*For 13th Hour scanlations
*words in angle brackets are English words in the original text (originally written in katakana)
The end of an era.
Many lives were lost so that Japan might become great.
After three centuries of rule, the Tokugana Shoganate has fallen, and the Meiji government which took over is hard at work making drastic changes to their civilization.
The Age of Samurai is coming to an end.
[red text]: Japan moves towards a new, never-before-seen period: the Meiji era.
[blue text]: A new dawn of historical gunfights!!
[near bottom of 4, below title]: Original work: Tomisawa Yoshihiko
Manga: Yoshioka Sakaki
The Colorado, traveling between Hong Kong and San Francisco
Meiji 10 (1877), Pacific Ocean
Captain(?): Ladies and gentlemen, this is the final night of our three-month voyage. / We should be able to spot Japan on the horizon by morning. / Be it your long-awaited homecoming or your arrival to a new land, you will be arriving there tomorrow!
Captain(?): Please enjoy tonight’s banquet to your hearts’ content!
[top]: It’s the last night! Let’s finish this!
: We’re gettin’ our money back tonight!
: It’s now or never!
Dammit… I lost.
Shit! I’m out too!
Did he win everything?! / You don’t plan on runnin’ off with that cash, do you?
Cloak: Now then, what should I do?
Sailor: <Japanese>. / You don’t get what’s going on here, do you?
Sailor: You, a passenger who should be enjoying the free drinks up above, / is taking all the money from us poor sailors.
Sailor: And you’re all alone.
Cloak: Well, I’d rather be down here than be stared at from the shadows and treated like a guest. / You have my thanks, <American>.
Sailor: Keh! / If you want to show your thanks, why don’t you lose?
Cloak: …Well that’d be against the rules, now wouldn’t it? / This game’s starting to get dull.
Cloak: But this’ll
Cloak: make things a little more interesting.
Sailors: It’s all of our wages for this job!
Sailor: You bettin’ everything, / Clock?
Sailor: That’s a kid from Edo for ya’. / Can’t hold on to his money through the night.
Sailor: You’re a weird fellow. Are all Japanese like you?
Cloak: I’ve lived in America since I was 15; I’ve spent 10 years there.
Sailor: So you’re just a weird Japanese guy, then.
Cloak: And besides,
p11: Cloak: …. / There’s nothing wrong with taking what you can from a bunch of sailors deep in debt.
Sailor: You’ll pay for that.
Cloak: …I wonder.
Cloak: And I told you / The name’s not < Japanese >, or Clock.
Cloak: It’s Cloak!!
Sailor: Let’s see what you’ve got!!
Sailors: Full house against a set! / All right! Ned won!
Sailors: Nice goin’, Ned! / You got it all back!
Cloak: Dammit! Why’d my luck have to run out?!
Ned: Look’s like you’ve lost. / You fine with this? Going home without a penny to your name.
Cloak: I’ll be fine. I bought a souvenir back in America.
Ned: That so? But it looks like you still owe me a little more money.
Ned: Why don’t you give me that fountain pen in your pocket?
Cloak: … This is a memento of a certain individual. Gimme a break here.
Ned: That so? Then we’ll have you clean the place up for us instead.
Ned: For all of us.
Cloak: … Isn’t that a little harsh?
Ned: Them’s the rules!
Cloak: I’ll do it. / You did make this trip a fun one for me.
Ned: Hahaha! And he said he’d get us for all we’re worth! / Was he being spirited? Or was he just an idiot?
Sailor: Wait up, Ned: I think he…
Sailor: figured out your trick.
Ned: Reflected on that dropped bottle…
Cloak: There’s nothing wrong with taking what you can from a bunch of sailors deep in debt.
Ned: What a weird Japanese guy.
Cloak: This is a great night for cleaning!
Cloak’s aside: Cleaning, cleaning
Cloak: A great night, and a great woman! / < Good evening! >
Cloak’s aside: She didn’t even see me…
(?): Is she here?
Thugs: She’s not in the first-class cabins. / Why would she be there? / Shit! Where is she hiding?!
Cloak: …. / Why are things getting so noisy on the last night?
Cloak: Hah / I feel like I’m about to drop…
Cloak: Ah, damn it all! / It’s my final night, but it’s almost morning!
Cloak: 10 years away from Japan… / But you’re not there anymore, are you?
Cloak [inset]: You’re not anywhere anymore…
Ten years ago, February of Keiou 3 (1867)
(?): She’s about to set sail,
[bottom]: Cloak, 15 years old
(?): This is my parting gift. Take it with you.
(?): It’s a fountain pen—a special type of writing instrument.
(?): What is it?
Cloak: Wherever I go, / that’d be useful, right?
(?): You mean this?
(?): You’re not quite ready for this, kid.
(?): Besides, they’ve got tons where you’re going!
(?): And besides,
(?): The world’d be better off without this sort of thing, anyways.
(?): Aren’t you going to America to learn about <freedom >?!
(?): They say America’s a country where warriors and peasants are equals. / Where you’re free to live however you want.
(?): That’s called < FREEDOM >
Cloak: However you want… freedom.
Cloak: …. heh. … But America doesn’t—
Thugs: Of course she’s decided to hide with the luggage! / We should have gone there from the start! / So why didn’t you say anything until now?!
Thug: What are you doin’ in here?!
Cloak: I was just cleaning… / But what are you guys doing here—
Thug: Don’t talk back to me.
Thug: Let him go, Jim. It’d be a waste of a bullet.
Jim: Hey, you didn’t happen to see a black girl, did ya’?
Cloak: I… haven’t…
Thug: Then we have no business with you.
Jim: I really don’t like ya’, punk.
Jim: You yellow-bellied monkey.
Thug: Hey, Jim! / Don’t start something—we need to find the escaped slave first!
Cloak: … An escaped slave… So that makes them… Slave catchers…
…. / Ryuuma-nii, the America you spoke of…
Cloak: It was no dreamland.
(?): Would you please move?
(?): You came in while I was trying to change!
(?): But I suppose in the end / if you tried to stop them, you’d only have gotten yourself killed.
Cloak: S-so you’re the slave they’re chasing?
(?): What of it?
(?): I’m sure you know already, but you shouldn’t stick your neck where it doesn’t belong. / You won’t get off with just a beating next time. Or…
(?): Do you plan on killing them next time?
(?): Was I wrong....?
(?): Wrong about what?
Cloak: Never mind; forget it.
(?): Why’d you go to America?
Cloak: … To learn from a guy about < freedom >.
(?): … Ehh? / Lemme teach you something. / < Freedom > ain’t something you can learn—it’s something that flows in your blood, that you win!
… So that’s it. They never taught us that in Annapolis.
(?): Huh. Never would have thought you a soldier.
Cloak: You have a way with words.
(?): What a weird man.
(?): And hey! Didn’t you feel anything, seeing me naked?! / aside: You’d break a poor girl’s heart!
(?): You still can’t find her?
Thug: My-my humblest apologies!
Thug: We’ve searched every inch of the ship, but… / We’ll interrogate everyone on board! She won’t get away!
(?): There is no need to catch her.
(?): She will suffer her just deserts for opposing me soon enough.
Thug: Y-yes, sir.
Cloak: It’s been 10 years since I last saw Japan!
Cloak: …. We’re here.
Cloak: I heard the Restoration and everything’s already ended while I was in America. / So why—
Cloak: Why did I come back?
Cloak: ! / I said, it’s Cloak!
Ned: It’s what you earned cleaning. Take it.
Cloak: Wasn’t that part of the bet…?
Ned: I don’t need your sympathy! Stop trying to act so tough!
Ned: We’re friends, aren’t we?
Cloak: You guys…
Ned: But man, that’s a huge trunk you’ve got there. Souvenirs for your folks?
Cloak: Ah, no, this is…
Ned: Ahahaha! Shame we’ll be together for only a little while longer.
Thug: And you tried so hard to hide yourself. / I’m sorry, but it looks like your makeup’s starting to run.
The 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, / said that we’d be safer if we let the rights of blacks be controlled by southern whites.
* if this is a real quote (I sincerely doubt it), I can’t find the source.
Thug: Looks like things are finally going back to the way they should be. / It’d be a crying shame if someone like you were to appear. / Bad for us old-fashioned merchants, I mean.
Isadora: “Old-fashioned merchants”? That’s a nice way to put it! / You merchants of death, using murderous tools, following your prey all the way to a foreign country!
Thug: You talk too much.
Cloak: Hey! / You shouldn’t be pointing guns at women.
Thug: She’s no woman. Just a little bitch.
Ned: Get your dirty hands off of me! / Gh?!
Sailors: Ned! / What are you—
Thug: Hmm. / Looks like you brats are all bark and no bite.
Thug: So then, let’s take Izadora and—
Thug: You were the one in the ship’s storeroom… You want more?
Cloak: America, the land of the free. / A land where women are treated properly, where people aren’t judged based on rank, where even a commoner has the right to become a leader.
Thug: Huh? What are you saying?
Cloak: The man who taught me that died before he could see the dawn of a new age… / But I was never able to learn of the < freedom > that man dreamt of.
Thug: Hmm? / There’s no way you could learn that.
Thug: <Freedom> is—
Thug: a word meant for us!
Thug: <aside: Idiot!! > / A Derringer? What do you plan on doing with that kiddy gun?
[inset]: His Derringer can only fire two rounds! / How’d he pull this off with that?!
Cloak: How pathetic…
Cloak: All I learned in America / was this.
Lady: There’s no need to be so modest.
Lady: You were quite impressive, Clockwork.
Cloak: Where did you learn that name? / Who are you?
Mason: I am Margret Mason. / I’m sure you’re familiar with the Mason company, / Clockwork.
Cloak: A weapons merchant, then?
Marge: There was a Japanese man at the Annapolis Naval Academy in Maryland / who was said to fire with unparalled accuracy, like clockwork. / But he rejected an extraordinarily kind offer to work with military intelligence, and decided to head for home.
Marge: That Japanese man / aimed himself at heading back to Japan in the midst of its Meiji Restoration. And it’s said he has a very important father.
Marge: That man is…
Marge: The son of Katsu Kaishuu, Katsu Cloak!!!
Cloak: … That’s a good intelligence bureau for you.
Marge: However, if we’re talking about legends from Annapolis,
Marge: We have to talk about that gun, am I right?
Cloak: I wonder… / Did you know that Remington Derringer…
Cloak: Can be used like this?!
Marge: He had one hidden in his left land?!
Cloak: Look’s like your skirt’s about to explode, < lady >!
Cloak: I won’t fall for your bluff!
Cloak: You’re less experienced than I thought, exposing all your secrets like that.
Cloak: A double-barreled shotgun?!
Marge: Stop hiding! Don’t you have a reputation to uphold?!
[inset]: This is clockwork, too.
Cloak: Guess I’ve got no choice! / I’ll have to show you / my souvenir from America!
Marge: A 10-inch long barrel! / And those markings… don’t tell me…
[inset]: The Peregrine?!
Marge: The legendary gunsmith “Gideon”’s magnum opus, a pistol with a barrel long enough to make it on par with a rifle.
Marge: However, that length would prove the weapon’s downfall… / A weapon no one could use… Peregrine, the wild falcon.
Marge: But Clockwork can use it?! / And with accuracy like clockwork…
Cloak: Man, maybe I went a bit overboard…
Sailors: Hey, Clock! / Run away! The shipper’s on to you!
(various): Hey, what’s with you all? / Something in the luggage? / What are you talking about?
Cloak: What happened to the woman?
Sailor: Looks like she took her chance to run away—thanks to you.
Cloak: Thanks… to me?
Cloak: That’s right…
Cloak: But man, this is horrible. She took my coat with her… And I’m covered in dust… / Dammit.
Cloak: How am I supposed to show up at home looking like this?!
[bottom]: Meiji 10 (1877)
The samurai’s final insurrection, the Satsuma Rebellion, comes to a close.
The politicians seek to create a new government, and the writers polish their image. / To a Japan trying to foment a new era
returns Katsu Cloak.
[right: Cloak sets foot on a new Japan!!