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Old 2010-05-04, 17:51   Link #101
drobertbaker
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The character names seem very symbolic:

Watashi - me
Ozu - fearful
Akashi - verification

Ozu certainly does seem demonic in more than just appearance. Intriguing idea that he may be just a projection of the self (Watashi); a personification of Watashi's paranoia.

Akashi also? Was it really she who worked so hard on the big man's project and nobody talked to, or our boy, who again developed resentment at his perceived lack of acknowledgement and acceptance?

The creator's file at the end showed part of the dance sequence from Mind Game.
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Old 2010-05-04, 18:04   Link #102
physics223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drobertbaker View Post
The character names seem very symbolic:

Watashi - me
Ozu - fearful
Akashi - verification

Ozu certainly does seem demonic in more than just appearance. Intriguing idea that he may be just a projection of the self (Watashi); a personification of Watashi's paranoia.

Akashi also? Was it really she who worked so hard on the big man's project and nobody talked to, or our boy, who again developed resentment at his perceived lack of acknowledgement and acceptance?

The creator's file at the end showed part of the dance sequence from Mind Game.
Watashi is simply place-filling; the protagonist is essentially nameless, and the series is able to pull this off because Akashi calls him only in honorifics, and Ozu just calls him through second-person pronouns. I do think your hypothesis has merit as regards Ozu and Akashi, however. Perhaps these two existences are embodiments of his character aspects: Ozu embodying his fear and his retaliation, and Akashi perhaps his salvation - or simply him getting to know who he truly is - by her mere presence and friendship. As viewers, we are able to recognize that Watashi is full of intelligence and talent: the only problems are his ability to express it as well as his ability to socialize.

It is also telling to note that we are seeing the perspective of an unreliable narrator. As yet it is still quite difficult to tell most of the reality from fiction, although as Kaoru Chujo said there are some instances where Watashi's impressions are grossly different from the realities that surround him.
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Old 2010-05-05, 19:22   Link #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
The show is clearly based on the novel but presented very differently. As for factual questions I have some Japanese friends who _have_ read the novel to ask factual questions if I think it's needed. I'm not so convinced that reading it would really help my translation all that much in the end.

For example, I didn't know who the "shisho" that Ozu was supposedly visiting in episode 1 was and wasn't sure translating it as "master" was appropriate, so I double checked who it was referring to (It was referring to Higuchi) with them.
I read the novel before the anime started, it took me about maybe 10 hours to actually read it, but it stretched over a whole week because I honestly lost some drive during the middle parts where it seemed to become largely repetetive...something I hope the anime can avoid a bit better, but I fear that's almost impossible.

I think the presentation is not that much different. The first and third club are anime original constructs, but the events he goes through are the same as in the novel, they just don't go into that much details so far.
Spoiler for novel:

The only thing really different is what the fortune teller tells him, or to be more precise, the hint she gives him about overcoming his slump. I wonder if the 'colloseum' will be brought in at a later episode.

I still wonder if they plan to pull through with the 1 episode approach...it fit the stories so far, but the first half of the 1st episode was the beginning of chapter 1, episode 2 was basically the middle...so I wonder if the 3rd will tell the end.
Spoiler:


And just wondering, how did you translate the 師匠 after that? Because it is actually used to hide certain connections from Watashi and therefore from the reader, too.
Spoiler for novel:
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Old 2010-05-05, 22:31   Link #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chounokoe View Post
And just wondering, how did you translate the 師匠 after that? Because it is actually used to hide certain connections from Watashi and therefore from the reader, too.
Basically I'm sticking consistently with "Master" because I'll need to use "disciple" in pairs.

Teacher and student would be a bit off, and the "Master" usage has a sort of eastern flavor to it but is sufficiently vague so I think it's the best choice.
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Old 2010-05-06, 11:07   Link #105
physics223
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I've been re-watching the first two episodes for the third time, and there's a specific time when he goes back in time. It's 2020, or 8:20 in the evening. Look at the clocks.

As Quarkboy duly noted, there is a subtle change in Watashi's character as a reaction of the previous episode. I didn't notice it, but yeah, he does change. Very subtly.
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Old 2010-05-06, 16:23   Link #106
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Spoiler for Episode 3:
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Old 2010-05-06, 23:07   Link #107
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I haven't watched episode 3 yet, but this is superb. In every sense, there's so much to this anime, so many layers--it's saying a lot of things while merely hinting them. This is what good direction should be like. The small detail of Watashi's perception of Jougeki as mounted on a palanquin, to give a really minor example--and of course, what we can only suspect is the very nature of Ozu and, maybe, Akashi herself.

Quote:
To me, Ozu seems like a demon (oni) in nature as well as appearance. I feel as if the scapegoat aspect is quite minor, more an illusion he fosters than anything. He is really Watashi's tempter and enabler: he is the one who had the idea of the film against the director, and the one who did most of the shooting -- then asked not to be credited.

Watashi is a weak everyman, or at least a certain kind of everyman, one suited to a four-and-a-half-tatami room near KyouDai. The portrayal of that urban student hovel setting -- especially in the OP -- is so vivid. I've been there -- although not in Kyoto.

I was thrilled that there really was development in ep2: not only did he actually do something, negative as it was, but he came a bit closer to Akashi, as well. Or vice-versa, perhaps. I liked the minor bits of memory leaking over from the first iteration. Progress is possible.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Hats off to the staff, it's only been two episodes and I think they can't screw it up no matter what direction they take from now.

PS: And I have to say the depiction of Kyoto is beautifully done, even with the simplistic style--I've only been there a day yet I'm constantly reminded of it.
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Old 2010-05-07, 05:06   Link #108
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Didn't think it was possible but episode 3 is better from the previous ones (which says a lot for me because I have been in love with the series from the getgo). Especially loved the low-key conversation between Akashi-san and Watashi, which I think tells a lot about Akashi-san's character in a very unsentimental and subtle way.

The animation here was also eye-catching, especially the one in the end with Akashi pedaling towards Watashi in the plane. Really, really kinetic and vivid.
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Old 2010-05-07, 05:55   Link #109
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Personally i found the second episode the strongest out of the three, though i do have quite the attachment to directing, plus i adored Akashi's role in that episode. This weeks episode was still damn good. Even if it was obvious who Ozu was going to end up being.
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Old 2010-05-07, 11:01   Link #110
physics223
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The third episode was the best I've seen. Watashi was at his noble best, and yet it was still all for naught.

Here's my more extensive take.
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Old 2010-05-07, 17:05   Link #111
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I agree that Watashi was more sympathetic in episode 3 than in the two previous iteration. This time, he didn't end up dragged along in Ozu's shady activities, save for the very end of the episode. Interesting to note that this time, Ozu appeared once again out of nowhere when Watashi was losing his motivation, and he did so in a very supernatural fashion, though it might just be Yuasa's crazy directing. The big difference with the two previous episodes is that Watashi rejected him at first. His biggest mistake was to eventually accept Ozu's proposition at the end and thus joining "the dark side", which is what once again lead him to his demise. He was so close to escaping his fate.

However, if my theory (and I see I'm not the only one thinking that) of Ozu being just a creation of Watashi's mind is true, this puts things into an entirely different perspective. It would basically mean that Watashi was the head of the Cycle cleanup corps the whole time. Hmmm.

Let's see how the next episode goes...
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Old 2010-05-07, 17:23   Link #112
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
However, if my theory (and I see I'm not the only one thinking that) of Ozu being just a creation of Watashi's mind is true, this puts things into an entirely different perspective. It would basically mean that Watashi was the head of the Cycle cleanup corps the whole time. Hmmm..
Which would actually make a lot of sense, since he'd be eliminating competition this way.
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Old 2010-05-07, 18:31   Link #113
physics223
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
I agree that Watashi was more sympathetic in episode 3 than in the two previous iteration. This time, he didn't end up dragged along in Ozu's shady activities, save for the very end of the episode. Interesting to note that this time, Ozu appeared once again out of nowhere when Watashi was losing his motivation, and he did so in a very supernatural fashion, though it might just be Yuasa's crazy directing. The big difference with the two previous episodes is that Watashi rejected him at first. His biggest mistake was to eventually accept Ozu's proposition at the end and thus joining "the dark side", which is what once again lead him to his demise. He was so close to escaping his fate.

However, if my theory (and I see I'm not the only one thinking that) of Ozu being just a creation of Watashi's mind is true, this puts things into an entirely different perspective. It would basically mean that Watashi was the head of the Cycle cleanup corps the whole time. Hmmm.

Let's see how the next episode goes...
I was thinking about this one: however, what would have changed? Had he rejected Ozu, he would still have to face that catastrophe because it was altogether nothing that he did that directly caused the tragedy. It would have to be something more fundamental within him, not just giving up to the dark side. Had he said 'no' to Ozu, there is a good chance that he'd still fall into the river, whether with or without Akashi: the contraption was already located in a decline, after all. His acceptance of Ozu was merely the denouement that triggered his epiphany: he had wasted a lot for nothing, because he did not aim for what it was he really desired in the first place.

Your idea possesses credence and nothing's ever unexpected with Mr. Yuasa only that it's quite absurd for him to toil for two years only to steal his bike from himself and sell it to Higuchi. It is also notable that at the end of the episode Akashi does not lose her faith in Watashi: had it been really him, would you think she still would have chased after him and aided him despite her conclusions?
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Old 2010-05-08, 06:52   Link #114
MeoTwister5
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Well 3 episodes in it's almost getting pretty obvious that Ozu is, indeed, merely a construct of his mind. His initial appearance seems to be triggered by the first manifestations on Watashi's despair. However unlike an imaginary entity that directly dragged him down that road, his Ozu channeled what focus he can muster in the midst of his despair into something corrupted so to speak. Even if he isn't being pulled down into deeper despair, the energy to improve his situation that he doesn't realize he has gets pushed into useless endeavors. What a waste IMO when he shows flashes of brilliance and effort when he is pressured to, it just gets pointed in the wrong direction.

You could probably say that Ozu is another part of his personality, his "failure" self that causes his focus and intentions to go haywire rather than letting him find the better path. He finds more failure in this and gets pressured on down this path. A vicious cycle of sorts for Watashi.

What is most intriguing actually is that Akashi is in contrast to Ozu, to say perhaps that as an entity that influences Watashi, Akashi is Ozu's polar opposite. Whereas Ozu seems to have Watashi dwell on his failures and directs him elsewhere, Akashi has a persona that doesn't let failure, or the approaches of other people, afect her. In previous episodes Ozu had Watashi focus his impotent rage on less than noble things while Akashi in episode 3 helps him find focus as the "birdman" (WTF).

The best analogy I can think of is the shoulder demon and the shoulder angel. Naturally, Ozu is the demon and Akashi the angel. And what a nice angel she is.

Of course I refuse to acknowledge any possibility that Akashi is a figment of his mind. Considering that in all these resets they have always gravitated towards each other in one way or another and have affected each other in more ways than one, there is clearly something there that pushes them together, as if to blatantly foreshadow that that any possible escape of Watashi from his predicament may as well be centered in Akashi. Red String of Fate perhaps?
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Old 2010-05-08, 09:54   Link #115
physics223
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I disagree with you on that, primarily because I don't think that lowly of Watashi. Would he ambush himself and hide the bike he's worked so hard for two years and give it to Higuchi? Would you, after sacrificing nearly everything for something you've dedicated your life for, just throw it away? Ozu is an existence that is discrete from Watashi's. Touting him as a mere figment of imagination is just disrespecting Watashi's efforts in episode three, and removing the focus of the episode which was on misdirected effort. I know Watashi is sad, but he's not that sad.
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Old 2010-05-08, 10:27   Link #116
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Originally Posted by physics223 View Post
I was thinking about this one: however, what would have changed? Had he rejected Ozu, he would still have to face that catastrophe because it was altogether nothing that he did that directly caused the tragedy. It would have to be something more fundamental within him, not just giving up to the dark side. Had he said 'no' to Ozu, there is a good chance that he'd still fall into the river, whether with or without Akashi: the contraption was already located in a decline, after all. His acceptance of Ozu was merely the denouement that triggered his epiphany: he had wasted a lot for nothing, because he did not aim for what it was he really desired in the first place.
Yes, the contraption was in a decline, but it only started moving after Ozu cut the "brake" that held it in place. It might not have happened if he had tried to convice Ozu to not steal the plane. He could have also gotten off before it happened, instead of staying to help him steal it.

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Your idea possesses credence and nothing's ever unexpected with Mr. Yuasa only that it's quite absurd for him to toil for two years only to steal his bike from himself and sell it to Higuchi. It is also notable that at the end of the episode Akashi does not lose her faith in Watashi: had it been really him, would you think she still would have chased after him and aided him despite her conclusions?
I agree that Ozu not being real creates quite a few holes in episode 3. Stealing his own bike just doesn't make sense. As for Akashi, yes, I do think she's kind enough to still chase after him despite this.

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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
The best analogy I can think of is the shoulder demon and the shoulder angel. Naturally, Ozu is the demon and Akashi the angel. And what a nice angel she is.

Of course I refuse to acknowledge any possibility that Akashi is a figment of his mind. Considering that in all these resets they have always gravitated towards each other in one way or another and have affected each other in more ways than one, there is clearly something there that pushes them together, as if to blatantly foreshadow that that any possible escape of Watashi from his predicament may as well be centered in Akashi. Red String of Fate perhaps?
I was also thinking of the shoulder demon and shoulder angel the whole time, which I'm sure is what they're going for. That doesn't necessarily mean that they're just constructs of his mind... count me as another one who denies any possibility that Akashi is not real. In fact, I'm even starting to think Ozu is real too. Watashi and Ozu are tied by the black string of fate, while Watashi and Akashi are tied by the red string of fate... I like that.
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Old 2010-05-08, 10:46   Link #117
physics223
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Yes, the contraption was in a decline, but it only started moving after Ozu cut the "brake" that held it in place. It might not have happened if he had tried to convice Ozu to not steal the plane. He could have also gotten off before it happened, instead of staying to help him steal it.
The 'brake' that held the contraption in place was one of Ozu's grunts. Whether they liked it or not, they had to escape from Akashi as they did not want to be caught in the act. They would have left whether Watashi was there or not. It was a pretty large grunt holding the contraption in place.



That's my point. While he did capitulate to Ozu, it was more of the ultimate resignation, an epiphany of his inexorable failure than sheer wickedness on his part, something that was much different than the first few episodes.
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Old 2010-05-08, 11:07   Link #118
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The first issue I have with Ozu is that Watashi seems to be the only person who acknowledges him. Unless I'm missing something, no other real person seems to notice him aside from Watashi, and he conveniently seems to disappear from the scene with Watashi whenever someone else takes Watashi's attention. Case in point is the restaurant scene where Ozu conveniently leaves when Akashi comes to eat the food. The fact that big-chin god/person/whatever gets the bike, gets presented on national TV, that Ozu is the head of the bike snatching gang for vague reasons and conveniently decides to let Watashi take the fall knowing Akashi would see it is too much of a coincidence to me.

Ozu comes out as the negative personality which hounds a susceptible person when near success. While not a separate personality outright ala Dissociative Identity Disorder, but something perhaps akin to Fight Club. I forget what series or what TV show it was used, but in psychology the idea of a person so used to failure and so unused to success has a reactive mechanism of preserving the status quo of failure due to it being... routine or comforting. For "fear of success" or some such. There's a term for this but I forget, but my point being is that on an unconscious level there exists the possibility that a person unconsciously sabotages himself due to some deep-seated mental and emotional issues related with success and failure. As someone who's dealt with similar issues and has actual seen therapy I can relate to this idea.

It's not that Watashi consciously sabotages his chances at a rose-colored college life, but some part of him holds him back and manages to manifest and overpower his desire for success. It becomes a tug-of-war of sorts inside his mind, with wicked temptation in the form of Ozu pushing him towards the darker side of life.
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Old 2010-05-08, 11:27   Link #119
physics223
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Q

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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
The first issue I have with Ozu is that Watashi seems to be the only person who acknowledges him. Unless I'm missing something, no other real person seems to notice him aside from Watashi, and he conveniently seems to disappear from the scene with Watashi whenever someone else takes Watashi's attention. Case in point is the restaurant scene where Ozu conveniently leaves when Akashi comes to eat the food. The fact that big-chin god/person/whatever gets the bike, gets presented on national TV, that Ozu is the head of the bike snatching gang for vague reasons and conveniently decides to let Watashi take the fall knowing Akashi would see it is too much of a coincidence to me.
I'm sorry, but again, I'm going to have to disagree with your hypothesis. It is in utter discord with what the series shows us. Jougasaki is a real person, and he notes of Ozu as the one in charge with the sound recording in episode 2 (14:05). To corroborate this Ozu was with Jougasaki while Watashi was training to build up his muscles in the third episode (at about 15:00 into the episode). Your statements are mere inferences, but the fact that Jougasaki recognizes Ozu as can be seen in episode two destroys the foundation of your argument.

Also, in the first episode, Higuchi-san ponders whether to pair Akashi with Ozu or Watashi. (03:15) There are too many people that recognize Ozu's existence for it to merely be a product of his own mind and delusions. During the bridge scene at the 20:50 mark, Jougasaki along with a currently unknown character recognize Ozu and his misdeeds. Finally, there are more people in the bridge damning Ozu. Your argument simply disintegrates under the facts of the series, unless you would admit that Higuchi, Jougasaki, and Akashi are mere mental constructs of a mentally unstable Watashi.

And I disagree. I think he's a very pathetic character, and very sad, but he's not that sad or crazy. With that, I think you need to rethink your side.
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Old 2010-05-08, 11:30   Link #120
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If/When one of the other characters actively speaks to Ozu and confirming thus that he exists as an interactive presence and not as an as of yet vague physical existence then I'll resign my stance.
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