Chapter 256 - Don't Leave, Otsuberu and Elephant!


"Don't Leave, Otsuberu and Elephant" (出でよ、オツベルと象! ideyo otsuberu to zou) is based on a story, "Otsuberu and Elephant" (オツベルと象 otsuberu to zou) by early Showa period writer Miyazawa.

Introduction Text

Graduation Season. The teacher is melancholy.

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The attack power of the Zetsuboros is 1104. If read as 1-10-4, you could pronounce it as "i-to-shi (ki)". The defense, 3470, can be read 3-4-70, pronounced "sa-yo-na (ra)". The Zetsuboro's attacks are "Fight", "Run", "Despair", and the character's description is "I'm in despair!"

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The Namibuncle has an attack and defense of 1500. This is a pretty average number. The Namibuncle's attacks are "Fight", "Flee", "Eat", and "Do Nothing".

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The Chirigamesh has an attack of 4989, which could be read as "shi-ku-ha-ku" (四苦八苦 shikuhakku), meaning "suffering/in dire distress". The defense, "1111", could be read as "eeee", probably a reference to screaming. The Chirigamesh's attacks are "Fight", "Flee", "Chop Up", and "Curse".

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General note

All of the backgrounds on this page are related to the huge February 2011 match fixing scandal.
There has always been match-fixing and yakuza involvment in sumo (as in many entertainment businesses), but the National Police Agency has been actively investigating this in the past year. One theory is that the NPA is disturbed at the size and influence of the Yamaguchi-gumi and is attempting to rein them in by showing them "ruining" the traditional national sport.

Cheater's Grocery (Panel 1)

A reference to a story from the Meiji Era. A greengrocer named Choubei had many sumo customers. He was a very skilled Go player, but because the wrestlers were good customers, he would contrive to let them win when he played them, so that the wrestlers started to refer to fixed matches as "Yaochou", the grocer's nickname. This is the current slang term for a fixed match in sumo (and other contests).

Cardboard Box (Panel 1)

The character 星 is 'hoshi' or "star", referring to victories or defeats (stars) being exchanged. However, 'hoshi' is also cop slang for a suspect.

Chiyohaku (Panel 1)

Chiyohakuhou was the stage name of one of the professional wrestlers that admitted to match fixing. The sign just to the right of this one has the character, 鵬, which is read "hou", in case anyone missed the point.

"Even though I came here specially with this broken cell phone"

Wrestlers connected with the scandal were summoned by the Japan Sumo Association to surrender their mobiles for examination for incriminating messages, but mysteriously, a number of wrestlers showed up with phones rendered inoperative by various 'accidents'. One claimed his "wife stepped on it".

Lethargic (Panel 3)

Refers to a rule in which a wrestler is disqualified and possibly censured for deliberately not trying in a match.

Hotline (Panel 3)

The Japan Sumo Association set up a hotline for people to report anonymously on any match fixing.

Modern (Panel 4)

Half of 週刊現代, Shuukan Gendai or "Modern Weekly", a Kodansha rag roughly equivalent to "People" except targeted towards middle-aged salarymen and having nude photos, among other things. The magazine had printed a story on match fixing in 2010 and been successfully sued for libel for 48 million yen in October 2010. However, after the February 2011 scandal broke, the judgement was voided since it turned out that the story was accurate.

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Russian Ambassador

The reference to the "summons to return to Russia" is due to a territorial dispute that flared up over Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's visit to the southern Kurile Islands in November 2010. Both the Russians and Japanese claim the islands as their own, although Russia has nominal control of the islands, which they seized from Japan after the ceasefire agreement with the United States. Medvedev's visit enraged some Japanese politicians, who claimed that the visit was akin to an uninvited state visit. After the visit, the Japanese recalled their ambassador from Moscow, prompting Medvedev to increase military deployment in the Kurils in Feburary 2011.

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Recall and Summons (panel 1)

Recall (召還) and summons (召喚) are both pronounced shoukan, with the only difference between the two being the kanji. So Sensei shouting at a foreigner about there being a difference is probably lost on them.

Wholesale (Panel 2)

A wholesale store is called an oroshi-ya. This word came to apply to Russians during the Edo period, as "of Russia" is said in Japanese as "o roshiya".


The face of the Rigaiathan belongs to Ichirou Ozawa, former secretary general of the DPJ, who was forced to step down in a funding scandal. On 31 January 2011, Ozawa was indicted over a controversial land purchase made by his political funds organization.


Gravure idol turned actress in stripper/bondage DVDs Minako Komukai fled to the Phillipines in February 2011 after being wanted on a warrant for violating Japanese drug laws. "Shabu" is slang for methamphetamine.


A 3rd year ronin is a student who has failed the college entrance exams twice and is now on their third try.

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The Bahaneet has a Madoka Magica BD box set already…must have made a contract with Kyubey…

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Nameplate (Panel 1)

The nameplate can be read "NEET".

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*Newspaper (Panel 5)
The newspaper says "Tani X Ya", a reference to champion judoka Ryoko Tamura, who won gold medals at Sydney and Athens and once held an 84 match winning streak. Her nickname was Yawara-chan, after a popular judo manga called Yawara! In 2003 she married Yoshitomo Tani, a professional baseball player now with the Yomiuri Giants. The recent birth of her child, Yoshiaki, was a major press event with camera crews waiting for the first glimpse of her emergence from the hospital.

++Ending text
++And thus Zetsuborous, A-tsu! as a result of the synthesis, the Summons has evolved into an Ouroboros.


Ouroboros was a snake in Greek mythology that swallowed its own tail to form a circle. It can now refer to a certain sexual position involving two men. "A-tsu!" is a 2ch meme involving some gay college basketball player.

Character names

Most of the character names stem from Final Fantasy creature names.

Zetsuboros = Diabolus
Namibuncle - Carbuncle
Chirigamesh = Gilgamesh
Rigaiasan = Leviathan
Shavu = Shiva
Ifurita = Ifrit
Bahaneet = Bahamut

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