Category Archives: Letter Reading

Reo-ppoi Radio and Yuricycle 10th Anniversary Live Broadcast

On 16 December 2016, Reo-ppoi Radio and Yuricycle Radio resumed from a nine-month hiatus for a special live program on Nicovideo in celebration of the 10th anniversary of A Kiss For The Petals. The two shows broadcast back-to-back for one hour each starting at 7 AM EST. St. Michael Girls’ School uploaded recordings of the shows on YouTube one week after on 23 December.

Reo-ppoi Radio was hosted by Anzu Hana and Izumi Ayaka. During this broadcast, Party Time! was revealed, with the formal announcement including tracklist following three days later. I submitted a letter to this show promoting The New Generation, which was translated to Japanese by Kuma Ichigo.

ごきげんよう、杏花さん。またまたクレイグ・ドンソンです。

ご存じのように、その花びらにくちづけを にゅーじぇね! 英語版がついに先週輝かしくリリースされました。8月のオタコン(オタワで開かれるアニメコンベンション)では、私自身が光栄にも制作発表をさせていただき、発表の準備の時間は1日もなかったのですが聴衆は親切に受け入れてくれました。共に英語化の作業をしたチームは、この制作をとても楽しみました。そして、もっと多くのその花を世界に広めるのを待ち望んでいます。

幸運がありますように。そして、ラジオに、おかえりなさい。


ごきげんよう、Anzu Hana-san. It is Craig Donson once again.

As you have heard, その花びらにくちづけを にゅーじぇね! English version was finally released last week to glowing reviews. I had the honor of announcing it myself at Otakon this August, and the audience there treated me kindly even as I had less than a day to prepare. The team I worked with enjoyed producing it very much, and we look forward to bringing even more その花 across the world.

Please wish us luck, and welcome back to the radio.

At 17:07 of the above recording, the letter was read. The following is a transcription of Anzu and Izumi’s reading of this letter and their response, translated by Kuma Ichigo and Ralen.

Izumi Ayaka: It’s been a while since we heard from this one too.
Anzu Hana: Who?
Ayaka: Greg!
Hana: YEAHHHHHHH! It’s been so long!
Ayaka: It’s from Mr. Craig Donson.
Hana: I say it’s been so long, but it’s only been 10 months.
Ayaka: That’s right.

Ayaka: “Gokigenyou, Anzu Hana-san. It is Craig Donson once again.”

Hana: “Craig.”
Ayaka: Yes, it’s actually Craig.

Ayaka: “As you have heard, the English version of A Kiss For The Petals – The New Generation! was finally released last week to glowing reviews.

Hana: Yep.

Ayaka: “I had the honor of announcing it myself at Otakon this August…”

Hana: His career is really moving forward. What’s been happening? I haven’t been keeping up.
Ayaka: He had been a fan though.

Ayaka:”…and the audience there treated me kindly even as I had less than a day to prepare. The team I worked with enjoyed [making a movie (映画化 eigaka)] very much—”

Hana: Making a MOVIE!?
Ayaka: An English version (英語化 eigoka).
Hana: Oh, an English version.
Ayaka: Sorry.  It’s not a live action version.
Hana: Ah, I was surprised for a second.

Ayaka: “…and we look forward to bringing even more Sonohana across the world. Please wish us luck, and welcome back to the radio.”
[The letter ends here, continued by the original English text.]
“Gokigenyou, Anju Hanya-shan…”

Hana: Whash ‘dat?
Ayaka: After this is in English, so I can’t read it.
Hana: It’s okay. Wow, it’s been a while!
Ayaka: Thank you!
Hana: He is spreading Sonohana all over the world.
Ayaka: When it’s English, it’s immediately broader.
Hana: Yes.
Ayaka: Right.
Hana: Then, it is possible that they will release the “cute” (old) generations’ adaptations, right?
Ayaka: In English?
Hana: The “cute” generations remember how they met too! They each have their own backstory.
Ayaka: That’s right.
Hana: Each couple has their own “Remembering How We Met“.
Ayaka: Yes, yes. I think it’d be good if they have more and more releases.


“Cute Generations” refers to the couples in previous titles, in contrast to The New Generation, and a track in Songworks Extra of that name, an arrangement of the theme song of The New Generation performed by Anzu Hana and Izumi Ayaka as Reo and Mai.

For my contribution to the show, I received a letter of gratitude and a sticker featuring Mai, Reo, Risa, and Miya. Click on the images to enlarge.

Yuricycle Radio followed immediately after, but I have little information on it as I was unable to watch it live.

Niconico Livestream: Anzu Hana’s Tendonitis Santa Special!!

On 22 December 2014, St. Michael Girls’ School hosted a livestream on Niconico to promote the release of Songworks at Comiket 87 on 28 December 2014. The show was hosted by Anzu Hana, Manazuru Kou (Houraisen Rena, the extra character “Girl C”) and Tsubakino Nao 椿野なお (the extra character “Girl D”). Throughout the broadcast, Anzu Hana signed 500 special discs to be distributed at Comiket, which contains an alternate version of “Sakura in Bloom ~The Scent of Flowers~”. The show took place between 8:00-10:30 P.M. Japan time, 6:00-8:30 A.M. Eastern Standard Time.

I had learned of it only hours before it started, and that the show would accept fan mail. I quickly wrote a letter with the help of Kuma Ichigo and sent it immediately before I went to bed. As it was a special event, I incorporated grandiose posturing in my text and wrote it longer than I normally write for Reo-ppoi Radio. However, in my haste to make myself known on the show, I had realized the following morning that I have failed to both take any measures to record the show and adequately inform readers of this opportunity. For this, I sincerely apologize and will take greater effort to prevent this in the future.

At the time, I had assumed that Niconico livestreams were automatically archived for later viewing (known as “timeshifting”), but St. Michael Girls’ School opted out of this feature for this video as the hosts’ faces were shown on camera for a brief time. I learned that my letter was read, but because no one had recorded the show, I thought the reply was lost. However, on 29 December, the entire show was uploaded in three parts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), albeit edited to remove the hosts’ faces. I believe readers will find the hosts’ reply to my letter entertaining. It has been transcribed by Kuma Ichigo (who provides annotations) and translated by Ralen.

Continue reading Niconico Livestream: Anzu Hana’s Tendonitis Santa Special!!

Reo-ppoi Radio Episode 84

YouTube user momoiro koneko has uploaded Reo-ppoi Radio 84 on their channel, which was originally uploaded on Niconico on 26 July 2014.  A pre-show was uploaded the week prior. In this episode, a second voice can be heard in the background.

At Otakon 2012 and 2013, I hosted a panel for A Kiss For The Petals that I was unable to reprise for the 2014 conference. On 28 June 2014, I wrote this letter to the show to inform them of this. The letter was translated to Japanese by Kuma Ichigo.

杏花様、ぽいちゃ!

再びクレイグ・ドンソンです。近況をお知らせするために書いています。

ご存知のように、私は2012年と2013年にアメリカのアニメコンベンション、オタコンでその花のトークセッションを開催しました。しかし残念なことに、今年はオタコンに落ちました。

これでは、前回以来発売された新しい素材が! 私はあなたのために来年、さらに必死でもう一度イベントを開催するよう努力します。

話は変わりますが、百合神様に採用されたアーティストの方々、おめでとうございます。タイツはみんなにとてもよく似合います。

署名
クレイグ・ドンソン

だけど、ツイッターの日本のその花ファンはみんな、いまだに私をグレッグって呼ぶんだよなあ……

—-

Dear Anzu Hana:

ぽいちゃ! It’s Craig Donson again, writing to tell you about a recent development.

As you know, I hosted a talk session for “Sonohana” at the American anime convention Otakon in 2012 and 2013. However, I regret to say that I have not been invited to return this year. This, after all the new material that has debuted since then! I will try harder next year for your sake, and try to host it at other shows.

On another note, congratulations to the artists for the Yuri Goddess. The tights look great on them.

Signed,
Craig Donson

But all the Japanese fans on Twitter still call me Greg…

In the closing seconds of this episode, my letter was addressed. At 26:29, Anzu Hana informs the listeners that Greg wasn’t selected for Otakon’s programming this year (グレッグはオタコンに落ちました。).

Fan mail is read at 6:00. One of the letters mentions the 2013 film Frozen, to which Anzu Hana very briefly tries to sing a line from the song “Let It Go”.

An SHN segment at 19:33 promotes “Songworks”, a music CD promoted at Anzu Hana’s personal website, Anju Hanyan. At present, further information has yet to be released.

A voice letter from Mai (Izumi Ayaka) is played at 20:28.

You can listen to every Reo-ppoi Radio to date on this YouTube playlist.

Letters from Craig and Jessie in Reo-ppoi Radio

The fan letter reading from Reo-ppoi Radio episode 63 contains two letters of interest. The first is from myself, which I sent on 22 August 2013 after my Otakon 2013 panel. The second is from a fan in Hong Kong who, despite having apparently little knowledge of Japanese, wrote into the show and managed to have Anzu Hana read their letter in full, which is discussed below.

I wrote in to report that the panel was a bigger success than last year’s panel. The letter was quickly summarized in the show, but Anzu Hana did issue a challenge after reading it. The letter was translated by Kuma Ichigo.

ごきげんよう, Anzu Hana-san and guests. This is Craig Donson. It has been a while since I last wrote.

Anyway, I hosted another talk show at Otakon in Baltimore, MD, USA, which was held on 10 August. I did it differently than last time, however. Rather than talk about the many different titles released, I spent the entire time talking about the girls and their appeals. I also put in many good words for you and all of the work you’ve done for the series, especially over the last two years through Reo-ppoi Radio and your self-produced works. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to record a video this time…

But there were more than twice as many people as before–they nearly filled the room!–and they were all excited for all of the new characters and products. As Yurin Yurin grows, so does my audience, and I hope to be able to keep up with you next year. As the popularity of yuri grows in the United States, I will be there to advocate it. Please wish me luck as I continue to expand your kingdom with your strength.

Signed,
Craig Donson

—-

杏花さん、ゲストの皆さん、ごきげんよう。
クレイグ・ドンソンです。
前回のメールから、お久しぶりです。

さて、私は今年も Otakon(オタコン)において「その花びらにくちづけを」トークショーを開催しました。
アメリカ、メリーランド州バルチモアで、8月10日に行われました。

内容は昨年とはだいぶ違うものになりました。新作がたくさんリリースされましたので、ほとんどの時間を新キャラの紹介と解説に使いました。

また、杏花さんへの賞賛とシリーズへの貢献の実績について、特にこの2年の間に玲緒っぽいらじおで行われたことや、杏花さんのセルフプロデュースによる作品について話しました。
残念ながら、今回は動画の撮影は出来ませんでした。

でも、今回は前回の二倍以上の人々が参加しました……会場がほとんど満員になりました!
……そして、参加者みんなが全ての新キャラと新作に夢中になりました。

ゆりんゆりんさんの発展とこちらの聴衆の成長と共に、来たる一年も杏花さんについていきたいと願っています。
アメリカで百合人気が育って、私はこちらで百合を支持していきます。

今後も、強力な杏花さんとその王国の発展に努めます。
うまく行くよう、祈ってくださいますように。

署名,
クレイグ・ドンソン

The last paragraph in my letter prompted Hana to muse on what an American yuri couple would be like, compared to the archetypes seen in Japanese yuri works. In particular, she asks whether yuri archetypes such as the onee-sama and the clumsy younger sibling exist in American media, and which of these characteristics would define the ideal yuri couple in America.

I discussed this question with Ralen and we reasoned that yuri as we understand it is an inherently Japanese concept. Due to American yuri fandom being largely derived from body of Japanese yuri works, the general images of American yuri couples would be very similar to Japanese couples. Even if such an American yuri couple were comprised of characteristics unique to America, discussions of it would ultimately fall back on comparisons to Japanese definitions.

Ralen added that Mai and Reo as a couple have traits that translate best to Western audiences. Mai is a strong, independent, capable, and confident female lead, moreso than the other characters. Reo is a very “American” character in that she doesn’t give as much consideration to social status or politeness as would be expected in Japan. While this is not meant to imply the “rude American” stereotype, these qualities would be relatable to Western culture to an extent nonetheless. In my own view, the constant tension and comedic bent that define their relationship are also partly responsible for their popularity abroad. I’ve heard it said that the appeal to Mai and Reo is that Mai successfully suppresses Reo’s tsundere tendencies. This is in contrast to the common relationship with violent tsunderes, who usually have purchase over their love interests.

I would like to explore this question further and ask you to contribute your thoughts on American yuri ideals. Which character traits and pairings do you find desirable or entertaining? Are there examples of yuri couples that are compatible with the traditional Japanese conventions that aren’t derived from Japanese characters? Please comment on this post and I will compile the responses and write another letter explaining our findings.

As thought-provoking Anzu Hana’s question about American yuri was, at 14:30, a much more intriguing, albeit brief, letter was read. A fan from Hong Kong named “Jessie” wrote a letter in English, which Anzu Hana read in full (which is more than can be said of any of the letters I’ve sent in previously). The following is my best attempt to transcribe what was read verbatim.

Reo-san and all the cast, nice to meet you!

My name is Jessie. I come from Hong Kong. When I first time saw Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo, I [???] love this series, and I have played this and all the games and drama CDs, including Reo-ppoi Radio. I will always support this series and hope that this series can always continue.

I have no way to confirm where Jessie learned of this series or the extent of his or her knowledge of the series. It is clear that Jessie has been following Reo-ppoi Radio for some time and that he or she expected a guest host to read it and discuss it. It doesn’t appear that any Japanese was sent with this letter, yet Hana made an effort to read it in its entirety, despite having great difficulty with the word “series”.

If you wrote this letter, please contact me.

Further analysis of both of these letter readings is pending. This post will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

SHK Election #6 Current Results (Updated 29 October 2012)

The sixth SHK Election is a survey whose answers will be used to build a visual composite of the goddess of yuri (百合神様). The survey asks for physical characteristics (moe points in particular) of the A Kiss For The Petals cast, which will be combined into a single person. A draft has been created using the current entries: Eris’ body as a base, Reo’s angry tsun face, and Yuuna’s tights.

Also in this segment is a letter from k01 regarding my prior correspondence, particularly in episode 40, where I narrowly missed their response to my video at Otakon. k01 provided this translation of the entire segment, which was edited for readability.

Continue reading SHK Election #6 Current Results (Updated 29 October 2012)