Friday, April 6, 2012
Translation Corner #2
Keyword #2: Relics
The emergence of various myths and folklore from all around the world have often spoken of ancient weapons with hidden supernatural powers. Today there exist crystals that are impossible to produce without the use of forbidden arts (black magic) that are being excavated from many different ruins.
Due to the passing of time these artifacts have been exposed to much deterioration and damage. Even through large excavation projects, finding pieces that are completely intact is becoming incredibly rare. Therefore, in most cases, only "relic fragments" have been uncovered.
Relics that are in a grounded state can shift into an active state through the use of song, thereby releasing their inner power. Tsubasa's first relic known as "Ame no Habakiri," is only a single piece of the original sword's blade. The relic that Hibiki inherited from Kanade known as "Gungnir," is also only a tip of the original spear. (However right now, even just splinters of that are what remain within Hibiki's chest.)
NOTE: For those that don't know, the relic names refer to ancient weapons from existing mythologies. Ame no Habakiri (lit. "Slash of Heavenly Wings") is one of a few different names for the Shinto God Susanoo's sword. It was also used by Izanagi in Japanese mythology. Furthermore, Gungnir (old Norse for "swaying one") is known as the spear of the god Odin from Norse mythology. You can find more on these stories at wikipedia: Gungnir and Ame no Habakiri
Nothing too interesting here, this is all pretty much what was explained in the show. This explanation doesn't make it entirely clear why or by whom the weapons were refined into crystals, but I assume this might have been done as way to preserve what was left of them over time. I also think it's important to note that a different level of phonic gain is needed to activate the relics, which is why Kanade and Tsubasa were performing a concert in the first episode since the nehushtan armor was complete and not a fragment. This also might explain why we never see Fine sing or use a song to activate her Symphogear. Despite the fact that it's been fused with her body, I assume having been a complete relic that was fully awakened through high levels of phonic gain, it would be unnecessary to perform a song every time to summon the armor. Whereas Hibiki and Tsubasa's incomplete relics only retain a fraction of their original power and probably need to be refreshed constantly, which is why they revert to inactive state when not in use.