A Japanese Week.

Much to my own amusement, I realised that I inadvertently began and ended the week with Japanese stuff. The weekdays la, anyway. On Monday there was Studio Ghibli at the CAT Conference. Yesterday (Friday), I went out with the gals for lunch and then to see the Japanese movie Death Note.

And then in the middle of the week – I think it was Tuesday – I finished downloading the hardsubbed Prince of Tennis live-action movie. (“Hardsub” means the subtitles are already encoded into the movie file and will appear whether you like them or not. “Softsub” means that the subtitles are in a separate file, normally a .srt file; and if you rename the file or move it to a different folder, the movie will play without the subtitles. And that concludes our short tech vocabulary of the day lesson.) But…….. I only managed to watch the first half. Both movie files were fine. It was the subtitles that annoyed me. Oh, the errors! It wasn’t that bad, but there were enough glaring errors to spoil it for me.

Let me give you an example: nitouryuu means a “two-handed style.” But instead of translating nitouryuu no Samurai Nanjirou as “Samurai Nanjirou of the two-handed style” or something like it, the subtitles read “green-coloured, Samurai Nanjirou.”

I honestly didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry. Green-coloured?? One thing at least was obvious – the translator was most likely not a fan of the anime, or he’d know it wasn’t “green-coloured.” So I ‘excused’ him on the assumption that he’s not a fan of Prince of Tennis, and that he presumably heard wrong as well. (midori = green)

Besides that, I caught at least two other errors in just that first half. So, much-annoyed, I went and found the softsubs and the raw movie. Yes, I plan to correct the errors I catch so that I can watch it in peace. And no, I don’t think I know every mistake there is – there’s still a lot of Jap I don’t understand. I’m not so deluded as to believe that I understand that much yet. As it is, probably I understand only slightly less Jap than I do Cantonese and Hokkien.

Ok, ok. Better change topic before you all get too bored.

Death Note. (Translated in the cinema as “Nota Maut.” LOL. Why does it always seem sillier when translated to BM?) The movie was based on a manga of the same name. Haven’t read it, but I’ve heard of it and know the gist of it. It wasn’t as morbid as I thought it might be anyway. But still, it’s no mood-lifter. If you’re in a depressed mood, I wouldn’t recommend watching it. It’s not gonna make you feel any better. Ahah.

Overall, I think it was an “okay” movie. Don’t love it, nor do I hate it. Reasonable enough given the relatively low budget (according to Angie). Chee Kah says the shinigami (death god) in the movie looks like the manga drawings, which is a good thing I suppose – though I think it’s ugly. Fans don’t like it when the movie characters look totally different from the original drawings. In any case, that ugly shinigami was probably the funniest thing in the movie to me, minor part though it was. Heh.

Since I haven’t read the manga, I don’t have much to compare to in terms of story and characterisation, so in my opinion it was all right on both counts. The story was pretty much what I’d heard of, and the actors looked like the pictures I’ve seen of the characters. But most who have read the manga say that Fujiwara Tatsuya (Raito, the guy on the left) isn’t good-looking enough nor is he ‘evil’ enough. *shrugs* I wouldn’t know.

I have to say, though, that the story does have an interesting premise and raises intriguing questions. [Movie spoilers ahead.]

Questions like: What would you do if you had the power to kill anyone you like by merely writing down their names in a book? Even if you began by doing “good” at first, would you someday cross the line? How long before you started killing innocent people as well? (Like how Raito in the movie starts off by killing criminals and then eventually starts killing innocents on the police investigation team because they’re too close to discovering him and putting an end to his so-called justice.) Would we humans be able to handle such godlike power of life and death? (Probably not.) Would killing criminals as you like as opposed to letting them serve their sentences be “true justice?”

My friends think that L – the nemesis of Raito, who’s practically on his tail but can’t find a way to prove that he’s the culprit – is “cute.” Not “cute” in the good-looking kind of “cute” la. More of the “adorable” type. I think. But I disagreed. After the movie, they were all: “L so cuuuute!!” I just wanted to say, “Kawaii ka, L?” (In Manglish, that’d be: “L cute meh??”) Hahahaha.

L is brilliant, no doubt. I like the intelligence and the way he makes his deductions. I usually have a soft spot for the clever characters. Unless said intelligence is offset by some other incredibly aggravating characteristic. L doesn’t have any particularly annoying traits, so I was fine with him. Eccentric, though. And just mad about sweet stuff. The guy put 2 or 3 huge-looking cubes of sugar into his coffee/tea/whatever it was and then stirred it with a lollipop! O_o Sugar overload…

I liked how they ended the movie. It was a hanging ending, but since I’d been expecting it, I wasn’t surprised or too annoyed. (Part 2 will be out next year, I think.) Gotta agree with Angie that it was a good closing scene. To have L shuffle out after Raito asks to join the investigation against “Kira” (Killer) and then for L to invite Raito to join them, whilst eating from a bag of consomme-flavoured chips… A veiled challenge that all but screamed: I know it’s you. Come on. Try it.

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