Squadcast 41: The Japan Podcast

Yes, theoretically every week could be "The Japan Podcast," but this week we talk to new writer Boddington about his time in Japan. And Japanese beer. And Japanese snacks. Whee!

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Matteon Feb. 12, 2010 at 4:43 p.m.
Sweet it's VICE CAST with Shrimp flavored chips.  I like Asahi beer, just so you know...em, for my birthday and such.

I believe that brand of chips is Korean, btw.

giaon Feb. 12, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.
@Matte: Delicious, delicious shrimp chips. @_@
FLStyleon Feb. 12, 2010 at 4:56 p.m.
Podcast a go go! CV and AV on the same day, a weird feeling. When was this recorded in the end?
giaon Feb. 12, 2010 at 5:12 p.m.
@FLStyle: We started recording it about two hours before it went up, and it's just under an hour long, soooo...;)
Wraithon Feb. 12, 2010 at 5:16 p.m.
mmmmmm shrimp chips are delicious
FLStyleon Feb. 12, 2010 at 5:50 p.m.
@gia: Well thank you little Miss Unspecific :P
giaon Feb. 12, 2010 at 8:09 p.m.
@FLStyle: What! I told you exactly when! If you weren't paying attention to what time it went up (and haven't checked the AnimeVice Twitter to find out) that's not my fault ;)
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 12, 2010 at 8:10 p.m.
Ohhh, Boddington. I had such respect until I heard you worked for the manga evil that is VIZ. Not too bad since it's past tense.
I've never really understood the concept of acquired tastes when it comes to things that aren't good for you. Why adjust to the taste of something that is bad for your health.
If you like shrimp Gia. I think you would like the Shrimp and Corn Chowder I make. It's so good, and perfect for cold weather.
Well, in boxing and football. A lot of trainers are former players. A boxing coach is trying to teach you techniques. How often do you see skinny football coaches? Look at retired basketball players. They get pretty big.
I'm now going to have to write what I refer to as the Anime Exercise Program in my blog. It's something I discovered in some experiments I've tried.
Oh, I adored Grace Park in Battlestar Galactica. So sexy. I was disappointed in the later seasons the show used her so little. Watching the two Boomers in the first season was so riveting. More so the one that was on Caprica with Helo.
So, Battlestar Galactica Clue game? I do REALLY enjoy murder mysteries series.
Patrick Stewart is my favorite Star Trek captain.
I support the idea about Spike and Julia in that list. You slowly learned more and more about why Julia was so important to Spike.
Boddingtonon Feb. 12, 2010 at 9:44 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: If I'm given the unenviable label of "VIZ apologist" then so be it, but I feel a need to say my peace as a former insider there. I know there's a lot of ill sentiment towards VIZ--the net is a minefield of negative scuttlebutt about them--but the honest truth is that, if anything, they are a victim of their own success as a result of anime's popularity in America and as one of the first players on the scene when the medium was first being established here. I was something like employee 45 or 46 in 2000 and it was very family-like back then, but when the hot properties like Pokemon, Gundam Wing, Inu Yasha, etc. started to land and rake in the cash then the parent companies, Shogakukan and Shueisha, strong-armed management to do it their way. Those two publishing giants are the gatekeepers of the Japanese manga world, essentially. I've always believed that if fans want to be mad at somebody then it should be them. 
When I left in 2005 there were around 200 employees and the office dynamic was drastically altered. By then anime and manga were big business in America and the Japanese license holders knew it. My question to VIZ haters out there is this: why blame the errand boy when the well itself is poisoned?
Hamblastoon Feb. 12, 2010 at 10:07 p.m.
The MSG makes it delicious.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 12, 2010 at 10:38 p.m.
My deep enmity toward VIZ is based upon their actions of just utterly butchering my all time favorite manga series Detective Conan. Not the retitling of the series to Case Closed. While irritating it doesn't really effect the story in any real manner.
If  a publisher changes things that effects the story, then it's too far. 

They altered the entire reoccurring cast by stripping away their Japanese names and giving them European style names and removing as much Japanese culture as possible. Which is ironic when they don't make these changes to series like Naruto and Bleach. They keep all the Japanese names.

Japanese culture plays such a big role in many of the cases from the series and the names of people are really important quite often. I know for a fact that in Volume 53 there will be a case that uses the characters Japanese names. A Japanese word game (shiritori) is used as part of the solution and will be impossible to make any translation work given the names the characters currently have.
Until VIZ puts things right with this series and gives the cast back their proper names. I have an open boycott against all things VIZ and I encourage all I can to buy nothing they publish. 
I had been collecting Bleach, Naruto, Evangelion, Fullmetal Alchemist, and One Piece. I haven't bought any of them in years since I started my boycott. I see no reason to give them any money and support what they are doing to a great series when there are fine publishers like Del Rey and Yen Press. Del Rey does some of the best work I have seen so far. They stay very close to the Japanese source. They even keep the honorifics and any certain jokes that don't translate well they explain in the Notes at the back.

Thankfully, I know a couple of websites that fan sub the series properly. It's pretty sad when fans who do it for fun do a far better job at translating then a company that pays people to do it. I even consulted with one group to examine for minor mistakes in some grammar usage for the series.
I would love to support  this series, but not this flawed product. I see no reason to waste my money on it in nothing more then the hope they may one day change things back. Much in the same way VIZ republished Dragon Ball without their edits to the art.
It was my love for the Detective Conan series that encouraged me to start learning to read, speak, and write Japanese.
highhorseon Feb. 13, 2010 at 12:53 a.m.
Cheap beer pick from Minnesota, Beer30.
Mikenon Feb. 13, 2010 at 7:35 a.m.
Mmmm...I grew up on those shrimp flavored chips~
As for the touchy topic of VIZ...Well, I haven't really got much of an opinion for or against them. I understand that there is a certain boundary between editing the translation for ease of understanding for the readers and utterly bowdlerizing the series. While I cannot say much for Detective Conan/Case Closed since I haven't followed it at all, I can see that Viz is trying to pander to a wider audience by making the topics more accessible to the reader. While this may have a bad effect on the final product, I can see why they chose to go that way. As a scanlator myself, I always have the trouble of deciding whether or not the translation should be taken in a strict sense or broadened in order to make sense to English readers. Then there are terms that I struggle to decide if they should be given an English equivalent instead of a translation -- and depending on any original sources, even names can be a problem. While I know my changes probably aren't as bad as the changes VIZ did to Detective Conan, I can sort of understand where they're going. I personally can't boycott them, though, especially now that they're bringing over Tegami Bachi~<3
My current favored publisher is Yen Press...though that's mostly because they're bringing over a number of series I've been looking forward to. XD;;
Nikoon Feb. 13, 2010 at 12:37 p.m.
Just got to say I approve of Cutey Honey at the end. You know, since my approval is important and what not.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 13, 2010 at 11:32 p.m.
The changes they make to Detective Conan effects the story and makes things so they no longer have even the same meaning any more. They don't make these same level of changes to any of the other series they publish. They don't  change Naruto and Bleach like that.
There is a twisted irony that Detective Conan is probably one of your more reality based manga series that contains a lot of Japanese culture, and yet it's this series they alter so dramatically. This series doesn't have super powered characters or over the top beautiful women with wild hair colors. 
If anything, Detective Conan is a good series to help educate readers about Japanese culture. Not in the over the top cliche ways most other series do. VIZ took a smart series and dumbed it down.

They aren't going to make these changes by asking them. If you want to effect a company. The best way is to boycott and get as many as possibly to join. There is no reason to give them a single dime if what they are producing is an inferior product. Even some of the alterations made to One Piece are idiotic, such as refusing to have the people calling Eneru "God Eneru". Even in the Japanese versions they were saying literally "Goddo Eneru". They call the military force in the One Piece world Navy, but all their uniforms say "MARINE".

There are a few series that I would like to buy that they publish and didn't butcher to high heaven. Detective Conan is the series I want the most. I see no reason to encourage them by paying for anything they make if the series I want they ruin. 
I'm completely willing to sacrifice buying series I would really like to collect for the cause of my favorite series.
It's not as if there aren't publishers out there that don't do it right. That's why I buy Del Rey.
Konandaon Feb. 15, 2010 at 9:41 a.m.

Japanese beer never tastes good although it's better than American beer. Before someone asks the number of times I've had Japanese or American beer is less than five for each. So maybe it was just a poor brand or something. Most of the time I drink domestic (Canadian) beer and on a few occasions a U.K. or German beer. The best beer that I've ever had though would be Batch Number 8 of my friend's home brewed beer. Now that was some excellent beer. 
I really want to see Summer Wars hopefully it will be liscensed soon. 

In the New Scientist article Boddington was talking about the current experiment at the German-British GEO600. A machine designed to measure gravitational waves by detecting the slight fluctuation in distance between two points as a ripple in space-time passes through the space being measured. Now the experiment, while not detecting any gravitational waves they have been finding a lot of noise, that they did not expect to find and have a tough time explaining why it is there. However one particle physicist at Fermilab named Craig Hogan had actually predicted this as being the observation of the natural limit of space-time. He believes they have found were space-time stops behaving continuously as described by Einstein and instead behaves in a discrete fashion.

This assertion is the basis behind the idea that they may have inadvertently found evidence that the universe is actually just a giant hologram. Now the idea of the holographic universe is not a new one. In fact the book The Holographic Universe (released in 1991) goes into detail about the logic behind this theory. Basically the conclusion of the holographic universe (taken from the holographic principle) is the result of two things being, the black hole information paradox and that Planck units (time, length, mass, charge and temperature particularly Planck length though) are the fundamental limits of the universe.

Most of this insight comes from the black hole information paradox which basically outlines that the 3-D information of the star that came before is encoded in the 2-D event horizon of a black hole. Meaning that the 3-D image of the star could be extracted from the event horizon of the black hole. This inspired the idea that the information describing a 3-D space could be encoded on the boundary (2-D) of that region of space. Applying this theory to the universe means that the universe can be seen as a 2-D structure of information that is located on the cosmological horizon (the boundary of the universe) and that this information is projected onto a 3-D space that we know and love.

Now that takes care of the first part, onto the importance of the second result in this conclusion. So given that the most basic unit of information is a bit, which for those that may not be aware is a unit of information that can be one of two states. (ie. true/false, +/-, 1/0, etc.) Now given that a Planck length is the smallest distance possible (in the order of 10^-35 metres) as described by the fundamental constants of the universe, if the 2-D structure of information located on the cosmological horizon was designed in that each Planck length of it's surface had one bit of information. This would mean that given the holographic principle the amount of information in the holographic projection contained in the 3-D space at most equals the amount of information contained in the 2-D structure. However those who remember their early high school math courses* they know that the volume of a sphere is larger than the area of the surface. (ie. area of the cosmological horizon containing this 3-D universe) So this means that in order for the holographic projection to contain the same amount of information, the fundamental limit to the size of what these bits of information are located on must be larger than a Planck length. Another way of saying this is that the resolution of this holographic projection is smaller than the resolution of the information from the source. (To put it more simply the information of the source is HD but the holographic projection is in SD and lacks the same clarity and therefore is less detailed) Computing the new fundamental length given this model gives one that is substantially larger. (in the order of 10^-16 metres which given current technology could be measured compared to 10^-35)

Putting it all together means that the noise could be the quantum fluctuations of space-time and the reason they do not share the same fundamental limit described by Max Planck's Planck units is because it is all just a 3-D projection and everything we observe is actually just a bunch of energy fields** described by information on the boundary of this 3-D space.

This said much much more data would need to be gathered, research done and further development of this theory given the new data before making any kind of actual statement with a significant degree of certainty. As is said towards the end of the article they are working to try to locate possible sources of the noise and eliminate them and several upgrades are planned to do this along with improving the sensitivity of the machine.

It's an interesting theory though.

*For those who don't the area of a sphere = 4*pi*(r^2) and the volume of the sphere = (4/3)*pi*(r^3)        r is the radius of the sphere. As you can see as the radius increases the volume increases faster than the area by a factor of the radius.

**This is part of the reason why the author of the book I mentioned earlier also draws from the work of a neurophysiologist instead of just physicists. Basically the reasoning of this is that any information we observe via our senses is processed in our brain as an electric signal were it is interpreted as an image, sound, tactile response and so forth. So the idea is that actually everything we believe we observe is just an electromagnetic field that the brain then interprets as sensory data giving the illusion of a real response when it is all just virtual.

*** Disclaimer: I’m not a theoretical physicist of any kind.


Konandaon Feb. 23, 2010 at 7:09 p.m.
@gia said:

" @Matte: Delicious, delicious shrimp chips. @_@ "

I just got back from Fortinos (grocery store chain) for some late night study snack food and they totally had some curry flavoured shrimp chips (wasabi flavoured was there as well) on sale. (origin is Brilliant Foods from British Columbia that produces East Asian food) It reminded me of how great shrimp chips were the last time I had them a couple years ago and how you three were extolling how awesome shrimp chips are.

Looks like this
Looks like this
Edit: Oh and they are delicious.
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