うしろめたフィクション || Guilty Fiction

うしろめたフィクション
ushirometa fikushon
Guilty Fiction

Vocals: 初音ミク (Hatsune Miku)
Lyrics: てにをは (Teniwoha)
Composed by: てにをは (Teniwoha)
Album: 女学生探偵物語 (Schoolgirl Detective Stories)
Artist: てにをは (Teniwoha)
Release Date: October 26, 2016

Requested by: Tempera
Watch the official video here!

Update (31/12/2019): Some brief alterations to the translation. An additional section has been added translating some text that appears in the video

I say this all the time, but Teniwoha’s works demand knowledge of Japanese mystery tropes and wordplay to be interpreted. There’s a tension between what’s written and what isn’t written – each line could use at least one translation note.

This particular track places its focus on the Raven. We’ve heard him mentioned before, but we don’t really know who he is. Perhaps this track will make things clearer…?

Also, the title is unusual. うしろめた is just a little bit off 後ろめたい (ushirometai), which actually means ‘Guilty’. Getting rid of
い turns it into a verb, which is fine, except うしろめる isn’t actually a verb… As noted by Saryu in the comments below, it’s possible to interpret the title as ‘ushiro metafiction’.


ナゾトキせずとも読者は死せず
某某氷菓子
薄口醤油をかけまして 生卵ととく そのこころは?
なにも意味などございません

nazotoki sezu to mo dokusha wa shi sezu
soregashi nanigashi koorigashi
usukuchi shouyu o kakemashite namatamago to toku sono kokoro wa?
nani mo imi nado gozaimasen

The reader does not die, though they do not solve the riddle.
Somebody, so-and-so, and sherbet…
I call it soy sauce and explain it as raw egg. As for the reason…?
(1)
Well, there’s no meaning to it at all!

いざヨナ抜き ラッパ呑み呑み
鯖のビッチ 魅せろ凶器の五段活用
「ヤツを逃がすな。変装だ!」

iza yona nuki rappa nomi nomi
saba no bicchi misero kyouki no godan katsuyou
“yatsu o nigasu na. hensou da!”

Now, engulf them with a pentatonic scale from the trumpet!
You mackerel b****. I’ll charm you with deadly verb conjugations.
(2)
“I won’t let him get away. Time to disguise!”

ネヴアモア
蝶のようにマイウェイ 蜂のようにさすらい
ナンマンダブステップで涅槃 うしろめたフィクション
ネヴアモア
皆様知らざあ云って聞かせましょう
「二度とはございません。」

nevamoa
chou no you ni maiuei hachi no you ni sasurai
nanmandabusuteppu de nehan ushirometa fikushon
nevamoa
minasama shirazaa itte kikasemashou
“nido to wa gozaimasen.”

Nevermore.
I go my way, like a butterfly. I roam like a bee.
I find salvation through my faith in dubstep. Guilty fiction.
(3)
Nevermore.
Nobody knows? Well, let me tell you…
(4)
“This won’t happen twice.”

Honey Hot Head とんでもないね これぞ外連味
ツァラトゥストラはとく片栗粉
take it easy テキトーで言いぜ 遠い未来のトロイメライ
現実要らずの優れもの

Honey Hot Head tondemonai ne kore zo keren mi
tsaratusutora wa toku katakuriko
take it easy tekitoo de ii ze tooi mirai no toroimerai
genjitsu irazu no sugure mono

Honey hot head. It’s outrageous! It’s just a bluff.
I’ll explain Zarathustra as starch.
Take it easy. You gotta say it casually. Dream about the distant future.
The superior ones don’t need reality.

いざニロ抜き やっぱノリノリ
鯖の煮付け 腹が減っては戦は出禁

iza niro nuki yappa nori nori
saba no nitsuke hara ga hette wa ikusa wa dekin

Now, a minor pentatonic scale! That’s lively, too.
Mackerel and veggies in soy sauce. You can’t fight on an empty stomach!

「ヤツの真の目的は、探偵育成なのだ」
「な、な、なんだってー!?」

“yatsu no shin no mokuteki wa, tantei ikusei na no da”
“na, na, nanda tte!?”

“His true motive is… to train detectives.”
“Wh-wh-whaaat?!”

ネヴアモア
「チッチッチ」甘いぜ Who’s in Rise in And rumble
Kick you なんて素敵なキッチュ 抱きしめたフィクション
ネヴアモア
週末にゃあの娘とグランギニョる御予定
述べるNovel 机上の暴論?

nevamoa
“chicchicchi” amai ze Who’s in Rise in And rumble
Kick you nante suteki na kicchu dakishimeta fikushon
nevamoa
shuumatsu nya ano ko to guranginyoru go-yotei
noberu Novel kijou no bouron?

Nevermore.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk” How naive. Who’s in rise in and rumble?
Kicking you would be such splendid kitsch. I held fiction close to me.
Nevermore.
This weekend, I have plans for Grand Guignol with that young lady.
I note that novel. Is there an irrational academic argument?

さあさあかわいい探偵さん お代は解いてのお孵りだ

saa saa kawaii tantei san odai wa yoite no okaeri da

Now, now, my adorable detective! Your fee will hatch from your solution.

いつか素敵な大人になれますか?
「二度とない」
先生はまともな人になれますか?
「二度とない」
怪盗っていったいなんですか?
「二度とない」
鴉は罰を受けて黒くされたんですか?
「二度とない」「二度とない」「二度とない」

itsuka suteki na otona ni naremasuka?
“nido to nai”
sensei wa matomo na hito ni naremasuka?
“nido to nai”
kaitou tte ittai nan desuka?
“nido to nai”
karasu wa batsu o ukete kuroku sareta ndesuka?
“nido to nai” “nido to nai” “nido to nai”

Can I someday grow into a wonderful adult?
“Nevermore.”
Can you become an honest man, Professor?
“Nevermore.”
What on earth is that thief, anyway?
“Nevermore.”
Did the Raven receive their punishment and become blackened?
“Nevermore.” “Nevermore.” “Nevermore.”

ネヴアモア
蝶のようにマイウェイ 蜂のようにさすらい
ナンマンダブステップで涅槃 うしろめたフィクション
ネヴアモア
皆様知らざあ云って聞かせましょう
我こそ大鴉ってなもんさ
ずっとずっとあいこでしょ。

nevamoa
chou no you ni maiuei hachi no you ni sasurai
nanmandabusuteppu de nehan ushirometa fikushon
nevamoa
minasama shirazaa itte kikasemashou
ware koso oogarasu tte na mon sa
zutto zutto aiko desho.

Nevermore.
I go my way, like a butterfly. I roam like a bee.
I find salvation through my faith in dubstep. Guilty fiction.
Nevermore.
Nobody knows? Well, let me tell you…
“I myself am the grand raven” or, something like that.
It’ll always, always be even between us.


(1) This pattern (○○とかけて△△と解く。その心は□□) is a type of wordplay called なぞかけ (Nazokake).
(2) 鯖のビッチ (saba no bicchi) appears to be a corruption of サノバビッチ (sano ba bicchi – son of a b****).
(3) ナンマンダブステップ is a corruption of なんまんだぶ (nanmandabu), a Buddhist expression of faith.
(4) This phrase was made popular in kabuki, and now appears often in anime and manga.


Transcription and translation of selected text from the video, in roughly chronological order.

てにをははようかい
サアサア、遊ビマショオ
開宴
大鴉

Teniwoha is a youkai
Come now, let’s play!
The banquet begins
The Raven

全テハメタフィクション
何ンデモアッテ
何モナイ

Everything is metafiction
Everything’s there.
It’s nothing at all.

オサゲ探偵サン偏屈作家ノ先生
サアサア始マリ始マリ

The detective has braids. The Professor is a stubborn author.
Come on, it’s starting, it’s starting!

身体測定

Body measurements.

大腿四頭筋
大腿二頭筋
大腿骨頭
腓腹筋
前脛骨筋
脛骨

Quadriceps muscle.
Biceps femoris muscle.
Head of the femur.
Gastrocnemius muscle.
Tibialis anterior muscle.
Tibia.

構築

Construction.

[The image labelled ナ抜き音階 (Pentatonic scale) explains the pentatonic scale. It’s a regular major scale but without the 4th or 7th notes (‘fa’ and ‘ti’).]

遊んダ後ハオ片ヅケシマショ

After playing, let’s tidy up.

空隙

Blank space.

弐の段

The second level.

うしろめたフィクション

Guilty Fiction

痛かったら手を上げて下さひ。
止めませんけれどね

If it hurts, raise your hand.
I won’t stop, though.

片道書簡其の1  
謎が深まる折、いかがお過ごしでせうか

One-way letter 1:
How are you spending the time as the mystery deepens?

片道書簡其の2
先生の御本、いつも楽しく読しております

One-way letter 2:
Professor, I always enjoy reading your books.

匿名希望 「せんせのいじわる」

Tokumei Kibou (Lit. Anonymous wish, possibly a name): “Professor, you’re such a bully!”

先生 「お藥出しておさますね」

Professor: “I’ll get some medicine prepared.”

*この物語は(うしろめた)フィクションです。実在しない人物・団体とは
一切関係がないとも云い切れません。

*This tale is (guilty) fiction. I can’t say with confidence that there’s no relation to people or organisations that don’t exist.

秘匿

Hiding

片道書簡其の3
私、是でも先生の熱狂的信者を自稱(自称)しております

One-way letter 3:
Even so, well… I’m a self-styled fanatic of yours, Professor.

片道書簡其の4
まだお会いした事ありませんけれど、出来る事なら先生の子供を産みとう御座ひます。

One-way letter 4:
We haven’t met each other just yet, but if possible, I’d love to give birth to your baby, Professor.

片道書簡其の5
それはさておきまして、ここからあえて苦言を呈する非禮(非礼)を許し下さひ。

One-way letter 5:
Well, let’s put that aside for a moment. Please forgive my impoliteness for the frank advice I’m about to offer.

片道書簡其の6
と云いますのも此の度の作品のトリック、私にはいささかアンフェアが過ぎるように思われてならないのです。

One-way letter 6:
I say that, but that’s one of the tricks behind the current work. It can’t help but seem like something unfair has passed.

片道書簡其の7 
だって、あれを許してしまったら日本推理小説界はお仕舞いです。破滅です。

One-way letter 7:
After all, if you allow that to happen, then the world of Japanese detective novels will meet its end. It would be utterly ruined.

バスカヴィル家の猫

The Cat of the Baskervilles

片道書簡其の8
あのような作品を書く先生なんて嫌いです。絶對(絶対)に許さない。嫌い、嫌い、嫌いよ。でもやっぱり好き。

One-way letter 8:
Professor, I hate you when you write works like that. I’ll never forgive you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. Even so, I love you.

刺殺
毒殺

Stabbing.
Poisoning.

片道書簡其の9
ですからお腹の子供も必ず無事に産みます。良い子に育てます。

One-way letter 9:
And so, I’ll make sure to safely give birth to the child inside me. I’ll raise them well.

絞殺
暗殺
毆殺

Strangling.
Assassination.
Beating.

片道書簡其の10
名前ももう決めてあるの。男の子だったらてにヲ。女の子だったらてに子。

One-way letter 10:
I’ve already decided on a name. If they’re a boy, they’ll be Teniwo. If they’re a girl, they’ll be Teniko.

斬殺
壓殺
謀殺
惱殺
解いてみな

あ    うん
空隙

Put to the sword.
Crushing to death.
Premeditated murder.
Enchanting.
Try and solve it!
Stop.
Ah, Un.
Blank space.


The final image of the PV (at roughly 3:25) contains the following elements:

  • A three-tiered hexagon. The layer closest to the middle alternates between two kanji: 陽 (you – light/yang) and 陰 (in – darkness/yin). The middle layer contains the first two lines of the Iroha poem, which contains all of the hiragana characters: いろはにほへと ちりぬるを (lit. even the blossoming flowers will eventually scatter). The outer layer has a series of seemingly unrelated numbers.
  • Two fragments, あ (a) and うん (un). These represent the beginning and end of all things respectively. You often see them represented by komainu statues.

14 thoughts on “うしろめたフィクション || Guilty Fiction

  1. Saryu April 9, 2019 / 5:17 am

    Thank you. I noticed there’s some text in the video too, seems like a mix of dialogue and prose. Could you translate it? Most of it flashes by pretty fast, so if you’re checking the Youtube version remember you can use . and , to see it frame by frame.
    I wrote down the timestamps of what looked like the most important parts (there are unsung sentences and words scattered everywhere). The ones marked with an asterisk have pretty short sentences and normally I wouldn’t have added them, but the text is front and center so I think you’re meant to see it the first time you listen to the song.

    0:21-0:22 1:10* 1:19-1:21 1:25-1:26 1:38-1:39 1:58 2:05 2:38-2:45* 2:38 2:40 2:43

    Also, could you comment on the imagery from 2:47? Up until then the animation was… Not straightforward, but it felt like you weren’t really meant to understand it anyways. Then all of a sudden you have the raven thief sitting like a Buddha right next to Buddha statues on lotuses, what I think is a Japanese Ouija board on the background, Hibari and Kudou labeled A and Un (presumably as in 阿吽) and probably more things I’m missing! Especifically, the protagonists’ poses seem a little stilted, so I was wondering if they had religious significance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • releska April 9, 2019 / 7:41 pm

      Thank you for your detailed comment! I’m happy to have a look at the text in the video – it will take me some time, but I would be able to get it finished quicker if someone was able to translate the text in advance.

      I suspect that I’ll be updating this post some more in the future, so I’ll be sure to add some notes on the imagery when I do 😎 I’ll let you know once I’ve updated the post…!

      Like

      • Saryu April 10, 2019 / 8:41 am

        Sorry, did you mean transcribe the text in advance or something like that? I don’t know Japanese so I’m a little wary about writing it down (what if I pick a similar-looking kanji and end up with nonsense?), but I could take screenshots and link them here. Would that help?

        Liked by 1 person

        • releska April 10, 2019 / 7:49 pm

          That’s the gist of it – having a Word or text document with the translation makes it easier for me to structure my translation and translate.

          I use Yomichan, which means that I can mouse over words when they’ve been transcribed and I get instant access to my Japanese to Japanese dictionary for tricky words. It’s really handy!

          A transcription of any sort is helpful, even if it’s just the hiragana and attempts at Kanji. I have a touch screen laptop which allows me to draw kanji on the screen if they’re incorrect, but writing down the rest can be a time-intensive process T_T Checking transcription always takes less time than transcribing from scratch.

          Ideally I’d receive every request in a Word or text document already transcribed and romanised, which would save me heaps of time in the long run

          Like

          • Saryu April 11, 2019 / 3:48 am

            There it is: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FHyaRUFYBnW6qXKEg1rMBVdgp6AogG4w

            _ means I couldn’t figure out what character it was supposed to be and omitted it, (¿) means I’m not sure I picked the right one. I always put (¿) to the left of the relevant kanji, while _ substitutes it.

            There are a few screenshots for stuff that was too hard to see, because of bluriness or the font or anything else. Everything in the pictures is untranscribed (except for the one with the pigtailed Matryoshka doll, just because).

            While I was doing it I noticed a few things that are sung but don’t appear in your transcription. Two “Maru”s (one after the first “there will be no second time”, another after “This will always be between us”) and one “Hatena?” (After the “irrational academic argument” bit). Both are in katakana.

            Liked by 1 person

            • releska April 11, 2019 / 8:13 pm

              Excellent! Thanks for your work on this (^_^) It seems like there’s a lot of content there, so I think this will be more of a long-term project. Regardless, I’ll get to work on it and I’ll update you as I progress 😎

              Like

                • releska July 18, 2019 / 7:17 pm

                  I haven’t been able to make much progress unfortunately 🙁 I was away for almost two months and regular requests have kept me quite busy too. I’m hoping to make a little more progress over the next week, but it may still be quite a long wait at this stage 🙁

                  Like

                  • Saryu July 21, 2019 / 6:23 am

                    It’s no problem, real life comes first after all. I was just worried you might have forgotten, seeing as it’s not on the requests list.

                    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tempera April 9, 2019 / 11:00 am

    Teniwoha doesn’t seem to be giving us any easy interpretations at all. I’m not really sure how the mentions of food play into the mystery. Somehow I get the feeling that the Professor and the Raven are related- possibly the same person? At 0:48 (where 「ヤツを逃がすな。変装だ!」 is sung), it’s an image of the Professor, followed immediately by a raven in a Matryoshka doll. Does he confirm it in the line 我こそ大鴉ってなもんさ?

    Also, I picked up on the references to Edgar Allan Poe’s Raven poem. ネヴアモア and 二度とない repeat a lot, so I looked them up. The Japanese Wikipedia page for the Raven (https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A4%A7%E9%B4%89) seems to have translated Nevermore to 二度とない. Is this consistent with most translations of the poem? I also would be interested in reading an English write up of Japanese mystery tropes if that’s available! Thank you for the translation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • releska April 9, 2019 / 7:48 pm

      Thank you for your comment! I agree that there are no easy interpretations, but I also think that the Professor and the Raven are related. The line 我こそ大鴉ってなもんさ pans to the assistant towards the end, so it’s possible that she’s suggesting it in a joking fashion.

      As for the link between the song and The Raven – I actually didn’t pick that up. It makes me wonder how many other Edgar Allan Poe references there are that I may have missed… I sense that some more research is required for me to get at the heart of this song. I’ll keep you updated with any changes to my interpretation, and I will share resources as I find them in the future (^_^)

      Like

    • Saryu April 9, 2019 / 9:28 pm

      Right, one thing that surprised me when I watched the video is that the one who answers every question with 二度とない/nevermore is, if my ear aren’t failing me, Kudou (AKA the professor).* You’d really expect the raven to be the one doing that, uh? And he sounds slighty annoyed at “Will you ever become an honest man?” but only starts getting truly agitated once the questions turn to the Raven Thief.
      *I just noticed the translation especifically says she’s talking to Kudou. Woops

      They’re probably not literally the same person though, unless Hibari is an unreliable narrator or something. At the start of Spiriting Away, it starts sounding like Kudou is the criminal… Only to be resolved when the thief appears, threatens Kudou and leaves. Kudou looks pretty scared while the thief is here, but inmediately after he goes away he smiles, and not in a relieved kind of way…

      Maybe they’re accomplices. The thing about the real objective of the criminal being training detectives came out of nowhere for me (Like, Kudou, have you exchanged more than ten sentences with him in your whole life?), but if this theory is true nobody would know better than him.
      I suppose then the story would end with every case being fake. I can’t really imagine doing actual murders and kidnappings just to teach a young girl some deductive reasoning skills. But aren’t there way too many people involved in the detective murder case? Like, Kudou is a famous author and probably rich, but the detectives would need to lay low for a while after their “murder”, and if they’re such “great detectives” they’d probably prefer not to stop solving cases for months or more just for the sake of a life lesson.
      Maybe the murders and such are real, and teaching Hibari is just some bonus to the real objective? But why burden yourself with a student in such a delicate time, when getting caught is basically guaranteed to get land you in prison for the rest of your life…

      I’ll finish this comment there, I have to go to class.

      Like

  3. Saryu December 20, 2019 / 3:35 am

    I just realized something about the title. You know how near the video’s beginning “This is all metafiction” appears onscreen? Perhaps the reason it’s “ushirometa” and not “ushirometai” is so you can read it as ushiroMETA FICTION.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Releska December 21, 2019 / 7:43 am

      I didn’t notice that but it makes so much sense 😱 I wonder how many more hidden messsges are in the video – I’m looking forward to continuing to dig into it and hopefully I’ll be able to share some stuff soon!

      Like

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