Ah! I made it! xD Knocked out the last two chapters this morning.
The cats are back! アリア社長 makes such a cute little mysterious henchman xD It was a nice way to end the book, I think. The aura of mystery in this chapter made me feel like there are definitely more mysterious happenings to look forward to.
I also love that I now know how to say “in the blink of an eye” in Japanese. あっという間 is definitely my favorite word/expression from this chapter.
I agree! And I’m glad the previous cat chapter wasn’t a weird one off.
When the chapter started by mentioning the Cait Sith, I immediately thought about how gnomes appeared just after being mentioned by the story.
Then suddenly! A mask giant plus a bunch of equally masked tiny underlings appear! Some say he isn’t human! Who could it be?!
… the Cait Sith (and cats)!
Yeah, called it
I’m quite interested by the kanji in the chapter title - 謝肉祭. Alicia largely explains this in the exposition slab, but never mentions the kanji - it comes from the original Latin derivation of carnival, carne vale - remove meat.
While it does spoil the surprise a bit, I reckon they felt the recap was necessary because Cait Sith’s previous appearance was back in Aqua. That said, I feel it’s a tiny bit contrived - it’s very much the “as you know” trope in play, especially since there’s no way the Celtic legend of Cait Sith was ever involved in the Venetian carnival here on Manhome. Casanova is certainly involved, though - he was born in Venice at a time when the city-state was still at its peak, before Napoleon came and messed everything up.
Not entirely sure why Aika calls masks “bauta”. As I understand it, a bauta is a specific type of mask that looks like this:
None of which actually appear on the stand - or, indeed, anywhere in the chapter.
I bought me a mask when I was in Venice, though that was after Carnivale had passed. Mine looks like this:
This style of mask is called a Colombina mask (as is the one Akari tries on first), though this particular one is not a traditional design, naturally.
Not really any specific questions on this chapter, really. Just not completely sure what’s going on with the first narration box in the tall panel on 341 - 趣向を凝らした仮面や衣装に身を進んで - specifically, what is 趣向を凝らした doing? “Masks and costumes that had been thought up for variety’s sake”?
I was also glad to see the cats make a return! Like @Belthazar said, it was (unfortunately) necessary to mention Cait Sith again because of Aqua. I would have preferred if it hadn’t been mentioned, but no big deal. Hopefully this is the last time this stuff has to be “recapped” for us.
Basically, the people coming from all over would dress up in a variety of masks and clothing. Based on the meaning of 趣向を凝らす, it seems like it has the nuance that the different mask designs were made just for variety’s sake and not for any utility-based reason.
Yay, I made it to the end too!
Very cute, if a tad predictable in places as mentioned above.
I especially liked p358 when Akari first sees Cait Sith, and the slightly creepy walls covered with arrows and pointing fingers on pp365-367
My understanding is that bauta are masks which can cover your whole face, of which there seem to be quite a few on that stall.
Have you had an opportunity to wear the mask you bought since then, @Belthazar ?
(Also: we need a better mask emoji, because just doesn’t meet bauta standards!)
We were in Venice just after Carnivale, so no crowds but in so many places the ground was still covered with confetti. It was magic. Here’s the mask I bought.
No, Bauta specifically look like the one I posted an image of. The full-face masks with mouths are called Volto, as is the one you bought. Bauta are primarily worn by men, while Volto can be worn by men and women (though more frequently by women), and are the most common mask in the modern Carnivale. But maybe the English usage (and, by extension, Japanese usage) is different?
I’ve put it on, sure. I wouldn’t really say I’ve worn it, per se. It’s mostly been sitting on my desk since I bought it, waiting for me to figure out a way to hang it on my wall.
I’m back on track! I might sneak some grammar/vocab questions in for the last few chapters when I get a chance to read them ‘properly’, but I’m all up to speed story-wise
I actually really enjoyed this chapter, though I also wish they hadn’t done the Cait Sith exposition - I felt the reveal would still have worked for those who hadn’t read Aqua. Readers might have just been a bit baffled as to why the one cat was so enormous
I did feel like it was an odd choice to end volume 2 here rather than after chapter 19 though. Chapter 19 felt very much like a wrapping up chapter, being literally about saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new. Seemed like a good place to end and then BAM, surprise random carnival bonus!
So long till I can crack open the next volume D: it will be nice to have a bit of time to catch up on everything though.
Aye, this is the one I brought up a few threads ago where she mentions freaking her assistants out by being too in the mindset of the characters (except I misremembered it as her hanging wind chimes in winter, when it was actually her commenting on the cold in summer).
Oh, that’s true (I’d forgotten that actually ) - and I definitely feel the importance of seasons in the series. It just wasn’t written in such an ‘end of an era’ way; hence me forgetting it even did mark the end of a season I guess, heh ^^