This blog is a storage space for various thoughts, observations and musings centering on shōjo manga (少女漫画, Japanese comics for girls), josei-oriented manga (Japanese comics for women) and manga created by women (in the widest sense). Topics from other fields of relevance, such as music, art, literature and film may be discussed here as well.

For the most part, Japanese names appear in their original order - surname first, followed by the given name.

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This blog was relaunched recently. Some elements might not be fully working yet while others might be completely missing at the moment but will be added soon. Thank you for your patience!

Viewing all posts with tag: japanese: language

Learning Japanese in the year 2000

Now that I’m more or less free to do what I want until classes start again, I decided to look through some old stuff that’s accumulated in my room in my parents’ house to throw away the things I don’t need to keep and make room for new things. I found a huge stack of Italian manga which I bought when I was, well, in Italy. They already had all the cool stuff back in 1999 or something, when the manga market here wasn’t really as massive as it is now. I bought lots of random stuff, basically anything I could get my hands on, mostly shounen and seinen titles like Macross 7 Trash, Gundam and Cat’s Eye – sadly no shoujo manga, though. No matter where I looked, I couldn’t find any manga for girls even though they were said to be already quite popular in Italy at that time. (We only had Sailor Moon back then.)

I also found old manga scripts that I’d printed out to read Japanese manga. Ah, the good old days as a manga reader! Yes, we actually bought Japanese manga and tried to read them in Japanese with the help of scripts kind souls with admirable Japanese skills had provided for us on the internet. This is how I learnt Japanese! I taught myself hiragana and katakana, got myself a good dictionary and started reading manga with the help of English scripts. I found scripts for Tenshikinryouku/Angel Sanctuary and other old Yuki Kaori titles, CLAMP stuff like X, Tokyo Babylon, RG Veda and Clover and more light-hearted shoujo series like Emura’s W Juliet. This way, I acquired quite an impressive range of vocabulary which I’d probably never been able to use in every-day life in Japan, including words like “organic angel” (yuukitenshi)…

I might not be doing what I’m doing now if I’d gotten into manga just three or four years later when the scanlation business took off and people became lazy and didn’t buy manga anymore but downloaded it and read it in English. Back in the days, you just had to learn Japanese if you wanted access to all the good titles…

(Does anyone remember fansub tape trading? So last century! ^_~)


Categories: Manga, Personal, Various.
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Posted on Oct 8, 2008 (Wed, 1:06 pm). .


I’m currently going through a nihon bunka (Japanese culture) appreciation phase ^^;
No manga with any references to Japanese history/myth/legend/tradition is safe from being devoured within hours. That’s basically everything that is or has been running in Hakusensha’s Melody. I’ve also read Onodera Akira’s Rokutousei Supika for the millionth time. (If any manga is neo-Japanesque, it’s his.) At the moment, I’m reading Itsuki Natsumi’s Yakumotatsu. I can’t even find the right words to express my deep love for this manga (or any manga by Itsuki-sensei) ♥ Status: 7 volumes of 19 have been read, the rest will follow as soon as I get them.

Now, I also dug out my Kagrra CDs because they’re like the musical equivalent to all the manga mentioned above. Even though I haven’t been very fond of any of their CDs as a major band, they’re still one of my favourite bands because of all their indie releases. And in a moment of mental weakness, I decided to take my appreciation for all those earlier releases to a whole new level and translate my favourite Kagrra CDs -_-; I thought I’d start with gozen and ~Kirameki~. I’m absolutely fascinated by Isshi’s use of old words and grammar structures. They don’t make translating the lyrics any easier, but at least it’s interesting from a linguistic point of view. And it’s ultimately satisfying to bring out the beauty of the songs by fully understanding all those mythological references and the stories Isshi wrote.

It’s especially interesting with gozen because the whole album is one long story and it’s really nice to understand what exactly is going on in every song, how the music mirrors the respective events, how the story progresses and what themes, both in the lyrics and the music, are repeated throughout the whole album.


Categories: Japanese, JRock/JPop, Manga, Various.
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Posted on Feb 15, 2005 (Tue, 6:01 pm). .