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.
This is basically my translation of the scene in KKK that made me go from “I really like this VN” to “I’m madly in love with this VN”. It’s the first big moment of heroine Koga Rindou explaining her ideals and what she’s all about.
Context: A tournament was organized to determine who would be the most fit to lead their armies to the Eastern continent to exterminate the the threat of supernatural monsters. Rindou was one of the spectators to a massive battle between Keishirou, Soujirou, Shiori and to an extent, Ryuusui as well. Habaki is meanwhile ordered by Ryuumei to watch over Rindou to see what she’s like. There’s a lengthy fight scene, after which Rindou leaves her seat and does… well, this.
You have no idea how long I’ve been wanting to write this review, but finally, here I am. Ironically coming straight after a post about one of the worst samples the medium has to offer, this review will now take an in-depth look at the other end of the spectrum. That is, the ‘not-shit’ end. There are so many things I want to say it’s probably gonna be a nightmare to organize it all without spoiling too much, so, as you may imagine, I’m already feeling sorry for my future self who will have to write all that. Anyway, you can probably already guess the outcome of the review — no sane man would attempt to translate this many excerpts of a VN he doesn’t adore –, nonetheless, do hear me out.