Ongoing Investigations: Case #055

Another Kara no Kyokai movie and other review. Movie number 6 is Oblivion Recorder which focuses on Mikiya’s sister Azaka Kokuto as she looks into students with missing memories with some help from Shiki. Apparently fairies under a mages control are stealing people’s memories. It is a flawed work without a doubt but I really enjoyed as I have all the other Garden of Sinner’s movies. This is really a movie all about Azaka co-staring Shiki. Azaka does most of the investigation and gets all the keys scenes. If there was any doubt that Azuka was the prototype for Akiha from Tsukihime they were dispelled by this movie. The animation stays fluid and while the action scenes with Azuka are very well done, Shiki’s action scene was quite brief and somewhat underwhelming. Satsuki Kurogiri hovers on the line between important and unimportant and his fate is ultimately left very vague. As I understand he has a much more expanded role in the original book which makes much more sense. In fact a post on Anime Diet goes into great detail on how the book and the movie are vastly different. I hope that Del Rey continues with their plan to translate the books so I can compare the two myself. Oh, the little omake scene at the beginning is all build up to one horrible pun. Of course I loved it.

I picked up a copy of My Japanese Coach for DS, I had been weighing whether or not to do this for quite a while because quite frankly I am just terrible at language. However, my fluctuating desire to know Japanese got the better of me. The program is broken into six stages of which I just completed the first one so it seemed like a good time to discuss how it is going. You are first given a multiple choice test to see what you might already know. Just from what I know from anime and the such I was able to skip 4 or 5 lessons. The game then does a quadruple duty of helping you learn vocabulary, sentence structure, verb conjugation, and kana through lessons taught by Haruka-sensei and games designed to help your memorization and writing skills. As you learn more, lessons unlock and new games appear. I haven’t gotten all of the games yet, but it is easy to see that some are much better structured than others. For example, Spelltastic would be much better suited (and helpful) to spelling in kana rather than romaji. The lessons themselves are set-up fairly well and for the most part don’t overwhelm you. Teachings that are long such as learning kana letters and verb conjugation are split up into many lessons with other things in between. This really helped me to learn what little was shown to me before heaping on more. It is also worth mentioning that after lesson 30, no more romaji is used in the lessons. By the end of the first 30 lessons I know all of my kana; I have started making sentences; my vocabulary is way up and I can catch more when watching anime; and most importantly, it seems to be sticking with me. I say that is progress indeed!

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