english rendition ofトモダチメートル by The Super Ball

Deadlines loom, but I apparently needed to get this out of my system. This is the OP from my favorite show this season, The Morose Mononokean (不機嫌なモノノケ庵), and it has been stuck in my head all week, so I just gave in and got to lyric-ing and English-ing.

As far as shower jams go, it fits right into my playlist of songs of unrequited or one-sided yearning. It also resonates with the series’ theme of teetering in that mystifying space of uncertainty between two worlds: one familiar and one unknown. The distance between the two may feel frightening–it is, in fact, more ambiguous and promising than one might imagine.

Anyway, you can follow along with this video, if that’s your thing. I referenced lyrics from this site in my translation.

Tomodachi Meetoru (Friend Meter)

OP to Fukigen na Mononokean
song and lyrics by The Super Ball

Sometimes I find myself wondering
How you see me in your heart.
Even though I know full well
The two-word answer is “a friend.”

Whenever it’s just the two of us
I’m all smiles before I realize.
But a sharp pain in my chest tells me
My heart strains to keep up the act.

No, I don’t want us to stay as we are
But it’s better than not being with you at all.
Somehow I can’t seem to smile today.
My cheeks, they feel a bit funny.

With just one step forward,
The distance we keep between us would shrink,
But it’s maddening that I can’t see
What lies beyond that closeness.

If I take just one step forward, surely,
There’ll be no turning back to now
So, for today, I’ll keep my feelings to myself.
Ah, I’m such a pathetic wimp.

Whenever we’re walking together
I’m a few steps behind before I realize.
It’s hard to face your profile straight on,
Try as I might.

You ask me what is wrong,
I say that everything is fine.
I’m sorry. Words are failing me
And my tear ducts, they feel kinda funny.

It’s better if we stay this way forever,
Maintain this distance; that’d be nice.
But how can I believe that’s true
When you’re the only one I see?

In order to take that one step forward,
I’ll have to be a much stronger person
Or else I’ll likely fall apart–
Ah, I’m such a pathetic liar.

Like the twilight visible through the clouds
You’re a brilliant orange that lights the hollows of my heart.
Even if there’s no way out, my feelings remain true.

With just one step forward,
The distance we keep between us would shrink,
But it’s maddening that I can’t see
What lies beyond that closeness.

If I take just one step forward, surely,
There’ll be no turning back to now
So, for today, I’ll keep my feelings to myself.
Ah, I’m such a pathetic wimp.

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english rendition of ツキアカリ (tsukiakari) by Rie Fu

Eh, let’s do some song lyrics today. I started translating this a million years ago while watching Darker than Black. Especially given the largely angst-filled interpersonal space of the show, I found the private hope and quiet wistfulness of the theme to be comforting. It’s no secret I’m weak to contemplative and meditative voices in wordy, difficult love. To this end, I think the variation and repetition of moon imagery in the lyrics also have a lovely effect. In short, it’s still a go-to shower jam. lol.

The track can be found here and a video of a live performance here. Rie Fu has apparently spent parts of her childhood in English-speaking contexts so, while it’s not uncommon at all for English to appear in j-pop, her use of it often fits into the song with bilingual fluidity (see also “Life is Like a Boat” of Bleach ED fame). I like multilingualism and, even without near or native fluency, the idea of different languages as extensions–rather than translations–of sensibilities, so I don’t indicate lines sung in English in any special way. There’s only one such line here anyway and you can listen along (or ask) if you’d like to know which.

Tsukiakari (Moonlight)

ED1 to Darker than Black (黒の契約者)
Song and lyrics by Rie Fu

In the blue, in the blue, blue sky
I turn on the light of the moon.
It’s sweet, it’s effervescent, and it’s deep–
I suppose I am taken with such things.

And underneath this moonlight, unknown to any soul,
I call out your name and your name alone.
Always I’ve been searching for the future
Within this light.

For as long as I’ve been beside you
I have always had the feeling
The strength we believed in was creating movement
In things even far, distant, and frail.

So underneath this moonlight, unknown to any soul,
I call out your name and your name alone,
Trusting these understated feelings of love
Bathed in this light.

On nights like these when everything feels just beyond my grasp,
There isn’t a moment when you’re not in my thoughts.
There isn’t a day I don’t think about it…
How I hope the feelings in my wandering heart can someday reach you.

Underneath this moonlit sky, you called out my name.
Of course I come to see you, no matter where you are,
To be by your side.

Bathed in the moonlight, not a flicker in your eyes,
You quietly fixed your gaze upon mine.
So long I’ve been searching for a future with you
Within this very light.