In early winter of the 320th year of Pars, the kingdom fell into the greatest tumult it had ever experienced since the accession of Hero King Kai Khosrow…
Notes under the cut:
Not much to say about the update for once. Instead, I’ll just point out the essay I recently ninja-posted, “Pioneers of the Secondary World Fantasy Boom” by Mii Mimura. Mimura is a light novel critic who, in my understanding, was (and maybe still is) pretty active in Japanese science fiction & fantasy fandom from all the way back during the 70s. Her perspective on the evolution of Japanese fantasy (she traces it from the early heroic fantasies, to the sword-and-sorcery antiheroes, to the D&D/RPG influenced titles) is pretty interesting and delivers a much more accurate picture of the context in which Arslan was first published than I think has been previously discussed in the English-speaking sphere. Definitely worth a read.
(That said, I haven’t really had a chance to proofread/fact-check everything yet, so if something seems weird or inaccurate in the essay let me know.)
Anyway, one nitpicky wording note: this isn’t the first time 正義 [seigi] has been mentioned in relation to Hirmiz. Last time, though, I remember translating it as “justice” (which is the default translation in my head, thanks a lot One Piece :P). But here it’s used in conjunction with 正統 [seitou] (i.e. “rightful [Shah]”). In other words, that particular sentence revolves around mild wordplay with 正 (“correct/proper”), so I went with “righteousness” instead to highlight that, though I usually make an effort to keep specific words/phrases consistent for each character if I recognize them. Actually, I probably shouldn’t call it “wordplay” because character compounds are inherent to the language, but the sentence is structured deliberately, I think. And of course even in English “justice” and “righteousness” give off slightly different vibes despite being synonyms. That said, glancing at the previous context (Vol 1, 3-iv), it seems like “righteousness” would have been difficult to work around. It’s something I’d probably take a closer look at if I ever went back for a round of serious editing though.
(Speaking of consistent wording, I actually totally forgot that Afarid wasn’t the first time Hirmiz called someone a wench. 😄 Glad that worked out, though the previous instance was a translation of the gender-neutral and mildly derogatory こやつ [koyatsu] while he refers to Afarid as the gender-specific and not necessarily derogatory 小娘 [komusume]…)
And a minor semi-correction: I previously translated the not-an-elder as needing an entire year to fully restore his powers. Realized a while back (but haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet) that it should’ve been something like “until the end of the year”.