2013/08/28

AKATSUKI

Released on 2013 Jun. 19th, coupled with MEGITSUNE (included in the regular edition).
Lyric: NAKAMETAL, TSUBOMETAL / Music: TSUBOMETAL / Arr.: Kyôtô

This is SU-METAL's solo tune.

AKATSUKI (Crimson Moon)

Going over thousands nights,
some love shall survive.
So, until my body perishes,
until my life disappears,
I shall keep on cherishing this love.

Shining in the depths of the eyes,
the moon is about to cry.
Red tears overflow
and dye the night sky.

In the silence,
the two damaged blades stand face to face.
Our loneliness and our uneasiness
slash even our hearts.

Going over thousands nights,
some love shall survive.
So, until my body perishes,
until my life disappears,
I shall keep on cherishing this love.

In the passage of time,
I keep my eyes shut.
Even if the red thread flowing in my hand breaks,
I still feel we are tied.

In the silence,
I hold the damaged blade face to face.
My loneliness and my uneasiness,
I slash, even my heart,
now.

Going over thousands nights,
some love shall survive.
So, until my body perishes,
until my life disappears someday...

Going over thousands nights,
some love shall survive.
So, until my body perishes,
until my life disappears,
I shall keep on cherishing this love.

Dye crimson! Dye bloody crimson!



  ROMAJI LYRIC AND NOTES ARE BELOW.


[i] About Akatsuki and Kurenai

The official title of this tune is "紅月 -アカツキ-", which is read as "akatsuki" as a whole. The latter katakana is "yomigana", which is added just to show the reading of the kanji since it has several possible readings and "akatsuki" is not so popular (I'm sorry not to notice some non-Japanese people caught in this trap).

"Akatsuki" is a contraction of "akai tsuki" (= red moon). The moon looks red when it is low in the sky (because the thicker atmosphere scatters more of blue spectrum just like sunset), and the full moon is near the horizon at dawn (& dusk). The time just before dawn is also called "akatsuki" (暁), but their etymologies differ.

The kanji "紅" also has a reading "kurenai". Kurenai is a name of some deep red color that is often translated to crimson, so I translate the title to "Crimson Moon". But both kurenai and crimson are not so specific.

There is a famous heavy metal band named "X Japan", and "Kurenai" (1989) is one of their smash hits. It can be said that the last line of this song is homage to it. And some X-Japan's fans say some (piano and guitars) parts of this tune are homage to X-Japan's "Silent Jealousy".

[ii] About the Damaged Blade

"Kizutsuita" (= kizutsuku; (to get) wounded / damaged) is used much more for persons than for blades. Grammatically "kizutsuita yaiba" can be possibly "the blade by which I was wounded", but it is the last option. I think a damaged blade is a metaphor for teenager's keen and fragile heart.

Teenagers tend to think "all that glitters is gold" (some are as keen as thinking something like "rock musicians should rather die by drug overdose with one masterpiece left than continue to release dull albums"). They want themselves and others to be so, but they can't be so. Keen blades are easily nicked. Such teenage friends, or teenage lovers, can't help hurting each other like razor blades knocking at each other.

Some Japanese teenagers seem still to think so. But Japanese society can no longer provide teenagers with enough room to get hurt and to be cured. Such thinking is regarded as mere nuisance among young people. If the lyric writers are on that side, the above interpretation may be totally wrong. (Such thinking is included in "中二病" (chuunibyoo; age 14 disease; what junior high students are likely to think). This word was used with some sympathy at first (1999), but now it has only scorning or self-scorning usage.)

[iii] About Unfinished Ver.

In Legend "1997" concert on 2013 Dec. 21st, a piano ballad version of this song was performed. It is called "Unfinished ver." (I don't know whether it is really unfinished or merely named after X-Japan's tune). She sang it sitting weakly down on the stage (see cold6001 san's comment on 2014.1.4 & my reply).

Before it, many fans had wanted to listen to a ballad version (and some had made their original ballad mixes, extracting SU-METAL's vocal tracks by processing full ver. minus air vocal ver. and adding their own backing tracks), but I don't know whether this version satisfied them or not. In Unfinished ver., some lines were skipped. They are between { and } indicated in the notes column below. I wonder why the last line was skipped.

The Apocalypse limited edition of BABYMETAL's first album includes "Akatsuki (Unfinished ver)". Some say it is a heavily processed live take, and many say it is another newly recorded studio take.

Since 2014 Mar. 1st, the introduction part of Akatsuki has been replaced with that of Unfinished ver. It is switched to the original version at "(mamori tsuzuke)te yuku" when a hard guitar riff begins, and SU-METAL shouts "Akatsuki daa!" after a while. But X Japan begin Kurenai singing with a guitar arpeggio, and, when it ends, the vocalist shouts "Kurenai daa!", the drummer starts counting, and then a guitar riff begins.


AKATSUKI (Crimson Moon)

Romaji LyricEnglish TranslationNotes
 
Ikusen mo no yoru o koete Going over thousands nights,
iki tsuzukeru ai ga aru kara some love shall survive.
kono karada ga horobiru made So, until my body perishes,
inochi ga kieru made until my life disappears,1
mamori tsuzukete yuku. I shall keep on cherishing this love.2
 
Hitomi no oku ni hikaru Shining in the depths of the eyes,3
nakidashi-soona tsuki wa the moon is about to cry.4
akai namida afurete Red tears overflow5
yozora o somete yuku. and dye the night sky.
 
Seijaku no naka de In the silence,
kizutsuita yaiba sashi-mukai the two damaged blades stand face to face.6,[ii]
kodoku mo fuan mo Our loneliness and our uneasiness7
kiri-tsukeru, kokoro made. slash even our hearts.
 
Ikusen mo no yoru o koete Going over thousands nights,
iki tsuzukeru ai ga aru kara some love shall survive.
kono karada ga horobiru made So, until my body perishes,
inochi ga kieru made until my life disappears,
mamori tsuzukete yuku. I shall keep on cherishing this love.
 
Sugite yuku toki no naka In the passage of time,
hitomi o tojita mama I keep my eyes shut.
kono te ni nagareru akai ito kiretemo Even if the red thread flowing in my hand breaks,8,9,10
kanjite-iru, kizuna o I still feel we are tied.11
 {
Seijaku no naka de In the silence,
kizutsuita yaiba sashi-mukai I hold the damaged blade face to face.6
kodoku mo fuan mo My loneliness and my uneasiness,7
kiri-tsukeru, kokoro made, I slash, even my heart,
ima.now.
 
Ikusen mo no yoru o koete Going over thousands nights,
iki tsuzukeru ai ga aru kara some love shall survive.
kono karada ga horobiru made So, until my body perishes,
inochi ga itsuka kieru made until my life disappears someday...
 }
Ikusen mo no yoru o koete Going over thousands nights,
iki tsuzukeru ai ga aru kara some love shall survive.
kono karada ga horobiru made So, until my body perishes,
inochi ga kieru made until my life disappears,
mamori tsuzukete yuku. I shall keep on cherishing this love.
 {
Akaku somare! Makka ni somare! Dye crimson! Dye bloody crimson!12,[i],13
 }

Notes

  1. This is "until I am dead".
  2. "Mamori" (= mamoru) means "to protect" or "to keep", and the original line shows no object, so there are many possibilities. I take most natural one: "this love" (= my love to you).
  3. At the very first time, I had a vision: I look at a girl, the moon is shining in her eyes, and she is about to cry... But her tears can't dye the night sky. Maybe it's better to ignore the first line and to think the latter three lines describe what she sees. But I can't.
  4. According to school grammar, "- wa" indicates "tsuki" (= moon) with two whole lines is the grammatical subject. It might be "the moon being about to cry, which shines in the depth of the eyes, dyes the night sky with red tears overflowing". But "(somete) yuku" at the end of the lines suggests the spreading of color, and it corresponds to the overflowing of tears. It sounds to me that "(tsuki) wa" links to nowhere.
  5. Tears are red because they reflect the red moonlight.
  6. Grammatically there are two possibilities: Two blades face to each other, or I face to a blade. Anyway, I think a blade is a metaphor for teenager's heart. If two, a girl faces to her lover. If one, a girl faces to her own heart. I think there are two in the first part and one in the second part, and so translate, but maybe it's better to think there is one in both parts.
  7. Grammatically "kodoku mo fuan mo" (= loneliness and uneasiness) has two possibilities: She slashes them to take them away, or they slash (that is, they drive her to slash) her (or her lover's) heart. Anyway, they are the causes and the result is that she (and her lover) hurts herself (or each other).
  8. The "red string of fate" is a belief originating from a Chinese legend. The god in charge of marriages ties two persons as destined lovers with a red string. It is tied around the ankles (originally) or the little fingers (in Japan). It is invisible and shall never break. If you like to learn more, see Wikipedia or else.
  9. "The red thread" seems also to have some relation with blood, but it is difficult to understand. If it refers to the blood flow in her artery/vein, "breaks" may mean her death. If it refers to the stream of bleeding on her hand, "breaks" may mean she stops wrist-cutting (self-harm). (Added on 2015 Mar. 27th, thanks to Braiden Humphrey san.)
  10. It seems that she has already parted from her lover before this line. Because of Japanese ambiguity, it is ambiguous whether she has already ceased believing in their red thread, or she thinks she may cease believing someday, or she is not sure whether the thread is or not (note that it never breaks). Anyway, even if so, she still believes that something (= her or their will) ties them. I think so.
  11. Literally "I am feeling the bond (between us)".
  12. "Somare!" is an imperative like "Burn!". Maybe she sees her tears and the crimson moonlight blurring her sight, or she feels her "heart" "gonna dye deep red with all of pain" (from the lyrics of X-Japan's Kurenai).
  13. Literally "makka" is "true red", but it is often used as "very red" for angry faces, etc.

37 comments :

  1. Hey DuDe, can you tell me the exactly translation of "Benitsuki - Akatsuki-"?

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    1. The title of this song "紅月" is read as "Akatsuki" not "Benitsuki". Probably "Benitsuki" is a mistaken reading or someone's name.
      "Akatsuki" is a contraction of "akai tsuki", which means "red moon", and as said above, the kanji "紅" and the word "crimson" are often used for deep red, so "akatsuki" means "red moon" or "deep red moon" or "crimson moon".

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    2. "Benitsuki" is how Google Translate reads it.

      ...Google Translate is wrong a lot on the phonetic reading it gives.

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    3. Thank you for your information.

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    4. Hey Du Enki

      Discogs (http://www.discogs.com/Babymetal-Babymetal/master/687425) lists the song as 紅月-アカツキ- Any clue about this?

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    5. Mr. Glen, please read the first paragraph of note [i] above.

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  2. So how exactly do you say 紅月-アカツキ- in full correctly? Is it "Akatsuki -Akatsuki-" or something?

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    1. It is natural to think "-アカツキ-" is added just to show the reading of "紅月" because it has other readings and this reading is not so popular. Therefore it is read as "Akatsuki" (no repetition).

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  3. You said that the Unfinished Version has some lines missed out. I'm British, and that seems like what it says on the tin - an unfinished version. It is not uncommon for bands to release a demo of a song, often as a limited edition bonus track, which is the song released while it is during development. The lines missed out may not have been crafted before the demo version was released, as songs can easily change drastically during production.

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    1. The original version of Akatsuki was already released. "Unfinished ver." is a new arrangement. And it seemed to be arranged for that concert only.

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    2. Ah. Thank you for your explanation

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  4. I am searching for one song I stumbled by chance few months ago, but I don't think it's on the song list. Maybe you know some more Su-Metal's solos? It was a melodic song like this one, nothing heavy, but no matter how hard I try, I just can't find that song again... Can you help me?

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    1. As far as I know, there's only 6(or7) Suzuka's solos.
      Original: Akatsuki, Akatsuki (piano ballad called "unfinished ver."), Akumu no Rondo.
      Cover: White Love (SPEED, 1997), Soul's Refrain (Evangelion theme, 1997).
      In Sakura Gakuin: Sakura-iro no Avenue, My Graduation Toss (Suzuka solo ver., very rare CD).
      If it is in this list, it may be "Akatsuki (unfinished ver.)" or "Sakura-iro no Avenue".

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  5. Du Enki-san:

    With deepest respect, I must take issue with a line you've used in Note iii :
    "..She sang it squatting down on the stage..."
    I do not think you mean "squatting" Example : https://www.google.ca/search?q=squatting&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=jXipVLa2N4L3yQTKsoKgAw&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1608&bih=864&dpr=0.9
    I do not like the idea of the Princess of Metal sitting in this manner. Perhaps you meant "reclining gracefully".
    I hope this helps. You once told me you were a perfectionist. I submit this for your approval with this is mind...
    Thanks again, Sir. ^_^
    Feel free to delete this note...

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    1. Thank you for your correcting.
      My dictionaries tell me no other translations than "squat" & "crouch" for "uzukumaru" & "shagamu" which mean "lowering one's body by bending one's knees".
      Her hips touched the floor and her legs were like \| |/ fully touching the floor.
      At the beginning, she got into this pose from lying on the stage, and, in the middle of song, she stood up & fell down into this pose. And some girls (including her) can get into this pose from the typical squat pose or from "seiza" pose just by relaxing their legs.

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  6. ^_^
    Du Enki-san:
    Thank you!
    I thought her pose was "graceful"...but I'll take "sitting" over "squatting". "Weakly sitting" is an interesting use of this adjective (I don think I've ever seen or heard "weakly" used as regards the act of sitting), but it is better than "squatting". While I can appreciate "reclining gracefully" is a bit too much, perhaps a bit too dramatic (though not inappropriate given the circumstance), "weakly sitting" might be too far the other way. Please note: "reclining" does not necessarily mean "laying down" or "flat on one's back". It would be completely correct to say "Su-Metal reclined on the stage while singing." I could actually argue it would be more correct than the word "sitting", but I will not quibble. "Sitting" certainly works. But yes, "reclining" is usually applied to what she is doing in the video.
    Cheers, sir. And again, thank you.
    \m/

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    1. Thank you again for your comment.
      I've got 1100 google results for "sitting weakly". What I persist in is that,
      it was not the case she didn't need to tense her body (because she was in peace),
      but the case she could not tense her body (because she was exhausted).
      When she stood up in the middle of the song, she acted as if being exhausted (following the direction). I'm afraid "reclining" be associated with "relaxed" and then with "need not to tense". I wanted the translation for "hetarikomu" which implies "exhausted", and found "to sink down (on the floor)", but it is applied for an action not for a state.

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    2. Interestingly though, there is scope in English to describe someone as "being sunk down [on the floor]", using the action's description to imply the end state. So in this case, you could describe Su as "sunk to the floor". It's a bit of an unusual construction, but it is used, and it implies being exhausted, or drained (physically and/or emotionally).

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    3. Thank you for your advice, but it was not the end state of "sinking down". In the beginning, she was lying on the floor and then raised her upper body, but she didn't try to stand up, so she actually didn't sink down. I'm afraid the phrase isn't suitable for this situation.

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    4. Hi Du Enki. Lovely blog you have here. Really appreciate all your work in translating BabyMetal song for us.

      I saw the a short video of the unfinished version and understand the position she's in. Unfortunately I don't think there's an exact translation in English. In my language we call it duduk bersimpuh or simply bersimpuh. I guess Asian cultures have more words for sitting on the ground than English.

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    5. Kekambingan san, thank you for comment.
      If we often take some posture, we need a name for it.

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  7. Du Enki-san:

    Cool. Not looking to step on any toes.
    As usual, Thanks!
    ^_^

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  8. Hi Du Enki,
    I wanted to give my opinions on a couple of lines -
    Shining in the depths of the eyes, the moon is about to cry. Red tears overflow, and dye the night sky.
    I believe this is a metaphor meaning that the moon started off white, then became red as it began to lower. The tears of the moon were red and began to overflow from the moon and colour the sky.
    Also I think that 8 - Even if the red thread flowing in my hand breaks - is referring to her artery/vein.
    Let me know your thoughts.

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    1. Thank you for your interpretation.
      About red tears:
      I think the lyrics need someone to cry and her tears. Browsing the real photos of the red moon, unlike the rising/setting sun, it doesn't seem to be able to color the night sky by itself unless some rare conditions are satisfied. And I can't image such a moon that "about to cry" & "tears overflow" are not too emotional to depict the state.

      About the red thread:
      It really suggests something about blood. I've added a note about it. However, arteries can't be seen from outside, veins look blue rather than red, and the meaning of "breaks" is uncertain (please see note #9).

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  9. I apologize to everyone on this thread, but i don't understand the discussion. I have all three dvds of their live performances and i don't see a squat or a sit. I see Su-metal falling to her knees and stabbing her heart as she sings about even slashing her own heart. Can somebody school me here?

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    1. At the beginning of Unfinished ver., she supported her upper body with her arms and then raised her upper body. In the middle of the song, she stood up and then fell/sunk down. Her poses were nearly the same but, in the former case, there was no movement downward, so I think "falling down" is not suitable.

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  10. Dear Du Enki,
    Ok, thank you. I understand the discussion. I just went back replayed episode 13 from Legend "1997" performed 2013/12/21 called "unfinished vet.". Because of the angle and blue light, it is difficult to see the exact position of her knees. If her knees were directly perpendicular to her body then she would be kneeling even though she would be sitting on the backs of her legs, but if her legs were off to one side, then that would be called sitting. Although difficult to see even clicking frame by frame, i would guess the later, so she would be sitting. But definitely not squatting. A squat is where one lowers the entire body to the ground but still having only the two feet as the only contact with the ground. In American usage, squatting has rude connotations because it is associated with farmers who squat in the fields for toilet functions during plowing, or backpackers (i am one) hiking in the wilderness, same position.
    Akatsuki is my favorite BM song because it is the most incredibly beautiful love song I have ever heard. It brings tears everytime I listen to it!

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    1. Thank you for explanation.
      Her lower legs were off to both sides like \||/ , and her buttocks fully touched the floor. It is called "onnanoko suwari" (= girl's sitting) or "ahiru suwari" (= duck's sitting) in Japan. Many women and some men can do it. It is not painful for them but seems to have bad influence to hip/knee joints.

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  11. It's a beautiful and touching song. There's much talk about how Babymetal songs are J-pop, but this song is heartfelt and solemn, in a way. At the recent Chicago concert, Su-Metal sang it like her life blood depended on it: such a talent, a powerful voice that rises even above the wall of metal music behind her. Unbelievable.

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  12. What a sad yet beautiful song. By the way, thank you for the translation, it means so much for me since it help me to understand this emotional song.

    It is interesting to know about the fact of this song and X JAPAN's Kurenai influence on it. I don't know why but after reading Akatsuki's english translation and X JAPAN's Kurenai influence, the main theme of this song is suicide. It might be refer to Hide's suicide at early 1990's (Hide was X Japan's vocalist) I guess. At the peak of X-Japan's popularity, he was committing suicide for unknown reason and it devastated the band as well as Yoshiki whom was Hide's best friend. Hmm so I guess this song might be a tribute to Hide as legendary best Japanese metal vocalist and tribute to X-Japan as Japanese legendary metal band.

    I'm sorry for my broken english. Thank you for the translation and japanese cultural reference you provide for the translation.

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    1. Thank you for comment.
      If my memory is correct, X JAPAN's vocalist is Toshi who is still alive and Hide is one of the guitarists who died in 1998 after the (temporary?) disbandment of X JAPAN (1997).
      Anyway, I agree that this song can be interpreted as a tribute, something like a song which Yoshiki sings for Hide.

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    2. sorry but Hide's death still ISN'T CONIDERED SUICIDE. and the closest musicians to him said it was probably an awfull accident..

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  13. You can not read 紅月 as akatsuki without any suggestion. Maybe most japanese would say "Kogetsu?Benitsuki ?or what ?"
    暁akatsuki means dawn.
    So I think the lyricist intended it to be a double meaning by adding katakanas .

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Thank you for English lyrics for singing. Trying to sing this, I felt I need the music score to put the words on the notes. I'm glad about your offering collaboration, but I'm sorry I'm not good at collaborating.

      歌える英語詞をありがとうございます。歌おうとして、言葉を音符と合わせるために楽譜が必要だと感じました。ご協力のお申し出はありがたいですが、私は共同作業が苦手です。すみません。

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  15. I do wonder if the omission of the last line during Unfinished Version may not have been unintentional - clearly Su-Metal is having a hard time (emotionally) during the song. I love the heavy version of this song, and definitely feel the similarities to Kurenai (one of my favorite X-Japan songs, just slightly behind rose of pain). Unfinished Version, however, gives me chills - especially seeing how the song affects poor Su-Metal. Still, I love this version, too. If Su-Metal's tears were an act, I sure couldn't tell.

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    1. Thank you for comment.
      I think her tears were real because she is a perfect actress.

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