ψ · Alice gets her ticket to Wonderland

The proliferation of twisted retellings of Alice in Wonderland most likely conceals, rather than expose as one would expect, the dark side of that tale.  There is a gloom to Alice, a pervading sense of discomfort with one’s own skin that leads to anger and temper tantrums.  At the end of the story Alice finally realizes her awesome power and sets out to destroy the whole pack of cards opposing her.  But then she wakes up.

We have an Alice in the world of FSS, and she goes by the name of Jabo Beat.

During the Second Battle of Atork, when Vralgo Kentauri decided to effect his revenge on King Colus III, Jabo Beat was orbiting the embattled planet of Jüno with the A-Toll MHs from her nation of Hathuha.  Had Vralgo succeeded, Jabo would have been sent to wipe out the remaining Colus forces and press on to the capital of Jarth.  Vralgo’s failure meant that she had to go back home.

So she took out all of her anger and gloom on a fellow headdliner during what was technically a practice session…and killed him.  The commander of the elite A-Toll Swans, Lord Gela, is very upset at this his star member’s performance.  And so is the King of Hathuhunt, Rao Colette.  Now, this guy scares me, because of what he says and how he says it.  He berates Jabo for wasting the people’s money, from the costs of MH repair to her fashionable clothes.  Isn’t this statement two-faced though, as in mentioning these costs the King is criticizing the very fact of their existence, which ultimately comes down to his own judgment??

Hathuhunt is a hybrid republican-monarchical state.  Rao Colette’s official title in Japanese is 民政王 which translates as Civil King, or Public King.  The King’s ready mention of the “people” is thus well in keeping with the structure of his country, but it’s still disturbing.  As is his offhand assertion that if it were up to him Jabo Beat would be dead by now.  He spares her because of his granddaughter, Magumika, who outranks him as the para-diver leader of the Hathuha Union Republic.

The Colettes

Magumika gives with one hand and takes with the other.  Sure, Jabo lives, but she has to go to the lawless dragonlands of Kastepo.  King Rao alludes to Aisha Codante’s prowess and we catch a glimpse of a headdliner and a Fatima walking along desolate paths.  The headdliners sneezes!  Oh, next volume will be fun.  Evidently Kastepo is a great place to hone your skills…or die in the attempt.

Anyway, Jabo Beat pledges to do as she is told, and Magumika then tells of an old prophecy, basically a version of Lachesis’ French spiel back in Jarth.  In the original manga the text is in French with a Japanese translation underneath.  The English edition replaces the Japanese with English.  All three texts (French, Japanese, English) have their own peculiarities, and comparing this with the Lachesis episode makes for a complex textual tangle.  Also, the French text in the original manga has a couple of grammatical mistakes which have been corrected in the English version.

What I’ll do here is this:  first I’ll give the original French lines (as corrected in the English edition), with numbers.  F will stand for my English translation of the French text.  J will stand for my English translation of the Japanese translation of the French.  E will simply be a transcription of the official English translation from Toys Press.  [You will notice that the English relies mostly on the Japanese and not on the French.]  My translations will be quite literal, so you’ll get to see how these three versions differ.

1) Nous sommes des enfants que ne savent rien.

F: We are the children who know naught.

J: Myself and I are children who know naught.

E: I am an ignorant child.

2) Princesse!  Qui n’est jamais sorti de chez elle…

F: A princess who has never stepped outside her home.

J: A princess who knows neither the outside nor herself.

E: A princess who know nothing of either the outside or herself.

NOTE: The key to understanding these first 2 statements is in the Japanese “translation”.  “We are the children” doesn’t refer to to two or more separate godesses, Fatimas, or queens.  It refers to two aspects of the same personality (myself and I).  This is why the French switches from plural in the first statement to singular in the second.  The English version glosses over this by simply translating both sentences in the singular.

3) Le vent et le temps ne font rien.

F: Wind and time are powerless.

J: Wind and time are powerless and ignorant.

E: Wind and time, so powerless and innocent.

4) Le souffle du vent et la lumière du temps ne sont pas gravées dans la mémoire et ne restent pas dans les yeux.

F: The wind’s breath and time’s light are not etched in my memory, nor do they linger in my eyes.

J: Murmuring of wind that leaves no scar; Gods of time that do not exist…in my eyes.

E: Rustling of wind that leaves no scar; Gods of a time that do not exist…in one’s eyes.

5) L’air transportera des graines et l’histoire donnera des fruits.

F: The air will carry the grains and history will bear the fruits.

J: “That” will carry the seeds and bring them to fruition in books.

E: There are seeds in the “air” that books will bring to fruition.

NOTE: What is “that”?  It’s in quotation marks originally, I didn’t add them!!

6) La lumière s’efface avec son protecteur dans le ciel…

F: The light disappears with its protector into the skies.

J: Light disappears with its protector into the sky.

E: Light disappears into the sky with its protectors;

7) Les ténébres restent profondément dans la terre…

F: Darkness rests deep within the earth.

J: The descendants of darkness remain behind on earth.

E: leaving behind descendants in the earth’s darkness.

8 ) Les traces de la vie humaine ont dansé en l’air, le sang fond dans l’eau

F: All traces of human life dance in the air, blood blends with water

J: History does its dance in mid-air, its blood dissolving into water

E: History, the vestiges of human life, dances in the void, turning the blood to water

9) et l’espoir se melange avec le ciel, jetant des petites flammes.

F: and hope mixes with the skies, sparking little flames.

J: and hope finally sparks little flames in space.

E: And in this space Hope soon kindles a small flame.


I divided Lachesis’ prophecy from Volume 6 into 20 statements, by speech bubbles [here].  This is how Magumika’s 9 statements match up, and the degree of similarity (on the basis of the French texts involved)

Magumika’s statement:   corresponds to Lachesis’:          Similarity:

1                                        18                                        same

2                                        19                                        similar

3                                         5                                         same

4                                  6 and 7 conflated                        similar

5                                         8                                         same

6                                         9                                        different

7                                        10                                        similar

8                                        11                                        similar

9                                        12                                       different

There are two big differences.  Whereas Lachesis talked of light dancing with its protector, now we hear of light disappearing with its protector into the skies (in line 6).  The Addler 4071 mini-arc makes sense of Magumika’s lines 6-7: this prophecy refers to Amaterasu withdrawing into the Will and leaving Upandla to spread a reign of terror on “earth”.

The other is that what Lachesis calls “sweat” has become “hope” here.  I guess hard work is the best way to make your dreams come true, right?

Magumika calls this a prophecy from a queen in the distant past, but her conception of time (and space) is probably different from ours.  Either that or both Lachesis and Magumika are channeling a third individual’s words?!

IDK what's going on here, but it looks awesome!

[covered VOLUME 8: from page 46 to page 57]

~ by Haloed Bane on November 30, 2009.

2 Responses to “ψ · Alice gets her ticket to Wonderland”

  1. Incredible work you’ve put forth here!

    Since the Lachesis’ speech was never translated, how the holy hell was anyone who isn’t you supposed to compare and contrast it with Collete’s? (Yes these Colletes are creepy).

    In any case, Jabo Beat is ❤ and yes, Kastenpo is fun as hell.

    • I’m not sure what Nagano was thinking…or why he opted for French in the first place. I’m looking forward to seeing some dragons, if only glimpses of them!

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