wingblossom: [youandicons] (fandom (sku II))
Kazayama Juugo is a pen name for Igarashi Takuya, one of the main staff members for Shoujo Kakumei Utena. Before Utena, he was the director of Sailormoon Stars, following Satou Junichi and Ikuhara Kunihiko. Recently, his credits include directing Ouran Koukou Host Club, Soul Eater, and Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto.

This interview is from the Art of Utena book, which is currently out-of-print.

His credits for Utena include: Episode 19 (Script), Episode 9 (Episode Director), Episodes 9, 19, 25, 30, 37 (Storyboard), Movie (Part A, Storyboard).

Translator's Notes )
Interview )
wingblossom: (cookies)
Five CDs I borrowed from Tsutaya this Thursday -- Chara's Dark Candy, Mr. Children's Shifuku no Oto, a Yuzu best hits collection from 1997 to 2007, and Bump of Chicken's remaining discography I hadn't heard in full before. I finished listening to all of them today, and there was one song on the Yuzu CD that was so cute I knew I had to translate it right away.

Youtube link here, for anyone interested in having a listen.

'Boku no Manga no Shujinko' by Yuzu )
wingblossom: [she_rockstar] (fandom (gilmore girls))
A continual Work In Progress.

Since I started thinking about this during idle moments at work, it starts off general and gets more specific as the list continues.

twenty things )
wingblossom: (art)
A couple of weeks ago, I promised Certain People that I would post my summary of the final Nabari no Ou chapter. I said I’d put it up a while ago, so I think I’d better do it now, before they find out where I live and strangle me. No, seriously. Thanks for being so patient, guys!

Nabari no Ou, final chapter: A “Welcome Home” To You )
wingblossom: (Default)
The weekend before last, I went with Aisling and two of her friends from Ireland to the Kobe Glass Museum! Originally, we were going to visit the Kobe Museum, but our discount coupons were non-applicable on Saturday because they were holding a special ukiyo-e exhibition. As cool as that sounded, no one wanted to buy the normal tickets, and both of Aisling’s friends were saving money until their return flight to Ireland on Monday.

The Kobe Glass Museum, on the other hand, was close by and not too overpriced, so we walked there instead. It was a pretty tiny place, located on the first floor of a taller building, but what they did have was definitely worth looking at. The main lobby had items for sale: keitai straps, earrings, and necklaces made out of marbled glass, most of it quite expensive. Personally, I was happy with just looking at it, but I can see how someone walking by would feel the urge to pick up something there.

On the other hand, it’s a good thing no one in our group bought anything, because along with the tickets for the actual museum, three of us decided to sign up for the glass making exhibit as well. So for about 1200 yen, we got to make our own glass beads.

First, the museum attendant showed us a bunch of beads in various colors laid out on a few strings. Some of them were opaque, others translucent. Both Aisling and her friend Josephine went for the pink translucent color, while I picked the aquamarine one (although the attendant called it みどり, so who knows). After we chose the color we wanted, we were given a long glass wick.

After that, we were shown a selection of even tinier glass beads. One sort were about as tiny as a needle’s head, while the other sort were larger and in a bunch of different shapes. The second category of beads were two-toned: the bulk of each glass bead was one shade, with the pattern on top often a mixture of colors. The attendant told us to pick out a handful of the tinier beads or four of the larger ones, and then we moved on to the next step, which basically revolved around holding the glass over an open flame at an acute angle.

For about fifteen minutes, I kept rotating the glass until the top inch or so started melting off the rest of the stick. Then, the museum attendant gave us another stick for the melting glass and helped us to continue rotating it until it finally took on a circular shape (not surprisingly, the blue-green glass was red-hot at this point). Finally, we pressed the cooling beads against the tinier ones and then stored our beads away to set for about an hour.



The rest of the museum was a bit smaller in comparison, but I remember staring slack-jawed at how pretty all of it was. I thought it was amazing how much detail and handiwork went into the craftsmanship, particularly with objects that finite. A lot of it also made me think of Murano jewelry, and I’m secretly glad that it was kept behind glass, because I know I would have been trying to touch and take a closer look at everything otherwise. Instead, I just took a lot of pictures.

Basically, A+++ would go again!
wingblossom: (Default)
I'll be blunt: I had a great time in Sannomiya today. I went to a bunch of the bookstores in Central Plaza, and then had chocolate coffee at this cafe named Hokuo-Kan that was really unique, in the sense that it uses Nordic countries as inspiration re: both decor and food. The first floor has a bunch of tiny items that I haven't seen at most other stores here, and very nice stuff in general for constant use, like candle holders and coffee mugs.

(Although you could say it verges on the edge of twee -- to the point that when you order their special coffee, they serve it to you in cute little individualized mugs. Mine said "Moominvalley" across the front, and on the other side, "If you want to live in Moominvalley, just think about it and you're there!")

Also, as I was sitting there reading my emails, the waitress who brought me my coffee earlier tapped me on the shoulder to give me a note! It said, "I'm studying English in university right now! So, I want to know about America!" Here, she drew an arrow to another bubble that said, "But I have to work...could you send me email? My name is Kaori!! It was nice to meeting you!" Like the proverbial Grinch, that note made my heart grow about two sizes. XD; She said she'd email me, so I've promised to send back a reply.

(The only thing I mentioned to her prior to the note was that the song Yellow Submarine was by The Beatles, and a popular song even in the U.S, because snatches of the lyrics were on the menu.)

There was also a Finnish guy who had been working there for five months, so I talked to him for a bit. Hokuo-Kan has a website, but there are only three store locations in all of Japan: one branch here in Kobe, another in Kyoto, and yet another in some other prefecture.

Along with the G-Fantasy phonebook, I also bought Nokemono to Hanayome, which is a manga penned by Ikuhara (!!!), and found the Book-Off that was apparently hiding in plain sight this entire time. Also, a couple of old-school Sailormoon cards at a hobby shop called -- wait for it, Yellow Submarine -- including this rather cool translucent one that cost about 50 yen and looks like a film cel. I...feel like I'm spending a little too much, but I've saved more than just about everyone else I've talked to. That, and I'm getting paid tomorrow.

In short, looking forward to reading everything and heading over to my friend's place later today. *g*
wingblossom: [youandicons] (fandom (sku II))
I am Darth Vader. Or was during the past few days, at the very least.

But exciting as that is, I have even more pressing matters to talk about right now. Mainly, the fact that NABARI ENDED. LIKE, YESTERDAY. I was beyond shocked when I found out! I was keeping up with all the latest chapter updates, but I didn't realize the story was that far in the endgame! I had summer leave today, so I ended up buying the 8/18 copy of G-Fantasy in Sannomiya, but...wow. With the possible exception of Ooku and Shimura Takako's series, it was the only current manga that I was keeping up with in installments.
 
I do have a ton of other stuff to mention from the past few days, but the recent Nabari news knocked me for a six. A triple deck. Either or. Something like that. The phonebook is in my hands now, though, so once I read it, I probably will attempt a translation. Any takers? 
wingblossom: (hearts)
Have boarded the plane now. Said goodbye to all of my family and friends. Sitting in aisle seat on the airplane with carry-on luggage above me and a free seat near the window. Am ready to go. :D
wingblossom: [heyyoitsmj] (fandom (persepolis))
Packing is going swimmingly! Well, sort of. Now that I've put a heap of my books into cardboard boxes, I have to contend with everything that I'm planning on: 1. sending ahead to Kobe, and 2. presumably getting rid of, since there's not enough space for all of them. I feel like I should take an inventory of all the books I own, but I think it's a little too late for that. *g* At any rate, looking through my old notebooks/journals/sketchbooks has the effect of making me flip through every single one of them, albeit briefly.

While going through one of my journals, I also found an entry with brief notes I took on Persepolis for an article in the Free Press a couple of years ago. In honor of my new icon, I'll c&p them here.

FROM 2008 )

Tomorrow, I have to pick up the rest of my money in traveler's checks from the bank, and then go to the dentist for the last time in hopefully a very long while. The day after that, Ellen is coming over to help me finish the rest of my packing, and then I'm going to the pre-departure orientation in the city. Later, I'm meeting a childhood friend I haven't seen since fourth grade (!) for dinner, and then...after that? Who knows! Probably more packing, I'm sure.
wingblossom: (cookies)
I have been panicking like a crazy thing over the past couple of days. As I may have mentioned in my earlier entries, I'm getting ready to leave for Japan on July 24th. The mandatory pre-departure orientation is on the 23rd, and while I haven't finished all of my packing yet (or even pulled everything that I need out of my drawers to put into my suitcases), I'm equally worried about my mom moving out by the end of August. I know that if I just leave my stuff as is, I'll lose a ton of books and various knick-knacks that are pretty important to me, so I've been trying to figure out what to do with them.

One of my friends has offered to hold onto some of my books, which is reassuring -- but I'm wondering if it might be more sensible to put some boxes into storage instead. And then there's the question of how many books I'm going to bring with me to Japan. I doubt I'll bring much manga with me (after all, it's not exactly in short supply there), but what about all the books I've grown up with, from the novels I bought in high school to the illustrated hardcover stories I received as gifts from family friends as a kid? I don't want to pack too much, but at the same time, I don't want to forget anything that I might regret later.

The kicker is that we're only allowed to bring two suitcases with us, so it's not like I can cram the entire thing with books and be done with that. Decisions, decisions; I'm going to have to give this issue some more thought, and fast.
wingblossom: (books)
I just c&p'ed my Utena fic into the text-analyzer that everyone's been using recently, and it told me I write like William Gibson. I haven't actually read anything of Gibson's (including Neuromancer), but I also hadn't seen that result come up for anyone before.


I write like
William Gibson

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




Following that, I posted part of another entry, and it told me I write like Dan Brown. Bearing that indignity in mind, I posted the rest of my entry, and then I was told I apparently write like H.P. Lovecraft. Very reliable algorithm there.

All I'm saying is, if I HAVE to write like one of the mostly white, male authors that come up consistently for this meme, could it at least be someone like Ray Bradbury? Please?
wingblossom: [pretendenitis] (fandom (the office))
1. I hate you so much, Roman Polanski. And all your apologists to boot.

2. There's been a meme going around that asks for your five favorite foreign-language films or series, so here's mine. (For now, let's keep anime out of the equation.)

1. Raise the Red Lantern
2. Persepolis
3. Nowhere in Africa
4. Life is Beautiful
5. In the Mood for Love

I kinda wanted to put M. Butterfly on this list until I realized there's no way it could qualify for being a foreign-language production, despite being a deconstruction of Madame Butterfly and the typical approach to foreign policy on the part of Western nations, among other things. There's also the fact that the source material is a play, and that the movie -- from what I've seen of it -- isn't nearly as good.

I pretty much have undying love for the first two movies on my list, and Nowhere in Africa is a terrific film that I'd recommend to anyone. I didn't see Life is Beautiful until this year, but it's a very well-written and well-directed tragicomedy helmed by Roberto Benigni. Out of all the movies I've listed here, In the Mood for Love is the one I had the least emotional involvement with, but it has absolutely beautiful cinematography. All of them do, actually, with the exception of Persepolis, because that one's animated instead. :D

3. Positive effects of the Avatar movie? People are rewatching the show again, and making posts about how awesome it is. I think my favorite one so far is the post about Zuko's most lol-tastic lines in each season; I seriously forgot how many dorky things he says!

For the record, "Bad skin? Normal teenagers worry about bad skin, I don't have that luxury. My father decided to teach me a permanent lesson...ON MY FACE!" takes my number-one vote for the best line ever. Or the worst line ever. Oh, Zuko.
wingblossom: (fandom (sku))
In the spirit of making an SKU-related post: I remembered writing this fic for bell some time ago, and found that when all was said and done, I still liked said fic a lot! Which almost never happens, so I decided to share it. Warnings for...metaphysical strangeness ahead?

"Scars"
Utena, post-series, 678 words.
Read more... )
wingblossom: (hearts)
Once upon a time -- and more recently -- there was a girl who went by the screen name of [personal profile] wingblossom online. Of late, she had been busy, getting ready to leave her birth country to teach in another for quite some time. Since she had mastered the fine art of procrastination to a T, this made preparing for her trip more time-consuming than it originally had been. And so, two weeks before it came time to leave, she found herself troubled and just a bit peeved.

(Intermittently, this must be said: her mother was planning to move, with a good chance she would not see her old place ever again.)

In the midst of packing, worrying, and scanning old files, she came across a sketch that seemed somewhat worthwhile. With a friend, she had drawn it, then cast it astray; a loopy YA novel idea that had long been thrown away. The Tale of the Grizzly Squirrel, they called it, with an incomprehensible plot, squiggles and flourishes and a premise that was total rot. Still she liked it, and did not want to cast her drawing astride, which is why she is now writing sentences with incredibly poor meter and rhyme.

*~The Tale of the Grizzly Squirrel~* )
wingblossom: (fandom (sku))
omg omg omg Utena got license-rescued in the U.S.

by Nozomi (Right Stuf)

WITH THE REMASTERED FOOTAGE

transcript of their panel here )

I seriously never thought this would happen

wow. just...wow. BEST RE-RELEASE EVER, Y/Y?
wingblossom: (art)
I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel at least a little schadenfreude at the horrible reviews the A:tla movie is getting. Or a lot of it, to be frank. I was curious as to how well the movie would do, since I have friends who wanted to see it despite everything I said about the racism of the casting decisions. But it seems this movie has failed on pretty much every account, or as Ebert claims, every category he can think of and others still waiting to be invented.

Linkblogging:
fan recasting of the movie
thoughts on race & gender
facepainting (If you read only one link, read this one.)
"but we must always be polite about it"
"it's not the same story"

more thoughts )
wingblossom: (books)
Slightly annoyed because MY COMPUTER IS EVIL. My laptop, that is, not the desktop at home. Among the things wrong with it: 1) the internal fan is broken, 2) I have to order a new keyboard because two of the letters are missing, 3) my power supply is borked, so I have to order a new adapter too, 4) and I have to buy RAM for my laptop because it stops playing media properly after ten minutes to boot. I feel like saying "eff this" and buying a new laptop, but that's probably not an option now, given that I'm leaving in little over a month. And yes, I've resorted to incoherent keyboard mashing.

Back in college, I joked about nicknaming my laptop Crowley, but somehow, I never expected it to live up to that moniker quite so well.

To the more computer-savvy people reading this: given the above, what would you do? I am reliant upon you for advice!

In news completely unrelated to laptop issues, the instrumentals on this song are amazing.
wingblossom: (books)
I like looking around for old files on my hard drive. Sometimes I come across things that I wouldn't expect, like this Hikago translation I did three years ago (!!!) and then promptly forgot about right after.

Anyway, this is a side-story printed in the back of the Gorgeous Characters Guide; all rights go to Hotta Yumi and Obata Takeshi, including the silly pun in the book's title. (By which I mean that the "gorgeous" is written as "碁ジュス" in a mixture of kanji and katakana, and 碁 = Go. Get it?)

This story takes place in the Heian era, focusing on a snapshot of time right before Sai's death. I haven't seen anyone mention it before, so along with my own fondness for the series, hopefully other people will enjoy reading this!

A Thousand Years Wandering )

Tendoumaru is such a brat, but I really can't blame him too much. Especially with the parallels to Hikaru's own development in the main story and his subsequent treatment of Sai.

Something I never paid much attention to before: Obata's self-profile in the back, where he draws himself with "の" for eyes and "も" for a nose. He also asks who everyone's favorite character is, and then says that he likes "blank, blank, blank, blank." Four space bubbles in a row. Not fair! But then he goes on to hint that this character is a Go pro and an oyaji. So...Kuwabara?
wingblossom: (fandom (digimon))
I was telling [personal profile] cyanwitch about this in an email, so I figured I might as well share it with everyone.

Last weekend, we had a couple of family friends drop by our place, which led to hearing a Very Interesting Story about this woman who apparently raised a squirrel that fell into her house through the ceiling, and then raised it to listen by keeping it on heated pads for over three months. (This squirrel, by the way, also had to be fed every two hours during those three months. And she fed it only on cashew nuts, because it wouldn't eat anything else. And this squirrel ate from her plate at every meal. Dot dot dot.)

Anyway, the squirrel also made a nest in their house inside the piano, so every so often, she would hear tiny plonk sounds from the keys because the squirrel was chewing through the insides of it. After the squirrel was done with the piano, it moved on to the armchair of this woman's couch and proceeded to devour that as well. Apparently, everyone was fine with this.

LONG STORY SHORT: SQUIRRELS ARE SUPPOSED TO LIVE FOR ONLY TWO TO THREE YEARS, BUT THIS ONE LIVED FOR OVER EIGHT YEARS. IT WAS A TOTAL MUTANT. THE END.

Sometimes, I really would like to ask the universe how something like this could possibly happen. But I also have a nagging feeling that I wouldn't like the answer. XD

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wingblossom: (Default)
let's go exploring

November 2011

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