Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tenma Chapter 6 - Merry Christmas!

Hey, everyone! It's Christmas! And you know what that means?! Presents! And boy, have I got a present for you guys!!
...What, you were expecting a release? Darn. Well, I guess I'll have to ask Santa for that one. Maybe there will be something new under the cut?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tenma Chapter 5

Ba-da-boom! Only 3 weeks this time! What a speedy releaser I am! ...No, but really, I should be able to get up to speed more or less after Christmas. Maybe I could even do a Christmas release of the final chapter of Tenma?!

Thanks a lot to Biggums for the excellent cleaning job, as always. Also, obviously, we won't be having Mahjong Day on Christmas Eve. That would just be silly. Or the next week, on New Year's Eve. And the week after that, I'm back in school. :( But we can probably do it then.

What's this?! Tenma is invited to the Mahjong League?! He is blessed by the gods to get the Dai San Gen hand often?!?! His opponent isn't someone hired by Hongou?!?!?! Yes, this is a major turning point in the Tenma series. I have no idea how it can all conclude in the next chapter, but we'll see.

Okay, first, a few Translation notes. The word that gets mentioned over and over and over in this chapter is "Blessed". The original word is something like "Fated" or "Destined", but the way it's used in context, those words are very hard to work into the story without sounding weird... so I just figured blessed would be a suitable alternative. Also, Satsuma's cheat actually has a name, "Surikae", but that's just a general term for switching items around without letting the opponent know. Funai calls his card-switching in Kaiji "Surikae". I think they transliterated it in the Ten translations as "Surikae", but I figured I already had enough Translator Notes cluttering up my margins.

Now, Satsuma. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is this the first time in all of FKMT manga that a character has recieved a traditional cutaway backstory? Sure, there's been little "Kaiji was this kind of person" flashbacks, but this is the first time I can think of where we actually have a story that takes place within the flashback. Regardless, he is certainly the most sympathetic character in the Tenma series, moreso than even Tenma himself. At first, I was wondering why Fukumoto was fleshing out the random opponent of the week, but then it became clear; he isn't just another opponent. He actually beats Tenma. The fact that he gives up the key at the end is of little significance... he beat someone who has won while being BLIND, for God's sake. Still, I don't think the ending could have been any better; he wins, but gives up the reward because the game would have gone to Tenma if he hadn't cheated. That just shows what a great guy he is. But still, I feel like it was more his luck that won; if the player to his left hadn't knocked over the Xia when he did, he wouldn't have even known to cheat in the first place. Not to mention that if he hadn't cheated, he would still have gotten the Xia, since the guy to his left would have called the 5-man, allowing him to draw it. But that might have made it even more discouraging to have won with an illegal Kokushi... his dad would never have wanted that. All in all, I'd say Satsuma has to be one of my favorite opponents in the series.

Tenma's role in this chapter was kind of... lacking, to be honest. He basically shows up, then it's Satsuma's show for the rest of the chapter. I'm glad it's not the last chapter, though, at least. And is it just me, or does Hiromi look way different now? Did she just cut her hair shorter, or did a lot of time pass since Chapter 3? @_@

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tenma Chapter 4

All right, sorry for the huge, huge delay... schoolwork, you know. But Tenma 4 is up, and this time, he faces off against the deadly shark, Jinnai! Thanks to Biggums for the cleaning job well done!

Also, to those who didn't know, no Mahjong Day today... I have somewhere I need to be. It could happen next week, but not sure. I'll let you guys know when I find out.

Ahh, another man in a Fukumoto manga stripped of everything because of Pachinko. What an evil game that is. Anyway, yeah, we meet another teacher at Tenma's school, and tomorrow is his only chance to impress the love of his life! So of course, he blows all his money on Pachinko and has to turn to a student for help. Luckily for him, Tenma is on the case!

First, a couple of things about the translation... the paper that Jinnai shows to Mr. Kamada was really hard to do, since it's written with the bare minimum information. Basically, the first one is how much money the loser gives up per 100 points he's down by at the end, and the second one is how much money is taken from the 3rd/4th place finishers and given to the 2nd/1st place finishers every Session. However, the Uma I put in is extremely disproportionate to the Game rate, since the original had only 10/20 instead of 100/200. I did this because the little part of the page Jinnai covers up with his thumb was the character for "Ten Thousand" in the original, but writing out "ten thousand" or "*10k" would require me to squish it down to a size that could be covered up by a thumb, so I just bumped up the part he showed Kamada by a digit so I could just use "K" for thousand.

Also, I couldn't find a suitable replacement for "Nimoupai" in english without making it sound as lame as "Two Tile Feel" or something. It gets explained in the little box, so I figured it was okay.

Jinnai is a pretty cool character; I thought his name was "Shaq Jinnai" until I realized that didn't make any sense. >>;; But yeah, he seems totally immoral, and probably became a pro because of his ruthlessness. The trick where he pretended to be considering a call was pretty crafty, though... I don't exactly see how it was dirty. But the rest of his tricks were crazy, especially the whole razor blade thing.

There were a lot of things that could have gone wrong for Tenma, like if Jinnai had played the 4-sou a turn before the 2 and 3 sou, Tenma wouldn't have known, or the player to his left might not have announced what the tile was he was calling. But it was pretty impressive either way, especially what his strategy turned out to be in the end.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tenhou Instructions / Mahjong Day

Okay, I tried having a Mahjong day a while ago, but only Biggums showed up due to what I have concluded is bad communication on my part. Biggums was the only one looking at my twitter at the time, and I was a bit unclear on times in the like. I'm going to try again on Saturday for me, which should be a bit into Sunday for those with timezones of GMT+0 or greater, at 12:00 AM GMT. I'm not gonna change that this time around, to avoid people showing up an hour late (Sorry, Osamu.:( )

Also, I realize that some people may have gotten lost when they looked at Tenhou, so here's a step-by-step rundown of what all is needed. First, enter the following link into your URL:

You will come to a screen with two blue links in ">>" bullet points. Click the top one if you would like the game to open in a new window, or the bottom one if you would like to keep it in the current one.

Ignore the adverts and click on the blue "サーバに接続 " (Connect to Server) once it loads. Be careful not to click on the blue link next to the english word "L O A D I N G . . .", as it will refresh the page.

Once you have, you will come to a page which I will show you below the cut.

The Cyan text is my added explaination. The leftmost button is your ID registration; click it if you would like to register an ID with the name you have in the input box to the right. If so, you can keep track of your records and such on the main channel. But you don't need to for Mahjong day; simply put a name into the input bar and click your gender in the tab to its right. The top option is "Male", the bottom "Female". After that, you can choose to play with "Premium" settings or "Economy" (bottom and top in the tab, respectively). It doesn't matter, but I always play Premium as a personal preference, as it has voices and cooler sounds. Once done, press OK.

This screen has a bunch of stuff that we don't need for Mahjong day; you can see if you're curious. The important thing is that the room we'll be playing in is Four-Player Open Tanyao, No Red Tiles, East Set Only, or the Second Row, First Column. We could also play in Three-Player Open Tanyao, Red Tiles, East Set if we only have 3 people playing. But I'm going to aim for 4.

Basically, click on the button next to the X:X (which will have numbers in place of the X once we get going) of the room we say we're playing in. If you're registered, you can talk in the chat window at the top left. But I should have a chat box that I'll link to on twitter going by the time we're all set up.

For the actual gameplay, check out, as he does a great job explaining it. Other than that, have fun, and please ask questions if you're at all confused!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tenma Chapter 3

Okay, massive delay, here. In case you haven't been keeping up with my twitter posts, a lot of stuff happened this month: My computer broke, my grades are on life support, the internet cable snapped for a whole weekend, and I had a bunch of choir commitments as well. I've gotten things pretty well back in shape now, but I'm afraid I'll still be slowing down significantly until this semester is over.

And now, it's a Halloween installment of Atsuize Tenma!! Wait, what day is it? The 14th of November? Dang, I'm late. Thanks to Biggums for the cleaning, as always!

'kay, let me just say right now that I LOVED this chapter; it was fun to work on and I would've easily had it up on November 1st if it weren't for my computer troubles. It's just such a nice little twist on the normal Tenma formula.

Akachi is such an enigmatic character. He seems like Washizu in that he has a ton of followers and is extremely experienced in the world of Mahjong, but he seems like more of a cult leader than anything else. And a strange cult at that; he seems like a reneissance Monk of some kind, with a christian necklace and all, but it seems like his beliefs are more Satanic in nature. I'd be interested in learning more about him, but that's not likely at all with a series this short and unknown. But I sure as hell had fun with his dialogue; I had him use "thee" and "thou", since his pronouns in the original Japanese are very archaic and sound like they're out of an old movie, which would translate into Elizabethian English. And I even went a step FURTHER, by having him speak and think in Iambic Pentameter, which is the rhythmic pattern used by Shakespeare in all of his plays. Each phrase has 10 syllables, and the syllables alternate in inflection (as an example, "defeating me is naught more than a dream"). Why did I do that? Because it was fun, and I'll probably never get a chance to have a character speak that way ever again.

Now, as we've come to expect from these chapters, there's a couple things that I had a hard time figuring out how to translate into English. The first and most glaring was the "Rod of Death" that Akachi uses. In the original, he calls it the "Shuranen Bou", which translates loosely into "Stick of Carnage". I considered keeping it as "Shuranen Bou", but eventually figured that would be confusing. I considered using "Hateful Stick" or "Stick of the Dead", but eventually settled on "Rod of Death", which sounded fairly cool and also worked with Akachi's Iambic Pentameter.

There were a few other things I changed, but they were mostly minor, except for the end of the chapter and what Tenma says. What he actually says in the last panel is "Those skills are weak when the opponent is hot!", which doesn't make much sense in English. But "hot" is intended here to mean something like how "on fire" is used in English, sort of implying that they're on a winning streak. It shows up from time to time in Akagi, and I usually translate it as having the "momentum", but I couldn't do that here. In fact, the word is also used in the title, "Atsuize Tenma!" meaning something like "You're on fire, Tenma!". If I'd translated the title that way instead of keeping it as Atsuize, the last panel of this chapter would make sense, and I could just say that Tenma is on fire. But I couldn't figure out a way to quickly wrap it up without resorting to a long explaination in the margins that would disrupt the mood of the chapter, so I just went a different route and went back to Akachi's speech about Dark vs Light.

As for Tenma's tactic, he really caught me by surprise. I never would have thought of marking the face of the tiles to mess up the finger-reading. It was a bit risky, though... if Akachi noticed the marks in the South Third Round, he wouldn't have called riichi in the Fourth, and even so, there was still the chance that Akachi might actually draw the 2-man that wasn't in Tenma's hand. But it all worked out, and tenma got a nice chance to turn the tables on Akachi.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tenma Chapter 2

Atsuize Tenma! Chapter 2 is up! This chapter has Cakes, Protesting, and Mahjong! What more could you ask for?

Thanks again to Biggums for the Cleaning! And read the chapter or be spoiled!

Yeah, a few notes on the translation first. I translated the term "Hanchan" as "Session" in this chapter, unlike last chapter where I kept it as Hanchan. I just felt like, since there was a term available that I could think of, I might as well use it.

The only other thing of note is Tenma's cheating technique for the final round of his match with Hongou; the Japanese name is "Tsumo Giri Henge", which translates most closely to "Draw-Deal Ghost". I considered keeping it as Tsumo-Giri, but I figured that would get too confusing, since "Tsumo" is used for winning by self-draw. Tsumo actually means draw, and the official term for the way it's used normally in english translations is "Tsumo-Agari", or "Draw-Win". But "Draw-Deal Ghost" sounded too lame, so I racked my brain for a while, and eventually came up with "Draw Switch Fake-Out", after going from Ghost to Apparition to Illusion and finally to Fake-Out. It still sounds kinda dumb, and I might go back and change it if I come up with something better.

Now, Hongou. It's a bit jarring to see this kid who looks way older than he is coming in after all this talk of teachers; you get the impression that he's a teacher who's just trying to get Tenma off the sidewalk, and it becomes especially jarring when he punches tenma in the face. But thankfully, he's just a kid, which makes the whole thing better. I'm still not sure if he's a High School or Middle School student; they never say for sure one way or the other. But one thing that's for sure is he looks a damn lot like Tonegawa. And the resemblance kind of fits, since he turns into something like the primary Antagonist of the series from this chapter on.

I like how we get a look at the family life of Tenma, and how the parents aren't shown. Kind of makes Tenma seem like the man of the house. But at the same time, his little sister, Hiromi, is responsible for getting him up and making his lunch and so on, which really gives a strong sense of family unity. Tenma really loves his little sister, wasting no time to check and see if she's okay after the accident, and getting revenge on Hongou for her scraped knee.

Hongou must be filthy rich and have money to burn if he has specially-made light-activated marked tiles when he's not really focused on Mahjong as much as academics or boxing. It seems like a crazy idea, but it could really work as long as the window is tilted in the right way. Hongou really undid his own scheme, though... even if it got dark from Tenma wasting so much time, Hongou seems good enough to defend his points for a round without cheating. Getting irritated about it let Tenma know about his plan. But Tenma's victory was well-deserved, even if it was very unlikely; he really did get the best of Hongou, once again putting his opponent's own trick against them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kaiji Chapter 14

And as promised, here is the next chapter of Kaiji in a timely fashion. I'm going to go and finish the rest of Tenma before coming back to this, since I'm really intrigued by that manga atm.

Thanks again to Biggums for the excellent cleaning job!

- Brief recap by Furuhata at the beginning for those who didn't quite get the whole balance thing. 
- Furuhata goes over why it doesn't make sense for Kaiji to play Mark again in his head.
- Mark figures out how the three came together and rationalizes that he won't lose to them because of it.

Yep, not a lot is new in this one. Just more of solidifying what we knew. I do like how well Kaiji is acting to make Mark think that he has no plan; His talk about momentum doubles as both a motivational speech for his teammates and a ploy to get Mark to accept his challenge. Other than that, not much to say.

Expect lots of Tenma in the coming weeks!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tenma Chapter 1

And the first chapter of a never-before-seen Fukumoto Manga is now up! I don't know how to upload it to Mangafox if it's not already listed, so if someone wants to do that for me, feel free.

Thanks to Biggums for the awesome job cleaning! This is really starting to feel more like a group, now, rather than just me... There's no longer any manga series that I'm doing solely by myself; I have all sorts of people willing to help now. Which is awesome. :D

Yeah, I don't think I'm gonna do the "outline of events" thing for this series; too much happens per chapter for a bite-size summary like that. Also, the pages are HUGE, much larger than normal manga pages are, and consequently the file size is a whopping 55MB. I might just trim them down a bit and resize them in a separate release so they're easier to fit on a standard computer screen at actual size. But I'm very happy with how clear the pages turned out; there's next to no quality lost from the original raws.

Now, a few notes about the translation and things I changed from my usual style. Normally I use more cursing in my translations, with "Fuzakeruna!" translating to "Don't fuck with me!" and "Kuso" becoming "Shit", and so on. But because this is a manga aimed at a younger audience, I decided to keep it more light with the language. "Dammit" and "Crap" are used a single time each, which aren't even considered swear words to certain people. Also, as far as Mahjong goes, I switched around some of the terms I normally use... I always say "Dead Wall Draw" for the tile drawn when a Kan is made, but the manga defined "Rinshan" pretty thoroughly in the margins, so I kept that in. Also, "Suu-An-Kou" got turned into "Suu-Ankou", and the same with "Chii-Toi-Tsu" and "Chi-Toitsu", because that more fits with what the names actually mean (four Ankou and seven Pairs).

Now, onto the chapter itself. Definitely wouldn't want to have Tenma's teacher... though if he was snoring really loudly, I guess it's understandable that she flipped out. But man, did she ever flip out. Two full workbooks is a ton of homework, for sure.

I gave the kids from Kantou University a sort of New York accent, and Yoshii himself a kind of Posh way of speaking, considering he does have loads of money and sort of fits the "rich prep" archetype.

Yoshii may have marked the tiles up to get an advantage, but there was still a lot of skill involved to take advantage of it; predicting that Tenma's 3-man would become a useless tile is still pretty incredible. Not to mention that he won two rounds without using the marks at all, and got monster hands in them. But it was kind of his downfall, in the end; he got so focused on taking advantage of his trick that he gave Tenma a free 4-man discard, which was the start of the end.

Oh, and Tenma pulling off a Suu-Ankou by taking advantage of a hole in Yoshii's trick: awesome. It kind of reminded me of Kaiji vs The Bog in that he got a huge chance without realizing it, but still had to have the guts to take the risk of it being a fluke. Definitely looking forward to whatever he does next.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kaiji Chapter 13

Due to the vast majority of people voting for Maximum quality on the recent poll, for the first time ever, this release uses the .png format for higher quality! Only it's still just a piddly 6MB... because I didn't realize I was supposed to use the "interweave" or some such function. I'll fix it next time.

Anyway, Kaiji 13 now up, and among other things, Kaiji goes and talks to the guy he wants to challenge. Thanks again to Biggums for the awesome job of cleaning!

[note: for ease of writing, I will henceforward be referring to the player Kaiji targets as "Mark" in this blog, because that's what scam artists call their targets, and also because it's a real name, which I find to be very clever.]

- The fact that someone with 5 stars challenged Mark to a match before this, which he turned down.
- Kaiji explains more about how they need to go about manipulating Mark.
- Furuhata takes longer to figure out what "Balance" is.
- Andou takes longer to unknowingly describe what "Balance" is.
- Rather than the narrator, Furuhata goes through why the battle isn't guaranteed to be won by Kaiji.

This chapter doesn't really add a whole lot, it just solidifies what we already know from the Anime. All I really got from it was a loss of respect for Furuhata and how he had to go through the fact that Money and Stars couldn't be a factor in balance. Of course it had to do with cards; this is a card-based game!

I don't really know who's the stupider of the two; Andou or Furuhata. Furuhata had to have the whole balance thing explained to him, but Andou couldn't put two and two together and figure out that his balance and Kaiji's balance were the same thing. I get that two heads are better than one, but I would think one head would be sufficient for what these two come up with.

So, I think I'm gonna be taking a shot at Atsuize Tenma next... it shouldn't take too long, since it's pretty basic, but if Yako's translation of Akagi 117 comes in while I'm doing it, that of course takes priority. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Akagi Chapter 116

And the stunning, divine strategy of Washizu's creation is revealed! Who could have guessed this unlikely twist, and will it come to fruition?!

Thanks again to Yako for the translation! As usual, read or be spoiled!

- Washizu's lackeys are bewildered as to what the purpose of his Kan could be.
- Washizu draws the 3-man with his Dead Wall Draw, and not a moment later calls Kan on Suzuki's discard.
- Washizu draws the 5-man, giving him a closed 4-man wait, but without any Yaku built into it.
- Suzuki calls pon on the 7-man Washizu discards, changing the draw order to make Washizu the one to get the last draw.

Wow. Just... wow. Akagi said that there was something about Washizu that was laying dormant way back in 107, but I never expected to catch a gimpse of it so quickly. Whether or not he actually completes this hand, he's definitely found what allowed him to win all these years, at the very least. First he had to figure all this was possible, then he had to draw the 3-man and 5-man on his next turns, and finally he'll need to draw the 4-man on the final draw. If he can pull all that off, it may well be the greatest feat of luck in Akagi since Akagi's win against Ichikawa. And that's saying something.

Also, I liked how the whole "70 discards" thing was a critical part of this, and it wasn't just shoehorned in to explain how close the game was to a loss. If you tried this in regular Mahjong, you'd run out of tiles before Suzuki's Pon.

Definitely looking forward to next time; it should be thrilling indeed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kaiji Chapter 12

Kaiji is back with a vengeance! He's kicking ass, taking names, and playing cards!

Also, thanks a whole lot to Biggums111 for the cleaning... he did a way better job than I could ever have expected. :O

In other news, I got 116's translation from Yako! Expect it soon.

- We see Kaiji tell the plan to his allies, rather than the narrator explaining it.
- Kaiji hears screams coming from the other room by means of an accident, and loses all doubts about what will happen if they lose.
- Furuhata comes to get Kaiji before the end of his opponent's match with 8 cards, and Kaiji commands Andou to make sure he doesn't play anyone else before him.
- Crevice-jumping metaphor gets expanded upon.

Yeah, lots of new content in this chapter. I found the screams coming from the room to be quite interesting... I don't recall anything scream-worthy happening when Kaiji is sent there in the Anime, so maybe there will be new content when we get there, as well. Either way, though, I admire how consistent the Anime was in their cuts; Kaiji's internal monologue doubting what happens after the game and Tonegawa's speech about how they shouldn't care all goes directly with this moment; the doubts are gone from Kaiji's head with that, but if it didn't happen, he might have given up when Furuhata came to get him, thinking whatever happened wouldn't be so bad.

Also, Furuhata's timing is a bit more rational here than it was in the Anime; he gets him before the 8th card is used, so that they don't have to worry about whether he'll get another opponent afterwards or not as long as they hurry. But it does raise the question of how he knew if the 8th card was a rock or scissors; it seems like he left before the cards were chosen. Unless he left when they entered the "check" phase, which would make the following events have to happen extremely quickly.

Overall, it's good to be back on Kaiji; Season 2 got me in the mood again. Expect Akagi 116 next, and then either Kaiji 13 or a new manga called "Atsuize Tenma", the raws of which were given to me by a kind anon. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Akagi Chapter 63

Last chapter of Volume 7, and only took a... week? Dang. Maybe getting into Grand Fantasia was a bad idea.

Anyway, despite it being the least popular option on the recent poll, I'm going to be doing Kaiji Volume 2 next... my partner doesn't understand mahjong but wants to read my work, and I've kinda secretly wanted to get back to doing it anyway. Sorry for all you Akagi fans out there, but I'll still be doing the new chapters when Yako sends me translations.

- Lots of metaphors, including rabid dogs, burning houses, and fireworks.
- A bit more expansion on Akagi's reasons for what he did
- Ohgi berates Akagi before coaxing him into helping defeat Washizu

Yeah, this chapter reminded me of Kaiji Chapter 6 in that I had to look up a TON to get any idea of what they were talking about. But I guess it wasn't that much, I just took a while because of MMO addiction.

I recently re-read the final arc of Ten, and this chapter sort of goes along with the morals Akagi displays during that part; he'd rather die than give up what makes him himself. I enjoyed hearing what Akagi had to say, and how the other two tried to counter it.

Also, there's a part that got added to the anime where Akagi smugly reads Ohgi's mind about his wanting him to play against the murderer. In the manga, he just looks stunned and intrigued, not to mention speechless after Hirayama's death is told to him.

So yeah, I guess this is a good stopping point to switch back to kaiji, anyway; Ep 14 of the Anime ended where Volume 7 did, and if I go another volume we'll be in the middle of the Washizu arc, perhaps even in the middle of a game. So yeah, good a time as I'll get.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Akagi Chapter 115

Woo, another installment of Akagi! This time, we get an omen of something to come from Washizu's hand... what could it be...?!

As usual, thanks go to Sasayaki Yako for the translation, and read the chapter or be spoiled.

- Washizu decides to follow his revelation and wait to see how his hand will change.
- Yasuoka draws the 8-man and plays it, expecting Washizu to win off of it
- Washizu instead calls Kan, much to his lackeys' confusion

Yeah, this chapter really caught me off guard... everything up to here was pretty predictable, but this chapter just through all that out the window with Washizu's Kan. I think I have some idea of what he's planning, but if he manages to actually do it, he really does have the luck of the devil.

Besides that, though, Yasuoka's dealing of the 8-man made a lot of sense to me... If Washizu won with it, he'd still be avoiding a Tsumo. If not, Akagi wouldn't lose any blood. This third option was just inconceivable... but Yasuoka really couldn't have avoided it. If he broke up his tenpai, there would be a very small chance of getting it back, and Washizu might have even won, still. Definitely looking forward to the next chapter.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Akagi Chapter 62

Another chapter down, in only 4 days. Still nothing really new, but the Cho-Han arc gets wrapped up nice and neatly, with no serious damage to Akagi's shoulder.

And good news! Yako sent me the translation for 115! Expect it soon.

- The pictured page.
- A half-page of Kuraishi trying to get Yasuoka to leave.

Yeah, nothing really new, here... I found Yasuoka to be quite badass in this chapter, really putting his detective skills on display. So yeah, not a lot to say.

Oh, and I've been translating Kuraishi's title as "Financial Manager" for a few chapters, which was my best guess based on the characters used... but apparently it means "Daigashi", or the Yakuza leader of Gambling Houses... I hadn't checked the Anime until this chapter, and they explained that. So I re-uploaded Chapter 59 and 60 with this change to his title.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Akagi Chapter 61

Aaaand we're back to the anime-covered content, explaining the somewhat fast release. Releases should be faster from here on, too.

No word from s3k70r regarding the new chapters, but I finally heard back from Yako, and she's going to send me 115's translation fairly shortly. So even if we don't get the 5 volumes at once, new chapters are on their way.

- The metaphor about Akagi being a helpless chicken.
- Some introspection from one of the guests looking on to the horrific scene.

Yeah, not a ton is new for a change. I liked the metaphor, but I guess they chose a good time to jump in with the Anime. I finally got around to reading George Orwell's 1984, and this scene reminded me a great deal about the suppression of ideals present in that book... Akagi knows that the dice are even, but if he wants to keep his life he needs to say that they are odd. But, in his normal nonconformist attitude, he would rather die than lose a game that he already very much won. It's kind of like how in the final part of 1984 (spoiler alert for 1984), Winston makes it through his torture by telling himself that the government will not have wiped rebellious thoughts from his mind when he dies; the thought cannot be extinguished. He can say that 2 and 2 make 5 all he wants, but in his heart of hearts he knows it to equal 4. Only, his very saying that it equals 5 makes he, himself believe it after a while, and eventually all rebellious thoughts are really erased from his mind. I think Akagi understands that actions influence thoughts in that way, so he refuses to allow himself to give in to the Kurata group and say that the dice are Odd. That would mean that they would change his thoughts in some way, not to mention that he would have lost the battle. (end 1984 spoilers) Besides, Akagi always has been tough and unyielding, and will continue to be that way until the day he dies.

Also, Yasuoka didn't notice the blood right away here, whereas he was staring at it while Ohgi asked him "what now" in the anime. Not really a major change, but kind of adds a different flow to the scene.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Akagi Chapter 60

And a new chapter in only... 5 days? I'm getting closer to my normal speed now, but who knows if I'll be up to speed any time soon. Anyway, 60 is now up, wherein Akagi is given the 1984 treatment by the Kurata Group.

Also, if you haven't been reading the comments on these blog posts, we may or may not be getting all the chapters up to v19 soon... s3k70r apparently has them and is looking for them among his dvd's. I'm sure I will not be the only one to fangasm if that happens.

- Akagi accepts the offer to bet all his money
- The Dealer suggests that Akagi do the bet prior to his roll, which Akagi counters by having a physical bet rather than a verbal one
- The roll is Even, just like Akagi's bet, but the Kurata group pretends it was Odd and tries to take Akagi's money
- Akagi gets the most pissed we've ever seen him, and sentences the group to hell.

Yeah, technically a new chapter, but all of this was kind of implied to have happened in the Anime, anyway. Well, except the betting-before-roll part and the 5/10 yen coins being Odd/Even. I think Akagi's reasoning behind the coin bit was that he knew or at least suspected that the Dealer could manipulate the dice, so obviously betting first would allow them to simply make the roll the opposite of his bet. It was also to make it unquestionable that he had bet on Even, even if it didn't exactly work.

The Kurata group could very well be the lowest, cheapest group of antagonists ever, certainly in the series. They lost fair and square with their own rules at their own game, but forced Akagi to give his money to them, anyway. I suppose this is the downside of having no backup, though, since if the Inada group had been with Akagi, it would be a different story. Akagi certainly thinks of this as lower than low... he didn't care that Ishikawa was cheating, or even that Yagi was, but this goes beyond that and into the "sore loser" territory. They lost, but still forced him to pay up. And he won't have it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Akagi Chapter 59

Wow, massive delay on this one.  There’s just a lot discussed in this chapter, meaning I had to look up a lot of things and slow down the translation. But it’s out, and hopefully 60 will follow soon after.

Also, still no response from Sasayaki about 115. I’m thinking she might not want to translate any more, or maybe she’s just going through some busy times. Dunno. But you still have me! You ALL still have me!!

- Akagi pwns some more, the organizers’ motives are discussed more in-depth
- It is revealed that the organizers can manipulate the dice up to the moment the cup is slammed on the ground.
- Akagi is related to the “Satori”, a mind-reader from Japanese folklore.
- The Kurata group has had enough, and finally takes action, stabbing swords into the ground all around Akagi when the guests have mostly all left.
- The dice-roller tells Akagi that they won’t kill him as long as he never comes back… and bets all his money on one final dice roll.

Yeah, this chapter didn’t exactly cover a ton, but at least we now know that Akagi wasn’t totally reading the flow; he also had the dice-roller’s mind to read. If you want to know, the Satori that he’s being related to is a human-like monster who lives in the mountains in Japanese Folklore… from what I understand, you’ll know it’s near because he reads your mind and repeats what you are thinking back to you. That sounds really creepy, to be honest… just like Akagi.

Also, did they mention in the anime the extents of the bet Akagi was making? I don’t think so… could be forgetting something. From the looks of it, the next chapter goes into all of that, and it’s very badass. There’s only a few more chapters of Cho-Han, though… I guess I can understand why they cut it out in the anime. But it’s still an intriguing section of the manga.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Akagi Chapter 58

Wow, this chapter was hard to do. Took me a good 6 days or so. But for waiting, you get 19 or so pages of new content! Lucky you! (Oh, and I decided to change the name of Odds & Evens to Cho-Han, to avoid confusion with this other game called Odds & Evens.)

Also, I've emailed Sasayaki about Akagi 115, but she hasn't responded. Stay tuned.

- Talk of Akagi's real motives
- Talk of Akagi's being like the hottest of hot fires
- Talk of where Washizu got his money
- Talk about Ohgi's part in the scheme
- Yasuoka's talk about his own gamble with Akagi
- Cho-Han in its full.

Okay, lots of new content in this one. Before we get to the really juicy part, lemme go in order through the first parts. First, Akagi's supposed desire for death is touched upon by Yasuoka. This is brought up again and again in the later parts, but it's interesting to see it foreshadowed as far back as here, and probably even further back if we want to look at it. The fire metaphor was okay, but I felt like it was unnecessary. Something important that's new to this chapter is how Washizu got his money; through his consultancy firm. This probably does get expanded on later, but it was interesting that they cut it out. The Inada group does sort of just appear out of practically nowhere in the anime, so it was good that there was some buildup here. Yasuoka seems more reckless in the manga, since he's ready to just jump in and seal the deal without even knowing if the man in Chiba is Akagi or not. Maybe Akagi's gambling instincts got to him.

And of course, Cho-Han. I can't believe they cut out so much of this in the Anime, it is badass to extremities. I thought Akagi's victory against Ichikawa was unlikely, but the odds of him being undefeated for however long he's been doing it are insanely low. Every match doubles the denominator. There's no way around him having some kind of divine gift at this point; he can see the future. And what's more badass is how it's supposed to be a player vs player game, but he takes the battle to the organizers. Looking forward to what happens next.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Akagi Chapter 57

Last update of August, but the first chapter of the Washizu Arc! This took me close to a week to fully translate and edit, just because of the sheer density of the pages and the fact that whole chunks of it got skipped over by the anime. But nonetheless, I've got it out, and will be working on 58. No translation of 115 yet, sorry to say.

- We learn the name of the guy who finds Yukio's body: "Asanuma Kouichi"
- More expansion on why Asanuma chose to investigate the people in the forest.
- The idea of keeping the Autopsy results a secret from the public, which fails.
- More explanation on Yasuoka's relationship to Yukio.
- A few moments in Yasuoka and Ohgi's meeting

Whoa, a whole chapter without Akagi! Well, he's on the cover, and gets mentioned at the end... but that hardly counts. A lot of the stuff that got cut out in the anime was pretty reasonable; we didn't need to know how much of a grudge Asanuma had against the trash-dumpers, nor did we need the longer explanation of who the corpse was. But there are some things that were important, most of which were in the meeting at the end... the manga explains that Ohgi and the Inada group were simply doing business by getting free labor in exchange for a little gamble, whereas the Anime sort of skipped over with that, leaving an impression that Ohgi was the one who'd kidnapped Yukio and all that.

Also, by my count, Yasuoka's partner says "Senpai" 5 times here, whereas he only said it once in the Anime. He's also a bit more serious and talks on equal terms to Yasuoka in the Anime, whereas in the Manga he's more submissive. But that's nothing new; the anime makes Yasuoka and Ohgi less shout-y and cowardly during Washizu Mahjong.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Akagi Chapter 114

All right! New Akagi! This time, we find out what will happen now that Washizu can no longer draw a ton...!

- Akagi breaks up his Tenpai to avoid dealing the ton, and is thus out of the game.
- The rules for deciding a draw are discussed in more detail
- Yasuoka deals a risky tile to avoid being in Noten if the game is a draw.
- Washizu is about to Riichi, but something tells him to hold off on it...!

Wow, 2 discards got made this chapter! Heh, but really, it was interesting to hear the three players' rationale. I liked the explanation on draws, as well, since that was something I'd been wondering for a while about Washizu Mahjong. Not much to say, I guess... Good chapter, though.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Akagi Chapter 113

As promised, here's chapter 113, in record time! ...-ish. By my records. Which I make up daily. In any event, the round heats up some more, and it ends with one of the players in a bit of a pickle!

Also, I'm planning on having the Mahjong Day at this Saturday, at 11:00 PM GMT. Kind of early for the Americans, but it should work overall. Yell at me if you can't make it in time.

- Washizu deals the 3-pin from his tenpai, but does not riichi, as his hand can still grow.
- Ohgi remarks at how strange it is for him to be in tenpai without Riiching.
- Akagi draws Washizu's winning tile, the Ton, with a notable lack of Zawas.

Yeah, I think I said something about a lot happening in these chapters. Well, it felt like a lot happened, but looking on it now, it was mostly Washizu and Ohgi analyzing the situation. Still entertaining, but I'm seeing where the copious amounts of padding are kicking in.

Personally, I thought of the Suu An Kou thing back in 112 when I saw his tenpai... but apparently that's not what he's waiting for, so I can't take any credit. I do like how close to real-time this is, even if that makes it slow... I imagine Washizu and Ohgi really would be having internal monologues to help calm themselves down at this point.

In other news, I've decided to work on the earlier chapters of Akagi in between translations of the later ones, but the later ones still take priority. No new translations at present, but it shouldn't be long until 114.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Akagi Chapter 112

Bam! New Akagi in 2 days! Well, it may have helped that Sasayaki Yako did all the translating for me. And that she's generally awesome to work with all around. But in any event, the exciting start of the East 4th Round is now upon us!

Oh, and I'm thinking of doing a Mahjong day on on the weekend; I'm not sure what time zones you guys have, so if you want to play with us, leave a comment saying what times would work for you, and I'll  work out the best time based on that. ^^

- The players get their starting hands, Akagi's being of a higher "Shan Ten" than Washizu's by a long shot.
- Ohgi feels confident they've won the round, but Akagi senses something unusual. The round is a "Toitsu-Ba", and his hand is primarily sequences.
- As Akagi suspected, Washizu's Ton gets paired up. Akagi and Yasuoka get into Tenpai, but Washizu follows them there in only a few turns.

You know, I thought that most of these chapters would have lots of padding and suspense to them to stretch a few rounds over 12 volumes, but I'm happy to say that, from these last couple chapters at least, there's a good amount of stuff happening in each one. It's not as jam-packed full of gameplay per chapter as the Nakai arc, for sure, but that allows for more introspection and twists within a single round.

Also, is this the first time in the whole series that we've gotten to hear Akagi's thoughts during the game? Well, besides Chapter 107 where he just thinks about how much he's dominating... This actually goes through what he has to consider and where the danger lies. I think we get to hear Yasuoka's thoughts in the next chapter... so after that, will we hear Suzuki's? That would make it so we've heard every named character's thoughts in the room. That's just cool to me for some reason.

As for the game itself, Akagi seems to have his finger on the pulse of the game no matter what, so he can tell where the flow is going... it's not just reading people, he can read inanimate objects and theoretical concepts! It's only because of Washizu's luck that he is in any sort of danger. Should be an exciting round.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Akagi Chapter 56

And the final chapter of the Nakai arc is up, just in time to entirely miss the weekend rush! This one was probably the best of the whole arc, resolving the whole arc, as well as Osamu and Akagi's relationship, very nicely.

Also, I should point out that there are probably a number of polls on the sidebar by this point, but the first one is the one I'm really interested in; what I should do after this if I have time in between Yako's translations. I'm interested in starting some other manga, but you might want to have the gaps filled in in Akagi first.

As usual, and especially for this chapter, read it or be spoiled!

-Nakai changes up the signals to his partners, but still loses the South 2nd and 3rd rounds.
-Nakai gets a Baiman hand in the South Fourth, but Akagi puts a stop to it by turning his own signals against him.
-Akagi gives Osamu his money back and walks away into the night.
-Nakai explains to Osamu why he can't go with Akagi; they are too different.

If there's one thing this arc did as a whole, it was wrap up the Urabe arc... Now we know why Akagi didn't stick around with Osamu. But I still feel kind of sad that he did leave Osamu... I think he had a real connection, but Osamu is the first person that he's ever done so with, so he doesn't know how to handle it and just leaves without saying good-bye, like he's done his whole life to that point. It makes me wonder if they ever met up again in the over 20 years between the presumed end of Akagi and the start of Ten... accidentally or otherwise. Akagi definitely changed Osamu's life, and probably felt good about himself for doing it... which helps to explain why he's more sociable by the time we see him in Ten.

As for Nakai himself, I found him a morally unethical person for the most part, but the final pages of this chapter made me have a bit of respect for him... he lost all the money he has, but he doesn't break down and cry, he takes it like a man and licks his wounds. I do get why he cheated, since he had to have a backup plan and stuff, but it makes him seem really rotten after all that talk about Akagi being nothing but a cheater. A good antagonist overall, and helped to show how little hustling would work on Akagi.

As for the 3 rounds covered in the chapter, Akagi definitely fulfilled his promise to Osamu that he'd go on a winning streak; the only round in the South set he lost was his turn as dealer, and that helped speed things along anyway. Nakai was already defeated in Chapter 55, looking back... but it was totally badass that Akagi figured out their new signals without really needing to at any point. Nakai lost the South Fourth Round as soon as he got into Tenpai; that 1-man single wait required that he either play it himself to change up his wait or have his Right-Hand ally play it, allowing Akagi to Atama Hane.

Overall, a very worthwhile arc, IMO. I think Madhouse should do an OVA of it at least, if they don't use it as "Flashback Filler" sometime in Season 2 of the anime. It really gave some depth to Akagi's character that we didn't have before, and resolved the Urabe arc nicely.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Akagi Chapter 55

Whoo, School takes a lot of energy... I feel like I took a long time on this chapter, but maybe it wasn't all that long, seeing how it was only 4 days. But anyway, 55 is up, and Nakai is beginning to feel the heat, even with his advantage. As always, read the chapter or be spoiled!

- Akagi explains to Osamu how Nakai and his friends are cheating, while picking up his favorite brand of cigarettes.
- We hear Osamu explain the signals that Nakai and pals use as they happen.
- Nakai wins a hand off his Rightmost buddy and smugly states that he's catching up to Akagi.
- Nakai gets another hand from his Rightmost buddy, but is Atama Hane'd. He suspects that Akagi figured out the signals, but can't believe that he could have done it so fast.
- After winning a cheap hand and advancing to the South Set, Nakai gets his leftmost buddy to deal in to avoid an Atama Hane again, but Akagi stops it by forcing him to take a cheap direct hit instead.
- Nakai has had it, and takes his Allies to the bathroom to change their signals.

Akagi is such a beast. What's his reaction to having to fight 3v1? "I'm up against 3 amateurs... I'll take them apart quick." I've read ahead, so I won't spoil anything, but the next chapter is freaking amazingly badass. As was this chapter... pretty much any time there's an Atama Hane, it's badass to the extreme.

Also, I like how Nakai doesn't know his own teammates' names. It's like he has a whole closet full of partners and these two were just the first he grabbed. They have names, man! Unless they actually are "Kami Cha" and "Shimo Cha" (the japanese names for the seats on either side of you)... which would make you wonder what their parents were thinking. Also, the Left one, at least, seems quite dumb from what Nakai says... if he couldn't recognize that there are certain times not to follow orders (and wait to deal the 9-pin when the turn comes back around), he really is an amateur. Or maybe Nakai was also worried about Akagi getting a tsumo on his next turn. But I don't like the generic-ness of these partners either way.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Akagi Chapter 54

And the thrilling 54th chapter of Akagi is now up! And I'm starting school tomorrow! So I'll probably be slowing down a little bit just 'cause of the added schoolwork and stuff.

In other news, with an overwhelming majority for the option on the poll, I've decided to finish the Nakai arc before I work on Sasayaki's translations. It doesn't go on for much longer, now that I look at it... a really short arc, but entertaining nonetheless.

Finally, the Mediafire version of Chapter 54 has a bit of bonus content from the volume that you can't see on Mangafox (you can also get it in the Volume 6 zip, though). There's an advert for the Live Action version of Akagi, as well as one for a cool-looking manga called "Teppen", which is also about Mahjong. Maybe we'll get it translated someday. Dunno.

-After losing two more hands to Akagi, Nakai wins a quick hand to end his reign of dealership.
-Nakai goes on to win three more hands, one by Tsumo and one a Direct Hit Dealer Mangan from Akagi.
-Akagi excuses himself to go buy some more cigarettes, and tells Osamu to fill in for him. Nakai refuses to play Osamu, and insists that they come back quickly.
-Akagi explains that Nakai is cheating with the help of the other two at the table; it's 3-against-1.
-Akagi goes through the first hand Nakai won using cute chalk drawings.

Yeah, remember when I guessed that Nakai was more of a hustler than an actual gambler? Well, look who was right. The average person (aka Osamu) would get torn apart by this combination play... It should be quite the feat for Akagi to beat Nakai at his own game in these next couple chapters.

Also, Akagi using chalk drawings to explain the game to Osamu. There's no need to do it... Osamu remembers well enough, and we get the full shot of the hand to look at. We also have no idea where he got this chalk; it just appears out of nowhere. Apparently, he just found some chalk, and decided "hey, I could use this". Or maybe there were some kids nearby who were scared off by his being Akagi. Who knows. But one thing that's for sure is that the way he draws the 1-pin is really cute. It's just... a circle with a "1" in it. Granted, no one ever said he was an artist, but still... that's one for the fandom alongside the Monkey Toys at the factory he was in, and Yukio's arms sticking out of the ground. I demand to see it in AMVs of akagi from now on!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Akagi Chapter 111

And the Washizu arc continues! As I mentioned, a big thanks to Sasayaki Yako for doing the translation so quickly. FKMTkrazy is now our group name, so there's no need to change everything around on my twitter and stuff. Which makes me Sonickrazy again. Yay!

Also, I've re-organized the Washizu section of my mediafire so there's not a huge gap in between 107 and 111. Part 1 is of everything in the Anime, Part 2 is of the 5th Hanchan, and if we get to it, Part 3 will be of the 6th. I may add a part 1.5 if it gets too crowded in Part 1, but it should make it easier to navigate.

Finally, I have a poll on the sidebar where you can give me feedback as to how I should balance doing the two arcs at the same time. I don't want to give up the Nakai arc entirely, but I put that as an option to get some feedback as to how many people are interested in it.

- Washizu rants to himself about how he needs to Tsumo to fight Akagi
- Washizu gets a Chii Toi Tsu tenpai, and chooses the hand more likely for a tsumo over that where a Ron is possible.
- Akagi deals into Yasuoka's hand to stop Washizu's Riichi
-Washizu makes another Chii Toi Tsu, but is stopped by Akagi's hand, which has the exact same number of outs.

Wow, lots happens in this one. Washizu definitely has the right idea with his Tsumos; Akagi will never deal in if it's not beneficial to him. Other than that, not much to say, this was just a very busy chapter that leads up to future badassery and tension.

Also, I realize that some of you have read the spoilers of the chapters to come, but I haven't, so please try and keep them out of the comments section. I don't like to read spoilers if I can avoid it; it just feels like taking all the tension out of the manga and getting instant gratification when the whole point of the manga IS tension... but yeah, I guess it's up to you whether you read them or not.

Currently, I'm planning to get Akagi 54 out next... if you think that's a bad idea, yell at me and I'll just release it whenever I get a chance to come back to Nakai.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Akagi Chapter 53

And a sparkly new chapter of Akagi is up, right on time! Lots and lots happens in this one... I'm surprised I did it as fast as I did. As always, read the chapter first, or be spoiled!

- Nakai agrees to bet an arm on the match... which then turns into all his money.
- Nakai convinces Akagi to battle him and sets the rules
- Akagi bets Osamu's paycheck and all the money in his pockets, and doesn't mind that Nakai's share is significantly smaller than his
- Nakai gets suspicious of foul play, so he takes them to a different Mahjong Parlor
- Akagi wipes the floor with Nakai in the first Renchan of the match, and claims he'll finish Nakai off in the East First Round.

Yeah, Nakai's a shady little guy. You can tell he has something up his sleeve, but you can't really pinpoint what it is from the information provided... though I noticed that Akagi's expression changed from a disinterested scowl to an intrigued grin on page 185... right when Nakai asked him to choose a mahjong parlor. Maybe that has something to do with what his so-called "backup plan" is. I think Akagi knows, and is threatening to finish him off quick if he doesn't use it. Should be fun to see.

You've gotta love how willing Akagi is to gamble with money that isn't really his. He doesn't even take it back when the .5 Million he had in his pockets is shown to be more than enough to match what Nakai has. Just goes to show how confident he is that he'll win. Something else that gets characterized further in this chapter is Akagi's "life before living" theme... normal people would take their money down to where Nakai's is to avoid risking their whole life, but not Akagi. He keeps it up at 1.5 Mil because he wants to have an exciting battle, even though he could be at an advantage. And that's why he's cool.

EDIT: Forgot to mention... Osamu is really turning into the comic relief, isn't he? There was just that one moment in the Urabe arc where he got manhandled by Ishikawa, but now he's getting the short end of the stick with Akagi, too... though you've gotta love how he reacted to Akagi saying he wanted to fight. Made me chuckle a bit when I was translating it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Akagi Chapter 100

A bit of a surprise release here, unless you've been stalking my mangafox account... Sasayaki Yako allowed me to revise her release of chapter 100, so I figured I may as well do that. I'm not gonna do a whole analysis here, since it's kind of hard to just jump in the middle of things, but this was a really fun chapter to do with all the shouting and stuff.

So basically, I asked Sasayaki if she wanted to translate from Chapter 111 onwards about 4 months ago... she just responded and said that I was free to redo 100 if I wanted and that she'd start on translating! So new chapters are in the works, both of the Nakai arc and Washizu arc. We'll see which one is faster at releases. Akagi 53 should be out tomorrow.

Oh, and with the addition of 100, I've re-uploaded the volume 11 and 12 complete zips on my mediafire. Dunno if it's worth a re-download, but both of them are certainly looking more complete.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Akagi Chapter 52

All right, as it turns out, I only have a week before I need to go back to school... they should not start school while it's still summer, I say.

But that aside, Akagi 52 now up, my first-ever release with nothing but new content!

- Everything!

...Ok, that list is now obsolete. How about...

- Nakai introduces himself, more or less
- Osamu's game is ripped to shreds by Nakai
- Nakai tries to bribe Osamu into introducing him to Akagi, but Akagi saves him the trouble
- Osamu gets paycheck of 1 Mil from Akagi
- Akagi tries to leave, but is stopped by Nakai

Yeah, Nakai isn't exactly the most loveable character the world has ever known, but that's fine for a villain. He does make some pretty big assumptions in the chapter, but they're pretty logical after the initial assumption that Osamu is some kind of employee of Akagi's... and that Akagi is a normal person. I don't know how much of a threat Nakai will actually be to Akagi... he's overconfident to the point where he makes an estimate about Akagi's ability based on the rumors alone, and his debunking of Osamu's game did have a fair amount of hindsight bias, despite his claims otherwise. So we'll have to see what kind of game he'll play; he hasn't given out much indication of how good he is.

Akagi sure chose the most inconvenient time to go looking for Osamu, didn't he? If he didn't show up at exactly that moment, we might not have had a story... which, come to think of it, is probably what happened off-screen in the Anime. He certainly doesn't look very pleased to be forced into a battle with Nakai... the smile literally dropped off his face once Mahjong was mentioned.

So, here's what I hope we'll get out of this arc: More on the relationship between Osamu and Akagi, Information on just how much cheating was done during the Urabe arc, and how Akagi will do playing against someone he really doesn't want to. Two of those are pretty much granted, but only time will tell to what extent. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Akagi Chapter 51

Whooooooooooahhhh! Nakai arc in full swing! As it turns out, this chapter went by really fast... probably because I had half of it done already. But yeah, don't expect another update until the end of the week, or you may be disappointed... Homework and all. But after this week, I'm done, so I'll have a full month until I need to go back to school in the fall. And just in time for new content! Oh, and go read the chapter if you haven't, obviously.

- Everything after Akagi's speech to Osamu!!

All right, new content! And, uh, Akagi talking to Urabe about how worthless he is. We gotta sit through that too. See if you can spot the exact moment the manga takes a sharp turn from the anime and heads down the Nakai road.

...Okay, I'll tell you. See, in the Anime, Akagi pretty much said that he really wished Urabe had accepted so he could have a life-or-death battle with him... which provides a great segue into the Washizu arc that they skip to. In the manga, however, Akagi is more down-to-earth, stating simply that Urabe was never angry enough to accept his offer to begin with, then going on to say that he'll always put "staying alive before living", which is a major theme for this coming arc, firstly by driving Osamu to be more serious about gambling and try to better his game through Akagi's words of wisdom. I'm definitely glad we're getting more characterization from both Akagi and Osamu during this arc; I felt like I didn't really know much about their relationship with just what the Anime gave.

As for Osamu's actual game at the parlor, I guess the "Robbing a Kan" rule wasn't around back in these days... though I distinctly remember it in the Tetsuya anime. I dunno, maybe that rule isn't in the Kansai variant or something. If it were, Osamu would definitely play the 9-pin and take the 2-sou closed wait, since he apparently thought the player to his right was in Tenpai. If it isn't, it also explains why Urabe did the two kans in the South Third Round of his game, since kans would be totally safe without that rule.

But nevertheless, he took a chance and made a kan to get a safer tile on his Dead Wall draw, which he did, and then riichi'd with it for his 1-sou single wait. It wasn't a horrible call, per se, but he definitely needs to find a way of figuring out what's in people's hands better.

And finally, first impression of Nakai: he's really rude, and speaks in a very heavy Kansai dialect, making it hard for my formalized comprehension to... comprehend. I haven't read much further than this chapter, but overall I get the impression that he's more of a hustler than a real gambler, who just wants to beat the Legend of Mahjong at his own game. He does have some real mahjong experience, though, as is explored in the next chapter. Should be an interesting battle.

Ah, and the winner of the "Nakai's Laugh" poll was... "hnn-hn-hn...", by a phenomenal 1 vote! Now he will say "hnn-hn-hn..." whenever he laughs! I'm sure you're all very honored to have chosen the nasal sound a character in a manga makes. I certainly feel privileged to have taken part, myself.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Akagi Chapter 50

Whoa! We're done with the Urabe arc! Next chapter will be a "segue" chapter where we wrap up Akagi and Urabe's talk, then head full-speed into the Nakai arc in the same chapter. And I've already translated about half of it!

But... I'm gonna have to take a break to get caught up with schoolwork. Shouldn't last more than a week, but you're gonna have to wait for a bit longer to get new content. Sorry.

- Akagi teases Kawada-Kumichou about the 2-pin before telling him.

Yeah, another abnormally short chapter with an abnormally low amount of new content. So I got it out in a day. Other than that, not much to say; I recall a few things I wanted to say about the arc in general, but they all ended up getting covered pretty well in the manga. Akagi is a boss.

Oh, and I should have a pretty silly poll up on the sidebar in a few minutes... It'll be asking you what you think Nakai's laugh should be. All of the characters go "Fufu" and "Kukuku" when they laugh, but I've been stylizing them more or less for each character. Akagi goes "Hmm-hm-hm..." or just "Hm-hmm...", Washizu goes "Heh-heh-heh..." or "Khe-heh-heh...", and Urabe goes "Hehehe...". Just for fun, you don't have to think too hard about it.

If you need to know a bit more about him to assign a laugh, he's kind of like that one guy from Ten... the one who gets stabbed in the hand by Harada... with the sunglasses... sorry, I can't remember his name. But he looks and acts a lot like him. He's kinda smug and pushy, and I plan to have him talk pretty similarly to Urabe, with shortened words and the occasional "Niisan". Hope that's enough.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Akagi Chapter 49

Sorry for the massive delay on this one... lots of new content coupled with lots of schoolwork. But yay, new content!

Oh, and I've re-organized the mediafire page into the different arcs, since it was getting awfully messy now that I have a ton of chapters in the akagi section. Hopefully it'll help you navigate it better.

- 1 Page of metaphorical imagery of Urabe sinking into a swamp
- 3 1/2 Pages of Ishikawa relating Akagi's strategy to a divine blessing, and being in awe of it
- Several moments here and there during Akagi's explaination

I considered titling this chapter "Thunderstorm" or "Lightning Strike" or something along those lines to make it shorter, but Thunder and Lightning just fits with the theme of the chapter better and more closely matches the actual Japanese title. It's still annoying to see it messing up the table of contents page with its needing two lines of text, but that's probably my OCD side kicking in.

As for the new content, I really loved the Swamp metaphor, especially the part about him being paralyzed by fear. It sort of explains the whole "Fight, Flee, or Freeze" thing that was going on up to there, and why Urabe instinctively chose the last option. Those three options are actually a part of nature, studied by biologists all the time. It's obvious why you would fight or flee, but Freezing seems sort of against evolution... but it actually helps in the wild by conserving energy used in the other two options, as well as not attracting attention from a predator by moving around wildly. But if you are in dangerous territory like Urabe is, freezing is definitely the least productive option of the three, since there's no need to wait and see if your predator has means to kill you, especially if your predator is Akagi Shigeru. Also ties in to the "most dangerous game" metaphor in Chapter 106 much later on, where Akagi is once again the predator.

Ishikawa's thing at the end didn't really do much for the chapter in all honesty... except maybe explain the whole "Thunder and Lightning" thing. Still, it was interesting to see Ishikawa's thoughts on the whole thing... though I don't exactly agree that Akagi's strategy had to have been a divine intervention. It seems like he was just being his manipulative self to me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Akagi Chapter 48

And here we have it, folks! The thrilling conclusion of the battle against Urabe!

-A tiny bit of more disbelief from Ishikawa both before and after Urabe's deal
-Akagi's reluctance to explain how he knew about the 2-pin at first.

Heh, I had a lot of fun with this one. I've had a font called "Cracked Johnnie" lying around that I've never used, so I broke it out in two places in this chapter, Ishikawa's epic "WHOAAA" and Urabe's epic "GRAUGHHHH". It's supposed to be for sound effects, but since I like to keep those untouched, I figured I may as well get some use out of it. Oh, and if you want to be cool, you can play this song after the match is over while reading to get the aftermath effect: Awesome job to the guy who played that.

But as for the content of the chapter itself, nothing could be more epic and shocking to first-time viewers. So shocking is it that it takes 2 full chapters to explain just how the heck Akagi did it. And the truly badass thing about it is that he didn't even have anything to lose or gain; Urabe was just a formidable opponent who he took pleasure in bringing down.

I do find it rather interesting that Manga Akagi was a bit reluctant at first to explain to Kawada how he knew to wait on the 2-pin, whereas in the Anime he easily accepted. It does sort of fit, though... Anime Akagi is more of a ruthless killer who takes pleasure in explaining exactly how he killed people straight to their faces, while Manga Akagi is slightly more of the Akagi from Ten, who's a bit more of a rebel who doesn't like to be structured and puts his immediate pleasures first. At least, that's my psychoanalysis of the differences. I might be a bit off.

Oh, and finally, I made a prediction in an earlier blog post that there would be an extra game or two after Urabe loses, since Akagi's the dealer... well, he's still the dealer in the Anime, it's just that there's a bit of a defining difference that allowed for the extra round. In the South Second Round, Urabe was in the lead, and therefore had a choice whether or not to continue being dealer (a choice that I, myself, was not aware of until I looked it up). In the Manga, he took it, whereas in the Anime, he decided to move on to the South Third Round. In both the Anime and Manga, Akagi decided not to take the extra round on his turn as dealer, since doing so would have him risk losing his lead. Either that, or it was automated differently in the Anime and Manga based on being the top-ranked player or not. So yeah, sorry to get your hopes up if I did.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Akagi Chapter 47

And here it is, the next chapter, somewhat promptly. Nothing clever to say here.

- Comparison between the San Shoku Dou Kou and Dai San Gen from Urabe

Yeah, Akagi is awesome. The best part about all this is that it's very conceivable; he doesn't have to get Chuuren Poto every hand to make a comeback; all he needs is to know a bit about his opponent. And the constant Ponning forced Urabe to think that he was in tenpai, resulting in him giving up on several winning hands. I'd analyse it more, but it's analysed in the manga in a few chapters anyway, and it's friggin' amazing. So yeah, not much to say here other than stay tuned for next time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Akagi Chapter 46

Whew, did I mention that college is hard, folks? I think I did. Regardless, Chapter 46 is now out, and it's the start of Volume 6! Only 5 more chapters to go until we hit the start of the Nakai arc!

-A bit more expansion when Urabe considers the risks behind playing the 8-sou on his 9th turn.
-Close to a full page of Urabe talking about Akagi knowing that his flow is slipping away.

Yeah, whoever did these RAWs of Akagi did a great job; there's none of that "gutter" shadow on the edge of the pages closest to the center, and the better part of them are already pre-cleaned. But yeah, nothing exceptionally new here, as per usual.

Oh, and I think I spotted something that Fukumoto didn't say but left a good indication that he was thinking of saying it... Right after Urabe deals the Chun on his 7th turn, it's mentioned that he is in tenpai waiting on a Haku where he can only win if he were to draw it himself. He gets out of this tenpai on the 9th turn by taking apart his hand to avoid dealing in, but 4 turns later, he draws the Haku. He's overjoyed that Akagi can't have a Haku Fanpai because of this, but he fails to recognize that if he had stayed in Tenpai for the turns leading up to it, he could have made a Tsumo and won the entire match with a garbage hand. How could he have played the 8-sou on his 9th turn, and remained in Tenpai for the remaining 4 turns when dealing in would spell death, you ask? Simple, and spoilerific. [SPOILERS FOR FUTURE CHAPTERS] Akagi wasn't even close to Tenpai when Urabe was freaking out trying to not give him the tile he needed. And he didn't get there until long after Urabe drew the Haku. If Urabe had sensed this, he could have at least kept his Tenpai long enough to draw and win with the Haku.[END SPOILERS] I'm sure I'll have more to say about this when we get to the end of the arc and I won't be able to spoil anything.

In other, I'm finding out firsthand why the characters in Akagi sweat so much... Air Conditioning wasn't invented until the 1980s or something, so they're all sweating in the heat of the room... much like me in my dorm. It's not fun, I feel all sweaty and sticky at every moment of the day. =_=