GROUP_INOU – HEART (2011)

lyrics by IMAI | music by CP

Electronic/rap duo group_inou have been active in the Japanese scene for more than ten years now, and have earned a decent reputation for their interesting sounds and lyrics. Their recognition in the West is generally limited to only this song, mostly because of the video that accompanies it, which is one of those things you laugh at at first but then you watch it again and it actually ends up really sad and really relatable.

Translation and notes under the cut:

I was a spoiled number-one who gained victory

Evasive, sidestepping nimbly
We’re slow and tired
Busting steadily into the LOVELY ZONE in a frontal attack

A rainbow, an arc of colored light, papayas and mangos
A men’s therapist, a teensy New-Type (1)
And a limp dick

So now, I invite your applause

Boys, feeling good, take the stage; they look like they’re having fun
Giving a soliloquy in sign language in perfect unison, with two hits
Real fun

Hold onto it, hold onto it
Real fun, hold onto it

This rhyme is just perfect
Congrats on that sense of yours, how it jumps out slightly
Looks like you got yourself a junior at the National Defense Academy

Whether or not you grow up depends on the water
A mixed-up story sans the trappings of the floating world (2)
The effect of back-lighting is only shadow,
Or something, I learned that the hard way

Yukari in Kobe, Nagisa in Kyoto
And by the sea, the innovative Julian

No heart, like the wind
Copper blue

A process arriving at “fall in love”
A process arriving at “fall in love”
“Sorry, I can’t hear a thing”
I’m spinning my wheels, I writhe in agony

A process arriving at “fall in love”
A romance beginning with “falling in love”
“Sorry, I can’t hear a thing”
Poker face

Only propping me up with feel-good phrases
Close to my ear

Only propping me up with feel-good phrases
Poker face

I was a spoiled number-one who gained victory

Love your enemies
Nice to meet you, Special Attack, show me your resolution
Intelligent life beyond expectations
There are mountains, there are valleys, and there are dents
Quietly burning, the flowers of an evil woman
A ninja-esque girl, singing with her heart
A babysitter’s song

So now, I invite your applause

Match the focus to me on the axis
I’m in the middle of experiencing it with the trial kit
If it’s the reader model then it’ll have an actress feeling to it
Even so you’ve got to hold on tight to the origin of it all

With all that experience, I’m in the semi class
Semi-professional, entropy, heartbeat
I don’t want to be a stranger’s accessory
And I’m looking for a chance to get spirited away

I ran off somewhere
I ran off somewhere
It’s the symbol of this fad, this fashion
That’s realer than any other trend

Girls’ talk, 10-yuan shop
Nice and cute, fancy girls
A holiday spent with my heart frayed
And a girl that always chooses the best

No heart, like the wind
Copper blue

A process arriving at “fall in love”
A process arriving at “fall in love”
“Sorry, I can’t hear a thing”
I’m spinning my wheels, I writhe in agony

A process arriving at “fall in love”
A romance beginning with “falling in love”
“Sorry, I can’t hear a thing”
Poker face

Only propping me up with feel-good phrases
Close to my ear

Only propping me up with feel-good phrases
Poker face

I await the hurrying, hurrying copper blue silently
In all of this, there’s only one person
And choosing that one person is difficult


1: A New-Type is an ‘evolved human’ from the Gundam media series. Usually they have some form of psychic power, among other things.

2: The word used in Japanese is ukiyo, which refers to a concept in Buddhism, which refers to the Earthly plane of existence as “the sad world” from one which must seek escape. During the medieval Edo period, a homonym using different characters and instead meaning ‘floating world’ came into use. This ukiyo referred to the worlds of pleasure and everyday life within cities of the Edo period, and is where the term ukiyo-e comes from (literally ‘art of the floating world’). I opted for the literal ‘floating world’ rendering here as the kanji used are the ones for ‘floating world,’ not ‘sad world.’

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