Early last week, I downloaded BitTorrent and sucked down Kanon. I assume that if you're reading my journal, you probably know both of the proper nouns in that sentence; if not, I don't know why you're reading my journal...
Anyway, I knew at the time that I was neck-deep in HTML and wouldn't be able to watch it for a while. So I set the files aside and got to work, promising myself that I'd watch it when I was done.
Well, on Monday at lunch I was officially done with the initial push, and decided it was time to reward myself with my first fansubbed anime.
First of all, I apologize for not knowing all the names, even those of the major characters. I can distinguish all five of the main girls in my head, but I can only name Ayu and Makoto. If I look at a list of names, I can match them all to characters ("the one with the sword", "the cousin", etc.), but character-to-name doesn't work so well with me.
It took me four or five issues of Inuyasha before I could match names to characters, and I still can't handle most of the ones in Robin (eight eps in) or a lot of Lain (ten or so--although characters come and go in that show a lot). I have the same problem IRL, too. Apparently, a large chunk of the "name" memory in my head has been reallocated to store the details of Perl core functions or something.
So...back to the topic at hand...
First of all, the whole show was pretty sappy. I knew that going in, and still enjoyed it quite a bit, but if you're looking for something with action, you'd be crazy to watch this series. But you all know that anyway.
The first nine or ten episodes were excellent, IMHO. Interesting plot, cute girls (although most of them were a bit underage for my tastes...), and nothing too bizarre going on. Even the eps with sword-girl weren't weird enough to put me off.
Ten was weird, but it was a weird I could handle. I'm an X-Files fan, after all.
Eleven combined weird with sappy in a way that bugged me. Twelve continued that theme, much to my annoyance. (That's not to say I lost interest in the series--I actually motored through the last four or five episodes in one sitting. They were compelling, but I didn't like them...it's weird, I know.)
Thirteen looked like it was going to be way too sappy, but I stuck with it, and was rewarded with The Twist. I'm guessing that The Twist is probably something common to the genre, but I don't have a baseline to compare to, so that's just a wild-ass guess.
I liked The Twist--it felt like it came out of nowhere, and it was extremely interesting. I didn't like its outcome, and thus the outcome of the series, but that's okay. (I guess that's what the game's for... ;^) )
Turns out I can't resist a spoiler here...
Ayu is so wrong. Partially my age "eww" speaking, but mostly not. I thought Nayuki would have been better...different sort of "eww", but one I'm mentally more capable of dealing with.
Besides, there's actually some research supporting limited cousin marriage.
On to more peripheral concerns:
Like I said before, this is my first fansub, and it seemed to be an excellent one. Font (well, outline) colors were used well, to clarify when the speaker was offscreen, on the phone, etc. When there were two speakers talking simultaneously, translations of both people, in different outline colors, were provided. Name endings were preserved, as well as some interesting Japanese words, for which definitions were provided at the top of the screen. The subbing of the theme songs was quite good--English, romanji, and kana/kanji were all provided, with coloring to mark the current character/syllable in the latter two. I saw some discoloration late on (skintones turned green), but I think that's Windows Media Player, not the files. The video itself displayed reasonably well on the 1024x768 flat-panel in full screen mode.
I don't think I learned many new words from watching this. However, I will say that after that much exposure, I feel a bit more comfortable using Japanese--there were a couple times during dinner tonight when "arigato" or some other common word was on the tip of my tongue, although I didn't actually use any. I also think I get the pronunciation a bit more, which is nice.
Anyway...off to bed, I think. If I remember, I'll rant tomorrow morning on the idiocy of Election Day in California.