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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YAPOOS – MY GOD (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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YAPOOS – YOUR REIGN [KIMI NO YO] (1992)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

I kind of went back and forth on the translation of the title for this one. It can mean a lot of things – looking at it literally, one could interpret it as ‘your age’ or ‘your generation’ but I think that the most likely reference is to the Japanese national anthem, “Kimigayo,” which translates to ‘His Imperial Majesty’s Reign.’ The wording slightly differs – from ga to no – which left me with a conundrum. How should I translate it?

I ended up going with “Your Reign,” as I feel like it keeps the reference to the anthem while also opening up the context of who the kimi of the title refers to exactly by simply writing ‘your.’ Anyway, I think this is a love song, but wrapped in patriotism metaphors. It also could just be straight patriotism, but I’m not sure. I may consult the book on this one.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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URBANGARDE – THAT GIRL, BEING DOLLY [SONO SHOUJO NINGYOU NI TSUKI] (2013)

lyrics and music by TENMA MATSUNAGA

I’m using the official translation for the title that they gave on their music video. The title is an allusion to the title of Takeshi Kitano’s directorial debut, localized as Violent Cop in English but Sono otoko, kyoubou ni tsuki in Japanese, which would translate to something like “That Man, Acting Violent” in English. It’s all very complex. I changed the actual usage of the title phrase in the body of the translation for readability and comprehensibility, so be wary of that.

I think this song is a commentary on the objectification of idols and how trapping it is? That’s my read on it.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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DENKI GROOVE – EDISON POWER [EJISON-DEN] (2000)

lyrics by TAKKYU ISHINO & PIERRE TAKI
music by TAKKYU ISHINO & DJ TASAKA

A mystery of a song, but very Denki Groove. Seven full minutes of seemingly meaningless lyrics, sound effects, and a fun beat. 2000’s VOXXX is generally a pretty good album, even if it’s a bit more on the experimental side compared to some of the band’s other albums (save for “Nothing’s Gonna Change,” there’s a dearth of real pop singles).

There are rumors on the internet that this song was banned from radio airplay in Japan due to “causing unease in listeners,” but I can’t substantiate this claim. Fun to think it might be true, but also I don’t know who in their right mind would play this song in the first place.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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CHARISMA.COM – NO DATTE (2014)

lyrics by ITSUKA | music by ITSUKA / MASAAKI ENATSU

I complain about translating Japanese rap, but I do it anyway, mostly because there are songs I really like and I want them to be properly introduced to the world. Charisma.com are a pretty good example of ‘acts that I wish people had talked more about,’ though I think they got some press, mostly for being like, former-OLs who were rapping. They were more than that, though!

Not really sure what the title is supposed to mean, it’s written in romaji as-is, but I’d guess it means like, “no buts?” No from English, datte from Japanese, where it can mean a lot of things, ‘but’ being one of them. Just leaving it as-is, because why not?

Translation and notes under the cut:

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SUCHMOS – STAY TUNE (2016)

lyrics by YONCE/HSU | music by SUCHMOS

I’ve seen a few Japanese people on the net rib Suchmos for their reliance on like, English phrases shoved randomly into their lyrics, especially considering they’re not totally correct. Generally speaking, I try and keep it close-ish to the original, but there’s a bit in this with a random Japanese verb in the middle of an otherwise English phrase, which proved a bit of a challenge.

Anyway, don’t kill me for selling out and tranlsating a pop song, especially one that’s looked down upon by almost everyone I know. Sometimes I just want to translate fun songs that I dance to. Thank you.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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