Boogiepop, a Motivation to Learn Japanese

What is your motivation to learn a new language? Music? Literature? Movies? Or perhaps an additional skill for your resume? I guess we all have different reasons for learning a new language; all of them valid and all of them can help you understand a little bit more about a culture. I’ve mentioned before that I learned English for the music and literature.

English is the easiest language to learn, and it also gives you access to a lot of information and entertainment. It’s the language the majority knows and must learn as a second language (unless it’s your native tongue) to get a better chance to find a job these days.

Boogiepop light novels, Volumes 1, 2, and 3

I was not expecting to be learning Japanese anytime soon. Some of you already know I like anime, but not at the point where I would be going crazy with a Pikachu costume. The subtitles are comfortable to me; someone has to be really dumb to believe another language is destroying, let’s say, America. Wink

Remember this tweet about the movie called Parasite and the Oscars?

A man named Bong Joon Ho wins #Oscar for best original screenplay over Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917.

Acceptance speech was: “GREAT HONOR. THANK YOU.”

Then he proceeds to give the rest of his speech in Korean.

These people are the destruction of America.

— Jon Miller (@MillerStream) February 10, 2020

Yeah, I apologize; I just needed an excuse to point out stupidity, even though it is not even the point of my entry. Hey, these are the advantages of a freelancer like me, and then I wonder why I don’t have many followers. It is what it is, I guess. Ah, yes, and the tweet is not available anymore, I wonder why? Ah, yes, I am being sarcastic. I bet you remember it, and I don’t really want to forget we have this kind of people with influence.

I am going back to the subject, alright? I was saying I like watching my shows with subtitles, these are just at the bottom of the screen, and I can read lines instantly in English and Spanish. I felt okay with that. Besides, I’ve never been a hardcore fan of a show to wait for something more if not available. If the anime or movie is not on a LEGAL streaming platform like Crunchyroll or Funimation, I don’t watch it, as simple as that. Then I watched an anime called Boogiepop and Others, its first episode was so confusing, but it grabbed my attention until I fell in love with it. It was the first time that I felt the necessity to get the original source. I thought it would be a manga, but I ended up discovering something called a light novel.

I do have a post about light novels, so please check it out if you have not already.

Boogiepop is also known as the granfather of light novels. This means it is one of the series, if not the first, that introduced what we know as a light novel today; it amazes me that Boogiepop never received enough attention. The 2019 anime adaptation was not popular either. I understand, however, its lack of success; the story can be confusing. The novel/anime constantly jumps from one character to another and from one time to another. It is not a linear story, and you need to put the pieces together. The anime adaptation does not even tell you where it is, and you get prequel episodes without notice. The light novel at least gives you a clear hint that you’re reading from another character’s perspective.

It is a shame that these novels are not going to be popular in our continent ever. It’ll need more than another anime season or reboot to get the attention it deserves. I am not even crossing my fingers because I know that train has been long gone. There are comments that even Boogiepop’s fanbase is moving onto different fandoms as we speak, but these are only speculations. If this is the case, though, I would not be surprised either. The industry in constantly moving on, never waiting for us to catch up with it. A company is always about business and money before pleasing ALL customers. They try to please a majority. And because I love something with all my heart and soul, I know that I don’t represent the majority.

After everything I said and the title of this post, I think you already know what’s the remaining option if I want to read Boogiepop.

Learning Japanese From Scratch

Learning another language to watch your favorite TV shows is as valid as learning it for your resume. In the end, even if it was entertainment the reason you’ve learned a language, the skill is going to be there, and it can be used in your professional life. Just please, do not tell the interviewer you learned a language to watch [insert any show from any country] without subtitles.

There is a huge difference between a language that uses the same writing as your own and a language that uses different writing. My mother tongue is Spanish, and my secondary is English. Even though these languages are different, both use Roman/Latin alphabet; there are tiny differences between pronunciation in both languages, but in general, you just need to adjust to the other to learn, right? Imagine growing up with only one alphabet and then trying to jump to a language with different letters, like Russian, Japanese, Chinese, you name it. It is a world (or a continent) of difference.

With the internet, anime, cosplay, and otakus in general, Japanese exposition has grown in our continent, giving a lot of relevance to the culture, which has been an important milestone for diversity. We have many things to choose from, and from different countries; we are not forced to watch or listen to local or American media anymore. We have access to bits of many countries from the commodity of our homes. Unfortunately, there are so many other things out there that never get an official translation or release near us. No, I DO NOT support piracy!

Boogiepop Missing: Peppermint Wizard

Boogiepop Missing: Peppermint Wizard is the 7th volume of the series, but it is also from here that the light novels haven’t gotten an official translation. The last book we got officially translated was Boogiepop at Dawn, a prequel to the series. I want to believe that at least it was a good place to stop, except that I fell in love with Boogiepop. I know many people are waiting for Seven Seas Entertainment to release more official translations, and I know that will not happen ever, so there is only one way to read the following novels. What a weird place to start, right?

I might update my progress if I feel like it.

To conclude this post, I need to tell you I feel excited. The perfect opportunity AND motivation reached me. You should check the light novels if you haven’t already. There’s also an anime adaptation of the novels 1-3, 5, and 6, available on Crunchyroll, but you need to go with an open mind.

Have you heard about Boogiepop? Have you learned another language for entertainment purposes?