Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Translation Corner #17

This keyword is all about Durandal, it's not very long or detailed but I added a nice history lesson for those of you who might be curious about the legend behind the sword that inspired its appearance in Symphogear.


One of the very few complete relics. It has been designated as the 5th relic. 

Several years ago when the European Union was on the brink of economic collapse, the Japanese government was able to take possession of Durandal under the condition that it would shoulder a portion of the EU's large debt. 

It has been kept under strict guard within the deepest sector of the Special Disaster Response Team Division 2's headquarters, but after the Noise outbreaks began to occur with more frequency in the nearby area, the Japanese government came up with a plan to transfer it. 

However, during the transfer, the transport vehicles were raided by the Noise and in the battle that ensued Durandal was activated by Hibiki's singing voice. 

Durandal has a reputation for being an "indestructible and everlasting" weapon. After it has been activated it can be utilized as a sword that produces overwhelming amounts of energy at an inexhaustible rate. 

Due to the attacks by the Noise, or rather due to the "unforeseen activation" that occurred, the transport of Durandal to Nagatacho was temporarily abandoned and currently it is stored back in the deepest sector of Division 2's headquarters, known as the "abyss." 

So once again it seems that Japan had acquired a relic from another country, since presumably the only one they found in Japan was Ame no Habakiri. Aside from that fact, I don't think there's much here that we didn't already know, but to explain more about the reason why Durandal is well-known as an immortal weapon I did some research on its origin. I actually talked a little about this in the notes I wrote up in my release of volume 1 of the manga, but let me detail it again here.

Count Roland of France, owner of the legendary sword Durendal
Within French historical literature there is legend of a sword known as "Durendal." The sword was wielded by a paladin named Roland who served under King Charlemagne (aka Charles the Great). The origin of the sword is mysterious as there are multiple interpretations of how the sword came into Roland's possession, however several versions of the story detail that it was originally forged by the master blacksmith known as Wayland the Smith (from Norse mythology). The sword was then given to an angel who delivered it to the King who then bestowed it upon Roland.

Roland receives Durendal from the King

In legend, Durendal is known to be perpetually sharp and indestructible, which helped Roland achieve many victories in his battles. However, in the Battle of Roncevaux Pass, Roland was faced with an overwhelming number of enemies from an attacking Muslim army. While he was successful in holding off the opposition long enough for the King's forces to retreat, he was left with fatal wounds.

Roland knows that his death is near.

Before his death Roland attempted to destroy Durendal to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy. Using all his pent up rage and pain he swung the sword repeatedly against a giant rock trying to break it, but instead he ended up creating La Brèche de Roland (a large gap in the steep cliffs within the Pyrenees mountain range).

The gap that Roland allegedly made while trying to destroy Durendal

Eventually he came to the conclusion that the sword could not be destroyed with human strength and hid it underneath his body. The local folklore of one town in France claims that instead of hiding the sword, Roland threw it and it was embedded in a cliff where a fragment of it still exists today (but there are claims it is a fake).

The supposed remnants of Durendal stuck in a cliff

It's interesting to note that Durendal itself was known to contain multiple sacred relics inside of its golden hilt. These included: a tooth from Saint Peter, the blood of Saint Basil, a strand of hair from Saint Denis and a piece of robe worn by Saint Mary. Also the supposed forger of the sword, Wayland the Smith, was known for forging other famous swords such as Caliburn (later known as Excalibur) and the magic sword Gram (also known as Balmung or Nothung). Overall it's very interesting to find such a rich history behind the sword and its connection to other famous relics. Who knows? Any of these may play a part in season 2!


  1. Very interesting, great job, great really

  2. I'd love to see other legendary weapons in season 2. It'll be like a Holy Grail War! Although I'm not sure how other people would feel about that. I mean, it would almost be like "Fate/stay Night: the musical".