Dies irae: Song to the Witch is the second light novel spinoff to Dies irae (the first one being Wolfsrudel, which I have yet to read) and was written by Fujii Sanda, with insert illustrations by Minatogawa Kazuomi, the artist for the Dies irae manga adaptation. As clearly implied by G Yuusuke’s beautiful cover art, the novel features Rusalka and Beatrice as its two main heroines, and chronicles their exploits in the United States of 1962, where they face off against a mysterious new foe: the powerful witch known as Marilyn Monroe.
JP title: 相州戦神館學園 万仙陣
That awkward moment when you keep calling the first game “Senshinkan” and then a sequel comes out and forces you to type out Hachimyoujin to differentiate between the two. I don’t like typing out Hachimyoujin. Anyway, so Bansenjin is the sequel/fandisc to the first Senshinkan game. It adds an entirely new storyline, some cool new characters, and – of course – a healthy dose of fanservice, ranging from pleasantly heartwarming to absolutely ridiculous (in a good way, of course).
JP title: 相州戦神館學園 八命陣
Soushuu Senshinkan Gakuen Hachimyoujin (which we will refer to as Senshinkan for brevity) is Light’s big 2014 chuuni title and also the then-latest work of Dies irae / Kajiri Kamui Kagura author Takashi Masada, so you can probably imagine the excitement surrounding it. The game breaks with Dies irae’s “Shinza” setting and comfortably takes place in its own universe, with its own rules… and I gotta say, while the game never quite reaches Dies irae’s cosmos-shattering levels of grandeur, I still had quite a bit of fun playing through it. Read on to find out why!
Dies irae is back, and in a way I never would have predicted: with a prequel / side story / fandisc-like thing focusing on Wilhelm Ehrenburg (aka Kaziklu Bey) during the early days of the Longinus Dreizehn Orden. He meets a mysterious young lady by the name of Claudia Jerusalem (voiced by Noto Mamiko), and the two get entangled in… well, all sorts of things. You might be wondering why Wilhelm, of all people, would be starring in a “love” story, and how Claudia even comes into the picture, but in the end… I thought things worked out in a way that satisfied the Dies fan in me.
Okay, so here we are, another Masada VN to review in the sunny month of Masada May. Yeah, I just made that up.
So recently I kinda got in the mood to go back to Dies a little bit. This scene in particular is the final conversation between Lotus and Reinhard at the end of the game, and it’s probably no exaggeration to say that it’s one of the most important scenes in the entire VN. It’s always been one of my favorites so I really wanted to try my hand at it, even if it did contain some quotes that are kinda hard to express well in English (so obviously I’m not claiming I managed to pull it off perfectly or anything). I also made note of what background music plays during which part, so you can listen to them if you so desire. Oh, and I believe it goes without saying that this will contain giga-mega spoilers. Anyway, I was gonna do the pub scene as well (I started its first few lines basically) but after realizing how bloody long it was, I decided to just leave it for another day, maybe. This scene already took long enough to get through and I need a break.
(Btw yes, the Sievers in this bit is the same Sievers from Muramasa, haha.)
This is not an exhaustive list of all the chants, just a few I picked out (mostly from the video linked below). Personal favorites, basically. Right, so I think most people that know something about Dies are aware of the fact that the characters’ incantations are from existing works of literature / operas, like Goethe, Wagner and such. This means that translating them can be tricky. Do I go with English translations already out there? Or do I go with my own thing? Well, it’s a bit of both, really. I mean, the Japanese not always seems to match up 100% perfectly with the original. But in other cases, injecting fragments of existing translations into the chants seemed like a valid option. In any case, the bottom line is that whenever I use stuff from existing English translations, I’ll let you know and link you to the source I consulted.
Also, all of this is very much experimental, so take it with a grain of salt, I guess. I only did it because I really enjoy listening to the incantations and genuinely felt like trying my hand at translating some of them. Plus I figured it’d be nice to have a small collection of the various incantations for English-speakers that are interested in the VN.