Chapter 279 - Essays in Fishiness

Title

"Essays in Fishiness" (釣れ釣れ草 Tsurezuregusa) is a pun on a collection of medieval essays called "Essays in Idleness" (徒然草 Tsurezuregusa). In the case of this chapter, tsureru means "to catch fish", so the translation isn't exact. A more exacting translation would be "Essays in Catching Fish".

Opening Text (magazine)

"A man who can neither fish nor hang" - In this case, a pun between "to fish" (釣る tsuru) and "to hang yourself" (吊る tsuru)

Page 4

Heresy

In Japan, fish you didn't mean to catch really are called heresies. The Japanese word, gedou (外道), literally means "outside the path", and can refer to either fish or a religious heretic.

Page 5

Big Friends

The show on the TV is "Cooking Aidol Ai! Mai! Main!", which airs on NHK's educational channel. It's also a magnet for lolicons.

Old Women's Shirts

The shirt shown here is actually a form of thermal underwear for middle-aged women. Since it keeps one warm, and it's worn as underwear, it's pretty commonly used by young women as well.

Kaki Pii

Kaki Pii is a snack food made from Kaki seeds. A large market for these is India, where they're aimed at the Japanese expatriates living there. However, there is a large market for them among Indian workers at large Japanese companies, such as Suzuki.

Magazine

The magazine is "Djump", which shares the cover of the issue that appeared the week this chapter was first published.

Page 6

Magazine (Panel 5)

The magazine is "Shonen Magazine", again with the same cover of the issue this chapter appeared in.

Page 8

Poison fish

The fish Kafuka is referring to here is the fugu, a type of pufferfish. The fish contains small poison sacs that are highly toxic (just a tiny amount of poison is needed to kill or paralyze a person), which highly skilled chefs have been trained to remove. The main problem with removal is that it's impossible to tell of a poison sac has been nicked in the preparation process and if the meat has been contaminated. If so, the person eating the dish can end up in the hospital or dead in a very short period of time.

An interesting note on this is that this may be a partial reference to the anime Mawaru Penguindrum. The 16th episode of this show (which aired around the time this chapter would have been drawn) involves a character preparing his own fugu and dying as a result.

Page 9

Career Fish

This is a literal translation for the term Shusse-uo (出世魚), which refers to fish that have different names as they grow larger. An example would be the Japanese amberjack, which is called Wakashi until it's around 15 centimeters in length, Inada to around 40 centimeters, Warasa to 60 centmeters and Buri around 90 centimeters. It's all the exact same type of fish, but it has different names according to size.

Old Stories Turned Into Anime

A prime example of this would be Katteni Kaizo, which got an anime almost 7 years after the manga serialization ended. This is probably the main reference, as the third OVA volume of KK came out around the time this chapter was published, in addition to being Kumeta's previous series.

Page 10

All of these things too!

Another reference back to the hibernation chapter. The round thing is a heating element for a charcoal stove, and the tape was used for a window. I would assume the blurred out bottles are sleeping medication or chloroform.

Chiri's despair list

  • Free people at the playground
    • In case you missed Kafuka's memo, they're no longer homeless people. They're "free" people.
  • Moms watching the squadron
    • Reference to super sentai series like Power Rangers. They're watching them for the handsome actors.
  • Ghosts at the hospital room
    • The whole point of this was to bite at the bad grammar. I know I did.
  • Foreigners at Japanese textbooks.
    • Apparently there were some foreign newspaper articles (said my teacher in a class I have that actually is all about those textbook disputes – and yes I rode the Pororocca wave into this issue, in case you want to know) implying all Japanese schools use textbooks issued by some guys that belong to a movement called "Liberal History" and think history textbooks should be written in a way that makes you feel proud of your country (i.e. remove all stuff people won't be proud off, such as comfort women). However, those books are only used in a few private schools. -Umin
  • When an elementary school girl that just looked at the pictures of a dirty-gag comic without knowing the meanings wrote me a letter, I really thought I was being heretic.
    • In chapter 254 of Katte ni Kaizou, Kumeta repeatedly had the characters talk about how something was "unscrupulous" (azatoi あざとい ). He then actually received the following letter, which Shogakukan printed in volume 24 of KK, and which was also used in KK chapter 259 as a kind of plot device:

"Good Day, Kumeta-sensei. I enjoy reading Katte ni Kaizou every week. I don't understand the meaning of the Word "unscrupulous" that appeared in No. 42 of Shonen Sunday. Because it seems my little brother in third grade also does not understand it, can't you maybe teach us the meaning of the word inside the comic in a way even a third grader will understand it? And please continue giving your best for the series. My mother, my father and me are reading it."

  • Kumeta also got a second letter from the same kid after chapter 259. He had a response printed underneath the letter in vol. 24 to the effect that "good girls in elementary school shouldn't read this. Or rather, please don't let your guardians read this." KK was no longer the festering sore of dirty jokes it once was, but still not exactly for kids in elementary school – lots of Otaku-jokes, creepy Umi scenes and well, and rather complicated wordplay. It's possible that the postcard was an influencing factor in the cancellation of the series.

Page 11

PS3

The PS3 really is used as a military computer. One of the neat things about it was that the processor it used at launch was one of the most powerful on the market at the time. With a bit of (albeit complicated) wiring between multiple systems, a cluster of them could function as a supercomputer. I believe there were some American universities using clusters of up to 9 PS3s for cheap supercomputers. The military use refers to the US Air Force, which, if I remember correctly, runs a cluster of 128.

Magnetic die

See here

RC Helicopter

Yamaha apparently produced one of these. It quickly sold to China.

Rooms

The room in panel 8 is "Hotel Sex Night". "Silent Night" (聖夜 seiya) and "sexual night" (性夜 seiya) sound the same. The room in panel 9 is "Hotel Sex Valentine"

Page 12

Assassination attempt

On a related note, a similar thing happened to Teddy Roosevelt.


Ending Text

Glad to be alive! As for the fighting force, "The Desert Erasers", please look it up in volume 1.

Glad to Be Alive

Was also on the cover of this week's Shonen Magazine

Desert Erasers

An elite special forces unit Abiru's father is believed to be a member of, and said to be able to wipe out an entire battalion with a single page of Kimagure Orange Road. See Chapter 5.

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