[Translation] Nishino Kana – Bedtime Story

むかしむかし、あるところに、
不器用な男の子と、少し気の強い女の子がいました。
Once Upon a time in a far away place,
There lived a clumsy boy and a slightly strong-willed girl.

違う世界に住んでいたふたりは、ある日偶然出会い、
恋に落ちました。
They lived in different worlds, met by chance one day and fell in love.

男の子はやさしくて、いつも振りまわされて、
女の子は手紙で、いつも謝りました。
The boy was kind but was always manipulated*,
The girl always apologize by letter.

星が降るある日のこと。
男の子は手をとって、こう言いました。
One day when the stars fell,
The boy took her hand and said:

‘愛してる。誰よりも、君が思うよりも。
いつだって、君のことで心はいっぱいなんだよ。
頼りないかもしれない、でも必ず守るから。
ああ、どうか僕のそばに、
ずっと僕のそばにいてほしい。’

“I love you. More than anyone,  more than you think.
My heart is always filled with your presence.
I might not be reliable, but I will defiantly protect you.
Ahh,  somehow,
I want you to always be by my side. ”

やがて月日は流れて、ふたりは歳をとって、
深い絆ができました。
Time passed, the two became older and they formed a strong bond.

相変わらず男の子は、いつも振りまわされて、
女の子は、やさしさに感謝していました。
As always, the boy was always  manipulated
and the girl was grateful for that kindness.

星が降るあの日と同じように、
男の子は手をとって、こう言いました。
One Day when stars fell just like before,
The boy took her hand and said:

‘愛してる。誰よりも、君が思うよりも。
いつだって、君のことで心はいっぱいなんだよ。
頼りないかもしれない、でも必ず守るから。
ああ、どうか僕のそばに、
ずっと僕のそばにいてほしい。’
“I love you. More than anyone,  more than you think.
My heart is always filled with your presence.
I might not be reliable, but I will defiantly protect you.
Ahh,  somehow,
I want you to always be by my side. ”

それからふたりは、
いばらの道を何度もきり抜けて、時に嵐と戦って、
どんな時だって互いに手をとり合って、
いくつも大きな奇跡を起こしていきました。
After that they cut through thorny paths many times and fought off storms occasionally.
At anytime they would work together and many great miracles happened.

‘愛してる。私も。君に負けないくらい。
いつだって、君のことで心がいっぱいなんだよ。
今までも、これからも、頼りにしてるから。
ねぇ、だから君のそばに、
ずっと君のそばにいさせて。’

” I love you. Me too. So much it won’t be surpassed by yours.
My heart is always filled with your presence.
Up until now, from now on, you have been so reliable to me.
So please,
let me always be by your side.”

そしてふたりは、いつまでも幸せに暮らしました。
And they lived happily ever after.


TRANSLATION NOTE *The Japanese word 「振りまわされて」can mea to abuse one’s power or to manipulate someone but in the case of this song, I took it to mean manipulate means that he always bent to the will of the girl, because she was strong willed, not that she was being manipulative in a bad way to him.

This was my translation of “Bedtime Story”, the theme song for the live action version of “3D彼女リアルガール , 3D Real Girl” Please note that Japanese is my second language and this translation is just my interpretation of the lyrics based on my knowledge of the Japanese and English language. If you have any suggestions to better it, please comment below! Also, I do not own the rights to these song lyrics.

Johnny’s Talk: Why do I love Johnny’s?

Recently, I have been asked by some readers how and why I became interested in Johnny’s and I decided to write down some of my thoughts.

Tegomass no Mahou - Kobe, December 2011

Tegomass no Mahou – Kobe, December 2011

Starting in December, I have reached the point in my life where I am transitioning from school to a full time job and it isn’t the easiest transition. During this transition though, I have been really taking the time to think about why I love the things that I do and prioritizing my time accordingly. As most of you know, Johnny’s is something that I have loved since I was in my first year of University and I have just grown to love it even more over the years and since I have moved to Japan. Why do I love Johnny’s so much? Why do I dedicate so much time to something seemingly just taking my money? I will be explaining some reasons why I love Johnny’s in this post.

Johnny’s makes me smile. Plain and simple as that. Every time I listen to Johnny’s music (which is everyday) I smile. It gives me energy to start my day and calms me down when I am having a bad day. It’s just me and the music at that time. I also have many memories connected to the music and when a particular song comes on; memories of that time in my life flood back and make me smile. Now this can be true of almost any music, but Johnny’s is the music that I have relate the most to.

It’s not just the music that makes me smile, but seeing the boys that I support on TV, doing various projects, working their hardest and seeing them do amazing things makes me happy too. It makes me want to strive and work harder because I see them doing their best in a cut-throat environment and they still smile through it all, but at the same time are close to the fans. They aren’t perfect and can show their more vulnerable side and we know they are human.

Johnny’s gives me someone to support and grow with. After many years of loving Johnny’s, I have settled into whom in the agency I like the most and support the most. For me, that is mostly NEWS, with some other groups that I go and support; mostly the “You and J” groups, which consists of Kanjani8, NEWS, and KAT-TUN. Most of my favorite Johnny’s are not much older than me, normally between 25 and just over 30 years old. Throughout the years, I feel like I have grown with them and seen them accomplish more and more as we all grew towards our dreams. I know it sounds cheezy, but these boys (or I should say men) do amazing things and it makes me want to do amazing things as well. When I see their concerts and performances I am blown away by the quality and the hard work that is put into it. They might not be the most talented people in the entire industry, but you can tell that they work hard, and that is what matters to me. They don’t grow and fit one mold of Johnny’s; they all break off and do what they love to do. Take my favorite group NEWS for example: Koyama is a newscaster, and is an anchor for the news program News Every. Tegoshi loves soccer and is doing work directly related to it, even becoming a main caster for the FIFA World Cup in 2014. Massu loves fashion and now has his own column in a fashion magazine and designs the NEWS tour costumes. Shige wasn’t amazing at literature when he was younger, but he has already written 3 novels and many short stories and is Johnny’s first novel author. Once again, seeing them do amazing things makes me want to do amazing things as well and push myself harder. The best part is that there is a group for everyone to enjoy and there is such a variety of talent in Johnny’s.

Johnny’s lets me be a part of a fandom of amazing fans and being a part of something bigger than just me. Fandom is an amazing thing. I wouldn’t be the person today if it wasn’t for the people that I met through the Johnny’s fandom. Some of my closest friends I have made through this fandom and the experiences of traveling and meeting people from all around the world, are priceless. Fandom isn’t perfect by any means, but it is a mesh pot of amazing people from all around the world coming together that love the same thing. This isn’t just on the internet, but when I go to concerts and I look at the crowd waving their penlights in unison in support of that group, it moves me and I realize I am not alone in what I love. Concerts are one of my greatest joys to attend because I get to interact with fellow fans and I get to see the Johnny’s that I support in person and show my support, even if only I am 1 in thousands.

Tegomassu no Seishun - Fukuoka

Tegomassu no Seishun – Fukuoka, April 2014

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Kanjani8  Jyuusai – Osaka,  August 2014

Last, but not least, Johnny’s gave me a dream. Anime and Manga started me off on my love for Japan, but it wasn’t real to me after a while. When I found Johnny’s, I found a whole new culture and it opened the world to me. I never thought I would want to live in Japan before I entered University, but when I found Johnny’s I wanted to understand what they said, and I wanted to learn more about the Japanese culture. I dived head first into learning Japanese and studied business, and I eventually moved to Japan, then I wrote my business graduate school thesis on the business of Johnny’s. They gave me the motivation to move overseas, away from my family, to open my mind and push myself out of my comfort zone. I realized recently that the thing that I love the most is making people happy and giving them hope in a world that doesn’t do that well. Johnny’s does that for me and lets me find that about myself. From here on out I will be searching for exactly how I want to do it, but I know entertainment and Johnny’s is something that does that for me, along with Japanese Fashion and Music in general. I want to harness what Johnny’s does and let people understand that Johnny’s is more than just pretty boys dancing and singing.

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I hope you all enjoyed this insight into some of my thoughts recently! Why do you like Johnny’s? What makes you happy? Have you found your dream and what is it? Please comment below to let me what you think!

Review: KAT-TUN – Dead or Alive

Second Guest Post by my amazing friend Meghan! She is an amazing writer and requested to write about the new single “Dead or Alive” by KAT-TUN! 

Dead-or-AliveA new year has started and KAT-TUN has come out with a killer single. This January KAT-TUN released Dead or Alive. This song was written for Kame’s new movie, Joker Game, which was released on Jan 31st. Jovette and Maiko Rivera, the writers of Dead or Alive, have done a fantastic job with this song and has matched it well with the spy-love theme of the movie, while at the same time still holding true to the style he usually write s for KAT-TUN. Personally I was exhilarated to hear that he had written Dead or Alive and knew from the start that it would not disappoint.

Proving my point, Dead or Alive made it onto the World’s Top 20 Single Awards at number 12, that’s above Maroon 5 and Ariana Grande.

Dead or Alive sadly didn’t get much exposure on the usual programs. Due to the difficult situation at the moment in Islam with the Japanese hostages, KAT-TUN had decided that it would be best to perform their B-side tracks instead out of respect.

Dead or Alive

The first A-side of this year has really outdone itself. The theme of this song was clearly ‘spy’ which I believe really opens itself to a variety of possibilities. Dead or Alive focuses on the secret lifestyle yet also showing that there is someone that they would protect no matter the circumstance. After seeing Joker Game, I understood that the song matched exactly to the movie and really brought out the emotions that Jiro Kato (Kame’s Character) had towards Lyn (Kyoko Fukada).

The arrangement is fantastic; bringing a large range of instruments that is common in Jovette’s style and also reminds me No More Pain. Even with the large presence of string instruments, the guitar is what really catches my attention. The tune is catchy and also elegant; the transitions are smooth and flows throughout the whole song, including a quieter section in the middle of the song which ties it all nicely together without being repetitive at all.

The lyrics continue the whole mysterious spy-love theme with phrases like “I will fly to save you” and “Searching for the meaning to live”. It possesses an almost lost and searching feel with an understanding that love is what you ultimately protect regardless of danger.

Polaris

Polaris is a big contrast to Dead or Alive. The music is light and sweet, a perfect little ballad. This to me I think is common to find on a KAT-TUN B-side. Normally we have a big A-side, very rocky and edgy, and then a sweet and loving ballad to balance it all out.

Polaris is about the stars and love. I want to say it’s about lost love as it possess a melancholic tone but the sweet idea of promises of tomorrow that ends this song makes me think otherwise. Therefore, I would describe this song more as hopeful.

White Lovers

White Lovers, which was sang on TV a few times, is another sweet song in my opinion, almost with the same feeling as Polaris. However White Lovers seems to be more about young lovers. The song is sweet and all about learning about one another. It’s a sweet song with a good beat that’s got a lovely piano playing in it throughout.

I would describe this song as very Junno-like, not only because of his large amount of singing parts in it, but rather because the song reminds me of some of his solo songs. It’s sweet and cute and the blending of all of KAT-TUN’s voices go very well. Whereas Polaris was more hopeful, this song seems more promising and about enjoying the relationship.

You are delicious

You are delicious is more a dance song. It’s energetic and upbeat with a good hook and smooth transitions. The most interesting part of this song is the lyrics I believe.

The lyrics speak a lot about enjoying the night until morning using the analogy of roulette to explain that anything can happen. To anyone who is familiar with the club scene, the song seems to talk about the thrill of the club and about meeting with people and spending a fantastic night with them. As usual, KAT-TUN is dancing on the line with this song, not right out making explicit, but there are enough edgy phrases that make it rather suggestive.

Overall, it’s a great song to bounce along to.

Hanasanaideai (離さないで愛)

To anyone who was following the series of solo songs and the solo music videos that KAT-TUN had recently been doing, you would understand what I meant when I say that Hanasanaideai was nearly a disappointment. This was one of Kame’s first solos and was often performed on Dream Boys. I understand that Kame would want to give live (both on CD and visually) to this solo.

This song is very Kame-like. He portrays it confidently and beautifully, bringing across the insecurity a woman can feel in love. It dances on the edge of desperate and hopeful. Yet still echoes nicely with the music and matches well with the type of songs that Kame usually chooses for his solos.

The music video is intriguing. A lot of loneliness is portrayed in it but also bringing through a lot of hope. The part that I was most interested in was how it seems that Kame has hit the bottom and yet refuses the assistance of a stranger (aka. Junno). Where the song talks a lot about hoping to be never let go, this just seemed a little contrasting to me. Half the video also features Kame dancing. Half of me suspects that this is an echo of his new drama starting February 6th (Second Love).

Dead or Alive – Music Video

Although I love the song, I found the music video a little bit of a disappointment. It’s beautifully shot and does fantastic work with the lighting. Don’t get me wrong, I love the spy theme and how KAT-TUN are all running around espionage style and singing. But part of me wanted more. I desired dancing that we usually get in their other videos, and if no dancing, at least a loose story line. The making of the video is a lot quieter and toned down than usual, but still has a few entertaining parts that made me laugh.

The special edition

As some of you know, this single featured a special edition which you had to order especially online. The title track is the same, and the design is the same as the Regular edition (a little disappointing, I was hoping for at least a different cover photo) but the contents were worth it.

The B-sides of this CD are live recordings from the countdown concert 2014-2015 and features all the members solo songs sung live as well as In Fact and Dead or Alive. It also featured a long 30 minute special talk especially for the fans which did sound a little like a radio program without the music (the members words, not mine)

Overall I think that the single was very well put together and featured some good songs. I’m glad that Jovette and Maiko wrote the A-side this time and that I hope that he will be writing more of their singles in the future.

If you haven’t heard the songs already, you should definitely check it out.

Single Information

Royal Kingdom Music (Jovette and Maiko’s site)

World Single Awards ranking

World Single Awards article

Translated Lyrics of Dead or Alive

 

 

I’m Meghan, a South African who has lived all over the place. Currently I live in Japan where I am a teacher, a writer, a traveller, a translator, a blogger and a dreamer. Meghan’s blog

Japanese Entertainment: 3 Underrated Female Japanese Singers

Although Johnny’s is the main type of music that I like here in Japan, over the past few years of living here I have discovered a handful of female singers that have caught my attention. Some of these singers aren’t extremely popular as compared to big artists like Namie Amuro and Koda Kumi or idol groups like AKB48, but people will definitely know their name if you mention them. That is why I describe them as “Underrated” Female singers. In this post, I will introduce three Female singers that I feel are underrated and are also a good bridge into Female singers in Japan.

1: Becky

Most people will know her as a “Talento”, or a TV personality in Japan, but surprisingly she also has a singing career under the name ベッキー♪♯. As most people are, I was first introduced to her through the variety show ItteQ and some dramas where she made an appearance. She is half Japanese, half English and began her singing debut in 2009 with her single “Kokoro Komete” 「心こめて」. She is the oldest out of the artists in this post at 30 years old, but her personality is so vibrant that she still seems in her 20’s!

For her music, she has a very distinct pronunciation when she sings by emphasizing her vowels and I was very attracted to that when I first heard her debut single. She has a very “pure” sounding voice to me and her more upbeat songs are very fun and vibrant, really showcasing her personality that I see on Television. The songs I would recommend from her are her debut single 「心こめて」(Kokomo Komete) as well 「ヤルキスイッチ」(Yaruki Switch) and 「風のしらべ」(Kaze no Shirabe). She has a YouTube channel with her music videos on it, so head there from the music video for  「心こめて」(Kokoro Komete) linked below!

2: Ayaka

Ayaka is a Japanese singer from Osaka and made her debut in 2006 with “I Believe” for a Japanese drama. Her debut year was a huge success and her first album “First Message” topped the Oricon charts and became the highest selling debut album for a female singer in 7 years. She is married to famous actor Mizushima Hiro since 2009 and also in 2009 she announced a hiatus due to a diagnosis of Graves Disease. She was on hiatus until 2012 and made a comeback with her album “The beginning”.

I was introduced to Ayaka through a Johnny’s friend who invited me to her concert in 2013. I had heard some of her songs before, but I didn’t realize that it was Ayaka that had sung them. This year, I had the opportunity to see her live again, this time for an acoustic live. This time I really felt the power of her voice and her vocal range is amazing! She can be powerful, as well as soft in the same song and her voice is so clear. Ayaka mostly sings ballads from what i’ve heard from her. Some of my favorites songs from her are new single「にじいろ」(Nijiiro), as well as “Beautiful”, which was the theme song for the drama 「シェアハウスの恋人」(Share House no Koibito), and 「はじまりのとき」(Hajimari no Toki). She also has a YouTube channel with some of her music videos on there, so please check out “Nijiiro” below!

3: Nishino Kana.

Nishino Kana debuted in 2008 with “I”. She was originally signed to SME records in 2006 when she won a contest called the “Miss Phoenix Auditions”. One of her biggest hits was “Best Friend” in 2010, as well as well as 「会いたくて」 (Aitakute). She has been nominated and won many MTV Music Video awards and Japan Record awards. She also appears in many fashion magazines for her specific style, which is not quite “Gyaru” , but a popular type of style with college age girls and women in their early 20’s.

Compared to the other two artists, she has a bit more of a “Pop” like sound to her music, making it more mainstream than the other two artists. Though she has more of a pop sound, she still writes a lot of her music. Out of all of these artists today, Nishino Kana is probably my favorite, as I like the majority of the music that she releases. I also find her lyrics very relatable to the average person, especially women in their late teens and 20’s. My favorite songs by her are are “ SAKURA, I love you?” “We Don’t Stop”, and “Be Strong”, as well as “Best Friend”. She also has a YouTube channel, so please check out “We Don’t Stop” below!

Had you heard of these artists before? If so, who do you like? If you didn’t know them before, are there any of them that you became interested in? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below!

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