Archive for April, 2011

“文学少女”と慟哭の巡礼者 // Bungaku Shoujo to Doukoku no Palmier

^A scene inspired more from the film than the book I think, but that doesn’t make it any less fitting… I’ve been able to find a couple of gems, but I really wish there was more fan art for this series on Pixiv.

Note on the Title: “Palmier” is used in the title on top of the word for Pilgrim, apparently Italian for “one who does something with palm branches”. This makes since if you link it to the Christian tale of palm branches being laid upon the road to “welcome the king” – Palm Sunday in other words. I don’t know any more than that, so I’ll just let it be. Also, I translated Doukoku as “wailing” but I understand the word to take on more of a “howling” meaning. In the end I thought wailing conveyed the idea better, and it’s what my dictionary was saying so I stuck with it.

“文学少女”と慟哭の巡礼者
 Bungaku Shoujo to Doukoku no Palmier
 Literature Girl and the Wailing Pilgrim (Off-Hand TL)
 … (No Official English Title Released)
著:野村美月 (Author: Nomura Mizuki)
画:竹岡美穂 (Illustrator: Takeoka Miho)
ファミ通文庫 (Famitsu Bunko)
ISBN-13: 978-4757736856
発売日: 2007/9/11

English Translation by Yen Press: [link] (Not Yet Released at Time of Posting)
[Release Date: August, 2012]

Introduction:

I encourage all of you to find and watch the anime adaptation of 銀河鉄道の夜 (Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru) “Night on the Galactic Railroad” (1985) You should be able to find it on YouTube actually, like most old hard to find films. The character roles are played by cats.

There’s a translation of the short story into English, though I’ve heard it’s terrible. I have the original, and it’s copyright free… if I’m starving and out of work I might publish a translation in a year or so, eh?

I found that 胎児の夢 (Taiji no Yume) goes well with the reading, I also listened to ERP (Emotional Romantic Pianoforte), and a few other tracks. I regret that I wasn’t able to actually sit down and read it in a sitting or two – but as you can see from my general lack of posting, I’ve been busy and reading became more of an intermittent break from stress than anything else. That may be part of the reason I’m going to give Konoha a lot more flak than I usually do…

Anyway, whenever you get the chance to read this, August 2012 is Yen Press’s planned release date, I’d encourage you to read it around dusk. When you run across passages from Miyazawa Kenji’s original works, you’ll want to look up at the sky; at the disappearing sun, the stars popping up here and there. Maybe I’m just weak for such things, but it’s such an emotional outlet.

Most of you, and I mean most people that are interested in reading a review like this about a yet-to-be-as-popular-as-it-should-be-in-the-English-speaking-world series like Bungaku Shoujo/Book Girl, have seen the film, and/or the shorts accompanying it. The film is, for the most part, an adaptation of this book, so I’ll be making a lot of comparisons. As always I try to restrict myself from making too many spoilers, so I’ll try to be ambiguous when it comes down to it. Also, just so you know – I won’t be making much comment about the all too conclusive end of the movie, because “Palmier” is the fifth of an eight book series. I don’t know if that’s what really happens in the novels or not, I’ve got three more volumes ahead of me before I find out for sure.

^Takeda Chia

Prominent Characters:

天野遠子  Amano Tooko
・The Literature Girl, Head of the Literature Club
井上心葉  Inoue Konoha [Narrator]
・Former (Female) Author “Inoue Miu” and Tooko’s Writer
朝倉美羽  Asakura Miu
・Konoha’s Childhood Friend and Former Writer, “Doukoku no Palmier”
琴吹ななせ Kotobuki Nanase
・Konoha’s Girlfriend, Library Assistant and Tsundere
芥川一誌  Akutagawa Kazushi
・Konoha’s Sincere, Upstanding Friend, “Tsunagareta Fool”
竹田千愛  Takeda Chia
・Bright and Cheerful, Masked “Shinitagari no Pierrot”
櫻井流人  Sakurai Ryuuto
・Tooko’s “Little Brother”, Womanizer, Likes Dangerous Women
姫倉麻貴  Himekura Maki
・Artist, Princess, Head of the Orchestra Club, Superintendent’s Granddaughter

Unfortunately Chia only appears in the movie to fix up some plot inconveniences. Her role is much more important in the book. At one of the critical points in the movie, Konoha is saved by Tooko. But in the book, Konoha is made to hesitate because of Nanase, is really saved by Chia, and then is helped later by Tooko. For those who have read the first book, you should know how much more significant it is for Chia to save Konoha than it is for Tooko. To be fair, Chia’s involvement in the book is probably too complicated (and dark) for the movie adaptation, so I understand why she was cut, but… I almost cried when Konoha acted like he didn’t know who she was in the movie.

Story:

The movie made a lot of cuts, but the overall plot is pretty much the same as it is in the book. Bungaku Shoujo to Doukoku no Palmier is a story where Konoha must finally confront Miu, an existence that has haunted him ever since their parting. The earlier novels had hinted at her death, but the fourth and even the third novels confirm that she is alive. We hear it from Konoha himself, so it is inevitable that for Konoha to truly heal, he must meet her again.

Before his Shrine visit/date with Nanase, Konoha receives a strange New Years card in the mail, of a weird drawing: a round bird-like creature with horns, a face like a cat and a long dangling tongue. After a number of bad luck omens and before Konoha and Nanase’s second date, Nanase calls it off with no explanation. He learns later from Chia that Nanase has been hospitalized.

Nanase tries to keep Konoha from coming, and the first time he visits he can’t get in to see her, but trying again he hears Nanase shouting in the hospital halls.

“You’re terrible! Stay away from Inoue! You have no right-!”

Turning the corner Konoha finds Nanase and another girl, her back turned. Nanase freezes and the girl turns around.

“Konoha…”

“Miu!!”

Evaluation / Rating:

Konoha frustrates me to no end in “Palmier”. It’s kind of part of the plot, but Konoha emotionally reverts to square one, making almost all of his growth absolutely worthless. He is absolutely terrible to Nanase, and he knows it, and does nothing about it! I was really rooting for Konoha and Nanase’s relationship last volume, but now I’m not sure I can see how Nanase should be able to put up with him. I personally would still rather see Konoha and Nanase get together than Konoha and Tooko, (even if I have a feeling it’ll never happen ._.) but he’s really stretching it. *Sigh*

I actually connected more with Chia than any other character this time around, she gets a lot of good development, and while I wouldn’t claim I’m like her, I’ve felt similar things and had periods of rejection-shock, so I connect with her most. Miu also is a great character, and very believable.

The plot progression is good, but I really think it could have been better if Konoha wasn’t such a sap. I’m okay with him being useless, and I understand how the past can be paralyzing, and I keep on telling myself he’s only a high schooler and perhaps I shouldn’t expect that much out of him, but for the first time I think the author just took it a degree too far. Really, that’s the only problem I think with this volume. Konoha was just a little too useless. He has some cool scenes and points, but they would have been a lot more believable if he had shown a more strength of character throughout. I’m not asking for much, just a little.

The integration with Miyazawa Kenji’s stories was excellent. Absolutely wonderful. There was a section on changes through multiple revisions of a story which really stood out in the “Super-Girl-Tooko Literary Explanation” part. I love learning about the authors too… and there’s something strangely romantic I think about a children’s story actually being absurdly depressing when you really look at it again.

I fell apart when you find the true meaning of Miu’s question: “What is Campanella’s wish?”

It’s those things that should be so obvious but takes you by surprise, that makes this series so wonderful. (Unfortunately, that’s not completely conveyed in the movie). The barrier between two people in a relationship is stressed more as well.

I’ll admit I was crying when Konoha read out the true ending of his book (which they also didn’t put in the movie щ(゚Д゚щ)).

Everything in the movie about Konoha quitting the literature club and running after Tooko and everything like that does not happen in the book; Konoha is still with Nanase. I think it’s a lot better that way. We’ll see if the movie ending reflects something in later volumes (three left to go) or it was just a way to tie things together.

Overall: 9.6
Subjective Ranking: 1st,3rd=2nd,5th,4th
Objective Ranking: 2nd,3rd=5th,4th=1st

Concept: 9.8
This rating probably will stay the same for each volume in the series unless something absolutely amazing happens to bump it up a little further.
Pacing: 9.0
Paced well, but I feel that some parts of the plot are slowed down by Konoha’s lack of initiative and wavering; there’s just a little too much focus on him, but nothing to knock it lower than 9.
Plot: 9.5
The plot is well pieced together even if there’s a few problems with the flow, and Chia’s involvement really made a difference. If the plot was the same as the movie, I would have put it at around 8.8.
Characters: 9.8
Miu and Chia make up for Konoha’s awful moments. Ryuuji and Konoha (despite his faults) have a lot of good development and Nanase’s perseverance is strong enough for me to count it as development as well. So, 9.8. I don’t think anyone’s going to beat Hotaru from vol.2 though.
Writing Style/Flavor: 9.4
This volume suffers a little bit from great, great parts written fantastically, and parts that leave me wanting, so I’ve let it drop down to 9.4 (still high as ever though…)
Illustrations: 9.9
The Surstrommings picture… the figure below portrays it. I’m not sure I’d laughed that hard in a long, long time. But seriously, the illustrations as a whole were if anything lovelier than usual.

ふわり覚醒 // Fuwari Kakusei

Requested by: hs08

Another hidden Buta Otome treasure!

You’ve got to love that Sleeping Yuuka….. / Yuuka’s probably my favorite PC-98 final boss, Shiki is like Byakuren but more harsh (evil), and Mima’s just sort of weird (I still love Mima though!). Marisa’s harder, much, much harder… *shiver*

Because of the sheer number of requests I have at the moment, I’m not really doing them in any specific order, just getting out the ones I think I can get done more quickly or am more in the mood for ^_^;

ふわり覚醒
 Fuwari Kakusei
 In and Out of Waking
眠れる恐怖~Sleeping Terror|東方幻想郷
vocal: ランコ
arrangement & bass & guitar & programming & lyrics: コンプ
piano: パプリカ
circle: 極東アウトブレイク対策本部 (豚乙女)
album: 極東アウトブレイク 弐 DISC 2
event: reitaisai 8

とけそうな月がほら まぶたを落とす夜
ふわり ふ ふわり 夢にチャチャ入れる不安
眠そうな月がほら まぶたを開けた夜
赤いため息 やけに白黒な不安
不安 フアン Fuan 不安

Tonight the moon looks like it’s melting as I close my eyes
Faintly, lightly, anxiety troubles me in my dreams
Tonight the moon looks sleepy as I open my eyes
With a red sigh, my anxiety’s gone full black and white
Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety, anxiety!!

全部出してみたら 全部壊れた

When I tried going all out, everything fell apart

夢が浮いては又沈む
嬉しい時悲しい時 全てを愛せたら
何かが変わってく?
淡い世界 滲む景色 続く…
やめたら世界が真っ暗

My dreams float up and then sink down again
Happy times, sad times, if I can love them all
Will anything change?
The hazy world, it’s bleeding skyscape goes on…
It it were to stop the world would all go black

1・2・3・4 準備体操はいつだって出来ている
何が嫌かって不意に訪れる暇
暇 ヒマ Hima 暇

1, 2, 3, 4 – I can do my warm-up exercises anytime!
What I really hate is that boredom that comes without warning
Boredom, boredom, boredom, boredom!!

全部見せてみなよ 何を隠した?

Show me everything you’ve got! What are you hiding?

声があなたに届いたら
気だるい朝 眠れぬ夜 全てがハッピーハッピーだ
強くて弱いもの
投げてみたり 抱きしめたり 続く…
やめたら全てが真っ暗

If my voice were to reach you
These slow mornings, nights I can’t sleep, everything would be happy, happy!
Things both strong and weak
I keep throwing them away, then taking and embracing them…
If I were to stop, everything would go black

夢が浮いては又沈む
嬉しい時悲しい時 全てを愛せたら
何かが変わってく?
淡い世界に滲む景色 続く…
やめたら世界が真っ暗

My dreams float up and then sink down again
Happy times, sad times, if I can love them all
Will anything change?
The hazy world, it’s bleeding skyscape goes on…
It it were to stop the world would all go black

囲い無き世は一期の月影 // Kakoinaki Yo wa Ichigo no Tsukikage

Requested by: Ninamo

I really have left Buta-Otome alone too long. I need to finish up their discography. Especially 縁. I love that album, and I’ve hardly touched it….

Hopefully I’ll get a little bit more out before the weekend is over, but I’m currently in a strange place and out of my element so it’s a little hard to say… (I don’t even have my big fun box of lyric booklets with me D:)

Note:
囲い無き世は一期の月影 // “The Boundless World, but a Passing Phase of the Moon”: I interpreted the last phrase as “passing phase of the moon”; it describes a “lifetime” in “moon shadows” or moonlight (which casts shadows) which of course wax and wane in the course of a month. You could either point it to rising and falling ages, or that all of civilization is but a blink in the course of time.

囲い無き世は一期の月影
 Kakoinaki Yo wa Ichigo no Tsukikage
 The Boundless World, but a Passing Phase of the Moon
竹取飛翔 ~ Lunatic Princess|東方永夜抄
歌:ランコ
歌詞・編曲:コンプ
Circle: 豚乙女
Album: 黄昏エレジー
Event: Kouroumu 6

手にした紅葉は
いつもいつの間にか飛んでった
世は徒然 退屈な瞳を閉じた

Te ni shita momiji wa
Itsumo itsu no ma ni ka tondetta
Yo wa tsuredzure taikutsu na me wo tojita

Each fall leaf I take in hand
Always takes off before I can notice it gone
“The world is such a tedium,” I close my tired eyes

憂いし空には朧月
囲い無き夢は恙なし

Ureishi sora ni wa oborodzuki
Kakoinaki yume wa tsutsuganashi

In a sorrowful sky sits a hazy moon
For this boundless dream, all is well

光陰 承允 時は流れて
もう一回等 狡はなし
遠い向こうに明けゆく空は
千年前のまま

Kouin shouin toki wa nagarete
Mou ikkai nado zuru wa nashi
Tooi mukou ni akatyuku sora wa
Sennen mae no mama

With time’s consent each moment passes on
There’s no wrong in “one more time”
The dawning sky far in the distance
Is just as it was a thousand years before

手にした紅葉は
いつもいつの間にか飛んでった
世は徒然 退屈な瞳を閉じた

Te ni shita momiji wa
Itsumo itsu no ma ni ka tondetta
Yo wa tsuredzure taikutsu na me wo tojita

Each fall leaf I take in hand
Always takes off before I can notice it gone
The world is such a tedium; I close my tired eyes

満月の夜には唄謡い
泡沫の宴 恙なし

Mangetsu no yoru ni wa uta utai
Utakata no utage tsutsuganashi

On nights of the full moon songs are sung
For this ephemeral banquet, all is well

光陰 承允 時は流れど
万年新造に嘘はなし
案に違いし物事の影は
千年前のまま

Kouin shouin toki wa nagaredo
Mannen shinzou ni uso wa nashi
An ni tagaishi utsushi no kage wa
Sennen mae no mama

With time’s consent each moment passes on
There’s no wrong in “one more time”.
The dawning sky far in the distance
Is just as it was a thousand years before

手にした紅葉は
いつもいつの間にか飛んでった
『もういいかい?』
閉じていた瞳を開けた

Te ni shita momiji wa
Itsumo itsu no ma ni ka tondetta
“Mou ii kai?”
Tojiteita hitomi wa aketa

Each fall leaf I take in hand
Always takes off before I can notice it gone
“Have you had enough?”
Then I open my eyes

手にした紅葉は
いつもいつの間にか飛んでった
世は徒然 退屈な瞳を閉じた
手にした紅葉は
いつもいつの間にか飛んでった
『もういいかい?』
閉じていた瞳を開けた

Te ni shita momiji wa
Itsumo itsu no ma ni ka tondetta
Yo wa tsuredzure taikutsu na me wo tojita
Te ni shita momiji wa
Itsumo itsu no ma ni ka tondetta
“Mou ii kai?”
Tojiteita hitomi wa aketa

Each fall leaf I take in hand
Always takes off before I can notice it gone
The world is such a tedium; I close my tired eyes
Each fall leaf I take in hand
Always takes off before I can notice it gone
“Have you had enough?”
Then I open my eyes


^I guess I have to allow her to win every now and then. :P

スカイクラッドの観測者 // Sky-Clad no Kansokusha // Steins;Gate Xbox 360 OP

I don’t know about you, but I think this show has the most amazing premise ever. Maybe I’m just easily impressed by time-travel that’s not a complete disaster. One of my life goals now is to make enough money to by a PSP and the PSP version by the time it comes out.

I like the anime theme too, but the full version isn’t out so I opted for the Xbox360 version.

I really like the chorus. It’s rare in Japanese to get rhyming bits. See what I did there? Bits. :P

Opening Video: [YT-Link]
Opening Video-Merged-Full-w-Lyrics: [YT-Link]

スカイクラッドの観測者
 Sky-Clad no Kansokusha
 Sky-Clad Observer
Xbox 360用ゲームソフト『STEINS;GATE』オープニングテーマ
 Opening Theme of STEINS;GATE for the Xbox 360
歌:いとうかなこ Itou Kanako
作詞/作曲:志倉千代丸 Shikura Chiyomaru
編曲:磯江俊道 Isoe Shundou

過去は離れて行き 未来は近づくの?
観測者はいつか 矛盾に気づく

Kako wa hanareteyuki mirai wa chikadzuku no?
Kansokusha wa itsuka mujun ni kidzuku

The past retreats, but does the future come any closer?
The observer will one day wake to the paradox

神の創り出した世界は 完全なるもので 絶対の均衡
それは折り重なる偶然 宇宙規模の奇跡
守られてきた ゲート「規制」は終わった

Kami no tsukuridashita sekai wa kanzen naru mono de zettai kinkou
Sore wa orikasanaru guuzen uchuu kibo no kiseki
Mamoretekita gate “kisei” wa owatta

The world God created is complete and in perfect equilibrium
Brought about by coincidence folded unto coincidence, a miracle the scale of the universe
“Limits” on the gate protected up until now, are ended

Open The Eyes ―――
「0」が過去で 「1」が未来 「今」は何処にもない
背く事の出来ぬ ロジック
Open The Eyes ―――
並行する無数の線 選択は冒涜へ
僕らの「存在」さえ疑う その目に映る景色は
「収束」をする

Open The Eyes –
“Zero” ga kako de “ichi” ga mirai “ima” wa doko ni mo nai
Somuku koto no dekinu logic
Open The Eyes –
Heikou suru musuu no sen sentaku wa boutoku e
Bokura no “sonzai” sae utagau sono me ni utsuru keshiki wa
“Shuusoku” wo suru

Open The Eyes –
“Zero” is the past, “One” is the future, “the present” is nowhere to be found
In logic you cannot defy
Open The Eyes –
Amidst countless tracks all aligned, selection is profane
Doubting even our “existence” in your eyes this time-scape
“Converges”

二つの針が指す 時間の概念も
観測者しだいで 歪みを見せる

Futatsu no hari ga sasu jikan no gainen mo
Kansokusha shidai de hizumi wo miseru

Even the concept of time told by two hands of a clock
Distorts depending on the observer

神に与えられた英知は 必ず「果て」がある 絶対の領域
それは愚か故の偶然 招かれざる奇跡
閉ざされてきた ゲート「規制」は終わった

Kami ni ataerareta eichi wa kanarazu “hate” ga aru zettai no ryouiki
Sore wa oroka yue no guuzen manekarezaru kiseki
Tozasaretekita gate “kisei” wa owatta

Our intelligence granted by God, surely has an end and absolute domain
Out of coincidence brought on by stupidity, an unwelcome miracle
“Limits” on the gate locked up until now, are ended

Open The Eyes ―――
光速へと手を伸ばした 思い出のパルスが
飛び込む不可思議な ロジック
Open The Eyes ―――
宇宙がまだ隠し持った 秩序のない理論
無限と呼ばれた点と点が 不正な力を借りて
「再生」をする

Open The Eyes –
Kousoku e to te wo nobashita omoide no pulse ga
Tobikomu fukashigi na logic
Open The Eyes –
Uchuu ga mada kakushimotta chitsujo no nai riron
Mugen to yobareta ten to ten ga fusei na chikara wo karite
“Saisei” wo suru

Open the Eyes –
Reaching out to the speed of light, the pulse of memories
Soars into an unfathomable logic
Open the Eyes –
A theory without rhyme or reason still kept secret by the universe
Each point and point we call infinity, utilizes impossible power and
“Replays”

「0」が過去で 「1」が未来 「今」は何処にもない
背く事の出来ぬ ロジック
Open The Eyes ―――
並行する無数の線 選択は冒涜へ
僕らの「存在」さえ疑う その目に映る景色は
「収束」をする

“Zero” ga kako de “ichi” ga mirai “ima” wa doko ni mo nai
Somuku koto no dekinu logic
Open The Eyes –
Heikou suru musuu no sen sentaku wa boutoku e
Bokura no “sonzai” sae utagau sono me ni utsuru keshiki wa
“Shuusoku” wo suru

“Zero” is the past, “One” is the future, “the present” is nowhere to be found
In logic you cannot defy
Open The Eyes –
Amidst countless tracks all aligned, selection is profane
Doubting even our “existence” in your eyes this time-scape
“Converges”

Plan Doll

I love Alice. Have I mentioned that I love Alice? I love Alice.

I’m actually going on something like a date tomorrow. How unlike me right? Unfortunately it’s not with Alice. This song makes me both sad and happy somehow… ToT

Part of me thinks this should be “Plain Doll”… but that’s ok.

Plan Doll
人形裁判~人の形弄びし少女|東方妖々夢
Arrange: NAGI☆
All Instruments & Programming: NAGI☆
Bass: Maurits “禅” Cornelius
Lyrics: NAGI☆
Vocal: 舞花

古ぼけた箱に しまったことも忘れ
届きはしない大声で 失くしたと泣いてる
新しく作った 君の代わりにはならない
ただ動きはしない 笑顔を忘れた人形

I’ve forgotten; in some old box I’ve put you away
In a loud voice I cry I’ve lost you, but I won’t be heard
I’ve made another, but it can never replace you
A doll, it won’t move; it has forgotten how to smile

今 扉開いて 新しい世界へと
踏み出す勇気をもって 久しぶりの空

Now I’ll open the gate unto a new world
With the courage I need to step forward into a sky I’ve got seen for some time

この手の中にある幸せの数 もう失くさない
怯えてる そんな顔見せないで
見えない糸で繋がれてる絆だけ 忘れはしない
切ない思いは冬の空へ

The happiness I grasp in my hands – I won’t let go, not anymore
I’m afraid. Don’t show me that face
We’re bound together by invisible threads. I won’t forget
My feelings of pain in longing I lift to the winter sky

絡み合った 糸を 少しづつ解き始め
自由を与えられ 初めて見せた笑顔

The tangle of threads unravels bit by bit
Given freedom, for the first time you show me a smile

心の奥底に しまっていたはずなのに
寂しさが目を覚まして 涙湛えてる

What should have been locked away in the depths of my heart
My loneliness awakens and I’m filled with tears

心乱して 許されない嘘も
この手に伝わる感情 指先に乗せた思い
この寂しさを紛らわせることでしか 隠せはしない
胸に秘めた思い 届きはしない

The unforgivable lies that mislead my heart
The emotions conveyed to my hands, the feelings on these fingertips
Can only distract from my loneliness, they can’t hide it.
My feelings kept secret in my heart won’t reach…

幻想に取り残されて 暗く何もない世界で 一人ぼっちだ
寂しさ隠すために見つけた古ぼけた箱から 君を見つけた

Left behind in a dark world of fantasy, all alone
While trying hide my loneliness in an old box I found you

この手の中にある幸せの数 もう失くさない
怯えてる そんな顔見せないで
見えない糸で繋がれてる絆だけ 信じているから
切ない思いは冬の空へ

The happiness I grasp in my hands – I won’t let go, not anymore
I’m afraid. Don’t show me that face
We’re bound together by invisible threads. I won’t forget
My feelings of pain in longing I lift to the winter sky