大空魔術 ~ Magical Astronomy


^Shinta is the Renko and Merry artist. You can search his tag in most places with “shinta (artist)” but here is his pixiv for good measure: [pixiv-link]

This is the first real large translation project that I’ve overtaken and finished in less than 24 hours. I’m a bit proud of myself ^_^. Also a bit tired, but oh well; ┐( ̄ー ̄)┌ it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately this is the last installment of Renko and Merry’s adventures. Feel absolutely free to develop theories connecting Merry Hearn and Yukari Yakumo while trying to decide the fate of Usami Renko… I know I will.

Anyway about the music, this is one of my favorite disks; I do love them all absolutely, but Magical Astronomy, Retrospective 53 Minutes and Hourai Dolls come out on top. After all, Magical Astronomy contains 天空のグリニッジ (Greenwich of the Sky) possibly my favorite Touhou original track, 車椅子の未来宇宙 (The Future Cosmos in a Wheelchair), and of course 大空魔術, Magical Astronomy. If you like the music on this disk, I also recommend giving “Metallical Astronomy” by SOUND HOLIC a listen. If you like 天空のグリニッジ even a fraction of the amount I love it, I seriously recommend giving this [local-link] track by Buta-Otome a listen.

If you want to read more about Renko and Merry, look to my [translations-side-projects page] and you’ll find all of the works there translated ^_^.

As always, but especially with posts like these, I appreciate comments; Thank you for reading – if you want to skip the notes, just scroll down to the next picture and start from there. As always this story is best read while listening to the music it accompanies.

Notes:
“Magic of the Skyward Heavens” might be making it a little too poetic, but I want to embrace the astronomy meaning with the image of a starry sky. You call them “celestial bodies” after all right? I didn’t use the commonly accepted translations of the titles of the tracks but translated them myself; especially because titles are short and thus more applicable to ambiguity, I’m not going to say anything like those translations are wrong or anything, I just wanted to pick/piece together the titles myself. I tried to fit them best based on the contents of the read-along below.

I tried to keep who’s saying what obvious enough so I didn’t have to throw in each of their names all the time, but if you need it, I can indent or color the dialogue.

I interchanged space, outer space, universe, and cosmos depending on the mood, but they’re all from the same word 宇宙.

I used “moon tour” throughout for brevity’s sake, but it really is moon’s surface tour, not to be confused with just circling the moon in a spaceship and riding back home.

I would also like to note that the individual notes for each section aren’t really that necessary to read, they’re mostly just notes on some terms, science, and a few of my comments. If I were skilled enough to make some sort of collapsing annotations system I would, but I’m not that skilled.

2.
UTC stands for “Universal Coordinated Time” don’t ask me why, but some official abbreviations like this tend to be out of order. I researched this out of curiosity, and UTC is in fact less correct than GMT=Greenwich Mean Time (otherwise known as UT1=Universal Time 1 for the specific calculation formula etc.). UTC is based on the TAI=International Atomic Time, that has “leap seconds” added to it whenever UTC and GMT are more than .9 seconds apart. Solar time via the Royal Observatory at Greenwich is recalculated because the rotation of the Earth is gradually slowing down, tidal gravity waves from other planets and seasonal and weather changes and … (゚Д゚ノ)ノ time should not be this complicated. So that’s what Renko means by outside her ability.

3.
A dango is a certain Japanese sweet, rice cakes skewered and roasted then dipped in sauce. They’ve very tasty and very autumn.

4.
Stephen Hawking is probably greatest theoretical physicist and cosmologist of all time; due to a motor disease that he contracted early on, at this point in time he can’t really move much more than his cheek, which means he sits in a wheelchair and uses a voice synthesizer to talk. I actually have attended one of his lectures, and met (meaning really, say “hello” to and not that much more; I might have asked a question) him when I was younger. Hence, the “a wheelchair futuristic cosmos”.

Max Planck was a German physicist around Einstein’s time who founded quantum theory/quantum physics.

Hermeneutics is the study of explanations.

5.
[Planck Length]

6.
I want to try coffee that’s been exploded and frozen in an instant! (*´▽`*)ノ旦
I’d really like to see that experiment happen, I should send this to NASA and… oh wait (;ω;`)

7.
The siphon system is similar (or equivalent) to the perlocated method (also now obsolete), which does technically use gravity to get the coffee back to the original chamber, but uses water vapor pressure to send the liquid through the grounds multiple times. I suppose if you made it more circular it would work just fine, however, personally, for coffee in the absence of gravity, I recommend the French press.

The four fundamental physical forces/interactions are: gravity, weak, strong, and electromagnetic.

9.
I used necrofantasia and necrophantasia seperately. I figure there’s a nuance. Necrofantasia is the original title, but the subtitle is necrophantasia, what Renko describes.

10.
“pond, lake” That’s just what was written. I’ll take it as poetic license. If it’s something with a fountain I’m assuming it’s rather small, but I could be mistaken.

Afterword.
It would help my finances if the dollar to yen rate were still 120 yen to a dollar.. it’s around 85 at the time of this writing (for your reference).

大空魔術 ~ Magical Astronomy.
 Oozora Majutsu ~ Magical Astronomy
 Magic of the Skyward Heavens ~ Magical Astronomy

 1.月面ツアーへようこそ (Welcome to Our Tour of the Moon’s Surface)
    Welcome to Lunatic City.

 「人類の夢の一つ、月面旅行がついに一般人も可能に!」
 「来月には日本の旅行会社各社からツアー開始」

“One of mankind’s dreams, a journey to the moon, is now finally within anyone’s reach!”
“Next month, travel companies all across Japan will start tours!”

 行き交う人の足取りも重い、地上の私鉄の駅前に号外が飛び交った。

In front of a crowded private railway station a newspaper extra was flying this way and that.

 スポーツニュース以外では珍しい明るいニュースに、いつもならすぐ捨
てられてしまう号外も、今回ばかりは皆鞄の中に仕舞っている。号外の記
事の内容に興味があってと言う事もあるが、それ以上に記事の写真に惹か
れた人も少なくないだろう。

It was rare for there to be an extra not sports related, and such bright news as this; normally people would just throw extras like this away, but just this time everyone was putting them away in their bags. While certainly some were interested in the contents of the article, I’m sure there were just a few taken in by the picture on the front.

 宇宙の写真は人の心を癒す。何故なら、宇宙の写真を見ると否応無しに
人間の小ささに気付かされるからだ。その時直面している苦難が、広大な
宇宙に比べると如何にちっぽけな物だと感じ、癒される。こんなに宇宙が
広いんだから、自分一人の努力なんて大して重要ではない。上司だって政
治家だって今は無き独裁者だって小さな人間だ。自分は自分の納得のいく
まで努力すればいい。宇宙の写真だけで直感的にそう感じるのだ。

Photographs of the universe have a healing effect on people’s hearts. If I had to say why, it’s because just seeing it forces people to realize the smallness of what it means to be human. Facing that directly is difficult, but when you feel how incredibly small you are compared to the rest of the great, expansive universe, it calms you. Because the universe is just so wide, each person’s individual efforts aren’t that important. Whether it be a superior, a politician, or a dictator (though now there are none left), all of them are human. So it’s fine for you to just put out as much effort as you can. You an feel all of that intuitively just from a picture of space.

 宇佐見蓮子とマエリベリー・ハーン(メリー)の二人は、大学構内のカ
フェテラスで興奮した様子で会話をしていた。

Usami Renko and Maribel Hearn were having an excited conversation on a cafe terrace within the university grounds.

 2.天空のグリニッジ (Greenwich of the Sky)
    Royal Greenwich Observatory

「『なお、今回もまた有人火星探査は見送れた』だってさ」

“It says, ‘Furthermore, we’ve just sent another manned mission to Mars.'”

「ふーん。ま、火星探査なんてどうでも良いわ。
 メリー、まずは号外の記事の『月旅行』の話よ」

“Really? Well, I don’t really care about the missions to Mars. Merry, first I want to talk about that “Trip to the Moon” from the newspaper extra article.”

「うん、月と星を見るだけで時間と場所が判る蓮子の目に、
 月面がどう映るのか知りたいしね」

“Well, with you being able to tell the time and place by just looking at the moon and stars, I’d really like to know what you’d see on the surface of the moon.”

「そりゃ『ここは月面です』って判るんじゃないかな」

“Well I’d probably just know, ‘This is the surface of the moon.'”

「時間はどうなのよ?」

“What about the time?”

「私の目はJSTしか見られないのよ。UTCは能力外。
 そもそも、月面でも地球と同じ時間を使うのって変よね」

“The only time I can see is Japan Standard Time (JST), Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) is outside my ability range. In the first place I think it’s strange to use the same time on the earth and on the moon.”

「ちょっとちょっと、能力外って……ただの引き算じゃないの?」

“Wait a minute, “outside your ability range”…. it’s it just a matter of subtraction?”

 宇宙では今のところ協定世界時(UTC)を使っているが、この協定世界時は
グリニッジ標準時(GMT)と基本的に同じ物である。
 グリニッジ天文台が建てられたのは17世紀である。宇宙を観る為の時間が、
宇宙でも用いられると考えると、些か滑稽である。

In outer space we now use UTC, but this “universal coordinated time” is basically the same as Greenwich Mean Time. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich was established in the 17th century; but when I think that the time originally used for viewing the universe is now being used throughout it, it feels just a little ridiculous.

 3.東の国の眠れない夜 (A Sleepless Night in the Eastern Country)
    Vampirish Nightlife

 「で、いつ行くの? 月面旅行」

“So, when should we go on this moon tour?”

 「メリーは気が早いわね。
  まぁきっと混むだろうし、早い内に予約だけは済ましておきたいわね」

“Merry, you really are hasty aren’t you? Well it’ll probably be crowded so I’d like to get reservations before long.”

 「夏休みとかは滅茶苦茶混みそうだし、暑そうだから少しずらして
  秋にしない?」

“Since during summer vacation it’ll probably be ridiculously crowded, and it’ll be hot and all, so… shouldn’t we wait a little longer and go in the fall?”

 「月や宇宙が暑いって事は無いと思うけど、同感ね。
  秋の方が良いわ。日本的で。
  どうせなら今年の中秋の名月に行きましょうよ」

“I’m pretty sure it’s not “hot” on the moon or in space, but I agree – going in the fall would be better, very Japanese. Anyway, why don’t we go during this year’s harvest moon?”

 「お団子持ってね。
  そうしましょう、そうしましょう」

“Yeah, and take along dangos! Let’s do it, let’s do it!”

 あらゆる情報が手に入る今でも、宇宙だけは永遠のロマンであった。
 そのロマンの一つにして、最も魅力的な月に降り立つ事が出来れば、
誰だって行ってみたいと思うだろう。

Even with all the information we have now, space has and will always be something of a romance for us. If it were possible to fulfill a part of that romance, to land upon our utmost captivating moon, I think anyone would want to take the opportunity and go at least once.

 だがこの時、二人がまだツアーに掛かる費用を知らなかったのだ。

That said, those two still didn’t know how much the tour would cost.

 4.車椅子の未来宇宙 (The Future Cosmos in a Wheelchair)
    History of Time

 「でも、未だに有人火星探査は上手く行かないのねぇ。
  ホーキングの頭の中にあった宇宙が、この目で確かめられる日なんて
  本当に来るのかしら?」

“But really, we haven’t had a manned mission to Mars go well yet have we? I wonder if a day will ever come when we can confirm with our own eyes the cosmos inside Hawking’s head.”

 「結局、ホーキングを超える物理学者が出てこないのも問題よね」

“It really is a problem that no other physicist has been able to surpass Hawking.”

 「あら、蓮子が頑張れば良いんじゃない?
  稀有な能力の持ち主なんだから」

“Well, you should be able to do it if you try you know? You have a pretty rare ability after all.”

 「私は専門が違うわよ。ま、プランク並に頭が良いかも知れないけどね。
  それにね、ホーキングの言っていたブラックホールの蒸発とかが実際に
  観測される事も無いと思う。
  さらに言うと、もう人類が火星に行く事すらないと思うよ」

“My major is different you know? But well, I guess at least intelligence-wise you could say I’m on level with Planck. And anyway, that black hole evaporation thing that Hawking talked about, I don’t think we’ll ever be able to actually observe it. To tell you the truth, I don’t even think mankind will ever make it to Mars.”

 「あら、悲観的ね。でも蓮子が言うと信憑性があるわ」

“Well that’s pretty pessimistic. But if you’re the one saying it, it must be true.”

 「観測する為に必要なエネルギーが膨大に成り過ぎたのよ。
  理論上はともかく、事実上、観測物理学は終焉を迎えているわ。
  ついでに言うと、月面ツアーは高額過ぎるわね」

“The amount of energy required to make observations is just way too costly. Theory aside, realistically speaking, observational physics is coming to an end. And, by the way, this moon tour is too expensive isn’t it?”

 物理学は事実上終焉を迎えている。既に物理学は、解釈と哲学の時代に
突入していた。

Physics from a realistic standpoint is facing its end. Physics is already giving way to hermeneutics and philosophy.

 5.Demystify Feast
    神秘性のベールの向こう側 (Beyond the Occult Bell)

 「うん。ここのカフェは構内でも割りとオシャレで美味しいわね。
  で、蓮子、なんで物理学は終焉を迎えているの?」

“Yeah, even though this cafe’s within the university grounds it’s relatively stylish and the food’s delicious. So, as you were saying, Renko, why is physics coming to an end?”

 「うん。一言で言うと観測するコストが大き過ぎるからよ」

“Well, in a word it’s because the cost of observation is too great.”

 「私達が月面ツアーに行けない理由と一緒ね」

“The same reason we can’t go on a tour of the moon, huh.”

 「小さい物体を分離させるのに掛かるエネルギーは、小さければ小さい
  ほど大きいの。分子より原子、原子より核子、核子よりクオーク……。
  こうしてどんどんと小さくしていくと、無尽蔵にエネルギーが必要に
  なっていくでしょ? すると究極まで行き着くと、宇宙最大のエネル
  ギーを使っても分離できない小さい物体に当たってしまう。この物体
  がこの世界の最小構成物質だって言えるじゃない。
  もう物理学はとっくに最小の世界まで辿り着いて、次を目指している
  の。ここから先は観測出来ないから、殆ど哲学の世界ね」

“When splitting small particles apart, the smaller the particle is, the more energy is required to split it. From a molecule to an atom, from an atom to a nucleus, from a nucleus to a quark… the smaller you get, the more you’ll need an endless supply of energy – right? – Eventually you’ll come to a point where you have a particle that even if you were to use the largest amount of energy that could possibly exist in the universe, you couldn’t split it. Even so, you couldn’t say that that particle is the smallest component in the world. Physics has already reached that world of the smallest minimums long ago and set its eyes on the next. But since it’s impossible to observe anything past this point, you’re just reaching into the realm of philosophy.”

 「あ、新作のケーキ、美味しそう!
  このケーキの最小単位は合成卵と合成苺ね」

“Ah, that new cake looks delicious! I guess the smallest components of this cake would be synthesized egg and synthesized strawberry.”

 エネルギーの限界量は10^19 GeVと言われている。このエネルギー量を
超えると時空に存在し得なくなるからである。ちなみにこの10^19 GeVは
プランクエネルギーと呼ばれ、原子力の持つエネルギーの約10^21倍である。

It is said that the upper limit of energy is 10^19 GeV (10 quintillion giga-electron volts), because when you surpass this amount the energy is unable to exist dimensionally. This energy is called Planck energy, and is about 10^21 (1 septillion) times more than the energy generated from atomic energy.

 6.衛星カフェテラス (Satellite Cafe Terrace)
    Satellite Cafe

 「もう。蓮子に物理の話なんて振るんじゃなかったわよ。
  一人で話し続けるんだから」

“You know, I wasn’t really asking for a physics discussion, and you just kept on talking on and on…”

 「ごめんごめん。私の専門だからね。
  でもこのケーキ美味しいね」

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It’s my major after all. But really, this cake is delicious.”

 「月面ツアー行きたかったなぁ……。
  流石にこのツアー、値段が高過ぎよ」

“I so wanted to go on a moon tour too… I guess I should have known, it’s way too expensive.”

 「そう言えば宇宙旅行客用に人工衛星にカフェが出来たらしいわよ?
  なんでも無重力で淹れた珈琲は格別だとか」

“Now that you mention it, apparently they’ve made a satellite cafe for customers journeying into space, apparently the coffee there in zero gravity is really something else.”

 「でもどうせ室内のカフェでしょ?
  私はオープンなカフェテラスが好きなのよ」

“Yeah, but it’s probably an indoor cafe right? I prefer open cafe terraces.”

 珈琲を一瞬だけ真空状態に晒すと、気圧の低さにより一瞬沸騰するが、
気化熱を奪われた水沸騰した瞬間に凍り付く。
 この沸騰しながら凍った珈琲を入れた、サテライトアイスコーヒーが
目玉メニューである。

When you expose coffee to a vacuum – just for an moment, due to the low pressure, it instantaneously boils, but as it does, it loses the heat to boil, so in the instant it boils, it freezes. This using this frozen-while-boiling coffee, “Satellite Ice Coffee” is one of the specials on their menu.

 7.G Free
    Zero Gravity

 「そう言えば、珈琲を抽出って重力に頼ってるじゃない。
  重力がなかったらドリップ出来ないでしょ?
  無重力でどうやって珈琲を入れるの?」

“Now that I think of it, doesn’t filtering coffee rely on gravity? Without gravity the whole drip method doesn’t work right? So how do they make coffee in zero gravity?”

 「そこで今はほぼ死滅したサイフォン式が浮上してきたのよ。
  サイフォン式は蒸気圧でお湯が行き来するからね」

“They’ve brought back the obsolete siphon system, since it uses water vapor pressure to draw the water back and forth through the filtering system instead of gravity.”

 「サイフォンかー。
  そう言えばもうカフェのインテリアでしか見た事がなかったけど、
  一応アレも珈琲の抽出道具だったね。
  でもドリップより味が落ちるって聞いたけど……」

“Siphon huh..
Now that you mention it, I haven’t seen them except in the interior of some cafes, but I suppose that’s a filtering device that would work.. Though I heard that it lacks in flavor compared to drip coffee…”

 「無重力用に改良されたサイフォンだと、対流が起こらないから
  濃厚な珈琲が作れるんだってさ」

“I heard they’re remaking them in zero gravity versions – after all convection won’t work without gravity – and apparently the coffee they make is rich in flavor.”

 「ふーん。そんなの飲まなくても宇宙は目が覚めそうだけどね。
  興奮して」

“Hmm.. Even if I don’t drink its coffee, it feels like I’m just opening my eyes to the idea of space. It’s making me excited.”

 重力から解き放たれた人間は、新しい文化を築き上げつつある。だが、
それと同時に、様々な道具が重力に頼って動いていたと気付かされる。
 早い階段から存在は実証されていて、物理学者の頭を最後まで悩ませ
つづけた重力が他の力と完全に統一されたのは、つい最近の事だった。

Humans released from gravity are building a new culture. But at the same time, it makes you realize how many various tools we use rely on gravity. From when its existence was proven at an early stage, gravity has troubled physicists to the very end; it only was just recently that gravity was finally grouped together with the other fundamental interactions.

 8.大空魔術 (Magic of the Skyward Heavens)
    Magical Astronomy

 「はぁ、宇宙には魅力があるわねぇ……」

“Ah, space really is fascinating…”

 「どうしたの?溜息なんて吐いちゃって。
  地上にはもう魅力が無いとでも言うの?」

“What are you doing sighing like that? Are you saying there’s nothing left that’s fascinating for you here on the ground?”

 「16時31分。宵の明星が見えたわ。
  地上にはもう不思議が殆ど無いからね」

“It’s 16:31, I just saw the evening star… Well there really aren’t that many wonders left for me on the surface.”

 「蓮子ぐらいこの世界の仕掛けが全て見えていると、
  もう心に虚無主義が顔を出し始めてくるのね」

“Well I guess when it’s someone like you, who can see all the workings of the world, it’s only natural for the nihilism in your heart to start showing on your face.”

 「だからこそ、メリーの眼が羨ましいのよ。
  不思議な世界がいっぱい見えて。
  ついでに言うと月面の結界の切れ目も見て貰いたかったわ」

“Like I was saying though, I’m really envious of your eyes. You’re always able to see strange worlds.. I really did want to see through the gaps in the barriers on the surface of the moon too..”

 「ツアーが安かったらね」

“If the tour were cheaper…”

 結果は地上の産物ではなく、ただの境界だから当然月面にも存在する。
 月面の結界は、煌びやかな月の都と、荒涼とした無生物の星を分けた結
界である。この結果が存在している限り、月面に行ったとしても月の兎が
搗いている餅も薬も手に入らないだろう。せいぜい、月の石位である。

Boundaries aren’t specific to the earth, so of course they would exist on the surface of the moon as well. The boundary on the moon’s surface separates a shining capital from the rest of the barren, lifeless satellite. As long as this barrier exists, even if you went to the moon, you wouldn’t be able to lay your hands on any of the rice cakes or medicine the moon rabbits were preparing. A moon rock is the most you could ever get.

 「月にも忘れられた世界が隠されているはずよ。
  高度な文明を持ち、高貴な人が住む月の都。
  兎が不老不死の薬を搗き、太陽に棲む三本足の鳥を眺めながら、
  月面ツアーで騒ぐ人間を憂えているのよ。
  その世界を見られるのはメリー、貴方しか居ないわ」

“There must be a forgotten world hidden on the moon. One with a advanced culture, with a capital where the high classes live. Rabbits prepare the elixir of immortality, staring towards the three legged bird that nests in the sun, lamenting their bustling human visitors on their moon tour. But there’s no one other than you who can see that world.”

 「確かにね。
  人間が集まって開拓進みきる前に行ってみたいわ」

“You’re right. I’d like to go before we start seriously colonizing.”

 「そうと決まれば、準備しないとね」

“Well if it’s decided then we’ve got to make preparations, haven’t we?”

 「月の都を見たければ、まず月の都についてもっと勉強すれば
  いいのかなぁ。
  大昔から忘れ去られている太古の月を
  物語の中の煌びやかな月の都を。
  狂気の象徴である月を。
  そう、知識が境界の切れ目を明確にするからね」

“If we want to see the capital of the moon, first we should probably study more on the subject… about the ancient moon forgotten from history long ago, about the shining capital of the moon from the stories, about the moon, the symbol of insanity… after all knowledge will help define the gaps in the boundary.”

 「いやどちらかというと、まずはバイトから始めないと。
  ツアー代を稼ぐ為に」

“Well I was thinking more that first we should get part time jobs.. to save up money for the tour and all…”

 9.ネクロファンタジア (Necrofantasia)
    Necrophantasia

 日も暮れて夕食の時間も近いというのに、新作のケーキを平らげた二人
はようやくカフェテリアを後にした。
 この大学では、構内の店なら全て学生カードで清算が出来る。毎月纏め
て学費として払うのである。
 お金を管理するコストも減り、レジも混雑せず、さらに学生も手軽に買
い物が出来て(親が学費を払うから)売り上げも伸びている。そのお陰で、
予想以上に出費が嵩むことも少なくないが。

The sun had set, and although it was already about time to eat dinner, the two finished their cake and finally left the cafeteria. At this university you could pay with your student ID card for all the shops within the grounds. Then you would pay your expenses every month along with your tuition. That lowered the cost of managing money and uncrowded the registers, so the students could shop more easily (because their parents were paying), and sales rose. Though thanks to that, there weren’t a few who found they accumulated more costs than they had bargained for.

 「月には不老不死の薬があるらしいのよ」

“Apparently there’s an elixir on the moon that makes you ageless and immortal you know?”

 「不老不死ねぇ。
  物理の終焉を迎えて虚無に支配されている蓮子には不要でしょ?」

“Ageless and immortal huh. Doesn’t seem like someone like you would need it Renko, right? Facing the end of physics and headed towards nothingness and all.”

 「誰が虚無主義よ。
  私は生きる力でいっぱいよ。
  今は宇宙の事で興奮して夜もグッスリなんだから」

“Who’s this nihilist you keep going on about? I’m full of life, excited about going into space, relaxing with the night..”

 「じゃ、不老不死の薬が手に入ったら、蓮子は使うの?」

“So, if you were able to get the that elixir, would you use it?”

 世界は急激に発展して、何処の国もある程度豊かになったが、人類は次
のステージへと進んでいた。紀元前の頃から右肩上がりで増え続けた人口
が緩やかに減少に転化したのだ。
 資本主義は、ノアの方舟の如く経済による格差社会を増進させた。それ
により何処の国も軒並み出生率が低下したが、これは全て資本主義の最終
ステップである『人口調整』階段に入っただけである。
 いち早く少子化が進み人口が減少に転じた日本は、人口減少によるデメ
リットを上手く回避し、選ばれた人間による勤勉で精神的に豊かな国民性
を取り戻すことに成功した。

As world rapidly developed, every country gained some level of prosperity, but mankind just continued on to the next stage. The human population that had increased steadily since before the common era, now gently began to decrease. Capitalism, like Noah’s ark, economically expanded stratified society, and due to that all countries across the board showed a decrease in birthrates, but this was just the world moving on to capitalism’s last step, “population control”. Japan with its rapidly declining birthrates and therefore population, was able to successfully avoid the demerits of its population decrease, and with the efforts of the time’s chosen people, its national psychological state was able to return to prosperity.

 「不老不死の薬?
  勿論、使うわよ。
  物語なんかでは不老不死は辛い物だとされているのは何故だか判る?
  アレはみんな欲深さへの戒めと権力者への反抗を謳っているだけよ。
  でもそれが反対に、不老不死の薬の実在性を裏付けの憑拠になってい
  るわ。
  不老不死は、死が無くなるんじゃなくて、生と死の境界が無くなって
  生きても死んでも居ない状態になるだけよ。
  まさに「顕界でも冥界でもある世界」の実現だわ」
      (ネクロファンタジア)

“The elixir of life? Of course I’d use it. Do you know why in stories and such ageless immortality is portrayed as an emotionally painful thing? It was just a warning against everyone’s greed and rebellion against authority. But on the other hand, its mere existence has become a curse. Ageless immortality doesn’t mean that you don’t die, but rather that the boundary between life and death ceases to exist; it’s a state of neither living nor dying. Really, it’s just a realization of “necrophantasia”, a world that exists in the apparent world and in the world of the dead.”

10.向こう側の月 (The Dark Side of the Moon)
    Megalopolis of Moon

二人は大学の設備である噴水のある池の辺りに腰掛けた。

The two sat down on the edge of a pond with a water fountain set up by the university.

既に月が顔を出しており、湖にはクレーターの無い平らな月が浮かんでいる。

The moon had already shown its face, and in the lake another crater-less flat moon was floating.

魔術師メリーには見えていた。

The magician Merry saw it there.

兎が薬を搗き

The rabbit preparing medicine,

煌びやかな衣装を身に纏い

and a celestial maiden, clothed in shining robes

優雅に空を舞う天女

dancing elegantly in the sky.

水に映った月には結界の向こう側の姿が見えていた。
その月を見てメリーに名案が浮かんだ。

In the moon reflected on the water, she saw behind the barrier.
Looking at that moon an idea popped into Merry’s head.

「ねえ蓮子。
 月面ツアーが高くて無理ならば、
 何か別の方法で月に行けないか考えてみない?」

“Hey, Renko. If the moon tour is too expensive, then why don’t we think up another way to get to the moon?”

 あとがき
  Afterword

 例えば、初めましてねZUNです。

Just in case we haven’t met before, nice to meet you, this is ZUN.

 いやぁ、宇宙の大きさに比べたら自分なんて小さいものですね。どんな
失敗をしようと些細な事。数年ぐらい進級や進学、就職できなかったとし
ても、宇宙の大きさに比べればへっちゃらへっちゃら。締め切りぎりぎり
で胃が痛くなろうとも鼻歌歌いながら作業できるって……

Well really, compared to the greatness of the universe, I’m pretty small. No matter what failure I make it’s all trivial. Even in for a few years I can’t advance, continue education, get a job, compared to the greatness of the universe it’s all good and stuff. Even with the deadline coming up really soon and my stomach aching, all just keep working, humming along and…

 んなわけない。人間は必死だ。締め切りは死線。胃が……。

No. Humans are desperate and frantic, deadline means “dead” “line”. My stomach…

 で、宇宙旅行、行きたいですよねぇ。行きたくない? いやいやそんな
嘘つかなくても良いですよ。宇宙に行きたくなかったら、他にどこに行き
たい場所があるって言うんですか。

So, I’d love to go on a journey into space. Wouldn’t you? Oh come on, you don’t need to lie like that. If you don’t want to head out into space, where else are you saying you want to go?

 実はもう民人間の月面ツアー(ただ、着陸はないらしいが)は実現寸前
なんですよね。何でも予算は1億ドル(約120億円)。蓮子じゃないけど、

Actually it won’t be long till we have a moon tour for civilians (except apparently you don’t get to land). At any rate the estimated cost is a hundred million dollars (about 12 billion yen). Now I’m not Renko but,

 「月面ツアーは高過ぎるよね」

“This moon tour is really too expensive isn’t it?”

 いやこの値段、どこが一般人向けなのか。これが資本主義が見せるノア
の方舟なのか。残った地上人は情報の洪水に沈めるつもりか。
 一切の休暇無しで必死に働く地上の幻想人が、気軽に月に行ける時代は
来るのだろうか。

Anyway with that price, I don’t see how it’s supposed to be “for the public”. Is this a Noah’s ark shown to us by capitalism? Are they planning on letting those left behind here on the ground drown in a flood of information? I wonder if an age will ever come when the vacation-less frantically hardworking illusionary people of the surface may easily travel to the moon.

             上海アリス幻楽団 ZUN(P◯3も方舟?)
             Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra
                      ZUN (is the P◯3 an ark too?)

    • brian
    • December 7th, 2010

    So I’ve been listening to Alstroemeria’s “The Brilliant Flowers” which had that song “As For Myself.” (Many thanks again for the translation).

    If it isn’t too much trouble, can you take a shot at translating the title track, sung by Misawa Aki?

    Lyrics: http://i52.tinypic.com/a2ddzs.jpg
    Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q0ECRDx4JI

    • exaltdragon
    • December 13th, 2010

    Simply delightful, I adore this ZUN album, especially NecroPhantasia, the magical astronomy version.. thanks for the translation

    • Thanks ^_^ – I really hope ZUN releases another one of these one day…

    • Somebody someone
    • October 12th, 2012

    I find some of the talk on physics quite… inaccurate. I think this would be expected since ZUN is not a physicist. However, Planck energy is not that huge of an amount of energy, and many physicists believe that the total amount of energy in the universe is actually 0. The idea of an “upper limit of energy in the universe” is somewhat absurd since the total energy never changes.

    • Well I always assumed that “upper limit of energy in the universe” would be all potential energy (including mass) in the universe+all kinetic energy in universe. I’m pretty sure there was a theory about it at some point… I guess if the energy in the universe was 0 you would be talking about including antimatter, but there is an overwhelming proportion of matter to anti-matter. So… anti-energy?

      Anyway, what ZUN’s saying isn’t really wrong, and it is related to the Planck constants, but… my note was completely wrong. I mistook Planck energy (apparently almost equal to a full gas tank ^^;) to be that particular theorized constant (when it’s more like the maximum energy that can be contained in a certain very tiny amount of space a sphere of diameter Planck length), so I’m going to cut that note down. Other quantum physics phenomena (like negative temperature) deal with maximum amount of energy within a certain space, but that’s going off on a tangent.

        • Somebody someone
        • October 12th, 2012

        Well, when it comes to negative energy, it actually talks about gravity, since antimatter is also positive energy. However, I wouldn’t know about the specifics of it.

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