Anyway, we have a lot of new manga to talk about! But we still haven't met all the requirements to talk about the one we worked on today, so hopefully that will be cleared by tomorrow and I can talk about all the new series then (in addition to linking to more pictures).
In the meantime, we still have a Labyrinth of Andersen ending I haven't reported on.
After condemning the Little Match Boy to an unspecified amount of time soaking in a magic spring, it was time to start over and choose another character's path. Since Rune was the second character we met (except for the Dragon Knight, but he seems more like the type of character you have to unlock), we decided to go for his ending. So fast forward from the beginning aaaaalllll the way past the hot springs chapter (where you choose the path by telling the Little Mermaid and the Ice Princess that you maybe kinda like Rune; the Little Mermaid isn't very excited to hear that) and the Swan Knight incident, and now Thumbelina is ready to make a decision about where to go next. This time, instead of going back to her hometown, she decides...to continue her journey!
At this point Rune says yeah, I was just thinking it was about time I visited my family, wanna come? And Thumbelina says, "Do I!?" and so she and Rune go back to Rune hometown while everyone else joins the Ice Princess to search for her sister. There was no real reason none of them could come along with Rune and Thumbelina, so our best guess is that they're afraid of getting kicked by horses (you guys know that idiom, right?).
And now the game just tells you, like what you guys didn't know that?, that Rune is going back to the elf village, because duh he's an elf. I guess all that hinting with the merpeople was supposed to make it obvious. The party was all, "Huh. I had no idea." And the Little Mermaid is like, "I did!" (They're friends now.)
But of course elves aren't going to have a village you can just go to. So Rune and Thumbelina made a treacherous climb up a very high cliff, and Thumbelina almost fell off which made for a great photo opportunity when Rune caught her. The other great photo op came when a sudden blizzard came along, forcing them to take shelter in a convenient cave on the side of the cliff. I guess it wasn't that sudden; they made it to the cave, and Rune was like, "We have to stay here; there's a blizzard coming." But it was sudden enough that they weren't fully prepared with, like, warm clothes or anything, which is why it made for a great photo op, because Rune kept Thumbelina warm through the night by wrapping her in his big strong arms. He also apologized for not realizing this would be a problem sooner; as an elf, he forgets that regular humans, like, have needs and stuff. *shrug*
Finally they make it to the top of the cliff, but there's no village! Why? Because the elf village is actually an airship that only touches down once every ten years. Convenient timing, eh? Because very soon the ship came into view. I guess it stays there for about a week or so, so they wouldn't have missed even if the blizzard made them late. Anyway, Thumbelina and Rune board the ship and then all the elves are like (to Thumbelina), "You have immeasurable power! You must die!" And Rune is like, "I don't think so!" and the leader of the elves is like, "Now, now. She's our guest." And Rune is all, "Ugh, Dad. Don't embarrass me in front of my friends, Dad." Because surprise, surprise! Rune is the son of the leader of the elves. He's also only half elf. That got mentioned at some point.
And his dad's like, "When are you going to settle down in the elf kingdom?" and Rune's like, "Ugh, Dad. I told you I wasn't going to stay here, Dad. I can do what I want with my life, Dad." (Incidentally, he wasn't that punk teenager about it (he made an effort to be congenial), but he was still pretty standoffish.) So then he gives Thumbelina the grand tour of the ship, and she's like, "Wow, how does it stay in the air?" and he's like, "Iiiiii'll tell you later. You don't wanna know." But she finds out anyway, because something! calls to her, from the engine room. (You know, in that telepathic "use the Force" kind of calling way.)
On the way there, Thumbelina and Rune pass by a big hallway with murals depicting elvish history. Apparently they all lived on Atlantis and were like this super race--really smart and scientific and logical, and also pretty much immortal. But I guess they angered the gods with some sciencey thing that they did or something, because there was a flood! And that's when they built the giant airship that they all live on now, but not all of the Atlantians could fit on the boat, so they got left behind. Some of them survived by swearing their souls to the sea and became merpeople, and that's why the merfolk hate the elves. Tadah!
Anyway, they pass through a bunch of cages where the elves had experimented on all kinds of creatures, and they even created an artificial life form, which for some reason had to be gigantic. I don't know why, but I'm guessing it had something to do with Attack on Titan. And then they made it to the engine room, where a giant magical tree was hooked up to these capsules--hundreds of capsules--that contained sleeping elves. Why? Because the elves took shifts sleeping for hundreds of years, and the tree would absorb their magic and convert it to flight power. But the elves were all cool with it, because they live for so very very long (Rune can't remember ever hearing of an elf dying of old age) that they just get so excruciatingly bored with life, and they need to sleep for a long time so things will be new and interesting when they wake up. But they're still lonely, which is why they called out in their sleep to Thumbelina.
This is where we learn about Rune's angst, because he's only half elf, so he ages faster than the other elves, but slower than humans (he's 217 years old), so he doesn't fit in anywhere, and he's just so lonely and that's why he hates everyone. He also thinks the elves are too out of touch with nature because they live in isolation on the airship.
And then the airship gets attacked. The evil wizard, in his quest for ultimate knowledge and power, has been searching for the elves for a long time, and now he has finally found them! So he sends one of his minions (a super scissor lizard) to destroy the engine room because that's productive (it actually probably is, because if the ship can't take off, he can peruse it at his leisure), and there's a big battle and the connection between the magic tree and the sleeping elves is cut, so the tree is going berserk and sucking up all the magic of anyone or anything it touches. It needs to stabilize before anyone can even think about fixing it, and the only way to do that is with a lot of magic power.
And Thumbelina is like, "I have infinite magic power!" and Rune is like, "What? NOOOOOOOOO!" and Thumbelina's like, "Did you say something? *grabs cords*" And she uses up a whole lot of magic, but Rune's friend does manage to get the tree under control. But now that she's used up so much magic at once, she can't maintain her human size! So there's a really cute still of Rune catching her when she shrinks.
But then! the evil wizard comes along and pins Rune to the tree with a super magic pain arrow, and he grabs Thumbelina and has a super creepy back-and-forth with himself about how she's so small and fragile and he wants so very badly to break her arms but he really should take her back to the emperor in one piece, but he reeeeeally wants to break her arms, but he should take her back in one piece, etc. (This is where we find out that the emperor's official title is the Nude Emperor...or was it Nude King? I might have inserted emperor into my memory because it's the emperor's new clothes, but they always call him Ou-sama, which is usually just king, and king sounds better in katakana...)
Well of course Rune can't watch this without getting really really mad, so he endures the pain of the super pain arrow (which hurts at least as much to pull out as to leave in) and yanks it out of himself (but that's not possible!, the evil wizard shrieks (incidentally, turns out he's a dark elf; this was mentioned, but not really explained)), then summons all the magic he can summon (and Thumbelina sent him some, too) to enhance his own archery abilities and shoot the evil wizard down. Neither of us can remember if he died, but he's defeated anyway.
And finally they can repair the ship and everything can calm down. Rune and Thumbelina decide to leave the ship, and then Rune finally tells her about his mother. She left him with his father many many many years ago and asked his father not to come find her, because she didn't want him to see her grow old. Still, when Rune was just a kid (about in his thirties), he just had to see her, so he disembarked from the airship and quested until he finally found her...playing with all her grandchildren from her new family. He desperately wanted to talk to her, but he felt like he couldn't, so he just watched from afar. Just as he was about to leave, their eyes met, and she smiled at him as if she recognized him. She couldn't bring herself to call him over, either, so instead she started humming a tune, which Rune always remembered and is always playing on his ocarina, because we're pretty sure he was modeled in large part after Link from The Legend of Zelda.
And then he was like, "So you see, I just can't get close to anyone, because there's too much pain. Everyone always grows old and leaves me behind." And apparently there was some jerk in a village he lived in for a while who, when he visited again decades later, accused him of being a life-sucking grim reaper who stole all the youth from everybody else. Some people, I tell you.
Anyway, Thumbelina said, "If I had to choose between a world with you and pain, or a world without you and with no pain, I wouldn't hesitate to choose the world with you and pain!" And it was very sweet but a little difficult to translate without sounding really cheesy.
Just about then, the airship flies overhead and drops something on them--it's a synthetic version of the potion that made Thumbelina big! And the note from Rune's dad said, "But it's not very good. It'll only last about ten years. Hmm, that sounds like a good time for you to come back and get some more." Awwww.
And they lived happily ever after, until a few days later when we started over and tried for another ending. The end. Maybe. I think there might be an additional, extra happy ending, if Labyrinth of Grimm is anything to judge by. But we will see.
Today I'm thankful for having the feeling in my lips, finishing the translation we worked on today, getting Rune's ending, rain in the forecast, and it being dinner time.