Archive for the ‘ Translations ’ Category

童祭 〜 Innocent Treasures // Warashimatsuri (Ridil ver.)

[YT-link]

This song uses a very slightly altered version of the “official” lyrics from the 夢違科学世紀 〜 Changeability of Strange Dream. booklet.

Notes:

  • This translation is taken directly (unedited) from my translation of Changeability of (a) Strange Dream [link] (which is over 10 years old, but I think it still holds up, mostly).

童祭 〜 Innocent Treasures
 Warashi Matsuri
 Children’s Festival
童祭〜Innocent Treasures|夢違科学世紀
Vocal: LyuU
Arrange: ニシム監督
Lyrics: ZUN
Circle: Ridil

夢違え、幻の朝靄の世界の記憶を
現し世は、崩れ行く砂の上に
空夢の、古の幽玄の世界の歴史を
白日は、沈みゆく街の中に

yumetagae, maboroshi no asamoya no sekai no kiyoku wo
utsushiyo wa, kuzureyuku suna no ue ni
sorayume no, inishie no yuugen’ no sekai no rekishi wo
hakujitsu wa, shizumiyuku machi no naka ni

In order to counter dreams, the memories of a world in phantom morning mist,
The waking world sets upon a crumbling foundation of sand.
Histories of an ancient mystic world sprung from imagined dreams,
The waking light thrusts into sinking alleys.

幻か、砂上の楼閣なのか
夜明け迄、この夢、胡蝶の夢に

maboroshi ka, sajou no roukaku na no ka
yoake made, kono yume, kochou no yume ni

Is it an illusion, or a tower built upon the sand?
Until day breaks, this dream is a butterfly’s dream.

夢違え、幻の夜に

yumetagae, maboroshi no yoru ni…

In order to counter dreams, towards the phantom night…

(

幻か、砂上の楼閣なのか
夜明け迄、この夢、胡蝶の夢

maboroshi ka, sajou no roukaku na no ka
yoake made, kono yume, kochou no yume

Is it an illusion, or a tower built upon the sand?
Until day breaks, this dream is a butterfly’s dream.

)

夢違え、幻の紅の屋敷の異彩を
現し世は、血の気無い石の上に
夢の、古の美しき都のお伽を
白日は、穢れゆく街の中に

yumetagae, maboroshi no kurenai no yashiki on isai wo
utsushiyo wa, chi no ke nai ishi no ue ni
yume no, inishie no utsukushiki miyako no otogi wo
hakujitsu wa, kegareyuku machi no naka ni

In order to counter dreams, the stark colors of a phantom scarlet mansion,
The waking world sets upon a bloodless foundation of stone.
Fairy tales of an ancient beautiful capitol, sprung from imagined dreams,
The waking light thrusts down degrading alleys.

夢違え、幻の朝靄の世界の記憶を
現し世は、崩れ行く砂の上に

yumetagae, maboroshi no asamoya no sekai no kioku wo
utsushiyo wa kuzureyuku suna no ue ni…

In order to counter dreams, the memories of a world in phantom morning mist,
The waking world sets upon a crumbling foundation of sand…

The Portrait of Legion 『レギオンの肖像』(Taconaguri Review)

『レギオンの肖像』
The Portrait of Legion
by Umisawa Kaimen (Vita Sexualice)

Review by Yuuki Ao.

Original article: [link(JP)]

There is a ton of kanji1. There are so few line breaks and so many words that the pages are more black than white. It is difficult to read. Not only are the sentences and words themselves difficult, many use characters that no normal person knows how to pronounce.

There are several words and phrases that hint at a deeper meaning, but no more insight is offered throughout the entirety of the book—if a deeper meaning is truly intended, I do not understand it. Frankly, it is gross. Grotesque depictions make up the better half of the novel, and the remainder consists of impossibly abstract musings that I cannot wrap my head around. The word choice is unique and stands out, but there is so little variation throughout the book that it quickly becomes a bore. You can tout with examples the beauty the word-smithery has distilled out of the Japanese language, but to the layman the language is overly decorated and needlessly verbose.

If I were to spend this article berating Umisawa Kaimen’s novels, the above should give you a fair hint of what that would look like. Not only is the above representative of some of the criticism leveled at Umisawa Kaimen’s works, it would be hard to argue that such criticism is not valid.

The target (or rather victim) of this review is Umisawa’s The Portrait of Legion (レギオンの肖像), released at Winter Comiket in 2013 (C85). Despite being a doujin novel, it was released as a hardcover-bound book—which on its own was enough do draw widespread attention. However (returning to our berating mode for a moment), what use is there to bind a doujin novel as a hardcover book, other than to serve to inflate the ego of its author? Do not most readers of doujin novels just want to read about their favorite characters doing this or that in a novel setting, without giving two cents about the outward appearance and design of a physical book?

I would say so. Other than a small subset of self-professed binding fanatics, most readers of doujin novels do not care about a books binding or how much it cost to produce—at the very least, such matters are secondary or tertiary to its contents. Moreover, you could say that a work whose contents is rubbish despite all the effort put into its binding is much more of an eyesore than great content barely patched together. Following that logic (and again excuse me for continuing this beratement), one might say that The Portrait of Legion is an egotistical production of value only to its author and a small subset of otaku who never learned to grow up, and that is that—but is it really?

The answer to that question is a resounding no. You cannot write off The Portrait of Legion as such.

It is true that this novel, as I have stated previously, is frustrating in a variety of ways, but even with that in mind, it has value.

One source of value may be found in the extreme nature of its contents: In The Portrait of Legion, Marisa (to center on one example), is subjected to a broad spectrum of sexual violence and dies ten times. She is raped and bleeds out. She has her internal organs ruptured. She has a glass bottle forced into her vagina and shattered. She has flies’ eggs implanted in her womb, whose hatched maggots eat and tear at her internal organs. It is…a lot.

And this abuse is not limited to Marisa. Every other cast member dies, and often in the most gruesome possible way. While of course, killing Touhou characters off does not itself make a masterpiece, when it is done this thoroughly, and this meticulously, it is only human to want to invite others to share in your reading experience. What I mean to say is: Such extremes get people talking about the book. It sparks conversation.

From my perspective at least, the ability of a work to become the topic of conversation is immensely important. Especially given the ability of such notoriety to breathe new life into the genre. Although fans of Touhou-derived doujin novels know that there are many interesting titles to be found, doujin novels as a whole are a rather minor subset of the doujin works more generally. There are multiple reasons for this, but for one, sales probably will never approach that of doujin manga.

When the publication of a work such as The Portrait of Legion, endued with such seeds of notoriety, sparks conversation of Touhou-derived doujin novels outside of the usual circles, I think it is fair to say that it contributes a considerable amount of life-force to the entire industry. Therefore, whether you are a fan of the actual content or not, I think you must admit that the direction of Umisawa’s works as a whole, has merit in and of itself.

A second source of value may be found in that “overly decorated and needlessly verbose” language I mentioned earlier, which is to say, the intrigue inherent in Umisawa’s writing style.

I am not pivoting away from my previous statements to say that Umisawa Kaimen’s writing is beautiful, or inspiring. However, it is clear that Umisawa fully indulges themselves in their writing style and that a significant number of fans praise the result. Such writing demands a closer look.

Umisawa Kaimen’s novels, generally speaking, do not contain much of what we might traditionally think of as a plot. They begin without providing the reader any sense of what is going on, present layer upon layer of bodily destruction in exorbitant detail and end without providing any clear answers, leaving the reader no less confused than they were at the beginning. The Portrait of Legion itself has some kind of arguably logical conclusion rushed at the end, but not in any sense that should count. It would be generous to call it more than an afterthought.

But Umisawa Kaimen’s readers do not read these novels for twists, hidden subplots, overall composition or the sense of catharsis that comes with a satisfying conclusion. The simple truth is, Umisawa Kaimen’s readers read these novels because they want to read the prose contained within the work.

To understand why that might be the case, let us put aside Umisawa Kaimen for a while and look more generally at two categories of novels.

Anthony Burgess, the author of A Clockwork Orange, once separated authors into two distinct categories in one of his essays on James Joyce.

The first category of author, he wrote, strove to use language as a transparent tool, used only as a means to craft the worlds of their stories. On the other hand, to the second category of author, the words themselves were the object of their obsession.

This does not mean to say that all authors clearly fall into one category or the other, but for instance, one would not argue that J. K. Rowling or Sakaguchi Angō clearly fit in the former category, or that James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov or Anthony Burgess fit in latter. Umisawa Kaimen, without a doubt, also belongs in that latter category.

In Burgess’s essay, he referenced the opening lines to James Joyce’s Ulysses, and pointed out that it was not, in fact, the kind of flowing prose that ought to win awards. Instead, it was incredibly shaky, even clumsy — what normally would be offered up as an example of how not to write:

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air.

The very first word ends abruptly with a comma, followed by a triple alliteration of the same vowel. To English speakers, reading these first four words feels like stumbling, and then hopping three times in an attempt to regain balance — according to Burgess.

After these first two lines, a confusing conversation immediately begins without any context, filled with omissions that might otherwise provide it. Only later does the reader finally get a sense of the scene.

Burgess proceeded to take these opening lines and rewrite them in ordinary style of the “type 1” author.

His rewrite began by setting the stage: a scene of morning light dawning upon Dublin, of women gossiping amongst themselves before his literary camera zooms into the tower where Buck Mulligan and Stephen Dedalus make their entrance, quickly introducing the two. Their conversation is filled with context, and every aspect of the opening is made clear to the reader in easy to read prose.

After presenting his rewrite, Burgess says this: “If Ulysses were written like this, surely it would have no literary value.”

According to Burgess, Ulysses has value not because it has beautiful imagery or awe-inspiring prose. Nor does it have value thanks to a realistic depiction of its characters’ struggles or a critique of societal problems. It is certainly not due an exciting evolution of its plot. Ulysses has literary value only because it does not fit into the former category. It cannot be adequately described in pictures because its “poor” prose lacks the necessary clarity2.

Why though, should a lack of clarity be valued over the clear writing of the “type 1” author? Ultimately, a novelist who uses their words only as a transparent tool cannot win against other mediums, such as television or film. No matter how vividly detailed their depictions of scenes or people are, a visual will have more impact. In this sense, Burgess writes, novels have no future. From the perspective of a multimedia consumer, visual media will deliver more to them at a lower cost (of their investment in terms of time and energy) than the prose of a “type 1” author. In this day and age, we even have virtual reality. In terms of simply crafting a world, words are simply not as strong a tool (and so, the percentage of readers in the younger generations continues to decline).

However, what about “type 2” authors? What about those authors who write nonsensical sentences you can hardly wrap your head around, who trip you up and make you stumble as you read, who leave you feeling off? What about the puns, the sounds of the language, the rhymes, the play on words, the fetishes, the adherence or non-adherence to form? More than the surface level story, sometimes these elements are more important, at least in poetry and strange prose. It is in these elements, Burgess argues, that you can find value unique to the medium of the novel. Authors who lean into these elements accomplish what only writers can. Can film or television accurately portray the stumbling feeling inherent in the first four words of Ulysses? Surely not.

Not that I mean to say that “type 2” novels are vastly superior. If there are people who like puns, there are people who do not. I am sure they exist out there, somewhere — the pun-haters. I would not bet my life that they do not exist, at least.

At the end of the day, it depends on what your preferences are. I am sure there are people out there who claim that those who do not grasp the value of Ulysses (or Jean Cocteau, if we want to lean back towards Umisawa’s writing) are idiots—but they are wrong. Different people respond differently to different aspects of any work.

However, a reader who responds only to “type 1” works will probably eventually stop reading novels, because for them, reading a novel must eventually feel illogical. It would be easier to watch a movie, or television, or an MMD video on Nico Nico Douga and obtain the same experience they sought from “type 1” novels.

Let us follow Anthony Burgess’s example and rewrite an excerpt from The Portrait of Legion.

The Portrait of Legion is split into separate sections with relatively distinct tones, but for the purposes of this demonstration, I settled upon a passage from the beginning of the first section, Higeki (Tragedy), where Marisa descends into the basement of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

Original:

The stairwell leading to the basement, decorated in chains of bramble vines, conjured memories of peering deep into the depths of a witch’s cauldron. A faint light ignited with magic in the palm of her hand, the magician slowly lowered her foot upon the first step and shifted her weight onto it. The surface of the step made uneven by the bramble vines caused the stairwell, already steep by any measure, to appear as a trap laid before her very eyes for the purpose of dragging its unwilling victims into shadows reminiscent of the blackness of night, even as she traversed each subsequent step cautious, but allured by the path’s gold flowers, such that her deep in her throat she could not help but mutter voicelessly: This mansion has always been sealed shut in such a way that one could never expect to feel a breeze. That I know. However, there still used to be a clamor to the air… in stark contrast to the current stagnancy. In taking care to not trip over the undulating surface of the steps, she would have liked to reach for support from the wall, but there as well the brambles had spread, preventing her touch.

At the terminus of her laborious descent—ahead: she lifted her magic light to glow upon the doorway she knew almost too well. Countless times she had witnessed the flecks of rust about its metal frame and the ineffable deep red material constituting its doors, but in the midst of this familiarity, one object cast an uncanny shadow: the doorknob, whose purpose was to open the way forward. Upon it, something was hanging that hitherto had not existed. What first reached her eyes, reflected in the faint flicker in her hands, was… silver and gold. Gold chains without the faintest hint of tarnish wound in countless layers around the doorknob, creeping over the surface of the doors before becoming lost in the walls’ black brambles. Upon all this was a silver lock. With her free hand, she reached out and wrapped her fingers around the lock. The clear and cold rejection characteristic of metals bit into the skin of her fingertips. With a not insignificant proportion of her strength, she yanked upon the lock, but the firmly locked silver ring did not budge, not offering even a few millimeters of give.

“Damn it, what is going on here?” she spat in irritation. (p.12)

Before we continue, I want to make clear that I do not assert that the above excerpt is poorly written. Many, I am sure, would call this prose elegant and masterful. However, it is inarguably not the kind of easy to read prose expected by most readers. There is an inordinate amount of kanji3. Words like “hitherto” are used in place of simple alternatives4. I doubt most people can read the word “clamor”. Writing out many of the words in phonetic hiragana alone would would make a world of difference.

How would this passage read if it were written by a “type 1” author?

Rewrite:

The stairs, which led into the basement, were so overgrown with bramble vines, the stairwell was reminiscent of a witch’s cauldron. With a faint magic light held in her hand, Marisa slowly descended the steps.

It was very dark ahead, the shadows of the furthest depths shaded with the black of night. Although the stairs had always been steep, the unevenness of the brambles made them feel even more so, and it was very difficult to walk. The very passage felt like a trap meant to draw Marisa into its depths. Still, Marisa continued to follow along the same path of gold lilies she had followed from the entrance of the mansion, but deep in her throat she grumbled.

The mansion had always been kept shut, so there was never a breeze inside. However, even with that in mind, the air felt even more stagnant than before. While she took care to not trip over the bramble vines on the stairs, Marisa had reached for the wall, hoping to steady herself, but there were vines on the walls as well, so she was unable to use the walls for support.

After a lengthy descent, Marisa finally reached the end of the stairs. There was a deep red door, made of a material beyond her knowledge. The frame of the door was rusted.

Marisa had seen the door countless times before, but this time, something about it was off. Something was hanging from the door knob. Lifting her light to look closer, she saw gold chains wrapped around the doorknob, which extended from the doorknob over the surface of the door to wall beyond it, with the ends buried in the black brambles of the walls, out of sight.

Along with the gold chains, a silver lock hung from the doorknob. Using her free hand, Marisa touched the lock. It was cold, and gave off a metallic feeling of rejection as the difference in temperature bit her fingertips. Marisa tugged on the lock, but it would not budge—not even a few millimeters.

“Damn it, what is going on here?” she spat in irritation.

This is how I would expect an author who puts a stronger emphasis on clarity to write the scene. Which style is preferable is entirely up to the reader’s preferences, but I can say for certain that Umisawa Kaimen’s readers do not want to read something like what I have written. Umisawa’s fans are fans because they they respond well to the style of the original.

There was a doll—at least, it seemed fit to describe it as such.

However, this “doll” had no head. In its place, was only a birdcage. As she approached, she saw that there was a single chair placed opposite of it—facing it. Alice sat down in the chair, crossed her legs and crossed her arms. She then rested her jaw in the palm of her right hand and stared.

The lower half of the doll was not visible, for the area below the waist was covered with a crinoline frame—absent any external clothing. Yet the frame’s interior, wide as though the mesh was, held countless heads—crowded to the point of bursting. At first glance there was so spaces between them, such that the heads melded together in continuity, yet upon closer inspection, what small gaps were there were filled in with black brambles. Yet it was not that which bothered her. Each of the heads emanated an inharmonious air, for none of them had eyes. Where the eyes should have been were dissected columbines. They filled in each socket, without exception.

The doll’s abdomen was swollen, as if impregnated. Yet—from the upper ring of the crinoline frame, down across the navel, the abdomen was split vertically open, the fissure resembling an engorged vagina. From this opening it was clear that the doll was stuffed with countless eyes. Each adjacent eye’s iris was of a different color: accounting for slight variations in hue, not a single eye was the same, despite their number… From time to time, one of the eyes would tumble out of the opening and onto the ground, but Alice was confident the doll would never be emptied.

The doll’s arms were raised toward the ceiling. Upon the palm of its opened right hand lay an old hourglass, its crimson stand trickling down without interruption. Upon its opened left hand rested a severed head, from which draped long scarlet hair. Alice recognized the face, with its eyes closed. The head belonged to the familiar of the witch who resided in the mansion’s library. Although she had never once learned her name, she knew of her existence. (pp. 20-21)

Here is another somewhat graphic scene, where its obsessive level of imagery transcends into something beautiful: it exposes the reader to the vivid, grotesque and abnormal in such a way that they could never experience in a normal day-to-day life. Personally, I am a fan of this aesthetic, but let us take a look at another passage.

The poet once wrote, whilst sublimating the pain of a certain skin-devouring mold with the intoxicants of opium:

I ponder this mold.

They too must ponder me.

They who mask half of my face.

With every fetal movement, my consciousness is torn asunder. My blood has turned to ink. This I should have avoided, at all costs.

Then, the poet wondered:

We ponder God.

God ponders us.

Yet God surely does not do so for our sakes.

The witch removed her lips from the hookah’s mouthpiece, and exhaled slowly a bluish white plume of tobacco smoke. On and on the smoke lazily continued to flow. Upon the plate above the long and narrow body of the hookah rested a bowl shaped not unlike the body of an hourglass.

Inside it, gelatinous brown clumps engulfed in blue-white flames were slowly stripped of their mass.

Droplets of smoke fall…

…down towards the base of the device, an almost spherical glass cistern.

Water resided in its depths, filled halfway, while its upper story was claimed full by blue-white smoke.

The room was vacant, but for a single bed, a single desk and a single rocking chair…

…in addition to a single small round table beside the hookah, upon which was a plate with two jujubes, three pieces of hard candy, and a single fig.

The witch returned the golden mouthpiece to her lips.

“The investigation into the actuality of the statement, ‘We exist,’ is a difficult one to be sure, but it is very much like the smoke of tobacco. For the soul is like a kind of gas escaping from an eudiometer. We continue to die. My arms, my abdomen, my legs, the tip of my tongue, my sex, my eyes, my hair… everything that constitutes who and what I am, every part of this material body of mine fated to be disintegrated cries, writhes and kneels, pitying the dying other, my material brothers and sisters. However, my soul, my still ever captive soul, upon witnessing those others disassembled on the occasion of their death, my soul is filled with envy—from the deepest depths of my being.”

An expectorated huff of smoke spun a snail’s spiral.

Such are leaps of life.

Dancing in a spiral, crossing the stage, in a leap somehow refreshing, the smoke left the witch’s lips to find its destination somewhere about the windowless room’s ceiling…

…to the ceiling but no further.

As tightly as the doors were shut it had nowhere to go, like the stagnant empty breath of a bird who missed its chance to hatch, bound by its egg’s unbroken shell. Children boiled alive have no other option than to desublimate.

Existence solidifies…

…not unlike ulceration.

“What are you talking about, Patchouli?”

“Death, Remilia.”

(pp. 134-135)

“What are you talking about?” indeed…

I doubt anyone would read that passage for the first time and respond with, “Exactly! That’s so on point! I was just thinking the same thing!” If they do, they’re either being sarcastic, or trying to play themselves off as some elite (idiotic) intelligentsia. Patchouli can say “Death” like it is some sort of answer all she wants, but I still do not get it. I don’t even know how to read the word that comes just before the end! (It’s “ulceration”, I looked it up.)

However, setting aside the subject of understanding, I am sure that quite a few people out there will think the passage is at least interesting, or intriguing—and it is not necessarily the meaning of the passage that makes it so, but the rhythm, the conjured up images, how those images are connected, the ambiance created by the unfamiliar words, the lack of a distinct singular meaning, how that lacking diversifies readings, and so many other experimental excursions that rely on words for words’ sake, that—like Burgess asserts—could not survive in another medium.

When evaluating Umisawa’s writing, these aspects must not be ignored.

To be clear:

Up until this point, the argument that I am trying to make is not that “bad” or “extreme” or “experimental” writing should be praised simply because it is experimental. I am only arguing that such an axis of value exists, and that, whether by intention or not, Umisawa Kaimen’s works lend themselves to an evaluation on that axis.

Because of how Umisawa’s works are read and perceived, one must consider whether that work succeeds or fails according to those metrics. As for The Portrait of Legion, I would like to leave that determination up to the reader.

However, simply offering my honest opinion, without praising or denigrating the work: as much as it feels Umisawa is only writing for themselves, I find the prose fascinating—although the more I read the more I feel my stomach turned upside down. But I would not pin that feeling down to “bad writing” or even to the obtuseness of it, but to that feeling of getting pummelled with meaning that almost, but not quite makes sense, similar to the murkiness of meaning found in Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Still, as much as I keep saying “I do not understand,” at every twist and turn, I think it is time to touch on at least one thing I can say I understand: The characters of The Portrait of Legion, especially Patchouli, clearly are written with meta-self-awareness in mind.

“A happening must be realized, for that signifies nothing less than a cultivation of the void.”

“Which, in turn, is the most meaningless thing one can ever hope to accomplish.”

“Even so the man continues to fantasize, of girls dying blissfully. Yes, only for that purpose—for that itself is a happening. A happening must be realized, for that signifies nothing less than a cultivation of the void.”

“We exist. However, that existence is nothing more than a cycle locked in a loop of us all. By repeating our acts we give those acts meaning. By creating in a mutual environment we exist not as one but as an aggregation.”

“This story.”

“I am legion, for we are inflated self-consciousness. I am legion, for we are many.”

All of these lines and phrases level self-referential criticism not only at the novel as a whole, but at the entire ecosystem of Touhou derivative works, and they repeat and carry on throughout the novel as an undercurrent, not unlike a pedal tone, serving as one of the story’s few cohesive elements.

Therefore, it is possible to read the work with that in mind, and possible to write a view centered on that aspect alone. However, I was unable to do so. It did not feel like the main point to emphasize, at least not in comparison to Umisawa’s writing itself.

That is why I focused on Umisawa’s writing style for this review, but I am not sure how it has turned out in the end. The review ended up longer than I expected and am frankly not confident anyone will make it to the end. I claim it to be a review of The Portrait of Legion, but I have hardly (if at all) touched on its contents, and do not feel that I can call myself a “good reader” when it comes to Umisawa’s works. I’ve only read three or four after all.

Furthermore, I get the feeling that Umisawa’s readers look for something more poetic than prosaic in a novel such as this… Therefore, from the perspective of Umisawa’s fans, this review come off as unsophisticated and unrefined.


  1. Chinese characters↩︎

  2. Vladimir Nabokov, among other readers, might disagree. He famously made students of his lectures on Ulysses track the progress of the characters on a map, and argued for an attention to concrete details.↩︎

  3. The kanji usage in this excerpt is reflected by the usage of less common word choices.↩︎

  4. I translated this sentence into an analog which matches the translation, but specifically the reviewer is talking about using kanji for words such as “this” and “that”, which is exceedingly rare in modern texts.↩︎

ゴーストリー・プラネット // Ghostly Planet

…and that’s a wrap!

A somber song of quantum superposition and (a sprinkling of) the Pauli exclusion principle.
Merry pleads with Renko as her disassociation (from Renko’s perspective) tears them apart.
The inverse of the collapse of the wave function.

There are multiple ways to interpret the song, but I see the narration as shifting back and forth, with the poetic and doubled stanzas (with /s) Merry’s and the more scientific leaning stanzas Renko’s. Renko falls into a deep pit of loneliness, while Merry struggles to be heard.

Notes:

  • ()s in the JP lyrics denote a place where a faint second word can be seen underneath a more clear word that is printed on top of it.

ゴーストリー・プラネット (U7731-5089040-147120258)
 Ghostly Planet
須臾はプランクを超えて|燕石博物誌
シュレディンガーの化け猫|燕石博物誌
Vo: めらみぽっぷ
Arr+Lyr: RD-Sounds
Circle: 凋叶棕
Album: △ -tetra-
Event: C99

ひと瞬きするその間に
あなたは私を見失い
ひと瞬きするその間に
あなたは私を見出すの

hito matataki suru sono aida ni
anata wa watashi wo miushinai
hito mabataki suru sono aida ni
anata wa watashi wo miidasu no

In the blink of an eye
You lose sight of me
In the blink of an eye
You rediscover me

重ね合わせの私たちの姿 けれど
けして同じ世界に在ることは ないの

kasaneawase no watashitachi no sugata keredo
keshite onaji sekai ni aru koto wa nai no

Although we appear to complement each other in form,
Never will we reside on the same plane of existence

互いを識ることもなく
ただ不確かな存在だけを想うー

tagai wo shiru koto mo naku
tada futashika na son’zai dake wo omou-

Unable to truly know one another,
We only can contemplate each other’s indefinite existence

声を聴いて
いまだ未完成の<理論>

koe wo kiite
imada mikan’sei no theory

Listen to my voice,
to a yet unfinished theory:

こんな広い惑星に
独りでいるのなら

kon’na hiroi hoshi ni
hitori de iru no nara

If I am truly alone
in this wide wide world…

は触れる
誰のとも知らぬ指

watashi wa fureru
dare no tomo shiranu yubi

I will strive to make contact
Touching the fingertips of whom I know not

確かでない 定まらない
幽霊たちの惑星

tashika de nai sadamaranai
yuureitachi no hoshi

On this ghostly planet
Uncertain and indefinite…

わたしは そこにいる(いない) でしょう?
つかまえたいというなら

watashi wa soko ni iru/inai deshou
tsukamaetai to iu nara

I am (not) right there, aren’t I?
If you wish to catch me…

わたしは わらって(おこって)いる でしょう?
たしかめたいというなら

watashi waratte/okotte iru deshou
tashikametai to iu nara

I am smiling/upset aren’t I?
If you wish to confirm…

わたしは にんげん(ようかい)でない でしょう?
あばきたいというなら

watashi wa nin’gen/youkai de nai deshou
abakitai to iu nara

I am not human/a spirit, am I?
If you wish to uncover the truth…

わたしは いきて(しんで)いる でしょう?
ころしたいというなら

watashi wa ikite/shinde-iru deshou?
koroshitai to iu nara

I am alive/dead, aren’t I?
If you wish to kill me…

にじむにじむ揺らぐ干渉の果てに
けして止まぬ孤独の中にいる それを

nijimu nijimu yuragu covalent no hate ni
keshite yamanu kodoku no naka ni iru sore wo

At the ultimate end of a blurred, covalent interference pattern
What exists within this unending, persistent solitude must be…

ずっと遙かな昔から
“幽霊”と呼んでいたのね きっとー

zutto haruka na mukashi kara
“yuurei” to yon’deita no ne kitto

What has been known—
—to the ages as a “ghost”

傍にいてもいないみたいに
自分以外は異物みたいに
孤独を望んだかのように

soba ni itemo inai mitai ni
jibun’ igai wa ibutsu mitai ni
kodoku wo nozon’da ka no you ni

Although I am beside you, it is as if I am not
—as if everything other that yourself is foreign
—as if you wished for solitude, above all else…

それでいいのと問うの。

sore de ii no to tou no.

Is this truly what you want? I ask

声を聴いて!
いまだ不完全な<詩編>

koe wo kiite!
imada fukan’zen na poetry

Listen to my voice!
to my yet unfinished poetry:

こんな広い惑星に
皆な(独り) でいるなんて!

kon’na hiroi hoshi ni
mina/hitori deiru nan’te!

How can you be with everyone/no one
in this wide wide world?!

私は歌う
誰のとも知れぬ声

watashi wa utau
dare no tomo shirenu koe

I will sing
In a voice no one knows

誰かに届く 揺るがせない
(誰も届かない さだまらない)

dare ka ni todoku yurugasenai
(dare mo todokanai sadamaranai)

Someone will hear me—I will not let it not be so
(No one will hear, and nothing will be certain)

幽霊の歌声

yuurei no utagoe

In the song of a ghost—

ーあなたにとどきますように。

anata ni todokimasu you ni.

—may my voice reach you…

まざりあうせかい // Mazariau Sekai

One more…

まざりあうせかい (U7731-1152308-329305923)
 Mazariau Sekai
 Worlds Bleed Together
夢と現の境界|夢違科学世紀
禁忌の膜壁|燕石博物誌
Vo: めらみぽっぷ
Arr+Lyr: RD-Sounds
Circle: 凋叶棕
Album: △ -tetra-
Event: C99

揺蕩う。
それは脆くしかし強固く

tayutau.
sore wa moroku shikashi tsuyoku

Drifting…
Fragile, yet strong…

揺らめく。
決して結ばれぬファンタジィ

yurameku.
kesshite musubarenu fantasy

Swaying…
Fantasies, never realized…

とろけるような。
自他の隔て

torokeru you na.
jita no hedate

Formlessly bewitching…
Lay the wall between other and self…

ひびわれて
せめぎあうそのはて
夢と現のたわいあわい
Z対領域の拡散
究極の真実が横たわる

hibiwarete
semegiau sono hate
yume to utsutsu no tawai awai
zettai domain no diffusion
kyuukyoku no shin’jitsu ga yokotawaru

Fractured,
Each side vies for dominance until
Dreams and reality collide into obscurity
Diffusing across domains meant to be absolute
Where by the wayside lies ultimate truth

誰もが抱える 不安を隠した 心 最奥に
そっと疵をつけ 爪を剥き出しにして 引き摺り出す

dare mo kakaeru fuan’ wo kakushita kokoro oku ni
sotto kizu wo tsuke tsume wo mukidashi ni shite hikizuridasu

Deep in one’s heart, where everyone hides away their fears and anxieties
You seek to open a small fissure, bearing your claws to rip free what was hidden

越えてはならないその一線に 踏みとどまるように手を引いても
あなたはこの手を振り払って 何処までも進んでいってしまうの

koete wa naranai sono issen’ ni fumitodomaru you ni te wo hittemo
anata wa kono te wo furiharatte doko made mo susun’de itteshimau no

As you stand on the edge of that knife, I reach out again and again to stop you
But you break free from my grasp — Will you always march on ahead and leave me behind?

あなただけが進んでしまって いつか私はお払い箱なの
あちらに目を向けるあなたを 理解できなくなる前に

anata dake ga susun’de shimatte itsuka watashi wa oharaibako nano
achira ni me wo mukeru anata wo rikai dekinakunaru mae ni

The way you always march on ahead of me — Am I fated to be tossed aside one day?
Something else always seems to catch your eye, our days of understanding numbered, failing

 知り得ない 知り得ない あなたが

shirienai shirienai anata ga

I cannot comprehend you…

まざりあう≪常識/非常識≫は
こんな薄っぺらい防壁で隔てられていたのに

mazariau sekai wa
kon’na usupperai image de hedaterareteita no ni

Worlds of sense and nonsense bleed together…
Though they were once held apart by the faintest imagined separation…

たった一つの真実さえ
いったい何を拠り所にしていいの?

tatta hitotsu no shin’jitsu sae
ittai nani wo yoridokoro ni shite ii no?

Now not a single truth remains…
What left have we to cling to?

微かに。
零れ落ちずにいる記憶

kasuka ni.
koboreochizu ni iru kioku

Faintly…
Memories remain unspilled…

本物。
覚えがある まぼろしと なる

nisemono.
oboe ga aru maboroshi to naru

Fakes…
Perceptions unto phantasms…

ひとりよがりに。
空を抱いては

hitoriyogari ni.
kuu wo daite wa

Selfishly…
Upon embracing the vacuum…

かつて
歌われる子守歌
死人に塗れたマザーグース
秒で変わるヨ
愛と憎しみのアマルガム

katsute
utawareru komoriuta
shinin’ ni nureta mother goose
byou de kawaru fukashigi no days
ai to nikushimi no amalgam

A once sung
Lullaby is recalled:
Mother Goose bathed in corpses
Nonsensical days changing by the second
In an amalgamation of love and hate

無限の心音に溺れゆく小さな自分がわらうこえ
もうなにもこわがることはないのね?

mugen’ no oto ni oboreyuku chiisa na ego ga warau koe
mou nani mo kowagaru koto wa nai no ne?

Drowning in the infinite cacophony of heartbeats, the tiny ego can only laugh
We have nothing, nothing left to fear, have we!?

ゆれてゆれてとけてしまう
あなたの かお も たましいも
もう そのなにもかも おもいだせないの

yurete yurete toketeshimau
anata no kao mo tamashii mo
mou sono nani mo ka mo omoidasenai no

Swaying back and forth, melting
I cannot remember, I cannot remember
Nothing of your face, nothing of your soul!

まざりあう≪常識/非常識≫は
どれほど大切なものを守っていたのでしょう

mazariau sekai wa
dore hodo taisetsu na mono wo mamotteita no deshou?

Worlds of sense and nonsense bleed together…
How precious were the secrets of the world? I wonder…

たった一つの真実さえ
けしてそのままにしておけなかったのね

tatta hitotsu no shin’jitsu sae
keshite sono mama ni shite okenakatta no ne

Enough that you could not let
A single truth among them be, I see…

そうよ 傍にいながらにして
他者こそがいつだって最大の非常識

sou yo soba ni inagara ni shite
tasha koso ga itsudatte saidai no hijoushiki

So be it then! Existing beside you as I am now, I see
Existing as another is the most nonsensical thing of all!

けれどその境界さえももう
ヒトという全ての愚かしさとともに

keredo sono kabe sae mo mou
hito to iu subete no orokashisa to tomo ni

But we need not fret, not a boundary remains!
Gone are they, along with all humanity’s idiocies!

さあ
夢でいましょう
幻想でいましょう
不確かな泡沫のあわいに

saa
yume de imashou
yume de imashou
futashika na utakata no awai ni

Now,
Let us exist in dreams
Let us exist in fantasies
Let us be like foam on the water…

終わりもなく始まりもない
ただの夢へとなりましょう

owari mo naku hajimari mo nai
tada no yume e to narimashou

Without end and without beginning
Let us become no more than a dream…

NOTICED

13 Minutes of New Nu-Disco!

Sponsored by: Spring Rouge

Let us all take a minute to appreciate 3L, because these lyrics demand a lot of vowel contractions and super fast syllables.

Love is not all that bad, it seems.

Notes:

  • Natsuki, is that you?

  • 飾らない✗が好き : I varied my translation of this phrase all throughout the song, but it boils down to: “I love (a person) who does not fake who they are, but is unadorned, (a person) who does not put on affects or airs, who does not dress themselves up as more than they are, who does not make a ceremony out of something straightforward, who tells it like it is, etc.”

  • The narrator’s feelings of love are doubly significant, because the narrator’s love is directed not only at the one who “noticed” her, but at her newly uncovered ideal self. This is compounded by the constant thread of “I was (just) like you.”

  • The source of the narrator’s irritation with love is the notion that it all seems fake, that it cannot be real. Subconsciously, this derision of love bounces back on herself because even if she does not realize it, she is faking herself no less than the “dummies” she hates (which may in truth be no more than a conglomeration of baseless assumptions about others).

  • I “translated” the English stanza to line up tone and polish context with interpretation.

NOTICED
柳の下のデュラハン|東方輝針城
Vocal: 3L
Arrangement: Shibayan
Lyric: cittan*
Circle: COOL&CREATE
Album: 東方オトハナビ
Event: C98

恋心 I don’t care about it 欲しくない
見下すように日々をこえて
また Routine Days そう
こだわりの無い笑顔だけ貼り付けた
ダミーだらけの街の中で ふと目があった
“I was like you”
「分かり合う事に少しの興味も無い」
「そんな顔を貼り付けているね」
「心の奥、きっとずっと待ち焦がれて」
“fly me to the moon”
「助けを呼ぶ声がした」

koigokoro I don’t care about it hoshikunai
mikudasu you ni hibi wo koete
mata routine days sou
kodawari no nai egao dake haritsuketa
dummy darake no machi no naka de fu to me ga atta
“I was like you”
“wakariau koto ni sukoshi no kyoumi mo nai”
“son’na kao wo haritsuketeiru ne”
“kokoro no oku, kitto zutto machikogarete”
“fly me to the moon”
“tasuke wo yobu koe ga shita”

Love? I don’t care about it — it’s not for me, I say
Holding love in contempt day after day
My routine never skips a beat,
As I wade through the usual crowd of uninspired smiles
Slapped on every face in this dummy filled town… when our eyes suddenly meet:
“I was like you,
”Uninterested in understanding others, to any degree.
“Oh, it’s written all over your face,
”but deep within your heart, surely you’ve been longing all this time, crying:
“‘Fly me to the moon!’
”calling out for help… I hear you.”

シカトよ 帰ろうと振り返るこの身を
覗き込む魔性の目に きっと
自由さえ奪われてしまった
確信に変わる瞬間 おぼろげな minute
Collision の衝撃のようだと思えたの 情けないわ
こんなに窮屈に誰かを想えると気付いても信じられない

shikato yo kaerou to furikaeru kono mi wo
nozokikomu mashou no me ni kitto
jiyuu sae ubawareteshimatta
kakushin’ ni kawaru toki oboroge na minute
collision no shougeki no you da to omoeta no nasakenai wa
kon’na ni kyuukutsu ni dare ka wo omoeru to kidzuitemo shin’jirarenai

What nonsense! But as I turn around to leave,
I am pierced by a gaze that could not be human
Leaving me stripped of my free will
Stupefied, it took me a full minute to understand what had happened
It was as if something had collided with me — Pathetic, I thought of myself
Even as the realization began to dawn on me, that even I could be so entranced by another
 I did not want to believe it

“just see the light”
剥がれ落ちた仮面 転がり
指し示すは way to go
“dear our days”
(a) whole new world 照らす as one
especially, 新たなワタシ
“don’t look back”
見つめるには眩しい 遠く揺れ動くスペクトラム
「飾らないアナタが好き」だなんて
make a convincing plan
言えるように

“just see the light”
hagareochita kamen’ korogari
sashishimesu wa way to go
“dear our days”
’ whole new world terasu as one
especially, aratana watashi
“don’t look back”
mitsumeru ni wa mabushii tooku yureugoku spectrum
“kazaranai anata ga suki” da nan’te
make a convincing plan
ieru you ni

—Just See the Light—
My mask falls from my face and tumbles to the ground
Showing me the way to go
—Dear Our Days—
A whole new world shines, newly brought into focus
Especially, upon a brand new me
—Don’t Look Back—
In the distance, an entire spectrum sways, too bright to gaze upon directly
“I love the way you don’t put on a face, like so many others…”
Now I have just got to convince myself…
…to say it.

one last thing, do you believe it?
the past ol’ me disappears.
thing you need also will be…
to grab it with the answer.
“underneath of the sweetness”
what’s your thought?
what’s your feeling?
dare to face is my promise.
the pledges take me home.

One last thing, can you believe it?
The past old me disappears…
What you need you’ll find
When you grasp the answer
—Underneath the Sweetness—
What are your thoughts?
What are your feelings?
I promise to face my fears,
and bring my feelings home.

(x2)

“just see the light”
頑なさが売りの世界で大切にした way to shine
“dear our days”
アンティークで歪んだ美学に kiss で傷つけて
“’cuz I need love…”
やっと気付いた ずっと心に住まわせ続けてたの
「飾らないアナタが好き」と言える
望んでいたワタシの理想図を

“just see the light”
katakunasa ga uri no sekai de taisetsu ni shita way to shine
“dear our days”
antique de yugan’da bigaku ni kiss de kizutsukete
“’cuz I need love…”
yatto kidzuita zutto kokoro ni sumawasetsudzuketeta no
“kazaranai anata ga suki” to ieru
nozon’deita watashi no risouzu wo

—Just See the Light—
In this world where toughness is everything, I treasured a way to shine
—Dear Our Days—
With a kiss, I add another blemish to those antique, outdated aesthetics
—Because I Need Love—
Finally, I now realize these feelings have lived in my heart all along
With my ideal self I so longed for, standing ready to proclaim:
“I love the way you don’t put on a face, and are just the way you are!”

歩き疲れた Daylight
この身体を支えてくれるのは
(ただ一人の)
ワタシへの理解を誰よりそっと consciousness にくれる
(飾らないで)
泣き疲れてる Morning
手のひらにはこぼれそうな涙
(it must be true love)
アナタに出会うまで知らなかった こんな世界の事を
(thing called love)
まだ見えない Dawning でもきっとずっと 待ち続けられるから
(アナタとなら)
雲がかる夜でも 時間の無い精神の世界だって
(just see the light)
鏡に映るのは冷えきった目の あの日のワタシ でも
(know inside out)
温もりに触れれば消えてしまう これが恋なんでしょう
(because of you)

arukitsukareta daylight
kono karada wo sasaetekureru no wa
(tada hitori no)
watashi e no rikai wo dare yori sotto consciousness ni kureru
(kazaranaide)
nakitsukareteru morning
te no hira ni wa koboresou na namida
(it must be true love)
anata ni deau made shiranakatta kon’na sekai no koto wo
(thing called love)
mada mienai dawning demo kitto zutto machitsudzukerareru kara
(anata to nara)
kumogakaru yoru demo jikan’ no nai kokoro no sekai datte
(just see the light)
kagami ni utsuru no wa hiekitta me no ano hi no watashi demo
(know inside out)
nukumori ni furereba kieteshimau kore ga koi nan’deshou
(because of you)

When I’m tired of walking in the daylight
What keeps me going is…
(—Only One—)
the knowledge that there’s someone out there who understands me better than any other
(-Unaffected and Unadorned—)
When I’m tired of crying all morning
My hands overflowing with tears
(—It Must Be True Love—)
I think of the world I would not have known if it weren’t for you
(-A Little Thing Called Love—)
Even if it is still long before the dawn, I have the strength to wait
(—If I am With You—)
Even when the clouds hide the stars, when I am locked in the world of my mind out of time,
(—Just See the Light—)
Even on days the mirror only shows me a desolate cast of my own ice cold stare,
(—Known Inside and Out—)
Everything evaporates with a touch of warmth — this is the power of love
(—Because of You—)

恋心 I don’t care about it 見たくない
見下すように日々が過ぎた
また Routine Days そう
二人がもしも 人混みですれ違って
一人の時を過ごしてたら…なんて思うの
“I was like you”
「惹かれ合う運命だったって信じられる」
「“もしも”なんてあるはずがないよ」
「心の奥、きっとずっと待ち焦がれて」
“fly me to the moon”
「君の声が聞こえたから」

koigokoro I don’t care about it mitakunai
mikudasu you ni hibi ga sugita
mata routine days sou
futari ga moshi mo hitogomi de surechigatte
hitori no toki wo sugoshitetara… nan’te omou no
“I was like you”
“hikareau un’mei datta tte shin’jirareru”
“‘moshimo’ nan’te aru hazu ga nai yo”
“kokoro no oku, hitto zutto machikogarete”
“fly me to the moon”
“kimi no koe ga kikoeta kara”

Love? I don’t care about it — Keep it out of my sight, I used to say
Holding love in contempt day after day
My routine never skipping a beat
I sometimes wonder, if we had passed each other by in that crowd
If I had remained alone and unnoticed, what would have become of me…
“I was like you,
”So much so, I believe we were fated to meet
“‘If’ was never part of the equation
”I knew that deep within your heart you were longing, crying:
“‘Fly me to the moon!’
”because I could hear your voice.”

そっと包み込む安らぎの重みはミスリルよ
魔性なのね
きっと 自由さえ奪われてしまった
確信に変わる瞬間 おぼろげな minute
Collision の衝撃のようだと思えたの 仕方ないわ
こんなに窮屈に誰かを想えると知った事 二度とは無いから

sotto tsutsumikomu yasuragi no omomi wa mithril yo
mashou nano ne
kitto jiyuu sae ubawareteshimatta
kakushin’ ni kawaru toki oboroge na minute
collision no shougeki no you da to omoeta no shikatanai wa
kon’na ni kyuukutsu ni dare ka wo omoeru to shitta koto nido to wa nai kara

The weight of your comforts bears down on me like mithril
Nothing that could be wrought by human hands
I am certain you stripped me of my free will
Stupefied, it took me forever to understand what had happened
It is no wonder I felt as if something had collided with me
The dawning realization that even I could be so entranced by another
 was a once in a lifetime event

つなぎ止めていたケチな自分は
just 偽ってたって認めること出来たの
アナタに言われたままだけど
それで好きでいられたら関係ないかな
素直なワタシに気付けたのは
傍に全てを受け入れてくれるアナタの愛
「飾らないヒトがずっと好きです」なんて
何度だって 夢でも言えるから

tsunagitometeita kechi na jibun’ wa
just itsuwatteta tte mitomeru koto dekita no
anata ni iwareta mama dakedo
sore de suki de iraretara kan’kei nai ka na
sunao na watashi ni kidzuketa no wa
soba ni subete wo ukeiretekureru anata no ai
“kazaranai hito ga zutto suki desu” nan’te
nan’do datte yume demo ieru kara

Finally, I can admit: the bitter miser I used to be
Was just an attempt to hold myself together with lies
I have no words — it is just as you said
But none of that matters now in the face of my love
After all, I was able to notice who I really was
Because your love encompassed even what I myself could not see
“I will always love a person who doesn’t put on airs”
I’ll say it over and over again, even in my dreams

歩き疲れた Daylight
この身体を支えてくれるのは
(ただ一人の)
ワタシへの理解を誰よりそっと consciousness にくれる
(飾らないで)
涙で滲む Sunrise
手のひらには溢れそうな愛を
(it must be true love)
アナタに出会うまで知らなかった こんな世界の事
(thing called love)
まだ見えない Dawning でもきっとずっと 待ち続けられるから
(アナタとなら)
雲がかる夜でも 時間の無い精神の世界だって
(just see the light)
鏡に映るのは冷えきった目の あの日のワタシ でも
(know inside out)
温もりに触れれば消えてしまう
この気持ちと共に wanna be your heart

arukitsukareta daylight
kono karada wo sasaetekureru no wa
(tada hitori no)
watashi e no rikai wo dare yori sotto consciousness ni kureru
(kazaranaide)
namida de nijimu sunrise
to no hira ni wa afuresou na ai wo
(it must be true love)
anata ni deau made shiranakatta kon’na sekai no koto
(thing called love)
mada mienai dawning demo kitto zutto machitsudzukerareru kara
(anata to nara)
kumogakaru yoru demo jikan’ no nai kokoro no sekai datte
(just see the light)
kagami ni utsuru no wa hiekitta me no ano hi no watashi demo
(know inside out)
nukumori ni furereba kieteshimau
kono kimochi to tomo ni wanna be your heart

When I’m tired of walking in the daylight
What keeps me going is…
(—Only One—)
the knowledge that there’s someone out there who understands me better than any other
(-Unaffected and Unadorned—)
When the sunrise is blurred with my tears
My hands overflow with love
(—It Must Be True Love—)
I think of the world I would not have known if it weren’t for you
(-A Little Thing Called Love—)
Even if it is still long before the dawn, I have the strength to wait
(—If I am With You—)
Even when the clouds hide the stars, when I am locked in the world of my mind out of time,
(—Just See the Light—)
Even on days the mirror only shows me a desolate cast of my own ice cold stare,
(—Known Inside and Out—)
Everything evaporates with a touch of warmth
Filled with these feelings, I wanna be your heart