Precious little victories

The current anime season is hopelessly mediocre. Outside hataraku saibou, nothing really strikes my fancy at first glance. I randomly picked up mushoku tensei, yet another anime about dying and reincarnating in a fantasy world, and watched the first episode.

The anime itself has some production value poured at least in the first episode. As of the time of writing, I am keeping up with it only to see if it will address a certain point. Whether or not it does will determine the quality of the overall work.

While looking in the usual torrent sites for episodes, I noticed there was already a second episode to watch that had yet to be subtitled. A rip from nicovideo with some watermarks on the screen. Seeing as I'm not totally invested in this anime and had time to kill, I downloaded it. It's a relatively fine opportunity to train my listening comprehension, which is something I don't often do. The torrent finished downloading, I opened VLC and watched.

25 minutes later, I realized I had understood everything that was said. If I felt ecstatic, it lasted less than a second, because I grew unsure rather quickly. A torrent of questions: can I replicate it with other anime?; Was this a fluke?; Should I keep this going?; What if I miss something important and have to watch again with subs?; Am I just lazy or can I really not afford to waste that much time?

I love these games.

Memories of learning and achieving english fluency. I played ocarina of time almost completely oblivious to the story, able to understand only part of the text and managing to make sense of the rest intuitively. Same with Mario 64 and a couple of Saturn games like command and conquer and krazy ivan. I poured countless hours into these games until I had memorized the most memorable dialogues, subconsciously piecing together every word, its apparent root, context and eventually reaching its meaning. By the time Majora's mask came out, I could understand all the dialogue and play fully aware of the story. Quite an achievement to accomplish at such a young age. Too bad understanding what was going on scared me senseless.

Is this a repressed memory? Hover over image for details.

An internal diaglogue

Why not replicate this with japanese games?
The alphabet.

All it takes is one unknown kanji and the flow is broken. Without immersion there's no attainment. I have tried to play VNs before, but having to stop to check a new word every 15 minutes was frustrating and only served to remind me how incomplete my knowledge was.

Why not skip it?
Don't know the character? Invent an on'yomi/jukugo that best fits and move on.
Won't I miss important information?

I have the deductive skills of a meitantei in my sleep, for goodness' sake!

A while ago, I remember running into a streaming site that had the option of using japanese subtitles. That's what I used to finally watch the first season of K-ON. I understood all of it and the only issue I had was not understanding what word was being said one time or another, which was instantly solved by the subtitles.


This season is so unappealing, I should watch all the anime I wouldn't normally care about without subtitles.
There's no legitimacy issues to be had. It won't matter if I miss details because I won't be invested enough in defending their merits or revealing their flaws. The investment is in honing my listening comprehension skills. It'll be just like watching lethal weapon and beverly hills cop a zillion times again!
I cleared the manga hurdle a long time ago. It's time I challenge myself. I need to wrap up japanese learning in the next two or three years and if I don't get out of this comfort zone, I'll never get there.


I've been saving the gochiusa dear my sister OVA RAW for over a year. I'll start there.

UPDATE (27/02/2021)

Watched the dear my sister OVA and understood everything except the word used to mean bribery because I'm a maji tenshi.

Expect a full review soon.

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