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Shura Irmania
Shura

Japanese Name

シューラ・イルマニア

Romanized Name

Shūra Irumania

Nickname(s)/Alias(es)

Photographer (写真屋 Shashin-ya)

Foolish Photographer (すっとこ写真屋 Suttoko Shashin-ya)

Checker (市松模様 Ichimatsu Moyō)

Ground Beetle (ゴミムシ Gomimushi)

Debut

Chapter 2 (light novel 6)

Voice actor

N/A

Status

Alive

Shura Irmania is a photojournalist part of the Book of Coffin and Vignette of Eternal Twilight stories. She's also mentioned during the Book of Humanization story.

Background[]

She’s a beginner photojournalist from Jutland who works for a small newspaper. She became interested in writing about the haunted house of Throstur Orlik after reading about it in a newspaper. She learned that Kessler bought the house, so she climbed into the trunk of his car in order to find the location. Shura is also interested in writing about Phantom Books and the Labyrinth Library.[1]

Personality[]

Shura is extroverted, stubborn and easily excited. She’ll go to great lengths to obtain material to write about. She’s always arguing with someone. Proud to be a photojournalist, she doesn’t like to be seen as only a photographer. The confident woman wants to take everyone’s breath away with her work. Shura is always using her camera to register her surroundings, and she's always grabbing her notebook and pen to write her articles. She's a strong advocate of freedom of the press. She believes that people are born to acquire knowledge. Shura wants to pursue the truth. She's always arguing with Dalian. Her camera seems very important to her.[1][2]

Appearance[]

She’s a short, pretty young woman, about the same age as Hugh. She has freckled cheeks, pink lips and big, bright eyes full of mischief. Shura wears a black and red checkered hat and a checkered woolen skirt. She's always carrying an American folding camera.[1] The short-haired girl wears a winter jacket.[2]

Plot[]

Book of Coffin[]

The young woman is arguing with Kessler, but the owner of the mysterious house built by Throstur Orlik doesn’t want to let her in. She sees Hugh and Dalian approaching. She waves her hand, then she runs to Hugh and grabs his arm. She asks him to stand up for her. She proudly introduces herself as Shura, a beginner photojournalist of a small newspaper. She had climbed into the trunk of Kessler’s car in order to collect material about the haunted house. However, Kessler doesn’t want to put her in danger, nor to have her write about the house and make its price drop. Shura, without permission, opens the large metal door, inciting Kessler’s anger.

Shura keeps taking photos of the dark interior. Eventually, Hugh reveals that he is looking for the Book of the King's Coffin. Excited, Shura jumps to her feet and lifts her camera. She’s interested in learning about Phantom Books and the Labyrinth Library. Unexpectedly, Magnuson and Erna find fresh food inside the house. Shura and Dalian fight for the cookies. They stop when the house is shaken by an earthquake.

When the group splits into two, Shura decides to follow Hugh and Dalian, looking for information about Phantom Books. The photojournalist believes that people are born to acquire knowledge. She wants to know the truth. Dalian warns her against the pursue of forbidden knowledge. Changing subject, Shura wonders if Magnuson and Erna have another purpose besides studying geology. Dalian thinks that Shura is after gossip. Shura explores the bedroom of Throstur's daughter with Hugh and Dalian.

When they leave the room, the lights turn off. Shura lets out a screech. She witnesses Dalian tripping over a mark left behind by Magnuson. Shura follows the arrow on the marble floor. Hugh and Dalian follow her inside the house’s library. The photojournalist finds the Book of the King's Coffin in a corner. Before she can take a photo, the voice of a giant is heard. Superheated steam blows in front of her, destroying the Phantom Book. Hugh pushes Shura to protect her from the heat. A giant made of steam attacks them. Magnuson throws dynamite at the monster. Shura and the others run to the adjacent room. Shura notices a body inside an icy sarcophagus. Kessler is hit by the steam creature. Shura and Hugh pulls him to the next room.

Shura was listening when Kessler explained that his lover Iris, Orlik’s daughter, is the person inside the ice block. The house had been built to preserve her body. However, Magnuson affirms that she can't be resurrected. Shura also witnesses Erna revealing to be Kessler and Iris' daughter. Erna places dynamite on top of her mother’s coffin in order to end the threat posed by the haunted house. Shura runs away in time. The group finds the exit of the house in the morning.

Outside, Erna promises to meet Kessler once again. Shura takes a photo of the touching moment. Dalian blames Shura for the destruction of the Phantom Book. Without it, the photojournalist doens't have material to write about the haunted house. At least she can interview Kessler, the happy father. Shura points her camera at Hugh and Dalian. She’s still interested in writing about Phantom Books and the Labyrinth Library. Everyone goes separate ways, leaving the distracted woman behind. Hugh and Dalian were already on horseback. Shura yells at the couple, telling them to come back.[1]

Book of Humanization[]

Haycroft made a deal with the military and allowed them to bury chemical weapons on the Latham Archipelago. Before confronting Haycroft, Hugh gives the documents about the deal to Lucrece. Hugh tells her to send the documents immediately to a friend journalist in Jutland. Hugh is referring to Shura.[3]

Vignette of Eternal Twilight[]

Hugh and Dalian drive through the fortress of the Asquith castle. Harban, a policeman, approaches them. He's pushed aside by Shura, who's happy to see Hugh and Dalian. The police is not allowing her to enter the castle. She hopes that Hugh and Dalian will support her. It takes some time for the couple to recognize the photojournalist, fact that makes her frustrated. Shura is still interested in writing about Phantom Books and the Labyrinth Library. Shura had been invited to write an article about the Marquise's birthday. Shura is excited because the presence of Hugh and Dalian indicates that the Vignette of Eternal Twilight is real. Once a year, the Marquise invites people to the castle, offering a huge reward for the person who finds the Phantom Book, sealed somewhere inside the castle. Inspector Grosseteste reveals that the police is after Mithril, the Phantom Book Thief. Dalian suspects Shura.

Hugh calms the policemen, ensuring that Shura is not a criminal. They enter the castle. Shura immediately tries one of the dishes. She fantasizes about what she will do with the reward in case she finds the Vignette of Eternal Twilight. The photojournalist stares at a portrait of a beautiful woman. According to Lyfia, the portrait depicts the Marquise of Asquith. Shura nervously thanks Lyfia for the invitation. While Lyfia and Hugh are talking, Shura wonders if they are former lovers. Dalian uses her own long hair to whip Shura across the face.

Lyfia walks away and Detective Marchbanks appears soon after. He tells Hugh to stay away from Lyfia. Marchbanks was hired to find the Phantom Book, and he believes that dragging women to bed is the best method to obtain information. Shura and Dalian yells at him in unison, furious due to his arrogant and rude attitude. Shura grabs a notebook and a pen, ready to write about a possible love triangle. She falls to the floor after a kick from Dalian. The Marquise shows up to examine her guests. She leaves before Shura can raise her camera for a photo.

Hugh, Dalian and Shura walk to the library. The photojournalist is impressed by the Marquise's collection, although the Biblioprincess seems uninterested. Grosseteste approaches Hugh. They talk about Mithril, who may be somewhere inside the castle, under disguise. Dalian expresses her suspicion towards Shura once again. They see other guests looking for the Vignette of Eternal Twilight. Shura wonders if the Phantom Book really exists. She proposes that the Marquise is fooling everyone. Her comments bother the other guests. Shura tenses, realizing that she won't be able to write an article if the Phantom Book is only a fabrication. If there's nothing to write about it, she will have to pay for all the travel expenses.

Vignette

Hugh, Dalian and Shura find the Vignette of Eternal Twilight.

For Shura's surprise, Hugh finds a secret passage in the library. She photographs the passage from different angles. She follows him underground. She becomes frustrated because they are not the first to find the place. Marchbanks and Evelyn, one of the Marquise's maids, were already there. The group finds the Vignette of Eternal Twilight inside a secret room. Dawson opens the Phantom Book, which disappears soon after. The maid seems frightened. She runs out of the room. Shura and the others follow her. The ceiling collapses, crushing Dawson to death.

They walk along another passage which takes them to a garden. Shura feels a different atmosphere. She notices that her pocket watch has stopped. Back to the banquet hall, they are surprised to see no guests nor servants. The Marquise appears, as young as her daughter Lyfia. Shura takes a photo of her. The Marquise summons a group of grim reaper dolls to kill them. Shura drags Dalian away from the battlefield.

Shura and the others return to the library. Shura presses some rags against Marchbanks' wound. She hits him due to his usual rude comments. It's revealed that they are inside the Vignette of Eternal Twilight, in a copy of the real castle. The Marquise uses the Phantom Book to preserve her young appearance. Lyfia and the maids also receive eternal youth. Shura is surprised to know that Lyfia didn't age a bit in ten years. However, such power requires human sacrifices. That's why Shura was invited for the event. According to Dalian, no one would miss a foreign beginner photojournalist. Shura feels insulted with Dalian's comment.

The Marquise appears once again. A grim reaper swings his scythe at them. Shura pushes Dalian away before throwing herself onto the floor. Shura's camera rolls under the feet of one of the grim reapers. The photojournalist tries to recover her precious item. A grim reaper is about to kill her, but she's saved by Mithril, who has been disguised as Harban. Shura prepares to photograph the famous thief, only to remember that her camera broke. Shura is surprised to learn that Mithril is a woman. However, after using the Faceless Book so much, the Phantom Book Thief is uncertain about her own identity

Dalian has a plan to destroy the world inside the Vignette of Eternal Twilight, where the Marquise has absolute power. Shura is surprised to know that the Biblioprincess has quickly counted every book in the library. Some books are missing, meaning that the Phantom Book has a limit of how much information it can copy. Shura was clinging to Dalian. The Biblioprincess pushes her away. Hugh opens the Labyrinth Library, releasing an avalanche of books. Shura is so surprised that her eyes almost roll out of their sockets. The group returns to the real world. Marchbanks uses the opportunity to capture Mithril. Dalian is covered by a mountain of books. Hugh tells Shura to help her. Later, Dalian tells Hugh that Shura took a long time to uncover her. The photojournalist kept being distracted by the slightest noise.

Hugh and Dalian walk back to the car. Shura was waiting for them. She's not holding a camera. She wants a ride to the station. However, Hugh knows that Shura would never discard her camera, even if broken. The girl removes her mask, revealing herself as Mithril. Marchbanks is Mithril's henchman. The thief used Shura's appearance as a disguise and, at the same time, prevented the photojournalist from writing about the Labyrinth Library.

The real Shura had been captured by the police. She is tied to a chair, inside a closet. She still has her broken camera. She shouts, affirming that she's not Mithril. She calls for Hugh and Dalian. She wonders what she'll do when she wishes to go to the toilet. At that point, Grosseteste already knew that Shura is innocent. The inspector simply forgot to tell his subordinates to release the photojournalist. Shura promises to reveal all Mithril's secrets someday, as revenge for that humiliation. She bites her camera in anger. In the future, Shura became famous all over the world for writing an article with a bunch of information about Mithril.[2]

Trivia[]

  • Shura is the last character featured in the light novel.[2]
  • A folding camera folds into a compact and rugged package for storage. This camera type dominated camera design from the 1890s to 1930s.[4]
    • Shura's camera looks like one of the Speedex models sold by Ansco, an American company that produced camera equipment and film until the 1980s. However, the first models appeared only in 1940.[5][6]
  • Shura values freedom of the press.[1] It's the principle that communication and expression through various media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely. Freedom of the press was established in Great Britain in 1695.[7]
  • The advent of photojournalism was made possible by printing and photography innovations that occurred in the mid 19th century. The first weekly illustrated newspaper was the Illustrated London News, first printed in 1842.[8]
    • Hugh is surprised to see a female journalist.[1] Photojournalism has traditionally been a male-dominated field. Frances Benjamin Johnston was one of the first-ever female photojournalists, working for the Bain News Service, founded in New York City in 1898.[9]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 8.
  3. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 6.
  4. Folding camera. (2020, February 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:48, May 31, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Folding_camera&oldid=939278745
  5. Ansco. (2020, August 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:54, August 29, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ansco&oldid=974909697
  6. Ansco Speedex. (2018, May 27). In Camera-wiki.org. Retrieved 22:54, August 29, 2020, from http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Ansco_Speedex
  7. Freedom of the press. (2020, June 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:43, June 9, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Freedom_of_the_press&oldid=961094494
  8. Photojournalism. (2020, May 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:34, May 31, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Photojournalism&oldid=955169735
  9. Kyle Almond. (2020, March 6). These are the pioneering women of photojournalism. In CNN. Retrieved 19:34, May 31, 2020, from https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/06/world/gallery/trailblazers-of-light-women-photojournalists/index.html
Characters

Biblioprincesses

Dalian - Flamberge - Rasiel

Key-keepers

Hugh Anthony Disward - Hal Kamhout - Professor

Recurring characters

The Girl in the Bookshelf - Wesley Disward - Kamilla Sauer Keynes - Jessica Elphinstone - Shura Irmania - Armand Jeremiah - The Perennial Wisdom's Owner - Oliver Grosseteste - Mithril - Hugh's mother - Hugh's father - Natalia - Hal's beloved - Miss Roedean

Creatures and machines

Atlantic Rim - Automaton - Beast of Ashwell - Book of Royal Power - Branches of Relationship - Broken Wings - Dantalian - Dead Book - Ghost train - Golem - Guignols - Guillemot - Heath - House-elf - Kasuruhau - Logbook - Loge's giant - Musical automaton - Pioneer Plant - The Harlequinade's creatures - Ras Alhague monster - Scarlet Robe - Sea devils - Steam Giant - The Queen of the Night - W Machine - Winged women - Wooden dolls - Zombies

Dalian Days

Priscilla Riley - Cecil Patreina - Margaret Manschwell

Others

Male Characters - Female Characters
Phantom Book Users - Deceased Characters
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