18 June 2011 @ 11:42 am
Personal Entry No. 69  
How long has it been since I wrote here? May and June have passed by very quickly -- I should have made better use of them.

I'm posting this from the hotel in Washington, D.C. that's hosting us CLS participants; while there is a lone USB cable in the lobby that provides free Internet access, Wi-Fi or ethernet cables come with extra charges, so my browsing freedom is restricted. It's difficult to adjust to, given how easily I can access the Internet at my university or at home! (And considering how plentiful Wi-Fi must be here, why do hotels get away with making their guests pay for it? It was to be expected, I suppose.) It will be more difficult to get on the Internet in Vladimir, but hopefully I'll be able to purchase a Wi-Fi card or make other arrangements -- I want to stay in touch with my family, and tell you about what happens there, too.

My flight leaves today at 4:55 p.m., and will arrive in Moscow at 10:55 a.m. To be honest, I'm pretty scared.

Still, we had a good and detailed orientation (it lasted nine hours!), and I've received a lot of emotional support from my family and friends, so I should do my best to be brave. It's a study trip, not a military assignment.

Over my break, I honed my Monster Hunter skills and jumped up from HR 21 to HR 40 -- the rank where one is allowed access to all monsters and areas save for Alatreon and the Sacred Land, and where one is given a swanky mansion. I wish there was a way I could get in touch with my hunting friends; socializing in Monster Hunter Tri is unusual in that one often has to prove one's worth in dangerous ways, and one's humor always has to be pithy (due to being almost constantly chased by large carnivores, often equipped with wings or some kind of death beam). Fortunately, LiveJournal does not have such constraints...yet. The in-jokes we develop are stupid and hilarious as a result, and there's little that's as comforting as going online, pulling up one's Friend Register, and finding a well-known name highlighted in red and ready to go hunt something big with you.

If any of you have a Wii, please consider giving the game a try! It's one of the most beautifully-rendered games for the console, it's easy and fun to play, and the monsters are weird, charming, and sometimes terrifying. I'll be on again from August 18th to 29th!

Whenever I'm away from any given fandom for long, strange and momentous things happen, and I'm left scratching my head when I come back. Kobato. is ending, and I'm very sad to see it go: it was a sweet, honest, and optimistic series, which is what CLAMP (despite Nanase Ohkawa's objections) truly excels at, and it needed more time to grow and realize its full potential. Now we can only wonder about what it could have become. We can also wonder about whether or not CLAMP will pick up its cancelled series, and whether or not certain people would stop harping on how much they want X and Gouhou Drug to come back. It's like a catchphrase in the general fandom now!

Gate 7 is picking up its pace, fortunately! I wouldn't be surprised if CLAMP devoted themselves entirely to this one project, since they seem to be putting a lot of love into the artwork and countless references to history and folklore. (There was definitely a strong yearning in xxxHOLiC to spend more time on the supernatural characters and stories, and this is likely Ohkawa's fulfillment of that yearning.) The beautification of so many grizzled men of war gets on my nerves, and the Sengoku period has neither been my specialty nor my main interest in Japanese history, but we finally seem to be getting into the meat of the story -- what will it be? Did the Meiji government embroil itself in this oni-fueled battle over Japan's future, and relegate the history of the blood-bonds and Mara to the same fate that similarly-undesirable knowledge met? Was it rewritten along with the elevation of the Emperor, the promulgation of the rescripts, and the planting of the cherry trees?

Is Chikahito Hana's magical clone sent back in time?!

All that aside, I'm looking forward to seeing where this story goes!

Since I've been away for so long, can you please tell me about how you've been doing? Are you all doing okay? What exciting adventures have you undertaken, or are about to undertake? An inquiring mind wants to know!
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[identity profile] mina-akira.livejournal.com on June 18th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
Always happy to read about how you're doing! ♥
It will be alright ♥ *sending good vibes your way and for your flight*
Hoping you'll keep us updated whenever it's possible over there ~

Ahhhh, Monster Hunter looks quite nice and fun ~~ Sadly I don't have a Wii OTL
*will ask friends if they have this game*

I feel the same way about Kobato ending and I think many others do too ;,;
Given the way things are, I can't expect the ending to be perfect but I hope it will somehow satisfy us ;,; ...a bit ;,;

I have to catch up with Gate 7! Thank you for reminding me haha @w@

I'm doing alright ~ I'm on vacations and I might take a small job as an English tutor for some children. The heat is very very very bad here and it certainly makes me wish I was going somewhere cold =w= ~

Have a nice and safe trip ♥♥ !!!! TwT ♥

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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on June 29th, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
Hello! The good vibes worked, since I'm here and safe. :D I'll do my best to post some entries while I'm here, but unfortunately my time is limited by schoolwork, program activities, and helping out my host family.

I hope you can get the tutoring job -- it sounds like a great opportunity, and I get the feeling that you handle children well. Don't wish that you were here, though, since it's been pretty hot for the past few days!

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[identity profile] jlarinda.livejournal.com on June 18th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Is Chikahito Hana's magical clone sent back in time?!


I'm loving Gate 7 so muuuuuuuuuuuch ajlfsdklgfdsjgk. I NEED TO REMEMBER TO POST STUFF TO THE COMM THOUGH AUGH ;;A;; /fails/ I always see that there's something out and I'm all 8D I should post that! and then I leave it for later and end up forgetting.

/cool story

I'm cool with Kobato's ending. It looks like they're doing exactly what they wanted with it, and while I would've LOVED more backstory for just about everyone in the series, I'm happy it seems to be wrapping up so neatly :|a
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on June 29th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
You need to hold up my piece of the mod torch, JL! /shakes fist Don't sweat it, though. I'm always late to find out about news, and as such I give up on posting updates...

I definitely don't think Kobato is going to get as rushed an ending as TRC or as...uh...underwhelming as xxxHOLiC's -- it's most likely going to be pretty satisfying. I just wish that CLAMP gave it some more love.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous) on December 24th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on June 29th, 2011 12:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you very, very much!

It's totally understandable to be disappointed in CLAMP: in my opinion, they rushed TRC's ending far too much, almost completely wrecked xxxHOLiC, and as such damaged their single greatest project since X. I'm not even going to pick up X or Gouhou Drug, since I don't expect them to be finished any time soon. I do have high hopes for Kobato's ending, though!
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[identity profile] knuddeluff.livejournal.com on June 19th, 2011 05:25 am (UTC)
Is Chikahito Hana's magical clone sent back in time?!


I always like reading your entries. Every one seems so delightful and eventful.

I really thought that Kobato would go for a little longer but I've never been able to follow the scanslations properly.

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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on June 29th, 2011 01:02 pm (UTC)
I always like reading your entries. Every one seems so delightful and eventful.

That's only because I post about once every one-and-a-half months. My life overall is not particularly interesting, I assure you! But thank you!

Kobato scanlations have always been difficult to find, for some reason. Licensing certainly didn't prevent the scanlations of TRC and xxxHOLiC!
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[identity profile] lavender88.livejournal.com on June 19th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
Awww, all the best during your stay in Moscow. Be brave, and (I say this to a lot of people - but it doesn't make it any less real or sincere), believe in the me who believes in you! ♥

I really need to catch up on Gate7 soon, if it's half as interesting as you make it out to be. I think CLAMP will have their hands full with the Blood-C anime for the next three months, which makes the likelihood of them starting a new series to be quite slim...although I really really want them to give Kobato a decent ending that will not leave us all gnashing our teeth and howling for CLAMP's blood. But if that does happen, well, join the queue! /a little part of me thinks it would be better for clamp not to pick up those cancelled series and wreck havoc with our hearts & expectations. they are best left as they are to die a glorious death as opposed to  what will befall them if clamp work their dark magic on them
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on June 29th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
Well, I only stayed in Moscow for about half an hour -- I'm in Vladimir now. :D (It was funny to listen to our program directors as we passed the capital in our bus.Translation: "Moscow..." "Moscow." "Been there." "Been there!" "Bye-bye, Moscow.")

I really appreciate your support, and will not only believe in the you that believes in me, but in the me that believes in myself!

I always forget about CLAMP's heavy involvement in Blood-C -- it's pretty definite that we won't hear about anything new until it ends. As to them picking up their cancelled series, I wouldn't be surprised if Nanase Ohkawa herself didn't want to risk messing up the stories she crafted some ten years ago. How much of an emotional connection do they still have with X and Clover?
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[identity profile] starlady38.livejournal.com on June 19th, 2011 09:50 am (UTC)
Good luck in Russia! I think being scared is a perfectly reasonable reaction, but I'm sure you'll be fine. =)

I think I agree with you about Kobato. I was expecting it to be much longer initially, but I suppose its publication venue doomed it. Oh CLAMP, why can't you pick the right magazines for your manga?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the reincarnated prettiness of the Sengoku warlords disturbing (though, I also find it kind of hot)--I'm still of two minds about what CLAMP is doing in Gate 7 on an ethico-historical level (does that even exist? IDK), but they've been brilliant so far at exploiting the confusion and loose threads that characterized the end of the period (and, to be fair, the period as a whole). I suspect…if I were forced to bet I'd bet that the Meiji oligarchs washed their hands of oni, particularly in light of the fact that the Tokugawa were apparently big fans. But we'll see, I suppose.

I really hope Chikahito isn't Hana's magical clone sent back in time, because that might interfere with the fact that he's totally in love with Hana. And doesn't realize it yet, poor guy.

I'm good, as you've probably gathered! Ensconced in Kyoto reading manga and spending too much money, but so it goes.
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on June 29th, 2011 01:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

"Newtype" really doesn't seem like the right place for such a quiet, slow-moving series as Kobato -- I wonder why CLAMP didn't try "Nakayoshi" or any of the other multitudes of shoujo and josei magazines? At least "Jump SQ" seems like a great choice for Gate 7.

This would have been a great chance for CLAMP to try their hand at drawing some characters who aren't physically perfect, that's for sure. Here's hoping that they delve into the history of the Sengoku and Tokugawa periods more deeply -- and that they take into account the sea changes caused by the Meiji Revolution and the events leading up to the Asia-Pacific War. (Random note: I would laugh and cry so hard if, near the end of the series, Commodore Perry's reincarnation showed up with Mara and a Cover-Girl hairstyle.)

Glad to hear that Kyoto is treating you well! :D
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[identity profile] mairenn-k.livejournal.com on June 22nd, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
You're probably already in Russia now, but good luck for the trip! I hope you'll have a really fun and interesting time in Vladimir, and that everything will work out smoothly over there.

I'll miss Kobato a lot too, it's such a sweet and heart-warming series and I really hope that the ending won't be as sad as the most recent chapter indicated. (Come on CLAMP, how can you deny us a happy ending for Kobato after what you did to Holic?) I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Ohkawa & co will do next, though. Then again, I guess they might want to concentrate entirely on Gate 7 (and Blood-C, maybe), like you say - they definitely seem to put a lot of effort in it. Seeing their versions of the old war heroes is quite interesting, even though I agree with you about the prettification (is that even a word?) of them.

As for me, I'm just fine! Life has been pretty hectic lately, but that's what it's usually like at this time of the year, and my vacation starts in a few weeks so all's well. :)
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on June 29th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The trip went very well, and everything is going smoothly so far (save for a few personal bumps, such as drinking the water and getting eaten by mosquitoes).

I'd use "beautification" for the transformation of the great warriors into pretty, fashionable young men, but that makes them sound like old buildings about to be torn down. D:

I hope your vacation goes wonderfully!
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