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29 July 2006 @ 11:10 pm
Mada mada dane  
Especially for moshi. S'all good, baby. ♥

First things first. The theme tune. It's undeniably catchy -- although singing along comprises me humming and occasionally throwing in a word containing the letter Z -- and has a certain je ne sais quoi that I've come to associate with J-pop. (Literally je ne sais quoi --I know next to nothing about the Japanese music scene.) But I'm still at a loss to see what the song has to do with the show, or even with tennis. The translation reminds me of nice haikus and cherry blossoms, but is low on mental associations with John McEnroe.

I quite like listening to the Japanese speakers -- I keep hearing 'arigato' and 'gomen' and doubtless will become a fine proponent of fangirl Japanese in time (like, about a century). It reminds me of listening to the air safety messages on aeroplanes or trying to pass the time by watching Japanese telly in Narita. (It's the exact same hotel every time you layover -- about twenty million storeys high with chandeliers that are very impressive if you happen to be twelve. I could find the way to the gift-shops with my eyes closed. Oh, and I own a navy yukata with white umbrellas printed on it, and a plaster geisha. Thus ends my incredibly interesting segue.)

I can't move past the fact that I know Fuji is voiced by a girl. I don't have this problem with Bart Simpson. Then again I suppose I don't see Bart Simpson as a potential sexual object.

The best thing about the translation? The swearwords. No, swearwords aren't supposed to be used by nice children and so they're whitewashed out of every televisual production aimed at this demographic. However, sometimes the situation calls for them ('Bullshit it stopped bleeding'), and sometimes the characterisation does ('I don't buy this speed demon shit'). I can only imagine that by the time this show makes it to American TV it won't contain a single solitary 'crap,' so I'm glad I got to see it in it's original format.

I also discovered how to correctly pronounce Tezuka's name. I was tossing a 'zoo' in there somewhere.

The worst thing about the translation? Hard to say. They rarely put a foot wrong (although the apostrophes occasionally take a bashing.) The only incident I care to pinpoint is the part where Ryoma absent-mindedly answers 'No, not yet' (Mada Mada Dane!) to Sakuno's inquiry as to how her cooking tasted. She runs off calling him an idiot. Unlikely reaction. Horio and Co. were the ones who correctly labelled him an idiot; Sakuno should have been thinking more along the 'heartless bastard' lines. Don't ask me why this got stuck in my head. Maybe because it was funny? And it would have been even funnier if Sakuno didn't sound like she had an obligation complex?

I become interested in Tenipuri for the shallow reason that there seemed to be a lot of slashing going on. I'm never one to say no to slashing -- although given the way ships are delineated in anime fandoms, perhaps I should be calling myself an exer from here on in.

I can see so many interesting dynamics between the characters that it's making my head spin. Alone, I'd never be able to fish them out. That's why I'm hoping fandom will do it for me. I'm at a very impressionable stage in this fandom -- some really good fics in a certain ship will sway it for me, much like Underwater Light did for H/D all those years ago. (Well, two.)

My favourite characters are Momo (HOMG CALL ME MOMO-CHAN K?), Oishi and Eiji. They're favourites in the sense that I think they're all sweethearts, and Momo's just a cool dude with his tunic unbuttoned, yo. But he does seem unrelentingly heterosexual -- the unrelentingly homosexual spies in Episode 21 mentioned a girl-crush. Perhaps because I haven't come to their big matches yet, there seems to be little screen-time between Oishi and Eiji compared to the manga. In fact, Eiji and Fuji are getting more play.

After reading more of the manga, Fuji is growing on me -- but he still needs to be booked into a Botox rehabilitation programme. I can see potential for writing him as a introverted boy who's really shy with anything that doesn't concern tennis, but I doubt anyone else writing him would. Like Tezuka, he must be cool or die. Still, it's not like there isn't loads of scope here -- plus, I like most of the characters and whatever Good Ship is willing to pick me up will suit.

I suppose all of this is why my toleration of the obvious Ryoma/Sakuno relationship is so unusual. Honestly? The thought of plumbing the depths of that ship right to the ocean floor horrifies me. Apart from her squealing fits, I quite like Sakuno -- I can see a lot of myself in her. I can also see that Ryoma would be a terrible boyfriend. Whoever he ends up with would need to be a lot stronger of mind than Sakuno, better able to laugh off his slights (intended or otherwise) and deal with his social skills (practically non-existent). Besides which, no one epitomises better than Ryoma the phrase 'Man's love is of man's life a thing apart; 'tis woman's whole existence.' Substitute 'tennis' for 'life' and that's Ochibi in a nutshell. But as it stands it is a little cute. The part where he tries on the jacket for her and the squishy photograph -- I admit it, I went 'Aww.'

Mind you, at the beginning when Ryoma got an attack of the guilts for not remembering Sakuno's name, I was annoyed. I think it was the first deviation from manga canon. Then again, perhaps it's fortunate that he's not an irredeemable bastard at twelve. But nothing will remove the irritation that is Sakuno's Super Glued thighs. Is that knock-kneed posture supposed to be demure?

What I think I'm trying to say is that I can handle the het in canon. It's a tennis show. They're never going to explore the great w00by love of anyone, not even Ryoma. Fandom, however, is another story. Het may as well not exist there. The only case scenario in which I'd want to see Sakuno -- or even Tachibana An -- there is as a beard or a member of PFLAG.

While we're on the subject of girl characters, someone needs to take away Tomo-chan's helium. Pronto. On the other hand, the brand of Shiba's lip-gloss would be a pearl beyond price.

What's up with Karupin's voice? That ain't no cat. That's a squirrel being squashed to death in a concertina.

Thumbs up on Grandma's character development. She is deliciously bitchy. After reading Crack PoT, I cannot. Stop. Seeing. The magnetism between her and Tezuka. I do not want to het ship, much less Mrs Robinson het ship. Somebody give me gay porn, quick.

I'm not so sure about what they did to Nanjiroh. In the manga he was too cool for his habit. He comes across as a bit of (all right, a total) idiot in the anime. I still like him, and what he does for Ryoma's cracked-out motivations, but I don't think I'd bow down and worship his anime incarnation.

(Incidentally, thumbs up actually means death; thumbs down means 'sheath your sword.' But no one would like you much if you kept turning your thumbs down at them, even though you'd be saving their life. People are so ungrateful.)

Maybe it's just an Irish idiosyncrasy, but what is up with the gathered-in tracksuit bottoms? I can think of two types of people who wear them like that here: old people and the sartorially suicidal. If they come with zips, you undo them and let them flap over your runners until they're run ragged (believe me, it is very easy to punch holes in tracksuit cloth with your heels). If they don't come with zips, you don't buy them. You leave them for the old people and the sartorially suicidal. And, apparently, the Japanese.

What I found thought-provoking was the respect issue. I know the Japanese as a race are extremely polite. They're noted for it. They bow to each other and so on. Their idea of greeting someone seems to translate as Mister Ryoma Echizen Sir. It reminds me of the old English ethos -- if you're not a gentleman, you're nothing. I draw the correlation because I don't understand either of these attitudes. Respect is something I personally accord very few. The whole idea of demanding respect because you have the advantage of age or seniority repels me. No matter who you are, respect is a not a right; it's a privilege.

That is where I and the Japanese differ, however. Added to their natural deference you have the hierarchies within the tennis club itself. Tezuka, as Captain, is little short of a god. I just wonder how this translates into the school as a whole -- is Tezuka revered there also, or do people look at him and say 'Doesn't he, like, play badminton?' I know my own high school was strong in hurling, but I myself couldn't have even told you who was on the panel.

Oh, yeah, the school issue. If anyone's actually reading this, help a girl in need. The Japanese school system has been translated by people in the American school system. I take it Americans go to three schools: primary, middle, and high. What on earth do the Japanese do?

If Ryoma lived in Ireland, he could have started high school at twelve. He'd be pushing it, age-wise, but my own brother started when he was twelve. It's just more usual to begin at thirteen (like me). If that had been the case, Tezuka et al could have been in their last and second last years of high school. Overall I reckon that would have made more sense, for two reasons.

One: a bigger gap between Ryoma and the rest makes his playing seem all the more unlikely and, therefore, sensational. As far as I've read in the manga, there have been two other 'freshmen' geniuses. It makes Ryoma less special. Having more school years would give them more to play with. Plus, they'd be old enough to ex.

Two: let's review. In 'middle' school, we have Ryoma the genius, Fuji the prodigy and Tezuka, the man who'll change the face of Japanese tennis. Not to mention schools like Rikkaidai and Fudomine, who all have immensely talented players. In middle school. So the high-school clubs must be the tennis equivalent of Mount Olympus. I have no idea what the professional players are doing -- giving up in despair and going to watch middle school matches to get some tips, probably. I know this was written for a middle school audience and I know it's not the most unlikely thing in the world … but it comes close.

Overall, however, these are minor irritations. Mostly the show makes me laugh and want to glomp Kaidou (who I'm sure would not appreciate the gesture). Poor guy, hitting his knee with his racquet when he lost! Reminds me of how I used to punish myself when I couldn't get stuff I was learning off to stick. Although sans racquet, naturally. Who could I ship him with who would most assuage his mental and physical agony?

See, this is it! I don't know! Am dead from the multiple cross-currents.

Anywhat. To conclude.

I've been a fan of all things Japanese for a while now. I'm not alone in that. Whether it's yaoi or yuri, Prince of Tennis or Deathnote -- Motorola, Toyota and origami also ring bells, and haven't been jumped on by my American-made-Dell spell check either -- everyone has a space that Japanese exports fill. The most interesting thing of all is the way the daughters of the great super-powers, who once crushed Japan beneath their heels of iron (also guns) are now trying to assimilate Japanese culture as fast as they can -- to the extent where there's such a thing as fangirl Japanese.


And you may call me scoradh-chan.

P.S. Do you think if I moved to Japan and lived there for the rest of my life, I'd be able to speak Japanese by the time I died?
Current Location: Tokyo in mah mind
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Why Georgia (John Mayer)
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on July 30th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
[bows to moshes-sama]

I really do think Sakuno is there as a sop to the girl gamers (as Konomi referred to us once!). If I had to put in a het dynamic, I would do the same thing. However, that is so not what I have in mind for dear Ryoma ...

Ha, she rocks though! I don't know if the volleyball scene was in the anime, but she totally PWNed there. Like nothing else! I seriously laughed like hell.

Yeah -- in the manga, I find him more enigmatic. The cat never bites him, either. o.O Plus they made him quite stumpy in the round! But he still makes it really interesting; there are some flashbacks to when he's with little!Ry in the manga, and he's too cute for words.

That's what I love about the Japanese. Sure, they might blank out people's privates in their porn, but at least they're upfront about providing the porn itself -- for one thing. They don't make the same sacrifices to realism that Western cartoons do. No wonder Western ones are so degraded, and impossible to watch after a certain age!

Subtitles -- tres bon. I love listening to their real voices.

Honey. You've saved me such an immense amount of trouble! I'd have had to dl all those episodes and burn them to disk myself to save harddrive space. And, even when my DVD player was working properly, I could never fathom how to do that. Incredible amounts of angst would have ensued. You saved me from all that! If you say one episode will be delivered per week by your army of flying monkeys, I would still be grateful. As it is ... [glomps] Thank you. I can never say it enough.

You think it's more violent? Hee, I never saw that. There's a lot more fleshing out in the anime, naturally, but there are some fun things in the manga too. In the earlier ones, there's little chibis at the end of each chapter -- they're so funny. BTW, what is an OVA? Konomi left a note in the manga to say the 'rest of the anime won't be on TV but on OVA'. I've heard of them, but what does it stand for, do you know?

OH. And recs! If you have any, or have already linked them somewhere, please to share! I'll be finished the manga soon and I can read to my heart's content!!

(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on July 30th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
Like when he wears a hat and dungarees! Ahhh. Broody. Not good.

I'm just up to the Nationals in the manga. I swear, I was tearing when Seigaku were Rokkuku's (Jesus, I must look to my spelling first of all) impromptu cheering squad. I'm a ridiculous sap at times. ;(

I'll go check those out -- prillalar's first, because if I like one I'll like 'em all.

This fandom is so fun! Granted, I hardly know anyone in it, but HP is so ... intimidating. I would never have posted something like the OP in HP. I love having room to breathe, for once. ^^
i must be fine cos my heart's still beating: ^^pornography on July 30th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)
you can call me sophie-sama

I really liked the swear word thing too. I remember feeling impressed when they uttered the word "bastard."

sdfgh MOMO :x :x my true love. Him and Kaidoh :x :x

I dislike Sakuno a great deal. Tomo might be loud and slightly irritating, but at least she isn't afraid to express her feelings and be noticed. I hate how whenever Tomo is enthusiastically cheering on Ryoma, or any of the other players, Sakuno just stands there all embarrassed. "TOMO..." Leave Tomo alone. At least she isn't just standing there like a pathetic little retard :|

asgdhf I love Fuji. YOU WILL GET OVER HIS GIRLY VOICE, IT JUST TAKES A WHILE. One of my favourite Fuji moments was when they were racing around the courts or something, so they didn't have to drink Inui's special juice. One of the other players asked why he was bothering to compete, seeing as he actually liked the stuff. Fuiji replied with, "I like to watch the others suffer ^_^" :x such a sadist :x

Ryoma is voiced by a girl too, btw...

DO YOU WANT FIC RECS. We might not have the same taste in fic, but I can always try...
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Chibi Ryomascoradh on July 30th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Re: you can call me sophie-sama
Does -sama mean 'darling'? Because Tomo calls Ryoma that.

Anyway, Sophie-sama:

I can definitely see Momodoh becoming one of my major ships. They have the background. They have the rivalry. They have the angst. They have the HAIR. I read the volleyball match in the manga where Ryuuzuki (I can never remember her name properly!!) says 'Kaidoh, stop undressing me in your mind!' and aside from laughing up a lung I was all, "You wish, grandmamma.'

As for Tomo ... [laughs] That's exactly what I don't like about her! I guess I'm jealous, because my reaction would be exactly like Sakuno. To be quiet, not to draw attention, and to want other people to be cool, mon. I know a Tomo IRL and she can be wearying. o.O

I don't not like Fuji; I just like others better! 'sides, Fuji is getting plenty of fangirl love already. ;D

YES PLIS! The longer the list is the happier I will be -- I want to start reading, for all that I said I'd wait until I'd read/watched the full canon. Anything with MomoxKaidou or EijixOishi would be extra good, but I'm pairing-easy at the mo. ♥
i must be fine cos my heart's still beatingpornography on July 31st, 2006 07:43 am (UTC)
Re: you can call me sophie-sama
Sama is what you call people who you respect a great deal, i believe. :>

I see someone already recc'ed you Prillar's stuff. They were absolutely right :x She does lots of momokai. Lots of amazing momokai.

Are you there karupin it's me, kaidoh by garlandgraves -so great. Momokai, again... :x

And pretty much everything soundczech has written ever. There's Be Like Bouchu which is TezRyo (and I don't even really like that pairing much, but I love this fic) and all her fantastic prompt drabble posts.

every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on July 31st, 2006 08:51 pm (UTC)
Re: you can call me sophie-sama
That works for me! Anyone who brings the funny deserves respect, sophie-sama. (Yes. I'm addicted.)

So I have discovered! I'm holding myself back by main force from reading all of it at once. Otherwise I will use up my stash. [shifty eyes]

Thank you so much! I will definitely bookmark those. Any yourself? Have you written any? I know there's some on moshesesque that I can check out now that I've finished what's available of the manga. Kwai!
let's keep it casualcasually on July 30th, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
Your review of tenipuri is much better than my reaction to the anime. I think mine could be summed up with "OMG TEZUxRYO OTP ILU FUJI YOU SECRET SADISTIC HOTTIE ASLDKFJSI". But that's just me not being able to piece any thoughts together. I also don't think a lot of the Japanese cultural stuff because it's very similar to Korean culture (Honestly, Koreans immigrate to an island and call themselves Japanese. Thus, birth of a new country!).

And Momo? He's got massive amounts of UST with Kaidou, it's not even funny. You'll see. And OishixEiji...you're just seeing the tip of the ice berg. They have much, MUCH love. Though, I'm still digging the minor pairing of FujixEiji...Eiji's nickname for Fuji is quite adorable. And InuixKaidou is kind of cute too...I like it more as tenimyu!IxK but oh well.

And lastly, an interesting fact for you...the whole middle school thing you talked about reminded me of it. I was listening to the tenimyu soundtrack in the car and my mom, I guess, was paying attention somewhat and she goes "I know this." I'm going o.O? because she's never watched/read tenipuri. And I ask her to explain and she goes "is this about a high school transfer student who is a genius at tennis? and there's this really good guy who is the captain of the tennis club at that school?" Now that seemed a little freaky to me, but according to her, she's watched the manhwa (Korean equivalent to manga/anime) when she was little.

So, what I'm trying to say is...tenipuri is a copy of the Korean original. Hmm.
(Anonymous) on July 30th, 2006 04:57 am (UTC)
manhwa = manga
manhwa =/= anime

if u korean, b korean
let's keep it casual: Anya Stupidercasually on July 30th, 2006 05:00 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, and you are? Pray tell what is the Korean word for anime then? I'll call up the Officials of the Korean Language and let them know about it.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on July 30th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC)
[grin] Mine wasn't far off that -- although with every scene I was seeing a different pairing, so that was confusing. The only thing is, I have a lot of free time these days, and when I have free time I have more time to think ... these aren't really opinions, more reactions that I've spent a while playing around with in my head. Ehm.

I was reading the manga just now and I saw Momo/Taka-san! Because they went up the mountains to do 'special training' together. Ooh-er.

If you like/wouldn't mind, do you have any recs? I have no idea where to get started in reading fanfic, so any pointers in any ship would not go astray!

I guess I've always found Japan fascinating. Unfortunately, that's based a lot on things like Memoirs of a Geisha and similiar. Although the hotel I stayed in did a better Western breakfast than most hotels here. I just think it's so cool the way the country adapted to how the world changed after WWII ... and now they're an industrial superpower whose ancient traditions are still strong, while all of Europe's empires and ruling classes have been broken. ♥

That doesn't surprise me! If you consider what a small pool of ideas are available to any genre writer ... in romantic fiction you see the same plots cropping up over and over again. I guess it's just down the quality of writing and characterisation.
Luce Redissen4 on July 30th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
Enjoying your comments about PoT, and wondering what you'll think of Hyotei when you come to those episodes.

Japanese school system goes: 12 years of elementary/primary school, 3 years of junior high school and 3 years of senior high (or just know as high school). Then university.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on July 30th, 2006 09:22 pm (UTC)
[thoughtful] Hyotei are the only school I didn't really warm to in manga. I don't know why that is; Rikkaidai is equally, if not more, vicious. Still, it'll be interesting to see them in 3D colour!

Alrighty then. Thanks!