31 January 2016


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 24 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 31, 2016
After the excitement of episode 23, we wind down with a few explanations in this one.... only to start some next excitement immediately. No, we get no rest with this show! And we haven't even got to the worst excitement yet ... but no spoiling. First, let's see how Big Sis blows a few fuses in this episode and Ming Tai gets his pretty little tush massaged...
JoAnne: Maybe because it's been a while but I almost can't remember Ming Tai as the super observant super quick to pick up spy kills guy, and mostly only remember him as the spoiled baby brother. In my head - and I think we can thank Eleanor for this - Ah Cheng is the spy, Ming Lou is the mastermind, and Ming Tai is just sort of along for the ride sometimes.
Eleanor: Haha, well I am a little Ah Cheng biased ;P Ming Tai can be an excellent spy sometimes yeah, but he lacks the experience and maturity that Ah Cheng and Big Bro have. And it tells. Oh well, Ming Tai is adorable and funny and I love him too. 

29 January 2016


The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 5 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 29, 2016
SakiVI: Welcome to the Fatty Wong Show! And we're still in the tomb. We don't leave it except to occasionally look at High Jr and Chastity Chen, and let's face it, those two are useless for the story.
kakashi: The show reaches new heights of being very bad at telling a comprehensible story and explaining anything about anything. It actually makes me think a lot about how understanding the logic of a fantasy-world is quite crucial for feeling at home in a story ... and caring about characters. Here, there's just a lot of "oh, look, there's a creepy thing" and "hey, who cares, let's just move on to the next scene".  

27 January 2016


The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 4 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 27, 2016
SakiVI: A (bad) explanation for the tomb is given us along with some seriously creepy hijinks.
kakashi: Cheap creepy but very effective hijinks. At least the tomb is big, so there is no claustrophobia. In fact, claustrophobia is about the only thing that is missing here. Also, at one stage, Uncle Three simply disappears ... and does not appear again. I don't approve. It's clearly the worst episode yet, but why am I so entertained? 
We see Uncle Three briefly in flashes, but, yes, he's gone after the first part. They wasted a lot of time on what the seven coffins were or were not. And yet, this episode, if you're not trying to write what happened, was very entertaining!

26 January 2016

25 January 2016


The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 3 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 25, 2016
SakiVI: I have nothing else to do during a snow storm, so I'm pushing along for now!
kakashi: This episode was a tiny little bit less scary than episode 2, but only because nothing crawled. I can tell you, I am really glad I did not become a tomb raider. I am clearly not well suited for that line of work.
It was more set-up with a bit of action.

24 January 2016


The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 2 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 24, 2016
SakiVI: All I can say, is good thing I feel safe with Little Master around!
kakashi: OMGalmighty, this episode SCARED ME shitless (no, autocorrect, I don't mean shirtless)!! Saki, why did you not properly warn me :OOOO. Luckily, I watched it in broad daylight. If all the episodes are like this, I cannot watch this at night. Anyway, our Tomb-Robber team sets out to ... rob some tombs. But the way to the tomb leads through... some other tomb. A friggin scary one. 


The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 1 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 24, 2016
SakiVI: I started watching this show randomly, as one does, during a bad flu and then couldn't stop. Luckily, it's only meant to be 10 action-packed episodes! Woohoo!
kakashi: A new recapping project! Woohoooo! This one is entirely on Saki/Jaehyus, who seems to have fallen under this drama's weird spell all of a sudden. It's on viki, it has ten episodes, and this is the first of planned 8 seasons. The Grave Robbers' Chronicles / Daomu Biji is an internet novel and extremely popular in China.
If I could get an decent translation, I would read this.
Let's get cracking! Episode 1 is the "get-together" of (part of) the gang; much more exciting things are in store for you in episode 2.  

23 January 2016


OperationKaiKai: Success!!

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 23, 2016

Most people know by now that #OperationKaiKai was a raging success. The curse has been broken! I saw an Asian Star!! Yaaaaay! From here, the moon and the stars :D Who is next? Hu Ge?

21 January 2016


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 23 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 21, 2016
Ah! What an adrenaline spiking, but ultimately heart-warming episode! Yes, the beginning is bloody and violent ... maybe a bit too violent?, but in terms of interactions between the Ming Bros, this one is a gem! Ah Cheng gets a prize for being the most reasonable (at least today) and for keeping things sane. We get some kind of closure in this episode and it is nice to see that as brutal as that kill-order was, family bonds are strong enough to endure this. Indeed: what does not kill you makes you stronger.
Warning: many gifs in this post!
JoAnne: That's okay, I feel like I don't have much to say. We can just watch silently, all together.
Well, the warning was more for people with low-data allowances on their phones :D 
Eleanor: Most definitely my favourite episode so far. Maybe it will be my favourite always.  

20 January 2016


Rants and Weekly Raves #70 (RAWR)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 20, 2016
Jaehyus: I have flu, so I'll say Hello and Goodbye like this mysterious gege does in the first episode of The Lost Tomb. 
JoAnne: He only shows up once? That seems a waste.
Girls these days have all the luck!
becca: One of my wishes for 2016 may be coming true! It's possible that Sooyoung will make a drama comeback. On OCN. With the Bad Guys writer. And Seo In-guk and Ma Dong-seok. If anyone wants me, I'll be in the corner, crying tears of joy. :')
kakashi: I'm post-Milano and yeah, I'm already planning whom to stalk next. Suggestions? 
We are completely out of whack, schedule-wise. Well, I am completely out of whack in pretty much every regard. I'm having a hard time holding on to what day of the week it is. What a weird start to the year, really. I find myself thinking I want a really good closet-cleaning. That should put my head to rights again, right?
Cleaning. Not a good subject

19 January 2016


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Relationship Chart

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 19, 2016
Joyce has drawn a Disguiser relationship and identities chart - thanks so much!!! Be careful though if you have not yet seen the drama, it's very spoilery. You can zoom into the picture once you've clicked on it.

18 January 2016


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 22 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 18, 2016
"The Hunt" begins. I love and I hate the Ming Brothers, especially the two older ones. That's some craaaaaaaazy shit they are pulling in this episode O_____________o And get ready to press play again right away after this one ends, because the Operation is far from over.
JoAnne: Will you LOOK at how sexy he is. Just LOOK at him. Rrrrrrrrawr...
Eleanor: This episode. I think I'm still hyperventilating. Can't breathe. Too much tension! 
Yeah, plus... You Saw Wang Kai this weekend! In person!!! 

17 January 2016


Notes Made When Translating: Journey to the End

Posted by Joyce 风风火火地 on January 17, 2016

The Fourth Song 第四首歌

Wow I made it! :D This is the last of the 4 official songs in the Nirvana in Fire series. Also I found a new GIFing software and I'm not afraid to use it!

This particular song is actually the official theme song for the Nirvana in Fire Mobile RPG game (wow!). If you're interested in having a look follow this link.

I found this song quite by accident but immediately loved it after listening – the lyrics so well written, the music such flare. I was once again impressed by the series’ production values, even the song for the game is good XD.

The singer for this song goes by a nickname called 音频怪物 “Sound Wave Monster”. He’s actually a pretty famous online singer who does both original and remakes of songs and has release 2 albums according to my research.

Some Commentary (Rants) on the Game 说说游戏那点事儿

Firstly I'm very unhappy that I cannot download this game from the Australian Apple App store. It's limited only to the China App Store. :( Being a long time RPG and MMORPG fan this is very annoying, and also it means I can't give much of a review of the game.

Secondly yes, it is available on Android platforms, so if anyone has played it please put some info in the comments! 
Mei Changsu - very nice :D
Being a Chinese RPG it’s likely of the free to play but pay to ace model. The good thing about this models is you usually get to play the full game for free but it’ll be like playing a game on hard mode. The people who like the game a lot and want to win can spend real money to buy conveniences (they’re called ‘whales’, and I appreciate whales) like better gear, power ups or storage. 

Towards the end of the video of the song linked below there is a series of in game character designs and they all look very pretty. Or you can go here and see the designs for some of the characters - I did have to do a double take at Xia Jiang's design.
?????????????? Who?????????? Oh O_o.....

Notes Made When Translating: Journey to the End 翻译《归殊》的笔记

This song was not done as part of any of the translations during the subbing of Nirvana in Fire, so all translations were done by yours truly :).

Title: 归殊 Journey to the End  or
                   Return of Shu
Lyrics: 沄汐 Yunxi
Composition: 劉泰戈 Liu Taige and 音頻怪物 Yin Pin Guai Wu
Singer: 音頻怪物 Yin Pin Guai Wu, Real name: 李楠 Li Nan

The title of this song is quite an interesting choice with a double layer of meanings.

The first one is literally, the “Return of Shu”, 归 (guī) means to return and 殊 (shū) is the Shu in Lin Shu's name.

The second meaning is in reference to the chengyu 殊途同归 (shū tú tóng guī) which means “reaching the same goal via different routes” or “all roads lead to Rome” for the English equivalent. 殊途 (shū tú) literally means “different routes” and 同归 (tóng guī) here means “same place to return to” or essentially the same goal. The phrases focuses on the process of reaching the end goal and not so much if the end is good or bad or if even reached. So the alternate title I came up with is "Journey to the End".

The first line of the song tells us the stages of life Lin Shu has lived through, there isn’t many. The first half of his life is about friendship, loyalty, that ended, and he was forced to wander literally and figuratively. This is one of two refrains that is repeated throughout the song as a lament on the fickleness of life.

半生义气 半世浪迹
Lit: Half a lifetime of brotherhood and friendship, half a lifetime of wanderings
Lyrical: Life, half of friendship, the other of wanderings

Best friends will always be best friends

The fragrance of medicine becomes his companion as he builds a new name for himself in his forced exile.

药香缠骨 铸就一纸江湖名
Lit: Fragrance of medicine entwines the bones forging an insubstantial name in the pugilist world
Lyrical: Fragrance of herbs entwined, forging an empty name

The use of this non-standard quantifier 一纸 (yī zhǐ) in this line is very clever. The word literally translates to “one paper”, the entire phrase 一纸江湖名 “one paper of a name in the pugilist world”. Paper is flimsy, fragile, easily destroyed, of not much value. It infers that the fame that Lin Shu created for Mei Changsu was not of much value to him personally, an empty name, just a mean to an end, a stepping stone in his plans. 
Mei Changsu created for one purpose only
He returns to Jinling the capital, revisit and retrace the steps he used to take but this time he is not the passive party. He controls the ebb and flow and the fate of not only the people around him but also the fate of the Empire. The battle for power is figuratively described as a game in which Mei Changsu advises on the moves.

踏归金陵 重游故地
Lit: Stepping back to Jinling, revisiting familiar places
Lyrical: To return to Jinling, retrace the steps

指点一局 浮沉江山的博弈
Lit: To advise a round, (control) the ups and downs of the contest of the kingdom
Lyrical: To advise a round, the ebb and flow of the contest of the world

The phrase 浮沉 (fú chén) literally translates to “float sink”. This phrase is used to mean “rise and fall” of a thing or a person’s life, whether they are thriving or decaying. This phrase usually implies a sense of passiveness, where you are unable to control your fate and instead must drift along with the ebb and flow of the tide. However here the song cleverly turns it into active action to describe how Mei Changsu takes control of the flow of not only the nation’s fate but also the fate of the people involved.
Listen to me
The song makes a comparison to the young and carefree, concluding that they are but a fleeting moment in life, just some stories people would later enjoy retelling.

少儿郎 策马骋千里
Lit: Young man, spur on the horse and gallop for a thousand miles
Lyrical: Young man, spur on and gallop without bounds

Lit: It’s but a story of virtues and candor told by others
Lyrical: It’s but a story of virtue and candor

嶙峋 (lín xún) means jagged, craggy mountain rocks. This is later extended to mean someone who has a innate strength of character and candor - 傲骨嶙峋 (ào gǔ lín xún). Standing up straight and unwavering as the mountains.

We have never stopped talking
And in forgotten graves, the spirit of the people who were wronged do not rest and continue to call.

枯冢里 铮铮铁骨不屈
Lit: In the withered tomb the clanging iron bones do not yield
Lyrical: In withered tombs, bones do not yield

Lit: Who still remembers the anguished calls of the heroic souls smothered by the flames?
Lyrical: Who remembers the call of souls smothered by the flames?

铮铮铁骨 (zhēnɡ zhēnɡ tiě ɡǔ) chengyu, means a firm and unyielding character. 铮铮 (zhēnɡ zhēnɡ) is the sound of metal hitting against metal, clanging. The chengyu uses the clanging of ‘iron’ bones to describe a strength of character.

The wronged do not rest
The wind rises and blows. This refrain is repeated as reminder of the strife that is stirred up in the world.

风起兮 风起兮
Lit: The wind rises, the wind rises
Lyrical: Oh how the wind rises, how it blows

兮 (xī) is an auxiliary word used mostly in Classical Chinese (文言文). Its equivalent to saying “Ah~” or “Oh~” or “How~”.

That ‘wind’ which has been blowing for more than a decade and has made many things into stories and song and buried many feelings forever entombing them in the past. Such things have no place, or more correctly it cannot have a place in the battle for power.

Lit: Blowing for ten years making songs from separation
Lyrical: Rushing past decades, songs of separation

再相聚 被无情埋了曾经
Lit: Meeting again, the heartless have buried the past
Lyrical: To meet again, the heartless have buried the past.

Not the same anymore
Each and every move in the battle is a carefully calculated move. A single move, a single game piece is sometimes enough to influence the ultimate outcome of the game. And looking back perhaps you won’t even know whose trap you’ve fallen into.

一子棋 一平局
Lit: Placing a game piece, making a draw
Lyrical: To place a piece, force a draw

Lit: Plot a round of trickery and deceit
Lyrical: Plot a round of trickery and deceit

回首时 不识是谁人手笔
Lit: Looking back, who knows whose piece of work it is?
Lyrical: Looking back, who knows who it was?

手笔 (shǒu bǐ) means “(a) piece of work” usually used to describe a piece of text or painting. Here it’s used to describe the schemes being played out.

There's times when things don't go as planned but you don't know why.

The first refrain is used again to remind us of the impermanence of things in the world, but this time it’s coupled with the determination to fight against the fate that has been laid out.

半生义气 半世浪迹
Lit: Half a lifetime of brotherhood and friendship, half a lifetime of wanderings
Lyrical: Life, half of friendship, the other of wanderings

指点一局 浮沉江山的博弈
Lit: To advise a round, (control) the ups and downs of the contest of the kingdom
Lyrical: To advise a round, the ebb and flow of the contest of the world

The next lines matches and adds on to the earlier lyrics and reminds us again to the wrongs suffered. A grave with only a handful of soil, how rushed and simple. Can that constitute a suitable grave? No, but even that was more than what the Chiyan army received. Such pains and suffering cannot be put into words.

一抔土 葬骸骨不平
Lit: A handful of soil, bury the remains, restless bones
Lyrical: A handful of soil bury restless bones.

Lit: How many regrets are too hard to even write in history
Lyrical: How many regrets, too hard to pen even in history?

Stories that need to be told
There is no arguing that it such wrongs must be addressed but it’s a dangerous path that he will not allow anyone else to travel along with him.

来时路 那人只身入局
Lit: On the road here, that person enters the fray alone
Lyrical: On road to here, he enters the fray alone

Lit: Restore the eternal name of the men of Chiyan to what it was
Lyrical: To restore the eternal name of Chiyan

千秋 (qiān qīu) literally “a thousand autumns” which stands for eternal.
I come because I'm willing
The wind rises, strife is stirred up again with his arrival and it rages in the courts ever more ferociously as the end nears. But how many see it, feel it? 

风起兮 风起兮
Lit: The wind rises, the wind rises
Lyrical: Oh how the wind rises, how it blows

Lit: The lofty Court is full of wind and rain
Lyrical: In the lofty Court it storms

All of you, traitors! But in who's eyes?
To be loyal to your country, to love it, to save it, is not for name or fame.

拥江山 未留生前生后名
Lit: To embrace the Kingdom, leave no name before or after death
Lyrical: To embrace the Kingdom, no name needs to be left

拥 (yōng) means to embrace, or hug and its’ meaning is extended to be “to love” – not in the romantic love sense, but a patriotic sense. In the series Lin Shu agreed with no hesitation to not 'return' to the 'living' after the Chiyan case retrials. Leaving his name in history was not his goal. Similarly 'revenge' is too shallow a word to describe the things that he had set out to achieve. 
For you and I, there's no need to meet again
When the war starts, when the country needs him again, he will without hesitation re-adorn his armor and all this is for a belief that is held dear in his heart. His life will be to create, to forge and prove through his actions, his beliefs.

战火起 硝烟急
Lit: The flames of war rises, urgent acrid smoke
Lyrical: Rising flames, urgent acrid smoke

Lit: Only to wait till he re-adorns the armor
Lyrical: Wait for him, to re-adorn his armor

便是将 一生铸一腔赤心
Lit: then he’s a General, using a life to forge (create) an unyielding loyal heart
Lyrical: then he’s the General and this life is all for his belief.

To where they belong
Another year, when the Langya list is written anew, he is not there anymore to be placed back on the list.

又一年 叹琅琊榜上再无名
Lit: Another year, lament that the name is no longer on the Langya List
Lyrical: Another year, that name is no longer on the list.

But his name will be written else where

Conclusions 结论

In listening to this song I found it very different in tone to the other songs in the series. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that's its for the NiF game. 

The other songs lamented for the characters and events that happened in a prostrate tone. However in this song there is more a sense of a fight, of dissatisfaction, the unwillingness to accept fate and the will to change it. It high lighted the character's actions and fight in the story.

 Afterword 后记

Well thank you all for sticking with me :) This is the last of the "Notes Made When Translating" series I had set out to write for the songs in NiF about one month ago. I initially thought it would take a while, but its had been so very enjoyable, especially with everyone's comments that I managed to power through.

This was a very interesting and I must say educational experience for myself. In trying to write up these little notes I had to verify my own understanding of terms and anecdotes that were mentioned. On several occasions I had to correct my own assumptions or erroneous understandings. It really forces you to go and clarify your own understandings of everything.

I also hope that these notes also help you to gain a bit more of a feel of the general background to this world presented in Nirvana in Fire and perhaps gain an extra dimension in your viewing experiences. 

At the moment I'm not sure what further posts I'll write XD, so I guess I'll play it by ear and see if anything else comes up!


Thank you all :)

14 January 2016


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 21 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 14, 2016
Yeah, shit. This episode drops a bomb on Ming Tai, which leaves him in that very uncomfortable place between a rock and a hard place, both trip-wired with deadly explosives. Any choice will cost somebody's life, so how will you make such a decision?! In addition, there is some excitement about Big Sis, who suddenly is in danger and I tell you, I am GLAD I am not one of the Ming siblings. Too stressful. Far too stressful. But at least they're all so damn good looking.
Honestly, I sat here for this episode and the next just thinking how on EARTH could anyone make a decision in Ming Tai's position, and believing whole-heartedly that he'd find some way NOT to. I should have known better.
Eleanor: This episode. I needed heart pills during and after it. Like big time. Holy crap. 

12 January 2016


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 20 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 12, 2016
Why so grim, dear Ah Cheng? Things are going quite well for you guys, I'd say ... and little Ming Tai is still cutely in love, which means he is far less annoying than usual. Things are quiet right now, but we all know what that means ...
JoAnne: Yep. Someone's gonna screw something up.
It's the quiet before the heart attack.
Eleanor: At least we got to see lots of Ah Cheng :)


Stalking an Asian Star - Attempt No 3

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 12, 2016
If you know me well, you know that I am the world's worst stalker of Asian stars. I have tried twice and failed spectacularly. 1) I managed not to see Lee Jun-ki even though he pranced around in Switzerland for days (details about Adventure 1: here); 2) I managed to dress up as Santa for Kim Ji-hoon who did not even come here in the end (details about Adventure 2: here). Oh, and about a gazillion other Korean stars come to Switzerland regularly and I miss them. Case in point: There is a picture of Joo Sang-wook sitting at a spot which is 300  meters from where I work. Kyuhyun (though not one of my biases) filmed a whole MV at the university I work at and I never even noticed a thing. Etc. Etc. Etc. 

11 January 2016


Drama Dream - TOP Heavy!

Posted by SakiVI on January 11, 2016
I'm sure we've all had them.  I just had one last night.  It was weird and unsatisfying and thus I must share.  I dreamt I was an undergrad (thank you, Cheese in the Trap) and a Candy (so, so far from the truth, but so is being an undergrad at this point) and that TOP was my Oppa.

Mind Blown!

TOP was working as a delivery Candy Boy, but was secretly a rich Heir: 
TOP wasn't in Heirs, so Kim WooBin is filling in.

and he was that nice Oppa that I relied on for an occasional "Fighting!"

Like in IRIS.

And I was the only one who knew he was a rich Heir in disguise,

Kim Woobin again.

and not a delivery boy.  


Min Hyorin was there too.  
I didn't recognize her in Persevere, Gu HaeRa.

looking like she did in that Song Jieun video where she sets BAP's Himchan

Again, self-explanatory.

on fire,

Yep, she burned that face alive.

and she was the Unni I trusted and who I needed eventually to  help me with some college work because of some weird illness that started with a nosebleed.

Nosebleeds are gross, so here's TOP again.
Also, in the dream, I had a dongsaeng I talked to on the phone, but never saw, so I'll just assume she looks like this:
Mysterious MeiMei.
What the heck!  Anyway, the dream ended with TOP and Min Hyorin being the worst, most unreliable Oppa and Unni ever, leaving me to die of fever while walking down a spiral staircase
This is what it looked like in the dream, actually.
because Min Hyorin wouldn't help with my homework and TOP was busy delivering things.
If only I'd been with him on the motorbike instead.

The End. 

10 January 2016


The Disguiser 伪装者 - Episode 19 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 10, 2016
While Ming Tai is quite happy in this episode (he for once does not mess anything up and is sweetly in love), Ah Cheng commits a grave mistake, which has quite severe consequences. Facing exposure and arrest, Ming Lou and Ah Cheng come up with a daring plan to save the situation, their position, and much more. I'm afraid. On the other hand, I could for the life of me not hate Trainwreck in this episode. If only all the episodes with her would have been like this! 
JoAnne: Even considering the mess that Ah Cheng creates - more about my feelings about that later - the scenes with Ming Tai and Trainwreck were so nice that they did tend to leave you feeling a bit sparkly, it's true. Dammit.
Eleanor: Yes to everything you said. Poor Ah Cheng. Man, this episode makes me so nervous for how this is all going to work out or not work out. And I also actually enjoyed the scenes with Ming Tai and his lady friend. 

09 January 2016


Rants and Weekly Raves #69 (RAWR)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 09, 2016
kakashi: Hiiiiii everybody! It's a new year and we are baaaaaaaaaaack! And we are watching things again. Did everybody have a good break? I'm excited about 2016. I like the beginning of the new year, it's always so full of potential! Until it isn't, but that's another story.
We're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

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