Chapter 175 - Unendable Truth

Title

Jap. 終われない事実 (owarenai jijitsu), a pun on 争わない事実 (arasowanai jijitsu – undeniable truth), a novel by Kobayashi Takiji.

Released March 25, 2009, Weekly Shonen Magazine 's issue 17.

Title Page

All of the emblems on the page are actual logos of various famous former Japan Railways (JR) trains that stopped operating in the preceding five years. These were non-bullet trains that offered sleeper service on the long-haul routes.

Page 2

Departure Sign

Fuji is written with different Kanji than normal here. You might write the mountain like that but not normally since this here means “peerless”. Normally the mountain's written with the Kanji for “wealth” and “samurai”.

Hoyabusa: A pun on Hayabusa Interestingly, Kumeta really seems to be a railway-maniac. Both Fuji and Hayabusa are names of train services that stopped operating in early 2009, although the Hayabusa has been reintroduced in March 2011 with the latest high-speed Shinkansen and is capable of speeds in excess of 300 km/hr. Hayabusa is also the Japanese name for the peregrine falcon, and perhaps better known attached to the Suzuki superbike of the same name.

ef6653: another Kumeta shout-out to his buddies at SHAFT, who produced ef: a tale of melodies and ef: a tale of memories anime VN adaptations.

Page 3

Panel 3

Many "train otaku" have extensive collections of photos of themselves on and with various trains, and Sensei here would appear to be one of them, so by "taking" the train he's referring to taking photos of himself with the
train before it was decommissioned :D

Page 4

Panel 3

Low Malt Beer: tax changes imposed higher taxes on malt liquors and sparkling wines, so "low malt beers" were marketed to take advantage of this cost difference.

Konyaku Jelly: jelly and juice fortified with dietary fiber; apparently this posed a choking hazard to children, and it was taken off the market.

Page 5

Panel 3

Flying Chariot: sometimes Kumeta-sensei flies over everybody's head, including Sensei's here. Kumetan wiki is silent on this one, although I found another Japanese review of this chapter whose reaction to this was
also lolwut. I will now probably embarrass myself by hazarding the guess that this is a reference to some kind of move or tactics in shogi. Kumeta used the characters 飛車 hisha which is the shogi rook or castle. However
the given furigana were for the more common reading of the first character to, used in 飛ぶ to fly. By analogy to chess, which I do know, doing the bum rush with a rook, especially early in the game, is usually a good way to lose it…

Page 6

Panel 1

Sign: "More and more barriers being built! – Security/Safety – height: 1.3m – width: 2.0m – Making the platforms of Yamanote-line safe! Chuo-line not set yet."
The joke here is that it is the Chuo-line that is apparently the most popular for suicides. The "ZR" is the same style used in the JR logo.

Small poster: Arifureta Kiseki J-Drama about a "fated meeting" between two people who stop a man from jumping in front of a train.

The Japanese government has spent a lot of money trying to discourage people from killing themselves in front of trains, to the extent of billing families for cleanup costs. This has been an effective tactic, so the homemade poison gas technique has become much more popular with those that feel they are already sufficiently tall. (See next note.)

Panel 4

Mutô Happu: The bathing powder “Mutô Happu” contained sulfur which could be used to produce hydrogen sulfide gas and was being used to commit suicide so it was banned from the market in October 2008.

Page 7

Panel 5

The almost exact same thing happened in Katteni Kaizô chapter 273, with the only difference that it was Umi and not Chiri.

Panel 6

In Japanese, restriction is 規制 (kisei) which sounds the same as “homecoming” and “blood-sucking”. See Chapter 149!

Page 8

Panel 5

Ikimonogakari: A common duty in japanese schools and, as いきものがかり; also the name of a Japanese band.
As in many schools around the world, elementary school classrooms often have a small pet animal that the children are delegated to take care of. Rabbits are popular for this, which is why Mesousa in Pani Poni Dash frequently gets penned up…

Page 10

Panel 2

Nice house: Written as よしの家, read out with an alternate reading of the kanji, it's Yoshinoya, the beef bowl chain, which suspended certain sales of beef products from the US during the "mad cow" BSE scare in 2004. Since Japanese beef is far too expensive to be used for a gyudon chain, prices went up and caused a rush to get in on the bowl action.

Panels 6-8

Reference to the "UTAU" voice synthesis package that is a freeware version of the well-known "Vocaloid" package. The names are references to various voice banks available for UTAU.

Page 11

Panel 1

Manguusu: This band also appears in late Katteni Kaizô chapters.
Happy End: On February 17, 2009 a former member of the band "Happy End" (already disbanded), guitarist Shigeru Suzuki was arrested on suspicion of violating the Cannabis Control Law. Kumeta already had this dig in Chapter 171.

Panel 3

Chage and Aska Chage and Aska Chage and Aska officially announced the band's "indefinite suspension" on January 30, 2009 to concentrate on their solo work. Were most successful in the mid-90s, hence Nami's pointed question…

X-Japan: Disbanded in 1997, rebanded in 2007…

Panel 6 Despair List

  • A Comic where the last chapter has been going on for ages. Garasu no Kamen has been ending since 2008… and it STILL is running. (btw. Kumeta did a few dôjinshi pages on this comic… he likes it)
  • Our new gaming device doesn't sell well so we stop compatibility for the old software – business. The PlayStation 3.
  • We'll stop producing instant films -business. Polaroid. Note the camera being used on page 12 ;)
  • The If no one wants to help us, we'll close down the company –scam. Reference to the US insurance conglomerate AIG, which threatened the financial market with ruin if it wasn't bailed out by the US government.
  • The Morishige at the funeral: “I’m next, I’m next!” -scam. Reference to actor and comedian Morishige Hisaya. In one act, he plays a man pretending to be dead, who gets so excited during the funeral eulogies that he springs up to give one himself… As it happens, Morishige passed away for real 8 months after this chapter was published at the age of 96.

Panel 8

Bud 7: Reference to a chain of pubs called "Tsubo 8".

Panel 9

Saltimbancu: Reference to the Cirque du Soleil show Saltimbanco.

Page 12

Panel 1

Nakagawa added alcohol in moderation: So, we're not crazy enough to try and typeset this mess, but the reference is to former Finance Minister Shōichi Nakagawa, who appeared at a press conference at the G7 meeting in February 2009 appearing to be drunk or extremely hung over. He was well-known as a heavy drinker, but claimed that his incoherent condition was caused by "cold medicine". He resigned a day later. Five months after this chapter was published, on October 4, 2009, Nakagawa was found dead in his home at the age of 56.

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