Before I begin, I’d like to take a moment to express my deep sympathy for those whose lives were disrupted by the Kyushu earthquakes. I actually haven’t followed the news about this too closely, because I find it extra upsetting to look at photos depicting a place I’ve physically been to in ruins. I can only hope that the residents of Kumamoto find safety and that the death toll does not rise any further.
There was also a devastating earthquake in Ecuador recently which has killed at least 233 people at the time of this writing. My heart goes out to everyone whose lives were stricken by tragedy today.
On that somber note, I’d like to mention that it’s my birthday today, so happy birthday to me.
Anyway, what have I been up to lately? I haven’t been watching too much anime lately, but I have finally gotten around to watching Concrete Revolutio lately and it has some neat highlights. I will have more to say about it when I finish it. (I’ve seen nine episodes so far.)
I’ve also been reading a bunch of light novels lately, as my recent posts on Full Metal Panic and Haruhi Suzumiya may indicate. I’m also finished reading the first volume of Saiunkoku Monogatari in Japanese. The plot is rather thin, and the first two-thirds of the book are dedicated almost entirely to character-building scenes, but it’s still a nice read. My only problem with it is that I have trouble keeping track of all the names.
In more personal news, I’m submitting my honours thesis at the end of next month, so I’ve been working on that a lot lately. Some people have expressed interest in reading the thesis, but since I can’t publish it, I can only let others read it through email. If you’d like to read the thesis, please let me know and I’ll send you an email when I’ve finished the draft. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, my thesis is about the politics of fan translation, a topic which I believe is of general interest to anime fans.
Speaking of translation, my translation commission service is still up and running for those interested. I’ve translated some interesting things through these commissions, including the Kill la Kill drama CDs and (I kid you not) an erotic Zelda fanfiction. Yes, I would translate porn for money. Feel free to send me your commissions, all you perverts reading my blog.
Finally, I want to mention that I recently started writing fiction again. For years, I’ve found myself drawn to the lives of ethnic Koreans in Japan, and now I feel compelled to write a story about the Korean diaspora. Blog readers may have noticed that a lot of my recent posts have been concerned with nationalism and cultural identity, and these are very much themes that my fiction is obsessed with as well. My hope is that by writing about something so seemingly detached from my own experiences, I can come to understand my own identity. It’s not enough for me to write essays about it, so I turned to fiction to express this ambivalent, delicate feeling within me (bimyou na kanji).
I’m not sure how many people would be interested in reading fiction about such an obscure topic (it’s not even anime, man!) but I felt a very strong need to tell that story and I would like to share it on my blog one day.
In any case, I do plan to continue using this blog as a means of exploring the cultural politics in anime for the foreseeable future. I learn so many new things about this medium/subculture every day and it’s incredibly invigorating. I’d like each post of mine to teach my readers something new, to give others a taste of the sheer level of depth and interconnections in the anime world.
So yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to lately!