akuma || demons

akuma
demons

Vocals: emaru
Lyrics: Asahi (アサヒ)
Composed by: Asahi (アサヒ)
Album: swimming classroom
Group: macaroom
Release date: March 7, 2018

Requested by: Mint S. Decot
Check out the album on Bandcamp!

I will say this 1000 times, but this was one of my most favourite albums from 2018, and this is my favourite track from the album. From the very first piano chord, this track has you locked deep in its spell.

The lyrics have a very urban fantasy feel to them. We see things like:
-LUMINE apartment complexes
-the crime of payola (playing a song for money without announcing that’s the case)
-the practice of travelling around to places to get your stamp books stamped
-Bunshun (which appears to be a Japanese tabloid).
It’s all wrapped up in a mist of wonder.

Perhaps the demons are demons in the fashion and music business?


悪魔はここに ここにいる 風呂場の鏡に 住んでる 
キッチンで割れた皿のこと あれは誰のせいでもない 
スーツは誰もたたまない 誰も認めない 今でも 
キッチンの壁にカビがはえる 君が悪魔退治するまで 

akuma wa koko ni koko ni iru furoba no kagami ni sunderu
kicchin de wareta sara no koto are wa dare no sei demo nai
suutsu wa dare mo tatamanai dare mo mitomenai ima demo
kicchin no kabe ni kabi ga haeru kimi ga akuma taiji suru made

The demons are right here, right here. They dwell in my bathroom mirror.
A plate broke in the kitchen, but it wasn’t anyone’s fault.
Nobody folds their suits. Nobody admits it, even now.
Mould will grow on the kitchen walls until you come to exterminate the demons.

プロペラを回して 
飛行船で遊んで 

puropera o mawashite
hikousen de asonde

I spin the propeller
and I play with a blimp.

悪魔はここに ここにいる ルミネのエレベーター下ると 
アイドルが審査員にいる 黒い金が入る レーベル 
文春が暴き出し その奴隷となる スタンプラリー  TVショー プードルが吠える 
石鹸でできた高いビル あくる日には入りこめない

akuma wa koko ni koko ni iru rumine no erebeetaa kudaru to
aidoru ga shinsain ni iru kuroi kane ga hairu reeberu
bunshun ga abakidashi sono dorei to naru sutanpurarii TV shoo puudoru ga hoeru
sekken de dekita takai biru akuru hi ni wa hairi komenai

The demons are right here, right here, when you come down the elevator at LUMINE.
An idol is on the panel of judges. Black money enters the label.
Bunshun exposes the truth. I become a slave to them. Gathering stamps. A TV show. The poodle barks.
A tall building was made from soap. You can’t enter the following day…

プロペラを回して 
飛行船で遊んで 

puropera o mawashite
hikousen de asonde

I spin the propeller
and I play with a blimp.

プロペラを回して 
飛行船で遊んで 

puropera o mawashite
hikousen de asonde

I spin the propeller
and I play with a blimp.

ハーフの若いモデル ステルスマーケティング 
ペイオラで ワンダーランド 
大工さんもがんばる 私もがんばる 
サイトランス 踊る

haafu no wakai moderu suterusu maaketingu
peiora de wandaarando
daiku san mo ganbaru watashi mo ganbaru
saitoransu odoru

A young half-Japanese model. Stealth marketing.
Payola creates a wonderland.
The carpenter does their best. I’m gonna do my best too.
I dance to psytrance.

kaijyuu || monsters

kaijyuu
monsters

Vocals: emaru
Lyrics: Asahi (アサヒ)
Composed by: Asahi (アサヒ)
Album: homephone TE
Group: macaroom
Release date: July 6, 2016

Watch the official music video here!
Check out the album on Bandcamp!

macaroom’s on my list of groups whose music I want to translate more of. They released a new album in early March, and I’m waiting for some time to free up before I go through and properly translate my favourite tracks from the album!

For now, we have this track, which even received a promotional video. I had it mostly translated back in 2016, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of a sentence, so I let it sit. It sat for too long, but I feel much more confident about it now.


旅は気をつけろ
時間はだいたい見てたらいい
手には何を持つ
鞄にも入らないものを

tabi wa ki wo tsukero
jikan wa daitai mitetara ii
te ni wa nani wo motsu
kaban ni mo hairanai mono wo

Take care when travelling.
You should keep track of the time.
What am I holding?
It’s something I can’t even fit in my bag.

怪獣だって
暴れたくなるくらいの
大変な日に
退屈なんて言ってられない
いつもそうなんでしょう

kaijuu datte
abaretaku naru kurai no
taihen na hi ni
taikutsu nante itterarenai
itsumo sou nan deshou

On a dreadful day
in which even monsters
would want to go mad,
I’d like to say I’m bored, but I can’t.
Maybe it’s always like that…

財布なんて持ってないけど
台風だって通り過ぎてく

saifu nante mottenai kedo
taifuu datte toori sugiteku

I don’t have my purse with me,
But even the typhoon will pass through.

空は何色だ
期待して創造すると
時間もまた時間だから
考えなくていいと思う

sora wa naniiro da
kitai shite souzou suru to
jikan mo mata jikan dakara
kangaenakute ii to omou

What colour is the sky?
Anticipating it and imagining it
takes hours and hours,
So I think it’s okay not to think it over.

怪獣だって
暴れたくなるくらいの
大変な日に
退屈なんて言ってられない
いつもそうなんでしょう

kaijuu datte
abaretaku naru kurai no
taihen na hi ni
taikutsu nante itterarenai
itsumo sou nan deshou

On a dreadful day
in which even monsters
would want to go mad,
I’d like to say I’m bored, but I can’t.
Maybe it’s always like that…

財布なんて持ってないけど
台風だって通り過ぎてく

saifu nante mottenai kedo
taifuu datte toori sugiteku

I don’t have my purse with me,
But even the typhoon will pass through.

東京節 || The Tokyo Song

東京節
Tokyo-bushi
The Tokyo Song

Vocals: emaru
Lyrics: Soeda Tomomichi/Satsuki (添田知道[添田さつき])
Composed by: Henry Clay Work
Arranged by: Asahi (アサヒ)
Group: macaroom
Release date: March 22, 2015

Requested by: Eiki

Update: I updated the translation for accuracy thanks to some helpful feedback from 空見りんき

Listen to the track here!

So, this is an arrangement of the Japanese version of ‘Marching Through Georgia,’ a song that was written at the end of the American Civil War. The Japanese version was released in 1918. It’s basically a kind of protest song, providing a satirical look at Japanese society at the time. It has a lot of in-jokes and cultural references, which made it hard to translate. So, in other words, what’s presented below is only my interpretation. I wanted to keep the translation notes brief, so I’ve limited them to explaining why I translated the first katakana section the way I did. Of course, if you have questions about any of the references, please leave a comment!

I also made use of the following Japanese sites in forming my interpretation: 1, 2, 3.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

東京の中枢は 丸の内
日比谷公園 両議院
いきな構えの 帝劇に
いかめし館は 警視庁
諸官省ズラリ 馬場先門
海上ビルディング 東京駅
ポッポと出る汽車 どこへゆく
ラメチャンタラ ギッチョンチョンで パイノパイノパイ
パリコト パナナで フライ フライ フライ

Tokyo no chuusuu wa Marunouchi
Hibiya Kouen ryougi’in
ikinakamae no teigeki ni
ikameshi yakata wa keishichou
shokanshu zurari Babasaki-mon
kaijou birudingu Tokyo-eki
poppo to deru kisha doko e yuku
ramechantara gicchonchon de pai no pai no pai
parikoto panana de furai furai furai

The centre of Tokyo is Marunouchi
Hibiya Park is the home of the Diet.
The Imperial Theatre is stylish.
That stately palace is the Metropolitan Police Department.
The government ministries are all in a row. Babasaki-mon is there, too.
The Tokio Marine Building and Tokyo Station are also there…
The steam trains chug out from the station – where are they going?
The world’s a mess, heigh-ho! Pai no pai no pai! (1)
Parisian coats, bananas – fry, fry, fry! (2)

東京で繁華な 浅草は
雷門 仲見世 浅草寺
鳩ポッポ豆売る お婆さん
活動 十二階 花屋敷
すし おこし 牛 てんぷら
なんだとこん畜生で お巡りさん
スリに乞食に カッパライ
ラメチャンタラ ギッチョンチョンで パイノパイノパイ
パリコト パナナで フライ フライ フライ

Tokyo de hanka na Asakusa wa
Kaminarimon nakamise Sensouji
hato poppo mame uru obaa-san
katsudou juunidai hanayashiki
sushi okoshi gyuu tempura
nan da to kon chikushou de omawari-san
suri ni kojiki ni kapparai
ramechantara gicchonchon de pai no pai no pai
parikoto panana de furai furai furai

Prosperous Asakusa is in Tokyo, too.
It contains Kaminarimon, shrine shops, and Sensouji.
The pidgeons coo, and the old lady sells beans.
Movies, skyscrapers, and the Asakusa amusement park.
Sushi, okoshi, beef, and tempura.
“What’s with you, you brute!” “Officer, come quickly!”
Pilfering from the pickpockets and the beggars…
The world’s a mess, heigh-ho! Pai no pai no pai!
Parisian coats, bananas – fry, fry, fry!

東京の自慢は なんですね
三百万人 うようよと
米も作らずに 暮らすこと
タジレた市長を 仰ぐこと
それにみんなが 感心に
市長のいうことを よく聞いて
豆粕食うこと 痩せること
シチョウサンタラ ケチンボで パイノパイノパイ
洋服も ツメエリで フルイ フルイ フルイ

Tokyo no jiman wa nan desune
sanbyakuman-nin uyo uyo to
kome mo tsukurazu ni kurasu koto
tajireta shichou wo aogu koto
sore ni minna ga kanshin ni
shichou no iu koto wo yoku kiite
mamekasu kuu koto yaseru koto
shichousantara kechinbo de pai no pai no pai
youfuku mo tsume’eri de furai furai furai

I wonder what the pride of Tokyo is…
It’s crawling with 3 million people
Who live without making rice
And bow their heads to their irrational mayor.
Also, how admirable –
They listen carefully to what their mayor has to say,
All the while eating soybean scraps and growing thinner…
The mayor’s such a cheapskate! pai no pai no pai!
With western clothes and an upright collar, fry, fry fry!

東京名物 満員電車
いつまで待っても 乗れやしねえ
乗るにゃ喧嘩腰 いのちがけ
ヤットコサ スイタのが 来やがっても
ダメダメと 手を振って
又々止めずに 行きやあがる
なんだ故障車か ボロ電車め
シチョウサンタラ ケチンボで パイノパイノパイ
洋服も ツメエリで フルイ フルイ フルイ
ラメチャンタラ ギッチョンチョンで パイノパイノパイ
パリコト パナナで フライ フライ フライ

Tokyo meibutsu man’in densha
itsu made mattemo noreya shinee
noru nya kenkagoshi inochigake
yattokosa to suita no ga kiyagattemo
dame dame to te wo futte
mata mata tomezu ni ikiyagaru
nan da koshousha ka boro densha me
shichousantara kechinbo de pai no pai no pai
youfuku mo tsume’eri de furai furai furai
ramechantara gicchonchon de pai no pai no pai
parikoto panana de furai furai furai

Tokyo’s specialty is its packed trains.
No matter how long you wait, you’ll never get on one!
You need to fight to get on. You’ll risk your life.
Even when a less crowded train finally arrives…
“No, no!” With a wave of a hand,
The train heads off once again without stopping.
What, is it broken down? What sort of shabby train is this?!
The mayor’s such a cheapskate! Pai no pai no pai!
With western clothes and an upright collar, fry, fry fry!
The world’s a mess, heigh-ho! Pai no pai no pai!
Parisian coats, bananas – fry, fry, fry!

_ _ _ _ _

(1) ラメチャン (ramechan) appears to be a corrupted version of でたらめ (detarame – random/messed up). ギッチョンチョン (gicchonchon) is apparently a nonsense word used to fill in space, and パイノパイノパイ appears to represent laughter. So basically, ‘even if the world’s a mess, we just need to laugh it off!’

(2) Another interpretation sees sentence (1) as referring to the low standards of hygiene seen in Tokyo at the time. This is why フライ フライ フライ (furai furai furai) is translated as ‘fry’ instead of ‘fly’ – basically, hygiene standards were low because people were cooking on the streets.

tsuiraku

tsuiraku
falling

Vocals: emaru
Lyrics: Asahi (アサヒ)
Composed by: Asahi (アサヒ)
Album: homephone TE
Group: macaroom
Release date: July 6, 2016

This is definitely one of my favourite tracks from the album, but the whole album is really great! I noticed that this album’s lyrics are more ‘postmodern’ than room-103’s lyrics. I guess the emphasis is on how they make you feel, rather than what they’re saying. There are some memorable images in there. Because these lyrics are so postmodern, though, take my translation with a grain of salt. Asahi’s original intention was probably something completely different…

This album was definitely available on Bandcamp, but it isn’t there at the moment (probably because the album’s physical release is just around the corner). You can still pick up their first album, room-103, from there, though!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

黒々輝く人の隙間で
語られ歌われる酷い話が
永遠続くこんなところから
また新しい世界に住みたいな

kuroguro kagayaku hito no sukima de
katarare utawareru hidoi hanashi ga
eien tsudzuku konna tokoro kara
mata atarashii sekai ni sumitai na

In the gap between humans, shining deep black,
A cruel tale is spoken and sung,
Continuing from this place, which goes on forever.
I want to live in another new world…

飲み込む危ない紙は苦く小さく空に広がり
精神世界は崩壊するけど夢から覚めたら解決してくる
二人一組で両手で仰ぎ
巻き上がる風に船は難破して
足踏みすれば地球に伝わり
地図すら超えた巨大な地震が
最後の場所まで壊し尽くすから
生き残れないという若者も
やっぱりまだまだ遊び足りないと
終電めがけてうまく飛び込んだ

nomikomu abunai kami wa nigaku chiisaku sora ni hirogari
seishin sekai wa houkai suru kedo yume kara sametara kaiketsu shite kuru
futari hitokumi de ryoute de aogi
makiagaru kaze ni fune wa nanpa shite
ashibumi sureba chikyuu ni tsutawari
chizu sura koeta kyodai na jishin ga
saigo no basho made kowashitsukusu kara
ikinokorenai to iu wakamono mo
yappari madamada asobi tarinai to
shuuden megakete umaku tobikonda

The small, bitter papers I gulp down spread through the sky.
My spiritual world collapses, but when I wake up from this dream, it’ll all be solved.
The two of us, together, pray with both hands
And our boat is shipwrecked by the storm
Stomp your feet and it will be transmitted through the Earth.
The gigantic earthquake, transcending even maps,
Will destroy even the last safe spot
So the youths saying “I can’t live through this,”
Thinking “I still haven’t played enough!”
Aimed for the last train and skilfully jumped on board.

それは奇麗に始まる朝焼けかオーロラみたいに輝く
最終列車は街を転がり線路を外れて空まで駆けてく
墜落するとき下に広がる丸くなった地球にくらべて
見抜ける
間が抜ける
詩を書きもせず

sore wa kirei ni hajimaru asayake ka oorora mitai ni kagayaku
saishuu ressha wa machi wo korogari senro wo hazurete sora made kaketeku
tsuiraku suru toki shita ni hirogaru maruku natta chikyuu ni kurabete
minukeru
ma ga nukeru
shi wo kaki mo sezu

It shone like the dawn, beginning beautifully, or like an aurora.
The last train tumbled through the town. It left the tracks and raced up to the sky.
When it falls, I’ll compare it to the round Earth stretched out beneath.
It’s transparent.
It’s missing something.
I won’t write a poem about it.

ポケットに隠れて
一気に落ちる
使った話はもう
一気に終わる
写真も撮らず言葉で伝わる

poketto ni kakurete
ikki ni ochiru
tsukatta hanashi wa mou
ikki ni owaru
shashin mo torazu kotoba de tsutawaru

Hidden in a pocket,
Falling in a single breath,
That used-up tale
Ends in a single breath.
I won’t take a photo—I’ll tell it through words.

百万回も始まった
解決しないで線になった
計画なんて終わった
作戦だって絡まった

hyakuman kai mo hajimatta
kaiketsu shinai de sen ni natta
keikaku nante owatta
sakusen datte karamatta

It’s started a million times already!
Without a solution, it formed a line.
Those plans are over.
Even those strategies were entwined.

百万回も始まった
解決しないで線になった
計画なんて終わった
作戦だって絡まった

hyakuman kai mo hajimatta
kaiketsu shi nai de sen ni natta
keikaku nante owatta
sakusen datte karamatta

It’s started a million times already!
Without a solution, it formed a line.
Those plans are over.
Even those strategies were entwined.

東から西へ
エネルギーはいらない
海でも川でも
真夜中ではひとつ

higashi kara nishi he
enerugii wa iranai
umi demo kawa demo
mayonaka de wa hitotsu

From east to west,
You don’t need energy.
Even the oceans, even the rivers
Are one in the dead of night.

ポケットに隠れて
一気に落ちる
使った話はもう
一気に終わる
写真も撮らず言葉で伝わる

poketto ni kakurete
ikki ni ochiru
tsukatta hanashi wa mou
ikki ni owaru
shashin mo torazu kotoba de tsutawaru

Hidden in a pocket,
Falling in a single breath,
That used-up tale
Ends in a single breath.
I won’t take a photo—I’ll tell it through words.

shinkirou dropper || mirage dropper

a1362512710_10shinkirou dropper
mirage dropper

Vocals: emaru
Lyrics: Asahi (アサヒ)
Composed by: Asahi (アサヒ)
Album: room-103 【Official Site】
Group: macaroom
Release date: August 14, 2010

Requested by: syrup

Like last time, I tried to be flexible while translating this. I love the atmosphere of the song, so I tried to bring out those elements in the lyrics.

I say this every time, but if you’re interested in hearing this song, please check it out on Bandcamp! Both albums are great, so I recommend giving them a look.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

勘違いで咲いた
ふわり噂が
膨らんでしまった
取り戻せない

kanchigai de saita
fuwari uwasa ga
fukurande shimatta
torimodosenai

That small rumour,
Which bloomed through a misunderstanding,
Ended up growing bigger.
I can’t take it back.

少しだけ未来が
後ろ向いてたんだ
目を覚ますと衝動が
手をとってた

sukoshi dake mirai ga
ushiro muiteta nda
me wo samasu to shoudou ga
te wo totteta

The future faced backward
Just a little.
I woke up, and my urges
Took my hand.

好きな人が

suki na hito ga

And now, the one I love-

愛したい時間も
変わりながら
吸い込まれてじっと
動かなくなる

aishitai jikan mo
kawari nagara
suikomarete jitto
ugokanaku naru

Whilst the times
When I want to love you change,
I am breathed in
And I can’t move at all.

空を超えて

sora wo koete

I cross over the sky.

蜃気楼ドロッパー
容赦ない色もん
体と愛が
放り込んで咲いた

shinkirou doroppaa
yousha nai iro mon
karada to ai ga
hourikonde saita

The mirage dropper
Is an unforgivable colour.
I threw my body and love into it,
And it bloomed.

ひとつだけの

hitotsu dake no

There’s only one person

好きな人が

suki na hito ga

Who I love. And now, they-

ame || rain

a1362512710_10ame
rain

Vocals: emaru
Lyrics: Asahi (アサヒ)
Composed by: Asahi (アサヒ)
Album: room-103 【Official Site】
Group: macaroom
Release date: August 14, 2010

Requested by: syrup

Another wonderful track from the Asahi/emaru duo. I tried to take a flexible approach in translating these lyrics – I’ve found myself really appreciating the flexibility of language recently.

I mention this every time, but if you’re a fan of this circle, please check out their music on Bandcamp! They’ve released two wonderful albums so far, so if you’re even a little bit interested, I encourage you to check them out!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

星たちと私は
関心する見物
でも足りない
その気がない

hoshi-tachi to watashi wa
kanshin suru mimono
demo tarinai
sono ki ga nai

I looked at the stars,
Such an interesting spectacle.
But it wasn’t enough.
I wasn’t interested.

祈りと私は
屈んで塞ぎこむから
目の前でも見えない

inori to watashi wa
kagande fusagikomu kara
me no mae demo mienai

I bent down in prayer,
And because I closed my eyes,
I couldn’t even see anything in front of me.

改札通る2人が一列に
また雨が降ってもいいな

kaisatsu tooru futari ga ichiretsu ni
mata ame ga futtemo ii na

The two of us formed a line to pass the ticket barrier.
Even if it rains again, I don’t mind.

ame last train
ame last train

Rain. Last train.
Rain. Last train.

うつむいた光の中
彷徨う2人は
また悲しんで
いいじゃない

utsumuita hikari no naka
samayou futari wa
mata kanashinde
ii ja nai

Lost, we hung our heads in shame
In the light as we loitered.
I’m still sad.
But that’s fine, right?

見知らぬこの場所
水色の梯子みたい
迷っても一人じゃない

mishiranu kono basho
mizu-iro no hashigo mitai
mayottemo hitori ja nai

I’m in an unfamiliar place—
It’s like a light-blue ladder.
Though I’m lost, I’m not alone.

最高潮の後ろで朝が来る
世界中の雲から果てしない
水溜りの列車で歌おう

saikouchou no ushiro de asa ga kuru
sekaijuu no kumo kara hate shinai
mizutamari no ressha de utaou

Morning comes from beyond the peak
Endlessly stretching from all the world’s clouds.
Let’s sing on the train, as it crosses the puddles.

ame last train
ame last train

Rain. Last train.
Rain. Last train.