Tragic Notepad
October 9, 2005 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Please help me understand the tragical story of the lovestruck toilet paper roll.

These are the pages from a notepad that my brother gave me. I'd love to know more about what's going on in the story. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8.
posted by alms to Society & Culture (10 answers total)
well, its definitely for kids, since all the kanji has furigana. my japanese is so bad that i cant really understand what's going on without pulling out the dictionary, so that's hopeless.
posted by joeblough at 4:18 PM on October 9, 2005

The first thing that came to mind was the San-X line of characters. They include creations like Kogepan, the depressed piece of burned toast, and an amorphous panda with no skeleton.

Wikipedia and Google got me the character Tissue-san, who encourages children to use kleenex when they have colds, but I couldn't find anything about a toiletpaperman.

William Gibson mentioned these sorts of guys in Pattern Recognition, so, I had looked into it before.
posted by rfordh at 5:12 PM on October 9, 2005

this guy is named "tissue samurai" if that helps.

you might try poking around and see if he's there...
posted by joeblough at 5:37 PM on October 9, 2005

I'm just depressed that we don't have a full answer to this.
posted by agropyron at 8:26 PM on October 9, 2005

Best answer: I left this one hoping someone good in Japanese would be able to help, but I guess not. My Japanese is pretty weak, so take my answers with a grain of salt.

Also note that at some points I wasn't able to make out the furigana (the tiny characters around the larger ones) or the kanji well enough to look it up. I'd need a higher-res scan of those specific areas to figure them out. I'll note them as I go.

The cover page describes our hero as the Crybaby Tissue Samurai. The text under the title is, I believe, old-fashioned samurai-flavored Japanese. It says "After all, my life is very thin". The word he uses for "very thin" is usupperai, which is defined by EDICT as "very thin (cheap)". I suspect a pun here. CTS is making sobby noises, and the smiling girl in the corner is saying "Do your best". The small tissue box is saying "Don't cry"; the arrow indicates that it's a "tissue dog". The orange box has the word "memo" in it, so it's probably just describing the pad itself. I can't make out the kanji or furigana there (higher-res req'd.)

Page 1 ("lovestruck"):
Near CTS: "My heart's pounding a little."
Dog: "Must be love."
Girl: "These are mochi."
Corner text: need higher-res scan

Page 2 ("yearning") - reads right to left
right: "After all, my life is very thin. But.."
left: "But.. until I become a strong samurai, I won't go back to my mother."

Posting what I have so I don't lose it
posted by pocams at 11:26 PM on October 9, 2005

Best answer: Page 3 ("hopeful"):
Topmost, with green highlight: "The Pokechasshu Kids" (lit. siblings, both brothers and sisters.) "poke" references "pocket", below.
Below that: "Pocket chasshu are the village's children. They love to play with everybody." You may have gathered that I don't know what the chasshu means; you would be correct.
Black text under houses: "When I was walking around the town, the tissues would point at me. What will I do?" This one I'm far from sure on.
Green highlight under goats: "Trial test"
Numbered text under that: need high-res scan
Blue box: "It's the trial test!"
Pink box: (echoes blue box)
I believe all the references to a trial test (lit. "shinri tesuto") here are talking about some kind of samurai exam.
Text along bottom: need higher-res scan

Page 4 ("angryandconfused"):
Comic title: Tissue samurai confesses his love
Panel 1: CTS: "uh, um" Girl: "yes?"
Panel 2 ("10 minutes later"): CTS: "uh, i mean" Girl: "yes?"
Panel 3 ("20 minutes later"): CTS: "i.. i.."
Panel 4: Girl: "hurry up and say it!" CTS: "Rice cake with bean jam (daifuku), please."
He intends to say "daisuki", but says "daifuku kudasai" instead. Note from page 2 that she seems to work in a rice cake store.
The dog's comic text is too small to read, need higher-res scan
Outside comic, dog: "These daifuku are great."
Outside comic, CTS: "I don't want any.. *sob*"

That's pretty much the extent of the plot - guess he just went a-courtin' too slow.
posted by pocams at 12:11 AM on October 10, 2005

Best answer: Page 5 ("lost"):
Blue envelope: "Don't eat that!"
Goat arrow: "Ran away from the town!"
CTS: "I'm so cold! Is it the wind?"
Dog: "Hey! You're being eaten!"
Main text: need a good high-res scan of that whole area, although it's probably not related to the main plot

Page 6 ("tragicunion"):
It's not a tragic union, it's an art project. "These lines" refers to the line shown right next to the step number.
Title: "Homemade letter"
1. Cut along these lines
2. Make a notch on these lines
3. Write a message on the back
4. Fold along these lines
5. Yellow-star tab into pink-star slot (I'm guessing, here)
CTS: "mommy" / "*sob*"
Dog: "Don't cry" / "Don't cry, I said"

Page 7 ("makeoneathome"):
Another crafty project.
Title: "How to make a tissue letter"
1. Cut along these
2. Fold along these
3. Write a message on the tissue letter
4. Roll it up on a pencil
5. I'd need a higher-res scan, but you'll probably be able to figure it out from here

Hope that quenched your curiosity a bit.
posted by pocams at 12:29 AM on October 10, 2005

Our savior! Thanks, pocams!
posted by agropyron at 8:03 AM on October 10, 2005

Response by poster: Thank you, pocams! I can now use the tissue samurai to wipe away tears of joy rather than tears of sadness!
posted by alms at 7:46 PM on October 12, 2005

My Japanese border has had a look at this so I might add a little to pocams contribution.

Page 1
Corner text: Tea Store's Miss Flower. (Explanation about kinds of tissues) She smells good has a pattern and is very cute.

Page 3
(The psychology test)
In Japan you can get free tissues given to you in the street.
The tissues are wrapped in plastic with an advert for the company on it.
If you are walking on the street and someone gave you some free tissues what would you do?
1. You would decline
2. You can't say no, so you would accept them
3. You would stay away from the place
4. You would receive them straight away
(The result of the psychology test)
The psychology test talks about a person you don't know suddenly asking you out. If you choose...
1. You don't want to go out with the person, you would definitely say no
2. You can't say no, it can't be helped so you go out with the person
3. 'Sorry I couldn't hear what you said'. You would ignore the person
4. You don't know if the person will be good for you. Try first. Anyway you would say yes
CTS: I would choose number 5
Dog: There is no number 5

Page 4
The dogs comic text is:
Good luck, you can do it
You should say 'I love you very much', shouldn't you?
Kiss. Me too

Page 5
'Happy spell'
Grow your left hand's pinky nail until it is 3.5mm. You should then make a wish in your mind when you cut the nail. You should wrap the nail in a piece of tissue and you should tie the tissue with a red thread. After that you should put it somewhere for 1 week and then if nobody finds it you may get your wish.
posted by tellurian at 8:20 PM on November 16, 2005

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