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Wow how far have I had to trim my ambitions for a Christmas release. I originally wanted to release two chapters PLUS an anime editorial blog in time for Christmas, but difficult circumstances as well as the decidedly higher difficulty of translating this chapter forced me to trim it down to just releasing this chapter. Believe it or not, even getting just this chapter out on time cost me some sleep. I think the result is a quality release, though, and hopefully that makes up for things a little bit.

There is quite a lot to say about this chapter. Firstly: Chronology and chapter names, which got pretty confusing after Weekly Ascii released a bunch of “specials”-type strips to disrupt their original, incrementally numbered 4-koma “episodes”. Only some of those specials are actually freely available online, so I was myself a little confused for awhile. Using the non-free manga volume given to me by friendly neighbourhood reader Elaine Nguygen though, the chronological order appears to be as follows:

  1. The first 12 “episodes”
  2. 4 “Specials” (Which I briefly mislabeled “Summer Specials” for awhile)
  3. 2 “Summer Expansion Edition” strips
  4. 4 “Summer Special” strips
  5. “Episode 13″
  6. New, apparently manga-volume-exclusive material

Of these, the first 12 episodes, episode 13, and the 4 “Specials” are all freely available online and have all been previously translated and released.

This release is for the first of what was originally branded as “Summer Expansion Edition”, and is also the first release of a strip that is not freely available online. This strip was originally published in a printed copy of Weekly Ascii, and is now also part of the on-sale manga volume (which contains all previously published material as well as new original ones).

With that out of the way, the next thing is character names. People have pointed out to me that the names I used disagreed with other online sources. For my part I have always tried to maintain a close transliteration of the names in the raw, but this will hopefully be settled once and for all now: apparently they eventually confirmed and settled on an official set of names, AND also published an English article which contains all of those names romanized, so from this strip forth I will start adopting these new “official” names in accordance with the raws.

Also, with the released strips starting to go up on manga aggregation sites, I will henceforth burn TL notes and credits into the images themselves so they also get transmitted when uploaded to these external aggregation sites.

Whew! That was quite the mouthful. Lastly I would like to remind you again that this is the first release of a strip that is not freely available 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.

I think that’s all I have to say. Hit the jump for the translated strips, and remember that like all Japanese manga, this should be read right to left, top to bottom. Look for translations of previous chapters in the category archives.

Pic mostly unrelated, but AIURA was great.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Between Linux and Anime!
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The Realm of the Fox’s Glare

November 21st, 2013 | Posted by Jason "moofang" in Poetic - (0 Comments)

One step into the fox’s glare
Then several more, as far as I dare
I leave the sunlit way behind
In silence in shifting shadows twine
Through winding path and jagged stair
Till deep in their enchanted lair
Pulsed my musing hesitation
My fearful, breathless, trepidation
From all sides the slitted stare
My melancholy, my soul laid bare

What is it that you desire?

To be of aid to fellow man
To seek, to know, to understand
A thousand more I daren’t demand

Silent words, like smoke, like foxfire

I held on to all I’d known
The conviction to which I am heir
With chill and wonder in my bone
I sought to sense the magic there
In freshness of the mountain air
Amidst the orange, faded stone
The enigma of a foreign throne
Filled me like a whispered prayer
As far as I dare, as far as I dare
Into the realm of the fox’s glare

PS: if you ever go to Kyoto, give the Fushimi Inari Shrine a visit.

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Episodes seen at time of writing: 4

It’s been a while since I’ve watched a show that made me want to keep on watching. The standard twenty plus minutes has always felt like a very comfortable quantum of anime to me, and I’m normally content to watch episodes of the same show one at a time – lighthearted shows so that I can take them in thrifty bite-sized chunks, and heavier content so that I can afford myself some time in musing digestion. Kyoukai no Kanata seems to strike a balance somewhere between both these worlds – serious enough to be exciting, but not quite at the density that makes it straining to keep on watching.
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If you use Konsole or Yakuake with transparency you might have noticed that Kwin’s blur effect, that has been around for awhile and that blurs the background of various transparent elements in the UI (eg panels and plasma popups), does not apply to transparent Konsole or Yakuake windows. This has always irked me a tiny bit, but when I discovered that you can blur transparent terminal windows on OSX, that got me itchy enough to do the token research.

The story is a familiar one: it’s not too hard just to GET WORKING, and patches to do it exist, however getting it to work in a sensible way is non-trivial, and so the patches are rejected and the feature itself is pending future structural changes. Basically, it’s not going to happen on it’s own anytime soon.

Fortunately, there are ways to get it working on your own – and they do not involve applying custom patches and rebuilding anything. Turns out there is a terminal command one can run to immediately apply blur on, for example, current active Konsole windows:

xprop -f _KDE_NET_WM_BLUR_BEHIND_REGION 32c -set _KDE_NET_WM_BLUR_BEHIND_REGION 0 -id `qdbus org.kde.konsole /konsole/MainWindow_1 winId`

And for a currently active Yakuake:

xprop -f _KDE_NET_WM_BLUR_BEHIND_REGION 32c -set _KDE_NET_WM_BLUR_BEHIND_REGION 0 -name Yakuake

Now to do this automatically so that your yakuake and konsole windows are ALWAYS blurred, you can simply add the following lines to your ~/.bashrc:

if [ `qdbus | grep konsole` ]; then
xprop -f _KDE_NET_WM_BLUR_BEHIND_REGION 32c -set _KDE_NET_WM_BLUR_BEHIND_REGION 0 -id `qdbus org.kde.konsole /konsole/MainWindow_1 winId`;
fi
if [ `qdbus | grep yakuake` ]; then
xprop -f _KDE_NET_WM_BLUR_BEHIND_REGION 32c -set _KDE_NET_WM_BLUR_BEHIND_REGION 0 -name Yakuake;
fi

Of course, this often results in the command being run redundantly, but that doesn’t appear to bring any tangible ill-effects. It all works well enough for a quick hackaround. And the results are delicious indeed.


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And these are it: the last of the Android Gakuen manga strips freely available online. I originally planned to close the curtains on this whole translation endeavor with the release of these last strips, but it turns out that a friendly neighbourhood reader Elaine Nguygen has volunteered to send me the raw strips in the first Android Gakuen manga volume, and so I now plan to work on those too, which means more Android Gakuen translated strips to come! Of course, those may not stay up as the raws aren’t freely available, so I may have to take them down if the authors/copyright holders complain, but at least for now the plan is to go on with that for as long as I am able.

While I’m at it I’d also like to apologize a little to anyone who may be actively following my translations for being so incredibly slow at the whole thing. Unfortunately this isn’t something I am able to fix, since necessarily this pet project must take lower priority to a lot of the other stuff I’m responsible to. These strips really should have been out two or so weeks ago, but stuff came up and I ended up swamped for quite a while and only managed to put everything together now.

Anyway, I’ll continue to do my best. If I can’t work fast I’ll at least try to ensure my translated strips are as high quality as my inexperienced self can make them :) In the meantime, enjoy Specials 3 and 4! Shoutout to JX for his help with the translation.

Look for translations of previous chapters in the category archives.

Hit the jump for the translated strip. Like all Japanese manga, this should be read right to left, top to bottom.
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I’ve had more frustration than I’m comfortable admitting to trying to get this to work – I actually gave up and compiled kvkbd at one point. Now that I have it down though it all looks infuriatingly obvious in hindsight. Anyway..

The problem: if you have the official Plasma Active 3 image installed and running on some device, and at some point or another installed/ran a gtk app on your system, you’ll quickly realize that the Maliit-based virtual keyboard does not trigger in your gtk app. That’s contrary to what was promised from the Maliit move! And in fact Maliit predates Plasma Active and should have perfect gtk support, so what gives? It turns out that Plasma Active only includes the Maliit input context plugin for Qt and not for gtk, and that’s basically the problem. (Presumably they decided to save it since the image does not include anything gtk)

The solution: You basically need to install that gtk input context plugin. What I did was I took the package from the recommended repos for openSUSE linked from the Maliit website (specifically this repo). The commands to run (as root!) are:

# zypper ar http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/M17N:/Maliit/openSUSE_Factory/ maliitosfact
# zypper refresh
# zypper in maliit-inputcontext-gtk2

And then update the gtk immodules before rebooting:

# gtk-query-immodules-2.0 > /etc/gtk-2.0/gtk.immodules

Note: Zypper will complain about different maliit versions and prompt you to fix by pulling and replacing packages from the openSUSE repo – DON’T DO IT! Just tell it to break maliit-inputcontext-gtk2 by ignoring some dependencies so you install only one package!

You might also want to disable the openSUSE maliit repo after you’re done so you don’t inadvertently pull stuff from it in future:

zypper mr -d maliitosfact

I’m not 100% sure pulling and replacing those packages will actually cause bad things to happen, but I’ve learnt by being bitten – painfully – multiple times not to risk these things if at all possible :) Anyway, the plugin in fact does work perfectly with the Maliit stuff from Plasma Active despite the zypper warnings:

Plasma Active Maliit Keyboard working on an old Fennec build

Of course, this all only works assuming you’re on an i586/x86 device. It’ll probably be harder to find binary packages for the input plugin on arm for example, but this should hopefully at least point you in the right direction. Perhaps you could just build it from source or something.

I know it’s probably already near the end of PA3′s lifecycle now, but hopefully this will still help some frustrated soul out :)

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It’s been a really long time I know. Unsurprisingly, I got busy, and the knowledge that Android Gakuen will no longer be available as online strips was basically fatal to my motivation for a long time. For those who are not aware: after 13 initial strips plus 4 ‘Specials’ that were made available at the Weekly Ascii website, the rest of Android Gakuen is basically print-only, which means that I can no longer translate and make them available here unless someone could provide scans.

I still however do get a lot of hits from people seeking Android Gakuen translated strips, so I’ve decided that I should at least finish translating everything that is available. So I went to work again, and here’s Special number 2! I’ll try to get Specials 3 and 4 done within the next month, and with that finally bring some deserved closure to this whole endeavor :)

Look for translations of previous chapters in the category archives.

Hit the jump for the translated strip. Like all Japanese manga, this should be read right to left, top to bottom.
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Ayase’s Farewell

June 25th, 2013 | Posted by Jason "moofang" in OreImo - (6 Comments)

Not cool :(
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So the indie filmmakers behind Time of Eve are apparently thinking about making an international blu-ray release of their excellent animated film, after fans apparently clamored for one. What’s interesting though, is the way they decided to go about this: via a Kickstarter campaign.

Why Kickstarter?

Yes, there are other ways to get a Blu-ray of the movie to fans outside of Japan. But, these involve surrendering rights to the movie for large swaths of the world, for lengthy expanses of time. We looked carefully at the options, and then looked back at the roots of this project. From the very beginning, we booted strapped Time of EVE, episode by episode; and the direct rapport with fans has fueled this project throughout. We decided to hold onto the rights, and see how new distribution technology, and now crowdsourcing, can enable us to stay true to the original vision behind Time of EVE, and reach out to fans directly. Is it the best way? That, we can’t answer. But, it the path we’ve taken from the start.

I think this is really quite cool. We’re living in an interesting period now where a lumbering juggernaut of traditional media creation/publishing/distribution practices is beginning crash violently against the open, increasingly available, and rapidly accelerating Internet. We could well be sitting on the verge of the radical changes it would take for the media industry to fully adapt to an Internet age. This change has to happen, because the most likely alternative is a terrible one: where media cash giants win their war against piracy, almost inevitably at the cost of Internet freedom. What Studio Rikka/Directions Inc is doing here is something I hope more media companies would do: refuse to submit to traditional distribution processes and instead seek new technology/crowdsourced-based methods of getting their work out to their fans. Kickstarter campaigns may not be the final answer, but it is a palatable enough start. One where creation studio and fans have more say and sway over the terms and methods of their trade.

So pop over and give them some love! Go over and read the excitement-suffused fan comments and the wonderstruck updates from the project owners. And if you can and are sufficiently interested – make a pledge and earn a nice reward! We who watch anime know how ineffectual the current ‘standard’ channels of anime distribution are especially for the international audience. This needs to change. The campaign has already doubled its initial goal amount in less than 2 out of its intended 30-day run, but we can make it an even bigger success story. One that other anime studios would hopefully watch and do some serious thinking about.

Edit: “UPDATE: The Blu-ray will be region free” \o/

About Time of Eve
Time of Eve started as a 6-episode ONA that eventually got stitched together with connecting scenes into a single fluid film. If you’ve never seen it before, you really owe it to yourself to check this out, especially if you know ought about Asimov’s Laws of Robotics and some of the philosophical ideas Asimov explored in his robot novels. Time of Eve is this studio’s own vibrantly illustrated, liquidly animated, and vividly musical little twist on that universe, and while it doesn’t try very hard to take its ideas far, compared to Asimov, it nonetheless manages to come off as very immersive, thoughtful, and at many points even endearing. It is perhaps every bit the beautiful, lovingly crafted modern reimagining fans of Asimov’s universe could hope for. I remember being blown away a long time ago by the first ONA episode and subsequently being reduced to a bout of embarrassing incoherence. In short, this is good stuff. Recommended watching.

Have a trailer if you need one

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It’s been a quality spring season despite a somewhat rocky start, and there’s been a lot to think and talk about. Way too much in fact. Even talking generally about singular shows – like about OreImo 2 – seems like such an impossibly colossal task for a single post at this point – halfway across the season. I had to force myself to make a focus, and after reading some conflicting opinion on OreImo 2 ep 7 (and the nth Kirino-hating post), I’ve decided to bring out my own take on the Kirino-Kyousuke-Kuroneko dynamic leading up to, and in the wake of episode 7, and fling it out into the chaos out there.

Hey, it’s good to have opinion variety, no?
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