outou: (First day of spring--)
Outou ([personal profile] outou) wrote on June 18th, 2011 at 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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