Category: Ayako Noda

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…)


Kagakubu no Megane/Adana o Kure: Niboshiko Arai

img_5235 One of the things I was most looking forward to upon my most recent return to the land of the rising sun was the next volume of Ikazuchi Tooku Umi ga Naru by Ayako Noda aka Niboshiko Arai. I loved the first book so much that I was basically counting the days until the second one came out. I was even preemptively looking forward to the third book. And maybe the fourth. And maybe I was planning how I would read the series forever alongside my beloved Itoshi no Nekokke.

But then, tragedy! The story ends in volume two! I was honestly crushed. I wanted to keep reading about Kao and Ko forever, even if the story only hangs together in the loosest way. Start trying to untangle threads, and you’ll find yourself at dead ends. But Noda writes it with such charm and enthusiasm that she sort of pulls you in whether you like it or not. And her art! I could stare at her turned-up noses and blushing cheeks all day! And yet! It was all cut so sadly short at volume two. How would I go on, I wondered. What would I stare at all day?

So, as one does, I turned to the internet in this dark time. I opened Twitter in the hopes of coming across a particularly endearing picture of a cat or a dog doing something silly to lift my spirits. And I discovered something even better! A new BL book from Noda’s alter ego Noboshiko Arai! And then another one! Both coming out the same day! Even if I couldn’t stare dreamy-eyed at the dimension-crossing love of Kao and Ko, I could at least stare at some blushy boys getting busy. In glasses even! The world suddenly seemed bright again. (more…)

Ikazuchi Tooku Umi ga Naru: Ayako Noda

Noda_IkazuchiThe great thing about living on a mountain in the middle of nowhere on cat island is that said mountain on said island is in Japan, and Japan is nothing if not convenient. The closest bookstore is an hour away from me by bus, a fact which would have caused me no undue amount of concern ten years ago. But we live in the future now, friends. If I want books to keep me company up here in the wilderness, then I will have books. I will order all the books my brain desires through the magic of the Internet, and they will be delivered to me the next day by a man in a truck who somehow can figure out exactly where on this mountain I live through the magic of GPS (because, you know, Japan may excel at convenience, but it is not the greatest when it comes to connecting addresses with places).

A large number of the books in that first magical order I placed were for work—rather than dragging books I’m translating with me from Canada back to the land of their production, it’s easier to just buy the books again here and sell them to Book Off or something when I’m finished with them—but some were the next installments of series I’m following (NOZAKI-KUUUUUN!), and one was a random book that I’d never heard of before. My brain likes to mix things up. (more…)