Chance Meeting Game Inferno
This month Mana's column in Game Lab has been renewed for another series. If you haven't already read Monologue†Garden or my Monologue†Garden Translations, the new series has been titled Mana-Sama's ~Chance Meeting Game inferno~ and will focus on various game and console related information with a closer look into the details of the contents in each issue.

This month the focus is, not surprisingly, on the PS4 that Mana received at his birthday concert.



I would actually like to start working on translations of this article as soon as possible, seeing as its a newly titled series. So for the moment I may skip over the articles I still have yet to work on and focus on this one, then go backwards from there.

I would like to work on it this weekend if I have the time, but if I can't get it done as quickly as I would like, I'll still try to finish it as soon as I can.


Speaking of chance meetings!
I'm often meet a lot of people working for major video game companies in my work, but last week in particular I got to meet and talk with someone who is a major asset to famous games such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts!! Not only that, this person was a woman, so I was extremely excited to hear her perspective of the gaming industry from a Japanese female point of view.

I don't often talk about this publicly, but I find it a struggle to be a female that likes video games in Japan. I think to some extent there is difficulty with being a female gamer anywhere in the world, but in Japan the issue feels so much bigger being as its a male dominated society. The person I talked to said it really is a difficulty in Japan and theres only about 30% of females working in the industry so she faces these problems in a number of ways.

Fortunately for me, we really hit it off so I think we will get more chances to talk in the future and I'm really looking forward to hearing more about her life as a big time female gamer!



Sarah

Naive yet Macabre


Recently the sakura have come into full bloom, so today I went out to go take pictures and enjoy the atmosphere.
最近、桜が咲いたので、
出かけて、写真を撮ってみたり、雰囲気を楽しんだり等しました。

For the past several years I have always gone to Ueno park for cherry blossom viewing, but I'm starting to feel like the charm of that is wearing off. Many people have told me to try Yoyogi park, but from what I hear thats also extremely crowded. However, I was actually about to go there when suddenly I had a better idea!!
先年、花見のために上野公園に行ったが、私は、ちょっと芸のなくなった。今回、他の所に行きたくて、多くの人は「代々木公園が素敵だ!」と言っているが、ちょっと込んでいるでしょうかなあ。しかしながら、代々木公園に行くところで、もっと良いアイデアがあった!!

Aoyama Cemetery!!
青山霊園!!

Those who know me well are probably aware of how much I love Aoyama cemetery and that I've gone many times in the past. I guess about a year or two ago I was walking through the cemetery at night and I noticed all the Sakura in bloom. I remember thinking that its probably extremely beautiful during the day, so in the end I decided to go to Aoyama cemetery instead of Yoyogi park this time.
私がよく分かる人々はこれがもう分かるんですが、青山霊園が大好きで、数回通ったことがある。
多分1〜2年前に夜の中でここに散歩するして、美しい夜桜を気づいた。その時から日中で本当に訪ねたいと思う。
だから、今日は代々木公園ではなくて、青山霊園に来た。

I took a ton of pictures, but I'll try to sift through them and post the best ones here.
写真が多くて、ここにマイフェイバリットのを付いてみる。

You can click any of the pictures to see them in full size!
写真をクリックと大きいサイズを見られる!










By the way, I also found oranges in the cemetery...
ところで、霊園の中にオレンジを見つけた…



They were all down a trail too...
それも道の下にもある…



Why oranges!?
I don't think theres any kind of purpose for them, but there they are...
なんでオレンジ!?
意思ではないと思うが、やっぱりオレンジがある…

Lastly I tried to take a picture of myself because I really wanted to show what I was wearing, but it turned out too difficult to do by myself. LOL
最後は自分の写真。実は、今日のファッションの写真を撮ってみたが、1人で難しすぎた。(笑)



There you have it anyway.
I was wearing leggings which ironically had a cemetery printed on them. It wasn't really my first intention to come here, but maybe it was in my subconscience all along??
兎に角、レギンスを履いて、霊園のプリントを付いたが、奇縁だった。
初めは霊園に行くのが腹積りではないんですが、出かけた前に潜在意識に入っただろうかしら??

I hope you all enjoyed the pictures! I'm glad I picked this place because it was extremely beautiful in person! As you an probably tell I spent most of my day there, but it was a day well spent. (*^▽^)/
この写真を楽しんでほしいね!この所がものすごく美しいので、とっても嬉しいです!一日中こんなかんじで過ごしたが、本当に素晴らしかった!(*^▽^)/


P.s.
If some of the photos are showing up sideways, try refreshing the page.
写真が横向ければ、 ページをリロードしてもう一度試してください。



Sarah
Mana Birthday ライヴ @ 渋谷 Club Asia 日本語版
これは昨日の更新から日本語の翻訳です!英語の版は下にあるし、「Metal Chronicles」というサイトはスペイン語の翻訳をしました!こちらへチェックして。
This is a Japanese translation from yesterday's entry on the Moi dix Mois live. If you want to read the English version, scroll down! Also, Metal Chronicles added a Spanish translation of my entry! Check it out here!

今から日本語の版を楽しんでね!



数時間前にMoi dix Mois Mana様の誕生日ライヴは
いい感じに仕上がってきた!

今回は渋谷のClub Asiaに行ったが、私の場合、この会場がよく知らなかった。
もちろん「Club Asia」という名前を聞いた事があるが、今回Moi dix Moisの初めて演奏でしょうかなあ。実は、Club Asiaはもっと大きい会場(DUO MUSIC EXCHANGE、SHIBUYA O-EAST & O-WEST、etc...)の辺にあるんですが、前に気づいたら出会い頭だったかもしれない。

兎に角、開場は17:00なので、30分ぐらい前に友達と会って、2人で会場に行った。

それから会場を見つける時、Mana様の誕生日のために大きい花があった。ものすごく美しかったです!!





見やすいですが、左の花はKamijoさんから、右のはKayaさん、そして中にある花はファン達から送った。2年前から参加したいファンが一緒になって、特別な花道を送る。素晴らしいと思います!

続く時間まで待ちながら、もっと友人と会った。すぐに3人は「Sarahちゃんのチケット番号は??」と聞いて、高い番号(A206号!!)と答えて、「取り替えしたいか?」と、凄〜いビックリした!!
友達のママから27号を貰った!!Moi dix Moisファンの友達がものすごく素晴らしい人々ですね!!ありがとう〜!!!!!!(人´∀`)

だから、私と3人と一緒に会場に入って、Mana様の前に立った!パーフェクト!

Club Asiaの内に小さいですよ!
思い起こしてみると、ライヴの前に会場のサイトを見て、収容人員は300人ぐらいですが、直接見ると、やっぱり衝撃を受けた。会場が小さくても、ステージと客席が近しいので、夢みたいね!

ステージの装飾物が少ないので、シャンデリアやアイアンゲート等がない。舞台装置は大きいMoi dix Moisロゴやドラムやギター等。開演まで一時間を待ったが、ついにスタートの時、もう一度ショックだった!舞台に入っている出口は客席の辺に凄く近いという意味ですね! だから、メンバーに出る時、初めは客席に入っていたようだ。(笑) 

今回、全てのメンバーは白とゴールドを着ているが、デザインが普通ので、詳しく書かない。でも、特に好きだったので、Mana様の衣装を触りたい。着ている白いブラウスとカフスがゴールドトリミングがあって、EGAみたいなハーフスカートと付いたコルセットも白xゴールドで、下レイヤは全部白くて、上レイヤはメシュみたい(?)な資材がキラキラゴールドで作った。ハーフスカートの下に黒いスパッツやブーツを履いた。

まずはDialogue Symphonie-X それからfront et baiserやWitchcraftを演った。

セットリスト:

1. En Lumière
2. Dialogue Symphonie
3. front et baiser
4. Witchcraft
5. Solitude
6. Invite to Immorality
7. Nocturnal Romance
8. The Prophet
9. The Sect

~MC~

10. 新曲
11. Pendulum
12. Agnus Dei
13. IMMORTAL MADNESS
14. Dead Scape
15. In paradisum
16. The seventh Veil
17. Divine Place
18. Ange ~D side holy wings~
19. Je l'aime

~最後~

20. Pageant

MCは、
Mana様からメッセージを聞いたが、普通のインフォメーション(次のライヴは5月24日等)と新曲の事です。新曲のテーマは天使について、タイトルは「ディアボロス エン アーンジェリック」??? 実はSethさんは外国語の言葉を言ってると、分かりにくいので、タイトルが違うかもしれない。

そして、
Mana様の誕生日!!
Moi dix Moisのロック版のハッピーバースデイの歌を歌いながら、Mana様がダンスや色々な手振りをした。しかし、歌の前にManaがステージを出て、もう一度ステージに入る前に皆さんは自分の手を取り合って、「Je t'aime Mana様〜!!」を呼ばせた。Kさんも同じ事をしたが、ちょっと怖かった(まぁ面白いと思う! 笑)。それから……プレゼント!?今までいつもケーキを登場するが、今回、全てのメンバーはプレゼントを登場した。青いリボンに付いたPS4だった!!!登場する時、皆が笑っていたようだ。可愛すぎたから。Manaの笑い顔も見た!たぶん本当にビックリしたと思う!全てのメンバーにサムズアップを見せて、Sethさんは「今はプレイーしたいが、まずはライヴをよろう」とこんな感じで、Manaがステージから走って、Sethさんは「待って〜!!」と呼んだ。もちろんManaはステージに戻して、SethさんはMana様がゲーム機が大好きだから、PS4を貰いたかったと説明した。最高のプレゼントだったと思います。

…でも、ハードと共にゲームソフトも貰ったかなあ??

誕生日のサプライズの後で、ライヴ続いて、新曲演った!!

まずは美しいコーラスを歌って、その音がちょっぴりオカルティックだ。技術用語で短音階です。後は速くなって、ギター重視型の曲になる。Moi dix Moisのために「新た」という音を言えないが、自とユニークだと思う。説明のが大変ですが、クラシックの部分はもっと暗くて、特に美しくて、Moi dix Moisに似合う。基本的にクラシカルとロックの破片はMoi dix Moisのたっぷりハーモニーだ。

その後、IMMORTAL MADNESSが始めた。皆が踊って狂れた!実は、ちょっとワイルドすぎた。押し合いへし合いのためにちょっと痛かった。(;A;) もちろん、そんな情熱で皆(バンドとファン)は精力的になって、燃えているね。

そして、演奏の間にステージの右からプッラトフォームがあって、Mana様がそこに歩いたが、すぐに皆は彼を触りながら、倒れ伏す所だと思った。(実は、ライヴの中で2〜3度これを起こった)

ラストの後は、全てのメンバーを出て、少憩を取った。
本当のフィナーレはーーPageant!!

この時、メンバーはステージに戻って、
ManaがMALICE MIZER時代のベアーを持ってきて、各席にキャンディを投じた。



それもベアーも投じることを事寄せたが、自身で取っ捕まえた。

これからSethさんはスタッフでくれた青い光を出してと説明して、「Un, deux, trois...」と言う後は、皆と一緒に「dix!!」と呼んで、光らせる。ついにPageantが始めて、1つとして青い光を揺り動かした。
しかし、変なことを気づいたのはManaの行動。この曲の中に色々なギターのストップポイントですが、今回、そのストップの間にManaが全然立ち止まって、特に一度は客席に近くなって、ファンが肩を触って、すぐにManaは同じ所を握りしめた。そのファンは手荒みたいじゃなかったと思う。Manaが多感か本当の問題だったかなあ。凄く変だと思う。曲の終わりから、Manaもちょっと息切れみたいが、再び感動になったかもしれないね。

兎に角にも、Pageantの後はライヴが終わり。全てのメンバーが出て、Hayatoさんはドラムスティックを投じて、最後Manaが外にギターを置いて、出た。

このライヴは想定外で、本当に嬉しいです!まぁ実はManaの誕生日ライヴはいつも私の一番気に入りライヴです。いつも楽しくて、素晴らしいので、Moi dix Moisライヴの中に私のおすすめです!

ところで、Club Asiaと参加した人々の写真を撮ってみた。



ーん、最高じゃないんですが、撮りにくかった!
そして、私は自身も撮りたかったが、私の古いiPhoneはダメです。(><;)



右の写真はバースデイ歌から同じ手の取り合いです。
そして、Pageantの時を作った光も持っています。

まぁ今、深夜で、疲れている。今週は病気になったので、今も100%良くならなくて、休んだらいいよね。


dix Love & Happy Birthday Mana様!!!!!!!!!!




Sarah
Mana Birthday Concert @ Shibuya Club Asia / Set List Update


A few hours ago the Moi dix Mois Mana Birthday concert ended with great success!!


This time it was at Shibuya Club Asia, a venue I'm not completely familiar with. I know its a well known name, but I imagine if Moi dix Mois played here before it must have been an extremely long time ago. Actually, it turns out Club Asia is right next to the larger venues such as Duo Music Exchange, and Shibuya O-East & O-West, but if I ever really noticed it before it was only in passing.

Anyway, the doors opened at 5:00, so I met with a friend about 30 minutes prior and we made our way over.

As soon as we found the place, we noticed there were huge flower arrangements set up for Mana's birthday. They were so beautiful!!





As you can tell, the flowers on the left are from Kamijo, on the right Kaya, and then the one in the middle was sent by any fans who wanted to participate together, just like the past two years.

Afterwards, I stood around waiting for the doors to open, when some of my other friends showed up -- Tooya, Tooya's mom, and Velu!!! Immediately they came up and asked "whats your ticket number??" to me. Unfortunately this time it was a really high number, but when I told them, Tooya's mom offered to trade tickets. It seems Tooya and her mom got front row tickets this time, and Tooya's mom wanted to stand in the back, so we switched and I was right in the front!!! I couldn't believe it; Tooya and her mom are AMAZING!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!(人´∀`)

So off the three of us went (me, Tooya, and Velu) into the venue and got perfect spots right in front of Mana!

Club Asia on the inside is a tiny venue! I had actually looked it up online prior to coming to the live, and remember reading the capacity was about 300 people, but seeing it in person was kinda shocking. However, with a small venue comes a intimate stage/audience area, so the stage literally came right up to our standing places and was rather low to the ground, so for people in the front it was kind of a dream!

The stage was decorated with the bare minimum, so no iron gates or chandeliers. It mostly consisted of the giant Moi dix Mois logo in the background and all the necessary instruments placed on stage before the members came out. We waited about an hour for the concert to start, and when it did, I was somewhat shocked; the band members came out of an entrance extremely close to my standing area, and since the stage and entrance/exit were all so close to the audience it felt like everyone was walking out straight to us.

This time everyone was dressed in all white with gold trimming (white being the signature color worn during Mana's Birthday lives every year). The style for everyone was the same as always, so I won't go into too much depth about the costumes, but I did particularly like Mana's this time. It was a white short sleeved blouse with longer white sleeves underneath and gold trimmed wrist cuffs, as well as a long EGA style skirt that came up into a corset at his waist with gold lace on the corset and matching gold lining. The skirt was two layers -- one layer being pure white and the other a sort of decorative see-through almost mesh-like gold material that draped over half the white portion. Under the skirt he had on black tights and boots to contrast the white.

They began the concert by playing Dialogue Symphonie and then moved on to front et baiser and Witchcraft.


3/27 edit
Finally I have the set list, so here are the songs that were played for the night.

1. En Lumière
2. Dialogue Symphonie
3. front et baiser
4. Witchcraft
5. Solitude
6. Invite to Immorality
7. Nocturnal Romance
8. the Prophet
9. The Sect

-MC-

10. New song
11. Pendulum
12. Agnus Dei
13. IMMORTAL MADNESS
14. Dead Scape
15. In paradisum
16. The seventh Veil
17. Divine Place
18. Ange ~D side holy wings~
19. Je l'aime

-Finale-

20. Pageant


During the MC, we got to listen to a message from Mana, which pretty much just contained information about the next live on May 24th, and then how he had been working hard on a new song, which he wanted to share for the first time today since it was his birthday. It seems the song has to do with angels. They said the name of it, but I have a lot of difficulty understanding Seth saying things in any language other than Japanese, so I believe the song was Diablo en Angelic?? After the concert I asked some of my friends if they knew the name, but nobody seemed to have any idea.

We also got to celebrate Mana's Birthay by singing the a rock Moi dix Mois version of the Happy Birthday song to him while he danced and did various gestures (holding his arms out, bowing, etc) on stage. Before we got to sing, however, Mana left the stage and we all had to clasp our hands together and yell "Je t'aime Mana-Samaaa!!" until Mana was satisfied enough to come out. K even clasped his hands and tried to act like a girl screaming Je t'aime Mana-Sama, but it was just kind of scary (and funny!). Then came the......present!? Its always been a tradition that a cake comes out at the birthday live, but this time instead of a cake, the band members pulled together and gave Mana a gift on stage. It was a PlayStation 4 wrapped with a blue bow!!!! I couldn't help but laugh when they brought it out, but I think everyone else was laughing too! It was so cute and funny, and Mana was smiling so much! I think he genuinely surprised!! He started giving thumbs up to all the band members, and then Seth said "I guess you want to go play it right away, but you can't right now because we have a live to do!!" and with that comment, Mana held the box close to him and started running off stage as Seth started yelling to him, saying "Wait!! You're going now!? Don't you want to continue the concert??" Mana looked back at Seth for a second as he said that, but immediately after continued running off stage. However, He came back soon after once he had stored the console somewhere back stage. After that, Seth commented about how Mana loves game consoles, so they just had to get him the newest PlayStation 4. I imagine that was probably the most perfect gift to him!

...Although, it did make me wonder later on, did he even get any games with the console??


After all the birthday surprises, the live continued on with the new song!!

First of all, the song starts out with a chorus singing a beautiful but somewhat haunting melody. To express it in more technical terms, the chorus part was set in a minor key. Afterwards, it turns into a more fast paced, guitar oriented song. I wouldn't particularly say its a "new" type of sound for Moi dix Mois, as it has all the same musical elements portrayed in other Moi dix Mois music, but naturally there are things that make this song unique -- I think the uniqueness mostly comes into play with the choral voices. Its extremely hard for me to describe what I mean by that exactly, but the classical portions of the song felt darker than before, and I found it to be particularly beautiful and fitting for Moi dix Mois. Overall, the song is filled with classical and rock fragments blended to Moi dix Mois perfection.

Once the new song ended, IMMORTAL MADNESS started playing, and by this time everyone in the audience was going wild! Actually, it was a bit too wild at times. Everyone was squishing together so much it was getting a little bit painful! But that kind of excitement is something that makes the band more energized and everyone seems really fired up (band and audience alike)!


Several more songs were played, and at one point Mana walked towards this small platform jutting out the side of the stage, making him appear as if he was standing in the audience, but he nearly tripped at one point and everyone was trying so hard to touch him that I really thought he was going to fall. (Actually, tripping seemed to be a thing that was happening to him a lot this time)

With the last song, everyone left the stage one by one, and took a short break until the true finale -- Pageant!!


At this point, everyone came back out on stage, and Mana came out holding an old bear from MALICE MIZER era, which was recently posted on his blog:

2014-3-19-200.jpg

Inside was blue candy, which he threw out to the crowd, and then he pretended like he was going to throw the bear out too, but then caught it for himself and kept it.


Then we were directed to take out our blue glow sticks given to us by staff before the concert started. Seth explained that we were not to make them glow until he gave us the official count down -- Un, deux, trois.... and then we were to yell "dix!!" together and crack our glow sticks to make them shine. Thereupon, Pageant started and everyone waved their glow sticks in unison until the song was over. Something strange I noticed during this time however, was the way Mana was acting. I don't know if he was simply emotional or was actually having problems, but a couple times he seemed to just stop playing and stand around staring. At one point, he came up as close as he could to the audience, and some girls started touching him -- one in particular touched his shoulder, and immediately he started grabbing his shoulder and holding it for a few minutes without playing. He just kinda stopped completely and stared at the audience, and then looked directly in my direction for a moment until he started playing guitar again and moved on...but truthfully, I found this to be really strange behavior. I didn't think the girl who touched him hurt him, so why he reacted the way he did was odd. He also seemed a little bit winded by the very end, but maybe he was just emotional at that point.

Anyway, after Pageant ended, so did the concert. Everyone exited the stage -- Hayato threw out his drum sticks to the crowd, and Mana placed his guitar on the ground then bowed and blew a kiss to the audience. Soon after, he walked off and that was the end of the event.


This concert really ended up exceeding my expectations, but I have to admit, Mana's Birthday live has always been my number one favorite. It always ends up being the most fun and exciting, so I feel like if theres any Moi dix Mois concert that shouldn't be missed, its the birthday live!!

After we left the venue, I ended up taking a picture of Club Asia, also hoping to capture a view of all the attendees.



I didn't do the best job of capturing all the people who went, but it was as close as I could get. I also took a couple purikura of my outfit for commemoration of the live (I took pictures outside the venue too, but they turned out soo blurry ><).



By the way, the way I'm posing with my hands clasped together in the second picture is an imitation of how Mana clasps his hands when he dances to the Birthday song being sung to him. and of course, I'm holding the glow stick I received during the live.


Anyway, its late now and I'm getting tired. I'm still not 100% better from being sick, so it might be time to rest now.


dix Love & Happy Birthday Mana様!!!!!!!!!!




Sarah
∞・10


Happy Birthday to Mana today!
Mana様へお誕生日おめでとう!

I had a special entry planned for today, but unfortunately I got struck with a high fever on Sunday which set a lot of things back, and then yesterday morning it returned for a while...
特別な更新を書くつもりだったが、残念ながら日曜日から熱があって、計画は停頓して、昨日も熱が戻ってしまった…

However, that doesn't mean what I had planned will never surface! It doesn't particularly need to be shared on Mana's birthday, so once I finish, it will still make it on here eventually.
でも、今日その計画で更新ができないですが、という更新を全然表さないわけじゃないよ!
実はMana様の誕生日の当日が必要ではないので、その内、ここにその内容で更新するつもりです。


Until then we still have the concert on the 21st to look forward to!
その時まで、来たる21日のライヴに向けようね!

Hopefully I'll make a full recovery by then in order to enjoy it completely.
ライヴのために全快して、楽しみたい。


dix Love!!!!!!!!!!




Sarah
Game Lab!
Today I went out with a friend for most of the day, and it seems Game Lab came out on 15th rather than the 16th this time, so we stopped by the bookstore to get a copy.
今日、友達と一緒に出かけたが、今回はゲームラボの発売日は16日ではなくて、15日のようですね。
だから、書店にも行った。



This time the topic is Xevious for the Famicom.
...Haven't we read about this one before???
This is a game I own, so I'm personally interested in seeing what Mana has to say about it...again.
今回はファミコンのゼビウスですね。
……前にゼビウスのことを読まなかったかなあ???
まぁこのゲームを持っているので、私にとって興味がある…もう一度。

I'll translate it once I catch up with the previous issues, as always.
もちろん前のMana様の深遠なるGame infernoを英訳する後は、これも英訳するつもりです。

Also, I just want to remind everyone again to not remove the watermarks from my images/scans to claim as your own. I'm seeing more and more of this going on lately and its becoming frustrating.
そして、
電子透かしを消して、自分のスキャンとして使わないでください。
最近、この問題をよく気づいて、苛々になる。(実は、この問題は外国人のファンの事ですが、日本語で更新を翻訳しているので、これも翻訳しますw)


But as for other things going on lately, today my friend and I walked around sooo much from Juban all the way to Harajuku and then back again. We spent some extra time in Omotesando and Aoyama and came across this amazing cathedral!!
兎に角、友達と一緒を遊びに行ったについて、
麻布十番から原宿まで散歩して、特に表参道や青山辺に彷徨いながら、凄く美しいカテドラルを見つけた!!



I wish we could have gone inside!!
入ったらいいなあ〜!

We also went into a tiny gothic clothing shop, and apparently this old woman who runs the shop has made clothes for several Visual Kei artists, including Mana back in MALICE MIZER days!! We didn't stay long, but it was interesting regardless. She showed me an extremely old newspaper clipping of MALICE MIZER she had posted in her store.
後は小さいゴシック福の店に入って、店の主人は私に話して、色々なヴィジュアル系アーティストの福を作って、MALICE MIZERの時代はMana様にスカートを作った!!それも、ものすごく古いMALICE MIZERの切り抜きを見せてくれた。短い時間だけ訪ねたが、楽しかったです。

Eventually we made our way back to Azabu Juban making several stops along the way and finally I just now got home.
終に、原宿から麻布十番まで散歩してきて、家に戻った。

I haven't had the chance to go out in a long time, so I was really happy to have this chance today!!
But now I think it might be time for bed soon...
久々な出かけたので、このチャンスに嬉しいです!!
でも、今疲れて、これから寝るでしょう…

Goodniiight~!
おやすみなさ〜い!


Sarah

Suit of Swords


Hiii everyone~!

In my last entry I mentioned I had some exciting things to post about, and so finally I can now unleash one of those things!

Its the sword Mana used in the latest Gothic & Lolita Bible Vol. 51

Not only was I able to obtain the same sword, but I found some interesting details about it which is why I've been wanting to write about it on here.

(今、英語だけの更新ですが、もうすぐ日本語の翻訳を書くつもりです!♥)



So here it is in all its glory -- a Masonic Ceremonial sword.

To be completely honest, although I liked the EGA photo from the GLB, I had really put no initial thought into the sword, nor did I have any special interest in it.

What happened was I saw a picture by chance from the game The Legend of Zelda and the Master Sword really struck me. It automatically made me think about the one Mana was holding in the GLB and so I became curious about it. The striking similarities couldn't really have been a coincidence, could they?

I used to play Zelda on the N64 and I remember loving the game, but beyond that I don't actually have much knowledge of it now days...
Anyway, it didn't take long for me to find Mana's sword online and once I did I immediately became struck by it as well.

It turns out this sword isn't just any sword; its a replica of a ceremonial masonic sword used by the Freemasons in the 18th and 19th centuries. Every ceremonial sword used by the Freemasons has a series of symbols embedded on them which ultimately do have meanings.



The top is loaded with symbolism which as you can probably guess has religious connotation.

I won't go into the meanings of everything here because theres a lot going on, and quite frankly I'm not 100% sure I know what every single symbol means. I think I have a good grasp on the main idea being displayed, but some of it is going to require more research. The main reoccurring symbols I noticed were the pentagram, a diamond shape, triangles, and the iconic Masonic Square and Compasses.



The Square and Compasses symbol is located both at the very top of the hilt, and in the middle of the sheath. Its a mark of Freemasonry that is used as a form of identification. Therefore, we can identify this sword as Masonic.



I also became interested in the choices of coloration because blue is certainly not a color I see too often on sheaths. I used to collect swords when I was in Jr. High school, so sword designs peaked my interest for some years now. It turns out after some research the usage of blue and gold isn't something you can pinpoint the meaning of on every individual item, but there are a lot of good general theories out there. For one thing, these colors were used for higher ranks, such as mastery (Now I see where the "Master Sword" comes from in the Legend of Zelda!!). The colors themselves may be because in history blue and gold has often been used to portray the heavens, day & night, the sun, stars & the moon, and a wide array of religious contexts from beliefs dating back to sun worship. Furthermore, "Masonic Blue" is the color of Freemasonry.

You can find extensive information on Masonic Blue, as well as usages and meanings of the colors blue and gold on the Masonic Lodge of Education website here:

Masonic Blue




In the end, I imagine Mana chose this sword carefully with full awareness of its meanings and history. I have to admit, even I am sometimes surprised by the extent he goes to in order to maintain the proper themes to fit his imagery. The Freemasons are very well known for their fraternities, secrets, and symbolism, so its no surprise Mana would have reasearched masonic ceremonial swords!


By the way,
many people on social media sites have been asking me where I got it from.
A brand name that makes replicas of several kinds of masonic swords, including this one, is "Denix". Its made in Spain, but its pretty easy to find this replica all over the world. I bought mine from a Japanese distributor, but I believe its common enough to be found just about anywhere!




p.s.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine on facebook sent me a link to a very interesting photo!
It turns out the American Olympics figure skater, Johnny Weir, is a fan of Moi-meme-Moitie!!


Photo from Johnny Weir official Instagram

The blouse hes wearing is from Moi-meme-Moitie and it seems he wore it at the Sochi Olympics. I wonder if this means hes a Mana fan? I was really shocked when I saw it.



Sarah