I was translating the next chunk of The Air Moon when I got to this part where someone says what they hear during the spoken part of “Fragrance” as performed live. Unfortunately I don’t have the Kagen no Tsuki DVD (for shame!) but with clips on YouTube I can sort of understand why they heard the particular thing they did. In contrast, the myriad things I hear include:
I…finish…myself (←Particularly interesting possibility in light of his amorous advances on that mike stand and the fact that his left hand disappears under his coat for a little bit after singing this part.)
Now, the live version is different from the album version, but I don’t know if it’s the same as the single version (“Fragrance” was the b-side to “ANOTHER WORLD,” released in the fall of 2001, over a year before the tour began). In any case, the album version would be impossible for Gackt to have performed completely live, as his singing starts overlapping with his whispering around the 3:45 mark. For 13 years I’ve heard this part as “Whisper whisper…whisper mouth sounds…really soft whispers…kimi dake wa…whisper whisper…more intense whisper…kimi ni todoku you ni…” The parts I could make out translate to “Only you… So that […] reach[es] you…” Given that, I always assumed this was the usual Gackt-esque lyric about not forgetting, hugging, and reaching, and never tried to investigate further despite absolutely loving this track. But after reading the question in The Air Moon, I decided to do some sleuthing.
First, I listened to the track again, several times, and couldn’t make out anything other than what I’d always heard. Then, I Googled in Japanese the same question that appears in the book. I got this page with one possible answer. After reading it once, I went back to iTunes to see if I could hear any of those words without reading them simultaneously. I couldn’t. And since I didn’t want to be influenced into hearing those words, I decided to turn to iTunes’ built-in equalizer to try to isolate the whispering as much as possible, temporarily halting the online search.
You might want to try this yourself before reading my conclusion. Of course, I’m a n00b when it comes to sound engineering, so if you know more than I do, you can probably think of a better way. Also, since everyone’s hearing is different, I don’t know if I can give any general tips other than “Use an uncompressed file or at least a not as bad file such as AAC if not the legit CD itself,” “Use good headphones in a quiet environment,” and maybe, “Eliminate all frequencies ≦500Hz.”
No matter which headphones I used (Sennheiser HD555 & my $20 Audio-Technicas worked the best, the Koss Porta Pros were meh for this) or what I was listening from, doing the last thing definitely helped. I was able to pick out more of the whispers without reading others’ conjectures this way.
Ultimately, what I heard was closer to what’s posted on this other page by user skyhigh8183, although for the life of me I can’t catch the part I highlighted in red:
kimi to no yakusoku wo mamorenakute hontou ni sumanai to omotteru
doushite mo iwanakute wa ikenai koto
kimi dake wa buji ni nigetehoshii
kono tegami ni noseta boku no omoi ga kimi ni todoku koto wo
I truly feel bad about not being able to keep the promise I made with you
What I had to say [to you] no matter what
I want only you to run away safely
I [wish for] my thoughts, written in this letter, to reach you
The words in brackets aren’t explicitly stated, but are understood from the rest of the grammatical construction. Also, while the red in the second line is completely incomprehensible to me, the red in the fourth line, “omoi” (thoughts) is sort of there. Honestly to me it sounds more like “oe,” which, by itself, would make no sense. “Koe” (voice) would make sense, but there’s no hard k sound in there. I think it probably is omoi and my brain just can’t put it together properly in the same way I thought Taylor Swift was saying “Gotta love those Starbucks lovers” for the longest time.
Anyway, the user who posted below skyhigh added, “This was in some magazine a long time ago,” but as they don’t give any further details, there’s no way for me to feasibly track it down. It doesn’t appear to be printed anywhere in The Air Moon. However, now when I listen to the track with all the frequencies in, I can’t not hear these words (save for the parts in red). So, I’m pretty sure that he is whispering if not these precise words, something very close to them.