Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Some Nifty Japanese Language Resources

Star Trek Episode Titles in Japanese at the USS Kyushu. The Japanese translators apparently decided that ep titles should be more like plot summaries. This loses the literary references, but does have the advantage of helping you remember planet names. Anyway, "Okashina Okashina Yuen-wakusei" does kinda beat out "Shore Leave".

The Japanese Horror Encyclopedia. Legends, famous writers, movies, and so forth.

The Japanese Page. A very good resource for language learning that doesn't forget fun.

Animelab has a lot of anime stuff, but it also has a really great dictionary, including kanji and hiragana spellings as well as Roman letter transcriptions.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Forgot to Tell You....

Case Closed, the US dub of Meitantei Conan (Master Detective Conan) starts tonight at either midnight or 12: 30 in the morning (EST) on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. (Depending on Cartoon Network's current mood, apparently.)

(12:30 in the morning, it was.. Let your VCR be your friend.)

Shinichi Kudo (or whatever they're calling him) is the brilliant teenaged son of a brilliant master detective. He's solving crime like nobody's business even though he's still in high school, and he's famous. He's also in love with his best female friend and can't quite tell her, but he's got plenty of time and a brilliant career ahead of him, right?

But in the middle of his latest mystery, somebody dumps chemicals on him that turn him into a little kid.

So he tells everyone his name's Conan Edogawa (after Arthur Conan Doyle and famous Japanese mystery writer Edogawa Rampo), moves in with his girlfriend's family and bumbling cop dad, and settles down to repeating grade school, repeated crimesolving, and the long hunt for whoever did this to him.

The anime series has been running for over ten years, the manga even longer. It's good stuff by all accounts, with enough teenage mischief (and yen for girlfriend) to keep "Conan" from being too sugary sweet. Oh, yeah, and Conan gets to solve murders. Heh. Sure beats being the Bloodhound Gang. (Especially since we were all reading Agatha Christie in fifth grade, right?) You might want to consider taping it for your kids if they read your mystery books, too. I'm looking forward to this one, even if they are changing all the characters' names.

Richard Biggs of B5 Has Taken His Final Bow

On Saturday, J. Michael Straczynski announced the sudden death of Richard Biggs, whose best-known role was Dr. Stephen Franklin on Babylon 5. Mr. Biggs was getting up and sank back down, never to rise again. He is survived by his wife and children, including a month-old son.

I know some of you think I am overreacting to the death of a celebrity by posting this. Well, apparently he wasn't a celebrity. I can't even find an obituary for him, outside of fannish sources and the websites of the actors. I am shamed by this, since he could claim Dayton as a hometown. But I'm not concerned by Mr. Biggs as a celebrity. I met him when he attended his first convention -- Marcon in Columbus -- and many Marcons after that. I saw him working hard at his profession, just like the rest of us do. More than that, I saw him glad to spend time with the fans as just another convention attendee, there to have a little fun and go to some bars and parties. I saw him play pranks on his fellow castmembers. Others remember seeing his obvious love for his wife and family.

We fans see many celebrities, but we do not usually get to see the person behind the persona. We felt differently about Richard Biggs. This is what I know: he was a gentleman I was glad to meet. I am sorry that I will never see him at another Marcon, but I have little doubt that he was as welcomed into his Father's house as he was into our hotel halls. I mean to keep him and his family in my prayers, and I hope you will, too.

Sympathy notes may be left for the family on this forum. Patricia Tallman (Lyta on B5) will be printing them out for the family and bringing them to the funeral services on Wednesday. She also gives a mailing address for cards.

Update: FilmForce has all the details on the memorial services and where to send memorial items, as well money for the fund set up for the Biggs kids.