YAPOOS – (something extra) (2003)

words by JUN TOGAWA | music by SEIJI TODA

To date the final Yapoos song, a spoken-word adaptation of a story Jun wrote for her book I Suck Sap, I am an Insect Woman. In the book, it was titled “Folly,” but this adaption has changed the title to “(something extra).”

This also marks my last Yapoos song to translate – with this, every single song by Yapoos has been translated. I’d like to thank everyone for their support and help over the past few years, and I hope that getting into Yapoos – and Togawa as a whole – is easier than it was when I first started listening to her. I still have Togawa songs I’d like to translate, but the bulk of my work, I think, is done, and I don’t know how to feel.

Thanks again everyone. I hope you’ve enjoyed Yapoos.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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JUN TOGAWA – PRINCESS KNIGHT [RIBON NO KISHI] (1989)

lyrics by NOU KAHEI | music by ISAO TOMITA

The opening to the classic Tezuka anime Princess Knight, which I first watched in a class about anime (!) I took at university (!!). God bless UMass for that one, it was a really fun time for everyone and I remember getting a really good grade from the visiting professor who was in charge of it. We watched and read X by CLAMP in it, which remains one of my favorite manga to this day, just because they’re good.

Anyway – enough about me! This song has both a male and a female version, reflecting the dual nature of the Princess Knight character, who is both male and female. I’m not going to get into it here, but I do think the original manga is worth a read, mostly because it’s good – it is Tezuka after all! Jun here is singing the male version because of course she is, but the female version doesn’t change much, just some gendered speech.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – GNATS [HAMUSHI] (2003)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

I struggled with how exactly to translate the title to this one – hamushi (羽虫) can refer to both flying bugs that bite in general, and also specifically to biting lice (‘bird lice’). I think gnat is general enough of a term in that it covers many kinds of small flying insects that bite.

This song plays with a more prose-y style, like the as-yet unposted “(something extra),” rather than traditional poetic verse. There’s a bit of old Japanese orthography in the lyrics, but it’s nothing too hard to understand.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – FAMILY HOMINIDAE (HITO-KA) [2003]

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

Track #3 off of the mini-album CD-Y and an inclusion on the cancelled (?) full album that would have succeeded it. It’s about humanity, but is it good or bad? That’s up to you to decide. The Buddhist metaphors would definitely make more sense to someone who is Buddhist, but I am not! Still, I like the imagery.

CD-Y-era Togawa actually reminds me more of the Dial Y period work she did than the later Yapoos stuff (Dadadaism, HYS) – I think it’s the more impressionistic lyrics? This song in particular reminds me lyrically of “Fool Girl,” for some reason. Maybe that’s just me.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – SAMPLE A (1988)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by YOICHIRO YOSHIKAWA

This was originally a live-only song (appearing on YAPOOS de la Cruz), but it appeared later on Teichiku Works and the remastered edition of Daitenshi no you ni / Like an Archangel. I like the visuals of the live footage, though I’m not sure why they never put this on a proper album. It doesn’t feel like it fits onto Archangel thematically or sound-wise, but I can’t imagine a song this good being dropped on the cutting room floor!

Translation and notes under the cut:

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MY GOD – YAPOOS (1988)

lyrics by TOSHIRO SENSUI | music by MITSURU KOTAKI

The final song to be translated off of Like an Archangel / Daitenshi no you ni proper, not counting the as yet untranslated bonus track “Sample A,” which is coming soon, I promise. I have the song actually translated but I keep forgetting to bring the file over to my main computer.

This song wasn’t written by Togawa herself, but she does turn in a very fun and energetic vocal performance on it, which is always nice. The lyrics are a bit less… B-movie-esque than Sensui’s usual fare, which is either an improvement or a disappointment, depending on who you ask.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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