Archive for January, 2012

Under Cloud

Requested by: David

FELT is always nice, they have a way with really turning up that emotional epic gauge with their instrumentals.

Notes:
Kaguya looks up at the moon and identifies with it. Normally you’d start thinking about pride issues, but she characterizes the moonlight as a sorrowful gaze. Rather the light over the clouds, she is the light under the clouds. A little unusual but given her name and all I think it works out pretty well.

“fraught with sin” it literally says – “my gaze that drags along with it sin – surely it will lead you to happiness” It’s a very roundabout way to say, “though I cannot rid myself of my sin, at the very least, I want to shine a path for you to be happy.”

Under Cloud
竹取飛翔〜Lunatic Princess|東方永夜抄
Vocal/Lyrics: 美歌
Arrange/Instruments/Programming: NAGI☆
Circle: FELT
Album: Silver Drive
Event: C81

彷徨う 明けない夜を 永久の旅の中
一筋 伸びた 空への 遠い路

samayou akenai yoru wo towa no tabi no naka
hitosuji nobita sora e no tooi michi

I wander through this undawning night on an endless journey
By a road that reaches far into the distant sky

今宵も月の明かりは この世を照らし
逃れられない 夢物語よ

koyoi mo tsuki no akari wa kono yo wo terashi
nogarerarenai yumemonogatari yo

The moon again tonight shines its light upon the world
O how I cannot escape this dreamlike tale!

赤い糸は一体
何処へ向かい 何を指しているの
意味の無い問い掛けを
音も出さず ただのみこむ

akai ito wa ittai
doko e mukai nani wo sashiteiru no
imi no nai toikake wo
oto mo dasazu tada nomikomu

“This red thread…
Where does it lead? What is it pointing to?”
Without a sound,
I swallow these meaningless questions

漂う雲の下 たとえ 色褪せる時代も
変わらない命で 光 与えていける

tadayou kumo no shita tatoe iroaseru jidai mo
kawaranai inochi de hikari ataeteyukeru

Under the drifting clouds, even though the ages may fade
With this unchanging life, I can keep shining for you…

大地を 潤すように 君の泪は
胸染み込み 儚く映った

daichi wo uruosu you ni kimi no namida wa
mune shimikomi hakanaku utsutta

Moistening the earth, your tears
Sank into my heart and for an instant, reflected it…

言葉だけではきっと
言い尽くせない 感情で溢れている
明日から訪れる 朝を共に
迎えていこう

kotoba dake de wa kitto
iitsukusenai kan’jou de afureteiru
asu kara otozureru asa wo tomo ni
mukaeteyukou

I’m overflowing with emotions
More than I can convey in words
From now on, let’s face the coming morning
Together

時空さえ超えて 罪を引きずる眼差しは
君を幸福へ 導いていくだろう

jikuu sae koete tsumi wo hikizuru manazashi wa
kimi wo shiawase e michibiiteikudarou

Overcoming even time and space, may my gaze, though fraught with sin
Lead you on to happiness…

漂う雲の下 たとえ 色褪せる時代も
変わらない命で 光 与えていける

tadayou kumo no shita tatoe iroaseru jidai mo
kawaranai inochi de hikari ataeteyukeru

Under the drifting clouds, even though the ages may fade
With this unchanging life, I can keep shining for you…

時空さえ超えて 罪を引きずる眼差しは
君を幸福へ 導いていくだろう

jikuu sae koete tsumi wo hikizuru manazashi wa
kimi wo shiawase e michibiiteikudarou

Overcoming even time and space, may my gaze, though fraught with sin
Lead you on to happiness…

Story

Requested by: Darkfireblade25

(Side Note: I have updated my requests policy! See the About page for details.)

Since I’ve got my computer up and working again I thought I’d go ahead and make sure it could do all the things I need it to do – (handling high-speed anthy functions, ie. song transcribing/translating) and everything seems to be going a lot faster. >:D

Well this has been on my queue for very long (though it wasn’t actually on the list because I always had trouble finding the lyrics) ^^;

Notes:
“Whenever I feel pain” has the has a more specific meaning of “when I feel pain in relation to time” – you can interpret this as feeling pain at the passing of time, feeling pain at racing through an area where time has stopped, feeling pain “from time to time” in relation to memories, or time to time in relation to physical exertion (from sprinting).

“over the rainbow” as in a Wizard of Oz reference. It’s night for the duration of the song, so she’s recalling a past event. (Image of Sakuya dancing down the Yellow Brick Road will not leave my mind now o.o;)

Story
フラワリングナイト|東方花映塚
Vocal/Lyrics: 美歌
Arrange/Programming: NAGI☆
Circle: FELT
Album: Rebirth Story
Event: Reitaisai SP2

時間を止めて こなす日常に ため息ついても
窓から差し込む光に微笑む
何故か切なくて 夜空眺めた 浮かぶ花
明日を迎えていく希望になる

jikan wo tomete konasu nichijou ni tameiki tsuitemo
mado kara sashikomu hikari ni hohoemu
nazeka setsunakute yozora nagameta ukabu hana
ashita wo mukaeteiku kibou ni naru

I stop time, breaking for a sigh at my everyday routine, but still
I smile at the light filtering in through the window
As I look out at the night sky and its flowers suspended in mid-air, I feel
A nostalgic pain, which becomes hope for me to face tomorrow

懐かしい過去並べ 色をつけて眠りにつく
振り返る時間よりもっと 未来への想いを描こう

natsukashii kako narabe iro wo tsukete nemuri ni tsuku
furikaeru jikan yori motto mirai e no omoi wo egakou

I place all of my nostalgic past before me, add color and fall asleep
Instead of looking back, I’d rather paint my feelings for the future

駆け出したこの足は きっと 立ち止まらない
時に傷みを感じたら 夜空を見上げる
咲き踊る花たちは そっと 心を包んで
走り出した背中に風を送り 手を振った

kakedashita kono ashi wa kitto tachidomaranai
toki ni itami wo kan’jitara yozora wo miageru
sakiodoru hanatachi wa sotto kokoro wo tsutsun’de
hashiridashita senaka ni kaze wo okuri te wo futta

Now I’ve started running, I’m sure that nothing will stop me
Whenever I feel pain, I look up at the night sky…
All of the dancing flower petals gently embrace my heart
Then send me off with a wind at my back, waving at me as I go

絶えることのない悩みに 向き合ってみると
答えが見つかる朝があるんだ
何故か嬉しくて 歌ったうたは 狭い部屋 響いて
いつまでも声を出した

taeru koto no nai nayami ni mukiattemiru to
kotae ga mitsukaru asa ga arun’da
nazeka ureshikute utatta uta wa semai heya hibiite
itsumademo koe wo dashita

When I finally brought myself to face the pain I’d carried all this time
I saw a morning in which I knew I’d find my answer
Unable to contain myself, I sang, and my song reverberated in this small room
As I kept singing, letting out my voice

色とりどりのキャンバスに さらに色を足してみよう
今なら全てがもっと 美しく光を放つよ

irotoridori no canvas ni sara ni iro wo tashitemiyou
ima nara subete ga motto utsukushiku hikari wo hanatsu yo

I paint even more color on an already colorful canvas
I’m sure now everything will shine with an even more beautiful light

窓の向こう 広がる世界に 目が離せない
この手掴めない月 いつも愛しく昇っていく
きらきらと星たちは まるで 笑っているようで
瞬きの後 消えないよう 静かに 祈っていた

mado no mukou hirogaru sekai ni me ga hanasenai
kono te tsukamenai tsuki itsumo itoshiku nobotteiku
kirakira to hoshi tachi wa maru de waratteiru you de
matataki no ato kienai you shizuka ni inotteita

I don’t want to take my eyes off the world spread out beyond this window
The beautiful moon rises into the sky, beyond my grasp and lovely as always
And the stars shining above… it’s as if they are smiling
I silently prayed that after each twinkling, none would go out

虹の彼方で見た 光に触れたくて Ah…
時を操っても 過去にだけは もう戻れない

niji no kanata de mita hikari ni furetakute Ah…
toki wo ayatsuttemo kako ni dake wa mou modorenai

Ah… I want to touch that light I once saw, over the rainbow…
Even though I can control time, I can’t return to the past

駆け出したこの足は きっと 立ち止まらない
時に傷みを感じたら 夜空を見上げる
咲き踊る花たちは そっと 心を包んで
走り出した背中に風を送り 手を振った

kakedashita kono ashi wa kitto tachidomaranai
toki ni itami wo kan’jitara yozora wo miageru
sakiodoru hana tachi wa sotto kokoro wo tsutsun’de
hashiridashita senaka ni kaze wo okuri te wo futta

Now I’ve started running, I’m sure that nothing will stop me
Whenever I feel pain, I look up at the night sky…
All of the dancing flower petals gently embrace my heart
Then send me off with a wind at my back, waving at me as I go

いつまでも Ah…

itsu made mo Ah…

Ah… Forever…


キミという特異点 // Kimi to Iu Tokuiten

Almost every time I post I wonder whether I should preface it with a “Sorry I’m late!” I get that I post fairly often, but I can never keep up with everyone’s requests ^^; and lately I’ve been paying more attention to my own interests in terms of translating – Hahaha.

For one, there’s a good chance I’ll be moving out in the next few weeks, and starting a full time job, contrived to be compressed into four days of the week. Very soon, I’ll be starting on a (non-free) translation of Dantalian no Shoka. I’m already starting to work out the foundations of a (at least partially free) literary magazine: Refracted -聯想録幻-. I’m also immersed in reading 傷物語 Kizumonogatari, and “Another” is threatening me with a “you must order-then-read me!!!” in my dreams via Misaki’s gaze. So my head’s been a bit full ^^;

But let’s get to this song.

Probably one of the tracks that I anticipated the most out of C81. This song’s atmosphere just does it for me. I want this out of EastNewSound. Half of me is wondering what happened to them, and half of me is wondering what happened to my perspective of them.

Maybe it’s just that 死霊の夜桜 Shirei no Yozakura has become one of my favorite Touhou tracks of all time, before I’d even really got its name memorized.

I love the font in the album booket. A slight 違和感 off-feeling, with the kanji and hiragana and katakana in separate font with a bold and slim contrast. on the stark white background. It’s so aesthetic it almost kills me.

Notes:
Less direct, more feeling and emphasis on auxilliary meanings – if you’re reading along in Japanese. A few lines are confusing, but I tried to align everything as much as possible so you can work out the imagery. Particularly “like the dreams we cannot return to our desires intertwined with our prayers” is an intriguing image, I think.

I think you can interpret the “post waking dream” which comes as part of the phrase “waking from a dream into another dream” as reality or as death, or as simply a dream.

“…shadows reach out and connect with you” – It’s possible to interpret this meaning as the shadows all came together into such a form that made it seem to the narrator that her lover was there, but that’s too much of a leap for me to just assume, thus it stays as “connect with you”.

キミという特異点
 Kimi to Iu Tokuiten
 The Singularity Known as You
死霊の夜桜|東方神霊廟
Vocal: 鹿乃
Arrange: Tomohiko Togashi
Lyric: 海兎
Circle: Amateras Records
Album: Helius Aggregation
Event: C81

醒めた夢の隣にいないキミ
姿、探し求めてた春の中

sameta yume no tonari ni inai kimi
sugata, sagashimotometa haru no naka

In this dream past waking, I found you weren’t by my side
So I searched for you throughout the encompassing spring

こんな世界に抱いた一つの疑問 渦巻いて
いつも通りの景色 その隣にキミがいないから

kon’na sekai ni idaita hitotsu no gimon uzumaite
itsumodoori no keshiki sono tonari ni kimi ga inai kara

But in this world I held a doubt, which spiralled inside of me
Even though everything here is as it is in waking, why are you not by my side?

桜 願い色付いて儚く散る運命
祈り そこに絡む欲望に 取り戻せない夢

sakura negai irodzuite hakanaku chiru sadame
inori soko ni karamu yokubou ni torimodosenai yume

Cherry blossoms take on the color of wishes but are fated so soon to fall
Like the dreams we cannot return to our desires so intertwined with our prayers

伸びた影はキミへと繋がって
触れた心 どんな感情(いろ)描いてた?

nobita kage wa kimi e to tsunagatte
fureta kokoro don’na iro egaiteta?

The lengthening shadows reach out and connect with you
What color of emotion was brought out when our hearts touched?

君がいないよ 呟きそれに違和感覚えてた
寂しさ埋める都合のいい話 そうじゃないんだと

kimi ga inai yo tsubuyaki sore ni iwakan’ oboeteta
samishisa umeru tsugou no ii hanashi sou ja nain’ da to

I whispered, “But you aren’t here…” and felt something terribly wrong
Isn’t this all just a fairy tale I’ve made to fill my loneliness?

こんな想い キミという存在の大きさ
深き眠り 今もいつまでも隣にいて欲しい

kon’na omoi kimi to iu son’zai no ookisa
fukaki nemuri ima mo itsu made mo tonari ni ite hoshii

These emotions and the breadth of your existence…
Even now in this deep sleep, I just want to be beside you

桜 願い色付いて儚く散る運命
祈り そこに絡む欲望に 取り戻せないキミ

sakura negai irodzuite hakanaku chiru sadame
inori soko ni karamu yokubou ni torimodosenai kimi

Cherry blossoms take on the color of wishes but are fated so soon to fall
Like you, whom I cannot return to my desires so intertwined with my prayers

純桜華 -双雷- // Jun’ouka -Sourai-

Requested by Fractal

I’m slowly getting back to handling my requests ^^;

Notes:
The second half of the chorus is translated mostly with feeling. Literally it is, “I will go this night to see you, all the way to the Red Palace; I cannot remove the bonds on my arms and legs that tie me to (my) sin, and it presses/carves (figuratively) its weight unto me. That doesn’t connect really well by itself and the way I interpret the meaning is “Though I cannot free myself from this sin, that itself will not stop me,” so you get the end result. I apologize, it’s a little odd. Also, there’s no difference between the two choruses in writing, but because of the stanza previous to the first one, it puts the whole chorus in a conditional (if I were free from this curse of time I would … etc.) The second one doesn’t have that preceding it, so I made the first chorus less assertive and the second more assertive.

The first old-style verse is a bit ambiguous as to whether the “two” entered the palace from the real world and then became immortal, or belonged to the palace (lived there) originally and were immortal (there’s a lot of fuzzy grammar). Keeping the wording of the second of those verses in mind, I made it lean in the second case’s direction, given Hinanawi Tenshi’s background as a celestial, but the other case is very possible. Given the entire context of the song, it makes more sense for “the road home” to mean “back to the Red Palace” if the two didn’t leave together, which also coincides better with case 2.

純桜華 -双雷-
 Jun’ouka -Sourai-
 Pure Cherry Blossoms -Twin Thunder-
東方緋想天|東方緋想天
Circle: Riverside
Vocals: 秣本瑳羅
Arrange&Lyrics: Cororo
Guitar: すのうまん
Album: Edis révir -Riverside vocal best album & ryuno’s art works vol.1-
Event: 例大祭8

儚く散りゆく桜
静かに朽ち果てていく
幾度と繰り返される

hakanaku chiriyuku sakura
shizuka ni kuchihateteyuku
ikudo to kurikaesareru

O the cherry blossoms, how they
Fleetingly disperse, silently
Withering, ever again and again

逃れられぬこの時の呪縛を脱ぎ捨てられたら
風に舞う花になれたら

nogarerarenu kono toki no jubaku wo nugisutetaretara
kaze ni mau hana ni naretara

If only I could break free from from this curse of time I cannot escape,
If only I could be as those flowers dancing in the wind!

今宵会いに行きます
赤い館まで
四肢の枷は外れぬ
罪の重さをこの身に刻む

koyoi ai ni ikimasu
akai yakata made
shishi no kase wa hazurenu
tsumi no omosa wo kono mi ni kizamu

I would go this very night to see you,
All the way to the Red Palace!
From these bonds on my arms and my legs I cannot break free from my sin,
But I would bear its weight upon me!

揺らめく下弦の月は
私に似て俯いて
煌く雲は羽衣

yurameku kagen no tsuki wa
watashi ni nite utsumuite
kirameku kumo wa hagoromo

The wavering crescent moon
Like me, faces down toward the earth
The shining clouds about it like angels’ wings

私を見張る瞳が貴方のものであったなら
もうなにも望まないのに

watashi wo miharu hitomi ga anata no mono de atta nara
mou nani mo nozomanai no ni

If only it was you who was watching over me,
Then I would want for nothing more…

青い星の流れは
赤い館まで
続いているのだろうか
ねえ誰か答えて

aoi hoshi no nagare wa
akai yakata made
tsudzuiteiru no darou ka
nee dareka kotaete

I wonder if these blue stars
Will continue flowing
All the way to that Red Palace?
Please, someone answer me…

海神の神の宮の内のへの妙なる殿に
たづさはりふたり入り居て老いもせず死にもせず

watatsumi no kami no miya no uchi no e no myou naru araka ni
tadzusawari futari iri ite oi mo sezu shini mo sezu

Those two who lived in a strange palace before the temple of Neptune
Would not grow old, nor would they die

天の原降り放け見れば霞立ち家路惑ひて行方知らずも

ama no hara furifurikemireba kasumi tachi ieji madoite yukue shirazu mo

But once descending from the plains of heaven,
 one cannot find their way home through the mist

色褪せたまほろばに
滲む緋の影が
消えてしまわぬように
叫び続けていた

iroaseta mahoroba ni
nijimu hi no kage ga
kieteshimawanu you ni
sakebi tsudzuketeita

In this faded paradise
I continued to shout
So that those blurred scarlet shadows
Would not disappear

今宵会いに行きます
赤い館まで
四肢の枷は外れぬ
罪の重さをこの見に刻む

koyoi ai ni ikimasu
akai yakata made
shishi no kase wa hazurenu
tsumi no omosa wo kono mi ni kizamu

I will go this very night to see you,
All the way to the Red Palace!
From these bonds on my arms and my legs I cannot break free from my sin,
But I will bear its weight upon me!

不純不凍ディストーション // Fujun-Futou Distortion

You I’ve wondered to myself about what 少女病 refers to. Sickness of Girls or Sickness for Girls. Because, how can you not have the later?

Someone requested this, but I don’t really remember who… anyway, this is arranged by the great RD-Sounds, and is the beginning of a story. As it’s the beginning of a story I’ll want to make it to the end, but let me get a few other requests taken care of first ^^;

I give you, Kuuderika. (This seems to be the most popular romanization (a direct one) of her name.)

Notes:
“Impure Unfreezing Distortion” – the word used for “unfreezing” is the same used in “antifreeze”.

“an imaginary number of voices” – literally “a number of voices that is counted as a complex/imaginary number” – it’s being clever, because there are voices but there are also not voices. There are voices quantified only in a realm that is not ordinary observed.

不純不凍ディストーション
 Fujun-Futou Distortion
 Impure Unfreezing Distortion
Vocal: Mitsuki
Compose&Arrange: RD-Sounds
Lyrics: 少女病

不純不凍の霧に虚数を数えた 作為的に蒼褪めた声
始まるこの物語は 或る少女が視たVision―――――――

fujun’futou no kiri ni kyosuu wo kazoeta sakuiteki ni aozameta koe
hajimaru kono monogatari wa aru shoujo ga mita Vision-

In the impure and unfreezing fog, an imaginary number of assertive voices paled and striken
Begin to tell this story, that of the Vision one girl saw -

少女が生まれ持ったその瞳は 霊の姿までも捉えることができた
少女は天から 数多の死者の言葉さえ聞き取る耳を授かった

shoujo ga umaremotta sono hitomi wa rei no sugata mademo torae(ru) koto ga dekita
shoujo wa ten’ kara amata no shisha no kotoba sae kikitoru mimi wo sazukatta

She was born with eyes that would show her even the images of ghosts and spirits
And the heavens gave her ears that would tell her even the words of the numerous dead

一人きり隔離されるように
村から離れ佇む不釣合いに大きな館〈〈palace〉〉
手入れもままならぬ館は 深い霧が覆い全てを拒絶して

hitorikiri kakuri sareru you ni
mura kara hanaretatazun’ palace
teire mo mama naranu yakata wa fukai kiri ga ooi subete wo kyozetsu shite

She was isolated, all alone,
In a “palace” that stood separated from the village,
A castle fallen into disarray, cut off from the world by a thick fog

Verdict of Guilty 理不尽に審判は下された
細い否定の声音は殺されて
Not Guilty 誰も理解してはくれない ただ生きているだけなのに

Verdict of Guilty rifujin’ ni shin’pan wa kudasareta
hosoi hitei no kowane wa korosarete
Not Guilty dare mo rikai shite wa kurenai tada ikiteiru dake na no ni

An unreasonable verdict was handed down, a “Verdict of Guilty”
All dissenters were silenced
No one would understand her, that she was “Not Guilty” – Though she did nothing but live.

”悪霊憑き“と呼ばれて嫌われて
流行り病も天災も 少女のせいで起きたと罵られ
罪を押し付けられていく日々…

“akuryoutsuki” to yobarete kirawarete
hayariyamai mo tensai mo shoujo no sei de okita to nonoshirare
tsumi wo oshitsukerareteku hibi…

She was hated, accused of being possessed by evil spirits
She was cursed for every common illness and every natural disaster
She lived her days under the blame of several sins…

それでも少女は何があっても 人々を恨みも憎みもしなかった

soredemo shoujo wa nani ga attemo hitobito wo urami mo nikumi mo shinakatta

But no matter what happened, she never came to hate or resent anyone

幼い頃 今のように誤解をされてしまうまではずっと
普通の子みたいに接していてくれてたことを忘れていないから―――――

osanai koro ima no you ni gokai wo sareteshimau made wa zutto
futsuu no ko mitai ni sesshiteitekureteta koto wo wasureteinai kara-

Because she remembered the times when she was young and everyone
Treated her kindly, just like a normal girl, before all of this misunderstanding -

Verdict of Guilty 不意に審判は下された
願う心の叫びは届かずに
Not Guilty 誰も振り向いてはくれない 生きていたいだけなのに

Verdict of Guilty fui ni shin’pan wa kudasareta
negau kokoro no sakebi wa todokazu ni
Not Guilty dare mo furimuite wa kurenai ikiteitai dake nano ni

The verdict came as a complete surprise, that “Verdict of Guilty”
No one would hear the cries of her heart
No one would turn her way, believe she was “Not Guilty” – Though she wanted only to live.

彷徨い惑い迷い訪れるのは この世に未練ある無害な霊だけ
悩みを意味を罪を受け止めて 冥界へ優しく送り出す

samayoi-madoi-mayoi-otozureru no wa kono yo ni miren aru mugai na rei dake
nayami wo imi wo tsumi wo uketomete meikai e yasashiku okuridasu

All that would come to her, at the end of their wanderings, troubled and lost
 were harmless spirits that still had lingering attachments to this world
And she would take on their worries, their meaningfulness and their sin
 before sending them gently off to the world of the dead

友達のいない少女〈〈くーデリカ〉〉は繰り返す
小さな喪失を ah…止め処なく
いつかは彼らも この場所から必ず旅立っていくのだから

tomodachi no inai Kuuderika wa kurikaesu
chiisana soushitsu wo ah… tomedonaku
itsuka wa karera mo kono basho kara kanarazu tabidatteiku no dakara

In this way, friendless Kuuderika would repeatedly
Endlessly, experience loss
“Even those here will one day start again on their journey…”

『ずっと一緒にはいられない……。わかってる』
寂しさをah…飲み込んだ
けれどたまに夢を見てしまうんだ
誰かと共に暮す幻想を 喪ったあの日々を―――――――

“zutto issho ni wa irarenai……. wakatteru”
sabishisa wo ah… nomikonda
keredo tama ni yume wo miteshimaun’da
dareka to tomo ni kurasu gensou wo ushinatta ano hibi wo-

“I know that we cannot stay together forever…”
She would surpress her loneliness
But every now and then she would dream
Of a fantasy in which she could live together with someone; of her lost days.

Project “Refracted -聯想録幻-“

Project: Refracted -聯想録幻- “Rensourokugen”

Refracted – or “Rensourokugen”, which means “An Illusionary Record of Associative Thought”, will be a Japanese Literary/Visual Arts Fan Magazine in English modeled after the Japanese Literary Magazine “Faust” (ファウスト) and its American counterpart (now defunct). Before I really read anything Japanese I bought “Faust” vol.1 and it opened my eyes and introduced me to a great number of authors and series; I want to do something similar even if it’ll inevitably be on a smaller scale. So, I’m looking for translators who would like to contribute. Ideally, I’m hoping to get every participant to contribute at least one original work and at least one adaptive work (ex. translation), and I’ll probably need some artists ^^;.

For the time being, I want to focus on keeping this project copyright infringement free. I say for the time being because part of the reason I’m doing this is I want to give some translators (including myself) publicity, and 99% of the time translators don’t get discovered unless they’re doing something in direct breach of copyright, so in the future there may be a deliberate lean in that direction (especially because copyright free material is usually old news and hard to find). That said, right now I’m looking for legitimate permissions to include chapters from some serial light novels to translate, and even if I can’t find any, I have a pretty good copyright free backup, at least for myself.

What would be stellar is if I could convince some artists/writers in Japan to write a short little something just for use in this magazine – but I don’t want to get ahead of myself just yet.

If the project ends up running a little slow, chances are it’ll be a web publication in pdf and distributed freely. If I get the ball rolling so to speak, I want to publish this thing for real and I’ll use the money that I was planning on using to get to Japan with. In that case it won’t be for free, but I’ll publish a “web/preview-edition” with a cross-section of what the full magazine is so you’ll know what you’re in for.

When? That depends on a hundred thousand different variables and my personal luck. But I want to set a tentative goal for September, that I’ll shift around depending on how fast or slow I can get this started.

I made a new category just for posts of this nature, so I’ll do a couple of progress updates when I know a little bit more about what’s going on.

If anyone around here has experience with the US publishing industry, advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks.


^A rather accurate representation of my lyrics translation queue.

I’ll try to handle most of the more recent lyrics requests by this weekend. Sometimes I wish I had a team…

Impressions of Dantalian no Shoka // ダンタリアンの書架 // Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian


If you have not listened to the music from Dantalian no Shoka, I suggest you search for: 澄んだ空気。感情的になり過ぎず、歌うように。 That track is amazing, on so many levels….

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything like a light novel review, and I felt that it would be nice to do one after a while. Other than translating, I probably spend most of my time reading. I used to read a lot when I was a little kid, but didn’t read hardly anything once I hit junior high up until at the very end of high school, so part of me thinks I’m just trying to make up for lost time. ^^ – plus nothing helps Japanese vocabulary and grammar studies than reading.

Lately (on and off), I’ve been reading Dantalian no Shoka. I grew to like the anime and around episodes 9, 10, and 11 (黄昏の書, 幻曲, and ラジエルの書架) I decided that I’d buy the entire series (8 volumes). (It’s a bit difficult to come by books, and I save money buying in bulk, so…) – After reading half of those, (covering all of the anime material and more,) I wanted to give my thoughts on the series as a whole: the light novels, the anime, and the series in comparison to others. Anyway, let’s get to it.

Dantalian no Shoka – ダンタリアンの書架 – Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian.

Dantalian no Shoka came on to the anime scene right after GOSICK, and I get the feeling at least anime-wise there was a romantic influence from GOSICK to Dantalian. They are set in the same time period, in between World War I and World War II, and both have a distinctive Gothic mystery element, so I suppose it was natural for something like that to happen.

I get the feeling that GOSICK’s watcher base was split between Dantalian and Ikoku Meiro no Croisée – one taking GOSICK’s mystery/occult portion, and the other taking, well – France. I didn’t like Ikoku Meiro no Croisée though, so that’s all I’ll say about it here. But after I breakdown and explain my impressions of both the light novel and anime versions of Dantalian’s characters I’ll make paralells to Kujou Kazuya and Victoriqué, and how those differences reflect on how both stories are told.

First of all, let’s take a look at the differences between Dalian and Huey from the light novels to the anime. I’d say that the differences between both versions are similar to the differences between PC-98 Reimu and Windows Reimu, essentially the same, but beyond a difference in looks, there’s a definite difference in emotion and character.

First, Dalian. I get the feeling that a bit of moe shine was added to Dalian for the anime. Not that I mind; the new design for her locket was cool and offered up a nice solution to the light novel Dalian’s lock paradox. Lock paradox because light novel Dalian has a giant box-like lock that appears to hang from the leather/iron brace around her neck and connect to her hip guards – over her clothing. Despite this, to actually clear the lock to open it, she has to take off a significant portion of her clothing, and the lock is actually embedded in her skin. (I just assume that there are slots in the lock so that she can slip her clothing around it properly.) The anime instead has a portion that looks like a locket, but when the key is inserted her blouse magically blows apart, and we see that the “locket” is actually the top portion of a large heart-shaped lock. I’m not entirely sure who designed that – but most of the clothing in the anime was designed by gothic/sweet lolita clothing shops (like Baby the Stars Shine Bright), so I wouldn’t be surprised if the lock redesign was handled in the same way. This all adds a bit of maturity and grace to Dalian’s appearance in the anime and makes her look older than her original “age” of 12-13. This change is important to the romantic direction that the anime takes.

Dalian is very different in the light novels. She is described as having a much more awkward appearance, a bit of a lisp, and the general behavior of a tiny dog that acts bigger than it is. At the same time though, her skin and features are described as doll-like, and along with the tone of her voice, more beautiful than any normal human being. By the tone of her skin (out of place in Britain), she looks “Eastern” or Asian. Her lock gets constant attention for being extremely out of place, and while Dalian wears a standard black and frilly dress, she is also heavily armored. Not counting anything else that might be under her dress, she has a leather and iron guard around her neck, iron plates around her waist and hips, gauntlet like protectors around her wrists and steel plated boots. In the light novels, she’s deflected attacks several times (like wonderwoman). The main thing to keep in mind about Dalian in the light novels is that while she’s beautiful, she’s more outlandish than beautiful, and that while she likes to bark and anyone and everyone, she never lets go of Huey’s coat.

Just to add, a large majority of the characters in Dantalian no Shoka mistake Dalian for Huey’s “wife to be”. “Oh, so you’re -that- kind of person. Don’t worry about it, I don’t discriminate.” Relatives that realize that’s not the case try to push Huey to marry. Haha. Jessica Elphinston is one love interest (~15-16).

^I feel a lot more sorry for Huey now. Remember all those times Dalian kicked him? She did it with these.

Remember the first episode of the anime, (Episode 00 in the light novels) when Dalian talks about the world in the gourd from the old Chinese tale, and how Dalian is “like” it? The light novels take it a step further and suggest that she is in fact that very gourd (explaining her Eastern heritage). We learn that it was only 300 years ago (from 1920-ish time) that she became a library, when she was owned by Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II who attempted to collect every grimoire in existence (I’m not sure how this ties into the anime finale, but I might have to read to the end of the series to find out – four volumes in and we’ve only met the girl inside the library once – definitively). “Dantalian’s Library” according to the light novels also appears to have more than the noted 900666 grimoires, including prophesies of other people’s lives (though you might consider the records of everyone’s lives one grimoire), and Dalian has used her library to transport large numbers of ordinary books. The library in the light novels is also less abstract that in it is in the anime, more wood and stone, and maze-like passageways in hexagonal shapes that all together from the center constitute a giant tower like the tower of babel.

Huey is more human in the light novel than he is in the anime. He’s actually not a great shot and only makes good use of the gun at close range. It’s probably been used to deflect attacks at the last minute as many times as it’s been shot. Huey’s number one expression in the light novels is “bitter smile”, he doesn’t like to consider himself a military man, and constantly uses phrases such as “all I did was fly” to refer to his service in World War I, despite the fact that he was rewarded special rank and was an ace. Huey is very protective of Dalian in the light novels as well, but his reasons and relationship with the girl in the library is masked. I think it took a while for the anime to get to this side of his character. Until episode 11 I just considered him the “awesome deus ex machina antithesis of (useless) Kazuya.” But Huey really isn’t an idiot, and uses his head quite often to solve problems rather than popping a solution out of the library. Lots of people die before Huey can do anything about it and the caveat of “life-saving magic works only once” makes him avoid it if he can help it.

What this all means anime vs. light novel is a difference in atmosphere. The anime is made to be more romantic and fantastic, whereas the light novels are more gothic and like dark fairy tales. A number of chapters are based on fairy tales (Bluebeard and Sleeping Beauty for some). I think that the ED sequence for the anime embodies that element a little more then how the anime responds. The first chapter of the light novels for instance, (Episode 01: Meditations de Gastronomie) ends with Huey walking away from a man lustfully feasting on his own brains and losing his humanity and sanity in the process. Though, the light novel doesn’t go the point of making Dalian emotionless, but is very clear that Dalian has seen a lot of death – her entire manner changes drastically in different situations, from that of a frightened puppy to that of an all knowing and sorrowful being. Not to spoil much of anything, so I’ll try to be vague, but other dark tales include: a sickly daughter that loved her father – when she finds out that that “love” was a false excuse to see a certain mistress, the daughter kills her father, his mistress, and becomes that mistress, attempting to resurrect at least in her mind or in a delusional state her father so that he would love only her; an impish man wanting for a mother attempts to cut open and crawl inside women (and girls) who are taller than him that he thinks might be suitable to be his mother. But don’t worry, there’s quite a bit of silly comedy as well.

If we want to look at some of the ways the anime romanticized the original work, one of the best examples is the first summon in the anime. At the same time, this is one of the reasons the anime is so great. When Huey summons the Slyph before the dragon in the first episode. What he reads becomes his life story in a nutshell – you get his characterization in a flash. “Oh Sheol… Hear my voice! Hear the grevious cries of a mourning child! The carcass of the butterfly you have ensnared may pale or tear apart, yet still, there are those who would tempt death for a single scale… Watch as shattered dreams take flight again!” etc. That scene was awesome, not only stylistically beautiful, it plays a strong rendition of the second main theme (in 夢想的情緒。驟雨の様なピアノの間奏). In the light novels, we’re still confronted with a dragon. Dalian gets Huey to open the lock, and while he’s sitting there stunned, she plunges her hand into her chest and draws out Book of Faeries, opening it just as they are about to be engulfed in flame, and so summons the Slyph. No romantic readings or standing in front of the dragon. A lot more proactive on Dalian’s part. It is less in this case that Dalian is commanding the Sylph or anything, but more letting it out across the boundary so they can stall the Dragon. (It doesn’t actually die or vanish in the light novels). It takes a while in the light novels before we actually see Huey read one of the grimoires. He does not magically read the words perfectly, but stumbles over them. It does appear that in chapters later on the timeline he’s much more skilled at this but he doesn’t start out that way.

Although they aren’t given as much attention as Huey and Dalian, Hal and Flamberge are a bit different as well. Namely Flamberge’s outfit is more tightly bound and her hands are tied not by her sides but twisted and locked in front of her face. She’s used to it, but she can barely walk and Hal sometimes slings her over his shoulder if they’re in a hurry. One thing that’s notable is that Hal always betrays a smile if he knows he’s made someone (usually a little girl ;3) happy, or rather happy to see someone happy just to be and not wanting at all to rely on magic. Another interesting bit that’s hard to tell in the anime is that whenever Hal has that thing about his fate is most probably to die in his own flames (like the race of giants that his weapon is supposedly handed down from or based on) Flamberge suddenly shows sadness for Hal.

Raziel and the Professor are far, far more covert in their operations in the light novels than in the anime. Neither of them make an appearance in the zombie episode, they just supposedly handed the original book to an ex-german-military man. The most we’ve seen of him has probably been in “Raziel’s Library” and in a short fragment about gambling. If anything he is more suave and more like “Moriarty” than in the anime. We actually get Raziel’s motivation in the light novels. Raziel (which means “Secrets of God” in Hebrew) the angel, the scribe to the Jewish god, had a book that contained near infinite knowledge (obtained by writing everything down). The other angels grew jealous and stole the book, casting it into the primordial seas. By the time it reached land its knowledge was broken up and distributed by humans – much of which was written down to form the first phantom books – and it’s original form was lost forever. But a philosopher (who may have made Raziel if she’s not the angel herself in a way) postulated that if all the phantom books were gathered in one place, one might be able to recreated Raziel’s book – and it would take not only all of the books in existence per say, but all of the knowledge that had been given in an abstract sense, which could be resurrected with the formation of new phantom books.



At any rate, so far the light novels are a good read. The limited third-person narration really lends itself to the format so that each chapter is more like a “tale”. Each chapter lightly reintroduces Huey and Dalian (but only as the narrator observes them), and scarce narration works better in the story. For instance it’s not that the narrator is mean and not giving you critical information (I’m talking about you GOSICK), but the narrator doesn’t know if that’s Huey or not because he hasn’t spoken his name.

From stort to story some are better than others, and sometimes the mystery’s a little too scatterbrained (I’m talking about you 幻書泥棒), but there’s a reason I keep going back to it.

I believe that I’ve hinted that I was going to talk more about GOSICK, but, just read this instead, [GOSICK Rant] and you’ll probably easily figure out what I’d have to say. I do like GOSICK a lot, and the linear and overarching plot lends itself to a much better mystery element – but where as Kazuya really liked to get on my nerves, and Victorique got a little ridiculous at times, Huey and Dalian are much easier to get attached to. They’re much weirder after all, and I like weirdos.

I had a twitter rant a while back about the differences between “Raziel’s Library” vs. Episode 11 of the anime on Twitter discussing the differences in the poetry read aloud and how the light novel’s version was much, much darker, but I don’t know where I put my notes and this is already long enough I think, so I’ll go ahead and end here.

^_^

I’ll leave you with this:

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 841 other followers