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#26 | Back to Top02-27-2012 12:21:27 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Azathoth wrote:

Dallbun wrote:

Tsukamoto Shinya - Her name in kanji is 塚本信也. Not that that seems significant or anything.

Little late with this, but: the guy who made the infamous cyberpunk/body horror flick Tetsuo: The Iron Man (among others) is also a Tsukamoto Shinya (塚本晋也), which isn't that far off. So I don't know, someone has interesting tastes in film? Or maybe a coincidence.

Huh, cool. It definitely could be a reference - given some of his other works, the author seems like he very well could be into cult movies like that. You made me wonder whether perhaps he changed the name to make it work for a girl, but as far as I can tell, both "Shinya"s are potentially gender-neutral (but usually male?). Maybe he just wanted to distance it slightly so it wasn't the exact same name, though. Or, like you said, could also be coincidence. Nice catch, in any case!

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#27 | Back to Top03-01-2012 11:15:28 PM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Chapter 5: Duelist

The sounds of sharp steps and metal clanging against metal resounded around the gym. The Fencing Club was having an after-school practice.

One member stood out from the rest. She was wearing a striking white mask, and had already beaten seven other members.

“Next!” she called out.

Her seventh opponent moved aside, and a new one stepped forward from among the players lined up at by the side of the wall. The white-masked player didn’t relax her stance.

“Excuse me,” her opponent bowed, before bringing up his saber. But...

“Touche!”

In an instant, the white-masked player closed the distance, and scored a hit on the left side of her opponent’s chest.

“Next!”

Her opponent left, and a new challenger stepped forward. This process repeated itself another ten-odd times, until finally there were no players left waiting along the wall.

“Next!”

“Captain, it’s over.”

Hearing that, the white-masked player finally let down her guard.

“Amazing as always, Captain. This time only took you eight minutes.”

The younger player, who was holding a towel, came up to her. Handing the captain a towel after she'd beaten twenty opponents was quite an honor. The boy's face was flush.

The captain took off her mask. As she did, long ringlets of hair spilled out - it was Arisugawa Juri.

"I don't see Kaoru Miki here today," she commented, taking the towel and wiping the light sweat from her face. In the whole club, the only one who could even begin to stand up to her any more was Miki. Without him, even taking on twenty opponents in a row wasn't much of a challenge.

"We received notice that he's absent."

"Absent?"

"Yes. According to the members in his class, it doesn't seem like he's sick... Should I bring you the report of absence? It should have a line for 'reason.'"

"No, that's fine," said Juri, her expression cloudy.

(Absent...? So has he been investigating Touga all day, since after morning practice? Then perhaps he's looking into something quite unusual...)

The entire gym had suddenly fallen silent. The club members had all stopped practicing and were staring at Juri. She didn't seem like her usual firm and frank self.

Although deep in thought, Juri noticed the eyes of the fencing club members on her.

"What? Keep practicing!" She whipped her saber once through the air with a sharp "swish," a signal to resume practice.

Passing through the training club members, Juri walked to the window. From there, you could see Touga's residence - the White House.

(It's too soon for you to go up against Touga. Your power is still...)

As if reflecting Juri's uneasy mood, black clouds were gathering in the sky above Ohtori Academy.

*

"A fitting sky for the climax of this little game."

Touga raised his glass to the wide, darkening sky above. A pale purple liquid splashed inside it.

He was in his house - the same room that Utena and Miki had broken into the day before. The phone had been properly put back in its globe, and the rifled bookcases straightened. But the right-hand door that had been locked before was now wide open. Inside was a single king-sized bed. No trace of other desks or furniture could be seen.

(He’s a little… late.)

Touga’s gaze wandered around the room, eventually stopping over the bed. Just then, the door opened.

“Hey. You’re late,” he said, not looking towards the door. He sounded completely certain of who had arrived. On the table beside him, another glass just like the one Touga was raising was set out for the visitor.

“We need to talk.” The visitor’s voice was firm. He did not seem inclined to join Touga in a drink.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Miki-kun,” Touga responded, still not looking at the boy standing stiffly by the door.

Miki’s blue eyes seemed cloudy, just like the troubled sky.


*


Utena strolled absently through the school. For once, her constant companion, Anthy, wasn’t by her side.

Since the phone call incident yesterday, Utena had felt uncomfortable around Anthy. Anthy herself had hardly seemed to notice, but Utena was angry at herself for having suspected her, even briefly.

Speaking of things she was upset at herself over, Touga was another. If she’d just asked him directly, she could have easily cleared up the question of whether he was her prince, but somehow she hadn’t been able to bring herself to.

(Man, I really haven’t been myself lately. Doubting my friends, not saying what’s on my mind…)

It had been half a years since Utena had transferred to the academy to find her prince. And until just recently, she hadn’t found any clues at all.

But now, she was sure she was getting close. Of course, it might or might not be Touga. But she had a hunch that the Dueling Game and Himemiya Anthy would lead her to him. She was quite certain of it. Even if he wasn’t nearby in person, she had the strange feeling that she was working towards him. Call it a sixth sense.

Maybe that feeling that she was getting close to her prince was why she’d been so off recently. And perhaps that was also the thing that was actually getting under her skin.

That’s what was going through Utena’s head when the sound of distant piano music slipped into her consciousness.

(Hey, that song…) She remembered it. (That’s the one I was playing with Miki… Yeah, “The Sunlit Garden.”)

Perking up her ears, Utena determined that the sound was coming from the west side of the school – from the Student Council music room.

Come to think of it, she hadn’t seen Miki since they’d parted in Touga’s room – or more accurately, since Utena had dashed out of it.

As if beckoned by the music, Utena headed towards the music room,.

*

The room had no lights, and no windows. Inside, there was nothing but a large bed – that’s just how Kiryuu Touga’s bedroom was.

The only noises were small, sighing breaths.

“Sempai? Are you serious about Utena-san?” someone asked with a sigh. A boy soprano’s voice. Miki’s. “If you just trying to play with her like you do with me, then…”

“Then, what? You’re saying you wouldn’t forgive me?”

“Ah!”

Miki’s breathing became rougher. It seemed that he wasn’t able to talk any more.

Sweat.

Naked flesh.

Sheets.

Hand in hand.

Darkness.

PICTURE: Touga. (Darkness. Sheets. Hands and feet.)

Pain.

Hands and feet.

Sighs.

The two slowly shifted their positions.

“Mickey, have you heard this before? When they're just born, babies have no distinction between themselves and others.”

Miki didn't answer. He just kept letting out long breaths.

“As they start to explore things around them with their hands and feet, they gradually come to understand that there are things other than themselves. But to begin with, they think that they and their mothers are the same thing.”

“What... are you trying to say?” Miki's voice wasn't strong. He was still breathing heavily.

“In other words, the process of growth, of becoming an adult, is understanding the difference between yourself and others – breaking yourself free from the world, you might say. Starting to be interested in the opposite sex, starting to hate your parents... it's all to separate yourself from the world of your family. That's the most important step to becoming an adult.”

“I don't understand why you're telling me this.”

“You just don't want to understand. You're bright enough to figure it out.”

In the darkness, Touga's lips curled upward.


*


Utena opened the door slowly, not wanting to disturb the piano performance. As she did, the sound enveloped her. But the timbre of the music seemed somehow lonelier than last time.

(Huh?)

The one at the grand piano wasn't Miki. Their face was similar, but...

“Kozue-chan...?”

Kozue finally noticed her visitor. But seeing that it was Utena and not Miki, her expression darkened.

“Oh. Looking for Miki, I suppose? Too bad.” Her voice had suddenly become cold. Normally she was a brighter, more carefree girl, but when it came to Miki she became very emotional.

“Wow. So both of you can play the piano? Triangles and cymbals are about my limit, so I'm totally impressed,” Utena put out, attempting to lighten the atmosphere. But Kozue's curt attitude remained unchanged.

“Miki's the one who's good at it. I can only play this song.”

“...'The Sunlit Garden?'”

“Yeah. Miki wrote it when he was six.”

“Six!? Woah, Miki-kun really is a genius.”

Utena was clearly impressed. But for some reason, that struck a strange nerve with Kozue. It was alright for her to praise Miki, but she didn't like Utena doing it.

“Tenjou Utena. Do you like Miki?” she asked suddenly, cutting to the point like a katana.

“Huh? Miki-kun and I aren't like that...”

“Hmph. I'm not convinced. You may dress like that, but you're still a girl. There must be someone you're in love with.”

(Someone I'm in love with...?)

With those words to herself, the imagine of a certain long-haired playboy sprang to Utena's mind.

(Kiryuu Touga!? Why did I think of him!?)

“Who do you love, Tenjou Utena?” Kozue asked again. Her eyes, just like Miki's, stared Utena down. Utena found herself unable to tear herself away from them.

“I'm in love with...”

“Yes...?”

“...my Prince,” Utena said. It had suddenly come to her.

“Prince?” Kozue still looked hostile. She suspected she was being put on.

“A prince saved me eight years ago. I want to meet him. That's why I came to this school.”

“Seriously...?” Kozue asked dubiously. But Utena didn't look like she was lying. “Huh. How stupid.” Kozue turned away from Utena. The unexpectedly childish response had made her lose control of herself for a moment.

(Is she serious? Talking about a prince as a second-year middle school student? How stupid. There's no way someone like that exists...)

She looked out the window, many thoughts flitting through her mind.

(What could Miki possibly see in her? Or is there really nothing between them after all? Yeah. It'd be weird if Miki liked someone I didn't. Miki and I are like one person. There's no way he'd be serious about this man-girl.)

Kozue turned back to face Utena. Her expression had softened a bit.

“By the way, what did you want with Miki?”

“Oh, I just wanted to apologize to him about yesterday.”

(Yesterday!?)

Kozue looked hostile once again at Utena's guileless words.

(Miki was with her yesterday? And he lied to me to hide it...? Why would he do that? What the heck did those two do yesterday...?)

“T, that's right... you two were together yesterday.” Even Kozue herself could hear the quivering in her voice. “What did you want to apologize to him about? I'll tell him for you.”

“Uh, no, it's...” Utena replied, hesitating. She couldn't exactly say they'd broken into the White House. But she wasn't the sort who was good at thinking up convenient lies.

Staring at the silent Utena, Kozue clenched her hands into fists. Her nails dug harshly into her palms.

(Miki and this girl... they've both been keeping me in the cold.)

(We've always been together... Always just the two of us...)

(Miki's leaving me. He's going off by himself.)

(Miki, you idiot!)

Daaaaaaaaaaaan!

Kozue slammed her hand down on the keys in front of her. The despairing sound echoes across the music room.

“Get out, get out! This room is for Miki and me!”

Daaan
                                  Daaan
                   Daaandaaan
         Daaan                      Daaan
                          Daaan    Daaan     Daaan
DaaanDaaan      Daaan       Daaan
           Daaan        Daaandaaan
     Daaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaan
Daaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaan
         Daaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaan
  Daaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaandaaan


Kozue madly pounded the keys. She wasn't looking at Utena anymore. She kept playing, her head shaking violently.

“Kozue-chan...”

“Get out, get out, get out, get out!” Kozue sobbed, her hair shaken loose, not waiting to hear what Utena had to say.


*


The dark clouds that had been gathering in the sky above Ohtori Academy now covered it completely. With no light reaching it, the campus was robbed of color, and it seemed as if a chill air rose up from the ground.

“What bad weather.”

Behind the rose garden, Saionji stropped practicing with his shinai to look up in the sky. It looked to him like the dark clouds seemed to be centered above the Dueling Arena. He could feel barely any wind, and they gave no indication of moving soon.

(Is a duel going to start...?)

The thought drifted through Saionji's mind. But he spoke to himself, dismissing the idea.

“Absurd. The next challenger will be me. I won't let a travesty of a victor like Tenjou Utena defile her position any longer.”

Saionji began swinging his shinai again. (Wait for me, Anthy. I'll free you from Tenjou Utena soon.) Sweat flew each time he swung his sword.

He didn't notice Utena pass along behind him.


*


There were several possible routes back to the East Dorm from the building with the music room. One of the more roundabout ways led past the White House. After fleeing from the music room, Utena unconsciously found herself heading that way.

“Who do you love, Tenjou Utena?” Kozue's earlier words still rung in her ears.

What did it mean to be in love with someone? She still wasn't clear on that.

Her first love had been “the Prince.” Besides that, she had never fallen in love. Not that there hadn't been anyone she was fond of, but she didn't think you could call any of it “love.”

(Someone I love...)

When Kozue had asked, Touga's face had risen to her mind.

(Do I like Kiryuu Touga? Because I think he might be my Prince?) Her thoughts started swirling around in her head. (Then, what if he isn't? I love my Prince, but that's...)

(What does it mean to love a boy, anyway? It's gotta be different than feelings towards a friend. Or family...)

(Wakaba said once that when you have a crush on someone, your heart starts to pound when you're near them, and all you can think of is them...)

"Let it go a little further, and before you know it, you find yourself doing stuff like standing outside of their house."

"In other words, you turn into a stalker?"

(We laughed about it at the time, but...) Utena stood for a moment, thinking about her silly conversation with Wakaba.

"Hey, welcome," a voice came suddenly, from above. Utena snapped out of her reverie and looked up. "Looks like our positions are reversed from last time." Touga winked down at her from a balcony. Utena had found herself standing in front of the White House.

(No way... I don't like him or anything. I just happened to be heading home...)

"What's up? Did you come to ask me on a date, by chance?" Touga asked, lightly. He was his usual breezy playboy self. But Utena had seen a different face of his, that night when he stood staring up staring at the castle in the sky. The image was still burned into her memory.

"Wait for a moment. I'll come down." Touga vanished from the balcony. Utena didn't have a chance to stop him.


*


Kozue was still slumped over the piano, crying.

Miki and Kozue - they'd been together since they were born. Playing, eating, taking baths - they always did it together. Even when they'd split apart from their parents, they themselves had stayed together.

"I thought we'd be together forever..."

Between sobs, words poured out from her heart.

Eventually, her tears ran dry. At that time, Kozue felt the presence of someone behind her. She turned.

"Who's there!?"

"Poor, poor Kozue..."

A thin hand stroked Kozue's cheek. It resembled that of the prince who had saved Utena eight years ago.


*


"Welcome in."

Touga opened the front door. His Student Council uniform was open in the front, and he wasn't wearing anything underneath, exposing his bare chest.

"You're looking a little disheveled there, Mr. President." Utena turned her head away. Seeing Touga's skin right now made her feel extremely embarrassed.

"How rude of me. And in front of a lady, no less." He spoke jokingly as usual. Utena watched from the side as he slowly buttoned up his jacket.

"Won't you come in?"

"No way. I still haven't forgiven you for what you did in the Student Council room."

"Oh? But you came in yesterday."

(---!?)

Touga grinned. It felt to Utena like he was seeing straight through her.

(...well, looks like I've been caught.)

"A word of apology might be in order, don't you think? Illegal entry, invasion of privacy, perjury..."

"Yeah, about yesterday, uh... Sorry. I shouldn't have done that. But you..."


Don!


Touga's hand hit the wall behind Utena. He leaned over her, backing her up against the wall.

"Unforgivable." In sharp contrast to usual, Touga looked completely serious.

"Move."

"No. I demand compensation."

Touga moved his body in closer. He stared at Utena with piercing, intelligent eyes.

"So, what should I ask for, I wonder...?"

His face slowly leaned closer to Utena's. They could feel each others' breath.

(This is just like that other time...)

PICTURE: Touga and Utena

But Utena's body was frozen - she couldn't gather strength to move.

Touga's lips drew closer.

(He's going to kiss me...) Utena found herself closing her eyes.

"Kiryuu-sempai!" a boy soprano cried out.

Utena opened her eyes in surprise, and saw Miki standing in front of the stairs. Unusually for someone as precise as him, his sleeves and collar were open. And only one of his front buttons was fastened.

"Well, well," Touga smiled, still poised as if to kiss Utena. "You're a little late, Mickey."

"Kiryuu-sempai, what are you doing!?"

"Just what it looks like. I was going to steal a kiss from this maiden," he answered, undisturbed. Then he turned back to Utena as if nothing had happened. Apparently he intended to resume.

"Stop it, sempai!" Miki almost shouted. At this, the atmosphere suddenly changed. A goosebump-raising tension spread out between the three of them.

Utena was in complete confusion over the sudden appearance of Miki - just when Touga had been trying to kiss he, no less. As usual, it was impossible to tell what Touga was thinking. He had a slight smile, though, like he was enjoying the situation.

And Miki...

"What are your intentions towards Utena-san, sempai?" he asked suddenly. He glared straight at Touga, challengingly.

(His intentions...?) Utena also turned to look at Touga. She had been wondering that herself.

"Nobody would want anyone they're fond of to participate in something as dangerous as a duel. That's how I feel, at the very least. I would never make Utena-san duel. I want to protect those I love."

(Miki-kun, are you saying...?)

Miki turned his clear, crystal-like eyes to Utena. She could see her own confused expression reflected back in them.

(Miki-kun, you...) His words had been as good as a confession. (Man, what should I do... I like Miki too, but not like that... like a friend. I had no idea Miki was thinking of me like that. I had no idea...)

Utena looked toward Touga for some reason, looking for help.

"How sweet, Mickey," Touga said, catching Utena's eyes. "But Tenjou Utena isn't a woman who needs to be protected."

"That's no reason to make her duel."

"Why, it's up to her whether or not she duels. In other words, nobody else can stop her from dueling."

"That's..." That was correct. Miki found himself faltering. "Sempai. Do what you want with me. But stop dragging Utena-san into all this. She shouldn't have to duel..."

"Really? But perhaps she's more qualified to duel than I am."

"No!"

"She beat Saionji. And drew down the Power of Dios. Undoubtedly, Tenjou Utena is the one closest to attaining the power to revolutionize the world."

"Does that power truly exist? Nobody's seen it. Nobody's confirmed its reality. It's..."

"No," a girl's voice answered, full of confidence. "The power to revolutionize the world is real."

Anthy stood there, wearing her white dress.

"Anthy, what are you doing here? And why are you wearing that!?"

It was the dress Anthy had worn when serving as the Rose Bride during the duel. The top part slightly resembled the special Student Council uniforms. Tassels hung from epaulettes on the shoulders, and there was gold lace on the chest. But in place of pants below, she wore a wide skirt. She had earrings, and a gold circlet atop her head. As the Rose Bride, she looked almost like a princess.

She didn't respond to Utena's question, but instead handed Utena a Miki each an envelope.

"Here are letters, marked with the Rose Seal..."

"Letters from 'the Ends of the World?'" "No way!" the two spoke over each other.

Anthy's white dress.

Letters from "The Ends of the World."

It could only mean one thing.

Utena opened the letter in confusion. Inside was a single message card - and written on it was exactly what Utena had expected.


"TO THE ONE ENGAGED
AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, YOU MUST DUEL IN THE ARENA."


That was all. "The Ends of the World" was telling Utena to duel again.

To her side, Miki's card fell out of his hands. It read:


"YOUNG KOZUE IS LIKE A LEAF ABOUT TO BE CAUGHT UP IN A FIERCE WIND
IF YOU CHERISH HER, THEN AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, YOU MUST DUEL IN THE ARENA."


"What? But I just saw her in the music room..."

"Kozue... why...?" Miki turned to Anthy demandingly. But as usual, her face revealed nothing. "Kozue doesn't have anything to do with this. She isn't on the Student Council, and she doesn't have a Rose Seal. So why..."

"What will you do, Mickey? Will you duel Tenjou Utena? Or...?"

The sound of Touga's voice made Miki jittery.

"Touga-sempai! Did you... is this one if your plots!?"

"I don't know anything about it. It's 'The Ends of the World's doing."

"You liar. You've known about this from the start. That Utena and I were to duel, that Kozue would be snatched away... you're 'The Ends of the World,' aren't you!?"

Touga fell silent. But Miki stared straight at him, demanding an answer.

(Is he really 'The Ends of the World?' And also my prince...?)

"Unfortunately..." Touga slowly brushed his hair aside. "I'm not 'The Ends of the World.'" He spoke clearly and definitively.

"Honestly." Seeing Miki's unconvinced look, Touga gave a slightly bitter smile. "It is true that I know a little more about 'The Ends of the World' than the rest of you. So I can assure you that those letters are the real thing. If you don't have a duel, 'The Ends of the World' really will..."

He left the last part unsaid. But it was still enough to leave Miki in shock.

"Kozue..."

Miki dropped to his knees and looked at the fallen card again. "'At midnight tonight... you must duel..." he read again, as if confirming the message.

"What will you do, Mickey?"

"Miki-kun, we're seriously going to duel...?"

Miki didn't move. Time seemed to stop as he stared at the message card. Utena couldn't bring herself to say anything to him. Touga looked on, awaiting Miki's decision. And Anthy was the same as always, standing expressionlessly. She wasn't even looking towards Miki.

At last, Miki stood.

"Utena-san."

Utena looked into Miki's crystalline eyes. But they weren't the same as they usually were.

"I challenge you to a duel."

They were the sharp eyes of a Duelist.

Last edited by Dallbun (06-06-2015 03:06:40 PM)

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#28 | Back to Top03-05-2012 03:38:44 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8704
Website

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

emot-aaa emot-aaa emot-aaa

1. YAY MOAR MOAR MOAR

2. Wow, Touga. Just...wow. I always wondered about that picture, but now that I know whose feet are in it, I'm just not even surprised. emot-gonk


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#29 | Back to Top03-05-2012 05:07:50 PM

Honey Bear
Sunlit Gardener (Prelude)
From: England
Registered: 08-01-2011
Posts: 173
Website

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

emot-aaa

And I always thought Miki was the one person who didn't get seduced in the cast!

Damn that Touga is good!

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#30 | Back to Top03-06-2012 05:02:32 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Haha, I was starting to wonder how long it'd take before folks commented on that scene. I knew it was coming for a while, so I'm glad to finally get it out there. And the author was hinting at it pretty heavily in the previous chapter... Not sure I completely understand why Miki would have gotten into something like that, but hey.

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#31 | Back to Top03-06-2012 03:55:52 PM

Atropos
Atropos Turretslayer
From: Hampden College
Registered: 10-22-2011
Posts: 905

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Hmm, so this is gonna be the series plus all the 12-year-old sex scenes they couldn't show on TV?
Augh, I can't believe I typed that. We don't want to end up on SOS or something.

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#32 | Back to Top03-14-2012 08:13:01 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Chapter 6: The Dueling Arena

Night at the Dueling Arena.

Whether because of the dark clouds that had been gathering since evening, or because of some unnatural quality of the Dueling Arena itself, not a single star could be seen.

But something else glowing in the darkness more than made up for the lack of stars - the chandelier-like upside-down castle. It shone down on the arena, bathing it in light.

And in between the arena and the castle, another object glittered, too. A glass box - about long enough for a person...

"What's that?" Utena, the first one to climb to the arena, exclaimed when she saw it. "Is someone in there...?"

She could see a human-like shadow inside the glass.

"A coffin...?"

A long box that held a human body - that sounded like a coffin.

Utena strained her eyes, trying to confirm the contents, but at this distance she had no hope of telling who might be inside.

But...

"Kozue!" Miki cried out from behind Utena.

(Kozue-chan?) Utena still wasn't sure. To begin with, she could barely tell that there was a human-like shadow there at all.

But Miki seemed certain that it was Kozue in the coffin. He ran towards it past Utena. However, trying to reach a box floating in the air was quite a hopeless proposition. Miki slowed, then stopped when he was directly under it.

"Kozue..."

Just as Miki said, the one in the glass coffin was indeed Kozue. She wasn't moving. Or perhaps more likely, she couldn't move.

"Kozue, answer me! Kozue! Can you hear me?" he called up to her. There was no sign that she heard him.

"If you cherish her, you must duel." The words fell from his lips like a spell. "You must duel."

Miki drew his sword and slowly turned to Utena, who was approaching him from behind.

"Miki-kun, I don't want to duel you..." Utena was still reluctant. She'd decided to participate in the Dueling Game and protect Anthy... but she hadn't thought that she'd have to fight Miki.

While she hesitated, Anthy came up to her and pinned a white rose to her lapel.

"A small rose from within me... for you."

The white rose matched Utena's school uniform well. They almost seemed deliberately coordinated.

"A rose that flew here from the Ends of the World... for you."

As Anthy continued to recite, Utena's school uniform suddenly changed. Tassels appeared on her shoulders, and gold lace ran down her chest. The bottom of her coat gained white frills. It still looked essentially like Utena's uniform, but now gave a more gaudy impression, more in line with the Student Council's uniforms.

"Anthy... what is this?"

"The duel is a hallowed ceremony. You need to dress appropriately." The answer came from Touga.

Utena looked at Touga's special uniform.

"That's right," he continued. "The Student Council uniform is intended as dueling attire."

"What...?" Miki exclaimed. Although he'd been against the duels, he'd been walking around the school every day in an outfit designed for them. It was a bit of a shock.

"Mickey, you may have believed otherwise, but the Student Council are not representatives of Ohtori's student body. The organization was not created to plan events. We are nothing more than a gathering of Duelists."

"That's absurd. I'm..."

"...a Duelist. Isn't that right, Mickey?" Touga looked significantly at the saber in Miki's hand. Indeed, Miki was standing in the Dueling Arena, holding a sword. In front of Utena, no less. If he wasn't a Duelist, what was he?

"Let's start the duel, Miki-kun."

"Utena-san?"

"Yeah, just having a duel should be enough to satisfy Mr. 'Ends of the World,' right? So let's get it over with."

"Utena-san, I..."

"We have no choice. If we don't duel, they won't return Kozue-chan, right?"

"...right."

"Nothing says we have to go all out, like some life-or-death thing. Whoever gets their rose knocked off loses, that's all. So..."

"Hold it, Tenjou Utena," someone cut in sharply. It was Touga. "If you don't fight with all your power, the girl won't be saved. The duel is a hallowed ceremony. If you don't take it seriously, 'The Ends of the World' won't consider it a proper duel."

"What? How are you so sure?"

"Did you arrange this after all, sempai?"

"No, I didn't."

"So how do you know?"

"...the duel is a hallowed ceremony," Anthy stated, as if delivering a prophecy. "It's as Kiryuu-sempai says. The duel will not accept deceit."

This time, nobody protested. Anthy sounded quite certain, and everyone, including Utena and Miki, understood that she was speaking the truth.

"Tenjou Utena, you want do meet your prince, don't you?" Touga whispered into her year. "If you don't keep winning the duels, he'll never appear before you."

"What!?" Utena's countenance hardened.

"Your strength and nobility - to lose a duel is to lose those, too."

The prince's words echoed in Utena's memory: "If you don't lose your strength and nobility..."

(Will I really be able to meet him if I keep winning the duels? And Kiryuu Touga - why does he know those words, too? Is it because he's my prince? Or...)

For his part, Miki looked once again at Kozue in the glass coffin. Of course, she couldn't say anything. But staring at her, Miki almost felt like they could communicate telepathically. They said that twins occasionally felt like they could sense each others' feelings. Perhaps that's what Miki was feeling now.

Silence fell over the Dueling Arena.

Finally reaching a decision, Miki spoke.

"Utena-san, let's start."

"Miki-kun?"

"You don't need to go easy on me. I'm tougher than I look."

"But..."

"Utena-san, you're the one who should be careful. I'm going to give it my all."

Miki raised his saber.

The time for words had passed.


*


"O, noble castle..."

As the words left Himemiya Anthy's lips, a small light flickered to life beneath her breast.

"Power of Dios that sleeps within me..."

The light within her chest grew brighter.

"Heed your master, and reveal..."

Slowly, it continued to grow. Before long, the light took the shape of some kind of rod.

(This is just like before, with Saionji. The Sword of Dios...)

The rod - the hilt of the sword - glittered beckoningly at Utena. The blade of the sword was too dazzlingly bright to see, but it certainly looked as if it was growing from Anthy's breast.

(I don't get how this works at all, but...)

Utena took the hilt.

(I'm pretty sure this was how it went...)

Utena drew the sword out of Anthy's body.

"The power to revolutionize the world!"

As if in response to Utena's words, the light from the castle above sparkled on the Sword of Dios. The light gave off a feeling of overwhelming nobility, that somehow reminded Utena of her prince.

Holding the sword, Utena turned to face the young blue-haired boy standing before her - Kaoru Miki. His Rose Signet was on his finger, and his saber in his hand.

"Miki-kun, I didn't expect to have to duel you."

"Neither did I. But..." Miki's crystalline eyes were cloudy.

"Yeah, I get it. Here were are, standing in the Dueling Arena. We... don't have a lot of choice." Utena pointed her sword at Miki, as if inviting him to attack. "But this time won't be like the basketball game. I have my own reasons to win, you know."

"I understand. Now, here I come."

From his basic fencing stance, Miki suddenly lunged forward.

(He's fast!)

In the nick of time, Utena managed fend off the attack. Seeing this, Miki gave a satisfied smile. Both at the fact that he wouldn't need to go easy on her, and because he had managed to surprise her.

He continued to launch attacks, in rapid succession. He aimed for her left foot, forcing Utena to lower her sword. But the attack never came - it was a feint. The sword's direction changed in mid-strike, towards Utena's chest.

Twisting her upper body, Utena escaped Miki's sword by the skin of her teeth. That left her off-balance, and she fell back heavily.

PICTURE: Utena VS Miki

"You're pretty good, Miki-kun." Now that she'd secured a little distance, Utena finally had time to speak. As it happened, they were the same words she'd said during the basketball game.

"Well, I have my own reasons to win," Miki said, looking resolute. It was the face of a man fighting for something important to him.

Above him, the glass coffin quietly watched over the fight.

The duel had only just begun...


*


When Miki and Kozue were little, their parents bought them a piano. It was a white grand piano - a little big for a child. The young siblings sat down to play together on the tall, wide bench. They had to claw their way up onto it to sit down.

"Okay, let's go!" Kozue said.

"Mmmhmm!" Miki nodded.

Ponnnnnn!

They played the first note - a high "re." Before the day was over, Miki had learned two songs, and they enjoyed playing piano together.

The first time they'd went in a pool, they'd done it together. Just like their first phone call, their first time in an art room, and their first chess game.

But fencing was different. Miki had started that by himself. Everyone was surprised when they heard that the quiet, docile Miki had taken up a so-called combative sport like that. But as long as he didn't give up the piano, and always wore protective equipment, the adults in his life allowed it.

Kozue hadn't said anything about it. She'd had a fight with Miki for about two days, but afterwards started dropping in on Miki's practices and cheering for him in his matches, as if nothing had happened.

Maybe Miki had been trying to establish an identity as his own man by taking up fencing. Maybe that's why he'd chosen something a "barbaric," sword-wielding sport.

The fencing sword was surprisingly hard. Seeing how it bent when swung through the air, he'd sort of expected it to be softer, like a flag. But the steel saber was as solid and piercing as wood or ice.

Thus, as soon as he started fencing, Miki started coming home with bruises, making Kozue worry. Maybe they were the result of Juri's strict style of instruction. More and more, she had started taking over his training personally, to an unprecedented degree. She probably saw a natural genius in him.

Nor was she wrong. Even counting the club members in high school, only Miki had skill approaching Juri's.

And now, his sword was aimed at Utena.

There was no chink in Miki's Juri-trained defenses. Blocking off any opportunities for Utena to attack with calculated movements, Miki slowly forced her towards the edge of the arena.

(Kozue... I'll save you, right now.)

He brought up his sword, aiming to the upper right. Utena leapt back to avoid it.

But that was what Miki had been counting on. His goal had never been the rose on Utena's chest - he'd just wanted to force her back.

(Hang on, Kozue. I just need to go after Utena-san a little more...)

(Utena, I liked you. When we were together, I felt drawn to you.)

(I didn't... I didn't want to duel you. But I'll make sure I win.)

Brandishing his sword, Miki gradually pressured Utena. Just a few more steps until she was at the edge of the arena.

Victory was in sight.


*


A duel.

This was only Utena's second one, and Miki's first.

The Rose Bride, Himemiya Anthy, quietly watched their fight. Whoever won would have the right to do with her as they wished, but to look at her, she considered that to be someone else's problem. The tears she'd displayed during the last duel were a distant memory.

"Anthy, who do you want to win?" Touga asked her, not taking his eyes off the duel.

"I am the Rose Bride," Anthy calmly answered. She didn't look at him, either. "By the rules of the Rose Signet, I obey the victor."

She was as expressionless as always. Touga smiled slightly in response.


*

Utena was forced on the defensive against Miki's sword. It was sharp indeed. He may have lacked Saionji's raw strength, but he still pushed Utena back with his precise movements.

(It's just like that basketball game. He's treating this like a chess problem, trying to find the best path to victory...)

She understood that she was being pushed up against the edge of the arena. But if she tried to slip away to the left or the right, Miki was there to stop her.

(Man, he's tough. He's a totally different type than Saionji...)

Barely avoiding Miki's blade, Utena kept looking for an opening to escape to the side. She caught a fleeting glimpse of Togua, out of the corner of her eye.

(He said that if I don't keep dueling, I won't be able to meet my Prince. I wonder how much he knows...?)

In the moment that Utena glanced at Touga, Miki's sword slipped past Utena's, honing on on her rose.

"Shi...!"

Utena desperately dodged backwards to avoid the blade. But although she might have saved her rose, she found herself tumbling backwards.

(Dammit!)

Miki descended upon the fallen Utena.

Utena barely brought up the Sword of Dios to meet Miki's saber. But, able to bring his weight to bear, Miki began pushing it back.

Past the locked blades, Utena could see Miki's face. His forehead was damp with sweat, and his eyes locked on the rose on Utena's chest. Perhaps it was the only thing on his mind... or perhaps he was just trying to avoid meeting Utena's eyes.

Beyond his shoulders floated the upside-down castle.

(Touga said that the one engaged to the Rose Bride, who continues to win the duels, will ascend to the castle. And that if I lose, I won't be able to meet my prince.)

Miki's sword and the Sword of Dios scraped against each other, creating an unpleasant noise.

(Does that mean that my prince is in the upside-down castle? Or...)

(If I don't win, I won't be able to meet him.)

(I won't be able to meet my prince.)

(I won't meet him.)

(I won't meet him.)

(I won't meet him.)

(No!)

(I will meet him. One more time... so...)

"...won't lose." Utena choked out. "I won't lose!"

In that instant, the mysterious figure of a young man descended from the castle in the sky. He was a beautiful youth with an untarnished air about him. Somehow, he resembled Anthy...

The youth descended directly towards Utena, seeming to melt into her body.

(This smell... it's just like back then. The smell of my prince...)

It was the scent of roses. The same scent that had enveloped her during her first duel, with Saionji. The scent of the prince who had saved Utena as a child.

"I won't lose!"

Utena raised her right foot to press against Miki's waist.

"There's no way I'll lose!"

With a kick, Utena knocked Miki back. He went tumbling towards the center of the Dueling Arena. He scrambled back to his feet, bringing his saber in a fighting stance.

But Utena had righted herself faster, and was already bearing down on him.

(She's fast!)

The Sword of Dios struck out.

Miki's chest was defenseless.

A cut.

And his rose scattered.

Somewhere, bells began to ring. There were a lot of them, judging by the volume.

Utena had won.

Crestfallen, Miki dropped to his knees.

At the same time, the image of the young man left Utena, and rose back towards the castle. The light of the chandelier-like castle winked on and off, as if welcoming their master home. Utena raised her head to see.

"Miki-kun, look!"

Miki looked up in response to Utena's call. The glass coffin floating in the middle of the air was slowly descending.

"Kozue!"

His arms flung wide open, Miki ran to meet her. Inside the coffin, Kozue still seemed to be unconscious.

When the glass coffin was a few meters above the ground, it suddenly vanished. Gravity took hold of Kozue, and she hurtled downwards.

"Kozue-chan!"

"Kozue!"

Miki threw his whole body into trying to catch Kozue. But he wasn't able to stop her entirely, and they went crashing to the ground together.

"Huh...? Miki...?"

Above Miki, Kozue opened her eyes. For a moment, she felt like she'd just woken from a dream. She took in her surroundings, and was surprised to notice Utena and Touga.

"Wh, where am I? What just..."

"Kozue, are you alright? Are you hurt?"

"I was crying in the music room... and..." Kozue hesitated. "No... I don't remember anything..."

"Nothing...?"

"I don't understand what's happening. Somebody tell me!"

"Kozue..."

"I know I don't know anything! I don't understand anything..." Kozue began to cry in Miki's arms.

"It's okay now. It's okay, Kozue." Miki tenderly held her head.

Utena watched them, relieved. Her smile held a touch of jealousy for their close sibling relationship.

However, Touga and Anthy just looked down at them, expressionless.

Last edited by Dallbun (06-06-2015 03:07:13 PM)

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#33 | Back to Top03-14-2012 08:14:40 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Epilogue

After the duel, Utena and Anthy returned to the East Dorm and went straight to bed. But Utena couldn't sleep. The events of the duel earlier were still on her mind.

"Anthy, are you asleep?" she called quietly to the bed next to her.

"No, Utena-sama," Anthy responded, clearly. Utena felt a small feeling of solidarity that she wasn't able to sleep, either.

"Why does 'The Ends of the World' want us to duel, anyway?"

Anthy did not respond to Utena's murmured question. So Utena just keep talking.

"And why does everyone duel at all? Because they want the Power to Revolutionize the World? Or because they want you, the Rose Bride?"

Utena stole a glance at the neighboring bed. But in the dim moonlight, she couldn't read anything on Anthy's face.

"Everyone fights for something important to them."

"Something important to them?"

"Yes."

Something important to them. The words echoed once more in Utena's heart. But in her case, she wasn't quite sure what that thing was.

"What's my important thing...?"

"If it's for something important to them, a person can do anything. So I think that if you could do anything for it, then that's what's most important to you."

"For instance, if I was willing to duel for it...?"

She remembered the look of concern for Kozue on Miki's face. And Saionji's face when he'd tried to reconcile with Anthy.

"Something important, huh...?" she mumbled. But her words didn't carry much weight.


*


Thunk.

The cue struck the white ball, which scattered the carefully-placed other nine. The three-ball and seven-ball fell into pockets.

"Not bad... Tenjou Utena, that is. First she beat Saionji, and now Miki." Juri sounded somehow amused. Although she'd presumably have to face Tenjou Utena herself sooner or later, she showed no trace of nervousness. She would win. She had no doubt about that.

"Mickey lost that duel before he even began," Touga said from across the billiard table, taking aim at the one-ball.

Thunk.

One and five were both pocketed. Touga slowly shifted his position to aim for the two-ball. Juri didn't watch him, but just leaned against a wall.

"What do you mean?"

PICTURE: Juri VS Touga

Thunk.

Number two and number eight. Smoothly and precisely, Touga was removing all the balls from the table.

"Mickey said he wouldn't duel the someone he loved. But he dueled Tenjou Utena in the end. Why was that?"

"Because his sister was important to him," Juri replied, sounding bored.

"Exactly. Mickey chose his sister over the girl he loved."

"So...?"

Thunk.

Four and six fell in pockets. All that were left were the white ball, and number nine.

"In other words, Mickey is still a child."

Thunk.

Finally, the nine-ball fell. And this time, the white ball didn't follow it into a pocket.


*


In the south-west corner of the Ohtori Academy grounds, there were special cottages reserved for the Student Council's use. They were two-story affairs, with small gardens and weather-vanes. Kaoru Miki and Kaoru Kozue lived in one of these.

Going up a half-spiral staircase, you found a room directly in front of you. This was their bedroom. In the middle of the room were two beds, lined up right next to each other.

Their pajamas differed only in color. And both their bodies were curled up... like the fetal position, you might say... sleeping.

Their faces, their clothes, and their way of sleeping - they were almost as alike as reflections in a mirror. Looking at them made you feel like the phrase "two hearts beating as one" was more than just a figure of speech.

If you said that being an adult meant recognizing the difference between yourself and others, then maybe Miki and Kozue were still children. They still hadn't abandoned the fantasy that they were as one.

A strong wind blew against the window, rattling it menacingly.

At the same time, they both reached out their hands towards the other.

And clasped them together.

Last edited by Dallbun (06-06-2015 03:07:53 PM)

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#34 | Back to Top03-14-2012 08:14:58 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Afterword

This novel is called "Revolutionary Girl Utena." That makes it about the third "Revolutionary Girl Utena" to exist.

The first "Utena" was the manga drawn by Saito Chiho-san, who also did the illustrations for this book. The second "Utena" was the TV anime: the smart, stylish creation of "the Komuro of the anime world," director Kunihiko Ikuhara, as well as all the others on the staff. Those two started production at about the same time, so even though the manga entered the world first, you might say that they're "twins."

So, the third "Revolutionary Girl Utena" - this novel - is like a younger brother. Although it uses the world and characters of "Utena," it's a different story than either the anime or the manga.

Exactly how is it different...? ...Well, it would be boring for me to talk about the content of the story itself, so I'll try to talk more about the setup.

One difference that's easy to see are the "vectors" of the romances. For example, in the anime, Miki likes Anthy, but in the novel he likes Utena. Manga Juri is in love with Touga, but Novel Juri doesn't even like him. Actually, it would be more accurate to say she detests him. Finally, Touga and Miki's relationship is original. If you're wondering what that relationship is... go read the novel.

There are also a few characters whose roles were lessened in the novel: Chu-Chu and Nanami.

Chu-Chu is popular in both the manga and the anime, but he didn't do much in the novel. The problem is that you can't see his cute body or movements.

As for Nanami, she doesn't really appear in the manga - she's an original anime character. Her power is such that if I let her appear in the novel, she'd probably have wrecked the whole world, so I kept her off to the side. Sorry, Nanami fans.

Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to profusely thank the planner of "Revolutionary Girl Utena," Oguchi-san. Not just for this job - Oguchi-san is always helping me in all kinds of ways. Thank you.

I'd also like to thank the artist behind our wonderful illustrations, Saito Chiho-san. I'm especially happy that you illustrated that one scene for me...

Also, thank you to Kotou-san and Hayashi-san, from Shogakukan. Please help me out next time, too.

The plan is for the second book to be about Saionji. He has a pretty miserable role in the manga and anime... will the novel end up the same way, too? Please look forward to it!


NOTES:
"the Komuro of the anime world" - I have no idea who or what he's referring to, I'm afraid. Tetsuya Komuro...?

Last edited by Dallbun (03-15-2012 06:52:56 AM)

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#35 | Back to Top03-14-2012 09:18:53 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8704
Website

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

poptart poptart poptart

Amazing. That's the whole book! (Does it seem shorter than a 'novel', or did we just gobble it up so fast? emot-keke)

I think it's really interesting how the book gets to capitalize on the opinions you carry of the characters to begin with and what you know about them, but still manages to shock and surprise you.

Is the internal train of thought addition common in this kind of media in Japan? It's so prevalent here, but then I guess that's some of the fun too. In the show especially you almost never hear what anyone's thinking unless, you know, they're like Saionji, and it just kinda comes out.

You are a true hero Dallbun. A true, true hero. A prince, even! etc-love


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#36 | Back to Top03-15-2012 06:44:58 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Giovanna wrote:

Amazing. That's the whole book! (Does it seem shorter than a 'novel', or did we just gobble it up so fast? emot-keke)

No, you're absolutely right - light novels like this tend to be pretty slim things. Checking my translation file, the whole thing clocks in at under 28000 words in English, which would put it firmly in "novella" territory.

I think it's really interesting how the book gets to capitalize on the opinions you carry of the characters to begin with and what you know about them, but still manages to shock and surprise you.

The author definitely seems to be familiar with his source materials, yeah!

One thing that's been on my mind - partway through the book, I felt like I was reading the origin story of anime Kozue, becoming a darker and more obsessed character as Miki starts to drift apart. And I was surprised when the resolution was that the two of them sort of retreating back into each other. This Kozue and Miki strike me as quite a bit closer to begin with, though. Is it significant, I wonder, that Novel Kozue can apparently genuinely play the piano?

Is the internal train of thought addition common in this kind of media in Japan? It's so prevalent here, but then I guess that's some of the fun too. In the show especially you almost never hear what anyone's thinking unless, you know, they're like Saionji, and it just kinda comes out.

I'm not very familiar with them, so I couldn't really say. Flipping open a couple other light novels I have on hand, though, I don't see anything like the ()'d thoughts that are all over this one and its sequel. So my guess is that it's this author's stylistic choice.

You are a true hero Dallbun. A true, true hero. A prince, even! etc-love

And now, the promised kiss! emot-wink

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#37 | Back to Top03-15-2012 11:05:34 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8704
Website

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Dallbun wrote:

One thing that's been on my mind - partway through the book, I felt like I was reading the origin story of anime Kozue, becoming a darker and more obsessed character as Miki starts to drift apart. And I was surprised when the resolution was that the two of them sort of retreating back into each other. This Kozue and Miki strike me as quite a bit closer to begin with, though. Is it significant, I wonder, that Novel Kozue can apparently genuinely play the piano?

I wonder if the decision to pull them back together at the end isn't because the book is fairly within the show canon? It says pretty straight out she doesn't mean for it to be canon to anything but itself, but the characters mostly seem very close to their personalities in the show, if they're more or less extreme sometimes TOUGA GET YOUR PENIS OUT OF THAT BOY.

Even aside from that, it's pretty typical behavior for siblings and close youth relationships to rubber band back and forth like that, especially in puberty. Like everything else in SKU, the relationship is exaggerated, but still. Especially that 'early' in the story, it seems to me like they'd be doing a lot of veering back and forth between independence and dependence on each other.

Oh. KISSSSSU! etc-love


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#38 | Back to Top04-01-2012 02:15:44 PM

SexingTouga24/7/365
is on a BOAT!
Registered: 12-10-2006
Posts: 2267

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Thanks for doing this; and oh Touga, whom at othori don't you maneuver?


"If all the world is a stage and all the people players"...then I demand a less shitty part or the ability to get off of the stage. Slowly my sanity slides, slipping, swirling, spiraling...Save Me I need Sleep...Shattering Soon. school-devil "RukaxTouga equals the Fourth of July" MY patriotic celebration...FUCK ME TOUGA AND RUKA NOW!! etc-wankgirl etc-wankdude

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#39 | Back to Top09-11-2012 01:34:36 AM

Trench Kamen
Eternal Eschatologist
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: 12-08-2006
Posts: 903
Website

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

This is fantastic. Is there any way to get these translations in an epub or pdf format?

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#40 | Back to Top12-27-2012 09:18:52 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2782

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

"Blue Diamond" are an aerobatic display team from the Philippines who have had some success, at different points in Japan. When they do anything with Britain or America, they shift that to "Blue Diamonds," too, but elsewhere (like Japan) it's the singular-for-group, "Diamond."

My nextdoor neighbor, who is Japanese, says his school basketball team was Blue Diamond, which is either weird or it's way common and I just don't know.

Azathoth wrote:

Dallbun wrote:

Tsukamoto Shinya - Her name in kanji is 塚本信也. Not that that seems significant or anything.

Little late with this, but: the guy who made the infamous cyberpunk/body horror flick Tetsuo: The Iron Man (among others) is also a Tsukamoto Shinya (塚本晋也), which isn't that far off. So I don't know, someone has interesting tastes in film? Or maybe a coincidence.

Keep up the good work -- always interesting to see alternate takes on the canon...

I know USC screened the Utena movie and Shinya Tsukamoto's Gemini together, further cementing how Utenaish (for me) Gemini is, as a movie, but I don't know of any more direct Be Papas/Utena connection.

Light novels tend to be known for their indulgence of soundalike names and puns, though, so there's no direct connection required.

Last edited by Decrescent Daytripper (12-27-2012 09:42:19 PM)


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#41 | Back to Top12-27-2012 09:22:25 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2782

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Trench Kamen wrote:

This is fantastic. Is there any way to get these translations in an epub or pdf format?

Cut, paste, drop a pdf through Calibre.

Which I'm totally going to do in a day or so, because why not? (Mobi, not epub, 'cause I'm all kindled up, but epubs are just as easy.)


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#42 | Back to Top05-11-2013 06:30:46 PM

kj924
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 05-11-2013
Posts: 19

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Thanks for the translation! It seems like a good novel! Do you know where to get the Utena Light Novels?

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#43 | Back to Top06-09-2015 09:36:55 PM

Lunaradvent
New Student
Registered: 11-22-2014
Posts: 5

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Thank you so much for all your efforts translating this.etc-loveetc-loveetc-love

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#44 | Back to Top07-30-2015 06:40:51 AM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8704
Website

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:

Trench Kamen wrote:

This is fantastic. Is there any way to get these translations in an epub or pdf format?

Cut, paste, drop a pdf through Calibre.

Which I'm totally going to do in a day or so, because why not? (Mobi, not epub, 'cause I'm all kindled up, but epubs are just as easy.)

I'm just about done converting this novel to a clean html to epub, with images and code corrected to look good. These novels have a bazillion line breaks in them so I formatted it a bit to account for this. It's almost done. So far, I'm pretty proud of it. emot-biggrin

Sorry, I know it seems like I have't been up to anything, but I am working on it. emot-smile


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#45 | Back to Top08-06-2015 02:42:07 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8704
Website

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

So I've completed transferring it to html->epub format. Yasha's going to flip through it for rewording where it'd help smooth it out, since you said that was okay. emot-smile

Whenever that's done I'll make the epub and post it. I'll be doing the same with the second novel, and ultimately I'll have a little page on the site for them, where the html or epub versions can be accessed as one likes.

That said...is there a translation of the cast of characters page, or am I missing it? If not I'll just put it in the book as is, I think everyone knows who these people are. emot-rolleyes


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#46 | Back to Top08-07-2015 05:49:59 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Sounds good. Yasha, keep an eye out for the many, many typos, while you're at it!

Giovanna wrote:

That said...is there a translation of the cast of characters page, or am I missing it? If not I'll just put it in the book as is, I think everyone knows who these people are. emot-rolleyes

No, you're right - I never translated the character pages, because that would have taken effort. http://i.imgur.com/TNuOiMr.gif

I could try to make a little time to do that, for completion's sake.

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#47 | Back to Top08-08-2015 11:54:13 PM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Alright, here's a quick translation, just so the book can be more complete. From right to left, because I didn't have any better order.

Cast Page wrote:

Important Characters

Arisugawa Juri: The only female member of the Student Council. Could she be the shadowy figure who commands the delinquents of the school?

Tenjou Utena: She came to Ohtori Academy to find the prince that she met when she was six years old.

Chu-Chu: Anthy's friend.

Himemiya Anthy: The Rose Bride. She becomes engaged to whichever Rose Seal-bearing Duelist is victorious.

Saionji Kyouichi: The Student Council vice-president. Misogynist leader of the Kendo Club.

Kaoru Miki: A member of the Student Council. Cute, and a real genius. His piano and fencing skills are both at the national level.

Kaoru Kozue: Miki's younger twin sister. She and Miki have always been together since they were small.

Kiryuu Touga: The president of Ohtori Academy's Student Council. An all-around superb athlete, but said to be a playboy.

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#48 | Back to Top08-09-2015 01:04:48 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8704
Website

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

I LOVE YOU. I'll add the translations to the image. emot-smile You're a boss.


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#49 | Back to Top10-12-2015 03:29:04 AM

Zander1995
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 10-02-2015
Posts: 13

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

If you're still planning on doing the PDF/Ebook thing, I made English "Covers" for the books, if you'd like them.

Book 1
http://s2.postimg.org/xdkscpmlj/Book1.png A Pair of Adolescent Trees
http://s13.postimg.org/tyu1m5pw5/Book1v2.png A Pair of Young Trees
http://s13.postimg.org/h8pt92hxx/Book1v3.png Twin Saplings
http://s13.postimg.org/827ilscph/Book1v4.png A Pair of Saplings
http://s29.postimg.org/6f9fu6opx/Book1v5.png Twin Trees

Book 2
http://s30.postimg.org/l4a3rymrz/Book2.png Verdant Hopes

Edit: Made five different versions of the first one's Cover because I couldn't decide on a title.

Last edited by Zander1995 (10-12-2015 05:57:41 AM)

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#50 | Back to Top10-12-2015 06:40:59 AM

Dallbun
Tour Guide to Crawling Chaos
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 683

Re: Utena Novel 1 - Ao no Soujyu

Zander1995 wrote:

If you're still planning on doing the PDF/Ebook thing, I made English "Covers" for the books, if you'd like them.

Book 1
http://s2.postimg.org/xdkscpmlj/Book1.png A Pair of Adolescent Trees
http://s13.postimg.org/tyu1m5pw5/Book1v2.png A Pair of Young Trees
http://s13.postimg.org/h8pt92hxx/Book1v3.png Twin Saplings
http://s13.postimg.org/827ilscph/Book1v4.png A Pair of Saplings
http://s29.postimg.org/6f9fu6opx/Book1v5.png Twin Trees

Book 2
http://s30.postimg.org/l4a3rymrz/Book2.png Verdant Hopes

Edit: Made five different versions of the first one's Cover because I couldn't decide on a title.

Haha, awesome. They look good. I believe Yasha is still working on editing, though she was probably derailed due to moving?

I was never super happy with the title, either. I think your "Twin Saplings" suggestion is best for tone and accuracy of content, though it still doesn't quite hold up to "Verdant Hopes."

One thing - I'd add Ichirō ŌKŌCHI's name to the cover (with it without caps to indicate the surname). It's a one author work, after all.

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