Friday, April 6, 2012

Translation Corner #2

You know, 40+ terms with long ass explanations and complicated Japanese phrases are not very fun to translate, but damn it sure makes the show seem more interesting when I know what the fuck things are actually supposed to be. I really wish FUNi would translate these themselves and put them on the English site, but I suppose they don't really have the time or money for that. I wonder if they'll even bother trying to localize it for a US release. I hope so. Anyway, with any luck someone out there in internet land is enjoying this insight into the anime as much as I am.

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.


  1. Keep going on your keywords. I love this site :) I will read it more as you update it. Also Fine had the Staff of Solomon as well as the armor, and that staff is what summons noise and she merged with it, the armor and durandal in the Finale.

  2. Hi, Mr.zoid9000.
    I’m also a Symphogear addict live in Japan.

    For the article on Sacred Relic, I think you probably translated a Japanese word “結晶” into “crystal”, but the phrase “~の結晶” also means “the products of ~” or “the fruits of ~”.
    So that if I were you, I would simply translate the sentence like this.
    “Relics are the products of ancient heterodox technologies (black arts) which is lost in modern times”.

    I hope this helps you.

    1. Hello!

      Thanks very much for your comment! That helps me very much!

    2. It’s my pleasure to help you!

      Now I’m reading all of the article on this blog one by one. If I notice some other things about your article, I would leave a comment again.
      My mother tongue is Japanese, so there may be something I can do for you.