“Blue!”announces Akemi the second the traffic light turns green.
“Green!”I correct her.
“Blue!”she chimes as if she didn’t hear.
“What color is that?”I ask, pointing up at the traffic light.
“But they’re blue in Japan?”
“No, they’re green in Japan.” Beat. “But they call it blue.”
“Why do they call it blue if it isn’t blue?”
“I don’t know. Why do they call them blueberries?”
I hesitate, wondering if this is some sort of trick question. Eventually, I go with the obvious: “Because they’re blue.”
Outrage. “No they’re not! They’re purple!”
I was going to argue the point but then remembered a Food Network piece on the famed blue plate special that revealed blueberries are, in fact, closer to purple. Hey, they look blue to me but who am I to argue with science?
“Why do they call them strawberries?”wonders Akemi aloud. “They’re not straw.”
“Why do they call them goose berries?”
She starts as if I suddenly showed her the remnants of a spider I’d squashed in the bathroom. “That’s so gross,”she says.
She then proceeds to tell me that, according to one of her teachers at the English school she attends, the Japanese refer to green as blue because, back in the day (samurai times?) green and blue were effectively considered the same color.
“What do you call a red light?”I ask. “Orange?”
“No,”she says, seemingly weighing my sanity with a dubious sideways look. “Red.” She makes a face, then brightens. “In Japan, when you say something is blue, it means the thing is immature or not ripe.”
“In North America,”I inform her, “when we you say something is green, it means the thing is immature or not ripe. Blue usually means depressed…or ecchi (Japanese slang for naughty or dirty).”
She incensed by the assertion. “No! Blue isn’t ecchi.” And then, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world: “Purple is ecchi color.”
“Yes. In Japan, when someone wears a lot of purple, it’s because they are yokyu fuman (Japanese for sexually frustrated).”
Photos of Akemi training for the big fight:
Continuing our trip down SGA memory lane…
To be honest, this one didn’t really pan out. For several reasons. One was the location. The episode was supposed to shoot in a place that approximated the look of an Old West town, but it was only after the script had been written that it was decided that location we had been scouting was unusable. Director Martin Wood wasn’t happy with what it offered from a visual standpoint and there was also the fact that several of the buildings were in such a state of disrepair that the production feared they were downright dangerous. And so, out of options, we ended up shooting our version of high noon in Fantasy Gardens, a bizarre theme park location that is mishmash of various architectural styles.
The location was one of many compromises that had to be made in prep.
In the showdown between Sheppard and Kolya, the two face-off – and the rest of the Atlantis gang is standing right behind Sheppard. I found it odd that anyone would stand directly behind someone in a potential shoot-out, but the cast was adamant that their characters would “back Sheppard” up. While I appreciated the sentiment, I would have argued that, in this particular instant, one would back someone up without, literally, standing behind them.
Guest stars Richard Kind and Robert Davi were, however, brilliant.
Richard Kind improvises his dialogue in the scene where Lucius walks off with Sheppard and starts pitching him ideas. We loved it so much we ended up keeping it in the script.
After the episode was shot, Robert assured me he had come up with a way to bring his character back. “Hey,”I told him. “This is science fiction. Nobody stays dead in scifi.” True enough. Although the character Kolya made a reappearance in Atlantis’s fifth season (sort of), there were plans to bring him back in the real – but, alas, that story never materialized.