You at the keyboard: I know you’ve found some really fun Japanese material this month. You came across a great J-drama that brought you to tears. You picked up a book that you ended up reading in a day because of the nonstop thrills it brought you. You discovered a Japanese movie that was so funny that you watched it twice in the same night.
But wait. . . You weren’t going to tell anyone about it?! We can’t have this. The readers of this site are on a constant search for new materials and recommendations to find what will motivate them to study Japanese more, and you are keeping these gems all to yourself? Shame on you.
The purpose of this series is to discuss and exchange j-dramas, movies, variety shows, books, manga, anime, music, media, video games, etc. It’s time to share what everyone is excited about and experiencing right now.
So I ask you:
1. What are you watching?
2. What are you reading?
3. What are you playing?
4. What are you listening to?
*Include the Japanese difficulty level.
I’ve been watching (and re-watching) キルラキル (Kill la Kill). It’s by far one of my favorite anime ever. I can’t even really do it justice through description, it just has great art and designs, an unpredictable story, loveable heroes, hateable(?) villains, an amazing musical score (although the lyrics to the songs are unfortunately in English most of the time, with a brief excursion into German), and some stellar voice-acting, which makes it fantastic for immersion listening. For those familiar with series director Hiroyuki Imaishi’s previous works, I’d say it has a story and tone reminiscent of Gurren Lagann but with a style squarely in line with the likes of Dead Leaves and Panty & Stocking. Unfortunately the show is ending soon, but there’s still plenty of content coming out in the future, such as drama CDs, an ongoing manga adaptation, and even an OVA in September.
As for what I’m listening to, I discovered Soul Scream a couple of days ago and they’re amazing. Just listen:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUpMaa4uwIA
Lately I’ve been watching 黒子のバスケ, 弱虫ペダル, and はじめの一歩 Rising. Besides those, I’ve been keeping up with my favourite ゲーム実況 group on ニコニコ動画: いい大人達. Their output is pretty prolific; you can expect them to upload a new video pretty much everyday. Although there are some games they play that aren’t all that interesting to me, it’s their personalities and antics that keep me watching! http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/17828031
As far as reading goes, I’m close to the end of 聖都への旅路, which is part 5 of エレニア記 by David Eddings. I’ve read the original English novels years ago, so it’s been a treat making my way through the Japanese translations. I’m always learning new words with every page I turn. Looking at my Anki sentence deck, 15% of my cards come from this series of novels alone (a little over 1300 cards so far).
Although it’s far from being new, I’m in the middle of playing ガデュリン for the SNES. With the text being in all kana, it makes reading a little more difficult that usual, but even so, I’ve been doing alright getting through it. There also happens to be a series of novels that the game is based upon, but trying to get those nowadays (20+ years after the fact) is probably next to impossible. I can dream though!
As for what I’ve been listening to, it’s been mainly songs from the 1960′s and 70′s. 美川憲一, 石橋正次, 斎条史郎, and 黒沢明とロスプリモス are some of the singers I’ve come to like. 柳ヶ瀬ブルース by 美川憲一 is one of my recent favourites.
I’m watching Kamen Rider Gaim, Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger, Happiness Charge Precure, and Future Card Buddyfight (and that’s just the currently running shows). Gaim and Tokkyuger are quite good and a lot better than last years’ toku offerings, at least so far. Tokkyuger especially is super fun. The Precure show is cute and fun (the character designs are super adorable) and Buddyfight is surprisingly fun to watch and hard to stop watching. Also I think it sets records for Anime Hair Ridiculousness.
I’m reading Paseli Densetsu volume 1 (a children’s fantasy series). I’m almost done, so it’s lucky I also have volume 2. I really like it so far, and it presents a good mystery without being prohibitively hard to read.\
I’m listening to a lot of enka since I scored a huge pile of singles on sale and I’m doing a talk on it for a speech contest so I figured I should brush up. One of my favorite enka singers currently is Minami Kanako. I also have been listening to a couple of girl pop duos: Yanawaraba and hana*hana. They’re both really cute and their music is very good. (I think it’s pop? It’s more acoustic so I’m not sure). I highly recommend both groups.