15 posts later: first snow, saturation, back-tracking

Hello again, it has been some time.

Today, when I woke up, the first snow of the year had covered with a thin white layer all that I could see from the window of my room. This year has been particularly tough, for me just as everyone else who tried to be safe by avoiding to get out as much as possible, and seeing, for once, that the same usual scenery reflected on my window was a bit different kinda warmed my heart so I decided to change the banner of the blog with something more “wintery”.

Recently I’m really struggling to find new material to translate. Partly, that’s because some of the bands that I used to listen the most have disbanded, and partly because most of the songs of the new sprouts of the scene manage to keep my interest just for 4-5 times: it has been quite a lot since I updated my playlist. Also, having focused for almost an entire year on Visual-Kei for my thesis, kinda consumed my “innocent approach” to the genre, making me see everything in a way more cynical (and sometimes over-critical) way. Hopefully, some kind of break will help me find some balance in my feeling towards the genre that I still like, but that has ceased to amaze me in a consistent way.

In order to so, I’ll stop translating new songs on my own for a bit (but I’ll still accept requests) and I’ll try to look back at my old translation from the very beginning. This will definitely help me understand what did amaze me back in the day and it will be a great occasion to fix some mistakes and provide new commentary to my old works. When I’ll manage to correct and deepen the analysis of those songs, I’ll be sure to pin the old posts on the front page of the blog, so that hopefully someone might find something interesting to them in my very difficult to navigate blog (I know, there’s too many posts, I’m sorry).

That said, I’ll go back to work. Stay warm and stay safe!

Dezert – Your Song Translation

Kanji: taken from a comment below the video

Translation

 

With a permanent binding spell

you hold your breath, unable to go anywhere

 

If the look* I was born with was different I would have been happier

thinking such things you are comparing yourself with someone

 

Hello, Hello?

There is no one in the world

Never, Never

and you are hating yourself

Hello, Hello?

Even if you close your eyes you can’t dream

In such a world you’ll understand the true meaning

 

You shouldn’t be scared!

I am here!

If you stay there

you’ll scratch your heart** that stopped moving and tear apart the regrets that you’ll grasp

you’ll breath again, you’ll understand the meaning of walking forward

 

You have been wasting away to the point of not being able to fight anymore

and your voice has been stolen by those artificial dreams

Unable to choose anything, you shut down yourself

and just stayed there, unable to run away nor anywhere, didn’t you?

 

Hello, Hello!

There’s no need to play dead!

 

You may have lost something so many times

You may have lost your world

But if you stay there the way you are

you’ll claw the reality and you’ll tear apart the sadness that you carried on your back

You’ll breath again, won’t you?

 

An unending song will start playing again***

You’ll sing about what you must protect

You’ll scratch your heart** that has stopped moving and you’ll break the regrets that you chose

Come on, now I’ll drag you out of this

 

You shouldn’t be afraid

If you sing your song

it’ll connect us far away, so

scratch your heart** stopped moving and hold onto the truth that you dug up

You’ll breathe again

You’ll understand the meaning of living

 

You may have lost something so many times

You may have lost your world

But if you stay there the way you are

I’ll be here the way I am!

 

Notes and Other

Words in Italic are in English in the original lyrics

*=as said in other instances, the straightforward meaning of this word is “colour” but it can be used in enormous variety of nuances to indicate anything related to the specific characteristics of an individual, from the appearance to the personality.

**= the term in Japanese stands out because it can only refer to the physical part (meaning the organ) and not the “spiritual” part as in many western languages, where the word can also have the meaning of “feelings” or “soul”.

***=the verb here is referred to the song, so it means “start being played again”, but outside of context this expression means “coming back to life”.

木下百花 (Kinoshita Momoka) – 少しだけ、美しく (Sukoshi dake, utsukushiku) Translation

Kanji

Translation

Title: Just a bit, beautifully

Unable to even hear my voice

I check the pulse in my wrist

I’m alive, I’m alive

It’s just the same me as always

Clinged to my sentimental brain

are the memories reflecting on the window of the dark room

I can’t say it out loudly*

but I feel like tomorrow it will be different

Just a bit, beautifully, I want to live and be**

My voice reaching no one,

unable to find even a single answer

I’ll search, I’ll search

Ah, you just want me to notice?

The words you said on that day

I hate them, but they felt kind and I cry

No matter where I am, it’s always turns out the same

I couldn’t stand it no more and our feelings didn’t match***

I just don’t want to be

a mistake for you

I can’t say it out loudly*

but I feel like tomorrow it will be different

Just a bit, beautifully, I want to live and be**

I can’t meet you but,

my voice won’t even reach you, but

Just a bit, beautifully, I want to live and be**

Notes and Other

*=the phrasing here suggests that the main character can’t really force herself to put it in words.

**= the whole sentence here is segmented in smaller parts, giving more emphasys on each of them. As a consequence, the expression “ikiteitaiyo” (I want to keep living), sounds more like “ikite, itai yo” (I want to live and be).

***= “girigiri” actually indicates a grinding sound generated by two things that don’t really match, so I preferred to go for a more straightforward translation.

怪盗戦隊ヌスムンジャー (Kaito Sentai Nusumunjaa) – 国立少年 – 国立キッド (Kokuritsu Shounen – Kunitachi Kiddo) Translation

Kanji: taken from the video

Translation

Title: National Boy – Kunitachi Kid*

 

It is located between the stations of Kokubunji and Tachigawa

 

The former building of the southern exit has been tore down for some other construction

 

You all don’t know about Kunitachi, right?

But I know a lot about it

Its super secret gourmet spots

I’ll tell you about them, okay?

 

McDonald’s, Gusto, Hanamaru Udon,

Saizerya, Saizerya, Saizerya, Matsuya,

Royal Host, Mos Burger,

Subway, Subway, McDonald’s

 

Tally’s Coffee, Excelsior,

Starbucks, Starbucks, Saizerya, McDonald’s

Comeda Coffee, Doutour Coffee,

Matsuya, Subway, McDonald’s

 

From Shinjuku you can easily access Kunitachi in 30 minutes!

 

You want to know about the surroundings of Kunitachi too?

I know a lot about the surroundings too

Its super secret gourmet spots

I’ll tell you about them, okay?

 

Johnathan’s, CocoIchiban’ya, Yumeya,

Ringer Hut, Saizerya, McDonald’s

Lotteria, Hanamaru Udon,

Subway, Subway, McDonald’s

 

Kunitachi’s McDonald’s shop

Olimpic Area’s McDonald’s shop

Itsukaichi’s McDonald’s shop

On the main road, on the main road, Kitamachi shop

 

Even if it is the sacred place of the anime “Wolf Children Ame and Yuki”

Nobody knows about Kunitachi

In the end, there’s just a bunch of McDonald’s!

 

Now, there’s nothing more to sing

about Kunitachi-related stuff

Since there’s still the last part of the song

I’m short of words!

 

“I’ll just mix up some of the original lyrics and sing!”

 

Now ride on the wind and burn this love

Make it bloom, make it bloom!

Turn back, may good luck be with you

McDonald’s, McDonald’s, run to it

 

To the night where you dance in the sky and bloom again

Abandon yourself to it, abandon yourself to it, abandon yourself to it

I look back and gaze at you

McDonald’s, McDonald’s, I’m going to McDonald’s

 

Ah, if only I didn’t try to compose a song

with only facts about Kunitachi…

There’s nothing more to sing

 

Who, who was the prick

who said that he was going to write a song about Kunitachi

To refresh my mind

McDonald’s, McDonald’s, I’m going to McDonald’s

 

Notes and Other

*= “Kunitachi” happens to be another way to read the word for “National” and it’s a name of place: that’s it, that’s the whole pun on which this song is built.

You know when a song is so stupid it’s actually genius? I think that’s the case. The song is a “cover” of R-Shitei “Kokuritsu Shounen”, but they volountarly mistook the reading of the words in order to turn into a song about food shops in a city called Kunitachi. Yes, those names are all chain food shops. That’s it.

 

Diaura – マリンスノウ (Marin Snow) Translation

Kanji

Translation

I’m pointing to the far horizon of my lost memories

from the depth of a sea that no one knows

I covered my ears from the sound of my steps

and when I closed my eyes I already forgot

In that moment the seasons passed by

as if they wanted to hurry my coward heart

One day, that sadness, like snowflakes,

will fall down and pile up and it will be beautiful…

Marine snow

organizes a bit more this world

and even as just a part of it, I want to exist in it

Oh small light hidden by the swirling dance of the sand

stay* there, without changing, forever

If you remembered a moment of pain

you’ll forget something

Melting into the breathtaking view

I close my eyes and my consciousness plunges deep down

Marine snow

organizes a bit more this world

and even as just a part of it, I want to exist in it

Oh small light hidden by the swirling dance of the sand

stay* there, without changing, forever

Hey, look, the world

isn’t even close to being completely polluted

it’s just a bit too murky

It’s not a farewell

because I’ll keep living even if we don’t exchange any promise

Marine snow

organizes a bit more this world

and even as just a part of it, I want to exist in it

Oh small light hidden by the swirling dance of the sand

stay* there, without changing, forever

The way you are

Beautiful as you are

Notes and Other

*=here yo-ka uses a verb that only refers to people even though the subject is the marine snow: this probably means that the marine snow is just an image linked to a person.

The snow by the sea is generally destined to melt away in a few second, unable to pile up because of the salt in the air: this is the general concept of the song. In the same way that the snow doesn’t stick to the ground, the protagonist can’t completely remember a person from the past, no matter if that person was as beautiful as the snow by the sea. The main character seems to accept this reality, but still hopes that one day the snow will finally pile up.

生憎の雨 (Ainiku no Ame) – 嘔吐 (Outo) Translation

Kanji: Taken from the video

Translation

Title: Vomiting*

If you found out about that dry throbbing sensation**

and you threw it all out, wouldn’t it be better?

It would definitely be so, wouldn’t it?

Unclear thing have been washed away in a swirl

it has always been like that, right?

It has definitely been like that, hasn’t it?

Everybody vomit*

Who is dreaming

Who is trying to wake them up

Who is awakening

Who is stretching their back***

If you feel sick when thinking about a past to which you can’t return

you are better off craving**** soft dreams

Stuck with that feeling of unsatisfaction

I’m stimulating the back of my throat*****

If you found out about that dry throbbing sensation**

and you threw it all out, wouldn’t it be better?

It would definitely be so, wouldn’t it?

Unclear thing have been washed away in a swirl

it has always been like that, right?

It has definitely been like that, hasn’t it?

In the parallel world

we are reaching the center of the swirl

This crooked line of existece,

break it

Water closet now!!

What did you search for

What did you try to leave

If you want to run away from the feeling of self-loathing

that won’t forgive you, why don’t you kneel down******?

That garbage disguised with a sweet flavour

makes me feel sick in my chest

Even if we are regretting our ruined voices now

it’s not like we hate someone, right?

We are not doing this for someone, right?

Our frozen timelines and hands of the clock

are overlapping now, look,

I vomited

In the parallel world

we are reaching the center of the swirl

This crooked line of existece,

vomit it

It’s about to come out, isn’t it?

So disgusting

that it’s about to come out, isn’t it?

Gagging noises

Notes and Other

Words in Italic are in English in the original lyrics.

*= Mamo sings this word as the sound for vomiting (something like “oeh” in Japanese).

**= he’s most likely talking about the gagging sensation.

***= since all of these expression are linked to sleeping or waking up, this one probably refers to someone’s act of stretching their back right after waking up.

****= this word has the figurative meaning of “craving”, but can also have the more direct meaning of “devouring greedily”, creating a pun in line with the theme of the song.

*****= he’s talking about putting two finger in someone’s throat to make them throw up.

******=probably referring to the act of getting on your knees to the lean over the toilet and throw up.

This song is the new work of Mamo, ex-vocalist of R-Shitei. If you happen to know the band and follow them on Twitter, you probably already know how close they are to the “menhera culture”, a big trend (but perhaps id best defined as social phenomenon) in Japan which includes people who suffer of psychological traumas (or claim to do so), inducing them to take on selh-harming actions: wrist cutting, social seclusion, anorexia, bulimia and so on. The last one in particular is recently getting traction and so Mamo played on this concept to create this song about the liberatory sensation of throwing up not food, but this world that seems stuck (in our throat), giving us an inplacable nausea. With his words Mamo invites the listener to throw up and get rid of it by flushing in the toilet, so to be free from the horrible feeling of unsatisfaction.

ザアザア (XaaXaa) – うそつき (Usotsuki) Translation

Kanji: taken from the video

Translation

Title: Liar

 

Ah, this world seems so stupid

Everyone’s smile passes by me and I’m alone

When will the rain end?

Even so, right now I’m of the colour of the rain

that keeps falling down* so strongly

that I can’t even hear the happiness and all the rest

 

Liar, you said you’ll always stand by me

Liar, you said you’ll never go anywhere

Liar, your face, your voice, everything of yours

are all those of a liar, a liar, a liar

 

Today too, I’m walking without opening my umbrella

will you have pity of me?

 

In silence, under the sky it stopped crying**,

even though I wanted it to wash everything away

My distorted face shows throw the window

It hurts, it hurts, it’s painful…

 

Cold drops caress my cheeks

wouldn’t it be better if everything just stopped existing?

I’ll break, I’ll break everything and become crazy

until I won’t be able to remember your face

 

Liar, you said you’ll always stand by me

Liar, you said you’ll never go anywhere

Liar, your face, your voice, everything of yours

are all those of a liar, a liar, a liar

 

Notes and Other

*= here they used the same onomatopeia of their band’s name (zaa zaa), which is the sound of a very heavy rain. Just a fun fact for you.

**= just to be clear, the one who stopped crying is the sky, meaning that it stopped raining.

Classic song from XaaXaa. Sometimes I feel like I couldn’t completely convey all the meaning in some lines, but in many points in the lyrics the band tie the image of the rain to the crying face of the main character. The rest is pretty much self-explanatory.

菅田将暉 (Suda Masaki) – 虹 (Niji) Translation

Kanji

Translation

Title: Rainbow

It’s ok to cry!

I’ve been saved by these simple words!

Thank you so much

It might be embarassing, it might be random

but every time I think of you the future shimmers

It’s fine for us to be the way we are together!

Let’s find our sunny spot and have fun!

You are watering the plant on the balcony

and at your feet there’s a small rainbow, hey

I’ll always be by your side, so you be by my side

Let’s give our all in order not to be separated

Our eyes are entagled tightly as if they couldn’t be untied

because I won’t let go of your hand that I holding tightly

My mom’s kindness and my dad’s crybaby side

are the same as ours, the future is so dear

It’s fine even if you don’t dream big!

You should be yourself!

When you are alone and lost

remember those days, ah

I want you to leave to me half of your sad nights

and in the happy days I want to laugh with you to my heart’s content

There really is no word to match it, uh?

Is that because I felt your warmth?

Since I always laugh about my family and friend

and even about myself, I can also cry about it

In the sky completely clear, something sparkled like a single drop

I’ve always been looking for a word other than “thanks”

I’ll always be by your side, so you be by my side

Let’s give our all in order not to be separated

Our eyes are entagled tightly as if they couldn’t be untied

because I won’t let go of your hand that I holding tightly

I won’t let go

ザアザア (XaaXaa) – 冷凍人間 (Reitou Ningen) Translation

Kanji: taken from the video

Translation

Title: Frozen Human

 

For who, for what do you live for?

That meaning

That reason

I don’t know it, I don’t get it

This me

is of no use

 

I was scared, I used to cry, it was cold

and I slowly closed my eyes

In that moment

the you who appeared

with red eyes,

who are you?

You gave colours to me

 

This frozen world,

no more

I’ll be afraid of it

The one who melts the freezing night,

who is it? Who is it? Who is it?

 

I want to live!

I long for it!

With my eyes

I want to see more of what’s to come

I can’t cry!

Like this

I want to keep living!

I want to live what’s next to come

 

It really was like this

I used to run away

Since when, from where?

In that moment

the you who appeared

with red eyes,

who are you?

I don’t want it to end

 

In this frozen world,

so many times

I’m out of breath

and I can’t see anything, but

it’s fine

let’s go on, let’s go on, let’s go on

 

You changed me

You changed everything

Even this me who used to be closed in himself

I won’t hesitate no more

Whatever will happen

in the end this life is just something that I borrowed*

I used to shiver, always, even now

I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared

No, that’s not it, I’m trembling with excitement,

laugh, laugh, laugh!

 

This frozen world,

no more

I’ll be afraid of it

The one who melts the freezing night,

it’s me, it’s me, it’s me

 

Notes and Other

*=this word has a very specific nuance, underlining the fact that since something is borrowed, at a given time one will have to give it back. This image particularly exhalts the idea that life is something that can be taken from us in any moment, so we should make the most of it while we can.

Most of the information concerning the interpretation of the song can be found in the very straightforward that the band has published on their youtube channel (here).

According to the vocalist, the song was written during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time in which he felt like the world was frozen stuck. But rather than focusing on the image of “cold”, the song revolves on the idea that when something is frozen, it gets trapped in a sort of an unmovable state, where everything is preserved and nothing changes. While this image serves has the general context of the song, the story actually talks about how the main character gets unfrozen by someone in his life, freeing him from his state of immobility because of fear and anxiety.

This is actually something a bit uncommon in XaaXaa’s songs which usually rely more on sad/bad endings, underlying a general negativity in their vision of life. This may be interpreted as the start of a new trend in the band’s theme, but it might even be an exception (the track is actually a COVID song, so it would make sense). We’ll see how it goes, in the meanwhile, hope you enjoy!

Reol – Q? Translation

Kanji: taken from the video description

Why, right now, grasping your hands,
does that warmth you just noticed feels so nostalgic?
Why, looking at the rain of may* teasing the abyss,
do you feel like crying, at that sight you smiled at?


Call me with that voice of yours


I realized that that weakness that I couldn’t tell to anyone
is the stepping stone to stand up strong
It is different so that’s why it feels dear to me
I just want to understand, you and me


The more we keep on living, the more our scars increase
even so, we keep on searching for our own reason
And the more we continue, the more beautiful it gets
I want to understand now, I want to scream


I’m here, I’m here


You have paid for it
Try to catch me
Why did it turn out like this?


I’m here, I’m here


The glow overflowing with light, understand, resides on the verge of giving up on it,
To us who used to look down in it deceiveing ourself with our “at most,  moreover, possibly, consequently”
Time is something incredibly silent, to the point of being something scary
Our consciousness give up on it, as if it was some kind of punishment


Interruption, will you just accept the same colours**
and wound us in the past where you called out every thing that was different?
It’s inevitable, it showed with a resolution where I could even too much
I’ll put on my shoulder the weight of pain and love and I won’t be like you


This awareness of mine that I won’t explain to no one
I’ll hide it deep inside the concrete
It is different so that’s why it feels dear to me
I just want to long for this


Say, if only you could turn your sadness into gold
the figures drown by you would be superb


I’ll lose myself into the silence where I dance swaying and griefing
Even the camellia*** finally falls off
While griefing only punishment will torture us
Like walking in the white night****


We know it from our birth
We should wish the very best of everything
Even when it comes to our mistakes


The more we get to know
all that you couldn’t say to anyone, the younger we get
It is different so that’s why it feels dear to me
I just want to understand, you and me


The more we keep on living, the more our scars increase
May we tie knots***** as to overwrite them
and may them be beautiful
I want to understand now, I want to scream

Notes and Other

*=It’s the heavy rain at the beginning of the rainy season. In this context it suggest a situation of utter desperation.
**= In Japanese this word is full of many different meaning concerning one’s personality, attitude or even feelings. Since I didn’t want to pick a specific meaning (and it’s likely that the artist left the term vague to indicate all the possible meaning), I left the word as it is.
***= Differently from other flowers, when the camellia withers its petals fall all together instead of falling one by one. This peculiarity has made it that in Japanese culture this flower is related to the concept that the most beautiful things end abruptly.
****= as in the phenomenon that can be seen in the northern areas of Earth, where the night continues for several days.
*****=There’s no proper translation for this word that more precisely refers to the decorative knotson Japanese letters/cards which differ in form according to the occasion (graduation, marriageecc). The main point is that this kind of knot means that there’s something worth celebrating, indicate the act of “overwriting over the scars” as something to be remembered positively.

It’s not uncommon for anime openings (especially in the case of anime which are not huge hits) to go for an existential theme for the lyrics: this is a great of example of such. “Q?” means “question”, referring to the “raison d’etre”, that question of life that makes us walk forward in life. Through the
many metaphors which hopefully I managed to clear up in the notes, Reol points out how that question is “how can we be different”, no matter how painful the process to become so will be: pain and beauty are closely tied, but pain has a meaning only when we realize that is what is necessary to make a difference in the world.