19.4.22

Villain

Hey, kids, we're here with the long-awaited (long-lost?) translation of "Villain," in our antepenultimate bid to round out our translations of the lyrics on Abracadabra (damn, it's so great to find a place to use the word "antepenultimate" in common speech.) We'll be with you again soon with the latest news from Buck-Tickistan (sunglasses, dollies, and masks, oh my!), but for now, we'll focus on this: how Mr. Imai's ode to Disney villains hooks up with Mr. Sakurai's screed against cyber-bullying. As in our previous post, we are using text colors that don't appear satisfactorily on mobile phones, so, for best viewing, please view on your PC. 

Also, to reiterate what we said before - Google Sites has completely changed their platform and it's completely unacceptable in terms of editability and general visual appearance. Due to this, we are unable to make updates to This is NOT Greatest Site. We are not a web designer, and if there's anyone with expertise in this area who would like to help us out fixing up a new site that looks nice and is easily navigable, please contact us directly at the mad aristocrat [at] gmail [dot] com.

A third thing - to that person who translated the "official international edition" of Abracadabra - we know you're a solid professional just doing your job. It wasn't your fault that Buck-Tick's management decided to hire someone who was eminently qualified to translate marketing boilerplate and patents and subtitles for corporate training videos, but had never read or written poetry, let alone listened to Buck-Tick. We are not blaming you. Giant paycheck or not, you're not the villain here. We've all gotta hustle for a living in this miserable late-stage capitalist hellscape nightmare RPG game called "life," so, y'know, giant paycheck ftw and all that jazz. It's not your fault that some of our readers decided that they don't care if we finish translating this album because there is already an "official international edition." Everyone's got free will, they're entitled to read whichever translations they want to read. So, readers - if you feel our translation is redundant, go on, see yourselves out. It doesn't matter. We won't stop you. We can't stop you. We wouldn't even if we could, but we can't. It's not like we know who you are, anyway. The anonymity of the internet preserves you from any judgments we could render upon you (not that that internet anonymity protects you from data mining and mass surveillance - but that's not our problem). To us, you have no name. You have no face. Ciao.

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Villain
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi/Imai Hisashi
Music: Imai Hisashi

They're born to be the anti
At extraordinary level
So carelessly they do it
They're the Flowers of Evil (1)
They don't know any fear
They're the wellspring of sin
It's their single-minded goal:
Unleash the madness within
Hello, taboo
Ciao, smile
Hello, taboo
Ciao

hey i know you! you, yeah! i know it's you!
you're the one who raped me, i know it's you!
you're so ugly! yeah! the villain sore! (2)
oozing thru my heart i feel the villain sore!
yeah i know you! i know it's you! 
you make me sick! you nameless jerk!
i know it's you!

The world is still outrageous
It murders the absurd
You spirits who aren't in the trap
Don't let it take you in
It's all the more magnificent
Uncommonly high-level
So carelessly it's blooming
It's the Flower of Evil (1)
Hello, taboo
Ciao, smile
Hello, taboo
Ciao

hey i know you! you, yeah! i know it's you!
you're the one who killed me, i know it's you!
the oozing blood! yeah! the villain sore!
yucky yucky aching it's the villain sore! (3)
yeah i know you! i know it's you! 
you make me sick! you have no face!
i know it's you!


hey i know you, you, yeah, i know it's you
you're the one who raped me, i know it's you
it's so ugly, yeah, the villain sore
oozing through my heart i feel the villain sore

you make me sick! yeah! i know it's you!
you're the one who killed me, i know it's you!
the oozing blood! yeah! the villain sore!
yucky yucky aching it's the villain sore!
yeah i know you! i know it's you! 
you make me sick! you make me sick!

i know it's you!


Note on the title: Sakurai and Imai stated that they wrote their parts for this song independently of each other, and "it just so happened" that "Villain," Imai's working title for the song, forms a perfect double-entendre with the Japanese "biran" (糜爛), which Sakurai said was his main keyword when he started writing the lyrics. "Biran" is a fancy literary word meaning something like "oozing sore." For supposedly not having discussed anything together before writing the song, the two sections fit together uncommonly well - so either there's something Messrs. Sakurai and Imai aren't telling us, or they're telepathically connected (or what they're not telling us is the fact that they're telepathically connected, which, let's face it, is entirely likely.) 

Imai didn't discuss why he chose the theme "villain," but since at the time of this song's release, he's the father of an elementary school girl, we suspect Disney villains might have something to do with it (Disney, and Disney villains, are hugely popular in Japan). Imai's part of the song appears to narrate the psychology of absolute evil. 

Sakurai, meanwhile, stated that his inspiration for this song was his anger at anonymous cyberbullying. He said that he feels filled with disgust at the way that people think online anonymity gives them license to bully others with impunity. He said "I want to let people like that know, I see you. I know who you are." Cyberbullying has certainly become a major issue worldwide, and Sakurai mentioned being angered by several high-profile cyberbullying incidents that were covered in the Japanese media, but considering that Sakurai never writes lyrics about themes that aren't of personal significance to him, I suspect that there's another layer to this song that he's not discussing openly - namely, some serious incidents of cyberbullying among Buck-Tick's Japanese fan base. Incidents of fan bullying have been happening since the band first became famous, but the anonymity of the internet affords a much greater reach for the spreading of vitriol and defamatory lies. In fact, we have witnessed some of this personally, and it wasn't pretty. Because the types of fans who bully others are also the types who tend to spend the most money on the band, Sakurai probably feels like he can't call them out directly - though, then again, these lyrics are a pretty direct call-out when you stop to look at them carefully. Whether the Cyberbullies of Buck-Tickistan realize they're being repudiated is another matter - bullies don't tend to be the most self-reflective types. 

Sakurai stated that he used the short, percussive phrases and excess exclamation points to echo the style of aggressive online flame comments, but also to underscore his own anger at this type of behavior. To reflect this in the English translation, I used all lowercase letters for the sections sung by Sakurai. Sakurai's sections appear to be back-and-forth dialogues between the bullies and the narrator of the song (Sakurai himself?) but, as in "Urahara-juku," it's ambiguous who is speaking which line - so, use your imaginations - if it's ambiguous, it's because he meant it to be that way.

1) "Aku no Hana" is the Japanese translation of the title of French poet Charles Baudelaire's poetry collection Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil). Aku no Hana was also the title of Buck-Tick's best-selling 1989 album, released after Imai's release from six months of house arrest for possession of LSD. Aku no Hana remains the best-selling album of the band's career, and the song "Aku no Hana," the title track and lead single, is one of the band's best-known hit songs, along with "Just One More Kiss." Imai claimed that he didn't intend the phrase "aku no hana" in these lyrics to be a reference to Buck-Tick's earlier album, but... this is from the guy who claimed that the album title Mona Lisa Overdrive had nothing to do with the William Gibson novel of the same name. This is from the guy who claimed that the "Atom" in Buck-Tick's album title Atom Miraiha No. 9 had nothing to do with the Tezuka Osamu manga Tetsuwan Atom (known in English as Astro Boy)... and then went on to produce official Astro Boy tie-up goods for the tour. So... come on.

2) As explained in the note on the title, the word in this line, "biran," forms a word play with the song's title "Villain," since in Japanese, the two words are pronounced more or less exactly the same. In Japanese "biran" means "oozing sore" or "inflamed wound." Sakurai seems to be expressing that the anger and hatred in the hearts of people who engage in anonymous bullying are akin to an oozing wound. Or, conversely, that bearing witness to such bullying incidents causes his own heart to feel like an open wound.

3) In this line, the Japanese word "yumeyume," which I translated here as "yucky yucky," is not Sakurai's usual beloved 「夢夢」, meaning "dreamy dream," but a completely different word spelled in different kanji, 「努努」, which doesn't really have any meaning in its own right - rather, it serves as an emphatic like "absolutely" or "absolutely not," to underscore the force of the whole sentence. What's brilliant about this word choice is that because the emphatic "yumeyume" is a homophone of the dreamy "yumeyume," it creates a world play expressing the way that the hatred in the hearts of the bullies is fueled by their own dreams, or delusions - especially true in the case of fan bullying, which is generally fueled by jealousy of fans for other fans. 

In a single word, Sakurai expresses both the general condition of the mindset of bullies - who are often perpetually excessively focused on perceived slights which have little to do with reality - and also the dark flipside of the beautiful romantic world he creates on stage - the way his romantic fantasias have inspired some of his fans to attack others in impotent jealousy based on their own wildly skewed perceptions ("X band member likes that girl better than me, I hate her, so let's kill her," etc. The essence of fan bullying.) Sakurai returns to this theme of fantasy vs. reality, and his own complicity in the whole fan delusion, in "Maimu Maimu." It's further interesting that "uzuku," the word which appears after "yumeyume" in this line, has generally been used by Sakurai in previous lyrics in a sexual context - most notably in "Baby, I want you" ("anata mo uzuitekuru darou baby" / "you're aching for it, baby"). For those familiar with Buck-Tick's lyrics, this creates a second layer of meaning expressing how unfulfilled desire is often a big motivation for fan bullying behavior, and bullying in general. 

Here, I translated "yumeyume" as "yucky yucky" in order to preserve the general prosody and violent feeling of the Japanese words, and add some more sharp attack to the "k" sounding in "aching."


Villain
作詞:櫻井敦司・今井寿
作曲:今井寿

生まれながらのアンチ 稀に見るレベル
軽々とまさに 惡の華
恐れを知らぬ 諸悪の根源
ただひたすらに 狂気の沙汰
ハロー タブー チャオ スマイル
ハロー タブー チャオ

おまえを知っている! そう! おまえだ!
俺を犯したおまえだ!
醜い! そう! 糜爛が! 俺の胸にある糜爛が!
おまえを! 知っている! 気味悪い! 名無しの!
おまえを!

理不尽な世界 不条理を殺す
囚われぬ魂 逸脱せよ
あまりにも華麗 稀代のハイレベル
軽々とそれは 惡の華
ハロー タブー チャオ スマイル
ハロー タブー チャオ

おまえを知っている! そう! おまえだ!
俺を殺したおまえだ!
血が滲む! そう! 糜爛が! 努努 疼く糜爛が!
おまえを! 知っている! 気味悪い! 顔の無い!
おまえを!

おまえを知っている そう おまえだ
俺を犯した おまえだ
醜い そう 糜爛が 俺の胸にある糜爛が

気味悪い! そう! おまえだ!
俺を殺した おまえだ!
血が滲む! そう! 糜爛が! 努努 疼く糜爛が!
おまえを! 知っている! 気味悪い! 気味悪い!

おまえだ!


Villain
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi/Imai Hisashi
Music: Imai Hisashi

Umarenagara no anti     mare ni miru reberu
Karugaru to masa ni     aku no hana
Osore wo shiranu     shoaku no kongen
Tada hitasura ni     kyouki no sata
Hello    taboo     ciao     smile
Hello    taboo     ciao

Omae wo shitteiru!     Sou!     Omae da!
Ore wo okashita omae da!
Minikui!     Sou!     Biran ga!     Ore no mune ni aru biran ga!
Omae wo!     Shitteiru!     Kimi warui!     Nanashi no!
Omae wo!

Rifujin na sekai     fujouri wo korosu
Torawarenu tamashii     itsudatsu se yo
Amari ni mo karei     kitai no hai-reberu
Karugaru to sore wa     aku no hana
Hello    taboo     ciao     smile
Hello    taboo     ciao

Omae wo shitteiru!     Sou!     Omae da!
Ore wo koroshita omae da!
Chi ga nijimu!     Sou!     Biran ga!     Yumeyume     uzuku biran ga!
Omae wo!     Shitteiru!     Kimi warui!     Kao no nai!
Omae wo!

Omae wo shitteiru     sou     omae da
Ore wo okashita     omae da
Minikui     sou     biran ga     ore no mune ni aru biran ga

Kimi warui!     Sou!     Omae da!
Ore wo koroshita     omae da!
Chi ga nijimu!     Sou!     Biran ga!     Yumeyume     uzuku biran ga!
Omae wo!     Shitteiru!     Kimi warui!     Kimi warui!

Omae da!

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