Sunday, March 31, 2002

Spring break came and went, and now I'm back in my cozy apartment (with computer and Internet access! XD). I just took some cold medicine and they made me so drowsy I couldn't remember in detail what I was going to write about. Z_Z Stupid flu.

Reminder/Bits and pieces of stuff to-be-blogged about next: Wuxia and Jin Yong rant (snarl), Tale of Genji impressions (hating Genji the person still, if not more so, as of chapter 10), Monster volume 18 (sob! X_x), Tokyo Babylon (is a *much* better manga series than X, IMO), pPoi! (after re-reading 19 volumes in one setting, am now eager to work on the webpage again), Requiem (loving the ura-DVD feature more than the movie itself. *laughs*), and...

On Seki Toshihiko himself: Seki! SEKI! SEKIII~~~! *insert your choice of fangirl scream* Yes, my obsession with the man just got worse, after watching his performance(?) in the extra Requiem ura-DVD. Hoshi Souichirou acted so CUTE, too! I can soooo see him as a RL version of Minekura's Goku. Well, probably not, when Seki and Hoshi started attacking each other with their fans on stage. Sanzo would shoot Goku first before he let /that/ happen. XDDDD Ishida Akira was very different from what I had envisioned, and Hirata Hiroaki was just vain. Extremely.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 09:26 p.m. PST~

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Sunday, March 24, 2002

It took more than half a day to install Windows XP. /Then/ when everything seemed to be working nicely, it killed my DVD-rom. Oh joy. .

Reading Boogiepop Dual: Loser's Circus volume 1. *blinnnnnnnnnnnk*

Priya, when you come back, we need to sit down and have a long discussion on your definition of "cute." We really do.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 06:03 p.m. PST~

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Saturday, March 23, 2002

Hmmm, so the book makes a comment about how The Tale of Genji is also known as the Japanese equivalent of Dream of the Red Chamber. Having (attempted to) read the former in Seidensticker's English translated version and gave up before I even reach the sixth chapter, you can't blame me for feeling skeptical about this particular praise. Especially since I'm a big fan of Dream of the Red Chamber and am a harsh critic with any of its competitors. But then, I've always had a hard time reading English translations of foreign novels, so it does deserve a second chance, this time in the Chinese translated version. ^_^;;

There are currently two versions of The Tale of Genji in Chinese. The first translation is written by the Chinese cartoonist/writer/translator/educator Feng Zi Kai. The other version is translated by Professor Lin Wen Yue, who, according to my dad, is the most formidable authority on the Japanese language in Taiwan. Feng Zi Kai completed his translation first, but due to the time conflict with the Cultural Revolution in China, it was never published until well after his death. The copy I have (in three separate volumes) is the one compiled by Feng Zi Kai. Lin Wen Yue's version is, apparently, too deep for your average Chinese reader due to her unique penmanship; she purposely wrote the book with more difficult Han characters and used older tones of speech. Her style reads prettily, but not smoonthly enough. Feng Zi Kai's verion, on ther other hand, is more vernacular in nature. The words are simple, easy to read and understand, and most importantly, read as smoothly as if you were having a conversation with friends. For my sake, my dad got me Feng Zi Kai's version. =)

My dad had surprisingly little to say about The Tale of Genji because it turned out he hadn't read it! ::gasp:: Surprise, surprise. And here I thought he'd read just about everything there is. =P So, I asked him about the Classic Four instead. Here's what he thought of them, briefly:

Dream of the Red Chamber: Out of the four, this one has the greatest literature value. It has a beautiful and yet powerful prose and writing style, and the plot with all its characters' involvements with one another give it great strength to be of significance in China's literature history. It's also a romance novel, of course.

Journey to the West: Is an adventure story that pokes fun at politics and the corrupted government at the time. The novel is meant to be episodic and "exciting" in each, with a good balance on each of the characters (besides perhaps the kappa). As for the villains... the author basically projects all his personal enemies onto them. XDDD

Water Margin: At the best, is a wuxia story.
(Me: That's ALL you have to say about it? O_o;
Him: Well, it's about 108 criminals, each with their own disorders, that don't like the government. >:P
Me: XDDD)

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Is his personal favorite, because you actually have to use your brain when reading it. This is more than just a historical novel, and one learns more than just political tactics from it. (and then we started giving each other examples of what we learned from it. ;p)

To voice further annoyance at amazon.co.jp: They won't ship my next package for /weeks/, then when I suddenly realized I want to add something I'd missed before, they shipped the package before I could add the item to the order. Grrrrr. Now I have to either wait until the next time I have a large order, or wait until I go to Kinokuniya myself. Grrrr. I want Cantarela 3 NOW! >_<

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 05:18 p.m. PST~

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Friday, March 22, 2002

I'm glad I decided to wait until after mails are delivered today before heading home, because my amazon.co.jp package (from February 18th) *finally* showed up. Hmmm...so this time it's delivered through AirBorne Express. I don't recal what other company delivered the packages before, but it certainly wasn't AirBorne Express. I'll just hope that for my next package, they would switch back to the old one.

Package contains mostly random manga... and of course, the Gensoumaden Saiyuki: Requiem Movie DVD Box Set. Mwahahahahaha. It comes with a cute towel, some kind of bag, a colored booklet (I especially love the seiyuu autographs page), four character mini-CDs, and the actual DVD. Expect a review on the box set sometime. *cackles*

Just a note: I'll probably be spending majority of my spring break offline, so blogging is unlikely (except maybe a snip or two now and then).

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 05:44 p.m. PST~

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Friday, March 22, 2002

So it's not enough that you two have been blogging about Suikoden games all week (weeks?) long, and now you're both conspiring against me? What is this?! *storm off with indignant squeaks* >:O

*pulls up banner with big flashing letters: NO SOLICITING OF SUIKODEN GAMES ALLOWED HERE.*

......well, maybe just a /little/.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 02:29 p.m. PST~

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Friday, March 22, 2002

Ah, I just had the pleasure of reading one of the most brilliant fanfiction rants in blogland. That last bit about fangirl Japanese especially reminded me of a Gundam Wing fic where the glossary was longer than the actual fic. Well, maybe not exactly, but I still think a 33KB glossary is more than a little extreme. Needless to say, reading that particular fic was extremely painful.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 02:42 a.m. PST~

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Thursday, March 21, 2002

I will not get Suikoden or Suikoden 2.
I will not get Suikoden or Suikoden 2.
I will not get Suikoden or Suikoden 2.
I will not get Suikoden or Suikoden 2.
I will not get Suikoden or Suikoden 2.
...etc.

Of course, I also said the same about Persona and Persona 2, and we all know what happened.

And I know *exactly* who to blame this time, too.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 10:11 p.m. PST~

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Thursday, March 21, 2002

Uhhhh... I'm getting extremely restless, to the point where I can't even sit still in front of my computer anymore. I'd blame it on the various Sarah Brightman CDs I've been listening to all day long, but I thought classcial music is supposed to make one *calm*? Ah well. Maybe it's just frustration at my inability to sing such high notes. =P

I want to learn Latin. I want to learn Italian, too. However, want and reality are very different things.

My brother is insisting that I take the PS2 home so he can play Para Para Paradise before /his/ spring break ends (on the 25th). Yikes, the annoying disagreement between vacation times for different colleges can be such a pain sometimes. I can't even enjoy quality time with my own brother. ::sigh:: On the other hand, my amazon.co.jp package still hasn't arrived yet (is custom regulation getting harsher or something? It's been a full month, and usually it only takes 9 days!), so it's not like I would need the PS2 to watch the DVD. But anyway, my dad is home, so I expect to discuss with him The Tale of Genji (which he bought a Chinese translated copy for me, so I won't have to read the English version anymore. yay), Japanese daimyo, Chinese literature, and more.

Quick BBS thingy!

Lex~ I did manage to finish all the Yu Yu Hakusho episodes (will blog about mixed reactions after spring break), and am also done making you copies of various things I have in my harddrive, so expect a large package very soon. XDDD

durendal, I hope everything turns out well for your domain.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 09:09 p.m. PST~

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Wednesday, March 20, 2002

No more exams!! XDDD *bounces* Now I have until Friday to finish up a few more things (like repaying my neighbors for their playing loud music at 3am this morning when I was studying), pack for home, and then it's all looking forward to a relaxing spring break! Life is good.

China banned the Hana Yori Dango TV drama. Hmmm... so they think the drama's themes and the F4 Fever were having negative societal effects in China and corrupting the teenagers. Yeah, right. Idiotic censorship like this makes me want to laugh.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 03:07 p.m. PST~

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Friday, March 15, 2002

Over the last few weeks or so, I've been reading Star Wars: The Phantom Menace slash fics during study breaks. Mostly, it's to make productive of my time by cleaning my old TPM links (so many of the sites are gone now ;_;), but also to re-kindle my fading Qui/Obi obesession.

Here I've compiled a list of TPM slash fic recommendations. It's not as completed as I'd like it to be, but since I lost most of my private collections during that harddrive wipe-out two years ago, I have to make do with whatever I have now. Also, I advise you to avoid the very AU stories for first readings, unless you're already familiar with the Star Wars universe, particularly that of the Jedi Apprentice books. For one, it would confuse you less if you went in knowing what the /real/, original Bruck Chun (Obi-Wan's childhood tormentor) and Xanatos of Telos (Qui-Gon's fallen former-apprentice) are like, rather than risking the first exposure of the fandom versions.

All pairings are Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan or vice versa, unless otherwise noted. Many of the stories here are rated R or NC-17 for sex, violence, or language (see individual stories for warnings), so read at your own discretion. I've chosen to avoid direct linking to the actual fics and instead link to the authors' main page, because of the fics' adult nature and also to respect the authors' wishes. If you truly want to read the fics and are mentally prepared, it doesn't take that much time to go through the warning pages. Stories by authors w/o their own sites have links to the Master Apprentice Archive [m_a], and can be found easily through the archive's own search engine.

This list is for durendal, who should have known better. =P

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T.O.T.O. (The Obi-Wan Torture Oasis)

...is one of the first places I'd visited when I joined the TPM fandom some two years ago, and I still visit it on a regular basis to re-read the fics. Every story hosted here is excellent, and I love most of them. My personal favorites:

"An Uncommon Fear of Shifting" by analise - I adore analise's writing, and this fic shows exactly why that is so. It has a unique plot structure and good tension despite starting off with a rather common plot (kidnapped Jedi is quite common in the land of Hurt/Comfort fics), great characterization, and most importantly, the powerful emotional conflicts that leave me shaken after every reading. Yes, I agree, angst IS good. Summary: "Obi Wan is kidnapped and Qui Gon stretches the boundaries of both his duty and his discipline to find him in the midst of a diplomatic crisis."

"A blackness had seemed to settle over the room and he knew instinctively that it was deadly. His future-sense was not as strong as some, but he could read it now. And it told a tale that made him want to curl in the corner and gibber in denial. Whatever had just happened to his apprentice had set him firmly on a path that seemed to end in the opaque midnight of the abyss.

He shivered slightly and tried to pull his thoughts into order. Fear was the enemy that must always be fought. Fear was the dark road to suffering."

"The Jedi Temple Murders" by analise & Kirby Crow - I'm a sucker for mysteries. Even before I started reading fantasy and horror novels, I've been a fan for mysteries. What better way to enjoy myself than to read something that's both angsty slash *and* a mystery? Not to mention it's got an intriguing plot (with a good twist near the ending that leaves me gaping) and such creative use of original/supporting characters (that actually know their places in fics). Summary: "Young Obi Wan Kenobi is forced to relive a horrific experience when someone begins killing Padawans in the Jedi Temple, and not even his Master can save him."

"He had thought this was all behind him. The tattoos would never come off, but he'd hoped the memories would fade. And now they were going to be resurrected in the worst way. His shame was going to be exposed. He didn't think he could look his master in the eye, watch those features fill with pity and horror.

He didn't think he was strong enough to bear that."
"Only when he turned did he see the dark stain spreading from beneath the tiny closet door next to the arch. The sound of dripping intensified, and he realized it was coming from behind the closet door. Obi Wan made a small sound in his throat, halfway between a whimper and a sob. It was happening again. It was all happening again."

"Lion at the Gate" by Kirby Crow & Lilith Sedai - ::gasp:: Believable Evil!Qui-Gon! Sure it's believable, you said, it's AU. But no, it's not just that. Kirby Crow and Lilith Sedai did such a good job with Evil!Qui-Gon's role that they convinced me this could very well be the real Qui-Gon, if he had never become a Jedi. The story also has depth; quite deep, in fact, that I had to read the story twice to really feel the underlying theme. Summary: "Knight Kenobi is held prisoner by a sinister and compelling kidnaper, but what does his captor want from him?"

"Obi-Wan remained turned away from the Sith, wrapped in his misery. It was all true. He might have taken the opportunity to knock Qui-Gon unconscious, beat him senseless so he could escape. Even, a sibilant voice whispered in his soul, murdered him. Instead, he had done much worse. He had given in to the Dark Side, sating desires that he should never, never have felt..."

Also recommended: its sequel, "Wolf at the Door" by Kirby Crow. [I'll say it now: I don't like the sequel. No, not because it was badly written, because it *is* well-written. I just can't make myself like the ending. ;_;] Oh, and while you're at it, go order a copy (or more!) of "Sealed Light," Riho's slash zine/doujinshi based on "Lion at the Gate." It has utterly gorgeous drawings, not to mention Japanese (and English, of course) excerpts from the fic. Mostly, I love how Riho reconstructed the story by presenting it with both words and graphics. ::hug my copy of the zine::

"L'Histoire d'Obi" by Lilith Sedai - Hurt/Comfort, Fetish/Kink, Bondage/SM, master and slave, abuse of power and authority...and angst. Of course there's angst. *THE* fic that had me trying to reconnect my jaw back to its proper place after I realized it was hanging open. There's no other way to describe/explain it, as the story tells itself. Go read. Now. Summary: "Obi-Wan neglects to pay careful attention to a briefing, agrees to accept an unusual mission assignment, and lets himself and Qui-Gon in for more trouble than either of them bargained for."

"His apprentice loved him. Qui-Gon felt anguish spike his heart. He had badly failed Obi-Wan as a Master by permitting them to undertake this mission with his padawan so ill-prepared, by collaring him, by permitting his tender young body to be displayed and touched publicly, by forgetting to feed him. But even after all that, even after Qui-Gon himself had beaten Obi-Wan and taken him brutally, the only things Obi-Wan offered were his deep, abiding trust and self-effacing love, and the bright, scintillating gift of himself.

Bonus: Stunning artwork (included in the fic) from both analise and BlackRose. In fact, I love them so much I went and bought some of BlackRose' art prints immediately afterwards, plus a copy of the story in book form (I think the paperbacks are no longer available though). XDDD If interested, go to BlackRose's site and look under the "prints" section. Warning: Beware of male nudes. =P

"A Place of Silence" by Destina Fortunato - It affected me somewhat like how "An Uncommon Fear of Shifting" did (possibly due to their similar basic plots), but in a completely different way. Again, the story questions and explores how far Qui-Gun is willing to go and what he's willing to do for Obi-Wan. Summary: "Obi-Wan is captured by slavers and Qui-Gon risks everything to get him back."

"If he tried to remember the exact moment he had abandoned all his chivalrous notions about using the Force, he found the recollections hazy. Cold and hunger had stripped away most of his moral objections; the raw need to find his Padawan had mercifully freed him from his strict adherence to his training. It was not as hard as he'd imagined it might be, to step away from the guilt of manipulating others. It was convenient, and necessary...and very, very easy."

"The Waking" by Anne Carr and Nansi/Emrin Alexander - Lovely and sweet, with bits of angst. Did I mention sweet? ^____^ Summary: "When Obi-Wan is severely injured, Qui-Gon goes through his former apprentice's collection of rocks and discovers that he may not know him as well as he thought."

"He touched the stone and withdrew his finger as if it had been burned. There was Force there, gathered in the crystalline eddies, where he had least expected it. He eyed the purple and then let his curiosity take over, opening himself to the Force in the inclusions, drawing it out.

And he saw. Saw himself from Obi-Wan's point of view. Coming in quietly from exercises to innocently ask him something, hours before he was supposed to be there. Coming to the bedroom door, raising his hand to knock, the door swinging open. . ."

"Though Night Shall Fall" by Keelywolfe - Truthfully, I didn't think I was going to like this story. But I did. In fact, I like it very much now. Even if some of the imageries were pretty dark and upsetting, I will still say this: angst is good, and this story more so. No more spoiling now, so go read if you want to find out more. Summary: "Set four years after TPM, a Jedi has fallen to the dark side. A combination of story and POV of the events."

"Every rejection was like a tiny cut. Time and again a little blade of pain would bite into me and you were the one who held the knife. On Coruscant, a cut. On the ship to Bandomeer, a cut, on Bandomeer itself, a cut, a cut, a cut! Until I felt that I would bleed to death from a hundred tiny wounds.

The last cut on Coruscant, before the very Jedi Council that we both served and it was deep, that wound cut open my heart and I felt that I might well collapse in front of the Council in a puddle of my own blood."

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The Sith Academy - Who, in the TPM fandom, *doesn't* know about this place!? If you weren't familiar with it, or were just starting to read TPM fics (slash or not, doesn't matter), run, don't walk, to the site now! Immediately! ::waves force suggestions in your face:: Hm? Still here? Darn it, the mind whammy didn't work. ::coughs:: Simply put, the archive houses a series of life stories about "A sith, his master, the enemy and his little twit apprentice, and a bunch of menial crap." That's more than 200 stories (181 of which are canon and in chronological order), cool art galleries, and other fun stuff. And yes, majority of the stories are meant to be hysterically funny. *DO* read the warnings on the Sith Academy entrance page, warnings which you absolutely must heed at all times should you wish to survive your reading experience there (read: absolutely no drinking or eating while reading the Sith Academy fics). No restriction on pairings. Everyone's f**king everyone here. Well, almost. ^_^;;

The Dead Padawan Society Archive - Well, read the title (and see the front page graphic), why don't you? This archive contains *only* stories where at least one padawan pass into the force (or maybe not necessarily into the force, but one has to die or be in the process of dying anyway) by the end of the fic. It's very impressive, really, how the archive covers so many possible ways of killing off Jedi apprentices. ::cackles::

I didn't exactly cry for any of them, but some did manage to touch me at a deep level (read: they disturbed me. a lot. very much). Ones such as Aeshna's "Small Sacrifices" (One of my favorites. I was ready to go kill the author by the end of the fic, even), Clarence's "Problem Solved" (I could never look at the Agri-Corp the same again), Glass Houses' "The Ceremony" (which I actually read first on her site, and wasn't prepared for the character death until after I started reading. Nevertheless, it was good), Kristi's "Worthy" (there should be a law against cruel authors, don't you think?), and Mystique's "Coruscant Gothic" (whose creepiness disturbed the hell out of me when I first read it. Now whenever I read William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," I was reminded of it. Not that I mind very much, since the fic is now one of my favorites).

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Series:

"Riding the Wheel of If" Series by Terri Hamill (and guest authors) [Mom's Kitchen] - My all-time favorite, and a must read for all Qui/Obi fans. Each story is unique in its own way, some with more twist than others. Knowledge of other TPM fics is not necessary, but since this *is* a travelling between realities series and Obi-Wan *does* occasionally stumble into other authors' sandbox...it helps to have read various other authors' fics in the TPM fandom first (ie. the Sith Academy Universe, Iaga/JayKay's "Knight Moves" Series, MrsHamill's "Jedi Code Breakers" Series, Chez Bunny's "Bonds of Choice" Series, etc). Summary: "Qui-Gon is dead, and in building a new lightsaber, Obi-Wan accidentally finds a way to move to different realities, where he discovers many strange and wondrous things in his quest to be with his beloved Master again."

"Leaping to his feet, Obi-Wan began to pace. His brain was whirling with thoughts and possibilities, ideas clashing. Foremost was the thought that somewhere, in some 'if', Qui-Gon was alive, and waiting for him."

"For the first time in over a month, his heart was light and his head was clear. Somewhere, he would find Qui-Gon again. Somewhere... some 'if.'"

"The JAOA Series" by Black Rose (and guest authors) [Home of the Rabit Plotbunnies] - Sets after TPM, this beautifully written series changes the original outcome and waves a different future. Angsty, tender, and bittersweet.

"Memory in those words, the birth of all memories, and before the weight of them Qui-Gon's defenses crumbled with a ragged cry. Obi-Wan furiously willed the strength of his own body into the one he held, feeling the crushing weight against his chest as rope after rope of Force bound them together until his heart beat for them both, his lungs drawing air for two bodies in desperation. Pain knifed through him, forcing a cry from his throat, but nothing mattered beyond the pounding throb of his heart and the next breath drawn into burning lungs that would sustain the body cradled in his arms. Pulse and breath in, pulse and breath out, and endless repetition that became the central heart and outer limit of his entire world until even the conscious knowledge of that faded away."

"The Colours Series" by Mona Ramsey [m_a] - I was hooked the minute I read the first story. It was so different from everything I've read, and although Bastard!Qui-Gon fics aren't usually my idea of good reading, I find myself falling for each of the dark, painful, and yet sensual stories in this series. Then again, this is Mona's work we're talking about, so it's definitely worth reading.

"I have never asked him why it must be this way between us; I do not know why I may defile myself with so many faceless men and be denied the one who has solely defined desire in my young life. I do not wholly believe that it is a Jedi rule that we are following; I have a growing suspicion that it may be my Master's rule alone, but there is no-one I can ask without betraying myself, and him, and although I do not care about myself, I would not betray him for the world."

"The Chosen Series" by Brenda Antrim [Brenda Antrim's Fan Fiction Archive] - This is one of the first serious Maul/Obi-Wan and Obi-Wan/Maul slash I've read (well, the very first was Brenda's "Equilibrium," and then I read this series immediately after). It's *extremely* angsty, and be warned that it contains rape scenes and little H/C. This is by no means a happy series. However, I've always thought that my liking this series was what led me down the angst-loving path. Ah, sweet corruption. =P

"Staring down at the man on his knees amidst the blood and gore from the dead courtiers, Maul slowly lowered his hands to his belt. There was a certain appeal to the idea. The Jedi was attractive, in a clean, long-limbed, oddly innocent sort of way. Debauching innocence always appealed.

The shaggy head lifted, and the molten blue eyes stared up at him. He was caught. Light and Dark, strength chained, anguish tamped down to sear the soul to slag. The very perversity of the coupling sang to him, the closest he could get to extinguishing the Light without allowing that final mercy."

"The Warrior's Heart" Series by WriteStuff (and guest authors) [m_a] - Q/O/Bruck. *THE* series that made me grow to like Bruck. ^O^ A wonderfully written series (but not quite a serial, since many of the stories stand on their own) that further develops the relationship between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and later, Bruck. Each story differs in tone, style, and atmosphere, and while some makes for light reading, others are extremely dark and grotesque. ("The Sweet Science of Bruising" especially killed several of my brain cells after I was done reading). But mostly, I love how Bruck is presented here, and how Obi-Wan struggles to deal with his relationships with both Qui-Gon and Bruck.

"I suppose I fall somewhere in between the two and that's what attracts both of them. Between the two of them, I don't feel very grounded at all--more like a ball tossed back and forth--and I've always had trouble living in the moment, as my master constantly reminds me. He also tells me I act far too old for my age, and Bruck claims I've kept him out of more trouble than I know. Now, if only I could keep myself out of it. Like the fix I'm in now."

"The Elements Series" by Lilith Sedai [The Writings of Lilith Sedai] - Four parts, titled "Water," "Earth," "Air," and "Fire" respectively, complete the series. Very AU, and very different style, with a good deal of angst. Summary: "Qui-Gon Jinn fails to take Obi-Wan as his apprentice on Bandomeer, so Yoda does instead. After Obi-Wan is knighted, he and Qui-Gon are sent on a mission together and encounter personal conflicts as they attempt to work together."

"Time and time again he'd opened himself to Qui-Gon and been slapped away. Perhaps Yoda had known Jinn well as a Padawan, but Obi-Wan believed that the man had changed since then, hardening his heart against his peers and comrades. Perhaps the only things that did not threaten him enough to cause him to withhold his sympathy were children, pets, and the dead.

If Qui-Gon thought an apology was his duty, he would probably force himself to offer it... but Obi-Wan wanted nothing of Qui-Gon's sense of duty. He'd done what he'd done out of his own sense of duty, and with no expectation of thanks. He just wanted to let it be and forget that it had ever happened, forget that he had ever met Qui-Gon Jinn."

"The Seventh Wave" Series by Destina Fortunato [Worlds Without Boundaries] - A WIP that takes place in an AU where the Jedi are no more and the Sith rule. In a world where conspiracies for political powers reign, nothing is as it seems. Can't say much for a work that's still in progress, but I'm enjoying it so far. It's also refreshing to see a *submissive* Xanatos. Qui/Obi and Obi/Xanatos.

"He had trapped himself, made himself a prisoner by his own actions. Now he would have to decide if this man's life was more important than his freedom, and what he would do if the answer to that question went against everything he believed.

And how he could remain a Jedi, if the Force had bound his heart to a Sith."

"Hearts of Darkness" Series by DBKate and Kass [website down] - What begins as a simple plan to turn a Jedi to the Darkness leads to something unexpected. A story about revelations, healings, betrayals, and hope in a land of darkness. Truthfully, I didn't like how the story was heading to in general, but I did have several favorite scenes/lines from some of the chapters. Unfortunately, the story was never completed and the authors had already taken down their page.

For a moment he thought he was truly going mad, but upon closer inspection he realized that he was seeing words in those scars, that there was actual writing scrawled into his flesh and he knew the language.

It was an ancient form of Sith, one that was studied by all Jedi so as to know their enemies should ever the need arise again. Three short words, engraved by Maul, directly above his heart.

"I AM HERE"

"Only Light" Series by Amy Fortuna [Only Light, Only Life, Only Love] - Beautiful and oh, so very angsty. Could be a tear-jerker, this one. Summary: "In a universe where love between Jedi is a crime, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan face the consequences."

"I have been over worlds, through galaxies, crossed deserts and snow plains, nearly died more times than I would like to count, been captured and rescued, been chastised and scolded, lauded and praised--and nothing has ever felt like this!

I have kissed Obi-Wan Kenobi, the love of all lifetimes, just once, and all I have ever done pales in comparison to that few minutes.

And I know that I will be punished for this; I may even die for it. They already know. I am certain.

But I would rather die, having kissed Obi-Wan just once, than live for many years yet and never kiss him."

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Serials:

"Convergence" by Alex [The Sublevels] - Alex will always have a place in my heart, because she was (and still is) one of my favorite slash writers in all things. Plus, she loves to write about Ewan and Liam (not just Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon), so her stories go far beyond merely the TPM universe. It's quite impossible to /not/ grow to love someone's style if you've been following most of her serials on her ML for two years, too. In fact, I highly suspect that is the reason I can never fully detach myself from the TPM fandom. And she's also the one responsible for my falling in love with Xanatos. However, Alex likes to hurt her characters (which is good) by putting them in perils that often involve non-con and dark, dark scenarios (which is good, too). Oops, did I just unwittingly reveal something about myself that I shouldn't have? XDDD Anyway, I like majority of Alex's stories, and this one is pretty high on the list. Pairings: Qui/Obi, Xanatos/Bruck. Summary: "An AU in which Qui-Gon Jinn's past catches up with him in many different ways."

"Qui-Gon suddenly wished that he'd told Obi-Wan about Xanatos. He felt as though he were leading them all into danger. None of them knew the full truth about himself and Xanatos, not even Bruck, who'd come dangerously close to it with his half-hysterical accusations. He felt an irrational desire to order the transport turned around, to re-board the SOLITARY and go back to Coruscant, or at least send everyone else back. He could do the search himself. But it was too late, he thought. Besides, the others would refuse to leave. He was certain of it. He settled back into his seat and stared out the window, absorbing a thousand small details as they passed through the city."

"Tales of Two" by Pumpkin and Lilith Sedai [Pumpkin's Slash Patch] - I was lucky to have caught this serial when it was first being posted to the Master Apprentice mailing list. Well, besides the agonizing waits between posts. ^_^;; Still very much a Work-In-Process (currently on hold at part 90). The style of the writing and the serial format make it so that once you read, you won't be able to stop. It's also extremely /fun/ reading it, despite its sometimes angsty themes. Well mix of humor, I say. Summary: "A haughty prince finds that self-sufficiency is overrated. The sweeping saga of an arrogant prince and his monkish bodyguard."

Qui-Gon warily watched the young man. "I'll have your head for this insult!"

The lad's mouth quirked upward in unmistakable amusement, the sting of which worsened as he realized Shmi was smiling behind her worn palm. Realizing that he still sat flat on his backside with the tail of his cloak smoldering in the ashes set about the baking pans on the kitchen hearth, he rose hastily and brushed himself off with angry slaps. "What is your name and how are you in service to this house?" he snapped, peremptory and eager to save face.

The lad's smile widened, reaching his eyes. "Obi-Wan Kenobi. I have the honor to be bodyguard to his grace, the Prince Regent."

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I'll get to the One-Shots some other time.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 04:20 a.m. PST~

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Saturday, March 9, 2002

Happy birthday, Priya!

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 11:30 p.m. PST~

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Thursday, March 7, 2002

New(?) manga series I'm reading: Kotaro Makaritooru. This is a *really* old (but still running) shonen series I could remember reading way back in elementary school. It's got the old style manga artwork, but oh, how nostalgic to read something dated back to your early childhood. ^_^ I still have some of the stapled chapters from the 1993-1995 manga magazines somewhere in the garage, I believe. Same for Yu Yu Hakusho and Slam Dunk and a whole bunch of titles I couldn't even remember.

I'll be doodling the next few days, and after that, maybe I'll start blogging again. =P

Bonnie linked me. Thank you. Wow, someone else besides me (in blogland, at least) also reads Fake?

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 08:52 p.m. PST~

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Sunday, March 3, 2002

In case anyone's remotely interested in learning more about Tenjo Tenge, the manga review is up at Hanami Gumi. While you're there, check out the other reviews, too. ^_^

I have midterms coming up, so there will *definitely* be no blogging until after Tuesday.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 10:01 p.m. PST~

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Saturday, March 2, 2002

Ah, well, I lied. Next thing you know, I'll have a big entry on HxH or Chinese literatures and their significance in shaping each other throughout the dynasties. =_= Or not.

Kailing's translator woes brought about this entry, so it might make more sense to have read hers first before reading mine:

I rather like being asked about my translations. Not exactly the "more more gimme more" part, but the fact that someone actually read my translations and like them enough to write me.

Way back when I first started fan-translation projects, I was...more sensitive to others' opinions of me and my work. That my translations wasn't appreciated (idea reinforced by the lack of *any* feedback, be it good or bad) hurt. So I craved e-mails. Any e-mails. As long as there's evidence that someone do read my translations, it would give me the incentive to translate more. Most people don't see it this way, but translators are humans, too. I sometimes relate myself to fanfic-writers, because while our job requirements aren't the same, we both wish feedback from our readers. Readers' demands for more could be insulting, as we're not translator-machines that spit out translations on a regular basis; but on the plus side, they show I have an audience. Given my bad habit of not doing anything productive unless someone nagged me from behind constantly, I *need* those demands.

Why did I make my first website and later, blog? Lex's encouragements. Why did I participate in the Ayashi no Ceres translation project? Sarah helped and Nekojita asked. Why did I summarize all the Yami no Matsuei anime episodes? Thay is a wonderful archivist/host, and I used to get mails from people who told me those summaries were a great help (this was before fansubs and digisubs were made available, and even a short while afterwards). I would have translated Kaguyahime, too, if Angeline hadn't just...disappeared. Heck, I never would have finished the February Saiyuki Gaiden chapter translations as fast as I did if it weren't for Priya. In other words, my productivity revolves around those who know where and how to push my buttons, and *do.*

Of course, now I translate for my own sake, and it doesn't matter whether anyone still write to thank me or demand for more ('though I admit it's nice to get acknowledgments). I do, however, hope one day someone will write me and say "Joy, your translaions suck, and this [insert reasons] is why." Because I'm not a professional translator, am not fluent in Japanese, but I *want* to improve. The only way to improve is to have someone (other than myself) point to where I had done wrong.

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 12:50 a.m. PST~

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Friday, March 1, 2002

Since I'm overwhelmed by exhaustion both physically and mentally, it'll probably be a good idea to take a break from blogging for a few more days. Serious bloggings, at any rate.

I'm almost glad school is keeping me busy. Almost. At least it keeps me from having to deal with life's other annoyances, like admitting the fact that my relationships with some of my RL friends are deteriorating. Just last week I had a heated conversation online with a sort-of friend, and now we aren't talking to each other anymore. I know simply avoiding him isn't going to solve anything, but at this point talking would just make the situation worse. On the plus side, my relationship with my housemates are getting better, and we're making the arrangements to room together again next school year.

My computer's situation is not improving, so that leaves only one option - I'll have to format it again. *heavy sigh* As a result, I won't be using Juno for the next month or so. It's pointless to continue using an e-mail program when you're expected to erase everything in it soon.

Blogland: Charmian and Kristi seem to have a lot of fun talking Hunter X Hunter spoilers. It's enough to tempt me out of my resolution to rest from blogging. Then Kristina and Lex started those topics on Chinese literature and Jin Yong, both of which can easily drag me into the open, kicking and screaming (ah yes, I do vaguely remember owing someone a reflection of my general opinions on Chinese classical literature). Kailing and Katherine always have neat entries on manga in general, 'though I don't always respond because I, eh, can't think of anything intelligent to say. Their blogs make mine look extremely childish and insignificant, really. ^_^;; There are more, but I don't think I need to go through every one of my blog links and explain why I read them. I only link people I read, after all.

Other news: Reading the Flame of Recca manga, and much to my surprise, found that I really enjoyed it. Initially I started collecting the series for Koganei's sake, and now the plot is an added bonus. The artwork still sucks, but at least it improved a bit, and Koganei is still as cute as ever. Also reading the Bastard!! manga, just done with the "Sin and Punishment" Arc and starting on the "Gospel of Corruption" Arc. Once again shocked by the drastic change/improvement of artwork. And Priya? I think I know now what you meant when you said Tenjo Tenge isn't quite Bastard!! in terms of random sex and violence. It was quite difficult for me to distinguish Bastard!! from an average h3ntai manga, what with all the...stuff going on. Then again, what did I expect from a series where the main hero (hero? villain is more like it) stalks around naked majority of the time? =P

~Joy daydreams about Soubi at 09:12 p.m. PST~

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=Chiaroscuro version 6=

Current
data: name (Joy), age (21), my want list
novel: Genji Monogatari, Nefer Le Silencieux
manga: Hikaru no Go, Tenjo Tenge, pPoi!, Flame of Recca, Kotaro Makaritooru, Slam Dunk, BASTARD!!, Asakiyumemishi, and more
anime: Gensoumaden Saiyuki, Mirage of Blaze
drama cd: Angel Sanctuary, Gensoumaden Saiyuki, Shiritsu Araiso, Wild Adapter
music: Sarah Brightman, QotD soundtrack
fav seiyuu: Seki Toshihiko, Ishida Akira, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Orikasa Ai, Hayami Sho, Inoue Kazuhiko
fav actor: Sorimachi Takashi, Ewan McGregor

Blogs & Journals
[*=married blog]
alternative perspective [jane]
angry babble [kris]
basic black [priya]
blackrose's journal [blackrose]
citrus dreams [rence]
copacetic [emi]
discordant [beccish]
ecchi pitas [nekojita]
encircled [charmian]
false impressions [lex]*
freetalk [katherine]
from the mind's eye [kouri]
honed [kristi]
illegible scibbles [steph]
in the tradition of lunatics [sarah]
isfogailsi [kristina]
jaded logic [ryuuen]
kittenblog [bonnie]
lime rain [tin]
metaplaxia [venkarel]
mondai nai [kailing]
mooncalf noises [mooncalf]
neutral unknown [arcina]
randomaundering [talya]
suzelog [suze]
xiola's blog [xiola]
you know you want to... [durendal]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
project d
slap to the head
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minekura kazuya

Site Info
Title - chiaroscuro
Version - 6
Layout - [under construction]
Created - 4/11/2001
Resolution - 1024x768
Blog - Pitas
2001 Joy