PEARL BROTHERS – ZOO ZOO ZOO (1994)

lyrics and music by KENZO SAEKI

After the breakup of Halmens in 1982, with essentially all members of the band transitioning into support roles for Jun Togawa (almost all would go on to participate as members of Yapoos), the lead singer Saeki was left a bit adrift. Pearl Brothers was his next project, formed in 1983, and he worked on the band while pursuing his degree in… dentistry!

Their major debut came in 1986 and the group released a string of albums, some of which were… successful, I think? They had a long career, with the first stretching until 1994 and then a reformation beginning in 2003. Most recently they’re famous for doing the opening to the auteur anime Welcome to the N.H.K.!, which I hear is pretty good.

For all you Togawa stans out there, there’s a live version of this featuring her. Have fun!

It’s not a human
Even if it’s an elephant
Even if it’s a giraffe
It’s not a monkey
Even if it’s a rhinoceros
Even if it’s a jaguar
It’s not a tiger
Even if it’s a hippo
Even if it’s a skunk
It’s not a goat
Even if it’s a pheasant
Even if it’s a gorilla

From the land of love
To the zoo in mid-summer
A pathetic princess
Let out to pasture

It’s not a cat
Even if it’s a dog
Even if it’s a fox
It’s not a crocodile
Even if it’s an orca
Even if it’s a squid
It’s not a seal
Even if it’s a ray
Even if it’s a penguin
It’s not a sea urchin
Even if it’s a starfish
(1)
Even if it’s a roe

From the land of roses
To the zoo in mid-day
A princess about to spill out
From a dress torn to tatters

It’s not a dream
Even if you cry
Even if you get mad
It won’t go away
Even if you cover
Both your eyes

From the land of love
To the zoo in mid-summer
A pathetic princess
Let out to pasture

It’s not a lie
Even if you shout
Even if you scream
I can’t hear it
Even if you cry
Even if you laugh

ZOO ZOO ZOO with you
ZOO ZOO ZOO with you
ZOO ZOO ZOO with you
ZOO ZOO ZOO with you


1: Sort of a pun. The word for ‘starfish’ leads into the grammatical particles meaning ‘even if’ – usually demo, but here starfish, hitode, takes part of the place of the demo, rendering the line as ヒトデも hitode-mo, which sounds sort of like ‘even if it’s a human.’

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