Saturday, April 28, 2012

Akagi Opening Live: Nantokanare

All right, nobody was expecting this... but I've been putting together a live cover of the opening to Akagi for quite some time, now, and I finally got to perform it for my school in the end-of-the-year Pops concert. I've been in choir for pretty much my whole life, and this was the most nervous I've ever been to sing. But I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed working on it.

A big thanks to Skutieos for putting together the backing track for me. Couldn't have done it without ya!

(I'll update this page with the better-quality version when I get the DVD. For now, enjoy my mom's crappy recording of it.)

Yep, this is what's been keeping me so busy for the past few weeks. I've dreamed of performing a live opening to an Anime at the Pops Concert (at my high school, Littleton High School, in Colorado) since I first discovered that people did solos at it, but until this year I've never been motivated enough to do it. My love for Fukumoto made me want to do something related to his manga, so the opening or ending to Akagi or Kaiji seemed like a good idea.

At first, I chose Nantokanare because it was the only opening or ending that seemed down-to-earth enough to fit into the Pops concert (other than the ending to Kaiji S1, which I didn't particularly care for). But the more and more I read into the song and started figuring it out piece by piece, the more I grew to feel like the song had a special connection; a deep, philisophical undertone that flowed over the whole piece that I related to and understood. As I grew more and more fond of it, my singing grew more and more intense and powerful, which I'm sure my showerhead appreciated very much.

I began to write the song out bit by bit over the course of a year, perfecting the chords to the best of my ability, but as far as Music Theory goes, I'm something of a novice. So I had to confide in a good friend of mine, Thomas Wharton, to make the music suitable enough to back up the music. He's known as Skutieos7 on the internet, and you can find some of his music on youtube under that name. I expected nothing less from him, but he threw together a masterpiece of an arrangement suitable for a live performance. The original song uses a guitar where he put the piano part, but I wrote the rough draft expecting it to be played by the live band that was there, but Mr. Farrell said that it would be fine to use the CD, so I didn't object.

Overall, I think this is a very worthy tribute to my favorite Mangaka, as well as an excellent way of ending my senior year of high school with something that defines who I am. I hope you all enjoy it.

Also, I changed up the translation a bit from the generally-used translation in the anime and various lyrics sites. I did this because I felt like the translation used failed to represent what the song was truly about: A man's angst and depression towards the conformist, fast-paced world he lives in. I think it works well.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another MKaiji: Chapter 21

Ok, I actually got this from Penguin71 yesterday, but didn't put it up until now because I've been feeling kinda tired recently and whenever I thought about putting up a blog post, I went to do something else. Procrastination is a terrible thing. So I'm not gonna do a whole analysis for this chapter; I'm just not feeling up to it... getting the release out is much more important than this blog post. Maybe I'll come back to it.

Thanks to js06, Deakachu, and Penguin71 for their excellence in all things Manga.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Awesomeness: MKaiji Chapters 19 and 20

(Every release in April has started with "A" so far... why would I break a trend like that?)

Yep, we got a new translator, js06! And with him, two new editors, Deakachu for cleaning, and Penguin17 for typesetting! I did the proofreading of js06's script, but Penguin also did a bit of fine-tuning while he was typesetting. So I'm still a part of this, but my part is pretty dang small compared to usual. But yeah, we're gonna be doing the rest of Volume 2, then probably js06 and his team will move on to do DKaiji while the rest of us do Akagi. Yay teamwork!

To be frank, I only briefly read through these chapters, so my proofreading leaves a lot to be desired. But hopefully I can do better next time. The first chapter was typeset by our usual team, Kazuhiko and Biggums, though Biggums did most of the typesetting since Kazuhiko is very busy recently. The second was cleaned by Deakachu and typeset by Penguin17, which is a combination I'm satisfied with.

As for the chapters themselves, Kaiji explains his strategy much better than he did in the Anime; it was kind of unclear what he was going for in the anime, which made it sound like he was just thinking that one card would be more likely to be played than others. But here, he notes that, with no interference, the cards will disappear on a 1:1:1 ratio, removing the hundred's digit to leave them with an overwhelming advantage. He also states that he doesn't want to wait until that point, or else people will get suspicious. It's actually a pretty clever strategy. But I think we all remember what happens next... should be interesting to see what is changed with that.

Akagi Chapter 137

After a pretty long break, Akagi 137 is up in all its glory! In this chapter, Washizu explains why the 9-pin is safe, and gives us what is almost definitely the best metaphor yet!

Thanks to Crump for the cleans. And Mahjong Day was pretty good, but it needs to have about 20% more people, next time.

"Even the fortified aircraft carrier 'Akagi' was no exception!!"

Well, Washizu certainly never fails to disappoint. This chapter was great; it accomplished a lot by walking us through Washizu's mindset behind thinking the 9-pin is safe from start to finish. But what was probably the best part of the whole chapter was the Akagi metaphor. No, not the character Akagi, the ship that got sunk in World War II. I can't tell you how many times I've searched "Akagi" on google and wound up reading about that ship. And it was the perfect relation to his opponent, as well; everything he described really did happen to the aircraft carrier; the carrier was losing from airstrikes, and one of them jammed the rudder, causing it to turn against the captain's wishes away from the enemy ship, which did just what Washizu described; fire, fire, and fire some more. The ship sunk, and if what Washizu is saying is true, so will Akagi Shigeru.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Akagi Chapter 136 & End-of-Session Calculating

Ba-da-bing! Another Akagi is up and ready for consumption! In this chapter, the whitesuits cannot remain silent any more, and explain to Washizu how bad of a situation he is in...!

Thanks to Biggums for the excellent cleaning job. Kazuhiko is busy with real-life stuff, so I'm taking over the typesetting temporarily. Also, watch out for some new MKaiji chapters here, soon... we've got a new translator and some new staff members to help finish off the volume. :O

"Those two carts of money you were talking about are on the verge of being whittled away!"

This chapter was pretty challenging with all of the handwriting and equations and stuff, but I enjoyed doing it nevertheless. I'll have a guide about how to calculate the stuff at the end of the session below the cut in this post, so skip to that if you didn't get what was going on this chapter. But essentially, Washizu is now only 29.5 Million away from losing the game, set, and match on the spot. That's one Mangan direct hit. But what's cool about Washizu is that he refuses to be dominated even then and says that it would be disgraceful to back down. Something else interesting is that this is the first time that the White Suits have taken Washizu aside within the match itself; they didn't do it when Washizu refused to have Suzuki deal into his counted Yakuman back in the 3rd Session, but now that it's come to this, they can't sit idly by and let their Washizu-Sama lose all of his money. I'd be interested to find out how much of this is actually admiration for Washizu and how much of it is fear for losing their jobs, since without any money, Washizu won't be able to pay them for their services. Yoshioka, at least, seems to genuinely admire Washizu, but I'm not too sure about the one who did all the explaining this chapter... he seems more indifferent.

END-OF-SESSION CALCULATIONS

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Akagi Chapter 135

Akagi is back with an exceptionally long chapter at 29 pages! In this chapter, Washizu tries to take advantage of Akagi's Riichi, but...!

Thanks to Biggums for the cleans and Kazuhiko for the typesetting. Kazu is gonna be too busy to typeset again, so I'll probably be taking over once more.

"I doubt you have realized it, yet... But you, too, have poison running through your veins...!"

This chapter's been done for a few days, but I've been in Oregon seeing my college so I've been kinda busy with that. Regardless, Akagi 135 is now up. And I must say, I loved this chapter because of how much it seems as though Washizu is really getting back his flow. Akagi's riichi certainly was very risky, but I think I understand why he did it: He did it to give the impression that he would be able to Riichi on a luck-based win instead of making sure that things were worked out beforehand, so that next round, Washizu would play that 9-pin without even considering that it might be what Akagi needs to win. However, there appears to be something that the White Suits have figured out! What could it be...?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Anniversary Release: Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji Volume 6

And now, for the real anniversary release! And that means... Volume 6 of DKaiji!! How exciting! We've been working our tails off for a whole week to bring this to you, but that doesn't mean we're too tired to keep on going! Oh, but before I forget, we are looking for a bit of help with cleaning and typesetting; we just got a new translator, js06, who is currently working his way through MKaiji for us. That said, if we have one more proficient cleaner and typesetter, we should be able to double our output by working on two manga at once rather than switching back and forth! Please contact me here or through my email (shinichiakiyama@hotmail.com) to apply!

Anyway, there were really only two possible options for this release; Akagi Volume 8 or DKaiji Volume 6, and we decided that the latter would be both more pleasing to you guys and also more meaningful for our first anniversary. My initial consideration was Akagi 8, since FKMTkrazy's primary output has been for Akagi chapters and that was also the very first manga that I released under the name of FKMTkrazy (which is also the release that I based the date for the anniversary on; 4/2/11 was the day Akagi 106 came out, which was the first release where I switched from We Can't Decide to FKMTkrazy). But when I thought about it, FKMTkrazy is really just a continuation of We Can't Decide, and WCD's claim to fame was doing the first 13 chapters of DKaiji. Therefore, it seemed even more appropriate for the first anniversary to show how far we've come since that day; I used to be a novice cleaner/typesetter, and now have transformed to a full-time translator!

"Just standing around uselessly...! Standing upright in the middle of a battlefield!!"

Big thanks to Skutieos for typesetting this chapter and 51; he's been really helpful and cooperative in supporting us, lately. :) Anyway, yeah, this chapter has more of Kaiji beating himself up, accompanied by a visual metaphor of him staring off into space in the middle of a war zone. He has flashbacks to parts 1 and 2 and all the hell he's been through, and gets his head in the game. He readies himself to use his backup signal towards Miyoshi; playing the tile upside-down to get him to repeat his signal. He wants Muraoka to give him a safe tile that also looks different from the bottom than from the top, but alas, he plays the Haku, and then the 9-Sou, which are vertically symmetrical tiles! What's a Kaiji to do?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Anniversary Release: Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth!

Surprise! We got the volume done a day early, and I'm sure that everyone will love it! The truth is, even from my very first day as a mere typesetter, I have always had a dream of completing a volume of my favorite Manga, Naruto. But the problem was, all the chapters had already been finished! But then I stumbled upon this gem, and I realized that my passion would not go to waste! Even though Mangastream has already finished this manga, I decided it was best that I break away from the FKMT name and head towards my true passion for the loveable manga series that I've known since I was in middle school with a full-volume translation of Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth!! I'm sure you'll all love it!! m;_;m