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The Mike Toole Show - Seiun, Say Me

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Joined: 12 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 2:01 pm Reply with quote
Now I want to read/watch everything in this article. It all sounds really interesting.
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 2:32 pm Reply with quote
Remember Trapeze (Kuuchuu Buranko), the weird series about psychotherapist Dr Irabu? The first of the series of story collections that was based on was released here as In the pool. The series captures the book quite well.

Tsutsui's novels Paprika and The girl who leapt through time are available in English too, but they haven't bubbled to the top of my queue.

And didn't the author of Moribito just get an award for her series?
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Mr Adventure

Joined: 14 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 3:29 pm Reply with quote
another good reason is One Punch Man, the best currently-running comic in the world, in my opinion

Truer words have never been spoken by man, god, or anime editorialist.

Also I think I'm going to go grab the first Yukikaze books now.
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 3:47 pm Reply with quote
dm wrote:
didn't the author of Moribito just get an award for her series?

I'm almost positive she did too, although I can't remember what award.

As for other books let's see, I know that Studio Ghibli has adapted quite a few books for their movies that aren't light novels, heck a lot of them have been western books too!
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 3:56 pm Reply with quote
I have noticed that a big number (for anime) of legitimate novels were geting their adaptation these couple of years.Two of Tomihiko Morimi's novels were adapted to anime recently.Those are Tatami Galaxy and the Eccentric Familiy,both of which are excellent.Then there was From the new World,Mardock Scramble,Another and Red Data Girl.This is all I can currently remember but there were certainly more of them ,also we will be getting new movies that will serve as adaptations of Project Itoh's books.
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 4:12 pm Reply with quote
and from reading the original Yukikaze novel is that Japan's science fiction is a bit sadly neglected, in terms of English translations.

I know how you feel. I wish someone would publish the Skycrawlers books in English.
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 4:24 pm Reply with quote
I try to grab the odd Haikasoru book from time to time, but I have to admit that I'm kind of slacking in that area. Some of the larger and lengthier books intimidate me, especially with the question about translation quality hanging over their heads. That said, I've enjoyed the few I've read!

Generally I'll try and get my hands on anything from Otsuichi, and Haikasoru put out a few short story collections a while back. I even managed to track down Calling You, a short story collection from him that Tokyopop put out back in the day.

MM9 is absolutely fantastic and it kind of bums me out that more people haven't read that. It's fun, it's interesting, it's a quick read. It's perfect for summer trip reading!

I definitely enjoy some Kikuchi stuff. The D novels are pretty enjoyable, though the translation can feel a bit clunky at times. DMP's release of Yashakiden was pretty good for the first volumes, but it just went on a bit too long and lost my interest. It's insanely over the top though, almost like D with the dial turned up to 11.

Another series I kind of dug was Missing. Tokyopop only got 2 volumes of the series out before pulling the plug on it, but it was an interesting little occult/high school series. The author had done some research and it allowed him to put some small twists on the supernatural elements.

Speaking of occult/supernatural novels from Japan... Summer of the Ubume blew me away when I read it, and I'm incredibly saddened that Vertical has decided to give up on the series. It's by Natsuhiko Kyogoku, who also did Loups-Garou, but that doesn't hold a candle to Ubume. Fantastic read!
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 5:53 pm Reply with quote
Mike Toole wrote:
How about the nerd fury over the crime-of-the-century omission of the great Tom Bombadil from the Lord of the Rings flicks? Yeah, “the book was better, man” has been a typical complaint about movies based on books, going all the way back to the film version of Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind...

I've heard that David O. Selznick, who made several successful movie adaptations of books, including Gone with the Wind, is attributed with saying that fans of the books forgive a filmmaker who leaves stuff out, but never forgive a filmmaker who puts extra stuff in.

The Count of Monte Cristo, although it's not Japanese, is a really good example. The (unabridged) book is 1300 pages, almost all of it dialog. If someone were to make a movie of the whole book, it would be 40 hours long.

Anyway, I think I agree with Selznick.

LostPhrack wrote:
Summer of the Ubume ... by Natsuhiko Kyogoku ...

The second book in the series, Mouryou no Hako, was made into an anime, but the anime was never licensed outside Japan. I've seen the fansub, but it suffers from being started by one group and finished by another. The first group mistransliterates Shunkou Kubo's name (spoiler["Man of Mystery" in the credits]), so that you may wonder if he changed his name or has an alias in the second half. The anime is at the top of my list for unlicensed gems based on novels.
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 6:05 pm Reply with quote
Tokyopop, during their flirtation with light novels, released the original novel of Welcome to the NHK.
That was brilliant. So much darker than either the anime or the manga version, and it's so sad that it's out of print.

And I agree that Natsuhiko Kyogoku's "Mouryou no Hako" is one of the great lost classics both in anime and novel form.
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 6:46 pm Reply with quote
As a bizarre capper to the whole anime adaptation, there's Rescue Me! Mave-chan, a 2005 OVA in which a boy named Rei is transported into a magical world where the planes from Yukikaze are actually cute girls.

With apologies to Robin Sevakis: "Are we out of random crap to turn into cute girls yet?"
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 7:31 pm Reply with quote
This reminds me that we never got Perfect Blue: Total Pervert over here in the states. Yoshizaku Takeuchi did say he's been trying for years to get it released over it.
There is virtually nothing about the content of the book online. Anyone ever read it?
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 8:19 pm Reply with quote
About Yukikaze; it seems like the Japanese viewing audience really loved the anime a lot more than the Western audience did, and I have to say, watching the OVA after reading the novels makes it far more enjoyable. You can pick up on exactly what was changed and what was omitted, and it's a very interesting experience. The OVA did not win 2 Tokyo Anime Awards for nothing.

The novels, though, I truly consider to be some of the most important books written regarding aerial warfare. I would even go so far as to say that just like Starship Troopers is required reading for the U.S. Marines, Yukikaze should be required reading for the U.S. Air Force.

Never before have the themes of drone warfare versus human control been so relevant as they are now. It still blows my mind that this book was published 30 years ago and yet managed to be so timeless in regards to the current conflicts the U.S. finds itself entangled in. Even the descriptions of war on Faery against the mysterious JAM could be an apt description of the war in Afghanistan against the endless waves of Taliban. And just as the FAF knew little about the JAM or how they operate, so too does the U.S. know practically nothing about its enemy and is stuck playing whack-a-mole against any new target that pops up for decades.

I care about the Tom Cruise Yukikaze movie for one reason and one reason only... I desperately hope it will generate enough interest in this IP for Haika Soru to commission another translation by Neil Nadelman for the third novel. As a matter of fact, Haika Soru themselves tweeted that Unbroken Arrow just might come to the States if sales of the first two novels start spiking. Unfortunately that has not happened yet, and since that tweet was made in December 2012, the chances of it dwindle with every passing day.

A real shame, especially since according to the reactions of some Japanese readers, Unbroken Arrow is the best book of the trilogy.

For now, all we can do is hope and wait. I will still watch Cruise's Yukikaze, no matter how much of the plot it may change (tentative plot summaries I've read online indicate it will be about the initial JAM invasion of Earth 33 years ago) or the sinking feeling I have that this project may be simply an alternate version of the Top Gun 2 script that unfortunately was put on halt when Ridley Scott's director brother Tony Scott committed suicide in August 2012.

EDIT: I should probably give a few shout-outs to the pages that are excellent sources of Yukikaze info.

The TV Tropes page for Yukikaze is extremely detailed and was written by people who definitely know their stuff about the series, and it even points out the differences between the anime, novels, and the manga.

Gears Online's Yukikaze page has beautiful art and background information on all the aircraft in the anime (note: the anime aircraft have a different design than they are described in the novels, but this page was created long before the novels were translated). It's very amusing to see that the FAF's Sylph & Super Sylph development history is quite similar to how the U.S. Navy developed the F/A-18 Hornet & Super Hornet.
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Utsuro no Hako

Joined: 18 May 2012
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 10:24 pm Reply with quote
Of all the books Haika Soru's put out, by far the best is Harmony by Project Itoh, which is getting a theatrical anime adaptation next year. It's another one that won the Seiun Award, and the English release received second place for the Philip K. Dick Award.

Besides Vertical, Yen and Haika Soru, there's one other publisher I'm aware of that does a lot of Japanese sci-fi, and that's Kurodahan. They seem to be a print-on-demand company that splits the royalties between the author and translator. They've got a really cool four volume anthology of Japanese Cthulhu Mythos stories -- real Cthulhu Mythos stories that don't turn Nyarlathotep into a moe girl -- compiled by Ken Asamatsu -- who is a totally different person from Ken Akamatsu.
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 2:51 am Reply with quote
I recall the fansubs for Enemy is the Pirates being hot, but thought the series was just OK.

The first part of Rescue Me! Mave-chan leads to this.

And of course Cruise would go to the danger zone.

Japanese aren't into sci-fi as they used to, during the glory days of Japan Inc. and Japanese engineering was the envy of the world.
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 6:01 am Reply with quote
There are a number of Japanese books I would like to read, but it doesn't seem right reading a translation. You really lose some of the nuance and style of the original writer. Think about it: she sells sea shells down by the seashore would have absolutely no significant meaning in any other language, but in English it is a tongue twister with a lot of alliteration. I imagine with something that is a complex passage of metaphor and wordplay, you would lose a ton. I mean for Dante's Inferno only like 1 of 10 will try to keep the rhyme scheme, and only 1 of those 10 will do it well. I'm learning Japanese, so (hopefully) in 5-10 or so years this won't be a problem, but it is still something that bothers me.
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