Fri. Jun 21st, 2024
Jinny card

I only did a little bit of pop culturing on Monday, so I’ll just include it here. The novel I have on hold, Rewrite by Gregory Benford, happened to come into the library I was working at today. I redirected it back to this library on the system, scanned it, and it was mine. Yay! Having a closer look at the blurb I saw it was not actually a sequel to his much earlier novel, Timescape, which I read recently, it was what one reviewer called ‘a thematic companion’ to it. Meaning, like Timescape, it’s about time travel. But the time travel mechanic in this one is far less scientific. Our hero Charlie Moment (what a damn literal Dickensian surname!) travels back in time when he gets hit by a truck and dies. Yes, Benford actually uses that old Isekai trope from so many Japanese anime and manga stories. So it seems more isekai than scifi at this early stage. Benford’s clearly having fun with the idea – his character wakes up in his seventeen year old body in 1968. I hope I do too.

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There was an interesting item in my Anime Underground newsletter today titled 20 Animes That Are So Much Better Dubbed Than Subbed. Some shows it included that I’ve watched were FLCL, Black Lagoon and, most importantly, Cowboy Bebop. I will say straight up that I watched them all in sub, because I’m a sub guy, and enjoyed them very much. But the author of the item, Anna Lindwasser, made some good points in defence of her recommendations. I agree with her that FLCL has such fast-paced dialogue that it’s hard to keep up if you’re reading it. And there’s that crazy sequence when the show turns into a multi-dialogue manga, making it almost incomprehensible in sub form. She makes a good point about Black Lagoon, one of my favourites, when she writes, ‘the characters are not meant to be speaking Japanese when the protagonist has to translate what the Japanese mafia are saying to (another character). It’s kind of hard to buy that she can’t speak Japanese when she was just doing it a minute ago.’ I agree, and will duly check out the dub version next time I watch it. I plan on doing the same with Cowboy Bebop. But I have to say, I’m heavily invested in the Japanese performances of the sub version, especially the voice of Ed, as voiced by Aoi Tada. The English dub for that show always gets raved about, so I guess it’s time I gave it a look/listen. But for all that, please believe, I am a sub man and always will be a sub man!

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Still on the anime trail, I bought the DVD of the Makoto Shinkai film Suzume today. Although released in 2022, the DVD and Bluray must have just come out here (I always scan the anime aisle when I visit JB HiFi). I’m such a fan of his previous films, like Your Name and Weathering With You, I can’t wait to see it. I’ve seen previews: there’s a seemingly sentient chair, a possibly evil cat and the title character dealing with catastrophic events that I assume echo the 2011 earthquake and tsunami (a constant theme with Shinkai). Then of course there’s those glorious skies and landscapes that he is renowned for. New Shinkai: life is good.

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I happened to be working near the Kpop store that sells all that Kpop goodness, so I swung around there after work to pick up my latest purchased reservations. They were the new RM album, Right People, Wrong Place, and Aespa’s new full-length album, Armageddon. Whilst there I also bought Nmixx’s second single, Entwurf. Couldn’t wait to get them home and unwrap them, because when they’re Kpop albums, unwrapping them’s a special event.

First was the Nmixx, which was a simple jewel case version featuring the lovely member, Bae. Kpop albums always come with special cards, and for this one I got a Jinny, which I’m pretty happy about. Jinny’s the member who left the group shortly after this single was released, so Jinny cards are kind of scarce on the ground.

Next was the Aespa album. It was a random edition (meaning I didn’t choose it) and I got the Giselle edition – which, again, I’m happy about. For some reason, Giselle never seems to get the love the other three members do. I’m here for you, Gissy! I must say, the album feels great. The material is smooth and glossy, and the title is nicely embossed on the cover across Giselle’s face. Very tactile. There’s a bunch of goodies, including stickers, photos and a couple of cards. I got a Giselle and Karina. I want a Ningning: I haven’t had a Ningning yet. I need her royal Ningyness.

Finally, there was the RM album. He’s also called Rap Monster, or (his real name) Namjoon, and he’s the leader of BTS. This is his second album, coming after the excellent Indigo album, and I’ve gotta say, the packaging is RIDICULOUS! I actually had to pay more than usual for the album because of it. Firstly, it’s huge. It’s like an encyclopedia, full of booklets, lyrics, cards and postcards; and through all of it there’s Namjoon looking goofy. A booklet series where he’s with a bunch of mostly white people attending a wedding seems especially random. Why Namjoon, why? Oh, and there’s also a little slip of paper in there containing a thing called a CD. I wonder what that’s for? Really, the packaging of this thing is crazy. Where am I gonna store all of this? Think I’d rather have the basic jewel case version. It would at least be cheaper.

Next up, tomorrow I have the day off, so I guess I’ll start listening to all this stuff.

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