Our next excerpt takes us to Chapter Three, to one of the sections in the game that translates powerfully into novel form: Happy Happy Village. Fittingly, we find ourselves in a temple that basically resembles a school gym, and in this gym-like stadium we have a stage with a zushi–essentially, a small buddhist shrine shaped like a cupboard that holds a statue of Buddha. This time, though, the doors are housing none other than a small statue of Mani-Mani–there is a mini version of the statue that appears in the book, and here it is.
Carpainter and the Happy-Happyists (a fantastic band name) have just completed their Outstanding Believer Awards Show, wherein believers win awards for outstanding acts of innovation and courage in demonstrating unparalleled faith such as setting free 300 blue coral snakes in a neighborhood area, striking down 50 people–pitiful, unknowing sheep astray from the ways of Blue Blue–with loving smacks until they were covered with so many bruises their skin turned black and blue, and, most Japanesely of all, rewiring every single traffic light in town so that all of them would always display that lovely color of blue-green at all times.
It’s always bizarre when this game novelization, which takes place in the very epitome of America, throws out strictly Japanese cultural cues. I’m not even talking about the Buddhist props being used by Happy-Happyists. I’m talking about the fact that Japanese people, to the chagrin of all non-native Japanese speakers, call the green light of traffic lights “blue”, not green. And now I’m trapped having to convince people that a traffic light has even a vague tint of blue to it.