Monday, 7 May 2012

Gakuen Kino - Chapter 6 (Prologue)

Note about this volume of Gakuen Kino: It is chock full of anime references. Did you know? The guy who translated the Korean version (the version I'm working off of) isn't much of an anime person. Neither am I. Currently I watch maybe four series a year.

Long story short, I may miss a great deal of anime references during the translation of this volume. Kindly point them out to me if you can spot one.

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Chapter 6 - Oh, A Story of Their Meeting
~Ten Days in Japan~



Prologue - In The Rain
~Rain~



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Dark, low-hanging clouds,

Naught but rain at the airport,

Through windows she looked,

Yet she saw nothing outside,

No matter how hard she looked.



<=>



It was a certain Sunday afternoon in October.

A girl was lying spread-eagle on her bed in the dormitory.

She was a pretty girl with short black hair and an attractive face. She wore a pair of light brown cargo pants and a dark green long-sleeved shirt.

Written over her chest on her shirt were the words [?(Are the books selling?)].

Oh! She turned around!

Embroidered in bold letters onto the back of her shirt were the words [!(Charge!)]. The author has no idea where she buys such devil-may-care shirts.

The dormitory room had nothing but the simplest of furnishings--a desk, a bed, and a closet chief among them.

"I'm bored…"

The girl turned over again, looking up at the ceiling and talking to herself.

It was 1600 hours. In other words, 4 in the afternoon.

It was a little late for a snack, but a little early for dinner. And outside was pouring autumn rain. She couldn't even go out for a walk.

"Two whole hours 'til the cafeteria opens… I'm so bored."

Hanging on a clothes hanger on her closet door was a green sailor uniform (Note: winter uniform), and a western belt, form which hung several (Note: many) small pouches and a holster (Note: containing a single model gun).

They were the only ones there to hear her plight.

"Then why don'tcha sit at your desk and start studying? Isn't your midterm in two weeks?" A voice suddenly asked her. It was a boyish, exasperated voice.

But there was no one but the girl in this room.

There was no one else, not even under the bed, atop the closet, on the balcony, or behind the ceiling.

The girl, however, was not surprised at all. In fact, her reply was extremely matter-of-fact.

"How am I supposed to study when I don't even have homework? Who do you think I am? Huh?!"

"Don't act so smart when you're actually being dumb."

"That's why I was gonna take a nap, but I'm not tired at all now because I slept in this morning…"

As one of the laziest people in the world, the girl flailed about lightly atop her bed.

She soon got tired of the actions. She plopped her limbs onto her mattress and sighed again.

"I'm bored…"

"Seriously. Just because there hasn't been a demon attack since the rehearsal last week you've lost all your drive, Kino." The mysterious voice said, exasperated.

"That's not why I'm so down, Hermes. That's just not it." The girl called Kino denied the accusation. She glanced over at the cell phone strap lying on the edge of her desk.

The strap had a simple design of green leather and gold-coloured metal ornamentation. It was attached, not to a cell phone, but a key that did not belong to Kino's door.

"Is that so?" The cell phone strap named Hermes replied--my goodness! This cell phone was the one who had been talking to the girl all this time!

"So what's wrong?" He asked expectantly.

"I'm seeing a lot less of those challenge menus nearby." Kino spat angrily.

"Really?"

Hermes was terribly disappointed. Kino, however, didn't care for his disapproval. She glared up at the darkened fluorescent bulb above her.

"What the heck happened…? After I finished the dumpling challenge, all the eateries around here ended their challenge menus in sync. I went to the library to check the internet, and even places that had challenge menus until just last week stopped them. This can only mean one thing: They're bullying me. There must be some huge organization behind the scenes plotting to stop me from eating. Damn it… I was planning to transform before going out to the next challenge menu, too…"

"That's terrible. You'd run them all out of business."

"They're the ones who're challenging me. All I'm doing is accepting. Grandma told me that I don't need to go easy on anyone. 'In combat, there is no mercy'. Human history was built on battle, you know? Wanting to eat as much as possible is just another human instinct." Kino said. "But I really don't wanna pay the round trip fare for the trains just to get to a challenge menu restaurant… That's not feasible, with my puny allowance."

Is she thinking big, or small? It's difficult to tell.

There aren't many high school girls who worry so much about the sudden decline in challenge menus, but one thing is for certain: one such student is right here.

"Honestly…" Hermes muttered. If he were human, he would have shrugged. Instead, he glanced out the window. (Editorial note: Isn't this rather contradictory?)

It was raining softly.



<=>



As Kino, over in Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, rolled around her bed--

It was raining in Narita International Airport (Narita Airport), in Narita, Chiba Prefecture.

Until the year 2004, Japan's foremost gateway into the skies was officially called [New Tokyo International Airport].

I'm sure you all remember--even in the Edo Period this had been the butt of jokes like "Why is it 'Tokyo International Airport' if it's in Chiba?". Even [REDACTEDland] is in Chiba, but for some reason it's called [Tokyo DisREDACTED]. People from Chiba should be more open to complaining.

Narita Airport has two terminals, each used by different airline companies.

You don't need to worry too much if you're just landing, but you'll be in big trouble if you go into the wrong terminal for departure. Please remember this if you've never used the Narita Airport before.

It was in the Immigrations area for Terminal #1 of Narita Airport that the girl standing at the front of the line for foreign nationals stepped forward.

She was a white girl with emerald-green eyes. Her blond hair reached down to her waist.

Caucasians tend to look more mature than Asians, but the girl was probably in her mid-teens. She wasn't very tall. She was also dressed comfortably in a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt.

With an American passport, the girl walked towards the gate and handed the male immigrations officer her passport and other documents.

With a quick fingerprint check and a photograph, the officer quickly glanced over the girl's passport. He spoke to her in plain English, his face stoic and businesslike.

[Are you here on vacation?]

(In this story, any dialogue in [bracket]s is spoken in English.)

The girl smiled and replied in a slightly high-pitched but lovely voice. Of course, it was in English.

[Nope. I'm here to fight.]

[Pardon me?] The officer asked, taken aback.

The girl seemed to be a little surprised.

[Oh? You mean you've never watched such a popular anime?]

[…]

The officer gaped silently. The girl tilted her head.

[But I could have sworn I heard that all Japanese people love anime…]

The officer:

[…]

Put on a very serious face. He then said:

[Setting aside whether or not all Japanese people love anime, Miss-]

Immigrations is a place that is critical to matters of national security. It is where people like terrorists, spies, illegal immigrants, and drug dealers are weeded out and stopped from entering the country.

So it's no wonder that an immigration official was about to scold this girl for acting this way in such a sacred place. This should be good.

[I've seen that one. It's practically the Bible of my youth. I remember I went to the Kawasaki theatre to watch it the day it came to the big screen. It's a historic work of art.]

Hey.

[Right? Wasn't it a masterpiece?] The girl smiled.

[The cityscapes of Tokyo were beautiful enough, but that story! That script was a work of perfection. I still remember the shock of realizing that the first scene was foreshadowing the final scene.]

The officer abandoned his duties to engage in otaku talk. Someone stop these two.

Starting off with the robot police anime that led to this conversation, the two moved on to discussing an anime about weaponized dolls (because they're both feature films), to a recent hit series about a rebelling prince who likes to show off one of his eyes. The large white man in an I <3 New York sweatshirt, who was waiting in line after the girl, began to impatiently look down at his wristwatch as they continued their merry anime chatter.

After enough time for a bowl of instant ramen to boil over and get soggy--

[My, my. Looks like we'll have to stop here. Anyway, you said you were here for short-term study, correct? There you are.]

Having finally come back to his senses, the officer stamped the girl's passport.

[Welcome to E**ven!] He smiled.

Thank you very much for that terribly problematic comment.

[Thank you.] The girl replied, taking her passport. And as she stepped forward into Japan--

[Please don't fire guns like crazy like they did in that anime.] The officer said jokingly. This guy needs to get it through his head.

The girl turned back towards him and grinned.

[I won't. I don't even have any guns with me, anyway.]

[Good to hear. Enjoy your stay in Japan!]

[Thank you!]

And so, she arrived in Japan.



Once the girl stepped out of the gate, the large man in the sweatshirt came to the desk.

Five people behind him in the line that had just gotten a little bit shorter was a bored-looking man in a black suit, fiddling with a Blackberry. He sent someone a text message.

[The rabbit has entered Japan.]



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[Narration: Kino]

Ever have one of those nights when you just wanna fire away like no tomorrow?

Ever imagine targets shaped like the faces of people you know?

If you're looking for that unforgettable loading problem and that unchainable recoil…

Open that case of 12-gauge slugs!



An introduction to the characters of this story:

Kino
A female student in her fourth year at the academy. (Equivalent to her first year of high school)

No matter what anyone might tell you, she is the main character of this story. No more, no less. The name 'Kino' seems to be her family name, but why does even her grandmother call her that? Not even the author knows.

With a holstered model gun and a belt with pouches full of live firearms around her sailor uniform, she is a perfectly ordinary student attending a secondary school in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Transforming into the warrior of justice, 'Mysterious Bishoujo Gun Fighter Rider Kino', she fights day and night against demons--students who have fallen to the temptation of evil--that attack the schools, all in order to turn them back into human form. She is accompanied by Hermes, the talking cell phone strap.

Favourite words:
-'All-you-can-eat buffet' (Kino)
-'All-you-can-eat buffet', 'Samoyed Mask is not appearing in this chapter' (Mysterious Kino)



Hermes
A mysterious talking cell phone strap.

It's not known where his mouth and eyes are. He is a guide of sorts to Kino, having given her the power to transform and combat demons.

Because he is this work's only sane man (only sane cell phone strap), he is giving the author a great deal of grief because he can't do very much in a story filled with crazies. He's more or less given up on Hermes.

Hermes sometimes transforms into a motorcycle to assist Kino, but currently his abilities are limited to use in battle.

Favourite words:
-'Awareness of being a warrior of justice'



Shizu
A male student in his sixth year at the academy. (Equivalent to his third year of high school)

The top student in his year--a handsome and popular young man who always carries a sword at his side.

Although it looks like he is a distant figure that bows to no one, maybe he just doesn't have any friends. Although he has nothing in common with his underclassman Kino, they often find themselves sharing tender moments together.

But unbeknownst to all is his true identity as the warrior of justice known as 'Samoyed Mask'. Thanks to his constant interruptions during Kino's battles with the demons, he has earned himself a place at the top of her To-Kill-List. These days he gets a bullet to the face within two pages of his appearance before Kino, but he always escapes unscathed by use of his sword or tomatoes.

His greatest weakness is Ti. Every time he sees her, he is struck by a great wave of agony that paralyzes him on the spot. His fear of her seems to be rooted in some traumatic past event, but the specifics of the incident are unknown. Hey, you! I can see you laugh, you know.

Favourite words:
-'I will not hesitate to give my life in the name of justice.' (Shizu)
-'I will not hesitate to do problematic things in the name of justice.' (Samoyed Mask)



Samoyed Mask
See: Shizu



Inuyama Wanwan Rikutarou
A classmate of Kino. He is a beautiful boy with long, soft white hair. He is quite popular with the girls, although not as much as Shizu.

Thanks to his unrelenting stalker-like behaviour towards Kino, Inuyama has earned more hatred from her than the hypothetical mortal enemy of her parents. He also shows a great deal of hostility towards Shizu, but his reasons are a mystery. Forever.

Chako-sensei is very fond of Inuyama, often hugging him from behind and putting her chin on his head.

Favourite words:
-'Defeat Shizu'



Detective Wanwan
A mysterious white-haired boy in black clothes and sunglasses who fights using the Septuple-Gun Fist Style, a dangerous martial art that involves dual-wielding guns while evading bullets. He looks quite familiar.

When fighting demons, he assists Kino in targeting Samoyed Mask. Kino sees him as someone very reliable. Sometimes the background becomes sparkly when they're together.

Ti seems to be very fond of Detective Wanwan. Once she gets a hold of him from behind, he is rendered powerless.

Favourite words:
-'Defeat Samoyed Mask'



Kuroshima Chako
An English teacher in her early twenties who suddenly stepped in during the second term. She is a stylish, mature woman with white hair and emerald-green eyes. She is very popular with the students.

For some reason, she is extremely fond of Inuyama and has a tendency to hug him from behind and rest her chin on his head.

Favourite words:
-'Get along, everyone!'



Ti
A stoic and silent girl who appears on the battlefield out of nowhere. She looks to be about twelve years old, and has white hair and emerald-green eyes. She effortlessly throws around Mk 2 grenades (the type used by the US military). Demons are no match for her.

It seems like she has some sort of history with Samoyed Mask.

For some reason, she is extremely fond of Detective Wanwan and has a tendency to hug him from behind and rest her chin on his head.

Favourite words:
-Unknown, as she is nearly silent.






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Continued in Part 1.



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2 comments:

  1. "...a rebelling prince who likes to show off one of his eyes..." sounds like Code Geass to me....^_^

    That's the only one I can find....LOL

    Thanks for the Kino no Tabi and Gakuen Kino translations! May heaven send down more people like you! :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. The reference to "I came here to fight" is from Patlabor: The Movie 1. It was awesome and I was really pleased to see it referenced here.

    ReplyDelete