Sunday, December 10, 2006

Kare Kano

Kare Kano, or Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo, or His and Her Circumstances, or Tales at North Hills High, or 男女跷跷板, or 他和她的故事, or 彼氏彼女の事情

That's the thing about translations, they just screw up the title. The original Japanese title is 彼氏彼女の事情, or Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo, but to fans it's simply shortened to Kare Kano, and that will be the title I'm using. The English translated version had carried the title to be Tales at North Hills High because the setting was at North Hills High School, but perhaps due to fan objections or fan demands, or something else, the title was changed to the direct translation of the original Japanese title to be His and Her Circumstances. The official translation in Taiwan and Singapore is 男女跷跷板, but some online fan groups doing scanlations translated it to be 他和她的故事 which is the direct translation of the Japanese title. Because of all these trouble in translations, I had a hard time locating this scanlation to read.

Yup, I'm currently reading this manga now.

I first came across this manga when browsing through mangas in Kinokuniya. Cindy brought this title up and said it sounded interesting. I copied the title and wiki-ed it that night and decided that it was interesting for me to read. erm... There was no way that I can possibly afford to buy the whole set of this manga, so I turned to online scanlations. Really, those Chinese are so absolutely amazing, and it's times like this that I really appreciate my ability to read traditional Chinese, or even Chinese in the first place. Those who don't know, I buy a good deal of my manga in English.

Side note, speaking of English manga, I had a so wonderful time reading FMA in English. I tried to read DGray Man in simplified Chinese but my eyes went @@. I think I can't read shonen manga in Chinese because of my disability to comprehend and digest fast. Shojo in Chinese isn't that bad, no fighting scenes. Also, the names make my eyes go @@, in FMA and DGray Man, the characters have Western names which sound totally awful and difficult to read in Chinese and it makes my eyes go @@. Anyway, I was saying, I took out my FMA and re-read them, and read the new ones I bought after I came back from Germany and I must say, reading shonen manga in English feels so good. I almost forgot that it was originally in Japanese. And for the heftier price, it's $8.50 compared to English shojo by Chuangyi priced at $7.90, I realised that the translation was better, that's why the quality was better. Some translations of Ouran High School Host Club was so bad that my eyes went @@ again. I think, the translator for shojo are mostly Singaporeans while the translator for FMA was a Japanese, I think la...

Anyway, Chuangyi didn't translate Kare Kano in English, and I don't want to buy the $20 US versions, and buying the Chinese ones doesn't really make sense when I can just read it online. And that is what I'm doing. But then another problem. I was reading happily during the holidays, erm... paiseh, during the reading week, when the remaining volumes weren't able to be loaded. Think there's something wrong with the servers hosting the images, and I got stuck at volume 14. Luckily there was a break in story and it wasn't so much of a cliffhanger. The story structure of Kare Kano is that the first 10 volumes were about the female protangonist, the "her" in the title, then a break of 3 volumes which talk about the history of the side characters, then from volume 14 is about the male protagonist, the "his" in the title. So it was just nice that I stopped before I started reading about the "his" story.

Then I got hooked onto another manga, that shall leave it to another time to discuss. Then my friend gave me another link to another manga website. I couldn't find Kare Kano in it because it listed it as another title that I hadn't known of previously. I managed to find it somehow or another, but I don't like this website because the pages load very slowly and I can only read one volume each night. I can't even read it in the day because the loading in the day is worse.

However, the more I read it, the more I like it. I like the way the mangaka describes emotions, and I like the characters.

I like shuai guys with issues. I think a guy with issues it like adding a some sort of mysterious charm in him that makes him more alluring. Hence I like Arima Soichiro, the male protagonist. Before reading the manga itself I read the wiki page and learnt of all the spoilers, so I knew about his problems, and i knew about him. It made me like him even more knowing that it would take Miyazawa Yukino, the female lead ***spoilers*** to help him out of his issues because I'm a sucker for these sort of love relationships.

Another side note, I like reading spoilers, whether it's about a story or reality TV, I need spoilers because I hate it when things don't go the way I want it to be. Had I known the ending of Furuba, a very classic example, I'd never have started reading it. But then, I started with the series very early and no one expected that the ending would be like this. So now I just try to stick to things that are complete whether it's manga or anime, and make sure that I like the ending before I start it. To me, it's not the product, or the ending that is the most important, it's the process, the getting there part that's more interesting.

Because I read spoilers from Wikipedia, I knew that Yukino was going to get pregnant in her third year, so I was so tense whenever they have sex. I think I'm hentai, I keep thinking when are Yukino and Soichiro going to have sex and which sex encounter it would be that's going to get her pregnant. lol~ And I was having problems understanding if they've even had sex. I think it's my Chinese, or it's just me. I thought they had sex sometime during their first year, but I'm still not sure. There isn't any naked scenes or lines that say that they have had sex, but there was a scene which they were in bed together, and before that there was this imagery of her losing her hat. I know in manga if there's a sex which a petal drops it means sex, but hats? I wasn't sure.

And to exemplify that I'm more hentai, I started speculating about Soichiro's past. It was clear that he was abused by his biological mother when he was very young, but somehow reading volumes 15 and 16, it seems to hint that there is more to the physical abuse that torments him. I kept thinking that he was sexually abused. Okay, I've my reasons for thinking so. First, his mother's a socialite, a mamasan in some club, and was sexually promiscuous. Second, his mother was sexually abused when she was a child. Third, his mother was 20 when she had him, and his father 17. Fourth, Soichiro himself is a jealous, control freak, which led me to think that he might feel for Yukino in a sexual way too. I mean, he couldn't control himself, and they had sex at such a young age, there must be a reason for it. But it seems like I'm wrong. He was just physically abused, although there is also a more emotional factor in the abuse that torments him, but that's not such an interesting story to satiate my hentai-ness.
***spoilers end here***

Okay, it's 7.25am now, should I read another volume of Kare Kano or should I read another manga offline, in it's hard copy form, or should I watch some anime, or should I go and sleep?

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