…VOICE

bambooXZX's personal blog, mostly dedicated to song lyrics translation from Japanese to English.

A Look Back, A Look Forward

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tl;dr: This translator is feeling a little down, so he writes walls of text to retain his sanity. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along.

I’ve been considering posting some of my own writing here for a while, considering that it’s a blog. It seems a bit dull to have lyrics translations alone, and I could use a creative outlet, given that my previous one (Facebook) is looking more and more unsafe as a place to display my true personality. For this post, at least, I’ll keep the content related to the subjects of anime, music, and translation.

First, I will talk about the highlights of 2009 as I experienced it. Most bloggers write these posts before New Year’s Day, but I just feel like it’s something I should do now. I clearly did not decide to write one weeks ago and neglect to follow through on the plan until now.

After that, I will write up a status report for my translations. The list of projects is quite long, but I’ll give a short comment on everything, to both let you know where things are and let me know where things are. Now, before anyone brings up the excellent point that I could be translating instead of writing this list, this writing is a morale boost, something that is not easy for me to come by and tends to help me get things done.

Onward.

Highlights of 2009

Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou

One of the first anime of the year also happened to become one of those that I loved the most. The first season had already taken its place in my favorites; it was relaxing and heartwarming, and watching it never failed to leave me feeling good afterward. Watching the second season gave me a similar experience, naturally. I’m sure people who are more skilled with words have written detailed reviews, so I won’t continue praising it here. However, I will share my one small disappointment with the series: I feel like Natsume should have actually told his foster parents the truth about his ability at the end of episode 10.

Kuuchuu Buranko (Trapeze)

Another of my top picks of 2009, in contrast, came close to the end of the year. Like Natsume Yuujinchou, watching each episode left me with a good feeling. The difference is that happiness from watching Natsume Yuujinchou gives me peace of mind; happiness from watching Trapeze gives me a bounce in my step. That may have been due in large part to the ending themes, but really, that’s how I felt. Trapeze is one of those shows that really pulls me into the characters’ shoes, and by the end of many episodes, the character seems to be feeling, “I have come to terms with my problems and my life is now awesome.” I felt episodes 2, 6, 7, and 10 executed this best.

I’m still not sure what to think about the animation of the series. I really like Irabu’s design, the colors, the cardboard people, and the use of 3D-world faces. On the other hands, I didn’t care too much for the way the faces were drawn (not counting Irabu).

Trapeze’s music has shown me the greatness that is Denki Groove. Whenever I hear Shangri-La, I can’t not bob my head to the beat.

Nobody’s perfect.

Bakemonogatari

Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou, Trapeze, and Bakemonogatari make up my top three anime for 2009. With Bakemonogatari, I thought the characterization in particular was a very strong point – Araragi and Senjougahara were especially well-portrayed.

The ending theme, “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari,” is now one of my favorite songs of all time. It was the lyrics: something in there really touched me. Thinking back on being unable to take the chance when it was actually there is a feeling I can intensely relate to.

Hatsukoi Limited

I didn’t actually watch this while it was airing; I marathoned it in November when I should have been studying for midterms or something. After I watched the fourth episode or so, I recall thinking, “Wow. None of the people are going to be happy, ever.” Watching it to then end was enjoyable, though. I need to check out the manga sometime.

K-ON!

I enjoyed watching K-ON!. I very much enjoyed watching K-ON!.

Reason: I got just about what I expected and wanted out of it. I expected a slice-of-life anime with less focus on music than true music anime, characters that I would probably find likable, great insert songs, and a large dose of moé.

Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini

I actually watched season 1 in August, when I heard that the second one was coming up. I liked it; each episode had a way of setting up the atmosphere perfectly. By the end, there were things left unexplained, but they didn’t leave me confused.

As for season 2, I’m still not completely clear on what happened in the final episode. And when I say “completely,” I mean “at all.” …Okay, I guess that’s not 100% true, but still… just… what.

Haruhi 2009

I marathoned Endless Eight and enjoyed it. That is all.

school food punishment

I first heard school food punishment in the trailer for Eden of the East. I was instantly hooked. Since then, I’ve listened to their subsequent singles and checked out their older music.

In online discussions, I often see people talking about how the band’s sound has become commercialized, usually with a negative tone, or how it’s sacrificed its musical quality for mainstream exposure. I, personally, feel like the quality of their recent work is just as good as their independent music, and I may even venture to say that it’s improved. The most common complaints seem to be with “butterfly swimmer” and “sea-through communication.” The sound is indeed more like the mainstream, but I feel that saying the songs have lower quality or none of the band’s original sound would be incorrect.  “butterfly swimmer” is brilliant as a song, with the dramatic change in rhythm, the perfect flow of the vocals, and the distinctive sfp characteristics it does contain, such as the extensive use of keyboard (both piano and screaming) and the general high intensity.

Okay, the next sentence was going to be, “As for ‘sea-through communication,’ songs in that kind of style aren’t exactly new (see “art line” or “Ukabiagaru”, for instance) – perhaps the song itself just isn’t quite as well executed.” Then, I realized that even though the speeds are similar, the difference with “sea-through communication” is that it doesn’t have the piano sound, so I guess complaints are warranted. I guess I just like “butterfly swimmer” too much and can’t stop myself from defending it from any criticism.

In any case, for those people, “deviswitch” could be seen as a wonderful return to form, so we can all be happy, right?

songs

Top anime openings of 2009, in no particular order:
-K-ON!, “Cagayake!GIRLS” – Over time, I’ve actually come to prefer this to “Don’t say “lazy””. The music has a bit more complexity to it, and the general feeling fits K-ON! better.
-Sengoku Basara, “JAP” – dancing samurai, WHOO WHOO, etc.
-Eden of the East: The King of Eden, “light prayer”
-Bakemonogatari, “Ren’ai Circulation” – I don’t tend to like it when the vocals of a song don’t follow a particular melody, but for some reason, it works really well for Nadeko.
-Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou, “Programming for non-fiction”
-To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, “only my railgun”
-Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu, “Oyasumi Paradox” – I didn’t actually watch the anime, but something about the song is just really catchy.

Top anime endings of 2009, in no particular order:
-Hatsukoi Limited, “Sora ni Mau”
-Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou, “Aishiteru”
-Eden of the East, “futuristic imagination”
-Bakemonogatari, “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari”
-Miracle Train ~Oedo-sen ni Youkoso~, “STORIES” – I didn’t watch this one either, but I’ve been following Kita Shuuhei’s songs since I heard him with Natsume Yuujinchou, and this one is quite nice.
-Saki, “Shikakui Uchuu de Matteru yo” – HNNNNNGGGGGGG
-Kuuchuu Buranko, “Shangri-La (Y.Sunahara 2009 Remodel)” – Yes, I realize the original song is much older, but I just wanted an excuse to mention it again, haha.

Other anime-related songs worth mentioning:
-“Mio”, Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ BGM
-“2 hundred over”, Strike Witches character song – R・O・N’s work is great.
-“Treasure! ~Kimi to Deaeta Koto~”, Umi Monogatari web radio OP – I love Minako Kotobuki’s singing voice (not to say that Kana Asumi’s voice isn’t nice, too).
-“flat”, c/w Eden of the East ED (futuristic imagination)
-“WAKE ME UP(^_-)b!”, c/w Kanamemo ED (YAHHO!) – Crazy song. First time I’ve seen a face in a song title. R・O・N (actually recognized his style before I even looked at the booklet).
-“Frascoration”, Toradora! character song – R・O・N, again.
-“Orange -citrus mix-“, remix of Toradora! ED2 – R・O・N, again, on top of a song that was already very good.
-“jellyfish”, To Aru Majutsu no Index insert song
-“Mouken Cerberus”, Darker than Black 2 BGM – UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ
-“Galaxy Train”, Darker than Black 2 BGM

Misc:
-“butterfly swimmer”

blog traffic

Most viewed song translations:
1. Clannad After Story – Toki wo Kizamu Uta – 1360 (linked from my piano performance on youtube)
2. Taimanin Asagi – Mugen Renga – 1247 (from hentai)
3. Bakemonogatari – Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari – 1244 (other people linked to me early on)
4. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun – only my railgun – 1036 (translated TV size; first person who translated full version; linked from gendou)
5. K-ON! – Don’t say “lazy” – 691 (first person who translated; K-ON! fanbase is massive)

Also of note, my Dear You post received 2008 views. So close.

Projects to be completed, hopefully in 2010

Now, I will list every single song translation that I plan to post but have yet to complete.

The reason there are so many songs I’m working on is that my ability to concentrate is extremely unstable. This explains why I’ve been known to translate a song in half an hour when I’ve also been known to take almost a year.

Songs are listed by completion levels in descending order.

One Outs – MOMENT
Ready to post.

Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino- – Tsuioku ~Mori to Mizu no Shi~
Begun 08/22/08; coherent and plausible translation in existence as of 04/14/09, but didn’t post because I still wasn’t sure of accuracy.

supercell – Melt
Begun 11/24/09; mid-translation as of 12/07/09. I’ve known the meaning since I first heard the song, but I’m still working on getting the best-sounding wording I can.

Mizuiro – Watashi no Sora no Iro [requested]
Mid-translation as of 12/19/09; fairly sure the rest will come smoothly once I get to working on it.

ChäoS;HEAd – Find the blue
Begun 10/18/08; mid-translation as of 04/14/09. Difficult.

ChäoS;HEAd – Desire Blue sky
Begun 10/24/08; mid-translation as of 04/14/09. Difficult.

Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ – Who’s crying?
Begun 11/22/09; mid-translation as of 12/22/09.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu – under “Mebius”
Begun 11/24/09; mid-translation as of 12/22/09.

Hinoi Asuka – VOICES
Begun 05/14/09. Mid-translation as of 12/14/09.

Jyukai – SAKURA difference
Romaji/kanji transcribed on 05/09/09. Mid-translation as of 11/22/09.

Kurai Mirai 3 – Close to you
Begun 02/03/09. Scans obtained on 06/05/09. Mid-translation as of 06/24/09.

school food punishment – deviswitch
Begun 12/06/09; mid-translation as of 1/01/10.

school food punishment – fiction nonfiction
Begun 10/10/09; mid-translation as of 12/22/09.

school food punishment – sky step [requested]
Begun 12/08/09; mid-translation as of 12/22/09.

school food punishment – you may crawl
Begun 09/28/09; mid-translation as of 1/01/10.

Minori Chihara – Sunshine flower
Begun 10/26/09; mid-translation as of 12/27/09.

Hatsukoi Limited – Utsuriyuku Kisetsu wo Norikoete
Begun 11/22/09; mid-translation as of 01/01/10.

fripSide – late in autumn
Begun 11/03/09; mid-translation as of 12/29/09. Difficult.

Evangelion – Shuuketsu no Sono e
Transcribed the song and translated one verse on 04/22/09.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – Tasokare
Begun 11/19/08; less than one verse translated as of 04/14/09. Should go somewhat smoothly once I get to it.

Kannagi – Musuhi no Toki
Begun 10/24/08; one line translated as of 04/14/09.

Eiko Shimamiya – O
Begun 10/17/08; one line translated as of 12/20/09.

Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ – Haitoku no Gajou
Begun 11/22/09; one line translated as of 12/22/09.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu – Matsutte Matsutte! Irassha~i [requested]
Begun 12/16/09; sitting at one line partially translated as of 12/27/09. Transcription was very draining.

kure-nai – crossing days
Romaji/kanji transcribed on 06/26/08. Never made more progress because it was beyond my translation skills at the time; I may try again sometime.

Eiko Shimamiya – Carnelian no Kanaderu Yume
Begun 10/17/08; romaji/kanji transcribed as of 04/14/09.

Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka – Mezamenai wish…
Begun 02/24/09; romaji/kanji transcribed as of 04/14/09.

Yukari Tamura – Don’t wake me☆UP
Begun 03/29/09; romaji/kanji transcribed as of 04/14/09.

Yukari Tamura – Tomorrow
Begun 02/24/09; romaji/kanji transcribed as of 03/09/09.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu – Tsumaranai Hanashi desu yo to Boku wa Iu
Begun 11/22/09; romaji/kanji transcribed as of 11/24/09.

Kanamemo – Kimi e to Tsunagu Kokoro
Begun 08/18/09; romaji/kanji transcribed as of 9/11/09.

Seto no Hanayome – Wishing!
Begun 06/25/09; romaji/kanji transcribed as of 12/05/09.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Gekidou – Greed’s accident
Begun 03/19/09; four verses of romaji transcribed as of 04/14/09; romaji/kanji transcribed as of 10/04/09.

school food punishment – loop,share [requested]
Romaji/kanji transcribed on 12/16/09

Denki Groove – Shangri-La
Romaji/kanji transcribed on 12/27/09.

Sakamoto Maaya – Private Sky
Romaji/kanji transcribed on 12/27/09, immediately after Shangri-La.

Mizuiro – Kokoro no Kakera [requested]
Romaji transcribed (from kanji source) as of 12/16/09.

Strike Witches – Prismatic Shugi
Begun 3/22/09; romaji and most of kanji transcribed as of 4/14/09; remainder of kanji transcribed as of 12/22/09.

Soukou Kijo Iris – Tsuyogari
Romaji/kanji transcribed on 11/24/09.

Kanamemo – WAKE ME UP(^_-)b!
Begun 08/23/09; romaji/kanji of booklet lyrics transcribed as of 12/01/09. Was in the middle of trying to figure out the unlisted interjections when I last worked on it.

Lucky Star – Kaeshite! Knee Socks
Begun 10/09/08; romaji and part of kanji transcribed as of 04/14/09.

Eiko Shimamiya – Mune no Cross
Begun 10/17/08; romaji transcribed as of 04/14/09.

Seto no Hanayome – Namida Ichirin
Romaji transcribed on 05/31/09.

Aya Hirano – Kaze Yomi Ribbon
Begun 12/28/08; romaji transcribed as of 04/14/09.

Toradora! – TANPOPO
Begun 04/30/09; romaji transcribed as of 12/22/09.

KOTOKO – SCREW
Romaji transcribed on 12/16/09.

fripSide NAO project! – Pool Vacation
Romaji transcribed on 05/09/09.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu – Homo Sapiens Rhapsody [requested]
Romaji of booklet’s lyrics transcribed on 12/11/09. Was in the middle of trying to figure out Kyon’s interjections when I last worked on it.

Kurai Mirai 3 – Katen
Begun 02/03/09; romaji of OP version transcribed from kanji source as of 04/13/09. Have yet to find official lyrics for the full version.

VELTPUNCH – Cheap Disco “13Steps”
Romaji partially transcribed on 12/14/09. Scans are hard to read.

ChäoS;HEAd NoAH – Mikkyou no Kubikazari
Begun 03/19/09; two verses of romaji transcribed as of 05/07/09

Saki – Shikakui Uchuu de Matteru yo [requested]
Less than one verse of romaji transcribed on 07/25/09; gave up. Picked it up again by request; little progress made as of 11/08/09.

Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka – Love Diving
Begun 02/29/09; one verse of romaji transcribed as of 04/14/09.

Seto no Hanayome – Rasen
One verse of romaji transcribed on 07/04/09.

K-ON! – Giita ni Kubittake
One line of romaji transcribed on 07/04/09.

ChäoS;HEAd – Haritsuke no Misa
Tomoyo After – Light colors
F-Zero GP Legend – THE  MEANING OF TRUTH
Strike Witches – GOOD MORNING!!
Strike Witches – Sweet Duet
Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan – Binkan Salaryman no Uta
Strike Witches – Le ciel bleu
Strike Witches – Triangle Scramble
Akagi – S.T.S.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – Natsu no Koe
Umi Monogatari – Toki no Hana
Himawari – gleaming sky
Kanamemo – Saishin News wo Mattete ne.
Saki – Mienai Kimi no Sagashikata
Musashi Gundoh – STYLE
Aria the Animation – Just For You
Katakiri Rekka – Soba ni Iru
Toradora! – Please Freeze
K-ON! – “Let’s Go” [requested]
all remaining school food punishment songs
all remaining Mega Man ZX songs
All within sight but yet to begin.

After writing all of that down, I feel a little better now

It would be nice if Dr. Irabu was real.

Now, moving on to non-music projects.

I’d like to announce that I will be subbing Umi Monogatari DVDs. Ayako dropped the series, Wasurenai’s translation is less than stellar, others of unknown quality didn’t finish, and Jade died when our editor/typesetter vanished and the group leader was busy with real life (the remaining members were assimilated into Koharubi), so I really think it’s necessary. Progress will begin when I figure out how to encode and typeset.

…Fuck, this is never going to get off the ground, is it?

EDIT: Disregard that. Chibi-Formula’s subs are decent, and they’re nearly done, with plans to do the DVDs.

EDIT 2: Disregard that. DVD releases are nowhere in sight, and I think the series is worth doing myself, given how things stand now.

Also, if time and skill permit, I will try subbing Musashi Gundoh. Seriously. It just has to be done.

I’ve recently begun translating doujinshi. I’d prefer not to link to that effort from here. Chances are that if you’d be interested, you’ve already found it.

For the audio drama category, I have a few projects I plan to work on soon:
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai – Keiichi & Satoshi no Hinamizawa Cool Radio
Hatsukoi Limited – Hitorigoto -Misaki-
Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ – Monolog -Ein-

Finally, for the piano: I plan to perform “staple stable” (the piano version) from Bakemonogatari, “Seishoujo Ryouiki” from Rozen Maiden traumend, and “Shoujo no Ori” from Kanon fairly soon. I’ll also transcribe “Hahanaru” from Kannagi at some point.

So that’s that. Time to actually get things done.

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