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The title sums most of it up. I’m not dead. The blog got pretty close to being dead, but isn’t quite yet. This translation endeavor, also, is still alive. And thanks in part to the little kick delivered by this fine fellow’s comment, we have a release!

Summer Specials 3 and 4 are the last strips in the long string of specials that go in between “Episode 12 (see it here)” and “Episode 13 (see it here)” of the original 4-koma-style strips. I’d recommend taking a look at “Episode 13” again after reading these two chapters since there is a little bit of continuity between the story at the end of Summer Special 4 and Episode 13.

As again, a reminder here that these strips weren’t released freely online, so if you like Hana no Android Gakuen I encourage you to support the authors by buying a volume (paper book and e-book). These are of course in Japanese, and no official English translations exist to the best of my knowledge. As long as this persists I will for my part commit to eventually translating everything in the first volume release – unless a much faster-working translation group picks it up or I get shut down by the creators for releasing non-free strips.)

Look for previously released translations in the category archives.

Hit the jump for the released strips. Like all Japanese manga, this should be read right to left, top to bottom.
(more…)

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Snowfall

January 12th, 2015 | Posted by Jason "moofang" in Poetic - (0 Comments)


Snowfall
spiralling, swirling dance
The warm, smearing cloud
of my breath against
the burning frost in the air
The yellow lamplight
dotting the snow-clad wind
whisper of distance, beyondness, flickering
like shadows in my crusted soul
but with quiet, graceful tempo
Amidst the smell of fragant cold
the sweet, stinging taste
of yuzu


Strung with thorns, this path we plow
Far as the eye can gaze upon
Lo what comfort, what joy to know
The road goes ever on and on

Onward

-Photos by JX

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Not an update worth writing home about, but an update nonetheless, with what little significance it brings. I guess this is a giving of voice, however small, to a defiance of sorts – a flail and a flinch that says I’m not quite ready nor willing to throw the towel and let the blog die just yet, notwithstanding the curveballs life has been throwing me of late. The great difficulty with the issue of blogging, at least for me, is that blogging – or more specifically writing – is for me immensely beneficial and stimulating, but also demanding of a synchrony of time, place and mood – mental room and solitude – that is getting harder and harder to achieve nowadays. One is tempted more and more to say “this isn’t working out, I’m busy, there is much to do. Better to put it down with finality than to have it forever hanging on my conscience – always desired but rarely reached”. At least for the near future, the plan is still to hold out somehow until the next time I am able to find the right spirit, topic, time and place to write a good blog.

… There’s still more android manga to translate too.

Anyway, back on topic. I had the pleasure of looking up the lyrics of this song recently – the second ED of that great series Fate/Zero. It was wonderful. Suffocatingly beautiful. Almost poetic. And as usual, not being satisfied with available translations that I’ve found, here is my own. Reflect on Kiritsugu and Irisviel as you listen – their romance and ideals. And then in the backdrop, the ideals, the passions, the efforts of the many other participants of the Fate/Zero stage – how they burned bright and intense, to eventually fizzle and fade, but not without first adding heretofore absent illumination to the Fate/Zero whole.

Merry Christmas from Between Linux and Anime. May the dream never cease to light our horizons, and may our weary steps thereto never falter for long.

Hit F8 to listen to it while it’s up (or play it from the player at the sidebar). Hit the jump for some pictures, Romaji lyrics, and translations.
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Originally announced (aeons ago) here. Not much to say but enjoy!

(Reminder here that this strip wasn’t released freely online, so if you like Hana no Android Gakuen I encourage you to support the authors by buying a volume (paper book and e-book). These are of course in Japanese, and no official English translations exist to the best of my knowledge. As long as this persists I will for my part commit to eventually translating everything in the first volume release – unless a much faster-working translation group picks it up or I get shut down by the creators for releasing non-free strips.)

Look for previously released translations in the category archives.

Hit the jump for the released strips. Like all Japanese manga, this should be read right to left, top to bottom.
(more…)

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Give Under the Dog some Love

September 4th, 2014 | Posted by Jason "moofang" in Anime/Manga - (0 Comments)

I seem to be doing this a lot lately, but I’ll make it quick this time :) Juuuust in case you haven’t actually seen them, a bunch of veteran dudes are trying to fund a high quality anime episode – in its entirety – via Kickstarter. That’s basically it: fully crowd funded anime, where creator retains artistic rights and freedom and is answerable only to the audience.

There’s only three days left to the campaign at this writing, so here are some quick pointers to what I consider the important bits:

Step 1: Watch the trailer

Step 2: Read the last paragraphs of the Kickstarter page. Just look for “In closing, we will say again and again” and read from there.

Step 3: Read Hideo Kojima’s endorsement of the endeavor.

Step 4: Read some of the responses in their AMA.

Step 5: If any of that spoke to you, throw some money at them. (ASAP! Campaign ends in three days as of this writing)

Pace of funding has been accelerating, with about 70k being pledged in the last 24 hours, so it’s actually looking like they may yet make it to the goal. Which is kind of crazy. It’s a tired rhetoric in this blog by now perhaps, but a success here will be quite unprecedented, and perhaps be part of the catalyst for an inevitable change in workings of the anime industry. We want anime to become more transparent, more accessible, more sensitive to the fans (globally!) and less to investor whims, so that’s where our money should go. Into the projects and ideas that are nudging the industry in a direction we like.

So how about it? Do consider giving them some love (ASAP!).

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I finished Fate/Zero some time ago and enjoyed it immensely. It was a very dense show with a lot of rich, inter-weaving ideas – so much so that a detailed treatment is probably an impossibility for a single post. But I still want to write a little on it, in part also to hopefully build some momentum for tackling more difficult post topics later on. So I’m going to focus this post on Saber – a single thread in Fate/Zero’s yarn, but one that is I think quite wonderful and radiant. Hopefully I’ll also be able to pivot on that to say some general things about Fate/Zero itself – the kind of show it is like.
(more…)

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Here we go! Summer Special 1 (originally announced here). Translating this chapter took more effort than expected because of the bizarre references, so I ended up releasing just one instead of two chapters as I had hoped to. Not too much more to say this time, so I’ll keep it short for once :)

(Reminder here that this strip wasn’t released freely online, so if you like Hana no Android Gakuen I encourage you to support the authors by buying a volume (paper book and e-book). These are of course in Japanese, and no official English translations exist to the best of my knowledge. As long as this persists I will for my part commit to eventually translating everything in the first volume release – unless a much faster-working translation group picks it up or I get shut down by the creators for releasing non-free strips.)

Look for previously released translations in the category archives.

Hit the jump for the released strips. Like all Japanese manga, this should be read right to left, top to bottom.
(more…)

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I’ve already mentioned this in my previous post, but there’s only barely a week left, and we got 40% of the funding target left to fill. Which is kinda sorta bad, and here I am posting another nag! So in case you haven’t heard, the gist: Some veteran animators and NPO Animator Supporters are running a Indiegogo campaign to set up low-cost dormitories for budding Japanese animators drowning in a harsh industry. Yes, for the suffering guys who make our anime. So if you’re a fan (or a sympathetic bystander) do trot over and give them some love – either in the form of a monetary contribution to the campaign if you can, or at least by spreading the word. Thank you! If on the other hand you feel you need a little more convincing on why you should bother.. well, read on :)

Reason #1 is in short that life is shitty being a young animator. But I’m not going to delve very deeply into that, and I will instead refer you to this post for a vivid and somewhat passionate detailing of the problem. I’m going to focus on another reason why I think you should be donating to their cause.

A good while ago I wrote a similar post asking for support for the Time of Eve Kickstarter campaign. Several other comparable projects have sprouted ever since, which is a good trend, but we need it to continue gathering momentum. Because a great disconnect has existed for too long now between the animators and studios in Japan and the sizable foreign audience of anime content. And with the age of the open Internet upon us, it’s high time we closed that gap.

Not too long ago there was still no way for overseas fans to legitimately watch anime without waiting months for the DVD and Bluray release. Thanks to the opening of Internet-based channels by folks like Crunchyroll now, this has I am told recently been remedied for American audiences (though where I’m from nothing much has changed at all). And I think part of the reason for this development is an entering into the consciousness of the industry in Japan of the sheer volume of audience they have abroad. It is a simple argument then: the more the Japanese creators are thinking about their potential consumers abroad, the more channels we’ll have to obtain them legally and conveniently outside Japan. And one way we can help hold and expand the attention of the Japanese creators on the foreign scene is, I think, by making sure these english, international crowd-sourced campaigns sail cleanly across their finish lines. To show that they work, that the greater world is listening and responding.

Aside from hopefully making Japanese creators aware of us, another argument is we want Japanese creators to be aware of the Internet. The old norm of making shows and showing it on Japanese TV, then spending a couple of months packaging the content into pretty but prohibitively priced DVD and Bluray box-sets and hoping the sales thereof will turn a good profit is a lumbering tradition that needs to be modernized. Platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter can demonstrate that, in the new world of interconnected computers, reaching a foreign audience can be trivial. And if you make something people care about and sell it right, money can come flowing your way – not via the arcane and expensive pathways of shops and distribution agents, but in a single hop across the Internet. Hopefully this will give way to new ways of funding anime, new business models in which the creators and the end-consumers are the primary determinants of how things get produced and sold, and eventually, a modernized anime industry in which the Internet is not a constantly looming threat of piracy, but a powerful tool for community and communication, as well as sales and distribution.

So aside from being about the dreams and livelihood of our suffering animators in Japan, this is also, I think, about change. About modernization and a stronger industry, as well as a more connected community and a more useful Internet. Of course, it’s only a small step, but it’s a small step you get to be a part of, and that you can help make happen :) So how about it? If you can, please do trot over and give them some love

They would be grateful for your help!

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Oh Mein Gott it’s been five months! I’ve been very preoccupied for much of this year (hence the long hiatus). Still, I’m glad I managed to get this out this month as I told myself I would. I owe this in part to my brother who has volunteered to do the cleaning – and he has done a fantastic job, putting my previous amateurish work to shame :)

This strip is Apple’s chapter, about the iPhone 5. In the manga volume I was sent, this came immediately after the previously released Summer Expansion Edition, although from the weekly ascii site it looks like it was chronologically released much later.

After this will come the four two-paged Summer Specials. Now that my life has regained some semblance of order (and with my brother blazing through the cleaning work), I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to make the next release happen much sooner than it took for this one to get out. I apologize as always for being so insufferably slow.

Reminder here that this strip wasn’t released freely online, so if you like Hana no Android Gakuen I encourage you to support the authors by buying a volume (paper book and e-book). These are of course in Japanese, and no official English translations exist to the best of my knowledge. As long as this persists I will for my part commit to eventually translating everything in the first volume release – unless a much faster-working translation group picks it up or I get shut down by the creators for releasing non-free strips.

And finally while we’re on the topic of supporting authors, if you haven’t already, please go over to the Animator Dormitories for Start-ups indiegogo page and consider making a donation, or at least help spread the word. Not only would it be cool to cultivate budding animators and help them live a difficult dream – I’m convinced it’ll also be good for us (foreign fans) in the long run if our Japanese content creators are more aware of us and think more about engaging us directly.

That’s it for the rambling! Look for previously released translations in the category archives.

Hit the jump for the released strips. Like all Japanese manga, this should be read right to left, top to bottom.
(more…)

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Or to most anything else really. So this is what I hope will become the first of a series of blogs documenting my adventures getting a regular KDE Plasma (desktop) installation to tango with an x86 touch device – common nowadays in the form of Windows 8 tablets.

On my Machine and OS:
My specific machine is a Lenovo Yoga 11s (Haswell version), so not fully a tablet, but convertible into one by flexing the lower half all the way to the back. I had initially attempted with fair success to set up a Plasma Active-based system (by using experimental OpenSUSE Plasma Active packages), and with the right amount of tinkering that actually worked very well. However I eventually bumped into a few insurmountable hurdles: for example, the inability to set up Chinese and Japanese input since Maliit (the virtual keyboard) was an input method and, to the best of my knowledge, not dynamically switchable with a foreign language input method like ibus. So when inevitable circumstance eventually forced me to set up everything from scratch again, I decided this time to start with a regular KDE Plasma Desktop (on top of OpenSUSE 13.1), and see if I can harness the inherent malleability of Plasma and of Linux itself to achieve an acceptably touch-friendly setup.

Anyway on to the topic at hand. One of the distinguishing features of most x86 tablet computers today is that they, being originally sold as windows machines, sport a physical “windows button” near the screen:

This button on Linux would be bound to “super”, which on most DEs makes it basically useless since “super” by itself doesn’t usually do anything. On the other hand, touch screens on Linux generally simply behave like mice do, where taps are clicks and swipes are click-drags. The right click context menu is invaluable when using a traditional Linux desktop without a keyboard, and yet there is no direct way to right click with a touch screen. So a very useful customization I was able to put on my system is to bind the useless “windows button” to right-click.

This is less trivial than it might initially appear. A major pitfall is that while “super” on Linux by itself generally doesn’t do anything, it is heavily used as a modifier key for many keyboard shortcuts in most setups. So we need to bind “super” to a custom trigger, while at the same time preserving its use as a modifier key so that we don’t affect the keyboard shortcuts. Fortunately, someone has already worked this out for us. KSuperKey was originally written to allow KDE Plasma users to open the Kickoff menu (or the KDE Desktop’s “start menu”) by hitting just the super key a’la windows, but the program is also powerful enough that it could be used to bind the super key to any key combination – while preserving its status as a modifier key.

So as a first step, grab and install KSuperKey, then use it to bind super to a currently unused key-combination. For example, to bind super to Alt + F10, run the following:

ksuperkey -e 'Super_L=Alt_L|F10'

You can add this to a script in ~/.kde4/Autostart/ so that it is run automatically on session startup. Now hitting the windows button should be the same as hitting Alt + F10, so the next step is to map Alt + F10 to right click. But how do we emulate right click in the first place? Turns out it isn’t half hard. Just install xdotool, and create a script called fake-right-click (or anything you want) with the following contents:

xdotool click 3

Give it execute permissions and run it and you should immediately see the right click context menu open next to your mouse pointer! So now all we need to do is bind Alt + F10 to our new script.

You may think this easily achievable using the built in KDE custom shortcuts control module, and indeed this was what I tried first, but it turned out that for some reason or another this wasn’t reliable, and hitting the windows button would sometimes bring up the context menu and sometimes not. A more reliable means by experiment is to use xbindkeys. Using it for our purposes is quite easy: get it installed, then create the file ~/.xbindkeysrc with the following content:

"/path/to/fake-right-click"
alt + F10

Then simply run xbindkeys. (Again, you can add xbindkeys to a script in ~/.kde4/Autostart/ to have it run on session startup). That’s the last step! Hitting the windows button now should behave exactly like right click, letting you do all kinds of things previously not possible without a keyboard and mouse:

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