Twin Saplings

Revolutionary Girl Utena : Twin Saplings
少女革命ウテナ〈1〉 -蒼の双樹-

Written by Ichirō Ōkouchi (大河内 一楼)
Featuring Illustrations by Chiho Saito (さいとうちほ)

Translated by Dallbun, because he rules

This "light novel" was published in Japan in January 1998 by Shogakukan under their female-targeted label "Palette Books." Light novels are a style of Japanese novel aimed primarily at middle and high school students, with a shorter length equivalent to what we'd call a novella. They are often serialized in magazines before being published as a complete novel. This is the first of two such novels, and while it features illustrations by Chiho Saito, and includes familiar scenes from the manga and series, it's considered a separate continuity.

Giovanna's Note: Decent scans of the novel covers have been elusive, so this cover is an rough emulation of the Japanese cover with translations added. The cast page is a two page spread. I split it so that the text and images could be full size. Dallbun's translation shows internal dialogue in parentheses, which you'll see here in italics instead. I made the change for aesthetic reasons apparent when the content is presented book format. Aside from the rare typo or grammar correction, this text is presented as Dallbun translated it. Because he's awesome.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Dueling Game
Chapter 2: Ohtori Academy
Chapter 3: Kaoru Miki
Chapter 4: Kiryuu Touga
Chapter 5: Duelist
Chapter 6: The Dueling Arena





"Twin Saplings" -(Gio's note: This translation note is based on the original translation Dallbun did of the title: A Pair of Young Trees.) The title is distinctly poetic, something I wasn't really able to bring across in English. The "young" here is actually "ao," the word for blue/green, which can also mean unripe or immature. (Just like calling a newbie "green" in English.) The kanji used is the older, less commonly-used version: 蒼 as opposed to 青. The "pair of trees" part isn't exactly common parlance, either.

Chapter 2
Anthy's cooking - Nori is a kind of seaweed, used extensively in Japanese cooking or, in this toasted and flavored form, eaten as a snack. Taiyaki are fish-shaped cakes, often filled with red bean paste. The point is that none of the dishes Anthy prepares even remotely resemble an actual meal - she just makes massive quantities of snack food.

Chapter 3
Tsukamoto Shinya - Her name in kanji is 塚本信也. Not that that seems significant or anything.
The Blue Diamonds - Technically, their team name is "Blue Diamond," but that sounds bizarre in English, so I adjusted it slightly. Unlike Miki's team, which appears to be all male, the genders of the Blue Diamonds (besides Tsukamoto) are unspecified. I assumed it was a mixed team, and made one of their team members male in the one instance when I had to assign a gender.
Student Council Cottages - "Cottage" is the word they used here, but I probably should have changed it to "villa." "Cottage" has a slight implication of squalor in English that isn't intended here. I might change it if I ever do a second pass on this translation.

Chapter 4
“What, you’re choosing a man-girl like this over your own sister?” – Yeah, “man-girl” is an extremely awkward-sounding insult. Forgive me.
Miki & Kozue's "fried egg" - Specifically, it's tamagoyaki, which is more like a rolled omelette. But I figured that calling it anything other than fried egg would have made it sound too exotic in English, when the point of the scene is that it's a very standard, everyday sort of dish.
“the thirty-square-meter room” - Originally 20 tatami mats, which is closer to 30.5 square meters. Of course, that unit of measurement is pretty meaningless to most English-speakers.

"the Komuro of the anime world" - I have no idea who or what he's referring to, I'm afraid. Tetsuya Komuro...?



Cover & Translation Notes
Chapter 1 * Chapter 2 * Chapter 3 * Chapter 4 * Chapter 5 * Chapter 6



Translated by Dallbun, coded by Giovanna, and hosted on Empty Movement.