I think I mentioned earlier that we've been working on the manga version of The Invincible Shovel lately. Once we finish a first draft of a volume, we read that part of the light novels so we can check terms and maintain consistency. Not surprisingly, the novel has things happen differently from the manga...but considering the scandals that have gone on with Seven Seas light novels recently, we can't help but wonder how much is the manga changing things and how much is English-language editors changing things. We were sorely tempted to buy the Japanese LN on Book Walker today, but we're going through another broke phase. It's...tiring.

Today I'm thankful for getting to watch another episode of Lupin, managing to finish a tricky chapter of our weekly simulpub, getting to buy a new painting from Redd (hopefully it's legit!), the nice cool weather we had today, and the yummy pizza we had for dinner.


It's super hot today, and I don't like it. But we're managing. We did stuff today--work, email people about more work, snap Pokemons, the usual. Season 2 of Lupin has hit Netflix and we're enjoying it slowly. But I don't have a whole lot to talk about here.

Oh! Except that we watched the latest episode of Fruits Basket and the title of the next one makes me wonder if they're going to have Katsuya after all. I think it's possible that they could work that line in without his story, but I remember it coming up for the first time there. On the other hand, we actually haven't read the manga...since we finished translating it. I mean, we had to send all the Japanese books back to TokyoPop, and they didn't send us comp copies of the English ones...and we probably wouldn't have read those anyway, but that's just because they're in English and adapted. Anyway, I guess we'll see what happens.

Today I'm thankful for getting to watch more Lupin, making not-terrible progress at work, electric fans, getting to watch some great anime, and gradually filling up the missing behaviors on our Photodex.

Cross country trip part two

We took the day off and it was really nice. We did do a little work in the form of reading the light novel version of the manga we'll be working on this week, but other than that, it was all Pokemon Snap and anime, and it was great.

But now back to our trip report. On Saturday, we got up early (for a Saturday, and extra early considering we were on the East Coast while our internal clocks were still on West Coast time (but that's okay, because we could hardly sleep anyway)) and headed over to the church to practice our song some more. Our stepmother had set up a big display in the foyer that basically chronicled Dad's life, including a video with footage of him as Cosmo the Cougar (the BYU mascot) from back in the day.

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After the memorial, there was a luncheon with surprisingly good everything. Croissants (they were for sandwiches, but Athena and I ate them plain), cookies...okay, that's pretty much what we ate, but they were amazing. I had a few grapes, and they were good, too.

And then a bunch of us who were at the reunion the previous night went to Annapolis for some tourism. Our youngest cousin (age eight) attached herself to us like most kids do at Disneyland, and we had fun chatting about things like what animals we've seen and which ones we like. She'd point out cicadas when she saw them. The best was when she said to me, "Have you ever seen a show called Miraculous?" I replied, "Oh my gosh. Look at Athena's shirt." Athena was wearing her Marinette shirt. We didn't talk about the show much, but our cousin did ask us if we prefer Cat Noir or Chat Noir, and then there was a brief discussion of French and how she should watch the show in that language. It wasn't until later that we found out she's in a French immersion program, which makes it all the more a good idea for her to watch Miraculous in its original form.

We bought some lemonade to make sure we didn't die, and some penuche fudge, which is super delicious. We went into the shop that sold it, and it caught my eye right away. I was like, "Penuche? What's that?" and our uncle was like, "It's the best!" and in my mind I was like, "I believe you, but I still don't know what it is," and then the guy at the counter said it was a brown sugar based fudge, and then I was like, "That does sound like the best!"

Then we walked back to the cars and headed back to the airport. We watched Raya and the Last Dragon on the way home and liked it much better than we expected, which is not to say that we loved it, but we found a lot of things to like about it. The characters were all very interesting...although I still can't really get behind the idea of a child that young having the fine motor skills to be a con-artist/spy. We really liked the art style, and the themes about trust and forgiveness winning over discord and fighting. There was something about the storytelling style that didn't really click with us, though. I can't quite explain it in specifics, but it felt like the narrative was more event-driven than character-driven...or something.

Our flight landed at about eleven at night, we took the shuttle home, and now here we are! Tadah!

Today I'm thankful for the Atonement, our musical number going pretty well, getting to hang out with our youngest cousin (and our other cousins and aunts and uncles), penuche fudge, and the music in the Seven Deadly Sins anime.

Across the country and back

Well, we have returned from our trip across the country. It was preeeetty wild. Our flight out of LA left at six, and they advise getting to the airport two hours early, so our shuttle picked us up at three-thirty, and that was super exciting in the sense that it had been a source of dread that we hid in the backs of our minds most of last week. When the fateful night before came along, we were intending to go to bed early, but then we checked email one last time and found one from an editor saying hey, could you do the character description and story-so-far pages for the next volume of this simulpub of yours? So we were like, "I guess we can do it on the plane or something..." and then I remembered that to make sure the file was in the right format, we'd have to pack the Chromebook, and we were determined not to pack any device bigger than an iPad, so we stayed up to get that done and ended up going to bed at the normal time.

On the bright side, we did both manage to wake up before the alarm and be alert enough to function, and that did turn out to be the most difficult part of the trip. We got to the airport, made all our flights, and ended up in Baltimore without a hitch. Our airline had some episodes of the new Animaniacs reboot, so we checked out the first one and...it was okay, I guess. There were some fun ideas, like Brain's plan to take over the world by brainwashing people with a cute animal video. But there just seemed to be an ever so slight shift in tone that just didn't quite click with us.

Anyway. In Baltimore we met up with some family members, because we were all flying in for a family reunion Friday night, followed by our father's memorial service Saturday morning. Our family's really not great at staying in touch, much less getting together, so it took a death to make us all go, "Oh hey, we should see each other!" So we did. We met some aunts and uncles and cousins that we hadn't seen in over a decade--some we hadn't seen since before we were old enough to remember stuff. We found out that one of our cousins (whom we've still never met because he wasn't there) is an award-winning composer.

...But I confess, Athena and I treated it like we do most parties. We found a spot and stayed there cowering most of the time. I mean, when people came by to talk to us, we happily talked with them, but as usual, we were too afraid to approach anyone ourselves. Just because we're technically related by blood doesn't really make them any less scary than other people. Sometimes it makes it more scary! Fortunately, most of our family is pretty reclusive, so nobody was offended. (More than one person at the reunion said something along the lines of, "Covid just gave me an excuse to be the hermit I always wanted to be.")

After the reunion, Celeste and Sarah and the two of us went back to our hotel room to practice the musical number we agreed to sing at Dad's service. And then we stayed up late talking and attempted to get some sleep. We did not succeed, and Athena and I got back pretty late last night, so I think I'll save the rest of this report for tomorrow so we can get more sleep tonight.

Today I'm thankful for making it to and from Baltimore safely, the super duper nice shuttle drivers who took us to and from the airport (we considered asking a friend to drive us, but we didn't want to make anyone get up at those horrendous times unless they were used to it and/or getting paid), getting to reconnect with some family members, Delta Airlines giving out Biscoff cookies for in-flight snacks, and getting to sleep in tomorrow.

Well, well, well...

Today we got back to watching The Seven Deadly Sins, and at the end of this segment of episodes, Meliodas shows up and says his famous さてさてさーて in a very dramatic way that's supposed to tell you, in case you didn't recognize the voice, that yes, this is Meliodas, and he's here to kick some butt. It was especially interesting to us, because it was the first time the line actually got a translation. Since we're watching it in French, we have no idea how many times it was missed, although we did know from watching it in Japanese that the translators didn't seem to do anything with it, until later on when it becomes more obvious that it's a Thing.

I mean, I get why you'd want to gloss over it as a translator. The common translation is "well then," which is kind of clunky to repeat three times. But as fans, we know it's such a trademark thing for Meliodas that it's even included in the lyrics to his image song (in Japanese, of course).

It made me think of the translation panel we went to at AX a few years ago, where they discussed translating the iconic...what was it? ほえ~ (Athena reminds me), commonly uttered by Sakura, the Card Captor. The translators on the panel were like, "Well, obviously you'd want to do something unusual with it, because it's so iconic." And I was like, "...But if you're translating a simulpub, for example, and all of these characters are new to you as well as the world, you won't know that it's iconic." I mean, unless you can see the future.

So I guess it's just one of the occupational hazards of anime/manga translation. I think the only way to avoid it is to pay enough attention to the way a character talks to see if they say something repeatedly, or constantly make an unusual sound, and instead of just translating it like normal, think about what you can do to make it stand out...but not too much. You don't want it to stand out in a bad way, after all. And then if the catchphrase turns out to be an important identifier, or an iconic sound or whatever, you'll be glad you went with something a little unusual, and if the catchphrase turns out to not really be a thing, well, no harm done, you just got to exercise your creativity, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Oh! Changing the subject. Grawp made a room for Athena in their latest Minecraft world. It's pink. XDDDDD It also has a lot of chests, because, "You do a lot of mining." These kids. They're too cute.

Today I'm thankful for finishing our work quota, getting to snap Pokemons, getting to watch lots of Seven Deadly Sins, Grawp making Athena a new room in Minecraft, and having a fairly laidback day today.

Minecraft update

Today was a very special day in that it was the day Minecraft got the first part of its Cliffs & Caves update. So there were new creatures to encounter and new ores to mine, and that meant we had a very excited nephew who wanted to play a lot. Fittingly, we were working on The Invincible Shovel today...I mean, you mostly use a pickaxe in Minecraft, but the main character in the Invincible Shovel is a miner, so... Anyway, it was also unfortunate, because The Invincible Shovel can be a very wordy series, which means it can be very time-consuming. So we didn't get as much work done as we'd hoped, but we did meet our quota, and that's the important thing.

We also mined a fair amount of copper. According to reports, you can also now find amethyst geodes, but so far we've had no luck on that front.

Today I'm thankful for getting to hear Grawp's excitement about the cool new Minecraft stuff, meeting our work quota, remembering to watch the latest episode of Fruits Basket, having a lovely chat with Mom on the phone, and the June sun shining through our windows.


This morning, Grawp called at ten on the dot and said we had to join Hagger's next battle in Splatoon. Athena informs me that she was specifically instructed to join secretly, which explains why I didn't hear Hagger chiming in. And she had to hurry, because there was only a minute left in the current battle, and we were like, "Well, that's a lost cause, then," because Splatoon takes more than a minute to boot up and get to where you can actually play. It was a moot point anyway, because right after that battle, Hagger switched to a different game.

We don't know what Grawp's motives were--was he trying to help Hagger feel better because he was losing and playing with Athena tends to help his confidence and his game? (This is an observed fact, stated by Hagger himself, but not in so many words.) Or was he just thinking hey, if I can't play the Switch, I can at least have some control over events? We may never find out.

Since the Splatoon thing didn't work out, Grawp told Athena to level up or something because he was going to play Splatoon when it was his turn. We were pretty psyched about that because we love playing Splatoon. But Grawp didn't know how much time Hagger had left, so Athena said, "Well, I do have a little work to do, so I'm going to go do that and you can let me know when you're ready."

So we got back to work on Edens Zero. And we were oh so very close to finished when he called! and said, "I'm playing Minecraft." ...Curses, thwarted on two fronts. It wasn't a total bust, though. Athena did some exploring and found some pretty neat stuff. Right now we're into trading with villagers, because it gives you some semblance of a goal...but if Grawp finds out where Athena is, he'll come hang out in the village and kill the villagers just for funsies. I don't know about all the shooters people are complaining about, but I can't help but wonder if games like Minecraft have a hand in desensitizing our nation.

And that was our morning. Today I'm thankful for getting to hang out with Grawp, finishing Edens Zero and the volume of Fire Force we were working on, finishing Shadow & Bone, managing to get into Lugia's lair again, and Pikachu riding Mantine.

Random thought

We were reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea again today, and Athena realized that these dudes live on a submarine and probably still get more sun than we do. We should probably consider going outside more often.

Today I'm thankful for getting to read more Jules Verne, getting to help our friends with seminary graduation (doing the music, as usual), all the beautiful testimonies that were shared in sacrament meeting today, the sun, and the beautiful weather we had today.


All the Pokemon snapping has made us want to catch more legendary Pokemons, so we've gotten back into Dynamax Adventures. This afternoon, Athena thought it would be a good idea to invite the nephews, so she texted their mothers and said she was going to start a Dynamax Adventure soon, are any of the kids interested? We were informed that Grawp was, and by the way, they were at their cousins' house, so we thought Gilderoy might join in, but he was too busy playing--believe it or not--Minecraft.

So Grawp called, and he and Athena were about to set out on a Dynamax Adventure, but there were connection issues and they couldn't get put in a group together. It didn't make any sense, but we didn't have to figure it out, because Gilderoy had some questions about Minecraft, and Grawp was all too happy to help him out. He started showing signs of being torn between games, so Athena suggested he go play Minecraft with Gilderoy, and then Gilderoy was like, "Maybe Aunt Athena can play with us!" and Athena said, "You want me to?" and Gilderoy said, "Yeah, but when [Grawp] says," and Athena said, "...I'm gonna go on my Dynamax Adventure," and they said, "Okay, bye."

Athena paid the price for ditching the kids. The adventure did not go well, and it ended with defeat at the hands of Zygarde. What makes it extra less exciting is that even if the party had defeated Zygarde, it wouldn't have mattered, because Athena's already caught one and they don't let you catch them again. On top of that, Athena fought Zygarde like a billion times because when we visited family up north, our brother-in-law was trying to game the system to get a shiny one, and Athena agreed to help. So that was disappointing...but if I'm honest, I think I'd still rather do that than Minecraft.

When the adventure ended, Athena went to join the boys in Minecraft, but they were each playing in separate worlds, and since the phone call had ended, we didn't know what all was going on, and so chose not to show up unannounced in one of their worlds (she was told not to join "until [Grawp] said," after all)...and we went to play Pokemon Snap instead. We finally answered the request about the haunted loft, too, so that was cool.

A couple hours later, Grawp called again. He was playing--you guessed it--Minecraft, and he wanted Athena to join him in his new Coastal Village world. She was in the middle of another Dynamax Adventure (which also ended badly, but again, it was okay, because she already caught a Buzzwole), but she finished it and hopped on over to Minecraft. This time, Gilderoy had already gotten his Minecraft fill for the day, and he wanted to watch Bluey with Grawp. Grawp, of course, wanted to play Minecraft. This prompted Gilderoy to complain about how he only ever plays with the Twins, never with Gilderoy (see above paragraphs for our rebuttal).

Athena was going to suggest, since Bluey is short and she was in the middle of a Dynamax Adventure, that they watch one episode and then get back to Minecraft, and we could all play it together (or just the two of them--you know, whatever makes them happy). She said, "I have an idea!" and Gilderoy said, "Let me guess! We say, 'Minecraft is boring'!" ...We were contractually obligated to say no, that was not the idea.

...I'm sorry. I don't mean to complain so much about Minecraft. The fact is, we do think it can be boring, but it can also be interesting, and either way, we like to spend time with our nephews, so we like to play it anyway. And it worked out pretty well this time, because we were also chatting with a friend online, and it's much easier to multitask with something like Minecraft than something like Pokemon Snap.

At any rate, the issue was resolved by Grawp continuing to do what he was doing and Gilderoy continuing to whine about it until Hermie came along and took over the phone. She said some very cute things that I didn't process because I was chatting online...and in fact, it may not have been only Fiona, it might have been Rosetta, too. They tried to abscond with Grawp's phone, or something...? He put a stop to that, but then they started licking it. And then they started trying to lick him? And I was distracted, but Athena was like, "...Children are monsters."

Eventually Chase the Baby Cousin (he's three now) came along and I think he slapped Hermie in the face? And she started crying, and then a mom came in and stuff happened, and the phone call ended. It was kind of a whirlwind. We think they decided to play Mario Party. We were still chatting, so we decided to go on more Dynamax Adventures, but to no avail. We almost caught a non-Galarian Articuno, but the computer player decided to have their Boldore use Iron Defense instead of actually take the Articuno out, so Articuno won.

And now here we are.

Today I'm thankful for having a good time with the kids, being productive in the little time we had to snap Pokemons, having a nice time chatting with Cecille online, getting to sleep in this morning, and the beautiful weather we had today.

More on Sailor Moon Eternal

Okay, we had a full workday (for us) followed by lots of TV and video games that were not Sailor Moon Eternal, but I said I would post our thoughts on the movies today! Collapse )

Today I'm thankful for getting to go on a Dynamax Adventure, getting to catch the super cute Tapu Lele, making okay progress at work, getting to watch more Seven Deadly Sins, and finally getting Skorupi to do the "pose with its tail" that Todd requested.