Friday, March 16, 2007

Excuse me, am I on holiday?

I’m in such a holiday mood now and I have no idea why. I mean everyday’s like a holiday, has been since like what 2004? I’ve finished 3 very poorly done assignments and as anticipated with each passing assignment, I run out of drive/motivation to do a decent job for the next. Such that the 1500 word insurance assignment was really a 6 hour haphazardly cobbled together collection of words with various cases mentioned liberally to create that illusion of having done some research which of course I haven’t. Ah well, enough rambling.

I’ve joined the staff of another scanlation group, BLiss, full time. That doesn’t mean I’ll be abandoning Obsession however, I’ll continue translating projects for them. So what this does mean is that I’ll be translating as a full time staff for two scanlation groups which means more yaoi to translate and slightly less time to read it/watch anime/ do work. Yeah I know, most of you already think I’m off my rockers and two is I admit it a little crazy. Sean certainly thinks I'm nuts. But hey I get to brush up on my Chinese even more, with a little help from the trusty dictionary and some impromptu help from CS, Aileen and Sean online lol. That and the greater variety of projects/ yaoi you get access to and are able to choose. But those reasons are quite secondary really.

The main reason why I joined BLiss is due to the fact that they really give credit to their staff in an ostensible manner ie: staff page with profiles, main page credits, even happy birthday notices ^^ . Heh heh recognition is about the only kick one gets off doing such ‘community’ services, it’s always easier to be a ‘leecher’ ie: Just download yaoi and read em, so this is one of the very few things that keeps scanlators and their staff going. Not that obsession doesn’t give credit, they do, just not as explicit ^^. Other factors that influenced my decision to join was the high standard of their released works, a DEDICATED server for downloads (I cannot tell you how fast it works with IDM—hohoho) and they happen to have a great affinity for Fujiyama Hyouta of Dear Green fame. Yaay!

Finished Mirage of Blaze anime today, damn 13 episodes never last me more than 2 days. It was by far one of the best I’ve watched, living up to the review given in of being a ‘classic’ Indeed. While the fight scenes aren’t as spectacular/gory as those in X/1999, involving a lot of mantras and incantations and not as angst/emotionally laden as Zetsuai/Bronze (which left me really depressed for one day), the story and character portrayal is excellent. Especially the unspoken emotions, angst and tension between Naoe and Takaya. Good grief, how the hell does one survive 400 years of unrequited love and not go mad? I’m surprised Naoe is even sane. That master-servant relationship coloured with love and Takaya/ Kagetora’s inability to express his love for Naoe, always holding him at arms length and taunting him.

But at the very last scene we see Naoe placing his coat around Kagetora/Takaya and confessing his love for Kagetora again. Then walking off to the car and driving off. And Kagetora turning around, the conflict/anguish and loneliness plain on his face as he stares at Naoe’s retreating back. “Naoe…” he begins but his voice trails off and he turns back to the lake as a flock of birds take to flight. Kind of makes you wonder how different it would be if he hadn’t faltered, if he had chased after Naoe and held him back. Very different I bet. But there you have it, the two extremes of the BL (boy love) universe: Either the sappy, incredibly idealistic: love conquers all we live together happily ever after without any problems or the angst ridden/ emotionally charged separation of two star crossed lovers unable to express themselves or be together for some varied reason. Where angst is literally such sweet sorrow.

An interesting concept which I had some inkling of in the past but never really knew its extent was the extent and prevalence of society sanctioned and approved love + sexual relationships between males in Japan. A concept known as Shudo which was prevalent from the 12th century to the late 19th century. Something to do with being able to appreciate the beauty of the male body and instilling all the necessary samurai ideals and way of thinking. And it was really prevalent at all levels of society especially at the aristocratic level, examples include the documented love oath between Daimyo of Kai, Takeda Shingen and his beloved retainer Kosaka Masanobu at the ‘tender?’ age of 22 and 16 respectively. Though I can only imagine how any samurai training can be imparted during a passionate tryst between two sweaty guys on a tatami mat.
“This is how you should hold your sword.”
“Never let it slip.”
“ah..ahh (Various Sound effects)”
“You will be my only sheath. Ever. *heavy panting*”
Alright alright corny, and an inevitable collateral from reading & translating too much yaoi as well. But you get my drift. Anyhow those samurai really knew how to enjoy life. Pleasure and work takes on a whole new meaning. ^^

Ah well, Rebels of the River Edge, here I come.

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