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back in the day

because ... well ... why not ...?

it's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.

Friday, January 13th

22:08PM

Bleached Blog:

It all started out innocently enough with a simple trip to Russia. Er, the website of the Association of Russian AMV Creators, Akross.ru. It was there I met this guy, the star of the best music video I've ever seen about a stuffed lion done to the Rammstein song "Sonne" played at twice normal speed.

Seriously. No doubt there are lots of others, but for me this is the one that really stands head and mane above the rest.

Kon (the stuffed lion in question), as it turns out, is from the Anime series "Bleach," and not from Kenya, despite the remarkable resemblance.

Without meaning to, I kept running into other Bleach-related things while searching for costume/wardrobe ideas, other music videos, etc., and eventually I decided I'd just have to watch the series for myself.

Like anything else, there are good anime music videos and bad ones. There are the ones that combine clips with appropriate music and try to sync up the action (and some even do a remarkably good job of lip-synching the lyrics with the anime characters' mouth movements) ... and there are the ones that are just a random piece of an episode (or, worse, a slideshow of their favorite fan art) set to Evanescence, "Bring me to Life," their latest favorite rap tune, or both. Because nothing gives your anime clips street cred like Amy 'N the Hood.)

Here's two that I like: Ignition and Invincible. They're more action than anything else, but I like action. We can always catch up on the deep meaningful conversation later on when we stop for ice cream.

Kon Mod Soul of Bleach

"Hey, you there! Yes, you with the tambourine!"


Bleach

Bleach Volume 25 cover

You can learn a lot about Japanese culture from watching anime. For starters, all major heroes are still in high school. Sometimes for a decade or longer without graduating, but I guess having to save the world every few days does interfere with homework and tests.

And all teenagers in Japan have the same second-floor bedroom...with, oddly enough, an alien, spirit, or being from an alternate dimension living in the closet. It's a good thing that most aliens, spirits, and beings from an alternate dimensions are small and cute, because the standard issue Japanese teenager closet isn't very big. Fortunately, it's also not nearly as full of junk as any of my closets, so there's enough room to fit an alien in there, at least a small cute one. (Not that there *couldn't* be any aliens in some my closets, but it'd be hard to find them if there were.)

I'll check later, just to be sure.

It appeals to me, though--both in terms of visual style, and a hard-to-define sense that it feels "natural"--at least as much as fighting in mid-air with enchanted weapons and magical fireballs can. I figure if I were to start throwing waves of black fire from my fingertips, it would probably be a lot like that.

...or I'd really need to switch to a different brand of lotion. One or the other.



It turns out there's a *lot* of Bleach. 360+ episodes, 4 movies, and I haven't tracked down what else, but I figured I'd start from the beginning. Fortunately, for me, the first set I got in was the Viz release which has Japanese and English audio tracks and Enlish and Japanese subtitles. I went with Japanese language and English subtitles; I pretty much always go for the original language + subtitles when I have that option.

That's when it suddenly got more complicated. The next few seasons I had were the sets released by Lambaian Film, with Japanese audio only (fine by me) and your choice of English or Chinese subtitles. I figured I'd stick with English subtitles--or, more accurately, "Engrish," because it was immediately apparent that no one who actually spoke English was involved in translating the subtitles.
The great majority of the words *were* actual English words, but frequently not words that made sense or formed coherent sentences. I'm guessing they ran everything through a spell-checker and automatically accepted all the suggested "corrections." Even so, I could pick up some patterns pretty quickly: everybody was referred to as "she," regardless of gender, and someone's friend or associate would be called "the sister."
What was trickier at first is that the names of the people, places, groups, and important objects would change randomly, usually between episodes, but sometimes right in the middle. Occasionally, names would get switched around, just to make it extra-confusing. I don't know whether it's good or bad that I often found that I ended up deciphering the "English" subtitles by recognizing enough of the original Japanese words to realize what they were actually attempting to say.
Bleach translation

"Light is the fetus' movement, the animosity hidden under table."
But much of the dialogue still eludes me. Maybe it's just because of the kind of people I know, but I have never heard anyone use, "Light is the fetus' movement, the animosity under table," in everyday conversation.
Someday, however, I'm sure it will all become clear.
Clearer, anyway. At least I like the visual style even when the words are a little confusing.

Now if Viz would just release the rest of the series....

(and in the meantime, I'll be checking under the table for any hidden animosity--and in the closets for cute alien spirits.)





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