Chapter 149 - Dialog in the Dark

Title

"Dialog in the Dark" (暗中問答 - Anchuu montou) is a kanji-based pun on Ryuunosuke Akutagawa's short story "Dialogue in the Dark" (闇中問答 - Anchuu Montou). Here we've used the difference between the British and American spellings of "Dialogue" to translate the joke.

Akutagawa's "Dialogue" is about himself talking to someone in the dark and talking about things like how to keep the readers.

First published on August 6, 2008.

Page 2

100 Scary Stories

An old game where you take 100 candles, and everyone takes turns telling ghost stories. After someone finishes the story, they blow out a candle. At the end, you're left sitting in the dark after hearing a ton of scary stories.

Page 4

Soft boiled chick

Delicious embryo is delicious! This is a Filipino delicacy called Balot, and is a fertilized chicken egg that's been allowed to develop for 11-21 days before being cooked and eaten in the shell, usually with soy sauce. A favorite challenge on shows like Survivor and Fear Factor (and Japanese equivalents).

Page 7

Nami's "Ordinary Dance"

The bon odori are traditional folk dances performed during the summer holiday of O-bon, the Buddhist festival of welcoming and honoring one's ancestors. Nami here uses the kanji 凡, which has the same reading as the kanji 盆 (bon). The latter character is the actual character used for the bon matsui, but the one Nami uses means "normal/ordinary".

Page 9

Bon-kyu-bon

Kafuka is referring to the (2007) fashion trend to look for a little more "back" on baby in Japan. Bon kyu bon means "Big small big" in this context and refers to the new ideal "3 sizes" of 36-24-36.

Probably related, given Kumeta's fondness of them, is the //Morning Musume// song ボン キュッ! ボン キュッ!(Bomb Girl) "Bon Kyu! Bon Kyu! (Bomb Girl), also likely as Kafuka makes Chiri into a bomb girl on the plane in the next few panels.

Page 9

Parasite Rush

O-bon is by tradition a time when people return home to be with family, so this becomes a huge transportation crush as everyone in Japan hits planes, trains, and automobiles at the same time, much like Thanksgiving holiday in the US.

"Homecoming" and "Parasite" are both pronounced "Kisei".

Timetable

The timetable is for the train "Nozomi", the fastest of the shinkansen bullet trains that runs on the Tokaido Line. The last destination is Kaikisenban, a reference to the manga Kaikisenban! Jugoro.

TV

The TV says "Bari Bari Ba Ryu", the name of a TV show on TBS.

Despair List

  • An agent and a certain office
  • Talentless Talent
  • Manwha Parasites
    • Manwha is the general term for Korean comics. In the 2006 Japan Fair in Paris, a Korean publisher was invited to attend.
  • Pro-environment groups
    • Reference to Greenpeace. You'd almost think Kumeta eats whale every day given the number of times he brings this up.

Page 10

Going to Disneyland

Seiyuu reference. Ryouko Shintani (Nami's seiyuu) is known for liking to go to Disneyland.

Page 11

Spare the rod

Article 39 of the Japanese criminal law states "1) Criminal acts performed by people of unsound mind are not punished, 2) For criminal acts of mentally retarded persons, punishment will be reduced."

Interestingly, the candle lights up again after Mayo gets a pass to start beating the townspeople…

Holy Flame

Appears to be the Olympic Flame for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Box of 100 Candles

Toshiki "Chuck" Kameyama is the sound director for the SZBH radio show. It so happens that "Kameyama" is also a brand of candles.

Page 13

Nami's Ordinary Dance (redux)

Nami does an abnormal version of the traditional bon dance with Mataro on taiko. Like before, she uses the kanji for "ordinary" to say "bon" here, with lyrics referring to various ordinary things…apparently losing the manuscript is pretty ordinary.

J-kun's blog

See here.

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