Alright friends, welcome back. We’ve come to the second half of Holiday Star, so grab your tissues. I think this part is pretty tame but the suckerpunches are winding up around the corner, and spoilers for BBL will be popping up in the short stories and radio versions. I’m so excited!
If you haven’t read Night on the Galactic Railroad yet, and you’d like to in order to get the most out of Holiday Star, now is the time.
Ruler of the stars — the Dreaming King.
The path to his kingdom quietly awakens in the sleeping night sky.
We must not miss the train.
We cross the glowing river.
We follow the obsidian map into the world of shadows.
I am not here.
It’s almost the end of the year.
And Nageki just came out to me.
What do you–
I believe I am what you would refer to as a ghost, bound to the place of my death.
Or something like that.
I only ever see him in the library, but I just thought he was a shut-in!
I never expected this.
I’ve seen a thousand wonders in my time, but even I’m a little surprised… of course, he’s still Nageki.
It’s not like we can’t be together anymore!
No matter who or what he is, he’s still my friend.
This won’t change anything.
…you are very strange, Miss Tosaka.
Shouldn’t you pick your friends a little more carefully?
What are you talking about?
I can be friends with a ghost if I want!
That’s all for today… see you all tomorrow.
Half-days remind you that it’s the end of the semester, huh?
There is perhaps a week left?
Aww, that’s so lonely… I want to stay in class 2-3 a little longer.
(Okosan feels lonely, too!
Okosan does not want to be thrown out of this room!)
Hmph! Why not repeat a year, if you want to stay that much?
Repeating a year in high school would be a little much…
You don’t mind, Sakuya?
You don’t feel sad that we might all split up at the end of the year?
Erm… n-not at all…
Group mentality is for the weak!
I guess I’m one of the weak, then.
I hope we’ll all be in the same class again next year!
With Mister Nanaki!
Well… I hope I see you all in the spring, too.
The year is almost over.
Meaning I’m almost through at the library, too… I should be heading over there about now.
Oh, could you wait a moment?
We’re not done?
Sorry… I forgot to tell you all something.
Umm… they’ll be opening the school the night after tomorrow!
Opening the school?
Is it some sort of school-wide bravery challenge…?
A grand tournament of guts to close the year!
Perfect to make the blood boil and the flesh crawl!
Think of the memories we’ll make!
I-I don’t want to make those memories!
Unfortunately… that’s not it.
It’s the astronomy club’s activity night.
The astronomy club?
The astronomy club used to do a lot of serious observation, but after a while their activities devolved into bonfire mixer parties.
After a long and circuitous tale they turned into a cult and worshipped the bonfire as a god, and the student council had to enact punitary measures.
If you want to hear more about their story, go buy that thing and listen to it!
You know the thing?
The one that isn’t out in English.
Will people even know what to buy from that description, Hiyoko?
(It’s stealth marketing! Stealth marketing!)
It didn’t sound very stealthy to me.
A true Samurai is never stealthy!
Hiyoko is talking about the first Drama CD: Prologue. Luckily it’s fully translated here on youtube. If you speak Japanese or you’re just a collector, you can also buy them online. Moa has released her own summaries of what happens track by track but they’re extremely… barren. Enjoy the youtube link, and buy the CD when you can, to support the artist! Moa is understanding about these kinds of things. I’m sure she won’t mind.
So the astronomy club has started having activities again?
That’s right, though the bonfires are still banned.
There’s going to be a total lunar eclipse that night.
We decided… to open up the roof, so everyone could see!
You don’t need to be a member of the astronomy club to come.
A total lunar eclipse? That sounds exciting!
Who knows when another one will happen? I think I’ll go!
I heard there’s going to be a radical lunar eclipse, Nageki!
It’s a total lunar eclipse, Miss Tosaka.
Not a ‘radical’ lunar eclipse.
Nageki’s stare is like the frigid wind of a Siberian winter night.
Have you ever seen one, Nageki?
I may have, or I may not have.
I do not remember.
I suppose he did only realize that he’s dead a few days ago. His memory must still be foggy.
They’re opening the school at night the day after tomorrow so we can see it!
Want to watch it with me, Nageki?
We could have a moon-viewing party in the library!
The moon’s going to be eclipsed.
I’m not sure how much of a moon-viewing party that would be.
Wouldn’t we have a better view from the roof, anyway?
Oh… yes… It is going to be open, after all. But can you get out of here?
If it’s on the roof, then yes.
Aren’t you trapped in here?!
Perhaps I didn’t tell you.
I can’t leave the library… but I can move straight up and down.
To the chemistry lab directly underneath us, for instance.
Mobility: vertical only!
That’s amazing! I’ll have to train my legs so that one day I can move like that, too!
Umm… so, you’ll be able to join us on the roof?
That’s amazing, Nageki!
I’m not sure I see what good it does us.
Just think about it!
We can go sunbathing on the roof during lunch breaks, and stuff!
Aah, I’m getting excited already…
I suppose so.
But you’re always taking naps on the library windowsill anyway, so I don’t think it will be all that different.
Geez, Nageki! Isn’t a change of scene supposed to be romantic?!
Anyway, let’s watch the eclipse together!
If you want to?
Well… all right.
…you’re awfully enthusiastic.
Of course I am!
Aaah, I can’t wait! I can’t wait!
Please be aware!
This episode contains spoilers for the Inugami Clan, by Yokomizo Seishi
If you are reading it or plan to read it, you may want to wait until after that to play this game.
Otherwise, enjoy the ride!
“Yasu did it” is a bit of a meme in Japan that I’ve heard a few times. Consider it an exclamation of “Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s Father” or a more mystery-related equivalent. I double-checked with the Powers That Be to get a clarification. Spoilers for what it comes from, click here. Moa also gave me the rundown on how this is a spoiler, which I will discuss once we get there.
The promised night of the total lunar eclipse!
And not a cloud in the sky. Perfect for a moon-viewing party!
I’m not sure it’s exactly a moon-viewing party… but I am glad it’s clear. The weather report said it might get cloudy, after all.
It’s cold up here, so make sure to stay warm, everyone!
I see you even brought a blanket, sir!
Yes, this blanket always helps me relax… zzz
Wake up, you fool!
Aren’t you supposed to be the chaperone?!
Looks like the regular crew is all here.
Meeting up in the school at night like this is so exciting!
(It is a full moon!
Okosan’s bestial heritage awakens!)
(Can you feel your bestial inner selves calling, Hiyoko? Nageki?)
My bestial inner self?
I don’t think I have one.
I can, Okosan! My hunter-gatherer blood boils!
…looking at you I almost wonder if there ever really was a time when humans ruled the earth, Miss Tosaka.
(Okosan thinks Hiyoko is probably not a human!)
NO!! I am a human!
Can the others even see him?
Okosan doesn’t seem to be having any trouble… I’ve heard that animals can see ghosts, so maybe the same is true of older breeds?
What about Ryouta?
Oh, hi, Nageki!
I thought you only ever showed up in the library!
He can see him just fine.
Maybe Ryouta and I are attuned to the paranormal?
Is there… really someone there?
You can’t see him?
A kind of skinny mourning dove?
I am not surprised.
Most birds haven’t paid any attention to me until now.
I am not sure I believe it.
Is this a joke?
Though if it were I bet you’d fall for it completely!
(Only birds who are pure of heart can see him!
Okosan is pure!)
Wha… do you mean to mock me, filthy mongrel?!
Aaah! Geez, don’t fight, you two!
Doves aren’t usually nocturnal, are they?
Why do they all have so much energy?
Aaagh, these two have too much energy, as well!
I had hoped they would calm down once Christmas was past, but… it would seem that they become excited in response to any sort of special event.
You’re here to see the eclipse, too?
I suppose I am… it is certainly an interesting phenomenon, and these two insisted on seeing it.
Mister Moon is playing hide-and-seek!)
Well, everyone seems to be having fun!
Mmm… it’s almost midnight.
Look at the sky, everyone.
It should start soon!
You don’t need to shout. I can hear you perfectly well.
You’ll bother the neighbors.
OH!!! It’s the middle of the night!
Can I sit next to you?
I can’t tell if his feathers are warm, or cold…
I can barely even tell that I’m touching them at all… it could just be my imagination.
But, sitting here gazing up at the night sky, he seems happier than usual.
Seeing his face makes me feel warm inside…
This must all be my imagination.
The eclipse is starting.
There’s a gentle rumbling of train tracks.
I can see no one else on the train. It is very quiet.
Is this… the last train?
It’s dark outside.
I look up, and address the dove leaning his head out the window opposite.
Don’t stick your head out too far, Nageki!
It looks so strange outside… what are those lights floating by?
Are we next to a river?
I think so.
The river of stars, that is.
The river of stars?
The Milky Way.
Those are the stars you see.
Oh, so that’s it?
I see blue stars, and green ones, and all colours…
There are indeed a great variety.
The concept of one of these seems weird to me. I wish I could play with one to see how it worked. It is also worth noting that the writing around the edge is the final stanza from Oscar Wilde’s Tristitae.
Nageki takes a black planisphere out from somewhere and points at it.
Cygnus… Is that a constellation?
Maybe you know it as the swan.
Oh, yes! Yes!
I know that one!
So Cygnus is the Swan?
I never knew!
The bright one we just passed is Deneb. I think we’ll see Albireo in a few minutes.
You know a lot, Nageki.
I was always told that every hunter-gatherer needs to be able to find Polaris, but other than that I don’t know any of them.
If we passed its tail, and are nearing the head… we must be traveling from north to south.
But… the swan is a summer constellation. It’s a little early for us to be seeing it from the northern hemisphere.
It’s still the third semester, after all.
…wait, Nageki… when did we get onto this train?
Where are we going?
I don’t know.
And the train is going through outer space?!
…it would seem so.
Wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-what do I do?!
We’re finally on a date in outer space and… I forgot my spacesuit!
What will happen if I go into a vacuum without a spacesuit on?!
Will I explode?!
The window’s been open the entire time.
Close it, Nageki!
Before we explode!
Calm down, Miss Tosaka.
It’s all right.
This is probably just a dream.
Nageki can move vertically, but he still can’t leave the school.
There’s no way we could be on a train together.
Ummm… what were we doing…?
We were watching the eclipse on the roof with everyone.
Does this mean… we fell asleep in the middle of the eclipse?
It’s a little bit cliche, but you could try pinching your cheek.
Hmmm… it… doesn’t hurt.
It feels kind of… unsatisfying.
I feel the same as always.
But if you don’t feel normal, this must be a dream.
I see… that’s too bad.
Going on a trip with you would be so much fun, but it’s just a dream…
I don’t mind if it is.
He continues staring out the window at the pale stars.
He seems more open than usual.
I guess he’s right. We should enjoy ourselves, even if it is just a dream!
We will be checking tickets now. Please have them ready as the conductor comes by.
Howdy there. Please show me your tickets.
The conductor appears without a sound. I never felt him coming!
He’s as good as the Doctor!
…umm… wait, have I met you somewhere before?
Could be. I see too many people every day to know.
I really feel like I’ve seen him somewhere before.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence?
Anyway, tickets, please.
You mean we need to pay to ride the train, even if it’s a dream…?!
Oh… I see you have a Scorpion Flame, sir. The planisphere gets you on for free.
You get a free ride, Nageki?
I don’t remember getting this anywhere…
Of course not.
The Scorpion Flame is a treasure passed down only to the chosen ones.
Space can be a dangerous place for someone without one of those.
Take good care of it.
Never, ever, ever give it to anyone, no matter how they ask.
It is a far cry from what a middle-schooler might use in a science fair project. It looks antique, and valuable.
The stars aren’t printed on the surface, and instead glitter almost with their own light.
Are those real gemstones?
And you, miss?
You don’t have a planisphere, do you?
I need to pay a fare, too?!
Of course you do.
Only the one with the planisphere gets on for free.
Aaaagh! What a financially troubling dream!
Wh-what do I do…?
Do I have anything I could use as a ticket?
…what …is that?
It’s the fortune I drew at the temple at New Year’s…
You’ve been holding onto it for a while.
Aah, that’s a ticket for the green car.
You can stay here if you want, but you could move to the celebrity car.
See you around.
What a convenient dream!