Monthly Archives: February 2009

Translation: “Aishiteru” from Zoku Natsume Yujincho

(Ending themesong for Zoku Natsume Yujincho)
Singable translation: Maureen S. O’Brien, 2/19/09

Hey, a little, little more,
A little, little more
I wish you’d listen just a bit more.

Hey, a little, little more,
A little, little more,
Can’t I think of myself a bit?

Oh, the instant it was in my grasp
It seemed like it would never last
Like it would fade away — say something, please!

The moment you were here
The moment you were here
My world forever oh, so had changed
The landscape monotone
Turned vivid — should’ve known
My palette had been rearranged.

As we walked holding hands,
As we walked holding hands,
We had to part before I could understand
I wonder if we’d make a match, you and I
And you know, that’s what I had to ask the sky.

Zoku Natsume Yujincho is the second season of Natsume Yujincho — episodes 14 and onward. (Sometimes a second season is treated as a whole different series. You get names like Shin Whatever or Whatevershow 2. This is the same thing, I guess.) You can watch it free and legally at Crunchyroll.

Yet another versification, due to my lack of time and plentiful tiredness. I got the literal translation here at Gendou. Here’s the song over at YouTube.


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Okay, so the central Ohio anime convention, Ohayocon, is now held at Columbus’ convention center and at the attached hotel, the Hyatt Regency. However, it’s not big enough to actually take over the place for the weekend. So the genius folks in charge of booking the place decided that what they really needed was to book a few more events in there for the weekend. Fine, fine. That can work. There was an entire Hindu wedding at the same time as Marcon, and the worst thing that happened was a lot of envious costumers drooling and taking pictures of Indian ladies’ saris from a discreet distance.

But in the case of Ohayocon this year, we have a situation where physical separation of the conventions was not achieved. Nobody ever likes this. It’s fine if everybody is staying in the same hotel, but you want all your events to be on the same floor or in the same general area, and so do they. Preferably, you want each group to have its own access to the outside. This did not happen. Everybody had to traipse through everybody else’s convention areas to get to their own, creating a good deal of disruption and confusion.

And to make matters worse, the other events were a cheerleading convention and a Christian youth group convention. I mean, not necessarily antagonistic if physically separated… but apparently the Witchblade cosplayers kept walking into the youth group talks, and that’s just not going to end well; and kids from the other conventions kept sneaking into the anime convention events, which is more than a bit worrisome for the con committee (concom).

But the concept is pretty funny. Especially since I wasn’t there, and it wasn’t my problem. 🙂


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Attn: Pam Cooking Spray Ad Agency

What kind of creepy ad agency doesn’t know the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? Did your parents never let you into the kitchen, or what? If you bake batter into a muffin pan, that’s not called a “cupcake” unless it’s made from cake batter and is in a little paper cup.

What you show on your commercial is called a “muffin”. The idea of frosting muffins is disgusting, and there’s no way it can’t be messy. The idea of cooking cake batter like a muffin and then pretending it’s still a cupcake and frosting it…. messy. Yucky. Geez, just cook them in sphere shapes, put sticks in ’em, dip them in frosting, and serve them as lollipops, why don’t you. It’d be cleaner.

I suppose you are trying to claim that cupcakes baked in Pam won’t burn their sides and bottoms or get dry. I seriously doubt this. I’m sure the non-stick properties do work, or mostly.

But why would anyone even try this out with cupcake batter? That’s what pretty paper cups are for, or parchment cups for the truly dedicated. And frankly, I like my muffins in cups, too. It keeps them moist, clean, and free of crumbs. (Unless you’ve got one of those really solid, oily cornbread muffins, like the ones at Cracker Barrel. They wouldn’t dare fall apart on you before you bite in.)

(What doesn’t go in cups? So nice, so neat, so good a container for crumbs. You know, I should bake something so I can use my cute little cupcake cups!)

Anyway, you try to gross us out by portraying the poor mother as unable to get her “cupcakes” out of the muffin pan. (Because she didn’t put them in cups, duh.) She never uses, say, a spatula or any other household hint; you just show her shaking the pan like a madwoman and then tearing at the “cupcakes” with her hands. This would be funny, if the commercial was for cupcake cups. (How kind of you to make that commercial for them!)

You then have the woman awake from her horrid nightmare to happiness, because she used Pam. What every viewer is actually thinking is, “Why the heck didn’t she use cupcake cups? What was she thinking? Ew.”
Then they’re thinking is, “Ew. She’s frosting all those muffin/cupcakes in her hands, instead of holding onto the paper, and then she’s serving them to these poor kids in the middle of winter. Hope the chick doesn’t have a cold. Maybe that’s why she’s having a dream sequence — fever.”

You add to the stupidity of your alleged cupcakes by having her frost them, and then pile said nasty frosted muffins on a plate before a bunch of children. At a party. Not only does this invite crumbs to be flung everywhere and frosting to smear all over when the piled muffins inevitably tumble off the stack and the plate; it cries out for a food fight.

On the bright side, it’s good to see that your ad agency is determined to create new entries for Lileks’ Gallery of Regrettable Food. Someone has to. And I’m sure cupcake cup sales will go up.


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Bad Day

So of course I made it worse by doing something bad myself.

Sigh. Well, tomorrow’s another day, and Saturday’s when my parish holds Confession.

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Natsume Yujincho

Once again, I start watching a show long after everybody else. 🙂

Natsume Yujincho (Natsume’s Book of Friends) is a good anime. It’s one of those peaceful summer slice of life shows, designed to help the stressed out Japanese viewer relax in a happy blend of traditional Japanese values, traditional Japanese life, summer sights and noises, and traditional Japanese monsters and magic, perhaps with some traditional Japanese religion thrown in. I like this kind of show very much; Someday’s Dreamers and Aria are favorites of mine of a similar mood.

Natsume Takashi is the last living member of the Natsume family. He’s been shuffled around from extended relative to ever more extended relative and family friend ever since his parents died, and nobody can put up with his odd ways for long. He can’t put up with them, either. He can see spirits and monsters that others can’t, though he tries desperately to ignore them. But one summer, he finds himself placed with a better extended relative, in the very same village where his grandmother, Natsume Reiko, grew up.

Suddenly he finds himself being pursued by spirits who want their names back. He learns that his grandmother not only could see monsters just like he can, but that she bound their names into a book he inherited. This made them her servants; but she counted them as her only friends. She also left behind a lot of unfinished business with the monsters when she left the village, never to return.

Unwillingly, the boy feels sorry for the monsters and obligated to help them. And once he starts working to help other people, even monsters, he begins to change himself.

You can watch Natsume Yujincho legally and for free at Crunchyroll.

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Translation – “Natsu Yuzora” (Ending Song #1 for Natsume Yujincho)

Natsu Yuzora (Summer Evening Sky/Summer Twilight)
by Kosuke Atari
(ending song #1 for Natsume Yujincho)

Colors rise high in the western sky
Cut in two by sunlight piercing through, and
Now the shower ends that fell all afternoon —
Everywhere, smell summer in the air.

Old memories, their light came flooding through me
I tried to see in my mind’s eye clearly
Slowly my friends’ voices came — back to me.

The summer twilight sky, and the scent rose by —
So alive to me, even after all this time.
After all this while, my heart still can smile
When I think of that summer long ago.

Another versification, this one based on the literal translation at Gendou’s Anime Music. “Natsu Yuuzora” is a very peaceful song. It sorta sounds like James Taylor, I think.

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Translation: “Issei no Sei” (theme song for Natsume Yujincho)

Issei no Koe
(opening song for Natsume Yujincho)
by Shuhei Kita
Translation: Maureen S. O’Brien, 2/15/09

Once again, you make that face and
Bite your lip in that same place and
Hide your weakness. Do you think you’re hiding it?

Back behind your eyes, I see there
All the pain you hide from me there
That’s really where your heart ought to be.

Laughing and crying,
Lone and lonely
Burdened with hurting, but why?
I’d like to help you — let me help you —

But if you can’t do it, right now, we’ll get through it
Okay, one step at a time.
Folks like us, with no wings, are wrong to think
That we’ll never be able to get up and fly.
With all of my power, I’ll call in that hour
So don’t you get lost, meantime.
I’ll carry your heart up to ride the wind
And upon the wind, let us ride —
Our voices one!

This is another one that’s more a versification than a translation, as I’m working almost entirely off the one that seems to be on all the lyrics sites.

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