Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Japanese vs. English Dubbed Anime

Okay, this is not an argument over which is better, the English dub or the original Japanese language anime. Rather, this is a mere comparison based on my observation after watching both versions. I have noted one very glaring difference between the two in the way the script is delivered, and now I understand why most people used to watching anime in Japanese seem to hate English dubs.

Lovely Complex Kiss Scene
I have observed that the characters in the Japanese version tend to speak in a quick and forceful manner, often exaggerating lines. (I guess that's how the Japanese normally talk?) In the English dub, however, the characters speak in a calmer, more normal manner. (Normal in English speaking countries, that is.) Being used to watching anime English dubbed, my initial reaction after watching Loveless, Special A, and Lovely Complex in Japanese was that the characters were overacting, over-dramatic, or too noisy. It kind of reminded me of a cheesy afternoon radio drama. On the other hand, those used to watching anime in Japanese would probably find the English dubs bland and lifeless.

So I guess it boils down to your preference. I for one still prefer watching anime English dubbed (You can read why here: English Dubs vs Subs), although I'll have to start watching anime in Japanese more frequently from now on since I am trying to learn Japanese. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Over 300GB of Anime & Manga Lost

Today is a very sad day for me. My 1TB hard disk drive suddenly died and I lost over 300GB of anime and manga that I hadn't seen or read yet. Wish I had transferred them all to my external hard drive, but I was following a simple system to ensure that I remembered which ones I had already watched or read. I kept the files on my main hard drive until I had finished watching them then I transferred them to my external hard drive for archiving once I was done with them. Now I'm thinking of backing up my external hard drive on DVD's just to be safe.

I have no idea why my less than 3-year old 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive died. This morning it just wouldn't boot. Switched it over to secondary hard drive to try to recover files but both BIOS and disk management couldn't detect it. I'm thinking my only hope of recovering data now is to send the disk to the professionals.

Funny though how I feel worse about losing my anime and manga collection than the photos I've uploaded from my camera. I guess I really am an otaku.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Special A: My First Non-English Dubbed Anime

Special A
Today marks a momentous event in my life: I watched non-English dubbed anime for the first time! Haha! I didn't have a choice, actually. I really wanted to watch the anime Special A after finishing the manga, but it doesn't have an English dub yet. So I had to make do with English subs. It wasn't bad. My only complaint was that I had to sit up close to the computer to be able to read the subtitles instead of lying down on the bed like I usually do while watching anime. And there were times when I thought the Japanese voice actors were a bit overdramatic and too over the top, kind of reminding me of a cheesy radio drama, but I didn't let it bother me too much.

But what surprised me was that I could already understand a teeny tiny little bit of Japanese! Nihongo ga sukoshi wakarimasu. (Translation: I understand a little Japanese.) Hehe. I've been doing Pimsleur's Japanese I. Overall, the experience was an enjoyable one. I will most definitely do it again. However, I would still choose English dubs over subs if already available. :) Nothing beats anime in bed. Haha...

Now on to the next anime!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Japanese Manga Lost in Translation

Have you ever thought that Japanese manga doesn't seem quite right when translated into English? I mean, the story is the same, but there are subtle differences that affect the "feel" of certain scenes. Like when a female character refers to herself using a word only men would use for instance. (In Japan, there are several ways to say "I". "Ore" and "Boku" are used mainly by men while "Atashi" is used by women only.) The English language simply cannot convey these minute variations and would probably consider it as discrimination.

Translation sketch from Sherry's LiveJournal
Another thing that gets lost in translation is the level of formality used in conversations between people of different social standings. (The Japanese use different words when addressing someone of superior rank than when they are talking to a colleague or subordinate.) There are also manga that contain cultural idiosyncrasies that a non-Japanese person would simply not understand. And then there are the word plays that just don't make sense when translated into another language. Trying to resolve this issue, some manga have side notes that explain things that were lost in translation, and others modify the context a little and make it more Western-friendly.

I guess that's why there are a lot of people who say that the only way to fully appreciate Japanese manga is to read it in its original Japanese form. But since I don't know how to read Japanese yet, I will enjoy reading the English translations and not complain too much. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Manga With Romance Between Teacher and Student

Oresama Teacher
I have something to confess. Today I realized that I have a fetish for manga about male school teachers falling in love with one of their female students. I had no idea until I read Sugar Family, Faster Than a Kiss, and Oresama Teacher. (Well, in Oresama Teacher, it's the student who used to be in love with the teacher but I'm hoping the teacher has feelings for the girl as well. Hehe...) I didn't expect to enjoy those three manga so much, but they got me giggling and shrieking like a high school girl in love.

Maybe it was one of my unconscious desires when I was still in school... to have a teacher fall in love with me? Hah! Regardless of the reason, I am very much looking forward to reading the continuing chapters of Faster Than a Kiss, Sugar Family, and Oresama Teacher.

By the way, if you're looking to download these three manga, you can find them at Manga Traders by clicking on the links above. You'll have to register first if you don't have an account, but it's quite worth it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Loveless Manga

I can't wait to read the next chapter of Loveless. So far I've read until volume 10 chapter 4 and I'm really looking forward to reading chapter 5. I blame my Loveless addiction on Soubi. He's just so damn hot! Ha! (Don't you agree? I mean, just look at the long-haired guy with glasses below!) I have to admit though that I was hesitant to read the manga at first since I'm not really into shounen-ai (read: boy x boy), but I was surprised at how much I liked Loveless. Okay, the first part was confusing but now that I've finished the ninth volume I understand it a lot better. It's really not "icky" like I thought it would be. I would even say Loveless has earned a spot in my top 5 manga list.

Curious? You can read Loveless here:


Cover of Loveless Manga Volume 3

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Great Gifts For Manga Lovers: Manga in the New York Times Bestseller List

I've been looking for some of the best manga to buy for myself this Christmas and I thought I would make a list for those like me who would like to buy manga for themselves or would like to buy manga as a Christmas gift for a family member or friend. I've compiled ten manga titles in all, each with a synopsis and links to where you can buy it. Check it out:

Great Gifts For Manga Lovers: Manga in the New York Times Bestseller List

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan Characters

Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan is full of hot anime guys. The members of the Shinsengumi alone make eight smoking hot specimens of the male species, - the anime kind. Hehe. Here are the main characters of the reverse harem anime Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan:

Chizuru Yukimura
Chizuru is the main protagonist. She came to Kyoto in search of her missing father, a Dutch-educated doctor who, on orders from the Shogunate, developed the "ochimizu", a potion which increases the drinker's healing abilities, speed, and strength but which also has an unfortunate side-effect of turning the drinker into a mindless, vampire-like monster called a rasetsu.

Toshizo Hijikata
Hijikata is the vice-captain of the Shinsengumi and makes most of the Shinsengumi's decisions. He is the one who brought Chizuru back to Shinsengumi headquarters. He has taken on the responsibility for Chizuru's welfare and acts as if he's dismayed at having to do so, but in reality he does care for Chizuru's safety and is often shown protecting her during battles.
Souji Okita
Okita is the First Unit Captain of the Shinsengumi. He is a brilliant swordsman, but he suffers from tuberculosis. He is based on the historical Okita Sōji.
Isami Kondou
Kondou is the commander of the Shinsengumi. He has the trust, respect, and loyalty of his men inspite of being very emotional. He is based on the historical Isami Kondō.
Keisuke Yamanami
Yamanami is the bespectacled scholar captain of the Shinsengumi. In spite of being a ruthless tactician, he is kind and caring albeit a little reserved. He is based on the historical Yamanami Keisuke.

Shinpachi Nagakura
Shinpachi is the Second Division captain of the Shinsengumi. He is usually very cheerful, especially when he is with his comrades. He is very skilled with the sword, but he is also a true alcoholic and womanizer. He is based on the historical Nagakura Shinpachi.
Sanosuke Harada 
Harada is the Tenth Unit Captain of the Shinsengumi. He prefers the spear to the sword, but he is seen carrying both. He is based on the historical Harada Sanosuke.
Heisuke Todo
Heisuke is the youngest member of the Shinsengumi being around the same age as Chizuru. He is based on the historical Tōdō Heisuke.
Hajime Saito
Saito is the leader of the third squad of the Shinsengumi and a master of the left hand sword technique. He is silent and a taciturn but also very loyal, polite, and wise. He often analyzes the situation before attacking to figure out which actions are necessary to complete the mission. He is based on the historical Saitō Hajime.

Chikage Kazama
Kazama is a member of the Bakumatsu, enemies of the Shinsengumi. He is the strongest Oni in the North and is after Chizuru so they can mate and create stronger oni.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan

I was doing some research on hot anime guys and I discovered a fairly new anime called Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan that seems to be a very promising reverse harem anime. I haven't seen it yet, but as far as I can tell, there are eight main male characters in the anime, all of them beautiful bishonens. Hehe. The story reportedly also has some romance in it - and not between the boys, mind you! The anime has one main female character as well. I wonder which of the characters falls in love with her or she falls in love with. Hmm...

The story is about a girl named Chizuru Yukimura who has come to Kyoto looking for her father, a doctor who has gone missing. During her search for her father, she witnesses a fight between a mindless, vampire-like monster called a rasetsu and the special task force in Kyoto called the Shinsengumi. The Shinsengumi take Chizuru into custody and decide to keep her close at hand after discovering that she is the daughter of the doctor they are also looking for. And so Chizuru follows the Shinsengumi in their battles to help the shogunate and search for the missing doctor.

I can't wait to watch it. I bet I'm going to fall in love with the characters of Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan. Hehe. Hope it gets dubbed in English soon. Sigh... I know, I know, it will probably be two or more years before an English dubbed version of Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan gets released, but there's no harm in wishful thinking, is there? :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hellsing Anime Wallpapers

Oh, I just love Alucard, don't you? ;D Enjoy these Hellsing anime wallpapers that I have collected from different websites and have used on my computer at some point in time. Click on the images to view full size. Full size resolution is 1024x768. To download, right-click and select Save Image.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quotes From Hanabusa Aido, Vampire Knight

Hanabusa Aido

Vampire Knight naughty boy Hanabusa Aido teases Yuki Cross and the other day class girls like crazy. But I kind of like his charm, actually. Here are some of his more memorable quotes:

To the day class girls waiting outside the night class dorm:
"Good morning, girls! I could hear you loud and clear from the dorm. You're all looking quite cute today!"

Using his hand like a gun and pointing it towards the heart of one of the girls:

To Luca after she hit his hand with the corner of her notebook:
"Luca, do you wish to die?!"

After two day class girls got excited about seeing him and Cain Akatsuki come out of the school:
"No need for all this fuss. We just came out here because we smelled blood. You're so mean, Yuki. You know, the real reason we came out here tonight... Sigh... You smell so nice."

After Yuki Cross firmly tells Aido to let go of her while he was drinking blood from her hand:
"Oh, but I want more. May I partake from your neck?"

Referring to the holes left by Zero's fangs on Yuki's neck:
"So Yuki, whose bitemarks are those?"

Vexed at Kaname Kuran's special treatment of Yuki:
"Do you know how annoying this is Yuki? Just what are you to Lord Kaname?!"

To Yuki after he pulled her inside their dorm in front of all the other day class girls:
"They're really jealous of you. It's so... cute."

Grabbing Yuki from behind and hugging her in front of the other day class girls:

"The jealous girls will go mad with envy and bully you from now on, Yuki Cross."

Quotes From Kaname Kuran, Vampire Knight

Kaname Kuran

Vampire Knight pureblood Kaname Kuran, one of the most powerful of vampires, dotes on Yuki Cross like an overprotective father. It's not surprising therefore that most of his memorable quotes have something to do with Yuki:

To Yuki Cross after she brushed off Kaname's show of concern by acting all professional all of a sudden:
"When you act reserved like this, I feel... lonely."

To Zero Kiryu after Zero grabbed Kaname by the arm and brusquely told him to go to class now:
"You're so scary... Mr. Disciplinary Committee."

To the night class as the moon hid behind the clouds:
"The night is made for vampires."

To Ichijo Takuma after he commented about Yuki Cross being interesting and that there wasn't a single girl in the night class like her:
"No... And for someone so used to the dark, she's a rather blinding sight."

Apologizing for Aido's drinking blood from Yuki's hand and trying to suck it from her neck as well:
"I'm sorry he scared you. That was wrong of him, Yuki."

Before killing a level E vampire attacking Yuki:
"You poor creature, ending up like this. However... the person you've chosen to hurt is someone very dear to me."

To Yuki:
"...I'm sorry but I just can't ignore that you got bitten by someone else."

To Yuki after realizing that she let Zero secretly drink her blood:
"When did this happen to us? Just when did you stop talking to me about everything, Yuki?"

To Luca:
"You want me to slap you. You're an odd girl."

Quotes From Zero Kiryu, Vampire Knight

Zero Kiryu

Vampire Knight Disciplinary Committee member Zero Kiryu puts on a bad guy facade but in reality is very deeply in love with Yuki Cross. The contradictory emotions raging within him often show through his words and actions. Here are a few memorable quotes from Zero Kiryu:

To Yuki Cross about her infatuation with Kaname Kuran:
"You're so obvious, it's pathetic."

To Headmaster Cross about their job in the Disciplinary Committee:
"Why are we doing this? Come on, Headmaster. Our job is to work security, not be bodyguards for celebrities!

To Headmaster Cross after the Headmaster rambled about alleviating his guilt by giving the job of keeping the night class's secret to his dear son and daughter:
"I admit I do have certain obligations to you, but I do not remember agreeing to become your son!"

To Lily the horse when Yuki barged into the stable where Zero was taking a nap:
"Easy there, Lily. Calm down. She's a very simple, uncomplicated girl. She's by no means a threat to you even if she tried to be."

To Yuki Cross who was staring at Kaname Kuran from outside the window:
"How's Kaname Kuran tonight? I know he's your hero."

To Aido Hanabusa who was trying to drink blood from Yuki's neck:
"Drinking blood on school grounds is strictly prohibited."

After Kaname somewhat sarcastically asks how he is feeling and tells him to take care:
"Listen, if you want to challenge me, I'll be ready and waiting anytime you want, Kaname."

To the night class when they tried to ambush him:
"Come on then, vampires. Go ahead, I'm in a bad mood anyway."

To Yuki after drinking her blood:
"This being I've become is despicable. Even if I loathe vampires, even if I don't want to hurt anyone, I can't stop myself from lusting for blood."

Dragging Yuki out of the night class dorm:

"Don't let yourself be carried off. Come on."

To Yuki after she tried to sacrifice herself to save Zero:
"Why do you insist on doing this? You don't need to care for me so much. I'm really glad nothing happened to you."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Code Geass Anime Wallpapers

There was a time when I was completely obsessed with Lelouch vi Brittania and Code Geass. Naturally, I collected quite a few Code Geass wallpapers from various websites to use on my own computer. Here are some of my favorites: (All of them are in 1024 x 768 resolution except for the fourth one which is 1152 x 864.)

Click on the images to view full size. Right-click and select Save image to download.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Black Butler (a.k.a Kuroshitsuji) Manga: Where To Buy?

I'm thinking of reading the manga Black Butler (a.k.a. Kuroshitsuji). I spent the weekend looking for volume one of the manga in the major bookstores around my city but sadly I wasn't able to find it. I did find it in Amazon but international shipping fees might cost more than the book itself. (I live in the Philippines.) My most probable course of action now is to avail of the special order service of our local bookstores. I've already emailed my request to National Bookstore. I'll also ask Fully Booked and Power Books and see which store has the lowest price. I hope they don't charge exorbitant fees for special orders.

I wish manga were easier to find. If any of you know of a place to buy affordable manga here in Cebu City, Philippines, please let me know. Thanks. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Top 3 Anime Characters Voiced by J. Michael Tatum

J. Michael Tatum is one of my favorite voice actors in the anime biz. He has lent his voice to quite a number of anime titles. So far, these three are at the top of my list of anime characters voiced by J. Michael Tatum:

Jiro Mochizuki 
Black Blood Brothers

Reiji Moritsugu
Linebarrels of Iron

Kyoya Ootori
Ouran High School Host Club

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bleach Anime Wallpapers

Not so long ago when I was completely hooked on Bleach, I collected quite a few Bleach wallpapers from various anime websites. I gathered some group and solo wallpapers. Just click on the image to view full size. Right click and select Save to download.

Ichigo Kurosaki Wallpapers

Kuchiki Byakuya Wallpapers


Hitsugaya Toshiro Wallpapers

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