Wednesday, January 1, 2020

[Sticky]

Utsukushii Koto has moved to Wordpress.
All other projects will stay on this site.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Updates on Utsukushii Koto / Thoughts

This will be my post for my attempts at getting Utsukushii Koto legally licensed and translated.

[updated] tl;dr - I am too impatient and fed up to continue this attempt and have reuploaded the scripts elsewhere.

Latest:
22 November 2013

I apologize for the extended silence! It has taken me a while to contact Kodansha for reasons I will elaborate on below, but I sent them an e-mail yesterday and this is what I got in reply today:

Monday, September 30, 2013

[Narise Konohara] In the Box / Summer Vacation - Pt. 3

This is a continuation of PART 2.


Mom bought tickets for two people and went through the ticket gates. The last train had just gone, and we had about twenty minutes until the next one arrived. No one else was on the platform except for Mom and I.

I clutched the fireworks tightly as I sat on the bench. Mom put her arms around my shoulders and rested her cheek against my head, looking out over the ocean from the platform.

“Mom, why did you start hating Dad?”

Mom’s fingers twitched on my shoulders.

“...I don’t hate him.”

“Then why did you and Dad divorce?”

She wouldn’t answer me.

“Dad is so nice, though.”

Mom slapped me in the face. In my surprise, I let go of the paper bag, and it tumbled to the ground. The fireworks scattered about my feet. Mom’s lips were twisted and she looked like she was about to cry.

Monday, September 23, 2013

[Narise Konohara] In the Box / Summer Vacation - Pt. 2

This is a continuation of PART 1.

The shop on the seashore was packed with people. Since there were no seats inside, we bought curry and cola and went outside. Under the parasol, I imitated Mister and sat cross-legged. The curry tasted like something I’d eaten somewhere before, and even though we’d just had curry yesterday, it still tasted super good.

After we ate, we swam for a bit. Mister had started napping in the shadow of the embankment, so I played with the inner tube by myself. But it got boring quickly, so I dragged the inner tube over beside Mister, and took a nap with him.

Once the sun had started setting in the west, they began to prepare to go home. They returned the inner tube, and retrieved their belongings from the locker. When Nao and Mister arrived at the bike racks hand-in-hand, they discovered that the bike was gone. They circled the bike racks three times and spent about thirty minutes searching the area, but they couldn’t find the bike after all. Nao began to tear up while they searched. Today had been fun. It had been so unbelievably fun that he was angry that he’d have to feel so horrible right before going home.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

[Narise Konohara] In the Box / Summer Vacation - Pt. 1

This short story was published in the Holly Novels edition of Out of the Cage.

*This story features multiple narrative voices. This follows the original Japanese and is intentional. I've done my best to make it sound natural in English. My apologies if it isn't!



SUMMER VACATION


When the train leaned steeply, his own body was pulled along with it. Even after the rails straightened out, the train continued to clatter at regular, measured intervals. When they approached a station, the next stop and connecting lines were announced over the PA. Although he knew he had his directions right, Nao Takamura nevertheless pressed his face against the glass and peered at the station sign every time they slowed to a stop.

There were only a handful of people on the train: two girls about his age; an old man with a cane; a businessman who was falling asleep with his mouth open wide, like a carp waiting to be fed. There was also an older girl who looked like she was in high school. She was talking on a cell phone which had lots of keychains hanging off of it. Her talking was louder than the clattering of the train.

A moment ago, they had been ducking through what looked like an alleyway, drawing right up close to the houses. Now, suddenly the scenery opened up before his eyes. He could see the ocean through the window on the left. It was a deeper blue than the sky, and it sparkled and glittered. The sight was enough to make his heart beat faster. The train ran along the ocean for a little while before diving once again into an alleyway-like gap between the houses.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

[Narise Konohara] In the Box / Field of Silver Grass - Pt. 2

This is a continuation of PART 1.

Once the lights were turned out in the room, Douno felt a touch on his cheek. The man always touched him, but Douno felt like his fingers were warmer than usual. What if―he wondered. His suspicions were proven as the hand lifted the hem of the pyjama T-shirt he was wearing.

“Kei.” He restrained the searching hand with his own.

“You don’t want to?” the man whispered in his ear. Douno shivered at his voice, low and breathy. Even at this age, Kitagawa still desired him physically, though naturally less frequently then before.

‘You’re too old for that,’ he knew some people might say, but Douno enjoyed sex with Kitagawa. It was a bumpy ride at first, when they were new to it. But after they had gotten the hang of it, Douno found himself able to honestly enjoy their physical intimacy.

[Narise Konohara] In the Box / Field of Silver Grass - Pt. 1

This is a sidestory originally published as a special mail-order booklet for buyers of Out of the Cage (Holly Novels edition).




FIELD OF SILVER GRASS


He was dazzled for a moment as he stepped out of the hospital. Perhaps it was because he had gone from being inside all day to being suddenly in the sun, which was bright for October. Takafumi Douno darted immediately into the shadows of the building and sighed. He fished his cell phone out of his jacket pocket.

“Kei, it’s me.”

The reception was not very good, and the voice on the other end was choppy. He managed to make out one phrase.

“How’s your mom?”

Douno took a step back out into the sun, still looking at his feet.

“They couldn’t do anything. We lost her―just now.”

A short silence on the other end. An ambulance blared its sirens as it passed in front of him.

“I see. I’m sorry.” This time, he could hear the words clearly.

“The wake is tomorrow, and I think the funeral will be on the next day. I don’t know who my mother was close with over here, so I have no idea who to contact.”

That was not all. Once his mother’s death had been confirmed, Douno had barely any time to cope with his feelings before he was bombarded with a stream of questions on which company to call for funeral services, which temple the service would be held at, and which immediate family he had already contacted. His mind was a mass of confusion.

Friday, August 2, 2013

[Narise Konohara] In the Box / Rainy Day

This is a sidestory/epilogue included in the Holly Novels edition of Out of the Cage.

WARNING: Sexual content.


RAINY DAY


It was supposed to be daytime, but it was dark inside the room. It was dark, like in the early hours before dawn. He couldn’t tell where he was. His heart began to race at the overwhelming sense of unease, but that passed in an instant. He could see his own two hands, and they were large. He wasn’t very smart, but with these two hands he could do a decent range of manual labour. I’m not a kid anymore. This isn’t the tiny room I used to be in when I was younger.

A thin sheen of sweat coated his brow. It was hot and humid in the room. Even the intermittent breeze directed at him by the swinging fan at his feet felt somewhat moist.

Kitagawa rubbed his face vigorously with both hands before he slowly sat up. There was a figure beside him in the same futon. A human figure, curled up in a cream-coloured towel blanket. He carefully turned the blanket down, revealing the man’s bare, defenceless skin. The man was asleep on his side, not even wearing underwear.

[Narise Konohara] In the Box / And then....

This is a (very) short sidestory included in the Holly Novels edition of In the Box.


AND THEN....


Oe remembered that day in particular because the news had been abuzz. A large bridge had collapsed somewhere―he’d forgotten where―sending many cars to the bottom of the river. The death toll had crept up with each repeated broadcast.

Oe gazed out the window while sadness brimmed from the screen. A gentle breeze was blowing, and the sky was blue. In the distance, he saw little white dots of cherry trees in full bloom. Pained voices on the news; happy weather. This was the kind of day on which Oe submitted his divorce papers to city hall.

“Why did you divorce?” his junior asked frankly. He was usually more reserved; perhaps the alcohol had gone to his head. Oe wondered if his irritation came from hearing on the news that it had been a year since the bridge collapse, which made him remember that it was exactly one year since he got a divorce.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

[Narise Konohara] In the Box - Pt. 14

("Out of the Cage" Part 4)

This is a continuation of PART 13.


There were no oncoming cars or cars behind him, so he did not end up in an accident. Douno’s arms still trembled violently from the shock. He remained in the middle of the intersection for quite some time, causing other cars to honk at him repeatedly.

Douno thought he would die from spinning out, and that woke him to his senses. He passed through the intersection and drove slowly. He eventually arrived in front of the bridge where Honoka was thought to have been pushed off. Douno and his wife had come to this bridge just once after the incident. They had left quickly after putting down Honoka’s favourite flowers and sweets. They had not wanted to linger for long.