Saiyuki!!

Okay, so it shouldn't be any great secret that we like Saiyuki. But while I've obsessed over voice actors and CDs, I don't think I've actually obsessed over the series itself, and I think it's appropriate to do it now, while it's still Goku's birthday.

Also, like I mentioned yesterday, Athena and I have been reformatting our translation of volume 5 of the manga.

The interesting thing about volume 5 is we somehow always manage to be working on it when there's been no one around to talk to for a while. The only reason that's a problem is because when Athena and I are by ourselves for too long, especially if we're translating, we start to get a little...I don't know...like when you haven't been getting enough sleep or if you've had too much sugar or something. And then we start having more exaggerated reactions to what's going on. And volume five has a lovely scene involving an eyeball being removed from its owner's head.

But that really has nothing to do with why I like Saiyuki.

I like Saiyuki because it has characters that will jump on the characters that are removing their own eyeballs and tell them to stop being stupid. Goku is my hero. And so is Hakkai. And Sanzo. And even Gojyo, even though for some reason I don't think about him very much. Probably because his voice actor isn't in a whole lot else that we watch.

The thing about the Saiyuki characters is, at least from what I can tell, there's not a whole lot of pretense. They each know exactly who they are, and they know they're not going to change that for anyone else. In Japan they have a thing called "tatemae." It's used to refer to the image that people create in order to look good in front of everyone else. And Sanzo Ikkou doesn't have a whole lot of that.

I guess there is some tatemae. There's a song on the second Saiyuki image album that Pam hates because it's just not very Saiyuki, but Kazuya Minekura's comment about it (I'd give you the title, but I don't remember it) is that it's something they're all thinking, but none of them would ever say it.

That might not be tatemae though. They might just hate sentimentality. I'm the same way. I love to watch really sappy shoujo anime, but when people get sentimental on me in real life, it kind of makes me sick. It's sad too, because Mom gets sappy a lot.

I'm really not quite sure what I'm getting at here. I seem to do that a lot lately.

Thinking about it, I'm sure anyone could point out a bunch of scenes in Saiyuki where Sanzo or Gojyo is trying to figure out exactly who he is. Goku isn't smart enough to worry about it, and Hakkai decided three years ago. Or I guess it's four now that they had their "one year anniversary" (although it feels more like six, Hakkai says). But still. I don't know. But you have to have those moments of conflict or the series isn't as interesting.

And they don't whine about stuff. Sure they have angst. It was made very obvious in the first episode that each one of them has a really sucky past, and yet you don't have any of the brooding angst that you get in something like, say, Weiss Kreuz (nothing against Weiss Kreuz of course). But in Saiyuki they seem to be more of the attitude that crying about it won't do any good. And I like that.

That whole rant seems pretty disjointed, thinking about it. Or maybe I just think it's disjointed because I can't think straight right now. At any rate, it's almost time for the Daily Show, so I'll be closing this here.

Last HHSLJET communication at 11:38 p.m. on Monday, April 5, 2004

It never fails. We finish watching something really cool and there's never anyone around to talk to about it. Ah well.

So Athena and I finished watching Pretear today. Not that we'd never seen the end of Pretear before, of course, but we haven't seen it in two years, so it hit just about as hard. And also we didn't have subtitles distracting us from the more appropriate Japanese. ...Show off? Me?

I guess I'll leave my Pretear ranting at that, because anything else would have spoilers. I don't know. Someone might be reading this.

There's just something that's kind of been on my mind for a while, so I figure I should write it down. It started back in February. Due to a bunch of pain and anguish, someone suggested we find reviews of some of the manga we translated for TokyoPop and see what people had to say, so that's what we did.

Obviously, the easiest place to find reviews of anything anime is AnimeonDVD.com, so we went there and there was indeed a review of Ai Yori Aoshi vol.1. It was actually a very complimentary review, clearly written by someone who was familiar with the series and with Japanese, and it said that it was probably the best translation TokyoPop's released to date.

You'd think that would be a good thing. And it is. We were actually pretty happy about it. But for some reason it didn't take long before I started to feel...I don't know. Unsettled.

We told some people about the review, and they were very excited for us, and we're very grateful for that. But a comment was made, and I know it was made with the best intentions and I'm not even exactly sure if this is what caused my uneasiness, that it looked like we had a very promising career ahead of us. This is what most people would consider to be a happy thing.

And yet...

I don't know. Maybe the uneasiness was God's way of reminding us that that's not our goal. Crazy as it is, our goal is to go to Japan and be voice actresses, and if we lost sight of that, we'd become hypocrites. (See last entry for why we haven't gone to Japan yet.)

And it doesn't always matter how good a job the translator does. The script gets sent to a rewriter, and things get changed. This is a concept I understand, because Athena and I do not talk like the characters in Saiyuki, and therefore it would be good for someone to go in and rewrite it. (Except for volume 5, because we're going over that one and it's awesome.) But at any rate, the quality of an English version of manga can be greatly enhanced or horribly destroyed by a rewriter, and the translator doesn't usually get a whole lot of say in the matter. We have recently developed a major dislike of rewriters, but I'm not quite sure I can go into it. Conflict of interest and all.

Another thing is, somehow, translating is very lonely. I love to translate. Two of my favorite things are watching stories and quoting them, and translation puts the two together, since I'm watching (reading, whatever) the story and then quoting it in English as I type the script. So translation is really an awesome pastime.

But it's lonely. For some reason, putting down a comic is one of the loneliest feelings. Sometimes, it's lonely even while we're working on it. Lately, translation's gotten slow due to low morale. I guess Ai Yori Aoshi being what it is doesn't really help.

I don't know exactly what my point is. Maybe I just need this as a reminder that we're not supposed to stop at translating. We need to get to Japan and see what happens there. That's a scary thought.

But now I want to talk about Saiyuki. Or maybe that will wait until later. At least until after ice cream.

Last HHSLJET communication at 11:10 p.m. on Sunday, April 4, 2004

Now it's going to seem like I'm just using this web log to make sure I have a clear reputation, because I keep using it to justify myself. Not that I really have much of a reputation to save. But a question has come up, and I want to make sure I'm understood, and this feels like the best place to do it, since I can talk a lot.

So, the question. Why didn't we go to Japan when we had the opportunity?

See, Athena and I found out one day that if we volunteered at AX Tokyo, we would only have to pay half price, and therefore we could afford to go. And then we ended up not going. This is a problem because now a lot of people seem to think that we're not really serious about our dream of wanting to be voice actresses in Japan. Okay, so maybe not a lot of people, since we only ever talk to about five. But still.

So why didn't we go? It's not that we didn't want to go. Actually, every time we saw anything mentioning AX Tokyo after it was too late to apply for passports, it was painful. I kind of feel like Suguro in Shusaku Endo's Song of Sadness, because the stupid reporter just assumes that the guy doesn't regret what he did when, even if you haven't read The Sea and Poison (the first book Endo wrote with Suguro), you can tell is not true. Sometimes people just make the wrong decisions.

The main trigger was our lack of passports. This, normally, wouldn't be quite so much of a problem, except that our birth certificates were at home in California (we being in Utah), and Mom couldn't find them. Well why didn't you get new passports? you may ask. The most obvious reason is that it would be annoying. Mom said we should have Dad take us to City Hall, and Dad said we could probably get them at the ASB, and the whole thing was just a pain.

Well that's stupid. You'd give up your dream of going to Japan just because it's too much work to get a birth certificate?

I don't think that failing to go to one event in Japan means that we've given up on our dream. At least, it never seemed that way to me. I don't think we were quite ready yet. Maybe we were. But we had to work up a certain amount of courage, and when this obstacle came up, it turned out we didn't have enough. Especially because we would have been completely on our own getting passports, and adding on top of that having to get new birth certificates, it felt like too much. Maybe if we wouldn't have had to get all that done within a week, we would have been able to do it. I never claimed not to be a weenie.

There were other things. Money, for example. If we had gone to AX Tokyo, we probably would have been able to pay for the trip and nothing else. And while the trip itself would have been totally awesome, we had a long list of DVDs we needed to buy. And so now we ask, "What's more important? The experience of a lifetime or a DVD you can buy once you've gotten back and earned more money?"

Well, actually, I don't think it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. If it was successful enough (which I really don't know), they'll have another one. And if they don't, we can sign up for one of the Pop Japan Travel tours. Or something. There are ways to get to Japan.

So why aren't we trying to get to Japan right now? Why are we buying eighty bazillion DVDs? Well, first of all, we can't get to Japan until after we graduate anyway. Second, once we get out of college, we'll have much more time to translate and therefore will be able to make more money, so it really won't be that difficult saving up. Third, most of our friends are animated, so the best way to make new friends (or be reunited with old ones) is to buy new DVDs. Sadly, I'm really not kidding about this.

And so the last question I come to is the one Mom always asks: Have you been to the job board to see if there are any openings in Japan? And the answer, I'm sure you've guessed, is no. The main reason for this is forgetfulness. But if it was really something we wanted to do, we wouldn't forget, so there's gotta be some reason we don't. And there is. I just can't see any voice acting agencies posting at BYU looking for American actors.

See, the main reason we want to be in Japan is like I said before: most of our friends are animated characters. And most of those characters are Japanese. It's been that way since high school. That's a big part of why we want to be voice actresses in Japan. That's why we started going to AX. If these characters are our friends, then certainly their voice actors and creators will be our friends, right? At any rate, we can't go hang out with the real characters, so we figured their voices would be the next best thing.

But if we're going to go to Japan, just the two of us, to go into business or some such, we're really not sure what the likelihood of finding an anime fanatic would be. And while we are able to get along with people who don't follow anime at all, it's a lot nicer to have someone who knows what we're talking about when we start raving about Akira Ishida.

So I don't know. Maybe we're just being cowards. Maybe we're just afraid of going to Japan. But I think, and maybe I've just been saying this all along because people have kept bugging us, that when we go to Japan, we want it to be on our terms. We want to go when we have the highest probability of meeting the people we want to meet. And we want to go when we have enough time to take care of the pre-travel preparations.

Last HHSLJET communication at 04:52 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, 2004

I think this web log officially belongs to me now, which is pretty sad, because I haven't been updating. I guess I should try to do that more often. Athena and I did update the Posse web site; hopefully we'll be able to do that more often too.

So today is a very special day. It marks the one year anniversary of the day we found Jeep. I never did tell that story, so I think I'll do that now.

One day, I was going to another apartment in our building to ask if we could have Family Home Evening there, and there was a door leading to the outside right next to the apartment door. On the other side of that door was a tiny ball of striped grey fur that looked soooo cold. I went and called my roommates to come see, and Athena followed me to where I found the cat. He looked so cold that we had to open the door and let him in, which was kind of dumb because then the only thing to do after that would be to throw him back out in the cold.

But while we watched him wander around the hall, people kept walking by and asking if he was our cat. The idea started growing on us, so I called Dad, hoping his parents would take the little guy in and then we could visit him whenever we wanted. Dad suggested we take him in ourselves. We liked that idea, so we decided to stick with it.

Unfortunately, our landlord had other ideas. The manager told us he would probably say no, but she'd ask anyway, so we decided to keep him until we had a definite answer. The first thing we did was take him to the vet. Well, one of the first things we did. He had a respiratory infection and conjunctivitis, so the vet gave us some medicine for him which we had to keep forcing him to take. He hated it, but unlike most cats, he didn't hold it against us for giving it to him.

He's the sweetest cat in the entire world. He loves people. Being a kitten, he likes to play and attack just about anything that moves, and he would often go into hyper rocket kitty mode, when he would race down the stairs, skid across the kitchen floor, bounce of the wall, run across the living room, and then run back up the stairs to repeat the process.

We named him Jeep. As most visitors to our web site may have guessed, the Posse associates themselves very closely with the members of Sanzo Ikkou, so we thought it very appropriate to name our cute little animal after their cute little animal.

Being poor college students, it was a little painful taking a kitten in (he was only five months old). Because kittens like to play, you see. And so, unable to buy toys for the little guy, I felt bad that he had nothing to play with, so I would supply my foot or my arm, whichever was more convenient at the time. So it was painful emotionally and physically.

But mostly he just liked having friends. One time Athena was the only one home and she wasn't really into the idea of supplying body parts for him to play with, so he just stayed on her lap until someone more masochistic came home. Whenever someone he hadn't met before came over, he would always go downstairs to investigate. He liked to sleep on top of people, and then he'd go nigh unconscious. He was so fast asleep you could pick him up and give him to someone else and he wouldn't move.

He got into the habit of staying in our room when no one was home. Probably because there was more likely to be someone there sooner. He hated being alone. The first time we all left him for three hours to go to church, we got home and he was standing at the door crying. One time he was downstairs investigating a new guest and then Heather and Mandy left, taking the guest with them, so he came right back to our room and yelled at us to open the door. We had closed it because we were playing Kingdom Hearts. He then helped Athena beat the game.

If you've played the end of Kingdom Hearts, you know there are parts where you're kind of mashing the buttons, and since Athena had her hands under a blanket, Jeep could only hear that sound. And of course he had to pounce on it. It was very cute.

He finally settled into Athena's lap for the very end of the game, and when I reached over to pet him, he was a little wet. So we cry at video games.

So why do I keep talking about him in the past tense? He's not dead, thankfully. At least, I haven't heard anything about his untimely death. We finally got a no from the landlord, but due to various circumstances, we ended up keeping him for about another month until he was discovered.

We gave him to our cousin. She was living by herself in a really nice apartment or condo or whatever it was, and she had been thinking of getting a cat for a while. See, her husband died very soon after she got married. We haven't seen Jeep since about a month after we entrusted him to her, mostly because of our poor communication skills, but we've heard that he's been a great help to her, and that makes me happy.

I really do miss him though.

Last HHSLJET communication at 04:38 p.m. on Monday, February 2, 2004

Being sick really sucks. Having no friends also really sucks. Being sick when you have no friends...well, I'm sure you can imagine.

Generally, I can cope with being sick. And during high school I could cope with having no friends. But now that I've had friends, and those friends for whatever reason no longer like me, it's a lot harder. Now see, usually Athena and I can distract ourselves from the no friends thing by watching anime on our computer or by translating manga. At least the characters will be our friends.

But see, when you're sick, and you want to prevent yourself from getting more sick, than it's usually a better idea to lie down in your warm bed than to sit in your cold computer chair. And so we run out of distractions.

Okay, so I guess we could have just read manga, but...I don't know.

At any rate, when you're lying sick in bed and you hear your roommates, who have been studiously avoiding you for the past several weeks for mysterious reasons (maybe we're just bad people?), downstairs having fun with their friends, it's pretty unpleasant.

So in the vain hope that someday someone close to the situation will read this, I have decided to tell the Tale of Fruits Basket. Why not just tell the people instead of typing it up here where no one will read it, you ask? Two reasons: 1)I'm not sure Fruits Basket has anything to do with the problem, and 2)I'm a coward.

So on to the story.

Remember way back when I was talking about Jake the Editor and how he offered us a job translating? The series he offered us was Fruits Basket. We were very excited, because we had liked what we'd seen of the series a lot, and they were going to pay us, and it's a very popular series, so assuming anyone actually checks that page, there would be a lot of prestige. When you're hoping to be hired as a translator, it's generally a very bad idea to turn down the first job offered you. Or so it seems. So of course we accepted.

Now, you may ask how we were able to do this with good conscience, knowing that we have friends who are clearly bigger Fruits Basket fans than we are. Well, the answer is simple: we're greedy little wenches who...anyway, actually the fact is, we like translating good serieses, and since Fruits Basket is a good series, we couldn't see anything wrong with it.

Now, it so came to pass that TokyoPop was hiring translators. Anyone who frequented the Posse message boards in June would be aware of this fact. So why didn't we step aside and let our friends, who are clearly bigger Fruits Basket fans than we are, translate Fruits Basket? First of all, Jake didn't come to us asking if we knew any other translators until we had already turned in the first volume of Fruits Basket. Now, I guess when he first came to us, we could have said, "Actually, we have a friend who's a much bigger Fruits Basket fan than we are; maybe it would be better to ask her to translate it?" But seeing as how all the people we were in direct contact with at the time were using our translations to get through their import manga, that thought didn't occur to us.

Back to TokyoPop hiring translators... This is where the problems seem to pop up. See, one of our friends (possibly the biggest FB fan; we'll call her Quincy) was able to read the Japanese post on our message boards telling of the job openings, with some confirmation from us to tell her that yes, that was actually what we said. Having gone through many Japanese classes with her, and having spent many hours with her working on homework, and knowing how she works under pressure and how she'd been doing with some other deadlines she had, we told her honestly that we didn't think it would be a good idea for her to apply, especially since we had nearly gone insane working under Jake's bizarre deadlines.

Now at this time, the fact that TokyoPop would be releasing Fruits Basket was still a secret, so no one knew that we were already working on it. And, unbeknownst to us, Quincy's friend back in Provo was encouraging her to apply for the job translating. Now, I can easily say now that if Quincy had asked us for the information she needed to apply, we would have given it to her, but that probably just sounds like us trying to justify ourselves after the fact. I don't know if we would have given her the information, but since all the resistance to our suggestion she gave us was a, "I've been getting better with my deadlines," we didn't think much of it.

But, we don't know what Quincy's friend was telling her, so it's easy for us to come to the possible conclusion that the reason we no longer have any friends is that they have determined that we are horrible, evil conspirators who told her not to translate because we knew TokyoPop had the rights to Fruits Basket and we wanted it all to ourselves. It would be easy to think of this as revenge against all the people who neglected to show us the Fruits Basket anime throughout the months before our internship.

I've already explained that we had already translated a whole volume of Fruits Basket before we knew TokyoPop was hiring. So now those of you who have actually checked the credits pages of TokyoPop manga and realize that they don't always keep the same translator throughout a series may ask why we didn't think to hand the series over. There are a few things.

First, there was another intern at TokyoPop (I don't have her permission to write about her, so I'll call her Kanan) who is a huge, major Fruits Basket fan. She got into it back before it was even animated, and she even made her own Tohru costume, I think. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but she definitely liked FB before it was animated. She had even translated a few chapters of the manga herself. Talking to her, we started feeling bad that, here she was, this intense FB fan, and yet we got to be the translators just because we were at TokyoPop first. We told her about this, and she said it was perfectly alright with her that we were translating it, since she could tell we would make sure to do our best. She was very humble too, and said we'd probably do a better job than she would. I don't know if that's true, but we're definitely trying very hard. So you can see, if we were to let someone else translate it, Kanan would be the first person we'd suggest.

The next thing is we don't know how transferring the privilege of translating works. Although I'm sure if we asked about it, it wouldn't be too hard to figure out.

But this is the most important thing. Fruits Basket is frickin' hard. People randomly start using weird dialects, Momiji often gets words wrong because he's half German, Ayame uses Classical Japanese, and Natsuki Takaya herself admitted to being very bad at catching typos. Not to mention the characters are so insane that their use of vocabulary is completely off the wall sometimes. This is the series where we ask Clay (our Japanese penpal) for help and he doesn't even know for sure.

I guess it's pretty arrogant of me to say it's a really hard series but it's still okay for us to translate it. But the fact is, we have been translating for three years, we have a Japanese penpal to help us when we're really stuck, and, most fortunately, we took a class on Classical Japanese this semester. Seriously, when Ayame started explaining why he had long hair, it took us twenty minutes to translate one page. Classical Japanese is almost like a completely different language. That, and Ayame's completely insane.

And there you have it--the Tale of Fruits Basket. I don't know if this has anything to do with our loss of friends, but to be so strongly disliked, we must have done something, and this is the only thing I can really figure. Well...there is one other thing, but that kind of happened after they started showing signs of not liking us. And it's another long story, so maybe another time.

Last HHSLJET communication at 09:10 p.m. on Thursday, December 4, 2003

Wow, three days in a row.

There seems to be a lot of excitement over the fact that the Posse has managed to get its picture in this month's issue of Newtype USA. I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, Newtype USA is one of the most popular anime magazines in the country. That's really the only thing going for it in my mind.

At first, I thought it was cool that they were bringing Newtype to America. When I first heard about it though, I remember seeing that someone other than ADV had the rights to do that. So I was confused, but when ADV released the first copy I didn't hate them, so it was okay.

Since then, I have decided that ADV is evil. Not all of ADV; I've actually received responses to emails that were from very nice people. So I'm really not sure what happened with Saiyuki, but there must have been some evilness involved. Or stupidity. Or both.

But the thing about Newtype USA is the attitude with which they advertise it. They seem very much to be telling everyone how much better they are than everyone else. The main thing that bugs me and Athena is the line in their stupid commercial that's on all the ADV releases these days that says, "To learn any more, you'd have to read Japanese." They say it in a very snide tone of voice, as if they're either saying that it's impossible or that anyone who's that obsessed a complete and total freak and not worth anyone's attention.

You can imagine why this would make us a little upset, having learned Japanese for the specific purpose of watching anime and reading manga. And going to Japan to be voice actresses. Maybe this does make us freaks, but it doesn't make us worthless. At any rate, I would like to point out that we can read Japanese and we can learn a lot more than Newtype tells us.

The thing I've noticed about Newtype is that they really don't give a whole lot of information. At least nothing really in-depth, not in the one issue we have. And while that's fine for people just looking for stuff to watch that might interest them, that's really no good for people like me who want to get behind the scenes. Granted, they have character designs and stuff, but generally you can find that kind of stuff at the series's official website.

Now, the Newtype Japan we looked through at work (TokyoPop has a subscription) had interviews with the two composers for the DN Angel soundtrack. They might have those interviews in the American version as well, but I haven't looked through it.

Anyway, I guess it's a good thing that our picture is in there, and if we had to appear uncredited in an issue of Newtype USA, at least it has Athrun Zala on the cover. Sure it has Cagalli too, but they're a cute couple, so it's allowed.

Probably the reason they used our picture is that we had a Power Wheels Jeep. I'm not sure what that's saying, because I think anyone crazy enpough to buy a Power Wheels Jeep for Saiyuki cosplay would probably be on the same level as people who learn Japanese to find out more about anime. This has actually become a point of concern, the Jeep. We always wanted to be the best Saiyuki cosplayers ever, and it's really hard to beat the Jeep. But it's hard to say how we'd compare if we didn't have the Jeep, because that takes up a lot of people's attention. I want to know what people think of the costumes themselves, and whether or not we look like the characters. Not that people really comment on that either. Oh well.

The big problem is that now we have a bunch of people going out to spend money on this magazine that's not even all that great (in my opinion) just because it has our picture in it. As a note, we found out it only costs slightly less to subscribe to Newtype USA than it does to still be in America and subscribe to Newtype Japan, despite the fact that they have to ship it all the way from Japan. I wonder if it's the sample DVDs. In the Japanese version they give away things like pretty pencilboards, we hear.

And now that I've probably offended anyone who may happen to read this, I think I'm done. Coincidentally, we found out today that they re-used a picture of us playing DDR in one of the daily newspapers here.

Last HHSLJET communication at 10:59 p.m. on Thursday, September 11, 2003

And once again we have run out of things to do. Actually, no. We have lots to do. We just don't want to do any of it. So here I am writing another weblog entry. See? Not completely slacking.

But now I need to come up with something to write about. This actually kind of reminds me of when, a long, long time ago, there was this website that had seiyuu post essays. I think it was once a month. We found it because Yuuji Ueda was one of those seiyuu, and I think it was one of the first times we noticed Soichiro Hoshi at all. I know I mentioned this before, but it was a long time ago. Because his name has hoshi in it, and hoshi means star, and that's cool. Every time he signs his name, he draws a little star. It's adorable!

Anyway, we never really read anyone's essays except for Soichiro Hoshi's, which is kind of odd because it wasn't until at least a year after we found the things that we even cared about him. And then they took all the essays down soon after we read all of his.

Like I said in my Soichiro Hoshi rant from so very long ago, these essays were very, very cute. He'd often start them with something like, "I don't know what to write about today." And then put in parentheses that he was thinking, or that he wasn't thinking. And that's why I was reminded.

One time he told about how he was out drinking (the thought of which seems so very very wrong, but he's really not underage, I must remind myself) with his friend Akio Suyama (he plays Hige in Wolf's Rain, Yamagi in The Candidate for Goddess, and Hatsuharu in Fruits Basket. And the first guy listed in the newest Neo Romance thing) and he asked Suyama-san what he should write about. And Suyama-san told him he should write about them being out drinking. And that's all I remember about that. Apparently you can't come up with very good ideas when you're drunk. Although they may not have been drunk yet.

It was so cute! In one of his essays (I think it was the first one, because it seems to be a kind of introductory thing) he was talking about how he's twenty-five years old (he was at the time; he's thirty-one now) and how people are really surprised when he told them that because apparently he looks a lot younger.

He was working on Lost Universe at the time he wrote most of the essays, so a lot of them were about Lost Universe. He talked about how when he was cast as Kain Blueriver he was shocked that they wanted him to play the hero. Then he found out more about Kain's personality and was happy because they're exactly the same. And he talked about how when he went to record Kain's image song and they were matching the key so it would be in his range and the director said they should make it higher, because it sounds better that way. And then he couldn't sing it very well, because he's very much a baritone, which is rather surprising thinking about most of his characters. And then the director decided it sounded cool lower too, so he got to sing in his range.

He also talked about how he auditioned to play teenage Hercules in Disney's Hercules. Apparently they really, really liked his voice for the speaking parts, but he couldn't sing Go the Distance. So they said it was okay, he could try again, because think about it. Soichiro Hoshi really is perfect for teenage Hercules. So he got to do the music audition again. And it still didn't work. So he got to try a third time. And he just couldn't do it. So he didn't get to play teenage Hercules in the movie. But he did play teenage Hercules in the computer game. I still want to know why they couldn't get a different singing voice.

And he talked about his favorite anime, Ace o Nerae!. I don't remember much of what he said about it, except that when he was playing a racing game, he would always play as a certain character because he was voiced by the main character from Ace o Nerae!. This makes me happy, because I'm the same way. In fact, when I play Puzzle Fighter, I always play as Ryu now, because in Puzzle Fighter he's voiced by Soichiro Hoshi. I tried going back to Morrigan once, because she used to be my favorite character, and it just didn't feel right.

And he talked about random things how he missed out on swimming in the ocean that summer because the one time he ended up at the beach he didn't have his swimsuit. But he was going to make sure he would go skiing in the winter.

They were cute essays. We were going to translate them so all our friends could read them, but they're gone now. It's very sad.

Last HHSLJET communication at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 10, 2003

So my new daily update thing lasted a grand total of two days. I'm not exactly sure what happened.

Anyway, Athena and I are sitting here with nothing to do, so she told me I should write a weblog entry. I guess it's not that we really have nothing to do. We could work on reformatting manga translations for TokyoPop. We could watch some anime. We'd have to watch something we've already seen though, because we don't have anything new on our computer and Heather and Mandy haven't seen as far in Rayearth or Saint Tail as we have.

One would think we could work on homework, but we can't really. There've been issues with buying books, so we don't have any. And all our homework requires reading. I guess we could go to the library... But that's too much work.

Now, don't get me wrong here. I never said I was bored. I just said we had nothing to do. And because we grew up in a society where sitting around doing nothing gets you a lot of criticism, we both figure that something productive ought to be done. Or at least something entertaining enough that merits not being productive.

The problem with writing a weblog entry, however, is that I currently have no idea what to write about. My current obsession is Akira Ishida and his lack of singing. Due to a recent Angelique kick, I decided it would be fun to go to Animate's website and see what sort of pretty merchandise was available in Japan, because I'm masochistic like that. And so when I was done with that, I wasn't satisfied, so I went on to the next story in the Neo Romance series of sparkly things designed to turn fangirls into...well, I'm not sure what, but it probably involves taking over the world.

This series is "Haruka Naru Toki no Naka de." And this is the series where they realized there were a bazillion seiyuu out there with sexy voices that had not been used in their evil master plan. So of course you have the two members of Weiss who aren't in Angelique, as well as two more members of Sanzo Ikkou, as well as Kazuhiko Inoue and Ryotarou Okiayu.

The way the characters are set up, or at least the main eight guys, is that there are eight Hachiyo, two to represent each animal god (you know, like in Fushigi Yuugi). In each set, one represents heaven, and the other earth. It's actually really cool, and I really want to play this game because it reminds me of Thousand Arms only for girls. There's even fighting and stuff in this one, so you get cool magic spells. I think. All the information comes from little things on the official Japanese site. I still can't figure out why all the names are different in the sequel. Are they really different characters, or just new designs?

So anyway, because this game is designed for pure fangirl obsession, obviously there has to be a vocal album. You can't get out of singing for something like this.

Unless, of course, your name is Akira Ishida and you have one of the sexiest voices in Japan. (I wonder what Akira Ishida the manga artist sounds like...)

Yasuaki (Akira Ishida's character) is on the CD of course. He just does the same thing Hakkai did on the Saiyuki "Four Songs" movie album. Which is annoying enough by itself. But remember how I said there's two guys for each animal god? Each set gets a duet.

Each set, except for Gembu. Or Genbu. However you want to spell it. Eisen sings, while Yasuaki...I don't know what he does, but I know he participates in the song somehow. The kanji was something about poetry. We're sure it's done in a way that sounds really nice, but...why?

And so Akira Ishida gets out of singing once again. He must be really popular to be able to get cast in a series such as HaruToki and still not have to sing. Of course, we still need the CD. I mean, Eisen is played by Soichiro Hoshi, which is probably part of why Yasuaki got out of singing, but still.

We also have to get Anime Tenchou CDs, because somehow, Marine Entertainment has incredible powers of manipulation (or a lot of money) and got him to sing in at least three songs. Not by himself though... Oh well.

Last HHSLJET communication at 05:20 p.m. on Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Akira Ishida did it again. He got out of singing again. We thought that maybe, since they had had a mini-drama with Hakkai and everyone else, they would be forced to make him sing. And then they could have Sanzo dramas, since he already had two solos and two duets, and a duet between Goku and Gojyo and it would be really cool.

But no. He got out of it again. How? They not only made Kougaiji sing, but they had Homura sing as well. Okay, so maybe this has nothing to do with whether or not Hakkai would have a song, but why on earth would Homura have a song? Oh well.

So yeah. We got the Saiyuki Vocal Album Vol.3 a couple of days ago. This seemed to be kind of surprising to many people, because I think everyone forgot it was coming out except for us. And we weren't really trying to keep it a secret; we just didn't tell anyone, because we have a habit of not telling people stuff. This may work double for things involving import CDs, because if people don't know certain mp3s exist, they won't download them.

And now for my rant about mp3s. Athena and I can't download mp3s because we don't like to buy CDs unless there are new things on them. This doesn't mean we won't listen to the CD eighty million times in a row once we get it, thereby making the songs not new anymore, but when we get a new thing, we like it to be all new at first.

This of course doesn't give me any right to criticize anyone for downloading music, as Maya explained that mp3s actually make her more likely to buy a CD, and everyone's different. But it does annoy me when people I know download songs that I want, maybe just because I'm a very petty and selfish individual. But it's sad to me when we get a sparkly new CD and we want to share it with everyone and their reactions are something like, "Oh yeah, I know that song." It's supposed to be our sparkly new song, dang it!

Anyway, back to Saiyuki vocal albums. We really didn't have this problem at all with any of them really, and especially not the third one, because, like I said, no one knew about it until we had it. Except for Kat.

I love this CD. It has probably the lowest Soichiro Hoshi song I've ever heard, which is odd, because he's supposed to be Goku, who is one of his highest-voiced characters. It's even more amusing because it's right before Homura's song, which is much higher, despite Homura having such a low voice.

Sanzo always has good songs. Just always. Or at least, I like them. And of course he has a solo on this album. He always has a solo. But probably one of the most amusing things to do with this CD is to play Kougaiji's song for people and wait until the middle of it to tell people who's supposed to be singing. It's a very happy song. There will be much blinking and "Wha...?" type questions. I think Heather and Mandy were trying to figure out if by Kougaiji we meant the actual Kougaiji or just his voice actor.

And of course, you gotta love the mini-dramas, even if stupid Hakkai doesn't sing. One of these days, I might post the script to Scene 5, but we'll have to type it up first. Rest assured it is highly amusing. And of course, there's one involving Sanzo and alcohol. I think he gets more and more drunk with each CD. Kind of sad that the obligatory hotsprings episode is audio only though.

And that's it for my CD review. And since I realize that people come across this site while looking for songs, I'm going to recommend www.cdjapan.co.jp because they have just about anything you could hope for. Except for that one DN Angel drama CD, but that's another story. The only problem is shipping, but if you can order a few CDs at a time, the rate goes down sort of. And it's nice to have legal copies of stuff.

Last HHSLJET communication at 04:41 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, 2003

It has been far too long since I updated this thing. Although I do wonder why I'm the only one who does. But anyway, I found out that apparently people actually read this occasionally (I thought everyone had forgotten about it), so I figured it was time for an update. That, and I currently don't really have anything to do.

So our internship at TokyoPop ended about three weeks ago. Much as I hated having to get up at six in the morning, I really liked working there. The people are really nice and don't seem like they're trying to prove to you how smart they are. And they're very careful to make sure we know they're not blaming us when we mess up and have to fix something. That's something I think is kind of odd, but it's very nice of them.

I've just known so many people who need to make sure that everyone knows how much they know. I've had my father and older sister (not Athena) defending anime to me when I make a complaint, which is extremely ironic because both of them refuse to watch any. Okay, so my sister refuses. Dad just makes excuses as to why he shouldn't have to. So I like it when people are content to just be themselves without trying to prove what worthwhile people they are.

And now that I'm done with that rant, back to TokyoPop. People kept hearing at different times that August 15th was going to be our last day and they all seemed sad to learn this. This is another thing that baffled me, because I'm a very insecure individual, and I couldn't see where we were very irreplaceable. But apparently we are, because Ron came to us a few days before we left and asked when we were coming back from college. We said, "Uh... (these things are usually very far from my mind) ...April...?" And he said, "You have a break for winter, right?" only it was meaner because that's how Ron is, and we said, "Uh...yeah." And he said something about paying us to come work during the break and asked us how much we wanted and told Jill to set us up with a contract. Jill wisely decided to wait until it was closer to the actual time of our return.

So now we have been offered a job where they basically pay us to read manga. Well, there's filing too, but it's mostly reading manga. And they've already hired us as translators, so we've got it pretty nice at the moment.

This is a good thing, because Japanese classes have been scary lately. Actually, we're just scared by the prospect of having to do any actual work such as reading and writing papers. And having to attend a class twice a week with in-depth discussions of Japanese grammar held all in Japanese.

But these classes are a good thing, because we need to not be scared when we finally go to Japan. So hopefully they will become less scary.

Anyway, on our last day of work, we had an ice cream party. Jake saw each of us holding a Drumstick and a sundae and commented about how everyone says we never eat and yet here we were "double-fisting" it with the ice cream. So we were pretty happy because it means they were thoughtful enough to realize that a potluck, like they had for Ray the Spanish Intern, wouldn't be as happy for the two of us. Dana says that the ice cream was for all the interns, though, which makes sense, because a lot of them were leaving around the same time, but they still could have had a giant potluck, so I still feel special.

And then soon before we left, Jill came over and handed us a card that was signed by everyone in production (because we're production interns). Okay, so it wasn't signed by everyone. Some people weren't in that day. It was so sweet, I cried that night thinking about it. It may be one of the first places I truly miss. Other than Disneyland and Anime Expo, but that's Disneyland and Anime Expo. I mean, come on.

Last HHSLJET communication at 04:53 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3, 2003

I'm in a kind of weird zoned-out mood right now, and I don't really feel like doing anything, so I figured it was the perfect time to write a web log entry. It's weird too because we were feeling all productive earlier making costumes and stuff. Okay, so I was feeling vaguely productive earlier, but I was far more willing to work on stuff and we were learning our song and everything. The only thing we can figure is that it's after effects from having to visit people we don't know very well.

We went to our visiting teacher's house today and made pizza. Which, strangely, involved cutting tomatoes. When we found out we had to do that, we realized why it's so difficult for us to get along with this woman, despite her being very nice. She's a cook. She enjoys food. And since we're not real big fans of food in general. I mean, we like specific foods, and large quantities of those foods, but there are far too many foods that we don't like to keep us interested. Anime! Manga! That's what we're talking about.

It was weird to because we were the only ones there, except for her husband. And since we didn't really know either of them, it was kind of nerve-wracking. They were both really nice, and it was a lot better after her husband put some clothes on. I mean, I watch anime; bare skin doesn't bother me so much. But he's kind of old, so... He's in shape, at least. And I should probably point out that he had boxers on. And for those of you wondering, he's not LDS. At least, so we assume, but you know what they say about that.

I feel so shallow for saying that. I've taken to reminding myself that I'm a terrible person. It's not that I'm self-deprecating, I just feel the need for a reminder. I'm actually not quite sure why this is, but it could potentially help me to stop being so horrible.

Anyway, our VT decided to stay off the topic of food in conversation, which was nice. And they seemed at least somewhat interested in what we had to say, which is always appreciated. And she said nice things about Saiyuki after vaguely watching it with us. So it wasn't so bad. But it was still pretty draining.

This is where I'd like to clear things up. Athena and I are not anti-social. The reason we were so drained is that we're shy. It's hard to be with people we don't know very well, especially when no one else is there for back up. It just seems like somehow we've given off the impression that we're anti-social, which isn't true at all. I'm sure I've pointed out in previous entries that we go insane when left to our own devices for too long.

And here I'm going into our psyche, which I don't know if people actually want to know about, but here it is. Athena just said that she likes to think of us as Kubota and Tokito from Wild Adapter, which kind of works, except that we still don't know if they're gay or not. But I don't know if either of us is as smart as Kubota or as blunt as Tokito. Stupid passive aggressivism.

So anyway, I was talking about how we're not anti-social. And you think, "But you hide in your room all the time. Isn't that because you don't like being with people?" Okay, so maybe you don't think that, but I can see it being a common misconception. The main reason we hide in our room is simple: that's where all our stuff is. That and we like to listen to our own music, which, we understand, may not be the most popular choice.

We never really did like dances though. But that's another part of being shy. See, we weren't very popular through school, so we didn't have a whole lot of friends. Therefore, there was no one there who would have backed us up in a situation where there were a lot of people that we didn't know. Also, they're kind of boring.

But then there's Anime Expo. For some reason, we're not so shy there. It could have something to do with the fact that, to cosplay, you have to cast off anything remotely resembling fear to be comfortable. Okay, so it's not that bad cosplaying, but you still have to have no shame. But I also think it has something to do with the fact that it's very nice being with people who actually know what we're talking about when we go off about characters, costumes, voice actors, etc. And it's nice to not have to translate anime and manga to make sure people know what I'm talking about.

So I stopped working on costumes today before I should have. Like I said, it's a weird mood. I wasn't even sure I wanted to listen to True Light, which is just wrong. I actually did, but I didn't. And I'm not sick of it by any stretch of the imagination. Athena and I don't usually get sick of things, unless they turn dumb.

Oh, but I have to rave about True Light. I'm so in love with Shun'ichi Miyamoto right now. We got the CD single on Thursday. We ordered it with the single of the song we want to learn for the idol contest and we listened to it nonstop while chatting with people before we got productive. Then we put in the other CD and started learning our song.

But dude! It has the full version of the song, which is most excellent. After having listened to the TV size version so many times, it's definitely nice to hear the whole thing. And then there's a piano solo, performed by Miyamoto-kun (that's the only thing I can think of to call him, because people don't seem to like it when you use their full name all the time and I can't call him Mr., the kid just turned 17 in April), which he arranged himself. And then there's the accoustic version, which he also arranged and is very very very pretty. This kid is talented. It's kind of weird to think of him in the Boy's Angel internet radio thing with Miyu Irino because he's such a boy. I guess I just don't think of people who are that good at an instrument as being normal.

And yes, the internet radio thing is called Boy's Angel. It's kind of cute, but weird, especially if you know that the Japanese term for yaoi is "boy's love." Yes, in English. Miyamoto-kun and Irino-kun read the title and they're both like, "Who came up with this?" Then they had to decide who was Boys and who was Angel. I can't remember whom they decided was who, but Angel had pink wings. That was before we learned how to tell their voices apart.

But this entry has gone on long enough. More on Boy's Angel later.

Last HHSLJET communication at 10:55 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, 2003

I keep thinking, "I need to type up a web log entry," and then not doing so. So this time I'm actually taking initiative.

Recently Kat's been playing Final Fantasy X. Now normally one would think this probably wouldn't affect me too much. Except remember way back when when I told about my weakness for cuteness and mentioned a weakness for image songs? It's so long ago even I don't remember exactly what I said.

So here's what happened. We were at Kinokuniya over winter break and they had a bazillion things and we only had so much money and this was a very painful decision. They had the first two volumes of the reprint of Saiyuki with the pretty white covers, two SailorMoon Musical CD's that we really wanted, and the Final Fantasy X Vocal Collection. Needless to say, in the end, the FFX CD won out. Why? Because it had a song with Tidus and Wakka singing together. Even I'm not quite sure why that was the deciding factor, but it was. Although I think we were leaning that way anyway because of a desperate need to always hear the Japanese version of stuff.

It ended up being a really good decision, because of one, well, two things. First, Tidus is even more adorable in Japanese. Second, Rikku has the best song in the entire world. Things were pretty stressful that week back home, and Rikku's and Tidus's songs were the only things keeping us connected to our sanity. Actually, I think we could have found something else for that, but it's nice that we had those songs on hand.

Auron, sadly, does not sing. It always makes me sad when my favorite characters don't sing. He has a recitation, like Hakkai. Those two would actually probably get along really well, for more reasons than I can say without giving spoilers. But both of them are missing their right eye. That's something. Actually, Auron reminds me of Azuma from Megami Kouhosei. But that has nothing to do with anything. I just had to mention that he doesn't sing.

I think this time the reason he doesn't sing is more because of the character than the voice actor. We know that Akira Ishida has a reason for not singing. He said what it was on this thing TV Tokyo has involving the internet and cell phones. But since we don't have a cell phone with internet capabilities, we missed it. I may have related this story before. Oh well. When I told James, he laughed at me.

But we know Hideo Ishikawa (the voice of Auron) likes to sing, because he said so in a Wild Adapter interview. So one day when we're rich enough to get drama CD's we'll have one with him singing on it.

Anyway, back to Kat. She incorporates reactions to goings on in FFX into her AIM conversations, so we end up talking about the game a lot. It's actually really great the way she does it. She put a sample in her live journal, which you can get to from the Posse's website, but I don't know the address offhand and I'm too lazy to look it up.

So of course, when we think of FFX, the first thing that comes to my mind at least is Rikku's song, "Get Happy!" We made an MP3 and sent it to Kat, and she called it the best prozac ever (sorry if I misquoted!), and it really is. We've heard it eighty bazillion times and it still makes me hyper listening to it. We may have to perform it at Anime Expo at the open mic karaoke.

It's actually very good timing that we were reminded of the song when we were. It gives us something to think about besides how hard it is to do the right thing.

We got bored and decided to listen to the whole cd. This is kind of unusual, because we usually only have music on as background, not as the main thing we're doing. So this time we were able to pay a little bit more attention to the content of the monologues and dialogues that were going on. Rikku is so adorable in Japanese! Maybe one of these days I'll post translations of all the dialogues somewhere.

But one thing we noticed when listening is that something they mention a lot in FFX is smiling. In Yuna's song, she asks Tidus (at least I assume she would be talking to Tidus, but it could be anyone really) to always be smiling. Generally you don't think of smiling as being a favor. But you know, it really could be. I mean, I think everyone knows that moods are contageous. If something bad is going on, it's nice to have someone there who can smile warmly and tell you it's okay.

Which brings me back to Rikku's song. It really the bestest song ever. The music was even written by Yoko Shimomura, who did the music for Kingdom Hearts. But it basically says if you want to follow your dreams and fall in love and all that stuff they say is so great, you have to be happy. The last line says, "If you smile, look! Everyone's happy." And as I finish this entry, the song comes on again. Yay!

Last HHSLJET communication at 11:27 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I keep checking the web log in hopes that maybe someone wrote a new entry. Maybe I'm just expecting other people to entertain me. It's not really like I expect there to be a new entry, and it's not really fair of me to expect one either. I mean, the last time I wrote an entry was a week and a half ago. Oh well.

Lots of random good things and random insane things. Insane being a euphemism for things I can't express accurately without gaining a better handle of the English language or using swear words. I think I'll leave those out. I need to stop using the web log to whine.

We have a snake. He's not technically a real snake, in the sense of it being a breathing reptile that moves on its own. He's a stuffed animal, like Sora. Sora is our monkey. We got him at Disneyland over winter break. We had left him un-named because we had recently bought Lagoon Engine and thought there may be an appropriate character to name him after in there. We hadn't read it yet, so we didn't know. Sora is actually Athena's monkey, so she had the right to name him. She was thinking of naming him Sora after Jin's (from Lagoon Engine, if you weren't following) Maga, which is kind of like a Pokemon only not. But things came up and we decided we didn't want him to share a name with a character from ".hack//sign", so he remained unnamed even longer.

And then we played Kingdom Hearts. And Sora was such a cute little monkey boy! He's not technically a monkey boy, in the sense of being able to turn into a monkey or having a monkey tale or being based off of the Monkey King (although we saw some of the earlier character sketches for him and he did have a tail, but it was more like a lion). But he jumps around like a monkey boy, and he's cute like a monkey boy. So he's a monkey boy. And so we decided (actually Athena decided) that the monkey was named Sora after all.

So then when we went to Disneyland that one Saturday, we saw that the same place we bought Sora from was selling really cool snakes that actually coil around your arm, like how the monkeys will hang around your neck. So when we went back on Tuesday, one of the first things we did (well, after we were done with California Adventure) was buy a snake. And we named him Riku. It's just too fitting. Now all we need is for them to sell something that we could name Kairi and it would be perfect.

More randomness. We had a potluck today. Ray the Spanish Intern is going back to Spain, so today was his last day at work. So we threw him a party. We were working the front desk, so we didn't get to do a whole lot of mingling, but it was still nice. The graphic designers didn't want to cook anything so they all pitched in and ordered pizza. Athena made peanut butter squares, and someone came up to us later to tell us how good they were and how it would be nice if she brought them more often.

And Jennifer was passing out DVDs. She just came by and said something like, "Want Brigadoon vol.2? It's free." So we're like, "Sure!" And she gave us vol.4 of Reign too. It was a fun bit of randomness.

We decided to be spontaneous on Wednesday. Aurora said, "Let's go see Finding Nemo. Right now." So we did. It's a really good movie. And there was a preview for Brother Bear, which looks like another must-see. I noticed I didn't mention anything about why the movie was good before moving right on to something else. I didn't even think about saying anything. But I've already gone over this.

Anyway, yesterday we looked up the cast to Finding Nemo and were sad that we didn't recognize more of the voices. I mean, there's always the, "I know I've heard that voice!" but I was sad that we at least didn't place Deb's voice. I mean, we watched Newsradio almost religiously fall semester. I was sad. Bubbles was played by Stephen Root, too, but for some reason that doesn't bother me as much. I think it's funny that Bruce was played by Dame Edna, and since Nigel is my favorite character (as is Crush and Mr. Ray and Gill and...), I want to see Pirates of the Caribbean even more. I already knew that Dory was played by Ellen DeGeneres.

Okay, I think that's it for my random thoughts. Oh! We just got episode 11 of DN Angel. One of these days I really will rant more about that. We found out lots of cute seiyuu stuff. One of these days...

Last HHSLJET communication at 07:52 p.m. on Friday, June 13, 2003

Today was a really good day at work, if a little bit strange. And while this had nothing to do with the happenings at work, I would like to point out that we have proven once again that for some people, it's not how many hours of sleep you get before midnight, but how many you get after dawn.

Anyway, today at work. Actually it was kind of weird at first. We wanted to tell everybody that we're going to be in the AX Idol 2003 contest. Oh yeah! I didn't mention that yesterday. I was on a Disneyland kick and my circuits were overloading. We got the confirmation e-mail yesterday and my typing skill immediately died. This is very exciting and very nerve-wracking at the same time. They haven't posted the rules yet, so we haven't decided what we want to do for the contest, which makes it that much scarier. But we didn't get to really tell anyone at work about it. I did mention it on the message boards though.

It was kind of interesting, but probably only because I'm such a conspiracy theorist. Ryan IMed us for the first time in a long time. He mentioned a few things. First, our internship. Then he asked about registration stuff, and he apologized for what he said about GetBackers. I must say, he has a way of trying to admit that he's wrong without admitting that he's wrong. I regret not saying that he still needs to work on finding different ways to word things when he said, "I apologize for any imagined slight." So if you happen to be reading this now Ryan, you may want to make a note of that.

I've been getting blunt with people recently. I've decided I have no use for tact, as people tend to ignore hints, whether consciously or unconsciously. I did try giving Ryan the benefit of the doubt, but the more he talked, the more I wanted to beat some sense into him. But enough on that.

I was going to talk about work. We were just reading manga, procrastinating making the folders Jennifer asked us to make, when Daisuke came and asked us to translate something. This was exciting because he's the Japanese expert and he trusted us enough to do the translation. Either that or he was so pressed he didn't have a choice. At any rate, we were excited, because now we had a chance to prove ourselves, because he would know if the translations were accurate. He also asked us to make some copies.

Making copies was more exciting than it generally should be. We had to ask Mina to teach us how to use the copier, because we keep forgetting, as we are inept with office equipment. And this time I had to make enough copies that I may remember how the copier works. But with one of the scripts we were copying the machine kept jamming and I had to keep bugging Dana, so I felt bad.

And then Jennifer came to use the copier and we confessed to not having made those folders and told her we would be gone tomorrow and she said that it's okay and when we come back on Wednesday she'd have more stuff for us to do, and it would involve watching anime, so that was happy.

We got another cubicle buddy today too. He's the new marketing intern, so I think he may be sticking around. He laughed at us while we tried to come up with summaries for manga, because we were having a hard time. But he agrees that most summaries don't accurately reflect the quality of a series. It's all about character development, I'm telling you.

The really strange thing that happened at work though is that when we got to work, there was a Kurapica action figure on our desk. This was very confusing to me, because I couldn't figure out why it was there. I mean, there's a random pencil and plastic knife on our desk because sometimes people use our desk after we leave, but an action figure seems a little strange for some reason. Everytime my gaze wandered over to it I had to ask, "Why do we have a Kurapica action figure!?"

I really didn't think this was a bad thing. In fact, I like having anime stuff to decorate our desk with. And in the four episodes of HunterXHunter that we've seen, Kurapica is definitely a favorite character. Things like that just make me wonder, and I'm the type of person who's curiosity must be satisfied. Oh well.

The editors tend to come to us to ask us stuff. Like if there's a sound effect bubble that got missed or something. So it was no surprise when Jake came to us with a page from some CLAMP thing; I didn't recognize the characters, but I knew the style. So he was asking the question and he spotted the action figure and he said, "Oh, this is for you, by the way."

So at least now we knew it was ours. Although I have a strange way of thinking, so I'm not sure if it's from Jake or if someone who had worked at our desk thought it needed an action figure or what. But since Jake was the only one who commented on it, we figure it was from him, since no one has yet commented on our pretty pretty DN Angel pencil board. And when I was thinking of how to relate this story I remembered what Jake's question was.

We read it and were both like, "Awww..." To which Jake responded, "Is it really that sweet?" So, since that's what he came to us for anyway, we told him the translation: "I love you more than anything in the universe."

I wonder if he did that on purpose.

At any rate, he left as soon as he got the translation, so, if we had realized we should have been alerted to that, we wouldn't have had time to read anything from his face anyway. But then, English dub SailorMoon's Mina's words, "You think the paper boy is in love with you just because he rides by your house every morning," apply to me as well as Lita. We should check his left hand.

Last of all, we went to our first office meeting. That was really fun. They introduced people and made them hop on one foot, but not us because they don't pay us and have to make sure we don't want to leave. Today was a good day.

Last HHSLJET communication at 10:40 p.m. on Monday, June 2, 2003

I was getting all set to write an entry yesterday starting with me not being at Disneyland. And yes, it's a weekend, but I figure I've got the whole update schedule screwed up enough that it doesn't really matter.

Anyway, Sarah's school choir, of which she is a part, went to Disneyland yesterday. The teacher, who is a friend of the family, said she really wanted Mom to come chaperone. When Mom suggested to her that Athena and I go as chaperones, she said she'd see if she needed us. She even asked if we were as responsible as Aurora (she really likes Aurora). This was extremely annoying, as it seemed pretty obvious that she didn't want us there.

So we got used to the idea of sleeping in and then having time for me to work on costumes and stuff, when yesterday morning, Celeste woke us up and said, "You wanna go to Disneyland? You have twenty minutes to get to the school."

And despite probably needing the extra sleep, we got up and got ready. We can't turn down a trip to Disneyland, after all. As it turns out, some of the chaperones had flaked out and they were in desperate need of more. And after thinking about it, we realized that the teacher probably was just nervous about trusting us, since we're pretty quiet at church and so she didn't really know us very well. This is a good thing because Athena and I have a habit of taking everything personally.

I guess the fact that we were chaperoning would indicate that I would talk about the kids some, but there's really not a whole lot to say. We made sure they all got on the bus, we made sure they all got in the park, and then we all split up until around three when they were supposed to check in with us at Sleeping Beauty's Castle, after which they were gone again until after the fireworks when we made sure everyone made it safely onto the bus and we all went home.

But I just like talking about Disneyland, so that's what I'm going to do.

We spent the day with Mom, which is fun because she likes to go shopping. And not just window shopping, which is what we do when we're by ourselves at Disneyland. Disneyland has lots of pretty things to look at, which is why shopping there is way more fun than grocery shopping or clothes shopping. We actually didn't buy a whole lot, but we did note some stuff we needed to keep in mind when we go back on Tuesday.

The first ride we went on was the new Winnie the Pooh ride. Because of the ad campaign that says Pooh is having an Open Howse, I thought it was called Pooh's House, which would actually be kind of dumb because Pooh's House is one room in a tree. It's actually called The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, like the movie. This is also kind of silly, because it mostly only covers Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. It was really cute though. And they made sure to have Kanga and Roo, and Roo is so cute!

It was actually a lot like Snow White's Scary Adventure and Pinocchio's Daring Journey, which really didn't surprise us. It was more high-tech though, so when they did the hephalumps and woozles dream sequence thingie, it looked really cool. They even had the bit where Pooh's spirit leaves his body and spins around and around until it gets to the song bit. And unlike in the Alice in Wonderland ride when they have the hedgehog croquet thingie, it was 3D. Ooooh... Aaaaah...

Mom said it wasn't worth the hype. I didn't really expect much despite all the hype, so I liked it. Athena's torn because Winnie the Pooh is hugely popular, which I also have problems with, and the mini-games in Kingdom Hearts are really really dumb.

We actually only went on about eight rides yesterday. We spent a lot of time just wandering. I would like to note that, unless I'm remembering wrong, they added some new languages to It's a Small World. I thought that was pretty cool, except from what I heard, the Asian children were singing in Japanese, which I don't really mind except that the kids holding songbooks seem to be wearing traditional Chinese clothing.

We talked with some really nice people at Disneyland yesterday too. Oh! I forgot. The Disney princesses were wandering around Sleeping Beauty's Castle all day. When we were there, waiting for kids to check in, Princess Aurora was walking around holding hands with two little blind girls. It was so sweet.

So, back to meeting nice people. We were in one of the shops in Main Street (I'm ashamed of myself for not knowing the names), and this particular one had a bunch of snowglobes and stuff. They had one really awesome snowglobe where the glass part was an hourglass with Jasmine inside and Jafar, in snake form, was wrapped around it with Aladdin fighting him. It was really, really cool. So we were squealing about it and behind us we hear, "Which one?" So we moved over so she could see it and she happened to be one of the ladies working at that shop.

I mentioned how I really liked snakes so she asked how we felt about Kaa in the Jungle Book and then tested our knowledge by asking who did his voice, which of course we knew, and then she followed up by saying, "Who is also..." "Winnie the Pooh." "That's right." "And the stork in Dumbo." And she named the mouse in Aristocats, which, again I'm ashamed of myself for not knowing but not ashamed enough to sit down and watch the thing at the moment. Maybe after AX sometime.

She thought we were really cute so she's like, "Tell me what else you like so I can show you more stuff!" It was fun. And she showed us these really nice Disney Princess music boxes and picture frames and we got into a discussion of why on earth Ariel would still be using a dinglehopper while wearing her wedding dress. We decided it was the sentimental value, I think.

One of my favorite conversations with random people happened right after the fireworks though. I heard a guy behind me say, "I'm glad I'm not the only one." And despite my normal instinct to silently eavesdrop and not let people catch on that that's what I'm doing, I turned around to see who was talking. I guess that's what Disneyland does to me. I don't feel the need to hide so much. So anyway, I guess he could tell despite the darkness and he asked, "You were crying too?"

It's kind of funny. Disneyland fireworks almost always make me cry. I think especially if I haven't been in a long time, which I hadn't. And the narration they have for their fireworks show is one of the sappiest things I've heard in my life. And while thinking that, I would still be crying. I think, for this particular show, it didn't help that they use Two Worlds from Tarzan. That one always gets me. And then when Tinkerbell showed up. And when they had the fireworks shaped like Mickey. Yeah, I know it's not difficult, but I guess Kingdom Hearts and the lack of Fantasmic! have made me more attached to Mickey. Especially after reading that one scene they had in Final Mix but not in the American version of Kingdom Hearts.

So we had a brief conversation about fireworks making people cry. And that's right, there was no Fantasmic! yesterday. And there won't be any Fantasmic! on Tuesday either. It's been out for about six months now, and I haven't seen it in at least two years. If I don't see it before I go back to college, I really think I'll go crazy.

One last thing I want to mention before finishing this entry. We reaized what it is about Johnny Depp that, despite us never noticing him before, makes him really sexy now. How did we come to this realization, you ask? Before the fireworks show, Athena was staring at one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie posters we got at the Disney Gallery for free. That's right. It was free. We were thoroughly shocked. And the pictures are very pretty.

Anyway, the reason we've been ...I don't want to say drooling... over Johnny Depp since the Pirates previews have been playing is that he has the face of a Kazuya Minekura character. It's kind of weird. I wonder if she's a fan of his.

We had fun at Disneyland. We both got headaches, and we did some extra walking because we realized we wanted to eat right after passing the restaurant we like in Fantasyland (because they have an evil evil french fry stand right by the exit to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad), and then kept walking to check out the restaurant in Frontierland and New Orleans Square before I got smart enough to pull out the map. (We don't usually eat in the park, so we aren't familiar with all the restaurants and what they serve.) But overall, it was a very good day.

Last HHSLJET communication at 09:21 p.m. on Sunday, June 1, 2003

The problem with a series like Gundam Seed is that there are about a million characters introduced in the first episode. This doesn't give me enough time to remember who anybody is and I have no idea if I've seen that person before the next time they show them. And then I don't remember what they did or who they're working for or anything.

This is the same problem we've been having recently at work. See, on our very first day, Mina took us around and introduced us to everyone. But this was a very brief tour mostly consisting of Mina pointing to people and saying, "That's [insert name]. These are the new twin interns." And therefore we remember no one.

I didn't really think it'd be much of an issue, and it's not really. But people will say, "Okay, now I want you to do this, but first you have to go to Tony and ask for this," and we have no idea who Tony is. So then we say, "Uh...Tony...?" and she says, "You weren't introduced to Tony?" And we were; we just don't remember who he is. This was especially funny when we came back from lunch one day and Mina said, "Oh, Tim was looking for you," and we say, "Tim...?" and she gave a brief description followed by, "Tim. His name is Tim, right?" Which was really funny because she would have been the one to tell us. I guess you had to be there.

We actually learned the names of most of the editors pretty quickly, mostly because we had to email stuff to them and everyone's Tokyopop email address is their name. And there's a lot of people who's names start with J. Since we're currently on a huge GetBackers kick, that's kind of creepy. Interestingly, Bunny Doll came up on winamp as I typed that.

So we've slowly been actually learning who's who. We finally learned for sure that the name of the cute guy who Mina almost didn't introduce us to is Patrick. Athena had suspected.

See, Mina has a habit of skipping over things if they're not entirely necessary. I don't blame her for not introducing us to every department; we forgot everyone's name anyway. What happened was she introduced us to all the editors, which happened to lead to Patrick's department. I don't even remember what it is. But we were walking by and he said, "You're not going to introduce us?" So Mina was then obligated to introduce us, but she did make the excuse that we probably wouldn't be dealing with them, and we haven't been. Although Patrick did help us with the copier once. We felt dumb, but it just goes to show that if a couple of cute girls look troubled enough, eventually a cute guy will come to help them out.

Mina's habit doesn't really bother me, but it does make me glad that she wasn't the one introducing today's guest. At least, I think he's a guest. I have no idea how long he's staying. I'm just an intern; they don't tell me anything.

Anyway, today Mutsumi (she introduced herself to us today; she's the new production manager) was taking Katsuhiko Okazaki around and basically giving him a tour of the office. He's visiting from Japan, which is why Mutsumi was given the task of showing him around. Jeremy (at least I think his name is Jeremy) talked to him on the phone and found out that he actually knows plenty of English, but still.

The good thing about Mutsumi giving Katsuhiko the tour is that Mutsumi either actually did introduce him to everyone who was there or she for some reason felt it would be a good thing to introduce him to us. This made me happy because I like to meet new people. Mina (at least I think it was Mina) was showing someone else around the other day and we didn't get to meet them. But this time it was an added bonus because Katsuhiko is from Japan. We heard people talking about a visitor from Japan coming, even before we heard Jeremy talking to him on the phone, and I would have been very sad if we didn't get to meet him.

We actually spoke very little Japanese to Mutsumi and Katsuhiko, for those of you wondering. Mutsumi didn't even know we knew Japanese until she noticed that the manga we were reading when they came in wasn't English. And then they asked if we spoke Japanese and I said, "chotto..." and Katsuhiko understood that we're much better at reading than we are at speaking. On the one hand, I'm glad people understand, but on the other I'm sad that we're not competent Japanese speakers. Don't misunderstand. It's not like we tried and failed to speak Japanese. I'm guessing that, having had to learn English, he would understand that sometimes it's easier to read than to speak.

So today was a pretty good day at work. We didn't make all the folders Jennifer asked us to make, and I hope we don't get in trouble for that. But otherwise, it was good.

Last HHSLJET communication at 09:58 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, 2003

Once again, I'm sucking at the update thing. I guess it's because I have to get up early to go to work, which means I have to go to bed early if I don't want to die. And despite getting home from work early, I still feel like I don't have enough time after work to do all the stuff I want to do before going to bed. So what is all this stuff? Nothing, really. See? It's dumb.

Anyway, I'm sitting here listening to Xellos songs. We asked Kat to send us the mp3's after we made the realization that Satoshi is probably never ever going to sing. See, after we found out that Takeshi Kusao was going to play Krad in DN Angel, we thought he would be the key to getting Akira Ishida to sing. Why? Because after watching the Saiyuki Memorial thingie, we realized that Takeshi Kusao is a very hyper person and seems to enjoy singing. He was probably the most excited person onstage singing Blow Winds, except for maybe the dancers. I like to think that Soichiro Hoshi would have been more excited if he hadn't been tired from performing a solo song.

So we were hoping this would work toward our advantage when he was cast as Krad. Because Krad is kind of an underling to Satoshi and yet still a very important character, they would want to give him an image song, but they'd have to give one to Satoshi first. So Takeshi Kusao would have the job of bugging Akira Ishida until he agreed to sing or blackmailing him or something, because he would most definitely want to sing an image song.

And then we were at the DN message board thingie they have at the TV Tokyo website. Episode 4 had already aired in Japan, but we hadn't seen it yet. We should have known people would already be talking about it. But as it turned out, part of the background music for that episode consisted of a song sung by none other than Krad.

And thus our hopes of a Satoshi image song were crushed.

But we can still look forward to some really cool songs on the soundtrack. Victor Entertainment, by the way, is evil. They're releasing two different versions of DVDs for the entire series, one aimed at boys and the other aimed at girls. I guess this really has no significance to us, since we're not in Japan and don't have region 2 DVD players and don't have any money to buy DVDs even if they weren't horrendously overpriced. But assuming we did go to Japan and get a DVD player, we'd want those DVDs. And there's different extras with each version, so of course we'd have to get both. And there's only two episodes on each DVD!

Stupid Victor has been taunting us for a while though. They're the ones that had to go and release a Megami Kouhosei Drama CD. And they've released two Lagoon Engine CDs. And they're releasing all the Gundam Seed CDs...so many Gundam Seed CDs...

Enough of that. We will have to somehow be able to afford the DN Drama CD that's coming out in August (after getting the soundtrack of course). It's going to have a Daisuke image song and a Risa & Riku image song, proving once again that identical twins often count as one person. Oy. But it's nice to have a duet Athena and I can sing. They should each get a song and then have a duet. That would be best.

One of these days I'm going to have to go on a tirade about the DN anime. I have a lot of stuff to say, but I'm not quite sure how to say it. But I think I'm done for now.

Last HHSLJET communication at 03:54 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Hello! Alethea here. Yeah, I know I slacked off this week. I was being dumb and pitying myself. But I think I'm over it now, although I'm not too pleased with our plans to see X-2 being thwarted once again. Ah well.

Anyway, this Sunday, we met our new visiting teacher. For anyone reading this who's not a member of the LDS church, a visiting teacher is a woman assigned to visit you once a month and teach a lesson and then be available to help you and stuff. It's a really nice idea. Not quite sure how much I myself like it though.

Don't get me wrong; I like it when I have visitors. But sometimes it can be more trying than helpful.

In this situation, I think it could potentially be a very good thing that Athena and I have a visiting teacher. Being back in California, our social life has become pretty much non-existent. We have one friend, James, but he lives an hour away. We could probably have fun hanging out with our cousin Jonathan, but he also lives an hour away. Liz would hang out with us if she wasn't practically under house arrest by her over-protective mother. And Ginger actually did come to visit us on our birthday, but she spent almost the whole visit talking to Aurora about theater stuff.

I don't think even the Posse realizes the full extent to which being left to our own devices drives us crazy, because, well, they're not there when it happens. Although I think Pam has a pretty good idea, especially if she remembers last summer when I spent possibly a full twenty minutes ranting about Tokyo Mew Mew to her on AIM despite her being away playing the Sims. And I like to think recent activity on the message boards tipped Heather and Mandy off a little.

So maybe it's a good thing that we have a visiting teacher. But it could potentially just be annoying. We weren't too happy when she introduced herself, but that was just because she caught us at a bad time. Sacrament meeting had brought up a touchy subject, and I wasn't feeling up to putting that aside and being friendly. She seemed very nice, but she had to go and bring up the topic of food, which is generally not a good idea unless I have plenty of energy. See, Athena and I, for anyone reading this who may not know, are two of the pickiest eaters in the world, so when people start talking to us about food, even if they're genuinely curious, it feels like we're being interrogated or something and we have to be careful in our responses or we'll be ostracized. And while I know logically that probably won't be the case, the fear is still there.

The biggest concern I have is that she doesn't know anything about anime. Granted, this could be a good thing, because it means she's not already prejudiced against it. But when we told her a little about it, she said, "That sounds...interesting..." and it kind of felt like she was saying it to be nice but she hopes with all her might that we'll find something else to talk about. Like we would have anything else to talk about. Even if I was reading her wrong, it would be nice if we had someone to talk to who could follow what we're talking about when we start going off about Japanese voice actors.

But I think things are going to be okay, even if we are by ourselves as soon as we get home from work. I guess I should point out that while, yes, we have a large family, most of that family spends all their time as far away from home as they can get. Okay, so they're not that desperate to get away, but basically they have things to do away from home, and we don't. So we're still by ourselves.

But anyway, I think things will be okay because things at work are getting better. Athena and I are really shy and, since our desk is kind of hidden, we're pretty isolated at work as well as at home. This is probably part of why we ended up having nothing to do on Wednesday. But Dana learned that we had nothing to do and she told the editing boss. He's the Azuma I mentioned so long ago. And we found out his name is Ron. That was pretty amusing because of the way we found out. He made sure we got some stuff to do and then he came and told us that if we ever run out of stuff to do to come and tell our Uncle Ron.

But see, what happened was Ron made Jill our mentor and she's in charge of giving us stuff to do. The important thing here is that now we know who we're supposed to talk to when we're out of stuff to do. And since we're supposed to talk to her, we know she won't get mad at us for it. And so it won't be so scary talking to people. Also, Julie and Jody (or Jodie; I'm not sure) are really nice and let us do a bunch of editing. So things are definitely looking up.

Last HHSLJET communication at 11:15 p.m. on Friday, May 16, 2003

So, this is Pam. Yes, again, a little different, but I really needed to rant. Besides, as Alethea did with the first day of work, this is a great way for me to let everybody know what's happening with me without having to type/tell the story at least 4 different times.

So, first off, around three weeks ago my life really sucked. A lot. First off, I broke up with my boyfriend Ryan, which is never an easy thing to do. Second, I got official word that no, I hadn't pulled myself up from depression enough so I had failed classes and I got suspended from BYU. Yay. Because of that, I needed to find a new job because I can't keep working on campus much longer. All I can say is hooray for Lexapro, the wonderful, wonderful prescription antidepressant. Because man, if it weren't for that stuff... I'd rather not go into that. I dealt with that, though. I had gotten myself up, I was happy, I was doing good. I had talked to my mom and she was very understanding and supportive. Actually, I'm still happy and I'm still doing good emotionally. Health-wise, though... A-heh.

So, last Thursday I started having a bad pain in my chest whenever I stretched. This isn't entirely unusual in me, so I ignored it. Later, at work, the pain subsided but I started having trouble breathing. Basic stuff, short of breath, trouble taking a full breath. I figured it would go away and gave myself until Saturday before I called the doctor. Saturday rolled around and I thought I was doing better. Then I actually started doing stuff later. No, I wasn't better, but it was a little late by that time to call the doctor because first I had to jump through some insurance hoops. Sunday was bad. Really bad. You shouldn't be getting short of breath while standing in front of of a congregation singing and waving your arm around (I'm the ward chorister, by the way).

So, Monday I got up and called the insuance company to find out which doctors I could go to. Half an hour on the phone going through automated menus, talking to people who couldn't help me and directed me to other automated menus until I finally talked to a real person who told me what doctor I could go to. So, at the doctor I explain what's been going on, and all my vitals are good, so the doctor decided to try all the nice methods before she tried the mean ones. That's exactly how she put it, to. I really like my doctor. ^^ So, the likely reason was my allergies had gone wild and messed with my breathing. So, she gave me some free samples of Allegra and Clarinex, as well as a prescription inhaler and told me if they didn't work, come back in the next day. Took them home, tried everything (not all at once, mind), nothing helped my breathing. Cleared my sinuses, though. So I went back on Tuesday.

Oh man, Tuesday at the doctor's... They tried every test they could think of that they had there. I had a chest x-ray taken, I had a breathing test, I had a depression and anxiety test, I had blood taken, and I even had an EKG (heart monitering thing). The only thing that showed up even slightly different than normal was the anxiety one, so Shauna (that's my doctor) decided to try some fast-acting anxiety medication to see if that worked. Took those home, tried them... nothing. Well, I did get sleepy, which meant the pills were working, they just didn't do anything for my breathing.

So, right now there are very few options left to try. Mostly, Shauna's trying to rule everything out, so she's waiting for my blood work to get back. If there's nothing out of the ordinary there, they're going to try an extended heart monitering thing. If there's nothing abnormal with that, then I get to go to the hospital and get myself pumped full of dyes and stuck in a tube for a couple of hours so they can look at my lungs. Yay. In the meantime, I haven't been able to work because I can't breathe properly. My boss has been really understanding, but man it gets boring sitting at home doing nothing but reading, sleeping, watching TV and playing video games all day every single day. And I can't even look for a new job, yet, because I may have to go to the hospital. The one job I applied for they had already filled, but I was half expecting that.

In general, though, I'm doing good on the emotional front. Staying happy, just really bored. Ah well. Gives me time to perfect my Sonic Adventure 2 technique, I guess. Oh, and I did get a blessing, for those wondering. I know my lungs will work properly again because the blessing specifically said so, I just don't know when.

Last HHSLJET communication at 04:46 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, 2003

Hey, I'm posting on a Monday! Maybe I'll be able to keep this up indefinitely.

Anyway, this is something I've been wanting to talk about for a while but haven't gotten around to it because I wanted plenty of time and I didn't want it to be divided by reports on what happened at work. So here goes.

A while ago on the Posse's message boards, the question was brought up, "do girls like anime just because it's pretty?" This question could have been brought up without mean comments, but it wasn't, so I was annoyed. So I wanted to spend some time talking about why I like the serieses I like.

There has to be something to get me to watch it in the first place. Athena and I like to go into a series knowing as little about it as possible, because some things are just cooler if you don't know they're coming. This may or may not be the basis for another comment that was made by the same boy who asked the question.

When everyone came on telling him that it takes more than pretty to keep us interested in a series, and asked what's wrong with appreciating the pretty in a series, he said that there's nothing wrong with it but that a lot of people claim to like a series for the plot and yet can't seem to answer questions about the plot. This of course would have to be in reference to someone he's talked to before, and he spends a lot of time on message boards (just not ours; I seem to know a lot of people like that), so it could be anyone.

However, there are two instances of Athena and I specifically not telling him the plot of a series or video game that we claim as a favorite. He even asked us what the plot of Kingdom Hearts was, to which our response was, "We're horrible at summarizing things," which is a true statement. (I remember at the time wondering why he never asked Pam, since he was going out with her at the time; I wonder if it was a test.) I have had experience where I summarized something I really like and someone said that it didn't sound very interesting. But I think the reason we're horrible at summarizing is because of our crusade against spoilers.

See, when we were in eighth grade, they re-released Star Wars and we had a friend who hadn't seen it yet. He asked who Yoda was talking about when he said there was another hope beside Luke, and I told him. I felt really bad about that and vowed to try never to spoil a series again. And so when we summarize a series, we have to do it without giving away all the cool stuff. That can make it sound boring. But you've gotta admit, DN Angel wouldn't have been nearly as cool if you'd known what would happen in the first chapter.

I thought a little bit about it last night and realized that there is a way to summarize DN without giving away the really cool stuff, but you can't expect someone to come up with that summary on the spur of the moment. I guess Athena and I could sit down and write out spoiler free summaries of all our favorite serieses, but that would be stupid.

So anyway, something that gets us to watch a series. Often the trigger is a voice actor. I can list several series that we've seen because we heard someone we liked was in it. Sometimes just the title is intriguing enough. One time we watched a series because I saw one picture and thought it looked cool. And if something is available to us on a server, we'll download it and check it out. And obviously if a manga artist we like has done a series, we want to read it.

But only the last of those is enough to keep us interested in a series. Because the key to any series is the characters. James put it best when he said something to the effect of, "If I like the characters, I don't care what happens in the story." It really is all about the characters. I mean, if you think about it, a lot of the stuff that happens during Saiyuki (not their back stories; just the stuff going on during their journey) is kind of cliche. It's the way the characters react that makes it so great.

So what kind of characters do I like? I don't know. I was thinking about it and I realized that most of my favorite characters are good-looking young men. So maybe I am petty enough to only like bishounen. But if you think about it, most characters in general are good-looking young people, and I just think boys are usually more interesting than girls.

Not to say that all girls are boring. There are quite a few female characters I like: Emiko, Hiyono, Kizna, Lacus. But I like boys better. Especially cute boys, because, as noted in a previous entry, I have a weakness for cute things.

And just because a boy is pretty doesn't mean I like him right away. Or at all even. All I have to say about that is Akio from Utena. *shudder*

But even guys that aren't pure evil don't become favorites right away. I liked Daisuke way more than Dark when we first started reading DN Angel, but as the series went on, Dark started showing that he had a personality aside from stealing things and making fun of Daisuke, and he seemed liked an older brother type, and that's one of my favorite types.

As a note, I was going to use Jonathan from Brain Powerd as an example of guys that are very pretty but not necessarily liked by me, but then they had a bit that, despite making me think he's a little bit more psycho than I originally thought, made me like him a lot more.

But you know, it's not really fair to think we watch a series just because it's pretty every time, even if we spend a long time raving about all the pretty. Why? Because I didn't really like the art style in Saiyuki at first. But when you start to like a series, it looks prettier in your eyes. We had to get to like the characters before they started to look pretty. But now that the characters are among our favorites, what's wrong with appreciating the beauty?

Last HHSLJET communication at 08:00 p.m. on Monday, May 12, 2003

And today makes three!

We got our first page today! We were sitting in our cubicle, typing up summaries, when the phone beeped like it does before there's an announcement or a page and then we heard someone say, "Will the Twins please come to Julie's desk?" It was pretty exciting.

She needed us to go through and help with some editing bits that required a knowledge of Japanese. She was still editing the manga herself at the time, so we had to keep going back and forth to get the next parts to edit. On one of our trips back to our cubicle, we met guy who said hi and that he'd heard all about us.

This, no matter how many times we hear it, is an enigma to us. At TokyoPop it's not so much, because we're the new interns who know Japanese and are cute twins, so it makes sense that people would mention us, and we're always in our cubicle, which is kind of hidden from everyone except Dana and Mina, so it's not like we're really available for people to talk to us.

But it seems to be a rather common occurrence that people generally talk more about us than to us. I guess it's the fact that people so rarely talk to us that makes it so hard for me to imagine they'd have anything to say about us. So it's an enigma. It would almost seem that people are afraid to talk to us, or to say anything when we're around.

We noticed on several occasions back in Utah that people who would hide in the corner when we were downstairs were some of the most active participants in a conversation when we were upstairs. I think this has something to do with why people don't post on the message boards very much.

I guess this is partly because Athena and I have strong opinions about some things, and we tend to get mean when people say things contrary to what we know and believe to be true, which sounds like it may be in reference religion or something, but I am mostly just talking about anime here. We also have a tendency to overreact when someone mentions a series or character that we don't like, and forget to consider the feelings whoever mentioned it. So I guess we scare people off. I mean, even if it only happens once, that kind of experience can be scarring for a person. I know when someone's mean to me I like to hide from them. So that's something we need to work on.

I think the other part is just that somehow we're intimidating. I guess that sounds conceited, and I think normally I wouldn't say that, but it really does seem to be the case. Either that, or we're just too annoying to be worth anyone's time. Not being other people, I really couldn't say.

Last HHSLJET communication at 08:58 p.m. on Friday, May 9, 2003

Look! Look! I'm updating two days in a row!

Anyway, work was a lot better today, which is really good because yesterday wasn't bad at all. Just scary. We got to do some really fun stuff today and read more manga. And we went on a quest. It was pretty cool.

The ride home was still an issue. I think it has something to do with the fact that a year ago either Aurora or Celeste or one of their friends spilled something in the car and didn't clean it up until a day later so it fermented or something and the smell's never completely gone away. But it only activates in the afternoon. I don't quite get it either, but at least I don't get sick on the way to work.

Oh! I just remembered. There's a deadline coming, which I think is why I guess all the official translators were busy and we therefore had a couple of people come to our cubicle and ask us to translate a couple of things. That was cool.

We were telling Kat about work and she said, "See, I knew you guys would just take to this like Goku to food." It's a very good analogy, but as Athena pointed out, it's more like Goku to sukiyaki, which would make more sense to anyone who's read the first volume of Saiyuki Reload. My apologies to anyone reading this who hasn't, but I really don't know who's still reading this or if anyone new started or anything. I know Heather's checking everyday, which is kind of weird because she hasn't said anything on the message boards in ages. Hmm... *raises an eyebrow*

It's kind of weird reading manga for work though. Because you're sitting reading manga and it's all good and happy and then you think, "Wait. I'm supposed to be at work. What am I doing reading manga?" And then you realize that reading manga is your job and that's almost beyond comprehension. Because usually when you do something as a hobby, it's what you do when you're not being productive. This is something you get told frequently by the people who wish you would be more productive.

Last summer Mom was upset that we were wasting our time because we didn't have jobs, but we spent a lot of time translating that summer. We thought that was productive because not only would our friends now be able to read that manga, therefore making our "work" a service to others, but we were improving our Japanese reading skills, which are coming in quite handy right now. But now we're not even translating the manga. We're just reading it so we can summarize it. So it's kind of wacky.

But just because something is wacky doesn't mean it's bad. This is a good job.

Last HHSLJET communication at 08:09 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, 2003

Wow, I really suck at this weblog thing recently. I claim temporary insanity. That's what happens when you have to make all sorts of emails to people you may or may not know in the hopes of maybe finding out how to get some frickin' credit for this internship. Eheh.

But our internship finally started today. We really need to email our references and thank them and stuff because they're all really nice and would probably like to know how things turned out, but we're still kind of out of it. A first day on the job followed by a long ride home in which you find out that your little sister is convinced you hate her and hid Kingdom Hearts from her so she couldn't play despite the fact that all you did was take it out of the Playstation and put it on the pile of video games that was already on the DVD player can do that to you. And she was psycho enough to call Mom and complain.

We thought it wouldn't be a problem with her getting ahead of us, since Athena's already played through it once and then we saw the whole thing again with the Posse, but we were wrong. And it shouldn't bother us, but it does. Besides, shouldn't we be the first ones to play with our one and only birthday present? Okay, so we got money from Dad and Grandma and CDs a long time ago from Dad, but still. Our birthday present, our toy.

It doesn't help matters that, according to Aurora, the PS2 belongs to her. This is kind of a problem, because when Mom told us they had a PS2, she said it was only to play DDR (which really was the only game they had before we got Kingdom Hearts), and that when we brought the PSX home with our copies of DDR, we could have the PS2. Living in the same apartment, it really doesn't matter whose it is until we go back to college. But Aurora claims she can't play any DDR that's not DDR Max. She also tried asking us if we would leave Kingdom Hearts here. Oy. It can be hard not to hurt things sometimes.

Anyway, my main motivation for actually typing up this web log entry is the idea that everyone is going to ask about our internship. Normally, I'd like the attention, but everyone being scattered all over the country means I'd have to repeat the story about four times at least. So I thought I'd type it here and then I can refer everyone to the web log.

First, we had to get up at six. This is only vaguely annoying because TokyoPop doesn't actually open until nine. But Mom likes to get to work at seven, and she's our transportation. So we ride with Mom to her office, stay there for an hour and a half, and take the bus to TokyoPop's place. Today we all wanted to make absolutely sure we didn't get there late, so we actually got there at 8:30. Athena and I didn't want to go to the office and find no one there, so we stayed outside for a while. This was the very scary part, because there wasn't anything to do except think about what was next, which we really didn't have much idea as to what that could be.

So we finally went in. TokyoPop is actually on the 20th floor of the building, which is kind of cool, and yet scary because we are in earthquake territory, after all. Dana Lee was already there, and she took us to their resource library and gave us a bunch of paperwork to fill out. Their resource library, by the way, is really cool. All the manga... In Japanese too. And Korean. That was kind of wacky.

So now we've read the company handbook, which actually tells us that we need to put the registered trademark symbol after every time I type TokyoPop. I hope I don't get fired for that...

The people at TokyoPop are very, very nice. The one guy said that they abuse interns, which apparently is a total lie. Every time we finished anything, whoever had asked us to do it was very appreciative. Maybe he meant he, by himself, abuses the interns.

They had us sign a confidentiality agreement, so I'm not sure exactly what I'm allowed to say, but I can still give a basic outline of what we did. I think.

When we were done signing papers, we got a tour of the company, and then people had us do little things for them. And then we ran out of stuff to do, so Dana told us to go to lunch. We did a little bit of exploring because we're unfamiliar with that area and we passed by the La Brea Tar Pits, which is a redundancy but it's pretty cool. We can see them from our window. Anyway, we found a little restaurant nearby and had some fries because we were too freaked out try a whole meal.

And then we got back and got one of the best jobs ever. Because see, they need summaries of their new manga. The best way ...and now I'm sidetracked because Sarah just put up a big picture of Haley Joel Osment as her wallpaper... Anyway, the best way to get a summary of the manga is to read the manga. And as interns who can read Japanese and had nothing better to do, we were apparently the best candidates. It probably helps that we're not getting paid, but hey, whatever.

And that's basically what we did for the rest of the day. We got some manga to take home with us and we'll get even more tomorrow. And we may get to do some actual translating soon. This is going to be a really good job.

Last HHSLJET communication at 07:28 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Hello! Alethea here! I'm back! I've been slacking off because of finals and other craziness, which I really think is no excuse, but it can be hard to overcome laziness sometimes.

Today is Athena and my birthday! Yay!!! We turn twenty-one, but sadly, we didn't get to go to Disneyland today. We know Mom wants to go to Disneyland at some point, but there's no telling when that will be. But we do get our own copy of Kingdom Hearts today, so it's not all hopeless.

Anyway, we're back in California now because that's where TokyoPop is. Celeste was driving us to our interview yesterday and felt the need to remind us that our life is not an anime. But you know, aside from the fact that we're not animated in the sense of animated cartoons, I think it very well may be. At least, in many respects, it comes close.

If I were to say which anime it was, it would be somewhere along the lines of Candidate for Goddess and Kaleido Star. Both of them feature a main character who has a dream, which really seems either insane or nigh impossible. Okay, so in Zero's case, it doesn't seem very insane or difficult, but there is a mention of how there's no reason for him to believe that he can actually be a pilot. At least no more so than anyone else.

My point is, both of those main characters have a dream that they have to work towards, and right now this whole internship idea is about where both those main characters started off in the series.

We saw the third episode of Kaleido Star on Monday. That may not have been such a good idea. The thing is, both Megami Kouhosei and Kaleido Star have an Azuma. Azuma, in Megami Kouhosei, is Zero's instructor--the guy who's pretty much in charge of whether or not Zero makes it to his goal. In Kaleido Star, his name is Karosu (going with a direct romanization since I don't know how it's supposed to be spelled) and he's the owner of the circus Sora wants to get into. Both of them are kind of laid back, and really strict, yet seem to have some sort of...I don't know, niceness?...that makes it so they help the main character. And both of them happen to be played by Keiji Fujiwara. Weird.

The third episode of Kaleido Star features a lot of Karosu being mean to Sora. This actually really freaked me out. Why? Because I've been comparing my life to Sora's ever since I started watching Kaleido Star, I was already freaking because we had an interview the next day, and the idea of a scary guy like that being a main character in my story was not pleasant.

And yet it seems that every story like this requires an Azuma. In our case, it's the boss guy at TokyoPop. I don't remember his name, and I feel kind of bad about that, except that I doubt he remembers my name. Not that he doesn't care, just that he doesn't really care. The woman we had been in correspondence with, Dana Lee (I don't know if I'm supposed to be naming people online...eheh...) introduced us to him almost the first thing.

He was kind of fun in his scariness. Everytime something new was brought up, he'd call in someone who represented that area. Ms. Lee told him that we're taking 400 level Japanese classes, so he had them get none other than Daisuke (Yay!!) to test our skills. It wasn't really much of a test; he just had Daisuke read one of the questions they're supposed to ask interviewees, only in Japanese.

The question, by the way, was how we manage stress, which, of course, is by watching anime, reading manga, and playing video games. They seemed pretty shocked at a lot of the things we said, but in a good way. Especially when we said we translate manga in our spare time for fun.

Personally, I'm glad we're girls, because that means we're going more along the lines of Kaleido Star, which means we get a Ken. Okay, maybe not. But there was a really cute (cute like Ken from Kaleido Star, actually) guy at the reception desk who kept peeking into the room we were being interviewed in. Maybe it's because they probably don't get cute twins walking in there every day.

Overall, I think things went really well. We get to start working as soon as we can get in some paperwork that, due to wacky happenings, was not available when we went in for the interview. But the boss is still scary. I guess it happens every time you get hired for a new job--they tell you all these rules that you think you'll never be able to keep, but they really aren't all that hard. We have been warned that he gives the interns a lot of abuse. We'll see how things turn out.

Last HHSLJET communication at 03:35 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30, 2003

And now for something completely different. Hiya, this isn't Alethea. It's Pam. I'm sitting here in my brother's house craving human contact over the age of three (I'm babysitting overnight), and I got to thinking, "Hey, I've never written anything in the blog ever..." So, here I am. I want to discuss the fact that my brother's cat, Frances (she's a girl cat), is unfair. "But, Pam, how can a cat be unfair?" you ask. Simple. She's incredibly soft.

She likes to attack things.

Seriously, Frances is the softest cat I have ever petted in my life. Yes, I'm including Jeep right after a bath in this statement. But I can't just sit down and pet her because she'll start biting my hand, which kind of dilutes the pleasurable sensation of petting a bit. It's so very, very sad. It seems like the attacking is a sign of affection, though. For one, when she purrs that means she's about to bite you. Mostly, though, it's because she keeps her claws in and doesn't bite hard. So, I'm pretty sure the cat likes me. Or at least she likes my pants.

Oh! My new pants! Hehehe. Heather, Alethea, and Athena haven't seen them. They all left today to go home (Heather for only two weeks), and I just bought them this afternoon because I really needed a new pair of jeans. These are no ordinary jeans, however. See, I have this pair of black pants that are so big we joke around about how I keep two small ghettos in them. These jeans are bigger. No joke. The waistband is smaller than my ghetto pants, but the legs... I could walk around barefoot and nobody would know. I can probably carry small children in the legs of my pants. They are beautiful.

Aside from the hugeness, however, there is the detail work. Sadly, the front pockets aren't as big as I might like. Luckily, I have access to sewing machines, so that might change. There are some huge back pockets (four back pockets, to be exact), and all down the side there's these straps and eyelets that run down. They even have three straps per pant leg running vertically towards the bottom so they can be cinched closed in a jam. And to top it all off, I got them for %50 off the regular price. I am quite pleased with my purchase. It was probably pretty dumb in light of recent developments in my life, but sometimes you just need to buy really cool pants to feel a little better.

Last HHSLJET communication at 10:48 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 2003

People are acting strange today...

I have two theories as to why this may be. The first is that Heather read my entry from yesterday and now everyone is making sure to be nice. Even extra nice. The second one involves steak.

Anyway, I said I'd obsess about DN Angel today, so I guess it's time to do that. Athena and I actually saw the second episode of the anime on Sunday. Our friend tried very hard to get a hold of the raw for us, and that led to some interesting things. He had a friend of his in Japan try to encode the episode, but his Japanese friend apparently is technically challenged. So he had an audio file and a video file. Sadly, they weren't in synch, so we couldn't watch the episode, even if we could figure out exactly how we were going to get the files to play simultaneously. We actually did figure out how to do that, but, like I said, the files were out of synch.

So, sadly, we had to watch the fansubbed version first. We were able to ignore the subtitles, so it wasn't so bad.

First and foremost, I have to talk about the opening sequence. The song is excellent. I love it to death. Since we had the audio file of the episode, we took that and cut out the opening song so now we have an mp3 of it, which we've listened to about a bazillion times already. The song is called "Byakuya ~ True Light" and, according to CD Japan, is sung by a famous sixteen-year-old guy. We did a search on the name, and, unless there are two guys with this name, he's been in some operas and stuff. That's pretty impressive for a sixteen-year-old. Yukiru Sugisaki seems to really like child prodigies.

The song itself is a bit of an enigma to me. Even after listening to it as much as I have, it can still lead into several other songs. Depending on which part I play in my head, it can lead into the one version of Sailor War that they never actually sing in the SailorMoon Musicals, the second opening theme to Gundam Seed (whose title I can never remember), the Tasuki/Taka duet from the Fushigi Yuugi CD Books (Thanks again, Kat!), or Tuxedo Mission. And the end is very much like the end to La Soldier. The bit even starts with "hateshinaku." It's kind of amusing.

The opening sequence is also very cool, although somehow it kind of seems to lack energy at some parts. They had a lot of fun with the split-screen thing. And apparently Riku plays lacrosse. I never knew that about her. I was impressed that Hiwatari (this is how I refer to Satoshi's adoptive father; if I was talking about Hiwatari-kun, I would say Satoshi) was in the opening sequence. He's still only in two scenes of the manga. Athena and I are slightly worried that Keiji was not in the opening sequence, but even in the manga he seems like more of a filler character sometimes, so we still have hope. And there's a nice shot of Kosuke! I'm a little annoyed that Krad seems to be in the opening about as much as, if not more than Daisuke. That just doesn't seem right.

At any rate, we're going to get lots of pretty screencaps from the opening.

Now for the episode itself. Our first reaction is along the lines of, "...

...

...What?"

It was very strange. It was weird because we were like, "And it looks like they changed everyone." Only they didn't. Daisuke, Risa, Riku, Satoshi, Emiko, just about everyone is still the same.

Except for Dark.

This is a huge problem. You change Dark, you change the whole series. Apparently, Dark is now in love with Risa (for those of you who don't know, in the manga he likes Riku). And I can't really go into it because there are too many spoilers.

Anyway, Dark doesn't talk to Daisuke in the anime. I'm not quite sure why this is. That was a bad move on the part of whoever allowed that to happen, because one of the best parts of the manga was Dark making fun of Daisuke. And Daisuke yelling at Dark. Also, in the manga, it seems the one thing that keeps getting repeated over and over and over (not that this is important to the story or anything) is the fact that Dark and Daisuke are the same person. And in the anime, it seems like they're not.

Dang it, there are so many things I have to say about this but all of them involve spoilers. Like the one bit where...never mind.

One thing I kind of liked was that they showed Daisuke's grandfather (his name is Daiki) doing stuff. It was kind of interesting because from the manga, you know he does research on stuff. But Athena points out that he seems more like the type to stay at home all the time, and I have to agree with that.

Another problem I had was that they added a scene where Emiko and Daiki seal the magic on the statue Dark has just stolen. This is a problem. Why? Because that series has already been done. It's called Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. And the worst part is that it actually started later than DN Angel.

The main reason I can see for them doing that is that they have to show that Dark is stealing stuff for a good reason. Good as in helping mankind. In the manga, they kind of allude to the idea that maybe that's the case, maybe. But he's just stealing stuff. There's no magic sealing spells or anything. This may have been an order from the network censors, as stealing is generally looked down upon and we wouldn't want to set a bad example for the children. Oh well. I still have the manga to read.

My current judgment of the anime is that it still has potential, and if I just realize that it's not going to be the same as the manga, then I can enjoy it. I take comfort in the fact that Yukiru Sugisaki didn't change Megami Kouhosei to follow the anime, and therefore probably won't change DN Angel either.

Last HHSLJET communication at 09:31 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, 2003

I need a Chiaki.

I would have to say that there is probably no anime character that matches my personality more than Maron Kusakabe of Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne fame. She's kind of like Athrun in Gundam Seed only a girl and they go into her personality more. She puts up a wall of genki-ness around her, because she feels that she can't afford to show people that she's hurt. She has to get right back up and keep going.

It's kind of a wacky feeling when I get mad at someone. I don't often get so mad at someone that I want to do something mean, but occasionally it happens. I try to be rational, because I know that most people aren't being mean on purpose. Sometimes it's just conflicting interests, and then I just keep telling myself that the other person is not a bad person, and I can get over it.

But sometimes someone does something that almost had to have a mean intent. And I think that maybe they were just teasing, but I can't help but wonder. And then I want to be mean back. But I realize that that will only make things worse and I get upset that I have to be all nice and civil and stuff. And then I just hurt. And I know that God will heal the pain, but I want to stay hurt, because I think that maybe someone will notice that I'm in pain and do something to help. Or maybe they'll realize that they did something wrong and apologize. But that's kind of ridiculous, because I put up my wall of genki-ness. And then I get tired of being hurt and get over myself. But it's still not a fun process.

I guess it doesn't help that I can't stand pity. I don't know why exactly, but it really ticks me off. I think maybe the reason people have pity is because they feel like they can't do anything. And maybe there's nothing they can do. But it still bugs me. Instead of pity, I'd rather just know that someone is there if I need them, and that they won't turn me away because they hate me.

The difference, I think, between me and Maron, is that I often read too much into things. Maron believed that the one person really did like her until that person said, "I've always hated you." She probably never doubted for a second before then. Me, on the other hand, I am very suspicious of people. I have lost more friends than I would have liked, and it's kind of ruined me. I'm always afraid someone will realize how much they've hated me all this time and decide I'm not worth the effort. So when someone says something that seems off to me, I instantly start wondering what I may have done to make them mad at me and worrying that I lost another friend.

This may not actually be a difference between me and Maron, because Maron hadn't really lost any friends before the one incident.

The one thing that really stood out to me though was after the incident. Maron told Chiaki that, now that the one person said they hated her, even though it was only the one person, she was scared because she felt like the whole world hated her.

That's generally how I feel in those situations.

And so I want a Chiaki.

Chiaki is always there to tell Maron that everything is okay. He sees through her wall of genki-ness and knows that she's hurting. And he's there for her and makes everything better.

I guess I'm being selfish here. I have people I can turn to. Number one of course is Athena. Actually, that doesn't seem quite right. The first person I should turn to is God, and while I do pray every night and ask for help and comfort, He's not always the first person I go to. And while I know He's always here for me, sometimes I want to wallow. And sometimes I want someone to lean on. And I know that sounds weird coming from me, because I tend to avoid all forms of physical contact.

One time during church I was having a hard time dealing with things because I was thinking about everything that's going on and I unconsciously starting hugging the hymn book I was holding. When I realized what I was doing, I smirked at myself and realized how totally pathetic that can seem. And suddenly I get the feeling if this was a Live Journal I'd get a bazillion people commenting saying, "No, I totally understand how that is!" or various such comments telling me I'm not pathetic. So let me say right now, I don't really think I'm pathetic. Well, okay, maybe I might, but I don't think it's a problem.

But you know, I'm picky about the people I go to for help. If I were to lean on someone besides Athena,it would have to be a guy as cute as Chiaki.

I apologize that this entry may have been kind of depressing; I'll try to avoid that more. And tomorrow there will be more obsessing over DN Angel! So you can look forward to that. Or not. Whatever.

Last HHSLJET communication at 09:48 p.m. on Monday, April 14, 2003

Yesterday, my world came crashing down.

Okay, so not really, but you should know by now that I tend to exaggerate. There were a couple of things.

Being totally and thoroughly obsessed with DN Angel, Athena and I have been wanting to show the anime to everyone we've met since we saw it on Thursday. This desire was made difficult because very few of the people we've met know Japanese. Well, very few of the people we've met who actually visit us. I mean, we are in three different Japanese classes.

So we were waiting for the fansubbed version. We didn't have to wait long, as one fansubbing group released it on Saturday, Except that fansubbing group is one that we have recently decided to avoid because we've gotten fed up with their faulty translations.

So we were very happy yesterday when another group released it. I'm not naming the groups because there's a possiblity that they do better with other serieses and stuff and I want to protect the innocent because I'm being optimistic. We were really excited and started watching the episode, mainly because we wanted to see the better quality before showing the rest of the Posse. Yes, it's petty.

And then we were horrified. We didn't expect much, it being a fansub and all, but dude. These subtitles were bad. I was ready to hurt something. It's not that difficult to translate 来なくていいといったんだ。 It really isn't. And Akira Ishida speaks very clearly.

So our world came crashing down. We thought we could finally show the Posse and share in the joy of the DN Angel anime, but not yet. It just wouldn't be the same with these subtitles. They didn't convey the right emotions.

And then we were watching Gundam Seed, episode 15. Fllay is very, very psycho and I hope she dies. Although I wonder if she's really that bad or if it's just because for some odd reason I'm in a bad mood tonight. I'm trying to cheer up. But anyway, when you see episode fifteen of Gundam Seed, you'll know why I was crushed by what happened in it.

But somehow, things worked out and I calmed down. Maybe it was the ice cream. And then when I said my prayers last night I thanked God that we could watch the bad subtitles on DN Angel. I'm not sure why, but I really did feel thankful.

There was a talk in General Conference about gratitude. I don't remember which session it was or who said it, but I remembered it because gratitude is something I think is very important. The guy giving the talk pointed out that you should be thankful for your trials because they're there to make you stronger and teach you things and stuff. And in church we learn that when you do the right thing, you're blessed for it. This time was no exception.

This morning we found that Ishin Anime had released DN Angel. This was very, very good news. The download took probably less than two hours, and we were able to watch it before we went to class. And lo and behold, the subtitles were decent! So now we have an episode we can show to everyone we know.

There were other good things that happened today. I beat my high score on Minesweeper by a full twelve seconds, which was actually rather shocking. And our Church History professor stopped us after class to ask us about our uncle Boyd's biography of our grandfather. (Although it was a little strange because our professor almost seems to know more about our family than we do. Such is the burden of having a famous grandfather and a father with poor communication skills.)

Yet for some reason I spent an hour or so angsting. After all the fun stuff. Probably because I needlessly kept bringing up stuff that's just not happy and that I have no control over. Dwelling over things like that generally leads to bad moods. I recommend not doing that. So now I'm pretending to be genki in the hopes of actually becoming genki. I think it's working, but I did snap at Dad when he called. But that was at least half an hour ago, and I managed to sound sane during the rest of the call.

...

...

...

I think I'll try harder.

Last HHSLJET communication at 10:25 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, 2003

I know. I didn't make an entry on Friday. But things happened.

Anyway, time for more obsessing over DN Angel. Because today I had a Daisuke moment. Athena and I were walking to class and we had to go up some stairs. I did one of those things where you think you have your foot on the next step but it's not on the step enough to hold your weight. So I started to fall, but managed to catch myself. It wasn't as spectacular as if it really had been Daisuke, but I still thought of him. Because I'm obsessed and all. And my knee was acting a little weird all the rest of the day.

Actually, I tend to trip on stairs kind of often. I kind of have that in common with Daisuke. If you notice, whenever you see him on, or even just near, a stairway, something bad happens. Every single time. Okay, so I'm not that bad. But I like to compare myself to anime characters. We were taking some quizzes on SelctSmart once and we thought how most of them weren't really a very accurate judge of how well you matched a character, so we were going to make a DN Angel one. But then we decided there are a couple of characters we just don't know enough about.

Anyway, another thing I have in common with Daisuke is that we both tend to panic fairly easily. I'll scream if I drop a pen. And I'm realizing that this might actually be kind of annoying to read, so if you want to skip this entry, I'll understand. Which brings me to another common point I have with Daisuke: insecurity. He seems to be fairly confident in the fact that he's a worthwhile individual, but he's always worried that other people don't like him. Although the self-confidence is more of a recent development, Athena points out.

I often use Risa's name as a handle for various things. I mainly only do that because I'm a younger identical twin girl, like she is. I actually think she could use several kicks in the head. Although had I been in her situation, I don't know how I would have reacted. Probably, if we're going according to the anime, it would be about the same. If we're going by the manga, I think I would have had pity on Daisuke and gone out with him once or twice before breaking it off. But I'm not competing with Athena. I don't quite understand what exactly she's hoping to gain, although if Athena and I were seen more as two different people and everyone liked her better, I might understand a little better. But they seem to have all the same friends.

I do think I have some things in common with Riku, but some things not so much. I'd go into detail, but you don't really start to get a whole lot of her personality until about the end of volume five of the manga, and then it comes a little at a time. Except I don't think I would have cared if I'd seen someone as sexy as Dark looking into my window. I mean, he was probably just passing by, right?

I really doubt I have anything in common with Dark. Emiko is my role model. I want to be just like her when I have kids.

But actually, I think the DN character I have the most in common with is Satoshi. (Athena pointed out to me that she has a common point with Satoshi in that both their names mean wisdom.) Most of the similarities I find between me and Satoshi come from the One Night Magic, "A Day in the Life of Satoshi Hiwatari." He spends about twenty minutes actually waking up after his alarm goes off, he always has bread for lunch because making anything else is too much trouble, and he doesn't spend any time studying. But he stays up late doing research on his obsession. Also, he likes to follow the rules. And he wonders why other people are the way they are. And he's in love with Daisuke.

Last HHSLJET communication at 09:04 p.m. on Monday, April 7, 2003

KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!

It's good! It's actually really good!!!!!

Okay, so in case you haven't figured it out, Athena and I just saw DN Angel. As I have mentioned in several previous entries, we've been worried about how this anime would turn out for quite some time. As it turns out, our fears were unfounded. Why? Because Yukiru Sugisaki is the series supervisor. Therefore, even if it's not the same as the manga, it's still good.

Still trying to figure out why they opened with a scene that doesn't show up until volume eight of the manga, if then (there's a slight divergence between the anime and manga, but that's fine). So when they went to the actual episode (as opposed to the prologue), it was a little hard to tell whether or not they were starting at the beginning of the manga because it started differently.

The main concern we had was that they might change the characters' personalities, like they did with Rizelmine. Or tone them down like they did with Megami Kouhosei. But it looks like if they did anything, they enhanced the characters. I'd go into details, but there are people reading this who don't really know anything about the series. They did seem to make Risa smarter, which is probably a good thing, because she bugged me sometimes. Although she can be kind of fun. Not nearly as annoying as Fllay.

Actually, the series had kind of a Miyazaki type feel to it, which only goes to feed our theory that Yukiru Sugisaki wanted Miyu Irino to play Daisuke because she saw Spirited Away. We were a little worried because Haku's voice was kind of low for Daisuke, especially after hearing Soichiro Hoshi play him, but he did great! He was so cute! We knew he couldn't do too bad because he's Sora.

And now I want to talk about Satoshi. As I mentioned before (many, many times), Satoshi is played by Akira Ishida. It may be interesting to note here that the other Akira Ishida character whose voice most closely matches Satoshi's that we thought of or have seen most recently or something is Fisheye. That should tell you something about what they did to him.

That's right, they made him more gay. Actually, that's not quite right. He's actually rather ambiguously gay, with lines that may be designed because he's in love with Daisuke or because he wants to trip him up. (You'll understand when you know the characters.) The first scene with him was actually rather amusing. And then later there's a scene where it looks like he's about to kiss Daisuke, even more so than when Homura looks like he's about to kiss Goku, unless I'm remembering wrong, which is possible.

Okay, so generally I don't like characters to be gay, but I don't know, for some reason I find the portrayal of Satoshi to be highly entertaining. Because I don't actually think he's gay. I actually have great reason to believe he'll end up with one of the girls in the series.

As a note, I think it was an excellent touch that instead of a notebook, like he had in the manga, Satoshi now has a PDA.

It's kind of weird how they did the anime though. They made some parts longer (like the scene at the very beginning of the manga; they had a whole long thing leading up to it) while taking other parts out entirely. They got to the end of the first chapter and then skipped all the way to the end of volume one. I think that's a little odd because the next episode looks like it's going to be filler (of course, with Yukiru Sugisaki supervising, it's entirely possible that it'll turn out to have some major plot point). And I just think it's strange to skip some bits when you have to add filler.

We were also a little worried when we saw that there was a guy in charge of CGI. Mostly because we couldn't figure out what on earth they would need CGI for. We figured it might have to do with Dark's wings because Yukiru Sugisaki mentions in vol.3 something about Dark's wings being in CGI for a commercial. But actually, now that Athena explains it, she probably meant something else. Anyway, they used CGI for the background mostly, and from what we could tell, they did a beautiful job. The main issue is that the file we had wasn't the best quality. Our friend is working on getting a better one, but we were being impatient.

Anyway, backgrounds. They seemed to spend a lot of time on backgrounds, which probably has a lot to do with why it seemed so Miyazaki-esque. Especially because the city is kind of reminiscent of the one in Kiki's Delivery Service. They did spend a lot of time showing backgrounds as Daisuke made his way to school. It was really cute though because (and since this is at the very beginning of the series I decided it's okay to tell what happens) he was rehearsing the scenario in his head when he was going to give Risa the love letter he had finally gotten up the nerve to write (he's so cute!!!!!). He's like, "First, I say 'good morning,' and then I say, 'I'll protect you,' and then, when we're in our own little world, I give her the letter." It was so very adorable and so very Daisuke.

Another minor concern was that the characters might not be as pretty as they had been in the manga, once again drawing on Megami Kouhosei for an example, as the two anime series have the same character designer. Clearly, we had nothing to worry about. This is definitely going to be something to take screencaps of and make wallpaper. I mean, Dark. Mmmmm...

I think that's all for my DN Angel rant. As soon as it's fansubbed, we will be downloading it and showing it to anyone who's willing to watch. And here I'm putting in my plug for Aoshi Fansubs, because we may have ended up working for them, and they do good work.

P.S.
MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I told you we'd get a DN Angel layout. And it's soooo pretty... Thank you Heather!

Last HHSLJET communication at 09:52 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, 2003


Layout: Daisuke from D.N.Angel

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