Thursday, June 9, 2011

CCS Omnibus

I got the first volume of the Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus edition by Dark Horse Manga publications in the mail today, and I'm quite pleased~

To do a small review on it, the book is full of beautiful pictures of Sakura, both single-page and double, and they're done perfectly. As far as I know, Dark Horse uses Tokyopop's translation and each volume (only one released so far) has three volumes in it. This first edition ends at the end of volume three, where Sakura first encounters the Maze card.

The pages are really well made, the ink beautifully done, and I've yet to find a smear or any mistake, really. As for the translation itself, if you've only read the scanslations available online, I have to say that it's iffy as for which is better. I lack both the Japanese raws and the ability to read them, but as for fluidity or coherence, some places see Tokyopop as being the better translation, whereas others have this translation as better.

But if it means you're spared these "Translation notes," isn't that reason enough to buy it?

In this particular spread, they used "WHEEEEE!!" rather than "Wow----!"put "Next Day" rather than "Bathroom," probably for coherence, and changed "Even though she has magic power she still oversleeps" to "Strange magical powers don't mean you can get up on time." Personally, I prefer the first for that particular line, rather than Tokyopop's, but the strangest thing to me is that, throughout the translation you find them not editing soundeffects in at all, but just putting them near the Japanese. Which isn't bad, really, and it's what most scanlators do, but they actually took the trouble to edit out *END*. There aren't any "End" at the ending of the chapters, nor are there "Chapter 1, 2, etc" inserts at the beginning. They made it flow really well as a single story. Like I said, it isn't bad or anything, but just struck me as odd that they took the trouble to edit that out.

Ah, I think they handled Kero's accent quite well. It was there, but also wasn't intruding by having every sentence typ'd like dis nigga. As far as honorifics, they handled it oddly, I feel. They introduce Sakura's brother with,
This meanie is my onii-chan-- my older brother. His name is Toya.
That is to say, they use the Japanese "onii-chan" but then don't use honorifics, for her brother, father, anyone really. I wasn't really expecting it, this being the first time I read Tokyopop's translation; I thought they'd avoid any and all Japanese like the plague. Particularly because they don't use "HOE" or "hanyan~"

All in all, though, it's a really wonderful edition. It makes me smile just looking at it, and it's not too expensive either. I think it was $15 or something, if you'll excuse my viral.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Philosophizing and Rationalizing

And so it was just a wave.

Although, I should say first, that to be a dog, as my other posts termed, an owner is required, nonetheless, the crushing loneliness that made me yearn for the arms of a woman passed as subtly as it came. However, there is still in me a sort of soul-crushing depression, not brought from loneliness, but simply out of cluelessness about my place in the world.

As I detailed months, or so, ago, I do find enjoyment and pleasure in being how I am. Being a NEET, having little in way of responsibilities, having the freedom to spend every hour of my day exactly how I want. That freedom is something that, once tasted, is very hard to give up. And yet this lifestyle cannot last forever.


Some would go on about SSI, or joining the military and purposefully getting your leg fucked up or something, but even then, trying to place myself in the future in such a position, still living with my parents, leeching off the government for whatever measly funds they can spare. It may be 'fine' at 20, and it may be 'unnatural' at 30, but at 40 years of age? 50? Perhaps it is pride, but I cannot stand the idea of such a thing. As I mentioned once before, I cannot fathom an individual who could love such a person, and because of that being utterly incomprehensible to me, I cannot love myself were I to become that. That is, a person living off the government and living with their parents at an elderly age.

Still though, if such a path is forbidden to me by me, what other path is there? I could, I suppose, try to find some moderately wealthy woman and try at woo her so I can be her househusband, but just reading that part of this sentence makes me laugh, so I don't imagine that will happen without Fate's hand interfering.

There is also the prospect of getting a job at, say, a library or some such that, preferably, has a living area (with bedroom, kitchen, and bath) as an upstairs. Reminds me a little of the bakery in Clannad. Now that would be quite ideal. Still, though, finding a job alone in this economy, from what I hear, is particularly difficult, and for places like libraries, they likely subsist on volunteers and interns. Not that I'd mind working for free, I guess, if I had room, food, and internet thrown in the package.

All the same, finding such a job would, again, require luck or divine intervention, and really isn't worth the trouble. To me, at least.

I remember, however, the words of Marcus Aurelius,
"It is possible to live on earth as you mean to live hereafter. But if men will not let you, then quit the house of life; though not with any feelings of ill-usage. 'The hut smokes; I move out.' No need to make a great business of it. Nevertheless, so long as nothing of the kind obliges me to depart, here I remain, my own master, and none shall hinder me from doing as I choose."
Or, another translation:
"You can live here as you expect to live there. And if they won't let you, you can depart life now and forfeit nothing. If the smoke makes me cough, I can leave. What's so hard about that? Until things reach that point, I'm free. No one can keep me from doing what I want."

 Of course, when it comes to these things, I can take as long as I want or need to act after accepting it as my course of action, because I know it will come regardless, even if I change my mind. And concerning why such an action seems less trouble to me than finding an ideal job, for me, though it may not be so with anyone else, suicide is no more difficult or outlandish a choice than any other. That is to say, since I first began to perceive my own mortality and its inevitability, choosing death as a choice of action concerning certain choice-sets in life lacks a taboo for me that I found, quite oddly, in others when they're given the same choices.

I even recall a rather intense debate with some online concerning a story in which my response as to what the main character of the story should do after the story ended was kill himself, which, much to my surprise, honestly, since I thought it was a perfectly natural end and viable option for those circumstances, many were against, saying it was too drastic and he should live despite his pain. Even now, I don't understand their reasoning at all, while I feel mine was entirely rational and natural, but to each their own, I suppose.

I suppose it is rather fortunate, in that mind set, that I had not been bullied as a child, for else if I had, I likely would have chosen to quit living if living lacked any pleasure for me any longer. Of course, I would try to do something about the bullies, naturally, but if such an action's consequences still did not show to make my life easier or less painful, at least, I likely would have died during grade school. Though, again, if I had, it would be because it was the most rational choice of action in securing happiness for myself, or quitting when that happiness was no longer feasible to attain. No different than any other thing, I believe. If a game grants you no joy, stop playing, and if a book is too tedious and grants too small a reward, cease your reading of it.

That is, at least, how my mind works.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A full circle?

At the current moment, I have, for a short time at least, achieved my goals stated in the fifth post on this site. That is to say, I am currently fortunate enough to possess a place to sleep that isn't infested by bugs and vermin, food to eat that isn't rotten, water to drink and bathe in that is constantly clean, and I have an unlimited, almost-high-speed internet connection and a computer with (two!) large hard drives.

And while I have been living in this utopia of my definition, I have been feeling nothing but apathy toward what interests I once held in quite high regard. Now, the reason for this confused me for quite some time. I could have played it to the adage that humans don't really want what they want, but that's despicable and I disagree with that heavily. So, instead, I did what I typically do when I want to figure something out about myself: I plunged into my usual form of escapism in hopes of not thinking about it until it came to me naturally. It doesn't make sense when I type it down, but it always feels like the best decision at the time. Honestly, it does.

In any event, it wasn't until a random song of Amagami's OST played in my media player that I realized why I was feeling depressed. I had made a mistake in what I said I previously desired, though I unintentionally corrected myself in other posts. I had originally said that I was fine with no lover, with the implication of the same lack of desire toward friends. Toward friends, I am still sure I do not need them, and don't really want any either, as I have always been, but I am quite lonely, it seems.

As a forewarning, I am not, and never have been, one of those who believe in "3DPD." While I do not judge those who hold to such a belief, my own experiences with people and love have not caused me such great pain as to swear them off entirely. Indeed, all my romantic experiences (the most advanced of which was my relation with a girl who I knew liked me, who everyone else knew she liked me and I liked her, and who even she knew I liked her, yet we did nothing but enjoy each others' company because we were too shy to make the first move. Or, at least, I was. I don't know about her, maybe she was waiting for me to "man up", as they say.), all my romantic experiences have left me with a rather enjoyable feeling of loving and being loved by a person who wasn't blood-related.

Actually, thinking about it, I can't even think of a bad experience that resulted from a romantic entanglement on my part. I always kept my distance so as to not get hurt, but got close enough to enjoy the feelings of being in love and being loved. Wow, I'm more of a coward than I originally held myself as.

Well, that aside, it is because of my experience (or lack of, perhaps) in love has always made me feel good that I believe I desire those feelings now. It is more difficult to explain feelings I've had begotten from love (or infatuation, if you wish) than I had originally thought. Still, to make an effort, the feeling of someone enjoying my company, coupled with the feeling of rapturous joy by simply being in the presence of the beloved is, I believe, the equation that I lack in my current life.

Assuming this is the case, and I have the equation correct, it is simply a matter of finding someone to fit that. That is to say, someone who enjoys my company and to whom I feel a sort of obsessive attachment towards. Both must be fulfilled, not just one and not the other, or else the result will be too unsteady. Then again, I suppose I could try my imagination to fulfill the first, though...It wouldn't hurt, probably. After all, being a shut-in doesn't give much in way of making acquaintances.

Of course, it could be that, as spoken in Honey and Clover, this  is just a wave of loneliness that will wash away after a while before coming back, then leaving again. Indeed, at the present moment, this could be one of those 'big waves' for all I know. Or it could be that, rather than a lover, I simply need someone I feel I can depend on who doesn't feel disgust toward me (Not that anyone I know does, openly at least). Hell, for that matter, I could be getting the whole source of my current despondency wrong entirely. Though, the only thing to do is try things at random and hope it goes away, I suppose.

Nonetheless, I must assure you that I do not regret my current lifestyle, in case I gave that impression. Humans always desire stagnation in one form or another, and I am no different. I just wish to tweak my own kind of peaceful life a bit, having mistakenly made the draft my goal, as it were, rather than the full plan as summarily detailed in one of the Dog posts here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

And so I NEET

I recently became a NEET (recently being late last year), and while I do enjoy the free time filled with no stress, I can feel depression setting in already. I have three books I could read, I have tons of anime to finish watching, and yet all I ever do is refresh the same few websites. I lack motivation even to eat, and would subsist on TownHouse crackers if not for my parents. Some part of me feels as though I should be ashamed because my past teachers and such would look at me in disgust if they saw my situation, but I realize I live for no one else but myself, and to bother myself with how others think or feel is an unnecessary nuisance.

I do read manga, but more out of necessity to ensure my list on mangaupdates doesn't pile up. I do enjoy it, though (Balance Policy is really well drawn), as and after I read, but I think I wouldn't be able to start reading if not for that nagging, prickly feeling I get when I think about letting my reading-list on that site pile up.
I play video games too, but they feel unrewarding. I play them, beat or lose to them, and then there's no reward or penalty for doing either. At least with manga, I get a story, maybe learn something, but video games have no gain, they have no substance. Despite that, it's really easy to get pulled in, and I spent some money on a new computer that I'm waiting to ship to me so I can play games more intensive than, say, Morrowind or Alpha Centauri.

When it comes to anime or books, while I do enjoy them as and after I watch/read them, actually starting is such a trial of will power that I fail more often than not. I truly don't know why, the reason for where this came from escapes me, though I have a couple guesses. One of which is that perhaps I am suffering from not knowing what it is I would like to do in 'the future'. I am, as I remember reading once, at the time in my life that I can devote everything to achieving my dreams without being burdened by responsibilities of life as imposed by our society. I don't need to worry about health (though my heart has always been having problems working right), nor about bills (though my dad borrowed money from me last week to pay the gas bill), nor even how others perceive me (though I'm going to begin taking some random course at a nearby community college soon so student loans stay off my back).

As it is, as I said, I spend my days refreshing, hardly posting due to how I am, and feeling really bored about how boring most, if not all, of what is posted is. Refresh, read, refresh, read, refresh, read. That poster obviously doesn't mean what he typed, so why is this guy getting so worked up? Refresh, read again, refresh...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Having just finished the third season, I have to say that this is the best anime I have ever seen. The setting is wonderful, the music is absolutely gorgeous, the characters are all lovable, the art is beautiful, and the pacing was perfect, but more than that, by the end of the anime, I can't help but be filled with pure, unadulterated love toward Neo-Venezia and the dear Undines. The anime does very well at bringing you into its world to share in the happiness of the people of Aqua.

To be honest, after learning so much about the holidays and festivals, the occurrences, the sights, I almost wish to learn more about the Gnomes', Sylphs', and Salamanders' respective works, after learning so much about the Undines', even if only to immerse myself in their beautiful world a little while longer, but the ending to Aria was just so beautiful, I don't know if I want more to take away from the warm feeling of love I was left with.

I was a little disappointed I never found out about the man to be married, or had any reappearance of Cait Sith in the last season, but I realized that the former is pretty much irrelevant and I don't care about who he is so long as the new wife is happy, and the latter...well, concerning him, you can't really get any sort of closure. It'd just be wrong, considering who he is, right? Still, I think he deserved at least one appearance in the last season. I still have no clue why season three was only 13 episodes, compared to the second's 26. Oh, one more thing is that I felt Al's sudden 'growth spurt' odd and out of place. Especially considering what it already established as Gnome characteristics. Well, that, and their showing the elderly Gnome as shorter still than Al makes him growing taller extremely odd. I suppose you could chalk it up to genetics overcoming environment, but...

Never has an anime become so endeared to my heart, nor characters made me feel as deeply for them as these did. By the end of it, I felt myself desiring them all to just be happy, whatever it is they do, and even now I feel for them such unconditional love I never thought possible before.

If you haven't seen Aria, please do so, but more importantly, if you have seen it, watch it again. 
There's no way you could regret spending a few days in Neo-Venezia.