December 3, 2017

Madoka Magica Anthology 3 - The Last Supper (Oneshot)

Our main translator and Dear Leader is a bit indisposed at the moment, so it's your friendly Camellia sinensis-powered, semi-sentient translating machine lill H here with some more Madoka manga for you guys. Today's oneshot is about fried rice, or it would be, if Sayaka could cook. I quite liked this one, but it is a little tragic that we all know exactly how the stories set in the canon timeline will inevitably end. In any case, enjoy, and take the time to sit down and have a meal with someone you care about when you have the chance to.

This is a bit different from what we normally do, but we also have three cute 4komas from the yuri/mystery visual novel SeaBed (though I don't think yuri or mystery are entirely fitting labels for the game, as I'll explain below), drawn by the game's art director. I believe SeaBed is best described as the story of two lovers, Sachiko and Takako, separated by strange circumstances that neither of them fully understand, and how they each cope with the absence of the other.

Is it a mystery? In a sense, yes, but don't expect any clever detective work or grandiose revelations. The mystery itself is quite subtle and never directly touched on by the game's characters. Does it have yuri? Yeah, for sure. I don't think, however, that the game's creators set out to write a "yuri game". The game is simply about two people deeply in love, and those two people turned out to be women.

For all the talk of yuri and mystery, SeaBed is first and foremost, a study of the mind. How should the healthy, or "sane", mind respond to tragedy? How real are memories that stay with us only as electrical impulses inside our heads? How do we know we’re seeing the world for how it actually is, when our perception of it is inevitably filtered through our highly fallible brains? These are interesting questions, and the writers of SeaBed weave them into a story that touches on them not as abstract philosophical ideas, but real, tangible dilemmas its characters struggle with. Anyway, I'll stop talking about the game and explain the 4komas, since that's all you're getting until December 19th when the English localization comes out.

Takako, the more energetic woman with the green twintails, and Sachiko, the quieter woman with the dark blue, straight bob cut, run Clover Design Studio. Inukai, the megane in "Thanks" is the game's one and only named male character, and Fumi, the woman in "Gargling", has a mild obsession with lamb plushies. Mayuko, who appears in the first panel of "Christmas", is a kind nurse who works at Kunugihara Sanatorium. Sanae, who appears in the second panel of the same 4koma, is a quiet bookworm, and Kozue, the girl with the aquamarine hair, is a precocious but slightly awkward child. Unfortunately, my favorite character in the game, Narasaki Hibiki, a warm, yet professional psychiatrist, who always seems to know a bit more than she lets on, didn't make it into the 4komas.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with a beautiful excerpt from the game which sums up its themes quite nicely and goes as follows: "People often say that those who are truly precious to us are with us, inside our hearts, and I think that's true. When I think about the sort of things you would think of, you're there, inside my mind. And even if you were gone, I'd always be thinking of you, and you'd always be there with me."

1 comment:

  1. Today, we solemnly mourn the passing of our Dear Cephalopod Leader; Shining Star of Mitakihara; Leader of the Revolutionary Scanlation Forces; Sun of the Yuri Future; Fate of the Franchise; and Ever-Victorious, Iron-Willed Reroller, taken from us far, far too soon by the JLPT. Resolute in life, and defiant in death, the dude is probably still playing FGO in Heaven or Jannah or, more likely, the Pure Land since we're all disgusting weeaboos here and you know it.

    Stay gold, Ponyboy.