Category: Brain

Random Anniversary 4: My Brain


Almost two years to the day since my brain last celebrated the end of a journal, a sign that me and my brain need to work on spending more time with our journal and less time on Twitter. But the gratification from Twitter is instant, while the journal is more of a slow burn, and present me always needs cookies right now, all too often to the detriment of future me.

What happened in these two years documented in a little purple notebook that I got in Singapore? Who knows?? The notebook in question is tucked away in my Toronto apartment, while my brain and I are here in Tokyo. Recent happenings that are most certainly included in the journal include interpreting at TIFF in September and for author Hideo Furukawa last month (reasons why posting here has been especially light), but further back than that, and my poor memory grows hazy. I was in Japan a lot last year? Maybe? I lectured a bunch of hapless university students in America about gender in translation? I had some birthdays and my body continued its relentless march towards our inevitable decline? (more…)


Random Anniversary 3: My Brain

drawings_and_paintings-brains-brains01Has it already been a full journal? The time really does run away like wild horses over the hills. This book is adorned with Hattifatteners, so I was particularly sad to reach the final pages in a Singapore cafe, but such is the way of the journal. At the start of every new book, we know that it must end someday, no matter how cute the characters plastered across the cover. (Cue “Circle of Life” chorus.)

The Hattifatteners have watched over me as I went to see them dancing across the page under the pen of Tove Jansson herself, or skipped off to witness the delights of Mad Max not once, not twice, but thrice. (And I just ran across the DVD at Bic Camera today, so you know what I will be watching again soon.) Those weird little white mushroom marshmallow creatures joined me on cat island where a lot of old people spoke to me in some serious dialect and I tried to follow along as best as I could. Trips to Tokyo, Osaka, cat island, Singapore, Tottori, Shimane, Izumo, Kamakura, Nara. The delights of new vegetarian restaurants in many of those places. Seeing one of my favourite bands both in Toronto and Osaka. Even the theatre on both this side and the Canada side of the ocean. Those Hattifatteners have seen me through some things. (more…)

Brain on Display


Deadlines! You guys, my deadlines are murdering me right now. I am working on a lot of really great things! That I can’t talk about yet! So you’ll just have to trust me when I say they are awesome and I am excited for you to get to read them. I’m also getting ready for my annual pilgrimage to the mecca of manga, which means I have even less time for chattering about all the books my brain is battling. (Don’t worry though, I always make time for my brain to actually battle the books. The books on the shelf of unread books won’t read themselves.) So why not listen to what my brain has to say about translating? I am “starring” in an interview over at Tofugu (and can I just say how much I love that title? It makes the whole thing sound super cute. Especially with the adorable illustration they did of me. Cute explosion!), so go read that. And hopefully, my brain will have new words about new books again next week.

Brain Battles Authors


TCAF is upon us! That magical time of year when artists from all over the world descend on Toronto to make our lives better with new books! So no time for battling books this week; my brain and I are too busy battling authors! Including Japanese guests Moyoco Anno, est em, and Akira Himekawa! All the fun is here! So come say hi and if you can’t make it all the way to Canada for your comics fun, then check out this interview I did with est em over at the Comics Journal. But be warned: It is very long!

Random Anniversary 2: My Brain



Another arbitrary amount of time, gone by in the blink of an eye! I continue to get older at a surprising pace! And I document this in a thing called a journal! Thoughts, feelings, occurrences, situations, circumstances–all of it ends up on a page at some point! Those pages build up and build up until I have a ridiculous number of pages inscribed with years and years of circumstances and occurrences stuffed in the back of a closet somewhere because what am I supposed to do with them!

Yes, it’s time to celebrate again the completion of another book, another tiny tome of my scribbly script, this one from July 2012 right up until April 2014. Some of the incidents documented therein include seeing Upstream Color for the first, second, third, and fourth times (I know I don’t usually write about movies here, but seriously, you should watch that movie. It’s really good), two lengthy trips to Japan (mostly Tokyo interspersed with jaunts around the Kanto region and brief trips to Kansai, Hokkaido, and Okinawa), walking the red carpet at TIFF (as an interpreter for what was probably the easiest money I’ve ever made interpreting), getting my heart broken by three baby cats, and of course, reading books. Reading lots and lots of books. 

And as with every little notebook my brain fills with scribbles, I kept a list of every one of those books (except for the ones I forgot to write down because I am a numbskull). So in celebration of this randomly occurring special day, I present that list to you here (in addition to changing the look of the whole place!). Like the last random anniversary, links to any that my brain tackled publicly here are included and the key for the secret codes following each title is right here. (more…)

Winners!: Brain

I Want a Love Story

Like all good things, the 801 Manga Moveable Feast must come to an end. And with it ends our sharing of favourites (but if you want to hear my actual voice talking about some of these favourites, head over to Otaku Champloo for the first ever Fujojocast). Thanks to everyone who shared both in the comments and by email! Now I have some new fun things to read. It was tough picking a winner to receive a glorious package of Japanese R18 doujinshi, but in the end, I had to go with the wonderfully thorough descriptions sent in by Jennifer about her favourite BL Tomoko Yamashita’s I Want a Love Story. I mean, don’t you want to read the book after reading this:

It’s an anthology of a variety of stories, most of them about beginnings of relationships – awkwardly confessing to a friend; awkwardly confessing to that seemingly straight-laced salesman, who turns out to be into BDSM; the awkwardness of having sex with someone for the first time. The titular story takes up the most space. A man confesses to his best friend, and is surprised when his feelings are returned. How do you convert a relationship from friendship into something more? (more…)

Fujoshi Revelations: Brain

moe 83077 100dpi code_geass katoh_sumio kururugi_suzaku lelouch_lamperouge male yaoiLast year, in honour of 801 Day, I posted this interview I did a couple years ago with est em. Since I did not interview another incredible BL artist this year, there is no way I’ll be able to top that (although I am working on it! Surprises in store, fujos!). But that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate this glorious day of perversion (a day after the fact!) and the extended celebration that is the 801 Moveable Manga Feast with all of you out there in Boys’ Love Town!

Because, you know, I live in Boys’ Love Town. As a manga translator, Boys’ Love is literally my day job. (Before setting down to write this, I was translating a rather heated moment between two rather heated men.) And as a translator of the fujoshi variety, I have read a *laht* of BL. The shelves of my office bookcase are stuffed with all kinds of BL with all kinds of kinks, from incest (I will never get on board with that one) to glasses (but yes to this one!) to reversible (and this one!), many of which I have translated into English for you monolingual fujoshi/danshi. Some have been boring, a few have been honestly awful, most are just run-of-the-mill type stories that I forget the second I’m done the translation, but a few have been really great and stuck with me, long after the project was finished. So in the spirit of celebrating the best BL has to offer, my brain presents to you now my top five BL translations. (more…)