This time of the year is a good time to buy DVDs, since a lot of retailers are dumping their inventory. Well, not that these mega stores don't have the option of returning DVDs back to the studios. They just have to throw their "Well, if we can't return your non-selling DVDs, we just won't order from you anymore" weight around. So I'm sure studios agreed to let the big box stores sell them below the wholesale price.
So while I may be bitter as a DVD-making-tiny-company manager, it's a great time for consumers.
One DVD I bought was The Crying Game.
It was a movie that was recommended by my AP English teacher when I was a senior in high school (yikes, that gives away my age). Of course Mrs. Manchester didn't tell us about the "secret" of the movie. I think she might have said it's a good film & maybe something about being an eye-opener.
So I watched it in the theaters with a group of my friends.
The "secret" part was shocking.
I left the theater with a bigger impact in my 17-year old heart (mind?).
The love between two people that goes beyond gender.
Now, 10+ years later, I thought... did this movie steer me to my eventual interest in yaoi manga?
I think I started reading shounen ai by the time I wrote a college paper on Japanese girls and their fascination with "boys love" for my Japanese pop culture class.
I think I first learned about the genre in a manga review magazine called Putao, published by Hakusensha. Then I discovered a website by Matt Thorn who wrote articles about it & was working on a doctoral thesis on the subject. And through Matt Thorn's website, I learned that Putao columnist Yukari Fujimoto (I never bothered to check her name in the magazine articles) is a manga hyoronka & has published books on the subject matter.
Though I'm not like Matt or Fujimoto-san, where I'm fascinated by the academic part of the genre. That's what got me started & made me a loyal reader of Biblos' Magazine BexBoy (Maga-B for short) until the company declared bankruptcy. Of course by the time company folded, I had evolved from an average reader to a business associate.
But back to the human love concept of gay romances. I still like the yaoi manga that has a good story about two people in love (and they just happen to be two men). So I really like Saigo no Door wo Shimero (最後のドアを閉めろ） series and Kawaii Hito (可愛いひと) series.
Both series make you cry.
It's that good.
And there are lots of good ones like that out there.
So I may take a break from reading manga this weekend & pop in The Crying Game. A part of me wants to keep the memory of the "impact" the story had, but another part of me wants to know if I'll still have the same feelings as I did 10+ years ago.
If I can re-read manga from 15+ years ago and still cry over the same story, wouldn't it be the same with movies?
Furuhata Ninzaburo isn't based off a manga series, so it really doesn't fit in this blog. But my sister was watching one of the DVDs (she has the first 2 seasons & the special on DVD... and recycling bottles to buy the 3rd season DVD box which costs $300), so it made me want to mention it a bit here.
Well, it's mostly because I get in the mode of "I wish I had the opportunity to work on this project" when I see good shows. That must be my producer itch.
When you're a translator or a localization producer/editor, you start translating manga, anime, video games, TV series... you name it... in your head. It's like a puzzle trying to come up with the best way to express the passion you feel hearing/reading it in the original language.
The script of Furuhata is really smart & it's one of those shows where if I had all the money in the world, I'd localize it just to work on it.
Oh, I didn't even talk about the show.
It's a murder mystery series. Each episode has a different murder case, so it's a lot like Detective Conan. Which I've been watching on the Funimation Channel. I want to write to them that I want to see more Conan, but I'm debating if I want to use my real name. I mean, I work with them a bit at Company B.
Furuhata is the name of the detective on the show. Furuhata starts each episode with a monologue about random things, that kind of tie into the case. He's also joked in one of the monologues that all great Japanese detectives (fictional, of course) have a fancy last name & an ordinary first name. Like Kogoro Akechi. Or Kosuke Kindaichi. I haven't read any of those novels, but I know about them from Detective Conan. The power of manga!
She had rented a TV drama series called anego (アネゴ), which is about a single 32-year old OL looking for love. Naoko Noda is called "anego" by her co-workers because she's worked at the company for 10 years & she likes to take care of people (listen to younger co-worker's work-related & personal problems, etc).
Oh, anego means older sister... although it has a different nuance than onee-chan (familiar), onee-san (less familiar), aneki (rough, boy-ish talk). It has a more y*kuza or ryoutei (Japanese restaurant) or ryokan (Japanese inn/hotel) type of nuance.
It's a word that has hierarchy, which makes sense because the kanji for "go" (御) is an honorific term.
Anyway, this is turning into a Japanese translation blog & not a manga blog. So back to the manga part.
Why I brought up anego is because of the manga-generation influences it had in the production execution.
I haven't read the original novel by Mariko Hayashi, so I don't know if the manga-ish parts were written in the story from the start... or if the screenwriter/adapter added those elements.
One thing anego had were side-subtitles of what Naoko was thinking to herself as she was talking to others. Tends to happen mostly in the awkward romantic scenes ("Is he going to confess his love to me?").
In drama and anime, thoughts are generally expressed through voice overs, but I liked the subtitled part. It's very manga-esque with lots of tsukkomi and side comments that would be hand-written on the side of the text bubble in manga.
Then there were day dream sequences, which are not uncommon in other dramas, but w/ the thought subtitles, makes it more manga-ish.
I don't check out the Japanese channel, so I don't know what dramas are running all the time... but if they air a subtitled version of anego, it's something worth watching.
PS. Rie Tomosaka (Miyuki from Kindaichi Shounen TV series) plays Naoko's former co-worker turned happily married house wife in anego. It's surprising (and shocking) to see an actress who you remember seeing play a high school student now play a role of a house wife. How time passes. And I'm now over 30 and still single. Am I an anego too? doki!