Monday, December 3, 2007


The whole of my Friday night was spent attempting Maki's route. And I got finally got the Maki Ending! Rest of the weekend I got hooked on this old game called Capitalism 2, which was going for $9.90 at the most Popular local bookstore. Superb game.

Anyway, I'm a bit too distracted by Cap2 to write a proper post today, so i'll just go with a Lame Joke of the Day.

This story happened for real over the weekend, btw.

Yesterday, I wandered into the kitchen where the mother was doing some food related thing.

"Uguu!", I said, for no particular reason.

"Where?", said the mother.


"Oh ya, that's right. There's stir fried beef for lunch."

Kagami break while you digest that.

Uguu means "Got Cow" in Hokkien.

I was so ecstatic at the discovery that I spent the next 5 minutes screaming "Gao" and "Puhi Puhi".

Friday, November 30, 2007

Kuranado Saikou!!

Just go watch Episode 9.

A little something to cheer you up.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lame Joke of the Day

Qn: Which Noble Phantasm in the Fate/Stay Night universe has a variable diameter?

There might be a hint in the pics. Try translating the text.

But since I 've already said this is the Lame Joke of the Day, translating that chunk of words probably wouldn't help.

Think lame.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


According to the latest poll, half of this blog’s audience has no idea what Newaza (寝技), or groundwork in judo is. So I thought I’d do a tiny introduction.

Basically Newaza means techniques of fighting on the ground, as opposed to Tachiwaza (立ち技) which are for fighting on your feet. Newaza techniques include chokes, holds and armlocks. Here's an example:

As I was struggling, she thrust her right leg between my thighs and executed, as I remembered from somewhere, a brilliant inside leg trip.

"Umph!" I lifelessly raised my voice.

Putting all her weight on my body, Haruhi then pushed me down to the floor. Haruhi rode me like a horse, getting in the
mount position. She was trying to slip her hands inside my blazer. But I still resisted somehow.

"Yuki, lend me a hand here! Go grab Kyon's hands!"

As she said that, Haruhi had started taking my blazer off. Hey hey hey, shouldn't you be ashamed of yourself!? Is stripping Asahina-san not enough for you, you perverted girl!?

If you’re wondering, that is not some smutty fanfic that I wrote. It was taken from Baka-Tsuki’s translation of the 8th Haruhi novel. And it’s a perfect example of Newaza at its best. The mount position is an advantageous position in judo from which many techniques can be executed. The most straightforward would be to lean forward and hold your opponent’s shoulders down for a win by osaekomi (holding). The match is yours to lose if you manage to maneuver your opponent into this position.

Why am I not surprised that Haruhi knows judo?

The above is an example of the Kami Shiho Gatame, the upper forequarters hold. The guy there is doing it wrong because he is attempting to control his opponent’s lower body. It is much more effective to concentrate on the head and shoulders. She can flail her legs all she wants; as long as the shoulders are on the ground she’s going no where. The way he's doing it, he'll end up inoculating his face with candida albicans from her resident flora.

This is the Yoko Shiho Gatame, the side forequarters hold. On second thought, our friendly demonstrator might be attempting a variant of the Mune Gatame (Chest Hold). His interpretation of the term “Mune” appears to be limited to certain features of the anterior thoracic wall. This hold is not well executed too. Again, the head and shoulders remain mobile as all he controls is a handful of meron-pan.

In conclusion, if you want to learn Newaza from anime, do not learn from loser generic male protagonists like Urashima Keitaro or our friendly demonstrator Shirogane. Learn it from dominating alpha females like Haruhi. She’ll know how to pin a man down.

Brown Flow

Qn: How long does it take to make homemade Ice Cream?

Ans: A few hours, depending on how cold your fridge is. But the actual preparation time is only about 5 minutes, and that’s if you’re a bloody slowpoke.

How did I know that?

Well, Ice Cream R&D is another favourite pastime of mine. Yes, I do have other hobbies besides ogling moe girls and mecha.

What’s the point you ask? The konbini stocked full of delicious creamy Ice Cream is just a 3-minute stroll away. A Google search for a recipe takes less than 3 seconds. Why bother with R&D? If everyone thought that way the only ice cream flavour known to Man will be Vanilla and the world would be a sad, sad place to live in.

Then again, the point of my research is not to develop new flavours, though I occasionally do stumble upon new ones. My main objective is to produce a decent ice cream recipe using everyday ingredients that can be found in any household at anytime. No fancy ingredients or equipment like gelatin or liquid nitrogen. No need to make any special trips to the grocer. Take a look in the kitchen cupboard or fridge and everything needed is in there. These are the principles by which I go about my R&D.

After tinkering with various recipes for the past 2 or 3 years, I think I’ve just discovered the right formula that produces the correct Ice Cream-like texture and tastes decent to boot. That might sound lame, but let me tell you it’s not easy to achieve that creamy texture. Too much fluid and the thing becomes a popsicle, frozen rock solid. Too much fat and not enough water gives you Nutella.

And I’m giving the recipe away right here. For Free. I’m not going to patent it. I won’t track the IPs of those visiting this page. I won’t send them letters demanding 5K. Take the recipe and try it for yourself. If you like it, pass it on and I’ll be very happy.

Here you go.

Brown Flow (I know it’s a shitty-sounding name)

Cocoa/Milo Powder x3 teaspoons (note that the sweetness will be significant if you do use Milo)
Sweetened Condensed Milk x2 teaspoons
Peanut Butter x1 teaspoon
McVities Digestive Biscuit x1 (Really, I’m not kidding.)
Milk x2 tablespoons (maybe 3, I can’t remember. It’s just a solvent anyway so I dun think it really matters.)
Ribena syrup x2 tablespoons
Brandy x1 tablespoon (Well, I have it in my cupboard. My name is ZeoiNagePotato and I have a problem. Not.)
Raisins x1 handful (Depends on how big your hand is. And whether you like raisins.)

Mash the whole lot together, except the raisins. Mash the biscuit real well or it’ll leave a grainy taste in your mouth. The texture should be like Nutella on a very hot day. Like 90°C hot. It’s that runny. Now mix the raisins in and freeze.

Preparation Time:
5 minutes if you’re a slowpoke. 3 minutes if you’re pikachu. Freezing time depends on your freezer. Mine is disgustingly not cold so I’ll leave it in there for at least 12 hours. Another 10 seconds to dump the bowls and spoons used in the sink so someone else can wash it, but that runs concurrently with the 12 hours.

Don't ask me what each ingredient is suppose to do, I don't know. The brandy might be there bcos it acts as an emulsifier or it might be there bcos it makes the whole thing quite posh. I don't know, it's all empirical.

I still have 2 cups of the stuff in my freezer. Maybe once I figure out how to use a digital cam I can take some pictures of Brown Flow.

Bon appetite.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Game, New Look, Same Old Maki?

Finally finished the first playthrough of Blue Blaster after 20+ hours of clicking. Besides the difference in character design, this sequel, unlike the first installment, actually has multiple endings, i.e. it's more of a ren-ai game than the original.

I would have gone for the awesome Maki, but you can't get her ending unless you clear the game at least once. So I had to settle for Ashley the tsundere instead. I'll planning to give a more in-depth description of all the major characters, but since I'm dying for some sleep after clicking for the whole of yesterday and last night, this post is reserved for Maki pics.

Maki's New Look, complete with Mini-Twintails. Ikezawa Haruna returns as her Seiyuu.

Maki's Evil Grin. She's just come up with a hilarious scheme. We'll save it for the next post.

Maki's Butt. She wears Pink. The Twintails look like Nekomimi from the rear. The Tomoyo look-alike is Yukino Satsuki's Character.

Btw, this game is rated age 6 and above. That last pic is probably the most servicey one in the entire game.

Are you disappointed?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Blue Blaster Ge-to!!

Just blew $29.90 on Blue Blaster.

As you can see the character design has gotten a bit more "cutesy". And in place of Tanaka Rie, they gave me Yukino Satsuki. Since I like her too i don't really mind but why can't I have both?

Oh well.

At least Ikezawa Haruna is back as Maki. Only this Maki is not the same Maki. We'll see how this Maki compares. (Edit: It is the same old Maki!!! She just looks different with the change in character design.)

Muchi's bio is going to be delayed.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Art of Catching

Probably caught a flu after getting caught in the rain on the way home after catching Lust, Caution in the cinema. And the movie was about spies getting caught trying to catch a guy in their trap and the steamy scenes probably caught many people's attention but i'm sure no one was caught off guard since I think those 3 minutes probably overshadowed the other 155 for some. Anyway...

I'm just sore all over now.


Feeling under the weather.


Typical symptoms of influenza. Then again It could have been due to lying in bed for 12 hours straight. I refuse to see a doctor because they are all quacks who can't do a thing about influenza except make you 20 bucks poorer. I'll relieve my symptoms by catching up with all the shows that i've been sitting on these few weeks. So no new content today. Maybe i'll upload the rest of The Legend of Zunderella.

So catch you later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And The Mystery Iruka Cuddler Is...

Ogura Yuko, Singer of Onna no Ko Otoko no Ko. And now you can see the Iruka's nose.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Poll Results, KAGIs & Judo RPGs

Let’s sum up the results of the poll “Would you spend the equivalent of 20 Big Macs on a game like Blue Flow?”

The results were unanimous, with all 3 votes going to “What’s the point of having a poll when this blog has only a readership of 2?” This blog is not haunted by the spirit of Tsukimiya Ayu or any other Key Astral-projection GIrl (KAGI). Now you know why they have KAGIs in almost every Key game. It wouldn’t be a KEY game without the KAGI. But I digress.

I voted twice accidentally.

And I’ll tell you what the point of having a poll is.

It’s for me to gain blogging EXP.

I realized drawing analogies to RPGs can be a great motivational tool. If I can spend 99h 99m 99s to grind to Lvl99, imagine what I could have achieved if all that effort was applied to other endeavors.

My old judo coach used to motivate his players with FF analogies. (He’s an FF fan.) He would say “You’ll level up and get stronger by fighting monsters right? The tougher the monster the more EXP right? It’s the same for judo, so go spar with the strongest opponents you can find.”

I had wanted to point out that in FF VIII it’s much better to keep your levels low as the monsters scale up as you level. And the stat gain from levels is abysmal compared to junctioning. Moral of the story? Get a GF.

Or a wife. Or a mistress. Or a life partner. Preferably someone like this:
What happens when you junction Rinoa to Quistis? The doujin would make quite an interesting read.

Anyway, I found that FF analogy rather exciting and enjoyed judo training a bit more, though I did get the Game Over screen countless times. And I broke quite a few limbs with my Limit Break, most of which belonged to me. I’d call home to tell my folks I’m at the emergency department getting a dose of Phoenix Down and the response would be “Again?”. If you’re interested, the sound of an ulnar snapping is rather similar to that made by a snapping twig. The ulnar didn’t belong to me btw.

One more reason judo plays like FF VIII is that your opponents do scale up as you level. Players are categorized by belt level in Kyu Grade Tournaments, so you’d supposedly meet opponents of the same skill. But as most of us quickly found out, belt levels in judo can be as deceptive as character levels in FF VIII. I think belt levels are more a reflection of a player’s knowledge of judo rather than his fighting ability, which is largely determined by strength, reflexes, fighting experience and mental grit. A skilled judoka can always remain a white belt if he refuses to pay the Judo Federation 20 bucks for each grading exam.

In other words, high belt levels are a risk factor for powerful skills but there is no direct causal relationship. The absence of high belt levels cannot exclude the possibility of powerful skills. History and direct examination remain the gold standard in diagnosis of the condition. Once diagnosed, it is recommended that the condition be managed by a multidisciplinary team of players and coaches as the presentation varies widely among patients and there is no standard treatment. Praying for a rampaging taxi driver to come tearing down the street whenever the patient crosses the road is ethically controversial, and although plausible logically, is unsupported by clinical evidence.

And I think my coach was secretly enjoying a game of real life Pokemon with the team.

“ZeoiNagePotato!! I CHOOSE YOU!!!”

This is not me. This is Yawara. She is voiced by Akiko-san.

This is not me either. This is Ryoko. She is voiced by herself.

I’m putting up a new poll.

Would you like a GF who’s strong in groundwork? Do you have a secret desire to be pinned down, choked and arm-locked?

Vote away, I need the EXP.

Since Anonymous Said He Likes Iruka...

Here's a nice cuddly Iruka.

By the way, who's this fellow hugging the cuddly Iruka?

Is she feeling cold?

Go ahead, warm her up.

Hint: She appeared in School Rumble.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

KGNE - Kimi Ga Nozomu Ero-game

Let’s talk about mecha and moe. I mentioned the last time that if I wanted mecha and moe in one neat little package I’d go for the sequel to Blue Flow. Actually there’s this one other game that I’ve been dying to play for some time. Since I’m lazy, let’s quote the most reliable source on the Internet word for word:

“Muv-Luv (マブラヴ, Maburavu?) series are an Japanese adventure games for the PC by âge. It is later adapted into fandiscs, comics, and novels.”

I think I saw at least 2 grammatical mistakes in that quote. Basically Muvluv is a ren-ai game that has prawn in it. Btw, it’s probably all these wiki links that got my blog marked as spam and shut down for 5 days. “False positive” they said. Their bot probably has a sensitivity of 99.99% and a specificity of 6.02x10^23%.

1) What does that say about the positive predictive value (if it does say anything)?
2) Is it possible to calculate the positive and negative predictive values using the given information?
3) Is it suitable as a screening or a diagnostic test? Or neither?
4) What is the gold standard for diagnosing spam blogs?

And while you’re at it, here’s some service:

Before we get sidetracked any further, I was first introduced to this series through the Kimi ga Nozomu Eien anime (aka Rumbling Hearts). Both are by âge and are set in the same universe, with Muvluv being some sort of pseudo sequel to KGNE. Ok, I just realized that saying they’re set in the same universe is quite problematic. I’ll explain shortly. (Meaning in as few words as I can.)

The first part of the series is Muvluv Extra. Heck, I’ll quote the most reliable source on the Internet:

“Muv-Luv Extra (マブラヴ エクストラ, Maburau Ekusutora?), the main part of Muv-Luv, takes place in the same world (and general area) as Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and Kimi ga Ita Kisetsu”.

“Pretty much a standard love comedy, only weirder.”

No Mecha here.

The next part is Muvluv Unlimited, which is unlocked after you get the prawn CGs of the two main girls of Muvluv Extra.

“Muv-Luv Unlimited (マブラヴ アンリミテッド, Muv-Luv Unlimited ?) takes place in an alternate world to Extra, where aliens called BETA… have invaded and mankind fights back against the alien aggressors with giant robots…”

In other words Extra’s protagonist Takeru finds himself in another universe where humans are at war with aliens. He is still surrounded by his moe classmates, who are now his fellow cadets in BMT. That’s where the mecha come in.

The Imperial Guard’s Takemikazuchi (pictured above) reminds me of Eva-01. I like the way the feet actually consists of separate rays of “skeleton” like human feet though it could use a few more toes. It can probably tango much better than the Gundams which all have flat slabs of metal for feet. Another mecha game/anime with nice feet is Gunparade March. And it’s got cute girls too. Hmmm… Maybe I’ll write something about Gunparade next time.

“Muv-Luv Alternative (マブラヴ オルタネイティブ, Muv-Luv Alternative ?) is a sequel to the first Muv-Luv game, taking place after the events of Unlimited (to Takeru, at least).”

The third part is Muvluv Alternative. You have to buy this one seperately from the other two unless the most popular local bookstore decides to bundle the whole lot together in a discount package like they did for Diablo, Diablo II and Lords of Destruction. (That’s just an example; Muvluv is not available at the most popular local bookstore the last time I checked. They do carry some ren-ai (prawn?) games though; they’re usually placed right beside the Teletubbies and Pokemon VCDs.)

Then there are the fandiscs and side-stories which you can read about at the most reliable source on the Internet.

This picture reminds me of Kyou no Go no Ni.

I can’t really comment on the gameplay or production values since I’ve not played the game. But the story is interesting and the characters are quite lovable. This I know from reading the Unlimited manga. I have yet to get down to reading the Extra manga (which comes first chronologically) ‘cos the characters look deformed and there’s no mecha. I already knew the characters from Akane Maniax and Ayu Mayu Gekijou so skipping the first part wasn’t that confusing though there’s no doubt I would have missed important plot points.

Anyway, here’s the cute cast:

From left to right,

Mikoto (Green hair – Actually some people insist this colour is blue.)
Takeru’s gaming buddy in Extra. Was a guy in Extra, became female in Unlimited’s alternate universe but forgot to grow boobs.

Chizuru (Meganekko)
The class rep in Extra, and platoon I/C in Unlimited. She seemed like the typical iinchou character. Has a prominent role in Akane Maniax as she’s a good friend of Akane but didn’t get developed much in the Unlimited manga. (The manga didn’t go her route.)

Meiya (Blue hair in a weird-but-still-criminal pony tail.)
One of the 2 main girls in Extra. She’s some rich ojou-san in Extra and the Shogun’s twin sister in Unlimited. This makes her a white horse in the army. Acts serious, but still cute. My favourite character. The Unlimited manga went her route.

Yuuhi (Purple hair in the same weird-but-still-criminal pony tail.)
Appears only in Alternative, which means I know nothing about her besides she’s the Shogun and Meiya’s twin sister. I like her design though.

Kasumi (Usagi-mimi)
Appears only in Unlimited and Alternative. In Unlimited, she’s a mysterious girl who appears a bit autistic or something, doesn’t talk. Pretty much like Shuffle’s Primula.

Sumika (Red-head)
The other main girl in Extra. Doesn’t appear in Unlimited so I know nuts about her. She seems like The Clingy Osananajimi based on what I gathered from Akane Maniax. I do not like clingy osananajimis.

Tamaki (Nekomimi)
The class/platoon pet, with the associated “kawainess”. Nicknamed Tama. (There’s a squad pet Tama in Blue Flow too…) Elite sniper, managed to shoot down a space shuttle from the ground. (The other Tama is just ruined for marriage, but I’m sure you can ruin this Tama for marriage too.)

Kei (Black Hair)
About as random as the Tiamaat/Wilhelmina combo. Strangely amusing.

There are quite a few other interesting characters that aren’t in there but I’m too lazy to find nice pics for them.

The soundtrack is good, at least for Alternative. The BGM’s sound like they would complement the game. The battle themes are kind of exciting and I imagine they would be able to get your heart rate going when combined with the battle scenes. And I think the militaristic marches fit in well with the “World at War” mood of Alternative.

The vocal songs are good too. マブラブ紫音未来への咆哮 and NAME ~君の名は~ are all permanently on my playlist. Actually 紫音 isn’t on my playlist because I can’t find a copy that can go into my Zen Microphoto. Any help is appreciated.

Remember to visit the youtube links for the songs, they’re really good hot-blooded songs that go well with exciting mecha action. Except マブラブ which has a melody that doesn’t go well with mecha but is still nice. Come to think of it, it’s one of the songs I used to learn Jap.

Well, there’s nothing much left to say so let’s just spam pictures. Now they can rightfully call this a spam blog.

Characters from KGNE that appear in Alternative. The ponytail is Mitsuki and the white ribbon is Suzumiya Haru… ka, the 2 female leads of KGNE. I love their staff uniform, it looks so slick and professional, unlike the one I had to wear so long ago. Then again you’ll probably have truckloads of clerks and scholar officers dying of heatstroke if the army adopted this uniform. But I really wouldn’t mind seeing a few of my female ex-colleagues in this outfit though… haha… they’re so going to kill me if they read this.

The one in the pilot suit is Suzumiya Akane, star of Akane Maniax. FYI, the purple parts of her suit were originally transparent since this is a prawn game after all, but they coloured it in for the All-ages release of the game. I’m glad they did, because the transparent suit just looks ridiculous.

What is it with twins and purple hair? This is the third set I’ve come across.


…and Meiya. Don’t you think they look alike?

She’s a ninja meido who serves Meiya’s clan. She doesn’t look like a proper meido here because she’s also an officer of the Imperial Guard. Maria should brush up on her mecha piloting skills or she’ll get overtaken soon.

Slumber party…

… and the morning after. Ruined for marriage.

Dear Koubuin Yuuhi-san,

I have been looking at you from afar for the longest time. You are the most beautiful lady I have ever seen in my entire life. You are my Goddess. I know I said the same about your sister. The truth is I have mistaken her for you this entire time. Honest. I swear the both of you must have been derived from the same embryo.

I would really like to get to know you better, so would you please go on a date with me? I won’t mind if your sister would like to tag along as well. Please date me or I’ll have to commit seppuku like an apoptotic white progenitor cell. Thank you for reading my rabu-reta, and I look forward to a favourable reply from you

Yours sincerely,

p.s. Even if you must say “no”, can you at least introduce me to your sister?

Kasumi. 8D

Kasumi. ¦ 3


Kasumi RIP.

Lastly, here’s hoping someone decides to translate this game into some language I can handle and release it in stores here. Or somewhere else, doesn’t matter as long as I can get it somehow. Or at least make a Muvluv anime. I can’t believe KGNE is getting an alternate ending OVA this Dec but there’s no Muvluv!!!

This is sad.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Momo's Bio

Odori Momoha

Nickname: Momo
Birthday: March 3
Sign: Pieces
Bloodtype: AB
Height: 157cm
Hobbies, Specialty: Singing
Favourite Food: Canned Peaches
Food that She Dislikes: Spicy Stuff (Chilli Pepper)
Favourite Movies: Comedies
Strong Subjects: Music
Poor Subjects: Physical Education
Favourite Animal: All Birds
Animal that She Dislikes: -
Favourite Colour: Pink
Favourite Music: Classical
Her Type of Guy: People who are amusing
What She Wears to Bed: Pajamas
Animal that She is Like: Sloth
Her Best Dish: Innovative Dishes (怖い…)
Family: Father, Mother, Little Sister
Motto: 果報は寝て待て (Stumped. 苹果报?因果报应?Anyway the rest of it says sleep and wait.)
Personality: Has the ability to fall asleep immediately anywhere, 我行我素 (The phrase is “my pace” actually. English equivalent would be “own time own target”?) Actually a rich ojou-sama, has a conscientious little sister. Although it feels as if she is always spacing out, interesting things ni wa me ga naku, interested in Manabi. (In what way?)

Did you know Momo is a dumpling, a disease, a monster, and…

A Cute Character in Xenosaga.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mikan's Bio

Inamori Mika

Nickname: Mikan
Birthday: Dec 24
Sign: Capricorn
Bloodtype: A
Height: 145cm (A bit taller than Kagamin)
Hobbies, Specialty: Confectionery Making
Favourite Food: Mille-feuille, Strawberry Tart
Food that She Dislikes: Capsicum (Just like Kyon’s Sister)
Favourite Movies: Fantasy (Which Kind? Naughty…)
Strong Subjects: Home Economics
Poor Subjects: Physical Education
Favourite Animal: Dolphin
Animal that She Dislikes: Cockroach
Favourite Colour: Aqua Blue
Favourite Music: J-Pop (Female Singers)
Her Type of Guy: No Preferences (Are you surprised? Should have asked what type of girl…)
What She Wears to Bed: Pajamas, Negligee (O.o)
Animal that She is Like: Hamster
Her Best Dish: Cookies, Cakes
Family: Father, Mother
Motto: -
Personality: A clumsy girl who often stumbles and bumps into things. Because she is an only child, she acts spoilt and can be “clingy”. (I’m guessing. At first I read it as she has a fetish for embracing others though.) Doesn’t mind asking others for favours? (Or is it doesn’t mind doing others favours? Or others don’t mind doing her favours? I don’t know. Probably all 3.) Likes Manabi a lot (WTF? What about Takako?), always together with her.

Did you know Mikan is a relative of Sweetie?

By the way, these Manabi Straight posts make me hungry.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More Copyright Infringement & Some Thoughts on Language Learning

Sabre wants to warm you up

Just taking a break from "translating" the Manabi Straight scans. It's hard work when all your Japanese is learnt from watching anime, you know.

A few hundred years ago, back when I was just seven, my mother tongue sensei said something which I found rather interesting. The logical progression in learning a language is to master listening, speaking, reading and writing, in that order. Which kind of makes sense when you apply it to babies learning their mother tongue.

First, babies pick up vocabulary and grammatical structure by listening to the people around them. At this point their speech would still be limited to single words or simple phrases. But you can be sure they're soaking up words and grammer subconsciously like a sponge.

Young children's brains have the amazing ability to process and organise all that junk into meaningful speech. They don't have to memorise any grammer rules. They just know. And before you know it, the little bugger is asking so many questions you'd wish he were mute.

Healthy Girls

Reading is probably something most people are consciously taught to do. If you're not taught or did not consciously try to learn it in some way, then you'll probably not be able to read. Literacy is probably less essential to survival in an evolutionary sense. I mean, if you can't chat a girl up, you can't reproduce, right? Can't read? Still alright. I remember I wasn't able to read even the ABCs until sometime after I started attending preschool. I could sing the alphabet song, I just couldn't read it. The nurse giving me my first eyesight check thought I was short-sighted 'cos i couldn't read the chart and was just randomly shouting alphabets.

Writing is the last and the most difficult. Well, all I remember about learning to write is doing pages upon pages of penmanship exercises. And I had to get the guy sitting beside me to write my small-letter "a"s for me cause they were too hard.

So Listening and Speaking comes naturally and Reading and Writing are more difficult. Regardless of whether that is really true, most people pick up their first language in that order anyway.

Adults picking up a new language is another matter altogether. Remember the super baby brain that processes speech faster than a Pentium 9? You lose most of that function by the time you hit 10 years old. So no more junk in prose out. Not as fast anyway.

Umisho Bamboo Blade?

So how do adults learn new languages? While adults lack that natural ability to soak up language, they make up for it with a (hopefully) stronger power of comprehension. You can explain grammer rules to adults and make them memorise vocabulary. Like how Uraha coaches Kanna.

Therefore, I believe children learn languages best through immersion, while adults would benefit more from structured lessons. Not that adults don't benefit from immersion. They do. Immensely.

I was trying to learn Malay several years ago, and i leant it the adult way, in the classroom, memorising rules and vocabulary. I ended up being able to read and write (the supposedly harder ones to do) but I couldn't understand spoken Malay, not to mention speak it. I realised what i lacked was exposure to the spoken language. And I've forgotten 90% of what I've memorised by now due to lack of practice.

Hauntingly Beautiful

Contrast that experience with my attempt to pick up Japanese. Ok, actually there was no attempt. It kind of just happened. I've been watching subtitled anime for close to 10 years. One day, I watched a raw and realised I could understand half the dialogue. Wow, I still have some of my baby brain left over. Well, it's probably not the same as a child's learning pattern because the kid can learn from watching raws.

Then i tried to learn how to read, cause I want to singalong to my favourite ani-songs. At first, I found kanji a lot easier to read than hiragana or katagana, for obvious reasons. So i'd just play the songs and try to follow the gibberish on the lyrics sheet, using the kanji as "checkpoints". Once i figured out that each hiragana is one syllable, it was a matter of matching the character to the sound. The results can be seen in the two previous posts.

Bloody Beautiful

Speaking. This is problematic, for there is no one to practise with. I can say "anata wa baka desu" but it just sounds off. Even though i know what it's suppose to sound like having heard it like, maybe, a few hundred times.

Writing? Haha, forget it. I think Microsoft word does a good job for me.

My Japanese is still extremely rudimentary, and in fact, I will never dare claim that I know the language with my current level of proficiency (or lack thereof). Sometimes I wonder what's the point of getting any better at this. Not going to help me get a better job.

But guess what?

I'm enjoying myself.

Edit: The links to the bigger versions of the pics disappeared after I shuffled them around. Any idea why?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mei's Bio

Etoh Mei

Nickname: Mee-chan
Birthday: May 9
Sign: Taurus
Bloodtype: A
Height: 160cm
Hobbies, Specialty: Reading
Favourite Food: Potato and Meat Stew
Food that She Dislikes: Sticky Stuff (Natto, Tororo, etc)
Favourite Movies: Romance
Strong Subjects: English, Mathematics
Poor Subjects: Home Economics
Favourite Animal: Dog
Animal that She Dislikes: Frog
Favourite Colour: Green
Favourite Music: Western Music
Her Type of Guy: Dependable Older Guys
What She Wears to Bed: Pajamas
Animal that She is Like: Dog
Her Best Dish: (Burnt) Sunny Side Up
Family: Father, Mother
Motto: Be Prepared and Have No Worries
Personality: Seems cool at first glance, but hates losing. Seriously works hard, but… I can’t read the rest. (My best shot is ^$%# no effect happens too) Thinks adult thoughts. (Naughty… Haha…It’s probably something about her being mature) Much relied upon by Manabi and gang. Has known Mutsuki since Middle School. (So that scene in Ep4 was from middle school?) An only child.

Did you know Mei is a genus of bird-like Chinese dinosaur?