September 28, 2016

Skip Beat [Chapter 240]

[Free talk: A futile attempt to write a short summary + commentary ^^; ]

The chapter starts with Kyouko reading about a girl going out on a candlelight dinner with Ren. With a picture attached of Ren escorting her, the girl mentions about finding Ren having that mature guy’s charm since he is used to looking after women. But in reality, it is actually a party for Purple Down 2 with all the cast and crew.
Kyouko realizes that this girl worked with Ren in that autumn drama two years ago. She looks at a picture of a cute looking girl holding a puppy. Her name is Morizumi Kimiko. Yashiro saw her looking at Kimiko’s blog that he asked if Kyouko is an ardent reader of that blog. Kyouko explains that she is looking for information on the internet regarding Kimiko to help her understand that person’s character. In the end, she found this blog.

Since she read that she was in a movie with Ren before, Kyouko asks Yashiro what he knows about Kimiko. Kyouko wants to know if she is really a person who’ll use vile methods to steal a role to the point of endangering someone’s life. From her blog, she doesn’t seem to be that kind of person. Yashiro tells her that Kimiko is from a showbiz family. The producer of Purple Down is her father.

At that time, he heard that as producer, the father solely decided to cast Kimiko into that role. But then, whenever a Morizumi relative is part of the directing, auditions-type of jobs, she will appear in that drama. Those kinds of situation aren’t few so there is a high possibility that it is true.
Kyouko thinks out loud if Kimiko can really cope with getting jobs through her connections especially in the acting world. If her acting skill is far off from the other actors, it will be very hard for her to blend in with the cast and crew. Yashiro refuted her by saying that everyone ought to have considered her acting as not bad at all.

This made Kyouko think that something is wrong because obviously Kimiko has advantageous circumstances and own talent for her to stand out yet how come her exposure isn’t that quite high. Is she active in some other areas other than the television industry? Since Kyouko is now more aware about the acting world compared before, she ought to have heard of Kimiko’s name on the television yet when Erika’s bodyguards mention her name, it didn’t ring a bell. She even had to search about this Kimiko person.

Recalling that one of the bodyguards told her that she is related to the producer, Kyouko quickly searched on the internet who is the producer of the drama, Lotus in the Mud. It is a certain Morizumi Jouji. Scowling Kyouko asks if this is the producer of Purple Down. Yashiro corrects her that it is the producer’s older brother.

Yashiro asks if Kimiko is also auditioning for ‘Momiji’. Kyouko stutters that she should...most probably. Holding her head, Kyouko groans for the audition has already been decided. Yashiro tries to calm her down by saying that in the industry, the one who have the say and has the right to decide is the ‘producer’ especially in movies.
Even if the director [Edit: in the Chinese scanlations, Jouji is the director/screenwriter] wanted to cast Kimiko, if the producer opposes it, then it isn’t considered. For example, the winner would need more of the producer’s approval rather than the director’s. Kyouko backtracks on that because Erika already got the role but it was decided that they hold another audition.

Even if IT IS Erika’s father’s request, at least, that ‘producer’ has a sense of fairness on wanting to choose someone other than ‘Morizmi family member’ and he even showed flexibility in accepting a supporting role’s substitute. Kyouko thinks that if she has an opportunity to show it to someone, how she will interpret the role of Momiji. That is her hope. Kyurara audition is also like this since they already wanted Erika from the start.

Kyouko happily recalls their gorgeous skit which reversed the situation. Even if she done it while working with Kanae as one but she has grown since then. Even if she has no partner, but Kanae will definitely stand at her side. All pumped up, Kyouko believes that it is okay, she can do it.

Yashiro interrupts her by saying that since she had recovered, he wants to give her something. It is the reason why he is there. Kyouko is confused upon seeing a gift from Yashiro. He explains that a month had almost passed, and this is a return gift for Vday. Kyouko screams in shock. The gift is a horse carriage aromatherapy candle holder. She is very happy over how cute it is.
Relieved that it is within his expected reaction from her, Yashiro apologizes for the delay. He prepared it before White Day but he always didn’t have an opportunity to give it to her and it isn’t something he can conveniently carry around. The real 99% reason for it is because he doesn’t feel that he can give the ‘return gift’ to Kyouko alone without Ren’s but in the end, his intention was futile.

He learned two days ago from Ren [about going to Guam or something?] so even if it is late, he can give it to her. Yashiro explains that he was away from Tokyo for around 5 days or else, he would have given it to her on the 14th. But then, even if it was late for a month, she ought to have that kind of reaction, too. Kyouko apologizes and says that she thought the ‘return gift’ is only limited on White Day and she basically didn’t think that she’ll get a ‘return gift’.

Yashiro explains that in this industry, there is a high possibility of being unable to return the gift on White day especially Ren so there is a rule of ‘return gift’ within the month which are sent out. Ren didn’t personally mention it but that is how is how he sees it before. Since the actor and manager are one body by fate, he also unconsciously copied this action of Ren’s.

Yashiro thinks that everyone is happy getting a ‘return gift’ and it helps in having good relations. Even if everyone is aware of that situation of balancing that importance and work, no one would mention it out loud. Yashiro says that even if a month has passed and the ‘return gift’ wasn’t forgotten to be given to her then that is because Kyouko is very ‘special’.
Pause. Kyouko blushes and thanks him. She says that it is the first time a guy said that she is special. She reacted only now because it took some time for her neurons’ synapse to transmit. While Yashiro wonders if he properly conveyed it to her, Kyouko starts saying that actually, they have a connection that others cannot dare imagine after all.

She completed the missions of being Ren’s manager and Ren’s younger sister. She managed to experience it thanks to being in Love Me section. Their unique connection is a Love Me member’s special privilege. Yashiro thinks that she had forcefully twisted the meaning of ‘special’ but forget it, there’s no way for her to understand his meaning since she is Love Me member number one. Just then, Sawara calls out Kyouko to meet with someone. Yashiro quietly looks at the picture of Kimiko on the computer.

Later on, Yashiro thanks Sawara for telling him where Kyouko is. Sawara asks if he is managed well the Tokyo stuff. Yashiro says yes, thanks to him, since it will be some time before Ren comes back from THAT SIDE. He [Yashiro] was also able to finish the work before so he can breathe a sigh of relief. Sawara asks if he hasn’t told Ren yet.

Yashiro says yes because he wants to give him a pleasant surprise. Sawara says that it is worth seeing. They talk about Kyouko’s new job commercial offering. There are more offers coming in and it is probably thanks to Box’R even if the second episode’s rating isn’t that high. Still, Kyouko’s charisma in the TV drama is there.
Sawara thinks that Mio and Natsuki are totally different but then, the same goes with Kyouko herself. He says that even if Kyouko wants to concentrate on acting but then, she cannot decline other offers besides acting. She had been more or less distress about it for a long time so he wants to get someone who can give her suggestions. Yashiro looks thoughtful.

At the Love Me room, Kyouko opens her locker to put in her new gift. She is going for fighting practice so it will have to wait when she has time and the mood to bring it home. Recalling what Yashiro said about not being able to give back ‘return gifts’, she remembers that Lory called them out on White Day. She becomes disappointed that she has to shake her head to not think of it.

She actually didn’t think of ‘return gift’, and she didn’t except it so why is she troubled by ‘why’ she didn’t receive a return gift. It is also thick-faced of her to think about that. She already got a candle holder from Yashiro, tea cup set from Ogata and mirror set from the Bridge Rock guys when she only gave them two truffles.

It is like she is some malicious loan shark who got more than what she gave. She is glad that Ren forgot about it. She cannot imagine Ren giving something that will conform with her gift that probably cost 400-600 yen and how come guys’ return gift is so costly that it is already multiple times more than the cost of just two truffles.
Then, Kyouko remembers that she didn’t give Ren truffles, she gave him a special queen rose red wine jelly. She assumes that because it isn’t chocolate, so it isn’t a target of Ren’s ‘return gift’. She thinks that it is possible that she doesn’t know about this ‘Vday rule of Japan’ so if it isn’t a chocolate, there’s no return gift. She decides to give cookies-type next time in case she receives costly return gifts.

After getting her things from the locker, Kyouko rushes out to the street. She had a suffocating feeling for a while but it is okay now. She checks her cellphone for the bus schedule and looks aghast. While catching her breath at the bus stop, she thinks that if she couldn’t catch the next one, she’ll totally be late. She checks how much time she had left. 4 minutes.

She decides to make a run for it as if her life depended on it. She is stopped by a car that honked at her. The driver is waving for her to come over. She checks it out and it is Yashiro who offers her a ride on his car. Kyouko is surprised that he already has a license when she recalls that before, he told her that his only shortcoming is not having a license for him to become a perfect measure to Ren.

Yashiro says to become the perfect manager, he went to a training camp for two weeks. He tells her that this super manager can be hired right now for a limited time. So if she wants to hire him, then get into the backseat right now.
Comment: On the first page, is that Kyouko looking jealous or shocked over this ‘date’? I had a similar reaction as I wonder who this girl is before realizing that Kyouko might be researching about the competitor. From the looks of it, Kimiko is indeed a nice girl. With that kind of post and picture, who would think that she is capable of doing THAT to Erika.

Still, I’m curious, is that her latest post? It was about two years ago. If she no longer updates the blog means she was busy with something else or something’s up. Things do not jive just like what Kyouko is thinking. If the producer is ‘boss’, why would they even bother with auditions and didn’t just cast Kimiko for the role. But that role doesn’t seem destined for her since Kanae mentioned of a certain someone, most likely Kimiko, wanted her role, too.

Since she isn’t as popular as she should be given her family background and probably average/above average talent, could it be that she isn’t really interested in acting? I’m imagining that she was forced to act or at least, this time to audition as some ultimatum that she has to get the role by hook or by crook for whatever reason. Anyway, Kyouko’s task is to impress everyone enough during the audition with her interpretation of Momiji for her to get the role.

Also, when it was mentioned Momiji having a family who are into showbiz, I immediately thought of Ren again. So, is Ren’s past going to be connected to that? Is it possible that Momiji also wanted to get out of her family’s shadow so she tried to audition instead of the role being given to her on a silver platter? Or, is she like that bully who tormented Ren before, assuming that he just has to get a certain role? Maybe both?

On a side note, it seems that Kyouko isn’t used to typing on a keyboard that she is using the two-finger technique. =P It is also amusing that everyone already knows what to give Kyouko. She is someone whom one can easily give a gift to and you’ll know she’ll be very happy with it. ^^ Yashiro is trying to hint about Kyouko being special to Ren but it failed. Don’t give up, gambatte!

That is actually one reason why I’m excited about Yashiro being her temporary manager. He can act as a cupid for the two. Or perhaps, he might find out Kyouko’s feelings for Ren. I’m thinking of Kamo’s role, the bodyguard in TCP, who also played cupid. ^^ Hopefully, that will help in the stalemate situation of the two.

Iirc, Ren doesn’t plan on giving a return gift to Kyouko. Yashiro seems to be hinting that he will. Well, if he does, I wonder what it will be. Will he give it again in a not so obvious manner like before? What will top that gem he gave before? And since White day has passed, it makes me wonder if it is a guarantee that there won’t be any other return gift from the other guys like Shou or Reino.

Anyway, Kyouko got her temporary manager. Maybe he can also help her with the Momiji issue aside from whether or not to take certain other jobs. As I mentioned, maybe love life, too ^^ How long is Ren going to be in Guam? I assume that 2 weeks had passed since it took Yashiro around that time to get his license, or he passed some work to Sawara for him to get that license? So here’s hoping for some development while Yashiro is her manager. ^^ Scans by 红莲汉

Quote of the day:
A positive attitude will always lead to positive outcomes. ~ Author Unknown


  1. My guess is that this isn't as "temp" as Yashiro implies. That would explain the focusing in on him dealing with Kyouko, Sawara's little "have you told Ren", as well as why he would need a license(Ren always drives and seems the type to continue doing so), and several times now we've had people hinting about getting Kyouko a real manager (Sawara & President). Truthfully, Ren's self sufficient enough that any decent help would be enough. This would allowYashiro to help "protect" Kyouko - as he and Ren mutually agreed a while back, since she has "no experience with men".

    Anyways - just my personal guess.

    1. Ren, I thought the 'have you told Ren' was about having a license.

      Yup, a lot of people hinted on that. You got a point. It might be long term later on. Well, I'm sure Ren would be happy to share Yashiro to 'protect' Kyouko from men ^^

    2. Actually, I think I am the only one who got sad in this chapter .. because (in my opinion, obviously) it seems like he was hitting on her... "we have a special relationship" ... it seemed to me that if Ren is not taking any leads, he is going to. I don't know, but I sensed a really "male attack" in Yashiro, like I want to be by your side. Something like that!

    3. I also sensed that. But, in the end, I dismissed it because this is Yashiro who is rooting for the two = I'm thinking too much. ^^;

    4. You weren't the only one. I also thought Yashiro was hitting on her. (I was a little happy) I kinda like that pairing even though I know Ren is the end game. Can't wait for the next chapter and summary!

  2. Thank you once again, Kat. There were subtle differences between the English and Spanish translations, so I was very interested to see yours, based on the Chinese one.

    A note: There is a confusing error in the English translation, and probably the Chinese one, too. From the preview samples of raws I have seen online, Morizumi Jouji’s position in the Lotus in the Mire team is not producer, but director [監督 (kantoku)] and also writer of the script [脚本 (kyakuhon)]. (But not the writer of the original novels, only an adaptation.)

    Hmm... As a big cynic, I actually found Kimiko's brand of cutesy a bit creepy. The bait-and-switch story “what a dreamy date…that is, I wish it had been a date, when it was actually a work dinner”. …And I wonder what kind of dog that is in the profile pic. It doesn’t look like a Chihuahua dog, so it might be a puppy. A real animal lover would not have a puppy in a profile pic like a cute prop, they would prefer a recent photo cuddling their grown-up pet. So Kimiko seems to be faking loving animals. …And also, her using the fluffy dog prop reminds me of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” thing in fables, or Red Riding Hood - both with role reversal.
    Kyoko's outside-television theory reminds me of Glass Mask, where iirc the characters make the most impact acting on stage in the theatre, even though stage acting is lower-status than television.

    1. You're welcome, Zozo ^-^

      Oh. Well, the Chinese scanlation got it right. It wrote: 'Director/Screenwriter'. I had doubts because of the English so I didn't mentioned it. And, how the chapter went. Now that I think of it, no wonder Kyouko said that if the director wanted Komiko, the producer can override it. Still, I'm a bit confused since he seems to be also the producer or else, why would Kyouko at first think she has no hope. ^^;

      It is a puppy. I would think that it is for cute effect. Something like a photo shoot? Hm...I haven't thought about that but it is possible.

      Really. I'm actually more impressed by stage actors than the ones on television so for me it is stage actors > television actors.

    2. ^^ Good to speak/type to you again.

      Hmm, I assumed Kyoko was despairing at first because she didn’t know that it is the producer (unknown) who makes the final decision, even if the director (Morizumi) doesn’t agree. Kyoko doesn’t have experience with that situation. >>
      (Well, not *exactly* that situation… Although Sho’s producer, Asami Haruki, was the one making decisions and managing the video shoot, that’s different from a drama since she’s in charge of Sho’s whole musical career whereas the video director is only in charge of the filming.)
      >> And Kyoko does have experience with the power of directors. Shingai threatening to replace Ruriko with Kyoko; Kurosaki making changes to the commercial storyboard and raising the number of girls to cast to two; Ogata casting Kyoko and Ren, and adapting the script to include their versions of their characters…

      I guess it’s probably a photo shoot. I hope the photographer/staff only borrow the puppies for a little while, the way TV crews do with human babies. It would be sad if photographers buy dogs to use as props/models until they’re not cute any more, then give them away.

      Ah, I meant that stage actors are lower-status in the entertainment industry, not lower in my personal opinion. It seemed to be that way in Glass Mask. The characters are more impressive as stage actors, can be a lot more flexible than if they were on film because there are many stage performances but only one final cut for TV…and yet, to reach the “top” and become a star in the industry, the heroine had to appear on TV (and in films?), Hollywood-style.
      It seems TV/film star status would also be the “top” of the mountain that Kyoko was trying to climb earlier. Iirc, at that time, she wanted to become more popular than Sho = “sell more product” (CD sales for him; I guess drama viewers for her? (DVD sales aren’t mentioned.))

      I find it very interesting when actors are on stage *and* screen, especially if they have very different roles. <<For example, Ian Holm. He is/was(?) an important Shakespearian stage actor. I saw him in the lead role in a play which was filmed for TV. And then I didn’t recognize him when he played Bilbo the hobbit in “Lord of the Rings” ^^; …So, it’s definitely possible to be a high-status stage actor and get minor roles on film. And without (unobservant ^^; ) viewers noticing it’s the same person, for years.

    3. =)

      I see. Still, isn't it odd to be despairing over a producer whom she doesn't even know what s/he's suppose to be like? So, fear of the unknown? Anyway, at least she knows whom she must impress and it gives her an opening to be chosen compared to the director solely making the casting decision. ^^

      Hm..isn't it cheaper to borrow dogs than buying them especially if they of a certain breed? Perhaps, it is also a plus that they are 'tamed'. Is giving them away bad? I would think abandoning them would be worse which might get authorities after them.

      I see. I recall someone complaining about stage actors being 'over acting'/expressions then someone else would say that it is because on the stage, they would have to exaggerate it for the audience at the back in contrast to the television wherein the camera is focused on you. Well, aside from having only one final/few takes in film/TV.

      But then, perhaps, the lower status = low popularity. I mean, stage isn't exactly watched by a lot of people compare to TV/film. What do you think?

      Not really. It can be 'the top ranking female entertainers' for Kyouko. I recall there is such a list wherein Shou is below Ren who is at number one. If Kyouko reaches number 1, then that would perhaps mean she has beaten Shou. They did mention popularity in contrast to who earned more, right? ^^

      So, is it good to be able to go into other roles unrecognized or not? If it is for popularity, it probably isn't just like why Yashiro isn't keen about hiding Ren's identity before for BJ. For the craft of acting, it is a good thing ^^

    4. Hmm? I thought Kyoko was only despairing over the director (because he is a Morizumi and will want to cast Kimiko Morizumi)… And after Yashiro tells Kyoko that the producer makes the final decision if s/he doesn't agree with the director's choice, Kyoko stops despairing… (?)

      Well, I saw some abandoned dogs in Japan once in a documentary on TV, and some of the breeds looked quite expensive. Apparently there are some shallow wealthy people who abandon their expensive dog when a different breed becomes more fashionable. There was an “actors’” troupe of abandoned dogs (different breeds) trained to become performing dogs, rather than being killed by the authorities. …Generally speaking, yes, you’re right, it is better to hire a dog for a short performance than to own one. But I think maybe only performing dog trainers would allow you to use their dogs for photo shoots. It’s not as bad as fireworks, but dogs and cats generally hate loud noises and bright light = flash photography and studio lights.

      Oh… I’m surprised the theatre promoters don’t enhance the experience for people at the back by installing screens showing a better view of the stage/close-ups of the actors, like stadiums/music venues for rock concerts. Then “big name” stage actors could closely follow the fashions in mass entertainment like on television – eg making a lot of complicated facial expressions showing mixed feelings, or feelings one is trying to hide, etc. >> I think successful stage actors have the skill for stage acting AND television acting, but many of them get typecast in theatrical roles, and also the “stagey” roles on television.
      I think screen star status is THE endgame, the ultimate (career) goal, in Skip Beat, whereas the Glass Mask heroine has a rapid rise and fall on the screen, and the important (final?) competition is to win the lead role in “huge hit” play. However, I think stage roles would be a credible pathway for a rival – “stepping stones”, like Kyoko’s role in Sho’s PV/music video, or the Kyurara commercial. Those roles also had a limited audience. Not everyone is a fan of Visual Kei music, and sugar-drinks are aimed at young people, hence the “sparkling youth” theme of the CM.
      Iirc, Erika saw her stage experience in school plays as something like a stepping stone. She thought that since she had excluded Kanae from main roles, then the school acting club, that Kanae’s skill level would be lower than hers. (Erika didn’t know about Kanae’s private/undercover paid acting roles.)

    5. continued...
      Is that the ‘most desirable [huggable?] man’ ranking from the first chapter? Because that data was not very accurate. Only women in their early twenties were surveyed. Teenagers buy a lot of CDs and go to a lot of concerts. …And Kyoko was probably right when she told Sho that most 20+ year-old women prefer 20+ year-old (adult) men, and also when she told Ren an adult (20+) man can consider a 16-year-old girl a desirable adult woman, since she can legally marry [only with permission (not mentioned)]. If so, there wouldn’t be a fair popularity contest between Kyoko and Sho until they are both 20.
      Exact figures about earnings/sales are not given in detail, but fairly clear graphs of Sho’s CD sales (his string of number-one hits) and also a graph of the TV viewer percentage watching Dark Moon each week were shown. They seemed to be the “hard data” that professionals took seriously. I think only Sho was raging over popularity rankings, because he takes them personally.

      ^^ True, it’s definitely good way for an actor improve their craft. In terms of popularity, it depends on what you want to be known for. For instance, Lory doesn’t seem to be worried that not publicizing Kyoko’s role as Bo the chicken will make her less popular. Probably it wouldn’t be very useful to Kyoko, because she doesn’t want more Bo-like roles, and Bo’s biggest fans are children. Kyoko is aiming for lead roles in dramas/film = adult & teenage fans.
      A female entertainer would have different reasons from Ren to hide things like “monstrous villain” roles, at least until she had success in other, inc heroic roles. A man showing his dark side is often considered a sexy “bad boy”, but a scary woman role is only considered attractive by weird horror freaks like Reino. There also seems to be less “bad boy” typecasting than “bad girl” typecasting.

    6. Ah okay. I got it now. I thought it was Kyouko thinking of that/figuring it out = producer > director. ^^;;

      Oh. Was it mentioned what they do with those dogs? True. But then, that was a puppy. You're making me think that they sedated the dog somewhat so that it won't be that scared/hate of the noise/bright light. ^^;

      Hm..perhaps, it ruins the mood if there are screens? Or, they would have to hire directors for the screen like when do you focus a certain scene/actor pan near or out. Stuff like that?

      True, there are actors/actresses who go that route.

      Still, it is a ranking, right? Even if Kyouko is right, for Shou that is the basis of comparison ^^ I think Kyouko will win if she becomes famous internationally. What do you think?

      It is a bit hard to compare CD and TV percentage since the medium different. Shou might have more or less full control of his music production but it isn't the same with TV dramas. I have not seen any direct comparisons with actors vs singers. The usual ones I know of are popularity ranking among entertainers, most influential entertainer or the richest showbiz personality. Being richest might be a good gauge.

      Lol, true. So, is it good that Kyouko is being typecast as 'bad girl' since that is totally the opposite of her true character? It does make me wonder if she'll ever play 'good girl' roles.

      By the way, I came across an article talking about planting lotus. This quote made me think of the drama/Ren, 'From the murk of the mud spring forth a flower untouched by the dirt'. Apparently, there are many similar musings in Buddhism about the lotus. Quite fitting for Ren. About the drama, does it mean the lead will become a 'someone' after being a ronin. So, I wonder, is this really a romance drama or the love triangle is just a side story.

    7. The performing dogs? They got invitations to perform at schools and other places. They were paid to perform, and also got donations from the audience = food money. All of the “performers” had not been adopted by new owners in the government time limit, so they would have got lethal injections otherwise.
      …Ugh, yes, probable. If it’s a very young dog, it won’t be trained to perform probably yet.

      Hmm… I think the mood would depend on where you put the screens, and the kind of show. For instances, “surtitle” screens above the stage are accepted at free shows – like free operas in outdoor garden stadiums (paid for by sponsors to get publicity) – or just “hard to understand” shows, like plays in languages people learn at school. Not at indoor, expensive operas etc – they have librettos for customers to read.
      Experimenting to see where screens work (probably near the back), and some people doing extra study of filming, or selecting talented people who can do both staging and filming (I think hiring fully-trained directors probably too costly), would take an unconventional stage company. A very successful one starting to expand. Unusual, because unconventional companies are normally small = use small to medium playhouses where back rows aren’t very distant. Even “successful” usually = no empty seats and another show, not so many fans they should move to a bigger playhouse.

      Oh yes, you’re right about Sho. Heh heh, I guess I tend to dismiss what he thinks because he tends to be disconnected from reality. Like when he’s 16, under 2 years after his debut and rages over being less popular than Ren (nearly 20 and 4 years after debuting as an actor). Delusions of grandeur, big time. Actually, Sho thinking being underage won’t matter because he “looks older than 16” is stupid too. Fans (inc girls voting for him as “most desirable”) know his age from his profile online.
      I agree, Kyoko’s ambition, it was something like becoming “an actress that represents Japan = international fame, probably.
      I wonder about the “representing your country”, though. That sounds like the Olympics, but unlike with athletes, people often make mistakes about internationally famous actors’ nationality/origins. Eg Tilda Swinton. Even journalists sometimes call her English; she’s Scottish. It’s not too bad, because fans know the truth, but…

      Oh dear, Kyoko would be lowest on the “rich list”, she actually owes money! But iirc, actually only information on the really big earners among actors is published. I think legally, the production companies have to report “big costs” like hiring a “big name” lead actor, whereas supporting actors might not be a “big cost” even as a group.

      Well, Kyoko does have a ‘no more Miss Nice Girl’/angry mode, but she’s assertive/(self-)protective, not evil, unlike her villain characters, who bully innocent heroic characters. But most of the ‘good girl’ roles available seem to be for characters who are very slow to anger = the “cheerful Cinderella” type. Fairly like Kyoko’s real personality, but not like her past performances. Maybe she’ll be offered a ‘mostly good girl’ role first? = a good girl who gets angry and behaves badly sometimes. (A bit like Kanae’s real personality ^^) That’s kind of a “best friend” role, not heroine, but still not villain.

      Ah, interesting. There is a phrase a little like that in English, “a rose blooming on a dunghill”.
      “Lotus in the Mire” seems like more of an action story, maybe? But I don’t know if that makes the romance so unimportant. After all, the women are “action girls”. …Also, I was reading about the 47 ronin, and I got the impression that samurai/ronin fights were life-and-death for the families/staff, as well. Because the enemy would kill your family/household after defeating you, unless they were well hidden. Also, it seems that wives of (senior?) samurai/ronin were also expected to commit suicide if their husbands were “disgraced” as warriors, but not if the husband divorced the wife before the disgrace (not like modern divorce, but still recognized).

    8. Thanks for the info ^^ So, the teachers got paid or it is volunteer work with animals-kind of thing? I mean, since they are 'living on donation'. I guess Japanese are generous ^^ Though, I'm referring to the abandoned dogs that seems to be an expensive breed. Adopted or injection?

      I see.

      Hm..perhaps, in more open-minded people? I'm thinking maybe, it isn't about it cannot be done or expensive but 'being traditionalist' so would want the theater as it is with minor/no distractions due to equipment etc. True, if it is just a small/medium theater, usually it isn't needed. Oh, I just recall that they do have those opera glasses =P


      Ah, perhaps, it is a bit different if it is Asian? If we were to say SB is like real life, it is more unlikely they'll make a mistake due to very few Asians manage to become popular in mainstream. Sometimes, the surname/name is a giveaway. Still, I wonder why Ren's father has to change his stage name or Kuu is his real name. In the official Chinese, they translate that as Cool though =P

      Lol, I was thinking later on, she'll be in the 'rich list' ^^ I see. Out of curiosity, I checked the richest celebrities of Japan, it is composed mostly of singers.

      Hm..another side character role? I guess that can help make others see that she can be seen in such a role. Also, perhaps, acting a 'good girl' is no challenge since that is basically what she is = just be herself. =P

      Oh, there's also such a saying.

      Is that so. Well, the ones I read in fiction about ronin, they are mostly single ^^; I checked a bit and found only the wife doing the same, according to wiki:
      Female ritual suicide, known as Jigai, was practiced by the wives of samurai who have committed seppuku or brought dishonor.

      Some women belonging to samurai families committed suicide by cutting the arteries of the neck with one stroke, using a knife such as a tantō or kaiken. The main purpose was to achieve a quick and certain death in order to avoid capture.

      Women were carefully taught jigai as children. Before committing suicide, a woman would often tie her knees together so her body would be found in a dignified pose, despite the convulsions of death.

      Jigai, however, does not refer exclusively to this particular mode of suicide. Jigai was often done to preserve one's honor if a military defeat was imminent, so as to prevent rape.

      Invading armies would often enter homes to find the lady of the house seated alone, facing away from the door. On approaching her, they would find that she had ended her life long before they reached her.

      - - -

      So, perhaps, more than just being killed, I think to be dishonored by being raped might force the wives to do that. Well, losing to the enemy. 'Disgrace'/losing honor is a big thing in Japan. The rest of the household, probably except for retainers who'll might also commit suicide, might want to consider escaping earlier on if possible.

    9. Volunteer work, iirc. Yep ^^
      Ah, I think most abandoned expensive-breed dogs got adopted within the time limit, not killed.

      Probably tradition stops many people. But many of those traditions are from the past when opera and plays were mass entertainment, no competition from film and TV. And they were just “background music” to some people in the past. I have read books from the past where characters talked a lot during operas, etc. … Ah, opera glasses ^^ Probably these days, people would want the show live-streamed to their electronic devices, though ^^;

      Well, the general pattern seems to be that casual viewers assume an actor new on the scene belongs to the country/community producing the largest number of well-known actors with matching looks and/or accent. With her hotelier (ryokan) standard English, possibly Kyoko could be mistaken for an ‘ABC’/American-born Chinese actress.
      I googled “Mogami” to check whether it’s a giveaway, and lol, most hits are for a Japanese company that produces MUSIC cables! Material Sho probably uses ^^; ...That’s rather a twisted sense of humor the SB writer has.
      Iirc, Kuu is Ren’s father’s real name, and Ren is partly named after him in his real name, Kuon. Kuu’s stage name was Shuuhei something? I don’t think that would work in English media. Sounds like “shoe”. Not sexy.
      “Cool”, heh heh! I guess that’s one of the meanings of Kuu? The official translations can make mistakes, though. I recently read the official English volume 37, and they called Toudou “Fujimichi”. Copying the scanlators’ work (* ̄m ̄)

      Singers, oh dear ^^;. Are they multilingual, like opera singers/Latin language superstars like Shakira? I’d be amused if Kyoko turns out to be correct after all, that outperforming Sho at schoolwork (in this case, languages) will pay off in the entertainment industry.

      Very true.

      It’s just natural fertilizer, I guess ^^;

      Horrible. Sounds like it’s to prevent ‘war crimes’, basically? Rape, torture…^^;
      Gives me a new perspective on “Berserk” = lot of horrors avoided by suicide in Japanese culture, hence the European setting. Also on Kyoko’s refusal to allow any stain on the reputation of her character Mio due to Reino’s stalking and manhandling her in costume – which prevents her reporting Reino and giving him the criminal record he deserves.

      Do you think the horrible danger to wives and kids is why most ronin in stories you’ve read are single, or is it just simpler that way for adventure stories? What age was the audience meant to be?

    10. Indeed. Still, there are such people. Something like of 'high breeding'/'cultured' yet rigid against change. Ah..talked a lot during operas..interesting. I usually just see either interested or sleeping through it =P

      Ah, but live-streamed is still very different from live in that place especially if it is a musical. After watching a few LIVEs, I realized that the really good singers really sound different LIVE. It is in a way, more moving/powerful-something. If it is on CD or TV, it is like so-so but LIVE, hehe, it was such an eye opener for me.

      Really? Still, the name is a giveaway. Though you make me wonder is a Chinese speaking English the same with a Japanese speaking English. ^^; Hehe, I think that's just a coincidence about Mogami. =P

      Anyway, Chinese surnames are usually just one syllable like tan, go, chan, etc. Japanese is more than one since their surnames are made of two characters/kanji instead of one for Chinese. Also, Chinese celebrities except from the ones in China, iirc, have English names. For example, Jacky Chan is Cheng Long in Chinese which means 'become dragon' or Bruce Lee is Lee Xiao Long which mean 'small dragon'. =P

      Lol, true about Kuu's stage name.

      Really? ^^; That was my translation, too. Without the raws, I just type the kanji in a Jap-English online dict and the ONLY name that comes out is Fujimichi.

      No. It's Jpop. I knew a few on the list since they were very popular at a certain time though I'm surprised that they are still there now. It seems that they are diversifying to like modelling, producing music, etc. I think Japanese people's English is quite bad compared to Chinese, again, as long as not in China. I recall that Japanese can likely read it rather than speak it.

      I think so. Knowing English is a major plus because there would be no language barrier.

      It seems so. I haven't read Berserk. ^^;

      Perhaps, it is both. The ones I read are usually aimed for elementary/high school boys. Though, if it is for older ones, there might be married ones though most likely still 'single' like wife died tragically, etc. Now that I think of it, that is one reason why one of the ronin I read was 'single'.

      Anyway, for the plot, it is usually ronin wandering around and meeting someone/helping girl then the story starts from there and possible romance. I'm not sure how the story will go if he is still married..and well, ronin are usually wandering around because of not having any master/not tied down to any relationships. <- the impression I have.

      So, this Lotus in the Mud is a bit queer since he had a female sidekick-type of companion which will form the love triangle. Perhaps, it is like, I will follow you no matter what since you are still my master even after everything that had happened. <- formal reason but of course, the real reason is love. ^^

    11. I've checked a bit on what does a ronin does, according to wiki:

      According to the Bushido Shoshinshu (the Code of the Samurai), a samurai was supposed to commit seppuku (also "hara kiri" — ritual suicide) upon the loss of his master. One who chose not to honor the code was "on his own" and was meant to suffer great shame. The undesirability of rōnin status was mainly a discrimination imposed by other samurai and by daimyo, the feudal lords.

      During the Edo period, with the shogunate's rigid class system and laws, the number of rōnin greatly increased. Confiscation of fiefs during the rule of the third Tokugawa shogun Iemitsu resulted in an especially large increase of rōnin.

      During previous ages, samurai were able to move between masters and even between occupations. They would also marry between classes. However, during the Edo period, samurai were restricted, and were — above all — forbidden to become employed by another master without their previous master's permission.

      Because the former samurai could not legally take up a new trade, or because of pride were loath to do so, many rōnin looked for other ways to make a living with their swords.

      Those rōnin who desired steady, legal employment became mercenaries that guarded trade caravans, or bodyguards for wealthy merchants. Many other rōnin became criminals, operating as bandits and highwaymen, or joining organized crime in towns and cities.

      Rōnin were known to operate, or serve as hired muscle for, gangs that ran gambling rings, brothels, protection rackets, and other similar activities. Many were petty thieves and muggers. The criminal segment gave the rōnin of the Edo period a persistent reputation of disgrace, with the image of thugs, bullies, cutthroats, and wandering vagrants.

      - - -

      So, ronin was a 'bad image' unless you are the lead of a certain story =P Perhaps, something like how delinquents/gangs are portrayed. 'Bad guys with a good heart'. ^^ I think that is the reason for the mud in the title.

    12. Yes, there are the rigid ‘high art’ people. There are some signs of change, though. For instance, in recent years, the male lead in Shakespeare plays (and film) has been switched for a woman a few times. It’s just too sexist to have so few main female roles. Not accepted nowadays.
      Heh, very deep sleepers! It almost seemed that opera was used to create more comfortable social situations. It made talking optional. Listening to the opera was also optional, so you could have a good conversation – or avoid a bad one, by showing strong interest in the opera (genuine interest or not).

      Have heard, and sometimes felt, things like that. Live is more vibrant, ‘warmer’ sound? But if I like it a lot, I want to “re-read” it, so it’s often the CD/recording that leaves the strongest impression on me.

      Well, the first impression usually doesn’t include the actor’s real/stage name. Also, I’d suspect many English-speakers don’t know enough about Asia not to confuse Korean, Japanese, etc and Chinese full names, instead of seeing clear patterns in surnames.
      People who have learnt similar English (e.g. standard American English = “Hollywood” accent) from an early age to a high level sound similar (= Kyoko, probably). People who have learnt middle-level English later will sound different, their accent more influenced by their native languages.

      I wonder, since the Mogami River HAS been mentioned…

      Ah, iirc, I read once that an official English given name is added to traditional names in, I think it was in Hong Kong?

      Heh, heh.

      Ah, it doesn’t get dictionary hits because it’s an odd combination of characters. Unusual. But the furigana for “Toudou” did appear in the raws a little after his appearance, iirc. And it’s written in English on his business card in the Volume 39 omake.

      Jpop… Is Visual Kei included, or is it that more sparkly stuff?
      I think a lot of Chinese Diaspora were tradespeople? And English has been the language of international business for a while.
      Still, it’s odd for the “study hard” cultures back in original countries not to produce more functional English. English spelling can be quite misleading about sound, so to read more often than you listen to recordings would make you speak badly…

      …Sounds promising ^^. Later, the touch-typing hurdle?

      Oh, I suppose that’s an odd combination, Skip Beat versus Berserk? ^^;… Both have narcissist villains, though. That said, Sho doesn’t *literally* turn into a demon. Much less violence that way, yay!

      I see. Thanks, that makes things clearer. The situation is basically “no future”. <<What stupid government policy, not letting all these dangerous men learn a different job. Definitely ‘muddy waters’.

      Maybe Lotus in the Mud is different because it’s also (more?) aimed at women? Because there are two women wanting the same man, like in Dark Moon, in which iirc, the male lead, Ren, was supposed to attract a lot of the viewers by making female viewers swoon at his repressed romantic feelings.

    13. Somewhat confused, recent years = male lead played by woman then, 'not accepted nowadays'. ^^;

      An alibi huh. But I guess, they are talking in hush tones, right? Or, the performers just ignore them?

      Something like that. It makes me think wow, s/he is really good. I mean, you'll really know that person's voice has this 'power' something that moves you. Well, for me, compared to just listening at the TV or CD. Perhaps, something like seeing a tourist site in person compared to looking at picture of it. I see.

      Hehe, I was thinking of that. Most people won't be able to distinguish if not exposed to it. If it is based on first impression based on appearance, it can be hard. ^^

      Ah, perhaps, it depends on how Mogami is written. In the jap-english dict, it can be written in kanji 5 different ways. Kyouko's means 'most+above'

      Hong Kong probably since it used to be under the UK. But, some others that have English names are from Taiwan and Singapore. I'm not sure though if it is also 'official'. For example, here in the Philippines, Filipino-Chinese usually have an unofficial Chinese name which isn't really used for transactions or anything but I guess being Chinese, one has to have a Chinese name. I wonder if Chinese in other countries like US or Europe have them, too.

      I see. Hm..I don't think I have read that one yet.

      Nope, typical jpop. The songs that I know are the typical catchy songs that one can dance to or ballads.

      I think so. Perhaps, it is more on a nationalistic thing, too? I mean why learn a foreign language unless it is necessary like study or work abroad. I think all English movies in Japan are re-dubbed/subtitled. I think even Japanese presidents would just rely on an interpreter.


      Not really. I always heard of it but never got to read or know what it is about except it's shounen. =P Reading variety of genre is good, well, I do that since a certain type can get boring in a while.

      No problem. Perhaps, they want to keep them 'loyal' or else.

      Thinking about it, this is a tv drama, right? So, yes, probably aimed at women. I kept on assuming that it is a movie ^^; Lol, good point though it would be nice if it is for his acting. ^^ Still, for him to decline and they didn't seem to hold an audition for the male lead.

      I would think that the female roles can help up and coming actresses have a breakthrough. Perhaps, that is why Kimiko is desperate either role. Assuming she now wants to be famous compared to how laid back/practically unknown she was before.

    14. Ah, sorry it was unclear ^^; In chronological order = most of the best roles in Shakespeare are for men, (because women weren’t allowed in act in England at the time the plays were written, so women’s roles had to be played by young men/boys in falsetto). Shakespeare plays are still popular, but it is now unacceptable to have all the best roles go to men, so they switch the gender and produce “Queen Lear” etc.

      Talking reasonably quietly. The music and singing wasn’t rock-concert volume, but it was loud enough that you could only talk to the people sitting beside you.

      With singers, I only think they’re really good if they write their songs. Not completely fair of me, but part of musical talent is genetic, even if the rest is hard work.

      It doesn’t help that casting isn’t always “accurate” about origins. Bruce Lee cast as a Japanese martial artist. Greek actors cast as Middle-Eastern…

      The Mogami river is also ‘most+above’ (‘best’). “Best” is a surname in English as well, but it also reminds me of the actor surnamed “Highmore”. The music cable company seems to have been taken over by Americans, so I can’t find the original kanji for it.

      Interesting. Judging by your Ookami Heika summary, that’s a little like being royalty, with only people very close to you using your ‘personal’ name. Except that for normal people, it’s an unofficial name, a secret known to few, not taboo to say like an official royal name.

      As far as I know, it’s not scanlated in English, only Spanish, the Vol 39 omake. It includes the visit to Katagiri that I thought would happen in upcoming chapters ^^;

      Ah, music that would work in commercials? Good way to make money.

      Critics call that being ‘monocultural’ ^^; …Also, some functional English is useful for being a tourist. I get the impression that’s reasonably popular with Japanese people. Not as much as when Japan was the ‘Asian tiger’ economy, iirc, but still it seems to be traditional to go to a tropical location sometimes on holiday and it’s rather expected for honeymoons. ->That must have made Guam an extra-romantic location for the Japanese readers =P

      It’s ironic, the genre variety, because I actually look for the stories with the same topics/tropes/subject keywords ^^; …It’s very annoying to me when I find something like Seigi no Mikata, with an incomplete scanlation – and without furigana in the raws, because it’s josei.

      There may be multiple rounds of auditions for the male lead role, like for the “Chidori” role. In that case, maybe a special late entry into the second round is not impossible. I’m not making any bets, though ^^;

      Possible. I wonder whether her family is putting pressure on her. It must be embarrassing to the family if Kimiko can only get minor roles on tv. Kimiko herself may prefer ‘other’ acting activities (the activities in Kyoko’s vague suspicions).

    15. I see.


      I think most people think that way. ^^ Hm..when you say write = music, lyrics or both?

      Yup. I think that is why there is some uproar if a certain role is portrayed by the wrong race.

      I see. I think it is most commonly written that way. The music cable might want their company name to mean that - literally Mogami.

      True. Of course, if you study in Chinese schools, it will be known. I mean, there are Chinese classes so during the exams or roll call, they'll call you by the Chinese name. But then, it is usually limited to that and family. Unless you want it publicized in some other Chinese-related stuff.

      Is that so. ^^

      Possible. There is one that made it to a popular game, Kingdom Hearts. And, these girls are quite pretty and fashionable that they can diverse to other stuff like fashion. ^^

      Hm..though, they would usually go on tours, right? But then, perhaps, the young people should more or less know more English. ^^ Ah, but in such tropical places, one doesn't really need to interact much with the locals, right?

      Is that so. True, it can be frustrating. It is one reason why I decided to learn Chinese to read Chinese scanlation. Though lately, there are times when I feel that they aren't that enthusiastic anymore unlike before. ^^; Perhaps real life 'ate' them up.


      I'm thinking along that line.


    16. Song-writing must be some sort of hard work. Ideally, writing both music and lyrics. But music or lyrics, or even rearrangement (eg in jazz, electronica, or classical) is okay. Anything creative.

      Mm, confusing ^^; The story writers must get furious.

      Because Mogami = ‘best’? …It’s definitely not geography, anyway. The river is somewhere in Yamagata, but the company was based in Nagano in the past.

      Oh. Is it common to study in Chinese schools?

      Ah, nice ^^ …Fashion, like modelling?

      Guided tours are expensive, so probably not for most people. In areas popular with Japanese tourists, some staff will speak a little Japanese. E.g. Hawaii. So not much English needed, I agree. Except if something goes wrong…

      I see. Possibly ^^; It’s a lot of work. I know of some scanlation groups who wait for the latest volume to be released (in Japanese) in ebook form, because then they don’t have to do any scanning. I only buy ebooks myself, but I can’t read them very well yet, especially the josei and seinen.

      There was a mention of a family like that in the omake. Toudou was warned that he would be disowned by his family if he did not pass the bar exam within 3 attempts. (So he failed deliberately twice, just to have the thrill of having only one last chance.)

    17. I see. I think it is. Sometimes, I wonder how to work on a 'vacuum' or at least, try as much as possible to make it one's own or else, someone started saying that certain parts of the song are plagiarized. ^^; Hm..though I usually hear it in the US and they seem to be fond of suing someone.

      Not sure if the story writers would be furious. Usually, it is the fans = if adapted from a certain well-known form of work. The producers and others might say that it is for 'creativity'. Perhaps, like the Shakespeare theater you mentioned, reverse gender.

      Definitely not. Anyway, that is if that is the mangaka's intention. For example, it might just be a random name/used because of its meaning. Mogami is a common surname, I think.

      If you are Filipino-Chinese, yes. Something like an exclusive school so that you'll interact with the same race. Perhaps, if possible, marry the same race. It is usually only up to high school. For college, any will do. I guess it is similar to being rich. I'm not sure if it is the same with other races though.

      Yes. And since they're fashionable, other brands/own would collaborate like make them wear certain outfits which other people will buy. ^^

      Indeed. Hm..thinking about it, I wonder how many Japanese actually travel abroad. From manga, it is usually just domestically with the compulsory school field trips.

      Ah, so that's the reason why they wait for the volume. True, those tend to be more difficult. I think shoujo is the easiest to read especially since there are no terms. It is very basic.

      Lol. Really. Thrill seeker huh. In a way, I guess he has a lot of confidence ^^

    18. True. Apparently, there are no new tunes to play, especially on the instruments most popular in pop music. Though I also hear that the jazz era artists played everything, and their work was plagiarized by the pop artists later ^^; Only the rich artists can sue. …The US? Reminds me of the Al Yankovich song “I’ll Sue Ya” =P

      Well, Ursula Le Guin was furious, but her books are well-known = it was unlikely the non-matching adaptation would attract new fans, more likely it would annoy the existing fans.
      ‘Creativity’ sounds like an excuse, when producers are supposed to select something suitable for adaptation = probably not something they think needs big alterations, alterations guaranteed to annoy fans of the original work. A bit different with classics, because few people are big fans of the culture of the past, problematic culture because it’s sexist, etc. = a “fixit” version is more natural/modern.

      Well, the meaning matches. Saena being ‘best’ in her class, and demanding Kyoko get the ‘best’ test scores = 100%. …I don’t expect the Mogami music cable company in the US to be important to the plot, but I think it could make a good joke. It’s something Kyoko and Ren might discover on a visit to the US in the future, for instance, from a colleague who is a musician-turned-actor (similar to Ruriko’s career). Funny for them to imagine their reactions if they had discovered it in the past (rage; jealousy).

      Hmm… Is that a language-based type of school? Because that would be different, even for exclusive schools. Most private schools are religious, but they don’t teach ancestors’ languages. Say, Catholic schools teach Italian, even though most students’ origins are Irish, Hispanic etc. Presbyterian schools totally don’t teach Scottish Gaelic. I think only Jewish schools (yeshiva) teach religion AND Hebrew language.

      I see. Appearance is very important, then ^^;. No wonder the “Love Me” uniform in “Skip Beat” has such an impact! …It’s not unusual to have such a thing in your career in other countries - eg many actors began in children’s television.

      Ah, I wasn’t sure. But it seems to be about 1.5 million a year. ->


      Yes… =P

    19. Hm...but weren't some relatively unknown artists [to me] suing the rich and popular artists? I hear it often in the showbiz news from the US and there is one who admitted that he did plagiarized. I read there was one who sued Justin Bieber:

      Justin Bieber is reportedly being sued by Casey Dienel - aka White Hinterland - for their hit song 'Sorry'.She said the track is too similar to 'Ring The Bell' from her 2014 album Baby.The 31-year-old American singer has accused Bieber of ripping off the "unique characteristics of the female vocal".

      So, is that plagiarism?

      True. I was thinking of the popular movies these days about comic heroes. The ones that deviate from how/what race they should be annoyed the fans.

      Indeed. Perhaps, it is also because they want to cast someone 'known' in contrast to an 'unknown' who fits the character.

      I see.

      Not really. It is more like Chinese language is part of the curriculum like 1-3 subjects depending on the school. <- note that most graduates are still poor in speaking Chinese since they just memorize and forget later on; I think like how the Japanese are with their English =P

      Aside from that, these schools are usually religious, too like Catholic or Christianity that isn't Catholic. So, there is also one subject for religion. It's not exactly the ancestor's language but more on the language of the race.

      For the locals, I think it is the same. Depending on the province, they probably also teach their local dialect, the national language and English. That is because they don't recognize the national language since it is based on a certain local dialect. Hehe, it is somewhat of a pride/clan thing. So, when the president speaks either the national language or purely English, someone is complaining =P


      I also checked but is there data how many go for domestic tourism? I read somewhere that Japanese tend to patronize their own so I assumed that there is more domestic. And, the ones who usually travel are probably honeymooners, rich and retired people = because the rest would be very busy with their work/school life.

    20. Ah, I see. I guess I haven’t read much about it recently.

      In that case, probably it would be copyright theft if Bieber was an advertiser instead of a singer, because the most memorable notes are the same. But songs are longer than commercials, so the similarity has to be stronger = a number of key notes, pitch, etc. I’m not sure if the similarity is strong enough, not a musical expert.

      “Superhero” comics? I see. The comics are so old that the original writers/creators would be dead. Comics are also expensive – or, at least, they were in the past, so most of the fans would be “new” fans. People who watch the TV shows and the films, buy some merc (toys, clothes) = numerous recent fans -> outnumber people who bought or borrowed many of the hundreds/thousands of the comics.
      When it comes to pop culture “blockbusters”, with TV, film, books, toys and all, I prefer something a bit newer. Something with a multi-racial cast, or at least non-human characters with multi-racial voice artists. That way the merc makes a better gift.

      Interesting. In my experience, it was the other way around with learners of “heritage languages”. I could spell better than them, but they could speak better. But I guess it’s different with Roman-letter languages, and when ancestors were more recent immigrants than the Chinese Diaspora (generations ago), ...and it’s all completely different for people who are part of a living regional culture.

      The rough statistic seems to be that international tourists were only 10% of tourists earlier this century. Another trend is that the Japanese are taking shorter trips now = day-trips, overnight stays, and long weekends.

    21. Ya...I actually don't know if can pass as a coincidence. I mean, isn't it possible to have certain notes resemble a certain song of someone else? I do wonder if they get a music expert in court or they have special courts for that.

      Not really. The creator of most Marvel characters is very much alive. He even play a guest in some of the movies. I guess it is some casting in some movies which the fans do not like. The recent one is Dr. Strange. There is suppose to be an old Chinese looking man as the mentor but they changed it to a Western woman. It supposedly somewhat Asian but from the trailer, there is nothing Asian about it.

      For US comics, I noticed the writers are always different. Same characters in a somewhat same world but in a different story unlike in manga, it is yours alone and of course, there is an ending. For example, Batman seems 'childish' before but now, it is so dark and gothic definitely not for kids. I think even Superman lately.

      I do get what you mean. Sometimes, I don't watch the anime adaptation of a manga because it is just the same as the anime especially shoujo like I know this is what this character will do and then this one will say this. ^^;

      I think it is a bit risky, too since it will turn off the 'base fans' = bad publicity. Something like it isn't a film adaptation, it is totally not like the original. Of course, the problem might not be just the casting, there is also the story, how it is done, directing, etc. ^^;; It is also possible that if what makes the base fans like a certain series isn't there anymore, is there still a high possibility for non-fans to like it? Hehe, obviously, that is more than problems with the casting. =P

      I see.

      Ah, for stress relief? Well, for those kind of trips, it is definitely just domestic.


    22. Well, apparently it’s 8 notes in the Bieber case. Repeated a lot. The Verve lost copyright of an entire song over 7 notes sampled from the Rolling Stones and repeated a lot. After asking permission. In a much more complex song, with very different lyrics from the 'inspiration' song.
      They get expert opinions from musicologists before court. Probably they’ll come to an agreement based on what is most likely to happen in court. They don’t have special courts, iirc. In fact, copyright is universal jurisdiction, so in theory they could go to ANY court in the world (any civil court, at least).

      Ah, I see. That is similar to what happened to Ursula Le Guin’s characters, ‘whitewashing’. Objectionable.

      That’s true about stories getting more gothic, but some kids watch them anyway ^^;

      I see. Similarly, for me it’s definitely more exciting to try out anime adaptations of Japanese novels = not predictable.
      Yes, live action may split fans for many reasons. For me, slapstick violence looks uglier live. There also seems to be more sentimentality in live action, including “slow” sequences of silence where characters just change their facial expressions. That style is not my favorite at all.

      Well, it is stress relief, but Japanese people also seemed to be allocated less long holidays, but more short breaks around public holidays.

    23. the one who sued can get compensation over that kind of case. Hm...even if it was possibly a coincidence.

      I see. True, I thought afterwards that it doesn't always happen so there shouldn't be any special courts, ^^;

      Ah. So, it's the same.

      Yup, it is more aimed at adults or perhaps, who were kids when such comics are very popular/they've read it.

      Ah, for the drama effect ^^ I'm not into slapstick violence especially the type that kept on repeating like the 3 Stooges show before. For others, it is funny though. ^^;

      I see.

    24. Yes. It is becoming quite like scientific discoveries. The one who publishes first is the “owner”.

      Maybe. I have read series of novels like that. They got more violent as the readers got older. But once they are all published, the readers of the early-teenagers first novel could go on and read the more violent ones in the series within a year. More easily, in fact, than the older readers who are now workers, not students.

      I do like slapstick, but constant slapstick is not to my liking, either.

    25. Indeed...and probably helps if it is copyrighted. ^^

      I see. So, that's hoping the current generation would read the previous 'tame' series or they are just writing more for the original fans as they grow up? Honestly, I would think that way because there are so many fads, etc in every generation so it isn't really 'fool proof' that what was famous before would be liked by most of the new generation. There are exceptions of say, Pokemon? Since it is 'morphing' in some way =P

      True. Usually, in those kind of scenes, I start to feel sorry for the 'victim'. ^^;;

    26. Yes.

      Writers want maximum sales, so probably they do want to sell their entire series as soon as they can, and to as many generations as possible. Even if the series gets more violent. And it seems this is accepted. I even read some books from my elementary school library like that, though most books were tamer, and violence was common in books for teenagers. More generally… from what I have read about the ‘nihilistic’ trend in youth-market media (dystopian fiction, including danger and violence, well-deserved distrust in authority figures, etc.), it is more like a long-term cultural shift than a fad: started around the 1980s, still quite popular.

      Agreed. With an exception for ‘victims’ of slapstick who are determined villains. If they keep trying to do bad things, I don’t mind if bad things/accidents keep happening to them.

    27. Ah, so it is idealistic to think that writers want to write to make their stories known/share with others. =P So, they would write what the readers wanted in contrast to what they want? Or, perhaps a balance between the two.

      Hm...that's interesting. It makes me wonder how much of it influenced them in real life.

      Lol. Really. For me, it's still no good. I watched Looney Tunes before and I'm starting to feel sorry for some of the villains like the Coyote. ^^;

    28. Maybe it is ^^; I think it depends on the writer. I know of one instance where a writer won a literary prize and then said when he was interviewed that his ‘inspiration’ for writing books was the need to make money. The horrified interviewer was expecting a more idealistic reason ^^;
      In the case of Young Adult literature, I think only bestsellers have mainly teenage buyers – the standard book is mostly sold to schools for their libraries. So you get historical novels and books about modern families, etc. So it’s even worse than writing ‘what readers want’, many times they're writing ‘what adults want young people to believe’ (* ̄m ̄) …I always preferred to be cautious about that. = Read newspapers, or watch debate shows and documentaries. Not trust a random adult to tell the whole truth just because they can tell an exciting story.

      Influenced…Hmm. Since fiction is partly a reflection of realities in the first place, it would be hard to tell what shaped young people’s thinking the most. Corruption etc in the news, cartoons, or books?

      Ah. I see. I also got tired of watching villains get crushed to a pulp like that. Still not very sorry for them, but I don’t want to watch their ‘punishment’. …Something gentler is better. Like being dive-bombed by Kyoko’s demons, or Care-Bear-Stared at = blasted with beams of brainwashing ‘peace and light’ rays =P.

    29. Lol, I see. The writer is pretty frank. ^^

      Oh...I read something about that before. I think it is about a TV show but in a negative way like, the adults are writing teen stories and the teens couldn't quite relate because teen life isn't really like that. Of course, if it is historical and stuff, presumably fiction, teens might believe the fiction. ^^;

      We have a bit of issue like that right now. There is a certain 'dark period in history' being whitewashed by its supporters through social media. And, the teens and gullible believed it. It doesn't help that history books don't teach much about that lately. ^^;;

      I'm thinking more on violence. Like these days, younger people are getting more tolerant in some way regarding deaths and violence. Like, it isn't such a big deal.

      Hehe, is that so.

    30. Yes, brutally frank ^^;

      Yes, it is that kind of thing. Actually, what you say reminded me of a particular type of story, a type that some writers of ‘what adults want young people to believe’ were specialists at: the timeslip novel.
      I was suspicious of some timeslip books early on as a kid because many of them also give off ‘written by a stepparent’ vibes. The structure is this: a modern kid has a modern problem (eg, divorced parents plus a new stepparent the kid is not attached to). The kid (accidentally?) time-travels to a period where people have bigger problems. The kid returns to modern times with a better opinion of their living conditions. A very convenient ending/moral for the adults.
      Books actually written in the past that are still popular tend to be more honest about kids’ lives and families. The kind of writers whose work gets turned into TV dramas: the Brontës, Gaskell, Dickens, L M Montgomery. They don’t write as if kid characters are overestimating problems.

      Interesting. Maybe it’s a problem if there isn’t a drama set in that period – or a documentary with re-enactments? …That was the kind of thing that got my attention when I was younger. Simple history textbooks with many pictures, also.

      Tolerant of violence and death… Hmm… I suppose young people are more ‘at risk’ than past generations – rising youth suicide and youth homelessness. Economic problems. Addiction. Deaths in drugs wars. And the highest rate of bad attitude is among teenagers, that’s when sexism, racism and homophobia peaks. …But outside the teenage years, more young people have progressive attitudes than older people. High acceptance of minority sexualities, feminism, etc. There was more tolerance in the past for public violence against women (eg gang rape) and gay men (gay-bashing), but tolerance for that is very low in younger generations.
      ‘Private’ violence is actually worse, apparently, even in the Nordic/Scandinavian countries supposed to be the safest in the world. An older lady said that in her generation, a beaten-up wife could apply for a new public housing apartment to rent and she would get one fast, but nowadays the waiting time is so long that you would die from the beatings first. …That kind of thing would not give young people much hope for the future…

      Yep ^^

    31. I see. That is indeed convenient. More like having a 'forced' moral lesson. It makes me think that it is aimed at younger readers...below high school.

      Hm...are they still popular with younger people? Here, I don't think they read that anymore. I'm familiar with a couple of the authors. I didn't really read the novels but there was this 'summaries of novels for book reports' book before and I just read the synopsis of the stories there =P

      There were this thin hardbound small books on such novels before too aimed for kids which I read like Tale of Two Cities, What Katy Did, etc. Nowadays, I don't see any such books anymore in bookstores aimed for children. There are still the classic novels section though.

      There was a documentary and this kind of 'movie' about it but after 30 years, the youngsters don't seem to know. They believe what the supporters wrote about the 'good side' about it on the internet. The supporters said just move on and forget about it. Of course, the victims aren't going to let it slide away like that.

      Nowadays, it is a 'battle' on whether to let the dictator be buried at the cemetery for heroes. Some argue no because he isn't a hero and he even faked his WW2 medals. The others say, still he is the president before. Anyway, that's the debate.

      I see. I just notice that my very young relatives in elementary used to easily say 'kill/die' at parents/someone whom they are irritated with. Of course, it might just be an expression...still, it doesn't seem right. Though as you mentioned, as they grow up, they tend to a bit mellow down..or they are no longer watching/copying whatever taught them to say that. ^^;

    32. Exactly. ...Yes, I think so – that kind of books were in the elementary school library = younger readers.

      I see. That's right, to be more specific, it is the stories/adaptation and not the original book/reading that is popular. The CGI ‘Christmas Carol’. The musical version of ‘Oliver Twist’. The screen ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and ‘Story Girl’.

      I had one of those simplified/shortened ‘classics for kids’ books. It annoyed me because I thought it was the whole story, not a shorter version. When I was a young kid, mostly my parents bought the classic novels and skipped parts or explained the words while they were reading to me. I also watched film versions first, which helped when I started to read alone.
      It’s surprising that classic novels still sell. Many of them are available for free on

      I see. It is a more high-stakes situation with a former dictator, but it reminds me a little of the fight over Margaret Thatcher getting a state funeral, when she was a bit dictatorial, unsympathetic to the poor, and hated by many. Her opponents got revenge by running a campaign on social media suggesting that people buy the music single “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead”, and send that song towards the top of the charts the week Thatcher died. A successful campaign =P

      I see. There are expressions like that in English, eg ‘drop dead’, but they don’t seem to be fashionable (‘hate’ is the word kids prefer for expressing anger). In fact, the person I know who makes the most colorful death threats is a great-grandparent. Threats to cook people to death, or remove body parts, etc ^^;
      My theory is that if people get a ‘life is cheap’ message when they are young, unless the person is flexible, it may change their attitudes permanently, even if living conditions improve. I think everyday realities, especially face-to-face interactions, give the strongest messages, not video games, music, or other media.

    33. Christmas Carol, I first saw it as a cartoon. Then, there's the Muppets' version =P The last two aren't popular/known here.

      True. I suddenly recalled that there are even comic versions. That's were I read Pride & Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Dracula. That's not available anymore.

      Is that so. Interesting. But, she got the state funeral, right?

      Lol, is that so. Since you mentioned of great-grandparent, our current president is already around 70+ yet that's how he talks in public like kill this and that + a lot of expletives. Some say that it is because of the generation before and people should be more 'civilized' these days. Of course, if one is president and saying that kind of stuff, should that be taken seriously/literally or that is just his way to drive a point? =P where do they get that message when they're young? Environment or news? I think media/games, etc do influence a bit, somehow.

    34. I think I saw the Muppet version first ^^ There is also an animal cartoon version of Oliver Twist, but my family enjoys music more. The live action versions of ‘Anne’ and Avonlea stories are not so popular because the screenwriters made changes to reduce the number of characters and made the fans angry. Apparently, the manga and anime is better, but I haven’t seen it.

      Interesting. I read Shakespeare plays as comics as a kid – Othello, Macbeth. They were complete, not shortened, though. … I have heard that some epics were getting adapted into comics – eg Beowulf, also The Three Kingdoms(?). It’s strange that short ‘classic’ comics are not sold now, but huge ones are!

      Technically, it was a ‘ceremonial’ funeral, not a state funeral. But basically, it was the same as a state funeral, except that the government didn’t pay for everything.

      I see. Some people call that kind of politician an ‘attack dog’. Apparently, in the past mostly they were assistants to leaders but never became leader because a (verbal) thirst for blood and a foul mouth isn’t ‘statesman-/stateswoman-like’. But in recent decades, ‘attack dogs’ have been party leaders or even presidents. Sarkozy in France, for instance. …It kind of reminds me of a fact a friend told me in high school: apparently, the seating in parliament was to designed in the old days to keep different parties at a safe distance from each other; and safe = a little more than a sword length ^^;

      From what I have read about the legal cases where musicians/media were accused of being a bad influence on young people, it was generally decided that the environment was the major influence. Eg learning difficulties, unsupportive home and school and poor employment opportunities, not the heavy metal musicians accused (Judas Priest case). …Also, where artists are not accused, but are threatened/victims of stalkers or assassins, it tends to be clear that it’s something in the stalker’s past that has inspired him/her to be threatening and obsessive. Stalkers often target artists who have not been famous for very long and also, the more ‘positive thinking’ type of artists.
      I agree that media/games have some influence, but it doesn’t seem that their influence is decisive/big.

    35. I see. Well, there are indeed some anime on such classics. There were some that played on local television before like the Little Princess, Heidi, etc.

      Is that so. I have seen the Three Kingdoms in manga form in mangafox before though I'm not sure if it's finished.

      Ah, okay. So something like a compromise.

      Hehe, is that so. That's interesting. These days, it seems that punching and other mild forms are used. Check this link out:

      I'm actually just looking for which East Asian country had politicians punching each other. I saw it on TV before...apparently, there are a lot. ^^; someone actually sued about it. Interesting. What is 'positive thinking'-type of artist? An artist with a good image?

      Ya, apparently, it can be reinforced or minimize due to people around and environment.

    36. Ah, I only saw the Western cartoon Heidi.

      I see. It seems that the “Three Kingdoms” version I heard about was the one illustrated by Li Chengli and published in Chinese and in English translation at the same time.

      Yes. Though I think someone who says “there’s no such thing as society” should not require anyone else to contribute to their funeral expenses. Not even the ‘police to prevent riots’ expense. But at least Thatcher didn’t use public health or welfare services after opposing them. Ayn Rand did.

      Wa ^^; I guess metal detectors have unintended side effects? People must feel free to get into punch-ups if they’re sure they won’t get knifed.

      It looks bad, but it’s not as bad as the American (etc) politicians sexually harassing women.

      Judas Priest was sued over two young male fans committing suicide. …Actress Rebecca Schaeffer was killed by a stalker. She had a ‘clean-living’ ‘girl next door’ type image, based on what I’ve read. Actress/singer Olivia Newton-John had the same sort of image, and was also stalked by a killer. Also, the early ‘stalker attacks’ in the 1940s or so had ‘all-American’ stars for targets. Eggs thrown at crooners/singers and a baseball player shot (non-fatally). <<< I read about in “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker, the threat assessment expert. Well, it’s a chapter or two on stars. The book mostly covers warning signs of danger in personal & work relationships, and also strangers. = My source of information on stalking.

      Yes. There is also ‘selection bias’ = people will look for ‘dark’ material if they have bad moods often.

    37. I see.

      Speaking of funeral, I'm curious how it is in your country if a relative of a poor family died and they don't have money for the funeral? Here, they usually ask/beg for money from people or the local political officials for contribution. And, how come Thatcher opposes health/welfare services? Is it because people would become too dependent on it? Or, there are people who abuse it?

      Ya. At least, it is bodily harm than murder? =P

      Ah, but I think there are others. They weren't just that 'known' in media. I recall that there was a sex scandal about ex-French president, Strauss-Kahn.

      I see. Ya, there seems to be a lot of stalker-killer during those times. It seems that serial killers and occult are also kind of popular. I don't seem to hear them in the news these days. Hm..speaking of those cases you mentioned, were drugs involved?

      Interesting ^^ Read a brief of it in wiki, it seems that being 'snobbish' is the way to go for safety ^^

      I see. The want to play a violent game can help release stress?

    38. The rule in my country is that the deceased person pays for their own funeral. In reality, usually a relative pays but it’s treated as if the deceased is borrowing the funeral money. Later (usually months later) the relative who paid gets the funeral money back from the estate/the deceased person’s property, when the heirs receive their shares. (However, companies are selling ‘funeral insurance’ so that people can get an ‘insurance’ payout instantly when they die and pay for an expensive funeral.)
      If neither the deceased person nor the family can pay for the funeral, the state (community/taxpayers) must pay. But the state only pays for a pauper’s funeral, and a pauper’s grave (no gravestone). Nothing expensive. (Probably in the future, it will be cremation, because graves are starting to get expensive.) If the person belonged to a church, though, the church can use their buildings and staff, and even a cheap ceremony can be quite nice. A bit short, but not uncomfortable.

      Thatcher versus welfare… Well, the West became “post-industrial” during Thatcher’s time. No more factory jobs. The leaders could have paid a lot of money to train people to do more complicated jobs. In most countries, they didn’t. They paid welfare money – as little as possible. Thatcher cancelled the school milk program – the kind of thing that’s now being revived as “breakfast programs”.
      Many countries created pockets of welfare dependency during the postindustrial ‘transition’. Some of them hid the problem temporarily – put people on ‘disability’ support who were not disabled.
      A minority with no employment was a (small) problem even in the Scandinavian countries, who don’t victim-blame people dependent on welfare. Thatcher in the UK and Reagan in the USA denied responsibility and victim-blamed like Roald Dahl villains.
      There are fraudsters, of course. Occasionally even killers/serial killers who steal ID and welfare payments. But they are a very tiny minority.

      True ^^;

      Yes, that’s why I wrote “etc” (= and others). … The Strauss-Kahn you mention was considered a future candidate for French president until the rape charges – and other accusations from further in the past being publicized.

      Don’t remember anything about drugs. The killers came from horrible homes in the recent cases. The parents of the Newton-John stalker asked neighbors to watch him through their windows as a kid, and report anything he did wrong. = That killer had been stalked/spied on himself as a child! He killed his parents and then went hunting Newton-John because he thought she had eyes like his mother’s eyes.
      The killer of Schaeffer said he learnt social skills and felt freer in prison, iirc.

      Yes, that’s unexpected. Many people consider it a good thing to be ‘approachable’, but in reality often people who offer help are a threat to your safety, and it’s safer to ask a quiet stranger for assistance ^^;
      I guess it explains why strangers sometimes ask me for help, though – I am a quiet person, so they trust me.

      Possible. Violent or non-violent, video games which are absorbing/attention-grabbing are so distracting that they can be used to reduce pain. Eg for car crash victims, when nurses are changing the bandages on their wounds.

    39. I see. Thanks for the info ^-^ Hm..for a pauper's grave...where are they buried? Some vacant lot/public cemetery that the government owns? The same with the church?

      Thanks for the history lesson ^-^ So, they don't want to take responsibility and scrap welfare/dole-outs. Ah, where did they use the money then? I mean, with so many jobless people at that time, they didn't revolt or anything/why would most/her supporters agree to it?

      Oh, I thought it is limited to Americans ^^;; Hehe..I thought he already got elected or I must have mixed him up with some other French president with a scandal ^^;;

      I see. Definitely has some family background issues.

      Yup. There are some scams using that as a basis. One will throw something on you like ice cream/vomit. Second one will help you out but is actually stealing something from you already. ^^; It is usually thought and taught that it is good to be 'nice' but ya, there are scams who would use that to their advantage.

      I see ^^ Well, in my case, for being quiet = snobbish in the eyes of others. ^^;

      Really? You make me think that is why nurses are usually depicted as beautiful ^^

    40. Ah. Apparently, it depends on the area. In rich areas, paupers are buried in normal cemeteries, but in the same grave with strangers (not the same coffin). Also, the same ceremony. In poorer/newer localities, the government money is enough to pay for a separate grave and ceremony.
      The government doesn’t own church property, I think, but the churches sometimes do small favors for the government to show appreciation for their ‘charity’ tax-free status. Favors/'charitable actions' may include cheap funeral ceremonies for paupers.

      I have not studied it in depth, because the mistreatment of the poor makes me too angry, but… Nobody scrapped welfare, they minimized it. As for spending…Reagan gave tax cuts, I think. I don’t know about Thatcher. Thatcher spent some money on the Falklands war, which apparently was quite popular.
      The jobless people were a minority. I think 10% maximum. (There is a reggae song from that time with the title “One in Ten”.) Also, many lived in isolated areas. New villages/extensions were built for the influx of factory workers in the past. The workers were considered “not local people” and “bad mannered” in the past, when they had jobs. In the 80s and later, their home areas were considered “the bad part of town”. They had little political power, the former factory workers and their descendants.
      Also, some of the “best” of the working class, the most skilled workers, had already ‘escaped’. The UK government offered cheap tickets to Australia and New Zealand from the 1940s until the early 1980s.

      Maybe the Mitterrand family? President Mitterrand had a mistress and a kid with her. And his little brother was later Culture Minister and admitted that when he was a young man, he paid for sex with prostitute boys on a (tropical?) holiday, boys who may have been underage. The scandals weren't very big because there was no violence, and the French are blase about sex.
      Other than Strauss-Kahn, the most famous French person with a violence scandal was a celebrity, the lead singer of Noir Désir. He beat his actress girlfriend to death.

      Scary ^^; Sounds like they are taking advantage of the ‘freeze’ response. Fortunately, I’m more of a ‘flight response’ person.

      People’s expectations of “warmth” depends on many things, like culture, and ‘family culture’… However, one thing I agreed with in de Becker’s book was that if things like stalker suitors are allowed, then people (women, usually) are denied the right to decide who will be in their lives. My thinking is that forcing a person into (continuing) an interaction is basically bullying. And it’s stealing, because a person owns their own time. I think the ‘thief’/bully is the arrogant person, not the person who says no and walks away.

      Oh, like “Hello Nurse” in Animaniacs, maybe? ^^

    41. What is same grave? On top of each other? Or huge plot and they are all beside each other?

      I see. Ah, I meant some government owned land = public-type of cemetery. Here, the graves for the poor are usually on top of each other. Like a drawer/cabinet-type made of cement. Think capsule hotel..something like that.

      Okay..going to war huh.

      I see. So there's nothing much they can do. makes me wonder if they'll resort to criminal acts since there's no welfare and no jobs.

      Oh...violence. That's not good at all. Here, it seems that kind of scandal isn't a big deal. There was an ex-president who bragged that he is an alcoholic, and womanizer but people voted for him anyway because of his slogan, 'for the poor'. He was ousted later on by the richer class or some say, crossing someone whom one shouldn't bother with. He had a lot of wives and most children are in politics.

      As for the current one, he got 'annulled' from the first wife after two kids. There's no divorce here = Catholic church oppose it = destroying the family. Then, had some women at the side. And, now has a live-in partner with a kid. That's okay with most people. As long as you say 'I'll help the poor'. Elections here are a popularity contest. ^^;

      Is that so ^^ That's good.

      True. Hm..was it mentioned that the women who were stalked are living alone? I suddenly thought that it doesn't seem common here. Or, I don't hear it that much. Most people 'live together' here and it is rare to live alone.

      I haven't seen that. But in some US cartoons and popular media, the nurses are always beautiful.

      Ah, I'll be going on a trip. Let's continue this when I get back. ^^

    42. Hi Kat. Good to read-‘see’ you again, ^^

      Same grave = coffins are stacked on top of each other, here. Buried in the ground, not in drawers/cabinet. Above-ground, mini drawers/cabinets are used for ‘burial’/storage of ashes after cremation, sometimes – but that’s not cheap, I think.

      Less welfare, not zero welfare. No good jobs available to low-skilled workers. Limited dead-end underemployment (retail, fast-food).
      Ah. Some people did go into crime – selling drugs. Using drugs. Prostitution – not always the legal kind, often unregistered brothels or on the street. That became a big problem by the 90s. In the 1980s people still had a little “fight”/energy left in them, maybe? A time of protests, punk music and reggae, football hooliganism. The drugs & crime stuff seems to become a big feature later, when people are in complete despair.
      And still, only a minority get involved in illegal ‘business’. Mostly people in high-crime areas are forced to stay at home a lot, because drug dealers are trading in public, and community areas get vandalized and bicycles etc stolen, fights start = the streets aren’t safe. So often, people who live close to the ‘mean streets’ are affected by overweight/obesity epidemic.

      Interesting... That is a really old strategy/slogan, ‘for the poor’. I was just reading about the battle for influence between Cicero and Catiline in ancient Rome and Catiline used that slogan, even though he was from an ‘old’ Roman political family in the ‘rich’ class.
      Hmm… Maybe people are resigned to politicians having messy family lives, since they are not at home very often? (I really wonder how political dynasties cope with that.) At any rate, voters seem to prefer family men or family women, when a ‘safe option’ might be a single person or a person in a child-free couple, i.e. situations where no partner has a role very like ‘single parent (but wealthier than normal single parents)’.

      Well, most women were stalked by exes and lived with their kid(s). But if we are talking about the subcategory I mentioned, (childless) women with suitor stalkers, then women did live alone in some of the modern cases. Well spotted ^^. …However, according to de Becker, women being pursued by stalker suitors was something that also happened in the past, i.e. when Western women lived with relatives until they were married. (I can think of some examples from period dramas.)
      Also, some of the modern stalking cases took place in the workplace only. Eg a police trainer guy wanting to date a female trainee, which was against the rules. He kept pressuring her, but he only succeeded after she graduated.
      …Actually, that’s probably the main reason I often refer back to de Becker’s work (and others’) – so I can measure the feminism/child-respect level of the workplace-based dramas I want to read/watch.

      Ah, I see. It is a 1990s cartoon series, so it has been repeated less than Looney Tunes. Same company, though.
      …I see. I have seen more UK TV; there are a lot of reality shows, comedy and soaps set in hospitals, so they have more normal-looking people, too. The ‘blonde bombshell’ staff feature in dramas, too, but they often leave, it’s the veterans who stay and become familiar faces.

    43. Thank you ^-^ Nice to read/see you back ^^

      Oh, buried in the ground. Here it is something like this:

      True, it seems to be the last resort like drugs = to forget or crime = to survive/instant rich.

      Obesity because they always stay home and watch tv?

      Is that so, but then did the people then buy Catiline's slogan = they believed it? Here, they did.

      Here, it is very easy. Just give the wife, mistress, and children 'positions' in the government as if it is a family business. The ex-president did just that and succeeded. So, his family is in the senate, mayor, vice-mayor of the town where he became famous, I'm not sure if there is one in congress though...still, other political clans do just that.

      For example, the position is limited to 3 terms, the patriarch usually 'pass' the position to the wife/children then after their terms are up, the patriarch goes back to that position. The people would say that this family runs the place okay, so why try a untested one. Of course, since they are in the position, money and influence also helps a lot.

      You know, now that you mention that, it doesn't seem so here since I recall this poor guy who can hardly earn for himself, even having a mistress. ^^; Perhaps, having mistresses isn't a big deal since it gives an impression of being macho. Our country had a single guy as president last time. He lacks in empathy though I'm not sure if that's because of his martial status.

      And, those that happen in the past, it is only limited to stalking or lead to something else? I usually get the impression that stalkers are somewhat like bums = have plenty of time to do stalking. Hm..perhaps, they just re-schedule their lives to their victim's lifestyle?

      Your police trainer example suddenly made me think of the teacher-student scenarios in manga =P

      Hm..perhaps, they leave after getting married? Or, finding work in better pastures? That seems to be the case here. It makes me think of female bank tellers here. Most of the time, they don't stay and work there for a long time. Sometimes, they flirt with the customers. It makes me wonder if they are husband-hunting while they're at this kind of job. =P I have heard/know of female bank tellers marrying their clients.

    44. ^-^

      Wow, that is very high ^^;

      Yes, sadly.

      Well, people stay at home and watch TV in the ‘safe’ suburbs, too. The problem is not being able to play in the park, or go to the pool, etc because safe leisure areas are too far away, there is not much public transport available and car, parking fees and petrol are expensive. Areas in that situation are called ‘obesogenic’ or ‘dormitory suburbs’. In general terms, it is also said that so-called ‘free time’ is actually expensive because often, leisure activities are not cost-free.

      Some people bought Catiline’s slogan and helped him try to overthrow Cicero, the elected consul. Catiline was in a better position to be convincing than some people. He was a lot less wealthy than before, because he spent a lot of money on the election campaign he lost, and because of inflation/undersupply of coinage. He was also ‘local’ and Cicero was not. Cicero was born in a town outside Rome.

      I see. It would help if the family is based in the/a capital, or close. I think the federal politicians from distant provinces would have the most trouble keeping their family united.
      The political systems I know best do not have limited terms. Often, a politician’s partner will be the primary parent, or a businessperson, a bureaucrat, a union official – i.e. they will have a different position of responsibility. It’s generally the kids who grow up to be politicians like mom or dad.

      Cheating is considered sleazy not macho in my culture, but it isn’t hugely important to people. Or I could say, they are not strict about it. For instance, it’s very difficult/impossible to get a quick divorce, it takes longer than a few months. But people will often begin dating someone else before they are divorced, and it’s ‘okay’ because they are legally separated. It’s not okay with me, so I wish the law would speed up. It would be better to have the technical divorce quickly, just with signatures at the register office, and delay the division of property until lawyers agree or a judge is available. It might also encourage people to make agreements about division of property before they marry, so it will be uncomplicated if they divorce. Judges are very busy.
      I find it a lot more painful to watch when a family man or woman says insensitive, unempathetic things than when a single person does. You know, like not knowing the price of bread, or thinking that there are less women in positions of power because they’re not capable or don’t feel like it, (rather than because of childcare and professional jealousy, etc). I’m sorry somebody has to live with bad attitudes like that at home – especially kids, since adults/partners have the option of leaving.

      Ah, that depends. A stalker suitor from the past would follow a marriageable woman around at social gatherings, trying to monopolize her time and scare other men away, so she would have no option except to marry him. They would assume a woman was ‘playing hard to get’ if she said no to an offer of marriage. If a woman said ‘maybe’, these men took it as a ‘yes’! ...This led to even more dangerous things sometimes, like abduction, or a duel between rival suitors. Both were made illegal. … And sometimes the situation was dangerous from the start, for instance, the situation in a period drama where a married woman was stalked by a sexual harasser who was a regular visitor/family ‘friend’. Her unfaithful husband did not help her, she had to use her artist knife to threaten the harasser.


    45. ‘Bums’, heh heh! In the past, it was ‘high class’ to have plenty of time. It was considered ‘dirty’ to be a businessperson (‘in trade’), and only some professions were acceptable – lawyers, military, church. Aristocrats (and their imitators) owned land and lived off the rent and sales of food/produce. All they did was ‘estate management’ – and they always had a manager/steward to do most of the work for them.
      True, sexual predators do find an opportunity to attack somewhere in their victims’ lifestyle. So usually working-class women were the victims. Of bored rich men, and even of other working-class men sometimes, for instance, when they made or received deliveries of goods unescorted. You’d think nobody had sisters, from the way some men behave.
      The most common reported sexual crime against rich women was not violence. 10% of the population had syphilis, and in most cases the wives who caught it were infected by husbands, which was called ‘legal cruelty’ and was grounds for separation.

      Oh, really? I’ve seen the ‘after graduation = okay’ part before in “Skip Beat”, with that 19-year age-gap couple Kyoko and Ren watched on television, but the pressuring came from the student, not the teacher. I don’t think I’d like it without the role-reversal of the pressuring – the less-powerful person applying the pressure, instead of the powerful one. And I’m concerned that the role reversal is unrealistic. When Kyoko wants to force Ren to listen to her advice, she knows it’s a fantasy, because he is the one with more industry experience = ‘older’ as a pro.

      Mostly leaving to greener pastures, but sometimes it is quitting instead of taking maternity or paternity leave.
      Whoa, that’s weird. I thought banks were all efficiency-mad everywhere. But I guess not. Actually, people stick to the same bank like it’s a relationship, even though it’s all about machines and online interaction most of the time. It’s more like family here, though. My bank was my grandparents’ bank ^^;

    46. I see. And watching TV as a past time contributed to health problems like obesity? In a way, isn't like it being 'locked in a confined space'? Just stay home because going outdoor is too expensive.

      I see. Well, possibilities of overthrowing is high if the ruling people aren't exactly delivering, right?

      Hm..that kind of political system is like royalty, right? Ah, why would federal politicians from distant provinces have that kind of trouble? Because they have to be in the capital most of the time?

      Here, we don't have divorce because the Catholic church said so and well, perhaps the men doesn't want any splitting of property and what do you call it, have to still provide for the kids, etc.

      We do have annulment but it is usually for the rich because justice system here is super slow that an annulment can take years. Also, the women tend to be very dependent on the men especially financially so at times, they just bear with it. I have heard of stories even tolerating physical abuse or sexual abuse of their kids.

      In most cases, it seems that the men tend to be the ones who'll go amok if the women is caught in an affair but if it is the men, they'll just say, it is because he's a guy. Is it the same there?

      It is difficult to say. Probably if after leaving, things turn out well, it was a good option to leave but if not, I think someone will get blamed. I mean, the kids might say that it is better to stay with that kind of parent rather than how life is now = if things didn't turn out well or vice-versa, if they stayed on.

      Hm..that kind of stalker seems to have some sort of power/influence to scare away others. Or, perhaps, an intimidating personality?

      Oh, that's right. ^^; True, I read about that in our history about how the locals look down on Chinese being traders and they actually have a certain insulting name for them. Now, the few richest people in our country that are in the Forbes list are Chinese. =P

      I think some/a lot of rich people now still do that especially if they have the capital for it and hire a very good and hopefully honest manager.

    47. True..and perhaps, they view their sisters/mothers that way? Or, because those women are 'others' not family? I recall a conversation in Twitter. Someone said such vicious awful things about a certain female senator who supposedly involved in drug trade and the govt want to show some so-called sex tapes at the senate hearing.

      I even got to know the term for it = slut-shaming. With the men here asking if there is such a word ^^; Anyway, the other guy says, don't you have a sister/mother that you'll say such things. The guy replies that his sister/mother isn't like that female senator.

      Oh, it's grounds for separation. I wonder if it also done here usually, the ones I heard is psychological incapacity/immature, etc and if the other person turned out to be gay.

      It happens a lot in other manga. It is usually more on the teacher restraining and using that as an 'excuse' for not doing anything to the student. Of course, it might be good for the readers unless they are given ideas and cause scandals in real life. Lol, when you mention that, I read a manga like that. The female student is all over the virgin clueless teacher. ^^;; It is more on comedy side though with some romance/sexy scenes but no sex scenes...yet.

      I see. Well, the tellers seemed to change a lot in a certain bank near our place. The manager usually stays the same for a longer period of time. By the way, does your bank have cctv? I sometimes wonder if aside from bank robberies which was frequent way before, it is to detect some suspicious stuff happening.

      Here, if the bank teller balances the money in his/her cashier and it lacks money. They have to pay for it with their salary. If there is more than the balance. The bank gets to keep it. =P Unfair? It is the same with waiter/waitress. So, they usually repeat the order. If something gets served and wasn't ordered, guess who pays for it if the customer won't pay for it? Is it the same there?

    48. Yes, TV contributes. It is worse than radio or music. People often listen to radio while they work – or cook, in my case.
      I saw a case on the USA version of the “7 Up” documentaries, where an elementary schooler had a bike or tricycle, but only used it at home, in his tiny apartment in the “projects” (public housing). It wasn’t as much fun as riding outside, but the bike would definitely get stolen outside.

      True, but on the other hand, ‘money talks’. The richer/older citizens had most of the votes (way more than the number of rich people), not the mass of normal people. Rebellion isn’t cheap, either. The rebels were slaughtered.

      Some families are a bit “Establishment”, yes. However, the ‘safe’ seats do not pass from parent to child. Political people begin as ‘apprentice’-type workers, ie assistants to politicians. As junior politicians, they are in ‘swing’ seats or the senate. Only high-performing/senior politicians are allocated to ‘safe’ seats. Actually, that is another reason a politician’s partner often has a job outside politics = that job will help support the family if the politician does not win, until the next election.
      Yes, that’s what I meant = It’s bad for the unity of the family for one adult to be in capital most of the time while the rest of the family is far away.

      I know the Catholic church doesn’t recognize divorce – which must have been interesting when divorce was introduced in post-Revolutionary France – and the Protestants had an expensive, sexist system of ‘fault’ divorce – divorce on the grounds of adultery, abandonment, or insanity (in the woman), but I thought the government had to provide civil divorce in multicultural countries now. Because it’s unfair/discriminatory if atheists and people from religions which permit divorce can’t get a divorce – or non-traditional Catholics, for that matter.

      Well, people are a little more shocked about a woman cheating. I think it’s because you wonder when it started, maybe question who is the father of the kids. But it is also shocking when a man cheats.
      There are more gender stereotypes in attitudes to kids having sex young, or having a series of sexual partners. Many people are shocked when girls do that, but they think it’s normal when boys do, because ‘boys will be boys’.

      Ah, I read the research about that. Before divorce was widely available, people were confident that both adults and kids were better off after a split-up. That’s not true. It’s only true if one of the parents is abusive, and the divorce allows the kids to escape from him – or her. But if only the couple had problems and the whole family was not dysfunctional, the kids are always worse off after the divorce, only the adults are better off.
      Often, cheaters are also abusive as parents. Men who have sexist attitudes and look down on their daughters, typically. But not all are like that.

      Well, those are a stalker’s ‘true colors’, but they appear very different on the surface. They start out with a ‘charm offensive’, act friendly and fun. It’s a shocking twist when they turn nasty …though maybe it would not shock me now that I’ve read about the warning signs.

      Interesting. Similar to that, Napoleon called the English ‘a nation of shopkeepers’ during the Napoleonic Wars.

      Yes, it makes sense, but there is some very bad history. Educated Jews took jobs as estate managers in the past in Eastern Europe, and there is still very bad anti-Semitism there, because the managers got blamed for the owners taxing the tenants heavily. …There were absentee landowners in Ireland, politicians in the English House of Lords, and they let millions starve and emigrate during the potato famine. …Similarly, the Highland Clearances in Scotland… After all that, I think ‘mostly local’ rich people seem more trustworthy than the ‘jet set’.

    49. Yes, possibly boys receive favoritism and treat girls as inferior. Or just ‘outsider’ girls.
      Wow, that’s weird. It sounds like a smear campaign. Maybe fictional politicians and drug dealers in dramas ‘pillow talk’ about business – because the writers think it’s sexy – but I’ve never heard of the police recording something like that via a ‘bug’/wire. And I have heard real life crime family matriarchs complain about really ‘naughty’ scenes onscreen, saying they are much more traditional about sex than those characters.

      I see. Slut-shaming plus the madonna/whore dichotomy. Toxic combination ^^;

      Depends on the legal system. When ‘no fault’ divorce is available, people usually choose that. It’s a lot cheaper than hiring a detective so you can provide proof of infidelity. Also, ‘reckless transmission of sexually-transmitted disease’ is usually a separate crime now. (That’s not the right name for the crime. Not sure what is.)

      I see, ‘unresolved sexual tension’ because a teacher-student relationship is forbidden. I guess that is useful for romance plot structure, if not for realism ^^; …I see, that is one way for the writer to fix up the power difference, making the teacher less ‘mature’. That reminds me, I have seen another method in a subplot storyline. The teacher had less power over the student than normal because the student is a ‘bad boy’ who doesn’t want attention. His only weakness is that he is gallant underneath = very limited in how hard he can fight a girl, so his teacher weaponizes her gender to force him to behave and participate in activities.

      I think CCTV is standard in banks. Also outside, filming the ATMs. …I have heard of small businesspeople being robbed on the way to ‘bank the takings’ = put cash paid by customers in the bank. I think they are an easier target for criminals, rather than robbing banks.

      It is the same when business uses cash, like restaurants, other retail businesses. Not in banks. The bank staff use computers, cash dispensing machines, etc. The machines double-check everything. Not much room for human error.
      Actually it is more common to make the opposite mistake. Eg misfile products with the wrong label, or forget about discounts. Makes expensive things look cheap until you pay for them.

    50. True. Though it seems that there are others can multi-task while watching the television. =P

      Hm..I think that can be applied here. It is rare for well-to-do children to bike around here. Even if there are problems with it being stolen, there isn't much place to bike on because there are too many obstructions. ^^;

      I see. I guess it is different here since I get the impression that the partners of politicians usually do not work. They seem more like trophy wives so they just pass on the positions but actually, the 'politician' is calling the shots. Most of them are from the elite so there's really no problem with support the family.

      Of course, there are exceptions wherein they also have a business, investments, etc so unlike before, most politicians become richer. That is comparing the time they first started in a certain position to the point when their term ends. It's a lucrative profession that there are many has-been actors/actresses would run for office hoping that their popularity will get them elected. There are those who managed to do so.

      Well, it doesn't apply here. I read that only our country and the Vatican doesn't have divorce ^^; There is a strong resistance to it. I'm not too sure if the Catholic church has a strong influence in it since they don't seem to have such a strong hold on politicians/elections compared to some religious sects. So, I'm looking at the 'men' not wanting the divorce due to alimony.

      It is easy to say, too that with divorce, there will be many broken families for people will just get the easy way out if things aren't turning out well. Just like how things were in Hollywood/Las Vegas, I think. Anyway, it is a long debate but currently, I don't think there will be a divorce law anytime soon.

      I think together with that is the reproductive health law. There are 'Catholics' who believe that artificial birth control is evil. Use of condom/pills = killing the baby from being born. You know, the egg isn't fertilized/sperms didn't go to their destination. But natural birth control is acceptable or just abstinence. So, they managed to stop the law from being implemented = give the poor birth control in order to control the population growth. So, the poor are getting poorer, and they usually have the most number of children.

      Ah, perhaps, it depends on how old the children were when caught? I sometimes read this column about such affairs. Usually, in married couples, it is either one is unsatisfied with the other then finding someone 'exciting'. There was even one woman who did it out of revenge since the husband is also doing it. The women usually found their partners at work or ex-bf.


      About abusive..abusive to the kids or to the spouse only? Or both?

      I see. Perhaps the 'charm offensive' is to lower one's guard? What kind of warning signs are there? Slip of the tongue, how they treat/view other women?

      Hehe. But these days, it seems that most rich people are the ones in business, right?

    51. I think it is the same here. There is a bit of resentment with the Chinese. It was bad [based on the comments of people in the net] when China was taking the nearby islands here before but the new president is siding with China so there aren't much comments about 'go back to China' and other racial slurs stuff =P

      It is, in a way, if we were to believe the female senator. Well, the thing is, we'll never know if there is such sex tapes. There was one before but it was just a lookalike from a porn website. ^^; She was portrayed to have 'lovers' though I'm not sure if she had a husband. Her problems started when she went against the president.

      Speaking of pillow talk, I did heard of such with the ex-president/dictator. The wife bugged the bed to find out that the husband is having an affair. This was in the 80s so it's only sound. Now, things are different =P It doesn't help that there are those who record their own sex scenes only to regret it later on when their phone/computers were hacked or someone uploaded them.

      Interesting. I don't think it is a crime here though. By the way, what's the punishment for such a crime? Jail time or just pay for the treatment/damages.

      Yup. That's interesting.

      I see. Well, there are a lot of ATM robberies/using of that gadget to swipe the data + password. The latter one does happen here. It is usually an inside job though like knowing when the victim will withdraw money for payroll, deposit the earnings, etc. So, it is best not to have a routine.

      Ah, here it is still a cashier form. Like people depositing cash. Of course, the story I told you was way before and I'm not sure if people still deposit huge amounts of cold cash... Hm, perhaps they do since the unscrupulous people would prefer to deal with cash rather than other machine ways = no money trail.

      These days, the banks usually only have a limited amount of cash unless a huge withdrawal is asked beforehand. The head branch would then give the go-signal then it is prepare to be sent to the bank branch.

      Hm..that is for huge sales, right? I think it happened to my sister so she went back with the receipt to have things re-computed.

    52. I guess. I know good cooks who have burnt food because of watching television, though. I set an alarm so I don’t forget to check whether food is ready.

      It was common for ordinary kids to bike to school here only a generation or two ago. There was bike road safety training in elementary school, and ‘garages’ for kids’ bikes on campus. Now, people mostly travel in cars or on public transport to their destination.

      People earn more as businesspeople here, rather than politicians. I think also they get more donations, if they are in charity management rather than (social democrat) politics. Also, people from the entertainment business are more popular than politicians. Generally speaking, it’s not a very desirable job, so a person would have to be a passionate ‘political animal’ to choose politics as a career.

      Hmm… I guess with all the digital data, it would be hard for an ex to avoid paying child support now – much easier when divorce was liberalized in the English-speaking countries (1970s, iirc). Very amoral ^^;… That reminds me, I heard the Italians who can afford it go to Spain to get things the Vatican bans, like IVF and gay marriage. Is that – foreign countries’ legal systems – an option for your compatriots?

      Well, I have heard the Americans sometimes have a ‘starter marriage’ = a short-lived marriage in their 20s. But they usually don’t have any kids before they divorce, so probably it’s not called a ‘broken family’ (usually ‘family’ = with a kid or kids), just a split-up couple.
      It was pretty stupid of the West to treat divorce as a solution to private problems and nothing more. Divorce is expensive, especially in poor countries or in not-so-prosperous times, and governments need to have plans to assist people, eg public housing and affordable private housing programs, school psychologists to help the kids. Only Scandinavian countries do that sort of thing, sadly.

      Ah, religious fundamentalists. I’ve met some of their kids in school. They usually have around 10 siblings ^^; Also, I have a relative who was taught sex education in high school using a manual written by fundamentalists. There were gruesomely detailed descriptions of sexually transmitted diseases, like gonorrhea. Designed to scare teenagers away from having sex ^^; And it wasn’t even a religious school.
      Most of the Catholics in this country are ‘liberal’ and disobey Humanae Vitae, though. Catholics are numerous, not a minority group, but the average number of children per adult woman is still about 2 ^^ Ah, they do try to block some things, though, like “the morning-after pill”.

      Maybe. It is said that people can get bored of each other after 7 years – it is called the ‘7 year itch’. Infatuation lasts even less, maybe months, maximum 3 years. ...Interesting. I saw a few things recently about ‘friendship affairs’, where a married person takes an outsider as confidante, but there’s no sex.

      An abuser can target only a kid or only the spouse, but the abuse must be hidden for that to be possible. When abuse is not hidden, the witness will want to defend the target. If the witness does defend the victim, the abuser will attack the witness. Besides, just being forced to witness violence or mistreatment is abuse of the witness. Actually, iirc, it’s commonly used as a torture technique, forcing people to watch cruelties.

    53. Probably, yes. …There’s a very long list of warning signs. In de Becker’s book, and in the ‘MOSAIC’ digital threat assessment system he and others created (available online). Some of the signs are routinely romanticized in fiction. Like rushing a potential partner into a relationship (so you don’t have time to ‘inspect’ the person properly) = talking home, marriage, and kids early; jealousy and wanting to monopolize the partner (like you commentate in Namaizakari – there’s no room for jealousy if you trust your partner to be faithful). The recurring theme is persistence despite opposition = not taking ‘no’ or reluctance for an answer. Overruling/bulldozing people, in other words.
      It’s normal to have feelings of infatuation, jealousy, etc. – that doesn’t make you a scary person – but it’s not respectful to your partner to behave in a possessive-smothering/jealous way. It’s pressuring.
      Ah, yes, they will misrepresent their exes as nasty women, maybe treat other women like servants.

      Yes. But iirc, the highest earning business in France is ‘luxury goods’. Louis Vuitton and others… So French people could still insult the British for being less glamorous, I guess ^^;

      People often ‘culturalize’ problems. For instance, here there are social/socioeconomic class divisions in the education system. Because the politicians don’t plan for the future (they should use birth and immigration statistics to predict demand), so rich kids get the lion’s shares of the “best spots”.
      But people worry about much more when cultural differences make the divisions more visible, i.e. now that there are enough migrant/Mainland Chinese kids in the ‘top classes’ (the hardest math and science), at least in the public schools, to create a ‘club’ atmosphere, and stupid myths like ‘math is too hard if you’re not Chinese’ ^^;. << The truth is, it’s hard to compete with private school students. They learn more math earlier, not at the last minute. They are years ahead of the normal level when they graduate. You have to use up a lot of free time to compete with that, as a public school student. People with a ‘study hard’ attitude, including Chinese and other people born into ‘study hard’ cultures, are not the problem. They’re just getting value for time and money out of an unfair system.

      Oh, right, lookalikes. There are also lookalikes of the Croatian president, iirc.

      The police still use a lot of audio-only evidence these days. Maybe because it is less of an invasion of privacy? ‘Private life’ talk can be removed before the recording is presented as evidence. …Hmm, I have heard that a lot of sex tapes are not hacked but released by an ex as “revenge porn”. Also, it seems some boys pressure girls to record sex tapes – that’s a very loud warning sign he’s a Mr Wrong! ^^;

      It depends on the disease and the circumstances. Now syphilis is curable, most of the cases are about HIV. There are monetary penalties under the civil law and jail penalties under the criminal law. Mainly it depends how much harm is done, it seems. There are cases where the disease is not transmitted, but the infected person risked it and didn’t inform their partner. The partner can still sue, because of the endangerment, and the stress of wondering whether they were infected while waiting for the results of the test.

      I see.

      Hmm… Maybe it’s also people trying to be polite, paying by cash because it’s faster? At least for small items. It’s not safe to carry a lot of cash, so paying larger amounts has to be by card, slower or not.

      I see. Very cautious.

      Yes, they often charge original price, not sale price. Not just during big sales, though. Stores often have ‘little sales’, and customers are less likely to notice the mistake if most items are not on sale, or the reduction was small.

    54. Well, I recall a high school/elementary teacher bragged to us about her friend who can do her homework, watching tv, listening to the radio, and talk on the phone yet still know what she is watching, listening and what's being talked about. ^^;

      Ah, that happens to me at times though not due to watching tv, it is doing something else while waiting for something to cook. The 'alarm' is up = something smells burning ^^;;

      I see. I think it is only in manga when I often see students biking to school...well, high school students, that is. But it seems more frequently seen if it isn't in the city that has efficient public transport.

      I see but then, do they usually keep their reputation intact after their political career. Here, it depends. Most businessmen won't join because their reputation can be ruined. They always say that politics here is dirty and even if you have very good intention, one can get eaten up by the system or you'll just give up in frustration.

      If you don't go along, they'll find ways to ruin you whether the allegations are true or not. Politicians here can be very shameless/thick-faced unlike the ones in Japan who'll immediately resign if they were 'caught in the act'. Since people tend to have short term memory and forgiving, it is easy to re-invent oneself.

      They do that. Some people get marry in the US in order to have the option to divorce. I think there was a publicized lesbian marriage of singer-model in US. For some reason, there are also those who prefer to give birth in other countries to get that preferred citizenship. The ones I heard is, it is in the US.

      Ah, regarding that 'starter marriage', here, they do the 'live in' together to see how things work. Of course, that usually lead to having kids. Well, for the poor people, it is because they cannot afford to marry so sometimes, politicians/church sponsor a mass wedding thing for them.

      Hm...for our country, housing doesn't seem to have that much of a priority and there are major flaws on it. They move the people out of the squatters to far away place where they have no work and the houses are substandard. So, they just go back.

      School psychologists are for private schools since we have too few schools and teachers that I think there is current three shifts for students. For example, first batch is 7-10, second batch 10-2 then third batch 2-5pm. That is because of the population being too big that the govt resources had trouble supposedly with the budget.

      It is a popular conspiracy theory to keep the poor uneducated and dependent on the govt so that they would keep on voting for the people whom 'give' them benefits/money.

      Was it effective? Scaring them about sexually transmitted disease. I think that is more realistic than 'killing babies due to condom' and we are talking about married couples for the contraceptives. There was also a debate whether to teach sex education. Is it better to teach them so that they'll know what will happen = pregnancy, or they'll just be surprised by it? ^^;

      I see.

      That's interesting. So, the spouse has no protest regarding friendship affairs? I guess that fits the ones who marry their best friends.

      I see. So, if the witness did something, there will be now two victims or targeting the witness is just a warning to stay put? That's amusing. I recall in some manga, wherein there are scenes of cruelties/ a way, the reader is being 'tortured'?

      I see. Hehe, and I thought there's something wrong with me for thinking those signs in a male character is no good. ^^;; I tend to dislike forceful guys who always want to have things their way or else, things will be very difficult.

    55. that so., France and Britain aren't in good terms? I seem to hear a lot about France making it difficult for them regarding the Brexit. Perhaps, it also stemmed from the wars way before or simply, French being supposedly arrogant?

      Don't plan or deliberately don't plan? =P Interesting, it happens here, too. The ones who win in international Math and Science competitions are the Chinese though locals - just Chinese race and most are from private Chinese schools. So, they have that myth, too. They'll just say that the locals here are usually good in dancing/singing-entertainment, creativity in the arts which is kind of true because they usually win in those international/foreign competitions.

      True, there was an anti-wiretapping law though I'm not sure about the exceptions to it..actually, it seems more like you cannot use it as evidence in court. Indeed. Then, they'll regret it later on. There are a lot of stories here about that. It can also be used a blackmail for money or 'don't break up with me or else'. Of course, there are also the crazies/idiots who taped a gang rape and post it up.

      I see. Reminds me of the Charlie Sheen case. I'm not sure if he infected the woman but she sued him for not informing her. I do hear stories about that being used as 'revenge/I'm not going down alone' like not informing and having sex with as many people as possible. ^^;

      Ah, but politicians/big shots usually have bodyguards so they can afford to carry cash. I heard stories about a local politician going to the US for a shopping spree. Vacuum packed all the money and got the immigration to count it all up. Then, pay cold cash at the luxury stores in US. Hehe..and since politician's salary isn't that can guess where he got all that money that he can spend without a care. it is better to double-check when paying at the counter.


    56. Oh my ^^; It is not being able to divide your attention that is the ‘test’ (in reality, switch it from one activity to another very fast, iirc), but how well you remember = how ‘deep’ your concentration was. Usually ‘multi-taskers’ (activity switchers) fail that test.

      True. I am most likely to burn food while reading, not watching TV. Reading is more absorbing.

      That makes sense.

      I get the impression that here ex-politicians are well accepted as businesspeople or non-profit organization managers, etc. There are exceptions, but that is the general rule. Some become ambassadors or public speakers. …Maybe because a lot of business activity depends on government decisions, so business is not much ‘cleaner’ than government. There have been scandals about businesspeople ‘buying influence’ with politicians.

      Ah, I read a book about a case where those kinds of tactics were used. ‘The Art of Political Murder’? It was fascinating how far people would go with false accusations/smear campaigns to character assassinate their opponent (who was also literally assassinated in that case).

      I see. That sounds more expensive than Spaniards travelling to Italy ^^; maybe? And risky, for the births.

      True. Sometimes people call ‘moving in together’/‘living together’ a ‘trial marriage’, but legally, it’s called ‘de facto marriage’ or ‘common law marriage’ = it’s really not very different than a legal marriage. It’s definitely more ‘binding’ if there is a kid or kids. Not like a ‘starter marriage’. …Interesting. Must be a lot of work, a mass marriage.

      We have trailer parks and street people, not very much squatting. There are more homeless people than before, and more of them are young people, not older ‘tramps’ like in the past. It’s because money talks. For-profit housing makes much more money than public housing.

      I see. I heard of that practice in another country, only there it was two shifts, morning students then afternoon/evening students.
      I did not mention before, in Scandinavia, the main work of school psychologists, etc. is to help with learning problems, so it’s not something private schools would do. (Private schools usually reject high-needs kids.) The same specialists also provide psychological assistance, eg to kids of divorce, but there are fewer kids in that situation, so it doesn’t take as much of their time as learning assistance.

      Ah, that reminds me of a rule I read about recently called “Hanlon’s razor”: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”. Maybe it applies, ie politicians are not smart enough to make good long-term education plans. Although that doesn’t explain why they don’t get specialists and bureaucrats to make plans for them.

      No, it wasn’t effective. Scare tactics in sex ed are never effective, iirc. What creates success stories is giving clear information and instructions about safe sex (and how to analyze a potential or actual partner’s behavior – not even on the agenda then). The kids were misled into believing that ‘condoms aren’t that great as protection’. Condoms ARE great, 95+% success rate. Only thing is, they’re not a space suit, so they don’t prevent infection from sores (eg herpes) or hair (lice).

      It depends how much time and energy is being spent on the ‘friendship affair’. If a spouse is neglected, he or she can complain. …I don’t know. The ‘friendship affair’ may be a bromance or a womance = between same-gender heterosexuals.

      Well, according to the safety researcher, you are completely right about real life ^^. And actually, iirc many readers only enjoy reading about forceful guys, they don’t like them in real life, so they call forceful guys “alpholes” = alpha male assholes ^^;

    57. France and Britain are rivals, so there’s always a reason for insults. Brexit is against the economic philosophy of the French = French are pro control and regulation of trade + cooperation between governments on tax etc. The Anglo philosophy is for more deregulation and less cooperation.

      Don’t plan = don’t commission detailed reports into future needs. Ignore the findings in smaller reports and inquiries.
      Interesting. …Most of the talk here is about failure – the public school kids below the minimum standards on tests. So it’s disappointing that when they talk about high-achieving public school kids succeeding in challenging subjects, it’s only to say “so many of them are Asian that the non-Asians think they can’t do hard math or science”.

      True. From bad to worse cases ^^;

      Oh, that’s ugly ^^; I think the ‘revenge’ thing is rare, though. It’s mostly willfully blind people = people who are in denial and don’t get tested. Not planned, serial-killer style.

      Wow, that’s tasteless ^^;


    58. I think I read something like that before. So, it is better not to multitask since memory is affected = cannot remember much or perhaps do something well?

      True. Reading seems to need more concentration of some sort.

      Businessmen as public speakers do happen if they are successful ^^ Ambassadors, I can only recall one but more like a 'bridge' like being one but not really one. is indeed not cleaner due to their dealings with government. Still, here, it seems that most prefer to stay in business rather than politics.

      Oh, there's such a thing. Here, it usually happens when an election is coming. Now, things are kind of changing that they'll employ such tactics shamelessly. The one in top even bluntly warned that he'll destroy her. I'm not sure how damaged she is now especially her reputation. Still, she is still fighting.

      It is. It is around 13-18 hour flight. Though one might opt for a stopover. The latest famous celebrity who did just that was 7 months pregnant, I think. She left at around Sept, then has given birth a few days ago.


      Well, it used to be two shifts but with so many students, it is now three shifts.

      I see. Interesting. Now that I think of it, here, they aren't really psychologists but rather, guidance counselors. Of course, I'm not sure if there are such in public schools. From US comics, I get the impression that they are usually sent to the principal's office. ^^;;

      Possible. Hm..isn't it possible that they think of education as low priority? Here, most of the time. I think every year since I was a kid, they kept on saying during school opening, we lack classrooms and teachers. In the province, their classroom can be open-air = under a huge tree.

      Ah, you mean in sex education there, they also teach analyze a potential/actual partner's behavior? I recall that we were taught only about the different kinds of contraceptives. I see. In Japan, condom seems to be the contraceptive of choice. Here, not sure. I do hear that men don't like to wear it. I saw a picture before in the newspaper about some health officials teaching poor women how to put on a condom on their men/husbands. ^^;;

      True. Though being 'friends' with I assume, similar interest, would have a high tendency to spend more time together. I think that kind of relationship is more for people who don't like too much stress in a relationship =P

      Oh..but from some of the comments, they seem to like that type of guys. ^^; Or at least, tolerate some of those actions. Again, perhaps, it depends on people what is exactly 'bad/tolerable'. =P Of course, there are those who have a complete opposite extreme reaction towards that kind of people. ^^;;

      Oh, I see. So, there's a disagreement on the economic side. I assume also with the lifestyle among other things?

      Lol, I see. I recall the last admin kept on commissioning studies, reports, etc especially about traffic and transportation but never acted on the recommendations. They'll just say, we'll study the recommendations.

      Ah, now that you mention it, it seems that here, they don't mention about students passing minimum standards on tests even if there are such tests.

    59. Yes, that was the story/science.

      Yes, deep concentration.

      It’s fairly similar then.

      I read that they are calling it “post-truth” politics/news ^^; It’s worrying that it’s getting mainstream. It was more a civil war or dictatorship thing. …That must be exhausting. Character assassins fight long and hard. The ones in ‘Political Murder’ tried everything in the legal system. Their last desperate tactics were even described as ‘patadas de abogado’ (lawyer’s kicking), a play on the words ‘patadas de ahogado’ (drowned/drowning man’s kicking).

      I see. A lot of effort ^^;

      Hmm… At least in small schools, the principal does guidance counselling. For seniors. However, students often make big decisions as juniors, under the guidance of the vice principals.

      There is an option to use ‘portable’ classrooms = rooms that can be moved, like RVs. However, richer countries than mine do not do so. Outdoor/Open air is not an option, because of the danger of sunburn.
      Maybe it is a bit simplistic, but I would say that the problem is that academic/educational goals are low priority compared to the social goals for education. School/education is expected to bring people together as equals. Of course, it doesn’t, because the rich kids go to private schools. Also, there are limited places at university (the working class get nearly none of them) and even more limited places in technical/community college/‘training’, the usual pathway to success for the working class and lowest-middle classes.
      But ‘money talks’, so people prefer to scapegoat smaller groups/easier targets and blame them for systemic inequality. Kids who attend selective public schools, or selective ‘tracks’ in normal public schools. People are suspicious of ‘exclusive’ groups. But people are not flexible enough to allow other options with no exclusive groups, like grade-skipping and multi-grade teaching = flexibility about student age.
      People basically expect gifted kids to be like Sawako early in ‘Kimi ni Todoke’ = help less advanced students with schoolwork, also study alone in their free time (as opposed to the ‘being placed in a higher grade’ option = study at the same level as other students, at school and in study groups). The gifted kids may be willing do that, but the other kids are more likely to bully or ignore them than gratefully accept help. It’s not a ‘study hard’ culture. Senior high, especially, is more about dating, drinking, getting a driver’s license…

      Ah. The title is ‘simple medical/health information education’ or something like that (it changes). So it covers all sorts of things including drug safety, anti-drunk driving, etc, not just sex education. ‘Relationship education’ has only been included recently, along with ‘diverse sexualities’ and ‘racial and cultural diversity’. Because life has got more interesting, but also more complicated, with sexting, trolling, etc. Though already in my time, we were taught something like ‘anti-sexism’ i.e. that it was unfair to participate in nasty gossip and insults towards women (=‘slut-shaming’, though it wasn’t called that in the past); also, that starting to date doesn’t mean the partners will both be ready to have sex soon, and it is mean to pressure a partner into sex.
      Here, the type contraceptive depends on the stability of the relationship. Many young women are using an implant that releases hormones into their body and works similarly to the pill. Except that the pill may not work if a woman has a gastric problem/vomiting and the implant does work. Still, most people use condoms early in their relationship, later they rely solely on the pill, and much later, if they have a successful marriage and don’t want more kids, often the husband will have a vasectomy – that option’s very popular ^^
      Oh, actually, some women can’t use the pill, because they have genetic blood disorders, and the pill makes their blood clot heavily and cause blockages. That’s fairly common, like 3% of the population.

    60. I don’t know, some of these friendships seemed quite volatile ^^; I do agree, though, that a friendship is usually less stressful, because you don’t usually live together with friends, and it’s less complicated than a sexual relationship or a family.

      Well, apparently, in real life everyone starts with the same instincts/feelings to keep them safe = fear when they see danger signs. But as they grow up, people are taught to silence the warning bells ringing in their heads. Abusive people teach this the ‘best’, but even the average person is taught to ignore warning signs.
      (Eg many adults say that a boy who bullies a girl probably ‘likes her’. Unlikely. The usual story is more like in ‘Skip Beat’ – Ren disliked Kyoko when he bullied her and Sho bullies Kyoko because he wants to control her and monopolize her attention. And even when the bully is sexually attracted to Kyoko (Reino, Sho in later stages of the manga), it’s painfully clear that he has no respect for her, and only ‘likes’ her when she behaves as he expects/wants.)
      ‘Extreme reaction’, could that be ‘being triggered’ = flashbacks to past trauma?

      Oh yes, definitely lifestyle differences as well!

      No surprise.

      Interesting. They also have high-achievement tests here, too, in math, science, etc (semi-international) but they only report the good results on the school websites and in local news, not nationally.

    61. I actually don't quite get the concept of 'post-truth'. From what I understand it is about twisting the truth with lies which appeal to the listener's sentiments. Yup, it seems like happening a lot.

      Here, since the justice system is super slow and can be bribed, it is easy to destroy a political enemy especially if that person isn't exactly likeable. They just go to media and say things without proof/hearsay. Most people would believe the worst and so much for your reputation.

      These days, social media is also being used. It appears that politicians/government hire trolls to spread the 'news/false news' and threaten those who are against. The former, it seems that it happened in the US that they seem to be blaming FB for the 'fake news/info'. Was it also like that with Brexit?

      I had seen a portable classroom using used shipping container or in a huge van though the huge van seems to be more on letting some kids know about the internet. I see.

      True. That also happens here.

      I see.

      Hm..didn't think of it that way before. Expecting gifted kids to help the others. I guess it depends on the classmates. There might be those who'll accept the help to the point of being very dependent on them =P Bullied might be possible like give me the answers to the HW or I'll...

      Hehe, is that so. Ah, in your place, after senior high = no more studying; not everyone thinks of going to college? Here, it is always go to college, no matter what, after high school unless you're poor/cannot afford it. Someone told me that in Australia, they usually immediately work after high school.

      Oh. That's interesting. So, it is under 'morals'-type of subject?

      I see. I forgot if it is here where I recalled husbands aren't the ones who'll do that. It is the women. Tubal ligation or any other types.


      Ah, marrying the 'best friend', how that? ^^ Hehe, yup, friendships can be volatile. Actually, the differences tend to come out while living together. And how much one can tolerate the partner's 'behavior'/habits. I recall a one-shot manga which tackled this. The guy doesn't separate the socks, matter how many times he was told to do so which irritates the wife. Since it is manga, iirc, love conquers such things in the end.

      Well, the 'likes her' might be like Shou = wanting her attention = most likely, he likes her. Still, I think there are such cases in real life but mostly limited to grade school students. Someone did that to me in grade 2, I think but as I said, I'm not into that kind of guys so bye-bye.

      I would think it depends on the person if one is a 'strong independent'-type or not who'll allow such thing to happen to them. Perhaps, upbringing/parent model, etc has something to do with it.

      For example, some girls won't tolerate being cursed, others will tolerate that but not being slapped/hit = my parent never hit me, to the ones who tolerate physical abuse as long as it isn't life-threatening.

      Hm..but then, is it possible that love can make an abusive person get away with it? It is like that person is 'teaching' him/her the right way to do things. I recall there was a study here regarding very poor women, asking if it is okay for the husband to hit them if they burned the rice/food. A lot of women said yes because they wasted the food.

      I see. Usually, the ones I know that are reported in terms of achievements are from colleges like passing the bar exam, dentist/doctor, engineering exams. It is like an advertisement like go to our college since the topnotcher is from our school.

      For high schools, well, the Chinese ones, they'll post in front of the school the graduates who got honors in certain popular colleges like magna cum laude, etc. So, I assume that the people who sees that might want to enroll their kids at that school. =P

    62. True, appealing to the listener’s preconceived ideas is involved aka confirmation bias = people believe things they want to believe, that match their previous beliefs. I think “post-truth” is the next level, where there are so many people watching selective news/newfeed that the ideas they are fed become part of the news as reported by journalists, the news becomes a bit “he said, she said” = mostly time is spent reporting claims, not facts.

      I see. I guess rumor is one of the reasons that “justice delayed is justice denied”.

      Ah, apparently the trolls during the US election were not only American, many were Russians writing in English, paid for by Russia, because Putin wanted the pro-Russian guy to win.
      Brexit? Mostly people are blaming the pro-exit English people (the UKIP guys), who said things would be better if they could spend tax money on welfare and education in the UK only, no longer participate in the European social assistance funds, and stop the flow of immigration to the UK. None of that is likely to be effective in solving poverty problems in the UK.

      I’ve seen ‘bus libraries’ a bit like that, far away from the cities.

      Junior students can help each other by working together in groups, but they share the work. Nobody is the leader/teaching like Sawako. Senior students can more easily have a student “leader” in their friendship group because it will probably not be the same person in math, science and literature – so there is not one “star”. Hmm…I have only seen ‘give me the answers’ bullying during class in elementary. Most bullying is insults, not stealing work. Calling a gifted person ‘nerd’, that sort of thing.

      Not exactly. They are ‘multi-tasking’, you could say. Kind of like ‘work hard, play hard’? They study during the week and only party on the weekends. Not all weekends.
      Most graduates apply for a place in post-secondary program. At college and/or technical college, or as a apprentice in a manual job. But there are a lot of rejection letters if the ‘graduating class’ (age group) is big.
      Hmm…Students can start technical studies at high school age, and maybe finish by high school graduation age. As hairdressers, bakers, restaurant staff, etc. Presumably that’s what the young Australian workers do. …I don’t think it can be “standard” to start full-time work as a high school graduate, though, not in a majority middle-class country like that. I know they accept foreign students, but they are still a minority – there must be a huge number of Australian students who go to college. Actually, iirc, drug dealers were selling to college students. Making ‘party drug’ pills and selling them to college students at nightclubs etc. They were big customers and there was a big territory war over selling ‘party drugs’ between the kingpins. (My horror-fan relative saw the story in a drama ‘based on a true story’.)

    63. I didn’t think of it like that, but yes, you’re right, it is about ‘morals’/ethics. The aim is prevention of well-researched public health problems, which is quite scientific, but preventing wife beating and murder, gay suicide, etc is impossible to do without appealing to people’s morals.

      Err…That kind of reminds me of reverse harem manga, marrying the ‘best friend’ ^^;. Because women usually have more than one close friend. (And it’s a problem when the man doesn’t. A man who relies on his partner for companionship and intimacy will be devastated if they break up. It’s a reason the male suicide rate is higher than the female one, many men don’t have enough confidantes.)
      Hmm…I think you could trade-off doing a different task to compensate for that sock disarrangement thing, but it’s a setback since, scientifically speaking, what creates a happy marriage – and ‘romance’ (measured as sex) – is contributing equally to housework. The ‘pop science’ phrase is ‘men who do housework are sexy’.

      Hmm, maybe Sho is not a great example. I guess Sho knew Kyoko well enough that they interact a bit like a divorced couple now, whereas the ‘girl and bullying boy’ kids typically don’t know each other well, I think.
      No boy ever attacked me because he had a crush on me. (I would have crushed him ^^, I was stronger than the boys until middle school.) Boys did sometimes attack me, but they were trying to be rivals/more ‘alpha’/’top dog’, not be bulldozer/stalker wannabe boyfriends. Their motives were obvious from their tactics. They made sneak attacks and ran away, or teamed up with girls (that was the most notorious bullies in the year – the No.1, a girl, No.2, a boy, and the girl’s sidekick = the classmates from hell ^^;).

      Come to think of it, I think an ex of mine had learnt stupid ideas about ‘surprises are romantic’, and he tried to give me a surprise hug. He crept up behind me and didn’t see I was fumbling for a tissue. I got the tissue to my face in time, but he still hugged me in the middle of a sneezing/coughing fit. So embarrassing ^^;

      Well, the ‘zero tolerance for abuse’ girls are safest, because verbal abuse alone leaves huge long-term damage. Also, many of the verbal abusers escalate to physical abuse, and physical abusers are more likely to escalate to murder than non-violent abusers.
      I would call it ‘brainwashing’ rather than love. What abusers teach is that mistakes are always the victim’s fault = victim-blaming. Abusers blame others for problems they cause. They come home late with no call or message and rage because the food is not instantly hot. They start an argument during dinner and make everyone so stressed that they can barely swallow the food, then they criticize the food. I’ve read too many stories like that to believe that ‘the wife burnt the rice’ is the full story.
      Sometimes the abuser blame-shifting tactic is called DARVO ("Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender").

      I see. High scores and lists of graduates are also published here. Usually in lists in the newspapers. The top schools advertise their top students a little, but mostly advertise the class’s score range and median score = the worst score is still high, nobody failed in any area, and most students performed very well. The middling schools advertise the top students and the successful graduation rate.

    64. Ya, and with the claims, they'll get away with it by writing, 'allegedly', 'according to..' = you'll believe if you trust this person. It seems very frequently happening lately aside from 'twisted' news from non-professional journalists which a lot of people believe since it, as you mentioned, 'match their beliefs/believe what they want to believe'.


      Oh. So, that's part of the reason why they say Russians helped Trump. Being trolls seem to be the 'in job' lately. ^^;

      I see. So, it's just promises and nothing more vicious than that.

      I only heard of a certain 'private' library wherein anyone can take the books or give books at a certain place. For bus libraries, the bus returns after like a week to get the book that was borrowed? Or, just read it while the bus is there?

      Hm...from the ones I know, I think there is no 'work/study' together like the kind you mentioned or in manga. Usually, after school, you go home and work on your homework alone. Perhaps, it is also because it is preferred not to stay out at night = crime, etc. If one is well-to-do, get a tutor to help you out. If the school is a bit 'sadistic', the parent will help the kid or at times, do the projects. There might be those who do that, but so far, I have not known any personally who does that. ^^; Get together is usually for projects, thesis, etc.

      Hehe, is that so. Well, I got a 'blackmail' during high school which was something like, tell me the answer or you're not my friend.

      I see.

      Oh. And, that is due to choice or due to circumstance that they usually choose a post-secondary program.

      I see. Here, we don't have any technical studies. We actually lack two years in high school so after graduation, it is still the basic knowledge in school. Recently, they added two years to add the technical studies. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it can successfully push through because of lack of funds, teachers, how to implement it, and poor parents are complaining about the added expense especially since they don't think the kids will be benefit on it anyway.

    65. party drugs are cheap that college students can afford them? Or, the drugs are made of cheaper ingredients so they still make a profit. I think it is also very prevalent here. There was a huge rave party concert earlier this May and there are a couple who died from drinking 'a drink' that is passed around. There are others who had 'symptoms' but they don't want to be reported to protect their reputation. I even played a US police rpg game which also tackled this.

      Hehe, it makes me think that those party scenes on MTV music, most people are actually drugged. ^^;; Of course, aside from alcohol and the cliche, waking up naked with a stranger. =P

      I see. From how it was mentioned, it seems like the aim is to 'be less of a problem for the community' since we have enough problems. ^^;

      Oh. Well, there is a problem if one is too dependent on the other and the other wants out. At times, it can cause one to go amok. I have read some stories of that, at times. Woman about to leave guy so guy decides to kill kids and suicide, if he succeeds. Of course, that reeks more on revenge since the innocent kid is involved.

      I think that's true. I think it is easy for one to get irritated in the long term if both work for living expense yet at home, everything depends only on one of them. Worse, one is working and almost everything depends on that person at home.

      Oh..ya, perhaps Shou isn't a good example on that context. ^^; Now that I think of it, ya, what I'm talking about was after THAT incident. ^^;;

      That's cool ^^ Oh...seems like 'coward'-types. It must have been helluva year.

      Lol, is that a 'stupid idea'? Surprises are supposedly romantic like surprise kiss, hug, proposal =P But that was embarrassing.


      True. And, I think, it is usually hard to get out of a relationship with abusers, right?

      I see. So, it is indeed for bragging and perhaps, 'business' to advertise about it.


    66. True. If I have time, I like to observe like a historian = know the arguments of all sides well. (People just read one source of newsfeed now, but a historian would be horrified if only one side’s newspaper survived.) But I can’t handle the flood of misinformation from some people. I stop listening then, and only listen to analysts.

      Well, ‘troll’ is a safer job in Russia than ‘journalist’, for sure!

      Ah, actually it is more sinister. Some of the pro-Brexiteers were racist. A big cause of Brexit was the old working class and the lowest-middle class being ignored, and a minority of the “Anglos” (a “racist fringe”) are jealous of the attention the visible minorities get, i.e. the people from post-war immigration. Clearly, it’s not the minorities’ fault that the Britons in power are more comfortable persecuting the poor than acting racist. However, when it becomes a competition for government attention, some people blame the competitors rather than the uncaring government or the uncaring voters.

      The ‘mobile library’ bus returns to the same town in a few weeks and collects the books borrowed.

      Ah, I meant doing work during class together in a group. Like in ‘study hall’ classes = doing ‘homework’ at school. After school, people usually do homework alone – oh, except that there is something you can do together for literature, you can watch movies/dramas based on the books or plays to be studied at school. …I see. In a lot of towns the bus stops and train stations are quite close to bars and nightclubs ^^; so I understand.

      Oh. Scary ^^;

      Circumstances. If the unemployment rate is high, more people finish high school/less dropouts and more apply for post-secondary programs.

      I see. Some of the technical students are in a similar situation here. Because it is not just the students who would love to be a hairdresser or a carpenter who are directed to technical studies early, it is also students with problems. It is cheaper to deal with learning problems early, like they do in Scandinavia. But even in those countries, all of the technicians only benefit because they have generous unemployment benefits, too, to fill in the gaps when some of them are not needed = low points in the production cycle for that industry.

    67. Err…not exactly. I think party drugs aren’t that cheap, but most college students are private school graduates = not poor. Also, poorer young people can sometimes afford it, if not frequently. Alcohol and marijuana were more popular. Now there is a cheap ‘hard drug’, meth and it is popular with the poor, mainly, not primarily the wealthy ^^; …I see. It’s really scary, all the untested products. Ah, I didn’t know there was a policework game on the subject. Reminds me, there are sometimes ‘testers’ from volunteering organizations at events but they are measuring breath alcohol levels (on anonymous eventgoers), not other drug levels.

      Hmm…Maybe they’re just acting “high”? Iirc, backup artists for musicians have a better reputation for being reliable than the lead artists, including the ‘no drugs at work’ type of reliable. I mean, they are replaceable, the dancers etc, so they need a good work record. Also, I saw a song that said MTV-style parties are not realistic: “This Party Took A Turn For The Douche”.
      Ah, that is a strange cliché, actually. Blackouts aren’t that common. Usually people have some memories of meeting. But I guess it’s more dramatic with no memories.

      Yes. The bully minority (of the generation) is also largest during the teen years. So young people can actually be the main perpetrators of some crimes, eg hate-motivated murders of sexuality/gender-diverse people.

      That’s monstrously selfish and controlling, men who can kill kids. Actually, I read that gender isn’t so important – small minorities of both kill kids. What is really rare is a woman who kills husband and kids, but that isn’t so rare for men. Some men get the impression they ‘own’ their family members, I guess.


      An incident involving Sho?

      All too true, unfortunately ^^; Mostly, the boys weren’t that friendly with the girls, so you don’t expect a mixed-gender ‘demon team’ to form. Terrible luck to be assigned a seat close to both.

      Surprises aren’t always romantic because not everyone likes them. Think Kanae and Kyoko’s attempted hugs – or that stalker co-actor dogging her every move in the past. It’s just stressful for Kanae. …For me, little surprises are nice, not sudden bear hugs with no warning. It’s still a bit surprising with a little warning.

      Usually, it is hard. Although there are some abusers who abandon the family, like ‘you are no longer useful to me’. However, even they may return if they need help = family members are useful again.

      Exactly like that.

    68. Hehe, or right now, due to false news, they believe that what was written in history is false because it is supposedly written by the 'victors' of that incident. Sometimes, analysts can be paid to be bias, too. ^^; These days, journalists and others who say contrary to what they believe are threatened with violence/death.

      Lol, that's true. Here, from the news going around, being a troll pays nicely since the salary is a bit above the minimum wage. I presume that they pay hackers quite well too. Hacking the sites of those who oppose certain personalities/government. Our president is a fan of Russia and China leaders so it shouldn't be surprising.

      Competing for government attention, in what way? Welfare, more protection/benefits? I'm not sure about more jobs though unless hired by the government. Here, it is mostly rich and poor. At times, the race but it is, I presume, rare unless provoked/have deep seated hatred towards a certain race.

      Ah, rich and poor can only be urban and rural-type. Rural/provincial places getting angry over the attention the capital has especially since the taxes aren't spread around. Most of the infrastructure are in the capital and whatever province the official is originally from.

      They are proposing federalism but that is a bit problematic due to the officials acting like feudal lords in their own province and keeping the position within the family.

      I see. So the mobile library has a fixed route.

      Hehe, I see. it's circumstances.

      I see.

      Indeed. I guess it depends on the market. Just like here, expensive ones for the rich and cheaper ones for the poor. The main point is to get them addicted and drain all their money..perhaps, become pushers, too.

      Well, it was only after someone died when the police get to investigate. People say that the security is lax but then, I'm not sure if they actually have testers for alcohol or drugs. The rave parties had been going on for a few years now and it was only at that time when some people died. About drugs, I'm not sure they are willing for blood tests =P

      Perhaps, but I'm talking about music videos that show people in discos, etc so perhaps, they are acting. Still, it seems like a glimpse of what's it really like in discos/rave parties. But in concerts, maybe the singer/band needs to be in a bit of a high? I recall they used to bash guitars and the like before. There is also that carrying the singer around by the audience. Nowadays, I'm not sure unless it is rock or the like, I guess. ^^;

      If it is a so-so singer, it seems that they rely more on provocative outfits and outlandish props. I guess pro singers don't need much props since people are already awed enough by their voices. I only read this since I don't really watch concerts and the like. ^^;;

      I see. And, usually they are used by criminal syndicates since they are rarely prosecuted, too.

      Ya. Now that I think of it, in the West, I usually hear that it is the mother who do that.

      Sorry, I only meant Kyouko finding the truth about Shou = first chapter. The 'bullying'/want to get her attention, iirc, happens when he knew about Kyouko knowing Ren. In a way, he seem to suddenly realize that he likes her. Though, I can assume that it is more because he believes that she is 'his'.

      Oh...such terrible luck indeed.

      I see. Perhaps, timing also has to do with it? Or, mood of the other person? For Kanae, I thought it is because she doesn't like such hugs/personal contact =P

      Oh, speaking of that kind of situation, I heard of such a man. After the marriage and kids, the man had a mistress. Left the family and had a family with the mistress. Then, man got sick so mistress 'threw' him away. So, man goes back to family. Family grudgingly takes him back because he's 'family'. They nurse him back to health. Man is now well, and goes back to the mistress who took him in again.

    69. I see. Very simplistic ‘one-sided news’ version of history. …Ah, I remember I read something about the latest method for measuring ‘frontier’/genocidal war deaths, which is derived from the Balkans/Bosnia conflict. Apparently, the Serbs (the temporary ‘victors’) told lies about how many people they killed – they always said a lower number than the real number. And the ‘size’ of the lies (deliberate underestimates) can be measured very exactly, now that the mass graves have been dug up. In other countries, using the ‘underestimation rate’ from the Balkans conflict, historians can use the ‘victors’ story’ to estimate deaths in other genocidal conflicts from the past.
      Yes, I am aware. I have to choose analysts carefully. And watch that they keep quoting people on all the different sides in debates. I can handle quotes, though, easier than whole speeches full of lies from poisonous people.

      I see. I guess paying for positive spin (trolls and hackers) is less embarrassing than ‘shoot the messenger’ – and harder to measure. Killings of journalists, unionists, aid workers etc instantly lower a government’s international ‘transparency’ rating.

      It is a competition for ‘social visibility’, generally speaking = competition between groups to draw government attention to the special needs of their group. The statistics must show justice towards minority groups, with ‘proportional representation’ (= same % of minority people in the population must be studying at university, in politics, business, public service, etc), enough churches, religious schools etc for the minority (aka anti-racism). The priority is that minorities should not be in a worse position than the ‘old population’. Unfortunately, it seems to be a very low priority to keep everyone out of really bad situations (=anti-poverty’), which is the Scandinavian priority ( = ‘make everyone middle-class’). The poor get tired of no change for the better, and a minority of them search for scapegoats.

      I see. That sounds like a theory about the centralization of power I read about: ‘the centre and the periphery’. Power goes to the ‘centres’ – mainly the national capital, but also the provincial capitals, not the rest of the province (the ‘periphery’). The culture – politicians, journalists, artists – become ‘capital/city-centric’. The central places get all the latest technology first, too, so it travelling to the countryside can be like going back in time.

      That is true for the ‘hard drugs’ that come into fashion, but it seems the most ‘drug business’ successful in the long-term has been marijuana, which sells to rich and poor, at low prices and in regular doses. The kingpins built mansions and bought proper businesses. And the drug has been legalized in some areas, since.

      I see. Ah, there are saliva tests available for drugs, no need for blood.

      I guess it is quite impressive if it’s a ‘natural high’ – especially if they film with no music, or soft music, so the actors/dancers can hear the director. The singer/band would definitely need to have their adrenalin pumping, or something.

      …Ah, I saw on television a film of Pink doing a concert, and she did something more like ‘stage flying’ than just being carried. She was in a harness and she swung above the audience going towards the back and then swung low enough to brush the extended hands of the audience as she swung back towards the stage.

      True ^^;

      Really? I read that mothers aren’t the murderer very often, considering that they have the most ‘opportunity’ to commit the crime. Mothers are usually the primary parent, and most single parents are female, but iirc they are the murderer in less than half of filicides.

    70. Oh, I see. ‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ feelings, except that Sho is also kind of in denial that Kyoko IS ‘gone’. It is the gone-for-good slavishly-adoring ‘biggest fan’ he misses most/first, though. Sho seemed more affectionate to me when he was (secretly) grateful to Kyoko for being his ‘worst critic’ – making him face up his losing streak against copycat competitors (Reino and Co.). But it wasn’t that cute, since Sho had already slapped Kyoko for the criticism during the confrontation. He could be a decent foster brother with a LOT of work, but he’s still not boyfriend material.

      Yes^^; , thanks for the sympathy ^^

      Yes, in addition to ‘no surprises, thank you’ partners, bad timing or out-of-sync moods don’t help. More reasons you have to be very careful to make sure a surprise is a pleasant surprise, not a shock. … Hmm, on second thoughts, maybe Kanae is just ‘overloaded’? Kanae’s family and happy-Kyoko are very demanding personal space invaders. Kanae has no trouble spending time with Hio, who is not demanding – and she invaded his space when she went into ‘big sister mode’ on set during breaktime.

      Ugh. There’s a dad quite like that in ‘Sangatsu no Lion’, but the family don’t take him back.

    71. Indeed. Here, it can be outright cover up but then, people doesn't seem too interested about the truth even if they know that there is some sort of cover-up. When there was a strong typhoon which caught the govt off guard, people were counting the dead.

      Since the govt want to tone down the deaths, especially since one local official mentioned an estimate and the govt reprimanded him for 'bloating' the numbers, they stopped the official counting of the dead when it went over the govt estimate and nears the local official's estimate. ^^;

      Indeed. At times, it is easy to notice the bias when that person kept on talking about negative things about a certain person but all praises towards another. Ah, it is hard to base things on quotes these days. They usually say that you have to hear all the speech = context rather than depend on people picking the quotes that they would like to focus on which is usually in a negative way. Of course, as you mentioned, it is quite hard to hear whole speeches filled with lies, and these days, hatred.

      True. Of course, it isn't quite acceptable if one learns that trolls, etc is paid with one's taxes. =P

      I see. Seems more like make everyone happy as much as possible. True, so I guess whenever there are people who are promising 'instant improvement' will most likely get the poor's attention. And yup, scapegoats would be high if there is only a certain race who are well-to-do than most.

      Yup. And it causes the people in the provinces to migrate to the city centers which causes overpopulation, crime, squatters etc.

      Indeed. It's easy to grow too. One time, I was searching on google regarding some sick plants, I stumbled upon sites regarding cultivating it. ^^; Then, there was this actor caught with i kg of it. His excuse is, it is for medical reason. That is the urge these days to legalize it as medicine in some cases.

      Oh. After googling it a bit, I suddenly recall that they use urine for drug testing here. ^^; I guess I was under the impression that it is blood because I thought it was the reason why they don't want drug testing in colleges as some people are proposing.


      I guess that is the modern take without being totally mobbed by fans =P

      Ya. Of course, perhaps, it was sensationalize that I only hear of it from the West like putting babies in oven/microwave, washing machine aside from deliberately killing with a weapon or other means. Though, it seems drugs are involved among other reasons.

      Indeed. But, that kind of relationship is usually enough to make a suitor/lover get jealous =P

      Hehe. Though I'm curious. Did you just try to ignore them or you did something else? I mean how did you deal with it? For me, I usually just ignore.. Lol, but I did get the 'hiding of the bag' just like Kyouko had. Unfortunately, at times in distressed, I cried for I thought I'm losing my mind that it is gone. That is when they 'got it out' of the cleaning closet. ^^;;

      Indeed. Perhaps, it doesn't help that the place they live in is quite cramped.

      Oh. I haven't watched/read that series yet though I heard about it.

    72. Wow, that’s cold ^^; Why did the government want to underestimate the deaths? Were they supposed to prevent that, eg were the buildings in a danger zone?

      Hmm…I guess I could manage to read more speeches. That’s true, the quotes usually are the “worst”/most contentious parts. I couldn’t listen/watch, though. I would remember too much, and also, people in the media who I dislike often have annoying voices and speech habits – hectoring tone, interrupting, repetition, slow, nasal, etc. Not for me ^^;

      True ^^;

      The Brexiteers certainly made big promises of improvement, unrealistic promises. But I think the scapegoating in Britain is mainly towards the poor, including the visible minority poor/migrants. The racist stereotypes are of immigrants who have bigger families than majority-race Britons and live in public housing, on welfare payments …. Also, I remember I read that many British visible minority kids said to researchers that they experience less racism in private schools (mostly the traditional Anglican or Catholic ones, since the minority-religion schools are not as common, popular or prestigious, and often not very ‘private’ = far from fully private-funded), so I guess being/becoming upper-middle-class is safer in some ways. Businesses owned by visible minority people get attacked sometimes, however.


      Ah, scary ^^; …Some of the medical uses are important to the case – like for childhood and/or chronic diseases – but I think it’s also important that pro-legalization people have been able to convince others that the ‘side-effects’ of people faking illness and actually using marijuana ‘for fun’ – or even full legalization – are not severe. Not a problem as bad as heroin addicts, more similar to alcoholics; alcoholics are a problem for society but most drinkers are not alcoholics. Maybe. Many marijuana users drive drugged as casually as people used to drive ‘a little’ drunk. They will have to tone down the drug use or they will become a bigger problem than the minority of drinkers who drive drunk.

      I see. Blood tests are very invasive. Urine tests…Well, invasive of privacy if the ‘test subject’ is watched – and they could use someone else’s urine if they are not watched.

      Hmm…Well those cases are not the ‘typical case’, even in areas with the worst gun violence in the West. In the US data on filicide, there are around 500 cases a year, and most of the victims are under 6 years old (72%). Parents usually killed them with their hands, with no (traditional) weapons. Beatings, strangulation, drowning. It was the adult children (18% of filicide) who were attacked with guns (in 72% of adult child murder cases). …Yeah, the ‘sensational’ cases could be due to a psychotic episode induced by drugs – meth sometimes causes that.

    73. Hmm… I half agree ^^; I guess the past intimacy (especially Kyoko’s past attraction to Sho) would make any suitor feel jealous, more jealous than of a “friendship affair” (a typical one, between people with no family bonds). The low/negative present intimacy makes Sho no rival to Ren, however, and I think that would still be the case if Sho matured a bit and stopped being so shallow, because Kyoko has matured so much more and formed strong bonds with other people.

      Actually, I don’t remember in great detail, probably because stress hormones (cortisol) damage memory storage processes? It was at a level that is impossible to ignore, I think. The queen demon and her sidekick at my table, the king demon directly behind = 2 out of 3 people at my table (joint desk) are horrible, and also the nearest person to my back. I was ‘surrounded’. An example: I WAS ignoring them all, with all my attention on my work, and the two demons gave me a horrible surprise by crunching paper into balls (both of them) and slipping them under my shirt collar (the boy did that).
      I did not deal with it well = I delayed reporting it, when reporting was the only option in this case. I did have reasons for being scared. I was worried that other kids would side with the bullies and it would become a bigger problem, eg trouble at breaktime as well. And also, the teacher decided where kids sat, so asking to move (or to move into another teacher’s class) could make the teacher angry, like s/he was being accused of bad decisions or not paying attention. It seemed very dangerous.
      …I see. I did not have my ‘vengeful spirits’/dark side locked away, but my ‘angelic spirits’/idealistic side usually won. Unfortunate, because my ‘angelic spirits’ primarily defended others and my ‘vengeful spirits’ defended ME.

      Yes. No room for ‘personal space’.

      Ah. The ‘ditcher’ dad chapters are like ch102-113, so probably not in the anime. I think the bullying storyline might be in the anime, though (ch52 or so).

    74. It was a storm surge and everyone belittled it or were unprepared, thinking that it was the usual typhoon. They probably assume that the floods would be at most up to the knee or somewhere bearable but the surge destroyed almost everything including the houses.

      It is under estimate in order to save face, I presume. As I mentioned, someone gave a big estimate and they say, no, no, it isn't like that, shut up, you don't know what you're talking about. So, when it is becoming true, they stopped the official counting. ^^;

      Lol. I agree. It would be like torture to listen to that, so I usually prefer to read instead.

      I see. I'm curious though, what's the difference between visible minority poor/migrants with invisible ones? They would be undocumented/illegal types?

      Ah, since the effect is like that, it makes me wonder if it is like alcohol but instead of drinking, it's smoking. =P

      Yup. We used to have urine drug test as part of getting/renewing one's license. It failed that I think it was proposed to scrap it. One, perhaps, they do use someone else's urine. Two, people just bribe to skip the test. Three, they wait until they are 'clean' then get the test.

      Regarding that US filicide data, was there any mention about the main cause why it happens? I would assume it would most likely be a mental problem whether short or long term, aside from drugs.

      Possible. Well, friendship, probably depends how close/intimate they are. you think Ren actually thought that Kyouko might go back to Sho due to the 'past intimacy'? Something like first love never dies? For Kyouko and Sho's 'frienshisp', it is kind of complicated, I would say. Almost kind of fre-enemy, perhaps? that cause of 'forgetting traumatic events' which happen to some people? Oh. That can be difficult = reporting won't help things. It makes me wonder if reporting depends on the school = school gives a lot of power for kids/parents to do so. I guess it varies in some way.

      I'm thinking of this male exclusive school. My cousin's elementary kids are being bullied and couldn't stand it so they transferred. My sis' kids are also bullied but then, they usually tell my sis who would try to 'fix' things if she can before reporting or anything. Depends on the type of bullying like money extortion or drawings of killing just because of an accidental bump and the other person didn't hear him say sorry. ^^;;

      There was a case wherein there was a kid who was always bullied that he had enough and stabbed the bully's leg with a pencil. Based on what I remember, the victim was the one who was suspended/punished harshly. So, victims shouldn't react more harshly than the bullies for they are the ones who are going to get it.

      I see.

    75. I see. Persistent underestimates from the beginning.

      Agreed ^^;

      Visible minority = visibly different from the majority race/ethnicity (white/‘Caucasian appearance’ in the West), ie different skin color, facial features, height etc. So, African-Americans and Latinos in the USA, and in Britain, people with Pakistani, Indian, Jamaican etc ancestors. In Britain, most are not post-war (legal) migrants, but descendants of migrants. Unselected migrants coming from crisis zones in recent years are also mostly not ‘Caucasian appearance’ as well, although the British poor were very angry about the selected (temporary?) workers too, who were mostly Polish/Eastern-European.
      ‘Invisible minority’ is not a widely used phrase. When it is used, it refers to visible minorities who receive little media attention, or linguistic diversity (including within an group – the younger generations are much less fluent bilingually), etc.

      Yes, it is like that in some ways. Not for driving, because nicotine does not affect driving skill, but I think the level of concern over second-hand effects is similar, whereas for alcohol there is some denial about the damage done by parents teaching kids to drink young, drinking sprees on the weekend with peers, etc. However, I believe medicinal marijuana is usually a drink or mixed into food (bread, cookies, cakes), not smoked – and this form is also popular with people using it ‘for fun’.

      I see.

      Ah. Yes, mental problems (eg delusions, depression, suicidal ideas, trauma) are a ‘risk factor’. Killer parents are often considered insane and sentenced to be held in psychiatric custody, rather than jailed. Some parents fake mental problems, though. Eg they pretend to have had a ‘psychotic break’, when actually they killed the kids to destroy the life of the other parent (revenge killing) or because they didn’t want the kid/didn’t want the kid any more, the trouble and expense (unwanted child killing). Then there’re parents who accidentally kill the kid during chronic child abuse (mostly 3-year-olds and under).
      The most common form is so-called ‘altruistic filicide’ (supposedly ‘mercy-killing) = killing to prevent the child suffering, either because of abandonment by the suicidal parent (who doesn’t believe others are capable of caring for the child(ren)), or because of the child’s disability causing suffering – although the parent may be delusional, and ‘see’ a disability that is not present.
      The opposing theory is that society is in denial that some parents belong in the same category as other criminals who attack children because they are easier targets than adults (weaker, less verbal, less mobile, trusting). Or that society is still okay with treating children as the ‘property’ of a parent (typically, the mother).
      Provided abandonment is a viable option (probable, in the adoption-friendly USA), I personally see child-killers as extreme narcissists. Some people see narcissists as evil = people who keep making bad decisions, sacrificing others’ welfare. Narcissism is also classified as a mental illness = a cluster B personality disorder.

      Hmm… Yes, there was something like that, in late ch93/early ch94. It was hard to understand ^^; To me, it seemed like Ren was worried that Sho would get a second chance in the future, if Ren didn’t block the possibility in time.
      Some frenemy interactions, yes. Also ‘sexual bullying’/sexual harassment. It reminds me of a form of bullying against girls in the UK. In some areas, girls usually date boys in older grades/high school graduates. The jealous boys in the same year as the girls insult the girls’ appearance a lot, make physical without consent, etc.

      Not sure, but I think cortisol is the main ‘chronic’/continued stress hormone and there are (also?) other stress hormones involved in traumatic memory loss.

    76. Reporting did help that year. But the previous year, I reported that the work was too easy, and there was no action. And the teacher made girls sit next to boys sit next for… months, iirc; no complaints, no action. So I already wanted to transfer because of that teacher ^^; even though that year the (boy) students were just misbehaving, not bullying.
      Here also, boys’ schools have bullying scandals. The most prestigious ones, the biggest scandals ^^; So private girls’ schools became so popular that in wealthy areas, public schools have a girl shortage. Some private boys’ schools then became mixed-gender to improve their reputation, but the change is so recent that the atmosphere is bit like “Kaichou wa Maid-Sama”.
      Ah, I remember this similar thing – when I said that boy bully was mean, the girl I told extorted money from me not to tell him what I said ^^;

      True ^^; Fortunately, I hated blood, but I wanted to hit another kid with a heavy book once. I got relief by moving away from him to see the teacher. The teacher was no help, lazy “ignore it” attitude, but I realized I could stop myself from getting violent just by moving away from an abusive person. So, if I was even more desperate, I could leave the classroom, provided I went to ‘headquarters’ and didn’t go ‘missing’.

    77. Indeed.

      I see. But they are angry because the selected 'temporary' workers are paid cheaply and get the jobs? I would think that it is similar with the US people who resent it when jobs are given to the other 'races'. Though before, I recall that it is because the locals don't like to do certain 'demeaning' jobs and would want a higher wage so companies wanting to earn more profit would resort to finding other cheaper workers. I seem to recall that Singapore is having such a problem, too.

      Indeed. The medicinal marijuana has to be processed first that is why no one is buying the actor I told you regarding his alibi. It seems that he changed his alibi into, the police planted it on his car. =P It is part of the 'scams' that corrupt police here do. They plant evidence/drugs on your car/house then try to extort money or else, haul you to the police station.

      I see. Hm..'altruistic filicide' seems like delayed reaction to having an abortion = getting rid of the unwanted kid.

      I think aside from 'okay with treating children as property of the parent', people don't like to get involved in family affairs. Lately though, I do notice some concerned people would just go and videotape the 'abuse' and post it into the net with the hopes that the authorities will address the said problem while maintaining one's anonymity.

      I see. In a way, there is no way to prevent such people from having kids, right?


      Okay...but jealous is because they want the girl for themselves? Isn't it like bully because they like the girl?


      Ah, is that so. And, I usually assumed that the movies tend to exaggerate such circumstances. Hm..didn't realize that going for mixed-gender is for improving reputation. I would always assume it to be to improve profits =P

      Oh, backstabber-type? In my nephew's case, it was easily resolved since my sis 'haunted down' who is the kid = nephew forgot the name and good thing he is with a friend, so ask the friend then, find out who is the mother then reported it to the mother = money returned. =P That was after nephew tried to ask for the money back the day after and it wasn't returned.

      I see. That is one 'escape' method ^^

    78. Hmm… I think it may be a little different in Europe. In the USA, it is possible (though illegal) for people to pay immigrants lower wages because many immigrants are not legal (= can’t complain to the police, for fear of being deported) and sometimes while the legal ones are still being processed, because employment helps in the legal immigration process (= can’t complain to the immigration authorities, for fear of being refused a letter of recommendation from the employer). Iirc, in the European Union, it is not legal to pay immigrants lower wages than locals. There are still ‘demeaning’ jobs, because money buys more in poor country = ‘temporary’ workers can support their family back home with a low wage job in the UK, while UK locals can’t. Also, iirc, the worker accommodation is ‘demeaning’ = unisex bunk-beds, not family-friendly like the ‘worker villages’ built in the past.

      I see, planting evidence ^^; It reminds me, even normal police use the threat of false accusations to pressure the people who live with drug users when they find a ‘stash’ or plants = if the user is not home, the police threaten the family or flatmates – they must phone the user and the user must come home, or the family/flatmates will be taken to the police station for questioning/under suspicion of drug possession. It’s a useful tactic for the police, but it’s hard on the relatives/visitors, especially considering that heavy users are neglectful and selfish like alcoholics, so people around them are already suffering.

      Ah, there are jokes like that ^^; Like on “South Park”: “No, Ms Cartman, abortion is only available before the end of the second trimester, you can’t abort in the ‘thirtieth trimester’” [‘abort’ her 9/10-year-old son]. …Realistically speaking, even ‘altruistic’ filicide is uglier than a fantasy/delusional alternative to adoption or abortion, though. Like all abusive parents, the parent predicts that being a parent will be easier than it really is, and then victim-blames the kid instead of accepting that they underestimated = according to the parent, parenting isn’t difficult, that particular kid is difficult. If the parent realized that the problem is they don’t want to be a parent, that would be okay, just do a later-than-usual adoption. Instead, the delusional parent thinks there is something wrong with the kid = low chances of adoption, and poor chance of good path in the overloaded foster-care system. As if the parent is qualified to be a ‘hanging judge’ ^^;

      Well, treating kids like parents’ property was what jurors are accused of doing = the way people decide when they are *forced* to make judgements on (dysfunctional) family affairs. The general society is only indirectly accused, because they do not protest the ‘insanity’ verdicts even when there is some evidence of criminal intent, premeditation, etc. … I see. ‘Not wanting to get involved’ is called ‘gaze aversion’ (looking away) by researchers into child abuse. Interesting that technology helps to overcome that = an additional ‘witness’ who is impartial? A difficulty is to protect kids’ privacy, too, though.

      Hmm… Actually, narcissists usually don’t pair up with other narcissists. A narcissist picks an enabler/servant. So probably that ‘how to pick a respectful partner’ sex-and-love-education would stop narcissists from getting enabler partners to have kids with. …There are also the ‘alert systems’ to prevent abusive parents from keeping kids long enough to kill them (and cause instant removal of future kids). The mandatory reporting and universal health checks. That 3-year-old health check proposed in a European country should have been adopted, certainly, with most filicide victims being under 6, and the infant checks are too early to protect toddlers. Toddlers are higher-risk than infants, because they are more work to care for.

    79. It’s more complicated than ‘a boy who has a crush on a girl and bullies/is rude to her to get her attention’. In areas where ‘date older guys’ is the tradition at high school, most of the ‘popular’ girls are dating older boys, and the older boyfriends would revenge-attack any boy who bullied their girlfriends. That means the younger boys are bullying the so-called ‘less attractive’ girls, by calling them ‘unsexy’, and invading their personal space. Similar to what Sho does to Kyoko. …Although Sho’s pattern is a bit different. Initially it’s ‘really believes Kyoko is unsexy; doesn’t invade her personal space’. Now it’s ‘really believes Kyoko is sexy, but hides the attraction, and still belittles her; does invade her personal space’. Kyoko is no longer attracted to Sho, she has rejected him clearly, and that should stop him from touching her – it’s creepy that it doesn’t. Which is the right message for readers. ‘Only a creep touches someone who doesn’t like them’.

      Well, a drama will be more ‘direct’ than a scandal. More details, background information. People avoid legal action and save newspaper space during a scandal by not giving too many details, not things that are difficult to prove, or not very important.
      Improve profits? Hmm… Maybe. I don’t think it would work very well at first, because private schools give a small discount for additional kids sent to the school by the same family and they’d have to give the discount more often for the boy and girl siblings (more common), than for multiple boy siblings.

      Yes ^^; Like demanding a ‘bribe’, I guess. Not a big bribe, at least. Probably worth it, to know not to trust that girl. … I see. Very direct. Does contacting the parent of the bully work because it’s bad for the reputation of the bully’s family if the school deals with the matter and people hear about it? Or is it because theft can be reported to police?

      Yes. Like excusing yourself from the room (to go to the toilet) when you are angry, which is recommended etiquette, but I didn’t know that then.

      (Sorry responses a bit slow in last week. I was a bit ill. Nearly better now.)

    80. I see. Indeed, and since it helps support family back home, they'll just endure poor living/working conditions. I think it is also similar with rural people living in urban squatters.

      Oh. The police might rationalize it this way, they are 'accomplice' for letting their relatives become heavy users and not seek help. That is, if they are aware of it. Of course, afterwards,the heavy users, I assume, will hate those who 'turned them in'?

      Oh. That is quite problematic especially since they believe that the kids are part/belongs to them so they can do whatever they want.

      What is an example of 'forced to make judgements on family affairs'? Like, bring back the kid to abusive parents since they are the parents rather than to some social welfare?

      Perhaps, it is easier to believe that person is 'insane' rather than to believe otherwise because no 'normal' parent would do such a thing? I think defense lawyers would even bring up the past. It makes me think of some shoujo male lead. It is easier to forgive and accept a jerk if he has a sob story. Of course, it also helps if he is cool =P

      True though people would say, how come you just take a video and not stop the abuse. Of course, it is the 'don't want to get involved' thing. Recently, there were a couple of snatchers who tried to took a teen's bag. He resisted and got stabbed multiple times. It was all caught in cctv camera. Aside from the snatchers, it was also caught on camera how the dying teen tried to stop a few vehicles to help him but they all drove away.

      There are even a couple of people who saw him but just ignored it. The latter two is more on bystander effect, I assumed that since the other saw the other person also looking so he just ignored it. The incident among others, reminds me of an anime wherein something bad is happening yet people would rather youtube the incident rather than doing something about it.

      True. So, those are indeed of some help. Hm..the reporting and health checks are done by a medical practitioner or social welfare people from the government? Curious though, is it also taught to kids to call the hotline in case their parents spank them like in the US? It seems to be one of the causes that kids are spoiled rotten in most cases.

      Okay...and that is to vent their frustrations that they are bullying less attractive girls? Or, they just want to bully? Ah, to show their dominance in something? Hm..revenge-attack is beating them up, right?


      I see. Oh. There is such a thing as discounts for siblings in the same school. Interesting.

      Indeed. Was it a small price to pay to know her true colors?

      Usually, it is more to resolve things swiftly and yes, not to make a big issue about it if it can be dealt with privately. That is considered a 'small issue'. In most cases, such things are never reported to the police. There was even a suicide attempt before but as much as possible, they kept it hush-hush unless it cannot be helped. It is more on the school's reputation, too, I guess.

      I see.

      Don't be, it's fine. Hope you get well soon ^-^ Take care.

    81. Oh, it works that way with people from the countryside living in city squats, too? I assumed it was more like the past, with young people leaving home to ‘seek their fortune’ in the big city. But I guess that was before the internet, etc

      That would be a comforting idea, but is it likely to be sound criminology? I hear that many heavy users of marijuana are in the older generations – eg ‘hippies’ among the Baby Boomers. Those generations own houses, they are the ones in control. The older generations also have more access to the ‘cover story’ of being smokers (of legal cigarettes), since smoking has become less popular in recent generations. Also, in recent decades, there is high awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke, and especially, childhood asthma rates and disapproval of smoking near children are quite high, so a person who smokes discreetly appears to be a ‘good citizen’ type of smoker, not a secret illegal drug user.
      Ah, I think people make anonymous reports to the police, so the user may not know who turned them in. Probably a neighbor who can see them or is downwind.

      Yes. Even some ‘normal’ people have similar beliefs, though. I heard an artist say it about her kids, that they were so young they were ‘part of her’. So the kids didn’t give permission or get paid for having their image used in the mom’s artworks. Unfair, I thought.

      Ah, I was talking about the people on the jury/the jurors. They don’t volunteer, they are selected for jury duty, and they must decide, looking at the evidence, whether accused parents are innocent, guilty, or ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’. So the jurors are definitely ‘forced to make judgements on family affairs’. …Where non-fatal family problems are concerned, a jury may not be required, only a judge. People are forced to share concerns, though. The mandated reporting laws force people in positions of responsibility, like teachers, to report any suspicious activity to their boss, and the boss probably reports it to the police. For instance, when Mimori chained Kyoko to the school gate and Sho ordered Kyoko to get into his car, and she did, to avoid being seen with him and creating a scandal – all that was very suspicious. If a teacher saw that, in a country with mandated reporting laws, the teacher must report it.

      Definitely easier to think ‘must be insanity’. Not very realistic, though. Not realistic about ‘altruistic killing’ of disabled kids, which IS normal before birth (eg 90% abortion rate for kids with Down’s Syndrome); not realistic about (mostly non-fatal) child abuse – with victims estimated at around 10% of kids.
      Bringing up the past/sob story = ‘mitigating circumstances’? Yes, defence lawyers usually use that, the bad childhood. Ironically, it works because child abuse is not that common. Since most child abuse victims do not become abusers (over 70% of those with kids are good parents; other victims are childless) having victims for jurors would not help the defendant’s case ^^;.
      Hmm…I read that male leads in the romance genre often function as both hero AND villain. Is it like that in shoujo = the jerks with sob stories are romantic male lead characters?

      Well, it can be dangerous to be the ‘good Samaritan’/intervene, but not in cases like that, after the attackers have already left. Sad.

    82. Reporting = mentioned above. The health checks are done by a social worker from the government, I think. … Ah… ((Full disclosure. I have personal experience of violence during childhood. Barely any of the parental kind, and none from professionals; nearly all from a part-timer. A bully.))
      Hmm… most calls to hotlines are about big problems, but there may be some calls like that because, in anti-sexual-abuse/personal safety training, kids are taught to be suspicious of adults touching them in private areas, especially by force. I heard a message like that from comedy, too. Many people permitted to spank or whip children in the past – teachers, student officials, etc – were considered perverts/sadists, looking for excuses to hurt kids because they enjoy it. (Recent investigations into abuse show similar things and worse in real life.)
      …Parents are not viewed in quite the same way as ‘suspicious, predatory?’ violent childcare professionals, but violence being illegal for professionals = violence is ‘unprofessional’ behavior, that gives a bad impression of parents who use violence or violent threats, implies they are not highly-skilled at parenting. (The fact that ‘boxing your kid’s ears’ used to be popular implies that, too. High risk of hearing damage. The whole head is a high-risk zone and should not be targeted.) Some of the nonviolent ones are not highly-skilled, either, because *effective* non-controlling parenting…well, it actually requires some of the same skills as hostage negotiation ^^; Quite complex. But not physically or dignity-bruising.

      Some boys just want to bully. There are still bullying boys in areas where girls usually date boys the same age as themselves. But there generally is no unity of bad behavior towards girls if most of the boys are ‘dateable’ provided they don’t ruin their reputation by mistreating the girls in their class. That leaves the ‘undateable’ boys, i.e. the control freaks and manipulators, and also their enablers/sidekicks.
      Revenge-attack would be physical, yes, but probably not a beating immediately, only if the bully does not back off after receiving a smaller warning revenge-attack.

      Exactly, a very small price.

      I see. It is the reverse where I went to school. Schools will try to solve problems quickly, preferably in the same day, because bullies forget fast. If the staff have to call parents before the problem is solved, it is a big issue. It is often a threat to badly misbehaving students, “fix your behavior, or I will call your parents!” It totally doesn’t work when the parent is problematic, though, i.e. irresponsible, or violent/battering.

      Actually relapsed for a while ^^; Thanks for the good wishes. Came true eventually ^^

    83. Yes. To earn a living for the family back in the province, they come living in city squats. Actually, the squats are like small made-shift shanties where some people collect rent. It is expensive to rent a place so they make do with that. Those places usually steal electricity from cables, not sure about the water, so ya, it's basically cheaper.

      The land is usually some unused lot so if the owner wants it back, they'll drive away the people living there. Though, there is a law now which states that the owner has to give compensation/place to stay for those driven out. The law is to please the voters = win in elections since it is unfair to the owners.

      I see. that so. But won't that person become curious who turned them in? And, find ways to find out? Here, most people are afraid of that possibility so they tend to turn a blind eye to it or tolerate it.

      That's interesting. So, it isn't allowed there to use someone's image without permission? I would assume that it is okay since the money is used as part of their income as a family. Here, there will definitely be no objections to it.

      Of course, instead of 'part of the parent', I would think that the justification would be 'as part of the family, you have to help out.' For example, if the parents have lots of children, after the eldest graduates, s/he is usually tasked to help provide for the family/help pay the tuition of the younger siblings. If the parents are despicable, it includes selling their children to prostitution.

      Oh, I see. So, those who had seen but didn't report will also be punished. Jail time or fine? I guess that is good for the community as a whole. that kind of case with disabled kids, usually the punishment is harsher or more lenient? Harsher because the kid is already disabled and they'll do that. Or Lenient because it is understandable in a way to not have a 'normal' kid/parent is incapable of accepting it.

      Yes. Also, having good looks/charisma tend to help, don't you think? A more lenient sentence especially with a jury.

      Hero and villain, somewhat. Let's say, in other series, Shou would be the male lead in that kind of scenario. Then, when a rival appears, he tries to get the girl back, girl still loves him and they get together in the end. Most of the time, it is love conquers all even if the rival is seemingly/outright better than the male lead.

      Readers tend to be more forgiving of jerks if there's a sob story = reason why he is like that like child abuse or neglect. Hm..I'm not so sure if it is gender reversed, if the leniency is the same towards mean girls with a sob story. I get the impression that it isn't the same. Probably because girls are suppose to be 'nice' regardless? Something like a double standard with playboys and playgirls.


    84. I see. Part-timer..? Babysitter-type? Here, these days, if one can afford it, people would put up cctv in their houses. At times, they'll show it on TV regarding such abuses by the sitter especially to babies/toddlers.

      Oh. I asked since iirc in the US, when spanked or anything, kids are taught to call 911/hotline about it so the kids are now spoiled rotten. I think there was a time when a piano teacher touched the kid's shoulder and the kid called 911. Something like in this old article: and this, Recently, New Zealand seems to have that kind of policy, too =

      Is it also the same there?

      Oh. Perhaps, depend on how violent it is? I do recall that others would stick to spanking the buttocks. Of course, sensitive kids can use it as a grudge against the parents. Usually, it is never forgotten throughout one's life...from the ones I know including myself especially if it is for a minor offense =P

      Well, that kind of parenting takes more effort and patience so I can assume perhaps, others would prefer the shortcut?

      Hehe, okay.

      I see.

      And, what if it is doesn't work? What's the next step for the school? Call the police or any other government-related people?

      Oh. Anyway, it's good to hear that you're well now. Take care of yourself.

    85. I see. Interesting. It sounds like it would be a good idea to have properly organized trailer parks or rent-controlled properties. It’s not a good way to make money, though. A property used that way is less valuable = the government gets less tax. More honest than making owners of full-price properties give payoffs to squatters, however.

      True, that’s a factor. But people, especially neighbors, may be even more afraid that it could be a meth lab that might explode. Also, people producing or using drugs may do other annoying things that any of the neighbors might report, like play music loudly late at night.

      It is legal to use the image of one’s child without permission, but only because a child is not legally a person until they turn 18 or separate from the family (leaving home, emancipation, joining the military) at 16 or 17. In the past, women were treated the same way – not considered separate people. It was unjust to treat women that way, and I think it’s similarly unfair with children. Worse, because children may be too young to give ‘informed consent’ – or bargain to get a share of the profits.

      Interesting. (In that particular case, it was definitely ‘part of me’, since the children were included in the artist’s SELF-portrait, and were preschoolers or younger.) It happens that I was reading a book set in Manila recently. In English, but using local words for eldest sibling and youngest sibling. I didn’t understand why the youngest are typically considered so carefree and the eldest so responsible, but if the eldest is expected to be an assistant-parent, that explains everything. …Mind you, the eldest in the story was the same type as the eldest siblings who have assistant-parent responsibilities that I know myself = not big families, but a big age gap between the elder and younger child.
      Despicable is the word ^^; That reminds me of ‘parentification’. Usually the cases are less severe, but parentification = making a child do something that is really the parents’ job. It really is the parents’ job to limit their children to a number they can financially support. Not something the eldest child can point out, though, since it means basically saying to the younger siblings that they should not exist ^^;

      It’s a misdemeanor offence, not a felony, so there can be (short) jail time and/or a fine. It’s also a failure to do your job properly, so you will be fired – and you won’t be hired to do that kind of job again, with a failure in your work history.
      The filicides on disabled kids (as well as kids who the parents deluded themselves into believing were disabled kids) were usually considered ‘altruistic’/mercy-killing, not a rejection. Mainly because parenting a disabled kid causes intense stress that causes physical changes in the nerves (shorter telomeres), so the parent is not operating at full capacity/is vulnerable to mental illness. Also, it is possible to legally reject kids = hand kids over to social services. The disabled kids are less ‘popular’ for adoption or fostering, though, and are likely to live in institutional care, so parents try to avoid relinquishing kids.

      Yes, that’s a factor. If the jury says ‘guilty’, though, it’s the judge who decides the length of the sentence – and judges are hard to charm.

      I see. That sounds a bit like ‘traumatic bonding’ between abuser and victim. Always stormy relationships, but it is the ‘calm after the storm’ that is addictive to the victim, when the abuser is (temporarily) repentant, and very warm and affectionate, telling his secrets, etc. It is not so sudden in functional relationships. Or dramatic. But I think a functional relationship might be better for a long story = when people give each other space and tell secrets/give details gradually, there’s more possibility of surprises/twists.

    86. True. The trouble is, becoming a jerk is the end-point of a series of bad choices – and the majority of victims of child abuse/neglect choose to treat others as equals, not inferiors. So, the ‘good girls’ from bad families are more realistic– unfortunately, as you say, they also conform, mostly, to cultural expectations of ‘good behavior’ from girls. But supporting characters sometimes fit the ‘jerk with an excuse’ type when they are introduced. Kanae was like that.

      I don’t know what word to use. It annoys me to call a careless person a ‘carer’, or an untrained, unregistered person a ‘babysitter’. Also, I was not left with that person in MY house, it was the bully’s house. I thought I was visiting my friend – the bully’s child, the same age as me. And it was quite similar to a visit/‘playdate’, I spent most of my time with my friend. But no other adults would hit other people’s children on playdates.

      Not locally, I don’t think so. I know some elementary teachers, and the first graders are still demanding hugs. I didn’t do that when I was a kid, but sometimes I went with other elementary students and followed a favorite teacher doing surveillance around the campus at lunch break. There were lots of kids following – it was like the teacher was a rock star with groupies.
      I had a teacher in college who brushed against my bottom as I stood at my workbench. I never SAW him do it, but I felt it and saw him pass by afterwards. Multiple times. Even though I was standing as close as I could to the guy ‘next door’ without him thinking I was trying to steal him from his girlfriend.

      Yes. Technically, the legal limit is called ‘reasonable force’. But it is not a very strict limit in English-speaking countries. The UK courts allowed a stepfather to severely beat his stepson, it was ‘reasonable force’ according to their law ^^;…but the UK was still in the European Union, and the European Court of Human Rights had a different opinion ^^. …Iirc, according to the research, in most cases, violence is more like the parent venting/losing their temper than the child’s misbehavior reaching unacceptable levels. The parent’s reactions are inconsistent. On a normal day, the reaction is the same size as the kid’s offense. On a bad day, a big reaction to a minor offense. And the most dysfunctional parents will punish the child for the parent’s offense, a bit like Sho, who slaps Kyoko for pointing out his failure to counterattack against the copycat artists. And like my bully. …I don’t forgive the bully, but I have forgotten most of it. I remember being chased, certain the bully would hit me when I was caught. And I was about to be caught – too much furniture as obstacles. I still have dreams sometimes where someone is chasing me, trying to kill me. Maybe that bully is the reason for those dreams.

      I don’t think people see violence as a ‘shortcut’. I think they see violence as traditional, and then they divide into conservatives and rebels and fight. Not everyone is aware of the negotiator-skills parenting style. It’s what child-abuse experts recommend that victims learn, because victims are terrified of becoming like their parents if they become parents.

      They can call social services, yes. But official punishments must be reported to parents, so they can’t use them if the parent is abusive. Schools with big problems protect the victims by allowing them to ‘study’ or gather in a room under supervision at break time.

      Will do ^^

    87. I think the key word is 'make money'. There are some housing programs but most are substandard with no running water or even electricity. Most likely pocketed the kickbacks, etc. It doesn't help that it is some abandoned area = far from work. So, most would were given those houses just sell them and go back to squatters in the city.

      Actually, another thing to that is the political side. Most cities prefer to have a lot of squatters because each one who lives there = 1 vote if the mayor for example won't remove them. That is aside from the goodies and money that politicians shower the people to vote for them. Even if most, I assume knew that these politicians will, pardon the word, screw them later on to get back the money they spent on them. It is a vicious cycle. That's one reason why politicians prefer the people to be 'dumb' so low priority on education.

      Hm..I haven't heard of a lab had exploded though. But I heard that there is this bad smell which is sometimes a giveaway. I forgot what they do to mask the smell. I think they ought to be extra careful with such for their long term business. I would think making drugs are different from using drugs. The latter on has to keep a very low profile. Of course, I'm assuming they're professionals and not amateur types.

      I see. So perhaps, it is like not being paid for posing? I'm curious, has any kid sued their parents for that especially if the painting is popular/expensive? Or perhaps, some compensation for the kid. I would typical think that the kid is quite happy that someone wants to buy his/her portrait, or be famous if it is in a museum. =P

      Oh..well, that is indeed a self-portrait.

      Indeed, it is like that. Then, it seems that after a certain middle sibling graduates, that is the time when the eldest can live her own life and the task of helping the family is passed on the second eldest. If they still cannot keep up with expenses, that is the time when they'll have to work abroad which causes a lot of social ills like broken family, family becoming too dependent on the one working abroad, etc.

      True but then, they'll probably have some justification for that. Here perhaps, no birth control knowledge, it's the past time, the guy is drunk and want to have it or else... I do wonder if they have a grudge on their parents for passing their responsibilities on them.

      I see. And that will make it hard to get a job again, right?

      That's interesting. stress = changes in nerves. Temporary or permanent change? So that means, they prefer to kill them rather than send them to institutional care which is...kind of locked up for life in some facility? I'm not sure if it is similar here -> sent to the mental hospital.

      Not sure..telling secrets is usually for the end. Though it is probably more for plot reasons. For example in Skip Beat, only bits and pieces are shown. Which is that you wrote about functional relationship. Usually, about the sob story, it is usually know from other sources rather than the other one confiding.

    88. Indeed. But then, do you think mean characters with a sob story makes the character 3D = can be empathized compared to mean characters who are just plain mean? I read some people prefer the latter for it is like giving the bad guy an excuse for the mean things that s/he had done.

      Oh. And, you're alone in that person's house with the kid? Did you tell your parents or someone?

      I see. Perhaps, it also depends on the parent being overprotective and well, one cannot say for at times, there is really that type of people. I suddenly recall in high school, some guys are teasing one guy that the male teacher had a crush on him for he'll touch his shoulder and always call him out during recitation. I'm not sure if there is malice to it or not. It wasn't reported during our time.

      True. Things can depend on the mood and perhaps, at what level would the parent lash out. Usually, if I can sense someone is in a bad mood, I'll stay away ^^; But then, same with not wanting anyone to bug me. =P

      Ah, dreams. Perhaps. I'm not sure if there was a study about girls tend to dream of being chased. I also have those type..even a war-type, and I got stabbed ^^;; I would think that some are from watching anime/movies/tv. ^^;;;

      I see. Though in most ways, thinking of it now, violence is the shortcut. You don't agree, I beat you up. Shut up immediately, spank. There's a lot of crime, rather than the slow justice, just kill them all. Talking and negotiating takes a long time with lots of compromises and deadlocks.

      I see. And, would they suggest transferring to another school?


    89. So part of the public housing money is stolen by corrupt officials? Frustrating. …The problem was not cheap building practices in the areas that I read about, but I think that was because the government planned to sell apartments to tenants later, once their financial situations improve (in many cases). So the public housing turned into low-cost housing (partially). Another case is military housing. Military graduates live off-base and work on base, so getting tenants for low-cost housing nearby is a sure thing, investors will finance the buildings from the start.

      I see. What kind of opposition is there to that pattern? Iirc, there were workers’ education clubs offering evening classes, somewhere in the past. And I downloaded some experts’ speeches from a ‘free university organization’ once.

      Making meth is fairly simple – that’s why the producers are called ‘meth *cooks*’. So there is some small-scale production, for a ‘small business’, or as a contribution to big business. I would guess the small-timers are the ones in hotel rooms etc. But it’s definitely a kingpin when they find something like a purpose-built underground lab.

      I haven’t heard of it happening, but there are similar situations. Child actors who sue for emancipation from their parents, because the parent is spending the child’s earnings selfishly and not saving any. And there was that child artist who was accused of being a fake, i.e. being guided by her parents.

      Well, people are quite flexible about the definition. Especially artists, but often ordinary people have company in their ‘self-portrait’ profile pic on Facebook. Harmless in most cases, but sometimes it’s a warning sign that they don’t respect privacy. The ‘self-portrait’ artist said her first pregnancy was unplanned. That’s private (unless you’re a big celebrity and the paparazzi collect enough ‘evidence’ to make the situation obvious).

      I see. That’s hard.

      Hmm… There is some very effective long-term birth-control now. Those implants that last, iirc, 5 years? So most people should be safe from unwanted pregnancy, just not the people who would get blood clots because of minor genetic problems and the people who react badly to small doses of hormones (a small minority). … If they have a grudge, do you think they could it express it? Because there is that popular unrealistic sentimentality about big families, like in the script Kanae commented on in the LME audition (and a role she was offered later) ‘there is no money, but there is love’. Also…when I have seen the opposition, usually jokes about big families, the comedian is usually a rebel or an outsider. Lapsed Catholics and Protestants (and mixed-marriage kids) make anti-big-family jokes about Catholics. People from ‘normal’ religions make jokes about polygamous fundamentalist Mormons. An objector would look like a traitor, probably?

      Yes, if the job is connected to children. If not, there are less safety checks and minor offenses are wiped from the record after a while.

      Ah…Sorry, I did not remember/express it quite right. Changes (shortening) happen to the protective caps (telomeres) on the ends of bundles of DNA, which is what is used to replenish/replace cells, including nerves. Iirc, if the ‘cap’ is short, that lowers the number of times the bundle can open, release the ingredients to make a cell, and close again, until the cap eventually breaks and the DNA bundle comes undone. It’s a little like having shoelaces that break easily, and with no shoelaces, your shoes break sooner, too.
      The changes are reversible in the short term, but it seems to shorten the stressed person’s life by a few years in the long term.
      Facilities are usually small-sized = ‘residences’ and clinics. It depends on what the kid can do, mobility etc. Sometimes young people are sent to institutions for old people, if they have been left in a similar condition to old people, eg after a bad car accident. Also, iirc, if they are dying very slowly.

    90. Hmm…That sounds like the ‘jerk with a sob story’ is not the point-of-view character/main character, more like a ‘mystery’ with the female lead as the ‘detective’ investigating his origin story? (Like when Kyoko dressed up as a detective to investigate Kanae.)
      Ah, I was thinking of Kyoko and Ren as ‘functional’ ^^, revealing their secrets gradually. Although, actually, they reveal key details of their secrets earlier to their alter egos, Bo and Kuon (‘the fairy prince’). The purpose is not to explain misbehavior in their normal interactions, though, like an abuser revealing his sob story to win sympathy.

      Ah… That’s a bit like Kyoko’s acting roles; villain with a sob story (Mio), no sob story (Natsu). I think there is room for both. Both types of abuser/bully exist in real life, with the interesting twist that the second type/‘bad people from good families’ may lie about their origins and attempt to win sympathy by claiming to be victims of abuse – a claim they drop if proof (a lie-detector test) is required. What I find most problematic is last-minute redemption after a pattern of mistreatment. Very unrealistic. And unsatisfying. The ‘angels’/conscience should get more than one big victory over the devils. Lasting change is incremental, usually.

      Iirc, that person’s bullying ‘parenting style’/tyranny was no secret. One of my parents and the bully were friends, like I was friends with the kid. My other parent didn’t believe in hitting small kids and was an ex-friend, but only the careless parent had money at that time.

      I see. Worrying ^^;

      Avoidance…makes sense. It’s more natural to me, even as a punishment i.e. ‘time out’, sending the kid elsewhere. Although I prefer to say I’m getting a headache and leave myself.

      Girls may be chased in reality. Predators target females and the young, and they ‘scout’ (stalk) more potential victims than they select. … I didn’t think of tv-like ‘adventure’ dreams as nightmares, because I’m not alone and I’m not as likely to die in those.

      True. But if the parent terrorizes the kid, when the kids get bigger, the parents will be beaten up! And then some of them call the KIDS hotline for help! Spoiled rotten parents, I think. (To be fair, some kids are violent against the ‘wrong’ parent, the non-violent parent, but after experiencing the violent parent, the nonviolent parents know the numbers of the ADULTS help hotlines.)

      If it’s practical. In public schools, it depends on the reputation of alternative schools, the distance, or whether there are places at schools outside the locality (since locals are given places first), if the family can pay for travel. The bully may be expelled/forcibly transferred if there is enough evidence against them.

    91. Yup. It is usually a 'scheme'. The officials would bid off projects to people they know and it is mostly rigged so that it will go to the companies they want. Then, the contract is awarded but the company usually don't deliver = not what was bid or unfinished. It is most likely, the company and the officials split the money among themselves.

      It is not just for housing. It is in a lot of projects. These days, a lot of people are so greedy that they don't just take part of the money but almost all of the money. Unfortunately, depending on connections with the higher-ups, one usually can get away with it.

      Almost none. The only thing I know is scholarships and parents really working hard to get at least a kid into school especially if they have many kids. Usually, it is only up to high school or even elementary depending on the poor's financial capability. It isn't exactly compulsory. Ah, I get the impression that other countries, it is compulsory until high school. Am I wrong?

      I see.

      Ah, I have heard of those cases with child actors. It usually turns ugly = worthy of gossip in tabloids.

      I see. It makes me think if it's a big issue there if parents use their children/babies as their 'self portrait' in FB and other social network sites. Actually these days, there are many 'fake' photos =P

      Ah, but isn't that expensive? Anti-contraceptive people can easily dissuade people about it like it can cause cancer, bad side effects, you'll be sterile later on. Usually condoms are the ones given out then perhaps, pills and then, implants.

      True, perhaps, those who do not want to be bounded by the responsibilities. I mean, like those who want to be independent and pursue their dreams, etc but couldn't because 'your money' is 'our money' and as part of the family, you have to help whether you like it or not. True..perhaps, as an ingrate.

      I see.

      That's interesting. So, that's what behind the 'stress shortens one's lifespan' saying? Does making the hair white included in it?

      I see.

      Well, not really deliberate investigation. It is usually someone close to the jerk telling the female lead or that someone is the offender but now wants forgiveness from the jerk. Of course, at times, it is a coincidental 'discovery'.

      Ah, I see.

      That's right. I get your point. I usually see that kind of resolution in 'bad female rivals'. There are these girls who are envious of the female lead that they did all sorts of bullying and even plotted an attempted rape on her. What do they get? Female lead just hit them with a small ruler and told them not to do that again or else, she'll inform their 'idol'. Another is crazy enough to attempt kidnapping of the lead's younger sister but after getting caught, was apologetic and won't do it again. That's it. Totally unsatisfying though I'm not sure if that can be reflective of real life because it happens.

      I see.

      Oh, so there are two different hotline, for kids and adults. I thought it is only one like in the US, just call 911. <- from the tv show.

      I see. But if the bully is the son of someone influential, will it be the other way around, the victim will be the one who'll have to 'move out'?

    92. I see. Are these special-purpose companies? Because if an established company builds nice houses and apartments for rich buyers and then shoddy public housing, there would be a big scandal, probably. Though sometimes even purely commercial companies take investors’ money and don’t deliver the product. A lot of that in the 1980s. And it’s more common than it should be in construction companies today. There’s a UK reality show about ‘dodgy builders’, and there’s a special word to describe running away from debts by creating a new company (a word created to describe bad builders) – “phoenixing”.

      It is correct that the international minimum is complete elementary education (to about age 12/13). However, many (wealthier) countries required education past that minimum even when the minimum was set (soon after World War 2, I think?). As a rule, to the end of middle school (age 15/16), but in recent decades, the compulsory age is being set higher in some areas: eg, USA:; eg UK: Also, the compulsory provision/offering has been quite extensive since the 1970s = from the baby boomers on, many public university graduates.

      It’s a shock after seeing movies/dramas with that child actor. And then there are worse cases. I saw “All Dogs Go To Heaven” and wanted to see what the main voice actress did when she grew up. She didn’t. She was murdered, by her father.

      Well, mostly they include the kid in their ‘self’-portrait. Especially a firstborn kid. …What kind of ‘fake’? Cartoon? A prettier similar/lookalike model or celebrity?

      I don’t mean IUDs (including the defective brand which caused severe problems in the past), I mean Implanon/Nexplanon. Though early Implanon had a ‘defect’, too – it’s the size of a matchstick, so it was hard to find and remove early when desired. Now they include some metal so it can be metal-detected.

      Ah, I heard that ‘ingrate’ thing in a historical drama once. There was no requirement for kids to support the family after kids grew up, but kids were supposed to be grateful to be born, even if the family was poor because it was big. (The author, an eldest child, disagreed.) Ironically, in these stories, kids are often rescued from poverty by a maiden aunt or uncle (or an inheritance from one), something that’s only possible because the maiden aunt or uncle is NOT a parent, is supposedly lower-status than the parents, yet it’s not parents who make the happy ending possible. I even read a story where the maiden aunt chose not to marry and have kids because she was the eldest kid, had had extensive parental responsibilities to younger siblings, and she said NEVER AGAIN.

      Yes. The hair white/greying? I checked, and stress makes the pigment-producing cells get exhausted faster than usual. ‘Normal’, no-stress greying happens because of normal sun damage, etc.

      I see. There is ‘mystery’ but no ‘detective’. That’s interesting, the jerk’s past being revealed by another person. It is similar to a strategy that abusers use. First, the jerk ‘swings the jury’ = using a selective version of events, wins the sympathy of other people. Then the jerk can use his allies to plead his case. The jerk does not have to make any request, just seem to be suffering in silence.

      Alarming ^^; …Hmm, I think it’s accurate that there would be opportunities to commit those crimes, because iirc Japan has a lot of kids moving about by themselves. Running errands. Commuting to school alone from age six/seven. But even if a case is difficult to prove (eg attempted crime, and all witnesses are accomplices) it’s really strange not to inform people who will be protective. Or people who could be targeted next. Maybe it’s a fictional thing, like becoming an ‘informant’ is fighting dirty according to some weird simplification of the samurai code, or something?


    93. 911 is the emergency number, for everyone. If the situation is not an emergency, and there is time to plan, there is a hotline number for kids (mostly to counter child abuse, from parents or others), sometimes mental-health hotlines aimed at teenagers (because mental illness is highest from ages 12-25), and two main types of hotline for adults, one for suicidal people (mostly men), another for domestic abuse (mostly women).

      Influential people generally send their kids to private schools where there is no protection from the ‘legal right to a local public (public ONLY) education’, so it really depends on who has the best case/most evidence, i.e. whether the victim could sue the school and win. Public schools must follow education department policy and collect evidence against bullies, but they can be…slow about it. ‘Jobsworth’ is the UK expression – they do enough to pass inspection (if there ever is one), but do not recognize or document ‘minor incidents’ unless THEY, the staff, want to eject the bully student.

    94. Not really. Most of the companies who take contracts from government are unknown. 'Wise' established private companies usually do not want to have anything to do with government because of grease money to keep things going, wanting cuts from deal, takes a very long time to be paid, etc.

      Contrary to 'phoenixing', it is more on connections. For example, the one in charge know this construction company and would want to give him the project so that they can 'share' the pocket money from the deal = deliver substandard/unfinished projects. Of course, there are those who completely 'make up a company' out of the blue. ^^;

      I see. Interesting, that it is now based on age. Though I can understand the rationality behind it.

      Oh...murdered over the salary?

      Celebrity pictures of their idol, and cartoon. ^^

      I see. Still, the side effects I mentioned for for the hormones in it. Hm...implants are desired over pills in case one is forgetful about drink the pill?

      Indeed...that's most likely what they should be grateful of, 'to be born'.

      Seems like 'traumatized' in a way though understandable.

      I see. I noticed it in some doctors. Their hair suddenly turn white in a short span of years. Actually, American presidents, too. ^^; They seem to look older compared to their first term, say Obama and Clinton, iirc.

      Okay... Yup, it's something like that. the 'swing the jury' is more aimed at the readers. Of course, it helps if the jerk is 'kind of 'nice at times so s/he be viewed as 'misunderstood' like have a different way of showing affection, different way of showing his love, oblivious that he's a jerk, etc.

      I don't know. Maybe it is more on it being a scandal so just resolve it as quietly as possible? Something like 'save face'. It seems to be a Japanese trait, as well as the Chinese. For example, here, there were a lot of kidnappings and they prefer Chinese descent because they usually don't report it. Okay, aside from the fact that it is highly possible that the police are involved. Still, they just pay and keep quiet = move on. Of course, that opens the possibility of becoming victims again.

      If I were to think of it as fiction, I would think the mangaka just want to resolve it quickly and quietly in order to move back to the original romance storyline. ^^;

      Oh..lots of hotline to remember. Here, I think there's the police which is kind of like 911 and there's for fire.

      So, they sue the school? I thought it is limited to the bully or probably teachers who turned a blind eye. That's like doing it in a half-hearted way?

    95. I see. “Reputational risk”.

      I see. Similar to ‘cronyism’, probably.

      Murdered because the father was a control freak. Made violent threats against wife and daughter, controlled their movements. It seems the technical term is “coercive control”. Can be non-violent, but control freaks often escalate to violence trying to keep control over others. Probably, the wife (and daughter)’s escape plan was discovered by the dad.

      I see ^^.

      Yes, eliminating the risk of forgetting to take the pill is a major reason. Skin implants also release a lower dose (okay for breastfeeding moms). They don’t cause cancer, but any artificial hormone dose make cancers grow faster, so women with breast cancer must use other contraception.

      Yes, that’s the attitude. Others take the ‘zero gratitude is owed for unasked-for gifts’ attitude. Legally, the situation is like the second attitude = companies who post unwanted products can’t get payment or return, iirc.

      Agreed ^^; . I saw a comedian joking with Obama over his hair at Halloween. “Spider web decorations or rapid ageing?”

      Oh, I see now. That’s really scary, writers are teaching the (young female) readers to accept/make excuses for abusive behavior ^^;… and it explains why I don’t expect it. I was reading/watching stories for ‘mature’ audiences as a youngster, and iirc they are mostly ‘second love’ stories = like “Skip Beat”, the 'first love' guy is an abusive Mr Wrong and the heroine moves on and meets a better guy.

      I see. How agonizing ^^; It is probably not such a problem in Japan << fairly low crime rate, even when compared with low gun-violence countries. But that also means that writers and readers are not very familiar with violent crime/threats, so they don’t realize that offenders are likely to become repeat offenders.
      Very true ^^; Also…sometimes, I think it’s implied that scary rival will never meet a better man than the hero(ine), so s/he won’t behave so demonically again – which is also not realistic, to put it mildly.

      I see.

      If it’s a private school, they sue the school. Public schools are (indirectly) managed by the government, including their legal liability – and the school budget is not big; the government will have to pay any ‘damages’ money awarded to victims –, so generally the Education Office will be sued along with the individual public school. If there is a strong case for additional charges (not only ‘breach of duty of care’/recklessness), the bully or maybe even the teacher in charge could be sued as well.
      That’s completely right, ‘jobsworth’ = half-hearted, doing the minimum.

    96. Indeed especially if the victims are 'rebelling'.

      Hm...already have breast cancer or at risk of breast cancer? For some reason, I haven't thought about cancer stricken people still interested in sex ^^; But then, I'm probably thinking of those in higher stages of cancer ^^;

      What is 'companies post unwanted products can't get payment/return'? Post on the internet and won't get paid for it?


      True. Though sometimes, I wonder if one is to only see it as 'fiction'. Like watching violent movies and playing violent games, it isn't like they'll 'imitate' it though there are those who do.

      I see. For me, I would tend to read 'all' for variety but then, if I couldn't bare it, just stop reading or occasionally check what's going on. =P

      That's possible. Unless it is a 'story' so for story purposes, 'enough with the villain' just deal with it and move on to another one'.

      Indeed. Though I would tend to give points over the 'intention' = how much does one 'love' the other but of course, going over the top and below the belt is a no-no. You see, in love triangle stories, I do find myself rooting for the one who earnest court the girl and treats her better because he loves compared to the passive one, usually lead, who just so happen to be the one the girl likes.

      I see. Here, it is usually the individual rather than the whole school. Though, going to court is very slow and expensive here so it is usually not pursued. Well, iirc, I haven't heard of victims of bullying suing any student or teacher. The ones I have heard about are teacher abuses. Usually, the teacher is just taken off the job and that's it. Or, they just make arrangements for compensation.

      One popular case happened in a British elite school here. The boy was said to be humiliated and threatened by a teacher for a plagiarized essay. So, he committed suicide. Mother is suing the whole school for it. 100 million for compensation. The teacher had already left the country. Then, it seems that the mother is suing the school again for letting the teacher leave. It's one year already...two years by next year. No one is sued yet..I mean the charges are dismissed then re-filed.

      Here, suing usually meant wanting money/compensation so usually, just pay up earlier on for it might be cheaper...that is if you have the money.

    97. Sadly so.

      If they already have cancer, iirc. Also, iirc, the only cure for breast cancer risk is surgery. ...Oh. Most people who get cancer are older = the women are too old to have children. But not all of them.

      Post products/samples by mail, with a catalogue. A long time ago. The mail-order companies wanted to get payment for the sample product and more sales… or everything returned, so they could re-use it. (A long time ago. These days, mostly people throw things like that into the recycling chute immediately.) Not legal. No contract of sale, because the recipients did not ask for or consent to receive the sample product – or the catalogue, either.

      Oh, like a ‘guilty pleasure’ = readers know it’s romance is unrealistic, but enjoy the ‘fireworks’ and twists? I hope so, but I think it contributes a little to the real-life problem. More younger women (young adult/’new adult’) experience abuse from partners than older women, so…if there is romanticized abuse, some sort of “don’t do this yourself” warning would be a good idea. Also, a link to an abuse/stalking risk checklist website like DASH or MOZAIC.

      I see. What elements are unbearable for you? << Personally, I stopped following stories where an important character died, and another where a minor character was written out in an unnecessarily demeaning way (the revelation of mental health problems was not (very) badly written, but the (brief) infidelity was unnecessary = the writers making the (main cast character) partner look good at the minor character’s expense).

      Yes. There tend to be ‘echoes’ of the villain/Mr Wrong, though. For instance, Sho’s abusive behavior has made Kyoko suspicious, eg inclined to (falsely) accuse Ren of being a ‘playboy’. The bad history with Mr Wrong often forces Mr Right to have higher standards of behavior than a ‘first love’, in order to outshine the memory (or the presence) of his rival, the ex.

      True; going ‘off the rails’ is more like ‘obsession’/treating people as personal property than ‘love’. …I see, the direct approach. I see the appeal ^^. But writers often use rivals only as ‘catalysts’ to cause change in relationships between central characters = maybe, ‘wake up’ the passive character?

      I see. Is that a typically bullying type of abuse (assault, verbal abuse, etc)? What seems to be reported the most worldwide is more severe – sexual abuse by teachers/staff, mostly from a decade or further in the past.

      I see. Recently here and elsewhere, families of bullying victims who have suicided are trying ‘trial by media’ = posts on social media calling the bullies murderers.

      I see, ‘settling’/cash settlement.

    98. I see. That surgery cure is made famous by A. Jolie, right?

      Oh, I see. That isn't really good for business, isn't it? Or, it is part of the sales promotion = have budget for it even if it is thrown away since there is a chance that there will be a regular customer. Ah, how would they know if you used it or threw it away?

      Yup. I sometimes get caught in that. I don't like the characters or the theme but ends up still reading it because I want to know how they'll react to what they're facing. True...

      For me, it is most likely bored/not interested in anything like the characters or plot. Also, if the story is too cliche = I've read this before, I've read something better than this with the same theme, this one doesn't contribute anything 'new'/'different' or reason for reading it is gone.


      That's right. That's how it is. So, usually, when there's a stalemate, it is said, 'here's the rival' if there is any new fe/male character introduced. It is a cliche already. I think the usual trap that mangaka's face with that is making the 'rival's better than the lead guys.

      This is just my theory. In series wherein a lot of readers like the rival better than the lead, most of the time, the mangaka will be forced to change the lead. Since love triangles usually have readers split in rooting for both lead, the series has to end when the chosen one is revealed. Probably because, 'half' of the readers will be 'gone' = don't want to see lovey-dovey with the ones they don't like. ^^;

      I know of a mangaka who admitted that mistake. She tried to go back to her favored lead but it was too late. It will make the female lead fickle so she stuck with the rival and ended the series. That is another usual problem with love triangles, trying not to make the female lead go back and forth with two guys = fickle.

      It seems like verbal abuse and forced to write an apology letter. Something like, you humiliate the school, etc. The reactions from people who comment seem to be mixed. Some blame the parent for not 'toughening' the boy. Some agree with the parent. Another said that in Britain, teachers tend to be strict and will 'dress down' [scolding] if someone did wrong.

      There are some cases of that but this one is the most sensationalized. Hm..probably because the mother is talking with media and publicizing it. Also, because it is an elite school. The sexual abuse are mostly footnotes in the news..probably because it is in some 'unknown'/public school.

      Is it working? Here, we usually do that for politicians. And, it doesn't work because they're very thick-faced here. If creative and talented enough, can make a comeback even if their reputation were tarnished. We call it trial by publicity. It is resorted to because the justice system here is super slow.

      That is usually done in Senate/Congress hearings supposedly in aid of legislation. It is basically to target and humiliate the opponents or publicity stunt regarding any current scandalous issue that got people buzzing about it. Since people do like twists and turns of a soap opera, this is how real as it gets and sometimes better. =P


    99. Right.

      Yes, it was a sales promotion tactic (a risky one). The plan was to retrieve unused sample product still in the protective packaging – but companies could only demand returns if they still owned the product – and they later discovered that legally their ownership ended at delivery, even though the ‘customer’ had not paid. …A more successful tactic to measure ‘advertising success’ is to offer small discounts via codes written in the catalogue. (Companies still use that tactic in advertising e-mails sent to loyal customers.)

      Understandable. I sometimes choose a story because I think the villains/problems are realistic and/or dramatic, even though the main characters are boring/not super likeable.

      I see. For me, the more ‘original’ series are more interesting, but also harder to read, eg use technical language (eg the fighting vocabulary in “Skip Beat” lately).

      Oh, so because of ‘shipping’ = readers rooting for a certain character to be in relationship with the reader’s favorite love interest? There are other interesting possibilities for new characters, anywhere from enemy to ‘possessive friend’ (eg Ren and Kanae competing to give Kyoko the best gift). But there is risk/trap there too: too many characters, too many subplots.

      I see. I guess it’s possible to have equally desirable suitors. But in that case, I think there should be a “Choose Your Own Adventure” ending ^^

      Sounds something like ‘public shaming’. I don’t think it’s recommended practice internationally, based on child and adolescent psychology (heightened sensitivity and need for belonging; high vulnerability to mental illness, which peaks between ages 12-25). But everyone blames strictness on someone else. The British call strict people ‘martinets’ (=French). The French call strict people ‘Prussian officers’ (=German).

      I see.

      It is too early to know whether it will be successful. It was kind of accidental, ‘trial by (social) media’ = the kid who committed suicide had a Facebook page and the mother ‘inherited’ it and decided it was her duty to write a eulogy on it.

      I see. Publicity is necessary here, as a general rule, when the issue concerns child victims = a child must be named to become the ‘face’ of the problem, though naming is not standard practice for journalists because legal privacy protections for children are very strict.

    100. When you mentioned codes in catalogue, it reminded me of what Shocomi magazine did before. When you buy the magazine, there is a code there which you'll enter on their webpage to get that free computer wallpaper. ^^ Of course I'm not sure if it is for advertising or to prevent 'plagiarism' of wallpapers.

      True. Same here.

      Indeed. It makes me think that the mangaka did research on it rather than just basing things on what one knows.

      Yup. It is evident in comments like 'I prefer this guy to the lead', 'this guy is better than the lead', etc. There was a series wherein I heard that there were death threats when the pairing wasn't the one they wanted. It makes me think that hard core fans can be really scary.

      Indeed but most of the time, 'love triangle' is the one that really clicks and really rile the readers up to root for one of the two. It makes me think that it is like a basketball or any ball sports game. Fans cheer for their respective teams and the 'ball' is the girl =P But instead of who gets the most goal, it would be who the girl likes...most of the time.

      Ah, that kind of isn't too satisfying. It lacks closure. I have seen such endings and it is like the girl is a two-timer = couldn't choose either one so go for both. =P

      True. That's interesting. So, British thinks French people are stricter and French thinks the Germans are stricter than them.

      Oh. This happened recently.

      In cases like that, here, there will be many bashers. I'm not sure how bad or serious it is but there are those who do contemplate suicide, according to them. And somewhat became a recluse for some time.

      Oh. But do they also show the face? Here, it depends on the TV network. Some pixel the faces. The name, I guess it depends if they want to hide it or not.

    101. Ah, interesting. Is the wallpaper so ‘exclusive’/people won’t share with other fans? If so, they must be ‘hot items’! IIrc, the usual rationale for codes is to get subscribers to ‘newsletters’ (e-mail from company) and to find out how many fans of the ‘product’ are following closely (will use the code), or casually (buy , but won’t use the code).

      ‘Snap!’ ^^


      = ‘This means war’ if it’s the wrong couple… Terrifying ^^;

      I see. It seems similar to being fans of idols, only those fans generally fantasize about the idol as personal match or friend, they don’t mentally matchmake the idol with another idol. … I prefer it when everyone has a ‘match’, or a future to find one, or be happy single. Someone in the triangle is going to be disappointed, and I don’t like that. Although sometimes it’s me who’s disappointed – when the story backfires, and I don’t like any of the suitors and/or the person they are pursuing ^^;

      Ah, “Choose your own adventure” = you can make Choice 1 (pick GuyA), and the resulting situation is described on Page 5, OR you can make Choice 2 (pick GuyB), and the resulting situation is described on page 11. You CAN’T pick both Choice 1 AND 2 (polyandry).
      … Technically ‘poly’ is not cheating/two-timing if all the partners know, but ‘time’/scheduling would be a big issue ^^; I think the biggest problem is if they have kid(s). The non-father will be jealous. And the (novel) writers seriously seem to think it’s romantic to wish to be co-parents with someone when you’re not. Wish to time-travel and fix that. By replacing half a person’s genes, and all of their personal history. Repulsive.

      Yes, everyone thinks they are normal and foreign country X is ‘too strict’.

      The relatives often have a horrible time after inheriting Facebook pages, etc, because of trolls. Trolls attack vulnerable areas = the personal pages of people who have died in accidents, of cancer, etc, not only suicide. There are critics if the story is reported in the media, but they comment on the news agency’s page/website mostly, not on the dead person’s personal page. But it’s perfectly polite to give direct messages of support. So, if the publicity works well, the relatives are not so alone and under fire.

      Iirc, unless they have obtained permission, they are even less likely to show a child’s face than give the child’s (real) name, rather than an alias (invented by journalists). The face is more identifying, you see. A child’s name can be changed. If it’s a death, though, people often bend the rules on privacy.

    102. It is a computer wallpaper so it is easy to share if they want to...most likely underground. In a way, it limits the spread compared to some other sites that offer it for free. Since last year or the year before that, some sites no longer offer wallpapers exclusive or otherwise. Hehe, for me, it limits my 'change of pics' in this blog ^^;

      I see. An indirect survey.


      Lol, usually, it is someone in the triangle is going to be disappointed. Then, it ends there. Side stories would really rarely show afterwards like potential new partner/happy. Most of the time, they are shown as still in love with the lead.

      There's such a novel?! Very strange one. I'm not too fond of that set-up/mindset. There is this manga, Orange wherein girl ends up with guy 2 because guy 1 passed away. In some different timeline, girl manages to send a letter to her past self to correct the past = save guy 1 and seemingly to end up with guy 1. For some reason, I felt that she wasn't happy with her current/forced choice. A lot of people like it but with that premise, I couldn't read on..and just wait for the ending =P

      There is another version of it. It happened to Vampire Knight. Girl keeps going back and forth with the two. Excuse, her human self is in love with the vampire hunter and her vampire self is in love with the vampire. Ending: Vampire sacrificed himself for 'world peace' and went into sleep. But girl had his child. She ends up with vampire hunter as they raise that child and their own child. When hunter died, she wakes up vampire who turned human due to the process but perishes. Currently, vampire lives with the two children. So, in a way, girl loves both, right?

      A reverse version of 'The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence'?

      Oh, trolls. Critics if reported on it is a publicity stunt type?

      I see.

    103. Ah, I see. Maybe they are switching to print-only ‘extra’ images? The Spanish-language scanlator of Skip Beat was dismayed that this year she wants not only the Skip Beat ‘special limited edition’ printed volume (more expensive than usual), but also the Akatsuki no Yona special edition because of the Yona image ‘extras’.
      Oh, so that’s where the pics are from! For wallpaper, I often use volume cover pics from ebook websites, but they are less cute than specially designed wallpaper.


      True. I suppose that’s ‘romantic’ in one way, the rejected suitors staying ‘faithful’. I prefer them to recover from their ‘lovesickness’ and enjoy life, though. Recovery also prevents future drama, eg the rejected suitors who are teachers or something and are mean to the kid(s) of the successful suitor (eg Snape towards Harry Potter).

      There was/is sometimes a fashion for “gender role reversal” in novels. So, the ‘normal’/traditional novel would be a historical saga about a man and the children of his wife and his mistress(es), and the gender-reversed novel has a heroine with two lovers or a husband and a lover. I also thought it was very strange at first ^^;
      Ah, I was interested in that manga, too, because the description says the characters are friends. But I also didn’t like the effects on the romance of ‘changing the past’/creating an alternate timeline where the suicidal guy doesn’t die. Harsh or not, I doubt the suitability of a recently suicidal person as a partner. I also hate authors treating other generations as unimportant, so I hated the way nobody was worried that if the girl chose the suicidal guy, the baby her future self had with the alternative guy would not exist – at least in the altered timeline. Being eliminated in a different timeline (and no mention of that) = unimportant character.

      Vampire Knight is one of the ones where I did not like anyone in the triangle after a while, so I suppose it was not my idea of ‘love’. I didn’t like the part about leaving the kids with someone with no parenting experience, either.

      Yes. Maybe related to ‘not in my back yard’ = bad elements (eg criminals on probation) are elsewhere, of course, not in our street/town (and we will not allow them into our surroundings).

      Maybe some professional critics/commentators. Mostly non-professional. Posting primarily on news media Facebook/Twitter, etc, where there are professional moderators.
      The families want publicity = to use the case to prevent more tragedies.

    104. Possible though way before, there were extra pull out pictures in manga. Well, I didn't buy Japanese but Chinese...Sailormoon, the HK version. The Taiwan version is of lower quality though based on the paper's whiteness. But yes, there are usually some extras for limited editions.

      I see. True, it makes me wonder that the free wallpaper are free because it wasn't elaborate compared to the 'limited' wallpaper edition.

      I agree with that. Lol...kind of vengeful-type? In some cases, if the student is a girl, they'll end up together =P

      Okay but is that well received? Usually, if women are like that, it is viewed negatively. Hm...perhaps, the target audience are for women? I don't think men would want to read that.

      Interesting, but yes, typically, suicidal isn't quite suitable especially if the 'cause' isn't resolved. But then, I assume that it was assumed that the girl will 'save' him. Most stories with jerks are like that, girl kind of hopes and will be able to change the jerk into somewhat a better guy by the end of the story.

      True, and the alternative guy was okay with it. ^^;

      Lol, don't worry about parenting experience, I think by then, they are already many years old and I don't think they need any parenting guidance anymore. After all, their mother voluntarily 'gave up her life' so ya. They ought to be okay already. On contrary, I think the kids are going to 'babysit' him instead to let him know about the 'new world'.


      Hm...isn't that the usual reason over the publicity. They would say that it is to prevent from more tragedies. It makes me wonder now if there is an ulterior motive to it like saying that but honestly, it is more on publicly shaming the culprit.

      By the way, I'm going on a trip to Taiwan with the family. I'll be back on Jan 2 so I won't be able to reply until after weekend. Enjoy the rest of the holidays and Happy New Year ^^

    105. Cool. I’ll take my time writing my reply and also will wait until Jan 2 before posting it online.

      Bon voyage in Taiwan! And happy holidays and New Year to you, too ^^

    106. Ok ^^

      Thank you ^^ Again, Happy New year! ^^

    107. Greetings ^^

      Ah, that explains it. I made an error. When I read it over, the pictures in the special edition are a ‘compilation’ = they are selected from ‘extra’ images previously published, i.e. they were probably pull-out pictures.

      I see. That makes sense. Only ‘advertising-quality’ wallpaper, not ‘exclusive extra/poster’-quality = less work for the artist.

      Well, it’s not hardcore vengeful = the situation is usually a coincidence, the rejected suitor did not aim to be in a position of power over the kid of the rejecter. But it is vengeance on the rejecter to mistreat the kid.
      Yes, the ‘rejected suitor in past triangle + kid of successful couple in past triangle’ often happens in stories ^^; . Kare Kano, Twilight. And even when the rejected suitor/ex is paired with someone in the same generation, sometimes the author pairs the kid of the girl and guy A with the kid of guy B (and a girl not in the triangle/the main story).

      Hehe! The short (joke) answer to that question is: men will read what their wives read =P …But that’s too general. It’s some men, sometimes. The (primary) target audience is female, as you say.
      Some “fickle heroine” works seem to be quite successful, even with men. Àngeles Mastretta, the Mexican journalist and author, often writes heroines with more than one lover, and she has won literary prizes that men usually win, and one of her novels was made into a big film by a male director. Probably a big factor in her success is that she has a reputation for realism, with her record of writing journalism and memoir. Normally, fickle women are written as cartoon villains, and it was considered sensationalist to have a major female character who is fickle = characteristic of ‘pop’/pulp fiction. By contrast, Mastretta has literary credibility AND her work is popular.

      I see. That idea of ‘saving’ the guy really is a die-hard myth. I’ve seen dramas based on very old books where the ‘saving’ doesn’t work out.

      Yes, him too ^^;

      It works in the storyline, and in that story’s world, I suppose. But it is very far removed from reality. It is still traumatic for children even if they are already adults when parents do dramatic things, eg divorce, suicide.

      Well, they can’t publish the culprit(s)’ name in most cases like these (the bullying happened while the culprit was a minor/underage; also, the victim is dead = can’t give evidence) and so the public shaming is rather limited. …
      Hmm… ‘Ulterior motive’? It depends how compatible prevention is with public shaming. They seem compatible if one trusts in the idea of ‘deterrence’ = if vicious bullying has negative consequences, like public shaming by the family of the victim, then fear of the possible consequences will deter/stop other people from bullying in the same way.
      Some also believe that making the culprit pay shows how highly they value the victim = being dutiful towards the victim. A bit like ‘weregild’ = the money a Viking was forced to pay to the family of a man he killed.

    108. Hiyo!

      I see. Usually, it is like that. Images in magazine covers or spreads but of course, without all the text on it. In magazines usually aimed for young girls, there are freebies/gifts like stationary, stickers, bags, etc.


      Hm...maybe, in a way, if the rejected suitor was also treated badly by the one being wooed? Yup, that's another alternative.

      Hehe, is that so. By the way, are people there more prone to reading than watching TV? Someone from Italy, iirc told me that they don't watch TV but read a lot more. Here, it is more on watching than reading so anime had better success than manga being localized. Of course, people would most likely just read it on the internet rather than buy a manga. I do recall one of the complaints was, how come it is all black and white and not colored like US comics. =P

      More than one in the other lovers know that he is one of the lovers or the heroine is keeping it a secret. I remember in this manga wherein a woman is 'going steady' with an ex-bf who had a girlfriend. To snap her out of that kind of relationship, someone told her, you're not just the spare tire, you are the spare tire's spare tire!

      I see. So, it boils down to how well it is done, right?

      True. I think a more realistic story will depict that. Very old books as in classic novels, right?


      I see.

      True. I guess it is usually how the victims here always say it, 'to prevent it from happening again'. It seems like an alibi so they are doing the public shaming.

      Oh, I see. Sometimes, that can be viewed as the victim's family is only after money rather than justice. In Middle east countries, I think it's called 'blood money'. It is always mentioned here in the news wherein if a overseas worker deliberate/accidentally killed someone.

      There are 2 choice for the victim's family, execute the culprit or get paid some huge amount of money as compensation. So usually, the culprit's family and loved ones ask for donation if blood money was chosen.


    109. ^^

      I see. Fun.

      I was thinking more like vengeance for the rejection = being a sore loser. Usually there was a ‘fair fight’/courtship competition between the suitors. And even if it wasn’t fair, it’s also unfair to treat the winner’s kid with resentment… and actually, often the loser tries to act relaxed/normally (justly) towards that kid, but eventually ‘cracks’.

      More prone to reading = people in ‘book clubs’, for example? Also, people who read books BEFORE they are adapted into TV/movies? Yes, there are ‘bookworms’ like that ^^ However, many people (particularly adults) are watching more TV shows/cable than in the past, since it is the ‘golden age of television’ = very good writers are spending time as TV screenwriters, not only working on plays or movies + more high-quality foreign TV is being localized. Speaking of localized… maybe anime is more popular because the online broadcast timing is closer to simulcast (a few weeks delay), whereas the official translation of the manga volume seems to take months? Longer, if you wait for the ebook version.

      Depends on the book. In one book, both lovers knew and agreed to the situation = the heroine married the stable guy (her second love), and sometimes spent time with her mostly-absent traveler lover (her first love, from whom she had been temporarily separated by dramatic historical events).
      In another book, it was ‘turnabout is fair play’ = the heroine’s husband was unfaithful, mean (eg thought she was unsexy when she was pregnant), and just generally a terrible person << based on a real-life corrupt politician. She had more ‘normal’ relationships with other lovers (the husband was her first lover) who were kind, faithful guys. One was a fling. The other was the love of her life. All were secret affairs, because her husband was (unjustly) jealous.

      Yes, exactly, the character must be believable.

      True. Yes, classic novels adapted into period dramas.

      Hmm… Probably fewer people would be sympathetic if the victim’s family directly (brutally honestly?) said ‘if there is no publicity about this tragedy, the bullies will cause another, and so will other bullies’. Many people like to have more faith in humanity than that. On the other hand, it annoys people with hardline attitudes (or Old Testament attitudes, if they’re religious) when the family says they forgive the culprit(s)…

      Oh, that’s still done?! ‘weregild’/blood money. I guess it’s still better than vendetta = killing the killer, which will be avenged the same way.

    110. Lol, possibly if the rejected one is still in love with the said girl/guy and kid is talking about their happy marriage =P Or, kid looks like the rival or even acts like the rival to really rub it in =P

      No, I mean, would prefer to read books rather than watch tv. Would rather read manga than watch anime. That might be another reason. I'm not sure about anime since here, I would think most people would just watch the fansubs. When internet isn't that 'popular', some people do burn them on CDs and sell them. I don't see those anymore.

      I see. That kind of thing do happen in real life or in manga situation. Of course, the guy having two 'lovers'. Usually, the set-up is guy loves girl 1 but the family disapproves. As a compromise, girl 1 can become the mistress while girl 2 whom family likes/marriage for family purposes like business.

      The second one, I think that is kind of 'common' though again, usually the guy having a lot of lovers =P

      I see. I did browse some classic novels before = cheating by reading plot then check out the last chapter. I recall that it is mostly tragic especially for the heroine.

      True. Old Testament attitude would be an eye for an eye. New Testament would be to forgive. Of course, the continuation of that is forgive but you still have to be punished for what you did.


    111. Very true =P . But usually unintentional = the kid doesn’t know about the rival, the happy couple never mentioned him.

      I see. Yes, some people prefer to read. It’s less expensive to ‘produce’ than TV, so there is more variety to choose from. But when it comes to manga/comics, the series adapted to anime seem to be more popular, and the dubbed series the most popular. An anime does not read from right-to-left like manga = easier. A dub, no need to read subtitles = easiest, accessible to kids and people dyslexia, etc.
      Burning fansubs onto DVD? I’ve heard of that. But no need now = people can download fansub videos from Youtube.

      I see. So it’s just a gender role reversal of ‘marry suitable partner, keep true love unofficially’, then? Except that she loved both guys, it wasn’t merely a duty marriage with the reliable guy.

      Lovers even when he’s married? I’ve primarily seen that in backstory = the author wants to add characters/conflict, so the main cast patriarch’s ‘secret family’ is suddenly revealed.

      Oh. Interesting. For dramas/adaptations, they usually pick a classic with a happy ending = escape from ‘Mr Wrong’. Eg, the bad husband who couldn’t be saved conveniently dies young (“The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”), or Mr Wrong seduced and abandoned the heroine, but she was able to disguise herself as a widow and her kid eventually forgives her for not confiding the truth for a long time (“A Woman of No Importance”).

      ‘Temporal’/secular punishment, but religious forgiveness? That’s a common route, I think. Only the ‘punishment’ is hard to control when it’s public shaming = often multiple culprits, and hard to make sure the punishment exactly matches the ‘contribution’ of each culprit to the tragedy. Experts/monitor organizations do a bit better = can reduce harm by making social media companies delete abusive material uploaded by users. But it’s the teenage deaths that got attention and money for monitors/watchdogs.

    112. Hehe, well, parents don't usually inform their kids about the rivals. ^^ Of course, there are situations wherein the parent would know like kid mentions the teacher's name or during PTA meetings ^^

      I see.

      True. But, there is still a market for those who have no internet access. Here, there are hawkers who walk around at the poorer section of the city. Or in small malls, they whisper DVD, DVD. Of course, it isn't anime but movies. Theater prices are more expensive so the poor would make do with that.

      Yup. Oh, I see. She wants both. Hm...usually that kind of women are viewed negatively.

      Yes. I usually heard of it from the rich, politicians, showbiz people. Usually, if the wife is very dependent especially financially on the husband, she won't leave him even if he has how many lovers. A distant relative living in the US have that kind of situation. Wife and kids, living together with the lover [<- whom he got pregnant during a fling] and kid.

      I see. So, usually they won't change the 'bad ending' into a good one? For example, Disney's Little Mermaid had a happy ending.

      In some cases yes. But I guess it is a bit more 'pleasant to hear' than I want them to die too. Though I'm talking more about murder and other grievous crime rather than bullying and such.

      I see. Actually, here, it seems that FB mods can be bias and/or paid so if you say something bad against the government or their 'partners', trolls will get your page blocked/shut down even if it wasn't against the rules. But, if it is against their perceived enemy and they are doing the same thing, it won't be shut down.

      I think this is the 'new feature' in FB to limit fake news but then, it does go both ways. Trolls and their like can use it to shut down any pages/block people that they don't like.

      Out of curiosity, is media there perceived as biased towards a certain person/group? It is amusing that what was happening in the US had happened here like CNN, when I read the comments, they always say that it was fake news, paid, bias towards Clinton, etc. Of course, those commenting are most probably for Trump.

      So, one of the station's slogan for their news program here is, 'Nothing is Favored, Nothing is Protected, No Lies, True Service Only'. That is because the other rival station is owned by an oligarch who obviously 'favors' certain people/groups.

    113. Lol, true.

      I see.

      Traditionally, that’s true, negative views = “bad girls”. But it seems it was viewed as feminist = why not a woman with two loves, when many male heroes have two? (Sharing time would normally be a problem = danger of neglecting husband and kids, but since the first love did not visit that often...)

      That’s hard on the family. It is believed that is a key factor in infidelity rates, the quality of the escape route/how easy it is to become independent. Also including whether others will be supportive instead, eg I have seen cheater guys get completely replaced = the wife divorces him, and later when she remarries to a better guy, even the cheater’s kid(s) like the second husband better as a dad, celebrate HIM on Father’s Day.

      Softening sometimes happens, if it’s for younger viewers, eg the cartoons (“The Lion King” = “Hamlet”) and teen comedies based on Shakespeare plays (“10 Things I Hate About You” = “The Taming of the Shrew”), or musicals (less deaths in “Oliver!” than “Oliver Twist” the book). Ah, also, they were able to give Edith Wharton’s last novel a happy ending when it was turned into a drama, because she died before finishing it. However, the general rule is that the author’s ending is the “real” ending,… well, when that author is long dead and can’t be consulted.

      I see. Interesting, but worrying.

      Yes, different media outlets are perceived as biased towards particular groups. Internationally, in English there is the “Murdoch press” = the media empire owned by Australian-turned-American oligarch Rupert Murdoch. That empire is perceived as biased towards the conservative party/elements in the English-speaking world (the people most friendly to business/corporate people) – and also quite shameless in pursuing scandal/trash news (which is NOT traditional/conservative of them, going against old-fashioned etiquette, but it brings in money). Murdoch has commercial media rivals across the world, but generally they also favor the conservatives.
      The state-owned media is believed to favor the left/progressives, especially the multilingual/multicultural channels, and of course, the First Nations media is designed to represent the First Nations in particular, not the mainstream. Mostly, these attitudes to 'free' media are the same annoying pattern as the accusations of bias against CNN = when the media criticizes the conservatives (like the tax-funded media is supposed to criticize *everyone with power*), the conservatives falsely accuse the media of bias.
      This reputation for bias everywhere limits the depth of analysis/investigation because… eg for “balance” people from both “sides” are selected for panel shows, and often some of them repeat what political leaders said on the news = soundbites. Boring. I prefer experts and fact-checking, like in a legal trial. “Spin” is too slippery to be useful.

    114. Hehe, I see. Usually, in 'advice columns', for a woman to entertain a lover is because she is unsatisfied with the husband or sometimes out of revenge since he also had a lover. So, in the novel, it was okay with the husband and kids? I do assume that kids tend to be tolerant if they are older or perhaps, also adults.

      True. Hehe, sounds like a TV drama with a happy ending. In real life, I don't hear it often. But then, it is probably not on the news. In the news are mostly jilted boyfriend/husband killing the wife and/or lover. Or, at times, including children.

      Yup. Though, Little Mermaid is originally for kids, right? But then, when I was a kid, I did think it was unfair... ^^; Also, the little match girl story.

      Hehe, interesting but yes, trash news do sell. I think it is called tabloid news here. The news here seems to be copied on Fox News, as they say, the more scandalous the better. I do recall when a deceased owner of a local newspaper lamented over why the editor chose the sex scandal of an ex-president's daughter as the headline. He was told that it will bring in the money and it did for they are almost sold out that issue. These days, that same paper now has a known fake news promoter as a columnist.

      I see. Tax-funded media criticize everyone with their power or everyone with power? If it is the latter, so that would be the oligarchs, right? Rather than power = from government because they are in position.

      Here, private media tends to criticize everything about the government that the ex-president lamented about not mentioning the good news. Well, bad news sells.

      Then, what the state-owned media says is mostly propaganda. We don't have something like NHK or BBC <- ah, I know they are the government's. Our state owned media is mostly about how great the president is, what he is doing and other shows that most people don't watch. Actually, it is probably the last channel anyone would want to watch =P

      True. Iirc, there was a proposed bill or was it passed, that whatever is written or aired should have the side of the other person or they'll be sued. So, if a columnist writes something about this person or company, the newspaper is compelled to publish the other side's story.

    115. I see... In this story, the husband had agreed to his wife keeping her other lover (first love) before they were married. Because the lover was the first love, so there was a strong possibility of the first love being the ‘winner’ if the lady was forced to choose one of them. But the second love/husband was stronger in the commitment/stability area, so if he tolerated the lover, the husband + future kids could get the lion’s share of the wife’s time. It was a bit like a custody agreement, actually, except that the lover’s visits (driving the wife away in his car) were less frequent than visitation and more like having sleepovers with a BFF who lives in a different town…but less innocent, of course =P. ...I don't know how this was explained to the kids (probably they were told the truth when old enough), but it was still going on when they were all grown up and there were grandkids.

      I see. Probably, remarriage/“blended families” is a topic that is more of a talking point in countries with relaxed attitudes to divorce.
      The attitudes to step-parenting are generally positive = the stepparent is considered a good replacement for the non-residential parent, as a role model, financial contributor, etc. That’s generally true, but it’s the bright side. The dark side is that it’s common for parents to be two-faced = treat the children of their current partner (their stepkids and kids born in the new marriage) ie kids in their home, better than any kids they had with their ex(es) ie kids on visitation visits. This I know from statistics. Personally, I primarily (only?) know stepparents who were childless until they selected a non-childless partner.

      Oh, those are Hans Christian Andersen stories, right? So maybe they are a little like “Scandinavian noir”?

      True, actually ‘tabloid news’ is THE correct term – I just keep forgetting it because it’s the normal shape for newspapers now – tabloid=tablet-shaped – when they are printed (and also the optimal way to view articles on screens). …I think Murdoch owns Fox News… I see, not ‘polite’/respecting privacy = upsetting the old-fashioned newspaper people.

      I’m not sure I understand, but the media is supposed to be the “fifth estate” = keep up information flow and fact-checking so that citizens have a realistic view of politics and can make a well-informed choice between candidates. When people influence the government (think tanks, business organizations, aid organizations), they are part of politics and deserve to be analyzed by the media. On the other hand, commercial media will not analyze media owners, the oligarchs (<<journalists don’t want to be fired), so the state media – and/or the state POLICE, as in the Levenson Inquiry in the UK – are the ones to investigate the questionable behavior of “media barons” and their minions.

      Hehe, true. “If it bleeds, it leads” = front-page headlines ^^; Hmm…actually there are “good news” segments on the youth channel news – VERY short ones, though.

      Ah, that’s unfortunate ^^; Though, I think, sometimes the ‘national’ (state) radio stations are more popular than the news channel on TV? Because radio is less costly to produce, there is more variety and higher quality sometimes. Partly because the journalists can have “a face for radio” = they don’t have to be pretty ^^

      True. The ‘right of reply’. The ‘reply’ is usually published in a much less eye-catching way, though (smaller headline, font, discreet position) ^^;

    116. Okay...quite a unique set-up. Is the husband rich? Or rather, were the visits just one night stand type or a whole week? I'm imagining that the husband would have to live like a 'single parent' while she is away. How less frequent was it? Years or months? If it is years, I guess that is somehow tolerable.

      Kind of like in Cinderella? I see, so the other partner has no kids. That would be less 'stressful', I guess and can make the relationship more smooth. In dramas or movies, it does seem to focus more on how the kids from the previous relationship get along with the new step-parent.

      Yup. Hehe, ya, in a way, a different take--somewhat realistic kind of fairy/children tales.

      Yup. And, usually, they also use a very 'eye-catching' title which might not be what the article is all about. It is more on sensationalism to make people talk or comment if it is on the net. Apparently, he does own it. Yup, in a way, it's showbiz scandal/gossip and not really 'news' about the country/important for the country.

      Ideally, it is like that...more so, before, from what I observed. Hm...our police do not investigate any of the media. Actually, media can be feared since they can broadcast any 'bad deed' and ruin a reputation...if they care about their reputation. When a columnist is one-sided, people would usually assumed that they are biased = paid.

      Yup. The 'good news' are usually at the middle/back of the papers and in news program, it is at the almost end.

      Radios...hehe, I don't think we have one or I never heard of it. ^^;; True, and having a nice voice is a big plus ^^

      Yup. Though at times, they would demand to be placed on the same area where the original column was written. Most of the times, it is published at the 'letters' part of the newspaper.

    117. Um… I think they were all middle-class, but the husband was a little older than the first love and the girl, so he (the second love/husband) was fully educated and practicing as a doctor BEFORE the civil war/revolution. The first love followed his political passion and joined the revolutionary army. The girl could not join him (no female soldiers accepted in that time period), but she figured she could fulfil her dream of becoming a doctor AND soon join her love by gaining medical training and becoming a war medic. She went to a doctor she knew (the guy who became the second love) and asked him to make her his apprentice. They did not plan to get attached to each other, but it ended up that way.
      The ‘sharing’ was only briefly sketched, few details. Just the lover arriving to collect the wife and seeing the family in the background. It sounded a bit like how young adults spend public holidays = the day with the family, and after dinner, go out in the evening/night with the lover. That was the general impression I got = the wife spent some time in the holidays with the lover. I guess that would be every few months?

      Yes, it’s kind of a Cinderella story. With alterations. The situation in the original Cinderella was more common in the past = high maternal death rates, lots of stepmothers. And it was not considered a man’s responsibility to ‘keep house’ or care for kids in the past, so the stepmother was the only villain in “Cinderella”. Cinderella’s dad is never in the picture during the abuse. He’s always away on business, or he dies, or something. He’s not the abuser – or even an enabler. So…it’s a big switch to have Cinderella’s DAD as the villain. Realistic, but not *iconic*. The iconic villain is the evil stepmother, the cause of “the Cinderella effect” higher death rates in stepchildren (when resources are limited).
      Less divided loyalties, yes, when the stepparent has no first-marriage kids. But the parent may or may not select someone who is suitable to be a stepparent. If the parent makes a careful selection, the adjustment for the kids and stepparent will be smoother.

      True ^^;

      Oh, I think that’s what they call “clickbait”? …Hmm… If newspapers are going to include non-news, maybe they should go back to running some sensational serial fiction columns? Apparently, they were really addictive.

      True. Because a lot of advertisers have moved listings to specialized websites or apps = not buying advertising space in newspapers. Less money = less journalism.
      The media was feared in the UK. Murdoch was considered a “kingmaker” = can influence elections by telling journalists to use positive or negative spin. The UK government needed a powerful “spin-doctor” to make the government look good. Until the phone-hacking scandal that affected celebrities, victims of crime, and finally the royal family. The media may be above the government, but they are not above the law.

      True. The timing’s the same in the program I know ^^

      Podcasts are more fashionable now, but they are essentially radio on the internet.
      A nice voice. Hehe, that makes me think of the radio announcer guy who does the late night love songs show on the weekend. Very melodious =P

      I see.

    118. I see. Little older like 3-5 years?

      Okay. And, I assume it isn't just 'going on a vacation' only but more like 'going on honeymoon vacations'?

      'higher death rates in stepchildren (when resources are limited).' <- as in they murder them? Or like in Hansel and Gretel, send them away and hopefully, they won't come back.

      True. In drama series here, it is mostly, the new 'lover' of the father is super nice and everything <- heroine whereas the antagonist is the real mother who might possibly want the husband and/or children back. That is, if the mother is still alive. first glance, I thought that was 'chickbait' ^^;; True, though of course, not all all of it is sensationalism. Or else, the original readers might no longer buy them. Perhaps, it is more for the casual buyers?


      Amusing that there is also 'kingmaker' and 'spin-doctors/pr people' in that side, too. I heard of that case. Was the case resolve already or is it still going on?

      Podcasts...I see. It doesn't seem that popular here. I only knew about it when I stumbled upon it while tinkering with the pc tablet. =P

      =) It's a usual joke that the nice voice isn't equal to good looks =P

    119. Not sure. Under 10 year gap, iirc.

      I’m not sure about the length of time or what to call it. Maybe something like ‘dirty weekends’?

      Based on limited range of historical records - just civil/local records, not personal/medical. So MAYBE there was murder, but there’s no proof. Neglect is most probable = underfeeding, poor supervision.

      Interesting. So the noncustodial biological parent is more or less a stalker?

      Lol! ... Something like that. Get people who are not very into news/current events addicted to buying newspapers.

      The Levenson Inquiry went from 2011 to 2012.

      I read some book review blogs, and the bloggers added a podcast.

      True ^^

    120. Hehe...interesting term, 'dirty weekends' =P

      Underfeeding, huh. Hm...kind of 'want to get rid of' but somehow conscientious if the kid dies.

      Not really. Something like she regrets what she did/ plan B after separation failed so go back to square one. It puts the father in a predicament since the children wants the mother and he wants the new girlfriend + children. Common scenarios is the children making things hard for the new girlfriend.

      I see.

      Oh, was their a punishment for the ones involved? Or just typical disgraced thing.

      I see. And, that is they are the ones speaking in the podcast or get someone with a nice voice to read it. It makes me think that it is for the blind who cannot read.

      On a side note, do most people there think negatively of the royal family or it is just trolls who tend to usually complain about their upkeep? I read in BBC breaking news about the queen coming out after having a cold. Then, there are comments like, it isn't breaking news. Is it big news there or it is more for international audience?

    121. Lol =P I think it’s a British term.

      Is that “conscientious = doing exactly what you believe is the right thing” or “conscientious = very careful/meticulous”? It’s quite a subtle/underhand way of getting rid of stepkids, I think.

      I see. It seems like stalking towards the dad, her ex, though.

      Iirc, it was a financial penalty = paying damages. For the company. I think one of the “journalist spies” went to jail. And some of people at the top of the company lost their jobs = they were considered responsible for creating a “bad image” for the company, and that’s a firing offense.

      The podcast I got quite into is by book review bloggers and they do it themselves…or often, they *host* it themselves, because they do a lot of interviews. Eg, they interviewed the writer of the novel set in Manila that I mentioned before. That was where I first heard about that writer. In case you’re interested, here’s a link:
      That’s exactly why people volunteer to be interviewed for that podcast, so listeners will be impressed, buy their books and become fans. So, people use podcasts for publicity, among other things.
      …Hmm, it seems to be very different from “radio for the blind”. I guess it would enrich the variety available to people who can’t read, but it seems that the typical podcast listener is listening while they commute (impossible to read in the car, uncomfortable on public transport), or cook, or something.

      People generally have a positive view of the British royals (a living tourist attraction for the UK; work as the “face” of the country/as philanthropists; a source of “feel-good” articles/stories), but ‘news buffs/addicts’ have very limited interest in them. Their feeling is that the royals belong in magazines, and ‘entertainment news’ aka ‘soft news’, which is not really news, but more like celebrity gossip.
      The big events in the royal family (birth, marriage, death, divorce) are big news internationally, and Queen Elizabeth II is elderly, so her health is becoming more newsworthy, but… appearing in public after recovering from a minor illness is NOT newsworthy. It has to be life-threatening to be “breaking news”, I would think. …But it could be LOCAL-level breaking news if it causes traffic problems = people crowd around the palace gates or wherever to show their relief and their support for the queen.

    122. No, more on appealing to the conscience like = less guilt because it is an indirect 'murder'. Like the hansel and gretel, she didn't deliberately kill them but just kind of 'lose them'. So the rationality for underfeeding is kids are small anyway and don't do much so it's okay to give them less food.


      I see. The company still exists, I assume? Trying to make a comeback in some way?

      I see. So, that's what it is like. And how does the blogger/'podcaster' profit? Go to the blog and click the advertisements?

      True. True. Here, people usually listen to music. At times, with very annoying djs with lame jokes ^^; The music is mostly old ballads from 80s and 90s.

      I see. Perhaps, it is because of news going around while she was sick. I was surprised when there is a message/news on my phone that hinted she's dead and talking about the succession to the throne. I checked major news sites and there's nothing about it so I thought it is fake. Then, at the same time, saw that news about appearing in public.

      Weirdly enough, I'm not exactly sure why that message popped up...there are some random stuff like that and I'm not sure which app is putting it up. ^^;;

    123. Hmm… an indirect method can also be slower = crueller, and it’s part of a plan to appear innocent = dishonest, cowardly. But not so much in the case of Hansel and Gretel, because in real life wild animals would probably kill them soon (like Red Riding Hood in the original version, the one that goes “She gets eaten. The end.”) – they would not slowly starve to death. …I guess a parent could rationalize it that way, but if there are stepkids and biological kids and the stepparent underfeeds the stepkids selectively, it gets pretty obvious that it’s favouritism, not only wishful thinking (ie “the nutrition available is all the kids need”).

      The main company (ie Murdoch Group) and most of its sections still exist, but the “News of the World” newspaper closed down. All the news-media companies made a lot of money last year, because the news was quite sensational/dramatic, so more people were watching = they could charge more to advertise on their channels.

      Yep, among other things, advertisements. As well as video and text, there are audio advertisements during the shows. Blogs and podcasts function as publicity as well = bloggers/podcasters will sell more books, live shows.

      Interesting. Is that music from their youth, or is it popular with a general audience = like a ‘retro is back in fashion’ trend?

      I see. So because the media conveniently underestimated the danger – or pretended to – and made people worried ^^; To make the story clickbait/a “top story”.

    124. Indeed. Though perhaps, it is like minimal support - if you live, lucky you? Ah, indeed, and that is back to Cinderella. Thinking about it, wanting to 'murder' would be Snow White...though for entirely different reason =P

      Oh, in the original version, she was eaten. I recall that in the real/some version of Cinderella, there was a continuation about some 'punishment' for the stepsisters contrary to the usual that they are just green with envy or forgiven for what they did.

      I see. But there is no such thing as boycotting it or anything because of their bad reputation? Perhaps, lesser profits since people might watch other channels?

      I see. I thought podcasts are ad-free ^^; In case of that blogger you mentioned, she writes books about book reviews? The ones I know are for cooking. They sometimes sell their ebooks of recipes, aside from the advertisements. It seems that at times, some company will send them free samples/gadget to use and advertise on their blog.

      I assume fashion works the same way too. Companies give the fashionable blogger outfits and stuff then publicize it? Perhaps, book review bloggers are the same? Free books?

      Mostly from their youth and popular with general audience. I'm not too sure about the younger generation though but the most popular radio station is the one that plays those older music. People here like ballads especially romantic ones. They aren't that into rap. It is more like easy to sing along/catchy types tend to be popular.

      Here, karaoke can be done in public even if it is such a terrible noise pollution especially if the singer isn't good/drunk. The karaoke machine can be rented around especially during fiestas or parties. I think there is a karaoke machine just below our building...across the street. So, at times, at night from 6-10pm, some people are crooning love songs...the same ones they are good at, over and over again.


    125. Yes, possibly they are minimalist towards kids. I recall some parents like that in realist writers’ work, eg parents who gave kids milk with no cream, after feeding the cream to their pigs. The pigs were fine and fat and the children were pitifully underfed-looking.
      That’s right, selective cruelty to stepkids is definitely Cinderella. In many other stories (including Snow White and Hansel and Gretel) in the original version the abusive parent was a biological parent and was later changed to a stepparent.

      Maybe the first recorded Western version of Cinderella, collected by the brothers Grimm? But iirc there is an older version from China, that was not well known in Europe: “Ye Xian”.

      No, unfortunately Murdoch owns too much good-quality media as well – not just Fox News, but 21st Century Fox, FX, etc. Murdoch deliberately keeps some of the newspapers for influence, not money = they are not very profitable. The scandal paper, News of the World, was more profitable.
      Oh, also, as a result of the scandal, the Australians refused to allow Murdoch to enter the Australian-based international news market = cable news and entertainment. They applied their individual media ownership limit instead of changing it or giving special permission, and also awarded the government-funded contract to produce “news from Australia” for international audiences to the taxpayer-funded media organization (poorer but with a fairly “clean” reputation), rather than to competitor companies that Murdoch or equally dirty rivals could buy.

      Sometimes the international version is ad-free = the ads are local, so they remove them. And sometimes they are not exactly ads, but “messages of appreciation” eg when the podcast is fan-funded eg via Patreon.
      That blogger has written a few books about the romance genre = general conclusions based on her reading many, many books = observing trends.
      Yes, book bloggers often get free “review copies” of new books. Even though they sometimes give books terrible scores. It’s because they review in detail, so they will alert potential readers whose “guilty pleasure” is exactly that type of ridiculous plotline/writing style/et. => increased sales.

      I see. Interesting. It reminds me, sometimes cover versions of eighties songs are hits internationally (“Boys of Summer”, “Fast Car”)… but it’s usually a sped-up version = for nightclubs. Ballads/melodic songs are more considered “slow dance” music.

      Oh, what a pain ^^;

    126. Hm...because the pigs have to be fat = higher price when being sold so it is okay for kids to be underfed as exchange for it? Ah, milk served with cream. These days, isn't it like fattening? ^^;

      Ah, to soften it up/reason for that kind of abuse so they changed it to a stepparent?

      I heard something like that the Grimm just collected the popular tales at that time? Something like the rumor about Shakespeare wasn't really written by him? Ye Xian is indeed the same with Cinderella. Coincidental or it is a story that can happen in all sorts of culture/countries?

      Oh, I see. Well, he obviously didn't place all his eggs in one basket =P

      I see. They don't want the minds of their people to be 'polluted' huh.

      Fan-funded like asking for donations?

      I see. That is one way to become an 'expert' on a certain field ^^

      Review in detail without giving spoilers? Do you mean alert them to buy the book since it is their guilty pleasure? Then, the readers won't care about the terrible scores as long as that is what they wanted to read, right?

      I see. Well, those ballads are very popular during weddings, too. I'm not sure about weddings there but after the ceremony, there is this party. People would hire a singer/orchestra/karaoke [depends on one's budget] and sing all those sappy love songs while people are eating.

      Oh ya, people here are quite known for being good at singing so usually in singing contests even international ones, there is someone of Filipino descent. I forgot which country it was wanted to disqualify Filipinos before because it is unfair to the others. =P The songs chosen are usually those high pitch like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston...basically show off one's powerful voice.

      Ya. Sometimes, it gives me an 'earworm'. ^^;

    127. It was because the pig farmer had a misplaced pride = wanted to win prizes and be well-known for having the best pigs. It was not necessary to underfeed the kids to make a living, the kids were what he sacrificed to “be the best”. But locally, they are seen as the worst parents.
      Yes, the cream = the fat. Probably not needed as part of today’s diet, but in the past (pre refrigeration, sugar industry growth, etc) feeding kids low-fat milk might mean malnutrition.

      Exactly ^^;

      Iirc, the brothers Grimm considered themselves folktale collectors/compilers, not writers. However, they had to make choices about wording, etc = work like writers, sometimes.
      Apparently, a “Cinderella story” can happen anywhere, = it’s considered an ‘archetypical’ story.

      No, he didn’t. Plenty of eggs ^^;

      I think it was more about their reputation internationally = being a smaller competitor to BBC World News. I’m sure there is plenty of gossip, scandal, and ‘advertising disguised as news’ in the local news programs in Australia – after all Murdoch is from there – but those programs are not shown internationally. Usually. And when they are…well, remember that scandal about journalists phoning the hospital during Princess Kate’s pregnancy – and the nurse they tricked into talking to them committed suicide out of shame? Those ‘journalists’ were Australian.


      True ^^

      Spoilers are hidden = you must click the “show spoiler” buttons to see them. …Yes, that’s exactly what I mean ^^

      Interesting. I have sometimes seen that post-ceremony party called “the wedding reception”. Here, usually the main feature is the meal. The music will come later. The newlyweds will begin the dancing = ‘the bridal waltz’. Usually people use recorded music. I only heard good live music when a relative married a music teacher = knew good, inexpensive musicians.

      I see, “power ballads”. And soprano singers = high pitch? I guess that’s unusual = special. Many people have their vocal range based in the lower pitch = men and also women with contralto (very low) or mezzo-soprano (medium) voices. I prefer the low-pitched voice best for voice artists = the vocal range I’m used to is the easiest to understand. For instance, the Skip Beat lead voice artist is easier for me to understand than the Kimi ni Todoke one.

      :( Unlucky.

    128. I see. In a way, the pigs are his priority. The wife was okay with it or has no say in it, I guess. But, if the kids grow up, there might be a payback.

      I was going to ask if there was low fat milk before but then, I realize you actually meant, separating the cream/fat from the milk = low fat. Lol, I thought it was fresh milk with whipped cream type from can on top ^^;;

      I see. True.

      Ah. Yup. Iirc, weren't they djs? Though I'm not sure what kind of radio show it was.

      I see.

      Ah...yes, it is indeed a wedding reception. The ceremony then, after a few hours, depending on what time it is, the reception which is either during lunch or dinner. Usually, it is dinner. Before, the dance is done at the end but it is already late and people want to go home already so now, they do it first. And, they won't even serve the food yet! <- captured audience.

      Speaking of that, time in wedding invitations aren't to be believed at times. It said, dinner at 630pm. But it actually starts at 8pm. It might be the Filipino time wherein people are always late or they want the reception hall to be filled up before starting.

      Weddings are a grand occasion here especially if you have the money. And, since people are getting busy, they now hire wedding coordinators. These coordinators also have those small mics and walkie-talkies to talk with their staff. There is also the emcee. I think emcees that can sing are more expensive.

      Then, there is also the photographer, florists, dressmakers, invitation makers, and all sorts of stuff. Oh yes, there is also this mini-movie during the reception about the couple's love story. They show the two when they were kids, with family, when they are steady, the engagement and the wedding itself for the ones who didn't get to attend.

      Oh, there is also the possible, prenuptial pictures = couple's photo shoot in some beautiful location. If rich, it would be overseas like Paris, Japan, etc. That is aside from the studio pictures of the wedding couple which is usually done in between the ceremony and the reception.

      Oh, there is also games and who wins it gets the bridal bouquet and groom's garter. Again, if rich, there are prizes like cellphone, trip to somewhere, etc. Then, the guests can 'force' the couple to kiss by using their spoons to clang on the glass. <- not sure if it is a Chinese thing though ^^;

      Go here to see what a grand wedding is like, this is the wedding of a senator to his second wife, a showbiz girl. The first marriage was annulled. The boy and girl [twins] with them in some shots are the guy's children from the first wife.

      Not so high but more on holding the voice long without croaking. Basically, show off one's voice. Hehe, to understand the lyrics, yes? Though, this is competition so ordinary song won't help make the cut.

    129. True, not a good retirement plan, treating kids that way.

      Yep, “skimming” the milk.

      It was a “prank”/joke show, I think.

      Ah. That’s a bit extreme. The walk to the altar can be dance-like if people like = the wedding march. Like a preview.

      If you tried that here, people would drink a lot of alcohol before dinner and the kids would go wild = a recipe for disaster. It’s very civilized to be able to cope with the lateness, but not great to hold people ‘hostage’ as a captive audience.

      Some people do all that even if they haven’t got the money. Once I overheard a bride (of 2 years!) say they’d only just paid off the debt – mostly from the photographer’s bill.
      Some of these things are sometimes done at the engagement party instead here. Eg the ‘flashback’ photo montage/mini-movie.
      Prenuptial pictures, I hadn’t heard of that. People sometimes have a studio picture of the couple on the wedding invitation, but “glamor photography” shoots may be done before the engagement. Probably only if the couple is very stable, though.

      What about the superstition that the girl who catches the bridal bouquet will get married next? That’s supposed to be the big prize!
      In the Western tradition people kiss after they are declared married by the priest or the registrar, and probably also they kiss after the speeches (during/after the food, before the dancing). Only if they behave VERY shyly (a really short kiss) will the audience cheer them on and demand they kiss for longer.

      I read Kevin Kwan ^^;…and I’m now unshockable on the subject of elaborate, expensive weddings =P

      I see. Long notes, not always high notes. …Yes, the more the vocals are like opera, the less I understand – like other people = why opera is subtitled or surtitled. …Yes, TV competition. Less important in intercollegial and radio competitions = the singing contributes a lot to the score of the song submitted, but singing is not the sole criterion for judging.

    130. Yup. Out of curiosity, is it the norm/obligatory for kids there to take care of the parents when they're old? Here, it is. If you don't, you'll be considered as 'ingrate'. Of course, family ties are tight here. Though, in the West, specifically US, it seems that they are most likely send to the home of the aged or nursing homes. But then, parents tend to 'boot out' their children at age 18.

      I guess in a way, the West promotes independence early while East is more on dependence. The males tend to be pampered more so there’s a a joke here that most guys are Mama's boys =P

      Hehe, alcohol isn't usually served until meal time or end of meal time. It isn't free flowing. Usually, the waiter/usher would just walk around holding a bottle and ask if the guests want some. Usually, it is just 1-2 glasses only. As for the kids, just give them ipad preferably with wifi or some console game and they’ll pretty much behave.

      True. A cousin had a wedding with a reception for lunch. I don't know what they were thinking but they seem to be going for a 'captive audience' since they did all the ceremonies like dance, cutting of cake, share drink, etc and it is only after then, they let people eat. That would be from 12 noon to 3pm.

      Wow, so that is very important for them. 50/50 for the cost? Is it also 'fashionable' to do renewal of vows every after a certain period of time there? There are people who do that. Perhaps, not so elaborate but more on simple ceremony and reception.

      I see. Well, I would think it is more practical to share it during the wedding reception = more audience especially with the amount of money spent on it. In a way, I guess it is something like showing off? Since you read about Kevin Kwan, I assume it is also tackled there about elaborate engagement parties with all sorts of gifts given to the bride...and just an expensive watch and/or necklace for the groom. =P

      Here, it is more on giving the bridal bouquet. Before, there is the throwing of bouquet but unlike in the West, girls aren't that enthusiastic so the couple/host has to make all sorts of gimmicks to get the single girls to want to get the bouquet with well, incentive of prizes =P It is usually games like how well you know the couple, how many years they are together, when they met, etc. There are also games for the audience like bingo or there is a tag in the chair and if you sit on that chair, you win a prize.

      That is the first official kiss, after the wedding ceremony. Afterwards, the audience can clang on their glasses to encourage the couple to kiss. Well, instead of cheering, I guess ^^

      Hehe, is that so. But then, aren't such like big celebrity weddings? Here, if it is a popular couple and they want to show it courtesy of the TV station, there is a special coverage for it on the television. That wedding I shown to you was also shown on TV. Hehe, it is timed just before elections...the senator ran for vice-president and lost.

      Yup but of course, high notes are a plus. Not the sole criterion = charisma factor? I'm not sure if it's the same there but we have this 'The Voice kids' singing contest. There was one time, my mom who is watching that show said that the other kid is better than the winner but she won because of her sob poor story. The voting is made by the audience.

    131. I guess you mean the ‘live-in elder’ type of caretaking? People often do that, invite their elder to come live with one of the kids. In fact, houses often have a ‘granny flat’ = either (1) an area inside a house that functions like a separate apartment, with cooking and maybe washing facilities and garden access, or (2) a separate small house/apartment on the same piece of land.
      But this is for ageing elders who still have reasonable mobility and mental faculties. …People sometimes nurse dying relatives at home, when the case is not complex, but long-term nursing and supervision is left to care homes. The descendants can’t afford to be personal nurses = make a lot less money than in professional jobs.
      Iirc, from the US-based sociology I’ve read, it’s only a minority of aged parents who have no support from their children because they mistreated them (including the ‘boot them out at age 18’ variety) and now “neglecting” their elders is justice/self-preservation for the kids. It actually seems to be a bigger problem that people are having their kids older (like 30 years old), and the grandkids are still fairly young/still need a lot of care when the grandparent needs eldercare.
      The reason: the general shift in the West is back towards (inter)dependence. Because there are very few low-skilled jobs = have to educate kids longer for them to be employable. Usually, this means parents at least should provide housing to kids over age 18. In Catholic/Latin Western Europe, supporting kids (with housing and/or food money) is required = adult kids can sue for support. It’s usually not legally required in the English-speaking countries (except in some states, where an agreement on saving college funds for kids is required for middle-class couples during a divorce) but it’s socially required = there are support payments/arrangement with the state for abandoned adult children to go through college; also, other relatives will often rescue ‘booted out’ kids.

      Do you mean guys who can’t cook, clean, wash clothes, etc very well, and/or don’t bother? There is now a unisex term for the opposite of that in the West. Doing all the ‘adult’ things yourself (cooking, cleaning, paying bills, etc) is called ‘adulting’. There are still some classic mama’s boys among Westerners, though.

      That’s clever. Here usually alcohol is available. Either it can be bought from the bar (if the party is catered/at the restaurant), or people bring alcohol to the party.

      Whoa! I hope people ate brunch before they arrived!

      Professional photos are mostly for the couple, most of them are VERY lovey-dovey shots, only a few taken for display in public, so yes, the couple pay, 50/50.
      No, in my area, it is more fashionable to have a ‘wedding anniversary’ party, in multiples of 10 years. 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, etc.

      Well, you see, people often move and study or work elsewhere, marry someone from elsewhere, and not all of the friends and family from both places can attend both ceremonies (work and school timetables don’t match across states/countries). In that case, it is more…inclusive to have special traditions for each occasion, not all crammed into the wedding day only.
      Nope, don’t remember an engagement party/bridal shower. Is that more of a family thing? Kwan mostly followed the US-based best friend/best man and his girlfriend, not the bridal couple.

      I see. I don’t find the catching/tempting and the way they play “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé makes no difference! I would not have patience for games, though. When I was little, adults would create an instant “sweet hunt” game by throwing wrapped sweets all over the reception hall. I always thought the bouquet should be like that = everyone gets a flower.

      I see. How do people say they’re happy with the kiss? Here, it’s clapping.

      Hmm… In Kwan’s book, it was more ‘high society’ than celebrity = coverage more in words than photos, many parts of the event invitation-only. Major characters come from ‘old money’ and had a family culture of modesty/secrecy/privacy.

    132. Not the sole criterion because radio and college competitions also grade musicianship (how well they play instruments) and composition (= quality of the score and lyrics created by the candidate(s)), among other things. More of a *song(s) competition* than a singing competition.
      I don’t know the situation in detail – I can’t watch the singing competitions because I really don’t like that “long notes, high notes” diva singing style. But I hear about them, especially after ‘graduation’ when the competitors do well in the industry, star in musicals, appear on comedy/variety shows I DO watch, etc. For instance, sometimes they appear in Eurovision. I think the first competitor Australia was given permission to send was a singing competition graduate.

    133. Yes. Or, living with the parents when the son gets married. Of course, that can cause some friction, you know based on the in-law jokes. Here, it is either all in the same house or from that description, in a compound. Same land plot but different houses.

      I see. Indeed, if the elder is already at that state, if one cannot have a personal caregiver, it is better to stay at such places. Here, I'm not sure if such places are popular. I think it was viewed as 'giving up on/abandoning the sick' Also, those with 'good facilities' require higher fees. If the family is poor, they might prefer to take care of the elder rather than send them to a government facility. Oh ya, it is usually also preferred to die at home with family rather than at the cold hospital or somewhere else.

      You mean living with their kids who are already 30 years old? What they do is usually, it is something like a package deal. As the grown up kids let their parents stay at their house <- usually retired, the parents would have to take care of the grandkids. Of course, there are those who won't do it.

      But, it will definitely happen if the daughter had unwanted pregnancy and the boyfriend ran away. It usually ends up with the parents supporting the daughter or the daughter working while the parents are babysitting the baby. Ah, thinking about it, it is the common thing to do, right, regardless of culture/country?

      Interesting. Adult kids suing for support. So, after college/get a job, you're on your own is the new trend and not just at age 18.

      That is one side of it. The other side of being mama's boy is every decision one makes even if married, has to pass through the mother, and would always ask advice from the mother. And of course, to the wife's irritation, the mother is always right and followed.

      I see. Bought = guests pay for it or charged to the wedding couple? Here, it can be charged on the wedding couple unless the guest is considerate and offer to pay for it discreetly without the couple knowing about it. Ah, it is drinks like orange juice, shakes, if one doesn't like the usual free iced tea/soda.

      I think not. My mom's group decided that one of them go out and buy some crackers.

      I see. Here, well, another cousin's wedding pretty much showed all of it. It was shot in Paris and it makes me think if this is some fashion magazine shoot. Hehe, it works if the couple are both good looking, right? ^^ There are couple and solo shots. They got it on a slideshow loop as 'entertainment' while waiting for the party to start. =P

      I see. And, there are gems/precious metals associated per 10 year anniversary, right?

      I see. That is done, too but there are those who'll buy plane tickets to bring the guests = family and friends to the venue. Wedding are usually done on Sundays so it's no work.

    134. Yes. A family thing. There is even a ceremony like girl walks backwards then serve tea to the parents. The gifts are all displayed on a huge table as people gawked over what the groom-to-be gave to the bride-to-be. There are also food like eggs for fertility, I guess, raw rice noodles for long life/long lasting relationship, candies for sweetness, etc. Dresses, a couple of cakes and of course, sets of jewelry. A short ceremony of exchanging watch, bracelet, necklaces and of course, rings between future in laws. Envelope of money = dowry though some don't do that since it is like 'selling their daughter'. Then, eat some sweet soup or rice noodles. Afterwards, the engagement reception which is basically just to eat and that’s it.

      Before, this is done at the house but now, some prefer to do it in restaurants or private rooms of restaurants but have to get 'guards' around since there are places wherein the waiters will steal the gifts.

      Bridal shower and bachelor party isn't that popular but of course, there are those who do that these days. Oh yes, usually the engagement has to be a year or more before the wedding because if it is too sudden, that means the bride-to-be is already pregnant so it is rushed. Ah, but then, there are those who skip the engagement = just private party between the couple’s family if one isn’t that rich.

      Hehe..get a flower huh. We can also get that. In every table, there is a small bouquet/flower arrangement. And, perhaps some other flower decorations. After the wedding reception, that flower arrangement will be 'taken' away. All the guests would have some flowers if the vase cannot be taken. Basically, take everything isn't nailed down and you think the couple won't be charged for it if it has gone missing =P Before, they give away souvenirs like little figurines, CD of couple's fave songs and stuff but now, it isn't practical because it is practically 'junk' these days ^^;

      Clapping, and cheers. Louder if it is a long kiss =P

      I see. Hm...old rich/money tend to be like that, right? Whereas the new rich tend to flaunt their wealth. That is how it was described here = how to distinguish them. Of course for the older people especially Chinese, they prefer not to show off because some bad elements would kidnap/extort, etc them.

      Oh, I see. Song competition isn't that popular here. There was a yearly competition on song writing with known singers hired/volunteer their services to perform the song.

      I see. And, that's the one, diva style singing is popular here and mostly are the ones who win or in the finals., I don't hear much about them after 'graduating'. But those in 'Big Brother' house is a different story...a number of them became actors/actresses with some popularity.

      Thinking about it, it seems that the music industry here is dying. Perhaps, due to piracy? So, in any music competitions, it is mostly old songs but then, as I mentioned before that is what most people like, it is something the audience can related with. <- good if the tv watchers get to vote who wins.

    135. I see. Similar.

      I see. Here, in the government facilities, there are no fees if you are very poor, but the richer you are, the more you pay! ( = ‘means/wealth-tested’ funding). You can also get into a better facility with more money = private, or joint venture with private+government-funded customers.

      Ah, not exactly. I mean that maybe the elders had kids around 30. Then the kids had kids at between 30 and 40. Therefore, when the elders are ageing (70+), none of the grandkids are teenagers yet. Maybe some of the grandkids are still very small. …Actually, I had one set of grandparents like that. It wasn’t as common as now to wait, but there were bad economic times when they were young adults, so they only had kids in their 30s. Then so did most of their kids (my aunts and uncles, one of my parents). So there was a 65-70 years age-gap between me and those two grandparents (and I’m not one of the ‘baby’ grandkids, but one of the oldest in my generation/among my cousins). Those two grandparents couldn’t babysit, physically. One was already rather deaf, and the other was an overeater and very unhealthy.

      The common thing to do… It depends on time period, as well as country. Now it’s normal to be supportive, but people used to force their daughters to give up the kid for adoption. I imagine that’s still happening in the source countries for international adoption. It’s not the policy of the agencies, etc, but…

      Well, in many countries, ‘on your own’ = the public has to pay in welfare support payments. (And actually, the public ‘pays’ when kids are abandoned with no support from anyone as well, because they may be forced to turn to crime, and it always delays the time that kids will be earning money and paying taxes.) So, to save money, the government finds creative ways to force people with money/people who receive ‘family’ support from the state to support their kids themselves.

      I see, a ‘mother-in-law knows best’ rule. Shudder ^^;

      It is only charged to the bridal couple if they have arranged that with the caterer/restaurant. The charge/debt is called a ‘bar tab’. If there is no ‘tab’, the guests must pay for their own ‘extra’ drinks.

      I see. Uncomfortable ^^;

      I see. I have seen holiday shots on a loop like that (the holiday when my relative proposed to the partner/now new in-law), but not a professional photo shoot.

      I think so. Except the 10th anniversary, because tin and aluminum are no longer precious metals = chemists learnt how to mass-produce them.

      I see.

      I see. Interesting.

      I see. On the other hand, doesn’t a long engagement increase the risk of the bride getting pregnant before the wedding? ^^; Or is it not so bad if the couple is engaged already, at least?

      Everyone gets flower petals/rice to throw on the couple, but not for guests to keep. …Interesting. I got a souvenir plate at the last wedding I went to. That was a practical gift = similar price than hiring plates for the couple, useful for me.

      Cute ^^

      Yeah. You don’t even have to be *very* rich for generations, just wealthier than others. It’s sometimes smart (=self-protective, avoiding attracting bad elements, as you described), sometimes simply secretive (=hiding patterns of unhealthy behavior, like manipulating people using money as a reward).

      That sounds cool ^^ The finalists of song competitions who get famous are usually good singers, not so much the mostly-instrumentalists, so collaboration with a professional singer would give more people a chance.

    136. It sounds like they are ‘forgettable’, the singing competition candidates ^^; Another part of my problem is that the original singer’s version is unforgettable for me, and I automatically think ‘incorrect’ wherever the cover artist’s version is different! Very simplistic ^^;

      True ^^; I remember a short documentary/news feature following an artist to a school visit. Nearly all the schoolkids knew his songs, but it was a poor school, so nobody had bought his albums! His colleagues said he’d better sell accessories (T-shirts, etc).

      By the way, just to let you know, I was looking forward to it, but unfortunately I had to delay writing due to the headaches and pain I had over last few days. Also, I have some comments/questions to ask on the latest chapter (244) soon, so could we meet again there?

    137. Oh, I see. Here, that can be used as loopholes through connections. I recall that there was this government sanctioned gambling agency wherein the money used there would be used to help the poor if they are sick, hospitalized or need surgery. The head was caught giving such 'funds' to a certain person who was hospitalized in a very expensive posh hospital. He's answer was, the fund is for rich and poor.

      I see. That's a different case. ^^

      Ah, yes. there are those too. Abortion is 'bad/banned' here so most of the time, the women who want one will have to do it underground like drink some medicine or had it scrapped from what they say in the documentaries, or had it 'massage' off.

      I see. Hm...are everyone tracked down = ID to pay taxes. Here, you can get away not paying taxes. It is mostly the small stores that sell some basic necessities, food vendors, etc. But then, the 'payback' from those taxes isn't much either. Actually, people would prefer not to pay taxes because most of it will just end up in the politicians' pockets.

      Actually, even donations if there was a calamity here. For example, they decrease the amount of money given, picked off the nice imported stuff and replace it with local stuff. Some were even hoarding it and forgot all about the expiration date. They were supposedly caught trying to bury the expired food.

      Oh, that. I see. Ah, there are some proposal stuffs but it is rarely done in public places, I think. From the relatives' weddings, it is only that one with a theme of Paris had a 'grand proposal' though private photos. They went steady when they were in Eiffel tower so, he made up an 'amazing race'-type of game for her like go to this shop, get a bag he bought for her, lunch here...that is done with the mother and sister. Then, at Eiffel tower, he popped the question. So, the prenuptials are done there. The reception's theme is also Paris/France. The church is supposedly by a French architect which others find 'strange' because she usually won't choose that place = no aircon.


      Before, premarital sex is frowned on so most likely they abstain or have birth control. Actually, from the engagement to the wedding, they might also be too busy with the wedding preparations =P Some bride cousins did become thinner and looking kind of haggard during the wedding. ^^; If rich, sometimes, reserving hotels need to be very early like a year or more. For the Chinese, they also look at 'lucky dates' to get married. ^^ During those certain times, the famous grand places are always fully booked.

      Yes, that is usually at the wedding = church, usually. It is a bit of superstition that beach weddings are bad luck since the celebrities who got married there, separate years later =P That's nice, a practical gift ^^



      I agree. It sometimes doesn't seem the same for me, too.

      I see ^^ I wonder if he donated some afterwards =P

      Oh. I hope it isn't serious. Take your time and get well soon ^^ See you there ^^ Take care ^^

    138. So this form of corruption = lies about failing the means-testing = misdirecting money where actually 0% entitlement to public funding, because of high personal income?

      Sounds dangerous ^^;

      If people obey the law, tax is ‘pre-paid’ = employees do not receive the ‘tax’ part of their salary - the employer pays that part directly to the tax bureau. Companies also track their VAT debt to the government. But all that can be avoided by dealing in cash ^^;

      I see. I guess food aid is less ‘fungible’ (=flexible enough to enable wastefulness) than financial aid.

      I see. Very Francophile ^^ ... My relatives are sporty and there are plenty of private moments with nobody in sight during hikes through the countryside = proposal opportunity.

      With birth control, though, the failure rate ‘on the box’ is calculated over one year only. So the risk is higher for longer-term couples (cumulative risk). ...Whoa! Too busy to ‘get busy’ =P Sounds quite exhausting ^^;

      Indeed. Ah…It’s not always glamorous in some places = beach weddings for surfer dude types, not celebrities…but no bad vibes. …Yes ^^


      They had illegal copies of his songs already, but I guess he could donate some T-shirts once they were made.

      No, not serious, just uncomfortable. Will do. Thanks ^^

    139. Yup. Actually, I don't know if there's a means-testing. It is usually more on connections and ya, just lie about one's personal income. Connections are very important..or rather, very effective here.

      How's an example, you supported a certain candidate in an election. If that candidate wins, you are most likely 'entitled' to some position even if you're not qualified as payback or some deals will be rewarded to you. It is the negative side of 'gratitude' and became, I scratch your back, you scratch mine.

      It is but there are women would risk it. Perhaps, out of desperation.

      Yup. I see. From what I heard, they usually propose during some dinner. I guess probably the unromantic guy-types, like you want to get married, ya, okay, let's do that. =P

      True. Though, it isn't exactly long term if we only count 1 year from engagement to wedding but the going steady isn't that long. But then, how long is considered 'long term'? My mom would always say that long term is not good for women since they are at a disadvantage especially if it is like perhaps, 5 years already and the guy won't pop the question.

      My cousin living in the US had that problem. They are together for a long time but the guy doesn't seem to want to get married. Time is indeed ticking for my cousin. I guess her parents probably bugged her to death and probably assessing the situation, she finally gave up on him. Then, iirc, went steady with a new guy at a much shorter time and now, she's happily married with two kids.

      Yup, it is. It is like one of those reality shows, even if you plan ahead etc, there are always some last minute problems especially since it is a 'huge production'. ^^;

      I see.

      Lol...illegal copies. Is that good or bad?

      I see. ^^

    140. Cronyism. I see.

      So unnecessary ^^; Not medically complex or risky.

      Dinner, I see. Traditional.

      Iirc, long-term for a relationship is considered to about 1.5-3 years. That’s long enough for the emotional “honeymoon period” to finish. I think 5 years is “long-term” in the business world =P

      Leaving things unsettled/uncertain, I see. We call that “stringing [somebody] along”. I get the impression other couples agree to wait, though. They don’t get married while they’re young adults, to stop their elders from hoping for grandchildren. At least, it seems that way, when I see how many long-term couples get married and then have kids very quickly. Though the more old-fashioned or religiously strict young adults get married early. They still delay having kids, though.

      An extravaganza ^^;, right… I always thought it would be more romantic to elope. Not great with stress. I like to relax =P

      It’s mixed. It’s good the artist is famous; and when the kid fans grow older and have more money, they might be able to pay for some of his products. It’s bad that musicians in general have to rely on earning money from concerts. Bad for their families. Groups like ABBA did a lot of music videos when their kids were small so they didn’t have to go on concert tours. Now…
      There is crowdfunded music though = musicians only make music if enough people pre-purchase it. They keep more money that way than with a record label = small artists and groups can be successful. Also “honesty” legal music purchases = the customer decides the price.

    141. Yup ^^

      I see. But then, at times, the length of time isn't a guarantee, right?

      True. Well, in a scientific view, the eggs deteriorate with age, right? I'm not sure if it is still so with medical advancements, etc and well, something like making it easier for older women to conceive and give birth. Hehe, is it effective? Won't they be bugged instead to get married already? Or, have the grand kid first so that they'll stop bugging them? ^^; Well, that last one is usually the result of an 'accident' ^^;;

      Hehe, is that so. But then, isn't eloping usually due to the other partner not being accepted? Here, I get the impression that if people can, they want the wedding to be extravagant since it is a once in a lifetime thing, brides want to be princess-like, etc.

      The key word there is MIGHT be able to pay. What are the odds for that? I see. In a way, more risky because of the huge production and it might be a flop? Well, huge production if it is the flashy type ones.

      I see. But does 'honesty' legal music purchases effective? It seems more like a donation-type. Speaking of 'honesty', it reminded me of a shop in the province or some places in Japan, wherein you pay the price of the item in a store that has no clerks on it. It is relying on one's honesty. They tried it out in a university here in the capital, and it was a flop.


    142. True, time is not necessarily proof of a ‘tried and tested’ relationship. Those years can be low-stress. And people also don’t ask the “hard questions” in many cultures. Questioning quality of commitment is not considered romantic (“unconditional love”) in Western cultures, not even in the most feminist and realistic ones ie in Scandinavian.

      True…there is IVF, freezing eggs, and donor eggs or sperm, etc. Iirc pregnancy is still medically more risky for older mothers, however.
      It is not completely effective – some elders still hint a little, when the couple is very stable and both partners ‘suitable’. The hints are about grandkids, not marriage. Because decisions about marriage are considered private, pressure from parents would be an invasion. Also, people want to sound open-minded, not disapproving of unmarried couples and/or their kids, so they don’t voice their hopes that descendants will ‘marry and have kids’, they only mention the grandkids they want to have. The ideal, for the elders, is for descendants to marry young, so the elders can be young grandparents; also, grandkids plural is generally their preference. They would not be satisfied with one grandkid, they want a set.

      True, a ‘princess wedding’ is what most people want/their dream. So, to most people, eloping/a Vegas-style wedding would be second best. But to a quiet person it’s the opposite = the quietest ceremony is the fantasy =P
      The partner not being accepted = elopement?… Probably the case in the past, but now, I think people with problem families could simply have a big wedding with friends. Kyoko had all those people to invite to the Grateful Party.

      Depends on the economy = job/salary of the grown-up kids. So, not good odds for past decade or so ^^; …Only popular artists whose concert tickets sell out reserve the big arenas, so that’s not risky. Concert touring is more risky for less popular artists who reserve smaller places/spots. Also less lucrative.

      ‘Honesty’ pricing is successful for some musicians = on average, people choose to pay a similar price to old pricing for CDs in stores. It’s all online/electronic, so I think it would be different to ‘honesty’ pricing of products in physical stores. Iirc, it’s better to have only a little ‘honesty’-priced products in a physical store, more to attract customers, like advertising, than to be sure of earning money.

    143. Ah, but isn't it more on the 'passion' dying down? I recall this writer who muses that during that time, passion/lust is in the works but when it has died down, when you still like the other person warts and all, that is when it becomes love. And, perhaps work together with each other's flaws?

      Hm..what are the 'hard questions'?

      I see. Here, they will indeed tell you to get married. So older singles are very wary of joining reunions. =P Most of the times, the parents will ask around their other relatives/friends to introduce someone for their unmarried kid. Then, after the marriage, it will be, when will you have a kid. In our culture, well, it has toned down now but before, it has to be male. So, there's that pressure. Lol, and yes, after one kid, when's the next one? =P

      I see. I think eloping here still has a bad impression like it is secret so she must be pregnant/parents don't approve. It is like hiding something in contrast to announcing it to everyone. I don't here it often nowadays perhaps, because the young guys will leave the girl if she's pregnant instead of shotgun marriage.

      I see. It does happen but usually, the grandparents soften up if there's a grand kid especially if it's our culture/Chinese dramas.

      I see.

    144. There is that = the “falling in love”/infatuation phase, with high levels of happy hormones (like being on drugs), only lasts a few years, maximum. But I’m more thinking of the “love (infatuation) is blind” problem aka rose-colored glasses = in the short term, people don’t see problems in their partner, or in their relationship. Or more exactly, they ignore problems or consider them minor problems, don’t think about the problems and forget about them. And, at least in Western culture, people who “fall out” of love as fast as they fell in love are suspected of being fickle. When, in facts, connections that don’t survive the reality test SHOULD end. And chemically, it’s inevitable - if the smarter, “second thoughts” center, the frontal lobe of the brain, detects many or key negative elements and decides this love is mission impossible, it sends orders to turn off the happy hormone production suddenly.

      ‘Hard questions’ eg financial plans (finances are a leading cause of disputes and breakups), including contingency plans for worst case scenarios = pre-planning what would happen if the couple divorced and they had kid(s).

      What type of reunions? …I see. A minority of people will ask singles about their love life/dating. Mostly, people just gossip in secret instead. It’s not that normal/socially acceptable to ask those nosy questions, though – a person who does it is called a “nosy parker”. And the people who indulge in asking nosy questions are usually people the target has little contact with, eg a visiting relative or family friend who lives far away = someone who can easily escape after offending the target, before the target can get revenge ^^;
      Speaking of that, I’ve read a few reports in newsfeed lately that the nosy parkers are now targeting gay people for gossip = now that they’re comfortable with homosexuality, rather than a “don’t ask, don’t tell” social rule, they ask lesbian couples when they will have kids, and who will carry the baby ^^;

      I see. Like what Saena was worried about, when Kyoko disappeared.

      I think that’s cross-cultural. I remember it was said in “Live and Become” to a Jewish character who married a man from Ethiopia, that her racist dad who had disowned her would reconsider once grandkids came. A reconciliation when the grandkid is born seems to be more common in fiction than in reality. From what I have read, if people are extreme enough to reject their child because of a partner they don’t like, or an unplanned pregnancy, they often have such a bad attitude that they don’t ask forgiveness or improve their behavior, but expect to see the grandkid(s) anyway. That is, rather than softening up, often parents start stalking the adult kid when the grandkid is born.

    145. I see. Ah, one of the many reasons for divorce in a short period of time? I'm not sure if it applies to ordinary people but I usually hear about it from celebrities.

      Oh. Well, indeed usually, couples don't talk about that. Ah, in a way, isn't it a bit 'negative thinking'? ^^;

      Family reunions during holidays/occasions.

      Haha, amusing. Usually, it is the older people asking about it to the younger ones especially if going past 30-40.

      I see. That is pretty 'nosy'. Ah, out of curiosity or for gossip purposes?


      Ah, thinking about it, sometimes the softening up happens if the son/daughter passed away and the grandparent kind of want to make it up to him/her through the grandchild. Of course, there is the potential 'heir' if the son/daughter is the only child and they are rich.

      Well, things might still change if the partner didn't turn out as bad as they first thought? Or, parent really love the son/daughter and couldn't bear him/her suffering due to unplanned pregnancy? Or, 'being extreme to sever ties/disown' had mellowed down?

    146. Possibly that’s why, yes. Ordinary people might not be married yet – I think there’s more pressure on celebrities to get married? Also, ordinary people sometimes don’t have the money to split up quickly. I remember seeing stories, particularly after the financial crisis started, about separated couples living in the same house for months or over a year because they couldn’t afford to move yet.

      I guess so, but the divorce rate is about 40% in most countries. Isn’t it ‘all or nothing’ thinking, like a gambling addict, NOT to plan ahead for that? And discussing deal-breaker issues would actually prevent divorce, because only people who agreed on important points would get married, rather than each person assuming the other sees things the same way, and being disappointed later.

      I see.
      Awkward ^^; The questions about dating start early, like late teens.
      Both curiosity (want to know) and gossip (want to tell others).

      Well, that’s a sad situation, but it’s more realistic. Similar to a stepmother being able to win over a stepkid with a dead mom – there’s no “competition”.

      A happy ending seems more likely with milder disapproving reactions. Saying “I won’t give you my daughter!” to the partner. Running away/taking a break for a little while, once the adult child announces the engagement or the pregnancy. Or saying “I think this is a bad idea, but I’ll help you.”
      But rejecting a child in their time of need… Well, the kid doesn’t need any help if the partner IS Mr/Ms Right, as they believe, but if the disapproving parent is right, the smart strategy is to stand by the kid and be available to help them “escape” Mr/Ms Wrong when the epiphany comes. If the parents reject the kid, the kid won’t call them for help unless the situation is desperate. If the parents were overly pessimistic and it turns out that the kid is in a good situation, still, the parents have missed their chance to stay high in the kid’s priorities. Also, if the parents were problematic all along = emotionally abusive and/or in other ways – which is quite common in real life, as opposed to the isolated incidents/ explosions only under very high pressure/stress in drama – then the rejection could well be the last straw. The kid won’t want them back in his/her life, won’t think they’d be any good as grandparents.
      ...Iirc, the big sister villain in Seigi no Mikata does that to her in-laws = excludes them, more or less – and overloads her mom and sister with babysitting duty instead.

    147. Were they? For Chinese stars, it is the opposite especially with men. I think the handsome ones take a very long time to get married that at times, I wonder before if they're gay or something. Perhaps, it is like the Japanese idols, the illusion of 'I might be the potential partner' is ruined if the stars have a lover/spouse.

      That's interesting. Here, usually, if separated, one spouse will move out as soon as possible. If one cannot live independently like you've mentioned, the spouse usually the woman would go back to her family.

      Yup, especially with just 'passion' for the basis. I think that's one of the reasons for 'living together' to see if things work out with each other. Regarding finances like what you mentioned in the early post, I'm not sure if it is common there but here, if the rich soon-to-be spouse wants to play safe, they'll ask the partner to sign a prenuptial agreement wherein whatever riches the rich person had won't be 'divided' if separated.

      Basically, in living in, one's true colors tend to show after a few weeks or months living together. I recall one food blogger talking about thinking that future hubby is a good cook since he can make the most awesome custard. After marriage, it turns out that is the only thing he can make and he is pretty much a lazy bum, I assume for she ended up the one doing cooking.

      Or, a cousin complaining about the husband not putting down the toilet seat after using it. Or in a one-shot manga, the wife complaining about the husband not putting the socks in the proper place. So, can minor things like that build up the stress and irritation for a separation?


      Ya. Though in some cases, in stories, that is...they say that it is hard to compete with the dead if the other party thinks that person is 'perfect'.

      Do you think milder disapproving reactions would depend on what type of personality the parent have? If the parent is more open-minded/nice, then, it's possible. But, if it is the hot-tempered and close-minded, sever ties is usually the first reaction. Especially for the types who tend to harbor a long 'grudge'.

      If you remember the politician-actress wedding pics I showed you, the parents of the actress actually disapprove of the politician. It was a big issue when they didn't attend the wedding. I also found it strange when it was mentioned in a newspapers that she was living in another apartment while their dream house is being constructed while he lives with his ex and kids. ^^;; The reason was supposedly, they don't think the guy really loves her. Last I heard, the parents are okay with him now. But I'm not sure if that is for appearances because it is during election.

      True, true. So there are a lot of possible situations. It seems to be a case to case basis ^^ Usually, a 'normal' parent cannot bear their child suffering and will help during their time of need.

      Ah, that's typical of what she'll do. ^^

  3. I have been following Skip Beat for so long now, some time it is easy to loose track, to catch and understand what is going on :-) But your page is a very nice place for all the catching up and discussions. Thanks a lot Kat, for that, and for the chapter summary.

    /Quynh (I am glad to be one of the first to comment too).

    1. Glad to hear that, Quynh ^^

      Thanks for reading ^-^

  4. Thanks as always Kat!

    I was actually wondering about something.. Yashiro talked with Sawara about having a surprise for Ren right? I might be getting my hopes up but what if it's the male lead role of Kyoko's drama?
    That would be awesome!

    And Yashiro as a cupid is nothing new, though he often teases Ren about it!

    1. You're welcome, Riri ^-^

      I actually thought that it is about he got his driver's license. But then, that is possible. It would indeed by awesome ^^

      True, but if he knows Kyouko's feeling for Ren. That would make things more fun ^^

  5. The one thing I'm wondering about with Yashiro being Kyoko's manager... Will he find out about her job as the chicken? :P

    1. Oh...that's possible. ^^ Didn't thought of that.

  6. Thank you Kat! It was already scanned and translated on mangafox but I find your summary/translation smoother and easier to digest. :)

    1. You're welcome and thanks for reading, imortal173 ^-^

  7. Thank you Kat for the wonderful summary. Can't wait what kind of news will surprise Ren. I hope it's about Kyouko! No matter what your summary will make us understand more about the story!
    Thank you so much Kat.

    1. Thanks for reading, hazellhassan ^-^

      Hopefully though I have low expectations since I only thought that it is about getting his driver's license. ^^;

      Glad to hear that and you're welcome ^^

  8. Thanks so much for the summary kat. I was looking forward for your comment after the summary because there are things that i didnt notice and i'll only think about it after reading thru your comment. For example i didnt notice that kyoko is typing using 2 finger only. If you think about it she's not used to cellphone of course she wont be also used to computer base on how she lived before. Plus I never thought kimiko didnt update her blog at all. Hahaha! I thought she is bragging at that time. I know that this is totally unrelated but maybe she will be love me member #4.

    I hope there will be a great progress by having yashiro as her temp manager. Progress in kyoko and ren romance will be thin but will never know since yashiro is a very capable manager hahahaha!

    Anyway, I really like yashiro character specially whenever he act a young girl squealling and all. Though i dont get tired to his serious look (which is soooo sexy!!!)

    1. Thanks for reading, paula ^-^

      True. Thinking about it, I was thinking if she doesn't know how to use a typewriter but then, common people probably has no need for it and would prefer handwritten reports like for school.

      In a way, Kyouko is very 'old fashioned' so it shouldn't be a surprise ^^


      Indeed, we can only hope so ^^

      Hehe, yup, diversity is good rather than being just a one-dimensional character ^^

  9. Yay! Thanks for the summary, Kat!! It cleared up a lot of dialogue that I found confusing in the English scanlation.

    Your idea that the drivers license is the surprise for Ren makes sense. When talking to Sawara, Yashiro mentions that he was able to get the work done before Ren returns... so it would make sense the work he's talking about was the training course he mentions to Kyouko later.

    I initially thought they might be talking about a role in the Lotus in the Mud, but when I think about it, it would be weird for them to say getting a role would be a "pleasant surprise" for an actor of Ren's status or caliber. Well, I'd still be happy if that turns out to be the case, though.

    I'm very excited at the possibility of Yashiro as Kyouko's manager! This is shaping up to be an interesting arc! Thanks again for doing the summary and adding your comments... always gives me lots of food for thought!! :)

    1. Thanks for reading, squeaker ^-^

      True, that's the first thing that came to mind.

      Perhaps, it can still be a surprise since Ren thought he won't get that role anymore. Then, perhaps, that is another reason why Yashiro decided to help Kyouko out so that she can really get that role. ^^

      Yup ^^

      Thanks for reading again ^-^

  10. Thanks for the summary as always!!<3 I've been following Skip Beat since it first came out and it pains me how slow the pacing is.. But your commentary and reading the comments are always entertaining! Can't wait for the next chapter!

    1. Thanks for reading and comment, Young Byeon ^-^

  11. Thanks so much for the summary kat.

  12. thanks kat, i feel great after reading ur summary , it was kind of my routine to read the chapter after ur summary, thanks a lot.

    1. You're welcome ^-^

      Thanks for the support ^^


  13. i used to feel frustrated that Kyouko always seems to misunderstand about what people are really feeling but now in these chapters with no interaction between her and Ren, I feel like it actually makes some kind of sense. It's a common trope of an innocent interaction with a guy(he's just being nice or has a good personality or whatever) causing the female character to think he likes her...when he would treat anyone like that. Ren has done such a good job of being widely known as a nice guy that Kyouko was actually being smart in not being sucked in by that. The real key is that she doesn't seem to realize that she is one of the few who has been allowed to see is dark and/or real sides. But again, it still seems reasonable since he hasn't said/done anything straight out if I'm remembering correctly.

    I like how she consciously tries to make sure her life isn't all about Ren. She does have acting talent so it will be interesting to see if she's allowed to finally demonstrate a wider type of role.

    1. True, scistarz. Of course, she wouldn't be like that if not because of what Shou did. After being fooled once, she doesn't want to go through that again.

      Ya, Ren tends to 'go around', too. I guess he couldn't because she might become wary of him due to her trauma yet if when he is hinting something/slip of the tongue, these days, Kyouko is acting deadpan about it. ^^; In a way, it's kind of complicated.

      Yup. Of course, if one is reading the series just for the romance, it would require more patience than usual.

  14. Oh yeah! I forgot! Thanks to submit the resume ! I LOVE YOU! I love to have this discussion with people that loves Skip beat as well! Bye! Love you AGAIN!

    1. Thanks for reading, Sindicato ^-^



  15. Kat , as usual thank you for your amazing job .
    Kyouko is so cute isn't she? She always becomes super happy with people's nice gestures , and her taste in things is so cute too ><
    I want to see what Ren is preparing for her and why he decided to delay it so much, and I really miss him
    I am also looking forward to how she will momiji and how she will as usual amaze everyone ^^

    Yashiro being a temp manager is really cool , and i feel , from the way he looked at kimiko on the computer screen , that he is wary of her for some reason and that he didn't tell everything he knows about her to kyouko , or that's what i feel , i also think part of the reason for being her manager is to protect her from that girl ? And to give her advices on her future career too
    Yeah that def reminds me of Ren with the bully situation and showbiz connections

    1. Thanks for reading, Balkis ^-^

      Yup ^^

      Indeed ^^ If he has something for her, what could it be? ^^

      Ya, her transformations are one of the exciting things to look forward to in this series ^^

      I thought so, too. Even if I'm not sure if he deliberately withheld information or perhaps, it is a gut feel as a manager that something is off.

      You, too ^^


  16. I'm so sad Ren didn't give her a return gift.... Do you suppose he doesn't intend to??

    1. Oh and thank you for your summary as always!!

    2. Not sure...though I think he'll 'give' it in some other way, perhaps? Not in an obvious way?

      Thanks for reading ^-^

  17. Thank you for your summary. I've only recently found your blog and enjoy your write ups. I am really happy that there is finally some acting again and a new role for Kyouko to work out. This is always the part I enjoy the most. I am not bothered by the little progress the relationship is making, I found the whole Guam Arc very contrived and, to be honest, can't stand Kuon. This love triangle Kuon-Kyouko-Ren is just weird. How can one be jealous of oneself?!
    I thought from a different spoiler or translation that Yashiro's offer of super manager was for 2 weeks. How quickly can one get a driver's license in Japan otherwise? I'd actually prefer a different permanent manager, just to spice things up a little. Maybe a cool woman to get Kyouko a more youthful image.

    1. Thanks for reading ^-^

      Hehe, is that so ^^ Well, it's kind of complicated. Perhaps, something of a split personality type especially since 'Ren' isn't the real Kuon.

      I think it depends on the one taking the exam. According to this gaijinpot blog:

      'Now, the practical test is neither intuitive nor easy, as blogger Kyle Von Lanken pointed out here. Out of the 20 or so that took the test that day, only 3 of us got our licenses. I attribute my success to extensively researching how to take the test. It really comes down to how well you take the test, not how well you can drive.'

      Be aware that potentially any problem could be grounds for failure, even if it may not be. I have heard stories of people being failed for seemingly small transgressions, like not checking for imaginary pedestrians or cats under the car prior to getting in the car or if you go the exact speed limit, they can get you for going over by a hair.

      I have also heard of people passing the test in spite of hitting curbs. While I can’t verify any of this, the internet is full of surprising failure and success stories that you can learn from. I erred on the side of caution and passed on the first try. It’s not impossible.'

      For now, I think it would depend. If the series is going to wrap up soon, I don't think a new permanent character is going to be introduced. If there would be a lot more acting arcs in Japan, then, it's possible that she'll have a permanent manager.

  18. Superb blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring
    writers? I'm planning to start my own site soon but I'm a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices
    out there that I'm completely confused .. Any tips? Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Anonymous ^^

      It depends. If it's your own site, you'll have more control. I opted for free since this is a hobby. And, I don't plan to spend money on it. ^^;

      If it has original content, perhaps, you can have ads on it to earn on the side as well as pay for the site if it is a paid site.

      Good luck on your future endeavor ^^