April 15th, 2019


Ping pong

Toy Box is driving us up the wall. We're missing three treasures and two hidden Mickeys, and we feel like we've been over every inch of that ridiculously huge place twice. I want to kick it. The whole world.

On a happier note, we decided to try watching the sitcom brought to us by the former cast of Studio C, and it was pretty darn funny. It's called Freelancers by JK Studios, and I definitely recommend it.

But I was supposed to talk about Kaji 100! Searching all over Toy Box seems to have wiped my brain pretty clean, so I don't know if I can do it, but I'll try for a little bit. The first episode, as I mentioned yesterday, has Ayumu Murase as a guest. He keeps popping up in stuff we watch, but not stuff we really like, or maybe just never as characters we really care about, because I keep forgetting what he's in. We think he's the other voice in Bananya, but neither of us remembers. However! the timing is fortuitous, because we had just watched the first episode of Sarazanmai the day before, and the credits to that stayed in my head long enough to remember that he gets top billing for that show. Of course, that show is so extremely bizarre that it's almost bound to stick with you for a little while, assuming you don't immediately block it from your memory (which is another distinct possibility).

Anyway, he and Yuki Kaji went off to play some table tennis, and, as expected, it was adorable. They went to a ping pong...gym? It had a bunch of ping pong tables and people playing really hardcore table tennis. They were there to meet their coach, who was an Olympic ping pong player and now trains other people. Of course first the voice actors played a game against each other so the coach could see what they needed to improve, and it was hilarious, because Murase-kun was exactly the stereotypical "aaah, the ball's going to hit me, I'm afraid!" type of person, and he was constant putting his hands up to defend himself and backing away screaming.

And really it was just a whole lot of ping pong. But the coach gave a lot of really good tips and techniques, and it wasn't long before both voice actors were playing much much better. (Their first game was a little pathetic.) And they were noticing the world of difference in such a short amount of time, and so they were like, "Wow, you're a really good teacher!" And the coach was like, "It's my job." And this was one of my favorite parts, because...

Okay, so you know how the internet has all those lists of things you should never do in such-and-such situation? Well, one of our friends posted a list of things you should never do when speaking Japanese, and the more we read it the more we were like, "I'm...pretty sure whoever wrote this list is full of themselves and not real big on fact-checking..." But before we got to that point, there were some that were like, "Oh no, I think I've done that! I have failed! Aaaahh!" And it was very much like Death the Kid when he fails to do something symmetrically.

But the point is, one of the things this list said not to ever do was end a sentence in "kara," because you think you're just explaining something with a "because," but to all your Japanese friends, it sounds like you're making excuses. But here this professional ping pong coach is getting compliments on TV, and he just shrugs it off with 仕事ですから, and I was like, "There is no way that would come across as making excuses!" And I felt vindicated.

There was also a point where Kaji-kun had his ping pong paddle and was just bouncing the ball, and showing off by flipping the paddle between bounces, and then he got silly and tried to bounce the ball on the edge of the paddle and it fell. And he was like, "Well of course it was going to fall." And the coach was like, "Not necessarily." Then he took a ball and a paddle and started doing the same thing, he bounced it on the edge of the paddle a few times, and then to get really fancy, he bounced the ball with the paddle behind his back. And all I could think was さすがプロ, which is really hard to translate into English, but it could be, "That's a pro for you," but more impressed.

And we're up late, so I should probably wrap it up for now. This report will continue as long as I remember to do it...or until I finish it, which might actually come first.

Today I'm thankful for meeting our work quota (which isn't really enough to finish the assignment by deadline, but fortunately we've already gotten the okay to only turn in half of it), finding one more treasure in the stupid Toy Box, getting to watch Freelancers, having all the Disneyland plans worked out, and the beautiful weather today.