August 15, 2009

05.02.27 Ya-Ya-yah in Music Station

I'm spending my Summer vacation at the countryside with my family, and for a few days I was without an Internet connection, but not anymore! ^0^ I got myself a pay-as-you-go USB modem and I can't download or upload big stuff, but I can check my mail and surf the Net and update my blog, so it's a huge relief. I suppose it's rather pathetic, but I admit that not having an Internet connection drives me insane. XD;;;

I brought my external hard-drive here as well, with lots of things to watch, like Hyakushiki, Shokura, and the episodes that have been subbed so far of Yabu's and Hikaru's dramas, Nynkyo Helper and Orthros no inu. I've decided I'll be patient and wait for the subbed versions of each episode because it's much more enjoyable to watch when you can understand all that's being said, and the subbing-teams of these two dramas are really fast too. The generosity of fansubbers and fan-translators never ceases to amaze me. I'm a translator myself, and I know how much time and effort it takes to translate something, so devoting your time to do it for free for the enjoyment of others is just downright awesome.

I haven't yet started watching Orthros no Inu -will do so later-, but I did start watching some of Ninkyo Helper, so my next post will be about that. =) This was going to be a rant against stupid JE, who fails to realize again and again that Shoon deserves more. The spark this time was the fact that in the September mags, Shoon is only featured in Duet. ;____; (hence the header - thanks to Enshinge for the lovely scan! ^3^) It worried the hell out of me because... well, Tôshin ended up disappearing from the mags after a while, and I don't want that to happen to Shoon. It would be highly unfair. Doesn't he show, week after week in Hyakushiki what a great entertainer he is? I'm on the brink of starting a campaign, to encourage Shoon fans to send letters or postcards to Potato and Wink Up -maybe even Myojo- to let them know that we want them to continue featuring Shoon. Don't know if it would be of any use, but I just feel the need to do something. It's particularly unfair towards us, foreign fans, as mags are one of the very few legal ways we have of keeping up with our JE idols.

Anyway, I don't want to be a harbinger of doom, so I'm trying to convince myself that perhaps Shoon was just busy with his University exams as Japanese fans suggest. *crosses fingers* That's why I decided that, instead of using this entry to fume and moan, I'd rescue an entry draft I made some time ago and never posted. It featured one of Ya-Ya-yah's appearances in Music Station, together with KAT-TUN, in which they sang Start!, She Said, and Kizuna. Ya-Ya-yah wore their Power Rangers outfits for the occasion. I'll never understand how Shoon managed to look sexy in that, but he did. XD *aside to Hydee* It's weird that Hikaru had yellow instead of blue, and Shoon's outfit looks bluish more than green. *end of aside*

Start! was the first Ya-Ya-yah song I listened to, so it's one of my faves, and it's so energetic and happy it makes me feel energetic and happy too. =) I love the cute/buffonish interaction between Ya-Ya-yah and KAT-TUN and this particular version of Kizuna is awesomely beautiful, especially the end, and Jin's vocal qualities always impress me when I watch this.

2005.05.27 [MS].mpeg Ya-Ya-yah & KAT-TUN ~ Start! + She Said + Kizuna

[DOWNLOAD VIDEO (197MB) .001 .002] - [DOWNLOAD MP3]

For more Ya-Ya-yah performances in Music Station, please visit my site Be Ambitious. =)

August 04, 2009

I'm not a hippie

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
"Share the fun; spread the love". I think we all agree that's what fandom is about. However, as far as I know, we're not a hippie community, are we? If I pay for something, and then I want to share it, I think I have every right to share it in any way I please.

When I post scans, or a Hyakushiki episode at the Shoon LiveJournal community, and I request (not order) people to "please, wait a week before re-posting" or "please, do not re-post" and then say "thank you" in advance, I am not claiming a monopoly.

As the community maintainer, I'm just claiming an exclusive that will become an added bonus for people to remain members, and for more people to join the community.

I'm not so naive as to think that what I share will not be shared again by somebody else later on. I have no control over it anyway. I just ask people not to re-post it. If they do, all I can do is ban them from the community.

Also, I don't make any profit from sharing what I share. Much on the contrary; it costs me time and money. By saying this I don't intend to pass for a martir or a Jeanne d'Arc.

I spend money on fandom because I want to. I "waste" my time because I enjoy blogging and making fansites. And if I waste my time googling for alternate ways to watch and record a show when nobody will upload or share it, I do it because I myself want to watch it.

But I won't keep quiet when people who try to make profit from fandom and have tried to make profit from noble, if naive, fan projects, criticize me. Yeah, it's a free world and you can place ads on your blog, and webgain links, but if we're talking about the true spirit of fandom, I don't think THAT is the true spirit.

I won't keep quiet when people accuse me of being selfish. I have never tried to make any profit from my blogging (I avoid ads as much as possible because they're annoying and bother me), I have never put a watermark on my scans (yet I respect people who do) or the videos I've shared, and I have organized contests and given away stuff (like clippings and so on), paying for the shipping costs myself, just for the fun of it and for making the fandom more active. Again, I don't intend to pass for a Jeanne d'Arc, and I have many faults, but selfishness is not one of them.

If it's a crime to create a community and keep certain files and scans exclusive to it as little bonuses because you want people to find it worthwhile to be a part of it, then yes, I declare myself guilty.

Why do people upload clips and shows and share them on their blogs? I don't think it's merely for "spreading the love". Try and blog without sharing ANYTHING: not even streaming videos, or news, or pictures. Much the Japanese way, except they do post news, but then they're privileged because they're living where it all happens. Just blog giving your views and opinions. Then we'd see how many people would still follow your blog after a few weeks. The true spirit of blogging is not posting a clip, a download link, saying "Man, this show was great!", and throwing in a couple of witty comments.

Months ago it became increasingly difficult to watch or download Hyakushiki. The clubbox from which we all downloaded it became password-protected, TVU stopped working, so did TVants, J-net closed its doors...

Shoon only appears in Hyakushiki Ou these days, so as a Shoon fan, I was a little desperate to find a way to watch the show; any way. I resorted to a sort of "pay-per-view" online service. Not that much; 3 dollars every once in a while, but it's something I paid for anyway.

Now, I shared it at the Shoon community, happy to have a little exclusive thing I could share and asked people to "please wait a week before re-posting". Not even "please do not re-post"; just "please wait a week". 1 WEEK! Is that too much to ask? Was that selfish of me? I think not.

But of course there's people for whom, you know, blogging is a 24/7 job, and they just HAVE to make a post when there's something worth posting. You have known them for years, and they could have asked: "hey, I know you asked to wait a week, but would you mind if I re-posted it?". I'm so soft I would most likely have said "yes, sure, go ahead".

Well, instead of that they converted the video I had recorded to a different format, and posted it the next day on their blog, not only not crediting me, but passing it as their own. How nice is that?

Me being the obsessive fan I am, I kept on searching for some place where somebody might be sharing the show in good quality, and had the immense luck of finding somebody who can record Japanese shows in HighDefinition (HD). I had nothing to lose, so I asked if they might record Hyakushiki for me every week, and they said yes. Each file is over 3 gygabites, and the quality is amazing.

Now, re-uploading 3GB files every week for other people would be suicide for my connection, and not many people would be interested in such huge files, so I resize and convert them, which takes my computer over an hour and a half, then edit the file to cut the commercials, because with them the files are still too big, then split it with HJSplit, then upload it to MediaFire, then sometimes also make a smaller file for those who cannot download HD files, and then I also upload the whole file to the FTP of a Chinese-speaking Shoon community. Is THAT being selfish?

The person who records the show for me never asked for anything, but I felt awkward and cheeky (especially because once I mentioned I liked Shounen Club and they started recording it in HD for me too, plus Shounen Club Premium), so I asked if maybe I could make a donation, or something. They said it would be appreciated, so every month I make a donation of 15 euros (21 dollars) to thank them for the trouble. No, I don't intend to pass for a Joanne d'Arc, but if I pay for something and want to share it, I think I have the right to ask people not to re-post it. All you need to do to get the show is join the community.

And, as I said, it's the only show Shoon is appearing in these days, so I think it's not selfish if I want to keep the files exclusive to the community. V6, HSJ, Kisumai, ABC and junior fans who might not be the least interested in Shoon but want the show in HD to see Inocchi, Tottsu, Keito, Fujigaya, Takada, or Sanada are more than welcome to join the community, and I've advertised the Shoon community on the HSJ, ABC and Kisumai communities, so they know about it.

So really, is it selfish to ask people not to re-post some of the things I share? Those who know me know what an obsessive a huge Shoon fan I am, what crazy things I do for him, and that all I want is to help in any way possible to make him more popular in the foreign fandom, as well as for him to know how much support he has. If that makes me selfish, so be it.

P.S.: Laughing at a non-English speaker for their English is rather unfeeling when they're making an effort to communicate in a language that's not their own and so different from their own.
P.S.2: Please don't idolize bloggers, it's bad for our health and bad for your self-esteem.

August 02, 2009

the b-day girl thank-you post

Nope, not closing down this place. ;) I think this has been my longest absence though, and for that I must apologize. The past 3 months were really tiring, and even though I'm officially on holidays now, I'm still trying to sort some things up. You could say I'm working on a master plan for my life. Well, not for my whole entire life, something for the short term rather.

I've always had lots of interests, which is a good thing I'd say, but I have a tendency to start a thousand things at a time and then it's so hard for me to drop any. But I do need to drop some to focus on things that really matter to me or that will take me somewhere.

I'm not planning on dropping this fandom as long as Shoon is around though, and I still have much to share, Ya-Ya-yah-wise. I want to turn this into a coherent and comprehensive Ya-Ya-yah shrine, like I'm doing for Shoon, little by little, with the Shoon LJ community, and that means going over the group profile, creating individual profiles, scanning the rest of the articles I have... Lots of stuff. This is a looong-term project.

But it's my birthday today and I want to do something special. When I was a kid for me my birthday was all about getting presents and having fun. As you get older you realize that -even though it's always nice to get presents- you're so fortunate that you don't really need anything. It also gets a bit depressing when you go past your twenties because you feel you're not so young anymore and you start thinking of the things you've missed out on, the chances you let go...

But then you put your feet on the ground and you start appreciating the little things, and realize, as my brother J. says that turning a year older means you're alive and well, and there's a lot for you to celebrate and be thankful for.

Fandom-wise I'm thankful for all the nice people I have met, so this is a thank-you post for the friends I cherish in this fandom, in no particular order - you're all much loved by yours truly, and I always, always, always read your LJ entries and keep you in my mind, even if I'm a bit of a disaster and don't comment or e-mail you very often:

♥ Yui ♥ Hydee ♥ Tina ♥ Kelwy ♥ Oza ♥ Esther ♥ Mousie ♥ Mabel ♥ Miia ♥ Aki ♥ Sue ♥ Mandy ♥ Fahlyu ♥ K (mm_seeker) ♥ Geri ♥ Quin ♥ Bre ♥ Akgla ♥ Yuu ♥ Scribe ♥ Stevenica ♥ Enshinge ♥ Mei ♥ Hikaeru ♥ Seca ♥ Rachel ♥ Joanne ♥ blurryeyes19 ♥ Yuki ♥ Marz ♥ Xanderave ♥ Sohee ♥

Much love too to all the people who comment here and on my posts at the Shoon LJ comm. ^_____^

I'll be back... really soon, I promise. =)