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Binge, binge, binge!

Posted February 17th, 2012 at 7:59 AM by Mr Cat Dog

A while back, a friend of mine told me that one of the best ways to learn Japanese was to watch a large amount of anime in a short amount of time. Linguists have said that the best way to immerse oneself in a language is to live in a country that speaks that language, so I guess this is just the next best thing re: Japanese. Obviously, you wouldn't learn the language wholeheartedly from this method; you could just use it to build a foundation and/or improve on it.

All of this is preamble to say that I'm going on a massive anime binge for the next month-or-so. Partly as an excuse to 'practise' my Japanese for my trip there in April; partly so as to actually start watching some anime, as I've always been strangely reluctant to do so despite spending lots of time on Pokemon websites.

In any event, I'm on my second day of the 'binge', and I hope to complete, by the end of it:
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • FLCL
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Samurai Champloo
  • Steins;Gate
Bebop and FLCL I've seen before: I loved the former the first time around, and I hope to discover new stuff about it upon a re-watch; the latter I admired upon a first-go-around but didn't really like, but I've been reading these reviews of it and they've convinced me to try and unpack its' sexual politics and pubescent angst.

FMA is one that I'm vaguely familiar with: alchemy, guy in a suit of armour, homunculus etc but one that I've never sat down and watched. From what I've heard, no one seems to have a bad word to say about it, so it should be good.

The other three are completely new. Evangelion seems also to fit within that 'classic' breed of anime that everyone seems to talk about. I guess the whole robots beating each other up thing has never really appealed to me, but I'm going in with an open mind. Samurai Champloo comes from the recommendation of a real life friend - who also introduced me to Bebop - and since it has the same creative partnership of Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno, at least the music should be good! Steins;Gate comes courtesy of our dear administrators Arcanine and parallelzero not shutting up about it on Twitter. Apparently, it made them cry, and if that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!

Essentially, I'm going to be watching one of each every day (apart from FMA, which will be 2 a day, and FLCL, which will just be consumed all at once as a 3-hour movie, being 6 episodes and all) and hope to complete this 'task' on March 11. Maybe by then I'll be able to understand what you crazy kids are talking about when you mention things like 'shonen' and 'super-kawaii' and 'mecha' and other such crrrrrazy words. Wish me luck! :D
Posted in Culture... meh!
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  1. Old Comment
    Esper's Avatar
    Yay, Cowboy Bebop! /is a huge YK fangirl

    And the best way (that I've found) to immerse yourself in the language is with manga because you can go at your own pace and actually see the words. Just gotta find one that doesn't use too much irregular, slangy types of speaking.

    Good luck!
    Posted February 17th, 2012 at 10:55 AM by Esper Esper is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Overlord Drakow's Avatar
    Full Metal Alchemist is a solid choice in my opinion. Yoshiko will approve of you watching Neon Genesis Evangelion. I've watched it too and it was pretty good, so you won't go too wrong there. Haven't watched the others so no opinions there.
    Posted February 17th, 2012 at 11:45 AM by Overlord Drakow Overlord Drakow is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Kura's Avatar
    I think actually actively trying to write and speak it with someone else may help you more than just watching it. I've watched a fair amount and I don't even know how to form proper sentences with the particles and stuff.. but who knows, it could just be me haha. Good luck!
    Posted February 17th, 2012 at 4:36 PM by Kura Kura is offline
  4. Old Comment
    donavannj's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Kura View Comment
    I think actually actively trying to write and speak it with someone else may help you more than just watching it. I've watched a fair amount and I don't even know how to form proper sentences with the particles and stuff.. but who knows, it could just be me haha. Good luck!
    I agree with this. And the statement within also applies to me. After watching roughly 15 days worth of subtitled series over the last couple of years, I have managed to memorize how to say 5 phrases and 15 words of spoken Japanese. Not a very high return on investment for me.
    Posted February 17th, 2012 at 10:33 PM by donavannj donavannj is offline
  5. Old Comment
    giradialkia's Avatar
    Funnily enough, I've been doing a bit of an anime binge myself xD I've started watching Tengen Toppa Guren Lagann (or whatever it's actually called, rofl). That, and I've been rewatching Full Metal Alchemist, Death Note, and I'm about to immerse myself in the Pokémon anime once more, right from the very beginning :P
    When I started watching Death Note again I found myself able to sing the entirety of the theme song, in Japanese. Mind you I don't know what any of it means so I guess I'll have to work on my methods if I hope to pick up on ANY Japanese from it xD
    Posted February 18th, 2012 at 9:20 AM by giradialkia giradialkia is offline
  6. Old Comment
    digi-kun's Avatar
    For learning, if you have a good actiony, then it's probably good to turn subtitles off if you can. Same goes for game anime like Yugioh, or stuff you've already watched. The thing about watching with subtitles is that people will automatically start going to the subtitles, even if they're trying to learn, so they end up just watching like they normally do.
    Posted February 18th, 2012 at 11:42 AM by digi-kun digi-kun is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Kura's Avatar
    Or turn japanese subtitles on would be good. I watched an episode of Digimon in english a while back, and then I watched the japanese with Italian subs recently with a friend.. and I only know very slight italian and japanese both.. but the friend was over and I was trying to translate for him. With my knowledge of both other languages together and my memory of watching it a little while back I was able to piece together 85% of what they were saying. It was a really good learning exercise :3
    Posted February 19th, 2012 at 6:28 AM by Kura Kura is offline

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