ビニール袋は油膜の虹をみるか || Does the Plastic Bag Look at the Rainbow on the Oil Slick?

biniiru bukuro wa yumaku no niji wo miru ka
Does the Plastic Bag Look at the Rainbow on the Oil Slick?

Vocals: Ranko
Lyrics: azuki
Arranged by: kaztora
Album: Paraiso [パライソ] 【Official Site】
Circle: Shinra-Bansho (森羅万象)
Event: Reitaisai 10 [RTS10]
Original Theme: Akutagawa Ryuunosuke’s “Kappa” ~ Candid Friend [芥川龍之介の河童 ~ Candid Friend]

Requested by: ze

More azuki lyrics. I picture a Gensokyo overrun by the modern world when I listen to this one. And poor Nitori walks alongside what used to be a river, mourning for her beloved Gensokyo…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I tread upon the irrigation channel, moistening my parched body.
Rustling, rustling… I flow downstream, towards the distance.
I feel no signs of life in the currents. Human ego flows, rustling by…
What kind of dream is the plastic bag having?

A rainbow-coloured blackness floated in the sediment.
Though it hurt, I continued to swim.

Inhuman building blocks gently drew close
And the setting sun shone upon the debris.
No traces of times long past were in the mud I seized.
Please, don’t forget…

I walk across the gutter, checking where it leads.
Rustling, rustling… I’ll go somewhere beyond the wire fence.
I aim at the gaps and throw something at them. I’m dirty by nature.
For whose sake does the water flow?

The modern conveniences gathered on the riverbank
Could not pay the price of usefulness…

I take an unfathomable pane of glass in my hands
And I look at the setting sun through it.
Screws are scattered about. I turn them, turn them, turn them… look!
They sink towards the whirlpool.

The plastic bag that aimed for the sea is lost in the approaching waves.
A rainbow still reflects from its figure, even as it sinks to the bottom.

Before they know it, humans part with this world and set off.
But my eyes gaze upon debris spreading out before me.
I sit down and lament nature, which will not return.

The clear mud loiters on the piping
And the rainbow continues without end.
But why does the plastic bag continue? For whose sake?
For its own sake.

The dreaming electronics, too,
Cling to the rusty radio.
The sun rises upon the horizon
And the oil slick spreads out beyond –
It is the world of rainbows and plastic bags.

be praying

Coverbe praying

Vocals: Ranko
Lyrics: Azuki
Arranged by: Kaztora (カズトラ)
Album: Paraiso [パライソ]
Circle: Shinra-Bansho (森羅万象)
Event: Reitaisai 10 [RTS10]
Original Theme: The Tiger-Patterned Bishamonten [虎柄の毘沙門天]

Subtitled video courtesy of Eiki Shiki: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9keIVyDRtKg

I interpreted this song as a ‘dialogue’ between a human and a god. The areas in “quotations marks” are the points where the human responds to the god. At least, that’s what I thought. There are also some complicated phrases during the verses – I tried to untangle them a bit, so bear with them…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

By not giving up, without being ashamed,
You’ll surely be able to find your happiness.

There must be something that everyone’s forgetting –
Whilst looking forwards, you hold a backwards opinion.
Doesn’t that mean you’re only living in the present?
You’re searching for your destination.

By the time you noticed it, you were alone, always.
Isn’t it good to just walk without worrying about what’s around you?

Look! Even if you don’t sense just the things you can see,
The things you can’t see have a sentimental argument – they want to be sensed…
Without doing things over, advance in your current state,
Because you’ve definitely dropped your happiness somewhere.

Isn’t it boring just moping around like that?
Try moving forwards with your head held high once in a while.

You won’t lose anything as long as you look over it.
Looking at your feet and walking is a bit pessimistic, don’t you think?

Though, even if you don’t understand whilst not being understood,
The things you did understand were a reconciling forecast.
Without doing things over, advance in your usual way,
Because I’ve definitely dropped your happiness somewhere.

“But, you know, I want to be
Just a bit pessimistic.”
Those things that you’ve lost – you can
Surely, surely, surely, surely
Meet them again, so…

Even if it’s just for one time, don’t give up.
With your mind and soul, I want you to believe, I want you to believe…
“It hurts,” you say, and you feel like you can’t go on.
I can feel that life exists everywhere.
Today, too, I shall restart myself…

パライソ || Paraiso


Vocals: Ranko
Lyrics: Azuki
Arranged by: Kaztora (カズトラ)
Album: Paraiso [パライソ]
Circle: Shinra-Bansho (森羅万象)
Event: Reitaisai 10 [RTS10]
Original Themes: –Oni’s Island in the Fairyland ~ Missing Power [御伽の国の鬼が島 ~ Missing Power]
Broken Moon [砕月]
A Flower-Studded Sake Dish on Mt. Ooe [華のさかづき大江山]

Subtitled video courtesy of Eiki Shiki: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBUiM2hS0aY

The title, Paraiso, literally means ‘Paradise.’ Like in most of my Shinra-Banso translations, I left it as Paraiso to enhance the Oriental, ‘otherworldly’ feel of the song.

This is one of those songs that you listen to for the sheer beauty of the lyrics, rather than to figure out what’s actually going on. It seems like the speaker is undertaking some sort of metaphysical journey towards Nirvana. Perhaps they have died. Or perhaps they are simply dreaming… Either way, the images presented are simply stunning.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A multi-storied temple floats in the twilight.
The sea of Paraiso continues without end.
Please… please… so I will not forget it,
I pour some saké for this transient world…

Secretly, and unable to realise it, we spent time together in the present.
I had believed that this uncertain garden would continue to exist like this, forever…

The returning blade is sharp, and it pierces my heart, deeply.
My wound does not heal – a deep crimson drops into my cup.

The morning star in the beautiful sky, as it grows light,
Is but an illusion that I mistake for my dying moment.
Whilst knowing that I cannot seize it,
I softly shed tears, as if they were overflowing from me…

This paradise, which nobody knows about, is called the earth’s prison by humans.
I could not see anything in the sky I looked up at…

My dry cup becomes hazy…
Lies are varnished upon lies, over and over.
Yearning for something – somehow, it’s sad.
I’m still dreaming…

In the vessel of my heart, I reminisce upon the days of yore.
I continue far away, upon the sea of Paraiso.
Below my eyes, the Higan flowers bloom.
It was slightly nostalgic; I pushed them onwards…

I am still alone, gazing quietly upon the moonlit night.
Tears fall on the white cloth of my sleeve. If this is a dream, then please, let me stay like this…

I felt that distant day.
The moon waxes and wanes over the months and years.
It is too good, too good
For one such as me, so…

It is the dawn of spring. The cherry blossoms dance down,
And the sea of Paraiso is stained a deep red.
Alone, alone, I saw it in a dream.
I am intoxicated with the pleasure of nostalgia…

I am here, and people are here.
Without arriving, without leaving, we form bonds. (1)
I am with a circle of people so large
I cannot bear it in both hands, on the sea of Paraiso.
The one celebrating transience… is nightfall.

_ _ _ _ _

(1) Though the ‘bonds’ spoken about here can relate to the bonds between humans, the phrase 縁を結ぶ ‘en wo musubu’ also refers to the act of getting married, along with forming bonds with Buddha. Perhaps it refers to all the bonds we form whilst alive…



Vocals: Mie (みぃ)
Lyrics: Azuki
Arranged by: Kaztora (カズトラ)
Album: Paraiso [パライソ]
Circle: Shinra-Bansho (森羅万象)
Event: Reitaisai 10 [RTS10]
Original Theme: Necrofantasia [ネクロファンタジア]

Subtitled video courtesy of NovaSnows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyXuNQ03RBg

I’m slowly making my way through Shinra-Bansho’s back catalogue…! This song presents Yukari as the defender of Gensokyo, which is slowly being ‘invaded’ by the real world.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The citizens of paradise are unaware that they’re being invaded.
In order to protect their smiling faces, I still point my gun –
Where’s that liar?
Determined to remain unseen by all,
The warden searches for her enemies.

Let’s have a talk…
Though my blind acceptance, which I have taken prisoner,
Attacks that songbird.
Trust no one! Trust no one! Defend yourself!
In this illusion, where all wishes come true,
What kind of tragedy do you desire…?

The outside world will someday bare its teeth at this illusion.
I’m the one who will reconquer this utopia, and protect it
As it is being invaded. (1)

I’m not lying.
Though, I’m in a state of joyful paranoia…
O, my beloved baby bird!
Stay alert! Stay alert! We’re not playing around!
This illusion is a falsehood…
Who manufactured this disaster?

Gazing at only the news is like brandishing the theory of happiness.
Almost everything  will dissolve towards the domain
Of nonaggression…

If, someday, we become free…
Let’s all eat cake together!
We won’t believe that our beloved, ephemeral world
Is heading towards destruction.

Cracks form in my repose.
Trust no one! Trust no one!
Citizen, are you happy?
In this beautiful, perfect world,
Nothing exists that can serve as an obstacle.
I do everything so that this happiness can continue for eternity…

_ _ _ _ _

(1) The original Japanese uses the word ‘Reconquista,’ which is mainly used to refer to a series of holy wars that took place throughout history. I gave the sentence a more liberal translation to help it make more sense in the context of an English sentence, though I’m not entirely satisfied with the outcome…

シャングリラ || Shangri-La


Vocals: Meramipop (めらみぽっぷ)
Lyrics: Azuki
Arranged by: Kaztora (カズトラ)
Album: Paraiso [パライソ]
Circle: Shinra-Bansho (森羅万象)
Event: Reitaisai 10 [RTS10]
Original Theme: Maiden’s Capriccio ~ Dream Battle [少女綺想曲 ~ Dream Battle]

This was a tough one to translate. Mostly because of the chorus, with its generous blend of English words and Japanese words [I don’t honestly think Merami intended to tell us to ‘fry high…’]. As a result, this translation ended up… freer than I intended it to be. Anyway, the image this time is of a lazy, capricious girl, who spends her days sleeping and dreaming of an active life she could never live. So relax, and take it easy…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“I want to laugh, with a smiling face,
And without crying, as well.
Hah… I’m sleepy, so I’ll rest…”

Even if I try and suddenly exert myself, it’s just too much work, so
Why not just do nothing instead?
I don’t want to wear myself out, so I turn over in my bed.
Que sera, sera… that’s how I spend my days.

Tick, tock… the clock marches forward.
Come! Let’s move forward with smiling faces…

Let’s dance! Whilst grooving, say hello with telepathy.
Say something to me – call me, call me!
Anything’s okay, isn’t it?
No matter how many times, come! Let’s fly around in the sky.
Try again! I’ll go high and low.
Bye-bye! Thanks to you,
I don’t feel like doing anything else today – I guess it’s good night.
lalala… or something like that.

“I want to laugh, with a smiling face,
And without crying, as well.
Hah… I’m sleepy, so I’ll rest…”

You suddenly said that you want to go somewhere, but where do you want to go?
Traveling without a destination is all well and good, but…
What? You want me to decide? Well, we’ll head to that place just before the neighbourhood.
Let’s go! (We’ll just walk, though.)

The rustling wind walks along with us…
Come! There’s no need to rush. For now, should we just smile?

Fly high! You’re the conductor of your dreams – swing back and forth…
At a crowded place, call me, call me!
We’ll do whatever, but the things I like are the most important.
Hah, try again! Trick or treat.
Selfishly, just as we’re arriving…
“This is as far as I’ll guide you.” I guess it’s good night for today, as well.

At those times when I suddenly feel lonely,
I spend my time with a smiling face, trying to deceive myself.
But I’m sick of that! So…

Stand by! Whilst grooving, say good bye with telepathy.
Don’t forget about me – call me, call me!
It’s not the end.
But it’s not the beginning either – it’s still going.
Try again! I’ll go high and low.
Until the day we meet again…
I guess I can wait a bit for that time to come – I’ll do it for you.

“I want to laugh, with a smiling face,
And without crying, as well.
Hah… I’m sleepy, so I’ll rest…”

パラグラフ14 || Paragraph 14

Paragurafu 14
Paragraph 14

Vocals: Mie (みぃ)
Lyrics: Azuki
Arranged by: Kaztora (カズトラ)
Album: Paraiso [パライソ]
Circle: Shinra-Bansho (森羅万象)
Event: Reitaisai 10 [RTS10]
Original: Hartmann’s Youkai Girl [ハルトマンの妖怪少女]

Subtitled video courtesy of Eiki Shiki: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crhhXn-eMtc

Update [24/01/2015]: It seems as though the structure of this track is based on the Arctic Monkeys’ “When the Sun Goes Down.” Parody tracks aren’t a new thing to Shinra-Bansho’s albums – ‘Corpse Dance’ is based heavily off Brittany Spears’ “Toxic.” Thanks to Tegamin for the tip!

Another track from Paraiso. This one has surprisingly dark lyrics, especially since the beginning and end sound so… hopeful. I wasn’t able to decipher the meaning of ’14,’ though I guess it could be seen as a metaphor for death, since Japanese people are quite superstitious towards the number 4 in general. 4 (shi) is read the same way as ‘death’ (shi), so Japanese people tend to avoid saying it. They even invented another way of saying 4 – ‘yon’ – to combat it… It is possible to pronounce 14 as ‘ishi,’ though, which is part of Koishi’s name.

As another note, some of the verses are hard to translate, since they use the negative verbs ‘くだらない’ (kudaranai) – ‘worthless’ and ‘つまらない’ (tsumaranai) – ‘boring’ alongside the (surprisingly) non-existent ‘positive’ verbs ‘くだる’ (kudaru) and ‘つまる’ (tsumaru). If you want to find out more, I’m sure there are plenty of pages on this contradiction out there.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Like a chick that’s just been born,
I still blindly believe in this world.
Even though I can’t choose the path I follow,
From me, to you,
I send a message that advances to… 14.

As for the boring things,
Stuff I don’t want to do, things that can’t be helped.
“Do too much” or “Do nothing at all…”
In that case, “nothing” is more comfortable, you know.

The destination I chose, from the bottom of my heart,
Was it with my own will? Whose will was it?
Beyond the point I’m bound for,
‘14’ is waiting for me…

I turn those poetic pages, singing lies, singing truth,
And the paragraph of I, who am so mischievous, undergoes a shift…

As for things worth nothing at all,
What about this? What about that?
“Things with worth” or “Things worth nothing…”
Look here! “Nothing” feels the best, right?

There, right behind me…
Who’s there? What’s there?
I turned my head, and
I was there, smiling.

I cling to an ego that I cannot sustain, smiling, believing that I am happy.
The beautiful butterflies flutter and dance: it’s such a world…

Beginnings are found beyond endings. I forget even my own ego…
As I lose the meaning of my life as well,
I wonder if my paragraph will be lost, too…

Like a chick, dead in pursuit of one it loves,
The world still foolishly advances forward.
Even though we can’t choose the path we follow,
Let’s head towards the end,
Towards ’14,’ reserved only for me.

anjir || Fig


Vocals: Ranko
Lyrics: Azuki
Arranged by: Kaztora (カズトラ)
Album: Paraiso [パライソ]
Circle: Shinra-Bansho (森羅万象)
Event: Reitaisai 10 [RTS10]
Original: Old Yuanxian [古きユアンシェン]

Subtitled video courtesy of Eiki Shiki: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aWc_1CYQrA

Moving backwards, here’s a track from Shinra-Bansho’s 2nd 3rd album. It deals with some complex themes, all linked together by the title. The title, anjir, comes from the Persian/Urdu word meaning ‘fig.’ In this song, the world is compared to a fig, which ripens from the inside out. Seiga argues that religion and its teachings, such as ‘throw away grudges,’ are causing the world to slowly rot from the inside out, like a fig. At least, that’s how I interpret it…

As a bit of a translation note, there are a lot of Buddhist terms scattered throughout the song. I left most of them in their original forms, except for 七光り (nanahikari), which literally means ‘capitalising on the position of your parents.’

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

People live with their heads cast down, traveling towards the cloudy weather in front of them…
The stone doors of hope and envy are still firmly shut.

On top of those intersecting parallel lines, where the bell tolls without end,
A baby that has stumbled off course searches for its mother again…

Its first cries resound, resound, towards its mother.
It seeks this preciousness, preciousness, and crumbles away.

The fig tree’s flowers have bloomed. Tell me God, why is it
That humans laugh thoughtlessly when they are sorrowful?
The universe, the Seven Wonders – the world itself is truly hollow.
Grudges and hard feelings should be thrown away, or something like that…
These first movements created in the womb are the corrupted axis of the world.

In a blue sky unaware that the world is being attacked and consumed,
I lose sight of my words. Be that as it may, I dance with corpses.

It’s a cycle of conversation, pursuit, answers, and decay.
It’s a life of inverse proportion – death doesn’t exist!

The sacred lotus’ petals fell to the earth. Tell me God, why is it
That I can smile when my neighbor is crying?
Sukhavati’s lotus flower, your pedigree – the other world is truly Shangri-La.
Jealousy and envy should be spat out, or something like that…
These first movements created in the womb are the axis of whose world?

Look – the transience of a road walked upon by people!
Look – those who have turned off the road of those wishing for life!
I want to die… I want to die…
I don’t want to kill you… I want to kill you.
I wrapped my fingers around your neck.

I remembered an old dream, and it made my consciousness reverberate.
I want to live, I want to live, and I’m smeared with lies…
Though dying is unpleasant to me,
It doesn’t mean that I’m scared of dying.
It’s because I’m afraid of living – that’s all.

The fig tree’s fruit bursts open. I’ll tell you something, God,
The way in which other people die… is through living!
I kicked the Yin-Yang Philosophy, and sent it flying:
A number that cannot be counted to is just a mirage!
I gave thanks for being born,
And, smiling, I tore off that beautifully-ripened fig – the world’s axis.