The image is fuzzy because my scanner is lousy; beyond lies a slightly sharper image.  From left to right: Tagak, Rouj, Morris, Ghaleon, Zain, Latona.

If I told you what was happening to elicit such an emotion from Ghaleon, I'd be spoiling things, so I'll just mention that Akari Funato is a wonderfully expressive artist.Pauvre petit Ghaleon...GHALEON, seventeen years old here, takes up his brother's great ambition, the airship project, without really understanding why. Ghaleon did not have a good relationship with his late brother; he feels Zain abandoned him in pursuit of his dream of flying and cared nothing for him, and so Ghaleon distanced himself from Zain - "my brother took no interest in me," Ghaleon at one point explains, "and so I took no interest in him". Ghaleon is, of course, the manga's main character.

A rare glimpse of Zain's faceZain's face is never shown in the manga itself, which is why we have a silhouette here.  The image at left is taken from some cel art for the tankoubon.ZAIN (pronounced "zyne") was Ghaleon's older brother; he taught magic at the guild and was regarded as a selfless, altruistic man dedicated to public service. Zain was fascinated with birds and their ability to fly, and his great ambition was to soar up to the skies and emulate them; he designed and started to build an airship for that purpose, but died of unspecified causes before construction was completed. The story opens with his funeral. Zain is fondly remembered and beloved by seemingly everyone in Vheen - except his little brother. (And, yes, Akari Funato says that the one-letter difference between "Zain" and "Dain" is intentional.)

Latona sings Althena's requiemSad LatonaLATONA is a singer who has acted as a sort of big sister to Ghaleon throughout his life. She loved Zain and deeply mourns him - as well as the impending demise of the magic race's culture in Vheen - and thus is a rather melancholy soul. (The name "Latona" is a mythological reference - in Roman mythology, Latona was the mother of Apollo and Diana, the god and goddess associated with the sun and moon respectively. The mythological Latona was the daughter of Titans, the race that ruled the earth before the "current" deities took over; after becoming pregnant, she was cursed by the queen of the gods to wander about the world without refuge or a homeland, but was eventually immortalized as a goddess herself. OK, so the parallels aren't absolute, but there're some there.)

Morris  -  bothering Ghaleon, as usualA shocked Morris.  I wish I had some better pictures of the guy, but all the good shots of him are near the spine of the book, where I can't scan...MORRIS is the current premier of the Magic Guild of Vheen. He doesn't seem to feel close ties to the magic race's culture or history; we see him instead concentrating on the present and his job. He is in love with Latona (or at least wants to marry Latona - the actual depth and authenticity of his love is debatable), but she doesn't want anything to do with him. He also tries to talk to Ghaleon about the boy's ill feelings toward his brother (and actually seems to have a good handle on their root cause), but Ghaleon doesn't want to have anything to do with him either. (Morris's smart-alecky, teasingly antagonistic attitude doesn't help.)

Rouj frustrated with GhaleonRouj winking at GhaleonROUJ, like Zain, taught magic (I believe Akari Funato's notes say he taught Zain himself). His name (which is pronounced "roadge", by the way) is derived from the Japanese word "roujin", meaning "old person" - which Rouj indeed is (if he's a member of the magic race and actually looks old, he must have had a very long life indeed). He takes a special, grandfatherly interest in Ghaleon, and while he's at first skeptical of Ghaleon's undertaking of the construction of the airship, the boy's persistence wins his respect, and he becomes Ghaleon's closest ally in the project.

Tagak working, though you can't really see itWhat, do I have to come up with a caption for everything?TAGAK (pronounced "tahng-ahk") is Rouj's son and a craftsman and metalsmith. He comes off as a little rough at first - he's not receptive to Ghaleon's plans to continue the airship project at first, calling them "the whims of a brat" - but he's really a good, decent guy, and he possesses that rarest of traits among Lunar characters - pragmatism. I kinda came to admire him for that.

Note: the "magic race" to which the elf-eared characters above belong is referred to as the "mazoku" in Japanese ("ma" = "magical" or "evil", "zoku" = "family" or "race") - the same name of what is called the "Vile Tribe" in the English versions. They seem to be regarded as one and the same here - Morris talks about going to one of the "many magic race villages on the Frontier" at one point, and Latona and Tagak sport the same lines/markings/tattoos on their bodies that Xenobia and her sisters have. No explanation is given as to why all of the Vheen mazoku have pointed ears while none of the Frontier mazoku do.
We are told, however, what differentiates the magic race (the Vheen magic race, at least) from humans - 1) they age extremely slowly and have exceptionally long life, and 2) they don't need chants or incantations to weave spells - they can cast magic instantly. The magic race/mazoku - the elf-eared mazoku, anyway - once had the run of Vheen, but then the humans moved in and founded their own settlements in Vheen on the east end of town. All that remains of the magic race's presence in Vheen in "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku"'s present are the five characters above (sans Zain) and the old-style houses and ruins on the west end of town.

Dih-dih-dih-dih-dih-DAH DAH, dih-dih-dih-dih-dih-DAH DAH... (my pathetic attempts to recreate the Miss Gulch Wizard of Oz theme through text)Really, though, the guildmistress is a nice lady.  These pictures don't do her justice.THE GUILDMISTRESS is - well, her job title is self-explanatory. We're never told her name proper (except, of course, that her last name must be "Ausa"), but she seems to be a very confident leader and gets along well with (most of) the remaining members of the magic race, despite the strains the recent human population explosion and fall of the old culture would seemingly put on such relations. Zain taught her magic, and she seems to remember him a little bit more fondly than most... (Funato's notes say that Zain was her "first love"; they avoid giving a definite answer as to whether or not that love was returned. Judging by how warmly she thinks of him, though, I'd think that there was once something between them.) As you can see from the pics, the guildmistress has very frizzy-permy hair and dresses, for some inexplicable reason, looks a lot like Miss Gulch from The Wizard of Oz. (She's also Mia's great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother).

Nia carrying a bird (unseen here)Niea talking to GhaleonNIEA is the guildmistress's daughter. She greatly looks up to Ghaleon - she calls "oniichama", meaning "big brother" (a kiddish corruption of "oniisama", a respectful term for one's older brother) - and takes any opportunity to tag along with him. A cute kid.

And what would a Hikuusen Monogatari be without a Hikuusen?

The Great Inheritance

'A _bird_!?'  Yeah, I know.

Back to the Translation Junk Drawer.

Disclaimer: Lunar, Vheen Hikuusen Monogatari, "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku", and all related official works are property of Game Arts, Akari Funato, and/or Working Designs; this document isn't affiliated with either. (Who'd want to be associated with Working Designs after all of Ireland's childish antics?) Problems? Contact the maintainer. Airship design by Hajime Satou! Airship design by Hajime Satou! Ah, why not, it's a cool airship.