Peer into Tangental Thinking

typed for your pleasure on 28 December 2005, at 7.53 pm

Sdtrk: ‘J’achète des disques Américains’ by Stella

It’s recently just struck me that I need to buy, borrow, or rent a copy of the book ‘Watership down’.

In browsing the mecha board on one of my favourite Internet time-wasters and hard-drive-fillers, 4chan.org, someone had posted some more illustrations of mecha from the Gundam side story ‘Advance of Zeta‘, serialised in Dengeki Hobby magazine. It’s not (yet) officially canon in the Universal Century Gundam timeline, but ‘Advance of Zeta’ profiles various models of Mobile suits that the Titans were testing, I believe prior to the events that took place in ‘Zeta Gundam’. At this point, it’s not even a manga, let alone a television or OVA series; it’s simply a bunch of model kits designed by Hajime Katoki and Kenji Fujioka. Well, I think there’s some sort of story wrapped round the mecha maybe, much in the same way that they built the Gatling cannon for the A-10 Thunderbolt II first, before they even designed the plane. Derek, you wanna help me out with the details here?
At any rate, one of the interesting/fab things about the Mobile suits from ‘AoZ’ is that a lot of them have development names that are taken from ‘Watership down’. It’s rather ace; almost all of the logos for the Titans Test Team are stylised bunnies, as seen here.


two of the insignia used by the Titans Test Team

You’ve got the Hazel, the Bigwig, the Dandelion, the Kehaar, etc. The Hazel’s booster scramble pack is called the Hrududu, which is what the rabbits called motor vehicles.

So after the initial statements of ‘O, that’s feckin’ ace’ were made, it’s occurred to me that I’ve never really read ‘Watership down’, and I haven’t seen the 1978 film in years, as I’d found it to be creepy and moribund. All I remember is unsettling 70s animation showing rabbits dying horribly, and gnashing of teeth, and lots of blood everywhere. But in looking up info on Watership down on the Interbutt, in particular the Wiki article, I’d noticed something about that story that I didn’t remember at all: the rabbits had their own language, called Lapine. Again, refer to ‘O, that’s feckin’ ace’ statement above.
Despite my rigid adherence to the idea that English-speaking people should speak English properly, otherwise I throw them headfirst down a well, I love it when authors manage to alter or augment language, or devise a language all their own — this would be one of the reasons that I really dig Anthony Burgess. ‘A clockwork orange’ was the first book of his that I’d read, shortly after seeing the film, of course, and words like ‘ptitsa’ and ‘korova’ and ‘horrorshow’ and ‘malenky’ thrown in amongst English much in the same way we use ‘croissant’ and ‘rendezvous’ and ‘zeitgeist’ and ‘sushi’ nowadays fascinated the hell out of me. So discovering that the rabbits of Watership down spoke a vaguely Welsh-sounding language definitely piqued an interest in wanting to read the novel.

Now I want to know what the hell those rabbits were saying, and eventually, I’d like to learn Lapine. I may not have a whole lot of opportunites to use it, but nevertheless..
Knowledge is Power, The More You Know, etc etc

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

End of an era on November 30th, 2005

Telephone or megaphone? on February 26th, 2007

9 have spoken to “Peer into Tangental Thinking”

  1. zszsz writes:

    either everyone’s still asleep from the holidays or i’m the only one in your audience you didn’t lose on this one . . . : ]

    synchronicity, watershipdown, gundam . . . did ya write this FOR me?

    you’ve talked about so much gundam though & i’ve seen so little . . . sad, being that i was so in love with it for what i HAD seen for so many years . . . now i’ve no idea what’s going on . . .

    i’m babbling . . .

    because I’M still asleep from the holidays . . .

    i only came here to ask a dumb question: did you see the new vespa? now even EYE am on that jock . . . : ]

    http://tinyurl.com/o9e4v

    love . . .

  2. zszsz writes:

    oh, mah, gah . . .

    who’s that doll next to my comment?!

    oh, oops, she is a doll . . . i, uh . . .

    bloop, bloop, bloop . . .

    [hearts floating outta’ my cartoon head]

    oh, hey melissa . . . what?!

  3. Davecat writes:

    Don’t forget the bit where Melissa tags you in the back of the head with either a rolling pin or a saucepan, to complete the effect. 🙂
    Yeah, that wee miss is really delectable. Remind me to bring the few pics I have of her when I’m round to yours, cos that particular guest Gravatar gets swapped out this Sunday. O hey, Shi-chan.. what?!

    That new retro Vespa is smexy. The colour scheme complements it perfectly! All it needs is a chrome luggage rack on the front, and it would be absolutely perfect..

    And you gotta get hip to the Gundam tip! (That sounded horrible. I apologise) Gunota is a somewhat good place to start, and then there’s always the Wiki entry..
    Have you got a DVD player yet? Cos my single-disk copies of ‘Gundam 0080’ might be looking for a new home..

  4. SafeTinspector writes:

    *sigh* I am also so ignorant in the Gundam department.
    I still get it mixed up with Macross in my head.
    But, then I also get mixed up between pasta and antipasta and their mutual annihilation.

    I want to see the Watership Down movie! I never have, and it seems interesting.

  5. Davecat writes:

    Well, if the poster for the film doesn’t give you a shiver, then you should be good.

    Macross is the one with the planes that transform; Gundam has a couple of planes, but they don’t transform. Unless you’re talking about the Core fighter. Very simple!

    And yeah, keep the pasta well away from the anti-pasta — that’s just plain Good Advice.

  6. SafeTinspector writes:

    Thank You for the Good Advice.

  7. ninjascience writes:

    Actually, there is an Advance of Zeta manga out there, but it’s not available in English, unless you count scanlations. The model ‘kits’ are actually secondary to the artwork created by Kenki Fujioka. Most of the models are custom builds at this point but a few kits have been released on the HGUC line (does that make them canon? *shrug*). If you want to know more about AoZ you should start with my blog (listed as Homepage above). It’s got exclusively AoZ information (so far). From there you can follow the links to the AoZ Wiki and the Titans Test Team forum. Cheers! Ryan ‘ninjascience’ Miller

  8. Davecat writes:

    Ahh, very nice! You’ve been duly bookmarked! Well, your page’s been bookmarked, that is. 🙂

    Rather ace Wiki as well! Now, all they need to do is come up with a comprehensive book for the AoZ Mobile suits, much like the MS Encyclopedias..

  9. ninjascience writes:

    The closest thing in print form is the AoZ books. They are currently 3 volumes, with a fourth to come out soon. They are pretty much just compilations of all the art work, models, and photo-novel episodes from Dengeki Hobby Magazine. They don’t go into a TON of text info, but some of the drawings get REALLY detailed.

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