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#0, (OOTR-12) TFLF Chapters 9-16
Posted by Gryphon on Jun-19-15 at 03:48 PM
LAST EDITED ON Aug-18-18 AT 05:59 PM (EDT)
Notes from Gryphon
Notes from Matt

Chapter 9

what might rhyme with "comeback" - Rejected candidates: hardtack; racetrack; skipjack.

Donut Dynasty - The humble donut is one of the United Republic's most popular imports from the "big universe", and Donut Dynasty was the first - and is still the most successful - entirely-home-grown chain of shops to sell them, competing quite respectably with outsider franchises like Tim Hortons and Honey Dew.

the barest outline of why - That is, that Kate had adjusted poorly to being away from home at WPI, but not the reasons why that, in turn, was the case.

Student Drivers - A riff on the canonical name of the band Ui and Jun are in, the Green Leaf Girls, so called (according to the translation notes in the K-On! High School manga) because a green leaf decal on a car is a signal to other drivers in Japan that a student driver is at the wheel.

an Air Nomad and her Air Acolyte husband - We've actually had Mr. and Mrs. Hirasawa's local-version backstory floating around since early in the project, there just hasn't been a good place to show them before now. It's an attempt to reconcile their (on the face of it, kind of unlikely) never-home shtick with what we know about how the world works in Dìqiú - and also to explain why Yui and Ui are, in spite of the former's reputation for being a bit of an airhead, so adept at managing their own affairs. They haven't been raised as Air Nomads, but some of the tradition of Air Nomad children being a self-sufficient bunch has come across to them anyway.

that's why you're never home - In the canon, Yui and Ui's parents are away all the time because their father travels extensively for business and their mother tags along. In this setting we've reversed the wherefores of that (and given them a slightly more compelling reason, since, as flight crew for Nomad Air, traveling is their business).

the nice old lady next door - On the show, this lady is in fact just a nice neighbor, as far as I can tell.

and what might that be? - Oh, Azusa. Did you seriously think Yui was putting a move on you? Seriously? If nothing else, you should know by now that if she ever did anything like that, it would be completely unpremeditated. There would be no calculation, maneuvering, or introductory dialogue. :)

Chapter 10

mistakenly threw the chorus - Based on an incident described by Henry Rollins on his 1998 album Think Tank (in the track "Nothing Can Go Wrong", of which I once did a "Hōkago Tea Time at 25" riff on the Forum).

CAN WE PLEASE JUST PLAY THE SONG - The conversation in this scene references canonical events in the first season of K-On!, most notably episode 6.

perfectly executed pro-wrestling flop - The specific works of Ric Flair himself are probably not well-known to 25th-century wrestling fans, particularly in Dìqiú, where all of that is filtered through Zipang; but the Flair Flop, like any great bit of shtick, lives on in its own right.

a love hotel with Sawa-chan - Ritsu said this mainly in an attempt to get a rise out of Mio, but she surely must realize that such a thing would be completely unnecessary - Sawako lives alone.

chicken katsu - A traditional "good luck" food eaten by students in Zipang, the western United Republic, and the Fire Nation (and, uh, parts of Japan :) on the evening before a big test.

Orange Stuff - This is the actual brand name. The drink itself is comparable to orange Hi-C.

There's humming... and then there is humming - This exchange and some of the other dialog around the episode were my main contributions this week for various reasons, but I am especially amused with how this came out after G. and I bounced things off of each other.

when we had it in school last year - Please note that by "we", Yui means her class, which at the time was the tenth grade - which means Ui explained it to her the year before her own grade got to the actual course.

Chameleon Bay - A city on the east coast of the Earth Kingdom. The flight from Caldera City to Chameleon Bay via Sakuragaoka and Ba Sing Se is just about the longest route in Nomad Air's network, comparable to flying from, say, Reykjavík to Vladivostok.

a white and blue sailor outfit - This is not Iona's regular costume from Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova, but rather the naval academy uniform she had in the flashback scene in the first episode. She thought it would be more appropriate, since they were going to a school; Corwin didn't have the heart to tell her it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

lines painted on the... floor - Also known as the Les Nessman Memorial Office technique. (My father had both a real kitchen and a Les Nessman Memorial Kitchen in his house for years owing to a stalled remodel.)

"Singing!" - This is the end titles song from K-On! the Movie, and so (apart from one last reprise of "Fuwa Fuwa Time") the last song we hear Hōkago Tea Time play in the anime canon.

that silly giant robot show - The show in question, Republic Television Network's Super Mecha-Titan Defense Force One, depicted the fictional adventures of a branch of the United Forces equipped with, well, giant robots, defending Republic City from giant monsters of unspecified provenance. In tone, it was more than a little like the notional Evangelion parody in NXE Bonus Theater!! 3-7, Evangelion FLASH!

"Love Has No Brakes" - One translation of a line from the first bridge in "Singing!"

Valerie Kitty Starr - I got a very painful shock earlier in the week when Val's husband, Talcott, let us know that she had passed away unexpectedly.

She was one of those people who almost could have been a K-On!! character in her own right. Masters in History working in a shop by day, wild haired goofy anime superhero karaoke dork by night.

I had the privilege of being the photographer for her wedding, and I still cannot believe that she is gone. But I know that she would rather see her friends go out and rock than sit at home mourning, so this seemed like a very fitting way to honor her memory.

Chapter 11

the mover trailer guy - There are actually several of these, but they all sound very similar to each other and they all sort of use the same shtick, which can trace its honored lineage back to the Earthman Don LaFontaine (1940-2008).

It's a fair cop. - Part of Yui's charm is her honesty, really.

but that's not important right now - For the record, Mio doesn't like movies about gladiators. Too violent.

Sumire Saitō - Originally introduced in the K-On! manga story arc that dealt with Azusa's senior year after the Original Four graduated, Sumire is canonically several years younger than Mugi (having been a freshman the year after Mugi graduated). We've made her Azusa's contemporary in order to facilitate the tighter timeline we're working with, as part of the same modification that sees Ui and Jun joining the Light Music Club two years sooner than they did in the manga.

Giving her a little screen time and time and introducing her into the club now works a lot better than her rather abrupt intro in the manga.

Mugi, whose instrument was borderline "heavy equipment" - Mugi's Triton Extreme 76 keyboard weighs nearly 40 pounds—about the same, as this illustration shows, as a shoulder-fired anti-tank missile launcher.

offered the sky bison an apple - Yui may actually know Mogi already, but it's never bad form to offer the Sky Bison some fruit.

don't be scared, Azu-nyan - There is no canonical indication whether Azusa has any particular trouble with heights or flying, but I suspect the sky bison experience would take a good many people aback who customarily aren't bothered by either, just because it's so strange. And so open-air.

"It's a castle!" - One of the challenges was describing Bellehaven from the perspective of someone who hadn't seen it before. We've seen it from Corwin and Korra's perspective during design, the main OOTR cast during construction, and the initial debut in Taken by Storm, and didn't want to repeat ourselves - and to remember that this needs to come from a fresh perspective, and capture that excitement.

willing to arrange a water landing - Honestly, Korra would have...five or six options to protect Ritsu and get her down safely (probably more with Avatar State tricks), but that doesn't make nearly as good of a joke.

an elaborate maid uniform - I found this outfit and this whole scene clicked into place for me - though obviously she's not packing the battleship hardware. :)

Yamato - She resents being compared to a hotel, but one has to admit that she's on a level above pretty much anyone else in the fleet as regards her knowledge of and adeptness with hospitality preparations.

Master Ikki? - Heh. Heh. Heh.

I got better! - The setup for this is tucked away in Taken by Storm, if you look hard enough...

Chapter 12

I don't really have any annotations for this one, as such, but I would like to note that Niri's behavior at the end of the episode is based on something my late co-beagle did once. He lived with my mother, and it was his habit to go with her whenever she left the house, but one day she had to run so many errands on so many different occasions that she finally exceeded his threshold of interest in leaving the house. When she called him for that one errand too many, Nah, I'm good. You got this. is a fair summation of his response. When she got home from said errand, she found that he hadn't budged even slightly from the couch. :)

Chapter 13

I already play a little - In the original K-On! High School continuation manga, Sumire becomes a drummer more or less by default, simply because she's terrible at everything else. Here, we've done her the courtesy of at least making her interested in it.

Satotronic ST-8 - The original ST-8 was one of Dìqiú's first native digital synthesizers, and is very similar in most respects to the real-world Yamaha DX7. It remains in production in 291 ASC, with updated electronics to simplify production, by virtue of which it's become steadily more affordable over the decades. The originals were expensive pro-only instruments; by the "present day" they're entry-level, but still highly regarded by those in the know. This one is a used Mark VII, a generation off current.

engrossed in a telephone conversation - Given the sort of lifeform Miku is, it's likely that isn't really a telephone, just a visual macro providing an outward indication that she's having a VOIP conversation with someone.

nobody's going to know who I am here - Miku apparently didn't read the wiki carefully enough to know just how much pop culture has seeped across from Zipang, a planet where she ought to know she has legions of fans.

Curry Udon Central - I had made curry udon for lunch that day, and as I was eating it, it occurred to me that it was the kind of thing that there should be one of those weirdly monofocused United Republic restaurants for. Like The Baozi Experts, or, to use a real-world example, that restaurant in Montreal that only sells variations on poutine.

maybe she just got out of jail - Jun isn't really as far off as she thinks.

the fastest around - The historical Shimakaze was not quite the fastest warship in the world in World War II—the French Navy had a class of large destroyers, Le Fantasque and her sisters, that were faster (before they were remodeled into more heavily armed, but slower, light cruisers by American shipyards during the war). Since the French were not significantly involved in the Pacific War, however, she could never expect to encounter a faster ship in her sphere of operations, and that fact shapes her current incarnation's worldview.

I refuse to believe that Yui uses the word 'therapeutic' - Nodoka's right, what she actually said was that it's good for you.

Chapter 14

Western Empire - This game has no exact parallel in reality, but would feel very familiar to anyone who has played, say, Anno or Sid Meier's Civilization.

ornate sex tent - A joke borrowed from one of the Yogscast streams in which Lewis and Duncan played Anno 1404.

Azusa's eyes didn't need a lot of ambient light - Enhanced night vision is one of her cat-spirit traits, along with sunbeam preference and a slightly exaggerated sense of personal dignity.

it makes me confused - Oh, Azusa. In the movie, she was so rattled by the thought that Yui might be pursuing her (note: she wasn't) that she did the poor girl a violence. Here... well, at least she's got more time to think.

Chapter 15

YueQuest - The notional animated series YueQuest is, in concept, very loosely based on MoonQuest, a sort-of-machinima-sort-of-let's-play Minecraft series by the Yogscast, in which three players try to get to the Moon in the Galacticraft mod. Although not animated using Minecraft, YueQuest is similar in principle, except that instead of Simon Lane as an ambitious-but-dim dwarf, Duncan Jones (not the film director) as a mad scientist, and Lewis Brindley as, well, Lewis, it's Korra as an ambitious-but-dim Southern Water Tribe Avatar, Asami as a mad scientist, and Lin Beifong as, well, Lin. It maps pretty straight otherwise.

YueQuest was not made in conjunction with URSA and is in no way historically or scientifically accurate—the rest of the Phoenix Flight team does not appear, and they use a conventional rocketship—but that made no difference to its popularity. Unfortunately, its influence may explain why people of a certain age tend to underestimate Korra's intelligence and/or common sense pretty consistently.

"Theme from YueQuest" - Based on "MoonQuest: An Epic Journey", a song composed to go with a music video about the Yogscast series. YueQuest's animation style looks much more like this than like Minecraft.

we're not very good - It was a minor running joke in K-On! that when someone first heard HTT in rehearsal, they would remark, "Wow. You guys aren't very good." Yui said it upon first hearing Mio and Ritsu jam, and then Azusa said it to the rest of the band twice (once when she first heard them, and once, in jest, at the end of the series, when the outgoing seniors played the song they'd written for her).

No clue. Sorry - Well, she's not lying.

¡Yo no soy marinero! - Lyrics from the Mexican folk song "La Bamba", best known north of the border from the 1958 rock adaptation by Ritchie Valens (although Jun may be thinking of the 1987 cover by Los Lobos, which was featured in the motion picture of the same name). Literally, "I am not a sailor! I am not a sailor, I am the captain, I am the captain." Once called out by humor columnist Dave Barry as the dumbest lyrics in rock 'n roll, although one can only assume from that context that Dave had never heard "Roundabout" by Yes.

You did the right thing. Well done - The girls don't have the context to know this, but "well done" is (I am told) traditionally one of the highest compliments a sailor can receive, which is why Shimakaze reacts the way she does. Coming from Tatsuta, it's high praise indeed.

Chapter 16

Ono-Sendai 7513 Music Engine - Ono-Sendai is an electronics manufacturer from William Gibson's first novel, Neuromancer, in which it's featured as a maker of cyberdecks. In the UF universe it's also a big name in digital musical instruments, comparable to, say, Roland or Korg.

It's also what one says when a particular light cruiser comes around looking for a night battle when one really wants to get some sleep, but since Shimakaze hasn't met any of the crew from New Yokosuka yet, she doesn't know that. ;)

The 7513 is the most capable, and most expensive, Music Engine model available at the time this story is set, although its user interface is considered annoyingly, even pretentiously retro by some aficionados (we've seen in other stories that some 25th-century Ono-Sendai gear has omni-tool-style holo-haptic keyboards). "7513" is a reference to the giant Cisco backbone router we had when I worked at UltraNet, for no better reason than I needed a model number for something huge and powerful.

fourth of the Shiratsuyu-class destroyers - The Shiratsuyu class, the name ship of which was launched in 1935, consisted of ten ships. They were an improved version of the preceding Hatsuharu class, which in turn was developed as a smaller, but almost as heavily armed, sequel to the Special Type (Fubuki/Ayanami/Akatsuki class), to comply with treaty limitations on the tonnage of new destroyers. As with virtually all IJN destroyers, all the Shiratsuyus were sunk in the course of World War II.

second of the Suzuki-class teenagers - Jun has an older brother named Atsushi.

the Admiral didn't expect - She's referring to their old admiral, Kentarō Kurita of Earthforce, not Corwin.

he just requisitioned it or something - I assume Kurita passed the specifics of this task off to a subordinate, who probably just looked at a music store's website and bought whatever came closest to capping the budget, under the time-honored "defense costing" principle of "if we don't spend a billion dollars this year, they won't give us a billion dollars next year."

she was dressed in civvies - Miku's outfit in this scene is the Natural module from Project DIVA Arcade Future Tone, which is one of the relatively few modules in the game that look like clothes someone might actually wear on a regular day.

Fangocaster - Not the actual model name of this instrument, but it's what everyone who knows musical instruments calls them.

Chapter 17

ROADEE+ FriendBus - It took me half an hour to come up with the brand name of this dang van, which I wanted to have a slightly wacky name in the vein of real-life Japanese vans like the Honda Vamos Hobio TravelDog and the immortal Mazda Bongo Friendee. Along the way I ended up working out the full details of the ROADEE range, whether I really wanted to or not.

For the technically curious, the + in ROADEE+ specifies that this one is the long-wheelbase model, which is six inches longer than the standard ROADEE and a full 14 inches longer than the compact ROADEE- (pronounced "roadee minus"). FriendBus indicates that it is the eight-seat passenger model and not the two-seat cargo variant, which is of course the FreightBus.

These are the things I have to think about when I'm writing this stuff. Whether I really want to go into that kind of detail doesn't really enter into it. :)

HATSUNE MIKU Edition - A trim and graphics package inspired by the real-life Daihatsu MOVE Canbus HATSUNE MIKU Limited Package, although the ROADEE+ FriendBus is a much larger vehicle.

Coastal Rentamobile - It may not be indicative of anything much, but in the interest of full disclosure, Coastal and 10GIÄ are both part of the Kotobuki Group.

a cunningly designed graphic - Geoff suggested this, as a sort of crowning touch to the special van. I've seen similar thngs in real life, no idea how they work.

a sharply angular guitar - Yūdachi's guitar is a Chapman Ghost Fret, which is a British-made boutique clone of a Gibson Explorer (at least in terms of its body shape, I don't know about the electronics).

Much like Shimakaze's keyboard rig, this was purchased from a music store near Kure by an underling of Admiral Kurita's, who didn't really know anything about musical instruments and basically just bought the most impressive-looking stuff they had.