Monday, 30 April 2012

And Then There Were No Cakes

I will be quite busy the next few days so I probably won't be able to post any more updates till the weekend. Sorry about that. I'd think that proper translations will be steadily rolling out now that the scans are up, so please be patient. Oh yeah, I managed to get a copy of ZUN's new album, 鳥船遺跡 ~ Trojan Green Asteroid (credits go to the Chinese again).
Anyways, let's move on to talk about the book. I will start with Kanako and Suwako's profiles. They are quite long so bear with me.

Akyuu says that Kanako moved her base to Gensokyo probably because she thought that she could get more faith if she had both humans and youkai as followers. Her species is very suitable for being gods. Akyuu says though she'd like to know if Kanako were a human or something else before (becoming a god), it's impossible to determine that now.

She was apparently a god of wind and rain in the past, but now she is the god of the mountain. Although she and the mountain youkai seem to be keeping a mutually beneficial relationship, the truth is that no one knows if that is really the case. It could even be that they are just using each other for their own interests. Unlike the Hakurei shrine, Kanako has all kinds of business activities at her shrine. It seems that faith makes everything better, so she does whatever she can to keep it. She loves technological innovations, and seems to have little regard about traditions. Giving up the outside world and coming to Gensokyo is a very good example of this (probably implying that technological innovation has come to a halt in the outside world).

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Break Is Over, The Wait Is Over

And here I thought the day couldn't get any better after a short but sweet morning jam session. Hold your breath, because it's here. Check 'em (credits go to some Chinese guy who scanned the book).

Incoming wall of text.

The book is basically a meeting (symposium) between Kanako, Byakuren and Miko, with Akyuu as the auditor and Marisa as the MC. Marisa is chosen to be the MC because she knows a looooot of youkai. Reimu doesn't show up (more like suddenly barging in) until the very end of Part 5. Character profiles are placed in between each discussion, and newspaper articles are all in Part 6.

The first part is about what the new factions bring to Gensokyo. Marisa tries to sound polite but Akyuu says it's disgusting and asks Marisa to talk normally. Marisa calls Kanako, Byakuren and Miko newcomers. Kanako complains as she has already been in Gensokyo for 4 years. Miko says in that case she will start, as she is the real newcomer. Miko thinks the negligence of youkai is causing people to become careless. She says that the humans in the village are too complacent, it's a miracle that the (power) balance of Gensokyo hasn't collapsed yet.

Miko questions why Gensokyo has no politician, and that humans need someone to guide them to a hopeful future. She says that she is qualified for the job. Kanako cuts Miko off by saying that she wonders what kind of future the humans would have if they were to be ruled by Miko, who is not a human. Byakuren says that it's fine there are no politicians in Gensokyo. She continues on saying that the power of youkai is necessary to maintain Gensokyo. Akyuu thinks that Byakuren's use of youkai in her argument is misleading (I really don't think Akyuu likes Byakuren). Byakuren says that the humans in Gensokyo exist to ensure the survival of youkai, and the people are dominated by youkai in Gensokyo. Kanako agrees and says it's for Gensokyo's good that no human ruler arises.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Make Myself

The true administrator. I wonder if it's just me but I don't seem to see a lot of (if any) discussions on Miko, who should be of considerable importance given her role. I've finished the first part of Miko's profile as the remaining pages are still missing, but I think this should give some insight into her character and abilities.

The first thing that caught my attention was that Miko doesn't have a main place of activity, but rather she is elusive, appearing (and disappearing) in unexpected places at unexpected times. I'm guessing you could take that as Miko only shows herself when she feels the need to.

A saint who has woken from a long slumber, Miko was born with extraordinary talents, she is more transcendent than those who are already transcendent. She can listen to and understand ten people simultaneously, as well as giving them the correct responses. When she was a kid, she built statues of the Four Heavenly Kings using Chinese nutgall trees, and said that she would build the Shitennou-ji. Incidentally the story about her being born in a stable is apparently just a silly joke (Miko herself says "there is no way someone as noble as me could be born in such a smelly place"). In the footnotes, Akyuu relates this to how Jesus was also said to be born in a stable.

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Wheel Of Fate Is Turning

The announcer sure got worse in each game. Well before I move on, here's what appears to be the contents page of Symposium of Post-mysticism; looks like the book is divided into six parts which focus on,

  1. What the new faction (the Taoists?) brings to Gensokyo;
  2. The current status of the world outside Gensokyo; 
  3. Youkai before and now;
  4. The current status and future of the hated one (Byakuren?);
  5. Is religion and faith necessary in Gensokyo;
  6. Talks about youkai extermination from now on
...Respectively. It sure sounds a lot more serious than the last book, but certainly there is much tension building up in Gensokyo given the current power struggle between different factions. The Taoists will surely bring some form of changes to Gensokyo as a new faction, but will this lead to an all-out religious war or will everyone somehow resolve their differences and well, go back to taking it easy? I for one hope something BIG happens in the next game preferably with a crazy Byakuren as the final boss.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Linearity Of Life

A straight line paradise. Transcribing Seiga's profile while listening to various arranges of Desire Drive certainly makes it rather enjoyable. The fact is that I came to the sad realization that I have very few arranges of Byakuren's themes.

Questions can be asked, questions can be answered, but only after you have experienced it can you understand the nature of things. An everlasting harmony even as Nature changes; searching for the balance between Yin and Yang, thus achieving a peaceful life; or action through non-action in accordance to Nature. It's hard to say how Seiga fits into any of these exactly, as she seems to be actively seeking pleasure by coming into contact with humans.

Seiga is supposedly one of the rather few hermits who have lived over a thousand years. She lives for her own interests, and as such her actions are purely motivated by selfish desires. Although she showed up in Gensokyo along with Miko and all, Seiga isn't much of a group person and is far more interested in being with humans and youkai that she likes. Since Gensokyo has many fascinating individuals, she seems to be spending everyday playing around here and there (looking for someone interesting I guess).

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Mystica Convivii

So while I'm still waiting for my copy of Symposium of Post-mysticism to come out tomorrow and be shipped (hopefully) next week, some sections of the book have already been leaked. I have browsed through them and honestly I didn't see anything too unexpected, but it was definitely an interesting read. I'm sure there are already others working on it but I felt like transcribing a couple of the articles.

First up is Byakuren because Buddhism is where it's at...not really. Here's the transcription.

Nothing really new from her profile I guess, we all knew that Byakuren was once a human who became much more through years of training. She has a strict code of conduct (knowns as Sila in Buddhism), and at least two of the Five Percepts have been mentioned here (no alcohol and killing). Interestingly though, it does not say that Byakuren does not kill or cause to kill, but rather she "does not like killing" (also obviously she is a vegetarian). In any case, because she lives by such code of ethics, it is difficult for her to make friends with other humans.