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

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[Text Translation] ZX Tunes – Liner Notes

I was looking through my collection the other day and found some interesting stuff in the CD booklet of the Mega Man ZX soundtrack, ZX Tunes. I first started thinking about translating this kind of stuff a very long time ago, but it was far beyond reasonable effort to read, given my skill level at the time. Well, here we are almost a decade later, and I guess now is the time.

The booklet of ZX Tunes contains an introductory essay by Hidekuni Shida, a professional writer. As far as I can tell, he was not directly involved in the making of the game or its music; the essay reads like an opinion piece / ceremonial address, more than anything. That said, I thought there were some interesting ideas there.

Translation note: The author utilizes a motif based around the fact that the Japanese word 技術 (gijutsu) can mean both “technique” and “technology”; he actually uses those specific English words to highlight the distinction at times, so I’ve chosen to bold them for emphasis.

I’ve rendered the names of people in western style but kept some game titles in romaji rather than official translations, for Reasons. Just in case, the Family Computer (abbr. Famicom) was basically the earlier Japanese version of the NES, and Rockman is Mega Man’s original Japanese name. (Sorry, the translation overall might read a little bit roughly, but I hope you can bear with me.)

The booklet also contains comments by game staff members regarding the individual tracks and the visual design, which I’ll be covering in later posts. Hopefully, materials from ZXA Tunes and Gigamix will follow.


Liner Notes
by Hidekuni Shida


Game music is a time machine. When a melody you’ve heard before gets played, the memories naturally overflow. When a famous piece of game music rings out, at that moment, you remember that game. In what areas, with which characters, did we perform which actions… Together with the pleasant rhythms, our experiences of games of the past are recreated vividly within our brains.

I’m quite sure that if you’re fans of game music, all of you have this experience. For example, Gradius, Castlevania, Ninja Warriors, Xevious – even Super Mario Brothers has this. As those electronic sounds ring out, they recreate the game inside our brains. The excitement you felt while playing the game, the thrills you felt at the time – they come back to life along with the music. Why are our emotions so affected by this, I wonder? Could it be that there’s magic in game music!?


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[Supplemental Materials] RADWIMPS – Aitowa

RADWIMPS; originally released to Youtube on March 10, 2015

This is the fourth in a series of (currently) seven related songs personally released online by RADWIMPS.
1: 『白日』 (Hakujitsu)
2: 『ブリキ』 (Buriki)
3: 『カイコ』 (Kaiko)
4: 『あいとわ』 (Aitowa)
5: 『春灯』 (Shuntou)
6: 『空窓』 (Soramado)
7: 『夜の淵』 (Yoru no Fuchi)

The song that RADWIMPS uploaded on March 11, 2015 actually included an English translation in its upload description. This post contains all of the usual side information I would put with a translation – romaji and copy/pastable Japanese are useful for learning purposes, and artist comments are of great interest for songs like this. I feel like it would be better not to translate the song myself when there’s already an artist-approved version, so I’ll be leaving that out. I do have a few notes, though:
-The title, while written in slightly different Japanese spelling from usual, essentially means “Love Is“. The way the title is actually spelled suggests 永久 (towa), meaning “eternity”.
-The official English translation uses the word “nuke” in a few of the choruses; it should be noted that the original Japanese word, 原発 (genpatsu), unambiguously refers to a nuclear power plant, not a nuclear bomb.

The official English translation can be found here.

A translation of the description:

We’ve made another song this year for this day.
Its title is 『Aitowa』. Please do listen.

Four years have passed since then.
People who never want to remember that day again.
People who don’t want to forget about people important to them.
People who wait for the return of people important to them even now.
People who turn to face new lives.
People who come and go in the space between.
I think none of them are wrong, and they alone, with their willpower, are able to decide what they do.
No matter how much I could try to understand, I don’t understand, and I wouldn’t even want to feel like I understand. No matter how far I extend my hand, I can’t go there, so I’d like to at least keep on facing the things that happened that day, the things that appear in my eyes, from where I am.
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