Yukikaze (2nd time) and Adaptations

So I did start reading Sentou Yousei Yukikaze after Liou, and finished it this weekend. It was fantastic, just as I remembered it - if not even better. Currently reading through the second book, and it's really really good.

The story is about alien invasions, sadness, language, computers, and human nature. It's a deep kind of book. Philosophical, even.

Before I read the book, I watched the OVA adaptation back in 2009 or so. I watched it for Masato Sakai who voiced Rei (the protagonist).
And then I forgot about it... until I bought the novel last year on a whim. It was interesting to realize how the OVA staff interpreted the novel(s) (the sequel I'm reading right now is also incorporated) to make something quite different, in a good way.

Now that I know a little better about production and whatnot, I can totally understand why the OVA cut out a lot from the novel. For example there's a chapter in the first book that gives a lot of insight into the setting (also one of the saddest chapters, and a personal favorite). But I can understand how that story wouldn't translate well into an animated medium, since it's so internal dialogue-heavy and very little 'action' occurs. It's a slow and sad chapter.

I'm not sure if I would have had a different reaction to the OVA if I read the book first. I can see how a hardcore fan of the novel might have things to say about the OVA. But because I already liked the OVA before I knew the 'original', I think it was easier for me to make a clear distinction between them as independent things - connected, but still separate from one another.

Adaptations are a really finicky thing, deciding who to target, what stays or what goes, tone and visuals, gauging the reaction of the original fans...

Oh, and Warner Bros. optioned the book for a movie adaptation or something. Tom Cruise is attached. I kinda flipped when I read this back in April, since I'm now incredibly invested in this novel series (and I love the OVA), I have extremely high expectations. I'm intrigued yet worried, feeling generally conflicted. Because five 1h animation installments are one thing, live-action feature films is another.


Flip Side of a Coin

Uh ok confession time. I got myself utterly, completely hooked on Person of Interest in the past 2 weeks. I haven't been this obsessed with a North American TV series since 2011 when I tumbled down the path that was Criminal Minds (well, I recently had a Call the Midwife marathon, but that was a British show...).

So after I fangirl-screeched through S1 (currently fangirl-gurgling through S2), I decided to read what Japanese fans had to say.
(PoI had been released on cable channels previously. But S1 aired on regular ground-wave digital channels (long story) this summer and fans were pretty excited about that.)
I was immensely intrigued by some people pointing out the difference in the word choice of the subs and dubs (in Japanese) and the original language (in English).
For example, when Mr. Finch is referred to as 'the little guy', apparently the word choice in the Japanese dubs has a much cuter, even more colloquial tone than that. I think it's adorable and funny. Sure, it's not the same meaning or connotation, and it doesn't exactly capture the connection between the characters, but it's another interpretation, another perspective. And that's so much fun to think about.

You can say implications and meanings are lost in translation because of the difficulty in getting from one language to another. I felt that a lot when doing my own translation work or writing.

But on the flip side, it means it had to be culturally filtered to make that word/phrase fit the language - therefore 'gaining' a new meaning, in a way.
You can say things are lost, a bad thing - or you can say gained, to have another angle to look from. It's just how you wish to see it.
And I realized I don't have to be too negative about how translations work out.
But I do understand I have the advantage of knowing both languages and therefore possible to weigh all the angles and decide for myself (which makes things fun, but other times so much more infuriating and frustrating).

What's lost in translation is interesting - but what's (inevitably, subconsciously) added in translation is just as intriguing.

The heart of the matter is that I really really want to get the Japanese version box set, for the subs and dubs.


Friends, Hoodies, and 7kg Turkeys

Yesterday was my 6th Canadian Thanksgiving spent in Toronto, but my first ever meaningful Thanksgiving spent with friends that I care about (a lot)... and a 7kg turkey, amongst other awesome foods.

Yes, a 7kg turkey. There's a story to that but it's not mine to tell.
All I can say is that the 3.5h wait was very, very worth it.
The point is that this Thanksgiving, I was really thankful that I had people to spend it with. And good food surely helped.
There were episodes of Friends and The Simpsons involved, too.

I've been in a very sort of nostalgic, reflective mood a lot. Having a great (well, the best) Thanksgiving with friends seems to have spurred it a little further.
It's starting to really hit me that I've been here for 5 years (and steadily moving through my 6th). It's been quite a long time since I moved here. Time files.
My first 4 years here (in undergrad) had been a tumultuous experience - in terms of personal issues - so much, that since I graduated, I really wanted nothing to do with university life. No more old class notes, no hoodies, no backpacks, nothing that would remind me of all the personal things that happened in those years.

Today, I wore an old UofT hoodie that I've been neglecting since last June. It's a bit chilly, but not cold enough for a jacket.


Fantasy or Reality?

Escaping into fantasies are a quick, easy, (and cheap) way to kill time.
Or procrastinate.

Lately I've been back at my novel project (or a 10-page throw-up of words (double spaced) that resemble something like one) from school. Yeah, we all had to write a fraction of a novel that had to be all outlined and scaffolded in a short period of time. Fun times.
Anyway, I can't stop thinking about it.
But I feel like I'm stuck in that never-ending cycle of thinking and planning. And fact-checking. So I'm actually not getting any real writing done.
The problem is that I want to set it in a particular historical point in time. In my over-nitpickiness I keep on researching, and fall into a pit of self-doubt. But there's nothing stopping me from making something more fantasy-esque - this is a work of fiction, after all.

The problem, I guess, is that it's really hard for me to make compromises between fantasy and reality in story-writing, such as "come up with a fake suburban town in Alberta to set my story". I start thinking where it is, at what point does it come into contact with real areas and real people, how much of the real world impacts it, what do the neighbors think of the area, what is its history... If I think of something, I have to think it through as in all the way through like the hole in a doughnut. There's no point in a doughnut if it has no hole to make it a ring (I have a honey cruller in the fridge, btw, saving it for tomorrow).
And as much as it's fun to world-build, it bothers me a lot to forge something like a 'fake' town into 'reality' - like jamming an extra piece of a puzzle when it's already completed. It's that kind of uneasiness I feel, like I'm intruding or being awfully impolite. Even though it's a completely fictional piece of writing, I still feel very guilty.

I know I know, no one bloody cares about stupid writing problems on my sloppy excuse for a novel that's never seeing the light of day, but I have nothing else to say today.
Really. I don't.
Except for stupid medical problems and how pumpkin spice muffins at Timmy's are awesomesauce and a vague love-hate relationship with receipts.



Whoa. A full month of silence.
There's been a lot of ups and downs, and it's an incredibly stressful time right now. Yeah, being an international student sucks. Bureaucracy. Bleargh.
But no point in dwelling on that. Let's switch topics.

I see a lot of my highschool friends (...well, classmates? acquaintances?) in my dreams, despite the fact that I am no longer close with a good 90% of my friends from my schooldays in Japan. It's probably because a lot of stuff happened in those years (from middle to highschool) and they probably subconsciously symbolize the issues I still carry from those days.

And sometimes, I genuinely wonder how they would react to the person that I am today.

Because in all honesty, I was a total wreck n' absolute mess back from middle school to high school. In the "crazy self-centeredness and identity confusion" sense.
Retrospect is a sobering thing to have.
You look back and see all the problems, and they're no longer mysteries. It's crystal clear... more or less. You can at least identify what was wrong with you (because in my case, a lot of the problems generated from my own insecurities).
Aaaand then I fight the crazy urge to bury my head in a pot of coffee and knock myself out because those 5 or 6 years are the most embarrassing years of my life.
I did stupid things, I was not a happy person to be around.

But in this time of stress and life-changing stuff, I think that, y'know, I like myself way better now than I did back then. Of course I have a long way to go. I still have my giant list of flaws and several baskets full of issues. But I'm in a better place - emotionally - than ever before.

To sum it up I guess I sort of miss my highschool days, but I sort of don't. Maybe it's that I finally realized I've grown up somewhat, and want to make amends with that crazy period of my life. Apologize. Repent.