School Uniforms

School starts tomorrow, so today the podcast is all about school uniforms.

This is the seifuku and the gakuran, which are the standard school uniforms in Japan. We’ve seen these in anime, too.

Seifuku Gakuran

Here are some examples of the “old-school” (so to speak) gakuran with the school cap:

SchoolCap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Up On Poppy Hill

From Up On Poppy Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'ello Gov'na

‘ello Gov’na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School uniforms appear in anime to define characters…

Can't wait to wear my summer uniform.

Can’t wait to wear my summer uniform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or as a basis for their designs.

Say your prayers, sailor brats.

Say your prayers, sailor brats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes characters express their individuality through modifying their uniforms. “Cool and spicy” Amu is the only person in her class to rock those giant socks. The girls of K-ON! all wear the same uniform as each other, but they shorten their skirts as a symbol of youth and freedom.

Amu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KONjump

 

 

 

 

 

 

(and notice how they’re still different from one another in terms of their hairstyles, socks, and shoes).

 

Sometimes anime uniforms don’t make much sense, but they still look damn cool.

OuranMaleUniformOuranFemaleUniform

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vampire Knight

The New Sailor Moon

I’m back, and I’m talking about the new new Sailor Moon and the new old Sailor Moon. Most of this is speculation because I can’t actually see the new old Sailor Moon. But, hey, at least I got a podcast out this week.

Here’s Viz’s website.

I am looking forward to hearing the new English voice cast, but I still miss Terri Hawkes. And Katie Griffin.

Anime Eye Colours

On today’s podcast, in which I ramble in a distracted hurry, I discuss anime eye colours and what they mean. Possibly I overanalyzed it, but there seem to be tones of evaluating people by race, apparent intelligence, and behavior. I hope I’m wrong – anime, you’re not bigoted, are you? I know you’re better than that. Anyway, here’s the podcast:



The previous podcast episodes I mentioned: Anime Hair Colours and Lost In Translation.

Let’s compare “Kuroshitsuji”‘s images of Sebastian and Ciel with that of Prince Soma.

Monochrome (kiss?)

Monochrome (kiss?)

So colourful!

So colourful!

Oh, and I might have made a mistake. Excel’s eyes are green when I said they were blue. Still, they’re light in colour, so maybe the pattern still works. What do you think?

She's a loud personality.

She’s a loud personality.

Genki Desu!

Genki Desu!

Here’s an example of contrasting normal/subdued with bright and loud. Even though Neptune’s hair is blue-green (which can’t be natural), the muted colour is more subtle than Usagi’s highlighter yellow hair. And look which one is the klutzy loudmouth and which is the sophisticated beauty.
MoonWhat

And the blue-eyed blonde pattern continues…
ep1tinysidemouth
StupidVenus
TamakiSuoh
pantyanarchy
ppgzbubbles

That’s not to say that ANY anime character with blue eyes and blond hair means trouble. Sometimes, it just means they’re white, and the extra fair coloration is to make them look as un-Japanese as possible. It’s not necessarily a purposefully mean kind of Othering. Look at “Hetalia,” for example. Most of Europe is blond, as are the North America brothers. Yeah, America and Denmark are obnoxious and loud and totally fit the gaijin stereotype, but look at Estonia, Norway, Germany, and Holland. Then again… if there are so many people with typically white physical traits, then maybe the white people don’t stand out as foreign in “Hetalia.” Something to think about…

But let’s go with another, clearer example: John Brown from “Ghost Hunt.” He’s Australian, and is clearly the only non-Asian cast member, yet he’s depicted as friendly, responsible, and caring. This gets especially interesting when you compare John to the brown-eyed, brown-haired, fully Japanese Mai and Ayako. Mai is “just yer average high school student,” of course, and Ayako is a Shrine Maiden. And THEY’RE the ones who are a bit lost and emotional. So, no, it’s not applied as a straight-up stereotype. The pattern is adhered to often enough, but not all the time, and not in a purposefully hurtful way. More often than not, it seems to be stock character design, rather than an accusation. I knew you wouldn’t be racist, anime. I know you’re cool.

I’ll just leave you with Tamaki “hugging” Kyouya.
TamakiKyouya

Multi-language Theme Song Covers

Welcome to the world (and I do mean “world”) of anime theme song covers.



Here’s the Sailor Moon theme song in German, Italian, and French:


This is “Shissou” (the ending theme song to Ouran HSSC) both in the original Japanese and the English cover:

And finally, a collection of different language versions of the Pokémon opening theme song.

Annoying Things In Voice Acting

This episode is highly steeped in opinions. I say what I like and what I don’t like, and I don’t mean it to offend anybody. Having been involved with many creative productions in a number of different media, I understand how things can go wrong due to miscommunications, tight schedules, and too many cooks spoiling the soup. Therefore, if I say I don’t like a particular voice acting performance, that doesn’t mean I hate the voice actor. That just means I didn’t like how that particular performance turned out, for whatever reason. I’m not blaming anyone. I’m just stating what I didn’t really like. Your mileage may vary. Okay? Okay. 🙂



Oh, and Happy New Year! See you all in 2014! 🙂

Lost In Translation

Ellen and I discuss the non-translations, mistranslations, and weird translations that occur when Japanese anime is dubbed in English.



And now, references!

Ash, that’s not a donut.

Engrish on Purpose:

Another salient comment on how you can’t just throw language around and expect it to have an effect:

Engrish in “Sailor Moon.” First, Ami’s term paper:
AmiEngrish

And Usagi’s test:
UsagiTest

Yeah, that’s not a creepy story at all. BTW, to “do nanpa” means to “pick up girls.” In this example, Ikuhara’s hitting on girls, and…applying for comfort to any tender girl? Um… Ms. Haruna? I’m not so sure this is appropriate for school.

These are some of the best Engrishes I have ever seen. I was happy to find all the ones I was looking for in one compilation, so thanks, person who collected and posted these:

It’s funny to see, once again, the awkwardness of trying to have a conversation outside one’s comfort zone. Conversely, note how any native Japanese speaker who is also fluent in English is depicted as being cool, confident, and classy (presumably because their language skills allow them to sidestep that awkwardness).

And while we’re on the subject… Awkwardness while speaking English:

This is what I sound like trying to speak in French. Actually, it kind of reminds me of that letter in Sophie Kinsella’s “Shopaholic” where she gets a letter from the Finnish guy and it goes “Finnish Finnish, Finnish Finnish Finnish…”

Going My Way?

This is the comic I was talking about. My mistake, though. It’s by Silent-Soliloquy88, not Cadaska, although you should check her comics out as well.

From Abenobashi, Episode 12 (the Hollywood episode). This one is NSFW!!

And, finally, Sailor Moon: Drunk or Juice:

I WAS looking for the bit with Darien speaking French, but I found this, which is fun if anyone feels like playing Spot the Differences. Actually, I could probably do a whole podcast on the translation and cultural adjustments for this one-minute clip.