Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena

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Water lilies and lotuses

Oh man, I think we're going to make it. We just have to finish revising Missions of Love and translate UQ Holder!, and we'll have met all our deadlines for January! Now our biggest question is whether or not we should do some more work on Missions tonight so we can have more time at Disneyland tomorrow. After all the brain hurtiness from this week, I think the answer is no, but we'll see.

Now I have a silly little thing to talk about! It's really not important at all, but when you're sure you're right and someone says you're not and then you find out you are, it's just nice to get validation.

See, we were walking around California Adventure on Monday, and we walked by the Tower of Terror. Athena and I always liked shopping at the store at the ride's exit there, so we asked if we could and so our party went in. They had a display with a bunch of Beautifully Disney(tm) nail polish (and some lip gloss). We're all attracted to colorful things like that, even though none of us (especially not Gaston) wears nail polish or lip gloss, so we started pulling all the nail polishes out of the basket to see which princess of villain they went with, the name of the color, what color it was, etc.

It didn't take long for us to realize that the lid of each bottle has a symbol on it to tell you which character it represents--Cinderella is a slipper, Belle is a rose, Ariel is a seashell, Tiana is a water lily, etc. Then we found a Mulan nail polish that was called Lotus Blossom, and Athena mused that it was funny that Mulan had a color called Lotus Blossom, while Tiana was the princess represented by a lotus (Mulan is represented by a fan).

Now I'm going to take time out of the narrative to explain our history with lotuses and water lilies. We are definitely not botanists by any stretch of the imagination, but we do watch a lot of anime and play a lot of video games that come from Japan. One of those games is Kingdom Hearts, in which a section of Wonderland is called the Lotus Forest. This had us confused for the longest time, because we were like, "What the--? Lotuses in Wonderland? Since when?"

Then we started watching D. Gray-man. It was back when we were still pirating stuff, so we didn't have any subtitles to help us along, but whenever they alluded to Kanda's past, they would mentioned "hasu," and show a visual of something that was clearly a water lily. That's when we finally made the connection. "Oooohhh, it's the Water Lily Forest in Wonderland, because there's water lilies! I totally get it now, because all the old Disney cartoons have water lilies for frogs to jump on!"

Based on that experience, we were 98% percent sure that a water lily is a type of lotus, and so Athena mused, as previously stated, on the irony of Mulan, Tiana, and lotuses.

Gaston looked at us blankly and said, "Lotuses grow on trees." We were like, "Huh...? But...Wonderland! D. Gray-man! Kanda! And Kingdom Hearts! And the Lotus Forest!" Of course, Gaston knows nothing of Kingdom Hearts and D. Gray-man, so we decided to keep these thoughts to ourselves, because neither of us was confident we could explain it briefly enough for it to make sense before our explanations got derailed. And besides, we're not botanists, what do we know? In the meantime, Gaston promised us, crossing his heart, that lotuses grow on trees--sometimes they just look like they grow in the water, because the flower falls off the tree and onto the water. (My thought then was, "But what about lily pads?" but I couldn't quite formulate it enough to say it out loud.)

Well, we didn't want to argue with him, so we just made a mental note to look it up when we got home. So we did. And sure enough, lotuses are aquatic flowers. In fact, if you go to the Wikipedia article about the American lotus, it says that Tiana's gown is fashioned after that flower.

So where did the confusion come from? We suspect it has to do with the flower that represents Mulan in her movie, which, as some of you may know, is a magnolia. How do we know this? Because we've seen the Chinese characters for Mulan's name, and they're the same as the Japanese characters for mokuren, which is the Japanese word for magnolia. (Also, looking Mulan up at Wikipedia will tell you that the characters (literally "wood orchid") retain their meaning even when switching from Chinese to Japanese (which is not always the case in compound kanji).)

Anyway, the point is, Mulan's flower is a magnolia. Tiana's is a lotus.

Today I'm thankful for Page being kind enough to get off the laptop for a little bit, being done with our work quota for today, pretty nail polishes, getting a shipping confirmation from CD Japan even though they said it might take another 2-3 weeks, and water lilies.
Tags: d. gray-man, disney princesses, kingdom hearts, language geekiness

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