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March 2024

Bocchi the Rock: Atmosphere

The first anime I ever watched (that I can recall) was “Bocchi the Rock”.  It was maybe a year ago, I had heard good things about it and saw some clips on YouTube, and thought “what the heck”. And I loved it. But it’s not really because “she’s just like me fr”.  She’s really not.  I mean, yes, she is a lot like me, but there are some significant differences.  I did identify with the social anxiety a lot, though.  I also identified with the way she kind of seemed to… Read More »Bocchi the Rock: Atmosphere

I had a Dream about Japan

Last night, I had a dream about Japan.  It wasn’t a nightmare.  It also wasn’t nice. This part of my dream started being in a van or something that someone else was driving, and being stopped by Japanese police.  It turned out the van had some kind of illicit substance in it, but none of us knew what was going on.  The police detained all of us.  I thought I could use my knowledge of Japanese to communicate with them.  I tried.  They kept responding in English.  They pretty much… Read More »I had a Dream about Japan

The Russian Terror Attacks

I want to talk about the Russian terror attacks that happened yesterday. So, I want to start off with a disclaimer:  I don’t like Russia (particularly its government).  I also don’t like terror attacks.  So my feelings are pretty mixed up and conflicted.  So let’s just stipulate that terror attacks are bad and civilians shouldn’t have to suffer because people are stupid.  Let’s also stipulate that Russia is a messed up country and stuff like this happens in a messed up country. (and mine’s not a whole lot better, but… Read More »The Russian Terror Attacks

Are Japanese Comfortable with English?

I won’t bury the lede:  no, but that’s changing. I’ve been watching a lot of anime lately.  An interesting thing about anime is that it is written by Japanese people for Japanese people, and the western audience is an afterthought and, I think, seen as unimportant.  That’s changing because there are a lot of potential fans in the west (the Crunchyroll awards seemed pretty well attended in Tokyo) but for the most part, that’s true.  So, by watching anime, you get a pretty good idea of not only Japanese culture (obligatory fireworks… Read More »Are Japanese Comfortable with English?

Writing my own Music

In my post, “The Music is Silent“, I wrote about my experience with the composer version of writer’s block. I’m pleased to report that I was able to write something.  I’m not so pleased to report that I probably can’t use it.  But the experience is still of interest. I ended up writing something that is very unique, at least to concert band repertoire.  It’s about a minute of tubular bells, timpani, contrabass, and trumpet, and sounds very much like the intro to one of the more recent Star Trek… Read More »Writing my own Music

Kanashii vs Sabishii: The Untranslatability of Nuance

Well, here’s an interesting one I pulled out of my “things to write about” hat, which is growing larger and larger. In Japanese, there are multiple words for “sad”.  I’m not going to pretend “kanashii”, and “sabishii” are the only ones.  They might be, they might not be.  But they are the words I know.  And they cause no end of grief for watching subtitled anime. The word translated as “sad” in Sound! Euphonium is “sabishii”.  That isn’t a word that directly means sad. In the tenth episode of the… Read More »Kanashii vs Sabishii: The Untranslatability of Nuance

The Roman Alphabet in Japanese

One thing that really puzzled me, even from the beginning of my studies, is how Japanese tends to integrate the roman alphabet.  Sometimes in ways that are obvious, sometimes not, but they seem to be very aware of the alphabet and they use it in some case.  There are a few letters they’ve integrated into Japanese words – T, S, M, L, and H. (I seem to recall P too, but I can’t remember exactly how). I think partly they think it’s cool, and partly it’s just easier to use… Read More »The Roman Alphabet in Japanese

Can You Learn Japanese from Anime?

Well, back to some posts about what this blog was originally about.  The last few were pretty personal, and I don’t mind that, but you gotta counter the carbs with some meat, I guess.  Don’t worry, the personal posts will be back, I just have some stuff to mull over and process on my own before posting it here.  This blog is a lot of things, but it’s not really therapy, and it shouldn’t be, either. The question of the day:  Can you learn Japanese from anime? My answer has… Read More »Can You Learn Japanese from Anime?

The Music is Silent

I’ve been working on starting a composition over the past couple of days, and I can’t come up with anything.  I mean I’m seriously at a loss.  The music inside my head is completely silent. Which I don’t understand, at all.  I’m usually not at a loss for being creative.  I mean, I’ve been writing a serial fiction for nearly three years now, I’ve written lots of fanfiction (and some original stuff, I guess), I’m a pretty prolific blogger (even though what I write is mostly trash), and when I… Read More »The Music is Silent

Anime: Reconnecting with what was Lost

I’ve noticed in my site stats that I’ve been getting a surprising amount of visits from Japan.  Konnichiwa! They probably just think I’m some American baka, but whatever. Anyway, I had an epiphany today.  And if you care, I’ll share it here. I wrote a concert band piece a while ago, inspired by Sound! Euphonium.  It’s actually not a bad piece.  Everyone I’ve shown it to has liked it, and I’m actually somewhat happy with it too.  It’s something I’m not ashamed to share, and I guess that’s something. Compared to… Read More »Anime: Reconnecting with what was Lost