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

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SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:mizuki & Tielle – Christmas Scene

【Lyrics Translation】 SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:mizuki & Tielle, narrative / NOISEofRAIN

Official music video: [youtube] (Japanese IP required, though you can probably find mirrors)

I’d actually been working on this on-and-off (mostly off) ever since the song came out last year, but I held back because I wasn’t confident in my transcription by ear. Now that I’ve gotten to it with the CD release, I’m still not really sure if my line structure did the feeling of the song justice, but I do hope it comes through.

Christmas Scene
Music: Hiroyuki Sawano / Lyrics: Hiroyuki Sawano, Rie
Drums: YU “masshoi” YAMAUCHI
Guest Vocals: mpi
Chorus: Benjamin, Gemie, mizuki, mpi, Tielle, [nZk]
Piano, Keyboards & All Other Instruments: HIROYUKI SAWANO

The snow brings us lovely dreams
The glow brings us cheerful smiles
Bright Christmas lights make us happy on freezing night
The snow brings us lovely dreams
The glow brings us cheerful smiles
If you believe in Father Christmas

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Mare (Sawano Hiroyuki) – Marezora

Sawano Hiroyuki, Mare OP

I’m really enjoying this show. Right from the get go, that scene with young Mare in the classroom was great.

The lyrics are by Tsuchiya Tao, the actress of (grown-up) Mare herself! She has this to say about the song:

I wrote this as an expression of the pleasant atmosphere I felt on-location in Noto, and all the emotions I’ve felt over the course of my own life up to now, put into words for the people important to me. We live in a very materially-blessed era, but maybe it’s also a period where it’s hard to feel the presence of happiness, or even an era where it’s hard for people to connect to each other heart-to-heart – that’s the feeling I get sometimes. But because of that, I think it’s all the more important to make that one step toward the search for true bonds. If the listeners love the song along with the world of Mare, if I can connect to the hearts of our viewers, it would make me happy.

When I was filming on-location in Noto, I heard of a word for visitors who introduce culture from other places, “marebito” [from ‘mare’, rare/unusual/seldom, and ‘hito’, person]. There are times when people look at the sky with various emotions, and I think, the sky really does connect all kinds of culture and places and people from great distances away, so borrowing the sound of that word, “marebito,” how about a new word, “Marezora” [from ‘sora’, sky]?

So using the kanji of Mare’s name, we get 「希空~まれぞら~」. The beauty of the sky in Noto was just unforgettable, and that sky is really one piece of the greater sky that connects the whole world – I think that’s wonderful.

Incidentally, now that I watch a bit of live action, I thought I may as well make a list. I probably won’t use it a whole lot, but who knows.

Rare Sky
Lyrics: Tsuchiya Tao
Composition: Sawano Hiroyuki

Come on, let’s run out there, right now.
Even if the future is far away for now.
Even if the nights of crying alone
Continue on,
I’ll go toward my true self.
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ALDNOAH.ZERO (SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:mizuki) – &Z

SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:mizuki, ALDNOAH.ZERO OP2

PV (Japan IP address required): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ600Qr1jE0

Overall, given that the lyrics are by Sawano Hiroyuki, the exact wording of the Japanese is not absolute. Certain English words or kanji may not mean exactly what they appear to, with possible influence from sound alone. Just a few notes I think are worth pointing out:
-Verse 3, line 4: 風邪 (kaze, often referring to “common cold” but translated as “ailment” here) shares a reading with 風 (kaze, “wind”). In general, 風 is much more common in lyrics, and I believe the audience was meant to take it as such prior to release of official lyrics. It might also just be a misprint, or maybe even an intentional one.
-Verse 9, line 1: mizuki pronounces 音 (on, “sound”) the same way she pronounces the English “on” in verse 3, line 1, so the kanji may be there just to change the visual representation of “RageOn” while audibly staying parallel to “CarryOn”.
-Verse 9, line 1: Recall (or maybe this is new, since I haven’t TL’d it yet myself and I don’t know how other people handled it) that in “A/Z” of the first season, there was high likelihood that the word “Rage” was a placeholder for 零時 (reiji, “zero o’ clock [midnight], zero hour, etc.”). Could be for parallelism or contrast, either way.
-Verse 11, line 3: First of all, as just a typical TL note, “obsolete directness” is followed by を in the Japanese, which indicates that it’s meant to be the object of a sentence, but without a verb attached to it. Basic Japanese sentence order is subject→object→verb, as opposed to English’s subject→verb→object, so it’s much easier to pull off this kind of ambiguity. Also worth noting, however, is that in song lyrics, sometimes pieces of sentences will be presented in reverse order. It’s complicated, but essentially, I’d say that it’s slightly possible that “obsolete directness” could be in the same position as “crossroads” of the previous line. (*SPECULATION* – recall how Inaho came into the second season – he has changed the way in which he interacts with other people, to be more relaxed and less blunt.)
-Verse 11, line 3: I chose to translate ストレート as “directness” based on common use in Japanese, but at its root, the word comes from the English “straight”. Note how this interacts with “crossroads” of the previous line – a divergence point in what would have been a straight path (or two straight paths, depending on how you look at it).

I could probably go on and on with this, but as a translator, it can be hard to maintain the distinction between true Japanese→English interpretation (that is, translation itself) and words→meaning interpretation (closer to analysis/speculation), so I’ll leave it at that.

For similar reasons, I have left the English sections largely untouched. In the past, I have occasionally attempted to clarify imperfections in English based on my own interpretation of author’s intent, sometimes heavily, but I think that would be the wrong way to go for this song. I leave the interpretation to the reader.

Music / Arrangement: Sawano Hiroyuki
Lyrics: Sawano Hiroyuki, mpi
Vocals: mizuki

This is the empty sky that your hands opened.
I played around with the solution of only the sea of reason,
And when it unraveled, it all spilled out – the tears we each shed,
Words・lies・whims descended.

soul・art – I play out the rhythm
And link the signals into a ring.
The system that exists only in form and the spell that’s just a memento
Are sounds of runaways’ timidity.

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