Tags: (translations&summaries)

study? pfft

Tidbits from the CLANNAD commentaries part 2

For 10 to 12, the commentators were:
Takemoto Yasuhiro (ep. 10 director)
Aratani Tomoe (ep 11 director)
Yamamoto Rin (photography(?))

Aratani had a lot of fun doing the storyboard and episode direction for the dream Tomoya had => to the point where one of the others (probably Takemoto) said that the bit where Tomoya became a caterpillar was really gross!

Aratani also brings up this rather suggestively directed scene, where, with her eyes shifting nervously, Kotomi asks Tomoya to...read a book with her. Although Aratani (who is female) isn't really bothered by such scenes anymore because they're so common, she asks her two male companions what they thought - whether their hearts skipped a beat (きゅん) or not...it wasn't quite skipping a beat, but their hearts did beat a little faster for a moment (どきって)

Another good one. Here, we find out that most of the other commentary groups had short meetings (like, the day before recording) to decide what they'd talk about - only these three didn't, they're just talking about what they want to depending on what they see on screen.

...and strangely enough, their volume (vol.4) has been the most entertaining! Though it's been informative too.

Aratani is obsessed with characters' eyes: she loves Sunohara's eyes -talks about how they're really pretty ALL THE TIME - and finds Ryou's pretty too (the colour).

...and they talk about 'hetare-moe' for Tomoya...


For #13-15, we had...
Yoneda Mitsuyoshi (ep. 15 director)
Ueno Chiyoko (ep. 15 animation director)
Nakagami Ryuuta (director of photography)

they talk about how artists often use real life models to draw scenes etc, including for food and stuff. "Do you eat the food after that then?" "Well...I use the internet to find pictures..."

...obviously I didn't find these commentaries all that interesting...


And for #16-18...
Nishiya Futoshi (ep. 16 animation director)
Takao Touko (ep. 18 director)
Takeda Akiyo (colour design)

Not as amusing...but there was an interesting comment on the most difficult expression to draw. More than a laughing face, an angry face or a crying face, a face of realisation. Especially if there's no dialogue accompanying it.

This particular scene, where Tomoya realises that Ryou likes him, is a good example.

Towards the end, they talk about how Kyou seems to be quite popular amongst the female staff - probably because she is the most normal out of the lot.

Someone asked how Fuuko made those starfish cakes...and the episode director just said "no idea, think about it yourself". "That's so mean." "Well, I really don't know - or rather, I'd want to know myself!"

The tennis player's shirt was originally pink...but the episode director reacted really strongly to it, because - it's fine if it's a practice shirt, but tennis is a 'gentleman's sport', so it would have been a bit too unconventional. And they couldn't have other colours like white (same as everyone else), green or blue (the background), so it ended up being purple.
bakemonogatari mayoi yes yes

No.6: anime and the dearth of wit

Something's been bugging me ever since I started watching No.6.

Maybe it's just me - or perhaps it's the shows I am or ain't watching - but is anime killing the ability of its fans to appreciate the subtlety of wit?

Take Yakumo for instance, which I really liked because some of the exchanges between the characters brought huge grins to my face. Others thought it was boring - I suppose they were more interested the 'detective' bit, which really wasn't all that fulfilling.

Now let's take a look at a couple of exchanges from No.6.

From episode 2 (my translation):

Thanks for saving me.

So have you noticed?


I'm taller than you.


What in the world have you been eating? You're stick thin - there's no way you can bare yourself before your sweetheart like that.

That's none of your business! And it's not like you've seen me naked, right?

And if I said I had?

...! Nezumi...have you been watching me all this time?

What do you mean?

Don't play dumb! This timing, it's as if you knew this would happen to me.

I don't have that much free time.


"And if I said I had?" Quite a few people harp on about that, citing it as proof that Nezumi has 'loved' Shion ever since that fateful day 4 years ago.

Personally, I just grinned - Nezumi's comebacks are pretty damn good, and completely in line with his theatrical and literary background. I mean, how else could he have reacted? Stuttered? Ignored it? In fact, stuttering would be more indicative of romantic interest. Nezumi simply doesn't think of Shion that way - yet, if you wish - though his reasons for saving Shion aren't revealed until later in the volume (and way too many episodes later in the anime).

Other things they keep bringing up include a fair amount of 'skinship', as my former students would say, including the waltz. This one's actually a bit out of place in the anime, because the "goodbye kiss" came first in the novel. In my opinion, the switch has made it seem more significant than it was originally. Using the Greek words since the distinctions in English are crap: it's actually pretty obvious that, by this point, Shion probably loves Nezumi in terms of 'eros' as well as 'agape'. His thoughts as revealed in the novels seem to confirm it. But going by Nezumi's thoughts, it still appears more like 'philia', if it's love at all. I'm half inclined to leave it as 'intense gratitude and loyalty'. Why teach Shion how to waltz then? I suggest reading a translation of that scene in the novel. Long story short: probably a variety of reasons, but I personally don't see 'romantic love' very high on that list, if at all...

Then there's the kiss itself. Asano-sensei's comment in her Otona Animedia interview is that it's what she believed Shion would do given the circumstances, that she wanted to show how they're drawn to each other - though I'd like to actually read it before I say anything more. But the interview in the guidebook is pretty interesting too. Here's the section on Shion and Nezumi, from page 92-3:

(How were the two main characters born?)
Because it was to be a "YA Entertainment" series, I decided that I would have boys as my protagonists. Once I expanded my image of a world in the near future, two boys came to my mind: one who lived within the state, and another who lived alone. One that knew nothing, and another that knew everything. Something like 'light and dark', you could say, that's how Shion and Nezumi were born as such contrasts. But even though they are complete opposites of each other, rather than regarding each other with hostility, they're drawn to each other. But from that relationship, it turned into me just wanting to write about the two of them.

(From an adult's perspective, their relationship is rather mysterious.) 
It's not just restricted to male characters - I rather like writing about relationships between people of the same sex. When you write about opposite sexes who are drawn to each other, you typically end up with them falling in love, or (becoming) husband and wife... To a certain extent, there is a fixed 'template'. But if you write about people of the same sex, a relationship that you can't express with words like friendship, comradery, love or hate is born. I think that there is great value in writing relationships where you can't draw lines like that. Between Shion and Nezumi is a 'unique relationship' born of particular conditions and particular experiences, something that only they have. I wanted to write it because I wanted to know what that relationship would be. Of course, such 'unique relationships' can be formed between people of the opposite sexes too. It's not like we get 'mass-produced' feelings whenever two people meet. But I really feel that what's really interesting to write about are the 'original' feelings that come from relationships between people of the same sex.

Some people say that Asano-sensei's just making excuses when, instead, she just really likes providing fanservice, but I think she actually has a point. There's also something to be said about the expectation that the end point of any meaningful relationship between a girl and a guy is that they'll hook up, but that's a whole other post.
bakemono koyomi what am i doing

No.6: On Shion's character

Other than his insanely high level of curiousity (好奇心旺盛), there are two parts really.

The one that 'Mouse' and 'Dogkeeper' regularly address or refer to him as, "tennen", comes from the phrase "tennen boke" (天然ボケ). Literally, it means "natural airhead", but I'd generally translate it as "airhead", "idiot" or "fool", depending on the context. See this for more info.

NB: "natural", which is the direct translation of "tennen", doesn't work in English because we use "natural" in the sense of someone being so good at something that it seems like they were born with it. i.e. along the lines of "natural-born killer", to pick a rather disturbing example...


The other, his tendency to say exactly what he thinks, would be "massugu" (真っ直ぐ) or "straight" (ストレート) in Japanese. Basically means "frank" or "straightforward. In Shion's case, I'd be inclined to use "direct" or "ingenuous" as well.


Yes, I'm procrastinating...though I'm also a bit puzzled at the terms some people have been using...

More OnoD comments from Kuroshitsuji

---The work of a butler involves dedicating oneself completely to serving another, and Sebastien is one such butler.

To me, that's a very noble thing, it's something I respect. In order to play Sebastien, I once again reflected on what it means to do something for someone else. I'm a person who, by nature, can't do anything if no one's there for me. For example, on radio shows, if I don't have someone to jab at me (tsukkomi), I'll just bomb all the jokes...when a sadist is there for me, I can relax and just let them bully me. In that way, I once again realised the importance of the people around me, and how much affection these sadists shower on me.

Hm...I wonder who he's referring to, huh? (^_^;;) (笑)

He also noted that:
- the relationship between Ciel and Sebastian is actually pretty bad. It's like a contest to see who can be more sadistic.
- most of the characters are sadists...

p.s. the main text in Japanese

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drrr izaya hehehe

Snippet from OnoD Kuroshitsuji Interview (Pickup Voice from years ago)

Just loved this - after OnoD describes all the characters as having hidden agendas, the interviewer asks what he himself is like with regards to this trait.

Me? (I think that) the person who knows least about me is me. But the people around me always tell me that I'm someone without a hidden agenda, that I'm a really simple person. Basically, the complete opposite of Sebastian. So even if I wanted to appear in this story as myself, it's totally impossible - I have far too little to hide (laughs), so I probably wouldn't be able to exist in the world of "Kuroshitsuji" (laughs).

---If people were like this in real life, if what appears to be such a close relationship was actually hiding something as in "Kuroshitsuji"...it'd be frightening, (or to put it more succinctly), it'd be horrible.

Having a hidden agenda would mean that you can't ever build a relationship of trust. That's a great draw in any story. But I'm happy being a trusting person, because going through life viewing everyone with suspicion would be tiring.

Totally fits with what we hear about OnoD basically fitting Shizuo to the T!

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Tidbits from the CLANNAD commentaries, part 1

To be honest, I've been finding these quite dry. Of the ten I've sat through so far, only three have really been all that interesting. I suppose they offer more for people who actually want to become animators?

9th commentary
  • It turns out that one of the three commentators is a 'first names' person - i.e. he does what few Japanese do and quite regularly addresses people he knows by their first name. So director Ishihara Tatsuya, another of the commentators, asked him there and then to address him by his first name.
Tatsuya-kantoku (i.e. Director Tatsuya)...
Leaves a bad taste in your mouth, that...

10th commentary
  • This is the episode where Kotomi first picks up a violin in the series. Yup, the one with the horrible violin screeching. How in the world did they make that noise? Well...the guy responsible for the sound effect actually picked up a violin and played it. => "You can actually make such a horrible noise on a violin?!"
  • They also talked about their favourite characters/routes, with Aratani Tomoe (Storyboard ep5,11) noting that she thinks that Nagisa fits Tomoya best...