Monthly Archives: May 2004


Anime Song Translation: Detective Conan aka Case Closed

As I fully expected, I really love Meitantei Conan. Even with the annoying character name changes. As long as the mysteries remain intact, I am so there.

Anyway, I ended up not liking the Funimation translation of the show’s opening song. It’s not bad; it’s probably stronger than mine in many ways; but…it seems to miss the point. (Not that it really matters, as the song was only shown on Cartoon Network on the pilot episode. CN almost always cuts the opening credits. It’s a time thing.) So I will present my translation below.

“Mune ga Dokidoki”
(Detective Conan 1st opening song)
Translation by Maureen S. O’Brien, 5/31/04

A hundred years have now gone by —
It’s turn of the century —
And when I knew that I should cry,
I felt a laugh escape from me.
Now a century has gone;
The Moon is shining yonder.
Out to that wide flying world,
I must begin to wander.

Now, way back when I was a child,
I know I lacked all understanding.
But now that I am all grown up,
I only know a few things.

So I’m not all that great
And I’m not all that bad.
All I can really know here is
Just my heartbeat pounding.
I don’t know all the answers,
I don’t know all the truth.
All I can really trust here is
Just my heartbeat pounding,
Only the pounding of my heart.


So the lesson sure is cool,
But I still don’t understand.
I can only know the dream;
I just can’t hold back the plan.
Build the operation, wait,
While patiently I ponder —
Those few things the child knew,
Now draw us here to wander.

So on the borderline of space,
I keep on building and rebuilding.
And of the mysteries of space,
I understand a few things.


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Some Nifty Japanese Language Resources

Star Trek Episode Titles in Japanese at the USS Kyushu. The Japanese translators apparently decided that ep titles should be more like plot summaries. This loses the literary references, but does have the advantage of helping you remember planet names. Anyway, “Okashina Okashina Yuen-wakusei” does kinda beat out “Shore Leave”.

The Japanese Horror Encyclopedia. Legends, famous writers, movies, and so forth.

The Japanese Page. A very good resource for language learning that doesn’t forget fun.

Animelab has a lot of anime stuff, but it also has a really great dictionary, including kanji and hiragana spellings as well as Roman letter transcriptions.

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Forgot to Tell You….

Case Closed, the US dub of Meitantei Conan (Master Detective Conan) starts tonight at either midnight or 12: 30 in the morning (EST) on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. (Depending on Cartoon Network’s current mood, apparently.)

(12:30 in the morning, it was.. Let your VCR be your friend.)

Shinichi Kudo (or whatever they’re calling him) is the brilliant teenaged son of a brilliant master detective. He’s solving crime like nobody’s business even though he’s still in high school, and he’s famous. He’s also in love with his best female friend and can’t quite tell her, but he’s got plenty of time and a brilliant career ahead of him, right?

But in the middle of his latest mystery, somebody dumps chemicals on him that turn him into a little kid.

So he tells everyone his name’s Conan Edogawa (after Arthur Conan Doyle and famous Japanese mystery writer Edogawa Rampo), moves in with his girlfriend’s family and bumbling cop dad, and settles down to repeating grade school, repeated crimesolving, and the long hunt for whoever did this to him.

The anime series has been running for over ten years, the manga even longer. It’s good stuff by all accounts, with enough teenage mischief (and yen for girlfriend) to keep “Conan” from being too sugary sweet. Oh, yeah, and Conan gets to solve murders. Heh. Sure beats being the Bloodhound Gang. (Especially since we were all reading Agatha Christie in fifth grade, right?) You might want to consider taping it for your kids if they read your mystery books, too. I’m looking forward to this one, even if they are changing all the characters’ names.

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Richard Biggs of B5 Has Taken His Final Bow

On Saturday, J. Michael Straczynski announced the sudden death of Richard Biggs, whose best-known role was Dr. Stephen Franklin on Babylon 5. Mr. Biggs was getting up and sank back down, never to rise again. He is survived by his wife and children, including a month-old son.

I know some of you think I am overreacting to the death of a celebrity by posting this. Well, apparently he wasn’t a celebrity. I can’t even find an obituary for him, outside of fannish sources and the websites of the actors. I am shamed by this, since he could claim Dayton as a hometown. But I’m not concerned by Mr. Biggs as a celebrity. I met him when he attended his first convention — Marcon in Columbus — and many Marcons after that. I saw him working hard at his profession, just like the rest of us do. More than that, I saw him glad to spend time with the fans as just another convention attendee, there to have a little fun and go to some bars and parties. I saw him play pranks on his fellow castmembers. Others remember seeing his obvious love for his wife and family.

We fans see many celebrities, but we do not usually get to see the person behind the persona. We felt differently about Richard Biggs. This is what I know: he was a gentleman I was glad to meet. I am sorry that I will never see him at another Marcon, but I have little doubt that he was as welcomed into his Father’s house as he was into our hotel halls. I mean to keep him and his family in my prayers, and I hope you will, too.

Sympathy notes may be left for the family on this forum. Patricia Tallman (Lyta on B5) will be printing them out for the family and bringing them to the funeral services on Wednesday. She also gives a mailing address for cards.

Update: FilmForce has all the details on the memorial services and where to send memorial items, as well money for the fund set up for the Biggs kids.

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In Defense of Troy

I’ve been distressed to see several of my favorite bloggers announcing that they won’t see Troy, uh-uh no way ever.

Let us examine their grounds.

1. Troy changes the Iliad too much.

I’m sorry, wasn’t that you I read supporting Peter Jackson’s The Fanfic of the Rings? The one with the languishing dying Arwen, the Aragorn falling in the river, the detours five zillion miles out of the way, the EvilCruelNastyMean Elves, the high-diving Steward, and the Faramir who wasn’t a gentleman to his toes? Gag me with a bad dialogue spoon.

Troy, OTOH, has the decency to announce from the beginning that it is only inspired by the Iliad. It has to, doesn’t it, given that it’s going to include the beginning and end of the Trojan War. Neither of which were actually portrayed in the Iliad, if you’ll have the kindness to recall.

The war’s length is drastically compressed, as is its extent — the temple of Apollo is on the beach at Troy, rather than on an island on the way. A couple of characters have arcs different from those of legend. Big deal. This is nothing compared to what Jackson did — or C.S. Lewis, for that matter. I mean, he wrote an adaptation of that whole “Helen in Egypt” fanfic which proposed that Helen never ran off to Troy — that was her Evil Double. (Clytemnestra already being her Evil Twin.) So…unless you’re gonna swear off Lewis….

Furthermore, the legends of the Trojan War are not the stunning, thematically unified work of a single brilliant mind. They’re legends, which means they’re public domain and creative commons and all that good stuff. Download at will, use as you like. Maybe this distinction isn’t fair, but Homer sure benefitted from it. So did Shakespeare. Legend, by its nature, is more malleable than a novel. It’s really hard to make it suck. (Troy, btw, beats Troilus and Cressida by a mile.)

Just for your info, here are some of the many Iliad scenes you will see in Troy. (May contain some spoilers for the Iliad.):

Achilles deprived of his prize Briseis by Agamemnon. Achilles’ choice between death and glory. Paris vs. Menelaus Deathmatch. Hector’s helmet frightening Astyanax, making him take it off. Achilles’ Myrmidons watching everybody else fight. Patroclus wearing Achilles’ armor. Achilles mourning Patroclus. Achilles vs. Hector Deathmatch. Hector dragged behind Achilles’ chariot. Priam begging for Hector’s body (right down to the handkissing). Oh, yeah, and a soundtrack as full of the laments of women as the Iliad is, which ought to get poor James Horner more credit from the critics.

This is a lot more Iliad than you get in the average Troy-related opera or play or epic poem. Geez, people, what more do you want?!?

Actual Iliad dialogue? Well, as long as you don’t want it in actual Greek, you got it! Including some lines from Achilles’ horses announcing Patroclus’ death which got transferred into the mouth of one of his men; it worked. (A lot better than Peter Jackson’s character-raping dialogue transfers did, that’s for sure.)

You complain that for your pre- and post-Iliad material you don’t get Penthesileia and her Amazons? Well, that wasn’t going to happen without a miniseries being involved, sorry. Also, no slaughter of daughters for wind. But you do get Paris stealing away with Helen, Achilles’ death, a very cleverly-designed Trojan Horse, and a thousand ships. So go see the movie, already!

2. There aren’t any gods in.

The reviewers lied to you. Silver-footed Thetis makes quite an appearance. Also, Achilles is shown subtly to have the invulnerability he should have, and dies with a Parisian arrow in his heel.

3. Brad Pitt can’t possibly do Achilles.

BZZZT! Wrong answer. I wasn’t a big fan of the idea (or Brad Pitt), either. He made me a believer. If he doesn’t win an Oscar for this one, it will be a crime and a crying shame. He made Achilles come to life in all his annoyingly competent, sulky, yet heroic glory. Also, his inclusion makes all the comparisons between warriors’ word-fame and the cult of celebrity more powerful and cogent.

4. Too much nudity and sex.

Very little nudity, a couple of implied sex scenes that aren’t really seen. Which is nothing compared to Aragorn and Arwen waking up together and Arwen losing her mortality, ’cause we know what that means. Don’t you think it’s a lot more offensive to imply sex between two people who saved themselves for marriage for decades, in a movie based on the works of a Catholic, than to have a couple implied sex scenes between two pagans in a movie based on the legends of the pagan Greeks? Geez, Troy was positively chaste compared to all that “let’s cinematically drool over the elves” stuff in Jackson’s movies!

Seriously, though… any producer wishing to portray the brutal fall of a city would be irresponsible to make a movie about it with a PG-13 rating. Young kids should never be allowed to go see a movie like Troy by themselves. Since parents today can’t be trusted to do this, I applaud the filmmakers for including just enough scantily clad footage to make the film an R. (The war alone would do it for the UK and Europe.)

Whatever. I don’t know why I even bother to argue.

Honestly, people, I am trying to help you here. If you could honestly love and praise the Peter Jackson Version, you ought to at least take a moment to go see a movie that stays true to the basic themes of the legends it adapts. Your life will be a better thing for a little song about the wrath of Achilles, and the war against Troy.


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Choir News

Choir News

Choir is almost over for another year. But fear not. One of our number has apparently successfully infiltrated the Parish Council. Mwahahaha!

Next Sunday we celebrate Ascension, and our non-permanent not-a-deacon-anymore celebrates his first Mass. We will be doing all sorts of prelude music and Mass music and such. We learned “Regina Coeli”! Isn’t that exciting? It’s like being a Chaucer character or something…. Even the old ladies didn’t know that one.

I won’t be in town for Pentecost, as it conflicts with Marcon. I feel kinda bad about this, especially as I’m not reallll hep to go to the con at all this year. But I will go be POD down at St. Patrick’s down the street from the convention center/hotel complex. Perhaps I will wear A Hat in honor of the feast. (Although I guess we won’t be waiting to eat until a Wonder shows up. These days it’s hard to arrange for ladies chasing fawns or maniacal giants with axes and strong views on barter.)

The Flowers of the Forest

Anyway, Nadine of the Funeral Choir (known to its members as the “Sob Sisters”, which was probably Nadine’s idea) had a story to tell last night at practice. “A thousand years ago, when banners were first invented”, there was a certain banner hanging in church. Nobody noticed the problem except Nadine. She kept almost losing it all through Mass, and finally went up to the priest afterward. You’ve got to take that banner down during funerals, she said. Why? he said. Look at it, she said.

The banner said, “Bloom Where You’re Planted”.

(Ah, to be a piper at that funeral! You could’ve played “The flowers of the forest are a’ wede awa”.)


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The New McDonald’s Stepometer

First off, I really like the new adult Happy Meals. You get one of the big salads, a bottle of water, and a stepometer toy. It’s about a buck more than one of the big salads alone, which is about fair. (Though I suspect I’ll get just the salads more often.) Besides, it comes with a toy! Toys just make everyone happy, and certainly it made me feel better yesterday about eating light and exercising more. My parents now want stepometers too, so I have been detailed to eat a couple more adult Happy Meals this week.

But…there’s always a but, isn’t there? In this case, it’s that the stepometer is just a toy. Once you get walking along on a hard surface with a good rhythm going, the stepometer will be accurate. If you’re pounding straight up and down stairs, it’ll probably work pretty well. But if you walk along “softly jangling”, the little rattle-clack step counter will count one step as more than that. If you step softly and use your Mad Ninja Skillz, it won’t count the steps at all. Running bounces the step counter around no end.

So the long, long walk up the hill to church for choir last night was a little more than a mile (accurate) and so was the walk around the long curve of my street and back (yeah, right). The counter said I walked almost six miles yesterday. Now, walking around from Mickey D’s to work, doing work errands, going from work to Walmart to home, and home to choir (plus my morning walk) is a lot of walking. But not five miles’ worth, I’m sure. See, I refuse to believe I walked half a mile in Walmart. In the grocery. Picking up three items. Nope.

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