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Alethea & Athena
A minor setback 
20th-Feb-2018 09:09 pm
kid flash
Today was supposed to be back to work as usual. ...Or sort of. We needed to shift our schedule a little because of potential Disneyland plans, but other than that, it should have been fine. But then there were two problems. First, we failed to go grocery shopping at the regular time, and we were running out of essentials, so we had to take time out for that. And second, Microsoft Word randomly decided to stop working, so we had to spend way too much time trying to get it to work again. That was frustrating.

But the grocery store turned out great. There was a sale on Pepperidge Farm cookies, and they had the Reese's peanut butter creme eggs we'd heard were so amazing last year. And to top it all off! for Christmas and through Valentine's Day, they were selling gigantic plushies, and we had our eye on a giant caterpillar for the longest time. We kept telling ourselves one day we were going to get it. But when we got to that aisle today, we noticed all those plushies were gone. There were some new ones there for Easter which were also super adorable, but they were no giant caterpillars. We just sighed and told ourselves that we didn't need one anyway.

But then! a twist of fate that involved killing time while we waited for an employee to restock the Milanos (we were hoping for salted caramel, but he was taking forever, so we settled for dulce de leche) led us to the Valentine's clearance area, where they had! the giant caterpillar plushie! And it was 50% off, so we got it even cheaper! Woohoo!

But then we had to come home and work until bedtime again because not only was our schedule thrown off but we had to spend a million years coming up with nothing to solve how to deal with not just tsukkomi and boke (which can be hard enough), but also nori. I wish English speakers had a similar grasp of comedic formulas to the Japanese. That would make those translations sooooo much easier.

But on the bright(?) side! Last night, we called Mom as we tend to do once a week, and she was indulging in some sadism by acting like our stepsister is better than we are, so we retaliated by guilting her into watching Princess Principal. I mean, we think she would have enjoyed the series anyway, and we'd mentioned it to her before, but guilt can be a powerful motivator. I mean, we don't usually set out to use guilt deliberately, and we did mean it to be playful...but we're not complaining about the results, especially! because Mom and Steve seem to be enjoying it now. Either that, or it's like a train wreck and they can't look away. I guess we'll find out when they either manage to stop watching or they get to the end.

Today I'm thankful for finally getting the giant caterpillar plushie, spreading the love(?) of Princess Principal, having lots of cookies and candy to help us make it through, making decent progress on work despite setbacks, and the work being enjoyable anyway.
21st-Feb-2018 08:47 pm (UTC) - Spoiler alert...
It's me who's pushing to watch the show. She's limiting them to one episode per evening.
21st-Feb-2018 09:10 pm (UTC) - Re: Spoiler alert...
We're just going to say that's because she doesn't like watching TV when she can't multitask, and not because she doesn't like the show itself.
23rd-Feb-2018 04:04 pm (UTC)
Aww, caterpillar plushie! (interesting choice for Valentine's Day, but hey!)

I'm all for just making tsukkomi and boke part of our cultural vocabulary (whether that means literally borrowing the words or just understanding and using the concept more, I don't care, I just know that I seem to enjoy a lot of that humour in manga.) Is the issue that the tsukkomi/boke roles/retorts are applied to characters outside of a designated comedy routine setup and that's hard to translate naturally? or something else? (and what's up with nori? was it a pun...?) I hope you eventually came to a solution!
24th-Feb-2018 12:16 am (UTC)
I think it could work, especially for teenagers: our relationship may be creepy and gross now (by which I mean awkward, not actually creepy, I hope), but it could evolve into a beautiful butterfly! Also, it's multi-colored and adorable.

If it were a manga, we might have just kept the Japanese terms, but notes don't work so well for anime. Also, we technically have English terms for them; we just don't use them as much because that style of comedy went out of vogue decades ago. If it stuck around, maybe we could have less sexist terms than "straight man" and "funny man," too. But the biggest problem with this one is that it was a trio, and not a comedy duo, so they needed a third role, which is where nori came in. It's from "noru," or "to ride," and is basically like hopping on the band wagon, or "playing along," intentionally or otherwise. In the boke/tsukkomi dynamic, sometimes the tsukkomi will go along with the ridiculousness for a while before hitting the boke with reality (or his hand), but in this case, it was the boke being stupid, the nori going along with it, and the tsukkomi putting the kibosh on it. TV Tropes indicated that many comedy trios have a similar dynamic, but the terms they used were different enough to render them totally useless.

Then of course they had to exacerbate the translation problem by making it warunori, which is a tern that generally refers to taking a joke too far, and that's what the warunori did, but specifically in a warui/evil direction, so we had to come up with something that worked for that (especially based on the presentation of the term). Of course it's all been dealt with now, but whether or not it was dealt with successfully has yet to be determined.
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