Akiko McQuerrey is a Brooklyn-based Japanese animator who made overfishing song to protest our way of fishing in a gentle but touchy way.
It´s a high school drama, “Tobidase seishun (飛び出せ青春 / Shoot out, youth)”, a story about this passionate teacher and the students who can´t keep up with the others. It´s cheesy and the teacher is too atsui.
I like cats. I can hear some saying, ¨but you have a dog…¨. In the last 10 years, some how wherever I lived, there were dogs, and now I have my own dog. Even that, I´m a big cats lover, sorry dogs who did and does good to me.
Some may hates cats, that I know. The most popular reasons for hating cats are, ¨they seem to be cold¨ and *they are egoist¨. The cats I spent some time with in my childhood were very loving and above all, they were so comical.
KURUNEKO (くるねこ/ official web ►) is a Japanese animation I check at least once a day as a little detail of the day. It just cracks me up.
The author, Kuruneko Yamato (くるねこ大和) lives in a cat house and each cat has its own unique character.
Her very first cat was Mon-san.
And this is Suteki Ouji (すてき王子/ lovely prince), Kobochi-kun.
The story is about Kuruneko Yamato´s daily life with her followers. It´s simple but just so funny.
Well, let´s see if Kuruneko can get rid of cat- phobia a bit.
Also this may help to learn Japanese as the text is quite straightforwards.
Now below, there are some videos of Kuruneko´s dancing team.
Start with Mon neko no tango
Dohyou iri no tango (sumo ring entering tango) by Kobochi-kun.
And let´s finish with good-bye samba by Mon-san.
In a café, over a cup of tea, a friend suddenly brought up a conversation about Dragon Ball, to be more exact, about Bulma, the girl who started travelling with Goku and Kame jisan (the old man with a turtle shell).
I grew up with Dragon Ball, I had all the comics. At school kids were trying to get Kamehame Ha, that trick that emits energy power from the hands. Once I was working in the mountain, taking little kids around and on the break, I saw a thin and long stream shaped cloud was hanging from the big cloud. I said to a boy next to me, ¨hey look, it´s like a shenron!¨
The boy looked at me surprised. Yes back then I was already 19 or 20 and the boy was something like 10. Dragon Ball was still on the TV but for that boy, I was way too old to know anime. Excuse you, I was there when the comic was published when he still couldn´t even speak. Ha ha ha.
Anyway, I liked the concept of Dragon Ball, the idea of collecting 7 balls and the you can only ask one wish to the dragon. I nearly wet myself once, after all that effort and showed up the dragon, then Oorong shouted.
¨Give me a gal´s panty!!¨
Puff… it was dropped from the dragon.
I always had a doubt that how come an ancient Chinese dragon knew about "gal" and "panty". But this is another story.
The point is that this conversation about Bulma had triggered a traumatic memory of my schoolgirlhood.
It was a few weeks before my secondary school life started. I'd received my school uniform, bags and other stuff I'd need. I was in the living room sitting in the middle of the stuff with a bit of excitement.
I was picking up one by one just to check what I'd got. Then stopped.
Mmm? What's this?
"But how come the school gives us underwear? For the winter?"
I had no idea.
Then I realised that this thing was with some colothes for PE. Yet, I had a doubt.
How is possible wearing under pants in public?
I stood up and asked my mum. She looked quite normal and wasn't surprised to see it as a sportwear. She told me that it was called "buruma".
I was just shocked. I was wearing normal shorts for PE at my primary school and now with age 13, I had to run around with undie. Unbelievable…. I thought it was an insult.
Now I understood that this is worn commonly at schools as gilrs' sports wear. I see them in animation, too.
Then why boys wear normal shorts?
Is this some sort of fantasy for PE teachers to compensate being a boring job?
I still don't get it.
Buruma came from bloomers and the original version was nothing to do with underwear.
Not only it was shameful but also it was very uncomfortable because if you move hard, as it was worn when we do sports, your actual underwear would be shown.
What we did was, we were so aware of it so if we see someone's pants was showing, we quietly pointed at around her bottom or whispered to that person "your undie".
If you are a guy, I know you'd say "why not?" But still I don't think it's fair that only girls have to be embarrassed that way. Even now, I would say NO to wearing buruma!
Well, back to Bulma in Dragon Ball. I can't recall if she ever had worn buruma. If anyone does, please let me know.
He is a cat, came from the future. He is blue, no ears, stands on two feet, loves dora-yaki and have a special four-dimentional pocket which there are any sort of gadgets from the future.
His name is Doramemon (ドラえもん). He was a yellow cat formed robot but one day, a mouse ate his ears and he turned into blue with fear. Since then, he is so scared of mice.
So although Doraemon is a cat, a cat form robot, he doesn't hunt any mice.
Nobita is a school boy who doesn't like studying and wimpy. Very wimpy.
Nobita is an absolute looser. He is always bullied by two kids, Gian and Suneo.
Gian is a big fat kid and quite violent, ahem, very violent for a primary school kid, I must say.
One of his phrase is "your things are mine and my things are mine too."
He's not physically strong so he's always with Gian. Yes, he's just a bum-bag. Also he's mean to Nobita.
Look, he's showing his collection of mini-cars and tells them that they can take any of those they like. But, not Nobita. "Because" Suneo says, "Nobita is not capable to remodel the car". Yes, kids are cruel, I know but how frustrating.
Is Doraemon just a pure dream of all the kids who used to be bullied at school?
Nobita is also not so clever. Doraemon once said to him "If entire Japan lows to your level, that's the end of the world!" I agree. I hope all Japanese guys don't be so wimpy although it seems like the number of herbivorous boys are increasing….
As Nobita is so wimp that even his goodess, Shizuka comes to save him. How embarrassing, really.
He's not the type I'd like to be a friend with at school.
Anyways, Doraemon was with my childhood. On Friday evenings, at 19:30 on channel 10. This has been on more than 25 years as far as I know. And even decades later, I still have moments I wish Doraemon was here.
In the four-dimentional pocket, Doraemon has everything and whenever Nobita is in trouble he takes out a special gadget from the pocket.
Here are some of my favorites which I dream I could have them, really.
When Doraemon takes a gadget out, he shout,
This is a little propeller made of bamboo and is actually a kids' toy. You hold the stick part in between two hands and rapidly rub it. The propeller spins and flies up in the air.
This takecopter's got an idea from this toy. Only the difference is you put this on the top of the head and you can fly.
They usually get out of Nobita's window.
This is "Honyaku Konnyaku" (Translator devil's tongue)
Devil's tongue taste quite fishy if it's not cooked and it seems like they bite it raw.
I don't know if I'd like that but just eating this a little, you can speak any languages. I won't complain for that.
With this, no more hard time of learning languages and I can go anywhere!
This is "Dokodemo Door" (Anywhere door) and this is I want the most.
Before opening the door, you tell the door where you want to go and open it. Here you are, you are there!
Fantastic. We don't need airplane anymore. I can drink as much as I want and I just bring this door to go home straight from the bar, hihi.
Even now, as adults, we talk about all these gadgets of Doraemon and say "oh, I wish I had this and that." Doraemon roots in Japanese' soul.
I guess this is so real. It's a little exaggerated but at school, there are wimpy boys, bullies and bum-bags. When we were small, we didn't know that life we had was only temporal and people could change. The life was cruel for wimpy kids and for the bullies, wimpy kids were just easy targets. And this life has been repeated for generations.
I lived and saw Doraemon world. Only difference was there was never be Doraemon. I can't tell you the ending of Doraemon, but the ending of the real world I lived turned out to be a little kind.
10 years later, a bully kid apologized to our Nobita. It was a quite shocking moment according to some friends who were there by accident. I wasn't. I didn't go to that reunion.
I heard that our Nobita accepted our Giant's apology, but as if it was nothing so important. I imagine that actually it was Giant who was suffering all those years but not Nobita.
In the TV, they are still primary school kids and Nobita still cries and asks Doraemon for a help. But we have all grown up. We still wishes the existence of Doraemon but also we watch it with some sort of nostalgia.
Here is a little bit of Doraemon from the first episode in case you've never seen it.