My Song Policy: Look East

I have always been fascinated by many fellow bloggers sharing a list of their favourite things: from eateries to hangouts to TV shows.

Though I avidly read these lists to find if the authors have a word of praise for something I like, it also disheartened me to read a criticism of that very thing in some other blog. Nevertheless, I have decided to post a list of my own, a list of songs that I like. 

What is unique about this list is that it is made up of anime songs, or more appropriately, J-pop songs. 

The playlist of an average Indian is likely to contain songs in the regional languages, Hindi songs and English songs as part of their international collection. 

However, as the article title suggests, my international preferences turned eastward.

So, first of all, what is J-pop?

J-pop or Japanese pop merely refers to the contemporary songs of the said country. They can be vaguely comparable to the album culture of our country of the nineties, of course while it died here, it is quite robust over there. 

These songs are also incorporated as the opening and ending themes of Japanese anime — quite similar to the erstwhile trend of having an opening song for the television serials in our country (the classical example being the opening of ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’) —and thus these songs get far more exposure than they would have got otherwise.

It therefore unsurprising that most people outside Japan who listen to Japanese songs do so because they are associated with a particular anime they liked.

I feel that the best way to appreciate an anime song will be to first listen to its truncated version which is used as an opening or ending theme and then to listen to it as a whole. And maybe follow it up by watching the anime as well 😉

Since the article focuses on music alone, I have deliberately refrained from describing the plots of the respective anime with which they are associated.

For the non-otaku reader I’ve also added English translations of the lyrics. 

By the way, all the translations have been sourced from various sites on the internet. And all the songs are not owned by me in the least; they are the property of their rightful owners, that is, the respective artists and the production houses.


So here goes:

1. Snow Fairy.

Artist: Funkist.

Anime: Fairy Tail.

One of my favourite animes, this happens to be its first opening theme and like an ideal opening theme sets the mood for a rollercoaster ride of humour, adventure and mild drama.

What I like about this song is its enthusiasm and infectious rhythm along with the wonderful but unconventional addition of the melody of a flute in a rock song.

For a long running anime (more than a hundred episodes) the first opening remains one of its best in my opinion.

TV version:

Full song:

Lyrics:

Fairy, where are you going?

I’m holding, all the light on to your way; this light will shine upon a brand new day!


(Oh yeah!) Now can you hear the voice that’s calling out to you?

(Oh yeah!) Though I know its shouts have caused its overuse.

(Oh yeah!) But will it stay until your heart can hear it through?

(Oh yeah!) OH YEAH!


The sun and moon have joined in celebration;

Have you forgotten our affiliation?

When you’re not here to share your laughter with me,

I just can’t find my inspiration, but now it’s:


Snowing, keep going; be honest and smile as we’re,

Approaching, evoking, the clock to keep repeating over, but,

Fairy, where are you going?

I’m holding, all the light on to your way; this light will shine upon a brand new day!

(Why?!) x3


(Oh yeah!) My feelings rush from my heart’s core.

Seeing white flakes on the beach pour,

Makes me wonder when the sky was even orange.


(Oh yeah!) And I start to remember that rainbow,

Those seven beams that we once saw, start to flow as snow inside my mind.


Those times you laughed brought out a strange new mystery,

Of unknown strength summoned from deep within me.


Snowing, you’re holding your arms and trembling but,

I know the deep warming feeling would come if you could somehow find me,

Fairy, slowly,

But surely, you’re walking your way,

Oh, Hang in there!

(Why?!) x7

(Yeah!) x7


You put the best in me, like a magic spell,

A guy like me, can enjoy laughing now.

All it ever took from you, was that single perfect smile.

So you’re my,

My lone fairy!


It’s Snowing, keep going; be honest and smile as we’re,

Approaching, evoking, the clock to keep repeating over, but,

Fairy, where are you going?

I’m holding, all the light on to your way and to a brand new bright day!


It’s Snowing,

Keep going, be honest and smile because I know,

With just the light,

You’ve given me the will to be alright!


Snowing!…. Fairy!….

I’ll clear the way until you’re in my eyes,

Racing to your side and I’ll cry,

“Snow Fairy!”

“Don’t say goodbye!”

2. Keep On.
Artist: Ai Maeda.

Anime: Digimon Adventure.

This will probably make a lot of readers nostalgic, reminding them of the times when the five PM to six PM slot on TVs would be occupied by children who would watch Pokémon followed by Digimon on Cartoon Network.

While the opening themes of Pokémon were English translations of the original Japanese songs and were excellent in their own light (those who watched Johto Journeys would remember the Pokémon Karaokemon), Digimon persisted with the Japanese songs and it happened to be my first brush with them.

I’ve put this song on this list for its sheer nostalgic value… I hope readers will have a similar feeling upon listening to it.

TV version:

Full song :

Lyrics:

I’ll keep on running without looking back, sunshine day  

I won’t give in to the pain of skinned knees, adventure  

I’ll face my future, there’s nothing to be afraid of  

Your smile moistens my dry throat 


I’ll say good-bye to that coward who lives  

Deep in my heart, and become a little stronger 


This time I’ll take off with courage  

Spread the wings of my heart and fly to the unseen future  

Now I’m headed towards an endless sky  

This dream adventure has only just begun  

La la la… la la la… 


I’ll hold your hand, let’s fly away, blue sky height  

Your cheerful voice and smile are dazzling, paradise 


Even if I get lost in the darkness, I won’t give up, I won’t lose  

I know I’ll be able to find that ray of light  

I don’t have time to show my tears!


From now on I’ll try not to show my tears  

I’ll open the eyes of my heart and head for the unseen future  

This time I’ll believe and have strength  

I’ll have the courage to stand up again  

La la la… la la la… 


If I hang my head and droop my shoulders I’ll never arrive  

At the wonderful, hope filled goal 


I’ll keep on running, keep on trying, I’ll get stronger! 


This time I’ll take off with courage  

Spread the wings of my heart and fly to the unseen future  

Now I’m headed towards an endless sky  

This dream adventure has only just begun  

La la la… la la la… 


La la la… la la la…

3. Kirameki.
Artist: Wacci.

Anime: Your Lie In April / Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso.

If out of this list there is any anime I would recommend the reader to watch, it would be this one. 

This short anime had just two opening and ending themes and while all of them are magnificent my personal favourite is the first ending theme. The song has a definite soothing quality to it and the translation reveals equally profound lyrics.

TV version:

Full song:

Lyrics:

Even if we’re feeling down, we’d smile once we realize,

That as long as we’re together, our world would come to life once again

 

The rhythm of our footsteps, as we walked our usual way home,

And the scent an occasional breeze brings after a rainy day

 

The times we spent together, and the miracles we created,

I want to convey all these feelings; hoping I can always be with you

 

Those hands of yours, are what I wish to hold most,

For we can share our feelings, as long as we try

I want to be by your side, and not just any other person’s,

For you’re irreplaceable in my heart, forever and always.

 

You’re no longer here by my side, I’m well aware of that

Even then, I glanced back once more, thinking that you called out to me

 

And the sakura flowers at the arch we used to frequent,

Makes me feel like we could return to the past, even though they’re now tinted in orange

 

All I wanted to see is your smile,

And have your beauty colour my world in pastel once more

Recalling the memories that welled up inside me,

I let out my feelings, hoping they’ll reach out to you far away

 

All I want to hear is your voice,

And have it resonate undulatingly throughout me once more

And the times we spent together, are all irreplaceable in my heart

I’ll treasure these memories you gave me, so thank you, and good bye

4. Click.
Artist: Claris.

Anime: Nisekoi.

The anime is notorious for being inconsistent for its endings, but the first opening of this show is quite the song for lifting your spirits. The breezy pace and rhythm coupled with the energetic but not lots voice of the singer make it a great listening experience. Also, the animation beautifully compliments the song.

TV version:

Full song:

Lyrics:

I want to hear your memories unfold,

So this is for you


No matter how precious this feeling may be

The sands of time are going to cover it up and make it ambiguous

But don’t say that fate is a cheap word

Since you’re always laughing by my side, you could be the one


See, everyone slowly forgets something, no matter how important

So can I entrust you for a bit

With my memories of you?

I have the last missing piece

of this incomplete puzzle

I want to hear your memories unfold,

So this is for you


Just the silhouette of such an uncertain memory is like a thorn

And makes my heart tighten

Always

Keeping silent about the thoughts that bloomed a little

Entrusting myself to my recollections

But then, like this, nothing will change


See, everyone slowly forgets something, no matter how important

So can I entrust you for a bit

With my memories of you?

I have the last missing piece

of this incomplete puzzle

I want to hear your memories unfold,

So this is for you


Everything will become clear

Such a dream, no matter who, will want it to become true

Even if everything is just a misunderstanding

Let’s keep moving forward without fear

Let’s save that voice that is in a deep, deep sleep

Though, everyone slowly forgets something, no matter how important

Because it is waiting for us at the bottom of our hearts

I have the last missing piece

of this incomplete puzzle

I want to hear your memories unfold,

So this is for you

5. Ai No Tseruni.
Artist: Chrome Shelled.

Anime: Chrome Shelled Regios / Koukaku No Regios.

This is a rare example of an anime song which was specifically made for this anime and wasn’t an independent work superimposed on the animation.

The second ending theme of the show, it also has a variant with make-female singers duet, but I prefer the original solo. The calming piano coupled with the turbulent electric guitar and the passionate voice of the singer leave a lasting impression on your minds.

TV version:


Full song:

Lyrics:

Dear beloved,

Who are you thinking of?

This “letter” is still within my heart,

suddenly, it touched the fragments of your memories

pierced in my heart…


I hope you take notice…no don’t notice!

The thing making me act cold…is it love?

I want to say “Stay with me!” but…I can’t say it…


I met you in this defiled world,

showering my heart with a miracle, please play for me

“Zuellni of Love”.


Rebirth has begun, leading us to our destiny.

The wandering you is just a mirage,

when I get closer, you get further away…

swaying in this haze…are my ideal plans.


I hope you’ll let me listen…no, I don’t want to hear,

The thing making me gentle…is it the rain?

I don’t know what I want to believe yet…I can’t say it…


Glittering in that future, is you with a smile,

if I can be by your side, then I’ll become strong,

Even if I use a suspicious lie, even if we disagree,

in order to not forget my true words…gently I write then down

in this “Letter” of Love


I met you in this defiled world,

looking at sadness with those strong eyes,

hurt from fighting, you sleep into your dreams.

I wonder if my feelings will reach you, please tell me

“Zuellni of Love”.

My aim in writing this post was not so much to share my relatively rare preferences as it was to point out the richness of art in cultures besides our own. I hope that the readers would reflect on how respectful have they been of other cultures, especially of their languages ( since we so shamelessly mock the Dravidian and East Asian languages in our jokes).
Feel free to share your views as well 🙂

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