Continuing in the tradition of previous episodes of Angel Bank, this episode tackles yet another kind job changer. One of the really interesting things about this show and about this episode, from my perspective, is the explanation of various pieces of Japanese culture. These explanations are quite remarkable for two reasons.
First, the concepts of honne(本音) and tatemae(建前) permeate Japanese culture in such a way that it can be difficult to get a real honest assessment of things. Tatemae, the politically correct official version of situations, is usually what you end up getting most often. So lots of Japanese people can talk to you at length about how the lifetime employment system means that loyalty is a two way street. If you’re loyal to your company then they’ll be loyal to you. Discussions of the negatives of such a system, the truth or the honne, are slightly harder to come by. They aren’t impossible to find, though, as is demonstrated by this episode of Angel Bank.
The second reason these explanations are remarkable is that the economics and mechanics of these situations are described in a fairly comprehensive fashion. Sometimes the explanations are even accompanied by animations to help make the point. This makes translation somewhat tough for me because I’m learning about new things along with you guys and Mamako. So when I do my first pass through an episode it sometimes takes me a little while before I fully understand what Mr. Ebisawa is getting at. I find myself in Ms. Ino’s shoes a lot asking myself, “What the hell did Ebisawa mean by that?”
This was most problematic in the first episode during Mr. Ebisawa’s conversation with that shadowy figure. It was just so difficult to understand what the point of that conversation was. It was slightly sinister, but yet Mr. Ebisawa is supposed to be a good guy. I can tell you it has gotten much easier for me as the series has progressed, and also as my own ability to understand has grown. Thank you all for being patient with me, and I assure you that the wait was worth it. Some of what I did during the hiatus was study my ass off to improve my Japanese, and it’s resulted in me being able to get through translations much much much faster. What used to take me days to do is now being accomplished in a few hours.
Many thanks also to Drazic who takes the gibberish I turn into him, and times/polishes into something palatable. He does a good job cracking the whip and getting a finished product out to people.