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12 July 2005 @ 09:35 am

Yeah, it's time to find something else to read for a while when I'm going through a job posting and I read "migrate" as "mirage".

I'm going back and reading the first MoB novel, now that I have it. Books = much better than the anime. There is so much more explanation and character depth. I used to hate Kousaka, and now I think he's my favorite character. (At any rate, I go "squee" any time he shows up, which kind of sounds like favorite characterage, ne?) And the books make it clear that Shingen's maenzuka (the stone marker thingie he was confined in) is not located in Matsumoto. That was really bugging me, since there was completely and utterly no logical reason that it would be in Matsumoto. By the time that Shingen died, the Takeda no longer held the Matsumoto area. Given that, it makes no sense to bury him there. Happily, the novel lists that the first one that blew up was located in Koufu, which was held by the Takeda at the time. (It also happens to correspond to one of the locations of Shingen's graves that I have listed in my reference book. Yes, he has multiples. I'm not entirely sure why, but I suspect that it may have something to do with his death being covered up for three years.)

There are still some things that I think are completely illogical, though. Take, for example, the first time Naoe and Takaya have a conversation.

From Takaya's perspective, there is this guy you don't know who had just been hanging out with your best friend, who is (inconveniently) currently possessed by the ghost of someone -- and someone who is not necessarily that friendly. Said guy shows up the next day, doesn't say a word, and telekinetically throws a bunch of rocks at you. The guy then tells you there is something he has to show you, and the two of you get in his car and drive for an hour. (Yeah, the Kawanakajima battlefield is not located in Matsumoto.)

Now I ask you, would you get in a car with a stranger who just levitated a bunch of rocks at you? I gotta say, I most likely would not.

From Naoe's perspective, hey, it's been thirty years. You haven't seen this guy in all that time, and kind of were starting to think that maybe he really was dead. (Bummer.) The last time you saw him thirty years ago he was more than a little pissed off at you because of something that you did. (Though, to be fair, anyone would be murderously enraged at what you did. So his being mad was kind of understandable.) As a way of getting re-acquainted and catching up on lost time you... levitate a bunch of rocks at him.

Yeah... I always forgive my friends who seriously screwed me over when they throw rocks at me -- don't you?

I was kind of hoping that the novel would provide a better explanation for this complete and utter lack of reasonable character motivation. Alas, this is one of those points where the anime followed the book exactly. Bummer. I was hoping for at least seeing in the characters' heads to know what they heck they were thinking. 'Cause, um, yeah. Not so with the logic, there.

(Yes, I've heard enough about what happens later on in the series to understand that expecting logic out of Kagetora and Naoe is probably asking a little bit too much. But, still!)

Reading the novels I'm also continuously amused by all the talking punctuation. I guess it's a legitimate construction in Japanese. But there are times that I just have to sit and laugh, since it's so weird to have talking punctuation. llamabitchyo will sympathize, I'm sure. Take, for example, the following example:

"I say something that you have no reply to."


"I really do not think that is that answer you wish to give me."


"Let say something that will surprise and amaze you."


It really does leave me feeling like I am talking to punctuation, rather than a person. I keep thinking that maybe the person I was talking to was kidnapped by space aliens, who left some gramatical marks in their place to try and fool me that that person I was talking to is still there.
SnarkyLlama: Keep Right... Wrongllamabitchyo on July 12th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC)
Sometimes by boss is kidnapped by talking punctuation. She is quite fond of "........." It annoys me greatly--and saddens me for I fear I am one of the few at work who think business emails should be professional.
SnarkyLlama: state the obviousllamabitchyo on July 12th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
Um. That's "my" boss. (Don't know who the "by boss" is.)
Sandpanthersandpanther on July 13th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
"By boss" is your boss, when you have a cold.

Your icon is most odd.

(BTW, I saw a blue Ranger today, and was reminded of you and TToD.)
SnarkyLlamallamabitchyo on July 13th, 2005 11:40 am (UTC)
Your icon is most odd.

Why, thank you.

I chose it because the little mouse poops look like "..."

(It's a page from the Everyone Poops book. I might not have the title correct, though.)
Sandpanthersandpanther on July 13th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)


I saw a new one today: ".....!....."

I'm trying to figure out if the exclamation point is the leader of all those dots, or if it just got lost in the crowd.
Sandpanthersandpanther on July 13th, 2005 01:35 am (UTC)
I've noticed that in a lot of job ads now, the ability to write business like communications is actually listed as a requirement. I'm wondering how long it is going to take before the ability to spell is listed.
devonapple on July 12th, 2005 08:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah... I always forgive my friends who seriously screwed me over when they throw rocks at me

My completely unlettered reading is that MAYBE (not having read or seen anything to do with MoB) the logic is:
- T knows N is mad
- T needs N to trust him re: some greater threat which is bigger than both of them
- T decides that throwing large rocks telekinetically should drive home that T could destroy N if he wanted, but won't, so N should get over things so they can deal with this greater threat
Sandpanthersandpanther on July 13th, 2005 01:49 am (UTC)
(I think you got your N and T mixed up. N is the rock thrower. T is the throwee. T is also the screwee.)

Ah, but the tricky part here is that T doesn't actually know that he knows N. There's a whole past life/lost memories component that I failed to mention. (The latter part makes sense in context. But then, this is a series where someone being possessed by the vengeful spirit of a teapot makes sense, so "sense" is kind of a strange thing at times.) It's not made explicit but seems reasonable that by this point N suspects -- but is not sure -- that T is having a small memory failure. Perhaps he decided to see if "swarm of rocks to the head" is as effective for knocking sense into someone as "boot to the head"? Hard to say...

(Deleted comment)
Sandpanthersandpanther on July 13th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC)
From what I understand of the rest of the story, this author has no problem with coming up of unique and memorable ways...

This scene is total classic anime/manga introduction, so from the perspective of "but it looks cool!" I have no problem with it. The thing is, in general I think the author does a really good job with making the characters' actions -- screwed up though they might be -- come from fairly understandable motivations. It's like watching Lex on Smallville: evil deeds from good intentions. (A certain G. Lucas should take note...) So I guess what I'm saying is that most of the time I would let it slide under the "well, it looks cool" concept; but this author, I expect a bit more from because she has shown us a bit more. Perhaps I expect too much from the earlier works based on the later works. (Though, really, I haven't read *that* far yet!)
lurker nowayatsujik on July 14th, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC)
'Cause, um, yeah. Not so with the logic, there.

I had to laugh over your points. XD In Naoe's defense I would say that he'd already observed Takaya enough to know the latter was clueless about Yami-Sengoku and had his reiryoku sealed somehow, so the levitating rocks bit makes more sense as a calculated if "..." attempt to force out Takaya's powers? Where Takaya's concerned - well, we just need to take the yaoi fangirl route to shed light on the matter re: They Are Drawn To Each Other! Always And Forever! which they are, y'know, despite the mess of 30 and 370 years ago. Even if it takes Takaya some time to figure out that he *is* drawn to Naoe. XD;

Also oh god the talking punctuation. I once remarked to a friend that if this series was in English I would never have started reading it, out of sheer prose style snobbery. XD;;; Thankfully she improves a fair bit over the course of the series.
Sandpanthersandpanther on July 16th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC)
In Naoe's defense I would say that he'd already observed Takaya enough to know the latter was clueless about Yami-Sengoku and had his reiryoku sealed somehow, so the levitating rocks bit makes more sense as a calculated if "..." attempt to force out Takaya's powers?

Y'know, I hadn't thought of it that way, but you do have a point. The figuring out that Kagetora's memory is gone seems a bit weird to figure out from just observing from a distance. I'd forgotten that his reiryoku being sealed would be pretty easy to pick up. So from that perspective his sudden urge for rock-throwing doesn't seem that insane.

Where Takaya's concerned - well, we just need to take the yaoi fangirl route

And normally the yaoi fangirl route would have *me* throwing rocks ;) -- though in this particular case I would have to agree. I have always assumed that something in Takaya's subconscious said "pay attention to this guy."

(I've had too many yaoi fangirls pushing the most ridiculous character interpretations at me. Hence the urge to chuck rocks at people who, say, bend my ear forever with how Shinji from Evangelion is just sooooooo gay. (Check me if I'm wrong -- this is the guy who took every opportunity presented to think really seriously about feeling up any woman in his immediate proximity. And that's gay how???))

[re: the ever popular talking punctuation]

I'm really glad that I don't have the same prose snobbery developed in Japanese as I do in English, 'cause there are times... I do periodically ponder translating bits of MoB. And then I think about how utterly lame some things would sound in English, and I stop. I'm glad to hear that she improves over time, though. I'm not surprised, because there are moments that flow really nicely. Any chance she stops it with the talking punctuation? 'Cause it's a little distressing to run into when I'm reading through a really serious bit and suddenly the punctuation starts talking -- and I start laughing. It just totally ruins the mood.

And, at the end of the day, what do you expect for an author who started in her early 20s?