旧約酒場 ~ Dateless Bar “Old Adam” // Kyuuyaku Sakaba // Old Testament Bar

I needed to complete this a year ago, but better late than never, right?


燕石 “Enseki” (literally “Sparrow Stones) is a really rare word, but is a perfect fit for this CD. The word refers to the false jewels that can be found at 燕山 “Mt. Sparrow”. They look like precious stones but they are worthless, sort of like fool’s gold. So the word refers both to the fakes, and also the act of treasuring something as if it were rare, when it is really commonplace and worthless. In addition to this there was a series of rare books/journals written in the Edo period named 燕石十種 or “Ten Types of Enseki”, filled with strange tales and curiosities and customs. There were six series with ten parts each. I would say there’s a direct connection.

博物誌 “Hakubutsushi” is literally translated as “Document(/Magazine) of Broad Knowledge” (what it means is clearer if you understand that 博物館 Hakubutsukan is “museum”, and not limited to a museum that deals with history) but it is also the Japanese translated title of Pliny the Elder’s “Naturalis Historiæ” (Natural History), which was the first sort of encyclopedia ever compiled. A good modern corollary is a scientific journal, and I have translated it as such, but this is why the subtitle is called “Our Supernatural History”. Incidentally this “Natural History” included descriptions of things that were pretty much Western Youkai.

Maribel Hearn (マエリベリー・ハーン) is an approximation, where Merry’s first name has been posited as being closer in pronunciation to “my reverie” or a corruption of “mulberry”. Either way, it’s a play on words off of Yukari Yakumo. (紫八雲)

Chuunibyou (中二病) translates literally to “8th Grade Sickness”, and refers to delusions a kid of that age has about themselves and the world around them, and about how special they are. It is described better by ZUN in the afterward.

旧約酒場 ~ Dateless Bar “Old Adam”
 Kyuuyaku Sakaba
 Old Testament Bar


-They say there is a place where those who can see the other side gather.
A bar from which wafts that sleep inducing, particular smell of old-style liquor.
The Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra brings you its ninth album, full of music with strong and peculiar tones.

“Bar “Old Adam””




said the bartender, without any feeling and without looking towards the door.


“You must be Dr. Latency. We’ve been waiting for you.”


A man with a beard in his forties or fifties raised his hand in response, without saying a word.
It was a response that could be taken either as an affirmation or negation, but the only kind of people who make those kind of vague gestures are ones who want others to take it as an affirmation.


The man sat at the bar and ordered a drink I had never heard of.


“Huh, who is that?”
“Who knows? Bet he’s one of those people that wants to stay anonymous,” Usami Renko answered.


Maribel Hearn (Merry)’s confusion was certainly justified.
After all, “Dr. Latency” is Merry’s pen name.

“Dark Side of Japan”
 Enseki Hakubutsushi ga Tsuretekita Yami
 The Darkness Brought on by “Dr. Latency’s Freak Report”


“Renko, did you really bring me all the way to this creepy place just to show me that old man? You said you wanted to show me something, right?”

“Oh, his coming is just a coincidence. But really, this place is perfect for our Sealing Club’s extracurricular activities.”

 蓮子の話によるとこのお店では、夜な夜な 特殊・・な人間達が集まっては独自の経験談を語ったり、意見交換をしたりしているのだという。

According to Renko, some rather… strange people gather here every night to talk about their personal experiences and exchange opinions.


Renko apparently heard about this place when she was selling the doujinshi they made, “Dr. Latency’s Freak Report”…


She said that among the patrons of the bar, their report was famous. Most everyone here had read it, and believed its contents were true. Which made sense, given the fact that everyone who came to this bar claimed they too had experienced the same sort of happenings described in the report.

Reverse Ideology


In this day and age, the kind of establishments that serve alcoholic beverages are split into two types: the normal sort of places which serve “modern” liqour, and those which serve “traditional” liqour.


Modern liquor refers to the kind which is most popularly consumed, and it is manufactured in such a way as to prevent drunkenness and hangovers. It is not particularly addictive, and it has relatively few side effects. Traditional liqour refers the kind that has been consumed historically, and is made using natural yeast. Despite containing a significant alcoholic content, it has no enzymes in it to help process the alcohol. If you drink it you will get drunk.


This place, “Bar Old Adam”, specializes exclusively in traditional liquor.


As the establishments which serve modern liquor don’t have any patrons who get drunk, they tend to be clean and hygenic. On the other hand, the establishments which serve primarily traditional liquor tend to be in old buildings, like classical bars, and there are more dirty ones than clean ones. The kind of patrons that frequent those places don’t seem to be the best sort either.


Yet at the same time, traditional liquor is more prized and more expensive than modern liquor.
In other words, in this instance, the values system has been turned on its head. Those that have money to spare are going out of their way to get drunk in dirty bars.

Outsider Cocktail

 「健康的? よーく考えてみてよ。

“This is pretty expensive.”
“Well it’s traditional liquor after all. But with this we can get a lot more drunk than with the cheap stuff we always drink.”
“I wonder if you can get drunk and still be healthy.”
“Healthy? Think about it for a minute. Be it alcohol content, fat, sodium, sugar, caffeine, gluten… Despite the fact that we take so much care to balance these things in our food for our health, the advancements in our medicine have gone so far people don’t really die anymore. It’s gotten to the point where people plan out how long they want to live, right? I can’t tell anymore whether our society is trying to keep people alive or kill them. The people who pay lots of money to drink traditional liquor are far more realistic, I say.”


Alcohol makes people talkative.
When people drink alcohol they always end up affirming themselves. This is one of alcohol’s side effects. It is because of this effect that alcohol has always pushed human society along behind the scenes.


The bartender brought two yellow cocktails to the pair’s table.
When they asked what it was, he replied that the drink was called “The Forbidden Cider”. He served the same drink to several other customers.

 「サイダー? ジュースなの?」

“Cider? Is this some kind of juice?”
“Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from apples. Given that this is being passed around, it looks like it’s about to begin.”

“Story of Mythomiwa”
 Oomiwa Shinwaden
 The Myth of Oomiwa


-It happened a few years ago, when I went to Nara.
I was climbing Mt. Miwa, which is famous for being a spiritual power spot.
You see, as a lover of the occult, I had been to most of the famous spots before, when I realized one day that I hadn’t yet gone to Mt. Miwa.


Yes, I know that in recent years the prefecture has put restrictions on who can climb the mountain and when, but when they never make clear the reasons why, it only grabs your interest more, doesn’t it?


How did I get into the area when it was restricted?
Well you see, at the time I was having trouble at my job and with my family… I was kind of at the end of the rope so to speak and was willing to do anything, so I snuck in in the middle of the night.


When I did it was painfully clear why they were keeping people away from the mountain.


There were snakes, tons and tons of snakes, slithering all about….
They probably couldn’t do anything about it, because at Mt. Miwa snakes are treated as dieties.
With that many snakes I wonder what they’re all eating….
It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Nara is leading the country in life span control, now would it?

“Pandemoniac Planet”


-As the population declines and the remaining population centers in cities, I’m sure you know that many rural villages in the mountains have been abandoned.


However, did you know that while few in number, there are still some areas deep in the mountains that still have been able to maintain their villages? I make it my daily routine to go out and search for those villages.


This happened a few months ago, in that prefecture full of mountains. I found this really peculiar village.


Now the people that lived there hadn’t been living there for generations, you see. Apparently a group of outlaws had found this abandoned village and made it their home, but it really was very strange. They had this religion unlike any I had ever seen before. Throughout the day, whenever anyone had any free time, they would always turn towards one of many little shrines and pray.


What’s so strange about that, you ask?
Well you see, they weren’t praying to any sort of god or the Buddha, but this black thing that was housed in all of the little shrines…


It was hair. It was someone’s hair.
They were praying to hair. It was a hair cult. Gross, don’t you think?
I bet the founder of the religion had a balding problem, haha.

“Fantasy Guild”
 Kyuusekai no Bouken’ Sakaba
 Old World Adventurer’s Bar


“Hmm… So is this some sort of scary story tournament?”
“I guess you could call it that. I don’t know whether these stories are made up or not, but it seems like they all follow a format of them being ‘strange personal experiences’.”
“I suppose I shouldn’t be talking, but for all these adults to be coming to this bar like it’s there version of our Sealing Club is a little…”
“Hm? Your turn to talk about your experiences is going to come around too you know?”
“Come on, really? I guess I should have known…”


Merry knew that her own strange experiences were all real. However, she wasn’t able to believe any of the strange experiences described by the other people in the bar. She couldn’t imagine any of those stories were anything but lies made to deceive others.


At that point, Merry paused and wondered why Renko ever believed any of her stories.
“Maybe it’s because I’m just really good at telling stories,” she thought, blushing.


“-Well belief systems centered around both hair and snakes have been around since the beginning of time. Their resurgence must be connected to humans’ belief processes.”


It seemed that Renko believed almost everyones’ stories.

 Makai Chihou Toshi Esoteria
 Rural Makai City Esoteria


“Well then, let us have the newcomer share. Miss, do you have a strange experience to share, one like no one has ever heard before?”


“Um, yes. My name is Maribel. The story I am about to tell is something I have personally experienced, a unique and strange tale.”


The other people in the bar murmured to themselves. Was it because of the otherworldly aura that Merry gave off, or was it simply because they were surprised to see that the next person to tell their story was a young girl?


Merry talked about a number of her experiences.


She talked about how she peeked at another world from a graveyard.
She talked about how she got lost in the bamboo forest of another world.
She talked about how she saw space from a satellite overrun with plants


She talked about how she had been attacked by monsters in other worlds.
She talked about how the moment she was saved by someone she always woke up back in this world.


These tales, these adventures in other worlds were truly fitting for the occasion.
However, for some reason they did not seem to go over very well.


That reason was made clear by the man who had passed himself off as Dr. Latency.


“All of those stories are ones already published in ‘Dr. Latency’s Freak Report’. The rule here among us is that you only tell stories from your own experiences.”

“Lost Emotion”
 Boushitsu no Emotion


Merry looked at Renko.
Renko nodded.


“My apologies. She was just testing your knowledge. In order to participate in what is about to happen, we needed to make sure that you all knew the contents of that book. You see, we have come into the posesssion of a magic item that allows one to experience a part of that other world described in ‘Dr. Latency’s Freak Report’.”


Renko took out a hand mirror and passed it to Merry, who then showed it to everyone in the bar. Because of Merry’s power, that mirror reflected scenes from the other world.


There was maddening overgrowth.
There was a smoking mountain.
There was a long dilapidated shrine.


Everyone thought back to the scenes described in the “Dr. Latency’s Freak Report”.
Perhaps because the alcohol had magnified their emotions, tears ran down some of their faces.

“The horse thinks one thing, and he that saddles him another.”
 Futsukayoi no Doushouimu
 Strange Hungover Bedfellows


It was the day after that experience at the bar.
Despite being so worked up while I was drinking, for some reason I feel tired and a bit sick now. Is this what you call a hangover?


In the end, the climax of the evening was when Merry went around showing scenes from the other world.


However, it wasn’t as if Merry had gone around bragging about her abilities.
Most of the people at the bar thought the whole thing was some sort of trick, or that it was some kind of special mirror.


To everyone, what Merry was doing was taking other people’s experiences and using them as her own.


“So how did it go?”
“Well… about half of the stories were made up.”
“But still, I’m glad it went so well, that plan to touch everyone while you were showing them the mirror to see if they had really seen the other world before.”


Merry was impressed that Renko thought all of that up on the spot.
Renko really was very intelligent and could think on her toes.


“That story about the snakes and the one about the hair religion were real by the way.”
“Really? I did think those two stories were a bit too disorganized to be lies. It’s settled then!”
“What’s settled?”
“Isn’t it obvious? We’re going to go to Mt. Miwa! Get ready to go!”


Merry, who was still hungover from all of the traditional liquor the previous night, flatly refused.



Hello, it’s ZUN. I decided to continue the previous CD with another.


Storywise it continues where I left off in Dr. Latency’s Freak Report.
If you consider “Dr. Latency’s Freak Report” the outer surface, this one describes what lies beneath.
With that in mind, I decided to fill this CD with music that is hard to enjoy. What did you think?


The theme for this CD is “chuunibyou”.
“Chuunibyou” is a really convenient word to use, but it is not easy to really pin it down as a motif. I would say that in the process of transitioning from your pure self into an adult, you start to feel embarrassed of how you acted as a child, and this feeling is closely related to the drive behind “chuunibyou”.


When you start to mature, you differ from your past self, and in that process you also become different from others around you. The result is that for no real reason you start to think of yourself as special. If you consider that to be the case, then phrases such as “My sealed right hand~!” or “It whispers in my brain~!” don’t really have much to do with the true essense of “chuunibyou”.


“Chuunibyou”, at its core is the heat of life. It’s an explosion of imagination. It is a form of resistance by purity and creativity against the cold society we live in.


I’ve been wondering to myself lately, about how I’ll be able to hold on to my “chuunibyou” until I die. If I can manage that, then I’ll be able to enjoy alcohol for the rest of my life.

 上海アリス幻樂団 ZUN (ポケモンGOが_____)

Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra ZUN (Pokémon GO is…)

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