[Mandoran] I’m back!

So, I’m here again, people. It has really been a while. True, it’s not only the Olympics that have kept me busy… but it’s one that kept me sitting in front of the TV for a long while. The Netherlands isn’t that big of a country, but we sure show we’re still out there somewhere. I usually don’t watch sports of the like (with Dota and StarCraft 2 being the only exceptions), but I do root for the Netherlands to win stuff. But when it comes to Judo, I’m always confused which country I should support, Japan or the Netherlands… One of the toughest decisions. Wait a minute…Shouldn’t I be writing on my blog once in a while? My schedule is so full (you might as well call it bloated), there was just no time. Until now.

By the way, has any of you noticed that the site has become a bit faster lately? If not, I guess you have some kind of wooden PC. Nah, just kidding (FYI: the Wooden PC joke is something mentioned a lot when DOTA players can’t connect to a game on time). I believe I showed you some bulky laptop last time I wrote about my server. Things have turned for the better, though. I scavenged enough scrap (read: money) to buy myself a new server. For the people interested, here are the current specs: Intel Pentium G620, Western Digital Green WD20EARX 2TB, Xigmatek Asgard II, Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, be quiet! Pure Power L7 300W, Corsair CMV8GX3M2A1333C9, MSI B75MA-P45

EL-CID 2012

Sorry, no image for this one.

People who have read my previous blog, “lol, anime”, should know what the EL-CID means here in the Netherlands. Again, it’s not that conquistador or whatsoever. It’s the introductory week for our university here, and I signed up once again for this event. Does that mean I’m being a first-year student yet again? That would be really horrible, so no, I became a mentor for the first-years to come. Everything went fine until the higher-ups decided that I was too “introvert” to actually lead a group. I couldn’t sit still, however, and the least I could do was check up on the group that was assigned to me prior to the cancellation. From my view, a group of student Japanstudies should have a mentor with the same study as background. Alas, I was called by the crewmembers if I could back off as soon as possible when rumours got around that I was “illegally” hanging around with the group. Oh well, the only thing I could still do was go to the student gaming union as a helping hand. With success: We recruited at least 35 members in this week, almost breaking the record of 36 several years ago! All in all, this event was worth the time (it didn’t cost me a penny, after all), but as you can get from this, I wasn’t able to write a single blog post.

Abunai 2012

Next up is the anime convention that followed one week after the EL-CID, draining even more of my energy. Please do take note that I worked on the days in between. I had not realised I was making it so difficult for me, because I signed up for everything you could possibly think of. Even at this convention, I marked down that I wanted to be a gopher, meaning that I will be actually working partially at the convention itself. It comes with its advantages, of course. For example, I’m getting my ticket reimbursed, and I have early access to some of the events. And you get to know awesome people. So that’s cool. I find this a perfect opportunity for when you are perhaps, like me, a person that likes to go to places on your own. You always have at least something to do, and there’s always someone you can talk to.

This time’s Abunai was naturally a different experience than previous times, but I did enjoy it a lot. Free food! As usual, the Touhou corner was very crowded, which is always a nice thing to see in the Netherlands. Everything is obscure here. I was amazed I could even buy an ita-keyboard —Google Images should give you a nice example of what this term means— of Rewrite at the Bring & Buy! I just know there’s someone with similar hobbies as me, I’m sure of it. Nice pictures were made, although the camera I borrowed from my dad isn’t to my liking. And on another topic, I lost in the preliminaries at the Super Smash Brother Brawl competition, but I call shenanigans. Why are we playing on a flat screen in the first place. Lag galore. I guess I shouldn’t have started out with Mr. Game & Watch.

Tanuki Camp 2012

Are you starting to feel what’s going on in here? Yes, another event followed up just three days after Abunai, not giving me any time to rest. Unlike the EL-CID, I successfully became a mentor for this event, which is exclusively for the first-year Japanologists (instead of random studies grouped together). As a mentor (a.k.a. 先輩 senpai), I had to guide a small group of young’uns (some older than me though!) through all the planned activities. I did a Shōgi workshop myself as well. Albeit this event not taking too long (just around two days), it sure is fun because I get to know why people are willing to study Japanese at university. To everyone who reads this: The main answer you should expect from the question “Why?” is “Pokémon”.

And before you know it, it’s already the beginning of the school year. I seem to like being a mentor….once again. Correct, in the first semester, I’ve been chosen to support the first-year students 2 hours per week for the first semester. At first, I wasn’t allowed to sign myself up for that, due to not having finished all of my first-year subjects. However, due to my above-average grades for the language part, it was excused…So yeah, I’m quite happy I still achieved what I wanted to achieve. That brings us to the current situation. Lots of stuff to study, not enough time to write. I promise I’ll find the time to write. This just marks the beginning of a new year, so to say!



Dutch student Japanologist, and founder of Mandoran. Likes everything about Modern Japan, including anime, manga, visual novels, bowling and gaming. Frequently found as translator or translation checker of fansub groups. His portfolio can be found on his dropbox website. Follow his actions on Twitter or send him a message at chrouya@gmail.com .

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