LAST EDITED ON Nov-08-14 AT 08:23 PM (EST)
As requested, - Kaitlyn did not actually request this.
they play in their real school uniforms - Azalynn hasn't been observing them long enough to know that they do this as a defense mechanism. If they didn't, their faculty advisor would dress them up as French maids. Or meter maids. Or mermaids. Or milkmaids. Or any kind of maids, really. The poor woman's not entirely stable.
Gīta - This is, in fact, simply the Kokugo word for "guitar". Somewhat akin to Zuko naming his dragon "Dragon". Which happened.
kha'thanva - Like all Dantrovese words having to do with emotions or interpersonal relationships, kha'thanva is a master's thesis in sapient psychology all by itself and defies direct translation, but it can be very roughly summarized as an intense yearning to share that "it's a cold morning but I have a ton of blankets here and absolutely no reason to get out of bed so neener, world" feeling with somebody else.
the Les Paul... too damn many knobs - Azalynn also feels this way about Miki's Rickenbacker. "Seriously, do I need to control all the pickups individually? That's what the engineer is for."
Elizabass - The joke is that it's the same word as "Elizabeth" when you re-romanize them: "erizabesu".
occasionally paralyzed by stage fright - Azalynn doesn't mention to Kate that there's a very good reason for at least part of that. She knows what it is, because she's watched the video of their first school festival show, the previous year, at the end of which there was A Mishap that has left poor Miss Akiyama psychologically scarred. Probably she considered it outside the scope of a preliminary report.
Hōkago Tea Time's music videos - That is, the ending credits sequences from the TV series and movie (four in all).
the least conspicuous position - This is a common fallacy embraced by bassists; I remember being told of it 20 years ago by a friend who played bass in one of the student bands at WPI, in almost precisely the same terms in which Mio describes it at one point in the K-On! manga.
not too observant - It doesn't seem to have occurred to Azalynn that Ritsu might just've been being tactful. Admittedly, that's not too likely, but it is possible. :)
thal'vai - The usual Anglo-Standard oversimplification is "lifemates", but the Dantrovese original (contrary to many humans' expectations of pretty much all Dantrovese words) has no sexual component whatever. There's another word for that part if it's there, and the presence of one doesn't require or rule out the other, in either direction. (Dantrovians don't euphemize about that kind of thing. If they say "sleep with", for instance, they only ever mean proximate unconsciousness.)
a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline - Said of the Blues Brothers Band by the late Donald "Duck" Dunn, bassist for same, in The Blues Brothers.
that noise Roy Orbison makes - Also to be heard in "Rattled" by the Traveling Wilburys.
"My Love Is a Stapler" - Literally "My Love is a Hotchkiss", which is apparently a genericalized trademark for staplers in Japan, similar to the way we talk about Band-Aids in the US or Hoovers in Britain. The singer isn't declaring her love for a stapler, she's saying her love (as in "for someone") is like a stapler. Which doesn't really make a ton of sense to me either, but hey, it's Mio. Also, "Hotchkiss" is one of the funniest-sounding words ever when said by a Japanese person. It just is. The first voice you hear is Mio, the second Yui.
"Fluffy Time" - HTT's signature song, frequently a show-closer. Because Mio wrote the lyrics, it's a peppy, up-tempo rock anthem... about the agony of unrequited love. (Seriously. The subtitled translation of the second chorus, in the one episode where they sing that part of the song on screen, goes something like, "Oh God, why does this dream hurt so bad that I'm starting to like it?")
"Brush Pen, Ballpoint Pen" - Another of Mio's peppy love-from-afar songs, about writing a greeting card with a calligraphy pen (lines in the subtitles include "Fight on, brush pen, you've come this far" and "Sorry, ballpoint pen, you might as well call it a night").
the one about taking someone to bed - Seriously.
Shiro Shinobi Arena - In its "concert in the round" configuration, Shinobi Arena has decking installed over the "moat", connecting the "arena"-configuration box seats with the playing surface, the center section of which becomes the revolving stage. It's a mechanically complicated system, and was installed in 250 ASC as part of a major renovation of the facility. Prior to the retractable deck installation, concerts in the round had the same large gap between the stage and the audience that safety requires in pro-bending matches, which is less than ideal for musical performances.
midfield loge boxes - One of the ways you can tell this is a dream sequence; in reality, Azalynn and company would almost certainly be standing down on the deck someplace, not back in the box seats.
sultry summer night - The air conditioning in Shinobi Arena works erratically at best; it's an old facility. An upgrade is slated for sometime in the next few years, but some people worry it will damage the character of the place.
plectrum - No real note here, I just really like this word.
as though she was being paid for it - Most of Yui's intros of her bandmates are cribbed from the way Stuart Adamson introduces the other members of Big Country near the end of the performance on the band's last live album, Come Up Screaming.
Lowrey Holiday Deluxe organ - An electric organ manufactured in Chicago in the 1960s. Mugi having a Lowrey here instead of the more famous Hammond B-3 is a reference to the band (particularly Ritsu, see below) being fans of The Who; Pete Townshend used a Lowrey to do the iconic organ parts on "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" (the latter with the aid of an early synthesizer).
still the best Keith Moon-type drummer in the world - A paraphrase of something the late Keith Moon (drummer for The Who and a particular idol of Ritsu's) said to reporters once.
Thunder Dragon - Oblique nod to Ritsu's Fire Nation heritage; Thunder Dragon (in Kokugo, Druk) was the name of the late Fire Lord Zuko's dragon companion.
super-crazy heavy metal jobs - Like this one, belonging to Blue Öyster Cult vocalist and aux guitarist Eric Bloom.
a mythological scale - As the previous mention that she hadn't been drinking alludes to, when a Dantrovian crashes with that kind of intensity, the result is a bit like a blackout drunk, complete with a similar difficulty of short-term recall the next day.
a giant 76-key synthesizer - The Korg Triton Extreme may be smaller than, say, a Hammond B-3 organ, but it is really not meant to be a portable music workstation; as mentioned in the Supporting Documents, it weighs nearly 40 pounds. Mugi uses it as one anyway because that's how she rolls.
a Fender Stratocaster - As seen here. More than 90% of the Fender guitars sold in Dìqiú are manufactured under license in Saikyō by the Minatōki Gakki Corporation, Ltd. These items are easily identifiable by their clear "Made in Zipang" markings and serial numbers beginning with ZMG. In the greater galaxy, Zipangi Fenders have a reputation for high-quality carpentry and finish work, but occasionally-temperamental electronics. Many guitarists prize them for their tone, but replace their pickups with Earth-made or Zetan hardware at the first opportunity.
her face utterly blank - This is, of course, a reference to the classic anime/manga trope of showing the depth of a character's dumbfoundedness by not actually drawing his or her face.
Junjō Bomber!! - This is also the title of the lead track on Jun's K-On!! Character Image Songs EP. It's a pun on her name, since junjō means "pure-hearted".
Class 1-2 - That is, Class 2 of Year 1, the second cohort of freshmen.
there are things known... - A modified quote from Aldous Huxley, who said what was in between was "the doors of perception". The '60s band The Doors took their name from this quote.
her cat-spirit grandmother - Canonically, Azusa's catlike mannerisms are just a personal quirk, and when she appears with cat ears it's because she's wearing a set of cosplay accessories (often unwillingly). Here, she has at least one cat spirit among her fairly recent ancestors.
tako-san sausages - Thus. In teenagers' lunches, often taken as a sign of overly doting parents (Mio's lunches routinely include them, as one of several subtle indicators scattered throughout the show that she's still her never-actually-seen parents' Little Girl at 16-17). In Azalynn's case, since she is presumably packing her own bentō, she probably just likes them.
Christina - The members of Death Devil, though all Japanese in the original, had Western-style stage names. Sawako's was "Catherine".
my technical support - Well, Azalynn certainly couldn't have hacked into Sato Academy's computers and inserted Rin Miura's transfer documents.
Baumkuchen - Ring-shaped layer cake, Germanic in origin. Popular in Japan, thence on Zipang; came across the Veil in the 210s and particularly caught on in the United Republic.
Squad Member Sawa-chan - In an early episode of K-On!, Yui dozed off during a study session and had a dream in which she and the other founders of Hōkago Tea Time were Antarctic explorers under the command of a sternly Shackletonian Mio. Thereafter, she occasionally referred to the others as "Squad Member", usually under stressful conditions or when one of them (usually Ritsu) had become a casualty (usually by being bashed on the head by Mio).
a new sports Satomobile - The successor to the FX40 Asami, and so named after her daughter.
Horigome - Language arts teacher. He was the faculty advisor of the Light Music Club when Sawako was a student, and took a dim view of the members of Death Devil declaring on their senior-year guidance forms that they intended to become professional musicians. The phrase "be realistic" may have been uttered.
the ancient MultiDisc form factor - 120mm x 1.2mm, the optical disc form factor that originated with the publication of the Compact Disc Digital Audio Red Book in 1980.
slightly radiused corners - The original Lightdiscs had completely square spindle holes, which didn't work out for basically the same reason you never see square windows on airliners.
the peppiest song - The last track on the demo is the original four-person version of HTT's signature song, "Fuwa Fuwa Time" (as noted about earlier).
TGY Oolong - Short for Tieguanyin, one of the Earth Kingdom's (and real-life China's) most prestigious tea varieties.
montblancs - Named for the mountain on the Franco-Italian border, this puréed-chestnut dessert is another European dessert which is peculiarly popular in Japan, and thus made its way to the United Republic by way of Zipang. A particular favorite of Ritsu's (obviously).
Fire Sages temple near Yui-senpai's house - Canonically, there is in fact a Shinto shrine right next door to the Hirasawa residence.
my satellite network - None of the other members of HTT is really sure just what the Kotobuki Group does, other than own the music store they shop at and a maid café downtown, but it is in no way implausible to them that a) it might have a network of surveillance satellites and b) Mugi might have access to its tasking system.
a blue Gīta - This color was called Chicago Blue; it is no longer offered on the Les Paul Traditional in the current Gibson catalog. Compare Gīta, a slightly-earlier-model Standard in Heritage Cherry Sunburst.
Rickenbacker 620 - Like this one. Miki's first guitar, and still his favorite, but it stays in the studio most of the time these days.
industrial-safety-sign tank top -
Luke Yamada - Drummer of the 23rd-century heavy metal band Black Heaven.
left-handed T-bird - A pretty rare bird, by all accounts, but they did in fact make some. The Thunderbird is interesting in that its neck actually runs the full length of the instrument (you can see the upper seam in the photo). Corwin's is a Thunderbird IV, which means it has two pickups.
that yellowy green - The color is actually called "Lime Green", but under strong fluorescent lights - like, say, those on most retail premises - it does have a distinct sort of biley yellow tinge to it. Nasty.
after-school cleanup duty - Like a lot of schools in Japan (including the one the canonical K-On! crew attend), many schools in the western United Republic and Fire Nation rely on the students themselves to keep the place clean rather than professional custodians.
we've never used it - Indeed, though the organ appears in the background throughout the series, it's not even clear what it is until the second-season episode "Staying Behind!" - in which Ui plays it while visiting the clubroom in the absence of the seniors, who are away on a class trip. Interestingly, while Mugi is shown playing a console organ in both of the season-2 end title sequences, it's not the one from the clubroom - it's a classic Hammond B3 with an equally classic giant external Leslie "tone cabinet" speaker (the large object on the left in that photo).
Lowrey Genie - Specifically a Model TG-1 "Magic Teenie Genie", a compact single-manual "chording organ", circa the late 1960s - although the real TG-1 has the pot for adjusting the repeat rate on the outside! The Sato-Phonic is more like one of the larger Lowrey organs (such as the Model TLO-R "Holiday Deluxe") on the inside.
"Dorian" Toccata - We saw Kate playing this on the full-size pipe organ at St. Michael the Archangel Cathedral in New Avalon back in Requiem for a Lensman.
learn why things work on a starship - Jim Kirk says this to Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
sonic screwdriver - A fairly common tool in the 25th century, although the consumer models only turn threaded fasteners and have a penlight function; they can't... you know, scan for lifeforms or remote-control time machines or repair barbed wire or etc. etc. etc.
even more than her usual manic energy - When Ritsu is actually playing one of Keith Moon's parts, this is an inevitable result.
Azusa wasn't a violinist - Roger Daltrey used to play the violin part on a harmonica when they played "Baba O'Riley" live without a violinist (as in the 1978 Shepperton Studios performance linked in the story). However, while Ritsu can evidently play the harmonica (we never see her do it, but she seems always to be carrying one), she's a bit busy just then. This moment is also notable in that Azusa is not historically too fond of improvising (despite the fact that her parents are both jazz musicians).
stood it against Ritsu's bass drum - The HTT girls really need to invest in some proper guitar stands; on the show they are forever leaning their instruments on amps, the drum kit, the bench, etc. in a manner which is frankly a little nerve-racking. That's one of the things I expect Kate has on her to-do list.
he's got a daytime job - Mugi quotes the 1978 Dire Straits song "Sultans of Swing", which both the Art of Noise and Kate's father's Golden Age WDF band, Card No. 1, are known for covering.
I'm a love machine - Just talkin' 'bout Yui.
it looks really expensive - Miki is bullshitting her when he implies that his Dobro isn't that valuable, but he's not technically lying, it wasn't terribly expensive when it was new. Of course, it's a 2215 nickel-plated Mark 45, and on some planets you could trade it for a fairly capable star cruiser, but if Yui knew that she'd be too self-conscious to play it properly.
Dō-chan - "Dobro" is pronounced with long Os, so as a Japanese/Kokugo contraction, it'd have to be spelled that way to avoid clipping it.
Even a Monkey Can Play the Blues - The Even a Monkey Can series of basic tutorial manuals is a running joke in K-On!.
I was asking the wrong question - Here Azusa gets to this conclusion long, long before she did in the canon, but that's part of the magic of Kate's teaching style.
nondescript modern two-story - "Modern" is meant here in the context of a specific architectural style, not simply to indicate that it is of recent construction. The phrase was originally "Mid-Century modern", referring to the mid-20th century, but that distinction would obviously not mean a lot in Dìqiú (they would think of it as "third-century modern"). Single-family dwellings of this type are common in the newer cities of the western United Republic and eastern Fire Nation.
Future Industries motorscooter - The classic FI Type 4 scooter is visually very similar to a Vespa or Lambretta scooter of the 1960s. It hasn't changed much, at least on the outside, in more than 120 years. Asami Sato was often pictured with one early in her career as a public figure in the 170s, and Avatar Korra is known to have had one in those days as well. Ritsu's is a T4-512, which was the top-of-the-line model in 275, featuring electric start and electronic fuel injection. It has a 12-cubic-inch, 12-horsepower, single-cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine and an astonishing top speed of 67 miles per hour.
not like they ever change these things - Actually, the T4 of 275 is a very different animal from, e.g., the T4 of 175, but the changes are all under the bodywork.
scooter get - Ritsu plays a lot of computer RPGs...
HIGH GRAVITY CHEF - Found at random by Azalynn in a shop in Republic City; similar in concept to those Japanese T-shirts with random English phrases on them.
where we played last New Year's - This indicates that HTT played its first public (as opposed to scholastic) live show a year earlier in UF than in the canon, where they played Kawakami's club during the founders' junior year. (Also, before you call me on it, I know that canonically the club is probably not actually supposed to be called the Livehouse, it's just "a live house", but if it has a proper name, they never actually say what it is. :)
stranger than you suppose - For one thing, she's evidently a student of Vulcan philosophy, which is a mightily odd thing for a high school girl in the United Republic to be.
don't you play keyboard too - In the K-On! anime series, Ui only plays the guitar once (when she's posing as Yui), but she's shown playing the old electronic organ in the clubroom a couple of times. She's only a guitarist in the volume of the manga depicting her senior year in high school, after Yui and the others graduate.
it would've cost 3000 yuan - In the original, Gīta's asking price was J¥250,000, or around US$2500. The retail price of a Gibson Les Paul Standard has increased markedly since 2008, when K-On! began and the first volume is set; they go for nearly four grand US now. Direct comparisons are a bit on the impossible side, but a United Republic yuan at the time of these stories is worth a little bit more than a Galactic Standard credit, which has very vaguely the same buying power for consumer goods as a US dollar today (e.g., an album of recorded music costs around cr10, a decent sit-down dinner with appetizer and non-alcoholic beverage will set you back cr30 or so with a decent tip, and a decent new car will run you around cr20,000.
At any rate, the takeaway from this is that the store was asking way more for Gīta than Yui actually had before Mugi knocked them down to UR¥500. For three grand you can still get a half-decent used Satomobile in Republic City these days.
the blue tie of a second-year student - A second-year student right now, that is; in other words, a student in the same class year as Yui. The tie colors at Sato Academy (and Sakuragaoka High in the canon) are like the form numbers at Piandao Academy over in A Fire to be Lighted: they stay with each class as it advances through the school. The class that Yui, Nodoka, Mio, Mugi, and Ritsu are in wear blue ties and uwabaki. Yui, Jun, and Azusa's class, the year behind them, wear red; the year before them, who are seniors this year, wear green. Next year the seniors will be in blue and the incoming freshmen will get green.
this Fang brand - Low-end knockoff brand - not trademark infringers or counterfeiters like Yui is talking about a little later, but a company that makes their-own-brand guitars which resemble other makers' products, within legal boundaries, on purpose - out of Caldera City. Notorious for their extremely uneven quality control and habitually short-lived electronics. The Stratoclone Ui borrowed was a Fang.
Surf Green - Ui's guitar is a Fender Zipang "Classic Reissue" Stratocaster - the same model Korra plays, in fact. It's similar to the real-world Classic Series '50s Strat. (This has presumably gone into and out of production several times over the decades, so Ui's is probably technically a Classic Re-Re-Reissue. :) We can see from Ui's budget that Zipangi Fenders are priced similarly to the "Made in Mexico" Fenders of the present-day real world - you pay the real inflated premium prices for the ones made on Earth (particularly after the EA crackdown, when they get much harder to find elsewhere) and in New Avalon.
(Gibsons are the same way - Gīta was so expensive because it was actually made on Earth and not Tomodachi, or by Epiphone in New Avalon or Republic City.)
you would have a lovely singing voice - We actually know what Nodoka's Japanese singing voice sounds like, because her voice actress, Chika Fujitō, recorded a couple of songs for the "character image" CDs that went with the two TV seasons. She's not bad - sounds a bit like Mio, though not as powerful. I have no data on her English VA (Laura Bailey)'s singing voice. Since the music in the English dub of K-On! isn't translated, it would probably not matter for our purposes here, since it means UF-HTT's songs are all in Kokugo even though they speak Standard in everyday life.
the best cuts of the cakes - I see a lot of corners in Nodoka's future. I'm just sayin'.
your secretary - Technically Azusa is the club secretary, but being the club secretary is perhaps a different thing than being Ritsu's secretary.
a thing they did - This practice was evidently not restricted to members of Death Devil; Miss Kawakami has one too, unless of course her name really is "Janice Kawakami", which seems a bit unlikely.
black T-shirts - They look a bit like this.
65 miles an hour - Technically 67, but psychologically, Ritsu figured Mio would find a round multiple of 5 easier to take.
the power of cute compels you - Official English rendering of the K-On! TV show's parodiacal catchphrase, Moé moé kyun!
a tiny, adorable biker - Or possibly a "Mecha Girl" interpretation of L3M-M1, the bassist of the all-'Mech band Mechähead on My Little Destroid: Friendship Is Tactical.
cheerful cartoon skulls - These are real.
Future Industries F1 - Formula 1 in Dìqiú isn't the same thing as it is out in the big universe (Dìqiú F1 cars still have wheels, for example), but that is still the name of the world's top-level motor racing series.
Cyntia - Matt discovered this group, a Japanese "melodic metal" band that makes for a fine extension to the canonical Death Devil's extremely small catalog. Given its title, the track cited here was a logical choice (though I have no actual idea what she's singing :).
lacking a part - As you see in the above video, Cyntia has a keyboard player; Death Devil doesn't.
the right people will get this - In the EPU studio, this is known as Hodgson's Law.
the stock headlight is pretty weak - Also a problem on a lot of old Hondas, like my CT110.
we don't want Mommy and Daddy to worry - Ritsu's been over to Mio's house way too many times to have missed what doting parents she has.