One Potato Two



I went to the TokiKake (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) screening at the Egyptian Theatre.

I went with my anime industry and game industry friends.

This was my first time seeing TokiKake.
I haven't read the novel or seen the movies/TV dramas that came before it.

So I couldn't catch the elements in the film referring to the original story.

There was a panel discussion with the director etc, but I was jet-lagged and couldn't concentrate.

When I was leaving the theater, I was interviewed by a Japanese TV reporter.

One Potato Two 1st Anniversary

The end of March marks my first year anniversary blogging about my professional translator life.

I originally started this blog to keep track of my work.
I have x number of projects, due blah blah day.

I wanted to keep it simple because I already had a blog in Japanese that I've been writing since 1999.
But I wanted to help promote the projects I've been working on to the audience they were intended for, so I decided I should try to write more interesting things.
I'm still not there yet, but maybe by the second anniversary I'll be closer.

I just hope that this blog promotes the industry I'm in (both in the USA and Japan), because I think "entertainment" is an essential part of human life.
Sure, entertainment does not find a cure for aids or send more men to the moon.
But it creates emotion--the most important of them, laughter--and I think that's pretty difficult.

Anyway, to celebrate One Potato Two being a year old, I think I'll raffle away a packet of TAF-related merchandise.

The packet includes:
Gurren Lagann clear file
A mini-mag with a fold-out poster of Gurren Lagann
Mini-kleenex of Moonlight Mile
Romeo x Juliet postcard and informational flyers
Haru no Mezame postcard and informational flyers
Mini-newspaper featuring Reideen
Hand-held fan of Ooedo Rocket
Sticker sheet of KONAMI animation titles
Ghibli museum clear file
Emma booklet
Karasu postcards
Random manga copies (in English) of the titles I worked on.
Etc, etc.

Pictured here, plus more:

You'll also get a hand-written note from me! Woohoo!

If you're interested, please email me using the form to the right with your name and address by April 9th, 11:59pm (PST).
I won't be using the information for evil purposes.
I can only ship to a United States address...sorry.

Thank you for reading One Potato Two.

Kore kara mo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu!

With the Light Announced

My editor at Company YP told me today that they announced my first title with them.

With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child, by Keiko Tobe.

The story revolves around Hikaru, a boy with autism.
I've always had this image that the Japanese are not as sensitive towards disabled people, so I'm glad there are books like these out.

One of my friends, a semi-bilingual elementary school teacher, used to work with autistic kids.
She is currently helping me out with questions I have.

I also have another acquaintance (a fellow freelance translator/interpreter) who has a son who is autistic.

I hope the readers enjoy it as much as I like working on it.

I haven't read much manga about disabled people, but here is something I read before.

Flower, by Naoko Wada.

It is about the difficulties of being on a wheelchair.

Spring 2007 Japan Trip Day 9

Day 9.

My last day in Japan.
I did some last minute shopping at Animate, because I received 4000 yen worth of gift certificates.

I bought a bunch of Pyu to Fuku! Jaguar goods...
I wanted the mug but I was scared it'll break, so I didn't buy it.

I also ate dessert for breakfast.
(I can eat anything for breakfast...such as steak or ramen).

Green tea ice cream, coffee jelly, azuki beans inside.

What my acquaintance ate.

At Narita, I had very good ramen at a place called Kagetsu Arashi.
I forgot to take a picture, but please try it.
The noodles are on the hard side (I like them that way), and the soup is pretty rich.
So those who can't eat those kind of ramen should eat somewhere else.

And of course I have to eat takoyaki when I'm in Japan!

Luckily, the best place to eat is Gindako, and they had a store at the Narita airport.

Sayonara, Japan.
Mata au hi made...

Spring 2007 Japan Trip Day 8

Day 8.

I went out to get Ramen for lunch. I tried a new store, but it wasn't good.
I was very sad...
The only good thing about the ramen was that it had an ajitama in there.
Ajitama is a flavored boiled egg, and I think I did a translation note for it in Shugo Chara volume 1.

Here is a picture.

I went to the Company G Ohanami (flower viewing) in the afternoon.
It was at the Inokashira Park in Kichijoji.

Here are some pictures.

You can only party hardy until 10pm.

There was one tree with surprisingly bright pink blossoms.
I thought it was fake.

The actual trees around me looked more like this.

I prefer willows over cherry blossoms.

Rows and rows of those swans.

Yamaga-san drinking.

People and more people.

Various drinks and food were served.

Other than Takeda-san, Yamaga-san, and S-san I saw the other night, I got to see K-san (in licensing), Sato-san (producer), and Sadamoto-san (character designer).
I haven't seen K-san since I translated for him at AFM many years ago, and Sato-san and Sadamoto-san I saw them last when I translated for them at Fanime many years ago.
So I was worried they wouldn't remember me (or recognize me, because now I wear glasses), but they were nice enough to pretend.
Sadamoto-san was telling me that Tsurumaki-san is busy to death, and that his time is coming soon.
...Good luck to everyone.

At night I went to dinner with my childhood friend.
We went to a store in Akihabara, famous for their okonomiyaki.

It was sooooo good.
They have many stores in the Kansai region, but only one in Tokyo.
I told the store manager (he cooked our food) to please come to Los Angeles too.


The store name is "Yukari."

The store manager mixing the okonomiyaki.

Juu, juu.

Cooked! After this, they pour the sauce and mayonnaise.
Sorry, I was so hungry I started eating without taking a picture...

Their lights were made of spatulas. How cute!

The ice cream full of collagen.
Healthy, good for your skin, and low in calories!

Spring 2007 Japan Trip Day 7

Day 7.

Since my dinner with Company BV was light, I woke very hungry.

So I tried Matsuya, a beef bowl / set lunch chain.

Usually girls my age do not eat here in the morning...alone.
I threw myself into a place full of business men, ages ranging from about 24 to 50.

Heh heh.

I didn't eat there...I took it back home to the hotel to eat.

Here is a picture.

Then I went back to the manga cafe to read more of the manga.
I have about 4 more volumes left...but I think I'll buy those because my favorite character plays an important role in those.
He's hot hot hot.

And then I went back to the hotel to work.

I got an email that there will be more text coming on this project...

I've decided to go to Sakura Con.
So...that means that one of my weekends will be gone.

I really have to work hard then!

For dinner I met up with Company C.

We had yakiniku!!

Japanese yakiniku is soooooo good.

I especially like the gyutan with scallions and lemon juice.

Here are some pictures.

I can't eat liver.

Mm. Good.

You push the top and salt comes out. Very handy!

Tongue is best with scallions, salt, and lemon.

Small and useful.

I didn't get to eat any "hormone," because I think M-san thought I was a girl and wouldn't eat any.
But I love intestines!!
Well, except for liver.

After dinner M-san drove me home in his Beamer, straight to the hotel entrance.
Wow...VIP service.

He'll come again to AX this year.

Spring 2007 Japan Trip Day 6

Day 6.

I got sick of convenience store breakfast (usually either onigiri or sandwich), so I decided to go to Denny's this morning.

It was okay.

There was something on the menu that grossed me out.

"Chocolate Fondue Pancakes"

Pancakes with custard and bananas between them, then covered in chocolate.
I didn't have my camera with me, so I couldn't take a picture...darn!

After breakfast I went back to the hotel and worked.

Then I decided that I NEED to go read the manga of the video game I'm translating, so I went to a manga cafe.

Without reading the manga, I can't understand what's going on, and I can't translate the special moves.

I stayed for 3 hours and I was only able to read up to volume 16.
There's 30+ volumes, still continuing.
I'm a little less than half way...
I have to go back tomorrow to finish up.

I also went out and bought the character book, because it lists out the special moves.
It's still hard to tell I do need to read the series.

I went back to the hotel to work some more, although my wrist started hurting so I had to stop.
I miss my other keyboard...

Then I was called by Company B staffers T-san and Y-san to join Company BV for dinner.

It was an expensive place.

This is the view we had:

It doesn't look pretty in the picture, but it was nice.

So basically I'm living the life I have in Los Angeles, plus free expensive dinners.
Hmm. Is that good or bad?

KAGETORA #5 Released

KAGETORA volume 5 was released today.

I enjoyed doing the translation notes for this volume because a bit of it involves Kyoto.

Shugo Chara! #1 Released

Shugo Chara! Volume 1 was released today

I didn't work on the translations in full, but I was a bit involved.

When you start collecting the volumes you'll notice something with Amu's fingers on the covers.

Please check it out.

Spring 2007 Japan Trip Day 5

Day 5.

I only got about 4.5 hours of sleep because I was trying to finish the video game file.

Anyway, I woke up and headed for Akihabara.

It was raining, by the way.
Pretty hard.
I had to buy an umbrella at a convenience store.

I bought a bunch of video games, and now I feel guilty about it.
I don't think I'll even have time to play them until May.

Oh well.

Two of the games I bought are for PS2, so I will have to borrow my friend E's Japanese PS2.

I also bought Furuhata Ninzaburo, the 3rd season DVD box.

I've been wanting this for about 5 years.
I finally found it for a decent price.

So I will be watching that while I work when I get home.

For lunch, I had pizza.
When I went to dinner with Company G, they served pizza with a runny sunny-side up on top.
You crush the yolk to mix it with the toppings.

Is this something they do in Italy?

Anyway, it was really good, so I ordered the same kind of pizza.
I think from now on I will eat Papa John's pizza with egg on it.

For dinner I had Wara Wara, a chain izakaya.
After eating good delicious food (at other company's expenses), I realized Wara Wara is not that good.
I just chose there because I was tired and it is next to my hotel.

I fell asleep before 9pm.

Spring 2007 Japan Trip Day 4

Day 4.

I spent half of the day working on the video game file.

Then I met up with my friend and former co-worker S-san.
I had to borrow her and her ID to buy a new phone.

She helped me buy my previous phone many, many years ago.
My phone is so old that the company doesn't exist.

Here is my old phone.

It's next to the water bottle to compare the size.

Here is my new phone.

It's next to a business card to compare the size.

Sorry the comparison items are completely different sizes...I just grabbed whatever was near me.

After I split with S-san, I went shopping.
For random stuff.
Then I ate ramen and jumbo gyoza.
They were huge!

Delicious ramen is so easy to find in Japan.
Why aren't there delicious ramen places in LA?
All are mediocre in my opinion...

I came home and finally finished the rush file.
I still have over 80 files left...

Tomorrow I will go to Akihabara to shop for a bunch of stuff.

Spring 2007 Japan Trip, Day 3

Day 3.

I got an email about the video game files.
I guess the developers wanted the graphic text ASAP.

Graphic text is the text you see on the actual scenery and stuff.
Like the numbers you see when Final Fantasy characters are attacked.

Back when I didn't know what Final Fantasy was, I thought the numbers were something the characters were throwing away.

Anyway, so I worked all day in the hotel.

I went outside once to allow the cleaning lady to come in.
I went to K-Books and bought some novels and manga.

I had a Bakudan Yaki for lunch.
It is like a huge takoyaki with 10 different ingredients.

At night I went out to eat with my former co-workers.

After I came back I had to work some more, this time on manga.
It was also a rush job.
It wasn't really, but I wanted to process it so that I'll have more cushion time later.

Spring 2007 Japan Trip Day 2

(This is my second time writing this blog entry because I lost it in the web the first time. Urg!)

Day 2.
I woke up at 4am because it was hot.
I know jet lag has to do something with it too.

Anyway, I worked on my video game files because I couldn't go back to sleep.
This trip is slowing me down for sure.

I left to go to Tokyo Anime Fair (TAF) at around 8:30.
Just in time to ride the sushi zume train.
Sushi zume is like sushi squeezed inside a container.

This was my first time riding the train where it was so crowded that station attendants need to push the people in to close the door.
At one point, there were three attendants working on one section.
It was a great photo op, but I thought it would be rude so I didn't take the picture.

Sushi zume was not fun.
I was crammed up against a guy's back that my neck got cramped.
I wondered if my insurance will pay for my chiropractic bills.
Luckily, the sushi zume lasted only from Ikebukuro to Shibuya.
After that it was a pleasant ride to Kokusai Tenjiba, where Big Sight is.

At the ticket registration I saw John and Masumi from CPM.
They were kind enough to let me cut in at the front of the line.

I also saw the Bandai Entertainment group: Iyadomi-san, Taku, and Lord R.

Then I went inside.

Now is a good time to show my pictures.

This is Big Sight from a distance.

A sign indicating TAF.
The girl is not me. It was a random girl who just happened to step in front of the sign when I was taking the picture.

I thought it was funny with all the round balloons.

When I went to dinner with company G, I promised them that I would advertise their newest show, Gurren Lagann.

This is Aniplex's section for Gurren.

This is the GAINAX booth.
They served free drinks here.

Cosplayers at the KONAMI booth.

At the BROCCOLI booth, they were promoting the Aquarian Age arcade game.
The black part on the bottom has sensors that can read the special Aquarian Age cards.
It was quite impressive.

Oops, I forgot what booth this was.
It's a Detective Conan ship.

I don't know what show this is from, but the outfit is cute.

She kept handing me Karas cards.

I only know about this show because of the Nissin cup o' noodles commercial.

Classic anime, although I haven't seen one episode.
But I do know that the father (the eye) has a high voice.
My friend used to always imitate his voice.

If you played a game and scored well, you get one of these prizes.
I really wanted the t-shirt and I tried over 5 times.
I only got a poster, and I misplaced it somewhere.

This is the game. A baseball game using a bat with a spring.
You pull the bat back and hit the ball.
You need two homeruns to get a t-shirt.

Don't know what it is, but it's cute.

The tanks are uber cute.

A plushie of the tank (baby version).

I haven't seen much of Lupin III, but I thought the KEEP OUT tapes were nice.

This is the MADHOUSE booth.
I met my friend Yoshi here.
I also saw Maruyama-san. I always have to take off my glasses when I greet him because he knows me more without my glasses.

The Princess Resurrection anime stand.
They were giving out coasters, which I will send to my editor at Company DR.

I just took this picture because he looks like a friend of mine.

The Pierrot booth.
NARUTO, BLEACH, and BLUE DRAGON were what they pushed.

Actually, these figures were creepy.

They had a special section of robot anime.
I went around and realized I only saw about four robot anime.
Doraemon, Evangelion, Gunbuster (work related), and Code Geass.

They had it divided into the period they were released.
This is 1980s.

They had a history of robots and other information.

I would like to ride a robot that is a big version of me too.

I didn't know Shana likes Melon bread.
Melon bread reminds me more of Di Gi Charat's character MinaTaku.

Tezuka booth.
The display of his manga was amazing.

The tiny manga that is really hard to read.

I like the red one the most, but the blue one was appealing to me to take a picture.
Keroro was playing with someone else.

I got to go to the Romeo x Juliet production announcement.
The president was saying that he wanted to aim for Hollywood, so he chose the star-crossed lovers for this project.

From the left:
The director, the voice actor for Romeo, the voice actor for Juliet, and president of GONZO.

I didn't know Mizushima-san was doing Romeo.
I met him at Fanime last year.

I stayed at TAF from beginning to end.
It was very tiring.

I met up with Yuka-san, a character designer.
She worked on Da Capo and other projects.
I met her at AX last year.

We then met up with Y-san from Company B and went to Shinjuku for dinner.
It's a nice restaurant...the customer base was old and we were the youngest ones there.
And we all look at least 5 years younger than our actual age, too.

This was in the front.

We sat at the bar.
I've never sat at the bar so huge that someone can sleep on it.

They have fresh vegetables and seafood sitting in front of the chefs.

Oh, it was sooooo good I can't even describe it.

It was a really long day, but I had a lot of fun.

Spring 2007 Japan Trip Day 1

I arrived in Narita around 3:40pm, Tokyo time.

I took the limo bus to Ikebukuro, where I always stay.

I like this hotel for many reasons.
1) Free internet
2) Fridge, even though there's very little space (3 drinks worth)
3) They lend out humidifiers
4) Right across from MatsuKiyo
5) Convenient to Ikebukuro JR station

...well, and etc that maybe I shouldn't share to the public.


Company G was nice enough to meet me at the hotel.
When I got to the hotel, S-san was already waiting for me.
I quickly changed and washed my face, and when I went down, Takeda-san and Yamaga-san were there too.
And Y-san from Company B.

I see Yamaga-san almost every year at Fanime.
But I haven't seen Takeda-san and S-san for many years.

And this was my very first time seeing Takeda-san not in a suit.
Because usually he is always suited up.

Our get-together was special this time because it was for Yamaga-san's birthday.

Here is Yamaga-san with his special birthday dessert:

Sorry the picture is bad, but the place was gothic and dark.

They served interestingly named food, and some of them looked very nice too:

And this is the dessert we shared among 4 people:

It was called "The Master's Wagamama Parfait."
You can choose the contents from a list of things.
Like what kind of topping you want, what flavor ice cream, etc.

It was a fun night.
Thank you Company G!

Spring 2007 Japan Trip Day 0.5

My hotel gave me this when I checked in.

It's a sampler for people to try out, but I actually have a whole case of it back at home.
My father brought it with other random items from golf and gave them to me.

It's really gross.

Laptop in the Bag

I'm off to Japan in about...10 hours.
I'm going to put away my laptop now, and maybe blog again in...a day?

Hopefully I can take nice pictures of sakura (I like yozakura more, so I don't know if my cheap camera can take nice pictures) and TAF.

I'm going to take the following work to Japan:
Novel F #1
Video Game N #1
Manga P (Princess Resurrection #3)

I was going to cut up Princess Resurrection in the plane, but I realized I can't take knives...

So I had to cut it up in the middle of the night.

Why did I choose to take Princess Resurrection?

Well, it's not 18+...
The other manga work I have that's not 18+ is thick.
It's as thick and big as a wide-ban/perfect edition manga.

My other choice was Murder Princess #2, but I haven't read it yet and I didn't want to cut it before I read it.

11 Hours

I went to the bookstore today to buy something to read on the plane.

I found nothing.

My leisure reading usually non-fiction, and non-fiction books tend to be heavy.

So I guess I'll be doing the following in the 11 hours over the Pacific Ocean:

- sleep
- play DS
- work on video game
- watch anime the video game is based on

I'll have a lot to do on the way back, because I'll be buying books, manga, and games.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I didn't go outside so I didn't get a chance to wear green.

Or get drunk or anything like that...

It was like any other day.
I got up and went straight to work.

I am halfway through with the novel, so I'll be switching back to the video game.

Japlans, part 2

My Japlans are almost set.

I didn't realize how short my trip was until I ran out of days when I was setting up dinners and stuff.

I wanted to see screenwriter O-san, but he's too busy even to go to the Anime Fair.
He's busy with the ultra popular anime C...

I'm still trying to decide which work to take.
The video game is in my laptop, so that I'll take for sure.
Maybe the novel and one manga?
Which manga should I take?
I have 3 choices.
A yaoi title, or one of two violent princess titles.

Happy White Pi Day

Happy White Pi Day!

Happy White Pi Day is a combination of White Day and Pi Day.

What should someone do on White Pi Day?


I think the easiest thing is to make a rice crispy treat in the shape of the pi symbol.

It's less than a week before I leave for Japan.
Sometimes I forget that it's next week!

I'm just so focused on getting these video game files done.

I don't know if I'm anxious about the deadlines, but I couldn't sleep last night and worked until 6am.
I woke up at 9:30am.

And I guess I'm hyper, so I've been working all day non-stop.

Now I know how a manga artist feels like the day before a deadline.
I just don't get phone calls asking about my progress.


Plans in Japan...Japlans for short.

I've been contacting people (for work and friends) to meet up with in Japan.

For the first night I arrive, I'll be meeting with Company G's CEO, president, and other staff.

I always see Yamaga-san at Fanime, but it's been many years since I've seen the others.

By the way, I arrive in NRT at 4pm and our dinner is 7 or 8pm...

Is that enough time!?

Double the Work

Daylight Savings is sort of throwing off my daily schedule.
I hope I get used to it soon...
Although I'll be going to Japan in about a week and I have to adjust to that timezone anyway.

I've been working on the novel and video game simultaneously.

I do one video game file, and when I feel like I'm video gamed out, I switch over to the novel.

I am about less than 1/3 done with the novel (I'm way behind...sorry to my editor!), and about...1/4 done with the video game?

Anyway, I don't know if it's the DST or the staying up later than usual, or the overload of work, but I had a tiring sequence of dreams last night.

In one of them, I was working on the novel.

It was sad because I had spent a good amount of time "translating" in my dream, but none of that work converted to my real life work.

It reminded me of the time when I had to go to the doctor to get a shot (I HATE shots more than anything).
That night after I visited my doctor, I had a dream of getting the shot again.

It hurt.

...Since I am working on three unannounced projects consecutively, I have nothing to blog about.

Disgaea 2 #2 Finished

Disgaea 2 #2 is done!

I think it's coming out in July.
Please look for it.

Even if you haven't played the game (I haven't), it's enjoyable.
Comedy with boobs.

If that's your thing, please check it out.

Pile O' Books

To take a break from work, I counted all of the manga sitting behind me.

There were 21 manga/novels.

Five of them don't have deadlines...
These are books my clients sent ahead of time.

But the rest, I have deadlines.
Up until June.


And I can't read Pyu to Fuku until I finish all of this...


!? and ?!

Today I received an email from my video game client asking to use "?!" instead of "!?"

I usually use !?

I think it's more aesthetically pleasing.
The curve of the question mark doesn't get in the way.
When it's ?!, I think it doesn't flow as well.

This client is the second one out of my clients who uses ?!

Oh well.

The client is always right.

So which one is better/correct?
Or is it a matter of preference?

Disgaea 2 Rush

I am working on Disgaea 2 #2, which is a rush job.

There's so much text!

I'm simultaneously working on the video game and the novel.

Bebo, bebo...

”Borrowing the Bathroom"

Today I had an appointment with my optometrist.

I went early because someone turned off the water in my condo...
I hate it when I can't wash my hands.

Anyway, so as soon as I signed in, I asked the receptionist:

"Can I borrow your bathroom?"

Later I realized that I did it again.

I used the English translation of the Japanese way to ask.

In Japanese we say "kariru," which translates to "borrow."

I don't know about other bilingual people, but I tend to do this many times.

Like saying "bread ear" instead of saying "bread crust."

Sigh. It's embarrassing.

Upcoming in April

I just got a bunch of work coming in, and they are all due in April.

In order of due date:

April 2: Title K
April 15: Title S
April 16: Murder Princess #2
April 16: Title F
April 18: Princess Resurrection #3
April 20: Video Game
Sometime in late April: Title H

I have one week with 5 deadlines.

Ha, ha, ha...

I need to start knocking 'em down, one by one.

My May schedule is filling up too.
May is usually TV industry crunch time, so I have to keep that in mind too.

"More Intensity"

I have almost 500 lines of video game text to translate by Tuesday.

So I had another Hikikomori Weekend (TM), but this time I worked.

The file I'm working on is the character's voices during...a fight? I guess?

It's just that there are lines that say, "Makasete!"
and "Makkaseteee!"

"Makasete!" would be something like "Leave this to me!"

The second one is the same line, but with "more intensity."

There are many instances where the second line is just with "more intensity."
But I can't do "Shoot!" and "Shit!" because it's a kids' game.

KAMUI #8 Finished

I finished KAMUI #8.

It seemed short.
There's information on the CD drama with the cast.

It's coming out this summer.

Today is girls' day in Japan, but I always thought the song singing "today is a fun hina matsuri" sounds depressing.
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