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Alethea & Athena
Did I mention we blew off work today? 
6th-Jun-2017 11:00 pm
Oh my goodness, today has been such a day. First, I want to say that I don't mean to ignore the comments about Wonder Woman, but our day ended up super way more packed than we ever could have imagined, and I'm kind of hyped up on something else, so I can't focus enough to reply to them. I promise I will try to get to them tomorrow! But tomorrow's shaping up to be packed, too, so I can make no guarantees.

But I didn't want to skip posting today, because...because! It was just such a day.

So it started when we finished our morning routine and discovered we had no internet. This is how we realized just how dependent we are on the internet for our job. I briefly considered looking into offline dictionaries, because it was really kind of ridiculous. Fortunately, we had a volume of Land of the Lustrous that just needed a final read-through, which actually may not be so fortunate, when you consider that it means we were behind schedule on it (whatever that means; our deadline on it was kind of arbitrary anyway). But the point is, we had something we could work on that didn't require internet. We actually considered, since it was a local outage and not something I could just call and say, "Hey, could you turn my internet back on?", ditching everything and going to Disneyland until the internet came back, but by the time we realized it was out, the crowds would have picked up anyway. So we worked.

Right about when we finished, the internet came back, so we checked email and found a sort of rush project that one of our companies wants us to do! And something about it made it hard to refuse, so we agreed, and realized that our schedule for the week is getting to be a little tight. But we did some work, and then it was lunchtime, so we went to Facebook...and Don Hahn, the producer of the original animated Beauty and the Beast, had just posted that he was at Disneyland signing autographs. Beauty and the Beast is the movie that we watched and enjoyed most recently (we watched Aladdin more recently, but I was in a weird mood that day, so I had little patience for Aladdin's...whatever he was doing), so of course we could not resist this. I mean, he was right here where we could get to him and everything! In fact, we were a little worried that we wouldn't make it in time, since we didn't see the post right after he posted it. But we knew he had to have lunch before his last signing session, so we decided to take our chances.

And after a quick lunch of our own, off we went! On our way there, we thought about all kinds of things, including the fact that we were sure Gaston would have called and we would have gone to Disneyland around now anyway. That made us think, huh, I bet he would like a copy of this book we're about to buy and get signed. So we bought two copies, and then we got in line. Apparently this event was very narrowly publicized, because there weren't a whole lot of people there, and several of the ones we talked to, including the cast member who rang up our purchase, said they didn't know about it until today. This may or may not be part of why I felt the need to tell every single person we talked to that we blew off work to be there today. The other part was that we have so very much work that we're blowing off.

My trend of telling our life story to everyone we talked to continued right up until we were next in line for autographs. I should probably point out now that the book being signed was Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast, and not only was Don Han there, but the writer of the book, Charles Solomon, was there, as well. They had cast members with post-its so you could have whatever you wanted them to write on a note for them to copy, thus making things more efficient, and probably making it easier for the signers to chat with the fans.

Anyway, we were next, and while the person in front of us got her autographs, the cast member in charge of saying, "Okay, go on up," asked us how we were doing. Of course, I had to tell him, as I told everyone, that we had blown off work to be here. And, as just about everyone responded, he asked where we worked. I don't know if that was just to be polite, or if it was because people were like, "What kind of a place do you work that you can up and leave to go to an autograph signing?" Well, anywhere, if you're willing to risk getting fired. But anyway, today was a day when I was not feeling the need to explain our job in terms that any layperson might understand, so I just said, "We translate anime and manga."

That's when Charles Solomon reacted and said, "Hontou desu ka?" I was not expecting that, so it took me an extra second to process what was happening and come up with the appropriate response, "Hontou desu yo!" (For those of you who don't know Japanese, that's "Really?" and "Really!") He asked us what manga we translated, and I indicated my shirt and said Your Lie in April (I'm wearing my Your Lie in April shirt today), Noragami is our favorite...and then I pretty much forgot everything that we translate. Athena remembered Kingdom Hearts (she was wearing her Kingdom Hearts shirt), and the original Fruits Basket. He seemed to know what we were talking about with that, so that was good, but I didn't think to explain that it wasn't because they hated our current translation style that we didn't get to do the new version. He told us that he's interviewed a few manga artists, listing Tite Kubo and the guy whose name he can't remember did Naruto. And we were like, "Oh, yeah, that publisher won't answer our emails." And now I'm really worried that he thinks we're just bad translators. Dang it, I did not think of these things during the discussion. Well, he can Google us and read some of our work. You know, if he cares.

Fortunately, we had finished chatting with him by the time Don Hahn got a hold of the copy of the book that we bought for Gaston and Alice, because after we told the cast member what to write on the post-it note, we came up with something even better, and it was better from Don Hahn than from Charles Solomon. Since Gaston and Alice recently had their wedding anniversary, we decided the book could be an anniversary present (that way it would be simpler to just give it to them instead of asking, "So, uh, do you want to give us mumble-mumble bucks so we can buy this book for you?"), and our post-it message was just "happy anniversary." Since Gaston wouldn't be able to make it in time to meet either of these guys, we wanted there to be a more personalized message, because one of the reasons you get autographs is so you can meet the person and let them know you exist. So we wanted to let Don Hahn know that Gaston exists.

And that's why I thought it would be even more fun, since Gaston played Gaston, to ask Mr. Hahn to write, "To the best Gaston I've never met." And then, since it was a gift for Alice, too, (even though I don't know who would enjoy the book more, but I think it might be Gaston), I wanted him to add, "And his Belle."

So now it was time to ask him if he would write that, and he seemed like a nice enough guy, so I shoved aside thoughts of, "But there might be other actors who played Gaston that he would like better that he's also never met..." and just let Athena ask him. And oh my goodness, he did it! He even made it better. His exact message was, "To the best Gaston I've never met. (And his Belle, too!) Yer fan, Don Hahn." Isn't that just the best!? The "yer fan" is such a nice touch, and it helps me feel like he was happy to do it and not just humoring us. And then, to top it all off, when we all posed in a picture together, he pointed at Athena (since she was standing next to him) like, "Oh my gosh, it's her!" You guys, Don Hahn's a pretty great guy.

Incidentally, all of this is supposed to be a surprise for Gaston, so don't tell him! (I figure it's okay to post it here anyway, because even though I've told him we keep a blog and write about him in it, he hasn't shown any signs of ever having read it. But if you did happen to find this blog, Gaston, you have to comment now, because you ruined the surprise and now we have to know your reaction as soon as possible.)

So that was pretty much the best, and then, since we were at Disneyland anyway, we figured we should stop by and say hello to our friend Farley. Unfortunately, we caught him just as he was going backstage, so we went and got some fuel (in the form of super chocolaty brownies), and then came back for Farley's next set. We spent the first half of it just talking while he occasionally played something on his fiddle because, you know, that's his job. (In case you were wondering, yes, we did tell him that we blew off work to be there. It was funny, too, because in our society we're so programmed that being busy is good, that when we said, "We've been really busy," as a way to explain why we haven't been to Disneyland at all lately, his immediate response was, "Well, good!") Then some kids showed up, and we all sang Old McDonald, stopping after each animal so he could tell jokes related to the animal. It was a good time.

We briefly considered going over to California Adventure to check out the new "hero up" stuff that opened up along with the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride, but we decided to be responsible and go home to work instead. We got about a fourth of the way through our quota before it was dinner time, so we ordered a Cheesy Bites pizza, because it was just that kind of day and we had a $10 coupon, and soon after Pizza Hut texted to let us know it was on its way, we got another text from our friend about the play we agreed to help with audience participation on. And that took up the rest of our night, and we got home late, and now here we are. Tadah!

The play is going to take up at least tomorrow evening, and maybe even more of that, so it turns out blowing off work has given future us many more problems than we were bargaining for. But I'm glad we did it anyway. We had a really good day today. ...Now hopefully we'll be able to get the rest of our work done in the next two weeks.

Today I'm thankful for finding out about that signing before it was over, having a pretty neat experience at the signing, getting to meet some great people, Don Hahn's super awesome message to Gaston, and the awesomeness of Cheesy Bites pizza.
14th-Jun-2017 12:55 am (UTC)
That's SUCH a cool message for the autograph!! (haha, I think it's totally fine to ask for lines like "the best" even if the famous person doing the signing may not 100% sincerely feel that way.) Also, I have to say I love the added detail I get in your journal posts after seeing the facebook ones :D I appreciate the photo even more after reading this!

I didn't give it any second thought when I read your bit about translating "the original Fruits Basket"—I just saw it as a specification of which one you were involved in—so I doubt Mr. Solomon would've taken any negative meaning from it either. Your response about Viz not answering your emails made me laugh but also it's their loss, seriously. I don't know what their deal is. (but if you ever want an in, someday when you're twiddling your thumbs with no work to do hahahahaha, I will totally use whatever my reputation there is worth to praise you to the skies :) )

Oh yeah, the "good to be busy" mindset... It's a delusion.
14th-Jun-2017 02:13 am (UTC)
I know, right? Don Hahn is the best!

Yeah, we don't tell the whole story on Facebook because...well, in this case, Gaston follows us on Facebook, so we didn't want to give it away, but also because we're still intimidated by Facebook, and there seem to be a lot of people there who aren't interested in reading our life story. They'd probably just scroll past, but people (including me) don't think rationally when they're on Facebook.

Haha, yeah, neither did we! Until later, and I was like, "Oh yeah. Hrm." So hopefully he didn't think much of it, or if he did, he Googled it. He did get our first names, but did he care enough to remember them? Who knows. If we run into him again (at Anime Expo, for example), maybe we'll say hi.

(Thanks for being our in at Viz! You're a good friend. You're right; we so don't need it at the moment. And since we haven't been reading any Hana to Yume in a while (also due to lack of time), it's not like there's anything we'd want to translate. On the other hand, they'll probably license Gakuen Babysitters within the next year or so, so if you ever catch wind of that and have the opportunity, let the Power That Be know we're interested. XD)

Right? But the dude plays the fiddle at Disneyland for a living, so what does he know about busyness? (I'm sorry, Farley! You know we think you're great!)
14th-Jun-2017 04:34 am (UTC)
Of course that makes sense about not telling the whole story on facebook! And there is a tendency there for short posts so yeah, a lot of people might just scroll past... But I bet some other people out there besides me would like to read lots of words about your life story, so don't be afraid to write longer stuff there if you want to! (Your friendship posts the last couple weeks have been nice!)

Ahhhh Gakuen Babysitter...! Will they(/someone) license it?? They did get Anonymous Noise, but Red Haired Snow White is still nowhere to be seen. I'll definitely pass your interest along if I see a chance! (man, I dunno if I'd dare ask to letter it, with all the cryin' kids...)
14th-Jun-2017 03:39 pm (UTC)
I will keep that in mind! (Of course, when pictures are involved, I'm usually posting from my iPad, which sometimes inspires me to type shorter things because it's harder to edit.)

That's interesting about Snow White; I was sure it was licensed by now. Shows what we know about the American manga scene. (I currently have an exaggerated fondness for Zen because he's voiced by the same guy as our favorite character in Kabukibu!, but the characters are very different.)
14th-Jun-2017 03:59 pm (UTC)
Ahh, Zen!! What a great guy :D (hahaha, this is the first time it occurred to me that he shares a name with the panda-loving kid from Dreamin' Sun. There's another example of two very different characters...)

Even knowing what's licensed and not, it's hard to predict new licenses. Snow White may be dependent on Yona (which was dependent on Dawn of the Arcana?). Gakuen Babysitters would probably compare to series like Aishiteruze Baby or Baby & Me (maybe Me & My Brothers too) but those were all published yeeears ago here and probably weren't big hits even then. (I feel Yotsuba&!/Barakamon are a different category. Sweetness and Lightning (my old trauma) may get close...). I guess we'll see how the anime does! It still surprises me that it's getting one!
14th-Jun-2017 06:48 pm (UTC)
Then there's a Zen in Persona Q who's probably very different from both of them!

Yeah, one would imagine that the existence of an anime would get a company to license something, but maybe it depends on how well the anime does. I mean, I know we watched Snow White with the Red Hair, but that doesn't mean everybody did. So as you say, all we can do is wait and see.
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