Okay, maybe I should have waited a day or two to publish that first article…
Howdy once again, viewers at home! This’ll be a very quick followup to the Trickstar etymology article from Tuesday. The reason? This week’s VRAINS episode brought out a few new members – and while there’s no confirmation yet that they’ll appear in the next OCG set, they’ve still got some poisonous plant references.
So let’s strap in real quick and say hello to the newest gals in the group!
This lovely walking croissant has a name playing off “diva” and “viridis”, a Latin word meaning “green” that often finds its way into scientific names. In this particular instance, it’s probably a reference to Psychotria viridis, sometimes known as chacruna. P. viridis isn’t exactly poisonous per se, but it does contain dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a short-lasting but powerful hallucinogen. Interestingly, P. viridis‘ most noticeable feature is not a flower of any sort, but rather its pairs of opposite-facing leaves growing regularly along the stem – this may explain why Divaridis sports the large symmetrical hairdo she does.
While this Trickstar seems like she might fit better alongside a group of valkyries than on a concert stage, Birdhelm is just as much a fearsome flower as her brethren (…Sistren?) – in this case, the Aconitum genus. You may know them better as wolfsbane or monkshood, while the Japanese call them torikabuto: “bird helmet”. In other words, this card’s name is one of those “make a normal word sound cooler to Japanese people by translating it into English first” deals.
Most species of Aconitum are incredibly poisonous, containing the neurotoxin aconitine. After an initial bout of gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, sufferers then experience burning or tingling sensations in the face and/or abdomen; more severe poisonings can lead to greater sensations of numbness, difficulty in motor control, and cardiovascular and respiratory system paralysis. And, of course, death.
Trickstar Band Guitarsweet
Does giving me Yuzu flashbacks count as a plant reference? Of course, this new Fusion’s got its own plant puns – its name plays off “guitar” and “bittersweet”…which, unfortunately, doesn’t quite work as well in English because of the different inflections of the words. Also, “bittersweet” here is actually the name of a flower: Solanum dulcamara, sometimes called the bittersweet nightshade. Like some other members of the nightshade family, the bittersweet contains solanine, which can cause gastrointestinal issues, as well as hallucinations, dizziness, nightmares, and paralysis in larger doses.
And with that, our concert finally comes to a close…at least until the next time Aoi plays new cards in the anime. With the addition of the Trickstar Band subgroup, though, we may see a bit more of a musical bent to these garden gals, so keep an eye out for any plants you can pun nicely with instrument names!