of a teen who's been making 4AM deliveries for five years?) of the main character continues to be a top draw. He's not loud like most shounen heroes, though his buddy makes up for it. -_- There are the Takahashi kyoudai, star seiyuu and little yellow Mazdas and all. (Anybody with a spoiler like that on his car is begging for the air to be let out of his tires, but that's the wrong gripe for this show.) There is the girl. On the whole I must like the female love interests in shounen (Keiko, Haruko) better than the female protagonists in shoujo: not the kind of shounen where half a dozen of them make fools of themselves over the same boy, of course, but the kind in which family/romantic/emotional life is peripheral to the plot and they're not given the opportunity to become an annoyance. Nice girls seen from a boy's outside POV, far more tolerable than silly girls one is expected to look at from the inside out.
And I checked the credits. Furusawa Tohru, it is... *and* she gets three grand a month. Sighs.
Tuesday, November 6, 2001 01:45 a.m.
Saisho no imeji
Initial D, episode one. Shounen, very shounen, but I can ride shotgun to the concept as far as they're taking me (being an off-and-on aficionado of Gran Turismo, Ridge Racer et al). Takumi amuses me for the humour value inherent in the forced junction of the words "sedated" and "putative drag racer". *And* the show's already racked up Sabina Anti-Cliché Points from a surprising source: the requisite spirited yet cutely virginal girl-next-door of shounen anime isn't... quite. In the real world "Papa" must be an awful sort of hentai oyaji, but he has a disconcertingly sexy voice, and Mogi barely acts put-upon. I have to watch more just to ascertain this girl's psychology: what sort of burusera ingenuously questions her price as being too *high?* Someone get the child a copy of "Lady Marmalade".
Sol Bianca: The Legacy. For lo! I have seen the Gender Empowerment Goddess spaceship, and it is good. Leave aside the Holy Artemis special attack; just the *interface* on that thing... The must-have hardware accessory for the chick pirate who packs cherry-bomb lipstick with her flintlock pistol. I checked the credits and the mecha designer is indeed a man, a feat that in its way is as impressive as what Ikuhara did in SKU, because said ship *didn't* feel or act like sublimated male fantasy. Neither did the characters, actually. I'm pretty sure the Thelma-and-Louise vibe was accidental on the part of the creators, but it was engaging nonetheless. I just wish it wasn't one of those six-part OAVs where the plot barely has room to breathe, let alone strive for comprehensibility.
Monday, November 5, 2001 03:13 a.m.
Dear saints alive, that last hit of Coca-Cola was not a good idea. I'm buzzing: a high that would probably have manifested itself as a panic attack if my project had not been done, but transmogrified instead into euphoria. The Burnside Windows lab is warm, the chairs are cushy and Yoko Kanno's space-pop-groovin' full blast on the 'amp-to-'phones vector. Life is good for being stuck at school at three in the Monday morning. ^^; I even have a couch here I can crash on, once the caffeine-and-sugar floor drops out from under my feet. Japanese isn't until 12:30... I'd have to make my apologies to Hasegawa-sensei for not having my papers about me. I feel so damned guilty for neglecting that class.
Walked down to Saint-Catherine again for fast food. It's cool but not chilly enough to be miserable, the lightest of rains carried on the wind like a mist... I'm growing to love the city at this hour, late enough that even the nightclubs have closed. Everything so brightly-lit but deserted: the apocalypse of sleep like the Weiss-boys sing in "Carnival 2000", lovers who close their eyes never to wake. Few enough cars that the traffic lights on major downtown throughfares may almost be disregarded. Common sense says some of those side streets are iffy, but the night itself feels more human, friendlier even. The watchmen at McGill know me by name now, just from signing in and out, and conversations are always easy to start up with the *other* dorks who care enough about their homework deadlines to sacrifice weekend nights. Second Cup baristas and burger-joint cashiers are laughing at dumb jokes and horsing around, instead of herding customers past with assembly-line pleasantries; there was an old man playing a harmonica in the McDonald's tonight, Cowboy Bebop notes under the fluorescent lights... and then to stroll back up the tree-lined boulevard to the Roddick Gates, crunching on fresh-out-of-the-hot-oil fries (because they have to make them special for you at this hour), the wind swirling yellow leaves around the pavement with a sound of rustling parchment. I wouldn't want to live somewhere with an imposed curfew, or where everything shuts down after seven or eight. It would be too depressing for words.
Update on David-kun's situation: he finished X16 and thought it exceedingly WAFFy. (Trust CLAMP to distort their readers' sensibilities to the point that Liebestod would be considered warm-and-fuzzy.) Of course, now I have a whole new set of spoilers to button my lips on, but never mind me. I've long ago adopted a Zen attitude toward TB2 - I mean X - spoilers: you don't expect me to wait for the tankoubon, surely? I know David does, but he's a *saint*. One day I will remember to impress him totally by informing him that I know the person who does Dead Meat. (The look on his face when I told him I'd actually exchanged ML mail with Katchan-who-writes-the-DBZ-fanfiction... ^^; He must never have found her yaoi. Well, or else he's buffering me from the shocking details so I wouldn't think badly of him. That's always a possibility, albeit a terribly humourous one.)
*whines* I want to write my fiction. I want to change the weblog layout again, gosh-darnit...
Saturday, November 3, 2001 10:18 p.m.
Going through e-mail
The new arrivals. An inquiry into alternate perspectives on the end of Petshop of Horrors. A poo-bahing of Mycroft Holmes. Compliments on the site - always welcome! ...Lud, the blog garners mail and I love it for that. Feedback confers the oddest sensation of legitimacy. Even if I'm always weeks late when I manage to answer. ^^; Erin, I'll be there tomorrow, probably by ten. Damn this code - does it ever stop? Don't answer that one.
I only conceive of books in pages, really, but all this talk of word counts piqued my curiosity, so I ran the utility on my various stories for an idea of the length of text involved. The longest is the second version of "Zem's Clover", at 26,650 words; "The Lay of Nine" is 23,700; I don't have a file of "The Enchantress of Genufa" but by page number it should hover around 20,000... tBD is circa 12,000, not including the 1,700 of "Intermezzo" or the 5,800 of VoT, and Demi 2 is about 8,700. So 50,000 isn't *really* that much, all things considered - about 100 pages? The demarcation between a novella and a true-blue novel. (And yes, I realize there's a couple in there you haven't heard of. ZC is five years old and mostly unsalvageable except for basic nifty concepts. tEoG is four years old and *better*, but unstructured and still overly-narrow in scope. I'd bother to rewrite that one, in other words, but drastically. The majority of tLoN is three years old, and since then I seem to have lost that light, worksmanlike prose. Stylistic perfectionism, pains and horrors. Of course there's the game *synopsis*, which is 18,800 words in and of itself...**)
Archived, as the page needs it, but the new MP3s will have to wait a day or two. I should stop blogging for long stretches like this, but I'm honestly afraid of losing my grasp on the English language. (Though I'm always glad to puzzle an engineer or three, Kat. ^^;) Everyone else is reading real books, not to mention writing them, and it sends me into throes of jealousy.
**And I never realised this, but every single one of my original ébauches contains a redhead (girl, usually) as a major character. That's aside from the long list of fanfics about Kurama, Tasuki, Schuldich; the unfinished ones about Kenshin, Reno, Lina Inverse... Remind me never to mock Remiel, albeit most gently: it would be a case of the tar pit calling the coal mine black.