Sakura no Tsuioku - Hajimete no OtoEdit
Kanata: Greetings, to the future reader of this letter, how are you? I am great, there are cherry blossoms right outside my window. Next month shall mark the first year, I, Sorami Kanata, arrived at the Time-Telling Fortress. Many things have happened during my year here, such as the Seize Crisis and Rio-sempai… Her Imperial Majesty Princess Rio Kazumiya Arkadia, perhaps you’ve heard about it already. Since Rio-sempai had left the Time-Telling Fortress, I have managed to hear many things from my squad and from the townspeople. It’s the first time I’ve heard their stories but somehow, it felt very nostalgic. As if they were bursting with feelings/memories. But those memories will one day fade as well, but music left on (music) scores can still be brilliantly performed and recalled. So I’ve decided to write something to leave behind. So that the stories I’ve heard, the stories from everyone that happened before I arrived at the Time Telling Fortress… So that our memories touches you, like the sound that resounds through the sky.
Kanata: Sora no Woto Drama CD.
Kureha: 1121st Division/Squad’s
Kureha: Incident/Activity Report, second report!
Filicia: Episode number 12.4
Rio: Memories of Cherry Blossom. The First sound.
Noëlle: Kanata, this is the baths, not the bed.
Kanata: Ugh… I know but…
Noëlle: If you can’t take it off, I’ll help… Lift your arms (banzai)
Noëlle: Now undressing…
Kanata: Yeah. Undressing…
Kureha: Urg… Argh just watching you is getting on my nerves. Take off your clothing yourself at least! Right away. Here!
Filicia: Oh my Kureha-chan, able to boldly strip like that.
Kureha: But we’re all girls here. And besides, we don’t have a reason to be embarrassed about anymore.
Kureha: Er, what’s up with that laugh?
Filicia: Oh nothing, I just thought to myself, I’ve done this conversation before.
Filicia: But you’ve changed a lot Kureha-chan. When you first came to the Time-Telling Fortress, you were really against taking a bath with me and Rio.
Kureha: Erg, but it’s not normal for your superiors to… Whose ever heard of taking a bath with your own Captain?
Noëlle: I was… happy about it though…
Kureha: Your opinion doesn’t count Noëlle. But Kanata, you agree with me right?
Filicia: Oh my, you really must be tired.
Kureha: Well by now, Kanata’s pretty sleepy.
Noëlle: Lack of sleep… is not good.
Kureha: Looks whose talking…
Filicia: Oh that reminds me, I have a wonderful announcement for everyone. Oh my, we’ll all catch a cold if stand out here. Let’s continue after we get in the bath.
Kanata: Ah, what good water.
Kureha: Looks like you’re awake now.
Kanata: Yeah, sorry about that. Was I a bother?
Kureha: Er, well it’s not as if I was the one who helped you undress and stuff. That was Noëlle. If you want to thank someone, thank her.
Kanata: Thank you Noëlle-chan.
Noëlle: No problem. It was fun.
Kureha: Fun? How?
Kanata: Wha- What’s with that laugh?
Noëlle: I got to do this and that to the sleepy Kanata. Furthermore, there is a total of23 moles on Kanata’s entire body
Filicia: Oh Noëlle, don’t tease her too much.
Kureha: Huh? Could it be?
Noëlle: Yeah… It was a joke.
Kureha: Uh… Good going/Got us there Noëlle. So when did you master/acquire the ability/skill?
Noëlle: I’m growing/learning every day.
Filicia: She really is. I’m quite happy how everyone is turning out/growing. In so many different ways. Take that. You too Kureha-chan, take that.
Noëlle: Filicia, me too.
Filicia: Take that.
Kureha: Arg, could you be more serious Captain!
Filicia: I’m so sorry Kureha-chan. As an apology, would you like to touch mine too?
Kureha: Eek, no it’s fine! It’s your fault since you were so sleepy that we got into this weird situation!
Kanata: Huh, it’s my fault?
Kureha: Well, you have been responsible for the morning bugle calls, on top of all the daily chores you have. Hey Captain, isn’t there anything we can do? Like change job assignments or something?
Filicia: Have you forgotten already? I mentioned I had a wonderful announcement to make.
Kureha: Oh yeah, you did mention that. What is it?
Filicia: That’s… Noëlle-chan, sound off please.
Noëlle: Paparapa- papapapapara pa-.
Filicia: Announcing… A single new recruit shall be assigned to our squad soon.
Kureha: When will they arrive? How old is she? What’s her rank?
Filicia: I don’t have the details yet, but we know for a fact they’re coming.
Kureha: Finally, now we can take it easy a bit Kanata. Wha… Why are you all getting stiff/rigid for?
Kanata: But it’s a new recruit! Then that means she’ll be my junior (underling/kohai)…. And then that means I’ll be a senior (sempai/superior).
Kureha: Well obviously…
Kanata: Oh what shall I do? I wonder if I can do it.
Filicia: You’ll be fine. Everyone eventually becomes a senior or superior one day…
Kanata: That might have been true for Filicia-san and Rio-sempai but me and Kureha-chan…
Kureha: Right… Hey don’t lump me in with you! I happen to be your senior, if you haven’t forgotten!
Kanata: A new recruit, I wonder what type of person she is.
Kureha: Hey don’t ignore me!
Kanata: What do you think Kureha-chan?
Kureha: Seriously, you… Well, it’ll be hard to fill Rio-sempai’s shoes but it’s our duty to learn how to guide our juniors.
Filicia: Don’t get too worked up about it. After all, me and Rio didn’t get it right at first either.
Filicia: Yes. That reminds me, I haven’t told everyone have I? The story how me and Rio first met?
Kanata: Oh I want to hear it!
Kureha: How was it like?
Filicia: I’ll tell you all the story. It was quite awhile after the end of the Binnenland War. The squad I was assigned to was discharged. So to be recommissioned/reassigned, I returned to training. That’s when I found out who my roommate was…
Filicia: Hello, are you my roommate?
Filicia: Sergeant Major Filicia Heideman.
Rio: Got it
Filicia: Um, I’m not the type who wants to use rank in our room, so Corporal, even though your rank is below mine, I won’t ever order you to salute or use formal/polite language to me in this room. But you know if someone introduces themselves its basic courtesy to return the favour.
Rio: Rio Ark-. Kazumiya Rio.
Filicia: Nice to meet you, can I call you Rio?
Rio: Oh nothing. You wanted to maintain basic courtesy but then you want to start right off the bat by going on a first name basis. If you insist on going on a first name basis, then I don’t have a right to stop you. Do as you like.
Filicia: Eh… Gee thanks, I’m grateful.
Rio: Is that all? If that’s the case, you can leave.
Rio: I want to be alone. Would you mind?
Filicia: Huh, hey! Wait!
Kureha: Whoa, now that’s a bad first impression.
Filicia: I thought to myself ‘where did this princess come from?’, I never imagined she was a real princess though.
Kureha: But still, it’s pretty amazing that you still managed to get along.
Filicia: Well to be honest, I was thinking ‘what am I going to do about this girl?’. Soon after it was lunch…
Woman: Hey, whaddya want?
Filicia: Um, I’ll have the pork combo/meal set (google itトントロ定食)
Filicia: You remember, don’t you, that that place is self service. But Rio…
Filicia: Huh? It’s that girl…
Filicia: She was sitting at an empty table all alone. Every time someone came by with a tray, her face would light up as though she was thinking it was hers. Then her face would crumble with disappointment and go all red. Eventually, she realized something was up and was about to ask someone but by then there wasn’t anyone coming by. She slumped with defeat and seemed like she was berating herself.
Kureha: That sounds like her.
Kanata: I can totally see it.
Filicia: At first I thought to myself, ‘serves her right’. But as I watched her, you know… She looked so incredibly cute!
Kanata: I know, I know exactly what you mean!
Filicia: Yeah, she just tickles your fancy. I wonder if this is what they mean by ‘maternal instinct’, you just can’t leave her be. So then I…
Filicia: So Princess, what would you like to order?
Rio: Ack, you! How did you know that?!
Rio: Er, um, nothing!
Filicia: You are one interesting girl. Um, you do know that this is self service right? You have to go get it yourself, no one’s going to come and take your order.
Rio: I… I knew that much! I didn’t need to hear it from you!
Filicia: Oh I see. Well, I guess I should have just minded my own business then.
Rio: I decided I would go it alone! Stop trying to help me!
Filicia: Hm, I see. But if you really mean that, you’ll definitely die. If you’re here, then that means you’re aiming to become tankman. A tank must never move alone, it must rely on others and if possible, save others first so that it can make war.
Rio: Don’t act as if you know what you’re talking about! You’re here too; you’ve never really fought before either!
Filicia: I have. I have. What I just said is something I learned from my old squad officer, she’s dead now though. So rely on me. We’re roommates now, and besides… Oh my, what a cute sound.
Rio: Um, this… this is…
Filicia: And, as they say, you can’t make war on an empty stomach. Now then, let’s get something to eat, I was on my way back. So if you have any questions go ahead and ask me.
Filicia: Wrong, commoners say something else for these situations.
Rio: What? Then what should I say?
Filicia: Thank you.
Rio: Huh? Thank you… Um, Filicia…
Filicia: Your welcome, Rio.
Filicia: And that’s how I and Rio first met.
Kureha: I see. I guess, how do you say, Rio-sempai was a very troubled person.
Kanata: But it’s very Rio-sempai like.
Kureha: That’s true. So you got along great right afterwards?
Filicia: Oh no, lots of things happened. We even had a really big fistfight.
Kureha: Wha!? Really?
Kanata: So who won?
Kureha: Is that the first/only thing you want to know?!
Filicia: That’s. A. Secret. But after that, I began to think of her as a true friend.
Kureha: A friendship forged by a fistfight/fighting?
Kanata: Ah, youth at its best.
Filicia: And so we were both assigned to this Time-Telling Fortress. The former commanding officer was a wonderful/beautiful person. Rio was seriously crushing (clingy) on the commander back then. Oh how I wish I could show you how utterly adorably cute/girlish Rio was.
Kanata: A spoiled/girly Rio-sempai…
Filicia: It was quite amazing to see. It was even worse than Kureha-chan’s before you came Kana-chan.
Kanata: Wow, that’s pretty astonishing.
Kureha: Hey, you don’t know about that!
Kanata: You can tell just by looking. And so that sempai’s/senior’s seniors/sempais were reassigned elsewhere…
Filicia: And in exchange, Noëlle-chan arrived.
Kureha: Hm. That reminds, where’s Noëlle? I can’t feel her presence anywhere.
Kanata: AH! Noëlle-chan!
Filicia: Oh no, her head’s completely under.
Kureha: Urk, get a grip on yourself Noëlle!
Noëlle: Ah… so hot… Noëlle… is going to be melt…
Kanata: Hang in there, Noëlle-chan! See, we’re fanning you!
Kureha: Seriously… you’re always… such a handful girl.
Noëlle: More… More wind!
Kureha: All right Kanata, Shuko, we’re going all out! Go, go, go, go, go!
Kanata: Take that, that, that, that!
Kureha: So how was it?
Noëlle: I’m so… sad…
Kanata: Huh? Why?
Noëlle: Your fanning… holds no love…
Kureha: Why you, if you’ve got strength to fool/joke around, then I’ll drag you outside!
Noëlle: Sorry, I was lying… So more please.
Kureha: Ah jeez, guess it can’t be helped.
Noëlle: Ah… Paradise…
Filicia: You know, Kureha-chan and Kanata-chan, I think you’ve changed quite a bit since you’ve arrived at the Time-Telling Fortress. But I think the person who changed the most is Noëlle-chan.
Kanata: That reminds me, what was she like before when she first arrived?
Filicia: She was even more silent/untalkative than she is now. She wouldn’t say a word at all.
Kureha: More silent than she is now? That’s pretty…
Noëlle: My past self…. Was simply a shadow (alt: trying to fade into shadow). Whether I was there or not, didn’t matter.
Filicia: It did seem like that. It was as if, if you touched her she would disappear. I heard all the details about Noëlle-chan before she arrived, so I went out my way to be even more kind.
Noëlle: Filicia… was amazingly gentle… It was the first time for me… I was very happy.
Filicia: Oh, she’s so cute! But Rio was a bit different.
Noëlle: Mm… I’m thankful of Rio.
Noëlle: The one who introduced me to Takemikadzuchi was Rio.
Filicia: I think it was around the time when Noëlle-chan was finally talking a little bit to everyone.
Rio: Is Noëlle here?!
Filicia: What’s wrong Rio? Why are you in such a hurry?
Rio: So here you are. I’m borrowing her for a sec.
Filicia: Wait Rio. Rio!
Filicia: All of a sudden Rio came and grabbed Noëlle by the hand and dragged her off to somewhere.
Noëlle: It was pretty scary.
Filicia: You looked like you were ready to cry. The place they headed towards, at the time, was a simple warehouse where we stored garbage in….
Noëlle: What… are you going to make me do?
Rio: Oh don’t be so scared. The thing I wanted to show you was this.
Rio: On paper, this is the tank that our squad is supposed to have… But as you can see, it doesn’t have any legs and its armor is all rusted. It’s just junk now. Noëlle… I’m giving you a job. Fix this. If it’s you, it might be possible.
Noëlle: … No… I don’t want to… Why… does everyone want me to make things to kill people with?... Because of that… I… I…
Rio: So you’ll stay hidden like a shadow forever? The person I admired most told me once…. Machines are just a tool, they’re neither good nor evil, only humans can use them to either kill or save. If you regret your past, then use this guy to discover the power to save. I’m sure, something will change.
Noëlle: The power… to save…
Rio: That’s right… Take this Takemikadzuchi… and with your strength, become reborn.
Noëlle: Takemikadzuchi… Nice to meet you, I’m Noëlle… Let’s be reborn… together…
Filicia: And so, Noëlle-chan began to repair Takemikazuchi… So it’s probably thanks to our Rio that our Noëlle-chan is like this right now.
Noëlle: I like Rio… But I like… Filicia more…
Filicia: Oh my, I’m so happy.
Noëlle: When we sleep together, she didn’t kick me out of bed like Rio did.
Kureha: What?! You got to sleep together?
Filicia: When she first arrived, she used to have nightmares. Without me or Rio close by, she couldn’t sleep.
Kanata: So now… You can sleep anywhere; or rather you sleep all the time…
Filicia: You’ve really grown up quite a bit…
Kanata: Oh, I get it now. That’s why they say ‘Sleep brings up a child well’.
Noëlle: Oh I see…
Filicia: Oh that’s clever/good Kana-chan.
Kureha: Um, I don’t think they meant it that way…
Kureha: Aw man, if I had known that I would have went ‘I’m so scared’ and dived right into Rio-sempai’s bed.
Kanata: That’s true. So what was Kureha-chan like?
Kanata: When you first came to the Time-Telling Fortress.
Kureha: Er, that’s not…
Filicia: She was so cute~!
Kureha: Eek, Captain!
Noëlle: … Moe-moe… (note: I think you should know what ‘moe’ means people)
Kureha: Noëlle, you too?
Filicia: She so conscientious/hard working, couldn’t help but use formal/polite language as much as she could and rattling off details/words.
Noëlle: I am Private 2nd class Suminoya Kureha!
Filicia: Yes, exactly like that.
Kanata: I see it so clearly.
Kureha: Don’t imagine it!
Filicia: But, you know, I’m like this. So at first she was a little shocked. Always wondering if it was all right to be so lax/slack.
Kureha: Well… that’s…
Filicia: I’m sorry…
Kureha: It’s not something you have to apologize for. I was just really insecure about whether I was cut out for the army. But I was prepared for that, even if my commanding officer was like a demon (alt tran: very demanding) and I would do my best and endure, and fight for/defend my country! But then…
Filicia: Ranks don’t matter here, now let’s all take a bath together.
Kureha: That happens. But then, during that time, Rio-sempai told me…
Rio: What’s wrong Kureha, what are you doing here?
Kureha: … Er… Um… Ser… Sergeant Rio… ex… Please excuse me!... Was I trespassing?!...
Rio: Ah no, I don’t mind at all! But it’s unusual for you to climb up belfry/tower…
Kureha: I… I shall explain… I… I wasn’t skipping out on my duty… Nor… Nor was I feeling sad… Um… er… Rather I… I just needed to think for a bit… so….
Rio: It’s okay. You’re here at exactly the right time for this. I love the view/sight of the town at this hour best. Take a look for yourself.
Kureha: Huh… The town?...
Rio: This miracle is ‘evening’, at this hour the houses here and there begin to light themselves up. Their lights are small but, somehow, it feels warm and good, don’t you think?
Rio: Each light has someone living there, a human being. When I see them, I’m proud that I’m a soldier…
Kureha: Sergeant Rio, aren’t you dissatisfied/displeased about being assigned to this backwater, slack squad at all?
Rio: No, it might not have been the best but when I see these lights, it always reminds me of what I need to defend and want to protect. Filicia and Noëlle know it too. So Kureha, you should become the sort of soldier you think you should become. At least that’s what I think/believe and that’s what I want you to be.
Kureha: Yes ma’am.
Kanata: Oh, so that happened.
Kureha: Yeah, it did.
Filicia: I see, that’s around the same time Kureha-chan began to grow out her hair.
Kanata: Huh? So you mean, she was bobbed cut when she first came?
Filicia: Yup, it was cute too.
Noëlle: She was trying to imitate Rio.
Kureha: No I wasn’t!
Kanata: Oh you don’t have to be so embarrassed.
Kureha: I’m not embarrassed!
Noëlle: How noisy (note: Implying she’s in denial).
Kureha: Argh, I said that I wasn’t! Listen to me Noëlle and Kanata!
Kanata: Oh I wish I could have seen it.
Kanata: And so we passed the night telling stories about our pasts. I got to learn thing I didn’t know about Rio-sempai and everyone, it’s really unfortunate that I wasn’t really there to see it myself at that time but thanks to what had happened in the past when I wasn’t there that the Rio-sempai and everyone at the Time Telling Fortress I met, are who they are.
Kanata: That reminds me; Have I mentioned that the townspeople like Yumina-san told me stories about Rio-sempai from before my arrival? I was a bit surprised but it appears that relations between Rio-sempai and Yumina-san, the Church and children there were rather strained before I came. It was perhaps a little after that Calvados War, I happened to be on a delivery to the Church and stopped by to have tea with Yumina-san who told me about it…
Kanata: Huh? Really?
Yumina: Yes, before Kanata-san arrived I had never had a proper conversation with Rio-san.
Kanata: That was unexpected.
Yumina: She would occasionally give donations or buy some fortune cookies (cookie = rice cracker) but one day when I went out for donations, Seiya and some of the other children secretly followed me.
Kanata: That sounds something like that they would do…
Yumina: I scolded them not to, after that I went out on my rounds but Rio-san happened to be the only person at the door. (bad translation) She must have been a bad mood, she had a very curt/brusque attitude/manner.
Kanata: Perhaps she was just sleepy?
Yumina: Perhaps, or maybe she was just hungry but in any case, she said ‘I don’t want your gimmicky/cheap cookies, take’em home with you!’
Kanata: Huh? But these cookies are tasty and the fortunes are pretty accurate.
Yumina: I’m glad to hear it but Rio-san at the time was very disagreeable/grumpy. But Seiya-san saw what happened…
Kanata: So he did something…
Yumina: Yes… He happened to have his water gun with him…
Kanata: Oh dear…
Yumina: He shouted, “Our fortune cookies/They aren’t gimmicky/cheap ya ugly hag!” and then ‘splosh’…
Kanata: ‘Ugly hag’? (Namahage = demons) That’s terrible…
Yumina: No, the worst part of it was… The water gun wasn’t filled with that dyed water for the festival… It was black ink…
Yumina: I don’t want to even remember the outcome of that terrible scene/spectacle…
Kanata: I learned latter on that Rio-sempai’s mother had been badly deceived by some priests of the Church and it was pretty tough for her. So I thought to myself that her wariness/dislike of the Church was only natural.
Yumina: That had happened, so for awhile I couldn’t bring myself to get any closer to the Time Telling Fortress.
Kanata: I see but by the time I had arrived it seems like sempai (my senior) and Yumina-san had managed to get things back to normal.
Yumina: Actually, it wasn’t when you had arrived but a little after you had arrived. I promised Rio-san not to reveal the details but the reason why I and the children at the Church now get along with Rio-san is thanks to Kanata-san.
Kanata: Thanks to me?
Yumina: Yes, one day I hope that Rio-san will allow me to tell you the details. But in any case, thank you very much Kanata-san.
Kanata: Yumina said that while smiling. I still don’t know the reason why but if I have managed to give a little something back to Rio-sempai who had always helped/took care of me, then I’m very happy. But in the end, it seems I won’t find out any time soon since Rio-sempai is gone. But I happened to remember it a few days when I was went to the windmill and asked Naomi-san about it.
Naomi: Oh yeah, it’s true that Rio didn’t get along with Yumina and the others at the Church before you arrived.
Kanata: Do you have an idea why they got better?
Naomi: Hm, hard to say. It was a surprise to me too. You remember for the Water Splashing Festival, Rio played the part of the Fire Maiden right? She was so incredibly obstinate/insistent about not wanting anything to do with the Church organizers.
Kanata: I see…
Naomi: But it sure brings back memories, it’s about a year now that you came.
Naomi: I remember it now. She got chosen as the Fire Maiden and she came by to try on/measure out the ornaments/costume that got delivered here. But it was pretty awful.
Naomi: She was all “I don’t want to stand out” or “I can’t stomach the idea getting all wet and wearing a kimono becomes transparent on me”. All the important bits are covered up; it’s not going to kill her to show some fanservice with just the legs and arms.
Kanata: Sempai has beautiful legs, doesn’t she?
Naomi: She sure does, but you know while she was raging/complaining about, there was a day she came in all happy.
Kanata: Did something good happen to her?
Naomi: I asked, and guess what she said?
Kanata: What did she say?
Naomi: A new recruit is coming to the Time Telling Fortress. Moreover she wants to be a bugler.
Kanata: That means…
Naomi: You got it/That’s right… Time sure flies, it’s almost time for the Water Splashing Festival again.
Kanata: Yes it is.
Naomi: You know, I’ve watched the girls stationed at the Time Telling Fortress in town all my life. Countless girls have come and gone from this town. But you batch of girls are pretty memorable, in all sorts of ways. I don’t think I’ll ever forget about you. What’s wrong, staring out that window so intently.
Kanata: It’s just that I remembered right now. This is where I met Rio-sempai for the first time.
Naomi: Oh yeah, that’s right. I heard, you’re getting a new recruit soon.
Kanata: This time I’ll be a sempai/senior.
Naomi: I hope she’s a nice/good girl.
Kanata: You know, I just realized I’ve been writing nothing but Rio-sempai. I’m sure you’re asking if I ever get tired of talking about her but I can’t help it, because I loved (trans note: daisuki – extremely strong like) Rio-sempai. No, I still love her. To tell you the truth, I wanted to stay with her always. I wanted her to teach me more things but there are things that only she can do and so she left. So I have to do my best too. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be as great as Rio-sempai but I think to myself, I’ll be the best senior/sempai as I can be for the new girl coming.
Filicia: Kanata-chan, Kureha-chan. It’s almost time!
Kanata: Yes, I’ll be there soon. It seems the new recruit is arriving soon. I’ll continue again in the future.
Kureha: Hey, you’re late Kanata!
Kureha: Really, get a move on. Newbies judge us on their first impression. We’ve got to be utterly perfect in our first meeting so we can pound the discipline into them! (bad translation) Pound it in! Hey Kanata, are you listening?
Kanata: Sorry, I was distracted by the cherry blossoms.
Filicia: I know what you’re saying, they’re at their best at this time of the year.
Kanata: Spring is really here now.
Kureha: Hey Noëlle, about that letter from Aisha sent you. What did it say?
Noëlle: (German) My wounds are healed and I’m practicing trumpet everyday…
Kanata: Translate it!
Noëlle: She’s doing well and practicing her trumpet.
Kureha: Hn, we get letters from Rome but not from the capitol.
Kanata: I’m sure it’s fine. She knows we’re doing fine here and that we care for her.
Kureha: You’re the same as usual.
Kanata: Oh, I can her Klaus-san’s bike!
Kureha: All right, let’s go everyone!
Kanata: And so we met once more. Under these cherry blossoms, with that familiar smile…