ββ · Amused at a Muse’s Muse: Aisha
We learn that the diver in Vachi City goes by the name of Ting. This is a Chinese name, as Nagano writes it with the character of 丁 (in pinyin it would be transcribed as Ding). If you’re wondering, Tomoe Senkohkei also has characters (泉興京 巴). 99% of the characters’ names in FSS are written in katakana, which the Japanese use to spell foreign names. Exceptions include the two I’ve just mentioned, Ssizz, the great Amaterasu (although more often than not his name is spelled with katakana), etc.
Taking into account that many of Nagano’s characters are named after people, gods and personalities everywhere, the question arises whether there is any actual distinction to be made between the Japanese/Chinese characters and the rest. Probably not. I mean, we have Greek names, German names, etc. The fact that all of these are written in katakana doesn’t mean they’re homogeneous. If there is any significant dividing line, and I’m not ready to say that there is, is between the Japanese-named characters and the rest (Chinese, Western, etc), simply because Nagano is Japanese. This might be something to explore later on…
Ting gets into the structure of the Mirage Knights for Palu’s benefit, and we get to listen in (I love it!!!). There are Right Knights and Left Knights. The Right are supposed to be 19. The number of the Left are unknown. So basically we have a structured, regular Mirage Knight roster, and an irregular, shadow group. Ting and Palu are in Kastepo are on the lookout for potential new recruits into the knights. Ting is also about to meet up with Aisha, who has forgotten her credit card.
In the meantime, Muse is looking for a bar called Wax Trax, which Voards Viewlard told him about! He runs into a bumbling Aisha and it becomes quite hard to say which one’s cuter in the scene that follows [alright, it’s Aisha, but you gotta grant Muse is lovely here too!].
Two comments about Aisha: 1) her undies actually remind me of Jabo Beat’s disparaging comment as to Lady Codante’s age and 2) her facial expressions remind me a lot of Ladios Sopp. Those two are a match made in heaven, are they not! [curse the Fatimas!]
Oh, and I’m not sure what to make of the daikon radish. It’s a quintessential Japanese vegetable so it’s just an adorable little big detail perhaps…
Ting meets up with Aisha and we get even more giggles. The English translation is rather bold here, as the Japanese original has Ting saying that you could see everything (there’s NO talk of beavers). Also, in the Japanese, Aisha tells him he’s a stinky anpan (she doesn’t tell him to go to hell). In fact, you can see his face looks like an anpan and it even reads Kimuraya, which is the original anpan shop. Ting’s way of dismissing himself, BTW, is totally rad.
The action switches over to a swanky restaurant, where Muse, Hitter and Jabo Beat all happen to be sitting at. It’s another game of identity hide-and-seek. Muse spots Jabo and immediately suspects it’s her. Then Hitter comes over and discourages him from that opinion. Muse leaves for Wax Trax and Hitter stars talking to Jabo, clearly aware of who she is. And Jabo calls him Dougulus, 100% sure of his identity! Then she asks him about the man who just left, and Kaien readily responds: Muse van Reyback, Cardinal.
Then we see Tomoe meeting up with her employer, Bishop Iler from Mejojo (in the far east of Both). There’s quite a bit to talk about with this Iler. He looks like Frankenstein…I mean, he is Frankenstein, and this quite funny. Also, he mentions very clearly something that crops up here and there in FSS, and it’s the concept of the Big Three mortar headds.
If you study business in Japan you” be familiar with the Japanese penchant for grouping industry leaders into Big Threes, Big Fours, Big Fives, etc. [usually by market share]. The Big Three MHs are the Sirens from Fillmore, the Bang Dolls from Cobalkan and the A-Tolls from Hathuha. Notice that in this single town of Vachi we have headdliners operating these exact models: the dude with the moustache and hat, Muse and Jabo respectively. It looks like Iler will have to prove his boast regarding Mejojo’s own Ashura Temple [which we saw a glimpse of earlier] very soon.
There are also 2 curious things here: 1) the protagonists of FSS do not sport any of the Big Three MHs. Amaterasu and the Colus dynasty, the various Mirages and Jünchoon, seem poised to supersede this Big Three lineup. 2) Iler is called a Bishop, and as I remarked at the beginning of the volume, he is set into an opposition with Muse, who we now find is called a Cardinal. Is this a holy war??
Whatever it is, Muse first makes his way to Wax Trax, the master of which is a member of the Iota Space Knights. These are a non-state headdliner force, something like what the Boowrays are thought to be (but in fact aren’t!!).
There’s just been another murder by the evil monster headdliner [Iler?] and master proposes to begin the story at the beginning…right around the time Ulicul died in the land of Colus… At the same time, we see Dougulus Kaien telling Jabo Beat what he’s been up to in Kastepo…
[covered VOLUME 9: from page 39 to page 53]
NOTE: This is the end of my posts on FSS. I don’t see myself continuing this in the foreseeable future but one never knows…