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.


NEW CONTENT:
- 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.

NEW CONTENT:
- 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!

NEW CONTENT:
-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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwAO6t-TE1U 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.

NEW CONTENT:
- 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!


NEW CONTENT:
-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. =_=

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Akagi Chapter 45

Very, very short chapter this time around. I have no idea why it's so short... and most of the pages are low in quality, so the zip has a piddly 5MB to download. But Volume 5 is now complete!

That said, I may be taking a bit of a break to get caught up with college stuff... it's way harder than I thought. Also, I've started subtitling a Mahjong game with Fukumoto in it for kicks, so I may be working on that for a little bit, too. But either way, Volume 6 is on its way.

NEW CONTENT:
-About a half-page of introspection towards Urabe.

Yeah, this chapter was easy... it only took me an hour or so to get the script done from the Anime. Urabe plays quite well, he's just very predictable and thus easily manipulated. That's why you don't see quite this level of manipulation during the Washizu arc, since Washizu is at least capable of playing psychologically. But yeah, Akagi's frigging lucky to be able to get a Dora 4 from a single Kan. And Urabe's wrong, it IS possible for Akagi to have cheated... he could have done Yagi's centipede trick from the first arc, or he could have stacked the 7-sous in one side of the wall and the 6-sou where the second dora will be, and manipulated the roll to give himself the 7-sous and to have the 6-sou be the second dora. Or he could've just switched it beforehand while no one was looking. I think he cheated, but it's never said for sure one way or the other, so it's up to interpretation.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Akagi Chapter 44

Whew, this past three days seemed longer than it was. College is tough, folks. Regardless, I managed to maintain my speed and get Chapter 44 finished!

NEW CONTENT:
- A bit more introspection to Ishikawa and Urabe

Next to nothing is new this time around... just a few little moments. While I was editing this, though, something occurred to me... if Urabe was willing to call Kan and risk Akagi stealing it, why didn't he just play the 8-Sou when he drew it on the 16th turn, and then play another one on the 17th? I suppose we wouldn't have Akagi's big comeback if that were so, but still, Robbing a Kan isn't exactly an uncommon rule... unless they specifically disallowed it some time before, I'm not sure what Urabe called Kan for.

Regardless, I took the "safe" metaphor at the end a bit further than it actually was (talking about the dial instead of just the keyhole). I didn't see how coincidence could come into play when unlocking a lock, to be honest... even if it was a skeleton key, there's ways to tell where you need to poke to unlock it. This opposed to the dial, where spinning it around randomly enough times in opposing directions will eventually unlock the safe by sheer coincidence. Just my little addition... I figured this chapter needed a bit of variation.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Akagi Chapter 43

Ba-da-boom! I'm on a roll! Well, maybe not for long. I've probably posted this on my twitter by the time you read this, but I'm going to be at an intensive college session to learn moar Japanese for a month, and I'm not sure how good their internet is up there. So I may have to wait until the weekends to do any manga editing. But it's not for sure... who knows, maybe the internet up there is lightning-fast and I can translate as much as my heart desires. Just giving you a heads-up in case I disappear for a week.

NEW CONTENT:
- Following last chapter's new content, there's some more talk about Urabe's suppression.

Yeah, not much is new. But it's fun to see Ishikawa getting so confused as to what Akagi's doing. Okay, I was just as confused. Sue me. Anyway, this plan hinges on the fact that Urabe will draw a bunch of risky tiles on top of two Kans... I wouldn't risk it myself, but that's why I'm here translating the manga instead of writing it.