2010 Dec 21
I was jumping around YouTube watching music vids when I came across one of my all-time favorite songs: Ano Natsu no Hanabi by Dreams Come True. It goes back a ways! I think when I first heard this, I was making up my mind to move to Japan and this song kind of clinched it for me. I love it. Here it is from one of their amazing concerts, then the album song below, and lyrics (with rough translation) below that. Natsukashii!
Tooku kara mune furuwasu oto ga hibiite kuru
Mushiatsui yami no mukou ga yakete iru
Senkou ga yobisamashita ano natsu no hanabi wo
Kawakaze ga hakonda kayaku no nioi wo
Hito de afureru teibou hagurenai you ni
Majika de mita juugou dama mabataki wo wasureta
Imagoro anata mo dokoka de omoidashiteru no?
Ano hi no koto
Tomodachi ni hiyaka sareta mou natsu no hajime ni wa
Futari shite hana to hoho dake yakete ita
Kawa ni ochiru hanabira ga kieteku magiwa ni
Tateru oto ga setsunakute me o sorasenakatta
Imagoro anata mo dareka to kotoshi no hanabi wo miteru no?
Chitteku kisetsu wo issho ni ikite yukeru hito mitsuketa?
Nokoru kemuri kasumu daisankaku
Shuyaku ubawareta hachigatsu no seiza
Imagoro anata mo dokoka de omoidashiteru no?
Ano natsu no hanabi wo
Kotoshi mo kirei ne ano hi to onaji you ni kagayaku hanatachi
Imagoro anata mo dokoka de chitteku kisetsu wo ikiteru
Imagoro dareka to…
From far away, heart-shaking sounds are echoing
steaming heat—burning in the darkness
flashes awakened—that past summer’s fireworks
carried on the river-wind, the aroma of gunpowder
Riverbank so overflowing with people, probably not able to peel off
seen nearby the #10 shell’s flash was forgotten
These days do you too, somewhere, recall… that day…
Teased by friends at the very start of summer
as a couple, only our noses and cheeks were sunburned
flower petals falling into the river, on the verge of disappearing
pattering sounds gentle, couldn’t turn my eyes away
These days are you too, with someone, seeing this year’s fireworks?
Did you find the person compatible through the falling-away seasons?
The remaining smoke, hazy Great Triangle [Altair, Vega, Deneb]
leading part taken away, August’s constellation [Sagittarius]
These days do you too, somewhere, recall… that past summer’s fireworks…
This year too, so beautiful, the same as that day, the shining blossoms
These days, are you too, somewhere, living through the falling-away seasons
These days, with someone…
Translations from DCTJoy.com
2010 Aug 10
While looking through the Aerostich catalog I noticed they were selling an anime named “Kino’s Journey”. I checked for it on Netflix and saw that the 15 episode series was available so I put it in my queue. The story is about a traveler, Kino, and her talking motorcycle, Hermes. They travel the semi-fictitious world, stopping and visiting many different countries. These countries vary in size, technology, and culture. Each episode is a small self-contained story and usually has some insight into human behavior. I found the series to be pretty interesting, sometimes shocking, sometimes funny. But most of all, I enjoyed the motorcycle footage. It looked like a cool “motorrad”. The opening and closing theme songs are really good too. When I was riding my motorcycle last week, I couldn’t get the opening song out of my head!
2010 Apr 20
I love this song from Lupin III. When I played the remixed version, Mariko knew exactly where it was from. Remix version below.
2010 Apr 13
Mariko’s mom sent over a couple bottles of rayu (ラー油) which is really popular in Japan now. This one is not the original one that became popular, but is a competitor’s brand. I wasn’t really impressed. It looks really hot, but in actuality I found it to have no heat at all. It seemed to me to have a bit of garlic flavor though. We added some scotch-bonnet flakes to it, and now it is very karai (辛い).
2010 Mar 22
I’ve been watching a few older doramas starring Kanno Miho lately, and have also been following her show that has just concluded. Magerarenai Onna is the story of an idealistic woman who is in her 10th year of trying to pass the bar exam to become a lawyer. With that underlying plot, the story unfolds with her finding a couple friends, having troubles with her boyfriend, the resolution of her relationship with her mother, and ultimately her taking the bar exam. Kanno Miho is a pretty good actress, and the supporting cast do a good job as well. There isn’t a whole lot of character development in the main character, but all the supporting cast are affected by her idealism in one way or another, and their lives change dramatically. This dorama has a lot of funny scenes, and is pretty lighthearted, so if you are looking for something realistic and serious, look elsewhere. However, Magerarenai Onna kept me interested the whole way through, and the conclusion was satisfying and fun. While not an excellent dorama, I’d still recommend it.
Show info at D-Addicts Wiki
2010 Feb 12
I’m not sure how I missed this dorama when it first aired, but I’m happy to have found it and watched the whole series in a couple days. (A couple long nights, actually) I’m a fan of Miho Kanno and thought she did a great job as Kiina, a detective who handles the odd cases that the regular detectives find either too goofy to take. Each episode is about a single case, usually involving some kind of supernatural angle, but ultimately is solved by some kind of scientific explanation. It’s pretty easy to figure out who the culprit is but the interesting part is how they explain how the crime was done. What makes Kiina (the character) special is that she has a photographic memory, and picks up on obscure clues throughout the investigation. She’s also very idealistic, and her partner serves as a counterbalance to her personality. It’s a pretty good dorama, and I recommend watching it. My only complaint was that the subplot involving the chief wasn’t very interesting, or the resolution of that subplot wasn’t as fulfilling as it could have been. But still, each episode is pretty fun to watch. Also, each episode features a different guest star who will be familiar to regular dorama viewers.
Kiina site at DramaWiki
Official Kiina Site