Archive for September, 2009

Ooh dear…

Monday, September 28th, 2009

The month leading up to a trip to Japan is always packed with work, but this October will be exceptionally hard. I have quite an amount of commissions to work on, reroots, kenner restorations, outfit sets, and I must also make a couple thousand dollars to actually fund the trip. My japanese course is also really intensive and I need many hours of study per day to keep up with it. Now on top of this all, a really big, really demanding project I’ve pursued for some time has finally been given a timeframe – a rather short one at that. Time to cut down on sleep I think!

I always wonder if I work too hard or if I don’t work hard enough…

Gokinjo Monogatari

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

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I’m dying of excitement as my favourite anime is being fansubbed again. IY-F&oki started it a couple years ago but stopped at episode 6 (out of 50!). Here’s to hoping that Yuurisan will complete it!

http://www.yuurisan-subs.org/Gokinjo_Monogatari

This is my only Gokinjo cel. They’re so hard to find!
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Studying japanese

Friday, September 25th, 2009

I’ve just started studying japanese at a very good university in beautiful Bloomsbury. I had forgotten the feeling of learning a new language. You can practically feel your brain expanding. o.o I can speak some basic stuff but reading and writing is a whole different story. It’s by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever encountered. T_T

They have three writing systems, hiragana, katakana and kanji. The first two consist of syllables, hiragana is for japanese words and katakana for imported foreign words such as “computer”. As a european, I find NO logic behind them, there aren’t for example similarities between certain sounds or anything like that, and many of them look similar with an extra line or a different direction of a curve changing the sound. And the stroke order is important or you can end up with a different sound. With kanji each character represents a whole word and they can consist of like 15 strokes. The average japanese adult must know 2,000 of them.

We have to learn all this by next week
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I should be able to read hiragana and katakana by the next time I go to Tokyo. I will know what button does what on the butt washing toilets and if there’s meat hidden in my onigiri! My aspirations are reasonable, right? Right??? I’m not adding reading manga to my agenda just yet.

Speaking of butt washing, I have to share this gem.

Only Jun Togawa would play in an ad like this.

New sets

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

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Pintucks and gingham set, one of the most detailed outfits I’ve done! There are two left at the shop.

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Mod tweed dress, this was so popular, it sold out immediately. I really love tweed and its hard to find in the right scale. I got this in Greece and it’s 100% wool.

Paradise (not for me)

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

I was seriously obsessed with this back in 2001. I love the song and the aesthetics and concept of the video. It basically shows her being prepared to cross over to the other side – die. The light coming out of her mouth at the end symbolizes the soul leaving the body. They first experimented with ink for that scene but it didn’t work out. I hope it had, it would have been much more dramatic.

Even though I don’t hold Madonna in high regard anymore, of all things it was the “Nothing really matters” video that got me interested in japanese culture back in 2000.

I think the costumes are superb, the direction, choreography, colours, performances, everything. Except the faces she makes when in the red kimono inspired dress. I never understood that. This dress is also worn wrong with the left side over the right, as if she is dead, but maybe that was deliberate.

Sore de wa minna-san, sayonara.

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Suicide_CircleLast night I watched Suicide Circle (aka “Suicide club” in the West). A rather disturbing, gory film, that provides, I would say, one of the best commentaries on contemporary society and culture in Japan and to some extent, other countries around the world. It deals with alienation, the effects of pop culture, fads, subliminal messages, and so much more.

I’ve seen many people complain it’s “incoherent, has no plot, doesn’t make sense” but I guess that’s the kind of people who expect to see your typical horror film with a lot of severed limbs inbetween to make them scream. This is NOT a horror film, however horrendous some scenes may be. It does not try to shock you for the sake of it, and everything is there for a reason. A happy, positive j-pop soundtrack is juxtaposed with gory scenes of suicide, which make them all the more disturbing, and all the meaning lies in the lyrics. EVERYTHING is there for a reason. Really, it’s incredibly conceived and good food for thought and discussion.

I have to admit some scenes were so extremely gory that I had to look away, but I really need to rewatch it and also the sequel, Noriko no shokutaku, in which many things are explained further. There is also going to be a third film in the series!

The soundtrack is excellent and a bit rare, so here it is.
Suicide Club OST